Trump’s Alternative Black History: Endorsement of White Terrorism

Trump white extremism

After watching President Donald Trump get his talking point wrong about Frederick Douglass’ current status on earth, I percolated the idea of creating daily posts of the humorous sort about Trump’s Alternative Black History — but ultimately decided against this route.

First — mentalunrest’s (deliberate lowercase M here) editorial policy tells me to cover topics not explored by most, and I think social media is doing a fine job of spinning creative nonfiction about how much Trump really understands the contributions of African descendants.

Second — I’m looking beyond the Frederick Douglass gaffe to observe the way Trump is rewriting Black history in more dangerous ways.

But let’s quickly deal with Douglass, and then cover something more urgent.

For various reasons, I write tons of copy for a broad range of of web, print and media channels. I also proof the work of others on occasion.

During my engagements with the writings of others, I’ve found that people will mix up “has [verb]” and “[past tense verb]” in their sentences.

So, is Trump truly ignorant of Black history when he said Douglass “has done an amazing job,” or is the President simply Hooked on Phonics?

I don’t know. Either can be possible.

A friend of mine made an on-point observation a few weeks ago: how much reading, history and grammar did an immensely-privileged Trump have to study as a kid? It’s not like he didn’t have a guaranteed job waiting for him when school ended.

But while we make jokes about Trump’s grasp of history, something more dangerous is brewing: the President may remove White extremist organizations like the Ku Klux Klan from the federal government’s domestic terrorism focus.

This is almost like watching a slow-motion remix of The Birth of a Nation.

According to Reuters, the Trump administration plans to change the scope of the federal government’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program from battling all extremist ideologies in favor of a narrower focus: “radical Islam.”

Reuters also reports that the program’s name will change to “Countering Islamic Extremism” or “Countering Radical Islamic Extremism.”

Allow me to emphasize that Team Trump has not yet confirmed the Reuters piece.

Assuming this report is true, defocusing the KKK, et al, from the DVE program means Trump has taken a step towards effectively legitimizing the same brand of domestic White extremism that has championed America’s “Killing Fields” since the early days of African descendants’ fragile post-emancipation progress.

In favor of ditching “political correctness,” Trump’s move would also legitimize current White extremists who are responsible for most of the current-day acts of domestic terrorism.

This means future Dylan Roofs will receive more than hamburger dinners for shooting innocent Black church worshippers.

These people and their deadly legacies have now received the gift of deliberate revisionist ignorance. And this will lead to more acts of White extremist violence without proactive tools to prevent them.

What’s left to observe is whether or not the scope of additional anti-terror programs will change.

Welcome to the real world of Trump’s Alternative Black History

song currently stuck in my head: “Where are you this morning jazz” – the rongetz foundation feat. gary bartz and sonia sanchez

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Sure, Protest the Muslim Ban. Then Protest This.

Funkadelic war

The Fourth Book of Funkadelic, chapter two, verse three saw the hollow howls against totalitarianism years ago:

You say you don’t like what your country’s about (yeah)
Ain’t you deep
In your semi-first class seat
You picket this and protest that
And eat yourself fat
Ain’t you deep
In your semi-first class seat.

The chapter goes on to say “If you don’t like the effects, don’t produce the cause.”

America continues to eat its young in 2017 while the masses take to the streets or airports, and also participate in feel-good smartphone app activism.

Hundreds of thousands don’t seem to like what Tampon L. Rudd is doing to the world, but haven’t yet taken a moment to ask “How did we get here?”

I wrote a while back that America created the road leading to the modern refugee crisis you see today.

El Jeffe Rudd — as bone-headed and hateful as he is in dealing with the effects by creating additional causes — easily becomes the emotional talking point for how leaders of modern democratic superpowers should never roll.

As if our problems started on the eighth day of November last year.

Nope. This arc of crisis has enjoyed a longer life than that.

Our political leaders are playing a game of bipolar Boogie Men — chasing us into the arms of another savior until that savior shows signs of evil. And then we run again. The game ends and replays.

Many of the same political leaders who condemn the way Tampon L. Rudd is dealing with the effects have either actively or quietly supported the kind of American adventurism in Africa and the Middle East that continues to spawn global terrorists and humanitarian crises.

Rudd deserves picket signs. Lots of them. For miles. And for many offenses. But while you’re deleting that Uber app, get in touch with your lawmakers and demand a stop to the bipartisan causes behind our troubles …

song currently stuck in my head: “show you the way” thundercat feat. michael mcdonald and kenny loggins

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How Obama Helped Trump Create the Muslim Ban List

 

trump executive order

My Trump piece from yesterday about his Muslim nation immigration ban followed mentalunrest’s editorial policy — one major idea at a time, with few exceptions.

 

But it’s time to give you the other part of this story.

 

With the exception of Syria, Trump’s executive order never identified the specific countries subjected to the immigration ban. Read the order here and tell me if you see any other country listed.

 

So, where did the seven countries come from? Y’know, besides the turn of the century think tank wet dream I talked about yesterday …

 

The Obama administration.

 

It all started when the 114th Congress passed the H.R. 158 — the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 — where visa waiver restrictions were placed on anyone who traveled to Iraq and Syria since March 1, 2011. The two countries were identified as sources of international terrorists. The Obama administration signed the bill into law.

 

H.R. 158 also directed the US Secretary of Homeland Security to identify and add additional “countries of concern” to the visa waiver restrictions list within 60 days of the bill’s passage.

 

As a result, the Department Homeland Security expanded that list to seven (emphasis mine):

 

Under the [Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act], travelers in the following categories are no longer eligible to travel or be admitted to the United States under the [Visa Waiver Program]:

 

  • Nationals of VWP countries who have been present in Iraq, Syria, or countries listed under specified designation lists (currently including Iran and Sudan) at any time on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited government/military exceptions).
  • Nationals of VWP countries who have been present in Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, at any time on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited government/military exceptions).

 

These restrictions do not apply to VWP travelers whose presence in Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, or Yemen was to perform military service in the armed forces of a program country, or in order to carry out official duties as a full-time employee of the government of a program country. We recommend those who have traveled to the seven countries listed above for military/official purposes bring with them appropriate documentation when traveling through a U.S. port of entry.

 

 

In other words, Team Obama dug a hole in America’s hallowed mountain of a promise that welcomed other countries’ “tired, poor and huddled masses yearning to breathe free… ” and Trump’s crew is currently operating from precedent.

 

Given how information can become scarce without warning, I attached a screen shot of DHS’s February 18, 2016 announcement.

 

Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015

 

Like I mentioned yesterday, it doesn’t seem to matter which party controls Washington. The geopolitical marching orders are set. The only difference here is that Trump makes more noise about what he’s doing.

 

Any thoughts?

 

Song currently stuck in my head: “nodding off” – apollo brown & skyzoo

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Download: Rare Classic Soul Podcast from Roger Williams

roger williams soulsorts classic soul music
An unexpected benefit of being connected to the social layers of the Web is that you sometimes get to know a few supremely cool people — like the kind of people where you would be completely okay with the idea of hanging out and swapping stories over a couple of beers.

Roger Williams (Soulsorts) is one of those cats by my measure. He’s also a broadcast DJ with perfect taste in music, old and new.

Roger dug deep into the breaches of Classic Soul music last week to deliver a nearly two-hour set of bliss for Solar Radio. Plus, you can download it.

This isn’t your neighborhood Soul broadcast — unless your local station regularly plays 1619 Bad Ass Band or Beverly and Duane.

Tap to play and be sure to follow Roger on Twitter to find out when and where he’ll play next …

https://podomatic.com/embed/html5/episode/8328770?autoplay=false

Update: Roger released another show tonight:

 

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Trump’s Immigration Ban is Code for Coming War

Trump immigration war middle east

President Trump’s despicable immigration ban against seven Muslim countries in the Middle East and Africa presents have clear evidence — in case any of you had doubts — that Trump has found common ground with the nutty neocon wing of the Establishment.

I think that Trump still has barriers to cross in solidifying his relationship with the Deep State, but they at least agree on oil extraction through bombs.

Look at the seven countries on Trump’s ban. Don’t they look familiar?

  • Iran.
  • Iraq.
  • Libya.
  • Somalia.
  • Syria.
  • Sudan.
  • Yemen.

Now recall what former NATO General Wesley Clark said about a Joint Chiefs member who shared America’s 2001 aspirations to invade the following seven Muslim countries:

  • Iran.
  • Iraq.
  • Lebanon.
  • Libya.
  • Somalia.
  • Sudan.
  • Syria.

Does the picture look sharper now?

Lebanon is the only country on the 2001 invasion checklist that’s not on Trump’s immigration ban.

While Gen. Clarke didn’t mention Yemen as an invasion target back then, the US military is currently helping Saudi Arabia fight rebels who seek to topple a Yemeni regime that’s friendly to the West.

All countries on Trump’s list either have or are suspected of possessing significant oil reserves.

The lists’ similarities seem to have a common mama: Project for a New American Century (PNAC) — a neocon think tank where nearly a dozen of its supporters served the Presidential administrations of Ronald Reagan and both Bushes in executive-level positions.

We’re talking about Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Cheney’s Chief of Staff “Scooter” Libby as examples. All of them served under Bush The Second’s administration. Many of PNAC’s principal supporters have ties to the oil industry.

Let’s quickly run through some background before we make an important point about 2017.

In its 2000 publication “Rebuilding America’s Defenses,” [pdf download] PNAC outlines basic principles for global American dominance through military strength.

Like increases in post-Cold War military spending.

Regime change in nations not on friendly terms with the US.

Improving the ability to fight multiple wars.

“Homeland Security” overhaul.

Leveraging America’s position as the sole uncontested superpower to change targeted theaters of engagement to a more desired political and moral state.

On that last point, keep in mind the Soviet Union imploded at that time, Russia was trying to regain it’s footing and China was significantly weaker.

I don’t believe Bush The Second invented the Axis of Evil phrase of his infamous State of the Union speech — it came from page four of PNAC’s report.

Wolfowitz also seemed to be quoting the same report when you read Gen. Clarke’s recollection of a conversation about Iraq he had with the former Deputy Defense Secretary:

But one thing we did learn [from the first Gulf War] is that we can use our military in the region – in the Middle East – and the Soviets won’t stop us. And we’ve got about 5 or 10 years to clean up those old Soviet regimes – Syria, Iran [sic], Iraq — before the next great superpower comes on to challenge us.

A portion of Wolfowitz’ dreams came true — the US invaded Iraq later.

Cheney, an oil executive, is known for his love of the slick stuff. His remarks about the Middle East just over a year before he became Vice President of the US seem ominous today:

Oil remains fundamentally a government business. While many regions of the world offer great oil opportunities, the Middle East with two thirds of the world’s oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies, even though companies are anxious for greater access there, progress continues to be slow.

Back to that important point. Give Trump’s list more thought and a startling revelation hits you: the US military has been following the neocon invasion checklist by executing regime change operations in these nations for years, regardless of the political party in office.

Take another look at the nations on Trump’s immigration ban list.

Iran — Bush The Second considered an invasion, supposedly over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. The convenient rise of Islamic State (ISIL) in Syria under President Barack Obama’s watch threatened the Iranian regime’s existence and Iranian military to take action. Washington shed no tears over the heavy military losses suffered by Iran. Trump has already indicated that he wants to reopen the Iran file to address the nuclear deal reached with Obama’s administration.

Iraq — invaded by the, and then ISIL was allowed to incubate and break out during the Obama years. The US is now back in Iraq to stabilize matters.

Libya — invaded by the US NATO, and is now a failed state. ISIL has moved in, which has reengaged the US military.

Somalia — American troops are actively engaged.

Sudan — US troops have quietly moved in.

Syria — I’ve written about this numerous times. Regime change has been a top-of-mind US priority. But even when it appeared that Team Obama was sincere in discussing a political solution to the embattled country’s civil war, the US military sabotaged those plans.

And as mentioned earlier, the US military is currently engaged in Yemen.

So, is Trump’s list simply an ID of immigration ban targets?

Looks more like a pre-war hitlist to me.

America’s interest in the Middle East have been centered on chasing oil and fighting terrorism — with much of the latter representing a direct result of US policy failures.

Trump shares a similarity with other establishment candidates in the way they support mass invasion tours of the Middle East and Africa. Trump presents a huge difference in the way he openly uses domestic bigotry in pursuit of future bloody conflicts overseas.

The President has indicated oncetwicethree times that America should’ve taken Iraq’s oil after the last invasion. He’s also mentioned taking Libya’s oil.

The third time Trump talked about stealing oil made me feel certain that another invasion is coming:

If we kept [Iraq’s] oil, you probably wouldn’t have ISIS because that’s where they made their money in the first place, so we should have kept the oil, but, OK, maybe we’ll have another chance …

song currently stuck in my head: “crawl” – gabriel garzón montano

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Sunday Smack: Will Black Lives Matter Movement Wither Under Trump?

black lives matter trump

This week’s Sunday Smack concerns the Black Lives Matter movement in a Trump world.

In September 2015, historian Victor Davis Hanson placed the BLM on death watch, and predicted its end to occur one year later:

But like all the other past racially chauvinistic movements, “Black Lives Matter” will fail to convince anyone outside a small subset of African-American urban youth to embrace its ideology and advocacy. A year from now it will become another artifact like [the 1990s slogan “It’s a black thing.”

Arrgh … I’m not supposed to inject my opinion in Sunday Smack — and I won’t. I’ll simply say that I never thought “It’s a black thing” was a movement …

It's a black thing bart simpson

Anyway, Hanson cites racial chauvinism and reasoning based on lies as a few of the reasons for why BLM isn’t long for this world.

The movement still exists — one year and four months after Hanson’s prediction.

However, President Donald Trump’s pre-election promises of “law and order” to predominantly White audiences make me think that he plans to aggressively suppress thoughts that differ from his — with BLM representing a prime elimination target.

And that thought brings up my Sunday Smack:

What will the Black Lives Matter movement look like during the Trump administration?

song currently stuck in my head: “garra” – claudia

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Clinton Global Initiative Shutdown — Post-Election Reminder for Party Cleansing

Bill and Hillary

The latest news about the Clinton Global Initiative formally filing its intent with New York State to shut down and lay-off 22 employees reminds me of what I said in my last piece — the Party of No Guts will have to exorcise the demons of its past to regain relevance among voters.

CGI would have a problem staying afloat going forward since donations to the organization have been slowing down to droplets lately.

These two events, along with the infamous 12-page memo that was written by CGI co-founder Doug Band and published by the Washington Post, say plenty about the Clintons’ appearance of pay-to-play [neologism alert] shadiness.

It’s not like corporations and foreign governments are willing to have their names attached to a nonprofit entity that solicited for both the organization AND personal revenue for a former US President!

You simply have to read Band’s memo [grab the attachment] to get the grimy details behind what he called “Clinton, Inc.” Band explained that he not only solicited CGI donations from corporations, foreign governments and other large institutions, but he also collected millions of dollars in personal business revenue for President Clinton in the form of high-ticket speaking engagements, board appointments and consulting agreements.

Band summarizes:

Of [President Bill Clinton’s] current 4 arrangements, we secured all of them; and, we have helped manage and maintain all of his for-profit business relationships. Since 2001, President Clinton’s business arrangements have yielded more than $30 million for him personally, with $66 million to be paid out over the next nine years should he choose to continue with the current engagements.

Many of those “arrangements” coincided with donations made to the Clinton Foundation.

The evidence points to an appearance of geopolitical payola.

Could you run an organization this way without being placed under investigation for at least the appearance of wrongdoing?

Some media organizations only focused on the “spoiled brat” comment that Band made about Chelsea Clinton, known as “cvc” in his follow-up email, but the 12-page memo is the star of this show.

None of this news reflected well on Secretary Hillary Clinton as a Presidential candidate last year.

Yeah, I’m sure you’ll say the appearance of pay-to-play isn’t  exclusive to the Clintons or their close circle of PoNGs friends.

I wouldn’t disagree with you. These are simply current casualties of the digital dragnet …

But this line of reasoning sidesteps the question that comes from the Wikileaks email drama: how can the PoNGs regain relevance?

Wait for the scandal winds to shift towards the other side of the aisle?

Still sounds like sidestepping.

Hope for a huge halo effect from anti-Trump fears and donations?

A likely outcome, but the option still looks like dancing to me.

How about this idea: the PoNGs should stop acting like the trickle-down party with blue filters …

song currently stuck in my head: “mommy, what’s a record?” – kerri chandler

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President Obama Drops Bomb on Team Clinton and DNC: Emails Were Not Hacked

President Obama final press conference dnc email

President Obama dropped a bomb on his way out the White House — besides the one he left, B2-style, with a suspected Islamic State camp in Libya.

The President indicated during his final White House press conference that the Democratic National Committee emails — a flashpoint of last year’s election scandals — were leaked.

Not hacked. Leaked.

In Obama’s words:

… I haven’t commented on WikiLeaks generally. The conclusions of the intelligence community with respect to the Russian hacking were not conclusive as to whether WikiLeaks was witting or not in being the conduit through which we heard about the DNC e-mails that were leaked.

HACKED means someone broke into your computer to extract information, and likely had to defeat your computer’s defensive processes first.

LEAKED means someone with authorized access to your computer released information.

There’s no doubt that President Obama — one of the most articulate Presidents in US history — knows the difference between those two words.

The emails known for forcing the resignations of senior DNC officials and arguably grounding the Presidential ambitions of the Deep State’s Most Favored Candidate were leaked.

My guess is that the former President’s disclosure was motivated by finally being tired of covering for the DNC and desiring Progressives to remember him as one of them  …
Combine this development with the US intelligence community’s assessment that the controversial DNC emails are authentic and you have an ugly picture if what the Democratic Party has now become.

Or perhaps you now see what they have been for decades.

This isn’t a party-bashing piece.

Well — at least it’s not a piece with an unproductive purpose.

If the Democratic Party — better known in my world as the Party of No Guts — ever envisions a return to the Relevance Column, facing hard facts about its internal corrosion is a first step to rehabilitation …

song currently stuck in my head: “power” – jmsn

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Reduce Stress — Stop Making Celebrities Your Spokespersons

steve harvey donald trump meeting reaction
After meeting with President-elect Donald Trump and pleading through the media to give the new leader of the free world a chance to make life better for the Black community, media star Steve Harvey made many of you more pissed when news arrived that he’ll work with Trump-picked HUD Secretary Ben Carson to improve inner cities.

So, why are you so mad and I’m not?

Simple answer, in the form of a question — why did you make Steve Harvey your spokesperson?

Some of you will say “Nah, that’s not me.”

But I’ve heard too many of you wonder when [insert random celeb name] will take a stand on [insert crise du moment], only to be let down by the most capitulating or unenlightened statements ever to come from someone who wears $3,000 jeans.

Here’s a different and perhaps better question: HOW did you make any of these celebs your mouthpiece?

Because they’re on TV enough times? Sold enough albums? Received enough money from “arrogant” Hollywood to black-up and shine for the big screen?

Sure, I understand the importance of art and creatives during good and especially troubling times.

But too many of you think “creative,” “socially aware” and “moving units” are interchangeable terms.

The reason you’re pissed about people like Harvey and I’m not is because I don’t expect these Hollywood-types to speak for me.

Counting on spokesperson celebrities, who happen to share the same challenge as politicians in the way public opinion governs their employment, is like you buying a lottery ticket — wishing for Harry Belafonte but ignoring the chance that the numbers you’re holding aren’t even close.

I don’t have much else to say on the Harvey-Trump story until I see what their policy thoughts are — assuming anything will be presented at all.

Meanwhile, perhaps it’s time to place better bets or adjust expectations?

song currently stuck in my head: “chicango (chicago land)” – billy wooten

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Sunday Smack: What Should Trump Do About Syria?

donald trump syria
This week’s Sunday Smack asks:

What should Donald Trump do about Syria’s civil war?

Arm the rebels? Hasn’t worked so far.

Invade Syria?

Work with Russia to rid Syria of jihadist groups?

Stop providing weapons and non-lethal aid to the Syrian battlefield, and then encourage all other outside nations to do the same?

Disengage from Syria altogether?

Any other ideas?

song currently stuck in my head: “freedom to love (atjazz astro mix)” – incognito

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