Dear Faulkner University,

Dear Faulkner University –if moral guidance is the driving force of your faith, I suggest you revoke your invite to Donald Trump Jr. However, if your true God is that of Republican idolatry and the falsity of white evangelical Christianity as moral truth, go ahead and keep the door open. But I ask, who do you worship? President Mike Williams of Faulkner University was at Harding University when I vocally called the Harding out for what I saw as white supremacy in its hiring of professors and beliefs when I was a student. Share this with him, it will not surprise him that I am calling Faulkner out. Go Jesus!!! He likes rich white Christian men.

When the World is Led by a Child

What a great op-ed by David Brooks. Trump’s inherited wealth and privileges prevented him from moving beyond adolescent immaturity. A recent Quinnipiac poll noted that most see him as an Idiot, Incompetent, and Liar. Though I agree, I believe white supremacy is a driving force within his base of supporters. Moreover, his inability to communicate is shaped by his simplistic vocabulary, and lack of analytical and reasoning skills, which are needed to make complex decisions. His wealth masks his limited analytical and thinking skills, which are now on display. Trump’s past tax records showcased a failed businessman; he claims businessmen take risk. I am not convinced of his wealth. He simply is not qualified to do the job, and thus many Americans lack the skills to comprehend and reason in their decision-making.

Trying to Stay Positive and Love Better

I am trying to stay positive; I really am. But damn what rich white men keep doing to the marginalized. Do not ask me why I am always mad. In one week I heard a speech in which one person noted he is blessed to have a family that will assure he graduates from college debt free. And another speech in which a person was noted as having to work two jobs to get by. All of this in the same space. We as humans really do not care about each other.

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Images really are worth a 1,000 words: sexism, racism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, elitism, etc. I am teaching students daily what not to be in life. I am sure these “men” attend church. Gotta keep up the image for your supporters.

The Religious Right and Trump

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Fantastic article published in the New Republic. The author writes,”How did Donald Trump—a thrice-married, biblically illiterate sexual predator—hijack the religious right?” I do not think Trump did this; I suspect the religious right prefer idolatry and power over love and Christ (opinion). “To alt-right Christians, Trump’s appeal isn’t based on the kind of social-issue litmus tests long favored by the religious right. According to Brad Griffin, a white supremacist activist in Alabama, “the average evangelical, not-too-religious Southerner who’s sort of a populist” was drawn to Trump primarily “because they like the attitude.” Besides, he adds, many on the Christian right don’t necessarily describe themselves as “evangelical” for theological reasons; it’s more “a tribal marker for a lot of these people.” See article here.

Against Bigotry

I spoke to a crowed at the end of our protest march in front of the Boston State House. I am feeling a desire by many to bring true change. But that will not be easy. This march/protest was aimed against policies on deportations and refugees and Muslims.

I am with Jackie here, she is my friend; I am her friend. She is my ally and I am her ally. We stand with others as friends. Let me be clear here: I love people. And because I love working-class people, I have decided I can no longer be a friend with those who support the legislation of hate. What does this mean? I will not travel with you nor visit your home. If you are against LGBTQ folks, female rights, undocumented friends, black, brown, and others, and if you support hate and American exceptionalism, I am not your friend and you are not my friend. This is not just a virtual notion; it is true for me day-to-day. If you believe you are “just” due to your faith — we are not friends. To be my friend means you are my ally, and thus are seeking to evolve by walking with me to denounce bigotry. I will work with you on the job. I am working class and have to pay the bills. I have no interest in your religion or church if your members are not allies. I will be nice and say hello – Mom and Dad raised me well. I will work beside you at work — but just know I cannot be your friend; if you are not my ally, we are not friends. If you are arguing about my realities and the realities of my friends and allies – we cannot be friends. We cannot break bread in my home or have a glass of wine.

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Let America Be America Again by Langston Hughes, 1902 – 1967

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Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!