Like Valerie Castile, I’m mad as hell.
Following the acquittal of her son Philando Castile’s killer—Jeronimo Yanez, who was a policer officer in a Minnesota suburb when he shot into the vehicle where Castile was a passenger—posts trending “The system continues to fail Black people” saturated social media.
It’s not just Black people whom The System is failing. White people, The System is also failing you.
It is a fact that Black and Brown people are herded through the prison system at higher rates, are killed by police officers at higher rates, and are not allowed the same privileges in this country as most of you, especially when it comes to receiving justice. That is the reality the country has been built on. People who are not White are treated as less than human because The System was designed by and for White people.
Everyone in this country has been socialized for generations that Whiteness is central and supreme. That Brown and Black are worth less.
So how does a system designed to benefit Whites also exploit and fail them?
By deception. You have been lied to. The education you have received, that we all have received, omits the contributions of Black and Brown people. It teaches that these people are slaves, vagrants, animals, invaluable, and not worthy of compassion. These lies have been reinforced in all of our institutions—schools, legislatures, corporate industry—and courts and policing.
To protect the White supremacy narrative, you all have been duped. When you make excuses for the racial injustices or rationalize them—or, worse, cannot see them—you too have been failed by The System.
When you say “all lives matter” to silence the wail of those declaring that Black and Brown lives matter too, The System has failed you.
When you say you don’t see color but cannot empathize with the pain of a mother and father, sister, brother, cousin who’s lost their loved one to someone’s “fear of the other,” you have been failed by The System.
The onus is not on Black people to fix The System.
Black people have been marching since slavery. They marched off plantations risking their lives for freedom, they marched into the houses of justice during reconstruction to gain respect and make better lives for their people, they marched during Jim Crow, and the civil rights and black power movements against the oppression that has held them down. And they’re still marching, for the same recognition that you all have benefited from and take for granted.
We are tired of marching.
We are tired of chanting the names of our dead.
We are tired of saying that we matter.
We are tired of our pain going unrecognized and our cries unheard.
Just tired. And we—in the words of Fannie Lou Hamer—are sick and tired of being sick and tired.
I’m not asking for more White people to march with us—many of you already do.
I’m challenging you to stand up and to stand out, to be heard in your own community, calling for justice. Channel that anger you must feel at being lied to about justice and liberty for all, about your White supremacy. Call your local politicians, state legislators, congressional representatives to demand accountability of law enforcement agencies. When you’re sitting on juries, don’t be afraid to stand apart from your peers in calling for justice.
I’m challenging you to stand up for justice. Martin Luther King said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
You may think you are safe being White, protected in your own communities. But it’s only a matter of time before the “injustice anywhere” taking place in Black and Brown communities and toward Black and Brown people comes knocking on your door. This is not a threat; it is a reality.
Black, Brown, White, whatever. We should not wait until our own sons bleed to death. We are all Valerie Castile. And we all should be angry. Angry that The System fails everyone. And angry enough to do something about it.
Lindsey Graham gives shameful — and revealing — answer when pressed on Trump’s wrongdoing
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) drew sharp criticism at the Doha Forum on Saturday when he made clear that — despite the oath he's expected to take at a forthcoming impeachment trial in the Senate — he doesn't have any plans to keep an open mind or act as an "impartial" juror regarding the conduct of President Donald Trump.
But another section of his comments that didn't gain as much attention is in some ways even more damning. The interviewer pressed him on the nature of Trump's conduct in the Ukraine scandal, saying: "Is it OK... ever OK for an American president to ask a foreign leader to investigate a political rival?"
How to take down a cult leader
Do you focus on shaming them for the damage they’re doing? Do you try to expose their lies and hypocrisies? Do you remind them of our common values? Do you try to prevail with your values? Do you try to prove that they’re factually incorrect? Do you curse them for being bad people?
Any of these moves could be useful for swaying onlookers to resist the cult, but that’s a different matter. The question here is how to cut them, making the cult and its leaders show blood.
Not once in Trump’s entire political run has he shown blood, been left speechless, stunned, or stalled. Remember Dan Qualye’s face when Lloyd Benson told Dan Quayle, “You’re no John Kennedy”? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYAZkczhdMs) or Reagan’s “there you go again”? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qN7gDRjTNf4) Or Chris Christy's cut of Rubio over his “25 second sound bite”? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkdpzRDxTXU) Or the classic, Joseph McCarthy cut by Joseph Welch’s “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?”(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8llS0ZkLVGA)
All I want for Christmas is Democracy
As the House of Representatives prepares to vote on articles of impeachment, and as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell openly colludes with Trump’s lawyers to fix the upcoming Senate trial, it’s more obvious than ever that Donald Trump is just a symptom of much more profound disease that has rendered our democracy dysfunctional. America is hardly alone in this regard.
This article first appeared in Salon.
Contrast McConnell with Paula Duncan, the Trump-supporting juror in Paul Manafort's criminal trial, who told NBC News, "I wanted Paul Manafort to be innocent, but he wasn't," and voted to convict him on all charges. She followed the evidence, just as jurors are supposed to. “I didn't believe politics had any place in that courtroom,” she said. “I knew I could be fair and impartial," and she was right.