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On Passover, we Jews recount our ancestors' story of their slavery in Egypt and their struggles to gain freedom from the Egyptians. We tell this story every single year so that it is never forgotten and so our children hear the story of our struggle for freedom and that they must tell their children.

What you recounted today, HCR is the story of the struggle for voting rights in the south. Although I lived through all those terrible days - and I will never forget them - the story must be told over and over again. Children must learn this important history and their parents must be reminded. Every generation must hear this story!

The right to vote is precious; Black people and their supporters shed their blood for this right. And now is it our job to remind Congress to safeguard that precious right! Thank for HCR for retelling the story and being in Selma today representing us.

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I think it is of some importance to remember that one of the reasons white slave owners did not want slaves learning to read and write is that one of the big drivers in ending slavery was the story of the Jews being freed from slavery in Egypt — showing slavery to be contrary to the desires of a supreme being for the people. wether you personally believe this or not, it was a huge key to understanding that freedom could be obtained.

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And in Repugnant Party controlled states like Florida, there is now a law forbidding teaching of this real history of racism because of "parents' rights" that their white children not be exposed to the historical evil of white supremacists.

(There is also a law here not to mention different sexual orientations, even tho same-gender marriage and families now exist. Forget those gay parents' rights that their children not be stigmatized by this censorship of their lives.)

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Here in NH, the Repug majority legislature is doing much the same as both of those cases and other awful bills & the Repug gov. is going along w/nearly everything they pass. Last year, when thousands of the populace spoke out loudly against atrocious bills like defunding public education and diverting a large part of those funds to private, religious schools and home schoolers, they had the cowardice to hide those bills in the budget so the gov. could say" We have to fund the budget" to give him cover for signing them. (and what makes it worse about that defunding, is that property tax paying folks provide a large share of monies for public education and our property taxes will go even higher.)

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And legislation DeSantis signed permitting running over by auto vehicle anyone protesting in the streets of Florida! https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/21/us/politics/republican-anti-protest-laws.html

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If I was DeSantis, I wouldn't cross the street anytime soon

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That statement gives you something in common with the guy in Charlottesville who ran down somebody with a different opinion than he did.

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Slaveholders in the South published a heavily edited "Slave Bible" that totally cut out the story of the Exodus and many other passages that talked about freedom from slavery.

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Good to know. I hadn’t heard about that!

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I had not heard this either, though it is perfectly and tragically consistent

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I was already planning to discuss Ukraine at our Passover Seder this year. Referencing their struggle with that of Blacks in the US (who continue to struggle for voting rights) is exactly the reason we retell the Exodus story every year.

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Mar 7, 2022·edited Mar 7, 2022

Am reminded of Bob Marley's lyrics: "Exodus--movement of [God's] people"--one of the most universally known songs in the world.

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Thank you Mina Gobler—your post is a powerful reminder ❤️

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I agree that we have to tell our history over and over. The Exodus is a great example. The Jews struggled under slavery in Egypt. It is not surprising that Black people in America would liken their struggle to the Exodus. Such hard, horrible struggles both groups of people had.

Similar struggles continue today. The struggle for civil rights still goes on, and the south is not the only region of the country with racial problems. I grew up in NC. I lived in the Midwest (Ohio & Michigan). The people there were “Midwest nice,” but that only extends so far. The small town adjacent to our small northwest Ohio town escorted black families out of town. Nothing for them in that town. So much for nice. There were riots in Boston over busing for integration, just like there were in the south over the same thing. Prejudice is EVERYWHERE! No one is immune. No one. The struggles continue.

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And at Pesach we say, “This is for what the Lord, God, did for me when I went out of the land of Egypt.” For me, because each generation should feel as if they were there and were set free.

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I feel like we are there again. Only there are a lot of faces of every color. What strikes me from Professor Richardson’ letter today is this sentence…. “(Jimmie Lee)Jackson had run into a restaurant for shelter along with his mother when the police started rioting, but they chased him and shot him in the restaurant’s kitchen.”

Used to be wasn’t the people rioting. They were protesting as is our right in this country. It was the police rioting. I find that incredibly ironic that now authority calls out most protest by any group regarding social issue as rioting. Or the hope by authority it can be deemed as that to generate violence against the protestors. Odd that so many lawmakers would later characterize white men and women plundering the Capitol and interfering with lawful process as tourists or peaceful protest.

Time to close the door on manipulation of voting rights. As Ogden Nash is quoted as penning…” The door of a bigoted mind opens outwards so that the only result of the pressure of facts upon it is to close it more snugly.”

I appreciate Professor Richardson’s Letters From An American. History, Facts, Reminders.

Let’s close the door very snugly on traitors. Don’t mess with the rule of law, equal and equity of access to opportunity, and our voices. This is what democracy is!

Salud, Mina! United!

🙋🏻🙋🏼🙋🏽🙋🏾🙋🏿

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This is our "uncomfortable" truth. We must own it.

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Shalom!

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Very moving. Our hearts are heavy for Ukraine, yet each day it is still hard to believe we continue to have to struggle mightily for voting rights in this country. In each case, the alternatives prevent us from giving up. Democracy must win out.

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Mar 7, 2022·edited Mar 7, 2022

Yes, democracy must win. And now Putin's invasion of Ukraine has rallied the world in support of the struggle of democracy vs. totalitarianism. Like Black Americans in the 1960s, the people of Ukraine are the ultimate inspiration. May they prevail against a much more dire threat.

Meanwhile, what are some big American companies doing to support Ukraine? Continuing to operate in Russia. McDonald's and Coca-Cola appear to be the largest to put profit over democracy and human rights.

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The world oligarchy club must be dismembered. Putin and Trump are Russia's stooges. The Russians will have to take care of Putin. We have to take care of the Trump problem.

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Susan when 83% of Americans stand behind Ukraine and He praised Putin he stopped being ‘OUR ‘problem. He’s theirs now. DeSantis and Scott are chomping at the bit now. And DeSantis is screwing up ‘ Bigly ‘. So we may have a ‘Scott ‘ problem. He’s oozing political correctness of late.

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They still smell of garbage, chump, by definition, is the garbage. His putrid stench reeking all over the world

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He's a toxic cancer.

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We have a bigger problem. We have to find a way to deal with a SCOTUS that is tunnel visioned on denying all the vote—and to objective vote counting.

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I don't do either and if people do, they should find an alternative.

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Who owns Coca-Cola now?

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It is an independent, publicly traded company, hence owned by shareholders like you and me, and some very large pension funds!

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And then, as if our hearts couldn't be heavier, I read from Leonard Pitts, a columnist for the Miami Herald, in his column yesterday:

"This was going to be a song of praise. Instead, it will be a groan of frustration.

In other words, it was going to be a column heralding the titanic courage of Ukraine in the face of Russian attack, the acts of defiance that have endeared that nation to the world. Like the woman who gave a Russian soldier sunflower seeds so that Ukraine’s national flower might bloom from his corpse, or the comedian turned president who has rallied his people like some latter-day Churchill, or the outgunned Ukrainian defenders who invited their attackers to go perform an anatomically impossible act.

The column would have noted what a stirring example Ukraine provides America, where so many people confuse patriotism and guts with sedition and insurrection.

But that hymn of acclamation died amid reports of how dark-skinned people from Africa and India are being singled out for mistreatment – segregated from other refugees, beaten and left stranded by Ukrainian authorities – as they join half a million frightened souls fleeing the besieged country.

“They stopped us at the border and told us that Blacks were not allowed,” Moustapha Bagui Sylla, a student from Guinea, told France 24, a French television network. “But we could see white people going through.”

Saakshi Ijantkar, a medical student from India, told CNN how guards at a border checkpoint refused to let Indian men through. “We had to literally cry and beg at their feet. After the Indian girls got in, the boys were beaten up. There was no reason for them to beat us with this cruelty. I saw an Egyptian man standing at the front with his hands on the rails, and because of that one guard pushed him with so much force and the man hit the fence, which is covered in spikes, and he lost consciousness.”

Rachel Onyegbule, a medical student from Nigeria, told the network how she was kicked off a public bus at a checkpoint. “More than 10 buses came,” she said, “and we were watching everyone leave. We thought after they took all the Ukrainians they would take us, but they told us we had to walk, that there were no more buses. My body was numb from the cold, and we haven’t slept in about four days now. Ukrainians have been prioritized over Africans – men and women – at every point.

“There’s no need for us to ask why,” she added. “We know why.”

A spokeswoman for Ukraine’s Border Guard Service denied these allegations and reminded CNN that guards are working under great pressure as they process the torrent of refugees. Duly noted. But you have to ask yourself: Why would the students make this up? What would be the point? No obvious answer presents itself.

And frankly, it is deeply disappointing, in the midst of crisis, that we even have to have this discussion.

In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, the French newspaper Le Monde ran a headline that became iconic: “Nous sommes tous Amricains” (We are all Americans). In that same sense, right now, we are all Ukrainians, a declaration that connects us, not simply to another nation’s geopolitical plight, but to the humanity we all have in common.

At an exigent moment, when they were given a chance to vindicate that humanity, guardians of Ukraine’s border stomped it instead. Make no mistake: The hearts of all good people are with the citizens of Ukraine. They’ve shown beyond doubt that they have courage enough to fight for their country.

But let them also have courage enough to be a country worth fighting for."

Systemic racism is obviously a much more global problem.

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You make an important point. It’s not just democracy we’re after but democracy for all.

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I was in NC when Bloody Sunday happened. I was 11 years old. This stands out as much in my mind as the three girls who were victims of a bomb set by the KKK, the murders of the 3 civil rights workers, George Wallace trying to physically block 2 black students from entering a school. The assassinations of JFK, MLK, and RFK, were so devastating and very scary. My 7th grade teacher laid her head on her desk and sobbed as the news of JFK was announced over the loud speaker. We were told to go home for the rest of the day. We lived within walking distance of the school and so as I gathered up my books and started walking home, kids (stupid boys) yelled out “Great, that nigger lover is dead!”. I was mortified! I ran home as fast as I could and locked myself in the bathroom for hours. Schools in NC did not integrate until 1964 and up until that age, every person I went to school with was lily white, like me. The only exception was that I was the only Jewish kid in that junior high. I felt sick to my stomach knowing how persecution worked, even at that age. The not-so-funny thing is, I am still sick to my stomach. Things have progressed somewhat, but just not enough. Knowing that those in the southern region espouse to “the South shall rise again” makes me regurgitate. I am happy we have Harris as our VP and as Heather pointed our in her interview with Biden, he has the most diverse cabinet and staff we have ever seen. Let’s keep it that way!

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I grew up there too, a little older and I remember my Dad saying separate but equal is fair. I guess I thought that too until I left home and saw for myself how horrid the acceptance of that statement was. I told my Dad, he grew enough to be ashamed. So many never “left home,” and stayed comfortable with the unfunny joke of “white supremacy.” LBJ nailed it when he said “If you can convince the lowest white man that he’s better than the best black man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pockets.”

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"LBJ nailed it when he said 'If you can convince the lowest white man that he’s better than the best black man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pockets'."

Yes, LBJ certainly did nail it. The quote says so much. I believe that strategy of denigrating the blacks and placing them beneath all whites has reigned for a long time. Ultimately, I believe tossing that bone to poor and lower middle class whites kept those groups from revolting against the regional elites including plantation owners from the past.

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Marlene thank you for your description of living in NC. I grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles, California. I too was the only Jewish kid in my all white school. Later in college I learned the difference between persecution and racism. So much is about neighborhoods and redlining and no surprise, still exists today. (“Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” Peggy McIntosh, 1989). https://nationalseedproject.org/Key-SEED-Texts/white-privilege-unpacking-the-invisible-knapsack

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As an old whitie who has had plenty of struggles in life, I agree 100%. It’s why the very notion of acknowledging our truth has caused republicans (and Rupert) to go ballistic with fear at the very whiff of change.

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Everyone ... please take a moment to read this ... and share it!

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Thanks, Joan, for prompting me to read this essay. I rarely read linked articles unless an exemplary excerpt or highlight of the main point accompanies the link. The author lists 26 examples of privilege from her own experience, about half of which (by my count) are privileges that, if eliminated, would benefit both the victims of oppression and the members of the dominant class. The author points this out gradually throughout the last half of the essay.

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I grew up in Elkhart, Indiana, and the Black population of Elkhart County were to be found in a narrow strip south of the railroad tracks in Elkhart. I remember my uncle commenting when he saw some Black people in downtown Elkhart. It wasn't segregated schools or lunch counters, but a kind of under the table racism done with things like red lining and casual acceptance of racism in sayings, names of things like what Brazil nuts were called, etc.

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Great read. I am reminded of what one of the Sheriff's Office first female patrol officers told me: "Remember, you have to be twice as good as the men, perfect the first time, and ready to fight at a moment's notice because they will set you up." She was not wrong.

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Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily this is not difficult.

Charlotte Whitton, Canada Month, June 1963

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Before the advent of women in the LE, the good ol' boys could be as crude and awful as they wanted to be. I remember being the only woman in a smaller meeting after the faculty meeting and the conversation turned to prostitutes in Salem. It didn't have anything to do with education. Many men are threatened by women who turn out to be capable, intelligent, and competent. One of my pet peeves is mansplaining and I have heard it often in my 78 years.

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"Waking Up White" by Debby Irving is an eye-opener for those subliminal assumptions that so many of us who lived in essentially all-white communities held without realizing or questioning them. The 26 examples listed by the author of the item you've posted makes that so clear.

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I was 9 years old on Bloody Sunday. I grew up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, not too far from Selma. It was my beloved FATHER that said of Kennedy's assassination words similar to what you ascribe to the boys. While the teachers cried, my father was joyful. I remember trying to make sense of it. I was 11 when the first black child joined our classroom. She sat in my grouping of desks and I befriended her. The other classmates turned on me. I will never forget their hateful words: "Nigger lover!"

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Many years after the JFK assassination, I met several people in Tulsa who remained proud of having rejoiced about it. Some of those same people were proud of fathers and grandfathers who participated in the Tulsa Race Massacre. By shooting Greenwood residents from nearby rooftops, the proudly claimed.

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Horrid!

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These people are far beyond the pale, of course, but your adjective applies to about 80% of the white residents of Tulsa.

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I believe it…I was raised in the South

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If I could, Kelly, I’d send you an IM — I don’t intend to make you feel bad or embarrassed. …

Could you please remove that word, make it N— ?

It’s so very offensive. And never ever necessary. Thanks so much.

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"It’s so very offensive."

Which is exactly why Kelly should leave it as is.

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SL, if you read my post, I said it also, albeit without the quotes. If we do not make people feel uncomfortable, we are not progressing.

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I'm guessing here, Ron, Patricia, and Marlene: All of you are white.

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I am, but have engaged with many people of color over the many many years about that horrid statement. And, I was born with a disability (loss of right hand) to a mother and father who were Holocaust victims. I am extremely aware that words matter. I know what hate looks like and sounds like as I witnessed the KKK gathered in my hometown. Do I like being called a kike? Absolutely not and do i use the “n” word? Absolutely not! Respect for others has never been a goal in the South.

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Marlene, surely you realize that is an unfair and untrue generalization, not applicable to many of us in the southern region of our country.

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Is your implication that you are not? I'm not, either.

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Yes, it is offensive. But white-coating it doesn't make the reality of its use to demean go away. This is being quoted BY the person who was on the receiving end. Your personal discomfort has nothing to do with it. Instead, you might consider acknowledging and validating HER discomfort (and the discomfort of her friend) at being on the receiving end).

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Marlene, Marlene. I have tears reading your story. As an educator, I always tried to watch for the thing within children making them feel less than. And then guiding them in experience that might help heal that “thing”. I’ve been watching the children of Ukraine in videos of people fleeing and trying to survive. It is devastating to think of the fear that no child deserves to feel.

I’m already following some efforts that are being talked about regarding healing this generation of children regarding the horror thrust upon them.

Thank you for your thoughts on this day. I’ve been thinking a lot about my childhood and how I got to today from where and when and how I grew up.

There are a lot of key understandings to discover.

I think that is one thing that Professor Richardson generates within us.

Salud, Marlene.

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❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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Mar 7, 2022·edited Mar 7, 2022

I want you to know that my joy in living through jr. high and high school centered entirely around beating bullies to a pulp. When teachers were fired for physically intervening I took up the job. It was scary being 4’ 8” weighing 85 lbs but I persevered. My wife taught at a charter school where surprisingly bullying was outlawed. There bullying was intercepted. Children were safe. They instituted a citizenship ethic whereby you could not say or do derogatory things to your fellow students. Respect seemed to elevate those kids. Knocking teeth out was my method but I was proved wrong.

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I’m with you. Same history, except I was a Christian who spent two years in middle school being “Zelig Heiled” every morning by a classmate in biker boots. I was in the front row right in front of the teacher, and it was never stopped. To this day (I’m 77) the only thing I can think of was that my last name was Sain. BTW, this was in Texas. Is anyone surprised?

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Patricia, that bullying would not have been tolerated in my California School that I taught in or my kids schools. But still it can be “subtle” (yours was not!) and some students are afraid to report. In California for many years we had anti-bullying training programs for teachers and students. But in my own years of school, I’m 75, there was no such thing and we were on our own. Now we’re quick to recognize bullies in government. And the trumpee bullies are all over now, some in my neighborhood.

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Mar 7, 2022·edited Mar 7, 2022

Marlene, another note: your description of growing up in NC makes me think about my first time there and in the South in 1991. My California son attended Duke Univ in Durham and we went to visit him on Parents Weekend. He was a manager/player on the basketball team and his friends were black and white. However we saw few black students on campus, but many people of color working and behind counters at the school and the city. According to The school paper, The Chronicle, in a 2020 article”Why do Black Students matriculate to Duke at lower rate than white students? https://www.dukechronicle.com/article/2020/09/duke-university-black-students-matriculate-lower-rate-white-students-undergraduate-admissions The article, written about a “Living While Black” symposium, said “The number of Black undergraduates at Duke has risen over the years, yet even today Black students are less likely than their white peers to choose to attend after being accepted.” Coast to coast in many states and cities we continue to have de facto segregated neighborhoods and without bussing, schools.

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Irenie, the acceptance of blacks and others in so-called great universities have always been very slow to “get with the program”! It is so very unfortunate that white people have leveraged this right to exclude races.

Here is a a very important link that was sent to me by a friend today. Hope everyone lets me know what they think.

https://www.salon.com/2022/03/01/first-the-book-banners-came-for-crt-and-lgbtq-now-theyre-censoring-womens-history/

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Marlene, thank you, I’ll read the article. Just checked the link and I’m ready. It’s a hot topic. And getting far away from Democracy and freedom of speech. Interesting (or disturbing? Sad?) that the second amendment is more important than the First amendment to many in our country.

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Mar 8, 2022·edited Mar 8, 2022

Marlene, Thank you for sharing this timely article. Hard to pay attention to the rules and regulations and bills in our state governments, but after reading this or even listening to the news, readers will be more than concerned. In many states conservatives and Republicans are banning and censoring books and certain school curriculum. We must remember that Hitler banned and burned books and Russia and other totalitarian governments have a very tight control on all media and the truth. I’ve been watching the banning of CRT and many classics as well as teachers losing autonomy and this is a concern. Here in USA, mostly in many southern and Midwestern states. This is a recommended article to read and share. And pay attention to your state and local school boards and meetings.

https://www.salon.com/2022/03/01/first-the-book-banners-came-for-crt-and-lgbtq-now-theyre-censoring-womens-history/

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Yes, Irenie, thank you! Some seem to need reminding.

“ Coast to coast in many states and cities we continue to have de facto segregated neighborhoods and without bussing, schools.”

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Ashley, we, America, have a long way to go to realize true equality. And yes, many citizens of USA need reminding. Thank you!

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Yes and it needs to be broadcasted LOUD & CLEAR!

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Mar 7, 2022·edited Mar 7, 2022

Jeez Marlene, I w as in the 7th grade in St Stephens Wyoming. I attended the Catholic Indian Mission school there. We were all crushed by that terrible event. Father Haller, a Jesuit priest, walked in to Sister Incarnata’s math class. We all went to the church together with the entire school and we began a vigil of back to back masses. No dry eyes.

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Naming the Baby

Yesenia Montilla

I couldn’t bring myself

to read through Breonna’s social

media but some say she believed 2020

would be her year. She even

imagined a baby growing steady

in her belly. I imagine her choosing

the baby’s name with care. Taking

all the months she had to name it

something like Pearl or V or Cheryl

There are a million baby names

to choose from the good book

but what do you name

the baby that never would be

in the year that should’ve been

yours? Do you name her

Revolution? Do you name her

A World Screaming? Do you

name her Fire? Let her burn

the house down—

Copyright © 2021 by Yesenia Montilla. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 24, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

Yesenia Montilla is the author of The Pink Box (Aquarius Press, 2015). A 2014 Cantomundo Fellow, she lives in New York City.

“I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Breonna Taylor, the injustice of it all. She was 26 years old, her whole life was before her. This poem was written I think to never forget her, to make sure no one else does either, and maybe too, this poem is a vessel to contain my rage.”

—Yesenia Montilla

Trouble of the World

Mahalia Jackson

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHOgs5jxG-w&list=RDIHOgs5jxG-w&start_radio=1&rv=IHOgs5jxG-w

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Thank you, Fern for sharing “Naming the Baby” by Yesenia Montilla. The injustice of Breonna Taylor’s death is a tragedy beyond words. “Say their Names.” How many babies, how many Mothers and Fathers? How many people of color? The list is too long. Endless. The continuing dismantling of voters rights and laws making voting harder not easier. Obvious racism. And racism in law enforcement. We need to call it out. Name it: Racism. We need to work for change.

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Oh, Fern, much love to you!

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kim, seeing you lifted my eyes. you know where I been and still not an ash of incineration on me that is burying the Ukrainian people. Mahalia Jackson's voice carries the night.

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Mahalia’s singing carried my father and I through the fifties and sixties, and I never tire of her voice, especially “Trouble of the World” that appeared on her “Bless This House” album as well as in the film “Imitation of Life”. You are a bright light, Fern. Thank you for sharing “Naming the Baby.”

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Mar 7, 2022·edited Mar 7, 2022

You echo my feelings, Jim. I listened to 'Trouble of the World' at least three times tonight. with friendship

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If ever I return to NY, I will find a way to hold you close!

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That sounded sweet, happy as a spring bird.

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🕊

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So poignantly stated, Fern. May Mahalia Jackson carry us.

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I think of her often. I still to this day can’t wrap my brain around how that could happen ? 💔🦋

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Thank you and thank you.

Beautiful and beautiful.

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Mar 7, 2022·edited Mar 7, 2022

Today, I canvassed my neighborhood for John Fetterman, the PA Lt Governor to be put on the primary ballot for the PA Senate race. I had canvassed the neighborhood in 2018 for other candidates and got roughly 60 signatures; this time, less than half that. There were so many people who 1) refused to answer the door, 2) who are registered Democrats determined not to let Democrats ruin this country, or 3) HAD NO CLUE WHO JOHN FETTERMAN IS! John Fetterman stands 6’9”, is shaved bald, and it the Lt Governor for cripe’s sake! He isn’t your in the weeds local politician, or some outsider! I think we all have reason to worry, between the Fox propaganda machine making everybody angry ALL THE DANG TIME, to the folks who don’t get what is so important about getting involved in civic duty and politics.

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Re #2: Democrats who think Democrats will ruin the country??? (Another Pennsylvanian in the Fetterman camp). Thanks for urging neighbors to vote. Fortunately in my precinct, the first big push to register voters (pre-Obama and much more so pre-Trump) has resulted in increasingly heavy voter turn out every year for the past 8 or 10 years

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Surely you do not expect all potential voters to be rational. Phone banking and door knocking are a great education. I am sure you've thought you'd heard it all ... and then ...

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Churchill was right about chatting with the average voter

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Do tell. Did I miss that?

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I live in Western Pennsylvania and also support John Fetterman. He is the real deal.

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That phrase grabbed me too. Doesn’t quite make sense … on another note, even I in TN know who John Fetterman is.

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I live in TN, and I just donated to Fetterman.

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Point #2 makes perfect sense. JaneDough is cleverly describing Democratic infighting -- moderates in a huff that progressives are going to ruin "it" for everyone, etc.etc.etc.

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Democrats almost never agree about the various coalitions. How many Centrist Democrats will vote against Progressive Democrats in 2022 or stay home if a Progressive is the only Dem on the ballot. ‘Twas ever thus. Think 2000, think 2016

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Even I know who Fetterman is!! Lordy…🙄😡

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YESSSSSS! Fetterman for USSenate! You go, JaneDough!

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It does feel like the world has gone mad. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Can it possibly be something as yet mysterious and unrecognized that can self correct suddenly as stars and planets align? Sometimes a wish is better than nothing at all.

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We have 7 months. Tic-tok

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Jane, I live in California and also support John Fetterman. We’re voting for our Democracy and the future, wherever we live. Thank you for walking the walk.

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It's amazing to me how close we made it to achieving the vision of many in the 60's. I was not even a child of that era... hell, I am basically a Reagan-baby. But I saw what they DID in that time and when it seemed that the whole Country (well, most of it) was behind getting behind equal rights...voting rights in particular... Other issues took center stage for another decade but it seems to me that the zeitgeist from the 60's never made it to the 80's, and if it did it was killed then or the beginning of its end was initiated...

The whole concept of 'voter fraud' seems to be a manufactured argument in most ways, and one that is hard to argue since it is couched in terms of "protecting" America, but I don't think anyone can argue that the issue is not an issue. The examples of it are at best, one-off's. Not wide-spread and certainly not enough to even throw a local election...SO. If you ARE combatting a problem; shouldn't there BE a problem?! Even if EVERY dead person and felon voted (illegally) it would not sway a single outcome in terms of most races... but it is a sexy talking-point.

Here in Minnesota the GOP is running on a couple of issues, but strangely one of the first-best dog whistles is to get a, "voter ID," bill out right away... Our State has one of the highest and best turnouts in the COUNTRY and with a fraud-factor of basically zero... but the dog-whistle is being blown loud enough for me to hear it...and I'm mostly-deaf...it is whistle to the folks who think that black people, brown people, felons, and others are going to somehow change the outcome that good white people intend and because of THEIR votes, these good people will lose to...unqualified?... people... such drama and such BS.

We have a fantastic system here in the Country and certainly in Minnesota. IF evidence suggested that voter-fraud was an issue WE would have caught it. Efforts to make voting more difficult based on concerns of fraud are the reddest of herrings and thus we must look to another rationale for the desire to make voting more difficult. Perhaps because of WHO doesn't vote when it is made more difficult.

Selma was almost 60 years ago. Many many people fought and died for simple suffrage and WON. Yet we have watched that get eroded away from the folks that won in incremental hits and court decisions. This is being taken away from all of us and it is not cool. I have no answers or even suggestions, but I'm very angry that this is our now. It should not be our future.

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"A manufactured argument in most ways"?

In MOST ways?

In EVERY damned way possible... manufactured, fraudulent, seditious -- whether or not blessed by the highest members of a scandalously compromised judiciary.

The truth is CRIME PAYS, CHEATING PAYS, and we in Europe are now seeing yet another episode in which a self- appointed Uebermensch unleashes the Four Horsemen on the world.

Even if fire and the ruin of cities should be limited to one country, today's war in one of the world's main breadbaskets, Ukraine and Russia, will bring global famine this summer.

The man in the Kremlin could not see beyond the projections on the inside wall of his windowless skull, nor did he care what happened to anything or anyone but himself. And in reacting to his blindness we have let him drag us and the planet into his pit.

Like Putin, we too, NATO, the West, have ignored yet again a power greater than any of our own, Nature. In our confusion, we too, who like to see ourselves as "better" than others, are betraying humanity while thinking to save it.

Always hubris, never humility.

If we survive this year, there must be an end once and for all to claims that any human, any nation is "better" or "greater" than another or conversely, that any are lesser. This may be hard to understand, but intrinsically, beyond the appearances that blind and confuse us, we are all EQUAL.

Survival will depend on our ability to understand that overarching reality and act accordingly.

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Mar 7, 2022·edited Mar 7, 2022

Peter, your words lifted me away from the soot, the bombed out shells of buildings, the sounds of bullets, rubble and the panicked faces of Ukraine… to the place of conscience, planning, deciding, feeling and absorbing... The place where decisions are made, such as going to war in Ukraine -- decisions made my NATO, by the USA, decisions before Putin's. The place where ethics and morals are turned over or absent. Most importantly, what came up strongest to me was consciousness. Thank you, Peter

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I like what Joe’s Dad told him. You are better than no one, and no one is better than you.

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I always flinch when I hear "this great nation", "this great state of .....".

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Makes me as well. Not having lived as an ostrich, I know well the tunnel vision(s) we project on our fragile earth

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It is good to be skeptical in regard to this country.

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I understand.

The stimulus that was meant to make hearts swell with pride breaks yours.

All too often, this is the line taken by the greedy and unscrupulous, by schemers and seducers. Think of the opening scene in King Lear...

If you want to see "great men" and "greatness" cut down to size go back 300 years and read Henry Fielding's razor-sharp preface to his novel Jonathan Wild the Great...

Fielding, with his experience as Magistrate at the Bow Street court, in one of the toughest, sleaziest quarters of London, knew all about criminal "greatness" and political corruption...

Jonathan Wild: a template for the jumped-up crime bosses of our time, commanding an army of cutthroats and cutpurses... and selling them for bounties.

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Nothing's changed. Wonderful satirists! They were always anxious to read Mr Fielding's latest book. I didn't know about Jonathan Wild the Great.

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Damn straight, Peter. Thank you for immediately clearing up “most ways”. Doesn’t matter how much people recognize injustice against people of color, there’s always a “but” lurking somewhere. Most cannot wrap their heads around the evil injustice of it all. It’s what the zealots of “elimination of critical race theory in schools” are all about. Study history as long as it does not make one “feel badly”.

I’ve cried so much this past week at the images of Ukraine. And I cried reading Professor Richardson’s letter today.

Shame on humans for crawling over each other to get more. To get ahead. To get the foot of the one above off the neck. The caste ladder. It is haunting. Right to the present day.

Salud to you, Peter.

United.

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Salud, and thanks to you, Christine. Be of good courage, always.

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Peter, I live in one of the other main breadbaskets of the world - the American Midwest (the wheat I prefer when baking bread, hard red winter wheat, is grown in North Dakota, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan) When the war started, I actually checked with a seed bank I support to see if they have samples of Ukranian wheat seeds. Yes, they do. They could even track where it was being grown here - lots of efforts to preserve heritage plants among many farmers and activists in Minnesota and elsewhere in the US. ( our weather is similar to parts of Ukraine and Russia)

The threat of famine is very real. The hardships of war, death and displacement unconscionable. Will we learn our lessons this time? I live in the hope that we will and will work towards that end but as you say, always hubris. Never humility. Peace to you - and to all of us.

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So much comes back to the plight and future for all of us and the events playing out Ukraine for me as I read these LFAAs and comments like yours as a midwesterner speaking directly to famines and the similarity we share with Ukraine as food basket. I worry for Allen and Tanya Kingston and despair for them, the price they will pay for Putin's War for generations to come. A friend in Tbilisi, Georgia sends updates and assistance sources for those fleeing Unkraine with some of us FB friends. In separate feeds shes shared a 4K YouTube flyover of the country and a dark cell video from one of her former students from southern Ukraine. I am still conflicted as to which struck me more with sadness, the beauty and prosperity of the Ukraine (could be our midwest) or the darkness and silence for this young woman and family as the sounds of bombs and artillery become louder as Putin's soldiers and destruction of their lives comes closer with each punctuating blast.

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Update from friend today: "Many people are asking for an update on my friend. She survived the night, and finally the bombing has stopped for a bit. Her neighbors tried to escape last night and were killed - only one young boy survived and is in intensive care. Another family in a neighboring town was also shot and killed as they tried to flee. Who shoots children in the street when they are running for safety?"

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Thank you, Peter. I was gathering my thoughts and then Fern captured them beautifully, so heartfelt thanks to you both for your integrity, civility, and humanity. Both of you are wellsprings of hope.

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Mar 7, 2022·edited Mar 7, 2022

Your president is transparently decent and well-intentioned yet saddled with such vast responsibilities that a man's best can never be good enough.

May he and his team find the inspiration they'll need to meet the impossible demands of the time. Then, we shall truly have reason to be thankful.

#

In general, may all those -- especially the men and women in Russia's military and security services faced with orders to commit war crimes, rise to the occasion.

We should pray too for cracks in the iron dome, bringing light to the commanders, that they may remember they too are human, and desist.

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Another thought if I may. This time from Will Durant “Civilization exists by geological consent, subject to change without notice.” Greta knows this

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We really are one people, and what injustices affect any one of us affect all of us. Just imagine what could have happened if we had acknowledged and assisted Syrian and Mexican/Central and South American refugees as we do the plight of Ukrainians today?

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I am stuck in this realization.

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Crime/ cheating only pays short term. It costs deeply in the long term.

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We all pay.

And, whether by commission, omission or simply being touched by the bloodstained hand of evil, we are all involved.

Doesn't awareness of involvement give us a chance to commit ourselves wholly, regardless of our ability to help materially or not?

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And it was all deliberate and calculated, not just an erosion of interest. As Lewis Lehrman said in article in St Louis Post Dispatch on Mar 17, 1985, “Our economic, our social, our international policies are going to be altered in every significant respect. The president hadn’t even begun the program of constitutional reform and the change in social policy.” Lehrman was Reagan’s pick for heading the Citizens for America grass-roots conservative lobby. Me thinks that maybe they looked to Lee Atwater to spearhead the evil undoing of racial progress in America. And, of course, he inspired many clones before he died, Gingrich, Roger Ailes, and a legion of power-hungry wannabes. I watched them all.

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Jeri, Thank You for highlighting the damaging work of Lee Atwater. I have thought he was a sad pivotal character. And I go farther. Gerald Ford pardoning of Nixon led us to this present shit show. His action proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, “No one is above the Law” is a Myth.

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I agree.

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Switch white and black and imagine how you would feel. Our history of racism is both tragic and immoral.

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I don't think that there is any way we can actually imagine how that feels. We can see it and read it, but to actually "feel" what people of color go through their entire lives...we can't.

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Can you imagine our laws, policies, and systems if the rubric of fairness they had to pass through first was”The Flipped Situation”? Flip it POC and White, flip it Male and Female, flip it rich and poor. What would our laws, policies, and systems look like then? MUCH closer to our Declaration of Independence.

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That’s the R’s and Trumpsters’ worst nightmare: almost all of the leaders and top dogs in the WH, SCOTUS, Congress, U.S. govt, state govts, looking like Ketanji Brown Jackson and Kamala Harris. Hence the racist attacks.

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Justice must prevail for black and minority voters. The laws passed by the GOP in the 19 states must be dismantled and abolished before all black voices are suppressed by racist bigots. I do so hope that President Biden will "continue promote voting access through last year’s executive order and with the help of the Department of Justice," Congress must pass the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act! We need to set a letter campaign in motion. I will write mine first thing in the morning.

Heather, this letter is so passionate and heartrending! Thank you for trying it in with Ukraine so beautifully through VP Harris's words.

"In Selma today, Vice President Harris told the people gathered: ''Today, the eyes of the world are on Ukraine, and the brave people who are fighting to protect their country and their democracy. And, their bravery is a reminder that freedom and democracy can never be taken for granted by any of us.'"

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And if voting rights are not restored, then it won’t be just people of color whose votes are being repressed. It will be white people also who are not aligned with white, male, autocratic leaders.

I believe the moment is here for voting rights.

Salud, dear Rowshan. I hear your voice!

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Mar 7, 2022·edited Mar 7, 2022

By day there were race riots but by nightfall we had an unholy truce, an alliance of two. My white skin pressed against his black skin kept us from being separated in the dark. Together we silently endured the darkness listening for the footfalls of “Charlie”. When daylight came we whispered a thanks to each other and I swear he smiled. Then we went back to the other war.

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Salud, dear Christine! And my thanks always for your support!

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Mar 7, 2022·edited Mar 8, 2022

Salud to you, Christine, as well as Rowshan! I echo and stand with you two!

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Heather, thank you for reminding us that we have a long, long way to go to fulfill Dr King's Dream. Sleep well.

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All *that*. And all it took was 40 years of racist right wing religious extremist grass roots and astro turf organizing to take control of the Republican party and dominate every branch and every level of government. So they could gut civil right protections and institute racist, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic laws.

They are having a bit of cognitive dissonance right now - Putin is the great white hope of white supremacism in Europe and the USA but his Ukrainian victims look *just like us*. The Putin narrative is threading itself through other antidemocratic and antiDemocratic preoccupations and obsessions across the American political spectrum. While the Ukrainians are in a race against time to stay alive, we are in a race against time to support our Democratic administration in helping them without causing greater harm.

It should be a lesson to those in the American Center and Left, who indulge in purity test vote splitting or purer than thou refusal to vote - there is a lot to lose. Look at how Black citizens put their lives on the line took achieve civil rights protections. Look at how the Ukrainian people are fighting to the death to protect their fledgling democracy. All we have to do is put our shared goals above our personal feelings and unite for Democratic candidates and platforms. Party and partisanship are not dirty words, it is how get things done. For better, or for worse.

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Lin, you have such a way with words. Your “grass roots and astro turf” is turned to perfection.

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I call those "purity test vote" people unicorn Democrats. So, so many of them are white and educated that I really do wonder what their real philosophy is.

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That the US Supreme Court ripped the guts from the Voting Rights Act saying that you the issue of race was then settled and that fairness in voting reigned throughout the land. It wasn’t 30 seconds later that Republican led legislatures began rolling out their pre-written bills circumscribing voting rights and the legislative onslaught hasn’t slowed down one whit. This time though, their proposals go several steps further into the insidious realm of VOTER NULLIFICATION. Unfortunately, I hold little hope that this current, activist, conservative Supreme Court will put a stop to any of this nasty legislation. They have already proved themselves capable of overturning established precedent.

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Anything done by man can be undone by better men/women. We will fix it. Even if it means waiting for old age to kill them, we will endure. These jackals only have the shadows.

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Yes. The day of the jackal has no light, only shadow. And We, the People, have the Light. There is no opposite. It will find every dang crack of darkness and fill it with light.

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Yes, indeed! We the People, All of Us This Time!

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Salud, Pat! United.

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I’m old enough to have to count on the younger generation to carry the banners and torch of freedom from oppression that these trumpified republicans and right wingers seem hell-bent on grabbing from those of us who still give a damn. Let’s hope they’re up for the fight.

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Me too SarahWall. I love your whole name together resonating. Youth is up to it. They by god will move humanity forward. We must help. Remember the Scotch who originated the concept that the treachery of old age easily overcomes the vigor of youth. Let our treachery be in their best interests. The bar is so low now even I who struggles to find a stirrup can step over it.

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Heaven knows we’ve certainly seen the treachery of old age as well as some who are not so old(James O’Keefe comes to mind). I’m trying to do my part by staying informed enough to try to do something positive with my life before I cash in my chips. Tally Ho!

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❤️

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I am your biggest fan, but I believe that any column written on voting rights in America must link SCOTUS to the efforts of Southern racists who tried to suppress black voting rights the old fashioned way in the early 60s. In Justice Kagan's words in the Arizona case, we are now in a "law free zone" on voting rights.

When John Roberts was in Reagan's Justice Department in the early 80s, he tried to get DOJ to gut the Voting Rights Act then, arguing "It should not be easy to vote." John Roberts is probably the smartest politician in Washington. He eventually achieved his goal of emasculating the Voting Rights Act.

John Roberts is probably the smartest politician in Washington today. But events have overtaken him and he has lost control of his Court. It is now the Thomas Court.

The first rule of politics is that you have to define your adversary.

It is high time that we began to call out John Roberts and Sam Alito for the reactionaries that they truly are. The vision of a multi-racial, multi-cultural America is anathema to them.

Give me Bull Connor any day. It's a helluva lot easier to define him.

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I disagree with you about Roberts. He is not a politician, he is a judge. He is , however, very right-leaning which is problematic for us Democratic women. He has always wanted to gut Roe vs. Wade and now that he has a fair number of posse on the bench, we will be reduced, once again, as to not having a voice. The smartest politician is Jamie Raskin.

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Robert’s has been against the Voting Rights Act his entire career. Even in law school. Infringes on State’ Rights to run their own elections.

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And when Roberts saved the ACA he was the Democrats hero.

With the current 6-3 court, siding with the three no longer makes a difference.

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Mar 7, 2022·edited Mar 7, 2022

Roberts and the rest of the majority are, to be blunt, enemies of democracy. No doubt they wouldn't agree, but this is the result of their rabid belief in state rights. It's so rabid that they seem to consider states independent countries in many respects when it comes to basic rights established long ago by previous Supreme Court rulings. No end is in sight for the erosion for such rights. This court is far from done.

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CSpan's American History series aired a program of Sen.Joe Biden questioning Supreme Court nominees. He is formidable. I heard the part of his questioning Clarence Thomas on his notions of Natural Law. It was terrifying - particularly in light of Thomas' actions on the Court.

The program is not yet on line but you can sign up to get an alert. Meanwhile here is also a link to a Wasington Post Op-Ed Biden wrote on this at the time. Here is a quote from the Op-Ed.

"Nevertheless, there are some in the country today who look back with fondness on the Court's peculiar applications of natural law to defend a worker's "freedom to work" for unlimited hours, in unsafe conditions, or for less than the minimum wage.

It would be a grave mistake to invoke natural law to call into Constitutional doubt laws protecting us from environmental degradation, laws regulating the qualifications of child-care providers, and laws establishing minimum wages and workplace safety. This is decidedly not the direction in which the country should be moving."

Biden voted against Clarence Thomas in the Senate Judiciary Committee, argued against him on the Senate floor, and voted against his confirmation. History has proved him right.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/opinions/1991/09/08/law-and-natural-law-questions-for-judge-thomas/5a55c9dd-da8c-4fec-9339-1a053860c92a/

https://www.c-span.org/video/?518143-1/senator-joe-biden-supreme-court-nominees

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That’s why they call themselves original “Constitutionalists.” Think Dr Richardson’s theory—the tension between the democratic ideals in the Declaration of Independence vs the “property” and State Rights specified in the Constitution.

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I think the present majority are strict constructionists when it suits their ideological purposes.

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Oh, they definitely pick when it suits them to be “originalists.” But hypocrisy has rarely been in short supply among Republicans (and Catholics—apologies Sara—who now dominate the SCOTUS

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The Federalist Supremes - their black robes barely covering their white sheets. Just like in the good old days of greatness. (Even Thomas who is a Black separatist and believes in 'separate but equal.')

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The Supremes were such a great group and African American. I suggest using a different term than Federalist Supremes..

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Roberts clerked for William Rehnquist, a man so instinctively and ideologically racist, that as a Supreme Court clerk at the time of Brown vs Board, he argued "I think Plessy v. Ferguson was right and should be re-affirmed." Later Rehnquist oversaw "ballot security" and administered literacy tests to Black and Hispanic citizens for Republican racist voter suppression efforts in Arizona. During his nomination hearings, Rehnquist lied about his racist activities and proclivities.

After his clerkship, Roberts became a conservative operative in the Reagan Department of Justice Following in Rehnquist's footsteps, he was a virulent and vocal opponent of government legislating and enforcing civil rights protections. An adept political player, Roberts drafted memos and ghost wrote op-eds for Republican elected officials, championing replacing 'effects' tests with 'intention' tests for proving racist discrimination - much higher bar. And again, following in Rehnquist's footsteps, at his Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Roberts lied about his racist activities and proclivities.

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/08/john-roberts-voting-rights-act-121222

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Liars…isn't that a prerequisite for being members of the Republican Party? I am excluding the two on the Jan 6th committee and Romney.

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Fascinating and very disturbing. How did I not know this? Plessy v. Ferguson was, essentially, apartheid.

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“It should not be easy to vote”???

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"It should not be easy to vote”???

The 'originalists want to perpetuate the Founders' prejudices rather than protect the progressive constitutional protocols the Founders provided for us to overcome their own deficiencies

which they wrote into bad law.

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Yes, I had to read that several times...

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It's time to impeach Thomas for the influence his wife has given over the years. He is the real "chief justice."

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Actually, it is she who has influenced him. Together they make up a quite a horrific husband and wife team!

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The forces arrayed across the globe to prevent the People from exercising their human right of self-determination are vast and determined.

Putin’s war is different only in kind from the war being waged in State Houses, in Congress, and on the Supreme Court, by the Radical Right.

Their method, however, is the same – what they cannot accomplish by force of truthful argument, they will attempt first by deception, intimidation, and perversion of the very system they claim to support; but ultimately, if those efforts fail, they will resort to the tools of coercion and death.

We are blessed to have the right President to lead at this perilous time, and the wind of history is at our backs: It is our challenge to persevere.

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Yes

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We must persevere

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This is a story that must be told in every school across America. Republican CRT politics are nothing less than another insidious form of the beatings and killings that southern police, Klan, white supremacists and their politician facilitators did from.the end of the Civil War through the Civil Rights Movement.

The new documentary "Lincoln's Dilemma" includes the massacre at Fort Pillow where Confederate soldiers overtook a Union fort which a large number of black soldiers (former slaves) defended. The Confederates, so enraged that former slaves were fighting against them for their freedom, executed every black soldier within sight after they had surrendered and put down their guns. Republicans want to excise American history of every uncomfortable story that reminds us of how hideous and vicious white Americans have and can be, just as Putin has banned all reports of his hideous and vicious assault on the Ukrainian people. As the Russian invasion continues, American politicians and media stars who just a week ago still supported Putin over our own nation are scrambling to rewrite their pro Putin statements and activities out of American history. Accurate accounts of history must be preserved and taught well.

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Never forget. Never give up. Selma truly was a part of the battle for the sould of America. Shelby vs Holder showed us the work isn't finished. It didn't say the cause was wrong, and it absolutely didn't vindicate those who oppose equality.

Giving up would be giving up on the principles our nation was conceived in - liberty and the proposition that all men are created equal; just as Lincoln said.

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I'm not giving up, Gary. But in the struggle it is imperative to know who your adversary is and then to define him for what he is.

In the words of Sun Tzu, "Every battle is won before it is ever begun. It is won by the choice of terrain."

Letting Roberts get away with defining himself as a judge (the Oh so disingenuous "I'm just an umpire, calling balls and strikes"), is a serious mistake.

He is legislating from the bench under the guise of being an impartial judge, and he must be disrobed.

Sheldon Whitehouse is the only D who understands this issue.

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I think Klobuchar understands it as well.

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Agree, Sheila.

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Perhaps some day we'll know the real story behind this odious ruling and what it triggered. I hope the justices who undid decades of hard-fought progress are proud of themselves for turning back the clock. It's remarkable how the Roberts Court has no problem overturning long-settled law, no matter the consequences.

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