Samuel Alito — Chip Somodevilla/Getty
❝ If we had a fair Supreme Court not driven by partisanship in its most political cases, Thursday’s blockbuster revelation in the census case would lead the court to unanimously rule in Department of Commerce v. New York to exclude the controversial citizenship question from the decennial survey. Those newly revealed documents show that the Trump administration’s purpose in putting the citizenship question on the upcoming census was not its stated one to help Hispanic voters under the Voting Rights Act, but rather to create policy that would be “a disadvantage to the Democrats” and “advantageous to Republicans and non-Hispanic Whites…”
…It’s difficult to produce a greater smoking gun than explicitly saying you are hoping to help the GOP by increasing white voting power. But this revelation, coming from the hard drive of a deceased Republican political operative and made available to Common Cause by his estranged daughter, is ironically more likely to lead the Republican-appointed conservative justices on the Supreme Court to allow the administration to include the question that would help states dilute the power of Hispanic voters…
❝ As I explained in Slate back in March, the U.S. government is defending the inclusion of a question about citizenship for the first time since the 1950 census as needed to provide accurate demographic information to the Department of Justice to help it protect Latinos in Voting Rights Act lawsuits. Two lower courts had found that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross insisted on including the citizenship question for undisclosed reasons and that the DOJ voting rights claim was a mere pretext. Republicans have again lined up in favor of including the question, which Democrats oppose as likely to inhibit a complete and accurate count of all persons in the United States as explicitly demanded by the Constitution, leading to lower representation in Democratic-leaning areas and fewer federal resources based on population.
All of this may be the first open display of what passes for conservative in today’s Republican Party. The remaining hard-liners will stick with the fake president and his protozoan fascist brain trust through every attempt to drag the United States back to the level of civil war rationales for “keeping down” everyone but “acceptable” white folks.
❝ Donald Trump’s values and beliefs may appear incoherent, but they are not a buffet or à la carte meal from which a person can pick and choose from. Rather, they are a nasty, incestuous knot that cannot be easily untangled. Ultimately, to wear Donald Trump’s MAGA hats or his other regalia is to share and endorse his racism, sexism, nativism, bigotry and anti-social behavior. To utter the words “Make America Great Again” with no sense of irony or foreboding is to announce one’s betrayal of human decency and distrust of democracy.
❝ How do Trump’s MAGA hats and other clothing and slogans help to create a sense of political community for his followers? Is “Make America Great Again” an implicit threat against nonwhites, Muslims and others that he and his followers deem to be a type of enemy Other? Does Trumpism represent larger cultural battles in America about the role of academics, teachers, intellectuals and other experts in public life? Should Trump’s supporters be held morally accountable for their political decision-making and the harm that they are causing to American society?
❝ If you look at the reasons that Trump and his movement actually believe (and often explicitly say) that American is not great any longer, it’s because there’s now too many nonwhite immigrants. America for Trump and his supporters is no longer great because black people have too many rights or there are too many women in the workplace.
Trump and his MAGA hats and slogans and policies are also connected to things like the Muslim ban, building the wall, calling Mexicans rapists and saying the terrorists are crossing into the border among these caravans from Guatemala. The obvious conclusion is hard to escape. It takes a certain kind of willful denial and willful ignorance to wear a MAGA hat and assume that you’re not conveying all those values and beliefs.
RTFA if you need reinforcing arguments for the concept. Actually, if you have the habit of reading science-based articles, verifiable material reality – it’s just one more good source to give to your friends who haven’t the habit.
❝ A Colorado sports apparel store is closing after its owner’s decision to boycott Nike gear as a protest against the brand’s embrace of Colin Kaepernick proved to be a financial death blow.
Stephen Martin, owner of Prime Time Sports in Colorado Springs, took all Nike goods off his shelves this past fall after the global brand launched a marketing campaign with the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback — “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything….”
❝ “Being a sports store and not having Nike jerseys is kind of like being a gas station without gas…”
Martin decided Sunday that his business couldn’t go on and started marking down goods 40 percent off. He estimated that it’ll take four weeks to liquidate all his inventory.
Martin says he feels good about his decision. No doubt. I can’t think of many bigots who didn’t feel justified in their racism, sexism, ethnic hatreds, whatever. Some few learn and reflect years later on their foolishness. Most don’t.
❝ The hat’s its own thing. It is imbued with a symbolism that’s divorced from complicated ideologies. The volumes it speaks aren’t about the thorny issues of immigration policy; they’re about Trump’s coarse blanket statement about “criminals and rapists.” It doesn’t represent a side of the continual battle waged over the bodily autonomy of women; it’s “grab ’em by the pussy.” It’s not connected to any piece of the important conversation about how to heal America’s racial divide, make peace with our shared past, and fight racism in the present while moving forward as a nation; it’s simply the voice saying “both sides” after Charlottesville.
❝ That red hat, emblazoned with the phrase “Make America Great Again” in white letters, isn’t a political statement anymore. It’s a declaration of intolerance that has taken on a life of its own. So when a few dozen smirking white kids wearing the hat have a confrontation with an Omaha elder at the Lincoln Memorial, the context added by viewing a preceding confrontation with a sect of the Hebrew Israelites becomes largely unimportant. The kids are wearing a symbol of hate. Not just a symbol of hate to adults involved in the political conversation, either. A symbol that has been linked to bullying in schools across the country.
There once was a nation that abused a symbol originated by Native Americans. Put it on their hats, their flag. In the spirit of nationalism, the supremacy of bigots. Lots of Americans died stopping the spirit that hat, that symbol, came to represent.
❝ If you were a Roman citizen around, say, 200 BC, you probably would have assumed Rome was going to last forever.
At the time, Rome was the greatest republic in human history, and its institutions had proven resilient through invasions and all kinds of disasters. But the foundations of Rome started to weaken less than a century later, and by 27 BC the republic had collapsed entirely.
❝ The story of Rome’s fall is both complicated and relatively straightforward: The state became too big and chaotic; the influence of money and private interests corrupted public institutions; and social and economic inequalities became so large that citizens lost faith in the system altogether and gradually fell into the arms of tyrants and demagogues.
This is more than a deja vu moment. The article confronts American greed, corruption, ignorance, bigotry and – did I mention – greed. Read it, please. If your favorite Congress-critter or President is a Trumpublican, you know that they won’t.
You can click this link to get to Ian Bremmer’s tweet and like or comment on this content.
❝ Doctor Who has received significant viewer and critical acclaim for an episode featuring Rosa Parks (Vinette Robinson) that tackled racism and discrimination…
❝ Called “Rosa” and cowritten by Noughts & Crosses author Malorie Blackman, the episode featured the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) and her assistants visiting Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955. They meet Parks in the days before she refused to move from her seat in the “coloured section” of a segregated bus to make way for white passengers.
DON’T RTFA – unless you’re prepared for spoilers. I know I didn’t. But, the Cloud DVR within Sony’s Playstation VUE already has it recorded for me. I’ll watch it in the next few days. You can search for the Good Doctor from your TV provider.