Ilhan Omar: The Embodiment of the American Dream

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The American Dream

I remember sitting in history class as a freshmen in High School, listening to my teacher drone on and on and on about how people traveled thousands of miles, even in horrific conditions to come to the United States. He explained that it’s the quest for the so-called American Dream, that not just citizens have it, but immigrants too.

People travel here, immigrate here, both legally and “illegally” to have a shot at the American Dream. I’ve posted the definition above, but let me tell you what the American Dream meant to me and my family, and many other families out there.

Growing up, my Dad’s dream was always that us kids would be better of than he was. He didn’t go to college, he worked as a car mechanic (and then eventually a tech for another company) and he wanted us to be BETTER than him. So growing up for me, was about bettering myself, going further than my parents or any other ancestor with the base that they had built for me.

Now that I’m a parent, it’s the same. My version of the American dream is that I want my daughter to do better than I have. I want her to work hard, and make a wonderful life for herself with the base that I’ve built for her. The never ending American Dream, is to work hard, achieve more and to set the footing for the next generation. Why? Because we’re lucky to live in a country where that is (was?) possible.

Now I’m sure that you’ve heard about Trump’s tweets and comments regarding “The Squad”. If you haven’t, here you go, you get to suffer with the rest of us.
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So there is a lot of bullshit to unpack with those tweets. First, 3 out of 4 of those congresswomen were born in the United States. The 4th, immigrated here and became a citizen. (So maybe he’s right in the first tweet about our government.)

Secondly, does he really think Congress is just there to eat his ass? They’re there to run our government. That’s literally their job. More importantly, it is not illegal, shameful or wrong to criticize your government. It’s pretty much how this whole country came about in the first place.

Last, can we just go ahead and point out that ALL 4 of the congresswomen are people of color. Telling people of color to go back where they came from is inherently racist in the USA. It’s something that any minority group has had to deal with their whole entire existence. It’s absolute horse shit, since this country was literally founded by immigrants and then built on the backs of said immigrants and slave labor.

Anyway. Trump had another Nuremberg rally last night. During which, his cult-like supporters started chanting “Send her back”. (It really is telling that all of their hate filled chants are only 3 words long.) An entire demographic (I’ll let you guess which one) were chanting to send a literal American Citizen and Congresswoman, Ilhan Omar, back to where she came from.

Since then, social media has been flooded with anti-immigrant and general racist garbage from the Republicans. Including one, which I will not share here because it’s pretty graphic, in which a woman in a Niqab was hung from a crane. With the hashtag #IStandWithThePresident.

I am appalled. I am completely disgusted with how our President acted, and how my fellow Americans are currently acting. It’s fucking sick. However, it got me thinking about Congresswoman Omar. I did a tiny bit of digging, and confirmed what I already believed.

She is literally the embodiment of the American Dream.

She was born in Somalia in 1982. Her mother died when she was only 2 years old and she came from a family of educators. As some of you know, her and her family fled Somalia during the war and spent about 4 years in a refugee camp.

They made it to New York in 1992, and then moved to Virginia and then finally to Minneapolis. Her family was pretty working-class, but she was raised with a very strong respect for Democracy. She used to interpret for her grandfather at caucus meetings.

She finally was awarded her citizenship in 2000 (7 years before Melania Trump by the way) but had a rough time before and after. She was consistently bullied for her culture, more specifically her hijab. It ranged from boys putting gum on it, to literally pushing her down the stairs and assaulting her.

She persisted.

She went on to get a Bachelors in Political Science and International Studies in 2011, and held many jobs in politics in the mean time. During one job as a Senior Policy Aid for Andrew Johnson, she was attacked, yet again, by 5 people and injured.

She still persisted.

She ran for and was elected for the Minnesota House and took office in 2017. During which time, she amazingly co-authored 266 bills between 2017-2018. Shortly after that she was elected to Congress. She is the first woman of color to serve from Minnesota, and the first Somali-American ever. She was also one of two of the first Muslim women to be elected.

She has literally busted her ass, and embodied the American Dream. She is literally what Republicans say they want opposed to “illegal immigrants”. They want someone to do it through the right channels, and contribute to society… except for they still dislike her. It doesn’t even matter to them, that her American Dream is to serve the American People!

To think, Republicans everywhere are calling for her deportation, or telling her to go back where she came from as if she’s not American enough somehow. Hell, she CO-SPONSORED the 9/11 Victims Compensation bill, you know. The bill that helps take care of victims and first responders that were effected that day? You know, the same exact bill that the Republicans blocked. (Rand Paul – the guy who literally was the 51st vote on the huge tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, is now complaining that we don’t have the money to take care of our national heros. Fuck you Rand.)

It’s fucking ridiculous. She’s being touted as Anti-American, an Anti-Semite (because she criticized Israel’s government and their funding our politicians – for the record.. fuck Israel. You can criticize a government, you SHOULD criticize a government. It’s criticizing entire races/religions that gets you the boot), and a whole bunch of other shit, when she has done more for this country than the vast majority of us.

My point is, is she has literally embodied the American Dream. She busts her ass for herself, her family and for America, and Republicans are shitting on her (and the other 3 congresswomen).

It’s because they do their jobs and criticize and try to fix our country, and because they’re women of color. It’s both. I haven’t seen anyone tell Bernie Sanders to go back to where he came from, he has almost the same view points as all these women, and yet? Nothing. So yeah.

As of this point in time, the Republican Party that we all knew is dead. Our country is headed down a downward spiral, and people are openly shitting on (and physically threatening) the only people who seem to give a damn.

I don’t even know what to say anymore. It’s like watching a train-wreck. You can’t look away.

Except for it’s our country’s fall.

 

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Conservatives: The Ultimate Snowflakes/The Twitter, Facebook & YouTube Purge

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So the conservative circle jerk has found a new focus. It started back when Twitter started removing bots run by Russians that had been part of their social media campaign in our last presidential election. Donald Trump immediately started whining that his follower count dropped (even though they weren’t real people?!) and accused Twitter of “censoring conservatives”.. even though they were Russian bots. 

Shortly there after that, Twitter and Facebook (and by extension Instagram, YouTube and a few other apps) began to listen to the outcry to warn/mute/ban extremist views. This is nothing new, after 9/11 and the rise of ISIS, all of the major social media platforms cracked down on Muslim Extremists by deleting their posts/videos or banning them all together. It’s incredibly important to note that the America and majority of the “civilized” world had absolutely NO problem with this. So currently the USA, a large swath of Europe among other places, have been dealing with an increased amount of White Supremacist garbage, cries for violence against minorities & lgbt+, false reporting regarding vaccinations & and their relation to Autism, and false reporting regarding abortion (laws, terminology, side effects, to what is actually legal) from the pro-life crowd. Social media platforms are just responding, and enforcing their existing TOS agreements. Here is YouTube’s stance on Hate Speech: 

Youtube Hate Speech Information

Holy shit did a lot of people get banned. On all the platforms. Instead of getting myself thrown into Facebook Jail for posting “They’re Literal FUCKING NAZIS” on a White Power page on Facebook, the white power fucks are getting deleted. The algorithms aren’t perfect, that’s admitted. A guy friend of mine got shadow banned for posting “Men are Trash”. Yet a tweet I reported that proposed using violence to get women to clean up the house or give a guy sex was still allowed. It’s not perfect, but it’s a start. 

What it comes down to though, is that when you sign up on a social media site, you are agreeing to their Terms of Service (TOS). Usually most people don’t read through them, and just agree. So when piece of shit people like Alex Jones gets banned from YouTube (and a fuck ton of other places – I had an extra beer that day!) conservatives get all up in arms as this somehow “proves” they’re being censored.

Actually, let’s use Alex Jones as an example. YouTube has a 3 strike policy before they will outright ban someone. Alex Jones was banned by YouTube for Child Endangerment and Hate Speech. When he was banned, his channel uploaded those videos to other channels, thus making the ban permanent. Facebook banned him right before that:

“we have taken it down for glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies.”

Even Spotify followed for the same reasons. Seriously, if you’ve ever listened to Alex Jones you’d be nauseated. He spews his vile opinions and spreads misinformation about anyone who is not white or conservative. It’s not just every day opinions he has spewed but pure hate.

NPR Article Regarding Alex Jones Ban 

I do have to admit, I was really tempted to post his quote about tap water turning frogs gay… but that’s a little much even for me. He’s a sexist, homophobic, transphobic, islamophobic piece of fucking trash. I for one cheer that him and people like him are getting banned.

However, bans like this, bans of the Alt-Right accounts on Twitter, etc have the Right all up in arms because “they’re violating our free speech”. Oh for fucks sake. You mean to tell me, that from our President to Senator Cruz to Alex Jones.. NONE of these fuckers understands the 1st Amendment. Not a one.

“Congress shall make no law…abridging freedom of speech.”
Freedom of speech pertains to your freedom from having your government regulate your speech.

  • Not to speak (specifically, the right not to salute the flag).
    West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943).
  • Of students to wear black armbands to school to protest a war (“Students do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate.”).
    Tinker v. Des Moines, 393 U.S. 503 (1969).
  • To contribute money (under certain circumstances) to political campaigns.
    Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976).
  • To advertise commercial products and professional services (with some restrictions).
    Virginia Board of Pharmacy v. Virginia Consumer Council, 425 U.S. 748 (1976); Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, 433 U.S. 350 (1977).
  • To engage in symbolic speech, (e.g., burning the flag in protest).
    Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989); United States v. Eichman, 496 U.S. 310 (1990).

Just to give you an idea, I’ve listed some cases to show you what the government protects. More importantly, Freedom of Speech does NOT convey to private companies (ie: YouTube, Facebook, etc). It’s comparable to walking into your favorite pub and telling the bartenders wife she’s a fat pig. They have the LEGAL RIGHT to kick you out. Same thing with social media. If you violate the TOS, they have the LEGAL RIGHT to kick your ass off of the platform.

That’s literally how it works. That’s what freedom of speech is. Freedom of speech means that you can kneel for the anthem, that you can give a cop the finger (seriously, you can – don’t recommend it though!), that you can criticize your government AND it’s president (I’m looking at you Trump you god damned dumpster fire).

This is also what gives those god damn bigot bakers the rights to refuse to make a cake for a gay couple’s wedding.. and also what got that half-wit in trouble for refusing marriage certificates to gay couples.

It does NOT give you the right to say what you want within a private business. Period. Do you know why? BECAUSE THAT INFRINGES ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CREATORS AND OTHER END USERS. When you force companies and businesses to allow shit that they don’t want.. you know what happens? That bakery that refuses service to gays, the pharmacists who refuse to dispense birth control or the morning after pill.. they are forced to. They lose their rights.

That’s the most important thing that you should take away from this. By forcing companies & people to allow things that break their TOS & personal beliefs, you’re taking away the creator’s/their rights. It’s that you want to be able to have social media companies, news media companies AND individuals to be able to control their own creations, what they publish and their own personal safety both in public and on the internet. Which in and of itself is Freedom of Speech. (Note: there are hundreds of social media platforms out there, if you don’t like one, join another.. or create your own, there’s legitimately White Power dating sites and forums out there. Or the entire furry community.)

Once you allow the government to force social media platforms to house certain kinds of rhetoric, against their will, it turns into a whole other beast. Once you allow the government to control news media, to regulate what news stations can report on, or the opinions there of, you have something that I always believed Conservatives were against.. you have state run media. You know. Authoritarianism, Fascism. Ala North Korea and China. (On that note: Hi to my new subs from China!!) (I also want to insert here, that while conservatives, including Trump are crying out about Freedom of Speech, Trump has publicly called to censor news stations and reporters… restricting the Freedom of Press… which is in the SAME DAMNED amendment.) 

That’s my point. Because Ted Cruz (is the Zodiac Killer) doesn’t understand how Google Search Algorithms work (Google Search Information), doesn’t mean it’s wrong. I guarantee if I look up “US NEWS” that Fox News & Breitbart show up on the same page as NPR and the BBC.

The Twitter Conspiracy Theorists are convinced conservatives are getting shadow banned, but don’t note that a metric fuck ton of liberal activists and veterans have been banned purely for speaking out. Trump is convinced that his low ratings must be because of social media and news media fucking with him.. not because he decided to use a old Japanese Interment Camp to house children in cages or because his party is doing away with the protections that allow those of us with Chronic Illnesses to obtain health insurance.

Everyone is listening to them screech about “Freedom of Speech”, when not only does it NOT apply, they themselves call for limiting the freedom of speech of protesters and of the press. Yet people are buying into it and helping nudge us even closer to State Run Media and a god damned dictatorship.

I honestly don’t know how many more times I can scream “Wake up!” at my own country. Much more, I don’t know why I’m doing it in the first place. I just want people to think, to know and APPLY our constitution correctly, to stand up for what is right.

Blind Leading the Blind, Bigoted Encouraging the Ignorant

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What strange times we live in now. We have a (unsuccessful) TV personality for president (shout out to The Arnold, we took you for granted as a politician!), literal Nazis that are marching the streets, right-wing media bashing the people who stand against them, and a prospective wall to be built at our southern border reminiscent of the infamous Berlin Wall.

I’m strangely nostalgic for the days where all I had to complain about were drone strikes and whether it was appropriate enough for the president to wear a beige suit. (Jk about the last one) Who knew that a few short years later we would have a president who calls the media (who is important enough that we included them in our constitution) and a large section of our citizens an Enemy of the People or an Enemy of the State.

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When all of this started, I immediately looked around to my peers, expecting outrage and was shocked to see just under half of them, just under half of our citizens cheering. At first, I figured Trump’s rhetoric would die down when he won* the election. When David Duke publicly came out in support of Donald Trump, I wondered if that would be enough. When Donald Trump referred to the Charlottesville protests which included LITERAL NAZIS, and ended with a wonderful girl losing her life with this:

“I think there is blame on both sides,”

“You had some very bad people in that group,” Trump said, referring to the white nationalist groups rallying against removal of a Confederate statue. “But you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.”

I looked around, I looked at the generations before me who had literally FOUGHT Nazis in WW2, and was simply.. shocked? Shocked that they were applauding this man as president.

(*via electoral college, which some including myself believe needs to be abolished. Trump lost the popular vote.)

We are in the times where our country’s figurehead name calls his fellow politicians, congressmen and other nation’s leaders on TWITTER. This is the day and age, where we find out that his administration is enacting a “National Emergency” on our southern border via a tweet, with a shotty screenshot of the Notes App on an Apple Device.

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Of course people are speaking out about it. However, a portion of our country isn’t. They are perfectly content in their armchairs while our sitting president is using the guise of a National Emergency to get funding for a border wall that congress (the purse) didn’t grant him. These people are okay sitting back and letting this man misuse that option because he didn’t get his way and 2 years in, hasn’t fufilled some stupid campaign promise. These are the same people who had a stroke over every move President Obama made, ranging from his declarations of National Emergency, to the First Lady wearing a sleeveless shirt.

(I’m going to go ahead and include a link with information regarding previous presidents’ national emergencies: NPR.com)

These past few years we’ve gone back further in time than we ever had before. Women’s right to choose, equal rights for LGBTQ+, and many other things are all in danger. Our country has become a laughing stock for the rest of the world, we have people literally laughing at our president, to his face, at conferences. We have Nazis holding public office and every day people retweeting far right, extremist, racist, sexist groups like The Proud Boys. It’s the blind leading the blind. The bigots leading the ignorant.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m not sure voting is enough anymore.