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Is Trumpism This Generation’s Version of the Confederacy?

Today’s GOP, under Trumpism, is as real a threat to the survival of our republic as was the 1860’s Confederacy and reflects a worldview grounded in the white supremacy of the American south

By Thom Hartmann

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Donald Trump promoted a modern Civil War in America this week on his social media platform. Civil War?

Further confounding things, Republican candidates like Pennsylvania’s Kathy Barnette are openly running as ultra-MAGA candidates, having hijacked Trumpism without Trump himself. It’s causing the media and political elites to have a “Huh? What?” moment.

Trumpism without Trump?  Could it even be a thing?

Apparently so: candidates Trump has openly disavowed are claiming Trumpism as their standard, the flag they’ll carry into the election and into office if they win.

Trumpism, they proclaim, is a coherent political philosophy of its own that has replaced conservativism as the dominant system of political theory in the “new” Republican Party.

But is Trumpism really new?  

Consider its main principles:

  • *Assert white supremacy
  • *Fetishize rule by a wealthy elite
  • *Brand the movement with its own flag and slogans separate from the country’s
  • *Put the “rights” of business above those of workers
  • *Marginalize and destroy trust in the media
  • *Maintain a strict racial and gender hierarchy
  • *Arm the movement’s foot soldiers
  • *Regulate school curriculum to promote a racist worldview
  • *Embrace authoritarian preachers to claim the appearance of Christianity
  • *Make alliances with foreign authoritarians
  • *Rig elections and prevent minorities from voting
  • *Embrace a police state for all but the richest
  • *Accuse political opponents of demonic or perverse behavior
  • *Criminalize abortion
  • *Heavily criminalize minor behaviors like drug use
  • *Normalize violence as a political tool
  • *Oppose worker organizing efforts
  • *Claim the mantle of “the average man” fighting against the tyranny of the “deep state”
  • *Make it hard for all but the wealthy to get a college education
  • *Minimize government regulation of working conditions and products
  • *Establish a mythology of victimhood and fear of “replacement”

This is not Barry Goldwater’s, Ronald Reagan’s, or even George W. Bush’s Republican Party.

Sure, those guys were happy to suck up to the wealthy and pass legislation favored by big business, but they didn’t go so far as to separate themselves from the mainstream of American governance.

They didn’t accuse Democrats of drinking the blood of tortured children, openly proclaim their racism, or encourage violence. Before Trumpism, Republicans had for generations opposed nations that suppressed democracy and called out murderous dictators like Hitler, Putin, and Kim.

This is something new.

Or is it? Is it possible Trumpism is simply a very old American invention making its return to the US political stage?

In the early 1800s the invention of the Cotton Gin, which could with one very expensive machine do the work of 50 enslaved people, transformed the American South. It was a technological revolution that made possible the traitorous Confederacy.

For the previous thirty or so years, the slave-holding South had been a democracy, albeit one where only white men had a say in things. But even poor white men could vote, and the region identified as “America” with the American flag and American songs and textbooks.

Wealth disparities weren’t as severe as some northern regions, particularly New York City whose bankers and traders had been made rich by the cotton export trade. (When the South seceded in 1861 the Mayor of New York City argued that the city should secede along with them, but back in 1820 there wasn’t even a whisper of what would tear the nation apart in a mere forty years.)

The Cotton Gin, invented in 1794 by Eli Whitney and widely sold in the South in the 1810s and 1820s, changed all that. Only the wealthiest plantation owners could afford to buy a Gin, and it enabled them to out-compete the hundreds of thousands of small cotton farms that dotted the South.

Large plantations, after driving smaller local farmers out of business, bought up their land and hired their former owners to work the land as sharecroppers.

Wealth inequality exploded across the South as a new, powerful aristocracy rose up and seized control of Jefferson’s Democratic Party.  By the end of the 1830s, most of the land and nearly all the wealth and political power in the South was in the hands of a few thousand families.

But that wasn’t enough for the Lords of the New Plantations in the New South of the 1840s and 1850s. They wanted total control of the entire country and were chafing under the restrictions of the American brand and its two-party system of government.

As I wrote in detail in The Hidden History of American Oligarchy, by the late 1830s, with the rise of John C. Calhoun and the Nullification Crisis, the South was firmly in the economic, political, and social hands of a small number of morbidly rich plantation-based oligarchs. 

It was no longer a democracy or a republic: the South had turned into a neofeudal state, what today we’d call a fascist state.

History Professor Forrest A. Nabors notes in his book From Oligarchy to Republicanism: The Great Task of Reconstruction, by the 1860s:

“A new generation of rulers reshaped the south around their new ruling principle…

“The development of Southern oligarchy portended the rupture of the union, regardless of the ties that bound them together, because no ties, physical, legal, or otherwise, can overcome the difference between fundamentally opposed types of political regimes.”

Nabors cites a speech to Congress by Senator Timothy Howe of Wisconsin, who argued that the oligarchy in the South had become so strong that they weren’t just trying to be left alone; they wanted to seize control of the North and end democracy in America altogether:

“Such, then, I find to be the cause and the purpose of the rebellion. It was not to secure the independence of slaveholders, but to subject you to abject dependence upon slaveholders. It was not to build a new capitol for a new government, but to place a new government in possession of your Capitol.

“It was not to frame a new constitution for a new republic, but it was to impose a new constitution upon the Republic of the United States. It was not to secure toleration for slavery within the seceding Slates, but to compel the adoption of slavery by the nation.”

Congressman John Farnsworth, representing the Chicago area of Illinois, laid it out clearly on Wednesday, June 15th, 1864 in a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives:

“The slave-owner is cutting at the heart of the nation; yes, sir, he is cutting at the throats of your sons and brothers, of your neighbors and friends; he is with mad desperation seeking to destroy the beautiful fabric of this nation, and to quench in our blood the fires of republican liberty which have burned so long, a beacon of light to other nations, and the hope of the world. All this [he] is trying to do that he may erect a slave empire instead…”

By the time of the Civil War, the oligarchs of the South had rejected all pretense of belief in democracy, a republican form of government, or even the core idea of the peaceful transition of power in the United States of America.

Instead, they:

  • *Asserted white supremacy
  • *Seized total control of the political systems of the South
  • *Branded their movement with its own flag and slogans separate from the country’s
  • *Passed laws putting the “rights” of plantation owners above those of workers, including poor whites
  • *First marginalized and, by 1861, completely destroyed any opposition media (often lynching or imprisoning publishers and editors)
  • *Established a strict racial and gender hierarchy, both in society and in law
  • *Armed the Confederacy’s foot soldiers
  • *Carefully regulated school curriculum to promote a racist worldview
  • *Incorporated authoritarian preachers into the political Confederacy to claim Christianity
  • *Tried unsuccessfully to make alliance with French emperor Napoleon  
  • *Rigged elections to prevent all minorities from voting
  • *Embraced a police state for all but the richest plantation owners who could never be prosecuted
  • *Accused their political opponents in both the North and South of demonic or perverse behavior, particularly interracial or gay sex
  • *Enforced anti-abortion laws when white women became pregnant
  • *Heavily criminalized minor behaviors like loitering  
  • *Normalized violence as a political tool
  • *Crushed a generation of Southern worker organizing efforts
  • *Claimed the mantle of “the average man” fighting against the “tyranny” of the North
  • *Made it impossible for all but the wealthy to get a college education
  • *Ended what few government regulations existed for working conditions and products
  • *Established a mythology of victimhood and fear of “replacement” later known as “The Lost Cause”

In other words, Trumpism is simply the politics of the American Confederacy reinvented for the 21st century. And even now Trumpists — whether affiliated with Donald or not — are openly talking about starting a second civil war.

They’re lionizing killers for the cause like Kyle Rittenhouse.

They’re embracing foreign authoritarians like Putin and Orbán.

They’re building and funding their own media empires while destroying American’s faith in mainstream media.

And they’re successfully using the filibuster to block the passage of any legislation that may strengthen democratic principles in our republic.

Today’s Republican Party, under the control of Trumpism, is every bit as real a threat to the survival of our republic as was the Confederacy in the 1860s. 

It’s emerged from similar conditions and reflects a nearly identical worldview grounded in the fear of losing white supremacy. It’s based in the American South, as was the Confederacy.

The media needs to wake the hell up. The American government, the American people, and the Democratic Party must see the Trumpist Republican Party for the threat it is. 

The FBI and intelligence agencies need to bring the seditionists within it to ground. Democrats must loudly call out its naked embrace of racism and fascism and make clear where this will lead if unchecked. 

Every day that goes by without action brings us closer to the new Republican Party’s goal: tearing apart democracy in America and transforming this country into this generation’s version of the Confederacy, complete with its own Lost Cause mythology.

[Source]

Israel’s Entry Into The US Visa Waiver Program Further Solidifies Apartheid

Moves by the Biden administration to include Israel in the US Visa Waiver Program validate Israel’s racist policies.

By Malak Shalabi 

In 2021, President Joe Biden hosted Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the White House amidst a public protest outside organized by American Muslims for Palestine and others. One of the most alarming items on the agenda discussed in a side meeting between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Bennett was the proposition to include Israel in America’s Visa Waiver Program. This would mean that US and Israeli citizens traveling between the US and Israel wouldn’t need visas to enter either country. Now, outgoing Israeli Ambassador to the US Gilad Erdan claims that Israel will join the US Visa Waiver Program by mid-2022.

While this move might seem benign or inconsequential, it would actually solidify Israel’s discriminatory and racist entry policies toward US citizens.

It is worth noting that the concept of “citizenship” in the US, Israel, and globally is weaponized and access to it is used to exclude and demonize groups of people usually from the Global South. We must scrutinize the notion of citizenship and reflect on what defines an immigrant, refugee, or citizen, as well as how all these categories are themselves highly politicized categories.

[Read on]

White Supremacy: Connecting the Dots

by CHRIS LOMBARDI

When I first heard about A Field Guide to White Supremacy, I knew it would be important. Its co-editor, Kathleen Belew, is the author of Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America—a his- tory of how Vietnam veterans mid-wifed the white power movement that burst forth in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Belew emphasized that the white power movement is a still-living phenomenon: We all saw that truth on January 6, 2021, as Con- federate flags mixed with Trump flags and the criminals beating up Capitol police officers were allowed to just go home, cloaked in white privilege.

It’s no surprise that Belew testified before Congress a week later and in Charlottesville in November 2021 on behalf of those injured during the 2017 “Unite the Right” march. She has long taught us that white supremacy is the ideology behind all the faux grassroots concerns spouted by those in power, and that the white power movement’s distortion of populism is much more dangerous than people realize.

[Read On]

Lauren Boebert is the One with Terrorist Ties, not Ilhan Omar

By JUAN COLE

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) was caught on camera boasting of taunting Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) that she is a terrorist.

The taunt was ironic given that Hunter Walker at Rolling Stone reported that Boebert was one of a handful of representatives on the Hill who repeatedly met with conspirators planning the January 6, 2021, Capitol Insurrection in which angry armed mobs invaded the halls of Congress chanting “hang Mike Pence” and seeking to harm legislators.

Walker said of his two two top sources within the insurrectionists, “Rolling Stone has separately obtained documentary evidence that both sources were in contact with [Arizona Rep. Paul] Gosar and Boebert on Jan. 6.”

On Jan. 6! That is, while the insurrection was taking place!

That is, Boebert is the one with terrorist ties.

Rep. Omar is a refugee from the violence of warlords and terrorists in Somalia who came to the U.S. as a girl and rose to become a congresswoman because of her devotion to her new country and the trust she gained among her constituents that she would carefully steward their interests. Hers is a quintessential American story. Seven of the thirty-nine signers of the U.S. Constitution were foreign-born, one in the West Indies. For Rep. Omar to be tagged unjustly with the very violence that drove her from her homeland as a child must be deeply upsetting.

Boebert, addressing a small group of constituents in a living room, told a story (which Rep. Omar contests) that she was getting into an elevator in the Capitol when a policeman came running toward her with alarm on his face. Puzzled, she looked around and saw that Rep. Omar was in it with her. She alleged that she reassured the policeman that Omar did not have a backpack and so it was probably safe. She said that she then used the phrase “jihad squad.”

[Read On]

Right-Wing Vigilante Found Not Guilty of Murdering Two Anti-Racist Protestors

The most closely-watched murder trial in recent memory exemplifies the standard of cops and racists having a right to kill in the US

By Monica Cruz

Kyle Rittenhouse before shooting three men, killing two, in Kenosha, Wisconsin on August 25, 2021. Photo: Twitter @StandForBetter

After four days of deliberations, a jury acquitted 18-year old Kyle Rittenhouse on all charges related to his killing of two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin on August 25, 2020.  That night, thousands had hit the streets to protest the August 23rd police shooting of Jacob Blake, who was left paralyzed after being shot in the back seven times by Kenosha city police officers. Rittenhouse traveled from his home state of Illinois to join a right-wing militia at the protest.

Rittenhouse was charged with five felonies including first degree intentional homicide. He argued that he acted in self-defense when he fired his semi-automatic rifle, killing Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and injuring Gaige Grusskreutz.

The court proceedings were riddled with unusual moves on the part of Judge Bruce Schroeder, who had Rittenhouse draw the names of jurors to be designated as alternates in a game show-style raffle tumbler. Schroeder granted the defense’s request to ban the use of the word “victims” in reference to the three men Rittenhouse shot, while allowing the defense to call them “looters,” “rioters,” and “arsonists.”

The judge made his bias in favor of the defense clear, validating it’s claims that the prosecution “distorted” video of the shootings by using a zoomed in version of the high quality video and screaming at the lead prosecutor for it. He called for a 10 minute break so Rittenhouse could “collect himself” after he broke down during his testimony.

Verdict speaks to state-backed right-wing violence 

Armed right-wingers showed up at dozens of protests during the anti-racist uprising in the US in 2020, claiming to be there to defend property.  These fascistic groups have been emboldened by Trump and his pro-police rhetoric as the nation faced a reckoning with its systemic racism. Right-wing militias have a long history in the US, often galvanized by people’s movements against racism and for workers rights.

Speaking at a press conference following the verdict announcement, Jacob Blake’s uncle exclaimed, “Racism runs from the courtroom to the police station to the mayor’s office. They all have blood on their hands.”

All-in all, the Rittenhouse verdict sets a dangerous precedent on how right-wing vigilantism is handled in the United States. It signals to the right-wing that shooting and killing anti-racist protesters is a crime that can go unpunished. Regardless of the specific arguments and intricacies of the case itself, the verdict exemplifies why the 2020 anti-racist uprising was set off in the first place and why mass resurgance of this movement is inevitable.

In a statement, the Party for Socialism and Liberation wrote, “The verdict is an infuriating reminder of the fundamentally white supremacist nature of the capitalist legal system in the United States … But the movement against racism will not be terrorized into passivity. In Kenosha and throughout the country, protesters are now hitting the streets to show that they will not be silenced by this grave affront to justice.”

[Source]

Ten Solutions to Bridge the Racial Wealth Divide

The deep and persistent racial wealth divide will not close without bold, structural reform.

by Inequality.org

The deep and persistent racial wealth divide will not close without bold, structural reform.  It has been created and held in place by public policies that have evolved with time including slavery, Jim Crow, red lining, mass incarceration, among many others. The racial wealth divide is greater today than it was nearly four decades ago and trends point to its continued widening.

In this report, we offer ten bold solutions broken into three categories: Programs, Power, and Process. These solutions are designed to strike at the structural underpinnings holding the racial wealth divide in place while inspiring activists, organizers, academics, journalists, legislators, and others to think boldly about taking on this incredibly important challenge. This summary outlines the ten solutions, gives a snapshot of the latest racial wealth divide data, and offers a warning against false solutions.

[Continue Reading]

The Messy Truth About America That the Right Wing Can’t Bear to Admit

The messy truth about America that the right wing can't bear to admitTim Scott John Stoehr May 03, 2021

This article was paid for by AlterNet subscribers. Not a subscriber? Try us and go ad-free for $1. Prefer to give a one-time tip? Click here.

I got a second dose Saturday. I was bed-ridden Sunday. I’m feeling better today, but writing is hard labor. I won’t do the usual dissection of recent events. I’ll instead swing for the fences and see what happens. Even if I strike out, it might prove to be useful.

The president and the vice president were asked last week if Tim Scott is right. In a GOP response to the State of the Union address to the United States Congress, the United States Senator said America is not a racist country. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris agreed. America is not racist country. But, they said, there is work to do.

[Continue]


Conservative Maps Out Why the ‘Derangement of the Republican Party’ is Only Getting Worse

Conservative maps out why 'the 'derangement of the Republican Party' is only getting worse

Donald Trump supporters outside the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021, Wikimedia Commons 

Alex Henderson May 03, 2021

The state of the Republican Party in the Biden era was the topic of a robust discussion on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on May 3, with a panel of guests agreeing with hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski that the GOP has become increasingly unhinged.

The guests included conservative pundit Charlie Sykes — a blistering critic of former President Donald Trump — Financial Times’ Ed Luce, the Associated Press’s Jonathan Lemire, and Eddie Glaude, Jr., a professor of African-American studies at Princeton University who is often featured as a liberal pundit on MSNBC.

Scarborough, a Never Trump conservative and former GOP congressman, noted that pro-Trump Republicans have been going after Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah and Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming with a vengeance for condemning Trump’s role in the January 6 insurrection — and that in Maricopa County, Arizona, Republicans have been conducting an overtly partisan audit of the votes in the 2020 presidential election. Those things, according to Sykes, not only illustrate “the derangement of the Republican Party” but also, the “acceleration of the derangement of the Republican Party.”

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New Poll Confirms the GOP’s Fears on Voting Rights

New poll confirms the GOP's fears on voting rights

Rep. Kevin McCarthy // PBS NewsHour 

Kenny Stancil and Common Dreams May 03, 2021

Zero GOP lawmakers have backed the For the People Act, congressional Democrats’ comprehensive plan to strengthen U.S. democracy by making it easier to vote, curbing partisan gerrymandering, and limiting the influence of money in politics.

Republican voters, however, support many of the proposals in the 800-page bill, according to a new poll released Monday.

The survey (pdf) of 1,138 likely voters across the country—conducted from April 16 to April 19 by Data for Progress on behalf of Vox—found that, when presented without partisan cues, the voting rights and election reform bill is popular with voters across party lines. Overall, 69% of the electorate supports the For the People Act, including 52% of Republicans, 70% of Independents, and 85% of Democrats.

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Activists Hope Chauvin Convictions Are Start to Real Change (+2 more)

By AMY FORLITI, STEVE KARNOWSKI and MOHAMED IBRAHIM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — “One down, three to go!” went the chant just minutes after Derek Chauvin was convicted in George Floyd’s death — a reference to three more fired officers who are awaiting trial.In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, stands after the verdict is read in his trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. Standing next to him are attorneys Eric Nelson, left and Amy Voss. (Court TV via AP, Pool): George Floyd Officer Trial© Provided by Associated Press George Floyd Officer Trial

While the verdict was celebrated by activists and brought a sense of relief, talk soon turned to ambitions for greater change outside the courtroom.

Activists, Floyd’s family members and some public officials said Chauvin’s convictions on murder and manslaughter charges were just a start, and they will continue to push for systemic change in policing in Minneapolis and beyond.

“We need true justice,” Attorney General Keith Ellison, who led the team that prosecuted Chauvin, said after Tuesday’s verdict. “That is a social transformation that says that nobody’s beneath the law, and no one is above it.”

[Read More]


Far-Right Extremists Wailing And Gnashing Their Teeth Over Chauvin Verdict

Predictably, racists aren’t happy that a white cop didn’t get away with murdering an unarmed Black man this one time.

By David Neiwert

Far-Right Extremists Wailing And Gnashing Their Teeth Over Chauvin Verdict
Image from: YouTube Screenshot

The online angst among white nationalists and other far-right extremists was neck-deep Tuesday following Derek Chauvin’s conviction for the murder of George Floyd.

“God help you if you’re a white male in this anti-white country,” wrote Andrew Torba, founder of the white nationalist-friendly chat site Gab, to his 3.2 million followers.

Many of the reactions were collected by Chuck Tanner at the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, who noted that “the response across the far right and white nationalist movement demonstrated its base lack of compassion and lack of mooring in reality.”

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Alternate Juror in Chauvin Trial on Testimony That “Really Got to Me”

By Jamie Yuccas

Lisa Christensen sat through every minute of the trial of Derek Chauvin as prosecutors and the defense each made their case in the killing of George Floyd.a woman smiling for the camera: cbsn-fusion-alternate-juror-in-chauvin-trial-speaks-out-about-case-witnesses-guilty-verdict-exclusive-thumbnail-698718-640x360.jpg© Credit: CBSNews cbsn-fusion-alternate-juror-in-chauvin-trial-speaks-out-about-case-witnesses-guilty-verdict-exclusive-thumbnail-698718-640×360.jpg

She was an alternate juror, so she did not have a role in the verdict, but in an exclusive interview for “CBS This Morning,” she said she was happy with the jury’s decision to convict Chauvin after weeks of hard testimony. Christensen said she was reluctant to be on the jury when she was first called up.

[Read More]

Is It Possible to Smother a Political Idea to Death? (+1 more)

By Shane Ryan  |  April 13, 2021

Photo courtesy of Getty

Is It Possible to Smother a Political Idea to Death?

Let’s start by considering the following opinion, as expressed by some hypothetical U.S. citizen:

As a country, America should be most concerned with protecting itself. We live in a dangerous world, even a deteriorating world, and as it becomes worse, we need to ensure that we value our own safety above all else. Opening our nation to uncontrolled immigration is a recipe for disaster, and while terrible things might be happening to those people outside our borders—and I truly feel bad for them—trying to fix it ourselves will result in a dangerous flood that ends up ruining our country too. It may be true that America achieved its current status in ways that are unfair, but that’s the reality we live in and we can’t change the past. What’s most important now is to ensure that we keep the good life we have for our people, no matter what happens anywhere else. We can’t help them, but we can help ourselves.

For many of us, that idea would be abhorrent, even though the theoretical speaker is taking pains to sound reasonable. We might think there’s an implied racism in the words, even though the speaker doesn’t mention race and, if pressed, would insist he’s not racist and that he supports controlled, i.e. “good,” immigration. We would make other assumptions, too; this person is a Trump supporter, a Republican, and his or her stated values of “protecting Americans” probably fall short when it comes to the poor, minorities, etc., and the display of empathy (“I truly feel bad for them”) is likely bullshit.

[Keep Reading]


American Insurrection Attempts to Shine a Light on Hate Groups Operating In Broad Daylight

By Jacob Oller  |  April 13, 2021  

Another day in America, another racist killing. A Black man, Daunte Wright, shot dead for a dangling air freshener. Another documentary laying bare the vicious and institutionalized hate in our country, another example of journalists, filmmakers and social media activists seeking justice by telling the same story. A collaboration between PBS’s Frontline, ProPublica and UC Berkeley’s Investigative Reporting Program, writer/director Rick Rowley’s documentary American Insurrection follows journalist A.C. Thompson as he loosely tracks the increasingly violent, open and fearless alt-right over the course of Donald Trump’s presidency, from Charlottesville’s Unite the Right rally to the insurrection at the capitol. With interviews that’ll make your skin crawl, American Insurrection can still feel as powerless and lost as the rest of us who watched a mob attack Congress on January 6.

The doc retreads some ground from Rowley and Thompson’s Documenting Hate: Charlottesville, further exploring the ingrained connection between the alt-right and the military while expanding its thesis to include the latest and greatest from America’s neverending supply of creative hate. It’s our cottage industry, after all.

Covering both large-scale group events (Charlottesville, the Portland right-wing rallies, the Richmond gun rights protest) and more specific criminal acts (those of Steven Carrillo, the planned kidnapping of Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer), we watch Thompson and other investigative reporters put boots on the ground—but their reporting can only be so confrontational considering how violent these people are. Thompson already wears a bulletproof vest. And that’s mostly ok, seeing as the point of the doc is more about shedding light on the movement’s facets than exposing individuals.

[Keep Reading]

Omar Slams Biden Admin for Continuing ‘the Construction of Trump’s Xenophobic and Racist Wall’

Jordan Williams 

a group of people wearing costumes: Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.)© Greg Nash Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.)

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) criticized the Biden administration for the continued construction of the former administration’s wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, which she called “xenophobic and racist.”

The criticism comes after The Washington Times reported that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees that the administration was considering finishing certain “gaps” in construction.

The outlet reported that Customs and Border Protection has submitted plans for further construction.

“It’s shameful and unacceptable for @POTUS to continue the construction of Trump’s xenophobic and racist wall,” Omar said on Twitter.

President Biden issued an executive order on his first day in office pausing some funds related to constructing the wall, and later rescinded the emergency order that former President Trump used to justify constructing the wall.

According to The Times, Mayorkas told ICE employees that the cancellation of funds “leaves room to make decision” on finishing “some gaps in the wall.”

“The president has communicated quite clearly his decision that the emergency that triggered the devotion of [Department of Defense] funds to the construction of the border wall is ended,” Mayorkas was reported in the Times as saying. “But that leaves room to make decisions as the administration, as part of the administration, in particular areas of the wall that need renovation, particular projects that need to be finished.”

When asked about plans to fill in “gaps” where construction was halted, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that the administration was reviewing funds that were allocated for the wall. However, she made clear that the administration planned on investing in “smart security” at the border, rather than finishing the wall.

“We have never believed the wall as an answer to addressing the challenges — immigration challenges at the border. That’s why we’re proposing an investment in smart –investments in smart security at the border,” she said. “What we see as 21st century solutions for border management, and why we believe we should build a functioning immigration system.”

[Source]