Wednesday, June 6, 2018

What is Trump Trying to Hide in Migrant Detention Centers?

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley posted a video showing he was denied entry to a detention center in Brownsville, Texas, for migrant children who have been separated from their parents when the families were trying to enter the United States. 

Merkley said in the video, "I think it's unacceptable that a member of Congress is not being admitted to see what is happening to children whose families are applying for asylum. I decided to come out here, go up to the door and ask to be let in."

The Trump/Pence administration has not disclosed how many children have been separated from their parents as a result of Trump/Pence's new "zero tolerance" policy. But a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official told a Senate panel that the 638 adults referred for prosecution from May 6 to May 19 had been traveling with 658 children, according to The Washington Post.

Trump has stated that people from Scandinavian countries, who are mostly white, would be more welcome to immigrate. The race hierarchy is one of many supported by Trump/Pence.

Judge Who Gave Brock Turner a Lenient Sentence Recalled

If the elite white male establishment refuses to hold members of its group accountable, it is refreshing to note that in many cases, other people will.

Judge Aaron Persky – who gave Stanford swimmer Brock Turner an extremely lenient sentence after he was convicted of assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated/unconscious person, penetration of an intoxicated person and penetration of an unconscious person – yesterday became the first California jurist recalled from the bench in 86 years.

Persky was concerned that prison time could have a "severe" impact on Turner's life as the reasoning behind the lenient six-month sentence. Turner ended up only serving three months due to good behavior. 

But speaking of severe impact, the victim, Emily Doe, then 23, read an emotional 7,000-word statement during the sentencing detailing the impact to her life and the horror of the 2015 attack, including taking a shower at the hospital after two bicyclists spotted her being assaulted by Turner and chased him down. Her statement, published in full by BuzzFeed, quickly went viral. It was viewed by more than 10 million people within four days.

Betsy DeVoss: No Discussion of the Role of Guns When Addressing School Violence

Betsy DeVoss, Trump's appointment as Education Secretary, said yesterday that the White House’s school safety commission will not focus on the role of firearms in gun violence at schools.
“That is not part of the commission’s charge, per se,” DeVos said during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing after being pressed by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the panel's ranking member.
"I see,” Leahy responded. “So, you're studying gun violence but not considering the role of guns."

White males, on top of our country's hierarchies, have used violence or the threat of it, to control everyone else for centuries. Guns are an important part of that violence, and guns have been embedded in their culture and mentality in order to keep white males on top. The power and control of white males (the group running the NRA, showing up at gun shows, profiting from violent video games, and mass shooting people they don't know) might be lessened if we discuss guns as causing any sorts of problems in our society.

Jaelene Hinkle: Hierarchical Religion over Civil Rights in Professional Soccer

Professional soccer player Jaelene Hinkle used her Christian religion as an excuse to snub LGBTQ Pride Month recognition from her NWSL’s North Carolina Courage team. She refused the call-up, citing “personal reasons.” In a recent interview with the "700 Club," the devout Christian athlete explained that her decision was motivated by her desire not to wear the USWNT’s special LGBTQ Pride Month jersey.
In hierarchical religions, god is made in the image of a man on top of a hierarchy, and usually orchestrated in the United States by white males who present themselves as representing their deity. Here is another example of a person who chooses to put hierarchies over the civil rights of people in the United States.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Freedom Riders: Where are They Now?

In a moving article in the New York Times, Maurice Berger tells us about the lives of Freedom Riders, as portrayed by the journalist and photographer Eric Etheridge. These men and women courageously went to the south in the 60's to try to force those states to adhere to federal anti-segregation laws. Mug shots of the young activists are paired with pictures of them now.

These portraits serve as inspirations for those of us still working to break down hierarchies of many types.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

UN Vote: Other Countries Can See Through Trump

In a humiliating blow for Donald Trump,  the United Nations General Assembly voted by 128 to nine to declare his decision to recognize Jerusalem at the capital of Israel as "null and void."

In a move so typical of someone on top of a hierarchy who believes he can do whatever he pleases with no accountability at all, the Trump administration issued a threat to "take names" of countries who did not support his move, and he will cut off humanitarian aid funding.

As an indication that she is little more than a Trump surrogate, US’s ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley wrote to most of the 193 UN members states warning of possible retaliation.

Richard Gowan, a UN expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations, told The Independent  the vote is still a “win for Trump in a perverse way.” He also said it is not a “win” for Ms Haley in his estimation. ”She looks diplomatically isolated and a little inept, and has undone” the work she has put in to build relationships with diplomats.

Diversity at the Royal Wedding

At the wedding of Prince Harry and mixed-race Meghan Markle, the mother of the bride wore dreads, and tennis great Serena Williams had cornrows. Black singing, and a black minister gave the sermon.

For those of us who are living in the United States with Trump/Pence and their swamp trying to nullify the diversity of the United States in favor of those on top of our hierarchies, we are happy to see the opposite here today in Britain.