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Sunday, September 16, 2018

Something

Something that I learned while keeping up with the comicsgate drama is that it is really pointless to argue online with people. I mean I already knew this, that's why I avoid engaging anyone in an online debate. I'm all for a discussion, but a debate online never goes anywhere, because both people stick to their guns or one side chooses to be ignorant, and there is not point in trying to change the opinion of the other. 

Anyhow, there wasn't really a discussion I was going to have today, I'm still trying to get around to blogging about something I wanted to blog about regarding race, but I kinda lost my train of thought about how I wanted to frame that post. So I guess I'll have to wait until next week. 

In the mean time the only thing on my mind at the moment is that football is back. College football and pro football. Sometimes it's pointless to watch the college games because they might end up being blowouts, so it can get boring. In the NFL there's a bit more balance, and you would know this if you watched the Packers vs Bears game from last week, in which Aaron Rodgers was able to bring back his team from a 20 point deficit. 

Also there's that whole thing with Colin Kaepernick and Nike. There was a video of a man burning his shoes in protest against Nike hiring Kaepernick. He left the shoes on his feet while they were engulfed in flames. Republicans/Conservatives come up with the most funny ways to protest. If you're looking for some laughs you can probably find it on youtube along with a lot of other angry patriots/racists setting their Nike gear on fire. On twitter I saw someone comment that they were probably burning their shoes because they ran out of crosses to burn in front of houses. Which was funny as fuck. 

Also national novel writing month is coming up soon. I participated last year, I completed the word count, but I didn't finish my novel. It's been sitting on my hard drive, but I only did it for fun, to say that I did it. I might get around to finishing it though, just to say I finished the novel. And I might participate in the novel writing event this year again. 

Anyhow, I'm trying to reinvigorate myself. Being knocked down so many times leaves you hopeless at times. But eh, that is life. Ups and downs and what not. 

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Yesterday Today

I was just remembering that last week I lost a good chunk of what I wrote for the blog post because I wrote it directly through blogger and some weirdness happened after I hit "publish" which left me with no post actually being posted, but also the last paragraph or so was missing, because I didn't save, even though I thought blogger automatically saved every few minutes. I used to write my posts in a word document to not have this happen after it happened a couple of times when I first started the blog. But here I am, back to my old habits. It actually worked out, because my last paragraph was shorter the 2nd time around, which was good since I'm trying to work on not being so wordy in my posts (sorta like I'm being wordy right now). I had to post on Monday instead of Sunday which was okay too. Anyhow, let me write something so that I feel like I actually accomplished something today.

Have you ever been called an "Academic Fuckboy"? No? Just me? This was shared with me in a tweet which I wish I could find to share here. It wasn't shared in spite, it was just a funny thing. It was funny as hell.

Yesterday, in Portland apparently, Patriot Prayer and the Proud Boys were out there doing their whole patriotic march thing. Surprisingly it didn't become a huge riot between them and Antifa. The counter-protestors and "patriots" were on opposing sides, separated by police. Everything went smoothly I guess you can say. Eventually, the cops rushed at the counter-protestors because supposedly they were throwing rocks and trash at the cops. The general belief is though that many cops support the "patriots" and have amongst their ranks members of the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer. Interestingly there was a deputy that was fired because as it turns out she took a selfie wearing a PB sweater and I think she even sold their merchandise. So, yay police department for firing one of your own that will probably end up working for a different police department in a different county anyway. You know, like most cops that are dismissed after police brutality cases but end up somehow continuing to work in law enforcement in other cities (Buzzfeed Article on Police Accountability).

Anyway, no large-scale riot in Portland, but apparently after the police rushed counter-protestors some "patriots" used the opportunity to assault protestors that were milling about. Not surprising really, you get the feeling that the "patriots" are just itching for a fight. Why else would they continue going to cities like Portland, San Franciso, and Berekely? Only other thing that comes to mind is that they want to be attacked so that they can try to show how horrible and violent leftists are. It's all about optics I guess, which is why it's easier to accept multiethnic members who align with republican and conservative ideologies. The Hispanic and African American members will defend the group and their ideology and overlook the racism (or claim it doesn't exist) because they agree with Republican "values" and patriotism. Sometimes they seem to feel that white people are being oppressed and are experiencing racism, because well on social media you'll catch people poking fun at white people or just outright saying, "fuck white people." So the Hispanic or African American folk feel sorry for their white allies and defend them as simply patriotic. I've seen it happen in person. Yet they don't seem to understand or see that their white friend that is fuming, is maybe fuming because s/he has white guilt and feels it as a personal attack, even though it's more of a criticism. Punching up versus punching down. Like what I've seen lately about "be proud of being white," you know white nationalism and white supremacy which is somehow not connected to racism.

Really?

Okay, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. I'll even say this: Yes, it is okay for you to be proud of your whiteness, whether it's Irish, Italian, or whatever European ancestry you have. You can even say I'm a proud Irish or even American. I don't think that's being taken away from you. But when you take pride in your whiteness as an opposition to everyone else that is non-white and also not straight, then that is not really rooted in the simple pride in your whiteness, it is rooted in a sense of fear, hate and antagonism because you probably feel like you're under attack. So you begin screaming that people are racist against your whiteness. Yet, if the claim about Antifa being mostly skinny middle-class white kids is true, why don't they take the same level of pride in their whiteness. Maybe they're proud of they're whiteness too, but instead of proclaiming racism toward their whiteness, they stand up against the prideful white folks, who see an enemy everywhere, but can see allies in minority people who don't criticize whiteness and who align with them politically and with a political party that has since been associated with racism, regardless of it's past deeds under Abe Lincoln.

This level of outrage isn't specific to white people though. I've seen it on the left too. I've seen it in the LGBTQ community when an ally tries to offer some insight, and they are attacked for offering their opinion or take, but that person happens to be a white queer person, so that person is attacked. It's petty, but it is understandable. I've seen it Chicanx Studies circles, with Chicanas and Chicanx LGBTQ members mocking and criticizing cishet Chicanos. As a straight Chicano I'm not insulted by the mockery or criticism. I think it's important to look at it as a form of checks and balances amongst our communities. It helps us evolve with the sociopolitical climate so that we don't become the stereotypical shitty closeminded racist relative everyone pokes fun of during the holidays. But, this can also tear us apart, and drive wedges within the community. I saw a friend upset about being attacked by a fellow Chicana for a comment she posted. Nothing offensive but something that was taken out of context. My friend was right to be upset, and as she pointed out to me, it's what made her not want to engage or be a part of the "woke" online Chicanx community. Hell, I've seen Chicanxs being referred to as "Shitcanos" from not only Latinxs but also from Chicanxs. I've also seen anti-Aztlan comments online from Chcianxs. I've read some of the arguments, which I can't remember off the top of my head, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised, there are things which were important in Chicanx Studies and during the Chicano Movement for years, that were going to evolve, like Aztlan. But at least the history is there for anyone that wants to learn about it, but also see what the current commentary is about it. It adds to the evolution of Chicanx Studies.

How did I even get here?

Oh Yeah:

The "patriots" are supposed to be in Berekely today to help rid us of Marxism and communism (?). But like I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago, many have decided to avoid Berekely after the incident in Oakland. So I'm hoping things are mellow in Berekely and quiet in comparison to Portland.

Deputy Fired

And if you're interested here's an incident involving ICE. If what's been going on lately doesn't make you upset, I don't know what will:

https://twitter.com/nowthisnews/status/1024803967283298304

And this guy gives some good commentary in relation to the clip:

https://twitter.com/jules_su/status/1025844827789787141

And if you're interested in some sort of assistance for the children that are separated from their families, you might want to check out this tweet by @ricardo_de_anda:

https://twitter.com/ricardo_de_anda/status/1025778230970728448

Well, so much for not being so wordy.

From Ricard de Anda's Twitter Page 

Sunday, July 29, 2018

That One Thing That Happened in Oakland


Over the past few weeks things regarding race continue to come up. Which probably means I need to stay the fuck away from social media. But this past week in Oakland, there was a murder at the BART station of young African American woman. The person who killed her was a homeless white man, possibly with a mental disorder. What preceded this was a rumor that the Proud Boys were going to a to have some drinks at a local bar. The rumor got worst somehow connecting the homeless man to the Proud Boys. Well, after the murder, the community was understandably pretty pissed and a few men showed up to the bar, where many people were there waiting for them. They got chased away, but one guy got the shit kicked out of him by the group. Rumor has it, it was just some Drumpf supporters who were there for a meeting. Information is really murky because the Proud Boys continue to claim they are anti-racism and continue to tout their Hispanic and African American members to prove they are not racist. These guys were planning on showing up to a march in Berkeley in August organized by Patriot Prayer, yet continue to claim they are not racists. But after they saw over 1000 people turn out for the vigil for Nia and also realized they were pissed off at the Proud Boys and similar racist organizations, they decided it was maybe not a good idea to show up in the Bay Area. So the leader of the Proud Boys sent out a tweet announcing that their organization disavows the march in Berkeley and none of its members should be there. Rumor has it, they and other alt-right organizations like Patriot Prayer are going through a lot of infighting, but they also know that people in the Bay Area are pissed about the murder of Nia, so many folks from Oakland were apparently planning to turn up at the march in August to counter protest. So the alt-righters freaked out and started thinking about the optics and the angry protestors that might be looking for justice for the murder of Nia. It was actually kind of amusing because all of a sudden the Proud Boys chapter in the Bay Area was talking about keeping a low profile and the leader of the organization was even tweeting #SayHerName on behalf of Nia, because they knew, as they say on the playground their "ass was grass."
"We DISAVOW the march because we don't want the shit kicked out of us. Also, #SayHerName for OPTICS."

"The media is ready to paint us as what we are: Racists! I mean Patriots!"

Their dumbshit leader even posted a video of an African American man apologizing to someone, I have no clue who he was talking about. Possibly the man who was assaulted by people angry over Nia's murder. Not much is known about the victim of the assault, an African American woman tweeted that the man was actually the stepdad of a couple of African American girls he adopted. But there hasn't been much actual info on his background, other than someone who was there and shot video of the vigil for Nia, claims that those guys might not have been Alt-Right, but were definitely drumpf supporters who were there to disrupt the vigil. Anyway, the leader of the organization tried to use that one video by one African American person to try to vindicate themselves from any involvement and to try to continue arguing that they are not racists.

"This isn't the normal skinny white boy type" lmao I'm on the same page as you Chris, go ahead and bring your shit to the Bay Area again. "Gang members, BLM and serious motherfuckers! Oh my!"

So now all of a sudden everyone from the Alt-Right that was going to turn out to Berkeley doesn't intend to show up, and are instead focusing on showing up in Portland, Oregon to fight with skinny Antifa people. Again, Proud Boys and their leader continue to argue that they are not racist, yet they continously show up in support of Patriot Prayer marches. These marches are joined by alt-ritghters, and neo-Nazis. The Proud Boys claim, like Patriot Prayer that they are simply marching for their freedom of speech as republicans and conservatives. They continue to say they are tired of being criticized for being white, and feel oppressed because of such criticisms as white males, yet they continue to argue that they are not white supremacists or white nationalists or racists.

They discuss that maybe they should "lay low." LMAO Ya think?

Here's a twitter thread that serves as a who's who of alt-righters:
https://twitter.com/IGD_News/status/1014960858923962371

Michelle Dione provides a good twitter thread about the way things went down in Oakland last week:
https://twitter.com/ShelleDione/status/1023339058901135360

Here's the leader of the Proud Boys dropping the n-word multiple times in the "context of comedy":
https://twitter.com/VicBergerIV/status/991750945506807809

Here's a Mexican Proud Boy member referring to his friends as Nazis, and even claims he's okay with it. Yay progress and Mexican pride!:
https://twitter.com/IGD_News/status/1019822020672962560

And here's an NPR thing with Dante Nero an African American comedian and the former "Pope" of the Proud Boys. He distanced himself from these guys after he discovered their racism on social media. He even had a "Proud Boys" tattoo on his neck which he has since covered up after he found out about their involvement in Charlottesville:
White Haze

Anyhow, I didn't intend to write about these alt-right pendejos. Sorry if I ruined your day. I wanted to use the incident in Oakland as a lead into some thoughts on my interactions with white folks. but I guess I'll have to save that for next Sunday, or maybe even earlier this week.

Anyway, be safe out there, a lotta racist and ignorant crazies that might be working next to you, or walking by you out in public.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Vale Pura Verga Carnal



I made a horrible mistake this past week. I spent a lot more time in Twitter than I usually spend in there. I usually open the app to see the trending topics, which then direct my attention toward news reports and current events. I don't really look at the main timeline nor refresh it. I might check in on a hashtag to see what people are saying about a given topic. I'll check in on some people I follow, and that list is very short, consisting of at least only two people. Other than that I might retweet/like some things and tweet some random thing, and that is about it.

Anyway, I spent more time in twitter just because I became interested in what people were saying regarding the current administration. This past week has been huge in terms of the orange guy's visit to Russia. It doesn't help that he sends out a tweet storm for anything. But what really got to me was seeing how his base is just really supportive regardless of what he's saying. I look at some of these people and I'm thinking, you really support this guy? Why? This doesn't make sense to me. They defend him passionately against anyone that criticizes him. And I'm not just talking about defending him against Democrats, and liberals/progressives; they defend him against the criticism from other Republicans. Holy crap. As I'm typing this I am astounded by this. I've been astounded by this since he was elected, but when you go on social media it is AMPLIFIED.

He has emboldened a lot of racist and xenophobic people to just say fuck it and come out of the woodwork and start assaulting minorities both physically and verbally online. There is a group that refers to themselves as Proud Boys who are running around claiming they are not Nazis or White supremacists, yet one of their Latino members is ranting on a video that he supports his Nazi friends (see: Proud Boys) because they should be allowed to have an opinion and because they are trying to do good things for this country. Racism is being intellectualized by that Spencer douche. He was run out of my alma mater (one of the few positive things that has happened there recently), there's a clip of a guy chasing him down a street across from my former campus shouting at him to get the fuck out of there. His supporters do the Nazi salute. Yet they claim they just want to be respected as white people, because claiming they have white privilege is being racist toward them. Reminds me a little of the white character I mentioned in my post about Dear White People. Except, that at least that character managed to remain "woke," and not be swallowed up by his self-pity over how his whiteness is criticized.

I thought the toxicity in comicsgate was bad, holy shit, take a trip down the rabbit hole of drumpf supporters. Holy fuck. These people are actually engaged in a culture war, that I thought was done years ago. They go after progressives with big names. This week they got James Gunn fired over offensive tweets about pedophilia. But their attempts to get progressive comedians under fire like Patton Oswalt and Michael Ian Black have failed miserably. I saw one of them try to go after Anthony Jeselnik, a comic known for his offensive shit! Jeselnik had a great response about how trying to find offensive jokes on his social media account was like trying to find a needle in a needle store on customer appreciation day. I was fucken dying of laughter. But all it took was the takedown of Gunn to embolden them to go after celebrity comics they despised known for their progressive ideologies and criticism of the current prez.

His supporters double the fuck down on anything the orange guy says. I'm sitting here in disbelief. Even this whole Russia thing, the argument is that he is keeping us from going to war with them. [Insert Shocked White Guy Doing a Double Take Gif Here].

My sister works at a bank, and she has told me that most of the customers that go in there are Republicans. She said that they for some reason naturally assume that she might be republican also, because they tell her to make sure to vote so that Democrats don't keep fucking things up in this country. What the fuck? I'm not going to sit here and pretend that Dems haven't fucked up a lot of things, because they have. I'm not a big fan of the Dem party because as far as I'm concerned they are not progressive enough, and I don't really think Obama was such a great president because in some Chicanx circles we refer to him as the Deporter-in-Chief. Also: see drones. But at least, he wasn't a braying jackass and he did have some genuine aspirations to push a progressive agenda, but well you know how all of that worked out. Anyway, what I'm trying to say, is that local Republicans in this area are already trying to spread the word that people need to vote in November to keep Republican representatives in power. That is some scary shit.

I already spoke with my family and they understand that it is crucial that we vote this November. No more ranting and being angry or depressed. They know we need to be proactive and inform ourselves about the politicians, and look for real progressives. I've talked to a couple of friends and brought this up too. I'm hoping that they too talk with their own families and friends and begin talking to the younger generation of 18-year-olds in their families and tell them to vote. I made it clear though, that I'm not imposing my ideologies on my family, if one or more of my sister's had conservative/republican views, I would still encourage them to vote and be informed. But I'm glad that my family consists mostly of progressive-minded people that are disgusted and fed up with seeing kids separated from their families and locked up in cages.

It is just nuts.

I could go on and on. But I don't want to ruin anybody's day with this stuff.

At this rate I'm not going to ever shut down my blog. At least not for another 2 years or so, possibly 4 (SMFH).

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Dear White People



Anybody watch that show on Netflix? You know, that show that sent white people into an uproar and threatened to cancel their Netflix subscriptions, because it was a show with an all African American cast that made white people think they were going to be ridiculed. Peak whiteness baby, peak whiteness.

I heard about the movie which I have yet to watch, and wasn't sure about the show until I actually watched it. It is a smart and funny show. Not necessarily making fun of white people (only), but addressing interactions between white folks and black folks at a fictional ivy league university. But it is also just as much about interactions among black students with differing ideologies. See: bourgeoise blacks versus power to the people blacks. It addresses race, gender, sexuality and inter-ethnic ideological conflicts. An ethnic studies scholar's wet dream.

A couple of my favorite episodes from the two seasons released so far, have been the episode that focuses on the "woke" white guy that is the boyfriend Samantha, where you get into his head, and see him laugh along as the African American students he spends time with, make fun of white people, yet there's a moment where he wants to yell out what he really thinks, but goes along with what they're saying, because he's "woke" and doesn't want to seem like an insensitive racist white male. Another is the episode with the Hotep character. There's also an episode where the African American students attend a white party that ends up in a fight between Reggie and someone he thought to be a white friend, but the climax of that episode comes when campus police show up, and the white officer points a gun at Reggie. Peak real life.

There are many great moments in the series, and I will say that Coco is my favorite character so far.

Anyhow, it's worth a watch even for white people who initially thought it was going to be 13 episodes about them being made fun of or called out, for you know, being white n'stuff.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

How Bad Do You think Things Are Going To Get?

"Bad."

I asked one of my friends the question in the title of this post, and her answer is just above this sentence. There was more, which I might get into later. But really, "Bad," is all that really needed to be said.

I was watching Real Time with Bill Maher, and his panel that day, which included Michael Moore made it sound like we were spiraling toward fascist dystopia. They brought up points about comments made by the orange guy, such as saying that his voters might take to the streets if he lost the election or if he is pushed out of office prematurely. Maher and Moore then talked about how many conservatives might own guns, which they might take onto the streets with them. This week there were reporters killed, by what appears to be a drumpf supporter. The orange guy did incite violence at his campaigns against reporters, regardless of how much he might want to deny that. So yeah, things are bad. If he loses the next election is it possible we'll see rioting or maybe even him refusing to leave the position?

It sounds like that could not possibly happen. But we thought a lot of other things couldn't happen once this guy became prez. I remember on Snapchat someone talking about how a lot of bad shit could and would happen because people thought there is no way he can just say he wants a ban on immigrants and have it become a reality. I think we thought the government would make him jump through hoops and prolong anything extreme he wanted to do. Welp, some executive orders later, I think we know better now. And she was speaking as an undergrad student that was about to pursue a law degree. She showed many of us how truly naive we were, myself included.

So yeah, things are bad and are going to get worst, not just for people but for the environment. Possibly headed toward a dictatorship? Possibly. I want to believe that this is America and that we would never allow a person to become a dictator/king. I want to believe that the government or military would make sure to oust this person if he refuses to leave. And by removing him, we would return a semblance of order. All of this chaos is leading to a major awakening for some people though. Don't take for granted that we have lived in a very flawed democracy, but one where we generally knew, the person in power was going to leave after 4 or 8 years. There's something different happening here, and it might not just take votes to get this person out of power. It doesn't help that he has a base that has bought into his bullshit, and are more than likely willing to let him stay in power as long as he wants. It's bleak and it's chilling.

There is hope though. People have been engaging in civil disobedience, by protesting against members of this administration out in public and outside their homes. There was the win of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Hopefully, there will be more like her. But it's going to take people who identify as Democrats to vote in large numbers, and there's also the whole electorate shit show that needs to be won. Yeah, hoping won't do much for anyone. I'm already planning on having a meeting with my family members who are of voting age so that they actually vote in November and a couple of years from now. I've become more interested in local politics/cians since all of this happened, and I'm going to make sure I cast my vote for every election from now on. And I'm going to make sure that many of my family members do the same.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

One Last Thing About the Angry Comic Book Fans

I was going to use this post to basically write a follow-up on comicsgate, because I thought all I did was summarize the whole pedo. Which I did, but I also wanted to offer my own opinion, which was mainly what I was trying to do.

Comicsgate Worst Nightmare

Comic books fans are an interesting lot. I can say, that if I were younger, I would probably take issue with Peter Parker being rebooted as an ethnic minority. And this is me as a Chicanx, saying this. And my issue would have been, that Peter Parker was always the dorky white kid that got these awesome spider powers. And I probably wouldn't have seen the error in my ways, which is why I try to give some comic book fans the benefit of the doubt.

But I've grown out of that stubborn mentality and would look forward to the day when we'd have a Chicanx Peter Parker/Spider-Man. I would also like to think that maybe I would be happy for a Chicanx Peter Parker, Diana Prince, or Clark Kent, even as a teen. Most of the characters I read were Anglo. I never took issue with that, but I definitely gravitated toward characters that were ethnic minorities, because I knew I was an ethnic minority too. Look, mom, a superhero that looks like me!

I would like to give myself the benefit of the doubt, now as a grown ass man, I know diversity and representation matters. I knew to a certain extent even back then that it mattered, so as a comic book fan it disappoints me to see the toxicity and negativity exhibited by comic book readers who are pissed that Blue Beetle released an all Spanish language issue or GASP, that DC made the character wearing the costume, a Mexican-American! Or that Ms. Marvel was a white lady and is now a Muslim teenager. Or that a character has been revealed as part of the LGBTQ community.

Regardless of the effect that it might be having on Marvel's or any other company's bottom line, I'm glad they are making a push for the representation of diversity not just in their titles, but for the people who actually write, draw, color, letter, and edit them too.

You know what's funny? A lot of the people complaining about the diversity are grown ass men too. It's hard to give the benefit of the doubt to grown ass comic book fans that not only complain about the quality, but also about too many marginalized people in and on their books. Or the fact that they feel the storylines have too many liberal themes. No need to point out the X-Men to me, because plenty of people pointed this out to the comicsgaters on Twitter, but they really didn't care, and just found some way to defend their opinion and their hate as "concerned fans."

Anyhow, I can go on, but that's my opinion. In the meantime: Dear Marvel Comics, please make one of your characters in the main titles, a Mexican-American. If not to appease your Mexican-American fanbase, at least to piss off the comicsgaters. Thank you. Your loyal comic book reader, Xicano X.