Have ‘We The People’ No Shame?

Paul Gosar has been a member of the United States House of Representatives from Arizona since 2011.  He flew under my radar for a long time, until about 3 years ago when he entered the far-right QAnon circle led by Georgia Representative, Marge Greene.  Since then, I’ve come to see him as a really nasty piece of work.  He has claimed that the 2nd Amendment is one of the most important rights listed in the Bill of Rights.  He seems to be against ALL immigration and has no use for the Dreamers, people brought to this nation as children.  He has referred to Native Americans as “wards of the federal government.”  He has ties to far-right groups such as the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys who were involved in the attempted coup of January 6th, 2021, as well as Nazi-lover Nick Fuentes.  His degree is in dentistry, which surely qualifies him for a seat in Congress about as much as Greene’s time spent running a gym qualifies her, or Lauren Boebert’s time spent running a bar qualifies her.

But today, his nastiness topped the charts … broke through the worst of the worst.

Like most other members of Congress, he sends out a weekly newsletter to his constituents.  In his April 16th newsletter he included a link to an article in the February 26th issue of Veterans Today by senior editor Jonas E. Alexis that has the headline “Congressman: Jewish warmongers Nuland & Blinken ‘Are Dangerous Fools Who Can Get Us All Killed.’”  That “Congressman” is none other than Gosar himself.  For those who may not be aware, as I was not, Veterans Today is an antisemitic website that has called the Holocaust a “lie” and a “hoax” and praised Hitler as a “great man” and “a man of valor.”  That it is the publication Gosar chooses to voice his opinions is telling in and of itself.

My question is this:  WHY do we tolerate such behaviour and associations by a government official, an elected official who is paid from the public’s hard-earned tax dollars!  If Mr. Gosar (and others) wishes his racism, his bigotry to be on full display, then he must step down from his seat in Congress and WE THE PEOPLE must demand it!

In the 2022 election, Gosar won his bid for re-election with 97.8% of the vote — 192,796 votes!  Does this speak volumes about the state of the nation, or at least the state of the state of Arizona?  If 97.8% of the people in his district in Arizona support a man who is an unapologetic bigot, who supports an organization that praises Adolf Hitler and genocide, then does that paint a picture of who this nation, or at least the people of Arizona, are?

I grew up thinking that I was lucky to have been born in the United States, that it was one of the best countries I could have been born into.  When I look around today, when I see the likes of Paul Gosar, Marge Greene, Kevin McCarthy, Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, Josh Hawley and so many more who are supposedly representing We the People, I realize that I have lost my trust in this nation, in its government yes, but also in the people, for it was the people who put these bloody fools in office.  Have We the People no shame?

Another Nasty Comes Out From The Woodwork

Today, I want to introduce you to a man who currently holds the position of Lieutenant Governor of the state of North Carolina, Mr. Mark Keith Robinson.

Mr. Robinson has only held the office of Lieutenant Governor for just over two years, but next month, on April 22nd, he plans to announce his candidacy for the office of Governor, hoping to replace the outgoing Democratic Governor Roy Cooper.  Before I opine on Mr. Robinson, let’s take a quick look at his qualifications for the position.

After high school, Robinson served in the Army Reserve, then worked at several furniture factories, during which time he took history classes at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, with the goal of securing a degree and becoming a history teacher.  He did not finish at the University, nor did he earn a degree.  His interest in ‘conservative’ politics he credits to a book he read by … of all people … Rush Limbaugh, the ultra-bigoted conspiracy-theorist political commentator.  That said, Mr. Robinson has virtually no qualifications to be Governor of the State of North Carolina and hold the lives of some 10.55 million people in his hands.

I will let his words speak to his views:

  • “The Rainbow is the beautiful symbol of God’ s promise to man. IT IS NOT the symbol of sickening homosexual perversion!!!!”
  • “February is Black History Month. I guess the shortest month of the year is all we need to learn about the separate but equal history of a people who have achieved so little.” (You might note from Mr. Robinson’s photo above that he, himself, is Black)

  • “I don’t believe the Moon Landing was faked and I don’t believe 9/11 was an ‘inside job’ but if I found both were true…I wouldn’t be surprised.”
  • “I am SERIOUSLY skeptical of EVERYTHING I see and have seen on television. From the murder of JFK to 9/11 to Las Vegas. EVERYTHING.”

Well, you get the idea, right?  Robinson is anti-abortion, equating it to murder even though he paid for his then-girlfriend to have an abortion back in 1989.  He is a climate change denier, and has indicated that he wants to remove science and social studies from first through fifth grade curriculum, as well as abolish the State Board of Education.  He is rabidly anti-Semitic, anti-LGBTQ, and has called former President Obama “a worthless, anti-American atheist.”

Heard enough yet?  There’s plenty more where that came from1.  Mr. Robinson has declared bankruptcy three times, and has defaulted on his taxes, causing the Internal Revenue Service to place liens on him and his property more than once, most recently in 2012.

Ten years ago, I would have laughed at Mr. Robinson’s bid for the governorship, but that was before an equally nasty, unqualified ‘man’ found the path to the Oval Office in 2016, and now all bets are off.  What I found even more disturbing than Robinson’s bigotry and hate-filled rhetoric is the support he has garnered.  He won the Lieutenant Governorship by a relatively slim margin of 3.26% over Democrat Yvonne Lewis Holley in 2020 with some 2,800,655 votes.  Nearly 3 million people in the state of North Carolina like this buffoon so filled with hatred and racism!!!  One of my sources listed a link to Robinson’s Facebook page, so I went and took a look for myself.  I only viewed a handful, maybe 10 of his posts, and nothing was too terribly disgusting … until I got to the comments.  Readers telling him how much they loved him, telling him he would have their vote for Governor, and several even envisioning him as President some day!  Seriously, people, common sense has done flown out the damned window throughout this nation, not just in North Carolina!

For the sake of my own sanity, I spent only about 5 minutes perusing Mr. Robinson’s Facebook page and the comments, shot off two one-liners questioning the commenter’s sanity, then returned back to my own world!  However, if you’re interested, feel free to do a little digging of your own, using the link above.

There are 20 months remaining until the 2024 elections.  Somehow, some way, we MUST educate the people of this country, must show them the dangerous waters people like Mark Keith Robinson would lead this nation into.  I don’t know how, but … somehow.  If I believed in the power of prayer, I would fall to my knees and beg god to instill some common sense into the people of this nation.  Sadly, that is not going to happen, so We the People must work to try to open the eyes of the blind.

1  Sources include, but not limited to:  Wikipedia, Axios, Talking Points Memo (TPM), WSOC TV, Raleigh News & Observer.

Teaching Our Kids … WHAT??????

I have written more than once about my disgust at Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and others whitewashing the teaching of history.  I think it is criminal to hide from our young people the past that had such a significant effect on who and what we are today.  Failure to teach the true history and the lessons learned from our past mistakes can only lead to making the same mistakes again at some point in the future.  But last night I read something that made my jaw drop even more, and I think you will agree that this is even more damning than the whitewashing of history – the teaching of false history!

At Mount Eden High School in the San Francisco bay area, English teacher Henry Bens has basically been teaching a class in anti-Semitism.  Worse yet, students have been complaining to school officials for two months and nothing has been done until this week!  Even now, Mr. Bens is on leave for two weeks while school officials ‘investigate’ the allegations against him.

Students in his class said that Mr. Bens frequently uses the Nazi salute while chanting “Heil Hitler” in class, but that is only the beginning.  Part of the curriculum for the tenth grade English class is Elie Wiesel’s holocaust memoir Night.  Mr. Bens apparently felt that somehow the Holocaust had two sides, and thus he also handed out a pamphlet, The Hidden Tyranny, which details wild conspiracy theories about Jewish world domination.  Teresa Drenick of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) calls it one of the “most virulently antisemitic texts in existence.”  The pamphlet falsely claims that Jewish people secretly control a “brainwashing” media monopoly as well as the economy and U.S. government.  Sound familiar?  Rather like a certain former guy saying, after a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 that “there are good people on both sides.”

Bens has told his students that “Hitler was not a bad person” and that they (the students) have been indoctrinated to believe only one side of the story of the Holocaust.  He told them that everything they knew was a lie and that he would “remove the blindfold.”  A senior student at Mount Eden said that “The administration was made aware on Dec. 13th, and they have not yet intervened by stepping into the classroom to help students.”

One student recorded Bens in the classroom, and Bens can be heard telling the class, “If I was alive during Hitler’s time, I would have an interview with him. I would let him share his views.”

Numerous students have complained on more than one occasion, but for whatever reason, the school administration has done nothing until this week.  But not all students are complaining, and notably some are buying into his hate-filled rhetoric.  Some even told school staff that they believe the information and agree with what Bens said.

Annie Mladinich, chair of the school’s history department, said she and her colleagues are very concerned about this and they plan to create a lesson plan on antisemitism, to present to all classes on a chosen day in the coming weeks.

“As a department, we’re very upset. There’s no two sides to the Holocaust or to Hitler.”

Another student, currently a senior, said he’d seen the same kind of behavior two years ago when he took the same class.

“I ignored what he said then. I’m not going to ignore it [when he’s] saying the same anti-Jewish hateful conspiracies I heard from him then.”

Mr. Bens is also, believe it or not, the pastor of a local church.  He frequently posts anti-semitic posts on Facebook, but when I sought them last night, they had either been removed or made ‘private’, but in one news story I read that he praised Kanye West’s support of Hitler and also taken potshots at the LGBTQ community.

I will be keeping an eye on the continuing developments of this story.  I find it unconscionable that school officials did nothing for two months but at the very least I expect him to lose his job and his teaching certificate!  I’ll keep you posted.  Oh, and you might be surprised to see Mr. Bens …

I’ve Been Pondering …

I’ve been pondering what seems like the recent ‘normalization’ of such things as anti-Semitism, Naziism, racism, political corruption, disrespect, and lies.  At first, there is horror, then as it bombards the news, disgust that morphs to mild disgust that ultimately ends up with “meh”.  It is human nature that the more we are inundated with something, the more commonplace it starts to become, until eventually we have accepted it without really thinking about it.

In May, a school shooting took the lives of 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas, and the nation was in shock.  Stunned.  The same month, a shooting in a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, took the lives of ten people.  More shock.  Both of these events were headline news … for a while … and then they faded … and now, they are largely forgotten, replaced by other dramas and traumas, of which there are plenty to choose from.

Trump’s dinner with two anti-Semites and Hitler apologists, Kanye West and Nick Fuentes, aroused anger and horror, but after days of reporting on it, it seems to be losing its fervor. Says Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), “In an early time you would call a serious person with aspirations for highest office, meeting with a Nazi, disqualifying. Now it is simply ill-advised. That’s a sign of where we are.”

When the Access Hollywood video of Donald Trump talking about how it is okay to physically attack women if you’re famous, because “they let you”, there was horror and outrage, but after it was heard and discussed for days, by the time election day rolled around it had become a joke, just “locker room talk”, they said.  We moved past it, and thus it was not the horrendous thing that it really was, but rather became something of an acceptable ‘norm’.

Two years ago, most of us were up in arms over the voter restrictions that were being put into place willy nilly by the states, restrictive laws that would disenfranchise millions of Black voters, college voters, single-mom voters, and poor voters.  When was the last time you heard anything much about voting rights?  We became inured, accepted that we didn’t have the power to change the new laws, shrugged our shoulders and went on about our business.

Last week, Marge Greene, a U.S. Representative from Georgia, speaking of the insurrection and attempted coup on January 6th 2021 said, “And I will tell you something, if Steve Bannon and I had organized that, we would have won. Not to mention, it would’ve been armed.”  I, and many others, undoubtedly even some Republicans, were stunned by that remark.  She is saying that she would have seen more violence, more devastation, and a bloody coup, would have silenced the voices of We the People, and she’s … proud of that???  It is an affront to the people of this country, the people who pay her $174,000 per year.  We should be calling for her immediate expulsion from Congress, but have you heard of such a call?  How long until her remarks fade into the background and become just another ill-conceived remark by a politician?

There was a time when all of the above things and more would have been the political death of the person involved, but today we express outrage for a day or two, maybe even a week, then move on to the next abomination, for there is always another looming right around the corner. By the time the next election rolls around, we don’t even remember the horrid things they did, so we send them right back to Congress again … and again. We have become inured to it, for one can only remain outraged for so long and over so many things.  Our senses are bombarded and pretty soon things that might have led us to write to our members of Congress and demand something be done, now only cause us to roll our eyes and “move along now, nothing to see here.”

Is it, then, any wonder that the word “gaslighting” is Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year for 2022?  The word, defined as “The act or practice of grossly misleading someone, especially for one’s own advantage,” or “psychological manipulation of a person usually over an extended period of time that causes the victim to question the validity of their own thoughts, perception of reality, or memories…” experienced a 1,740% increase in lookups in 2022 alone.  We the People, the common, ordinary, average Joes that keep this nation running, are being manipulated for the purpose of expanding the power and wealth of a few.  Was this what he had in mind when the former guy said he would “make America great again”?

A Wise Man Speaks Words Of Wisdom

I avoid religious discussions here on Filosofa’s Word as much as is possible or feasible, for I am non-religious and feel I don’t have a horse in this race, but every now and then I tread softly into the topic.  There are two ‘men of the cloth’, religious leaders, for whom I have great respect:  Padre Steve Dundas, a recently retired Navy chaplain, and John Pavlovitz, a writer, pastor, and activist from Wake Forest, North Carolina.  These two men are not ‘preachy’, but are fair, open-minded men who actually live their beliefs rather than weaponizing religion as so many today are doing.

I’m sharing a portion of John Pavlovitz’ most recent blog post today because it defines what I see as being wrong with the Christianity that we see today and why people are turning away from their religion, leaving their churches.  This is only an excerpt and I highly recommend you read John’s entire post in which he addresses American churches, but here is a portion of it …

Dear American Church, You’re Dying

October 12, 2022 / John Pavlovitz

You’re dying because of your willful ignorance.

People are tired of your war on Science.
They are sick of your arguing with Biology.
They are exhausted by your attacks on women.
They are horrified by your justifications of racism.
They despise your posturing nationalism.
They know the earth is round.
They know it is billions, not thousands of years old.
They know dinosaurs walked it.
They know that it is warming rapidly.
They know people here don’t choose their sexuality.
They know whoever and whatever God is—doesn’t appoint Presidents or hand out weapons or attack people with tornadoes.

You’re dying because of your devotion to cruelty.

People watch you dig in your heels against others because of their gender identity and sexual orientation; the way you continually exact violence upon them, the way you try and blame God and the Bible for your fearful bigotry and your predatory behavior.
They’ve seen your intolerance to other religious traditions: how you vilify anyone who finds spirituality and meaning outside of your precise expression of Christianity, how you so easily disregard the faith stories of those who don’t reflect your own.
They’ve watched you so revel in being the bully to those you were originally called to protect.

You’re dying because of your complicity in violence.

Good people have seen you so often be a safe haven for misogynists, domestic abusers, sexual predators, and white supremacists—who all receive protection in your antiquated words, in your personality cults, and in your enabling culture.
They’ve heard your explicit silence in the face of a brutal and rising flood of anti-Semitism, of open racism, of hostility toward immigrants,  of attacks on Asian people and Muslims.
They see your pastors and leaders misuse their positions and leverage their influence to victimize the most vulnerable and to serve as scapegoats for discrimination.
They’ve watched you be the last, hateful holdout in matters of gender equality, racial diversity, sexuality, and theological difference; lagging behind almost everyone in the world in the kind of goodness you say you aspire to.

And this from a man who has been a Christian pastor for some 25 years.  Christians would do well to listen more to him and less to the evangelists like Franklin Graham, Tony Perkins, Pat Robertson, et al.

Weighing In On Whoopi’s Oopsie

I’ll probably regret this, but I’m going to weigh in on the Whoopi Goldberg controversy.  For those who may be unaware, here are the facts of the matter at hand:

On Monday, during a discussion on The View about a Tennessee school board’s decision to ban the Pulitzer prize-winning Holocaust graphic novel Maus, Whoopi Goldberg made this comment …

“Let’s be truthful, the Holocaust isn’t about race, it’s not. It’s about man’s inhumanity to man, that’s what it’s about. These are two groups of white people. You’re missing the point … let’s talk about it for what it really is. It’s about how people treat each other. It’s a problem. It doesn’t matter if you’re black or white, Jews … everybody eats each other.”

And thus began the uproar with many calling her remarks anti-Semitic and calling for her head on a platter.  Now, before I tackle this, let me just note that I was born into a household with a Jewish father and a Catholic mother and was raised in both religions in my early years (quite possibly this explains why I am a non-believer now).  Many of my most beloved relatives were Jewish and although I believe in no religion and do not consider myself Jewish, I am definitely not anti-Semitic.  That said, I am a realist and I thrive on facts.

If one looks at the facts of what Whoopi said, she is correct.  Judaism is not a race, it is an ethnicity, it is a religion.  Condemnation of Jews, attacks on Jews, are a form of ethnic hatred and religious bigotry, but are not racism!  What Whoopi said may not have been the most sensitive or politically correct thing to say, I’ll give you that, but technically she was correct … every form of bigotry is about “man’s inhumanity to man”, but not every form of bigotry is racism.

Kim Godwin, president of ABC News, immediately suspended Whoopi for a period of two weeks, even though she apologized both online and during Tuesday morning’s episode of The View.  I see nothing … absolutely nothing … that is anti-Semitic in Ms. Goldberg’s remark.  Insensitive?  Probably.  Anti-Semitic?  Hardly.

Race is defined as “a category of humankind that shares certain distinctive physical traits.”  You recognize a Black person you see on the streets by the colour of his skin and sometimes other physical traits, but one cannot point to a person and say he/she is Jewish, for there are no physically defining characteristics.  That is why the Nazis forced Jews to always wear a gold Star of David on their clothing, so they could recognize them as being Jews.  By definition, Judaism is a religion, a set of beliefs and people can either choose to believe or not.  Think about that for a minute.  If you are Black or Asian, you cannot simply decide not to be Black or Asian anymore.  However, you can and many, like myself, do decide not to be Jewish or Catholic or Protestant or Buddhist.

Whoopi Goldberg might have done herself a favour if she had thought before she spoke, however she is not an anti-Semite and is not, as far as I can tell, a bigot in any way, shape or form.  She apologized and I’m guessing it is a topic she will broach much more cautiously in the future.  Just something to think about, because with so many forms of bigotry becoming more prevalent in this, the 21st century, it can be mind-boggling.

As I’m sure this is a topic that may drive some degree of discussion and disagreement, I considered closing comments.  Instead, since I do encourage a healthy sharing of various viewpoints, note that I am leaving comments open, but will promptly remove any comment that is disrespectful of anyone or any group.  Got that?

Trump’s Attack on History: The 1776 Project, Racism, Nationalism, and Fraudulent Patriotism to Conform History to his Twisted Ideology

Today, in yet another extreme abuse of the power of his office, Trump signed an ‘executive order’ to demand that public schools teach revisionist history, that they exclude the darker past of this nation. I tried to write about this, but was too furious to put coherent words on paper. Fortunately, Padre Steve was more successful than I, so I share his work with you. Please do read this … it is another step … a huge one … in the destruction of the United States. Thank you, Padre!

The Inglorius Padre Steve's World

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

Today President Trump launched a major attack on the history of the United States by announcing what he called The 1776  Project, a direct attack on the 1619 Project which aims to tell the story of how the English Colonists introduced what became the institution of slavery and entrenched racism in the United States. I know the subject well, my book which will be published sometime in the next year “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory!” Racism, Religion, Ideology and Politics in the Civil War Era and why they Continue to Matter” deals extensive with this history, and I can say based on his actions and utterances that the President is using this to further divide the country on racial lines and to open American history as his next front of his culture war.

Trump said he would create a national commission to promote a…

View original post 3,599 more words

Two Mini-Rants …

As best I can figure, the only thing Donald Trump did yesterday was stir the pot on Twitter.  He surely must have blisters on his thumbs by now.  Does he ever actually work?  He was on his very worst behaviour today.  Early on, I began comparing his presidency to a train headed at full-speed toward a big cliff.  Today, that cliff seems to be looming just over the horizon.  I don’t know how one ‘man’ can get so many things so wrong in the course of a 24-hour period! train-cliff

trump babyThe child got his tender little feelings hurt when he asked a dumb question and was put in his place by the adult in the room.  The baby is now pouting and hurling objects at the adult in the room.  Typical?  Sure, in a household with a two-year-old child, but not in the Oval Office.

When Trump floated the idea of buying Greenland, even his own staff was confused.  One doesn’t, after all, just get up one morning and decide to buy another, autonomous country.  But, he persisted, and eventually the word got out and was published by the Wall Street Journal.  And then, inevitably, Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen got wind of it, and replied to the press …

“Greenland is not for sale. Greenland is not Danish. Greenland is Greenlandic. I persistently hope that this is not something that is seriously meant. Thankfully, the time where you buy and sell other countries and populations is over. Let’s leave it there. Jokes aside, we will of course love to have an even closer strategic relationship with the United States.”

Trump got a bee up his {ahem} and decided, based on PM Frederiksen’s response, to cancel a trip that was planned for September 2nd – 3rd, the invitation to visit having been issued by Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II.

PM Frederiksen was wise when she said, “Let’s leave it there”, however Trump is not used to being told “No” and handled the incident so poorly that it is likely to create ill-will between the two nations.

Headlines in Denmark read …

  • “The U.S. and Denmark’s relationship has never been this ice-cold. It will have wide-ranging consequences.”
  • “Trump sends Denmark and the U.S.’s relationship to the freezing point.”

Way to go, Donnie … you just drove a wedge between us and yet another ally. How many is that now?  I’ve lost track.

Wayne Allen Root … the name rings a bell … let me check my archives … AHA!  There it is … I knew he sounded familiar, and no big surprise that he was awarded Idiot of the Week in May, 2017.  You notice how the idiots keep popping back up?  A bit of background …

root-bookRoot is a conspiracy theorist and was on the hate bandwagon when Barack Obama was our President.  He claimed that Obama lied about attending Columbia University, then turned around and said that Obama did, in fact, attend, but that he did so as a foreign exchange student.  He claimed that Obama “cut his afro” in order to infiltrate the political class and become a “Manchurian candidate” meant to take down America from within.  He claimed to have diagnosed Obama as an “arrogant, egomaniacal sociopath” who is either “mentally ill” or committing treason and must be removed from office “before he kills us all” with Ebola-ridden terrorists.

Well, you can read the rest of the idiocy that won him the award, for today there is more!  Mr. Root hosts some ‘call-in’ show on Newsmax TV, and yesterday, his idiocy kicked into full gear, and he said the following on his show …

root-5“I happen to be Jewish by birth and 75% of all Jews vote Democrat, and they don’t like Trump. This is the greatest president for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world. Not just in America, Trump is the best president for Israel in the history of the world. And the Jewish people love him like he is the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God.

In America, American Jews don’t like him. They don’t even know what they’re doing or saying anymore. It makes no sense. But that’s okay. He keeps doing what he’s doing. He’s good for all of us. Good for Jews, good for blacks, good for gays.

He is good for everyone in America who wants a job.”

What. A. Fool.  Trump, predictably, ate it up and tweeted Root’s words on Twitter.  But that wasn’t even enough for Trump.  Noooooo … he had to go on and make the most inflammatory comment that has everyone, Jew and non-Jew (except, of course, his blind followers) up in arms.

“If you vote for a Democrat, you’re being disloyal to Jewish people and you’re being very disloyal to Israel.”

Ladies and gentlemen … the United States of America has at the head of its government a madman.  He lacks every single qualification that is needed to lead the nation:  intelligence, common sense, compassion, humanitarianism, integrity, honesty, the ability to compromise when necessary, the ability to speak properly, the ability to remain calm under pressure, and the list goes on.

I hereby invite any republican to respectfully tell me what, exactly, they see of value in Donald Trump.  Please be specific … don’t say “he tells it like it is”, “he’s making America great again”, or “he’s one of us”.  Those don’t tell me a thing.  Give me specifics, positive things you believe he has done.  The door is open … feel free to walk through it …

And now, I shall go take a handful of aspirin 💊, pour a glass of sherry 🍷, and seek solace in a bit of music ♫ before going to bed.  Goodnight all.

Snakes Slithering From ‘Neath The Rocks …

Two stories in the New York Times’ race-related section this week caught my eye … and turned my stomach.

The first …

Arizona state legislator, Representative David Stringer, who represents the Yavapai County area of the state, attended a public lecture at Arizona State University, during which a history professor, Donald Critchlow, discussed the 2018 midterm elections.  After the lecture, Mr. Stringer met privately with a group of students.  Here are a few snippets of what he told the students …

David Stringer“Uh, the African American vote is probably over 90% Democrat, and it’s been that way for decades. The Asian-American vote, the Asian Americans are an educated culture, affluent, relatively speaking, and in our society are not an under-class, they vote overwhelmingly Democratic. The Hispanics, even middle-class Hispanics, they vote overwhelmingly Democrat, because the number one issue is immigration, and bringing more of their co-religionists and people like them, into the country.

Also, diversity in our country is relatively new.  [A student asks what he means, citing that his own grandparents were Irish and Italian] They were all Europeans. By the 2nd or 3rd generation, everybody looks the same, everybody talks the same, but that’s not the case with African-Americans or other racial groups because they don’t melt in. They don’t blend in, they always look different.

The difference between the Polack, I shouldn’t say Polack … the difference between the Polish-American immigrant and the immigrant from say, Somali, is that the 2nd generation Polish immigrant looks like the Irish kid and the German kid and every other kid. But, the immigrant from Somali does not.”

Lovely, huh?  67,023 people in the State of Arizona voted for this white supremacist, more than twice as many as voted for his opponent.  His racism can’t possibly come as a surprise to them, for back in the fall when he was running for re-election, he told a room full of people that immigration is an “existential threat” because “there aren’t enough white kids to go around” in public schools.  Not for the first time, Stringer faces calls for his resignation from a host of prominent fellow Republican leaders, but refuses to step down, claiming that the election results last month prove that the people in his district want him in office.

The second …

Three weeks ago, two swastikas and an anti-Semitic slur were spray-painted on the walls of a Jewish professor, Elizabeth Midlarsky’s office at Columbia University in New York.Columbia hate crimeAnd then last Sunday, a student dressed in a blazer and button-up shirt went on a racist tirade on Columbia’s campus, screaming …

columbia racist“White people are the best thing that ever happened in the world!  We are so amazing!  I love myself and I love my people!  We invented the modern world … Europeans invented the modern world!”

Since the October shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue that left eleven people dead and six wounded, including four police officers (good guys with guns?), there have been multiple anti-Semitic incidents around the nation.  A Brooklyn synagogue was defaced with graffiti, including the phrase “Die Jew Rats”.  Two swastikas were found spray-painted onto a concrete outpost on the Upper West Side of New York City. two swastikasThe hate goes on … and on.  It escalates.  Where is the outrage?  Why don’t we see these items on the front page of the newspaper, on the nightly news?  Where is the condemnation by the nation’s leaders?  Instead, these are minor stories buried somewhere on the back pages, if at all.  I don’t deny that the hate has likely always been there, but since the king cobra slithered out from under the big rock in June 2015, incidents like the ones I mentioned have been on the rise.  Are we becoming inured?  Have we reached the saturation point where it’s just another shoulder-shrugging story?  I hope not.

Yes, folks, bigotry in all its forms is alive and well in this nation and not only that, but it is promoted every damn day from the folks in the White House.