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I was struck with the closed-minded vitriol of Van Jones in his heated exchange with Jeffrey Lord on CNN on March 1, 2016. My impression of the exchange is that Mr. Jones is offended by the reaction of a certain candidate who was endorsed by a certain group.

“I can affect change by transforming the only thing I ever have control over in the first place, and that is myself.” ~ Deepak Chopra

 

First of all, the Ku Klux Klan is as offensive to most black people as the swastika is to Jewish people, especially when the last documented lynching of 19-year old Michael A. Donald occurred in 1981. Racial resentment has been an infected wound which refuses to heal, in part, because those who carry the torch of resentment keep digging at the wound instead of allowing it to heal and develop scar tissue, which is far tougher and stronger than the broken skin.

Before you make a snap judgement about me, know that I am a woman of color. My mother is Korean. I can only trace back my Korean heritage as far as my great-grandparents, partly because of the language barrier and partly because with the onset of the Korean War, where I’m fairly certain a good portion of my family was stuck in the north. And my father’s side is Irish, where the aggrandized “indentured servant” really means slavery; where King James VI made the Proclamation of 1625 to sell Irish prisoners to English settlers in the new world.

Here’s my question: How many generations of separation does it take to look at one’s heritage before you can say, “Oh, well, that sucked. Moving forward”?

Listen, I’ve been called “chink” and “gook” and told to go back to my country up until I was about 22-years old…by black people, of all beings. And yet, I do not hold all black people accountable for the bad behavior of a few. I don’t hate England because of Irish slavery. And, well, even if Kim Jong-un is a creepy, narcissistic dictator, I don’t hold him personally responsible for the separation of 60,000+ families during the Korean War.

As the first-generation born on American soil from my mother’s side, and third-generation born on American soil from my father’s side, I have an emotional disconnect from the grave injustices experienced by my ancestors. And it does suck what happened – but I don’t live in that reality. I choose not to be held in a catatonic state of perpetual outrage. It’s in my history – but not my story.

So, going back to Van Jones’ censure of Donald Trump… The condemnation would be deserved if Trump actually wore the hood. Can we simply agree that his disavowal of the KKK is appropriate enough? Trump cannot possibly have the same emotional or visceral response of a black person because of an imposed endorsement. It would be ridiculous to expect him to have any level of righteous indignation on that subject matter. To demand an intrinsic response is just as prejudiced.

That being said: I have no historical ties to the KKK and I have absolutely no reason to disavow them – but do not mistake that for condoning them either. There is a huge difference and I think we need to recognize the distinction.

 

Citations

CNNs Van Jones, Jeffrey Lord launch into fiery debate. http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/01/politics/jeffrey-lord-van-jones-cnn-debate/index.html

Divided Koreans prepare to meet after lifetime of separation http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/19/korean-family-reunions-separation

In the Bad Old Days, Not So Long Ago http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/13/arts/television/13lynch.html?_r=0

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As an Independent Undecided in the forthcoming presidential elections, I felt compelled to voice an opinion that I feel very strongly about: Why I will never endorse Hillary Clinton. Why, in fact, I would vote for anyone but her. Abuse of power.

According to BusinessDictionary.com, abuse of power is defined as “The act of using one’s position of power in an abusive way. This can take many forms, such as taking advantage of someone, gaining access to information that shouldn’t be accessible to the public, or just manipulating someone with the ability to punish them if they don’t comply.

Notably, my issue really stems from the allegations of sexual misconduct by former President Bill Clinton. Well! You may argue, what does that have to do with HRC?

It has everything to do with Hillary, dear reader. In an interview on the Today show, January 1998, Mrs. Clinton vehemently defended her husband saying: “the President has denied these allegations on all counts, unequivocally… The real story here, for anybody willing to tell it and write about it, and explain it is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband … Some folks are going to have a lot to answer for.”  (G. Sheehy, 1999)

And then there’s this 60 Minutes interview where they both lied to Steve Kroft and the world about the affair with Gennifer Flowers.

 

Then there was Monica Lewinsky.  He pledged he “did not have sexual relations with that woman.” That woman.  Prior to that, back in 1978, there was a woman by the name of Juanita Broaddrick, a nurse who was campaigning for Bill Clinton in his bid to be governor, who claimed he raped her. And where was Hillary? She was standing by her man.

So, do we blame the wife for the sins of the husband? In this case, my answer is a resounding YES. Listen. I was once married to a cheater. I divorced him because it was a serial problem that I would not accept in my life anymore. I never blamed the slew of women. But Hillary has. Herein lies my argument.

Abuse of power. Inappropriate fraternization.

Example 1: Correctional Officers & Prisoners

A C.O. may be immediately terminated and face charges of sexual assault if found having sexual relations with prisoners. But if they are both consenting adults, why is that wrong? Because the correctional officer has a position of power. They have the ability to exact harsher punishment or show favoritism.

Example 2: Civilian Managers & Employees

Check the HR manual for just about any company and there will be fraternization policies that are often strictly enforced for fear of nepotism, which may lead to huge lawsuits.

Example 3: POTUS & Subordinates

From the U.S. Army Command Policy on fraternization: Commanders should seek to prevent inappropriate or unprofessional relationships through proper training and personal leadership. Commanders have a wide range of responses available should inappropriate relationships occur. These responses may include counseling, reprimand, order to cease, reassignment, or adverse action. Potential adverse action may include official reprimand, adverse evaluation report(s), nonjudicial punishment, separation, bar to reenlistment, promotion denial, demotion, and courts martial. Commanders must carefully consider all of the facts and circumstances in reaching a disposition that is warranted, appropriate, and fair.  (cited from http://www.apd.army.mil/pdffiles/r600_20.pdf )

As the Commander-In-Chief, the president must be held to a greater moral standard. He is the leader of the free world and head of our military men and women. Bill Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives for perjury and obstruction of justice. Hillary is no innocent. She most certainly was aware of his affairs. She vehemently deposed his victims. She remained at his side…as was her choice. But what was the punishment for her lies and deflections?

This tells me three things about Mrs. Clinton:

  1. She is no friend to women.
  2. She will dance around issues without facing them.
  3. She will lie to your face to protect her own interests.

Now, I’m no prude, but I do have a moral compass. Sadly, Hillary Rodham Clinton is nowhere on my radar. In fact, the only thing we have in common is being born a woman.

And finally, to respond to her quote a la Benghazi, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

 

It makes all the difference in the world to me. My vote is: Anyone But Hillary.

 

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