African Americans

Two Secretaries Of State Running For Governor And Suppressing Voter Rights–Brian Kemp In Georgia And Kris Kobach In Kansas

A new level of political corruption is now occurring in upcoming state elections for Governor.

In Georgia, Brian Kemp is the Secretary of State since 2010, responsible for keeping track of voter registration. He is the Republican nominee for Governor, and has refused to allow updating of registration, with 70 percent of 53,000 voters not being allowed to vote being African Americans, and with his Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams, an African American female, protesting that Kemp should resign as Secretary of State, because he is interfering unjustly with the right to vote. Kemp has dismissed such calls for him to give up his government position as Secretary of State, despite the fact that he will be leaving that position at the end of the year, whether he wins or loses the Governorship race, but trying meanwhile to stack the deck against his African American opponent.

In Kansas, Republican nominee for Governor Kris Kobach, has been Secretary of State since 2011, and has removed nearly 20,000 people from voter rolls, and implemented some of the strictest voter ID laws in America. He has been noted nationally for his charges of voter fraud being widespread, and he has purged voter rolls in the same corrupt way that Kemp has in Georgia, and it will affect voting next month, as it will in Georgia. He has been the strongest advocate of nativism toward immigrants, and headed a White House Presidential Advisory Commission On Election Integrity in May 2017, disbanded without a report in January 2018. Kobach has been a lightning rod for many who have accused him of massive corruption, and discriminatory policies toward immigrants, making him the hero of white supremacists and nativists, even more than Brian Kemp.

Both Kemp and Kobach are close friends of Donald Trump, who, of course, has no problem with what they are doing, since it benefits Republicans.

Effectively, both Kemp and Kobach are working to fix the election results by limiting the right to vote, and all this occurring because the Supreme Court in Shelby County V Holder in 2013 allowed weakening of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and gave states the right to set up new voter restrictions.

Brennan Center For Justice: 19 States With New Voting Restrictions Since 2016

The William Brennan Center For Justice, named after the great former Supreme Court Justice, tracks violations of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and has exposed the reality that 19 states, since the Supreme Court backtracked on the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in a decision in 2013, have made the right to vote much more difficult, and affecting election results.

In 2016, 14 states had new voting restrictions in place for the first time in a presidential election, with these states including Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

In 2017, Arkansas, North Dakota, Missouri, Georgia, and Iowa added new laws.

So 8 Southern states of the old Confederacy (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia) are back where they were before the Voting Rights Act of 1965, making it harder for blacks and other people of color, and poor people in general, to be able to have the chance to vote.

But also, the 8 Midwestern states of Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas have gown down the same road.

And Arizona in the West and New Hampshire and Rhode Island on the Atlantic Coast also have made it more difficult to vote.

Look at this list of states, and notice almost all of them, except Virginia, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island voted for Donald Trump.

So we have the possibility that despite public opinion polls that indicate a “Blue Wave”, the restrictions on voting rights could impact election result in November.

Florida’s Discriminatory 150 Year Old Law Denying Voting Rights To Felons Who Have Paid Their Debt To Society Finally Being Challenged

About 1.4 million Floridians are denied the right to vote, because of past criminal records, but have paid their debt to society.

This discriminatory law has been in place since 1868, as part of a racist policy during Reconstruction, designed against African Americans, and Governor Rick Scott and the Republican Florida Cabinet Officers have made it nearly impossible for any of this group to regain their voting rights, even a decade or more after having met all legal requirements to be able to have their voting rights restored.

Now there is a constitutional amendment question that will be on the Florida ballot in November, requiring 60 percent or more of those voting to support the end of this discrimination, only found also in three other states—Iowa, Kentucky, and Virginia—although the latter has had two Democratic Governors–Terry McAuliffe and Ralph Northam–who have worked on restoring rights by executive action.

Florida, as the third largest state, is an outlier on the issue, and the proposed constitutional amendment, a move done by former felons working together, seems to have a good chance of success, and particularly with the apparent popularity of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum, favored to win over Republican Ron DeSantis.

It is important to understand that anyone who has committed and been convicted of murder or rape would NOT get back their voting rights, but many felons have non violent convictions, and this is designed to restore their voting rights.

It is also ironic that about two thirds of the people who would regain their voting rights are whites, not African Americans, overcoming the stereotype that only African Americans in the past and in the present commit felonies that are non violent.

The Miracle Of Andrew Gillum, The Democratic Nominee For Governor In Florida

Today has been a glorious day, one of the best this author has experienced in a long time.

What seemed impossible happened, as Andrew Gillum, the African American Mayor of Tallahassee, Florida (the state capitol), overcame the disadvantages of no money, no winning of any polls, no advertising to speak of. He triumphed over four other candidates, all with tons of money, and polls and advertising on a large scale.

So now we have three African American candidates for Governor, with Stacey Abrams in Georgia, and Ben Jealous in Maryland, along with Andrew Gillum.

Gillum was an unknown, and this author did not vote for him, assuming he had no chance to win, but now that he has won, this author is thrilled beyond belief, and ready to help Andrew Gillum win and bring a Democratic government on the executive level to the Sunshine State, the third largest behind California and Texas.

Andrew Gillum is educated, intelligent, a great orator, with great charisma and presence, a sense of humor, exudes confidence and has had executive experience, and displays a humility that is very appealing.

Gillum is someone to take seriously, as since independents could not vote in Florida for either party’s nomination, the potential for a “blue wave” is there, with not only independents, but also moderates in the Republican Party who are unhappy with the Donald Trump led Republican Party and its candidate, a nasty, mean spirited, arrogant three term Congressman, Ron DeSantis, who already the day after the primary, is using the word “monkey”, appealing to white supremacy and white racists.

Additionally, the fact that Gillum is only 39 will appeal to African Americans, young people, educated suburbanites, and the growing Puerto Rican population after Hurricane Irma, and with them being citizens of the US, and able to vote against Trump, who was shameful in his treatment of the hurricane disaster on that island. Now we are learning that 2,975 died in Puerto Rico, 60 percent higher than died in Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005.

To make the situation even more impressive, the Attorney General nominee for the Democrats is also an African American, Sean Shaw, and the candidate for State Agricultural Commissioner is Nikki Fried, who is Jewish. So we have a truly diverse ticket, and all this should help Senator Bill Nelson hold off Governor Rick Scott, who is spending three times what Nelson is able to raise, for his campaign.

But the belief is that Gillum, Shaw, and Fried could carry Nelson on their backs, and lead to an all Democratic victory in Florida in November.

Theoretical Possibility Of Nine Business People Or Celebrities With No Government Experience Who Might Run For The Presidency In 2020

Donald Trump is the first totally non government experience candidate ever to win the Presidency.

Before him, Wendell Willkie for the Republicans in 1940, and Ross Perot, as an Independent in 1992 and 1996, also had no government experience.

With the horrific Trump experience, the question arises whether another business person or celebrity with no government experience might run for the White House in 2020, and might have a chance to win.

At least nine potential candidates have been mentioned, but most are not considered serious possibilities.

Oprah Winfrey , Kanye West, and Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson come from the entertainment world, but none of these has seemed serious about running, and somehow, with all three being African American, and Oprah being a woman, it is hard to imagine, without government experience, and just basically being a celebrity, that anyone of them would get very far.

Then, we have Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook billionaire, who is Jewish and would be only 36 years old in 2020, and has controversy surrounding Facebook’s role in affecting the 2016 Presidential election. Also, he has made controversial statements, and comes across to many, including this blogger, as extremely arrogant, and needing much more maturity and judgment to even consider running at any time in the future.

Then we have Andrew Yang, who is an entrepreneur, promoting startups in business in many different cities across America. Yang, born of Chinese parents from Taiwan, would be 45 years old, and wants to promote a Universal Basic Income of $1,000 a month to all Americans 18-64, as part of his platform, and he has already announced for President, but the question is whether he can gain any traction.

Bob Iger, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Walt Disney Company, is Jewish, and is rumored to be interested, but there has been criticism of his leadership of Disney, and he would be close to 70 on Inauguration Day 2021.

Howard Schultz, the former Chief Executive Officer of Starbucks, is Jewish, and would be 67 years old if he won in 2020, and has a very liberal image, and seems to be seriously considering announcing his candidacy.

We also have Mark Cuban, who owns the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, is very outspoken, and has hinted at running for President. He has been all over the map politically, having expressed admiration for libertarian author Ayn Rand, but backing Hillary Clinton for President in 2016. Also Jewish in his religion, Cuban has been more of a public relations oriented person, much more noticed in the news media than most other businessmen, including Zuckerberg, Yang, Iger and Schultz. He would be likely a Republican candidate if he ran, as he calls himself fiscally conservative, although a social moderate by his own definition.

Finally, much more in the public eye since Donald Trump became President, is Tom Steyer, a billionaire hedge fund manager, philanthropist, environmentalist, liberal activist, and fundraiser, who has been on an active campaign to impeach Donald Trump, gaining a lot of attention. He has long been a Democratic activist, going back to Walter Mondale in 1984 through Hillary Clinton in 2016, and was considered to be a cabinet member twice under Barack Obama, for Secretary of the Treasury in 2009 and Secretary of Energy in 2013, but others were chosen. Steyer is often seen as the adversary of Charles and David Koch.

The only ones on this list of nine who this author and blogger see as “legitimate” are Andrew Yang and Tom Steyer, who seem to have the best credentials, but still, no desire here to have another businessman or celebrity without any government experience as our President in 2021.

In the “real world”, somehow, three African Americans (Winfrey, West, Johnson); one woman (Winfrey); four Jews (Zuckerberg, Iger, Schultz, Cuban); and one Asian American (Yang) potential candidates seems highly unlikely, in the political climate we are in, to have a real shot at being the nominee. So this means probably Tom Steyer, who is most “out there” in the present political climate and is a white Episcopalian, might be the one of the nine with the best potential. Had he actually served in Barack Obama’s cabinet, he might seem to many as a more legitimate candidate, as we have had Presidents who were never elected before the Presidency but were cabinet members, specifically William Howard Taft and Herbert Hoover.

The Trump experience makes it difficult to look at others in the non political world as better than having a Governor, Senator, Congressman, Mayor, or Cabinet Officer in the White House.

We shall see how far these nine possible candidates go in seeking the Presidency, as after the next 100 days, the announcement of Presidential candidacies, will rapidly emerge!

Supreme Court Battle Could Move Potential Democratic Nominees Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, And Amy Klobuchar Into The Forefront

The battle over the Supreme Court nominee to be announced in four days by President Donald Trump could move potential Democratic Presidential nominees Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and Amy Klobuchar into the forefront of the news.

All three potential candidates are members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and all three are expected to be vocal in their opposition to whoever Trump appoints.

These three Democrats are part of the “newer generation”, as opposed to Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and Elizabeth Warren, all of whom will be past 70 or nearing 80 in the case of the first two named, in 2020.

Booker and Harris will be 51 and 56, and Klobuchar will be 60 in 2020.

Booker and Harris tend to be more vehement in their oratory, than is the case with Klobuchar.

Booker and Harris represent the Northeast and Pacific Coast respectively, while Klobuchar is from the Midwest (Minnesota), an important factor for the Democrats, who need to win the Midwest if they are to win the White House.

Sadly, Booker being African American, and Harris being mixed race (Asian Indian mother and Jamaican father) and a woman, have to be regarded as minuses in the present political atmosphere.

Klobuchar is also a woman, of course, but being Caucasian and from the Midwest are pluses, along with her avoiding being confrontational or overly controversial in her public utterances, as Booker and Harris tend to be, along with other women candidates Kirsten Gillibrand and Elizabeth Warren.

One might say that a progressive should be for the most leftist candidate possible, but this author and blogger at this point, which is very early, sees Amy Klobuchar as more “mainstream”, and in theory more electable in 2020.

Truthfully, however, there is no way to judge this early, 18 months before the earliest caucuses and primaries, and 28 months before Election Day on 2020, as to which Democrat is the best bet.

But these three Judiciary Committee members will certainly be making news in the next few months, before their likely announcements of Presidential candidacy.

The Muslim Ban Decision Of The Supreme Court (Trump V Hawaii) Will Go Down As One Of Worst Decisions In 229 Years Of Our National History!

The Supreme Court has just made one of the worst decisions in its 229 year history, and has besmirched its own reputation in the process.

It will match such decisions as the Dred Scott Case of 1857; Plessy V Ferguson 1896; and Korematsu V US 1944—all racist decisions justifying slavery, racial segregation, and the internment of Japanese Americans in internment camps during World War II.

All have been roundly condemned, as violations of basic human rights and civil liberties, and now, once again, the Supreme Court has proved how it has allowed itself to promote discrimination and racial prejudice, all in the name of “national security”.

Instead of labeling African Americans or Japanese Americans, now the whole Islamic religion has been judged as a threat to national security, based on the hysteria and racism of Donald Trump.

We have, therefore, allowed an authoritarian who threatens our whole system of government to win a case based purely on bias and religious hatred.

This is a slippery slope that can lead to victimization in the future of people from other nations and other religions.

Jews who were refused entrance in the late 1930s, and now people from Central America who want to escape similar violence and bloodshed and are being held in detention away from their children, are just further examples of how religious prejudice and racism are winning out.

The John Roberts Court has undermined its own reputation in the process, and will be condemned in history.

And the fact that Merrick Garland, appointed by President Obama, was denied a hearing for the Supreme Court vacancy in 2016, led to Neil Gorsuch, who predictably now and in the future will advocate an extreme right wing agenda, harming our constitutional liberties for the next thirty years.

The fact that three members of the Court would not be there if the popular vote had won out in 2000 and 2016 just adds to the tragedy, as George W. Bush would not have been able to appoint John Roberts and Samuel Alito, and Donald Trump would not have been able to appoint Neil Gorsuch.

Sonia Sotomayor registered her vehement dissent, along with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the opposition of Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan. But it was all for naught!

America’s reputation has been permanently damaged, and we are no safer against those Muslims who are extremists, who are now emboldened to do harm more than ever, and at the same time, those Muslims in America who have served in our armed forces honorably, and those who have done good work in other fields, have been slapped in the face.

Our most ugly side as a nation has been displayed for all to see, and anyone who believes in justice and fair play is weeping today, and will for the long term of our history as a nation, as tolerance and open mindedness have been denied!

Potential New Faces On The National Scene After The Midterm Elections Of 2018

The upcoming midterm elections of 2018 may bring on the political scene some new Democrats who could become major players in the future of the party.

We have Democrats having a chance to become Governors of major states, and potentially playing a role in the 2020 Presidential election.

For instance, we have Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom of California as the odds on favorite to become the successor to Jerry Brown as Governor of the largest state, which means he will not be someone who can be ignored on the national scene.

We have former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, who is Jewish, and who seems to be the front runner for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Florida, and has a reasonable chance to become the leader of the third largest state.

We have Richard Cordray, the former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and former Ohio State Treasurer and Attorney General, as the Democratic nominee for Ohio Governor.

We also have J.B Pritzker, a venture capitalist and part of the family that owns the Hyatt Hotel chain, and happens to be Jewish, who is the Democratic nominee for Illinois Governor.

Finally, we have Stacey Abrams, the first African American woman nominated for Governor in American history, the Minority Leader of the Georgia State Assembly, nominated by the Democrats.

Also, for the US Senate, we have Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke of El Paso, who has served in the House of Representatives since 2013, challenging Senator Ted Cruz for his Senate seat, with Cruz being the most widely derided and hated member of the Senate, even by his own Republican colleagues.

A leading priority should be to retire Ted Cruz, who this blogger thought was actually more dangerous than Donald Trump, among 2016 Republican Presidential contenders, although more recent developments have shown even Cruz not willing to be as disgraceful as Donald Trump has become, although still a despicable human being!

June 17 In American History

Today is Father’s Day and the birthday, also, of my oldest son, David, who was born on Father’s Day, a coinciding event that occurs rarely.

But it is also a major historic day in American history in a number of ways.

1775–Battle of Bunker Hill in Boston, actually at Breed’s Hill location nearby, second battle of developing American Revolution against Great Britain.

1856–Republican Party opens its first National Convention in Philadelphia.

1885–Statue of Liberty, a gift from France, arrives in New York Harbor, will be installed in 1886.

1932–“Bonus Army” veterans of World War I march on the US Capitol, demanding veterans benefits in midst of Great Depression under President Herbert Hoover.

1954–The end of the Army-McCarthy hearings, which leads to the Senate censure of Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin for his misbehavior.

1972–The Watergate Break In occurs, the beginning of the downfall of Richard Nixon, the most corrupt President until Donald Trump.

2015–Nine African American worshipers at Emmanuel AME Baptist Church in Charleston, South Carolina, are murdered by a 21 year old white racist gunman.

All of these events are tied together–the promotion of freedom, liberty, principle, social justice, civil rights, and the rule of law.

All of these principles are under attack in 2018!

50 Years Since MLK Assassination, And In Many Ways, Not Much Progress In Race Relations In America

It has been 50 years since the assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee.

His death ended the most active and accomplished period of the civil rights movement, which occurred during the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson.

No one ever came forth with the charisma and following of Dr. King, to succeed him.

As we look back a half century, we can say that the African American community saw great advances in education and attainment of the middle class by a growing percentage of their population.

We also saw political gains by the African American community, including what many thought was the most triumphant moment of all–the election of the first African American President, Barack Obama.

But looking back now, one can say that the Obama election brought the truth out of the ugly woodwork–that racism is still very much alive and thriving, and not just in the South, but nationwide.

We see young and middle age African American boys and men, in particular, being victimized by police across the nation at alarming rates, and a large percentage who are not killed being subjected to unequal justice and long periods in prison.

The violence in the cities is over the top, and yet nothing has been done to overcome the danger of growing up in an environment where those who just wish to advance themselves out of poverty are often the victims of people of the same color.

The dream of Dr. King that everyone would be judged by the content of their character, rather than their skin color, has not been fulfilled, and we have a long road toward true racial equality in all areas of life, including economic advancement, which was badly damaged by the Great Recession, more for African Americans than for the working class whites, who are still appealed to by right wingers and Donald Trump to see African Americans as the enemy.