Black Face On White Supremacy

On September 14th, Californians will cast their vote to either keep current Governor Gavin Newsom or replace him with one of a number of other candidates vying for his job. The leading contender appears to be Larry Elder, who I have mentioned before here on Filosofa’s Word. Elder is NOT a man under whose governance I would wish to live! Clay Jones over at Claytoonz has done a fantastic job of showing us who Elder is … read on!

claytoonz

Cjones09082021

Over the weekend, a speaker at a rally for California governor Gavin Newsome said his Republican opponent, Larry Elder, is a “black face on white supremacy.” Larry Elder is a controversial right-wing Trump-supporting conspiracy-spreading whack job with a radio show who also happens to be black. But black people can be conservative lunatics too, right? Is it fair to accuse one of them, like Larry Elder, of being a “black face on white supremacy?” After all, Larry Elder is totally 100 percent in favor of reparations for slavery.

Of course, it’s not descendants of slaves Larry wants reparations for. No, Larry believe slave OWNERS should be rewarded reparations.

Ya’ see, Larry was talking to fellow black conservative lunatic, Candace Owens (which helps defend him from the charges of racism because she can be his prop for a black friend), and he argued since slavery was legal, slave owners were robbed…

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Voting Is A RIGHT, Not A Privilege!!!

In 1965, Congress passed, and President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  Please note and remember that this bill was NOT titled the Voting Privilege Act of 1965, but the Voting RIGHTS Act … rights, not privileges.

Several constitutional amendments, the 15th, the 19th, and the 26th, require that voting rights of U.S. citizens cannot be abridged on account of race, color, previous condition of servitude, sex, or age (18 and older).  Are we all in agreement here that every person over the age of 18 has the right to vote?

However, according to a recent PEW Research study, white people don’t think that voting is a right, but rather a privilege that one must earn!  It’s no damn wonder, then, that 42 states are in the process of drafting or passing legislation that would make it far more difficult for people of colour, for the elderly, for college students, and for working women to cast a vote.

More than once I have ranted about those who don’t vote, or who vote for an inviable third-party candidate.  In my view it is irresponsible — we all have a DUTY to vote, even if we aren’t enamoured of any of the candidates.  I have also proposed that we have mandatory voting.  I have proposed switching election dates to Sunday so that all will have time and access to the vote.  I have also proposed that every state should go to an all-postal voting system in order to make voting as painless as possible for everyone. So, you can imagine that I am LIVID to find out that white people think voting is a privilege to be earned.

Why???  We all have to live under the laws that are determined by the president and members of Congress, so WHY THE HELL shouldn’t we ALL have a voice in choosing those people???  Why should some be forced to follow laws made by people that they didn’t even have a chance to vote for or against?  I have long ranted against restrictions in some states that disenfranchise former prisoners who are on parole.  They paid their dues, served their time … now they are out of prison, most are gainfully employed and paying taxes … WHY THE HELL shouldn’t they be allowed to vote???

And this is a partisan issue.  Among Democrats, only 21% see the right to vote as a ‘privilege’, while among Republicans, 67% believe that the ‘privilege’ of voting must be earned.

Quite frankly, I cannot imagine anything short of actually being in prison during election day that should prevent a person from voting.  Qualified?  Well, if they are a citizen, then in my mind they are qualified.  If John Doe is a Black citizen, an employed taxpayer, then why do the tighty whiteys want to take away his right … yes, RIGHT … to vote?  Do they think they are better than he is?  Do they think their opinion has more value than his?  Or … do they just figure he isn’t as smart or as ‘entitled’ as they are? Or … are they afraid?  Afraid that if enough Black people have a say in who makes the laws that govern us all, they might lose their privileged status?  Are they afraid that someday our Congress won’t be 90% white, but will instead be 40% white?  What, exactly, are you afraid of, Karen?

Black Americans are more likely than those in other racial and ethnic groups to see voting as a fundamental right, while White Americans are the least likely to say this. About three-quarters of Black Americans (77%) say voting is a right for every U.S. citizen and should not be restricted, as do 63% of Hispanic Americans and 66% of Asian Americans. White Americans are about evenly divided: 51% say voting is a right, while 48% say it is a privilege.

That 48% … they make me ashamed to be Caucasian … make me wish my olive-toned skin were much darker, for I am NOT white … not at heart … not if this is the way white people think!  Stick your Ango-Saxon heritage where the sun doesn’t shine … I am not as one with you!

Never before in my 70 years here on earth, as a citizen of the United States, have I been so ashamed of this country and its people.  Were it just me, I would leave this country tomorrow, by whatever means I could, including death, and never have a regret – that is how much I despise what is happening in this country.  But I feel an obligation, a responsibility, in part to my daughter and granddaughter, and in part to the people of this nation, to fight the good fight, to fight against the white supremacist forces of evil.

Snarky Snippets For A Rainy Day

Rainy days seem to make me more snarky than usual … I wonder why that is?  Well, it isn’t raining yet, but the clouds are moving in rapidly, so I might as well go ahead and get my suit of snark on.


A new trial?  HELL NO!

Predictably, Derek Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson, has filed a motion asking for a new trial.  Who could have seen that coming, eh?  He cited a number of “reasons” for the request, including the judge’s decisions to not sequester the jury during the trial, to not change the location of the proceedings and to not grant a new trial because of publicity that he claims included the intimidation of the defense’s expert witnesses.  He also claimed “that the jury committed misconduct, felt threatened or intimidated, felt race-based pressure during the proceedings, and/or failed to adhere to instructions during deliberations.”  Interestingly, however, he provided little or no detail to support his complaints.

His single “example” that the jury had been tainted revolves around a single juror and Nelson’s supposed complaint stems from the fact that said juror had attended the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington, when the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.  Say WHAT???  So, now we are disqualified from serving on a jury if we have attended an event, one that was attended by tens of thousands of people including notable celebrities, civil rights leaders, and even members of Congress???

It is highly unlikely that Chauvin will be granted a new trial, and if he is, it is even less likely that the outcome would be any different than the first trial.  The entire world has seen the indisputable evidence.  It is merely a delaying tactic … Chauvin and Nelson are hoping that the memory of that video of him killing George Floyd will fade in peoples’ minds, but that is NOT going to happen.  What will happen, if Chauvin is granted a new trial, is that tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars will be wasted.  Precious time and court resources frittered away on an attempt to set a racist murderer free.  Frankly, I have spent all I plan to spend to try this horrible excuse for a man.  He has been proven guilty and will be sentenced on June 16th.  Anything else is unacceptable, is a waste of time, money, and resources that could better be spent elsewhere.


Hand over da memo!

Earlier this week, a bit of positive news came when Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the United States District Court in Washington ordered the Department of Justice to release a March 2019 legal memo clearing former President Trump of potential obstruction of justice charges following the Mueller investigation, with the judge accusing former Attorney General William Barr and agency lawyers of deceiving the public.

Judge Jackson gave the DOJ two weeks to release the legal memo in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the liberal watchdog group Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW).  The Justice Department under Barr had argued that the memo should be withheld because it falls under exceptions to the public records law for attorney-client privilege and deliberative government decision-making.

The reality I think we are all aware of is that there was nothing honest or open about William Barr’s assessment of the Mueller Report, and that there is something in that report that has been kept from both the public and from Congress that proves Donald Trump and/or those working on his behalf did, in fact, condone Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.  Soon, perhaps, we will have the proof we need, as well as some hope that the former guy may finally pay a price for his traitorous dishonesty, for subverting the voice of We the People.

May 17th, one week from next Monday, is the deadline Judge Jackson gave the Justice Department … stay tuned!


And from the annals of ridiculous lawsuits …

Stephen Miller

Former presidential aide, Stephen Miller – the white supremacist with ties to Nazis – has filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration.  Why, you ask?  He claims the Biden administration’s funds reserved for “socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers” discriminate against white people.  I don’t know whether to laugh or throw something!

The complaint comes from America First Legal (AFL), a group founded and subsidized by Miller, whose mission statement on their website is to …

“Fight Back Against Lawless Executive Actions and the Radical Left.”

In a statement announcing the lawsuit, Miller cited words from the late Martin Luther King, Jr., writing, “Americans ‘should not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.’”  How DARE an avowed white supremacist quote the late, great, Dr. Martin Luther King!  And frankly, if Mr. Miller and his band of merry racists were to be judged by the ‘content of their character’, they would likely be found to have not a single redeeming quality in their ‘character’.

I hope this lawsuit is laughed out of the courts and that this organization soon disbands, for their only purpose is to destroy diversity and create an all-white fascist nation.  Sigh.  Oh, and the AFL group is also complaining about school children learning the true history — the good, the bad, and the ugly — of this nation.  What a group, eh?

The Ugly Face Of ‘Nationalism’

I could have been quite content to never hear the name “Marjorie Taylor Greene” again for as long as I live.  However, yesterday she flew face-first onto my radar and aroused such disgust that I truly wished for the opportunity for my fist to meet her face.  She and two others, Representative Paul Gosar of Arizona and Louie Gohmert of Texas (both of whom have crossed my radar before) have started a new House caucus that they are calling the “America First Caucus”.  Just the name itself raised my hackles … you’ll remember the former guy using that terminology many times, and I find it to be an arrogant, bigoted term.

So, to start with, just what is a ‘caucus’?  Congressional caucuses are voluntary groups made up of lawmakers seeking to advance certain policy agendas. While the groups operate outside of the formal congressional legislative structure, many, such as the ignoble House Freedom Caucus, have found success influencing debate and amplifying their voices.  There are at least a hundred caucuses in the House, most consisting of only 2-3 members, some only having a single member, and typically promoting a single idea, such as the “Arts Caucus” or the “House Specialty Crops Caucus” … yes, I’m serious!  But some, like the aforementioned House Freedom Caucus, have a hundred or more members and a broad agenda.

The 7-page document outlining the “America First Caucus” policy agenda begins …

“The America First Caucus (AFC) exists to promote Congressional policies that are to the long-term benefit of the American nation. The North Star of any policy proposal will be that which serves the American people, and any consequential analysis of policy platforms must be based on this first principle.

As this implies a degree of ideological flexibility, a certain intellectual boldness is needed amongst members of the AFC to follow in President Trump’s footsteps, and potentially step on some toes and sacrifice sacred cows for the good of the American nation.”

There is racist, bigoted language throughout the document.  In a section on immigration, the document describes the United States as a place with “uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions” and argues that “societal trust and political unity are threatened when foreign citizens are imported en-masse into a country, particularly without institutional support for assimilation and an expansive welfare state to bail them out should they fail to contribute positively to the country.”

The document calls to suspend all immigration, saying such pauses are “absolutely essential in assimilating the new arrivals and weeding out those who could not or refused to abandon their old loyalties and plunge head-first into mainstream American society.”

On infrastructure, the caucus calls for the construction of roads, bridges and buildings that reflect “the architectural, engineering and aesthetic value that befits the progeny of European architecture, whereby public infrastructure must be utilitarian as well as stunningly, classically beautiful, befitting a world power and source of freedom.” 

I strongly urge you to read the document, for it is filled with racist, bigoted rhetoric.  Interestingly, a few other congressional Republicans weren’t too happy with it, either.  Even House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, whose ideology is typically far to the right of center, said …

“America is built on the idea that we are all created equal and success is earned through honest, hard work. It isn’t built on identity, race, or religion. The Republican Party is the party of Lincoln & the party of more opportunity for all Americans — not nativist dog whistles.”

GOP conference chairperson Liz Cheney, the third highest ranking House Republican, responded with …

“Republicans believe in equal opportunity, freedom, and justice for all. We teach our children the values of tolerance, decency and moral courage. Racism, nativism, and anti-Semitism are evil. History teaches we all have an obligation to confront & reject such malicious hate.”

Democratic Representative Ted Lieu’s response was spot on …

“As an immigrant, I served on active duty in the US military to defend your right to say stupid stuff. What makes America great is that we don’t judge you based on bloodline, we look at your character.”

Last February, the House voted to remove Ms. Greene from her committee assignments based on her promotion of QAnon conspiracy theories, so she has had virtually nothing to do (yet We the People pay her $174,000 per year), and this caucus is presumably the result.  Trouble is that what Ms. Greene fails to understand is first that this is a nation of immigrants … immigrants from all over the world, not just “Anglo-Saxon” countries.  Second, she needs to understand that this is the 21st century, not the 18th.  We are all in this world together … air travel, the Internet, and other technologies have shrunken the globe and what one nation does can easily affect every other nation on the planet.  In the sections on the environment and energy, the document reads …

“The America First Caucus supports conservation of the environment and our national lands for the benefit of our nation. Having said that, we should not cripple our country’s manufacturing sector through agreements such as the Paris Climate Accords. We oppose the globalist, vague, and irrelevant policies being pushed under the guise of combating climate change.

While it is vital to preserve our environment, we should not use it as an impetus to destroy the energy industry that hires millions of hard-working Americans. Our elected officials should stand proudly with America’s struggling coal country against job-killing regulations, and welcome the ongoing shift towards clean coal. In addition, the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines will promote North American energy independence …”

Ms. Greene literally has zero qualifications to be in Congress, and even fewer qualifications to opine on things of which she has no knowledge.  Her ‘caucus’ is based solely on emotions, personal opinions, and uneducated views.  I had hoped that the people of her district in Georgia would vote her out next year and rid us of this terrible disease, but reportedly, she is raking in the campaign donations, so perhaps that dream is dead.

Ms. Greene’s ideology, such as it is, would close us off from the rest of the world, make this nation isolated and shielded from new ideas, cultural sharing, and protection of neighbors and allies.  And it would disenfranchise nearly half of the people in this nation.  There is no place in this country for the type of hateful ‘nationalism’ (another word I deplore) that Ms. Greene and her cohorts are proposing.  NONE!

Oh Yes … Racism Is Alive And Well In America

Yesterday I read a statement by one of the terrorists who attacked Congress and the Capitol on January 6th that made me want to connect my fist to the man’s nose …

“This is not 1950. I’d say about 95, 96 percent of people are not the least bit racist.”

SAY WHAT????

John Hugo at ‘Straight Pride’ parade

The remark was made by a ‘man’ named John Hugo, president of a group called, believe it or not, Super Happy Fun America (SFHA) that bused some three hundred people to the Capitol on January 6th to create chaos, murder and mayhem, and first earned their claim to fame when they held a “Straight Pride Parade” in Boston in 2019.  I guess this is what they call “Super Happy Fun”, eh?  Let me tell you something, MR. HUGO … racism is alive and well in this nation … and YOU, sir, are part of the problem!

According to a PEW Research study … well, here … take a look for yourself …

Even without the Pew study, we can see with our own eyes that racism surely exists among the majority of people with pale skin in this country!  I’m talking about the sort of racism whereby pale people believe … truly believe in their warped minds … that race is a fundamental determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.

Case in point:  There is overwhelming proof that white people use more illegal drugs. Yet, the only way anyone can explain why Black people are arrested for possession at three times the rate of whites is the racist belief that there is a huge drug use problem in Black communities. Racism is the only way to explain why the largest policing project in world history revealed “Black drivers were searched about 1.5 to 2 times as often as white drivers, while they were less likely to be carrying drugs, guns, or other illegal contraband compared to their white peers.” It is necessary to believe that race is a “fundamental determinant of human traits and capacities” if one wants to understand why Black men receive prison sentences that are, on average, nearly 20 percent longer than white men who commit the same crimes.

I have a Black friend who has been incarcerated for a crime he did not commit, that nobody, not even the police, thought he committed, and now his sons are stopped on average once or twice a month for the crime of “Driving While Black”.  ‘Splain that one, Mr. Hugo!

It isn’t only Black people, it is Hispanics, Asians, and anybody who doesn’t have the physical traits of those pale people.  WHY???  WHY, people … can somebody please explain to me why those pale-skinned people think they are somehow superior???

The PEW study goes on to show that most (65%) white Americans believe it has become more common for people to express racist or racially insensitive views since Trump was elected president …

And while I really don’t like tying such things as racism to one political party or the other, the proof, as it were, is in the pudding that overall, Republicans are the ones who think Black people actually have too many r ights!

DAMMIT!!!  Could somebody give these nudniks a bit of education???  Eight-in-ten white Democrats – vs. 40% of white Republicans – say the legacy of slavery continues to have an impact on black people’s position in American society today. And when it comes to views about racial discrimination, 78% of white Democrats say the bigger problem is people not seeing it where it really does exist, while a similar share of white Republicans say people seeing racial discrimination where it really does not exist is the bigger problem.  Tell me again that the Republican Party hasn’t turned into the party of racism and bigotry … go ahead, tell me! 

All my life, since I was a small child, I have believed that someday racism and bigotry would end, that people would come to understand that the colour of a person’s skin, the homeland of his ancestors, do not change the fact that his heart and brain function just the same as anyone else’s and that there is nothing … NOTHING … that makes pale people superior.  All my life … nearly 70 years now … I believed that people would eventually wake up and smell the goddamn coffee.  Today, I no longer believe that.  I have seen the human species as it is and I understand, after all these years, that some people are simply never, ever, going to give up their illusions of superiority and will continue to pass those heinous beliefs on to their children and grandchildren.

It doesn’t mean I will stop fighting, though in truth I am tempted, for I see all too clearly that humans are not going to change, that stupidity and cruelty is ingrained and passed on through the genes.  But, what it does mean is that I have lost hope.  I have lost the belief that people are basically good.  I have stopped caring whether the human species survives or not.

The States Racing to Copy Georgia

Our friend TokyoSand reminds us that Georgia isn’t the only state that has passed a restrictive voting law this year.  Some 43 states are working on or have already passed voting laws that will strictly restrict voting by minorities, the poor, the elderly and the young.  In other words, they only want fat, old men to vote!  Read Tokyo’s post to learn which states are coming up on Georgia’s heels …


The States Racing to Copy Georgia

I’m happy that the media is covering the travesty that is the new Georgia law that restricts all kinds of voting rights for its citizens. But, that coverage is drowning out other, similarly important stories.

First and foremost, the media barely covered the Iowa governor signing a voter suppression bill a few weeks before the Georgia bill was signed. The Republicans in the state House and state Senate pushed their bill through, using the tired, old GOP talking point that it was all about “guarding against voter fraud,” even as they admitted that “Iowa has no history of election irregularities and that November’s election saw record turnout with no hint of problems in the state.”

Continue reading …The States Racing to Copy Georgia

One Very Ugly Man

There are, according to the NPR database, now 49 people affiliated with either the military or law enforcement who have been arrested for their role in the attack on the Capitol and Congress on January 6th.  The very people in whose hands we have placed our lives, played a role in an attempt to take away our lives.  For make no mistake, if their mission had been successful, I likely would not be writing this blog post today and we would almost certainly have a cruel, evil dictator at the helm in Washington.

No, I’m not over-dramatizing.  What did you think the former guy planned to do if his planned insurrection had succeeded, killing Mike Pence, Nancy Pelosi, and throwing out our votes?  Did you think he would have been able to continue as a president, that Congress would simply overlook it all and that it would have been “business as usual”?  Think again.

One of those with military connections is this man …

Hale-Cusanelli

Timothy Louis Hale-Cusanelli was arrested on January 17th and charged with Civil Disorder; Aiding and Abetting; Obstruction of an Official Proceeding; Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building or Grounds; Impeding Ingress and Egress in a Restricted Building; Disorderly Conduct in a Capitol Building; Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building.

Hale-Cusanelli is a sergeant in the Army Reserve, serving in the 174th Infantry Brigade out of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey, according to the Army.  It was initially reported that he was discharged after his arrest and barred from Weapons Station Earle, where he works, but later information from Army Reserve Strategic Communications said that “leadership is reviewing the case and that administrative action has not been taken.”

According to The Washington Post

Arguing in a Friday filing that Hale-Cusanelli should remain in pretrial detention, the U.S. attorney’s office in D.C. released parts of interviews with his co-workers at the Naval base. Several of the nearly four dozen Navy service members and contractors told Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents that Hale-Cusanelli was a white supremacist.

One Navy petty officer alleged that Hale-Cusanelli once said, “Hitler should have finished the job,” according to the filing.

A Navy seaman told investigators that he heard Hale-Cusanelli say that “babies born with any deformities or disabilities should be shot in the forehead” and that if he were a Nazi, “he would kill all the Jews and eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and he wouldn’t need to season them because the salt from their tears would make it flavorful enough,” prosecutors disclosed.

Another petty officer said Hale-Cusanelli referred to Black people in profane, dehumanizing terms, according to the document.

Multiple co-workers remembered seeing Hale-Cusanelli’s mustache shaved to look like the short mustache Hitler wore, including a supervisor who admonished him for it. Photos on his phone obtained by federal agents showed his hair cut in a way reminiscent of Hitler’s hair, including selfies taken at work. Other images on his phone portrayed Hitler saving White Americans from the Republican and Democratic parties and contained “statistics” to “bolster his assertions that the ‘white race’ was superior,” according to prosecutors.

At issue this week is whether he should be released from jail pending the conclusion of the investigation and a trial.  From my point of view, there is no question that he is a menace and should remain in jail, but his lawyer argues to the contrary, and even prosecutors have said that the interviews, as well as racist and offensive photos and cartoons found on Hale-Cusanelli’s phone, are not legal grounds to halt his release.  They do, however, argue for his continued imprisonment on the grounds that the ideology is a driving force behind his aspiration for a “civil war,” making him a danger to the community.

One of Hale-Cusanelli’s supervisors, Sergeant John Getz, told agents that Hale-Cusanelli would walk up to new people and ask, “‘You’re not Jewish, are you?’” with a demeanor that was “joking but not.” Getz said he knew Hale-Cusanelli was a Nazi sympathizer and Holocaust denier, but that he did not mention it in the letter he submitted to the court because he was not personally offended by Hale-Cusanelli.  NOT PERSONALLY OFFENDED???  I’m personally offended and I’ve never met the guy!

This and many like him are the ones Senator Ron Johnson calls ‘patriots’.  They are anything but patriots … they are domestic terrorists and it’s time to call them such.  Why hasn’t he been dishonourably discharged from the Army Reserves and why is there even any consideration of letting him out of jail before his trial?

That there are even people like this in the world fills me with despair these days.  Life is short, the world is on the brink of a climate catastrophe, and people are willing to kill others because they consider themselves superior based on the colour of their skin.  WHY???  Imagine, if everyone worked together without hatred what we might accomplish in this world.  But instead, we waste time, money, energy and resources to make the world a less desirable place to be.  What a damn shame.

The Republican Party’s End Goal

This afternoon, the Senate actually managed to pass the pandemic relief bill, with no help from the Republicans.  Not a single Republican voted in support of the bill, which passed, 50-49, after an hours-long impasse over competing partisan proposals for the massive bill’s boost to weekly unemployment benefits for those affected by the pandemic.  This, it seems, is to be the state of affairs for the foreseeable future … Democrats vs Republicans, bills taking ten times longer to pass through Congress than they should, especially those that help real people, not tailor-made to make the wealthy wealthier.  What is the end goal of the Republican Party, I’ve often asked?

Dana Milbank, writing for The Washington Post, summarized the Republican’s end goal quite well.  Take a look …


Republicans aren’t fighting Democrats. They’re fighting democracy.

Dana MilbankBy Dana Milbank

MARCH 5, 2021

On the conservative Bulwark podcast this week, two admirable never-Trumpers marveled at what has become of the Republican Party since President Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the election.

“I am a little amazed by the willingness to go just authoritarian, to really go anti-democratic,” Bulwark editor-at-large Bill Kristol said.

Columnist Mona Charen was likewise puzzled. “The attraction of authoritarianism, I don’t know, Bill,” she said. “I’m really at a loss.”

And I’m at a loss to understand their confusion. The Republican Party’s dalliance with authoritarianism can be explained in one word: race.

Trump’s overt racism turned the GOP into, essentially, a white-nationalist party, in which racial animus is the main motivator of Republican votes. But in an increasingly multicultural America, such people don’t form a majority. The only route to power for a white-nationalist party, then, is to become anti-democratic: to keep non-White people from voting and to discredit elections themselves. In short, democracy is working against Republicans — and so Republicans are working against democracy.

You don’t have to study demography to see that race is at the core of the GOP’s tilt toward the authoritarian. You need only look at what happened this week.

On Monday, the Georgia state House passed a bill brazenly attempting to deter Black voters. The bill proposed to scale back Sunday voting — taking direct aim at the longtime “Souls to the Polls” tradition in which Black voters cast their ballots after church on Sundays. The bill also would increase voter I.D. requirements — known to disenfranchise Black voters disproportionately — and even would make it illegal to serve food or drinks to voters waiting in long lines outside polling places; lines are typically longer at minority precincts.

Georgia Republicans clearly are hoping they can suppress enough Black votes to erase the Democrats’ narrow advantage that gave them both of the state’s Senate seats and Joe Biden its electoral votes. But Georgia is just one of the 43 states collectively contemplating 253 bills this year with provisions restricting voting access, according to a tally by the Brennan Center for Justice.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court’s majority signaled it would be open to more such voting restrictions. In oral arguments, the conservative justices indicated they would uphold two Arizona laws that would have the effect of disproportionately disqualifying the votes of non-White citizens. One law throws out ballots cast in the wrong precinct, a problem that affects minority voters twice as much as White voters because polling places move more frequently in minority neighborhoods. The other law bans the practice of ballot collection — derided by Republicans as ballot “harvesting” — which is disproportionately used by minority voters, in particular Arizona’s Native Americans on reservations.

Representing the Arizona Republican Party in Tuesday’s argument, lawyer Michael A. Carvin explained why the party supports laws tossing out ballots: “Politics is a zero-sum game.”

It was a stark if inadvertent admission that Republicans have abandoned the idea of appealing to new voters.

Then, on Wednesday, House Republicans mounted lockstep opposition to H.R.1, a bill by Democrats attempting to expand voting rights. The bill would, among other things, create automatic voter registration, set minimum standards for early voting and end the practice of partisan gerrymandering.

In the House debate, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), sounding like Trump, made unfounded claims of “voter fraud” and asserted that the law would mean “future voters could be dead or illegal immigrants or maybe even registered two to three times.”

“This,” McCarthy said, “is an unparalleled political power grab.”

So, in the twisted reasoning of this white-nationalist incarnation of the Republican Party, laws that make it easier for all citizens to vote are a power grab by Democrats.

The foundation of a white-nationalist GOP has been building for half a century, since Richard Nixon’s Southern strategy, through Ronald Reagan’s welfare queen and George H.W. Bush’s Willie Horton. But Trump took fear of non-Whites and immigrants to a whole new level.

Researchers have repeatedly documented that racial resentment is the single most important factor motivating Republicans and Republican-leaning voters. They have also shown that White evangelical Christians, a huge part of the GOP base and Trump’s most reliable supporters, are highly motivated by appeals to white supremacy. By contrast, Democratic voters — White and non-White — are primarily driven by their favorable views toward a multiracial America.

President Biden’s victory reveals the obvious political problem with the Republican move toward white nationalism: When voters turn out in large numbers, Democrats win. And the odds will only get worse for Republicans as racial minorities become the majority and the young, overwhelmingly progressive on race, replace the old.

This is why Republicans aren’t really fighting Democrats. They’re fighting democracy.

Your Rights Are On The Chopping Block

Today, the Supreme Court is hearing a case, Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, that could determine what becomes of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  The case could give state legislatures a green light to change voting laws, making it more difficult for some, notably non-whites and the poor, to vote.  Currently, some 43 states have more than 250 bills pending that would make it harder for Blacks, Hispanics, and the poor to vote in future elections.  The right to vote is the only thing, the single thing, that separates this nation from third-world dictatorships.  It is the only voice we have that carries any weight.  And now, they are trying to take that away from us.  Charles M. Blow’s column in Sunday’s Washington Post should be required reading for every Justice sitting on the Court today, and every lawmaker in Congress and state legislatures.


Voter Suppression Is Grand Larceny

We are watching another theft of power.

Charles BlowCharles M. Blow

By Charles M. Blow

Opinion Columnist

Feb. 28, 2021

In 1890, Mississippi became one of the first states in the country to call a constitutional convention for the express purpose of writing white supremacy into the DNA of the state.

At the time, a majority of the registered voters in the state were Black men.

The lone Black delegate to the convention, Isaiah Montgomery, participated in openly suppressing the voting eligibility of most of those Black men, in the hope that this would reduce the terror, intimidation and hostility that white supremacists aimed at Black people.

The committee on which he sat went even further. As he said at the convention:

“As a further precaution to secure unquestioned white supremacy the committee have fixed an arbitrary appointment of the state, which fixes the legislative branch of the government at 130 members and the senatorial branch at 45 members.” The majority of the seats in both branches were “from white constituencies.”

Speaking to the Black people he was disenfranchising, Montgomery said:

“I wish to tell them that the sacrifice has been made to restore confidence, the great missing link between the two races, to restore honesty and purity to the ballot-box and to confer the great boon of political liberty upon the Commonwealth of Mississippi.”

That sacrifice backfired horribly, as states across the South followed the Mississippi example, suppressing the Black vote, and Jim Crow reigned.

That same sort of language is being used today to prevent people from voting, because when it comes to voter suppression, ignoble intentions are always draped in noble language. Those who seek to impede others from voting, in some cases to strip them of the right, often say that they are doing so to ensure the sanctity, integrity or purity of the vote.

However, when the truth is laid bare, the defilement against which they rail is the voting power of the racial minority, the young — in their eyes, naïve and liberally indoctrinated — and the dyed-in-the-wool Democrats.

In early February, a Brennan Center for Justice report detailed:

“Thus far this year, thirty-three states have introduced, prefiled, or carried over 165 bills to restrict voting access. These proposals primarily seek to: (1) limit mail voting access; (2) impose stricter voter ID requirements; (3) slash voter registration opportunities; and (4) enable more aggressive voter roll purges. These bills are an unmistakable response to the unfounded and dangerous lies about fraud that followed the 2020 election.”

On Feb. 24, the center updated its account to reveal that “as of February 19, 2021, state lawmakers have carried over, prefiled, or introduced 253 bills with provisions that restrict voting access in 43 states.”

But it is the coded language that harkens to the post-Reconstruction era racism that strikes me.

In Georgia, which went for a Democrat for the first time since Bill Clinton in 1992 and just elected two Democratic senators — one Black and one Jewish — there have been a raft of proposed voter restrictions. As State Representative Barry Fleming, a Republican and chair of the newly formed Special Committee on Election Integrity, put it recently, according to The Washington Post, “Our due diligence in this legislature [is] to constantly update our laws to try to protect the sanctity of the vote.”

Kelly Loeffler, who lost her Senate bid in the state, has launched a voter organization because, as she said, “for too many in our state, the importance — and even the sanctity of their vote — is in question.” She continued, “That’s why we’re rolling up our sleeves to register conservative-leaning voters who have been overlooked, to regularly engage more communities, and to strengthen election integrity across our state.”

Senator Rick Scott and other Republicans on Feb. 25 introduced the Save Democracy Act in what they said was an effort to “restore confidence in our elections.”

Jessica Anderson of the conservative lobbying organization Heritage Action for America said of the legislation: “I applaud Senator Scott for putting forward common-sense, targeted reforms to help protect the integrity of our federal elections and the sanctity of the vote. The Save Democracy Act will protect against fraud and restore American’s confidence in our election systems while respecting the state’s sovereignty.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida is pushing a slate of restrictive voter laws that would make it harder for Democrats to win in the state. On his website, the announcement read this way: “Today, Governor Ron DeSantis proposed new measures to safeguard the sanctity of Florida elections. The Governor’s announcement reaffirms his commitment to the integrity of every vote and the importance of transparency in Florida elections.”

They can use all manner of euphemism to make it sound honorable, but it is not. This is an electoral fleecing in plain sight, one targeting people of color. We are watching another of history’s racist robberies. It’s grand larceny and, as usual, what is being stolen is power.

Harry Belafonte Speaks — On The Election

I found it interesting that just yesterday, my music post was The Banana Boat Song, arguably the song that Harry Belafonte is best known for, and then shortly thereafter I came across the following OpEd in the New York Times written by none other than the man himself.

Belafonte, now 93 years of age, is a Jamaican-American singer/songwriter/actor is also known for his activism. He was an early supporter of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s and was a confidant of Martin Luther King Jr. Throughout his career, he has been an advocate for political and humanitarian causes, such as the Anti-Apartheid Movement and USA for Africa.Belafonte-King

Belafonte has won three Grammy Awards (including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award), an Emmy Award, and a Tony Award. In 1989, he received the Kennedy Center Honors. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1994. In 2014, he received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Academy’s 6th Annual Governors Awards.

I was moved by his OpEd and wanted to share it with you.


Harry Belafonte: Trump Is Standing in Our Way

If the president wins again, we have so much more to lose.

Belafonte-1By Harry Belafonte

Four years ago, when Donald Trump first ran for president, he urged Black people to support him, asking us, “What have you got to lose?”

Four years later, we know exactly what we had to lose. Our lives, as we died in disproportionate numbers from the pandemic he has let flourish among us. Our wealth, as we have suffered disproportionately from the worst economic drop America has seen in 90 years. Our safety, as this president has stood behind those police who kill us in the streets and by the armies of white supremacy who march by night and scheme in the light of day.

We have learned other things from this president, too. We have learned the names that we say now, over and over again, at each protest, so that no one will forget them. The names Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and Atatiana Jefferson and Stephon Clark and so many more. Such killings did not start with Mr. Trump, of course. But he wants us to forget them.

If we do, he has offered us a “Platinum Plan” for “Black Economic Empowerment.” The name is appropriate because Mr. Trump is a man who thinks always in terms of financial transactions and deals. A “Platinum Plan,” as if he is offering to upgrade our credit card status. The plan, which at two pages is derisively brief, offers us a hodgepodge of things that he thinks we would like. He will prosecute the Ku Klux Klan — and antifa activists — as terrorists. He will make Juneteenth a national holiday and lynching a national hate crime. He will create “peaceful” urban, Black neighborhoods, replete with school choice, increased homeownership and the “highest standards” of policing. He will begin “a national clemency project” designed to “right wrongful prosecutions” and “pardon individuals who have reformed.”

In his ignorance or his indifference, or perhaps in his contempt, Mr. Trump does not seem to understand the difference between promises made and promises kept. Another Republican president, Ulysses S. Grant, first suppressed the Klan 150 years ago (and notable by its absence is any Trump promise to suppress the right-wing “militias” of Michigan, the Proud Boys or any of the others). The United States — finally, belatedly — made lynching a federal crime in the civil rights era, almost 60 years ago. Peaceful neighborhoods with affordable homes, good schools, a police force interested in protecting its citizens instead of treating them as an occupied people; safety from domestic terrorists and mob violence, economic opportunity, the celebration of our heritage, and impartial and merciful treatment under the law — these are the rights that most white people in America have long taken for granted, not some sort of concession to be offered as if we were indeed another nation.

Too often, the victories we have won have proved to be ephemeral or incomplete, and our full acceptance as Americans has once again been denied. We have learned to trust only those who will stand with us against the worst storms, who have proved themselves to be our friends not out of electoral expediency but through our shared belief in the best principles of this country and our common humanity.

The polls suggest, we are told, that Mr. Trump has made some small inroads in our vote, that a higher percentage of young Black men will vote for him in 2020 than did in 2016. I have difficulty crediting this. But if it is so, I would urge my brothers to listen better. Not just to the false promises Mr. Trump makes to us, but also at what he says when he is “alone in the room” with his white supporters, promising them at his rallies that if he is re-elected, people of color will not invade their “beautiful suburbs” from our “disgusting cities.”

Mr. Trump is too late. We are everywhere in America. We are in the bone and the blood and the root of the country. We are not going anywhere, certainly not to some fantasy of a new “separate but equal” segregation, we in “our” cities, white people in “their” suburbs.

Perhaps the president is confused by how the Rev. Dr. King Martin Luther King Jr., in his greatest speech, referred to the words of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution as a “promissory note to which every American is to fall heir.” Perhaps that gave Mr. Trump the idea that this was all about money. Surely, money — the household stake, the money with which to buy a home, secure a good education, start a family — was a vital goal of the movement then, just as the need for Black people to be made whole, after all the years of slavery and Jim Crow, is still a pressing need today.

But I was there with Dr. King that day, over a half-century ago, in the shadow of Lincoln’s statue, and what he spoke of was “the riches of freedom and the security of justice.” He quoted the most fundamental promise of the Declaration, that all of us have “certain unalienable Rights” — among them “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

It seems strange that we must still agitate for these basic rights, or that Mr. Trump thinks he is being magnanimous when he offers them to us again as last-minute campaign promises — so long as we stay in our place. In the past, we have turned the wheel in great bursts of energy and faith, and in between, when we stood exhausted and bloodied, there was some sliding back. That is always how it is in a democracy and a people’s movement, but now is the time to move forward again.

Four years ago, faced with the prospect of a Trump presidency, I wrote that what old men know is how quickly things can change. Well, I am still old but I am also still here, at 93, and for all the bitter lessons we have learned from Mr. Trump’s term in office, I can tell you that the wheel is turning again. That we have never had so many white allies, willing to stand together for freedom, for honor, for a justice that will free us all in the end, even those who are now most fearful and seething with denial.

We have learned exactly how much we had to lose — a lesson that has been inflicted upon Black people again and again in our history — and we will not be bought off by the empty promises of the flimflam man.