Tell Congress: Migrant children Need Legal Counsel


Excerpt from: CREDO Action

Stand up for Children

Every year, in immigration courts across the country, children (from toddlers to teenagers) are representing themselves in front of judges for deportation and asylum cases. It sounds unbelievable that our court system would expect a five-year-old child holding a doll for comfort to be solely responsible for defending him or herself against immigration charges, but that’s exactly how the current system operates.1

The “Fair Day in Court for Kids Act of 2016” could change that. The legislation, introduced last month by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, with the support and co-sponsorship of many House Democrats, would ensure that children, asylum seekers, and other vulnerable individuals will have access to legal representation and a fair legal process when they are facing a life-or-death deportation decision.2 It is unacceptable that a country that prides itself on a system where everyone has the right to an attorney is systematically forcing children to navigate the complicated immigration court system alone.

Ninety percent of children without attorneys are ordered to be deported. Over the past two years, more than 112,000 families and unaccompanied children appeared without lawyers in their deportation proceedings. The majority of the unaccompanied migrant children entering and in the United States are from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, countries that are experiencing levels of violence so severe that in January the U.S. State Department announced a new refugee program for asylum-seekers from that area. This program will be helpful in validating the extreme levels of danger that many of the migrant children and families are fleeing, but children and vulnerable populations will still be at risk for wrongful deportation if they don’t have the right to access legal counsel. 3

Asylum seekers who are represented by counsel are 12 times more likely to be granted asylum, and children with attorneys are five times more likely to be granted protection. The majority of children who are deported after representing themselves in court are not deported because they are in less dangerous circumstances, or are less deserving of asylum of protection. They are deported back to countries where their lives might literally be in danger because they are navigating one of the most complicated immigrant court systems in the world without even basic support. One of the bill co-sponsors, Rep. Luis Gutierrez said in a press release:

“We are talking about children running for their lives in many instances. We need to make sure they have a lawyer, a translator, and a fair chance to navigate the American legal system so that they get justice if they qualify for asylum or are facing deportation. It is literally the least we can do.”4

Children and other vulnerable populations deserve the same right to counsel and resources as any other person navigating an American court system. We all need to stand together now to support immigrant children and other vulnerable populations, and to force Congress to do the right thing.

Tell Congress to pass S 2540, the “Fair Day in Court for Kids Act” to give immigrant children and other vulnerable populations the right to legal counsel.

  • Tell Congress:
    “Pass the Fair Day in Court for Kids Act – a bill to ensure that children have legal counsel when they go before an immigration judge.”

Go to the link below to sign the petition:

http://act.credoaction.com/sign/Fair_Day?t=6&akid=17499.7785905.VsWVTH

Thank you for standing up for children,

Tessa Levine, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

References
1. Pamela Chan, “Will Immigrant Kids Finally Get A Fair Day In Court?” Generation Progress, Mar. 29, 2016.
2. Elise Foley, “Democratic Lawmakers Want Kids In Immigration Proceedings To Get a Fair Shot,” Huffington Post, Feb. 11, 2016.
3. “Reid Introduces Fair Day In Court Act To Protect Children Seeking Asylum,” Senator Harry Reid, Feb. 11, 2016.
4. “House Democrats introduce Fair Day in Court for Kids Act,” Congressman Gutiérrez, Feb. 11, 2016.

© 2016 CREDO. All rights reserved.

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The United States Is Having An Identity Crisis


Excerpt from: National Catholic Reporter

The United States Is Having An Identity Crisis
Joan Chittister | Dec. 28, 2015

From Where I Stand

The 19th century was a period of public and political turmoil in Russia, which is perhaps why the influential novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky is said to have commented, “To live without hope is to cease to live.” Perhaps Americans have never understood that feeling better than we can now. We are also facing grave national choices in a whirlpool of public and political turmoil. The way ahead is uncertain and the voices of leadership are tangled. It is time to consider what role we play as Americans when hope is at a premium for many and our own very definition of self is stake.
The images of refugees streaming across Europe, clinging to overcrowded boats in the Mediterranean Sea, huddled in the middle of rubble in bombed out villages in the Middle East is almost more than I can take. It is as if the world has fallen down around us, as if all of us went to bed one night and woke up the next morning on a different planet. Most damaging of all, it is a planet I do not want to be on. Why? Because this is a planet I grew up believing would never exist. At least not here. Not in the United States. This has become a planet at war with itself.

The United States, I was told as I grew, was a land with an open heart, a land of mixed cultures but one soul. A land made strong and creative by immigrants, it had become a melting pot of ideas. Thanks to all the citizens of the world who came here to escape poverty and oppression, war and destruction, a cross section of the world worked together here to turn its land and build its buildings and staff its business and shape its future.

Most of all, it was a land in which the culture of others mixed its customs with our own so that we could all be proud to be Irish and Italian, Polish and Hispanic, African and Asian, Christian and Jewish, Buddhist and Muslim, Hindu and Orthodox — “American” — because so many had come as immigrants to add to the DNA of it.

At the same time, it was not an easy process for any of them, we know. We remember “Irish need not apply,” the “Chinese Exclusion Act,” “white drinking fountains” and, on election day, non-Catholic presidents only. But, given the time it takes for one worldview to become integrated with another, it did, in the end, always work.
Only in the United States, in fact, is there a “Statue of Liberty,” the one national monument to immigrants — to hope — in the entire world. As long as the Statue of Liberty stands beckoning the world’s “tired and poor” all the little people of the world — the outcasts and persecuted, the oppressed and dispossessed, the rejected and displaced in the world — will have something to strive for, something to believe in, something to trust as sign of the humanity of humanity. More than that, we ourselves will have reason to hope that, however dark the world around us, our best selves will forever rise to show us the way beyond prejudice and fear to the height of human development.

In the middle of an immigration crisis, let’s just call the historic commitment of this country to welcome refugees the “Lady Liberty Movement.” And cling to it. Because if we don’t who will we be? What will we become? The moral message of the Lady dims, it seems, when even some of our politicians want to wall us off in fear from those who, carrying children in their arms, beg us again for “room in the inn.”

Donald Trump’s recommendation that Muslims in general be barred from coming to the United States “until our country’s representatives figure out what’s going on” is blatant racism and brazen religious discrimination. It smells of Germany, 1939, only this time it is Muslims, not Jews, who are the scapegoats. The argument is that we must do this in the name of defense and security.

The truth is that it is openness that is our best defense under threat. Otherwise, we prove that what those who want to destroy us say is true: that Americans are self-centered, are making their money off the resources of the poor of the world, are hypocrites who plead peace and then arm the rest of the world in order to watch one small group destroy another.

Oh, it’s true that our Native American history is still to be resolved. It is true that many of those who don’t want to accept the immigrants of today had no trouble accepting the fact of slave ships of yesterday. It’s true that we were begged in 1939 to accept a boat full of Jewish immigrants at the beginning of WWII and, instead, returned them to Europe to die. Yes, we moved Japanese Americans to internment camps, but, interestingly enough, we never interred the Germans! Nor did we stop their entry into the United States. But we lived to regret every one of those retreats to xenophobia.

And now, instead of doing our share with other countries in the world to care for families who are leaving one country in order to save their children in another, we want to “pause” the process of hope. It will take as much as two to three years, some say, to create a new system to vet sanctuary seekers while these immigrants — frightened, desperate, hungry and homeless — die on the road.

If there is to be hope now, it is the hope in humanity we can ourselves guarantee for others by refusing to turn out the light on the Lady Liberty in our time.

From where I stand it seems that indeed we must each do something: We must talk again about what American values really are and the need to articulate them now. We need to find a way to create both security and sanctuary for the innocent, the daring, the desperate who believe that we are the world’s last hope. And we need to ask ourselves why it is that the pope’s call to every parish, every religious order, and every convent to each take a refugee family has yet to be invoked here?

Or does the death of immigrants not fit under the category of pro-life in our Catholic Voter’s Guide this year?

[Benedictine Sr. Joan Chittister is a frequent NCR contributor.]

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

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

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

The GOP Stampede Toward Fascism After the Paris Attacks


Excerpt from: The Nation

We are witnessing one of the most morally calamitous reactions to a refugee crisis in the country’s history.
By Sasha Abramsky NOVEMBER 20, 2015

I have spent the past week shuddering at the vast depths of nihilism that ISIS represents—at a movement that takes joy in killing innocents, be they Russian holidaymakers over Egypt; shoppers and businesspeople in Beirut; diners, sports fans and concertgoers in Paris; or Norwegian and Chinese hostages.
I have, too, spent much of the past couple of years shuddering at the horrors unleashed within ISIS’s self-styled caliphate as well. For no matter how grisly the events in Paris, far more Syrians and Iraqis have died at the hands of ISIS than have any other nationality.

The victims of ISIS (as well as the broader war in Syria) have been fleeing in unprecedented numbers—fleeing to Lebanon, to Turkey, taking deadly boat journeys across the Mediterranean, walking across countries, across continents—seeking safety and sanctuary. Many have died on this journey, including young children drowned at sea. Many more, inevitably, will die on this journey. It is a spectacle of misery extraordinary in its scale, and in its moral urgency.

And yet, after November 13, countries across Europe have begun shutting out these refugees, and in the United States we are witnessing one of the most morally calamitous reactions to a refugee crisis in the country’s history.

Over the past several days, one Republican governor after another has closed his state to refugees from Syria—or, since they technically do not have the legal power to prevent the federal government from admitting refugees, has pledged to refuse all state resources to aid in this process.  A Democratic mayor in Virginia has called for using the World War II internment system that was used against Japanese Americans – one of the most widely discredited and shameful episodes in recent American historyas a model for how to approach the Syrians.

Some Texas Republicans have argued that they should not take in Syrian refugees because they already are dealing with undocumented immigrants from Mexico—and that they can’t take in Syrian refugees because it would be too easy for them to buy guns (that may be true… but, as we’ve seen so often in recent years, it’s equally easy for angry young white Christian men to purchase guns and go on mass-shooting sprees, and yet Texas hasn’t closed its borders to that demographic, nor have its political leaders made any effort to enforce sensible gun-control policies).

Jeb Bush has said we ought to prioritize refugee status for Christians. John Kasich has called for a government agency that would beam “Judeo-Christian values” over Middle Eastern airwaves. In Congress, the GOP-led House, with a shockingly large number of Democrats in support, just voted on a bill that would make it virtually impossible, in practice, to admit Syrian refugees into the country.

And Donald Trump has used the crime against humanity that occurred last week in Paris as a prop in his vicious campaign of demagoguery: Because of Paris, he has said, we must get serious about building a wall to close off Mexico. Because of Paris, we must put security first above all civil liberties. Because of Paris, we must start up again the few post-9/11 surveillance programs that were curtailed by courts and politicians because of their abusive properties, and must maintain and expand a raft of others. A surveillance state briefly put in the dock by Edward Snowden will, in this vision, be fully unleashed and unchecked. And because of Paris, we ought to consider registering American Muslims in a special database.
There is an odor of early fascism, or rather of the hysteria that precedes the march away from democracy, to much of this Trumpian rhetoric. An odor of the street fight. An odor of the iron fist.

It is an acrid smell, a mid-century aroma tinted with totalitarianism and historical ignorance. No society can protect its open, pluralistic politics by thoughtlessly clamping down on civil liberties.No country can seriously sustain its claim to being a beacon for human liberty if its most demagogic forces are unleashed against vulnerable, hungry, scared, and desperate refugees.

In my mind’s eye, I see the young child drowned in the Mediterranean, the photographs of whom, just a few weeks back, captured the world’s attention and, quite rightly, tugged at our collective heartstrings. I see the families who get off airplanes after odysseys of thousands of miles, pick up their worldly belongings—usually just two or three suitcases—and, with the help of organizations such as the International Rescue Committee, are given a chance to start lives anew, welcomed into communities around the country.

I see all of our better instincts at work in helping these men, women, and children start afresh. And now, competing with these images, I see something uglier being unleashed. I see powerful figures such as Trump beating up on helpless refugee children. I see a stampede on the right to exploit a catastrophe, to exploit the war crimes of madmen, for partisan political gain.

It is, quite simply, shameful. To block access to America for refugees—in particular refugee children—fleeing the barbarism of the Syrian war is as unsavory as was the turning back of ships filled with desperate Jews in the period leading up to the Second World War.

There’s a certain famous statue in New York Harbor, with a certain famous phrase etched into its base. Everyone knows those lines. They urge the world to “Give me your tired, your poor/ Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” They offer, in America, succor to “the homeless, tempest-tost” of the world. They are good, solid, morally righteous lines. They should be read sometime by those who now use their public platforms to beat up on desperate people in these most tempest-tossed of times.
SASHA ABRAMSKY, who writes regularly for The Nation, is the author of several books, including Inside Obama’s Brain, Breadline USA, American Furies and The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives. His latest book, The House of 20,000 Books, was published by New York Review Books in September.