Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Confederacy Monument in Old Court House Should Be Moved Without Any Deal

By: Florida Memory
(7/18/2017) --- No doubt we are living in a time of political changes, no doubt that the xenophobic's and racists gained a voice within the current administration but within times of turmoil there are always activists who can create a change for better.

Restorative Justice Collation (1)  is one of the groups in Tampa Bay who are engaging into dialogue to create a just system that impacts in a positive restorative matter, besides that them The Florida Council of Churches gathered with protesters in an effort to also to remove the statue.

To pieces of information gathered by the local outlets tend to be divisive about the possible removal of the statue. As it was reported by Channel News 8 (2) the decision of the re-location will be held by 7/19/2017 but one of the Victor Crist one of the commissioners is out of town and it could leave the vote on a deadlock.

This is not about re-writing history, but being affirmative that the Dixie is not anymore on the Confederacy Period (3), we are in the 21st Century and we had advanced towards social progress even if there are moments in which it seems we are living in a Police State. As the Sons of Confederate Veterans mentioned that "is part of their culture and it deserve to be recognized". It is quite surreal that some people believe, that a culture that was tied to racism and slavery needs to be applauded? The answer is no, it can taken in museums where it belongs, but not in public spaces where the people who want to do their best for their communities should be treated equally (4).

Let's not forget that election period is close and voters who are motivated can create a difference towards the positions that are going to be disputed by any of the competition; Victor Crist showed some extreme indifference by not being active on the upcoming meeting to decide the relocation of the monument as he will be in California for a personal vacation.

Ken Hagan, Sandy Murman and Stacy White haven't had any changes on their stances but Commissioner Lee Miller, Pat Kemp and Al Higginbotham voted in favor to relocate the statue. One of the opposing to the relocation needs to decide on a positive manner because not only his or her reputation can be tainted but also their political career as a public officers.

If the commissioners decide to change the location of the statue Tampa will join other cities such as New Orleans and Orlando which had removed monuments to an era of the American history that belongs in the books but not in the public eye.

At the moment there is no information towards where the monument will end up.



References:

  1. Restorative Juice Collation - https://www.facebook.com/restorativejusticecoalition/
  2. Davis, Corey - County Leaders to Decide Future of Tampa Confederate Monument - http://wfla.com/2017/07/18/county-leaders-to-decide-future-of-tampa-confederate-monument/
  3. Wikipedia - http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences-and-law/law/law/confederation-congress-1781-1789
  4. Michael, Melanie - Florida Council of Churches Protests Tampa Confederacy Monument - http://wfla.com/2017/07/17/florida-council-of-churches-protests-tampa-confederate-monument/

Saturday, July 15, 2017

But His Emails

 Photo By: Gage Skidmore 
(7/15/2017) ---What a hypocrisy, it wasn't her emails but his child emails. How is it even possible that people still think there is some transparency in the 45th presidency, after 7 months (minimum) filled with scandals and corruption. Maybe some people just ignore the facts that are presented from the different sources and try to adjust their own vision to an authoritarian cosmology.

The big problem, well many.... that Donald Trump Jr. has at this moment in which he reunited with Rinat Akhmetshin - a former counter intelligence officer and now lobbyist, that he met with Jr. on June 9, 2016 to find damaging intel for the Clintons, that was gathered as part of the Kremlin effort to assist Trump's presidential bid.

This is almost as an episode of Game of Thrones, but Jr. is not a Stark, Lannister or Targaryen; nor even he can be compared to Hodor. Donald Trump Jr, probably is just a mere mule in which he will become a sacrifice. In the worse PR move that has happened in the last 10 days, Jr. decided to release the emails probably to show transparency and his father defended him as a "transparent man"

Only in an authoritarian enviroment, someone could be praised even if that person is a criminal; but, there is a twist besides reuniting with Rinat to gather intel, there were more Russians operatives including his layer Natalia Veselnitskaya ; on the meeting Veselnitskaya brought a portfolio with unproven documents about the supposedly illegal funds that poured into the Democratic National Committee, as Akhmestshin told the Associated Press.

The idea of being benevolent as if they were trying to expose themselves as heroes, as they tried to present it is just wrong, there is no need for external forces to help the current President, is treason and planting evidence that Americans will try to find more information is collusion of power and interests.

Earlier this week was when Trump Jr. released the emails, as he wanted to be as transparent as possible; but he never mentioned the people he was surrounded with. The public image disaster is unique to analyze it because there hasn't been something as this since the Watergate Scandal; the approach the Trump family has taken has been almost problematic because they tried to concentrate their public perception as if they are "perfect" but mixed with a kakistocracy on the communication approach.

The U.S. Intelligence has mentioned that the Russian government influenced on the 2016 elections, by releasing emails that were hacked from the DNC.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Grim Reality for the Florida Democrats in 2018


7/12/2017 --- The reality in Florida to the Democratic Party is that it looks grim at this moment, there are questions towards funds and strong candidates.

Right after the last year election, many individuals affiliated with the Democratic Party started to gather more often in the Pinellas County Democratic Meetings as well on several other branches such as the one in Orange County, they switched venues to accommodate more individuals.

Within Hillsborough County, activist have launches New Tampa (1) and Temple Terrace clubs, but still even if there has some form of re-emergence, the panorama for the 2018 mid-terms elections looks grim as the party unity within the State doesn't seem to have any cohesion towards their message and socio-economical interest that could secure them the control on the upper chambers of power.

We have to understand that the last democratic governor in Florida was 19 years ago who was Kenneth Hood Mackay who replaced Lawton Chiles when he died in 1998 (2) while serving his second term; after that we had Jeb Bush and ending with Rick Scott; for the last 19 years every single one of them has been Republican and Florida essentially shifted from a blue State to a red one.

The main principle on the recovery plan lays on the economical growth which has been stale, and mixed with the inequality between the property and rental costs, with the rise of the child care and competitive wages there is a stagnation on the cost of living, in which Floridians are struck hard; essentially on a emotional perception there is no "hope for growing up economically"

The problem in the stagnation is that the job creation is aimed to specialized jobs but not the ones related to tradesman which essentially that is the main composition of the middle  and the disparity between the wealth of the Floridians (3). Economic stability can play a big role in the perceptions of the voters, but if the candidates know how to exploit those perceptions they can win a power position beyond any lobby influence.

There is still an expectation of a Democratic turnout, but the key goes on registering voters, recruiting, organizing and building vote-mail system in which it will assist any future voter with mobility issues to exercise their democratic power. The grim reality that democrats are facing in Florida is that not only have to persuade the voters that haven't been able to attract in 19 years, there aren't a charismatic set of people who can lead.

At least optimist remains. 



References:

  1. https://www.facebook.com/newtampadems/
  2. https://www.nga.org/cms/home/governors/past-governors-bios/page_florida.html
  3. http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/election/article107857042.html

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Bowser and Trump

(
By: RC White
7/06/2017) ---
It is such a strange but beautiful coincidence how much these two look alike besides the obvious orange glow that covers them, except one of them is not being chased by an angry pair of Italian-Americans who can manipulate fire magic. The common denominator between these two characters is that both are real estate moguls, besides some psychopathic tendencies against certain minorities.

If we see it from a full spectrum, both characters come from a wealthy background in which it seems they inherit a mass of fortune in different capitals such as bonds and estate; Bowser itself seems to be the owner of several properties around the Mushroom Kingdom while Donald owns several properties around the United States as well the Arab Emirates; both seem to conceive the idea that they are their own brand and people seem to know them by their larger than life personas.

Bowser focus of power doesn't lie mostly on his paranormal abilities only, his power it is on the acquisition of properties and the ability to renewal them but to give a constant workforce to the different inhabitant of the Mushroom Kingdom, within certain restrictions that the job probably wouldn't be safe due the constant war state Bowser gives to the Princess Peach and her court.

Donald Trump is not different either, after becoming the 45th President he has sought to consolidate his brand towards the use of diplomacy in order to expand his own empire, but without avoiding the idea of conflict of interest as he and his consolidate try to make business within countries that have reputation of human right violations such as Saudi Arabia; but him as a television media personality can attract anyone to invest on his ideas and projects.

Much like Bowser, Trump also lives in a constant state of war and paranoia and use social media in order to intimidate such as the media and his detractors; also, Bowser and Trump seem to be obsessed with strong women who are in high position of power, who are educated, are in politics and also are blonde. Yet, they seem to never overpower their intended victims, not because they need a man, but because on a long term their own morbid plans fail under their own weight.

Still, the similarities can be even more creepy to the point that they share work related violations to the safety and well-being of their employees; Trump not paying wages and Bowser killing them and enslaving his minions or better say "employees" (1) which in real life that would bring too many fines and violations citations from OSHA.

Another aspect is that Trump and Bowser seem to have a very extended family, in which involves many children, which much of them are there to serve daddy in his evil schemes. It is quite bizarre that Ivanka even parallels Wendy O. Koopa (2) in which she seems devoted to follow his father/ king orders without hesitation and even excusing his behavior by saving him using diverse methods such as denying sexual assault or carrying him over a balloon. 

References:

  1. https://www.mariowiki.com/Dry_Bones
  2. https://www.mariowiki.com/Wendy_O._Koopa
  3. http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/282933-report-trump-has-refused-to-pay-hundreds-of-workers
  4. http://www.movoto.com/blog/infographic/real-life-bowsers-castle-jump-on-this-deal-before-mario-does/
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump
  6. https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/06/donald-trump-conflicts-of-interests/508382/
  7. https://www.mariowiki.com/Bowser

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Symbols that Refuse to Fade

Photo of Saint Petersburg Blog
(7/3/2017) --- It is quite shameful that the Hillsborough, Florida County Commission voted 4-3 to preserve a Confederate statue in the grounds of the old courthouse - a monument that is a symbol that not all men all treated equal and from a period of history that individuals of different European heritage owned slaves.

The different arguments about how different constituents spoke about how civil rights and how how some of their ancestors were enslaved, didn't faced any of the board that is composed by Victor Crist (1), Ken Hagan (2), Sandy Murman (3) and Stacey White (4), all of them which are at the end of their terms and for re-election by next year, which also new comers such as Angel D'Angelo (5) a new comer who is running also for the County Commission and if you would like to see his points and donate to his campaign you may open the hyperlink.

The statue was dedicated in 1911 to honor the Confederate soldiers and sailor, which on a long term with the rise of civil rights and equality the idea of honoring the Confederation in 2017 is extremely outdated as well it just perpetuates the symbols of hate that are still present; some pro-confederate individuals will argue that Is About Heritage, Not About Hate (6) but the heritage from the confederacy is linked to the hatred of African Americans, Aboriginals, Chicano's just to name a few and seeing a pro-confederacy statue in front of a court house ensures  that not all men are created equal.

If you want more information about the inequality in Florida for African Americans (7) you may click on this link that will redirect you to an editorial from the Tampa Bay Times, where it speaks about the harsher sentences that can be inflicted on someone just by their color of skin or ethnic origin.

Not moving the statue is quite an insult to the diversity that is happening around in Tampa, it could be a good idea to even start an educational campaign that generations will keep knowing that honoring racism is bad, even if it sounds silly; but we have to remember that this pseudo-progressive county area has a Confederate flag on one of the busiest highway that also connects to different tourists destinations around Central Florida and brings people from all nationalities and backgrounds to Tampa Bay.

It is difficult to understand this commission, the same ones that even acknowledge LGBT Pride Month refuse to acknowledge and issue about race disparity, same with Mayor Bob Buckhorn  

References: 

  1. http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/en/government/board-of-county-commissioners/victor-d-crist
  2. http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/en/government/board-of-county-commissioners/ken-hagan
  3. http://www.sandymurman.com/
  4. http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/en/government/board-of-county-commissioners/stacy-white
  5. https://www.crowdpac.com/campaigns/51570/coloradans-v-koch-brothers-the-fight-for-universal-healthcare-in-co/benny_benassi_video_download_from_filesonic/index.php/candidates/5951927d91ae78728756dbba/angel-dangelo
  6. http://www.thedailybeast.com/heritage-not-hate-sorry-white-south-they-go-together
  7. http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-unequal-justice-in-florida/2306556

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Jeff Sessions Reviewing Transgender Murders

Attorney General Jeff Sessions
(7/3/2017) --- As the year pass the Trump administration stance on LGBT rights keeps showing as dubious towards any honest interest that could improve the life of the individuals of the community as well their families and allies; but the latest piece of information came on June, 30th of 2017 in which the Attorney General Jeff Sessions (1) in which he agreed to review the rise on the murders within the transgender community.

Attorney General directed federal authorities to review the rise on the murders of transgender individuals in the last three years (2); Sessions mentioned in a national conference on hate crimes, that the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division and the FBI are weighing a federal intervention in different investigations related to the killings. The statistics go from 16 in 2016 to 28 in 2017.

"I specifically directed that the files of these cases be reviewed to ensure that there is no single person or group behind these murders or to what extent hate crime motivation lies behind such murder" said the Attorney General. While he is the first member of the Trump administration that says "hate crimes" towards the transgender community and also the least expected to be involved openly towards a case of the LGBT community (3)

A problem on Sessions statement is that it lies on a vague double negation, as single individuals and groups has been behind the different cases, they are hate crimes that in their vast majority haven't been classified as such as they are on the interpretation of a weak judiciary system that can be manipulated on the jury biases towards genre, identity and biology. Still he is the first one to openly use such a complex phrase in an administration that has marginalized the LGBT on the election period.

Not even on the election period; Neil Gorsuch, the replacement of Anthony Scalia on the Supreme Court can turn into the Trump's administration biggest asset at the moment of defending the administration agenda towards their position on civil rights, which is as thin as a veil. As with Gorsuch as the new Justice, he will become an opposition force for LGBT protections (4)

Albeit, on his remarks from last Thursday, Sessions requested that federal officials, "identify ways the department can support the state and local law enforcement and to determine if federal action would be appropriate"; but quoting David Stacy, government affairs director of the Human Rights Campaign "Now that Jeff Sessions is finally recognizing the national epidemic of violent hate crimes against transgender people, it is critical that the Department of Justice enhance it's efforts to investigate, prosecute and deter these horrible crimes"

References:


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Sessions
  2. https://www.glaad.org/blog/glaad-calls-increased-and-accurate-media-coverage-transgender-murders
  3. http://www.newnownext.com/jeff-sessions-transgender/06/2017/
  4. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/06/gorsuch-hints-that-hes-deeply-critical-of-lgbt-rights/
  5. http://www.ontheissues.org/Domestic/Jeff_Sessions_Civil_Rights.htm

The Murder of Venus Xtravaganza

Venus on one of her last interviews
It's been 29 years, as of July the 2nd of 2017 since Venus Xtravaganza (1) was assassinated and a little bit over 33 years since Jennie Livingston socioeconomic documentary Paris is Burning (2) interviews happened.

It was 26 years ago that for the first time on contemporary media, the phrase "transgender murder" happened within the mouth of the late drag mother Angie Xtravaganza (3), the importance of Venus and Angie comes that on that moment on  August 16th of 1991 where a documentary on the AIDS pandemic bring the life of young LGBT individuals who were shunned by their families and thousands of them dying and being unreported because of their families didn't wanted them.

More importantly, Paris is Burning shows the different aspects of transgender youth who after being rejected by their families, and being left to their own lucks (4) and ultimately finding ways to survive such as resorting into prostitution (5) in which is one of the ways that many meet their untimely death, because there aren't protections on a federal level for transgender women and transgender men that will guarantee a dignified life in which there shouldn't be fear to live on your authentic self.

29 years later after the murder of Venus, there is not enough protections and treatments to give the opportunity to someone to transition and be happy, but also that work related they could have an enviroment in which they shouldn't fear of getting fired for any reason, which could involve harassment or termination without notice

Venus and Willie Ninja
As many transgender women who were murdered, her killer was never apprehended; other killers go with the gay/ trans panic defense (6) which is still used by the perpetrators to avoid jail time and is insane that courts still rule in favor of that. We have reach a point where we should change the word equality to equity in order to represent that we are all equal, because we still as a society give preference.

We can take a look at what happened to Texas (7) in which the Texas Supreme Court reversed the spousal benefits for same sex couples, there is no equality when people in power are playing with the dignity and basic rights of human beings. The importance of Venus goes as she is an icon beyond the NYC ball scene, she is one of the many who represent that 30 years later, there is still inequality.

If someone who reads this entry, has a clue such as the hotel or motel she was murdered, or where to find the police records, please comment below. Thank you.

References:


  1. http://www.dazeddigital.com/fashion/article/17921/1/the-legacy-of-venus-xtravaganza
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Is_Burning_(film)
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angie_Xtravaganza
  4. http://www.newsweek.com/transgender-murders-protect-trans-women-568558
  5. http://www.refinery29.com/2017/04/151401/transgender-women-murder-rate-us-2017
  6. https://web.archive.org/web/20080205180344/http://www.courttv.com/archive/trials/mckinney/gay_panic_ruling_ctv.html
  7. https://www.dallasnews.com/news/lgbt/2017/06/30/texas-supreme-court-rules-gay-couples-notguaranteedspousal-benefits