India: In Assam, uncertainty over citizenship status grips Bengali colonies

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

In Assam, uncertainty over citizenship status grips Bengali colonies

This year, Bikash Saha and Dilip Kumar Basak were planning to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their neighbourhood puja with a Rs 10 lakh replica of Gujarat’s imposing Somnath temple as the pandal.

INDIA Updated: Sep 02, 2019 06:02 IST

Dhrubo Jyoti and Sadiq Naqvi
Dhrubo Jyoti and Sadiq Naqvi

Barpeta/Guwahati
Several members of the Arja family have been excluded from NRC.
Several members of the Arja family have been excluded from NRC.(HT Photo)

Durga Puja is barely a month away, but the festive mood has been punctured by the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the Bengali-dominated village of Khairabari in lower Assam’s Barpeta district.

This year, Bikash Saha and Dilip Kumar Basak were planning to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their neighbourhood puja with a Rs 10 lakh replica of Gujarat’s imposing Somnath temple as the pandal. The families of neither have made it to the final citizen’s register.

“It seems like they are determined to not accept many of us Bengalis,” said Basak, who runs an iron welding shop. He had submitted his father Narayan Chandra Basak’s citizenship certificate given at a refugee camp in Coochbehar in 1956.

Watch| Day after final Assam NRC list, Center says excluded people ‘not state-less’

 

Day after final Assam NRC list, Center says excluded people ‘not state-less’
A day after publication of the final list of the National Register of Citizens, the Ministry of External Affairs issued a clarification.
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Saha, who lives in a small two-bedroom house inside a slum, has bigger problems. He was dubbed a D or doubtful voter five years back. Border police and election officials can mark anyone a D voter if they suspect he or she to be an illegal migrant.

Saha has since been fighting a case against his designation as D voter in the Barpeta foreigners tribunal. His dubious citizenship status has meant that his two children have also been struck off the citizenship rolls.

“We are not sure what to do now,” said Saha’s wife, Padma. “What do we have to fear? We have papers. We will appeal,” she said, waving a sheaf of photocopied documents.

Not everyone is as upbeat. Across Khairabari, where many Hindu Bengali-speaking families settled down after fleeing riots and religious persecution in erstwhile East Pakistan, the exclusion from the NRC has fomented resentment and suffering. Planning finances for trips to the foreigner tribunal for appeals have replaced holiday plan buzz at neighborhood pan shops.

Hari Arja, for example, had to pawn his wife’s gold earrings for Rs 7,000 to attend a hearing on his NRC status in August. He had submitted documents that showed his grandfather Mahadev Das, who fled to India from then East Pakistan, was on the 1970 voter list, but failed to finally prove that he was indeed the grandson – a consequence of the family taking to the Arya Samaj faith and changing their surname.

“We gave our refugee card, our voter ID and our PAN card. We do not know if they want to throw out all Bengalis. Maybe they do not want us here,” he said. His neighbours, all Bengali-speaking Hindus and supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), nodded.

HT found similar expressions of exclusion and worry throughout Bengali Hindu settlements in Barpeta, Guwahati, Hojai, and Silchar. “We have lived through worse times but now this is a new devil,” said Arja’s neighbour, Biswanath Das.

Guwahati’s Panbazar area is a world away from the slushy mud roads of Khairabari, but surgeon Paromita Chakraborty is as worried as Saha.

Chakraborty hails from a respected caste Hindu family. But on the draft list released in June last year, she found that she and her sisters’ names were missing. In addition, her husband, Pinaki Bhattacharjee, and their son were also out of the NRC.

“We thought it was a clerical error. My husband’s grandfather sold land to the then chief minister Gopinath Bordoloi in 1951, and their family draws lineage from the chief priests of the Kamakhya temple. I utterly fail to understand what happened,” she said.

On Saturday, she was relieved to see that she, her husband and son had made it. But her elderly mother, 75-year-old Sulekha Chakraborty, had not. Sulekha, who hails from Tezpur, had submitted her matriculation certificate from 1962 and her a document showing her father’s name on the 1971 voter roll.

“She went for a hearing three times. We are not worried about the appeal because we have the documents but this is humiliating, and nothing but harassment,” she added.

Harassment is also how Sanjay Sammanit, a resident of Salmara-Dumuria in Assam’s Baksa district, described the process that excluded his family from the NRC. Sammanit’s father, Satyendra, had left then East Pakistan in 1964 and possessed a so-called citizenship card, which Sammanit submitted. But to his dismay, he realised that his father’s name is spelled slightly differently, without the Y, in his school-leaving certificate, which he had submitted to prove his lineage.

“They want to throw us out. I do not trust these tribunals for appeal. I have heard they are biased,” he added.

Four hundred kilometres away in Hailakandi, pan shop owner Raghunath Das would have nodded in agreement. The 55-year-old was born to parents, who fled violence in East Pakistan and was the fourth of five brothers and a sister. His parents spent most of their life travelling across the state with the eldest brother, Chunilal, who was in the border force. As a result, they never got any documents made or stayed at a place for long enough to be included on the voter rolls.

“I do not think they ever thought we will need documents this badly. When the NRC process began in 2015, I had no papers of my own,” said Das. He ultimately submitted his school-admission certificate from 1969 and his brother’s service record certificate, but still found himself out of the NRC. “I do not know how to appeal or what more I can get,” he said.

Bengali-speaking Hindu communities comprise over 6 million people across Assam. They dominate the Barak Valley and many of them carry the scars of violence from East Pakistan towns and villages where clashes erupted even before Partition.

The University of Delhi sociologist Nabanipa Bhattacharjee said the migration into Assam was spurred on by the inclusion of Sylhet in East Pakistan and further ballooned in the aftermath of communal riots in 1950.

“Particularly in erstwhile Cachar, the refugee relief and rehabilitation measures were shoddy and dismal, to say the least,” she said.

The Barak Valley – comprising the Muslim-majority districts of Hailakandi and Karimganj and the Hindu-majority district of Cachar – was an early hunting ground for the BJP. An overwhelming majority of the seats it won in the state in the early 90s came from the region.

Political commentator Sushanta Talukdar said the refusal of mainstream parties to deal with the citizenship anxieties of the local population in Barak left an opening for the BJP. Over time, the party expanded its base to other pockets in the state. Though Talukdar is careful to mention that this support may be temporary and that other parties such as the Congress continue to have some traction among Bengali speakers.

“These communities were suffering on the question of voting rights or citizenship. In this context, the BJP brought up the citizenship amendment bill and found takers especially among those who migrated because of religious persecution,” he added. The bill promises citizenship to non-Muslim refugees, who have come to India from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

But after Saturday’s final NRC list, a perception has taken hold that large numbers of Bengali-speaking Hindu people have been excluded. This perception has been fuelled by comments made by senior BJP leaders themselves, such as state unit chief Ranjeet Kumar Dass. Dass said many refugees, who came to India before 1971, were not included and people with surnames such as “names like Saha, Ganguly, Biswas etc. were intentionally excluded”.

There appeared to be three big reasons for the exclusion. One, that many such families only had their so-called citizenship cards, issued at refugee camps, to show as proof of their presence in Assam before March 25, 1971 – the cutoff date for citizenship.

“But the authorities did not accept the citizenship certificates and the refugee cards in many places,” said Santanu Naik, advisor to the North East Linguistic and Ethnic Coordination Committee.

In a report to the Supreme Court in 2016, state NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela cited many reasons for not accepting citizenship certificates and refugee registration certificates, key among them being that the issuing authority’s offices had closed down, making verification impossible. These documents were also found prone to forgery. The top court allowed the certificate to be used, but after greater scrutiny.

“The claims made on the basis of Refugee Ration Cards, Migration Document or Citizenship Registration Certificates were mostly rejected. This is the reason behind the large exclusion of Bengali Hindu people from NRC this time,” said Taniya Laskar, a Silchar-based activist.

Many Bengali speaking women from West Bengal and Tripura, who live in Assam, also complained that their documents from the two states were not accepted. Bengali-speaking Hindus also form a sizeable number of the three categories of people who were automatically excluded: declared foreigners, those marked doubtful voters and those with cases pending before a foreigners tribunal.

“Based on perception, it seems like a large section of Bengali Hindus may have been excluded. The BJP may be worried because of its electoral support base among them,” said Talukdar.

The BJP appears to be aware of this. Dilip Paul, a BJP legislator from Silchar said the NRC final list was a “flop show” and admitted that the party was under some pressure after many Bengali Hindus found themselves excluded from the NRC. “We will bring the CAB. Just wait and watch. It is a matter of time,” added Rajdeep Ray, the Silchar MP.

“Since the beginning, the BJP has been promising to protect the interests of Bengali-speaking Hindus and bring the citizenship amendment bill but it has betrayed these people. They used the bill only for polarisation and votes,” said Ripun Bora, state Congress chief.

First Published: Sep 01, 2019 23:45 IST

(Poem) Hating Haters

Hating Haters

 

I hate the haters, don’t you too

I hate them for what they do

I hate them for what they don’t

I hate them because they look like me

I hate them because they don’t

 

Haters twist their faith and moral judgments

They make a distinction when none is due

In the Name of God through ignorance toil

In God’s Name some choose to burn a Cross

Not seeing that their Soul they set aflame

 

Hate is the evil nature of an earthly man

For in God they do not see nor do they please

Hate is for the wicked like Trump and his clan

If you live by faith then have no part of them

For hate is wicked and will only get one condemned

Trump Comes to Console. El Paso Says No Thanks

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES)

 

Trump Comes to Console. El Paso Says No Thanks.

Video

President Trump visited El Paso on Wednesday to meet victims of the deadly weekend shooting. Many residents were angry about the president’s visit and protested. Credit Calla Kessler/The New York Times

EL PASO — Earlier this year in his State of the Union address, President Trump described to the nation how the Texas border city of El Paso once had “extremely high rates of violent crime” and was considered “one of our nation’s most dangerous cities.” Then he turned it into the living argument for his border wall.

“With a powerful barrier in place,” he went on, “El Paso is one of the safest cities in our country. Simply put, walls work and walls save lives.”

In this West Texas border city, founded 360 years ago as an outpost of the Spanish empire, those words festered. So did words Mr. Trump repeated at a rally he held on the city’s outskirts a few weeks later. “Murders, murders, murders,” he said, in reference to immigrants, as the crowd chanted, “Build the wall!”

For many in El Paso, the potentially devastating consequences of the anger over immigration and race became apparent this weekend, when 22 people were killed at a Walmart and the white suspect warned of a “Hispanic invasion,” plunging the city into mourning. So Mr. Trump returned — this time to say he wanted to help the city grieve.

Simon Romero@viaSimonRomero

Latinos across the U.S. are expressing fear & alarm in the aftermath of the El Paso massacre. Read these quotes:

“It feels like like being hunted”

“It’s the death of the American dream”

“I live in this terror for my grandkids”

Read our story:https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/06/us/el-paso-shooting-latino-anxiety.html 

At a memorial for the victims of the shooting in El Paso, Tex., on Tuesday.

‘It Feels Like Being Hunted’: Latinos Across U.S. in Fear After El Paso Massacre

The shooting attack in El Paso has left many Latinos deeply shaken, raising questions about their place in American society.

nytimes.com

853 people are talking about this

But rarely in recent memory has a relationship between a president and a city been so fraught. As Mr. Trump arrived here on Wednesday to try to meet the victims, protesters gathered at a memorial outside the scene of the carnage, many angry at the president’s visit.

The El Paso Times published a letter to Mr. Trump defending the city — which lies just across the border from the Mexican city of Ciudad Juárez — and its deep sense of bi-cultural identity. “Our city and Juárez were always linked. Today, we are intertwined more than ever. The evil that visited us targeted people from El Paso and Juárez alike,” it said. “Our people are scared.”

ImageTensions rose between Trump supporters and protesters at a memorial for the shooting victims.
CreditCelia Talbot Tobin for The New York Times

[One Walmart worker said he hustled shoppers into empty steel shipping containers behind the store to help them survive the attack.]

And so this predominantly Hispanic city in a state whose leadership is tightly aligned with the administration’s anti-immigration agenda tried this week to chart its own course through America’s troubled political waters.

El Paso officials — pointing out that the Trump campaign still owes the city more than half a million dollars for the security costs of a rally in February — veered between rejecting the president’s politics and welcoming his attempt to recognize the city’s grief.

“This is the office of the mayor of El Paso in an official capacity welcoming the office of the president of the United States, which I consider is my formal duty,” said Dee Margo, the mayor.

Others in the city had no patience for such diplomacy.

“Absolutely everything that Trump stands for was concentrated and fired at the citizens of El Paso that day at Walmart,” said Christopher Bailey, 43, a project coordinator for an El Paso health clinic. “Shame should be hung around the neck for every supporter that continues to justify his language and his presidency.”

At the memorial outside the Walmart that was the scene of Saturday’s attack and at a poster-making event the night before the protest, many said the president should not have come.

Simon Romero@viaSimonRomero

This is the United States now: a 2-month-old baby, Paul Gilbert Anchondo, orphaned & wounded by the El Paso terror attack. Our story on his family and the victims: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/05/us/el-paso-victims.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share  via ⁦@nytimes

A vigil at Horizon High School in El Paso for Javier Amir Rodriguez, a 15-year-old student who was fatally shot at a local Walmart.

Families of El Paso Victims Waited in Anguish After Shooting

Relatives had confirmed the identities of some people killed inside a Walmart on Saturday, but the city did not release a list until Monday afternoon.

nytimes.com

85 people are talking about this
Image

Rarely in recent memory has a relationship between a president and a city been so fraught.
CreditJim Wilson/The New York Times

“It’s his words that created the climate that led that hateful man to come to my community,” said Lyda Ness-Garcia, a lawyer and an organizer for the Women’s March of El Paso who was at the poster event.

[The victims of the El Paso attack included a couple who had three young children.]

She said that when Mr. Trump painted El Paso as a dangerous city that needed stronger barriers between it and Mexico he was using the city as nothing more than a prop. El Paso was one of the safest American cities of its size long before barriers went up at the border, and violent crime is relatively low.

“It’s factually false. It’s just untrue. It’s nothing but some mythed-up white rage,” she said. “He needs to apologize and take his words back.”

In an extraordinary series of tweets on the night before the president’s arrival, Representative Veronica Escobar, a Democrat representing El Paso in Congress, underscored the way in which the city was taking on a leading role — even in a conservative state like Texas — in opposing Mr. Trump. Only about 26 percent of the voters in El Paso County voted for Mr. Trump in 2016.

Rep. Veronica Escobar

@RepEscobar

The White House invited me to join @realDonaldTrump during his visit to El Paso. My response was clear. I requested a phone call with him today in order to share what I have now heard from many constituents, including some who are victims of Saturday’s attack.

17.6K people are talking about this

Ms. Escobar revealed that the White House had invited her to join Mr. Trump during Wednesday’s visit, but she said she had requested a phone call with the president in an effort to explain that the language he uses to describe Latinos, sometimes equating them with violent criminals, is dehumanizing.

“I have publicly said he has a responsibility to acknowledge the power of his words, apologize for them, and take them back because they are still hanging over us,” Ms. Escobar wrote.

Image

Police blocked traffic near the rally. City officials pointed out that the Trump campaign still owes El Paso more than half a million dollars for the security costs of a rally in February.
CreditIvan Pierre Aguirre for The New York Times

The president, she said, was “too busy” to talk, and she declined to join him in his visit. “I refuse to be an accessory to his visit.”

El Paso treasures its place as part of a community that straddles two countries. Its vibrancy, many said, comes from its bond with Mexico, with a history that is older than that of the United States.

“He doesn’t really know who we are,” said Judy Lugo, president of the Texas State Employees Union, which represents some 10,000 state workers, of Mr. Trump’s visit. “He doesn’t know our culture, the long history we have. He doesn’t understand.”

“We are a community of love, a community of family,” Ms. Lugo said. “We are not what he says we are. We are not rapists. We are not dirty. We are not criminals.”

Across the city, some residents worried that Mr. Trump’s visit might do more harm than good.

“He’s just putting salt on the wound,” Ninamarie Ochoa, 29, a teacher, said of Mr. Trump’s visit. Referring to white nationalists who express views like those of the suspect in the attack and the recent detention in tent camps of thousands of migrants arriving in El Paso, she said, “I think that the way he has empowered those voices, to give them license to act on it, you see this in the way that people talk about ICE and Border Patrol and their complacency with the concentration camps.”

Wednesday’s visit was intended as an opportunity for Mr. Trump to console family members and survivors and help commemorate those who died in Saturday’s attack. But few seemed ready to bridge a gap between the city and the president that had grown wide even before the shooting.

Image

Across the city, some residents said Mr. Trump’s visit might do more harm than good.
CreditCalla Kessler/The New York Times

El Paso’s culture has been influenced both by its proximity to Mexico and its distance from so much of the rest of the state, said Richard Pineda, a political communications professor at the University of Texas, El Paso. In a previous era, before jet travel, a trip to El Paso from many cities could be 10 hours or more. It still takes 11 hours to drive there from Houston. It is in a different time zone than the rest of Texas.

The city, he said, was not as tolerant as some might portray it. Yet a certain influence comes from living so close to another country, with the vibrancy, poverty and sometimes violence of Ciudad Juárez visible on the other side of the border fence. “You literally get to see a totally different world,” he said.

As Mr. Trump has used El Paso as a stage for promoting his immigration policies, some of the city’s politicians have used it as an example of a counternarrative. The city’s former representative in Congress, Beto O’Rourke, now running as a Democrat for president, often talks about El Paso’s experience as a bicultural city to criticize the administration’s handling of the surge in migrant arrivals at the southern border. Ms. Escobar has made frequent appearances on television condemning the treatment of migrants in crowded detention centers, many of them in El Paso and nearby.

Yet some of Mr. Trump’s messages have found support in El Paso — though few were eager to talk about it much in the mood of grieving and anger that prevailed on Wednesday.

Jordan Flores, 20, who buses tables at Peter Piper Pizza, showed up outside the Walmart wearing a MAGA hat. He said he remained a supporter of the president, though he felt uneasy about the killings.

“For people to put me into the rhetoric that I am supposed to be this racist or homophobic person, it’s just not true,” Mr. Flores said. “My heart goes out to every single person that was affected by this massacre.”

Jason Carr, 53, who described himself as a libertarian, said it was clear even to him that it would have been better for the president not to have come to El Paso.

“It’s pretty clear he wasn’t wanted,” he said. “You can see the hurt in people’s eyes,” he said of the attack, still so fresh after only a few days. “It’s just so wrong. There’s just so many layers of how wrong it was.”

Arturo Rubio and Erin Coulehan contributed reporting.

A version of this article appears in print on , Section A, Page 1 of the New York edition with the headline: El Paso Says Trump Doesn’t ‘Know Who We Are’. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

Trump slams El Paso native O’Rourke ahead of visit to grieving city

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS)

 

Trump slams El Paso native O’Rourke ahead of visit to grieving city

O’Rourke hit back at Trump, tweeting that “22 people in my hometown are dead after an act of terror inspired by your racism.”

Israel: liberal US Jews say Trump fueling white nationalism

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

After El Paso massacre, liberal US Jews say Trump fueling white nationalism

Reform leader accuses president of emboldening mass shooters by ‘demonizing asylum seekers and immigrants’

From left, Melody Stout, Hannah Payan, Aaliyah Alba, Sherie Gramlich and Laura Barrios comfort each other during a vigil for victims of the shooting August  3, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

From left, Melody Stout, Hannah Payan, Aaliyah Alba, Sherie Gramlich and Laura Barrios comfort each other during a vigil for victims of the shooting August 3, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

WASHINGTON — Liberal American Jewish leaders, fuming at another mass shooting allegedly carried out by a white supremacist, took US President Donald Trump to task on Sunday, saying he had fueled xenophobia and division in the country for three years, while failing to press for stricter gun laws.

Their condemnations came after a 21-year-old gunman, armed with a powerful rifle, walked into a crowded Walmart on Saturday in El Paso, Texas — a majority Hispanic city on the border with Mexico — and opened fire. Authorities identified the assailant as Patrick Crusius from Dallas, who stalked shoppers in the aisles of the retail giant as he riddled them with bullets, leaving at least 20 people dead and another 26 wounded.

Crusius is suspected of being the author of a manifesto posted online before the attack, in which he said was responding to “the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”

Halie Soifer, executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, said in a statement that the shooter was reciting language frequently used by Trump — a sign that his influence was evident in the motivation for the attack.

“The El Paso killer was a white supremacist who wrote a ‘send them back’ manifesto, echoing the words of President Trump,” Soifer said. “Trump is responsible for fueling a fire of xenophobia and hatred in our country, and Republicans are responsible for allowing it to occur.”

Pallbearers carry the casket of Poway synagogue shooting victim Lori Gilbert-Kaye during a graveside service on April 29, 2019, in San Diego, California. (Mario Tama/Getty Images/AFP)

Over the past year, two other mass shootings by white supremacists were preceded by similar manifestos — one written by John Earnest before the Poway synagogue shooting in April, and one authored by Brenton Tarrant before he opened fire on two mosques in New Zealand in March, killing 50 people.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the Anti-Defamation League, noted that the release of a manifesto before Saturday’s attack fit the same pattern.

“We have documented a rise in extremist activity, both online and in our communities,” Greenblatt said in a statement. “As with too many of these incidents, our experts have again been reviewing the apparent manifesto of an alleged shooter, as well as other elements of his online footprint, to evaluate potential extremist ties.”

Greenblatt went on to say that, if police confirm the manifesto’s authenticity, it will make the El Paso attack one of the deadliest acts of domestic terrorism in modern American history.

“If the suspect is the author of the manifesto, this latest act of domestic terrorism will be, according to the ADL’s Center on Extremism’s records, the third deadliest act of violence by a domestic extremist in over 50 years, and the second deadliest act of violence by a right-wing extremist in the same span, second only to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing,” he added.

US President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally on August 1, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Trump has been frequently criticized for his tacit welcoming of support from white nationalists. During the 2016 campaign, he refused to immediately reject the support of David Duke, the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

As president, he likewise refused to immediately condemn neo-Nazis and Klan members who marched in Charlottesville in August 2017, saying that “very fine people” were marching alongside them.

Most recently, he told four freshmen congresswomen of color to “go back” to where they came from. All four are American citizens, and three of them were born in the United States.

He has also implemented immigration policies that have been broadly condemned as inhumane — including the family separation policy of splitting up parents from their children at the border — to deter immigrants and asylum seekers from entering the country.

After the El Paso attack, Rick Jacobs, who heads the Union for Reform Judaism, lamented the inaction of politicians to effectuate stronger gun-safety measures.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, addressing delegates at its 2017 Biennial in Boston, December 7, 2017. (Courtesy of the Union for Reform Judaism/via JTA)

“It is not enough for elected officials to muster their ‘thoughts and prayers,’” he said in a statement Saturday. “Like millions of Americans I’m sick of the pathetic excuses offered by too many lawmakers for not passing strong and effective common sense gun laws.”

He then directed his indignation toward Trump. “And if we are to call on the leaders of our nation to address this epidemic of hate, a goal that, hopefully, almost all Americans cherish, we must ask: When will this president stop demonizing asylum seekers and immigrants, which serves to embolden those like today’s shooter?”

READ MORE:

Every Democratic Presidential Candidate Has Proven They Are Racists To Their Core

Every Democratic Presidential Candidate Has Proven They Are Racists To Their Core

 

Most of the day I have been trying to think of a catchy title that would fit in the box provided and the above is what I settled on. Now, you may well be trying to figure out why I said such a thing, and that answer is simple, at least to me. After watching the debates the last couple of nights and listening to several of the candidates talk about how our government should give from 100 billion dollars up to one trillion dollars to the descendants of slaves as restitution for them being kidnapped from Africa and brought here against their will to become white folks slaves, I say no. I realize that some of you who don’t know me are probably saying things like “what a racist ass this guy is” but that is because you don’t know me. Yes I am a southern white male yet I know that neither me nor any of my descendants were ever wealthy enough to have owned anything, not even any land back in those days. Yes, we were all just poor white trash in many folks eyes. I do hope that if anyone of my descendants had been in a financial position to ‘own’ a slave that they through basic morals would not have done so, but I do not know that for a certainty.  I have always been of a financial class as my descendants were, working poor, always having a ‘bossman’ and a ‘landlord’ looking over us. I am sure that they, just like myself have always worked right alongside people of all races. So I don’t feel that I should have to pay for what happened to black folks hundreds of years ago.

 

Now, the main crux of what this letter is all about. I am a believer in the reality that if you give the very wealthy tax breaks or a financial windfall that they tend to just stick it into one of their bank accounts, usually offshore and do nothing to help the economy. Give that same trillion dollars to the poor, Black, White, Hispanic, Asian or any other Nationality and they will spend it, thus getting themselves out of debt which helps banks and businesses in their local economies. If our government were to give let us say 500 billion dollars in cash just to Black folks this is what most of the folks would do, spend it in their local economies which helps everyone. But, this is an issue that would further divide this Nation and cause a lot of physical hate and crime. There is the issue not only of racism rising even worse against Black folks from non-blacks but you would have a lot of Black on Black hatred because what about all the Black folks who can’t PROVE that their personal descendents were slaves who would get nothing? Personally if this 500 billion or maybe a trillion dollar fund would be used to help raise up the minority (meaning Black) neighborhoods then I believe that for the purpose of helping ALL OF these folks get to a better lifestyle that the money should go toward rebuilding the inner cities. Fix the streets, tear down the slums and build new housing, fix the cities plumbing and water supplies. Bring in as many National Guard Military Police as is necessary to clean out the drug gangs, make their streets safer.

 

But, yet I say the Democratic Presidential Candidates are racists because they are only trying to smooze up to the Black voters and to me their is the racism. Here is what I personally believe should be done FIRST, I didn’t say only, just first. All of the White folks distant relatives as well as the Black folks, even those brought over here in slave ships, all of the Asians and the Hispanic and everyone else are Illegal Aliens, even the Trump clan. What I am saying is that these Democratic candidates NEVER SAID ONE WORD about funding help for the Native Americans that are still alive that our ancestors didn’t murder when they stole all of their land. Have you ever been on an Indian Reservation? You should go take a look at how these Native Americans are living, it is pathetic what their living conditions are. First, bale these folks out of their third world poverty then and only then talk about any other bail out plans. The reason, at least in my belief that these Presidential candidates skip right over the rightful owners of North America is because they are a much smaller voting block. You see, these candidates don’t give a damn about the Black folks of our Nation, they only care about getting them to vote for them, at least that is my belief.

Baltimore: Trump tweets ‘no human being would want to live there’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)
(ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I FIND HYPOCRITICAL ABOUT OUR COWARD IN CHIEF IS WHEN HE TALKS TRASH ABOUT BALTIMORE IS THE VERY WELL KNOWN FACT THAT FOR MANY DECADES NOW THE CITY OF NEW YORK THAT HE SEEMS TO LOVE SO MUCH HAS MANY MORE RATS THAN IT DOES HUMAN BEINGS. THIS IS WITHOUT TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THE TWO LEGGED RAT PACK ALSO KNOWN AS THE TRUMP FAMILY TREE WHICH IS ROTTED THROUGH ITS ROOTS.)oped: oldpoet56)

 

Baltimore stands up for its city after Trump tweets ‘no human being would want to live there’

(CNN)Baltimore did not take President Donald Trump’s recent attack of the city lying down. Instead, Charm City was quick to stand up and fight back.

Trump lashed out at another prominent African American lawmaker on Saturday, tweeting that his Baltimore district is a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”
The President’s tirade was directed at House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, who represents Maryland’s 7th Congressional District in the House and recently lambasted conditions at the border. Trump’s attack against Cummings was the latest verbal assault against a minority member of Congress who is a frequent critic of the President.
The President suggested that conditions in Cummings’ district, which is majority black and includes parts of Baltimore, are “FAR WORSE and more dangerous” than those at the US-Mexico border and called it a “very dangerous & filthy place.”
Cummings, the city’s leaders and residents were quick to defend Baltimore. The Twitter hashtag #wearebaltimore was trending Saturday night, with users posting pictures and comments expressing their pride in the city.
“Mr. President, I go home to my district daily,” Cummings wrote on Twitter Saturday in response. “Each morning, I wake up, and I go and fight for my neighbors. It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch. But, it is my moral duty to fight for my constituents.”
Baltimore’s Mayor Jack Young also took the attack to heart, criticizing Trump for disparaging a “vibrant American City.”
“It’s completely unacceptable for the political leader of our country to denigrate a vibrant American City like Baltimore, and to viciously attack U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings a patriot and a hero,” Young tweeted.
The Baltimore Sun’s editorial board published a response, highlighting aspects of the city they felt the president left out: the beauty of Inner Harbor, the history of Fort McHenry, the prominence of Johns Hopkins Hospital, and the national dependency on the Social Security Administration, which is housed in the city.
“And it surely wasn’t about the economic standing of a district where the median income is actually above the national average,” the board wrote.
“Better to have some vermin living in your neighborhood than to be one.”
Other Democrats came to Baltimore’s defense on Saturday, including California Sen. Kamala Harris, whose national 2020 presidential campaign headquarters is located there.
“Baltimore has become home to my team and it’s disgraceful the president has chosen to start his morning disparaging this great American city,” Harris wrote on Twitter.

‘City of good Americans’

Others called out the city’s character: “There’s a block party today on my southside street. This is a city of good Americans who deserve more than a grifting, hollow and self-absorbed failure of a man as their president,” tweeted author David Simon.
And while they defended their city, some had criticisms for Trump.
“It should be beneath the dignity of the President of the United States, the person who is supposed to be the leader of the free world, to disparage and personally attack a great American city and another great American leader,” Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott told reporters Saturday. “Instead of up upholding his oath of office to put the greater good of all American citizens, no matter where they live and who they voted for above all else, that he decided to do the opposite.”
Many of the elected officials who spoke out praised Cummings, who grew up in Baltimore, for his help in the recent developments the district has undertaken, though they acknowledge there is still more work to do.
“We stand ready and willing to work with the President, if he is willing to go beyond tweets, to help us solve some of the problems that are deep enrooting in Baltimore’s history,” Scott said.

President Truman’s military desegregation order

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BROOKINGS BRIEF)

 

Like Truman’s military desegregation order, leadership against racism starts at the top

John R. Allen

Inspiration around issues of race and civility in America is in short supply. Racist, xenophobic language coming from social media platforms to the White House has corroded public discourse and widened the longstanding divides in the body politic. Rather than despair, I prefer to recall a previous commander-in-chief: President Harry S. Truman, who, on July 26, 1948, issued Executive Order 9981 to abolish discrimination on the basis of “race, color, religion or national origin” in the U.S. armed forces. This morally courageous act, by a president who served his country as a young artillery officer in World War I, would eventually lead to the desegregation of the American military.

Author

I can only imagine what our honored veterans of President Truman’s era must think of this current moment. Now grown gray from too many wars and the relentless passage of time, these Americans are living examples of what this country can become when we are truly led from the White House, instead of battered by shrill vitriol.Contemporary audiences might be tempted to view EO 9981 as the outcome of logic and advocacy working together to right a historic wrong, and they would be partly right. But President Truman’s actions were highly controversial at the time. Even though over a million Black men and thousands of Black women served in the U.S. military during World War II, in April 1948 then-General Dwight Eisenhower testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that segregation was needed to protect unit cohesion (an action for which he would later express regret). Army Secretary Kenneth Claiborne Royall was forced from office in 1949 after refusing to desegregate the Army.

But Truman’s order launched the modern era of the U.S. armed forces, forging the diversity of my generation of military leaders and immeasurably strengthening American military capacity and cohesion. I use the word “forge” deliberately, as the process of integration—which was not completed until after the Korean War—was an often painful and slow process, full of bureaucratic roadblocks to true inclusion. When I was commissioned in the Marine Corps in 1976, the Marines had only been fully integrated for 16 years. As a young enlisted man and then as an officer I saw firsthand the often gut-wrenching impact of racial upheaval in the 1970s and ‘80s. Dealing with near-constant racial tension, service in the military of that day often taxed our commitment and patriotism to the limit. But as difficult as that time was, I am confident it pales with what service members of the post-World War II and Korean War era faced as they struggled to implement President Truman’s desegregation order.

Desegregation of the military was a vital chapter in a proud history of Americans of all colors and creeds serving our nation, fighting enemies whose empires were built on racist principles and racial supremacy. These American heroes fought in segregated units while their families endured racism, segregation, and even internment at home. We should never forget, for example, that German fighter pilots who came up to dispute the skies against American World War II bomber crews were rightfully petrified by the “Red Tails” of the Tuskegee Airmen. Very few American bombers accompanied by a Tuskegee airman escort were lost over Europe. Tuskegee airman and fighter pilot Benjamin O. Davis would become America’s first Black general officer in the United States Air Force.

We should never forget that during the Second World War the 442nd Infantry Regiment (also known as the “Go for Broke” regiment) of Japanese-Americans became the most combat-decorated regiment in U.S. military history (including a young then-Second Lieutenant Daniel Inouye, who lost his arm in Italy and who would eventually receive the Medal of Honor). That record holds today. But too many of the 442nd served while their loved ones languished under desert skies behind the wires of American internment camps. As well, we should never forget the segregated Montford Point Marines or the nearly all-Black crew of the American destroyer escort, the USS Mason.

And not nearly enough Americans fully understand the impact of the nearly 200,000 native-born free and formerly enslaved Blacks who fought for the Union in the American Civil War. It is not a stretch to suggest that without their numbers and this vital infusion of fighting spirit the North may not have prevailed to preserve the Union and destroy once and for all the odious institution of slavery in the United States.

Today the legacy of slavery, America’s original sin, is still alive in the foundations of many of our institutions. That President Truman needed to sign EO 9981 in the first place is a testament to how deeply racism and hate have been embedded in daily American life. As my Brookings colleague Andre Perry has rightly noted, racism in the United States is not a distraction, it is policy. Racism and discrimination are embedded in policies that limit the social and economic mobility of Black communities. Racism is baked into restrictions on voting rights that disproportionally target communities of color. The Trump administration’s moves to scale back programs that protect undocumented family members of active duty troops are racist. And President Trump’s comments about congresswomen of color, and the cowardice of those who excuse or deny the shameful legacy his words invoke, are a reminder that racism can still find purchase even within the most hallowed halls of our democratic institutions.

Racism cannot be defeated unless we confront it and condemn it wherever we see it. But President Truman’s bravery reminds us that American leadership is capable of taking action to rip out systemic racism at its odious roots. Americans deserve leadership that unites us by challenging us to do the hard work of bettering ourselves and, together, overcoming our past. Until that leadership returns, we should be inspired by the example of President Truman and look to ourselves to move forward together.

Illinois GOP shares meme depicting minority Dem congresswomen as ‘the jihad squad’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Illinois GOP group shares meme depicting minority Dem congresswomen as ‘the jihad squad’

Washington (CNN)Two top Illinois GOP officials are condemning a meme recently posted to the Facebook page of the Illinois Republican County Chairmen’s Association that depicted four minority congresswomen as being “THE JIHAD SQUAD.”

The image, which has since been taken down from the group’s page, is modeled after an action movie poster and edited to include the four lawmakers’ faces on the bodies of various characters. The women in the photo are Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. The image includes the words “THE JIHAD SQUAD” below the names along with the words “POLITICAL JIHAD IS THEIR GAME” and “IF YOU DON’T AGREE WITH THEIR SOCIALIST IDEOLOGY, YOU’RE RACIST.”
The meme also includes the association’s logo. It’s unclear who in the party posted the image, or if those responsible have been admonished.
President Donald Trump has recently criticized the four women, known as “the Squad,” in racist terms as part of an effort to define the Democratic Party as far-left. Omar and Tlaib are the first two Muslim women in Congress, and Ocasio-Cortez identifies as a Democratic socialist.
CNN has reached out to the offices of the four lawmakers for comment.
screenshot of the post shared by Craig Wall, a reporter for CNN affiliate WLS in Chicago, shows the image was live as of late Friday night. On Sunday, Tim Schneider, the chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, condemned the post.
“I strongly condemn evoking race or religion as the basis for political disagreement. The recent social media post coming from the IRCCA does not reflect my values or the Illinois Republican Party’s values,” Schneider said in a statement.
Schneider added, “Bigoted rhetoric greatly distracts from legitimate and important policy debates and further divides our nation” and said that although he disagrees with the policy positions held by the group of lawmakers, his “intense disagreement … has absolutely nothing to do with their race or religion.”
Mark Shaw, the president of the RCCA, said Sunday in a statement that he “condemn(s)” the posting, which he said was “unauthorized.”
“I am sorry if anyone who saw the image was offended by the contents,” Shaw said in a Facebook post, adding that the posting “is an unfortunate distraction from the serious debate surrounding the policies advocated by” the lawmakers.
Shaw also said the approval process for social media posts will be reviewed in the wake of the posting “to insure that any content posted in the future represents the ‘big-tent’ nature of the Republican Party.”
The Cook County Democratic Party called the image “a racist and inflammatory attack.”
“The post perpetuates the recent attacks by President Trump, promoting lies and racism to alienate immigrants, women, and people of color,” the county Democratic Party said in a statement posted to Facebook. “This language of hatred and bigotry has no room in our society and has dangerous consequences.”
The four progressive lawmakers have been outspoken critics of Trump, particularly his immigration policies. Last week, the House voted to condemn the racist language used in the tweets by the President, who on Sunday continued his attacks, questioning in a tweet their commitment to America and saying that they are “destroying the Democratic Party.”

Kamala Harris, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez And Donald Trump, All Racist Bitches?

Kamala Harris, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez And Donald Trump, All Racist Bitches?

 

If you have been paying any attention at all lately to the U.S. news then you have heard a lot about ‘race’ or racism in the conversations within the news programs. First I would like to talk with you about Senator Kamala Harris who is now considered to be one of the front runners (top 5) in the Democratic Presidential debates. Ms. Harris up until the first debate was nothing much more than a ‘also ran’ but it was this debate that has propelled her upward on the ladder. Mainly there was just one question, one moment that did this for her. She was able to slam the front runner Joe Biden on his record about bussing fifty years ago. I am not a fan of Mr. Biden but when a person has been in politics for the past 50 years there are going to be plenty of areas to be critical of a person’s record, it’s just reality, in 50 years a person is going to change their opinions on different issues sometimes. Ms. Harris is a first term Senator from the state of California, her political record is much shorter.

 

This one question was a trap for Mr. Biden for someone to use as being a race issue whether race had anything to do do with his vote back then or not. Ms. Harris was able to use this as a race issue and the media, correct or not, jumped onto the side of Ms. Harris. I had heard of Ms. Harris ever since she became a member of the U.S Senate, but, basically everything that I had heard from or about her has had to do with race. It seems to me via the things that I had heard from Ms. Harris is that she is like a one trick pony and that the pony she is riding is race. I consider myself a moderate, sort of like an old southern conservative Democrat mixed with a liberal Republican. In other words I don’t like either political party at all, this is why I have been a registered independent for decades now. I had always taken Ms. Harris to be a Black person, just a lightly skinned person but evidently I was wrong on this issue. I can’t stand the Trump family but Don Jr. posted a tweet about her race so I started to check out her linage a little bit. Turns out her Mom is from India and her Dad is from Jamaica, so, if this is the truth, she isn’t Back at all. Yet she does seem to cater to the base of the Black voters. Yes she is a ‘person of color’ as is every human on the planet, even White is a color you know. But I do understand where that term came from as racists Whites used to call Black folks ‘colored’. Stupid of them then and now as is reversing the term. Personally I do not care what paint job a person has on their bones, I only care about what is between their ears and if any racism is there, I do not want them to hold any political position, especially not the Presidency. To me, I believe that Ms. Harris is a blatant racists so I would never vote for her.

 

Now I am going to gripe abit about the Bronx’s new Congresswoman Ms. Cortez or ‘AOC’ for short. She and a few of her Freshmen Congress ladies ‘of color’ have been playing the race issue to the hilt it seems, especially Ms. Cortez. She is in a running feud with the Democratic head of the Congress Ms. Pelosi who happens to be a White lady. I very much do not like Ms. Pelosi either but by all accounts I have ever heard including from other Congressmen and women of color, Ms. Pelosi is not a racist person. Yet as soon as AOC started getting shut down on some of her ideas she then went straight to calling Ms. Pelosi a racists because she wasn’t jumping on AOC’s ‘progressive’ bandwagon. To me, this is like the folks who talk about how much they hate haters, in other words, if you don’t agree with me, then you are a hater. Or, if you don’t follow me and my ideas, then you are a racists. Ms. AOC to me seems to be one of these people. To me, it appears that Ms. Harris and Ms. AOC have no other ideas or agenda accept race which to me is the bottom of the basement of human ignorance. Have you noticed during your life that the people who scream the loudest about racism are almost always extremely racist themselves?

 

Now, concerning our “racists, cowardly President”, Mr. Trump. First, I do believe that he is nothing more than a piece of trash as a person. I do believe that he is blatantly racists as well as a cereal rapists and a habitual liar and about as wise as a dead dog in the street. He always plays to the very lowest IQs he can find, it seems that they flock to this cowardly habitual liar. That the so called ‘Christian’ right support him or ‘Tea Party’ support him I find quite disgusting as he is anything but Christian. I call him a coward because of his Daddy getting him six deferrals from military service during the Vietnam war. He could have gone into a reserve unit like George W. Bush did, at least George W. didn’t seem to be ashamed to put on our Nations Uniform. Mr. Trump appears to not only have used his daddy’s money and influence to keep out of combat he didn’t even have enough guts to join the Reserve and with his College credits he could have gone in as an Officer like George W. did. Or is it possible that he simply loathed the U.S. military, or maybe it was just that the Uniform wasn’t “his color”?

 

Now in case you are wondering why I used the title that I did here are the reasons. One I guess was to get your attention, whether for or against my thoughts. Two, I do believe that all three of these people are blatant racists that everyone should totally discard as being credible. Three, from a Christian moral standpoint I believe that anyone who is racist has lowered themselves to the level of dead rabid dog. Also you may be wondering why I used the term ‘bitches’ for these three people is simple, in our U.S. slang it is common to call a hate filled woman a bitch, not meaning that they are actually a dog. Then why did I call Mr. Trump a bitch? That is simple also, in our U.S. slang it is also common to call a man who is considered to be a total coward a Pus-y, and that is exactly what I believe Mr. Trump is, a loud mouthed, racist, coward. Like it or hate it, this is my comment letter to you today. I know that some will hate what I wrote, some because they think I am to critical and some because they think I am not being critical enough. Either way, when I write these letters to you what I am mainly trying to get you to do is to think about the issues listed within the letter.

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