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Cynique

And the beat goes on...

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@Troy Am I violating any copyrights, etc?  I just wanted to share this article because it was so apropos of what has been discussed on this board

Black Men Rally Behind Leslie Jones with #BlackMenSupportLeslie

 
by Elle  August 26, 2016

Leslie Jones was the victim of a vicious hack on her website yesterday, with her nude photos and personal information, including her driver’s license and passport photos being posted. Thousands have voiced support for Leslie, labeling the attack racist and sexist, using hashtags like #LoveforLeslieJ and #SupportLeslieJ. However, a new hashtag came up that may have been a bit of a surprise, but also very welcome. Twitter user @BlakeDontCrack created the hashtag #BlackMenSupportLeslie for black men specifically to show support and love for Leslie Jones.

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I would not sweat it in this case Cynique as you've provided information about the source of the content, copied only three sentences, and linked back to the site--you've done them a service helping to promote their site.  Besides it is not like the site is heavy on content the page itself was just a bunch of tweets copied from Twitter

It is interesting that the site http://blackgirllonghair.com/ where you pulled the didn't even link to Leslie's website.  

I'm also saying to myself, "Leslie Jones has nude photos?!"

Honestly very little that happens on a Twitter interests me.  The hash tag will be of no consequence... it is not like the hacker (assuming Leslie's sites was indeed hacked) will see the Twitter activity feel bad and stop hacking sites or apologize to Leslie.

What also intrigues me is how many sites revenue model is based solely upon amplifying these silly issues. #BlackMenSupportLeslie

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It has been confirmed that Leslie's site was hacked. She has become almost like an embodiment of the familiar comedy/tragedy masks of classic theater. The story is all over TV via the tabloid magazine shows, which also reported that many sympathetic celebrities have also tweeted their support for Leslie. 

Why do you think black men making a gesture of public support for a sister who has been the target of cruel and racist attacks, is a silly issue? 

 

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Cynique where do I begin...

First lets be clear, I'm obviously in favor of people supporting others; but this whole thing has gotten blown way out of proportion.  This has NOTHING to do with Lesie; this is all about the generation of revenue by the media properties that manufacture and promulgate this garbage.

Sites get hacked; that is the nature of the beast.  If every site that got hacked made the news there would be no time to report anything else.  I mean you all have witnessed this site get regularly bombarded by spammers much of the damage I've managed to hide.  But again this is par for the course.

How did Leslie's "woes" start?  There were a bunch of knuckleheads joking about Leslie--so what?  If someone got out of hand and started relentlessly dissing someone on these forums, they would be banned--end of story.  But no, Twitter fans the flames while dumping gasoline on the whole situation.  Whether we participate in the jokes or call our selves standing up for her with a stupid hash tag; all we are doing to keeping this bullshit going.

Five minutes from now this will be over and we will be dissing some other sister.  Of course their will be the requisite faux outrage accompanying.  How many times will this continue.  From Gabby breaking down during the Olympics to kids being driven to suicide over tweets--the whole thing is beyond stupid. 

But making fun of Black women is lucrative and sadly very amusing for a lot of folks--many of them Black.  

If we want to stand of for Leslie stop using the platform that profit from dissing her.  But again, that will not happen because Black folks have nothing better to do.

 

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Leslie is unique. She's a public figure who is controversial because both blacks and whites have a problem with her, which makes her a lightning rod for humiliation and disapproval.  She's also a human being with pride and sensitivities and since there is no other way for black males to take the high ground and offer her support, the only choice is to utilize social media which provides them with an outlet to reach millions, and possibly create a ripple effect in favor of a beleaguered black female.  Can a sista get a break  here?  

Twitter has become a necessary evil, but it does provide a service for people who would otherwise have no voice. It has touched a nerve in a populace who seeks a stage for their narcissistic impulses, and a forum for their passionate opinions. And there's no reason to conclude that people are on Twitter because they have nothing better to do. They may have taken care of the better things they have to do before going on line because they are able to compartmentalize their time.  Ya think? ;)

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Noooooo! Twitter is not necessary--evil or otherwise.  This very idea is what has actually weakened our voices on the web.

OK, I did not mean to demonize all Twitter users, I use Twitter (for now), but surely you know much of the stuff that goes viral and gets traction does not serve Black people very well. Our very conversation about Leslie is reflective of that.

The VAST majority of people on Twitter don't post.  The most popular content is usually something that makes fun of Black people.

We have always had a voice--especially on the web.  Twitter has not brought anything new to the game--other than brilliant marketing.  

Black voices have actually been weakened in the age of social media.  I say this for a number of reasons but the primary one is the crowding out of Black journalists.  

So while you say people are able to compartmentalize their time; they only have 24 hours in a day--they can't do everything.  So we spend more time reading nonsense blasting Gabby and Leslie; and spend less time reading things that matter more.  As we read less of stuff that matters, less of it is published. 

As result, we have tons of crap written by people who don't know what they are talking about, while journalists and talented writers struggle on jump on the bandwagon.

This in my estimation this is the worse thing that has happened on the web, for Black people in the almost 1/4 century I've been publishing content on the web.  It is the reason I spend as much time working with indie sites as I do selling books.

 

 

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"O tempora, o mores!"  These are the words of Roman orator, Cicero circa 75 BC. "Oh the times! Oh the customs!"  is the English translation of this phrase which I recall from my high school Latin class 65 years ago. Wiki explains: "this sentence is now used as an exclamation to criticize present-day attitudes and trends." So, there have always been lone voices like yours, Troy, decrying the deteriorating criteria for quality.

The more things change, the more they become the same. It's the way of the world.

 

 

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Cynique, from your perspective, all things considered, who do you think received a better education (up to High school), your peers, your children or your grands? 

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My peers.  Maybe not my entire generation, but my associates and I were fortunate enough to have gone to excellent schools that provided a liberal education.  Time brought change and the quality of public schools deteriorated.  Nowadays private schools undoubtedly offer good educations but those who attended, or are attending  them do not blow me away.  

Also my generation was not immersed in the sense of entitlement that seemed to characterize those who came after us. We were grateful for any privilege that was bestowed upon us.  We didn't have TV, computers, VCRs, CDs or cell phones.   So we tended to be more creative and better able to improvise and amuse ourselves. Above all, reading books was a common way to pass the time.  

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Cynique I think your experience is more typical of most Americans.  If it was not their experience, it is what they aspired to.  I'm 30 years behind you and grew up in an urban ghetto, but I can relate to everything you wrote--especially the last paragraph.

I think this, for those of us who experienced it, is what we miss.  Some call it "hope and change," others calling it making "America great again."  At the end of the day, we all know America can do better... because we have.

When I was a kid a common pastime was to sit around a crack jokes on each other.  We called it, "snappin'." Later, as an adult, I learned others called it "playing the dozens." Today I look back on the activity and think, on one hand it steeled us for the harsh reality of streets and the larger white dominated world, but on the other hand if probably adversely effected our self esteems.  This may be one reason I have zero sympathy for anyone whose feelings are hurt by something someone, they don't even know, wrote about them on social media. 

But when I was a kid, I could always go home and the snappin' would end.  Today people live on social media 24/7, so when it social invariably turns on them they, perhaps, feel as if there is no escape.  The "snaps" spread far and wide, transcending both space and time, and never go away. 

So while I did not experience the potential for a constant barrage of insults as a young person, the difference does not make me anymore sympathetic to the Leslies or Gabbys of the world, because they can always leave Twitter. 

Besides, despite the hype of Twitter and facebook there are still other communities where people like Leslie or Gabby can post picture and share their experiences without having to worry about the constant ridicule of others.

But again the failure of people to recognize that they don't need Twitter is what gives Twitter so much power to do us harm #tohellwithtwitter

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Ya know.......
I'd really....really.....REALLY....like this issue to go away.

I do not want Leslie to be the spokeswoman or poster child for Black women and their frustrations.

I really don't.

All of the beautiful, feminine, absolutely professional Black women out there who have a story to tell.....let us focus on THEM. I'd rather Gabby Douglas or some other sister having a hard time with social media right now get the attention.

Not to beat up on Leslie because she certainly doesn't deserve to be harassed or called an ape, but there are far more Black women out there who are not only better representations of Black womanhood but also have sadder stories to tell about social media harassment and racism than Leslie and what's going on with her.

 

 

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I replied to a comment on Google+ back when Cynique first made this post which prompted me to research some of the related activity on social media. I received notification of the following comment this morning:

"i wish it showed less. i hate seeing her ugly face. that and i miss the old mayhem commercials. those were at least funny. unlike this ugly insecure dullard. her hair looks like an inflated puffer fish, she has the facial structure of a man, her body type is well. ugh. and her teeth look all lop sided.
oh and even worse yet. its not funny, which. is sad if this woman was supposed to be some kind of comedian."

While I don't agree with anything this person wrote (the "puffer fish "comment was funny though) it just seemed unduly harsh and uninformed (he probably never saw her standup routine).

Sometimes I wonder what motivates people to share such vitriol? What do they get out of it? Maybe it is a reflection of their own mental illness.

I know some people this stuff fun, like the ones who come after me from time-to-time. But these guys can get a laugh because they are coming directly at me. Leslie will not likely see the comment made above, so where is the fun in that?

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The internet allows people hide behind the anonymity that enables them to say or react anyway they please because they don't have to answer for it.  If you are turned off by someone you meet in person or somebody you interact with regularly who disgusts you for whatever reason, you tend to conceal your revulsion. Most of us endeavor to maintain a civil facade to avoid a hassle.

Human beings are very complicated entities, capable of a multitude of reactions, both good and bad.  A passer-by will impulsively jump in the lake and save a drowning person he never met. Good Samaritans will spontaneously risk their safety to pull a passenger from a burning car.  And doing a good deed seem to be contagious, because other bystanders will pitch in to help in such situations.  But these same heroes can turn into villains under different circumstances

Not too long ago I was moved by my experience in the check-out line of the Dollar store which is my second home. My credit card was denied, and the customer behind me offered to pay my bill which was over 20 dollars! Luckily I had another card with adequate available credit, so I was able to take care of things. But this person's   generous act of kindness so touched me that while thanking the pleasant middle-aged white lady, I hugged her shoulders. I will not go into details as to how this incident inspired me to "pay it forward".  

Humans are capable of being very charitable, but the other side of the coin is that ordinary people have a dark side - because the devil on their shoulders  urges them to be bad. That's why I described as a "fiendish delight", the malicious feud I had with the poster on this board who shall remain nameless. :rolleyes:  LOL

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Yes I agree.  

I try not to write anything online about, or to, someone I would not say to their face.  

Twitter is rife with this vitriol because you can be anonymous there, which is one reason you don't get this crap on Facebook so much.  

Your store experience reminds me of a study, which described some of the benefits attractive women enjoy (i.e. not the Leslie's of the world).  Anecdotally several of the women described situations, similar to yours @Cynique in which the cashier told them not to worry about paying.   Then again Leslie enjoys benefits due to her celebrity that other probably can't image...

One women did an experiment and deliberately with to the register without enough money to cover the the stuff she put on the belt.  She was waived on, or told to comeback with the money later--each time!

When I used to sell books at fairs I would often give people books--telling to send me a check later.  The vast majority of people actually followed through by sending me a check.

Once I sold books for a minister at a church in Brooklyn.  Half of the checks I got for the book I sold bounced--half!  After sending letters to the addresses listed on the checks, only one person made good on the check.  

I was a naive thinking Black Christians, in a church, wouldn't rob me, or treat me after worse than random people at a street fair.  

Perhaps people are more inclined to return kindness with kindness. 

As far a getting a "fiendish dish" teasing others that activity never did amuse me very much.  Even as a kid, eventually some would get their feeling hurt or someones mother would be dissed an people would want to fight...

Now a comedian at a comedy show crackin' on people in the audience, the way Robin Harris used to do, is something I find funny.  But the protracted, merciless, hateful, mean stuff we see on Twitter is a waste to time and does no one any good.  

There is a difference between being mean and being funny. On twitter we often treat meanness a humor. 

 

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@TroyYou might be surprised to hear that I am not on Twitter.  All I know about it is what I see on FaceBook, hear on TV, and read in the Newspapers.  So I have to take your word that it is a vapid venue, that attracts shallow, self-absorbed, cruel  characters who feed on celebrity gossip, political controversy and non issues, -  gullible people who allow themselves to be manipulated by profiteers.  Is it also possible that fans of this site go there because it's easily accessed and they enjoy interacting with posters from all over the world?

BTW, I pick my online battles.  I only spar with people who are belligerent and/or obnoxious.  :D  

 

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Twitter: noun twit·ter \ˈtwi-tər\
A vapid venue, that attracts shallow, self-absorbed, cruel  characters who feed on celebrity gossip, political controversy and non issues, -  gullible people who allow themselves to be manipulated by profiteer.

Precisely!

Actually I'm not surprised @Cynique, nobody your age and few people my age--save those like me using it for marketing purposes--actually use Twitter on a regular basis.

Of course, there are good and decent people on Twitter who use the platform, as an alternative to email, to share messages with groups of friends and associates. 

But these people are not the ones who generate the preponderance of Twitter's traffic, revenue, and notoriety. It is all the negative stuff that goes on that makes Twitter popular.  You never read about Black women being demeaned and trashed on LinkedIn or Pinterest.  Twitter is designed and optimized for the sole purpose of  spreading celebrity gossip, political controversy and non issues--for profit.  

Twitter picks up where World Star HipHop leaves off except you know exactly what to expect when you go to World Star and there is no pretense, Unlike Twitter, who is elevated as if they are some kind of revolution starting, engine for enlightened social change.  "black Twitter" is discussed as if it is the only thing of value for Black folks poppin' on the web.  

Twitter is the National Enquirer treated as if it is The New York Times.

I get that you are not a bully. The folks on Twitter are bullies and they jump on people like a pack of rabid hyenas.

And I haven't even gotten into Twitter porn or that the majority of tweets made are automated...

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@Cynique - As a lawyer, and someone who has been a serial victim of copyright infringement [my novel addresses the issue], let me assure you that copying the text of another person is perfectly okay if it is done so to advance discourse, in the sciences, arts--in other words, to advance discussion and to enlighten people. Copyright laws kick in when you make money off of what someone else writes. So, copy away! As @Troy said, just provide the name and original source of the information you're copying, and you're good to go.

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I actually use Twitter a lot, to advertise my novel. I love Twitter, although less so, now that my novel is published. But I can tell you that it is a great place for networking, more than Linkedin because you must use photos on LinkedIn (which I think hurts more than helps Black people--I make my living on the Internet as an attorney, and my clients have no clue of my race until the discussion of race comes up -- AFTER I've proven what I can do for them).

I think Twitter's usefulness depends upon what you use it for. I like to talk politics, and it's opened my eyes to a lot of diverse views. I have a lot of conservative followers with whom I discuss Black issues, because the dialogue is important and they don't always talk with Black people candidly.  I found @aalbc on Twitter! I have made a lot of contacts. I've had people with whom I've dialogued purchase my novel.

I think Black people have a larger voice because of Twitter. #BLM, Shaun King, and even Joy Reid, Deray got their fame and/or jobs because of Twitter, to my knowledge for better or for worse. I could go on and on. So, I'm a Twitter fan, but less so, now that I need to market my novel in brick and mortar stores. Personal contacts ALWAYS work, but access to people is the problem.  Facebook advertising is 100% better than Twitter - $50 goes a long way (I'll be using @aalbc during the holidays).

Let me just add that the reason Twitter works is that corporations get to hear from their customers. I have tweeted corporations to complain, to extol good customer service, etc., and get a 99% reply. I've been mentioned 3 times on C-span. I would not get a voice otherwise, in my opinion. Corporate America cares about demographics. They get it on Twitter. 

I agree that the shaming on Twitter is deplorable, and the fact that it is anonymous is problematic.  And I hope that is changed (I read that Twitter is going to stop the trolling).

Just my thoughts. 

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Brilliant @VL Towler thanks for expressing those sentiments.

Obviously I can't disagree with your experiences, but I would like to explore how you perceive them.  You see a common refrain I hear from folks extolling the virtues of Twitter, and social media in general, is that Black people;

  • Have a voice;
  • make contacts, and network;
  • sell books; and
  • complain to corporations, and get a response.

All of this is of course true, and I have used Twitter for all of these reasons too.  But, what we seem to forget is that all of this was possible before social media.  Some, usually social media owners--those that stand to benefit financially--speak as if they have revolutionized human networking.  The World Wide Web revolutionized networking.  The owners of social media have simply mastered the monetization of social media by exploiting our privacy and information.  As a result, social media has distorted and corrupted the WWW's effectiveness.

My primary problem with the massive social media sites--especially the outsized use of Twitter by black folks, is that is comes at the expense of Black owned platforms.  

Large Black owned sites are virtually non-existent and this was not always the case.  Today Black people's voices are expressed solely at the largess of white owned platforms. We serve at THEIR pleasure. Like the black person creating a back door where none was present; we do so willingly.  

You see, our true voices are not measured by the volume of uninformed opinions, the spread of unsubstantiated rumors, and the dissing of other Black folks.  To understand what is really happening we need journalists.  Black journalists do not thrive in a social media dominated WWW, neither do undistorted Black voices, nor things that truly serve Black people.

I also know that some Black individuals have reaped financial success as a result of social media, but again Black individuals achieved financial success.before social media.  

All in I believe social media has provided a net deficit, financially, for Black people collectively.  I say believe because I can't prove it, but I have over two decades of experience creating content for the web and observing the contribution of other Black owned platforms. 

 

 

 

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You raise very strong points, Troy. Excellent ones. And you're absolutely right. We DO need a platform for our own voices. And yes, these mainstream platforms are used more to market to Blacks and reap financial benefit, than anything else. So I hear you, loud and clear. I think part of the problem is that Black people, if I may generalize, for the sake of argument, tend to compete for scarce resources, than collaborate, pool resources and build for the whole. This is the problem. So, instead of stepping in line to support each other, we create separate camps. And the financial resources that we need end up dissipating as we find ways to disagree and fall out from each other, than to weather the storm for the sake of our futures. Lastly, it's always about dollars, and the best of us can be lured by money, which always silences our voices as we cater to our financial masters.  Which is why I self-published my novel.  No one can ever tell me what to write. Because they really don't have our best interests at heart, honestly. They have their own financial interests at heart. 

Thanks for the reminder that we need to do for us, by us, and for us.... but the question is... can we unite $$$$$$?? Imagine if every black person gave $1.00 -- that's $13M for businesses. But we don't. But that's another story. 

Edited by VL Towler
punctuation
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@VL Towler man you articulated that better than I ever could and I agree 100%  This is why I struggle to get those in my sphere of influence, the Black book ecosystem, to work together in the manner you described.   Slowly I see it happening, if not for anything else--out of necessity.  

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Troy said:

Slowly I see it happening, if not for anything else--out of necessity.  

I agree. I believe our very survival as a people will rest on our ability to articulate FOR OURSELVES what our needs are.  Consider me in your camp. I have watched you over the years, on Twitter (lol), and I have mad respect for you being such a strong pioneer for Black American writers. I'm here to help in my small way. Let me know what you need.

 

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When I was younger I wanted to be a lawyer because I loved debating (and arguing) with people over issues.
But as I got older and really studied history, I began to realize the hypocrisy that exists in so much of the legal system.

On one hand you have the U.S. Constitution....which is supposed to protect and ensure our freedoms of speech, assembly, and expression.
But on the other hand you have federal, state, and local laws that basically TAKE AWAY that freedom and tell you what you are and aren't allowed to say or print.

Then again, I suppose if I were a writer or designer I would be mad enough to kill someone who took my creative work without my knowing and got rich off of it.
So perhaps these laws were designed to establish a sort of "justice" and prevent bloodshed.


But I'm a sort of "literalist" in that we shouldn't claim to have FREEDOM of speech and expression and at the same time have actual laws that punish those who exercise it even if they do it by lying and plagerizing.

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@Pioneer1 Well, you might be interested in my novel.  There's freedom of original speech; not copying it and hiding it.  That's what I had to learn the hard way when I sued a filmmaker for copyright infringement. And lost. But I was Black. I got my day in court (made it to trial, but jury wasn't allowed to decide).  I should have asked for more than my day in court, I guess.  Anyway, I would have had to spend 40 years going after all the people who have stolen from me.  As a lawyer who once worked for the Justice Department, believing I was on the right side, you can imagine my disappointment to learn that there are no good sides in this country when it comes to Black people. So, I write my issues out in my novel. And encourage intelligent writers to do the same. I'm glad I found this site. I'm really digging what Troy is doing here. What a quiet warrior he is. Respect. 

 

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One of the first thing lawyers learn in their practice is it's not about justice, it's about WINNING YOUR CASE.
When you understand and accept this, you go far in the legal system.
If you don't and the procedures irritate your conscience.....it's time to look for another profession.


As far as our brother Troy......

For years, I've considered  him the "Berry Gordy" and AALBC the "Motown Records" of Black writers, especially Black novelists.

I'm just glad he still has his own website instead of moving everything over to Facebook like so many other independant Black outlets.

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@Pioneer1 I hear you about "winning" versus justice, but you'll see that the arc of history is long and it does bend toward justice - DESPITE the legal system. I contend that as the man on the street starts to really analyze the legal and other words we all take for granted (like in the Pledge of Allegiance), they begin to question the system. Change comes from below, from fearless individuals (like Kaepernik, the man who stood in front of the tanks in Tiananmen Square), not through the lawyers, who get lost in the shuffle of justice and/or who tend to lose sight of what brought them into the profession in the first place.

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REAL change and justice always comes from the people at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder.....the poor and working class.
Funny thing is although it's often INITIATED by the intellectuals and educated (lawyers, professors, ect..) who are smart enough to know that something is wrong but as you suggest are too tied up in the system to confront it, the change itself comes from the poor and people on the street who have less to lose and never really believed in the system to begin with.

I believe in a type of universal law that doesn't have a real name in the English language but would probably be best described as "Karmic Credit and Karmic Debt".
I also believe that not only do individuals carry this but organized groups such as corporations and nations also carry this Karmic Credit/Debt and it helps to influence their future.

If we as a people want a better future for ourselves as well as the land we live in, I think it would be better for us to focus more on developing a better more just system rather than work on patching up the holes in an unjust and collapsing one.

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The arc of justice is indeed long, but whether it bends toward justice depends on your perspective.  For example, I doubt any of the indigenous people, the few left, of North America, South America, or Tanzania would agree.

It has been centuries since Europeans began pillaging Africa; how many more centuries must pass until that arc bends toward justice for those people?

I'm also not confident change (positive or otherwise) somes from below.  Generally, change is initiated by those with, or supported by those, with the biggest club.  I'm happy to consider any contradictory examples.

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Justice is not a "given" in this world. and is not always a paragon of virtue because it can incite revenge when those who have been the victims of injustice seek to destroy their victimizers.  Injustice walks hand and hand with power because power corrupts. In addition to the tangible,  justice also  involves the randomness of luck and the energy of hope and the force of Karma.

 

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I'm not as qualified a student of history enough to argue with you two over whether or not justice is guaranteed in this world.
Babies and little children who are obviously innocent often die violent and gruesome deaths while some war criminals and serial killers who are personally responsible for dozens if not hundreds of deaths often live to a relatively old age or if they ARE caught and executed.....their one death certainly doesn't equate to the amount of pain and suffering they caused their victims and their loved ones.

However I will say that after over 40 something years of living and paying attention to the causes and effects  of MY actions as well as others, there is most certainly some sort of universal law of reciprocity at work.

But as far as examples of change in society coming up from the bottom........

-African American political and social success came from the bottom as poor and working class Blacks formed the bulk of those protesting and rioting in the streets.

-Both the Haitian and French revolutions were also activated by the slaves and peasants of their respective societies.

-Hell, even the American revolution was initiated by the criminals and peasants of Europe who were sent over here to work the land for the King and decided to stop being exploited and rebel.

SOCIAL change often comes from the middle classes and intellectual classes.
But REAL change (structural/governmental) usually does come from the bottom of a given society because they haven't been indoctrinated into the system anyway so they are less likely to maintain faith in it when it begins to fail them.

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African American political and social "success;" Man I think the jury is still out on that one--what would be the point of Black lives matters?  Slavery did not end because of marches or speeches--nt even Twitter would have ended SLavery. Iit ended after 2% of the U.S. Population lost there lives.

Enslaved Africans and mulattoes greatly outnumber the white minority.  In other words they gained independence by using their bigger club.

George Washington and his boys were far from criminals and peasants in the sense that you've described them.  Again they too took there independence through bloodshed.

All of these changes were executed through force (usually violence).  It is the only language humanity seemed to understand and react to.

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Troy

I wasn't arguing AGAINST the point you made about violence as often being a means for change.
My point was that regardless as to how that change was achieved whether peacefully or violentely, it still came from the bottom.

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Pioneer you missed my point.  Please reread this post. The most profound changes in history are initiated by the powerful, not from folks at the bottom. 

The rape of Africa, for example, was not initiated by european peasants, but by their leaders who interested in increasing their wealth.

Look at America, do you think the great masses of people at the bottom, like you and I, have any say on what the country does?

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So you think the ascendancy of Donald Trump is not fueled by the masses???? Are the Republic powers-that-be responsible for his presidential possibilities?  They are the ones who have jumped on the grassroots bandwagon. If he wins, his chances of being re-elected will depend on whether or not his herd remains loyal. 

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No. Trump's ascendancy is fueled by his power which comes from his wealth and celebrity.  

Do you think it would have been possible, for your garden variety white boy, without Trump's wealth and fame would have been as successful as Trump?

Because of Trump's power he can play the masses.  It definitely wasn't the other way around.

 

 

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I think Trump is as surprised as anyone that he is faring well in this presidential race.  And much of his vaunted wealth is overrated, which is why he's reluctant to invest much of his own money in this campaign. The fact that Trump is viewed with a jaundiced eye by Republican leaders and much of corporate America gives weight to the idea that he is a fluke and if it wasn't for his huge following among the discontented masses he wouldn't be where he is.  IMO

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No I don't think Trump's wealth is as great as he says it is either, but that is incidental, because no one cares about it that because he continues lives the lifestyle of someone that is a super rich celebrity, buying off politicians, funding his own presidential campaign, and getting the media to jump and cover any silly utterance he makes.

I see what you are saying Cynique, but I think you are looking at it the wrong way.  For example, I could take your words about Trump and apply them to Obama just as easily; Obama would not be where he is if it were not for "his huge following among the discontented masses."  Do you see my point?

In other words, the masses did not go out select and uplift Obama, Trump, and Hillary out of obscurity.  They are simply the choices we are given.  The high unfavorable ratings that both Trump and Hillary are getting should tell you something.  The masses don't really support either. But these are the choice we have been given, and I'd be willing to bet most people feel like they are choosing the best of two evils...

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Trump and Obama were at the right place at the right time and both filled the void of people wanting change and through the power of their numbers were able to bring it about.  Those voting for Hillary may be thinking  she is the lesser of 2 evils, but I think Trump's enthusiastic followers see him as a symbol of revolt against an America they can no longer can relate to.  His support is a groundswell, and opportunistic Republican leaders are opting to go with him because his chances of winning look good! IMO

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Troy


You're mixing governmental policies with social revolutions.

Ofcourse INSTITUTIONS like slavery and colonialism were initiated by the rich and powerful.
These events mere products of an already established system that wanted to feed itself with more resources, land, and power.
This is not change.
England and Spain....who were already in the business of stealing territory and exploiting people.....stealing land from the Native Americans and enslaving Africans was NOT change; it was just a continuation of the same ideal but taken to another level.


I'm talking about REAL CHANGE.
Change in the very structure of a government or a new social paradigm.
Change in the very system itself in which the old values, laws, and ways of thinking and doing things are nearly wiped out.

This is almost always fueled by the masses at the bottom...even if it is initiated by the intellectuals or professionals in the middle who inspire the masses and alert them.

The Haitian Revolution led by Toussaint
The Cuban Revolution led by Castro.
The Chinese Revolution by Mao.
Even the Revolutionary war and the founding of the United States from England lead by Henry, Jefferson, Washington and others.

These were all major revolutions that brought about complete change in the government and society and were fueled by the masses (poor and lower class) albeit initiated by members of the intellectual or professional classes who strayed from their peers.

And to answer you question....
Quite frankly, 
when it comes to Federal policy, just like the Federal elections....the agenda is SET and the will of the majority of the people matters little to those in authority.  But when it comes to local politics I KNOW we as individuals can have a tremendous influence both on policy and political office.

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