Thursday, September 22, 2016

Donald Trump Jr., White Supremacist

Why on earth has this not been publicized? I wasn't aware until today that Donald Trump Jr., that alt-right little animal murderer, visited the Neshoba County Fair at Philadelphia shortly after the Republican convention where his father was named as the Republican nominee. Click here for an article in Mississippi Today by Adam Ganucheau and R.L. Nave, dated July 26, describing the visit.

That's not Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; it's Philadelphia, Mississippi, population 7,500.

Why would a rich golden boy Manhattanite like Donald Jr. visit the Neshoba County Fair at a tiny town 100 miles from the nearest "big" city -- Jackson, Mississippi, population 125,000 -- and make a political speech? To learn the answer, you have to go back 53 years, to the summer of 1964.

That was when three civil rights workers -- 21-year-old black Mississippian James Chaney and two white New Yorkers, Andrew Goodman, 20, and Michael Schwerner, 24 -- were murdered by members of the Ku Klux Klan. Everyone in Philadelphia knew who had done it, but nobody was talking.

Fast forward 16 years to the summer of 1980, when the memory of the 1964 killings in Philadelphia had not faded. Shining star Ronald Reagan had just been nominated as the Republican candidate for the presidency. Shortly after that convention, he gave a major speech at the Neshoba County Fair at Philadelphia, Mississippi, with all the national media present, which became known in U.S. political history as Reagan's "states' rights" speech.

For those who don't know, the U.S. Constitution sets out in detail the powers of the federal government. All powers which are not expressly granted to the federal government in the Constitution are given to the states. So the concept of "states' rights" would seem to be an innocent and straightforward idea.

Not in the racialized atmosphere of 1980 (or 1964). The phrase "states' rights" was a dog whistle: To those who heard the underlying meaning, it meant that the federal government had no right to impose integration on the South. "States' rights" meant that Mississippi -- like Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, and the rest of the Confederacy -- should be free to make black Americans sit at the back of the bus, drink from separate fountains, and generally submit to white supremacy, without federal interference.

With that history, Donald Trump Jr. -- who has recently made a good half-dozen statements or tweets with connections to white supremacist or alt-right sites -- travels to Philadelphia, Mississippi, to make a political speech.

History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Trump Rally - Conspiracy Theories?

Copy this into your address bar and press "Enter" to see Jordan Klepper of Trevor Noah's Daily Show asking attendees at a Trump rally about conspiracy theories:

For one thing, Hillary may have AIDS due to Bill's hanging around with Magic Johnson. Obama is a Muslim terrorist. "He does the Muslim principles as far as jewelry is concerned." (Apparently Muslims don't wear jewelry during certain months?)
"Barack Obama had big part of 9/11."

"Which part?"

"Not being around. Always on vacation. Never in the office."

"Why do you think Barack Obama wasn't in the Oval Office on 9/11?"

"That, I don't know. I'd like to get to the bottom of that."

There's a lot more. And you know it's true, because they got it off Twitter and Facebook.

Charlie Pierce at Esquire says:
Something spiraled out of control here, an unleashing of the hateful, paranoid id at the expense of logic, reason, and common decency. Obviously some of these people were just dumb, like the guy who wanted to "get to the bottom" of why Obama wasn't in the Oval Office on 9/11. (Hint: It may have been because he was an Illinois state senator at the time.) But there was more at play here. It was a reckless and gleeful disregard for facts, evidence, and truth.
The dark heart of birtherism ran through it all. People threw out wild accusations about the president—which, as they readily admitted, they have no evidence for—some of which were totally incongruous. The only thing uniting the claims was that they made Obama something Other Than Us. Whenever Klepper used their logic against them, their brains short-circuited.

550% Increase In Syrian Refugees? Not Nearly Enough.

Click here for an article at Politifact entitled "Donald Trump again fails to screen out the falsehood in oft-repeated claim on Syrian refugees." The Trump claim Politifact is investigating is as follows:

"We must immediately suspend immigration from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism until such time as proven vetting mechanisms have been put in place," he told the crowd in Cleveland on July 21.

"My opponent has called for a radical 550 percent increase in Syrian, think of this, think of this. ... A 550 percent increase in Syrian refugees on top of existing massive refugee flows coming into our country already under the leadership of President Obama," he said. "She proposes this despite the fact that there’s no way to screen these refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from. I only want to admit individuals into our country who will support our values and love our people."
They rate the statement half true; the non-vetting part is false, but the 550% figure is correct. Here is Politifact's description of the vetting process in place today:
According to the U.S. refugees admissions program, created in 1980 and retooled after 9/11, a would-be refugee must first get a referral from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, a U.S. embassy or a recognized non-government organization. The U.N. process takes four to 10 months, and only about 1 percent are recommended for resettlement.

And that's before the United States begins its probe, where the names, biographical information and fingerprints are run through federal terrorism and criminal databases. In addition, the refugees are interviewed by Department of Homeland Security officials. If they pass those hurdles, they also have to pass medical screening, have a sponsor agency, pass "cultural orientation" classes and be examined for another security clearance.
However, Politifact fails to put the 550% figure in its proper context. They state the following:
Compared to other countries, the United States has accepted very few – about 2,000 last year, for example. Half are children. Only about 2 percent are single men of combat age, the mostly likely demographic for a would-be terrorist.

President Barack Obama said in 2015 that he would increase the number to 10,000.

Then, during a Sept. 20, 2015, appearance on CBS' Face the Nation, Clinton said that, given the scope of the problem, "I think the United States has to do more, and I would like to see us move from what is a good start with 10,000 to 65,000, and begin immediately to put into place the mechanisms for vetting the people that we would take in."
The 10,000 figure is shockingly low, compared to the number of refugees accepted by other countries, mostly in Europe. Canada, for instance, has accepted and resettled 25,000 Syrian refugees -- 150% more than the U.S. Canada is absorbing that number of refugees into a country with a population of 33 million. If the U.S., with a population of 330 million, were to accept the same proportion of refugees, the number would be 250,000. So the U.S. increase in the number of refugees accepted would be an increase of 2,400% -- just to equal Canada. The 550% figure seems large until you realize that the starting point of 10,000, into a country with a population of 330 million, is extremely ungenerous.

By June of 2016, Germany, with a population of 80 million, had accepted 800,000 Syrian refugees. To equal that rate, the U.S. would have to accept 3.3 million refugees -- an increase of 7,900%.

Another way of looking at it: Canada has accepted a number of Syrian refugees that is ballpark, 1/1,000 of its population, .001%. Germany has accepted a number equal to 1/100th of its population, .01%. The U.S. has accepted a number equal to .0003% of its population.

In that context, does a 550% increase seem unreasonable?

Saturday, September 17, 2016

History Of GOP Racism Since 1948

Well, key to the story of GOP racism is Strom Thurmond, who was a Democratic senator from South Carolina (a Dixiecrat) at the time. He led the racist white southern Democrat contingent in their mass exodus from the GOP to the Democrats in 1964, after Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act (followed by the Voting Rights Act of 1965). This 17-minute video is by Susie Sampson at Newsy News.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Meet The Alt-Right

On the same day Hillary Clinton mentioned the "basket of deplorables," the alt-right gave a news conference. Read about it here.
Click here for an image of "The Deplorables." From left to right, the figures are Roger Stone, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Eric Trump, Mike Pence, The Donald, Pepe the Frog, Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump Jr., Alex Jones, and Milo Yiannopoulos.

What Is RT?

RT is Russia Today, a Kremlin-sponsored television show. It features programs anchored by such American luminaries as Larry King, Ed Schultz, and Jesse Ventura. King recently interviewed Donald Trump, who happily lambasted America, especially the media (he claims he was doing an interview with King, an old friend, and didn't know it was on RT). The Russians are over the moon about this interview, a real coup. Click here to learn about this channel, which claims to be simply a state-sponsored channel which does real journalism, like the CBC and the BBC; others feel it's more an outlet for Russian propaganda.

Krugman On The Trump/Putin Bromance

Click here for an article at The New York Times by Nobel-winning economist and Princeton professor Paul Krugman, entitled "Thugs and Kisses." It's an explanation of Russia's position in the world today as a regional, not a global, power, and of the attraction right-wingers in America feel for an authoritarian state run by a political strongman.

The Achievements Of St. Ronnie

Click here for an article at In These Times by Susan J. Douglas entitled "The Enduring Lies of Ronald Reagan." Here's one paragraph:
Also forgotten is Reagan’s own embarrassing propensity to just make things up. Reagan was a dunce and a fabricator. One of his most famous assertions was, “Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do,” and he maintained, wrongly, that sulfur dioxide emitted from Mount St. Helens was greater than that emitted by cars over a 10-year period. (In one day, cars emit 40 times what Mount St. Helens released in a day even at its peak activity.) In 1985, Reagan praised the P.W. Botha’s apartheid regime of South Africa for eliminating segregation, a blunder then-Press Secretary Larry Speakes had to correct a few days later.
A statement I found telling was that in contrast with the remarkably scandal-free Obama administration, "Eight senior officials in his administration were indicted."

Saturday, September 10, 2016


Or if you do, shower afterward.

Click here (only if you have a strong stomach) for an article at Crooks & Liars by Robyn Pennacchia, posted with permission from Wonkette, entitled "Stormfront Neo-Nazis Want Your Kids To Catch Pokemons, Jews."

A little background. Stormfront is a Neo-Nazi site; Wikipedia describes it as "the Web's first major racial hate site," and says that it "began in 1990 as an online bulletin board for white nationalist David Duke's campaign for United States Senator of Louisiana." (Click here for the Stormfront Wikipedia entry.) Some organization called "The Year in Hate and Extremism, 2015," said:
The total of registered users is just shy of 300,000, a fairly astounding number for a site run by an ex-felon and former Alabama Klan leader. And that doesn't include thousands of visitors who never register as users. At press time, Stormfront ranked as the Internet's 13,648th most popular site, while the NAACP site, by comparison, ranked 32,640th.
Stormfront, unfortunately, is a real thing, to be taken seriously.

From the Wonkette article:
Ever since Donald Trump first announced his intention to run for president of the United States, neo-Nazi sites like Stormfront have seen a massive surge in traffic from people beginning to discover just how much they have in common with white supremacists. In fact, they've even had to change servers in order to accommodate all the new recruits!

Clearly feeling the adrenaline rush from realizing how much they have to offer an unfortunately large segment of the population, Stormfront has set its sights on drawing even more people into their web of hate. Well, not people so much as children! Yes, they have decided that it is time for your American children to join the Hitler Youth.

This past Tuesday, Stormfront writer Andrew Anglin was thrilled to announce that "[a]n enterprising Stormer has been handing out fliers at Pokémon GO gyms for the purpose of converting children and teens to HARDCORE NEO-NAZISM!"

No, really! That is their plan. They are all going to go to whatever the hell Pokémon gyms are and distribute flyers to children about how they need to convince their parents to vote for Donald Trump so that "hooknosed Jews" and black people don't ruin their lives and kill their mothers. Fun!
Readers are urged to wear their MAGA (Make America Great Again) hats while distributing the flyers.

The Stormfront article references, in turn, an article at Daily Stormer; click here for its Wikipedia entry, which starts off:
The Daily Stormer is an American neo-Nazi and white supremacist news and commentary website.[1][2] Its editor is Andrew Anglin, who founded it on July 4, 2013, as a faster-paced replacement for his previous website Total Fascism, which he launched the year before.

The site has been noted for its use of humor and Internet memes, which have been likened to the imageboard 4chan and cited as attractions for a younger and more ideologically diverse audience.[3] The website supports Russia and endorses Donald Trump for president. Guest writers have included black hat hacker weev and 8chan founder Fredrick Brennan. While some white nationalist authors have praised The Daily Stormer's reach, others have taken issue with its content and tone.
The Daily Stormer proclaims itself "The World's Leading Alt-Right Web Site; click here for the article in question. I won't repeat the reprehensible material in the article, entitled "Pokemon GO Nazi Challenge"; read the Crooks & Liars/Wonkette article for yourself (or not; you might be happier if you don't).

Tweety - My Hero!

Wow! 24 hours after bullying and browbeating that desperate opportunistic weasel Giuliani into admitting that President Obama was born in Hawaii, Chris Matthews helps Katy Tur and Joy Reid absolutely crush the miserable ex-congressman Jack Kingston on the issue. Watch this -- it's great! Kingston swallows hard and watches his own destruction with his mouth hanging open. (I wasn't able to embed this video; copy this into your address bar)

Katie Tur gets so upset she misspeaks twice, saying "Donald Trump" when she means "Barack Obama," but her intensity shines through.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Is Trump Obsessed With Shooting People?

On January 28, 2016, Trump said:
"I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK?"
Today, at a rally in Pensacola, he said of Hillary Clinton:
"Because she's being so protected, she could walk into this arena right now and shoot someone with 20,000 people watching, right smack in the middle of the heart, and she wouldn't be prosecuted,” Trump said. “That's what's happened to our country."

Trump The Tough Guy

Click here for an article in The L.A. Times by Seema Mehta entitled "Trump: Iranian soldiers who harass U.S. Navy 'will be shot out of the water.'" According to the article:
Last weekend, seven boats containing the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy approached the U.S. coastal patrol ship Firebolt in the Persian Gulf. One of the boats stopped directly in the ship’s path, forcing it to maneuver to avoid a collision.
Today, addressing a rally in Pensacola:
"With Iran, when they circle our beautiful destroyers with their little boats and they make gestures at our people that they shouldn't be allowed to make, they will be shot out of the water," Trump said.
President Trump would take the nation to war over Iranian "gestures." (Oh, and the people in the audience that appeared onscreen behind him jumped to their feet and applauded wildly.) He went on in the same speech to call Hillary Clinton "unstable" and "trigger-happy."

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Matt Lauer Video

Parody interview on the Today show, with Matt Lauer "interviewing" Will Ferrell as Dr. Rick Marshall:

News Flash: Iraq Has Oil!

Donald Trump in the NBC Commander in Chief Forum:
People don't know this about Iraq, but they have among the largest oil reserves in the world-- in the entire world.
Excuse me, Donald? "People don't know this"? Sounds like he just learned it.

Double Standard

There's been a lot of Internet chatter about how Clinton and Trump are held to different standards, and there were a number of instances of that in the NBC Commander in Chief Forum, moderated by Matt Lauer. But there was one instance of it that I haven't read reported, and that I found quite offensive:
LAUER: Secretary Clinton, let’s talk about your vote in favor of the war in Iraq. You’ve since said it was a mistake.

CLINTON: Mm-hmm.

LAUER: Obviously, it was not something you said you would do again. I asked before for people to raise their hand if you served in Iraq. Can you do it again? How do you think these people feel when the person running to be their commander-in-chief says her vote to go to war in Iraq was a mistake?
The camera panned around the roomful of veterans in the audience when Lauer said "Can you do it again?", and as they raised their hands, there's no doubt it was an uncomfortable moment for Clinton. But when Trump said:
"And I happened to hear Hillary Clinton say that I was not against the war in Iraq. I was totally against the war in Iraq. From a — you can look at Esquire magazine from ’04. You can look at before that.

And I was against the war in Iraq because I said it’s going to totally destabilize the Middle East, which it has. It has absolutely been a disastrous war ..."
Lauer's response? Crickets.

Not only that, but Trump has been extremely outspoken in his criticism of the decision to invade Iraq, although not before or at the beginning of the invasion, as he repeatedly claims, but later, when popular opinion had turned against the war; he repeatedly cites an article in August 2004 -- nearly a year and a half after the invasion -- where he said:
My life is seeing everything in terms of "How would I handle that?" Look at the war in Iraq and the mess that we're in. I would never have handled it that way. Does anybody really believe that Iraq is going to be a wonderful democracy where people are going to run down to the voting box and gently put in their ballot and the winner is happily going to step up to lead the county? C'mon. Two minutes after we leave, there's going to be a revolution, and the meanest, toughest, smartest, most vicious guy will take over. And he'll have weapons of mass destruction, which Saddam didn't have.

What was the purpose of this whole thing? Hundreds and hundreds of young people killed. And what about the people coming back with no arms and legs? Not to mention the other side. All those Iraqi kids who've been blown to pieces. And it turns out that all of the reasons for the war were blatantly wrong. All this for nothing!
What if Lauer had read that quote to the audience of veterans? But no -- Lauer didn't even mention it.

Click here for an article in The New York Times the next day entitled "Matt Lauer Loses the War in a Battle Between the Candidates." It contains goodies such as:
Candidates should expect to be challenged. They’re applying for a challenging job. But where Mr. Lauer treated Mrs. Clinton like someone running for president, he treated Mr. Trump like someone running to figure out how to be president, eventually.

That interview was the apotheosis of this presidential campaign’s forced marriage of entertainment and news. The host of NBC’s morning show interviewed the former star of its reality show “The Apprentice,” and the whole thing played out as farce.
In general, though, Mr. Lauer’s questioning of Mr. Trump was like watching one student quiz another to prep for a test neither had done the reading for. The host asked soft open-ended questions that invited the candidate to answer with word clouds.

Mr. Lauer prefaced one question by saying that “nobody would expect you” to have read deeply into foreign policy before running for president. He asked Mr. Trump if he would be “prepared on Day 1,” a yes-or-no question that will elicit only one answer from any candidate not about to drop out.
And here's a foreboding comment:
Mr. Lauer, fortunately, is not going to moderate a presidential debate. But Fox News’s Chris Wallace is, and he recently said that he does not consider it his job to truth-squad candidates as a moderator. Let’s not mistake who this helps most: the fact-checking website PolitiFact has found far more false statements from Mr. Trump than from Mrs. Clinton.
Actually, Politifact checked Trump on 246 statements and found 53% of them to be either "Pants on Fire" or "Mostly False"; they checked Clinton on 248 statements and found 13% of them "PoF" or "MF."

Click here for another devastating critique of Lauer's performance, this one from Jonathan Chait at New York magazine, entitled "Matt Lauer’s Pathetic Interview of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Is the Scariest Thing I’ve Seen in This Campaign."

Click here for a complete transcript of the Commander in Chief Forum.

Trump on Libya

He's saying repeatedly that Hillary's support for Libyan intervention and the overthrow of Khadafi was a horrible blunder. Here's his position at the time (February 28, 2011; the invasion was on March 19.) The clip is 1 minute, 45 seconds:

The Gospel According To The Donald

Trump being interviewed by Christian Broadcasting Network godbotherer David Brody at a Trump hotel and golf course on the Pacific coast:

"David Brody: “Who is God to you? What are some of your thoughts on this? Clearly, you’re a smart man, you’re a smart businessman, you’ve contemplated this before or have you contemplated this?”

Donald Trump: “Well I say God is the ultimate. You know you look at this? Here we are on the Pacific Ocean. How did I ever own this? I bought it 15 years ago. I made one of the great deals they say ever. I have no more mortgage on it as I will certify and represent to you. And I was able to buy this and make a great deal. That’s what I want to do for the country. Make great deals. We have to, we have to bring it back, but God is the ultimate. I mean God created this (points to his golf course and nature surrounding it), and here’s the Pacific Ocean right behind us. So nobody, no thing, no there’s nothing like God.”

How could the charlatans and hypocrites on the religious right not love such a man?

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

I Recommend This Article - By Glenn Beck!

Quelle surprise. Click here for Glenn Beck's article in The New York Times entitled "Empathy for Black Lives Matter."

Glenn Beck, the sweet voice of reason? What's going on here, anyway?

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Trump's New Hire - The Bottom Of The Barrel?

Click here for an article at The Atlantic by Michelle Cottle entitled "Meet the New Bossie, Same as the Old Bossie."

David Bossie is now Trump's deputy campaign manager. He has been described as the Inspector Javert or the Captain Ahab of the anti-Clinton forces; perhaps no one has so single-mindedly dedicated his career, over the last 25 years, to taking down the Clintons:
The 50-year-old crusader is, in many ways, an embodiment of the toxic, obsessive, vendetta-driven political spirit that animates Trumpworld.
One of Bossie's "claims to fame" is his work on the infamous Willie Horton ad, so effective against Michael Dukakis in 1988. Intent on proving that years before, a young woman named Susan Coleman had committed suicide because she had become pregnant by her law professor, Bill Clinton, he and a sidekick burst into the hospital room where Ms. Coleman's father was recovering from a stroke in order to "question the shaken mother about her daughter's suicide." Bossie later expressed regrets, saying that the story had made his (Bossie's) grandmother cry.

He immersed himself in the expensive and pointless dead end known as Whitewater, and had served 18 months in the position of chief investigator for committee chairman Dan Burton when he "... was forced to resign for questionable tactics. (Specifically, he distributed selectively edited transcripts of investigators’ jailhouse conversations with the Clinton crony Webb Hubbell.) The New York Times reported that then-Speaker Newt Gingrich himself had pressed for Bossie’s ouster because the investigator had 'become an embarrassment to the Republicans.'" Too extreme for Newt Gingrich? That's quite an accomplishment.

Bossie produced the anti-Hillary movie Hillary: The Movie, which was the subject of the infamous Citizens United Supreme Court decision which allowed corporations to spend unlimited amounts on political donations.

Steve Bannon, Roger Ailes, David Bossie: quite a crew Trump has surrounded himself with.

Clinton, Trump, Held To Different Standards

Click here for an article at the Washington Post by Paul Waldman entitled "Trump's history of corruption is mind-boggling. So why is Clinton supposedly the corrupt one?"

It starts with mention of the Trump pay-for-play scandal involving the Florida attorney general, Pam Bondi. Her department was examining the possibility of joining New York State in a fraud prosecution of Trump University, and Bondi was up for re-election when she solicited a donation from her old friend Donald Trump. She received a $25,000 donation from the Trump Foundation (an illegal donation, because non-profit foundations are not allowed to donate to political committees). Shortly thereafter, a decision was made to drop the Trump University investigation. Then there's the attempt to cover up the donation, which resulted in a $2,500 fine by the IRS, but that's another story.

A section:
The story of something like the Clinton Foundation gets stretched out over months and months with repeated tellings, always with the insistence that questions are being raised and the implication that shady things are going on, even if there isn’t any evidence at a particular moment to support that idea.

When it comes to Trump, on the other hand, we’ve seen a very different pattern. Here’s what happens: A story about some kind of corrupt dealing emerges, usually from the dogged efforts of one or a few journalists; it gets discussed for a couple of days; and then it disappears. Someone might mention it now and again, but the news organizations don’t assign a squad of reporters to look into every aspect of it, so no new facts are brought to light and no new stories get written.

But the truth is that you’d have to work incredibly hard to find a politician who has the kind of history of corruption, double-dealing, and fraud that Donald Trump has. The number of stories which could potentially deserve hundreds and hundreds of articles is absolutely staggering. Here’s a partial list:

Trump’s casino bankruptcies, which left investors holding the bag while he skedaddled with their money Trump’s habit of refusing to pay contractors who had done work for him, many of whom are struggling small businesses.

Trump University, which includes not only the people who got scammed and the Florida investigation, but also a similar story from Texas where the investigation into Trump U was quashed.

The Trump Institute, another get-rich-quick scheme in which Trump allowed a couple of grifters to use his name to bilk people out of their money.

The Trump Network, a multi-level marketing venture (a.k.a. pyramid scheme) that involved customers mailing in a urine sample which would be analyzed to produce for them a specially formulated package of multivitamins.

Trump Model Management, which reportedly had foreign models lie to customs officials and work in the U.S. illegally, and kept them in squalid conditions while they earned almost nothing for the work they did.

Trump’s employment of foreign guest workers at his resorts, which involves a claim that he can’t find Americans to do the work.

Trump’s use of hundreds of undocumented workers from Poland in the 1980s, who were paid a pittance for their illegal work.

Trump’s history of being charged with housing discrimination.

Trump’s connections to mafia figures involved in New York construction.

The time Trump paid the Federal Trade Commission $750,000 over charges that he violated anti-trust laws when trying to take over a rival casino company.

The fact that Trump is now being advised by Roger Ailes, who was forced out as Fox News chief when dozens of women came forward to charge him with sexual harassment. According to the allegations, Ailes’s behavior was positively monstrous; as just one indicator, his abusive and predatory actions toward women were so well-known and so loathsome that in 1968 the morally upstanding folks in the Nixon administration refused to allow him to work there despite his key role in getting Nixon elected.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Donald Trump's Hate Speech

Click here for an article entitled "Trump's Blood Libel & Press Failure" at Talking Points Memo (TPM) by Josh Marshall. He says:
Even now, after all that's happened, most political reporters find themselves either unwilling or unable to identify Donald Trump's tirades as hate speech. But they fit the textbook definition, inasmuch as it's even a useful concept.
Some relevant quotes:
There's no question that what Trump's Wednesday night speech was was hate speech, a tirade filled with yelling, a snarling voice, air chopped to bits with slashing hands and through it all a story of American victims helpless before a looming threat from dangerous, predatory outsiders.
These families have suffered horribly but no more than the families of victims of American murderers and Americans who committed DUI fatalities. If we went out and found victims who'd suffered grievously at the hands of Jews or blacks and paraded them around the country before angry crowds the wrongness and danger of doing so would be obvious.
There's no evidence that undocumented immigrants commit more crimes than documented or naturalized immigrants. Indeed, there is solid evidence that immigrants commit fewer crimes than the native born. Simple logic tells us that undocumented immigrants face greater consequences for being apprehended by police and thus likely are more careful to avoid it. They're likely more apt to avoid contact with authorities than the rest of us.
Indeed, my hypothetical about Jews and African-Americans is no hypothetical. Anyone who is familiar with the history of the Jim Crow South or 1930s Germany and the centuries of anti-Semitism that preceded it will tell you that the celebration and valorization of victims was always a central part of sustaining bigotry, fear and oppression.
Watch Trump's speeches, with the yelling, the reddened face, the demand for vengeance and you see there's little to distinguish them from what we see at Aryan Nations or other white hate rallies that we all immediately recognize as reprehensible, wrong and frankly terrifying. This isn't 'rough' language or 'hard edged' rhetoric. It's hate speech.