Percentage of Americans “extremely proud” of that fact becomes a minority

This Fourth of July marks a low point in U.S. patriotism. For the first time in Gallup’s 18-year history asking U.S. adults how proud they are to be Americans, fewer than a majority say they are “extremely proud.” Currently, 47% describe themselves this way, down from 51% in 2017 and well below the peak of 70% in 2003…

While the 47% who are extremely proud to be Americans is a new low, the vast majority of Americans do express some level of pride, including 25% who say they are “very proud” and 16% who are “moderately proud.” That leaves one in 10 who are “only a little” (7%) or “not at all” proud (3%).

The combined 72% who are extremely or very proud to be Americans is also the lowest in Gallup’s trend…

There’s a shallow attempt at analysis in the article – reflecting Gallup’s historic conservatism. They’re willing to accept Republican sophistry on questions provoked by such a survey. In truth, though, Democrats can be guiltless or gutless. As likely to join imperial war or accept “decades are still needed” to overrule bigotry of all kinds – instead of moving forward to new legal forms which inhibit social or economic injustice.

Juneteenth — and where to honor the end of slavery


Click on the photo for details

Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger of the Union Army announced to the assembled crowd at Ashton Villa in Galveston, Texas, “In accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.”

It was June 19, 1865.

Never mind that President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had been written and read more than two years earlier. Juneteenth, named for the June 19 declaration, started as a celebration of emancipation day in Texas and eventually spread to other states. With celebrations dating back to 1866, Juneteenth now commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.

“America cannot understand its own history unless the African-American experience is embraced as a central factor in shaping who we are and what we have become as Americans,” writes Lonnie G. Bunch, founding director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington…

In honor of Juneteenth, the museum helped CNN.com choose six destinations that will enlighten and educate visitors about a complicated period of American history, the road to emancipation.

They are in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Kansas, two in South Carolina and one in California.

For me, it has become Lubbock, Texas.

Most of my life I lived in New England and the choice was easy among friends and family. We’d drive up north of Torrington, Connecticut to the small plot of land saved as memorial as the birthplace of the abolitionist, John Brown. A peaceful country road, a pleasant spot to picnic and remember turmoil and death and change. And Freedom.

I was on the road my first year in the Southwest when Juneteenth came up and I was in Lubbock, Texas. My only clients in town were white and had no idea of the holiday. The Confederate history of Texas didn’t make it likely there would be much official celebrating going on in cotton country. But, at the end of the afternoon I drove to the Black end of Lubbock and looked for a church with lots of cars parked nearby – on a weekday. And found one.

I walked round to a picnic area behind the church and there were a hundred or so folks celebrating the day with music and speeches, music and arms that welcomed a white stranger into the anniversary like I had always lived there. As it should be throughout this land.

Discharged – then Discarded


Enrique Salas — discharged, deported, died

The report features a number of veterans who were in the U.S. legally and sustained physical wounds and emotional trauma in conflicts as far back as the war in Vietnam. Once they returned from service, however, they were subject to draconian immigration laws that reclassified many minor offenses as deportable crimes and were effectively banished from this country…

The treatment of veterans capriciously deported is one of the slimiest acts of an nation that pretends to care about the lives of those who volunteer for national service in the US military.

Ask a neuroscientist “What’s wrong with the brains of Trump voters?”


Trump supporters on CNN

The Dunning-Kruger Effect:

Some believe that many of those who support Donald Trump do so because of ignorance — basically they are under-informed or misinformed about the issues at hand. When Trump tells them that crime is skyrocketing in the United States, or that the economy is the worst it’s ever been, they simply take his word for it.

The seemingly obvious solution would be to try to reach those people through political ads, expert opinions, and logical arguments that educate with facts. Except none of those things seem to be swaying any Trump supporters from his side, despite great efforts to deliver this information to them directly.

The Dunning-Kruger effect explains that the problem isn’t just that they are misinformed; it’s that they are completely unaware that they are misinformed. This creates a double burden.

RTFA…you’ll also discover threat sensitivity, terror management, intense nationalism…all sorts of crap beyond simple-minded ignorance.

Why Black Worshipers Are Leaving White Evangelical Churches

❝ In the last couple of decades, there had been signs, however modest, that eleven o’clock on Sunday morning might cease to be the most segregated hour in America. “Racial reconciliation” was the talk of conferences and the subject of formal resolutions. Large Christian ministries were dedicated to the aim of integration, and many black Christians decided to join white-majority congregations. Some went as missionaries, called by God to integrate. Others were simply drawn to a different worship style — short, conveniently timed services that emphasized a personal connection to God…

Black congregants — as recounted by people in Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Fort Worth and elsewhere — had already grown uneasy in recent years as they watched their white pastors fail to address police shootings of African-Americans. They heard prayers for Paris, for Brussels, for law enforcement; they heard that one should keep one’s eyes on the kingdom, that the church was colorblind, and that talk of racial injustice was divisive, not a matter of the gospel. There was still some hope that this stemmed from an obliviousness rather than some deeper disconnect.

Then white evangelicals voted for Mr. Trump by a larger margin than they had voted for any presidential candidate. They cheered the outcome, reassuring uneasy fellow worshipers with talk of abortion and religious liberty, about how politics is the art of compromise rather than the ideal. Christians of color, even those who shared these policy preferences, looked at Mr. Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants, his open hostility to N.F.L. players protesting police brutality and his earlier “birther” crusade against President Obama, claiming falsely he was not a United States citizen. In this political deal, many concluded, they were the compromised.

What’s important to many white evangelicals obviously ain’t the words they declare to be holy writ. Politics of religion can be just as opportunist as any other.

Trump displays his racism to the whole world

❝ Donald Trump described El Salvador, Haiti and certain African nations, as “shithole” countries during a meeting with lawmakers on Thursday…

“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump said, after being presented with a proposal to restore protections for immigrants from those countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal, the Washington Post reported, citing aides briefed on the meeting.

❝ The president demanded to know why the US would accept immigrants from these countries rather than places like Norway, whose prime minister he had met with the day before.

Yes, fools and bigots who rush to our Fake President’s defense are as racist as he. Denial is as meaningless as their false professions of loyalty to our Constitution. The chumps who elected this thug can share out the guilt – hoping to diminish and dilute the shame which illustrates that contemptible ailment so profoundly American.

There is a singular standard for judging political candidates for government in 2018 and 2020. Before any other issue, before we may evaluate economics and platforms, those who would contest for elected office must answer the cardinal question of American history: Will you support equal opportunity and equal rights for all citizens of this nation? Will you fight for those rights?

We know Trump’s answer. Over the next few days we’ll see and hear which side politicians and public figures choose to support.

Time for Democrat leaders to learn to say more than “Thank You”


Up and voting before dawn

❝ It’s not an accident that Doug Jones was so popular among black voters. He prosecuted two Ku Klux Klan members for the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham that killed four black girls in 1963. Mr. Jones also campaigned with quality black surrogates, like the former basketball player Charles Barkley, Senator Cory Booker, the former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, Representative John Lewis and Representative Terri Sewell, Alabama’s only congressional Democrat. Mr. Obama even recorded a robocall for him. Mr. Jones visited black churches and historically black colleges, and focused much of his get-out-the-vote effort on black voters…

❝ Mr. Jones’s victory should wake up the Democratic Party. Black people made up 13 percent of Democratic voters in 1992, but that figure rose to 23 percent by 2014. Yet a majority of them think the party takes them for granted and doesn’t even try to win their votes, according to a 2017 survey. We are drowning in reports on how Democrats can win the white working class. But blacks are the ones who have a much more robust history of turning out to vote and winning elections for Democrats.

Nationally, I couldn’t agree more with this premise. Most places I’ve lived and worked throughout this nation, incumbent Democrats work hardest at joining whatever is the Old Guard…who, in turn, work hardest at absorbing insurgent candidates into that cadre which generally gets campaign funding in equal measure to Republicans. The closest either wing of America’s bourgeois democracy gets to classless. They both are led by and funded by the same class.

They have a tough time trying to fold the independence and courage of America’s Black Liberation soldiers into the Democratic Party. Outside of joiners willing to submit to any epoch’s white middle-class analysis. Whatever that pallid imitation of a platform may be that year. Include independent Hispanic thinkers into that army and you must recognize it takes politicians truly blinded by their self-importance to ignore the point of the spear that can puncture the stinking gasbag entity that is today’s Republican Party.