My Rebuttal To Ann Coulter And Donald Trump

coulter-and-trump

I can be silent no longer on Ann Coulter’s and Donald Trump’s continual bigotry and lies.  I typically try to ignore such people; not wishing to give them any more airtime or spotlight.  Some however have a large enough following, are persistent enough, and extreme enough I feel I must speak out.  As Ella Wheeler Wilcox so eloquently said: “To sin by silence, when we should protest, makes cowards of men”.

I am quite honestly fearful of the rhetoric I am hearing from Ann Coulter and Donald Trump.  Fearful of the amount of hatred they are stirring up within certain segments of the American Electorate.  We have seen this phenomenon of stirring up hatred for “the other” play out throughout history and it always ends badly.

Coulter and Trump are stroking the fears of people and inciting the inner prejudices within them against already persecuted and marginalized groups.  They are adding fuel to people’s anger and reinforcing and justifying their extreme beliefs.  They are inspiring the worst within people, the worst within politics, and the worst within America.

Ann Coulter gets on the media and shouts immigrants are drug dealers, child rapist, murderers, terrorist, and any other class of criminal that invokes the most societal anger.  She is trying to make immigrants, Latinos, blacks, Muslims, etc… synonymous with criminals in people’s mind.  She knows exactly what she is doing and she seems to have taken a page out of the playbook of xenophobic and racist figures throughout history.  Even for Ann Coulter this is scraping the bottom of the barrel of the ugliest kind of rhetoric and politics.

Donald Trump meanwhile is capitalizing on other people’s pain to try to use to further his own bigoted agenda.  He is taking tragedies and trying to use them to stir up hate.  Then he has the audacity to go after John McCain’s service to his Country.  As much as McCain and I may disagree on many issues and he is not the most likable person by far I have nothing but respect for his service to his Country and admiration for his bravery as a POW.  Trump’s comments were simply below the belt and unjustified.  His rhetoric against immigrants is nothing less than ugly and despicable.  I look forward to the day the GOP primary voters say, “Donald you’re fired!”

I am tired of Ann Coulter and Donald Trump continually stereotyping immigrants in the worst and ugliest of ways.  Suggesting they are disproportionately abusing the system, abusing welfare, abusing drugs, abusing children, and abusing the public at large.  They seem to be on a race towards the bottom of how ugly and despicable they can get.  Truly some of the ugliest and most hateful rhetoric I have heard in a long time.

Being born in Arizona and having lived here all my life,  I have grew up around a lot of Mexican born migrants.  I have also grew up around many 2nd and 3rd generation Latino American families.  Mesa, the city in which I have lived since I was 4 years old, has had a significant Hispanic population during the last 27 years I have lived here.  As more Latinos have moved here and more whites have moved further out to East Mesa or the suburbs in the Phoenix Metro Area, downtown and West Mesa has an ever greater Latino presence and influence.

I currently live in the heart of downtown Mesa in a working class neighborhood and the vast majority of my neighbors are of Mexican descent.  There is many shops and restaurants around that are owned by Latinos and cater to that demographic.  Businesses in general tend to have a significant Hispanic workforce.  The Spanish language is spoken frequently here and many things are written to be bilingual.  Spoken from experience it is getting harder and harder to live here and not be fluent in Spanish.  The area increasingly has a more ethnic flair to it.  The traditional American Culture I was raised in is increasingly being replaced by Latin American culture.

These changes have in all honesty been difficult for many non-Latinos to accept, the older ones in particular.  Even I as someone who is only in my early 30’s have recognized this City is not the one I knew in my childhood.  I have had to accept I am a minority within a minority here and will likely only continue to be demographically marginalized.  That my culture is not the dominate culture.  Rather than do as reactionary conservatives have done and became angry and depressed over it, I have tried to embrace the changes.

I have increasingly been learning about Latin American culture.  I have tried to stay current on issues that are important to the Latino community.  I have been vocal in my opposition to anti-immigration sentiment, racism, and xenophobia that has been all too common here.  I am working on learning Spanish and about the history of the Latino community.  I am getting to know my neighbors better.

In a sense it is as if non-Latinos here are having to assimilate in the communities they were born in, due to the huge demographic shifts.  It may be opposite of how it has traditionally worked but it is what will be required to prevent the kind of divisive political and social battles we have seen here for too long.  Though it will require the same kind of efforts of assimilation among Latinos living here for it to work best.  This is what America should be, not this separating ourselves and trying to fight for cultural dominance.

I have seen and heard more than my fair share of bigotry in Arizona.  I have seen a lot of right-wing extremist politicians come and go.  Growing up I was bullied a lot so I have experienced what it feels like to be labeled “the other”.

I have grown very tired of the fear, distrust, anger, bigotry, prejudice, racism, and xenophobia that has frequently shown up in our society and politics here in Arizona.  I do not fear immigrants bringing crime, disease, and societal ills.  I do not buy the rhetoric Ann Coulter, Donald Trump, and others are selling as I have heard it again and again here in Arizona politics and it has been proven time and time again to be lies, half-truths, and misrepresentations.

The vast majority of immigrants come to America for a better life and to find employment not to harm others and milk the social-welfare system while being physically and mentally able.  Immigrants are far more likely to be victims of crimes than to commit crimes.  Most jobs that immigrants take are ones that most Americans don’t want as they often require a lot of physical labor, pay little, and have little if any benefits.  History has proven the belief that immigrants bring disease is much more myth than reality.  Immigrants do tend to have higher birth rates but with family planning services and education families can be kept to a size in which the family has resources to provide for them.  The argument immigrants use taxpayer provided services is true but so too is the argument most of them pay taxes.  The argument immigrants send all or most of their money back to the Countries they came from is way overblown.  Immigrants have to buy shelter, food, daily necessities like everyone else and they also have proven to be strong consumers of American goods and services as evidence by all the corporate ad dollars spent to attract such consumers and corporate profits.  All things considered immigration is a large gain to the United States and its economy.

Ann Coulter and Donald Trump do not speak for most Americans.  They speak for the reactionary portion of the electorate who like to look for scapegoats for their problems and the Nation’s problems.  They speak for the portion of the American Electorate who have not woken up to reality yet of the new America in which we are living and will continue to live in.  America is not going back to how things used to be no mater how much these reactionaries whine, kick, and scream.

Immigration and migration was essential in building up this Nation, will be essential in rebuilding it, and keeping America strong in the world.  Our Nation’s diversity is what allows us to communicate with, relate to, understand, do business with, build trust with, have a large influence in; the rest of the world.  After human rights, freedom, value of the individual, and economic opportunity; it is our Nation’s acceptance of diversity why people all over the world want to come here.  Even in the darkest of times when America is not at its best people still risk everything for a chance at the American dream.  Even if only a dream, it is a beautiful dream and one we never should stop believing in.

Alan Curtis Montgomery

Inspirational: Change A Life Change The World (Video)

World Human Rights Blog is not affiliated nor receives any financial gain from UNICEF or any of the organizations or entities presented.  It should not necessarily be taken as an endorsement.  Neither should it be assumed they endorse World Human Rights Blog.  No profit was gained nor sought in creating and the publishing of this video.  World Human Rights Blog is non-commercial, not a non-profit, and makes no financial gain whatsoever from its activism, publications, and productions. Content is used under fair use and/or no copyright infringement was intended.  The purpose of this video was to inspire, spread awareness, and encourage people to help those in need.

Worldwide there is a large shortage of funds to Syrian relief efforts and the Syrian people and refugees are having to bear the brunt of those shortfalls.  Children in particular are vulnerable to such reductions in aid.  Please consider a donation to UNICEF or other reputable organization or non-profit that provides aid to Syria’s displaced and refugees.  We all have a part to play and can make a difference in a child’s life and the world around us with even a modest donation and effort.  Let us never forget Syria’s displaced and refugees especially now in this critical time.

Video was produced by World Human Rights Blog using various original sources found and obtained. Credits: UNICEF, Son of Babylon (film), Amadeus, Syria Web Travel Map, One Ummah One Nation, Masarat, Song “Change” by Carrie Underwood (cover).

Hope You Enjoy The Video :-)

Alan Curtis Montgomery (Founder of “World Human Rights Blog” worldhumanrights.wordpress.com)

Urgent Notice To Congress: Syrian Children Being Helped But Too Many Left Behind

Syrian children

Credit: Umit Bektas/Reuters

I Call On The United States Congress and The Obama Administration To Provide Emergency Aid As There Is A Large Shortfall In Funding Needed To Provide Life Saving Necessities To Children And Their Families In Need In Syria And The Surrounding Region

Don’t Look Away, Time Is Not On Their Side

History Will Never Forgive Us If We Ignore Their Plight

A Past Not Worth Celebrating

end of confederacy

“Understanding the spirit of our institutions to aim at the elevation of men, I am opposed to whatever tends to degrade them”

Abraham Lincoln

The Confederacy was founded by an act of treason to defend one of the cruelest and most degrading human institution ever devised called slavery that has sadly been with humanity for thousands of years.  From shortly after the Confederacy began, lies were told to make an unjust cause seem righteous.  A cruel system seem just.  Inhumanities seem humane.  Lies had to be told because the truth was too painful and ugly for most to consider.  To be told your wicked and defending an evil system is not truths Christian men and women wanted to hear.  Slavery was ugly, oppressive, and savagely degrading yet the Confederacy refused to allow themselves to see that truth.

The talk that slavery was one of several issues why the civil war was fought, is nothing short of historical revisionism.  It was THE issue. The Confederacy was fighting the war to maintain the institution of slavery and all that went with it.  They saw it as their way of life and livelihood, never mind they were getting wealth from bloodshed, sweat of other’s brows, and tears of agony cried by those they dehumanized.  Never mind the whip tore into the flesh to move men like cattle, that women were forced to endure every indignity mankind could inflict upon her, and children were being hurt.

Oh but many white slave masters were kind they claim; it is never kind to enslave another, to take away their freedom, dignity, and rights as a human being.  It was merely disguising an ugly and violent action behind kind words, appearances of mercy, and insincere compassion.  It was soothing their guilty consciences, for they knew what they were doing was wrong.

I wish not to suggest every white person in the Confederacy owned slaves, in fact most whites didn’t own slaves.  I have yet for example to find any of my ancestors in the South who were slave owners.  I haven’t even found any evidence yet of any fighting for the Confederacy.  The Southern aristocracy however was deeply rooted in the tradition of slavery.  These same aristocrats were often the ruling class and so had a vested interest in maintaining the institution of slavery.  They used the political system as a tool to oppress people and for their own interest.  Meanwhile mostly poor white Southern younger men who probably never owned a slave in their life were the ones asked to die.

Most of the soldiers on the Confederate battlefield were very likely not slave holders.  Most likely didn’t have anything to do with the laws passed that legalized slavery and other such degrading laws.  Most probably held racist attitudes and were far from perfect men, but I honestly don’t think from what I have determined that they were anything like the zealots who were fanning the flames of that terrible war.  The ones who caused the Southern States to secede to begin with.  They were far from innocent blind sheep but most were not bloodthirsty wolves.  I think we must not forget this in this discussion.

However the flag they fought under, The Confederate Flag and all its variants, represented an oppressive system that subjugated human beings.  The flag we know today as the Confederate Flag still symbolizes oppression.  It symbolizes racism, lynchings, segregation, all the things we for decades have tried to fight and undo.  I don’t see how such a flag that brings so many, bad and ill feelings, is worthy of flying on State or Federal property.

It is a very good thing in my opinion to learn about one’s ancestry and heritage; the good, the bad, and the ugly.  It is perfectly fine to save family heirlooms even ones in my opinion like the confederate flag if it had historical significance in the family.  However is it worth displaying proudly such as above the fireplace mantle, in my opinion no.  Is it worth flying outside ones home, I think not.  It certainly is not worthy to fly on public property.  Put it in a museum, folded in a cedar chest, put it in a display case with other historical items of the time, just don’t celebrate it.  I have no desire to see it banned on private property and one’s person but I am making a point.

The Confederate flag may have a sentimental attachment to some older white folks in the South and they might have passed down that sentiment to the younger generations however it is time to let this symbol of oppression go.  The world has changed, some ideas are not worthy of honor, and some symbols cause unneeded pain.  We are emotional beings and symbols can be very powerful, as we know from the American flag and even those of oppressive regimes like the Swastika.  They can be used to unite and heal or divide and conquer.  The Confederate flag itself is just strings of dyed thread but it is what it has come to represent which makes its prominent public display so toxic.

Imagine being an older black man looking up on State grounds and seeing the Confederate Flag waving in the wind.  He having grown up in the South had experienced the indignity of segregation and racism most younger people could not comprehend.  He remembers the insult being hurled his way as he boarded the school bus “ni**er”.  He remembers signs that said he is not welcome here nor is his family.  He remembers stories of his grandfather and grandmother and their parents before them of a life of hardship in the South.  He recalls most clearly the books he has read on the horrors of slavery and seeing a picture of his ancestor who was a slave.  Imagine black students on a field trip looking up at the flag remembering learning of the civil war and how black people were treated so terribly.  That flag waving triumphantly would bring them either anger or pain or maybe both.  Collectively that flag represents pain and oppression in the majority of the black community.  It also collectively represents something that most Americans want to move away from, racism and bigotry.  It is a blight on our past most of us don’t want waved in our face.

It’s time America close this chapter once and for all, to be reminded of it only in history and museums.  A time of pain and hardship, death and destruction, where brother fought brother, and human beings were denied their humanity.  A time where men were lynched by angry mobs.  Children were threatened for going to school.  Women were told to sit at the back of the bus. Young men were told they need not apply.  When blacks and other racial, ethnic, and social minorities were treated terribly.  We still are fighting that struggle but we have made progress.  We need to look towards the future not be reminded daily of a past not worthy of being reminded of so often.  We can not heal from the wounds of the past if we continue to cause more wounds.

With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan—to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.

– Abraham Lincoln

His words could have been speaking to us.

Alan Curtis Montgomery

Geography of Poverty | msnbc

poverty

Credit: Matt Black (MSNBC)

A journey through forgotten America

The most vulnerable Americans are being crushed by the grip of poverty, from the deserts of the Southwest through the black belt in the South, to the post-industrial, rusting factory towns that dot the Midwest and Northeast.

From border to border, high-poverty rates have crippled entire communities, leaving bellies burning with hunger and hope of better days dwindling. Income inequality has widened in recent decades while upward mobility has declined. A tiny percentage of high income Americans hold the majority of the wealth in this country.

Quite plainly, the rich have grown richer and if you’re born poor here you’re likely to die poor. The slight declines in the national poverty rate have done little to allay the day-to-day plight of so many who are just scraping by, largely invisibly and along the margins.

The poverty rate for African Americans and Hispanics is particularly stark, with 27% and 23.5% respectively falling below the poverty line.

The Journey

Read More Geography of Poverty | msnbc.

How Christians Gave Us Gay Marriage

First I want to take the time to thank all the conservative Christians who were instrumental in bringing gay marriage to America.  Without your decades of rhetoric of the institution of marriage and making it such a central part of the all American family, gay marriage would probably not be here today.  For decades you preached marriage and family and how essential that was for happiness.  That even many gay people began to dream of having such a life for themselves.  For decades you preached monogamy and committed relationships and now many gay couples are seeking that.  You preached the importance and joys of raising children for decades, until yes gay and lesbian couples are seeking to adopt children and begin families.  You have in some sense won the “culture war” but your too blinded by hate to see that.

For decades your think tanks, councils, and organizations demonized gays.  You accused most of them of engaging in the “gay lifestyle” of casual and anonymous sex with many partners.  Of being mentally defective deviants.  You blamed them for AIDS as God’s curse for sodomy.  You not so subtly hinted that gays are out to abuse children.  That they couldn’t have children of their own so they have to “recruit”.  You demonized gays in the most vicious and vile ways.  You stereotyped, pigeonholed, and lied.  All in the name of God.  A God you claim to be about love.  All the while clergy in your own ranks were anything but holy.

Your hatred of homosexuals and homosexuality was particularity severe compared to other things you hated.  You seemed to have made it your mission to persecute gays.  Now you dare complain about being persecuted, after decades of the your vicious persecution of the LGBTQ population?  You dare complain about being persecuted because you’re not being allowed to persecute others?  You dare complain about being persecuted when Christians in Iraq and Syria are being beaten, stoned, and crucified?  You don’t begin to have a right to complain about being persecuted.

Your not being persecuted, your just being called out for the bigotry that you espouse.  Your just not being allowed to discriminate against LGBT people in your places of business.  Your just having to accept your definition of marriage is not the same definition of marriage as defined today in the United States.  That gay and lesbian couples are able to adopt children.  That gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people are becoming more accepted by society.  That your lies are being shown for the lies they are.  You have only yourselves to blame for the negative publicity coming your way.

We are not here to persecute you, to stop you from believing what you want to believe, or to practice your faith as you see best.  All we are asking is to stop your war against the LGBT community and gay marriage.  All we are asking is for you to allow others the same respect you wish for yourselves.  That you stop using politics as a weapon against people.  That you stop using the pulpit as a political instrument to tear down groups in society you do not like.

We do not need healing from our “affliction” of same-sex attraction.  We do not need your theories of how we were raised made us gay or that abuse growing up remembered or repressed recruited us into the “homosexual lifestyle”.  We do not need your theories that bullying at school and kids calling them gay made them become gay.  We do not need your theories “homosexual activism” and gay pornography is turning young people gay.  We do not need your theories that homosexuality is a mental illness.  These are all theories that have come from the Christian right and their anti-gay activism.  Rather someone is born gay or chooses to be gay is really none of your business.

We don’t need your abusive and deranged “conversion” therapy.  We don’t need your scriptural passages thrown in our face.  We don’t need your fiery sermons or hateful tirades.  We don’t need to be told we’re going to hell.  Finally we don’t need you to save us as we do not need or want your saving.  All we ask is to be left alone.

You want people to stop criticizing you, then you stop criticizing others.  You want tolerance, then you need to learn to tolerate others.  You want acceptance, then you need to accept others.  You don’t want hate directed at you, then don’t direct hate at others.  You want people to love you, then you need to love others.  You don’t want judgment, then don’t judge.  You want to welcome more converts, then make your converts feel welcomed.  It is quite simple really.

You started this war against the LGBT community it is your job to end it.  You continue it by pushing to reverse the Supreme Court decision for example expect to have hell to pay.  You will no longer be allowed to get away with such things and have no consequences.  As now the majority of Americans are against your anti-gay activism so you are finding a smaller and smaller island to stand on.  The majority of America has moved on with the court’s ruling I suggest you do the same thing.  Do not think this is the end of the LGBT-rights battle either as there is injustices that still need righted like employment and housing discrimination.

You can keep hiding your hate and bigotry behind your God, scripture, and religion if you choose but you will not get a free pass by the public as you did in the past.  You will be called out and have push back as you did not experience in the past.  The more vocal and activist you are the heavier price you will be made to pay.  I and many others are tired of your crusade against the LGBT community and other groups you don’t happen to agree with like Muslims or liberal groups.

Your continued activism in marriage and family has been adopted by many in the LGBT community.  These are all things you on the Christian right have been preaching for decades, now that many in the LGBT community are adopting such you want to stop it in its tracks.  Why?  What will society have to gain by taking these things away from gay couples?  How is what you say is good for heterosexual couples bad for homosexual couples?  By making such a commitment to gay marriage and all that comes with it much of the LGBT community has in essence became more conservative and mainstream.  Yet you don’t celebrate it?

You wont celebrate it because of tradition and scriptural passages you cite.  Need I remind you interracial marriage was once solidly condemned by the Christian right.  That much of the Christian right in the South in the past supported Jim Crow and segregation.  When you go back to our Countries beginnings there was many Christians who supported the idea of a State Church.  Who for decades tried to force the political classes hand on matters as they had such an influence.  That influence has waned though and will continue to wane as long as you stay on the wrong side of history.  Taking away something that which in the end you helped make possible seem foolish.

Rather than fighting gay marriage you should embrace it.  You should see it as a win for traditional marriage, monogamy, social stability, and family values.  The argument that children need a mom and dad has been shown to be false by many children in homes without a mom or a dad where a relative or guardian is raising them, in single parent homes, and in those raised by two moms or two dads.  Look at the foster care system and how many kids don’t have stable homes.  The idea that every marriage should result in procreation and the raising of children has also been shown to be a sham.  There is many heterosexual childless married couples out there, are you going to seek to deny them the ability to stay married?  Your arguments for opposing same-sex marriage get only weaker and weaker in time.

It’s your call rather you want to continue this pointless war.  I tell you now, you wont, and can’t win.  You would be wise to accept this new reality in America as it will continue to be the reality.  There is nothing you can do in the long-term to stop or reverse progress.  Oh you might be able to slow it down, temporarily halt it, or reverse it for a time; but it will continue onward.  There is no Achilles heal you can seek to exploit to bring down same-sex marriage.  The only way gay marriage can fail now is gay and lesbian couples decide to stop getting married.  Accept it and see us as your brothers and sisters rather than your enemy.  Rather than your foe, your friend.

Alan Curtis Montgomery

until were all free

Until We’re All Free

until were all free

CC0
To the extent possible under law, Alan Curtis Montgomery has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to “Until We’re All Free”.


Until We’re All Free

I will never fully be free
Until freedom rings across the sea
I will never complain many a word
Until every child's prayer is heard

I will never know much wealth
Until all the ill have health
I will never know peace
Until all conflicts cease

I will never have rest
Until tranquility is made manifest
I will sometimes not want to see
Until there ceases to be cruelty

I will sometimes not want to hear
Until no one knows no fear
I will infrequently feel a gentle touch
Until humanity begins to love much

I will often hear people's cries
Until we dry their eyes
I will see people in much pain
Until we become humane

by
Alan Curtis Montgomery