It’s Sunday afternoon, friends, and I know you have better things to do than listen to me go off on some long-winded tangent that will only serve to anger or depress you. So, I am going off on a few short tangents that shouldn’t get your knickers into too much of a twist. (Have you noticed that my UK friends are having an influence on my vocabulary?) So here are just a few little Sunday snippets, and then you can go back to grilling out, tossing a ball around in the back yard, planting a tree, or hugging your ‘significant other’.
A well-deserved honour
Colin Kaepernick, the man whose humanitarian values far exceed those of a president who so cruelly mocked him, has been publicly acknowledged for putting his knee down for the cause of justice. Amnesty International awarded Kaepernick its Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2018, in recognition of his sideline protests against racial inequality. The former San Francisco 49ers star was given the award at a gala ceremony in the Netherlands. A few snippets from his acceptance speech:
“Racialized oppression and dehumanization is woven into the very fabric of our nation — the effects of which can be seen in the lawful lynching of black and brown people by the police, and the mass incarceration of black and brown lives in the prison industrial complex. How can you stand for the national anthem of a nation that preaches and propagates, ‘freedom and justice for all,’ that is so unjust to so many of the people living there? While taking a knee is a physical display that challenges the merits of who is excluded from the notion of freedom, liberty, and justice for all, the protest is also rooted in a convergence of my moralistic beliefs, and my love for the people.”
Kaepernick is most deserving of this award, for his single, courageous act started a movement whose voice is heard loud and clear by many who would prefer to remain deaf. However, he does not deserve the treatment he is receiving at the hands of his former team, the San Francisco 49-ers, the NFL, and the ‘man’ who sits in the Oval Office.
Did he find his conscience?
I have largely regarded Attorney General Jeff Sessions as a man without a conscience. He is a documented racist, and since taking his current position in the U.S. government, has proven himself to be a lap-puppy to Donald Trump, asking ‘how high?’ when Trump tells him to jump. But last weekend, he did something that indicates he might be developing a late-stage conscience after all.
In a phone call with White House counsel Donald McGahn, Sessions indicated that he is seriously considering resigning his post if Trump fires Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. True, he only said he “might consider”, but this is more than I would have expected of the Sessions of yore.
An update …
Last month I wrote a post about three men in Kansas who had plotted to blow up a mosque and a community of Muslim immigrants on the day after election day 2016, but were caught by an FBI informant. The three, Curtis Allen, Gavin Wright and Patrick Eugene Stein, had their day in court last week and all three were convicted on Wednesday of one count of conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and one count of conspiracy against civil rights. Their sentencing will take place on June 27th, and all three could potentially face life in prison.
Prosecutor Risa Berkower said at the trial, “They wanted to send the message that Muslims are not welcome here – not in Garden City, not in Kansas, not in America.” Funny, isn’t it, how a few men think they know what the entire nation of nearly 326 million people want? Who elected these three to speak for us all?
Another small kudo to Jeff Sessions here for his support of the ruling:
“The defendants in this case acted with clear premeditation in an attempt to kill people on the basis of their religion and national origin. That’s not just illegal—it’s immoral and unacceptable, and we’re not going to stand for it.”
I hope these three men are given the maximum sentence, for their brand of evil, of hatred, has no place in this world.
When all else fails, blame it on Obama!
The NRA, who in the eyes of most of us bears a large portion of the responsibility for every single person who dies in a mass shooting where the shooter uses assault-style weapons, has decided who is to blame for the February 14th shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
NRATV host Grant Stinchfield claimed in a segment on his show Friday that President Obama owes an apology to the survivors of the February 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 people dead. The ‘rationale’? That President Obama put students in danger by implementing school discipline guidelines and refusing to arm teachers.
In the words of Peter, Paul & Mary … ‘When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?’