The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Tag: civil war

Rooting For Civil War, 'Patriotic' Republicans Are Poisoning America

Executing a valid search warrant, FBI agents arrived in the morning to search the office. The word "unprecedented" was on everyone's lips. They seized business records, computers and other documents related to possible crimes. An enraged Donald Trump denounced the FBI and the Justice Department, saying not that they had abided by the warrant issued by a federal judge, but rather that agents had "broken into" the office.

The year was 2018, and Trump was livid about the FBI's investigation into his longtime attorney/fixer, Michael Cohen.

At the time, many observers, including me, assumed that the investigation would yield bushels of incriminating documents about Trump. Cohen was his personal lawyer, after all, the guy who wrote the hush-money checks to porn stars and presumably had access to many of Trump's dodgy or downright illegal acts. It didn't turn out that way.

But what is not open to doubt is that the Republican Party, which seemed to be flirting with post-Trumpism just a few weeks ago, has now come roaring back as an authoritarian cult. Trump has not changed. But he has changed Republicans.

Consider 2018 again. When the FBI searched Cohen's office, Trump was Trump. He raged like a banshee. He declared that it was "an attack on our country" and a "disgraceful situation."


Some Fox News bobbleheads treated the story as more evidence of a conspiracy to hurt the Dear Leader, but most Republicans were subdued. The prevailing tone in Republican ranks was that the investigations, including Robert Mueller's, must be permitted to proceed according to the rules. Sens. Thom Tillis and Lindsey Graham, for example, teamed up with their Democratic colleagues, Sens. Chris Coons and Cory Booker, to propose the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act.

Four years later, the FBI has executed another warrant, this time to Trump's office, and the Trump forces have gone berserk. Rep. Paul Gosar tweeted, "I will support a complete dismantling and elimination of the democrat brown shirts known as the FBI. This is too much for our republic to withstand ... "

Anthony Sabatini, a Florida state representative and candidate for Congress, was prepared to dismantle the whole federalist structure: "It's time for us in the Florida Legislature to ... sever all ties with DOJ immediately. Any FBI agent conducting law enforcement functions outside the purview of our State should be arrested upon sight." That would go well.

Sen. Josh Hawley tweeted that "At a minimum, Garland must resign or be impeached. The search warrant must be published. (FBI Director) Christoper Wray must be removed. And the FBI reformed top to bottom."

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene chants, "Defund the FBI."

Newt Gingrich suggests that the feds might have planted evidence at Mar-a-Lago.

The party that backed the blue and disdained the defund-the-police crowd now flips. Gingrich is channeling Johnnie Cochran. Trump may be an ignoramus and a clod, but he has the capacity to turn people inside out.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the likely next speaker of the House, tweeted a threat to the attorney general, telling Garland to "preserve your documents and clear your calendar" because when/if Republicans take the majority, they're coming for him.

Now, as a substantive matter, McCarthy's tweet is meaningless. The House of Representatives, along with the Senate, already exercises oversight authority over the Justice Department. But the importance of the tweet is not its substance but its tone — the call for vengeance. McCarthy displays zero interest in whether Trump actually committed a crime. The clear message is, "You've gone after our leader, so we're coming for you." The merits of Garland's actions are irrelevant. The facts are irrelevant. It's war.

For some in the wooly precincts of the MAGA right, the call to arms was literal. As Vice reported, some Trumpists were explicit: "'Civil War 2.0 just kicked off,' one user wrote on Twitter, with another adding, 'One step closer to a kinetic civil war.' Others said they were ready to take part: 'I already bought my ammo.'" Steve Bannon, who was pardoned for bilking Trump supporters who thought they were building a wall, declared that "we're at war" and called the FBI the "Gestapo."

Trump is a sick soul who cannot imagine a world in which people act on principle or think about the welfare of others. While in power, Trump wanted to use the FBI to punish his political opponents ("Lock her up") and reward his friends ("Go easy on Michael Flynn"). He projects his own corrupt motives onto others and assumes that the FBI investigation is nothing but a Democratic power grab. It would be pathetic if he had not dragged an entire political party into the fever swamps with him.

This experiment in self-government requires a minimum amount of social trust to succeed. With every tweet that spreads cynicism and lies; with every call to arms that welcomes civil conflict; Trumpist Republicans are poisoning the nation they claim so ostentatiously to love.

Mona Charen is policy editor of The Bulwark and host of the "Beg to Differ" podcast. Her most recent book is Sex Matters: How Modern Feminism Lost Touch with Science, Love, and Common Sense. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

Trump Supporters Threatening 'Civil War' Over Mar-a-Lago Raid

America’s right-wing extremists have been hankering for a civil war for a long time now, and in particular have been eager to start using their guns in defense of Donald Trump ever since he came onto the political scene. They tried to start a civil war on Trump’s behalf after he lost on January 6, 2021.

So to no one’s great surprise, they’re currently flooding social media and right-wing media bandwidth with vows to begin a civil war on Trump’s behalf after the FBI executed a search warrant at the ex-president’s Florida waterfront estate, Mar-a-Lago, and seized evidence in a yet-unspecified investigation. The rhetoric is mostly a mixture of over-the-top hysteria and dark threats, and it’s being wielded by everyone from congressional Republicans to anonymous militiamen.

Back when Trump was facing his first impeachment, he tweeted out a hint that the proceedings might unleash a civil war—which did unleash a deluge of militiamen and Trump supporters vowing to do exactly that. The sentiments they voiced then were remarkably similar to the threats of violence directly preceding the January 6 insurrection.

Right after news of the Mar-a-Lago search broke, mentions of “civil war” on Twitter suddenly spiked, as Donie O’Sullivan reported.

The most prominent elected Republican to weigh in on the matter was Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, whose tweets became increasingly militant as the day progressed. They started out in typically unhinged fashion:


The FBI is raiding President Trump’s home in Maralago!

This is the rogue behavior of communist countries, NOT the United States of America!!!

These are the type of things that happen in countries during civil war.

The political persecution MUST STOP!!!


Later in the day, Greene’s tone became threatening: “What is happening will NOT be tolerated!!!” she wrote. “We are coming.”

A Florida Republican legislator running for Congress, Anthony Sabatini, wants the Florida state government to get involved and protect Trump from the evil federal government:

It’s time for us in the Florida Legislature to call an emergency legislative session & amend our laws regarding federal agencies

Sever all ties with DOJ immediately

Any FBI agent conducting law enforcement functions outside the purview of our State should be arrested upon sight.

Right-wing activist Laura Loomer, who is also running for Congress in Florida, was even more incendiary:

Time to take the gloves off. It’s been time. If you’re a freedom loving American, you must remove the words decorum and civility from your vocabulary. This is a WAR!

And it’s time to obliterate these communists. Tonight they attacked President Trump. If you sit on the sidelines and refuse to act, they will attack you and your family next.

What will you choose? Will you be a fighter? Or will you be a victim of the Deep State?

Arizona’s far-right Republican nominee for the governor’s seat, Kari Lake, posted a statement warning of the nation’s imminent demise:

This is one of the darkest days in American history: the day our Government, originally created by the people, turned against us. This illegitimate, corrupt Regime hates America and has weaponized the entirety of the Federal Government to take down President Donald Trump.

Our Government is rotten to the core. These Tyrants will stop at nothing to silence the Patriots who are working hard to save America. This is an incredibly horrendous abuse of power. If we accept it, America is dead.

We will not accept it. The 10th Amendment can and will save our Republic and the road to stripping the Feds of power travels right through Arizona.

We must fire the Federal Government. As Governor, I will fight these Tyrants with every fiber of my being. America—dark days lie ahead for us. May God protect us and save our Country.

Trump-loving right-wing pundits were similarly running around with their hair on fire, urging their audiences to prepare for war—and not just the metaphorical kind.

Jesse Kelly—the right-wing radio talk-show host who believes fascism is an inevitability for the American right, and is good with that—gave a shout-out to the so-called “constitutional sheriffs” who have threatened to get involved in the nation’s election apparatus in defense of Trump. “Do you have a county sheriff who will stand between you and a federal agent trying to violate your rights? If you don’t, you better get one. Or better yet, BECOME one,” Kelly tweeted.

He later tweeted out a quote with threatening implications: “Do not quote laws to men with swords.’ -Pompey Magnus,” Kelly tweeted.

Far-right pundit Candace Owens had a regular meltdown on Twitter:

The FBI must be legally and formally dissolved.

What happened to President Trump is positively stunning and a mark of unchecked government power.

I no longer recognize the country I live in. Left or right, we must all come together to fight this evil.

Meanwhile, longtime Fox News host Monica Crowley decided it was time to throw down the gauntlet: “This is it,” she tweeted. “This is the hill to die on.”

White nationalist pundit Jack Posobiec, who now hosts a daily show for the right-wing campus organization Turning Point USA, posted a series of tweets that essentially urged his audience to gird their loins for a real shooting war:

Are you ready.

The federal security state has declared war on Donald J Trump and his supporters.

The country you grew up in no longer exists.

We are living through the times our forefathers warned of.

Preemptive coup.

Welcome to the end game.

Longtime conspiracy theorist Steven Crowder’s unhinged tweet was shorter and more succinct: “Tomorrow is war,” he wrote. “Sleep well.”

The ominous suggestions that the base become engaged in violence could be heard on Fox News as well thanks to host Jesse Waters, who told his guest, Dan Bongino:

I think there is going to be some more action you are going to see out on the streets from the base after they see this break tonight... They've had it with what this corrupt government and what the FBI has done.

Another Fox News host, Mark Levin, claimed that investigating Trump was an attack on the nation itself:

This is the worst attack on this republic in modern history. Period. And it’s not just an attack on Donald Trump. It’s an attack on everybody who supports him. It’s an attack on anybody who dares to raise serious questions about Washington, D.C., and the establishment in both parties. I haven’t heard a damn thing from the Republican leadership in the Senate! Have you? Not one of those guys has put out a statement. Because they’re weak. That’s why.


Onetime Trump aide Sebastian Gorka tweeted: “This is the real insurrection.”

On Trump’s social media site Truth Social, radio host Wayne Root, Trump’s longtime fan and supporter, wrote: “This is now officially Nazi Germany Gestapo meets Soviet Union KGB.”

Trumpist pundit Carmine Sabia also penned a series of increasingly unhinged tweets to his 80,000-plus followers:

It is time for a #NationalDivorce before there is a Civil War. We cannot be a part of the same nation anymore.

And if I haven’t been direct enough let me say it again. If you are not for Donald Trump you are my enemy. I did not believe that four hours ago. But I believe it now. This was a gigantic fucking mistake Democrats.

This is war. Pick a side. There is no gray area.

The America that you knew and loved as a kid is gone. It’s gone and it’s never coming back.

These same sentiments could be found throughout right-wing social media, being voiced by ordinary randos and trolls at large and often at high volume.

  • “The Dems are starting a civil war.”
  • “Is this the first shot of a civil war? Is this the tyranny mentioned in the 2nd Amendment? The Founding Fathers would have started shooting a long time ago!”
  • “It’s time for a civil war. The deep state has proven they are real, they are corrupt, they are dictators.”
  • “Civil war! Pick up arms people!”
  • “The fbi just declared war on the republic. Treat them accordingly.”
  • “A civil war is coming after what the DOJ did today.”
  • “August 8, 2022 will be remembered forever. The start of Civil War II.”
  • “Our government is pushing for a civil war. Americans are only going to take so much.”
  • “I already bought my ammo”
  • “Civil War 2.0 just kicked off.”
  • “Let’s do the war.”
  • “One step closer to a kinetic civil war.”
  • “Lock and load”
  • “Let history show that Biden and his DOJ drew first blood with this raid on Mar-a-Lago.”
  • “FBI is headed by Jews. I warned you about these demons.”
  • “We’re at war.”
  • “It’s going to be wonderful to see FBI agents get killed in the future!”

“Prior to the attack on the Capitol on January 6th, we saw unprecedented plans online to conduct real-world violence,” observed Advance Democracy president Daniel J. Jones, a former Senate Intelligence Committee staff member, in a statement to NBC News. "The online outrage was based on false allegations of voter fraud and bizarre theories of coordinated government corruption. The raid by the FBI has provoked similar violent rhetoric online—including from at least one individual charged in relation to the insurrection on January 6th.”

Jones added: “The promotion of broad government conspiracy theories by political leaders, elected officials, and political entertainers continues to undermine our democracy—and will likely lead to additional political violence.”

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Civil War Erupts In Michigan GOP Over Trump

Michigan's GOP primaries have become a test of who is most 'cravenly loyal' to Donald Trump, one conservative strategist said.

The Michigan Republican Party is seeing a purge of state GOP officials and members who are perceived as not sufficiently loyal to former President Donald Trump and his false claims that the 2020 presidential election was "rigged" against him. Trump lost Michigan to President Joe Biden by a margin of 154,000 votes.

As the Michigan GOP arranges itself ahead of the primaries this August, it is facing a stark identity crisis. Having undergone a bruising season of conventions, the party now appears to be splitting along the lines of a MAGA faction and a more traditional Republican faction. Similar fissures have been cracking wide open in Republican primary races across the country ahead of this fall's midterm elections.

Last November, Trump called for a wholesale replacement of the Michigan legislature, which he considered disloyal to him. That call to action has resulted in an explosion of Republican primary challengers in the Midwestern battleground state. In 2018, just 20 percent of Republican lawmakers in Michigan faced challenges from within their own party. This year that number has tripled, to 67 percent.

Two of Trump's most fervent backers in the Michigan Republican Party are Meshawn and Matt Maddock. Meshawn Maddock is a former stay-at-home mom who became the co-chair of the Michigan GOP after the 2020 election. Matt Maddock is a Republican state representative and a bail bondsman. Both attended the January 6, 2021, rally in Washington, D.C., that preceded the U.S. Capitol insurrection.


Meshawn Maddock, for her part, arranged transportation for Michigan Republicans to attend the "Stop the Steal" rally where Trump supporters called for Congress to overturn Biden's victory. The Maddocks also went to the state Capitol in Lansing, Michigan, to present a slate of false Republican electors who had signed fake affidavits in an attempt to reverse Michigan's election results.

The couple has been instrumental in advising Trump on which candidates to endorse in the state's Republican primary contests, most of whom are election deniers. Most prominent among these are Matt DePerno, a lawyer from Kalamazoo, and Kristina Karamo, a community college instructor. Neither DePerno nor Karamo has experience in public office, and both are fervent promoters of the "rigged election" conspiracy.

Earlier this week, Matt Maddock was ousted from the House Republican caucus — after which he claimed to have his "best fundraising day." House speaker Jason Wentworth has not yet given a reason, but others in the party claimed that he broke the caucus rules regarding circulating sensitive information. The Detroit Free Press reported that he leaked information on incumbents to would-be challengers in a violation of protocol.

GOP strategist Jaime Roe told the Detroit Free Press, "You can pick sides in primaries for open seats, you can compete for leadership posts, but you don't recruit opponents against caucus members."

The rift in the party is now reflected in its fundraising. As reported yesterday in the New York Times, major party donors have been redirecting their funds from the increasingly Trump-dominated party to individual candidates. Jeffrey Cappo, an auto dealership magnate, who has in the past donated generously to the party, did not appear on the donor rolls in 2021. "Our political state," he told the Times, "is more dysfunctional than it has ever been."

Tony Daunt, a longtime conservative strategist, quit the state party committee altogether, telling the Times that the primaries have become a test of who is most "cravenly loyal" to Trump, who he called a "deranged narcissist" and an "undisciplined loser."

Daunt has close ties to Dick and Betsy DeVos, who served as secretary of education under Trump. The DeVoses are longtime Michigan Republican donors through their Freedom Fund political action committee. Betsy DeVos resigned her post after the deadly riots on January 6, 2021, and the Times reported that some inside the DeVos network are "frustrated" with the direction the party is taking.

State Republican party finances have reportedly dwindled recently to the extent that Michigan GOP Chair Ron Weiser is bankrolling the party with his personal wealth.

Michigan Republicans are no longer hiding their frustration with the intra-party fighting.

"We need to work together to beat the Democrats, but grassroots loyalty to Trump has been ignored in the last two years," Eric Castiglia, of the Macomb County Republican Party, told the American Independent Foundation.

He added: "The battle's just started. The war is yet to come."

Printed with permission from AmericanIndependent.

Watch Marjorie Taylor Greene Get Busted For Lying In Court (VIDEO)

On Friday, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene took the stand to give a foggy recollection’s worth of testimony in an Atlanta court hearing over whether she should be disqualified under the 14th Amendment from running for re-election this fall.

If you have been hiding from the news for a while, Marjorie Taylor Greene is a fake business person who earned her money the old-fashioned way—her parents had a successful business that she inherited and then was bought out of. Since cherry-picking a blood-red enclave of Georgia to lay down her carpetbag, she has risen in the MAGA GOP, in no small part due to her shameless use of invective and fascist oratory.

The case against MTG is a simple one: Is she qualified, according to the Constitution, to hold public office? Today’s hearing is in response to a challenge from Free Speech For People, a national nonprofit organization that seeks to “reclaim our democracy” in the wake of Citizens United, the Supreme Court ruling that allows corporate influence of policy through campaign donations.


Free Speech for People are attempting to establish Greene’s disqualification from holding office in this hearing through Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which stipulates:

“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

It’s compelling stuff. Rep. Greene is a mediocre liar, at best. In one exchange, Greene attempted to lie before realizing evidence was about to directly refute that lie. She retreats immediately, but the exchange is typical of interactions with Greene, and a clear window into how easily prosecutable people like Greene are.

After affirming that Greene and Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi do not agree on a lot of things, the prosecutor gets to the point.

Lawyer: In fact you think that Speaker Pelosi is a “traitor” to the country, right?

Greene looked off toward her lawyer, presumably, before attempting to evade the question by saying, “I’m not answering that question. It is speculation.” The lawyer for Free Speech For People tries to jog Greene’s memory, “You have said that, Ms. Greene. That she’s a traitor to the country, haven't you?” To which Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene lies:

REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE: No. No, I haven’t said that.

At this moment, the lawyer, without words, reminds Greene that she is in a court of law and this isn’t an appearance on some right-wing white supremacist softball news show. Greene shifts in a way that can only be described as “aggressively agitated” as the lawyer asks for a presentation of “plaintiff’s Exhibit 5, please.”

Before we can watch the video below, where Greene says Speaker Pelosi is “guilty of treason” and that her guilt is “punishable by death,” Ms. Greene says, “Oh, no, wait.” That’s the moment in the screenshot atop this story. She then says something about how she did maybe say that when she said Pelosi had violated her oath of office regarding immigration.

How? Who the fuck knows?

Marjorie Taylor Greene busted in lie during hearing over whether to disqualify her from election

The entire exercise we are watching is whether or not our country can enforce our most fundamental laws of democracy.

Printed with permission from Dailykos.

Trump May Dream Of 'Civil War,' But It's Not Going To Happen

When it comes to prognostication, my favorite philosopher has always been the eminent Lawrence Peter Berra. “It's tough to make predictions,” Yogi famously said, “especially about the future.”

For all his baseball genius, Yogi came by his skepticism honestly. He spent three years managing the New York Mets—enough to make anybody leery about expressing confidence for next year.

Nevertheless, here goes: Regarding American politics, most of this loose talk about an impending civil war is just that, talk. Organized, armed militias running around the countryside attacking political enemies? Not going to happen. Of course there will be violence. This is, after all, the United States of America, where there are cranks and loons of every kind and description armed with guns and explosives.

Terrorism, maybe. After all, it was no less an eminence than Thomas Jefferson who wrote that “[t]he tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” And Oklahoma City terrorist Timothy McVeigh, who had the phrase emblazoned on his T-shirt when he was arrested. McVeigh imagined that murdering 168 fellow citizens with a truck bomb would spark civil war. Instead, he was tried, convicted, and executed in 2001.

For the record, Jefferson penned the unfortunate phrase in France, a slave-owning aristocrat playing revolutionary at Paris dinner parties. He wrote regarding Shay’s Rebellion, a 1787 anti-tax uprising in Massachusetts which his fellow Virginian George Washington believed demonstrated the need for a strong national government. At the subsequent constitutional convention (which Jefferson did not attend), Washington’s views prevailed. As president, he sent soldiers to put down the Pennsylvania “Whiskey Rebellion” with prejudice.

Following his own presidency, Jefferson founded the University of Virginia and designed its staggeringly beautiful campus: a living monument to stability, order, and Thomas Jefferson himself. One of the most appalling things about the “Unite the Right” torchlight parade there in 2017 was its desecration of “Mr. Jefferson’s university” as Virginians call it. You couldn’t expect a barbarian like Donald Trump to understand that.

But I digress. The main reason there’s so much loose talk about civil war is the publication of recent polls showing that strong majorities of Republicans continue to believe that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen” from the aforementioned Boss Trump. Meanwhile, the latest Washington Post -- University of Maryland poll shows that the “percentage of Americans who say violent action against the government is justified at times stands at 34 percent.” (40 percent of Republicans vs. 23 percent of Democrats.)

That and similar surveys show that between 58 and 71 percent of Republicans tell pollsters that Trump was the actual winner of an election he lost thunderously, making Joe Biden an illegitimate president.

It bears mentioning that contrary to the usual 50-50 framing, Republicans represent nowhere close to half of the electorate. One quarter is more like it. Looking at it that way brings the actual proportion of the sorehead minority down to something like half the headline number saying somebody needs to kick ass to bring back the glorious reign of the old p***y grabber.

It doesn’t say how many are prepared to drop the remote, clamber out of the recliner, and take up arms whenever Tucker Carlson says it’s time. Given the advanced age of the Fox News demographic, I’m confident the great majority of would-be warriors—like Trump himself—mean to follow the action on TV.

“The thing that’s most concerning is that [this false belief] has endured in the face of all evidence,” says Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of two honorable Republicans in Congress (the other being Liz Cheney). “And I’ve gotten to wonder if there is actually any evidence that would ever change certain people’s minds.”

The answer is almost certainly not. After all, this is pretty much the same demographic that has resisted science and medicine amid a worldwide disease pandemic. Indeed, many are now angry with Trump for boasting about the very vaccines that they’ve risked their children’s lives resisting. They’re about to have a rough few weeks. Swallowing his election lies has been is risk free and easy by comparison.

There are also signs of waning certitude. The same Washington Post poll shows that the percentage of Republicans denying Joe Biden’s legitimacy has dropped from 70 to 58 percent since the January 6 insurrection. What’s more, fully 72 percent of all Americans saw the January 6 riot as a threat to democracy: a number that can only rise as investigations proceed.

Once the dam springs a leak, it’s doomed.

Having spent much of my adult life as a Yankee in the American South, I have seen this movie before. As recently as the 1960s, many Southern whites thought the world would end if schools and universities integrated. So watch the upcoming Alabama-Georgia game, and tell me what you see.

Civil war over Trump?

In his dreams. Nowhere else.

Is The United States Too Disunited To Survive?

Reprinted with permission from Creators

The United States has rarely been as divided as it is today — red states vs. blue states, vaxxers vs. anti-vaxxers, the woke mob vs. insurrectionists and Houston Astros fans vs. decent human beings. Some people think the problem is not that Americans are too divided but that they are not divided enough. They have a suggestion: a national divorce.

Read Now Show less

Statues Come Down While Barriers To Truth Are Erected

Reprinted with permission from Roll Call

In Charlottesville, Va., where a Unite the Right gathering of neo-Nazis, white supremacists, Lost Cause devotees and other angry history deniers left destruction and death in their path in 2017, there was a different scene this past weekend.

The city removed statues of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, memorials to those who fought on the losing side of a Civil War to maintain the brutal and murderous institution of slavery. They were erected as monuments to white supremacy, not in the 1860s but the 1920s, a Jim Crow threat to Black citizens to "know their place."

Now, as then, there are those opposed to this bit of progress, with arguments that removing the stone idols would mean erasing history, which is ridiculous since that history will never disappear from books, museums and tall tales handed down by the "never forget" brigade.

Ironically, many of these same folks would be only too glad to forget what really happened, during that bloody Civil War and in the 100 years after — the ingenious laws and policies that continue to reverberate through everything from health care to housing.

As part of the plan, they've come up with a fear-based campaign to, you got it, erase any part of American history that deals with racism and the ways it was intentionally embedded in American institutions. And predictably, this battle in a war that has never ended is actually gaining momentum that Republican politicians hope to ride to electoral victory.

The Ultimate Snowflakes

They could not do it without the cooperation of aggrieved parents fighting against something they haven't even tried to understand.

I really wish that instead of tying themselves into contradictory knots, these troops standing in the way of the truth — the ultimate snowflakes trying to "cancel" facts — would come clean and just admit that it's not history they're opposed to, it's any reckoning that gets in the way of their myths.

The version of history they love is what's been spoon-fed to many generations until fairly recently — propaganda in the name of patriotism. The concern "for the children" expressed in tear-stained testimony at school board meetings from Loudoun County, Va., to Chandler, Ariz., only extends to certain kids, their own. It leaves out the Black, brown, Asian American and Native American children who have suffered through and been traumatized by a white-washed tableau that either villainizes or disappears American heroes who always have been stalwart fighters for an inclusive and welcoming society, also known as America as it supposedly aspires to be.

There is no more absurd example than in Tennessee, where parents from "Moms for Liberty" don't want children to learn about what six-year-old Ruby Bridges endured when she integrated her New Orleans elementary school in 1960. The image of young Ruby immortalized by quintessential American artist Norman Rockwell depicts her daily walk surrounded by federal marshals. To get an education, her body and soul had to survive angry white parents, faces twisted, who greeted her with jeers, who threatened to poison her, who, when a child her age should have been playing with baby dolls, held up a coffin carrying a Black one so Ruby could get the message.

So, white children of today are too fragile to merely read about the dangerous racism a 6-year-old faced not that long ago? Do their parents realize they are still trying to bar Ruby Bridges from school?

A complaint is that Ruby's story needs more whites in shining armor.

Well, there were a few, including Barbara Henry, a white teacher from Massachusetts, who did the job she was paid to do for the year Ruby was in a class all her own. And there are the parents who eventually sent their children back to get an education, in more ways than one.

The star of her story, though, is Ruby, someone any child should admire. She never cried or whimpered, said federal marshal Charles Burks. "She just marched along like a little soldier." A former first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, wrote her a letter.

An argument brought up again and again in these curriculum fights is that teaching stories like Ruby's causes children of color to think of themselves as victims. The opposite is true. Ruby, at 66, is still an activist, as well as a wife and mother. Ruby Bridges Goes to School: My True Story, her book that parents are so afraid of, teaches lessons of resilience and strength that transcend color. The message she continues to share: "I tell children to be kind to each other."

Oh, the horror!

Beyond The Classroom

Children wrongly taught that America was and has always been perfect, presumably grow into the fragile flowers that Sen. Tom Cotton believes need protecting when they enter the military. In the manner of the thought police in Russia or China, the Arkansas Republican is trying to get an instructor at the U.S. Air Force Academy fired for teaching about systemic racism that shaped all-American institutions, like the military.

Does Cotton not know that African Americans fought for the right to fight and die for a country that enslaved them, discriminated against them, segregated them into separate units until 1948?

Was Cotton not taught of the Japanese Americans who fought in World War II — including in one of the most decorated regiments in the country's history — while family members back home were herded into internment camps, suspect only because of their race and ethnicity?

That made their sacrifice more patriotic, with their numbers in service still strong. Though they lack representation at the top, about 43 percent of the 1.3 million men and women on active duty in the United States military are people of color.

People of color in America know, have always known about, injustice, just as six-year-old Ruby learned. Being clear-eyed about how the country falls short of its ideals only hardens the determination to right those wrongs.

And, in truth, it's not just students of color whose lives continue to be affected by systemic racism. In a Texas school, a white teacher gave white students permission to use the "N-word." In California, a high school basketball team had its title taken away for throwing tortillas at members of the opposing, predominantly Latino team at a postgame "celebration."

All children, as well as adults who should know better, have learned only too well lessons about the country's power divide, about who counts and who does not.

When you hide history, a price will be paid. Esther Bejarano knew. The Auschwitz survivor, who used the power of music to fight anti-Semitism and racism in postwar Germany, died recently at the age of 96. She used to tell the young people: "You're not guilty of what happened back then. But you become guilty if you refuse to listen to what happened."

When I study the pictures of those everyday Americans spewing hate at a 6-year-old and then the faces of angry parents and politicians, so insistent on burying the truth, my wish is that they listen, then look in a mirror.

Mary C. Curtis has worked at The New York Times, The Baltimore Sun, The Charlotte Observer, as national correspondent for Politics Daily, and is a senior facilitator with The OpEd Project. Follow her on Twitter @mcurtisnc3.

America Marks Slavery's End On New 'Juneteenth' National Holiday

New York (AFP) - With marches, music and speeches, Americans on Saturday celebrated "Juneteenth," the newly declared national holiday that marks the end of slavery and which comes a year after George Floyd's murder sparked anti-racism protests. Hundreds of events were held across the country, from New York to Los Angeles, and most notably in Galveston, Texas, the symbolic heart of the Juneteenth commemoration. For on June 19, 1865, it was in that Texas coastal area that the Union Army -- victorious after the bitterly fought Civil War -- announced to African Americans that, even if some in Texa...