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Black Lives Matter. We are still fighting that war. On the streets, in the schools, in the libraries, in our government. When will the United States of America, every state, every citizen, understand the meaning of Civil? Civil War. Civil Rights.

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Feb 2·edited Feb 3

Just reread Professor Richardson’s letter from three years ago today: the GOP Senate admitted trump’s guilt but they spiked the impeachment hearings anyway, preventing documents and testimony. Not one person in authority had been brought to justice from the Trump administration with the possible exception of steve bannon, though he has yet to serve his light sentence. Historian Clay Jenkinson wrote 3 years ago that the GOP senators betraying their oaths to the constitution was our crossing of the rubicon and the death of our republic. Today Trump’s likely successor Desantis has weaponized the most vile racism in his bid to become the American Mussolini if not Julius Caesar. The traitors who abetted the January 6 coups now run the House, probably taking orders from Putin via Trump. From the recent arrest of the FBI agent in Russian employ, we have fresh reasons to suspect that Putin stole the 2016 election. That the wife of the Chief Justice has been trading on her position with corporations with business before the SCOTUS is at this point just expected; another SCOTUS wife was a coup plotter. Where is justice, Merrick Garland? Garland? Garland?

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Feb 2·edited Feb 2

This is one of our Professor's most eloquent yet. I should just leave it there. But while we are on the subject of truth...

I've been a bit perplexed these past few weeks (months? years!) at people marvelling at the torrent of lies coming from the members of the conservative major party in our good old USA, with a certain freshman congressman chiefly providing the latest focal point. The attitude seems to be one of incredulity: can you believe they can do that?

Let's review: A lie is anything that is definitely untrue. No real grey area, just false. Right? Right. Okay, then!

The following are total lies on a completely obvious, the-sky-is-orange, 0% true level. Yet for the length of my lifetime they have all been categorized as "hot-button issues" where many people have "differing and sincerely held beliefs."

A non-viable fetus is not a person. Saying so is a lie. There is no scientific, factual justification for that position. Aborting it is a health care choice, not a murder. Calling it the latter is a lie.

Being gay is not a choice, and it doesn't make you more likely to be deviant. Saying so is a lie.

Having more guns makes you more likely to have gun violence. Saying otherwise is a lie.

Climate change is real and dangerous. Not "believing in it" isn't passive, ignoring reality by definition means you are lying to yourself. And dollars to donuts, other people.

There aren't "things" in vaccines that "might" cause a learning disability, and you're not as well off without them. That is a lie.

Oh, and giving rich people endless tax cuts does not result in rewards for everyone. Saying so is a lie. (This isn't a scientifically prima facie untruth, but it has a 0% success rate over half a century, so...)

These are just a few of the most popular greatest hits, and all of these pale in comparison to the damage done by the biggest lie of all: racism. It means that people are lesser in some way because of the color of their skin. The concept is a lie, one that has caused untold suffering and divisions, yet as obviously stupid as the kid with chocolate on his face saying he didn't eat the chocolate (bad analogy?). Racism is a LIE. (Sexism too, obviously.)

Yet a third of this country has had these lies legitimized as mere political differences by our inability to risk offense by calling them what they are: lies. Not disagreeable, not ridiculous, not ignorant, not backwards, not prejudiced, not unproductive, and certainly not conservative. Not *primarily* any of that.

Keep it simple: lies. As in, not true. The sky is NOT orange.

So yeah, of course the first Black president faked his birth certificate, and the current President didn't win, and the pandemic was a hoax, and schools are grooming your kids with critical race theory, and crime is up rather than down, and George Santos has a great resume. Those are laughable lies, but... almost all the people who believe and repeat them have been repeating the previously listed lies for almost half a century.

These new ones are actually not more ridiculous. They're just NEW, and coming at us faster. But they score the same on the truth percentage as the old, taken-for-granted ones: 0%.

Stop being surprised liars lie, or that they get real in a tizzy when called on their BS. Just get louder with the truth telling in your daily life, and keep framing it as what it is: not merely your preferred view, but the objective truth. Because it is. Own it. Be proud!

Help hardcore reality make a comeback, y'all. Only then can we can make some real progress.

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Feb 2·edited Feb 2

Republicans think they can upend the hard-fought, blood-stained progress of cruel decade upon cruel decade. But try as they might to weaken or even end civil rights, they ultimately will fail. Or the nation will cease to exist.

As for DeSantis, who seems to hate African-Americans or acts this way merely to attract Trump voters, he's taken on the persona of a pudgy George Wallace without the drawl and fiery speeches. DeSantis springing to the defense of gas ovens in a state lacking natural gas infrastructure is as odd as the white rain boots he wore to tour hurricane damage.

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Freedom is a constant struggle. And the question is, freedom for whom? Why are oppressors of all colors so determined to squash other people’s right to dignity and a fulfilling life?

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Feb 2·edited Feb 2

For over 20 years (1992-2013) I taught a college course WHAT vs. WHO: SOCIETAL DISCRIMINATION FROM PATRIARCHY TO THE PRESENT. It focused on gender, color, and other forms of systemic discrimination.

I fear that these days I would be prohibited from teaching this course at a public college or school in about half of the American states. I doubt, in teaching ‘white male history,’ that I would be permitted to dwell on slavery, lynching, ‘separate but equal,’ and how the rights of women were denied during much of America’s existence and, today, by the Supreme Court.

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Some suggest that “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” should replace to “Star-Spangled Banner” as America's national anthem, and there is good reason to do so. Upon witnessing the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in September 1815 during the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key, a Maryland lawyer and slaveholder, penned the words to “Star-Spangled Banner,” the third verse of which contained the following lines denigrating fugitive slaves that helped the British during that war: “No refuge could save the hireling and slave, From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave.” For an excellent recent study of “Star-Spangled Banner,” see Mark Clague, O Say Can You Hear?: A Cultural Biography of The Star-Spangled Banner (New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 2022).

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Feb 2·edited Feb 2

This is from this evening's issue of Meduza. Those not knowing the publication should know that the reporters risk their livelihoods and lives daily to publish their investigation and can bear witness to their findings with a free newsletter subscription from https://meduza.io/en.

Now the article:

"🏳️‍🌈 Sociology journal purges old issue featuring articles about sexuality

Sociology of Power, a quarterly peer-reviewed journal released by The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, has mysteriously unpublished its first issue from 2018: a collection of articles about “sexuality in trouble.” On Facebook, the issue’s editor, sociologist Evgeny Shtorn, apologized to his colleagues and guessed that the academy is trying to avoid prosecution under Russia’s recently expanded ban on “LGBT propaganda” (though Shtorn notes that not all the articles in question addressed LGBT issues). On the school’s old website, an archived copy of the journal issue is still available."

Putin's Russia has something in common with Florida (i.e., the DeSantistan peninsula) in that it aims to make teachers too intimidated to teach and scholars too intimidated to publish. What an achievement to list on a resume....

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Thank you Heather, a veritable prayer for our County and for the painful loss of a Mother's son. 🙏

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Powerful post and link to then and now Thanks so much

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Powerful and most beautifully said, my dear Heather. Mine eyes have also seen the glory

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According to a “PBS Newshour” report, the changes to the AP Black Studies curriculum were made in December, one month before Governor DeSantis first raised his objections.

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The biggest mistake for Lincoln's administration were the words in the 13th Amendment "except as punishment...." This allowed the Governors of the former slave States to simply write laws specifically to condemn persons of color to continued slavery. It also gave implied permission to today's white supremacists to continue their abominable violence against persons of color. And "excuses" law enforcement from their brutality toward persons of color. Today those of us proclaiming that there is only one species of Homo sapiens have to choose our words carefully so we don't fall into the same trap as the person(s) who wrote the 13th Amendment. We call for "defunding the police" but we can't do that because Homo sapiens being the imperfect critters we are need to have a peace enforcement entity to make us obey the laws. We need, desperately, to retrain, and reindoctrinate every current police force in the Country, but it needs to be funded and we haven't offered a source of funding or the means of collecting that necessary funding. What we need is guidance from leadership on how to proceed and a time limit on when we begin

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Feb 2·edited Feb 2

I remember the terror I felt being hit in the face once by a school bully, a 4th grader who took umbrage with something I said as a 3rd grader at recess. The problem was, I didn't know how to fight back, didn't know if I could even summon the courage to swing a fist. I think I'm like most of us; fundamentally peace loving, and certainly unprepared to physically attack another person. Once, in high school, I abruptly pushed a guy over a bench in the locker room when he wouldn't stop harassing my small, slender friend who couldn't have protected himself against the larger/stronger bully if he had the courage to do so. Amazingly, the bully backed down. I remember being shocked at myself, and how long the "fight/flight" arousal of that moment stuck with me. I didn't know I even had it in me to react violently to that violation of justice.

I don't recall any more events in my life where I faced the potential for violence close up. I watched as many violent movies for entertainment as the next young American, but it never translated to a need or desire to learn how to BE violent. On the other hand, many, many young people in America learned violence as self-protection in harder neighborhoods than mine. Some found violence as a way out of the 'hoods and barrios of modern America. Some found that escape through the sanctioned traditions of boxing, football, wrestling and other contact sports. Some moved through the military or law enforcement training and employment. They learned how to be violent. And, some, given the opportunity to join up to organizations where violence is sanctioned and even glorified, took it willingly. If you learn to see violence as an aberration, you will mostly turn away, hope to avoid it, even protest against it. On the other hand, if you learn to see the world as a violent place and then equip yourself to be stronger, faster and more punishing than the next person, you'll embrace it and sometimes even crave it. We are a violent society. We're entertained by it. We sanction it and glorify it through "acceptable" channels. We have armed ourselves to a unique degree in the world. And, having embraced violence, in cases like the topic of today's news, we go out looking for it and even creating it in direct contradiction to the motives of those who hired and paid us. We have created bullies as body guards, given them guns, badges and uniforms. In the words of Pogo, we have met the enemy and he is us...

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Please let things change. Please. Thank you for the history lesson, too

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Thank you for this beautiful piece. You, and Julia, had me in tears from her first stanza to your tribute to Tyre. Why is justice so hard to come by?

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