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When the Right is Wrong

“To accept one’s past—one’s history—is not the same thing as drowning in it; it is learning how to use it. An invented past can never be used; it cracks and crumbles under the pressures of life like clay in a season of drought.

---James Baldwin

No matter how many times someone claims that up is down and down is up, it will never be true. Although in these current times, one might argue that it “feels’ like up is indeed down, even when know that it is not. In more ancient days people were burned at the stake as heretics for claiming that the world was NOT flat but round. Many people actually believed that the world was flat. It is what they were told, what they were taught, and it was a common belief no matter how false. The law of gravity is not a matter of opinion, or belief, it is a matter of fact. If you don’t believe it go jump off a very high cliff without some sort of parachute or other life-saving device, and you will quickly succumb to gravity and its law. Please Do NOT try this. Reasonable people agree that there are facts, based on what is true, and there are falsehoods, and the law of gravity is universally seen as an empirical truth.

Truth is being challenged on so many levels these days in the 24- hour news and social media cycle. It has become exhausting. Access to the internet and the freedom to say just about anything you want to say whether true or false has ushered in a new era of propaganda and false narratives that have infected the American cultural landscape to the point of what often feels like a dystopian poorly written psychological thriller or a trashy reality-TV show. It has become quite common to hear bona fide legitimate journalists say, “You just can’t make this stuff up!” The constant “spinning” of information for political advancement or for the purpose of placating or appeasing a certain “base” of supporters has gotten completely out of control. The primary objective is not to serve the public or to demonstrate patriotism, but merely as a pursuit of more and more power and influence , even when the information being trumpeted is based on false, misleading or inaccurate data. The veracity of what is being said is not what’s most important. No. What’s most important is winning at any cost even if the cost is the loss of democracy itself. The lack of integrity is more common than not. The political courage to speak truth to power is now demonized and attacked by the right (in particular) as an epidemic of “wokeness” or leanings towards far left “socialistic values.” It is reminiscent of the McCarthy era of false accusations, “calling out” people as Un-American or demonizing communism. It’s creating a false hysteria, divisiveness and extreme division amongst regular Americans. It looks like it may get much worse before it gets better. When politicians and the leaders of this nation are so divided it’s difficult to see how we’re going to move forward. It seems “as if” one party is interested in governing, addressing the real issues that are affect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for real Americans, with new policies, laws, and programs and the other party appears to be solely interested in blocking and denying while pursuing the politics of white grievance and the never-ending culture wars. That is just wrong.

Senator Tim Scott, the only Black Republican in the Senate gave the rebuttal response to the President’s address to Congress last week. It was well delivered and spoke to all of the talking points to which his party ascribes. However, when he said, “Let’s be clear, America is not a racist country,” he stirred up a huge controversy. Because that’s not what people are talking about? What’s being asserted are the FACTS of systemic and institutional racism embedded within the political, social, historic and cultural construct that is the United States of America. The Senator did not adequately clarify his comments and allowed those comments to be misconstrued. The Senator gave a more definitive and truthful message when he spoke about racism in America to the US Senate in July of 2016.

Senator Scott has every right to be a conservative and to believe whatever he believes to make that so. However, as a Black man in America he knows better than to say what he said in his rebuttal to the President’s address. That was just wrong!

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