Empathy’s most ardent promoters have most keenly felt its absence.

THE BASICS

Chicago Urban League Records, University of Illinois at Chicago Library

Kenneth Bancroft Clark, 1914-2005 Source: Chicago Urban League Records, University of Illinois at Chicago Library

Senator Amy Klobuchar’s pitch for empathy in her closing remarks in the New Hampshire debate may have helped catapult her into third place in that state’s primary. She said that she can supply the empathy absent in the White House: “If you have trouble stretching your paycheck to pay for that rent, I know you, and I will fight for you.”

Klobuchar’s promise of empathy is not surprising coming from the first female senator from Minnesota. In recent years, U.S. Senator Cory Booker and President Barack Obama repeatedly invoked the importance of empathy. Advocating for empathy is indeed not limited to any one demographic, but there is a rich history of black intellectuals and civil rights leaders doing so. Some of empathy’s fiercest promoters are those who have keenly felt its absence.

In 1964, James Baldwin bemoaned the fact that most whites failed to achieve the most basic form of empathy for blacks: to grasp their humanity. Basic empathy entailed the recognition that “in talking to a black man, he is talking to another man like himself.”[1] Martin Luther King Jr., grieved the lack of empathy of white moderates while sitting in a Birmingham jail: “I suppose I should have realized that few members of the oppressor race can understand the deep groans and passionate yearnings of the oppressed race.”[2]

Social psychologist and civil rights activist Kenneth B. Clark championed empathy over the span of decades. Clark was the first African-American psychologist to graduate from Columbia University in 1940, and two years later he began teaching at The City College of New York.[3] He helped write the social science statement documenting the psychological damage of segregation appended to the 1954 Supreme Court decision to desegregate schools. He and his wife, psychologist Mamie Clark, conducted a series of studies that found that black children in segregated schools preferred playing with white rather than black dolls. The Clarks founded the Northside Treatment Center and Harlem Youth Opportunities to provide psychological and educational services for Harlem youth, in addition to the Metropolitan Applied Research Center to study school desegregation and civil rights.[4]

Clark first called for empathy in a 1965 New York Times opinion piece, “Delusions of the White Liberal.” He explained that liberals were often harder to deal with than bigots, due to their guilt, conflicting loyalties, and acquiescence in the flagrant system of racial injustice.[5] What they lacked, Clark declared, was empathy. Empathy was neither sentimentality nor pity, both of which emanated from a superior position. Empathy instead constituted the basis for mutual understanding that crossed racial lines, rooted in the underlying similarity of the human condition.

But how could this type of empathy be achieved? As a psychologist, Clark was attuned to the mechanisms of defense, repression, and inner resistance that made it difficult for a white person to move beyond their racial bias. Whites, he declared, had to dispense with “the fantasy of aristocracy or superiority,” and the white liberal in particular with “the fantasy of purity,” or the idea of being free of prejudice. In short, the white liberal had to “reconcile his affirmation of racial justice with his visceral racism.”[6]   article continues after advertisement

Whites therefore had to work to “transcend the barriers of their own minds” and to listen with their hearts. Only then would it be possible, Clark imagined, to “respond insofar as he is able with a pure kind of empathy that is raceless, that accepts and understands the frailties and anxieties and weaknesses that all men share, the common predicament of mankind.”[7]

Clark’s calls for empathy became more insistent as American politics shifted toward conservatism. In 1979 he scribbled in a lecture draft, “The only thing that will save us is a universal increase in empathy.” [8] He thought that those with political power lacked empathy, evidenced by their support of the brutal inequalities in American society. Clark even suggested that world leaders might be given a psychoactive pill to enhance their empathic qualities and inspire them to just political action. He believed that competitive, anxiety-prone American culture rewarded the rampant pursuit of one’s own interest. It was therefore imperative for educators to strengthen “man’s empathic capacity.”[9]

Clark placed his hope in the unique human capacity to respond to suffering with intelligence, social sensitivity, and the recognition that despite cultural and racial differences, something was shared. He called this psycho-political foundation for equal rights ”empathic reason.” Empathic reason is the anti-racist (and, I would add, anti-sexist) capacity to feel and to recognize the principle of the equality of all.

Today we are witnessing the unbearable cost of empathy’s absence in national politics. Klobuchar’s statement on empathy promises that her knowledge and recognition of the daily struggles of Americans will shape her policies. To restore empathy to our political discourse is our first challenge, but then we must translate empathy’s moral vision into a workable political agenda.

One thought on “Race,Empathy, and Politics”
  1. How do young Negroes especially, comprehend empathy with absolutely no Historical Context, applicable Knowledge, Leadership or Educations?
    POLITICAL NEOPHYTE NEGROES LOOK FOR ‘LUV IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES!

    LBRC- Breaking Brown and Yvette Cornell posed an interesting Premise. Just ‘sayin…

    1. “What makes Common Negroes believe, ‘Dat Negroes who benefit from “America’s Racist Paradigm”, will destroy or break it down to the benefit of “The People”? 

    2. Take for Example Bloomberg, Urban League, SCLC and Congressional Reps.! Local?  

    a. There is a perpetual “Taker Class”! It appears most Negroes aren’t “Giver Class”! In Politics, Common Negroes are fundamentally Hustlers! In most states like La., less than 1% of Negroes contribute to campaigns. Those who do are not significant contributors, relatively speaking! Therefore, when Common Negroes enter the room, they generally follow the lead of “Significant Contributors” aka Caucasians, others!  

    b. Where did the so- called Negro “Giver Class” get theirs? Most are beneficiaries of the system, Status Quo! 

    3. What happened after Dr. King was murdered? Whitney Young’s Urban League? Lots of “Sponges” followed! They parlayed Coattails into individual 501c’s! SCLC and The Urban League are 2020 Multi- Million Dollar Entities! Marc Morial’s salary, Urban League, alone is estimated at over $400K annually! What did Dr. King, Malcolm, Whitney earn during the struggle? What makes Common Negroes believe 2020 SCLC or The Urban League are willingly and eagerly sacrificing on par what Dr. King or Medgar Evers did? In communities with Gates, Private Patrols and Pass Codes? “Destroy The Paradigm” which supports them and “The” Status Quo? What happened with The Comcast deal? What is a “Minority” Advisory Council? Composition? Comcast serves on the Urban League Board? The Average Median Net Worth of Americanized Negroes is under $2K, in Boston $8 (Keep in mind, we’re talking the worth of household furniture, autos, savings and meager assets ‘Dat factor into this figure. Said colloquially- “The Average Negro ‘ain’t worth …, aka ‘Stuntin”!  

    4. Let’s talk Negro Congressional Reps., who’s yours? What happens when Biden or Bloomberg enters the room with a bag of “Recreational Income” (Bag Men)! Bloomberg throws around millions like common Negroes throw around nickels at The Dollar Store! Negro Criminals murder for tennis shoes! Billionaires murder justice and what else? Negro Congressional Reps. are “PAC Dependent Sycophants”! These PAC(s) have absolutely no interest in ‘Po Common Negro “Takers”! Negro Reps. are glorified Takers! 

    5. Why didn’t  most NFL Negroes back Kaepernick, who protested “Police Murders and Negro Abuse”? Did you really believe Negroes who depend on the system to give them their stereotypical “Brand”, to upset the “Cart”! Trump called them SOB’s! Hello? Trump fixed his lips, flaied his arms wildly, and said it! NFL “Owners” are worth billions! A billion is 1000 million! Bloomberg is at about 160X ‘Dat! Is ‘Dis ‘Thang on? Turkeys and bicycles are great, don’t get it twisted! Wouldn’t it be great if Negro Adults were responsible or able enough to provide for their “own” aka “Learn to fish”? What does Scripture say about a man who does not provide for their own, worst than an “infidel”?

    a. 1 Timothy 5:8- But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

    b. A “Paradigm Shift” is needed? NFL, NBA Roster spots are negligible! Lots end up under bridges after careers, cracked craniums and all, no pu intended! Will Police murder and abuse matter then? 

    6. Negro Politicos, especially locally, are Status Quo agents! In NOLA, what happened when citizens said no to ENTERGY, but ENTERGY said go? Negroes Politicos jumped high enough to enter The ENTERGY Superdome Suite thru windows! How hard is it to discern Negro Zip Codes along Interstate Highways, Vice Versa, Caucasian? City taxes are generally regressive, not progressive! Politicos will give themselves 100% Salary increases and not even visit Negro Zip Codes without bodyguards! Lots including employees, maintain homes outside districts they represent or work in!  

    7. During The BP Gulf Oil Spill, Cedric Richmond visited Grand Isle with Mitch Landrieu and Steve Scalise. During this episode, a Caucasian Grand Isle Businessman spat in the face of a Black Woman worker for doing her job. We emailed Cedric and asked him to address this issue! “We even called Cedric’s Washington Office”! Did Cedric respond? Is the meaning of is, not- Mr. Clinton? What happens or will, when Bloomberg calls? Stop expecting Negroes like Gayle King, Negro Politicos, Athletles, Entertainers et al, who benefit from the system for the system, to upset those who run it!!! 1st Truth, then…,

    ***News Flash- You’re looking for ‘luv in all the wrong places Imhotep!!!

    Peace Out… 

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An Editorial by Professor Blair D. Condoll, JD

At first glance one might mistake this article as having something  to do with the 1991 Blockbuster film

“Boyz on the Hood “ written and directed by filmmaker John Singleton. Singleton’s story follows the journey of a young Black boy,Tre. Tre goes to live with his father in South Central Los Angeles. The father’s home is in a crime and gang ridden part of town. Tre and his friends struggle to not get caught up in the violence of gang culture. They just want to be normal teenage kids. John Singleton’s movie “Boyz in the Hood” pays homage to the creative dialect of Black neighborhoods. My title “Boys in the Hood”  sheds light on the clandestine Klan like behavior of the Republican Party, the President and his followers.

The piece is not only titled the same but has a similar story line. My story tells how dangerous and violent gang culture can be regarding partisan party politics.  My “Boys in the Hood” takes place in Washington D.C not LA. It stars people like Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, and Ted Cruz.

On January 6th I too watched in awe as supporters loyal to President Trump descended upon the nation’s capital at the behest of the President.

HATE GROUPS

Trump Supporters laugh at man in hood

Various hate groups and loyalists stormed the storied halls of Congress. Simultaneously members of the House and Senate treasonously objected to the certification of a valid electoral college vote. They seemingly coordinated with insurrectionists to interrupt the Constitutionally mandated process.

These insurrectionists violently pierced the sacred veil of democracy. They broke windows, battered police and pushed their way unlawfully into the halls of Congress. Nothing else mattered to them except what they believed to be true. But they believed lies. Our narcissistic President told them lies for weeks. Trump refused to concede and claimed the election was fraudulent.

For weeks following the election, President Trump convinced his supporters that the election was stolen. He did so despite the fact that the results of the election had been challenged in many Republican dominated states. These challenges triggered recounts. Also, over 90 lawsuits failed in both state and federal courts. Every claim was dismissed. There was no evidence of significant voter fraud.

Despite the lack of evidence of any fraud, President Trump consistently perpetuated the lie that the election was stolen. He claimed that it is the duty of the Republican Party along with his followers to “stop the steal”.

President Trump preyed upon the historical racial and political divide in this country while profiting politically from the stupidity of his followers.

Requesting that the Proud Boys “stand down and stand by” does not necessarily make the President a racist. Yet the President’s reluctance to publicly denounce such hate groups in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement certainly energized and emboldened them. These groups use coded language like “Make America Great Again”.  Examining their social media reveals a desire to reinstitute Jim Crow era laws and practices in this country.

We have failed to acknowledge the racism baked into American capitalism. Many of the individuals who attended Trump’s rally did not necessarily believe in Trump. Rather they believed that the election of a Democratic president and a Black vice president would signal the beginning of the socialist revolution. Then the wealthy are forced to share some of their wealth and resources with the poor.

Equality is Oppression for the Privileged

They believed that the election of a Democratic president would somehow mean that minorities and the disadvantaged would become more equal. And they believed  that this new equality would somehow take something from those that have enjoyed social and economic superiority for hundreds of years.

After the Capitol insurrection I now fully understand how a millionaire like Donald Rouse would want to attend the rally to overthrow Democracy. Maybe for him and those who attended that rally, democracy means something different. For them American Democracy maintains oppression and white privilege.

For a long time, I often wondered why anyone would ever want to cover themselves with a white hood only to harass, intimidate and cause bodily harm to another. The very fact that you are concealing your identity should be the first clue as to the harmful nature of your acts. The fact that you go through the trouble of making and wearing a hood in order to remain anonymous should sound an alarm. Your humanity and morality should let you know that you are doing something wrong. You are doing something that is either illegal, immoral or has been deemed to be socially unacceptable.

Members of the Ku Klux Klan wore hoods so that after they finished intimidating, harassing and lynching African Americans in the South, they could easily assimilate back into being members of our communities. Even now, they serve as elected officials, members of the police force, doctors, grocers, pastors and yes even your neighbor.

As we come to the end of the Trump Presidency the takeaway for me is that President Trump did not make America Racist Again. Instead he and the Republican Party only made it normal for the racists to show their faces in public without the necessity of wearing a hood.

Hear the Professor Weekdays on WBOK1230am

By Guest Contributor 

Guest column by Okyeame Haley

On Saturday, Jan 2., in true pandemic fashion, admirers of Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson drove around the Louisiana Supreme Court building in New Orleans’ French Quarter to  honor her  retirement as the first African-American woman on the Louisiana Supreme Court and the first African-American chief justice.  I was happy that the pictures and videos of the judge’s celebration didn’t include the gaze of white terror represented by the large and often vandalized statue of Edward Douglass White Jr., a Louisianian who served on the state Supreme Court and as ninth chief justice of the United States Supreme Court.  On Dec. 23, 10 days before Chief Justice Johnson’s drive-by celebration, the state Supreme Court relocated White’s statue from its prominent place at the Court’s entrance.

But by simply moving the statue, the court didn’t go far enough. The statue should have been taken down entirely.

The Louisiana Supreme Court building, for all its architectural beauty, is an artistic celebration of the White men who gave legal power to Louisiana’s historic racial terror against African Americans.  With the exception of a regal portrait of civil rights icon A.P. Tureaud, a substantive museum named for Chief Justice Johnson and a few other pieces of art, the prominent artwork inside the majestic building are portraits of Louisiana’s lawmakers from the 1800s and 1900s.  There is a pervasive and disturbing white supremacist aesthetic at the Louisiana Supreme Court building. 

During my time working at the court, before my workday even started, White’s statue at the Court’s entrance and the expensive paintings of white men who led Louisiana during its apartheid era would disrupt me.  These paintings of White men that supported and embraced terror against African Americans  are not grotesque like the racial terror the men endorsed.  No, they are dignified portraits consistent with the myth of white superiority. Most times, though, I eventually laughed at those paintings knowing that these so-called statesmen never intended that I be in such a  place of privilege. I also laughed knowing that it was unthinkable to them the idea of a Black woman serving as the court’s chief justice. 

Bernette Johnson, Louisiana’s first Supreme Court justice and first Chief Justice retired from the court Dec. 31. (Louisiana Supreme Court)

There have been efforts around the country and especially in New Orleans to rid our public spaces and institutions of white supremacist art and labels, but Louisiana’s Supreme Court didn’t rid itself of  the E.D. White statue; according to a press release from the court, it relocated it to a place “near the court museum.”  The court museum where that statue is being placed has just been named in honor of Chief Justice Johnson.  Johnson is a product of Walter L. Cohen High School, Spelman College and LSU School of Law, which she helped integrate. Her 36 years of public service includes serving as the first woman to take the bench at the Orleans Parish Civil District Court.  Thus, the museum is a visual representation of Black success and of women’s success. Placing E.D. White’s statue next to Chief Justice Johnson’s museum suffocates what little inspirational and democratic light exist in the court’s artwork. 

Chief Justice Johnson’s legacy must be protected.

Chief Justice Johnson’s legacy is one of attempting to bridge the racial divide through integration and the courts, but E. D. White is solidly on the wrong side of history.  His family bought, sold and terrorized enslaved Africans and exploited their labor on its plantations.  E. D. White fought for the Confederacy and supported terror against African Americans his entire career.  Though some emphasize E.D. White’s groundbreaking decisions in the area of business law and antitrust law, as a former professor of business law and tax law, I must say that his embrace and support of terror far outweighs those decisions.  He gets no kudos for antitrust law decisions when he presided over the Plessy v. Ferguson decision that formalized American apartheid.  Unfortunately, E.D. White’s image  and the images of other Louisiana statesmen who defied all notions of human decency are prominently displayed at our taxpayer-funded state Supreme Court.   The court’s decision to move the E.D. White statue inside –- rather than denounce it and remove it entirely -– will further imbue the court’s air with the myth of white superiority.  

Allowing the spirit and legacy and aesthetic of the Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson Museum to shine without the gaze of white terror represented by the E.D. White statue would be a much healthier, and far more democratic option.  But, as the writer James Baldwin said, “any upheaval in the universe is terrifying because it so profoundly attacks one’s sense of one’s own reality.”  And celebrating by itself the monumental achievements of this beautiful Black woman at Louisiana’s highest court, while inspiring to so many of us, remains  terrifying to so many others.  

Okyeame Haley, a former law clerk for Chief Justice Johnson and former chief deputy clerk at the Louisiana Supreme Court, is the son of the late civil rights pioneer Oretha Castle Haley.

This article originally appeared in the Louisiana Illuminator


by Jordan Rock

For the bulk of 2020, I’ve been keeping up with the news cycle and telling you how I feel about it. I don’t know if you noticed, but 2020 was a pretty garbage year for just everybody.

If I’m being real, a lot of those breaking news weeks made me so angry that I wanted to rip my own arms off so I wouldn’t have to write anymore. There’s just something about researching how your country is letting you down every week that grinds away at you, until you’re just a vessel for salt and angst.

The point is, I’m done reporting on politics. I just don’t have the guts to write about something that puts me through so much mental turmoil. There are plenty of other excellent writers on this site that can give you an impassioned, punchy article about how police will beat the crap out of you for asking them nicely not to kill you but won’t lift a finger to stop domestic terrorists from trashing the White House. There’s that angst again. See what I mean?

But this isn’t a resignation, either. I’m going to stick around here and write art-inspired articles. The fact is, I didn’t go to school for political science. I went to school for animation. I have a film degree. Film theory, storytelling, animation – that’s my jam. That’s what I’m on this planet to do, so I  figured that I ought to keep to that ethos, even when writing articles.

So, starting next week, I’m going to report on black media. The stories we tell and how we tell them can’t be replicated anywhere else in the world. Our perspective is unique so, naturally, our stories have an appeal unlike any other demographic.

Our creativity is bottomless and our commitment to excellence is boundless. Every time we tell a story, it’s a cause for celebration.

 So that’s what I’m going to focus on. Representation, what to watch, content from black creators, examples of black excellence on film, highlighting black characters, film reviews… that kind of thing. I’ll talk about movies and cartoons and TV shows and games and any other relevant media contributions by black people. That’s what I’m passionate about and that’s what I’m gonna write about.

So, strap in friends and neighbors because starting now I’m going to be a bright spot; a respite in this parade of insanity…a little something to break up the unfolding horror of the times we’re living in.

Tune in next week for my debut column on film analysis and critiques, and black media highlights.

Oh, and Happy New Year.

BY DISENFRANCHISING BLACK VOTERS: WHAT SHOULD BE DONE TO THEM?

by C.C. Campbell-Rock

In his final House floor speech before joining President-Elect Joe Biden’s administration as Senior Advisor, New Orleans native Rep. Cedric Richmond, the lone democrat in the Louisiana Congressional Delegation, said “We told you so” about Trump’s behavior which led to his upcoming impeachment. Trump owns the historic distinction of having more impeachments than any other U.S. President.

“Some of my colleagues, some of which may be co-conspirators, let me suggest to them; stand up. Man up. Woman up. And defend this constitution against all enemies both foreign and domestic including Donald J. Trump.”

“In the first impeachment, Republicans said we didn’t need to impeach him because he learned his lesson,” he continued. “Well, we said if we didn’t remove him, he’d do it again. Simply put – we told you so. “Richmond out,” the congressman concluded.

LA CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION JOIN TRUMP TRYING TO OVERTURN ELECTION RESULTS

Louisiana’s House Republicans totally ignored Richmond’s sage advice. All four of Louisiana’s Republican House members voted against impeaching GOP President Donald Trump a second time.  Richmond voted to impose Congress’ greatest penalty on a president.

Moreover, Rep. Clay Higgins (LA-03), Rep. Mike Johnson (LA-04) and Rep. Steve Scalise (LA-01) objected to Arizona’s electoral college votes. Richmond and Rep. Garret Graves (LA-06) voted against the objection. Sen. Bill Cassidy voted against the objection to Arizona’s Electoral College votes while Sen. John Kennedy voted for the objection.

During the U.S. House vote on the objection of votes for Pennsylvania, which has a large black urban population, four congressmen voted in favor of objecting: Rep. Graves, Rep. Higgins, Rep. Johnson, and Rep. Scalise. Richmond voted against the objection to the Electoral College votes from Pennsylvania. In the U.S. Senate, both Cassidy and Kennedy voted against the objection to Pennsylvania’s Electoral College votes.

Higgins and Scalise Announcing They Would Vote Against Impeachment of Donald Trump, Sr. by KLFY Staff

Jim Crow Caucus

In voting against the Electoral College votes in Arizona and Pennsylvania, Louisiana lawmakers were in on the scheme to disfranchise black voters. These legislators are part of what some are calling the Jim Crow Caucus.

There is a mountain of evidence against Trump.  It will be presented at the second impeachment trial. Given his track record, it’s not a stretch to assume that Kennedy will vote against convicting Trump.

The Mississippi born Kennedy has backed up Trump’s lies and misdeeds throughout the  Trump Administration. During the Arizona debate, Kennedy spit out the same talking points as Ted Cruz. Cruz led the opposition and demanded a 10-day audit of the election results by a newly appointed commission to ensure “election integrity.”  They did so despite the fact that Trump’s own Department of Homeland Security called the election the most secure in history.

The demand was only a delay tactic because Vice-President Mike Pence had to ratify the Electoral College votes. And Pence announced Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States.

“In the nine weeks since the November election, President Trump and his associates have embarked on a multi-pronged campaign attempting to overturn the clear results, including: pressuring and threatening state and local officials to reverse election results in his favor, making knowingly false statements in an attempt to undermine the integrity and legitimacy of the 2020 election and to impugn the votes of Americans in racial minority groups, and leading his supporters in a rally on the National Mall at the very moment Congress was meeting to certify the election,” the ACLU reported.

Trump did try every trick in the book to overturn election results. He told Georgia’s election officials to find 11,780 votes for him. Sen. Lindsey Graham in on the pressure campaign, called election officials in Georgia, Nevada and Arizona and asked them about ballot signatures. Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said it appeared that Graham was suggesting he find a method to throw out ballots that had been lawfully cast.

Cassidy has not said whether he would vote to convict Trump or not. Judging from his past conduct and alliance with Trump, Kennedy will most assuredly vote against convicting Trump.

Scalise not only voted against impeaching Trump but he is a part of the Republican conspiracy to overturn the election.

 “House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Republican Whip Rep. Steve Scalise have formally pledged their support for a lawsuit seeking to have the results of the presidential elections in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin declared unconstitutional and therefore effectively hand President Donald Trump a second term,” MarketWatch reported on December 11, 2020.

Scalise’s rationalization that he voted against a ‘rushed, impractical impeachment;” is part and parcel of his and fellow GOP officials efforts to let Trump walk away scot-free.  

After the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters at Trump’s urging, National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial, a former New Orleans mayor, and National Action Network President Rev. Al Sharpton called upon Pence and Cabinet officers to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove the President from office immediately.

“For the first time in U.S. history, a violent mob is attempting to overthrow the democratically elected federal government, with the encouragement of the man who lost the election,” Morial said. “The nation cannot endure another two weeks of his illegal and unhinged efforts to maintain power.”

Sharpton added, “There could be no greater proof than the horrifying chaos we are witnessing that President Trump is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.  He has constructed an alternate reality of conspiracy theories and wishful thinking and deployed a lawless mob to enforce it for him,” Insight News reported.

WHAT SHOULD BE DONE ABOUT LOUISIANA LAWMAKERS WHO SUPPORTED TRUMP?

According to reports, Trump won Louisiana with 58% of the vote statewide, which might explain why the majority in the Louisiana Delegation have kowtowed to him. However, the gerrymandered districts drawn in Louisiana by Republican state legislators provide an unfair advantage.

 Also, many legislators are afraid to cross Trump. Recent reports are that they are afraid of Trump’s base, which is their base, too. They  are afraid of the death threats that will come if they don’t do Trump’s bidding. Others fear losing their seats to an opponent backed by Trump’s newly created PAC.

However, their job is to uphold the Constitution and protect Americans and their rights. If they are that afraid, they should resign.

What the Louisiana lawmakers on Capitol Hill should fear is the reckoning that is in store for them. Many major corporations have vowed not to donate to elected officials who voted against the Electoral College votes.

Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré looks over the extensive flood damage by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the town of Empire in Plaquemines Parish, La., as he tours the area on Oct. 1, 2005. Kevork Djansezian / AP file

General Honoré To Lead Investigation

It’s doubtful that two-thirds of their respective bodies will impeach and expel them from office. But Louisiana lawmakers should be worried. Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré might find in his review of Capitol Security and what Biden’s FBI might discover in terms of complicity with those who committed insurrection.

In choosing Honoré, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “We must subject this whole complex to scrutiny in light of what happened and the fact that the inauguration is coming. To that end, I have asked Retired Lt. Gen. Russell Honoré to lead an immediate review of security infrastructure, interagency processes and command and control,” Pelosi told reporters.

When interviewed earlier last week, before being tapped by Pelosi, Honoré said, “There was complicity,” when asked what he thought of the Insurrection.

Both Morial and Sharpton want to censure any member of Congress who has promoted fictitious narratives and baseless conspiracy theories about the election.

“Their reckless and craven exploitation of the faith and credulity of Trump’s supporters has led our nation to the brink of collapse,” Morial said. “Patriotism requires that they reverse course, apologize, and begin to make amends to the nation they have victimized.

Additionally, the Department of Justice will investigate legislators. The Justice Department has an obligation to investigate whether any of the actions taken to overthrow the election constitute criminal violations of federal civil rights laws. It is unlawful for two or more persons to conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person of any state, territory or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him/her by the Constitution or the laws of the United States.

Such an investigation requires a special counsel to avoid conflicts of interest.

“There is little doubt that an investigation is warranted in this matter,” said Ronald Newman, national political director of the ACLU. “The right to vote is at the very core of our democracy, and it is a crime to intentionally interfere with its exercise, including the counting of votes, and President Trump took every opportunity to attack the vote. The president and his enablers must be held accountable for their efforts to subvert the November 2020 election, including for any federal crimes they may have committed.”

The American Civil Liberties Union called on acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen today to appoint a special counsel to investigate, and if warranted, prosecute President Donald Trump, his associates, and any other federal official who may have been involved in attempts to subvert the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. The ACLU is making this call in the wake of violence at the U.S. Capitol last week.

The Louisiana delegation members need not think they will not be held accountable. While they are shielding Trump, they need to be worried about their own fates.

If all else fails, Louisiana voters who don’t appreciate the fact that their representatives got in bed with a racist, misogynist, white supremacist, should vote these Trump sycophants out of office in 2022.

The key to growth comes with accepting the darker side of the future.

by Sean Kernan

Image for post
Author via istock images

I was drunk with false expectations. Adulthood ambushed me.

I felt like a porcupine who’d just wandered into a balloon shop. The disappointments, brutal heartbreaks, and personal failures seemed to exceed their quota.

Yet it was all so normal.

A part of me dies when I see a teenager on Facebook, posting idealistic, corny poems about how much she loves her boyfriend. Not because I don’t want her to be happy. But because I know, statistically, she’s probably in for a big letdown — just as many of us still are.

Embracing the ugly truths of life is like bringing an umbrella to an outdoor event. You don’t want it to rain. But if it does, you are ready. You’ll still enjoy the show. You are prepared to be uncomfortable.

1. Death cares little for timing, ‘good people’, or perceived great health

My uncle was a leading neurosurgeon and worked at, arguably, the best brain surgery hospital in the world (John’s Hopkins).

On a Sunday morning, he had a massive heart attack and was dead by the time he hit the treadmill he was running on. He was 50 years old. He died in the hospital gym while jogging next to a trauma surgeon.

Many years earlier, I was a young child, laying in bed with my mother tucking me in. I can vividly remember asking, for the first time, “Will I ever die?”

My mother, very kindly said, “We’re all going to die, eventually.”

It’s an unpleasant, albeit necessary conversation that many of you probably had early on. And with it, there was the implicit idea that it was mostly old and sick people who died.

Just remember that good, kind, moral people — who you are close to — could go at any moment.

Between 4%–10% of heart attacks happen before the age of 45. Death doesn’t owe anyone a calendar invite or a ‘warning shot’. Sometimes you’ll lose loved ones in rapid succession.

Life isn’t just short, it’s chaotically short, picking and choosing on a whim. This ugly truth should give you perspective and urgency.

Make it count.

2. Some of you shouldn’t be having kids

So many of the world’s problems would be solved if people who aren’t prepared to be parents just stopped.

Yet, alas, people have this weird obsession with their gene pool — or they treat sex and contraceptives like it’s a game they can hack.

It’s worth repeating the obvious: becoming a parent should be a calling, a deep and long-held desire. Not something you do on an impulse. You don’t have to go far on the internet to find grown adults talking about how terrible their parents were.

In fact, many people spend the rest of their lives trying to recover from bad parenting.

3. Most of your people problems are unrelated to malice

My ex-GF raged behind the wheel. In bad traffic, this 5’4, 100 lb woman morphed into a 600lb raging gorilla of an alter-ego.

If someone cut her off, she acted as if they’d just hit her pet. She’d shout swear words at her steering wheel, holding her hands up, calling down god’s curses on their futures.

Meanwhile, if she cut someone else off? It was just a cute little oopsie.

“B-b-b-but, I’m just a sweet little girl! <bats eyelashes> ”

I suspect many of us do this (a lighter version I hope).

We tend to view the world through an overly-adversarial lens. Modern media machines don’t help. They turn every public act into one of malice, rivalry, and deception.

It’s all so much simpler. Hanlon’s Razor asserts that:

‘Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by neglect.’

More plainly, you can attribute most misunderstandings to innocent ignorance (and idiocy) rather than aggression.

Most of your many issues with other people won’t be about ‘you’ per se.

Save yourself the mental hot air.

4. Much of your destiny is shaped by things bigger than yourself

I was born in a great country. I have awesome role models. My family is educated and has access to resources. These blessings were never more apparent than when I traveled to third world countries.

Yet the moment an employer passed me over for another candidate? I immolated myself as a cursed failure.

It never occurred to me that, “Hey, maybe the other candidate just nailed the interview or had a great reference.” And maybe I should remember just how good I have it.

Contrary to popular opinion, I think society has done a rather good job of teaching the importance of accountability and perseverance. Parallel to that, those who embraced those lessons usually set high bars for their lives.

If you count yourself as one of them, just remember that you are one individual, working to bend a very large future in your direction. There are lots of outside forces — timing, the economy, feuds, goodwill, competition — that will shape your outcomes, without you even knowing it.

5. You won’t always get full resolution

Someone can stop loving you for no reason. You can be the best partner there’s ever been, checking every box. It can still end. Humans are fickle and irrational. The why’s of it won’t matter. How much you loved each other in the past won’t matter.

Even further, statistically, a majority of you will be fired at some point in your career.

You won’t always be able to reconcile these experiences in your mind. Surrender to the fact that you are helpless to change the past. Let that pain be a source of growth.

For many, it already is. A study by Inc revealed that 91% of executives who were fired, ended up in as good or better jobs than the one they were terminated from.

6. We aren’t likely to acquire those hard traits we desire

There’s no research that supports one can significantly increase their intelligence or 10x their work ethic. In fact, those traits tend to stay relatively stable over time. Yes, you can improve. But keep your expectations modest.

The bigger message here — stop trying to be something you’re not. Society has done a great job of confusing us about happiness. Being the smartest, hardest working person in the room isn’t happiness.

You are you. Love the factory version.

7. People are selfish and that’s OK

Even the most generous people out there are selfish at times. In fact, altruism is often a form of self-interest: they are doing charity to feel better about themselves.

So expect people to view the world through a ‘me’ lens. It’s how they’re programmed to interpret reality. They will respond to incentives, their kindness often magnified by what is in it for them.

And when there is danger, figurative, or literal — don’t expect them to take a bullet for you.

Self-reliance is your best hope. The number of people you can count on in moments of great need is shockingly small.

The one side benefit I’ve taken from this — most of my most embarrassing moments aren’t really things anyone else remembers. Everyone is too busy reliving their own embarrassments to remember mine.

8. Lastly, people are going to say terrible things about you

I’ve always found it curious when people would go confront people and try to start fights because someone was ‘talking smack about them behind their back’.

At the end of the day, none of it matters. Terrible things will be said about you. Don’t expend energy trying to convert people into friends.

Let the people that want to be in your life, be in your life. Don’t sweat the rest of it. Best of luck.The Ascent

people

You are not here on this world to be alone. You have many personalities that come in and out of your life to teach you and force you to grow. Our interactions with the world hold deep experiences.

Here are 5 types of people to keep in your life:

1. The Cheerleader.

This is your motivator. No matter what you do, this person is in your corner cheering you on and encouraging you to continue following your dreams. And when you are feeling down, the cheerleader is the one that finds light at the end of the tunnel. They are the voice of motivation.

2. The Connector.

This is that one person who knows everyone, or has the means to find another who can help you. The connector is magical. He/she connects you to the next person who can better guide you to your goals. This type of personality is the go-to person. They might not have the answers but they will send you to the person who will while making it easier for you to navigate in this life.

3. The Teacher.

This is your mentor. The teacher will teach you through examples and will make sure that lessons are being consciously observed and acknowledged. The teacher is the Yoda of the group. This person uses metaphors and world events to put you back in your place while forcing you to see the dark and light parts of yourself. Knowledge is power and the teacher is that one person whose guidance is priceless.

4. The Therapist.

It’s important to have that one person you can share your deepest fears and secrets without judgment. The therapist has the ability to hear you through words and your actions. This person knows you so well that he/she can analyze what you haven’t considered. This is the person who can be the devil’s advocate and you don’t take offense because they see past the issue at hand.

5. The Comedian.

You always need a friend who can make you laugh, especially at yourself. The joy of having this friend is that life is taken as a joke. Sometimes you need to step back and see that nothing is as it seems. The comedian can turn any event into a sarcastic stand up routine. And, in this person you begin to find light.

Just as we need these type of people in our lives to support and love us, we also do not need other types who bring out the worst in us with their toxic energy.

Here are 5 types of people you need to avoid:

Related article: 4 Types of Negative People You Need To Avoid

1. The Gossiper.

This person will talk to you about everyone and when he/she turns their back will talk about you as well. They raise their attention by putting others in the worst scenarios. The gossiper has no problem sharing stories and creating some along the way. They are toxic and emotionally draining.

2. The Complainer.

This is that person whose life is constantly under some kind of drama. The complainer feeds on the negative attention of others by feeling sorry for him/herself. They will look at your life and complain about everything as well while instilling their story into it. At the end of the day you have nothing good for them because they are victims of society.


RELATED ARTICLE: 6 Tips for happier mind

3. The Super-Agreeable.

You know this person well. This is the one who agrees on everything you say and do without truly supporting you. This type of person is passive aggressive. They seek approval by being hypocritical in nature. You don’t know their motives until it’s too late and you been sucked into some of their drama. They don’t care about you. They care only about themselves. The super-agreeable person is looking out for what’s best in their world. If they can use you to get it they will.

4. The Pessimist.

This is the greatest burden in your social group. No matter what you share there is constant gloom and doom. This is the kill-joy dweller. The pessimist is the angry, resentful, and bitter soul who is constantly reminding you that you will not succeed and will challenge you to it. They love to instill their fears and anxieties. Their negativity is unhealthy and distressing.

5. The Know-It-All.

We love someone who knows things, but what we cannot tolerate is the one who is an expert of all! This is that one person who says things without truly checking their facts. They know everything about anything. They are the con artists, the emotional vampires sucking on your lack of knowledge in a specific area. Most times they are so full of insecurities that in order to feel superior they must make you feel stupid. These are the self-reliant liars.

Surround yourself with folks who bring you to your best. You can easily spot those others who suck on your emotional needs and stories. Always be yourself and attract the best types of people who enrich your life with joy.

By Bill Quigley, Loyola University New Orleans, quigley@loyno.edu

Four and a half months after two hurricanes ripped apart Louisiana, tens of thousands of people are still suffering.   While the national election has absorbed the attention of the nation, thousands of people are still not back in their homes.  Many have had to move a half dozen times.  Some are living in tents.  It is past time the nation turned some of its attention back to these mostly forgotten people.

CREOLE, LOUISIANA – OCTOBER 10: An aerial view of flood waters from Hurricane Delta surrounding structures destroyed by Hurricane Laura on October 10, 2020 in Creole, Louisiana. Hurricane Delta made landfall near Creole as a Category 2 storm in Louisiana initially leaving some 300,000 customers without power. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Hurricane Laura, a category 4 storm with winds of nearly 150 miles an hour, hit on August 27, 2020 on the coast of southwest Louisiana.   

Forty-three days later, on October 9, Hurricane Delta, a category 2 storm with winds over 100 miles an hour, hit 10 miles away.   Laura caused $19 billion in losses and Delta caused another $2.9 billion.

The brunt of the destruction has been in Calcasieu and Cameron Parishes.  Calcasieu has a population of 203,000, according to the Census.  Lake Charles, home to 78,000 people and the sixth biggest city in Louisiana, is the biggest city in Calcasieu.   Cameron Parish, south of Calcasieu on the Gulf of Mexico, is populated by about 6900 people.   

Nearly 47,000 homes were damaged by Hurricane Laura alone, 16,000 of which are in need of major repairs, according to Rebecca Santana of the Associated Press.   Most of the damaged homes are in Calcasieu Parish.  Though there are many fewer homes in Cameron, more than half were completely destroyed, according to local government authorities.

Displaced Residents After the Hurricane Living in Tents

In late September, a month after Laura, many displaced families were still living in tents.

Sherry Bourque and her disabled father James Baker used the last of their money and bought two tents at Dick’s Sporting Goods and lived in them in the back yard of their destroyed home.  They had to stay close to deal with the insurance adjustors and contractors.

It is not at all unusual for homeowners and renters to have lived in five or more places since Hurricane Laura hit.  For example, a retired homeowner of limited income with health issues left Lake Charles for College Station Texas for the first mandatory evacuation for Laura.  Her home suffered so much damage it was unlivable.  So she joined with other displaced members of her family and rented a small house in Lafayette, 70 miles away. 

They went back and forth to meet with insurance adjustors and contractors to get estimates for repairs. 

RELATED: Do Something

The family was forced to evacuate a second time weeks later as Delta approached spending several days in Port Arthur Texas.  Once the insurance people and the contractors advised her it would be spring 2021 before her home was repaired, she moved into a small home in Lake Charles which had to have its roof replaced while she was living in it.  Because she has homeowner’s insurance FEMA is not helping her.  She has to pay utility bills at both houses in order to keep power on in both places to slow down the mildew damage on her unoccupied damaged home.  She does not even have a final estimate of what the damage is on her house from insurance company yet despite having gone through 3 different field adjustors and five different desk adjustors. 

Wilfred Trahan’s home was so damaged it has to be completely gutted.  He and his wife live temporarily in a hotel 70 miles away and he commutes back to his job.

Homeowners insurance is helping some but not helping many.  Estimates of insured loss from the hurricanes added up to nearly $10 billion.  Over $5 billion in claims have been paid out so far.  Over 190,000 claims for damages to homes from these two hurricanes were filed with insurance companies in Louisiana.  Tens of thousands of insurance claims were closed without any payment at all.  Many people had deductibles as high as $20,000, making it impossible for them to repair. The Louisiana Legislature has received many, many complaints about the way the insurance companies are operating.  Complaints focus on two problems.  One, insurance companies are sending out as many as six different adjustors to a single home causing communication problems.  Two, there are big gaps between what insurance adjustors are estimating as replacement costs and the prices estimated by contractors.

Renters remain in deep trouble.  One couple with four children renting a house in Lake Charles rode out Laura in Alabama.  They returned to find standing water in their house.  Red Cross sent them to Baton Rouge, which in turn sent them to Alexandria and then to New Orleans.  They were then sent to Dallas briefly, then back to New Orleans.  The father took a job in Shreveport but fell off a ladder and severely hurt his back.  The family returned to Alexandria and then back to New Orleans.  In mid-December the Red Cross found them a house in Lafayette but only paid for the first month’s rent.  They worry they are going to be evicted and have to move again.  They have received nothing from FEMA. The four children have not been in one place long enough to attend school yet.

Apartments are very hard to find!

And when available the rents have risen.  Many complexes like the 191 unit Wilshire apartments in Lake Charles were so damaged that all the residents had to leave and are not yet able to return.  Homeowners with damaged properties are competing with displaced renters for the few apartments available.

In early October Red Cross reported it was providing housing to more than 12,000 evacuees.  FEMA told the Washington Post it was housing nearly 8000 people were put up in hotels in Louisiana and Texas. Government agencies ended the hotel stays for many people who only got 24 hour notice on papers slipped under their room doors.  They were told to return home but for many there were no homes to return to.  People were taken by bus to a government center Alexandria, 100 miles away from Lake Charles, to plead their cases.  If their homes are still uninhabitable, they were reassigned to another hotel.  On December 9, FEMA quit providing free meals to people in hotels according to Sam Karlin at The Advocate

Volunteers Help

Elizabeth Cook has worked as a volunteer with many of the displaced people who were evacuated to hotels in New Orleans.  She collected clothing for people who had only the clothes on their backs.  After FEMA cut off meals at hotels, she helped people get hot plates and small grills.  She sees massive housing problems remaining.  “I am working with a woman in her sixties who is finally staying in a hotel in Lafayette. She lived in her car in Lake Charles for several months until mid-December. And she has never been offered a trailer and has yet to find any kind of housing. She is now searching for an apartment in Lafayette. I am assisting her in this search for housing utilizing the internet. She is under incredible stress.”

Four months later, more than 1000 people are still living in hotels.

  Government officials say it will be spring or even summer before people can move out of hotels.

As 2020 ended some people were still living in tents.  At the end of December, Fox News reported that many of Katelyn Smith’s family members are living in tents.  Ms. Smith’s trailer flipped several times in the hurricane. It was destroyed.  Her whole family lived in tents for months and though she has moved into a donated trailer, the rest of her family remain in tents where their mobile home was.  “People like us are still out here going through this situation. I think Lake Charles has been forgotten,” Smith said. “It has only been a little while and it’s going to be a long time before we are back.”  Shocking photos of their living situation taken by Associated Press photographer Gerald Herbert show the family still living in third world conditions.

Too few trailers are available for the hurricane displaced residents of Lake Charles

Calcasieu Parish Housing Authority says it will be well into 2021 before residents can get back into Lake Charles.

Small businesses are struggling from the effects of two hurricanes and the pandemic.   For example, a family bakery in Lake Charles, Mrs. Johnnie’s Gingerbread House, was open for seven weeks before Laura hit, followed weeks later by Delta.  It took another three months to fully reopen.  Many of the local grocery stores which sold their bread are still closed. The owner told Marketplace, “The hurricane, it’s going to affect the bottom line for quite a while.  So not only myself, but all the small businesses. It’s going to be tough for a while.”

Areas remain devastated.  In early December, Lake Charles officials estimated that nearly 3.3 million cubic yards of debris was collected in that city alone.  That is the equivalent of over 500 football fields.  Nearly 2 million more cubic yards still wait to be picked up.

Despite thousands needing housing, FEMA reports it has only provided housing units on site in Calcasieu Parish to 469 families.  No FEMA trailers at all were installed in nearby Cameron Parish as of December 2020.

With 47,000 houses damaged, 16,000 of which need major repairs, evacuees are nowhere near coming home.   At year’s end, churches and volunteer organizations continue to provide supplies to homeless people.

In fact, the Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates in will be “early summer 2021” before everyone who needs housing gets it. 

Elizabeth Cook says the administration of assistance “has been a disaster.  The entire process to help these folks has been badly coordinated. The state which is overseeing this process has allowed or looked the other way as entire families were evicted from hotels in New Orleans with nowhere to go.  No one should be evicted.  Louisiana already had an affordable housing problem and this has made more people homeless.  It is shameful. The state of Louisiana, FEMA, the Red Cross have all caused unbearable stress for families and individuals.”

The Mayor of Lake Charles, Nic Hunter, is also quite frustrated.  On December 26, 2020, the Mayor told American Press in Lake Charles that he estimated that 5% of the city’s housing stock is still offline.  Hunter wrote FEMA after Christmas complaining about the slow process of getting temporary housing, saying that while thousands need help only 383 temporary housing units have been installed and “the number and pace of those installations is grossly inadequate” a performance that is “just not acceptable.”   

All of this is aggravated by Covid.  Over 15,000 people have tested positive in Calcasieu Parish, nearly 300 have died.  On January 4, Nic Hunter, the Mayor, announced on Facebook he tested positive for Covid. 

The nation justifiably spent much time focusing on the election.  But it is past time to remember the thousands of families who have been left behind.  

SAY THEIR NAMES….

by C.C. Campbell-Rock

Civil rights activists have always “called out” those who were against the movement for justice, fairness, equality, and civil/voting rights. They do this to inform people. We shine light on the evil people do. And we send a message to the offenders that their behavior is unacceptable. Justice will prevail.

In that grand tradition, Think504 calls out the enemies of the American people, within and without, who attempted to overthrow our government, democracy, and subvert the rule of law in real time.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021, is a day that will live in infamy. It was the day that a Trump mob of insurrectionists stormed the United States Capitol. They fought Capitol police and went on a rampage,  stealing, ransacking offices, and, yes, killing, and injuring Capitol police officers. When the tear gas cleared the treasonous criminals were escorted out of the Capitol building. Five people are dead, and 50 Capitol police injured. U.S. Capitol Pro-Trump rioters killed Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick.

THE ENEMIES WITHOUT

Trump  invited his cult to Washington D.C. to challenge the results of the presidential election. The same day Congress voted to confirm the election of Joe Biden, Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Donald J. Trump Jr.,  Representative Mo Brooks, Jr. (R-AL), and others stood behind bullet-proof glass. They whipped the massive crowd of misinformed sycophants into an angry lynch mob, reminiscent of the KKK and Night riders.

And estimates are that at least 40,000 were in the nation’s Capital to pull a seditious coup. They came from all over the U.S. Among the crowd were members of the Proud Boys, Neo-Nazis, Neo-Confederates, and White Supremacists waving Trump flags and Confederate flags and wearing cheap Trump merch and shirts with anti-Semitic slogans. .  

Primed and pumped, they tried to overthrow the U.S. government. Brooks was one of the opening speakers at Trump’s “Save America” rally. Brooks told the crowd,  “Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.”

Giuliani suggested that the Trump supporters conduct a “trial by combat.”

“Trump told followers, ‘You will never take back our country with weakness,’ and, “We are going to have to fight much harder.” Trump called the election results, an “egregious assault on our democracy, before ordering the crowd to “walk down to the  Capitol.”

Donald Trump Jr.  urged the seditionists to “Fight for Trump.”

As the angry mob made it to the Capitol and began assaulting the seat of government, Trump and his children and Mark Meadows threw a watch party.

Trump speaking before the attack on the Capitol

While Trump’s mob was pillaging the Capitol, senators, representatives, and  media were whisked away to safe, undisclosed locations.

An array of insurrectionists stormed the Capitol. Among them were:

 The Q Shaman/QAnon Shaman, the dude dressed up like a wolf with hours. His name is Jake Angeli, and he has been a regular at right-wing political rallies in Arizona, where he is from, since 2019.

Derrick Evans , a Republican Delegate in the West Virginia legislature, filmed himself and fellow Trump supporters banging on the Capitol’s door. Wearing a helmet, he jumps in the building and shouts: “We’re in” Keep it moving, baby!”

In addition, another Trumpster, a Neo-Nazi, wore a  ‘Camp Auschwitz’ shirt at the U.S. Capitol.

Pictured walking through the Capitol with a stolen lectern as he waved at photographers, was Adam Johnson, a psychology graduate from Florida.

Richard ‘Bigo’ Barnett’s picture went viral. The self-described white nationalist is the one with his feet on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk. He showed a New York Times reporter a letter he had taken from her desk. Barnett said he left a note on her desk . It said, “Nancy, Bigo was here, you b****.” Police arrested him. His charges include entering and remaining on restricted grounds, theft of public property, and violent entry, according to NBC.

The Proud Boys were out in force and many other slimy, criminally insane people who follows Trump were present. One man was arrested with an assault weapon and 11 Molotov cocktails. Some of the insurrectionists shot ammunition into the House chamber, according to news reports.

THE ENEMY WITHIN

After the Capitol Hill Police escorted the mob out of the Capitol, the Senate and House of Representatives continued the certification process.

And of course, the majority of the Louisiana delegations showed their true colors and sided with the Racist-in-Chief. Five of the seven Louisiana lawmakers objected to the certification of Electoral Votes for Arizona and Pennsylvania.

During the U.S. House vote on the objection to electoral votes for Arizona, Rep. Clay Higgins (LA-03). Rep. Mike Johnson (LA-04) and Rep. Steve Scalise (LA-01), all Republicans, voted to oppose the Arizona election results. The three  have voted in lockstep with Trump. And they even repeated the “big lie” that there was massive voter fraud in Arizona’s election.

Scalise has long sided with racists. Although Scalise apologized  for speaking at a David Duke rally in 2002, one has to wonder how he remains so loyal to Trump, who is obviously a racist. His own actions confirm that fact.

Rep. Cedric Richmond (LA-02), the state’s lone Democrat Congressman, and Rep. Garret Graves (LA-06), voted to accept of Arizona’s electoral college votes.

In the U.S. Senate, Sen. Bill Cassidy voted in favor of the certification of Arizona’s Electoral College votes while Sen. John Kennedy voted for the objection to both Arizona and Pennsylvania’s electoral college votes.

The Fallout

To be sure the Republican Party is fractured. New factions range from moderate to extremely right wing. Commend Senator Cassidy for doing the right thing.

As for John Neely Kennedy, if he moved back to his native Centreville, MS, he wouldn’t be missed. According to govtrack.us, Kennedy is next up for reelection in 2022 and serves until Jan 3, 2023. “Kennedy is a member of the so-called Kraken Caucus- Republican legislators who fomented the terrorist attack on the Capitol. They aimed to prevent the election of the next president of the United States. And they even called for entire states to be disenfranchised in the 2020 presidential election. They want to change the outcome of the election from Democrat to Republican — an attempted coup.

A photo of Donald Rouse Sr., the owner of Rouse’s Markets, show him and a former employee cheesing for the camera at the Trump coup. After the photo went viral, Rouse released a statement admitting he attended the “rally”  as a supporter of Trump.  Rouse said  he left before the violence began, and he condemned the violent behavior of his fellow Trump supporters.

Locals boycott

Rousse’s statement has not placated black New Orleanians who are calling for a boycott of his stores. It’s one thing to support a Republican if you’re a Republican. But Donald Trump has insulted every brown and black person in America and called black women horrible names. He has put brown and black children in cages. Anyone who supports or contributes to Trump obviously doesn’t give a damn about the way he treats people of color. He’s a racist, full stop, and birds of a feather…

The Insurrection has unveiled serious concerns over the way police treated Trump’s white mob vs. the way they treated Black Lives Matter protesters. An investigation may be imminent.

Video doesn’t lie. There it is in our faces. The Capitol Police opened barricades and let rioters in. Some took selfies with the insurgents. Another stood by and watched while the looters broke windows. Still others gently escorted the lawbreakers out of the people’s house.

According to a New York Times article, “Six days before the storming of the Capitol and Trump’s Civil War,  Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) asked the chief of the Capitol Police about his preparations for various scenarios: Were the rooftops secured? Would streets be blocked off? Did he know that violent groups like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers were vowing to stir up chaos? Waters said her concerns was met with a similar response from Chief Steven Sund. “He assured me that they have everything under control, that they were on top of everything.” They weren’t.

Not Prepared

“Instead, an angry mob of pro-Trump extremists swarmed the barricades around the Capitol on Wednesday. Spraying chemical irritants and wielding lead pipes, injuring more than 50 officers. They battered doors, broke windows and scaled the walls, rampaging through the building as congressional leaders made desperate calls for help.”

The Capitol Police should have arrested everyone of the people who breached the Capitol. Police only arrested 55 insurgents. The FBI estimates that it may take a year, to track do the other offenders.  

But in June 2020, when Black Lives Matter protesters walked the streets, more than 200 were arrested, while others were tear-gassed, beaten with batons, and assaulted. The double standard of it all is glaring.

Those responsible for the failed law enforcement response on January 6, should have to testify at a Congressional hearing as to why the National Guard, the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia police didn’t arrive until 90 minutes into the siege.

Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, who served as the Joint Taskforce Commander during Hurricane Katrina, told MSNBC reporters that law enforcement’s response should be investigated.  “They were complicit,” the General added.

The Good the Bad and the Ugly

By Kenneth Cooper

“After Ashli was shot in the chest, we bashed a Capitol police officer in the head with a fire extinguisher, then crushed another between a doorway until he spat up blood, the president sent out a tweet. He said he loved us. We were moved by his words, vindicated actually, especially by that one “love.””

President Trump, how will we remember you?

He wasn’t the smartest guy in the room, I’ll say that. Not satisfied with just putting his foot in his mouth, he also showed a penchant for munching on his toes. Aides would spend their days scrambling, cleaning up one mess after another, trying to intervene before he devoured his ankle bones. Yet as president, he proved insatiable. Some say because the effort garnered so much adulation. Every day 88 million people hung on to the incessant tapping of his thumbs.

I’ll always remember him as a racist, pure and simple. Yeah, I said it. The dude was a flat out racist. I mean, I ain’t no dog or nothing, but I know a dog whistle when somebody blows one.

Trump was the master of the dog whistle
  • Fine people at Confederate rallies,
  • Fighting to preserve Confederate names of military bases
  • Opposed to taking down Confederate statues,
  • Throwing Hispanic children in cages,
  • Banning Muslims from coming to the country,
  • Showing indifference to black people murdered by the police,
  • Calling black NFL players who protested police sons of bitches.

 He did it all for the culture, the white racist culture that is.  

Pure unadulterated idiot. Hands down. Good riddance President Trump.

The Coronavirus wasn’t a hoax after all.

He said he’d be right there with us, but when we looked around, there was no president. There was just us, climbing walls, kicking down doors, battling it out with Capitol police. Next thing we know, he’s on TV, if you can believe it, on actual TV, disavowing us, talking about how we should be arrested. I’m not gonna lie, that was kind of disappointing, you know. Here we are out there warring for the man, and he just abandons us, just leaves us literally hanging out to dry. He’s like the friend who throws the rock that breaks the neighbor’s window, then leaves you there to take the charge. That’s the president I’ll always remember.

The power was just too much for him. It corrupted him like the precious in Lord of The Rings. That’s what the swamp does.

I want his ass impeached and thrown in jail, no passing go, no collecting $200, just straight to jail. And rip up the Get Out Of Jail Free card. No, I’m not overreacting. Did he not just incite a riot? And did he not try to disenfranchise millions of voters? Did he not try to pressure the Georgia Secretary of State into overturning the results of a free and fair election? Did he not do the same with electors in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, the Vice President? Congress needs to act, and they need to act now.  

A 30-foot border barrier — as tall as a two-story building — rises from the desert near Lukeville, Ariz.

Mexico never paid for the damn wall.

What kind of man wields the two biggest media platforms in the world (the presidency and Twitter), then loses them both in the short span of 4 years? Un-frickin-believable. The presidency is one thing, but Twitter is another. He instantly lost any chance of staying relevant during the Biden years. There’s no other outlet with the exposure of Twitter to turn to.  Trump has nowhere to go. He might as well reboot The Apprentice on Newsmax or something.

And he delivered us a Conservative Supreme Court, tax cuts, a roaring economy, and forever exposed the mainstream media as a bunch of biased liberals. Yeah, he made some mistakes along the way. Who hasn’t? But he was almost sacrificial in his ways. He sacrificed himself. Now our politics are forever changed. If the Civil War was a defining moment for this country, so was his presidency. America will always be remembered in the context of before and after Trump.

He just devoured himself, and his movement. Wait, somebody said that already, metaphorically.

Our fractured political system produced Trump. In an environment rife with extreme partisanship, the populace was left vulnerable to the rantings of populists on both sides. He proved to be the most charismatic and convincing of them all. He took to our TVs and microphones and appealed to the base interest of conservatives, preyed on their racism and distrust of government until he had them right in his palms. Wherever he went millions followed. Some say he was putting on an act, pretending to be something he wasn’t. I say the political arena gave him the platform to fully express who he was all along. And he loved it, so did the media, though they’d never admit it. But now he’s gone. And the country is smoldering and tattered. And we’re standing here wondering what the hell just happened, and how can’t we stop it from ever occurring again. That’s his legacy.

President Donald J Trump, 45th president of The United States, 2017-2021. Good riddance President Trump.

By Jeff Thomas

The misguided gang of Trumpers who stormed the halls of American government proved to be a bunch of miscreants and thugs.  They personify Trump’s childish impulses of selfishness and short sightedness. They were more interested in causing a scene than creating any meaningful change.  And their failure to accomplish anything significant is reminiscent of their glorified leader’s track record.

But you have to just wonder if this is a moment, like Black Lives Matter, that will simmer and spark a national movement.  The shadowy threats of the white supremacist’s desires lurk just under the Trump blanket.  Will we see protests across America or was this just a flash in the pan? 

Roundly criticized by most US Senators and Representatives and the national media, these protesters were shamed on the international stage.  Yet, the lack of arrests and grants of white privilege may embolden others.  Trump refuses to concede and continues to stoke the fire.  And the ingredients for continued rage persist.

INGREDIENTS FOR WHITE ANGER

  • White median income in America has fallen during the pandemic
  • Demographic shifts project a Minority majority over the next decade
  • Trump’s identity politics have normalized racism
  • A notion that America will no longer be a “white Christian country”
  • The us vs them politics create competition for perceived limited resources
  • Police will not arrest, tear gas, shoot, or beat white protesters on American streets
  • Trump will continue to spew a false narrative about election fraud
  • People are willing to believe what they want despite evidence to the contrary

 CALM WILL ALWAYS PREVAIL DURING WHITE PROTESTS

Oddly, as quickly as the mob formed and stormed Congress, did they leave without any clashes with the police.  Contrastingly, Black Lives Matters protesters were blocked from the halls of government.  Their protests are relegated to the streets.  Police do not see themselves or their relatives in the BLM protesters and use tear gas, rubber bullets and even lethal force to quell these usually unarmed protesters.  Yet armed, violent and destructive mobs of white men are able to force their way into Congress and threaten sitting members of our government. 

Standing guard are police officers. If those officers are not actually related to the protesters, they empathize and even sympathize with the men who yell. Officers are in now way shape or form threatened. So they can calmly escort the the protesters out. Afterward, all involved leave feeling satisfied with their political statements.  So, these white male dominated protests are generally peaceful – except when the protesters themselves become violent.

PROTESTING MAKES WHITE MEN HAPPY

Expressing anger makes you feel great! Anger can induce a discharge of dopamine epinephrine and norepinephrine — also referred to as adrenaline and noradrenaline. The adrenalin rush contributes to a sense of strength and invulnerability.  Like a cocaine high, anger is euphoric. So, from the display we saw in DC, white men get a great sense of strength and fulfillment.  Their sense of victory and invincibility creates exuberance.  And they can go peacefully back to their hotels, campers, trailers and mobile homes feeling like they just made a difference.  By golly, they are taking their country back.

“WHITE DOG DON’T EAT WHITE MEAT”

The late great Paul Beaulieu always said that.  So, we shouldn’t be shocked when we see armed protesters storming the halls of government and police officers taking selfies with them.  White privilege is a sacred American birthright for white men.  White men have the ability to walk up to the treason ball and kick it.  Then privilege rolls it back and even suggests a stronger kick next time. 

So even if we see more protests across the country, white men will not destroy their homeland. But they might just toss the furniture around for kicks and giggles.