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I Won’t Post a Sticker Just to Make Oppressors Feel Better

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“Forgiveness 2016” Sticker Absolves Our Oppressors of Guilt

By now you’ve probably seen this disgusting bumper sticker depicting a figure outfitted in a Confederate flag kicking a figure in a rainbow flag. The decal’s authenticity as a Trump 2016 has been called into question, but even if it’s not an official piece of merchandise (and I highly doubt that it is), the message is pretty clear, and it’s gross. 

I don’t need to go into any kind of extensive detail describing the type of person who would be willing to put this sticker on their car. We’ve certainly seen them throughout the campaign, and I’ve certainly written my fair share about them. 

In the recent days, though, there’s been another drawing that’s surfaced that’s been shared widely on Facebook and other social media sites. It depicts the same figures, except the rainbow-clad person is embracing the Confederate figure with the title, “Forgiveness 2016.”

forgive.jpg 

My response to this new graphic? Very simply, it’s “no.”  

I get that the intention is good. I get that people want to cross lines and build bridges and all of that happy touchy-feely emotionally-satisfying mumbo jumbo. It’s also incredibly naive and abusive. 

For decades LGBT people have been tasked with forgiving those who want to cause us real harm. We’ve had to fight (and we’re still fighting) for the right to simply live in happiness and safety – and with every battle won we’re supposed to forgive those who worked to harm us, without any repentance or apology on their part. 

The people represented by the Confederate figure are abusers and oppressors. They have dedicated themselves to tearing apart our families, to imprisoning us for existing, to demonizing us for using the bathrooms, for inflicting violence upon us, and so much more. One need not have a doctorate in history to understand the horrific intentions and impact this group has had on LGBT now and in the past. 

If someone who was anti-LGBT wants to apologize for all of the harm they’ve caused us – if they want to actively take ownership of the damage they’ve done and re-dedicate themselves to undoing it? I will gladly sit down with them and work towards forgiveness, without a doubt. But true repentance takes work. It doesn’t happen over night, and it has to come with the understanding that much of the harm that’s been caused can never be undone. 

Screen_Shot_2016-10-19_at_10.23.12_AM.jpgTo expect LGBT people to blindly forgive those who cause us harm simply because it will make our oppressors feel better about themselves? Absolutely not. We’ve been conditioned over the past few years to believe that it’s upon us to make amends with those who wish to harm us. We’ve told ourselves that in order to not be “sore winners” we have to bury some of our pride and welcome those who hate us back into our lives. 

The problem is, though, that they’ve never truly repented. In fact, they’ve continued to come after us. The same people who were fighting against decriminalizing homosexuality were the same folks fighting against allowing gay people to be teachers, were the same folks fighting against civil unions, were the same folks fighting marriage equality, are the same folks fighting against trans rights. 

We continue to forgive our abusers and oppressors and they continue to abuse and oppress us, because we think it will make them like us better.

The day someone comes to me with a true change of heart – in true repentance and with a dedicated mandate to work to undo the legacy they created – I will be there with patient and open arms. 

In the meantime, though, I’m not going to post a sticker simply to make someone who hates me feel better about themselves. It’s not fair to them and it’s certainly not fair to me. 

 

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

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Listen: GOP Candidate for Congress Says Garland Should ‘Probably’ Be ‘Executed’ – Later Claims He Was Just Being ‘Facetious’

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New York Republican Carl Paladino, running for a U.S. House seat, said Attorney General Merrick Garland should probably be “executed” in a radio interview this past weekend, and later when pressed backtracked, claiming he was just being “facetious,” as The Buffalo News first reported.

“So we have a couple of unelected people who are running our government with an administration of people like Garland,” Paladino said in an attack on President Joe Biden in a Saturday interview with the far-right wing Breitbart media site.

Garland “should be not only impeached he should probably, should be executed, the guy is just lost,” Paladino said.

Paladino called Garland, a former U.S. Supreme Court nominee and former Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, a “lost soul” who is “trying to get an image and his image, his methodology is just terrible.”

READ MORE: Stefanik-Endorsed Candidate Called Black People ‘Dumb and Hungry,’ Said Trump Sexual Assault Accuser ‘Probably Enjoyed’ It

“To raid the home of a former president is just, people are scratching their heads and they’re saying, ‘What is wrong with this guy?’ ”

Later in the interview Breitbart Radio host Matthew Boyle asked Paladino, “Carl, what you just said about Garland, you said you think ‘he should be impeached and probably executed.’ Can you explain that? What do you mean by that?”

“I’m just being facetious,” Paladino replied. “The man should be removed from office. He’s shows his incompetence. He wants to get his face in front of the people. And in short, he’s got some mettle to him, but his choice of issues and his choice of methodology is is is very sad. And then he wants to take full blame for it, you know he’ll he’ll stand there.”

Paladino, who is strongly endorsed by U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY),  the Chair of the House Republican Conference, has a long history of controversial remarks and actions.

RELATED: School Board Votes to Ask for Resignation of Racist Trump Official Who Hopes Michelle Obama Goes to Live With a Gorilla

Just last month the New York Post reported he “has a convicted sex offender on his company payroll who also now works as ‘assistant treasurer’ of his campaign.”

“Joel Sartori was controller of Ellicott Development when he was busted in 2013 for accessing child porn on a company computer,” The Post adds. “Sartori was convicted of two felonies — possessing and promoting kiddie porn — and sentenced to 10 years’ probation in 2017, court records show.”

As CNN has reported, Paladino has called Black people “dumb and hungry,” claimed they are “conditioned” to only vote for Democrats, while insisting he’s not “a racist.” He also said a woman who had accused Donald Trump of sexual assault “probably enjoyed” it.

Stefanik, the third most powerful House Republican, on June 3 praised Paladino as an “inspirational” leader, a “doer,” and “the kind of leader we need today.” That endorsement came just days before it was revealed Paladino in 2021 had called Adolf Hitler “inspirational,” and “the kind of leader we need today” (audio.)

Stefanik later doubled down on her endorsement despite Paladino’s praise for Hitler, a genocidal fascist responsible for the murders of approximately 17 million people.

As CNN also reported, in 2016, “Paladino had said he would like to see Michelle Obama ‘return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla,’ and that he hoped Barack Obama would die of Mad Cow Disease after having sex with a cow.”

Listen to Paladino’s remarks about Attorney General Garland below or at this link:

Image: Screenshot via Facebook

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Trump’s Fundraising Off Mar-a-Lago Raid Hit $1 Million a Day – and It’s Still Higher Than Usual

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When Donald Trump announced that the FBI was raiding Mar-a-Lago his fundraising operation went into high gear, and produced tremendous results: up to $1 million a day, and still trending higher than usual more than a week after federal agents removed 20 cartons including at least 11 sets of classified materials.

“Contributions to Trump’s political action committee topped $1 million on at least two days after the Aug. 8 search of his Palm Beach, Fla., estate, according to two people familiar with the figures,” The Washington Post reports, calling it a “cash bonanza.”

“The daily hauls jumped from a level of $200,000 to $300,000 that had been typical in recent months, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss nonpublic information,” The Post adds, noting more than 100 fundraising emails have been sent. “The donations stayed unusually high for several more days and are still above average, both of these people said, though they have leveled off in recent days. There are more contributors than usual, these people said, and the average donation has climbed.”

READ MORE: Weisselberg Expected to ‘Criminally Implicate’ Trump Organization in Plea Deal Admitting to 15 Felonies: Reports

Describing the Mar-a-Lago themed fundraising emails as a “firehose,” The Post offered some examples: “THEY BROKE INTO MY HOME,” “They’re coming after YOU,” and “THIS IS INSANE.”

“One message included a poll asking, ‘Do you agree that President Trump is being politically persecuted?’ Another promised ‘an exclusive 1300% MATCH today only!,’ a common tactic used to encourage people to respond immediately.”

The Daily Beast last week reported Trump’s “campaign wants to cash in on his Florida residence being raided by FBI agents. ‘My home, Mar-a-Lago, was raided by the FBI,’ an early Wednesday morning fundraising email stated. ‘These are dark times for our Nation,” the message continued. ‘WITCH HUNT,’ another email sent out by Trump’s Save America PAC declared, while soliciting donations.”

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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‘A Perfect Call!’: Trump Rails Against Georgia Election Probe in Late-Night Truth Social Rant

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Donald Trump Joe Biden twitter

Former President Donald Trump is posting vintage rants attacking investigators on his Truth Social platform.

In a late-night tirade, the former president lashed out against the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office just hours after Rudy Giuliani testified before a special grand jury that’s probing the Trump campaign’s efforts to illegally remain in power despite losing the 2020 election to President Joe Biden.

“So, let me get this straight!” Trump’s rant began. “In the Great State of Georgia, if you want to challenge or protest Election results in any way, shape, or form (despite the fact that in Atlanta, murders and crime are the highest in the Nation, with many people dying each month – at numbers never seen before), they will charge you and put you in jail. But if you kill people, you will quickly be set free to murder again. Isn’t there something ‘slightly’ wrong with this scenario? A PERFECT PHONE CALL!”

In fact, the grand jury is not probing Trump’s efforts to challenge the election results, but is rather investigating incidents such as his phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which he pushed for Raffensperger to “find” 12,000 votes and “recalculate” the final vote tally.

READ MORE: Former CIA director warns GOP is the most ‘dangerous and contemptible’ political force on earth

In a separate post, the former president attacked the Washington Post for reporting that he was having trouble finding top-notch legal representation, as he is currently relying in part on a lawyer who previously worked as general counsel for a parking garage company.

“The WAPO story that ‘Trump is scrambling to add seasoned lawyers’ to the Mar-a-Lago Raid case is, as usual, FAKE NEWS,” he wrote. “I already have excellent and experienced lawyers – am very happy with them. This is highly political prosecutorial misconduct, I have not been charged with anything and, most importantly, I did nothing wrong. Thank you!”

 

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