But first . . .
PRKR won its first settlement: see yesterday’s press release and further color here. My hope — having the happy gene and a zillion shares of this thing — is that this small-ish settlement will be the first of several while we wait for potentially huge settlements or judgments in the cases against Qualcomm and Intel. And that in years to come the company may see revenue from technological advances it believes it has achieved and will be able to market once its right to reasonable license fees has been accepted.
And now . . .
If you didn’t have time to read Winferd Rembert’s story yesterday, or see his chain gang art, let me start by stating the obvious — but maybe those of us on the left need to say it more often anyway:
We should all celebrate the countless straight white Christian men who’ve done so much good for our country and the world. Including many, like Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin, who — in a much different time — owned slaves. And including the overwhelming majority of straight white men today who, though not famous, contribute every bit as much to our melting pot as any other group.
And some small sliver of whom have had to suffer on chain gangs themselves.
But . . . wow.
With so much attention paid to the crimes against oppressed people — Matthew Shepard beaten and left to die on a Wyoming fence, just for being gay; James Byrd, Jr. dragged until dead behind a pickup truck, just for being black; six million Jews murdered just for being Jewish; not to mention women oppressed around the world — well . . .
. . . what about the hardships and struggles of straight white men?
Life can be tough for almost anyone, and certainly it is for the working white poor who’ve lost good jobs to automation and globalization. If I fell into that group, I would almost surely resent having so little attention paid to my problems. I never enslaved or lynched anyone . . . although if you look at how our parents were able to buy the homes we inherited, with government programs that specifically excluded black people’s parents, it’s not quite so simple as that I never discriminated against anyone directly myself.
Still, can anyone see the opioid crisis and not understand how so many straight white Christian men (and women) feel their problems are being ignored?
I hope some will see the $1,400 checks they got, and the monthly child care checks they will start receiving July 15 — both opposed by the Republicans — and the American Jobs Act that Obama proposed but the Republicans killed — and the infrastructure bills Biden has proposed . . . I hope they will see these things, and quite a bit more that Republicans have opposed (the Consumer Financial Protection Agency? Medicare?) — as meaningful attempts to address their problems as well.
Still . . . wow.
If you have time, read Winferd’s story.
And then read about the Freedom Riders, black and white, who risked their lives to advance the American dream: a country where all are created equal, with certain inalienable rights . . . treated with dignity and judged by the content of their character even if they had come from Ireland (“no Irish need apply!”) or were Jewish (“Jews will not replace us!”) or were the folks straight white Christian men took our land from in the first place.
Look at those Freedom Riders’ mug shots, four years before the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
What happened to them?
Where are they now?
White lives matter — for sure. Enormously! Even though it goes without saying, maybe we should say it more anyway.
Still, few straight white men were enslaved or lynched or resettled on reservations or interned during World War II or paid less than women for doing the same work or beaten and tied to a fence to freeze to death simply for being straight.
Some of my best friends and many of my heroes are straight white Christian men! But the rest of us deserve the same rights and respect, and haven’t always gotten it.
Make sense, Carl?
Have a great weekend.