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The ‘Only Black Lives Matter’ set is only worsening the black-white division

Kori Ali Muhammad

Kori Ali Muhammad, who on April 18 in Fresno, California, slaughtered three white men for the crime of being white men, proclaimed from his jail cell, “They tell black people all the time to get over it. So I say get over it. There will be no pity party.” That view apparently is shared by many if not most of the “Only Black Lives Matter” set, who, like Muhammad, apparently view the cold-blooded murder of three white men as somewhere on the spectrum of nothing to worry about at all to wholly justifiable, given the ugly history of race relations in the United States of America.

Earlier this month, 39-year-old Kori Ali Muhammad, a black man, went hunting for white people in Fresno, California.

Apparently he more specifically was hunting for white men, because he shot four white men, killing three of them: Zackary David Randalls, 34, of Clovis; Mark James Gassett, 37, of Fresno; and David Martin Jackson, 58, of Fresno.

The news media widely called these shootings “random,” because Muhammad didn’t know any of his victims personally, but no, they weren’t fucking “random.” The victims were profiled by their race and sex — even though, as Muhammad said himself of Fresno, “Black people are not being gunned down by police or hung [sic] in trees. It’s fairly civilized here.”

As a white man, albeit a left-wing gay white man, of course this news hit home. Had I been in Fresno that day, I could have been one of Muhammad’s victims, based upon my appearance alone. I mean, I fit his profile.

I don’t live far away from Fresno, and should a black supremacist nut job decide to go hunting for white men in my city, I could be his victim.

(Of course, the chance that any of us is going to be gunned down in the street by someone we don’t know is quite low; we’re much more likely to be killed in a car wreck, so I’m not worried about being out and about.)

I didn’t write about the Fresno slaughter because Muhammad, although he clearly is racist, clearly is insane — “This is bigger than me. This is just a warning. If America does not treat black people right, it will be destroyed by God,” he told the Fresno Bee of his murderous rampage on white men — and because news stories about an extremist and/or mentally ill member of one racial group doing something awful to a member of another racial group so often are taken, by the ignorant and the opportunist, to signify that all of the members of the offender’s racial group are evil.

For instance, I certainly don’t want to be grouped together with Dylann Storm Roof, the 23-year-old white-supremacist nut job who in June 2015 shot and killed nine members of a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, in the hopes of starting a race war.

I was horrified by that race-based massacre, and I made a donation to the church where it took place.

It is tragic and outrageous that any individual of any race should be murdered in cold blood by a racist because of his or her race.

But the outrage and the tragedy isn’t felt by everyone (which is why I’m writing about the Fresno slaughter now).

To wit, Chauncey De Vega, Salon.com’s resident Only Black Lives Matter writer, who in his latest piece (rather directly and revealingly titled “Why I Don’t Write About Anti-White Hate Crimes Like the Fresno Murders”) pretty much admits that he makes a living by stoking racial tensions (à la Al Sharpton, I suppose), writes in the piece that he’ll start writing about anti-white hate crimes committed by blacks when white people show him what he deems to be the sufficient level of concern about anti-black hate crimes committed by whites.

Wow.

If the race of the victim of a race-based hate crime is what matters to you before you can show empathy or concern over the wrongdoing (even when it’s murder), then you’re a fucking racist yourself. You don’t care about humanity as a whole; you care only about the members of your own race, which makes you a racial supremacist. There is no fucking way around that.

I do not argue, of course, that whites and blacks, as groups, are on equal footing in the United States of America. Of course they are not. They never have been and very well may never be.

But we don’t interact with entire groups of people. We only can interact with other actual human beings.

In De Vega’s worldview and argumentation, he shouldn’t give a rat’s ass about the three white men who recently were slaughtered in Fresno because of all of the horrible things that other white men have done to other black people throughout history up to the present.

Just: Wow. Has white racial hatred made so many blacks equally hateful? Racial hatred seems to be pretty contagious to me.

De Vega’s given reasoning for why he doesn’t write about anti-white murders by blacks is almost convincing. He writes (the links are his):

… I chose to not write about the murders in Fresno because I try to be a voice for the voiceless and the marginalized. Kori Ali Muhammad has been arrested. He will almost certainly be punished to the fullest extent of the law. As documented by the American Civil Liberties Union and other civil rights organizations, black and brown people who kill white people are sentenced much more severely than whites who kill people of color. Because of this fact, Muhammad is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison. (California has not executed anyone since 2006, but if he’s convicted he might well be a candidate for this.)

Anti-white hate crimes are extremely rare in the United States. To obsess over them is an akin to Herman Melville’s fictional Captain Ahab chasing his great white whale.

There are other matters more deserving of my time and attention. [!]

Since Donald Trump’s election there has been a record increase in hate crimes against people of color, Jews and Muslims. After the election of Barack Obama in 2008 as president, there has also been a large increase in the number of white supremacist hate groups. …

Because it doesn’t fit his narrative of black people good, white people bad, De Vega doesn’t tell you that during the Obama years, the number of black supremacist hate groups (yes, those groups exist) also grew significantly; in 2008 there were 112 of them, and in 2016 there were 193 of them, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (to which I have donated and encourage you to, too), which also notes that in 2016, there were 130 Ku Klux Klan groups in the U.S.

I have to suspect that the main reason that De Vega and his ilk don’t want to talk about black-on-white crime is that it doesn’t fit their politically and personally rewarding narrative that it’s only ever that blacks are the victims of whites; blacks always are the victims and whites always are the perpetrators, not just in crimes but even in everyday conflicts and disagreements.

So when things like the Fresno slaughter make the news, it’s wildly inconvenient. Cognitive dissonance is a beeeeyotch.

But De Vega’s claims about the statistics overall seem to check out, although his snark about “chasing [a] great white whale” is quite hyperbolic, based upon the actual statistics. The Chicago Tribune noted in January of this year:

The horrific beating of a mentally disabled white man in Chicago by four black assailants broadcast on social media is highlighting anti-white hate crimes at a time of increased racial strife in the United States. [I wrote about the Chicago incident here.**]

But federal statistics and experts say anti-white incidents remain a smaller percentage of overall hate crimes. Anti-black hate crimes are still the largest number of cases.

According to the 2015 FBI hate crime statistics, the latest available, there were 613 anti-white-related crimes out of 5,850 total cases. That’s around 10.5 percent of all reported hate crimes, and within the yearly average, federal numbers show. [To me, 10.5 percent isn’t “extremely rare,” as De Vega claims anti-white hate crimes are. To me, “extremely rare” would be something like 1 percent to maybe a few percent.]

By comparison, the FBI reports there were 1,745 anti-black hate crimes or about 30 percent of all reported incidents.

Jews were the most targeted religious group that year and were victims of 11 percent of all hate crimes. It’s not clear how many anti-Jewish hate crime victims also may have been attacked because of their race. …

Of course, there are a lot more white people to commit race-based hate crimes against blacks than there are blacks to commit race-based hate crimes against whites. Non-Hispanic whites make up about 62 percent of the American population, whereas blacks make up only about 13 percent. If we’re going to talk about the percentage of hate crimes, we have to look at the relative size of the population of the offenders.

Again, I wholly concede De Vega’s point that historically and presently, black Americans, who always have been outnumbered by white Americans, have had it a lot harder than have white Americans. That is inarguable.

But I find it incredibly cold-hearted to be able to feel nothing for the victim of a hate crime because he or she isn’t a member of one’s own group.

De Vega’s column, methinks, demonstrates that for many (if not even most) black Americans, “Black Lives Matter” truly means “Only Black Lives Matter.”

Whether the “Only Black Lives Matter” stance is justified or not — De Vega apparently believes that it is, but I have real problems with his apparent argumentation that compassion for the individual in the present should be disregarded because we should focus instead on entire groups of people throughout history to the present — I can tell you that the “Only Black Lives Matter” stance is not going to win a national (that is, a presidential) election.

And that’s because, again, around 62 percent of Americans still are guilty of the crime of having been born white.

And to tell them, the majority of Americans, that for a white person to murder a black person in cold blood out of racism is dead wrong and should induce us to take our anger to the streets — but that it’s not even worth our attention when a black person murders a white person in cold blood out of racism — is not the way to get them on your side.

Indeed, I surmise that, perversely ironically, the “Only Black Lives Matter” set is largely responsible for the rise of “President” Pussygrabber. If we’re going to say that white racism brought us “President” Pussygrabber — an awfully convenient excuse to wholly ignore what an incredibly shitty campaign that Repugnican-Lite sellout Billary Clinton ran — I’d say that it wasn’t only white racism, but black racism, too, that accomplished that wonderful feat.***

And memo to the “Only Black Lives Matter” set: You can’t win a presidential election with 13 percent of the population. That’s just math. You need allies, and you don’t gain allies by telling them that they’re evil because they don’t kiss your ass in the manner in which you decree they should kiss your ass.

In the end, the only way that race relations in the United States can improve is within our one-on-one interactions. Entire groups of people don’t interact with each other; only we as individuals interact with each other — as individuals.

If we’re going to see each other as only a representative of the worst of an entire group of people instead of as individuals, of course racism never is going to change.

Unfortunately, there are too many individuals out there whose entire sense of identity — and even some whose incomes — are based upon keeping racial differences alive and well.

*The Southern Poverty Law Center writes of black supremacist hate groups:

… Although the Southern Poverty Law Center recognizes that much black racism in America is, at least in part, a response to centuries of white racism, it believes racism must be exposed in all its forms. White groups espousing beliefs similar to black separatists would be considered clearly racist. The same criterion should be applied to all groups regardless of their color.

As Martin Luther King Jr. once said: “Violence begets violence; hate begets hate; and toughness begets a greater toughness. It is all a descending spiral, and the end is destruction — for everybody. Along the way of life, someone must have enough sense and morality to cut off the chain of hate.” …

Yup.

Also, I’ll note that while I use the term “black supremacist,” the Southern Poverty Law Center uses the term “black separatist.” To me the terms are synonymous, as white separatists of course are white supremacists.

**I wrote:

… Before any white people get all indignant and high and mighty over this unfortunate case, we must remind ourselves that also in the news is the ongoing trial of 22-year-old white supremacist Dylann Storm Roof, who shot and killed nine black church members in cold blood in Charleston, South Carolina, in June 2015.

Just as Roof is not representative of all white people, the four young black people who appropriately have been charged with hate crimes against the mentally disabled young white man (yes, black-on-white crime can be a hate crime, even though there are plenty of assholes and idiots who would claim otherwise) are not representative of all black people.

A minority of the members of all races are capable of inhumanity to other human beings, ranging from verbal abuse to torture to murder.

It’s ridiculous for the right or the left or for any member of any race to use incidents of race-related crimes to indict all or most of the members of an entire race.

These ugly race-related crimes come crashing into our national consciousness via the media, and the media should report them, but we shouldn’t take the incidents out of context, assert that they represent a larger pattern that they don’t represent, or try to selfishly use the incidents to reinforce our own pre-existing, narrow racial-political worldviews and agendas — or, worst, try to use the incidents as an excuse to commit our own crimes against other human beings, feeling “justified” in doing so. …

***Not only did the “Only Black Lives Matter” set, with their black supremacist worldview, offend some whites to the point that they were more likely to vote for Pussygrabber, but in the primary elections and caucuses, blacks supported Billary Clinton over Bernie Sanders by a ratio of about three to one.

I believe that blacks rejected Sanders largely if not mostly because they perceived him to be just another old white man. (How much black anti-Semitism played a part in blacks’ rejection of Sanders I can only guess, but apparently anti-Semitism is significantly higher among blacks than it is among whites.)

So out of their anti-white racism (and possibly if not probably also out of their anti-Semitism), the “Only Black Lives Matter” set supported the weaker Democratic presidential candidate, Billary Clinton (seen as the “black” candidate, despite her record and her husband’s record of harming blacks), helping to put Pussygrabber in the White House.

Way to go!

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Donald Trump must never be president

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In a shamelessly grotesque display of white nationalism and fear mongering, at the end of his “speech” on immigration in Phoenix on Wednesday, Der Fuhrer Donald Trump paraded white people whose relatives had been killed by “illegals.” This ignores the fact that the vast majority of American citizens who are killed by others are killed by fellow citizens, not by non-citizens. Trump, having no qualifications whatsoever for the highest public office of the land, sociopathically happily will use racial division and scapegoating for his own political gain, no matter how much it harms real people — which makes him quite dangerous.

Yesterday I found the stomach to watch Der Fuhrer Donald Trump’s “speech” on immigration in Phoenix, Arizona, on Wednesday.

It was one of those unpleasant things that you don’t want to do but that you should; fascist demagogue Trump’s public utterances now are as important as fascist demagogue Adolf Hitler’s early public utterances were. (Indeed, just substitute “Jew” for “illegal” in Trump’s public proclamations and you pretty much have Hitler’s political rhetoric: This nation would be great again if only it weren’t for the Jews! illegals!)

Phoenix, of course, was fertile nationalist, fascist, white supremacist ground for El Trumpo, which is why he held his little KKK rally there on Wednesday.

Let’s talk about the backasswards red state of Arizona, which surely would have been a slave state had it not been made a state decades after the Civil War.

While 6.3 percent of those in my home state of California in 2012 were deemed to be undocumented immigrants — the second-highest percentage for any state in the nation (behind No. 1 Nevada at 7.6 percent and tied with Texas also at 6.3 percent) — by comparison 4.6 percent of Arizonans in 2012 were deemed to be undocumented immigrants (the national average 2012 was deemed to be 3.5 percent). Yet to hear the backasswards, Trump-lovin’ Arizonans tell it, illegal immigration is their (and the nation’s) No. 1 problem!

This is not at all the common public sentiment here in California, where we have more “illegals” than does Arizona, both percentage-wise and in actual numbers.

No, the problem isn’t the “illegals.” The problem is right-wing hatred and white supremacism and a fear of diversity rather than an embrace of diversity and an understanding that diversity makes us stronger, not weaker — it’s homogeneity that threatens a nation, not heterogeneity, because homogeneity is just inbreeding writ large.

You see an embrace of diversity and heterogeneity here in California, which is why California is a blue state instead of a backasswards, mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging red state like Arizona.

I feel as safe here in California’s capital as I would almost anywhere else in the nation, but to hear Der Fuhrer Trump tell it, to simply leave your home is to be at grave risk for being murdered by an “illegal.” If Trump’s fear-mongering rhetoric were true, then why am I not a lot more terrified than I am? After all, I live in the state with more “illegals” than any other state!

At the end of his “speech” on immigration on Wednesday, Trump fittingly had a bunch of all or mostly white people come on stage and talk about their loved ones who were killed by “illegals.”

Which is, of course, statistically bullshit.

Given that there are millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States, yes, of course, a tiny percentage of them are going to commit serious crimes, including murder. But far more American citizens are killed by (and otherwise violently victimized by) fellow citizens than they are by non-citizens; should we deport all American citizens? If you are an American citizen residing in the United States, you are, after all, much more likely to be murdered or otherwise killed by a fellow citizen than by a non-citizen.

Trump’s “speech” on immigration in Phoenix on Wednesday was a hate fest; it was an orgy of white supremacism.

Donald Fucking Trump has had more than a fucking year to come up with something other than fascistically blaming all of the nation’s problems on the “illegals” (most of them from Mexico) and advocating that we build a “Game of Thrones”-like Great Wall on the southern border to keep out the brown-skinned wildlings who supposedly threaten our very (white) way of life.

Trump has had plenty of time to develop some semblance of an actual presidential campaign, but he still has nothing other than rank white supremacism.

Trump on Wednesday night in Phoenix shamelessly and disingenuously yet again brought up the unfortunate shooting death of 32-year-old American citizen Kathryn Steinle by an undocumented immigrant from Mexico in early July 2015 in San Francisco, because the shooting conveniently happened so soon after he opened his presidential campaign by demonizing “illegals.”

Steinle’s death was to be retroactive “proof” that El Trumpo was right about those “dangerous” “illegals,” you see*; she didn’t die in vain! She died for the Trump campaign!

Thing is, the authorities suspect that the “illegal,” a homeless man, shot Steinle (with a loaded handgun that he had found) by accident, not on purpose (the man’s case has not been adjudicated yet), and at least one member of Steinle’s family, Steinle’s brother, has had a real problem with Trump using Steinle’s death for his own personal and political gain. (“If you’re going to use somebody’s name and you’re going to sensationalize the death of a beautiful young lady, maybe you should call and talk to the family first and see what their views are,” Steinle’s brother said.)

Trump’s hate- and lie-filled anti-immigrant rhetoric, of course, is only meant as a diversion from the fact that he is utterly unqualified to be president of the United States of America. He never has been elected to any public office yet seeks the nation’s highest elected office. No ego there! Donald Trump only ever has been a flim-flam man, a walking, talking fraud and fraudster.

Trump doesn’t want the masses to focus on him and on his stunning lack of qualifications; he wants to distract and terrify the ignorant, racist masses with the bogeymen that he has created.

And Trump wildly overstates the bogeymen’s numbers, of course.

From 2009 to 2012, the numbers of undocumented immigrants (about 11.2 million of them) in the United States didn’t grow at all — in fact, the number of them peaked at 12.2 million in 2007, before the George W. Bush-induced recession, and their numbers have fallen because of the second George Bush recession — and ironically, their numbers in the border states of California, New Mexico and yes, Arizona, dropped from 2009 to 2012. (That fact didn’t stop Arizona’s racist, hateful SB 1070 in 2010. Facts, you see, never stop the fascists. [SB 1070 was an incredibly mean-spirited anti-brown-skinned-undocumented-immigrant law that for the most part has been stricken down as unconstitutional by the federal courts.])

Blaming a certain group of people for the nation’s problems isn’t going to solve the nation’s problems any more than Nazi Germany’s blaming the Jews for its problems solved Germany’s problems.

And, of course, the fascists, the nationalists, the white supremacists are bullies, so they’re not going to pick on someone with power — someone with numbers and with political power. No, they’re going to go after a relatively much weaker minority. That’s how Nazis and neo-Nazis operate, because they’re weak, stupid fucking cowards.

Ironically, I rather doubt that Der Fuhrer Trump actually personally hates Latinos. (Of course “illegals” overwhelmingly refers to brown-skinned individuals from south of the border.) Latinos (“illegal” and “legal”) are just an awfully politically convenient punching bag (or should I say piñata?). Demonizing undocumented immigrants from Latin America (and, I believe, by extension, all immigrants from Latin America) is Trump’s way to try to get into the White House. (Hey, it’s just politics! It’s nothing personal! We’re good — right?)

The thing is, Der Fuhrer Donald Trump’s hate-filled, racist rhetoric harms actual human beings. Not only “illegals” are targeted, but all Latinos (and even those who aren’t even actually Latino but who might to some appear to be Latino) are to be targeted by Trump’s white-supremacist and white-nationalist flying monkeys, and that’s unfuckingacceptable.

It’s as acceptable as was Hitler’s and his henchmen’s targeting of Jews (and other relatively powerless minority groups).

History has demonstrated amply that the demonization of an entire group of people by a nation’s political leaders easily can lead not just to persecution, but even to genocide against that group of people.

Donald Trump must never be president of the United States of America.

If he does make it that far and his political rhetoric turns into the Nazi-like actual persecution of a certain group or certain groups of people (he has demonized Muslims, too, but primarily has targeted Latinos), then it would be time for something like, as the right wing likes to put it, a Second-Amendment remedy.

It’s a remedy — an extreme one, yes, of course, but an extremely necessary one — that should have been employed with Hitler; it would have saved millions of innocent lives.

We true Americans patriots must never allow the United States of America to become Nazi Germany 2.0.

We can allow that to happen only over our dead bodies.

I far prefer ballots to bullets, but as the right wing never rules out the use of bullets, neither can we on the left afford to do so.

P.S. As a white American-born U.S. citizen who has lived in California and, unfortunately, also in Arizona my entire life, I can testify that a solid majority of the Latinos whom I’ve known and with whom I have interacted have been decent, hard-working people.

I’m not at all a fan of Catholicism (or any other organized religion), that’s true, but overall Latinos have brought the United States far more benefit than harm. Their presence and their injection of their culture, which includes their strong work ethic, into the national culture of the United States of America makes the U.S.A. stronger, not weaker.

I, for one, won’t sit idly by while a President Trump fascistically persecutes Latinos because I’m not Latino.

P.P.S. I don’t feel like regurgitating all of the details of Trump’s despicable “speech” in Phoenix on Wednesday; it was bad enough to watch it all the way through once. You should watch it yourself. If you’re sane, you’ll note many incredibly pathetic moments. It’s great insight into the “man’s” “character.”

You’ll note, I think, that the vast majority of his fascist shtick very apparently isn’t even anything that he strongly believes himself, but that he knows works well with his audience of white nationalists and fascists.

I will note that among Trump’s many wonderful ideas regarding immigration is requiring an ideological test of prospective immigrants to be let into the nation, as though (1) such a test weren’t a violation of human rights (your political ideology must match that of a typical Repugnican Tea Party fascist to be able to come into the United States!) and (2) as though such a test, if actually implemented, couldn’t be defeated.

*As a writer for even the right-wing Wall Street Journal commented:

High-profile incidents, like the [July 2015] arrest of a Mexican national in the horrific shooting death of a young woman in San Francisco, can give the impression that immigrants are more likely to commit violent crimes [than are natives]. But the alleged killer [of Kathryn Steinle] is no more representative of Mexican immigrants than Dylann [Storm] Roof [the winner who gunned down nine black Americans in their church in cold blood in Charleston, South Carolina, in June 2015] is representative of white people.

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No-brainer: Bernie would be better for black Americans than would Billary

Updated below (on Friday, January 22, 2016)

Cornel West, rapper Killer Mike and Ohio State Sen. Nina Turner discuss the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday in Charleston, South Carolina, before the Democratic Party presidential primary debate. (“BernieSoBlack” is shown “whitesplaining” in the video grab above, I’m sure…) MLK famously proclaimed, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” In today’s degraded environment of toxic identity politics, however, many judge Sanders not by the content of his character, but by the color of his skin. (Here’s a video of Cornel West’s endorsement of Sanders, by the way. West is an electrified speaker whom I once had the privilege of hearing speak.)

It’s deeply unfortunate that the contest between Billary Clinton and Bernie Sanders for the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination largely is being painted as a contest between black Americans and white Americans who vote for Democrats, but that’s what it has come to.

Of course, we have Billary to thank for this in no small part; in the last Democratic Party presidential primary debate she did her best to equate any and all criticisms of her by the Sanders camp as a direct assault on Barack Obama. It’s classic Clintonian race-baiting and it’s classic Clintonian triangulation, but for the low-information voter – Billary’s base – apparently it works.

Bernie Sanders also has come under unfair attack by black slacktivists themselves. Only Black Lives Matter* slacktivists commandeered a public appearance by Bernie in Seattle in August, calling the white people gathered there “white supremacist liberals.” Nice! (Seriously — that’s the way to treat your allies and to maintain a coalition against the right wing!)

Bernie having dared to speak about his history of support of black Americans – and liberal Jewish Americans like Bernie have been instrumental in the civil rights movement (some died in the South fighting for civil rights for black Americans) – quickly was belittled as “BernieSoBlack.” Ha ha ha ha ha ha haaa!

The majority of black Americans’ Democratic presidential candidate of choice (at the moment, anyway) is Billary Clinton, her actual record and her husband’s actual record be damned (again: low-info voters are her base). Slate.com’s Jamelle Bouie notes:

… Minority voters — and black Americans in particular — are the firewall for Clinton’s candidacy and the Democratic establishment writ large. As long as Clinton holds her lead with black Democrats, she’s tough (if not impossible) to beat in delegate-rich states like New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Ohio and Texas.

Even with momentum from wins in Iowa and New Hampshire, it’s hard to see how Sanders overcomes Clinton’s massive advantage with this part of the party’s electorate. That’s not to say he won’t excel as an insurgent candidate, but that — barring a seismic shift among black Democrats, as well as Latinos — his coalition won’t overcome her coalition.

This, in itself, raises a question. Why are black Americans loyal to Hillary Clinton? What has she, or her husband, done to earn support from black voters? After all, this is the era of Clinton critique, especially on questions of racial and economic justice.

The Crime Bill of 1994 super-charged mass incarceration; the great economic boom of the 1990s didn’t reach millions of poor and working-class black men; and welfare reform couldn’t protect poor women in the recession that followed. And the lax regulation of the Clinton years helped fill a financial bubble that tanked the global economy and destroyed black wealth. …

Indeed.

But Bernie Sanders has been singled out as the one to scapegoat as not being nearly good enough on black issues. (It’s true that Vermont, which Sanders has represented in Congress for decades, is in the top-three whitest states, but that isn’t exactly Bernie’s fault, and that doesn’t mean that Bernie isn’t an inclusive politician. I mean, how to explain the many white supremacists in the South if your argument is that one must be around a lot of black Americans in order not to be a white, anti-black racist?)

Recently Bernie was asked if he supports reparations for black Americans. (I’m pretty sure that no one has dared to ask Queen Billary this question. [If so, I haven’t seen it reported anywhere.]) Bernie responded:

No, I don’t think so. First of all, its likelihood of getting through Congress is nil. Second of all, I think it would be very divisive. The real issue is when we look at the poverty rate among the African-American community, when we look at the high unemployment rate within the African-American community, we have a lot of work to do.

So I think what we should be talking about is making massive investments in rebuilding our cities, in creating millions of decent-paying jobs, in making public colleges and universities tuition-free, basically targeting our federal resources to the areas where it is needed the most and where it is needed the most is in impoverished communities, often African-American and Latino.

Bernie is quite correct; there is no way in hell, of course, that reparations for black Americans would pass Congress any congressional session soon, and our best and probably our only politically possible avenue to try to reverse the lingering effects of slavery and its aftermath is to try to help significantly all of those who are struggling (which is what democratic socialism, to which I subscribe, is all about).

And, of course, there is no viable presidential candidate currently publicly supporting reparations. (Certainly the Repugnican Lite Billary Clinton is not!) No one wins the White House without enough of the “swing voters,” the “independents,” and one sure way to lose them is to publicly support reparations. That’s the ugly political reality for now and for some time to come, as best as I can discern it.

(Indeed, there was a time until quite recently when publicly supporting same-sex marriage, which only this past June finally was declared to be a constitutional right, at least was perceived as a sure way to lose the White House — ask Barack Obama and Billary Clinton, who didn’t publicly support same-sex marriage, at least on the national stage, until 2012 and 2013, respectively.)

For the record, I support reparations for the American descendants of slaves on principle,** even though I don’t know how slavery that went on for generations and the continued race-based oppression that for generations has followed slavery’s official end ever could be made anything even remotely approaching right.

But actual, non-theoretical reparations would have to be doled out in the real world, and I don’t see how that could be done fairly and justly. (That important consideration should have been part of Bernie’s answer to the question about his support for reparations for black Americans, and it is unfortunate that it was not, in my not-so-humble opinion.)

Yes, Japanese Americans in the late 1980s received some reparation for their internment during World War II; but World War II was much more recent than was American slavery, which ended, at least legally, a full 150 years ago. It was much easier to prove which individual, still-living Japanese Americans had been wronged by the U.S. government than it ever could be to sort out which black Americans alive today are the descendants of slaves and to calculate how much the damage of slavery set them back in their lives of today.

On that note, how, exactly, would we determine who gets reparations and who pays those reparations (and how much)?

Barack Obama, to name one prominent example, and who knows how many other black Americans are not the descendants of slaves. Would they get reparations because white privilege nonetheless affects them also?

Should I have to pay reparations (that is, anything above and beyond any reparations that would be paid for from all Americans’ tax dollars, as the Japanese-American internment camp reparations of $20,000 per individual were paid for) because I’m a white man?

I’m white, but I’ve never heard of any of my ancestors having lived in the deep South. My parents’ families moved to Arizona no later than in the 1950s from Missouri and from Texas. (Texas usually but not always is considered to be part of the South, but I consider it to be more a part of the Southwest, which is not to say that it’s not an incredibly backasswards state, because it is, and both Texas and Missouri were slave states at the time of the Civil War.)

Nor have I ever heard of any remarkably rich forebears of mine (I would think that if there had been any filthy-rich whiteys in my family’s history, I would have heard about it by now), and I certainly never have heard of any actual slave-owning forebears of mine. But even if I do have any Southern forebears, this PBS educational resource states:

The standard image of Southern slavery is that of a large plantation with hundreds of slaves. In fact, such situations were rare. Fully three-fourths of Southern whites did not even own slaves; of those who did, 88 percent owned 20 or fewer. Whites who did not own slaves were primarily yeoman farmers.

Practically speaking, the institution of slavery did not help these people. And yet most non-slaveholding white Southerners identified with and defended the institution of slavery. Though many resented the wealth and power of the large slaveholders, they aspired to own slaves themselves and to join the privileged ranks.

In addition, slavery gave the farmers a group of people to feel superior to. They may have been poor, but they were not slaves, and they were not black. They gained a sense of power simply by being white.

I wholly acknowledge this sociopoliticoeconomic phenomenon of white privilege. White privilege incontrovertibly is, as they say, a thing.

But where it comes to doling out reparations in a way that is just, equitable and fair – even assuming that Congress would pass and that the president would sign such legislation – again, how, exactly, do we determine who receives and who gives, and how much? Could it be the case that if I’m white I’m automatically “guilty” and therefore I must dole something out (above and beyond my normal tax dollars, I mean)? Could it more or less come to that? Wouldn’t that be just another form of racial profiling? Is that racial profiling actually “justice”?

I mean, I hope that I have no slave owner as a forebear, whether he or she owned “just” one slave or many slaves, but if even I don’t know whether I do or not, how could you know? No, you (the advocate for white people paying reparations) primarily or even solely would be going off of the color of my skin – something that you say is wrong.

In any event, even Barack Obama never publicly has stated that he supports reparations, so why is Bernie Sanders being burned at the stake for his truthful, honest answer on the issue?

That mostly was a rhetorical question, but I’ll answer it anyway: I believe that Bernie Sanders is perceived by the Only Black Lives Matter slacktivists and their sympathizers as just another old white man (and all old white men, and all white men, in general, of course, are bad, you see – not that that’s a racist notion or anything), even though it wasn’t until relatively recently in American history that Jews like Bernie were even included in the definition of “white” (and again, even though liberal Jews have been instrumental in positive social change in the United States).

So it’s anti-white black racism (yes, just like white privilege and anti-black white racism, that is a thing, too) and it’s toxic identity politics: BernieSoWhite! (He shouldn’t be white, you see, but, if he must be white, he must feel awful and guilty about it, and he must be perpetually apologetic about the fact that he was born with pale skin, you see. [Really, get with the new race politics already! It’s not your Grandpappy’s civil rights movement anymore!])

The bottom line is that Bernie Sanders’ proposals, if manifested, would lift all boats. He is advocating for all Americans.

Political weather vane on crack Billary Clinton, on the other hand, pays lip service to certain historically oppressed groups, such as women, blacks and other racial minorities and gay men and lesbians, in a cynical (and quite successful) ploy for their campaign cash and their votes. (I feel a blog piece about the establishmentarian, calcified Planned Parenthood’s and the establishmentarian, calcified Human Rights Campaign’s stupidly, blindly recently having endorsed Billary for the White House coming on, but I won’t give birth to it today.)

Nothing in Billary’s political history (or her husband’s) indicates that in exchange for their votes (and their campaign donations), she’ll actually do very much for the downtrodden. (After all, she is quite comfortable!) She’s even more or less promising to be the third and perhaps even the fourth term of the fairly do-nothing Obama administration.

I don’t know if our nation and our planet can survive another four or eight years of much happy talk without much actual action (although, to her credit, perhaps, compared to Obama circa 2008, Billary has cut down, way down, on the happy, hopey-changey talk).

I believe that as president, Bernie Sanders would try to lift all boats (well, not any of the yachts). How much success he would have in the face of mind-blowingly-well-funded political opposition to an actually aggressively progressive political agenda I don’t know.

As president he would need, as he has said repeatedly, enough Americans, millions of Americans, rallying behind him to push through a progressive agenda in a Congress that long has been beholden to Big Money. And Americans’ favorite pastime is to sit on our asses and complain while we let someone else do all of the work.

But I believe that as president Bernie Sanders would try, and would try hard. (What I have held against Obama the most is that I don’t believe that, even with both houses of Congress in the Democrats’ control in 2009 and 2010, he even much tried to push through a progressive agenda, when he still could have; after the House of Representatives went to the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in the election of 2010, the window of opportunity slammed shut for the remainder of Obama’s time in the White House.)

So: Which is the true “white supremacist liberal” – the presidential candidate whose actual history and political ideology actually indicates that he truly would try hard for all Americans, especially downtrodden Americans, or the pro-corporate, pro-plutocratic candidate whose actual history and political ideology indicates that she promises one thing for political gain but then does another – and who lectures us at length on what can’t be done, tries to induce us to accept her unacceptable incrementalism, all the while neglecting to tell us that she won’t even try to do these things she promises because it would upset her Big Political Donors if she dared?

Kudos, though, I suppose, to Billary for her Machiavellian success in duping the majority of black Americans into believing that she would be our “third” “black” president (recall that Bill Clinton was our “first black president,” which, I suppose, would make Obama our “second,” and Billary, by marriage, our “third”).

Again, Billary similarly has duped many if not most feminists (hello, Planned Parenthood!) and gay men and lesbians (hello, Human Rights Campaign, whose initials just coinky-dinkily happen to be Billary’s, too!) into believing that she would be better for them than Bernie Sanders would be, and/or that while she can win the White House, Sanders cannot. (The polls say quite otherwise – indeed, they have Sanders doing better than Billary against Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio – and they say otherwise because while Queen Billary is largely despised by the American electorate as a whole, Bernie is not.)

Black Americans have the right to embrace Billary Clinton and by so doing to vote against their own best interests and to shoot themselves in the foot, and they have the right to hold out on Bernie Sanders if they wish. (Goddess knows that I’m holding out on Billary – I won’t give her a penny and certainly not my vote, no matter which demon emerges from the fire and brimstone as the Repugnican Tea Party’s presidential candidate.)

But black Americans who call themselves Democrats (or who tend to side with Democrats, anyway) reject Bernie Sanders primarily if not solely because he’s an older white man — not because as president Billary would do more for black Americans than would Bernie. Because, of course, she would not. (Again, she is promising a continuation of the Obama years, under which, ironically, most black Americans’ lives have not improved much at all.)

Let’s at least be honest about that much.

Update (Friday, January 22, 2016): Slate.com’s Jamelle Bouie returns to this topic today. Among many other things, he notes:

… The Sanders revolution is multiracial and multicultural, but — like any political victory in present-day America — it depends on white Americans. It’s why he can’t support reparations. They’re too alienating to the white voters he needs to transform the nation’s politics. …

Yup.

To blame Bernie Sanders for this fact — to criticize him for not promising or even proposing something that no other viable presidential candidate would dare to even propose — is patently unjust and unfair bullshit. He does operate within political constraints.

(Bouie correctly adds that “it’s important to see that the forces that make reparations impossible can also, in diminished but powerful form, curtail [Bernie’s progressive] agenda too.” Absolutely. That doesn’t mean that you don’t try to push a progressive agenda [which apparently is Billary’s “strategy” — to not even try], but it does mean that you be aware of the potential roadblocks, that you remain aware of your political reality.)

That Bernie so often is singled out for special criticism while others — perhaps especially Billary Clinton — get off scot-free for the same exact “sin” — contributes to my strong sense that many if not even most of Bernie’s critics on racial (and some other) issues just don’t like him primarily because he’s not of their own race and/or gender.

Again: It’s toxic identity politics more than it’s anything else.

*Yes, the tone and the stance of many if not most of the Black Lives Matter “activists” apparently is that they care only about the welfare of their own group, the selfishness and short-sightedness of which is pretty fucking off-putting. (I, a gay man, for example, apparently am expected to be markedly gung-ho for the Black Lives Matter slacktivists when they historically haven’t been very supportive of my rights. Um, yeah, support needs to be a two-way street.)

And because most members of the Only Black Lives Matter crowd are sad imitations of those who came before them, and are burning bridges instead of building them, therefore apparently doing more damage than good on the whole, I can only think of them as slacktivists. Real activism is hard, selfless work — it’s not reckless, selfish, short-sighted hit jobs.

**Ta-Nehesi Coates, an advocate of reparations (perhaps the most well-known such advocate), proclaims most recently on his platform, The Atlantic:

… Reparations is not one possible tool against white supremacy. It is the indispensable tool against white supremacy. One cannot propose to plunder a people, incur a moral and monetary debt, propose to never pay it back, and then claim to be seriously engaging in the fight against white supremacy. …

I agree with at least some of this, but again: Reparations are one thing in theory, as an abstraction. But what about practicality? In practicality, we’d have to determine many things:

Who pays reparations and who does not? And how much do those who must pay reparations pay? Would these reparations come out of the U.S. Treasury, so that everyone who pays federal taxes pays reparations (meaning that many if not most black Americans would be funding at least part of their own reparations…), and/or would we (try to) extract reparations from those whom we deem especially guilty, perhaps certain corporations and certain wealthy individuals, especially if there is a clear link to their and/or their forebears’ having profiteered from slavery in the past?

Or is it good enough that if you’re white you “owe” reparations — because white privilege?

And who receives the reparations? Do they have to prove that an ancestor was a slave? (If so, what constitutes adequate proof?) Or is it good enough that they are black and that blacks are victims of white privilege? And how do the recipients of reparations receive their reparations? A check or a debit card from the federal government, I presume, but would it be one lump sum or would it come in installments? Would there be any limitations on how the reparations could be spent, or would they simply be payouts to be spent by the recipients as they wish?

Do I, a gay man, receive any reparations because it was not until just this past June that the U.S. Supreme Court finally ruled that it is my constitutional right to marry a member of my own sex? Do I receive reparations for that oppression and for other anti-gay treatment that I have received during my life?

Can I get reparations from the 70 percent of black Californians who voted in favor of the now-unconstitutional-we-know anti-same-sex-marriage Proposition Hate in November 2008?

How am I to be made whole after I spent 47 years as a second-class citizen whose constitutional guarantee of equality under the law routinely was shit and pissed upon by the heterosexual, heterosexist, homophobic majority?

I’m not being flippant; aren’t there a lot of groups of people out there — women (who couldn’t vote everywhere in the nation until 1920and do we issue back pay to millions and millions of women for the gender pay gap that still exists today?), Latinos (whom also have been chronically underpaid for their work, whom millions of Americans [mostly right-wing whites] don’t want to vote today [claiming that if you are Latino you’re probably an “illegal”] and who now are the nation’s largest racial minority), Native Americans (’nuff said), non-heterosexuals, non-gender-conforming individuals, atheists, Jews, Muslims, et. al., et. al. — who have a valid claim to reparations?

If we give black Americans reparations, then out of fairness don’t we also owe reparations to other historically oppressed groups of people?

These are not teeny-tiny questions. And in a democracy, especially one as messy as ours, what kind of agreement could we get on the answers to these questions?

These are my problems with the proposal of reparations for black Americans, and I suspect that they are Bernie Sanders’, too.

But it’s easier, and more politically convenient — and certainly more dramatic — to just claim that Bernie and his supporters are “white supremacist liberals”!

Especially when the main problem that the Only Black Lives Matter slacktivists (many if not most of them very apparently black supremacists themselves) have with Bernie and with his white supporters is that we were born white.

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Repugnican Tea Party’s post-2012 ‘autopsy’ sorely needs an autopsy

FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2015 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks in Little Rock, Ark. August is typically one of the worst fundraising months for any politician. But it was Ben Carson’s best yet. The political novice, a retired neurosurgeon seeking the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, raised $6 million, doubling his July total, his campaign told the Associated Press on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)

Associated Press photo

“Christo”fascist presidential wannabe Ben Carson, who doesn’t want to be left behind in the far-right-wing Parade of Hate that is the 2016 Repugnican Tea Party presidential primary fight, today proclaimed that no Muslim ever should be president of the United States. (Carson has yet to come out against theocracy by “Christians”…)

Remember the post-2012-presidential-election “autopsy” of the Repugnican Tea Party? The clarion call for a kinder and gentler party so that the fascists would stop losing presidential elections by offending the majority of Americans?

Let’s see:

Since that “autopsy,” we have had Donald Trump refer to immigrants from Mexico as criminals and rapists whom We Must Keep Out of the United States with A Great Wall.

We have had Carly Fiorina lie about the existence of a grisly abortion video as well as by doing so perpetrate and perpetuate the blatant lie that most abortions are late-term abortions. Per the Centers for Disease Control (for the last year for which data is available):

The majority of abortions in 2011 took place early in gestation. In 2011, most abortions (91.4 percent) were performed at ≤13 weeks’ gestation; a smaller number of abortions (7.3 percent) were performed at 14–20 weeks’ gestation, and even fewer (1.4 percent) were performed at ≥21 weeks’ gestation. In 2011, 19.1 percent of all abortions were medical abortions.

So per the CDC, more than 90 percent of abortions are performed in the first trimester. I surmise that the majority of the 19 percent of abortions performed for medical reasons account for those abortions performed past the first trimester. Yes, the life of the mother overrides the life of the fetus when it unfortunately comes to that.

Further, per the CDC, the number of abortions performed in the United States fell from 2002 to 2011, representing “historic lows.” Abortions in the U.S. have been dropping, not increasing. (But even if they’d been increasing, abortion rights are protected by the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled decades ago.)

But Carly Fiorina demonstrates amply that women are men’s equal, at least where it comes to shamelessly lying through her fangs for personal political gain — even though her blatant lies hurt many real people.

Although Fiorina in junior-high-school fashion called Donald Trump out during their last debate for his apparent misogyny by having commented negatively about her looks in junior-high-school fashion, Fiorina herself in 2010, during her disastrously losing campaign for Barbara Boxer’s U.S. Senate seat for California (replete with The. Worst. Political. Ad. Ever.), in junior-high-school fashion was caught on a live television camera criticizing Boxer’s hairstyle as being “sooo yesterday.”

Only women may immaturely attack other women’s looks, you see. That’s “feminism.”

We have had Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabes Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz rush to the side of Kentuckian “Christo”fascist Kim Davis, who became the “Christo”fascists’ “hero” for having refused to follow the U.S. Supreme Court’s order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the nation’s highest court ruled in June that same-sex marriage is protected by the rights enumerated within the U.S. Constitution.

Yes, Kim Davis is a real Gandhi, a real Martin Luther King Jr. (to whom Huckabee actually compared Davis, even though MLK had been jailed for fighting for people’s equal human and civil rights, whereas the “Christo”fascist Davis had been put in jail for her refusal as a government official to honor people’s equal human and civil — indeed, constitutional — rights; yeah, MLK and Kim Davis are just two peas in a righteous pod!).

So let’s see: After the “autopsy” calling for a Repugnican Tea Party that alienates fewer groups, the party has alienated Latinos, the largest non-white racial group in the nation. They have alienated women, who comprise just more than half of all Americans. They have alienated us non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals and our close allies (surely, that would comprise at least 10 percent of the nation).

The anti-labor-union, anti-working-class, pro-plutocrat Scott Walker, who for years now has had the billionaires’ hands up his ass like a sock puppet, has alienated the (admittedly shrinking) population of Americans who belong to labor unions and those who love them.

Yes, in his increasing desperation (he was supposed to be a front runner for his fascistic party’s presidential nomination, you see), he has vowed to destroy all federal government labor unions — indeed, all unions throughout the nation, if he can. (He’s been saying this at least since May, but no one’s really been listening, since the charisma-free Walker has yet to catch fire on the national stage and very apparently never will. [Although if he literally wants to catch fire on a stage or anywhere else, that’s perfectly fine with me.])

But seriously, it’s too bad that the “cause” of destroying labor unions that the Koched-up Walker exploited for his own personal political gain (at great harm to many other people) in Wisconsin hasn’t translated nationally; no, the group of people on whom we’re hating and turning into scapegoats for all of the nation’s ills today primarily is Latino immigrants. As Carly Fiorina might put it, Walker’s anti-labor-union rhetoric, which he’d thought would take him right to the White House, is sooo yesterday!

The electoral loss of these groups of Americans alone is enough to doom the Repugnican Tea Party to the dustbin of U.S. history, where it belongs, but that’s only a partial list, of course.

The group to hate du jour — literally today, this day — is Muslims.

Donald Trump of course declined to correct a mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging fucktard who at one of Trump’s Nazi/KKK rallies recently declared that “we have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims. We know our current president is one. You know he’s not even an American.”

Donald Trump never is going to take the high ground, people. He’s a modern-day Adolf Hitler wannabe. When did Hitler ever correct any of the white supremacist, jingoist, xenophobic, fascistic haters who surrounded him?

No, these are supposed to be rallies of the like-minded.

(Whether or not Trump actually believes his own neo-Nazi rhetoric is fairly pointless; the damage that he is causing by trying to bring about a neo-Nazi Party of which he is the leader/Führer is done whether he truly buys his own hate-filled, far-right-wing bullshit or not.)

Not to be outdone in hating on Muslims, Ben Carson, the very odd combo of retired neurosurgeon and abject “Christo”fascist who for a while now has been in second place in the polling for the Repugnican Tea Party presidential nomination, today issued the fatwa that no Muslim should be president of the United States of America because Islam is antithetical to the U.S. Constitution.

Never mind that it rapes the U.S. Constitution in the ass with ground glass as lube to assert that one’s mere membership in a religious group is enough to disqualify him or her from running for office.

What about Mittens Romney’s being a Mormon? Frankly, I personally find the idea of a U.S. president who is a practicing Mormon to be more disturbing than the idea of an American Muslim president.

I say that because it depends on the individual whom we’re talking about. I have little to no doubt that Mittens Romney’s allegiance first and foremost is to the cabal of old white men who run the theocratic Mormon cult in Salt Lake City. I have little to no doubt that Romney personally puts the Mormon cult and its theocracy above the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. government.

That’s how Mormons are raised. Their very lives depend upon it, as their families’ acceptance of them hinges on their obeisance to the cult. When your physiological and other basic human needs (Google “Abraham Maslow”) depend upon your obeisance to the cult, you’re going to obey the cult.

How many American Muslims truly wish to impose Sharia law on the United States, if that is what Ben Carson was blathering about today? I haven’t known many Muslims — which probably is because they are only about 1 percent of the American population (and about a quarter of them are native-born black Americans who have converted to Islam) — but I don’t see that they have nearly the numbers necessary to impose Sharia law on the United States of America even if 99.999999999 percent of them wanted to.

I surmise that most American Muslims aren’t radical, but are fairly moderate to even fairly secular. Really, how could they stand to live in the United States if they weren’t?

And as a gay American man, I am not seeing Muslim government officials refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses. I’m seeing “Christo”fascist government officials refusing to do so, so I’m much more concerned about a “Christo”fascist takeover of the U.S. than I at all am concerned that Sharia law ever will become the new law of the land.

There are far, far more “Christo”fascists in the U.S. than there are “Islamofascists.” It would be a mistake to ignore the homegrown “Christo”fascist domestic enemy while focusing instead on the supposed “Islamofascist” “threat.”

I much would rather see a secular Muslim in the White House than I’d ever want someone like Ben Carson or Mike Huckabee or Ted Cruz (or Mittens the Mormon millionaire) in the White House. Because the issue isn’t nearly so much the content of the religion that we’re talking about, but how much one who is in power (or wishes to have more power) wishes to impose his or her religious beliefs upon the rest of us.

That is the problem — when theofascists just can’t/won’t keep their hateful, insane, dangerous dogmas to themselves, but wish to shove them down our throats, a la theocrat Kim Davis and those who publicly support her, including theocratic Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabes.

Where it comes to religion I am equal opportunity; I couldn’t support a right-wing Jew for president, either, because I can’t see a right-wing Jew keeping his or her right-wing religious ideology out of his or her governance.

Bernie Sanders, my chosen 2016 presidential candidate, was born to Jewish parents, but from his biography I gather that he’s quite secular, that he understands how critical is the separate between church and state, so he doesn’t frighten me in the least. I don’t see at all that Sanders has a hidden agenda of imposing Jewish law (which, I guess from my quick Internet research, is called “halakhah”) upon the land once in the Oval Office.

(Oh, God — I probably just gave the wingnuts [and perhaps even the Billary Clinton campaign] an idea… Jews, by the way, are no more than 2 percent or 3 percent of the American population, so I don’t envision a Jewish takeover of the nation, either. [Mormons are only about 2 percent of the American population, but they’re homegrown and they’re significantly more fundamentalist and theocratic than are American Jews or American Muslims, in my observation and experience.])

At any rate, regardless of my views of someone’s religious affiliation, he or she may run for the office of president of the United States of America if he or she meets the qualifications and requirements laid out in the U.S. Constitution, none of which is a religious test.

Realistically, at least up to today in U.S. history, no candidate who has not at least has claimed affiliation with Christianity has made it to the White House, so while there is no religious test imposed on the presidency by the Constitution, of course there is one imposed by public opinion. The Constitution may not get to discriminate, but of course all of us voters get to discriminate at the ballot box. (Indeed, voting is all about discrimination, in the broader definition of the term, which is “the ability or power to see or make fine distinctions; discernment.”)

Just as Ben Carson and his ilk never would vote for a Muslim (while hypocritically having no problem whatsoever with the fact that throughout our nation’s history you must at least have claimed to be a Christian in order to be elected president), I never would vote for a “Christo”fascist and theocrat like Ben Carson or Mike Huckabee or Ted Cruz or Prick Santorum, all of whom are running for the White House on the Repugnican Tea Party side, along with other right-wing nut jobs who if they aren’t religious themselves are careful not to alienate the “Christo”fascists, whose votes they want. (Yes, even Donald Trump pays lip service to the ” Christian” “God,” even though he apparently thinks that he is higher than that deity.)

I’m not Muslim — I don’t believe in a Zeus-like deity any more than I believe in Santa Claus, the Easter bunny or the tooth fairy, so I’m not Muslim, Jewish or Christian — but I have a real fucking problem with any minority being shit and pissed upon and made into scapegoats by far-right, white-supremacist, nationalist thugs, as was done in Nazi Germany.

This truly patriotic American says to that, a return to the sociopolitical environment of Nazi Germany here in the United States of America: Over my dead body.

P.S. While the Repugnican Tea Party traitors always will be Islamophobes, I expect the focus of their hatred to return soon to “the illegals,” that is, to Latino immigrants (and, by extension, to Latinos in general). This is because there are far more Latinos in the U.S. than there are Muslims, so Latinophobia is an easier sell than is Islamophobia (many more right-wing white Americans routinely see Latinos than routinely see Muslims), yet Latinos still are outnumbered significantly by whites in the U.S., so the white right wing considers it still to be safe to bash them.

Also, of course, I expect Donald Trump to remain in the race for a while, and I don’t expect his main focus of hatred (which is something like the evil gaze of the evil Eye of Sauron) to switch from Latinos to another minority group.

The Repugnican Tea Party does indeed have a Big Tent — its adherents hate Latinos and most other non-whites, feminists, progressives, non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals, intellectuals, labor-union members, Muslims and other non-“Christians,” non-capitalists, pacifists, et. al., et. al. — but I expect anti-Latino-immigrant sentiment to remain the centerpiece of the 2016 Repugnican Tea Party presidential race. I do believe that His Royal Highness the Trumpster has set the tone for his party for this presidential election cycle.

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To plutocratic traitor Trump and his racist ilk, Latinos are the new Jews

A Mexican client who lives in the U.S., looks at a pinata depicting U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump hanging outside a workshop in Reynosa

Reuters photo

A pinata of racist scumbag and Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate Donald Trump hangs in front of a pinata shop in Reynosa, Mexico, last month, in response to Trump’s recent derogatory statements about Mexicans who come to the United States. Can’t we string up and beat the holy living shit out of the real thing?

Repugnican Tea Party presidential aspirant Donald Trump infamously said this in his big presidential campaign announcement speech last month:

… The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems. [Applause from his audience, which apparently included individuals who were paid $50 a piece to hoot and holler and cheer. There’s nothing that money can’t buy, including “grass-roots” “supporters.”] Thank you. It’s true… When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. … [“You,” I presume, would be (mostly if not entirely) white people who are “good” because they support Trump (or are willing to be paid to “support” Trump).] They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems [with them]. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people. …

You know, asserting that “some … are good people” doesn’t make up for the fact that you essentially just called an entire class of people drug dealers, criminals and rapists. (And of course Mexico isn’t “send[ing] its people” to the United States; they are coming here on their own.)

Of course Donald Trump speaks for the majority of the white-supremacist Repugnican Tea Party set, who view Mexicans and others from Latin America (whom they usually just lump all together as “Mexicans”) as The Brown Menace from South of the Border.

It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Here in California, one of four states that share the border with Mexico, not only are there more Latinos (citizens and non-citizens) than there are in any other state in the nation (Texas comes in at a distant second place and Florida at an even more distant third place), but recently the number of Latinos has surpassed the number of whites in California, by about 14.99 million Latinos to about 14.92 million whites.

Yet here in California, we — the majority of us of all races — don’t believe that we have a “Latino problem.” If any state could claim to have such a “problem,” it would be California, but again, to us it’s not a “problem.”

Of course with the sheer number of Latinos in California, some, a minority of them, are going to commit some crimes — just as all members of all races in California commit crimes. So it is unfortunate that so soon after Trump’s racist, anti-Mexican comments, a 45-year-old man from Mexico who had been deported from the United States five times, reportedly, on Wednesday bizarrely shot and killed a 32-year-old white woman at a popular tourist spot in San Francisco in broad daylight for no apparent reason other than that he wanted to kill someone.

As was predictable, Trump yesterday shamelessly used this rare, bizarre incident to retroactively justify his anti-Mexican comments of last month. He added that “The American people deserve a wall” along the U.S. border with Mexico, so that, presumably, the United States would be like One Huge Gated Community, which the white supremacists among us would love.

However, having lived in northern California since 1998, I can tell you that we do not have an epidemic of undocumented (or documented) Mexicans (or other Latinos) shooting to death our precious young white women (in broad daylight or under the cover of darkness). Or raping them, either.

Quite presumably the 45-year-old Mexican man is mentally ill, and a sufficiently mentally ill person of any demographic can kill someone. You don’t point to one incident as “proof” that an entire race of people are guilty as you have charged.

I mean, certainly, because white-supremacist punk-ass Dylann Storm Roof premeditatedly gunned down nine black Americans in their own church in Charleston, South Carolina, last month, that doesn’t mean that all white men are cold-blooded mass murderers — does it?

No, to racists and white supremacists like Donald Trump and his ilk and those who love and support them, it’s always members of other races who are the “criminals” and the “rapists” and the “drug dealers.”

But I get it: The treasonous plutocrats’ and corporatocrats’ worst nightmare is that the American masses finally wake up, realize that our true enemies are the plutocrats and corporatocrats among us — the mostly-hidden-from-view 1 percent (which includes, of course, billionaire Trump) who treasonously have been decimating the American middle class and the working class for decades now — and that we will come for them.

So these plutocratic traitors like Trump must demonize relatively powerless minority groups as the “true” “enemy,” the “truly” “evil” “other.” We saw this dynamic in Nazi Germany. (More recently, we saw it with the unelected George W. Bush regime’s demonization of Middle Easterners [as well as of non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals, who also were a target of the Nazis, of course].)

And that’s why I stand up for my Latino brothers and sisters when they are bashed: I won’t let them become the neo-Nazis’ next Jews.

The vast majority of Latinos in the United States of America are law-abiding, hard-working, productive individuals (citizens or not) without whom the United States would be in deep shit.

The United States of America’s biggest problems — including climate change; gross income inequality that further shrinks what’s left of the middle class day by day; plutocracy (including, of course, elections that are bought and paid for by the billionaires [like Trump]); unaffordable, for-profit health care; unaffordable, for-profit higher education; and a crumbling infrastructure (due in no small part because the plutocrats treasonouly refuse to pay their fair share of taxes) — aren’t caused by the impoverished peoples who come from south of the border seeking better lives for themselves and their loved ones.

No, the lion’s share of our nation’s problems are caused by the greedy, treasonous, mostly white, filthy-rich fucks from within — like Donald Trump — who have been bleeding us dry for decades. If we’re going to build protective walls, let’s build such walls entirely around them to protect ourselves from them.

A better idea, of course, comes from Mexico: stringing the treasonous plutocrats up like pinatas and beating them until their brains spill out on the ground like pieces of candy.

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NO ONE actually is shoving bacon-wrapped shrimp down your throat

Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabe Mike Huckabee compares the legalization of same-sex marriage to forcing Jewish delis to serve bacon-wrapped shrimp, but a more apt comparison would be a bacon-wrapped shrimp restaurant refusing to serve non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals because the owners hate non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals…

Weren’t the Repugnican Tea Partiers going to be kinder and gentler after Mittens Romney lost to Barack Obama in November 2012?

When it comes to non-heterosexuals and the non-gender-conforming, the Repugnican Tea Partiers are demonstrating amply that they don’t care whether they still can win presidential elections or not.

Repugnican Tea Party Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (whose surname always has struck me as a bit, um, Brokeback…) recently reinstated allowable discrimination against non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming state employees (such discrimination had been outlawed in 2007 by his Democratic predecessor). There was no reason to do this (in Brokeback – er, Brownback’s – fifth year into his governorship) except for hatred, bigotry, mean-spiritedness and spite.

Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabe Mike Huckabee (former governor of the wonderful state of Arkansas [cue the banjo; the lynching is about to begin!]) recently declared that expecting “Christo”fascists to accept others’ same-sex marriages is like forcing Jews to serve “bacon-wrapped shrimp” in their delis.

Wow.

How does ordained Southern Baptist minister Mike Huckabee know about the gay sex act that we faggots call wrapping the shrimp in bacon?

Anyway, Huckabee, of course, compares apples to oranges.

Same-sex marriages aren’t literally being forced upon others. If your own backasswards religious belief is that same-sex marriage is contrary to God’s wishes, then don’t marry someone of your sex (which, of course, no one is forcing you to do). It’s pretty fucking simple.

However, you don’t get to fucking force your fucktarded, backasswards, Dark-Ages-era religious beliefs upon others, and you don’t get to claim that others exercising their constitutionally guaranteed freedoms, such as the freedom to marry whom they wish to marry, because such an exercise of such a freedom is offensive to you, somehow violates your rights.

I find “Christo”fascists to be dangerous. I see little difference between these theofascists here at home and the theofascists of ISIS. The only difference between American theofascists and the theofascists of ISIS is that the theofascists of ISIS are doing what the “Christo”fascists would do here at home if they could.

I find “Christo”fascists to be incredibly offensive, but do I get to claim that because I find their very existence to be deeply offensive to me, they lose their First-Amendment right of the freedom to be religious fucktards?

No, I don’t. And it works both ways.

As far as businesses serving the diverse members of the public goes I bring this up because of the same-sex-wedding-cake “controversy” and Huckabee’s having brought up a Jewish place of business, the deli – it long has been established (by Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) that businesses serving the general public legally may not refuse to serve customers based upon those customers’ race, color, religion or national origin. (Yes, sexual orientation needs to be added to that list of protected classes, and so should gender and gender expression. [That said, if you refuse to treat others as you would want to be treated because they’re not on the list of protected classes, you’re not much of a Christian, are you?])

If you hate Jews or Mormons or atheists, if you find their beliefs to be offensive to your own religious beliefs, you may not legally refuse to serve them in your place of business if it’s open to the public because of their beliefs. Does this prohibition against discrimination violate your First-Amendment rights? The Civil Rights Act of 1964, which has not been struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court as unconsitutional, says that it doesn’t.

As a gay man, I’d never hire a (known-to-me) homophobe to make my wedding cake (the Old Testament has no prohibition against the serving or the eating of wedding cake, I’ll add), but what does it harm a wedding-cake business to make any wedding cake for anyone? You’re not forcing the wedding-cake business owner or employee to make a cake for his or her own forced same-sex marriage, are you? The wedding-cake business gets to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples and be homophobic at the same time. The wedding-cake business’ precious homophobia is not threatened at all; it gets to remain intact.

And in Alabama (cue the banjo again), which is just a hop, a skip and a jump from Huckabee’s Arkansas, state Supreme Court Chief “Justice” Ray Moore claims that Alabama does not have to follow a federal court’s recent ruling that the U.S. Constitution mandates that the state must allow same-sex marriages.

Wow.

Every state in the Union must follow the federal judiciary’s rulings. That’s how our constitutional government is set up. For a lesser jurisdiction to refuse to follow the federal judiciary is tantamount to treason. While I doubt that we’ll end up sending in the troops to Alabama, as we’ve had to do before* when an elected official (a stupid white man, of course) defied a federal court’s civil-rights-related order, Alabama does not get to remain in the Union and defy the orders of the federal judiciary. (And if we need to send in the troops again, in Alabama or in any other treasonous state, we should.)

Roy Moore needs to be removed from his post – again. (Yes, he was removed from the bench before, in 2003, for refusing, as state Supreme Court chief “justice,” to follow a federal court’s order to remove an illegal/unconstitutional monument of the Ten Commandments – a monument that he commissioned – from the grounds of the Alabama Judicial Building, which contains the state’s Supreme Court and other courts. He never should have been allowed back on the bench.**)

And, again, because it’s worth repeating: No one is forcing anyone to serve or to eat bacon-wrapped shrimp. If you don’t want to serve or to eat bacon or shrimp or bacon-wrapped shrimp, whether because you believe that a non-existent, Zeus-like deity prohibits it, whether because you are a vegetarian or whether because you just don’t like these food items, then by all means, don’t.

But those of us who want to indulge in bacon-wrapped shrimp have the freedom and the right to indulge in bacon-wrapped shrimp whether our indulgence offends you or not. You don’t have to indulge – you remain perfectly free not to – but nor may you discriminate against us because we do.

That is the issue here, and until and unless the Repugnican Tea Party fucktards get a grip, they’ll continue to lose presidential elections.

P.S. As to why the “Christo”fascists remain so opposed to non-heterosexuality and non-gender-conformity, I think these are the reasons:

  • Haters always have to have at least one group of people to hate, and non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals are the last class of people who do not have widespread federal legal protections against widespread discrimination.
  • The “Christo”fascists are terrified that once you start pulling on a thread (such as the thread of homophobia) of the tattered tapestry that is their bullshit belief system, the entire tapestry will come unraveled (because it will – but then again, it already has).
  • In a patriarchy, the male is valued and the female is devalued, and for a society’s males to be (or to be considered to be) feminine thus makes them devalued, and also “weakens” the patriarchal society because the patriarchal society needs a critical mass of he-men to survive. (We no longer exactly live in tribal groups that need a critical mass of warriors, and the patriarchy has been killing this nation slowly, but that’s another blog post.)

P.P.S. Since we’re on the topic of bacon-wrapped shrimp, I will comment further that I believe former Barack Obama adviser David Axelrod’s assertion, in his new book, that Obama had fully supported same-sex marriage when he was elected president in 2008 and only pretended that he had “evolved” on the issue to the point that he finally publicly came out in support of same-sex marriage in May 2012.

“Opposition to gay marriage was particularly strong in the black church,” Axelrod reportedly wrote in his book, “and as [Obama] ran for higher office, he grudgingly accepted the counsel of more pragmatic folks like me and modified his position to support civil unions rather than marriage.”

This is entirely believable. As I’ve noted here, in 1996, when Obama was running for the senate of the state of Illinois, he responded to a questionnaire, “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.” And about 60 percent to 70 percent of black voters in California reportedly voted against same-sex marriage in 2008 (with Proposition Hate). And California is a blue state. So rampant homophobia within the black community has been a very real phenomenon. (Black homophobia apparently has eased up some since Obama’s May 2012 pro-same-sex-marriage announcement, but at the same time, bigotry dies hard, and it’s hard to know to what degree Obama’s pronouncement actually changed hearts and minds within the black community and to what degree his pronouncement just decreased public homophobic pronouncements from the black community.)

At least Axelrod very apparently takes responsibility for his share of the blame for the very apparent lie about Obama’s “evolution” on the issue of bacon-wrapped shrimp.

*As a writer for the Christian Science Monitor put it:

… At this point, there is no difference between what Roy Moore is advocating here and what George Wallace did when he stood before a doorway at the University of Alabama in an effort to prevent African-Americans from enrolling in the school notwithstanding a federal court order that this must happen. In both cases, we have a politician – and make no mistake about it, Roy Moore is acting far more like a politician than a jurist here [Alabama’s Supreme Court “justices” are elected, not appointed] – who is appealing to outright bigotry and openly defying a federal court order.

Ultimately, the Supremacy Clause [of the U.S. Constitution] tells us that the federal courts will win this dispute, but it’s rather obvious that Moore and others like him will exploit this matter as much as they can before it’s over. Meanwhile, though, at least some of Alabama ’s gay and lesbian citizens are able to take advantage of the equality under the law they are entitled to. Let’s hope it isn’t too long before that expands to the rest of the state.

If same-sex marriage doesn’t expand to the entire state of Alabama quite soon, I say: Bring in the troops. Just like we (probably) should bring in the troops against ISIS. Theofascists must never be allowed to prevail in their oppression of others.

** Moore should have been disbarred in the state of Alabama for life, in my estimation. Such disbarment would have prevented his re-election to the Alabama Supreme Court in 2012 after his 2003 removal from the post by the Alabama Court of the Judiciary.

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I am NOT Charlie Hebdo

This 2010 cover of the French publication Charlie Hebdo depicts a Muslim woman with a burqa stuffed up her ass. I, for one, wouldn’t publish such unnecessarily offensive material. Because you can doesn’t mean you should. There is an awful lot that we are free to do that we probably should not do.

First, the obligatory (but sincere) opening paragraph in which I proclaim that I support free speech on every square centimeter of the globe and that of course I do not condone the slaughter of human beings over the publication of things that some (or many or even most) have found to be offensive.

I’m sure that I’ve offended many people over the years, and I sure would prefer not to be shot to death because I’ve offended some fucktard’s precious sensibilities.

But missing in the discussion that I’ve heard and read regarding yesterday’s massacre of 12 people in Paris at or near the offices of the weekly French publication Charlie Hebdo is that the publication apparently has a frat-boy mentality (I dunno: is that a French thing?), the mentality in which other groups of human beings who differ from our own group exist only as fodder for our belittling attacks against them.

I don’t see that Charlie Hebdo’s many covers apparently meant to offend and provoke Muslims in France do anything to uplift the public debate. These covers seem to be meant to provoke and offend above all else, to shock, to scandalize, and to enrage Muslims, or, at the very least, to not give a shit if Muslims become enraged (because hey, they’re Muslims!).

“Charlie Hebdo insults all religions,” the ubiquitous Charlie-Hebdo-defending mantra goes.

Really?

Here in the United States, the equivalent cartoons, if they were about Jews, would be considered to be virulently anti-Semitic.

Why, in the West, is anti-Semitism widely condemned (and so much that isn’t actually anti-Semitic nonetheless is deemed to be “anti-Semitic”), but virulent Islamophobia so often in so many places is perfectly A-OK? (That was a rhetorical question, mostly, but I’ll answer it anyway: because in the West, Christianity and Judaism get preferential treatment. They always have.)

I don’t believe in God, so I have no dog in this race. Muslims, Jews, Christians, all (the fundamentalists among them, anyway) believe in things that I think are utter bullshit, such as ridiculous dietary restrictions (well, at least the Jews and the Muslims), creationism and other anti-scientific and anti-intellectual stances and hocus-pocus bullshit (“miracles,” virgin births, resurrections, being God’s specially chosen stenographer, etc.), patriarchy, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia and talking to a non-existent deity (a.k.a. “praying”).

Those who believe in God (as adults who should know better) more often that not are only going along to get along with the tribe that they were born into and/or want pat answers to all of the universe’s questions (and their religion gives them the veneer of having all of those answers) and/or they find the world to be a terrifying place to be and they find God to be the ultimate security blanket.

I disagree with them, and when theofascists piss and shit on my human rights, civil rights and equal rights (such as they did with Proposition H8) I will speak out, but, in general, I don’t see what good would come of my going out of my way to offend and provoke those who hold religious beliefs that I find to be ridiculous. For the most part, as long as the theists leave me (and my rights) alone, I can leave them alone.

Charlie Hebdo’s raison d’être, on the other hand, seems not to be to enlighten and to unify, but to offend and to provoke, especially Muslims, yet when the dog that it’s been stabbing with sharpened sticks for years now finally — and fairly fucking predictably — bites back in a big way, the rest of the world is supposed to feel sorry for Charlie Hebdo? Really?

I’m sorry that people were massacred over Charlie Hebdo’s low-brow, frat-boy content that, in my estimation, certainly wasn’t worth dying for. But it was preventable. The free speech that these people died for wasn’t very valuable speech, was it? A woman with a burqa stuffed up her ass? Mohammed thusly depicted:

Charlie Hebdo Muhammad cartoon

?

I won’t say “Je sui Charlie” (French for “I am Charlie”) because if I owned a weekly publication, I wouldn’t print shit like this, shit that causes more harm than good.

As an atheist on the outside looking in, I can proclaim that in the West, Muslims get the shitty end of the stick almost every time. The same individuals who preach about how we should respect their precious religious beliefs have no problem disrespecting Islam, and the Charlie Hebdo cartoons that I’ve seen of the pope and of Jews aren’t, in my estimation, likely to be nearly as offensive to Catholics and Jews as are the publication’s cartoons depicting Mohammed or Muslims to Muslims. (And, from what I can tell, the publication’s cartoons lampooning Islam are more numerous than its cartoons lampooning Christianity or Judaism.)

Charlie Hebdo repeatedly has poked the critter of Islam with a sharpened stick. In 2011, the publication’s (yeah, I just have a hard time calling it a “newspaper”) headquarters were firebombed, for fuck’s sake (the day after it published an issue calling itself “Charia Hebdo” and portraying Mohammed as a clown with a red nose).

What happened in Paris yesterday was predictable and preventable. And what was it for? For “free speech,” so many people proclaim, but no, ultimately it was for the freedom to continue to shit and piss on Muslims, including the freedom to offend them deeply in ways that are universally known to deeply offend them.

That is not a freedom that I believe is worth dying for. Defending against the spread of theofascism, whether the theofascists be abroad (such as the wonderful folks of “ISIS” [or whatever we’re calling them this week]) or at home (such as those who bomb abortion clinics and those who violate the U.S. Constitution and human, civil and equal rights when they do their damnedest to stop same-sex marriage), is worth dying for, but making unprovoked attacks upon others for their religious beliefs, no matter how ridiculous they might be? That’s not a defensive posture, that’s an offensive posture.

And yes, intentionally offending Muslims in the West is worse than is intentionally offending Christians or Jews in the West, because — duh — in the West Christians and Jews have greater numbers and greater power than do Muslims. Picking on the majority is not — not — the same as picking on an already-highly-picked-upon minority group. It takes a special kind of asshole to kick someone who’s already down.

I am not Charlie Hebdo, no matter how fashionable being Charlie Hebdo might be in the West right now.

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