Posts Tagged ‘racism’

A Partial History Of Public Racism

March 30th, 2017

Let’s tell a story in three parts. The first part takes place in 1983, on a September game of Monday Night Football. Howard Cosell, an broadcasting institution even then, commented on a breakaway play by Redskins wideout Alvin Garrett. Cosell referred to Garrett as a “little monkey”. The exact quote was “That little monkey gets loose, doesn’t he?”

It was a controversial comment and even though Cosell defended himself and what he said as not being racist, he quit Monday Night Football after the 1983 season.


A few years later, CBS Sports football analyst Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder was fired from his job at The NFL Today after talking to a reporter about how blacks were superior athletes to whites and why. I’ll go ahead and post what he said. . .


The black is a better athlete to begin with because he’s been bred to be that way, because of his high thighs and big thighs that goes up into his back, and they can jump higher and run faster because of their bigger thighs and he’s bred to be the better athlete because this goes back all the way to the Civil War when during the slave trade … the slave owner would breed his big black to his big woman so that he could have a big black kid…


Ooof. CBS fired him almost immediately after that interview was broadcast.


If you want to be charitable, you could say that neither Cosell or Snyder were racist. You could say that Cosell was enthusiastic about Garrett’s playmaking abilities, point to his history of championing civil rights, take him at his word that he used “monkey” as a term of endearment for both white and black athletes and it was a pet name to tease his grandchildren with. You could say that Snyder wasn’t racist, take his African-American coworkers at CBS at their word that they believed him to not be racist, believe him to be a relatively uneducated man talking out of his ass about a complicated, historically painful subject that he didn’t know much about.


These are two examples from the world of 1980’s sports but not the only ones I could mention. Now let’s go to the present day and the political arena and the comments of Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly. Here’s the clip from earlier this week:



This is the kind of thing that would have forced a guy out of his job in the 80’s and it should have. But we’ve allowed our society to become so desensitized to the insults of our neighbors. And why? Because people throw tantrums against being politically correct. As if it’s so hard to not be crude and insulting. Can’t you just be nice? Can’t you at least disagree with a modicum of respect? Not this guy, and not on the Fox News platform. So he totally dismisses the comments of a 78-year-old congresswoman, makes some crack about her looks and half-heartedly tries to clean it up with a “love ya” at the end like this is all in good fun. Attack an old lady on her looks, compare her hair to that of a dead entertainer’s and act like you’re above the discussion.


I’d like to think that if I had the good fortune that Bill O’Reilly had, his platform, his reach and following, I could do something more constructive with it than he does. I’d like to think he could too, but he can’t because he’s an obvious bully who’s scared of the other in society. He can’t deal with people who aren’t like him so he denigrates them to lower them in his and other’s eyes. Fox News has given him power and responsibility as a broadcaster and he keeps showing that he can’t handle it. So why should he get to maintain that position?

A National Panic Attack

November 23rd, 2016

Help me. Could you send somebody over here to check on me? I’m having a hard time breathing. I can’t catch my breath and my heart keeps pounding faster and faster and I think I’m having a heart attack and I’m scared to death and I want to scream and I’m alone and I need help. Please help me.




My name? My name is America. My address is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Send somebody right away, please.




I started feeling this way about two weeks ago. I felt it for a little while and then I started feeling a little bit better and it’s come and gone in waves and now it’s really on top of me. I don’t know if it’s a heart palpitation or what.




The fear is getting to me. It’s getting to me. Yes, you can call me back at this number. Please help me. I don’t know what to do. I’ve tried everything.




I tried ignoring it. I tried dealing with it. I tried giving it a chance. I tried and it just got worse. I can’t make it stop. I can barely sleep because of it.



I’m scared. What else can I say? I’m terrified at the prospect of President Trump. The idea haunts me. His face haunts me when I close my eyes at night when I try to sleep. His wicked, perverse face and his inbred, mean, ugly family in control. Unchecked, unbalanced. Wielding absolute power like a malevolent king. The end of Amerika. I hate him. I hate him as much I hate any sex offender, any deadbeat, any abusive parent, any swindler, any cheat, any known liar and any hatemonger.


Is this really going to happen? I guess I’m afraid because I know no matter what happens there’s a fight ahead. There’s a painful long fight. Because the hatemongers, the bigots, the racists, the Nazis are all emboldened and empowered by Trump’s “victory”, in which he lost by nearly two million votes.


Even if Hillary Clinton were to challenge the results of the vote in the swing states where there has been evidence of tampering (Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania), the damage has been done. Over 700 acts of post-election racially-tinged violent acts and incidents have occurred since then. If she somehow won a recount, then that would only inflame tensions even more. But she did win. The popular vote. This shouldn’t be happening.


And yet here we are. And yet other people have moved on, trying to get on with life. I can’t do that. I can’t allow myself to become acclimatized to authoritarianism.


Have you ever watched someone in the last years of their life? Have you watched an elderly person compromise with their inability to do the things they had been able to do in the past? I have, up close. It’s heartbreaking. Finally, you see this elderly person that you love on their death bed, no longer able to do anything. Not even able to take water to quench their thirst and you hear the death rattle in their throat. But by then you’ve resigned yourself to it. You know they will eventually pass into the next realm, whatever that may be.


We’re not there yet, not as a country. This is not the death rattle. But if we’re not careful that day will come. It only took Hitler about twelve years to go from launching the Third Reich to cashing out with his lover Eva Braun in a burned-out bunker in a devastated Germany.


I’m afraid. People are too busy laughing at fucking memes to understand what is at stake. Pushing faster toward an seemingly inevitable endpoint where everything has been ransacked and burned down and we have to start again literally from the foundation up.


You can’t tell me it will be all right, because it isn’t. And it won’t be. Even if a miracle occurred.

Compassion For The Other

November 11th, 2016

Just before 1 in the morning Frankfort time, my esteemed governor tweeted this.



It seems that the governor is a night person. Well, I’m also a night person but I can’t tweet him because he blocked me. So I e-mailed him. I e-mailed him about compassion. Compassion for the other.



I just saw your private twitter about the “silliness” that is going on at a public university.
May I tell you a story about something I saw recently? I hope you read this.
The day after the election, a friend and I went to a Mexican restaurant in Owensboro for dinner and to talk. We were pretty blown away by the presidential election. Didn’t expect Trump to win. After all, the polls unanimously had Clinton ahead up to Election Day.


In the hour-plus I was at the restaurant, I saw a white guy march in from outside and yell “WHOOO-HOOO TRUMP!” You ever watch that Adam Sandler movie “Billy Madison”? Remember the kid O’Doyle who pranked Billy and said “O’DOYLE RULES!” It was kind of like that. Keep in mind, we’re in a Mexican restaurant. With a Mexican staff. Latino cooks, Latino servers.


Remember what Trump said about Mexican illegals. “They bring crime, they bring drugs. They’re rapists.” I don’t know if these particular Latinos were illegal, but I hope you’d agree this was kind of a… pardon me for saying… dick move.


Then, I see another white guy in a bright red Make America Great Again cap and bright red t-shirt with TRUMP IS MY PRESIDENT in big white letters on the front. He was a customer. He’d come in wearing that and then went to the register and paid for his meal, talking about how great the Trump rally in Evansville had been.


Now, I know it’s no crime to wear that stuff anywhere and I wouldn’t suggest that it be made a crime. But again, a dick move at the very least. It’s also intimidation. I shouldn’t need to tell you how.


If this were an ideal society where people treated each other with basic respect then maybe a Trump presidency wouldn’t be cause for alarm. But in about a half-hour in a Mexican restaurant, I saw two separate incidents of whites acting aggressively. All over the country there have been dozens of incidents over the last two days where Trump voters have accosted, harassed, attacked and even murdered people of color and members of the LGBTQ community.


Again, if we all treated each with respect, people wouldn’t need grief counselors over an election. But people are incredibly nasty both online and in person. Mr. Trump’s victory has galvanized angry white people into violence. Minorities being afraid for their lives and needing counseling on a university campus, is not “silliness”, to bring it all back home.


Do not dismiss these people’s concerns as silly.


You are a man of faith, I gather. My faith has lapsed, but one verse that sticks with me is in Matthew which I am paraphrasing now: “then the Lord said, ‘truly what you did for the least of these is what you for me’.” Our country has many people of color, LGBTQ and disabled who do not share the same freedoms as others. Second-class citizens, if you will.


If people who do not have the same rights as us are not the least of these, then who is?


Michael Farmer
Whitesville, Kentucky

And In The End, Nobody Won

November 10th, 2016

So let’s recap. 2016 Election post-mortem.


Donald Trump “won” the Presidency. I put “won” in quotes because he will not enjoy his job as President. He is already not looking forward to this. Just look at him.

How long's that doctor gonna be, anyway?

How long’s that doctor gonna be, anyway?


Like he didn’t know that he would have to transition into the office with his predecessor. The guy who he spent the last six years lambasting, calling him a Muslim, saying he wasn’t born in America. Now he has to sit in a room with that guy. Now he has to do a minimal amount of work with Obama who will keep his head up as he has the entire eight years. Dignity and grace giving way to indecency and boorishness. I already miss Obama and he isn’t gone yet.


Melania Trump will be the First Lady. She does not want to be the First Lady. She wants to be. . . I don’t know but not the First Lady. If you think Don has a tough act to follow, think about this poor lady having to follow Michelle. And we’ve seen her naked because she was a model before she ever met Donald Trump. This will be the first time that’s ever happened. She did not sign up for to be the wife of a statesman. I kinda hope she files for divorce in the next four years. That would be classic.


On the bright side, for the first time since Barbara Bush we’ll have a First Lady we can easily masturbate to.


A lot of people are blaming Gary Johnson, Jill Stein and their voters for tipping the election in Trump’s favor. But you see it was a for a very good reason. If third-party candidates get at least five percent of the vote, they get federal funding for the next general election. So, how did that go?



Ooof, not quite. That’s a tough one. Not even when you put them together do you get five percent. That’s a real kick in the pants.


Let’s talk about Hillary. She won the popular vote. Look at that. Incredible how you can have the two most well-known celebrity candidates run and get even fewer votes than Obama and Romney did in 2012. Check the numbers. At least three million fewer voters in 2016.


But Hillary won, didn’t she? What does she have to do? She blocked Bernie out in the homestretch, minimized the impact of Bernie’s fanbase at the convention, had her friend Debbie Wasserman-Schultz do her dirty work for her. When Debbie fell on her sword, in walked Donna Brazile to carry on the game plan of letting the Republicans stoke white anger while making asses out of themselves and playing the wall.


I’ve seen this strategy play out numerous times in Kentucky. In 2010, Jack Conway (our attorney-general at the time) ran for US Senate against Rand Paul. Back then, Paul was just an eye doctor and the son of Ron Paul. It was Conway’s race to lose. So what happened? He lost it. Five years later, he ran for Governor against Matt Bevin. Another gimme for Conway in a state that rarely elects Republican governors, but somehow Bevin won. We are still dealing with this and the DNC’s inability to react to the changing political climate.


And even though more people in the country voted for Hillary Clinton, she didn’t win. So the majority didn’t get what they wanted. And even though the Republicans have the White House and both houses of Congress, they won’t get what they want because they will encounter the same gridlock they dealt out the last eight years to Obama.


So nobody got what they wanted out of this and the people who will suffer the most are the people of color and LGBTQ’s who are already being subject to harassment from bigots and trolls. Mexicans being told they’ll be sent back home. Blacks being called terrible names and black figures hung in effigy. Muslims being threatened, being called names, being attacked in some cases. Krystallnacht 2016.


So here we are. Heroes aren’t born. They’re cornered. And that’s how you find out what you’re made of.


The Least Of These

November 10th, 2016

Wednesday evening after Election day. A Mexican restaurant in Owensboro. Amanda and me. It’s a packed restaurant, around six in the evening. Amanda and me mourning, talking out our feelings over chips and salsa, waiting on our dinners.


I didn’t take notes. It was a conversation. It was two people in shock. Mourning. One step forward (Obama), two steps or more back (Trump). How could it happen? It can’t happen here? Oh it can and it did. It absolutely did and while it probably shocked a lot of white people, it probably didn’t surprise that many people of color. So I felt a taste of what that felt like. Even though I should know already.


I mean, I’m disabled. I’m a disabled, mentally ill, artist who lives below the poverty level. I should understand already. On one level I do. But I’m a white guy. And I never got pulled over for driving while black. I’m sure I’ve been racially profiled but I’ve probably been given the benefit of the doubt because I’m a white person. But I’m a poor disabled person, so I don’t mean a whole hell of a lot to whatever “the establishment” is either. For what it’s worth.


Anyway, Amanda and me in the Real Hacienda. It’s different from Hacienda. It’s a Real Hacienda. There’s only a few of these and they are exclusive to Owensboro, Kentucky. Anyway, it’s a Mexican joint. The staff is Mexican. Servers, cooks, everybody. Mexicans. I’m assuming. It is a Mexican joint.


Amanda and me sit at a table near the front register. Up walks a guy ready to pay his bill. He’s got a red cap on that says “Make America Great Again”. On top of that he’s wearing what looks like a new shirt. It’s bright red, same color as the cap. In big white letters it says “TRUMP” and underneath in smaller letters it says “IS MY PRESIDENT”. On the back of the shirt is the URL for Infowars.


(Side note: If you told me I could punch either Trump or Alex Jones but only one of them, I’d choose Alex Jones every time. Trump’s seventy, so he’s about to go anyway, what with the amount of stress he’ll be under as President. I’d punch Alex and hope I caught Trump on the rebound.)


So here we are. Mexican restaurant. Mexican staff. White guy paying his tab. Red Trump shirt, Red Trump hat. Trump, the guy who said Mexicans illegals were all rapists and such. In a goddamn Mexican restaurant. With a bunch of Mexicans running the place. Serving his drinks. Cooking his food. Dropping his food on the kitchen floor. Stepping on food before picking it up. Farting on his beans and rice. Spitting in his Coca-Cola. Wouldn’t you? On this day of all days?


I don’t know that they did that. But they should have. I would have applauded them. They deserve five stars on Yelp for not punching the guy in the face.


I looked at the guy. In his dumb red shirt and his dumb red hat. And I said “fuckin’ really?” My brain skipped straight to “are you kidding?” But he wasn’t. Him and somebody else at the register were talking about the rally they attended in Evansville. The Trump rally, obviously.


It’s just a dick move, isn’t it? I mean there’s no law saying you can’t wear that shirt and that hat in that restaurant. It’s not like some restaurants or clubs where they won’t let black guys in for wearing baggy jeans or fitted caps or doo-rags. No, that would be discrimination. It’s just a dick move on that guy’s part. And I yelled at him. He walked right by me and I looked straight at him and said “fuckin’ really?” and because the guy is ignorant, he ignored me.


After that guy left, another white guy came in. Pumped his fists in the air and yelled “whoooo! TRUMP!” like he was O’Doyle in “Billy Madison”. And then he went in and sat down. I hope to hell something happened to his food. It’s another dick move. One step forward, who knows how many steps back.


I wanted to cry. Right there in the middle of Real Hacienda. I almost broke down in tears. I just saw this happen twice in about an hour in one restaurant. How much did it go on elsewhere? How much were people of color and gay people needled, accosted, harassed or even attacked? How much did this go on?


I don’t care about Hillary Clinton losing. I care about people not having basic respect for their fellow man. Who the fuck do you think you are? There’s a protest in Louisville on Thursday. I’m thinking about going. It’s going to take a lot out of me if I go.


So many of my fellow Amerikkkans are second-class citizens. Election Day 2016 made it official. The Bible tells of the Lord saying “whatever you did for the least of these is what you did for me”. Matthew 25:40. I would not be righteous if I ignored my fellow man. Because I am the least of these. I would hope someone would do something for me.

The Calm

November 6th, 2016

One last Sunday before Election Day. The calm before. . . the storm? the flood? the apocalypse? Sunday is the Lord’s day and whether you believe in Him or not, this is as good as any time to rest because next week is going to be crazy.


As if the previous ten months haven’t been completely bizarre, I know. Death, destruction, the end of the Cold War and the sharp rise in tension between our country and Russia. It has been a year where we learned the difference between “the lesser of the two evils” and “six of one, half a dozen of the other”. It was easy to get those confused in the past. I would not throw out “evil” so easily but when one of the major candidates for President is endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan, has supporters in the FBI and is backed by the Russian government. . . how else can you put it? A Russian head-of-state with a mind to undermine the electoral process and the public’s faith in said process. It’s almost as if the most universally hated people decided to back Donald Trump. Roger Ailes, Martin Shkreli, Ann Coulter, David Duke, Ted Nugent, Sarah Palin.


For years, Glenn Beck was one of the most hated conservative voices. A kinder way to put it is that he is “divisive” because he has a fan base that allowed him to leave the platform of cable TV punditry to start his own media network. And he thinks Donald Trump is dangerous and unfit to be President.


But this was supposed to be about the calm. The calm, folks. Because something stupid is going to happen on Tuesday. I don’t know what it will be, and I’m pretty sure no one else does. We need the calm right now. A day of rest. Watching football. Listening to music. Laughing at the little things.


This is my white privilege at work. Because I will stroll into my voting place on Tuesday and vote. I will sign in and it will be a painless process, taking little to no time. I wasn’t one of the millions of Latino voters who stood in line for early voting last week. I will not have to stand in a long line. Voter suppression is a thing I don’t have to worry about. Because I’m white. I live in a predominately white part of the country. It isn’t fair for Latino or Black voters who are being disenfranchised by voter suppression efforts.


What has the patriarchy ever done for me? I want everybody else to get some of this good freedom. So I talk about the calm before the storm and while a guy in my situation is on shaky ground, I am far from in the worst position here. I don’t stand to have my rights rolled back based on my sexuality, gender or skin color. Nobody asks me for my immigration papers when I get pulled over.


I get a calm and other people don’t and that isn’t fair. I wanted to write about other things as a distraction but instead here we are. I was going to write about Hunter S. Thompson and how you many of his books you really need (three or four, tops). Maybe I would stray into the future of third-party presidential candidates (tl;dr version: a future of Evan McMullin-types who do well enough in one state to mess up elections for the two major parties).


Oh, and if you’re wondering what if any Thompson books you need, I’ll cut to that now. At most you need Hell’s Angels, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, and The Great Shark Hunt. If you want more, get Fear And Loathing ’72: On The Campaign Trail. You don’t need any more. You definitely do not need any of his fiction, like The Rum Diary. And you don’t need to see the movie with Johnny Depp. I say this as someone who has bought about ten of his books. I could have given that money to charity or saved it. Ooof.

Love In The End Times

September 23rd, 2016

Just listened to The Family version of “Nothing Compares 2 U” and started tearing up. Because I’m in love with somebody. I’m crazy about somebody. And that’s a road I’d rather not go down. Not right now.


Lady Gaga bought Frank Zappa’s house. I don’t know how I feel about that. I guess it could be worse. Tipper Gore could have bought it. Or Jared Leto. I hate Jared Leto so much and I don’t have any good reason but if the news reported tomorrow that Jared Leto was trampled to death during a race riot, I’d dance a happy jig.


The other night I was all set to gorge myself on about twelve hours of live Japanese wrestling. That didn’t last long as the city of Charlotte engulfed in protest over police shooting an unarmed black man. A protest that got out of hand, or a riot, depending on who you ask. It was a horrible scene. One dead, many injured. Everybody on Twitter an instant expert. It took me out of the mood to watch fake fighting.


We are a people who have not learned the lessons of the past. Twenty-five years ago, LAPD cops beat Rodney King so badly he needed to be hospitalized. If it had not been for the quick thinking of a neighbor who shot the incident with his video camera, the world would never have known how brutal police treated the man who went to hospital with a fractured facial bone, broken right ankle, and multiple lacerations and bruises.


Immediately, cop defenders (usually white people) would say that Rodney King should not have been driving drunk. That he should not evaded the police and led them on a high-speed chase. That he had already been convicted and served time for robbing a store in 1989. And all of this is fair and true. But BUT they really fucked him up. Come on. They didn’t rough him up. They beat him savagely. For a long time. And were videotaped doing it. And then were found not guilty on all charges.


So fuck it. The cops can be videotaped beating a black man with batons and not get in trouble for it. What do you do? No kidding there was a riot. As if before NWA’s “Fuck The Police” nobody ever thought that. As if calling cops “pig” was a new thing. As if cops didn’t have an intimidation factor that gives people, innocent or not, the shakes. But the blacks will be blamed by whites for destroying their own community and the whites will be blamed for not getting the fucking point.


There are so many fucking racist goddamn white people out there. Proud-to-be-racist stupid fuckers. And they act like it’s a numbers game. Because if the white people get outnumbered by the blacks and Latinos then they’ll start working out on the whites for a change. What a goddamn embarrassment. There are people who are actually afraid that the white race will be eradicated.


Here are some thoughts about that. First, I don’t care. Second, that’s such a dumbfuck thing to be afraid of. Goes to show you how embarassingly stupid the cowardly racist tends to be. Third, the entire human race is up for grabs for numerous reasons. If you believe that the Zika virus is a threat, and if you believe that we are running out of clean water, and if you believe that the gas supply is running out. Combine the melting ice caps and the possibility of President Trump who wonders why we can’t just fire nukes at countries that make us mad. We’re talking borrowed time, folks.


This is a horrible time to be in love.




Don’t Be A Dick

July 8th, 2016

“At this point I have a request for our fans. If any of you in any way hate homosexuals, people of different color, or women, please do this one favor for us – leave us the fuck alone! Don’t come to our shows and don’t buy our records.”

Kurt Cobain, Incesticide liner notes


I used to think this was a righteous position to take. Of course, when I read the liner notes to Nirvana’s Incesticide I was fifteen. So some of the things I thought then may not have been totally right.


In the last twenty five years, I have become a musician myself. I joined up with a band and we play shows from time. And although my band has nothing in common with Nirvana, in sound or in size of audience, most people will agree that we sound like their first demo tape which was called Fecal Matter.


So I’d like to take this opportunity to invite everyone to any shows that I perform at. Gays and homophobes. Racists of all colors, racists against all colors, music lovers of all colors. Women and the men who hate them and the women who hate themselves. People who are intolerant of a certain religion or all religions, as well as people who worship under the banner of those religions. . . you are all invited to my shows. Man and woman, hater and lover, one and all. You’re all welcome.


I’ll tell you why I write this. Because rather than tell haters, racists, and phobes to keep out I would prefer it if we all actually acquainted and rubbed elbows. If you’re racists against blacks, for example, and you make a black friend at a show you may say “they’re one of the good ones”. Then you meet a few more and then you think the same thing until you’ve made so many black friends you start to think “wow, I’ve been thinking about this all wrong, I don’t know too many bad black people. All the blacks I know are as bitchin’ as a motorcycle handjob!”


I don’t know if motorcycle handjobs are a thing.


Let’s try meeting each other and giving that a shot for a while instead of bitching about each other on Facebook and Twitter. I only have a few basic rules for coming to my gigs: don’t be a dick and leave your guns at home. Thank you in advance.

Here Goes Nothing

May 29th, 2014

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer agreed to pay $2 billion for the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports on Thursday, which stands to be the most ever paid for an NBA franchise.


(NBA Commissioner Adam) Silver announced on April 29 that he would force a sale of the Clippers after Sterling was heard in an audio recording making racist remarks about African-Americans in a private conversation with his companion, V. Stiviano. The recording was leaked months later to the gossip site TMZ, prompting Silver to ban Sterling for life and fine him $2.5 million.




Okay, here goes nothing.


Please don’t let black people read this blog.


I really don’t want black people associated with this blog. I mean, 100% of all writers are white men. There’s a reason for that.’s very existence disenfranchises minority writers.


If you see an African-American looking at this website on their laptop, please take their laptop away and type in a different address. Smack the smartphone out of their hands. You can feed them, fuck them, take pictures with them and put them on your Instagram, I don’t give a shit but please don’t let them anywhere near this website.


Especially Magic Johnson, that garbage dick motherfucker.




I am willing to sell for no less than three thousand dollars.