The Art of Don the Con

And why we must keep on; it’s a long road.

“Donald Trump- Caricature” by DonkeyHotey is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

“What we did, that was a scam. That was an entertainment.” — Bill Pruitt, producer, The Apprentice

The Confidence Man

It all feels like a highway mirage, this road trip we’ve been on for the past 5+ years. At least for the majority of us who’ve always known Donald Trump as a con man. We can clearly see the optical illusion playing out — the mingling of heat and sun rays, refracting light on the flat road before us. But other passengers on this trip seem to not understand how mirages work; they keep saying we’re the crazy ones for not seeing those…


The Art of Don the Con

Following the Great Recession, many people learned this lesson the hard way: don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.

Photo by NIPYATA! on Unsplash

Before he was mixing presidential politics with personal quid pro quos, subpar-to-mediocre businessman Donald Trump was mixing his name and image (or, his brand) with a slew of crooked companies and poppycock products. This included everything from personalized vitamins to Vodka, steaks sold exclusively through The Sharper Image®, and vastly overpriced bronze chandeliers. It was during the Great Recession, 2009 specifically, when Americans were struggling just to make ends meet that Trump’s gilded path led him to Ideal Health, a company who sold “wellness” products.

Due to the financial crisis of 2007–2008, desperation was felt almost everywhere. It was a…


This Is Not Normal

He’s pretty much an imbecile in everything, only he doesn’t know he’s an imbecile.

From time to time, each of us has the tendency to overestimate our competence, to think we’re better at something than we actually are. This manifests in everyday moments that can often be chalked up to pride. Like, when you struggle to assemble, say, an IKEA bunk bed, but also refuse to look at the instructions for assembly because you’re positive you don’t need them. Or when we can’t objectively discern at work — office politics aside — why someone else got the promotion we just knew we deserved.

When we aren’t overestimating ourselves and our abilities, most of us…


With a guilty verdict, justice has only just begun

Photo by Kyle Cleveland on Unsplash

At least twenty-two complaints of misconduct were filed against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin before he would go on to murder George Floyd in front of a Cup Foods store— and the whole world — last year. That is, according to reporting from the New York Times. According to the Minneapolis Police Department, Chauvin only had eighteen prior complaints filed against him with the Department’s Internal Affairs. And according to Communities Against Police Brutality, a Minnesota nonprofit that created a database of complaints against officers in the state, Chauvin appears to have received twenty-six complaints.

In all likelihood, we’ll…


Why we’re so resistant to it, and why we should definitely “check it”

A hot topic and label that’s accused of being insulting, presumptive, condescending (and even “racist”), ‘white privilege’ is possibly one of the most polarizing terms for white Americans today. Yet, it’s not a slur; it’s simply a fact — backed with research and statistics. To think of it otherwise is to vastly misunderstand the concept, and moreover, to outright dismiss an opportunity to foster empathy. If ‘white privilege’ is not pejorative, then why are we so resistant to acknowledging its presence in the first place?

Image by WikiImages from Pixabay

“What more is it going to take? What more do we have to do to…


A common public misconception is “there’s not enough research yet” to trust the vaccine. In reality, it’s been 10 years in the making — the same R&D program as any other vaccine.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a hundred times:

“I don’t think there was enough time for any extensive research to be conducted, so I’m not convinced of its safety.”

This is the go-to excuse of many who are avoiding the Covid vaccine. They don’t trust it because they believe not enough research was done; it was developed too fast for longitudinal studies to be conducted; not enough clinical trials were done; the speed at which it was created and delivered was too fast, and so on. They point to the handful of very rare adverse effects (15…


On the conservative right’s weaponization of words, especially the ones that originated in Black culture

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Can it be possible? Have we finally moved on from the conservative right’s manufactured crisis of “cancel culture” — a term they obfuscated to begin with? Or has their misguided “cancel cancel culture campaign” fizzled out because enough liberals publicly called their bluff? The conservative right’s co-opting and misuse of “cancel culture” — a word born on Black Twitter — was like a bad joke, and poorly executed to boot. It was time for that act to exit stage right, so it was refreshing to see so many headlines reporting what conservatives were mistaking cancel culture for: accountability.

If calling…


Policing in America is a systemic issue — rooted in racism.

Photo by Matthias Kinsella on Unsplash

“One bad apple spoils the barrel” is how the old proverb goes — or something like that. Today, folks utter several variations of this hypothetical apple, whether it’s the inevitable “bad one in every bunch,” or the existence of “only a few bad ones, thankfully,” spread out here and there. “One bad apple” wisdom is issued innocently enough and means to convey that one “bad guy” (or “rogue cop”) doing heinous acts is in no way representative of the rest. That one evildoer among the brotherhood shouldn’t tarnish the group’s reputation as a whole.

It seems we’ve never heard this…


I'm humbled and honored to be included here on this awesome list! Thank you so much! Don't know how I would've made it through the pandemic without TikTok - lol :-)


We need to take a hard look at what these things really mean, especially when it comes to certain communities

Photo by Colin Lloyd on Unsplash

Adam Toledo, black male, age 13, Chicago: complying with police orders to “show your hands, drop it!Shot and killed by police anyway.

Let me repeat something: he was only 13.

It brings to mind images of little Tamir Rice, only 12 when shot and killed by police. Or of Emmett Till. Dear Lord… how it all goes back to Emmett Till.

Daunte Wright, black male, age 20, just outside Minneapolis: driving while black. Shot and killed by police anyway. More specifically, Wright was pulled over for either having an air freshener — a minor infraction in Minnesota — or…

Martie Sirois

Covering the intersection of culture, politics & equality. Featured in Marker, HuffPost, PopSugar, Scary Mommy; heard on NPR, SiriusXM, LTYM, TIFO podcast, etc.

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