Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018 September 2018 October 2018 November 2018 December 2018 January 2019


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Sometimes the most patriotic thing you can do is refuse to stand and salute

by digby

This patriot didn't stand

I wrote about Trump's race-baiting for Salon this morning:

As the catastrophe in Puerto Rico looks more and more like it's going to end up even worse than hurricane Katrina, five days later the president finally tweeted last night:
Texas and Florida are doing great but Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt, is in deep trouble. It's old electrical grid, which was in terrible shape, was devastated. Much of the Island was destroyed, with billions of dollars owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with. Food, water and medical are top priorities - and doing well. #FEMA
It's stunning that anyone, much less a president, could possibly be this obtuse. He actually seemed to be saying that the people of Puerto Rico brought this on themselves. And for a man whose business went belly up four times costing Wall Street and banks many millions in losses to bring up Puerto Rico's debt at a time like this takes real chutzpah. It almost sounded as if he was saying they ("sadly") had to pay back Wall Street before they could expect any assistance.

And no, food,water and medical are not "doing well." All of those things are in extreme short supply along with fuel, phones and back up generators so that people can access money. The airport is in complete chaos.

The president is very, very busy right now so it stands to reason that he doesn't have time to deal with a humanitarian crisis. As Politico reported on Monday, Trump has been worried that his base was feeling neglected so he decided to do a little race baiting to get them all excited:
"He knows it'll get people stirred up and talking about it," a senior administration official said. 
The official added the Trump fears his supporters may be feeling neglected after he decided to not immediately cut off protections for undocumented young immigrants known as Dreamers and after he cut a deal with Democrats on the debt ceiling and government funding.
His base was upset that he didn't thrill them by deporting 800,000 young Latinos immediately so he figured if he called some famous African Americans sons-o-bitches and insist they be fired and blackballed it would make them happy.  According to Wall Street Journal's Rebecca Ballhaus, on Tuesday night at a White House dinner he said that the issue has “really taken off,” per source. “He was happy—he feels like he’s clearly winning that exchange."

Trump thinks he's being very clever by pretending the issue is about patriotism and the flag rather than race. He even twisted the meaning of the protest itself with some fatuous nonsense about players locking arms being supportive of the anthem while kneeling was unpatriotic:

That's ridiculous, of course. The locked arms were done as a gesture of solidarity with the men who took a knee, an affirmation of their right to protest. And an interesting thing happened at Monday Night football. Before the anthem played, the Dallas Cowboys, including the arch conservative owner Jerry Johnson, locked arms, marched to the center of the field where they all took a knee. And they were booed by many in the crowd, proving once and for all that the problem people have with the protest has absolutely nothing to do with National Anthem or the flag and everything to do with the protest itself.

Trump had tweeted all day Monday about the flag and the anthem while his press secretary robotically repeated the same words over and over again at the White House press briefing:
This isn't about the president being against anyone, but this is about the president and millions of Americans being for something, being for honoring our flag, honoring our national anthem and honoring the men and women who fought to defend it.
She even went so far as to say that the president using profanity was a defense of America and said if players want to protest police brutality they should protest the police officers who are protecting them on the field instead of the flag. It was a very, very bizarre performance.

This brouhaha, of course, all about race. It was conceived as a protest against police violence against unarmed African Americans. But it is also true that Trump has a real problem with the first amendment. We know how he feels about freedom of the press and religion. He's no more in favor of free speech, even tweeting during the transition period that “nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag. If they do, there must be consequences — perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!”

He apparently didn't realize that the man he lionized during the campaign as the perfect Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia, had joined the majority opinion in two cases in which the Court held that burning the flag was an exercise of free speech.

Scalia told CNN that he didn't personally approve of it but explained that "it is fundamentally protected by the Constitution and the Founding Fathers' efforts to create a government not ruled by tyranny." He added, "we have a First Amendment, which says that the right of free speech shall not be abridged -- and it is addressed in particular to speech critical of the government. That was the main kind of speech that tyrants would seek to suppress."

There are many reasons that Americans have refused to stand for the national anthem or have knelt down to protest oppression. It's often been done to demonstrate opposition to racial discrimination as civil rights hero Congressman John Lewis tweeted:

And it was an explicit and intensely personal protest by the man who courageously broke the color barrier in professional sports at great cost to his pride and dignity, a military veteran and lifelong Republican by the name of Jackie Robinson whose 1972 autobiography ends with this:
Today as I look back on that opening game of my first world series, I must tell you that it was Mr Rickey's drama and that I was only a principal actor. As I write this twenty years later, I cannot stand and sing the anthem, I cannot salute the flag; I know that I am a black man in a white world. In 1972, in 1947, at my birth in 1919, I know that I never had it made. 

That's what those athletes who are taking a knee are saying today, 45 years later. No matter how rich and successful they become, they are still black men in white America, facing potentially mortal danger every time a police officer pulls them over. Whatever Donald Trump and his deeply racist core of supporters believe, black men in America still do not have it made.