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CSotD: We are who we thought we were

 

There aren’t a lot of good cartoons about the Buffalo shootings, and I’m not sure it’s worth waiting, because what can anyone say that hasn’t been said?

Yesterday, so many cartoonists reposted work from years past on social media that I had trouble sorting reactions to these murders from reactions to all those other murders.

Clay Jones is right to be appalled that major media and national leaders are promoting white supremacy and the Great Replacement Theory.

But, in the essay at his website, he blames Donald Trump for bringing hate out from under its rock.

Who heard of Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, and Boogaloo Boys before Donald Trump occupied the White House? 

Jones is mistaking the symptoms for the disease. Trump’s presidency didn’t cause this surge of white supremacy. Trump’s election demonstrated the depth of our pre-existing condition.

When I visit a new doctor, one of the questions is whether I smoke. When I say I quit in 1984, they mark down “smoker,” because the fact that I smoked for 20 years remains an issue, even though I quit nearly 40 years ago.

So, no, I’d never heard of the Proud Boys until recently, but I sure remember the Order and I remember Aryan Nations.

I was hosting a talk show in the early 80s when I came across an Aryan Nations flyer and decided I’d get these racist punks on my show and chew’em up. I showed their garbage to our program director and he gave me the go-ahead, but cautioned me to use my on-air name and the station’s address.

They agreed to come on and sent me more of their literature, which was so scary and off-the-wall that we decided not to give them publicity, and — admittedly — not to provoke them, which may not sound brave, but a few years later, members of the Order gunned down talk show host Alan Berg, who had never hesitated to feature such people.

And then, nine years later, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

Yesterday, the news programs were listing the mass shootings in recent years, but how many people have to die for murder to matter?

Alan Berg was one man. McVeigh and Nichols killed 168. What’s the cutoff number?

And how far back should we go? White supremacists murdered Berg 38 years ago. Martin Luther King was killed more than 50 years ago. It’s been more than a century and a half since Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.

The real question thus being, “Why all the surprise?”

Today’s headline is taken from a famous post-game press conference in which losing coach Dennis Green exploded over the notion that his team had somehow been taken unawares:

I’m feeling the same way about white supremacy, whether it’s expressed in murder or at the ballot box, in hurtful legislation or in blocking needed legislation.

And we need to stop saying “they,” as if the problem were caused by other people over there somewhere else.

We are who we must have known we were, and, as Dennis Green said, we should have been prepared.

Yet we keep letting ourselves off the hook.

So now what?

I see people on social media upset that Democrats just keep urging people to vote, but they never say what they expect private citizens to do instead of voting bad people out of office before the Republicans end elections through gerrymandering, voter suppression and corrupt state officials who refuse to certify unsatisfactory totals.

We’d damn well better vote.

In fact, we should promote the 2022 midterms like a “Going Out of Business!” sale. Last chance before we shut it down!

“We.”

Not “they.”

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Clay Jones)

 

(Paul Szep)

The Jan 6 Commission has issued subpoenas to a group of legislators and aides considered central to not simply the storming of the Capitol building but the underlying attempt to subvert the vote count with phony returns and, of course, the President’s famous attempt to persuade Georgia’s secretary of state to “find” votes that didn’t exist.

Jones and Szep suggest that the committee will not be able to enforce the subpoenas, or, if anyone shows up, to gain honest testimony.

To begin with, the Republicans, with the exception of Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, refused to even participate in the investigation, though they didn’t hesitate to flee from the “tourists” visiting the Capitol that day, nor have they abandoned the man who continues to repudiate the results of the election.

The Jan 6 Committee absolutely must enforce those subpoenas and then it also needs to come to some real conclusions, and the Justice Department must gather some indictments of its own and pursue convictions.

Preparation matters: It will not do to rush into the courts with insufficient evidence and, as Dennis Green put it, “let them off the hook.”

But there has to be action of consequence before November.

And then we have to pray that a substantial majority of voters not only take it seriously and believe the evidence presented to them, but show up to sweep the rascals from power.

 

Nick Anderson points out that we are being inundated with imaginary dangers by those who know the power of fear, but, again, when did this start?

Maybe when we began fingerprinting our children to keep them safe from Stranger Danger, and when TV networks went for the ratings by exploiting rare, violent crimes, creating not simply a tolerance but an appetite for a police state.

“America’s Most Wanted” ran for 24 seasons on Fox, ending in 1995, nine years before they cut to the chase and put Tucker Carlson on the air to turn paranoid, illogical fear into political muscle.

And sparking this most unusual

Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Bizarro – KFS)

 

(David Horsey)

There is in this Bizarro an echo of “The boys throw rocks in sport, but the frogs die in earnest.”

Piraro and Wayno make a silly pun, but Horsey notes with serious sarcasm that we genuinely are subject to medieval, superstitious religious views at the highest levels of government.

We are who we surely know we are.

And we did it to ourselves, one impressionable innocent child at a time.

 

Community Comments

#1 Louis Richards
May/16/2022
@ 7:04 pm

In Wayno’s blog, he says about that Bizarro panel, “When I wrote this back in January, I didn’t know that by the time it was published, our country would be spiraling toward becoming a repressive, ultra-orthodox theocracy.”

A joke in January and approaching reality in May.

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