Inhumanity

I know the majority of people in this … or any nation … are decent human beings who care about the planet, wildlife, and their fellow humans.  At least … I hope that’s still the case.  But those ‘bad apples’ sure do stink and they seem to be everywhere you look!  The latest example that slapped me across the face this morning was this one …bitch-womanThis woman was part of a counter-protest during a Black Lives Matter event in Branson, Missouri, on Sunday.  Okay, the confederate flag is offensive enough, but we’re used to the fools waving those things around. And the maga hat … it doesn’t even offend anymore … it is a joke.  It was what she screeched at the Black Lives Matter protestors that caused my jaw to drop …

“I will teach my grandkids to hate you all!”

Then she got to her feet with her Confederate flag and screamed, “suck on this.”  What sort of human being does this?  What is our society turning into?  I think some people in this nation have taken their 1st Amendment ‘rights’ just a bit too far!  Frankly, if I had been there, I likely would have lit fire to her damn rebel flag.  Rebellion is one thing … hate is quite another.

So, this woman will teach her grandchildren to hate black people.  Just when we think we’re making progress, that perhaps we can finally begin to end racism in this country, we have people teaching the youngest among us to hate … to hate only because of the colour of another’s skin.  How, then, can we ever end racism?  It is being passed down from one generation to the next by narrow-minded, arrogant, ignorant people.

On Sunday, days after NASCAR announced the banning of the confederate flag at their events, a noose was found in Bubba Wallace’s garage stall at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.  Wallace is the only full-time black NASCAR driver and a supporter of Black Lives Matter.  A noose.  The symbol of lynchings.  Why?  Because his skin is black, because some of those southern ‘good ol’ boys’ are angry at the banning of their symbol of slavery, the confederate flag.

I sit here looking out my window, watching the neighbor’s two dogs playing in the yard.  One is chestnut brown, the other dappled grey, and yet … they are equal.  They have fun together, they live together, share the same food dishes, and snif each other’s butts with never a care for the colour of their fur.  Not long ago, I saw a story of a dog who raised a kitten … not only was their fur a different colour, but they were of two different species … yet it did not matter to them.  Humans believe that they are the highest of all species, that their opposable thumbs and larger brains make them somehow superior.  I don’t think so.

Babies are not born hating.  Go visit a playground … notice that all the children play together … black, brown, white … it doesn’t matter to them.  But as they grow into adults, they are either taught that all people are equal and should be judged only on behaviour, not skin colour, not gender, not who their ancestors were, or else they are taught to hate.  They are taught to hate those perceived as “other”, just as that grandmother in Branson is teaching her grandchildren.  And 20 years from now, one of her grandchildren may become that cop who shoots and kills an unarmed black man … just because he can.

Where does it end, folks?  In the 1960s, I thought it was ending.  It wasn’t, it only became unpopular to express bigoted viewpoints, so people kept their opinions largely to themselves, else aired them only among those who they knew shared their views.  And in the past few weeks, since the brutal murder of George Floyd, with Civil War monuments coming down, protests gaining momentum, and calls for major changes in law enforcement, I once again thought that perhaps we were making some progress.  And perhaps some of us are, but as long as there are people who value their icons of slavery, who believe that people of colour are somehow inferior, we’re not going to end racism.  I think, well … the older generation will die out and the young people today are smarter, more compassionate.  But … not if they’re taught to hate.

Our friend Keith wrote a post a week or so ago titled, “Bad Apples Will Spoil the Bunch”.   How many ‘bad apples’ like the grandmother in Branson, like the person who put the noose in Bubba Wallace’s garage stall, are there among us?  How many more will they infect with their hideous disease?  Racism is a disease far more lethal than the coronavirus, for it is passed down from one generation to the next, and there will never be a vaccine.

The Week’s Best Cartoons 6/13

I had a serious piece lined up for today … a re-blog … a dark, but important piece. But, I changed my mind when I woke with a dark cloud over my head this morning, and decided to go with TokyoSand’s excellent selection of political cartoons from the past week instead. As always, thank you T.S.!

Political⚡Charge

By Lalo Alcaraz

Editorial cartoonists appear to be one of the last groups of people who speak out and say exactly what’s happening. They reveal what’s really going on behind all the pomp and circumstance in front of cameras and reporters, and entertain us along the way. Although to be clear, they’re not necessarily “funny.” Especially this week.

Here are our great editorial cartoonists on what they saw in the news this week.

Black Lives Matter

By Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

By Angel Boligan

By Clay Jones

By Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By Christopher Weyant

By Scott Stantis, Chicago Tribune

By Steve Sack, Star Tribune

By Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

Elections Continue

By Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By Michael de Adder

By DL Weeks

By Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press 

Corona Surges

By Bill Bramhall, New York Daily News

View original post 58 more words

It’s Time To End The Civil War …

Among my favourite columnists is Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post … he always seems able to cut through the detritus and get to the heart of the matter, to make sense out of chaos.  His column yesterday is no exception and I thought very worthy of being shared here.  I also highly recommend you check out his link to the 1619 Project, an ongoing project developed by The New York Times Magazine in 2019 with the goal of re-examining the legacy of slavery in the United States and timed for the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans in Virginia.


Trump might go down in history as the last president of the Confederacy

Eugene-RobinsonBy Eugene Robinson 

Columnist

June 11, 2020 at 4:27 p.m. EDT

It should have happened 155 years ago, when Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox, but maybe — just maybe — the Civil War is finally coming to an end. And perhaps Donald Trump, not Jefferson Davis, will go down in history as the last president of the Confederacy.

Symbols like flags and monuments matter, because what they symbolize is our vision of ourselves as a nation: the heroes, battles, movements, sacrifices and ideals we honor. So when I see multiracial crowds toppling the statues of Confederate soldiers and politicians, when I see respected military leaders arguing that Army posts should no longer bear the names of Confederate generals, when I see NASCAR banning displays of the Confederate battle flag at its races — witnessing all of this, I let hope triumph over experience and allow myself to imagine that this may indeed be a transformational moment.

Like the Civil War itself, “Lost Cause” symbology is simply and entirely about white supremacy. It has nothing to do with “heritage” or “tradition” or any such gauzy nonsense. The heavily armed “liberate Michigan” mob that invaded the statehouse in Lansing, egged on by President Trump, had no historical reason to be waving the Confederate flag. That banner represents the knee that has been kept on the necks of African Americans not just for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the time Derek Chauvin spent crushing the life out of George Floyd, but for 401 years

Lee’s surrender ended nothing, because the nation did not even begin to grapple with white supremacy. Reconstruction was strangled in its infancy; true racial reconciliation was never even attempted. The statue of Davis in Richmond, brought down by protesters Wednesday night, was not erected until 1907. Like almost all of the Lost Cause monuments, it was built during the revanchist era, when Southern whites were celebrating their reestablished dominance over African Americans via repressive Jim Crow laws and the terrorism of the Ku Klux Klan.

Many recall that the Confederate flag at the South Carolina statehouse was taken down in 2015 following the massacre of nine African American worshipers by a white supremacist at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston. Few realize that the racist flag had been installed at the statehouse not in 1861 but a century later, in 1961, when black South Carolinians like my parents were agitating for the right to vote.

The killing of Floyd has provoked a national moment of reckoning with police violence and white supremacy. But the position of the Trump administration is that systemic racism does not even exist — that our unexamined and unaddressed racial problems all come down to a few “bad apples” here and there.

Perhaps in an attempt to gain political advantage — and perhaps, as much evidence suggests, because it’s what he truly believes — Trump has used this moment to side with Lost Cause white supremacy. His all-caps tweets for “LAW & ORDER” sound like George Wallace when he was governor of Alabama; his demand for a militarized response to the protests reminds me of Bull Connor, the Birmingham commissioner of public safety who attacked nonviolent civil rights protesters with water hoses and vicious dogs.

When it was reported that high-ranking Army officials are open to stripping the names of Confederate generals from military posts such as Fort Bragg, Fort Benning and Fort Hood, Trump reacted instantly. He tweeted Wednesday that he “will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations.”

Trump claimed, ridiculously, that the names are somehow part of the nation’s “history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom.” He may be historically ignorant enough not to know that the generals in question were traitors as famous for the battles they lost as for any of their triumphs; that ultimate victory went to the Union, not the Confederacy; and that the whole point of the rebellion was to deny freedom to African Americans. Or he may know these facts but believe his political base doesn’t.

Just hours later, however, NASCAR banned the Confederate flag. If there is one sporting venue that Trump might think of as a safe space, it would be a NASCAR race — until now. Heck, I might even go watch a race when the pandemic ends.

Trump must be bewildered. Unsubtle appeals to racial animus (remember his “birther” lies) have always worked for him in the past, but now he seems to be flailing. If it turns out that the Lost Cause is finally, truly lost, then so is the president who made himself its champion.

A Personal Tale and A Few Tidbits

I’m starting today’s post with a personal story.  At 8:00 this morning, I woke to a text message from my friend Jerry asking if we were okay.  Odd, I thought, so I returned the text saying that we are all fine, and why was he asking … had something happened?  He then told me that last night around 10:00 there had been a shooting at the small park behind our house.  One dead, two injured.  Imagine, if you can, the flip flops my heart did when I remembered that after supper, granddaughter Natasha had gone for a walk at that very park and returned home around 9:00, just a short hour before the shooting.

The park is maybe 200 steps behind my house … I can be there in under a minute … that’s how close this was.  This is not the first time that shots have been fired here in da hood, but to the best of my knowledge, it is the first time anyone was killed or even seriously injured.  Still dazed by the news, I was having my coffee, trying to regain my equilibrium, when I read that my state is considering expanding its “Stand Your Ground” laws to remove any responsibility for a person to try to avoid a dangerous situation.  This means, basically, that you can shoot someone who you claim made you feel threatened, and walk away free and clear, just as George Zimmerman did after murdering young, unarmed Trayvon Martin in Florida in 2012.

I realize that I am barking up a hollow tree, that the gun culture in the United States will not end any time soon, but nonetheless I will continue to bark up that tree until either people start to listen, or I can no longer bark.

The average person has no need for a gun, and frankly if someone needs a gun to feel safe, then they are pretty much a wuss in my book.  I have never owned nor shot a gun, have no desire to, and yet I’ve always managed to keep safe, even without a gun.  Twice in my life, I have had a gun pointed at me, and I’m still standing … in one case, my temper protected me and the man with the gun turned tail and ran, and in the other, my wits and good sense protected me.  So, to those who claim to need a gun to keep safe, I laugh in their face.

Only, I’m not laughing now.  I’m angry.


In other news …

👍Thumbs up to Disney, Papa John’s (pizza company), T-Mobile, and Veri (office furniture company) for pulling their ads from Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News.  Tucker Carlson is a dyed-in-the-wool racist who has a long history of using white nationalist rhetoric and has recently attacked and denigrated the Black Lives Matter movement.  Personally, I hope that every company still advertising on the Tucker Carlson show pulls their ads, and Fox won’t have much choice but to say “bye-bye” to Tucker.

👎Thumbs down to Starbucks for prohibiting its baristas and other employees from wearing T-shirts, pins, or any other accessory that mentions Black Lives Matter.  The company claims that wearing clothing and accessories highlighting Black Lives Matter could be misunderstood and potentially incite violence.  Misunderstood how???  It’s not a complex statement, not rocket science, and frankly, anybody who takes offense at Black Lives Matter wouldn’t be welcome in my place of business if I had one.

👍Thumbs up to auto racing organization NASCAR for banning the display of the Confederate flag at its races and tracks, effective immediately.  The ban applies to fans, competitors, and anyone else involved in the industry. Prior to the announcement, driver Bubba Wallace, the first full-time African-American driver in the top-flight Cup series since 1971, had called for NASCAR to get the Confederate flag “out of here,” saying there is “no place” for it in the sport.

👎Thumbs down to Donald Trump for rejecting calls to rename U.S. military bases named after Confederate generals, a demand that has picked up steam as protests against racial injustice grow around the nation. Civil rights activists, with the support of some former military officials, are pressuring the government to change the names of such installations as Fort Bragg and Fort Benning, saying they glorify generals who led the fight to preserve slavery in the Civil War.

👍Thumbs up to Senator Elizabeth Warren and the Senate Armed Services Committee.  Senator Warren introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that requires the Defense Department to rename posts and assets — streets, aircraft, ships, and other equipment — either named for Confederate officers or that honor the confederacy within three years.  The committee approved the amendment, though it is likely to lead to a showdown between the Senate and Trump.

We-the-People