2024 GOP presidential hopeful Nikki Haley is once again under fire. Once seen by some as a stalwart who held to her beliefs regardless of political consequence, the former South Carolina governor and former Trump UN Ambassador has flip-flopped on nearly every issue she has weighed in on at least since leaving the administration, while choosing to speak out on the most fleeting issues the GOP is focused on.
“Critical race theory is harmful to a child’s education,” Haley tweeted, complete with video of her talking to far right commentator Dennis Prager, who insists America is not racist. He’s also decried not being able to use the “n” word anymore.
After Prager calls the 1619 Project a “lie,” Haley says “kids should not be taught that they are racist,” which is not what critical race theory does.
“They don’t see color. They don’t see gender. They don’t see anything, they’re just kids,” Haley insists.
But as Daily Beast editor Justin Baragona notes, last year Haley talked about the discrimination and bullying she faced because she is of Indian descent.
“In much of the Democratic Party, it’s now fashionable to say that America is racist. That is a lie. America is not a racist country,” Haley said at the 2020 RNC, as NBC News reported.
“I was a Brown girl, in a Black and white world. We faced discrimination and hardship,” she added.
“I grew up in a small town where we were the only Indian family, and I was bullied because they didn’t know if I was black or if I was white,” she said. “All I knew was I was Indian. I was brown; and I was bullied because I wouldn’t take a side. … So I told my parents and my parents talked to the teachers, and we ended up educating the class.”
Haley has also described herself as “white” on a voter registration form, as Mother Jones reported in 2011.
She is getting scorched on social media.
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) May 4, 2021
This is what I mean. People who are capable of making 180 degree turns whenever and however it suits their personal ambitions are very dangerous people. That shows a lack of any real internalized value system https://t.co/p3nBDlBp42
— DEFUND & ABOLISH POLICE, REFUND OUR COMMUNITIES (@BreeNewsome) May 5, 2021
Also, I thought the word literally meant in a literal manner or exact. Please cite the critical race theory text that tells white children they’re racist. Lastly, the 1619 Project is journalism, CRT is is a legal theory, which you probably didn’t know since you haven’t read.
— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) May 4, 2021
Dennis is also real mad that he can’t say the n-word.https://t.co/D27AI110rw
— The Next Day (@incompetusrex) May 5, 2021
Wait… the “expert”, this melting cumquat you’re talking to, is the Prager guy????? Amazing. Thanks for the laugh.
— Dave Zirin (@EdgeofSports) May 4, 2021
You don’t even know what “critical race theory” is. You just want to deny knowledge of the country’s foundational sins– sins that we can see perpetuated every day centuries later and that you literally don’t want us to learn from.
— Scott Tobias (@scott_tobias) May 4, 2021
You’ve literally read nothing on the subject. Why broadcast your ignorance?
— Dave Zirin (@EdgeofSports) May 4, 2021
Schools aren’t teaching kids they are racist. Schools are teaching kids the history of the United States, which unfortunately includes racism, slavery, segregation and intolerance towards non-whites and non-Christians.
— Edw. A. Havens III (@havens_iii) May 4, 2021
ARE YOU KIDDING?! I went to a predominately white and considerably “friendly” public school and was called a “terrorist,” a “towel head,” and even a “sand n*****” – the few black students had it worse. Some kids ARE RACIST bc they’re not taught better, and to deny that is naive. https://t.co/e3sI6Hjohy
— Puneet✨ (@Peeziedoesitt) May 5, 2021
Nonstop, vicious lying is all there is left.
This person has presidential ambitions, too. https://t.co/1QHGPy7ETw
— John Stoehr’s Editorial Board (@johnastoehr) May 4, 2021
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West Virginia Republicans Vote to Keep Child Marriage Legal
Republicans in the West Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee voted 9-8 to kill a law that would’ve ended child marriage in the state.
Right now the state, and six others, have no minimum age requirement for marriage. The law allows children as young as age 16 to be married off to adults, as long as the children have their parents’ permission. (Anyone younger than 16 requires a judge’s waiver to marry.) However, West Virginia has the highest rate of child marriage in the nation, according to a 2014 Pew Research Center report.
A proposed bill, introduced by Democratic state Delegate Kayla Young, would’ve raised West Virginia’s minimum age for marriage to 18 and above — only 4 other U.S. states.
After her bill’s defeat, Young wrote, “I want to make it very clear that no one spoke against the bill. They just made the clearly pre-determined motions and killed the bill. No one admitted why they think children as young as infants should be legally allowed to be married off.”
I want to make it very clear that no one spoke against the bill. They just made the clearly pre-determined motions and killed the bill. No one admitted why they think children as young as infants should be legally allowed to be married off.
— Kayla Young (@kaylayoungforwv) March 9, 2023
Republican Sen. Mike Stuart defended not raising the minimum marrying age by noting that his own mother had married at age 16. “Six months later, I came along. I’m the luckiest guy in the world,” Stuart said, not mentioning the effects the marriage or pregnancy had on his mother’s mental state or well-being.
Republican Del. Jim Butler, who voted against the bill, told Newsweek, “West Virginia is a socially conservative and traditional state, in my observation. Many middle age and elderly people that I know were married when younger than 18 and are still married many years later.”
The Associated Press noted that 86% of underage children who get married are girls, meaning that West Virginia’s laws primarily allow adult men to marry girls who have barely entered high school and aren’t old enough to vote.
Right now, seven states have no minimum age requirement for marriage, according to Unchained at Last, an organization that opposes child marriage. These states include California, Washington, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and West Virginia.
Kansas allows children to marry at the age of 15. All other U.S. states set the ages for marriage at 16 and above.
Pentagon Blocks Evidence of Russia’s War Crimes from International Criminal Court
The Pentagon, the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense, is blocking the administration of President Joe Biden (D) from sharing evidence of Russian war crimes in Ukraine, collected by U.S. intelligence agencies, with the International Criminal Court (ICC), the tribunal that prosecutes heinous human rights violations, The New York Times has reported.
The Pentagon is doing this because U.S. military leaders fear that it might help the ICC and other nations prosecute the U.S. in the future over its own past war crimes.
The evidence being withheld reportedly includes proof that Russian officials deliberately targeted civilian dwellings and infrastructure while also kidnapping thousands of Ukrainian children from occupied territories, the Times wrote.
In December 2022, Congress changed rules to enable the U.S. to assist the ICC’s investigations. But even though the rule changes passed on a large bipartisan vote, the Pentagon opposed the rule change and is “now trying to undermine the letter and spirit of the law,” according to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
In 2000, then-U.S. President Bill Clinton originally signed the Rome Statute that created the ICC. But the United States’ involvement wasn’t ratified by the Senate. In 2002, then-U.S. President George W. Bush withdrew the U.S. from ICC, primarily over concerns that the U.S. could be prosecuted for war crimes after its then-coming 2003 invasion of Iraq.
The U.S. has acknowledged the ICC’s existence and even assisted with its investigation against African warlords under the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama. However, in 2017, when the ICC tried to investigate the U.S. torture of detainees during Bush’s so-called “War on Terror,” then-President Donald Trump imposed sanctions on ICC personnel and his Secretary of State denounced the ICC as “immoral.”
Biden revoked Trump’s sanctions, but the U.S. remained prohibited from funding and issuing other sorts of aid to the court. The December 2022 legislative vote changed it so that the U.S. could help the ICC investigate Russian war crimes.
However, the Pentagon has said that the U.S. shouldn’t help the ICC investigate Russia, because Russia (like the U.S.) also withdrew its participation from the ICC and shouldn’t be subject to its investigations. If Russia is, and the U.S. assists, then it also means that the ICC could one day investigate the United States, the Pentagon reasons, according to unnamed sources cited by the Times.
Russia has allegedly committed more than 65,000 war crimes in Ukraine, according to watchdog groups.
The progressive news site Common Dreams noted that author and war correspondent Megan K. Stack wrote on Twitter, that the Pentagon and U.S. approach to the ICC can be summed up thus: “Basically, [the U.S.] want others punished, but not ourselves.”
A year of war in Ukraine. A year of Russian forces' atrocities. A year of civilian suffering.
— Human Rights Watch (@hrw) February 24, 2023
Louisiana Adults Must Now Show Drivers’ Licenses to Access Porn Online
Louisiana residents who want to access adult web content and pornography online must now enter information from a valid driver’s license or state ID into a program called LA Wallet in order to prove they are 18 or older, according to Mashable.
This is thanks to House Bill 142, a new law that went into effect on January 1. The law says that any commercial website that contains 33.3 percent or more pornographic material must “perform reasonable age verification methods to verify the age of individuals attempting to access the material.”
While porn websites claim that they won’t collect any users’ personal information while conducting the age check, the bill requiring the check is a disturbing view of similar legislation to come.
“Pornography is creating a public health crisis and having a corroding influence on minors,” the bill states, blaming adult content for “the hypersexualization of teens and prepubescent children… low self-esteem, body image disorders, an increase in problematic sexual activity at younger ages, and increased desire among adolescents to engage in risky sexual behavior.”
“Pornography may also impact brain development and functioning, contribute to emotional and medical illnesses, shape deviant sexual arousal, and lead to difficulty in forming or maintaining positive, intimate relationships, as well as promoting problematic or harmful sexual behaviors and addiction,” the bill states.
The bill was introduced by anti-LGBTQ+ state Rep. Laurie Schlegel, a woman who has introduced legislation banning transgender youth from playing on school sports teams matching their gender identity. She also opposed legislation that would have banned so-called conversion therapy, a widely disavowed form of psychological torture that purports to change people’s sexual orientation and gender identity.
Louisiana’s law bears resemblance to similar legislation introduced last month by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). Lee’s bill would essentially criminalize any web users who view or share “obscene” images online.
While Lee’s bill has little chance of clearing the Democratically-controlled Senate, it’s just one of numerous bills seeking to restrict adult content and online sex work in the name of protecting children from porn and “sex trafficking.”
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