Tag Archives: race

Best Quotes of the Week – December 12, 2020

“The mountains of misinformation are not helping the process; they’re only hurting it.”

Geoff Duncan, Republican lieutenant governor of Georgia, responding to Donald Trump’s relentless claims the elections were “stolen”

Two runoff elections for senator in Georgia on January 5 will determine control of the U.S. Senate.

“I personally think my company should pay me workers compensation for brain damage for having to read that lawsuit and related filings.  It really is one of the stupidest bits of performative leg humping we have seen in the last five years. These attorneys general are willing to beclown themselves and their states all to get in good with the losing presidential candidate.   The suit is absurd on its face.  These states seek to interfere in the internal affairs of other states when those states are not actually electing the president, but allowing their voters to choose members of the Electoral College.  Were this to succeed, which it will not, the states will start suing each other at every election as a bit of theater.”­

Erick Erickson, far-right social conservative and evangelical Christian fundamentalist radio host, in an essay on his blog

Erickson endorsed Trump’s reelection campaign, but criticized a lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, denouncing it as “one of the stupidest bits of performative leg humping we have seen in the last five years.”

“We believe our Jewish community needs to be able to join and partner in solidarity with communities of color like Arab Americans, Black Americans, Indigenous people who are facing systemic injustice and be able to listen to their narratives just as we expect other communities to listen to our narrative as Jews.”

Ellen Brotsky, a volunteer leader for Jewish Voice for Peace, an organization devoted to combating all forms of ethnic and racial bias

JVP and their supporters are concerned recent changes to school curriculums about ethnic inclusivity in the state of California are overlooking people of Middle Eastern extraction.

“The allegations in the lawsuit are false and irresponsible.  Texas alleges that there are 80,000 forged signatures on absentee ballots in Georgia, but they don’t bring forward a single person who this happened to. That’s because it didn’t happen.”

Jordan Fuchs, Georgia’s deputy secretary of state, responding to a lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton against Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin whose election results handed the White House to President-elect Joe Biden

In the suit, Paxton claims pandemic-era changes to election procedures in those states violated federal law and is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to block the states from voting in the Electoral College.

“I feel so privileged to be the first.”

Margaret Keenan, age 90, upon becoming the first person in Great Britain to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine shot outside of clinical trials

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Misquoted Quote of the Week – September 5, 2020

“Didn’t Jesse Jackson say that when he looks behind him and he sees a group of young Black males walking behind him, he’s more scared than when he sees a group of White youths walking behind him.  Does that make him a racist?”

U.S. Attorney General William Barr, in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

Jackson had told CNN that back in the 1990s his family lived in a “drug-infested neighborhood,” where “a family member’s son was killed right in front of my house, killed right in front of my wife, a drug thing.”

Jackson said that he had been talking about “the young man” who killed his relative.  “If he comes behind me, I would be afraid,” Jackson said.

“Now what Mr. Barr said is the opposite about what I meant about crime,” he said.  “Those shot in Wisconsin, the killings in Ferguson and the killing in Atlanta, Breonna (Taylor) and George Floyd, all of those were police killings that had nothing to do with who was coming down the street.”

“I would love to have a conversation with William Barr,” Jackson added.

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Worst Quote(s) of the Week – August 29, 2020

While there were some patriotic highlights of President Donald Trump’s speech this week at the Republican National Convention, I found more hypocrisy, factual errors and blatantly hostile rhetoric.  Below is his entire speech, followed by what I feel were some of the most egregious comments amidst the verbiage.

“In recent months, our nation and the entire planet has been struck by a new and powerful invisible enemy.  Like those brave Americans before us, we are meeting this challenge.  We are delivering life-saving therapies and will produce a vaccine before the end of the year, or maybe even sooner.”

“Joe Biden is not a savior of America’s soul; he is the destroyer of America’s jobs, and if given the chance he will be the destroyer of American greatness.  For 47 years, Joe Biden took the donations of blue-collar workers, gave them hugs and even kisses and told them he felt their pain.  And then he flew back to Washington and voted to ship our jobs to China and many other distant lands.  Joe Biden spent his entire career outsourcing their dreams and the dreams of American workers, offshoring their jobs, opening their borders and sending their sons and daughters to fight in endless foreign wars, wars that never ended.”

“We have already built 300 miles of border wall, and we are adding 10 new miles every single week.  The wall will soon be complete.  And it is working beyond our wildest expectations.”

(It must be noted, while Congress has authorized some spending for the project, most of the money for wall construction has been redirected from the military at the president’s insistence.  Also Trump’s former political strategist Steve Bannon participated in a private effort to raise money for a border wall.  Last week, Bannon and three others were indicted on charges that they siphoned hundreds of thousands of dollars each from the wall fund for their own personal use. Bannon has pleaded not guilty.)

“And I say very modestly that I have done more for the African-American community than any president since Abraham Lincoln, our first Republican president.”

President Donald Trump, during his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention

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Respect in Motion

It’s finally happening!  The Washington Redskins national football team has decided to change their name by eliminating the term “redskins”.  This is a moment for which the Indigenous American community has been striving for years.  It comes at a time of national soul-searching for the United States – a period nearly a quarter of the way into the 21st century where we are at long last coming to terms with a lifetime of racial injustice and inequality.

The alteration didn’t come from a moment of sudden spiritual enlightenment from team owner Dan Snyder who had said many years ago that a name change was out of the question; adding: “NEVER – you can use caps.”

Never say never, Danny boy!

Snyder bowed to social and economic pressures.  Several major corporations that have sponsored a variety of professional sports teams in the U.S. for years had vowed to pull their support if Washington didn’t change its name.  When you grab someone by the financial gonads, they’ll follow you with hearts and minds.

But society is also changing.  Despite the old guard claims that it’s “just a game”, American consciousness has seen that proverbial light in the darkness and gone towards it.  NASCAR, for example, recently banned Confederate flags from its events; a move that has upset many White southerners.  Again, the old guard is losing its grip on cultural relevance.

The word “redskin” is equivalent to slurs like nigger, gook, spic, fag, or politician.  It’s seriously debasing and relegates the Western Hemisphere’s native peoples to a skin tone (which many don’t actually have) as well as to a sub-human category.  In all fairness, some people of Native American ancestry don’t care either way.  They don’t view the term as derogatory or racist.  It’s just a word.  Of course, it is!  So is genocide.

Washington is now at a moniker crossroads.  Obviously, they’ll keep the name Washington.  But what to add to it?  Some have suggested “Warriors” or “Red Tails”; the latter a reference to the legendary Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African-American United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) servicemen during World War II who went disregarded and underappreciated for decades.

I recommend the term “Monuments”.  It’s a direct recognition of the Washington Monument, but it’s also a reference to the structure’s form and size.  You know – a large, tall, long, hard, phallic-shaped emblem.  Since football is such a macho sport, I feel it’s appropriate.

Regardless of whatever name Washington adopts, the time is way past due.  And there’s simply no turning back.  Time doesn’t stop and it doesn’t retract.  It always moves forward.  So should we all.

“A Matter of Respect” (2012)

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Worst Quote of the Week – July 11, 2020

“Some folks are still trying to pretend that all of this mayhem will stop if we just let the Democrats have the White House. Well, we have the Democrats in power in Atlanta, in Chicago, in New York, in Baltimore and beyond and beyond. What’s happened?

“So, this thinking is foolish and naive. The Democrats have shown they’re utterly unwilling to restrain the hard left from seizing property and committing violence. And as for the culture wars, why would the radicals stop when they think they are winning?

“So, ignore the folks who say that it just gets better when we let the Democrats have more power.

“The only way this situation gets better is for Democrats to lose, and lose so often that they are forced to apologize for their relentless slandering of our nation’s history, and by extension, the majority of our citizens who still unapologetically love this country and still believe that it’s worth celebrating.”

Laura Ingraham, FOX News commentator, demanding that Democrats apologize for slandering American history.

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Instagram Moment of the Week – June 26, 2020

White woman becomes hysterical after Black man says something to her.  In decades past, that occasionally would have been a death sentence for the latter.  Now, it’s almost news fodder.  And with the advent of 21st century technology, it becomes a social media event.

According to Karlos Dillard, the woman cut him off on the road then flipped him the bird and called him “nigger” before following him with her car for four blocks.  It was only after she saw he was recording her with his phone that she stopped.

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Worst Quote of the Week – June 12, 2020

“This may be a lot of things, this moment we are living through, but it is definitely not about Black lives – and remember that when they come for you, and at this rate, they will.”

Tucker Carlson, railing against the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Worst Quote of the Week – May 22, 2020

“If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”

Joe Biden, former U.S. Vice President and presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, in an interview on the syndicated radio show “The Breakfast Club”.  Biden later apologized for the statement.

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One Last Angry Clarion Call

Trump looking out in anger.

“It seems clear that [Attorney General William Barr] will do or enable anything to keep Trump in office.  And Trump will do anything to stay there.  Suspension of the election, negation of the results, declaration of martial law are not simply fanciful, alarmist or crazy things to throw out there or to contemplate.  Members of Congress, governors and state legislators, leaders in civil society, lawyers, law enforcement figures and the military need to be thinking now about how they might respond.”

Norm Orenstein, Chair of American Enterprise Institute of Public Policy Research

Donald Trump has joked recently that he might not leave office after a second term, as mandated by the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  This particular amendment was ratified in response to the 12-year tenure of Franklin D. Roosevelt.  The original authors of the Constitution had never intended for any elected Chief Executive to hold the position as if it were a divinely-inspired monarchy.  They certainly didn’t anticipate Roosevelt, but they most likely designed the Constitution with concerns about scandalous characters like Trump.  Our 45th Chief Executive made his claim about an extended presidency last month at a conference of the conservative Israeli-American Council in Hollywood, Florida.  I’ve always found it oxymoronic – downright hypocritical, actually – that Trump bears such ardor for Israel and the Jewish people, while openly courting White supremacists.  But that’s a different subject.

The thought of Trump holding just one term in the White House was frightening enough three years ago.  That he could be elected to a second term is deeply unsettling.  That he could somehow forcibly remain in the office even one day longer makes the bloodiest horror films look like Hallmark greeting card commercials.

Yet Trump is delusional enough to believe that’s a real possibility, and he has plenty of supporters who would be comfortable with such a scenario.  Those of us who live in the real world understand this simply could not be allowed per that pesky 22nd Amendment.  Still, even some constitutional experts have surmised Trump might make such an attempt.  That would be reality TV at its worst!  Richard Nixon quietly left the White House, following an impassioned farewell speech to his staff, in August of 1974.  There were no guns blazing or hand grenades exploding.  Nixon and his family weren’t spirited out of the White House through a tunnel to avoid angry mobs of detractors.  The Nixons simply strolled onto the South Lawn, accompanied by newly-appointed President Gerald Ford and his wife, Betty, to Marine One.  The helicopter made the loudest sound of anything.  That’s how a peaceful transition of power occurs, even in the most dire and tense of situations.

With Trump, I can almost see him and his wife, Melania, scurrying through that tunnel in a setting reminiscent of Romania’s Nicolae and Elena Ceaușescu.  I honestly don’t believe it will ever come to that sanguineous of a climax.  Yet, I wouldn’t put it past the infantile Trump to grip onto the door frame of the master bedroom.

But, while Trump’s behavior can’t be taken too lightly, another aspect of the current American experience that definitely shouldn’t be dismissed is the effect Trump’s presidency has had on his faithful minions and the sentiments that put someone like him into office.  Decades of socially progressive behavior and legislation gave us Barack Obama and others like him; individuals who didn’t meet the traditional standard of those in position of power.  In other words, Obama and others weren’t White males.  Just a half century ago it was inconceivable that someone like Obama could ascend to the highest elected office in the land.  It was unimaginable that Nancy Pelosi would be the one banging the gavel in the House of Representatives.  Only a handful of visionaries thought it possible that Hilary Clinton could be a serious contender for the presidency, or that Pete Buttigieg could live openly gay AND serve in the U.S. military AND talk about having a “husband.”  People born, say, since 1990 have no idea what a vastly different world it is today than in the few years before their time.

Now, it seems the nation has digressed with Donald Trump.  Decades ago, Ronald Reagan aspired for America to return to a time before the 1960s messed up everything.  That was a simpler time for him and others just like him.  But it meant Blacks sat at the back of the bus; women sought nothing but marriage and motherhood; queers remained in the closet; and Native Americans languished as comical figures on TV screens.  The 1960s may have messed up the world for the likes of Reagan and Nixon, but it opened up the universe for everyone else.

As I marched through my junior year in high school, I began receiving phone calls from a man with the local recruiting office of the U.S. Army.  I believe I’d spoken to him at least twice, before my father happened to answer the phone one day; whereupon he politely told the man that I had plans for college and that he and my mother were determined to ensure I get there and graduated.  Just a few years later I’d openly stated I had considered joining either the Navy or the Marines.  And each time my father talked me out of it.  In retrospect, I understand why.

As a naïve high school student in the late 1940s, my father had been convinced NOT to take a drafting course and instead go for something in the blue collar arena.  “Most Spanish boys do this,” is how he quoted the female school counselor telling him.  My father liked to draw and – much like his own father – had the desire and talent for an architectural profession.  But he’d been talked out of it.  Because that was what most “Spanish boys do”.  College was for White guys.  Trade school and the military were for everyone else.

Years of struggle – working twice as hard for half as much – and assertive civil rights action had led America to the early 1980s, when I graduated from high school.  And didn’t have to join the military.  In the spring of 1983, I was sitting in a government class at a local community college, when the instructor asked, “What do we owe minorities in this country?”

Seated in the row in front of me was a young man who had graduated with me from the same high school.  I knew his name, but I didn’t know him personally.  Without missing a beat, he muttered, “Nothing.”

Only the few of us nearby heard him.  He was White, as was most everyone else seated on either side of him.  From my vantage point directly behind him, he looked angry; as if he’d been robbed of something that was rightfully his.

I finally spoke up and informed the class that “this country” owes the same thing to minorities that it does to everyone else: equality and fairness; “the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, as prescribed in the Declaration of Independence.  I added, “Nothing more, nothing less.”

That one young man and the others nearby nodded their collective heads and looked at me, as if I’d said something unbelievably profound – which, to them, it may have been.

That level of total fairness and freedom hasn’t been easy.  But nothing so monumental as dramatic cultural changes are.  The Civil War, for example, ended more than 150 years ago.  Yet, some people in the Deep South of the United States still can’t let that go.  They still insist it was a war over states’ rights, not slavery.  They’ve been fighting that conflict all these years and they still haven’t won!

That’s a little of what Donald Trump’s presidency is all about: a bunch of old-guard folks wanting to maintain things as they were way back when.  And it’s just not going to work for them any longer.  The old White Republicans dominating the U.S. Senate disrespected Barack Obama as much as they could without making it too glaringly obvious.  They did everything they could to undermine his presidency and essentially failed at every step.  If anything, they only hurt the country and their reputations.

Social and political conservatives can’t return to an America of the 1940s and 50s any more than liberals can return to an America of the 1990s.  Memories are forever, but time marches onward.  It always has and it always will.  Trump’s presidency may be the final battle cry of the angry White male.

But we can’t go back to whenever.  Time continues.

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Best Quote of the Week – September 13, 2019

“At this point I call the women’s marches ‘parades,’ with white women doing arts and crafts the night before.  This is an event for them.  It wasn’t until white women were personally affected that they came out in the millions.  All of a sudden they knew how to organize.  Women of color have been marching a long time.”

Rachel Cargle, author and activist who has criticized feminist movements around the world as exclusive of non-White women.

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