The events since Wednesday night have rocked the country. Let me first just recount them and then muse on the speed of change we’re seeing.
The massacre of a Bible study group by a young man who made it extremely clear to everyone except the Right that his crime was all about racial hatred brought home to America the persistence of such thinking and the possible acts coming out of it. MSNBC and the Comedy Channel both show clips from Fox and Limbaugh, but just on a whim I recorded 3 Fox shows the Thursday after the murders had been reported. As used as I am to Fox’ inanities, I thought perhaps I was tilted a bit in my perception of Fox by just seeing the clips from their most ridiculous moments; what I saw in all three programs was criminal in itself: an absolutely terrified running away from the reality of racist violence. Fox has dug down, hired a few Negros to assure White America that nothing is wrong that can’t be cured by Black kids turning off the hippity-hop and pulling up their pants. It was so much worse than I expected.
Following that, on its heels, were calls to remove the Confederate flag. But that was not the surprising part, it was that White Southerners, led by Strom Thurmond’s son, of all people, were calling for its removal, too. Eventually, one Black commentator made it plain: a White woman had called his talk-show to say that she condemned the flag as a symbol of hate but that she did respect her ancestors who had fought in the Civil War. The commentator said, “Well, I don’t respect them b/c I could not have gone to law school and would have been working in their fields as a slave.” So MSNBC (who else?) had him on and he stated the obvious: how about a Nazi flag in New York? Why not fly it over the mayor’s office? I’m sure his Black wife and son wouldn’t mind. These people have been crazy for decades and remain crazy. When I was a kid in the 50s, I knew very well that when a bunch of guys my age were waving that flag around, they weren’t supporting any Southern heritage except the subjugation of Black people.
Then, it turns out, the President will deliver the eulogy at Pinckney’s funeral. Oh, but first, he had to note that the Affordable Care Act, which will forever bear his name as Obamacare, thanks to the Right, is now the law of the land, thanks to the SCOTUS. As a disgruntled Scalia said: we should call it SCOTUS care. But wait! That’s not all. Congress has approved fast track for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, something I am very ambivalent about. During this period, we have seen Bernie Sander’s numbers rise now he IS a socialist giving Hillary pause in her celebration of ties to Wall Street. She’d better cool it.
Before we could chew on the ACA decision, SCOTUS told us a law put in place in 1968 prohibiting housing discrimination extended to what we have called structural racism, i.e. whatever the intentions of the policy makers, if their policies discriminate in housing, they are illegal. We have seen for decades the way town councils and boards of supervisors jury rig property and zoning laws to protect Whites communities from the touch of Black and Hispanic people. That’s over.
Moving right along, someone said last night that perhaps with Pinckney’s funeral today, SCOTUS would wait until next week on the marriage equality decision and was told by a SCOTUS expert, “
SCOTUS doesn’t operate like that, they operate outside cognition of what’s going on outside the court.” And sure enough, I came downstairs this morning and heard cheers. The forces of decency and justice had triumphed yet again, despite Scalia and his Natural Law that conveniently backs up the beliefs, practices and interests of the powerful.
Addendum at noon –
I just finished listening to Pres. Obama’s eulogy. I don’t know if it will convince those who think he must be a Muslim, but it will at least give them pause in declaring he knows nothing about Christianity. He went to the heart of what it means to be a Christian. Fox News will excoritate him for bringing politics into it by citing continued inequities and discrepancies in education, voting, and employment (“call Johnny back for job interview but not Jamal”) and for calling for a real look for ways to control gun violence, but conservatives long ago gave up any claim to decency or fairness, and don’t even try to claim rationality.
The nation is getting a good look, too, at the Black church. The Obamas were in the front row clapping to the music – one lugubrious song, the sort I associate with the AME, had a rousing coda that got everyone clapping – and Obama himself, after using the hymn Amazing Grace for his text, ending what was really a sermon by leading the church in singing it.
Out of the park again.
Coincidence? My alumni chapter just sent me this post:
Get crafty with your old license plate
and it shows clever ways to recycle old plates.
I wonder how many Confederate license plates will now need to be recycled.