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“ALTERNATIVE FACTS:”

 

“Stay Woke!”

 

 

 

“Doublethink …To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them,

 

to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it

 

becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long

 

as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while

 

to take account of the reality which one denies…”  George Orwell, 1984

 

 

 

                Kellyanne Conway provided fodder for a plethora of jokes when she used the term “alternative facts” to explain Sean Spicer’s claim that POTUS 45’s inauguration was the largest ever.  POTUS 45 also has a propensity for stating “alternative facts,” so much so that one is left to wonder if he dwells in an “alternative universe.” 

 

POTUS 45’s use of “alternative facts” is so disingenuous, duplicitous, and disconcerting that it calls to mind the “alternative universe” Aldous Huxley described in Brave New World.  Therein, he wrote, “A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.”  

 

We might well be in the process of witnessing an effort to build a “brave new world” given [1] the billionaires POTUS 45 has empowered; [2] the lack of competence exuded by those who will serve as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Secretary of Education, and other high level appointees; and [3] the removing of the Director of the CIA as a regular member of the National Security Council while adding a far-right activist as a key advisor. 

 

Although some humor can be found in POTUS 45’s use of “alternative facts,” some people became so profoundly concerned that they re-read George Orwell’s 1984.   In that book, there is a scene in which a citizen is shown 2 fingers and “interrogated” as follows:

 

'How many fingers, Winston?'
'Four! Four! What else can I say? Four!'
After more torture, the interrogation continued with the following “results:”

 

'How many fingers, Winston?'
'Five! Five! Five!'
'No, Winston, that is no use. You are lying. You still think there are four. How many fingers, please?'
'Four! five! Four! Anything you like. Only stop it, stop the pain!'

 

Eventually, Winston is able to see that 2+2=5, 8, 100 or anything else the party leadership would have him see.  He became even more amenable once the excruciating pain was eased. 

 

Leading up to America’s 2016 election, millions of poor, working-poor, and middle class Americans had felt years of pain related to being unable to do things such as purchase a home; send their children to college; purchase affordable housing; or, in general, exist beyond “paycheck-to-paycheck.”  Their socio-economic pain contributed to them seeing a “Nirvana-like” reprieve, if only they elected the one who would “make America great again.”

 

Others undergoing pain saw it in their best interest to get rid of “Obamacare,” even though they were in the greatest need for “Obamacare.”  With their perceptions clouded, some reveled in the thought of limiting immigration for Mexicans and Muslims.  Many more bamboozled folks were unable to see the sheer hypocrisy associated with a billionaire corporate head sending his jobs to other countries and, at the same time, promising to end the practice by others.

 

Once the would-be totalitarian regime was installed, the brainwashed saw the threat to withhold funds from “safe zone cities” as a matter of making America safe, not a blatant violation of the 10th Amendment which prohibits the federal government from forcing cities and states to perform duties for which the federal government has sole responsibility --something that has previously been upheld by the Supreme Court.    

 

Fortunately, the current “political bosses” have yet to inflict servitude on the majority of American citizens.  On the contrary, women throughout the nation as well as around the world have been galvanized in opposition to the hegemony they would impose.  

 

In response to the nefarious immigration executive order, thousands of people demonstrated at airports.  A Seattle U.S. District Judge issued a restraining order blocking enforcement of the executive order.  True to form, POUTS 45 tweeted from a perch in his “alternative universe,” “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned.”  In the real world, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals supported the restraining order. 

 

Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, indicated that POTUS 45’s attack on a federal court judge was “demoralizing” and “disheartening.”  Although Gorsuch’s statements were corroborated by several people, POTUS 45 tweeted that reports on the matter were “lies.”

 

Ironically, given his racial biases, some of POTUS 45’s statements are ones for which the traditional Black Church should say “Amen!”  Specifically, he stated, “Freedom of religion is a sacred right, but it is also a right under threat all around us.  That is why I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution.”  Before rushing to judgment regarding the “separation of church and state,” Black Americans should consider a few alternative but, in this case, true facts.

 

“Black liberation theology” has been the hallmark of churches whose preachers and parishioners didn’t just speak out but also led slave revolts, civil rights movements, and were at the forefront of other revolutionary initiatives focused on helping the poor, the down trodden and, in general, the oppressed.  Holding fast to their traditional African cultural roots, there never was a separation between the sacred and the secular.  Indeed, the traditional Black Church has been so significant throughout all of Black life that it remains true, “without the traditional Black Church, Black America would not have had a prayer.” 

 

Black Christians should never forget that their “Prince of Peace,” their “Wonderful Counselor,” their “Lord of Lords” with the wooly hair was a revolutionary who focused his ministry on aiding the oppressed.  He drove the “money changers” and “merchants” from the Temples.  He “spoke so much truth to power” that he was sentenced to die by crucifixion, an extreme form of torture for those who spoke against “the powers that be” and, in general, insurrectionists! 

 

Given the nature of “Black liberation theology,” POTUS 45’s interest in facilitating churches’ freedom of speech might be a blessing similar to what occurred when Brer Fox threw Brer Rabbit into the “briar patch.”  Consider, for example, the fact that, in Baltimore, there was a record-setting 32 homicides in January 2017, there were 51 in Chicago, and disproportionate numbers of the victims were Black!  Blacks constituted 7 of the 9 January 2017 homicides in Pittsburgh.  The ethos and existential circumstances that enabled this horror are counter to the traditional Black Church’s deep-seated values associated with the integrity of every life.  For “prayer warriors,” there has never been a time when Black lives did not matter.  Therefore, the killings might be significantly reduced if more “prodigal sons and daughters” “found their way back home.”

 

Would it not be a blessing if POTUS 45 helped throw Blacks back into their “briar patch” where [1] the church-family eliminates the need for a gang family; [2] there is not a lot of “form and fashion” but one can “come as you are;” [3] one operating assumption is “suffer little children to come unto me” and, therefore, no child is left behind; [4] after-school programs are provided for children and job training for the unemployed; [5] one develops a set of values and beliefs that furnish a wholesome guide for living; and [6] one is trained to do as God commanded those entering the promised land, i.e., to go into the land and take the land that was promised them –in today’s terms, “go into 2018 and take back the control of city, state, and national governing bodies?”    

 

During Black History Month, it would be a blessing if POTUS 45 contributed to Blacks reclaiming the “old-time” religion that guided voices of democracy such as Frederick Douglass, Fannie Lou Hamer, Martin Luther King Jr., Sojourner Truth, Nat Turner, and Ida B. Wells.  It was that “old-time” religion that fortified those who marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on “Bloody Sunday.”  It was that “old-time” religion that soothed the feet and souls of those who “sat-in” at lunch counters, boycotted buses, and led voter registration drives in the South.  The same “old-time” religion guided those who led the March on Washington.   As bizarre, bombastic, and belligerent as he might be, this same “old-time” religion will no doubt be good for those who must prevent the “alternative reality” POTUS 45 is trying to create.   

 

 

 

“Now give me that old time religion
Give me that old time religion
Give me that old time religion
…It was good for our mothers,...

 

It was good for our fathers,...”

 


Jack L. Daniel

 

Co-Founder, Freed Panther Society

 

Pittsburgh Urban Media Contributor

 

February 13, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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