For once, I have no words. I ask only that you watch this short (2:06) video. We will discuss what this all means in a future post, but for the moment, please just watch …
For once, I have no words. I ask only that you watch this short (2:06) video. We will discuss what this all means in a future post, but for the moment, please just watch …
Mass shootings, racist teachers, pushing, shoving and name-calling … so may signs of increasing incivility in the U.S. today. Where does it all come from and more importantly, how do we stop it? Where do people get the idea that one race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, or religion is somehow superior? Humanity sometimes seems to be almost a thing of the past. Dan Rather and Elliott Kirschner have a few worthy thoughts on the topic …
Silence is complicity
29 November 2022
That these forces are ascendant is newsworthy. And it is vital they are considered thus. That these forces exist, however, is not news. Neither is the fact that they are being stoked, winked at, and normalized by the previous president. And neither is how most of the Republican Party leadership is silent, supportive, or insufficiently disapproving.
To say all this is not a political criticism. It is about confronting a grave threat to our nation and the world. Politics should be about a competition for ideas that fall within the realm of civilized discourse. What these people are peddling is not policy, but prejudice.
Repeating these sentiments should not diminish the importance of the message. The need for us all to confront this with the frequency that we are is evidence of the salience of the mission. And let’s be clear: It is of extra importance for those not directly targeted to speak the loudest. Silence is complicity. To speak softly is cowardice.
The latest outrage swirls around an occasion at Mar-a-Lago in which the former president dined with avowed antisemites. But we do a disservice to history and the dangers we face by bundling recriminations under the banners of combatting “MAGA” or “Trumpism.” The former president may have built his political power by tapping into a well of hate, but the reservoir was already there. Others are eager to draw from its waters as well.
Discrimination, often enforced with violence, has been a hallmark of our country since its founding. White supremacy is embedded in our Constitution. And the biases and bigotries of the American electorate have shaped some of our national narrative ever since.
To be sure, there is a powerful counter-narrative. It begins with the noble words of our founding documents, which laid out a vision of equality and justice unimaginable at the time of their writing. Over the centuries, countless activists and dreamers have leaned on the courage of their convictions to wrest the nation toward a path of greater inclusion and enlightenment. Most who signed up for service in this army of conscience are not famous, but we are lucky to live in a world made better by their mettle. They have helped to make the nation better and now keep hopes alive that it can and will be getting better, a lot better, still.
We have undoubtedly made progress, but the undercurrents of hatred have never been fully expunged. It takes very little for them to resurge. Far more energy and commitment are required in combating them than in fomenting them.
We should find hope in the journey our nation has taken before. The bigotry we are now decrying was once largely accepted political discourse, in both parties. This is not ancient history. Many of us were of memory age when antisemitic, homophobic, and racist statements were spoken without a second thought. Our country was a weaker place because of it. Our struggle now is to be vigilant in making sure we do not return to that darkness.
We know we have shared these sentiments in this space before. And we know we will almost assuredly have ample reason to do so again. That is the reality. And that is all the more reason this needs to be said. By all of us. Often.
I am repeating this post that I originally published in 2017. Why? Because it was on this date in 1957, exactly 65 years ago, that nine Black students were denied entrance to their high school by the governor of the state of Arkansas and the National Guard in direct opposition to the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v Board of Education three years prior. Look around today … read the headlines … we are being dragged back into those horrible racist times … schools are effectively finding ways around the laws and once again school segregation is happening … IT IS HAPPENING right before our very eyes. In 65 years, we moved forward and now are moving backward again. We need to remember what happened when the Little Rock Nine, as they came to be called, were denied entrance to school and the aftermath. To forget the lessons of this incident and what followed is to doom future generations to the horrors of living in a racist society. This is the original post from five years ago …
In a key event of the American Civil Rights Movement, nine black students enrolled at formerly all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in September 1957, testing a landmark 1954 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional. The court had mandated that all public schools in the country be integrated “with all deliberate speed” in its decision related to the groundbreaking case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. On September 4, 1957, the first day of classes at Central High, Governor Orval Faubus of Arkansas called in the state National Guard to bar the black students’ entry into the school. Later in the month, President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent in federal troops to escort the “Little Rock Nine” into the school, and they started their first full day of classes on September 25.
Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. attended graduation ceremonies at Central High School in May 1958 to see Ernest Green, the only senior among the Little Rock Nine, receive his diploma.
In September 1958, one year after Central High was integrated, Governor Faubus closed Little Rock’s high schools for the entire year, pending a public vote, to prevent African-American attendance. Little Rock citizens voted 19,470 to 7,561 against integration and the schools remained closed. Other than Green, the rest of the Little Rock Nine completed their high school careers via correspondence or at other high schools across the country. – History.com
Sixty-three years ago, the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education, that separate schools are “inherently unequal.” Sixty years ago this year, the Little Rock Nine, heavily guarded by federal troops, entered Central High School. Today, much of that progress toward equality in education is unraveling, as a new wave of white supremacy rears its ugly head and mostly-white communities are deciding to re-segregate schools through attrition.
Currently, 30 states have laws that allow geographic communities to secede from large public school districts and form their own. As a result, a growing number of predominantly white, middle class neighborhoods are doing just that and taking their local property taxes with them. That makes racial and economic disparities in adjacent school districts even worse. Almost 50 communities have seceded since the year 2000, according to the nonprofit EdBuild, and a story this week in U.S. News and World Report.
In 1952, the illiteracy rate for blacks 14 years of age or older (10.2 percent) was more than five times that of whites (1.8 percent). More than a quarter of black males (28 percent) completed no more than four years of schooling, compared with less than 9 percent of white males.
The general philosophy, especially in the southern states in the 1950s and prior, was that if African-Americans were kept ill-educated they would remain ‘in their place’ in society. There was also a belief in some areas that African Americans were not intelligent enough to deserve an education. I thought we had risen above such nonsense, but have we? If wealthier white communities pull out of their school districts, taking their property tax dollars with them, that leaves the school district without sufficient funding to provide such things as transportation, textbooks, equipment, building maintenance, supplies and teachers. Let us think for a moment about the state of black schools in the 1950s …
Students often had to walk to school, as no transportation was provided. The school year for African Americans was shorter; teacher’s pay was less and the books they used were those no longer needed by white schools, therefore often outdated and in poor condition.
It would be impossible for me to cover all the instances of school districts where communities have seceded, but let us take a brief look at Tennessee, specifically Shelby Country, which includes the city of Memphis. Since the Republican-run state legislature voted to enact the law in 2010, six communities have left the school district.
The impact just one year after the six communities seceded from Shelby County was stark: Its budget was slashed by 20 percent, and declining enrollment has since forced seven Memphis-area schools to close and the district to lay off about 500 teachers in both 2015 and 2016. Tennessee has one of the laxest secession policies in the entire country: In order to create a new city school district, the only requirements are that a municipality has a student population of 1,500 and the support of a majority of municipal voters. Tennessee is one of three states – the other two being Alabama and Mississippi – that does not require approval from any county or state authority.
And while this movement has been going on for many years, it is gaining momentum now, in light of an administration that supports de-regulation of all sorts, including an attorney general who is on record as being a racist, and a secretary of education who is against funding for public schools. Just last month in Alabama, a judge ruled that Gardendale, a predominantly white, middle-class neighborhood outside Birmingham, would be permitted to secede from majority non-white Jefferson County School District. This, even though the judge acknowledged that the secession was based on racial motives!
“Across the country, wealthy communities are drawing their own school district boundaries, often creating bastions of wealth next door to high-poverty, poorly funded districts,” according to Rebecca Sibilia, founder of EdBuild, a nonprofit that focuses on education funding and inequality. Last week, EdBuild put out a report that is well worth a look.
Where does this leave us? It has the potential to return the state of education in the U.S. to the way it was 60 years ago. Given that there is a direct link between a lack of education and poverty, it seems inevitable that if this becomes a trend throughout the U.S., we will once again become a highly divided society with race being the dividing line. With a different Congress, under different administration, there might be reason to hope that the federal government would step in, but in the current circumstances that seems highly unlikely. Ultimately, I think it likely that there will be lawsuits filed that may ultimately reach the Supreme Court, but that is years into the future. Meanwhile … the middle-to-upper income children get an education, the poor and non-white children get the scraps that are left over. I can see a situation where ultimately we have to have a do-over of the civil rights era, only this time we have no Martin Luther King, no Lyndon B. Johnson, and no Thurgood Marshall to carry the torch.
This story made me sick to write, but I am fairly certain I will be back with a follow-up or two, as this appears to be a growing trend. My thanks to Keith Wilson for pointing me to this story.
Images from the past … is this really where we want to go again???
Unfortunately, Tuesday’s primaries across the nation yielded some deeply disturbing results. I want to take a look at two, in particular – Lauren Boebert and Mary Miller.
Lauren Boebert has been a representative in the U.S. House of Representatives for a year-and-a-half now and has been nothing but trouble since day #1. I had sincerely hoped that the Republicans in Colorado’s District 3 would see the horror they had voted for in 2020 and oust her this time ‘round, but apparently they’ve been drinking their fair share of Kool-Aid at Boebert’s Shooters Restaurant and weren’t able to see clearly when they went to the polls on Tuesday. We all know of Boebert’s gun fetish. During the pandemic, she sat in on a congressional Zoom meeting with a wall of many guns as her background, and she has caused trouble more than a few times demanding that she be allowed to carry a loaded pistol into places in the Capitol where guns are forbidden.
But it is her latest little tirade that has left me growling …
“The reason we had so many overreaching regulations in our nation is because the church complied. The church is supposed to direct the government. The government is not supposed to direct the church. That is not how our Founding Fathers intended it. And I’m tired of this separation of church and state junk that’s not in the Constitution. It was in a stinking letter and it means nothing like what they say it does.”
GOOD GRIEF!!! She took an oath swearing to uphold the Constitution, and she hasn’t even read the damned thing! The concept of separation of church and state comes from the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment … which quite obviously Ms. Boebert either never read, or didn’t understand. And just WHICH religion does she think should be ‘directing’ the government? There are roughly 4,200 religions, churches, religious bodies, faith groups, tribes, etc. worldwide today! Would she advocate for … say … Islam to be the official religion of the nation? Or Judaism? And if she answered ‘Christianity’, then which sect or cult, for there are three main branches of Christianity: Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox. Among those three branches are more than 200 separate denominations in the United States alone, more than 45,000 worldwide! So, pick a religion, and no matter which one you pick, you’re going to be excluding the vast majority of the people in the nation! And this doesn’t even bring into account folk like me who are non-religious! We pay taxes and have rights, too, y’know Lauren!
Representative Adam Kinzinger refers to Boebert’s ideology as the “Christian Taliban” and I cannot help but agree with him! A woman this stupid has absolutely ZERO business sitting in the United States Congress … or any lawmaking body, for that matter … and can only be considered a laughingstock, albeit a very dangerous laughingstock. I would like to be able to say I’m hopeful that the Democratic candidate for the 3rd District in Colorado can wipe the pavement with her on election day in November, but sadly … it’s doubtful because of the 184,794 votes cast for both parties in yesterday’s primary, Boebert scored 83,217 of the votes and her Democratic opponent, Adam Frisch, only received 24,961 votes. Republicans scored 68% of the total votes, so it looks like the 3rd District in Colorado is populated by people who care more about their guns than their future.
And then there’s Mary Miller, another newbie in the U.S. House of Representatives representing Illinois’ 15th District who also won her primary yesterday. I had not heard of Ms. Miller until she flew onto my radar last week with this comment after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v Wade decision …
“President Trump, on behalf of all the MAGA patriots in America, I want to thank you for the historic victory for white life in the Supreme Court yesterday.”
GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR … 🤬
First of all, there is NO “president trump” and second of all … a victory for ‘white’ life??? What a (cover your ears, Keith!) ignorant, ugly, racist pig she is!!! She later claimed that she meant to say “the right to life”, but I don’t believe that for a minute, for she would have caught and corrected herself immediately had that been the case, not waited until she was confronted about her comment.
Miller has done a number of troublesome things in her 18-month tenure in Congress, from quoting Hitler to introducing anti-trans legislation to passing along anti-Semitic and white supremacist propaganda, but the “white life” comment is the first time she floated onto my radar and frankly I wish she had stayed off!
So, my friends, it looks like certain parts of this nation are seeking some serious change … change that, if they are successful, is likely to drive us directly from a democratic republic into a fascist dictatorship, a nation where only white males have any value and the rest of us will be dominated by them. Surely we’re not going to sit still for this? Margie Greene, Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert, and now Mary Miller … where does it end? Is this to be our future, or are these just momentary blips on the radar?
Two things caught my attention first thing today and thus, it must be time for me to step into my snarky shoes.
Dangerous in Arizona
Wendy Rogers … remember the name, for she is by far the worst political wannabe I’ve seen, and I’ve seen some pretty awful ones lately! Ms. Rogers spoke at the same white nationalist (KKK) rally last month that Representatives Margie Greene and Paul Gosar spoke at, and Ms. Rogers topped even those two for utter inhumane remarks like this one …
“We need to build more gallows, make an example of these traitors who’ve betrayed our country.”
Who is this Rogers clown? She is a state senator in Arizona who was once considered to be a traditional conservative, but apparently drank so much of the former guy’s Kool Aid that her mind has become a toxic fertile ground for the radical right-wing hatred we are seeing so much of in this country today.
When she won her current Arizona State Senate seat in 2020, she had lost five previous elections, so she changed her message to one of hate, of bigotry, of destruction and conspiracy theories. For example, she refers to the COVID vaccine as a “bioweapon” and is full-on supportive of “The Big Lie” that is still a talking point in some Republican circles, though it has been debunked so many times that it’s a joke. But all of her messages of hate seem to be working, for she is the biggest fundraiser in the Arizona state legislature, having raised some $2.5 million in 2021.
She has been censured by the Arizona Senate for her remarks, but it matters not to her …
“This censure is nothing more than an attempt to limit my speech. In the end, I rejoice in knowing I do and say what is right, and I speak as a free American regardless of the actions of this corrupted process today.”
Ms. Rogers is only a state senator and you might say she’s irrelevant outside the state of Arizona, but state politicians often aspire to higher office and this is a woman that we do not need in the United States Congress! As much as I despise the likes of Greene, Boebert, Cawthorn and their ilk, this woman could prove to be twice as dangerous. Arizona – if you guys want her, then fine, you can have her, but do not let her out of the state!!!
And in Florida … “Don’t Say Gay”!
I have a number of friends who live in Florida, and they are all good people, sensible people, kind, caring and compassionate people. But obviously they are the anomaly in the state, for it seems the majority in Florida are egocentric, bigoted, homophobic, and cruel, starting with none other than Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who said …
“We are going to make sure parents are able to send their kid to kindergarten without having some of this stuff injected into some of their school curriculum.”
Oh for Pete’s sake, Ronnie … wake up and walk into the 21st century!!!
Clinton McCracken, 49, a teacher at Howard Middle School Academy of Arts, voices his concerns …
“This is a dangerous bill, which basically tells our LGBTQ students that something is wrong with them. This bill says I won’t be able to have conversations or be able to create an affirmative space for my students.”
The bill passed the Florida Senate by 22-17 along party lines. So … let me get this straight … the lives and well-being of Florida’s children has now become an issue for partisan politics??? I sure as hell am glad that I don’t live in Florida! What a lot of bigots!!! Everyone, it seems, must fit into a very narrow box in order to be treated with respect … the box will only hold white, straight, ‘Christian’ people, preferably males. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
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!
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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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.
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 …
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?
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!
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.”
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.