Tag Archives: KKK

Goodbye, AG Sessions … and, yes, good riddance

I feel the need to set the record straight about former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

I have spent some time commenting positively about on this blog for his decision to recuse himself from the Russia probe into the Donald Trump presidential campaign. He faced a clear conflict of interest when he took the job as AG because of his campaign role as a foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump.

He was involved at some level with the Russians who made contact with the campaign. There were questions about an investigation. Sessions had to recuse himself because of the conflict of interest.

I applauded him for that singular act.

However, he shouldn’t have been selected AG in the first place. The man “earned” the nomination because he was the first U.S. senator to endorse Trump’s candidacy.

Prior to his becoming a senator, though, Sessions took on a serious blot on his public service record.

He served as a U.S. attorney in Alabama. President Reagan nominated him in 1986 to a federal judgeship. Then questions surfaced about Sessions’s comments regarding the Ku Klux Klan. Witnesses testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Sessions reportedly had given KKK members a pass until he learned that they “smoked pot.” Four Justice Department lawyers testified they heard Sessions make racist remarks.

The committee eventually voted 10-8 against his nomination. It went to the full Senate for a vote and senators rejected Sessions for the federal bench.

What did he do then? He ran for the Senate in 1996 — and won! He served in the Senate for 20 years until Trump tapped him to lead the Justice Department. He didn’t stand out during his Senate years. Sessions, though, did manage to get embraced by Trump.

Am I glad he’s gone from the Justice Department? Yes and no. I am unhappy that his resignation now clears the decks for Trump to nominate someone who endorses his view about Mueller’s investigation.

Overall, though, I won’t shed a tear that he’s gone. His pre-Senate history was a deal breaker from the get-go.

Dad would be appalled in the extreme

My late father wasn’t a particularly political individual. He didn’t have a lot of deep-seated political views that he shared regularly.

Dad, though, was a proud veteran of World War II. He served in the Navy, seeing combat in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations.

Thus, when I see pictures such as the one above — taken at an April 2018 neo-Nazi rally — I wonder: What would Dad think? How would he react?

He’s been gone for more than 38 years. To this day I have no particular memory about a discussion between us about neo-Nazis or those who sympathize with the monsters who in the 1940s tried to kill Dad and those who fought alongside him.

There has been a significant increase in the open demonstrations of neo-Nazis, white supremacists and others of their ilk during the past few years. Some of it was a response to the 2008 election of our first African-American president, Barack H. Obama. More of it came with the election of his successor, Donald J. Trump.

Indeed, such KKK luminaries as David Duke, the former Klan grand lizard, er … wizard, have commented openly about the joy they felt when Trump was elected in 2016.

So, I am able to some dots. Duke and other KKK members praise Trump’s election and we see a rise in Klan and Nazi activity across the land. Coincidence? I, um, don’t believe so.

The sight of this political idiocy makes my blood boil. I realize that our Constitution grants all citizens — no matter how disgusting their political views — the right to carry on as these idiots are doing.

I only can ask: How in the name of human decency can they burn a swastika and believe it will persuade anyone to join their perverted cause?

Dad and all those members of the Greatest Generation would be appalled.

Jewish leaders make remarkable demand of POTUS

It appears that any presidential outreach to the stricken Jewish community in Pittsburgh, Pa., is going to carry some provisions that I hope the president will honor.

Jewish leaders have told Donald Trump that he isn’t welcome in their city until he renounces white supremacists specifically and categorically. The demand came in the form of a letter written by members of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice.

Members have demanded also that the president stop targeting minorities, such as those who are fleeing repression in Central America and have formed the so-called “caravan” en route north.

According to The Hill: “The Torah teaches that every human being is made … in the image of God. This means all of us,” the leaders wrote. “In our neighbors, Americans, and people worldwide who have reached out to give our community strength, there we find the image of God.”

Pittsburgh is mourning the deaths of 11 congregants of Tree of Life synagogue. A man known for his anti-Semitic views is under arrest for the slaughter of worshipers on Saturday, the Jewish Shabbat, or sabbath.

Donald Trump should go to the city. He should extend his hand. He should lend his full support. He already has condemned the massacre as an “assault on humanity.”

The Jewish leaders want more. They are demanding the president say something vastly different from what he declared in 2017 after the Charlottesville, Va., riot that left a young woman dead. He tossed blame at “both sides,” the Nazis, Klansmen and white supremacists, along with those who protested against them. He then declared there were “very fine people … on both sides.”

He needs to retract that hideous attempt at moral equivalence.

That’s what the Pittsburgh Jewish leaders are demanding.

Are you listening, Mr. President?

Do we need tape recordings to prove racist view?

Omarosa Manigault Newman has dropped a few stools in the punch bowl regarding her former boss and (apparently) former friend, Donald John Trump.

She says she has heard tape recordings of the future president using the n-word to describe “Celebrity Apprentice” contestants. He account has been backed up by illusionist Penn Gillette, who says he heard Trump say it in the moment.

She’s written a book about her time as a special White House assistant, a post she left when chief of staff John Kelly fired her. Newman recorded the termination that occurred in the Situation Room, which is a serious breach of national security protocol. That, however, is a whole other story.

But I have to ask: Do we really need to hear these recordings to verify what has been virtually obvious? I mean, consider the following.

  • Trump fomented the lie about our first African American president’s place of birth.
  • He also challenged Barack Obama’s academic credentials that admitted him to Harvard Law.
  • Trump denigrates the intelligence of U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, CNN News anchor Don Lemon and pro basketball superstar LeBron James … all prominent African American public figures.
  • The president calls NFL football players protesting police brutality — the players are virtually all black — “sons of bitches.”
  • And all the while, he declines to issue a categorical condemnation of white supremacists, Klansmen and neo-Nazis.

Does the president refer to white critics as being less than intelligent? Why in the world did he continue to promote the defamatory lie that questioned President Obama’s constitutional right to seek the presidency? And why can’t the president bring himself to condemn hate groups such as the Klan exclusively? He recently watered down such “condemnation” with that sterile “all types of racism” qualifier.

Again, I ask: Do we really need to hear these recordings to validate what many millions of Americans — including me — believe about the man who’s been elected president of the United States of America?

This individual is a racist.

White supremacists get outshouted in D.C.

If you can’t stand what someone has to say, well, then just outshout ’em.

How’s that for a remedy? It showed itself this weekend in Washington, D.C., where white supremacists and other goons wanted to commemorate the Charlottesville, Va., riot a year ago that resulted in the death of a counter protester.

Given that the president of the United States would offer only sterile, tepid remarks condemning “all types of racism,” those opposed to the haters decided to show up in massive numbers. They outshouted the haters.

Hey, I believe in the First Amendment guarantee of free speech and expression. It was on full display as the counter protesters were heard over the white supremacists.

It reminds me of an event I witnessed in 2006 in Amarillo. The Ku Klux Klan wanted to launch a protest. Just as the KKK was getting ready to speak its peace, some counter protesters marched onto the City Hall parking lot banging cymbals, blowing on horns, shouting at the top of their lungs.

Leading the “charge” was the late Stanley Marsh 3, Amarillo’s most notable “eccentric.”

Ah, yes, the First Amendment. Ain’t it just grand?

Trump condemns ‘all types of racism’?

Donald John “Equivocator in Chief” Trump this morning issued a statement that condemned racism.

Not only that, the president chose to condemn “all types of racism.” I have been stewing over that qualifier for a good bit of the day and I have decided that Trump chose that language in his tweet for the same reason he chooses to suggest that nations other than Russia are attacking our electoral system.

Do you remember when he said in the wake of the Charlottesville, Va., riot how there was blame to go around to “all sides”? Do you also recall him saying after the riot between white supremacists and those who oppose them that there were “very fine people … on both sides”?

You see, the president who portrays himself as the toughest guy on the block cannot deal forthrightly with those we all know are evil. He chooses to spread the blame around and, thus, lessen the impact of his remarks.

After that hideous press conference in Helsinki in June when he had the chance to confront Vladimir Putin over the Russian attack on our 2016 election, he had to issue a “clarification” of what he said. He stated initially that he didn’t know why Russia “would” interfere. Then the next day he changed the word “would” to “wouldn’t,” but then waffled by suggesting that other nations were doing it, too.

Now he condemns “all types of racism” on this weekend where the nation will commemorate the tragic riot that exploded in Charlottesville one year ago.

I’ll be candid. The only form of racism worthy of condemnation in this context is the type of the hatred against African Americans and other ethnic and religious minorities by groups such as the KKK, the neo-Nazis and assorted white supremacists. This discussion doesn’t include other “types of racism.”

So, when the president waters down his condemnation first by offering it in a sterile Twitter message and then adding “all types of racism” suggests to me that he doesn’t really condemn the kind of racism that is under discussion.

We are referring, Mr. President, only to Klansmen, neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

POTUS condemns ‘all types of racism’

The riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division. We must come together as a nation. I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence. Peace to ALL Americans!

There it is. Right there is Donald J. Trump’s statement condemning racism in the United States.

OK. What do we make of this? Is the statement going to be the president’s final word on the subject? It came, of course, via Twitter. He flashed it out there from his vacation home in New Jersey.

I so want to believe this is enough. I want to feel assured that Donald Trump won’t ever utter another insensitive statement, such as ridiculing foes who happen to be African-American by denigrating their intelligence. To black Americans, that represents the “mother of all dog whistles,” given that racists too often question the intelligence of African-Americans.

There, of course, is so much more the president can say about racism. He can fill in many blanks, telling us how we should deal with hate groups, those who commit hate crimes, those who afflict victims solely because of their race.

Moreover, he could say these things on live television. He could speak to us from the Oval Office. He could look us in the eye, enabling us to judge the sincerity by watching how he spells out he intends to “condemn all types of racism.”

This weekend we’re going to commemorate the year since the Charlottesville, Va., riot that killed a young counter protester. Klansmen, Nazis and other white supremacists marched to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

He spoke of “very fine people … on both sides” of that tragic disturbance.

Just maybe the president could find it within himself to acknowledge that he made a grievous error by lifting the hate groups to the same moral standing of those who protested against them.

That would tell me a great deal more about his commitment to battling racism than a sterile tweet.

Swastika: most offensive symbol of all

America is going to look back a year ago this weekend as it marks the time a riot broke out in Charlottesville, Va. It started when neo-Nazis, Klansmen and white supremacists marched to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

It got real ugly when counter protesters showed up. One of the counter protesters died. One of the neo-Nazis is accused of murder.

I want to call specific attention to one of the hate groups’ symbols: the swastika.

The Confederate Stars and Bars offends me, too. The swastika, though, takes me to another level of disgust and revulsion. It symbolizes a European regime that started World War II with the aim of conquering the world.

Adolf Hitler’s tyrannical regime flew flags with that symbol while it eradicated 6 million Jews during the Holocaust. It sought to subjugate nations under that tyranny.

More to the personal point about why the swastika is so revolting. Men who fought for the Nazi regime in Europe while wearing that emblem sought to kill my favorite U.S. veteran: my father.

Dad served in the U.S. Navy from early 1942 until late 1945. He saw the bulk of his combat in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations. He endured more than three consecutive months of daily aerial bombardment by German and Italian warplanes.

He damn near was killed by men flying with that swastika painted on the wings of their aircraft.

The swastika has become the symbol to this day, along with that Confederate flag, of the Ku Klux Klan; the neo-Nazis, of course, salute the swastika in the manner that it was saluted during those dark days of World War II.

How any American to this day can swear fealty to such an ideology to my mind surrenders his right to be called an American.

But … I know we live in a society that protects political speech no matter how vile it is. The swastika is as vile as it gets.

Here’s your chance to step up, Mr. POTUS

It’s been a year since an event produced one of the many dark moments that have shrouded the presidency of Donald John Trump.

Some white supremacists/Klansmen/Nazis marched in Charlottesville, Va., to protest the taking down of a Confederate general’s statue from a public park. A riot ensued. A young female counterprotester was run down and killed.

Then the president said there were “good people — on both sides!” of the dispute. Yep, he elevated the haters to a level of moral equivalence to those who protested against them.

There’s going to be a white supremacist rally this weekend in front of the White House to commemorate the one year that passed since the Charlottesville tragedy. There well might be counterprotesters present to speak against them. The first family won’t be there; they’re vacationing in New Jersey.

Hmm. Let me think. What can possibly go wrong?

Here’s the chance for the president of the United States to say something he has continually declined to do during his still-brief career in politics: denounce and condemn the hatred espoused by race-baiters and the hate groups that have compiled an unmistakable history of killing Americans only because they were born with different skin color.

Donald J. Trump needs to step up. He needs to express himself in terms that we all can understand. He needs to speak to those of us who do not comprise his “base.”

Has he been totally silent? No, but when the president has spoken to this issue, he looks for all the world — at least to many Americans — as if he’s doing so under some measure of duress. The criticism of these groups does not come naturally to this individual.

He now is faced with the chance to say what he has needed to say all along. The president needs to show leadership that demonstrates that the elected leader of this great nation will not tolerate hatred … period!

Do I expect it from him? Hah!

Is Donald Trump a racist? Examine the ‘evidence’

A reader of High Plains Blogger questioned an assertion I made about what I perceive to be Donald J. Trump’s racist tendencies.

This reader said there is “no evidence” of racist intent by the president of the United States.

Hmm. Let’s look at what I consider to be “evidence” of such malevolence from Trump.

  • Starting in 2011, Trump began questioning the birth of Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States. He continued the lie even after saying that the president “was born in the United States.”
  • Earlier, he actually questioned whether Obama, then a U.S. senator, qualified academically for entrance into Columbia University and Harvard Law. Obama, of course, is the first African-American ever elected to the presidency.
  • Trump’s real estate properties have been subject to lawsuits from residents who have contended racial bias against them.
  • In 2017, Trump attached moral equivalence between the white supremacists/Nazis/Klansmen and those who protested against them in Charlottesville, Va. He said there were “fine people … on both sides” of the dispute.
  • He has called U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, a black member of Congress from California, a “low IQ person.”
  • He has called African-American football players “sons of bit****” because they kneel during the playing of the National Anthem at football games. He accuses them of disrespecting the military and the flag while they are protesting police policies against black citizens.
  • He calls Don Lemon, the CNN news anchor, “the dumbest man on television.” Lemon also is black.
  • He disparages pro basketball superstar LeBron James’s intelligence as well — after James announces the opening of a school in his hometown for at-risk children. LeBron James also is African-American.

There is “evidence,” therefore, of the president’s racist motivations.

It is disgusting and disgraceful on its face. Does he question the intelligence of white opponents? Why would he question the academic credentials of a future black politician who, by the way, was elected president of the Harvard Law Review while he was studying for his law degree?

And how does Donald Trump earn such full-throated praise in the aftermath of his hideous Charlottesville comments from the likes of Ku Klux Klan grand dragon David Duke?

All of this also provides ample evidence that the president is a racist. Pure and simple.