Thursday, February 4, 2016

Last Call For In Like Flint

Flint, Michigan's water crisis is a dangerous and immediate problem, but it's a symptom of a much larger issue of urban structural racism in America that affects all aspects of communities with large populations of black and Hispanic residents.  It's as much economic racism as it is environmental and social.

“It costs money to move,” said Sandra Ballard, a 62-year-old retiree who lives on the impoverished north side of Flint. Shesaid she struggled to pay her $350 a month rent for a three-bedroom apartment with a patched ceiling. “You’ve got to put first and last month’s rent down. Believe me, I wish I could get out of here.” 
People in poor and crime-ridden pockets of cities like Detroit and Baltimore often share the sense of being trapped because of market forces and limited resources. But the people of Flint have a special urgency about leaving. 
Because of the health crisis stemming from their tainted water, they spend their days dealing with the consequences. 
They use bottled water for drinking, washing their hands and preparing food. In between, they shuttle children to pediatricians for blood tests, lug bottled water home from firehouses and install and change water filters on their home faucets. (Even so, city and state officials warned Friday that lead levels were still so high in some homes that the filters might not be strong enough to be effective.) 
Yet many people here have no alternative but to stay. 
I couldn’t rent out my house now if I wanted to,” said Joyce Cruz, 35, a homeowner and the mother of five. “Who would want to move to Flint?”

Republican misrule in Michigan and in dozens of other states makes that increasingly clear.  Even if there wasn't mass incarceration of black and brown individuals and a two-tiered public education system that's designed to close the poorest schools, now we're seeing black and brown communities being denied basic services and human rights.

I don't want to make light of the brutal situation in the West Bank or Gaza, or of the completely indecent and utterly inhumane conditions that Palestinians are forced to live in, but you look at cities like Flint and you wonder if America isn't going down a smilar path yet again in its dark history of internment and apartheid.

And in many ways we never left that path.

Mosque Of The Red Derp, Con't

The call that President Obama visiting an Islamic center in Baltimore would cause Islamophobic outrage among the GOP frontrunners was about as close to guaranteed as you can get.

Trump was asked to share his thoughts on the Obama's mosque visit -- his first as president -- during an interview with Fox News's Greta Van Susteren. 
"I don't have much thought, I think that we can go to lots of places. Right now, I don't know if he's -- maybe he feels comfortable there," Trump said. "We have a lot of problems in this country, Greta, there are a lot of places he can go, and he chose a mosque. I saw that just a little while ago, and so that's his decision, that's fine."
This isn't the first time Trump has seemed to question the president's religion. Years ago, Trump joined some fellow Republicans in questioning if Obama was truly born in the United States. At a town hall in New Hampshire in September, a man in the audience said Muslims are a problem facing the country and "our current president is one" -- a comment that prompted Trump to laugh. In a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition in December, Trump questioned why Obama doesn't use the phrase "radical Islamic terrorism" and commented: "There's something going on with him that we don't know about." At a rally in New Hampshire on Tuesday night, Trump described Obama climbing into Air Force One to celebrate Christmas "or whatever he celebrates" in Hawaii.

Trump has long been a birther and proponent of the "secret Muslim" theory, while Marco Rubio of course called the visit "divisive".

Rubio's reaction to Obama's mosque visit came during a town hall meeting at a pub in Dover, N.H., on Wednesday evening. Rubio accused Obama of pitting Americans against one another “along ethnic lines and racial lines and economic lines and religious lines.” His comments were part of a meandering response to a question about what his management style would be like as president. 
“I’m tired of being divided against each other for political reasons like this president’s done," Rubio said. "Always pitting people against each other. Always.” 
“Look at today – he gave a speech at a mosque,” Rubio continued. “Oh, you know, basically implying that America is discriminating against Muslims. Of course there’s going to be discrimination in America of every kind. But the bigger issue is radical Islam. And by the way, radical Islam poses a threat to Muslims themselves.” 
“But again, it’s this constant pitting people against each other -- that I can’t stand that. It’s hurting our country badly," Rubio said. "We can disagree on things, right? I’m a Dolphin fan, you’re a Patriot fan."

Rubio's response is essentially "All lives matter!" plus some garbage about his religion being football or something.

And remember, these are supposedly the people the pundits think have the best shot at being the GOP nominee right now.  Neither one thinks there's a place in America for those who practice Islam.

What's The Matter With Kansas, Con't

I am really, really hoping that the lesson Democrats get from the Obama years is "Not voting in midterm elections and letting Republicans get complete control of a majority of state governments is a bad idea."  You keep getting states like Kansas.

Kansas Republicans are pushing for a bill that would allow teachers to face criminal prosecution if they teach students material they consider harmful, the Wichita Eagle reports.

The bill, sponsored by State Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook (R), stems from a controversy over a poster in the Shawnee Mission public school district in which a poster reading, “How do people express their sexual feelings?” The poster listed “oral sex” and other acts, the Eagle reports.

The bill was brought up for consideration at a committee meeting Tuesday.

Pitcher-Cook said “state laws should protect parents’ rights to safeguard our children against harmful materials, especially in schools.”

As of now, teachers are protected from misdemeanor charges associated with giving children sexual content, if the content is part of a lesson. If the bill passes, teachers could be charged and spend up to six months in jail, along with a fine.

Tom Witt spoke out against the bill on behalf of his husband, who is a teacher, and said it would be used to intimidate teachers and create fear. He submitted a list of books from the American Library Association which are the most banned, including Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

“Here’s what my husband wants to know: Which of the books on the list are going to send him to jail?” he demanded. “That’s all we need to know.”

At this point Republicans in 2016 want to criminalize being Muslim, being LGBTQ, being Latino, being black, being a voting Democrat, and now being a sex-ed teacher. These people are crazy, dangerous lunatics.

But you know what they do that liberals, progressives, and Democrats refuse to do?



Related Posts with Thumbnails