Author: Gwendolyn J

#PlanetIS: Deported Man Dies Homeless In Iraq (While ICE Detains US Citizens)

Image by Armelion from Pixabay

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Emma Lazarus

November 2, 1883

For those that do not know, this is the sonnet written by Emma Lazarus that is on a plaque on the pedestal that holds the Statue of Liberty.

Lazarus wrote this sonnet to help raise money for the pedestal that was to hold the statue once it was delivered from France.

I quote Lazarus to highlight the difference between her welcome message to newcomers to American shores and the current state of immigration.

Since Trump’s administration implemented zero-tolerance measures to detain anyone trying to cross into the US on the southern border, children have been separated from their parents. Despite a federal judge’s order, these separations have continued based on something as arbitrary as a child’s unchanged diaper, or a father’s speech impediment.

Department of Homeland Security acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan made a point of mentioning that “less than 1,000” children have been removed from their parent’s custody since that federal order, but loopholes are being used to do this, as TYT reports (below). Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez questioned him on the border situation (Bloomberg TicToc).

And even worse, border patrol officers have been detaining US citizens across the country for extended periods while they “confirm” their citizenship.



See the story of Davino Watson, a US citizen from New York. He was threatened with deportation to Jamaica -where he has not lived since he was a child- and held for 3 and a half years here:

Daily Kos reports that Francisco Erwin Galicia, 18, was held at two immigration detention facilities, first by Border Patrol, then by ICE. Galicia is a US citizen, born in Dallas, TX.

Unfortunately, his younger brother Marlon was not born in the US. He was deported to Mexico. Galicia says he was tormented by guards who wanted him to sign a confession stating he was not a US citizen and was trying to enter the US illegally.

“They said they were going to charge me,” he told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, “they would insult me so I would sign my deportation order, and well, it was all psychological damage.”



Officials stated that Galicia never stated he was an American citizen.

“From the first moment that I presented myself at the checkpoint, I always said I was an American citizen. They even charged me because they said my papers were falsified, and I have proof because they contradict themselves because they charged me for supposedly falsifying my citizenship when I am a citizen here. It doesn’t make sense what they’re saying.”

Francisco Erwin Galicia (Daily Kos)

His mother brought his birth certificate to border patrol to confirm his place of birth. TYT reports Galicia was detained for 23 days, a week after border officials had proof of his citizenship. In that time, he lost about 26 pounds.

Julia Medina, a 9-year-old girl, and her 14-year-old- brother, Oscar, were detained. Both are US citizens with passports who cross the border every day to go to school.

This family was separated for 32 hours, and border officials told Julia that she was lying about being a US citizen because her passport picture did not match her.

They also accused her brother of smuggling and attempted to have him sign a confession, stating Julia was his cousin, not his sister.

TYT discussed the issues with ICE and border patrol and their outright defiance of a federal order here:


More recently, TYT reports that Jimmy Aldaoud, 41, from Detroit was deported in June. He was born in Greece, but his family came to the US when he was 6 months old. He grew up in America, as an Iraqi national, but he was deported to Iraq.



He did not speak Arabic, the predominant language of Iraq.

He never lived in Iraq. He lived in Detroit, MI.

He was not Muslim. He belonged to the Chaldean sect of the Catholic church that largely supported Trump in 2016.


The Trump Administration has targeted over 1,000 Iraqis for deportation, according to Politico. That includes Chaldean Catholics—a minority believed to have originated in ancient Mesopotamia, who face discrimination in present-day Iraq. Aldaoud was one of the Detroit-area Chaldeans given a final order of removal, although he challenged the decision in court.



He had no family there. All of his family lives in Detroit and has for decades.

He was homeless in Iraq, unable to find anyone to help him find work, a home, or his medicine.

Mr. Aldaoud was schizophrenic, which led to a criminal record in the US. His family has stated he was seeking counseling and getting treatment for the condition. He was also diabetic.

He was found dead Wednesday. Apparently, he died due to complications from diabetes, because he could not get his insulin.

This is just a snapshot of immigration practices in Trump’s America. A Google search turns up a distressing number of these stories. This is not a “protecting our borders” issue. It is not an immigration issue. This is Trump’s racism running rampant through government channels.

This is #PlanetIS.

We are #1Race, and it is far beyond time for us to act like it.



Gwendolyn J

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We Know Trump is a Racist (Why Are We Still Talking About It?)

Donald Trump is a racist.

I don’t understand why there is any question, debate, or conversation on this.

He was racist when he took out full-page ads that called for the death penalty for the Central Park 5. A confession from the actual criminal and DNA exonerated them.


He was racist when he voiced continual doubt about President Barack Obama’s American citizenship.

birth-certificate-long-form bobama

He was racist when he banned Muslims from entry into the US. It took three rounds, but he finally managed to get Supreme Court approval to “restrict the entry of nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia Syria, Yemen, North Korea, and Venezuela” (

He was racist two weeks ago when he told four Congressional women of color to go back where they came from. Three were born in the US and the fourth is a naturalized citizen.

He was racist this past weekend when attacked Chairman Elijah Cummings, head of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform about the state of Baltimore, MD.

One thing you can say about him: he’s consistent.

Remember when Jeffrey Epstein was arrested and questions were being raised about Trump’s connection to him?

Trump launched his attack on The Squad.

Remember last week when Mueller testified in open session before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees? He clearly stated that he did not indict Trump because he is a sitting President, but that he could indict him once he leaves the office.

Trump launched an attack on Congressman Elijah Cummings after he questioned acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan about the conditions at the border. Cummings also subpoenaed Mazars, a long-time Trump accounting firm for Trump’s financial records. A federal judge upheld that subpoena.

Trump’s racist rants against people of color are nothing but a distraction ploy.

As The Squad said: Don’t take the bait.

Stay focused. This is just the next step in Trump’s efforts to divide We The People. Unity and knowledge among We The People is his nightmare. Exposure of his shady dealings and empty promises is his nightmare.

The truth about Trump is clear.

Too much time and energy are taken up with this deflection tactic. We know Trump is racist.

We know he does not care about taking care of anyone but himself and seeing to it his rich friends get what they want, as much as they want.

We know he is a liar and a con man. Not convinced?

Trump has repeatedly stated he got a “small $1 million loan” from his father, Fred Trump and “built it into an empire.”

Fact: According to MSNBC, and even Trump biographer Michael D’Antonio
“It was always a scam.” Trump lost about $1 billion over a ten-year span. His businesses have filed bankruptcy 6 times, and he has been sued for not paying employees and contractors.

Trump University = Con. Google it.

So let’s move on.

Let’s talk about climate change. Let’s discuss the income gap. Discuss how to correct the tax situation that benefits 1% of the country and drops a huge weight on the rest of us.

Let’s discuss the crushing weight of debt, the cost of living, the lack of a living wage.

Let’s talk about Big Pharma and private insurance companies and why so many people in this country cannot afford healthcare.

Let’s talk about inhumane conditions at the border. Work out some kind of compromise that eases the pressure on border patrol and speaks to why these people feel driven to leave their homes for the US.

I challenge media outlets to stop occupying so much of their air time with Trump and focus on what matters to the people. Focus on real issues. Report on what we really worry about.

Give the ConMan in Chief his 3-5 minutes and move on to actual issues that face Americans every day.

Gwendolyn J


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UPDATE: Protests in Puerto Rico Heard; Rossello Steps Down


Reuters reports Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rossello will resign as of August 2nd instead of staying in office until the end of his term.

Rossello bowed to pressure from 12 days of protests after the release of damning messages between him and 11 top advisors that drove Puerto Ricans into the streets. This came on top of ongoing corruption and financial troubles as well as citizens still struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria in 2018.

Once they learned the news, protestors erupted into celebration.



His expected successor, Secretary of Justice Wanda Vazquez, has not gained public acceptance either. Puerto Rican citizens held signs stating, “Wanda, you’re next!” and “Wanda, we don’t want you either!”

Vazquez is viewed as too close to Rossello and reportedly does not want the job.

Vázquez was next in line for the job after the current embattled leader, Ricardo Rosselló, announced his resignation on Wednesday.

“I have no interest in occupying the position of Governor,” Vázquez said on Twitter.

According to Puerto Rico’s order of succession, the secretary of state should be next in line after the governor. But the man holding that position, Luis G. Rivera Marín resigned July 13. He was one of the participants in a group chat at the heart of the scandal that led to protests and Rosselló’s resignation.

This made Vázquez the next in line.

She said in a tweet that while the constitution calls for her to be the governor, she hopes Rosselló appoints a new secretary of state who can then take over.



According to Reuters, leaders of Rossello’s pro-statehood party are “scrambling to … negotiate another successor” that the people will accept.

The people have been heard in Puerto Rico. Mainland American citizens should take a page from their book.

Did you know?

Gwendolyn J


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Judge Rules House Subpoena For Trump Accounts Will Stand (Video)

Another attempt to block the investigation into Trump’s pre-election finances has been crushed by a well-informed federal judge.

Chairman Elijah Cummings, head of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, subpoenaed financial records from an accounting firm that has been handling financials for Trump and several of his businesses for many years.


Congressman Elijah E. Cummings Source:


On May 20, Judge Amit Mehta of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued his decision in Trump v. Committee on Oversight and Reform, ruling that President Trump cannot block the committee’s subpoena to Trump’s accountant, Mazars. The judge found that the committee had demonstrated a facially valid legislative purpose for its investigation and the issuance of the subpoena.



Judge Ahmit Mehta denied Trump’s legal counsel’s assertion that Congress had no power to investigate a sitting President, for illegal activity. Judge Meta cited the Watergate investigation as well as the Congressional investigation into President Bill Clinton’s conduct with Whitewater before he took office.


Trump’s counsel stated Congressional motives were suspect, but Judge Meta disposed of this by writing:

“Congress’s motives are off-limits.”


It is simply not fathomable that a Constitution that grants Congress the power to remove a President for reasons including criminal behavior would deny Congress the power to investigate him for unlawful conduct—past or present—even without formally opening an impeachment inquiry.

Congress plainly views itself as having sweeping authority to investigate illegal conduct of a President, before and after taking office. This court is not prepared to roll back the tide of history.

Did you know?

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Puerto Rico Erupting in Protests Against Govenor

Did you know that for 11 straight days Puerto Ricans have been protesting all over the island, demanding the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rossello.

One of the sparks that lit the fire in PR came from the release of racists, sexist, and homophobic messages between Rossello and 11 top aides. Puerto Ricans are displaying their fury by taking to the streets and calling for Rossello’s immediate resignation.

This is not the beginning of PR residents’ discontent. Puerto Rico has been dealing with high unemployment, coupled with ongoing debt. As you can see from the chart below, Puerto Rico’s unemployment rate has been consistently higher than in mainland US states.

After Hurricane Maria swept the island in September 2017, some waited 11 months for power to be restored. Delayed federal aid has done little to alleviate the issues. Rossello drew criticism when his administration granted a small company from Montana a $300 million contract to help clean up Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

Several officials were arrested for corruption just days before the messages came to light. These officials funneled $15.5 million to unqualified, personally connected vendors.


The two former Puerto Rico leaders — Julia Keleher, who was the secretary of the island’s department of education before stepping down in April, and Ángela Ávila-Marrero, who led Puerto Rico’s Health Insurance Administration until last month — were arrested by FBI agents on Wednesday.

Prosecutors wrote in the indictment that the conspiracy involved the two former public officials giving four associates an inside track to contracts.

Once secured, authorities say the contractors benefited by paying “unauthorized commissions” to other individuals to lobby government for more contracts, a dynamic authorities described as “a corrupt bidding process.”


From NPR on July 11, 2019

TYT’s Ana Kasparian, Brooke Thomas, and Francesca Fiorentini discussed this issue on July 16. See the video below.

CBSN also covered the story:

The population of PR has been dwindling due to the lack of jobs and the ongoing conditions these citizens of the United States have been forced to live under.

The protesters have vowed to keep the pressure on Rossello, although he has stated he will not run for re-election. They want him gone now.

Did you now?


Gwendolyn J


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Did You Know: Trump Advised of Washington D. C. Financial Shortfall (And It’s His Fault)

Fireworks explode over the Lincoln Memorial to celebrate U.S. Independence Day in Washington D.C., the United States, July 4, 2019. Ting Shen | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

Did you know that Trump’s Fourth of July parade drained the coffers of Washington D.C.’s security fund?

Our nation’s capital maintains the Emergency Planning and Security Fund to cover the cost of security at state funerals -such as President George H. W. Bush’s- as well as inaugurations.

To pay for the 4th of July parade, Trump also redirected funds meant for the National Parks Service and he still ended up putting DC about $6 million in the hole.

The funds for Presidential inaugurations are generally put back into the EPSF, but true to form, Trump has yet to pay a penny back to people.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser informed Trump of the shortage of funds in a letter the week after the “Salute to America” parade.



Click image to read Mayor Bowser’s Letter to Trump Source: Nicholas Wu, USA Today


Mayor Bowser advised Trump that the funding for the EPSF was limited to $13 million per Congress, with “annual expenditure of about $16.5 million” (CNBC).

Let’s do some math.

Trump’s parade with tanks and military flyovers tapped the EPSF for $1.7 million.

The National Park Service paid in $2.5 million.

The Pentagon paid “at least” $1.2 million (CNBC).

If you’re keeping track, we are up to $5.4 million. For a parade.


That’s not taking into account the cost of security during the protests around the parade.

On a side note, TYT guest Ron Perlman notes that no veterans were invited to this event, but many of Trump’s top donors were VIPs.

Moving on…

Trump’s inauguration came in at $107 million, including about $10,000 in makeup and room service at various hotels. Yes, makeup.

Much of this was donated by corporations like AT&T, Bank of America, and Pfizer. Donations also came from wealthy Republican supporters, namely Sheldon Adelson and Andrew Beal (NYT).

A good chunk of the funds was “written off” (NYT) including:

  • $6.4 million for unused hotel rooms
  • $1.2 million in unrecovered revenue for a media center that never came to be
  • $1.6 million for Mrs. Trump’s friend/advisor Ms. Winston Wolkoff for a documentary that did not happen. Ms. Wolkoff, along with another friend of Mrs. Trump, Jonathan Reynaga, formed WIS Media Partners to produce the documentary.
  • $26 million to WIS as a general contractor and event overseer. Some of this was paid to other vendors.
  • $2 million to Trump campaign official Brad Pascale’s firm for advertising.
  • $2.7 million on flying in a performance group (working with Trump pal casino bigwig Steve Wynn)
  • $1.5 million to Trump International Hotel for use of a ballroom, an annex and “the townhouse”

See this New York Times article for a full rundown. Suffice it to say Trump has a track record of money problems.



Questions about the legitimacy of some of these expenses are still circulating nearly two years later.

Organizers that worked both President Obama’s and President Bush’s (the younger) inaugurations spent less than half of Trump’s committee.

President Bush’s (the older) funeral called for a paid holiday for all federal workers, at the cost of $450 million, which will be shouldered by American taxpayers.

As mentioned, Trump has problems paying what he owes. He has been sued repeatedly for shorting wages or just refusing to pay vendors and contractors.

TYT did an analysis of the parade cost with guest Ron Perlman.



Did you know?

Gwendolyn J

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Planet Should: Michelle Obama Most Admired Woman 2019

Josh B, Getty Images

In a refreshing relief from the ongoing spats on national news, a new worldwide poll by YouGov has named former First Lady Michelle Obama Most Admired Woman of 2019.



This comes as no surprise, as she has always been classy and poised. Her grace, dignity, and style magnify and complement President Obama’s. As he says in a GMA interview, “Michelle grounds me.”



President Obama is also on the list, holding at second behind Bill Gates.

Oprah Winfrey came in second on the women’s list and last years’ Most Admired, Angelina Jolie was third. Queen Elizabeth II and Harry Potter alum Emma Watson round out the top five. Former Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton placed in seventh, and current First Lady Melania Trump was nineteenth.

On a side note, ABC News reports Mrs. Obama’s memoir Becoming may end up being “the most successful memoir in history” with 10 million copies sold (Penguin Random House).

Becoming by former First Lady Michelle Obama on Amazon

Congratulations Mrs. Obama. Keep being fabulous.


Gwendolyn J


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Planet IS: Woman Told to Cover Up on American Airlines Flight

You would think that in the years since Lil Kim wore this:

And J-Lo wore this:
Source: Reddit


That a woman wearing a romper would be just fine on an American Airlines flight from Jamaica (94 degrees) to Miami, FL (89 degrees).


But no.

On #PlanetIS, Dr. Latisha Rowe was told by flight attendants that she had to cover up her outfit, or she would not be allowed to fly.

She was also warned against making a scene or getting “loud” on the flight.

The best part of this entire thing: the members of the flight crew that committed this act are also black.

TYT’s Post Game debated whether or not people of color can be defined as racist. This is my comment on the video:

I am black and have known many black racists. It is A Thing. It happens.
We still have the House N vs Field N mentality. Lighter-skinned Blacks with softer curls are seen as more attractive. It is changing very slowly, but it [is still] there.

CNN reports:

(CNN)American Airlines has apologized to a woman who says she was humiliated after being told she couldn’t fly unless she covered up her romper.

Latisha “Tisha” Rowe said she and her son were boarding a flight from Kingston, Jamaica, to Miami on June 30 when flight attendants asked them to step off the plane to talk, she told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin on Thursday.

Rowe said a female flight attendant asked her several times whether she had a jacket, and when she asked why, the woman told her that “you are not getting on the plane dressed like that.”

Rowe was wearing a strapless romper, so her legs, shoulders and arms were visible, but she said that nothing inappropriate was exposed.

“To me, that felt like a slap in the face, because I felt appropriately dressed,” Rowe said. “But I’m being told indirectly, in front of my son that — you know, it felt like ‘you look like a slut, so let’s fix this.’ “

Rowe said she ended up wrapping a blanket around herself in order to board the plane.


Dr. Rowe is a family doctor in Houston, TX.

An apology from American Airlines is certainly not enough. This is an ongoing symptom of #PlanetIS and the double standard forced upon women in all aspects of daily life, from schools to the workplace. And it is certainly not new.

Women of color were once required by law to cover their hair and all people of color were restricted to wearing only certain types of clothing.

The Timeline reports:

Before the American Revolution, European colonies enacted laws to distinguish African slaves from their burgeoning white populations. The purpose of this legislation was to entrench the superiority of Europeans and an economic system that exploited the labor of African slaves.
Under British rule, South Carolina passed the Negro Act of 1735, which provided stipulations on the type of clothing black people were allowed to wear, outlawing anything more extravagant than “Negro cloth, duffels, kerseys, osnabrigs, blue linen, check linen or coarse garlix, or calicoes, checked cottons, or Scotch plaids.”
Governor Esteban Rodriguez Miró of Louisiana, which was still a Spanish colony, passed the “Edict of Good Government,” which required black women to wear “their hair bound in a kerchief” or a “tignon.” Additionally, black women were prevented from wearing the same “jewelry or plumes” as women of European descent.
Governor Miró was also concerned about the growing appeal of Creole and biracial women, often referred to as mulattoes, to men of European descent. Part of enforcing the wearing of headwraps was to discourage plantation owners and slave masters from pursuing women who were deemed beneath them.
In South Africa, similar laws were passed at the behest of slave mistresses who felt that the headwrap would prevent white men from pursuing black slaves.

These days, women of color wear their headwraps proudly.
Source: The Timeline Erykah Badu



And I am one of them.


I am not certain if others understand the history and significance of the headwrap.

Either way, this attempt to minimize us in the past failed, just as American Airlines’ attempt to police Dr. Rowe’s more than acceptable attire should have failed.


However, on #PlanetIS, such objections are given more weight than they deserve.



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Planet Should: Jaden Smith Feeds LA Homeless

Remember when the rumors of conflict between Will Smith and son, Jaden were flying around?

Oh, and the uproar around Jaden’s gender-blurring fashion sense?


View this post on Instagram


“Just Come Here”

A post shared by Jaden (@c.syresmith) on


Well, this time, Young Mr. Smith has done something else that resonates with the marginalized.

Revolt reports that Jaden has launched a vegan food truck restaurant called I Love You and gave away food to the homeless in LA’s Skid Row on July 7.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by The Black upStart ✊🏿 (@theblackupstart) on

This is the heart of #PlanetShould – doing for others that are unable to do for themselves, for no other reason than he can do it and he wants to do it.

Jaden Smith does not suffer from the typical child star syndrome of entitlement. He is not a spoiled, self-centered hell-raiser blowing his parents’ money on frivolous pursuits. Instead, he is doing this:

As Revolt stated, he is only 21 years old, but he is already showing the world he will be a force, a voice, and a face for the people.

Thank you, Jaden. Welcome to #PlanetShould.

Gwendolyn J

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Welcome to Planet Should: Billionaire Pays Off Student Loan Debts (Yes, The Entire Class)

Billionaire investor Robert F. Smith, founder of Vista Equity Partners with a reported net worth of $5 billion dollars (Forbes)-which makes him the wealthiest person of color in America-  has pledged to pay off the student loan debts of the entire 2019 graduating class of Moorehouse College in Atlanta, GA.

If you watch the gentleman seated to Mr. Smith’s right,(on your left)  this act of unspeakable kindness came as a shock. Smith made the announcement during the graduation ceremony, according to the video at TYT: The Breakdown.

I need to send this man an email.

This is a Planet Should intervention on the Planet Is problem of crushing student loan debt, a burden I personally know all too well.

I hope he swings by North Texas when my daughter gets her Master’s.

This is not the first time he did something like this.

Smith pledged $50 million to Cornell University in 2016. CNN Business reports:


He has quite the generous streak


Smith is a big believer in paying it forward.
Before Sunday’s student loans announcement, he donated $1.5 million to Morehouse College for scholarships and the development of a new park.
In 2016, he pledged $50 million to Cornell University, one of his alma maters, to support its chemical and biomolecular engineering school, as well as black and female engineering students.
In 2017, he signed the Giving Pledge, an effort spearheaded by billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates to enlist wealthy Americans in giving away half of their fortunes.
Smith said he would invest half of his net worth during his lifetime to causes that support equality for black Americans and the environment, while his wife, model Hope Dworaczyk Smith, would focus on helping children.
He’s one of the founding donors of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, committing $20 million to the museum before its opening.
He’s also the founder and president of the Fund II Foundation, which provides grants for causes such as human rights, the environment, music education and “preserving the African American experience.”


And, yes, I will be giving more attention to the positive. Planet Is has outgrown its usefulness. It is time for Planet Should to blossom.


Let’s talk about this.


Gwendolyn J


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