IGNANT Friday, Vol. 4, 1st Edition

IGNANT Friday has returned! This is the weekly roundup of the most ignant things I’ve seen or heard of, and since this is the first Friday of the first full week of the new year, I thought it might be good to round up some end of the year ignance and spotlight some beginning of the year ignance starting with…

Donald J. Trump is running for president and it’s not a hoax. When asked how he’s going to “make America great again,” he says he’ll hire good people to get the job done. When asked how he’s going to tackle the “immigration problem,” he says we’ll build a wall that borders Mexico (not Canada, though) even though Hispanics love him and that we’ll ban all Muslims from coming into a country that has freedom of religion. His supporters often chime that he’s outspoken and that this country needs more outspoken leadership (while insinuating that President Obama’s comments about guns, race, or anything else are out of place or distractions). Meanwhile, we’re headed towards Trump being on the Republican ticket. Because he will hire good people to do his job (sound business strategy) and forgot that people have to confirm nearly any choices he makes about the good people (politics as usual), a Trump presidency will leave this country up shit creek without a canoe, a paddle, or life jackets. President Trump = wading in shit creek.

I’m not done with the IGNANT shit on the Republican ticket though – the good Dr. Ben Carson, Black people’s favorite retired neurosurgeon, is losing support after being recognized as the voice of Eor from Winnie the Pooh. Seriously, he’s losing support because he’s not credible as a Presidential candidate. He never was a serious candidate, seeing as he has zero political experience or leadership, zero business experience or leadership, and his biggest claim to fame after being a retired Black neurosurgeon is that he’s a right wing Black man who confirms what white people would like to think about Blacks. To this point, many times I’ve criticized Ben for his lackluster and offensive politics, I’ve had a guy pop up and say that I don’t like Uncle Ben because he’s Black and that I’m a sellout because I don’t like his political rhetoric. Put my face next to the definition of a sellout if that’s the case, because I don’t like his political position and think he’s largely misguided. I was told I didn’t like Ben Carson because I don’t respect his rags-to-riches story and that he’s the American Dream. I can’t take away from his credentials or life experience and don’t intend to – I also don’t think he’s fit to be President of the United States because being rags-to-riches and being a former neurosurgeon doesn’t qualify him to run the country, nor do his views or his politics. He’s anti-affirmative action, which brings me to the next IGNANT piece of business…

Antonin Scalia’s par for the course commentary on Black students’ abilities to achieve were dreadfully inaccurate and served as grist for the mill for the same man who said, “If we want to stop discriminating on the basis of race then we have to stop discriminating on the basis of race,” though if I’ve paraphrased him someone please correct him so that he doesn’t keep saying these things. This is a problem with having lifetime positions like Supreme Court membership – nobody can be held accountable or removed unless he sexually assaults a child (and we have DNA, indisputable video evidence and a sworn confession) or some other heinous act, but he’s allowed to spout falsities without research that end up damning a constituency of this country as unable to learn quickly, like the backhanded slap that accompanied Brown v. Board leaving Black schools with a scarlet letter. I had a conversation once with a kid that summed up the bullshit behind the scenes of a “meritocracy” when he was mad that his Black friend got a scholarship to a great private college and he had to go to the local state school.

“I’ve got better grades than him, I’ve got better test scores than him.”

College admission processes do include more than tests and GPAs, maybe his recommendations spoke glowingly about him and he brings more to the table as a student than you do.

“I just think it should all be on merit.”

Then the other 5,000 white freshmen beat you a lot more than the 500 Black freshmen if it’s all on merit, and you didn’t have that spot taken from you – it wasn’t yours to begin with. Ultimately, the confusion had here is that Black people are supposed to go to HBCUs and if they try to attend a PWI, they’re taking a spot away from a white person who was already prequalified for the spot like the credit card offers we get in the mail. Just like the credit card might be prequalified, you still have to apply and someone might actually have a better application than you, even if you’re prequalified! More to the point, this plays on the problems many Blacks face on their PWI campuses such as….

The blacklash against #ConcernedStudent1950 and the Mizzou football team protest exemplifies the IGNANT shit Black people have to deal with on a regular basis when shouting down and confronting racism, both in its visceral and institutional forms. Protest won’t be perfect, neither will policies – but the goal of protesting is to ultimately be in a position to improve policies (legal or social) for people here and generations to come. There were plenty of Blacks who hated angering white people or disrupting the social order for fear of white vengeance once anti-Jim Crow and anti-discrimination actions were made, but they smile now happy that they don’t live in Sundown towns and that they can actually purchase property. Those same folks who are pissed will be happy when they can actually call out injustice without fear of backlash as opposed to training themselves to be mute for self-preservation. That said, plenty of Black students go to school fearful because they have to deal with people actually grading their work as though they’re slow, being talked to and treated negatively because they’re Black, and being dismissed when they see these things happen as though they’re crazy and making things up. Black students at PWIs forge the weapons needed to combat racism because they’re right there in the thick of the fight. Black students at HBCUs have psychological armor developed to deal with the status quo of racism and inequality. Both are needed. It’s IGNANT to suggest that Black students shouldn’t go to white schools because they’re not wanted because those same Black students might not feel comfortable in the normally conservative environments of HBCUs. You go where you feel comfortable being able to be educated, other things being equal. You don’t deserve to be mistreated either way….

Which reminds me that part of the backlash against Black student groups uniting with tangible demands to improve their campuses and eliminate some of the alienation and racist targeting that occurs was to see white students banding together to make white student unions that also produced a list of demands for their campus, largely calling on the demands Black students make (to lessen racism on campus and make campus more tolerable for everyone) to be ignored and to double down on the status quo because Black Lives Matter makes them nervous. They should be nervous – they’re the motherfuckers being referenced by everyone who says Black Lives Matter, and that population is being put on notice. Still, some of these demands read like a child’s hostage note that he gives to his parents so that they’ll do something to keep Bob from tearing the head off of his G.I. Joe action figure. These are educated people – so just remember, education isn’t the possession of knowledge, it’s the possession of some degree that purportedly means you learned some shit – so college/university is basically a racket with rising costs just so you can have a piece of paper that lets you spout off whatever you’d like to say without doing research (our lovely First Amendment).

Speaking of constitutional freedoms, there are grown men who took over a federal facility while armed (with a guy manning a watchtower) and have camped out because family and friends have been imprisoned for using federal lands they didn’t own. The governer of Oregon has said they should leave, but the largely (if not all) white “milita” hasn’t been approached by law enforcement and their media coverage has been vastly different and much less prejudicial compared to WEAPONLESS peaceful protesting. Apparently because they haven’t harmed anyone or anything, it’s better to “de-escalate” the situation. Tell that to the folks in Ferguson and Tamir Rice’s play gun. “Oh wait, but the QuikTrip-” means that de-escalation was probably the best way to go about it before the QT got torched rather than military escalation. Black folks without weapons recently were shuttled out of a city building in Minnesota when they were protesting the death of another young Black person. I’d say know your history but again, education is a racket, so the vast majority of people are woefully ignorant about how Black people have been treated by law enforcement and government – case in point, let me tell you a story. A friend’s mom works in rural middle America and was working one day in the office, relating to a co-worker how things might be tight for a moment financially. Her white co-worker asked her, “Well, don’t you get a check?” My friend’s mom looked puzzled, saying that she receives a paycheck from the same employer they both work for. Her co-worker looked puzzled back at her, asking her, “The government check that Black people get, what happened to that?” My friend’s mom quickly explained that, no, Black people don’t get a government check. She may have been confusing welfare with reparations but no Black people have received reparations for harms committed by the country and welfare doesn’t constitute reparations since the vast majority of recipients are white and it’s designed to help people who don’t have enough resources even though they’re working hard. But the story gets better! The co-worker called in another co-worker to inform her of the change in information – Black people don’t get a check! If you honestly thought Black people received reparations of some sort, you might be curious as to how Blacks haven’t bridged any wealth or income gap. But since that’s NOT TRUE, go ahead and entertain other reasons for why the gaps haven’t been closed. Also, constitutional rights aren’t absolute, particularly the First and Second Amendments – if you can’t yell fire in a crowded theater without there being a fire and you can’t own a bazooka, then what’s wrong with background checking your kid before selling a gun to him? All of these people who are claiming their rights are being trampled on and can’t answer how (including white student unions mentioned above) are beyond IGNANT.

Speaking of educated people and purportedly learning some shit, the governor of Maine recently said that the heroin dealers with names like, “D-Money and Shifty,” they come up to Maine and deliver their heroin and half of them apparently impregnate young white girls, leaving a mess on everyone’s hands once D-Money and Co. have left town. Maine is 95% white, so he’s not terribly inaccurate about who’s being impregnated by heroin dealers. He’s since backtracked to make sure that it’s clear he meant “Maine women,” not white women, and that he doesn’t know if these are Black names or otherwise. I do know this – even the suggestion that Black drug dealers are impregnating white women is enough to rile people up and it plays on the same racist rhetoric and fear mongering that has been quite effective since Nixon’s Southern Strategy. What’s even more IGNANT than the damn governor coming out and naming some fake drug dealer names when discussing a heroin epidemic in his state (and apparently a mixed baby crisis)?

Daniel Holtzclaw. God won’t have mercy on your soul.