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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

For those who are concerned with civil rights, it’s been a been a troubling few weeks with one big victory — the Supreme Court throwing out one section of the Defense of Marriage Act — overshadowed by the Court’s conservatives gutting the Voting Rights Act, Republicans passing a flurry of laws designed to limit women’s health choices and the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial, which ended up feeling more like the trial of Trayvon Martin.

MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts seemed to be speaking for millions of Americans on Monday morning when he launched into a memorable rant:

Don’t we need to do more about our social contract with each other in this country when it comes to being others? Because, as we look at this, we can use this as a great pivot point to talk about race relations in this country.

But, being an “other,” whether it’s LGBT, because you’re suspected of being a pedophile and a rabid disease carrier.

And if you are a woman, well, you don’t have a right to your own body and your own reproductive health, because if you do you’re a slut that wants to sleep around and use abortion as birth control.

And then, if you’re Hispanic, you want to…have anchor babies and you just want to lay off the land.

Isn’t that the — and I want to challenge this network: we have to have an “I am other” agenda and have a forum for it, because others need to unite to talk about this and figure out where we are going as a country.

The social contract that we have currently negotiated that is so wrong and how this is happening in a country where we have this huge group of people that– it’s supposed to be a melting pot but we treat each other with such disdain it’s not each funny.

I’m being optimistic when I call this the progressive movement’s “Rick Santelli moment.”

In 2009, CNBC contributor Santelli launched into a rant against the “losers” who were losing their homes that called for a “Tea Party.” A call that was embraced by the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity and a conservative infrastructure that had been trying to launch a populist movement for decades.

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  • FT66

    As bad as it sounds, racism is well and alive. People like very much to put a lid and pretend that it is over, BUT in the really sense it has not gone anywhere. I remember the very cold day when Pres. Obama was sworn in as the first black President, we had a friendly discussion with my good friend, he mentioned to me who did ever think that this could had happened?

    I answered him: NO ONE but that is not the end of racism. He asked me why? I told him that Pres. Obama has been elected by 53% of the vote, if he could have been elected by let say 85%, I could had been on his side and said IT IS NOW OVER AND FOR ALL. I continued to let him know that it won’t take much time you will see all the elements of racisms while the elected Black President is still sitting in the White House. He knocked his head, I do not know how many times, I couldn’t count, and said: NO, NO, NO, NO!

    Here we are each and everything I said is on the limelight. I was right and am sad to say, he was wrong.

    • Dominick Vila

      There are signs that racism is subsiding in the USA, especially among the young, but there is no doubt in my mind that it remains latent among a fairly large segment of our population. It may not be as overt and pervasive as it was 50 years ago, but it is still there.
      There is no doubt in my mind that George Zimmerman singled out Trayvon Martin because of his race. That belief is not only influenced by what lead to this tragedy and its conclusion, but by the fact that GZ called the population four times on previous occasions to report similar “transgressions”, and every time it involved a black man living in his neighborhood. The man is a thug and he got away with murder, not because there was lack of evidence, but because of the exceptional skills of the defense team, their ability to transform a criminal into a victim, and the not so subtle ability to turn a kid into a dangerous gang member with the fighting abilities of a ninja.
      The outcome of this trial was influenced by race, not only because of the circumstances but by the willingness of thousands of people to donate large amounts of money to ensure a criminal got away with murder.

      • FT66

        I fully agree with you Dominick that racism is subsiding in USA, especially among the young ones. BUT this incidence has made that remaining small portion of those (the young ones), who believe in it, be bold in it. Our aim is to make sure we eliminate it completely and not enforce it.

        We all know, no one comes forward and say “I AM A RACIST”, it is done by actions. Remember actions speak more louder than words.

      • Allan Richardson

        On Faux Newz the commentators have ALREADY posthumously convicted Trayvon Martin of being a thug, a gangster, a burglar, in order to seem justified when they yell “Hallelujah!” that GZ was acquited (and yes, that was EXACTLY how Ann Coulter reacted). To them, the life of a just barely 16 year old BLACK child is worthless because they “know” he was a criminal without, and it fact DESPITE, the evidence. The grief of a BLACK mother and father are meaningless to them.

        I do not wish to exact revenge on GZ for being an “evil person,” I wish to change the evil SYSTEM of both law and cultural memes that MADE GZ behave in an evil manner. We should start with the TRULY evil people who get on right wing media and cheer for America and the Bible by VIOLATING the Ninth Commandment many times every day.

        • Dominick Vila

          I share your conclusion, especially where our focus ought to be in days and years to come. I fear it may be a long time before meaningful change takes place.

      • highpckts

        Oh c’mon! I usually agree with you a lot but this time, no! Nothing can be proven! Proof is the essence of this trial! NOTHING was proven! Hence the verdict! I want to know why this case is so special? What about the thousands of black and white kids that are killed on our streets everyday! Why is this kid worthy of so much rage? All the anger should be aimed at society that has failed these kids! Cuts in education, cuts in any kind of aid, etc. this is another media blitz to keep everyone distracted about what is really important! This country is failing our kids!

      • RobertCHastings

        Morris Dees’ Southern Poverty Law Center does an annual accounting of all the racist and hate groups in the country. The numbers are approaching what they were in the 60’s, when blacks were still being hung and the President who pushed the Civil Rights Act was killed (not necessarily linking the two). Racism all people of good will WISH would disappear, but we know it isn’t, because its signs are too obvious.

        • Dominick Vila

          I give LBJ more credit for the enactment of the Civil Rights Act than I give JFK. Interestingly, LBJ was a Southerner. There are more likely causes for the assassination of JFK than supporting ethnic equality. Proposing to eliminate the Federal Reserve among them.

          • RobertCHastings

            Once again, you surprise. That’s one theory you don’t hear much about. Eliminating the FED would have changed our financial system immensely, especially the revolving door between the White House and cabinet and the regulators.

  • Rick2101

    I’m sure everyone has heard racist comments, but I thought I would post one as an
    example of moderate conservative opinion on NewsMax:

    “Can anyone show up with a brain? So Zimmerman should not have been armed so the thug Martin could beat him to death. Let’s stack the odds in favor of the black savages who commit most of the crimes. NOT!”

    “black savages” ..Really!!
    It is shocking but not surprising that these kinds of posts happen. Freedom of Speech, I guess. I just find it disgusting.

    http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Dershowitz-Zimmerman-Prosecutorial-Misconduct/2013/07/14/id/514957

  • RobertCHastings

    Wow! Almost as impressive as what Obama had to say. If people like this guy in the media will step up to the plate, we WILL have the dialogue Obama promised us in 2008. Unfortunately, he will probably be put on probation by his network, and vilified by Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, and sent death threats by anyone who disagrees with him. I don’t disagree with him. What he did took courage and strength and an abiding faith in what this country is all about – justice and equality for ALL.