Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Flynn scandal

Today, we witness a crisis in the Trump regime. Michael Flynn has resigned after it was found that he communicated with a Russian official and promised to scale back on the anti-Russian sanctions. We know that the NSA monitored communications as the NSA monitors Russian intelligence constantly. On Tuesday afternoon, it was reported that the FBI interviewed Flynn soon after Trump’s inauguration about his telephone conversation with the Russian ambassador to Washington, Sergey Kislyak, on December 29, 2016. The call was secretly monitored and recorded by the National Security Agency. The Washington Post revealed that Justice Department officials informed the White House several weeks ago that Flynn had discussed US sanctions on Russia with the ambassador, and that his repeated denials of that fact were false. A transcript of the Flynn-Kislyak conversation is reportedly circulating at the highest levels of official Washington. Flynn is no longer a National Security Advisor. So, this story is a fight inside of the American political establishment over the direction of foreign policy. On faction (which is headed by the NSA, the CIA, and other intelligence agencies) wants a more anti-Russian approach even leading into a military confrontation with Russia possibly, which is wrong and extremist. The other faction (which has more allies in the Trump regime) wants more tension primarily with China. Yet, all of these competing factions desire the expansion of American imperial interests. Now, people want an investigation to figure out what is going on. The New York Times has reported that Trump campaign advisers communicated with Russians. Therefore, the capitalist state instruments of the White House, the Pentagon, the CIA, the FBI, the NSA, etc. are debating with each other on how to deal with Russia. Some people are rising the specter of impeachment. Trump could be impeached. Both parties are blatantly militaristic in its leaderships. Many Democrats have criticized Trump, but many of them voted for everyone of Trump's nominees and some Democrats believe in imperialistic aggression. Putin is not a paragon of virtue. Like Trump, Putin is a right wing nationalist autocrat. We know the cruise missile launch by Russia and the spy ship deployed off the coast of Delaware. There should be an independent investigation of the facts, but there should be no unjust military action against Russia or China. Therefore, we want political independence.

First, I am glad that the Brother is alive. Many people have committed suicide, because of many reasons. Life is not a crystal stair. Our history as black people is a testament to that reality. We know about the peaks and valleys that our people have gone through. We have experienced the evils of the Maafa, of slavery, of Jim Crow tyranny, and of other atrocities. Jedidiah Brown is a young man who is crying out for compassion and help. I do hope that he receives professional help and all of the encouragement during his trying time. He lost his nephew and this is real. This isn't some game. Many black people for centuries and thousands of years have experienced emotional trauma, hurt, and pain. I also feel that we have to realize that human liberation isn't just about rights, political power, or economic power. It is about healing too. The Brother made the excellent point about the necessity for healing in our communities, so we can reach our highest human potential. We have to discuss about suicide, mental health, and other important issues in order for us to heal. Our ancestors experienced the worst form of slavery in human history. Therefore, it is imperative for us to give people emotional support. I wish the best for the Brother.

This issue should be broken down into many things. On issues such as these, I'm going into a nuanced direction. First, Solange is Beyonce's sister, so I don't fault Solange for defending Beyonce in that way. Solange is expressing the views of how many black people feel about the Grammys. We also have many award shows outside of the Grammys that rewards black excellence in music from the BET Awards, Soul Train Music Awards, to the NAACP Image Awards show. Those shows count. Some black celebrities should bring more awareness on those awards shows that explicitly award black musicians beyond just the Grammys. Also, it is very clear that some white musicians back then and today mimic black musical expression without credit and without respect to black artists. This is not new. Adele, to her credit, has acknowledged Beyonce's album Lemonade as having an international impact and Adele has said to Beyonce that she should have won the Best Album award instead of her. Adele knows how to sing greatly, but some people go overboard in comparing her to Aretha (which isn't the case). Jazzmun Sullivan in my view have better vocals than Adele. It is bigger than Adele too.

It is about a system in society that rewards many who mimic the culture and singing abilities of black human human beings while hating black bodies. That's precisely the point. Regardless of how people feel about Beyonce and Lemonade, we are still fighting for global change. People, as diverse as Beyonce to Diana Ross, are part of black music. Ultimately, the voters in the Grammys decide. The Grammys in my view wasn't going to award Lemonade with the best album when Lemonade had many overtly political messages in it (over Adele). The Grammys didn't award D'angelo's Black Messiah album, which was one of the D'angelo's greatest albums (and it was very political). Is there racism & elitism in the Grammys back then and today? Oh yes, there is. There are tons of black people now making great music, but many of them don't have the same opportunities as other artists possess. Artists,who truly love the craft , want opportunities without copying the status quo. I will also say that many celebrities have to support black award shows too. Solange has made a recently classic album that touched on so many issues from self care to black women human rights.

Yesterday was the birthday of a legendary black hero. His name is Frederick Douglas. He survived unspeakable atrocities and injustices, but he came out of slavery to proclaim the credo that liberty and justice are sacrosanct concepts that we're all fighting for. He spoke nationwide and worldwide to expose the injurious evil of slavery. He came out to speak in favor human equality and he believed in women's rights as well. His sons fought for the Union side in order for them to defeat the Confederacy. Frederick Douglas gave eloquent, powerful speeches on a multitude of subjects. He opposed the Chinese Exclusion Act and he abhorred xenophobia. Xenophobia is evil period. He wrote three autobiographies. He was born in Maryland and he lived a long time in the world. Frederick Douglas was an intellectual genius who was one of the greatest African American leaders of all time. He has inspired all of us during our time too. Anna Murray-Douglas loved him and she was a courageous black woman. Anna Murray-Douglas was an abolitionist, an activist, and she worked in the Underground Railroad. Frederick Douglas traveled into Britain and Ireland to support his causes. He was always a spiritual man who believed that social activism is key in enriching the soul and society. On February 20, 1895, Douglass attended a meeting of the National Council of Women in Washington, D.C. During that meeting, he was brought to the platform and received a standing ovation. Shortly after he returned home, Frederick Douglass passed away of a massive heart attack or stroke. He was 77. Frederick Douglas was buried in Rochester, New York. His legend is forever and his cause still stirs our minds.
Rest in Power Brother Frederick Douglas.

By Timothy

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