I really do.
This post is gong to be an inarticulate mess. You are warned.
Someone said, and I agree, that what we’re seeing with the Nazis in Charlottesville (Boys, you had swastikas. Own it) is the death throes of a poisonous snake. It’s dying, but it still has the potential to kill.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen protections in the Voting Rights act expire and states not even waiting an hour to file legislation to make voting more difficult. Planned Parenthood has come under attack. Access to birth control and women’s health through the Affordable Care Act has been litigated because employers (certain employers) don’t want to pay for it. “Mad Men,” a TV show set in an era when white men were the undisputed kings of the US (Yes, I know they still are, but a lot of us are arguing the point) being a cultural touchstone. I saw that show’s success as a nostalgia for that power structure. And I took it as a warning sign.
And then came Trump. (Sorry, I understand that I should show respect for the Office of the Presidency if not for the holder of that office. Right now, that’s like asking me to generate spit after running a marathon with no water breaks) Even before he ran, he was hounding President Obama via that vile Twitter account. He was the most notorious “birther,” questioning whether Barack Obama had been born in the US (Not a peep about John McCain, who was born in the Panama Canal Zone. He did criticize Ted Cruz, born in Canada, but Cruz is Hispanic. McCain is white, in case you’ve forgotten). We’ve known for years he has no respect for women; a string of divorces and comments like “hot piece of ass” were our first clues. His candidacy announcement referred to Mexicans as rapists (“Although some, I assume, are good people”), mocked a disabled reported, dismissed the aforementioned John McCain’s time as a POW in the “Hanoi Hilton” (North Vietnamese prison camp): “I like guys who don’t get captured, okay?” (Sure thing, Mr. Five Deferements. How are those bone spurs?)
I could see the writing on the wall: once he got in, he was going to find ways to stay there.
Yet, he was elected. Any news critical of him has been denounced by him as “fake news.” (Despite documented evidence). There is now “Trump TV,” hosted by his daughter-in-law. (BTW, look at the wives of Don, Jr. and Eric. They have a “type.” It’s their sister). The Sinclair Broadcast group owns (currently) 173 TV stations in 80 markets. They cover 28% of the US. They now have “must run” spots that could be considered Trump propaganda (the talking head is Boris Ephsteyn, a Trump advisor). Also, the “Terrorism Alert Desk,” which continues to stoke the anti-Muslim sentiment.
Here’s John Oliver discussing Sinclair: https://youtu.be/GvtNyOzGogc
North Korea has one TV channel and that’s Kim family propaganda. We’re getting there.
People were alarmed by the new staff in the White House: Steve Bannon, formerly of Breitbart News (and got a waiver to keep doing business with them), the aforementioned Boris Ephsteyn, who is fervently anti-Muslim, Stephen Miller, who used to work for Jeff Sessions, who was rejected to be a Federal judge for displaying racist tendencies, but that’s okay for enforcing civil rights as Attorney General. Sebastian Gorka. another fervent anti-Muslim warrior (and his wife, who, significantly in light of recent news: “Along with President Donald Trump aides, she worked to eliminate a CEV grant to Life After Hate, a group that opposes white supremacy. When the list of new CEV grant recipients was released June 23, 2017, Life After Hate was not included. This decision drew significant attention when a 20 year-old white supremacist attacked a group protesting the Unite the Right rally less than two months later, killing one.[ (Wikipedia ). ”
I was given a statistic today: 6% of American household own 40% of the guns.
We have over 300,000,000 guns in circulation in this country.
Those statistics worried me, but I was comforted by the knowledge that the US military has Predator drones, Blackhawk helicopters, and trained soldiers. Then I remembered who the current Commander in Chief is.
The Confederacy died 152 years ago. It was defeated. Nazi Germany died 72 years ago. It was defeated.
Here in the United States, the country that defeated both of those powers (although I do not imply it was single-handed in the case of World War II. Not by a long shot), Friday night we were treated to the spectacle of respectably-dressed (Polo shirts and khakis. Aryan casual) young men (mostly. There were women) carrying swastika flags, Confederate battle flags (the Stars and Bars), and tiki torches, parading through Charlottesville, VA to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. They were chanting Nazi slogans. They showed their faces (much to the chagrin of some who have since been identified and lost their jobs. Or families).
For those about to scream “First Amendment,” let me counter: You absolutely may say what you want. The First Amendment says the GOVERNMENT can’t stop you. However, YOU ARE NOT IMMUNE FROM THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR ACTIONS. If your employer decides to fire you, if a contract is cancelled, if a job offer is withdrawn, it’s all legal. In the age of social media and privately held (for now) cameras everywhere, you are never not representing your company. There is no “I’m on my own” time, even if you’re not getting paid.
The First Amendment ended with the first swing of a tiki torch at a counter-protester. The first blast of pepper spray (and one of the Unite the Right organizing sites told the marchers to bring pepper spray). That becomes assault and battery. The next day, it became vehicular homicide (and those Nazi fuckers want to find out where and when Heather Heyer’s funeral is so they can send people. Even Westboro Baptist Church wouldn’t go that far. And they’re assholes of the highest order).
What does our President do? First, there was a feeble comment that assigned blame to both sides. It took another day and a half to call out the white supremacists, but he back-pedaled. Today, the 45th President of the United States referred to the Nazis as “fine people.”
His racism has been litigated through the NY court system for 40 years. Thanks to his Twitter account, Howard Stern, Morning Joe, and other TV/radio shows, we’ve known exactly who he is for years. Four CEOs quit the President’s council on American manufacturing. Which one does he attack on Twitter?
Kenneth Frazier of Merck
Trump’s idea of a black friend:
May not have been a murderer yet, but a known wife-beater. The term for our President is “starfucker.”
The Charlottesville Nazis claim to be afraid of the loss of “White European culture” due to progress in women’s rights, civil rights, immigration rights, gay rights. They complain about missing out on jobs due to immigration and affirmative action (the Sessions Department of Justice is more interested in suing colleges and universities over affirmative action than investigating and stopping American Nazis. Telling. Very telling).
Boys (you are not men. You are pasty-faced whiny little boys raised on participation trophies. No wonder you’re defending Confederate statues. Another pack of glorified also-rans): Trust me, white male European/American culture is still dominant.Note the lack of diversity in blockbuster movies, in rock music, at the top of Fortune 500 companies. Read the stories of harassment and hostile work environments. It’s damned difficult to get justice, let me tell you. As for the lack of jobs, look at automation, not immigration. Between better robots and software, automation will put 71% of Americans out of a job by 2025 (8 years from now). I got that from the Huffington Post, link below:
Learn to build or repair them. By the way, your hero Trump hires foreign workers for his resorts (very restrictive HB-2 which do not permit the workers to seek other employment when they’re here) and NONE of his merch is Made in USA. None. You could have taken pride in making ties, MAGA hats, whatever. Profits have no loyalty.
As for “erasing” white history: no. We’re just ending the glorification of treason and white supremacy. Those generals may have been military geniuses and they deserve to be studied for that, but they chose to take up arms against the United States. Statues on their battlefields, yes. It links to the history, there is a context to its placement. Nathan Bedford Forrest may have been one of the greatest, most daring cavalrymen of all time, but he was also the first Grand Wizard of the KKK (although, he did eventually leave when they got too crazy even for him) and putting his statue in a historically black area is an insult and implied threat. We’ve been hearing charges of “revisionist history,” but my counter is that the revisionist history is the one we’ve been taught all along. The one where white men are the heroes and saviors of the world. The one that makes Columbus a hero worthy of a holiday even though he was responsible for genocide, kidnapping, and murder. (Replace Columbus Day with Juneteenth, the day slavery ended in the US). History books (and American pop culture) paint indigenous Americans as murderous savages who deserved to be killed and driven from the land. The ones I was raised on did not teach a history of slavery in the US except for its end.
An offensive comment on my Facebook page today referred to people who want to remove the monuments as “pussies who want to rewrite history.” The term “Political correctness” has been weaponized to deride people who show respect for other races, faiths (or lack thereof), sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc. This usually comes from people who want to use slurs without consequence. Who believe in superiority/inferiority based on race, faith, sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc.
And those are the assholes who were marching in Charlottesville. They dressed like the IT guy at your place of work (and some of them, apparently were, but are no longer), but should have had Nazi khaki uniforms (too hot a night in Virginia, perhaps) if they’re going to hold these beliefs.
It sickens me that this betrayal of “all men are created equal” exists in the US. We fought wars for this ideal. We shed blood defeating the enemies who wanted to impose the opposite view and oh, by the way, were enslaving and murdering those people unlike them.
I’m sure I’m going to hear from readers saying, “You know, we don’t want to read your politics. We want your stories, not your opinion.” I know I’m going to lose readers. Consequence of exercising First Amendment rights and I accept that (I also accept the lack of editing here). However, to be true to myself, I cannot, and will not, allow this homegrown anti-American bullshit go unchallenged.
Nazis, get lost.