That was Richard Pryor’s prerogative, but not ours.

Well, it’s taken a minute but Cliff has formally apologized and this sounds like a real heartfelt apology.

I am writing this to formally apologize. I am truly contrite that my words caused pain or anyone to feel less than. I was wrong, it was stupid, and I should not have done it. We all commit harm, and when we do, it is only right to both apologize and work to make things better. I know I harmed people. I am sorry.

I have been asked over and over again about my opponent’s racist comment, which he has attributed to a Cheech and Chong joke. While that may be true, it is still unacceptable. I foolishly compared that to quoting Richard Pryor, trying to make the point that even quoting someone saying the wrong thing is unacceptable, and in making my example, I too said the unacceptable.

There are words that are so steeped in hate and racism, that they enflame our community when uttered; I am grateful to live somewhere that holds people accountable for what they say and do. While I did not wield that word as a weapon nor did I direct it at anyone, it does not remove the harm of saying the word. Nothing excuses what I said. There are people who have trusted me and for them, this is a betrayal.

I have spent the past decades of my life trying to facilitate conversations that include rather than exclude. I have used my position to try to give voice to those who often don’t get to talk about their lived experiences. However, that is not enough. I formally, and contritely apologize. I apologize to all those hurt by my words, my friends, my family, the community, and my students. My past actions to help People of Color do not absolve me for the harm I committed. I still said that word. It is still not okay.

As I continue to reflect on how I have harmed people by saying that word, I will work towards a more just society. I will not stop activism or working to dismantle racism, and I will continue to interrogate how racist ideology has worked its way into my own mind. I will continue to work to make things better. I will uphold my promise to make sure all voices are heard and that there will be a place at the table for everyone, especially People of Color.

I am deeply grateful to those people in my life who have held me accountable and shared their personal experiences and knowledge about racism. Thank you to the community for also holding me accountable.

Cliff Berkowitz

We would like to point out that Editor Marc Valles and Publisher/General Manager John Richmond were pre-disposed to endorse Rex anyway. Cliff’s screw up just gave them cover. 

So, Rex, we’re not holding our breath waiting for you to formally apologize for your many cases of bullying and racist, bigoted remarks, cause we know that’s who you are!

We still support Cliff!

Trumpies have a festival of hate, and it is spreading nationwide

‘Nothing Less Than a Civil War’: These White Voters on the Far-Right See Doom Without Trump

“Trumpstock,” is a small festival celebrating Trump in Golden Valley, Arizona. The speakers at Trumpstock included the local Republican congressman, Paul Gosar, and lesser-known conservative personalities. There was a fringe 2020 Senate candidate in Arizona who ran a website that published sexually explicit photos of women without their consent; a pro-Trump rapper whose lyrics include a racist slur aimed at Barack Obama; and a North Carolina activist who once said of Muslims, “I will kill every one of them before they get to me.”

All were welcome, everybody well, except the hated liberals.

“They label us white nationalists, or white supremacists,” volunteered Guy Taiho Decker, who drove from California to attend the event. A right-wing protester, he has previously been arrested on charges of making terrorist threats. “There’s no such thing as a white supremacist, just like there’s no such thing as a unicorn,” Mr. Decker said. “We’re patriots.”

As Mr. Trump’s bid for re-election shifts into higher gear, his campaign hopes to recapture voters who drifted away from the party in 2018 and 2019: independents who embraced moderate Democratic candidates, suburban women tired of Mr. Trump’s personal conduct and working-class voters who haven’t benefited from his economic policies.

But if any group remains singularly loyal to Mr. Trump, it is the small but impassioned number of white voters on the far right, often in rural communities like Golden Valley, who extol him as a cultural champion reclaiming the country from undeserving outsiders.

These voters don’t passively tolerate Mr. Trump’s “build a wall” message or his ban on travel from predominantly Muslim countries — they’re what motivates them. They see themselves in his fear-based identity politics, bolstered by conspiratorial rhetoric about caravans of immigrants and Democratic “coups.”

Speaking engagements featuring far-right supporters of Trump, have become part of the political landscape during the Trump era. Islamophobic taunts can be heard at his rallies. Hate speech and conspiracy theories are staples of some far-right websites. If Trumpstock was modest in size, it stood out as a sign of extremist public support for Trump and his cult.

These supporters have electoral muscle in key areas: Mr. Trump outperformed Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee, in rural parts of Arizona like Mohave County, where Golden Valley is located. Mr. Trump won 58,282 votes in the county, compared to 47,901 for Mr. Romney, though Mr. Romney carried the state by a much bigger vote margin.

Arizona will be a key battleground state in 2020: Democrats already flipped a Senate seat and a Tucson-based congressional district from red to blue in 2018. For Mr. Trump, big turnout from white voters in areas like Mohave County — and in rural parts of other battlegrounds like Florida, Michigan, Minnesota and Georgia — could be a lifeline in a tight election.

“We like to call this the ‘Red Wall of Arizona,’” said Laurence Schiff, a psychiatrist and Republican campaign official in Mohave County who organizes in support of Mr. Trump’s campaign. “Winning the state starts here, with us.”

In interviews, people in the crowd described a white America under threat as racial minorities typified by Mr. Obama, the country’s first black president. They described Mr. Trump as an inspirational figure who is undoing Mr. Obama’s legacy and beating back the perceived threat of Muslim and Latino immigrants, whom they denounced in prejudiced terms.

“I don’t have a problem with Muslims,” said Angus Smith, an Arizona resident who attended the festival, “but can they take the rag off their head out of respect for our country?”

At Mr. Trump’s official rallies, including a recent one in Florida, Trump has referred to Mr. Obama by stressing his middle name, Hussein, and said Democrats were “trying to stop me because I’m fighting for you.”

The Trumpstock speakers pushed even further, tying Mr. Obama’s middle name to a false belief that he is a foreign-born Muslim.

And Democrats were portrayed as not just political opponents, but avatars of doom for Mr. Trump’s predominantly white voter base and for the country.

“There is no difference between the democratic socialists and the National Socialists,” said Evan Sayet, a conservative writer who spoke at the event, referencing Nazi Germany. Democrats, he said, “are the heirs to Adolf Hitler.”

Speakers at Trumpstock said their cultural fears had been exacerbated by their state’s own changing nature: Arizona is on the front lines of undocumented border crossings from Mexico and racial minorities are expected to outnumber white people in the state in the next decade.

They point to regions like Northern Arizona as places to find, as Mr. Trump wrote in a recent tweet, “the Angry Majority.”  “We have the greatest base in the history of politics,” he said at a recent rally in Florida.

In Arizona, the most prominent pro-Trump, anti-immigrant groups are AZ Patriots and Patriot Movement AZ, which have held tight to the themes of white nationalism. In September, after repeated clashes, some members of the groups agreed to a court order to stop harassing migrants and church volunteers who help them.

Earlier this year, the groups and their allies organized a “Patriotism over Socialism” event in Gilbert, Ariz., near Phoenix, that included speeches from Representative Andy Biggs, the area’s congressman, and Kelli Ward, the state’s Republican Party chair. They appeared alongside more fringe figures: Sharon Slater of Family Watch International, which has promoted figures associated with anti-L.G.B.T. conversion therapy, and Laura Loomer, the far-right activist and Arizona native who was banned by Twitter and some other platforms after making anti-Muslim comments.

This blend of insider and outsider, of mainstream and conspiracy, is a feature of how Mr. Trump has reshaped the Republican Party in his image, and the core of his origin story. Before Mr. Trump announced any firm plans to seek office, he was the national face of the “birther” conspiracy, which thrived in the Tea Party movement and had a significant amount of support from the Republican base, polls showed.

Stacey Goodman, a former police officer from New York who retired to Arizona and attended Trumpstock, said her distrust of Mr. Obama’s birth certificate had led her to Mr. Trump.

“If you’re Muslim, just tell us you’re Muslim,” she said of Mr. Obama. “It’s not that I didn’t believe him, I’m just not qualified to answer that question. I’ve seen information on both sides that’s compelling.”

Mona Fishman, a singer from the Las Vegas area who performed at the event, has written Trump-themed songs with titles like “Fake News” and “Smells like Soros,” which accuses liberal megadonor George Soros of running a shadow government, a trope widely condemned as anti-Semitic.

In the White House, Mr. Trump has relied on similar unfounded conspiracy theories and promoted people who have perpetuated them. He pardoned Joseph M. Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County, a hero of Arizona’s right wing and a leader of the “birther” movement, who was convicted of criminal contempt related to his aggressive efforts to detain undocumented immigrants.

On Mr. Trump’s Twitter account, likely the most-watched in the world, he has promoted white nationalists, anti-Muslim bigots, and believers in the QAnon conspiracy theory, which claims that top Democrats are worshiping the Devil and engaging in child sex trafficking.

Even mainstream conservative media figures have embraced QAnon as a way to dismiss Mr. Trump’s political enemies. The Fox News host Jesse Watters, during a recent segment dedicated to the conspiracy, linked it to Mr. Trump’s Washington enemies. “Isn’t it also about the Trump fight with the deep state in terms of the illegal surveillance of the campaign, the inside hit jobs that he’s sustained?” he asked.

They love his over the top tweets “Please never stop tweeting,” Ms. Fishman sings in one of her songs, titled “Thank You President Trump.” “I can hardly wait to see what I’ll be reading.”

 ‘I don’t believe in violence, but…’

Events like Trumpstock are not limited to Arizona. Its organizer, Laurie Bezick, recruited speakers from around the country through social media, tapping into a network of pro-Trump voices only a click away.

Long-shot congressional candidates touting an “America First” agenda came from places like Iowa and Maryland. Leaders of fledgling political groups with names like JEXIT: Jews Exit The Democratic Party, Latinos for Trump and Deplorable Pride, a right-wing L.G.B.T. organization, told the overwhelmingly white audience they were not anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, homophobic or racist. In fact, the speakers insisted, people who used those terms were more guilty of bigotry than the people they accused.

To applause, the co-founder of Latinos for Trump, Marco Gutierrez, read the pledge he took when he became a naturalized citizen and renounced his Mexican homeland. Nitemare, a pro-Trump rapper who refused to give his legal name, invoked QAnon and called Mr. Obama a racist slur in his set.

Brian Talbert, the founder of Deplorable Pride, was contacted by the White House after he was barred from the L.G.B.T. pride parade in Charlotte, N.C. At Trumpstock, Mr. Talbert, who has a history of expressing anti-Muslim beliefs on social media, gave voice to hatred of Mr. Obama and Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and Mr. Trump’s 2016 opponent.

“I think she should be hanging at the end of a rope for treason,” he said of Mrs. Clinton.

Members of groups like these at once make up a critical portion of Arizona’s conservative base, and espouse derogatory rhetoric that must repeatedly be repudiated, creating political difficulties for the state’s Republican lawmakers. After a photograph emerged last April of members of Patriot Movement AZ posing with Gov. Doug Ducey, he said he had never heard of the group. “I absolutely denounce their behavior,” he added.

Trumpstock attendees say they are used to being denounced, another quality they feel they share with Trump It’s part of why they are protective of him, to the point that they refuse to acknowledge the possibility of a Trump loss in 2020.

Mark Villalta said he had been stockpiling firearms, in case Mr. Trump’s re-election is not successful.

“Nothing less than a civil war would happen,” Mr. Villalta said, his right hand reaching for a holstered handgun. “I don’t believe in violence, but I’ll do what I got to do.”

 

This post was edited from New York Times story by Astead W. Herndon 

 

A preview of things to come as Trump and his cult fail

Armed right-wing militias are organizing a dangerous rally in Richmond, Virginia, an extremism researcher warned on Friday.

Emily Gorcenski was pepper-sprayed by Christopher Cantwell — known as the “Crying Nazi” — at the fatal 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Since then, she’s used her internet research skills to identify far-right extremism.

“I’m not letting up on the Matt Shea domestic terror situation, because it is directly relevant to something about to happen in Virginia, next month, on January 20,” Gorcenski posted on Twitter.

Shea, a Republican state representative in Washington, was exposed for supporting domestic terrorism in a report compiled by the legislature.

“Many of the same militant organizations are planning an armed gathering in Richmond, VA to protest, with the threat of civil war, proposed gun control bills in the Virginia Legislature,” she explained. “Many of these groups are chapters of the same nationwide patriot militia movement: the Three Percenters, the Oathkeepers, and others. Several of these groups who plan to attend were also part of the armed contingent that attended Unite the Right in Charlottesville in 2017.”

Gorcenski issued the warning despite agreeing with militia organizers on the policy of many of the bills.

“I’m not gonna lie: many of the proposed gun control bills are very, very bad. And I myself would protest them, for many reasons. But the appropriate form of protest is not threatening a civil-war and showing up armed en masse,” she noted.

“These organizations are linked to multiple acts of terrorism and are once again threatening to use lethal force to intimidate an American city and a state government to serve political motivations,” Gorcenski warned. “Many of these militant groups are sharing, manipulating, and amplifying deliberately false rhetoric about what is happening. This is a coordinated reaction to Virginia falling to Democratic control.”

“We cannot talk about fake news and politics without also talking about political violence and hate. They are two sides of the same coin,” she explained. “We can, however, eradicate white supremacist and far-right domestic terror. And we must.”

“Right-wing militias are an existential threat to free society,” Gorcenski warned.

 

raw story

 

Trump once again uses migrants as his political whipping boy

Trump manufactures crisis with Mexico and then supposedly solves it

Central American migrants walk along a highway in Mexico near the border with Guatemala on their way north away from crushing poverty and repression

Our hero Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) called it all along she said it was just another Trump diversion and bluff when Trump threatened to raise tariffs on Mexico. The demon dictator had said he would impose tariffs by Monday, June 10th, but suddenly he claimed victory and backed off on Friday. “Auntie” Maxine did not seem surprised. “Spineless GOP Senators grew a backbone this week & finally stood up to their Dictator Trump on something: Mexico tariffs, also known as a TAX INCREASE on American consumers. Bet your bottom dollar; Trump will back off by the weekend. Just another bluff!” Congresswoman Waters said.

His GOP lapdogs were rightfully scared that this Trumpian house of cards economy would be rocked by the effect of another tax on consumers layered on top of their smoke and mirrors tax cuts for the one percenters. This would be especially harsh on food which is a non-discretionary spending item.

All this noise was just a thinly disguised racist play to his bigoted base and a somewhat successful divergence from Trumps worsening legal problems.

Only time will tell if things at the border calm down from all the Trump induced chaos and whether Mexico actually really agreed to do anything substantial

 

With all of Trump’s bigotry on full display, Republican denunciations of others will always be hypocritical

Why does lame ass Chuck Todd have a show on MSNBC? Shouldn’t he be relegated to Sinclair?

 

The Devil himself and his spawn, Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.)

 

Democratic leaders expanded a resolution that initially focused on condemning anti-Semitism which was seen by many as targeting Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.— to a broader one condemning “anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism, and other forms of bigotry,” 23 Republicans voted against the measure. On Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), (daughter of the war criminal and the devil incarnate) tried to defend her vote.

Cheney told the smarmy “ass kissing” host Chuck Todd, “I decided to vote against it because I think it was really clearly an effort to actually protect Ilhan Omar, to cover up her bigotry and anti-Semitism by refusing to name her.” Cheney went on to assert that “the kind of anti-Semitism that you’re seeing now from Ilhan Omar and that has been supported by her colleagues is the kind of anti-Semitism that really has the ability to creep in and become normalized in our discourse. And we have an absolute obligation not to let that happen.” (Except when republicans do it)

In her bigoted world, Cheney’s argument may make some perverted sense, though holding a vote on a resolution is a really odd method for a “cover-up.” But more importantly, it’s not clear how adding language condemning Islamophobia waters down the condemnation of anti-Semitism. Both are forms of prejudice based on the religious beliefs of the target. Both Islamophobia and anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise. And both types of bigotry are in danger of being normalized — thanks in no small part to Cheney and her fellow Republicans.

Where was all this faux-outrage Last fall, current House Minority Leader and total Trump sycophant Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) accused George Soros, Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg (all Jewish or of Jewish descent) of trying to “buy” the midterm elections, and Republicans including Sen. Charles E. Grassley (Iowa) have amplified conspiracy theories that Soros has paid leftist protesters. Charges such as these invoke old and ugly anti-Semitic tropes that suggest that Jews use money to secretly exert control over the political process. Meanwhile, Trump speculates about closing mosques to fight terrorism; his buddy Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) pals around with anti-Muslim nationalists in Europe; and Fox News hosts charge that Islam is a destructive force and that Omar’s decision to wear a hijab signals secret and sinister anti-constitutional views rather than a choice to exercise her constitutionally protected freedom of religion. On Sunday, Cheney and Todd both deflected by saying that to bring up McCarthy and others as mere “whatboutism.” (Which by the way lame ass Todd does all the time)

It’s perfectly legitimate to point to King and McCarthy as evidence that the GOP scramble to condemn Democrats this week isn’t really about principled opposition to anti-Semitism. Even with Liz Cheney recently begun to sort of criticizing King, she even hinted he should resign. But she was nowhere to be found long after he had crossed the same lines before, such as when he tweeted that “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” Nor has she criticized the legions of Iowa GOP leaders for supporting King’s reelection year after year.

Cheney’s stance is unsustainable, given her own record. Todd’s last question on the topic prompted a response from her that showed just how phony her position is. “Do you feel comfortable that Trump’s done enough to tamp down this right-wing fringe anti-Semitism that’s been rising up?” Todd asked.

Cheney refused to answer — even though Trump has responded to neo-Nazis chanting “Jews will not replace us” by saying there were “very fine people on both sides,” even though he repeatedly uses the term “globalist” despite its well-documented anti-Semitic associations, and even though he has fueled anti-Soros conspiracy theories. As long as Republicans duck criticism of Trump’s bigotry, their denunciations of others will always ring hollow.

 

 

An edited piece originally from Washington Post

 

Russian trolls continue their dirty work

The situation is bad enough with Trump continually promoting racism but now his Russian handlers are really stoking the conflict by tweaking both sides.

“The same Kremlin-linked group that posed as Americans on social media during the 2016 election has repeatedly exploited the [NFL’s national anthem] controversy, playing both sides in an effort to exacerbate divides in American society,” CNN reports.

“CNN worked with researchers at Clemson University that have archived millions of tweets sent by the Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll group that was indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.”

“The trolls repeatedly weighed in on the NFL debate, using different accounts to take both sides. While they used some accounts to push petitions to fire the protesting players, they used others to hail them as heroes.”

Be smart, from BBC: The goal of Russian state actors, bots and trolls “is no longer to deny or disprove an official version of events, it is to flood the zone with so many competing versions that nothing seems to make sense.”

This is right out of Trumps playbook

information From Mike Allen of Axios

Trump is not the only one in love with Russians…..

Seems that southern white racists just absolutely love those White Christian Russians 

The conservative news source The Hill reports:

An Alabama organization designated as a white supremacist hate group by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is launching a Russian-language page calling on Russia and the American South to become allies.

A letter posted to the League of the South’s website first reported by AL.com spoke of natural similarities between Russian culture and the conservative southerners.

“As fellow Whites of northern European extraction, we come from the same general gene pool. As inheritors of the European cultural tradition, we share similar values, customs, and ways of life. And as Christians, we worship the same Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and our common faith binds us as brothers and sisters,” the group’s leader Michael Hill wrote.

Hill’s letter continued that the site’s Russian-language page would be the “first step” toward building “[a] firm and resolute understanding and commitment to cooperation between the Russian people and the people of the South [that] could indeed be the foundation for a better world in which our peoples thrive and prosper far into the future.”

The group’s move to establish the page comes days after President Trump’s bilateral summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in which the two leaders spoke about decreasing tensions between their two nations.

Trump was criticized after a press conference including both leaders for appearing to agree with Putin’s dismissal of Russia’s election interference efforts, which he later clarified he did not intend in a statement at the White House.

ADL researchers have recorded chapters of the League of the South group in 16 states, first appearing in 1994 after Hill, a former professor at Stillman College, a historically black school, founded the group.

The group is described by ADL as “espouse[ing] white supremacist ideology and southern nationalism, advocating for an independent southern nation devoid of Jews and other minorities.”

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/398195-alabama-based-league-of-the-south-launches-russian-language