We Hang Together Or We’ll All Hang Separately

After signing the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Franklin summed up the colonists’ situation:“We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Those who were intent upon positive change–in that case, separation from England–needed to stick together, or they’d get picked off one by one.

I thought about Franklin’s quote when I attended the Women’s March in Indianapolis on Saturday.

The March began with a rally, and throughout the hour or so of speeches, women–and a considerable number of men–continued to pour into the American Legion Mall. It’s a huge space, but it filled up. There were great signs (my favorites: “We, not Me” and “Haven’t we taken this ‘anyone can be President’ thing a bit too far?”). Most of the speeches were good–if some were a bit long and not entirely relevant. But the weather cooperated, the crowd was large and enthusiastic and the causes being highlighted were all important.

There was one unfortunate discordant note.

The first speech was given by two very young co-presenters representing Black Lives Matter, and they delivered a full-blown attack on the women in attendance–women who were virtually all there as allies. (They reminded me of those pastors who deliver sermons criticizing people who don’t come to church– to the people sitting in church.)

What was so distressing about their diatribe was that most of the points they were making were valid, and could have been made in a way that brought people together rather than dividing and offending them. As my son said, halfway through their very lengthy diatribe, the message should be “let’s all fight White Supremacy,” not “All you white women are White Supremacists.” (And that was before they told an overwhelmingly Democratic crowd that Hillary Clinton was corrupt, privileged and racist, and deserved to lose.)

This is the sort of counterproductive behavior that makes me worry about November.

I have been very critical of the GOP (with good reason), but honesty compels me to recognize that a portion of the Democratic party is also composed of zealots who would rather be right than win elections–who prefer assuming postures of moral superiority to the hard work of coalition-building and persuasion. If theirs are the voices that voters hear–if their tirades drown out the voices of those who are equally passionate but less strident and self-righteous–Democrats could approach November splintered and unable to catch the wave that seems to be building.

Let me make this clear: there are all kinds of injustices that Americans absolutely need to address. There is an ugly history we need to recognize, especially when it comes to the treatment of people of color–African-Americans, Native Americans, immigrants. These issues are critically important–but they will not be addressed, let alone remedied, if Republicans are still in control after the midterms.

You don’t win elections by unnecessarily alienating your friends and allies.

Democrats need to ask themselves what they want: to set themselves apart, cloaked in self-satisfied moral superiority? or to win and be in a position to make things better?

I think we should listen to Ben Franklin.

89 thoughts on “We Hang Together Or We’ll All Hang Separately

  1. Did you, Sheila, or anyone else take these two young women aside and respectfully uttered what you have said, the TRUTH about alienating one’s allies and possible friends? It should have been done then and there. Someone with true diplomatic skills might have gotten the point across and saved not the day, I suppose, but the Indy campaign, I would hope.

  2. Great message! I wonder how many Democrat voters those two young women will manage to turn away by November while they preach to the choir.

  3. I went to the rally expecting to enjoy a feeling of unity and left after those divisive comments. Someone should mentor those young women about functional activism. I’ve been to BLM meetings and believe there is a good mission at work there. These women represented nobody well with their accusatory approach – not BLM, not the women they named and certainly not women interested in pulling together for the sake of meaningful change. I equate it to public masturbation. The only function was to make themselves feel good. Such a missed opportunity!

  4. It surprises me, Sheila, that you divide the nation into Republicans and Democrats. There remain among Republicans many fine, sensible people. Among the Democrats I find many who are rightly called deplorable. In an article decrying divisiveness, perhaps it is best not to be divisive.

  5. Those first two speakers abused their freedom of speech by misrepresenting “Black Lives Matter”, as I understand it referring to the specific issue of street deaths of Blacks by police, and erroneously “painting all of us with the same White Supremacist brush”. Obviously unaware one of the many issues supported by the rally and those attending was, is and will always be “Black Lives Matter” as one of their reasons for being there. Their anti-Hillary Clinton diatribe made me wonder who they voted for in 2016…or if they voted at all. Probably good that they spoke first; get their racist, misinformation out of the way and move on to the true reasons for the rally…get the bad taste our of your mouths.

    I was unable to attend but use the term “painting all of US” to include those of us who could not be there in person but were with all of you in spirit and the millions of others across this country who rallied for the return of our civil and human rights and democracy before all is lost permanently. And this weekend we moved closer to that permanent loss than we have been since the Civil War.

    “Democrats need to ask themselves what they want: to set themselves apart, cloaked in self-satisfied moral superiority? or to win and be in a position to make things better?”

    I stand strong with Senator Schumer and hope Donnelly will “wake up and smell the coffee”. Trump’s wall needs to be removed from any and all bills put before Congress in both houses. Financing that wall will not only wall off the United States from Mexico but will wall in those of us who stand strong against Trump and his anti-American administration, creating ghettos in neighborhoods throughout this country that rival the Nazi imposed ghettos throughout Europe. I already feel “walled off” from former neighborly neighbors after living through the 2016 election in a forest of “Trump” yard signs. We do need to remove “self-satisfied” from “moral superiority” to return to democracy if we expect to ever “be in a position to make things better”. I see “self-satisfaction” on the faces of Trump, McConnell and Ryan; Senator Schumer appears to me to be continually frustrated and nearing a breaking point of civility.

    What is the real reason Trump remained in the White House during and after the shutdown? He knew there would be no bill for him to sign and he doesn’t give up his golf games for any reason related to governing. Have his bone-spurs returned?

  6. Sheila, your commentary always – always – gets me thinking anew and reviewing my views and understanding of what I think I know about democracy, the political scene today, and the Constitution. Thank you! This morning you did it again. I went to the Indy 10 Black Lives Matter FB page to listen again to the speech of those two very young black women — Leah and Kyra. I wanted to make sure I heard it again in light of your thoughtful critique. I encourage you to listen to it once more. They never said Clinton deserved the loose (even tho they called her racist). They never called white feminists ‘white supremacists.’ They didn’t. Not even in theory. They did challenge me to consider how I am complicit when I fail to consider race in my liberal social and political views. If I – or any of us – felt shame, then that is on me… or any of us. I did not go to that event to feel good or to merely enjoy a feeling of unity (which is what I did a year ago). I think I went to learn and grow. These Black women challenged me. So did the Native woman who spoke, the PFLAG mom who spoke, the Jewish woman who spoke (best speech of the day). I need to keep learning and waking up. Those speeches helped. Your blog always does , too. Thank you, Sheila, for your words and for considering my response to them. Peace.

  7. “There remain among Republicans many fine, sensible people.”

    Morton; that comment from you immediately brought to my mind Trump’s comment regarding “there are many fine people among the neo-Nazis” after the Charlottesville, VA, rally, protest and murder of one peaceful young women. Will your many fine, sensible people among the Republicans go to the polls this year to vote? We can be sure Trump’s “fine neo-Nazi people” will be at the polls in droves.

  8. I agree the BLM leaders needed coinsel on the spot. The March leaders and speakers should have reviewed and discussed their focus and intentions before the event. It distressed me to hear local news reports that Indy March organizers say the event was not a rebuke of the president. Really? Did they read the protest signs? Most other March cities were very clear about their message. 45 and his hate mob must go!

  9. MaryJo,

    “Did you, Sheila, or anyone else take these two young women aside and respectfully uttered what you have said, the TRUTH about alienating one’s allies and possible friends? It should have been done then and there.”

    No one is any better than Sheila, but she is not that good. You’re talking about an impossibility at this point in time. African-Americans aren’t fools. On what basis should they trust white Americans? They need to protect themselves. No one else is going to do it. One way is not to trust white Americans. If I was an African-American, I would support Black Lives Matter too. I wouldn’t want to be branded as a traitor or a fool.

    Why should African-Americans back the Democratic Party as it now situated? Face up to the facts, the Republican Party is turning out to be no more than the KKK. And is someone going to tell me that Bill Clinton’s TRIANGULATION STRATEGY didn’t open the door? I guess the African-American community is supposed to hold Hillary Clinton in high regard. They’re not stupid.

    White Americans are the stupid ones. They are close to 75% of the population and have allowed their country to go to hell.

    On that account, white Americans are the ones who need to wake up, not African-Americans that’s for sure.

  10. Mary Jo, your idea is good but you would have had to be there to understand the cloud of risk that remained hanging over the crowd. It was nothing less than a jab – a sucker punch intended to provoke. Anyone who approached those women would have played directly into their irrational hands, regardless of the diplomacy level. I place the responsibility with the event organizers. Unless these women went way off a previously submitted message, how could the event manager tie this speech to the goal of the effort? Surely it was hijacked. Does anyone know how we can find out?

  11. The two young speakers who seem to have labelled “whites” as racists are an extension of labelling all, or the majority, or most or whatever of Trump voters as racist. Most probably the categorization is inaccurate and it certainly does not advance the cause of solving the issues that led to Trump in the first place.

  12. Teresa,

    This same type of problem arose many years ago at the nation-wide environmental rally in Seattle. The head organizer was a teammate of mine at the University of Pennsylvania. We talked a couple of times a few years ago, I couldn’t believe how naive he was when it came to understanding racism and the African-American community.

    William has been trying to drive this same point a cross for over a year to little or no avail. It’s too deep seated.

  13. Theresa,

    “When you start down the road of putting your morality aside in order to win, you have already lost.”

    The reality is that ethics and morality do not drive politics in America. I wish they did, but they don’t. Racism is much more of a DRIVING FORCE. African-American have what is called “skin in the game.” Liberal and progressive white Americans don’t. We need to quit kidding ourselves if we want to RESCUE the country. There’s a real world out there. And it is becoming more and more real every day.

  14. Some us may be old enough to remember a time in the late 60s and early 70s when a significant portion of African-Americans did not communicate with and disdained the support of we white civil right supporters.

    As Marv says who can blame them, to which I add- then or now. What a pitiful record our country has!

  15. Sheila, I wish I could have spoken up at the time. Instead, I whispered your very sentiments to those closest to me. I was shocked and unable to formulate what I was feeling. While agreeing with many of the things these young women said, I was horrified at the way their were presenting it. Thank you for putting this into words I can share with my friends of color and with those, like me, who long for a much more progressive agenda. We must not go back into a comfortable sleep should the Democrats win either. I pledge to continue to fight for justice for ALL.

  16. Thank you Sheila. As usual, you ‘hit the nail on the head’. I felt exactly as you listening to these two young women. I’m happy that we have dedicated young people who feel passionate for their cause, but this was definitely not the time or place for that kind of message. I ended up leaving the rally early.

  17. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” We should all be mindful of the words of Dr. King. Regardless of their bad representation, we still need to embrace the BLM movement. Regardless of the corruption of their leaders, we must still embrace Republicans who stay in the party to try to combat that corruption. Regardless of their political ineptitude, we must still elect Democrats to the House and Senate if we are to return to the rule of law.

  18. Sure, they consider themselves “allies,” but how many have actually shown up for racial justice? I don’t agree with the comments regarding Hillary Clinton, but as white people, we should hear them out without getting defensive and recognize the ways in which we’ve unknowingly propped up white supremacy (not the ideology necessarily, but the system).

  19. We have now gone back not to the late 60’s and early 70’s but to the 50’s. At that time, America was completely divided……a White status quo and Jim Crow for Blacks.

    Which direction do you think Donald Trump and the Republican Party have taken us? I’m all for the full empowerment of women and marches, but It’s going to take much more than that to stop this takeover.

  20. Peggy,

    “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” We should all be mindful of the words of Dr. King. Regardless of their bad representation, we still need to embrace the BLM movement. Regardless of the corruption of their leaders, we must still embrace Republicans who stay in the party to try to combat that corruption. Regardless of their political ineptitude, we must still elect Democrats to the House and Senate if we are to return to the rule of law.”

    No one should argue with you on that statement.

  21. At the risk of seeming insensitive and unsympathetic (I think BLM is legit), has the Civil Rights movement of the 60’s simply devolved into another special interest group, one that represents African Americans? Speeches like the one described would seem to indicate that it has. MLK Jr. probably agreed with them intellectually but he he knew that the road to any eventual success was changing hearts and minds of moderate whites.

    Zealots on the left are no more helpful than those of the right. But progressives, including Dems, independents and even disaffected moderate Republicans, are in a better position to bring them into the tent (or just stamp them out) than the right can. But hear this: any progressive who votes against Joe Donnelly, or chooses not to vote in protest, is a MORON! Like Sheila wrote earlier, she plans to hold her nose and vote for him in May and November, which is literally what I did last May, November when I voted for Hillary.

  22. Women are in a better position to deal with racism than men. The re-energized women’s movement must deal with Black Lives Matter. If not, they will become the biggest obstacle to creating an effective Democratic Party FRONT against the Republicans this November.

  23. PJ,

    “But hear this: any progressive who votes against Joe Donnelly, or chooses not to vote in protest, is a MORON! Like Sheila wrote earlier, she plans to hold her nose and vote for him in May and November, which is literally what I did last May, November when I voted for Hillary.”

    I understand, but if you’re going to vote for candidates, who make you hold your nose, then you better have an aggressive PLATFORM that erases the smell. And that is impossible within the organized Democratic Party at the present time.

    Any creative program must come from the OUTSIDE. That’s where the new women’s movement can be the LEADER. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for the empowerment of women.

  24. Well, everyone has contributed, in some way, to the dividing or the healing of our people. In a way, it’s good that this conversation is out in the open. I wish the 92 million sloths who didn’t vote in 2016 would join in instead of “taking their ball and going home.” Did the BLM people address those members of our democracy?

    The demonstrations around the country seemed to be very well attended and mostly positive in nature. Let’s hope and work toward getting the naysayers and the sloths educated and to the polls. Look, we’re always going to be a racist country. That’s in our DNA from day one….and before. So, the project is to minimize the prejudice and earnings inequalities while we regain our democracy from the oligarchs who ARE NOT prejudiced about stealing our lives.

    Corporate/banking America is an equal-opportunity poverty machine. They have just about completed the purchase of our government and will cast us ALL, black, white, brown, et. al., to the curb for their own enrichment. If we want another Civil War, or a second revolution, we’d better tend to our knitting, the knitting of our people together in some sort of loose fabric that wields democracy for the benefit of us all before it’s too late.

  25. I’m posting this again on the 22nd because it was a very late post yesterday:

    OMG
    January 21, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    Now I know that you, Dr. Sheila Kennedy didn’t write this. It had to be by some middle school or home schooled kid on your staff:

    “Sheila
    January 21, 2018 at 11:07 am

    “OMG and others making similar comments: In Indiana, failure to vote for Donnelly IS a vote for the GOP–just as failure to vote for Hillary ended up putting Trump in office.

    “Unless you want one of the dramatically worse Republicans to represent Indiana in the Senate–and keep McConnell at the helm–voting for Donnelly is your only choice. You can be “pure” and refuse to vote for the lesser of two evils, but that is effectively a vote for the worse of the evils.”

    You know, Mrs. Kennedy, that Hillary DID NOT lose the popular vote. She won it by a considerable margin, arguably 65000 votes. She’s not president because a handful of Electors appointed by GOP state governors of red states ignored the preference of the majority and fell victim to a rabid minority.

    So, I think Hillary lost because the Electoral College was RIGGED…that’s politics — or maybe the Russians?

    Now look at the result – a president with no clue except the last words he heard that day, a president who may soon be led off to prison in shackles, a president who had the gall to repeat the mantra “lock her up” when he, himself, is suspected of high crimes and misdemeanors, a president about whom are whirling conspiracy theories, a president who is ridiculed by people around the world.
    Except for the rigging, voters chose Hillary who would have had the administration humming from Day One. Experience matters and the Trump administration has not gained much experience after a full year in office.

    Help us, Mrs. Kennedy. Suggest something we can support and rally all of us in support of it.

    We have never had such a vulgar bunch of thugs in the White House before. On the plus side, Trump keeps firing them.

  26. Marv:

    “I understand, but if you’re going to vote for candidates, who make you hold your nose, then you better have an aggressive PLATFORM that erases the smell. And that is impossible within the organized Democratic Party at the present time.”

    It is the candidates and the party who support the PLATFORM; we who hold our noses to vote for candidates who smell are aware that their platform is the basis and the source of their smell. Voters can only vote for or against options we are given. You are aware that we are down to numbers today vs. candidates and platforms; most of those numbers are money figures. Sheila outnumbered Trump in the primary area where it counted yet lost to his numbers due to “states rights” upholding the outdated and unfair Electoral College process. Rudy Guiliani said, as he smirked, just days prior to the election that Republicans had “something up their sleeve” regarding the Electoral College count. Apparently he read the numbers of states requiring Electoral College members to vote for their state party not a chosen candidate; even if it was a vote against their conscience. Repealing the Electoral College is the answer; red states will never vote to change their “states rights”, southern good old boy’s “sovereignty” authority. The Democratic party may smell but the the entire GOP – which encompasses our entire government at this time – reeks.

  27. How can anyone who buys into trickle down economic policy be “good people” ? I don’t care how polite they seem, how reasonable they seem, or if they are my neighbor or my blood, they are evil to the bone to support the paternalistic repression that policy endows. Most of them do not have the courage to say so, but their actions and their preference of policy reveal that they wish me dead simply because I am not rich and will not lick their boots. It is as if the master has had a nightmare in which we, the multitude, have slapped him in the face with the stinking glove of poverty, and awakening in a Hamlet sweat, he has chosen the weapon–policy in which money is the lethal projectile. The master forgets that there is left to us firepower that has always been greater than policy and money. The greater question is: have we forgotten also?

  28. Sheila’s blog today has all the earmarks of the topic she blogged on yesterday, and for good reason. Some of us progressives insist on a political perfection that is not available and hasn’t been for some 200 years. Some of us are unwilling to accept the adequate for the perfect (see Donnelly et al.). That is a big mistake because the alternative is Republican control to the right of Attila the Hun. Yes, it would be great if the schism between the parties were because of the principled stands of their candidates as in days of yore, i.e., Jefferson v. Adams, both dedicated to the public good and progress of an infant nation, but that is not the case today. We are rather presented with choices between adequacy and perfection that the intervening years have presented to us as choices, and an insistence on perfection is a vote for the Huns.

    Perfection is a concept and is unattainable in this real world in matters social, economic, and yes, political. Let’s do the best we can with what equipment we have. Something is better than nothing. I am not enslaved to the Democratic Party and would indeed have been a Republican in the day of Lincoln when Democrats were right wing pro slavery types who practiced neoNazism before it was invented. The parties have since exchanged positions and the current crop of Republicans are either neoNazis or (knowlingly or unknowlingly) aiders and abettors of that inhumane and authoritarian view – a deadly cancer on our democracy, or what is left of it after a year of Trump. By our action or inaction, as the case may be, let’s not vote for Huns.

  29. Larry: sign seen on post at Women’s March:

    “Trickle Down Only Works For Russian Prostitutes!”.

    Marv: Holding one’s nose while casting a vote for an imperfect candidate is ALWAYS better than voting for the opposition (or not voting at all – same thing) IF the opposition’s world-view and platform are morally corrupt. That’s all I was saying. Donnelly nor his platform are corrupt, although the same cannot be said for the National Democratic Party. However, I do believe the Dems are far more capable of reform (as you say – primarily from the outside) than the GOP.

  30. This stuff, the extremism and puritanicalism of far left crusaders, is what keeps me and millions of others out of the active politics game. And it keeps many more than that voting republican, reflexively.

    The Democratic Party needs to understand that it can be too democratic. Republicans’ great strength is their authoritarianism. If the Democrats can’t quiet the most radical people, campus insanity, the micro aggression/intersectionality crowd, etc., they will play straight into Republican hands, both in terms of increasing R voter turnout and reducing their own.

  31. As should be true of politics I come here daily for the disagreements more than the agreements. Great job on behalf of almost everyone posting here.

    In my experience one of the measures which, at least in my memory, used to be smaller back in the day, and even today gets smaller as races get more local is the relevance of party. I remember when joining party #1 or #2 was easy and locally based because it was commonly recognized as more or less a convenience because nobody, individuals or representatives voted based on it alone. We had the luxury of voting for the most qualified candidates and laws, not party at all. That’s what democracy is supposed to be.

    Now campaign finance reality requires strict alligiance to the party and donors who fund your campaign, so both voters and the representatives they elect might as well have their tribal brand tattooed on the foreheads so sacred is their bond.

    Of course that’s dysfunctional and a huge consideration for me in deciding the only way to beat it is to temporarily adopt it. Only Ds in ’18 and ’20. Then return to functional democracy once both parties have been shown the consequences of blind party/donor loyalty.

    To understand the rationale consider unity. Anti-democracy forces sow discord to steal elections. If we can counter with unification we will have fired the first shots in the bloodless revolution that’s necessary. It was necessary in Franklin’s day, it still is.

  32. PJ,

    “Marv….However, I do believe the Dems are far more capable of reform (as you say – primarily from the outside) than the GOP.

    Numbers are important, votes are important. But an IMPOTENT PLATFORM isn’t going to draw enough voters. We now have a dangerous, fascist-like movement in Washington. We’re in serious trouble. You don’t counter a neo-fascist movement ONLY with research, analysis and a report or a book.

    Why are we in this “stinking mess?” One reason for it is that the Democratic Party didn’t have the “guts” to stand-up and fight back. And they still don’t.

    More than likely, the Democratic Party will never stand-up. Voting for IMPOTENCE will only make matters worse. It will be utter chaos if the Democratic Party wins without any “guts.”

    If that’s the case, the choice will then be between fascism or anarchy. It’ll be a toss-up. What will be the voter turnout under that scenario? Who should I vote for under that scenario?

  33. It seems some commenters here have forgotten that I said I wouldn’t vote for Donnelly because of his three strikes BECAUSE I DON’T LIVE IN INDIANA ANYMORE. But you can be sure, I would be calling him out on these three strikes and tell him he needs to rethink his positions in order to be re-elected.

    As for the women’s march, I’m thrilled that, around the world, women marched for their rights. What inspires me is that we never ever give up. Is this the #metoo revolution? I hope so. We got the right to vote because we convinced enough men to allow us our civil rights! Hear me roar.

    The other day Martha McSally (here in AZ) posted on facebook that the Dems were dicking around with the military and they were the reason for the shutdown. WHAT? I think we need to get all military personnel out of the government because with them it’s “US vs THEM” and we citizens are not the enemies! Military personnel think everyone that doesn’t believe what they believe are enemies and therein is the problem. I can’t believe a Harvard grad would say such a stupid thing but that’s what we’ve become.

  34. No one likes trouble. The trouble is we’re in deep, deep trouble. And you don’t get out from under it by wishing it away.

    I suggest, backgrounds do mean something. I was the major strategist in two of the most important controversies involving democracy: Integration within college football in the Deep South and the battle for 1 man, 1 vote in Dallas. We won both confrontations. We stood up and the opposition eventually backed down. That’s called reality. Believe me, nothing less would have made a difference.

    Black Lives Matter understands what it takes. And it is not very pleasant at this juncture in the downward spiral toward authoritarinism.

  35. Oh my goodness,how dare those two young women from BLM make all of those white-folks uncomfortable,how dare them. We must have a modicum of decorum. PuhLeeese!

    Here’s a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. :
    “I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizens Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to order than to justice.”

    There you have it.

    Pete:”. Then return to functional democracy once both parties have been shown the consequences of blind party/donor loyalty.”

    That is so naive or someone is attempting to yank my chain. Both parties want blind party loyalty. Moreover,both parties are not going to walk away from their reliance upon the donor/investment-class. Yeah,all of those think-tanks and lobbying firms are just going to go quietly because the grand poobahs of both parties will see the injustice of their ways. Uh Huh.

    Just how deep has the propaganda and rhetoric from the multi-millionaire/lobbyist/donor/investment-class aligned political parties permeated the body politic?

    It is NOW considered an EXTREME and RADICAL notion to believe that universal healthcare can be achieved. Hell,just read the comments on this very forum,folks have been duped. Propaganda works. And, it’s not exactly exclusive to Republicans.

  36. The things we have in common far outweigh the things we don’t. It’s something we need tio remember if we’re going to prevail in November.

  37. Since we’re on the subject of women and of the worldwide march held this past weekend. It’s interesting,because the astute observer will remember my previous postings prior to the election that were met with hostility from quite a few of the commenters to this forum when I mentioned Berta Isabel Cáceres Flores. In fact,when I mention this woman, I’m either met with hostile responses or crickets. Sorry if some of the rhetoric from today’s post and the comments ring a bit hollow for me. I guess I have not become acclimated to and accepting of Animal Farm Values as of yet.

  38. I was at the march last year (couldn’t make it this year). It was pretty overwhelmingly white.

    This indicates that people of color are not being included, for whatever reason. We haven’t been listening to them, so now they’re speaking more forcefully.

    It’s hard to hear.

  39. I’ll admit, you have to pay a price to stand-up. The deviant oligarchy won’t let you get away for free.

    The battle for 1 man, 1 vote was finally won with the report I filed and argued in front of the City Council of Dallas. See http://www.TheAlarmReport.info.

    You have to understand the price we have to pay in the U.S. I was warned beforehand, but the following is the small price I paid. I think we all need to understand the whole picture and why very few stand-up. Some do. Also, see http://www.KillingtheMessenger.info

    State Bar of Texas | Find A Lawyer | Marvin Gerald Kramer
    https://www.texasbar.com/attorneys/member.cfm?id=226358
    Sanction, Entry date, (Start-End) Sanction, (Start-End) Probation. Partially Probated Suspension. (Start-End) Sanction 12/16/91 – 12/15/92 (Start-End) Sanction 12/16/92 – 12/15/95, 12/16/91, 12/16/91 – 12/15/92, 12/16/92 – 12/15/95. Indefinite Suspension. (Start-End) Sanction (Start-End) Sanction, 03/03/95. Other States.

    I forced the State Bar of Texas to come from Austin and appear in court in Dallas to answer my charge that they had no case, that I had done nothing wrong. They knew that. The attorneys representing the State Bar of Texas came to Dallas and their response to the sitting judge was “we refuse to answer Mr. Kramer’s charge” [Like taking the 5th]. The Judge’s response was “because of Mr. Kramer’s reputation I will be prejudiced against the State Bar of Texas. Consequently, I’m removing myself as Judge.”

    The courtroom was packed to capacity, mostly attorneys. Not one attorney came up to even ask me what was going on. They knew the result and penalty for “blowing the whistle.” I don’t blame them.

    I thought this would be a very good time to remove myself from the State of Texas. Most attorneys wouldn’t have done the same, but I never wanted to be an attorney in the first place.

    As a matter of fact, I never returned until about fifteen years later. That was enough for me.

    A few months after I left, I did contact The State Bar of Texas, which pleaded with me to “come back and let’s clear this all up.” I told them to go to “hell.” Let them explain “someday” how bad it can be in Texas especially outside the three big cities. “Someday” is getting very close.

    I think we all need to understand what is really going on. What is really at stake. I’ve been trying to warn about these dangers on this blog for a very long time. I can fully understand the cognitive dissonance I’ve been facing.

    However, I’m a strong beleiver that “truth can set us [all] free.”

  40. Oligarchs paid entertainers like Rush Limbaugh to sow discord for good reason. Accord among we the people is their enemy and keeps their wealth politically powerless.

    Their strategy has been very successful. Consider the entertainer in the Whitehouse.

    If we want to end their winning streak we have to unite against them. That requires compromise and a clear sense of priorities.

    To me it’s all that we have to do to stem the tide against democracy. Does anyone have a higher priority?

  41. I just think you Hillary voters who cry about the election process being rigged should remember how you were quiet when under the rules (rigged rules) of the Democrat party in IN that allowed Ms Hillary more delegates and votes at the national Democrat convention than the person that won the state in a democratic election. So just can the crying! Just saying.

  42. We White Americans are quick to give ourselves credit for overcoming our racism.
    No racist jokes? Check.
    Have a Black friend? Check.
    Defend BLM online? Check.
    Well, that’s it!
    Except it isn’t.
    Black Americans earn less money and live in neighborhoods with more crime. Their children go to schools that are ranked lower than White children. They are far more likely to be charged with crimes versus being given a warning, and are sentenced more harshly.
    And how do we respond? By locking our doors and driving quickly through “that part of town”? Giving our racist family and friends a pass because “that’s just how they are”? Staying silent when people equate “Black” with “dangerous”?

    We’re so accustomed to being White in a White world, we don’t even know it. Like a fish who can’t tell she’s wet.

    I wasn’t at the event on Saturday. But I’m not surprised that Black women challenged the crowd. Aren’t we supposed to be the party who’ll listen to them? Political purity isn’t possible, true; but if White Americans want to consider ourselves cured of the racism disease, we need to be able to hear these women without hesitation.

  43. I attended the Women’s March in Indianapolis on Saturday. Here are few thoughts.

    BLM speakers called out all of us white participants as racist. They are young, passionate and angry. They are justified, IMHO. But, you don’t have to be black to be outraged. It seems that our white “convenience” is when we control the speech and the forum. I do not completely agree with the tone or even the message. Painting all of any group with the same brush is a sure way to cause disengagement. They also should remember that Dr. King was honest and non-violent in his resistance. He persuaded.

    There were many more men this year than last.

    Last year’s march was preceded by a pledge to civility. I did not hear that pledge this year.

    Last year’s march was intended to send a message that there would be consequences for actions against women, minorities, the displaced, immigrants and any “other” by those in power. This year there were so many groups who are reacting and pushing back, including everything from science, education, PP, local political drives for redistricting reform and increased voter access, hate crimes, gender discrimination, sexual assault of women, fair wages, and on and on. The results of each group feeling embattled is that they focus on their own cause as the priority, often to the detriment of the other skirmishes and attacks. It becomes battle fatigue.

    The number of people participating was in the thousands in Indianapolis. It was disheartening to hear the local NPR affiliate report “about a thousand” marched. It was bad enough that the IndyStar chose to focus (as usual) on Pence and Trump as they signed an executive order allowing the discrimination by healthcare and service providers based on religious grounds, relegating the March to one picture and a short article in a back section. When you cannot depend on local media, no matter their political, bent to report accurately on such details as the number of marchers, it is a cause for distrust and concern.

    White privilege is something I experience daily often with no awareness. I work at making myself more aware. Verbal assaults don’t help. They make me defensive and closed off. No one likes being attacked especially by those who know nothing of our life experiences. Encouragement to engage, as Dr. King so clearly did all of his life, is so much more productive for all concerned. Convenient times for the discussions are right now.

    Once again, to those disposed to wait for the perfect candidate before you vote, your wait will be very long. The deadline for filing to run is less than 3 weeks away. Petitions would have to be gathered and signatures certified in that time.
    As someone I worked to elect said to me long ago, if a candidate tells you that he/she agrees with you on every issue, either he/she is a liar or you are a fool or both.

  44. With respect, I think you are mistaken. When we claim to respect Black voices and then demand that they edit themselves so that we’re not uncomfortable, we are maintaining our power. Not sharing it. Read Dr Stacey Patton. Read Jolivette Anderson-Duoung. Read The Root. White Americans have a lot to learn.

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