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Topic Summary

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 15, 2019, 10:10:05 pm »

Why Do Police Get Away With Shooting the Mentally Ill?
5,299 views•Premiered Oct 10, 2019

The Real News Network
362K subscribers

On this episode of the Police Accountability Report we analyze an investigative report on controversial police shootings in Greenville, South Carolina that points to a troubling trend of police using deadly force against people suffering mental distress.

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Category News & Politics
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 15, 2019, 10:08:01 pm »

What Really Happened ☠️ To Key Witness Against Dallas Cop Amber Guyger?
29,669 views•Oct 11, 2019

Thom Hartmann Program
184K subscribers

Hours after a guilty verdict was given to Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger, a key witness,  Joshua Brown  was shot and killed.

Police are saying that Joshua Brown's death was the result of a drug deal gone wrong but the African American community, doesn't buy it.

Thom Hartmann answers a call from friend of the show Kenyatta,  who finds something rotten with the whole situation.

Should we really believe the same police department that just murdered Bothom Jean had nothing to do with the death of a Joshua Brown, a witness whose testimony lead to a police officer serving a ten year sentence?

Leave your thoughts in the comments!
What do you think really happened?

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Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 05, 2019, 12:41:25 pm »

How Elites Crush Black Dissent

The Real News Network
Published on Sep 2, 2019

What does it mean for the people living under systemic oppression when society frames their rebellion as a riot?

Subscribe to our page and support our work at https://therealnews.com/donate.

Category News & Politics
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 19, 2019, 09:13:14 pm »

Was Universal Healthcare Stopped by Racism?

Thom Hartmann Program
Published on Aug 19, 2019

Did Universal Healthcare end because of racism?

Thom Hartmann exposes how Universal Healthcare was stopped at every corner by racist policies that didn't want to see healthcare and other benefits applied to the African Americans.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 15, 2019, 03:33:06 pm »

Donald 🦀 Trump has even found a way to ruin the Statue of Liberty

Robert Harrington | 12:01 pm EDT August 15, 2019
Palmer Report » Analysis

I recall a time when white nationalist talking points inserted into any discussion about the Statue of Liberty would have been politically dangerous, even for a Republican. Lest we forget, a mere seven years ago a Republican candidate for president of the United States was castigated endlessly (and, let’s face it, fatuously) for referring to “binders full of women.” We knew what he meant, and, what he meant was clumsily put, albeit innocently intended, and the backlash was a simple case of taking cynicism too far. The truth was then much easier to come by than it is now. Mitt Romney shouldn’t have become president of the United States, not because he kept actual women locked up in actual binders, but because he was a weak-minded fool and a coward, and Americans understood that.

But if one could add another verse to the Book of Ecclesiastes, one would be forgiven for wishing to include “a time to be cynical,” because that time is certainly now. These days there are fewer and fewer instances where extreme reactions to mildly and (ostensibly) innocently-phrased pronouncements are not warranted – barring irresponsible accusations of murder without evidence, of course.

When the concluding lines of the sonnet “The New Colossus,” by Emma Lazarus, was first cast in bronze in 1903, and added to the plinth of the Statue of Liberty 17 years after Lady Liberty first lifted her lamp beside the golden door of New York Harbor, I doubt any realized then how pregnant with dangerous meaning those 17 years “too late” would become, in the hard and humorless eyes of white nationalists a century later. That 17 year gap in time subverted, in their view, “what the statute originally meant,” and hastily, they insist, tacked on this popular nonsense about letting brown people come flooding in, for goodness’ sake.

Never mind that the poem was actually written in 1883, three years before the statue was dedicated. Never mind it was written precisely to raise money for the very plinth upon which Lady Liberty was to rest and to which the poem was ultimately affixed. Just don’t confuse a white nationalist with the facts. Besides, if we destroy this precious little talking point of theirs they’ll jolly well go in search of another.For those of you who don’t know or have forgotten what the plaque says, here is the entire text:

Give me your tired, your poor,
 Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
 I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

All of which brings me to 🐍 Ken Cuccinelli. Cuccinelli is the Trump administration’s acting head of Citizenship and Immigration Services. It was he who in a recent PBS interview changed the words of the poem. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” Cuccinelli began, then he added the words, “who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.”

All of which is to distract Americans into believing that immigrants are an undue strain on the system, despite the fact that they pay billions in taxes, billions into social security, and, for those who are undocumented, are not allowed to vote, collect benefits or qualify for Medicare. It was immigrants who helped build Trump Tower at the below-minimum-wage rate of $4 an hour. And, no, it was not millions of undocumented immigrants who voted for Hillary Clinton. No matter how much Trump would love to blame them for that, Hillary legitimately won the popular vote in 2016.

Donald Trump’s recent disavowal of white supremacy rings hollow in the shadow of Cuccinelli’s rewrite of the Statue of Liberty poem. Insisting that however duck-like the appearance, the walk and the quack may be, that this administration is not a duck is laughable. We know what the poem on Lady Liberty says, we know what it means and we know when it was written. All Americans ought to understand this, particularly a man named “Cuccilini.”

All of which puts me in mind of another poem written by another woman, Marya Mannes ✨:

Borders are scratched across the
hearts of men

By strangers with a calm, judicial


And when the borders bleed we
watch with dread

The lines of ink across the map
turn red.

Help fund Palmer Report's editorial takedown of Donald Trump!


Agelbert NOTE: Speaking of PUBLIC 🦕 CHARGES   >:(, you never will hear any members of Trump's 🦀 Wrecking Crew utter a peep about the MASSIVE CHARGES the Federal Government bills we-the-people for each and every day in the form of "Subsidies" for the Hydrocarbon 🦕🦖 "Industries", which MUST HAVE those GOVERNMENT HANDOUTS in order to "stand on their own two feet". IOW, everything Ken Cuccinelli said is .

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 12, 2019, 11:05:01 pm »

Nixon Southern Strategy Rises Again

Thom Hartmann Program
Published on Aug 12, 2019

Are we seeing the return of Nixon's southern strategy with Donald Trump?

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Category News & Politics

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 09, 2019, 07:33:07 pm »

Former White Nationalist Reveals Surprising Way to End Extremism

Thom Hartmann Program
Published on Aug 8, 2019

Former white nationalist, Christian Picciolini reveals surprising way to to put an end to the movement of extremism and how Donald Trump fits right into white nationalists' goals.

Being brought into a white nationalist skinhead organization in his early teens, Christian fought his way out of the movement and now spends time trying to radicals others like him.

Could he have a way to put an end to white nationalist organizations once and for all?

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The Thom Hartmann Program is the leading progressive political talk radio show for political news and comments about Government politics, be it Liberal or Conservative, plus special guests and callers


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Category News & Politics
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 08, 2019, 08:15:48 pm »

4Chan’s and 8Chan’s Internet-Brewed Racism Informs Trump’s Rhetoric

August 7, 2019

The BBC's Mike Wendling explains the history of a message board subculture and discusses his book, "Alt-Right: From 4Chan to the White House"

Story Transcript

MARC STEINER: Welcome to The Real News Network, I’m Marc Steiner. Great to have you all with us.

What is 4chan and 8chan? Why does so many of the right-wing terrorists post their treatises on their sites? Is this an organized national and international movement or is it really just decentralized and we don’t know what it is? How much do Trump’s tweets, his language, exhortations and presence galvanize this movement? Or how much was he created by it, in essence? When did this modern formation, a right-wing supremacist presence, come about to life and why? How dangerous is it really?

We talk with Mike Wendling. Mike Wendling is the Editor of “BBC Trending,” a podcast, and author of Alt-Right: From 4chan to the White House. And Mike, welcome. Good to have you with us here on The Real News.

MIKE WENDLING: Thanks. Thank you.

MARC STEINER: I’m glad you’re here. I really enjoyed your book. It was really well done and sorry I didn’t get a chance to interview for that when it came out, but we can make amends to that later. So let’s just begin. Talk to us a bit first about 4chan and 8chan. They’re not the same thing. They’re separate. So just describe a bit who they are and where they came from.

MIKE WENDLING: Yeah, sure. So I mean it’s a very unusual story in that they were not meant to be breeding grounds for white nationalism. Let’s put that out there to begin with. Really they come from online culture. Specifically, Japanese anime culture was the inspiration for 4chan and it’s basically a freewheeling message board. Pretty much anything goes. Crucially, all users are anonymous. All threads, all discussion topics have to start with an image and that means people have to produce a lot of images and make them very popular because another rule on the site is that the threads, the discussions go away very quickly, in a matter of hours sometimes if they’re not popular. So really, the premium is on getting lots of people to respond and react to your really grabby images really, really quickly.

4chan began in the early 2000s and it got popular. It was associated with other online movements, most notably Anonymous who did raids against Scientology. And then in the past few years it has basically been, I suppose, overtaken or dominated to a large part, particularly one very specific discussion board devoted to politics called the Pol, or Politically Incorrect board. And that has become sort of synonymous with what we think of it as today— as a white nationalist rallying point.

8chan, pretty similar in the way it functions, but a lot newer, was conceived as a spin off or rather a sort of rival because the founder, a guy named Fredrick Brennan thought that 4chan was becoming too centralized, too restrictive. He wanted individual users to be able to come up with their own topics and come up with their own boards and moderate themselves. And to that end, he created something that fulfilled that need. It also meant that it was a lot more extreme. It was a lot more, sort of—It had a lot more calls to violence, doxing. This sort of stuff was really rife, still is on 8chan. And it has led to what we see today in terms of it, again, being a very crucial rallying point for extremists and white nationalists.

MARC STEINER: And 8chan works out of the Philippines, we should say as well, and Congress is trying to get him to come to DC, but I doubt he’ll do that. Of course, just as a disclaimer he said, “This has nothing to do with me. We had nothing to do with any of these things.” So the question is, these aren’t necessarily right-wing sites, they’re sites used by the right-wing because of how they were created, is that what you’re saying?

MIKE WENDLING: Essentially, yes. I mean, and Fredrick Brennan and also the creator of 4chan, the original creator of 4chan, they no longer have anything to do with those websites now. Fredrick Brennan sold it to an American named Jim Watkins— who also lives in the Philippines— a few years ago. And Fredrick Brennan has been very vocal about how he abhors what’s going on and how he just wishes that his creation should be killed. But yeah, I mean what you say is essentially true. It’s not that these sites were created for the far-right or with any real far-right intentions. It’s just the mechanisms that were put in place and made them very popular and very useful for political movements, became very useful for the far-right.

MARC STEINER: So I think in some ways, I mean this is where people post their ideas, but even more important in some ways is something I’m about to show everyone and you. This was put together by Brendan Friedman, who is a columnist for The Daily News in New York. It shows the man who committed the mass murders in El Paso, what he wrote originally on the chan sites, but also how they’re tied to these various tweets and messages sent out by different people, including Donald Trump. So let me just read a couple and let’s talk about what this synergy might mean and why it exists.

All right. Let’s start with this. So Donald Trump tweets, “The US is ill-prepared for this invasion and will not stand for it.” And the killer put into his piece, “The attack is in response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.” Trump to The Sun says, “Allowing the immigration to take place in Europe is a shame. I think that it changed the fabric of Europe. And unless you act very quickly, it’s never going to be what it was. And I don’t mean that in a positive way.” The killer writes, “The natives didn’t take the invasion of Europeans seriously, and now what’s left is just a shadow of what it was.”

And finally, Republican Senator John Cronin tweeted, “Texas gained almost nine Hispanic residents for every additional white resident last year. The man who did the murders said, “The heavy Hispanic population in Texas will make us a Democratic stronghold.” Now, I could go on and read dozens and dozens more of these, but I didn’t want to do that. I just want to kind of jump into what this means. What does this synergy mean? What does it tell us? How do you analyze it? I think it’s too simplistic to say, “Well, Trump did this.” Do you know what I’m saying? But there’s a synergy here, and describe how you would describe what that means.

MIKE WENDLING: Yeah. I think that would be very simplistic to say that, overly simplistic. Throughout his campaign in 2016, Donald Trump consistently showed a – he didn’t show in most cases an outward or a blatant courting of these types of people. I mean, there were a few incidents; for instance he blamed faulty microphone for him not being able to hear about a question whether he would condemn a KKK leader or reject his support, this kind of stuff. But in some ways what is really happening here is that there is a common language, I suppose, that results in all sorts of beliefs. And some of them are not necessarily violent. Some of them are fairly mainstream in American society. And this is where the commonality is coming out.

Now, I mean, I think if you look at Trump and you look at his record, what you have is a series of really inconsistent sorts of, I guess, moves and strikes. You know what I mean? Everything from, I guess, Syria to taxes and the economy. He kind of vacillates between being a new, more extreme right president and an establishment Republican who for instance wants to cut the taxes of businesses, right? That’s a pretty mainstream and notably one of the few legislative achievements that he has actually managed in his term.

It’s clear though that at times he has veered towards this type of language. It was clear that when he appointed Steve Bannon who has links in this kind of world that was a different style of Donald Trump. And then it’s also clear, I think that at least now, he is pushing these identity issues as a key plank in his campaign. So of course, whether he does that next year, we don’t know. But that kind of explains what’s going on here in terms of where these ideas are coming from.

MARC STEINER: I’m curious though, talk a bit about here just for a moment before we look at some of the things from the real conservative media and how they play into this. There’s Donald Trump and you have this growth of this kind of alt-right, the white supremacist right, people call it by many names or describe it many ways, but the modern history of this in the 21st century – where it came from. And I think what an interesting analysis to explore would be how Trump played into that, why they support Trump, what they see in him, how he feeds into that, and just where it came from? In post 9/11, Obama’s election, the growth of this movement and how it exploded through 4chan and 8chan and other places. This, to me, that history is really important to figure out where the future might be going.

MIKE WENDLING: Yeah. And so I think that the history is complicated, but it kind of boils down to fringes that have always been there on the right in America. Pat Buchanan for instance, has a lot of these same ideas. A few really fringe academics, bloggers, radicals kind of kept that flame going throughout the early part, the Bush years, the Obama years. It kind of exploded with Trump. And Trump’s success was to hang on to enough establishment or mainstream Republicans and then tap into this well of discontent that was underneath the surface, that was not afraid of some of these ideas, including the white nationalist ideas of the alt-right. Now, let’s remember that the alt-right and people like Richard Spencer who’s probably shot to prominence— he’s probably the biggest, most well-known white nationalists in America today— really welcomed Trump, but then quickly became disillusioned with him as he didn’t 100% tow their line, right?

Now, it’s interesting to see whether he might come back in their favor and what that means. And now that, I guess this movement, there’s been coverage about it. My book is one of a few books that are on the shelf under the alt-right label these days. Whether that will make any difference, not only in the governance that Donald Trump does, but his reelection prospects.

MARC STEINER: Well, I have a question about that, a push a bit on that, but let’s show these clips first because I think they’re connected. These are clips – the first is a montage we put together from Fox News that I think is important to watch. And then what happened last night, we’re going to watch right after that, is Tucker Carlson and what he said. Let’s watch this.

MARK STEYN, FOX NEWS GUEST: The white supremacists are American citizens. The illegal immigrants are people who shouldn’t be here.

LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS HOST: Your views on immigration will have zero impact and zero influence on a House dominated by Democrats who want to replace you, the American voters, with newly amnestied citizens.

STEVE CORTES, FOX & FRIENDS GUEST: Illegal immigrants are burglars, are thieves who are there to harm your security and steal your prosperity.

BRIAN KILMEADE, FOX & FRIENDS CO-HOST:      What’s happening at the border is a flat-out invasion. We are being overwhelmed every day.

JESSE WATTERS:            As the illegal invasion at our southern border intensifies. … It is an invasion.

STUART VARNEY, FOX NEWS HOST:        And I’m going to call it an invasion, like it or not.

LAWRENCE JONES, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR:   You have a group of people that are invading the US border, right? And they’re being held in facilities.

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: Their political success does not depend on good policies, but on demographic replacement.

RET. COL. DOUGLAS MACGREGOR, FOX NEWS GUEST: The more of these people that can be brought in illegally as well as legally, the better it is for the Democratic Party because their goal is to transform the United States.

LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS HOST: And I think calling it anything but an invasion at this point is just not being honest with people.

TOMI LAHREN, FOX NATION HOST: Any citizen of any nation should be upset and outraged when there is an invasion by foreigners into their country.

MARC STEINER: So that’s just one piece and let’s play this other piece. This is just from last night with Tucker Carlson.

TUCKER CARLSON: But the whole thing is a lie. If you were to assemble a list, a hierarchy of concerns or problems this country faces, where would white supremacy be on the list? Right up there with Russia probably. It’s actually not a real problem in America. The combined membership of every white supremacist organization in this country would be able to fit inside a college football stadium? I mean, seriously, this is a country where the average person is getting poorer, where the suicide rate is spiking. White supremacy, that’s the problem. This is a hoax, just like the Russia hoax. It’s a conspiracy theory used to divide the country and keep a hold on power. That’s exactly what’s going on.

MARC STEINER: So if I combine this, and you can tell me if you think we’re making too much of this Mike Wendling, but if I combine what I see on Fox News, which is a major news outlet that has tens of millions of viewers. Watching this, coupled with the tweets that we’ve seen and statements by the President of the United States because he loves to do things that are extreme. That’s part of – always been his raison d’être for his entire existence most of his life and has been doing that and throwing these things out.

And then you have this alt-right movement and just this right-wing movement. We know in our country here in United States that almost all the terrorist acts that have been committed to internally, have been committed by people who identify with this movement. And then whenever you see these things, whatever movement’s on top, there are many, many more people beneath that and around that who support it even if they don’t act the way these men and women act. So the question is, to me—I’m just pushing that a little bit because I think it’s more complex and perhaps even more insidious than we’re talking about here.

MIKE WENDLING: Look, I mean, this is not an issue of— as terrible as it is— the number of people who are dead. You know what I mean? This is not a matter of people, “Oh well they only killed X dozen people thus; car crashes kill more.” That’s just crazy talk to be frank. It’s not a matter—After the Orlando shooting or the San Bernardino shooting, it wasn’t just the number of people who are dead, but the fear. That’s why we call it terrorism. The terror that is meant to create, the way it’s supposed to divide society and make individuals fearful. That is the point of these attacks.

So to say that, oh well it’s small-scale or to play it down is just not really a credible position take. Clearly, the authorities and not only in the US, in New Zealand for instance, here in the UK, around Europe are taking this as a serious and growing threat. Counter-terrorism officers who’ve spoken in this country say the same thing. The FBI looks at conspiracy theories and comes out with reports about how they’re growing and how they’re dangerous. So the real conspiracy theory is actually shown by some of the clips that you played before that clip, which is this idea. It goes by the name of the “great replacement” or the white genocide conspiracy theory, an idea that there was somehow a grand plot by the government, the elite, if you get to the extreme— anti-Semitic, it’s the Jews, to somehow replace the white race with a combination of immigration, interbreeding, depressed fertility, abortion, whatever, you can throw whatever that goes in there. This is a conspiracy theory. This is a far-right conspiracy theory. It has its origins in a book called The Great Replacement—

MARC STEINER: Renaud Camus.

MIKE WENDLING: … And the alt-right groups in Europe and it’s based upon the racist idea that a child of a mixed-race couple is non-white. And it is a fear-mongering tactic that has been used by white supremacists long before the alt-right was ever a thing.

MARC STEINER: So, but we have to conclude here, I mean, because I was thinking about the book, I was thinking about Renaud Camus and many Americans don’t even know who that is or the author’s name. But he is the philosophical founding father in many ways of this whole idea of replacement, right?

The question I have though is that even if you can look at these movements as something smaller than an entire society, they’re fueling an entire populous movement across Europe, across India, across the Philippines, in Brazil, in the United States, in the UK. This is, to me, we’re looking at this, is looking at the alt-right like they’re some kind of fringe maniacs, but more of what they say about a larger trend of the fears in this planet and how they fit into that.

MIKE WENDLING: I mean there is if you like international-nationalist movement. These ideas, and given it’s fueled by social media, it’s fueled by sites like 8chan and 4chan, it’s easy for these ideas to spread. It’s not the case anymore that somebody who is a demagogue in one place will have no influence in another. You can bet that the people in Oregon are really aware of the people in Manchester, in England and are really aware of the people in places like Germany and France who are advancing these ideas. It’s coming together. I mean, I don’t want to sort of overstates the, I guess, a meeting of minds here because there are definitely some differences—

MARC STEINER: Oh absolutely, right.

MIKE WENDLING: … In philosophy and approach and how they play out in national politics, right? Which is very different still. But it’s very clear that there is a greater coalescing of these, you mentioned, there are a whole bunch of nationalist movements and far-right movements around the globe. They’re increasingly coming together.

MARC STEINER: Well, Mike Wendling, A, I appreciate your work at “BBC Trending.” Thank you so much for joining us here at The Real News today. I look forward to continuing our communications and conversations. Thank you so much.

MIKE WENDLING: Thanks for having me.

MARC STEINER: I’m Marc Steiner here for The Real News Network. Thank you all for joining us. Please let us know what you think. Take care.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 07, 2019, 10:01:27 pm »

Joaquin Castro slam dunks the  Republicans after they attack him for doing the right thing

Bill Palmer | 1:59 am EDT August 7, 2019
Palmer Report » Analysis

Yesterday, Democratic Congressman Joaquin Castro posted the names and occupations of some of the biggest donors to the Donald Trump campaign, thus calling them out for funding Trump’s deadly white supremacist rhetoric. Castro was merely reposting publicly available information that anyone can find in FEC filings, but the Republicans nonetheless tried to turn it into a scandal for him.

Republican Senator 😈 Ted Cruz falsely accused Joaquin Castro of “doxxing” the Trump donors. In response, Twitter commenters promptly taught Cruz that “doxxing” doesn’t mean what he thinks it means. But it was House Minority Leader 😈 Kevin McCarthy who went after Castro the most viciously and dishonestly, claiming that Castro was “targeting and harassing Americans because of their political beliefs.” Joaquin Castro fired back at McCarthy:

No one was targeted or harassed in my post. You know that. All that info is routinely published. You’re trying to distract from the racism that has overtaken the GOP and the fact that President Trump spends donor money on thousands of ads about Hispanics “invading” America.” Donald Trump has put a target on the back of millions. And you’re too cowardly or agreeable to say anything about it. How about I stop mentioning Trump’s public campaign donors and he stops using their money for ads that fuel hate?

That seemed to silence Kevin McCarthy, who is best known for having landed his current gig as House Minority Leader by bribing Donald Trump with red and pink Starbursts. No really, this happened.

Help fund Palmer Report's editorial takedown of Donald Trump!

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 07, 2019, 02:53:35 pm »

White Nationalist Terror Attack in El Paso Was Not an Isolated Incident

August 5, 2019

Gerald Horne and Arun Gupta outline the history of white terror in America and what its modern manifestation means for our future.

Story Transcript

MARC STEINER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Marc Steiner. Great to have you all with us.

We just experienced a terrorist attack in El Paso with at least 22 people murdered, and now it’s being reported that the killer in Dayton might’ve been incensed that his sister was dating a black man, and killed the next five black people that he saw after he killed his sister. I think back to 1995, Timothy McVeigh, who committed the largest mass murder since Pearl Harbor; Ruby Ridge; Waco; and of course Charlottesville, the Confederate and Nazi flags flying together, and the murder took place there. Now, the killings in El Paso and Dayton. These are not mere isolated incidents, but part of a right-wing identity movement in this modern era born of the Vietnam War, whose roots go back to the end of the Civil War and the birth of the Klan and the end of Reconstruction. What we are facing is the potential of mass violence and the growth of an armed right-wing movement in this country.

Am I being hyperbolic? Alarmist? Well, let’s see what our guests think. We’re joined today by Gerald Horne. Dr. Gerald Horne holds the John J. and Rebecca Moores Chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston. He’s the author of numerous books, most recently Storming the Heavens and The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism.

And Arun Gupta is a writer and contributor to numerous journals, The Washington Post, YES! Magazine, In these Times, The Progressive, TeleSUR, The Nation and many more. Graduate of the French Culinary Institute of New York and author of a book coming out, Bacon as a Weapon of Mass Destruction: A Junk-Food Loving Chef’s Inquiry into Taste. Gentlemen, welcome. Good to have you with us.

ARUN GUPTA: Good to be with you today.

MARC STEINER: I don’t want just to focus on Donald Trump in all this, but let me play this brief clip though that we put together so you can watch and our viewers can watch, and you can comment on just what this means, and the dangers that may lurk beneath.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We are outraged and sickened by this monstrous evil. In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy.

🐵=AUDIENCE: Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Today we also send the condolences of our nation to President Obrador of Mexico and all the people of Mexico for the loss of their citizens in the El Paso shooting. Terrible, terrible thing.

At this very moment, large, well-organized caravans of migrants are marching toward our southern border. Some people call it an invasion. It’s like an invasion. …Rushing their border. That’s what’s happening.

And remember my opening remarks at Trump Tower when I opened, everybody said, “Oh, he was so tough.” And I used the word . This journey coming up, women are raped at levels that nobody’s ever seen before.

But each of us can choose to build a culture that celebrates the inherent worth and dignity of every human life, that’s what we have to do.

Two or three border security people that are brave, and great. … And don’t forget, we don’t let them and we can’t let them use weapons. We can’t. Other countries do. We can’t. I would never do that. But how do you stop these people?

🐵=AUDIENCE: Shoot them.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP : You can’t. That’s only in the panhandle, you can get away with that stuff.

MARC STEINER: Gerald, let me start with you. When you see these kind of contradictory things that he says, and what they’re saying to the American public, the danger that may lurk under this, so talk a little bit about your analysis of what you just saw.

GERALD HORNE: Certainly, the 45th US President bears responsibility and complicity for his rhetoric and his actions with regard to these terrorist slayings in Texas and Ohio, but I dare say that the entire Republican Party is also guilty. What I mean is, is that if you look at the recent history of the Republican Party with Ronald Wilson Reagan talking about “welfare queens”— by which he was meant to suggest that black women in particular were defrauding the US government so that hardworking, so-called white taxpayers would not have as big a paycheck—or a George H. W. Bush using the Willie Horton ads to demonize black men as criminals. It seems that the 63 million-strong Republican Party base needed a more intense injection of the drug of racism, and so therefore we now have Donald J. Trump, who has ripped off the mask and has spoken much more vigorously with regard to racism, which has obviously inspired some within his base to take matters into their own hands.

But I would make another point as well. That is to say, that if you look at the troubled history of United States of America, what you will quickly find is that white nationalism and white terrorism helped to build the United States of America. We in North America are sitting on stolen land. How did that happen? Did the Native Americans willingly and voluntarily give up their land? No, they gave up their land at the point of a gun.


GERALD HORNE: Were the enslaved Africans—my ancestors— did they work willingly and voluntarily for free? No, they were forced to work by debt of terrorism, and this continues after the US Civil War, post 1865 with the spade of lynchings. And so I think we all, if we really want to understand what has transpired in this country over the past 24 to 36 hours, we may have to make a deeper dive into the ugliness of US history.


ARUN GUPTA: So the terms I use for what happened in El Paso and now it appears Dayton is “pograms.” That’s what we’re seeing. Racialized terror, ethnic cleansing, mass murder based on people’s racial, ethnic, religious identity. Let’s not forget that almost a year ago, less than a year ago, Robert Bowers went into the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh because he was—this is a neo-Nazi—he was so enraged by the invasion, and that’s what all Trump was talking about last October in the run up to the midterm elections. The invasion, the caravan invasion, over and over again. And Bowers specifically targeted the Tree of Life synagogue because of this a Jewish aid called HIAS that helps resettle refugees. He said that himself.

Then we also saw the MAGA bomber, Cesar Sayoc, last fall who is going after Trump opponents, sending them mail bombs. Trump embraced the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville saying “They’re very fine people” among them, among murderous neo-Nazis. And we know his whole history on and on and on, but the way to understand Donald Trump, he engages in what’s called stochastic terrorism. And what that means is that there’s a general increase in the level of terrorism, but any one event is unpredictable.

Now, I looked at Patrick Crusius’s manifesto. This is the El Paso shooter— and I’m writing a piece about this for the Raw Story—and the words come straight out of Donald Trump’s mouth. He starts off with the Hispanic invasion of Texas. He starts talking about the Great Replacement. The Great Replacement is just this viciously racist manifesto from France that claims that whites in Europe are going to be replaced by Muslims. It’s basically all this lurid Nazi thought fantasy about the untermenge , the under people, the subhumans replacing the noble white, Christian civilization.

And Donald Trump has promoted this. The Great Replacement is synonymous with white genocide. Tucker Carlson, who’s show is— the real name of his show should be the Tucker Carlson White Power Hour— has promoted white genocide, claiming this is going on in South Africa against farmers even though any killings of farmers are at a 20-year low in South Africa. And then Donald Trump promoted Tucker Carlson.

And so, Gerald is right. It’s the Republican Party, but there’s this whole ecosystem, especially of right-wing media and these right-wing figures. One of them, one of the biggest right-wing figures, Ben Shapiro—This is also what makes it hard for, I think, a lot of people to grasp. There’s not much that’s hard to grasp. Ben Shapiro, who is Jewish, has been one of the most vicious supporters and promoters of white supremacism. And he, in fact, was admired greatly by Alexander Bissonnette, who was the guy who shot up a mosque in Quebec City in January of 2017. That was in response to Trump’s Muslim ban because he was afraid that Canada was going to take in all these refugees. And then Tarrant, the guy in New Zealand, was an admirer of Bissonnette, and Crusius is an admirer of Tarrant, the New Zealand shooter. So you see this whole entire chain, and it starts with these right-wing media figures who then Trump promotes. And so what we have is really a terrorist-in-chief.

MARC STEINER: I want to ask Gerald and also bring this home in a sense into our history and what we might be watching here. I think this is really important for us to focus on, at least from my perspective. We’ve seen in the history of this country, after the Civil War, both the Klan was created and as were the black veterans who led the movement during Reconstruction in many ways. The same thing with the Civil Rights movement – World War II and Korean [War] black veterans doing the same thing. We also saw the beginning of the Klan kind of moving up. And after the Vietnam War it exploded again.

So people look at this sometimes as like isolated incidents. This is one mad bomber. This is one crazy guy who is blowing up a building, another person who’s gone in and shot up people, but they’re all these isolated incidents. There’s a mental illness here. But it seems to me that what we’re facing is something a great deal more dangerous and sinister, if we look at our history and our present, which is the rise of an armed right-wing movement in this country. I was looking at a poll just the other day that showed that a plurality of police officers and a number of people in the armed forces also support Trump and this whole idea. So am I making too much of this, Gerald? It seems to me that we are facing something we’re maybe not taking quite as seriously as we should.

GERALD HORNE: Well, I tend to agree with you, and just to inject a bit of good news amidst all the gloom is that the government of Mexico, at least certain officials from Mexico City, have suggested that they’re going to be moving aggressively to protect their nationals who go across the border, for example, into El Paso, a number of whom were killed in the last 24 or 36 hours by this terrorism. This is good news because we know that the way that we have been able to fight back effectively against right-wing nationalism and terrorism historically has been through international solidarity.

I would hope and trust that Mexico would then take this not only into Mexican courts and try to indict this killer and get him extradited to Mexico along with those who might’ve conspired with him, perhaps even those who sold him his weapons as well, but also take an initiative at the Organization of American States headquartered conveniently in Washington, DC, and try to pass resolutions that I would imagine would be supported by countries like Jamaica and Barbados who are pressing reparations claims against the North Atlantic powers for enslavement. And then perhaps even co-op nations like Uruguay, which as you know, unlike many other nations in this hemisphere, have not broken relations with Venezuela. And the same could be said for Mexico.

So I think that hopefully this can lead to an entire international campaign against the 63-million strong Trump base, which I’m afraid to say also contains about 60% to 67% of the entire Euro-American electorate, rising to 90% in states like Mississippi and Alabama. It’s apparent that that’s the kind of initiative that we need because if you look at the Trump base, what you’ll quickly detect is that these terrorists remind me of what was said about the New Deal in the 1930s. Recall that the Communist Party, they were referred to as New Dealers in a hurry, and the Democrats were New Dealers. Well, these terrorists are fascist in a hurry, whereas a good deal of the Trump base are willing to take the step by step approach to fascism, packing the courts, cutting taxes, shredding the safety net, et cetera.

And if you look at the manifesto of the accused terrorist in El Paso, it’s apparent that he would like to speed up the route to fascism, whereas Mr. Trump and his routine and routinely Republican supporters are willing to take the step by step approach. I think our approach should be to go against each and every one of them. The most effective way to do that is not only through domestic solidarity, but through global solidarity as well.

MARC STEINER: There is real danger here as well, I think, that the violence could increase. As people have said here, we had discussions internally here, and I remember Eddie Conway saying to me “We’re not going to get out of this without a fight” because of what is being confronted. And again, I’m asking this because some people might hear what I say and think this is hyperbole and I’m getting just overwrought about this. But, Arun, let me start with you and then I want to go back to Gerald before we have to conclude. It seems to me that this also calls for, as Gerald was alluding to at the end of his comments, that this calls for some kind of strategy on the part of others in this country to confront this before it does take hold in a major way.

ARUN GUPTA: Oh yeah, most certainly. Look, we are in a moment where we have concentration camps and pogroms, and what does that sound like? This is fascism. A few weeks ago the mainstream media were patting themselves on the back for calling Trump’s comments about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the other Congresswomen racist. They were congratulating themselves for being so bold, whereas it’s been evidenced since June of 2015 when he came down the gold escalator in Trump Towers that this guy is a full metal racist. When he begins his campaign first on birtherism and then calling Mexicans rapists, drug dealers and criminals, and then starts talking about a Muslim ban, “very fine people” among neo-Nazis, and on and on, there’s no question he is a racist.

But the question we should be talking now is, are we seeing the development of a fascist state and society? And I think we really are. This is really classical fascism. MAGA, Make America Great Again, is a call for national birth, national renewal against degeneracy. Donald Trump is an authoritarian demagogue who wants to create an ethno-state through ethnic cleansing, talking about removing the millions of undocumented people, talking about “shithole countries,” and that we need people from Norway instead. This is classical fascism.

And so the terrorism we see, we need to link it directly to what is going on with the state. The same people who are torturing thousands of innocent children whose only crime is to legally seek asylum, are the ones who are inspiring and provoking these white nationalist terrorists around the country. And so it’s that combination of extra state violence with the state repression, and it’s against the exact same groups, right? Who can ignore the fact that Trump had been ranting about invaders for the last couple of months, and all this “send her back” stuff, and then you have a guy who drives apparently 600 miles to mass murder Hispanic people. Then Trump is going after African Americans, and talking about infested cities, and then you have some guy who then starts murdering African American people.

These are intimately connected. One is not separate from the other. And the paramilitary force, of course, is a hallmark of fascism. We can have this debate, and I think honest people can disagree, but we need to be debating the rise of fascism because that is what we are seeing.

MARC STEINER: And, Gerald, whether it’s the Native community or a black community, this rise is nothing new. So what should be the conversation we’re having? What should be the response collectively?

GERALD HORNE: Well, first of all, I think we need to begin to connect the dots. Part of the problem, speaking as a historian, is the way history is written. You have a number of historians, for example, who will write about genocide against Native Americans, or you have historians who write about enslavement of Africans, but few of them connect that to the origins of the United States of America because, I dare say, they’re either ideologically weak or frightened to say the truth. And so we need venues like The Real News to get the truth out. And certainly with regard to fascism, once again instead of some illusionists and those who are delusional are stressing what they consider to be the triumph of the Bill of Rights, which by the way did not apply to most of the denizens of North America, not least Native Americans and Africans, not to mention women of various ancestries.

We need more stress on the point that any country that was born at a moment of mass enslavement of Africans and genocide against Native Americans, is certainly capable of fascism. That’s the implication of the recent book by Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State, Fascism: A Warning. That’s the implication of the recent remarks by Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez when she toured what she saw as concentration camps along the border, and spoke rather movingly and eloquently about the seeds of fascism being planted along the border. So certainly we need a more honest discourse as a first step towards building domestic antifascist solidarity that within stretches arms across the border and the first instance to Mexico.

MARC STEINER: I think it’d be good for us, at The Real News here, to actually do something you’ve just suggested in a way, Gerald, which is to create something that actually tells that history and ties it to the present so people can see the continuity of what’s going on here with our country, which I think in a very popular way, really hasn’t been done.

Well, Arun Gupta and Dr. Gerald Horne, thank you both so much for being here today. I deeply appreciate your thoughts. I look forward to many more conversations. Thank you so much.

ARUN GUPTA: Thank you.

GERALD HORNE: Thank you.

MARC STEINER: And I’m Marc Steiner here for The Real News Network. You know we’re going to stay on top of all of this for all of you and ourselves. Take care.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 05, 2019, 09:39:00 pm »


El Paso Blood Is on the Hands of Everyone Who Has Scapegoated Migrants


The slaughter of more than 20 people in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday was a horrifyingly predictable outcome of right-wing scapegoating that has seen both active and tacit encouragement from Trump and the GOP. We all need to take a role in the fight against the far right and its violence. It's abundantly clear that the government is not going to do this for us, especially given recent attempts to outlaw the grassroots antifascist movement that has helped keep white nationalists in check. >:(

Read the Article →


It amazes me (although it shouldn't) that the drooling right (e.g. Ashvin on the Diner Forum) whines loud and long about antifa "violence" while casting a blind eye to events like those of these weekend. Much in the same way that Pud changes the subject from guns to "mental illness."

I hear ya. If I ever needed an emetic, I could just go read some of 👹 Ashvin's serial stomach turning sophistry . Trump is the hero Liar in chief of all these double-talking, selfish, arrogant bastards.

When Happens When Inequality Meets Hate... (w/ Greg Palast)

Thom Hartmann Program
Published on Aug 5, 2019

Greg Palast examines what the shooters have in common and whether white supremacy is the main cause. He asks if it is the economy and lack of jobs in Dayton that is partly to blame.

Greg Palast suggests there are other causes and discusses his views with Thom.

Is Trump’s History Contributing to the Destruction of America? (w/ Dr Justin A. Frank)

Thom Hartmann Program
Published on Aug 5, 2019

The pattern of Trump in the past is a useful study to understand where he is today.

Dr Justin A. Franks M.D., examines Trump’s history and previous destructive streak and how it affects Americans today.

The moral tone he sets today says that being aggressive, hurting others and his race views are fine with him, so why not with you? His lack of responsibility running the country is going to damage America, not improve it. Trump doesn’t care about the rules and this destructiveness rubs off on many people.


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Category News & Politics
Posted by: Surly1
« on: August 05, 2019, 08:32:39 pm »


El Paso Blood Is on the Hands of Everyone Who Has Scapegoated Migrants


The slaughter of more than 20 people in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday was a horrifyingly predictable outcome of right-wing scapegoating that has seen both active and tacit encouragement from Trump and the GOP. We all need to take a role in the fight against the far right and its violence. It's abundantly clear that the government is not going to do this for us, especially given recent attempts to outlaw the grassroots antifascist movement that has helped keep white nationalists in check. >:(

Read the Article →


It amazes me (although it shouldn't) that the drooling right (e.g. Ashvin on the Diner Forum) whines loud and long about antifa "violence" while casting a blind eye to events like those of these weekend. Much in the same way that Pud changes the subject froimn guns to "mental illness."
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 05, 2019, 06:59:31 pm »


El Paso Blood Is on the Hands of Everyone Who Has Scapegoated Migrants


The slaughter of more than 20 people in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday was a horrifyingly predictable outcome of right-wing scapegoating that has seen both active and tacit encouragement from Trump and the GOP. We all need to take a role in the fight against the far right and its violence. It's abundantly clear that the government is not going to do this for us, especially given recent attempts to outlaw the grassroots antifascist movement that has helped keep white nationalists in check. >:(

Read the Article →


Sine Qua Non FASCIST Elite Ruling Principle: "The people must always be provided with an enemy".
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 02, 2019, 09:13:35 pm »

The Lines Between Us: The Modern History of Baltimore Apartheid (2/2)

August 2, 2019

In part two, Lawrence Lanahan says the fight for fair housing did not end after the civil rights movement.

Story Transcript

JAISAL NOOR Talk about—And so, you mention one of the hearings that took place in the city about affordable housing, but there’s, sort of, these different moments throughout your book where you see these different groups of people clashing over this fundamental issue about who gets to live where.

LAWRENCE LANAHAN That is the question.

JAISAL NOOR And people on the other end, on the wealthier end, they see this as an attack on what they have earned or their privilege. And they will do anything to fight it and to oppose it.

LAWRENCE LANAHAN Yeah, yeah. I mean, that—You do. You see scene after scene after scene of people opposing any kind of change in the residential patterns in this region. I suppose they will put it in terms of protecting their property values or the character of the community. There are all these ways of talking about it that give them plausible deniability that has anything to do with discrimination. And they may absolutely believe that, oh, this is I just don’t want my roads to be crowded, I don’t want my school to be overcrowded. But another theme that the book gets into is disparate impact, which is you’re not looking for the racist person and the racist thing they said or did, you are finding the outcomes of our policies. And if they have a disparate impact on groups that are protected under civil rights law, like I said, you know, race, color, family structure, disability. And so, you know, maybe nobody said anything discriminatory, but there are tools in American law and regulation that allow you to take action when there are disparate impacts.

If this policy is creating this segregation, this inequality, there are things that you can do about it. And what you see through the book is some of those tools start to get used. And I’ll give you an example. I just had a talk about the book with Noliwe Rooks, who I know you talked to Dr. Rooks. She wrote a book about segregation in education and she talked about how after Brown v. Board, you know, in the South they launched this campaign of massive resistance. You know, we’ll use white and black taxpayer money to create private white segregation academies. You know, we’ll shut the public schools down, and just put the white kids up in here. But when the 1964 Civil Rights Act came along, it said you can’t discriminate in the use of federal funding.

And the federal government under Johnson actually said, you know, if you don’t desegregate, we’re going to stop funding you. And all of a sudden, they were like, oh, oh, all deliberate speed. [snaps fingers] Let’s go. And they desegregated the schools pretty quickly to the degree that I’m pretty sure that Southern schools are less segregated than Northern schools. And so, that was kind of undercut in the 70s when there’s a Supreme Court decision saying you can’t deal with school segregation at a metropolitan level. Like once people, families get across the city line, you can’t force them to go to the school with city kids. This is the Milliken decision in ’74. So you had this judicial ruling saying, no, no, not the region.

Well, fast forward 20 years later and the ACLU of Maryland and some public housing tenants filed Thompson v. HUD here in this region saying, you all segregated public housing by law when you built it. Now you want to tear down the public housing high rises and just rebuild all their replacements in the same—Like you have an opportunity to right a historic wrong, to put public housing around the region. If you resegregate literally brick-by-brick what you built in the 40s and 50s, like, that’s not okay. That’s not legal. And eventually, a federal judge—You know, they sued the city and HUD. They didn’t find against the city, but they found on one count against HUD. They did not affirmatively further fair housing and the judge said you failed to consider regionalization. You failed to even try to put assisted housing in the suburbs. So it’s like the opposite of Milliken, right? It’s like you should have dealt with this regionally.

And so, you know, eventually housing mobility becomes less and less controversial. Barbara Samuels, the lawyer for the ACLU of Maryland, her lesson is just do it. That people will go bonkers before you put low-income housing in the suburbs, but once it’s there they don’t have much to say. They don’t notice much difference. So her thing is just get it out there, do it. And now Governor Hogan’s putting it out there. I mean, it took a federal housing complaint and a settlement, but you know, they’re building low-income housing in Bel Air and Fallston and Eldersburg and Towson and all these mostly white places that had resisted it forever.

JAISAL NOOR And you know, I think your book is especially important because these stories, this history are just not taught in public schools. They’re not part of the discourse or really get the justice, the attention they deserve in the mainstream media. So I think this serves as an important contribution to telling this story. And I guess, I want to end on asking you, sort of, what impact this had on you.

LAWRENCE LANAHAN Doing this book?


LAWRENCE LANAHAN Well, it just made me a whole lot more reflective. I mean, one thing I ended up doing because I’m kind of a data nerd—You know, I grew up in Bel Air, so a white suburb, right? And until I was 18. Then I went off to college, you know. And now I’ve lived in Baltimore for most of the last 18 years, right? It’s been this, like, slow-motion whiplash of just going from utter opportunity to a city that block-by-block things change so drastically. You just see the inequality. And so, I went back and looked at the data and I found a census report from 1990, you know. And my census tract in Bel Air was 95% percent white and I just thought that was utterly normal. We never went anywhere else. That just, you know—

And so, I went to college at St. Mary’s College of Maryland down in southern Maryland. It’s a public school, you know, and it just—I came out of that college wanting to just smash that culture that had made me think that white was normal and that we deserved wealth and all the policies that pushed it our way. And I looked in the factbook for my freshman year in college and it said that the college was 80% white. That’s too white for a state school, right? But just that 15% difference turned my head around. And it just made me value every interaction and every experience I have in this city where people are drawn together and forced to cooperate. It makes me appreciate density. It makes me appreciate my bus driver saying “good morning” when I get on the bus. I mean, it’s just—It also makes me mad.

I always end up very upset at the end of these interviews because I know I’m going to walk out and I’m not quite sure what’s going to change despite laying out this history of quiet, covert, you know, discrimination and policies that drive us apart. So it has motivated me, it has made me come to understand my own narrative differently, and it makes me appreciate the, you know, grassroots organizing. And it makes me appreciate the structural drivers of all this. That if you can connect the grassroots organizing to the structure—I mean, you can get transactional change. You can get that like Sagamore, like a hundred million bucks in the black neighborhoods. They’ll do that. That’s transactional.

That will help as many people as it helps for as long as the money’s there, but once that money’s gone, what is the incentive toward equality and toward integration after that money’s gone? You know, if they had been forced to say, we will always have 20% affordable housing in this neighborhood, that would’ve been structural. That would’ve been transformative and more inclusive. And every time you look at one of these things, you see that people will give up a little of what they got— the powerful people— but they won’t change the structure to keep generating that. You know, so—

JAISAL NOOR So the question of who gets to decide, who has the agency—

LAWRENCE LANAHAN Who has the agency? Who benefits? You know, I took a picture from the Port Covington hearing, which was just people holding up signs that say, “Who benefits?” And that is just—That is my frame now. That’s the way I see everything.

JAISAL NOOR Lawrence Lanahan, thank you so much for coming in and for writing this book, The Lines Between Us. It’s available now. I strongly recommend it. It’s an incredible history. It gives you the policy and it gives you the background, but it also gives you the stories which are really powerful and impactful. And I definitely appreciate it.

LAWRENCE LANAHAN Thank you and thank you for your work. You’re doing the same thing every day covering things that nobody else seems to find deserving of coverage, so I appreciate that. You and everybody here.

JAISAL NOOR Thank you. Appreciate it. Thank you for joining us at The Real News Network.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 30, 2019, 05:14:24 pm »

The Lines Between Us: The Modern History of Baltimore 👹 Apartheid (1/2)
July 30, 2019

As Trump unloads a racist attack on Baltimore, we speak with author Lawrence Lanahan, who charts the history of segregation from redlining to the civil rights movement

Story Transcript

JAISAL NOOR Welcome to The Real News. I’m Jaisal Noor in Baltimore.

A raucous crowd packed the July meeting of the commission overseeing Baltimore’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund. The fund— the result of nearly a decade of successful community organizing— mandates authorities subsidize affordable housing in a city that’s faced a huge shortage for decades. Local resident and activist, Destiny Watford, the winner of the 2016 Goldman Prize, one of the most prestigious international environmental awards, said the community is prepared to continue the fight for housing that’s affordable to working people.

DESTINY WATFORD, ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE ORGANIZER I just want to remind the commissioners that as [inaudible], we fought for two years canvassing in the blazing hot sun during summer to not only create the fund, but to make sure that the money goes into the fund. We know how to fight and I just want to remind you guys of that. That if the money, for whatever reason it seems like it’s not going to go where it needs to go— to permanently affordable housing— we will fight you. Not physically. [audience laughs and cheers]

JAISAL NOOR For generations, housing policy has been used as a weapon against Baltimore’s poor black residents. Redlined government maps from the 1930s serve as stark predictors for today’s disparities in violence, lead poisoning, and even life expectancy. But what often gets less attention are the stories of those who have not only been directly impacted by those policies, but are on the forefront of fighting back against them. Well, a new book offers what can be described as a people’s history of the fight for fair housing in the entire region. It’s called The Lines Between Us: Two Families and a Quest to Cross Baltimore’s Racial Divide. It’s by author and journalist Lawrence Lanahan, who’s joining us now in the studio.

LAWRENCE LANAHAN Thank you so much, Jaisal. I really appreciate you bringing me in.

JAISAL NOOR So let’s start with this news. You know, we have for years now community groups fighting and winning demands for affordable housing in Baltimore City, the city that pioneered racial segregation. What’s the significance of these recent victories and this ongoing activism to ensure that the promise that, you know, the voters approved on the ballot box to create this fund actually does what it’s intended to do?

LAWRENCE LANAHAN Well, I guess I could illustrate it with a story. In the book, I talk about a meeting. It feels like ancient history, but it was in the year 2000. They wanted to put ten—They wanted to renovate ten houses for use as public housing in northeast Baltimore. And probably 800-900 people showed up to this school auditorium and—No, that’s how many got in. Like 1,200 people showed up, lots of people in the auditorium waving signs like “No Section 8,” you know, “We don’t want public housing.” And outside there are a couple hundred people going, “let us in, let us in,” to keep affordable housing out. Sixteen years later, I was outside the War Memorial Building when there was a city council hearing on the application by Sagamore Development. That’s part of the real estate group co-founded by the owner of Under Armour.

They wanted to do all this development in South Baltimore on the waterfront and they wanted a tax increment financing package. And the community said we want a community benefits agreement, and so there was a city council hearing. Well, I would say there were 6-700 or 800 people there and they closed the door because they couldn’t fit everybody. And you had all these people— not just white people this time— people of all backgrounds saying, “let us in, let us in,” because they wanted to make sure that if there was going to be a new neighborhood, that it would be accessible to everybody. That there would be affordable housing and that they would reserve a certain percentage of the housing for certain income levels. So I see just the people showing up to that as a victory. You can quibble about what they got out of it. There was a $100 million community benefits agreement, which did a lot in, you know, gives a lot to black communities.

But in what’s probably going to be a mostly white community at Port Covington, they have loopholes where they don’t really have to build any affordable housing at all. They can put money into affordable housing elsewhere. So I feel like you had this string— and I try to follow this narrative throughout the book— of the initial organizing for region-wide fair housing through the Thompson v. HUD suit in the 90s and 2000s up to Port Covington and up to just the other night in Curtis Bay this meeting about the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. So when lots of people show up from the community, and they know what’s going on in City Hall and they know what the policies can do, when you go from the bottom and you start tugging on the top, you do start to see some victories. There’s a long way to go housing-wise in this region, but I don’t know. I wasn’t able to make it to that meeting, but I suspect it must have been pretty inspiring to see the people fighting for permanent— not just give us a little bit now, but permanent— institutionalized, you know, affordable housing.

JAISAL NOOR Yeah. It’s really—The land trusts are really a new vision and they’ve been successful in many places and successful in Baltimore as well. But it’s a new vision of what you can do when housing isn’t commodified. It becomes the right, sort of, in the commons where it’s collective ownership. And so, I wanted to really get into your book, but start off by why you chose the title, The Lines Between Us, and what you’re trying to tell us there.

LAWRENCE LANAHAN That’s sort of a trick because once I say “us,” anybody who hears me say it is implicated, right? That’s—Any us includes me if we’re in this conversation. So I wanted it to be—I wanted people to see Baltimore not as like a city with city problems, but as an entire region that is connected and is beset by harmful policies and personal prejudices that get institutionalized into policy. So The Lines Between Us, it says there is an us. We’re together in this region, you know. And then the lines, you know, tell you that something is wrong. So we are being pushed apart. Even the most well-meaning person if they just kind of sit back, you know, and let our economy and government go on autopilot, it will always generate inequality and segregation.

So the lines are—There are some real clinical lines, you know, that are like if you do a data map of where there’s more opportunity and less opportunity, you can see clinical lines. And you can have some policy that tries to create more racial equity and that’s great, but there are also lines that personally many of us tend not to cross. And once you do cross them, I wanted people to feel that. What are your obligations? What happens with the dynamics when people try to cross these lines? So it’s, I mean, it’s about policy and data maps and stuff, but it’s also about— this might sound corny— but souls. I mean, what happens when you cross these lines and you are bound to a soul that a policy is trying to keep you away from?

JAISAL NOOR Yeah. And I think you do a masterful job tying in the history and the policy with the stories. So I wanted you to talk a little bit about Nicole Smith and she plays a central role in this book. Talk about who she is, and how these policies affected her, and what she did to try to escape essentially.

LAWRENCE LANAHAN Yeah. She’s the first person you see on the first page of the book, and the last person you see on the last page of the book, and I really wanted to center her. I mean, it’s about us, but these policies play out in black Baltimore. So she is a black mom who grew up all over West Baltimore. Her mom bought a house when she was in eighth grade in Penn North, which we all know what happened in 2015 in Penn North. That’s when everything came down from Mondawmin. That was ground zero for all the unrest in April 2015. So. But she’s there 20 years earlier, right? And it’s just—It is her life and when she has her son, their life. And you see her grow up in West Baltimore, and then you see her cross paths with a federal public housing desegregation lawsuit, Thompson v. HUD.

And because Nicole had lived in Murphy Homes for a little while, a high-rise public housing project when she was younger, she qualified for a special housing voucher that came out of the remedy for that lawsuit. It was a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher. You could only use it in areas that were less than 26% minority population and a poverty rate of no more than 10%. All the places that had traditionally fought assisted or public or, you know, low-income housing, this lawsuit created thousands of opportunities for people like Nicole to move out there. So she eventually moves with her son to Columbia, a planned community, planned for diversity and inclusion. And she, you know, by the end of the book, you’re just out in Columbia with her and you see how her life and her son’s life change as a result of individual decisions and preferences, but also shaped by policy and the history of the region.

JAISAL NOOR And you also have Mark and Betty Lange who also play significant roles and, sort of, in their trajectories go in an opposite direction than Nicole’s. Talk a little bit about them, and why you decided to include these two white figures in the story, and their significance.

LAWRENCE LANAHAN Well, to the degree that we live in separate worlds and there are lines between us, that’s who the lines are between. Not because anybody is opposed to anybody in particular; that is how the region places us. And so, I wanted to write about a white family too. And Mark and Betty I thought were really interesting because— I guess I’ll just give this away— they live in Bel Air, which is where I grew up. Like, a very white, at that point, middle to upper-income suburb, exurb out in Harford County. It can be a 40 minutes outside of Baltimore— living out there, living the American dream. But they were very religious and they had friends who had started a multiracial church in Sandtown. They had moved from Howard County to Sandtown to start this church and do community development and started this Habitat for Humanity office down there. And eventually, they kind of feel compelled to do the same thing.

They leave their life in Bel Air behind and they move to Sandtown in 2005 to live in solidarity with the black poor. I thought that was a pretty unusual story for this region. And what I didn’t want to do is just like try to find the perfect black family to represent everything I wanted to explore, and the perfect white family to represent everything I wanted to explore. There’s no way I was going to land on that. I was not going to find that. I picked Nicole because I had already reported on her. I picked Mark because I had already reported on him. What I discovered after that reporting is I had sort of found a real sort of central tension that could serve a story about our region, which is when it comes to policymaking, when we bother to deal with residential segregation, racial inequality, deconcentrating poverty, there are kind of two ways we typically go about it.

One, which has gone on for a long time, is community development. Or if they pour like hundreds of millions of dollars in, you know, they call them Comprehensive Community Initiatives-Neighborhood Transformation. They did that in Sandtown in the 90s. Jim Rouse who had built Columbia teamed up with Mayor Kurt Schmoke and— what does “BUILD” stand for— Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development. They were like, we’re going to change every aspect of life in Sandtown. We’re going to pour in all this money. We’re going to empower people who live here. And they spent anywhere from $60 to $130 million, depending on who you ask, in the 90s and the early 2000s to transform Sandtown. So that’s one way of doing it, right? Take the place where there’s not opportunity, and try to bring the opportunity there.

And then I chronicled the growing movement of housing mobility, which says fair housing law compels us to create choices all throughout the region for people of any racial background, disability, family size, and, you know, socioeconomic status tracks so closely with that. So like, let’s get people out of those neighborhoods, out to where the opportunity already is. So instead of bringing the opportunity to where the people poor people are, you take the poor people out to where there’s opportunity— which is the places that have always resisted low-income housing. And I realize that you have this white family moving from Bel Air to Sandtown crossing the lines. You have this black family moving from Penn North to Columbia crossing the lines.

I thought the lines would come out in very sharp relief if you saw the stories of them crossing those lines. And it would illustrate, like through Mark and Betty’s story, you’d see what happened in Sandtown with the massive community development. With Nicole, you’d see housing mobility. And it’s not like you have to pick one or the other. Sometimes when there are limited resources, people pit those huge strategies against one another. But, you know, that is a lot of what we do, is try to build up these neighborhoods and try to provide people opportunities in places where they’ve been resisted.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 30, 2019, 01:34:54 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: I signed. 🌞

July 30 2019

A National Call for Moral Revival


On July 17, the Trump 2020 campaign held a rally in Greenville, North Carolina, where President Trump used racist tropes to demonize Representative Ilhan Omar before pausing to let the crowd chant, “Send her back!” Along with the vast majority of Americans, you and all the other presidential candidates condemned Trump’s appeals to racism. We are writing to invite you to come together for a mass rally in Greenville to demonstrate what an alternative for America’s future looks like.

While you are not enemies, we understand you are competitors. You have real policy differences between you, and you are on the campaign trail to make the case for why you should be the next person to lead the United States of America. But just as the global community of nation-states has at times put aside competitive differences in order to face an existential threat, we believe this is a time for candidates to unite and demonstrate what an America committed to moving forward tog ether looks like.

Trump and his enablers have decided to push racist words to cover their racist works in policy. He continues to tweet the racism and sow false fear, because he has no answers to unite people who need health care, living wages, and a clean environment. He knows he cannot win, even in the South, without a divided electorate and low turnout.

It is important to return to the scene of Trump’s crime in North Carolina’s Pitt County, because while the whole world has seen images of a nearly all-white crowd chanting in racist unison there, we know this does not actually represent Pitt County or the vast majority of rural America that Trump 2020 wants to cast as “red counties.” Pitt County is not, in fact, a red county. Hillary Clinton won Pitt County in 2016, as did almost every Democrat down ticket. Pitt County is in North Carolina’s Black Belt. Poor and low-income Black, white, and Latino people there have voted in a fusion coaliti on that demonstrates our capacity to come together and reject the divide-and-conquer politics of racism.

America desperately needs to see this possibility now. Because such coalitions are possible all across the South and the Midwest. These fusion coalitions offer the only hope of reclaiming democracy from a movement of extremism.

North Carolina’s Forward Together Moral Movement organized in response to extremism that took over the state legislature and the governor’s office in 2013. The policy agenda that the Trump administration and its enablers in Congress are pushing today was front and center in North Carolina in 2013. Leaning into a long history of moral fusion organizing in the South, we learned to fight reactionary extremism by highlighting how racism hurts Black, white, and brown people regardless of their party affiliation. We came together in mass Moral Monday rallies that showed the people of North Carolina what uniting to move forward t ogether could look like. We beat voter suppression in the courts, and we beat extremism at the ballot box in 2016’s statewide races. We know fusion coalition can win in the South—even in places that have been misidentified as “Trump country.”

The vast majority of Americans do not want to capitulate to racist demagoguery. They do not want to be pitted against one another in a zero-sum competition. Most people are desperate for leadership that can chart a path forward together to the multi-ethnic democracy of equal opportunity that this nation has long aspired to become but has never yet been.

Now is the time to unite for a mass unity and voter registration rally focused not on any individual’s campaign, but on the coalition building that is needed to dispel the myth of a solid South and show the nation what a better future looks like.

The world is asking how you will respond to the open racism of Trump’s Greenville rally. We believ e the answer is, “If Americans don’t like what they see in the White House, they can go door to door registering and educating a powerful new fusion coalition to chart a new course beyond 2020.”

Whoever emerges to lead the challenge to Trump in 2020, this must be clear: The future of democracy and the well-being of our common home on this planet depend upon a fusion coalition that can reclaim American democracy from the extremism that now holds power in our public life. We believe this crisis demands that you unite to make this single message clear.


Liz Theoharis, Co-Director of Kairos Center and Co-Chair of the Poor People's Campaign: 🕯️ A National Call for Moral Revival

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Director of the School for Conversion and member of National Steer ing Committee, Poor People's Campaign: 🕯️ A National Call for Moral Revival

That's why I signed a petition to All Presidential Candidates, which says:

"All presidential candidates should unite for a massive, pro-voter, anti-racism rally in Greenville, NC—the city in which attendees at a Trump rally chanted "Send her back!"—to reject racism and regression, register voters, and demonstrate what an America committed to moving forward together looks like."

Will you sign the petition, too? Click here to add your name:



Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 29, 2019, 05:14:47 pm »

Donald 🦀 Trump’s pal 😈 Rick Scott goes off the deep end on live national television

Bill Palmer | 7:45 pm EDT July 28, 2019
Palmer Report » Analysis

Donald Trump spent all day Saturday trying to use his racist tirade about Elijah Cummings and Baltimore to distract from the fact that the House Judiciary Committee has opened an impeachment inquiry. The trouble: Trump took his racist ranting so far over the top, even by his horrid standards, he ended up needing someone to clean up his mess.

For reasons known only to Donald Trump, and perhaps because no one else was willing to do it, Rick Scott went on television on Sunday to try to defend Trump’s antics. Rick Scott’s history includes using his position as CEO of a hospital to steal from Medicare, using his time as Governor of Florida to steal from the pensions of teachers and police officers, and using his position as Donald Trump’s ally to steal a U.S. Senate seat in an election that was clearly rigged by pro-Trump hackers. In other words, Scott is precisely the kind of piece of who would go on television and defend Donald

Voldemort is on the left.              Rick the RACIST Scott is on the right.

Sure enough, Rick Scott – who looks like Voldemort on crack – appeared on NBC’s Meet The Press. Scott was apparently attempting to take advantage of Todd’s legendary eagerness to give softball questions to the most corrupt and inept of Republicans, in the hope of making the Republicans and Democrats look equal to each other. But even that couldn’t save Rick Scott. When Todd asked him about the tweets, Scott said “I, uh, I, look, I, uh look, I didn’t do the tweets.” That’s a glowing defense if ever there was one.

But don’t worry, because Rick Scott turned right around and blessed Donald Trump’s racism by dishonestly attacking Elijah Cummings for the same things that Donald Trump had dishonestly attacked Elijah Cummings over. The whole thing was the kind of train wreck that Scott has been known for his entire career – yet the dumbest of most gullible conservative suckers and idiots keep voting for the bag of anyway.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 29, 2019, 01:16:53 pm »

Better to have a few rats than to be one

JUL 27, 2019 | 6:36 PM

This is a president who will happily debase himself at the slightest provocation. And given Mr. Cummings’ criticisms of U.S. border policy, the various investigations he has launched as chairman of the House Oversight Committee, his willingness to call Mr. Trump a racist for his recent attacks on the freshmen congresswomen, and the fact that “Fox & Friends” had recently aired a segment critical of the city, slamming Baltimore must have been irresistible in a Pavlovian way. Fox News rang the bell, the president salivated and his thumbs moved across his cell phone into action.

... — we would tell the most dishonest man to ever occupy the Oval Office, the mocker of war heroes, the gleeful grabber of women’s private parts, the serial bankrupter of businesses, the useful idiot of Vladimir Putin and the guy who insisted there are “good people” among murderous neo-Nazis that he’s still not fooling most Americans into believing he’s even slightly competent in his current post.


Baltimore Sun sets Donald Trump on fire

Bill Palmer | 11:30 pm EDT July 27, 2019
Palmer Report » Analysis

On Saturday morning, Donald Trump staged one of his most overtly racist and patently offensive Twitter tirades to date, lambasting Congressman Elijah Cummings and his hometown of Baltimore. Trump was clearly trying to distract from the fact that House Democrats initiated an impeachment inquiry against him the day before, but – as has increasingly been the case of late – Trump took things to a level beyond the pale.

Donald Trump insisted that Baltimore was a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” and a “very dangerous & filthy place.” Trump immediately faced widespread pushback on the matter, but instead of checking himself or simply moving on, he doubled down by continuing to rant about Cummings and Baltimore as the day went on. By the time it was over, the Editorial Board of the Baltimore Sun newspaper had finally had enough, and decided to figuratively set Trump on fire.

Here’s the most salient paragraph from the op-ed: “It’s not hard to see what’s going on here. [Elijah Cummings] has been a thorn in this president’s side, and Mr. Trump sees attacking African American members of Congress as good politics, as it both warms the cockles of the white supremacists who love him and causes so many of the thoughtful people who don’t to scream. President Trump bad-mouthed Baltimore in order to make a point that the border camps are “clean, efficient & well run,” which, of course, they are not — unless you are fine with all the overcrowding, squalor, cages and deprivation to be found in what the Department of Homeland Security’s own inspector-general recently called ‘a ticking time bomb.'”

Meanwhile, Donald Trump has continued to spend the night digging himself a deeper hole. Trump was still attacking Elijah Cummings as late as 10pm, even as he thanked one of his deranged sycophants after another for defending his racist tirade. You can read the entire Baltimore Sun takedown of Trump here.

Sign up for the Palmer Report mailing list and never miss an article!


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 18, 2019, 10:37:33 pm »

Can Trump Go Too Far or Will Racism Get Him Reelected

Thom Hartmann Program
Published on Jul 15, 2019

Will Donald Trump's Racism get him elected again?  Is there anything Trump 🦀 could do that would be too far for Republicans and the American voter to support?  

Is America a "Melting Pot" or a Racist Nation?

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Category News & Politics

“This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.”  -- Daniel 4:17 KJV
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 18, 2019, 09:26:47 pm »

Our national nightmare will end when white Americans decide they can no longer tolerate Trump's racist behavior


JUL 18, 2019, 12:28 PM 

Associated video (Trump has ALWAYS been a Racist POS):

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 15, 2019, 05:53:55 pm »

Yup, the old, "Go back where you came from." trick. If you are a minority and/or of the "wrong" color in the USA, this is par for the course. From being a plebe at West Point, to ATC work at Syracuse Tower in New York, to the parking lot booth I worked at the airport in Burlington, to 🕷 Eddie, 🐉 Karpatok, et al at the Doomstead Diner, I know all about it.

There are variations to that 'You don't belong here' theme (You are a guest in this country - You should be more grateful - Why did you come here? - How come you people breed so much? - How long have you been gaming the system?, etc., Ad nauseum) that, of course, always avoid mentioning the fact that the one delivering the 'witty snark' comes from a long line of European invaders to Turtle Island. As 'good old 🕷 Eddie', the proud WHITE Dentist from Texas, would say, "White guilt, I do not DO. ". 

Anyone with critical thinking skills recognizes that Mr. Trump is dispensing with the dog whistle and going full in-your-face "Southern Strategy" NOW because he feels cornered by some "setbacks on the census issue" and needs to start earlier than planned to get his base fired up against 'libruls'.

But, there is more going on here than racist button pushing to get bigots all emotional so they stop looking at their empty wallets under Trump. Yeah, there is that, sure, but Trump is trying to hide something far more damaging to him.

A key part of the Trump volume raising is the fact that he does not want his history with 🐍 Epstein to get discussed by too many people.

One other bit of skullduggery going on TODAY is the methodical disempowering of comment period access by we-the-people in regard to EPA proposals  :o >:(. If a Democratic Adminstration was engaging in that bit of fascist skullduggery, it would be all over the news.

The Trump noise level is always part of a strategy to distract from some skullduggery his wrecking crew is engaging in.

Yesterday, before I learned Trump 🦀 did his 'go back where you blackies came from' thing, I made the following comment after reading an excellent article. I believe it is appropriate to post it here. I hope it triggered some critical thinking among Trumpers, but I'm not holding my breath waiting for that to happen. It's not that I am jaded; it's that I am an experienced observer of my fellow Americans, particularly those who fancy themseves as 'better/superior/smarter/cleaner/civilized' because they are WHITE.


👍👍👍 This is an excellent, truth filled article. Though most people do not possess the impressive intelligence of Annie Easley, her tenacity and grit is an inspiration to all objective humans.

The 😈 privilege hogging bigots that have cursed this country from the start lack any objectivity whatsoever. They go out of their way to hide the accomplishments and brilliance of scientists like Annie Easley.

For example, the scientist who invented "bean soup", the Navy term for a chemical that quickly put out fires on U.S. ships during WWII, thus saving thousands of lives in the process, is NOT mentioned in WWII history documentaries (the exception was a 2007 PBS documentary, but the name of that documentary, "Forgotten Genius", neglects to point out the FACT that he was DELIBERATELY "forgotten" by those who write "sanitized" history in the USA). Percy Julian's name does not even appear in most history books of this period.

Percy Julian was one of the best Organic Chemists of the 20th century.


During WWII the Navy used a foam to put out fires of oil and gasoline. This foam was called Aer-O-Foam, and is still made today by Kidde Fire Fighting. The foam is made from soy protein and water, mixed and then aerated in a nozzle. The foam smothers the fire, coating the oil and preventing oxygen from getting to it. Seamen called the mixture ‘bean soup,’ since it was made from soybeans.

National Foam System (today owned by Kidde) got a sample of the soy protein from the Glidden Company in 1941. Glidden employed an organic chemist named Percy Julian, who had devised a way to separate soy protein from soybean meal. Glidden hired Julian in 1936 because of his resume, and because he was fluent in German, having done his dissertation work in Austria. Glidden had just purchased a modern solvent extraction plant from Germany, and needed someone to supervise the extraction of oil from soybeans, and the production of coatings, solvents, and glues from soy products. Percy Julian was very happy to have the job, having been refused work at DuPont (because when he arrived they realized he was black), and at the Institute of Paper Chemistry (because the town where it was located didn’t allow black residents). ...

... When Glidden gave up pharmaceutical work in 1953, Julian left the company and started his own. At the time he was being paid $50,000 a year (about $440,000 in today’s dollars).

Percy Julian’s later life was a mixture of success and obstacles. His company was fairly successful, and he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences (in 1973, on the second African American in the Academy).

On the other hand, he faced continued discrimination. For example, in 1950, when he moved his family into a ‘nice’ neighborhood in Oak Park, a suburb of Chicago, someone fire-bombed the house on Thanksgiving Day.

 Later that year someone tossed dynamite into their house.

Full article:

If you think this heinous racist violence has "gone away", you do not understand Trump, his Cabinet's 🐍 "Plans and ☠️ Programs", and his Racists 'R' US enthusiastic base.

You see, there are way too many Americans that long for their privileged 'abuse of the other' past. Trump and his supporters have read the Constitution. They know that when the founders wrote "We the people", they meant "We the WHITE People".

Yes, they also excluded non-propertied white men and all women along with all other humans. Anyone that tries to bring that bit of nuanced BALONEY up is deliberately attempting to get readers to ignore how destructive to modern society the version of Gestapo Racism that Trump Champions IS. You are a FOOL if you think Trump is going to save your white bigoted arse. Your "enjoyment" of the increased violent racism under Trump and his wrecking crew will not feed your family or educate your children. Living on HATE and ABUSE of the "other" is the only "job" Trump wants you to have.

The following was written January 21, 2017. The prediction that the entire social contract that has been laboriously built up by people of good will since the time of FDR up to and including civil rights gains for people of color and healthcare for all Americans during the LBJ Administration would be deliberately and methodically destroyed piece by piece, is coming to pass

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 29, 2019, 07:06:01 pm »

Bernie Sanders Supports Voting Rights for the Imprisoned 👍

April 29, 2019

Corporate media’s twisted narrative frames voting rights as "letting terrorists and rapists vote."; Anoa Changa and Norman Solomon join host Jacqueline Luqman to discuss the battle over voting rights for people in jail

Story Transcript

JAKE TAPPER [CNN] Senator Sanders earlier this evening said he’s in favor of felons being able to vote even while serving their prison terms. He was asked specifically about people like the Boston Marathon bomber, people convicted of sexual assault, ra pe, and other things, pedophiles. What do you think? Should people convicted of sexual assault, the Boston Marathon bomber— should they be able to vote?

PETE BUTTIGIEG While incarcerated? No, I don’t think so. [applause] I do believe that when you are out, when you have served your sentence, then part of being restored to society is that you are part of the political life of this nation again. And one of the things that needs to be restored, is your right to vote. But part of the punishment when you are convicted of a crime and you are incarcerated, is you lose certain rights. You lose your freedom. And I think during that period, it does not make sense to have an exception for the right to vote.

JACQUELINE LUQMAN Hi. I’m Jacqueline Luqman with The Real News Network. This is our weekly segment on trending topics where we discuss some of the significant news items from the past week. One of those big issues was the CNN town hall and the question of voting rights for the incarcerated. And of course, Senator Joe Biden has finally announced that he is running for the Democratic nomination for president. Here to talk about these issues with me this week are Norman Solomon. Norman is the National Coordinator for RootsAction.org. Hi, Norman. And, Anoa Changa. Anoa is an attorney and a Director of Political Advocacy for Progressive Army. She’s also the host of the highly recommended podcast The Way with Anoa. Hi, Anoa.


JACQUELINE LUQMAN Thank you both for joining me today.

ANOA CHANGA Thank you for having us.

JACQUELINE LUQMAN Alright. Let’s start. Let’s jump right in with the CNN town hall this week because a lot of talk is centered around Bernie Sanders wanting the Boston bomber and rapists to vote. Like this subhead in The New York Times recap of the town hall says, it reads that Sanders backs voting rights for the Boston bomber and rapists. But what Sanders really said was this. I think we have the clip from what Sanders said at the town hall.

BERNIE SANDERS I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy. Yes, even for terrible people because once you start chipping away and you say, “well that guy committed a terrible crime– not going to let him vote.” Or, “that person did that– not going to let that person vote.” You’re running down a slippery slope. So I believe that people commit crimes, they pay the price. When they got out of jail, I believe they certainly should have the right to vote. But I do believe that even if they are in jail, they’re paying their price to society, but that should not take away their inherent American right to participate in our democracy. [applause]

CHRIS CUOMO [CNN] Applause for the answer. My follow up question goes to this being like, you’re writing an opposition ad against you by saying you think the Boston Marathon bombers should vote not after he pays his debt to society, but while he’s in jail. You sure about that? [crowd laughs]

BERNIE SANDERS Look. You know, this is what I believe. Do you believe in democracy? Do you believe that every single American 18 years of age or older, who is an American citizen, has the right to vote? Once you start chipping away at that, believe me, that’s what our Republican governors all over this country are doing. They come up with all kinds of excuses why people of color, young people, poor people can’t vote, and I will do everything I can to resist it.

JACQUELINE LUQMAN You gotta love Sanders’s enthusiasm when he responds to this question and I want to start with you, Anoa, and ask you specifically about the role the media played in the way this question was framed. What’s your take on how CNN framed this question and how it played out for Sanders and Pete Buttigieg?

ANOA CHANGA Well I will say, if the question is like other questions for other town halls, the student who asked it more than likely wrote it. They may have helped tweak it some, but that came from that person. But I think your question about how the media has helped frame it— before this town hall, Bernie Sanders did actually come out and say he did believe that incarcerated persons should vote, which I believe is probably what prompted the question to begin with. But part of the problem with the spin has been, they stuck with the problematic framing in the actual question, as very extreme examples provided. Even you see Lindsey Graham like, oh my God. That means he thinks Dylann Roof who murdered x, y, z people in x, y, z occurrence should get to vote— trying to inflame rhetoric and we know that this is an industry that’s heavily driven by clicks, by headlines. Most, 60 percent of Americans do not read past the headline in most instances, so it is driving a particular narrative. But when you really dig deep and you start looking at it, and you see most of the major civil rights organizations, legal organizations, pushing back and also saying, “duh. This is a no brainer. Bernie Sanders is right because voter suppression of any form should not be tolerated.” We should not be writing caveats into really what is one of the most fundamental rights that we should be protecting. And as in many states, we see that the right to vote has actually been severely eroded in many occurrences. Now when we’re talking about incarcerated persons, incarcerated persons are good enough to go fight fires for pennies on the dollar. They’re good enough to be counted for when you draw congressional districts. They are counted as part of that population, but they’re denied the opportunity to vote and participate. One thing that I always thought was really great from last cycle was, Rachel Rollins, who’s now D.A. of Suffolk County which is around Boston— in their D.A. primary race, there was actually a forum that was held with incarcerated persons in the county asking questions of the D.A. candidates and what they would do on criminal justice reforms, etc. I think being able to have those people participating in the process and not being shut out because we see just what the re-enfranchisement of voters in Florida, how Republicans— but it’s not only just Republicans in Florida. Instances predominately Republican-led to just create an extra hurdle to the amendment that overwhelmingly passed with support of Floridians and we see now they’re trying to put these other barriers in, but what basically amounts to a poll tax. So there are all these very nuanced aspects to this very basic idea that Bernie Sanders is discussing, which the lack of nuance sometimes with him is one of my major critiques of the way he communicates ideas and issues. And I just felt that instead of accepting her problematic, extreme framing which is what everyone ran with in headlines, it could have been flipped on his head. But I thought overall, he’s absolutely right-on about this whole premise that when we start eroding, deciding, and picking and choosing who is valuable, who can vote, and who cannot— we start to create a slippery slope. We already see that happening in many states across the country.

JACQUELINE LUQMAN You raised a lot of great issues, but I think the one that stuck out to me the most was that the statistic that 60 percent of Americans don’t read past the headline. So what we get from the media is driven by clicks, is driven by sensationalism, and there is this nuance that is very, very important in this discussion that Sanders seems to have done a good job with. He also seems to have had a better reception at the Fox News town hall with explaining Medicare for All than he did here. And even some on the Left have come out against him on this issue from this town hall. But there’s also been pushback against CNN for this framing, like this tweet from Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and her response. But Norman, I want to ask you, when we’re talking about the framing of this discussion and the fact that incarcerated people were not included in this discussion in the town hall, that this was an audience of students from a local college, I believe— is this really an issue of, as The New York Times framed it, “giving terrorists and rapists the right to vote,” or is this a bigger problem with corporate influence in the media that we need to pay attention to?

NORMAN SOLOMON A lot of the problem with corporate media is continuing to depict some people as the other, prisoners among them but more generally and more subtly often, just people of color or those who don’t have a lot of power in this society. And if we’re going to look at this particular instance, it’s not just CNN and cable news. As you noted, The New York Times took the most retrograde, opportunistic, and slanderous way to frame Bernie Sanders’s response. And what I think we need to look at very strongly and very clearly, is that this issue is the Willie Horton issue so far of this presidential campaign. As in 1988, the racist ad against Michael Dukakis by the George Herbert Walker Bush forces, were also playing on racism and the fear of prisoners and trying to exploit some of the most racist tropes that have been in place for centuries in this country. And frankly, I’m outraged that The New York Times and other media outlets would take a principled position by Bernie Sanders against perverse oppression and turn it around and try to exploit the most extreme interpretations of what he said, to make this Willie Horton-2019. And so, I just think we have to push back on this and recognize that this is part of a propaganda assault.

JACQUELINE LUQMAN This is some really great comparisons. These are some great comparisons you made Norman about the similarities to the Willie Horton campaign and the Dukakis campaign. This is journalistic history, or campaign and political history, that we need to be reminded of when we’re looking at the role of corporate media in our politics today. Anoa, let me give you the last word on this. What role does independent media play in this campaign cycle? Is it a bigger role than last time? What role does independent media play in these types of issues?

ANOA CHANGA Well I appreciate that. This is how we first crossed paths, right? I think that in this cycle, just as we saw the past cycle, there is a really high burden whether it’s right or wrong. It’s the value proposition that we often say that we have as progressive, independent media folks, that we’re trying to parse through the b.s. and really get good commentary, get straight to the issues, and inform people of what’s going on. So I do think that we do have this standard to really, actually, effectively discuss these issues to help raise the voices of people who are doing directly the work and get people actual information. I don’t remember who shared it, but someone shared a report from The Sentencing Project. The Sentencing Project has been talking about incarcerated persons voting while incarcerated for probably almost two decades. I think I saw something that was actually dated 1999, so this is not a new thing that Bernie Sanders just thought of. This is something that’s been well-thought and often discussed by a lot of people. When you look at the containing conditions of those who are incarcerated here— and we focus so much on the federal prison system or private prisons— but the majority of people who are in prison in this country, are in state and local holding. And the conditions that people are in— just recent accounts from Fulton County and DeKalb County jails down here in Georgia are appalling. We’re seeing issues of strikes, of starvation, people having issues with being exposed to mold, all types of stuff. I remember, real quickly, during the 2014 West Virginia water crisis in Charleston, West Virginia, incarcerated persons were being given the equivalent of I think it was one bottle of water per day. And this was a time where as a community, as a county-wide area, we were on a 10-day water ban, so no water for anything. They were being given one bottle. So when we’re saying that we’re not allowing people to participate civically in what is happening, we’re saying that they don’t— we, as in the people who are saying— saying that these people are not people. They’re second class citizens. They don’t count as much as we do and that’s a problem. And again, like Bernie Sanders just said, when we start creating special classes of people as we’ve already seen, he was talking about going back to a different era, that’s exactly the type of rhetoric we’re hearing from people is actually enforcing and supporting. And we already have a steep climb to getting people re-enfranchised who’ve already been disenfranchised from the system. So these barriers that are there, are kept up, are problematic. I think independent media has a real, serious burden on us. And really, it should be our welcomed burden to make sure that were upholding good conversations as truthful commentary as possible, and really digging deep and doing critical analysis, even if it means calling our faves on the carpet.

JACQUELINE LUQMAN And you know, we’ve certainly done plenty of that. [laughter] Thank you guys so much for joining me today on this segment. Unfortunately, we are out of time on this segment. But Norman, Anoa— stick around for the next segment where we will talk about Joe Biden’s announcement. Thank you all for watching this segment of trending news on The Real News Network. I am Jacqueline Luqman.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 23, 2019, 07:58:18 pm »

How Many 😈 Americans Agree with Trump's Worst Goals?

Thom Hartmann Program
Published on Apr 23, 2019

Donald Trump opened his campaign with hatred and has continued to use his role as president to spread and inflame hatred.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 19, 2019, 07:24:50 pm »

Make Nexus Hot News part of your morning: click here to subscribe.

April 19, 2019

Racism Rampant in Denierland, But Enviro Community Has Work To Do, Too

Yesterday, we talked about how WUWT seems to be finding some new life by exemplifying how denial can operate across issue areas. And that wasn’t the first time we’ve explored the sexist and racist dimensions of organized denial.

It’s important to understand, though, that there’s a larger cultural aspect to the warm welcome climate denial has received among the political right. In Megan Mayhew’s latest column at the Guardian, she travels to Natchez, Mississippi to see how the small town full of racist history is faring in the era of climate change. The piece opens, as you might expect, with Mayhew being told climate change is not “polite” conversation, a nod to how the concept of “civility” is used selectively to protect the status quo.

While some Natchez residents may be slowly coming around on climate change, it’s all too easy to look down at them and see the climate action community as the opposite: a shining beacon of diversity, tolerance and goodness. But that, too, would be denial.

The green world still has plenty of work to do when it comes to welcoming non-white communities. The growth of the environmental justice movement is encouraging, but the fact that it was ever divorced from the rest of the environmental community in the first place is a problem. Because that didn’t happen accidentally, and the community has yet to heal the damage it caused.

As Mary Annaïse Heglar wrote in Dame this week, despite the movement’s best efforts, black faces are all too rare in public venues like climate marches. Stories from black voices who were made uncomfortable by both micro- and macro-aggressions from their fellow marchers, meanwhile, are all too common. 

Framed around the exclusive nature of Woody Guthrie’s protest song “This land is your land,” Heglar exposes not only the current shortcomings of the community, but also its past, which is sadly, she writes, “steeped in oh-sh-it racism.”

That tragic history is the focus of another piece this week by Matt Mildenberger. Writing in Scientific American, Mildenberger explores the racist past of environmental thought and the hate behind the Tragedy of the Commons. The famous 1968 piece has become something of a cornerstone of environmental thought: if left unregulated, everyone exploits natural resources to their own benefit, leading to overconsumption.

The problem, Mildenberger explains, is not just that the author, Garrett Hardin, was a white nationalist who espoused virulent racist, islamophobic and eugenic ideology, but more importantly, that he’s wrong. Historians have shown that early common areas were informally regulated by local customs and institutions--turns out people aren’t quite as stupid or greedy as Hardin suggested. And so environmental concerns should not, as Hardin 😈 proposed, be used to justify eugenics or xenophobia or whatever other racist nonsense arises out of the perception of scarce resources.

So if Hardin’s overpopulation and overconsumption claims aren’t the root of the climate challenge, what is? Decades ago, Mildenberger argues, we had the chance to start taking the slow and steady steps necessary to transition to clean energy, and  had we done so, the “costs to most Americans would have been imperceptible.”

“But that future was stolen from us,” Mildenberger continues, “by powerful, carbon-polluting interests who blocked policy reforms at every turn to preserve their short-term profits.” To overcome that well-funded political power, we need to drop Hardin’s idea that individual consumption is to blame, and instead turn our attention toward bringing more people into the fold, “a commitment at the heart of proposals like the Green New Deal.”

So while it's important to acknowledge the racist roots in the environmental tree, as the climate community knows well, simply recognizing a problem without taking action to remedy it, isn’t enough.


"Technical knowledge of Carrying Capacity will not save us; only a massive increase in Caring Capacity will." -- A. G. Gelbert
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 08, 2019, 09:10:53 pm »

Should Reparations Pay Convicts Who Endured Prison Slavery?   

Thom Hartmann Program

Published on Apr 5, 2019

The 13th Amendment was ratified to end slavery in the United States but actually codified it into law though the use of prison slavery. 

Organizers fighting for the rights of prisoners today are now asking that prisoners forced to endure prison slavery receive reparations for the mistreatment.

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Category News & Politics
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 06, 2019, 02:03:10 pm »

In 1992, Stevens was sentenced to 15-years-to-life for a nonviolent drug offense. He served 10 years before receiving clemency from former New York Governor George Pataki in 2001.

“To incarcerate someone in my condition, who poses absolutely no physical threat to society and is unable even to wipe his own behind, shows the complete and utter failure of the criminal justice system." - Terrence Stevens

Read more:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 05, 2019, 06:47:25 pm »

Puerto Rico Climate Change caused Infrastructure damage

April 4, 2019

Trump's 🦀 Disdain for Puerto Rico Should Be His Undoing

By Sonali Kolhatkar —  His “otherizing” of the U.S. colony should not obscure the fact he has failed Americans suffering through the aftermath of hurricanes.

Read more
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 28, 2019, 08:52:30 pm »

Rattling the Bars: The Strange Case of Merle Unger

December 26, 2017

TRNN Executive Producer Eddie Conway examines the landmark case of Unger v. State of Maryland, which was responsible for the release of over 200 prisoners in 2014. However, Merle Unger, who won the case, remains locked up after 42 years of incarceration

Story Transcript

JENNY PIPER:   Our brother, Merle Unger, was convicted of felony murder in Washington County, Maryland in 1976 and was given life and 15 years. During this incident, an off-duty police officer was shot and killed. In 2012, Merle has his case overturned, which opened the door for anyone convicted by a jury before 1980. Merle was quickly retried, found guilty, and given the same life sentence.

EDDIE CONWAY:   There has been a strange case in the State of Maryland in which almost 230 some prisoners have gained their eligibility for freedom. 160 some have actually been released. The person that fought the longest and the hardest for the release of these prisoners is a prisoner named Merle Unger. And the strangeness of that case is that Merle Unger is one of the few people that is not being released.

JENNY PIPER:   Since 2012, over 160 lifers has been released off of our brother’s case. Our brother is 68 years old and has spent almost 42 years in prison. He hasn’t been involved in any violence while in prison. He has learned many skills, gets along very with staff, and helps others. Washington County has reduced the sentences of others convicted of felony murder and/or r a p e, which led to their release. So they are obviously biased against our brother.

The question we asked is: Is it fair that close to 200 have been released because of our brother’s issue, while he can’t get equal justice? Mr. Charles Strong, the head District Attorney in Hagerstown, Maryland refuses to treat our brother the same as anyone else, perhaps for a personal or political reason. In over four years, not a single one of those released have went back to prison, which is proof that people change as they get older. It costs taxpayers billions each year to keep people 50 and older in prison, while studies shows they are very low risk to commit another crime.

ROBERTA UNGER:   The key thing was, we didn’t have TV when we were a child growing up, and we didn’t know anything different than just the things that our parents taught us and stuff. But today it’s out there. But we lived very poorly. We came from a family of 12, and he went through so much verbal and mental abuse and physical abuse. And we all had low self-esteem, and it took us years to go out. You know, the people in prison amaze me. The people that I know here, every one of these lifers it’s left out. There all like brothers to me and stuff, and sisters, and they’re the most loving and giving back to the community people that I ever heard. So we all make mistakes, and when you’re young and don’t know any better, and if people out here that grow up with the low self-esteem and the abuse that he and a lot of these other people, and that’s why they pick on the people, because they’re so poor. Most of your people in prison are poor and can’t fight the justice. But there’s wrong justice done to everyone in the prison system today. And if I can do anything to help anybody out, no one deserves to die in prison.

EDDIE CONWAY:   What can people do to maybe help support the effort to win his release? Because obviously there’s hundreds of people that has a vested interest in him gaining his freedom since they gained theirs. So what can people do? Not just those people, but the people’s families and so on, so what can people do?

JENNY PIPER:   They can write letters to help him.


JENNY PIPER:   I don’t know who you would write them to, probably the governor, or I don’t know who you would write them to.

ROBERTA UNGER:   You mean petitions?

EDDIE CONWAY:   Well, if he has a lawyer, I would assume that if some kind of way y’all could make that known people could write letters to the lawyer.

JENNY PIPER:   To the lawyer.

EDDIE CONWAY:   And for the governor. In other words, so that there will always be a copy. The lawyer will have a copy, but then it can be a letter to the governor. I think. I don’t know. Is there anything else you think?

ROBERTA UNGER:   Yes. This is for off duty or police officers and things like that, that get killed in the line of duty or lose their life trying to help others, and it’s called Duty Calls, is the poem, and from your family in blue. And he’s doing this from prison too, so he sent these cards to me, and then I make copies. He sends these for free out to people to try to ease their pain from what they’re going through. And then this one, he made up that’s for … It’s called The Life of Roses, another poem that he made. And this is for battered women, r a p e victims and stuff like that, so when we see anything going on like that, we try to Google it and get to where someone could send these.

JENNY PIPER:   An organization, a support group.

EDDIE CONWAY:   Does anybody in the family have a website or anything for him?

ROBERTA UNGER:   We’re working on that. We’re trying to get that set up, but I don’t know nothing about computers, and I was paying a girl to do it. But she went back to college and I don’t know how far she is on it, but I’m trying to work on that to get a website to put this artwork out. He does a lot of artwork. This is a painting he did. We’ve got lots of them. Yeah. And so we’re trying to get a website set up for him and a podcast as well to try to get out to help reach more people.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 28, 2019, 08:36:43 pm »

Eddie Conway : ‘It’s Not Mass Incarceration, It’s Targeted’  >:(

March 1, 2018

Prisons aren’t “correctional” facilities, because they 🦍have no interest in correcting anything; the multibillion-dollar prison industry is interested in profits 😈, and institutional racism keeps the money flowing, says TRNN Executive Producer Eddie Conway

Excellent series of Eddie Conway videos ✨ from THE REAL NEWS NETWORK:


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 27, 2019, 03:06:09 pm »


In Condemning Ilhan Omar, Democrats 👹 Have Proved Her Right

Someone smarter than me once said, "if you want to know who REALLY holds the power, figure out who you're not allowed to criticize."


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