What is Donald Trump and his Acolyte’s Afraid of?


Above caption:  Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Discusses Mueller Report On Senate Floor
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 07: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConell (R-KY) walks to the Senate floor to speak about the Mueller investigation into Russian meddling into the 2016 U.S. election where he stated "case closed", on Capitol Hill on May 7, 2019 in Washington, DC (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

“Democrats are unwilling to accept the investigation’s conclusion that there was no evidence of an illegal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia. Instead, they are continuing to go through “the five stages of grief,” including denial with regard to Mueller’s findings and anger toward Barr for how he’s handled the release of Mueller’s report.” Sen. Mitch McConnell-R-KY


Ever since the Special Counsel’s Report (redacted) was released it continues to come under intense pressure based on several of the conclusions and Attorney General William Barr’s representation.  Barr’s summary was challenged by those who felt some of the language communicated was deceptive.  It became under more scrutiny once it was discovered staff of the Special Counsel voiced public protest which was further supported by subsequent letters to Barr from the report’s author; Robert Mueller.

 

Donald Trump and his administration have been insistent in their lack of cooperation aimed at clarifying questions which have arose now that some of the report is in the public domain.

UNITED STATES – APRIL 24: Volumes of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election is photographed in the Capitol on Wednesday, April 24, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Russia interference not aided by anyone from the Trump campaign

Indeed, Robert Mueller was the Special Counsel who authored the report and concluded there was Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.  However, to the question of the Trump campaign being involved in those efforts, it was determined there was none.  To grasp why there continues to be questions over the report, one only has to carefully read the mandate of the Special Counsel and the scope of its charge.  While Russian interference was the core reason of the investigation it also included ancillary issues that might rise to individual criminality.  Thus, several key members of the campaign were indicted and convicted, and some are currently serving time in prison, awaiting to serve or have served time for their behavior.

a sampling of those associated with Trump and his campaign who have been indicted.
a sampling of those associated with Trump and his campaign who have been indicted.

In addition to those who have been charged a critical finding has been the behavior of the President of the United States; Donald J. Trump.  Volume II of the report lays out specific instances of obstruction orchestrated by Trump.  Fortunately for him, the Office of Legal Counsel has a policy that a currently-serving president cannot be charged with an offense.  That does not mean such conduct was exonerated, it simply means under current guidelines charges cannot be made.

 

Mueller

Robert Mueller is a seasoned professional with a distinguished track record.  Once AG Barr got his hands on the report and communicated his interpretation, those such as Donald Trump applauded Mueller’s professionalism.  Perhaps he was premature in his applause?

 

For those who take the time to read the report they will see that Mueller made clear of Trump’s behavior as well as his inability to bring any charges.  Instead, what some are dismissing is the report clearly signals any remedy to hold Trump accountable for his behavior must come from a political process.  That process is called impeachment and administered by Congress.  The House of Representatives brings the impeachment charge and the Senate holds the trial to determine an outcome. Further, the process is pretty straightforward as you need a majority of the House of Representative to pass impeachment charges, and you need two-thirds of the Senate to convict.  Therein lays the political theater as while impeachment charges very well could pass at the House as the Democrats hold the majority, it is unlikely the Senate will convict based on the Republicans maintaining control.  That of course is as of today, as the political process is fluid and public sentiment could force a different outcome.

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Let’s move on from the Mueller Report

Response from Mitch McConnell (R-KY) via tweet

Response from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) via tweet


In the meantime, you wonder why Donald Trump and is Acolyte’s are eager to shut down any further discussion of the Mueller report?  Why does anyone want to hear from Don McGahn who is mentioned in the report and was attorney for the office of the president?  Why does anyone want to hear from Robert Mueller, when his report speaks for itself? Who in their right mind has the gall to question anything in the report?

 

Supporters listen as US President Donald Trump speaks during a Make America Great Again rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, April 27, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

One with the most basic understanding of our political system would ask some elementary questions which led us to where we are today (here is a sampling):

  • When the Russia issue was first reported, why didn’t Donald Trump and those in his campaign simply acknowledge they had Russia contact?  Why did they vehemently deny such facts existed?
  • Why did Donald Trump claim to agree with cooperating in releasing his tax returns, only to reverse course and adamantly refuse such request?Based on Donald Trump’s businesses and questionable behavior regarding the way they operate, the tax returns are just one primary document which highlights your assets and holdings.  In a presidential campaign, release is important because it documents any relationships which may cloud the objectivity that the office of the president must maintain.
  • Although not against the law……why was Donald Trump adamant in employing close family members as part of his administration?
  • Why does Donald Trump use his properties to host various public events or to engage international leaders?
  • Why has there been so much turnover in his administration when he publicly communicated “he could and would hire ONLY the best?”

 

As a communication strategy to close the investigation some have mentioned the democrats or those who might not support Donald Trump only want to reletigate the 2016 campaign.  Others claim Trump is doing a great job, why threaten him with further harassment?  They appear to dismiss the core issue in confusing performance with behavior.  Many, particularly pundits and acolytes of Donald Trump have accepted that as long as Donald Trump signs into law those things they wish or appoint those they support; his behavior, regardless if it is criminal or not becoming of the office of the presidency, is irrelevant.

 

So, while it might be pleasing to some to close the discussion of the Mueller case, it is clear new questions have occurred and until they are fully resolved the public will continue to want answers.

Obama Boulevard now open


[Baldwin Village, CA]  Baldwin Village is a small community in South Los Angeles (south of the Santa Monica Freeway).  It is known by many Angelenos as the “Jungle,” which was the name given as it was made up of intricate apartment complexes featuring tropical landscapes.  Like many parts of Los Angeles the area has changed, some good some not so good.  It is currently a working-class community that is surrounded in all directions by some of the area’s most iconic neighborhoods such as:  Baldwin Hills, Leimert-Park, Baldwin Vista, View Park and West Adams.

Feb. 2007 to May 2019

A little over twelve years ago, then Senator Barack Obama made a pit-stop to the community pleading for support and cash to support and fuel what turned into a historic campaign.

President’s row

Today thousands of Angelenos got a chance to pull out their Obama gear and once again show their support for the 44th president of the United States. The occasion was Rodeo Road (Ro-D-Oh), which has the same spelling as Rodeo Drive which is in Beverly Hills, was transformed and is now President Barack Obama Boulevard.  The street stretches from just east of Arlington Avenue and goes west where it ends in Culver City. The significance of the street is because it is now part of Los Angeles’ president’s row.

Many Angelenos, even natives do not know about this factoid.  Quite simply, president’s row starts from Washington (George Washington) Blvd. which is immediately north of the Santa Monica freeway so now the next four intersections going south are part of the row.  Washington Blvd., Adams Blvd. (John Adams), Jefferson Blvd. (Thomas Jefferson) and now Obama Blvd.  You can find this iconic part of the city by going south on any of the following thoroughfares; Arlington, Crenshaw and La Brea.


13 min. event highlight clip


23,000+ in attendance

The naming ceremony was one of those occasions where you just knew something special was going to happen.  The city of Los Angeles estimated the enthusiastic crowd to be around 23,000.  The bottom-line strategy of city officials was to recognize the community’s pride in Barack Obama with hope that it stimulates the community and triggers much-needed rebuilding.

To read more of why this celebration is important read HERE.

A huge thank you to the more than 23,000 people who came out and made our dedication such a special event today.


Here are some photos from the event.


Donald Trump cleared by Mueller report


The long-awaited Special Counsel report produced by Robert Mueller was delivered to Attorney General William Barr this past Friday.  Donald Trump, his administration and band of supporters are claiming victory that the report did not find him conspiring with the Russia government during the 2016 presidential election.

But, did the Mueller report really clear him?  As predicted, Trump and his pundits which have flamed throughout media have misstated the conclusions reached by claiming he has been totally exonerated.

 

“Mueller did not find Trump or his campaign conspired with Russia, also did not exonerate him on obstruction”

The spin

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 24: (CHINA OUT, SOUTH KOREA OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media as he returns to the White House after spending the weekend in Florida March 24, 2019 in Washington, DC. Trump returns to Washington as Special Counsel Robert Mueller has concluded his investigation into allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)

While team Trump spins the news that they have been absolutely vindicated by the report, a closer evaluation shows a much different summary.  Prior to Robert Mueller being pulled in to investigate allegations against Trump, for the most part his life was private, especially those related to his financial dealings.

No report would have been necessary…….

Once he summarily fired James Comey, he inadvertently triggered the investigation as we know it.  During that period of countless tweets, threats and other commentary never seen before by a United States president became an unfortunate side show.

 

Unfortunately for Trump, yes Mueller did not find a conspiracy with the Russian government.  But what Mueller did find and was crafty enough to move from his specific mandate, was uncover a long history of Trump behavior which have led to criminal investigations.  The Mueller report has completed and those actions will not be handled by the Special Counsel’s office.  Instead other jurisdictions have taken the baton which have more freedom in their pursuit of justice and the end result is Trump is now more vulnerable than if the report had not been initiated in the first place.

The bigger picture

So, while Trump’s opponents voiced dismay of the Mueller report not providing the results they were seeking, their thirst for a Trump take-down blindsided many from seeing the bigger picture.  Once they awaken from their nightmare of Trump escaping any of the Mueller indictments, they will see he actually did them a huge favor by sending the investigations to other jurisdictions.

Once Trump and his team finish their victory lap and admonishing those who they have defined as their enemies, a gauntlet of criminal investigations await them:

  • The hush money investigation
  • Trump’s inauguration funding
  • Pro-Trump super PAC
  • Trump Organization insurance policies
  • Trump Organization real estate deals
  • The Trump Foundation
  • Trump’s taxes
  • Trump’s golf club employing undocumented immigrants

CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS

  • House Intelligence Committee
  • House Judiciary Committee
  • House Oversight Committee
  • House Financial Services
  • House Ways and Means Committee
  • House Foreign Affairs Committee
  • Senate Intelligence

Trump nominates Stephen Moore to Fed Board.  Does this spell trouble for Jerome Powell?


ABOVE CAPTION.  President Trump Announces The Nominee For Federal Reserve Chair Of The Board Of Governors
Jerome Powell, governor of the U.S. Federal Reserve and President Donald Trump's nominee as chairman of the Federal Reserve, speaks as Trump, left, listens during a nomination announcement in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. If approved by the Senate, the 64-year-old former Carlyle Group LP managing director and ex-Treasury undersecretary would succeed Fed Chair Janet Yellen. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

“It is my pleasure to announce that @StephenMoore, a very respected Economist, will be nominated to serve on the Fed Board. I have known Steve for a long time – and have no doubt he will be an outstanding choice! @realDonaldTrump “

If your ambition is to serve as part of the Donald Trump administration, it helps to be part of the FOX network, speak negatively about the Obama administration or communicate in the media your disdain for someone in the current administration who happens to be in “hot water” with Donald Trump or his acolyte’s.  This morning it was Steven Moore’s turn to see if he can parlay his loyalty to Trump and go through the nomination process.

Stephen Moore, visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation, listens during a Bloomberg Television interview in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, March 22, 2019. President Donald Trump said he’s nominating Moore, a long-time supporter of the president, for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Powell’s dilemma

The Federal Reserve is an independent body with the task of establishing monetary policy.  Currently there are two openings on the board.  Current Board Chair Jerome Powell has been in the crosshairs of Donald Trump for some time.  It doesn’t matter that Powell, a life-long Republican was recently nominated by Trump to his current post less than two years ago.  During that period the stock market hit some low marks.  Rather than blame himself for the policies he adopted which most economist indicated was the reason for the decline, Trump found a new foe in Powell and suffered the wrath and the blame.  Similar to so many officials Trump has appointed, many are independent and do not report or work for the White House.  Their role is to work on behalf of the citizens of the United States of America.   

Unfortunately as soon as whatever work they are doing intimates something Trump or the White House dislikes, they are admonished and chastised for not being a “team player.”

I only hire the best!

During the 2016 presidential campaign and leading up to naming key administration staff, Trump would boast, “he’d “surround myself only with the best and most serious people” — adding: “We want top-of-the-line professionals.”

That may result in a good sound-bite but the results to date have been a big flop.  More than a few people who had the aspiration to be part of team Trump has resigned, summarily shown the front door or indicted due to criminal behavior, while their dreams went up in flames.

Being a panderer has its benefits

In some circles, Moore has been viewed as the ultimate panderer known for making nervous smiles during his stint as a cable-news analyst.  He has demonstrated the willingness to support anything and everything spouted by Donald Trump.  His behavior has been very similar to those who are publicly interviewing for administration post’s knowing full-well of Trump’s appetite in spending as much time as possible consuming media.

The editorial

Up until this morning Moore was an analyst for CNN.

“Moore joined CNN as a contributor in early 2017. Given this news, he is no longer with the network, a CNN spokeswoman confirms.” CNN Chief Correspondent @brianstelter

He was known for his commitment to never admit anything negative about Donald Trump or his administration.  Despite tremendous documentation and evidence to the contrary, Moore’s would presents arguments that might result in an “F” grade in the most basic debate class.  His position was to always deny the obvious.

As mentioned, similar to other appointees Moore’s performance caught the attention of Trump.  But perhaps the thing that sealed his nomination was his March 13, 2019 editorial to the Wall Street Journal which blasted current chair Powell and blamed him for the concern about Wall Street.  This surely supported Trump’s attitude who in turn suggested to Economic Advisor, Larry Kudlow that Moore is just the type of person to fill one of the Fed vacancies.

Interestingly, many view the Federal Reserve as a prestigious organization where top economist who hold pHD’s wind up.  Moore’s resume does not compare to those who currently sit on the board.  Absent of a pHD, for the past three years his core employment was being a pundit for the Trump administration.

 

While Trump’s tweets are considered official communication, Moore indicated he has not received a firm offer.  Assuming it comes later today or within the next several days the next step is to go through the nomination process.  The big question is whether Trump is appointing Moore because he truly is competent and can improve the body or is he being positioned  to promote his views as articulated in his March 13th op-ed.

 

 

 

 

Trump Administration continues its attack on Cuba


 

Old American car drives near the Cuban telecommunications company ETECSA building in Havana, on February 28, 2019. – The European Union as well as Cuba faces a nervous wait as the countdown to US President Donald Trump’s March 17 deadline to activate sanctions against the Caribbean island nation approaches. Trump has broken with two decades of precedence in threatening to activate the Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, which extended the US embargo to apply to foreign companies trading with Cuba. (Photo by YAMIL LAGE / AFP) (Photo credit should read YAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images)

On March 4th, Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo announced the United States has suspended Title III of the 1996 Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) against Cuba.

The move is another twist of the administration’s zeal to thwart any progress made by the Obama administration regarding rebuilding relations between the two countries.

Ironically, Title III had been waived by presidents since 1996 and had been renewed consistently until the announcement by Pompeo.  The act essentially allows Cubans who fled the country and landed in the United States following the 1959 revolution to sue in an attempt to reclaim land and property which was claimed by the government.  Whether they will be successful in court is undefined at this time.

 

While the move appears pretty straight-forward, many international experts have a different perspective.  Cuba is the largest country in the Caribbean and known for its independence and endurance.   In addition to being an ally to communist regimes, they have been a big supporter of Venezuela and their support of the Maduro government.

The 1959 Revolution resulted in those not supporting the new regime to flee leaving  property and other assets which the government used to rebuild the country.  No doubt the issue is controversial and bitter feelings still exist from those who were exiled.  However, some view the Trump Administration’s action as basic retaliation for the country supporting someone in another country who they do not support.  As mentioned Pompeo indicated the move will be revisited in 30 days.

Like many things with this administration, it is unclear how many lawsuits may be brought or their probability of success.

Another close ally of Donald Trump indicted


This morning, longtime Trump ally, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was indicted on corruption charges.

 

Sometimes you just have to stop and ask a critical question?  Why is it so many people who consider themselves a close ally or an associate of Donald Trump find themselves under indictment, if not already convicted of criminal behavior?

 

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 5: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet in the Oval Office of the White House March 5, 2018 in Washington, DC. The prime minister is on an official visit to the US until the end of the week. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

No doubt Trump supporters will vehemently dismiss such a question as a massive witch hunt, pure jealously by those who dislike him or simply those hellbent on trolling for any negative news that he might be connected.

 

Unfortunately, like a heartbeat the throbbing question remains and deserves some type of legitimate response.  It becomes a bit silly when Donald Trump and his supporters belt-out their choral refrain “There’s No Collusion, There’s No Russia interference!!!”  Yet, all of the lads listed below have suffered the wrath of being entangled in the legal system investigating Donald Trump.

image courtesy of Axios

 

What is it about people who maintain a confident or even arrogant position about their leadership who continue to dangle on the fine line of being a sincere servant or using their office as a criminal conduit?

 

Stay tuned………….in case you missed the Michael Cohen congressional hearing yesterday here is a clip of him admonishing those who blindly follow Trump and the peril they may encounter.

 

January jobs report a positive mark for the Trump administration


“Reporters anti-Trump bias has spiraled out of control.” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders


Yesterday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its jobs report reflecting data compiled for January 2019. Great news for the 304,000 who are now employed. The report was also a positive shot in the arm for the Trump administration.

During the two-years the administration has been operating, they have accused the media of only focusing on negative news about the antics that Donald Trump belts out on almost a daily basis. Unfortunately, that is not true as over that period there is plenty of positive news the administration should be proud of.

The jobs report is just one marker. Eyebrows get raised when Trump and those who support him focus their retort primarily on African-American employment data as if they are some primitive group or the only group mentioned in the report. It is silly and many wonder why they don’t simply communicate an argument that includes everybody?

News such as the jobs report would lead media on a more frequent basis, if not for the self-inflicted wounds the administration consistently makes. Their blunders dampen the positive news they create resulting in them communicating a false narrative that “everybody is out to get them.’

The effects of the Government shutdown

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 28: Despite Friday’s end to the longest-ever partial government shutdown, federal employees continue to line up outside outside the World Central Kitchen for free food and coffee January 28, 2019 in Washington, DC. Founded by celebrity chef Jose Andres, World Central Kitchen is a not-for-profit non-governmental organization devoted to providing meals in the wake of natural disasters. The kitchen has been providing meals, non-perishable food and other services to workers affected by the shutdown since January 16. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The January report is positive news. However, in a more thorough analysis you will see the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.0 percent. Again, that is not alarming as it merely is a data point. It must also be noted the number of unemployed persons rose to 6.5 million. Among those, 175,000 are in the “temporary layout” category.

Despite the shutdown, the January report is good news and some political leaders can’t fathom why Donald Trump doesn’t spend more energy on building on positive reports instead of being obsessed with watching cable television or trying to figure out ways to continue to hold the taxpayers hostage on a wall he proudly stated and his supporters echoed that “Mexico would pay for?”

The Shutdown: The Hustle of the Year…….so far


Why should Mexico pay for the wall? What’s the reason? We don’t need a wall. If Trump wants to build a wall, he has to go to Congress, and he has to tell the truth to U.S. taxpayers that they’re going to pay for that.  ‘We’ll never pay for that fucking wall,’” Vicente Fox, former president of Mexico.


The shutdown of the United States government continues, as the sleight of hand maneuver led by President Donald Trump, backed by soundbites coming from Mitch McConnell, Sarah Sanders, and other Trump acolytes try to shield the obvious.  They have gone to great lengths to communicate someone else is responsible for shutting down the government rather than the person in the White House.  Instead, they try to shield him from further humiliation as people have awaken to his ruse of Mexico paying for the wall, and realize it is he who must accept the blame.

One thing is clear – Everyone wants secure borders.  What has been lost in this aspiration is the government has been shut down on a promise that something would happen that had nothing to do with those affected!

Now the truth is before us

Trump has pulled off a capper that will go down in the history books as a hustle of all-time.  No one is doubting one of the strengths of his campaign and subsequent administration message was getting his supporter’s stoked into creating a chorus line which has become famous, “Mexico is going to pay for it.”  The call and response message seemed so convincing that supporters never realized they would be the “suckers” who Trump really meant would finance the wall.

R.J. Matson / Roll Call

Maybe you were one in the fired-up crowds when the question of who would pay for the wall Trump claimed would secure the world from any more ills?  There was no mention of a shutdown.  No mention about any negotiation being necessary with political leaders.  It seemed like a slam-dunk, especially coming from the lips of Trump.

Instead, as most hustlers do when things don’t pan out, the blame gets quickly shifted.  As mentioned it’s a common sleight-of-hand maneuver.  Now all of a sudden people who had no hand in getting folk pumped up such as Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and others who are onto Trump’s hustle are now being blamed because they will not subject U.S. taxpayers to pay for something that someone else was supposed to pay for.

Instead, the likes of Sanders and Trump supporters blame them for not going along and agreeing to pay for the wall.  They have moved to new dimensions by claiming those in opposition do not support Trump, dismiss all of the great things he has done since assuming the presidency, do not wish for border security, so on and so forth.

The reasoning is silly and dismisses a core element of this statement.  “They want you to believe everybody knew Trump was just playing!  C’mon be a patriot and fund the wall so we can open the government”

At what point will those in support of the wall realize they knew all along Donald Trump was hustling them as a backdrop to his charade?  In the meantime, the reality is those tied to the United States government are shamelessly being held hostage by those who know they are being hustled, yet still have blind loyalty to Trump and his antics.   Like many who are duped on a daily basis, they never believed the joke was on them, at least not until they finally come to their senses.  And, that is how hustlers and those like Trump maneuver from issue to issue, business deal to business deal, on and on, leaving their victims in a pool of despair.

[postscript]

The latest antic as it has become clear Mexico will not be paying (upfront) for the wall, Trump has finally fessed up and asked folk to him fund his wall via his website >>>>>  HELP ME

Despite the obvious……Team Trump claims a great week while insisting no crime has occured?


cartoon courtesy of David Brown studios (Los Angeles Sentinel)

“After two years and millions of pages of documents (and a cost of over $30 million) no collusion!” Donald Trump – Dec. 7, 2018
“If the President puts Russian salad dressing on his salad tonight, somehow that’s a Russia connection,” the White House spokesman insisted during a contentious exchange with reporters.
He said every official that’s been briefed on the matter has said there’s no sign of “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia.”  Sean Spicer March 2017
“from what we know on the public record, Mueller has failed to prove the Trump-Russia collusion that he was appointed to investigate 19 months ago.” Fox News

“I have nothing to do with Russia. I have no investments in Russia, none whatsoever. I don’t have property in Russia. A lot of people thought I owned office buildings in Moscow. I don’t have property in Russia … I built a great company, but I’m not involved with Russia. I have had dealings with them over the years where I sold a house to a very wealthy Russian many years ago. I had the Miss Universe pageant which I owned for quite a while. I had it in Moscow a long time ago, but other than that, I have nothing to do with Russia.” Donald Trump


[Postscript]  This was a critical week for a few of Donald Trump’s close allies who have pled guilty and simply are waiting for their sentencing.  The filings regarding Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn and Michael Cohen provide the public a better picture of what occurred during the 2016 presidential campaign.  Despite emphatic communication from Trump supporters, their claim is despite the filings no crime has been committed and proves people are out to get Donald Trump simply because he won the election!

In the meantime, those who swore the SC investigation is a witch-hunt or it would end in a few days……might want to wake up and stop their prognostication.

.

Ghost of Mississippi: The Hyde-Smith, Espy race


Above photo caption.  Phil Carlos Wilson took this photo of Claudia Bivins wearing the flag.  "As I laid the rebel flag down across Vernon's grave, I told my grandson what it represents -- our hope that racism and hatred would die," Bivins said. "That it would be killed at the root of our hearts, minds and souls."

Click HERE to read more about Bivins tribute to Vernon Dahmer


Ballot Box – Election – MISSISSIPPI, USA

The final tally is pending official certification but this past Tuesday Republican candidate Cindy Hyde-Smith beat her opponent, Democratic candidate Mike Espy: 473,109 to 404,640.  While a victory is a victory the margin is yet another warning bell for the GOP (Grand Old Party) and President Donald Trump’s waning popularity.

People protest and march against US President Donald Trump’s alleged interference in Robert Mueller’s investigation in New York City on November 8, 2018. – President Donald Trump was accused on November 8, 2018, of pushing America toward a constitutional crisis after his firing of the attorney general cast doubt over the future of an explosive probe into election collusion with Russian agents. (BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)

In a state where voting is polarized among ethnic and party lines, in a normal environment voting experts felt the race should not have been close.  Even though Hyde-Park will remain in Washington, DC as Mississippi’s second Senator, she was not viewed as a strong candidate.  In the run-off with Espy two blunders cost her more than a few votes that reminded people of Mississippi’s past.  Many voters voiced consternation about having to vote for Hyde-Smith but felt their loyalty to the GOP was more important to the state’s legacy.

Vestiges of Slavery

For some slavery is a thing of the past.  Not every White person owned slaves and not every African-American was a slave, although a good many were.  Fast forward to 2018, data shows our society is more congenial than ever.  However, there is still an attitude that persist with many Whites that African-American’s can never be their equal.   It will be denied but simply look at the social fabric of the United States and inequality remains a persistent thorn in our image.  That attitude is a direct result of the legacy of slavery and racism where one race was dominant over the others.

 

“If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”  Lyndon Baines Johnson, 36th President

 

Segregation Academies

Brown v Board of Education was a landmark case in a pivotal time for the United States.  Shortly after the Supreme Court ruling public schools across the nation were ordered to end the practice of segregating students based on race.

 

While some accepted the ruling as the “law of the land” there were just a many who resisted.  The resistance came in many forms and the basis was race.  Many Whites who were part of that population didn’t necessarily define themselves as racist but through their ancestral inheritance they could never fathom direct association with African-Americans, let alone attend the same school with them.

 

Year after year, resistance took many forms.  Across the nation and specifically in Mississippi leaders developed a plan to thwart the ruling.  Rather than open their schools to all ethnicities they abandoned them and set-up private schools known as segregation academies.  The result was the assurance those with financial resources could opt out of public education and not have to attend classes with non-Whites.

 

In 1975, Cindy Hyde-Smith was a minor and she attended Lawrence Academy, which was a segregated academy founded in 1970.  More than likely the decision was made by her parents.  It’s one thing to aspire for a quality education but it is another to do so while minimizing your socialization with other groups?  Apparently Hyde-Smith enjoyed her school experience because to maintain the tradition, as an adult she enrolled her daughter in the same environment.

 

Creatures of habit

 

Some may think what is the big deal of wanting to attend a school with people like you?  The problem arises when you claim to want to represent a state made up of all types of people.   One’s socialization is in the spotlight of how you communicate with others.  In Hyde-Smith’s case, her past sheds light of some of her comments during the campaign where she appears to favor one group over the other, while claiming to be the representative for all!

 

The Ghost

Many Mississippians acknowledge their past history.  Since its opening in December 2017,  the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum has become a destination for locals and visitors to the state.  It showcases the resilience of the African-American experience in Mississippi but it also puts a spotlight on the injustices they had to deal with.  Part of the exhibit is the state’s history of lynching.

 

People from all walks of life make comments which may be viewed as racially insensitive.  Certain topics are taboo or better left unspoken.  One of those topics is any mention of lynching’s.  It conjures up all types of negative feelings and emotions.  For African-Americans who were oftentimes the victims, especially in Mississippi one would assume any comments would be held privately, let alone those who hold public office.

Hyde-Smith attempted to minimize her comment about lynching, instead employing the typical strategy of blaming those who brought her remarks up, as having some ulterior motive against her, instead of simply accepting the fact the remarks came out of her mouth?

 

The lynching comment and the fact of her likeness to segregated schools give pause to her mandate of successfully and equally represented all who claim Mississippi as their home state.

 

More perplexing is Hyde-Smith’s comments during the run-off debate on November 21st

 

 “WE HAVE TO DEFEND OUR CONSERVATIVE VALUES. WE HAVE TO DEFEND OUR SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS. WE HAVE TO DEFEND THE UNBORN CHILDREN IN MISSISSIPPI. I’M THE CANDIDATE THAT CARES. I’M THE CANDIDATE THAT HAS BEEN THERE SIX. I’M THE CANDIDATE THAT DONALD J. TRUMP HAS SAID WE NEED YOU BACK.  Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, Nov. 21st.

 

Mississippi acknowledges its past racial history.  Indeed, through the years it has made progress.  Hyde-Smith’s challenge will be her allegiance to all Mississippians, not just those who espouse the Conservative values she emits.  She also must reconcile her attitude for using lynching as a reference to someone she has affinity for.  Then, she must use her power to deal with the education schism the state is known for and one which her parents and she perpetuated by being active participants.

 

In the meantime, those who voted now can take a break and ponder if they are willing to adjust their own racial bias.