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Oscar Blayton Esq

COMMENTARY: The Semantics of “Semite

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Language and the use of words can be more powerful than any weapon of mass destruction.  “Wordsmithing” in the wrong hands can bring on a plague of violence and destruction biblical in proportions. And this brings us to the current widest widely use of the word “anti-Semitism.”  Donald Trump, a master of obfuscation and prevarication, in order to gin up his evangelical support, signed an executive order on Dec. 11 titled “Executive Order on Combating Anti-Semitism.” Despite its humanistic title, this order does not combat anti-Semitism. It is merely meant to throttle free speech concerning human rights issues in Israel and many individuals, including Jews, have concerns about it.  In a recent opinion piece in The Guardian, Kenneth Stern, the director of the Bard Center for the Study of Hate, wrote, “ was never intended to be a campus hate speech code, but that’s what Donald Trump’s executive order accomplished this week. This order is an attack on academic freedom and free speech, and will harm not only pro-Palestinian advocates, but also Jewish students and faculty, and the academy itself.”  Fifteen years prior to writing his piece in The Guardian, Stern – considered an expert on the topic – drafted a working definition of anti-Semitism for the American Jewish Committee.  It is usually a “third rail” in domestic political discourse for non-Jews to analyze the use of the word “anti-Semitism” in America. But the intentional division of the many and varied identities in this country is now reaching a critical point and the weaponizing of language by demagogues like Donald Trump is throwing fuel on the fire. 
Oscar Blayton Esq

COMMENTARY: Brace Yourself

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As the Titanic was sinking after colliding with an iceberg in 1912, the poor among the passengers, trapped below deck, were drowning...
Oscar Blayton Esq

COMMENTARY: This Race is Ours to Lose

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When Sputnik circled the earth in 1957, Americans were agog that the Russians had beaten us into space.  In Black barbershops, segregated classrooms of the South and other spaces where Black folk could speak openly, it was undisputed that America’s inability to focus on the “space race” was because of its obsession with the “race question.” Three years earlier, the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled that the doctrine of “separate but equal” was unconstitutional and one year after that, the Court had ordered the desegregation of public school with “all deliberate speed.”  These directives for fairness and equality for African Americans set the South ablaze and racial bigots raised every imaginable barricade to prevent equal educational opportunities for Black children.  Some people will say that desegregation had nothing to do with the space race.  But the number of Black astronauts, physicists, engineers and mathematicians who have contributed to America’s space efforts since integration exposes that bit of white supremacy for what it is.  Prohibiting African Americans from attending many universities with advanced science programs, and participating fairly in the aerospace industry and the effort to conquer space, amputated a valuable portion of this nation’s brain power.  Today, we again find ourselves in competition with Russia on another geopolitical chessboard. Russia, Brazil, India and China have pushed forward on...

COMMENTARY: A Matter Of Life And Death

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All oppressed people know this feeling. Tevye expressed it best in “Fiddler on the Roof” when he said there are times “when...
Oscar Blayton Esq

COMMENTARY: A Fair Shot in America

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Felicity Huffman says she just wanted to give her daughter "a fair shot" at getting into the college of her choice. That...
Oscar Blayton Esq

COMMENTARY: 2016 – 2.0 Is Not Good Enough

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It’s déjà vu all over again. The defeat of the Democratic presidential candidate in 2016 was crushing, and many...
Oscar Blayton Esq

COMMENTARY: Why Lady Liberty Weeps

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There is a sickening stench about Ken Cuccinelli. Ken Cuccinelli is Donald Trump’s newly appointed acting director of the...
Oscar Blayton Esq

COMMENTARY: It Couldn’t Be Clearer

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History will flay the skin off Nancy Pelosi’s legacy. This prediction may seem harsh, but the current Speaker of...
Oscar Blayton Esq

COMMENTARY: Black Women Are Incarcerated For The Crime Of Poverty

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It seems like every day we learn about another facet of the cruelty of the American criminal justice system.  Ava DuVernay’s blockbuster documentary...
Oscar Blayton Esq

COMMENTARY: Black Bodies Creating White Power

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By Oscar Blayton Almost every high school student in America knows about the compromise reached during the drafting of...