Tuesday, August 29, 2017

How To Govern For Dummies

How to Govern For Dummies
by C. A. Matthews

I don't usually like to call people names or point out their mental/moral deficiencies, but when a person states in public that Neo-Nazis and Klansmen are "nice people," then that someone desperately needs some calling out. I suspect you know which person I'm referring to, so there's no need for me to hurt our shared sensibilities by typing this person's name. Just reading it causes me anxiety at times, so it's better I keep this sorry-excuse-for-an-elected-official nameless.

Are there some human beings who are simply irredeemable? Are there some individuals that, try as we may, we can't educate to a level where they can handle their responsibilities? I don't know. I used to consider myself an optimist, but the past two years have taught me a few lessons I wish I could unlearn. One recent example of how some people and their organizations aren't to be trusted is a group with a name beginning with the letters "DNC." They, and all card-carrying members of the 1% elitist establishment, are complete write-offs in the trust department. (This opinion piece on the recent ruling concerning the DNC Fraud Lawsuit makes the point very well.)

Would do you think--perhaps for the sake of our collective sanity we should at least attempt to teach this nameless individual of low intelligence/little morality how to do his job correctly? And what better way to teach the tiny-minds of those with tiny-hands than by giving them bite-sized nuggets of wisdom called "tweets." Short and easy to digest (mentally), tweeting is what this guy is all about it seems. At least we can sleep at night knowing we've done our best and tried to make the world a better place--which is more than can be said for you-know-who.

So, in 140 characters or less, here are some quotable quotes from a new "idiot's guide" on how to govern the United States of America.

1) We all can tell the climate is changing. Stop lying & appoint scientists to the EPA & other agencies. 80F in Ohio in winter is NOT okay.

2) Nazis and KKK are NOT "nice people." They are EVIL & those who say they're "nice" aren't nice themselves.

3) Ordinary Americans want #MedicareForAll & free education. The vast majority don't make $10million/year & golf at your private resorts.

4) Oil pipelines & fracking are dead ends. Go w/ green energy. Stop persecuting water protectors--free them all! #StandWithStandingRock

5) Human beings come in all shades & gender identities. They all serve in the Armed Forces. Respect them. They sacrifice a lot for us.
(Read more on this story here.)

6) #WaterIsLife & without it we die. Poisoning rivers w/ coal ash & fracking wastes kills people. That's murder. Don't kill people!

7) #WindPower will not stop the wind. #SolarPower works at night. Pls appoint real scientists to advise you, not corporate stooges.

8) Go to bed at a decent hour. Tweeting like a teenager at night makes us think you're emotionally stunted. So does saying Nazis are "nice."
  9) Follow Ike's example--tax corporations. Pay your own taxes & make the 1% pay theirs. It's responsible economics.

10) Mein Kampf is not reading material for a president. Confederate statues celebrate white supremacists & slavery. These are both WRONG.

11) Afghanistan, where empires go to die. Withdraw our troops & stop the war. NOW. #nomorewar

12) North Korea is poor yet proud. Threatening to nuke them is bullying & dangerous to EVERYONE'S health on the planet. Don't.

13) Being president is NOT a hobby, golfing is. Golfing is not your job, being president is. Time should go toward your job, not hobby. 

14) Women deserve to be treated with respect. Do not grab at any part of their anatomy. You wouldn't want your wife groped, right? (Answer: No)

15) Medicaid expansion is working. Many Americans are healthier. Hospitals, doctors & nurses agree--keep it! #medicareforall

16) Sheriff Arpaio is a criminal. Pardoning him says you agree with racial profiling & abuse. That is criminal. Stop it.
(Read more on this story, with video.)

ACLU Deputy Legal Director Cecillia Wang said about the pardon:

“With his pardon of Arpaio, Trump has chosen lawlessness over justice, division over unity, hurt over healing. Once again, the president has acted in support of illegal, failed immigration enforcement practices that target people of color and have been struck down by the courts. His pardon of Arpaio is a presidential endorsement of racism."

17) Hiring actors to fill your rallies tells us that you're not popular. Get over it & work on becoming a decent human being.

18) Congress is the branch that passes laws. You can't go around laws & expect folks not to notice. R U a fascist dictator?

19) On the campaign trail, you promised not to cut Medicare & to end the NAFTA trade imbalance. Keep your promises. Ordinary people suffer when you don't. (Read about "The War on Workers".)

20) Mexico will not pay for your "wall." Neither will anyone else. Jettison this stupid, wasteful & racist idea.
21) Stop using taxpayers' $$$ to golf weekly. You depleted a whole year's Secret Service budget in less than 7 months.

22) Destroying our Nat'l Parks & Forests, polluting our air, water & land leads to our kids' early deaths--your kids' too. (Read "7 Reasons We Face a Global Water Crisis".)

23) Betsy DeVos doesn't know what the Civil War was about. Do you? Fire her then resign your office. You'll both be more popular. Promise. 

24) Domestic terrorists can speak fluent English & have a racist agenda. They are the worst kind. They should be punished. Stop stereotyping immigrants.

25) You can't make America great again if you destroy her original inhabitants. America is NOT about once race or religion, but many. Embrace diversity.

Do you have any "tweets" you think should go in the How to Govern for Dummies guide for the tiny-brained, tiny-handed ex-reality TV star? Tweet them and then feel free to post them in the comments section below for all to share and re-tweet. Thank you.

To understand where our current administration is coming from, perhaps we should take a look at their  "bible." Sean gives us a short review of a book that demonstrates how the Right is religiously following their game plan. Racism and the destruction of democracy, unfortunately, play a predominant role.
Democracy in Chains by Nancy MacLean
reviewed by Sean Nestor

Nancy MacLean's Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America centers around Nobel Prize-winning economist James Buchanan, a graduate of the University of Chicago's School of Economics and contemporary of Milton Friedman. He made it his life-long mission to dismantle democracy by developing an intellectual movement to justify the elevation of market interests above popular ones.

In the 1950's, Buchanan leveraged funds from several wealthy donors upset by the New Deal to found the Thomas Jefferson Center for Political Economy at the University of Virginia. Merging the rhetorical legacy of John C. Calhoun with contemporary Chicago school economics, Buchanan's scholarly efforts have become the cornerstone of many right-wing think tanks while producing generations of scholars promoting a money-above-all ethos.

What really piqued my interest was how important racism was in the founding of the Center for Political Economy. Supreme Court orders to integrate the public school system were met with such violent hostility in Virginia that many public school districts were closed rather than integrated. Buchanan, who believed strongly in segregation, capitalized on this turmoil by developing and promoting the idea of school vouchers--a market solution that allowed racial segregation in schools to continue more covertly.

Oh, and the location of the Center? Charlottesville, Virginia.
BIO: Sean Nestor is an educator and activist from Toledo, Ohio. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Single Payer Action Network and Co-Chair of the Lucas County Green Party.

Here are some ways you can help "educate" 
the current occupant of the White House... 

314 Action

You told us you wanted to give the Trump administration a science lesson, so we did. We just delivered boxes of Environmental Science for Dummies -- books you helped us send -- to the EPA, with a note from you and thousands of other 314 Action supporters.

We started these science textbook campaigns to send a message to the most anti-science voices in the Trump administration: If you’re not going to seek out science, we’ll bring it to your front door instead.

But since you last chipped in to help send these books to the likes of Rick Perry, Scott Pruitt, and members of the House Science Committee, the administration has ramped up its attacks on science -- even dismissing an entire climate advisory panel.

So we’re going to ramp up our response and make this an ongoing campaign. Chip in to help us keep sending copies of Environmental Science for Dummies books to the most anti-science voices in Washington, D.C. >>

The purge of scientific voices from the administration is already unprecedented -- and it’s only getting worse. 

This month alone, they’ve tried to cover up a groundbreaking climate report, continued to dismantling the EPA behind-the scenes, and did we mention they're disbanding yet another panel of scientific advisors dedicated to climate policy?

So while Scott Pruitt probably won't take a break from dismantling his own agency and jeopardizing public health to flip through Environmental Science for Dummies, it’s more important than ever to send a signal that the rest of America stands with science -- and that we’re prepared to hold them accountable to it.
Make a donation and we’ll ship a book in your name to the Trump administration.

Harmony Knutson
Director of Advocacy
314 Action


From Democracy for America:

"Donald Trump is a racist, and he just pardoned another racist."

With those words, Arizona Congressmember Ruben Gallego accurately summed up the shocking and disturbing pardon Trump gave late last night to the awful white supremacist Joe Arpaio.

Arpaio has spent decades terrorizing Latino residents of the Phoenix area, using his power as Sheriff to harass, racially profile, and abuse people of color. A court finally ordered him to stop the persecution. He defied the court and kept doing it anyway. And as a result, he was convicted of contempt and was awaiting sentencing.

But Trump's pardon means Arpaio walks free. It wasn't just Arpaio himself that Trump pardoned. Trump gave his blessing to using police power to enforce white supremacy and erode basic constitutional rights. It was one of the most racist acts of his presidency.

It is also another impeachable offense. As Harvard law professor Noah Feldman wrote earlier this week in anticipation of a possible pardon for Arpaio, there is only one remedy in the constitution for this: impeachment.

Sign the petition: It's time for Congress to impeach Donald Trump.

Arizona voters fired Joe Arpaio last fall. It was a stunning win for human rights and progressive values. But it was equally important that Arpaio face the legal consequences of his violent, criminal, and unconstitutional actions. Trump's actions mean others around the country will continue to feel emboldened to use police power to oppress people of color.

Here's what Feldman wrote in Bloomberg View this week about why this pardon constitutes an impeachable offense:

"When a sheriff ignores the courts, he becomes a law unto himself. The courts' only available recourse is to sanction the sheriff. If the president blocks the courts from making the sheriff follow the law, then the president is breaking the basic structure of the legal order. 
From this analysis it follows directly that pardoning Arpaio would be a wrongful act under the Constitution. There would be no immediate constitutional crisis because, legally speaking, Trump has the power to issue the pardon.
But the pardon would trigger a different sort of crisis: a crisis in enforcement of the rule of law.
The Constitution isn't perfect. It offers only one remedy for a president who abuses the pardon power to break the system itself. That remedy is impeachment.
James Madison noted at the Virginia ratifying convention that abuse of the pardon power could be grounds for impeachment. He was correct then -- and it's still true now."
Congressmember Gallego said on MSNBC last night that Trump wants to "erode the rule of law so he can hurt other people." That's why DFA believes impeachment is so important: Trump won't stop with a pardon of Arpaio. He's already reportedly planning to end the DACA program and send police after nearly a million children of immigrants. Trump has to go.

Sign the petition: It's time for Congress to impeach Donald Trump.

Thank you for fighting back against Trump and the racist violence he continues to promote.
- Robert
Robert Cruickshank, Senior Campaign Manager
Democracy for America

From 350.org

Dear friends,

There’s been a breakthrough in the case against ExxonMobil.

Earlier this week, two Harvard researchers published a peer-reviewed study that confirmed what investigative reports have long alleged: Exxon knew about global warming as early as the 1970s but executives buried the truth and funded an aggressive misinformation campaign that has delayed climate action for decades.

The study is a systematic, irrefutable documentation of Exxon’s coverup and is just what's needed to get more Attorneys General to join the “Exxon Knew” investigation.

Click here to sign a letter to your Attorney General urging them to join Massachusetts and New York in investigating ExxonMobil’s climate cover-up.

Even if you’ve signed before, now is an important time to send another message to your AG demanding that they take action.

In the past, Exxon has accused journalists of “cherry-picking” their studies on Exxon’s climate lies and urged the public to read the documents for themselves.

Well, these two Harvard researchers did just that: they read as many Exxon-backed scientific studies they could, and compared it with Exxon’s public communications. What they found confirmed everything we’ve been saying: while Exxon scientists showed that Big Oil fueled global warming, Exxon executives were preaching delay and denial in public.

This likely constitutes the largest corporate crime in history. Attorneys General in Massachusetts and New York have already opened up investigations into Exxon, but the company is fighting back with everything they’ve got (they’ve even gotten their cronies in Congress to subpoena 350.org to try and shut us up).

We need to get more Attorneys General to join in the case so that they can bring the resources of their offices to bear. This is one instance where the more lawyers, the better.

Please click here to add your name to a letter to your Attorney General.

We’ll make sure your signature is delivered and that we keep up the pressure on Exxon, the other big fossil fuel companies, and their political puppets at all levels.

Exxon is fighting this case tooth and nail because they know it could take them down and finally open up the space for real action on climate change. We need to be tougher.

Let’s get to work,


From Credo:

Twitter’s terms of service bans hateful conduct and making violent threats.1
If threatening nuclear war – as Donald Trump did in a recent tweet – does not count, we don’t know what does.

Tell Twitter: Crack down on @RealDonaldTrump. Click here to sign the petition
Trump recently tweeted:

“Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!”
Twitter's terms of service explicitly provide:
Twitter Terms of Service
Like many other Trump tweets, this one clearly violated Twitter’s rules and policies against hateful conduct and violent threats.2 Trump has also repeatedly emboldened violent white supremacists on Twitter, sharing their memes and retweeting their posts to millions of followers. His active promotion of hate mongers helped create the violent atmosphere of racist hate that led to a white supremacist killing a woman with his car in Charlottesville, Virginia.3
Just days after the white supremacist violence in Virginia, Trump tweeted and then deleted a cartoon depicting a train hitting a CNN reporter. While the White House later claimed that it was tweeted inadvertently, it was not the first time Trump has used his Twitter account to encourage violence targeting the media.4

Twitter’s coddling of Donald Trump could have deadly consequences. Trump has a history of setting official government policy via tweet. If he spouts off without thinking, makes a disastrous typo – or, worst of all, if his account were to be hacked – the result could be nuclear war.
Despite the possible repercussions and Trump’s repeated violations, Twitter has yet to act. It is not too much to ask for Twitter to ensure that White House staff verify any Trump tweets before they are posted. Or, Twitter could stop coddling white supremacists and authoritarians and follow through on its own terms of service by revoking Trump’s account.

Tell Twitter: Crack down on @RealDonaldTrump. Click here to sign the petition

Donald Trump has used his Twitter account to wreak havoc on enemies real and imagined. He has directed armies of internet trolls against journalists, public figures and anyone who draws his ire. His tweets about government policy have caused multibillion dollar changes in the market caps of major corporations. A few weeks ago, he sent a series of tweets announcing a decision to ban transgender Americans from the military despite not having consulted with the military first.5
If his account tweeted that he had ordered a military strike – whether it was from his own thumbs or because the account had been hacked – countless American lives could be lost before cooler heads prevail. Twitter has more than enough reason to revoke Trump’s account based on its own rules. It must either do so or institute immediate safeguards, or all of us could pay the price.

Tell Twitter: Crack down on @RealDonaldTrump. Click below to sign the petition:


Thank you for speaking out,
Murshed Zaheed, Political Director CREDO Action from Working Assets
Add your name:

Sign the petition ►

  1. Twitter, “The Twitter Rules,” retrieved Aug. 14, 2017.
  2. Jack Moore, “Donald Trump's Twitter Account Is Very Much in Violation of Twitter's Terms of Service,” GQ, Aug. 11, 2017.
  3. Judd Legum, “3 White Supremacists On Twitter That Inspire Donald Trump,” ThinkProgress, July 3, 2016.
  4. Kyle Griffin, "Trump RT'd this pic..." Twitter, Aug. 15, 2017.
  5. Moore, “Donald Trump's Twitter Account Is Very Much in Violation of Twitter's Terms of Service.”

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

We Will Not Be Silenced

Really. It's pretty simple. We will not be silenced whenever we 
learn of hatred and discrimination against other Americans. 
Here are some bold people walking the walk of their beliefs.

We Will Not Be Silenced
March for VA-- Marching Against White Supremacy
University of Toledo
photos by C.A. and Adrian Matthews

This sign that made the front page of the Toledo Blade. (Not lettered and painted by the sign bearer, but by a very talented artist, her husband.) 
King's message seems more pertinent than ever before.
Ruth Leonard led us in chants. Ruth is running for a position on the Toledo Public Schools Board of Education. Toledo schools, 40%+ African American, do not have an African American board member--at least not yet. 
Go Ruth! (More from Ruth below.)
Marching past the "Glass Bowl" football arena. Awesome turnout!
After the march, activist Julian Mack and others spoke briefly. Each one shared a message that encouraged us to continue speaking out, doing "something" to keep the message going, to end white supremacy and demand justice for all Americans. 

Ruth Leonard shares her personal message below. (With photos from the March in Maumee, Ohio, earlier in the week.)

 photo by Gbenga Ajilore
I Will Not Be Silenced

I will not be silenced. I cannot stand by while while the KKK threatens the safety of black men and women, while Nazis march through the street and call for the death and eradication of Jews, while white supremacists choose to become violent towards Muslims, while homophobic people attack the LGBTQ community, while the president turns a blind eye to the reality of the hatred that he perpetuated and celebrated for the majority of his adult life. 

On Monday, I joined with members of every race, religion and sexual orientation and we sang, "Ain't gonna let nobody turn me 'round, gonna keep on walking, keep on talking, marching towards the freedom land," and it was beautiful. We all joined together for the common goal of shouting, as loud as we could, that the white supremacist ideology would not be normalized. Anyone who has studied history knows that when you are silent about one person's struggle you are allowing hatred to continue, you are allowing negativity to have a voice, and that is how you create division. It is only a matter of time before you are up next.

I am in the prime of my life, thirty years old. I have taught and learned from some amazing educators. But the one thing that I have always remembered was a quote from high school. It was during the morning announcements, and it simply stated, "Status quo is Latin for 'the mess we're in.'" I couldn't figure out why my English teacher was laughing so hard, but that quote stuck with me. I get it now; the status quo, in regards to political ideology based on the leader of the United States, is racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, ableist and all around wrong. I made the decision not to just stand up at a rally but to stand up in the board room. I made the decision to refuse to sit idly by while white supremacist attempted to have a louder voice than mine. 

I come from a long line of black women who refused to be silent in the face of oppression. I come from a long line of educators who refuse to water down history to their students. There are ugly parts of American and international history, and I do not claim to know everything or even have all the answers, but what I do know for sure is that I will never stop educating children, whether I am in the classroom or on the Board of Education. I will never stop standing up for their right to a rich and inclusive curriculum. I will never stop marching for peace. I will never stop saying Black Lives Matter.

I don't claim to be perfect, but when it come to ending white terrorism from white supremacists, Nazi sympathizers and Klansmen, I know I am on the right aide of history. I am glad the Confederate statutes are coming down. It is time for America to take responsibility for the hateful ideology that built this country, silence white supremacism and allow people to live their lives free from racial, religious, gendered and sexually-oriented persecution. Right is right and wrong is wrong. 
Now some actions you can take this week to show the establishment that "We Will Not Be Silenced."
From Working Families Party:

The Nazi swastika. The confederate flag. Both are bone-chilling images, and both were on proud display in Charlottesville last weekend, where white supremacists marched, and in an act of domestic terrorism, killed activist Heather Heyer and injured dozens more.

But yesterday, Trump blamed the violence on “both sides” and called the tiki-torch wielding white supremacists “fine people.”1 The comment earned praise from former KKK leader David Duke. 

Let’s be crystal clear: in rhetoric and in policy, the Trump administration has coddled and encouraged white supremacists. At least three prominent white supremacists -- Steve Bannon, Sebastian Gorka, and Stephen Miller -- have been invited to serve alongside him in the White House. 

We’ve seen this dark history before and we will not go back. 

That’s why we, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, and Rep. Pramila Jayapal, are introducing a resolution to formally censure Donald Trump for refusing to condemn the KKK and neo-Nazis and for harboring white nationalists, like Bannon, Miller, and Gorka, and calling on him to fire those advisors who cater to the alt-Right. 
Add your name to urge your members of Congress to censure Donald Trump for his failure to hold white supremacists to account.
(A censure is a strong, formal reprimand by Congress of an individual whose actions are beneath the dignity of the office they hold. No is one more deserving than Donald Trump who continues to preach hate from the White House.)
In spite of progress, racism and bigotry have never been far beneath the surface in American society. But under Trump, dangerous right-wing extremists are emboldened in a way we haven’t seen since the backlash to the civil rights movement. 

Americans have stood together before to resist this kind of violent extremism. We have stood together across racial lines, across religious lines, and even across party lines. We must do it again. 

It’s just not enough for our Republican colleagues to issue statements against violence in Charlottesville. They must act against the rise of domestic terrorism and white nationalism -- especially when the man in the White House refuses to do so. 

Sign on to the petition urging Congress to censure Trump for refusing to denounce domestic terrorism and surrounding himself with white supremacists in the White House.
Because if not now, then when? 

Thanks for taking a stand,
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY-10)
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12)
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-7)

1. Trump Defends Initial Remarks on Charlottesville; Again Blames ‘Both Sides’, New York Times, August 15, 2017.


Climate Hawks Vote

The following was written by fellow climate hawk Tom Perriello. Tom is a Charlottesville native and transitional justice expert who previously served as a congressman and peace negotiator. He recently ran for governor of Virginia as the first signatory of our No Fossil Fuel Money pledge, and we endorsed him. He is currently CEO of WinVirginia, an effort to flip the Virginia House of Delegates in 2017 and reduce the impact of money in American politics. -- RL & Brad

“Heil Trump,” the white supremacists chanted as they marched past me, turning my beloved hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia, into a rallying point for fascists, white supremacists, and their preppy enablers in the so-called alt-right. One side instigated the rally, dubbed it #UniteTheRight, and spent months escalating violent rhetoric. President Donald Trump blamed “many sides.” They rallied to prevent the removal of a Confederate statue. Trump’s nationally televised response—“we must cherish our history”—was heard less as a dog whistle than as a bullhorn.

Many of the racist ralliers intentionally invoked shocking images from our past, but if leaders, particularly on the right, do not quickly acknowledge the breadth and depth of this crisis, these new images may serve more as harbingers of our future. While Charlottesville played host, most of the pro-hate participants I interviewed came from across the mid-Atlantic and even Midwest. The man suspected of being the driver that plowed through anti-racist protesters was identified as a 20-year-old from Ohio. As for scope, while their numbers were only in the hundreds, a Republican candidate for Virginia governor this year who ran on a neo-Confederate platform and embraced these groups’ calls to protect the monuments came within 1 percent of winning the nomination this summer.

While much can be debated about the event, a few items were very clear.

First, this was unequivocally about race, about white tribalism. For the hundreds who rallied, many of them heavily armed, race was the defining issue. No one I talked to mentioned economic anxiety or trade policy. “You will not replace us” was the leading chant, and I was told multiple times that I was clearly a “Jew banker,” “faggot,” or “sellout to my people.” Their signs read “White Lives Matter” and said that Charlottesville’s black vice-mayor “Wes Bellamy is a Nigger.” I have met Trump voters who were not primarily motivated by race—these were not them.

Second, these guys are enabled by Donald Trump and the politics of Steve Bannon. From the “Heil Trump” chants to the MAGA hats, the participants were clear with me that Trump had made this “our time.” After Trump tweeted that “We ALL must be united,” former KKK grand wizard David Duke responded, “I would recommend you take a good look in the mirror & remember it was White Americans who put you in the presidency, not radical leftists.” At this point, Trump appears more beholden to white supremacists than to Putin. Doubt it? Watch the sequence of events on Saturday, from Trump’s relatively presidential tweet condemning the hate, to David Duke’s overt challenge to Trump not to disown the white tribalists who elected him, to Trump’s moral disaster of a press conference in which he refused to condemn or even name white supremacy or domestic terrorism and apparently ad-libbed the most cowardly act of moral relativism of the modern era.

Third, Saturday showed us a vision of a dystopian future that is the logical extension of our current gun laws. Not just gun ownership but AR-15s. Not just concealed carry but open carry. And not just the right to open carry even long guns but to dress in full military fatigues with accessories (earpieces, vests, insignias) to blur every line between legitimate law enforcement and a fully armed white nationalist militia. I have spent time in multiple conflict zones and still would not have known at a quick glance if bullets started flying which heavily armed men in camouflage and flak jackets represented law and order and which were armed terrorists. Donald Trump, who claims to be the hero of law enforcement, has issued no criticism of those who blur the line between public and private security forces, who blur the most sacred blue line between violence and force. Is there anything more vital of a commander in chief who claims to care about those who serve in uniform than to condemn those who fake the uniform?

Fourth, it is probably easiest to just start referring to this entire coalition as the modern KKK. Yes, they are fascists and white supremacists, “alt-right” and actual KKK. Yes, they each had a distinct uniform, from the white polo–wearing preppy brigade to the cosplay crowd to the toy-soldier dress-up troops. But they are clearly working as a coordinated unit, just as the Klan did through various periods. The working class generally wore the robes and committed the ugly crimes, while the leadership wore the robes of judges and badges of sheriffs that wielded the real power of ensuring white male supremacy. This network is trying to cross-brand, and the result is an integrated network of white supremacists that collectively constitute the modern Klan.

Finally, there will be a strong desire to avoid the proximate cause of this rally: how we remember the Civil War. Many moderates on both sides find it distasteful or “agitating” to consider how we memorialize that history. As someone who has worked on transitional justice efforts in a dozen countries, I can tell you that civilized countries have always made deliberate decisions about how to tell their history, who to memorialize, and how that becomes more accurate and informed over time. Do we honor history when we freeze in time a set of memorials largely born out of mythology, largely resurrected in the midst of desegregation (not the war), and largely based on an utterly debunked revisionist history of the Civil War? These critiques of renaming buildings and “protecting” statues are not historically accurate or intellectually honest. They are lazy attempts to avoid the difficult work of correcting the lingering effects of the Dunning School and the Lost Cause myth. It is a failure to understand the new Jim Crow laws that result. It is rendering invisible even today that the majority of human beings in Charlottesville and Albemarle County at the time of the Civil War were black, and it was black Union fighters who were the first to enter Richmond. What this three-month modern Klan campaign should teach those who passively support keeping these monuments is that they serve not as innocent icons of our past but political tools of hate and fear in our present.

Saturday could be the anomaly or become the norm. This could be coming to a town near you, or our future could be defined by the many solidarity vigils being organized around the country. Our future will be determined by whether we speak honestly about the racial demagoguery of this White House, whether principled conservatives stop enabling the racist and authoritarian policies of the Trump administration, whether we restore the line between force and violence, and whether we have the moral and intellectual courage to engage honestly with our past.

Langston Hughes famously said, America never was America to me,/ And yet I swear this oath—/ America will be. Saturday’s clash in Charlottesville may have lacked the poetry, but it offered the same prophetic challenge of those words. Previous generations sacrificed beyond measure to get us closer to that aspiration. Let’s be perfectly clear that there is only one good way for this story to end, and it isn’t with the the side of death or fear, of hate or of a nostalgia for a cult of racial injustice. It’s the only story there is to tell: of the America that will be.

I've called for the firing of the White House white supremacists Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, and Sebastian Gorka. I hope you will add your name to this call.
Your fellow climate hawk,

Tom Perriello


Tom Perriello on the Charlottesville Protests, Slate 

@TomPerriello: "Trump can start to prove he's not a white supremacist, but it'll take pink slips, not public statements. Must remove Bannon, Gorka & Miller."

Trump just held a news conference where he doubled down on casting “blame on both sides.”
He refused to acknowledge that the people gathered in Charlottesville to protest the removal of a Confederate monument were white supremacists.
Instead of condemning white supremacists and neo-Nazis, he characterized clergy, community members, and others protecting our communities as “very, very violent,” insisting that there are “two sides” to the story.

White supremacists organizations were already elated by this weekend’s events. The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website, declared “Total Victory.” Dozens of events are already planned in coming weeks, including in Boston this Saturday

Trump’s rhetoric is actively fueling racist violence and giving it the White House seal of approval.
But this isn’t just about Trump. And it isn’t just about the White House. Up and down the ticket, Republicans have made racism central to their agenda.
Tell the Republicans: Stop advancing a hate-filled agenda. Stand against the forces of exclusion and exploitation. Help us build a country where justice prevails.

We can build a movement to challenge the forces of exclusion and exploitation. But only with your help.

In Solidarity,

— Libero, Jacob, and the People’s Action team


314 Action

Since Trump took office, everywhere you turn there’s a new attack on science. He’s systematically and unabashedly removing fact and reason from government.

But we have one, very powerful way to change that: our votes. In 2018, we have a chance to fill Congress we leaders we deserve -- ones who will stand up to Trump’s attacks on science, support research and data in policymaking, and fight on issues like climate change.

In the weeks ahead, 314 Action will be taking a message directly to elected officials and candidates for office: Here are the names of people in your district who will refuse to vote for anyone who fails to respect the basic principles of science.

Sign our petition to pressure key lawmakers and candidates for office across the country: If you stand with science, we’ll stand with you >> Once we get enough grassroots supporters like you to sign on, we’ll deliver your signatures to their offices in person.

We started this organization to preserve scientific integrity in government -- and from what we’ve seen so far, it’s going to be a tough road ahead. We need lawmakers who will promise to uphold these critical scientific standards, and we need to demand it of them.

That’s exactly what we’re going to do now, before the midterm elections heat up. We’re going to call on elected officials and candidates for office to publicly support a strict set of principles -- things like protecting government scientists from political interference and fighting to preserve our status as a global leader in the fight against climate change, to name a few.

We want to show the leaders who stand up and support science that there will be thousands of us there to get their backs.

Add your name to our “stand with STEM” petition and we’ll deliver your signatures to key lawmakers and candidates across the country to ask them to sign on, too.

Thanks, as always, for standing with science.
Harmony Knutson
Director of Advocacy
314 Action

From Demand Progress:
The Department of Justice wants access to the 1.3 MILLION IP addresses of individuals who visited a Trump Resistance site leading up to the January inauguration.1 

Let me repeat that: The Department of Justice, led by Trump-goon Jeff Sessions, wants the names and IP addresses of 1.3 million people who simply visited a Trump Resistance website leading up to January’s inauguration. 
This is not a drill, this is how The Handmaid’s Tale and 1984 get started. Tell the DOJ to back off: Sign the petition demanding they withdraw their outrageous search for the IP addresses of Trump Resisters. 

The DOJ’s search warrant is more than a step too far, it’s a step off a bridge. Trump wants to use his position as President to identify as many people who disagree with his politics as possible. 

The Constitution’s Bill of Rights was written to protect citizens against the overreach of government. And now the DOJ is stomping all over it – attacking free political speech and the right to peaceably assemble. 
If we don’t push back now, the Trump administration will just get even more zealous with infringing on our civil liberties. 
The Resistance movement was built out of the need to protect our country and the people we love from a xenophobic bigot in the White House. Now Trump and Sessions have their sights set on them. 

Thanks for taking action,
Reuben and the team at Demand Progress

1. The Hill, “Justice demands 1.3M IP addresses related to Trump resistance site,” August 14, 2017.