Tag Archives: KKK

Ignorance is no excuse

Donald Trump’s repeated efforts to feign ignorance about notorious and infamous political characters offends anyone with half a noodle in their noggin who knows a blatant lie when they hear it.

Trump is lying once again, I believe with all my soul, when he professes to “not know Nick Fuentes” — the avowed white supremacist, anti-Semite and Holocaust denier.

It reminds me of how Trump claimed to “not know a thing” about David Duke, the nationally known Ku Klux Klan grand dragon who endorsed Trump’s presidential candidacy in 2016.

He lied then, too.

Or when he equated Klansmen and Nazis with counterprotester in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017. Remember when he told of “good people, on both sides” of that bloody riot? There are no “good” Klansmen or Nazis — period!

Fuentes broke bread with Trump and Kanye West, the rapper who’s also spoken ill of Jewish people, the other day in Mar-a-Lago, Fla. This latest example of Trump playing only to his racist base of supporters provides without question a hideous example of this individual’s unfitness for public office.


Blast from violent past

The tumult and tempest arising from the arrival of immigrants and, yes, refugees from Latin America have in their way taken me back to an earlier time in Texas when such new arrivals spawned violent protests and outright hatred.

Republican governors have taken great joy in sending migrants to Democratically held jurisdictions in a ploy to stick it in their ear. You favor welcoming these folks? Here, you can have ’em!

The Vietnam War ended in 1975 and with the end of the shooting in Vietnam thousands of refugees fled from Southeast Asia to the United States. They didn’t want to live under communist rule, so they found their way to the Land of Opportunity.

Many of those refugees settled along the Texas coast, seeking to resume their lives as fishermen and women. They sought to capitalize on the shrimp harvest opportunities. Not everyone welcomed them.

The Ku Klux Klan reared its ugly and evil head, raiding the Vietnamese shrimp fleets, cutting their nets and threatening the newcomers with violence if they didn’t leave the country. There was violence. Klansmen were charged with bringing physical harm and death to the Vietnamese.

Over time, though, the violence subsided. Today, in communities such as Port Arthur — with its substantial Vietnamese-American population — you find the influence of the descendants of those refugees in a most remarkable way. Check out the honor rolls of public high schools and you see plenty of names such as Nguyen, Phang and Lam. Yes, the children and grandchildren of those refugees excel academically and take that excellence with them into successful careers as adults

Do we really want to deny the current refugees — who flee communist tyranny in places such as Nicaragua and Venezuela — the same opportunity to succeed?

Let’s get real.


Elect a Nazi? Really?

Ponder this image for just a moment and then ask yourself: Would you want this individual representing you at any level of government?

The picture you see is of Chester Doles, a former Ku Klux Klansman. He is running for a county commissioner’s seat in Georgia. That gesture he is making is a Nazi salute, you know, the “heil Hitler!” thing we see on occasion at Klan rallies or gatherings of assorted white supremacist hate groups.

Doles is running as a Republican. Big surprise, eh?

I am thinking at this very moment of my father, who 80 years ago on Dec. 7 went to the armed forces recruitment center in downtown Portland, Ore., to sign up to fight the tyrants who (a) were trying to take over the world and (b) earlier that day attacked us at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Dad would be enraged at the thought of a dipsh** who flung out a Nazi salute running for any public office in the United States of America.

So should any conscientious American who knows what that salute represents. I get that the idiot ex-KKK’er has every right to express himself that way. It is prescribed in the Constitution that Dad and other patriots fought to protect during World War II.

Still, the expression shown here is as revolting and repulsive as any I can ever imagine.


Time of My Life, Part 60: Covering the worst among us

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

My career in print journalism exposed me to many fine public officials, people with servants hearts and those who listen to their better angels.

It also enabled me to see up close the very worst in our society.

I attended two Ku Klux Klan rallies during my years working for daily newspapers. The first of them took place in Orange County, Texas, just a bit east of where my family and I lived in Beaumont. The second rally occurred in Amarillo, in front of City Hall; the Amarillo rally in 2006 ended up being shouted down by counter protesters who marched onto the public parking lot blaring horns and beating drums.

The Orange County KKK rally took place around 1990. It’s worth mentioning today because contemporary society is talking more openly now about hate against minorities and about how the federal government for the past four years was turning its back on that hatred.

The event that triggered the KKK rally in Orange County involved a formerly all-white public housing complex that became home to an African-American man. The Klan didn’t like that the complex was integrating itself. So it decided to stage a rally to protest.

To be fair, it wasn’t a violent event. There were no counter protesters that I could see. The KKK honchos spoke what passes for their minds. They got cheers from the crowd.

The legendary newsman Dan Rather, a native Texan, has called Klan rallies a frightening thing to witness. To be honest, the Orange County KKK rally didn’t frighten me. I was appalled at the rhetoric I heard. I also was even more appalled at the reaction I overheard an audience member give to a media representative.

The media rep, from a local TV station, asked a woman why she supported the Klan. She said, and I remember this statement quite vividly: “Because I don’t want my fu**ing kids associating with those people.” 

Roll that one around for a moment or two. Who in the name of all that is holy would refer to their own children using such a profoundly reprehensible adjective?

We know the answer. It is the low-life who follows the hate-filled rhetoric of those who belong to an organization that used to lynch Americans whose only “sin” was to be born with black skin.

I was able to report on what I saw and heard that day. I wasn’t proud of what I witnessed. However, I came away vowing never to let those individuals out of my sight. It is better to keep them in front you rather than allowing them to skulk around in secrecy.

Fight the home-grown terrorists

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Domestic terrorism has entered the current political debate.

It is about damn time!

For the past four years, we have paid too little attention, or exerted too little emotional capital on the scourge of domestic, home-grown, corn-fed terrorists who hide in plain sight in our midst.

They presented themselves in full force on the Sixth of January when they marched to Capitol Hill, smashed their way into the Capitol Building, killed five human beings and threatened to stop the democratic process of certifying the results of a free and fair election.

President Biden has introduced the term “domestic terrorists” to the current lexicon, reviving it in the face of what the entire world witnessed early this past month.

FBI Director Christopher Wray told congressional committee members in 2019 that domestic terrorists posed an exponentially greater threat to Americans’ security that foreign terrorists working for, say, ISIS or al-Qaeda.

Did the Donald Trump administration act on that statement? Did it call out the proverbial cavalry to answer the call to root out the terrorists? No. It didn’t. Instead, we heard the president of the United States say in 2017 that there were good people on “both sides” of a dispute that erupted in Charlottesville, Va., between counter protesters and — get this — the Ku Klux Klan, Nazis and assorted white supremacists.

Yep. Donald Trump sought to elevate the Klansmen and Nazis to the same moral level of those who fought against them.

That cannot continue. Thank goodness we now have a president, Joe Biden, who knows better than to utter such moronic rhetoric out loud. You see, words have consequences and it is time this nation deal forthrightly with the terrorists who live among us.

The leadership required to commence that fight has just taken office in Washington, D.C. I believe the battle must be fought at least as long and hard as we are fighting the overseas enemies … and we mustn’t back away from calling what they are.


Anger is palpable

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Has there ever been a presidential campaign — in the past century — that has evoked the kind of visceral anger between devotees of both major-party presidential candidates than this one?

Donald Trump’s minions are accusing Joe Biden’s fans of fomenting socialism. Biden’s side argues that Trump is unfit to serve as president. Trump’s team is suggesting that Biden’s mental acuity is slipping. Biden’s team says Trump has become unhinged.

They sides now are talking to each other. Trumpkins accuse Bidenistas of hating America. Reverse those accusations and we hear the Biden team suggesting that Trump’s side favors Russian interests over American interests.

Who is to blame for this?

Here it comes. I blame Donald John Trump fully, completely and without equivocation.

Trump has fomented this kind of anger with his own fiery rhetoric. His campaign launch in 2015 with a blistering attack on Latin American immigrants and continued with a call to ban all travel into the country from those who live in mostly Muslim countries.

It has hurtled downhill from there.

The nadir of Trump’s presidency might have been when he called Ku Klux Klansmen and Nazis “good people.” Hmm. My dear old Dad would have come totally unglued were he around to hear that one, given that he went to war in 1942 to fight those very Nazis.

The litany of divisive rhetoric is too lengthy to recount here. You know what I’m talking about. The consequence has been anger that has filtered into the ranks of those who adore Donald Trump and those who loathe him.

Joe Biden Jr. promises to heal the nation. He wants to restore our national “soul.” I pray that the American soul isn’t permanently damaged by the battering it has received during the tenure of the Donald Trump’s time as president.

QAnon needs to um … go!

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

I have to make an admission.

This kook fringe called “QAnon” had gotten past me forl far too long. I didn’t know much about it. Then I learned more than I ever wanted to know.

These morons are loons, freaks, conspiracy nut jobs. They allege all kinds of lunacy, such as Democrats killing and eating children, that demons are invading the United States. They adhere to the usual lunacy, such as the birther crap involving Barack Obama and now, Kamala Harris.

QAnon espouses death to all Muslims.

But get a load of this: Donald Trump won’t disavow QAnon. He makes some goofball statement about it being “out there,” and that he doesn’t know anything about it, so he won’t pass judgment. “I’ve heard these are people that love our country and they just don’t like seeing it. I don’t know really anything about it other than they do supposedly like me. And they also would like to see problems in these areas … go away,” Trump said.

Huh? What the f*** is the matter with this clown?

I hear QAnon has some fans on the far right fringe. They include notables such as former Ku Klux Klan grand lizard David Duke, the hater who has endorsed Donald Trump’s re-election.

I want to hand out a bouquet to one Republican lawmaker, U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who has condemned QAnon. “QAnon is a dangerous lunacy that should have no place in American politics,” Cheney said in a statement on Thursday.

There you go. Some sanity does exist within the GOP. If only it did in the Oval Office.

Amusing or disgusting?

I am trying to decide whether Donald Trump’s assorted campaign strategies amuse me or disgust me.

I’ll say it’s possibly a bit of both … but mostly disgusting.

I watched Trump try to suggest the other day that Joseph R. Biden is intent on destroying the “suburbs.” To which I raised my eyebrows and thought, “Huh? What in the world is the Demagogue in Chief saying?” Then it dawned on me.

He accuses the former vice president, as I understand what passes for logic in POTUS’s noggin, of creating a lawless inner city, which will drive people out of the city and into the ‘burbs. Thus, we have a situation, according to the No. 1 demagogue, where suburbs are populated by those who formerly lived in the inner city.

It’s a thinly disguised code for racial politics, my friends.

It ain’t funny, so I’ll cease being amused by that tactic. It’s downright disgusting, vile, venal and vicious. It is precisely the kind of trait that Trump demonstrates routinely, such as when he called the Klansmen and neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville “fine people.” Or how about when he continued to insist that the nation’s first black president wasn’t born in the United States and that he was constitutionally ineligible to campaign for the nation’s highest office?

You get the idea, yes?

So now Donald Trump says Joe Biden is going to destroy the ‘burbs.


National divide might take generations to mend

Oh, how I hate the division that is threatening our national fabric. Really, I believe we are heading for fracturing that might take generations to heal.

Donald Trump got elected president in 2016 promising, among other things, to heal the wounds that divided us during that brutal campaign. How has he done? Not well … not well at all!

Indeed, the president has done next to nothing to even attempt to heal those wounds. The Charlottesville, Va., riot in2017 provides an example of what I mean. Klansmen and Nazis gathered in Charlottesville to protest the taking down of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee; counter protesters showed up, one of the counter protesters got run down and killed by one of the Nazis. Trump then said there were “fine people … on both sides!” Oh, no. There weren’t fine folks on both sides, Mr. President.

It has been like during Trump’s term as president.

We are degenerating into a society with intense anger fueled in large part by those who adhere to the president’s scorched-Earth policy regarding his foes.

To be fair, I don’t mean to toss all the blame solely at the president’s feet. There has been a good bit invective hurled at him from the other side. Perhaps the most egregious utterance came from a newly elected Democratic congresswoman from Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib, who declared at a rally that “we’re going to impeach the motherfu****!”

I don’t remember, though, who started this political pi**ing match. At this point, it doesn’t matter to me.

What matters is that we’re entering a presidential election season shrouded under the clouds of probable impeachment over presidential solicitation of foreign government help in his re-election fight. Donald Trump is going to launch every rhetorical missile in his formidable arsenal at his foes, who are likely to return fire with equal gusto.

I am just a spectator and a chump blogger with plenty to say about all that is unfolding in front of us. I don’t like what I am seeing and hearing.

I want it to end. I’ll get to my proposed solution right here: It will end only when Donald Trump is no longer president of the United States. He needs to be shown the door.

MAGA rally could round out life experience, just as Klan rallies did

I am not going draw any ideological parallels between Donald Trump’s political rallies to Ku Klux Klan rallies, however, it strikes me that I ought to explain why I am drawn to the notion of attending one of those Trump events.

We have one coming up next Thursday at the American Airlines Center. The president will be there to whip his followers up and get ’em energized as he ramps up his re-election effort in the face of probable impeachment by the House of Representatives.

I want to attend this rally because I am drawn by the pull of seeing of these spectacles up close, from a ringside seat.

I had similar pulls years ago. I attended two Ku Klux Klan rallies. The first one occurred in the early 1990s in Orange County, Texas. The second rally was in 2006 in Amarillo, Texas.

Why did I go? I was working for daily newspapers at the time. No one assigned me to either of these events. I just felt compelled to go because I needed to get a sense of what drove Klansmen to say the things they do about African-Americans and what drove their supporters to cheer the verbal sewage that spilled out of the Klansmen’s mouths.

I got an earful at both events. In their way, both KKK rallies helped round out my professional experience in a fashion that I cannot to this day describe.

Perhaps the Trump rally in Dallas next week will fill out another blank in my journalism upbringing, even though I no longer work full time for any publication. I write this blog for myself. It is full of my own bias, which I do not hide from anyone.

Still, I find the idea of attending a presidential re-election rally to be an irresistible urge, even if it has anything to do with a president named Donald John Trump.