tunnel rats.

mjkimpan  —  January 28, 2017 — Leave a comment

tunnelrat

donald trump has only been in the White House for a week.

there’s no doubt the man and his team of worker-bees have been busy – the whole country is abuzz with either anxiety or excitement, depending on which side of this deeply divided socio-political environment one falls.

in his first week in the oval office, the Trump administration reignited his self-started war with the press, installed a portrait of andrew jackson in the oval office (this is significant) regurgitated a thoroughly debunked theory of widespread voter fraud in last month’s election (thus paving the way for even more extreme voter suppression – specifically in the south), made some inaccurate comments on torture he was forced to walk back, met with our ‘strongest ally’ in the first visit from a foreign leader since the inauguration, and tomorrow will chat it up by phone with his buddy vladimir putin.

from russia, with love.

in just seven short days Trump has signed almost as many executive orders (which can be read here – updated daily). among other things, these specifically single out muslim countries and vaguely propose ‘extreme vetting‘ of refugees, officially prioritized one religion (christianity) over all others, green-lighted a wall we can’t afford and promised to publish a weekly list of crimes of immigrants, further inciting alienation along ethnic lines in a nation already ripe with racial division.

as of the writing of this post, the most recent executive order signed is designed to beef up a ‘great rebuilding’ of the US military (although the nation already outspends every country on the planet – more than the next seven countries combined).

here in chicago, our legislators and mayor rahm emanuel responded to Trump’s tough talk by promising we will remain a sanctuary city – despite the newly inaugurated president’s threat to cut off federal funding from cities where undocumented immigrants can live without fear of police harassment.

trump and chicago don’t really get along very well.

apparently after watching the o’riley show on wednesday, Trump once again targeted chicago on twitter ::


while many expect this ‘support’ from the feds to come in the form of dollars, i suspect we’ll soon be looking at the national guard (or worse!) marching down lower wacker and an increasingly militarized police force on michigan avenue long before Trump’s government signs a check on behalf of the windy city.

that isn’t gonna fly here in chicago, donnie.

we’re the only city to successfully reject his presence while he pontificated on the campaign trail, and are unlikely to bend to the will of this president, regardless of what he dictates – something that dominates my conversations here in the city nearly every day.

my friend amy williams deals hope in some of the harder neighborhoods of this town, and took to her Facebook page to share some smart words for Trump’s tweet ::

Dear Mr. Trump,

You threaten my city by saying if Rahm doesn’t get it together, the Feds will step in to “fix” our violence problem (more policing, more violence). That statement in and of itself shows us that you have NO CLUE as to how to help “my” city (not yours). VIOLENCE IS A SYMPTOM. Unless and until you step in and FIX THE SYSTEMS IN PLACE that are the root cause of the violence, then there is nothing you can do to help us. MORE POLICING IS NOT THE SOLUTION.

Here is what the feds can do for us with Fed money:
1. Force Gov. Rauner and the State of Illinois to approve a state budget
2. Give our under-resourced communities better schools, workable schools, clean/painted/beautiful schools, updated technology in schools,
3. Bring jobs to our city that our black and brown families can earn more than a livable wage, especially if they have a felony record
4. Give us money for after-school programs instead of taking it away
5. End mass incarceration, the school to prison pipeline (and change the 13th amendment while you’re at it)
6. Give funding to organizations and ministries who are doing the work NOW even without funding – but could excel if they had more
7. Fund mental health clinics instead of shutting them down
8. Stop guns from coming into our community (and dropping them off in our hoods, and having cops give them to gang members, etc)

…and do I need to go on? These are just a few ideas but I have more!

Until then Trump, how about coming to Chicago and asking the people who LIVE and breathe this thing (AND NOT JUST FATHER PHLEGER- there are black and brown leaders and young people you should talk to) and find out what’s REALLY happening in my Chicago – not just what you hear or read in the news. There’s a lot of good here you know.

PLEASE AND THANK YOU

with all that’s going on in our world it’s hard to determine whether we’re headed for another world war (as former russian leader mikhail gorbachev suggests) or repeating a less-than-civil one here at home, starting in the streets of the city where i sleep (por qué no los BOTH?). yet if you talk with folks from this town, there’s a consensus – the sky isn’t falling. we’re from chicago. we may have our problems, but it’s one hell of a city – and the people here are the real deal.

we’re not about to walk back the progress that’s been made over the past eight years.

and that’s not just in my city.

there’s an uprising taking place – one which embraces and embodies the evolution of our collective conscience and understands that we are all in this together. rather than erecting walls that divide us, focusing on the labels and compartmentalizations and differences which stir the souls of those frightened at the prospect of a shrinking and shared world, countless numbers of us have been preparing for the pendulum swing of political power back to those seeking to protect the status quo at the expense of the Other.

organized resistance groups – far too many for Trump’s team to count – are popping up all over the country and even online (see the rogue twitter accounts at the white house, NASA and other government agencies).

we’re ready, mr. trump. as my friend jimmy spencer, jr. said a number of years ago – ‘y’all are busy building walls – we’ve been busy digging tunnels.

it’s going to be a long four years.