Archive for the ‘racism’ Category

Jesse, Adolf, and Franklin

October 5, 2017

American Jesse Owens won three gold medals in three days at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. You probably think you know what happened next, but you don’t.

“Adolf Hitler famously refused to shake Owens’ hand, not wanting the humiliation of acknowledging a Black athlete’s brilliance, or so the story goes. But the truth is that, after the first day of competition, Hitler didn’t shake any athlete’s hand because the head of the International Olympic Committee told him he must congratulate all gold medalists or none at all. Sure, the führer wasn’t keen on photo ops with Black or Jewish athletes, but he simply chose to steer clear of the stadium altogether. So Owens was never personally snubbed by Hitler, but his story is still defined by systematic racism — not in Nazi Germany, but in the United States.


President Trump Clarifies His Remarks

August 17, 2017

President Trump Clarifies His Remarks
On Tuesday, President Trump clarified his thoughts on white nationalist protesters, stating that “you also had some very fine people on both sides” of the violence in Charlottesville. Very fine people like former KKK Grand Dragon David Duke  thanked him for his support. Mr. Trump also compared Robert E. Lee with George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

Political leaders and commentators were quick to express their appreciation:

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL):  “Your comments give white supremacists ‘a win.'”

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “there are no good neo-Nazis.”

Rep. Paul Ryan (R, WI-1): “White supremacy is repulsive. This bigotry is counter to all this country stands for. There can be no moral ambiguity.”

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA): “It’s wrong. Why can’t he just say that?”

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): “What the president said yesterday was wrong. There is no moral equivalence between those who are inciting hate and division and those who took to the streets to make it clear that those views are unacceptable. Every one of us must stand against hatred, bigotry, and violence, in both our words and our actions.”

Rep. Leonard Lance (R, NJ-7): “Mr. President, there is only one side: AGAINST white supremacists, neo-Nazis, anti-Semites & the KKK. They have no place in America or GOP.”

Admiral John Richardson: “The shameful events in Charlottesville are unacceptable and must not be tolerated.”

Rep. Steve Scalise (R, LA-1): “We must defeat white supremacy”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC): “…you are now receiving praise from some of the most racist and hate-filled individuals and groups in our country.”

Rep. Paul Mitchell (R, MI-10): “You can’t be a “very fine person” and be a white supremacist”

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK): “Anything less than complete & unambiguous condemnation of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the KKK by the @POTUS is unacceptable. Period.”

Rep. Charlie Dent (R, MI-15): “POTUS must stop the moral equivalency! AGAIN, white supremacists were to blame for the violence in Charlottesville”


Hatred, Bigotry and Violence

August 15, 2017

Hatred, Bigotry and Violence

After white nationalists descended on Charlottesville Virginia to protest planned removal of a Robert E Lee statue, a car was deliberately driven into a group of peaceful counter-protesters, killing one person and injuring 19. The car ramming was called an act of “domestic terrorism” by many from across the political spectrum, who condemned the white nationalist movement behind it. While he first resisted calling out the white racists, domestic fascists, KKK members, and neo-confederates behind the fatal attack, two days later Donald Trump finally joined the critics.

Why was Mr. Trump reluctant to condemn these malignant groups? Because they were early and enthusiastic endorsers of his presidential bid, and he never disavowed their support during or after the campaign, until now. The alt-right, white nationalists, neo-confederates, and old-fashioned white racists form a significant part of his core constituency, and Charlottesville’s “Unite the Right” was their event.

While many Republicans were quick to condemn the White Supremacists behind Charlottesville, the GOP has been using a white racist strategy for decades. Donald Trump Trump just shinnied up that poison tree.


“‘Blood and soil’: Protesters chant Nazi slogan in Charlottesville,” Meg Wagner, CNN

“How Donald Trump emboldened Charlottesville white supremacists,” Eric Hananoki, Media Matters

“Charlottesville And The Rise Of White Identity Politics,” Perry Bacon Jr., FiveThirtyEight

“The Hoods Are Off,” Matt Thompson, The Atlantic

“These are your people, President Trump,” Colbert I. King, Washington Post

“How white supremacy morphed into white victimization,” Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune


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Top image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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We’ve Been Here Before

August 14, 2017

Don’t Be a Sucker!a short film produced by the US War Department in 1943. It was re-released in 1947 to make the case for the desegregation of the U.S. armed forces.

Watch the 18-minute film here


“After Charlottesville violence, World War II anti-fascist propaganda video finds a new audience,” Derek Hawkins, Washington Post

“Why an Anti-Fascist Short Film Is Going Viral,” Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic 


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There is Law on ‘An Island In the Pacific’: Jeff Sessions is Amazed

April 21, 2017

There is Law on 'An Island In the Pacific': Jeff Sessions is Amazed
Speaking on Mark Levin’s radio show, Attorney General Jeff Sessions addressed Hawaiian Federal Judge Derrick Watson’s order blocking President Trump’s latest ‘Muslim ban”:

“I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the President of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and Constitutional power.”

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III is clearly suggesting that Hawaii is not a real state.

As Martin Longman observes:

“… Hawaii is not only a series of islands in the Pacific, but it is the least white and most ethnically and racially diverse state in the country. That probably has at least a little to do with why a white conservative man from Alabama named after the former president of the Confederacy and the man who fired on Ft. Sumter doesn’t think it’s a legitimate part of America.”

— “Sessions Suggests That Hawaiians Aren’t Real Americans,” Martin Longman, Washington Monthly


Textbook Racism

June 8, 2016

Textbook Racism

House Speaker and former Wienermobile driver Rep. Paul Ryan has decried GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s remarks about the judge in the Trump University fraud trial:

“Claiming a person can’t do their job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment. If you say something that’s wrong, I think the mature and responsible thing is to acknowledge it.”

Rep. Ryan said this against the window-dressing of a DC drug and alcohol rehab center, where he also vowed to escalate his party’s assault on the poorest Americans.


“Ryan: Trump’s comments ‘textbook definition’ of racism,” Heather Caygle, Politico


“Fact Checker: Sorry, Donald Trump, the Trump University judge was just following the law,” Michelle Ye Hee Lee, Washington Post

“Donald Trump’s smear campaign against a federal judge, explained,” Dara Lind, Vox

“Trump, the ‘Mexican’ judge and racism we’ve seen before,” Eric L. Muller, Charlotte News & Observer


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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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Land of Hope and Exclusion

May 20, 2016

Land of Hope and Exclusion

Banning a whole ethnic group from entering the US is a new thing, right?

Nope. Vox’s Alvin Chang explains:


Vision Test

March 6, 2016

“White Privilege Glasses,” produced by 31 Lengths for the Chicago Theological Seminary. Cast: Michael Ford (he got the glasses), Nathaniel Ryan, Cherie Malone.

This is a short, mild introduction to this subject for white folks, but it has caused furor in the conservative blogosphere.

h/t: Colorlines


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The Klan Backs Trump

March 1, 2016

The Klan Backs Trump
Republican presidential contender Donald Trump had already been endorsed by the white nationalist American Freedom Party, neo-nazi Daily Stormer, and white nationalist outfits including American Renaissance, Occidental Dissent, White Genocide Project, Council of Conservative Citizens, and the League of the South, but the racist endorsement that finally got the attention of the media — and rival GOP campaigns — was the endorsement of Trump’s candidacy by David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. But Mr. Duke didn’t just endorse Donald Trump; he first did that last August.


Trump PAC: ‘Don’t Vote for a Cuban’

February 26, 2016

Trump PAC: 'Don't Vote for a Cuban'

The white nationalist American Freedom Party‘s American National Super PAC has been robocalling voters with this message:“The white race is dying out in America and Europe because we are afraid to be called ‘racist.'” …. “Donald Trump is not a racist, but Donald Trump is not afraid. Don’t vote for a Cuban. Vote for Donald Trump.”