My dad served in WWII fighting against Axis powers because of their beliefs in race supremacy (Nazis, White Supremacists). I can’t believe that we have to fight it again here at home.
You cannot believe in freedom and equality and support home-grown Nazis and White Supremacists.
You cannot be a God-fearing Christian and a Nazi. You are one or the other. Jesus would weep over those who try to claim both. And he’d be rather pissed off, I imagine.
The U.S. presidential election stunned a lot of my friends. It stunned me. There was no way I could see an openly xenophobic, racist, and misogynistic candidate actually being elected the President of the United States. Indeed, that is exactly what has happened. It is a small salve, to me, that he did not win the popular vote. But it is equally sobering that the vote shows a very polarized nation. And now we have to wait and see what happens, like the rest of the world.
I pondered this election for many a sleepless night and have a few thoughts I’d like to share with you. I’ve been voting since 1972. I’ve watched a lot of elections. I actually remember elections as far back as Johnson vs. Goldwater in ’64. But this has been one of the craziest elections I’ve ever seen. Being an armchair amateur of U.S. politics and elections, I will attempt to write about what I see, in retrospect, that might help explain what we’ve all just witnessed. Perhaps it will bring solace and hope. Perhaps not. Either way, take it with a grain of salt.
Without further adieu, here are my thoughts:
- Hillary (and her hubby Bill) couldn’t escape the baggage of the now forgotten Democratic Leadership Council which proposed a “Third Way” of mixing conservative and liberal ideas together to create a new economy that would offer benefits to business and workers back in the late 80’s to early 90’s. This was the beginning of the Corporate-Friendly Democratic Party.
- The move toward corporations for support of Democratic goals changed the Democratic goals, as evidenced first by NAFTA, and the embracing of free trade agreements.
- The move toward big money for funding campaigns made the corporations, celebrities, and other rich folks much more influential in setting priorities for the Democratic party. Worse still, the voices of the working class were eventually ignored while the leadership chased dollars of the rich and famous.
- The free trade agreements decimated factories, which decimated the working class.
- The free trade agreements required concessions from labor to keep their factories open, which again decimated the working class.
- The rise of automation had an incalculable effect on the working class.
- And the love of money, celebrity, and status became the Democratic Party’s, the Clinton’s, and Obama’s eventual downfall due in large part to the plight of the working class not being addressed.
- Have we all forgotten that Obama, when in the Rust Belt some years ago, mentioned how the folks there, the working class who were no longer working, “cling” to their guns and their bibles? Well, what else did they have?
- And no one can forget Hillary’s “deplorables” statement because, while partially true, it also was aimed, again, squarely at working class whites. (Nothing like kicking ‘em while they’re down.)
- The Democratic Party leaders embraced corporate crony capitalism with the goal of bettering all citizens. I have no doubt they believed this was the best way.
- But in so doing, the Party left its roots behind: the working class.
- Working class whites rebelled. They gave into fear and hate of that which is different. For they had 35 years of continued economic erosion.
- Working class people of color are rebelling due to the Democratic Party not keeping it’s promises to create better lives for all people who have not known economic opportunity.
And here we are.
Hillary, who makes more in a speech than I do in several years, trying to convince voters, and the working class, that she cares about them. I believe she does. But her ties to corporate influence, celebrities, and rich folk appeared more important than issues of the working class.
Obama tried. But he too was consumed by his own “celebrity” status and loved coming to my city, Los Angeles, for fundraisers. Gawd, he and Hillary and myriad other Democratic leaders flew in to L.A. so often to raise money from the rich and famous that it became a running joke every time traffic was jammed on the 405 freeway!
Would that they had spent more time flying in to Pennsylvania, Alabama, Mississippi, and Ohio to commiserate with the working class as often as they went to fundraisers. Just to let them know they care and they are trying.
I’m sure Democratic leadership cares. But then again, I think Republican leadership cares. But I’m also sure they didn’t try very hard to address the issues of the working class.
To me that’s the lesson. Jettison the corporate fundraising, the corporate approach to influence, and get back to your roots, the Working Class, now!
If not, we’re all in for a very rough ride from a charlatan who took advantage of human suffering without having a lick of sense on how to alleviate it.
But hope is not lost. Perseverance and patience are the order of the day. Human kindness is still the biggest salve on the planet for bettering ourselves and resolving issues. Don’t forget, behind all these phobias that are now being expressed; behind the bullying and the hate speech are people who are basically fearful, not knowing their place in society, and in the future. They’d rather “burn it down” than face an unknown future. That’s what they’ve told us, in my opinion. Give them hope. Give them an economy that does allow them to provide for themselves and those they love. And, finally, give them compassion even when it is very difficult to do so. It is our only way forward.
(Clarification: I am not a member of any political party)
“I honestly have nothing other than just sadness once again that we have to peer into the abyss of the depraved violence that we do to each other and the nexus of a just gaping racial wound that will not heal, yet we pretend doesn’t exist. And I’m confident, though, that by acknowledging it, by staring into that and seeing it for what it is, we still won’t do jack shit. Yeah. That’s us.
And that’s the part that blows my mind. I don’t want to get into the political argument of the guns and things. But what blows my mind is the disparity of response between when we think people that are foreign are going to kill us, and us killing ourselves.
If this had been what we thought was Islamic terrorism, it would fit into our — we invaded two countries and spent trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives and now fly unmanned death machines over five or six different countries, all to keep Americans safe. We got to do whatever we can. We’ll torture people. We gotta do whatever we can to keep Americans safe.
Nine people shot in a church. What about that? “Hey, what are you gonna do? Crazy is as crazy is, right?” That’s the part that I cannot, for the life of me, wrap my head around, and you know it. You know that it’s going to go down the same path. “This is a terrible tragedy.” They’re already using the nuanced language of lack of effort for this. This is a terrorist attack. This is a violent attack on the Emanuel Church in South Carolina, which is a symbol for the black community. It has stood in that part of Charleston for 100 and some years and has been attacked viciously many times, as many black churches have.
I heard someone on the news say “Tragedy has visited this church.” This wasn’t a tornado. This was a racist. This was a guy with Rhodesia badge on his sweater. You know, so the idea that — you know, I hate to even use this pun, but this one is black and white. There’s no nuance here.
And we’re going to keep pretending like, “I don’t get it. What happened? This one guy lost his mind.” But we are steeped in that culture in this country and we refuse to recognize it, and I cannot believe how hard people are working to discount it. In South Carolina, the roads that black people drive on are named for Confederate generals who fought to keep black people from being able to drive freely on that road. That’s insanity. That’s racial wallpaper. That’s — that’s — you can’t allow that, you know.
Nine people were shot in a black church by a white guy who hated them, who wanted to start some kind of civil war. The Confederate flag flies over South Carolina, and the roads are named for Confederate generals, and the white guy’s the one who feels like his country is being taken away from him. We’re bringing it on ourselves. And that’s the thing. Al-Qaeda, all those guys, ISIS, they’re not shit compared to the damage that we can apparently do to ourselves on a regular basis.”
By Laurie Penney
I’m huddled in the front room with some shell-shocked friends, watching my city burn. The BBC is interchanging footage of blazing cars and running street battles in Hackney, of police horses lining up in Lewisham, of roiling infernos that were once shops and houses in Croydon and in Peckham. Last night, Enfield, Walthamstow, Brixton and Wood Green were looted; there have been hundreds of arrests and dozens of serious injuries, and it will be a miracle if nobody dies tonight. This is the third consecutive night of rioting in London, and the disorder has now spread to Leeds, Liverpool, Bristol and Birmingham. Politicians and police officers who only hours ago were making stony-faced statements about criminality are now simply begging the young people of Britain’s inner cities to go home. Britain is a tinderbox, and on Friday, somebody lit a match. How the hell did this happen? And what are we going to do now?
In the scramble to comprehend the riots, every single commentator has opened with a ritual condemnation of the violence, as if it were in any doubt that arson, muggings and lootings are ugly occurrences. That much should be obvious to anyone who is watching Croydon burn down on the BBC right now. David Lammy, MP for Tottenham, called the disorder ‘mindless, mindless’. Nick Clegg denounced it as ‘needless, opportunistic theft and violence’. Speaking from his Tuscan holiday villa, Prime Minister David Cameron – who has finally decided to return home to take charge – declared simply that the social unrest searing through the poorest boroughs in the country was “utterly unacceptable.” The violence on the streets is being dismissed as ‘pure criminality,’ as the work of a ‘violent minority’, as ‘opportunism.’ This is madly insufficient. It is no way to talk about viral civil unrest. Angry young people with nothing to do and little to lose are turning on their own communities, and they cannot be stopped, and they know it. Tonight, in one of the greatest cities in the world, society is ripping itself apart.
Violence is rarely mindless. The politics of a burning building, a smashed-in shop or a young man shot by police may be obscured even to those who lit the rags or fired the gun, but the politics are there. Unquestionably there is far, far more to these riots than the death of Mark Duggan, whose shooting sparked off the unrest on Saturday, when two police cars were set alight after a five-hour vigil at Tottenham police station. A peaceful protest over the death of a man at police hands, in a community where locals have been given every reason to mistrust the forces of law and order, is one sort of political statement. Raiding shops for technology and trainers that cost ten times as much as the benefits you’re no longer entitled to is another. A co-ordinated, viral wave of civil unrest across the poorest boroughs of Britain, with young people coming from across the capital and the country to battle the police, is another.
Months of conjecture will follow these riots. Already, the internet is teeming with racist vitriol and wild speculation. The truth is that very few people know why this is happening. They don’t know, because they were not watching these communities. Nobody has been watching Tottenham since the television cameras drifted away after the Broadwater Farm riots of 1985. Most of the people who will be writing, speaking and pontificating about the disorder this weekend have absolutely no idea what it is like to grow up in a community where there are no jobs, no space to live or move, and the police are on the streets stopping-and-searching you as you come home from school. The people who do will be waking up this week in the sure and certain knowledge that after decades of being ignored and marginalised and harassed by the police, after months of seeing any conceivable hope of a better future confiscated, they are finally on the news. In one NBC report, a young man in Tottenham was asked if rioting really achieved anything:
“Yes,” said the young man. “You wouldn’t be talking to me now if we didn’t riot, would you?”
“Two months ago we marched to Scotland Yard, more than 2,000 of us, all blacks, and it was peaceful and calm and you know what? Not a word in the press. Last night a bit of rioting and looting and look around you.”
Eavesdropping from among the onlookers, I looked around. A dozen TV crews and newspaper reporters interviewing the young men everywhere ‘’’
Article from the Daily Mail – Headline by Helen
By PAUL BENTLEY of the Daily Mail
Last updated at 7:54 PM on 23rd April 2011
- McDonald’s says incident is ‘disturbing and troubling’
- Police consider charging black girls with racist hate crime
The victim brutally beaten to the point of having a seizure in McDonald’s as staff passively watched on is believed to be a transgender woman, it has been revealed.
Shocking footage captured the horrifying assault as McDonald’s staff in Rosedale, Baltimore, idly stood by. The assault, which happened on April 18, was so severe the 22-year-old victim had a seizure in the restaurant.
The attack was believed to have been sparked after an argument over using a bathroom in the restaurant.
‘It does appear that the victim was a transgender woman, and she was brutalized while people stood by and watched,’ Lisa Polyak, vice president of the board of directors for Equality Maryland, told the Baltimore Sun.
The LGBT group is now calling on police to investigate the attack as a hate crime.
During the brutal attack, which lasted for several minutes, the young white girl was repeatedly kicked in the head and stamped on by two black girls in the fast food store.
Staff stood by and even laughed as the attackers grabbed the girl’s hair and dragged her across the floor.
After shocking footage of the assault spread across the internet, with one site alone receiving 450,000 views by mid-afternoon, police said a 14-year-old girl had been charged as a juvenile, while charges were pending against an 18-year-old woman.
While the incident remains under investigation, local police told the Baltimore Sun they were looking into whether or not there was racist motivation.
You can see the horrific video accompanying the Daily Mail article here at:
“What is bad faith when it comes to equality?”
“To act in a way that is both sexist and racist; to maintain one’s class privilege; it is only necessary to act in the customary, ordinary, usual, even polite manner. Nonetheless I doubt that any of us who does so is totally without the knowledge that something is wrong. To slide into decisions without allowing oneself to realise that one’s making any; to feel dimly that one is enjoying advantages without trying to become clearly aware of what those advantages are (and who hasn’t got them); to accept mystifications because they’re customary and comfortable; cooking one’s mental books to congratulate oneself on traditional behaviour as if it were actively moral behaviour; to know that one doesn’t know; to prefer not to know; to defend one’s status as already knowing with half-sincere, half-selfish passion as “objectivity” – This great, fuzzy area of human ingenuity is what Jean Paul Sartre calls bad faith. When spelled out the techniques used to maintain bad faith look morally atrocious and appallingly silly. That is because they are morally atrocious and appallingly silly. But this only shows when one spells them out, i.e. becomes aware of them. Hence this one effort among many to do just that.”
Russ, J (1984) How To Suppress Women’s Writing, London: The Women’s Press