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Items filtered by date: Tuesday, 05 September 2017 - The San Bernardino American News

White Supremacy: America’s Original Sin

Publishers Corner

Clifton Harris
Publisher of The San Bernardino AMERICAN News

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Many may feel comfortable condemning the Alt-Right, neo-Nazis, Klans-men and White Supremacists who gathered in Charlottesville, Va., but the true problem is America’s underlying cancer of White Supremacy etched into the DNA of this nation.

The torch carrying, swastika waving, black-shirted, Nazi saluting supporters of the Alt Right, who openly voice their disdain and hatred for Blacks and others, are not the choice for expressions of White Supremacy today. Their look and their tactics are outmoded, draw too much attention and draw too much of an emotional response.

James Alex Fields, Jr., 20, of Maumee, Ohio was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder, after allegedly driving a car into a crowd at the Charlottesville rally. Photo: MGN Online

What is preferred today is “Make America Great Again” White Supremacy, an ideology and expression that couches Whites as the group suffering and losing in the United States.

It was that sentiment that President Clinton played to in the 1990s as a welfare-bashing, prisoner executing, missile into Africa launching New Democrat. “Bubba” was a godsend and consoler of aggrieved Whites who supported him. He felt their pain. He wasn’t like Democrats of old who were beholden to Black people. He disrespected the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who has registered more Democratic voters than anyone in history, at the civil rights leader’s national convention to make his point.

It was that sentiment—the belief that Whites and America are under siege from Black and Brown people—that led to the Birther Movement backed by Donald Trump. The movement challenged whether Barack Obama was born in America and painted him as an illegitimate president.

That same suffering-White-sentiment fed the Tea Party Movement, its virulent opposition to President Obama and the unabashed assaults of right wing and conservative media on him and his family. Not to mention an intruder making his way into the White House, shots fired at a White House window and missed by the Secret Service and a 400 percent increase in death threats against the president.

The cry “take our country back” wasn’t a neo-Nazi, skinhead or Klan sentiment but a mainstream political message.

The White America under siege mentality has led to reluctance to take on White militias and Whites calling for the violent overthrow of the American government. Instead of calling for a federal crackdown, political leaders called for understanding what was making weapons carrying Whites so uneasy.

It was that sentiment that got Janet Napolitano, then United States Secretary of Homeland Security of the United States, crucified politically. It was “in 2009, the Department of Homeland Security reported that white supremacy is the US’s biggest threat for domestic terror, it was met with harsh criticism. Conservatives blasted the department for defining terror threats too broadly, instead of focusing on potential Islamic terrorists,” observed Think Progress.

Then-House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) was one of those who berated DHS, saying that they weren’t focusing on the real threats the US faces: [T]he Secretary of Homeland Security owes the American people an explanation for why she has abandoned using the term ‘terrorist’ to describe those, such as al Qaeda, who are plotting overseas to kill innocent Americans, while her own Department is using the same term to describe American citizens who disagree with the direction Washington Democrats are taking our nation. Everyone agrees that the Department should be focused on protecting America, but using such broad-based generalizations about the American people is simply outrageous.

The report was titled ‘Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,’ and it named white supremacists, radical anti-abortionists, and a few ‘disgruntled veterans’ as most susceptible to recruitment by extremist groups, or to harboring resentment that may lead to domestic terrorism. DHS stressed that, during recessions, these threats go up, and law enforcement should be on the lookout for such extremism.”
”The report’s findings were congruous with previous studies that indicate right wing extremism is responsible for more instances of violence every year (with the exception of 2001, when the September 11th attacks happened) in the United States than Islamic extremist,” Think Progress noted. “Sec. Janet Napolitano ended up withdrawing the report and apologizing to veterans who felt they’d been called out, stressing that the threat was limited to a very small number of veterans.”

That sentiment isn’t just yesterday, it exists today: Sebastian Gorka, a former deputy assistant to President Trump, appeared on Breitbart News Daily, “the radio show of his former employer,” said Think Progress. “‘Oh, it’s the white man. It’s the white supremacists. That’s the problem.’ No, it isn’t,” he said.

But, Mr. Gorka is wrong and we’re not just talking about the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma by White supremacist and former serviceman Timothy McVeigh in 1995.

Gorka noted that the Oklahoma City bombing was 22 years ago, which is true. But since 9/11, right-wing extremists—almost always white men and frequently white supremacists — have been far deadlier domestically than Muslim extremists. A study found that in the first 13.5 years after 9/11, Muslim extremists were responsible for 50 deaths in the United States. Meanwhile, ‘right-wing extremists averaged 337 attacks per year in the decade after 9/11, causing a total of 254 fatalities,’ Think Progress reported.

But the idea of curbing White Rights is a dangerous one and accounts for the reluctance of President Trump and his defenders to call out these good, old, All American groups. There is a desire to not retreat or offend White sensibilities, never mind investigating White extremist groups.

The governor of Virginia bemoaned being “outgunned” by Alt Right protestors, despite having the National Guard at his disposal. White Rights must be respected. Even the Black police chief of Charlottesville, Va., bemoaned how Alt Right protestors violated agreed upon entry into the park where their gathering was to take place. Instead of shutting the event down, police officers hung back. Despite the melee that followed, no tear gas was deployed, he said. The hope was the Unite The Right demonstrators would simply peacefully participate, he said. And though gathering was declared an unlawful assembly at Emancipation Park, there were just a few instances in which pepper spray was used, the police chief added.

When a reporter cited a police officer who said orders had been issued not to make arrests unless called for by the mayor, the chief said that report was untrue.

America will never solve the problem of race until she looks in the mirror and sees how ugly she has been and remains. But at this point, it doesn’t even appear that a mirror exists, let alone a willingness to look into it.

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New Americans Campaign Deeply Disappointed By President Trump’s Repeal Of DACA

Washington, DC – The New Americans Campaign, comprised of more than 150 organizations that work together to help lawful permanent residents apply for citizenship, today issued the following statement in response to President Donald Trump’s repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The following can be attributed to Melissa Rodgers, Director of the New Americans Campaign and Director of Programs for the Immigrant Legal Resource Center:

As a collaboration of more than 150 organizations working with lawful permanent residents across the U.S., we are deeply disappointed by President Trump’s decision to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Family relationships are not limited by immigration status, and the people our Campaign serves have siblings, cousins, sons and daughters who will suffer. We stand with these families, and many of our organizations are ready to offer resources as they deal with the impact of today’s announcement.

We believe in citizenship and the power of immigration, and today was a step in the wrong direction. DACA has transformed and revitalized communities across our great nation. Reversing a program that has empowered a new generation of immigrant leaders (known as DREAMers) to actively contribute to our country’s economy and cultural vibrancy undermines our American values. This repeal goes against the ideals we hold dear – building inclusive communities and a stronger future for our nation.

The New Americans Campaign is doubling down on its mission to help lawful permanent residents complete the naturalization process and stands by all immigrants. We will not be deterred by President Trump’s action today. Citizenship has many benefits, including protection against deportation, and is the antidote to the dangerous anti-immigrant sentiment that has taken a hold in this country. In the weeks,

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It’s Time for Congress to Pass a Hurricane Harvey Emergency Funding Package

Historically, during times of national emergency, Americans unite to meet the challenge. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina altered the lives of thousands of Americans throughout Louisiana and Mississippi, damaging cities that have not been the same since. But, no matter our differences, we as a country have always come together in the face of tragedy. Now, it is time we act in unison once more.

Since August 25, the city of Houston along with Harris and Fort Bend counties have felt the effects of Hurricane Harvey. The unprecedented storm dumped an estimated 11 trillion gallons of water on just Houston alone. First responders, emergency personnel and the U.S. National and Coast Guards along with hundreds of volunteers, were on the frontlines of the battle ensuring all those affected by Harvey were safe and dry.

As the natural disaster travels towards Louisiana and Mississippi, we ask for our great country to continue to stand with one another by volunteering, sending donations, and praying that for strength, hope and perseverance to weather this storm.

Hundreds of people of color have been affected by the storm already. If anyone would like to lend a helping hand to the relief effort through donations, we are asking you give to local organizations that focus on people of color such as: The Black Women’s Defense League, Raices, ICNA Relief, BlackAmericaWeb.com Relief Fund or the South Texas Human Rights Center. Any contribution will be greatly received as we ask Congress and President Donald Trump to provide immediate emergency funding and resources to deal with the crisis at hand. We believe at least $150 billion will be needed just to aid Texas residents in reconstruction, with much more needed later as the storm continues to travel the Gulf Coast.

In addition, Southeast Texas needs funding for storm surge protection research, just as New York and New Jersey received following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.

Congress should pass an aid package not only to help the people of Texas, but to also provide an assurance to the American people that their government will be there for them in a time of crisis. This legislative package should not be weighed down in political rhetoric and partisanship. Instead, it should be aimed at helping as many people affected by Harvey as possible.

It is essential for the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to conduct a full and complete assessment of the entire Gulf Coast region’s infrastructure capabilities when it comes to flooding. Time and time again, we have seen our region suffer from hurricanes, and we must take steps to prevent another city from struggling to rebuild.

Americans from around the country have offered themselves in service to help their fellow citizens. Now, we as Members of Congress must do the same. The best way for us to do so is with a comprehensive emergency funding package. Volunteers, first responders and so many others have stepped up to the plate, now it is up to us to hit the ball out of the park.

When Congress goes back into session, let’s pass this package without unnecessary political debates. The people of the Gulf Coast are depending on us.

Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) and Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) represent Gulf Coast residents. They are all members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

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Civil Rights Groups Urge Black Parents to Lead on ESSA State Plans

Sirraya Gant, the mother of two sons who graduated from high schools in Washington, D.C. said that getting involved in her older son’s academic career definitely helped their relationship.

“Not only did it help him, but it also helped his friends level of respect for me, some of them even called me, ‘Mom,” said Gant. “My son played football too, so there were times when [the team] gave me awards and said, ‘I was their biggest fan.’”

Gant continued: “My house was the place to be after school, because they felt comfortable. [My son] knew my expectations of him and he knew that his teachers would call me,” if there were every any problems.

Gant said that she was happy to learn that the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) encouraged greater parental engagement and open communication between parents and administrators.

Gant added that she was very impressed by a recent National Black Parent Town Hall Meeting on ESSA hosted by the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA).

“The new Every Student Succeeds Act, signed into law Dec. 10, 2015, rolls back much of the federal government’s big footprint in education policy, on everything from testing and teacher quality to low-performing schools. And it gives new leeway to states in calling the shots,” according to an article on EdWeek.org.

Some of the major components of ESSA include state-level accountability plans, evidence-based plans to address challenges of low-performing schools and subgroups, and resources to help train teachers.

During the town hall, education policy experts and community stakeholders offered the parents advice on engaging with their schools to ensure equitable access to a high-quality educational experience for their children.

“I wish I had known about ESSA, when I was a PTA president, because I definitely would have had [Education Department] officials come in and speak to parents,” said Gant “I think that outreach is something that the [NNPA] can do with the PTA and the schools to have workshops, so that they can speak to parents.”

Even though ESSA wasn’t implemented before her sons graduated from high school, Gant is still a staunch supporter of parental engagement and the mission of ESSA.

Liz King, a senior policy analyst and director of education policy for The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said that the civil rights community is hoping that Black parents will drive the conversation around the implementation of ESSA to benefit Black children.

King added that she hoped that ESSA would bring new attention to data that could reveal, which opportunities are available to Black children—and which ones were not. King also said that new policy changes should “ensure that African American children get the quality of education that they are entitled to and that they need to grow and learn and thrive.”

King said that parents have to get involved and stay involved in their children’s schools.

“The school has to see consistency on the parent’s part,” said King. “Educators have to take parents seriously. It takes a lot of work; you can’t get tired of advocating for your child.”

States must submit their ESSA plans to the Education Department by September 18, 2017.

When it comes to ESSA, education advocates say that parents and community leaders should voice their concerns and expectations for their local school districts.

“One really important way for parents to have their voice heard is during the public comment process, in which a state releases its draft plan for what it’s going to do to create change in its schools and to make sure schools are working well,” said King. “During those public comment periods everyone has the opportunity to communicate with [his or her] state school board and say what their priorities are for their community and their child.”

King added: “We also need to make sure parents are communicating with the press and that the media is reflecting interest in the attitudes and beliefs of communities of color…we encourage parents to reach out and to let the media know what their priorities are.”

King said that, the truth is, there are strength in numbers.

“We encourage parents to work with one another to come together with community organizations to really advocate for the priorities and changes that they want to see in their state, in their school district and their school,” said King.

Kwesi Rollins, the leadership programs director for the Institute for Educational Leadership said that the most important thing is awareness about the new law.

“We want parents, families, and community based organizations, grassroots leaders, and teachers, as well, to be aware of what’s required of them, in terms of support, in their communities, and to be in a better position to hold their school district and their state accountable for what’s required in the law,” said Rollins.

Even though the road may be tough, education experts agree that investing in a child’s education is worth the sacrifice.

“The rewards are so fruitful in the end,” said Gant.

Civil Rights Groups like Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights wants Black parents to help craft Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) state plans.

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Black UFC Fighter Rescues Man with Confederate Flag from Harvey Floodwaters

“He wanted to take the flag with him, and he just apologized and said, ‘Man, I’ll sit in the back of your truck,’” Derrick Lewis said.

In an act of humanity during Hurricane Harvey, Houston resident and UFC heavyweight fighter Derrick Lewis used his Chevy truck to rescue residents trapped by rising floodwaters, but said he encountered a man who insisted on bringing along his Confederate battle flag — a symbol of the country’s legacy of slavery and racism.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said on Sunday that Harvey had caused up to $180 billion in damage, exceeding the cost of Hurricanes Sandy or Katrina. The most powerful hurricane to strike Texas in more than 50 years came ashore on Aug. 25.

It is estimated the storm has displaced more than 1 million residents, damaged more than 200,000 homes and killed at least 50 people. Hurricane Harvey stretched for more than 300 miles. The storm stalled over Houston, dumping more than 50 inches of rain on the region, causing massive flooding.

Lewis, the UFC’s No. 6-ranked heavyweight known as “The Black Beast,” responded to distress messages on social media and phone calls regarding people who were trapped. During one of his rescues on Aug. 27, he said he encountered a family with a father who did not want to part with his Confederate flag.

In an interview with MMA Junkie last week, Lewis said that despite that flag, he still wanted to help the man:

“I picked up one guy and his family, his wife — he just kept apologizing to me, because all he really had was his clothes, and he wanted to take his Confederate flag. He wanted to take that with him, and he just apologized and said, ‘Man, I’ll sit in the back of your truck, man. I don’t want to have my flag inside of your truck like this.’ I said, ‘Man, I’m not worried about that.’

“He’s saying, ‘You never know if you ever need someone, so …’ — I already knew where he was going with it. I just said, ‘Don’t even worry about it. It’s OK. I don’t care about that.’ His wife kept hitting him and saying, ‘You should have just left it.’”

Lewis also expressed in the interview that the sentiment behind the man’s reluctance to part with his flag is something he’s used to, having lived in the South all his life.

“I live in Texas,” Lewis told MMA Junkie. “It ain’t nothing new. I’ve been living in the South all my life, and it ain’t nothing I hadn’t seen before or discussed about. I don’t care about that type of stuff. I just wanted to help him.”

The man’s refusal to leave his flag actually coincides with a boom in Confederate flag sales following last month’s deadly violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va.

In an interview with ESPN’s Sports Center last week, Lewis estimated that he has helped rescue more than 100 people.

He used social media to chronicle some of his rescues:

The UFC fighter also continues to deliver emergency items to flood victims:

In addition to the rescue efforts, Lewis tweeted that he would partner with the UFC to donate $10,000 to hurricane relief.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the city expected most public services and businesses to be restored by Sept. 5.

“Over 95 percent of the city is now dry. And I‘m encouraging people to get up and let’s get going,” Turner told NBC News.

However, on Sunday, “Houston mandated the evacuation of thousands of people on the western side of town to accommodate the release of water from two reservoirs that otherwise might sustain damage,” according to Reuters.

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Peaceful Demonstration at Rancho Motors, Victorville, CA

Several concerned community members and groups that are planning a peaceful demonstration on or about November 10, 2017, in front of Rancho Motors Company, Inc., in the City of Victorville.

The purpose of this gathering is to protest Rancho Motor’s racist and predatory practices toward minority groups, specifically the African American Community. We anticipate a showing of approximately 150 to 200 demonstrators.

Click here to view the NAACP letters to Rancho Motors and Sheriff PDF

Click here to view the complaint filed against Rancho Motors Co

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