On March 12, 2015, Leonard Zeskind conducted a workshop on the Tea Party movement, its manifestly false sense that they had been dispossessed of their control of the nation, and the racism that infects much of the movement. Zeskind then developed a seven-step program for stopping the Tea Party movement. About 100 people from all over the country participated in the workshop, filling up the room, sitting and standing along the walls after all the seats had been taken. Zeskind’s talk was very well-received. More than 1,500 people attended conference, with dozens of workshops over three days and periodic keynote talks.
Racism, anti-Semitism and homophobic bigotry are present to some degree in most every social club, neighborhood association and political party in the United States. It is a fact of life that bigots are everywhere, even when they do not know they are bigots. Someone somewhere will undoubtedly use the term “Jew me down” to describe price haggling, even when they have never met a Jewish person and are not really aware of what they are saying. Just as there will be someone who will say that so-and-so “gyped me,” to describe getting cheated, unaware that the term demonizes the Roma people, who are often known as Gypsies. Then there are racists like the Oklahoma SAE fraternity members who sang a racist, insulting song. In this society, at this point in time, some of such behavior is called out and the perpetrators apologize, and they are often punished like the SAE members ejected from school.
Not in the Republican Party of Missouri, however.
In another deadly shooting spree, this time in Mesa, Arizona, one person is dead and five others have been wounded in multiple locations. After an extensive manhunt, a man with purported ties to white nationalist groups was arrested by law enforcement. After being hit with a stun gun, he was taken away from the scene in a white biological hazard suit.
On Friday, March 6, gun activists, militia members, Tea Partiers, Threepers and other far-right activists plan to hold an armed rally in Spokane. The rally is scheduled for 11am to 2pm, at the Tom Foley Federal Courthouse (920 W. Riverside Ave) in downtown Spokane.
Organized to show support for an activist who was recently arrested when he brought his firearm onto federal property, the event is part of dangerous intensification of conflict with authorities over guns. Adding to the volatility of the rally is the announcement that the leader of a rival faction declared his intention to attend the event.
A founder of the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights, Benjamin Israel, died at his home in St. Louis on February 23. He was 64, and had been battling cancer for a long time. Benjamin was dedicated to the fight against the white supremacist movement, against racism, anti-Semitism and bigotry and for the rights of working people to organize. He had unbounded energy for work he believed in, and an intense intellectual curiosity marked his everyday life. His second marriage in 1990, to Virginia Walker, made him obviously happy and satisfied, and allowed him to make a greater contribution to the community around him. He was a man of principle in a world that bought and sold morality dirt cheap.
As the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) gets set to kick off tomorrow just outside of Washington DC, the event is already mired in yet another controversy over white nationalism.
ProEnglish, the white nationalist-led English-only outfit that created serious headaches for the conference in the past, is once again being allowed to be an official exhibitor at CPAC 2015 when the doors open tomorrow. On top of that, another white nationalist outfit has come to town to try and influence the CPAC conversation.
The fourth annual South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Convention warred on the Constitution, and resurrected the patently false notions that President Obama is not a natural born American. Held at the Springmaid Beach Resort in Myrtle Beach on January 17-19, the event also displayed an abundant supply of Christian nationalism, racism, anti-immigrant bigotry and Islamophobia. It also drew more than its fair share of Republican politicians. More than a gateway to the 2016 presidential primaries, however, the convention served as a preview of Tea Party activism of the future—warts and all.
The 125 North Carolina NAACP branches and the 160 other social justice organizations that compose the Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) People’s Assembly Coalition have called for a Moral March on Raleigh. They will march on February 14 for voting rights, labor rights (including raising the minimum wage), education equality, health care for all, criminal justice reform, and equal protection under the law. They will march forward against those political forces that are trying to push them back. This is the ninth annual mass mobilization, and they have changed the consciousness of the people of North Carolina.
One and all who care about equality before the law and the arc of justice should attend this march.