Archive for the ‘Race’ Category
Steve, Steve, Steve.
Iowa has a cherished history of getting it right early on civil rights issues. Why must you so disgrace us?
Iowa’s Sen. Tom Harkin spoke on June 18th in support of a bill that made an official government apology to black Americans for slavery in the United States, and for the government’s long failure to act against it. I am proud that one of my state’s Senators was a key mover in the apology. Every time America honestly faces the dark sides of its past, we become a better people.
Does it end racial division? Of course not. But, as with all trauma, healing only happens in small steps. Words are always part of those steps. Some may say “Talk is cheap, nothing is solved, this Senate didn’t cause slavery anyway.” But we are responsible for our history, and I’ll take an apology over official silence any day.
Today, Senator Tom Harkin delivered remarks on the Senate Floor just prior to the passage of S. Con. Res. 26, which he introduced and co-sponsored. The transcript follows.
“Madam President, the clerk just read for the first time ever in this body what we should have done a long time ago. An apology for slavery and the Jim Crow laws which, for a century after emancipation, deprived millions of Americans their basic human rights, equal justice under law and equal opportunities. Today the Senate will unanimously make that apology. Read the rest of this entry »
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Clowns from the “100th ARA (Anti-racist-action) Clown Block” cheerfully pop in on a VNN Vanguard Nazi/KKK white supremacist rally in Knoxville, TN, ready to join in the cheers. But they don’t seem to be able to get the words quite right:
Look, these poor dupes are not going to be reasoned with. Perhaps they’d enjoy nothing better than a mutual shout-down, maybe even a brawl (indeed, the VNN founder gets arrested after rushing the newcomers).
But clowns! They completely alter the public memory of the event, replacing rage with humor.
And how appropriate. There needs to be a consensus that these demonstrators are not the heroic defenders of the nation they imagine themselves to be. As victims and perpetrators of irrational, paranoid conspiracies (along the lines of the counterfeit-birth-certificate-not-really-our-president hokum), they alienate and destroy.
All America benefits when they’re not taken seriously. [h/t Wendy Babiak]
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The Times goes on to quote Michael Steele, the recently-elected RNC chairman, who sees the problem as GOP officials who “don’t give a damn”.
To them, he said, “outreach means let’s throw a cocktail party, find some black folks and Hispanics and women, wrap our arms around them — ‘See, look at us’. And then we go back to the same old, same old.”
And “same old, same old” means “these things don’t really matter:” Read the rest of this entry »