So a cowboy stands outside a Texas mosque on Sunday

screenshot-2016-11-27-10-46-21And holds this sign.

Blessing on him, his, and the people he’s gathering in his arms.


21 responses to “So a cowboy stands outside a Texas mosque on Sunday

  1. “We are one America.”
    Bullshit. Certainly not true now. Never actually been true. Ever. Close enough for government work during WWII. But the reality at home became clear as glass once that was all over.

    What we should be learning from this last election cycle is that we ignore history at our peril.

    • But give the guy some credit. I think, on a poster, he was trying to say he’s sorry for the jackalopes who are crapping it up out loud and in public.

    • I fear the kind of credit I would afford this gentleman, no matter how noble…or “Christian”…his intentions, would not be a type you could comfortably entertain.

      From my perspective, “Stay Strong” is not the type of advice that should be offered to the millions of Americans, and our gusts, threatened by a White Nationalist Administration in league with neoliberal Democrats and Republicans in Congress. It’s like telling the beggar, “Don’t worry…somebody will be along to help you eventually. If you’re lucky.”

      The longer we continue to ignore the ressentiment and the mounting rage of the dispossessed in this country, the more fucked we’ll become. And considering how seriously fucked we are right now, that’s not a very pleasant possibility.

      • So how does one address someone’s anger and feeling of being left behind when it’s wrapped in a cloak of racism? How do I address that? What language do I use?

        • First you listen. Then you organize and mobilize dissent and resistance to all forms of structural and institutionalized oppression, not limiting your focus to identity politics.

          Speak and work hardest on behalf of those in greatest need while reinforcing the universalist nature of truly progressive social interventions. Everyone needs to gain the benefits of universalist policies while providing effort proportionate to need. We must build social solidarity. Create social cohesion. History shows us the tokenism inherent in identity politics, American bourgeois reformism, undermines social solidarity, defeats social cohesion.

          You have to speak the language of change. And be ready to back it up with action. And you have to speak the language of recognition. Where failure exists. Why failure exists. And you have to be prepared to offer options. Workable options people can identify with.

          There’s a slim chance that once what’s left of the middle class realizes Trump isn’t going to do anything to reverse the degradation and demise of their living standards they’ll be more open, across the boundaries of identities, to considering actual change. A slim chance…but one that demands preparation. Because? Like it or not? White folk ain’t going nowhere.

          • Nor am I suggesting they do so. But so much of the rhetoric coming my way is based in racism, not loss, not sadness over a factory job gone overseas. And I do not have the patience or the fortitude to listen to too much of that. I can only be told to go fuck myself a few times before I realize I am having a conversation with a doorknob, and I must move on. The language of compromise must come from others because frankly? I’m sick of being accused of delving into “identity politics” when the people on the other side of the aisle are nothing but. Building social cohesion requires we all at least try and blaming immigrants/Muslims/African Americans for one’s own situation is short-sighted and stupid. Yes. I said stupid.

            • Don’t try to build solidarity with the nationalists, unprincipled opportunists and racists. Fuck them. Arguing with them…especially online…is just a waste of time.
              That’s not the problem.
              We need to build solidarity, create cohesion, and mobilize dissent and resistance within our own community.
              Those sections of the White working Class that went for Trump didn’t just do it because he’s a White Guy. They did it because those institutions that traditionally represented labor and the middle class…as a whole…failed to respond to the continuing degradation of the middle class economy and the ressentiment created by racist and opportunistic politicians.
              Those sections of the Black working class that stayed home didn’t do it because they hate White folk. They did it because they knew that nothing being offered by either nominee would amount to any meaningful change.

              The Left, including what passes for The Left in America, failed the middle class. Failed labor. Failed small business. Failed the poor. Failed the infirm. Failed…period. If we fail to recognize our own failures first, we cannot ever hope to effect any meaningful change to the White nationalist populism being normalized into our culture.

              That’s what needs to be fixed first. The trouble isn’t in our stars and all that.

              • THAT, we agree on — that arguing is useless, and that the Left has failed middle America, labor, the poor, all of them. I am just done wasting time with racists.

                • The real challenge is to get liberals/Democrats/”progressives”/ whatever to stop doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results each time. The real challenge lies in getting people who claim to be committed to change to reject tokenism as a reformist solution. The real challenge is to utterly and completely reject neoliberalism, the religion of The Market, and to adopt policies based on the principles of proportionate universalism: social interventions that are universal in scope, but with a scale and intensity that is proportionate to the level of disadvantage.

                  Tokenism is not inclusion. If opportunity is to be a hallmark of multicultural pluralistic society, it must be guaranteed…not rationed.

                  • We agree on that. I don’t want to be so blinded by my own utter righteousness not to see that the way progressives/whatevers have been doing things is adamantly not working. We did not gain the hearts and minds of a significant portion of the country, including the fast portion not clinging to the coast.

            • I think that there is merit in what leftover says in that if there is to be cohesion and real overarching change, we must work together. We’ve been fighting and thrashing, and back-tracking. Lots of groups are scared now. Before Trump, lots of groups were scared, too, but maybe less so. Point is, post Trump is a magnification of what already existed. Groups have isolated and tried to get what they absolutely deserve, but it often appears (whether true or not) to be at the expense of another group. Part of the resentment that develops within any demographic is often related to identity politics that threatens leaving them out, ignoring their own suffering. All should be acknowledged, because we each are really an individual and sum of a lot of prejudices and privileges. It gets tricky when you start comparing the suffering of one person to the suffering of another, when you remove the demographic and see the individual.

              I do believe that racism is either rooted in fear or hate. Can’t do much with committed hater, but reject them, stifle them, reduce their power/public voice, do whatever you can to protect people from them etc. Some haters won’t change and we have to find a way to work around them, despite them.

              I think we can do something to address the fearful. I think that involves reducing the differences and highlighting the common struggles and interests, in order for us to utilize a strategy that raises the larger group. Those people must learn that what is good for all won’t take something away from them, but actually add to their well-being, too. There needs to be a way to earn trust that things will be fair to all. By doing so, the larger group gains power over the leaders. As it is today, leaders have more power and control, because they don’t need to be accountable when common people remain focused on targeting and fighting each other.

              It’s true, there are variations of privilege currently. We must also acknowledge privilege comes in many forms. It needs to be acknowledged, equally, where ever it is. No one should be left out. With that, we might see what we all need, together. If each group digs in and competes for attention first, then it can lead to a slowing down or stagnation of progress. I think with a coming together, the natural evolution could be that privilege as we know it today could dwindle. Currently, with the exception of the wealthiest, concern about finances and well-being, and worry about the future, is widespread. I do get not staying silent in the presence of hate. I think we are currently thrashing with little forward movement if we don’t find a way to bond together. There must be a better way to move forward.

              Just thinking out loud – please point out else what to reconsider. I’m open.

      • Though what you say is true, I think this man just wants to say he is a friend. (He and many others.) This is important when the world suddenly (psychologically speaking) looks very unsafe. In tough times, friends are usually welcome, even if it only changes perceived danger without changing actual danger. I hope it ends up a comfort. And, I hope it’s not intended to encourage anyone to ignore the real danger. I guess we don’the really know what else he plans or doesn’t plan to do to express support.

        • I’m sure he’s a perfectly wonderful person. And we do share an affinity for beards and cowboy hats. But he speaks the language of Privilege. The same language that, being malfeasant, (even if unintentionally so), has helped propel ethno-nationalist extremism into power.

          We are not one America. And the world has indeed become very unsafe…very threatening…to tens of millions of people. There’s nothing merely psychological about it. It’s real.

          • I don’t disagree that the world is unsafe for many of us. When I feel unsafe, I prefer to see a friendly face than not.

            Could you explain how that language “has helped propel ethno-nationalist extremism into power”? (I’m not challenging you on that. I’d like to understand it.)

            • All the friendly faces in the world cannot dispel the fear…the terror… being created by Trump and his cohorts in both political parties.

              The language of Privilege provides no solutions, no recognition of failure, and, as demonstrated here, relies on falsehood (We are one America) to reinforce a false consciousness…a mirage…of commitment to change.

              Decade after decade of empty platitudes, no matter how sincere, combined with no effective change, results in social ressentiment…hostility directed at that which one identifies as the cause of one’s frustration, that is, an assignment of blame for one’s frustration…within the dispossessed, and those who view themselves as dispossessed, that is easily exploited by political opportunists. Like American White nationalists. (“Ethno-nationalist” is probably inaccurate. Too general. Like “alt-right,” it’s too politically correct to accurately describe the political bent of the American racists moving their furniture into the White house.)

              Hope that helps.

              • It does. Thanks. I am wondering, for those of us with little to no power to make substantial change (I’m thinking that includes most of us who are not in government, corporate etc positions), what do we do? We speak up, write letters, do what we can to financially support, vote for people we hope will do the right things….and then get frustrated that it does little to improve things. What could this man do, assuming he’s just an average guy who wants to support the people in the mosque in some way?

                • Things don’t improve because the people in power aren’t listening to you. It’s going to take more than letters, financial contributions, and even votes, (business as usual), to stem the antisocial/antidemocratic tide in government.

                  The first thing this man can do is stop lying to himself. We are not one America. Then…he might knock on the door and ask those people what he can do to help.

  2. May God, and Buddha, look kindly upon this brave man. He gives me hope that hatred will not endure.

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