Teaching Students the Truth About Police

by Christopher Paslay

Spreading propaganda about law enforcement is no way to improve relations between communities and cops.

Recently, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors introduced new language for criminals, changing “convicted felon” to “justice-involved person,” and juvenile “delinquent” to a “young person with justice system involvement,” or a “young person impacted by the juvenile justice system.”

“We don’t want people to be forever labeled for the worst things that they have done,” Supervisor Matt Haney told the San Francisco Chronicle. “We want them ultimately to become contributing citizens, and referring to them as felons is like a scarlet letter that they can never get away from.”

Haney’s reasoning makes some sense.  From both a psychological and sociological standpoint, using words with positive connotations — or, by contrast, refraining from using words with negative connotations — does affect perception, and can have an impact on behavior.  

When it comes to social justice, the influence of perception on individual behavior is taken very seriously. This may explain why unfavorable facts and data about minority groups — such as father absenteeism and out-of-wedlock births — are regularly ignored by liberals and the mainstream media.  Putting forward mainly positive images of African Americans, the thinking goes, will limit negative stereotypes, thus creating a strictly positive social perception of the black community which in turn will influence behavior and help bring about equality and justice.          

Curiously, this same approach isn’t used when dealing with the challenges facing America’s police departments.  When it comes to cops, liberals and their media allies prefer using words with negative connotations, and surprisingly, do much to portray police in a negative light.  Apparently, trying to stay positive in order to prevent negative stereotypes and inflammatory misconceptions now takes a back seat to highlighting negligence and transgressions.  But the campaign to disparage America’s cops goes beyond simply pointing out their mistakes: liberals go the extra mile, using propaganda and flat out falsehoods to systematically smear our country’s law enforcement officers.       

On August 9th, the fifth anniversary of Michael Brown’s death, Democrat presidential candidate Kamala Harris tweeted, “Michael Brown’s murder forever changed Ferguson and America. His tragic death sparked a desperately needed conversation and a nationwide movement.”  Elizabeth Warren did the same thing, tweeting: “5 years ago Michael Brown was murdered by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Michael was unarmed yet he was shot 6 times.”

The fact that two high profile women such as Harris and Warren would so irresponsibly misrepresent the facts of Brown’s death is cause for concern.  Brown wasn’t murdered by a police officer.  After a thorough investigation by Attorney General Eric Holder and the Obama Justice Department, it was determined that Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot Brown in self-defense; the DOJ didn’t prosecute and Wilson wasn’t indicted.  As cited in the DOJ’s official report, when Wilson tried to stop the six-foot-four, 290-pound Michael Brown (who was walking down the middle of the street after stealing a box of cigarillos and assaulting a store owner), Brown shoved Officer Wilson back into his patrol car, punched him in the face, and tried to take his gun.  The gun went off, hitting Brown in the hand, and Brown ran.  When Officer Wilson got out of his car and ordered Brown to stop, the 290-pound man turned around, charged at Wilson, and was ultimately shot and killed. 

Incredibly, the website PolitiFact, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for fact checking, refused to issue a ruling on whether Harris and Brown made a false claim when they used the word murdered.  “Because the significance of Harris’ and Warrens’ use of the word is open to some dispute, we won’t be rating their tweets on the Truth-O-Meter,” the fact check website wrote.

On August 16, the Los Angeles Times published an article with much of the same divisive anti-police undertones.  Headlined, “Getting killed by police is a leading cause of death for young black men in America,” the article proceeded to cherry pick data and misrepresent information to portray cops in the worst light possible.  As PJ Media writer Jack Dunphy pointed out:

Most readers of course will not delve beyond the headline, but even those who do will not encounter anything resembling journalism as it was once practiced. Rather, they’ll find more than 1,400 words devoted to the racial-grievance agenda that drives so much of what appears in the Los Angeles Times.  And worse, not only is journalism itself perverted with the story, but so is science, for the story is presented as such on the page and was written by Amina Khan, who is billed on the paper’s website as a “science writer.”

But there is little that is scientific about Khan’s article.  Although she provides a plethora of information to suggest that police are disproportionally violent toward minorities — and that such violence is a public health problem that has toxic effects on the physical and mental health of minority communities — Khan conveniently fails to fully explore the root causes of such violence, relying on the logical fallacy correlation implies causation, which is a favorite of liberals when trying to slander law enforcement and conjure up resentment against cops.     

But correlation doesn’t imply causation, and when taking all available information into consideration, the truth becomes clear: police aren’t racist. In fact, a police officer is 18 times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.  Amina Khan, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren would be wise to watch the PragerU video “Are the Police Racist?”, which, unlike the half-truths put out by dishonest liberals, gives the full picture of the issues facing cops and minority communities.  Amazingly, this video is currently on YouTube’s “restricted” list, which means it will be filtered from being watched in schools and libraries.  When Dennis Prager filed a formal complaint and demanded to know why, YouTube stated that this video wasn’t “appropriate for the younger audiences.”  Prager’s lawyers have in turn sued YouTube and Google.  (Click here to watch this 5 minute video.)    

Here are some factual excerpts from the video not mentioned by the mainstream media:

A recent “deadly force” study by Washington State University researcher Lois James found that police officers were less likely to shoot unarmed black suspects than unarmed white or Hispanic ones in simulated threat scenarios. Harvard economics professor Roland Fryer analyzed more than 1,000 officer-involved shootings across the country. He concluded that there is zero evidence of racial bias in police shootings. In Houston, he found that blacks were 24 percent less likely than whites to be shot by officers even though the suspects were armed or violent.

Or this eye-popping statistic:

An analysis of the Washington Post’s Police Shooting Database and of Federal Crime Statistics reveals that fully 12 percent of all whites and Hispanics who die of homicide are killed by cops. By contrast, only four percent of black homicide victims are killed by cops.

Or these statistics, which explain why minorities are disproportionally targeted by cops: 

According to the most recent study by the Department of Justice, although blacks were only about 15 percent of the population in the 75 largest counties in the US, they were charged with 62 percent of all robberies, 57 percent of murders and 45 percent of assaults. In New York City, blacks commit over three-quarters of all shootings, though they are only 23 percent of the city’s population. Whites, by contrast, commit under two percent of all shootings in the city, though they are 34 percent of the population. New York’s crime disparities are repeated in virtually every racially diverse city in America. The real problem facing inner-city black communities today is not the police but criminals.

Of course, Los Angeles Times “science” writer Amina Khan didn’t mention these statistics.  Social justice warriors like Khan never do. Why?  Because just like in San Francisco, labeling someone a “felon” is like “a scarlet letter that they can never get away from,” and may lead to negative stereotypes.  Better to silence those who bring up the other side of the argument.  Just ask Kathy Zhu, who was stripped of her 2019 Miss Michigan crown because she had the nerve to tweet this about black murder rates: “Did you know that the majority of black deaths are caused by other blacks?  Fix problems within your own community first before blaming others.”

The real tragedy here is not that America’s police are being unfairly labeled racist, or that the divide between cops and communities may be widening as a result (or that people like Dennis Prager and Kathy Zhu are being silenced for speaking the truth), but that good, law abiding folks living in many minority communities are being harmed by the irresponsible rhetoric of the Los Angeles Times, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren.  As stated in the PragerU video about supposed racist cops:

Police officers are backing off of proactive policing in black neighborhoods thanks to the false narrative that police officers are infected with homicidal bias. As a result, violent crime is going up, in cities with large black populations, homicides in 2015 rose anywhere from 54 percent in Washington DC to 90 percent in Cleveland. Overall, in the nation’s 56 largest cities, homicides in 2015 rose 17 percent, a nearly unprecedented one-year spike.

If we truly want to save lives and improve relations between communities and police, it’s time to end the double standard and start holding both sides accountable in a fair, proactive manner. 


The ‘Anti-Hate’ Group That Is a Hate Group

Click to watch video.

by Karl Zinsmeister

The masterminds behind the Southern Poverty Law Center aren’t eliminating hate. They are fueling it.

Shutting down people you don’t agree with is about as un-American as you can get. Rigorous debate, honest discussion, open exchange of ideas—that’s the American way. But free thinking and speech are threatened today by a group with a sweet-sounding name that conceals a nefarious purpose. This group is called the Southern Poverty Law Center, or SPLC.

Originally founded as a civil-rights law firm in 1971, the SPLC reinvented itself in the mid-‘80s as a political attack group. Every year now it produces a new list of people and charities it claims are “extremists” and “haters.”  Aided by glowing coverage from the establishment media, the SPLC’s hate list has become a weapon for taking individuals and groups they disagree with and tarring them with ugly associations.

The SPLC employs a two-pronged strategy: First,  find a handful of crazies with barely any followers, no address, and no staff, and blow them up into a dangerous movement— proof that there are neo-Nazis lurking everywhere. On their notorious “Hate Map,” the SPLC lists 917 separate hate groups in the U.S.! No one has even heard of more than a handful of them. The second strategy of the SPLC is to undermine legitimate political voices that they oppose by associating them with extremists like the KKK.

Take the charity known as the Alliance Defending Freedom. The SPLC lists them as a “hate group.” Is that fair? Well, the ADF has a network of 3,000 attorneys from all across the U.S. who’ve donated more than a million volunteer hours in defense of religious liberty. They’ve had a role in 49 victories at the U.S. Supreme Court. Putting the Alliance Defending Freedom on a list with 130 Ku Klux Klan chapters is not only wrong, it’s malicious.

According to the SPLC, one of the most influential social scientists in the U.S.— Charles Murray—is a, quote, “white nationalist.” Ayaan Hirsi Ali, perhaps the most eloquent spokesperson for the rights of Muslim women, is, to the SPLC, a “toxic… anti-Muslim extremist.”

Scores of other individuals and charities active in mainstream conservative or religious causes have likewise been branded by the Southern Poverty Law Center as threats to society. Mind you, it is entirely fair to disagree with any of those folks. But it is utterly unfair to call them haters or extremists. The largest category listed by the SPLC as extremists—with 623 entries—covers groups like the Tea Party organizations that are wary of centralized government. Last time we checked, favoring smaller government was a mainstream and perfectly honorable American tradition.

What is not honorable is the course prescribed by a leader of the SPLC, Mark Potok, who was caught on video proclaiming the organization’s true intentions. He told a group of supporters, quote, “the press will describe us as ‘monitoring hate groups’…. I want to say plainly that our aim in life is to destroy these groups, to completely destroy them.” Portraying someone with political views different from your own as a public menace is bullying. And it’s a dangerous game. Instead of reducing hate and violence, the SPLC’s name-calling directly incites it.

In March 2017, Charles Murray was trying to discuss his acclaimed book Coming Apart at Middlebury College when he was violently attacked by protesters inflamed by the SPLC’s labeling of him as a racist. A professor escorting Murray ended up in the hospital.  In 2012, a gunman attempted mass murder at the Family Research Council, and failed only because the first man he shot managed to disarm him. The attacker told the police he acted because the SPLC had listed the Family Research Council as a hate group. It’s a vicious irony: while promoting itself as a monitor of “hate groups,” the SPLC has, in practice, become a fomenter of hate.

Yet the group rolls on, bigger than ever. What keeps them going? For one thing, the establishment media constantly quote them. Scare stories about right-wing storm-troopers are a sure way to attract eyeballs, and fit nicely with the media’s own preconceptions of the “dangerous reactionaries” lurking out there in middle America.

Second, alarmism is a great fundraising technique. Convincing people there are fascists everywhere has turned the SPLC into a cash machine. Last year, the group hustled $50 million dollars out of frightened liberal donors, adding to the $368 million dollars of assets they were already sitting on.

So, the next time you see the Southern Poverty Law Center quoted in the news, just remember: the masterminds behind the SPLC aren’t eliminating hate. They are fueling it.

Karl Zinsmeister is an author, journalist, and served in the West Wing as President George W. Bush’s chief domestic policy adviser. The above transcript was reprinted from Prager University.

There’s No ‘White’ in Trump’s Nationalism

by Christopher Paslay

(Note: A version of this article was published on August 5th on the American Thinker.)

Predictably, Democrats and the mainstream media have wasted no time using the El Paso massacre to disingenuously inject the word “white” into Trump’s pro-American nationalism.

Mark Twain once said, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter — ‘tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”

Donald Trump is a nationalist who supports all things American, and has admitted as much.  What he is not is a white nationalist — a detail that, like a decimal point, seems minor on the surface yet really is the difference between a lightening bug and lightening. Yet Democrats and the hard left continue to play with lightening, incessantly labeling Trump a white nationalist despite knowing how such language could be misperceived by legitimate neo-Nazis and white supremacist groups in America, possibly emboldening them to act out.

Predictably, Democrats and the mainstream media have wasted no time using the El Paso massacre to disingenuously inject the word white into Trump’s pro-American nationalism.  

“The President of the United States is condoning white nationalism,” South Bend Mayor and presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said of the attack.  “White nationalism is one of the evils that is motivating and inspiring at least some people to go kill Americans. The president has a responsibility to nip this in the bud.”

Interestingly, it’s the Democrats that want to keep white nationalism alive in the White House, as Trump has nipped this in the bud, many times.  In August of 2017, when violence started to escalate during a white supremacy rally in Charlottesville, Va., Trump tweeted, “We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Let’s come together as one!”  Later, after a 32-year-old female was hit and killed by a white nationalist’s car that ran into counterprotesters, Trump made the following statement: “We condemn in the strongest most possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. On many sides.”

Trump’s short impromptu response — made during televised remarks about a bill signing already underway — suggested it takes two to tango, and failed to specifically condemn white nationalism, although Trump and White House officials insisted this was implied in Trump’s original tweet. But this was not good enough for those Trump haters who so desperately wanted to see America’s highest office stained by white supremacy.  After claiming Trump was himself a white nationalist or at the very least a neo-Nazi apologist, Trump publicly condemned such hate groups and their sympathizers, stating, “Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups.”

A White House official even clarified Trump’s initial remarks. “The President said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry, and hatred,” the statement said. “Of course that includes white supremacists, KKK, Neo-Nazi, and all extremist groups. He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together.”

What Democrats should have done at this point was back President Trump, forever putting to rest the ridiculous notion that white supremacist hate groups have an ally in the White House.  Instead they did the opposite.  They rallied together with the mainstream media to create the narrative that Trump was indeed a vicious racist, that yes, the President of the United States was a white supremacist, and that he welcomed — even encouraged — such displays of hatred and intolerance. 

Of course Trump did not, and Democrats and the hard left knew as much.  Trump is an American nationalist, not a white nationalist, the former being a patriot who puts the interests of America and all its citizens first, the latter being a bigot who uses violence and fear to preach and establish white supremacy.  Because Democrats have no solid platform of their own heading into 2020, they must use a scorched earth approach, bending over backwards to frame everything Trump says and does as “racist” and thus evidence of him being a “white nationalist.”  

“The first order of business to reduce white nationalism is to eliminate white nationalism in our White House,” Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee said after the El Paso shooting. “The sentiments of fear and division, and outright racism, that this president has emboldened ought to be sickening to anyone.” Inslee went on to say that fear and division are “Donald Trump’s stock-in-trade,” and that Trump owed it to the country to heal its historic racial wounds.    

But how can Trump or anyone else heal racial wounds when people like Inslee continue to rip these wounds wide open by constantly framing everything in terms of race, and by disingenuously referring to America’s president as a “white nationalist,” whereby providing legitimate hate groups with the misconception that they have a partner in the White House?       

Wajahat Ali, a journalist for Al Jazeera America and former consultant for the U.S. State Department under Obama, recently mocked the Republican party and slammed Trump as a white nationalist, too: 

“I think the Republican Party is the most diverse party on Earth. When I look at the Republican Party I see every shade of white under the sun, I see white men, old white men, young white men, white men with facial hair, some white men with fades. I even see some white women. What I don’t see are people of color. Why? Because Donald Trump is a racist. He’s a racist president and he’s promoting a white nationalist ideology.”

Of course it’s Ali who’s the racist, using skin color to stereotype Republicans and mock white people.  Still, what on earth is this “white nationalist ideology” that Trump supposedly espouses, anyway?  Trump criticizes The Squad for bad mouthing America, inviting them to go to struggling countries like Somalia — fix them up — and then come back and let us know how it’s done.  Yet somehow Trump is a bigot and white nationalist who told the congresswomen to go back where they came from, as if they weren’t welcomed in the U.S. because they weren’t white enough. Not only was race not mentioned by anyone except Democrats, but the invitation to come back was conveniently dropped.  

Trump criticizes Elijah Cummings because Baltimore is overrun with rats and urban blight, bringing attention to an area of America neglected by Cummings and the Democrats for decades, and Trump’s an intolerant bigot.  Again, no mention of race anywhere, except from liberals themselves. 

Trump calls for a merit-based immigration policy, one that accepts people who have viable skills and the ability to assimilate to American culture and values, and the left insists he’s a white nationalist, favoring white countries over nonwhite ones.  Who bought up skin color?  Not President Trump, but the race-obsessed left.           

Ironically, it’s the Democrats who want white nationalism in the White House, not Trump and his conservative supporters.  It’s high time they take responsibility for their dangerous and irresponsible rhetoric, before they embolden more hate groups to act out. 

The Charlottesville Lie

Click to watch video.

by Steve Cortes

President Trump never called neo-Nazis “very fine people.”  Tragically, the media spread a malicious lie that has poisoned our national dialogue ever since.

Politicians lie.  We all know that.  That is not an indictment of all politicians—it’s simply part of the game. It’s our job, as informed citizens, to figure out the truth. And that’s where journalists and the media come in. They are supposed to help us ferret out fact from fiction. So when they get a fact wrong, that’s bad.  When they get a fact wrong, know it’s wrong, and don’t correct it, that’s worse. That’s not getting a fact wrong; that’s a lie. And that’s journalistic malfeasance.

The best (or maybe worst) example of this followed a presidential press conference at Trump Tower on Tuesday, August 15, 2017. You remember what happened that previous weekend: A group of white supremacists held a “white pride” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The ostensible reason was to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. 

An Antifa group showed up to counter-protest. The mayor and the police were totally unprepared to deal with the violence that ensued. Tragically, a young woman, Heather Heyer, was run over and killed by a neo-Nazi.

The press conference itself was raucous. The media was antagonistic. The president was combative.  Out of it all, one phrase eclipsed the thousands of words exchanged: The media reported that President Trump described neo-Nazis as “very fine people.”  Only, he didn’t. In fact, he didn’t even hint at it. Just the opposite: he condemned the neo-Nazis in no uncertain terms. So then, who were the “fine people” he mentioned? The answer: He was referring to another group of Charlottesville demonstrators who came out that weekend—protestors who wanted the Robert E. Lee statue removed and protestors who wanted to keep the statue and restore the park’s original name. 

This is what President Trump said about those peaceful protestors: “You also had some very fine people on both sides. . . .  You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of—to them—a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.”  A few moments later, in case there would be any misunderstanding, he makes his meaning even more explicit.  “…I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists. They should be condemned totally.”

Lest you have any doubts that good people were in Charlottesville to protest the removal of the

Robert E Lee statue, the New York Times confirmed it in a story they published the next day, August 16.  “’Good people can go to Charlottesville,’ said Michelle Piercy, a night shift worker at a Wichita, Kansas retirement home, who drove all night with a conservative group that opposed the planned removal of a statue of the Confederate general Robert E. Lee. After listening to Mr. Trump on Tuesday, she said it was as if he had channeled her and her friends… who had no interest in standing with Nazis or white supremacists…”

There’s another simple test that we can employ to prove that the president was not referring to the neo-Nazis as “fine people.” It’s so obvious, it’s painful to mention: The president’s daughter and son-in-law are Orthodox Jews. His grandchildren are Jewish.  And if that is still not enough to convince you, how about this: Does anyone believe that Donald Trump thinks there are “good” Antifa, the leftist thugs who were counter-protesting the neo-Nazi thugs? After all, if those two groups were the only ones involved, and there were “fine people on both sides,” that means the president believed that there were fine Antifa people.

Even MSNBC should have found that hard to swallow.

Again, the “very fine people on both sides” President Trump described at the press conference were the people who wanted to remove the Robert E. Lee statue and the people who wanted to keep it. Both of these groups were non-violent protesters—fine people with very different ideological views.  The scandal of Charlottesville is not what President Trump said about neo-Nazis. It’s what the media said President Trump said about neo-Nazis. It’s a scandal because news reporting is supposed to be about gathering facts, not promoting an agenda.

In Charlottesville, they got it exactly backwards. We have been living with the consequences ever since.  Plainly put: ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR, the New York Times, the Washington Post and the others spread a malicious lie that has poisoned our national dialogue.  They should apologize to the American people for what they have done. 

Don’t hold your breath.  Actually, I have a better idea. Let out a big sigh of relief.  Because now you know the truth.

Steve Cortes is a CNN political commentator and columnist for Real Clear Politics.  The above transcript was reprinted from PragerU

In Defense of Penn Law Professor Amy Wax

by Christopher Paslay

Supporting an immigration policy based on merit that accepts people from countries whose citizens have the ability to assimilate to American culture and values isn’t racist; it’s simply good policy.

(Note: A version of this article was published July 28th on the American Thinker.)

In 2001, Sonia Sotomayor said in a speech at Berkeley Law, “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”  

Defending diversity — taking the position that things would be better off with more nonwhites and fewer whites — is at the very core of the toxic identity politics plaguing America today.  The hard left doesn’t want to nominate another white male for president in 2020, or in the words of Politico, “a candidate that looks like Bernie or Joe.” In fact, according to most liberals, police departments would be better off with more nonwhites and fewer whites, as would fire departmentsschool districtssmall businessesHollywood, Major League BaseballU.S. Congress, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, to name a few places.    

Whether this race-based view of progress is ultimately true is debatable.  What’s not is the fact that it’s perfectly okay to call for more diversity in America — to publicly state things would be better off with more nonwhites and less whites.  

Yet when Penn law professor Amy Wax mentioned the same premise only in reverse — that our country would be better off with more whites and fewer nonwhites— liberals had a complete meltdown; the media vilified her as an intolerant racist, and after hundreds of Penn students signed a petition calling for Wax to be relieved of all teaching duties, Penn Law School issued a statement condemning her words.   

To be fair to Professor Wax, she doesn’t advocate whites over nonwhites.  But this didn’t stop Vox writer Zack Beauchamp, who was covering the National Conservatism conference where Wax was presenting a lecture on immigration, from creating this misunderstanding.  According to Beauchamp’s recent article:

One panel on immigration — a major topic throughout the conference — stood out in particular. University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax, no stranger to culture-war controversies, used her talk to argue for an immigration policy that would favor immigrants from Western countries over non-Western ones — “in effect,” she said, “taking the position that our country will be better off with more whites and fewer nonwhites.” She believes this is not racist because her view is “grounded firmly in cultural concerns — doesn’t rely on race at all.”

Beauchamp’s article went viral, prompting those who attended the convention to jump to Wax’s defense.  Yoram Hazony, an Israeli conservative, accused Beauchamp of misrepresenting Wax’s position.  Although Hazony didn’t take a stance on Wax’s position, he stated on Twitter: 

Zack misunderstood this passage from Wax’s paper, and Wax did not say what he claims she said. Wax advocated an immigration policy that favors immigrants with cultural affinities to the U.S. She emphasized that the position she was defending “doesn’t rely on race at all.”

Beauchamp insisted Hazony’s accusation was false, and that he accurately reported Wax’s comments. Beauchamp wrote:

But more important — and revealing — than his allegation of inaccuracy was his take on Wax’s argument. Stressing that he didn’t have a “position on Wax’s position,” he assailed the cries of racism aimed at Wax since she did not propose racial quotas explicitly and rooted her views in culture rather than biology.

The alarming thing about Beauchamp’s rush to vilify Wax is not just the hypocrisy of the matter (the fact that there exists a double standard in regards to “racism” among whites and nonwhites), but also the fact that Beauchamp is selectively interpreting Wax’s lecture on nationalism; a full transcript of Wax’s lecture was published by the Federalist and can be found here.      

Beauchamp is wrong to label Wax a “racist,” and his selective excerpt from her lengthy presentation — purposefully taken out of context at a time when the full transcript wasn’t available to the public — proves that Beauchamp lacks professionalism and basic journalistic integrity.  For those who take the time to read Penn Law professor Amy Wax’s full lecture, they’ll find that Wax analyzes the pros and cons of nationalism, but is especially drawn to a brand she calls “cultural distance nationalism.”  

“According to this view,” Wax stated, “we are better off if our country is dominated numerically, demographically, politically — at least in fact, if not formally — by people from the First World, from the West, than by people from countries that have failed to advance.”  In other words, Wax talks about a kind of immigration that favors people from technologically advanced countries with strong economies over countries that are poor and destitute, not only because immigrants from these countries may have more to offer America in terms of skills, but also because it may be easier for them to assimilate to American culture and values.  

Which leads to the part of Wax’s lecture that Beauchamp strategically singled out for scrutiny: 

Perhaps the most important reason that the cultural case for limited immigration remains underexplored has to do with that bête noire, race. Let us be candid: Europe and the First World, to which the United States belongs, remain mostly white for now. And the Third World, although mixed, contains a lot of nonwhite people. Embracing cultural distance, cultural distance nationalism, means in effect taking the position that our country will be better off with more whites and fewer nonwhites.

Well, that is the result, anyway. So even if our immigration philosophy is grounded firmly in cultural concerns — doesn’t rely on race at all — and no matter how many times we repeat the mantra that “correlation is not causation,” these racial dimensions are enough to spook conservatives. As a result, today we have an immigration policy driven by fear: the fear of being accused of racism, white supremacy, xenophobia. Which has cowed and paralyzed opinion leaders, policymakers, politicians across the spectrum, and impeded their ability to think clearly.

Is Wax advocating a kind of immigration based on race that calls for whites over nonwhites? Absolutely not.  She’s merely presenting a lecture that analyzes immigration based on culture and merit — giving preference to immigrants from countries with stable economies that provide their citizens with useful skills and the ability to assimilate to American values.  In fact, she doesn’t believe that “our country will be better off with more whites and fewer nonwhites,” but suggests this is an inevitable side effect of cultural distance nationalism — a side effect that will be exploited by people who want to shut down conservatives’ immigration policy debate and accuse them of racism, white supremacy, and xenophobia.          

Which is exactly what Zack Beauchamp has done.  He’s misrepresented Wax’s words in an effort to brand conservatives as racist and to bully people like professor Wax into silence, and tragically he’s succeeded. But supporting an immigration policy based on merit that accepts people from countries whose citizens have the ability to assimilate to American culture and values isn’t racist; it’s simply good policy.  

The Duplicitous Mangling of Trump’s Words

Marian Kamensky / Austria

by Christopher Paslay

The purposeful misrepresentation of Trump by the mainstream media is both shameful and dangerous.     

In July of 2016, while Hillary Clinton was doing damage control at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia after the world found out she rigged her own primary, Trump said sarcastically during a press conference, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing, I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” 

It was obviously a joke, and Trump said so.  But the American media, out to destroy Trump’s candidacy, pretended it wasn’t. The press went bananas, calling Trump a traitor and a spy and demanding that he be tried for treason.  It was quite disturbing, the fact that seasoned journalists would suddenly fail to understand sarcasm.  But fail to understand it they did.

A similar thing happened in August of 2017.  When violence started to escalate during a white supremacy rally in Charlottesville, Va., Trump tweeted, “We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Let’s come together as one!”  Later, after a 32-year-old female was hit and killed by a white nationalist’s car that ran into counterprotesters, Trump made the following statement: “We condemn in the strongest most possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. On many sides.”

Because Trump’s short impromptu response – made during televised remarks about a bill signing already underway – failed to specifically condemn white nationalism, this could only mean one thing: Trump was defending white nationalists, or was perhaps even a white nationalist himself.  Again, the media went bonkers with such accusations, even after Trump later clarified his statement by explaining that yes, such hatred from neo-Nazis was wrong.  Interestingly, such standards weren’t applied to President Obama when he failed to specifically condemn Islamic extremism in the Fort Hood terrorist attack that killed 13 people; no one in the mainstream media suggested Obama was a Muslim terrorist, or was defending Islamic extremism.      

But this was the kind of media Donald Trump was facing when he decided to run for president in June of 2015.  A media that was not only careless with their facts and reporting, but a media that was willfully duplicitous in their coverage – a collection of “advocacy” journalists with little integrity, who purposefully misrepresented information for political reasons.

The purposeful misrepresentation of Trump by the mainstream media is both shameful and dangerous.  Manipulating information to provoke resentment is like playing with fire.  Case in point: Travon Martin.  

In February of 2012, a nearly six-foot tall, 17-year-old black kid named Trayvon Martin sucker-punched a five-foot-seven Hispanic man named George Zimmerman because Zimmerman was following him around his development in the rain.  After knocking Zimmerman to the ground (whom Martin described as a “creepy-ass cracker”), Martin proceeded to ground-and-pound Zimmerman’s head off the cement mixed martial arts style (according to eye-witnesses at Zimmerman’s trial).  But then something unexpected happened: Zimmerman managed to pull out his gun and shoot Martin in the chest.           

The media reported the tragedy this way: Racist white man kills black middle school child for carrying a bag of Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea.  CNN reported that Zimmerman called Martin a “coon,” but later corrected the story, explaining that Zimmerman simply had said it was “cold.”  ABC News reported that there were no visible cuts or lacerations on Zimmerman’s head (based on grainy cellphone footage falsely listed as a “security camera” at the police station), but later retracted the story, as medical evidence showed there were indeed major cuts and bruises on his scalp.  And NBC News, using a nonemergency 911 call that was selectively edited by news producers, played an audio to show that the “white-Hispanic” Zimmerman was indeed a racist.    

President Obama, being biracial himself, was in the perfect position to be a neutral arbitrator, and could have attempted to unify the country.  Instead he took sides, stating, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” and later saying, “I could have been Trayvon,” the latter statement being totally ridiculous; Obama was raised by his affluent white grandparents, and given the best education money could buy.  Still, President Obama, along with his advisor on race relations, Al Sharpton (who was caught in 1987 faking a race crime with Tawana Brawley), used the tragedy to galvanize voters for the upcoming election and stoke racial tension, sparking riots and violent protests across many cities in America.       

Then there was Michael Brown.  In August of 2014, a six-foot-four, 290-pound Michael Brown stole a box of cigarillos and assaulted a store owner.  When Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson tried to stop Brown (who was walking down the middle of the street), Brown shoved Officer Wilson back into his patrol car, punched him in the face, and tried to take his gun. The gun went off, hitting Brown in the hand, and Brown ran.  When Officer Wilson got out of his car and ordered Brown to stop, the 290-pound man turned around, charged at Wilson, and was ultimately shot and killed.      

The media reported the tragedy this way: Racist white cop kills unarmed black man execution style in the street.  Soon came the phony phrase “hands up, don’t shoot,” which was based on a completely fabricated version of events.  But the media made no attempt to verify any information, and simply ran with the bogus account of the tragedy, prompting Time to put an unrelated picture of a young black male kneeling in the street with his hands up on the cover of their magazine, with the caption, “The Tragedy of Ferguson.”       

President Obama, along with his advisor on race relations, Al Sharpton (who never paid restitution for defaming Steven A. Pagones in the Tawana Brawley case until 2001), again used the tragedy to galvanize voters for the upcoming midterm election and stoke racial tension, sparking riots and violent protests in a number of cities across America.

Although the intensity of racial unrest under President Trump pales in comparison to the kind of rage fermented under Obama (remember also the killing of the five Dallas police officers during the Black Lives Matter Rally in 2016), today’s media consistently proclaims Trump’s America is more racist and hateful than ever.  Yet besides the violence perpetrated by the hard-left group Antifa – and the annoying activist mobs that pop up after things don’t go the way of the Democrats – there has been no major riot under Trump; not a single city has been destroyed like Baltimore in 2015 or Ferguson in 2014.      

Not that the media isn’t trying their damnedest to incite racial unrest and provoke resentment against Trump.  The constant reference to Trump’s “family separation policy” on the border is one example (Trump signed an executive order to stop the law that requires minors to be detained separately from adults), and the recent manipulation of Trump’s “go back home” tweets is another.

Here were Trump’s initial tweets concerning The Squad: 

So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!

Although only one member of The Squad wasn’t born in the United States (Ilhan Omar was born in Somalia), this still doesn’t excuse the willful misrepresentation of the tweets by the media. Notice that’s there’s two parts: Trump invites the congresswomen to go back to their home countries, and he also invites them to come back, as well.  It’s the second part of the tweet that the media (and the Democrats) conveniently ignore.  Trump is basically saying, Put your money where your mouth is. In other words, if you want to constantly criticize the way I do things, let’s see you do better.  Go to the broken places where you come from (like Somalia), fix them, and then COME BACK TO AMERICA and tell us how it’s done.  That’s what Trump tweeted.

Of course, that’s not how the media is spinning it.  The press, in conjunction with The Squad and fellow Democrats, are claiming the tweet was a racist call by Trump for the women to get out of the country and “go back” to where they came from (notice the phrase “go back” is always isolated in quotes and taken out of the context of the rest of the tweet), because they’re not really American, and they’re not really welcome here.          

But that’s not at all what Trump meant.  And even when he clarified his statement in a press conference, the mainstream media still kept the original spin, proving they care more about maligning Trump than accurate reporting.  

This is exactly what is meant by the term fake news.   It’s irresponsible, shameful, and very dangerous.

‘The Squad’ Should Apologize to Trump, America, and Israel

The following is an excerpt from my commentary in today’s American Thinker:

During the recent spat between President Trump and “The Squad” – Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts – Trump asked when the four women would atone for their anti-American and anti-Semitic behavior.  Early Monday morning, Trump tweeted:        

“When will the Radical Left Congresswomen apologize to our Country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used, and the terrible things they have said.  So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions!”

For Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, this involves making amends for disparaging the officers of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) – the men and women who risk their lives to keep both Americans and immigrants safe – as well as asking forgiveness for disrespecting the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust.

“The U.S. is running concentration camps on our southern border and that is exactly what they are. That is exactly what they are. They are concentration camps,” Ocasio-Cortez said in an Instagram video.  “The fact that concentration camps are now an institutionalized practice in the Home of the Free is extraordinarily disturbing and we need to do something about it.”

Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Mark Morgan was insulted by the comment.  “It’s completely inappropriate, it’s reckless, it’s irresponsible, it’s misinformed, and it’s flat out wrong,” Morgan said in an interview.  Josh Holmes, former chief of staff for Mitch McConnell, called Ocasio-Cortez’s comments “an alarming and dangerous false equivalence that suggests a breathtaking lack of appreciation for the unparalleled evil of the Holocaust.”

Ilhan Omar must also apologize.  In January Omar tweeted that Israel had “hypnotized the world,” and later stated that American support for Israel was “all about the Benjamins” and involved “allegiance” to a foreign country. As David French wrote in the National Review, “Each of these statements represents a classic anti-Semitic trope, and the latter statements were made after she came under fire for her previous comments. She knew she was under scrutiny and yet doubled down.” 

At a CAIR event in the spring, Omar callously described the 9/11 terrorist attacks as “some people did something,” which sparked a large pro-Israel protest; according to an article in the National Review, CAIR was listed by the Department of Justice as an unindicted co-conspirator in funneling millions of dollars to Hamas, although to this day CAIR vehemently denies this.  

Rashida Tlaib, too, must make amends for her callous comments.  Last June she tweeted, “ICE is terrorizing our communities with zero accountability. ICE is a recent invention that makes our neighborhoods less safe, vindictively and cruelly tearing families apart.  I’m proud to stand with the growing movement to #AbolishICE!”

Incredibly, just hours after being sworn in, Tlaib said in reference to President Trump, “When your son looks at you and said ‘Mamma, look, you won — bullies don’t win.’ And I said, ‘Baby they don’t, because we’re gonna go in there and we’re gonna impeach the motherf**ker!’” . . .

To continuing reading the full article, please click here.

Elizabeth Warren Attends Radical Trump-Bashing Convention in Philadelphia

by Christopher Paslay

Most 2020 Democratic candidates stayed clear of the hard-left event.  Not so for Elizabeth Warren.  

Netroots Nation, which hosts the largest annual agitprop convention for progressives who hate Trump, the Koch Brothers, and now Nancy Pelosi, set up shop this past week at the Convention Center in Philadelphia.  The three-day event, which took place from July 11 – 13, offered more than 70 panel discussions and 60 hands-on training sessions, along with progressive film screenings, caucuses, networking opportunities, and social events.  

According to Real Clear Politics:

Just four Democratic hopefuls traveled to the City of Brotherly Love to address the progressive faithful Saturday at Netroots Nation. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee made the trip. All rank at less than 1% support in the polls. The only top-tier candidate to attend: Sen. Elizabeth Warren. 

The fact that only a handful of presidential candidates attended the convention suggests there’s a clear fracture between the more mainstream members of the party, like Joe Biden, and the hard-left Democrats, like Warren.

Still, it was quite a convention, at least according to the Netroots Nation online agenda.  On Thursday morning, angry activists were invited to begin the day by doing some light yoga to help channel their rage against an oppressive, racist America, where unemployment rates for minorities are at an all-time low.  After some breathing and relaxation exercises, the program turned its attention to a panel discussion on impeaching Trump.  “No greater modern threat exists to modern American democracy than the administration of Donald Trump,” the agenda description read, detailing how Trump was responsible for voter suppression and the appointments of lower court and Supreme Court judges “with little to no regard to the law.”  

The Trump bashing workshop was just one of many offerings.  In another room, there was a separate panel discussion about how big tech is inherently racist.  According to the agenda

Large corporations and our government are using digital tools that further cement a white racial hierarchy in our society in the pursuit of profits and political power.  Companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google are providing a megaphone for racists to spread hate speech and algorithms that discriminate against people of color. Government agencies are also using the tools of surveillance to criminalize communities of color. 

After a short break, where activists were encouraged to gather their morning coffee and recharge for more fear-mongering and race-baiting, there was a lecture on how to use the “Daily Action” app to shut down streets, and how to create resistance and rapid response through the use of digital media.  Still another morning training was titled “How the Future is Organizing Us: They’re Texting in Class,” a program designed to recruit and teach youth “to utilize the online tools that are a part of their daily life” for progressive causes and additional agitprop campaigns. 

At 11:20 a.m., there was a “mid-day mindfulness moment,” moderated by MoveOn strategist Reggie Hubbard, who claimed to “simplify chaos, build and nurture relationships, inspire others and execute stated objectives while maintaining calm focus and a positive attitude.”

The afternoon portion was rife with pandering to identity groups, like the screening and discussion of the film “Rigged: The Voter Suppression Playbook,” which insisted voter ID laws were oppressive, and that updating voter rolls (removing the names of people who have moved or who are dead) was racist.  Then there was “Strategies and Tactics for Targeting Corporations—and Winning,” which taught activists how to harass companies to bring about change.  “Want to use social media, ads and direct action to disrupt and annoy companies?” the training description asked.  For those curious about “brand-jamming, astroturfing and other clever tactics,” this was the workshop for you.  

Then there was this panel discussion: “Can We Evict the Bigots from Congress Once and For All?”  This forum claimed to shed light on why “notoriously bigoted politicians seem weaker than ever,” and how activists could remove “some of the most entrenched bigots in Congress,” like Ted Cruz, Steve King, Duncan Hunter, Mark Harris, and Dave Brat.  

At 5:00 p.m. was the opening keynote address, given by several progressive speakers, one of whom was Alicia Garza, co-creator of Black Lives Matter, the organization that praised cop-killer Assata Shakur and human rights violator Fidel Castro.  

To end the night, there was the “Laughing Liberally Comedy Jam” and “Netroots After Dark: Sex, Politics and Karaoke Sponsored by Planned Parenthood Action Fund,” where you could unwind, mingle, and relax after a full day of trashing America and coordinating ways to annoy corporations, call people bigots, indoctrinate children, and indirectly pay homage to murderous dictators and cop killers, and successfully shut down streets.     

Friday and Saturday was more of the same.  There were dozens of panel discussions and trainings on how to successfully agitate and spread divisive propaganda to people in mass quantities; ironically, Nancy Pelosi was the target of some of this progressive venom because she recently dared to criticize Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s juvenile behavior.  And speaking of AOC, one of her “squad” members, Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, proudly attacked Trump at a breakout session by proclaiming, “We’re going to impeach the MF’er, don’t worry!” 

The kicker, though, was the grand appearance by Elizabeth Warren.  As reported by Real Clear Politics:

The Massachusetts liberal was the undisputed favorite at Netroots, and the conference was clearly her home turf. So much so that when protesters interrupted her, complaining about the treatment of illegal immigrants under the Obama administration, the crowd self-policed, shouting, “Let her finish.”

“This is our moment to live our values and that means down at the border when people come here who are desperate,” Warren said, “then we need to treat them with humanity, and we need to follow the law.”

Follow the law.  Yeah, that’s rich.

Nonetheless, the crowd erupted over the presence of the liberal senator, and Warren solidified her status as a radical progressive whose agenda has gone completely outside the mainstream. 

Ironically, Trump is Megan Rapinoe’s Biggest Ally

by Christopher Paslay

Soccer star Megan Rapinoe continues to spread misinformation about Trump, despite his efforts to protect the integrity of women’s sports and to end the criminalization of homosexuality in dozens of nations.

Megan Rapinoe, the co-captain of the United States women’s World Cup team, is an extremely talented soccer player.  But like many professional athletes and celebrities, her fame and fortune have impacted her ability to accurately process reality, and she lives in an alternate universe where she projects her own intolerance onto others and manufactures acts of oppression out of whole cloth.     

For all of her incessant talk of “inclusion,” she’s ironically big on the theme of exclusion.  She excluded herself from participating in the national anthem during the FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament, she excluded herself from accepting Trump’s invitation to visit the White House (I’m not going to the f**king White House, were her exact words), and has apparently persuaded her teammates into excluding themselves from visiting Trump, too.

During a recent interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Rapinoe had this to say to President Trump:

“Your message is excluding people. You’re excluding me, you’re excluding people that look like me, you’re excluding people of color, you’re excluding Americans that maybe support you.  What you’re saying about Make America Great Again, I think that you’re harking back to an era that was not great for everyone. It might have been great for a few people and maybe America’s great for a few people right now but it’s not great for enough Americans. . . .”   

Anderson Cooper then followed up with this comment

“The idea of Make America Great Again if it means going back to an America from the ‘40s or ‘50s, that’s an America where you could be imprisoned for being gay or you could be sent by your family to a mental hospital where you could not walk down the street holding hands with your loved one or I could not walk down the street or go dancing or anything.”

Now, excuse me if I’m a little confused, but what in God’ name are these two talking about? Anderson Cooper can’t possibly believe that “Make America Great Again” means going back to the time “where you could be imprisoned for being gay or you could be sent by your family to a mental hospital,” can he?  Of course not.  This is exactly the kind of blatant, misrepresentation of information that is ruining CNN’s reputation, and has prompted Trump to declare that they are “fake news.” 

Likewise, what does Rapinoe mean when she says Trump is “harking back to an era that was not great for everyone”?  She provides no examples, making her rhetoric meaningless, propagandistic blather that celebrities like her spout to convince themselves they’re fighting against injustice, even if that injustice needs to be created by them (think Jussie Smollett). 

Economically, everyone is doing better under Trump, especially minorities, whose unemployment rates are the lowest in 50 years.  In terms of social issues, Trump is doing much to reform the criminal justice system, and passed the “First Step Act,” lauded by both Republicans and Democrats, which provides prisoners with a second chance through rehabilitative programs, fair sentencing, and smart confinement, and helps inmates successfully transition back into society.  

Trump even opened his administration to the concerns of the African American community, inviting Kanye West – who actually went to the White House – to lead a forum designed to ease the relationship between black citizens and police.  Perhaps Rapinoe might want to watch the video, “The Young Black Conservatives of Trump’s America,” which has 3.2 million views, and features conservative actress Stacey Dash and pro-Trump activist Candace Owens, who also went to the White House to meet with Trump about important issues in the black community.  

As for Rapinoe’s ridiculous statement that Trump is excluding people that look like her, this is another example of her complete isolation from real world events, and of her penchant for gobbling down the latest anti-Trump agitprop.  Not even six weeks ago, Trump became the first Republican president ever to recognize LGBTQ Pride Month, Tweeting:

“As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month and recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great Nation, let us also stand in solidarity with the many LGBT people who live in dozens of countries worldwide that punish, imprison, or even execute individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation.”  

In February of 2019, Trump even launched a global effort to end criminalization of homosexuality.  According to NBC News:

The Trump administration is launching a global campaign to end the criminalization of homosexuality in dozens of nations where it’s still illegal to be gay, U.S. officials tell NBC News, a bid aimed in part at denouncing Iran over its human rights record.

U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, the highest-profile openly gay person in the Trump administration, is leading the effort, which kicks off Tuesday evening in Berlin. The U.S. embassy is flying in LGBT activists from across Europe for a strategy dinner to plan to push for decriminalization in places that still outlaw homosexuality — mostly concentrated in the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean.

Despite Trump’s pro-LGBTQ policies, the effort to paint him as “homophobic” by people like Rapinoe continues. Specifically, LGBTQ activists bring up the fact that Trump opposed the LGBTQ nondiscrimination bill (The Equality Act, H.R. 5), but there were two reasons for this.  One, the bill, which was passed in May, gives males who identify as females the right to women’s spaces, which, according to Rep. Mike Johnson, “eliminates sex-based protections for women by forcing rape crisis centers, lady’s locker rooms, female prisons, women’s sports leagues and other sex-based organizations to admit biological males.”

Two, the bill allows biological males who identify as females to compete in women’s sports, and gives them access to athletic scholarships and Title IX funding set aside for females; Republican legislators tried to amend The Equality Act to protect women’s spaces and sports, including Title IX funding, but Democrats pushed the bill through unchanged.  

Ironically, it’s Trump who’s actually protecting the integrity of the U.S. women’s World Cup team by refusing to support a bill that gives biological males who identify as females the right to compete with women.  I wonder how Megan Rapinoe would feel if she – or any of her teammates on the World Cup soccer team, for that matter – lost their spots on the roster to transwomen (that is, biological men who identify as women)?  

This could happen sooner than you think.  In April of 2017, the FC Dallas under-15 boys squad beat the U.S. Women’s National Team in a scrimmage, 5 – 2.  And yes, Megan Rapinoe was on that team.  Allow me to repeat: the FC Dallas under-15 boys squad beat the U.S. Women’s National Team, 5 – 2.  Basically, with The Equality Act now on the books, it’s only a matter of time before transgender women at any level – high school, college, or even pro – start plucking away the U.S. women’s World Cup roster, one by one.  

And what would Rapinoe have to say about that, once she’s unemployed?  Would she still hate Trump with the same level of passion?  

Only time will tell.  The universe and Mother Nature don’t take sides, and they don’t care a wit for self-righteous, uninformed soccer players, either.

Yes, You Can Wear a MAGA Hat and Still ‘Love Thy Neighbor’

by Christopher Paslay

Zack Ford, a writer for Think Progress, says you can’t wear a MAGA hat and still be a loving person.  I respectfully disagree.

Zack Ford, an LGBT advocate who covers the Trump administration for Think Progress, is having trouble feeling the MAGA love.  Recently, Zack broke off a friendship with an old high school acquaintance because the woman posted a picture of herself on Facebook wearing a MAGA hat while holding her daughter in her lap.  Although Zack and this woman, who is an evangelical Christian who believes in traditional marriage, had respectful disagreements in the past, seeing the woman “proudly wearing a MAGA hat in public – and with her daughter no less,” was too much for this man to take.  

According to Zack’s newsletter, Fording the River Styx:

It’s not just a hat. It’s a symbol of all of the oppression and injustice the Trump administration is responsible for. It’s an endorsement of caging kids, banning Muslims, firing trans people, and dozens of other ways Trump has undermined our democracy – up to and including the fascist military display that graced the National Mall last night. More than anything, “MAGA” represents the idea that some human lives are worth more than others.

Now, that’s a lot of stuff to project onto a hat.  Especially when these projections are not totally accurate representations of reality. Trump doesn’t endorse caging kids or separating families, but has signed an executive order to keep illegal immigrant families together during the detention process (the law that prohibits minors from being held in adult detention centers has been on the books for decades, which is why Trump has been fighting so hard to pass legislation that will keep children and families safe by ensuring immigrants and refugees come through legal ports of entry).  

Trump never banned Muslims, either.  The countries on his travel ban were the exact same countries on President Obama’s list, which included two non-Muslim nations and excluded Indonesia, which has over 225 million Muslims, more than any other country in the world.  In 2018 the Supreme Court agreed with the legality of the ban, and upheld Trump’s executive order.  As for the statement of a “fascist military display that graced the National Mall” on Independence Day, Zack should watch Trump’s full “Salute to America” on YouTube, which is actually pretty cool.  I don’t consider celebrating the history behind the birth of our great nation, as well as honoring the brave men and women who died for our freedom, “fascist.”  I consider it patriotic, but that’s just me.

Zack Ford (Twitter)

Still, if Zack wants to portray these events in a bitter, resentful and negative light, that’s his prerogative. His life experiences shape the seeds of his perceptions, and he has every right to water these seeds.  As the French novelist Anaïs Nin said, “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”  So touché, Zack.  Project all of this stuff onto the MAGA hat, and get yourself worked into a tizzy.     

But back to Zack’s inability to tolerate his friend’s MAGA hat:

I explained all of this to my old friend. To those inclined to reject the humanity of any particular group, a MAGA hat is a symbol of affirmation – license and encouragement to continue holding those beliefs. To members of those many rejected groups, it’s a threat – a warning that such prejudice is welcome in that person’s vicinity (and may come from them directly). It’s unacceptable to me to be subjected to that symbol from someone with whom I hypothetically have mutual trust.

So Zack gave the woman an ultimatum: he’d end their friendship, unless she apologized for wearing the MAGA hat and promised to never post it on his social media feed again.  At this point Zack’s friend defended herself, saying she was equally offended by the Pride flag, which Zack said in turn was a “false equivalency,” because the MAGA hat was a symbol of “exclusion,” and the Pride flag was a symbol of “inclusion.”  Not that a single group of people has ever been prevented from voting for Trump or supporting his MAGA agenda.  In fact, the number of blacks and Hispanics backing Trump is steadily rising, as minority unemployment levels are the lowest in American history.  The same goes for American Muslims and legal immigrants: many are glad Trump is keeping them safe from terrorists and reserving jobs for actual citizens.  As for the “inclusiveness” of the Pride flag, I don’t think those who support traditional marriage – like Christian baker Jack Phillips or Chick-fil-A – are invited to the rainbow party.  

Anyway, back to Zack’s disdain for the MAGA hat:

We have free speech, but we don’t have freedom from accountability for that speech. Anyone reading this is free to wear a MAGA hat, but you can’t both wear a MAGA hat and claim to “love thy neighbor.” You can’t both wear a MAGA hat and claim to respect me or millions of other Americans. You can’t both wear a MAGA hat and believe that you’re not reinforcing hate and oppression against others. We’re way too far past such naivete at this point, and I certainly want no part in helping you to convince yourself otherwise.

That’s the best part of Zack’s letter: We’re way too far past such naivete at this point, and I certainly want no part in helping you to convince yourself otherwise.  Loose translation: Zack’s right, and everyone who disagrees with him is wrong.  Period.  End of discussion.  He doesn’t really want to have a dialogue, anyway.  He wants a monologue, a lecture, where he does all the talking and those in MAGA hats do all the listening.  Where he not only gets to define who he is and what his beliefs are, but where he also gets to define MAGA people and their beliefs, too.  See, folks like Zack want total control of the conversation.  And right now, Zack’s telling everyone that Trump’s a racist pig, and so are his supporters, and so is that stupid, maddening MAGA hat.

So don’t wear it.  Ever.

The nerve of this guy, really. But I’m not here to hate.  I’m not here to project anger and division and bitterness onto the world like Zack, I’m here to love.  If you’re reading this, Zack, allow me to apologize on behalf of the 63 million people who voted for Trump, including your old high school friend. We’re sorry, brother.  We really are.  We’re sorry you’re so infuriated by a hat, and that when you see this hat, you have the kind of meltdown that warrants the breaking up of a friendship that goes all the way back to high school (yes, the woman chose the hat over her friendship with Zack).  We’re sorry you project so much contempt and antipathy onto this hat, so much anguish and pain.    

But there is another way.  It’s the way of Gandhi, and the Buddha, and Jesus, and Martin Luther King.  You could open yourself to MAGA people like us, and actually listen to what we have to say.  And when I say listen, I mean really listen, as in seeking first to understand, and then be understood.  As in not projecting all your own baggage onto others, or onto a hat, or onto anything else.  As in not making broad generalizations about tens of millions of people, or stereotyping every MAGA hat wearer as some hateful bigot, despite the fact some may exist. I mean this with all due respect, because I don’t know you from Adam, and all I have is this letter you posted on your blog.  But know this: we’re probably the same, you and I.  We both love our neighbors and want to help make the world a better place.           

Trump people are good people, at least most of us are.  We’re not “reinforcing hate and oppression against others,” like you insist.  And there is more than one interpretation of that red hat, believe it or not.  To me, MAGA is about loving America, and freedom, and God, and the Constitution.  It’s about doing everything we can to improve the country for ALL people of ALL backgrounds, no matter their race, religion, gender, or sexuality.          

But if you want to see the MAGA hat as hateful and oppressive, that’s your right, and I respect that.  Just know there are millions of Americans, myself and your old high school friend included, who see the MAGA hat much, much differently, and you should respect that, too.                  

God bless you, Zack. May you find peace in the world and may your life go well.