“…in January 1794, three deputies sent by San Domingo (Haiti) to the Convention arrived…a Negro slave who had purchased his freedom…a Mulatto…and a white man… ‘since 1789 the aristocracy of birth (anti-equal opportunity) and the aristocracy of religion (anti-freedom of thought) have been destroyed; but the aristocracy of the skin still remains. That too is at its last gasp, and equality has been consecrated. A black man, a yellow man, are about to join this Convention in the name of the free citizens of San Domingo.” – C.L.R. James, The Black Jacobins, 1938
“Question–Does segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other ‘tangible’ factors may be equal, deprive the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities? Decision—Yes (Vote: 9-0) – Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954)
“Richard J. Daley is the product of the politics of another time. ‘I think one of the real problems he has with Negroes is understanding that the Irish are no longer the out-ethnic group’…he would be doomed in the cosmetology of today’s politics: those jowls, that heavy-set look. ‘Daley will never really get a fair judging on his abilities as a mayor because of the way he looks,’ an admiring Chicago political scientist says. ‘He’s much better than people think.’” – Haeger/Weber, The Bosses: Daley, Croker, Plunkitt, Tweed, 1974
“North Dakota’s House of Representatives…expelled (69-25) a Republican member (Luke Simons, R-Dickinson) embroiled in sexual harassment allegations made by female legislative staff, interns and fellow representatives… believed to be the first in state history…Rep Emily O’Brien (R-Grand Forks)…said expulsion would show ‘Legislative Council: You matter. Legislative interns: You matter. Staff: You matter. And to others that have been victims: You matter. And to my legislative colleagues, you matter, too.’” – Bismarck Tribune, 3/5/21
“Let America be America again; Let it be the dream it used to be. Let it be the pioneer on the plain; Seeking a home where he himself is free. O let America be America again—The land that never has been yet— And yet must be—the land where every man is free.” – Langston Hughes
“Like Saturn, the (Counter)revolution devours its children.” – (Chicago Dog) Mallet du Pan/Danton
Abraham Lincoln never smiled because, in 1861, to save the Union, he had to back railroad Robber Barons in the North, who practiced wage slavery, in order to defeat the treasonous Confederacy of the South, based upon human slavery. Our “Union-Organizer-in-Chief,” Joe Biden, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer can smile in 2021, because, to save the Union, they only had to choose Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) over a Republican Party seeking to re-impose wage and human slavery in the 21st Century. Also, today’s corporate “Robber Barons” are less willing to gun down working folks (ie. once and future customers) who seek a living wage. But the fight for “all men and women are created equal” is far from over.
(“…news is not what happened in the immediate past but rather someone’s story about what happened.” – Robert Darnton, 1990).
Lying about elections is bad. Lying about the basic dignity of each and every individual on earth is much, much worse. The uses, abuses, and absurdities of white male dominance in the United States have reached an endgame in the death throes of the Trump Fantasy Monarchy and Really Bad Presidency, but they continue in one form or another since a substantial number of Republicans continue to believe that they are superior to their neighbors for one reason or another. But, since 2020, critical numbers of “white” have joined the equality fight.
(“All our wisdom is but slavish prejudice.” – J.J. Rousseau, 1762) – The Trump experiment in idiocy as a substitute for government is ending in both whimpers and bangs of cry baby Republicans and right wing nuts, because the second important outcome of the January 6, 2021 treasonous insurrection against democracy, is that it failed to overturn the election of November 3, 2020. Big Bucks are choosing democracy over aristocracy rather than Fascists of the 1930s, or President Reagan’s appalling notions of the appeals of anarchy and “uselessness” of government. The latter reached its logical conclusion in the Texas/ERCOT grid meltdown of February 2021.
The (John Roberts) U.S. Supreme Court, also witnessed Jan. 6th’s violent results of catering to Republican voter suppression tactics, and the Big Lie about a “stolen” Presidential election that they have abetted in their gradual erosion of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Whether a majority of them seek more blood on their hands remains to be seen.
(“Scholars argue that the purpose of the modern criminal justice system is not to control crime but, rather to control ‘deviant groups,’ including racially ‘deviant’ bodies…‘Gang’ injunctions are reflective of a legal system designed to maintain racial boundaries without explicit mention of race.” – Ana Muñiz, Police, Power, and the Production of Racial Boundaries, 2015)
Our greatest mental health issues in 2021 are not Covid-19 related, or poverty. They are racism, misogyny, religious fanaticism, and greed. While there are obvious needs for trained social workers to augment police for disarming harmless, but often bizarre, crazies let go by Ronald Reagan’s heartless release of mental patients from public care; there is a greater need to reel in homicidal police crazies; violent bi-products of studied Republican neglect of human suffering; now revealed in our sociopathic former President, Donald J. Trump.
(“When the Dementor’s Kiss is performed, the Dementor will pull back its hood, clamp its jaw around the victim’s mouth, and consume his or her soul. The Dementor’s Kiss is generally considered to be a punishment worse than death. Victims are left in what Muggles would call a Persistent Vegetative State: empty shells that are still alive but irretrievably ’gone’”. – Wikipedia, re: Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)
We see increases in hate groups charted for decades by the Southern Poverty Law Center; ranting and raving at Trump rallies; acts of terror fostered in Michigan and Florida, Rorschach tests of men and women, perhaps once abused as children, and “taking it out on somebody.” We see abusers pass on such behavior in their family: Mary Trump’s portrait of Uncle Donald, J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy, or Claude Brown’s Man Child in the Promised Land. Not all 74 million who voted for Trump’s Anti-Democracy fit these patterns, but the GOP of today is unwilling or unable to abate addictions of grievance their followers have imbibed. Hangovers are overdue; for Republicans and the U.S. as a whole. As Robert Archibald described “nostagia” as a “Greek word for painful homecoming,” so do Americans need to relearn that governments, like cooking and infrastructure, are not a problem when they are done well, but disasters when they are not.
(“It has been my philosophy all my life that good government is good politics.” – Mayor Richard J. Daley, 1955)
Responsible government matters. If the American experiment in freedom and democracy is to have relevance for the 21st Century, it must deliver on Thomas Jefferson’s (1776) and Olympe de Gouge’s (1792) words that all men and women are created equal. No more fine print; hidden clauses; bad faith bargaining. No more treason to the rule of law in the name of “law and order.” The tragedy of Thomas Jefferson was something of which he, unlike many folks today, was well aware. He had proclaimed the truth of all being equal, a gift of the industrial revolution, but he lived the Orwellian lie of “some being more equal than others,” a gift of the system of slavery. As I nursed a headache from all of these clashes of fantasy and reality, I sought the counsel of my KGB Siberian Husky friends and their animal cohorts as North Dakota’s deep freeze melted.
High Plains Reader: Why do prestigious institutions of higher learning take the fall in the media, when some of their graduates turn out to be scum bags: but the public are told by that same media that higher education, and training are so terribly important?
Schickelgruber: Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Trump adviser Peter Navarro are the worst news for the Ivy League since Harvard’s Putzi Hanfstaengel was Hitler’s piano player, turning college fight songs into Nazi rally cheers, but it’s not the fault of those schools. Even Socrates had a pupil, Alcibiades, who went to the dark side because of too much talent and not enough ethical character. Your Founding Fathers knew that, so why is it so difficult for today’s media to figure that out? Or if they know, why not just say it?
HPR: Meanwhile, Joe Biden’s higher education certainly didn’t suffer at the Universities of Delaware and Syracuse; but his speech impediment and spontaneous nature have led his adversaries to vastly underestimate him; just as with President “Give ‘em Hell” Harry Truman.
Mr. Swamp Fox: Both Presidents Truman and Biden were and are white men from ordinary work-a-day backgrounds, who have opened up doors of established democracy from the inside to people of color with their political skills and courage; thus aiding and abetting the peaceful pounding on those doors from the outside by folks of color. They also have acted to foil the plans of the most vicious of American oligarchs, who favor deceit and violence against every step towards fairness and equal opportunity, in order to keep a white, male idiot-ocracy in power.
Agatha Alligator: President Biden is a man of ordinary means and temperament, but political wisdom and stamina of the first order, who, like Harry Truman, is not averse to comprehending and accommodating extraordinarily talented people of every imaginable background in the cause of advancing both civilization and democracy, and put the “New” back into the New Deal.
Prudence Possum: That is what Congressman James Clyburn (D-SC) meant when he, in endorsing Joe Biden’s Presidential candidacy said: “We (African-Americans) Know Joe. But Most Importantly, Joe Knows Us”
Putin: For four long years white Americans have had their eyes opened to a Trump administration that treated all but 1% of this nation as inferior peoples, just as they themselves had been willing to treat people of color, or of a differing religion or life style, as inferior.
HPR: Confronted by an honest, effective, and fundamentally progressive politician in the Presidency is almost too much for the D.C. beltway punditry. Their cynicism is taking a hit. Terrified that a conventional wisdom of pessimism is being overtaken by actual performance in governance, they emphasize what Democrats have not yet done in 4+ weeks to fix 40+ years of Republican malfeasance, rather than admit that Joe Biden’s people know what they are doing.
Rasputin: Pundits carp about what is leftist, rightist, or centrist in Biden’s platform, but they are just adjusting smug certainties to hopeful realities. You’re amidst the most difficult revolution of all: trying to upend aristocracy of wealth, color and gender–non-violently. That’s never really been done before. Joe Biden is the kind of white man whose actual career has shown that he understands equality to mean that he be on a team with a black man in charge–for eight years! And, that his second-in-command for his Presidency be an African-American-Asian woman! Such democracy is so obvious that Beltway “geniuses” may not recognize it for years.
Ms. Recovering Republican Lap Dog: Trump’s brand of Republican Party prefers fascism to democracy based on racial equality. You’ll have a two party system in name only, until and unless a person of color with backbone, like Michael Steele (R-MD), is Chair of the RNC.
Mr. Crying Wolf: Racism as public policy means that demagogues from Nathan Bedford Forrest to George Wallace to Donald Trump, encourage sociopaths in white hoods or blue uniforms, often protected by complicit Sheriffs, or Police Organizations, meant to shield them from accountability to the public: a Praetorian Guard of anti-democracy.
HPR: You don’t mean we should defund our police, do you?
Mr. Crying Wolf: Of course not! You just need to defund killer cops in your midst. If you don’t; killer cops, and other paramilitary, will go on killing black folks in Minneapolis, MN, Louisville, KY, St. Louis, MO – and other cops and democracy in Washington, D.C.
Chicago Dog: President Biden is an anti-Racist, a professional politician of the best kind whose talent is listening to the sound of his constituents rather than his own voice. He is truly listening to political elites of older and newer generations who got him elected: Congressman Jim Clyburn (D-SC) and Congresswoman Cori Bush (D-MO); Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(D-NY); Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-CA), all six of them drawn from the least among you.
Señor Perro: There is hope a kinder, gentler super power emerges from U.S. self-administered demise and degradation of the past 40 years of Republican regression to another Gilded Age of the 1860s and Cold War Imperialism, when corporate Robber Barons hired willing executioners at home and abroad to shoot down ordinary folks who were upset, vocal, and organizing.
Lena: With so many women in charge of your new American populist and progressive pushes, there is also hope for more non-violent results: that elites could “bubble up,” in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s favorite phrase, from anywhere in society rather than trickling down from a hierarchy of numbskulls stretching only from Wall St. to D.C. This struggle has not been decided. New battles demand that reality be faced in promoting democratic ideals: not letting gender, skin color, sexual orientation or standard of living obscure the recruitment of elites on equal terms; through education and access to elevation based on talent and achievement.
Schickelgruber: For pathologically insane reasons of his own Donald Trump tried to kill all that, as did his enablers, for equally insane reasons of greed, racism, selfishness and imaginations based on fantasy. If they should ever succeed, the American experiment is doomed, but there are signs that they will fail. Battles in Congress resume, with and among Republican legislators, some of them chastened by the vanguards of Nazism that breached the Capitol on January 6, 2021, but others afflicted with the nihilism that breached and still infects their hearts and minds
Omar Khayyam: But we also see fountains of constitutional and considerate confrontation with ones enemies welling up from Black churches and the Gospel tradition, Main Line Churches, Papal messages, tolerant, prophetic Judaism and humanistic Islam, organizing peacefully, whose faith in God, added to those with faith in science, secures a common faith in the efficacy of democracy. Drawing public servants who actually serve the public–a Rainbow Coalition to put a smile on the face of the Statue of Liberty. Enactment of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020, in 2021, would go a long way to resolve these issues in favor of your better angels.
Justice Unheard Is Justice Denied……………………………Headless Horseman
A cry for simple justice should be clear,
Except if no one’s list’ning at the helm
Of pow’r, where action moves upon the realm;
And those in charge are loathe to even hear.
Equality for all will n’er be done
As long as freedom holds for just a few;
Content with acts that “Decents” would not do
To thwart the dreams of others, newly won.
The sickness of injustice based on race
Or gender, class, religion; keeps its hold
On souls, like viruses in flesh today.
The ancient curse in modern dress or taste
Must needs be ousted; shamed, with stories told;
With truth, that justice should not bleed away.