The Remnants of Discrimination and Racism

As someone who lived through the civil rights era, I can remember being singled out because of my color, race and last name.  The only recourse I had was what we all had, fisticuffs.  Of course, when you did that you fell into a trap from which there was no escape.  Yes, you can say I have felt discrimination and racism personally.  I did not read it in a textbook nor saw a film about it, I lived it.  The emotional scars have healed over time.  Yes, there is still discrimination today, but it is not easily visible.  In a way it has been institutionalized in many ways.

I say this because I have seen the fight over redistricting and have heard the word discrimination used too frequently.  I understand disenfranchisement.  I also understand that redistricting is a political process with the party in power holding the winning hand.  The political landscape has changed a lot in Texas and what was true once upon a time may not necessarily be true today.  Somehow, it appears like the Democratic Party wants to win elections by having districts that are overwhelmingly minority.  The perception is created that the only offices minorites can win are those where the votes are stacked in their favor.   Of courses minorites do not always get elected in these minority districts.  It is not about empowering minorities but about maintaining Democrats in office.  It makes a person wonder how Bill Flores, a Spanish surname, was elected in a heavily Conservative Republican, White district.  There are other Hispanics who have similarly been elected in non-minority districts.  I say this because a person that gets elected in a minority district whether Republican or Democrat has not achieved much.  Once elected these minorities benefit from incumbancy and when these elected officials are not effective officials it is the minorities that suffer.  We need Latino leadership all over Texas and the status quo is not leadership, it is an impediment.

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Fidel, the only Democrat for the job of State Party Chair!

Fidel Acevedo is the only candidate for state party chair that  does have all of the necessary leadership qualities and qualifications any Democrat can possess to take Back Texas for the people of Texas! Fidel is the most qualified, the most honest, integrity minded, progressive Democrat and the only man for the job.

History speaks for itself when it comes to telling the story of past party leaders.  The leader must be a person of the people and not a person of the same old status quo “quid pro quo”  that has led the party to it’s current downward spiral to destination no where.

If  Texas Democrats have learned anything it’s that money, even $70 million will not get a Democrat elected statewide in Texas. So why is the focus always on raising money. Here is the problem …

He is my friend.  Ann Richards was my friend.  
Bill White is a very dear friend.  
Molly Beth Malcom is a very dear friend.  Yep!
What is the political  field in Texas... 
if lame Ducks can still do a lot of good with a good staff 
and money raising is the main goal?

We are experiencing the results of such…

It’s all about values

During a very close game, where it was do or die, win or go home, a quarterback called a desperate play he dubbed the “Hail Mary Pass”.  The team won.

That is the story of the TDP the past few years, one Hail Mary Pass after another.  The TDP has not learned from professional football teams that develop game plans that the whole team gets tested on how well they learn the plans and then they practice until they can execute their plan better than the opposing team.  It works.  Those teams that go on the field disorganized, well, they get whoopped.  Organization starts at the top.  With the coach.  We Democrats cannot allow the TDP to continue down this road.  We have been there too many times, too often.  It is time for all Democrats to start calling for the TDP Chair to step down so the rebuilding can start.  The new beginning cannot start with old wine in old bottles.  All the groups inside the big tent must realize and understand that they cannot have the whole pie.  It is not about who owns the biggest slice of the pie but contributing the necessary ingredients (values) to make the pies.

For Whom the Bell Tolls: The Texas Democratic Party Chair – Texas Democratic Party, Texas Democratic Party Chair, Felix Alvarado

For Whom the Bell Tolls: The Texas Democratic Party Chair – Texas Democratic Party, Texas Democratic Party Chair, Felix Alvarado.

It’s all about values…

Veteran’s Affairs.

This agency is a severe blight on America’s soul.  Most people acknowledge the veteran, but not all veterans are the same.  I am a disabled veteran.  I am a disabled peacetime veteran.  There are others who are peacetime veterans.  There are those who made the military their career.  These career soldiers served in some war or another, some had more than one combat tour.  Some military people were killed serving their country, others wounded, others just served.  I am one of those that just served.  I had opportunities to be involved in combat but I was fortunate that the enemy never attacked when it was my time to play soldier.  I was exposed to Agent Orange and from what I understand now it was pretty nasty stuff.  My disability was caused in peacetime.  A year ago I was operated for a peacetime injury.  I applied for compensation.  For over a year I have heard VA say “we are working on it”.  Letters to the secretary and the president have not been answered.  When I identify myself as a veteran I hear people say thank you for your service.  I do not want “thanks,” I want someone to make the VA get off its butt.  Is that possible?  Where are the elected officials?  Why aren’t they doing something about the service from the VA?  I also hear, “VA has too much work.”  VA is the most urgent matter that the Congress has.  Where is the Congress?

Last topic is inclusion.  What does the word mean?  How is it practiced?  I have personal experience with the Democratic Party and inclusion.  In my experience it has been more exclusive than inclusive.  When I ran for Congress the first time, county chairs took me under their arm and gave me advice about being a politician.  One piece of advice that they gave me was to get a hold of Martin Frost, find out his schedule and be at all his events.  That was easier said than done.  Or as a pundit explained, “Martin has to see Barton every day.  They are buddies.  Martin is not going to endanger his relationship with Joe to help you”. Then there was the infamous hot check.  As I recall the TDP chair removed my name from the ballot because the check did not clear.  Well this time the check did clear.  However, this time the TDP chair decided that only the anointed one would be the only one welcomed at the county level and all of us were excluded by most county chairs.  Funny thing, the TDP did not return anybody’s check.  The TDP kept the money. So if we are talking about inclusion, transparency, and accountability we need to play with a full deck.  Thus far, the TDP has not played with a full deck.  Manipulating elections favoring some candidates over others is not necessarily democratic.

Four years ago I said that what the Democratic Party needed was leadership.  Today, I repeat my words of four years ago.  What the Democratic Party needs is leadership.  I believe that it is wrong to fabricate some great hope, building everybody’s hopes when the party does not realize that the leadership is out of step with Texas politics.  Old style closed room, cigar chomping people making decisions as to who was going to represent the party, well those days are over.

It is all about values..

I am a Social Studies teacher.  As a Vietnam veteran who lived and experienced the civil rights era, I am witness to a student population that could care less about any trials and tribulations of those who participated in these events.  To many students these events are just footnotes in history.  Most of the parents of today’s student population themselves have no recollection of these historical events.  I grew up in the Westside of San Antonio.  You would think that as a barrio boy I would automatically bond with today’s students.  Not so.

Today’s barrio is much different than the one I grew up in.  I am certain that barrio kids today love their parents, brothers and siblings, that they have barrio friends just as I did.  So what is different?  The values have not changed, what has changed are the circumstances and surroundings.  Many of us grew up hearing “I made it, you can make it.”  Today’s kids are more apt to say, “You made it, I can make it”.

Published in: on April 24, 2011 at 8:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It is all about values…

For a while I have said that in politics it is all about values.  Values make you a Republican a Democrat or an independent.  Values make a statement about you.  Values establish a bond between people that is hard to dissolve.  If you ask someone to describe a Republican this is what you may get back:

Pro-Life          Pro-Gun          Pro-God          Pro-family      Small government

Low taxes       Anti-abortion                          Balanced budget

Anti-Gay         Strong military                       Pro-business

Ask someone to describe a Democrat and this is what you may get back:

Tax and spend             Pro-abortion

Big government          Weak on military

Big spender                 Anti-second amendment

Keeping in mind that these are merely perceptions.  One of the enduring lessons from my military experience is that perceptions are reality.  Or, as one of my supervisors once said, “don’t confuse me with the facts.”

It’s all about values

You can not have an intelligent conversation with a parrot.

Obviously, RWTS sponsors are selling product and that is what they pay the talking heads to do – sell their product.

As I listen to RWTS talking heads from early in the morning to late at night, it’s difficult to ignore the incessant attack on left-wing liberals.  This time the talking heads utterly exploited a national tragedy to its maximum capacity.  In a land where capitalism rules, the Tucson tragedy was turned into an economic bonanza for RWTS advertisers.    These RWTS folks will deny being politicians, however, listen attentively, and you will hear their political agenda.  They talk about pushing the conservative agenda, taking back America, letting freedom ring, pure ideological talk that wittingly serves to do nothing more than mesmerize people to accept their ideology.  Clearly, the First Amendment applies, but what is going to happen to us who are not conservative Republicans?  Do the talking heads want to rule more than the airwaves?  We have to wonder about these things.

It would be ideal if there was a LWTS to spur some competition, but such a group does not exist and more talking heads, we just don’t need.  Further, it makes sense that if people stop buying product from the sponsors of RWTS – RWTS will disappear.

 

Published in: on January 18, 2011 at 2:11 am  Leave a Comment  
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It’s all about values

I heard it again today.  The revised budget shortfall is now $15 billion down from $27 billion.  It looks like the budget shortfall suffers from the same malady as  the TAKS results, a floating decimal.  Where is the ax going to fall first?  Second?  Third?  Please, no more tax increases on beer and tobacco products.

Published in: on January 11, 2011 at 10:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It’s all about values

I listened to right-wing radio talk shows (RWTS) today.  I listened as they blamed mainstream media, liberal Democrats and “they” for the accusation that inflammatory RWTS’s were responsible for the killings in Arizona.  The self-defense talk was non-stop all day.  Of course, RWTS had plenty of ammunition to show that Democrats had engaged in similar tactics in the past.  Nevertheless, it is time to put this in proper perspective .  First, there is no mainstream media.  It is merely a figmentation of the RWTS imagination.  Second, there is definitely no left-wing mainstream media, written or otherwise. It too is a figmentation of the RWTS mind.  I heard a lot of mention of “they” as if  “they” existed.  It sure did seem like the more people who called in to defend RWTS the more commercials they played.  RWTS people will say they are not politicians, that they are “entertainers”.  Well, entertainers make money by selling the product of their sponsor.  The reason this topic has gone on so long is that the sponsors are reeling in the money.  Finally, when RWTS people extol the virtues of conservatism and Republicanism while demonizing liberals and Democrats – that is politics.  RWTS like to believe that their words are neutral, however, there are two quotes that apply here; “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” and “words are like weapons they hurt sometimes.”  I always tell my students “you cannot have an intelligent conversation with a parrot.”

Published in: on January 11, 2011 at 10:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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