Late tonight the Senate passed H.R. 3746, the Fiscal Responsibility Act, suspending the debt ceiling and cutting certain federal spending. President Joe Biden has promised to sign it tomorrow, preventing a government default. Forty-four Democrats and two Independents—Angus King (I-ME) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ)—voted yes, along with 17 Republicans. Four Democrats and Independent Bernie Sanders (I-VT) voted no, along with 31 Republicans. The final tally to pass the measure was 63 to 36.
I still remember the horror I felt upon learning of the Tulsa Massacre, and the destruction of the Greenwood district. I was completely shocked that I had never heard of this event until the last year or two, and still also remember hearing about the remaining 3? living survivors of that terrible event.
It is good to know that Biden is moving forward with "actions to root out racial bias in home valuations to ensure that all hardworking families can realize the true value of their investment and have a fair shot at the American dream.”
Thanks, Dr Heather, for another LFAA that makes current events easier to understand, and relatable to past history. This country has a long way to go before the inequity inherent in the systems in place towards people of color are redressed.
Must say - I thought Biden out maneuvered the republicans on the debt ceiling negotiations!
I like this President more every day. Now we can all do our work. Thank you Joe.
I'm afraid it is horrifyingly true, that the BIG STORY isn't about Biden's accomplishment in the face of the fascists wishing to obstruct any good he is doing: it's all about his accident! All I need do is look at my sister-in-law's Facebook page to see how Biden is being portrayed by the right-wing media machine. It sickens me almost as much as her posting of Trump's last big rally in GA, during the height of Covid: she was SO THRILLED to be there! She posted his "amazing" dance moves so proudly, and I felt infuriated by her total lack of concern for my brother's health and well-being. She is SO fucking brainwashed, and will never change. I remember when she told me how much she loved Rush Limbaugh: that she'd listened to him since the first time he was on radio. I was mortified! Of course, she says, "I love black people!", and always has posts that get fed to her depicting a person of color who happens to be Republican, or who has done something heroic (but is usually MAGA!). She, and others like her, are completely ignorant about the Tulsa Massacre, and probably wouldn't believe it if someone them. I only learned about it myself about 10 years ago, but why? Our education system leaves much to be desired, and it doesn't look that's going to change anytime soon. All we can do is support the Dems and hope for change!
Real estate valuation is riddled with racism. Here’s a lesson I taught, where students used the 1940 Census to make a personal connection with historical redlining maps. "Mapping Inequality: Exploring Personal History in Redline Maps and the 1940 Census"
Let's call it what it is: Wealth disparity is the rough underbelly of a capitalistic society and in a sense has been institutionalized. Too few American families own the greatest percentage of our country's wealth and those who dominate it feel entitled to impose their political philosophy to control the purse strings. And as HCR aptly points out those who dominate it do the most damage by oppressing those in greatest need, usually people of color.
Critical Race Theory maintains that racism has been institutionalized and the Right has begun abolishing its teaching the --"real story" of our country's history--in classrooms across the country. They say they don't want our children to feel badly about themselves while white-washing historical facts. Of course it's simply cover for their fear of losing their foothold on power. It's a twisted argument based on self-preservation. Their suppression of the truth isn't fooling anyone.
I was shocked when I studied abroad in Germany in the 1980's. The airwaves were loaded with that country's admission of guilt for being hoodwinked by Hitler. Documentaries on the Holocaust were aired daily in the hope that this "cannot happen again." After the war, Germans showed the evils of Nazism and lifted the snake to examine for everyone to see.
Many right-wingers do whatever is necessary to stop capitalism's underbelly from being seen. To do so would make mostly white, male leaders to admit our ever-hidden guilt. They call transparency "woke." (I call it lies.) Germany owned theirs and is a better society for it.
Finally, I've been watching old documentaries on the Holocaust in which survivors answer this question: Why didn't you do something when the Nazi hammer fell on them. Most responded that no one imagined that early changes would end with The Final Solution. Changes to their freedoms and growing racism were gradual and many felt they would re-correct. From studying the evolution of fascism openly, Germany showed that this of course was wishful thinking.
The world is witnessing similar changes in American society. Voter suppression, racism, anti-gay and LGBTQ rights, women's right to choose and book banning, just to name a few, are opening salvos by the Right to create an extremist, our way or the highway, form of Christian Theocracy. It's happening right under our noses. What the logical extension will be is not pretty. Disenfranchisement based on race, mandating reciting the Lord's Prayer in public schools, eye for an eye deaths of women who choose to abort their fetuses, expulsion of the homeless, Civil War? How bad it will get is anyone's guess. The truth is that we are on a trajectory which will destroy democracy as we know it. When a lethal movement gains momentum, it never ends well.
In other words, Professor Heather, fascist racism governs today’s Republicans, 95% of American campuses, police departments, small and big communities, small and large banks, see JOYCE VANCE tonight on Substack, can we call it FASCISM, YET?
The McCarthy debt/budget charade ends with Cool Hand Joe being presidential and the speaker being pipsqueaky. Meanwhile there are strange sputters in the Republican presidential primary race.
Not so long ago pundits wrote about the Trump/DeSantis race. More recently Trump has been up in the polls and major endorsements, while DeSantis’s much hyped launch was a fiasco and his Floridazation message seems to have flopped nationally.
There is Nikki Haley, ex-South Carolina Governor and -/+ with Trump, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, some rich guy with a name starting with Y, ex-NJ Governor Christie [the only prospective candidate with a double digit Republican dislike poll], and other possibles, including ex-VP Pence.
Unless Trump stumbles badly (or possibly is jailed or has a major health issue], he seems likely to be the Republican presidential primary winner. The other candidates may seek their fifteen minutes of exposure, but the process is likely a hands down Trump coronation.
This is where the McCarthy blackmail fiasco becomes relevant. In 2020, for the first time in my memory, the Republican presidential convention presented no policy guidelines. This was because there was no clear policy guidance from a loose-cannon Trump. The same is likely at the 2024 Republican presidential convention.
McCarthy’s House horse shit reflects a policy of nihilism, where slogans rather than serious policies prevail.
I am heartened by the accomplishments of the Biden administration both domestically and in the global arena.
I am reassured by how presidential Biden has been in maintaining the ‘full faith and credit of the United States.’
I am confident that President Biden and the Democrats have a winning hand in the 2024 political game, if they can highlight their accomplishments as well as the nihilist vacuousness of their Trumpista opponents.
Dominating the smallest minded (less than 10 brain cells) among us is the tip of the iceberg. We have tried 600 of those magats and now some of them are spreading there virus of hate into more legitimate centers of indoctrination, the churches, schools and local politics. It is a dangerous time we live in, when ignorance is paraded as truth.
In 1970, the Soviet dissident, Andrei Amalrik, wrote an essay entitled "Will the Soviet Union Survive Until 1984?" As an outsider from Down Under that has followed US politics, especially since 2015, I wonder whether the US will survive 2024.
May I suggest that it’s extremely unlikely the Biden administration will sell this accomplishment? Instead of sending a strong message to minority voters about the administration’s concern with undervalued minority-owned housing, they’ll tweet a couple of times from the White House and nobody will notice. Why do I think so? Because they sell their accomplishments so badly, so ineptly, as if they’ve never heard that advertising agencies exist, they sell their successes so badly that the average American has no idea what they’ve done. Add, on top of that, a media machine determined to paint Biden as incompetent and/or frail, and I don’t know why any of the powerhouses in the Democratic Party think he has a prayer of defeating Donald Trump. Trump can be indicted a dozen ways to Sunday and, again, a majority of Americans won’t care. Trump probably can be defeated — if, that is, the Democrats start selling now.
"...the debt ceiling crisis already forgotten."
Editorial - "Republicans, deeply concerned about the electoral ramifications the party might suffer due to the spanking Biden gave the Freedom Caucus, are desperate to turn the attention of their base to literally anything else."
"Look! The old guy that in fact, did NOT just beat our asses tripped over a sandbag! He's not fit to beat our asses, er... govern!"
As an African American woman who's been around for more than 70 years I'm saddened by how little most Americans know about the history of racism in America. I noticed that most of the comments about today's letter are focused on the debt ceiling which we've been bantering about for weeks and Biden's fall which the GOP is capitalizing on as proof that he's too old to run again.
The remainder of HCR's narrative in this newsletter though is about the wealth disparities created by undervaluing property owned by African Americans. I get it-thinking and talking about racial issues is usually something we avoid until another Black person is murdered by police. The few comments today about racism seem to center around what a shame it is that the "real" history of America has not been taught in our schools or communities or the shame about how "minorities" are treated. It's great that the Tulsa story is getting so much attention but there's so much more to the story of African Americans, the violence perpetrated against us and our current state of affairs in America.
My father is a WWII veteran from Mississippi. He moved North for a better life after returning from the war where he guarded prisoners in Germany. He was denied entry into a construction workers union and not able to use the GI bill to purchase his first home. When I was 12 years old my family moved to an up and coming suburb in a New England city. We initially lived in a neighborhood of two family houses where there were people with white skin and people with darker skin. We were all neighbors and got along just fine. I don't recall any racial incidents as a child until we moved.
As soon as we moved into the "white" neighborhood the for sale signs went up all around us. Realtors were promoting block busting (scary and worthless Black people have moved into the neighborhood so you better sell now because your property values are going down). People shouted the "n" word at us and let us know we weren't wanted there. One female neighbor stopped my brother who was riding his bike and told him that he was a monkey and not welcome in the neighborhood. He was scarred by this and still talks about how it affected him in later life. When my mother explained that they didn't like us because of the color of our skin I was appalled. What's that got to do with anything?
What I witnessed and felt motivated me to learn more about what racism is all about and I've been studying American and world history since then. There's actually a lot that I didn't know either. I'm still learning. I've been most fascinated by the origins of race in America and the ways that propaganda has been used to divide and conquer people over centuries. It's also fascinating to see how much people buy into the idea of "race". It's a man-made concept that is not supported by science or religion even though people think the contrary.
As a result of "affirmative action" in the 1970s I earned several college degrees. I was also the "first" Black person to work in a number of corporate, government, education and nonprofit settings. Lots of stories to talk about there but I won't go on about it here. When I decided to purchase my first home in the 1980s I was told that I did not "qualify". Well, I decided to go to real estate school to figure out why I didn't qualify. Turns out the bank was misrepresenting the numerical calculations for determining my eligibility for a mortgage. I went back to the same bank and challenged them--long story short I was able to purchase a home after realtors steered me to the Black neighborhoods. The house I purchased was all boarded up and I didn't mind being someone who could help to improve the area by renovating my new home. Since then I've bought and sold a number of properties and helped others to do the same. Every time it's a battle-I learned long ago to remove any signs of my being Black when selling. I also counsel people about how to prepare for becoming a homeowner when faced with adversity. While about 73% of White people are homeowners, only about 44% of Black people are homeowners and most live in areas that are undervalued. It's not that we don't want "equity"-it's just not available to us in the same way it is for others.
Today I live in an "upscale" (White) neighborhood where once again neighbors were dismayed about us moving here. (There goes the neighborhood!) Several neighbors in close proximity have since sold their homes. Living, learning and working while Black in America is exhausting and dangerous. The MAGATs have created an environment today where I'm constantly looking over my shoulder for the mean and hateful people who love violence.
I don't think most people appreciate how much white supremacy has negatively affected the history, present day and viability of America. Trump/GOP supporters are not just concerned about economics-they come in all shapes, sizes and income from across the country. The fact that 95% of his supporters have white skin tells you everything about who they are-they're primarily concerned about the "browning of America" and they think Trump and the GOP can "save" them from the demographic changes which are inevitable because people are "mixing".
I'm happy to learn that more of you are seeking information about how race has shaped our entire society. (Thankful for CRT, Caste, the 1619 Project etc.) There would be no electoral college or filibusters or birthright citizenship or voting rights or 14th amendment or 13th amendment or (I can keep going), if there was no racism. We can lump "people of color" together but the history of America hinges on Black and White. (The categories in the first census in 1790 were "free white males and females", "slaves" and all other "free persons"-that's it. "Mulatto" was added in 1850 to identify "mixed race" people.)
If you don't know about the history of "Black people" in this country then you don't really know about the country's history. Since the 1960s especially there has been a wealth of documented truth about the rise of America and the role that African Americans have played along with the struggles we've had to endure just because of the color of our skin. I spent 7 years researching my genealogy and learned that my ancestors (not just Africans, but Europeans who "mixed" with us) have been here since the 1600s. Our contributions are not just our free manual labor-there's so much more. Remember every time you see a traffic light or use an ironing board or have peanut butter-I could go on-it's because an African who was in America invented it.
Forgive me for this long post but I'm convinced that if more people knew about how racism hurts all of us-not just people of color-then maybe we could move closer to the "more perfect union" that most of us want to experience. I write a newsletter to shine a spotlight on African American history. If you're someone who wants to learn more about racism as it pertains to African Americans, please check out email@example.com. I share stories, resources and critical thinking questions each week. Also, check out the Zinn Education Project to learn more about a plethora of incidents like Tulsa and even more history that matters. https://www.zinnedproject.org/collection/massacres-us/
Thank you for indulging this too long post...I just think if we know more about racism then we can get to the heart of America and as Biden continually repeats--then we can save the soul of America. We have to stay "woke" and never let evil doers win...
Daily, the GOP is out to sandbag our nation. Tommie Tuberville's brother Charles even wrote: “Please don’t confuse my brother with me.”
Bravo President Biden! I would have tripped too and am much younger. Right wing media is nothing but a joke.
Next it'll be a pie in somebody's face. That's what The Party That Need Not Be Named wants to lower political discourse down to. 🙄