#NoBanNoWall #NewYorkWelcomesAll

Notes from the #NoBanNoWall protest rally in Battery Park, lower Manhattan:

Unusual sign: “I am conservative. I am appalled” plus on the reverse side, Hebrew lettering alongside English reading “For You Were Strangers in the Land of Egypt” — an important part of the Passover observance. Several variations on that quote. More Jewish stuff: Many signs refer to the SS St. Louis, a Jewish refugee ship America turned away, directly resulting in 250 passengers being murdered by Nazis back in Europe. One older woman had a sign that simply read “1933” the year Hitler was made chancellor. A gal with fighting spirit wrote, “Shalom motherfucker. #Jewishresistance.” Photojournalist Emilee Rose took my pic as I passed, and I made a point of going back to tell her my handmade sign was given to me by another Jewish protester who didn’t want to juggle it and her baby anymore yet also wanted the message to keep going. It was pretty simple but I liked it enough to carry: “Jews say Muslims and immigrants welcome!” (Maybe that pic will turn up somewhere; we’ll see.)

Some overtly Christian messages were out, like a Bible verse of Jesus saying: “Whatever services you withheld from the least of them, you withheld from me.”

*Lots* of representations of the Statue of Liberty, extremely appropriate considering the geographic location looks out at the Lady. Painted paper torches were held aloft, quotes offered from the Emma Lazurus poem, arrows to a photo saying “I’m with her,” another calling her a French immigrant. One slightly aggressive version: Line drawing of the Lady, with the caption “Did I stutter?”

There were lots of vulgar jokes, including the juvenile but amusing, “You make pieces of shit look good” with a poop emoji topped with blond hair.

Some pithy general statements included “Human rights with my stars and stripes.” “His mental illness should not be our public policy.” “New York City is seeing something, so we’re saying something.”

Passed a woman walking with tears openly streaming down her face; couldn’t tell her background but it completely doesn’t matter.

Noted not only are we near the castle Clinton monument, and the Statue of Liberty, but just outside the National Museum of the American Indian… And that seemed extremely relevant.

My tweets:

In Battery Park #NYC to listen, learn, be inspired. Showing up is standing up. 10s of thousands here with us. #NoBanNoWall #JoinTheResistance

I’ve been a Jew all my life. I will not be a “good German” now. Showing up & standing up. I support immigrants & Muslims. #NoBanNoWall #resist

Lady Liberty lifts her lamp for us: We must support & welcome immigrants, refugees, all faiths, all nations! #NoBanNoWall #NewYorkWelcomesAll

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A war criminal in the civil rights struggle escapes justice — and we learn this on Holocaust Remembrance Day?!

White supremacy is pure evil. It is toxic and poisons us all. The Emmett Till murder has long been a prime example.

First there was the miscarriage of justice in his murderers’ trial. Then later, they confessed their guilt, and were never punished, instead actually being *compensated* for fessing up.

But now there’s a new turn of the screw: The lying, remorseless, heartless woman who made up some total shit that resulted in a boy being tortured to death, definitely perjured herself, as has been suspected. She has admitted it was all false and Emmett didn’t deserve his fate, and yet she gets to live to old age, and still be protected, not only by her despicable family but by the author/reporter who gained her admission … in *2007*.

Why are we hearing this now? Because there’s finally a finished book to sell, of course!

“ ‘That case went a long way toward ruining her life,’ [author] Tyson contends, explaining that she could never escape its notoriety.”

RUINED *HER* LIFE?!? Really??!! Wow ain’t that sad? FUCK HER AND FUCK YOU TOO. She should be pulled out of hiding and tried for perjury and die in jail, like ancient ex nazis tried for war crimes in their final years.

Damn, I am heated. If she was actually remorseful, if she had come to appreciate the horror she inflicted, and was willing to speak of that time, or how she could have thought that way, or tried to give insight, or change anything at all, I would not say so. But no, she hides and obviously has not repented. She might think the “old system of white supremacy was wrong” aka ubiquitous legal segregation, but she clearly doesn’t think the ongoing, informal version is all that bad. I am deeply disgusted by her cowardice, and the complicity of everyone around her, pulling the impenetrable blanket of whiteness close and snug and keeping her safe.


ALSO:  I am painfully aware of how this Holocaust Remembrance Day especially must be shared with black Americans and refugees. (And every Remembrance Day with the homosexuals, Romani, disabled ((mentally and physically)), Communists and other political prisoners and many more… perhaps 5 million “others.”) It’s why I don’t overstate the 6 Million when I speak of the Holocaust. Our genocide was real, but we were not alone.

Jews not only should “never forget”… We also must never forget we are not alone in genocide, persecution, and oppression throughout American history, and around the world today. 

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Another step closer to official declaration of war on 1st Amenment

Steve Bannon, who enjoys referring to himself as Darth Vader, and who celebrates trolls, is actually not talking to the NYTimes here. Instead, he is telling Americans, via a respected media org, that the media is the enemy and they should not believe journalists. This is simultaneously savvy, disingenuous, gaslighting and straight talk. I’d admire the parabolas going on here if I wasn’t so worried.
First week, y’all. First. Week.
“I want you to quote this: The media here is the opposition party. … Not the Democratic Party. You’re the opposition party. The media’s the opposition party.”
Why NYT chose to just write this shit down and put it out, I do not goddamn know. The context in which this should have been placed, of course is that these fascists are all on message — the same message that came Monday from a Texas congressman on the House floor: “Better to get your news directly from the president. In fact, it might be the only way to get the unvarnished truth” …. itself an obvious untruth. Isn’t it nice that Rep. Lamar Smith is also chair of the House Science panel!??
Journalists are scrambling to figure out WTF to do now when everywhere they look, it’s 52 pickup in a sewage tornado. We cannot fail in our support of journalists in this new era, who certainly have made/ will make mistakes as paradigms keep shifting, but hopefully will doggedly persist in their essential (and patriotic!!) mission to investigate and report with integrity; to distinguish themselves from propagandists; to hold authority accountable; and to give the public information upon which we can organize and act.
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Please no piss play palaver

Look, I know this “Russian hookers golden shower show” news is funny but let’s keep eyes and ears open please. There’s lots and lots of news happening today/this week: confirmation hearings, nepotism, justice being served in SC… way too much news developing and journalists are stretched thin just to mention it all, let alone cover meaningfully. Please don’t spend much time on the funny stuff. There’s too much VERY NOT FUNNY going on. If we all focus on piss play, then we’ll all just get piss play stories served up all the time. Please, no one wants that — RIGHT?

Also, there is a case to be made for Trump’s team to allow/emphasize a sex scandal as a shiny object to distract us from greater evils. (The Dumpster will not handle it well, count on that, but his team is used to his storm und drang and it suits their wider purposes.)

REMEMBER: Sex scandals are a Democratic Party Achilles’ heel and an area where we have zero high ground against the kleptocrats and fascists. We have had some real horndogs on our side. I guarantee you that we’re minutes away from “OH YEAH, WELL WHAT ABOUT….” FDR, JKF, RFK, Mr.Bill, a string of Louisiana pols, MLK, John Edwards, etc. etc. etc. and let’s definitely not forget Anthony Weiner, a lefty attack dog whose recurring sex scandal nightmare actually may have indirectly landed us in exactly this spot.

So yeah, a sex scandal is one of the few zones we cannot touch without reasonably being called hypocrites. TREAD LIGHTLY, LEFTIES. React and joke if you must, but keep it quick and keep it moving. Let’s then get back to hammering this administration regarding their truly evil and regressive acts and intentions for this country — rather than overreact to hookers putting on some embarrassing but harmless clown show for a tiny-brained buffoon.

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Commander in Chief acting like one

Watching the Armed Forces saying farewell to President Obama was surprisingly gratifying. In some places, it was framed as him saying goodbye to them; but it’s also top brass offering a series of tributes, recitations of his accomplishments as a military leader, and seemingly heartfelt expressions of gratitude — as well as deep respect. Hearing these men (all men so far, even the quoted statements from rank-and-file, *sigh*) expressing these sentiments is very touching, inspiring, and gratifying. They know what he is, and how he has served, and yeah, I’m reading in some subtext of their resigned recognition that the incoming administration will not be quite the same.
Also glad that they are making a point to acknowledge the contributions of Michelle and Jill Biden, and the effect the Presidency has had on Sasha and Malia. These honorees are men who celebrate all the women in their lives, and the military speakers respect those relationships and the women’s accomplishments as well. Perhaps it is even *because* of the very public egalitarian and feminist modeling Biden and Obama perform; I like to think so. It’s uplifting nonetheless. Oh, these end-of-term celebrations and thanks produce such mixed emotions!! ugghhhh

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A quick journalism master class

Wow, far beyond political journos, this piece by Ron Fournier for the Atlantic should be required reading for every journalism student, beat reporter, assignment editor, freelancer, PR pro, publicist, and consumer of news (which should include everyone else). This is one of the wisest, most insightful and practical/idealistic pieces I’ve read on how the sausage gets made. I haven’t been so inspired by the possibilities of this thankless profession in years. Hope it reaches those folks still in the trenches… they are mighty deep and foul right now and could use a bit of light.

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“Kodak moments” should have been available to everyone, since before there was a Kodak

Sharing this spectacular gallery of tintype-style photographs from the AFROPUNK festival not only because the images and their subjects are GLORIOUS. In this gallery, Brazilian-born fashion/culture photographer Driely Schwarz offers a drop of corrective to an injustice that dates to the beginning of photography, and demonstrates the problem maybe need not have existed in the first place. It’s not only technology that created obstacles, but a culture which elevates whiteness and disregards people of color.

Remember that a key aspect of privilege is ignorance about stuff that doesn’t affect you directly. Learn more about this longtime, ongoing problem in this excellent roundup with many embedded links.  (Be sure you don’t miss the powerful, personal testimony by writer/photographer Syreeta McFadden.)

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