Neighbor is a Trump Supporter, Racist or Not?

The Democratic Years

Luke is a kind person. He has been my neighbor for over seven years. I remember when President Obama was in office; Luke was very cordial with us. One time he was selling a 1994 tan color Nissan Maxima, and I approached him about it. It was sitting in front of his house for almost three weeks before we made a deal. Luke told me that I could have the car and make payments. In fact, he gave me a signed title without any financial commitment from me— a White person helping an Arabaruh b ].  Luke treated me like a human being, an equal. The melting pot is working.

Or should I call it multiculturalism? The melting pot theory should apply to the many Europeans that migrated to America, Italians, Jews, Poles, Irish, English, French, Germans, and Swedes. These diverse ethnic enclaves fused (intermarry) into a new identity- American.  However, when it comes to Intermarriages among Whites and Blacks, the statistics are low. The melting pot is a concept set for White Europeans cohabitation. The multiculturalism is the describing the new America, where immigrants hold down to their lineage and marry within their respected racial-ethnic groups. 

Drive-thru are Extinct

Contemplate where would America be if there was no diversity. We would not have Dunkin Donuts coffee, no authentic Mexican tacos, no Arab pita bread with hummus. We would not have baklava that the Greeks claimed they were the first inventors of it. No Italian beef, what about Pizza or kosher Hebrew hotdogs. Calling on the French to save us from the British invasion, I mean “french” fries. And Chinese food. I am hungry.

“Baklava is a rich, sweet dessert pastry made of layers of filo filled with chopped nuts and sweetened and held together with syrup or honey. ” Retrieved ingredients from Wikipedia 05-21-2019

New waves of Republican Red-The Transition 

Luke’s wife died right before they moved into the neighborhood. Since I knew he lived by himself; I would check on him from time to time. After all, he was in his late 70’s. 

One day it snowed five inches, and I decided to be a good neighbor and shovel his snow. Luke came out in front of his house and tried to give me money for removing the slush from his sidewalk. I told Luke, “thank you, but I am not doing it for the money.” He insisted I go and take my children to buy some hotdogs with the earnings. “Weiners in the winter, ” expressed by the day laborer while picking up snow. Is that American? 

Doomsday; Trump becomes President, and wages war on color folk. Luke does not say “Hi” to me anymore. He has a big poster of Trump in his front window. His grandson moved in with him. I no longer visit him to debate politics and smoke cigarettes.

Chicago,Illinois, USA – March 11th, 2016: Protest sign at the Anti Trump rally at University of Illinois at Chicago, during twilight.

Change of Subject: 360-Full Circle

There will never be enough binary code placed in cyberspace; about the dilemmas of nepotism and cronyism. On the negative side, we have people who are in government; who have not earned the right to lead. There are millions of bureaucrats ruining many people’s lives. Mr. Trump is one of them. In general, he is not for the people; he is for corporations and their superfluous lobbyists (i.e., military-industrial complex).  Hence, we are living in a comatose America. 

Important to realize, the Democrats are not perfect angels as well. The Democrats talk a good game, nevertheless, actions speak louder than words. House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said, “The overwhelming influence of money and special interests is a cancer in our democracy that needs to be removed.” A point often overlooked is a third party being elected to the White House. The new party will implement a policy of campaign finance reform.

Real Democracy 

Fast forward to Trump presidency. Luke has changed, or maybe I have changed, and I am more liberal. I am still pro-life, an advocate for fair foreign policy (i.e., destroy the military complex ), equal opportunity for employment and education institutions, affordable housing, and criminal justice reform. 

Criminal Justice Reform is mandatory. We have many people being killed by officers from a traffic stop [sic]. Consequently, there are a plethora of death row cases that have imprisoned innocent people. Between 1398-99, a Franciscan inquisitor, Johannes de Pogiali asserted, “it was better to leave a crime unpunished than to condemn an innocent person.” The Blackstone ratio argues that it is better for ten guilty offenders to find  safe haven, then to accuse an innocent individual, for the purpose of suffering. 

That is all lot to digest. Oh, I forgot about climate change. Global warming should be at the top of the list. I think the carbon monoxide from cigarettes is affecting the cognitive process. Carbon emissions flow through our horizons. It’s the most severe threat to civilization. With this in mind, how did you get to work today? What forms of transportation did you take? Let me guess; you rode a bike to work today. Right?  

I am Innocent 


Luke no longer acknowledges me. It seems I am guilty of something. Guilty of being a Muslim in America. “Half of Americans say Islam is not part of ‘mainstream American society,’ and 41 percent say Islam encourages violence more than other faiths.” These sentiments make me feel inferior, makes me want to go back to smoking cigarettes; to calm my nerves.

What happened to the maxim: innocent until proven guilty? Stigmatized because I have a tan color skin pigmentation, with brown hair and a brown beard with brown eyes watching you read this blog. Scary! 

Luke, what happened to us? We were friends; we were neighbors. For God’s sake you had dinner at my table-with my wife-who is beautiful. Why the acrimonious behavior towards your neighbor? 

I don’t know what it is, but I suspect Trumpism has spread to his home. The vanguard propaganda is back for the “elitist” White Man to declare that this is his land and nothing will change that. 

Populism 

Well, I got news for you “elitist” White man. We are the Indians you committed genocide too. The Black men that you have enslaved for a half a century. Yes, there are still forms of slavery in this country (i.e., minimum wage, felony convictions on peoples records, after they paid their restitution, ghettos in major cities like Chicago, and employment and educational discrimination that effects applicants of minority descent). The list goes on and on. In addition, I speak for the White poor who have been oppressed by our ruling class. Notably, Dr.King stood with the Poor People’s Campaign, and we should stand for the liberation of all peoples. 

Sacramento, California, USA – December 24, 2008: A 1968 Ajman postage stamp with portraits of US human rights’ leaders Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr, and John F Kennedy. The stamp is part of the “human rights” series created in memory of MLK.

I worry about you Luke. Yearning for those candid talks we had about God and country (lowercase the letter “c” because country or land could never be equal to God).  Maybe, I am partly to blame, I no longer smoke cigarettes, that is why I don’t visit you anymore. 

Author’s notes: If you are looking for bloggers please send us an email at info@nicorub.com. Let us know what are the topics and what products you need to market. Thank you for reading. Without you, there is no us. 

White Privilege-Village of Oak Lawn, Illinois

This month of Ramadan is an excellent time to quit smoking, and its been going right for me-coupled with applying for a position that only required a high school diploma. Moreover, I was very interested in this future employment and was optimistic that I was one of the right candidates for the job. The person who was conducting the interviews, David Venice has told me that I was not granted an interview because “I did not have time to go through all the resumes.” What?

Why is it so hard to quit smoking? Idiotic people.

The position opening “police detention aide” was advertised through Oak Lawn’s village website. Not broadcast on significant platforms like Indeed, Monster, or Zip Recruiter. However, it was announced on LinkedIn.  While Oak Lawn demographics are over 85% White, the rest are minorities like me. Go to the Village of Oak Lawn, and you will be hard press to find any minorities that work there unless we are cleaning the toilets or cutting the grass. No white collar positions for people with hard to pronounce names (i.e., Alshuaabee, Xiomara).

Natives Go Rouge

USA – November 19, 2016: ‘White Lives Matter’ demonstrators display an American flag at a protest. The ‘White Lives Matter’ demonstrators, numbering about 20 people at the most, with the message that the hate crime law is unfair to white people.

Being an Arab American in Oak Lawn; has created some horrible memories.-to explain, there was a driving experience that will never leave the memory domain. I was idle at a stop light when a white male pulled next to me with his Harley Davison motorcycle. He was sporting a goatee, and black sunglasses, black jeans with black military issued boots. He had on the back of his white t-shirt, “Stay away from me 100 feet.”  Thereupon, the subtitle worried me even more as an Arab American:

.ابتعد عن 100 قدم

As shown above, meaning in Arabic, “Stay away from me 100 feet.” I knew why he had that custom shirt made; it was to target the Arab “Spring” in Oak Lawn’s heavily predominately white suburb. In any event, I have news for the segregationists; we- the Arab and Muslim populations are here to stay.

Jogging on Halloween Night

When you quit smoking, people tend to gain more body weight. Our taste buds enhance, and we consume more food. When you try to quit smoking, you tend to try to modify all your negative behaviors- to demonstrate, there was nightfall; it was Halloween, and I decided to go for a jog.  There I was running slow like a boxer during training, and a red Chevy Blazer was going westbound on 99th street towards Cicero, Two White males in the front of  two seats. As I was jogging, the passenger male stuck his head and right-hand arm out to throw an object. It did not hit me, but when I got to the landing ground; it was an egg cracked on the cemented pavement.

For this reason, I called 911 dispatch and told the officer, what had happened to the best of my ability. I described the vehicle and the two occupants. The dispatcher only questions was for my name, and “Do you live in Oak Lawn.” I argued with the officer, “It does not matter if I live in Oak Lawn for my rights to be protected?” The dialogue was ended by me dropping the call.  In the long run, I went home and decided to smoke under duress again.

Next time, I will jog at our beautiful Oak Lawn Pavilion. In the event that; someone could have got hurt that night, lord knows that a minor infraction could escalate to a fatal incident.  Here in Oak Lawn, we receive many gunshot victims that go to Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn. By the way, one of the few institutions here in Oak Lawn that welcome you with open arms. And the library here is very resourceful, the people are friendly, and they encourage scholastic achievements.

Succinct History

The Palestinians, Iraqis, Syrians, and other Middle Easterners would not have ever come to the United States; if it was not for the one-sided hegemonic principles that are dictated by our foreign policy. If you have a problem with asylum seekers, then seek to change our foreign policy that has caused many Arabs to leave their homelands and come to the United States for refuge.

America has always been one-sided with Israel. Palestine must be treated the same. An exploitation policy of a whole nation is wrong! And it is Important to realize that Israel has a right to exist, so does its neighbors-the Arabs.

For instance, the Palestinians only migrated to America because our American government has supported Israel’s occupation of my ancestor’s lands. We were forced to leave by the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) who use American made weapons. America, we are not on the right side of history. We will be paying reparations for the numerous third world countries we have destroyed.

Overqualified

Papers about job discrimination in the Village of Oak Lawn

We the minority community have been here and some privileged enough to go to a university. The dream was to receive meaningful employment. I have graduated with college degrees, but I have been applying for jobs for the last ten years with a negative return. Nothing! Either, I am too qualified, or I just do not fit the mainstream culture-whatever that means. As a result, I am fed up and have to remind myself that God has something better in store for me. Patience needs its exercise; for it to become a virtue.

Not getting an interview and calling the division chief a “White racist, Klu, Klux, Klan,” did not help my cause either. He told me after I uttered those epithets; this is the reason why I was passed up for an interview. Mr. Division Chief was I not hired or granted a meeting because you did not look at my resume, or you are upset that I pointed out hiring discrimination? And, in my humble analysis; you fit the profile of a xenophobe. I have a masters degree in sociology, and the position only needed a high school diploma. And I don’t get an interview!

The Plot Thickens

What had transpired and there are always two sides to a story; My first call to the department of human resources, and a women picks up the phone line. I ask her how she was doing, and she did not ask me how I was doing. Okay, do not be cordial; you are only filling in a civil servant paid position by us-We the People– tax dollars. I inquire on who I can speak to about the job I applied for, and the secretary wanted to connect me to a department without telling me where I was being forwarded too. That is not right. I need to know who I am talking to you and what department.

Time Line 

Finally, get connected to DV,  and he told me that I was not hired because he did not have time to go through all the resumes. I inquired on how is that so, and I told him that, “I do not think that is a legitimate reason.” DV hurried up by ending the conversation and hung up.

Who is this guy and what department does he belong too? I was enraged. I called back for the second time.

The secretary picks up; she said, “I am connecting you, DV.” Who is “DV” and is this an abbreviation of sorts that I am supposed to know. In my mind, this is the second time I am calling your office. This person on the other line; automatically assumed I knew who or what was “DV.” Then when I asked her for clarity, she told me that, “DV stands for David Venice.” I went on a rant, telling her that not all people know your two letter words. Therefore, she connected me to DV’s voicemail, and I left him a message about unfair treatment.

God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason.

Keep in mind, that being a public official requires time spent with people looking for help. Being employed by a government body is an honor, and people have taken oaths to serve. Some bureaucrats have lost their calling in life.

Volcano Eruption 

The secretary told the division chief I was yelling at her. He calls me back, “You f&%#ing want to scream at an old lady.” With a very aggressive voice. So, I told him some words out of anger, that I genuinely did not mean. Afterward, he said, “this is the reason why you are not hired.” As a result, not getting an interview was dishearting. And I was currently fasting without food and water. Under those circumstances, I believe I let anger get the best of me. Patience is a virtue, and anger is a vice.

Change of Heart 

Ten minutes ago; you said Mr. DV,  I did not qualify for the position, due to the fact, that you did not look at my resume. Nevertheless, I am not eligible because I labeled you a racist bigot. Which is it?

Definitely going to file at the federal case (U.S. Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission) and at the state level (Illinois Department of Human Rights) these institutions deal with hiring discrimination. The fight begins. I seek to unveil the blindfolds of justice within Oak Lawn’s government body. Oak Lawn has a rich history of discrimination based on race, color, religion, sexual orientation, and other attributes that are illegal to practice by any local municipalities.

Culture Shift and Promoting Diversity

My wife’s family is Irish and Italian. I love all races. In essence, I would not be a Muslim; if I did not respect and care for all walks of life (including animals). Diversity is what makes America great. It is truly the promised land if inclusion is practice. If we learn that we have more similarities than differences; then our communities become safer and vibrant environments. When we admit that we are wrong, and we made mistakes-the world is a better place. After all, we are humans.

In conclusion, I leave with this quote by General MacArthur, “The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.”

Notes from the author, I used a pseudonym for the accusations I have made against a police department- a severe matter. I probably hurt my chances of any future job opportunities with the Village of Oak Lawn. Furthermore, there may be a probability of me being targeted by city officials to halt future publish articles or blogs.  In the event, that city officials harass me in any way after I post this blog; I will not stop writing. I will release all updates on the outcome of this legal battle. We will let the courts decide our fate.

Humble nobody, Arrogant Somebody

Historic Clash 

What happened to the world that used to love and cherish the knowledge seekers. Now it seems people are chasing the paparazzi. The fame and fortune of the temporary world. People of status have their necks in the air as we are inferior to them. (Sorry, I need a cigarette break, this is personal).

The low class is vying to be part of the middle class or high class — basic socioeconomics of classism. People with fancy cars, working as bureaucrats collecting taxes in the name of the government. I have heard on NPR (National Public Radio) that anytime you have to pay a public official to do something; it’s a bribe that we are paying (i.e., water bill, eviction court, streets and sanitation, lottery, and the list goes on and on). So the mafia has become our elected officials. The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer (guess what time it is, another cigarette break).

Real Role Models 

I find that homeless people are the most humble — the most sincere, the friendliest. Even if you do not give them any money when you see them begging for change, they still tell you “thank you” as you drive off in your car. Having homelessness is a failure on all of us. Jesus talked about loving thy neighbor. We have failed in this mission. Many homeless people suffer from mental illnesses, and alcohol and drug addictions. We need to stop with the labels of laziness, alcoholics, drug addicts; it’s a time for healing — an opportunity for compassion, empathy, and pure love.

Driving For Uber 

One night I was driving and working for Uber, and I had three passengers in the back seat of my car. A homeless man approached me and asked for change. Now, the two ladies and man in the back started to criticize the homeless man, calling him a “bum” and other negative adjectives. I felt terrible for the situation; I reached in my pocket and gave the homeless person a few dollars. The people in the backseat automatically reacted positively. They started to thank me for being generous. It was like a switch. I diffused the situation with a few dollars and made my passengers realize that simple gestures can make a world of difference.

Life in the Fast Lane

Think about all the celebrities that have died from being famous and wealthy. Yes, I believe that Prince, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Elvis, and many others would live far longer lives,  if they were not popular. They would have productive lives and had more time to spend with their loved ones. I think music played a big part in their drug addiction — something about the devil’s tune that makes people self destruct.

Final Destination 

On a personal level, I never want to be famous, never want to be wealthy. I have witnessed what wealth can do to people. I believe it corrupts the heart. Islam preaches that if we give the Children of Adam a valley of gold, they would want another one. In other words, if you make a million dollars, you would wish for another million dollars. We will never get full in this world until they bury us in our graves. The mud for our burials will quench our thirst for this world.

The Seal of The Prophets 

The Prophet Muhammed stated we should never compete in wealth and children. We should compete in good deeds. After all, our wealth and children stay, but our deeds go with us to the promised land of eternity. Next time you see a hungry mouth, feed that person. It might be your ticket to paradise. Try fasting; it should eradicate the demons that are in your heart and mind. Go without food and water and you will realize you have everything you need and more. Count your blessings. Remember, your net worth is not what you have in your bank account, its what you can do for others.

I need another cigarette break-wait, think for a moment. Fasting without food and water from sun up to sun down has made me realize that I can rid myself of nicotine addiction. But learning how to be humble, that is a life’s journey. And becoming arrogant is something of a quick fix.

Aslam alkaum (peace be upon you).

Time For Healing, No More Bloodshed, Please!

The X Family

Our world, we are one, we are family, even though we are strangers; even though we are not the same color, gender, and religion; it’s time for healing. We are one because we all want to live a happy life; the world is our home. There are enough resources for everyone to live in peace.

We all strive for success. Can we start learning to help one another? Can we stop and reflect how we have made planet earth a nightmare for millions? Let’s forget about borders, nationalism, currency, and war. We are the most advanced species in our world, and we have succumbed to destruction. Profits first, climate last, and our government only helps humans if they keep on complaining (i.e., Puerto Rico). Rich and poor people need to live in harmony. Puerto Rico is still in need of essential things like water, electricity, food and finally the most vital component; LOVE.

Simple Gestures

Let’s start doing the little things in life. How about smiling to an unknown. How about we all learn about other cultures. Why judge, when all a person is to us is another bystander, or even worst, “not like us.” We can learn from children, watch different genders, races, playing at the parks. Small adults do not have any color barriers. Hate is a characteristic that a child learns through their environment. For instance, someone had to tell a black child to hate a white child at some point their lives.

People teach children in Palestine / Israel that you must hate the opposing side, that they are out to kill you. The peace seeds have not yet receive water for growth. I am talking about the history dating back to 1948. Bring the walls that are invisible and visible down (i.e., apartheid wall). Live as one, Jews, Arabs, Christians, and non-religious groups. Destroy the arms, and lets put our weapons down on all sides. Let’s start living life without FEAR.

World Economies

Struggling is a way of life for many millions around the world. Chinese day laborers work like robots. Sweatshops still exist, where hard-working people make only ten dollars from sunup to sundown. In Jordan Amman, a person making one thousand dollars a month can live a very comfortable life. In New York City, people making a thousand dollars month are homeless. The world is unbalanced; we need real changes. Innovation is a must.

We are very fortunate to be in the states. Lets us be the model to show how to expand commerce, build bridges, creating joint ventures that benefit the world. Our planet belongs to all of us, not the selected few!

People do not mind working hard if there is meaning to it. If there is affordable pay with some significant benefits. Let us share and grow together. Find people that want to be part of your company and give them a piece of the action. Growth only comes from the people doing the work.

Charisma

Love will set us free. Patience, tolerance, education, can create a world of serenity. The dream for all of us to be in environments that breed progressive ideas. A vibrant community, adequate schooling, and finally a place we can call home. All walks of life would choose this route if they knew that it would take them to the promised land. I need a rub.

 

Six figures and a Pension Plan

Why cigarettes and pension don’t mix?

Over 30% of Chicago city workers make more than a 100k.  Put things in perspective; if a bureaucrat worked for 30 years and made 100k per year (total earnings =$3 million). And still needs a pension? People that represent the government body; coupled with benefits and excellent compensation pay plan, for their work should receive less when they retire.  Not only are they not dealing with financial strain during their careers; but their future offsprings are set to become the future leaders of our city and state.  It is unpalatable to digest, but some things have to change.  Should I light up a cigarette now or wait for a group session.

                      Adjustments or Referendum 

A government that is opaque with our tax dollars will never earn the trust of the people it is supposed to represent. That is why we have this pension crisis.  Much needed resources are dishing out for people who should have their lives in order, after serving the public for so many decades. We need to set conditions on how much pension monies people receive after they retire. By the time they have finished their careers; officials should have accomplished goals, like starting a new business or having a house mortgage paid off.

Our resources should have a cap for retirees. An inchoate argument, meaning your pension should only be base on your necessities (i.e., utilities, food expenses, taxes for your home, gas for the vehicle, clothes, and vacation money every five years). We need the new money that is generated from the cuts and earmarks to pay the interest on the loans we have taken for the pension plan. An efficacy of government spending will only net vibrant communities.

Opposing views will argue that inflation is always increasing; those dollars are not much value when we put things in context. Inflation rises only by single digits over long periods of time. Having a good paying career should pave the way for your retirement. Asking for money when you retire is irresponsible. Government officials taking vacations; living outside their means; are their responsibility, not the taxpayers.

Main Culprits to Pension Crisis 

Research shows that the main problem with the pension crisis is that the City of Chicago is not making on-time debt payments. We are losing on the interests that are accumulating. Critics argue that if we make the debt payments on time, we will not have a pension crisis.

“But that is not what we see. In 2019, Chicago’s pension payments added up to about $1.3 billion. Just $250 million of that, however, is the normal cost — the cost of new pension benefits earned this year. The rest, over $1 billion, is a debt payment on benefits earned in prior years. Just as importantly, the city’s normal cost is hardly projected to increase at all over the coming decades. In other words, without the debt payments, there is no crisis.”

Others advocate that the city employees need to take a lower payout when they retire. We cannot just keep giving, and the state is on the verge of bankruptcy. “The Civic Committee’s plan notably does not call for constitutional changes that would generate savings by requiring workers to pay more, accept reduced benefits, or both.” Time is running out; the redress for the pension plan is at its final stages.

No pension, I need a cigarette.

The naysayers will argue, we pay into our pensions. Not really, you settle into your pensions by our tax dollars; that we the people pay you to serve. Please, save the rubbish for another argument. Damn, I need a cigarette. My nerves are bothering me.

If people are going to be civil servants; they have to be responsible for their salaries and not be spendthrifts. How are they going to manage the affairs of our institutions, they cannot budget their own lifestyles. We need people to serve who live simple lives; in turn, they will show us that  less is more.

Now, for those that make less than six figures. Our government should devise a plan that decreases the amount of pensions funds for someone retiring. How much money do you need? One example, my neighbor receives 8 thousand dollars per month for his pension. Some of it he spends on cigarettes and local newspapers. And he is a frequent visitor of the Indiana casinos. Plus, he is a Trump supporter (so it’s personal)!  In other words, he does not need that much. He is a single man living his life and enjoying it. Nothing wrong with helping him live a comfortable life during his retirement. However, a hundred thousand dollars per year to keep him happy; we are retrograding our economy with these unfair practices.

Mayor’s Propositions

Mayor Lightfoot wants to increase tax on high-end law firms, accounting services to go to the pension plan, I agree.  We should also increase the sales tax for liquor products.  And here is an anomaly; we- the City of Chicago should keep our lottery money here.

What?

I have always been an opponent of anything related to gambling. I believe it is immoral and it has long deteriorating effects on our communities.  But if we are going to have it, we should have our lottery system for the City of Chicago. No more state ran institution collecting all of our lottery money.  Our dollars should stay in our city, not going to the rest of the state. Some of that lottery money can go to the pension plan.

Lottery proceeds supposed to go to education. Under Rahm’s regime, we have closed schools in record numbers. We need our schools back. We need the currency circulating back into our communities — the surplus of money taken out of our neighborhoods is crippling our local economies. Investors and small businesses make money in Chicago and allocate our currency somewhere else (that is wrong). If you are going to do business in Chicago, you should enrich the nest that has provided for you and your family. In a nutshell, don’t reap the benefits of Chicago’s marketplace and take those vital dollars to another metropolis.