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Tennessee Republican defends KKK Grand Wizard: He ‘had maybe over 3,000 blacks at his funeral’

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On Tuesday, Tennessee GOP state Rep. Jerry Sexton spoke in defense of Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general who went on to be the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan:

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Sexton’s claim that Forrest’s funeral was attended by “over 3,000” African-Americans is a common claim among the Lost Cause movement, but it is unclear exactly where it comes from.

Forrest’s defenders argue that he distanced himself from his prior sins and advocated for civil rights. Nonetheless, historians agree that before this, he presided over a long legacy of racism and Black suffering, starting with his command of an army fighting for the preservation of slavery, where he presided over the massacre of surrendering Black soldiers at Fort Pillow, and his leadership in the early KKK as it committed terrorist violence against freedmen and their sympathizers. Biographer Albert Castel wrote that Forrest was very clear on his white supremacist motivations, saying, “If we ain’t fightin’ to keep slavery, then what the hell are we fightin’ for?”


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Expert explains the psychopathology that underlies Trump’s dictatorial behavior

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I’m not being hyperbolic or melodramatic when I say that democracy itself is on the line on November 3. Donald Trump has been on a mission to subvert our democracy and to push it toward an autocracy. No president has ever disavowed democracy like Trump. No president has ever wanted to change our democratic way of life like Trump.

Trump has shown little interest or intent in following our Constitution. He is not abiding by the emoluments clause. He breaks norms and rules at will. He does not recognize that the three branches of government are co-equal. He operates as if the executive branch has total power. Our democracy is not based on the executive branch having absolute power. It requires that the three branches have separate powers in a check-and-balances system. Trump impugns democracy because it limits his power and requires him to be held accountable.

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‘Donald who?’ Presidential historian predicts GOP support for Trump will erode in the face of a ‘blue wave’

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MSNBC's Jon Meacham predicts that President Donald Trump won't be able to count on Republican support through a lengthy vote-counting process.

The historian and author told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that GOP support may wane if Democrats strengthen their House majority and take over the Senate from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, even if the results of the presidential election aren't known until weeks later.

"There's a much better chance that Joe Biden will end up somewhat centering the Democratic Party than anybody is going to come along and center the Republican Party," Meacham said, "and I think that's an existential threat to a Republican Party that has sold its soul, the check bounced, and they've got to figure out what are they going to do to attempt to be something approaching majority party in this demographically changing country."

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Historian details how ‘anti-science’ views of white evangelicals in the South helped fuel the 2nd wave of COVID-19

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When the coronavirus pandemic was killing thousands of New York City residents in the spring, many far-right Republicans in Texas and the Deep South argued that they shouldn’t be forced to practice social distancing or wear protective face masks because of a Northeastern Corridor problem. They failed to realize that pandemics, from the Black Death in Medieval times to the Spanish flu in 1918/1919, can rapidly spread from one place to another. Historian Laura Ellyn Smith, in a blistering op-ed for the Washington Post, discusses the fact that COVID-19 has been hitting the South so hard recently — and argues that the “anti-science” views of far-right white Christian fundamentalists are partly to blame.

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