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Monday, December 5, 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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