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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Monday, July 29, 2019

Chris Hayes: Trump is offering racism to his base instead of solutions



Chris Hayes: Trump is offering racism to his base instead of solutions

Trump’s Own Background Reveals the True Motivation Behind Racist Tweets: Pure White Supremacy - CounterPunch.org



"On 14 July, US President Donald Trump sent out a series of menacing tweets directed at the freshman cohort of progressive House Democrats: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilham Omar and Ayanna Pressley. Utilizing his characteristic right-wing bully tactics, he accused them of hating the US and Israel and implored them to “go home,” in spite of the fact that all four of them are US citizens. The tweets have been met with strong backlash in the media and even from erstwhile allies on the international stage including UK prime minister Theresa May. The fact that Trump is a bigot hardly constitutes news, but when shone through the prism of things we already know about him the tweets provide the most decisive proof yet that Trump is at heart a dyed-in-the-wool white supremacist.




Take, for instance, Trump’s own personal background. After all, he can hardly trace his entire lineage back to the landing of the Mayflower. His mother was neither born nor grew up in the States – unlike three of the four progressive congress members he attacked. She immigrated to the US from Scotland as a young adult in the 1930s and gained US citizenship in 1942 – presumably in large part because she married a US citizen, Fred Trump. But Trump’s father hardly could have traced his ancestry back to the Mayflower either. Both of Fred Trump’s parents were immigrants from the Kingdom of Bavaria, which is in modern-day Germany. So, Donald Trump himself is only first-generation US-born on his mother’s side and second-generation on his father’s.

His love life paints a similar picture. His current wife, Melania Knavs, is originally from Slovenia – one of the countries that emerged from the former Yugoslavia. She immigrated to the US in the mid-1990s and became a naturalized US citizen in 2006. Trump’s first wife, Ivana Zelníčková, comes from the Czech Republic and became a naturalized US citizen in 1988. There is a trend emerging here: like Trump’s parents and grandparents, both came to the US from Europe. So, Trump seems to have no problem with immigration – just so long as it is European immigration.

Another interesting contrast is between Trump himself and one of the four progressive congress members he was directing his abuse toward. Unlike the other three, Ayanna Pressley is not of immigrant background but rather African-American. Keeping in mind that the first African slaves were brought to North American shores in 1619 and that the US congress ended the country’s involvement in the slave trade in 1808, it is certain that Pressley’s ancestors were in North America decades if not centuries before Trump’s were. According to a strictly nativist anti-immigration viewpoint, in which people’s right to be somewhere is based on ancestral longevity, she would have more of a right to live in the US than Trump. So clearly, what is important for Trump is not protecting the people who have been here longer, but rather purely skin color. The openly neo-Nazi publisher of The Daily Stormer website, Andrew Anglin, picked up on this fact and commented on it approvingly. “This is not some half-assed anti-immigrant white nationalism. Trump is literally telling American blacks to go back to Africa,” he wrote with glee.

An event that took place in January of this year similarly reveals how Trump subscribes to the view that the US should be for white people and white people only. In a meeting with members of congress, Trump asked why the US should want people to immigrate here from “shithole” countries such as Haiti and those located in Africa. He then asked why more people from countries like Norway don’t immigrant to the US. Here again, he is demonstrating that he is not against immigration in general, but rather against non-white immigration specifically.

Trump’s stance on Latin Americans is also highly revealing. He frequently condemns immigration from Central America such as the migrant caravan – even stating that he can see circumstances in which he would authorize US troops to fire live ammunition at people trying to cross the border. Likewise, he has staunchly opposed immigration from Mexico. In addition to his promise to build a wall along the US’s southern border, he has described Mexicans as “criminals” who “bring drugs and crime” to the US. During his campaign in 2016, he said that a federal judge who was presiding over a case against Trump University could not be impartial because he is “Mexican” – though the judge in question does have Mexican heritage, he was, in fact, born in the US. But both before being elected and since, Trump has courted the Cuban-American exile community in Florida and cozied up to its representatives such as Senator Marco Rubio.

There’s a simple explanation for this seeming contradiction: the Cubans that have come to the US are overwhelmingly of purely European ancestry whereas Central American and Mexican migrants tend to be mixed race. This is due in large part to the fact that in Central America and Mexico there was extensive inter-marriage between European settlers and Mesoamerican indigenous peoples during the colonial period whereas in Cuba the island’s indigenous population was largely wiped out by Columbus and subsequent waves of European conquest (there are many African-descent Cubans, albeit, but they tend to stay put in Cuba). It also has to do with the socio-economic profile of migrants from the respective regions. Because Mexico and most Central American nations have highly unequal capitalist societies, most of the people fleeing are from the poorer social sectors, members of which (like the rest of Latin America) are disproportionately indigenous or mixed race. Cuba, on the other hand, has a more equal socialist society, so the people who leave for the US – and especially those who left decades ago – tend to be from the previously existing bourgeoisie, which (again, like the rest of Latin America) is generally of European ancestry. In short, Cubans are considered white but Central American and Mexicans are not, which explains their hugely divergent treatment by Trump.

But make no mistake, as tempting as it might be to think so, this is not a case of Trump simply being too stupid to see his own inherent hypocrisy. Rather, Trump’s position makes perfect sense in the context of his view of what the US is and ought to be. The country was undoubtedly white supremacist in its foundation and continued to be for well over a century – and arguably even to this very day in some respects. The US constitution originally gave the vote and other civil rights only to white male property owners and considered Native Americans and other non-whites to be subhuman – three-fifths of a person in the case of African slaves. But whereas in a 21st Century context most mainstream politicians – and, indeed, all morally normal people – consider this to have been a bad thing and something that ought to be corrected for, Trump clearly thinks the opposite and instead sees attempts at correction as wrong and worthy of resistance and reversal. There is no better example to illustrate this than Trump’s own statements about US history. In May of last year, he spoke jubilantly about how “our ancestors tamed a continent” and that therefore “we are not going to apologize for America.” This glorying in the European conquest of North America, along with the implicit dismissal of even the slightest suggestion that this process might have contained some element of injustice, is an archetypal white supremacist narrative that stretches back to the nation’s founding. He might as well have said “we white people conquered a continent” and that therefore “we white people are not going to apologize it, even though doing so inherently entailed ethnic-cleansing and enslavement of non-whites on a massive scale.”

In light of this, the term progressive perfectly characterizes what Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, Omar and Pressley stand for. They represent progress toward a better country that moves further away from the white supremacist ideas on which it was founded. Trump, on the other hand, represents regress back to a time when these ideas held greater sway."


Trump’s Own Background Reveals the True Motivation Behind Racist Tweets: Pure White Supremacy - CounterPunch.org

Read the letter Donald Trump's grandfather wrote begging not to be deported

Friedrich Trump wrote an emotional letter to Prince Regent Luitpold, begging not to be deported from his native Germany.

More than a century ago, a scared citizen wrote an emotional letter, begging not to be deported from his beloved native country, Germany. 
The letter was signed Friedrich Trump, and his grandson Donald Trump would go on to become President of the United States of America.


Read the letter Donald Trump's grandfather wrote begging not to be deported

Sen. Kamala Harris unveils health care plan ahead of debates

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Feuding among Biden, Booker and Harris is unpredictable force in diversifying Democratic Party - The Washington Post





Biden is now attacking the two Black candidates for President.  This is consistent with his anti-busing history where he opposed the enforcement of the Supreme Court's ruling in Brown vs School Board 1943.   It is time for many Black folks to study history and learn something about Biden's checkered history.  Biden's feeling of entitlement to the Black vote must end.



Feuding among Biden, Booker and Harris is unpredictable force in diversifying Democratic Party - The Washington Post

Amazon gold miners invade indigenous village in Brazil after its leader is killed | World news | The Guardian

A Waiãpi man at the indigenous reserve in Amapá state in Brazil.



"Dozens of gold miners have invaded a remote indigenous reserve in the Brazilian Amazon where a local leader was stabbed to death and have taken over a village after the community fled in fear, local politicians and indigenous leaders said. The authorities said police were on their way to investigate.

Illegal gold mining is at epidemic proportions in the Amazon and the heavily polluting activities of garimpeiros – as miners are called – devastate forests and poison rivers with mercury. About 50 garimpeiros were reported to have invaded the 600,000-hectare Waiãpi indigenous reserve in the state of Amapá on Saturday..."
Amazon gold miners invade indigenous village in Brazil after its leader is killed | World news | The Guardian

Better to have a few rats than to be one - Baltimore Sun

Better to have a few rats than to be one







"In case anyone missed it, the president of the United States had some choice words to describe Maryland’s 7th congressional district on Saturday morning. Here are the key phrases: “no human being would want to live there,” it is a “very dangerous & filthy place,” “Worst in the USA” and, our personal favorite: It is a “rat and rodent infested mess.” He wasn’t really speaking of the 7th as a whole. He failed to mention Ellicott City, for example, or Baldwin or Monkton or Prettyboy, all of which are contained in the sprawling yet oddly-shaped district that runs from western Howard County to southern Harford County. No, Donald Trump’s wrath was directed at Baltimore and specifically at Rep. Elijah Cummings, the 68-year-old son of a former South Carolina sharecropper who has represented the district in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1996.
It’s not hard to see what’s going on here. The congressman 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."
In pointing to the 7th, the president wasn’t hoping his supporters would recognize landmarks like Johns Hopkins Hospital, perhaps the nation’s leading medical center. He wasn’t conjuring images of the U.S. Social Security Administration, where they write the checks that so many retired and disabled Americans depend upon. It wasn’t about the beauty of the Inner Harbor or the proud history of Fort McHenry. And it surely wasn’t about the economic standing of a district where the median income is actually above the national average. No, he was returning to an old standby of attacking an African American lawmaker from a majority black district on the most emotional and bigoted of arguments. It was only surprising that there wasn’t room for a few classic phrases like “you people” or “welfare queens” or “crime-ridden ghettos” or a suggestion that the congressman “go back” to where he came from.
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.
As heartening as it has been to witness public figures rise to Charm City’s defense on Saturday, from native daughter House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, we would above all remind Mr. Trump that the 7th District, Baltimore included, is part of the United States that he is supposedly governing. The White House has far more power to effect change in this city, for good or ill, than any single member of Congress including Mr. Cummings. If there are problems here, rodents included, they are as much his responsibility as anyone’s, perhaps more because he holds the most powerful office in the land.
Finally, while we would not sink to name-calling in the Trumpian manner — or ruefully point out that he failed to spell the congressman’s name correctly (it’s Cummings, not Cumming) — 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. Or that he possesses a scintilla of integrity. Better to have some vermin living in your neighborhood than to be one.
Baltimore Sun Editorial Board

This piece is written by the Baltimore Sun Editorial Board. If you would like to submit a letter to the editor, please send it to talkback@baltimoresun.com."




Better to have a few rats than to be one - Baltimore Sun

April Ryan on Trump's Baltimore rant: The reporter hat is off

Trump’s Twitter attack on Cummings and Baltimore: undiluted racism and hate

Trump’s Twitter attack on Cummings and Baltimore: undiluted racism and hate



"Victor Blackwell, morning anchor on CNN Saturday, quickly zeroed in on the use of the term “infested” and Trump’s pattern of regularly evoking the imagery connected with that word when talking about race.

“'Infested — that’s usually reserved for references to rodents and insects, but we’ve seen the president invoke infestation to criticize lawmakers before," Blackwell told his “New Day” viewers at the start of a powerful piece of rhetorical analysis. “You see a pattern here? Just two weeks ago President Trump attacked four minority congresswomen. ‘Why don’t they go back to the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.’ Reminder, three of them were born here; all of them are American. Infested he says.”
Blackwell continued, “A week before his inauguration, January 2017, Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart, not to mention crime infested. Donald Trump has tweeted more than 43,000 times. He’s insulted thousands of people, many different types of people but when he tweets about infestation, it’s about black and brown people.”
Blackwell went on the document Trump using the term in connection with African and sanctuary cities in California.

He could have added that the term was used in Nazi propaganda to talk about Jews.
The Baltimore-born-and-raised CNN anchor also responded on-air to Trump saying no human being would want to live in Cummings’ district.

“You know who did, Mr. President? I did,” Blackwell said. “From the day I was brought home from the hospital to the day I left for college, and a lot of people I care about still do. There are challenges no doubt, but people are proud of their community. I don’t want to sound self-righteous, but people get up and go to work there. They care for their families there. They love their children who pledge allegiance to the flag just like people who live in districts of congressmen who support you, sir. They are Americans, too."


Trump’s Twitter attack on Cummings and Baltimore: undiluted racism and hate

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Rand Paul is a master of avoiding reporters' questions


BoJo and his kipper

MUST-WATCH: Anchor breaks down live ON AIR over Trump’s tweet

Opinion | Trump’s Wall Gets America Nowhere on Border Security - The New York Times





"Immigration reform is long overdue, but it must be based on inclusion and humanity, not on cruel posturing.
The editorial board represents the opinions of the board, its editor and the publisher. It is separate from the newsroom and the Op-Ed section.
A surge of migrants from Central America has overwhelmed the border management system. Nearly a million are expected to cross the southwestern border by the end of year. Most hope to apply for asylum, adding to a backlog already stretching back years.
From the earliest days of the Trump administration, the president has been clear that he intends to move forward with his long-promised wall in answer to the emergency at the border. On Friday, President Trump scored a victory when the Supreme Court allowed him to transfer $2.5 billion in government funds toward that effort, despite ongoing litigation to block it. The White House has remained committed to the wall even as the idea has lost public favor, driven the government’s longest partial shutdown and proven an ineffective deterrent to larger and larger waves of migrants coming to the United States.
Yet it should be in the DNA of the American people, the overwhelming majority of whom are themselves descendants of immigrants who found refuge, opportunity and happiness in the United States, to approach this crisis with humanity. There must be a way to house the migrants, accelerate the hearings and protect the border with respect for the dignity and rights of these desperate people.
And it should be a source of shame for all Americans that their president has attacked the problem with cruelty and disdain for law and human rights, attempting tactics that, one after another, have been blocked by legislators or courts, and all the while trumpeting lies to his followers that the migrants are gangsters, drug smugglers and job stealers.
Outrageous consequences of this approach appear with dismal regularity. The latest was the arrest and 23-day detention of an American-born United States citizen because officers at one of many checkpoints in South Texas didn’t believe that the documents he showed were real. Francisco Erwin Galicia, 18, said he had lost 26 pounds at the overcrowded immigrant detention center, where men slept on the floor and were not allowed showers. Mr. Galicia was released only after The Dallas Morning News learned and told his story.
There are valid reasons Customs and Border Protection agents might have wanted to take a closer look at Mr. Galicia’s documents. His brother and another passenger in the car in which he was stopped were undocumented immigrants, as is his mother, who used a false name on his birth certificate. These are the sad realities of the lives of people who lack legal status in the United States.
But his detention was hardly an isolated mistake — hundreds of American citizens have now been detained on suspicion that they are living illegally in the United States, including a man held in custody for 1,273 days. Mr. Galicia had sufficient proof of American citizenship to rate a far speedier investigation.
The entire system of checkpoints, detention centers and immigration agents hunting for Hispanics — along with all the horror of children penned in disgusting conditions and a cascade of immigration policies that violate fundamental rights — perverts American values and traditions. It is a victory for the xenophobic and racist vision promoted by President Trump’s far-right adviser Stephen Miller and exploited by Mr. Trump from the day he announced his candidacy.
Among their latest sallies was a rule announced this month that would deny asylum to anyone who had failed to apply for — and be denied — protections in at least one country they passed through on their way north. That means Hondurans and Salvadorans would have to apply for asylum in Guatemala or Mexico before they could apply in the United States. Mexico has refused to go along with the scheme, but the White House said on Friday that Guatemala had agreed to a “safe third country” agreement, under which it would require migrants heading north to seek asylum there. Guatemala had balked at going along with the scheme until Mr. Trump threatened the country with tariffs, remittance fees and an unspecified “ban.”
The rule and arrangement could have effectively denied asylum to anyone coming to the United States by land other than Mexicans, who rarely seek it. The rule was temporarily blocked on Wednesday by a federal judge in San Francisco, who described it as “arbitrary and capricious.”
Another new measure, announced this week, would speed the deportation of undocumented immigrants who cannot prove they’ve been in the United States for more than two years. The rule enables federal agents to arrest far more people without a hearing before a judge. The American Civil Liberties Union promptly said it would seek to block the rule in court.
And so it goes, a relentless assault on the right to asylum enshrined in international law — “ridiculous” and “insane,” says Mr. Trump — and elemental decency. In the administration’s view, most recently displayed by Mr. Miller in an appearance with Chris Wallace on Fox News, anyone who opposes the Trump policy on immigration exhibits a “deep-seated hatred of the nation as it exists” and doesn’t care “if American citizens lose their jobs, lose their homes, lose their livelihoods, lose their health coverage and lose their very lives.”
That accusation is not only false and offensive. It also omits any hint of sympathy for the people who undertake the perilous and uncertain trek north, usually to escape poverty and violence in Honduras, El Salvador or Guatemala. And it omits any optimism about the contribution that such determined immigrants are likely to make to the United States. Such people have always been essential to creating and sustaining America’s standing as a shining city upon a hill. A comprehensive immigration law is long overdue. It must be based on American tolerance and humanity and animated by an American vision of a better future.
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Opinion | Trump’s Wall Gets America Nowhere on Border Security - The New York Times