YOU LIE!!


 

joewilson_us_rep_1Those two words began the turmoil of American politics for the next 8 years and accelerated America’s descent into political chaos the likes of which the country hasn’t seen for over 100 years.  Doomsayers have been signaling the end of the world since mankind has lived communally but Joe Wilson’s verbal ejaculation was unprecedented for American politics and is foreshadowing.

It was Barack Obama’s first State of of the Union address as President.  He had barely taken the reins of political power; had not even put his imprimatur on the country’s direction yet South Carolina congressman Wilson felt the very presence of Obama warranted this indiscretion. At that point in his address Obama was talking about illegal immigration and whether they could qualify for health insurance legislation that he was trying to pass at that time.

“There are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants,” Obama said. “This, too, is false — the reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.”

As it turns out the President was right Obamacare does contain an explicit prohibition against providing federally-subsidized coverage to immigrants who cannot prove they are here legally but that’s not what really caused Joe Wilson’s ire. Rather it was the Southerner in Wilson that forced him to take America back to the advent of Radical Reconstruction when southern states, buckling under and humbled by their defeat at the hands of the Union felt it necessary to subdue their black citizens even though those very citizens were granted full citizenship, the right to vote and equal protection under the law.

A racially integrated jury in the South in the 19th century

A racially integrated jury in the South in the 19th century

These rights were codified in the 13th, 14th, 15th amendments and the civil rights act of 1866 which granted citizenship and the same rights enjoyed by white citizens to all male persons in the United States “without distinction of race or color, or previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude.” Even though African-Americans were free the reality is

“most Southern whites could not accept the idea of African Americans voting and holding office, or the egalitarian policies adopted by the new governments. Beginning in 1867, Southern(ers)….. launched a campaign of vilification against Reconstruction, employing lurid appeals to racial prejudice as well as more measured criticisms of Reconstruction policies.

and so the next 100 years proved to be the most tumultuous  and politically oppressive for America’s black citizens as well as the most advantageous and rewarding for whites. You Lie has been on the lips of black Americans since that time.  They say it in response to their misplaced reality, the freedom and equality they were promised but has yet to materialize; they say it silently to themselves whenever they hear a politician talk about his or her ideas for a post racial society; they say it whenever they hear the explanation for why an unarmed black man is shot by police.  Mr. Wilson, on the other hand aimed it at what many saw as America finally fulfilling its promise, potential.

Obama brought out the ugly in America. The country built on the principles of a white gentry land owner class was not ready for him despite the fact that those outside that class were.  America’s present day answer to the 21st century’s Reconstruction is Donal Trump.   He’s been brewing on the American political landscape for some time with obvious and disastrous results and he’s been consistent in those outcomes.  Let’s start with, albeit one of many, Trump’s race baiting adventures dating back to the brutal rape of a white jogger in Central Park in May 1989 which received widespread media attention.  970Trump took out a full-age ad in four New York City newspapers with the title “BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY! BRING BACK THE POLICE!” He did not specifically reference the Central Park jogger attack in the ad, but its timing made the connection inescapable and everyone in NYC knew who he was referring too.  New York was at a very racially charged time; crime was high and would go higher and the Central Park jogger case had all the ingredients of a white female allegedly attacked by a black marauding gang  with others bursting the seams of their neighborhoods and only the police

VANDALIA, OH - MARCH 12: Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to attendants at a Campaign Rally on March 12, 2016 in Vandailia, Ohio. Today was the first rally after violence broke out in a Trump Rally in Chicago yesterday which canceled the rally. (Photo by Ty Wright/Getty Images)

VANDALIA, OH – MARCH 12: Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to attendants at a Campaign Rally on March 12, 2016 in Vandailia, Ohio. Today was the first rally after violence broke out in a Trump Rally in Chicago yesterday which canceled the rally. (Photo by Ty Wright/Getty Images)

to keep them back.  It was easy for Donald Trump to appeal to that mob like mentality and he did it with aplomb in much the same way he’s doing today. If you’re wondering his timing couldn’t have been more off.  The four teenagers he wanted to kill, execute were entirely and completely innocent of their crime and exonerated.  The guilty party was found, confessed and languishes in jail but the mood was set and some could say the city with its draconian stop and frisk policing has set an ugly tone in law enforcement for this country.

There’s something about where the country is today that attracts his presence and made  him the presidential candidate for the Republican party.  He has been enabled in no small part by the media which has treated his candidacy with a legitimacy it does not deserve.  Rather they continue to cover it because it is an extraordinary revenue source.  CBS’ executive said just that, “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS” the hidden meaning being the absence of Trump might not bode well for the bottom line.  After all, the saying goes, controversy sells and what’s more important in a capitalist society than a profitable bottom line. But that means giving a microphone to Trump’s many lies…which don’t get called that all.  In fact even when they are demonstrably proven as lies the media reports them in the process of a political speech and then somehow glosses over them as if he never said them.

Perhaps the most egregious regards Muslims….and two lies in particular stand out for people to stand and shout out You Lie.  The first was his saying he saw on TV thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the attacks of 911.  He saw that on television…..let that sink in for a minute.  He saw that on a television channel that is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission over United States television channels.  That means it exists in more than Donald Trump’s mind, world. There has to be a record such video was played over the air waves of this country. Right? Fact is there is no such video; it’s all imagined by Donald Trump

Farmer (John Farmer Jr., New Jersey state’s attorney general AND a registered Republican) told the New York Times  that the New Jersey State Police received reports on the day of the attacks that “Muslims were dancing on the rooftops and in the streets of Jersey City and Paterson.” Those reports were investigated and found to be false, Farmer said. “We followed up on that report instantly because of its implications,” Farmer told the Times. “The word came back quickly from Jersey City, later from Paterson. False report. Never happened.”

Never happened! But because it has been put out on the public domain and NOT retracted by Trump 2016 has seen the largest number of acts of violence against Muslims since 911 and the year is not over yet. Lest you think such pronouncements are made in error…here’s the second part of the tandem Trump has aimed at Muslim Americans. This is what he has posted on his website today, September 20,2016

– DECEMBER 07, 2015 –

DONALD J. TRUMP STATEMENT ON PREVENTING MUSLIM IMMIGRATION

(New York, NY) December 7th, 2015, — Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.

Yet even as recently as 24 hours before this post was made Trump was on television saying in response to the question whether law enforcement or immigration officials should screen Muslims more than other groups

“I never said the term ‘Muslim. I’m saying we’re going to profile people that maybe look suspicious, I didn’t say [if] they were Muslims or not.”

There’s no disconnect between what Trump says and reality. Pathologically one can say there is something  wrong with him but he’s managed to bring on board his campaign apparatus an entire group of people who are in the mold of presidential southern recontructionists….those people who misapplied, institutionalized the law to make segregation de facto despite the gains given by the 13th, 14, 15th amendments.  It goes to show you that despite the legal advances codified by law there are still ways corruption can make gains losses and oppress large segments of the population.  Donald Trump and his campaign is doing just that and he’s able to because no one is willing to stand up and make a simple two word declaration, You Lie!

Advertisements

The South Has Risen Again!


I’m not talking about that “South” which steadfastly refuses to acknowledge that America can and is being led by an African-American, I’m talking about the South that acknowledges that racism is the source of Obama’s critic’s discontent, and it’s  Southern white men who are making the case.  They should be the ones who call out the racist critics of Obama, because as we all know, ‘it takes one to know one’, but this pot calling the kettle black (or in this case racist) is not coming from racist whites but rather from white people who have lived with them down in the deep south all their lives and know how they think and behave.

We white people have controlled political life in the disunited colonies and United States for some 400 years on this continent. Conservative whites have been in power 28 of the last 40 years. Even during the eight Clinton years, conservatives in Congress blocked most of his agenda and pulled him to the right. Yet never in that period did I read any headlines suggesting that anyone was calling for the assassinations of presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, or either of the Bushes. Criticize them, yes.. Call for their impeachment, perhaps. But there were no bounties on their heads. And even when someone did try to kill Ronald Reagan, the perpetrator was non-political mental case who wanted merely to impress Jody Foster.

But elect a liberal who happens to be Black and we’re back in the sixties again. At this point in our history, we should be proud that we’ve proven what conservatives are always saying that in America anything is possible, EVEN electing a black man as president. But instead we now hear that school children from Maine to California are talking about wanting to “assassinate Obama.”

I believe in free speech, but how long until we white people start making racist loudmouths as socially uncomfortable as we do flag burners? How long until we white people will stop insisting that blacks exercise personal responsibility, build strong families, educate themselves enough to edit the Harvard Law Review, and work hard enough to become President of the United States, only to threaten to assassinate them when they do?  How long before we start(ing) “living out the true meaning” of our creeds, both civil and religious, that all men and women are created equal and that “red and yellow, black and white” all are precious in God’s sight?

If you have policy differences with the POTUS, and God knows I surely do, that’s one thing but to resort to the behavior of Obama’s critics to the point of intimidation and threats on his life is another thing altogether illegal, despicable, and based on a belief he’s not worthy of being where he is. Look at the imagery used by his opponents to portray him as unfit for office, pictures that are steeped in the very images passed down through racist ranks about black Americans since their beginnings on this continent.

watermelon_patchobama-witchdoctor-muckAnd one can easily think the genteel looking men sitting next to congressman Joe Wilson below, with smirks on their faces because they have gotten one of their own to so disrespectfully call the president out were probably thinking of him in those terms as they posed during Wilson’s outburst for their constituents on national television.   They will no doubt say theirs is a measured response to Obama’s administration in much the same way as others, like myself, demonstrated our disagreement to the Bush administration, but it surely was not, because I cannot find images which denigrate Bush’s whiteness or call into question his ancestry in much the same way as the pictures above do for Obama; similarly I can’t find a news clip where a member of Congress acted so disparagingly towards the commander-in-chief as Wilson did on the floor of the Congress before a nationally televised crowd.  Yet, in many ways, I wish someone had called Bush out as a liar when he regaled us with stories of how big government was necessary to protect us.  The compatriots of Joe Wilson most likely hate to read New York Times’ columnists refer to Obama as elegant and erudite, because that’s not the notion they have of African-Americans and not the one they want the public to have either.

heckler_wilsonEveryone knows the look and the attitude, that is those who have had it flung at them during their life time.  Even the good natured Bill Cosby who has had some stinging rebukes to direct towards other African Americans admitted “During President Obama’s speech on the status of health care reform, some members of Congress engaged in a public display of disrespect….While one representative hurled the now infamous ‘you lie’ insult at the president, others made their lack of interest known by exhibiting rude behavior such as deliberately yawning and sending text messages.”

And so it goes, the dehumanization of another group of people at the hands of the Republicans who manage to foist this attitude on the people they claim to represent which further damages the social fabric of this once great Republic and turns it increasingly into a banana republic.  It was not enough that we turned on one another out of fear and handed over our liberties to protect the state, as we fought the global war on horror and demonized members of the Islamic faith, now we are asked to distrust the very official(s) we elected less than a year ago and accept the notion that his death might be the only solution to the problems for which he at the moment is not responsible.  In the interim we are abandoning all sense of civility and decorum in our opposition towards one another, and steering a course towards disorder and anarchy.  Are we our own worse enemy or what?


Again, Olbermann nails it!