“No Belief Has Caused More Devastation than White Supremacy”

For the past few years it has been my privilege to serve on the President’s Council of the United Religions Initiative (www.uri.org). Victor Kazanjian, the organization’s executive director, sent the following letter to URI’s global family. Victor’s words speak  for me in a voice that is much clearer and more eloquent than my own.

When any member of the human family is dehumanized, we are all dehumanized. History has taught us that dehumanization, the diminishing of the humanity of another person or group of people, is the tool of dictators and despots, and inevitably leads to horrific acts of violence. This week, the President of the United States referred to our sisters and brothers in Haiti and in African countries using a vile and odious expression, comparing them to human excrement and the countries in which they live to toilets.

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Why the Hell Do We Continue to Allow This to Happen?

Five years ago twenty children and six adults were massacred in the presumed safety their Newtown, Connecticut schoolroom. Since that December 2012 disaster, the United States has experienced more than 1,500 mass shootings (defined as shootings in a public place in which four or more people––not counting gang or drug violence­­–– were killed). In those massacres more than 1,700 people were killed and 6,000 wounded. Continue reading “Why the Hell Do We Continue to Allow This to Happen?”

Trump’s DACA Decision: Cruel but Usual Punishment from the Far Right

President Donald Trump has decided to punish between 700,000 and 800,000 young men and women. Punish them for what? Well, for having brown skin and for obeying their parents. Yesterday’s action by the president was so cruel and specious that he lacked the courage to announce it himself.

Handoff to the AG

Instead, he left it to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a man whose words and actions throughout his career paint the picture of a public servant who is not inclined to value anyone but those who are white and native-born.

Sessions, seemingly with great delight, proclaimed, “The Department of Justice has advised the president and the Department of Homeland Security that the Department of Homeland Security should begin an orderly lawful wind down, including the cancellation of the memo that authorized this program…”

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President Trump’s DACA Decision: A Statement from Barack Obama

“Let’s be clear: the action taken today isn’t required legally. It’s a political decision, and a moral question. Whatever concerns or complaints Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn’t threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away anything from the rest of us.

“They are that pitcher on our kid’s softball team, that first responder who helps out his community after a disaster, that cadet in ROTC who wants nothing more than to wear the uniform of the country that gave him a chance. Kicking them out won’t lower the unemployment rate, or lighten anyone’s taxes, or raise anybody’s wages.

“It is precisely because this action is contrary to our spirit, and to common sense, that business leaders, faith leaders, economists, and Americans of all political stripes called on the administration not to do what it did today. And now that the White House has shifted its responsibility for these young people to Congress, it’s up to Members of Congress to protect these young people and our future.

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Skimming the News: Random Tidbits, Thoughts and Ideas

Unintended Consequences that Should Have Been Foreseen

One of Donald Trump’s signature campaign issues was foreign trade. He explored the issue with nothing more than populist hype, either not caring about the consequences that implementing his promises might bring, or simply not understanding the complexities of the issue. Two stories, one from Politico and one from The Guardian, highlight those potential consequences.

Politico reported today that “In moves that strike hard at President Donald Trump’s rural base, the 11 other nations that participated in the now-defunct Trans-Pacific Partnership are pursuing 27 separate negotiations aimed at undercutting U.S. exporters, according to a POLITICO analysis. Continue reading “Skimming the News: Random Tidbits, Thoughts and Ideas”