Our Perception of Reality is Manipulated by Propaganda

Reality is the state of things as they are, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined. Each individual has his or her own PERCEPTION of reality. Reality is fixed, however, perception of reality is variable.

Our perception of reality can be easily manipulated by propaganda. Propaganda is not objective, it presents facts selectively, uses fear and loaded language to produce emotional rather than a rational response.

Name calling and stereotyping that labels others or ideas with a pejorative name manipulates our perception of reality.

Socialist, communist, and leftist are labels that have been used for decades by the right as scare tactics to produce an emotional response causing ordinary people to vote against their own best interests rather than looking deeper into the facts.

Labeling an idea as “socialist” for instance causes people to reject it before they know what it is.

In the 1950s, Senator Joseph McCarthy, used the label of “communist” to attack his political opponents with unsubstantiated accusations for his own self-aggrandizement and grasping of power. He ruined countless lives with his outright lies and got away with it for years because others were reacting emotionally to the word “communist” rather than rationally to the facts.

Be aware of pejorative labels and how they alter your perception of reality. Don’t be manipulated!

Road to Recovery: Healing our multicultural, multiracial democracy

Today is the first time that “Juneteenth” has been recognized as a federal holiday. Juneteenth is an annual holiday observing the end of slavery in the U.S. and marks the day (June 19, 1865) when news of emancipation reached people in the deepest parts of the former Confederacy in Galveston, Texas (Google), a full two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. This day has been celebrated in many communities around the country for 156 years, but many of us were unaware because it was not taught in all communities. The bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday had overwhelming bipartisan support in both houses of Congress. As enlightening and wonderful as this is and what an accomplishment this is for those who fought years for it, it is somewhat symbolic and only a first step.

Other topics related to this issue in the news lately include Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project. Critical race theory is an intellectual movement and a framework of legal analysis according to which (1) race is a culturally invented category used to oppress people of colour and (2) the law and legal institutions in the United States are inherently racist insofar as they function to create and maintain social, political, and economic inequalities between white and nonwhite people (Google). Critical race theory developed in the 1970s as an effort by activists and legal scholars to understand why the U.S. civil rights movement had lost momentum and was in danger of being reversed. Their approach emphasized general and systemic features of the legal system that served to perpetuate race-based oppression and white privilege (Google). The 1619 Project, among other topics, shows that people of African descent have been part of the development of America since the beginning. In fact, historians report that people of African descent were here as early as 1493.

The point is that America has been multicultural and multiracial since the beginning. Tragically, ethnocentrism and narrow knowledge caused European Caucasians to see others as inferior deserving a lesser status, creating the space for America’s original sin, slavery! Overtime, minds and attitudes were changed and after more than 240 years, slaves were freed, sadly, it took nearly another 100 years to pass the Civil Rights Act and to end segregation.

However, the country still remains un-healed and has taken several steps backward. Since the election of our first black President, Barack Obama, a backlash of white supremacy and white nationalism has reared its ugly head and was further fueled by the Trump presidency. In order to heal, we must hear the truth. Ignoring the truth will not make our sickness go away.

In fact, steps four through eight in Alcoholic Anonymous’ 12 steps to Recovery, address what we need to heal our country. Fourth, we must make a moral inventory. Fifth, we must admit to God, ourselves and at least one other person the nature of our wrongs. Sixth, we must be ready to have God remove our defects of character. Seventh, we must ask God to remove our shortcomings. Eighth, we must list all persons we’ve harmed and make amends to all.

Therefore, we must recognize that racism exists in our country, we must admit that our behaviors and laws perpetuate racism, we must look at our own character and shortcomings that allow racism to continue, and we must make amends to all we’ve harmed by learning the truth and supporting civil and human rights for all Americans.

We can do this by studying Critical Race Theory, The 1619 Project, and by celebrating Juneteenth! The only path to healing for all is learning the truth! Happy Juneteenth!

Truth, Justice and the American Way

Even though this was just the catchphrase of DC Comics’ Superman, first uttered in 1938, I truly believed and internalized that truth and justice were the right and real American way. Truth and justice is what set us apart and made us exceptional as a people and a nation. This ideal is the foundation of the basic American values of democracy and human rights.

But, the political rights’ assault on the truth over the past four decades and the politicization of the justice department during the Trump administration, are destroying the American way. One third of Americans have bought into the lies and have become an anti-government force bent on the destruction of the administrative state, nothing could be more un-American. Somehow, these dissenters must hear the real truth.

Truth and justice must prevail for the survival of the American way. It is not just a line from a comic book, it is an ideal, an exemplary way of being that is second to none in the world. We must return to the truth to heal and continue our greatness and standing in the world. There is no other way! TRUTH!!!

Putin Sides with Insurrectionists

THAT SHOULD SCARE THE HECK OUT OF EVERY AMERICAN! Russian President, Vladimir Putin, former Soviet KGB agent, propaganda expert, lifelong sworn enemy of the United States and democracies everywhere, is siding with the Trump insurrectionists who violently attacked the United States Capitol on January 6th, 2021 as they tried to stop congress from its duties to certify the duly elected next president of the United States.

Let’s be clear, Putin’s only interest is world power and wealth for himself and his oligarch friends. Trump and his followers are just one of his tools to reach his selfish goals.

Conspiracy theories, Q’Anon, right-wing media, right-leaning social media, much of the GOP and cartoon-like news sources such as Fox News, OAN, NewsMax are doing Putin’s work for him. America’s own, homegrown, propaganda machine is destroying America from within playing right into the hands of Putin.

Apparently, nearly half of Americans no longer value and cherish the democracy envisioned by our founders. They have bought into the lies, and now, act and vote against democracy, sometimes violently. They don’t realize that they’re anti-democratic views and actions are not just un-American, but detrimental to themselves while benefiting the super wealthy.

When I was growing up, the biggest threat to America and democracy was nuclear war with the Soviet Union. Today, it’s misinformation! Misinformation, frighteningly, internalized by half of Americans! Misinformation that is, sadly, funded by greedy, super wealthy Americans who are, effectively, robbing ordinary Americans of the power granted to them by the Constitution of the United States. They use outright lies, made up us versus them stances and false patriotism to brainwash everyday Americans.

Putin’s approval and support of the insurrectionists should be heard as a dire warning to American democracy. America’s acceptance of misinformation will result in a world takeover by oligarchs and the diminishment of human rights and opportunity for everyone else. Trump, the GOP and their followers are Putin pawns, nothing could be more un-American or anti-democracy! STOP BELIEVING THE LIES THAT HELP PUTIN AND THAT DESTROY OUR DEMOCRACY!

Putin hates democracy because it is the only thing standing between him and world domination. If Putin and the world oligarchs , including powerful American oligarchs, takeover, you and I will be nothing more than their powerless chattel. That is the cost of believing the lies and throwing away our democracy.