Call A Spade A … Bloody Shovel?

I had no intention of addressing this issue again, thought it was a no-brainer, thought everyone got the memo a few days ago and we could move on.  But, I keep hearing people either deny or defend the fact that Donald Trump is a racist.  As my friend Mary from the UK says, “Call a spade a bloody shovel!”  I’ve heard the “yeah, well, whadabout ___________________?” (fill in the blank with any of the 20 or so republican stock excuses).  I’ve heard that the democrats are just trying to discredit him, making a mountain out of a molehill.  I’m tired of having to re-visit this, but … it is important that everyone understand that this ‘man’ is a racist, since he is in a position of so much unchecked power.  He believes that he, because of his pale skin, because of his Caucasian ethnicity, is better than the rest of us who do not match him.  Largely because of this, he represents less than half of the people in this country, and as he recently said, the rest of us, if we don’t like it, can leave!

Okay, so in my inbox today was an OpEd in the New York Times by one of my favourite journalists, Nicholas Kristof, on this very topic, and I would like to share his words with you.

Trump Is Racist to the Bone

Trump’s hate is evident from his jawbones down to his thumbs and little toes.

nicholas-kristof-thumblargeBy Nicholas Kristof
Opinion Columnist

July 17, 2019

After instructing four women of color in the House of Representatives to “go back” where they came from, President Trump now claims, “I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!”

That appears incorrect. I have identified the following racist bones in Trump’s body:

Phalanges and metacarpals: These are bones of the fingers and hands that Trump has used to tweet tirades against black and brown people and to retweet Nazi sympathizers, including, twice, an account called @WhiteGenocideTM with a photo of the founder of the American Nazi Party.

Mandible and maxilla: These are the jawbones that Trump has used to denounce Mexican immigrants as “criminals, drug dealers, rapists,” not to mention to refuse to criticize the Ku Klux Klan.

Femurs, fibulas, tibias, metatarsals: These foot and leg bones carried Trump into his casinos, where black staff members would be rushed off the floor so he couldn’t see them, according to a former employee, Kip Brown.

Virtually every remaining bone was implicated in Trump’s early refusal to rent apartments in his buildings to blacks, leading the Nixon administration Justice Department (not exactly a pillar of liberalism) to sue him for housing discrimination in the 1970s. A former building superintendent working for Trump explained that any rent application from a black person was coded “C,” for “colored,” apparently so that the office would know to reject it.

“Racist” is an explosive term that should never be lightly flung as an epithet, and it is more likely to end a conversation than clarify it. For a single tweet or action there is a possibility of misunderstanding or ambiguity.

Yet for more than 45 years, since that housing discrimination, Trump has engaged in a consistent pattern of racist behavior and speech. His latest controversial tweets are not an aberration but a culmination. This isn’t a matter of a single tweet; it’s a lifetime with a narrative arc of bigotry.

America’s history is a tapestry of innumerable threads, many of them triumphant and inspiring that we should be deeply proud of, but Trump goes out of his way to weave together two of the most shameful strands.

One is the racism and nativism that go back to the 18th and 19th centuries, to the Philadelphia speaker who in 1844 denounced Irish immigrants as “scum unloaded on American wharves” and helped provoke anti-Catholic riots, to the waves of hysteria against African-Americans, Italians, Chinese, Jews, Japanese-Americans, Latinos and other immigrants. There is another strain of American hospitality highlighted by the Statue of Liberty and the admission of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese refugees beginning in the 1970s, but the nativism is real — it’s why Trump’s family, alarmed by anti-German bigotry, pretended to be Swedish.

The other thread that Trump pulls is more political: what we now call McCarthyism, although it, too, goes back to our nation’s earliest days. It vilifies opponents as enemies of the state.

More than two centuries ago, opponents of Thomas Jefferson warned that he was a Jacobin who if elected would unleash a French-style reign of terror upon America. As one commentator put it, “The Bible would be cast into a bonfire, our holy worship changed into a dance of Jacobin phrensy, our wives and daughters dishonored.” Senator Joseph McCarthy updated that in the 20th century with reckless accusations that leftists were Communists — and now Trump picks up that mantle by suggesting that his four progressive targets in Congress “might be” Communists, not to mention that they “hate our Country” and are “pro Al-Qaeda.”

I’m not sure whether this new McCarthyism is instinctive and unthinking, or these bilious rants represent a shrewd effort to manipulate voters into seeing the 2020 presidential campaign through the prism not of issues but of racial identity, in hopes of winning Trump an edge with white voters.

I do know that Trump has taken two of the most ignominious threads in American history — nativism and McCarthyism — and woven them together in an outburst that is an affront to democratic norms.

If anyone doubts that Trump’s statements were despicable, note that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission specifically bars employers from using “ethnic epithets, such as making fun of a person’s foreign accent or comments like, ‘Go back to where you came from.’”

Frankly, I’m even more troubled by Trump’s policies than by his tweets, and I wish the reaction to Trump focused more on practical initiatives to reduce child poverty, treat drug addiction or end mass incarceration. But the question put to Congress this week was a resolution properly condemning the presidential tirade. It was grotesque to see Republicans who had been mute at presidential bigotry suddenly protest that the backers of the resolution violated rules of decorum.

Really? We’re left again with the question: How can members of the party of Lincoln today protest the label of racism, but not the racism itself — in a man who for 45 years has shown himself to be a racist from his mandible to his metatarsals?


And lastly … another well-respected journalist speaks.  Typically, we expect a bit of humour from Don Lemon, but on this topic, he is dead serious.  If you want to skip the back-and-forth between Lemon and Chris Cuomo, fast forward to about the 5:17 mark and start there.  It is well worth watching.

And now, I hope the matter is laid to rest and that we can all agree to call a spade a bloody shovel, and to call Donald Trump by what he is: a racist extraordinaire.

A New Batch of Snarky Snippets …

There was much big news this past week, mostly the Ethiopian Airlines crash and the two mosque shootings in New Zealand and add to that Trump’s veto of the bipartisan bills to halt his emergency declaration and his frequent Twitter rants.  So, smaller stories may have gotten lost in the shuffle.  Now that I have caught my breath, I’ve caught up on email and would like to bring you some of those little stories, along with, of course, my snarky commentary.


Kellyanne speaks … sort of

Just as Trump shuns our friends, nations that have long earned our respect, and panders to dictators who have by no means earned our respect, he shuns the legitimate press and panders to the likes of Fox, Breitbart and even Alex Jones.  Thursday, he gave an interview to Breitbart, and here is a snippet of what he said …

“I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of Bikers for Trump. I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.”

Oooohhh … tough talk from a wuss who cries every time somebody says something negative about him!  But then, the next day, America’s #1 bimbo, Kellyanne Conway, appeared on CNN for a segment with Chris Cuomo.  Cuomo mentioned Trump’s remark and asked Kellyanne if she really thought that was appropriate speech for a world leader, given that it sounds more like something Don Corleone would have said.  Kellyanne’s response?

“You’re just reading into it like you usually do. He was talking about how peaceful and gentle many people are who are otherwise tough.  Christopher, he didn’t threaten and he’s not threatening violence.”

Cuomo gave up on that one and moved to another topic.  In a Wednesday interview, Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel said that morals don’t matter much when it comes to presidents.  Cuomo played that clip for Kellyanne, and mentioned, as a lead-in to a question, that the Republican Party once had a mantra, “character counts”.  Before he could get to the question, Kellyanne burst forth with …

“I’m sorry is there a question lurking in there or are you pontificating? Because you invited me on here to answer questions.”

The entire interview was ridiculous, but good for a few laughs if you have the stomach for it and ten minutes to spare.


A real shocker!

Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was attending a vigil for victims of Friday’s massacre at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, when she was confronted by a student who seemingly blamed her for the massacre.

“This right here is the result of a massacre stoked by people like you and the words that you put out into the world. And I want you to know that and I want you to feel that deep down inside. Forty-nine people died because of the rhetoric you put out there.”

Clinton handled the situation with remarkable aplomb …

“Certainly, it was never my intention. I do believe words matter. I believe we have to show solidarity.”

But here is the strangest thing of all.  Somebody you would least expect came to her defense.  Take a guess … a wild guess.  Give up?  It was Don Trump, Jr.!

“It’s sickening to see people blame @ChelseaClinton for the NZ attacks because she spoke out against anti-Semitism. We should all be condemning anti-Semitism & all forms of hate. Chelsea should be praised for speaking up. Anyone who doesn’t understand this is part of the problem.”

You could have knocked me over with a feather!


Thumbs-up x2 for New Zealand’s good sense …

In the wake of Friday’s mosque shootings, a few people have said some really, really ignorant and cruel things.  One of those people was none other than radical Milo Yiannopoulos, who is apparently trying to set a record for being uninvited to the most places.  Yiannopoulos was scheduled to visit Australia and had just been issued a visa over the objections of the home affairs department.

But then, in a Facebook post, Yiannopoulos blamed the radicalism behind the attack on left-leaning progressives, and called Islam a “barbaric, alien religious” culture.  After that, immigration minister David Coleman said on Saturday that comments about Islam made by Yiannopoulos in the wake of the Christchurch massacre were “appalling and foment hatred and division” and he would not be allowed in the country.  Score one for common sense!

In the aftermath of the shootings, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made a promise to the people:  “Our gun laws will change”. While most European nations ban them, New Zealand allows, with a special permit, pistols, semi-automatic weapons and machine guns.  That is the only major difference between NZ and most other European nations’ gun laws, and it was the reason the shooter, Brenton Tarrant, came to the country from his native Australia, to do his dirty deeds.

New Zealand Attorney General David Baker announced at a vigil late Friday that the country would ban semiautomatic weapons.  Although this will require more than a statement by the Attorney General and the Prime Minister, and is far from a done deal, isn’t it refreshing to see a country that doesn’t hide behind a shield, a country where the heads of government put the lives of the people they represent ahead of the profits of gun manufacturers?  Listen up, U.S. lawmakers!

Score two for common sense!


A bit of good news …

I conclude with a tidbit of good news.  The University of Tennessee announced recently it would guarantee free tuition and fees to admitted in-state residents with a family household income of less than $50,000.  University President Randy Boyd announced the program, to start in the fall of 2020, saying …

“This isn’t a school just for the wealthy or the elite. This is a school for everyone. It is critically important that we take a lead role in ensuring students can achieve their dream of obtaining an undergraduate college degree. It is our mission and responsibility to do everything we can to ease the financial burden for our middle- and working-class families, and UT Promise is an ideal conduit to achieve that.”

Let us hope that this paves the way for many, many more colleges and universities to offer similar opportunities.  Similar free-tuition programs are available in Oregon, Nevada, Arkansas, New Jersey, Maryland, Rhode Island, Delaware, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Indiana. Lawmakers in eight other states are considering similar programs.  Eat your heart out, Betsy DeVos!


I think that’s about enough of my snarkiness for one day, so enjoy what’s left of your Sunday, and I shall return in the morning with Jolly Monday!

Hillary is to Blame for …. WHAT???

In Oregon last Friday night, da trumpeter blew yet another sour note on his horn.  He called Hillary Clinton an “unbelievably nasty, mean enabler” who “‘destroyed’ the lives of her husband’s mistresses.” WHAT???  So, Hillary is somehow responsible for any infidelities Bill Clinton may have done, and Hillary somehow ruined lives?  “She’s been the total enabler. She would go after these women and destroy their lives,” Trump said. “She was an unbelievably nasty, mean enabler, and what she did to a lot of those women is disgraceful.”  Again … WHAT???

This morning (Monday), Chris Cuomo of CNN had a telephone interview with da trumpeter.  Cuomo began the interview by asking Trump about his comments, and noting that the voters “don’t like it. They see it as a distraction, they see it as hypocritical coming from you, and mostly they see it as potential proof that you may have no real ideas to offer as president. What is your thinking on this line of attack?” To which Trump replied: “Well this is a nice way to start off the interview. First of all, you should congratulate me for having won the race. I thought there at least would be a small congratulations. But I’m not surprised with CNN.”  Trump claimed that he discussed many more important issues, such as trade, the military and illegal immigration. I listened to parts of the speech throughout the entire hour and 14 minutes, and found that he did not actually address any serious topic, other than off-the-cuff remarks, such as a reiteration of his intent to ‘build a wall’, etc.  The bulk of his speech was spent doing two things:  tooting his own horn, and putting down everybody else, primarily Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren.

But back to the interview with Cuomo this morning.  After saying that he talked about many more important issues and questioning why Cuomo led off with a question about his Clinton remarks, he said “I spoke very little about that compared to other things. You took a small amount of the speech and you build it up like it’s the biggest thing in the world. But it is a big thing. Look, he was the worst abuser of women.”  Logically, Cuomo replied, “You just said I’m making too much of it, now you say it’s a big thing.” Trump: “Excuse me — as a politician, in the history of our country. He was impeached, and then he lied about it. The guy was impeached for lying.”  Even if this were a true statement (it is only partly true, as I will clarify in a moment), how in the Sam Hell is any of this Hillary Clinton’s fault???  And how does it apply to the current election? I am thoroughly confused at his rationale here, so if anybody understands this, please feel free to comment at the bottom of this post and enlighten me. In fact, if anybody can actually make sense of this, I will send you a free ‘Snoopy for President’ sticker!

William Jefferson Clinton’s ‘impeachment’ has nothing whatsoever to do with Hillary Rodham Clinton’s bid for the presidency this year. In 1998, Bill Clinton was charged in the House of Representatives with perjury and obstruction of justice related to his affair with the infamous Monica Lewinski.  The House voted to impeach, but the Senate did not muster enough votes for an impeachment, and he was thereby acquitted of both charges in 1999.  Some still choose to say he was impeached, but either way, it was not Hillary Clinton’s fault and she was never the one on trial. The fact is that she was more a victim than Monica Lewinsky.

I would argue that Trump’s rants against one person or another, against groups of people, and his braggadocio about his ‘accomplishments’ do not deserve media time and attention.  However, that would, in essence, be denying Trump any of the free advertising he has been getting from the media, since a full 95% of everything he says is just that … rants, lies and bragging.  I concur with what Chris Cuomo said in the beginning, that it is a smokescreen to cover up the fact that Trump has no real agenda, no real ideas of what he foresees as president.  We can only hope that the people of this nation are savvy enough to peer through the smoke and mirrors to the empty shell that is Donald Trump.

vote snoopy2