A memo to racist Donald Trump from a former NYC Cabby

Donald Trump, you’re a racist and you’ve always been a racist. I drove a cab in New York City in the 1980s. As you know, the primary turf for yellow cabs is Manhattan. It is not unusual for a cabby  to be “invisible” to passengers immersed in conversation. So, let me say I heard enough conversations in the backseat to know you’re not only a racist, you’re a flat out misogynist pig and pretty much a crap business man.

Arguing over whether or not you’re not a racist is like arguing over whether or not Mount Everest is really a mountain.  First of all, I think the whole discussion about race and races needs to change There is one and only one race — the human race. Within the race you find different eye colors and skin colors and hair colors and somehow, the skin pigmentation part of the equation gets people like you all bent out of shape.

I was held up and shot by a teenager back in 1984. From time to time someone asks me what color and race the kid was, or they presume to already know. I never answer the question. Well, that’s not quite true. I do have a bit of fun with a stock reply of my own making when someone asks me what race the kid was.  I always say, “The human race, why?”

Now, you would like the world to belief you’re a tough guy. Someone not to be trifled with because you’re so big and tough. I think you’re a wimp, but I’ll give you a chance to show a little backbone. If I’ve got the backbone to say I am not a racist, then you should have the backbone to admit you are. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but at least the likes of Lester Maddox and Bull Connor and George Wallace openly acknowledged their racism. They were honest.

So go on, tough guy, have the guts to admit you’re a racist. Otherwise, the following observation still holds. Lester Maddox and Bull Connor and George Wallace had more integrity than you. Wrong and dangerous, just like you, absolutely — but honest.

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Reflections of an Advocate, September 17, 2010

Bigotry is inhumane.

For as long as far back as memory allows me I have always found it troubling when people were being treated inhumanely. This may explain why two of my childhood heroes were Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Geronimo. They still are heroes of mine. The hero list for me has grown since then. It now includes Elie Wiesel, Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Frederick Douglass, Coretta Scott King, Dorothy Height, Father Mychal Judge and others.

Anyway, today’s reflections revolve around those moments all advocates face when you simply can’t believe the challenge you are facing is even there in the first place. For example, it boggles my mind that there is even a question about making sure polling sites are accessible to all. There is even a cluster of numbnuts who call themselves, I swear to God, the Lever Lovers. They seem to think  voting machines with levers are the only way to go, too damned bad if you are paralyzed. Boggles the mind, at least it does mine.

And then there were two moments this morning that boggled my mind in similar fashion.

First, I left a voice mail for Timothy J. Feeney asking why his company’s voice mail (call them yourself) has, for some time now, said they are under contract with the Department of Health whey they’re not and did he intend to continue to misrepresent his credentials to adults and children with disabilities.

Second, an email was sent to Maria Dibble, executive director of STIC (Southern Tier Independence Center) in Binghamton, NY, again asking her to explain why STIC, which is likely to be under contract with the New York State Department of Health for the Neurobehavioral Resource Project, plans to give the work to someone like Feeney.

There was a moment when I sat back, took a sip of my coffee, and shook my head. It struck me as somewhat unbelievable that any of us have to deal with someone prancing around pretending to have degrees they don’t have much less ask questions of a provider like STIC, that apart from this situation has a good reputation, why they plan to give work to the prancing ninny.

But, when I find myself shaking my head over perplexing challenges like these, I remind myself of the days people were made to ride in the back of the bus or drink and eat in specific locations because of the color of their skin. That was pretty unbelievable too.

So, the bad news? Bigotry marches on. Only bigotry would allow someone to think it is okay to be or to hire someone who is misleading an entire population of people.  The good news? Advocacy, including this advocate, marches on as well. I like my role models: King, Geronimo, Height, Mandela, Gandhi, Douglass, Wiesel.  Who might the role models for the bigots be? Maybe the likes of Bull Connor, Lester Maddox, David Duke, George Lincoln Rockwell, Adolf Hitler.

I like my role models better.

Threats of Violence, Palin & Republican Silence

The vicious threats of an acts of violence and the silence of the nation’s Republican leaders reminds me of the kind of hatred seen in the racism perpetrated by the likes of Sheriff Bull Connor, Lester Maddox and George Wallace in the 1950s and 1960s. A time when guns, dogs and firehouse were loosed on protesters, including children.

The dangerous and poisonous Sarah Palin has urged her followers to “reload” and has issued a map with 20 gun sights for each of the Democrats targeted this year by her political action committee. I’m waiting for her to urge her followers to don white sheets.

In addition to this, members of congress have received death threats because they voted for health care reform. Some are seen on posters with the image if gun sight crosshairs over their faces.  While some members of congress are receiving extra protection Republican congressional leadership has remained silent, rather than urging their followers to calm down and handle things like, well, a democracy. Their silence is support for the violent behavior and threat of violent behavior.

The good Republicans in this country and all Americans should be horrified by this behavior. Palin should be criminally charged with incitement to riot.

I would bet that a thorough investigation of these activities would likely find big business in the person of health insurance companies and others doing the driving.

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