The post below is written by NYYRC Member Dwayne Madison, in response to New Orleans Saints player Benjamin Watson’s Facebook post regarding the Ferguson grand jury’s decision not to indict Darren Wilson. You can read Waston’s original article here: http://tinyurl.com/oq9sd4u
Dear Benjamin Watson,
While on the train home to my parent’s house to celebrate Thanksgiving, I came across your thoughtful comments on the Ferguson situation. Well done! You blasted out of the sky two ridiculous stereotypes. The first is the “dumb jock” label since your post is better than most seasoned journalists. The second is that Americans are too sensitive to have a mature discussion about race. With that, I too want to help prove them wrong and respond. Your fan, Dwayne.
I’M ANGRY because the stories of injustice that have been passed down for generations seem to be continuing before our very eyes.
I’M ALSO ANGRY because this is a never ending cycle. Despite progress over several decades, I am convinced that too many politicians, media pundits, and community leaders thrive on these unfortunate incidents. For these people have a lot to lose if we achieve a truly color blind society and, thus, will make every attempt to prevent MLK’s dream from becoming a reality.
I’M FRUSTRATED, because pop culture, music and movies glorify these types of police citizen altercations and promote an invincible attitude that continues to get young men killed in real life, away from safety movie sets and music studios.
I’M ALSO FRUSTRATED because the media and pop culture promote degeneracy and mock decency. People who live honorable, productive lives, regardless of their race, are labeled as sell-outs, old-fashioned, and not cool or hip.
I’M FEARFUL because in the back of my mind I know that although I’m a law abiding citizen I could still be looked upon as a “threat” to those who don’t know me. So I will continue to have to go the extra mile to earn the benefit of the doubt.
I’M ALSO FEARFUL because I know that despite my life’s actions that prove that I am nowhere near a racist, all it takes is for one person to accuse me of such and I will instantly be considered guilty by many no matter what contrary evidence is presented.
I’M EMBARRASSED because the looting, violent protests, and law breaking only confirm, and in the minds of many, validate, the stereotypes and thus the inferior treatment.
I’M ALSO EMBARRASSED that so called educated and professional people give unwarranted attention to people whose only motive is to make the situation worse.
I’M SAD, because another young life was lost from his family, the racial divide has widened, a community is in shambles, accusations, insensitivity hurt and hatred are boiling over, and we may never know the truth about what happened that day.
I’M ALSO SAD because this unfortunate incident has been used to open old wounds. I’m sad because I know based on my own interactions with people from various racial backgrounds that most, almost all, want to achieve a color blind society. I’m sad because another incident will happen again. Why, because the few among us that have a lot to lose if we do move beyond will make every effort to make sure the sequels continue.
I’M SYMPATHETIC, because I wasn’t there so I don’t know exactly what happened. Maybe Darren Wilson acted within his rights and duty as an officer of the law and killed Michael Brown in self defense like any of us would in the circumstance. Now he has to fear the backlash against himself and his loved ones when he was only doing his job. What a horrible thing to endure. OR maybe he provoked Michael and ignited the series of events that led to him eventually murdering the young man to prove a point.
I’M ALSO SYMPATHETIC because I do not know what it is like to have been told my entire life that I have no hope. I have never been preached to by a community leader that no matter how big my effort or how I go about my life, I will never have a chance because a certain group of people are out to get me. If that did happened to me, I cannot say that I would not respond in an overly emotional way and be driven to riot, how would I know any better?
I’M OFFENDED, because of the insulting comments I’ve seen that are not only insensitive but dismissive to the painful experiences of others.
I’M ALSO OFFENDED not just because of those comments that you mention, but also because of the sacrifices and efforts made by millions of people of all backgrounds to improve relations and promote diversity only to hear agitators comment that if any progress has been made, it is hardly noticeable and that America will always be a rotten, racist, nation.
I’M CONFUSED, because I don’t know why it’s so hard to obey a policeman. You will not win!!! And I don’t know why some policeman abuse their power. Power is a responsibility, not a weapon to brandish and lord over the populace.
I’M ALSO CONFUSED because I do not understand why some community leaders and media types abuse their power. While not a loaded gun, a microphone or megaphone can also do significant damage and make a bad situation worse.
I’M INTROSPECTIVE, because sometimes I want to take “our” side without looking at the facts in situations like these. Sometimes I feel like it’s us against them. Sometimes I’m just as prejudiced as people I point fingers at. And that’s not right. How can I look at white skin and make assumptions but not want assumptions made about me? That’s not right.
I’M ALSO INTROSPECTIVE because my immediate, hard-coded conclusion was that there was almost no chance that the police officer was at fault. But, that was not a realistic assumption nor did I consider my own unpleasant interactions with law enforcement officials.
I’M HOPELESS, because I’ve lived long enough to expect things like this to continue to happen. I’m not surprised and at some point my little children are going to inherit the weight of being a minority and all that it entails.
I’M ALSO HOPELESS because while I am not an old man, I have lived long enough to know that these incidents will continue. Too many people want them to continue. If I decide to have children, there will be some in academia and the media that will tell them that they are by default a racist simply by being born white.
I’M HOPEFUL, because I know that while we still have race issues in America, we enjoy a much different normal than those of our parents and grandparents. I see it in my personal relationships with teammates, friends and mentors. And it’s a beautiful thing.
I’M ALSO HOPEFUL because despite the ugly scenes that I see play out on TV and read about on the internet, I do not witness that often in real life. I have come across several calm, throughout responses such as yours, which helps a great deal!
I’M ENCOURAGED, because ultimately the problem is not a SKIN problem, it is a SIN problem. SIN is the reason we rebel against authority. SIN is the reason we abuse our authority. SIN is the reason we are racist, prejudiced and lie to cover for our own. SIN is the reason we riot, loot and burn. BUT I’M ENCOURAGED because God has provided a solution for sin through the his son Jesus and with it, a transformed heart and mind. One that’s capable of looking past the outward and seeing what’s truly important in every human being. The cure for the Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner tragedies is not education or exposure. It’s the Gospel. So, finally, I’M ENCOURAGED because the Gospel gives mankind hope.”
I’M ALSO ENCOURAGED because I read your post!
Dwayne Madison: email@example.com. Dwayne lives in Manhattan. He loves sports, has never acted in a play, has never auditioned for a movie, does not have any tattoos, and has never smoked weed.
by the NYYRC Blog Staff
Thanksgiving is that wonderful time of year when most of us give thanks, spend quality time with loved ones, and watch the Detroit Lions play lousy football. A common downside is that you will likely be pulled into a political debate with your vegan cousin that won’t eat grandma’s food or your sister’s “creative type” boyfriend after he makes a ridiculous comment on the situation in Ferguson, MO. Here is our talking-point cheat-sheet to aid you in your response. Go get ‘em!
IMMIGRATION / AMNESTY
–The proponents of Obama’s immigration executive order often argue that America is a nation of immigrants, which is what made the country great. Up until recently, immigrants, as a whole, wanted to be American, they wanted to assimilate into American culture, and they wanted to pursue the American dream.
–Obama’s motives are not so much humanitarian, but rather an obvious attempt to build a permanent Democratic party voting block that will support the party for multiple generations.
–After midterm elections that reflect voter attitudes on issues like healthcare, foreign policy, and the economy, the President and Democratic party clearly want to make immigration the main issue discussed in the media.
–As a national party, they have maxed out their support with single women and black voters. Making immigration a top issue allows democrats an opportunity to expand their party base and to distract voters from their unpopular stances on other key issues.
-Obama’s own Justice Department informed him that his actions on immigration are unlawful and unconstitutional. The DOJ issued a memo based on historical precedent and legal concerns that stated how the White House does not have the authority to change immigration law by executive order. “The Executive cannot, under the guides of exercising enforcement discretion, attempt to effectively rewrite the laws to match its policy preferences. An agency’s enforcement decisions should be consonant with, rather than contrary to, the congressional policy underlying the statutes the agency is charged with administering.”
–The GOP is pro-immigration, legal immigration that involves skilled workers and people from all parts of the world, not just Latin America.
–Americans should ask, who has the most to lose if America becomes a true post racial, color blind society. The answer: racial bullies, university and corporate diversity department personnel, and mainstream media journalists (will have fewer default news topics).
–A color blind society is not desired by the left. Discrimination is not just a political issue, it is also an industry. Many have made fortunes on it and will do anything to maintain the income source that is driven by discrimination.
–A close look at Ferguson reveals true intent. Staged, calculated riots to preserve race tensions, from which the Democratic party benefits.
JONATHAN GRUBER COMMENTS:
–The MIT economics professor’s comments demonstrate yet again how liberals push legislation by pretending they are not liberals.
–The lack of coverage in the mainstream media proves that the they are not interested in reporting. They are simply an extension of the democrat party.
–”Obama and Gruber know that had they been honest from day one about what their intentions were and how they intended to go about them, they would never have won the election in 2008.” Rush Limbaugh
USA / CHINA CLIMATE DEAL:
–The “historic” pact reached by Obama is not a binding agreement and does not include any benchmarks to measure progress or penalties.
–The administration pledged to impede America’s economic progress by promising greenhouse emission cuts of 26 to 28 percent. This will do nothing other than hurt American workers (via pink slips) and consumers (via fuel price increases). Meanwhile, China does not have to do anything until 2030.
–China alone is firing up a new coal plant every eight to 10 days. America could close every coal mine in Kentucky and West Virginia and achieve absolutely nothing except devastating Appalachia and, in effect, shipping its economic lifeblood to China.
–Questions to ask: Does a problem actually exist that is backed with absolute scientific proof? What is the evidence? If one does, how does pact accomplish a solution?
–Former Obama Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel is known to have said “never let a crisis go to waste”. An accurate continuation would be “…and if one does not exist, create one”. The only purpose for this deal is to score headlines, political points with democrat base voters, and preserve an artificial crisis that benefits democrat politicians.
–On October 3, 1863, during the dark days of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln declared that the 4th Thursday of November be set aside as a Federal holiday of thanksgiving and prayer. The idea behind this was that even in one of our nation’s darkest hours, we should stop, reflect, and be thankful to live in a republic that gives us so many advantages and privileges. Lincoln said these should be “solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.” We should remember this every Thanksgiving and keep in mind the true spirit of the holiday.
Lincoln’s full Thanksgiving Proclamation can be found here: http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/thanks.htm
Quote of the Week
“Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it” – Ronald Reagan
During the NYYRC’s monthly meeting last night, Michael Warren of the Weekly Standard gave an insightful talk about the midterm elections (we won!), and then talk turned to what Congressional Republicans should do in response to President Obama’s announcement that he was suspending deportations. Suggestions ranged from opposing President Obama’s judicial nominees to passing a budget that narrowly eliminates funding for the executive branch offices responsible for carrying out the President’s immigration wishes.
What about censure as a possibility?
Bear with me for a little bit of history. In addition to being Secretary of State and a perennial presidential candidate, Senator Henry Clay led the Congressional opposition to President Andrew Jackson. Andrew Jackson didn’t like the Bank of the United States, the antebellum version of the Federal Reserve. In 1832, he vetoed an act to renew the bank’s charter, and in 1834 – after he’d been re-elected – he pulled all federal funds from the bank. Henry Clay, with a Senate majority behind him, passed a resolution demanding that Jackson turn over a document he’d read to his Cabinet on the bank issue.
Jackson refused, and Henry Clay and the anti-Jacksonians passed a Senate resolution censuring the President, reading, “Resolved that the President in the late Executive proceedings in relation to the public revenue, has assumed upon himself authority and power not confer’d by the Constitution and laws but in derogation of both.” Censuring the president was a step short of impeachment, for which was the political capital and number of Senators did not exist, but it adequately conveyed the Senate’s distaste for the President’s usurpations.
It was the only time that the Senate had passed censure on the President, although several Democrats did submit a bill censuring Clinton in the wake of the Lewinsky scandal. The bill failed to pass.
Postscript- apparently I’m not alone in suggesting censure. Rep. Steven King of Iowa suggests the same thing: http://tinyurl.com/osq3l5f and as does the National Review’s John Fund: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/393212/censure-president-obama-john-fund
Last night, the Young Republicans took on the Young Democrats in a trivia battle royale, and won handily. In honor of the event, we have composed a little poem (with some liberal borrowing from Ernest Lawrence Thayer).
Ruthie at the Bat
The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the YR team that day:
Outnumbered ten to one, with four rounds of trivia to play,
But the valient YRs vowed to give their best all the same
And over the tumult Ruthie shouted “let’s play this damn game.”
A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to the hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, “If Ruthie could but get a whack at that—
We’d put up even money now, with Ruthie at the bat.”
Questions were lost, mistakes did the YRs make,
For the laughing Dems it all seemed a piece of cake;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance even with Ruthie at the bat.
But Round Three came, and to the wonderment of all,
The YRs came back and the Dems began to stall;
And when the dust had lifted, and men saw what had occurred,
There were the Republicans, tied up in the third.
Then from five or so throats or more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It pounded on the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Ruthie, mighty Ruthie, was yelling “what was that?”
There was verve in Ruthie’s manner as she got up from her place;
And pride in Ruthie’s bearing as she got up in the moderator’s face.
For she didn’t like a question on debt, thought she smelled a rat,
No stranger could doubt ‘twas good fair Ruthie didn’t have a gat.
Ten thousand Dems’ eyes were on the YRs rising from the dirt;
Five thousand tongues were silent and the Dems began to hurt;
Round four came, and from their drinks the YRs began to sip,
Defiance flashed in Ruthie’s eye, a sneer curled Ruthie’s lip.
And now queries they hurtled through the
And now the Dems stood a-watching in shock over there.
Lightening round questions up to the Republicans sped—
“It’s B,” said Ruthie. “Wow you’re right!” the moderator said.
From the Dems, those liberal people, there went up a muffled
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore;
“You’re winning YRs!” shouted Chris C. from the stand;
And with a high five, Florent did raise his hand.
With a smile of Christian charity great Ruthie’s visage shone;
She stilled the rising tumult; she bade the game go on;
She signaled to moderator, and Round Four questions flew;
And the YRs got it right, the moderator said, “That’s two!”
“Rad!” cried Ruthie, and echo answered
And for final jeopardy the Dems seemed sad.
They saw Ruthie’s face grow stern and cold, they saw her muscles
And they knew that Ruthie and the YRs wouldn’t miss again.
The sneer is gone from the Dems’ lips, their teeth are clenched in hate,
The stewed and struggled and grew concerned, for the hour had gotten late;
And now the final question comes, and now the moderator lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by how much the Dems do blow.
Oh, somewhere in this favoured land the sun is shining bright,
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light;
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children
But there is no joy in Liberal-land—for the Dems have struck out.
Most of you folks probably know this, but the reason Veterans Day falls on November 11 is because that’s the day in 1918 on which World War One ended. The holiday was originally Armistice Day, but was changed in 1954 to honor all veterans, living and deceased.
The story of Stubby and his comrade in arms John Conroy is one of our favorite veteran’s stories.
John Conroy met his best friend, Stubby, while an undergraduate at Yale in 1916. Despite the fact that Stubby was not yet 18 and therefore ineligible for the American army, Conroy smuggled Stubby aboard the transport SS Minnesota when the 26th “Yankee” Division set out for France. Although Conroy’s commanding officer wanted to ship Stubby stateside, Stubby had learned a modified salute, and charming Conroy’s hardnosed CO enough that he allowed Stubby to stay.
The Yankee Division served in four separate offensives, and Stubby, while still not officially a member of the U.S. Army, took shrapnel from a German grenade in the leg and survived a gas attack. Stubby proved so adept at knowing when German gas shells were incoming that while on guard duty during an early morning gas attack, he managed to save the hundreds of lives by waking the men of the Yankee Division in time for them to don their gas masks. Stubby even took down a German spy, earning a promotion to Sergeant. All told, Stubby saw 17 battles .
Returning stateside, Stubby was given a hero’s welcome, meeting President Woodrow Wilson. His military service done, Stubby volunteered for many causes, but especially took to heart his work with the Humane Society.
Here’s a picture of Stubby, wearing his many decorations:
Stubby and Conroy went to college at Georgetown…Stubby was even the Hoya for a bit. He met Presidents Coolidge and Harding, and passed away in 1926. If you want to visit this particular veteran, his stuffed remains reside in the Smithsonian Institution.
Ryan Leaf was the second pick in the 1998 draft. Widely heralded as a high-caliber quarterback with great potential, Leaf was a disaster, a bust of epic proportions, and the worst draft pick in NFL history…until Jamarcus Russell came along. Picked first by the Raiders in the 2007 draft (ahead of Calvin Johnson, among others), Russell’s career lasted a little more than two absolutely miserable seasons, during which he gained nearly 50 pounds, and compiled a QB rating of 65.2. Point being, Ryan Leaf must have been pretty glad when Jamarcus Russell flopped onto the football field and took the crown of biggest bust ever.
It was the Ryan Leaf / Jamarcus Russell debacle that came to mind when we read an interview that former President Jimmy Carter gave to the Fort Worth Star Telegram. Widely known as the worst post-war Democratic Party President, Carter’s low point came when he was attacked by a killer rabbit (story: http://www.wnyc.org/story/hare-brained-history-curious-case-jimmy-carter-v-rabbit/) – or possibly when his attempt to rescue the hostages in Iran ended in a military debacle. Either way, Carter was pretty much a disaster.
Which is why Ryan Leaf came to mind when I read Carter’s interview in the Star Telegram, where he revels in the foibles of the Jamarcus-esque Obama Administration. Carter critiqued the Obama Administrations malleable foreign policy, “It changes from time to time,” he said in the interview, “I noticed that two of his secretaries of defense, after they got out of office were very critical of the lack of positive action on the part of the president.”
Carter also faulted the Obama Administration for failing to target ISIS earlier, and suggested that the U.S. commit ground troops. In the article Carter says, “First of all, we waiting too long…If we keep on working in Iraq and have some ground troops to follow up when we do our bombing, there is a possibility of success.”
Meanwhile, G-Money Joe Biden, rocking indoor aviator sunglasses and some fat stacks of cash, savored his ice cream cone. Because even the NYYRC can appreciate ice cream.
In a time of such heightened international tensions, Ebola outbreaks, and Walking Dead premiers, even significant tragedies can fall by the wayside. The membership of the New York Young Republicans would like to extend their belated sympathies to the family of Charlotte, the famed groundhog of the Staten Island Zoo, who recently passed. According to Fox News, Charlotte has died, most likely as a result of internal injuries sustained after being dropped by Mayor Bill De Blasio on Groundhog Day, February 2nd, 2014.
The mayor is not at fault for her death, claimed neighsayers who have been quick to point out the Mayor’s preoccupation with banning horses in Central Park as evidence of his unyielding reverence for the City’s beloved animals.
Learning of Charlotte’s demise, a New York Young Republican spokesperson shared the Club’s sorrow, and stated “the Mayor sure dropped the ball -’errr groundhog – on this one.”
You might enjoy this ad from the Americans for Shared Prosperity (horrible name, but clever ad)
by Mona Salama
Governor Andrew Cuomo faced a primary this past Tuesday against little-known Zephyr Teachout, a progressive Democrat who wasn’t afraid to speak her mind. Teachout gained some attention this summer when Gov. Cuomo tried to remove her from the Democratic ballot through the court system and refusing to acknowledge he even had a primary, even going so far as avoiding saying her name.
Even with a huge campaign war chest of over $35 million, Cuomo refused to participate in any debate against Teachout, stating that debates have “nothing to do with democracy” and are “a disservice to democracy.”
Rewind to 2010: Cuomo maneuvered in the opposite way with the same effect – freezing out his Republican opponent Carl Paladino unless all listed party candidates running appeared in a debate, leading to a circus-like atmosphere that left the Republican candidate lost in the nonsense. Cuomo won handily in 2010.
Was that debate a “disservice to the democracy”? These are the games Cuomo plays with democracy.
Now that Primary Day has come and gone, don’t be surprised if New York voters don’t see any debates between Cuomo and Republican challenger Rob Astorino. Or will we?
What’s he afraid of?
Cuomo was, of course, favored to win the primary by a large margin even without debating his opponent. But his 20+ points win was as underwhelming as a 20+ point win can be. There can be no doubt that his national aspirations took a hit. Astorino wants eight regional debates. With a few chinks in the “Rose Garden strategy” armor, it seems more likely than ever that Gov. Cuomo will avoid Astorino at all costs to keep low-information voters in the dark while portraying himself as a governor who cares more about governing than campaigning.
Why won’t Cuomo debate his challengers to discuss his record on the issues? Is Cuomo scared to show New York voters who he really is?
The answer is that while hiding from the people is not good for democracy, it is good for getting re-elected. Look what happened in the NYC mayoral race. Mayor Bill de Blasio didn’t attend the first debate against Republican Joe Lhota. In the second debate, de Blasio focused on tying Lhota to the National Republican Party, the government shut down, and avoided all New York City issues.
The answer is that debates have more of an effect on voters because they see the candidates and hear where they stand on issues affecting their daily lives. In fact, debates have more of an effect on voters than media buys and palm cards.
So maybe Cuomo isn’t running from his opponents. Maybe he is running from his record. Is he scared to answer why New York ranks 49 out of 50 states to do business?
Is he scared of defending his position on the SAFE Act with upstate voters? Is he afraid of the scandal coming out of his Moreland Commission, an anti-corruption commission he established and later shut down that is now under investigation for his office’s interference with investigations into the Governor’s own campaign?
Explain, Gov. Cuomo. Don’t be scared.
If my recollection of Summer 2013 is correct, things were actually pretty quiet. There was the Snowden thing, Morsi got deposed in Egypt, and the biggest news story by far was Miley Cyrus’ dance with Robin Thicke.
What a difference a year makes. Summer 2014 has been a debacle filled nightmare. Obama calls ISIS the “JV” team of terrorism, and ISIS proves him wrong by storming through Syria and northern Iraq. Israel goes to war in Gaza. Missing Nigerian schoolgirls. Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Ferguson. Executed reporters, Ukraine invasions, thousands of illegal immigrants – many of them children – pouring into Texas, Ebola, and another mysterious plague that struck the IRS’ hard drives erasing them completely… and Obama’s tan suit – The Audacity of Taupe.
But now summer is over, so let’s look at some good news. Al Gore, who predicted that the polar ice cap would be completely gone by 2014, was proven wrong – between 2012 and 2014 there was a 43% increase in artic sea ice, some 5.62 million more square miles – See! Ice! Polar bears are having a good time, with numbers 10% higher than expected. According to the folks at the New York Times, the Republicans are poised to seize the Senate, in what could be the largest net gain since 1986. And of course there are the leaked tapes of my favorite celebrity, this Lamb Hopping Down Hallway.
In a final spate of good news, the NYYRC’s monthly social is tonight. As usual, the NYYRC’s inestimable Events Chair has chosen a stellar bar, the The Hill at 416 Third Ave, from 7 to 10 PM. So come out, put some of that new Arctic sea ice into a cocktail, meet some fellow Republicans and have a good time.