Blog 1777 – 08.05.2020
Raggedy Ann Learns A Lesson
Raggedy Ann Learns A Lesson
These hundred year old stories are still true for today. There are so many lessons that we can and should learn from the past. Technology and the internet are impressive tools, but it is the same ole tried and true stories that teach.
If we listen hard and long enough the truth will always present itself. Lawyers representing questionable clients often counsel them to conceal rather than reveal, to hide the truth rather than reveal it during questioning and to answer all questions on the stand as briefly as possibles preferably with a simple yes or no answer. For this reason, I think, many politicians prefer bumper stickers, and campaign rallies to speeches and interviews. People telling the unvarnished truth are not afraid of using lots of words, of going long, of “misspeaking” or of admitting mistakes in word or deed.
The oldest con is to use the old bait and switch bluster tactic to bluff your way through an interview especially when you cannot prearrange the audience with a friendly interviewer who only tosses you soft pitches easy to hit out of the park. Not much for sports metaphors? Me either, but the old not answering the questions, but continually turning the topic back to your tired talking points never sways minds only reinforces preconceived notions.
I am always hopeful that open answers with the facts will convince minds to change. Far from the perfect document that many believe the U.S. Constitution to be, I think, it was and is yet a very flawed document, but a clear look at how it came into being will reveal it was the best that two deeply differing mindsets could agree upon. Slavery which was the extreme of one group thinking they were better, more entitled, that others was the elephant in the room then, and sadly it still is today. We are loathe to admit that the term “American exceptionalism” is but code for the same sad elitism that the Revolutionary War of independence from Britain was fought to dispel from these shores. A system of kings and queens, lords and ladies having the best and all others so much less was the reason most left the old world for the New World. The writers of the Constitution knew when they wrote them that the lines “All men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” were not true but at least some of them, I think, hoped that they would be one day if the American experiment in democracy succeeded. It has not fully, far from it, and some would have us stay on a path where it never does and where the few are always lording it over the masses, their presumed lessers.
I saw a few days ago a program in which a black lady was reading from a history text book that she was taught from in public school in the nineteen fifties that was actually still in use up until the nineteen seventies. It spoke of picnics and barbecues that southern slave owners had for their slaves and how some slaves were good workers, but a few were lazy and unproductive. Imagine that, some slaves were not happy being slaves.
A twenty year reconstruction period of history in the southern states after the Civil War where blacks owned property, ran successful business, and held public office in the South is still not covered in history classes nor that the vote that was given to emancipated slaves was taken back for all intents and purposes at the end of Reconstruction in the southern states and only returned in the mid-nineteen sixties when signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson.
The current Presidential office holder who styles himself as a successful billionaire businessman was sued in the nineteen seventies for refusing to rent to people of color his New York City properties. He says he won that suit, but the truth is an undisclosed monetary settlement was reached. He lost the case – not always the winner he touts himself to be. There are now almost one hundred and sixty thousand Americans who if they could would testify that his campaign promise of “winning so much we get tired of winning” has not come true in these last almost four years. Did he cause the pandemic? No, but have his denials, and his rejection of dire warnings, his inaction, and his misinformation exacerbate it? Sadly and definitely, Yes. He claimed differently in an HBO Axios interview broadcasted Sunday evening. He also said in that same interview that he had done more for blacks than any other American President, doubling down on that claim even after the interviewer responded “Even more than Lyndon Johnson with the Civil (and Voting) Rights Bills.” Yes, clearly he is not only a narcissist but delusional.
Doing what we have always done and expecting a different result is one definition of insanity. But continuing to deny that is what we are doing is ignorance bordering on the stupid.
I am not mincing words here or just try to be a smart-ass. Words have meanings and facts are facts even if some would call them “fake news.” Who is the true faker, oxymoron? Each of us must decide like Raggedy Ann, when, where, and from whom we learn our lessons.
Your friend and fellow traveler,