I Used to Like Joy Reid of MSNBC

I Used to Like Joy Reid

By Leyland A. King, MS.

April 29, 2018

(C)

First came the whispered rumors about statements, supposedly on their way to haunt and destroy Ms. Joy Reid and her professional standing. I swooned among shock, disbelief and grief. I remembered Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry and Tamron Hall. I waited for the worst outcome while struggling with the ‘what about when’ and ’ look over there’ , the fast becoming peculiarly American logic. But I liked Ms. Reid

I live in media world, 2018. While aware of that, I also confess that I eat. It’s that common. The media in America is so pervasive that if one chooses to shut them out, they are in fact voluntarily. A willing prisoner who refuses to leave.

People who populate our blue screens soon attach like family and we might become emotionally too close to them. So I used to like Ms. Joy Reid. Why, is professionally beside the point.

Ms. Reid and my family have very deep roots in Guyana, where I was born, and with that fantastic smile of hers, well I long ago surrendered myself to fandom.

On Saturday April 28, 2018, I occupied my usual comfort-place, with my usual breakfast tray, ready as usual to consume AM Joy. What a shocker! Breakfast interrupted. A classic, over the top example of contriteness, personal accountability, due respect and incredible honesty….. and she listened. She listened and shared about how conflicted she was about the way she had been experiencing the world. Her five brilliant LGBTQ guests collectively and uninhibitedly, bared their wounded souls, even as they expressed the hurt Ms. Reid’s words caused them. That particular show deserves a replay.

So here is why I used to like Ms Reid -because, now I absolutely love and respect her. Like has gone to a new level. It’s love, love, love.

That show of April 28, could not have been easy for anybody. Thank you, to all the people who made that possible.

© BlueGadfly.com

Star Buck$, an Expression, a Piñata and Police

Today it’s Starbucks’ turn for caustic opprobrium. It’s their turn to be piñata of the day, because there were more decent customers than others, in the coffeehouse, and a woman was adroit enough to use the most feared weapon in America -a cellphone.

I’m not worried about the two Black men victimized. They are smart and doing well enough to take legal action to redress the wrong. Nor is there any sympathy needed for the Black police chief, who made himself so powerless that I don’t want to imagine the compromised, sectional existence that must be his. So all is well until tomorrow, when the world sees another America within a minute of the electronic upload. Worst if streaming. To come are the rest of the stories and American children are all watching and learning.

If this reads as uncaring, that’s not my intention. This is more about how I cope with institutionalized racism that pervades all life in America, and don’t ever think that the perpetrators and enablers are always White. I know that because of many experiences.

Starbucks would have us believe that firing a member of its staff and sensitivity training are good enough….to get by. Well, Mr. Starbucks, visit any of your stores and let us know if you see what your brand projects. Look the thing that you hatched, in the eyes. It’s not pretty and it’s menacing.

Your corporate culture is who you are. Your staff don’t need sensitivity training, they need leadership and good examples worthy of emulation. Just as nothing happens until something moves, people do what they believe is expected of them. They want to please you and maybe get recognition.

They are probably stunned by the swiftness of what corporate America and many governmental agencies rely on. Go to the most junior employee, publicly fire them and some people are satisfied. The latest script is, “that is not who we are.” I differ.

So my personal philosophy in coping with victimization is this: first, who needs whom; second, is the commodity essential to my comfort, and third, is it be available elsewhere? What cannot be changed from within can be changed from without. Starbucks needs me. I don’t need Starbucks. Problem solved.

Lastly, the employee fired and those remaining have learned something and that something would likely be taken to the next jobs. How, Mr. Starbucks, have you helped?

Starbucks

Our Worst Enemies Are Here At Home

After twenty years in child protective services. I thought I’d seen it all. Every kind of cruelty perpetrated on young boys and girls, I have investigated.

This post is deliberately short, only because I feel compelled to add my voice in protest concerning Alabama Republican Candidate Roy Moore. I do understand that the allegations of child sexual abuse made boldly against him are just that. Allegations! Until they are investigated.

Had a report such as that arrived at my desk, I would have been out there turning every wet stone to see if it’s just filth under there or snakes. Might even be scorpions. But I would not have rested until I had determined the veracity of the complaint AND whether Roy Moore posed a threat to any child in his care, and that would have included his own grandchildren. Is he a threat to them? Yes, I would have done all that I could. TODAY!

Had Roy Moore been an ordinary citizen, he probably would have been arrested. Had I delayed in my responsibilities, the very people in government would have been having a fit, and their convulsions would not have ceased until they took possession of my head and one from each tier above me. Rightly so.

I thought we had reached rock bottom with the election and support of Trump. Well, GOP, please tell me and my fellow citizens, how much deeper America has to fall? When did child sexual abuse become a partisan issue? Then, to rub salt in the wound, his officials who don’t have the balls or competence to do otherwise, would dare demand that the victim take a polygraph test, and yet another attempting an unbelievable parallel with a birth from two thousand years ago. I know that you, Republican officials don’t care, but do you have to be stupid too?!

The Problem With Truth, Is That It Is Unwanted

Everyone has his version of the truth but seldom share it. Whether it’s the taste, the smell or whatever, the ugly thing can help you lose friends and create bitter enemies. I wonder if it’s because once acknowledged, the truth will not leave until you do or stop doing, a particular wrong. Our criminal justice system is an apt example.

Let’s take the current situation in Missouri. Not that it’s unique. Far cry. But because it is active, makes that a good example, willing to say a textbook case of what leadership is not. Step back with me a bit.

Jay Nixon was a two-term Democratic governor when Ferguson managed to make world news. That was due to the police killing of Michael Brown and the conduct of the entire criminal justice system in Missouri. As Gov Nixon and Ferguson Mayor Knowles went into hiding for four days, the police were left to “pacify” peaceful protesters. No one could have imagined police management to be that inept, or any criminal justice system is so inbred and corrupted.

The current governor Eric Greitens is a Republican. He never went into hiding, but nothing says “I don’t know what to do”, like readying the National Guard to control a relatively small number of cooperating protesters. So far, more than 150 persons have been arrested for petty misdemeanors, especially not moving when told by the police.

Both dealt with protesters as the problem. Neither appeared capable of confronting and addressing the root of the problem. But quite willing to talk tough and use force.

No civic-minded person supports lawlessness. So let’s agree conditionally: lock them up if their behaviors are imminent threats to public safety. Not because the police told them to move. Do we have a Constitution or not? If the answer is doubtful (as it’s becoming) repeat next year and the years afterward. Finally, both the state and protesters would be locked in an increasingly dysfunctional, dangerous way of life. The state CANNOT win. That would be despite being a police state, as America already is.

Right now, both Blacks and Whites, males and females are being threatened and arrested. How long do the state and local governments think that they can keep this up? I’ll hazard a guess. When you stop seeing truth as the enemy.

My Dear U. S Government, Please Stop Trying to Save Me From Myself

By Leyland A. King

September 30, 2017

After centuries of arduous work to give me freedom by saving me, I beg of you, please stop. Stop! The fact is, that when there is any rescuing done at all, the beneficiary is only you. For centuries! Heavenly inspired you were, to rescue my body from the heathens in Africa, but then changed the rules for my getting to heaven because you said, God wasn’t yet convinced and comfortable, with the question of whether (1) I had a soul, and (2) whether it was worth saving.

Of course, external threats and domestic terror are exempt. That is your cardinal role, and even that needs rethinking, but it’s not my focus here. What are my focus and consternation are the sweat and treasure needlessly expended; all devoted to saving me from myself. I never made an appeal and I am so aware that even if I did, the remedy you concoct is too often detrimental to me and those similarly entangled in the widening, strengthening, all-consuming tentacled web flung upon me. Me! A person whose greatest vice is a weekend gelato and a pecan sticky bun.

You, having made vices crimes, then turn around and tax the very crimes.  I am flabbergasted that you could not have distinguished (1) the difference and (2) the consequence of the crimes you created. Oh, you’re regulating the vices to prevent their proliferation. Sorry. My friend, the neighborhood half-wit, alleged that you, the government, is a pimp. He said that a pimp is defined by what he does to enable and protect, paid sexual intercourse between consenting adults. You tax the product and intellectual property rights of sex workers and producers. Therefore, argues the half-wit, you are the worst kind of pimp and the best at managing it. When business is slow, you send goons to employ various means of entrapping and prosecuting the poor ones. The arrested pay for the meals the judge eats. That’s called fines. The legal name you created for it is “living off the earnings of prostitution.” That the government the kingpin pimp.

My friend, the neighborhood half-wit, alleged that you, the government, are a pimp. He said that a pimp is defined by what he does to enable and protect, paid sexual intercourse between consenting adults. You tax the product and intellectual property rights of sex workers and producers. Therefore, argues the half-wit, you are the worst kind of pimp and the best at managing it. When business is slow, you send goons to employ various means of entrapping and prosecuting the poor ones. The arrested pay for the meals the judge eats. That’s called fines. The legal name you created for it is “living off the earnings of prostitution.” That means the government the kingpin pimp.

Since our institutions follow your lead and adopt your worldview, one cannot be surprised that the sale of two cigarettes might be more important than human life; in your zeal to save me from myself, I pay the price through my insecurity and unceasing surveillance. Thus, I don’t have to actually engage marijuana crime, it is sufficient to lose my personal freedom or life because a cop claimed to have smelled marijuana as he passed my car. Demanding that my constitutional rights and God-given right to own and control my body are respected could bring upon me a swarm of law enforcers to kill me. I’m not exaggerating, this is what you have done to save me from potential vice. Me!

Look, gambling is a vice. You made it a crime. A few retirees and six slot machines in a storefront, bring hell’s coals delivered upon their grey heads, by men in blue carrying sticks, chemicals, and guns.

Secretive sex; having a beer all by myself on my own driveway, could get me manhandled and arrested if a paper bag didn’t cover the bottle. WTF! Masked, armed men could, without warning or warrant, break down my door and enter my home night or day and take me out or take me away, and take my money, because, I suppose, they think I am some sort of a combatant in the war on drugs. Their supposition based on your decision that I am a danger to myself and a corrupter of society. Me? All by myself.

The interesting thing is, despite my plea not to be saved from myself, you’re determined to do it anyway because you are obsessed with what you call law and order -what I hear as control and contain. We ask for jobs, you offer us 10,000 more cops. Four-fifths of them White males. Not to be outdone your Attorney General, who has panic attacks at the mere mention of the word marijuana, called for increased prison time; more private prison space; he decided, based only on his addled notion, that the police need to be unfettered from such inconsequential matters as arbitrary arrests, excessive detention, brutality, and murder. After all, they are there protecting me from social degeneration, that started the day the government decided that something ought to be done about enhancing the flow drugs into my body.

So, as state governments grapple with pressing matters like drug testing the poor, to catch one in a thousand; increasing the rate of executions lest the chemicals expire; to shoot death row criminals because it’s cheaper, unhindered by pesky constitutionality, trips back and forth to the Supreme Court or the innocence of the citizen who invariably, just happens to be poor.

So, my dear rulers, I’m not asking for much, just to be left alone to self-regulate me. Something that only you believe corporations are capable of. Why not me?

 

When Public Officials Misplace Loyalty, Institutions Collapse

Today, like many Americans, I took the time to witness the Senate Intelligence Committee at work. They did their inquiry as best they could, under the circumstances.

By under the circumstances, I mean their determined efforts to get to the truth of various, potentially criminal matters affecting the Trump Administration, only to be stymied by the four public officers who answer to the American people. It was shameful and appalling. I hope that this nation is still able to function as under previous Administrations. They, the four witnesses appeared to me that they would be prepared to suffer anything to protect what they believe to be their personal property. The Senators be damned…and the citizens too. But of the four lame witnesses, I have to give special attention to Adm. Mike Rodgers, a rude and surly person by demeanor and arrogant with regard to personality. For a member of our armed services, he was the bad kid next door, that our parents warned us never to adapt his behavior. For junior members of the services, Admiral Rodgers is surely no officer and a gentleman.

We can look at what’s happening and fight over which party to blame and make comparisons to excuse wrongdoing for only so long. I believe that if our leaders don’t come to their senses, the fight may not be between Republicans and Democrats, there just might be the third faction.