MSNBC And CNN: Stop Promoting Donald Trump!


Excerpt from: CREDO Action

Trump: Unacceptable

Within hours of Donald Trump proposing a ban on all Muslims entering the United States, both MSNBC and CNN interrupted their evening programming to broadcast live footage from a Trump campaign rally in South Carolina. MSNBC took it a step further, quickly announcing that Trump would appear live on its Morning Joe program the next morning, for the second time in just eight days.

The media’s obsession with Donald Trump has gone too far. By relentlessly chasing ratings and devoting massive airtime to Donald Trump interviews and live coverage of his speeches, MSNBC and CNN are providing Trump with free publicity that is fueling his campaign.

MSNBC and CNN should be covering Trump as a candidate, but should not be giving him a near 24/7 national platform to promote his racist and Islamophobic views.

The media’s obsession with Donald Trump has real consequences for our Democracy. Desperate for ratings, the cable news networks have decided to broadcast nearly-continuous coverage of Donald Trump’s campaign at the expense of giving real issues the coverage they deserve.

As policy fights play out in the halls of power in Washington, DC, large swaths of the electorate remain uninformed, with cable news coverage largely limited to live coverage of Trump campaign rallies and shouting matches between pundits over whether Trump’s latest racist proposal will help or hurt him among Republican primary voters.

We aren’t suggesting that MSNBC and CNN should ignore Donald Trump entirely, but the near-continuous coverage of recent weeks has got to stop. And when they do cover Trump, they should contextualize their coverage by pointing out his long history of racism, Islamophobia and hate. As Arianna Huffington promised in a piece this week, the Huffington Post will continue covering Trump’s campaign, but at the same time will “constantly remind the public of what he stands for”:1

His enthusiasm for creating a database of all Muslims in the United States.
His ongoing lies about Muslims in New Jersey celebrating 9/11.
His status as birther-in-chief, cynically sowing doubt about President Obama’s legitimacy as the duly elected President of the United States.
His misogyny — here’s just one HuffPost piece on this, but there’s no shortage of these.

  • His xenophobia and scapegoating of immigrants, including his lies about Mexican immigrants and his ardent desire to deport millions of undocumented immigrants.
  • His unmistakable passion for bullying. Again, there’s no shortage of examples, but you could start with his defense of supporters who roughed up a protester at one of his rallies or his ridiculing of a disabled New York Times reporter.
  • Donald Trump absolutely has a First Amendment right to say whatever he wants, no matter how hateful. And the news media should cover him as a leading presidential candidate. But it’s irresponsible and dangerous for MSNBC and CNN to provide Trump with a free national platform to bolster his campaign fueled by bigotry and racism.

Petition to MSNBC and CNN:
“Stop providing free publicity for Donald Trump’s racist and dangerous rhetoric by giving his interviews, speeches and rallies massive airtime. Dump Donald Trump.”

Tell MSNBC and CNN: Stop promoting Donald Trump’s racist presidential campaign. Click the link below to sign the petition:

https://act.credoaction.com/sign/msnbc_cnn_trump?t=13&akid=16311.7785905.OFMysL

Thanks for everything you do.

Josh Nelson, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

The New Attack On ‘One Person, One Vote’


Excerpt from: The Nation

It’s been settled law for five decades—but now the Supreme Court might shoot it down.

By Ari Berman

NOVEMBER 25, 2015

In 1963, while preparing for his speech at
the March on Washington, John Lewis saw a photo in The New York Times of a group of black women demonstrators in Rhodesia holding signs that read: one man, one vote. The 23-year-old chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) adopted the phrase as a rallying cry against the disenfranchisement of black Americans in the segregated South.

“‘One man, one vote’ is the African cry,” Lewis said at the Lincoln Memorial. “It is ours, too. It must be ours.” Following the March on Washington, SNCC made “One man, one vote” its official slogan.

At the same time as Lewis’s speech, “One man, one vote” was being debated before the nation’s highest court. For decades, elected offices in many places were not based on equal population, giving conservative lawmakers from rural areas far more influence than liberal lawmakers from urban areas.

“In the American South,” wrote Douglas Smith in On Democracy’s Doorstep: The Inside Story of How the Supreme Court Brought “One Person, One Vote” to the United States, “malapportionment served as a cornerstone of white supremacy, ensuring the overrepresentation of the most ardent segregationists and thus further delaying the realization of civil and voting rights for African Americans.”

While literacy tests and poll taxes kept African Americans from registering to vote, malapportionment helped preserve the power of segregationists in places like Lowndes County, Alabama, which in early 1965 was 80 percent black but didn’t have a single registered African American. The county’s 15,417 residents had as many representatives in the Alabama Senate as the 600,000 residents of Birmingham’s Jefferson County.

The Supreme Court ended this perversion of democracy in a series of landmark cases in the 1960s, most notably Baker v. Carr and Reynolds v. Sims, ruling that legislative districts had to be roughly equal in population. “The conception of political equality from the Declaration of Independence, to Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, to the Fifteenth, Seventeenth, and Nineteenth Amendments can mean only one thing—one person, one vote,” wrote Justice William Douglas. Chief Justice Earl Warren famously added, “Legislators represent people, not trees or acres.”

The Court’s rulings shifted power from rural to urban areas, where people actually lived. In tandem with the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965, the “one person, one vote” cases led to “the greatest peace-time change in representation in the history of the United States,” wrote Harvard University political scientists Stephen Ansolabehere and James Snyder. Warren called it his most important achievement on the bench.

But on December 8, the Supreme Court will hear a new challenge to “One person, one vote” in Evenwel v. Abbott, brought by the same conservative organization, the Project on Fair Representation, responsible for the gutting of the VRA in the 2013 case Shelby County v. Holder. The obscure Evenwel case, which challenges the drawing of State Senate districts in Texas, will have major ramifications for political representation in the United States.

The plaintiffs want legislative lines to be drawn based on eligible or registered voters instead of total population as measured by the US Census Bureau, thus not counting children, immigrants (documented and undocumented), prisoners, and other nonvoters. They claim the current system, by including nonvoters, denies “eligible voters their fundamental right to an equal vote.” Edward Blum, founder of the Project on Fair Representation, calls it “the principle of ‘electoral equality.’”

A three-judge federal court in Texas dismissed Blum’s claim as “a theory never before accepted by the Supreme Court or any circuit court.” But if he prevails, legislative districts would become older, whiter, more rural, and more conservative. “It clearly is a case designed with the intent to shift political power from urban areas to rural areas and, quite frankly, from Democratic areas to Republican areas,” says lawyer Emmet Bondurant, who argued the 1963 malapportionment case Wesberry v. Sanders. Of the 38 congressional districts where more than 40 percent of residents are ineligible to vote, for example, 32 are represented by Democrats, in such cities as Los Angeles, New York, Houston, Dallas, Miami, and Chicago.

 

The Evenwel case is an attempt to further weaken the VRA by limiting representation for the very communities most harmed by the Shelby County decision, in particular Latinos, Asian Americans, and African Americans. The people in these groups are more likely to be noncitizens, under 18, unregistered, disenfranchised by felony convictions, purged from the voting rolls, or targeted by new voting restrictions such as voter-ID laws. Nina Perales, vice president of litigation at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, says: “I believe this litigation—and their persistence in bringing this litigation —is rooted in the goal of counteracting the gains that we have won under the VRA.”

If states adopt the current voting-age population instead of total population as the metric for drawing districts, a staggering 55 percent of Latinos—those who are under 18 or noncitizens—wouldn’t be counted, according to a brief filed by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, as well as 45 percent of Asian Americans and 30 percent of African Americans. “A ruling in favor of the appellants in Evenwel may be as dangerous as the Shelby County case in terms of its far- reaching effects on representation in our society,” says Joanna Cuevas Ingram, associate counsel at LatinoJustice. “It would signal a major retreat from the post–Civil War principle that all people should be fully counted as equal members of society under equal protection.”

 

Texas state senator sylvia garcia grew
up the eighth of 10 kids in the small South Texas farming community of Palito Blanco. “For me, it was never about being a lawyer or a judge or in elected office,” she says. “I just wanted to get out of the hot sun. My dream was to work in an air-conditioned building; I didn’t give a damn what it was.” She started as a legal-aid lawyer in the 1980s before becoming a city judge, Houston’s chief financial officer, and, in 2013, a state senator. Her district, which is 74 percent Latino, encompasses the blue-collar east end of Houston’s Harris County.

A ruling for the plaintiffs in Evenwel would hurt Texas more than any other state, because of its diversity and large number of nonvoters. One of four majority-minority states in the country, Texas is 44 percent Anglo, 39 percent Latino, 12.5 percent African-American, and 4.5 percent Asian-American, with 7 million children, 2.7 million adult noncitizens, and 2.1 million unregistered voters who could be excluded from representation.

And no district in the state would change as much as Garcia’s.

To accommodate more eligible voters, her 813,000-person district, which includes many children and noncitizens, would swell to more than 1 million—almost twice as many constituents as most members of Congress represent—and would no longer have a Latino majority. “It would make it more difficult to adequately handle constituent complaints and to provide all the services I do now,” she says.

Her colleague José Rodriguez, chair of the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus, would see similarly dramatic changes in his district, which consists of El Paso and four nearby ranching counties in West Texas. His district would increase by more than 90,000 people, adding more eligible voters and spanning 423 miles—all the way to Del Rio in South Texas. “My district is already bigger than most of New England,” he says. “It would stretch Latino elected officials to the limits, while Anglos would have fewer people and smaller geographic areas to represent.”

If Blum’s side wins, the number of majority-Latino districts in the Texas Senate would drop from seven to five, likely resulting in the fewest Latino-held seats since the 1980s, according to the Texas Senate Hispanic Caucus. Seats would also be eliminated in the Texas House of Representatives in the Latino areas of West Texas and South Texas, as well as in urban areas like Houston and Dallas.

“This case is very important to me and members of the Texas Hispanic Caucus and members of the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus,” Rodriguez says. “We see it as a threat to the growing influence of the Latino community not just in Texas, but across the country. I see it as another attempt by Republicans to suppress the minority vote and roll back decades of gains under the Voting Rights Act.”

A negative ruling would exacerbate the many ways in which representation is already tilted against minority communities, in Texas and elsewhere, through gerrymandering, mass incarceration, restrictions on voting, economic disinvestment, and residential segregation. People of color make up 37 percent of the US population but hold only 10 percent of elected seats; Latinos and Asian Americans are 22 percent of the population but hold fewer than 2 percent of elected offices. In 11 states, there is not a single Latino or Asian-American state legislator.

Blum’s critics say his side is motivated by fear of the country’s changing demographics. An amicus brief by the Cato Institute in support of the plaintiffs claims that under the current system, “a relatively small constituency of eligible Hispanic voters in other districts have their votes ‘over-weighted’ and ‘over-valuated.’” Just the opposite is true, Garcia says. “How are we overvalued if you place barriers in front of us like voter IDs and restricting early-voting hours and restricting who can register people to vote?” she asks incredulously. “There are so many barriers…. ‘Over-controlled’ is a better thing to say.”

Unlike the VRA, which has been challenged since its passage, the “One person, one vote” doctrine was thought to be settled law. After all, elected officials are supposed to represent all of their constituents: voters and nonvoters, citizens and noncitizens, adults and children. Total population is also the easiest, most accurate metric to use when drawing district lines, experts say; going by current voting-age population is unreliable, and the Census Bureau doesn’t ask people their citizenship status. “It’s utterly clear from the 1960s cases that the Supreme Court knew the difference between total population and voters,” says Bondurant.

The Supreme Court declined to grant two previous challenges from Blum on this issue. That the Court is even hearing the Evenwel case is a major victory for the plaintiffs, regardless of the final outcome. Clarence Thomas was the only justice who had previously raised questions about the “One person, one vote” principle. Now nine justices will be able to do so. Yet another landmark achievement of the 1960s is under siege. •

ARI BERMAN is a senior contributing writer for The Nation.

Tell President Obama: Now Is The Time To Take A Stand Against Islamophobia


Excerpt from: CREDO Action
The horrific violence this week in San Bernardino, where 14 people were killed and 21 were wounded, is difficult to comprehend. We stand with the victims and their families.

With two Muslims identified as the reported perpetrators of Wednesday’s attack,1 we also stand with the people most likely to become the victims of backlash and violence over the coming weeks – American Muslims.

Right-wing extremists in the political and media establishment, including prominent Republican leaders, have already seized on racism and incendiary rhetoric – inciting hate crimes against innocent Muslims.2

Instead of taking up any reasonable proposal to protect our communities from senseless gun violence, Congressional Republicans have been too busy working on xenophobic legislation that feeds into the very ideologies that often underlie such heinous acts of violence. But what we need most in this moment is for our leaders, especially our President, to stand up for all Americans.

Six days after the 9/11 attacks, President George W. Bush visited a mosque and spoke out against the harassment of Arabs and Muslims in the US.3 It was a symbolic act, but an important one.

But President Obama has yet to visit a mosque in the United States.4 Doing so would go a long way to both denounce the hateful rhetoric that leads to violence and discrimination, while striking at the heart of a small group of extremists who would wield a twisted interpretation of Islam as a tool for violence.

Progressive champion Rep. Keith Ellison has already urged his Congressional colleagues to show solidarity with their local Muslim community by visiting a mosque. President Obama should answer Rep. Ellison’s call.

In his statement after the San Bernardino shooting, President Obama went out of his way to speak out against gun violence and hold Congress accountable for their inaction. But he said nothing to stem the predictable anti-Muslim xenophobia sure to follow.

Right-wing extremists were quick to launch into blanket rhetoric targeting the Muslim community following the shooting massacre in San Bernardino. With the facts still unclear, and before there was a shred of evidence to back it up, Sen. Ted Cruz had already declared the shootings “yet another manifestation of terrorism, radical Islamic terrorism here at home” and insisted that “we are in a time of war.”5 The New York Post plastered the headline, “Muslim Killers,” on its front page.

  • Given rhetoric like this, it’s no wonder that since the terror attacks in Paris several weeks ago, Muslims in America have been increasingly under siege:A Muslim taxi driver was shot in the back by a passenger who questioned his nationality and begin ranting about ISIS.6
  • Cable news has aired messages deeming Muslims “unusually violent,” calling for death squads to wipe them out, and labeling Islam a destructive force.7
  • Numerous other Muslim men and women have been asked to leave flights, including one case where one was accused of acting suspiciously for watching the news on his phone.8
  • Armed protesters surrounded a mosque in Texas carrying automatic weapons, then posted the home addresses of those who worship there.9
  • Other mosques have faced threats, vandalism, fake bombs, and attacks from the community.10
  • Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has called for a registry of American Muslims and other candidates have compared them to “rabid dogs,” among other hateful remarks.11
  • Twenty-six Republican governors have vowed, without any legal authority, to block Syrian refugees from their states.12

In the face of such a climate of fear, public rejections of Islamophobia by prominent national elected leaders — including visits to mosques — would send a powerful message that America is a nation where all are welcome and violent hatred is not welcome.

Whatever the heinous motivations of Wednesday’s mass shootings were, we as a society must not cave to hate, fear, and blanket islamophobia. To do so, we only perpetuate the cycle of hate and violence from which such acts arise.

We reject the politics of hate and fear, and condemn those who peddle or cave to it; we reject any attempts to demonize Muslim, Arab or South Asian communities; and we reject any efforts to use tragedies to justify deportations, ramp up militarization in the Middle East, suspend civil rights, or close our borders.

CREDO members have spoken out against Islamophobia, called on Senate Democrats to reject efforts to demonize Muslims, denounced Trump and Carson’s hateful rhetoric and the actions of governors who reject refugees. Now we need to show our leaders how they can begin to turn the tide, starting with the powerful symbolic actions of denouncing Islamophobia and visiting an American mosque.

Petition President Obama: “Take a stand against islamophobia in the aftermath of the San Bernardino shootings. Denounce the rising tide of anti-Muslim violence by speaking out and making a public visit to an American mosque.”

  • Click the link below to sign the petition:

https://act.credoaction.com/sign/denounce_islamophobia?t=7&akid=16248.7785905.RDjBov

Thank you for speaking out.

Murshed, Heidi, Josh, Mark, Jin, Jordan, Colin, Elijah and Ari
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Alana Horowitz Satlin and Andy Campbell, “Police Search For Motive Behind San Bernardino Shooting,” HuffingtonPost.com, December 3, 2015.
David A. Fahrenthold and Jose A. DelReal, “‘Rabid’ dogs and closing mosques: Anti-Islam rhetoric grows in GOP,” Washington Post, November 19, 2015.
Samuel G. Freedman, “Six Days After 9/11, Another Anniversary Worth Honoring,” New York Times, September 7, 2012.
Ali Gharib, “ Obama Should Stand With Ahmed—at His Mosque in Texas,” The Nation, September 17, 2015.
Dave Weigel, “Ted Cruz says San Bernardino shooting may be ‘radical Islamic terrorism’,” Washington Post, December 3, 2015.
Peter Holley, “Passenger rants about Islamic State before shooting Muslim taxi driver in back,” Washington Post, November 30, 2015.
Max Fischer, “It’s not just Ahmed Mohamed: anti-Muslim bigotry in America is out of control,” Vox.com, September 16, 2015.
Anealla Safdar, “US Muslim forced off plane cites Islamophobia,” Al Jazeera, November 26, 2015.
Petula Dvorak, “Words matter in attacks on Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter and Muslim refugees,” Washington Post, November 30, 2015.
Ibid.
Fahrenthold and DelReal, “‘Rabid’ dogs and closing mosques: Anti-Islam rhetoric grows in GOP.”
Sarah Frostenson and Dara Lind, “Here’s a map of every state refusing to accept Syrian refugees,” Vox.com, November 18, 2015.

CREDO Action is a publication of Working Assets | credomobile.com

Congressional Republicans Move To Sabotage The Paris Climate Summit


Excerpt from: The New Yorker

DECEMBER 4, 2015

BY ELIZABETH KOLBERT

House Speaker Paul Ryan, and other congressional Republicans, are signalling a lack of support for the climate talks.

Don’t trust the United States: as the international climate summit in Paris grinds along, this is the message Republicans in Congress are trying to send the delegates. The logic, such as it is, of the claim is that merely by making it the House G.O.P. goes a long way toward proving its validity.

On Tuesday, at a news conference in Paris, President Barack Obama exhorted negotiators to keep in mind what is at stake at the summit. “This one trend—climate change—affects all trends,” Obama said. “This is an economic and security imperative that we have to tackle now.”
Even as he spoke, congressional Republicans were doing their best to undermine him. That same day, the House approved two resolutions aimed at blocking regulations to curb U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions. The first would bar the Environmental Protection Agency from enforcing rules aimed at cutting emissions from new power plants; the second would prevent the agency from enforcing rules targeted at existing power plants. Together, these rules are known as the Clean Power Plan, and they are crucial to the Americans’ negotiating position in Paris. (The Clean Power Plan is central to the United States’ pledge, made in advance of the summit, to cut its emissions by twenty-six per cent.) The House votes, which followed Senate approval of similar resolutions back in November, were, at least according to some members, explicitly aimed at subverting the talks. Lawmakers want to “send a message to the climate conference in Paris that in America, there’s serious disagreement with the policies of this president,” Ed Whitfield, a Kentucky Republican, explained.

As a practical matter, the importance of the votes is probably minimal. Obama has already threatened to veto the resolutions if they reach his desk, and there isn’t enough support for them for an override. But the resolutions are not the only trick congressional Republicans have up their collective sleeves. President Obama has pledged three billion dollars to what’s known as the Green Climate Fund. The fund is intended to help developing countries cope with climate change and also to adopt clean-energy systems. In a just world, three billion dollars is far less than the U.S. should be contributing; Republicans are threatening to block even that contribution. Leaving the fund under-financed increases the chance that poorer countries will walk away from any proposed accord.

Meanwhile, the impossibility of getting an agreement ratified by the U.S. Senate puts yet another constraint on negotiations. While many countries are pushing for a legally binding treaty, the Obama Administration is insisting on a sort of legal chimera—partly binding, partly not—so that, if there is a pact, it won’t require Senate approval. (The Washington Post has a good rundown on this particular problem.)

That Republicans would try to undercut the Administration’s efforts to do something—anything—to reduce carbon emissions is no surprise. Willful ignorance about climate change has become a point of pride among elected officials in the G.O.P. Recently, the Associated Press asked a panel of eight scientists to assess the accuracy of Presidential candidates’ tweets on climate change using a scale of zero to a hundred. (The tweets were shown to the scientists without the candidates’ names, to guard against bias.) All nine of the Republican candidates graded got failing scores. Donald Trump, for instance, received a fifteen, while Ben Carson got a thirteen and Ted Cruz a six. “This individual understands less about science (and climate change) than the average kindergartner,” Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Penn State University, who served as one of the judges, wrote of Cruz’s statements. “That sort of ignorance would be dangerous in a doorman, let alone a president.”

But if the recent votes aren’t surprising, they’re still discouraging. They demonstrate, once again, the power of defeatist thinking. Congressional Republicans rail against the federal government; then, with their own antics, confirm their worst criticisms. (Who, nowadays, would make the case that Americans should have faith in Washington?) The G.O.P. says that America can’t be depended on to live up to its commitments, and, by saying so, achieves its objective, which is sowing mistrust. The best that can be hoped for during the next week in Paris is that the rest of the world ignores the U.S.’s Republican leaders. Would that we had that luxury here at home.
Elizabeth Kolbert has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1999.

How To Understand White Male Terrorism


Excerpt from: The Nation 01.12.15 17:59

We’ve been here before, and we know that violent backlash is at its fiercest when movements for racial and gender justice are winning.
By Max Berger
YESTERDAY 3:55 PM

Everywhere I look lately, there are signs of white men panicking about their supremacy over American society. A group of white men shot at young Black Lives Matter protesters on consecutive nights in Minneapolis last weekend, injuring five people. Donald Trump, still a leading Republican presidential candidate, proposed creating a database and ID cards for Muslims, leading even some Republicans to label him as a fascist. White Student Unions are popping up around the country in response to demands that university administrations do more to fight racism on campus. Finally, Robert Dear opened fire at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic last week, killing three people and injuring nine.

As a white man, I want to understand what it is about the ideas of “whiteness” or “America” that’s causing white American males to be the country’s largest terror threat. Why isn’t white violence that is intended to shut down black movements, or male violence intended to intimidate women, considered terrorism by so many?

I want to understand why, at this particular moment, white American men seem to be losing their minds.

Since the civil-rights movement, the Republican establishment — the big bankers and CEOs that actually run the party — have danced with racists in the white grassroots by conflating racism and fear of the government. Instead of providing all Americans with decent healthcare, education, jobs, or housing, the racist white grassroots and rich establishment agreed that everyone should be on their own — so black people and immigrants don’t accidentally get anything good.
The “Southern Strategy” helped create two national, highly polarized political parties that disagree on every issue, leading to the extreme gridlock that’s crippling Washington. From Goldwater to the Tea Party, the far right parlayed white people’s fear of blacks and other people of color into an anti- government backlash that gutted the middle class.
All of us live with the extreme inequality these politics have generated. Denying healthcare to poor people will keep some black people from getting things, but poverty knows no color. Making college unaffordable to all but the rich will keep some black people off campuses, but it will also burden white families. Ironically, racism and white supremacy has made non-rich white people deal with some of the same issues that people of color have faced for centuries. This is an old truth of white supremacy, as Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us. “If it may be said of the slavery era that the white man took the world and gave the Negro Jesus,” King said back in 1965, “then it may be said of the Reconstruction era that the southern aristocracy took the world and gave the poor white man Jim Crow.”

Now, many white people don’t know if they will be able to provide themselves or their families with a decent life. They don’t believe the American Dream applies to them or think the government cares about people like them. They don’t know if future generations will be better off. And they’re not entirely wrong; in an era of stagnating wages and increasing housing, education and healthcare costs, most Americans’ quality of life is diminishing, even when the economy grows, because all the growth goes to the top 1 percent. The political institutions through which our society is supposed to deal with these problems have been captured by the same interests that are causing the problems. Democracy—rule of the people, by the people, for the people—is in peril.

The emergence of fascism has always depended upon democracy’s failure. The growing proto-fascist, white- supremacist movement in the Republican Party is preying upon non-rich white people who are literally dying of despair, turning to drugs and suicide to deal with a reality they can’t bear, and a society they believe doesn’t care for them. Over the past 15 years, the death rate for white men has actually increased — an unprecedented rise in modern times that’s comparable to the emergence of the AIDS epidemic. White people are right that they are under attack — they’re just pointing to the wrong culprits. For the wealthy elite who fund the political operatives and media companies that tell white people who to blame for their plight, the race war is a very useful substitute for the class war.

What’s new in this moment is the Republican establishment’s losing control of the grassroots for the first time in the post– civil rights era. Instead of the corporate Republicans winning the white vote with coded racist language, the grassroots outsiders are competing with one another to be more and more openly racist. Trump and Ben Carson are far-right populists rushing to turn non-rich white people’s fear and despair into ever-greater inequality by blaming others for their situation. The villainization of Mexicans, black people, and Muslims that’s happened over the course of this election season isn’t new, but the nakedness of the hatred is fueled by white panic about their diminishing prospects in the face of growing economic and political inequality.

White rage at economic inequality and fear of a corrupt political establishment is not the only thing driving the backlash. The movement for black lives is making every American confront how we treat black people and decide if black lives matter to them. Movements create change by forcing people to pick a side: Opponents and supporters are both polarized, and each escalates in their tactics and commitment. In this moment of polarization, those who politically, economically, or emotionally depend upon the domination of black people are forced to cling ever harder to their hatred.

The successes of past movements are good indications that the polarization happening across America will be, in sum, a good thing. The mask is slipping and more people are seeing the violence inherent in maintaining white supremacy and empire. The courage and wisdom of this generation of young black leaders has already shifted the scope of what’s possible in a very short amount of time. The #4thPrecinctShutdown in Minneapolis was able to win two of their three demands within a week; the Chicago police officer who shot Laquan McDonald has been charged with murder. Protests often work and, right now, despite how bad it often feels, the movement is definitely winning.

But for every cop charged with murder for killing a black child, there is a Darren Wilson. For every city full of young black leaders transforming this country for the better, there is a potential Dylann Roof. The process of ending white supremacy will make this a better country for everyone, but in the struggle it will almost certainly bring more pain to those who already suffer most.
White supremacy is a source of constant terror to people of color and is damaging to the humanity and prosperity of people who are considered white. So, what would it take for the sad, angry people clinging to their whiteness to have something else to feel good about? How can other white people hasten the end of an America that depends on violence, exclusion, and domination?
I think, as Ta-Nehisi Coates says, that it will take us waking other white people up to the myth of their whiteness. People believe they are white because someone told them they are. Who is white has shifted over time to reflect the political needs of those in power, and will continue to change. Americans have to learn that race is invented, but the experience and rules of racism are all too real. Moving beyond white supremacy will require more of us that “believe ourselves to be white” to confront some tragic, simple human truths: Life is short and fragile, each of us has very little control over our fates, and we all belong to the world; it does not belong to us.

The myth of white America depends upon denying these basic, shared aspects of our humanity. It means denying the terror we inflict upon others to enable our domination — and seeing every act that opposes our domination as terrorism. The myth will continue to have power until white Americans realize we are connected to the other peoples of this country and this world, that “whiteness” is a myth invented for profit, and that America is an imagined political community like any other, and is only good if we make it so.

I have come to believe the fears of white Americans are really just reflections of the things that white supremacy and empire have done to others. White America has not been terrorized by people of color; we have terrorized people of color. Black wealth is not based on stealing from white people; white wealth is based on stealing from black people. Instead of confronting the reality of our history and what our country has become for most people, too many Americans would rather kill those mourning their dead and send orphans and widows to a hellscape we created — all in order to preserve the myths of whiteness, masculinity, and empire.

I have to imagine the white men who commit these egregious acts of terror do so out of a silent, personal fear that the myths of whiteness and masculinity engender in themselves. The dehumanization white supremacists perpetrate on others has to be, in part, a projection of the dehumanization they feel themselves. The sad men that hang out on 4chan plotting the destruction of innocent others don’t believe they can be the strong, virile, white male dominators they are prescribed to be. No one who feels good about themselves talks as much as Donald Trump does about how he is a “winner” and other people are “losers.” No one who is confident of their humanity would deny acceptance to a 5-year-old orphan refugee.

And yet, these white, American men are taught they must be silent in considering their fear, because to even admit they feel it would be to undo the myths of whiteness and masculinity they cling to.
I can’t claim to have answers about how we get more white Americans to treat others as human beings. I do believe that all Americans would be better off if we moved beyond white supremacy and empire, and it’s the responsibility of white people to say so. They are myths that rob us all of our humanity, and keep us from uniting against the plutocrats that are stealing our future. I have faith in this generation of leaders of color, and hope they will lead a multi-racial coalition that will uproot white supremacy, once and for all. I hope that white people will follow their lead, as well as join organizations like SURJ that prepare white people to contribute to the struggle against white supremacy.

I have to believe that the next task of our movements —not just the movement for black lives but all of our movements — is to put forth a vision of what it means to be an American that’s based on a recognition of our shared humanity. In the 21st century, we can’t keep living on systems designed for a time before emancipation, electricity, or public education. We have to put forth a vision of what this country and our lives could be like if it actually was designed to work for all its people.

MAX BERGER works at Vice, is a co-founder of the Momentum Trainings and was a leading participant in Occupy Wall Street.

Lethal Terrorist Attacks In The United States Since 9/11


Data from: http://securitydata.newamerica.net/extremists/deadly-attacks.html

Deadly Attacks Since 9/11
Homegrown Extremists
NSA Analysis: Jihadist vs. Homegrown Extremists

The tables below show the lethal terrorist incidents in the United States since 9/11.

Deadly Jihadist Attacks
Total number of people killed:                                  45
Plot name                                                          # Persons killed
2015 San Bernardino Shooting                                  14
2015 Chattanooga, TN Military Shooting                 5
2014 Washington and New Jersey Killing Spree    4
2014 Oklahoma Beheading                                           1
2013 Boston Marathon Bombing                                4
2009 Little Rock Shooting                                            1
2009 Fort Hood Shooting                                            13
2006 Seattle Jewish Federation Shooting                1
2002 Los Angeles Airport Shooting                           2

Deadly Right Wing Attacks
Total number of people killed:                                  48
Plot name                                                           #Persons killed
2015 Colorado Planned Parenthood Shooting         3
2015 Charleston Church Shooting                              9
2014 Las Vegas Police Ambush                                     3
2014 Kansas Jewish Center Shooting                          3
2014 Blooming Grove Police Shooting                       1
2012 Tri-State Killing Spree                                          4
2012 St. John’s Parish Police Ambush                       2
2012 Sikh Temple Shooting                                          6
2011 FEAR Militia                                                             3
2010 Carlisle, PA Murder                                               1
2010 Austin, TX Plane Attack                                       1
2009 Pittsburgh Police Shootings                              3
2009 Holocaust Museum Shooting                            1
2009 George Tiller Assassination                               1
2009 Flores Murders, Pima County, AZ                   2
2009 Brockton, MA Murders                                       2
2008 Knoxville, TN Church Shooting                       2
2004 Tulsa OK, Bank Robbery                                     1

Republican Attacks On Planned Parenthood Need To Stop


Excerpt from: CREDO Action

Defend Planned Parenthood
Right-wing Republicans and anti-abortion extremists will go to any length to close Planned Parenthood clinics and block women’s access to health care, including abortions. They will promote lies and deceptions. They will shame and patronize women. They will harass and intimidate health care providers. They will threaten to shutdown the government.

Last Friday’s attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado serves as a tragic reminder that the deceitful, incendiary rhetoric the right-wing uses to demonize Planned Parenthood and its patients has dangerous, real-world consequences.

Enough is enough.

Since this summer, extremist anti-choice activists and Republican lawmakers have coordinated to use deceptively edited, secretly recorded videos to attempt to destroy Planned Parenthood. In their attempt to close clinics and take away women’s health care, Republican members of Congress, presidential candidates and governors used rhetoric meant to stoke the outrage of the Republican party’s anti-woman base. Examples of their irresponsible rhetoric include:

  • Speaker of the House John Boehner repeated the lie that fetal tissue donation is an “abortion-for-baby-parts business.”
  • Rep. Trent Franks claimed that Planned Parenthood has a “legendary disregard for the sanctity of innocent human life.”2
  • Sen. Ted Cruz called Planned Parenthood a criminal enterprise and said the widely-discredited videos were “[exposing] Planned Parenthood’s barbaric practices.”3

Months of this hateful rhetoric have created an atmosphere that breeds violence and terrorism. In addition to Friday’s shooting, there have been at least five other reported attacks against Planned Parenthood clinics since August.4 The FBI has been warning about increased attacks by pro-life extremists on reproductive health care facilities since September.5

Republicans must be held accountable for the inevitable consequences of their actions. Tell them to stop their dangerous attacks on Planned Parenthood.

Congressional Republicans are not going to end their obsession with Planned Parenthood without a fight. There are currently five Congressional committees investigating Planned Parenthood, including a special committee formed by John Boehner just before his resignation.

House Republicans have not even hidden the fact that these investigations are nothing more than partisan witch hunts. House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, while bragging about the negative impact the Benghazi Committee was having on Hillary Clinton, suggested that it was time for a committee to do the same kind of investigation into Planned Parenthood.6 House Republican leaders have said that last week’s attack in Colorado will not disrupt the special committee’s plans.7 They need to shut it down.

We must also hold Republican presidential candidates to account. Since Friday’s attack, candidates speaking out to exculpate themselves from responsibility for right-wing terror and denounce the violence have also doubled down to repeat the same lies and dangerous rhetoric that led to the violence in the first place.

Sen. Ted Cruz claimed, “there is no doubt that [Planned Parenthood] was selling baby parts.”8 Donald Trump said that “there were many [Center for Medical Progress] tapes that are appropriate.”9 We can’t let them get away with such reckless and deceitful rhetoric.

  • Tell Republicans: It’s time to stop your dangerous attacks on Planned Parenthood, including disbanding the House’s special committee to investigate Planned Parenthood.
  • Go to the below site to sign the petition telling Republicans:
    “No more witch hunts, no more lies. Your attacks on Planned Parenthood are deceitful and dangerous.”

https://act.credoaction.com/sign/Stop_PP_Attacks?t=7&akid=16237.7785905.qsEy3S

Thanks for standing up for Planned Parenthood and standing up for women.

Heidi Hess, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

References:

Jackie Calmes, “Shooting at Planned Parenthood Adds to Challenges for Congress,” New York Times, 11/20/2015.
“Trent Franks Press Release: Criminal Investigation into Planned Parenthood Harvesting Baby Body Parts Unlikely from Obama Justice Department,” 7/14/2015.
Katie Zezima and Tom Hamburger, “Cruz’s evangelical outreach shifts into high gear,” Washington Post, 8/23/2015.
Bill Morlin, “Four Arsons in 74 Days at Planned Parenthood Clinics,” Southern Poverty Law Center, 10/2/2015.
“FBI warns of threat to reproductive health care facilities, CBSnews.com, 9/18/2015.
Emily Atkin, “Top Republican: Let’s Make Planned Parenthood The Next Benghazi,” Think Progress, 9/30/2015.
Jackie Calmes, “Shooting at Planned Parenthood Adds to Challenges for Congress,” New York Times, 11/20/2015.
“Ted Cruz: ‘There is no doubt’ Planned Parenthood was ‘selling baby parts’, Raw Story, 12/1/2015.
Anna North,“After Attack, Republicans Keep Hammering Planned Parenthood”, New York Times, 11/30/2015.

© 2015 CREDO. All rights reserved.