We Resist: Day 210

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One of the difficulties in resisting the Trump administration, the Republican Congressional majority, and Republican state legislatures is keeping on top of the sheer number of horrors, indignities, and normalization of the aggressively abnormal that they unleash every single day.

So here is a daily thread for all of us to share all the things that are going on, thus crowdsourcing a daily compendium of the onslaught of conservative erosion of our rights and our very democracy.

Stay engaged. Stay vigilant. Resist.

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Here are some things in the news today:

Earlier today by me: Today in White Supremacy White House and Steve Bannon: A Story in Three Parts. And by Fannie: Throwback Thursday to When We Were Gaslit About Bigotry.

In yesterday's We Resist installment, in which I discussed my own support of strategic violence against Nazis, I wrote: "I would punch a Nazi. And I would be fully prepared to deal with the consequences of that. I realize it's a criminal act to punch someone. And I'd still the fuck do it."

On that note, I started my day (thanks to Eastsidekate, who passed it along) watching a video of anti-racist activists in Durham, North Carolina, lining up at the sheriff's office to turn themselves in for toppling a Confederate monument.

Video Description: A line of people of different races, genders, ages, identities, all wearing black t-shirts, walk toward the front door of the sheriff's office. They are filmed by a number of people holding cameras, and cheered by onlookers, who then chant: "Thank you. We love you. Thank you. We love you. Thank you. We love you." A person stands in the crowd of onlookers holding a sign reading: "Tear Down White Supremacy."

This is what principled resistance looks like. They tore down a monument to white supremacy. Their civil disobedience was unlawful, if nonetheless deeply ethical. They showed up, proudly, to accept the consequences.

Incredibly moving.

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In absolute contrast... Caitlin MacNeil at TPM: Trump Increasingly Angry, Isolated Amid Fallout from Charlottesville Response. "Trump has been acting out of anger and has become increasingly isolated in the White House this week. After his initial statement failed to offer a full-throated condemnation of white nationalist and other hate groups, Trump was pressured by his aides to follow up with a more forceful statement. But after doing so, the President became angry and suspicious about attempts to control his messaging, prompting him to follow up with an impromptu news conference Tuesday that went off the rails when he blamed both sides for the violence in Charlottesville, Politico reported. Trump felt vindicated following that presser, according to the Washington Post." Of course he did.

But the more Trump rages in defense of white supremacy, the more that he's going to invite invigorated pushback — including from Democrats who see an opportunity to exploit, for citizens' great benefit, the current rift (even if only rhetorically) between the White House and Congressional Republicans.

E.A. Crunden at ThinkProgress: Two Politicians Want to Take Down the Confederate Statues in the U.S. Capitol. "Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted on Wednesday night that he would introduce a bill taking down Confederate statues in the building, though he did not give a specific timeline or indicate when the bill would be brought forward. ...House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) joined Booker's call to action on Thursday. 'If Republicans are serious about rejecting white supremacy, I call upon Speaker Ryan to join Democrats to remove the Confederate statues from the Capitol immediately,' Pelosi said."

Pelosi's entire statement reads:
The halls of Congress are the very heart of our democracy. The statues in the Capitol should embody our highest ideals, expressing who we are and who we aspire to be as a nation.

The Confederate statues in the halls of Congress have always been reprehensible. If Republicans are serious about rejecting white supremacy, I call upon Speaker Ryan to join Democrats to remove the Confederate statues from the Capitol immediately.

Under the leadership of Democrats in Congress, we have recognized more women and people of color in Congress's collection of statues, including Rosa Parks, Sojourner Truth, and Helen Keller. As Speaker, we relocated Robert E. Lee out of a place of honor in National Statuary Hall — a place now occupied by the statue of Rosa Parks.

There is no room for celebrating the violent bigotry of the men of the Confederacy in the hallowed halls of the United States Capitol or in places of honor across the country.

The number of Confederate statues at the Capitol is a major problem. It has been for a long time (always) — and the Democrats started addressing it when they were last the majority in Congress. But the progress came to a standstill once Republicans reclaimed the majority.

Following, a glimpse at the scope of the issue:

[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] Amanda Terkel at the Huffington Post: The U.S. Capitol Is Basically a Confederate Statue Bazaar. "Just steps away from a statue of civil rights hero Rosa Parks stands the statue of Alexander Hamilton Stephens, who served as vice president of the Confederacy. The statue describes him as 'STATESMAN ― AUTHOR ―PATRIOT.' The inscription offers his credo: 'I am afraid of nothing on the earth, above the earth, beneath the earth, except to do wrong.' In 1861, he gave a speech in which he defended the institution of slavery and said it was 'an error' to assume 'the equality of the races.'"

Christopher Ingraham at the Washington Post: The U.S. Capitol Has at Least Three Times as Many Statues of Confederate Figures as It Does of Black People. "In the Capitol's National Statuary Hall Collection there are three times as many statues of Confederate soldiers and politicians as there are statues of Black people in the entire Capitol complex, according to records maintained by the Architect of the Capitol. ...Twelve of the statues memorialize individuals who either fought for the Confederacy or were active in Confederate politics. But not a single Black American is represented in the Statuary Hall Collection."

Think about that.

Finally on this subject, I did a Twitter thread earlier today on the "Washington/Jefferson" talking point employed in defense of Confederate monuments. That thread begins with this tweet (scroll down from there for the whole thing).

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Esme Cribb at TPM: Phoenix Mayor Calls on Trump to Delay Planned Campaign Rally After Charlottesville.
Mayor Greg Stanton of Phoenix, Arizona on Wednesday called on [Donald] Trump to postpone a planned campaign rally in the city after violence erupted at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"I am disappointed that [Donald] Trump has chosen to hold a campaign rally as our nation is still healing from the tragic events in Charlottesville," Stanton said in a statement.

He suggested that Trump might have scheduled the rally to "announce a pardon for former Sheriff Joe Arpaio," who was convicted in July of criminal contempt of court.

"Then it will be clear that his true intent is to enflame emotions and further divide our nation," Stanton said. "It is my hope that more sound judgment prevails and that he delays his visit."
Trump will not be delaying his visit, he confirmed this morning.

Meanwhile, just as North Korea was backing away from the edge of the nuclear cliff, Defense Secretary James Mattis inexplicably ratcheted the rhetoric back up today.

This is exactly what I was worried about yesterday. There isn't a single person in the Trump White House who isn't aware that military action increases support for presidents. They are all keenly aware of that upsetting reality — including Mike Pence, who [CN: video may autoplay at link] doubled-down on his support of Trump (and Trump's defense of white supremacy) yesterday, after his early return from his trip abroad. He's all in, on whatever plan they're cooking up.

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In other news...

Michael S. Schmidt and Matt Apuzzo at the New York Times: Trump Lawyer Forwards Email Echoing Secessionist Rhetoric. "Trump's personal lawyer on Wednesday forwarded an email to conservative journalists, government officials and friends that echoed secessionist Civil War propaganda and declared that the group Black Lives Matter 'has been totally infiltrated by terrorist groups.' The email forwarded by John Dowd, who is leading the president's legal team, painted the Confederate general Robert E. Lee in glowing terms and equated the South's rebellion to that of the American Revolution against England. Its subject line — 'The Information that Validates President Trump on Charlottesville' — was a reference to comments Mr. Trump made earlier this week in the aftermath of protests in the Virginia college town. 'You cannot be against General Lee and be for General Washington,' the email reads, 'there literally is no difference between the two men.'"

Two things: 1. There are differences. Meaningful ones. 2. This administration is vasty overestimating my commitment to statues of former presidents. And I'm guessing I'm not the only one.

Matthew Nussbaum at Politico: Gorsuch to Headline Event at Trump Hotel. "Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch is slated to headline a September event at the Trump International Hotel. The 'Defending Freedom Luncheon,' hosted by the nonprofit Fund for American Studies, is an invitation-only event to celebrate 'the constitutional framework that has protected our free society and made America exceptional,' according to the group's website."

Ayana Byrd at Colorlines: Trump Signs Executive Order That Rolls Back More Obama-Era Environmental Rules.
Though [Donald] Trump used his press conference [Tuesday] (August 15) to make it clear what he thinks of Charlottesville and what he dubbed the 'alt-left,' the stated purpose of his speech was to announce how he is planning to upgrade the nation's infrastructure.

On Tuesday, the president signed an executive order to improve what he called the country's 'badly broken' infrastructure, which he likened to what could be found in a 'third world country.' The order calls for a $1 trillion revitalization package, though no legislation currently exists for this upgrade.

The order is intended to eliminate and streamline some of the permitting regulations needed to construct federally-funded roads, bridges, pipelines, and other infrastructure. ...In order to shorten the completion time for this and other structures, Trump's order will reverse a number of regulations put into place during former President Barack Obama's time in office. This includes a rollback of the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard, which was established by executive order in 2015. It requires the federal government to account for climate change and sea-level rise when building infrastructure. Bridges, schools, hospitals, and police and fire stations are some of the structures covered by this rule.
Who needs those?

(No one, in a nuclear wasteland.)

What have you been reading that we need to resist today?

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