Little Noted, Below-the-Fold Items

I need a short break from my series on Trump pulling out of the Paris Accords, in fact I need a short break from Trump altogether. So I go in search of some non-political news about which to opine.  And I come across this:  A weekend of racial violence in Trump’s America.  Sigh.  I ask myself:  Where does it end?  Does it ever end?  And the voice that replies to me says, “no, it never ends … the names and faces change, but it is always there … always has been, always will be.” And I take a deep breath … let it out in a sigh … feel the tears welling in my failing eyes, and then I open a blank document and begin writing, for that is the only way I know to deal with it all.

The story began, of course, with the man on a train in Portland who murdered two and wounded a third after shouting racial epithets and threatening a young Muslim woman and her friend, of which I already wrote.

Kramer

Jimmy Kramer

About eight hours after the Portland attack and 150 miles north, Jimmy Kramer, a member of the Quinault Indian Nation, was celebrating his 20th birthday with a group of roughly 10 friends by a river in Washington state. The gathering of teens and young adults, many of them Native American, was interrupted after they sang happy birthday to him and were gathered by a campfire. A white man in his 30s drove his pickup truck toward the group and eventually, intentionally ran over Kramer, who later died from his injuries. The Quinault Nation said in a statement that the driver was “screaming racial slurs”. The driver also reportedly made “war whoops” meant to mock Native Americans and that he told them: “You guys don’t belong here.” WHOA WHOA WHOA there … hold on just a damn minute!  If anybody in this scenario doesn’t “belong”, isn’t it the white dude and the man and two women who were with him, of European ancestry whose ancestors came here centuries after the Native Americans??? Hasn’t this guy ever read a history book?  Was he a 2nd grade dropout??? His name has not yet been released, so I cannot find any information on him just yet.

The next day came the racially motivated stabbing of an unidentified young African-American man in Clearlake, California by one Anthony Hammond, which led to an hours-long standoff with police.  Thankfully the young victim is expected to recover from his wounds, and Hammond is being held on $1 million bond.

Hammond

Anthony Hammond, racist

But that wasn’t the end … not by a long shot.  A day later, violent threats and physical confrontations broke out at the Texas state capitol after a Republican lawmaker, Matt Rinaldi, said he called federal immigration authorities on undocumented protesters. A shoving match with Democratic lawmakers reportedly followed, and Rinaldi was later accused of telling one of them he would “put a bullet in your head”.

rinalsi

Matt Rinaldi

And then there were the nooses.  This past Wednesday, someone with no apparent love in his heart for African-Americans, left a noose in the segregation galleries of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.  It was the second noose that was found within the past week, the first having been found hanging from a tree near the Hirshhorn Museum, only a mile away from where the second was found.  In mid-May, two 19-year-old men were arrested and charged in connection with a noose found hanging in front of a middle school in Crofton, Maryland.  And in early May, nooses were found at the Port of Oakland in California.  Ryan Lenz, a spokesman for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) said, “We’ve never had reports like this ever.”  He went on to say that hate incidents — including bomb threats to religious institutions, racist graffiti and white nationalist flyers — have spiked in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election. Nooses, for those readers in other countries who may not be aware, represent the days not so long ago, when black people were often lynched for such simple crimes as not saying “sir” when addressing a white man.  It is a symbol of pure hate, of pure evil.

Some say it is hard to separate the latest racial violence from the rhetoric of Trump who has bragged about sexual assault, joked about attacking his opponents and protesters and made racially prejudiced remarks about Muslims, Mexicans, African Americans, indigenous people and other minorities. I cannot agree.  Though I have often blamed Trump and his rhetoric for the rise of hate crimes, after much thought, I blame people.  Look, I heard Trump’s rhetoric also, as did most every adult in this country.  But it did not make me hate people based on any superficial criteria.  It did not make me think this country should be “whites-only” or revert to the days of segregation.  It did not turn me into a hater.  It did not make me arrogant or give me a sense of entitlement.  And the majority of the people in this country would not dream of committing any acts of atrocity against a person because of their race, ethnicity, skin colour or religion.  So … if we all heard the same bullshit come out of Trump’s mouth, and most of us did not feel the need to emulate his hate, then does it not stand to reason that the people who are committing these atrocities had that hate in their heart all along?

Now granted, what Trump’s rhetoric DID do was to enable those haters, to give them the sense that it is now acceptable because, “hey, the prez himself has done it”, but one cannot wholly blame Trump, for each of us has a mind.  Some work better than others, and Hugh would argue that not everybody has a conscience, but I believe in the cases I have just written about, every person understands that it is wrong.  It is wrong to hate, but if you do hate, if you feel that your race, your religion, or your gender is superior to others, you can still control your actions.  It is wrong to hate, but what is more wrong is to act on that hate and hurt another human being.  The people of this nation need to learn that and quickly. And yet … and yet, some won’t.

24 thoughts on “Little Noted, Below-the-Fold Items

  1. Some people, between birth and their violent acts, have been damaged. Perhaps those who raised them or those they spent time with injected them with the poison of racial or religious hatred. Or they may be into substance abuse or been abused in some other way. I would bet many had little success in education. In some way, they’re damaged and we know they’re filled with hate. They probably also hate themselves. —- Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Jill,
    Have you noticed no guns were involved. These are acts of terrorism meant to cause terror, fear and to divide this country. Yes DDT DESERVES SOME MAJOR BLAME. He as our president should be sounding the alarms on these hateful actions. Do you hear anything from the alt group proponents who are close to DDT like Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller and THE US Attorney General Jeff Sessions? THE SILENCE IS DEAFENING.
    HUGS, GRONDA
    CONGRATS IT LOOKS LIKE YOU PASSED ANOTHER MILESTONE.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I DID notice that no guns were involved. If guns had been involved, as some of my readers suggested should have happened, I am certain there would have been even more casualties. And yes, the silence from the administration is deafening, but also … the press largely ignored these stories except for the Portland train murders.

      And yes … another milestone … it is actually a little odd, because I don’t think my little blog is that good to have over 800 followers … I’m not sure why? And … while I love the new followers, especially the ones who comment and interact, I never want it to get so big that I don’t have time to answer every comment and still write. Thanks for noticing, though!!! 🙂

      Hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “Hold on a cotton-picking minute” .
    Racism inserts itself into language in places you don’t expect, but that one seems too obvious in a post such as this. It comes from the time of American slavery, and was/is used to mean “dirty” or “lowly”. People were really meaning, “keep your nasty black slave hands off my pie”. As it became more common, ” cotton picking” was used to refer to anything annoying or lesser. “These cotton-pickin dogs won’t shut up.” “Wait just one minute, you annoying thing.” Today, it’s common vernacular to mean the exact same thing it meant originally, we’ve just forgotten where it came from.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is good to know that. We in the UK don’t use that particular phrase but I have always seen it as just slang vernacular expression without really thinking about where it came from. Perhaps we need to lose a lot of our ‘sayings’ because they are offensive to some people. An example that comes to mind is ‘not enough room to swing a cat!’ This saying is nothing to do with our little fur friends, and although we commonly use it to denote a lack of space or a tiny place, the actual meaning is much darker. In slaving times, captives were beaten with the ‘Cat ‘O Nine Tails,’ an evil whip with barbs attached to each of the nine rope ends. The term comes from the ship space which didn’t allow enough space to administer a ‘whipping’ with this particular piece of torture. Most people use the term innocently.
      Usually, when old sayings are used, one must look at the context, and if it is clear that no offense is intended, we have to be a little forgiving! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Aristotle distinguished between the necessary and the sufficient causes for an event. Trump is the necessary cause of this outbreak of racial violence, but not the sufficient cause. White Americans, many of them, have been sitting on this hatred and anger for years: he has simply brought it to the surface — without him it might simply have festered for many more years. One more strike against the man.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Well put, dear Hugh! But a question: why have these white Americans had all these hate and anger for all these years? This is what I simply do not understand. Is it a throwback to the days of slavery? Is it a genuine sense of superiority?

      Like

  5. I may not have WiFi for much longer, so just wanted to say that I have found your posts thoughtful and informative. I shall continue to follow your very wise words.

    However, I think you might be wearing down with all of this awful news about evil, hateful acts. I think you should have some time to do uplifting things and let your heart breathe. As the quote says…
    ‘God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

    Reinhold Niebuhr

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sorry to hear you will be without WiFi, for I shall miss your comments! Are you still traveling in Asia? Please pop in whenever you get the chance … you are part of the family now!

      Not wearing down, just need to step back and breathe for a day or so. I go through this sometimes when the dark news is all I can see, but I’ll be fine … I always bounce back! And about that quote … my problem is that I have the tenacity to believe I can change everything, if only I try hard enough. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am still in Asia, but returning to the UK on Monday. I live on a boat, so disconnected from the grid. We use solar panels and the boat engine itself (to operate the vacuum cleaner or large power items) for all our power. We live fairly simply, so only have very limited mobile data for internet. Unfortunately, thr UK is not that advanced (compared to other parts of the world) for fast, or even reliable connections in some low population areas. I will have some time on line though, and will definitely pop in now and again to say hello and give my two cents worth 😄
        Try not to let all this stuff get you down. I always retreat from media stuff when I find it overwhelming. Wishing you a peaceful weekend. ❤😊

        Liked by 1 person

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