African Americans

The Promotion Of Fear And Panic A Typical Republican Response To Any Issue Or Problem!

The Midterm Elections of 2014 might be decided not on the issues, but on the promotion of fear and panic, being utilized to scare voters!

It is not a new tactic by the Republican Party, but rather an old strategy used in the past.

Leave it to the GOP to use fear of “Socialism”, “Progressivism”, “Liberalism”, distorting all three terms as against America, as a way to prevent political, social, and economic reform that takes power away from the wealthy and the corporations!

The Red Scare of the late 1940s and early 1950s, as promoted by Richard Nixon, Joseph McCarthy, and other demagogues, had a deleterious effect on people’s lives, and victimized many innocent people.

Fear and panic were used by Presidents, including Richard Nixon and George W. Bush to promote war in Vietnam and in Iraq!

The Republican Party has abandoned its original support of African American civil rights, and has now promoted racism to attract uneducated and poor and lower middle class whites to vote against their own economic interests.

Now fear and panic are being used because of the Ebola Crisis to convince people to vote Republican, despite the fact that the GOP has done nothing positive in any form, and has set out to obstruct everything that Barack Obama has tried to do, with him succeeding in many initiatives despite constant attack and criticism and attempts to block progress.

If the Republicans succeed in convincing the American people to go nuts over Ebola, when the flu and pneumonia causes 50,000 deaths a year without fear and panic; and if 11,000 people a year killed by firearms annually is not seen as a crisis; then the American people will get what they deserve—incompetent, corrupt, and uncaring government, which will work to undermine all of the progress of the New Deal and Great Society for the past 80 years!

The Future Of The Republican Party: Rob Portman Vs. Mike Huckabee As A Symbol!

With Gay Marriage rapidly expanding, by refusal of the Supreme Court to stop it in eleven states, raising the total of states to 30 and counting, the Republican Party now faces its future!

With a majority of states and population now supporting or accepting gay marriage, and with a majority of people under 50, and even a majority of Catholics and even evangelical Christians in support, how long will the Republican Party hold out and be on the wrong side of history?

Do they wish to be recorded and remembered in the long run for their refusal to accept that marriage is NOT something to be voted on, to have a popular vote (which would not be lost in any case) on a basic human right, both in race in Loving V. Virginia and on sexual orientation now? Do they wish to be seen for what they are now, biased, prejudiced, hateful, narrow minded, and allowing religious beliefs of some people to dictate the lives of everyone else, when we have separation of church and state?

Conservatives were wrong on civil rights for African Americans, wrong on interracial marriage, wrong on women’s rights, wrong on immigration then and now, and wrong on gay rights and marriage, and for the Republicans to continue to follow their hateful, narrow minded views, will guarantee the demise of the party of Lincoln, TR, and Ike!

The Republican Party has a choice! It is time for MORE Republican Senators, Congressmen, and Governors and other office holders to come out in support of gay marriage NOW! So far, only four sitting US Senators and a few members of the House of Representatives have had the courage to speak up. The Senators are Liza Murkowski of Alaska, Mark Kirk of Illinois, Susan Collins of Maine, and Rob Portman of Ohio.

The GOP will have a massive problem being elected to the House and Senate majorities in 2016, as it is, and the suddenly emerging “dark horse” status of Rob Portman, the only one of the above four Senators, who MIGHT consider running for President, and have a shot at being the nominee, present the Republican Party with a choice!

Either demand that any GOP nominee accept the inevitable, OR nominate Senator Portman as the most legitimate candidate for 2016, bypassing all the other extremist, lunatic, whacky candidates in the field, picking a moderate mainstream conservative as the future of the party!

Republicans, reject Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, and anyone else who refuses to accept gay marriage, and ONLY support a person such as Rob Portman, who has accepted it, and is from a key swing state, Ohio, which every winning President has won except in 1960 in modern times!

It is true that Portman supported gay rights and gay marriage due to his son coming out as gay, but he could have done what many so called “religious” people do, and repudiated his son, a most despicable act for any so called “religious” person to do, a mockery of the idea of religiosity!

If the GOP decides to follow the route of the above candidates who have made it clear that they will not accept gay marriage, the ideal candidate for them would be former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, a once seriously mainstream conservative candidate for President in 2008, who has gone off the deep end, become a lunatic, a bigoted man with crazy views, since he joined Fox News Channel, and now mirrors the lunatic right wing talk show hosts on radio, as well as Fox News Channel!

Huckabee has made clear that he will NOT accept what is happening on gay marriage, and if the GOP continues to give in to Supreme Court actions or lack of action on gay marriage, that he will leave the Republican Party!

The best thing the GOP could do is repudiate Huckabee, who has already destroyed his name in history, and have him leave the Republican Party, and let the swinging door hit him in his rear end, or in fact, kick him out the door, declaring to him and others like him, “good riddance!”

The best thing the GOP could do is nominate Rob Portman, or others who finally accept gay rights and gay marriage, and look to a future of NOT accepting prejudice, bias, and the power of the Religious Right, which should be escorted to the door, and told to go to Hell, where they belong!

A great ticket right now would be Portman of Ohio for President and Susan Collins of Maine for Vice President, and that would also overcome the misogyny of the Republican Party!

The Growing Militarization And Right Wing Nature Of The Nation’s Law Enforcement Network A Danger To Democracy In America!

There is growing evidence of the militarization and right wing nature of the nation’s law enforcement network, a true danger to democracy!

We see more police officers breaking the law in the handling of suspects and the general public, including easy willingness to shoot and kill, rather than less aggressive tactics, particularly with African American and Latino young men.

We see law enforcement being uncovered as secret members of the Ku Klux Klan and other domestic terrorist and right wing militia groups, and preaching racism and hatred in many forms.

We see hints, strong hints, that members of the Secret Service are, in some cases, unfit for duty, as they harbor deep resentment against our first African American President, Barack Obama, and his family, and being less than zealous in their handling of his security, in a way not seen to such an extent for earlier Presidents.

The feeling is growing, that the American public can no longer feel relaxed with their local police, as there are many signs of aggressiveness, abusive language, and the wielding of power by law enforcement who have too much military style hardware and weapons, as in Ferguson, Missouri, way more than is needed in almost all situations.

The concept that the law enforcement authorities are out to protect us has become one of rather of some of them lacking proper training in sociology and psychology, and getting a power and ego trip by their ability to threaten us or mistreat us with impunity.

This is a feeling that some would say reminds historians of the concept of storm troopers and secret police in Fascist, Nazi, and Communist dictatorships, far from the concept of equal justice and fairness that is the benchmark of the American legal and judicial system over the history of our nation, and a warning sign for the future, to be alert and aware of possible abuses!

What Has Happened To The Image Of The Police We Used To Have As Children And Young Adults?

This author and blogger grew up totally respectful of police officers, admiring them for their courage and willingness to serve the citizenry.  It was never thought that we needed to be fearful of police officers.

But that has changed dramatically in recent years, and particularly in the past few months, as we have seen numerous cases of police officers all over the nation abusing their power and position, and too quick to shoot to kill many unarmed people, many of them African American or Hispanic, but also those who are disabled, and some victims who are also whites.

These abusive police have been quick to use their tasers and their firearms in an aggressive manner, when in so many of these cases, it has been totally unnecessary to do so.  They have lost the concern for life of their victims, and instead of, if needed, shooting to wound, they have gone for the chest and the head, in so many situations all over the country!

In Ferguson, Missouri, the perpetrator of the death of Michael Brown, a police officer named Darren Wilson has not faced any charges, or detention, while a grand jury takes forever to move forward, and one cannot be sure that they will even indict  Wilson at all. A grand jury in Ohio refused to indict a police officer who killed a young black man in Walmart, who had picked up a toy gun and was shot for holding it, while Ohio allows unlimited display of firearms in any public place, but obviously really only for white citizens!

A police officer in South Carolina opened up fire on a driver who went into his car to get his drivers license, and wounded him over an issue of not wearing seat belts!  All cases lately have been white officers against black men, many of them young black men!

This situation is out of control, and makes one feel as if our police officers are, in too many cases, abusing their positions, and acting as if they are Nazi Gestapo or a Secret Police force, while Omar J. Gonzalez, when he scaled the White House fence and ran to the North Portico and was able to gain entrance to the building without being stopped before that occurred, and carrying a pocket knife, was not even shot at by the Secret Service, when such an action deserved a shoot to kill order in that circumstance!

Of course, the multitude of police officers do their job well, but the renegades are undermining the whole concept of law enforcement, and there needs, desperately, for better training of police, and the drumming out of those who are ill qualified by temperament and their performance record to keep their positions as police officers!

Attorney General Eric Holder Leaving The Obama Cabinet: A Major Loss Of One Of the Greatest Attorneys General In American History!

One of the longest serving Attorneys General in America, Eric Holder, announced today that he was leaving the Obama cabinet as soon as a successor is confirmed, probably at the beginning of the 114th Congress in January!

By then, Eric Holder will have served six years, the third longest term as Attorney General, only trailing second place Janet Reno under Bill Clinton, and William Wirt, who served longer than anyone under James Monroe and John Quincy Adams in the early 19th century!

Holder has been bitterly attacked for his performance and his own character by right wing whackos of the Tea Party Movement, and joined by Republican leaders in both houses of Congress, who have stopped at nothing to degrade him, including citing him for contempt of Congress, and threatening impeachment.

Through it all, Holder has acted with dignity  and class, just like his boss, President Obama.  Both of them have refused to take the bait and get angry, and have made their critics look what they are—prejudiced, biased, racists, and not giving a damn about civil rights and civil liberties of all of the American people.

Holder has worked to try to restore the Voting Rights Act, after the shameful reversion on much of it by the Supreme Court in 2013.

Holder has worked to promote prison reform, and to lower the prison population by freeing people who were wrongfully convicted or kept in prison way beyond all reasonable sentences.

Holder also prosecuted hundreds of terrorism cases, tackled financial fraud, and worked against violent crime and corruption, as well as working to promote the environment.

Holder was the first African American Attorney General, and he should be succeeded by retiring Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, another African American.

That will be difficult if the Republican opposition wins control of the Senate, another reason for everyone to vote in the midterm elections.  We are bound to see open racism by many Republicans if Patrick is nominated to succeed Holder, even if the GOP does not win the Senate majority!

This nation was blessed to have a great man as our Attorney General, and Eric Holder will be ranked among the top Attorneys General in American history over time!

Georgia Congressman John Lewis, “Selma” Film, And The Effect Of The Voting Rights Act of 1965: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama!

The new documentary, SELMA, about the March from Selma to Montgomery in March 1965, leading to “Bloody Sunday”, where state troopers and snipers fired on peaceful marchers demanding their right to vote, reminds us of a transitional stage in American history, when African Americans would regain the right to vote given to them in the 15th Amendment in 1870, and then denied in the South for about 75 years!

Alabama Governor George Wallace represented the worst of Southern racism, and Georgia Congressman John Lewis, a true hero then and now, had his head beaten and bloodied n the Selma March, but the horrible event led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965!

It is tragic that the Supreme Court allowed a reversion in enforcement of the Voting Rights Act two years ago, and that has led to new movements, and not only in the South, to make it harder for African Americans, Latinos, women, poor people, and college students to vote, and that could affect the Midterm elections of 2014!

But Lewis made the comment which is so TRUE: If it had not been for Voting Rights Act coming out of the Selma March, there likely would NEVER have been an open minded progressive Presidency of Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama!

That would have been a tremendous tragedy, as no Republican President , whether Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, or George W. Bush, made civil rights enforcement a key goal of their times in the Presidency!

So thank goodness for the fortune that the sacrifices of the Selma Marchers brought us the great progress  we gained under Carter, Clinton, and now Obama!

The Tea Party Out To Destroy All Progress Since 1900! Progressives MUST Fight To Retain Social Justice And Economic Advancements!

America has changed so much in the past 114 years, from the time of the Progressive Era, through the New Deal, the Great Society, and the time of Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter. George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama!

America at the end of the Gilded Age was a selfish, greedy nation of the few elite wealthy victimizing the rest of American society.

But then came Theodore Roosevelt cracking down on big business; showing concern for labor; promoting the Food and Drug Administration; and vastly extending the concept of protection of the environment and conservation.

Then came Woodrow Wilson, who gave us the Federal Reserve Banking System; the Clayton Anti Trust Act; the Federal Trade Commission; and the first national labor laws.

Then came Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal, changing our lives long term with Social Security; public works programs; bank deposit insurance; stock market regulations; the Tennessee Valley Authority; Federal Unemployment Compensation; and labor laws which gave workers and labor unions the right to collective bargaining.

Then came Harry Truman, who promoted integration of the armed forces and Washington, DC; advocated for national health care; and emphasized the need for national commitment to education.

Then came Dwight D. Eisenhower, who enforced civil rights enforcement; promoted federal aid to education; the development of an interstate highway system; and the development of a national space commitment.

Then came John F. Kennedy, who advanced civil rights; promoted the space program; started the Peace Corps; cracked down on the steel industry;  and advocated national health care for the elderly.

Then came Lyndon B. Johnson, who promoted massive civil rights laws; successfully passed Medicare and Medicaid; pursued a War on Poverty; massive increases in federal aid to education; began a national commitment to environmental and consumer legislation; and appointed the first African American to the cabinet and to the Supreme Court.

Then came Richard Nixon, who signed into law the Environmental Protection Agency; the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; the Consumer Product Safety Commission; and attempted wage and price controls to keep down the inflation level.

Then came Jimmy Carter, who further promoted civil rights; saw the need for an Energy Department; and became the third best environmental President after Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Nixon.

Then came George H. W. Bush, who signed into law civil rights legislation to promote disabled people.

Then came Bill Clinton, who promoted civil rights advancements; a greater commitment to education; and attempted a national health care program.

Finally came Barack Obama, who brought about ObamaCare; promoted great environmental expansion; advocated for equality of gays and lesbians including gay marriage; and started to take moves toward immigration reforms.

So much has been done by these twelve Presidents to advance social justice, and economic reform—eight Democrats and four Republicans.

But now, the 2014 Republican Party has been hijacked by the Tea Party extremists and the right wing radio talk shows and Fox News Channel and the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson, and they have declared war on all humane, decent actions that have taken place in the past 114 years, including advocacy of destroying Social Security and Medicare and getting rid of national parks and all labor reforms and the rights of women and the poor!

This is all very shocking and unbelievable, but the battle for progressivism and the retention of the great work done from Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama must be forthright and the battle for the future has just begun.  The Republican Party needs to be smashed and reconstituted, if the nation is to grow in the 21st century, rather than move backwards to the 19th century!

The “Southern” Culture A Detriment To American Society!

We have been hearing a lot about the “Southern Culture”, recently, in detrimental ways.

Apparently, part of the “Southern Culture” is to continue to discriminate openly against African Americans, Latinos, and gays and lesbians, and not apologize one iota for Southern behavior!

Apparently, part of the “Southern Culture” is to endorse abuse of women, whether wives or significant others, and give excuses for rape and smacking and beating of women if they anger men!

Apparently, part of the “Southern Culture” is for African American men, in particular, but not only them, to give very harsh corporal punishment to their children, because that is the way that African Americans in the South were taught to deal with children who are unruly and disobedient.  So it seems to be alright that football players, who as an example are often 250-300 pounds, to whip and beat their four year old sons or daughters, and claim it is acceptable discipline, particularly because these bulky football players were treated that way when they were young!

Apparently, part of the “Southern Culture” is to worship football players in colleges, which put the emphasis on sports, rather than on academics, the major purpose of a university!

Apparently, part of the “Southern Culture” is to claim to be religious, “good Christians”, while not practicing the teachings of Jesus Christ, and not giving a damn for the poor, whether minority or white, and making their lives, therefore, a living hell!

It is clear that “Southern Culture” needs to be addressed as a major detriment to American society and progress!

Alarming Police Overreaction Against Blacks Nationwide, As Threat Of International Terrorism Grows Dramatically!

Many people would say that because Barack Obama was elected twice as our first African American President, that racism is gone from American society!

The statement is, of course, preposterous on its face. There are two many people of other racial backgrounds who have shown evidence of discriminatory thoughts, statements, and actions against African Americans and Latinos to be able to assert that racism has dissipated.

If anything, it is the right wing media, and the talk show hosts on radio and Fox News Channel, who are fueling the fires of racism, making whites feel that, somehow, THEY have been discriminated against!

But the recent spate of police officers shooting and killing African American men in St. Louis and Los Angeles, and the choking to death of an African American man by police in New York City, is particularly alarming, as if the law enforcement authorities are perceived as declaring open season on minority men, and even sometimes women, then we are on the road to racial warfare, which hate mongering groups would only be too glad to inspire.

This is a crisis of massive proportions, and no longer can be said to be a “Southern” issue, as it often was depicted even a half century ago, when Northerners wanted to feel good about themselves, and denied that they were part of the problem of racism, prejudice, and discrimination, when they most certainly were part of the problem, although more attention was paid to the Southern states.

This is a very delicate time, with growing inequality of opportunity for the poor and middle class, whether white or minority, and the growing international threat of Islamic terrorism presented by the rise of ISIL, the Islamic State in the Levant. This group controls a large portion of Iraq and Syria, and threatens to slaughter large numbers of non Sunni Arabs, as well as Christians and minority religious groups, and which threatens a world wide war against the Western world and Christianity and Judaism. They already have beheaded children, raped women, and executed large numbers of people in the most brutal fashion, making them seem a threat on the level of the Fascism regimes of Germany and Italy 75 years ago.

We could be entering World War III, at a time when our internal peace and stability is being threatened by both discontented whites, but also by law enforcement elements which show no respect or rational behavior against minority members of society.

There is a sense of foreboding that America is reaching a state of condition the most dangerous since the fall of Adolf Hitler in 1945, and far greater in many ways than the conditions of the Cold War, which seem somehow, by comparison, a time when at least the Soviet enemy was rational, not fanatical, based on religion.

Mix religious extremism in the world at large alongside the racial tensions in a time when one had thought the election of Barack Obama made a post racial world, which now is shown to be a myth!

The Ambitions Of African American Republicans For The Presidency A New Phenomenon!

All of a sudden, the push is on to promote a right wing African American for the Republican nomination for the Presidency!

In 2012, Herman Cain of Georgia ran a disastrous campaign for the Presidency, using his background as CEO of Godfather’s Pizza as his qualifications as a businessman to run for President, along with his tenure on the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City for a few years in the 1990’s. He made a fool of himself, and yet is seen as potentially planning to announce his candidacy again!

At the same time, former Congressman Allen West of Florida, who served only one controversial two year term in the House of Representatives, is rumored to be planning to run for President.

Also, famed pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson of Maryland is known to be planning to run for President!

Interesting that Herman Cain, with no real substantial government experience, thought he was qualified to be President!

Also interesting that Allen West, forced out of the military for his reprehensible behavior with a prisoner of war in the Iraq conflict, thinks, based on one tumultuous term in the House, that he is qualified to be President!

Also, ironic that Dr. Benjamin Carson, with no political experience, but having the ego to think that he has divine intervention to run for the White House, is forming a political action committee, after confronting President Obama at a Prayer Breakfast a year and a half ago!

These men have nothing positive to offer, are purely negative and confrontational personalities, and will not convince the African American community, or Latinos, or women, or thinking independents, that they have the qualifications to be President of the United States. Meanwhile, white racists in the Republican Party will, seemingly, embrace them, but only to cover their tracks on their reprehensible behavior toward President Obama. One can be assured that none of them will get anywhere near the Presidential nomination of the Republican Party!

These men have no credentials to be our Commander in Chief, other than their own egos, and their nasty, aggressive personalities and lack of concern for working families is troubling, sending the wrong message to those less fortunate, whether white, African American, Latino, Asian American, or Native American!

It will also be interesting to see, if all three, or even two of them end up running, how they will treat each other in their mad dash to outdo each other in their ambitions for the Presidency!