Racist Bernie Bros and Joy Reid- When Progressives Impede Progress.

This is what we're fighting.

A group of fanatical Bernie Sanders supporters went scrounging around the Internet recently, digging up old blog posts of a homophobic nature published many years ago by JoyAnn Reid, host of MSNBC’s popular morning talk show AM Joy.

There are no doubt the content of the posts were wrong. Reid apologized for the unkind things she’d said in the past, owned it, and moved forward. Her apology serves as a model for us all.

But that is not the issue here. Those posts were dug up and released for a reason. And genuine concern over the threat Joy Reid might pose to the LGBT community does not appear to be it.

It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that it happened because Reid’s past political commentary has been critical of Bernie Sanders.

One recent article published by Medium’s Investigator recently was called “The Twitter lynching of Joy Ann Reid by the Bernie Left.” 

An outsider might be taken aback by the vehemence of such a statement, especially as a headline. But it happens to be true. And its contents tell a very ugly story.

An Internet campaign was started by Bernie supporters under the hashtag #FireJoyReid in November 2017 after Reid “made the mistake” of mentioning Jane Sanders in a series of tweets.

Jane Sanders flipped out.

“Don’t ever use me to demean my husband,” she shot at Reid on Twitter.

The ongoing conflict between Reid and Sanders supporters is something anyone can witness for themselves, through a quick Google search for “Joy Reid Bernie Sanders.”

Their hatred of Joy Reid is fanatical at best. At worst it is dangerous and insane, like Bernie supporter James T.Hodgkinson, who shot up the Congress last summer and winged Rep. Steve Scalise.

From 2015 forward, a group of extreme leftists has systematically harassed, stalked and targeted for doxing black activists, journalists, and contributors on Twitter and other social media sites. The list includes many notable figures, such as Donna Brazile, Kamala Harris, Maxine Waters, and Joy Reid.

 Medium’s Investigator did the research necessary to identify its core members- a tightly knit group of Bernie Bros.

They identify usually as members of the DSA (Democratic Socialists of America), and they all proudly proclaim to have voted for Jill Stein.

Among many other unpleasant characteristics, the group makes a practice of producing, tweeting, and retweeting racist pictures, like this one of Kamala Harris.

People of color, and watermelon. Real clever, right?

Behind this campaign is the fact that a lot of black voters didn’t vote for Bernie. The anger this produced by a part of the Bernie left has been gigantic. That’s hard to understand, given Bernie’s record, but that is beside the point.

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This Millennial Democrats contributor would be hard-pressed to think of a single other circumstance, in which white people could treat black people like this, without hardly a soul being outraged.

The Sanders insurgency is largely a white revolution. All the talk about Sanders representing the future of the Democratic Party because of his titanic popularity among young people ignores a crucial factor.

Minority voters weren’t buying it.

Back in 2016, when Hillary Clinton won big in the Southern primaries, Sanders sniffed that scheduling early primaries in the South “distorts reality.” The message that sends? They’re just black voters.

Anecdotally, this writer remembers being told during the election, that the South “did not matter”, because their states would go red in the general election. Were that to be accepted as truth, it would disenfranchise half the country’s Democrats and a huge percentage of the black ones.

Back in 2014, during a number of interviews, Bernie described the type of voters he wanted to appeal to.

He says working-class white voters have abandoned Democrats in large numbers. The party, he says, has “not made it clear that they are prepared to stand with the working-class people of this country, take on the big money interests.”

And more recently, when he scoffed at President Barack Obama on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, his comments made it all too clear just how greatly he values the rest.

Well, here’s what you got. What you got is an African-American president, and the African-American community is very, very proud that this country has overcome racism (Editor’s note-????) and voted for him for president. And that’s kind of natural. You’ve got a situation where the Republican Party has been strongly anti-immigration, and you’ve got a Hispanic community which is looking to the Democrats for help.”

“But that’s not important.”

We beg to differ, Senator Sanders.

Right now, in America, racism is the strongest it has been since the 50’s. We all remember what happened in Charlottesville last summer, and that is far from the only notorious example.

A Virginia newspaper ran a full KKK recruitment flyer as its front page ad earlier this week.

This week a video showed up online exhibiting a white manager of a Plano, Texas, restaurant making a blatant attempt to kick out a prominent black couple dining in his restaurant after they refused to give up their seat to a white customer. He threatened the couple with the police.

It is very important that the left be there for persons of color, especially at a time like this. The racist right is on the attack beyond anything recent decades have seen. We have to be there in stark opposition. It’s part of what it means to be a Democrat.

There is no word in the English language that the Democratic Socialist supporters of Bernie Sanders like to use more than progressive. They’re convinced they’re the only ones with any right to it.

But if progressive values do not include fighting racism and sticking up for at-risk groups, then what exactly is progressive about them?

The Bernie supporters who have been savaging Joy Reid ought to take a good look at themselves.

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How the GOP Grew Gangrenous- Jim Crow, Anarchy, and Immigration,Pt.3

It is a well-known fact that economic recessions give the forces of radicalism a shot in the arm. We have seen that as recently as 2016, as evinced by the popularity of both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. This is what made it so easy for Trump to knock aside and disregard the rank-and-file Republicans that have made our life a hell all these years.

We have also seen that the far right is the inevitable beneficiary of the consequences, when the far left loses control of themselves and does something stupid. The emails dumped by Wikileaks the day before the Democratic National Convention in 2016, that led to rioting in the streets and the forced resignation of Debbie Wassermann-Schultz illustrate a particularly grotesque example.

People don’t take it well, when they lose everything due to government incompetence. No one is as aware of that as people who came of age in the new millennium. If you grew up in the 1990’s, under the benign and prosperous reign of Bill Clinton, you just were not prepared, for the slaughterhouse reality of watching it all go to the dogs after 2001.

The turn of the millennium was a very hopeful time for our generation. We all grew up talking about it, watching movies about it, and dreaming of what the world would look like, when the big year finally came. The years just prior had been some of the best the country had ever seen.

The Soviet Union was gone, the Internet boom had created a whole new infinity of possible ways to spend your future, and the Stone Temple Pilots were actively touring. It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that Purple was a superior album to Core.

When George W. Bush got together with Ralph Nader, and stole the 2000 election from Al Gore, he turned all that prosperity into an unjust war. Watching the country start resembling a garbage dump, when all indicators had pointed to a magnificent, futuristic era, was the most heartbreaking and disillusioning thing you could imagine.

It was the worst thing he ever could have done for the country. The resultant war, catastrophe, and repression has caused a terrible anger to start brewing in the hearts of our people. Failure to properly cope with that anger is why people voted for Trump.

It was the financial crisis known as the Great Recession that set the stage for the chaos we are living in now. In Teddy Roosevelt’s time, also, the stage was set by a terrible financial crisis. It was known as the Panic of 1893.

The Panic of 1893

Employee unions had become an increasingly ubiquitous force in American life, during the last quarter of the nineteenth century. They sought to improve working conditions, and their methods were not always nonviolent.

Strikers had clashed violently with police and the military, in many places nationwide. In Chicago’s Haymarket Riot in 1886, a bomb was thrown at police, and seven were hanged in the aftermath. The European “doctrine” known as anarchism had showed up on the scene. Its presence was unwanted and so were the immigrants that brought it. These tensions exacerbated the situation further. Communication started breaking down between the people and the government, which barely stayed open.

The year before the Panic, the Carnegie Steel Trust cut the wages of its workers at the Homestead Works near Pittsburgh, sparking one of the greatest labor battles of the day, and bringing the name of Emma Goldman, the revolutionary socialist, to the forefront of American politics for the first time.

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Emma Goldman

Goldman’s circle devised a plan to assassinate the plant manager, Henry Clay Frick, and her husband Alexander Berkman actually tried it. The plan did not work, Berkman went to prison, and it ruined the strike for the strikers. The law had their excuse to suppress the workers, and Goldman was soon forced into exile. The pressure on the streets began approaching critical mass.

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Anarchist Alexander Bergman attempts to assassinate Henry Clay Frick.

In 1901, President William McKinley was interacting with a crowd at the Pan-American Exhibition in Buffalo, New York, shaking hands with someone, when a 28-year-old anarchist named Leon Czolgosz ran up and shot him in the chest. He died eight days later, and Vice President Theodore Roosevelt was immediately sworn in as president.

The assassination of President William McKinley.

When the far-left lost their collective temper, it expressed itself in the shooting of the President. This event worsened their lot tremendously. The press associated the assassination with “crazed” anarchists in the public mind, costing it whatever public sympathy it had.

Political Cartoon
McKinley’s assassination reaps its dividends

The authorities used the assassination attempt as an excuse to arrest and imprison leftists of every stripe, radical or not. They will do it again anytime they have to. This is one of many reasons why we will always take a strong position against rioting and bedlam for any reason.

Whatever else is going on, Democrats remain lawful and nonviolent. We don’t poison our own waters with crap like this.

As a result of all this disorder, the immigration question suddenly took on a paramount importance. It was perceived in terms very similar to what we see today, although no one on our political scene back then was stupid enough to think this could be fixed by building a wall.

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The Melting Pot of America

Then as now, the nation was being challenged to find ways to accommodate a massive influx of immigrants. Most of these were from South America, Eastern Europe, and Middle Eastern countries such as Syria, areas which have traditionally been host to agricultural countries with dated political systems.

It was under these conditions that Teddy Roosevelt became the first president in office to explicitly link immigration with the security of the country, and put the immigration issue high on his political agenda. Although he considered immigrants to be a key building block of the nation’s success in the future, his predecessor had been murdered by one, and he never stopped considering them a threat.

TR’s immigration policy

TR suspected the public’s mood would darken in this direction, and he moved to take advantage of their outrage. Thanks to the excesses of anarchists, the executive branch was able to set the basic course of immigration debate and policy for decades to come, with the ultimate goal being for the federal government to gain the ability to pick and choose at the gate.

Our Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients have a unique perspective on this issue, and particular focus should be paid going forward on hearing their stories and receiving their input.

Under Republican guidance, the problem has gotten steadily worse, and the government responses more extreme. Most recently, the 45th President of the United States, Republican Donald Trump, ordered immigration checkpoints to remain open in Texas during the evacuation process from Hurricane Harvey.

Although Millennial Democrats opines that Theodore Roosevelt is rolling over in his grave, to see what today’s GOP has been doing with his ideas, the fact remains that he can legitimately be held responsible for setting in motion an immigration policy that revolved around a selection process that included stereotyping, racial profiling, and immigration.

TR’s views on race and people of color are repugnant by the standards of today. But it’s important to remember that he came to office at a time when racism was all-pervasive. Jim Crow laws had recently begun taking effect down South.

The famous scientist Sir Francis Galton coined the term “eugenics”, a set of beliefs and practices designed to improve the genetic quality of a human population. Eugenicists were universal in declaring for the inferiority of the black man. This theory remained popular until the Nazis applied it to its logical conclusions. These days, Republicans do not like to talk about it.

Although Galton himself ridiculed it, part of the so-called scientific racism eugenics evolved from included another “science” called phrenology, attempting to measure one’s intelligence, ability, and personal characteristics by the shape of one’s skull. The conclusions drawn by that pack of louts were, to say the least, ungenerous in their assessments of African- Americans.

But TR did not pay any of it much mind. The great Booker T. Washington served as his close adviser on racial relations, and at his invitation, became the first African-American to eat dinner in the White House. This was one of the things that inflamed the conservative wing of the Republican party against him, and this is of the highest significance.

In that inflammation, was the seed of the modern deplorable.

It was a very horrible time to be in America for anyone except white males, as we moved into the 20th century. These were free to murder a black man, or rape a black woman, with all but complete impunity in most of the nation. Discrimination against minorities and women was a part of the American bedrock, and perfectly legal, and this manifested in acts of murderous violence all the time. In 1915, a Jewish man named Leo Frank was dragged out of prison by a mob and lynched.

Leo Frank
Leo Frank

This event caused a great deal of controversy, so much so that two famous and familiar institutions were born and reborn from it- the Anti-Defamation League, and the Ku Klux Klan. The merest mention of the latter’s sickening name, let alone its history, should be enough to make anyone understand why we can’t equivocate when it comes to philosophies of hatred. When it comes time to call a foul abomination like Charlottesville by name, you have got to make a choice. Either you do, or you don’t. Inside that choice, lies the key to what manner of person you are.

Between racial issues and economics, the beginnings of the ideological schism in the Republican Party had become quite clear already. In 1908 TR decided not to run for a full second term, and went hunting in Africa instead. He came home displeased at the direction things were going, and opposed his former Secretary of War, William Howard Taft, in the 2012 primaries.

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William Howard Taft

Taft used his control of the party machinery to gain a bare majority of delegates, and kept control of the nomination by dubious means. Roosevelt left the party at once, and formed the Progressive Party.

The remainder of the Republican Party was now to be solely comprised of the reactionary Conservative faction represented by Taft, his successor.  Here we find the nucleus of the Party of Hate that the GOP is today.

But the Democrats still had plenty of racists, too. It wasn’t to be until the decline of the conservative wing of the Democratic Party was complete after 1960 that we managed to mostly rid ourselves of this pernicious and unworthy influence.

Woodrow Wilson, who defeated both Taft and Roosevelt in 1916,  was a Democrat. He was also a Southerner, who did great harm to the cause of black people, far more than either Taft or Roosevelt would have. But with the two old friends now at each other’s throats in a third-party disaster, like what we have gone through with the Green Party, his victory in 1912 was a fait accompli.

The Republicans got beat that year, and their party split in two, because of their inability to come to terms and see eye to eye. The same thing happened to us on the left wing in 2000, and again in 2016. When decent people fail to work together, it is always the villains who profit.

 World events were about to shake things up. The two World Wars were right around the corner, and they would prove capable of drawing many new boundaries, both geographical and ideological. For the Republican Party and the rest of the world, many changes were on the horizon.

Hate Crimes and Hurricanes- Labor Day and The Trump Effect

On Sunday, Donald Trump gave America its Labor Day present early, by way of reassuring us as to what a sane and balanced man we have running our country.

Hurricane Harvey was wonderful, Trump said, in the following statement regarding the survivors of the storm he’d met at the disaster relief center he visited.

They were just happy,” Trump said, referencing the disaster in a speech that included a bizarre list of phrases. “We saw a lot of happiness. It’s been really nice. It’s been a wonderful thing. It’s been beautiful.”

What does one say in response? People have lost everything. Harvey wasn’t beautiful at all. It was a particularly vicious hurricane, one that killed many people and ruined all they had. This was not supposed to be fun. It was not intended as an opportunity for Donald, captain of Gondor, to show his quality. It’s a life changing cataclysm. There are decades of recovery ahead for the city. What Trump mistook for happiness, is people’s relief at still being alive.

There is a large question as to whether Trump knows what is real and what isn’t. He’s been on a roll since he began, but since the Charlottesville mayhem things have really grown extreme. He downsized the Historically Black Colleges and Universities conference, he pardoned Joe Arpaio, and he even ordered that ICE checkpoints be kept open during the evacuation process of Houston.

All of this is starting to take a very serious toll. It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that Trump’s tendency to condescend toward and abuse people of color is one of the things prompting the extreme and careless manner of the nuclear testing being done by North Korea. And domestically, the harm can hardly be calculated.

At a time like this, when racial relations in America are already abysmal, and violence has been breaking out like a smallpox outbreak, it seems reasonable to expect of a good President, that they be doing what they can to calm things down. But the occupant of our highest office seems bent on doing just the opposite.

Trump’s decision to end DACA, an Obama-era program allowing undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children to stay here, is the latest in a succession of blows to this country’s social cohesion. Several states have already threatened to sue. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was established in 2012 to protect young immigrants who came to America as children without legal status.

About 800,000 people have signed up for the program, and remain free from the fear of deportation only by its leave.

Supporters and critics of the program alike say that leaving such people in uncertainty is an inhuman thing to do.

“It’s a cruel hand that extends the American dream and then steals it away. #DACA #DREAMers,” wrote Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., in the first of three tweets on the topic. Democrats have been universal in their condemnation of the president’s conduct. We remain the party of freedom and decency.

The problems with Trump’s attacks on people of color seems to grow bigger every day. Since Donald Trump won the election, news outlets and social media accounts have been overflowing with reports of swastikas at schools, racist taunts, and various other hate-fueled attacks. Slate.com catalogued 1064 such incidents of his kind to take place since last January.

More recently, an investigation by BuzzFeed found examples from dozens of school districts nationwide of students using Trump’s own words to bully their classmates.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has repeatedly criticized the president for “the Trump effect“, which it has called a virus in our country. It has catalogued 1064 such incidents since Trump took office last November. Most Americans have heard of Heather Heyer by now. Sadly, she is far from being the only casualty.

Members of the Ku Klux Klan were arrested for stabbing three people in Anaheim, California.

Student Richard Collins III was killed by a white supremacist days before his graduation from the venerable HBCU Bowie State University. A man named Sean Urbanski walked up to him as he waited for an Uber with friends, and allegedly yelled, “Step left, step left if you know what’s best for you!” As this directive was not complied with, Urbanski stabbed Collins in the chest.

Larger scale assaults have been planned as well. The Crusaders are a terrorist group formed by residents of a town called Liberal, Kansas, three men named Curtis Allen, Gavin Wright, and Patrick Stein. These men thought of themselves as patriots resisting a Muslim takeover of the United States. And they knew where there were some Muslims down the road, who could use a good stiff resisting.

So they laid out a plan to load up two cargo vans full of ammonium nitrate, and blow to high heaven an apartment complex inhabited primarily by Somalian refugees in their town, people who came to work at the local meatpacking plant. This plot was only foiled, because Allen got busted for beating his wife and the police found guns and the plans when they came to arrest him for that.

Edward Gibbon famously wrote that history is little more than the register of crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind, and in some ways he was right. There’s a lot of crap like this on every page. Still, it remains the only light we have to guide the future by. We have been down these roads before, and we know it isn’t where we want to be.

Labor Day is representative of a dream of a unified world, people working side by side with people, to make the world a better place for all those who live in it. Starting with the hundred people killed in the Great Railroad Strike of 1877, many have died, fighting to secure the rights that Americans now enjoy. We pay homage to their sacrifice on Labor Day. Let us honor the fallen ones by treating each other with kindness. It’s a small thing to ask, and a big thing to give.

 

The Swamp Drains Itself- Resignations and Racism

Donald Trump’s vacillation on the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia has rocked his administration. Speculation has been rising that many top officials may be looking for a way out, including Gary Cohn, the chief financial adviser to the White House. Wednesday morning saw more than a dozen of the nation’s most powerful C.E.O.s joined a conference call. After a brief debate, an accord was reached. The Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forums were to be disbanded. This is a blow to a president who came into office boasting of his close ties with business leaders.

A whole galaxy of business executives broke ties with Trump on Wednesday. The day before, he enraged the nation by assigning blame to white nationalists and counter-protesters in equal measure for the riots over the weekend that left Heather Heyer dead. For many, that was the final straw.

America does not like Nazis. Foreign radicalism has never taken deep root over here. When fascism was running rampant like wildfire in all parts of Europe, a couple of organizations tried it here, like the Silver Shirts and the German- American Bund(which slapped a swastika over the face of George Washington and called it a flag). Their leaders ended up in prison for sedition and fraud, and that was the end of that. Many Americans, including the author of this article, had family members who fought to topple Hitler from his perch in Europe. Some of them did not come back.

However, not everyone is reacting with the sadness and shock the event deserves. On Thursday, following the wake of the Barcelona attacks that left 13 dead, the president was quick to condemn it as terrorism, but refused to apply the same word to the van that ran down Heather Heyer. “Call it whatever you want”, he said dismissively. Justin Moore, the Grand Dragon for the Loyal White Knights of Ku Klux Klan, said he was glad Heyer died in the attack. And sources close to Steve Bannon told NBC News that he feels on safe ground amid the turmoil surrounding the Charlottesville murder.

All of this is said to have many in the president’s close council in a highly uncertain state of mind. The gist of it seems to be, “How much more can we take?”  Many leaders involved in the administration thought Trump’s statement on Monday was sufficient. He condemned the hate groups by name. However, they were livid and sickened with Trump’s follow-up remarks on Tuesday, according to the offices of two CEOs. It seems likely that more resignations will follow.

Other Republicans, both in the government and in the business community, have expressed serious concerns that the president will be able to bring to the table the focus and will to enact tax reforms. The realization of this cherished issue, which many have considered the keystone issue of the presidency, is considered by them to be imperiled. This is almost certainly true. The presidential support required will be hard to muster, coming as it does at a new low of trust and cooperation between Trump and GOP members in Congress.

The term “draining the swamp” does not belong to Trump, but it has been made extremely famous by him in recent times. It refers to the cutting down of big government, a traditional goal of industry. It has not traditionally meant the leaving of 85% of government positions unfilled completely, though, as they were as recently as June.

The discipline many were hoping to see General John Kelly impose upon this unruly administration is proving to be a flop as well. Kelly was photographed on Tuesday during the president’s controversial press conference, head down and grimacing, as the president stood at his podium informing us that there were some “very nice people” among the neo-Nazis throwing up Hitler salutes and running down young women. The transcripts of the speech are a sickening jumble of evasions, half-truths, and attempts to change the subject. It does not seem unreasonable that we ought to expect better from the occupant of our highest office.

With each passing day, the process of governing the country is producing greater friction. The number of neutral people is growing very low. And the one heartening point of the week’s events so far has been the unbelievable turnout against racism, Nazism, and hateful extremism of all shapes and sizes. Richard Spencer has been having all his rallies cancelled. Confederate statues have fallen en masse from shore to shore(in spite of the President’s laments as to their absence), and bipartisan disgust has arisen in gigantic number.

This whole Charlottesville event, touted as the biggest white power rally in decades, will be chalked up as the worst net loss for Nazism since V-E Day in 1945. Far from empowering their base, and garnering support for themselves, they have accomplished nothing more than the committing of an atrocity and the destabilizing of their large orange Fuhrer’s already tenuous legitimacy. They have become the architects of their own destruction.