"…I don't know why you like this guy (Trump)…He's a race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot. He doesn't represent my party. He doesn't represent the values that the men and women who wear the uniform are fighting for... He's the ISIL man of the year." Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)According to Proverbs 13:20, “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise; but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”  In common parlance this has come to mean, you are judged by the company you keep and so it should be with the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Op-Eds 2016

Public Speaking, Political Commentary, Teaching, Consulting

Donald Trump and the Company He Keeps

By Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III

As Trump realized that the delegate counting process involves more strategy than simple math he hired veteran Republican strategist Paul Manafort to assist him in this process.  They say that you can tell a lot about a person by who they turn to for advice.  In this case, Trump turning to Manafort speak volumes.

During the 1980 Presidential campaign, Manafort was an integral part of the Reagan brain trust that developed the “Southern Strategy”.  Never forget Reagan’s “states’ rights” speech at the Neshoba County Fair and the signal he sent to racists and bigots alike.  The symbolism is not lost on African Americans and others who understand history.  The fairgrounds is just a few miles away from Philadelphia, Mississippi and the hallowed ground where in 1964 Civil Rights workers, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner and James Chaney were brutally murdered.  Paul Krugman wrote in the New York Times, that Reagan’s speech was, “…a coded declaration of support for segregationist sentiments.”

This messaging fits right in with Trump whose language unlike Reagan, Trent Lott, Tom Tancredo and so many others before him is not so coded or subtle. Manafort seems to have never met a despot or dictator he could not help.  According to Time Magazine Manafort’s firm (Black, Manafort) helped to polish the image of

Angolan guerrilla leader and head of UNITA Jonas Zavimbi. The firm was charged with the responsibility of assisting UNITA in obtaining financial support from the US. “Dole (Senator Robert Dole) had shown only general interest in Savimbi's cause until Black, the Senate majority leader's former aide, approached him on his client's behalf. Dole promptly introduced a congressional resolution backing UNITA's insurgency and sent a letter to the State Department urging that the U.S. supply it with heavy arms. The firm's fee for such services was reportedly $600,000.”

Manafort’s firm worked to rehabilitate the image of the dictator of Zaire, Mobutu Sese Seko.  Remember, Mobutu working with the CIA overthrew the government of Patrice Lumumba in 1965.  According to The Guardian, “…he plundered and looted his way to an estimated $5bn (£3.1bn), with homes in Switzerland and France. During the cold war, he enjoyed financial support from the US, whose then president, Ronald Reagan, called him "a voice of good sense and goodwill…"  The New York Times wrote, “The struggle in that Central African country (Zaire) is between freedom and oppression. Mr. Mobutu is a Machiavellian murderer who wants to stamp out the flickering flames of democratization in Zaire.” Somehow, Manafort and his minions found Mobutu to be worthy of support and his reputation worth reclaiming.

“The American people‎ should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice…Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President." Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY)

With the passing of Supreme Court Justice Scalia Republicans have taken their hatred of and bigotry towards President Obama to another level.  Mainstream media is failing to call out the Republicans hypocrisy for what it is. McConnell and his racist band of thieves have taken the Supreme Court hostage and the American people don’t have the guts to pay the ransom.

Supreme Court Injustice

There are a few simple problems with McConnell’s statement referenced above.  First, the American people have already spoken regarding the selection of Justice Scalia’s successor.  Their voices were heard loud and clear when they elected Senator Obama as President on November 4, 2008.  Their voices were even louder when President Obama was reelected for a second term on November 6, 2012.  Second, there is no constitutional nor historical support for the position taken by McConnell and his minions. 

Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution is very clear on the issue of selecting and confirming a Supreme Court nominee. The President shall have the power to “…nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the Supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States…” By blocking President Obama’s nominee Republicans have decided that they are going to potentially suspend the effectiveness of the Supreme Court just as they have brought the people’s business, the work of Congress to a screeching halt.  Without Scalia’s replacement the Court is operating with eight justices.  If the Court gets deadlocked in a 4-4 vote, the lower court (usually a state supreme court) decision is upheld. 

 

"We will carpet bomb [ISIS] into oblivion. I don’t know if sand can glow in the dark, but we’re going to find out…" Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) Rising Tide Summit Convention

As America moves closer to the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire Primary Americans are being subjected to the absolute worst of the political process instead of the best of what America has to offer.  Republican candidates such as Donald Trump, Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) continue to play to the divisive negative least common denominators of bigotry, hatred, and fear of the mythical “Islamic terrorists” instead of a more positive and inclusive message .  Their jingoistic rhetoric and lies are not making America stronger; they are making the problems worse.We are all aware of Trump’s now infamous comments about Mexican immigrants, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you…They’re sending people that have lots of problems…They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.

Russian Roulette With There In The Chamber

Vacancy

And some, I assume, are good people!”  Trump conveniently ignores the fact that American foreign policy has exacerbated if not caused the migration problem.  One just has to reflect upon the Reagan Administration’s violent and immoral involvement in El Salvador or Reagan’s illegal support of the Contras in Nicaragua to understand the “Blowback” from America’s intervention in the politics south of the border.  More recently, NAFTA has wreaked havoc on Mexico’s economy.  According to The New York Times, because of NAFTA “…the country’s annual per capita growth flat-lined to an average of just 1.2 percent -- one of the lowest in the hemisphere. Its real wage has declined and unemployment is up.”

Trump has also called for the “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”  With his doublespeak Trump says, “The Quran is very interesting. A lot of people say it teaches love … But there’s something there that teaches some very negative vibe … Now I don’t know if that’s from the Quran. I don’t know if that’s from someplace else. But there’s tremendous hatred out there that I’ve never seen anything like it.”

 

"We - all of us representing countless nationalities - have a message for those who inspired or carried out the attacks here or in Paris, or Ankara, or Tunis, or


By Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III

By Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III

By Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III

History Did NOT Begin Yesterday

On the morning of Tuesday 22 March 2016, three coordinated suicide bombings occurred in Belgium: two at Brussels Airport in Zaventem, and one at Maalbeek metro station in Brussels. In these attacks, 32 innocent travelers and three suicide bombers were killed, and over 300 people were injured.

On the evening of Friday 13 November 2015, a series of coordinated terrorist attacks occurred in Paris and its northern suburb, Saint-Denis. Three suicide bombers struck near the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, followed by suicide bombings and mass shootings at cafés, restaurants and a music venue in central Paris. The attackers killed 130 people, including 89 at the Bataclan theatre, where they took hostages before engaging in a stand-off with police. Another 368 people were injured, 80–99 seriously.Even though ISIS or ISIS affiliated groups claimed responsibility, it has now been determined that there are more direct links between the bombings in Belgium and the bombings in France. According to The New York Times,

San Bernardino, or elsewhere: We will not be intimidated," he said. "We will not be deterred. We will come back with greater resolve - with greater strength - and we will not rest until we have eliminated your nihilistic beliefs and cowardice from the face of the Earth." Secretary of State Kerry

European investigators and the Belgian prosecutor’s office have determined that DNA matches show that one of the bombers who blew himself up at Brussels Airport had been a bomb maker who helped produce two suicide vests used in the November Paris attacks.

As I listened to the news coverage of the most recent tragedy in Belgium I quickly came to the conclusion that these attacks were cowardly, reprehensible and immoral.  The killing of civilians to further whatever perverted “religious” and/or political agenda ISIS has, has no place in a civilized society.  From there my thoughts quickly turned to The Congo; what once was known as The Belgian Congo and I realized that in spite of the monotonous coverage of this attack by all the media outlets, history did not begin yesterday.

Is There Light at the End of This Tunnel?

By Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III

“…the Department of Justice concludes that there is reasonable cause to believe that BPD (Baltimore City Police Department) engages in a pattern or practice of conduct that violates the Constitution or federal law…” DOJ August 10, 2016 Report on the BPD

In response to the death of Freddie Gray at the hands of members of the BPD the US Department of Justice (DOJ) engaged in a thorough investigation of the patterns and practices of the BPD.  The DOJ issued a scathing 163-page report documenting what many African American Baltimoreans  have known and experienced for years, “Racially disparate impact is present at every stage of BPD’s enforcement actions, from the initial decision to stop individuals on Baltimore streets to searches, arrests, and uses of force.” The DOJ also found that “BPD uses overly aggressive tactics that unnecessarily escalate encounters, increase tensions, and lead to unnecessary force, and fails to de-escalate encounters when it would be reasonable to do so.”The report cited specific cases of supervisors issuing explicitly discriminatory orders, such as directing a shift to arrest 'all the black hoodies' in a neighborhood. They also found that black residents were more likely to be stopped and searched as pedestrians and drivers even

though police were more likely to find illegal guns, illicit drugs and other contraband on white residents.

In one incident officers in BPD’s Eastern District publicly strip-searched a woman following a routine traffic stop for a missing headlight. Officers ordered the woman to exit her vehicle, remove her clothes, and stand on the sidewalk to be searched. The male officer ordered a female officer to strip search the woman. Finding no weapons or contraband around the woman’s chest, the female officer then pulled down the woman’s underwear and searched her anal cavity. This search again found no evidence of wrongdoing and the officers released the woman without charges. The search occurred in full view of the street.

We have to very clear in this analysis and the resulting discussions. For as thorough as the DOJ report is it fails to identify the source of these problems. First, these documented practices of using excessive force and issuing discriminatory orders have nothing to do with fighting crime, keeping the community safe, “Community Policing” or “Broken Windows Policing”. They are the result of what Dr. Francis Kress Welsing called racism (white supremacy).  The local and global power system structured and maintained by persons who classify themselves as white, whether consciously or subconsciously determined; this system consists of patterns of perception, logic, symbol formation, thought, speech, action and emotional response, as conducted simultaneously in all areas of activity (economics, education, law, etc.). This is not a policing problem; this cuts to core of who America really is and always has been.

Second, looking at Baltimore as though it exists in a vacuum fails to take into account the widespread and historic nature of this problem.  The city of Chicago is now on the hook for $5.5 million as it has to pay 57 people who were found to be victims Commander Jon Burge who along with his “midnight crew” gained notoriety for torturing criminal suspects between 1972 and 1991 in order to force confessions.

According to The Guardian newspaper in a separate investigation, “Internal documents from the Chicago police department show that officers used physical force on at least 14 men already in custody at the warehouse known as Homan Square.”  There have been at least 7,351 people and more than 6,000 of them African American who “have been detained and interrogated at Homan Square without a public notice of their whereabouts or access to an attorney.”

Look at the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in 1865 that abolished slavery “except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted…” This provision provided the space for convict leasing programs to take over where slavery left off.  According to Douglas Blackmon in his book Slavery By Another Name, within 35 years of the 13th Amendment, “By 1900, the South’s judicial system had been wholly reconfigured to make one of its primary purposes the coercion of African Americans to comply with the social customs and the labor demands of whites.” This is clear evidence of the historic nature of this problem.

In 1951 Civil Rights attorney William Patterson and activist and actor Ossie Davis took the US before the UN charging the US with genocide for crimes against the Negro people.  They wanted to “expose the nature and depth of racism in the United States; and to arouse the moral conscience of progressive mankind against the inhuman treatment of black nationals by those in high places.” This depth of racism gets to the core of what America has always been.

Finally, the DOJ report fails to hold anyone accountable. Baltimore Mayor Rawlings-Blake in an August 10 press conference was asked who should be held responsible for the BPD being in this situation.  She replied, “These problems are systemic.  A system is not an individual. Doing the work of implementing meaningful reform is not aided by pointing fingers of blame.  It is aided by rolling up your sleeves and doing the very tough work.” Wrong!

No one is asking to point “fingers of blame”. Blame can be arbitrary; accountability is fact based. These atrocities were committed by real people, individuals with names. “Supervisors issuing explicitly discriminatory orders…” Who were these supervisors? Are they still on the force? Why are they not being held accountable for the patterns or practices of conduct that violated the Constitution or federal law?  It’s not about placing “blame” as the Mayor spun the question. It’s about accountability!

Is there light at the end of this tunnel?  Yes there is. But with the most recent police shooting of Joseph Mann in Sacramento, CA, homeless, mentally ill and apparently unarmed; the light at the end of the tunnel is from an oncoming train.

Dr. Wilmer Leon is the Producer/ Host of the nationally broadcast call-in talk radio program “Inside the Issues with Wilmer Leon,” on SiriusXM Satellite radio channel 126. Go to www.wilmerleon.com or email: wjl3us@yahoo.com. www.twitter.com/drwleon and Dr. Leon’s Prescription at Facebook.com

© 2016 InfoWave Communications, LLC

It's The Police Against the Black Community-But It Always Has Been

"We also have to have Organized Effort against Gangs. They are "Not just gangs of kids anymore. They are often the kinds of Kids called Super-Predators. No conscious. No empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way but "First" We have to "Bring them to Heel!" Hilary Clinton January 1996

 

On the evening of July 5, 2016 Alton Sterling was fatally shot during an altercation initiated by two Baton Rouge, LA police officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake. The officers responded to a call from someone reporting that he had been threatened by an armed man selling CDs outside of a convenience store.  Sterling was wrestled to the ground by two officers and shot dead during the scuffle.

 

On July 6, 2016, Philando Castile was fatally shot by Officer Jeronimo Yanez, in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. A recently released audio recording of the radio transmission between officers and police dispatch reveal that Castile was racially profiled. “I’m going to stop a car…I have reason to pull it over…The driver looks more like one of our (robbery) suspects, just ‘cause of the wide-set nose…” Moments later Philando Castile is shot dead by Yanez while complying with Yanez’s request for his driver’s license and vehicle registration.


By Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III

On the evening of July 7, 2016, allegedly in response to the two previous shootings Micah Johnson, killed five law enforcement officers in Dallas during a protest over the two most recent recent fatal police shootings. It is reported that Johnson tried to take refuge in a parking garage and exchanged gunfire with police, who later killed him with a robot-delivered bomb.

 

As a result of these senseless killings America once again finds itself conflicted. Americans are asking, “How do we resolve these conflicts between the African American community and police?” “How do we establish rules of engagement between the police and the community?” “How can this happen in America in 2016?”


We must separate the executions of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile from the murders of the five Dallas police officers by Mica Johnson. Why? The answer is simple; Sterling and Castile, along with Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Walter Scott, Akai Gurley, Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, et al, were not convicted by a jury of their peers of committing crimes.

“Although Victor Frankenstein claimed to be creating his monster for the betterment of humankind, it's more likely that he did so out of arrogance, or out of a desire to become like God.” Cliff Notes

 

As of this writing Real Clear Politics has Donald Trump 13.2 points ahead of Sen. Ted Cruz (33.6 vs. 20.4) in the Republican race for the White House.  A number of Conservatives have attacked Trump in the National Review.  Glen Beck –“If Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination, there will once again be no opposition to an ever-expanding government. This is a crisis for conservatism.”  David Boaz – “From a libertarian point of view — and I think serious conservatives and liberals would share this view — Trump’s greatest offenses against American tradition and our founding principles are his nativism and his promise of one-man rule.” Mona Charen – “Put aside for a moment Trump’s countless past departures from conservative principle on defense, racial quotas, abortion, taxes, single-payer health care, and immigration …The man has demonstrated an emotional immaturity bordering on personality disorder, and it ought to disqualify him from being a mayor, to say nothing of a commander-in-chief.”

Trump-The Republican Frankenstein

By Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III

Who is supporting Trump?  According to Real Clear Politics, “Trump’s supporters are a bit older, less educated and earn less than the average Republican…One half of his voters have a high school education or less…Slightly over a third of his supporters earn less than $50,000 per year, while 11 percent earn over $100,000 per year. Definitely not country club Republicans, but not terribly unusual either.  According to The American Values Survey, “a majority (55 percent) of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who support Trump are white working-class Americans.”

Trump’s racist, xenophobic rhetoric resonates with his “white working-class supporters” because racism has been a tenet of the “so-called” conservative strategy (“so-called” because racism is not a tenet of true conservatives). Many times it has been the covert sub-text to mainstream Republican dialogue, particularly since the election of President Obama in 2008.  According to The Hill “…29 percent of Americans and 43 percent of Republicans, believe Obama is a Muslim.”  Other still believe that he was not born in America.  Republican leadership (except for Sen. McCain) did not tell the “Birthers” they were wrong.  Their deafening silence was seen as tacit agreement and became part of the Republican strategy to delegitimize the president.  Historically, the office of the president was more important than the man in the office.  The election of Barak Obama changed all of that.

Photo:brussels2berlin.com

Gingrich went on to call Obama a conman, “This is a person who is fundamentally out of touch with how the world works, who happened to have played a wonderful con, as a result of which he is now president.”  As members of the Tea Party spat on Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), called Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) an nigger and Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass) a faggot, members of Republican leadership such as McConnell (R-KY), Graham (R-SC) and Cantor (R-VA) did not tell the Tea Party that there’s no place in the American political dialogue for such bigotry and hatred.  Why? Because they did not want to risk alienating those voters.  Even more, race baiting is one of the few tools Republicans have left to retain an ever-dwindling base. Again, their deafening silence was seen as tacit agreement.

Now Donald Trump, a twice divorced, three-time married and four-time bankrupted billionaire and newly proclaimed Christian says very overtly to America that Mexicans are drug dealers, rapists and murdering thieves and Muslims should be banned from the country. The Republican leadership is now aghast. They spent all that time crafting covertly racist language and policies in such a way that they could deny racist motives by their accusers. Now they are left to ponder how has Trump captured the party? It’s simple; Trump is the Frankenstein that Republican’s covert, racist and xenophobic code language has created.

Now Republican leadership is attacking Trump with ads and Op Ed’s like the villagers attacked Frankenstein with pitch forks and torches.  There’s a good reason why Trump’s “I want to make America great again” sounds a lot like Tom Tancredo’s Tea Party chant, “we want our country back”.

Trump is appealing to the white working-class, high-school educated American who feels betrayed.  He/she was sold “The American Dream” and told that their whiteness; their white privilege would carry the day.  More and more of them have come to realize that it’s no longer true and they are angry, very angry.  In his book, White Nationalism Black Interests Dr. Ronald Walters called it the “politics of resentment”.  Whites resent that people of color who they’ve been taught are inferior are, “making a claim to equality with the dominant class to which they are not entitled.”

There is a reason that morbidity and mortality rates in midlife among White Americans are on the rise.  White Americans are killing themselves at alarming rates according to a recent report. “When seen side by side with the mortality increase, declines in self-reported health and mental health, increased reports of pain, and greater difficulties with daily living show increasing distress among whites in midlife after the late 1990s.”  The report concludes, “This increase for whites was largely accounted for by increasing death rates from drug and alcohol poisonings, suicide, and chronic liver diseases and cirrhosis.” Their whiteness is failing them.

Ironically, billionaire Trump is speaking their language. Trump is speaking directly to a growing number of angry and disaffected White Americans who feel betrayed.  The Trumps of the world are watching their assets grow while these disaffected Americans see their wages stagnate and they have been convinced that it’s the fault of African American’s and the “hordes of illegal Mexican immigrants” who are taking their jobs and depressing their wages.

Trump is saying very clearly what many Republicans, ultra-conservatives and neo-cons have been saying with covert language.  He has “jumped their shark”. He’s using a gimmick to attract their interest and beating the Republican establishment at their own game.  He is the Republican/Neo-Con Frankenstein.

Dr. Wilmer Leon is the Producer/ Host of the nationally broadcast call-in talk radio program “Inside the Issues with Leon,” on SiriusXM Satellite radio channel 126. Go to www.wilmerleon.com or email: wjl3us@yahoo.com. www.twitter.com/drwleon and Dr. Leon’s Prescription at Facebook.com

© 2016 InfoWave Communications, LLC

Proof of this strategy? Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) called President Obama a liar and former House Speaker Gingrich called him a Mau Mau in the White House, "What if (Obama) is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan anticolonial behavior can you begin to piece together (his actions)?” 

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Francis Scott Key wrote the "The Star-Spangled Banner" during the War of 1812 (aka the “Second War for Independence') which was an armed conflict between the United States and Great Britain. After Britain banned slavery with the Somerset case in 1772, the American colonists were afraid that slavery would be banned in the Colonies (Read Dr. Gerald Horne's The Counter Revolution of 1776) hence the American Revolution and subsequent conflicts. The offensive language as referenced above demonstrates that Key was celebrating the defeat of the British Corp of Colonial Marines, a unit of enslaved Blacks who fought for the British with the promise of freedom. Their defeat in Baltimore, MD ensured that slavery would continue to be practiced on American soil.

 

It is also important to know that Key was a wealthy attorney and slave owner. According to the Smithsonian.com “Key not only profited from slaves, he harbored racist conceptions of American citizenship and human potential. Africans in America, he said, were: “a distinct and inferior race of people, which all experience proves to be the greatest evil that afflicts a community.” This is the factual and historic basis of Kaepernick's position.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

 

 

 

 

By Dr. Wilmer J. Leon, III

 

“And where is that band who so vauntingly swore -That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,

A home and a country, should leave us no more? Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave - From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave: And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave, O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave…” The Star- Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key, September 14, 1814 3rd Stanza

 

In order to intelligently assess Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand during the National Anthem it is important to understand what motivated Francis Scott Key to write the poem in 1814.


 Kaepernick’s Protest – A Great Opportunity Squandered

“When Mexico sends it people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people…” Donald Trump

        “I don’t even wait…And when you’re a star they let you do it…You can do anything…Grab them by the p8$$y…You can do anything.” Donald Trump

Contrary to the pundits and pollsters believing that Trump’s politics of bigotry, misogyny and hatred would prove to be his downfall; America elected Donald Trump as its 45th president.  Trump’s total lack of understanding of the geopolitical landscape seemed to, like Sarah Palin before him, ingratiate him with his supporters.

        In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Trump proved his ignorance of the geopolitical landscape by saying, “He’s (Putin) not going into Ukraine, OK, just so you understand. He’s not going to go into Ukraine, all right? You can mark it down…” even though Putin took Crimea from Ukraine in early 2014.       

8/31/16

Ignorance, Bigotry, Misogyny and Hatred Trumps a “Post-Racial”

© 2016 Dr Wilmer Leon