Tag Archives: Racism

For too many, their main problem with Bernie Sanders remains that he is white

Updated below (on Monday, November 12, 2018)

Bernie Sanders and Andrew Gillum.

Associated Press photo

Bernie Sanders campaigned relentlessly for Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum and Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, but for too many, Bernie remains unacceptable as a Democratic Party presidential nominee because he is a white man, whether they’ll come out and say that or not.

The 2020 Democratic Party primary fight has begun, because already it’s being declared yet once again that Bernie Sanders isn’t good enough on black issues.

Before I delve into that, let me make a point: We’ve never had a Latino U.S. president (and Latinos comprise the largest non-white racial group in the United States). Or a Native American president. Or an Asian president. Or an openly non-heterosexual and/or non-gender-conforming president. Or, for fuck’s sake, even a biologically female president. We haven’t even had an openly non-“Christian” U.S. president; claiming to be a Christian, as even Pussygrabber has, always has been a prerequisite to sit in the Oval Office.

Yet many so-called Democratic voters, if the next Democratic Party presidential nominee isn’t black, are going to scoop up their marbles and go home. (Not that that is racist or black supremacist or anything…)

So the latest “controversy” that “proves” that Bernie Sanders actually is a crypto-white supremacist is a recent remark attributed to him by The Daily Beast, which reported three days ago:

Democratic officials woke Wednesday morning searching for answers as to why the party was unable to win several marquee Senate and gubernatorial races the night before.

But for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), the explanation was simple. The candidates who under-performed weren’t progressive enough; those who didn’t shy away from progressivism were undone, in part, by “racist” attacks.

“I think you know there are a lot of white folks out there who are not necessarily racist who felt uncomfortable for the first time in their lives about whether or not they wanted to vote for an African-American,” Sanders told The Daily Beast, referencing the close contests involving Andrew Gillum in Florida and Stacey Abrams in Georgia and ads run against the two. “I think next time around, by the way, it will be a lot easier for them to do that.”

Sanders wasn’t speaking as a mere observer but, rather, as someone who had invested time and reputation on many of the midterm contests. The Vermonter, who is potentially considering another bid for the presidency in 2020, mounted an aggressive campaign travel schedule over the past few months and endorsed both Abrams and Gillum. He also has a personal political investment in the notion that unapologetic, authentic progressive populism can be sold throughout the country and not just in states and districts that lean left.

Surveying the victories and the carnage of Tuesday’s results, Sanders framed it as a vindication of that vision. The candidates who performed well even though they lost, he said, offered positive progressive views for the future of their states, including Gillum, Abrams, and Texas Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke. Those who were heavily defeated, Sanders said, didn’t galvanize young voters, people of color, and typically non-active voters.

“I think you got to contrast that to the votes of conservative Democrats who did not generate a great deal of excitement within the Democratic Party,” Sanders said, alluding to a host of Senate Democrats who lost re-election on Tuesday night. “[They] did not bring the kind of new people, new energy that they needed and ended up doing quite poorly. In admittedly difficult states. Missouri and Indiana are not easy states, but neither is Florida or Georgia or Texas.” …

Sanders … credited Abrams with a “brilliant campaign” for her efforts to bring non-active Democratic voters into the electoral process. He marveled at O’Rourke’s fundraising prowess, which allowed the Texas Democrat to raise $38 million in the third quarter of this year — the largest of any Senate candidate in history — and earn more than 48 percent of the vote against incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). And he noted that Gillum helped generate turnout that led to the successful passing of Amendment 4, which will restore voting rights to 1.5 million convicted felons in Florida. [This is great news that would warrant a blog post on its own, but I can do only so much…]

“I think he’s a fantastic politician in the best sense of the word,” Sanders said of Gillum. “He stuck to his guns in terms of a progressive agenda. I think he ran a great campaign. And he had to take on some of the most blatant and ugly racism that we have seen in many, many years. And yet he came within a whisker of winning.” …

Of course the anti-Berners ignore the second paragraph (and, well, every other paragraph as well) and focus like a laser on the third, which contains the juicy quote, “I think you know there are a lot of white folks out there who are not necessarily racist who felt uncomfortable for the first time in their lives about whether or not they wanted to vote for an African-American.”

On the bare face of that, of course I disagree with it. If you are a white voter who feels uncomfortable voting for a candidate primarily or solely because the candidate is not white, then you are racist, whether you’re fully conscious of it or not. Even just an “innocent” belief that elected officials “should” be white because that’s what you are accustomed to is, of course, deeply rooted in racism.

But I don’t know exactly what Bernie meant by his statement, and therefore I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Did Bernie mean that some white Democratic primary voters, knowing how racist their states are, hesitated to vote for black candidates because they figured that they’d only lose in the general election because of the racism in their states? Not wanting to lose an election because of racism doesn’t make you racist yourself, and it seems to me that there is a good chance that this is what Bernie was trying to say, albeit woefully inartfully.

What about white voters in Georgia and Florida who didn’t vote for either Abrams or Gillum primarily because they believe that Abrams and Gillum are “socialist” and they won’t vote for a “socialist”? Or primarily because their political tribalism precludes them from voting for anyone outside of the Repugnican Party (even if they wouldn’t brand Abrams or Gillum a “socialist,” although they probably would)?

“Socialist” Bernie Sanders campaigned for Abrams and Gillum relentlessly, not just in person, but in many, many e-mails (including, of course, fundraising e-mails for them) that I received myself over the course of months. Wouldn’t that be enough to brand Abrams and Gillum “socialist” at least by association?

Is it always simply about race? Always?

It’s also possible, it seems to me, that Bernie Sanders, if he was quoted accurately by The Daily Beast, was trying to be overly diplomatic in trying to win over some white voters who tend to vote only for whites by giving them an out on the charge that they are racist — believing that if you label them as racists, of course they’ll never consider voting for you.

That’s certainly not a tack that I would take, but if that’s what Bernie was trying to do (not likely but not impossible, from what I can tell), was it unforgivable? No. I’d call it rather stupid and inadvisable, as well as unnecessary (I don’t believe in coddling racists, or that it’s politically necessary to do so), but not evil. 

Full disclosure: I am a gay white male progressive and I have given both Abrams and Gillum campaign contributions ($30 each, if you must know; how much did you give to either of them?), and I hope that they ultimately win; Florida started a recount of its gubernatorial, U.S. Senate and some other races yesterday, and in Georgia, if the finalized vote count puts Abrams’ despicable Repugnican opponent below 50.0 percent, then there will be a runoff election early next month.

I gave to Abrams and Gillum in part because they’re black in that I believe in a truly representative democracy. How soul-crushing it must be to live in Georgia, for instance, which is about a third black, and never see yourself represented in the governor’s mansion or in the U.S. Senate for your state. That’s some fucked-up shit.

But I wouldn’t have given a penny to Gillum or Abrams if they were Repugnicans (I judge you by the company that you keep!) or if they didn’t espouse progressivism but instead espoused the stand-for-nothing, do-nothing, pro-corporate centrism that the likes of DINO Claire McCaskill still espouses even though her sorry arse just got tossed from the U.S. Senate for being a worthless, milquetoast piece of shit.

I have supported Abrams and Gillum primarily because they are progressive; that they have stood a chance of making our democracy (what’s left of it, anyway) more representative of all of the people has been the icing on the cake, but not the cake itself.

That’s why I find it disturbing that so many so-called Democrats don’t care how progressive a (so-called) Democratic candidate is or is not; all that they care about is that he or she is black and calls him- or herself a Democrat.

I don’t support Kamala Harris for the White House for 2020 because as attorney general of California she was rather unremarkable and because she hasn’t been in the U.S. Senate for even two full years yet. Her getting cheeky in some Senate hearings, while laudable (and at least somewhat entertaining or at least gratifying if not entertaining), is not enough to vote for her for president in 2020.

And Cory “I Am Spartacus” Booker is just another corporate whore. As one black commentator put it early last year:

… The Democrats leading the charge against Trump must meet exacting qualifications. They have to be loyal servants of the one-percenters, of banksters, hedge funds, charter school sugar daddies and privatizers of all kinds. They must be dependable supporters of apartheid Israel, of military contractors, drone warfare and U.S. military interventions of all kinds around the world.

To boost their party’s fortunes in this new era, Democratic party spokespeople need to be gifted hypocrites willing to pose as advocates of immigrants and champions of civil liberties going forward, even though they unflinchingly supported the biggest deportation and mass surveillance regimes in history implemented by the Democrat who just left the White House. They must focus narrowly on the handful of issues on which corporate Dems actually disagree with Republicans like abortion rights, and not stray to areas which might indict their own party along with Republicans.

And they must absolve their party of responsibility for running an incompetent campaign by blaming the Russians. Hillary is history, but her big stinking tent is still there, and Democrats are crying for a “united front” against Trump, led by spokespeople who can stick to the corporate script.

Cory Booker is a great fit. …

Yup. We were punk’d by Barack Obama, who barely lifted a finger to push through a progressive agenda and who accomplished little outside of some spiffy speeches. He was dignified, sure, but he actually did next to nothing. Shame on us if we’re punk’d again by an Obama 2.0, such as Cory Booker and probably such as Kamala Harris.

On that note, The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake is out with his quasi-quarterly rankings of the competitors for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential candidates. Here are his top five now, from one to five: Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden and Cory Booker.

I find Harris’ spot at No. 3 inexplicable. She hasn’t even been well known here in my home state of California, so how she could win a presidential election eludes me entirely. I did vote in November 2016 to send her to the U.S. Senate, but she hasn’t proven herself there, as it hasn’t even been two fucking years yet.

Obama had been in the U.S. Senate for only four years of his first six-year term before he ascended to the White House (his naivete of the “Game of Thrones”-like workings of D.C. was glaring) and that was a huge mistake, one in which I won’t participate again.

For a long time, if not always, Aaron Blake had put Bernie Sanders at No. 1, so Bernie’s slippage to No. 2 on Blake’s rankings to me indicates that perhaps Warren is seen by the Beltway establishment as the perfect fusion/hybrid of an establishment candidate like Billary Clinton and a populist candidate like Bernie Sanders; she’s to be a parting gift for us Berners. But that’s the coward’s way out.

I can support Warren if she fairly and democratically emerges as the presidential nominee, as she is my second choice behind Bernie, but I still have serious concerns about her ability to win a presidential election. I’ve said it a million times before, but I’ll say it again: I would expect her to get labeled as just another weak egghead from Massachusetts; I would expect her to get Michael Dukakis’d or John Kerry’d. (You heard it here, perhaps first.)

In the meantime, I expect Bernie Sanders to continue to be attacked as not good enough for blacks, even though as president the black front runners Kamala Harris and Cory Booker probably would do no more for black Americans than Obama did, but would be, like Obama was, mostly just symbolic — and even though it would be great, if we must apply affirmative action to our electoral politics, that we don’t demand only a white or a black president and continue to shut out all of the other groups that never have been represented in the White House.

And I expect Bernie’s continued support for black progressives like Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum to be dismissed cynically as just Bernie’s dishonest attempt to shore up his pro-black bona fides — this from actual racists and racial supremacists whose main problem with Bernie Sanders, today as it was the case in 2016, is that he is white (and of Jewish heritage).

These hypocrites must continue to call Bernie Sanders a racist in order to try to obscure their own racism and racial supremacism and their own rank, racist political motivations.

P.S. This is interesting: The Washington Post reports that just more than 2,000 voters (Democrats, Repugnicans and independents) in 69 battleground U.S. House districts were polled on November 5 and 6, and that those who reported that they supported a Democratic candidate (33 percent of the total number of those polled) were asked to give their preferences for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nominee.

The poll found that Joe Biden was their No. 1 choice, with 35 percent; Bernie Sanders was at No. 2, with 15 percent; Kamala Harris at No. 3, with 12 percent; Elizabeth Warren at No. 4, with 10 percent; and Cory Booker at No. 5, with 7 percent.

I don’t see Cory Booker winning (the vice presidential slot maybe), that’s for sure, and while I think that Aaron Blake probably accurately captured the top five candidates, I don’t agree with the order in which he ranked them.

For instance, while he put Warren at No. 1, the poll put her at No. 4.

Also, while Biden looks strong in the poll, what really matters to me, it seems, is which candidate, Biden or Bernie, if both of them run, inherits most of the support of the other candidates who drop out over time. For instance, if Warren were to drop out while Bernie and Biden were still in the running, I do believe that Bernie would inherit most of her supporters.

Also, of course, if Biden doesn’t run and Bernie does, I have to wonder how much of Biden’s support Bernie would get. (My best guess is that most of Biden’s support would go to the other much more establishmentarian candidates rather than to Bernie.)

All of that said, I’m not sure if polling voters in certain battleground districts is reflective of the field of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters as a whole, but, again, I do believe that with a high degree of accuracy, we can state that the top five contenders for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination (alphabetically) are Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

I am a little tempted by such dark-horse candidates as California U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell or lawyer Michael Avenatti, but if you haven’t been at least a governor or a U.S. senator, you’re probably never going to make it to the White House. I can’t say that I want to support a presidential candidate who has little to no chance of winning.

Bernie Sanders, as long as he runs, of course, remains and probably will remain my No. 1 choice until the final nominee emerges.

And yes, while I could not bring myself to vote for Repugnican Lite Billary Clinton in 2016, I’m most likely to vote for the Democratic nominee, even if it is not Bernie, over Pussygrabber in November 2020.

P.P.S. OK, I just stumbled upon a CNN poll taken early last month. The poll of Dems and Dem leaners put Biden at 33 percent, Bernie at 13 percent, and Harris at 9 percent. (Warren comes in just behind Harris, with 8 percent, and behind Warren comes Cory Booker, tied with John Kerry at 5 percent.)

I’m thinking that it’s probably safe to say that the top three are Biden, Bernie and Harris.

Biden, methinks, would represent the old-guard/establishmentarian vote (as well as a good chunk of the Obama-by-association/black vote, from which Billary benefited in 2016), Bernie would represent the progressive-regardless-of-race-or-sex vote, and Harris mostly would represent the non-white/identity-politics vote, and it might also help her that she’s a woman (speaking of identity politics, as taboo as that might be [rank tribalism over ideology in electoral politics is a fact]).

I don’t put Warren in the top three. In the top five, yes, but not in the top three. I think that the Beltway pundits overestimate her popularity among actual Dems and Dem leaners, many of whom, myself included, like her enough as an individual but just don’t see her beating Pussygrabber in 2020.

Update (Monday, November 12, 2018): I don’t want to do another P.S., so here’s some more discussion on this topic:

CNN inexplicably puts Kamala Harris at the front-runner for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, as though Beltway wishful thinking were fact (maybe there is something to that “fake news” charge…).

Seriously, though, here is CNN’s Beltway-wishful-thinking-filled ranking, in this order: Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar(!), Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders (at No. 6!), et. al.

Right.

The polls — you know, surveys of the voters who actually will decide this thing (not CNN’s “analysts”) — show something quite different. Another poll, this one from Politico/Morning Consult of 733 Dem and Dem-leaning registered voters taken from Wednesday through Friday, shows Joe Biden with 26 percent, Bernie with 19 percent, Beto O’Rourke with 8 percent, Elizabeth Warren with 5 percent, Kamala Harris with only 4 percent, and Cory Booker with only 3 percent.

So while CNN dreams of Kamala Harris — its “analysts” fantasize that the “2018 election convinced us that Harris seems to be exactly what Democratic voters are telling the party and its politicians they want representing them going forward,” Politico reports something else:

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) enter the 2020 election cycle as the leaders for the Democratic presidential nomination to take on President Donald Trump, according to a Politico/Morning Consult poll conducted in the immediate aftermath of last week’s midterms.

More than a quarter of Democratic voters, 26 percent, say Biden is their first choice to be the Democratic nominee. Another one-in-five, 19 percent, would pick Sanders, the runner-up for the nomination in 2016.

The two septuagenarians — Biden will be 77 on Election Day, 2020, and Sanders will be 79 — are the only two prospective candidates to garner double-digit support. The third-place candidate is Rep. Beto O’Rourke (R-Texas), who built national name-recognition through his losing Senate bid last week, with 8 percent. …

I surmise that O’Rourke will flame out as a presidential contender for 2020, and that he came in at third place in the poll only because of the immediacy of the midterm election (and he did do well for Texas), but all (or at least almost all) of the reputable recent nationwide polls consistently put Biden at No. 1 and Bernie at No. 2.

Because CNN puts Bernie at a laughable No. 6, I surmise that we can expect CNN to attack Bernie throughout the entire process, because CNN’s “woke” “analysts” don’t want Bernie to win. 

Don’t get me wrong; I certainly right now don’t count Kamala Harris out (I pretty much count Booker out, and I’m on the verge of counting Warren out if her polling doesn’t improve), but, again, the polls of Dem and Dem-leaning voters thus far show that the top two front-runners are Biden and Bernie, whether the identity politicians like it or not.

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Oh, yeah. Liz is running for prez.

Getty Images photo

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is shown with U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont in the background. Today Warren released an apparent pre-presidential campaign video that lays waste to years of Repugnicans’ lies about her.

Today U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, in a rather brilliant video that as of this writing has had more than 1.6 million views, announced the result of a DNA test that shows Native American genes in her lineage.

The video also features snippets of interviews with individuals stating that her ever having indicated that she has Native American blood never was a factor in her hiring to teach at Harvard Law School and at other law schools; besides “President” Pussygrabber repeatedly offensively calling Warren “Pocahontas” (and daring her to get a DNA test), Repugnicans (starting with her 2012 opponent for the U.S. Senate, Scott Brown) for years have claimed that she lied about her background in order to give her an unfair advantage in the workplace.

The “Pocahontas” bullshit already has been dismissed by the majority of the voters of Massachusetts, who in 2012 elected Warren as the first woman to serve in the U.S. Senate for the state. She beat Brown with 53.7 percent of the vote, pushing him out of the Senate after he’d “served” there for only two years after the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy, and I expect her to do even better in next month’s election.

Therefore, Warren had nothing to prove to the voters of Massachusetts, and so I can’t help but think that Warren, anticipating the “Pocahontas” bullshit as the Repugnicans’ main criticism of her — and it’s pretty fucking lame and fucking juvenile criticism — is running for president in 2020.

I’m already committed to Bernie Sanders should he run again, but if he doesn’t, then Liz is my candidate. I cannot support Joe Biden or Cory Booker or Kamala Harris or anyone else over Bernie or Liz. Just can’t and won’t. Not in the primary season, anyway.

Anyway, don’t get me wrong. For me, anyway, it’s not about Elizabeth Warren’s heritage. I mean, I’m sure that it’s important to her, but I personally don’t care how much Native American blood she has coursing through her veins.

I care that she fights back against the Repugnican liars and traitors among us and does so effectively, something that the Democrats too rarely do. But more than that, I care that Warren truly cares about socioeconomic justice. It’s her No. 1 concern, and it’s long past time that we elect a president who makes socioeconomic justice the centerpiece of his — or her — administration.

Our first female president being the second coming of FDR would be more than just fine with me.

P.S. In Warren’s video, her family members call her Betsy, which is the first I’ve heard of that moniker for her.

And although Pussygrabber said on camera at one of  his KKK rallies in July that he’d give $1 million to Warren’s favorite charity if she took a DNA test “and it shows [that she is] an Indian,” I’m sure that he’ll weasel out of it by saying that she’s not Native American enough. He is, after all, a fucking liar; he even denied today that he ever made that statement, even though it’s on fucking video.

Reportedly the Cherokee Nation isn’t pleased that Warren had the DNA test done, but not only did Pussygrabber dare her to do it and promise to give her $1 million to her favorite charity if she did, but the charity that Warren picked is the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center.

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Super-delegate and caucus reforms making the party democratic again

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The Democratic National Committee voted yesterday to strip the so-called super-delegates of their anti-democratic power. This means that in 2020, should Bernie Sanders decide to run for president again, the deck won’t again be stacked against him from Day One by constant reports of how many super-delegates, the vast majority of them self-serving party hacks, already have promised to vote at the party convention for an establishmentarian, center-right, Repugnican-Lite, pro-corporate, DINO sellout candidate. (Above: Demonstrators urge the DNC to strip super-delegates of their power at the DNC’s summer meeting that just wrapped up in Chicago.)

The best news for the Democratic Party in a long time came yesterday, when the Democratic National Committee overwhelmingly voted to effectively eliminate the power of the so-called super-delegates.

Against the wishes of a minority of dead-ender DNC assholes who had come to savor the fact that their votes for the presidential nominee have counted much, much more than the votes of us mere peasants, the DNC yesterday demonstrated its new-found realization that if the party wants to save itself, it actually needs to be democratic. (Who knew?)

The party is, however, taking baby steps toward reform. “Saturday’s vote officially [bars] the super-delegates from voting on the first ballot to choose the party’s presidential nominee unless a candidate has secured a majority of the convention using only pledged delegates, whose votes are earned during the primary process,” explains CNN. The super-delegates may vote in a second round of voting if no victor emerges with a majority of delegates in the first round, so while their undue influence has been reduced sharply, the petulant, spoiled babies were thrown some pacifier. (The equivalent of super-delegates in the Repugnican Party must vote the way that the people of their respective states voted, so even the Repugnican Party doesn’t have an anti-democratic, aristocratic system of super-delegates.)

And while I’ve written before that presidential caucuses, which are plagued with irregularities (that is, opportunities for cheating), should be dumped altogether and replaced with presidential primary elections, the DNC yesterday also voted to encourage (again, baby steps) states that still hold caucuses to switch to primary elections, and voted to require states that still hold caucuses to allow some form of absentee participation, given that it’s forever been unfair that those who for whatever reason cannot get to a caucus have not been able to participate in the democratic process.

The dead-enders within the DNC (all or the vast majority of them Billarybots) probably view these positive reforms as being for the benefit of Bernie Sanders, and while he did push for these reforms, having been the victim of the corrupt, calcified, anti-democratic DNC himself, these reforms are good for the people and are good for democracy — and thus are good for the party.

On that note, McClatchy reported (in an article titled “Loyal Democratic Donors: We’re Done with the DNC Until They Get Their Act Together”) just a few days ago:

While Democratic donors have eagerly opened their wallets ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, helping Democratic candidates and groups largely outraise their Republican counterparts, one notable exception has stood out: The Democratic National Committee — the party’s signature organization — has posted its worst midterm fund raising totals in more than a decade.

The DNC has so far taken in $116 million before the November midterm elections — $9 million less than it had taken in at this point in 2014 and more than $30 million less than it had taken in at this point in 2010, the last two midterm cycles.

By contrast, the Republican National Committee has nearly doubled the DNC’s haul this cycle, bringing in a total of $227 million. And of the six major federal committees of both parties, the DNC has by far the most debt ($6.7 million) and the least amount in its bank account ($7.8 million).

After 2016’s defeat of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by Donald Trump, many of the group’s most consistent donors are putting their money elsewhere. A McClatchy analysis found that more than 200 donors who had given more than $1,000 to the DNC in each of the past two midterm elections have failed to pony up any cash to the DNC this time around, despite continuing to support other Democratic groups and candidates. …

Indeed, many if not most ordinary (that is, non-super-wealthy) Democratic donors now give through the wildly successful Democratic fundraising website ActBlue, where they — we — can decide ourselves to which Democratic candidates to give money and how much.

I have given almost $4,500 in a series of donations over the past several years through ActBlue (my average donation is $13) because, frankly, I don’t at all trust the center-right, pro-corporate DNC with my money. (The No. 1 recipient of my donations via ActBlue has been Bernie Sanders, to whom I’ve given more than $1,000, and Elizabeth Warren is at No. 3, with almost $250. At No. 2 [$275] is Kevin de León, who I hope unseats DINO U.S. Sen. Dianne “Cryptkeeper” Feinstein in November.)

“The [DNC’s] poor [fundraising] showing could limit the DNC’s ability to provide support, such as direct financial contributions or get-out-the-vote assistance, to candidates and state parties in November. And it puts them at a disadvantage heading into the 2020 presidential cycle where the committee will play an even larger role,” notes McClatchy, but, again, Democratic candidates are getting money via ActBlue, which is a much more democratic venue anyway. (ActBlue’s home page right now reports that since it began in 2004, it has collected more than $2.5 billion in donations to Democratic candidates and groups.)

With ActBlue, we, the people, decide where to put our money. We can bypass the center-right, pro-corporate, anti-democratic Democratic Party bosses, which is wonderful. And that’s how it should work: If avenues are blocked, then we, the people, must create our own, alternate but equally if not even more effective, routes around the obstacles.

For years and years, the DNC weasels took our support, including our money and our votes, for granted. Where else were we commoners going to go? While the DNC continued to rot in order to preserve the undue power of a relatively few weaselly insiders, we, the people, have been doing our own end runs.

Because the DNC and the party establishment as a whole fell asleep at the wheel years ago, we, the people, took over, such as via ActBlue and by supporting progressive (that is, actually Democratic) candidates whether the center-right, Repugnican-Lite party big-wigs wanted us to or not. (Bernie Sanders, of course, is the largest example of that, but there have been many others.)

It has been a long struggle, and it is not over, but we progressives are taking back the Democratic Party, bit by bit. And when — and if — the DNC can be trusted again, its reputation and thus also its fundraising will improve.

In the meantime, yes, it’s time to look to the 2020 presidential election cycle.

A Politico/Morning Consult poll reported last week puts Bernie Sanders against Pussygrabber in a hypothetical presidential match-up at 44 percent to 32 percent, so anyone who says that Bernie Sanders can’t beat Pussygrabber, as he could have and probably would have in November 2016, is, of course, full of shit; Bernie has a double-digit lead over Pussygrabber in the nationwide polling already, just as he had a double-digit lead over Pussygrabber in the nationwide polling leading up to the 2016 Democratic Party National Convention.

Joe Biden also beats Pussygrabber by 12 points in the Politico/Morning Consult poll, 43 percent to 31 percent, so 2020, it seems to me, could be a lot like 2016 if both Bernie and Biden run; it would be the progressive champion against the party establishmentarian.

However, as Biden already has run for the Democratic Party presidential nomination and lost twice (in 1987 and in 2007), I don’t see him as strong a candidate as some would assert. He would be the anti-Bernie vote, but I don’t think that that would be enough. Also, Billary Clinton was the holdover from the Clinton-Obama years, and wouldn’t Biden, as the holdover from the Clinton-Obama years, remind a lot of voters of Billary’s colossal failure in 2016?

In the Politico/Morning Consult poll Elizabeth Warren comes in a No. 3, still beating Pussygrabber but by a much smaller margin, only 34 percent to 30 percent, with 36 percent undecided.

Billary Clinton was within only a few percentage points over Pussygrabber in the nationwide polling averages for a very long time, all the way up to Election Day, and look how that turned out.

If we want Pussygrabber out, we need to select, as the Democratic Party presidential nominee, the one who polls the best against him; we (well, the Billarybots and other zombies) fucked up big-time in 2016 by passing up Bernie Sanders for the candidate who polled much worse against Pussygrabber than Bernie did.

I’ve noted many times that while I like Liz Warren, and would be fine with her as a vice-presidential candidate, I think that as a presidential candidate she’d be painted as a female Michael Dukakis, another clueless egghead from Massachussetts, and I think that while Billary Clinton did not face much actual sexism, Liz actually would.* (That said, if it’s between Biden and Warren, I pick Warren, who is my No. 2 choice behind Bernie. I still cannot support Biden, not for the primaries.)

Also in the Politico/Morning Consult poll, Pussygrabber beats U.S. Sens. Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, former Attorney General Eric Holder and others by 2 percentage points to 10 percentage points, so unless their polling improves drastically, these second- and third-tier candidates are non-starters for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination for me, and we can’t allow craven identity politics to sink us in 2020 like they did in 2016.

(“Bernie bro,” “brogressive” and the like only backfired, as Billary wasn’t a victim of sexism, but only suffered appropriately and deservedly due to her utter unlikeability due to her inherently corrupt nature and shitty character, which enough voters sure sensed if they couldn’t articulate.)

Methinks that 2020 is going to be a bumpy ride, with identity politics vs. electability once again rearing its ugly head, but at least the road is made a bit smoother because the so-called super-delegates have been defanged and because quaint but corruptible caucuses apparently are on their way out.

*I agree with fivethirtyeight.com’s Perry Bacon Jr.’s sentiment when he writes:

… How comfortable should we be, as a society, with discouraging members of traditionally marginalized groups from pursuing political office because other Americans might have a negative view of those potential candidates’ gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or other personal characteristics (or some combination of these characteristics)? After all, a candidate can change her ideology if her platform isn’t appealing to voters — but many of these traits are immutable. …

I agree that of course it’s not fair to punish the victim for the voters’ prejudices and biases and bigotry, but when push comes to shove, it does come down to whether or not you want to win the fucking election. In the 2020 presidential election, for a great example, which is more important: booting Pussygrabber from the Oval Office (presuming that he’s still there, of course) or making a point?

And there are plenty of reasons to reject Kamala Harris and Cory Booker that have nothing to do with race, such as their history of coziness with corporations, their lack of leadership and accomplishment in the U.S. Senate, and their lower name recognition and popularity — and thus their lower polling — than the top-three front-runners Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren.

Of the two, I’m more fond of Harris than of Booker, but she has not been in the Senate for even two full years yet, for fuck’s sake. It’s way too early to talk about her being president. As I have noted before, I think I’d be OK with her as the vice-presidential candidate for 2020, but that’s as far as I can go.

In 2016, aside from the copious intra-party rigging that was done in her favor, apparently the idea was to make Billary Clinton the nominee — even she didn’t poll nearly as well against Pussygrabber as Bernie Sanders did — in order to make a point (namely, that the Democrats could nominate a woman [likability and popularity of said woman entirely aside]). How well did that turn out?

If we make that mistake again, we deserve whatever we get.

And I’m no hypocrite; I personally always have disliked DINO Billary Clinton but love Elizabeth Warren, but if it looks like Warren can’t beat Pussygrabber, then we go with the stronger candidate who can. It won’t be enough for me that Warren is a woman.

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Bad news cycle? Hey, look at the ‘illegal alien’ who killed a white woman!

At least one member of slain 20-year-old University of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts’ family has proclaimed that she doesn’t want Tibbetts’ tragic death to be politicized and to sow further racial division and xenophobia. Tibbetts’ aunt wrote on Facebook:

Please remember, Evil comes in EVERY color. Our family has been blessed to be surrounded by love, friendship and support throughout this entire ordeal by friends from all different nations and races. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

But that kind of message isn’t useful for the unelected, illegitimate, craven — and yes, treasonous — Pussygrabber regime, which, after yesterday’s bam-bam-bam news (of former Pussygrabber campaign chairman Paul Manafort being convicted of multiple finance-related felonies; of former Pussygrabber personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleading guilty to multiple felonies, including campaign-finance-related felonies; and of current Repugnican U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, the second supporter of Pussygrabber’s “presidential” campaign in the House, being indicted for financial fraud [Pussygrabber’s first supporter in the House, Rep. Chris Collins, also has been indicted for financial fraud]), truly needed a diversion.

Team Pussygrabber was, I am certain, delighted to learn that the accused killer of Mollie Tibbetts, who disappeared on July 18, is a 24-year-old apparently undocumented immigrant from Mexico named Cristhian Bahena Rivera. Here is his booking photo:

Missing_Student_Iowa_59201

Rivera’s employer, a dairy farm, reported that he was a good employee for years who never was suspected of being capable of something like murder.

But that’s not a politically useful narrative, either, so the occupied White House tweeted this today:

For 34 days, investigators searched for 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts. Yesterday, an illegal alien, now charged with first-degree murder, led police to the cornfield where her body was found. The Tibbetts family has been permanently separated. They are not alone.

The nauseatingly shameless tweet — only further tarnishing the name of the White House and the office of the presidency — is accompanied by a lovely, even more nauseatingly shameless video in which all white people claim that their loved ones were killed by “illegal aliens,” causing them to be “permanently separated” from them. Subtle!

This Goebbels-level propaganda accomplishes several things at once. There is the offensive, dehumanizing use of the hateful term “illegal alien.” No one is “illegal” and no one is an “alien.” You are a human being or you are not a human being. You may or may not have broken a law, but you are not “illegal” or “an illegal,” and only to a xenophobe and/or a white supremacist are you an “alien.”

Then there is the sick attempt, in one fell swoop, to try to wholly discount the detrimental affect that inhumanely — and, per our federal court system, illegallyseparating families at the border has had on thousands of human beings by pointing out that the relative handful of those white American citizens who have had family members killed (unintentionally or intentionally) by undocumented immigrants are “permanently separated” from their family members (Oh, snap!).

It’s comparing apples to oranges (picked only by “illegal aliens,” of course), but it’s not like Pussygrabber’s mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, MAGA-cap-wearing, Tiki-torch-carrying followers make such distinctions.

Most of all, of course, is the blatant, hit-you-in-the-face-like-with-a-fucking-shovel appeal to white supremacism and racism.

How about Chris Watts, the white American citizen in Colorado who is accused of just having killed his pregnant wife and his two young daughters and disposing of their bodies rather unceremoniously, as Rivera is accused of having done with Tibbetts’ body? Is the Pussygrabber regime going to emphasize this crime and tragedy?

Of course not — because an “illegal alien” (of the brown-skinned type, of course) wasn’t accused of having committed it, and it’s perfectly OK to murder even your entire family — if you’re a white guy and a U.S. citizen. (Well, at least we won’t draw any attention to it, but will ignore it until it goes away…)

The Washington Post today notes:

Immigrants do not commit violent crimes at a higher rate than native-born Americans, according to federal and state crime statistics. A study published in February by the libertarian Cato Institute examining 2015 criminal data in Texas found native-born residents were much more likely to be convicted of a crime than immigrants in the country legally or illegally.

More information (you know, actual facts to counter the “alternative facts”) on this topic was posted by Vox.com as well.

So, you (a U.S. citizen) are much more likely ever to be killed by a fellow U.S. citizen than by a non-citizen, but, again, that’s not convenient to the fascist Pussygrabber regime’s Nazi-like message that the “illegal aliens” are the new Jews.

Mollie Tibbetts’ murder is tragic. Her family must be reeling, and it’s spine-chilling to imagine what she went through in her last moments of life, and it’s a supreme injustice that anyone should have his or her life taken from him or her, perhaps especially when that young.

But for a bunch of neo-Nazis to cravenly use the occasion of Tibbetts’ death as an opportunity to try to score more Brownie points with their base of white-supremacist Neanderthals only adds to the tragedy all around.

Thankfully, just as has happened here in California, where Repugnicans are an endangered species in no tiny part because of their sustained racist and xenophobic attacks upon Latinos, we can expect to see this effect grow on the nationwide level in the years to come as more and more Latinos exercise their right to vote — and they don’t tend to vote for the Repugnicans who savage them as an entire group of human beings because the Repugnicans need an endless supply of convenient scapegoats for their own endless crimes.

Good riddance to the MAGA-cap-wearing Neanderthals. Evolve or disappear.

We — those of us who reject your hatred, your racism, your xenophobia, your bigotry, your ignorance, your selfish divisiveness — will replace you. We already are replacing you.

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No, Pussygrabber’s use of ‘the “n”-word’ won’t actually guarantee the Dems a win

Associated Press photo

We already know that “President” Pussygrabber, among many other things, is racist, such as by saving his “low-IQ” and similar slams primarily if not only for black people, so how would proof of his ever having uttered “the ‘n’-word” actually change a fucking thing?

I find it pathetic and juvenile that after all that “President” Pussygrabber has done and said — including having savaged Mexicans in his “presidential” campaign announcement and having bragged about having “grab[bed]” women “by the pussy,” and then “won” the presidential election with almost 3 million fewer votes than his opponent, and then having issued unconstitutional executive orders, including a ban on Muslims from entering the country and the defunding of “sanctuary cities,” before January 2017 was even over — millions of Americans apparently view as the one silver bullet that would or at least should finally take Pussygrabber down is that if a recording of him having uttered the word “nigger” ever emerges.

We’re worried about a single word, which, if ever dare uttered (by a non-black person, that is), should be the end of one’s life; it should be very much like death (I mean, at least social death if, hell, not even physical death as well). I live in a nation of fucking imbeciles. This is Dark-Ages-level bullshit, replete with magic no-no words.

Don’t get me wrong; I oppose hate speech. No one in the workplace or in public should have to deal with a hateful epithet hurled his or her way. Such epithets are a level of terrorism; they are meant to frighten and to disempower their targets, which is why they should not be tolerated.

But let’s get fucking real. I have a black co-worker now who not long ago enough used the word “cracker” in anger and in hatred (not against me, but I was offended to have had to hear the racist epithet in my workplace nonetheless), and I didn’t bother to report it because I knew that with her constant pre-emptive bogus claims of racial victimhood meant to scare “management” from ever disciplining her meaningfully for anything, nothing would have been done had I reported it. (Indeed, I would have been branded as a “troublemaker,” I am confident.)

This same co-worker, when I once asserted that gay rights are civil rights too, responded, “You can’t compare race to sin.” Lovely. (This same co-worker also, when she wasn’t repeatedly equating homosexuality to pedophilia, repeatedly incredibly judgmentally and incorrectly referred to being gay as a “lifestyle choice” [that it’s the “wrong” “choice” is understood, you see]. It’s interesting to see which “nice” words “nice” people can use to express viciously hateful sentiments.)

In another job, a black co-worker used the word “faggot” (in hatred) in my presence, and that’s another case where had I reported it, nothing would have been done, and when I was on a public bus once and simply asked two young black punks who were blocking the aisle to move so that I could get past them and exit the bus, one of them felt the need to call me a “queer.”

A black client once hatefully and angrily called me “white boy” when I refused a request of hers that could have gotten me fired from my job.

A leader within the black community with whom I once corresponded years ago actually wrote in her response to me that being gay might be a “birth defect.”

I’ve never called a black person a “nigger.”

So this notion that blacks only ever are victims, that they are incapable of uttering hate speech or committing hate crimes themselves, demonstrably is bullshit, and their bogus claims of this only harms their credibility even further.

Let me point you to two recent examples of blacks blatantly committing hate crimes: the 30-year-old black woman arrested in Los Angeles for having savagely attacked a 91-year-old Mexican man with a piece of concrete block, reportedly telling him to “go back to [his] country,” and the 18-year-old black man arrested in Manteca, California, for having savagely knocked down, kicked and spat on a 71-year-old Sikh man. Both elderly victims were taken to the hospital; the 91-year-old sustained fractures.

Guess what? These actually are worse crimes than merely uttering the word “nigger”! (Who knew?)

And, as I already have indicated, there are words that individually are innocent enough, but when strung together are just as ugly as is — or even uglier than is — “nigger.” It’s just that, individually, they’re not taboo words. So in this juvenile nation of simpletons, you may express any hateful notion that you please, as long as you don’t use certain magical no-no words, first and foremost among them “the ‘n’-word,” which is so taboo that we must call it “the ‘n’-word.”

Take Faux “News” “talent” Laura Ingraham’s recent on-air rant:

In some parts of the country, it does seem like the America we know and love doesn’t exist anymore. Massive demographic changes have been foisted upon the American people. And they’re changes that none of us ever voted for and most of us don’t like. From Virginia to California, we see stark examples of how radically in some ways the country has changed. Now much of this is related to both illegal, and in some cases, legal immigration that, of course, progressives love.

I could argue that this racist, xenophobic rant is even worse than the word “nigger” because it apparently scoops up even more groups of already-long-oppressed people in its wide net of hatred.

(While I’m quoting she-Nazi Ingraham, I must note that demographic changes are not “foisted” upon anyone. For the very most part, they just naturally happen. [Well, of course, the Native Americans could argue persuasively that “massive demographic changes have been foisted” upon them...] And how, exactly, would we “vote” on demographic change? Would we vote certain groups of people off of the island? Would we kill brown-skinned babies, a la King Herod? And do we not get to vote for the federal and state lawmakers who make our laws, including immigration law? Do we not get our say that way?)

Again, to be clear, I oppose hate speech in the workplace or in public spaces. I believe that at work and in public, we have the right not to have bigoted, hateful, ignorant invective hurled at us for our real or perceived sex or gender expression, race (yes, even if we are — gasp! — white), sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, religion, age, etc. Such invective is meant to disempower us, and we deserve an environment in which we are not disempowered, but are free to do as well as we can do and, to borrow a cheesy line from the U.S. Army, be all that we can be, as long as we do not harm others.

What is said in private, however, is a different matter. I’m still a staunch defender of privacy rights. (See my August 2014 piece on the infamous Donald Sterling case, titled “Privacy Rights Scrapped for One Old Racist’s Scalp.”) In their own homes and in other private settings (settings in which they have a reasonable expectation of privacy), people should be able to think and say as they please.

Often people need to work shit out in private, even if that includes language that they wouldn’t use in public or at work. And there probably literally is not one American adult who would be OK with anything and everything that he or she ever said in private being revealed to the entire American public, so those who are fucking hypocrites on this point need to shut the fuck up and check themselves.

Perhaps the larger issue, however, is that there apparently is this widespread magical belief that if it’s definitively revealed that “President” Pussygrabber ever uttered the single word “nigger” (in any setting, private or public), then it’s all over for him. Everything else that he has done, including his having trashed the United States of America with a smirking Russian dictator Vladimir Putin standing right next to him, isn’t going to remove him from the Oval Office, but his ever having uttered the single word “nigger” would.

Just: Wow. I live in a nation of fucking infants.

Slate.com even ran a lengthy piece titled “If He Said It: How the Country Would React, Day by Day, if a Trump N-word Tape Came to Light.” The time-line piece, which apparently is partly serious and partly comedic, ends thusly (spoiler alert!): “November 2020: Trump wins re-election with the support of 0 percent of black voters and 60 percent of the white electorate.”

That sounds about right. I mean, that’s along the lines of what would happen if we make his ever having uttered “the ‘n’-word” the one and only true absolutely unpardonable crime that Pussygrabber ever committed.

Most Americans, I surmise, already assume that of course Pussygrabber has uttered “the ‘n’-word” at some place at some time, and that there may or may not be a recording of this.

If the Democrats think that simple-minded, playground-level identity politics can save them in 2020 like it didn’t in 2016, then 2020 indeed will be a repeat of 2016.

P.S. I recommend Ted Rall’s piece in which he compares Pussygrabber to Kaposi’s sarcoma — that is, just as Kaposi’s sarcoma is a symptom of the underlying, much worse disease of AIDS, Pussygrabber is a symptom of the underlying, much worse disease that grips the American “democracy.”

Just as removing one Kaposi’s sarcoma (or even all of them) wouldn’t save the life of someone with AIDS, removing Pussygrabber from office — while a laudable goal — would not cure the underlying disease, for which all of us, to some degree, are responsible.

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Pussygrabber regime issues ‘biblical’ fatwa on the breaking up of families

Updated below (on Friday, June 15, 2018)

Because Jesus Christ was all about breaking up families.

It is ironic that the “Christians” among us are so fucking evil. It’s not what Jesus Christ would do; it’s what “President” Pussygrabber would do.

I can’t believe that we even have to discuss whether or not separating children from their parents is acceptable. Of course it’s not acceptable.

Yet Nazi elf Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III said today that the unelected Pussygrabber regime’s cruel policy of separating undocumented immigrant children from their undocumented immigrant parents is — wait for it — biblically sanctioned.

“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order,” he said today. “Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves and protect the weak and lawful.”

Protecting the weak is the goal of the Pussygrabber regime’s constant attacks on undocumented immigrants — and even on U.S. citizens, such as the citizens of Puerto Rico who continue to be ignored because they aren’t white?

Pussygrabber regime spokesnake Sarah Huckabee Sanders backed the Nazi elf up; The Associated Press reports today that she “said [today] that she hadn’t seen Sessions’ comments but affirmed that the Bible did back up the administration’s actions.

“‘I can say that it is very biblical to enforce the law. That is actually repeated a number of times throughout the Bible,’ she said. ‘It’s a moral policy to follow and enforce the law.'”

If a government’s laws are so fucking sacrosanct, then what about the ancient Roman Empire’s laws to persecute the early Christians? Were those laws OK? Or are we going to pick and choose among the laws that we use to justify our evil against others?

If you call yourself a Christian, there is only one law above all others that you should follow. This iteration of it comes from John 13:34-35: “‘A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.’”

Another iteration of this supreme law — which, in a word, boils down to “love” — comes from Luke 6:31: “‘Do to others as you would have them do to you.’”

If you call yourself a Christian, these aren’t helpful hints or suggestions. These are commands from Jesus Christ recorded in the New Testament.

You cannot call yourself a Christian if you refuse to obey the commands of Jesus Christ.

Trying to fall back on “orderliness” and “lawfulness” to justify knowingly causing pain and suffering to others that you would not want visited upon yourself is evil. It is anti-Christian. It is satanic.

Don’t get me wrong; I get it that U.S. citizens who are incarcerated for serious crimes are separated from their children, and that there is no general outcry against this practice, which widely is considered to be a part of the price that one pays for having been convicted of having committed a serious crime.

But undocumented immigrants’ “crime” is wanting a better life. For that “crime” alone, families should not be separated.

The Associated Press notes:

… Last month, [Sessions] announced a “zero tolerance” policy that any adult who enters the country illegally is criminally prosecuted. U.S. protocol prohibits detaining children with their parents because the children are not charged with a crime and the parents are.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, more than 650 children were separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border during a two-week period in May. …

and

… In an unusually tense series of exchanges in the White House briefing room [today], [Sarah Huckabee] Sanders wrongly blamed Democrats for the policy separating children from parents and insisted the administration had made no changes in increasing the use.

[But] Until the policy was announced in April, such families were usually referred for civil deportation proceedings, not requiring separation.  [Emphasis mine.]

Again, only if an undocumented immigrant has been charged with having committed a serious crime — a felony — should he or she possibly be separated from his or her children. Simply being where you’re “not supposed” to be is not a serious crime.

Shame on us, the American people, if we continue to allow “our” government to continue to perpetrate pain and suffering on those who only want a better life for themselves and their families — and to claim ludicrously (and yes, satanically) that the Bible backs them up in their commission of their evil.

Update (Friday, June 15, 2018): I just wanted to add a few more points.

First, another quote — and commandment — of Jesus Christ: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” That comes from Mark 12:31. Is Mexico and the rest of Latin America our neighbor? If so, shouldn’t we love those from Mexico and the rest of Latin America?

It’s quite rare that a right-wing “Christian” (such as Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III) quotes Jesus Christ himself. Instead, these “Christians” usually opt for the authoritarian, pro-institution-over-the-individual later books of the New Testament, the cold, detached, churchy ones that talk about so-called law and order, not about love from one human being to another.

Secondly, here is a wonderful editorial cartoon that was killed by editorial cartoonist Rob Rogers’ newspaper, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which apparently fired him because of his unflattering editorial cartoons about Der Pussygrabber:

More of his suppressed work is here, and I have to include this one, too:

OK, and this one:

I love a good editorial cartoon and I should include a lot more of them here…

Finally, today The Associated Press explains the scope of this family-separation bullshit:

Washington — Nearly 2,000 children have been separated from their families at the [southern] U.S. border over a six-week period during a crackdown on illegal entries, according to Department of Homeland Security figures obtained [today] by The Associated Press.

The figures show that 1,995 minors were separated from 1,940 adults from April 19 through May 31. The separations were not broken down by age, and included separations for illegal entry, immigration violations or possible criminal conduct by the adult.

Under a “zero tolerance” policy announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Department of Homeland Security officials are now referring all cases of illegal entry for criminal prosecution. U.S. protocol prohibits detaining children with their parents because the children are not charged with a crime and the parents are.

Sessions announced the effort April 6, and Homeland Security began stepping up referrals in early May, effectively putting the policy into action.

Since then, stories of weeping children torn from the arms of their frightened parents have flooded the media and the policy has been widely criticized by church groups, politicians and children’s advocates who say it is inhumane. A battle in Congress is brewing in part over the issue.

Some immigrant advocates have said women were being separated from their infants — a charge Homeland Security and Justice officials flatly denied. They also said the children were being well cared for and disputed reports of disorder and mistreatment at the border. …

The International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian aid group, released a statement [today] saying, “A policy of willing cruelty to those people, and using young sons and daughters as pawns, shatters America’s strong foundation of humanitarian sensibility and family values.”

The new figures are for people who tried to enter the U.S. between official border crossings. Asylum seekers who go directly to official crossings are not separated from their families, except in specific circumstances — such as if officials can’t confirm the relationship between the minors and adults, if the safety of the children is in question, or if the adult is being prosecuted. …

Finally finally, today the pathologically lying “President” Pussygrabber repeated the fucking lie that the Democrats are the ones who put the separation policy into place. “I hate the children being taken away,” he huffed and puffed. “The Democrats have to change their law. That’s their law.”

“This is false,” counters The Washington Post, adding: “As part of its border crackdown, the Trump administration is separating undocumented immigrant children from their parents largely due to a ‘zero tolerance’ policy implemented by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. No law requires these separations. [Link is WaPo’s.] …”

That the unelected, fascistic, xenophobic, cruel Pussygrabber regime continues to lie blatantly that the Democrats are responsible for the separation of families at the southern border at least is an indirect acknowledgment that what the Pussygrabber regime is doing is evil.

But in the meantime, people are suffering because we, the American people, have not stopped “our” government from perpetrating evil — in this case, a form of ethnic cleansing — in our name.

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His name was Stephon Clark, young father of two, and we failed him fatally

Image result for Stephon Clark

The rather opportunist Al Sharpton plans to attend the funeral of Stephon Clark (pictured above) in my city of Sacramento, California, on Thursday. Clark, the 22-year-old father of two, was shot to death by two Sacramento police officers on March 18 but had had only a smartphone in his hand. A little-discussed wrinkle in this racially charged incident, however, is that one of the two cops who shot Clark to death is black, as is Sacramento’s police chief.

As I’ve noted before, you have to take these cases of cops killing black men case by case. There is no one-size-fits-all narrative, as politically convenient and personally satisfying as such narratives may be.

For instance, Eric Garner, in my book, was murdered, choked to death by a thug posing as a police officer.

And Walter Scott by any reasonable person’s book was murdered, shot in the back as he ran away from a coward posing as a police officer.

Both black men were unarmed. Garner’s “crime” for which he was put to death by cop was illegally selling cigarettes on the street, and Scott’s was a broken brake light. The cop who murdered Garner remains free, while the cop who murdered Scott sits in prison (albeit he technically was found guilty of civil rights violations, not of murder).

Again, each case must be taken by itself. The Michael Brown case, for instance, spawned a movement that was based on some lies, probably especially the ubiquitous “[my] hands [are] up — don’t shoot!” meme.

The Barack Obama/Eric Holder U.S. Department of Justice’s own final report on the Michael Brown matter found that the physical evidence, including the autopsy of Brown, corroborated white cop Darren Wilson’s version of what had happened, which is that “gentle giant” Brown had not tried to surrender to him with his hands raised in the air, but instead had attacked him and tried to take his pistol from him.

The last page of the Obama/Holder DOJ report concludes:

… As discussed above, Darren Wilson has stated his intent in shooting Michael Brown was in response to a perceived deadly threat. The only possible basis for prosecuting Wilson under section 242 would therefore be if the government could prove that his account is not true – i.e., that Brown never assaulted Wilson at the SUV, never attempted to gain control of Wilson’s gun, and thereafter clearly surrendered in a way that no reasonable officer could have failed to perceive.

Given that Wilson’s account is corroborated by physical evidence and that his perception of a threat posed by Brown is corroborated by other eyewitnesses, to include aspects of the testimony of Witness 101, there is no credible evidence that Wilson willfully shot Brown as he was attempting to surrender or was otherwise not posing a threat.

Even if Wilson was mistaken in his interpretation of Brown’s conduct, the fact that others interpreted that conduct the same way as Wilson precludes a determination that he acted with a bad purpose to disobey the law. The same is true even if Wilson could be said to have acted with poor judgment in the manner in which he first interacted with Brown, or in pursuing Brown after the incident at the SUV.

These are matters of policy and procedure that do not rise to the level of a Constitutional violation and thus cannot support a criminal prosecution. Cf. Gardner v. Howard, 109 F.3d 427, 430–31 (8th Cir. 1997) (violation of internal policies and procedures does not in and of itself rise to violation of Constitution).

Because Wilson did not act with the requisite criminal intent, it cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt to a jury that he violated 18 U.S.C.§ 242 when he fired his weapon at Brown.

VI. Conclusion
For the reasons set forth above, this matter lacks prosecutive merit and should be closed.

Indeed, case closed. Legally, anyway, but the myth of Michael Brown lives on, because the myth still is politically useful and personally satisfying to so many.

Unfortunately, in the Brown case the black community rallied around the wrong case. If I had ever tried to take a cop’s gun away from him (or her), I wouldn’t expect to be sitting here typing this sentence — and I am a white male.

The Brown case unfortunately immediately was turned into an inherently-racist-and-murderous-white-cop-vs.-inherently-innocent-young-black-man-guilty-only-of-being-black myth. According to the DOJ report on the Brown case, bystanders had lied through their teeth about what they had witnessed — very apparently in order to perpetuate the lie that every time a white cop shoots a black male, it only can be rooted in racism (and not, say, in very immediate self-defense because the black male is trying to take your gun from you).

The recent shooting death here in Sacramento of 22-year-old black man Stephon Clark also has some wrinkles that aren’t convenient to the aforementioned narrative that (only) white cops shoot young black men willy-nilly: One of the two cops who are reported to have shot Clark to death is black (see here too), as is Sacramento’s police chief, Sacramento native Daniel Hahn.

Hahn has said that he suspects that Clark was the man reported to have been breaking the windows of vehicles in a Sacramento neighborhood on March 18 before he was confronted by two cops in his grandparents’ backyard and shot to death.

All that Clark had in his possession, however, was a smartphone, and from the police helicopter video of the shooting, I cannot see that it was necessary for Clark to be shot even once, much more 20 times.* (A police body-camera video of the shooting that also was released does not give any more insight than does the helicopter video, other than that the cops apparently were trigger-happy; I struggle to even see Clark in the body-cam video at all until a while after he has been shot and is on the ground.)

I am not an expert in the excusable use of police force, but in the videos I don’t see Clark raising anything in the direction of the police officers or otherwise appearing to pose an immediate threat to them; I only see him being shot many times, apparently even after he already has fallen to the ground.

In the police helicopter video, before he is shot by the two cops it certainly looks like Clark isn’t up to any good, but running from police, probably especially if you are a black man, isn’t in and of itself indicative that you are dangerous and/or criminal; it always could be that you’re simply scared of being shot 20 times.

And even if Clark is guilty of having committed property crimes, there are penalties for that — and those penalties don’t include summary execution.

And it’s probably fair to say that many if not most white (and many other non-white) people do need to learn that human life — all human life — is far more important than is fucking property.

All of that said, it largely to totally has been ignored in the local protests over Stephon Clark’s shooting death that one of the cops who shot him — and the city’s police chief — are black. And I have to suspect that that’s because those two pieces of information aren’t convenient to the narrative that it’s only ever white cops and white chiefs of police who unjustly shoot and who support the unjust shootings of black men.

Sacramento has had some localized protests since Clark’s death, but it’s not at all like the city has been shut down, and to my knowledge not one person even has been hospitalized because of the protests. So it’s not like Sacramento has been enveloped in a conflagration, and many more Sacramentans have been touched by the heavy local media coverage than those who actually have been touched by any of the localized protests.

And again, I have to wonder if that outcome might have been different — if the protests might even have turned deadly — if Sacramento’s police chief weren’t black and if one of the two cops who shot Clark weren’t black. Does the race of the actors, rather than the acts themselves, matter that much? I suspect that it does.

Nonetheless, we need to continue to have the discussion about race and policing, and we have to examine where racism and police culture overlap, because very apparently there is a police culture that all cops can get sucked into, regardless of their race, and very apparently part of that police culture is the underlying belief that black lives do not matter as much as do white (and other non-black) lives.

And unnecessary police shooting after unnecessary police shooting amply proves that we must develop — and require the use of — non-lethal ways of neutralizing those we suspect of having committed a crime and/or of being about to commit a crime.

And for fuck’s sake we must stop executing people on the spot for property crimes, and we must hold every human being’s life as sacred. And we must prosecute — really prosecute — cops who don’t value human life, just as we prosecute the criminals who don’t value human life.

If we learn nothing else from the case of Stephon Clark, we need to learn that much.

*Since almost everyone in the world but I carries a smartphone, it seems to me that cops now have complete immunity to mistake or “mistake” smartphones for hand-held weapons. That is something with which we must as a society grapple — and fix.

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