Last Friday of 2016 Reads: RESISTPosted: December 30, 2016
The struggle continues in earnest. RESIST.
I’m not going to be celebrating the New Year as much as I will be crying over 2016 which turned hope into dread. The only hopeful thing I’m seeing at this point are the acts of deliberate protest against the Fascist regime we face starting January 20th. Some are more subtle than others. The most important thing is that must continue.
We must RESIST.
“Our official position is that it is not in the budget,” Amir Abu-El-Hawa, a member of the family that owns the restaurant, told the publication.
The mural features the founder of the restaurant, “Mama” Ayesha Abraham, standing alongside 11 presidents, from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Barack Obama.
“She was the American dream. For a Muslim and Arab woman immigrant from Palestine to come here on her own and build this business, is a remarkable legacy,” said Abu-El-Hawa, who is the founder’s great-nephew.
According to the Washingtonian, the mural was painted by Karla “Karlisima” Rodas between 2007 and 2009 and was partially sponsored by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
The artist is Colombian born had has been in the USA since 1984. You can see more about the artist and the restaurant at the link. There’s a great video of the artist explaining her work and vision.
A member of the Mormon Tabernacle choir has resigned rather than be part of an organization that would participate in the Inauguration of the Hair Furor. The best part is that she said she “could not throw roses at Hitler” and would “certainly never sing for him”.
President-elect Donald Trump’s plans for his inauguration have hit another bump in the road. A member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, which is slated to perform at the event, has quit in protest and penned an open letter explaining her reasoning.
Jan Chamberlin announced her resignation from the Church of Jesus Chris of Latter-day Saints-affiliated choir in a note on Facebook on Thursday. In the letter, which is addressed to the choir’s leader and her family and friends, Chamberlin said that after reflection and prayer and with “a sad and heavy heart,” she is resigning her position in the choir.
T-rump continues to have a difficult time getting any one to perform at his installment. Performance is definitely a political statement for many and even those who may like him are afraid of the blowback from those of us that RESIST.
Unlike any other year, however, the overarching theme of performing at Trump’s swearing-in is that of risk. “An artist would be risking too much,” notes Horowitz. “Their career, their fan base, their relationships in the music industry. As one of the most divisive president-elects in history, Trump shouldn’t be surprised that he’s facing a lack of support.”
Meanwhile, a restaurant in Hawaii has banned Trump voters saying “No Nazis”.
Café 8 ½ in Honolulu, Hawaii, is facing harsh criticism for hanging a sign on its front door that tells voters who cast their ballot for President-elect Donald Trump to eat elsewhere.
“If you voted for Trump you cannot eat here! No Nazis,” reads the yellow sign, as reported by Fox News on Tuesday.
Here’s a great interview to read at VersoBooks: “Trump, fascism, and the construction of “the people”: An interview with Judith Butler”. Isn’t it nice to see people calling it what it is? FASCISM!!!!
What does Donald Trump represent? The American philosopher Judith Butler, professor at Berkeley University, has recently published a short book in French, Rassemblement [Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly]. She explains that Donald Trump incarnates a new form of fascism. As she puts it, “A lot of people are very happy to see this disturbing, unintelligent guy parading around as if he was the centre of the Earth and winning power thanks to this posture.”
Many writers and intellectuals in the United States and Europe have expressed their views on the Trump phenomenon; mostly to express their consternation or their reprobation, condemning the excesses of his language or expressing their alarm at his proposals to build a wall on the Mexican border or to expel millions of undocumented migrants. But if we are to try to understand what is going on with “Trump” — the Trump phenomenon — then we need to bear in mind the analyses that Judith Butler has elaborated since the late 1990s, from her Excitable Speech, A Politics of the Performative to her latest book, Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly.
Mediapart: Might we say that Donald Trump is a sort of “figure in the carpet” of the analyses you have been producing over the last two decades? Is Trump not a “Butlerian object” par excellence
Judith Butler: I am not sure that Trump is a very good object for the analyses that I usually conduct. For example, I do not think that there is a fascination for Trump as a person. And when we look at his speeches, we also have to consider more particularly the effects this discourse has on a certain fringe of the American people. Let us not forget that he was elected by less than a quarter of the population, and that he is on the brink of becoming president only thanks to the existence of an archaic Electoral College.
So we should not imagine that Trump enjoys wide popular support. There is a general disillusionment with the political field and a certain scorn for the two main US parties. But Hillary Clinton got more votes than Trump. So when we ask about the support for Trump, we should also ask ourselves how it was that a minority of Americans was able to bring him to power. What we need to interrogate is not an upsurge of popular support [for Trump], but a democratic deficit. The Electoral College should be abolished so that our elections more clearly reflect the popular will. I also believe that our political parties should be rethought in order to increase popular participation in the democratic process.
The minority that supported Trump, the minority allowing him this electoral success, was able to achieve its goal not only thanks to its own rejection of the political field but also the fact that almost 50% of the electorate expressed their disaffection by not going out to vote. Perhaps we ought to speak of the collapse of democratic participation in the United States.
I think that Trump unleashed a rage that has many causes and many targets, and we should probably be sceptical of those who claim to know the true cause, the one single object of this anger. The state of economic devastation and disappointment and the loss of hope for the future — born of economic and financial movements that have decimated whole communities — certainly did play an important role. But so, too, did the United States’ increasing demographic complexity, as well as forms of racism both old and new… There is a desire for “firmness,” expressed through the strengthening of state power against foreigners and undocumented workers, but this is also accompanied by a desire for greater freedom from the burden of government: a slogan simultaneously serving both individualism and the market.
Here’s a ten-point list of what we can do in the upcoming year(s) of the work to tear down our country within the White House itself. Peter Drier suggests we prepare ourselves. I love this first one.
1. Don’t forget: Trump does not have a mandate. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote byclose to 3 million votes. Only 27 percent of the nation’s 231 million eligible voters voted for Trump. In the first election in 50 years without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act, Republicans intensified their voter-suppression efforts, targeting black and Latino communities in key battleground states. More than 40 percent of eligible voters did not vote; most non-voters were low-income, minority and/or young Americans who, had they gone to the polls, would have voted Democratic. Polls also show that even most Trump voters do not agree with much of his policy agenda. A CBS survey showed about one-quarter of Trump voters said he is not qualified to be president. Seventy percent of all voters said immigrants without documents should be able to apply for legal status rather than be deported.
But, can we ever forget exactly how much we saw racism, misogyny, and xenophobia on display this last year? Can we face down our disappointment at being wrong when we thought that America was basically good and couldn’t go down this rabbit hole of hate? Can the struggle for justice succeed?
After Trump’s election, it is more or less impossible to believe that we are making meaningful progress. White liberals who woke up horrified on Nov. 9 weren’t horrified because the world had suddenly changed—we were horrified because the scales had finally fallen from our eyes, and we could at least see our unjust, racist, sexist country for what it is. The next president will not be a woman, the makeup of the Supreme Court will not shift toward progressivism, and we are not jolly passengers on a cruise ship sailing toward an era of tolerance, justice, and respect for the dignity and rights of all.
The first challenge is being met now. Trump’s spin on Russian interference in our election is falling apart. The Alt-Right enablers have going from denying Russian involvement to saying it was a good thing. How can this not be seen as treason?
This morning, Russian President Vladimir Putin responded to the Obama administration’s announcement yesterday that the United States will undertake sweeping retaliation against Russia for its alleged interference in our election. In a surprise, Putin said he would not be expelling U.S. diplomats as part of the escalating tensions.
This led to some speculation that Putin is simply biding his time until Donald Trump takes over as president, putting someone more friendly to Putin and Russia in the White House — hopefully meaning all those bad feelings about possible Russian efforts to tip the election to Trump can be forgotten. Trump, too, has been saying we need to “move on.”
Reporters and scholars continue to be under attack for providing evidence. False claims from Alt Right enablers are sending Trump Goons into attack and threat mode.
If we ever had any doubt that DudeBroProgs are just Republicans in hipster clothing who smoke pot, take a look at this Chait headline: “Glenn Greenwald, Tucker Carlson Unite to Dismiss Russian Hacking Allegations”. At least were seeing the birds of that feather finally flock together.
One of the great meetings of journalistic minds took place last week, when left-wing journalist Glenn Greenwald appeared on Fox News with Tucker Carlson. The segment was devoted to their purportedly strange agreement over the Russian hacking story (which is not actually strange at all, given their mutual antipathy for the center-left). Greenwald has long dismissed the charge that Russia manipulated WikiLeaks’ publication of Democratic party emails as a “smear,” mocking suspicions of misbehavior by what he referred to in sarcastic capitalized words as “The Russians”; he called it typical of the Democrats’ alleged tendency to use false attacks against Russia to discredit its adversaries (“So WikiLeaks has become an enemy of the Democratic Party, and they seem to have one tactic with their adversaries and enemies, which is to accuse them of being Russian agents”). On Carlson’s program, Greenwald attacked the Washington Post for reporting that the CIA and the FBI believed Russia’s hacking was intended to help Trump win. It is a remarkable segment that merits close reading.
“Should we believe that assessment?” asked Carlson. “We should be extremely skeptical of it for multiple reasons,” replied Greenwald. “These are assertions that are being made unaccompanied by any evidence whatsoever.”
We actually need to thank Lady Lindsey and her sidekick McGrumpy McGrumpkins for doing the right thing today.
Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain has scheduled a hearing on cyber threats for Thursday, where the issue of Russia’s election-year hacking will take center stage, a source familiar with the committee’s planning told POLITICO.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, National Security Agency and Cyber Command Chief Adm. Mike Rogers and Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Marcel Lettre are scheduled to testify, according to the source.
The timing of the hearing — three days into the new Congress — is in the same week that President-elect Donald Trump says he plans to be briefed by the intelligence community on the Russian hacking.
This is going to be a long, draining struggle but I don’t think we have much of a choice at this point but to fight all we can.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?