632 Comments

I think that the saddest thing I’ve discovered is that the roots of democracy in this country are clearly nowhere near as deep as I believed them to be………..especially when it comes to certain groups trying to make sure that certain other groups “know their place”. 😢

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Racism and xenophobia are the banes of our existence in these United States. I know it because, I have now lived it for 32 years.

“We are all implicated when we allow other people to be mistreated. An absence of compassion can corrupt the decency of a community, a state, a nation. Fear and anger can make us vindictive and abusive, unjust and unfair, until we all suffer from the absence of mercy and we condemn ourselves as much as we victimize others. The closer we get to mass incarceration and extreme levels of punishment, the more I believe it's necessary to recognize that we all need mercy, we all need justice, and-perhaps-we all need some measure of unmerited grace.”

Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

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“Unmerited grace”. What an idea

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Indeed. So much around this is about how having white skin (and often being male) has made people think they are better than everyone else. It is stomach churning.

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I have a friend who is a forensic pathologist. Her job is to examine the bodies of the deceased to determine cause of death. She says that beneath that layer of skin, regardless of the color, one could not determine one race from another. It is a superficial claim to "superiority" at best and at worst, it's an excuse to own others, to claim dominion over others, to have power and control over others. It is pure evil, regardless.

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I have to expand on that. EVERY immigrant group that has come to this country has been treated horribly, including Indentured Servants, Quakers, the Swedes, the Irish, Mormons, Jews and Italians, etc. There are power and class and cultural aspects to this as well, and boiling it down to skin color may not solve the bigger root problems.

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“Caste” makes this point in huge detail. Skin color, accent, etc. are just the easiest tools for the Upper Caste to use to maintain all its privileges and sense of great worth and superiority. The Nazis and the American Far Right have been willing to use any and every marker to define who is unworthy. From that starting point, the tools of oppression can get broader and crueler as needed.

What I believe is running amok in the nation is a very ancient willingness of those with great social power to use any means necessary to keep their power. IMO, the internet and cable news have created terrible new tools for this purpose, manipulative advertising techniques have been mastered, and the GOP has used all of that for political gain. Reagan -> Gingrich -> Tea Party -> Trump.

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I remember reading this in "Caste" some time ago. I remember thinking at the time, "Here is someone who sees things as I do." Skin color, religion, gender, et al--all dividers used by the "power elite" to keep the little people fighting amongst themselves/ourselves instead of pursuing real justice. Until a large mass of Americans understand this, we're just spinning our wheels. On top of that, if we don't bring trump to court for any of his assorted felonies--a ranking example being instigating the insurrection--then we've degenerated to an even lower level of impotence.

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And all these groups (including the Irish) were assimilated into mainstream America. Except blacks. Skin color matters.

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I have strong suspicions that most Native Americans, Jews, and Mexican Americans would not say they feel like they fully belong in mainstream America. I write as a New Mexico resident with 2 Jewish friends. There's no question skin color matters. But we don't do anyone a service by oversimplifying what is really a deeper caste problem.

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I would say that having incredible stars in sports and the arts, a popular two-term President, a current Vice President, etc would be pretty representative of successful assimilation. I will also say that you can’t imply a higher success rate with other groups that did not have to contend with 2 centuries of slavery they had to get past before they assimilated. Skin color is a factor but it is certainly not the only one!

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I've been saying this for years. You can manage to lose an accent, anglicize your name, dye your hair, and do other things to "fit in," but the color of your skin cannot be changed. In Western culture, skin color has been the constant feature that defines a person, unfortunately.

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Yes, every underclass is treated poorly although some of them were exploited by the white elite to keep them from joining up with other maltreated people against the power elite.

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Yeah, at the top it's a class thing. The want to keep us proles at each other's throats.

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Thank you for your insightful comment and the book recommendation, Rowshan. It seems the white supremacists are asserting they are entitled by the color of their skin to all the unmerited grace, and people of color are entitled to nothing but punishment. The Buffalo shooter extrapolated replacement theory to its hateful endpoint.

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It needed no extrapolation. The “endpoint” is where it started.

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I am unclear on the fine points of "replacement" "theory" as I have avoided researching it because I, like you, find the whole thing deeply abhorrent. I did not realize that this hate belief explicitly endorses not only vicious discrimination against but also the outright murder of Black people purely for the color of their skin. I stand corrected.

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I will submit that the root of "replacement" theory lies in their fear of their own inferiority. A (white) family member once told me that when he was playing baseball in high school in Philadelphia at the time of integration of the teams, he had no problem with the prospect of having Black teammates: he played shortstop and was confident in his ability to make the team, regardless of who was permitted to try out. The white players with lesser talent, however, were more likely to object to the inclusion of Blacks: they were fearful that they would not be able to make the team if Blacks were allowed to take the field. And I think that's what this replacement theory is: a tacit recognition that if forced to compete for jobs with Blacks on a level playing field (pardon the pun) without the advantage of their white privilege, they would fail. And a fearful person who feels they've been cornered and threatened is very dangerous.

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Bryan Stevenson is one of my modern day heroes...🌿

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"...we all need justice..."

Absolutely. I believe all sane people want justice. (How could it not be so?) Starting from that premise, we could at least review who or what caused the injustices which permeate our society. Who benefits from injustice? Anyone who instigates chaos and violence in order to maintain or increase their own power over other people is a person who opposes justice. "Justice for all" is a worthy banner and healthy approach to achieving an admirable society.

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Thank you. So well said.

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I do not feel implicated at all.

Mass blame when it is unwarranted is unfair, unreasonable, unrealistic and unproductive. The mysterious "we" did not elect trump, invade Countries, be all the things you accuse the "we" of. And I also don't buy in to the collective guilt thing either. How in the hell am I supposed to disallow the mistreatment of all humans on this planet? The concept of mass blame is fatalistic, hopeless and illusory. It puts all of us on a nihilistic trajectory and thoroughly negates the striving for good many many people are living.

Misogyny has been around since the proverbial Adam and Eve and as a woman I have lived it to the fullest. That fact has never led me to condemn humanity nor all men.

We have a choice. Despite our life stories.

I can either get up everyday going to war or working for peace. I am sorry you have had a rough time of it Rowshan. I really am. Please don't let that blind you to how beautiful humanity can be.

Shanti

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Thank you, Rowshan. If only the racists and haters would read and understand this.

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I've given up on the racists and haters. But I despair of the polite, "moderate" folk who refuse to think about what deep trouble the country is in. The ones who say, when you call out right-wing rhetoric and remind them of 1/6, "But inflation . . ."

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Oh, I totally agree. I have managed to refrain from violence with these people, but when the only Republican friend I still speak to tried to divert my attention from the many boxes of highly classified documents that TFG had at Mar a Lago for a year by wanting to discuss Hillary's emails, I reminded her that the comparison was totally bogus, and that it was akin to comparing a Black Lives Matter protest with the Capitol insurrection. She quickly caved.

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All too often the discussion goes like one of those Russian matryoshka dolls: one excuse nested inside another, getting smaller and weaker each time but never entirely disappearing. Next time someone brings up Hillary's emails, remind them that Hillary was the one who didn't need a subpoena to testify before Congress and who testified 11 hours about Benghazi without losing her cool.

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Oh yes, that was my first response to this person. I then pointed out that since the advent of TFG, everything that has happened has been unprecedented, and the worst thing that has ever happened to our democracy. I said that if this obfuscation continues and the obstructionism existing from her side persists, there will be no hope for the country. She sheepishly agreed. If she'd reacted otherwise, I'd have totally severed our relationship.

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Oh, yes, Susanna, so well put. “But inflation …” !!!

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My next response is "We've dealt with inflation before. We can fix inflation. We've never before dealt with the attacks on our democracy and on significant portions of our population, so what are we going to do about that?"

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Uh… the racists think this is a feature, not a bug. They’re all in and proud of it. And they comprise, whether they recognize it in themselves or not, 60% of white Americans.

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Well, they might want to rethink their position, as they'll be in the minority in the next 30 years. Of course, that's the reason for their angst.

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Yes, their angst is the motivation. They don’t want to rethink. The opposite. They want to undermine democracy to preserve and expand systemic white advantage for several generations into the future.

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I'd love to be the one to tell them that it won't work. Decent people will treat them as pariahs, and they won't get what they want.

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Thank you….I may go back and read it again

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Great book, Rowshan.

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And Bryan Stevenson's Equal Justice Initiative is doing incredibly important work: https://eji.org/

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My late husband and I made our anniversary trip down to Montgomery, AL just to see what all has been done to bring awareness to any and all who are interested in learning how deep racism is buried in this country. I can almost guarantee one will come away with an entirely different prospective of what our Black brothers and sisters have been through and what they are continuing to have to fight just to be recognized as human. I can highly recommend the experience and if you come away without crying, then start asking yourself why.

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The Legacy Museum. Scroll down to a short film with Bryan Stevenson offering the narration. https://museumandmemorial.eji.org/museum

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Exactly. Glad you posted the link. I should have in my comment.

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I took my family on a trip that started at the Whitney Plantation, just outside of New Orleans, then on to the Legacy Museum and memorial in Montgomery. We finished with a trip to Selma. There is a navigation center there, run by the park service with audio from the civil rights years that really hit home for me. I asked the docent about a woman who swore that the marches were actually orgies and she told me that the woman was still very much alive and hadn't changed her beliefs. As we walked around the "town" of Selma, it felt more like a ghost town. I told my family that the price paid by African Americans to exercise their constitutional rights was devastating. They are 32% or so of the population there, but are overrepresented in the criminal justice system. There are few good paying jobs, and overall it feels so sad and hopeless. Everyone in this country needs to learn about our history from the perspective of those who have been on the receiving end of racism, violence, and exploitation. In my view, that's our only hope - we have to find the language and I'm so grateful to Heather for her work!

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Love the film, Just Mercy, as well.

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I am sorry to know this Rowshan. Those 32 years cannot be reclaimed.

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The hate is being encouraged and manufactured.

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The hate is exploding on social media platforms.

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I do not think this is by accident. It feeds itself to a degree, but requires a seed or starter, and regular tending. These activities are performed by enemies of the state. The biggest attack on this country in the modern era is through social media, manipulated by the Russians, Chinese, and others who prefer to counter democracy. The run direct (but covert) actions and they have unwitting fools in this country on their payroll. I have no doubt. The easiest war they never need to fight is won by having this populace tear itself apart.

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I think there is truth to what you say, but by now our own citizens are running rampant quite well. I also think that the unrest in Central America is fomented by the nations you mention, among other causes, and they must be gleeful that the refugees/immigrants distract us from justice and progress. What's so good about being white anyway? (I'm white). My grandchildren are partly Latinx/Indigenous and they are beautiful.

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Clearly his HS English teacher omitted to teach him about irony!

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Yes, sadly, it is.

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Please read my message above to counteract the algorithms.

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@Pensa_VT: Found your message below. Thanks!

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So sorry, Elizabeth! It was above and is now below! Am reposting here for you:

Because our "dark" American shadow is that we were founded on the Caste system. The white man, with land/money installed the same lord/peasant system they ran away from in Europe. They do not want our people to be educated about the factual history of white man's major genocide of the First People who lived on this continent so they could enrich themselves. The strange, most ironic fact, is that they dragged darker-tinted human beings in chains from their countries becoming our nation's earliest human traffickers. They then bought, sold, tortured and killed them into slave submission and worked them to the bone to create our beautiful, rich, white supremacist America. They do not want the general public to know or learn the Truth. Their white supremacist spawn are still petrified of not "being on top" are screaming their dying patriarchal death knells. They speak of hatred and fear of the other. We have a reckoning in our country, and it is not about being blinded to our past. It is about not repeating our sordid history. It is not about guilt. It is about being mature enough to hear the Truth and Facts. We are about to ratchet forward from the immature thinking of an adolescent country to becoming mature, well thought out problem solvers for a new nation that is not afraid. Again, there are enough of us that we were built for these times. Let your Light shine across this country. Speak out and speak up when you see or hear lies. Counter the fascists with Facts. Do it loudly to take us away from this precipice they are trying to push. Just say, "I don't think so" and move forward. Spread your message into the dark areas such as Fox. They need to hear alternative messages to mess with their programming (brainwashing). I do it once a week as my Civic Duty and enter the Alt World of Fox to counter their intentional lies and deceit against our country. Use your power. When my internal systems begins to feel the discomfort from reading and responding to their negativity, I leave. We can all do this to counter the bots that have been created to permeate messaging. We need to be intelligent bots full of light. Just spew Truth statements. Brief. To the point. And leave. I feel I cover a lot more territory than a postcard.

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May 16, 2022·edited May 16, 2022

I keep Caste by Isabel Wilkerson on my bedside table closely within reach. To remind and inspire. One of my favorite chapters is her experience with the plumber at the end of the book. Compassion is such a powerful weapon of Light. It vanquishes hatred and floods Love into our encounters.

Salud, Pensa. United, my Sister!🗽

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Salud, Christine. Yes, "Caste" was one of my best books to read during the bizarre regime when the repubs and their cult leaders came out full force as fascists and white supremacists. And, incredible liars. It should be a book that every American reads no matter what color they are.

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Great book, the dye has been cast, pun intended 👍

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Thanks, Penna. Here is a saying: "One thought opens a thousand eves. One Sun brings a thousand dawns." -- Lightbringer Creed

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That is very beautiful! Thanks, Richard!

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By the wealthy who benefit from such.

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May 16, 2022·edited May 16, 2022

Because our "dark" American shadow is that we were founded on the Caste system. The white man, with land/money installed the same lord/peasant system they ran away from in Europe. They do not want our people to be educated about the factual history of white man's major genocide of the First People who lived on this continent so they could enrich themselves. The strange, most ironic fact, is that they dragged darker-tinted human beings in chains from their countries becoming our nation's earliest human traffickers. They then bought, sold, tortured and killed them into slave submission and worked them to the bone to create our beautiful, rich, white supremacist America. They do not want the general public to know or learn the Truth. Their white supremacist spawn are still petrified of not "being on top" are screaming their dying patriarchal death knells. They speak of hatred and fear of the other. We have a reckoning in our country, and it is not about being blinded to our past. It is about not repeating our sordid history. It is not about guilt. It is about being mature enough to hear the Truth and Facts. We are about to ratchet forward from the immature thinking of an adolescent country to becoming mature, well thought out problem solvers for a new nation that is not afraid. Again, there are enough of us that we were built for these times. Let your Light shine across this country. Speak out and speak up when you see or hear lies. Counter the fascists with Facts. Do it loudly to take us away from this precipice they are trying to push. Just say, "I don't think so" and move forward. Spread your message into the dark areas such as Fox. They need to hear alternative messages to mess with their programming (brainwashing). I do it once a week as my Civic Duty and enter the Alt World of Fox to counter their intentional lies and deceit against our country. Use your power. When my internal systems begins to feel the discomfort from reading and responding to their negativity, I leave. We can all do this to counter the bots that have been created to permeate messaging. We need to be intelligent bots full of light. Just spew Truth statements. Brief. To the point. And leave. I feel I cover a lot more territory than a postcard.

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Brave beyond belief, I tried to engage with my best friends family as they all bought the crap of Rupert, literally 24-7. After W stole the 2000 election, there was no way. They are still smart and educated, but unreachable, sad to say. So was most of Hitler’s inner circle.

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One of the things that give me hope this morning is Margaret Sullivan's WAPO column, including about journalists taking a step back to assess the overall impact of their coverage ". . . to make the threats to democracy a central part of media coverage, not a sidelight, to stop treating campaigns like so many horse races, to have coverage reflect a sharp focus on government rather than politics, to label this coverage in a defining and memorable way, as news organizations have done with Spotlight or Watchdog teams in the past, to make it accessible to all by placing at least some of the coverage in front of the paywall, to communicate with audiences plainly and transparently about what this coverage is about and why it's important." This would help people recognize " That preserving democracy is every bit as possible as that Churchill Downs stunner on Saturday."

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Journalism is stepping up. Good for them.

The Philadelphia Inquirer refused to endorse any Republican candidates in this primary election cycle.

Notice that the Democrats in the 1800s and early 1900s were the racists (and probably sexists). The KKK was Southern Democrats. Then LBJ championed the Voting Rights Act, and the South, meaning the racist block of the South, turned irrevocably to the Republican Party. Now the Republicans are the racists.

And not only are the Republicans now the naked and transparent racists, and the naked and transparent sexists, that transparency has begun to lose them legitimacy. A major metropolitan newspaper refuses to endorse a Republican candidate even for the Republican primary in Pennsylvania.

MAGA. Racism. Sexism. Anti-gender rights. Misogyny and anti-women’s rights. All of the fringe “tradition“ of garbage policies of American society are now under one roof, one political umbrella. The Republican Party. The place where reactionary, low morality, and junk values congregate.

The Republican Party is beginning to be ostracized, like it recently has been in California. This trend is going national now. It’s just a matter of time.

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The Party of Sedition and Fascism. We need to call them what they are.

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Precisely. The modern-day KKK. The Party of White Supremacy and Male Supremacy, and of imposing that rancid tradition on society even if it means disposing of democracy. Truly the Nazi Party, the Aryan Society of whites and males and Christians and heterosexuals. Everyone else they suppress. America doesn’t have its own Dachau yet, where liberals and dissidents and non-racists and gays and progressives and scientists and eventually Jews were incarcerated. But if we had a Republican administration right now, Trump or someone else, you bet your ass it would be moving in that direction.

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So was most of the population of Germany, including several of my relatives, still living.

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Many white folk like Tucker Carlson and his ignorant racist ilk need replacement-permanently!

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Carlson is a sh!t. He should move to Hungary if he likes Orban so much.

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Tucker Carlson and Fox Noise are the voice of Rupert Murdoch and so-called “tradition.” Fox Noise is Nazi media. I do not exaggerate. I do not intend to shock. That is a simple statement of fact.

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❤️👍🏼

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Their values need replacing. They need to change their values. The entire country is making the shift from Stone Age racism and sexism and anti-gender rights to diversity and equality. As a society, politics in California have made the shift. Now it’s time for the US as a whole to begin making that shift, and all the signs are there, top of the news feed and headlines every day. It’s about time. So many of us expected this long ago.

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@Pensa_VT, you are brave and dedicated. I believe your online speaking of truth to trolls and the brainwashed requires anonymized handles on whatever social media or comment platform, especially for women.

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We seem to be doing an excellent job here on Heather’s site. Even the FSB “trolls” have toned down dramatically, and have been civil, by and large. But of course you are correct, it’s smart to be careful. Pensa used to go by her real name, then she made a wise choice and switched to pseudonym (“anonymized handles”).

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May 16, 2022·edited May 16, 2022

Yes, and here I go by Pensa, and only most of the long time members here put Penelope and Pensa together!

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what is FSB? (Don't assume others know your acronyms unless they're in common parlance. I don't use ICE for internal combustion engine unless I'm on a car site)

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Ok, this may be too lighthearted a response but…we were having trouble finding bags of ice at several stores, and then saw a bumper sticker “Ban ICE”….so my husband says is that why we can’t find any?? We had a good laugh after he figured it out!

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I don't think anything is too lighthearted. Get a laugh whereever you can!

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I asked a similar question about an acronym previously. I ditto you request.

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I believe the FSB is the Russian security service, formerly the KGB.

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Yes, I do not use my real name. I use "DecencyandDemocracy@gmail.com". I think it is too long for many of them to read or respond. But I turn off responses anyway. I don't need to hear their responses or engage. I just want to flood them with Truth & Facts.

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Brilliant and good advice.

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Ian, I prevail upon all of us not to discount the tens of millions who cherish, flaws notwithstanding, the aspirational American experiment, and who, while willing to acknowledge there is no triumph around the corner, persist because they believe the cause is right and just and moral.

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I 100% agree Barbara Jo. Can we please not be overwhelmed by the truth that has been so for hundreds of years? Lets use it as good information. We become stronger knowing the historical truth and what we are up against.

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Barbara, I appreciate your reply and also would mention, in lieu of repeating myself, that my response to Michele (who is part of this thread) also is intended for you.

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I am one of those who do. And I have no problem talking about American ideals while at the same time reminding people that our country was built on genocide, stolen land, and slavery. Yesterday there was a story in the local Gannett rag about one of the important people in early Salem, A. Bush, who founded the local rag in the 19th century and used it as a mouthpiece for excluding blacks from Oregon. We have the Bush House as museum, Bush's Pasture as a park, Bush Barn as the center of the local art association, Bush Street, Bush School, and Ladd and Bush bank(now a US Bank). The people who run the house and the art association now have a committee with a diverse membership to set the record straight and I applaud their efforts. I think there is right now a show at the barn of black artists. On the other hand, we have Proud Boys, the Flynn/Stone hate show coming to Keizer, problems with the schools, and on it goes. The head of the local pride parade in Keizer cancelled it this year because she did not think it was safe. I love Heather's letters because they give the historical background for this and I am Indiana born and sickened by the state's contribution to the KKK.

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Michele, If our perspectives are different, and I’m not sure they are, I merely would clarify the value, in my view, of simultaneously holding two contradictory truths: one being that our country was founded on the genocide of indigenous people and on the enslavement of black American people who created this country that white people are now saying they are native born to and the second being that our founding documents indicate our founders’ aspiration to create a society built not around race, but around the rule of law, democracy, and pluralism. I have found that my acceptance of these conflicting ideas, despite the impossibility of attempting their reconciliation, is central to my pursuit of what is true and valuable.

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I think we agree. You have made the problem very clear. I often use this contradiction when debating those who don't understand either really. They are immune from both and think patriotism consists of the flag, the anthem, and the pledge while condemning any facts or education which would enlighten them.

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If only the truth was taught in American k-12 history classes. Instead, we get propaganda and outright lies. Between religion, terrible education, and manufactured media, it's no wonder we have an entire segment of Americans who are completely brainwashed.

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This dumbing down is very intentional. It is hard to brainwash educated, intelligent people who get their information from multiple sources.

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Sadly, I have come to understand that our public schools were not designed to educate students; initially (sadly, do not recall the source) it was to train farm kids to be industrial workers who could punch a clock regardless of what the sun was doing or the task at hand. To be sure, there have been places, districts, systems where real education has taken place, but mostly it is about teaching a common theme that is rooted in white, Christian supremacy.

**Caveat: My public education was in lily-white, Christian Medford, Oregon. I was in high school before I realized that there were other religions that had different practices (having been raised by escapees from the Lutherans and the Methodists, my parents.)

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I was raised in Elkhart, Indiana, and didn't see a black person there in school until I got to high school. Black people in Elkhart County lived in a narrow strip along the southern side of the railroad in Elkhart. I was fortunate in that I had a wonderful teacher for first and third grades. She and her husband, who became good friends of my family and me, were years ahead of others in their perspective. They had taught among the Navaho and respected Navaho views. They lived simply and rejected consumerism. They were organic before it was mainstream and kept their wooded property wild. (Sadly after they passed, someone cleaned out the understory which I knew would happen). I was lucky in high school in that my world history teacher was a Brit. After that I went to college(Kalamazoo College) and the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone which was quite the education. In my grad school education (UO), one of the courses I took was 19th century American history. In addition the 4 or 5 books assigned for the class, as a grad student I had to read five additional books each term and write book reviews. This is how I came to read 14 books on slavery. My spouse has Sioux ancestry and we are in contact with several of his relatives. We read voraciously and continue our education. I confess to not reading current political books because we get enough of that as daily news.

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Aye, don't we get enough political books. I am struggling to read Caste, and also HCR's History of the Republican Party. For some reason, my focus sucks.

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Ally, I wrote before that I was having trouble finishing How the South Won the Civil War…..I then got the audible version and it went much better. AND Heather was the narrator!

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I often read to escape. I am reading a mystery now where a python is one of the characters. I do read a lot of history and certain aspects of science.

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Sqeeze Me by Carl Hiaasen?! If not, order it!!

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@Holly, I agree. The brainwashing has been going on for a long time. Children are taught a propaganda version of American history, and they are deliberately not taught critical thinking skills. They are taught to believe and obey teachers and authority figures, not to “talk back” or question them. Questioning authority is firmly discouraged. For children of color this can lead to cruel punishment for harmless and beautiful acts of individual expression that deviate from the white teacher’s direction. A dear friend was shut in the dark closet in kindergarten by her white teacher for singing harmony instead of the melody. This was in the 1960’s in a white, supposedly liberal suburb west of Boston. In the public education system of my boomer youth, children learned critical thinking and the skill of seeking multiple information sources at home—or not at all.

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Shame on that teacher!

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I am sorry this happened. I taught a writing class where the mantra was critical thinking and assessment of the bias of sources. For their original document, I had them read orders from 19th century Oregon which were from my husband's family. In it the local commander suggested that if the soldiers ran out of food as a last resort they should eat the natives they were pursuing. Then they had to pick out some famous original source and assess that.

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Michele, thank you for your comment and your service educating America's youth in critical thinking skills, sparing none of the sins of our history, even those among your own ancestors (wow). I know America now has many thousands of teachers like you, even in red states where their delivery of truth is currently being throttled, and our country needs hundreds of thousands more. Thank you.

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And thank you. I know many wonderful teachers and also had many excellent teachers. I also knew some biased teachers including one who should have known better as he has Native American ancestry which he admitted to me at one point. These, in my experience, were usually found in the coaching corner. I have been retired for many years, but still enjoy hearing from some of my ex-students, some of whom are teachers. I confess to being glad not to be in schools today.

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My Mom taught English for a handful of years at Crater High School in Central Point (just outside of Medford). She was the main English teacher for what they termed the "Package Nine" kids (at high risk for dropping out or flunking out). She taught those kids to read Middle English and Chaucer in the original text. From the time she quit (1979) until she moved from Medford (1992) she would have former students come to visit her on an at least monthly basis; when she relocated to Yachats (on the coast) she still had kids that would "find" her. Three of them attended her very small and private memorial service in 2004.

Teachers make a difference.

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I learned the truths of decency, compassion and the evil of racism at home. Can we please stop blaming the schools for everything that the parents should be doing as well? When did the schools become the parent substitute?

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Thanks for this comment. My kids were educated in public schools in the 70s and 80s. I stayed on top of their lessons and we talked about history as I had learned over my life before they came along and always encouraged them to look beyond the textbooks. They could just hit the highlights. It probably helped that I had minored in history in college so knew the dangers of not knowing history.

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I take your point, Barbara. It shouldn't be the job of teachers and schools to teach children decency, compassion, acceptance and welcome of different kinds of people, and the evil nature of racism. But not all parents have the time, take the time, or choose to teach their children these things. Some parents unfortunately teach their children the opposites. So the schools get asked to do more of this teaching of the values of citizenship because kids should be learning it somewhere. I am outraged obn behalf of the teachers in states like Texas who _want_ to teach these things to their students, including the real history of racism and slavery in America as an essential part of our story. In many states those teachers are now forbidden to teach anything but the sanitized curriculum that amounts to "white people are always good, kind, and right, no white people born today have any role in or responsibility for eliminating the oppression of people of color, and white children are fragile so they should never be taught the truth about slavery and systemic racism because the mean people who want to teach those things to children hate America and want to make white children feel bad."

So how do we rescue the next generation from being indoctrinated with this white supremacist propaganda? I agree it's not fair to burden schools with this responsibility in addition to everything else we ask them to do, especially since teachers are shockingly underpaid compared to salaries in industry and to the value they bring to our society. I don't have a solution to the problem. I would love to hear more thoughts about how we can fix it.

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My very first thought is to get politics out of school curriculums and let the educators do what they are trained to do. My second thought is to empower the teachers to be treated and respected as professionals by paying teachers a good wage. My third thought is to fund schools so that teachers aren't reduced to having bake sales and using their own money in the classroom.

Historically teachers have been viewed as servants of the Community. Sometimes they were given room and board only and were expected to remain single.

When we treat Teachers like CEO Educators in the Community instead of servants and pay them good salaries qualified men and women will work with our young people and they will also be left alone by political predators.

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Barbara, we should be doing all of that and more for our teachers, I wholeheartedly agree. The part I can't figure out is how to actually get those things done in the current political climate.

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We watch who we elect to our School Boards. We become vitally interested in those School Board meetings. We pressure our State Legislators to increase funding for schools. We advocate for teachers in public forums.

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And the surest and best thing is that time and time again truth prevails; such as the passage of the 14th Amendment when needed. We do not live in a perfect Country. There is no such place. We live in a society that historically has been waging the rigorous fight of a Democratic Republic since its founding. To think anything else is to regress to third grade and be making apple turkeys while hearing the teacher read stories of the Pilgrims and Indians being best buddies. Dr. Richardson is a master at historical truth telling. I feel the strength of a Democracy that prevails again and again through her writing.

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Yes Barbara me too and I think the midterms will have some good news for democracy.

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I do too. The Republicans are fighting among themselves in local races.

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Watching Dustin Hoffman in “Little Big Man” during high school was a nauseating eye opener. I didn’t question the public school curriculum I was taught, but I became aware of the ugly side of American history. Then I pursued books about the holocaust and learned more than what school taught about WWII. Totally changed my perspective on the world and humanity.

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Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Black Like Me, Anne Frank, and on and on opened my eyes many years ago. This knowledge launched my political activism.

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May 16, 2022·edited May 16, 2022

Ian,

It depends on the state.

In Massachusetts, where the John Adams constitution still holds sway, the depth of the constitutional democracy (and all of its good and bad) is deep.

But, in Louisiana, home to today's Angola Prison Slave Plantation (Farm), one of the world's last Slave Plantations in 2022?? The largest "Prison farm" (a.k.a Slave Plantation) in the world except for China's equivalent slave farm/prison for Uyghur Muslims. Did China model their prison farm after Angola Prison in LA? (I know my opinion).

Not so much.

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You mean like Hitler modeled his treatment of Jews on the Jim Crow treatment of blacks. I read somewhere, no idea where, that he spent some of his time in prison studying America’s treatment of natives and blacks

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May 16, 2022·edited May 16, 2022

Yes, Jeri, the Nazi's modeled their updates to German laws around Jews using the Jim Crow laws. I believe I read that first in Isabelle Wilkerson's "The Warmth of Other Sons" where she describes, in detail, through the real lives of three people, the "Exodus" that HCR mentions today. One of the best books of my entire life.

EXCEPT, Jim Crow was too harsh for the Nazi's. Instead of "one drop of blood" to be black, you had to have one grandparent that was Jewish.

So, the Nazi's took it easy on Germany compared to Jim Crow south.

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Thank you for reference, idiots who subscribed to the “one drop of blood” BS should do a little genealogy. I have always doubted that the white “leaders” believed that blacks were inferior; they didn’t have any reluctance to rape of the slaves, they were, like LBJ said -in need of somebody to look down on.

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Rape is the ultimate individual expression of power and control.

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Yep.

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They absolutely did believe that blacks were inferior, which was probably easy to do when blacks lacked access to formal education. Even Lincoln believed blacks were inferior, until Frederick Douglass came to visit him in the White House. Frederick Douglass had an shining intelligence.

Blacks were also kept down by mass immigration. There's a new, scholarly (296 footnotes), yet highly readable book, Back of the Hiring Line: A 200-Year History of Immigration Surges, Employer Bias, and Depression of Black Wealth which lays this all out ($9 on Amazon). As early as the first half of the 19th century, employers sent ships to Europe to bring back white Europeans so that they could fire their black workers.

There were periods of advancement for blacks, when immigration was low, and their fortunes improved greatly. By 1980, blacks, prominent in meat packing, as one example, were making ~$30/hour inflation-adjusted. Immigration surged in the '80s, and by the end of that decade, meat packing was paying barely minimum wage.

The book gives the lie to the notion that there are jobs Americans won't do. That came from the fact that new immigrants were very exploitable, and employers could reduce their wages to levels that forced them to live in their cars or many to a room, wages that black Americans wouldn't accept.

Immigration was increased even more in the '90s, to a million-plus annually, and despite the Barbara Jordan commission on immigration reform's recommendations to cut immigration in half, and to strictly enforce immigration laws, no changes were made. (A couple of earlier gov't commissions on immigration reform had made the same recommendations for the same reason--better employment for the downtrodden.)

Over the last several decades--as the book points out--low wage workers, including Blacks, whites, and immigrants, have all been exploited because of the oversupply of immigrants from mass immigration.

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"The book gives the lie to the notion that there are jobs Americans won't do. That came from the fact that new immigrants were very exploitable, and employers could reduce their wages to levels that forced them to live in their cars or many to a room, wages that black Americans wouldn't accept."

Excellent two sentences and background. Thank you.

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Ignorance has been weaponized. The walking dead have been turned into troops by those desperate to hold onto power.

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Isabel Wilkerson’s “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration” and her next book “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” are both excellent resources of information.

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The Nazis sent a team to study Jim Crow. Even the Nazis couldn’t believe the part about segregated water fountains. On the other hand, the Nazis outright murdered 6 million Jews and 6 million others, which was worse than the US racists who “merely” murdered to terrorize or for fun. Current white supremacists are moving toward the Nazi model.

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👍🏼

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👍🏼

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Ian, you have lifted two major threads through this country's identity.

‘Guns are deeply ingrained in American society and the nation’s political debates.’ So, too, I think is White Supremacy.

‘The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives Americans the right to bear arms, and about a third of U.S. adults say they personally own a gun. At the same time, President Joe Biden and other policymakers earlier this year proposed new restrictions on firearm access in an effort to address gun violence ranging from rising murder rates in some major cities to mass shootings.’ (pewresearch)

Hate automated

flesh detonated.

Helpless souls buying fruit and vegetables

Potato chips and ice cream.

They’ve lived in darkness with cracks of light

gone to school, gone to work, and gone to the voting booth.

‘Four-in-ten U.S. adults say they live in a household with a gun, including 30% who say they personally own one, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in June 2021.’

In the United States of America

Hate is always nearby,

It surfaces, sometimes in bursts,

and when it does

folks on the streets, in stores and movie theaters, at school and in the park

don’t get home but buried once the funeral is done.

A-15s, more guns and guns.

People filled with hate

stand strongly behind them

knowing that with these weapons of death

justice has been done.

‘Attitudes about gun violence differ widely by race, ethnicity, party and community type. About eight-in-ten Black adults (82%) say gun violence is a very big problem – by far the largest share of any racial or ethnic group. By comparison, about six-in-ten Hispanic adults (58%) and 39% of White adults view gun violence this way. (Due to sample size limitations, data for Asian Americans is not available.)’ (pewresearch)

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/09/13/key-facts-about-americans-and-guns

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"Hate is always nearby,

It surfaces, sometimes in bursts," True. Chilling.

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And they are citizens most of them — struggling in these tough times.

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Could not agree more. Our history education was a complete whitewashed brainwashing.

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Hello Ian Sirota. So glad to see you here.

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I was raised and lived not too far from Rockport, Indiana for 50 years and did not know this. Heather, your vast knowledge and ability to equate the past and present is why I read your daily posts! Thank you, just thank you!

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Laura:

If you have a chance, there are books available about the Colfax Massacre, the Grant Parish Seat in LA. White history called it a Riot while (exact words) 150 Negros died and three white men as detailed on a plaque where it happened. The sign laid claim that the put down of the alleged riot also led to the end of Carpet Bagging in the South.

Some of the White men were eventually tried and found guilty. The case ended up In the Morrison Waite SCOTUS. "In United States v. Cruikshank (1876) the court decided in majority vote that protections of the Fourteenth Amendment did not apply to the actions of individuals, but only to the actions of state governments." This decision by SCOTUS was called one of the worst ever. It appears the overturning of Roe v Wade will surpass this decision.

I forget which book I read but this one: A Review of “The Colfax Massacre: The Untold Story of Black Power, White Terror, and the Death of Reconstruction” appears to be a good read. It is an interesting topic and once again we can see how SCOTUS has failed in protecting people without the power to fight back.

I had it around and probably donated it. Either the Keith or the Lane books are good recitals, just different approaches,

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Addendum: There are similarities between the Buffalo/Milwaukee occurrences and Colfax. Minorities can no longer feel safe in public or in churches.

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And just now, tonight in Orange County, CA, another church shooting.

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Sickening! We are a nation under our own siege.

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I saw that too. We Democrats are completely out of control. Just ask Ted Cruz!

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May 16, 2022·edited May 16, 2022

Disinformation, destabilization, just not the annexation part like in Ukraine. This hatred is encouraged online, taught by both homegrown white supremacists and foreign adversarial governments.

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Our foreign enemies, just have to wait…. Social media is doing the job

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Puke, puke, puke

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I think as usual you have that twisted around, if you believe anything Ted Cruz says you are another celebrating delusion, arrogance and ignorance.

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I think as usual you are misreading what I said tongue in cheek . . .

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Very different from Buffalo. It looks to involve overseas Taiwanese politics.

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May 16, 2022·edited May 16, 2022

I have Asian American friends in CA with families that felt scared yesterday. I quess we have normalized shootings so much, that we are importing it now?

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Not surprising. It was only when I looked up the AP report that it was more than someone quoting the first police report about a shooting at an "Asian church."

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Lord, the law can be obeyed, ignored, rebelled against, derided, and twisted by the SC. The current SC will turn laws into pretzels

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It will since they (RW members) were groomed and well "educated" by Leonard Leo and his dark money minions. How far will they go? Who knows?

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👌🏼

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Thanks for this informative post, Bill.

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I grew up in Illinois, and have long wondered about why Indiana was this home to northern KKK. We had family on my father's side and my grandfather had been born there. They were all Mennonite and seen no different than the Mennonite farmers in Illinois. They were honest hard working pacifists and seen to treat others well. I was just a kid and don't really know their political beliefs.

60 years later I see Indiana turning out people like Pence following Trump around like a puppy dog. Thanks to Heather's improving my education I start to understand.

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Yes thank you Heather for your expertise on this Teconstruction period.

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👌🏼

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America has entered a period where the violence predicted after 1/6 may well be unrolling now. There will be the 1/6 hearings in June, hysteria leading up to the midterms, and another potential upswelling of white on non-white terrorism. It would be unsurprising if there was retaliation.

Both sides realize the stakes could not be higher politically. A long hot summer lies ahead.

It is desperately important that the commentators on the right and the Republican Party not feed the flames. But the odds of this, though non-zero, are pretty close.

This is a time of fear and anguish - the greatest test of America’s stability since the Civil War. Heather’s descriptor of “blood on their hands” could not be more apt.

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It was Trump who "predicted" it. It was really a threat.

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It was the ugliest clown alive who lit the torch

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We have and will continue to fail that test.

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We MUST remain positive that we have the POWER to right this ship. We shall not fail, Penfist! When any one of us feels we are doomed to fail, that person needs to take a break, a time-out and built up inner resources and come back out to Resist these dark forces. Fascism MUST not win.

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Really? If we had indeed failed the test the 14th Amendment wouldn't exist, the Civil Rights Act etc. wouldn't exist. We have done the exact opposite and exceeded even our highest aspirations time and time over. The Republic stands. It is battered and under siege but it still stands.

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The country is controlled by a cult led by a narcissist criminal who should have been imprisoned long ago.

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@Penfist, I agree about the cult led by a narcissist criminal who should have been imprisoned long ago. I don't agree that they currently control our country. Certainly, they are trying hard to gain national control. We are locked in an existential struggle with them nationwide. But they have not won control yet. Every one of us must take every action we can to turn this tide of white supremacist fascism and hate: demonstrate on the streets if you can, call and write your legislators, write postcards or letters to voters, join get-out-the-vote phone banks, donate to grassroots voting rights organizations and at risk Democrats especially in battleground states and local and national organizations that are the most effective at fighting the gerrymandering, the misinformation, and all the forms of suppression of voting and freedom and equal rights for all. If all of us do everything we can, we can still beat this thing. I found it very helpful to subscribe to Blue Tent emails by David Callahan and his colleagues. (I believe emails are free and access to parts of the website requires a modest annual membership.) They outline the most effective places for Democratic small donors to put their money. Here is his latest letter from a day or two ago:

Dear Reader,

There is no single reason why conservatives now control the U.S. Supreme Court and many other key federal courts.

The most obvious explanation is that the GOP won critical elections in 2000, 2004, and 2008—and parlayed those victories into five SCOTUS appointments and hundreds of other judicial picks.

But there’s a deeper factor at play: Which is that the right—its politicians, activists, intellectuals, and donors—has cared a lot more about the courts than the left over the past half-century.

I don’t want to go too much into this history, except to spotlight the wildly divergent ways that conservative and liberal donors have approached the courts.

The right’s donor class has made shaping the courts and federal jurisprudence a top priority, bankrolling the Federal Society and other hard-hitting legal organizations over a generation. (See our rundown of this giving.)

Donors on the left have barely paid attention to this all-important battlefront and, to the extent they have, their efforts to counter the right’s investments have largely failed. Blue Tent’s Trip Brennan has covered some of that story, including why the American Constitution Society has been such a disappointment.

So what should liberal donors be doing now? And what can we do, realistically, to reshape a federal judiciary that’s now dominated by conservative judges with lifetime appointments?

Well, besides giving in smarter ways to help Democrats win future elections—so our side gets to pick and confirm judges—there are a few things we can do.

Job number one is to support progressive legal organizations that have the vision and courage to fight harder on the courts. Blue Tent has evaluated and recommends two such groups—Demand Progress and People’s Parity Project. Donors should also take a look at a third, Take Back the Court. (See our brief: Shaping the Federal Courts: How Donors Can Make a Difference.)

These groups share a belief that Democrats and liberals have been dangerously complacent on the courts, and that we need to think more radically about the path forward—including expanding the Supreme Court.

I’d guess that many people reading this newsletter are not so thrilled about the idea of court expansion, which may seem like the ultimate partisan nuclear option. I used to feel the same way.

But with the GOP discarding long-established norms to win, we need to play the same game of hardball. The Constitution doesn’t set the size of the Supreme Court, Congress does. Democrats should be willing to take action, within the rules of our system, to offset the court’s growing undemocratic power.

Now, obviously, court expansion is not an option on the table right now. Senate Democrats can’t even agree on a carve-out to the filibuster on voting rights, after all. It’s hard to imagine the party’s leadership—or most Democratic voters for that matter—getting behind expanding the court.

But I predict that attitudes about court expansion will change as the reality of conservative judicial dominance sinks in. Roe’s fall is just the start. The right’s larger agenda is to use the courts to roll back federal power in a wide range of areas and, also, to impose limits on state and local governments. It’s only a matter of time before SCOTUS starts neutering agencies like the EPA and overturning important blue state laws.

At some point, Democrats will realize we face a choice: live under the undemocratic rule of conservative courts, potentially for decades, or take bold action to remake those courts.

I don’t know when that realization will fully hit. But I favor investing in those organizations and leaders who are already ahead of the curve, advancing new ideas and tactics on the courts. (Also, don’t forget state courts! See our recent brief: Winning State Supreme Court Races: Options for Democratic Donors.)

The other thing donors can do is demand that our elected leaders and candidates take bolder stances on the courts. This has not typically been something we think about first when giving political donations, but that needs to change. We’ll have more to say on that subject in Blue Tent soon.

Thanks for reading. If you’re not yet a member, please sign up here. You can also make a donation here.

Best,

David Callahan

Founder and Editor

Want to get this email newsletter?

Join our mailing list:

https://bluetent.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=390f0497d36420165dc5522f7&id=571134fc86&e=6105c3a46c

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This is a fantastic comment.

Unfortunately it does not begin to fully address the reality of the Republican party. That reality is that there are two different legal, executive, and judicial systems. The Republican version is devoid of compassion, equity, and data-driven, evidence-based decision making. That version of the United States is a boot on the necks of the majority in favor of rich, old, white people who will do anything to hold onto their power.

That party is willing to fight dirty and destroy anything to get what it wants. How are people who want a better world supposed to fight people who are willing to go scorched earth in the name of fantasies and fealty to a corruption that is eating the minds of a good chunk of the country?

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When people comment on things, they don't always attempt to address the full reality of the subject on which they make a specific comment. I agree that the Republican party is totally willing to fight dirty and without morals or ethics, and they are willing to wantonly destroy in order to get what they want. Often the destruction is their main point, as with the voting rights of people of color. Which Republican was it in the last several years who actually said to a media person something like: "We can't have all these people voting or we [the Republicans] will never win an election again." Was that Dumpster?

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Your last paragraph asks the absolutely central, most pertinent issue. Brilliant.

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Elizabeth, Your recommendation of 'Blue Tent' is just what all American advocates of Democracy need to know about. I copied David Callahan's Letter, which you provided in the comment, and the link to 'Blue Tent'. The first money paid down with my credit card, after first thanking you, will be to, 'Demand Progress' and 'People’s Parity Project' and …'Donors should also take a look at a third, Take Back the Court'. Thank you, again!

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My pleasure, Fern! I'm doing the same. Thank you!

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That cult and criminal are losers because they only know how to destroy, not create. Life is a Fox Trot, one step back two steps forward, gotta pay the piper and keep time to the music. You have an interesting profile/reading list. I may scavage some stuff there.

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My fear now is that the match will be lit with a SINGLE black terrorism retaliation.

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May 16, 2022·edited May 16, 2022

Eric, so many matches have been lit by the former president, governors, Abbott and DeSantis, Mark Meadows, the Freedom Caucus, Jim Jordan, Scott Perry, Stephen Miller, SCOTUS, and “Stop the Steal” organizer Ali Alexanders. there is absolutely not nearly enough space to list them all, nor do we know who all of them are.

That you singled out your ‘…fear now is that the match will be lit with a SINGLE black terrorism retaliation.’ … ‘a SINGLE black terrorism retaliation’? How common has that been? For matches, I turn to the ‘Stop the Steal’ movement.

“Stop the Steal” efforts … escalated to violence and threatened the transition of power core to American democracy.’

‘The Stop the Steal movement was far from monolithic, though, and included groups across a spectrum of radicalization: hyperpartisan pro-Trump activists and media outlets; the neo-fascist Proud Boys, a group with chapters committed to racism and the promotion of street violence; unlawful militias from around the country with a high degree of command and control, including the so-called Three Percenters movement; adherents to the collective delusion of QAnon; individuals identifying with the Boogaloo Bois, a loosely organized anti-government group that has called for a second civil war; and ideological fellow travelers of the far-right, who wanted to witness something they believed would be spectacular.’

‘What bound these groups together across a spectrum of radicalization? Disinformation about the results of the 2020 election and extreme support of Trump, often amplified by Trump himself, which intensified the overall movement’s actions toward violence.’

“Stop the Steal” was deployed during the 2016 presidential election by Roger Stone, a longtime Trump associate and confidant. The Southern Poverty Law Center reported that the campaign was orchestrated “first under the auspices of defending Trump’s Republican primary nomination and later contesting a potential Hillary Clinton victory that never manifested.” At the time, Democrats accused Stone of seeking to intimidate non-White voters, which Stone denied.’

‘In addition to its work with the Election Integrity Partnership to monitor mis- and disinformation about the process and results of the 2020 election, the DFRLab expanded its research scope in partnership with Georgetown’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection to analyze domestic extremism directed at the election.’

‘From September 2020 through Election Day, the monitoring effort was focused on voter intimidation and suppression. During this period, the “Stop the Steal” narrative was seeded and initially spread in the context of the general election. Between Nov. 4 and when Biden’s victory became clear on Nov. 7, “Stop the Steal” grew in coordination with Trump’s failed legal effort to “stop the count” of legitimate votes in various states. After Nov. 7, the election results became increasingly undeniable, yet the Trump campaign mounted a range of dubious legal gambits to overturn them, matched by the increasingly ominous rhetoric among groups that coordinated “Stop the Steal” events. During this period, two separate so-called Million MAGA Marches on Nov. 14 and Dec. 12 in Washington, D.C. were coordinated and attended by the same groups that converged for the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol. Both Million MAGA Marches included numerous instances of unlawful behavior and limited instances of violence, specifically fighting and stabbings.'

‘Throughout November and December, smaller but escalatory far-right events took place around the country, The rapid coordination and escalatory engagement across various movements along the spectrum of far-right radicalization and conspiracy groups was made possible by the varied online spaces they collectively occupied and leveraged.'

‘The amplification of the effort was no doubt aided in certain instances and driven in others by Trump. Coverage in both mainstream and partisan media outlets followed. The tumult created a groundswell of online engagement.’

‘A search using social media monitoring tool BuzzSumo detected over 8,200 online news articles containing keywords “Stop the Steal” or “#StopTheSteal” between Sept. 1, 2020 and Feb. 2, 2021. Those articles garnered more than 70,000,000 engagements on different platforms; more than 43.5 million of those engagements were registered in December 2020 alone. More than 83 percent (58.5 million) of total engagements were registered on YouTube videos, which appeared on multiple platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Reddit. YouTube videos containing “Stop the Steal” or “#StopTheSteal” garnered 21,267,165 views, 863,151 likes, and 34,091 dislikes in the time period analyzed.’ (JustSecurity)

Who are more likely to light the match you fear, Eric, members of the ‘Stop the Steal’ movement or ‘… a SINGLE black terrorism retaliation’?

https://www.justsecurity.org/74622/stopthesteal-timeline-of-social-media-and-extremist-activities-leading-to-1-6-insurrection/

The Atlantic Council’s DFRLab’s mission is:

'To identify, expose, and explain disinformation where and when it occurs using open-source research; to promote objective truth as a foundation of government for and by people; to protect democratic institutions and norms from those who would seek to undermine them in the digital engagement space.'

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I don’t think you got my point Fern.

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May 17, 2022·edited May 17, 2022

Eric, Did you mean something other than what you wrote:

'My fear now is that the match will be lit with a SINGLE black terrorism retaliation.'? I tried to address your fear, indicating that there wasn't historical precedent in support of your point. On the other hand, the White Race War in U.S seems more likely the light the fires. I am eager to better understand your concern.

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My point was that I believe there is a highly organized, concerted movement, some visible, some submerged, to return America to white male dominance. Really ugly ambitions, born of fear and grossly misplaced testosterone. And stupidity.

But they need to be seen as victims in order to really let loose.

On the other hand I am amazed at the overall patience and forbearance in the black community. That cannot last forever.

I am reminded of the Sixties. MLK’s influence was waning in the late Sixties, as blacks became more and more distraught with what they saw as insufficient results coming from non-violence. Then came Stokely Carmichael, H. Rap Brown, Eldridge Cleaver et al. The Black Power movement coalesced and there were some ugly times.

I think a percentage of the white right is salivating for a black man to commit a mass shooting. This would “justify”, in their demented view, an orgy of retaliatory vengeance.

Saturday’s slaughter brings this possibility closer to the forefront.

As Heather said, there are many Americans, TC included, who have blood on their hands.

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If not that, something else will be used as an excuse by the right.

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Yesterday in Buffalo

Hot lead tore through the bodies of thirteen human beings

Targeted for being Black

Daring to do their weekend grocery shopping

Shot dead by a man

Cloaked in armor

Fueled by worthlessness

Internet spawn

Armed

With blessings from most high

The nation’s soul is breaking

The bonds that hold it together

cannot stand the strain

This silencing

Of voice

Of life

Trumpeted

Drowning reason and compassion

A swelling frenzy of moral abandon

Awake

This is happening on our watch

The worst is winning

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I hearted your poem to show appreciation for your work. Your words reflect the bitter truth.

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Thank you, Daria.

Our home in upstate NY is not far from the town in which the murderer was raised. It pains and infuriates me in equal measure – this tearing apart, the madness of it and the fact that one of our two major parties, and the poisonous internet/cable echo-chamber that supports it, continues unabated to sew seeds of violence and division. And now, the Supreme Court is firmly in their grip.

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...as planned by Leonard Leo and his minions.

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Not for long, R Dooley. I’m feeling forces that cannot be explained coming to wage a comeuppance.

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Morning, Christine. I am trying to keep in mind that the. "forces" are coming, but it gets harder by the day. So much hatred, so little/no compassion.

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“Try” is all you need to do. It demonstrates willingness to the Universe to receive. Then, we know.

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I hear you Christine, and hope with you.

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Trust with me, R Dooley. And feel that which is more powerful than darkness which pretends to be the opposite of Light. There is no opposite. I watched last night as the very last tinge of the Blood Moon passed and the moon again glowed with such a new freshness.

With the cleansing upon us, we can continue to move forward. The Universe will always restore compassion.

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Ah, Christine...keep it coming!!

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May 16, 2022·edited May 16, 2022

Heather, when I read about the Buffalo massacre yesterday I wept. I am far away from the daily mass shootings in the United States. I live in Yucatán State, México where homicide is rare and by firearm virtually nonexistent. Every day I ask myself, what is left worth salvaging in the United States? The electorate have chosen thugs and criminals to represent them at the local, state and national levels. Wall Street, big business and oligarchs like the Kochs, Mercers, Musk, Bezos and others have undue influence on every aspect of life. Human and Civil Rights are being snatched from every conceivable group except for white Christian men, decent education is crumbling, healthcare is declining, public health and public safety are a vicious joke.

And where is the public outcry? Yesterday I attended a Bans Off Our Bodies online event sponsored by Democrats Abroad where less than 70 people worldwide showed up. The Mérida chapter of Democrats Abroad's idea of a meeting is getting together for cocktails and a movie. WTF?

In December I lamented the fact that people on the right simply don't care about their country, or their community. Well, I'm coming to the conclusion that unless it's within an echo chamber such as this, people in the center and on the left don't care much either.

I am profoundly sad and shaken by the deterioration of the United States and am afraid for every single soul on American soil. I am afraid for us all.

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Daria, your words express exactly how I feel. I have an added personal gut wrenching fear because the S. Sudanese individuals (now families) I was drawn to 20+ years ago, who I helped become naturalized U.S. citizens, who became part of my family, and who I adore with all my heart were exposed right away to racist comments -a horrifying reality wake up call for me. They, and now their children (all born in the U.S.) continue to face an undercurrent of random, unbearable racist discrimination that, at any time, can and does turn deadly. It is the very worst of feelings.

Already in 2022, we have had 200 mass shootings. That we have allowed this gun culture (with military style weapons in the hands of civilians) to continue is our final nail in the coffin. Children massacred in their first grade classroom, people going about their daily lives shot down and we can't take away the guns because of a perverse misinterpretation of the 2nd Amendment. There are no "sensible" gun regulations when weapons of war are available to anyone.

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Daria, my friend, I feel the despair right along with you. I want us to be powerful, not powerless.

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You prove that Trump’s wall did not work in stopping good Americans from escaping this “shithole country” to freedom in Mexico.

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You pretty much nailed it, Hale.

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Good one, Hale.

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May 16, 2022·edited May 16, 2022

Daria, it's more than disheartening to have our eyes opened to the corruption and violence and future of this country. I join you in feeling fear and despair. Can we still have Hope for change, for Justice, when it's the slimmest of possibility?

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That "slimmest possibility" is the crack where the light gets in. Use your light well. Our country needs it.

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What comes to mind is Leonard Cohen's "Anthem" . . . . "Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack, a crack in everything

That's how the light gets in."

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With lyrics. Truly an anthem. https://youtu.be/mDTph7mer3I

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Yes, there is light. But we have to see it. The collective we. From Amnesty International: “Among wealthier, developed countries, the USA is an outlier when it comes to firearm violence. US governments have allowed gun violence to become a human rights crisis. Wide access to firearms and loose regulations lead to more than 39,000 men, women and children being killed with guns each year in the USA.“

Remember when there was outrage? And the marches and rallies and demonstrations and new anti-gun organizations ? https://www.amnesty.org/en/what-we-do/arms-control/gun-violence/

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And Daria has much Light. I can always feel it, Daria, even though “geographically” you are not in this country. Those boundaries are totally insignificant right now as we unite against darkness.

Salud warrioress!

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Oh yes! There are a lot of members here with bright lights!!

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Daria-Here are some examples of public outcry in the U.S.: There were at least 450 abortion rallies were planned across the U.S. for Saturday. In little Northampton MA, more that 200 showed up and the main street was closed off so we could do so. I also went to one on Friday in Concord NH in front of the Statehouse, about 100 showed up there. We do care. Reuters reported that 20K showed up @ the Washington Monument in D.C. , 10K in NYC, several thousand in Houston TX, and thousands in Chicago. We do understand our civil rights are under attack by the ultra rich, white supremacists, and religious ideologues who are intent on destroying the American experiment.

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In Concord, MA (1775: men demand their freedom; 2022: everyone is still demanding freedom and equality for women) where I rallied for abortion rights, about 500 people turned out on Saturday with signs and enthusiasm, and hundreds more in the cars that passed Concord Common in those two hours honked horns and waved, gave thumbs up, shouted encouragement, or drove holding their own signs out the windows. Everyone from 80-year-olds to boomers to young parents and small kids were there. Grandparents with their children and grandchildren in large family units showed up with signs that said things like "I'm fighting for my granddaughters' rights!" One young man in a tie-dyed shirt had a handmade, skillfully painted yard sign, dirt still on the post, that said, "Fight fascism!"

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Barbara, please understand, I am a voting US citizen who lives abroad. Rallies of 20k, 10k are whispers. 70 people showing up for an abortion rights online rally is a whisper. No, I do not think most US Americans understand just how tenuous things are in the United States.

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There were far more rallies and attendees than media reported, hardly a new phenomenon.

I see complaints about it here and there, and think back to the rally in NYC against war on Iraq. Even the organizers had no idea how big it was, claimed 500,000 people while the police guessed 300,000. Over a few days, I put together what I saw with first hand reports of people who had attended at different points along the route. My father, a very sober engineer trained in estimating who had lived and/or worked in Manhattan his whole life, estimated a million people were there.

So, don’t be discouraged by lack of media coverage. Be energized by all the people who have been showing up, and continue to do so. Protests continue. Tomorrow, there will be a Jewish Women’s Rally at the Supreme Court. The next day, someone, somewhere. This is not going away.

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Joan, I hope you are right. There is so much we need to stand up against.

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From Laurie Garcia in Florida:

Case in point, our grassroots group, Broward for Progress, hosted the Bans Off Our Bodies event in Fort Lauderdale and had almost 3000 attend and there is no mention from local media. We sent them media advisories, made the pitch calls, and nothing, nada, zippo. FYI, this is not the first time either.

Can you please help us remind them to stop ignoring stories in their backyard: Please comment and re-share this Twitter post: https://twitter.com/browardprogress/status/1526005531365855234

Thanks in advance for your help! Laurie Woodward Garcia, Broward for Progress & Florida Voices for Progress (530) 413-7773

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