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The Next Wave: Getting Ready For Trump’s America

I’ve decided that for me, this is a time to leave nothing potentially useful unexposed, and to stop hiding behind liberalism. I mean, if this election showed us anything, liberalism is no longer the shield it used to be in the war against the political right wing. So, I figure, why bother lugging it around?

In that spirit, here’s something that started out as an email discussion with a few progressive grassroots political leaders in the Northwest. ​I wrote it in a few minutes completely on the fly before taking a couple of hours to clean it up and flesh …

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That Was Then, This Is Now: No on 9, No on Trump

Way back in the way back, in 1992, an evangelical right wing group called the Oregon Citizens’ Alliance (OCA) circulated a petition called the Abnormal Behaviors Initiative. That initiative proposed to amend the Oregon constitution to ban civil rights protections for LGBTQ people while also labeling us “abnormal, wrong, unnatural, and perverse.” The initiative language lumped LGBTQ people in with pedophiles and those who commit acts of necrophilia and bestiality, making it seem almost laughable until it received the required number of signatures to qualify for the ballot in near record time. The initiative became Oregon Ballot Measure 9.…

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Trump, Racism, and the Fear Factor

A recent USA TODAY/Rock the Vote poll of 1,541 voters aged 18-34 found that younger voters’ lack of enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton is overcome in a theoretical Clinton v. Trump general election race. Across all demographic groups specified, young voters only get excited about Clinton as the lesser evil.

The lack of enthusiasm for Clinton in the primary may be the result of her record as one of the most effective champions of neoliberalism from the center-left. And neoliberalism, the politic of privatization, unfettered free trade (NAFTA, TPP, etc.), and small government, is one of the drivers of the conditions

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Fox’s “Cashin’ In” Cashes In on Japanese Internment

Yeah, you read that headline right. Over the weekend, Eric Bolling, the host of Fox News’ Cashin’ In went to Michelle Malkin-land and justified criminal profiling of Muslims based upon the notion that sending pretty near every Japanese American on the U.S. mainland (120,000+ people) and not a few in Hawai’i to prison camps in WWII contributed to the success of the U.S. war effort. According to Bolling, “we know how to find terrorists among us: profile, profile, profile.”

Doubling down on that sentiment, panelist Jonathan Hoenig said:

…Let’s take a trip down memory lane here: the last …

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13 Years After 9/11: A Reflection on Resilience

 I came of age in post 9/11 America like many other people around the United States. On September 11, 2001, I was working as a lawyer in the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, and living close enough to the Pentagon that the smoke burning from the building was visible from my apartment balcony in Arlington, Virginia for days. It’s safe to say that I felt, as so many did around the nation, that everything changed on September 11, 2001.

For me, the months that followed were a call to action. Like others of South Asian, Arab, …

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A New Slant on Hate Speech

The United States Patent and Trademark Office is refusing trademark protection to a Portland, Oregon based rock band called The Slants. Apparently, they believe the name the band is seeking to protect is disparaging to Asians.

When I first heard about this I wasn’t sure what to think. On one hand, it seems like a marker of progress that the U.S. government would deny trademark protection of a racial slur. But, on the other, this sounds like censorship, right?

Wrong. The fact that trademark protection is being denied doesn’t mean the group can’t use the name. This isn’t censorship. This …

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The NYPD: A “New Low” That’s Not So New

Recently news broke of the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) unbridled, secret surveillance of Muslim communities and organizations, monitoring intimate aspects of people’s lives and designating entire mosques as terrorist organizations without evidence. I reacted to this with a familiar combination of rage and fatigue.

In an interview on Huffington Post, Linda Sarsour of the Arab American Association of New York expressed a similar lack of surprise, while calling these police practices a “new low.”

The NYPD’s approach to counterterrorism policing seems to start from a place that all Muslims are inherently suspect, raising serious civil rights and safety …

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Why Whites Should Fear Demographic Change

Yesterday a New York Times article ran under the headline Census Benchmark for White Americans: More Deaths Than Births. I’m guessing that story read something like Tornado Strikes Minutemen Border Patrol Headquarters: Millions in Guns and Ammunition Lost among America’s growing ranks of white nationalists.

But, before further panic ensues, the article also made it clear that demographic change is not exactly right around the corner, saying,

The disparity [between white births and deaths] was tiny — only about 12,000 — and was more than made up by a gain of 188,000 as a result of immigration from abroad. …

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The GOP’s Uneasy Alliance

What, me worry?

– Alfred E. Neuman

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the GOP trying to change its image with minority voters. They’ve obviously gotten the memo on demographic change and are scrambling to catch up with history. Yet, in spite of their apparent desire to change, the party just affirmed its bullheaded opposition to same sex marriage at their annual spring meeting. Apparently, the GOP is being strong-armed into acting against its long-term interests by evangelical leaders whose loyalty is necessary in order to address short term needs like maintaining a GOP House majority through the …

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The Other Side of Anti-Black Racism

 

Give me a place to stand on and I will move the earth

– Archimedes

I’ve argued in the past that the fulcrum of white supremacy is anti-black racism. A fulcrum, you probably already know, is what one rests a lever on to give it, well, leverage. Without it, a lever is just a stick.

I’ve called anti-black racism the fulcrum of white supremacy because I believe fear and loathing of black people is the driving force behind our racial politics. It has shaped everything from welfare policy to policing. While today unions may be working people’s best friend, …