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Tag: "racism"

Today in Trump’s America

[ 106 ] February 23, 2017 |

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White people feel emboldened to kill people of color in Trump’s America.

A Missouri man is accused of shooting and killing an Indian immigrant engineer he thought was Middle Eastern and wounding two others after shouting “get out of my country” and opening fire.

Adam Purinton was arrested after fleeing Austin’s Bar and Grill, a suburban Kansas City restaurant that was packed Wednesday night when he allegedly blasted off several rounds at 7:15 p.m.

Cops arrested the 51-year-old at an Applebee’s hours later in Clinton, Mo., some 80 miles away after they were able to negotiate with him over the phone early Thursday morning.

The fatal victim was identified by the Kansas City Star as Srinivas Kuchibhotla, an aviation engineer at technology company Garmin whose Facebook page says he is from Hyderabad, India.

Surprised ICE doesn’t sign this guy up.

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Preventing Panic?

[ 139 ] February 21, 2017 |

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As the Trump administration seeks to implement precisely what he said he would do and deport every undocumented immigrant in the country (although somehow I think the Irish undocumented immigrants won’t quite be treated the same as those from El Salvador and I wonder why that is….), it tries to claim that it wants to prevent panic while destroying lives and families. OK. Because what it is really doing is Making America White Again.

The new policies represent a sharp break from the final years of the Obama administration and could reverse a reduction in the number of deportations in President Barack Obama’s last years in office.

After deportations reached a record high of 434,000 in 2013, pressure from immigration advocates prompted the Obama administration to implement new guidelines that focused enforcement on hardened criminals. The number of people deported in 2015 was just over 333,000, the lowest number since 2007.

Kelly’s new DHS policies considerably broaden the pool of those who are prioritized for deportations, including undocumented immigrants who have been charged with crimes but not convicted, those who commit acts that constitute a “chargeable criminal offense,” and those who an immigration officer concludes pose “a risk to public safety or national security.”

The Trump administration “is using the specter of crime to create fear . . . in the American community about immigrants in order to create an opening to advance the indiscriminate persecution of immigrants,” said Clarissa Martínez-de-Castro, deputy vice president at the National Council of La Raza. “This administration is saying, ‘Now, everybody is going to be a priority,’ and the devil may care.”

DHS officials emphasized that the guidelines in Kelly’s memos are focused on carrying out Trump’s vision and that they hew closely to the language of the executive orders. And they said the secretary has written the memos to abide by federal immigration laws established by Congress.

It is my feeling that ICE agents should be seen as people committing crimes against humanity. If you choose to deport people for a living, you are a major cog in an unjust machine. These are the active enemies of everything that you should hold dear about this nation. And they deserve to be treated with utter contempt by everyone who knows them. There are plenty of other law enforcement or public safety jobs they could hold. This is the most despicable possible job. Shun them as racist thugs.

Make America White Again

[ 147 ] February 9, 2017 |

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Today the annals of the United States embracing naked 19th century versions of racism. Example A:

Fadwa Alaoui is a Moroccan-born Canadian citizen living in Brossard, Quebec. Like a lot of Quebecers, she sometimes drives down to Vermont to take advantage of the deals. But on Saturday, when her family pulled up at the border, Alaoui encountered something new.

After the usual set of questions, Alaoui was asked about her religion and her thoughts on U.S. President Donald Trump. Border agents took her phone and fingerprints. Four hours later she was told that her family wasn’t welcome and she was forced to turn back.

HM: And you answered all the questions?

FA: Yes. I answered all the questions, the best that I know. I was calm. I collaborate. I give him all the answers he wanted to know. He told me: Are you part of any group? Muslim group? I told him no. I told him it’s not my first time that I’m going to the United States. I have family there. I have my parents, my brothers, everyone is there. Today, especially, I want to bring my son with me because he is sick. I want to change his mind and give him a treat because he was sick, he had cancer. He asked me about the mosque: Do you know the last name of the imam? If he is always present? If someone replace him? The name of the person who replaced him? He told me: What do you think about the shooting in Quebec? Do you have relatives in Quebec that was one of the victims?

HM: I understand he also asked your thoughts on President Donald Trump?

FA: Yes. He asked me: What do you think about Donald Trump? I told him, what? He told me: [What’s] your opinion about his policy. I told him, listen, he has the right to do whatever he wants in his country. I don’t expect that. I’m not following the news. I’m not following what happened. I have a busy life. I have busy schedule with my son, with all these appointments at the hospital, with my kids.

Example B:

For eight years, Guadalupe García de Rayos had checked in at the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement office here, a requirement since she was caught using a fake Social Security number during a raid in 2008 at a water park where she worked.

Every year since then, she has walked in and out of the meetings after a brief review of her case and some questions.

But not this year.

On Wednesday, immigration agents arrested Ms. Rayos, 35, and began procedures to send her back to Mexico, a country she has not seen since she left it 21 years ago.

As a van carrying Ms. Rayos left the ICE building, protesters were waiting. They surrounded it, chanting, “Liberation, not deportation.” Her daughter, Jacqueline, joined in, holding a sign that read, “Not one more deportation.” One man, Manuel Saldana, tied himself to one of the van’s front wheels and said, “I’m going to stay here as long as it takes.”

Soon, police officers in helmets had surrounded Mr. Saldana. They cut off the ties holding him to the tire and rounded up at least six others who were blocking the front and back of the van, arresting them all. The driver quickly put the van in reverse and rolled back into the building.

Ms. Rayos was one of several detainees inside the van. It was unclear whether officials planned to take them to Mexico or to detention.

By midnight on Thursday, her husband said he was not sure where she was. A vehicle had just left the building under police escort, and he said he suspected she may have been inside.

Ms. Rayos was arrested just days after the Trump administration broadened the definition of “criminal alien,” a move that immigrants’ rights advocates say could easily apply to a majority of undocumented immigrants in the United States.

“We’re living in a new era now, an era of war on immigrants,” Ms. Rayos’s lawyer, Ray A. Ybarra Maldonado, said Wednesday after leaving the building here that houses the federal immigration agency, known by its acronym, ICE.

Example C:

House Republicans blocked a resolution advanced by Democrats on Tuesday declaring that Jews were the primary victims of the Holocaust. From the Washington Examiner:

Led by [House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe] Crowley, Democrats tried to force the House to vote on the resolution he introduced last week calling on the White House “to affirm that the Nazi regime targeted the Jewish people in its perpetration of the Holocaust.” More than 100 House Democrats co-sponsored the measure.

During debate on the rule for the House to consider three resolutions disapproving of three Obama administration rules concerning the Bureau of Land Management and Education Department, Crowley tried to defeat a procedural vote as a way to force Republicans to consider his resolution. But Republicans rejected the Democrats’ plan in a party-line vote.

The resolution, a shrewd effort to pin Republicans down on something the Trump administration has needlessly made an issue, condemned the White House’s Holocaust Remembrance Day statement, which failed to mention Jews or the anti-Semitism that led to Adolf Hitler’s genocide against them. It also called for the House to reiterate “the indisputable fact that the Nazi regime targeted the Jewish people in its perpetration of the Holocaust,” condemn Holocaust denialism, and demand acknowledgment from the White House that Jews were targeted.

At some point in the future, when the United States has moved out of this phase of its deeply racist history, future people will look back upon us like they look back upon slavery and Jim Crow, as a period of deep national shame, wondering how we could let this happen. And the answer will be that if they are not vigilant, it will happen again to them.

TSA and Racial Profiling

[ 19 ] February 8, 2017 |

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I have my shocked face on, knowing that TSA racially profiles people it believes of Muslim or Latino descent.

A new study based on thousands of internal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) documents has excoriated a controversial screening program as reliant on dubious behavioral science and amounting to surveillance of scores of unsuspecting air travelers, particularly Muslims and Latinos.

The study, conducted by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) after a years-long transparency lawsuit, may add to the anxiety of travelers in the Donald Trump era and particularly non-Americans, whom Trump’s executive orders on immigration explicitly note do not enjoy legal privacy protections.

In particular, the TSA documents indicate a substantial focus on Arabs, Muslims and Latinos, despite repeated TSA assurances that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) component does not profile travelers based on ethnicity, race or religion.

“Because the techniques that the TSA are using are not grounded in valid science, those techniques raise an unacceptable risk of racial and religious profiling,” said the ACLU’s Hugh Handeyside, one of the attorneys in the TSA lawsuit.

“The documents show the use of those techniques become a license to harass. They can easily give way to implicit or explicit bias.”

The study reveals that the TSA concluded in internal investigations that its officials engaged in such profiling. At Newark Liberty international airport in New Jersey, a supervisor, ultimately demoted, instructed “profiling of passengers based on race” and made “improper law enforcement referrals to Customs and Border Protection”.

At Logan airport in Boston, agents implemented “a procedure for profiling or identifying illegal aliens”, something beyond the mandate of the TSA. Investigations of TSA profiling allegations also occurred at Chicago, Honolulu and Miami airports.

It’s almost as if the United States is a horribly racist nation! I wonder what would happen if we elected a fascist who nominated a neoConfederate to be Attorney General and had a Nazi as his chief advisor? At least such a candidate wouldn’t represent the interests of Goldman Sachs!

Snowflakes

[ 63 ] January 30, 2017 |

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This is great:

It’s not the first time snowflake has veered from the natural world to the world of slang. In the 1970s snowflake was a disparaging term for a white man or for a black man who was seen as acting white. It was also used as a slang term for cocaine. But before either of those it was used for a time with a very particular political meaning.

In Missouri in the early 1860s, a “Snowflake” was a person who was opposed to the abolition of slavery—the implication of the name being that such people valued white people over black people. The Snowflakes hoped slavery would survive the country’s civil war, and were contrasted with two other groups. The Claybanks (whose name came from the colorless color of the local terrestrial clay) wanted a gradual transition out of slavery for slaves, with eventual freedom accompanied by compensation to slave owners; the Charcoals—who were also called Brown Radicals—wanted immediate emancipation and for black people to be able to enlist in the armed forces.

The available evidence suggests that this particular use of snowflake never moved much beyond the borders of Missouri or the era.

We should start calling Trump supporters snowflakes as a pejorative. Of course they will embrace it for themselves.

Also interesting that it was Fight Club that brought the word back in its modern negative context.

“Donald Trump Destroyed My Life”

[ 104 ] January 28, 2017 |

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I have never been more ashamed of my nation than I am today. Just one of many examples of the real life consequences of a fascist president.

Egyptian officials said the family had visas and were in transit when they were prevented from boarding the EgyptAir plane to New York’s JFK airport.

Fuad Sharef, 51, and his wife and three children were instead forced to board a flight back to Erbil in Iraq’s semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, he told AFP.

Trump had on Friday signed a sweeping executive order to suspend refugee arrivals and impose tough controls on travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

“I had sold my house, my car, my furniture. I resigned from work and so did my wife. I took my children out of school,” said Sharef of the family’s preparations to resettle in Nashville, Tennessee under a special immigrant visa.

Back in Erbil, the pharmaceutical industry manager, who had previously worked for an NGO subcontracted by the US aid agency, said he was devastated.

“Donald Trump destroyed my life. My family’s life. I used to think America was a state of institutions but it’s as though it’s a dictatorship,” he said.

“For a decision like this to come out and be implemented immediately, and against whom? Against a valid visa holder.”

“I put my life at risk, working with the Americans at a time that it could have gotten you killed,” he added.

The United States of America is a racist embarrassment to the world.

Also, this is yet another reason why a vote for Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III as Attorney General is a reason to evict a senator from the Democratic Party.

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III: A Line in the Sand

[ 141 ] January 27, 2017 |

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As I have stated before, any senator who votes to confirm Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III as Attorney General should be expelled from the Democratic Party. Charlie Pierce agrees:

There is only one exception at this point. Any Democratic senator who votes to confirm Jefferson Beauregard Sessions as Attorney General should immediately be rendered dead to the party and to every Democratic voter in the country. The context of the immediate moment makes this imperative.

If it isn’t clear by now, there’s a powerful new campaign of voter suppression coming down the road. It doesn’t matter whether the sudden amplification of the “voter fraud” meme is due to the fact that the president* is delusional on the subject, or due to the fact that he needed a diversion from the stories about Russian ratfcking that were beginning to pile up on the South Lawn, or simply due to the fact that Republicans suppress votes because they’re Republicans.

It could be for one of those reasons. It could be for all three of them. The motive isn’t the point. The point is that we soon likely will be in the middle of the greatest political brawl over the franchise since 1965.

At a moment like this one, it simply will not do to have someone in the attorney general’s office who was deemed too racist to be a federal judge 30 years ago. It will not do to have someone in the attorney general’s office who launched a dirty-tricks prosecution of voting-rights activists when he was a U.S. Attorney in Alabama. It will not do to have someone in the attorney general’s office who greeted the gutting of the Voting Rights Act in 2013 by noting that it was “good for the South.”

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions simply will not do.

It doesn’t matter if the next nominee is worse. Beat that person, too. It doesn’t matter how tough this may make your next re-election campaign; you didn’t get elected to get re-elected. The issue of voting rights is too important to the country—and, god knows, to the party—for it to yield to any other consideration. It is an existential issue, for the republic and for the Democrats. There is no room for compromise or horse-trading. The Democratic Party should stand for the expansion of the franchise and for a greater ease in exercising it. Neither of these goals has a chance with Jefferson Beauregard Sessions running the Department of Justice.

All of this. I find Democratic votes for Ben Carson or Rex Tillerson pathetic. And we can argue that there’s a line in the sand to be drawn over Betsy DeVos and Tom Price. But Sessions, that is completely unacceptable. Basically every Democrat except for our Senators is quickly coming to understand that complete resistance is the only response to Trump. We already see what happens when you have a mentally ill president with a Nazi as his top advisor in the White House. This is literally the position we find ourselves in. Nothing positive can come of a single vote for Jeff Sessions at this time. We are already looking at the legal rollback of much of the civil rights movement in the next 4 years. And I say that without hyperbole. There can be no reason for any Democrat to be complicit in this.

And that includes Joe Manchin. I actually think Manchin gets a bad rap from liberals. His voting record is actually pretty good on most issues, all things considered. And he is a Democratic senator in what may well be the most racist state in the nation, one that has gone hard right in the last decade largely because Barack Obama was president. He has to vote for coal to survive, and I am largely OK with that barring his vote meaning something for legitimate climate change legislation. But he simply cannot vote for someone who is going to repeal the civil rights movement. If Democrats stand for ANY ONE THING, it is this. We are pro-civil rights. We refuse to allow this to happen. And if you contribute to that by voting for a modern Nathan Bedford Forrest as Attorney General, you are finished as a Democrat.

The March of Fascism

[ 88 ] January 26, 2017 |

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Make America White Again:

Further the president said that the Secretary of Homeland Security will be publishing a weekly list of crimes committed by immigrants, and of the cities that refused to turn them in for deportation. The order doesn’t say whether the list would single out only undocumented immigrants, or all immigrants.

To better inform the public regarding the public safety threats associated with sanctuary jurisdictions, the Secretary shall utilize the Declined Detainer Outcome Report or its equivalent and, on a weekly basis, make public a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens.

This proposed list is a move reminiscent of Breitbart News, the conservative site founded by Trump senior advisor Steve Bannon, Trump’s senior strategy: infamously, Breitbart had a “black crime” section, opened as a response to Black Lives Matter.

Heil Tangerine!

Your Jim Crow Republicans

[ 30 ] January 25, 2017 |

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The new governor of South Carolina seems nice.

S.C. Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster will take his membership in the all-white Forest Lake Club with him to the Governor’s Mansion.

A pair of Democrats say the state’s next Republican governor must quit that membership to truly represent all of South Carolina.

However, a Republican in the state’s GOP-controlled Legislature says the membership is a non-issue.

McMaster, a member of the exclusive club for more than three decades, has no plans to quit the country club, his spokesman told The State.

McMaster also declined to renounce his membership in 2014, when then-Democratic state Rep. Bakari Sellers, now a CNN commentator, brought the issue up in their race for lieutenant governor. S.C. voters seemingly didn’t care. McMaster crushed Sellers by 19 points in that election.

Sellers said Friday that McMaster’s association with the club makes him a symbol of the past, like the Confederate flag.

“Henry McMaster is a good ol’ boy who is emblematic of where we’ve come from in South Carolina,” Sellers said. “For the next two years in South Carolina, maybe six, we will be stuck in the status quo.”

Status quo? If you are lucky. Given where the national Republican Party is going, a return to some sort of Jim Crow is far from impossible. And South Carolina is always going to lead the way on racism in government, or so it always has.

I’d like to say this is the greatest outrage you will hear about today. But it will probably about #23 on the list.

Who Knew Racists Were So Sensitive to Ridicule

[ 48 ] January 19, 2017 |

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Above: A Dignified Arizona Republican legislator

I guess I wouldn’t think Arizona Republicans would table their bill to ban the teaching of any course they think smacks of racial justice in their state’s public universities because the faint shadow of what used to be The Daily Show ridicules them, but then I wouldn’t have thought they would have elected a fascist reality TV show star to the presidency either.

How the Conservative King Was Created

[ 52 ] January 16, 2017 |

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Today is our annual reminder that the conservative cooptation of Martin Luther King continues in its grotesque march forward away from the truth into a fascist candyland of “colorblindness” to serve the purposes of white supremacy. How did this begin? I am always skeptical of monocausal explanations, but its pretty clear that Grandpa Caligula played a pretty big role. Reagan of course hated King, rode white supremacy into the White House, and then resisted creating the MLK holiday with support from his good friend Jesse Helms. Why did he change his mind and sign the bill? Pure politics and realizing that he could message King into meaninglessness.

However, in a dramatically about-face, Reagan capitulated in the final months of 1983. The month following his news conference—and fifteen years after Michigan congressman John Conyers first introduced legislation for the King observance—Reagan sat on the White House lawn and signed a bill establishing a federal holiday for a man he had spent the previous two decades opposing, whilst several hundred attendees sang “We Shall Overcome.”

Yet even after he publicly changed his position, Reagan wrote a letter of apology to Meldrim Thomson, Jr., the Republican governor of New Hampshire, who had begged the president not to support the holiday. His new position, Reagan explained in the letter, was based “on an image [of King], not reality.” Reagan’s support for the federal King holiday, in other words, had nothing to do with his personal views of the civil rights leader. Instead the holiday provided Reagan with political pretext to silence the mounting criticism of his positions on civil rights. By 1983 Reagan faced an onslaught of criticism from groups such as the NAACP and the Urban League for his aggressive assaults on affirmative action and court-ordered busing. With a reelection bid on the horizon, he began to make more concerted efforts to pacify his critics and soften public opinion over his open hostility to civil rights. The King holiday was the primary component of this effort.

Reagan’s pivot on the King holiday provided a two-pronged benefit. On the one hand it would pacify critics of his positions on civil rights, but on the other it enabled Reagan to position himself as the inheritor of King’s colorblind “dream”—a society in which “all men are created equal” and should be judged “not . . . by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character”—in order to advance the anti-black crusade he had waged since the 1960s, now under the alluring mantle of colorblindness.

The notion of a “colorblind” approach to U.S. law originated in 1896, when Justice John Marshall Harlan argued in his dissent to the Plessy v. Ferguson decision—which established the legal precedent for racial segregation—that “separate but equal” was unconstitutional because “our Constitution in color-blind and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.” Nearly sixty years later, Justice Harlan was vindicated when the Warren Court invalidated Plessy in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education (1954). Yet Harlan and Reagan understood colorblindness in profoundly different ways. For Harlan, colorblind law safeguarded non-whites from the institutionalization of white supremacy in state and local governments under Jim Crow. For Reagan, who opposed both the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, colorblindness offered an effective ideology through which to roll back the victories of the civil rights movement.

Reagan’s efforts to align himself as the inheritor of King’s colorblind “Dream” picked up considerably during his second term in the White House. Reagan’s assistant attorney general for civil rights, William Bradford Reynolds, began defending the president’s opposition to civil rights programs by insisting that Reagan’s actions were informed by King’s colorblind philosophy. Throughout his second term, Reagan would frequently turn to the colorblind rhetoric, and only the colorblind rhetoric, of the civil rights movement to justify his continued assault on civil rights as a realization of King’s dream.

The most revealing example of Reagan’s second-term King strategy occurred on January 17, 1986. Three days before the inaugural Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, Coretta Scott King unveiled a three-foot solid bronze bust of her slain husband in the Capitol rotunda (later moved to Statuary Hall). After the ceremony Reagan met with King and other civil rights leaders and urged them to “never, never abandon the dream” of a colorblind United States. Reagan’s rendering of King begins and ends on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. It is a King who said little more than a single sentence: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Absent entirely from Reagan’s representations of King are his critiques of capitalism, the war in Vietnam, nuclear weapons, or white supremacy.

D’Souza

[ 206 ] January 15, 2017 |

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I find Dinesh D’Souza so confusing. The man clearly wants to return to the Jim Crow years. Or even slavery. But why does he think that if that was to happen, he wouldn’t be affected by it? Here is D’Souza on slavery:

Recently convicted felon and conservative columnist Dinesh D’Souza’s book, “The End of Racism,” provides some great examples of rewriting race. D’Souza says of slavery, “No free workers enjoyed a comparable social security system from birth until death.” Later, he writes, “Masters … encouraged the family unit which basically remained intact.” In a particularly appalling passage, he writes, “slavery appears such a relatively mild business that one begins to wonder why Frederick Douglass and so many other ever tried to escape.” And concludes, “In summary, the American slave was treated like property, which is to say, pretty well.”

And then his tour de force tweet of yesterday:

I actually expect this from Attorney General Forrest. But, again, why does D’Souza think he would be excepted from the racist regime he fights for?

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