Racial Discrimination

The Threat Of The Alt-Right Made Clear By Hillary Clinton In Nevada Speech: White Nationalists And Anti Semite Hate Groups And The Radical Fringe

The Alt-Right is the new extremist Right Wing, which makes Fox News Channel, the right wing radio talk show hosts, and the conservative think tanks seem moderate.

These are groups and individuals, including Stephen Bannon of Breitbart News, now working with Donald Trump, who are white nationalists, mixed with anti Semites, nativists, misogynists, xenophobes, homophobes, and Islamophobes.

They include Confederate sympathizers, who hate the federal government, and want the end of all government regulation on any area of the economy, and would love to get rid of civil rights laws and civil liberties protections.

If they could gain power, they would love to wipe out the New Deal and Great Society reforms, that have made America the nation it is today.

They want the return of the “good old days” of states rights, racial discrimination, and women being “put in their place” in the bedroom and the kitchen, and not being out in the work force and promoting feminist causes.

And they believe in a “great Jewish conspiracy”, which connects them to Nazi mentality.

These are the groups that Hillary called a “Basket of Deplorables” yesterday, a perfectly appropriate term.

The Shame Of Alabama, The Republican Party And the Supreme Court On The 50th Anniversary Of The Selma To Montgomery March!

This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March of 1965.

On this significant anniversary, three things are clear.

Alabama has NOT shed its image of bigotry!

The Republican Party, many of whose members supported the Voting Rights Act of 1965, is not sending anyone to commemorate this event. Late news reports indicate that former President George W. Bush and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy are to show up, but few other Republicans, and none other than McCarthy in the leadership of the GOP.

And the Supreme Court has contributed to the withering away of the Voting Rights Act by its 2013 decision permitting new voting rights restrictions!

Not only is racial discrimination still very obvious in Alabama and much of the South, but now Alabama is the center of a so called states rights struggle over gay marriage, with the state Supreme Court, headed by George Wallace like Chief Justice Roy Moore ordering that gay marriage be stopped, after a federal judge ordered it go forward, and with the Supreme Court poised to consider the case, which will be decided by June.

So prejudice, discrimination, and the false argument of states rights still reigns in the original home of the Confederate government!

And for the GOP to bypass major representation at this premier civil rights anniversary is to the shame of the party of Lincoln, TR, and Ike!

And for the Supreme Court and African American Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice Samuel Alito, Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, and Chief Justice John Roberts to promote a weakening of the Voting Rights Act two years ago, and see what it has wrought on voter suppression, is to the shame of the top Court of the land, which has not done its job to uphold the Constitution of the United States!

Jimmy Carter Writes On Discrimination Against Women By Organized Religion Worldwide And In America

Former President jimmy Carter has written yet another book, and this one is on the widespread discrimination against women, world wide, as well as in the United States.

Carter makes a strong case about the unfairness of the treatment of women in the work place and in society, but his strongest indictment is against traditional organized religions, and not just one religion.

It is clear that Orthodox Jews, Right Wing Evangelical Christians, the Catholic Church, The Mormon Church, Muslims, and Hindus all have mistreatment and second class citizenship of women as part of their basic dogma, although there is nothing in the Old or New Testament that allows Orthodox Jews, Right Wing Evangelical Christians, Mormons, and Catholics to be able to justify their backward attitudes on the role of women in their faiths. Sadly, Muslims and Hindus are even worse in their disregard for the rights of women.

It is encouraging that Conservative and Reform Judaism, many mainline Protestant Churches, and progressive elements of the Catholic faith work to improve the rights and roles of women in their faith.

But it is disturbing to recognize that many Christian churches have, historically, backed slavery and racial segregation (particularly in the Southern states); and that many not only discriminate against women and their reproductive lives, but also, in too many cases, demonstrate anti gay hatred as well.

None of the prophets, particularly in the Western world, including Jesus and Moses, ever spoke out against women, or dealt with the issue of homosexuality or race, so these are the work of evil forces that have politicized religious teachings, in the name of power and wealth!

It is what has made many intelligent people, and young people, to turn against the trappings of organized religion!

A Day To Celebrate Promotion Of Human Rights: 150th Anniversary Of Emancipation Proclamation!

Today marks the most momentous day in all of American history, regarding the promotion of human rights! It is the 150th anniversary of the issuance by President Abraham Lincoln of the Emancipation Proclamation!

Lincoln had issued the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, five days after the bloody Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day in the Civil War. His entire cabinet was opposed to what he did, and had doubts about the final issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation 100 days later.

But Abraham Lincoln had the guts, the courage, the conviction that ending slavery was an essential part of the advancement of American democracy, and would help promote the victory of the Union forces over the Confederacy.

Lincoln knew that the Emancipation Proclamation was only a pledge to end slavery, and that the only true way to bring it about was military victory, and the passage two years later of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, an event excellently portrayed in the movie LINCOLN, with Daniel Day-Lewis portraying the events leading to the passage of that amendment by the House of Representatives.

Slavery’s end did not mean an easy time or adjustment for African Americans or the nation, as racial violence and discrimination would be a sad part of the future, but it was a necessary step forward on the march of human rights, including later passage of the 14th Amendment, the 15th Amendment, the 19th Amendment, the 26th Amendment, the various Civil Rights Acts (1866, 1875, 1957, 1960, 1964, 1965, 1968), and significant Supreme Court decisions on civil rights of women, minorities, labor, young people, and gays and lesbians.

The march of time has been toward the granting of greater human rights, but it all began with Lincoln’s courageous gamble, 150 years ago today, and for that, as so much else, all Americans should salute him today!

And it is inspiring to see massive lines at the National Archives in Washington, DC, as the Emancipation Proclamation is on view for a limited time to celebrate the event, but with the need to preserve a document which is in fragile condition after a century and a half of existence.

What Lincoln did in 1863 is connected to the whole long range story of American history, the expansion of human rights for all, and this is what draws foreigners to wish to come to America, the land of liberty and opportunity!

“Pitchfork Carrying, Torch Bearing Mobs” Running Republican Party In Florida: Former GOP State Chairman Jim Greer

Florida is the fourth largest state in population, and will probably be number three by the end of this decade.

Florida has been populated by many Northerners and Midwesterners, many of them senior citizens, and many who have been in the military, and they come to Florida with a conservative bent.

Florida, a state infamous for racial segregation and discrimination, has now become the center of what Jim Greer, the former state Republican chairman under former Governor Charlie Crist, calls “pitchfork carrying, torch bearing mobs”, who have set out to deny African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos, poor, and young voters the right to vote, by claiming voter fraud, when there is no evidence of such abuses.

The leader of this is Florida Governor Rick Scott, who should be in prison for Medicare and Medicaid fraud when head of a hospital chain, which was assessed the largest fine ever imposed on a health care company and executive!

Scott and the extreme right wing of the GOP in Florida made it clear at meetings that Jim Greer attended, that they would claim voter fraud publicly, but had the intention of denying minorities the right to vote, effectively bringing back the days before the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and in so doing, insuring a Republican victory in 2012, rather than another Barack Obama victory in the state, as in 2008!

For this author and blogger, the reality of this is an embarrassment and a disgrace, and it means that unless something is done immediately to stop this plot against potential voters, Florida will become the equivalent of Texas as a state with totally corrupt politics, in each case led by a “Rick”, Rick Perry in Texas, and Rick Scott in Florida!

Disturbing Social Trends: Anti Gay, Anti Labor, Anti Women, Anti Immigrant, Anti Black

The news seems to be more disturbing by the day, as social trends are moving more and more in the direction of hate, prejudice, bias, and narrow mindedness.

Witness the following examples:

In New Jersey, an immature college student. Dharun Ravi, is convicted on all charges of a hate crime against a gay roommate who he streamed a liaison with another man on a webcam, causing that young man, Tyler Clementi, to commit suicide. What a stupid, and self destructive act by a young man who has now destroyed his life, after having done the same to the unfortunate Clementi, which will lead to Ravi’s prison sentence and likely deportation to India. So we have two promising young men at Rutgers University who have been tragically transformed by the prejudice and discrimination that is too widespread in this country, including by so called “religious good Christians”, which have led not just to this incident, but to the crisis of bullying that has caused many other suicides of gay youth, and this backed by right wing conservatives allied with the religious fanatics who do not promote the love of God, which they claim they believe, while practicing hypocrisy.

Then we have the example of a law firm in Deerfield Beach, Florida, which fired a whole group of workers who dressed in orange shirts for work, planning for “happy hour’ on Friday evening! Just for wearing an orange shirt, these people are summarily dismissed, and Florida state law, being that the Sunshine State is a “right to work” state, the employer can dismiss without any just cause or explanation, an outrage to all working people, who see conservatives and businessmen condemn labor unions which try to make work conditions better for all of us, even those not in labor unions. The average American has benefited from the labor movement over the past century, but yet labor unions are pilloried, and workers are abused, as with this example! And witness the anti labor actions in Wisconsin, Ohio, and elsewhere that have occurred in the past year!

The fight against women’s right to privacy and their dignity continues with restrictive legislation on contraception being pursued in yet more states, most recently in Arizona and Pennsylvania, on top of the outrageous vaginal probe law in Virginia and similar actions elsewhere.

Immigrants are facing widespread discrimination, whether legal or illegal, in Arizona, Alabama and elsewhere, and now we have the case of a basketball player, who is Puerto Rican and a citizen, facing chants of where his green card is, at a game at the University of Southern Mississippi. Immigrants are being abused, harassed, and victimized daily in the discriminatory, nativist mood that this nation has become obsessed with in recent years.

And African Americans, as always, face greater discrimination, so we have the case of a black teenager in Sanford, Florida, shot to death by a Neighborhood Patrol volunteer, who thought this young man was dangerous and suspicious, even though all he had on him was some Skittles and a soda, but leading to being shot in the chest and killed, and so far, no prosecution of what is obviously an unjustifiable action. It does not add to the image of Florida as to its handling of racial matters, reminding us of the days of segregation and lynching in the state’s past a half century and more ago!

The country is disintegrating from within socially, a very worrisome issue that must be addressed, with the one bright spot being media reporting and exposure, and the reality that liberals and progressives will not stay silent in the midst of these disturbing social trends!

Mississippi And Alabama Continue Their Bad Reputation From The 1960s

Mississippi and Alabama vote tomorrow in the Republican Presidential primaries, and as we focus on the two states with the worst reputation possible fifty years ago, one has to wonder has anything changed?

The answer is NO, although now the majority of citizens of those two states vote Republican, rather than for the Democratic Party.

But all that happened is that the whites of those states switched, based on the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 under President Lyndon B. Johnson, from the Democrats to the Republicans, as the Republicans gave up their Reconstruction image of being pro African American rights, and therefore, inherited the segregationists of the 1960s.

Sure, African American involvement in the politics of those two Deep South states has multiplied, but still those states are dominated by the old racism and segregationist mentality of the 1960s! They remain among the poorest states of the union, both black and white citizens.

Now, those states are working to make it harder for minorities to vote, leading to court cases. Also, discrimination against immigrants of Hispanic ancestry is in full swing, particularly so in Alabama.

And a majority in a poll believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim, while at the same time, NOT believing in evolution, but instead the Bible creationist theory. So they do not believe in science, but believe in a Lord who discriminates based on race and nationality!

What can one say except throw their hands up in frustration and exasperation at the ignorance and narrow mindedness of these two states, whose reputation remains in the bottom ten of our 50 states, and very close to the bottom, if not the bottom!

The Mississippi “Personhood” Ballot Initiative: A Threat To Women And Common Sense!

The state of Mississippi, infamous for its long history of extreme racial violence and discrimination, is now attempting by ballot initiative to take down Roe V. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision which allows women the right to control their own reproductive lives.

It is one thing to claim that a five month fetus is seen as a “person” which might be able to live outside the womb. It is another thing to claim that a fertilized egg is to be seen as a “person”, and to declare that using an IUD, birth control pills, or the morning after pill (RU 486), all contraception methods is murder. It is outrageous that doctors, nurses, and the women themselves could be brought up on murder charges if an abortion is used to save the life of the mother in a situation where the pregnancy endangers her existence.

It is ironic that Mississippi, the state judged the MOST RELIGIOUS, would be the state that has no concern for women’s rights, and treats women as being controlled by men, who have no concept of what a pregnancy does to a woman, and to take the sexist view that every act of sexual intercourse should lead to a potential child.

It is also par for the course that Mississippi has the most violent record of mistreatment of African Americans of any state, and should hold its head in shame collectively for having the gall to promote such an initiative! Also, Mississippi is infamous for having many more capital punishment cases than most states.

Mississippi, close to the cheapest state in its attitude toward the poor, is also demonstrating yet again that it only is concerned about the birth of a fetus, rather than the health and welfare of its women and its poor population!

What hypocrisy, but it demonstrates just how significant the issue of the Supreme Court is in the upcoming Presidential Election of 2012, as if the Republican nominee wins, the rights of women will be curtailed by right wing Court appointments over time, and we will be back to the level of back alley abortions and unnecessary deaths of women who will not allow their personal lives to be controlled by religious zealots and theocratic fanatics

Alabama’s Harsh Immigration Law: Worse Than Arizona And Revives Old Memories Of Alabama’s Horrid Racial History!

Alabama has managed to take some attention off Arizona’s disgraceful immigration law, as its own legislation, put into effect on October 1, although being contested in the courts by the federal government, has already undermined its image to anyone who has a sense of justice and decency and fairness!

Reports of Hispanic immigrants fleeing, leaving their homes and possessions behind, and of children suddenly withdrawing from school , paint a picture that reminds us of Alabama’s past history of racial discrimination and violence, only possibly matched or surpassed in the South by Mississippi!

Only about 4.2 percent of Alabama’s population are undocumented immigrants, and there is no indication that there has been a problem of crime due to them being present in the state.

There are reports of pregnant women afraid to go to the hospital and of crime victims fearful of going to the police.

At the same time, harvest of agricultural crops in the state has declined dramatically, and much of the produce will rot for lack of people willing to do the work, so the economy of one of the poorest states will become worse, because of this draconian law!

The legislation makes illegal immigrants unable to enter contracts; be employed; rent housing; or gain government services. It makes these unfortunate victims unable to work, unable to gain education, unable to protect themselves from being victimized, and puts them in poverty with a sense of no ability to relate to their neighbors or any social institutions.

Fortunately, many church leaders have protested, and the federal government is actively pursuing action, but what is needed now is a court injunction to prevent further enforcement until the case comes to court! This legislation is inhumane, and a violation of human rights on a grand scale!

Rick Perry Family Hunting Camp Racial Slurs Disqualify Him To Be President!

Texas Governor Rick Perry is now in the midst of a controversy regarding his family’s hunting camp, which had a racial slur on a rock at the entrance for many years, the most despicable slur possible–the N word–, and it has caused Herman Cain, the only African American candidate in the Republican race, to denounce him as insensitive on the race issue. That is a mild reaction, to say the least, but still telling!

In 2012, despite the reality that there are Americans who are racist and promote the race issue, particularly on President Obama, it is NOT acceptable to have such a candidate represent a major political party in a national campaign!

All it does is promote the “Old South” mentality that must be rooted out completely from national politics, as that is not the road to progress in the future, particularly in a nation becoming rapidly more racially diverse, and by 2040-2050 will see the white population as a minority in America!

It will be interesting to see if other Republican candidates, other than Herman Cain, will speak up and criticize Rick Perry on this. If they do not, then they lose all credibility as legitimate candidates for the Presidency of the United States!

This nation cannot afford to go backward on racial progress, and Rick Perry would be a reflection of the past on racial matters, and in many ways, the present in Texas for minorities who have faced discrimination despite their growing numbers.