Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Historic Visit of Pope Francis I in America

Pope Francis I’s arrival in North America is very historic. He was born in Argentina and now, he is the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. He wants to spread his gospel and he wants the expansion of the Roman Catholic power base especially among the youth since the youth is representative of the future. He has dealt with controversies head on. First, he traveled into Cuba to talk with Raul Castro and Fidel Castro. Fidel Castro was excommunicated from the Catholic Church in 1963. Later, Cuba has a more open relationship with Roman Catholicism. The Pope came into Washington, D.C. on Tuesday afternoon. First he met with the President, First Lady Michelle Obama, Sasha, Malia, President Obama’s other relatives. He also met with Vice President Joe Biden and his wife as well. News media globally covered the events. Also, the Pope arrives in America amid the heaviest security for this temporary time period (in protecting one well known religious figure) in history. The Secret Service, Homeland Security, and other agencies among all levels of government are actively protecting the Pope.  For example, the intelligence community called this event the National Special Security Event of the NSSE. There are FBI, Coast Guard, Capitol Police, Pentagon, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency working with local police departments in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. Pope Francis I is an Latin American man and he has certain views on immigration, economics, poverty, etc. Federal employees have been told to work from home if possible from Tuesday through Thursday, the days when the Pope is in the US capital. On Friday, when he addresses the UN General Assembly, more than 5,000 New York City policemen will be deployed on Manhattan’s east side. Philadelphia will close many highways and bridges for two days throughout the papal visit, a more elaborate security measure than taken for a presidential appearance. These policies rise civil liberty concerns indeed. Pope Francis has a history in the controversial Dirty Wars of Argentina. Also, he has talked about the excesses of capitalism, global warming, and other issues that reactionaries don’t agree with him on. Also, I agree with the separation of church and state. I don’t believe in calling a grown man “Holy Father.” I don’t believe that the Pope is the Vicar of Christ. I deny transubstantiation and believe in the symbolic nature of communion. I don’t believe in the Immaculate Conception and I believe in the priesthood of universal believers not a select few who are forbidden to voluntarily marry. So, I have religious disagreements with the Vatican. Many of the views of Catholicism are false doctrines. I can't co-sign the belief that a grown man should be called the Pontiff. I can't venerate statues. I do believe that immigrants and refugees should be treated with dignity and with respect. I have no issues with immigrant rights. We should help the poor and the oppressed.  The real point is that we need religious freedom and justice. We also need to fight for justice and reject capitalist exploitation. We reject imperialism.

For generations, black women have made excellent contributions in acting, teaching, and other endeavors of the human race. There is no question that some people are jealous of the strength and the excellence of black women. Viola Davis’ passionate speech has shown a great, radiance of light in the world. Her journey is a journey filled with many things including compassion and strength. Lena Durham and Nancy Lee Grahn’s distracting, hateful words can never stop the power of a black woman. Black women are leaders, mothers, trailblazers, and heroes. When a Sister makes a great accomplishment, some haters come out, but those haters can never stop victory. Haters can never stop the truth and the resiliency of the human spirit. So, we love the humanity of Viola Davis, Uzo Aduba, and other human beings who contributed their gifts to the world. We are in favor of building up our people. When a young black girl sees Viola Davis, she sees that she is valuable, strong, and filled with determination. Some white women, with fragile egos, hating on black women is a sign of those white women's desperation & profound insecurity. So, black women will always rise and keep on creating positive change in the world. Everyone can see how fake Nancy’s apology was. How dare she say that Viola Davis (who won an Emmy for Leading Actress) faced no discrimination. Black women face discrimination all of the time from the poor to the very rich black Sister. Viola Davis gave a passionate, emotional speech where she poured her heart out about the trials and tribulations that black actresses go through all of the time. Black women constantly and accurately say that they struggle to have certain roles on TV and film. This is another example of how some white women have arrogance and seek to minimize the pain, the struggle, and the accomplishments of black women. This is why an increasing amount of black women are classifying themselves as womanists instead of feminists. White privilege is not some anachronism. It is a total reality that occurs in the modern era. White women have always been praised in award shows for decades. All women (regardless of skin color) should be liberated, but women of color have been treated much harsher than white women in society. The jealousy of Nancy Lee Grahn reveals that black excellence intimidates many white people. If we want to get to a place of real justice, then we have to not only give opportunity to qualified black people. We have to call out those who seek to mock the accomplishments of our people.
#Black Excellence.

I do believe in medical marijuana for those that need it. There has been expansion of the marijuana industry, but we should think about the prison industrial complex. We have to deal with unfair sentencing where those with non violent drug offenses have a much lower chance to get a job and in some cases, their voting rights are restricted. I am more progressive on drugs than my older brother. I never believed in the War on Drugs for over 10 years. I believe that it should be abolished and replaced with alternatives. Those with drug addiction and who are nonviolent, I do believe merit drug treatment programs not imprisonment. Drug treatment programs can reduce the recidivism rate. I don't agree with children using hardcore drugs, because those drugs can damage their physiology forever. I believe in the medical usage of drugs for those that need it. Sentencing involving drugs must be changed. Portugal is one nation that once had a drug abuse problem. It used policies, which was a mix of hospitals, needle exchange programs, decriminalization, drug treatment, education, etc. These policies enacted in Portugal ended their war on drugs. There is a serious problem where some people in the streets with low level crimes are in prison longer than some assaulter, some rapists and some murderers. That is totally wrong. There has been stories where cannabis oil and other medical marijuana treatment which has helped countless lives. We have federal drug forfeiture laws which allow state and local law enforcement agencies to keep, for their own use, up to 80 percent of the cash, cars, and homes seized from suspected drug offenders (even if someone is accused of a drug offense). There is a prison industrial complex that allows non violent drug offenders to suffer in job opportunities, housing, voting, and other areas of society. I read about Brothers and Sisters being in jail unjustly and how eliminating the War on Drugs can cause massive economic savings. Saving money by causing more fair laws involving drugs can make investments in poorer and black communities more readily available.

I congratulate the three Sisters for their action of not endorsing any 2016 Presidential candidate. I’m going to go in, because the Black Lives Matter movement has been slandered unfairly. These words will set the record straight. One lie from the haters is that the BLM doesn’t have goals or a platform. That is refuted by the fact that Campaign Zero and various websites have Black Lives Matter organizers showing specific goals (many of them obtainable) and platforms to deal with police terrorism, racial injustice, and economic injustice. The other lie is that BLM is not credible, because it is decentralized and it has no singular leadership. The truth is that Sister Ella Baker taught the truth best on this issue. The Sister Ella Baker said that true power is not necessarily shown by one person controlling all facets of the movement. Power can be decentralized and the masses of the people can have a big role in how policies are made and how an agenda can exist. Therefore, the Black Lives Matter movement is spread nationwide with many chapters, so it is hardly disorganized and it is still decentralized in its cosmology. Establishment political figures (among both mainstream parties) have always wanted to co-opt the movement since its inception. These Sisters are right and courageous to embrace political independence. Putting forth candidates that promote imperialism, that promote privatization, that love the status quo is not a real goal that anyone should advance. The political independence of the BLM should be commended. Real movements for social change have worked in grassroots actions from the Black Panther Party, the labor movement, the abolitionist movement, and the anti-war movement.

Therefore, Black Lives Matter is using grassroots efforts in order for real political and social change to occur. Pessimism is not a solution. Too many people want to have apathy and our ancestors fought without apathy in order for their descendants to live on. This movement is less than three years old and skeptics still want to say that the movement is doomed to failure. Well once upon a time, many of these same skeptics said that overt slavery against millions of black people would last forever in America, that the bus boycott in Birmingham, Alabama would fail, and that a Voting Rights Act would never happen. These skeptics were wrong. So, we have to have faith and use action. The Black Lives Matter movement is letting it be known during this contemporary era of time that they won’t be owned by the Republican or the Democratic parties. They want freedom and they want justice. The Black Lives Matter movement is a real movement beyond hashtags and beyond just protests. They are involved in a wide range of activism (like standing up against police terrorism, promoting a living wage, fighting for voting rights, defending the lives of black people, working in community based programs, working in green programs in the black community, etc.). We have a long way to go, but we can do something and members of the BLM are doing something everyday. They are against racism, misogyny, and other injustices. We have to express self-determination without a defeatist attitude. It is a disgrace that some people want to have a defeatist attitude today when our black ancestors suffered much worse than us. Members of the Black Lives Matter movement have comforted families whose relatives were the victims of police murder. That is not a waste of time. That is an act of compassion. DEMANDING CHANGE IN SOCIETY, BUILDING IN THE COMMUNITY, AND HELPING PEOPLE ARE ACTIONS THAT ARE NEVER EQUIVALENT TO BEGGING. HAVING A PERMANENT, PESSIMISTIC SPIRIT IS BEGGING FOR FAILURE by DEFAULT. WE DON'T BEG FOR FAILURE. WE WANT JUSTICE AND FREEDOM PERIOD. So, the truth is here that the Black Lives Matter movement has inspired a generation of black people who will not turn around.
#Black Lives Matter.

By Timothy

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