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Op-Ed: Human Rights Campaign Once Again Proves Itself a Clueless Wealthy White Privileged Gay and Lesbian Club

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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’s 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 organization told me that Kirk’s rating and the subsequent March 2016 endorsement, (to paraphrase), were “for the Senator’s assistance and support for LGBT issues and that the HRC was making every effort to be non-partisan in its selections.”

An objective critical review of the Senator’s “support” would reveal that he was “lukewarm,” 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. 

“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, “HRC will not back down.”

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 afternoon – 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 “line that is drawn and should not be crossed.” It is incumbent then that organizations like HRC must enforce and uphold values that reflect a greater good, an all encompassing view that takes in and protects “the least of these.” 

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 organization 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.) 

The other impression I received was that it was an organization 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 organizations 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 – or at least attempt to do so.

It has become the same old tired litany of claims that the organization 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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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

GOP Congresswoman Saying She Would ‘Do Anything’ to Protect Her Grandchildren, Even ‘Shooting Them’ Sets Internet on Fire

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U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) in a speech denouncing a House bill on gun safety, appears to inadvertently have declared that to protect her five grandchildren, she would “do anything,” even shoot them.

“I rise in opposition to H.R. 2377,” Congresswoman Lesko says in the video. “I have five grandchildren. I would do anything, anything to protect my five grandchildren, including as a last resort shooting them if I had to, to protect the lives of my grandchildren.”

NCRM has verified the video is accurate. Congresswoman Lesko made the remarks on June 9, according to C-SPAN, while she was opposing a red flag law.

The Congresswoman presumably meant she would as a last resort shoot someone threatening her grandchildren.

One Twitter user, Ryan Shead, posted the previously ignored video to Twitter, where it has gone viral and is trending.

Lesko, who some social media users note is running for re-election unopposed, went on to say: “Democrat bills that we have heard this week want to take away my right, my right to protect my grandchildren. they want to take away the rights of law-abiding citizens to protect their own children and grandchildren. and wives and brothers and sisters,” which is false.

“This bill takes away due process from law-abiding citizens. Can you imagine if you had a disgruntled ex or somebody who hates you because of your political views and they go to a judge and say, ‘oh, this person is dangerous,’ and that judge would take away your guns?”

Lesko’s hypothetical claims are false. Red flag laws are designed to protect both gun owners and those around them.

Some social media users noted that Congresswoman Lesko reportedly “attended meetings about overturning the election,” while others are having fun with the Arizona Republican’s remarks:

Watch Congresswoman Lesko’s remarks above or at this link.

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Separation of Church and State Is a ‘Fabrication’ Says Far Right Activist Charlie Kirk: They Should Be ‘Mixed Together’

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Far-right religious activist, conspiracy theorist, and founder of the right-wing organization Turning Point USA Charlie Kirk has falsely declared that separation of church and state, a bedrock principle on which American society is based, is a “fabrication” not in the Constitution.

Kirk is a member of the secretive theocratic Council for National Policy., a close friend of Donald Trump, Jr., and spent years promoting President Trump – even interviewing him at one point. Turning Point USA has had repeated challenges. The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer in 2017 write a piece about TPUSA titled, “A Conservative Nonprofit That Seeks to Transform College Campuses Faces Allegations of Racial Bias and Illegal Campaign Activity.”

Former TPUSA communications director Candace Owens has praised Hitler, saying “the problem” with him was that he wanted to “globalize.”

RELATED: Watch: Charlie Kirk Calls for Texans to Be ‘Deputized’ to Protect ‘White Demographics in America’

On Wednesday Kirk declared, “There is no separation of church and state. It’s a fabrication. It’s a fiction. It’s not in the Constitution. It’s made up by secular humanists.”

That’s false.

The claim separation of church and state is not in the Constitution is a religious right belief that has been debunked by countless legal experts.

“Of course we should have church and state mixed together,” Kirk continued. “Our Founding Fathers believed in that. We can go through the detail of that. They established – literally – a church in Congress.”

That too is false.

RELATED: ‘When Do We Get to Use the Guns?’: TP USA Audience Member Asks Charlie Kirk When Can ‘We Kill’ Democrats? (Video)

“It’s a good thing Charlie Kirk doesn’t go to Wheaton because he would fail my Constitutional Law class,” writes Dr. Miranda Yaver, PhD, a Wheaton College professor.

As most public school students know, Kirk’s claims are belied by the First Amendment to the U.S., Constitution, which states:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

It’s the Establishment Clause, legal experts say, that debunks Kirk’s falsehood.

In reviewing the Supreme Court’s recent rulings, Reuters last month noted: “It was President Thomas Jefferson who famously said in an 1802 letter that the establishment clause should represent a ‘wall of separation’ between church and state. The provision prevents the government from establishing a state religion and prohibits it from favoring one faith over another.”

Jefferson is also considered the principal author of the Declaration of Independence.

Watch Charlie Kirk below or at this link.

 

 

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News

Pat Cipollone Is ‘A Greatest Hits Package of Crazy Statements’ by Donald Trump: Legal Expert

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Former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone has agreed to speak to the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on Congress on Friday.

Former Assistant Deputy Attorney General Harry Litman told CNN that Cipollone has carefully negotiated the testimony and he will likely “steer around down the middle” of the attorney/client privilege. However, former President Donald Trump is not the client of a White House counsel, the White House is. President Joe Biden has waived executive privilege for anything involving Jan. 6 or the 2020 election.

“He is a greatest hits package of crazy statements by Donald Trump,” Litman said of Cipollone. “He is the one who says to Mark Meadows, ‘You know, if you do this, you’ll have blood on your effing hands.’ He’s the one who says to Mark Meadows about [Mike] Pence, ‘You’ve got to stop it’ and Meadows says, ‘You’ve heard him. He thinks the rioters are right.’ He’s the one who has to go to Cassidy Hutchinson, a 25-year-old, and plead with her because Meadows won’t speak to him. ‘Please try to keep him from going to the Capitol.’ He’s the one who says, ‘if I go to the Capitol, it will be every effing crime imaginable.'”

READ MORE: Longtime friend of GOP’s Eric Greitens calls him a ‘broken man’ and accuses him of lying about his beliefs

“Now, they’ve negotiated it up, and probably what he wants is to say he’s not piercing attorney/client privilege. But all these statements I’ve said to you, Trump’s nowhere around. So, attorney/client has to be with the client for the purpose of getting legal advice, so he’s got tons to say without that.”

As Litman explained, Cipollone is in “everything.”

See the discussion below.

Image: Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks  via Flickr:
President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump talk with Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett, her husband Jesse Barrett, Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, his wife Virginia Thomas, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, and Deputy White House Counsel Kate Comerford Todd in the Blue Room of the White House Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, after attending Barrett’s swearing-in ceremony as Supreme Court Associate Justice.

 

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