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America's Embrace of Willful Ignorance

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  • These new great men are great because of what makes them similar to the mass --a kind of crude common sense, brutality, and lack of culture. The handling of affairs may make then admirably cunning and remarkably good at the practice of politics. But to maintain their prestige and power, they must also maintain their lack of culture and brutality. They must remain primitives. --Jean Guehenno, Diary of the Dark Years, 1940-1944: Collaboration, Resistance, and Daily Life in Occupied Paris
  • Related: White America's Greatest Delusion: "They Do Not Know It and They Do Not Want to Know It"

Lenore Daniels, OpEdNews 

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5/30/2017 | Dark blue signs appeared on so many lawns. Trump/Pence.

"I just grab them by"." "When you're a star, they let you do it."

As I rode pass one lawn after and another, I thought those signs could have read: Whites Only!

Here, in Trump's Kenosha, otherwise known as America's Kenosha, I sit on a seat in the front of the bus. I walk on whatever side of the street suits me. I shop or eat at any store or restaurant downtown. Whites speak to me, and I speak to them. While the calendar indicates this is 2017, I am sure Rosa Parks would be familiar with the status quo here in the heartland of America. In other words, she would recognize white supremacy not only in the war chants of Richard Spencer and his ilk. But more important, Rosa would recognize the way Black Americans are still expected to inhabit a certain place and to do so in a certain way so as to acknowledge allegiance to the supremacy of whiteness.

When I saw all those "Trump/Pence" signs, I recalled those first few weeks when I arrived at a new campus and a new state. I had taught for over ten years by this time. A white colleague and I stood in a hallway at the university here watching predominantly white students walking to and from their classes. They are unsophisticated. I heard her in this noisy hallway, but I did not ask for an explanation. Instead, I felt as if I were miles away from her and these students. I looked closer at the students. They did not see me! I was somewhere where these young white people did not see me! And when they did, they looked down at the top of my head. Lessons from home mattered! Soon I realized the phrase referenced what was no longer contained as something local. After September 11, 2001, when the narrative of the patriotic full-fledged American made my critical critique of American politics and culture suspect and anti-American that same colleague informed me that I "didn't fit it." And this phenomena was neither local or personal either.

Lenore Daniels: Activist, writer, American Modern Literature, Cultural Theory

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Related:

White America's Greatest Delusion: "They Do Not Know It and They Do Not Want to Know It" Tim Wise, AlterNet

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  • It is the innocence which constitutes the crime.
  • Related: ‘We Must Actively Stand Up’: John Angelos’ Response to Racism at Fenway Park

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How Russia Became “Our Adversary” Again

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Photo by thierry hermann | CC BY 2.0

  • Perverse political logic works to sustain the strange new neo-McCarthyite anti-Russian madness, which is rooted in the U.S. imperial agenda, not any relevant Russian influence on U.S. life and politics.
  • Related: On Trump, McCarthyism, and the Russia Hacking Charges

Paul Street, Counterpunch

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May 19, 2017 | United States-of-Americans are routinely told by politicians and corporate media pundits and talking heads that Russia is their enemy – an “adversary state.”  The assertion has been normalized.  It passes without challenge or justification.

Forget for now the question of whether and how “our adversary Russia” intervened significantly on Donald Trump’s behalf in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.  Put aside the glaring absence of any smoking gun evidence to back that charge up and contemplate the fundamental matter of how and why Vladimir Putin’s Russia became “our enemy” in the first place.

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Paul Street is an independent radical-democratic policy researcher, journalist, historian, author and speaker. His latest book is They Rule: The 1% v. Democracy.

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Related:

On Trump, McCarthyism, and the Russia Hacking Charges, Victor Navasky, The Nation / Portside 

https://portside.org/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/army_mccarthy_hearings.jpg?itok=whaYgCd4Chief Counsel for the Army Joseph Welch (left) being questioned by Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy during the McCarthy-Army hearings in 1954. credit - Wikimedia Commons / US Senate // The Nation

  • One legacy of the McCarthy era is the cloud of suspicion that still hangs over anything connected with the former Soviet Union. If Trump or his associates were indeed guilty of collaborating with the Russians by interfering in the American election, then they broke the law and should be held accountable. But in a world threatened by nuclear weapons, ISIS, and climate change, it seems to me more important than ever that we talk to our adversaries and work toward détente.
  • Related: If We’re Gonna Impeach Trump, Let’s Make Sure We’re Clear on A Couple Points.

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How to Stay Sane if Trump is Driving You Insane: Advice From a Therapist

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  • We are traveling a long road toward change. At times, the pain will be so intense that these skills may not serve us fully. In those moments, allow yourself breaks. Care for yourself. If you find you are struggling to function normally, you may be experiencing more serious depression, anxiety, or trauma symptoms. Reaching out to a professional can help. When I need strength, I re-read the note from the Islamic Society: “Many thanks for your support, encouragement, and efforts done to assist our community during this difficult time.” I remember the humility and kindness in that room. No one, not even Donald Trump, can take that away.
  • Related: Neoliberalism Is Killing Us: Economic Stress as a Driver of Global Depression and Suicide

Robin Chancer, Medium

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Apr 26, 2017 | “I feel like I’ve lost faith in humanity, in our country, in myself,” a client told me recently. “Is this depression, or is this the election?”

“Good question,” I replied. The truth is, individual psychology is hugely influenced by political realities. Many of us feel insane right now because our world is not sane. Current events are very much at odds with our natural optimism, and our belief in human goodness and progress.

https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/fit/c/60/60/0*azUnQC-J2DmWlJ35. Robin Chancer: Behavioral Specialist, sensitive social worker, immigration enthusiast, ready to laugh and cry at a moment’s notice.

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Neoliberalism Is Killing Us: Economic Stress as a Driver of Global Depression and Suicide, Noelle Sullivan, Truthout

It's time we addressed the economic drivers behind the global spikes in depression and suicide. 

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Special Report | Days of Revolt: To Save America We Must Stop Being Polite And Immediately Start Raising Hell

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  • Everything that’s already been undertaken ― the marches, the phone calls to Congress, the letter-writing, the protests, the town halls, putting up candidates for House races ― has been powerful and needs to continue. But it’s time to also be more forceful and more captivating.
  • Here’s how to really turn up the heat on elected officials.
  • Related: After a “Fascinating, Terrifying” 100 Days, Reproductive Rights Activists Are Planning Next Moves.

Michelangelo Signorile, Huffington Post 

http://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/scalefit_720_noupscale/591342261e00002800622495.jpeg Catherine McGann via Getty Images 

05/10/2017 | Donald Trump made his most frightening authoritarian power grab yet in firing James Comey, the FBI director who was leading an investigation of his campaign’s possible collusion with Russia

This could be viewed as a direct step toward consolidating power and, yes, toward fascism, as we’ve seen play out in other countries ― in Turkey recently, and in many other countries in history from which you could choose as an example.

Michelangelo Signorile: Editor-at-large, HuffPost Queer Voices

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After a “Fascinating, Terrifying” 100 Days, Reproductive Rights Activists Are Planning Next Moves, Alice Pettway, the Progressive

It’s important for people to stay informed and to keep calling their members of Congress. Starting conversations to raise awareness of the issues is also imperative.

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On Trump, McCarthyism, and the Russia Hacking Charges

https://portside.org/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/army_mccarthy_hearings.jpg?itok=whaYgCd4

Chief Counsel for the Army Joseph Welch (left) being questioned by Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy during the McCarthy-Army hearings in 1954. credit - Wikimedia Commons / US Senate // The Nation

  • One legacy of the McCarthy era is the cloud of suspicion that still hangs over anything connected with the former Soviet Union. If Trump or his associates were indeed guilty of collaborating with the Russians by interfering in the American election, then they broke the law and should be held accountable. But in a world threatened by nuclear weapons, ISIS, and climate change, it seems to me more important than ever that we talk to our adversaries and work toward détente.
  • Related: If We’re Gonna Impeach Trump, Let’s Make Sure We’re Clear on A Couple Points.

Victor Navasky, The Nation / Portside

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https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/800/1*ruwNn1LCyLKCeXOXpxVH-g.jpegApril 6, 2017 | So Peter Beinart in The Atlantic writes an article on “The New McCarthyism of Donald Trump.” Simon Jenkins in The Guardian informs us that “Donald Trump on terror is just McCarthyism for a new age.” Jonathan Chait in New York magazine argues forcefully that “Donald Trump Is the Perpetrator of McCarthyism, Not the Victim of It,” and Trump himself famously tweets, “Terrible! I just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” Even the Russians chime in, with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov observing that the uproar over Jeff Sessions “strongly resembles a witch hunt or the times of McCarthyism, which we thought were long over in the United States as a civilized country.”

The charges of McCarthyism are important because (a) McCarthyism indeed had such a profound impact on our country, our culture, and beyond; and (b) because some of its consequences may still be with us.

Victor Navasky has served as editor, publisher and now publisher emeritus of The Nation. He teaches at the Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, where he chairs the Columbia Journalism Review.

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Related: 

If We’re Gonna Impeach Trump, Let’s Make Sure We’re Clear on A Couple Points, Thugz n Kisses, Medium 

We should be careful what we wish for.

 

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If We’re Gonna Impeach Trump, Let’s Make Sure We’re Clear on A Couple Points.

 

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We should be careful what we wish for.

Thugz n Kisses, Medium

May 17, 2017 | Contrary to what folks on reddit and Twitter seem to think, I have no love for Donny “why the Civil War” Trump nor Vlad Putin’s Russia. I think that Trump asking Comey to drop the Flynn investigation is likely obstruction of justice and probably grounds for impeachment. I doubt very much that two Republican-controlled houses of congress will impeach a Republican President, regardless of how volatile or demented he seems, and Rep Green’s impeachment attempt today will likely yield little more than an “official” statement of such from Paul Ryan, but that’s how it goes.

So, now that we have what seems to be considered indisputable evidence of an impeachable offense, can we finally talk about “The Russian Thing”?Thugz n Kisses: I am a self diagnosed cinephile from Maryland. I'm really into music, too, (especially hip hop right now, GOOD hip hop that is). But my only two real loves are my girlfriend … and the cinema. 

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How the Left’s Long March Back Will Begin in the States

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The State Innovation Exchange (SiX) was founded in 2014 as a progressive answer to ALEC. It works with state legislators in a variety of ways to advance legislation, educate lawmakers and build a progressive power base in the states. (Blackbird Film Co./ Flikr)

  • 'For too long, we’ve been very focused at the federal level. And we’re seeing what happens when you put all your eggs in that basket and suddenly the basket breaks.'
  • Progressives’ answer to ALEC is helping to build power from the ground up.
  • Related: A Tough-Love Letter to the Left

Theo Anderson, In These Times

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February 6, 2017 Since the 2010 election, in which the GOP won power in a majority of statehouses, progressives have often lamented the influence of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which creates template bills that allow legislators to easily replicate right-wing laws across states. It’s been a driving force, for example, in the spread of “right-to-work” legislation as the GOP’s strength in the states continues to grow.

The State Innovation Exchange (SiX) was founded in 2014 as a progressive answer to ALEC. It works with state legislators in a variety of ways to advance legislation, educate lawmakers and build a progressive power base in the states. Last year, staff members met with groups of legislators in about 20 states, to help them establish their policy priorities and understand the issues better. SiX’s priorities include climate change, predatory lending, criminal justice reform, education, election reform, and worker wages and benefits.

Theo Anderson, an In These Times staff writer, has contributed to the magazine since 2010 and is currently a Schumann Center writing fellow. He has a Ph.D. in modern U.S. history from Yale and is working on a book about the intellectual and religious origins of conservatism and progressivism.

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Related:

A Tough-Love Letter to the Left, Sam Adler-bell, New Republic / Portside 

  • A new book urges activists to avoid insularity and purism--and to focus on winning.
  • Related: The silence of the pseudo-left on the danger of war

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