Powerful words of hate
POWER DAILY – The logic of a racist president
The explosion of anti-Asian racism was predictable.
Bloodshed has broken out. Elderly people have been harassed, assaulted, and even killed. The mass murders of Asian-American people at several Atlanta massage parlors are like flares warning us: the situation is out of control, violence is spiraling, and we need to take action.
But what can we do? Our society has been morally wounded by the Trump presidency. Racist behaviors that had been consigned to a dark corner of society are being paraded in the town square without shame.
Last week, Senator Ron Johnson proved this case when he mused on a radio show that had the Black Lives Matter protestors invaded the Capitol, instead of Trump’s White “patriot” army, he would have been scared.
Here’s a U.S. senator validating naked racism – if the person is not White, they are inherently scary, dangerous.
For four years we watched with increasing horror as Donald Trump stomped not just on norms and laws, but also on the most cherished American values – real patriotism, hope for the future, and real community.
Trump made sure that the decades-long, collective effort of most Americans to escape society’s racist roots by embracing understanding and diversity was crushed.
He replaced that American consensus with a lie: America’s problems are caused by “Them.”
Who? Urban hoodlums (Black and brown people), immigrants from anywhere except Northern Europe, LGBTQ+ people, powerful women, “globalists” (this is an anti-Semitic trope), NATO allies, and anyone else who is not “Us” as defined by Trump.
The wave of savage attacks on Asian people is a logical continuation of that mindset. Trump pushed the “China virus” moniker relentlessly. He called Covid the “Kungflu.” He blamed the pandemic on some kind of Chinese attack - and is still using that incendiary language:
Trump effectively updated the “yellow peril” racism of 1941, the same systemic hatred and fear that led to the incarceration of Americans of Japanese descent in concentration camps at the beginning of World War II.
The relationship between words (such as “Kungflu”) and violence is well understood by scholars of genocide. Research proves that the systemic abuse of a minority group starts with dehumanizing language seeking to cleave the population – turning formerly accepted members of the community into a problem for the majority with existential impact that must be resolved. At all costs - including violence.
Trump knew what he was doing in feeding this anti-Asian racism monster. He sought to conceal his titanic malfeasance in dealing with the virus by creating a straw man – China. And anything he could to distract his followers from his own responsibility for the disaster was and is a tactic worth pursuing.
We are now left to deal with the totally predictable outcome of Trump’s hate campaign. Fortunately, we have a normal president who will stand up for real American values.
Let’s hope that it’s not too late for America and for Biden – that he can still heal this deep moral wound, heal the nation.
“Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson falsely claimed there was no violence on the Senate side of the US Capitol during the January 6 insurrection, the latest in his continued attempts to downplay the severity of the attack.
“Johnson described the events of January 6 to a group of conservative Wisconsin residents at a local political event on Saturday and falsely stated the rioters were more active on the House side of the Capitol than the Senate side. Johnson also repeated he did not feel threatened that day, even after learning rioters had breached the Capitol building.
"One of the reasons I'm being attacked is because I very honestly said I didn't feel threatened on January 6. I didn't," Johnson said. "There was much more violence on the House side. There was no violence on the Senate side, in terms of the chamber."
POWER READ 2: ‘No end in sight’: Inside the Biden administration’s failure to contain the border surge (The Washington Post)
“Shortly before Christmas last year, Susan Rice and Jake Sullivan, two top advisers to President-elect Joe Biden, sat for an interview with EFE, a Spanish wire service, to issue a stark warning to migrants considering journeying north to the nation’s southern border: Don’t come now — but help is on the way.
“The next day, Biden was similarly pointed, saying his administration — while eager to roll back Donald Trump’s immigration policies — first needed to implement “guardrails” to avoid winding up with “2 million people on our border.”
“Less than a month later, the new president began tearing down some of the guardrails himself. He issued five immigration executive orders on Inauguration Day alone and promised an immigration policy far more humane and welcoming than that of his predecessor. His administration also began allowing unaccompanied minors into the country, a marked departure from the Trump administration’s approach.”
“Miami Beach Police fired pepper balls into crowds of partiers and arrested at least a dozen people as the city took extraordinary measures to crack down on spring breakers who officials have said are out of control.
“Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber declared a state of emergency and set an 8 p.m. curfew Saturday, saying the crowds that have descended on the city recently are "more than we can handle."
"Too many are coming, really, without the intention of following the rules, and the result has been a level of chaos and disorder that is just something more than we can endure," Gelber told CNN's Ana Cabrera.
“Police in Miami Beach said early Sunday that they arrested "at least a dozen" people following the start of the curfew.
"Officers began dispersing crowds at 8 p.m. and ultimately achieved a satisfactory level of compliance," police spokesperson Ernesto Rodriguez told CNN.”
POWER READ 4: Man arrested after he allegedly pepper-sprayed and hurled racist insults at Asian gas station owner (ABC News)
“A man has been arrested after he allegedly hurled racist insults and pepper-sprayed an Asian gas station owner in Oakland, California.
“On Thursday morning the suspect was caught on surveillance footage at a gas station appearing to spray a substance in the station's owner's face.
“The gas station's owner Cwell, who did not release his last name, told local San Francisco ABC station KGO that the incident started when the suspect got into a disagreement with the cashier because he wanted to pay for his gas in all coins.
“When Cwell stepped in to diffuse the situation, the man launched his racist harangue, he said.”
POWER READ 5: How ‘Owning the Libs’ Became the GOP’s Core Belief (Politico)
“For a political party whose membership skews older, it might be surprising that the spirit that most animates Republican politics today is best described with a phrase from the world of video games: “Owning the libs.”
“Gamers borrowed the term from the nascent world of 1990s computer hacking, using it to describe their conquered opponents: “owned.” To “own the libs” does not require victory so much as a commitment to infuriating, flummoxing or otherwise distressing liberals with one’s awesomely uncompromising conservatism. And its pop-cultural roots and clipped snarkiness are perfectly aligned with a party that sees pouring fuel on the culture wars’ fire as its best shot at surviving an era of Democratic control.
“In just the past month, Sen. Ted Cruz self-consciously joked at the Conservative Political Action Conference about his ill-timed jaunt to Cancun, decried mask-wearing as pro-statist virtue signaling, and closed his speech by screaming “Freedom,” a la William Wallace; House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted a video of himself reading a Dr. Seuss book in protest of the supposed censorship of the children’s author (whose estate decided to stop publishing six titles on account of stereotypes in their illustrations); Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene erected a sign outside her congressional office in Washington declaring “There are TWO genders: MALE & FEMALE” across the hallway from the office of Democratic Rep. Marie Newman, whose daughter is transgender; even Rush Limbaugh, the late talk radio giant and progenitor of liberal “ownage,” got in one last braggadocious slap from beyond the grave: the occupation listed on his death certificate is “greatest radio host of all time.”
POWER VIDEO: It’s often said that if you pitched the Donald Trump presidency as a movie, it would be rejected as being too outlandish. Like this scene would be totally over the top in a movie, but is in fact oh so real:
POWER QUOTE – A little Monday inspiration:
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” - Marie Curie