Thursday, June 1, 2017

In the News: Conservatives Respond Differently to Kathy Griffin's Tasteless Stunt Than to Online Pictures Showing Obama Hanged in Effigy — Why?

Items I've read online this morning, which catch my attention as important — and, for that reason, I want to share them with you. The unifying thread here is "this morning":

Kathy Griffin posed for a tasteless photo. Nugent actually threatened violence against Obama.

When I shared the preceding tweet on Facebook, I shared these thoughts with my Facebook circle: 

In case anyone misunderstands my reason for sharing the tweet by Patrick Karlsson which points out how Obama was treated for eight years — he was hanged in effigy with photos circulated online, which his daughters could see if they were allowed unrestricted access to the internet — I thought I'd clarify. 
I am not defending Kathy Griffin's crude, adolescent stunt. I find it deplorable. Nor am I in any shape, form, or fashion defending attacks on Barron Trump. I'd be utterly disgusted to know that any such thing is happening. 
I am merely pointing, with Patrick Karlsson's good tweet, to the glaring, yuuuge disparity between right-wing concern for a white child, Barron Trump, and their total lack of concern for two black children, Sasha and Malia Obama. 
That disparity is racist. 
I have seen with my own eyes a vendor with a stand on a main street in Salt Lake City selling trinkets depicting Barack Obama as a monkey. This kind of racist vilification went on for years under his presidency, and I heard not a peep of concern from the same people now shedding crocodile tears about Barron Trump regarding how all of this might affect the Obama daughters. 
Racist. And it has to be said.

Cass Sunstein of Harvard cites psychology research indicating that Trump has made it more acceptable for Americans to embrace xenophobia. I wrote last year that "Donald Trump is making America meaner," prompting bigotry in rural Oregon where I grew up, and around the country.

Joy Reid tweets in response to Kyle Griffin's tweet:

Lilly Wachowski by way of Kristina Marusic:

With each headline, each murder, I felt the need to connect, to remember, to honor. We must recognize these murders for what they are—a genocidal project. Trans people are under attack and trans women of color, specifically, are being singularly and systematically wiped out.

The painting at the head of the posting is one of Lilly Wachowski's paintings of trans women murdered in 2016 featured in Marusic's article. It's part of an exhibit entitled "Say Our Names" that will be at the Center on Halstead in Chicago starting tomorrow, up to 11 June.

Ted Lieu tweets in response to the Time tweet:

Steve Benen, responding to Republican Congressman (and former pastor) Tim Walberg, who says that God will take care of the climate crisis — so why worry?: 

By his reasoning, combating an environmental crisis is unnecessary because supernatural forces will solve the problem that Republican officials prefer to ignore. If this is how Americans chose to think about addressing challenges, and we started shaping policy to reflect unusual religious beliefs, the scope of the implications is staggering. 
We could stop investing in national defense, confident that an all-powerful God would create peace. We could stop worrying about health care, knowing that He would heal the sick. There'd be no need for officials to focus on disaster preparedness and response because "if there's a real problem, He can take care of it."

Jim Tankersley on the "moral disgrace" of Trump's proposal to exit the Paris climate agreement: 

No laid-off coal miners will get their jobs back if President Trump pulls the United States from the Paris accord on climate change. No extra oil rigs will sprout in the Gulf. There is no employment upside to an 'America First' retreat from global leadership on one of the few issues that can accurately be described as a potentially existential threat to humankind. 
There is only the profound immorality of abdication — of gleefully passing a mounting problem on to our children, and on to the poor.

In The Guardian, Frances Ryan reports that a Tory government is gutting Britain's schools and will continue the gutting process as long as its empowered. My response as I shared this article on Facebook:

Whether it's happening in Oklahoma, where starvation of public schools by the extremist right-wing GOP legislature is creating four-day school weeks, or in England, its goals are the same: 
1. To dumb down the population and assure new generations of "conservative" voters. 
2. To put more money into the pockets of the super-rich. 
3. To torpedo public schools so that they can be taken over by private enterprise (aka "charter schools") or churches, which will indoctrinate children to achieve goal #1.

Zack Ford on Trump's deafening silence about LGBTQ pride month: 

President Bill Clinton was the first president to issue a Pride Month proclamation. The tradition didn’t immediately catch on; his successor, President George W. Bush, was an outspoken opponent of LGBTQ equality who campaigned on banning same-sex marriage. But President Barack Obama not only embraced the tradition, but also set a new precedent for it. In addition to issuing a proclamation at the beginning of each Pride Month of his two terms, he also held an annual White House reception to celebrate the movers and shakers of the LGBTQ movement. 
There is no reception on Trump’s agenda, and the absence of a Pride Month proclamation is quite conspicuous.

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