Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Thursday, September 7, 2023

The late presidential speech writer, Michael Gerson, wrote this message in 2020 for people who excuse Trump's racism:


History can and will repeat itself if we don't pay attention.

"I had fully intended to ignore President Trump’s latest round of racially charged taunts against an African American elected official, and an African American activist, and an African American journalist and a whole city with a lot of African Americans in it. I had every intention of walking past Trump’s latest outrages and writing about the self-destructive squabbling of the Democratic presidential field, which has chosen to shame former vice president Joe Biden for the sin of being an electable, moderate liberal.
But I made the mistake of pulling James Cone’s 'The Cross and the Lynching Tree' off my shelf — a book designed to shatter convenient complacency. Cone recounts the case of a white mob in Valdosta, Ga., in 1918 that lynched an innocent man named Haynes Turner. Turner’s enraged wife, Mary, promised justice for the killers. The sheriff responded by arresting her and then turning her over to the mob, which included women and children. According to one source, Mary was 'stripped, hung upside down by the ankles, soaked with gasoline, and roasted to death. In the midst of this torment, a white man opened her swollen belly with a hunting knife and her infant fell to the ground and was stomped to death.'
God help us. It is hard to write the words. This evil — the evil of white supremacy, resulting in dehumanization, inhumanity and murder — is the worst stain, the greatest crime, of U.S. history. It is the thing that nearly broke the nation. It is the thing that proved generations of Christians to be vicious hypocrites. It is the thing that turned normal people into moral monsters, capable of burning a grieving widow to death and killing her child.
When the president of the United States plays with that fire or takes that beast out for a walk, it is not just another political event, not just a normal day in campaign 2020. It is a cause for shame. It is the violation of martyrs’ graves. It is obscene graffiti on the Lincoln Memorial. It is, in the eyes of history, the betrayal — the re-betrayal — of Haynes and Mary Turner and their child. And all of this is being done by an ignorant and arrogant narcissist reviving racist tropes for political gain, indifferent to the wreckage he is leaving, the wounds he is ripping open.
Like, I suspect, many others, I am finding it hard to look at resurgent racism as just one in a series of presidential offenses or another in a series of Republican errors. Racism is not just another wrong. The Antietam battlefield is not just another plot of ground. The Edmund Pettus Bridge is not just another bridge. The balcony outside Room 306 at the Lorraine Motel is not just another balcony. As U.S. history hallows some causes, it magnifies some crimes.
What does all this mean politically? It means that Trump’s divisiveness is getting worse, not better. He makes racist comments, appeals to racist sentiments and inflames racist passions. The rationalization that he is not, deep down in his heart, really a racist is meaningless. Trump’s continued offenses mean that a large portion of his political base is energized by racist tropes and the language of white grievance. And it means — whatever their intent — that those who play down, or excuse, or try to walk past these offenses are enablers.
Some political choices are not just stupid or crude. They represent the return of our country’s cruelest, most dangerous passion. Such racism indicts Trump. Treating racism as a typical or minor matter indicts us."
— Michael Gerson


Les Carpenter said...

It takes humans to turn our world

Les Carpenter said...

Human ignorance knows no bounds.

The only way racism and human inhumanity to others is ever going to end is for every individual to look deep within themselves with total honesty and realize their true essence and nature. Something the ego hides from milions if not billions of people.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Les, And very few people will take the time to do so -- look deep within themselves.

I salute you and the introspection you've achieved.

Dave Miller said...

Les... there is a human decision to be made. With that, I 100% agree. But if individuals refuse to abandon their racist past, current ways and actions, do we accept it under the guise of free speech?

Or does government have some role to play?

Does the "corporate body politic" of America throw up our hands while we wait for the individual to evolve to enlightenment and leave their racism behind? Or can we act, collectively, to sideline those people and their views before they fatally reinfect America?

Dave Miller said...

There's classic phrase, frequently attributed to Voltaire... "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

Many people in America stand on this principle. Almost religiously.

But should we?

Should we allow people to publicly say whatever they want, truth be damned, if in so doing, those words permitted by unrestrained speech, can cause damage to our country?

How do we decide when too much freedom is too much freedom and when, in the interests of the "common good", we need to dial it back a little?

Or, as I know some would argue, is it simply unAmerican to even ask the question?

Shaw Kenawe said...

Dave M., Les, No. It's not "simply unAmerican" to ask that question, since we do have limits on speech.

What I'm concerned about is the rise of Nazi symbolism and speech. Other democratic countries have outlawed it (Germany, for example), and it didn't lead to the demise of democracy in that country.

In Italy, in 2017: ROME (Reuters) - Italy’s lower house of parliament approved on Tuesday a bill aimed at curbing fascist propaganda, more than 70 years after the death of wartime dictator Benito Mussolini.

I've heard that the antidote to hate speech is MORE free speech. Well, we have almost unlimited free speech, and with it almost unlimited hate speech.

In Florida, we've heard the governor tell us that his state is where "woke" goes to die, but you'll never hear him state that Florida is also where Nazis go to march.

Dave Dubya said...

Free speech is a double-edged sword.
Since racism isn't racism to racists, and the media and politicians are negligent in calling it out, it will continue to thrive.
Racist Americans are no different than racist Germans in the 1930s. The enemy is within the Republican party, and nobody wants to talk about it. So they won't challenge Republicans calling democrats commies. Hitler's dream.

-FJ the Dangerous and Extreme MAGA Jew said...

The "race" party is upset about "racism". We could end "racism" tomorrow. Ban the Democratic Party. Is there anything that the Democratic Party cares about "other" than race and pretending to atone for their racist past?

Dave Miller said...

Shaw... I am with you. I never thought I'd see the day when it would be accepted in America for people to pledge allegiance to and honor the Nazi flag publicly.

I never thought people would wrap themselves into pretzels defending these neo-Nazis simply because they support Donald Trump. We used to say "the only good Nazi is a dead Nazi".

But for some reason, we've moved past that sentiment.

Maybe someone, anyone can explain why.

Shaw Kenawe said...

" -FJ the Dangerous and Extreme MAGA Jew said...
The "race" party is upset about "racism". We could end "racism" tomorrow. Ban the Democratic Party. Is there anything that the Democratic Party cares about "other" than race and pretending to atone for their racist past?"


You're adorable. How quickly your memory fades from when the GOPers referred to the Obama's as monkeys, and Michelle Obama as a man. And denied that Mr. Obama was born in the USA -- the ONLY American POTUS who had that thrown at him (I wonder why the Republicans chose Mr. Obama for that slander). And one of the worst was DJT, who bragged that he had his "people" investigating in Hawaii, and they were "finding out tremendous things!" What a liar!

It is true that the Democratic Party was ONCE the racist party of the Confederate States, UNTIL the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts were passed, then those Southern Democrats flipped from the Dixiecrats to the Republican Party, and have been there ever since.

And then there's Republican Lee Atwater (who was an aide to Republican President George Bush, Sr.), who is famous for this:

"You start out in 1954 by saying, “Ni**er, ni**er, ni**er.” By 1968 you can’t say “ni**er”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Ni**er, ni**er.”

Stop your nonsense, -FJ. I know that all you want to do is "stir things up" with your provocative assertions.

It isn't Republican or Democratic racism, it's AMERICANracism -- and that's American as Mom's apple pie and the American flag.

Dave Miller said...

-FJ and his "Ban the Democratic Party" fevered dreams.

Just this year, a conservative SCOTUS with three judges appointed by Trump, found North Carolina GOP politicians guilty of race based gerrymandering. They found Alabama GOP officials were guilty of race based gerrymandering. Then when Alabama redrew the map again, another federal panel of Trump judges threw it out for race based gerrymandering too. In Florida, a conservative court threw out their gerrymander map for being racist and diluting the voting power of black people.

I guess -FJ's argument about banning the Dems could work. After all, if there was no Democratic Party, who would bring these examples into courts where even those Trump judges can see that it's the GOP that is acting like racists.

Michael Gerson has never been a Dem. For his entire life, he has been a conservative evangelical, a graduate of Wheaton College. He, like the judges in both Alabama and Florida, knows racism when he sees it.

-FJ just doesn't like it when it implicates him.

Joe Conservative said...

Yep, thanks to Democrats, racism will continue to be as American as apple pie for centuries to come. The myth of the "Southern Strategy" was a great deflection. It's was both a successful ploy to both scapegoat Nixon for integrating Northern Unions (alienating Whites from Republicans) AND a scheme to con Southern Blacks into voting "Democrat". So why did all the forcibly integrated white unions still support Democrats if they were no longer racists? It is a puzzlement. Not!

Shaw Kenawe said...

As I noted above, and in answer to JoeCon/-FJ's comment, racism is an AMERICAN attribute. Our history is soaked in it.

The Democrats and the Republicans are Americans, so, therefore, there's enough racism to seep into both parties, with the major portion these days coming from the Trumpublicans.

90+% of American Blacks support the Democratic Party.

It was only when the Democratic Party took up the mantle of Civil Rights in the mid to late 1960’s that Black support for the Party coalesced into the reliable Democratic voting bloc we know today.

Dave Miller said...

Well Joe et al...

You've got to deal with a few inconvenient facts.

In 1968, the avowed racist/segregationist governor of Alabama George Wallace, who later apologized for his racism, left the Democratic Party to run as an independent for the presidency against Nixon and Humphrey.

Now over in the Nixon campaign, they had a young buck named Patrick Buchanan helping run the campaign. In a recent series of interviews on CNN about the 1968 campaign, Buchanan was very open about Wallace. He said that he and Nixon campaign were very worried about Wallace and his campaign.

Because the Wallace voters, those that favored Wallace's statement of "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever" and his racism, were, in the opinion of the Nixon campaign, "their voters".

Wallace stated the truth out loud.

That the GOP in 1968 was worried about losing the election to HHH because they feared too many white southern racists would vote for Wallace as opposed to Nixon.

Maybe you can tell us why Buchanan and the campaign was so worried about losing the support of the southern racist voter, who then left the Democratic Party, supported the Wallace candidacy and now overwhelmingly support the GOP.

Why do those racists feel that their natural home is with the GOP?

-FJ the Dangerous and Extreme MAGA Jew said...

90% of one race supporting Democrats isn't racism? It doesn't make politicians cultivate racism? lol!

Les Carpenter said...

I'll begin Dave by saying yes, government has a role to play. Government's function is to create structure and guideposts (laws) that govern the society.

No the "corporate body politic" should absolutely not throw up its hand and wait for the enlightenment of all individuals. That will never happen enlightenment is probably the furthest thing from the the minds of a racist. They most likely believe they are already enlightened.

So yes, we should collectively, in a decent civilized society sideline the racist players and support and protect those t b e racist hates. That includes other harmless lifestyles as well.

The one thing we can't do is hope to change their quite frankly ignorant minds.

Les Carpenter said...

Voltaire was right Dave. Because short of that understanding any tin pot dictator with the military behind them could create total censorship and creating a living hell.

Hitler... Stalin... Mao... Pol Pot... and so many more.

Until people fully understand and accept the interconnectedness and the oneness we are all a part of in this beautiful tapestry of existence this issue WILL continue to be a problem methinks.

Shaw Kenawe said...


"90% of one race supporting Democrats isn't racism? It doesn't make politicians cultivate racism? lol!"

More than eight-in-ten Republican voters in 2022 (85%) were White! Cultivate racism? LOL!

America’s problem is White people keep backing the Republican Party.

Les Carpenter said...

Of course FJ. Ban the party most responsible for the preservation of the liberties we enjoy today. While the party of the stupids (gop) are working diligently to restrict individual freedoms and liberties. As they accept and wink at white supremacy and racism.

Les Carpenter said...

Thanks to the idiots who refuse to acknowledge their racism racism lives on.

It's the truth and you're blather is part of the problem JC.

Dave Miller said...

RN... we can hope.

Will it happen?

Who knows...

Shaw Kenawe said...

Les, Dave M. -FJ just likes to throw propaganda bombs.

He's been wrong about EVERYTHING connected to the 2020 elections that Donald Trump and his goons tried to steal from Joe Biden. Every investigation by secretaries of state that did a recount found no fraud. The Durham Report delivered weak tea. And DJT is facing a pant load of trials for his criminal scheming.

-FJ likes to stir the pot and engage in logical fallacies.

-FJ the Dangerous and Extreme MAGA Jew said...

Well Dave, if the RNC wanted Wallace's voters in 1968, why would Nixon subsequently alienate them and integrate the unions with the Philadelphia Plan in 1969, was he just "stupid"? Just to lose white voters to the Democrats?

Dave Miller said...

FJ... as to your party make up numbers...

Here's a few more facts...

GOP ethnic makeup… 85% white, 7% Hispanic, 2% Asian and 1% Black - Dems ethnic makeup… 64% white, 17% Black, 11% Hispanic and 4% Asian

BTW... the latest polling shows approx 61% of Black voters are Dems, with an additional 13% leaning that way. The majority of the rest identify as independents.

It was not always so. Black people historically supported the GOP, the "Party of Lincoln". But they began to leave the GOP during the 60's as the party tended to support policies favored by ex southern Democrats and the resurgent southern GOP members.

Perhaps if the GOP espoused better policies and treated black people with more respect, that number could once again be more balanced. But just read the comments from conservatives on sites I know you visit and comment.

If you call Michelle Obama "Moochelle", use terms like the "Magic Negro" "Halfrican" "Ni**er" "Negress" and more, even after being told those terms are offensive, why would black people want to be around any of you?

I know plenty of POC who would gladly support many of the policies of the GOP, but won't be caught dead in the same room or voting GOP because of the way people like you and your friends talk about them.

So what should we all do?

Grey One talks sass said...

Shaw - where I grew up those who stirred the pot got to lick the spoon. Awesome gif you left me. Thank you. Made me smile.

Dave and Les - There is no way to force a person into enlightenment, to understand and tame the temptation of ego. Well, there are ways... but they always fail and the end result is more bloody. Always.

That said, whether by force (rules/laws) or by compliance (understanding self, mastering ego) in the public square manners, civility, and propriety rule the day. A human may be a racist in their heart but in public they are polite. The alternative is more anarchy, more violence, which the Christian nationalist crowd uses to call for harsher measures against their perceived enemies.... it's been done a thousand times. Not sure why those in charge didn't see it coming. I thought they have people for that sort of thing.

Sorry, I digress. Just saying there is no way to get a human like FJ to behave themselves for a minute on their own. So no, they don't get to be one their own. We don't allow toddlers unfettered freedom to the house, do we? No, we baby proof as much as we can and teach the child how to make better choices and how to handle emotions and frustration.

First we have to take the country back from the Christian nationalists because they are everywhere. School boards are a good place to start if someone had some time and extra energy and needed something to do...

I might have been thinking about your conversation for a while. I do have the time now since the service doggo crossed the bridge. Correct thing to do but it still sucks. I do hate adulting some times.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Grey One talks, sass

I'm so sorry to hear you lost your service dog. I know the pain of losing a beloved dog or

and cat. I hope there's a chance to replace him/her?

I'm not sure -FJ believes half the things he writes. He just like to be controversial. And the star of his own show.

Joe Conservative said...

Notice that the censor pShaw can't let my words stand on their own. She HAS to pervert them to reframe them, like any NAZI fascist would.

Les Carpenter said...

True liberation and freedom arises most completely when one realizes their true essence and nature and accepts, rather than atempting to manipulate or change reality. Change that which you control (only yourself) and accept that over which you have no control.

Understanding we are all interconnected in myriad ways and as a result completely interdependent is both a liberating realization and a game changer for the individual being who realizes.

FJ may never grasp he is in all likelihood actually defining himself and probably billions of other living beings. It is the perspective that is questionable, not the person.

Dave Miller said...

Shaw... at the end of the day, we are still left with this statement from Gerson...

"...Trump’s divisiveness is getting worse, not better. He makes racist comments, appeals to racist sentiments and inflames racist passions. The rationalization that he is not, deep down in his heart, really a racist is meaningless. Trump’s continued offenses mean that a large portion of his political base is energized by racist tropes and the language of white grievance."

Let's parse is for a moment.

objectively true, we are more divided now than in 2016. Now I know a case can be made for the left working to take advantage of this, but roots are roots and Trump's racism went viral starting with the birther BS.

"He makes racist comments, appeals to racist sentiments and inflames racist passions."... Again, true. Trump does make, at the least, racially insensitive comments which do inflame racist sentiments and passions.

"Trump’s continued offenses mean that a large portion of his political base is energized by racist tropes and the language of white grievance." Racist killers are shooting up places, A black person pulls into the wrong driveway and is shot. A synagogue is shot up. And on and on it goes. Because of, as the perpetrators state, white grievance.

I've noticed the -FJ crew never defend the direct statements and actions of Trump and his followers. Heck, even Skud admitted Trump never did anything during the J6 rebellion/insurrection/touristvisit to stop it, a visible abdication of his constitutional duties to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Instead they offer up moral equivalencies as if to say "Your guy did it first. You're no better."

To that I will say... wait for it, maybe so. Maybe so.

But that does not give anyone the right to foment violence to make, or get a point heard.

Not in a democracy.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Joe Conservative said...
"Notice that the censor pShaw can't let my words stand on their own. She HAS to pervert them to reframe them, like any NAZI fascist would."

So Joe Conservative claimed I'm "like any NAZI fascist" because I would not post his slander about one of my commenters where he named her and likened her to Nazis?

As your pals over on the now defunct AOW blog used to say: "My blog; my rules." You don't get to call my commenters (or me) Nazis, because I don't want to post your insults and slanders. Got it?

Now why don't you go peddle your whining about what content a blog owner chooses to post at the Geeez blog where she does not allow ANYONE to post unless they kiss Donald Trump's prodigious posterior and unless they toe the line that Faux Nooz tells them to. Her blog; her rules; her echo chamber.

Dave Miller said...

Joe/FJ and whatever monikers you care to use.

If you weren't such a self admitted troll, there would be no need to moderate your comments. But the fact is, you have shown yourself to be a bad actor, unable to be in polite community with others and desirous of ruining the experience for everyone else. If this were kindergarten, you get a "needs to improve" on your report card.

Your style has alienated many. You've targeted RN for repeated abuse, you lied to and about CI on other blogs and I believe you and your penchant for hijacking threads to talk about you pet issues are one of the main reasons Silver decided to close his blog.

If Shaw decides she doesn't want someone spewing a bunch of crap at her blog, that's her right. But if you're gonna come here and spew forth about censorship, you darn well should do the same at Geez. Let us know how it goes when you call her a Nazi.

At least here, for the time being, you get a hearing. There we get shuffled off to the trash bin and never published.

Answer Shaw's question, if you dare... If Shaw's a Nazi for moderating your comments, is Geez also a Nazi for doing the same to liberal voices like ours?

No one, except maybe you, want this to be the new WYD Stench Trench. You want that, hit up Ed, that's where the rest of your toxic free speecher ilk seem to be congregating these days after Lisa was shut down.

Les Carpenter said...

Check out and you'll see how the trolls troll FJ, Joe Con, ect was handled there.

I could not care any less about the MAGA boys views or his over blown self absorption. He visited for the first time today and i responded. I doubt he'll return. If he does the rues are the rules. Whether he likes it or not.

All he is looking to do is fibd a place where crap is accepted.

Les Carpenter said...

Toxic people look for spaces to toxify. I'll allow comments at my site as long as they are topic related and respectful of others. Even if i do not agree. I'd rather have no comments than toxic or off topic comments. I tired of it and today politics is no longer a center piece of my existence.

-FJ the Dangerous and Extreme MAGA Jew said...

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you."

- Friedrich Nietzsche

Les Carpenter said...

Look into your own mind experientially FJ and see if you can determine its very essence and nature. Until then STFU.

-FJ the Dangerous and Extreme MAGA Jew said...

I didn't "experience" any alection fraud in 2020? Who knew?