June 20 2021 The Violence of Liberation Versus the Violence of Repression; the Case of Stonewall

In response to my post of the article written by Spencer Garcia for Truthout which situates Stonewall in the history of anti-police action, someone commented; “It’s ridiculous to think that its possible to disband the police. There are a few police who use their power to do bad things but the majority are good citizens that we count on every day. We need to support the police.”

      To this I replied; We are not going to agree on the state’s use of force and control to repress dissent and authorize identities; I see this as the origin of evil. Evil arises not from the motives and actions of individuals, but from the systemic and structural inequalities of power imposed on and between individuals by the state. We can agree on the redemptive power of love to heal the flaws of our humanity and the brokenness of the world.

     Quick on the heels of this, a general question in another forum was posed on the death penalty; “What does everyone think of the death penalty? Is it ever justified?” While I was replying; I do not trust the state with the power of life and death over us, someone replied;” Off with their heads!”, a reference to the French Revolution and revolutionary struggle in general which reframes the question of the use of force by the state in a way which brings it great clarity as a general principle. Here is my reply: 

     By any means necessary, as a hero of my youth, Malcolm X, said. If we are speaking of revolutionary struggle and the historical context of beheading aristocrats, as an ancestor of mine called the Red Queen after the Alice in Wonderland character was during the Paris Commune for her method of assassination.

     The violence used by a slavemaster cannot be compared to the violence used by a slave to break his chains, as Trotsky in Their Morals and Ours has been paraphrased. This dictum has its reverse; the state has no legitimate authority to use death, violence, force, and control in the repression of dissent, theft of citizenship or violations of our universal human rights, or authorization of identities. This got Trotsky killed by Stalin, as he rightly called out tyranny and terror as tyranny and terror regardless of what those who would enslave us call themselves.

     Revolutionary struggle, protest movements, and wars of liberation use force and violence to achieve a society free of inequality when there are no other means possible, when the tyranny and terror of authority, state force and control, and elite hegemonies of wealth, power, and privilege answer dissent with repression because they are without legitimacy and have only fear to keep the slaves at their work. Those who would enslave us refuse to negotiate because they see only themselves as human, and without debate we are left only the sword.

       Any who stand between the tyranny and state terror of conquest, enslavement, and death, and the lives of innocents are heroes and champions of our humanity. The particulars are irrelevant.

     I say this in reference to Hamas and other defenders and champions of the powerless in the events of the Third Intifada in which I was both a participant and a witness of history, but it holds true as a general principle of action.

      As written by Walter Rodney in The Groundings with my Brothers; “We were told that violence in itself is evil, and that, whatever the cause, it is unjustified morally. By what standard of morality can the violence used by a slave to break his chains be considered the same as the violence of a slave master? By what standards can we equate the violence of blacks who have been oppressed, suppressed, depressed and repressed for four centuries with the violence of white fascists? Violence aimed at the recovery of human dignity and at equality cannot be judged by the same yardstick as violence aimed at maintenance of discrimination and oppression.”

     And here is the passage he references from Leon Trotsky in Their Morals and Ours: The Class Foundations of Moral Practice; “A slave-owner who through cunning and violence shackles a slave in chains, and a slave who through cunning or violence breaks the chains – let not the contemptible eunuchs tell us that they are equals before a court of morality!”

     If we flip the coin over once again and look at the issue of social force not from the angle of state violence versus liberation from it, nor as the direct use of state force in the death penalty as the ultimate case of enforcement of law and order in the subjugation of others to normative ideas of virtue as authorized by elites, but in the case of staged confrontations between Fascist and Antifascist forces in the battle for the soul of America and the future of humankind which played out in the streets of Portland and throughout our nation last year as the Fourth Reich’s deniable assets and militias attempted to discredit and seize the narrative of the Black Lives Matter protests in a campaign of murder, violence, arson, and looting to provide a pretext for the federal occupation of Democratic cities, funded by fascist oligarchs including the family of Betsy DeVos and centrally planned and organized in coordination with the secret police specially formed for the purpose of abduction and torture of protesters by Chad Wolf, at the command and with the authorization of Trump and Barr, the same organizations of white supremacist terror and fascist tyranny which attempted a coup during the January 6 Insurrection of this year, we can refine our critique of the social use of force even more.

     Force, Violence, and Power; the internal contradictions of breaking the law to achieve justice now faced by militias involved in the January 6 Insurrection and the murder of police officers, whose identity is centered on being auxillary forces for the police, and deniable assets of elite white supremacist hegemony and state tyranny, is parallel to that of antifascist groups which challenge them in a kind of fight club.

      We must remember always in the staging of performances of guerilla theatre that such grounds of struggle are consequences of division and hierarchies of exclusionary otherness and belonging, in which the lies and illusions, narratives of victimization, weaponization of faith and identitarian nationalisms, and strategies of co-optation, assimilation, and falsification leveraged by our true enemies and hegemonic elites in service to their wealth, power, and privilege have shaped and directed those we face in the line of battle; fellow powerless and dispossessed citizens who have been turned against their own class interests.

     Our duty of care toward others means that we must ever stand between such forces of repression and their intended victims; but we must also liberate them when possible from subjugation to authority and from the zombiefication of cult and fascist thought control.

    Remember always Nietzsche’s warning in Beyond Good and Evil; “He who fights monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss gazes back into thee.”

    Here I speak as the founder of Lilac City Antifa, whose members and allies placed themselves between armed provocateurs, some with badges and some without, and their intended victims throughout last year’s Red Summer, in Seattle and Portland, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Minneapolis, and many other cities. By June of last year over two hundred of our cities had imposed curfews, and during the summer some fifty cities had sustained protests of over one hundred days involving between fifteen and twenty million Americans who refused to submit to racist state terror.

      Identity built on force and violence characterizes both state tyranny and the revolutions which oppose them. This is why heroes become tyrants, successor states recapitulate the evils of those they replace, and utopias contain the seeds of their destruction.

     The escape from this dilemma and vicious cycle of harm is to abandon the social use of force and embrace instead the heart of democracy founded in the Forum of Athens: the traditions of Socratic dialog, open debate, verifiable and objective truth, and freedom of information. In a free society of equals, there are no systemic nor structural inequalities or hierarchies of belonging, no divisions of otherness, no ethnic or sectarian conflicts, and no class struggle.

      As Sigmund Freud and Josef Breuer wrote in an 1893 medical journal article; “The first human being who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilization.” Let us trade stones for words, and force for persuasion.

     As I wrote in my post of March 28 2019, in the wake of the Christchurch white supremacist terror and the direct threat of a copycat atrocity against our local mosque here in Spokane; I’ve thought about the origins of evil, of violence and power in the relationships between fear, anger, hate, and other negative emotions as illnesses, for a long time now and in many roles and contexts.

     Here are some things I have learned:

     First, the process by which violence operates as a system is the same for all spheres of action and levels of scale; within personal and social contexts and in intimate relationships and families as well as nations and historical civilizations.

     The precondition of violence as hate crime, and of both tyranny and terror,

is overwhelming and generalized fear as shaped by submission to authority.

     Structures and figures of authorized power feed on fear and hate, grow stronger by the cycle of power and violence and the negative emotions and forces of darkness to which they give form and through which they subjugate others.

     We must question, expose, mock and challenge authority whenever it comes to claim us. These are the four primary duties of a citizen in a free society of equals.

      Let us be unconquered, masterless, and free; let us answer tyranny with resistance, control with anarchy and civil disobedience, normality with transgression, and division with solidarity.

     Let us answer hate with love and fear with our faith in each other; let us reach out across our boundaries and become better than we now are, let us join together and break the chain of lies and illusions which binds us through our most atavistic passions to enslavement by authority and addiction to power.

     Let us dethrone authority and abandon power over others for an empowered self-ownership of identity; that we may reinvent how to be human as autonomous individuals, through and for one another in glorious diversity, democracy, and a free society of equals.

    Let us evolve toward a nonviolent and noncoercive society together, become bearers of the Torch of Liberty together, and unite to achieve our dreams of democracy together.

     Let us be bringers of chaos, joy, transformation, and revolution.

June 19 2021 Liberation, Memory, History, and Human Being: a Narrative Theory of Identity

      On this Juneteenth we celebrate the final Emancipation of the Black peoples of America from slavery, and also the Liberation of Humankind from all forms of ownership by others. The first kind of freedom was won in the Civil War and is particular to our unique history; the second kind of freedom is universal and is yet to the achieved.

     There has been much insightful and relevant discussion of our history of slavery and racial inequality and violence during the Black Lives Matter protests of last year and in the weeks before this holiday, of the silencing and erasure of people of color from our historical memory and of the divisions of exclusionary otherness and defense of unequal power in our society through state control of our identity and relations with others at every level of human interaction.

     Beyond the state terror of racist police violence, this is the primary means of repression and power asymmetry perpetrated against us by the ruling class; not the secret prisons and assassinations, not the racist death squads or the dehumanization and commodification of the working class by the cabal of plutocratic capitalists, Gideonite fundamentalist patriarchs, and white supremacist terrorists who together comprise the fascist Republican conspiracy of atavistic barbarism, but their theft of the possibilities of human meaning and being through control of our educational system and rewritten history.

     Why are we taught to revere Independence Day on the Fourth of July, but not Emancipation Day on June 19?

     Much of our history has been stolen from us. Its time to take it back.

     Why is this of vital importance? How is our liberty determined by our history and the quality of our humanity by our memory?

     We are the stories we tell about ourselves, to ourselves and one another. Our stories live within us, and we also live within them. Who owns these stories also owns ourselves.

     Shall we tip our hats and say “yowza” to those who would enslave us, or shall we defy and challenge them unto their destruction?

     Whose stories shall we teach to future generations? Will it be songs of resistance and survival, of the unconquered freedom and glory of our humanity and the triumph of our seizures of power over who we are and may become? Or will it be elegies of our dehumanization and enslavement, or submission to tyrannical authorities and fascisms of blood, faith, and soil?

     America is a free society of equals, wherein no one is better than any other by reason of birth or condition, in which we are co-owners of our government. This new American humanity was intended to be a society of autonomous individuals, in which we are free from the ideas of other people and from the force and control of the state.

     Free to dream new possibilities of becoming human, to create ourselves as we choose with a free will and conscience in which no government stands between us and the limits of our imagination, and in which relations between persons are unmediated by the state so long as none are harmed and no other boundaries are authorized by law; a society which renounces the social use of force in the performance of our identities and in which we send no armies to enforce virtue.

     We must seize our stories as informing and motivating sources through which we shape ourselves, authorize identities, and create Others for whom we are negative spaces and through whom we define ourselves.

     Always there remains the creative dynamism and revolutionary struggle between the masks that others make for us and those we make for ourselves. This is the first revolution in which we all must fight; the struggle to create ourselves.

     Which future will we choose, America? Resistance or submission?











June 18 2021 Anniversary of Trump’s Open Declaration of Nazi Allegiance in Using a Symbol of the Holocaust to Launch His Re-Election Campaign

     On this day one year ago the Fourth Reich regime which had captured America shed its mask and its fig leaf of legitimacy spun of lies and illusions as Trump with feral malice and the arrogance of power chose to launch his re-election campaign using the inverted Red Triangle worn by political prisoners of the Nazi death camps in reference to his own political opponents and to Antifa,  the only Resistance force to ever defeat in battle the combined federal secret police of Homeland Security and their disavowable assets of white supremacist terror.

      The Red Triangle became a symbol of liberation and victory over fascism and tyranny as well as Resistance when the Triumvirate of Trump, Barr, and Wolf declared the defeat of their regime and officially ceded federal control of New York, Seattle, and Portland to the people as Autonomous Zones.

     I will be wearing my Red Triangle, assigned by the Nazis to political prisoners including social democrats, liberals, socialists, communists, anarchists, gentiles who assisted Jews, trade unionists, and Freemasons, as a badge of honor and victory in the liberation of the Autonomous Zones, a symbol of Antifa, in honor of all the victims of the Holocaust yet to be avenged, and as a promise to all those yet to be liberated from fascism and tyranny.

      Let the Red Triangle signal to those who would enslave us; We are many, we are watching, and we are the future.

     As I wrote in my post of September 24 2020, Leading the Charge Into the Future: the New York , Portland, and Seattle Autonomous Zones; In accord with Trump’s directive, the US Department of Justice has designated three cities, including Seattle, Portland, and New York City, as “anarchist” jurisdictions, officially ceding control to the free peoples who have seized their birthright and returned private property to the commons from which it was stolen and legitimacy from the government which has squandered it.

    Henceforth let us call those cities for which power and ownership has been transferred to us by the President of the United States, Attorney General William Barr, and Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, by their true names; the New York, Seattle, and Portland Autonomous Zones.

    May they be the first of many, throughout America and the world.

     As I wrote in my post of June 18 2020, Beneath the Republican Mask: Treason, Racism, Untruth, Misogyny, Predator; Mark of the Red Triangle;  Thanks for showing us what’s under your masks, Republicans; Treason, Racism, Untruth, Misogyny, Predator.

     Just when we thought there was no depravity which remains unexplored by our Clown of Terror, no violation of American values or degradation of humanity yet unseen in the outrages and mad performances of Traitor Trump, he launches his re-election campaign using symbols of the Holocaust.

     If there was any doubt as to his true motives and intentions in his relentless and savage campaign to subvert democracy and seize authoritarian power as tyrant of a regime of white supremacist terror, this open declaration of Nazi allegiance should erase all doubt.

     All that remains is for each of us to choose if we will face judgement and the witness of history with or against fascism and tyranny. Which future shall we leave for the next generation as our legacy?

     As Eoin Higgins writes in Common Dreams; ‘In a statement, Bend the Arc CEO Stosh Cotler said that “Trump and his cronies have used carefully-targeted antisemitic rhetoric and imagery to go after their opponents, while inciting violence against Jewish and Muslim people, immigrants, Black people, and people of color.”

     “Make no mistake, the President of the United States is campaigning for reelection using a Nazi concentration camp symbol,” Cotler said. “Nazis used the red triangle to mark political prisoners and dissidents, and now Trump and the RNC are using it to smear millions of people protesting racist police violence. Their masks are off.”

     “The Trump campaign used symbols similar to these found on concentration camp uniforms in an ad about the president’s political opponents.

     Social media giant Facebook on Thursday took a rare step of intervening in the platform’s political discourse by removing ads run by President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign using symbols from Nazi concentration camps after sustained outcry from advocacy groups.

     “Public outcry works,” tweeted Jewish advocacy group Bend the Arc: Jewish Action. “But the Trump campaign must be held accountable for its bigotry—and so must Facebook for enabling it.”

     The president’s campaign used an inverted red triangle in an ad to represent antifa, or antifascism, but as critics immediately pointed out, the symbol has an extremely dark and fascist past.

     According to the Washington Post: “A red inverted triangle was first used in the 1930s to identify Communists, and was applied as well to Social Democrats, liberals, Freemasons and other members of opposition parties. The badge forced on Jewish political prisoners, by contrast, featured a yellow triangle overlaid by a red triangle.”


June 17 2021 Who Stands Between Each of Us and the Infinite Serves Neither: Case of the ISIS Brides

     A study in Patriarchy as weaponized faith in service to power and sexual terror, internalized oppression, and falsification of people through propagandistic lies and illusions. If anyone wonders why a nonsectarian state which authorizes no faith or institution of religion is the keystone of democracy, here is why.

   Democracy requires a secular state, in which no authorization or special privileging of any organization of religion is possible. Revolutionary at the time of our founding in the context of the divine right of kings and the medieval Great Chain of Being, and conceived with the terrors of the Inquisition, the Crusades, and the Thirty Year’s War in mind, it is an idea as simple to express as it is profound; There is no freedom without that of conscience.

    In the struggle of good and evil in the human heart and in the public sphere of nations and of history, that which limits us is evil. Efforts by the state to put us in a box of rules severs our connections with each other and with the Infinite, and disfigures the soul by limiting our possibilities for authentic being, which we must each discover for ourselves.  

     Who stands between each of us and the Infinite serves neither.

     As I wrote in my post of August 15 2020, Windows Into Our Souls: Why Surveillance is a Subversion of Democracy; “I will not make windows into men’s souls,” written by Sir Francis Walsingham in a letter to describe the intentions of Elizabeth I to uphold freedom of religion as a right and her refusal to authorize sectarian persecutions and inquisitions, the origin of the doctrine of separation of church and state in America, also established its corollary; the universal human right and right of citizens in a democracy to be free from surveillance by the state.

     Freedom of conscience, the right to believe any crazy damn thing we like so long as we harm no one, is at once a right of privacy, an affirmation of autonomy as a fundamental precondition of democracy as a free society of equals, and a guarantee against dehumanization and the state authorization of identities.     

     Who we are and choose to become and what we believe is sacred to our privacy and essential to our humanity and to our agency as individuals; it is an area into which no government has the right to intrude.


June 16 2021 Speaking Truth to Power: Anniversary of Eugene V. Debs’ Canton Address

We celebrate today all those who like the Jester of King Lear speak truth to power, and who perform this sacred calling in the service of Truth, on this the anniversary of the Canton Address of Eugene V. Debs, who envisioned a world where no worker can be used against another.

      As described in Jacobin; “The speech Eugene V. Debs delivered on June 16, 1918 in Canton, Ohio was, for him, fairly unremarkable.

     Speaking from a gazebo in a city park, the Socialist Party leader denounced the “Junkers of Wall Street” for enslaving workers in industrial despotism; confidently heralded the coming of the cooperative commonwealth (“it is as vain to resist it as it would be to arrest the sunrise on the morrow”); and exhorted listeners to join the Socialist Party, “the builders of the beautiful world that is to be.”

     As one historian notes, Debs “said nothing he had not said many times before and had referred to the war but once.”

     But federal authorities, gripped by World War I hysteria, had heard enough. They arrested him for intending to “cause and incite insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny and refusal of duty in the military,” as well as for trying “to obstruct the recruiting and enlistment service of the United States.” Debs was stripped of his citizenship and incarcerated until December 1921, when he received a presidential commutation.”

     So argues Debs for the moral regeneration of humanity and civilization in the immortal Canton Address; “they who are animated by the unconquerable spirit of the social revolution; they who have the moral courage to stand erect and assert their convictions; stand by them; fight for them; go to jail or to hell for them, if need be — they are writing their names in this crucial hour, they are writing their names in faceless letters in the history of mankind.”

     His words became the specifications of the charges against him by an imperialist and capitalist state driven by the military-industrial complex, but also a song of liberty which has now resounded throughout the world for over a hundred years.

     Reading the script of his speech as I do each year on its anniversary, tonight I hold in my hands the wrecking bar of a man who stood beside him on so many rallies, strikes, marches, and battles with the forces of repression, John F. McKay, grandfather of my partner Theresa. A massive and ancient thing of pitted iron used in acts of piracy and train robbery to seize food to distribute to the starving during the Depression and in riots and firefights against strikebreakers and the mercenary armies of plutocrats in defense of workingmen, it speaks to me of the secret history of labor in America, and of the rights won with blood as well as words. 

     With his Statement to the Court before his imprisonment, Debs left us both a witness of history and a prophetic vision of the future of humankind which remains as relevant today as it was at the end of World War One; “Your honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element, I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”

     “Your honor, I ask no mercy, and I plead for no immunity. I realize that, finally, the right must prevail. I never so clearly comprehended as now the great struggle between the powers of greed and exploitation, on the one hand, and upon the other, the rising hosts of industrial freedom and social justice.

     I can see the dawn of the better day for humanity. The people are awakening. In due time, they will and must come to their own.”

     Amen, brother.

     Let us answer tyranny with resistance, let us question, mock, and challenge authority, let us incite, provoke, and disturb.

     Write, Speak, Teach, Organize.



June 15 2021 A New Hope: Regime Change in Israel

     Netanyahu has today fired a Parthian shot in unleashing his deniable assets of Israeli nationalists against the Palestinian people, betting on terror, rage, and fascisms of blood, faith, and soil to restore him to his throne of kleptocratic tyranny. As always, the forces of repression and elite hegemonies of wealth, power, and privilege create and sacrifice Outsiders on the altar of their Golden Calf.

      Gaza and its people burn today, are ablated and become nothingness under the onslaught of weapons which thunder like the sound of God’s head being split open with a hammer, in a furious orgy of death which recognizes no differences between the innocence of the slaughtered children of Palestine and the resistance of her heroes.

     Yet I write today not in despair but in hope, for this savage and relentless butchery by Netanyahu’s xenophobic proxies is a sign not of strength but of weakness; they are exposed as fascist mass murderers and cowardly thieves before the stage of the world, and the markers they hold as leverage are now too expensive for their collaborators to let be called in. Our part is to make certain this includes America.

      Fascism in Israel is unraveling; it has lost its fig leaf of legitimacy and the moral high ground with its control of the narrative of victimization, it has lost its authority with the hollow and brittle nature of force and power when met with refusal to submit, and its allies must now fear complicity in its crimes.

      Now is the moment to strike a death blow to state terror and tyranny; let America and the world unite in the Boycott, Divestiture, and Sanction of Israel until all within her borders are equal citizens under the law regardless of faith, ethnicity, or historical origins.

     We must act in solidarity to defend our universal human rights, and help transform fascist tyranny into democracy, “with Liberty and Justice for all” as our Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister who had been outcast from his Boston church for his fiery Socialist sermons, a Pledge in which we swear loyalty not to a nation but to its ideals.  

    Let there be one law for all humankind.

    Tomorrow we celebrate Bloomsday in honor of James Joyce and his great novel Ulysses, in which he wrote; “History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.” We have in this moment of delegitimation and deauthorization of Israel and its multigenerational Occupation of Palestine a chance to do so in this sphere of action; to free ourselves of its inexorable processes of division and the Ring of fear, power, and force. Joyce was writing about the liberation of Ireland from the British Empire, but his vision of freedom applies to all anticolonial and revolutionary struggle, and to the problem of the Double Minority of which Israel and Palestine are a classic example no less than Ireland and England.

     For both persons and nations, there is but one path forward in healing the trauma of a conflicted dual identity; they must be united and become one entity.

     We must free ourselves of our history and its legacies of inequalities and injustices, of our divisions of exclusionary otherness and hierarchies of elite wealth, power, and privilege, and rise to meet our future as a united humanity in a free society of equals.

     I placed the question of the dual state of Israel and Palestine in its geopolitical and historical context in my post of August 14 2020, End of the Two State Solution: In the Sectarian and Nationalist Conflict for Dominion of the Middle East, Palestine Loses Her Sovereignty as Trump Drives Us to the Edge of World War Three;  A Faustian bargain between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, brokered by America under the figurehead of committed Zionist Jerold Kushner, has effectively ended the possibility of a two state solution and stolen the sovereignty of Palestine.

     Israel agrees to defer annexation of the West Bank to a less inconvenient hour and wins recognition of its fifty-three year Occupation of Palestine, the UAE shatters historic Arab unity against its deadliest foe Israel, wins American alliance and now holds markers for favors in future which it needs for its stake in Libya, reinforces its lynchpin role against Turkey, Qatar, and the Muslim Brotherhood, establishes regional leadership among allies Bahrain and Oman and possibly future partnership with Saudi Arabia, and achieves beyond this two vital strategic goals; placing the expanding hegemony of Iranian influence in check and winning a free hand from America to pursue the war in Yemen without concerns for human rights.

     This last is the decisive factor in the UAE’s breaking ranks to sacrifice Palestine in the Great Game of sectarian conflict unfolding in Yemen, from the Arab point of view an invasion of Arabia by Iran which is an existential threat.

     What changed? In the wake of the catastrophic explosion which devastated Beirut, and the consequent riots and revolution against its oligarchic and sectarian government, the entire executive level of Lebanon’s government resigned- and all of them were Iranian proxies in Arab eyes. Many Lebanese had been content with Hezbollah as a caretaker government since the change of leadership after last fall’s democracy and antisectarian Revolution purged the worst of the graft and incompetence, Hezbollah being a quasi-independent de facto state throughout the Middle East with a wide reputation for fairness, mercy, and aid in relentless opposition to Israel, though also a proxy of Iran. Both Israel and the UAE saw this as an opportunity to rid themselves of threat from Iran; Israel of a hostile state sharing a border, the UAE of a looming pincer movement and conquest. 

     Will this win peace? Netanyahu, Trump, and the wily Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan who has played them both, all get to claim the mantle of heroes to their own nations. But this leaves out Erdogan of Turkey, self proclaimed protector of the Palestinians, who is enraged- and who has an enormous army waging wars of dominion against Russia in Syria and Libya to reclaim the lost pre-eminence of the Ottoman Empire in the Mediterranean and the Middle East.

     And Turkey may find new allies now that the Gulf States have joined Egypt and Jordan in alignment with Israel. Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, has condemned the deal as a betrayal of Islam and a ploy to help Trump’s re-election. Iran must respond to this direct challenge; Pakistan has restated their commitment to solidarity with Palestine. Nor will Hamas in Gaza submit to Israeli conquest, one of many reasons to suspect that Israel will find their ambitions in Palestine a bridge too far.

    What if the triumvirate of Netanyahu, Trump, and MBZ, in seeking short term advantages, have found a way to unite the Islamic world, Shia and Sunni alike, in a civilizational war of survival against Israel and America, with Saudi Arabia and proxy states of American oil interests squarely in the line of fire?

     I believe the course of wisdom in this is to walk back from the precipice of a third world war which Trump has brought us to, and that with the end of the two state option only one reasonable solution to the endless and horrific Occupation remains, and it is the same for any human society; the union of Israel and Palestine in a nonsectarian democracy with equal rights for all.

    Let us open the way to a better future for humankind, a free society of equals in which we are co-owners of our government, in which we abandon the atavisms of fear and hate and violence, of categories of exclusionary otherness and submission to authority, and in which the universal rights of freedom of conscience and the autonomy of individuals is paramount, wherein we are free from compulsion in matters of faith and from the authorization and policing of religion by the state.

     Israel has learned the wrong lessons from the Nazis, and as their successor state now wields the power once used against them in the form of atrocities of dehumanization, plunder and conquest, and the enslavement of others in concentration camps; re-enactments of their own victimization as with any abused person, community, or nation who has seized power, not only for themselves but over others.

     Abusers are also victims, and the only way to break the cycle of power and violence is to let go of the whip when it is in your hand. The Nazis were wrong about many things; among them that good and evil are the same and mean nothing, that power and who holds it is the only meaningful human relationship and nothing is real but the relation of master and slave and which of us is to be which. Unequal power is the disease at the root of human failures to see ourselves in others who are different.

     Let us liberate Palestine from the Occupation, but let us also liberate Israel from its fascisms of blood, faith, and soil.










June 14 2021 A Legacy of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity for All Humankind: Bastille Day

     We celebrate today a legacy of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity for all humankind, bequeathed to us by the Revolution on this day in 1789 by the storming of the Bastille.

      I find it immensely hopeful for the future of humankind that France, a nation where protest is seen as a patriotic act, celebrates as its founding event the seizure of a prison, and one which in part was intended as the jailbreak for the poet laureate of the Revolution, the Marquis de Sade. He had been yelling to the crowd from his cell window that the jailers were executing prisoners; he was unfortunately spirited away to the madhouse at Charenton before he could be liberated, an episode immortalized by Peter Weiss in Marat/Sade. Freed by the Revolution, de Sade became a leader of the radical wing of the Jacobins, until his beautiful elegy for Marat ran afoul of Robespierre’s designs and landed him yet again in prison.

     During his time in the Bastille he wrote one of the most brilliant and transgressive interrogations of the origins of evil in unequal power as Church and State, 120 Days of Sodom. Every word of it is still true, and applies to all tyrannies of force and control, totalitarian and authoritarian states of all kinds and to my thinking fascism especially, as interpreted by the great Pasolini in film, as symptoms of the disease of fear, power, and force. Read it together with its companion work, The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt.

     For further study of de Sade as a pivotal figure of the Revolution, I refer you to Angela Carter’s The Sadeian Woman and the Ideology of Pornography, a feminist interpretation which informs all her work, The Fan-Maker’s Inquisition: A Novel of the Marquis de Sade by Rikki Ducornet, and The Marquis de Sade: A Life, by Neil Schaeffer.

      My reading list on the French Revolution includes Citizens by Simon Schama, The Days of the French Revolution by Christopher Hibbert, and A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel.

      As causal sources of global revolution against the system of aristocratic monarchy and state religion, the American and French Revolutions are a tide of democracy and universal human rights which radically reimagined human relations, being, meaning, and value, and continue to propagate throughout the world. It found echoes in the Russian Revolution, and as anticolonial struggle in India and nearly everywhere on earth as humankind awakened from its long darkness as tyrannies of masters and slaves.

      Today its values and ideals manifest in revolutions and liberation movements in Jerusalem, Belarus, Kolkata, Belfast, Hong Kong, Barcelona, Yangon, and Rio de Janeiro, among those places I have traveled this year in solidarity the struggles of their peoples, those whom Franz Fanon called “the Wretched of the Earth”, and whom our Statue of Liberty proclaims the “huddled masses yearning to be free”.    

      What does Liberty mean for us today?

      Memory, history, and identity; a process of becoming human and a ground of struggle between our anchorages and our aspirations, and one in constant motion and a state of change; impermanent, ephemeral, protean, shaped by the dynamism between authenticity and falsification as we wander in a wilderness of mirrors, lies and illusions of authority which seek to capture, distort, and subjugate us, to enslave us and steal our souls.

     This is the primary revolution of all humankind; the struggle to create ourselves as autonomous beings, free of authorized identities and the tyranny of other people’s ideas of virtue, against the forces of dehumanization and elite hegemonies of wealth, power, and privilege, divisions of exclusionary otherness and fascisms of blood, faith, and soil, and the inequalities and injustices of state terror, repression of dissent, institutional violence, force, and control.

     To become ourselves is the first revolution in which we all must fight, of which other forms of revolutionary struggle are echoes and reflections, and they are united in the struggle for ownership and control of our identity as aspects of a common emergence of human being, meaning, and value.

     To refuse to submit is the primary human act which confers freedom, for who cannot be controlled is free. In this moment of Resistance to authority and tyranny we become Unconquered, each if us living Autonomous Zones and agents of Chaos, Liberty, and the reimagination and transformation of humankind.

     Let us throw open the gates of our prisons, and be free.



June 13 2021 Masquerade: Identities of Sex and Gender as Culture, Ethnicity, and Performance

      A friend has written a brilliant, insightful, and very emotionally charged essay on the subject of queer identity, finding ones tribe, and being ostracized by ones role models due to the fracture and balkanization of identities of sex and gender in queer culture. To be a Painted Bird is a tragedy on the scale of a private Holocaust, and some of this seems to me to be a result of increasing specialization and siloing of LGBT subcultures, and also a shocking failure of solidarity. If those who are marginalized by normative society do not stand united, surely they will become vulnerable to silencing and erasure.

      I am not a member of this community, and can not speak from within this space, nor have I studied what seem to be a highly diverse, nuanced, and complex set of authorized identities, so am utterly clueless about how such representations and choices are negotiated. I suspect this is true for many potential allies who would stand with any human who stands alone, but may not know how to do so, or recognize when someone is in pain.

     Sadly, it may be also be true for those whose awareness of desire, sexual orientation, and identities of sex and gender are emerging, and who may feel confusion, ambiguity, and dislocation not as freedom and joy but as crisis and trauma, especially those who become aware of differences and chasms of meaning between themselves and others, and must cope with isolation and disconnectedness at best and shame and unworthiness at worst as consequences of negotiating identities in a social context of judgement, ridicule, and massively unequal power.

      The universal human struggle for autonomy here collides disastrously with authorized identities and a Patriarchal Gideonite value system which reinforces heteronormative narratives as submission to authority, in parallel with the need for belonging and membership in the quest to find a tribe within a society riven with hierarchies of exclusionary otherness, wherein our negotiations between self and others are mediated by elite hegemonic forces of dominion, whose lies and illusions, like a wilderness of funhouse mirrors, can falsify and steal our souls.   

     The awakening to total freedom as a self created being can be both wonderful and terrible. How do we safeguard that freedom? What does our duty of care for each other require of us as mentors and stewards for each other’s limitless possibilities of becoming human?

     So I ask all of you for guidance in this matter, for whom Pride Month is personal and intimate, part of your story and a celebration of survival and resilience, and not merely an aspect of Resistance in general, defiance of authority, and transgression of the Forbidden as it is for me as an agent of Chaos and a revolutionary; beyond amplifying your voices and standing in solidarity when called on for help, how can we help you champion each other?

     We also have a need for another kind of work, one whose intention is to provide guidance in finding ones tribe among the full spectrum of multilayered and wonderfully diverse smorgasboard of choices available in our society now, chess pieces in a great game of human being, meaning, and value, and reveals and opens the limitless possibilities of becoming human and discovering communities of wellbeing and mutual aid which can foster such a journey of introspection for the young and curious, without authorizing a prescriptive set of identities.

     Identity is not a static frame into which one must fit oneself regardless of our pluralities; we are all pluralities, we are all in processes of change and growth, and our nature, to paraphrase Freud’s delightfully wicked phrase “polymorphously perverse”, obeys but one law; anything goes.

      Are we not both Harley Quinn and the Joker, bound together in one flesh?

      Does the range of choices act as an intrinsic limit on autonomy? If so the task of becoming human involves chaos, disruption, reimagination, and transformation, as I believe; the violation of normalities and transgression of boundaries of the Forbidden to free us of the tyranny of other people’s ideas of virtue and of authorized identities, to create limitless possibilities of becoming human as seizures of power.

     Order appropriates; Chaos autonomizes. As Guillermo del Toro wrote in Carnival Row; Chaos is the great hope of the powerless.       

    Audubon publishes a wonderful field guide to birds, which usefully describes their glorious and beautiful differences and uniqueness’s without suggesting it is better to be a falcon than a dove; each have a niche in the system of life, as do we all. We need a version for humans; Queer Tribes, and How to Find Yours.

     This raises the question of how we discover who we want to become. If I were designing an instrument for this purpose in terms of sexual orientation, I would base the process not on prescriptive authorization of identities like the Sorting Hat in Harry Potter, which involves both submission to authority and overdetermination as a limiting factor, but on descriptive taxonomy and a tool with which I am very familiar, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which could easily be modified for the discovery of identities of sex and gender.   

     Our masquerade of identities of sex and gender as culture, ethnicity, and performance can be played as a game or as live action theatre; here I offer you a ritual act of Chaos and Transformation which is useful in disrupting order and randomizing the masks we wear. Write down three masculine and three feminine characters you know well enough to perform, roll a six sided dice to find today’s persona, and live as that character until tomorrow, when you can become someone entirely different.

    Such constructions of identity as performance flow from the nature of self as a development of the persona or Greek theatrical mask characters speak through; a prochronism or history expressed in our form of how we solved problems in adaptation, like the shell of a fantastic sea creature.

     Always there remains the struggle between the masks that others make for us and those we make for ourselves; this is the first revolution in which we all must fight, the struggle to create ourselves.

     And what of the underlying forces of love and desire from which such structures and figures are made?

    Milan Kundera, paraphrasing Plato in Phaidos, wrote; “Love is the longing for the half of ourselves we have lost”. To this I would add a conditional which directs us to the function of love in the construction of identity; love also reveals us to ourselves, for we choose those we love as figures of who we wish to become.

     We choose those we love and share our lives with in part because they represent potential selves and qualities we aspire to realize within ourselves, as informing and motivating sources and shaping forces. This is what it means to become human, and why interdependence is at the heart of becoming human. Our values are revealed in our circle of partners and friends.

      Love is dangerous because it is free, uncontrollable, wild. Love redeems, transforms, and reimagines; love totalizes and transcends. Love like you have laughed in the face of your executioners, because that is exactly what it is.

     As I once said to Jean Genet, it is a poor man who loves nothing beyond reason, and has no pleasures worth dying for.

    When you begin to question the boundary and interface between normality as authorized identity and transgression as seizure of power, between subjugation and liberty, the grotesque and the beautiful, idealizations of masculinity and femininity, of madness and vision, and to challenge the tyranny of other people’s ideas of virtue, you enter my world, the place of unknowns and the limitless possibilities of becoming human, marked Here Be Dragons on our maps of human being, meaning, and value.

     Welcome to freedom and its wonders and terrors; to reimagination, transformation, and discovery. May the new truths you forge bring you joy.




June 12 2021 The Violence of Authorized Identities: Anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub Massacre

On this anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub Massacre which left 49 dead, one of the most terrible hate crimes in American history and which bears the marks of an intersectional multilayered dimensionality in its apparent motives and etiology; the internalized oppression of a conflicted and self-hating homosexual as shaped by religious intolerance and the escalating spiral of derangement and violence of fundamentalist submission to authority, the latter cause belonging to the same category of terrorist hate crime as abortion clinic bombings.

     Had there been no religious ideology telling the perpetrator he is not merely abnormal but also evil and damned because of the nature of his desires, those forty nine people would be alive today.

     Such tragedies illuminate the fault lines of our society; the perpetrator is responsible for his crimes, but we are also responsible for the divisions of exclusionary otherness and the maladaptive social medium in which hate crimes occur.

     We have allowed atavisms of barbarism to survive into the twenty-first century, like an invisible reptilian tail we drag behind ourselves.

     There is a cure for the injustice of our normality and the violence of our authorized identities; wage love and not hate, diversity and inclusion and not demonization and criminalization, in the performance of our identities as autonomous individuals and transform society by our example and the resilience of our community.

     This is what I mean by inclusion of the phrase “the frightening of the horses” in my profile, in which I paraphrase the famous quote by the actress Mrs Patrick Campbell, muse of George Bernard Shaw; “I really don’t mind what people do, so long as they don’t do it in the street and frighten the horses.” There are times wherein the boundaries of the Forbidden must be transgressed in order to seize the power which it holds over us. When this occurs in public spaces it becomes revolutionary and transformational, a form of guerilla theatre.

     Go ahead; frighten the horses. 

    Among the most insightful and relevant writing on the subject of homophobic hate crimes as symptoms of systemic inequality and internalized oppression is that of Professor Rowan Wolf, whose article for Uncommon Thought I amplify herein; “Sadness marks this day after the horrific massacre in Orlando, Florida. at the PULSE nightclub (Sunday, June 11,2016). As a lesbian and a sociologist, my thoughts grapple with “Why?”  Omar Mateen and James Howell are both Americans born and raised in the United States. While there are protestations that these two men have nothing connecting their activities, that is flatly wrong for they share not only deep seated homophobia, but the belief that they have the right to act on it, and likely that they would be “heroes” for doing so. Homophobia runs though the veins of U.S. culture, and it is woven into the fabric of our society by misogyny, and socialization into sex roles as they are constructed in mainstream culture. These biases are legitimated in the arguments about “political correctness” and the persistent and deliberate misunderstanding about “protected classes” and  “hate crimes.” This article attempts to draw these arguments and issues together in a critique that illuminates the reality of inequality and bias in U.S. society, and how it gets legitimated and even fanned, into the rhetoric that is commonly used.

     Omar Mateen, the homophobic beserker who went on a killing spree in Orlando, Florida, was a “security guard” for G4S  (a global security firm formerly known as Wachenhut,  and the 3rd largest publicly traded company in the world).1 It took awhile for the media to acknowledge that Omar Mateen was a homophobe, but that was hardly out of their mouths before they were off speculating that he was an Islamic terrorist under orders from ISIS. This shift in the story line is important from the perspective of not addressing homophobia, and trying to link it to a presumed “larger threat” to the country. This morphing of the story is consistent across various disasters and incidents. The media creates a world of hypotheticals pointing every direction except for those that would allow some progress on addressing very serious issues.

Donald Trump, in his usual uninformed spouting, blasts that the massacre is because of  “ lax” immigration laws and accused President Obama of “political correctness” in not targeting “radical Islam.” (The Wrap) Never mind that Mateen was NOT an immigrant. Further, neither was James Howell (arrested yesterday), the other homophobe arrested in LA with guns and bomb making materials in his van heading for the LA Gay Pride march.

     Of course, you have to feel a little bit of sympathetic (not) for the sticky position that the Trumpster is in. After all, most of his “fifth column” are homophobes too. They are just way right, and Christian evangelical right, homophobes. So poor Donald can’t say anything too sympathetic for the victims of Mr. Mateen or he risks offending his base.

     However, the corporate media is not doing much better than Trump, and with relief they are jumping from the uncomfortable issue of homosexuals as victims of this atrocity, to Islamic “terrorism” or even “home grown, Islamic terrorism.”

For nobody wants to confront two very nasty facts. First, that Mateen and Howell and all the other U.S. homophobes are products of U.S. culture, and their homophobia is the homophobia embedded deeply in this culture. And second, that hate crimes ARE terrorism; that is what makes them hate crimes. The constant media and governmental protestations that Mateen and Howell have no connection to each other is a lie on the face of such a statement. Mateen and Howell share two very important things. 1) their homophobia ran deep enough, and 2) they felt that they had some right or permission to violently attack the targets of their hatred. I am sure that no one wants to go there, but Trump bears some responsibility for creating an atmosphere that fans this hatred at the same time that he encourages people to act out that hatred violently.

     Rationalizing Hatred and Hiding It In Plain Sight: People do not want to address the unfortunate reality that there really are deep veins of misogyny, homophobia, racism, and classism that run through US society. They always have, and looking the other way, or attributing to the biases held by some people (not “us” of course) does not make them any less real nor less devastating. These biases are deeply engrained in the culture and reinforced thousands of times in images and references that most of us hear every day. We hear and see them so often that we rarely even notice as they traipse across our consciousness.

     This lack of awareness of the systemic nature of these cultural biases (that become writ large in devastating ways at times, as with the massacre in Orlando), also reinforces the persistent misrepresentation of hate crimes. The distinguishing characteristic of hate crimes is that the message sent by the perpetrators is to the whole target GROUP. Hate crimes are perpetrated upon an individual (or sometimes a small group or property), but the message is to the group. For example, the torching of black churches or mosques or synagogues, are not aimed at that specific place of worship. The message is to all people who worship in that way. Likewise when a person of perceived “hispanic”2 descent is beaten up at a bus stop. The message is to everyone who “looks like” that person that they should not be there, or sometimes anywhere.

     The message sent by hate violence is to the whole group, and it is intended to “terrorize.” So, in effect, hate violence is terrorism even though there is great legal resistance to recognizing it as such. Further, violence against women is also hate violence (and hence a form of terrorism), but legislators really do not want to start down that path. For while (perhaps), acknowledging that hate crime is different from regular crime, to acknowledge that in the case of women would challenge the basic structure and operation of sex roles within the U.S., for they are by their very nature unequal. This fundamental cultural atavism over women, the feminine, and gender roles, lies at the very heart of homophobia.

     The Deliberate Obfuscation of “Hate Crime”: Whenever the issue of “hate crime” comes up, or there is pressure to have something prosecuted as a hate crime, there are many folks who get up in arms. They argue that it is discriminatory to have “extra” penalties, and “special” prosecution for some crimes simply because they happened to someone who is a person of color, and most particularly for reasons of gender or sexual orientation. “Why should “they” get “special” treatment under the law?” The answer is two fold. One, because the message sent by the perpetrator is to ALL people with that characteristic. It is not a “personal” crime. Two, anyone can be the victim of a hate crime, but people of higher social status (white, male, heterosexual, or middle class or above, Christian, or any combination of the preceding) rarely are the victim of hate crime. They are protected in many ways, not the least being social constraint based on deep socialization. However, it is the STATUS of race, ethnicity, religion, that is “protected,” and everyone has those statuses – not just people with lower status in each of these social categories. In other words, everyone has a race, everyone has a sex, everyone has a sexual orientation, everyone has a religious designation (even atheists), and everyone has a social class.

     This, unfortunately, takes us back around to the ever popular spout of “political correctness.” For at its base, the real anger over political correctness is that people with low (or lower) status should not have the “right” to be treated with equal courtesy and respect. We should not have the “right” (or the social expectation) to name ourselves or expected to be treated as equals. The anger over “political correctness” is that whites, and particularly white males, should not be “burdened” with “having to watch” what they say. They shouldn’t have to be “burdened” with having to worry about how some “over sensitive” woman/queer/Black/Asian/Mexican/Indian/ (and most specifically since 9/11/2001) “Arab” f e e l s about how they have been addressed, acted towards, or talked to or about. Nor should they have the “right” to complain about it if they are offended and pull the “race card” or the “sex card.”  This is the coding and legitimation of deeply seated oppression in the 21st century.

     So some may wonder how the hell we got from a massacre of folks in a “gay” night club to the issue of “political correctness.” The answer is that the rancor that is evoked about political correctness points directly at the root of the systemic inequality that ends up with folks feeling that they have a moral and social right to harass, beat up, or even kill, people of one of these “lesser” groups. Of course, those with fundamentalist religious association may also feel that they have a religious responsibility and god given authority, to put “those” folks “in their place” (or in the ground). If you do not believe that there is tremendous anger over “political correctness,” then listen to one of Trump’s stump speeches and the response he gets back from the crowd; or bring up the topic in casual conversation at a family dinner or at work.

     This same outrage carries over to deciding to call (and particularly prosecute) something as a “hate crime.” Remember the outrage over George Zimmerman’s murder of Trayvon Martin (also in Florida) being prosecuted as a  hate crime? The same is happening with the flight to “terrorism” in the case of Mateen, and the deep relief on the part of corporate commentators to not have to deal with the combination of homosexuality and hate crimes. Instead, they deflect the issue to ISIS and Islamic terrorism where the real issue becomes not these 103 people whose lives have been violently shoved onto a different course because of one person’s deep hatred for who they were assumed to be (homosexual). Nor for the millions of homosexuals who are getting not only the message of how very dangerous it is to be an “out” LGBT in this society, but how much the society still does not want to deal with homophobia or structured inequality.”


June 11 2021 Crimes of Our Clown of Terror and His Organ Grinder’s Monkey, Big Bully Billy Barr

     New revelations in the ongoing exposure of the Trump regime’s crimes against humanity and subversions of democracy have shaken America today, not that such proofs of our nightmares and madness of fascist tyranny is new, but that it is ongoing; the outrageous violations of our values and ideals and the monstrous crimes of the Triumvirs of the Fourth Reich, Donald Trump, William Barr, and Chad Wolf, live on today beyond of fall of their regime to inflict continuing and ongoing harm to the systems and institutions of our society and pain to our citizens.

     Yet we allow their victims to go unavenged, and their co-conspirators and collaborators to go unpunished, as if it cannot happen again.

     To paraphrase the lines of Winston Churchill in the magnificent film Darkest Hour, which the historical figure never said; “You can not reason with a Tiger when your head is in its mouth.”

     As I wrote in my post of July 28 2020, Pramila Jayapal’s Heroic Confrontation with Perpetrator of White Supremacist and Fascist State Terror Attorney General William Barr; If there are monsters among us concealed beneath the masks of men who hunt us from the shadows of their authoritarian force and control, so also are there fearless defenders who shield us from predators, those who place their lives in the balance with those of the powerless and the dispossessed, who speak for the silenced and the erased, and who question, mock, and challenge unjust authority; defenders of the vulnerable like Pramila Jayapal.

     Today she chewed up and spat out the disgusting ogre who squats upon his Throne of Pain and Fear as Attorney General of the festering and polluted court of our Clown of Terror, the mad idiot cesspool of lies and perversions Traitor Trump.

     Trump extrudes his hyena-like anus and marks his territory, gibbering with delight as he tosses bits of the stolen migrant children he feeds on and keeps in cages in the mazelike warrens beneath the White House to his pet beast of savage assault and violation of the innocent Big Bully Billy Barr, who gobbles them up with slobbering greedy enthusiasm.

     Into the lair of the Unclean strides an avatar of Justice in the form of Pramila of the Pure Heart, brandishing her lion-tamers whip, and Billy Barr cowers and whimpers piteously, displaying his vast grub-white belly in abject submission but spouting obscenities of racist delusions and lies, unable to conceal his true nature.

     Trump scuttles back into the darkness with the other crawling vile things among whom he belongs, Gideonite fundamentalist patriarchs of sexual terror, twisted and treasonous Nazi-Confederate lunatics of white supremacist terror, and his fellow psychopathic plutocrats and oligarchs who capitalize on vanity and greed in the dehumanization, commodification, and falsification of others, who croon soothing lullabies of wealth and power to Trump in three-part harmony while their Puppetmaster Putin pipes the tune.

     Pramila Pureheart sets a stopper in the hole into which they returned, and there is light once again.

     If only the banishing of our demons and the disfigurement of our history were so easy, but thank you Representative Jayapal for reminding us all that it is possible.

     As written by Chris Walker in Truthout; “During her exchange with Barr, Jayapal mentioned a recent phone conversation between Trump and several U.S. governors in which he told them to “dominate” racial justice demonstrators, describing them as “terrorists.”

     Because the Trump administration had sent federal agents to Portland, purportedly to protect government buildings there, Jayapal questioned why the administration didn’t take the same action against conservative protesters who opposed precautionary stay-at-home orders from governors to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

     In Michigan, for example, protesters, many armed with guns, stormed the capitol building, with some calling for Whitmer to be harmed physically due to her orders.

     Jayapal asked Barr if he was aware that those individuals had threatened Whitmer’s life or that they had engaged in other violent rhetoric. Barr, to her surprise, said he was not.

     “Major protests in Michigan, you’re the attorney general, and you didn’t know the protesters called for the governor to be lynched, shot and beheaded?” she questioned.

     “Well, there are a lot of protests around the United States,” Barr began, but Jayapal stopped him there to give her assessment of what the attorney general had just revealed to her and the world.

     “You are aware of certain kinds of protesters, but in Michigan, when protesters carried guns, Confederate flags, and swastikas, and call for the governor of Michigan to be beheaded and shot and lynched, somehow, you’re not aware of that,” she noted.

     Jayapal added that the contrast between Barr’s inaction in Michigan and the administration’s crackdown in Portland lays bare the priorities and loyalties of the White House.

     “When white men with swastikas storm a government building with guns, there is no need for the president to ‘activate’ you, because they’re getting the president’s personal agenda done,” she said. “But when Black people and people of color protest police brutality, systemic racism, and the president’s very own lack of response to those critical issues, then you forcibly remove them with armed federal officers [and] pepper bombs because they are considered terrorists by the president.”

     Jayapal elaborated on the point she was making to Barr. “You take an aggressive approach to Black Lives Matter protests, but not to right-wing extremists threatening to lynch a governor if it’s for … the president’s benefit,” she said.”







Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started