ATLANTA — A Republican owner of a metro Atlanta construction company entered the race for U.S. Senate on Monday with an attack on “cancel culture” and a pledge to run against Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock as a business-minded outsider. Kelvin King becomes one of the first in a likely wave of Republicans to challenge Warnock, the pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church who is up for full six-year term in 2022 after narrowly winning a January special election runoff. King was one of former President Donald Trump’s most prominent Black supporters in Georgia and founded a political outr...
I don't pay a lot of attention to policy. I don't care enough about the particular details to say with any confidence which one is better and which one is worse. I do care about policy outcomes. So I'd take the so-called public option. I'd take Medicare for All, too. Yes, one is a small step. The other is a big step. Both, however, arrive at the same place eventually, which is universal health care. Either way, I know one party is going to lead us in that direction generally while the other is going to lead us nowhere in a hurry.
In this way, I'd guess I'm fairly representative in how most people regard the parties. There are outcomes you want. So you side with the party most likely to realize them. Conversely, there are outcomes you do not want. So you side with the party most likely to oppose them. But what happens when one of the parties stops caring about policy? What happens when achieving a meaningful objective, however small it might be, even if it's just opposing the other party's policies, no longer matters to the party? Where does that leave normal people who want the party to accomplish something concrete?
I said yesterday that ousting Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney from the House Republican leadership meant the Republican Party is now officially anti-democracy. I forget to say it's officially anti-policy, too. Cheney voted for the former president's legislative agenda nearly all the time. Her rival, New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, did not. Yet it's the latter who's getting elevated to the position of House GOP conference chairwoman while the former is getting knocked down. Stefanik has embraced Donald Trump's Big Lie—that he's the legitimate president. Cheney, however, rejects that. It doesn't matter that Stefanik agreed with Trump less while Cheney with Trump more. The GOP is now post-truth. It's now post-policy, too.
Among the very few things I believe in categorically, there is this: Most Americans most of the time have something else to do than pay attention to politics. (They will find something else to do.) From that, I extrapolate, not unreasonably, that most people are not as invested in political conflict as the conventional wisdom would have it. Sure, voters want their representatives to fight for their interests, etc. But they also want them to get things done, especially amid long periods of mass death such as ours.
National crises demand national action. So it's one thing for the Republicans to oppose the other side's policy proposals, but quite another for the Republicans to oppose the other side's proposals on account of the other side is the one proposing them. They have convinced GOP constituents they can focus 100 percent on stopping the Biden administration, as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, while at the same time delivering the goods back home. They have put themselves in jam with no honest way out. And because there is no honest way out, the Republicans must keep lying.
Nearly all the Republicans voted for relief-stimulus programs proposed by the former president while he was in office. They could rightly take credit for them. Not one of the Republicans in the entire United States Congress voted for similar programs in the nearly $2 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law in March. But that has not stopped many from taking credit for them. The AP reported last week dozens of House Republicans, including Elise Stefanik, who is poised to assume Liz Cheney's chairwomanship, have in one way or another allowed voters to believe they had something to do with a hugely popular law they came close to killing. Post-truth has led to post-policy, which has led back to post-truth. Among Republicans, there is no there there, anymore. They are deathly afraid of constituents finding out. So they lie.
Like many things, this boils down to opposing interpretations of America. For the Democrats, it's a real place with real people in it who must find ways of getting along tolerably enough for everyone's sake in the most useful ways possible. If we don't, we're doomed. As Joe Biden said, after winning the election, "America is a covenant." It's the common ground shared between and among individuals and communities, the bonds that tie our fates together in the form of a union we must try perfecting more.
For the Republicans, however, the covenant isn't between and among individuals and communities. It's between God and God's chosen. The covenant isn't an abstract set of republican virtues. It's literal. It's the US Constitution. That the Republicans find themselves jammed—that nonstop lying is how they prevent supporters from figuring out they can't accomplish anything—well, that's what happens when a literalist interpretation rams into a crisis as bad as the covid pandemic has been. Something's got to give. First, it was truth. Then, it was policy. What's next remains to be seen.
This week a North Carolina teen was nearly barred from participating in a high school softball game because she had beaded braids in her hair. The umpires told her that she had to cut them off. Now the school district is coming to the student's defense and sounding the alarm about a national regulation about Black hair in high school sports.
A statement from Durham Public Schools reiterated their commitment to students' "right to free expression" noting that the "NFHS rules govern athletic competition," not DPS.
Durham Public Schools spokeswoman Casey Watson said in a press release, adding school board policies "do not prohibit beads in hair."
The NFHS is the National Federation of State High School Associations, a national organization that governs playing rules for high school sports in 19,500 high schools, their about page explained. Headquartered over 600 miles from the softball game, the Indiana-based organization purports to "serve its members" under the guise of "safety standards." It also calls itself the "national authority" on "defining values of education-based high school athletics."
The group doesn't clarify what someone's hair has to do with their "values." The group's board of directors is almost exclusively white with only two male Black members out of New Jersey and Mississippi. They were founded in 1920 and are classified as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a whopping $15,276,482 in revenue for 2019.
"When I came back to hit again, it was brought up that there was another issue," said sophomore Nicole Pyles, who was told to cut her braids. "That they couldn't see my number, but now it's a safety issue or a violation, whatever they want to call it."
"My team, all of my friends were cutting out some of my beads. They snatched some of the beads out of my hair," recalled Pyles. "I felt just so embarrassed and disrespected and just distraught at that point."
The NFHS hasn't released a statement on the matter or indicated any revisions to take into account Black hairstyles.
A 2018 report from Martezie Johnson in The Undefeated after a Black New Jersey wrestler was forced to cut his hair or forfeit a wrestling match, resulting in a cringe-inducing video that went viral.
Epitome of a team player ⬇️ A referee wouldn't allow Andrew Johnson of Buena @brhschiefs to wrestle with a cover o… https://t.co/nvoqGsPbHz— Mike Frankel (@Mike Frankel) 1545328489.0
"Black hair has always been a lightning rod issue that's forced African-Americans to have to defend both their hairstyles and humanity. Whether in school, the military, police departments, award shows or the U.S. House of Representatives, black hairstyles — be it braids, twists, dreadlocks or fades — have been deemed unacceptable (or illegal) in society simply for being different," wrote Johnson.
To date, 11 states have passed laws that make discriminating against someone from their hair in schools and workplaces illegal. North Carolina isn't one of them, though a bill has been proposed. A national bill has been proposed but has yet to be approved by the U.S. Senate.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans in states led by Republican governors are expected to see drastic reductions in unemployment benefits.
"More than 1 million Americans will lose unemployment benefits early as a result of states' decisions to cut off federal aid to workers," CNBC reported Thursday. "By Thursday morning, at least 14 states, all led by Republican governors, had announced they would end their participation in pandemic-era unemployment programs."
Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming are the GOP states ending the benefit.
"As a result, workers will no longer get a $300 weekly supplement to benefits. Those ineligible for state-level benefits — like the long-term unemployed, self-employed and gig workers — will lose aid entirely," CNBC reported. "Some states are cutting off benefits as early as June 12 and others as late as July 3 — more than two months before their official expiration. The American Rescue Plan offers the aid to Sept. 6."
Read the full report.
Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Raw Story Investigates and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.
$95 / year — Just $7.91/month
I want to Support More
$14.99 per month