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Why did this powerful church group struggle to denounce white supremacy?

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‘It would be a mistake to interpret this fiasco simply as a misstep.’ Photograph: Natalie Behring/Getty Images

  • The Southern Baptist Convention’s reluctance to condemn racism is not only true to its history but it reflects how white supremacy is built into the very DNA of American Christianity.
  • Related: White Racism in America's Police Departments Is So Much Worse Than Most Americans Understand.

Daniel José Camacho, the Guardian 

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http://cdn.billmoyers.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/takingaboutrace_606x154b.jpgSaturday, 17 June 2017 | Condemning white supremacy and the alt-right movement shouldn’t be hard. But the Southern Baptist Convention – the nation’s largest Protestant denomination– had its doubts about whether to do so this week.

During the annual meeting, they initially declined to pass a resolution doing just that. Chaos ensued at the denomination’s annual meeting and a firestorm of criticism quickly followed. Delegates eventually passed a modified version of the resolution – originally drafted by one of its black pastors – but the damage had been done.

Daniel José Camacho is a Contributing Opinion Writer at Guardian US. His writing has appeared in Christian Century, Religion Dispatches, Sojourners, Duke Magazine, and TIME, and his commentary has appeared in the New York Times.

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White Racism in America's Police Departments Is So Much Worse Than Most Americans Understand, Jeff Pegues, Prometheus Books / Alternet

CBS News correspondent Jeff Pegues' new book exposes the under-reported "ghost skins": hidden white supremacists in law enforcement.

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Paul Street | Beyond the Madness of King Donald

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Donald Trump has a 40 percent approval rating. (Pixabay)

By this point in George W. Bush’s term, Bush had travelled to twenty-three states and a foreign country. Trump has visited just nine states and has never stayed the night. He inhabits a closed world that one adviser recently described to me as ‘Fortress Trump.’

Paul StreetTruthdig  / Rise Up Times 

May 17, 2017 | President Frankenstein, Donald Trump, has been pretty much the bizarre “insane clown president” (Matt Taibbi’s phrase) that I and many others expected. He’s only shocked me twice: his weird Twitter meltdown alleging that Barack Obama wiretapped his phones and his appallingly timed firing of FBI Director James Comey on grounds that seemed to take us all for complete idiots.

‘Banana Republic’ President

Does Trump’s dismissal of Comey prove that the president is in cahoots with Russia? No, it shows that Trump was incensed with Comey for cooperating with the Senate investigation into alleged ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, for ramping up the FBI’s inquiry into the same matter, for drawing too much media attention and for contradicting Trump’s wacky wiretapping charge.

http://www.truthdig.com/images/staff/Paul_Street.jpg Paul Street is former vice president for research and planning of the Chicago Urban League. Street is also the author of numerous books, including “Racial Oppression in the Global Metropolis” (2007), “The Empire’s New Clothes: Barack Obama in the Real World of Power” (2010), and “They Rule: The 1% v. Democracy” (2014), and a regular contributor to Counterpunch, Z Magazine/ZNet, Black Agenda Report and teleSUR English. He has taught American history at several Chicago-area colleges and universities.

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Two Americans

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Genuine and mutual admiration: Bob Dylan shakes President Barack Obama’s hand following his performance at the “In Performance At The White House: A Celebration Of Music From The Civil Rights Movement” concert in the East Room of the White House, Feb. 9, 2010. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza. Public Domain

 

  • We may have Bob Dylan in our iTunes but we need to listen to James Comey too. More of his testimony is certain to emerge, and hopefully because of it we’ll see the call for legislative action and structural reform to prevent a recurrence of 2016’s electoral fiasco. Comey’s going to spill his guts and it’s about saving our America.
  • Listen to Dylan’s lecture too. Same deal.

Madeleine Burnside, Huff Post 

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Check out the players! Former Deputy Attorney General James Comey (left), alongside President Barack Obama (center) and outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller (right) at Comey’s nomination to become the Seventh Director of the FBI, 26 September 2013 (Credit: FBI)

06/10/2017 | Two Americans “testified” this week: Bob Dylan and James Comey. Two very different men: a counter-culture Lefty icon and the former Director of the FBI. Different generations—Dylan was born in 1941, just as the U.S. entered World War II, and Comey in 1960, just as the Vietnam War was escalating. An old hippie and a suit; theoretically they would have little in common.

In 2016, Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” It was a surprising pick, and the Swedish Academy’s first acknowledgement of song.

Madeleine Burnside , Editor,  The Sanity Papers

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U.K.’s Corbyn Told Truth about Terrorism

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  • Analysts credit the Labour Party’s strong showing in the U.K. election to economic issues, but its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, also told voters the truth about how the West’s Mideast wars have spread terrorism, notes Lawrence Davidson.
  • From the Archives | 'You Cannot Use Military Force to Wipe Out Terrorism' 

Lawrence Davidson, Consortium News

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https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Corbyn-630x435-300x207.jpg Jeremy Corbyn, the new leader of Great Britain’s Labour Party.

June 10, 2017 | On May 26, Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of British Labour Party, made a speech which dealt in large part with security and foreign policy. Much of his presentation was surprisingly accurate. Here is what he said:

—There is a cause-and-effect relationship “between wars our governments supported and fought in other countries and terrorism here at home.” For instance, the May 22 Manchester bombing, which killed 22 people, may well be connected to the United Kingdom’s involvement in the overthrow of the Libyan government of Muammar Gaddafi and the subsequent civil wars.

—This cause-and-effect relationship is not a matter of speculation. “Many experts, including professionals in our intelligence and security services, have pointed to these connections.”

Lawrence Davidson is a history professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He is the author of Foreign Policy Inc.: Privatizing America’s National Interest; America’s Palestine: Popular and Official Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli Statehood; and Islamic Fundamentalism.

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From the Archives | 'You Cannot Use Military Force to Wipe Out Terrorism' Janine Jackson, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)

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  • But the problem is, as long as you’re doing the military, the others don’t work. You can’t be bombing people and at the same time think that you’re going to succeed at, quote, “persuading” them, which is one of the great things the Obama administration has talked about wanting to do, persuading them that ISIS is not their friend. Well, it might be easier to persuade them of that if you weren’t killing them. You know, it’s — there’s something illogical there.
  • Janine Jackson interviewed Phyllis Bennis about ISIS attacks for the July 8, 2016, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

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Smart on Crime: An Alternative to the Tough vs. Soft Debate

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An inmate uses the recreation room of one of the housing units at a correctional center in Elk Grove, California, May 30, 2013. AP/Rich Pedroncelli

  • The debate between being tough or soft on crime is rhetorical and has no value in the criminal justice conversation today.
  • Related: "We Don't Have the Rule of Law": Barrett Brown on Incarceration, Journalism and His Next Steps

Ed Chung, American Progress

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May 12, 2017 | Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructed federal prosecutors to pursue the most aggressive approach against federal criminal defendants, rescinding part of former Attorney General Eric Holder “Smart on Crime” initiative. Over the past five years, the momentum to reform the criminal justice system reached a crescendo as communities and their elected http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/01/11/opinion/justice190v.jpg leaders across the country looked to enact smart criminal justice policies to make the system more effective and equitable for all. Yet the widespread attention and energy behind reform efforts is relatively recent and is at risk because government leaders still guard against being labeled “soft on crime.” 

However, the debate between being tough or soft on crime is rhetorical and has no value in the criminal justice conversation today. Communities now are looking to be “Smart on Crime”—that is, to pursue policies that are thoughtful, fair, and effective. Smart on Crime is shorthand for a set of criminal justice principles that supports a comprehensive approach to criminal justice reform. It is time to move beyond political sound bites and the false choice between being either tough or soft on crime and focus instead on being smart on crime.

Ed Chung is Vice President for Criminal Justice Reform at the Center for American Progress. The author (thanks) Sarah Shapiro for her contribution to this column.

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Related:

"We Don't Have the Rule of Law": Barrett Brown on Incarceration, Journalism and His Next Steps, Candice Bernd, Truthout 

http://www.truth-out.org/images/images_2017_05/2017_0603rrcb_.jpg Barrett Brown at his residence in Dallas, Texas, on Saturday, May 20, 2017. (Photo: Candice Bernd)

The government is frankly illegitimate in many ways and should be treated as such. I think that will become more evident. Let's say, even if they successfully remove this administration, we still have this 35 percent of people in this country who will support any fascist authoritarian like this, and they're still there. They may increase in number.

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The $110 billion arms deal to Saudi Arabia is fake news

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None of the deals identified so far are new, all began in the Obama administration.

Bruce Riedel, Brookings

Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader/contributor Jay Kvale for this contribution.

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Bomb%20with%20US%20Flag.jpgMonday, June 5, 2017 | Last month, President Trump visited Saudi Arabia and his administration announced that he had concluded a $110 billion arms deal with the kingdom. Only problem is that there is no deal. It’s fake news.

I’ve spoken to contacts in the defense business and on the Hill, and all of them say the same thing: There is no $110 billion deal. Instead, there are a bunch of letters of interest or intent, but not contracts. Many are offers that the defense industry thinks the Saudis will be interested in someday. So far nothing has been notified to the Senate for review. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the arms sales wing of the Pentagon, calls them “intended sales.” None of the deals identified so far are new, all began in the Obama administration.

https://i1.wp.com/www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/riedelb.jpg?crop=0px%2C0px%2C2198px%2C2198px&w=120&ssl=1 Bruce Riedel: Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence; Center for Middle East Policy Director, The Intelligence Project

 

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A report that analyzed every minimum-wage hike since 1938 should put a bunch of nonsense ideas to rest

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Nick Hanauer. _

  • We have been raising the minimum wage for 78 years, and as a new study clearly reveals, 78 years of minimum-wage hikes have produced zero evidence of the "job-killing" consequences these headline writers want us to fear.
  • Related: Dehumanizing the Poor for Fun and Profit

Nick Hanauer, Business Insider

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/We%20the%20People%20...%20Promote%20the%20Corporate%20Welfare.jpgMay 6, 2016 | From the fear-mongering headlines marking passage of $15 statutes in New York and California, you would think nobody ever dared raise the minimum wage before.

  • "Raising minimum wage risky," the Lexington (Kentucky) Herald-Leader tersely warned.
  • "Raising minimum wage hurts low-skill workers," the Detroit News bluntly declared.
  • "Even left-leaning economists say it's a gamble," Vox solemnly cautioned.

Nick Hanauer, Contributor, Business Insider

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Dehumanizing the Poor for Fun and Profit, Leo W. Gerard, Huffington Post 

  • It’s (opposition to increasing - or even having! - the minimum wage) in keeping with Republicans’ view that some workers don’t deserve human dignity because they’re only three-fifths people. 
  • Matt Taibbi | America Has A 'Profound Hatred Of The Weak And The Poor'

 

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In an Unprecedented Court Escalation, Trump Protesters Could Be Facing Decades in Prison for Inauguration Demonstrations

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Jan. 20, 2017: Protests filled Washington, D.C. during Donald Trump's inauguration day. Protesters stage sit down on K Street intersection. Photo Credit: a katz / Shutterstock

  • A frightening crackdown on free speech is underway across the country.
  • Related: With Executive Order on Policing, Trump Declares Racialized War on Dissent.

Celisa Calacal & Lauren Kaori Gurley, AlterNet

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Defend%20Civil%20Liberties%20Graphic_1.jpg June 1, 2017 | Nearly six months after Donald Trump was sworn into office, more than 200 protesters who gathered in Washington, D.C. to protest his inauguration are facing felony charges that carry sentences of 70 to 80 years.

According to Al Jazeera, the 212 protesters were arrested by the Metropolitan Police Department and initially charged with felony rioting, a crime that carries a 10-year prison sentence and a $25,000 fine. On April 27, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia added additional charges that include urging to riot, conspiracy to riot and destruction of property. 

Celisa Calacal is an intern for AlterNet. She is a senior journalism major and legal studies minor at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. Previously she worked at ThinkProgress

Lauren Kaori Gurley is a freelance writer and master's candidate in Latin American studies and journalism at New York University. Her work has been published in In These Times, the American Prospect and the American Journal of Economics and Sociology.

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Related:

With Executive Order on Policing, Trump Declares Racialized War on Dissent, Flint Taylor, Truth-out 

http://www.truth-out.org/images/Images_2017_02/2017_0210police.jpg A protester faces a line of police officers in the days after the fatal police shooting of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on July 10, 2016. (Photo: Edmund D. Fountain / The New York Times <http://nytimes.com>)

  • The order can be read as an official authorization, from one white supremacist -- Steve Bannon -- to another -- Jeff Sessions -- to pursue the most racist and reactionary criminal legal policies in recent memory.
  • Related: Can Customs and Border Officials Search Your Phone? These Are Your Rights
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