Category: Racism (Page 2 of 17)

Action Alert: Reject Dangerous Anti-Muslim Rhetoric

Anti-Muslim rhetoric currently receives widespread media coverage. In the face of a massive refugee crisis and growing instability across the Middle East and North Africa, the public discourse often eschews nuanced distinctions about extremism and misappropriation of violence and instead takes the form of broader attacks on Islam. Distinguishing between Muslims and radical Islamic terrorist groups is critical to developing and implementing effective counterterrorism policy.

National security and counterterrorism experts agree that rhetoric that paints all Muslims as terrorists or terrorist sympathizers has a high chance of breeding future terrorists. Additionally, empirical evidence suggests such language can hamper U.S. efforts to stop terrorists before they strike and to capture them after attacks.

Gen. James Mattis

Last week, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand laid down a clear marker: She’ll filibuster the waiver that retired Gen. James Mattis would need in order to serve as secretary of defense during Trump’s administration.

A 70-year-old federal law bars retired members of the military from holding senior defense posts if they’ve served on active duty within the last seven years. Mattis retired only three years ago and thus requires a special waiver to pass both houses of Congress.

The special legislation passed 65 years ago to make Gen. George Marshall secretary of defense amended the 1947 national security act, which shaped U.S. military and intelligence agencies after World War II. The amended legislation said that while Marshall was permitted to serve as defense secretary, “the authority granted by this Act is not to be construed as approval by the Congress of continuing appointments of military men in the office of Secretary of Defense in the future.”

“While I deeply respect General Mattis’s service, I will oppose a waiver. Civilian control of our military is a fundamental principle of American democracy, and I will not vote for an exception to this rule.” -Sen. Gillibrand

While the filibuster for cabinet appointees was eliminated a few years back, meaning a nominee can be confirmed with just 50 votes in the Senate, the waiver Mattis requires is subject to a filibuster. Mattis would therefore need 60 votes in order to become secretary of defense—so he’d need the support of at least eight Democrats to overcome a filibuster.

Sen. Gillibrand’s filibuster is the type of leadership needed in the face a president-elect dead set on eroding constitutional norms. Help us call on other Democratic Senators to follow her lead.

Call Senator Mark R. Warner at (202) 224-2023 and Senator Tim Kaine at (202) 224-4024. Tell them to filibuster the waiver Gen. Mattis needs to become secretary of defense.

Sample script:

Hi, I’m Jane from Madison, Virginia. I’m calling today to urge my senator to filibuster the waiver Gen. Mattis needs to become secretary of defense. Civilian control of the military is a bedrock foundation of any democracy, and it’s more important than ever to uphold it now that we have a president-elect dead set on eroding constitutional norms. Thank you.

Once you’ve placed the call, please click here to tell us how it went.

Thanks for all you do,
David Nir
Political Director, Daily Kos

P.S. Can’t call? Click here to sign and send a letter to your Democratic senator(s) urging them to filibuster the waiver Gen. Mattis needs to become secretary of defense.

Daily Kos, PO Box 70036, Oakland, CA, 94612.

Despotism. It can’t happen here, right?

“An elective despotism is not the government we fought for” Thomas Jefferson

The two chief characteristics of despotism — restricted respect and concentrated power — are defined and illustrated in this short 1946 film from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Two of the conditions which have historically promoted the growth of despotism are explained and exemplified. These are a slanted economic distribution and a strict control of the agencies of communication.

Time for Healing. And Resistance.

We must reach out in solidarity and protection to those who feel and are most vulnerable.

Donald Trump ran on racial bigotry and misogyny — not implicitly and covertly, but explicitly and overtly. In an America that is rapidly changing demographically and culturally, Donald Trump chose to run on white identity politics and to bring white nationalism back into the mainstream of American public life. The beginning and foundation of his political career was to become the primary promoter of a racist, conspiratorial birther movement, saying our first black president wasn’t really one of “us” — that he was not a real American. At the core of his opening speech to launch his presidential campaign, he chose to denigrate Mexicans and immigrants as “criminals” and “rapists.” Then he called for the banning of all Muslims coming to America. Trump ran as the “law and order” candidate, promised to build a wall, and regularly boasted of his endorsements from police, border patrol officers, and the ICE agents who round up and deport undocumented immigrants. His ubiquitous hat that famously says “Make America Great Again,” now clearly does mean “Make America White Again.” Donald Trump ran a campaign based on racial bigotry, misogyny, and xenophobia — and an overwhelming majority of white American men voted for him. And, very sadly, a majority of white Christians voted for him.

Captain Humayun Khan, American Hero

Khizr Khan Asks Trump: ‘Would My Son Have A Place In Your America?’

Before terrorists attacked New York and Washington in 2001, Captain Humayun Khan had planned to leave the Army to attend law school. But 9/11 changed his plans, and in 2004 he traveled to Iraq to support the post-war effort there.

During a phone call in May of 2004, his mother urged him not to be a hero and to return safely.  “Of course I will,” his parents remembered him saying. “But Mother, you should know I have responsibility for these soldiers, and I cannot leave them unprotected.”

Khan is buried at Arlington Cemetery in Virginia

Khan is buried at Arlington Cemetery in Virginia

A month later, Khan, 27, was dead.

While serving at Baqubah base, north-east of Baghdad, one of his duties was to inspect soldiers in the early morning near the compound’s entrance gate.

On 8 June 2004, an inspection turned deadly when a taxi sped towards Khan’s line of troops.

Acting quickly, he told his soldiers to step back and hit the ground as he moved towards the approaching car. He walked with his arm outstretched in a halt gesture for 10 to 15 seconds.

Just before reaching him, the driver detonated a suicide bomb.

The explosion killed Khan. But in blocking the vehicle, he succeeded in saving countless colleagues, including more than a hundred soldiers eating breakfast close to the gateway to the base.

Khan was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star – two US military honors.

He was buried in Arlington Cemetery, near Washington, in a funeral attended by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump’s strategy for minority Americans? Don’t let them vote.

The Republican nominee’s rhetoric, inciting white rural and suburban voters who fear the voting clout of black urban Democrats, is a recipe for voter intimidation and even violence on Election Day. It also lays the groundwork for his followers to believe, if he loses,that his defeat was a historic swindle.

This Republican project is racially intentional, as a recent federal court ruling in North Carolina said explicitly. It dovetails with other, similarly racist tactics in other states, such as the disenfranchisement of felons long after they have completed their sentences — a rule that has left 1 in 5 black adults ineligible to vote in Virginia.

Starting in August, and accelerating this month, Mr. Trump has stood before rallies attended overwhelmingly by his white backers and urged them to go to “certain areas” on Election Day. “Go and vote and then go check out areas because a lot of bad things happen,” he said in Pennsylvania, where lax state laws allow poll watchers to challenge voters as they arrive at precincts. “You know what I’m talking about,” he added. On Monday, he told his followers that they must watch “other communities.” “I hear these horror shows, and we have to make sure that this election is not stolen from us and is not taken away from us,” he said. “And everybody knows what I’m talking about.”

Yes, everyone knows what Mr. Trump is “talking about.”

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