Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Sacred to the Memory

The fate of Lexington's Traitors In Defense of Slavery statues is now in the hands of the military "heritage" commission set up to prevent exactly the progressive removals the City Council is requesting.

Meanwhile, Political Animal reminds us of this:

* W.E.B. DuBois once wrote that Confederate monuments should contain this inscription: “Sacred to the memory of those who fought to perpetuate human slavery.” He also penned his thoughts about Robert E. Lee. You’re going to want to read all four paragraphs, but he ends with this lighting bolt:
It is the punishment of the South that its Robert Lees and Jefferson Davises will always be tall, handsome and well-born. That their courage will be physical and not moral. That their leadership will be weak compliance with public opinion and never costly and unswerving revolt for justice and right. it is ridiculous to seek to excuse Robert Lee as the most formidable agency this nation ever raised to make 4 million human beings goods instead of men. Either he knew what slavery meant when he helped maim and murder thousands in its defense, or he did not. If he did not he was a fool. If he did, Robert Lee was a traitor and a rebel–not indeed to his country, but to humanity and humanity’s God.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Who's Really Lazy? Or, Projection Is An Amazing Drug

It's always amazing and sickening to me to hear rich fucks condemn poor people - especially poor black people - for being "lazy."  Amazing and sickening because the rich fucks saying that have never worked a day in their lives.

No, sitting in front of a camera denouncing the people whose poverty supports your lazy rich ass is not work.  Sitting in front of a computer watching your money make more money is not work. Sitting at a desk ordering underlings to evict renters so you can sell their apartments as condos to other rich fucks is not work.

Work is cleaning the toilets in the buildings where the rich fucks pretend to work.  Work is serving food you can't afford to rich fucks who don't tip because that would be encouraging your "laziness."  Work is juggling three minimum-wage jobs to keep food on the table.

As Melissa Harris-Perry once exclaimed in a memorable television moment, being poor is hard work.  It always has been.  Keeping it that way is yet another legacy of the confederacy that needs to be swept away.

In a fascinating article on radical Quaker abolitionist Benjamin Lay, the Smithsonian captured this quote:

Enslaved men, Lay noted, would “Plow, sow, thresh, winnow, split Rails, cut Wood, clear Land, make Ditches and Fences, fodder Cattle, run and fetch up the Horses.” He saw enslaved women busy with “all the Drudgery in Dairy and Kitchen, within doors and without.” These grinding labors he contrasted with the idleness of the slave owners—the growling, empty bellies of the enslaved and the “lazy Ungodly bellies” of their masters. Worse, he explained with rising anger, slave keepers would perpetuate this inequality by leaving these workers as property to “proud, Dainty, Lazy, Scornful, Tyrannical and often beggarly Children for them to Domineer.”

Friday, August 18, 2017

How To Identify Racists

From Down With Tyranny:

Honoring With Beauty and Dignity

 Classless, trashy Trump is the oerfect leader for these morons.

Actual Nathan Bedford Forrest statue in Tennessee.

Who Mitch Really Is

This is what he says:

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell condemned white supremacists and racial hatred Wednesday, saying, “Their message of hate and bigotry are not welcome in Kentucky and should not be welcome anywhere in America.” 
This is who he is: He's a lying Traitor in Defense of Slavery, and always has been.

From LGM:

But this is the biggest lie of all.

Read more here:'s a Traitor in Defense of Slavery, and always has been.

From LGM:

Thursday, August 17, 2017

They're Coming to Lexington

Kentucky's second-largest city is only slightly less un-welcoming to white supremacists than Louisville is. Our police are eager to avoid the national embarrassment that the Charlottesville cops earned. And our proudly non-violent Resistance can handle a bunch of redneck clowns without any help from armed and masked antifas, thank you very much.

So bring it on, motherfuckers.

From the Herald:

White nationalists are planning a rally in Lexington to oppose the planned removal of two Confederate statues from the lawn of the former Fayette County Courthouse, and they’re considering a lawsuit aimed at blocking the move, a leader in the movement said Tuesday.

Matthew Heimbach, chairman of the Traditionalist Worker Party, said his group is discussing plans for the rally with others allied under an umbrella organization called the Nationalist Front.

Heimbach said people in the Lexington area asked his group to get involved. The group has members in Kentucky and plans to try to recruit more, he said. 

No date has been chosen, but the goal is to have the event “sooner rather than later,” Heimbach said.
Lexington Police Chief Mark Barnard said he has spoken with officials in Charlottesville to begin preparing for a white nationalist rally in Lexington. He said Kentucky State Police and Louisville Metro police have already pledged to help the city if needed.

“If they were to come to Lexington, we would plan to have an overwhelming amount of law enforcement to greet anyone and to ensure everyone was safe and had the right to free speech,” Barnard said.

The police department has successfully managed many large, public events — including sometimes rowdy celebrations after NCAA men’s basketball tournaments, said Brenna Angel, a spokeswoman for Lexington police. 

“That’s not just a credit to our police officers but to the people of Lexington,” she said. “We work closely with groups that organize protests here and have a good relationship with them.” 

Outside groups, though, are a concern, she said.

In Lexington, it is legal for groups to gather in public spaces without a permit as long as they do not block traffic. If traffic is blocked, a permit is required, she said.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has included Heimbach’s group and others allied under the Nationalist Front on a list of what it defines as hate groups.

Read more here:
They're going to have to get their Traitors in Defense of Slavery gear and tchotchkes online; that shit is banned from the Kentucky State Fair.

Read more here:

We Always Beat 'Em

Blatantly Stolen from Juanita Jean:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

They're Not Historical. They're Avatars of Jim Crow.

Like most people from border states, I have ancestors who fought on both sides in the Civil War. The battles, the families torn apart, the dead: all are part of my family history.  Heritage, if you will.

But those confederate statues of Breckinridge and Morgan in Lexington, and Lee and Stonewall and Beauregard and the rest are not historical representations.  They were not raised in the aftermath of the war.

They were raised 40 years later, after Plessy v. Ferguson authorized Jim Crow.  They were raised not to honor those Traitors in Defense of Slavery.  They were raised to remind African-Americans that they were still not full citizens.  That they still had no right to the guarantees in the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the constitution.  That they remain subjugated.

They are symbols of oppression, meant to intimidate and terrorize African-Americans. 

And to remind the rest of us that the slave power still rules.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

All Lives Matter ... Not

... nobody should be saying “All lives matter” because it’s a bullshit distraction from the unique systemic prejudice African Americans face.

And Replace It With One of Muhammad Ali

There was a rally in Lexington last night at which Mayor Jim Gray was applauded for his decision to remove from downtown the statues of two Traitors in Defense of Slavery.  Meanwhile:

From the Herald:

The Kentucky chapter of the NAACP will renew its effort to remove a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis from the state Capitol Rotunda in the aftermath of deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va., the group’s leader said Monday.

“It’s important for all to realize how offensive these statues can be, especially to the African-American community,” said Raoul Cunningham, who also heads the Louisville chapter of the NAACP. “We are working on a meeting in a few weeks of like-minded individuals to plot a course to take the Davis statue out of the seat of state government and put it somewhere more suitable, like the Kentucky History Museum.”

He said the state chapter has between 8,000 to 10,000 members and that he will encourage local chapters around the state to seek the removal of Confederate statues and symbols from prominent positions in their communities.

“Charlottesville has focused attention again on this situation,” said Cunningham, referring to a white supremacist rally in that city Saturday that left three dead and 35 injured.

The state NAACP was unsuccessful two years ago in trying to get the Davis statue out of the Capitol Rotunda. The state Historic Properties Advisory Commission voted 7-2 to keep it there.

Read more here:

Monday, August 14, 2017

Mad that no one calls Fox out on its lies? Thank Reagan

Yes, children, once upon  a time broadcasters did not get away with spouting lies.  Immediately the rest of the broadcast universe would condemn them, loudly and publicly.  The airwaves, after all, are public property.

And the representatives of that public - our democratic government - guarded that property with laws and regulations.

This Friday (August 4) marks the 30th anniversary of one of the most destructive decisions in the modern American media history, a shamefully successful effort to divide our public airwaves along partisan lines, a choice that made a few people rich while impoverishing our democracy.

On August 4, 1987, the Reagan-era Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal the Fairness Doctrine, the sound policy that preserved a diversity of viewpoints in American broadcast media. The New York Times reported at the time:
The Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously today to abolish its fairness doctrine on the ground that it unconstitutionally restricts the free-speech rights of broadcast journalists.
“We seek to extend to the electronic press the same First Amendment guarantees that the print media have enjoyed since our country’s inception,” said the new chairman of the F.C.C., Dennis R. Patrick.
He and the three other commissioners said the 38-year-old fairness doctrine was stifling the democratic debate it was supposed to promote…The doctrine, which evolved through court rulings and commission policy statements over the years, requires broadcasters to give contrasting viewpoints on issues of public importance. In addition to news reports, it can apply to advocacy advertising, as it did in the case that led to today’s ruling.
The justification for applying the doctrine to broadcasting was that in contrast to the potentially infinite number of newspapers and magazines, there were a limited number of frequencies and channels and thus a limited number of broadcast outlets…
In a comment typical of several advocacy groups, Ralph Nader called today’s decision a major setback…
“The fairness doctrine is not only constitutionally permissible, it is constitutionally required,” Mr. Nader said. Its repeal, he added, means that broadcasters “can ignore crucial issues or present only one side” of debates, and that news judgment will increasingly reflect a business orientation. Mr. Nader said such issues as women’s rights, the health effects of smoking, and the safety of nuclear power plants would have come to far less public prominence had the fairness doctrine not been in effect.
Nader’s words were prophetic, as just under a year later, on August 1, 1988, Rush Limbaugh’s Sacramento, California-based radio program was syndicated nationwide…and talk-radio stations across the country soon began to run right-wing agitprop from dawn to dusk, flooding the public airwaves with shameless demonization of Democrats and progressives–and helping to create the media/political culture that allowed a candidate as vulgar as Donald Trump to seize control of the White House last November. 
As Steven Rendall notes, the Fairness Doctrine was a net benefit to the public as a whole:
There are many misconceptions about the Fairness Doctrine. For instance, it did not require that each program be internally balanced, nor did it mandate equal time for opposing points of view. And it didn’t require that the balance of a station’s program lineup be anything like 50/50.
Nor, as Rush Limbaugh has repeatedly claimed, was the Fairness Doctrine all that stood between conservative talkshow hosts and the dominance they would attain after the doctrine’s repeal. In fact, not one Fairness Doctrine decision issued by the FCC had ever concerned itself with talkshows. Indeed, the talkshow format was born and flourished while the doctrine was in operation. Before the doctrine was repealed, right-wing hosts frequently dominated talkshow schedules, even in liberal cities, but none was ever muzzled…The Fairness Doctrine simply prohibited stations from broadcasting from a single perspective, day after day, without presenting opposing views
Indeed, when it was in place, citizen groups used the Fairness Doctrine as a tool to expand speech and debate. For instance, it prevented stations from allowing only one side to be heard on ballot measures. Over the years, it had been supported by grassroots groups across the political spectrum, including the ACLU, National Rifle Association and the right-wing Accuracy In Media.
As a guarantor of balance and inclusion, the Fairness Doctrine was no panacea. It was somewhat vague, and depended on the vigilance of listeners and viewers to notice imbalance. But its value, beyond the occasional remedies it provided, was in its codification of the principle that broadcasters had a responsibility to present a range of views on controversial issues.
Of course, that principle was offensive to those who dreamed of having the public airwaves broadcasting only Republican talking points. That dream has largely been realized (no, for the final time, NPR is not a progressive alternative to right-wing radio). Limbaugh himself damaged the right-wing radio racket five years ago after he attacked reproductive-rights advocate Sandra Fluke, but the atrocious arguments advanced on right-wing radio since the late-1980s took hold with millions of American voters—and when Trump ran as the talk-radio candidate, those voters were willing to move heaven and earth to put him into the White House. 
The repeal of the Fairness Doctrine hurt this country. That one action gave us three decades of radio programs that recklessly reaffirmed prejudices, smeared Democrats so thoroughly that some parts of this country have now seemingly become off-limits for the party, and set Americans at each other’s throats. Some legacy, eh?