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.

 

Make Orwell Fiction Again

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It wasn’t too long ago, when I wouldn’t have considered adding the “Make Orwell Fiction Again” sticker to my car. I might’ve chuckled about it, maybe even sent it to a friend who could appreciate it. However, I truly felt that our country was making strides in equality, laws and fair elections. (Spoiler: I doubt I will ever be truly happy with our Republic as I don’t agree with certain kinds of laws. I was however happy that it seemed like an attempt was made to improve our country for everyone.)

Yet, when I wake up in the morning to check the news, there is so much god damned BULLSHIT going on in our country, that I’m quickly losing faith in our ability to turn it around.

For example, do you remember when Camp Sill was reopened during the Obama Administration as a migrant camp and a large chunk of our country collectively shit a brick? Well. You might not. It seems that most people have no idea that even happened, or even that it was a Japanese Internment Camp. (Although the Army, not the rest of the world mind you, still states it only held prisoners of war.) It lasted for 4 months before being shut down again. Now? The Trump Administration is planning on housing 1,400 CHILDREN there.

That’s right. We’re putting children in an old camp that was either A. An Internment Camp for Japanese Americans or B. a camp for war criminals depending on your view. Why is that? I suppose it’s because we jump, skipped and landed face first into fascism with out anyone noticing.

Our country has had a lot of dark times. Ranging from slavery to the internment of the Japanese, to outright racism towards different groups like the Irish, African Americans, Germans and Mexicans. Depending on what decade you pick we had a different flavor of racism (oft times more than one), slavery or war atrocities.

Someone who has been speaking out about his experience in a Japanese Interment Camp is George Takei : Interview with Democracy Now!

The fact that Americans are not alarmed by this is so fucking stupid. World War 2 wasn’t that long ago, shit, segregation was even more recent! God fucking dammit, you guys already forgot about the atrocities committed at Guantanamo Bay? We start making progress.. moving forward and bettering ourselves.. and then over the course of two years, we’re back to where we started.

Houston Camp Conditions : Buzzfeed
In this article there are quotes from immigrants who compare their treatment to that of dogs, who are dismayed because they thought America was better than this.

Teen Mother & Her Premature Newborn Neglected For A Week In Border Patrol Custody : Refinery29
This is just more proof that not ALL life matters, as no one clearly cares about the “brown kids”. Fuck off Pro-Life Republicans. Eat my ass.

So here we are. 2019, and I’m watching women lose their rights, all around discrimination and racism, and kids being locked into an interment camp. The Orwell sticker has a place on my car now. We’re at the point where Americans should be rising up, protesting this disgusting regime (hopefully before we start a war with Iran) …

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… but we know that won’t happen. We literally have a president who has “joked” about extending his term (which by the way is NOT LEGAL) several times now, and Americans are just like “Meh”. We literally have children DYING in our not-concentration-camps.. and half of America is CHEERING. Most of those are CHRISTIANS. We are threatening Iran with war, over an attack we can’t even prove was from them. We are gearing up for yet another pointless war, and half of Americans are basically frothing at the mouth.

So my question is no longer “When are Americans going to stand up for what is right?”

How could it be? Americans are calling for concentration camps to be normalized, because “they should’ve known before they came here” or.. “That’s not what a concentration camp is!! Stop being an alarmist!!”

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How could it be, when Americans are defending LITERAL NAZIs parading down our streets? How could it be, when Americans scoff when the president makes jokes about breaking key parts of our constitution? How could it be, when Americans cheer as rights are stripped from women and the LGBTQ+ community?

My question is now, how far will America fall, before it burns?

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.

ANARCHY IN THE .. Opps, we mean MEDDLING IN THE UK!!

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The United States has been in a state of uproar since our last presidential election. Regardless of your stance on what happened or why, we’ve been chirping on and on about how the Russians meddled in our elections. It’s been a record that keeps skipping back and repeating itself, as if it’s important to Americans that no one meddles in another country’s politics or government.

It’s almost as if people forget that we have done the same exact thing.

In 2016, a study headed by Don H. Levin found that the U.S. intervened in 81 foreign elections between 1946 and 2000, while the Soviet Union or Russia intervened in 36.
(Levin, Dov H. (June 2016). “When the Great Power Gets a Vote: The Effects of Great Power Electoral Interventions on Election Results”International Studies Quarterly60 (2): 189–202.)

From Bolivia to Chile, and Iran to Israel, we’ve had our fingers in multiple governments and their elections for decades upon decades. It’s almost funny thinking about all that we’ve done to meddle in elections and oust other governments’ officials, only to turn around and act surprised that someone dared to meddle in ours. (Wikipedia Page Re: Election Interference)

Part of the problem is that this isn’t common knowledge to the average American. It’s a well known fact that our history books leave out a large amount of atrocities that our own government has committed, while exaggerating horrific acts of other governments. It’s not reaching to realize that our own meddling isn’t recorded for the American school aged child to learn.

The other aspect you have to consider is that a large swath of Americans feel no need to research and learn what their own government has done. There’s no drive to know that your government is no better than any of the governments we’re told to oppose. Continuing on that thought process, our media doesn’t always report on the stories either. Why would they? There surely isn’t large amounts of people who are dying to learn of our own negative actions.

However, sometimes they do report on it, and sometimes people do listen.

Fox News
Washington Post
The Guardian
RT

Basically what is going on is this:

The Trump Administration has a severe hard on for Israel and Netanyahu (I’m of the mindset that this is at least partially because of the Obama’s Administration’s attempt to oust him) and a vast amount of the UK feels the same. The current thought process regarding Israel is that if you criticize their government for their actions, especially regarding their systematic murder of Palestinians, you’re instantly labeled an Anti-Semitic. (Note: eat my ass. It is not Anti-Semitic to criticize any government who is committing heinous acts. Period. Anti-Semitism is being hostile or to discriminate against someone for being Jewish.

Jeremy Corbyn, (Wikipedia Page for Corbyn) is running for Prime Minister and because of his criticism of Israel regarding their treatment of Palestinians, he is being labeled an Anti-Semite. (see my statement above). Since the Trump Administration is so far up Israel’s ass, and doesn’t take any sort of criticism against Israel’s government lightly, it would be awkward to say the least if Britain’s Prime Minister speaks out against the Israeli government. So in a meeting, Secretary Mike Pompeo was taped making this statement: 

“It could be that Mr. Corbyn manages to run the gantlet and get elected. It’s possible. You should know, we won’t wait for him to do those things to begin to push back. We will do our level best,

“It’s too risky and too important and too hard once it’s already happened.”

A Labour spokesmen hit out at the revelation by saying;

“President Trump and his officials’ attempts to decide who will be Britain’s next prime minister are an entirely unacceptable interference in the UK’s democracy.”

So not only are we still complaining about the Russians interfering in our own elections, we’re making promises to interfere in the UK elections, who if you’ve forgotten is our ally. (However, that doesn’t seem to make much of a difference to the Trump Administration. Ask our other allies.) While we’re warning other countries that Russia may meddle in their elections, while we’re essentially fearmongering, we’re doing the exact same thing we’re screaming about.

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been proud of my country for a while. Ranging from drone strikes to kids in cages and the humanitarian catastrophe at our southern border, this is just icing on the cake. I will always love my country, but that doesn’t mean that I have to stand for it’s behavior. As always, I ponder.. when will enough be enough for Americans? When will we stand up? When will the American People do something about it?

If you love this country, take it back, from those who will destroy it

Nationalism, Fascism & the USA

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My stance on the government has been the same since I was a teenager: The People control government. We are allowed to question, investigate, and even disapprove of our government and our politicians that hold seats with in it. Always.

This includes any investigations into the president, secretary of state, all the way down to local treasurer. The government works for the citizens, period. So now, after the conclusion of the Russia Probe by Robert Mueller, before the results have been released, our president and his cronies are cawing that the report was “Treasonous”, and in r/the_donald, people are literally calling for the Republicans and Democrats that took part in the probe to be hanged for treason. 

These are the same people who cheered when Hilary Clinton was investigated, who chant for her to be investigated again, who demanded she be locked up, even after she was found innocent of such accusations.

Yet, when the President, (who seems an awful lot like their messiah) is accused of treasonous activities and miscellaneous crimes those same people are screeching. They are convinced that it’s unconstitutional, treason, and unpatriotic. The President of the United States keeps calling those investigators and anyone who reports on it the Enemy of the State. The only thing that is different? Who is being investigated. When it’s the President? We start hearing rhetoric that sounds an awful lot like fascism.

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I don’t understand, and to be frank, I’m scared. You should be too. There is a certain kind of government that demonizes those who speak against it. When any sort of opposition becomes “an attempted coup”, we start toeing the line we fought an entire war to avoid. When the President starts talking about silencing the media, whom risks their lives to bring us current events and information, we goose step right into a fascist state.

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Another footstep towards this is the conversation about Nationalism and White Nationalism that is taking place now. If you’ve read my recent blog post, you’ve seen what I’ve written about White Nationalism thriving in the USA right now. Hell, all you have to do is turn on the tv. From within the MAGA camp, from senators to Fox News, you have the argument that Nationalism is a needed component of being a US Citizen. Yet Nationalism often leads to racism, which leads to all sorts of nasty things we learned in the 1930s and 1940s. To justify Nationalism (which is one of the first steps into fascism) they ignorantly confuse patriotism with it.

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All of a sudden it’s “patriotic” to want to keep immigrants out (notably it’s only the brown immigrants). You hear the arguments that “they don’t know english” (we don’t have a national language), or that they don’t assimilate to our customs and culture. Make America Great Again, seems to correlate directly with Make America White Again.

When Nationalism = Patriotism, the end result is Fascism.

EDIT: I took a break from writing, scrolled twitter and found this:

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Regardless of whom you agree with on border security, it is DANGEROUS territory to accuse people of treason because they disagree with you.

So here we are folks. We are stepping over the line into Fascist territory, and something needs to change. Now. I’m sorry this blog is so scatter brained, but I just don’t know what to think anymore. What I do know, is that our children will read about this era in their text books, and it’s going to rival the civil war. Most importantly, that a large number of our citizens will be on the wrong side of history.