Wednesday, October 23, 2019

No Sweat, No Fuss

I was all set to post this day about one of Monday's tweets from the self-proclaimed "least racist person anywhere in the world":

History professor Jason Morgan Ward recognizes, "By co-opting the word "lynching" to mean anything unpleasant or objectionable, and deploying the term for political expediency or more dangerous ends, the speaker, writer, or, in this case, the tweeter, diminishes lynching's power in American history. "

Trump's remark was  tasteless and- more importantly- ahistorical, nearly as degenerate (no, not really) as the man himself. However, Trump is convinced that any criticism of him is unpatriotic and thus feels beset upon because of a (completely justified) investigation. Moreover, "what they are witnessing here (is) a lynching" does not create a visual image, hence lacks the impact created when an unqualified job applicant 28 years ago charged that a congressional investigation of his past was "a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves."

That characterization was a powerful, completely dishonest statement from Clarence Thomas, whom we later learned was probably a pervert, and (due in part to Senator Joe Biden) now has a lifelong position on the United States Supreme Court.  It was not a comment made- unlike in the case of Donald Trump- an individual who was elected to a position he currently holds. Rather, the charge was made by an individual who wouldn't concede even the legitimacy of the job interview which the Senate Judiciary Committee was required to undertake.

Further, if you believe that President Trump's lynching tweet was unusually reprehensible, don't take it only from me that it wasn't. Take it from a more powerful entity, one we might (in our naivete) believe would have been outraged by the President's ridiculous assertion.  

President Trump had accepted an invitation to be the keynote speaker at a criminal justice forum, at which ten Democratic presidential candidates also are expected to speak, at historically black Columbia College in Columbia, South Carolina on Friday. Notwithstanding a barrage of criticism from South Carolina Democrats about Trump's tweet, the show must go on, it appears, and the invitation to the President stands. Politico reports

“I definitely think that those comments were in poor taste, and they were inflammatory, and I think he should apologize,” said Tishaura Jones, St. Louis’ city treasurer and Democratic co-chair of the host group, the 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center. “But we’re never gonna get an apology from the president.”

So if Trump's statement had been a one-of, completely completely out of character from a person generally tolerant toward minorities, it would have been unacceptable. However, because he already had proven to us that he is a bigot and continues to appeal to the darkness lurking within (many) Americans, he can still be honored.

Politico notes that it

reached out to representatives of at least a dozen historically black colleges and universities across the country and spoke to nearly a dozen Democratic leaders, strategists and HBCU advocates, who described the president’s use of the term “lynching” as not only incorrect but also an erasure of the violence black Americans have experienced over generations.

Most HBCU leaders or their spokespeople either did not respond to a request for comment or declined to antagonize the president. The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

There was little pushback from leaders of most of the historically black colleges and universities who were contacted. Presumably, they disapproved of equating an impeachment inquiry with stringing up innocent human beings because of the color of their skin, much like many GOP members of Congress disapprove of the unpatriotic and corrupt behavior of the White House but remain mum.

They disapprove- but money talk.Conscience and decency can take a seat in the back of the bus.

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