The 1619 Project

In August of 1619, a ship appeared on this horizon, near Point Comfort, a coastal port in the English colony of Virginia. It carried more than 20 enslaved Africans, who were sold to the colonists. No aspect of the country that would be formed here has been untouched by the years of slavery that followed. On the 400th anniversary of this fateful moment, it is finally time to tell our story truthfully.

Here’s the link. Forgive me, but, I don’t presume that very many Americans have ever read – or studied – this tale and its effects down to this day.

Civil Rights groups oppose Comcast trying to beat civil rights law that goes all the way back to 1866


Byron AllenChris Carlson/AP

❝ A coalition of civil rights organizations this week accused Comcast of undermining Reconstruction-era protections against racial discrimination, weighing in on a lawsuit against the company that is now before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Comedian and media mogul Byron Allen is suing the cable television provider for $20 billion under an 1866 law ensuring newly freed African Americans the same right to enter into contracts as any white citizen…

❝ Allen, who is black, alleges that Comcast discriminated against him in its refusal to carry cable channels by his company, Entertainment Studios Networks. Comcast said it made a business decision to reject Allen’s general-interest channels based on what it thought viewers want.

The question before the court is whether, as Comcast contends, Allen must show that race was the sole motivating reason for Comcast’s decision to reject his channels.

A coalition of more than 2 dozen groups committed to civil rights have filed briefs supporting Allen and his suit.

Trump had his flunkies file a brief defending Comcast.

Poverty and Racism have a dual impact on upward mobility


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❝ The defining feature of the American Dream is upward mobility – the aspiration that all children have a chance at economic success, no matter their background. However, our research shows that children’s chances of earning more than their parents have been declining. 90% of children born in 1940 grew up to earn more than their parents. Today, only half of all children earn more than their parents did.

The American Dream maintains its mythic status even as it declines steadily. Political charlatans, self-described as conservative more often than not seem to have offered the best lies. The liberal flavor [in my lifetime] can be moved by the courage of citizens to grow backbone. Sometimes.

Sporting Goods store owner backs boycott of Colin Kaepernick — going out of business sale starts this week

❝ 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 MAGA hat is now a symbol of hate


Getty/Uproxx

❝ 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.