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Can We Please Talk About White Supremacy Now?

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Our Society’s Deadly Insistence on Maintaining It Must End

Dear Fellow White Folks, 

We need to have a serious talk about white supremacy, y’all.

I don’t mean that we need to sit down and have dialogues about race with people who don’t look like us. I mean, that’s a good thing to do, and we should keep doing it, but that’s not the conversation we need to have right now.

And when I say right now, I mean yesterday. 

Our desperate need to hold on to our white supremacy is killing people. It’s killing people who don’t look like us  and it’s killing some who do look like us, too. It’s incredibly deadly. 

I know you’re saying to yourself in your head that you’re not racist. You might not be, and that’s great! And you might be, but not know it. Really, I don’t know if you’re racist, but I do know that we’re all part of a society that values whiteness far more than non-whiteness, and unless we’re actively working to dismantle that system of supremacy, we’re complicit in it. 

It manifests itself in some very frightening ways — like this 2011 study that says white folks believe they face racism in higher numbers than black folks do (they don’t), and it shows up in some incredibly absurd ways, as Becky with the Bad Grades showed us at the U.S. Supreme Court just a few weeks ago. 

The idea that we’re entitled to something simply because we’re white — or that we didn’t get something simply because we’re white — is what lies at the very heart of white supremacy. White people have lived for thousands of years getting everything we’ve ever wanted. The resentment we feel when we don’t get something we want simply because we think we deserve it? It’s absurd, frankly.

When we wanted to see the world, we didn’t just explore, we conquered it and colonized it. When we came to America, one of the first things we did was import slaves. When our ability to own slaves was threatened, we literally started a war to keep them. We tore the country apart becuase of our entitlement. And once we lost the war? We instituted a system of laws designed to ensure white supremacy.  We’ve dedicated centuries of action to keeping black people oppressed. 

Modern-day white supremacy looks different than the past, but it’s just as prevalent. It’s the “war on drugs,” which affects people of color far more than white people. It’s the fact that “the most dangerous thing out here” for transgender people is the police and that black people face disporportional poverty and risk of incarceration. 

You might be asking what you have to do with any of this, and why you should care. That’s the thing — you don’t need to care. You can go through your daily life ignoring all of this and there’s a very good chance you’ll never encounter it. But that, right there? That’s our privilege, plain as day. If we don’t want to think about any of these issues because they don’t affect you, we don’t have to. We can walk way if we want to. 

And if you’re saying, “Well, it’s too hard for me to get involved” or “I’ve got to worry about my own problems first” or “if I get involved, I might get in trouble,” that’s white supremacy. It’s not enough to simply acknowledge that there’s a problem. We’ve done that. 

If we want to end white supremacy for real, we have to dismantle the system that prioritizes our lives over others simply because of who we are and where we were born. We have to use our privilege to give other people opportunities, even when that means taking a back seat. We have to prioritize their lives. It doesn’t make us “less than” to prioritize Black lives. It helps make us equal.

We have to believe — and live our lives according to the idea — that Black lives really do matter.

We have to say, without any doubts and with full intention, “I am committed to the social, political, and economic liberation of Black people,” and we have to mean it. And we have to act on it.

It’s hard to to stand up and challenge the status quo when you’re comfortable. It’s hard to put ourselves in harm’s way to make the world safer for someone else. It takes a lot of conviction to fight, but I swear, it’s worth it. 

I want to live in a world where everyone is valued and worthy and safe — not just the folks who look like me. As I said last week, I believe it’s a moral imperative. I don’t believe we really have a choice in the matter. People will die if we don’t. People are already dying.   

Robbie Medwed is an Atlanta-based LGBTQ activist and educator. His column appears here weekly. Follow him on Twitter: @rjmedwed

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Florida’s Rubio Challenged Over His Past Opposition to Disaster Relief — and Gets Fact-Checked

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With Florida reeling from the massive amount of damage — estimated in the billions — inflicted by Hurricane Ian, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) was asked by CNN host Dana Bash how to reconcile his request for financial help from the federal government given his opposition to similar requests from other states following a natural disaster.

In a rare appearance on CNN, Rubio tried to explain away his complaints about other funding bills by stating he felt they were larded with pork-barrel projects that he didn’t feel were justified.

“Senator, you wrote a letter Friday to the Senate Appropriations Committee asking for disaster relief dollars for desperately needed resources to rebuild Florida communities,” host Bash began. “After Hurricane Sandy hit northeastern states in 2012, you voted no on the $50 billion relief package.”

“I know you supported a smaller version,” she continued. “But why should other senators vote for relief for your state when you didn’t vote for a package to help theirs?”

RELATED: Florida GOP senator cornered on CNN over delayed evacuation order before Hurricane Ian hit

“Oh, I’ve always voted for hurricane and disaster relief,” the Florida Republican protested. “I’ve even voted for it without pay-fors. What I didn’t vote for in Sandy is because they included a roof for a museum in Washington, d.c., for fisheries in Alaska. It had been loaded up with things that had nothing to do with disaster relief.”

“I would never put out there we should use a disaster relief package for Florida as a way to pay for all kinds of other things people want around the country,” he continued. “So I think that’s that’s the key at moments like this. In Sandy, unfortunately, they loaded it up, they really did, with a bunch of things that had nothing to do with Sandy. I voted for every disaster relief package especially that’s clean and I’ll continue to do so. When it comes to Florida, we’ll do that again and make sure the package is clean and doesn’t have stuff for other people in there.”

“I read the congressional research report and the roof was damaged.” Bash corrected him. “In any event, my question is about the future. Are you telling me that if Hurricane Ian relief contains anything that smells like pork, you’ll vote no?”

“Sure. I’ll fight against it having pork in it– that’s the key,” he responded.

Watch below or at the link:

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Thinly-Veiled Incitement to Violence and Overt Racism’: Trump’s Truth Social Post Sparks Outrage

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Donald Trump was permanently suspended from Twitter “due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” but on Friday night took his social media approach to his Truth Social website.

Trump accused Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell of having a “death wish” after a government shutdown was averted.

“Must immediately seek help and advise (sic) from his China loving wife, Coco Chow!” he said of Elaine Chao, who served in his cabinet for four years as Secretary of Transportation.

Trump’s post generated outrage online.

“Nothing to see here,” conservative lawyer George Conway tweeted. “Just a former president of the United States seeking to incite violence against the minority leader of the United States Senate and launching a racist verbal attack on the leader’s wife.”

Former federal prosecutor Shanlon Wu wrote, “Donald Trump using blatant racist tactics in his desperate attacks on McConnell by trying to ridicule Asian American former Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao’s name calling her ‘Coco Chow’ — [McConnell] and [GOP] should call him out and reject his racist hate — will they do it?”

“Hardly shocking that Trump would threaten Mitch McConnell by capitalizing the words ‘death wish’ — dog whistle invitation to Trump’s extremist supporters — same Trump who believed his own VP Pence deserved to be lynched by the angry Jan. 6 mob Trump incited to violence,” Wu added.

Janai Nelson, the president of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, wrote, “I double dare all major media outlets to call this what it is: thinly-veiled incitement to violence and overt racism.”

Podcaster Fred Wellman said, “Elaine Chao was Trump’s Secretary of Transportation for 4 years and he just called her the ridiculously racist nickname ‘Coco Chow.’ Yes…you are a racist if you still support this broken *sshole.”

Jonah Goldberg, the editor-in-chief of The Dispatch, wrote, “Look, I think the gross bigotry, stupidity, dishonesty, and demagoguery of this is obvious on so many levels and I’m embarrassed for the country. But, because no one else will, I feel I have to point out he also misspelled advice.”

 

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Republicans suggest defunding Veteran Affairs even though it helps 9 million vets

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Republican legislators are starting to suggest defunding the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), the office founded in 1989 to assist with veteran needs. The VA assists with getting veterans mental and physical healthcare, educational opportunities, community support, and other everyday housing and living needs.

An Arizona legislator, captured on video participating in a mock congressional hearing, said he supported shutting down the department.

“That’s sort of what I’m thinking because … I hear no good stories. I had zero in my district,” the legislator said in a video posted by the far-right watchdog group Patriot Takes. “So I guess it’s a matter of us leading the fight to defund it.”

A second video, posted by the same account, showed Republican Florida Representative Matt Gaetz advocating for defunding the VA while speaking at an event held by FreedomWorks, a conservative and libertarian advocacy group.

“This is my question to the group. Is it savable? Why not abolish the VA, take all of the money that we are otherwise spending and go to an any willing provider system inside of our communities?” Gaetz says in the video. “And then, if people get bad care, they can vote with their feet and you don’t have a two-tier system of healthcare in this country with our veterans and then with everyone else.”

Generally speaking, Republican policies favor the privatization of all government functions, thinking that a “small government,” “free-market,” “for-profit” privatization provided by a corporation can solve any market ill.

In reality, if entire communities are deprived of VA access, U.S. military veterans will be left largely on their own to get their life needs met after military service. Those who lack money or transportation won’t be able to “vote with their feet” and find a local care provider to handle their specific issues… they’ll either have to spend massive amounts to get such essential care or just go without.

In late July, 41 Senate Republicans voted against a bill aimed at protecting veterans exposed to toxic materials during their military service. The legislation would have expanded care to 3.5 million veterans exposed to toxic burn pits. It would have also added 23 toxic and burn pit exposure-related illnesses to the VA database, Newsweek reported.

After massive blowback, Senate Republicans re-voted on the bill and helped it pass.

Patriot Takes posted the video hoping that it would encourage veterans and military members to vote in the upcoming mid-term elections.

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