Nike came out with a new commercial that will, ironically, air during the opening of the NFL season featuring the controversial figure of Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick has caused a stir by protesting racism in America by kneeling during the national anthem. How dare he! Hear my thoughts on it in this hour-long podcast below!
*Language warning* I don’t usually swear but I use a swear word to quote Dave Chappelle, if you don’t like it, don’t read it. Also Dave Chappelle’s comedy is very offensive, again if you can’t handle it don’t watch! You’ve been warned!
Dave Chappelle has another new Netflix special out and they are pretty dark. Now Dave Chappelle has a tendency to talk about some pretty heavy subject matter. Race being his main component of his performance. I love Dave Chappelle because he barely does comedy… most of his material isn’t funny because it’s too real to be comedy. In “The Bird Revelation” he tells a story about a pimp who uses fear and devastating deception to trick one of the prostitutes into sticking around instead of leaving. He suggests that this is an analogy for how Comedy Central treated him while doing “Chappelle Show”. I’m guessing he legally is not allowed to say that this is what happened, so this is a clever way for him to get the truth out there. It’s scary if he is legally bounded not to say what happened, it shows how much power an organization like Comedy Central has.
However, the real kicker is when he calls this analogy the “Capitalist Manifesto”. He’s not just talking about a pimp or Comedy Central but the entire system we live under. First, what does he mean when he calls this analogy the Capitalist manifesto? I would suggest that he is trying to say that we are all prostitutes. We sell our bodies out to corporations who use fear and deception to keep us coming back even after we have reached our mental limit. He compares the pimp to McDonald’s and even says this explicitly, “Why do you think most of us work 9 – 5? Because 9 – 6 might kill a bitch.”
In the book “Pimp” by Iceberg Slim, The more experienced pimp says to Iceberg, beat the prostitute and then draw her a bath and give her some pills. He says she will be so grateful that you fixed her, that she’ll forget you’re the one who beat her. Earlier in the show, Dave talks about how every time someone stands up for something good we as a society beat them down. Colin Kaepernick stands up for justice and gets crucified, Chappelle even makes a suggestion towards what happened to Jesus. You don’t have to agree with everything someone says, but we should admire people willing to stand up even if we disagree. Chappelle also says, and repeats with emphasis, that the best prostitute (or “bottom bitch”) keeps the other ones in line. This means that in a Capitalist society, the people who make it to the top are the ones who keep the rest in line. AKA the more money you make, the more you work for the system. There is even a sense of Stockholm Syndrome going on here.
Isn’t this the story of our society today? Donald Trump has to come to mind, doesn’t he? He is a rich, “successful” businessman that the average person looks up to and even idolizes. Who doesn’t want tall buildings with their name in gold on it? People admire him and his ability to make money so much that they elect him as president. This makes it official that he is in charge of keeping everyone else in line. In the analogy, the Capitalist system is the pimp, Donald Trump is “bottom bitch” and we are all the other bitches. That is a hard pill to swallow, but it’s true.
The pimp in Iceberg’s story is trying to control a woman that he has no control over. He uses fear and deception to get her to work for him just a little bit longer and just a little bit harder. This is Capitalism. We work for society, get paid as little as possible to work as long and hard as possible to make money in order to buy things because that stimulates the economy which is good for society. Great! Now we can work harder and buy more stuff and it just keeps going in a vicious cycle for no reason with no one ever wining.
The crazy thing is, we blame the government or we blame individual people, but it’s no one person or one group of people’s fault. We can blame society or Capitalism, but these aren’t actual things, these are concepts. They are concepts that we invented as an experiment to try to make the world work. The experiment has failed. No one is winning. Even the bottom bitch is still a bitch to this system which is pimping us out, even though it’s nothing! It is as if we created our own slavery to live under with no ruler, no pimp, no one to blame but our lack of courage to try something new!
The good thing is that we can change this. If we created it, we can break it and try something new. We hand our sovereignty over because we are afraid of what real freedom looks like. This is what Christ really came to offer, true freedom. True detachment from the system. Jesus said something significant about money and Capitalism, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar” (Matt. 12:17). We need to break this vicious cycle, let’s find a new way.
“‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!’
She has become a dwelling for demons
and a haunt for every impure spirit,
a haunt for every unclean bird,
a haunt for every unclean and detestable animal.
For all the nations have drunk
the maddening wine of her adulteries.
The kings of the earth committed adultery with her,
and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.” Rev. 18:2-3
In the United States there has been a lot of problems culminating with Donald Trump being elected president. People who want real and significant change in the U.S. voted in Obama where he did very little in terms of real change. Obama himself has come on after each school shooting and has said basically, “we need to do something, but I don’t have the authority to do anything.” As much as I love Bernie Sanders and everything he campaigned for, if he was elected he would be able to do the same as Obama, very little. So why can’t these well intentioned humanitarian politicians do any real change? Well there are a lot of reasons that are all political and have to do with who is really running things, the rich and powerful. Hillary Clinton is the perfect example of this Elitist group. She is the status quo and caters to the billionaires who support her. Donald Trump is rich enough to be a part of this group but for some reason is not, probably because he is too selfish to do anything to make anyone happy besides himself.
America has their police killing black people in the streets for no absolutely no reason. They have mass shootings less than 100 days apart from one another. (see below)
Now if you think that standing in line and checking off a box is going to fix these things, you are out of your mind. Change will not happen through the illusion of democracy. That’s right, I said democracy is an illusion, Democracy is the real opium of the people (So there Karl Marx!). Everyone in a democracy feels like they have a say in what happens when really they don’t. They say it’s your civil duty to vote because it makes you feel like something is in your control… it’s not! The rich and poweful want you to vote because they want the status quo, Donald Trump is the closest the people could come to rebelling against this system. Donald Trump is like when you light off a firework in your hand, you do it just to see what would happen even though you know it might blow your hand off.
So how does real change happen if voting doesn’t change anything? Well in other countries that are “less developed” than America, they take to the streets in protest. They start a civil war if their government won’t listen to them. Watch this trailer below for Winter On Fire, a documentary about the Ukrainian people taking to the streets to fight for what they want. When people don’t get what they want, they rise up and force their government to listen to them. All democracy is doing is making false promises about how to fix things and about how much say we have. Fix school shootings, that seems like priority number one, but no one can because of Democracy!
Now there have been some rioting and protesting after Trump was elected. I applaud the fact that people are passionate enough about issues to actually protest. I disagree with those who say protesting doesn’t do anything, for Martin Luther King Jr. it seemed to work very well, where did that mentality go? The problem is that the protesting going on is against something, Donald Trump, but what is it for? MLK protested FOR equality, not just against racism. That movement had specific things that they demanded happen in an immediate time frame. That is what we need now, unity over certain important issues. Gun control would be first on my list, if you don’t want to see more children get shot then organize a rally for some specific gun laws to be put in place. Lobbyist have shown how much power they have, but that power is really just the power of protest. When the suggestion of a new gun law comes in, the NRA squashes it down by protesting (mind you they have lots of money to back them up which is why politicians don’t dare go against them).
But I would argue that the real power is public opinion. I am addicted to documentaries lately, and I see how much impact a simple movie can have. Look at Black Fish, a documentary about Sea World and cruelty to the Orca Whales in captivity. That movie had a major hand in the closing of Sea World’s across North America! How can a movie have such an impact? Public opinion. If the general population agrees that something is wrong then the government has no choice but to act. However when the majority is only 51% that really isn’t a majority. That is the real failing of the U.S. political system, split the country into two groups, make them hate each other and the rich and powerful can decide whatever they want because Republicans and Democrats are too busy fighting over what they don’t agree on to unite against the things they do agree on. There are things that everyone hates and everyone loves (or most hate and love). Not many people think racism is good, no one thinks school shootings are acceptable, not many like the death penalty… but those issues never came up in the debates.
So America, I encourage you to take to the streets and organize protests. The Black Lives Matter movement is one of the best things I’ve seen from the States in a long time. Just look at the people in that picture! It is inspiring to see people marching in the streets for something important like equality. Support these movements! And even if you don’t agree with the intricacies of the specific protests, appreciate the courage and the passion that is behind these protests. To sit in your chair and criticize people who love their country enough to go out and actually do something is cowardly. Don’t be a coward, go stand up for what you believe in!
We live in a politically correct society where we are not allowed to say what we really feel because it would be offensive. This is one of many reasons why Trump is President today. First because he doesn’t follow the politically correct way of behaving, he says whatever he feels like and when he is challenged on it he usually doubles down and restates it! I hate Trump more than anyone, I really do, but I can appreciate this quality because at least he owns his biggoted-ness. Secondly, Trump is president because people are sick of living in the shadows. In my Black Lives Matter post I said that everyone has racist thoughts, even if we are reasonable enough to know they aren’t true we still have them, but we can’t talk about them. We have shut down conversation by being politically correct and this election has proved that people are sick of it! And post-election has proved how deep these tensions go (see the above picture).
Wouldn’t the world be a better place if you know your neighbor Jim hates Muslims? If he went on rants in public about how much he hates Muslims then you could maybe talk some sense into him. Instead what happens is that Jim hates Muslims, but he can never talk about it because if he does he will get yelled at and called names by someone more rational… or what Americans call “Liberal”. The troublesome thing is that people who berate Jim, don’t even know what they are saying. They usually don’t have an opinion based on thoughtful contemplation but just on regurgitating what someone else said. They are just as ignorant as Jim, only in the other direction. They spout their hate in the opposite direction, but in the end it is still just ignorant hate.
A person could respond with an explanation of how the Muslim religion cannot be represented by a few bad people. A dialogue could begin to try to see the world from a new viewpoint. But both sides are too ignorant and arrogant to have a reasonable disagreement. When someone says something racist, people who disagree don’t say “What makes you feel that way?” they say “Wow, you’re a racist, how can you say something so hateful…. you bigot!” Do you see the hypocrisy in that statement? How can you say something as hate-filled as calling someone a “bigot” (whether it`s true or not) for being hateful? It doesn’t make sense! But it’s politically correct to call someone a bigot.
So everyone ends up feeling this pressure to conform to political correctness. Let’s talk about the word “Nigger”. When you “ban” a word, any word, it has absolutely no effect on people’s thoughts or feelings. The people who would call a black person a nigger, still think of black people as niggers even though they can’t say the word. So by banning the word, all you have done is move their racism into a hidden realm. They are still very much racist, but now they pretend not to be. You could be friends right now with a horribly racist person but you have no way of knowing that. So let racists say “nigger” and let them deal with the consequences of their hate, which hopefully is people (especially white people) standing up, in person against racist and hate-filled people! Change isn’t easy! In the movie/book “The Help” a white girl writes a book and fixes everything… how cute… how unlike real life. We have to fight for values, we might have to actually get dirty because politics and niceties do not fix hatred.
We are seeing outbursts of violence and hatred that we haven’t seen since MLK or the Detroit riots. This is a good thing though, this racial tension has been building in the states for a long time but ignoring it will not change! Protests like Black Lives Matter make a real difference, unlike voting in a corrupt democracy. Healing cannot happen until each side has a chance to speak. The next step will be for both sides to listen, maybe that can happen once the inflammatory anger subsides. I think there has been an illusion that racism doesn’t exist in the U.S., now we are seeing what was veiled behind political correctness. We should allow people to say what they really feel while we condemn their hatred, instead we condemn things that offend us and engage in this hatred back at them!
The point is, I’m glad Donald Trump is president because I hope all the racists and bigots aren’t afraid to say what they want anymore, and it seems they are not! When people are allowed to openly say what they feel that leads to an opportunity to discussion, civil disagreement on a topic, reasonable and logical dialogue about important topics. In the Muslim example, the racist might see how he is overgeneralizing and the Liberal might see that the racism is stemming from a very real post 9/11 fear. Maybe both would end up seeing that they are not so different after all, both are afraid of terrorism and both probably overgeneralize sometimes. That is a much more enlightening conversation than the yelling match that is exemplified perfectly in the American political process.