The Civil Rights Legacy: Yesterday and Tomorrow


Today is a day to celebrate the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement and remember that there is still work to do for our nation’s citizens.

As we remember the life of Martin Luther King today, let us also acknowledge the contributions and, in some cases, the ultimate  sacrifices of the many trailblazers in civil rights for ethnic and religious minorities, women, the disabled, and sexual orientation. Some like Dr. King (Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, and Cesar Chavez, for example) are well-known. Others like Larry Doby need greater recognition and those who paid the ultimate price like Medgar Evers, James Chaney, Charles Goodman, and Michael Schwerner should never be forgotten.

We should also remember the contributions of bipartisan public servants, who steered this country in a progressive direction towards the much more inclusive culture we have today.

  • It was Harry Truman that integrated the armed forces.
  • It was Hubert Humphrey whose 1948 speech extolling civil rights at the Democratic National Convention started the process of breaking the back of segregationists control of the party.
  • It was the Warren Supreme Court, in the Brown versus the Board of Education decision,  that pronounced “separate but equal” in our public schools an abomination and unconstitutional.
  • It was the Eisenhower and Kennedy Administrations that sent federal troops to the Southern States to enforce that Supreme Court Decision.
  • It was Lyndon Johnson along with Republicans and Democrats that secured the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Act of the 1960s.
  • It was Richard Nixon who subtly integrated school districts through bussing.
  • It was George H.W. Bush that signed the American with Disabilities Act.
  • It was the Obama Administration and the Roberts Supreme Court that advanced the cause of Same-Sex Couples.

While these achievements have made us a better country, there is still much to do. There are still forces of reaction, as evidenced by the current occupant of the White House, one of the Congressional Representatives in Iowa, and a State Representative in Arizona that needs to be condemned and voted out. There are still incidents of racial animosity that need to be chastised and, in some cases, prosecuted.

There is still a need to educate people that diversity is a strength. There are still measures like the Equal Rights Amendment to ratify. Being Americans who have a history of overcoming greater prejudice in the past, this next chapter of progress should be easier to write.

What Charlie said

David Gordon of Blog for Arizona summarized succinctly in a post last fall why Mitch McConnell is the real “Enemy of the People”.

Charles Pierce of Esquire similarly makes the case that There Is No More Loathsome Creature Walking Our Political Landscape Than Mitch McConnell (excerpt):

There is simply is no more loathsome creature walking the political landscape than the Majority Leader of the United States Senate. You have to go back to McCarthy or McCarran to find a Senate leader who did so much damage to democratic norms and principles than this yokel from Kentucky. Trump is bad enough, but he’s just a jumped-up real-estate crook who’s in over his head. McConnell is a career politician who knows full well what he’s doing to democratic government and is doing it anyway because it gives him power, and it gives the rest of us a wingnut federal judiciary for the next 30 years. There is nothing that this president* can do that threatens McConnell’s power as much as it threatens the survival of the republic, and that’s where we are.

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Negotiating with yourself does not constitute a ‘compromise’

The White House alerted the media that Trump plans to make ‘major announcement’ on shutdown, and the border on Saturday afternoon.

Trump is given to hyperbole and superlatives, and this speech was no exception. This was an over-hyped PR stunt.

The speech began with Stephen Miller’s highlights of the xenophobic, racist, anti-immigrant talking points of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, et. al., heard almost daily on conservative hate talk radio to gin up white anxiety and white grievances among Trump’s white nationalist base.

It then veered into a rehash of previous proposals (which were rejected by the prior Republican Congress) on DACA and TPS beneficiaries: a temporary stay of Trump’s policies for 3 years in exchange for $5.7 billion for Trump’s “big beautiful wall” on the Mexico border.

This was something Trump negotiated with his white nationalist racist adviser Stephen Miller, and his son-in-law Secretary of Everything, Jared Kushner. There was no effort to negotiate with the Democratic leadership in good faith. Trump’s attempt to call this a “compromise” rings hollow. Negotiating with yourself does not constitute a “compromise.”

This was another lame attempt to reframe the issue solely as a PR stunt. It was an epic failure.

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Political Calendar: Week of January 20, 2019

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Political Calendar for the Week of January 20, 2019:

Monday, January 21: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

Monday, January 21, 8:00 a.m.: Annual Martin Luther King Day March in Tucson. Begins at MLK Way at The Bridges in the UofA Tech Park (S. Kino Parkway and 36th Street), march to Reid Park, Demeester Outdoor Performance Center, 900 S. Alvernon Way. Celebration in the park 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Monday, January 21, Noon: Democrats of Greater Tucson luncheon, Dragon’s View Restaurant (400 N. Bonita, South of St. Mary’s Road between the Freeway and Grande Avenue, turn South at Furr’s Cafeteria). New price: buffet lunch is $10.00 cash, $12 credit; just a drink is $3.50. No DGT in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.  Next Week: Jeremey Lasher, 2018 DCCC National Canvass Director.

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Cartoon of The Week


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