Tag Archives: KKK

Alt-right = white supremacists

This well might be the final time I’ll refer to the term “alt-right” in a manner other than to quote someone else’s statement about it.

You may count me, therefore, as one who wants to cease euphemizing what I believe the term really means: white supremacists, racist, bigots.

It has emerged in recent years as a term to define those on the far-right fringe of the political/ideological spectrum. As the events in Charlottesville, Va. — not to mention other communities that have been victimized by spasms of race-related violence — have shown us, the term “alt-right” has focused on a specific brand of political protest.

It has come to represent the views of those who support racist, bigoted ideologies. The term “far right” has taken on an ugly, evil identity. Perhaps it’s because what we used to know as the “conservative movement” has itself moved far past the midway point. To be called a conservative these days seems to mean something different than it did during the day of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan.

Donald J. Trump used the term “alt-right” to turn on what he called the “alt-left,” the counter protesters who clashed in Charlottesville with the neo-Nazis and KKK members who gathered to protest the taking down of that statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Here again, we saw the president seek to place the hate groups on equal footing with those who protested against them.

As for the term “alt-right,” consider me to be among those who no longer prefers to see it used other than to make sure we know what it represents.

It represents hatred and bigotry.

There. I’m done with that word.

‘Alt-right’ becomes euphemism for something ugly

‘Free’ speech gets drowned out … good!

They called themselves the “Free Speech Movement.” They planned to stage a big rally in Boston, but got drowned out by others who were having none of what this movement had to say.

The “Free Speech” folks said they disavowed the hate speech that’s become the talk of the nation. But thousands of counter protesters showed up to swallow up the “Free Speech” crowd.

It appears that advance knowledge of some of the speakers slated to talk alarmed community residents, which triggered the big counter protest. They were concerned about what they considered to be “veiled bigotry.” One big difference between this gathering and the one that erupted in Charlottesville this past weekend is that no one got hurt; there was no riot.

This all sounds familiar to yours truly.

In 2006, the Ku Klux Klan came to Amarillo to have a rally in front of City Hall. The city granted the KKK the permit they needed. The police came out in force. Amarillo PD deployed many officers, as did the Potter County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Department of Public Safety. The police set up an effective barrier that kept the crowd of onlookers away from the Klansmen.

At the moment the Klan leaders were set to start addressing the gathering in front of City Hall, a parade of counter protesters came marching onto the parking lot. They were loud, man! They were banging cymbals, blowing horns, beating drums, yelling at the top of their lungs.

I don’t recall, 11 years later, what the Klan’s message was on that warm summer day. The haters couldn’t get a word in edgewise.

I couldn’t have been prouder of the way our community reacted to the Klan’s presence in our midst.

The most fascinating encounter I witnessed occurred right next to me. It involved then-Amarillo Police Chief Jerry Neal and a Klan member. Neal was there in full cop regalia: dress blues and all the hardware that beat cops wear when they’re on patrol … if you get my drift. The Klansman asked the chief, “Can I ask you something?”

Neal’s response was brusque and right to the point: “No. You can’t. Now, get away from me.”

What happened today in Boston had plenty of precedent. It should continue for as long as hate groups — or those aligned with them — believe they have license to spread their bigoted message.

‘Six Flags’ now all look alike

How about this?

Six Flags Over Texas, the noted theme park in Arlington, has made a fascinating decision about the flags it flies.

The Charlottesville riot and the blowback over symbols of the Confederate States of America has moved Six Flags to replace the various flags with just one: Old Glory.

Six Flags over Texas has removed the various colors it flew. The flags represented France, Spain, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Stars and Stripes and, yes, the Confederate States of America.

Now all six banners will be the United States national flag, the Old Red, White and Blue.

The outrage over Donald Trump’s comments about the riot, the notion that “both sides” were responsible for the violence that erupted, has prompted this change at the Six Flags theme park. The protest turned into a riot when counter protesters challenged Ku Klux Klansmen, white supremacists and neo-Nazis who had gathered to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a public park. A young woman was killed during the riot when she was run over by a motor vehicle allegedly driven by a young man with neo-Nazi sympathies.

Six Flags spokespeople say the park has sought to display flags that illustrate “unity.” Given the harsh response to what transpired in Charlottesville, the park has decided that unity should be displayed in the form of Old Glory.

Which begs another fascinating question: How about the flags that fly during the musical “Texas”? The Texas Panhandle plays host every summer to the acclaimed musical “Texas” at Palo Duro Canyon. The show concludes with horsemen and women riding across the set carrying the “Six Flags” that represented the governments of Texas. One of them is, you guessed it, of the Confederacy.

Will the “Texas” producers follow the lead provided by Six Flags Over Texas? I salute Six Flags for demonstrating remarkable sensitivity to the national mood.

And do I sense a name change at the theme park is in the making?

Trump has riled a grieving mother

My memory at times lets me down, but I am pretty sure that in my lifetime I haven’t heard of anything quite like this.

The mother of a young victim of racial violence has declared her intention to refuse a call from the president of the United States of America when he gets around to making it.

Susan Bro’s daughter, Heather Heyer, was mowed down by someone driving a car into a crowd of counter protesters this past weekend in Charlottesville, Va. Heyer was among those protesting a demonstration by hate groups — Ku Klux Klansmen, neo-Nazis and white supremacists; the haters were protesting the taking down of a Confederate statue.

The young man arrested and charged with killing Heyer is known to have pro-Nazi, white supremacists views. Donald John Trump then took the floor at Trump Tower to say that “both sides” were equally to blame for the violence that erupted in Charlottesville.

That was too much for Bro. “I have not, and now I will not,” Bro said Friday when asked whether she had spoken with Trump. “You can’t wash this one away by shaking my hand and saying I’m sorry. I’m not forgiving for that.”

Amazing, yes?

There was more to Trump’s statement that enraged Bro. The president said there were “many fine people … on both sides” taking part in the demonstration. Fine people? Did he actually mean to suggest that those who march with neo-bleeping-Nazis are “fine people”?

The president has messed with a grieving mother. He once again exhibited his utter cluelessness about the weight of his words.

President seeks to inflame emotions even more

I am about to embark on a futile and pointless mission, which is to try to talk some sense into the president of the United States of America.

Donald John Trump Sr. is planning a “campaign-style” rally in Phoenix, Ariz., next week. The city’s mayor has implored the president to forgo the visit.

The “why?” is simple. National tensions have hit a fever pitch. We’re still reeling over the Charlottesville riot and the death of young Heather Heyer and two Virginia state troopers. Klansmen, neo-Nazis and white supremacists gathered to launch a protest; counter protesters met them. They clashed and all hell broke loose.

The president then proceeded to absolutely demolish his moral authority on damn near anything by declaring that “both sides” were at fault and in the process virtually equated the racist, bigoted hate mongers with those who opposed them.

So now Trump wants to stage another rally out west? He wants to tell his adoring — but shrinking — cadre of supporters about all the good things that have occurred since he became president?

Memo to POTUS: There stands a very real chance, sir, that your rally is going to provoke more violence. It might go badly for everyone concerned.

Then there’s this: We’re hearing talk about the president possibly pardoning former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has been convicted of violating the civil rights of illegal immigrants he had arrested. “Sheriff Joe” has become a darling of the anti-immigration movement, given his tough talk and actions.

I merely would implore the president to resist the temptation to pour even more fuel onto that already-burning blaze.

OK. I’ve stated my piece. I know it won’t matter one damn bit to the president or to his supporters who read this blog. However, I feel better having gotten it out there.

Now, let’s hope for the best — which would be for the president to skip this rally. Hey, maybe Ivanka can talk some sense into Dad’s thick, orange skull.

Presidents make powerful statement, but it needs more

There you go. A powerful statement from the two most recent Republican presidents of the United States, father and son, George H.W. and George W. Bush.

Their reaction to the Charlottesville riot and the tragic death of Heather Heyer speaks volumes about their decency and compassion.

However …

There’s an element missing from this statement. What is missing is a specific condemnation of their successor, Donald John Trump.

It’s the kind of rebuke and denunciation that must come from members of the president’s own party. They must condemn not just the acts of hate that transpired in Charlottesville, but also the president who — in a stunning display of ignorance and arrogance on Tuesday — equated the hate merchants with those who oppose them.

Indeed, the silence from the GOP political high command has been deafening in its own right. House and Senate leaders have spoken eloquently about their loathing of intolerance, bigotry and racism. Good for them!

But the rest of the condemnation also must single out the president of the United States who tossed aside the proverbial “dog whistle” he has used to incite his political base and replaced it with a bullhorn. We all heard what he meant when he said “both sides” are to blame for the tragedy that unfolded in Charlottesville.

No, Mr. President. There is no “both sides do it” moral equivalence here. The riot was provoked by the presence of white supremacists, the KKK and neo-Nazis who protested the taking down of a statue of Robert E. Lee. They marched under the lights of tiki torches, which symbolize the terror tactics used by the Klan and, yes, by the Nazis in Europe prior to World War II.

And yet the president drew a moral equivalence between the hate groups and the counter protesters. It was disgraceful in the extreme for Trump to do such a thing.

I’m glad the two former presidents have spoken out. They both have been quiet since leaving the presidency in 1993 and 2009.

I just wish they would have taken the final step and called out Donald Trump by name. Maybe that moment will arrive in due course. Let us hope.

Trump has managed to remove all doubt

I’ve acknowledged on occasion in this blog that I am at times a bit slow on the uptake.

Yesterday, though, only the dimmest of bulbs who watched the president’s impromptu press conference couldn’t have realized what they were witnessing in real time — as it was occurring.

The bulb in my brain lit up brightly as I watched Donald John Trump do what he did. I’m sure yours did, too. Indeed, the picture accompanying this post is of White House chief of staff John Kelly listening to the president’s remarks at Trump Tower; I have to wonder what Kelly must be thinking in real time.

We all witnessed an extraordinary display of ignorance from the man elected to represent the greatest nation on Earth. He decided to revert back to his original response to that Charlottesville riot, the one in which he blamed “many sides” for the violence that erupted.

He equated the neo-Nazis/white supremacists/Ku Klux Klansmen who gathered to protest the taking down of a Robert E. Lee statue with counter protesters.

I watched the president’s Q&A and felt my jaw drop in amazement the longer it went on. Trump was revealing precisely who he is, what he stands for and who he represents. This individual does not represent yours truly.

What the president did was suggest that racist hate groups were no different from those who oppose them. The white nationalists and Klansmen have a lengthy history of demonstrating that they believe they are superior to those who don’t look like them. They have acted violently over the course of the past two centuries against people of color, non-Christians and immigrants.

And yet the president said that Charlottesville’s tragedy was the result of actions of those on “both sides.”

I remain utterly amazed and astounded that this man now is our head of state, our head of government, our commander in chief. His remarks Tuesday afternoon have shown the nation he was elected to lead that his critics had it right — that he is unfit for the office he occupies.

President Lincoln once reportedly said it is “better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

I suppose the same can be said that Donald Trump has removed “all doubt” about his true character — or lack thereof.

Call out the president by name, GOP leaders

We’ve heard a lot of chatter about the responsibility of leaders to name their adversaries by name, to call out those who act irresponsibly or reprehensibly.

Republicans implored Democratic President Barack Obama to label international terrorists as “radical Muslims.” Obama declined during his time in the White House, saying we must not suggest the terrorists are associated with a great religion.

Just recently, we heard others say that a Republican president must call out the instigators in the Charlottesville riot by their names: white supremacists, neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klansmen. Donald Trump at first declined to do so, then he did.

Today, though, he reverted back to his initial response to the violence in Virginia, blaming it on “both sides.” He sought to attach some sort of moral equivalency between the racists who were protesting the removal of a Confederate statue with the counter protesters.

The president put on a shameful display today at Trump Tower.

So it now falls on Republicans across the land to call out the president — a fellow Republican — by name. There’s been a lot of social media chatter from GOP leaders about how we must not tolerate hate groups, racists, bigotry, anti-Semitism. It’s no longer enough to denounce these hideous groups. It’s time to denounce the president who today demonstrated what he truly believes about these hate mongers.

They now need to take the next step. These Republican leaders — including members of Congress — need to say: Donald Trump, you are consorting with hate groups and we will not tolerate such disgraceful behavior from the president of the United States.

I mean, c’mon. Are they going to seriously tolerate a word of good cheer for the president’s performance today from David Duke … of all people?

‘Fine people’ among the neo-Nazis?

The president of the United States has provided so much grist for us out here in Flyover Country, I almost don’t know where to start.

OK, I’ll start with this: Donald John Trump Sr. said the Klansmen, neo-Nazis and white supremacists comprised “many fine” individuals who had gathered in Charlottesville, Va., to protest the removal of that statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Does the president believe anyone who belongs to a well-recognized hate group would qualify as a “fine” person? Is that what he believes?

Well, yes he does. He said so today while launching into that amazingly stupid, ignorant rant about how “both sides” were to blame for the riot in Charlottesville.

Oh, sure, Trump paid tribute to the counter protesters, too, saying they had some good folks among their ranks. That was his way of equivocating, I suppose — kind of the way he used the “many sides” dodge in his initial response to the Charlottesville violence.

Mr. President, I don’t know any white supremacists, or neo-Nazis, or Ku Klux Klansmen. It might be that I refuse to associate with those of that particular ilk. Why? Because I set a pretty high standard for those with whom I associate.

They are “fine” individuals. None of those hate group members is anything of the sort.

POTUS shows us once more he is unfit for his office

This video is about 23 minutes long. If you have the time — and if you have the stomach for it — take some time to watch it.

You will witness the president of the United States demonstrate a remarkable implosion. Donald John Trump Sr. said many astonishing things during this press conference on the ground floor of Trump Tower.

He reverted back to his “many sides” argument in response to the Charlottesville, Va., riot that was provoked by white nationalists/neo-Nazis/Ku Klux Klansmen protesting the removal of a Confederate statue.

Trump accused the so-called “alt-left” of attacking the racists.

The president once again blamed the media for its coverage of the event over the weekend, saying that the media were “unfair” in their reportage of the white supremacists.

POTUS also took shots at Sen. John McCain for voting against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, as well as at “fake news” outlets and their representatives.

It was an astonishing display of maximum petulance today at Trump Tower.

The president in effect reverted to form this afternoon. He exhibited compelling evidence that his initial response to the Charlottesville event — where he said “many sides” were to blame for the violence — came from his gut and that his more restrained response delivered Monday was canned, strained and done against his will.

Oh, and he conflated the American Revolution with the Civil War, noting that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, as did the leaders of the Confederate States of America. He asked, then, if it’s time to remove statues of the Father of Our Country and the author of the Declaration of Independence.

My head is about to explode.

I watched every moment of Donald Trump’s disgraceful display this afternoon. I still cannot believe what I witnessed.

Take a look at the video.