Tag Archives: #EducatingGossip

California State District Attorney Campaigns

OWN IT!

District attorneys (DA) hold power over the criminal defendants’ lives, yet many people know very little about the role of the local DA.

FEEL IT!

Come out and hear how a broader campaign is gaining support to hold DAs accountable to the families and communities they serve.  Learn why it is important for DAs to listen to communities that have been most impacted by mass incarceration so we can work together to achieve reforms.  Find out why we are being encouraged to question the standards that district attorneys use to prosecute cases, and how this leads to better transparency.

LIVE IT!   LOVE IT!

Attend local District Attorney forums in your community.

the Educating Gossip

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My Christmas Wish | Coates and West: Philosophy and Journalism

The stories we tell ourselves, this shared mythology, is psychologically what human minds do to understand the world. These stories, or mythologies, can sometimes cloud our belief about what is actually happening and what needs to happen in order to make things balanced again.

Dr. Cornel West is a learned philosopher. For me, he tells stories in their most complete form: with the intention of healing the human psyche by informing the audience about what is actually happening and what needs to happen in order to maker things balanced again. Mr. Coates is a journalist. Dispassionate, to a degree. He holds a belief that our shared story is a tragedy. Coates tells a mythology, if it is incorrect, that interferes with our shared efforts to understand our communities, our culture, and ourselves.

As I perceive West, his concern is that stories that do not inform the human psyche about the active ego and the Self, may ultimately lead to misinformed judgments and bad decisions. West gives me the full arch story of humankind—the story of Gods and Men and the Reconnecting with the One. This is what the human psyche needs for good psychological health and healing. This mythology is an epic human story. It is why we tell stories. This over-arching story, because of it’s deep understanding of all aspects of the truer reality of humanness, often encompasses the other basic story plots, including comedy, rebirth, the quest, and tragedy.   West tells the story of who we are: Ego versus Instinct; dismantling the Self versus reconnecting with the Self.

My Christmas wish is that these two gentlemen synergistically write the story of us: Coates’ storytelling skill mashed–up with West’s philosophical wisdom. Then, our efforts to learn about the world and the people in it will be freed from sentimentality, violence, and sensationalism. Healing of hearts and minds can be realized.

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West and Coates: Self-transcendence and Obligation to the Truth

Agnostic or atheist viewpoint is not the issue. Identity is. Identity is politics. Politics as in: how individuals choose to govern themselves. Identity as in: Self who is morally, ethically, and culturally, intentional, responsible, and accountable to themselves, Others, and the larger society; to find just, equitable and compassionate means for allocating resources amongst the peoples on planet Earth. Identifying as Self and Self as Other is one of the most meaningful, purposeful acts of being human.

So what’s the beef between these two individuals, Dr. Cornel West and Ta-Nehisi Coates? There is none. Each writer is expressing an aspect of the whole. Just as visible light enters a prism and exits into arrays of color, so too have these commentaries. So what are we to make of these two perspectives? We can reflect back on the totality that is the larger truth. For example, race and class are inter-related and indivisible. That is to say, you cannot talk about one without acknowledging the affect and effects of the other. They are inextricably bound together. So what is the conversation? For me, a budding ClassCrits scholar, it is about human identity. How is it that some humans transcend perceived differences that serve to divide and create hierarchies? How did Gandhi become Gandhi, or King become King, or Hamer become Hamer, or any of the women and men of praiseworthiness determine in their minds to identify with the totality, the larger truth?

Through my research and multi-disciplinary study, I’ve come to understand that many people will achieve self-actualization, yet only a few perhaps reach self-transcendence, where pursuit of equity and access to those known conditions necessary to achieve human potentiality is the expression of their authentic Self. And, that any human-made politic that seeks to deny or hinder the flourishing of full human potentiality for everyone must be denied.

What does this mean? Well, to start, take Dr. West’s position of criticizing (and, he does also occasionally provide positive critique) elected leaders. It is the intentional exercise of responsible holding-of-account of elected leaders. Dr. West, for me, informs his audience of where improvement can and must be made. These admonitions illuminate, up-close, where humanity can and must do better. In this way, current and future leaders can increasingly make judgments reduced of bias and heuristics, thereby reducing errors in decision-making on critical policies that form the culture and society.

It appears that Mr. Coates is seeking a similar end, in that one characteristic of journalism is obligation to the truth. Yet I do not know, from his writings, if Mr. Coates is seeking, for himself, his community, or the larger culture/society, the psychological well-being found in recognizing and accepting the unknowable/unknown (aka this cosmic, grand wondrous, and awesome thing called existence), and accepting the unifying truth behind it: a commitment to unitive values; and the realization that in the moment of decision-making there appear to be dualities, yet the way through the tension is to seeking and realize collectivist values (goals, interests, and motivations). These concepts may sound funny to the ear, yet are scientifically sound. The concepts are gaining broader understanding outside academia and research laboratories.   As so many wise humans have said before, are saying now, and will continue to say, “Love is the answer, peace is the way.”

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Why Discussing Race and Class Continues to be Necessary | International Day for the Elimination of Discrimination

Getting up close to examine[1] why everyone everywhere needs to continue race and class discussions if we love one another.

Own it!

Through critique and criticism, I examine my thoughts and own what I believe–leaving space to modify my beliefs as new and truer information is received.

Finding purpose and meaning in life is human nature. The brain by its design generates thoughts about our experience of being alive. What does it mean to be on a planet, in what appears to be a cosmos devoid of other similar life forms? Are we unique? Is our presence here of some significance, whether grand or inconsequential?

Is it human nature for the brain to think about and then move individuals to act on those thoughts and form ‘out-groups’ based on biases like skin tone, sexuality, gender, abilism? Or to form ‘heirarchies’ based on heuristics like stereotypes, cognitive ease, the halo effect, et cetera? The human brain produces and processes thoughts that involve ideas and concepts about the future. What is the future for the planet where humans discuss the source of these biased and hierarchical thoughts and behaviors?

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (21 March). Thus, this reflection of the Oscar nominated feature film documentary, I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO.   What struck me most profoundly is author James Baldwin’s prescience in clearly understanding the dynamic at play in America regarding power’s use of racial bias as a means to economic gain while at the same time ignoring the oppression and suffering this brings to individuals and communities.

This documentary film does just that. It explores and examines the life of distinguished American James Baldwin. Baldwin devoted his life to understanding the nature of humans to racially discriminate and manufacture class hierarchies. Those thoughts formed his writings, his understanding of reality and his experience of the world. He lived a fascinating life. One that lead him to believe that only through acceptance that these biases and hierarchies are the product of the thoughts and actions of a few intent on achieving and amassing power, and then rejecting that power structure could humans live the realized shared aspiration to be equal and pursue happiness.

 Feel It!

I acknowledge the scientific fact that emotions influence the thoughts that inform my opinions.

Exposing myself to the thoughts of those who have dedicated their lives to exploring history, philosophy, ethics, religion, science, et cetera enriches my experience and understanding of what this life is. It gives me knowledge of what to do, how to live a life as an independent individual (with responsibilities to self) and how to live a life as a dependent individual in community (with responsibilities to others).

Watching this film was admittedly emotionally challenging. Seeing the history of America unfold in the murders of democratic society leaders Macolm X, the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert Kennedy, Meadger Evers, civil rights activists Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and James Chaney, and so many more as it maintains race and hierarchy to provide a continuous source of cheap labor for capitalism’s economic system. It has become an increasingly deregulated, unaccountable economic system that has spread to the global community of all humans.

 Live It!

I can now more consciously act in ways that form my experiences of the world, the lens through which I see, the filter through which I understand others and myself.

The film has enlivened me to face the reality that generates these racial and class divides. I actively seek insights from fact-based and truer sources that tell me how, in America’s flawed democracy, how to resist and dismantle the limiting, biased thought and actions that keep humans everywhere from equality with one another and the ability to purse happiness. I resist anxiety-generating thoughts of my own and those of others that are not based in truth and fact. And, I act in the spirit of all humans are created equal, and the pursuit of happiness.

 Love It!

I’m now more fully aware of my thoughts, how they influence my feelings and actions. I experience life with more emotional well-being and happiness.

James Baldwin inspires me. His debate with William F. Buckley, Jr. remains an icon to discussion and logical conclusion to end racism and class hierarchy.

 

#jointogether #standup4humanrights #fightracism #AfricanDescent

[1] the Educating Gossip pioneered a way to approach life using critique, criticism, emerging science of how humans acquire belief through the processes of the brain (thoughts and emotions), and the spirit or energy of belief is expressed in the world. For more information, see SSRN Paper

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