Monday, December 5, 2016
The above picture is of a Klan rally that was held in Washington DC in 1922; the idea that such a hateful organization could at one time come together in our nation's capitol seems like a relic of our backwards past. Surely, white supremacist groups like them have no power or influence nowadays, right?
Well, their numbers may be smaller, but the Klu Klux Klan is still with us, and they still like to come out in force sometimes. Like they just did last Saturday in North Carolina, only now, instead of rallying in front of the White House, they just rally in favor of the man about to live in the White House. Yes, along with their usual cries of "white power", Klan members were also heard yelling "hail victory" in praise of Trump's win. And to make things even more clear, here's a direct quote from Amanda Barker, an "imperial komander" in the group: “Actually we have the same views,” she said, referring to the president-elect. “A lot of white Americans felt the same way, especially about the wall, immigration and the terrorism coming here. I think Donald Trump is going to do some really good things and turn this country around."
And that Klan leader has reason to be happy: Trump's choice for Attorney General is Jeff Sessions, a man who was denied a federal judgeship back in 1986 for racially inflammatory statements, and Trump's chief strategist is Steve Bannon, a former alternative right media leader also known for racist and anti Semitic statements. So don't be fooled by his appointment of African American Ben Carson to be Secretary of the House And Urban development, most of the people Trump will surround himself and listen to as president are white men whom those Klan members will approve of. And the more you think of it, the worse it gets: over two million more people voted for Hillary Clinton than Trump, but he won because we have an outdated electoral college system, which was first devised to give more power to smaller, less populated slave states. So our legacy of slavery just gave the White House to the most openly race baiting modern presidential candidate ever!
And then there's the so called "pizzagate" scandal: last Sunday a man opened fire in a Washington DC pizza parlor; while he thankfully hurt no one and was quickly caught, his inspiration for the shooting was clear. Shortly after Wikileaks released thousands of Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta's emails last November, a conspiracy theory began that stated that somehow the DC pizza place Comet Ping Pong was the center of a child prostitution ring, with Clinton herself inevitably involved! (Every time Podesta emailed Clinton about ordering pizza, he was actually ordering up another child prostitute, so the theory goes). There has never been a shred of proof for any of this, but the belief has escalated from threatening messages towards the pizza place's owner and coworkers to the aforementioned gun toting nut job shooting up the place.
So how could this now violence inspiring crazy conspiracy get any worse? How about the fact that one of the people who spread it is now Trump's choice for National Security Advisor? That's right, today's New York Times reports that Lt. Gen. Micheal Flynn has endorsed this conspiracy on his twitter account, along with other Clinton and President Obama conspiracies. The fact that a candidate for a major political appointment could believe something so insane and unproven should be a major scandal, but, as with so much else, Trump just sails over it. And it should come as no surprise. Why should it matter that a Trump appointee believes bug nut crazy conspiracies when the president himself recently tweeted that millions of illegal voters voted in the presidential election? As with pizzagate, there is absolutely no proof of Trump's voter assertion, but then there is absolutely no proof in so much of what he has said in the past eighteen months that one more lie is nothing. He lies multiple times in practically every speech he's given as a candidate, and he won, so why stop?
So let's review: American voters elected a man who ran a campaign filled with bigotry and conspiracy theories, and he now is surrounding himself with bigots and conspiracy theorists! This is why progressives must never stop opposing him, this isn't about Republicans vs. Democrats, this is about wrong and right.