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Tuesday in Mooseville – Why White Folk Understanding the Racist Mammy Archetype Matters 5/14/19

Please, Mammy (1899)

Over the weekend, a Bill Maher-initiated hashtag on Twitter caught fire amongst too many on the Left. It was a play on a racist slur used by 45* against Sen. Warren, and far too many failed to realize that playing with the words of a racist slur was not clever, but an extension and reiteration of the essential racism. For once, I found myself in the position of understanding how unacceptable the hashtag was without having it spelled out to me, but as I saw white person after white person repeating the hashtag (and often arguing with those who asked that they stop), it was an object lesson in privilege trumping good politics, good citizenship, and good sense. I also realized that a fair number of tweeters stopped using the hashtag when asked without really understanding the layers and nuances of why the hashtag was offensive. That’s another privilege that comes with Whiteness, but it’s in understanding subtleties that White folk can learn to be better allies. For this post, I’m going to look not just at a stereotype that few would have trouble recognizing as racist, but at some of the underlying assumptions that are less recognized but no less harmful.

Fighting Back: “Improving instead of destroying the Affordable Care Act”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Senator Jacky Rosen of Nevada discussing the Republican Party’s plan to destroy the Affordable Care Act.

(In the weekly Democratic address, Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) talked about health care and the Affordable Care Act.)

“Health care is one of the top kitchen table issues in Nevada. I cannot even begin to count the number of Nevadans who have shared how they would be affected by the courts striking down protections in our healthcare system.”

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Fighting Back: “On the climate crisis, we simply don’t have any more time for denial or delay.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Rep. Kathy Castor of Florida, chair of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, highlighting H.R. 9 the Climate Action Now Act.

(Congresswoman Castor highlighted the passage of H. R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act, which takes a bold first step to protect our planet by keeping us in the Paris Climate Agreement and laying the foundation for further innovative action.)

To address the climate crisis, we need to stop carbon pollution from accumulating in our atmosphere. That requires action. Urgent action. Ambitious action.

We simply don’t have any more time for denial or delay. An entire generation has grown up in a rapidly warming world and we are personally experiencing the harm. Scientists say it will get worse, unless we act.[…]

Despite what the Trump Administration says, we are still in the [Paris Climate Agreement]. We have not formally withdrawn. And if – and when – this bill becomes law, we never will. Because we need climate policy that works For The People, not well-connected corporate polluters in the Trump Administration.

That’s why we’re going to cut carbon pollution, protect the people and places we love, advance climate justice, and create a clean energy economy that works for everyone.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Tuesday in Mooseville – Popping One’s Own Bubbles 4/30/19

Almost popped.

This is a personal post. It’s part confession; part tearing at the fabric of my own privilege and hubris; and part invitation to examine one’s own influences and determine if there are any bubble that need popping. It has been prompted by a realization I had last week; one in a long series of revelations that I’ve been having as my historical, political, and social justice awareness has increased. I’m not sure what it says about either myself or our white supremacist system that I seem to be doing my greatest amount of learning post-age-60, but I find some small comfort in the fact I’m still capable of popping my own bubbles.

Fighting Back: “We will continue fighting for – and listening to – everyone” #ForThePeople

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan, reminding us that “every day, Democrats have stayed focused on the issues that matter to working men and women, and we are working hard to improve lives across this country.”

(Congresswoman Debbie Dingell highlighted the incredible progress Democrats have made on the For The People Agenda in the first 100 days of the 116th Congress, including the passage of legislation addressing issues of democracy reform, domestic violence, background checks, equal pay, land conservation and more.)

“Our agenda – to lower prescription drug prices, to create sixteen million good-paying jobs through a real infrastructure plan and to make sure that our government is working – is what Americans expect from this Congress and it’s what they deserve.

“Every day, we have stayed focused on the issues that matter to working men and women, and are working hard to improve lives across this country. […]

“Democrats will put forward an infrastructure plan that will provide millions of good-paying jobs for hard-working people by fixing our roads and bridges.

“We will also aggressively address the dangers posed by climate change and protect promises made to the Dreamers. […]

“We will continue fighting for and listening to everyone.

“We will keep working to build a safer, stronger and secure America together.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Fighting Back: The First 100 Days – #ForThePeople

 
 

This past week House Democrats were at an issues conference in Leesburg VA where they were celebrating 100 days of progress For The People.

(Members of the House Democratic Caucus, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), spoke to reporters following the conclusion of a group retreat in Leesburg, Virginia. They talked about their performance during the first 100 days of the party’s majority in the U.S. House and about their legislative agenda for the months ahead.)

From an op-ed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer:

In November, the American people elected Democrats to take back the reins of power in the House of Representatives and put it back to work on their behalf. In our first 100 days in the majority, we have begun to deliver on that promise. With a dynamic, diverse and energized freshman class of 63 new members, Democrats are moving ahead with our agenda for the people: Lower health care costs and the price of prescription drugs, increase paychecks by rebuilding the infrastructure of America in a green, modern and job-creating way, and clean up corruption in Washington so that the government works for the public interest, not the special interests.

One of the first acts of our new majority was to enable the House to defend the Affordable Care Act in court against efforts by Republican-led states and the Trump administration to dismantle it. This was soon followed by the introduction of a comprehensive bill to stabilize our health care system and lower health care costs for consumers. Already, committees are holding hearings and marking up legislation to keep Democrats’ promises to take action to make health care and prescription drugs cheaper. […]

The American people entrusted Democrats with the House majority because we promised to focus on the issues that matter and the challenges too great to be ignored. This is the positive change that the American people voted for in November, and many of our initiatives passed with bipartisan support. It’s time for Senate Republicans to join us or pay a price with the public for their obstruction. House Democrats have taken action for the people. This is what we’ve done in our first 100 days. It is what we will continue to do in the weeks and months ahead.

Tuesday in Mooseville – A Tale of Two Mayors 4/9/19

The cover of a promotional pamphlet from 1922 points to the unending progress that early boosters saw as possible in South Bend.

Janesaunt at The Orange and I decided to work together to read the political memoirs of some of the current presidential candidates and to provide overviews of the books by answering an identical set of questions. I’m kicking off our efforts today with a synopsis and overview of Pete Buttigieg’s Shortest Way Home: One Mayor’s Challenge and a Model for America’s Future. On Thursday, Janesaunt will continue at DK with “her” book and using the same questions. Reading the books does not necessarily mean support of a particular candidate; it’s a means of expanding our knowledge and sharing what we learn with the community.

Fighting Back: “We’re at our best as a nation when we look out for each other”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Rep. Colin Allred of Texas highlighting the passage of H. Res. 271, a resolution condemning the Trump Administration’s assault on people with pre-existing conditions and affordable health care.

(Congressman Colin Allred of Texas delivered the Weekly Democratic Address condemning the Trump Administration’s assault on people with pre-existing conditions and affordable health care in the courts, as well as, Democrats’ continued efforts to fight for lower health care costs.)

We’re at our best when we look out for each other, just like the community in North Texas looked out for me.

“That’s why this week, I was proud to lead a bipartisan resolution that puts the U.S. House of Representatives on the side of the people and protecting our health care.

“In an attempt to fulfill an empty partisan promise, the Trump Administration has decided to work to invalidate the entirety of the Affordable Care Act in federal court.

“This is unacceptable. We can’t go back to the bad old days when people were denied care because they had a pre-existing condition.

“I was elected as part of this new Congress to put an end to the sabotage of Americans’ health care, and we are working together to do just that.[…]

“North Texans don’t think this is a partisan issue, which is why I’ll work with anyone to protect the progress we’ve made, fight to lower costs and increase coverage. They want to know if you work hard and play by the rules, you can have good health care, that’s affordable.[…]

A Congress that works For The People works to make health care more affordable, not to take it away.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Tuesday in Mooseville – Unsung: Voices from the Margins 4/2/19

Historical marker for the Highlander Folk School

Note: I started this post in November 2017 but didn’t complete or publish it after deciding that it was a bit too obscure. But then I saw these tweets over the weekend; the devastating loss of archival material makes remembering the work of Highlander more important than ever.

Fighting Back: “Climate change is an urgent problem and Democrats are united in our commitment to address it.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Senator Tina Smith of Minnesota who spoke about the climate crisis and the Democratic caucus committee established to address it.

(As many Republicans in Congress refuse to accept the facts about climate change, Senator Tina Smith (D-MN)—a member of Senate Democrats’ new Special Committee on the Climate Crisis announced Wednesday—delivers this week’s Weekly Democratic Address.)

“Recently, Democrats asked for a bipartisan Special Committee on the Climate Crisis. When Republicans refused, we forged ahead by appointing ten Democratic members to Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on Climate Change. I’m very happy to be one of the Senators. Our new committee will work together with colleagues in the House of Representatives. We will highlight how the climate crisis is harming the economic and national security interests of the United States, and we’ll set the stage for bold action on climate.”

“Now, climate change is an urgent problem. And we Democrats are united in agreement that:

1) climate change is real;

2) it’s caused by human activity; and

3) Congress should take immediate and bold action to address this challenge.

“These points should not be controversial. And the conclusion that climate change is an urgent problem is supported by an overwhelming weight of scientific evidence. Unfortunately, too many Republicans in Washington right now—and particularly our current President—refuse to accept these facts.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)