Monday, January 17, 2022

Monday Reading


As always, please go to the links for the full articles/ op eds.

John Blake reflects on the competing visions of America represented by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Malignant Loser:

January 6 and January 15: These dueling dates are just nine days apart, yet they offer two radically different visions of what the US stands for.
For part of America, January 6 is a "1776 moment," a great patriotic uprising. Another part of the country celebrates King's January 15 birthday and his dream of a Beloved Community -- a "world in which people of all identities are equal and included."
The two dates present the country with a choice:
Are we going to be a nation of We, the People, or We, the White people?
The question may seem abstract, but if you look closer at what both men did with their defining moments in Washington, the differences are clear.
Consider the contrasts between King's "I Have a Dream Speech" on August 28, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial and Trump's January 6 "Stop the Steal" rally at the Ellipse.
King drew a peaceful, interracial crowd to Washington and talked about a dream that united "all of God's children -- Black men and White men, Jews and Gentiles, Catholics and Protestants..."

Trump drew an overwhelmingly White crowd that included members of White supremacist groups, a man wearing a "Camp Auschwitz" T-shirt and people who erected a lynching noose on the Capitol grounds.  [snip]

King had a dream.  Trump had a mob.

Robin Givhan reminds us that Dr. King was an activist who wouldn't be so widely revered if he were in the current time and place:

King was only 39 years old when he died, and while he was more liberal than radical, it’s hard to imagine that he would be so revered if he were a 30-something activist today — a Black man marching in the streets and advocating for fair wages, voting rights, racial justice and a more equitable form of capitalism. He and his fellow protesters would likely be blamed for stirring the pot and creating upheaval in places where everything was just fine before they showed up spouting their un-American ideas — which is precisely what happened in his day.  [snip]

As the memory of King has aged, it’s taken on a smooth-edged, golden hue. Quotations from his speeches have been memorialized in stone but they’ve also been repeated so often and with such disregard for context that they’ve taken on the depth and specificity of a daily horoscope. The words mean whatever you want them to mean.  [snip]

But everyone sees themselves on the side of King. Everyone basks in the glow of his legacy. Few people see themselves as the moral equivalent of Connor, the segregationist head of Alabama public safety who loosed the dogs and opened fire hoses on civil rights activists. They see themselves under the heading of populists protecting the jobs, homesteads and rights of working-class America. They are not Davis, the leader of the Confederacy. They are proud Southerners protecting their history and heritage. They are not Wallace, the segregationist governor of Alabama standing in the doorway of the University of Alabama as Black students tried to enter. They are concerned parents worried about critical race theory and fretting that their children will be made to feel bad for being White.

Republicans love to quote selected lines from Dr. King to demonstrate that they're not the racist vote suppressors and democracy foes that we plainly see.  The tell is that today they're uniformly fighting against the basic thing Dr. King stood for:  a multi-racial democracy.

Murjani Rawls at The Root has some advice for Republicans wishing to burnish their MLK cred today:

On M.L.K. Day Monday, there will be a lot of Republican lawmakers and congressional representatives posting the same variation of quotes. It’s either from the one I mentioned or from his “Strength To Love” sermon in 1963.  

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

It will be from the same cast of people actively working against voting rights legislation across the country, acting as though Jan. 6th is no big deal and further diluting what we learn with this “Critical Race Theory” movement. So, I will ask them for this holiday and others:

Just skip it. Take the day off.

Tell your intern to go ahead and delete that scheduled post. Maybe there’s a big WhatsApp chat you are all in, and you pick the quote to post. Put those notifications on silent. 

He goes on to offer some quotes from Dr. King that Republicans should consider using instead.  Leonard Pitts, Jr., also has more King quotes that would surely discomfit the white nationalist fascist Republican mob today.

Speaking of that Republican mob, Steven Monacelli checked them out at the recent Malignant Loser Nuremberg rally in Arizona.  Spoiler alert:  they're all loons:

One full day before Trump spoke to an estimated 15,000 die-hard Republicans in Arizona, a group of JFK Jr. obsessed QAnon fanatics arrived at the venue grounds here. They drove all the way from Dallas, Texas, where they’ve been holed up in a Hyatt hotel for over two months amid a series of failed prophecies that JFK Jr. would return from the dead. The first among them was Stephen Tenner, right hand man to the group’s leader Michael Protzman. “I’m the first person and only person,” Tenner said in a video posted on social media. “I’m the number one mofo.”

Tenner was later joined by Protzman and about two dozen members of this cultish group, whose months-long antics in Dallas have worried locals and drawn national attention. Protzman is a QAnon influencer who peddles a form of religious numerology known as “gematria,” which he infuses into his interpretations of QAnon theories. Protzman uses gematria to promote the idea that he is in direct contact with both the Kennedy family — which he believes are direct descendants of Jesus Christ — and members of the Trump inner circle. His group also trafficks in a wide range of outlandish conspiracy beliefs such as that long dead famous people such as Michael Jackson and JFK Jr. faked their deaths and are working with Donald Trump in secret to take down a global satanic pedophile cabal.

Protzman was not only at the rally, he was seated with the VIPs along with fellow conspiracy loon, the Mein Pillow guy, Mike Lindell.  There's lots more at the link, if you have the stomach.

For a broader set of reads, we recommend Infidel 753's link round-up, which covers a lot of ground, most beyond politics.  It's always an interesting and most comprehensive collection.


Silver Spring Bureau Chief said...

They chose Michael Jackson as the dead celebrity to fight the pedophile ring?!!!

westcoastman said...

They must have found Michael working in disguise at that pizza parlor that sells
babies from the non-existent basement. Won't these people ever shut up and
fade away?