Op-Ed: Human Rights Campaign Once Again Proves Itself a Clueless Wealthy White Privileged Gay and Lesbian Club
HRC’s Refusal to Revoke Its Endorsement of a Republican Senator Who This Week Mocked His Female Democratic Opponent’s Biracial Heritage Again Proves Its White Privilege Runs Deep
If you, the reader, are a member or supporter of the Human Rights Campaign, then I, the writer, will advise you to quit reading as I am about to cause you great offense. That said, now comes the organization’sÂ latest act of political clumsiness and entitled rich white privileged gay and lesbian attitude.
HRC previously published a list of politicians that it had endorsed and given a percentage rating for this election cycle, based on their overall treatment of public policy issues that concerned the greater LGBTQI community. This list included Illinois Republican, U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (photo), who received a rating of 78% and received the HRC’s blessings this past Spring. Conversely, his Democratic opponent, Illinois Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, has a 100% rating from the HRC. A spokesperson for the organizationÂ told me that Kirk’s rating and the subsequent March 2016 endorsement, (to paraphrase), were â€œfor the Senator’s assistance and support for LGBT issues and that the HRC was making every effort to be non-partisan in its selections.â€
An objective critical review of the Senator’s â€œsupportâ€ would reveal that he was â€œlukewarm,â€ if that, in his total support for full LGBTQI equality across the board whereas Congresswoman Duckworth’s support has been unwavering and complete on all aspects of full equality for LGBTQI persons.
This brings me to the events that transpired Thursday evening during an Illinois Senatorial race debate. David Badash, the Editor at The New Civil Rights Movement wrote:
On Thursday at a town hall debate between the two candidates, Duckworth, a veteran who lost both her legs and damaged her right arm in the Iraqi war, spoke about her and her family’s long history of military service to the United States.Â
“My family has served this nation in uniform, going back to the Revolution,” Duckworth told voters Thursday. “But I still want to be there in the Senate when the drums of war sound. Because people are quick to sound the drums of war, and I want to be there to say this is what it costs, this is what you’re asking us to do,” she continued. “Families like mine are the ones that bleed first.”
Sen. Kirk’s response has become headline news.
“I had forgotten that your parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington,” Kirk said, mocking Duckworth’s biracial heritage.
On Friday, as the day wore on, I made several calls to sources I’ve cultivated over the years in the progressive community of activists and leaders in Washington and across the United States, including some within HRC staff at their headquarters building on Rhode Island Avenue in Northwest D.C., and virtually every one with whom I spoke to said the same thing, â€œHRC will not back down.â€
As this op-ed is being composed late Friday evening, HRC is still refusing to rescind its endorsement, even after Kirk’s blatantly xenophobic and racist remarks, for which he apologized Friday afternoonÂ â€“ via a tweet.
Now mind you, this election cycle has definitely brought out the absolute worst in the American body politic, especially on the right side of the political spectrum. The candidacy of Donald Trump has made a mockery of the so-called values of bipartisan and issue driven politics. Instead, the American public has been treated to crass, xenophobic and racist driven hate speech that has filtered its way even into the local, state, and Congressional races.
Still, there absolutely must be limits, a proverbial or metaphorical â€œline that is drawn and should not be crossed.â€ It is incumbent then that organizationsÂ like HRC must enforce and uphold values that reflect a greater good, an all encompassing view that takes in and protects â€œthe least of these.â€Â
In full transparency, I have never been a great fan of HRC. During my travels and my thirty-five years worth of professional work experience as an accredited journalist, particularly in the nearly six years I served as the Washington D.C. bureau chief for LGBTQ Nation magazine, I found the HRC organizationÂ to be self-serving, self-promoting, somewhat misogynistic, transphobic, and overall ineffective in the very areas of public policy that affect the LGBTQI community it claims to serve.
More annoying were that in several instances on issues that I covered as a reporter, HRC was guilty taking a lion’s share of the credit for other LGBTQI advocacy group’s efforts having joined at the last minute or spending minimum effort on the high profile issue at hand. (The efforts to end the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and Marriage Equality being the two most significant examples of HRC poaching.)Â
The other impression I received was that it was an organizationÂ that seemed to function like a “white privileged” country club for wealthy white elite gays and lesbians, especially on issues say that dealt directly with trans persons of color. HRC seems to be adept at paying lip service or funneling limited efforts into the issues that affect the trans community of color, making an appearance that its a leader in advocacy for that under-served and marginalised group, when reality is quite different.
That said, I did find that the one thing that HRC is extremely effective at accomplishing, is raising money through lavish Black-Tie celebrity attended galas with a who’s who of Washington political elite, and also pushing the ongoing promotional fund-raising campaigns which include paying professional fund raising organizationsÂ or companies, who use young college age persons, to directly canvass for monies out on the streets of major U.S. cities on HRC’s behalf.
I note that I later researched and discovered that virtually very little of those monies raised, ended back up assisting the very communities where the canvassers were working the streets.
Instead, apparently the monies raised by HRC seem to be mainly spent on the lavish six-figure salaries of its top executives and the endless media buys, oft times on matters that other LGBTQI groups have pioneered in leading the way on only to have HRC swoop in and grab the credit â€“Â or at least attempt to do so.
It has become the same old tired litany of claims that the organizationÂ is accomplishing all these great things but the tangible benefits overall quite frankly seem nil.
One last thought: it is a political reality that any progressive agenda which essentially includes accomplishing the list of priorities to further advance towards full and equitable treatment of LGBTQI citizens, which HRC claims it desires and is working hard towards, means that Congress, or at least the Senate, must be in the hands of the Democrats. In fact Democrats just like Congresswoman Duckworth. So I ask? Of what value is HRC support of a xenophobic, racist, and quite frankly nasty politician? Is there a net gain here or is this yet another example of the deaf cluelessness of HRC?
Images of Mark Kirk, HRC, via Facebook
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Trump Files Sweeping Legal Motion to Try to Block Georgia Grand Jury Findings and District Attorney Fani Willis
Attorneys for Donald Trump Monday morning filed a sweeping 483-page legal motion asking a Georgia court to block any report from the Fulton County special grand jury and any evidence the grand jury may find, and to force District Attorney Fani Willis to recuse in the investigation into his unlawful attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in that state.
The Daily Beast’s Jose Pagliery first reported the filing. The Atlanta Journal Constitution also reports Trump’s attorneys have filed the motion.
Lawfare Blog’s Anna Bower, who has been covering the Fulton County case, calls the filing “mammoth.”
BREAKING: In a mammoth filing debut in Fulton County Superior Court, Trump’s legal team in Georgia is seeking to quash the report of the special purpose grand jury that investigated 2020 election interference in the state. pic.twitter.com/M9MXTejYIP
— Anna Bower (@AnnaBower) March 20, 2023
The news comes just hours after reports District Attorney Willis could be considering RICO, or conspiracy and racketeering charges against Trump.
READ MORE: ‘This Man Is a Criminal’: George Conway Busts GOP’s ‘Completely Ridiculous’ Trump Defense
This is a breaking news and developing story.
Image via Shutterstock
‘RICO’: Trump Could Be Facing Racketeering and Conspiracy Charges Used to Prosecute Organized Crime
Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis is reportedly considering RICO charges against Donald Trump in her probe of his attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, CNN reports. RICO charges are generally used when prosecuting organized crime cases.
“The reason that I am a fan of RICO is, I think jurors are very, very intelligent,” Willis had said last year about a different case. “They want to know what happened. They want to make an accurate decision about someone’s life. And so RICO is a tool that allows a prosecutor’s office and law enforcement to tell the whole story.”
Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, a law professor and an NBC News/MSNBC contributor, Monday morning on Twitter, pointing to CNN’s report, said Willis “is seriously considering a RICO charge.” She repeated that claim on MSNBC shortly after.
READ MORE: Experts Warn Trump Is Encouraging Violence One Day After He Announces Rally at Waco on 30th Anniversary of Siege
CNN reports, “Investigators have a large volume of substantial evidence related to a possible conspiracy from inside and outside the state, including recordings of phone calls, emails, text messages, documents, and testimony before a special grand jury. Their work, the source said, underscores the belief that the push to help Trump was not just a grassroots effort that originated inside the state.”
On-air Monday morning, CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig, a former federal and state prosecutor, explained conspiracy, racketeering, and RICO, saying, “conspiracy” is “a loaded word. But all it really means is an agreement, a meeting of the minds between two or more people to commit a crime.”
But he added, “if we go up to racketeering, now, this is a really powerful tool the prosecutors use. What you have to do is show two things. First of all, the existence of what we call a racketeering enterprise, that can be a Mafia family, that can be a drug trafficking organization, but it could also be a corporation or a political entity, and then you have to show that they engage in what we call a pattern of racketeering activity, meaning that they committed two or more crimes in an organized fashion, which brings us to this other new piece of information. There’s a third phone call we already know about, of course, the infamous phone call to Brad Raffensperger. ‘I just want to find 11,780 votes.’ There’s also a public recording of Donald Trump talking to this investigator, Francis Watson, when he tells her, ‘when the right answer comes out, you’ll be praised.'”
READ MORE: ‘Reacting to a Cult Leader’: Trump Supporters Organizing to ‘Stock Up on Weaponry’ Says GOP Adviser
“Now we know, Trump also called the former Georgia Speaker of the House asking him to convene a special session,” Honig continued. “As we know we’ve heard from some of the grand jurors special grand jurors who’ve come out, they’ve told us that they recommended indictments for more than a dozen people.”
Watch CNN’s report below or at this link.
Prosecutors in Atlanta are considering bringing RICO charges in connection with Donald Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia.@eliehonig breaks it down: pic.twitter.com/H7YXKQnus8
— CNN This Morning (@CNNThisMorning) March 20, 2023
‘This Man Is a Criminal’: George Conway Busts GOP’s ‘Completely Ridiculous’ Trump Defense
George Conway ripped Republicans for defending lifelong “criminal” Donald Trump against a looming indictment in New York.
The ex-president apparently expects to be charged in the Stormy Daniels hush money payoff, and the conservative attorney told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that he richly deserves it.
“The Republicans are behaving like complete disgraces,” Conway said. “They’re basically saying that, by saying that Trump is being persecuted, they’re essentially saying, you can’t touch Trump and Trump is above the law. Whatever slack you might have wanted to cut a former president, that was gone after Jan. 6. This man is a recidivist criminal, he’s committed fraud all his life, he’s lied all of his life.”
“This Stormy Daniels thing was something he cooked up,” Conway added. “The notion that [Michael] Cohen is going to be discredited on it is ridiculous given the paper trail. We see the checks signed by Donald Trump. It’s hard to say he is being picked on for paying $130,000 in hush money to a porn star and concealing that and using a straw donor, which was Cohen, to do that, and saying he’s being persecuted somehow when no one has ever done that it is completely ridiculous.”
RELATED: Georgia weighs slapping Trump with racketeering charges: CNN
Watch the video below or at this link.
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