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Angela Davis vs the Liberal Reformers

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Description: five identical looking white liberals are sitting at a table.

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wmorrell
1 day ago
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The Fourth of July [rerun]

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[I've re-posted this many times, because it's fundamental to what it means to me to be an American.]

In the hot summer of 1992, I was working for Judge Ronald S.W. Lew, a federal judge in Los Angeles. One July morning he abruptly walked into my office and said without preamble "Get your coat." Somewhat concerned that I was about to be shown the door, I grabbed my blazer and followed him out of chambers into the hallway. I saw he had already assembled his two law clerks and his other summer extern there. Exchanging puzzled glances, we followed him into the art-deco judge's elevator of the old Spring Street courthouse, then into the cavernous judicial parking garage. He piled us into his spotless Cadillac and drove out of the garage without another word.

Within ten awkward, quiet minutes we arrived at one of the largest VFW posts in Los Angeles. Great throngs of people, dressed in Sunday best, were filing into the building. It was clear that they were families — babes in arms, small children running about, young and middle-aged parents. And in each family group there was a man — an elderly man, dressed in a military uniform, many stooped with age but all with the bearing of men who belonged in that VFW hall. They were all, I would learn later, Filipinos. Their children and grandchildren were Filipino-American; they were not. Yet.

Judge Lew — the first Chinese-American district court judge in the continental United States — grabbed his robe from the trunk and walked briskly into the VFW hall with his externs and clerks trailing behind him. We paused in the foyer and he introduced us to some of the VFW officers, who greeted him warmly. He donned his robe and peered through a window in a door to see hundreds of people sitting in the main hall, talking excitedly, the children waving small American flags and streamers about. One of the VFW officers whispered in his ear, and he nodded and said "I'll see them first." The clerks and my fellow extern were chatting to some INS officials, and so he beckoned me. I followed him through a doorway to a small anteroom.

There, in a dark and baroquely decorated room, we found eight elderly men. These were too infirm to stand. Three were on stretchers, several were in wheelchairs, two had oxygen tanks. One had an empty sleeve instead of a right arm. A few relatives, beaming, stood near each one. One by one, Judge Lew administered the naturalization oath to them — closely, sometimes touching their hands, speaking loudly so they could hear him, like a priest administering extreme unction. They smiled, grasped his hand, spoke the oath as loudly as they could with evident pride. Some wept. I may have as well. One said, not with anger but with the tone of a dream finally realized, "We've waited so long for this."

And oh, how they had waited. These men, born Filipinos, answered America's call in World War II and fought for us. President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked the men of the Philippines to fight, promising them United States citizenship and veterans benefits in return. 200,000 fought. Tens of thousands died. They weathered the brutal conditions under Japanese occupation, fought a valiant guerrilla war, and in some cases survived the Bataan death march.

In 1946, Congress reneged on FDR's promise. Filipino solders who fought for us and their families were not given their promised citizenship, let alone benefits. Many came here anyway, had children who were born U.S. citizens, and some even became citizens through the process available to any immigrant. But many others, remembering the promise, asked that it be kept. And they waited.

They waited 44 years, until after most of them were dead. It was not until 1990 that Congress finally addressed this particular stain on our honor and granted them citizenship. (Their promised benefits were not even brought to a vote until 2008, when most of the happy men I saw that day were dead.)

Hence this July naturalization ceremony. After Judge Lew naturalized the veterans who were too ill or infirm to stand in the main ceremony, he quickly took the stage in the main room. A frantic, joyous hush descended, and the dozens of veterans stood up and took the oath. Many wept. I kept getting something in my goddamned eye. And when Judge Lew declared them citizens, the families whooped and hugged their fathers and grandfathers and the children waved the little flags like maniacs.

I had the opportunity to congratulate a number of families and hear them greet Judge Lew. I heard expressions of great satisfaction. I heard more comments about how long they had waited. But I did not hear bitterness on this day. These men and their children had good cause to be bitter, and perhaps on other days they indulged in it. On this day they were proud to be Americans at last. Without forgetting the wrongs that had been done to them, they believed in an America that was more of the sum of its wrongs. Without forgetting more than 40 years of injustice, they believed in an America that had the potential to transcend its injustices. I don't know if these men forgave the Congress that betrayed them and dishonored their service in 1946, or the subsequent Congresses and administrations to weak or indifferent to remedy that wrong. I don't think that I could expect them to do so. But whether or not they forgave the sins of America, they loved the sinner, and were obviously enormously proud to become her citizens.

I am tremendously grateful to Judge Lew for taking me to that ceremony, and count myself privileged to have seen it. I think about it every Fourth of July, and more often than that. It reminds me that people have experienced far greater injustice than I ever will at this country's hands, and yet are proud of it and determined to be part of it. They are moved by what Lincoln called the better angels of our nature to believe in the shared idea of what America should be without abandoning the struggle to right its wrongs. I want to be one of them.

Copyright 2017 by the named Popehat author.
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wmorrell
3 days ago
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Trump's 'white power' retweet set off 'five-alarm fire' in White House

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President Donald Trump set off a "five-alarm fire" in the White House on Sunday morning after he retweeted a video of one of his supporters saying "white power," according to two White House officials.

The video remained on the president's Twitter page, where he has 82 million followers, for more than three hours because White House officials couldn't reach him to ask him to delete it, the two officials said. The president was at his golf club in Virginia and had put his phone down, the officials said.

Aides also tried unsuccessfully to reach deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino to ask him to delete the retweet, officials said.

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., added to the urgency when he called the tweet "indefensible" and demanded that the president take it down during an interview on CNN, the officials said.

Once officials were able to reach the president, he agreed to delete it, they said.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and senior adviser Jared Kushner were among those trying to contain the fallout. McEnany said Monday that Trump had watched the video before retweeting it but didn't hear his supporter say "white power."

Officials said the president gets a deluge of content from aides and allies, with one of them saying the "white power" incident was a "lesson to all of us in the White House to be more aware of what's out there."

In April, the president retweeted a posting that included the hashtag "#FireFauci." When asked at the time whether he had noticed the hashtag when he retweeted it, the president said, "Yeah, I notice everything."

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wmorrell
8 days ago
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Nice to know that when the lizardmen from Planet 10 begin their invasion of Earth, 45* will be unreachable on the golf course and can’t fuck it up any further.
acdha
8 days ago
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“The video remained on the president's Twitter page, where he has 82 million followers, for more than three hours because White House officials couldn't reach him to ask him to delete it, the two officials said. The president was at his golf club in Virginia and had put his phone down, the officials said.”
Washington, DC
jad
7 days ago
This is absurd. The man is surrounded by secret service. If anyone in the White House *gave a shit* about this, they could've reached the president easily. Being white supremacists themselves, I highly doubt the "five-alarm fire" claims are anything more than desperate pleas from White House staffers not to be socially ostracized after Trump is out of office.
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See if you can guess what this power couple does for a living

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The answer may surprise you!

A video recorded by freelance photographer Theo Welling for the Riverfront Times shows Mark, dressed in a pastel pink polo shirt and khakis, brandishing a rifle with an extended clip while Patricia, wearing black-and-white-striped top with capri pants, casually holds a small handgun.

The protesters were walking to Krewson’s house for a demonstration, part of the backlash the mayor is facing for broadcasting on Facebook Live the names and addresses of advocates for defunding the police department.

Multiple people marching tonight filmed the scene in front of the McCloskeys, and various angles show the couple sweeping their weapons in the direction of protesters who were standing on the sidewalk or walking past.

At one point, a barefoot Patricia, whose law firm bio says she is a member of the Missouri Bar Association ethical review panel, [ed.: now this is the kind of narrative detail fans of our series really appreciate] crosses the lawn and stumbles briefly while she has her gun aimed at protesters. It’s not clear if the guns were loaded.

The McCloskeys are apparently very proud of their house, welcoming St. Louis Magazine in 2018 for a tour of the Renaissance-style palazzo that was originally built by a Busch heiress and her husband, but it’s unclear what prompted them to grab their guns and pop out front, shoeless but armed, to confront nonviolent protesters.

I’m not sure if the pastel pink polo shirt or the capri pants do more to pull everything together. Maybe it’s the AR-15.

Check out the crib.

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wmorrell
8 days ago
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Such economic anxiety.
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“I have rape-colored skin.”

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Important read from Caroline Randall Williams. I don’t think this is true of most LGM readers, but this is especially important if you’re a white person disingenuously (or cluelessly) saying “BuT wHaT aBoUt HiStOrY?” when folks come for the monuments. And if that last sentence somehow does apply to you, grow the fuck up and actually learn some history instead of just screeching that you care about it.

It is an extraordinary truth of my life that I am biologically more than half white, and yet I have no white people in my genealogy in living memory. No. Voluntary. Whiteness. I am more than half white, and none of it was consensual. White Southern men — my ancestors — took what they wanted from women they did not love, over whom they had extraordinary power, and then failed to claim their children.

What is a monument but a standing memory? An artifact to make tangible the truth of the past. My body and blood are a tangible truth of the South and its past. The black people I come from were owned by the white people I come from. The white people I come from fought and died for their Lost Cause. And I ask you now, who dares to tell me to celebrate them? Who dares to ask me to accept their mounted pedestals?

You cannot dismiss me as someone who doesn’t understand. You cannot say it wasn’t my family members who fought and died. My blackness does not put me on the other side of anything. It puts me squarely at the heart of the debate. I don’t just come from the South. I come from Confederates. I’ve got rebel-gray blue blood coursing my veins. My great-grandfather Will was raised with the knowledge that Edmund Pettus was his father. Pettus, the storied Confederate general, the grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, the man for whom Selma’s Bloody Sunday Bridge is named. So I am not an outsider who makes these demands. I am a great-great-granddaughter.

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wmorrell
10 days ago
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You Want a Confederate Monument? My Body Is a Confederate Monument

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acdha
11 days ago
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Anyone who is bothered more by statues crashing down than this is really showing their true colors
Washington, DC
wmorrell
11 days ago
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