Tearing down monuments to racism

Statues celebrating the Confederacy are being toppled like statues of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad. Certain people will lie and tell you the statues are about heritage and states rights.

Here’s Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D) of New Orleans with the best explanation of why these statues have to go:

This is probably one of the most significant speeches ever given by a Southern politician.

You’ll notice, though, that there’s a glitch in the video. A section of the speech was dropped. Here it is:

After the Civil War, these statues were a part of that terrorism as much as a burning cross on someone’s lawn; they were erected purposefully to send a strong message to all who walked in their shadows about who was still in charge in this city.

Should you have further doubt about the true goals of the Confederacy, in the very weeks before the war broke out, the Vice President of the Confederacy, Alexander Stephens, made it clear that the Confederate cause was about maintaining slavery and white supremacy.

He said in his now famous ‘Cornerstone speech’ that the Confederacy’s “cornerstone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery — subordination to the superior race — is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”

Now, with these shocking words still ringing in your ears, I want to try to gently peel from your hands the grip on a false narrative of our history that I think weakens us and make straight a wrong turn we made many years ago so we can more closely connect with integrity to the founding principles of our nation and forge a clearer and straighter path toward a better city and more perfect union.

Last year, President Barack Obama echoed these sentiments about the need to contextualize and remember all of our history. He recalled a piece of stone, a slave auction block engraved with a marker commemorating a single moment in 1830 when Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay stood and spoke from it.

President Obama said, “Consider what this artifact tells us about history … on a stone where day after day for years, men and women … bound and bought and sold and bid like cattle on a stone worn down by the tragedy of over a thousand bare feet. For a long time the only thing we considered important, the singular thing we once chose to commemorate as history with a plaque were the unmemorable speeches of two powerful men.”

A piece of stone – one stone. Both stories were history. One story told. One story forgotten or maybe even purposefully ignored.

The Justice Department’s letter: What’s this really about?

On Friday, the Justice Department issued this release involving letters it sent to nine jurisdictions involving their sanctuary laws:

Today, the Department of Justice sent the attached letters to nine jurisdictions which were identified in a May 2016 report by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General as having laws that potentially violate 8 U.S.C. § 1373.

Additionally, many of these jurisdictions are also crumbling under the weight of illegal immigration and violent crime. The number of murders in Chicago has skyrocketed, rising more than 50 percent from the 2015 levels. New York City continues to see gang murder after gang murder, the predictable consequence of the city’s “soft on crime” stance. And just several weeks ago in California’s Bay Area, after a raid captured 11 MS-13 members on charges including murder, extortion and drug trafficking, city officials seemed more concerned with reassuring illegal immigrants that the raid was unrelated to immigration than with warning other MS-13 members that they were next.

The letters remind the recipient jurisdictions that, as a condition for receiving certain financial year 2016 funding from the Department of Justice, each of these jurisdictions agreed to provide documentation and an opinion from legal counsel validating that they are in compliance with Section 1373. The Department of Justice expects each of these jurisdictions to comply with this grant condition and to submit all documentation to the Office of Justice Programs by June 30, 2017, the deadline imposed by the grant agreement.

This specifically names three cities. And the reference to one of them is a complete lie. New York isn’t soft on crime and does not have a high murder rate. Paul Krugman provides the following chart:

And the New York Police Department issued the following statement:

So what are we really talking about here?

The cities singled out are Chicago, New York and San Francisco.

Now what do those cities mean to right wing bigots.

Chicago, when you translate from bigot, means Barack Obama, which means blacks.

New York, when you translate from bigot, means Jews.

San Francisco, when you translate from bigot, means gays.

Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions is a bigot. That’s why the midget digited orange troll appointed him to the post.

We’re not stupid. We’ve heard this dog whistle from Republicans ever since Richard Nixon. It’s the tool they use to get the pump truppet, Tea Party, gun fellating inbreds to drool and piss themselves.

Don’t let Hookerpiss and his cronies get away with it.

Never fly United Airlines. It beats up passengers.

This is how United Airlines gets passengers to “volunteer” to leave an overbooked plane:

That’s a movie. This is what happened in real life (from the Louisville Courier Journal):

Social media was on fire Monday after a video showed the type of hair-raising drama that you’d only expect to see in a horror film.

There was blood, screaming and gasps of disbelief. But this wasn’t fiction — this was a man being dragged off of a United plane at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport before the flight took off for Louisville.

As the Courier-Journal originally reported, a 31-second video posted on Facebook by Audra D. Bridges on Sunday night shows three men wearing radio equipment and security jackets speaking with a passenger seated on the plane. After a few seconds, one of the men grabs the passenger, who screams, and drags him by his arms toward the front of the plane.

And what exactly did the passenger do?

“Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked,” the {United} spokesperson said. “After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate.

Excuse me, but do these fuckers know what “volunteer” means? Let me help them:

Definition of volunteer

  1. 1:  a person who voluntarily undertakes or expresses a willingness to undertake a service: such as

    a :  one who enters into military service voluntarily

    b (1) :  one who renders a service or takes part in a transaction while having no legal concern or interest (2) :  one who receives a conveyance or transfer of property without giving valuable consideration

Just to be clear, this is the video of the incident:

Why do I feel like this is what you should expect in a country led by a dwarf-digited dipshit? Corporations take your money, then throw you off a flight after you’ve taken your seat, because they “volunteered” you to deplane. And let’s be honest. The passenger is Asian. Do you honestly think these stormtroopers would have done this to a white guy?

Here’s the response from United’s CEO:

Let me catch my breath:

  1. United is upset? How do you thing the passenger your goons beat up feels?
  2. Re-accommodate? Is that the new euphemism for “kick the shit out of”?
  3. Our own detailed review of what happened? Look at the video!
  4. Reaching out to this passenger? Why? So you can slap him around again?
  5. Resolve this situation? Just give him a couple of million dollars right now, because you’re going to lose a hell of a lot more when he sues your ass.

If you want passengers to leave a plane, offer them vouchers. If no one takes it, offer more vouchers. If no one takes that, OFFER MORE VOUCHERS, AND A MEAL, AND A FREE HOTEL STAY!

Think what would have happened even if you had to offer as much as $3,000 in vouchers. Lots of people would have waited for the next flight, and it would have cost you a hell of a lot less than the lawsuit you’re going to lose and the bad publicity you’ve already gotten.

Because, as a regular flying passenger, as a result of this, I’m never again going to get on a United Airlines plane.

There’s bigotry and xenophobia in the air

From Harper’s magazine:

Travel Clearances

From descriptions of incidents in which U.S. and U.K. airlines removed Muslims or passengers who were perceived to be Muslim from their flights.

Asked for a glass of water

Asked for a second Diet Coke

Saved seats for friends

Requested a strap for a child’s booster seat

Upgraded to business class

Read a book

Read an article titled “What ISIS Really Wants”

Looked at a flight attendant

Looked at an Arabic text message

Appeared scary to another passenger

Watched the news

Solved an algebraic equation

Sweated

Prayed for a safe flight

Ben Carson am being educated by Betsy DeVos

Transportation for immigrants, according to Ben Carson

After the education secretary’s stupid remarks about how black colleges were excellent examples of school choice during the Jim Crow era, you’d have thought that the orange menace’s administration would have sent a memo to it’s cabinet chiefs saying “Ix-nay on the ack-blay.”

Ben Carson didn’t get the memo:

Ben Carson compared slaves to immigrants seeking a better life in his first official address Monday as Housing and Urban Development Secretary, setting off an uproar on social media.

In what appears to be an embarrassing pattern of mis-steps on race for the Trump administration, Carson told a room packed with hundreds of federal workers that the Africans captured, sold and transported to America against their will had the same hopes and dreams as early immigrants.

“That’s what America is about. A land of dreams and opportunity. There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less,” said Carson, speaking extemporaneously as he paced the room with a microphone. “But they, too, had a dream that one day their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, great grandsons, great granddaughters might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land.”

OK, let’s deal with a certain flaw in this logic:

The early slaves weren’t thinking about prosperity and happiness. They were facing abuse, torture and murder. And that’s what they expected for their children, because before the civil war, there was no hope for freedom.

Republican honor: TBD

And why is this not funny? The Guardian explains:

[W]e can’t just point the finger at, and pray for the downfall of, Donald Trump. He is merely the face of a deeper Republican malaise. The hypocrisies he embodies extend far beyond him. For decades, Republicans cast themselves as the party of family values, wagging their finger at anyone who had fallen short of the moral standards they set. But when Trump came along, promising them the tax cuts and seats on the supreme court they craved, all that went out of the window. Suddenly they were prepared to embrace a thrice-married worshipper of mammon who brags about sexually assaulting women and was happy to assess his own daughter as “a piece of ass”. Note the polling on white evangelical Christians. In 2011 they were the group least likely to accept that a candidate guilty of immoral behaviour in their personal life might nevertheless be able to act ethically as a leader. Now they are the by 2017 to become the most forgiving on that score.
Consider the way Republicans used to claim “freedom” as their own, posing as liberty’s champions. Now it emerges that fewer than half of all Republican voters believe news organisations should be free to criticise political leaders – a freedom that is surely fundamental.
And of course, for decades Republicans wrapped themselves in the flag, claiming a monopoly on patriotism, casting themselves as the heirs to Ronald Reagan and all those who stood strong against Russian authoritarianism. Yet now, delegates to the CPAC ultra-conservative conference will happily wave little Russian flags, so long as they have Trump’s name on them.
It’s natural to direct our fury at Trump and to want to see him gone. But it was the wider American right that, over more than two decades, feasted on bigotry, ignorance and contempt for science, facts and the compromises required by democratic governance – it was that right that incubated Trump and Trumpism. If impeachment and removal from office are ever to be more than a fantasy, it will be Republicans who will have to make it happen. And that will require them to do more than change a president. They will have to change themselves.

Betsy DeVos am learning: Black colleges and school choice

Because in this administration, it wouldn’t be news if you didn’t say something stupid (via the Washington Post):

Many advocates of historically black colleges and universities were apoplectic after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos called the group of schools forged at the height of racial segregation “pioneers” of  “school choice.”

DeVos issued a statement Monday evening after a meeting with HBCU leaders, praising their schools for identifying “a system that wasn’t working” and taking it “upon themselves to provide the solution” from the outset of their founding. …

But the statement did not delve into the historical context behind the creation of HBCUs: that they were a response to racist Jim Crow laws that enforced segregation in the South, barring black students from attending traditionally white institutions. Instead, DeVos said HBCUs are “living proof that when more options are provided to students, they are afforded greater access and greater quality.”

Let’s turn now to those thrilling days of yesteryear and greater access and greater equality and the awesomeness of school choice:

OK, Betsy. Let’s try again.

Uh, Betsy. Was this “school choice” just happening at colleges?

Shall I continue? Sure, why not?

In the Lügenduck administration, it takes a stupid person to run an Education Department. I believe VSB put it best:

BETSY DEVOS SAYS HBCUS ARE PIONEERS OF SCHOOL CHOICE. SHE IS A FUCKING IDIOT. YOU KNOW THIS. BUT STILL.