Tag Archives: racism

Confederate flag also represents treason, oppression

Donald J. Trump just cannot bring himself to acknowledge what a majority of American southerners now admit … that the Confederate flag symbolizes racism.

Oh, no. Trump declares the flag is a symbol of “Southern history.” Well, yeah. It is that. The history, though, includes the Civil War. I know Trump has heard of it.

The war began when the Confederate States of America decided it wanted to form a new country. To do so it had to separate from the United States of America. Then the rebels fired on the Union garrison in Charleston, S.C. harbor. The war was on!

The conflict killed more than 600,000 Americans. Yes, I include the Confederate forces as “Americans,” even though they committed a treasonous act by taking up arms against the federal government.

Why did they go to war? Because their states wanted to keep human beings enslaved. They wanted the right to “own” humans as property. It’s been referred to euphemistically as a “states rights” issue. It is no such thing. The CSA wanted to retain the right to oppress human beings.

They fought the Union forces under the Confederate flag that Donald Trump — the man who has no understanding of history and its complexities — says represents “Southern history.”

The Confederate flag well might symbolize “history” to many Americans. To many others it represents hatred, oppression and enslavement. It is no coincidence that contemporary hate groups — the KKK, instance — flies the Confederate flag while spewing hate speech aimed at African-Americans.

Is that worth honoring? Hardly.

Social media get him again

Donald J. “Racist in Chief” Trump managed to step into a pile of dog doo yet again, tried to yank it out of the stinking pile, but it was too late … I venture to say.

Trump thought it would be clever to retweet a video of a supporter of his yelling “white power!”

Then he pulled it down. Deleted it as if it never happened.

As the saying goes, oops. I am not the first one to tell Trump this, but it happened. It’s out there. That makes social media as much of a curse as it is a blessing. You cannot unhonk the ol’ horn, Mr. POTUS.

Trump and his Trumpkin Corps say he didn’t see the video. He doesn’t know the guy. If it’s true that he didn’t see it, then how does it go out on his Twitter feed where it is seen by his millions of followers?

I ain’t buying it.

Racism takes many forms

I am seeing this drama unfold from some distance, but given my history with Amarillo, Texas, it isn’t as far as many other communities on which commented regarding similar issues.

A local lawyer, Jesse Quackenbush, wants to open a Mexican food restaurant called Big Beaners. It has, um, drawn considerable opposition within the community. Why? The term “beaners” is perceived by many Latinos to be an ethnic slur. Some of us Anglos see it that way, too.

Quackenbush, known for his feisty and occasionally combative nature, isn’t backing down. He wants to open the joint in early July; I understand he pushed the opening date back a few days.

He said he isn’t going to change the name because he already has ordered restaurant supplies — napkins, cups, plates and such — with the name Big Beaners inscribed on them.

This story, it seems to me, is a direct result of the rising public awareness of racial and ethnic sensitivity that has been pushed to the front of our consciousness. I haven’t spoken to Jesse Quackenbush about this, although I do understand he is digging against the racism allegation.

I just would suggest that the term “beaners” is a term that has racist connotations to many of us who hear it. I wish he would rename the restaurant he intends to open.

We return to Amarillo on occasion to see family and friends. I guess I should just acknowledge that I won’t darken his door as long as the establish carries a name that I find offensive.

No ‘hate crime,’ but the love should remain

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports 

Bubba Wallace quite suddenly has become NASCAR’s most visible driver. He is the only top-tier African-American driver in the racing circuit.

It was thought for a few days that someone had hung a noose in his garage at the track in Talledaga, Ala., spurring outrage among drivers, their owners, many fans and politicians. Then we hear from the FBI that the noose had been in the garage since October 2019, well before Wallace and his crew took up space in the garage stall.

He had made his mark by calling for the removal of Confederate flags at NASCAR events. NASCAR heard him and took down the flags, which themselves in the eyes of many of us are symbols of hate, oppression and treason.

No hate crime has been committed, said the FBI.

What now?

NASCAR showed its love and respect for Wallace prior to the race the other day in Talledaga. Drivers and their crews escorted Wallace’s No. 43 car to the front of the line. The race started and Wallace led several laps before finishing in 14th place.

Wallace said he won’t be silenced by any threats. This particular threat apparently has been deemed a non-starter. The outcome of the FBI probe into what they found in that garage stall doesn’t diminish the message that a single driver sought to deliver about his sport. Yes, it was born in the South. Yes, too, the Confederate flag has been a key symbol at NASCAR events. Bubba Wallace simply has told us what many of us have known all along, that the symbol represents a dark and evil chapter in our nation’s history.

The young man deserves the love that has poured forth from his colleagues and from fans around the country.

Toss in ‘hate’ to replace ‘heritage’ and ‘history’

So much for the “heritage” and “history” argument for flying the Confederate flag.

Let’s consider “hate” as well, shall we?

NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, the only African-American driver among the top tier of drivers in the popular sport, recently led the call for NASCAR to remove the Confederate flag from its events. NASCAR listened and issued an order banning the flag that is the symbol of the Confederacy, the group of states that seceded from the Union in 1861 and went to war with the U.S. of A. They went to war because they wanted to preserve states’ rights to sanction the enslavement of human beings.

Not all of NASCAR’s base of fans is happy with the removal of the flag. They disagree that it symbolizes racism, that it merely reflects people’s respect for their “heritage” and the “history” of the nation.

Well, what do you suppose happened over the weekend?

Someone got into Wallace’s garage at a Southern track and left a noose. Hmm. Heritage and history … my a**!

You know what the noose represents. It represents hate in a raw, despicable form.

Let’s quit the crap about the Confederate flag symbolic importance to people’s heritage and the nation’s history. The flag represents a disgraceful chapter in America’s story.

Divider in Chief shows his stuff … again!

Donald J. “Divider in Chief” Trump is going to make a splash — bigly! — when he resumes active campaigning for re-election.

He’s going to show up in Tulsa, Okla., on Juneteenth of all days. That’s June 19, the day African-Americans received word in 1865 that they had been freed from enslavement.

But … here’s the kick in the gut. Tulsa is the place where in May 1921 white supremacists massacred African-Americans in what became known as the nation’s most hideous racial confrontation.

It was far more than a riot. It was a full-scale assault on the black community in that city. It killed 36 people, 26 of whom were black.

And this is the place where Donald Trump wants to re-start his re-election campaign, which has been all but suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic. Astonishing, man! And reprehensible. Also despicable. I’ll throw in repulsive to boot!

I don’t buy the notion that Trump is totally ignorant of U.S. history or what Juneteenth means to African-Americans or what Tulsa means to those who abhor racial violence. Instead, I am going to endorse the notion put forth by former Defense Secretary James Mattis, who said recently that Trump is the first president in Mattis’s memory who doesn’t seek to unify the nation, that he works deliberately to divide it.

As I watch Trump re-start his campaign, I will do so with utter disgust that he would deliberately inflame tensions that already are smoldering from the anger created by the death of George Floyd, who was suffocated while in police custody in Minneapolis.

Gen. Mattis appears to be so correct, that this president has no interest in unifying the country.


Pandemic response gives way to police brutality response

Donald Trump’s response to the global pandemic has been chronicled thoroughly as a disaster, pure and simple.

Trump fluffed the initial response by dawdling and dismissing the COVID-19 threat. Now look at the toll just in the U.S. of A. More than 100,000 dead; more than 1 million sickened. Trump keeps yapping that he’s done better than anyone else on Earth.

It’s crap, man!

Now comes the response to George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, Minn. A police officer choked Floyd to death by pushing his knee into the back of Floyd’s neck. Three other officers stood by. They said nothing. They watched as Floyd cried out, calling for his mother, begging for his life. All four were fired immediately by the police department. The now-former cop who killed Floyd is charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

What has been Donald Trump’s response to the latest crisis to dominate media coverage? Has he called for a national conversation on the way police treat African-Americans? Has he said anything more than a perfunctory expression of sadness at the death of a man at the hands of rogue cops? No.

He has called for police to get tough. He said he is considering bringing the full weight of the military to bear in quelling the riots that have erupted in cities throughout the land. Think of that for just a moment … good grief!

Trump has castigated governors for being “weak” in their response to this crisis.

The nation needs someone who can speak with calm. With firm kindness. With an understanding of the cause of the crisis along with how to respond to it.

Donald Trump’s one-dimensional reaction to the national turmoil that has erupted provides just another example of how unsuited he is for the job he inherited.

They are ‘rioters,’ not ‘protesters’

For as long as we continue to discuss openly the reaction of those who damage others’ property and inflict more misery and mayhem in the name of justice, I am hereby making a pledge.

I no longer will refer to them as “protesters.” They are “rioters.” I might even toss in another epithet or two to describe the imbeciles who take to the streets in the manner we have witnessed in the wake of the George Floyd murder by the Minneapolis, Minn., cop.

A protester is one who exercises his or her rights of “peaceable” assembly.” It’s laid out in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. A protester is one who follows the example set by the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who preached non-violent civil disobedience and urged those who followed him to do the same.

George Floyd died when a police office suffocated him. He pleaded with the officer to “please, please” remove the knee from back of his neck because, he said, “I can’t breathe.” He begged for his “mama” before losing consciousness … and then dying.

The officer who killed Floyd has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. There should be other charges leveled against the three other officers involved in this hideous incident.

As for the rioters, they do not do a single thing to advance the cause for which they ostensibly seek to bring to our national attention.

I believe the rest of us who are horrified at the sight of George Floyd’s life being snuffed out need to reserve large amounts of anger at the rioters who have usurped the attention from actual protesters whose voices need to be heard.

Mob mentality exhibiting its ugliness

George Floyd is the latest in a long and distressing line of African-Americans who have fallen victim to police cruelty. I’ve seen the video of the Minneapolis cop pressing his knee on the back of Floyd’s neck, watching him pass out after pleading with the officer to release him because he couldn’t breathe.

Floyd’s death has sparked justifiable outrage and anger among many Americans, black and white.

However … I want to speak about the mob mentality that has overwhelmed Minneapolis. We are witnessing the worst possible way to call for “justice” for George Floyd, who died day after being manhandled by the cops.

The Minneapolis Police Department fired the four officers immediately after the incident. That isn’t enough. There needs to be a thorough investigation into whether they committed a prosecutable crime. I am inclined to believe they did.

The rioting, looting and, yes, the reported death of a resident in all the mayhem is what I want to address here.

Civilized human beings never should destroy property to supposedly protest an injustice that has been done. The scenes of the fires, the smashing of motor vehicle windows, the theft of items by looters does not advance a single noble notion if society is going to put an end to the type of conduct we have witnessed — yet again — by law enforcement officers against an American citizen.

I am sickened by what we have all seen prior to George Floyd’s death. He wasn’t resisting arrest for a non-violent crime. He was, as I saw it, killed by an officer who went far beyond what is normal and humane.

I also am sickened by the sight of the looting, vandalism, mayhem and outrageous behavior of citizens who are doing far more harm than good in their quest for justice.

I fear they might have dishonored the memory of George Floyd.

Justice can be found, but not this way.

Justice on its way for jogger?

The incident occurred in February. The nation only heard about it this week.

The outrage has been ferocious and by most accounts highly justified.

Now comes word that that two men involved in the shooting of a jogger in Georgia have been arrested, jailed and charged with murder and aggravated assault.

Yes, the two suspects are white; the victim is black. One of the men is a former sheriff’s deputy and former district attorney investigator.

This is a hideous story.

Gregory McMichael and his son Travis McMichael allegedly shot a young African-American man, Ahmaud Arbery, in Brunswick, Ga. Arbery was jogging in the neighborhood when one of the suspects shot him to death.

It has fueled yet again the argument that young black men are in peril simply because of their skin color.

According to CNN.comAccording to a Glynn County Police report, Gregory McMichael, 64, later told officers that he thought Arbery looked like a person suspected in a series of recent break-ins in the area.

After they chased down Arbery, McMichael told police, Arbery and Travis McMichael, 34, struggled over his son’s shotgun. The elder McMichael told police that his son shot Arbery after the latter attacked him, according to the police report.
Obviously, I wasn’t there. But this whole story stinks like a rotting fish. It’s tragic that it took a dose of national outrage for the authorities to do what they likely should have done long ago. This saddens and sickens me.