Category Archives: Intolerance

Trump-inspired hate floods the nation’s classrooms


Not only are incidents of overt racism and hatred on the rise in the nation’s schools, fear is leading teachers not to talk about it.

From the Southern Poverty Law Center:

In the first days after the 2016 presidential election, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance project administered an online survey to K–12 educators from across the country. Over 10,000 teachers, counselors, administrators and others who work in schools have responded. The survey data indicate that the results of the election are having a profoundly negative impact on schools and students. Ninety percent of educators report that school climate has been negatively affected, and most of them believe it will have a long-lasting impact. A full 80 percent describe heightened anxiety and concern on the part of students worried about the impact of the election on themselves and their families.

Also on the upswing: verbal harassment, the use of slurs and derogatory language, and disturbing incidents involving swastikas, Nazi salutes and Confederate flags.

Teaching Tolerance conducted a previous survey in March, when we asked teachers how the primary campaign season was affecting our nation’s students. The 2,000 educators who responded reported that the primary season was producing anxiety among vulnerable students and emboldening others to new expressions of politicized bullying. Teachers overwhelming named the source of both the anxiety and the behavior as Donald Trump, then a leading contender for the Republican nomination.

Since Trump was elected, media have been awash in reports of hate incidents around the nation, including at schools. Some detractors have characterized the reports as isolated, exaggerated or even as hoaxes. This survey, which was distributed by several organizations (see About the Survey for a complete list), via email and social media, offers the richest source of information about the immediate impact of the election on our country. The findings show that teachers, principals and district leaders will have an oversized job this year as they work to heal the rifts within school communities.

The survey asked respondents a mix of easily quantifiable questions and also offered them a chance to describe what was happening in open-ended questions. There are over 25,000 responses, in the form of comments and stories, to the open-ended questions. It will take time to fully analyze and report on those comments. This report provides a high-level summary of the findings.

Here are the highlights:

  • Nine out of 10 educators who responded have seen a negative impact on students’ mood and behavior following the election; most of them worry about the continuing impact for the remainder of the school year.
  • Eight in 10 report heightened anxiety on the part of marginalized students, including immigrants, Muslims, African Americans and LGBT students.
  • Four in 10 have heard derogatory language directed at students of color, Muslims, immigrants and people based on gender or sexual orientation.
  • Half said that students were targeting each other based on which candidate they’d supported.
  • Although two-thirds report that administrators have been “responsive,” four out of 10 don’t think their schools have action plans to respond to incidents of hate and bias.
  • Over 2,500 educators described specific incidents of bigotry and harassment that can be directly traced to election rhetoric. These incidents include graffiti (including swastikas), assaults on students and teachers, property damage, fights and threats of violence.
  • Because of the heightened emotion, half are hesitant to discuss the election in class. Some principals have told teachers to refrain from discussing or addressing the election in any way.

Read the rest.

Trump picks yet another virulent Islamophobe


This time the choice to play a key role in the handover of the Department of Homeland Security, and agency certain to play a key role in Trump’s own promised targeting of the nation’s Islamic citizens,  immigrants, and refugees.

From the Intercept:

Katharine Gorka, a controversial national security analyst who specializes in discussing the threat posed by Muslims to the United States, has complained bitterly that the Department of Homeland Security trains its agents — falsely, in her opinion — that Islam is a “religion of peace.”

Now, Gorka will have a chance to help Donald Trump remake the department. On Tuesday, she was selected by Trump to be part of the DHS “landing team” that will meet with Obama’s DHS officials to manage the handoff to new leadership.

Gorka, the president of a think tank called the Council on Global Security and the president of Threat Knowledge Group, a consulting firm, is a well-known figure among anti-Muslim campaigners.

Gorka argues that defeating terrorism depends “upon our being able to call the enemy by its proper name: Global Jihadism.” She has pushed legislation to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group and impose sanctions on its “affiliates, associated groups, or agents.”

The affiliated groups mentioned in the legislation include mainstream civil rights organizations such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Islamic Society of North America.

Trump really, really hates the First Amendment


His latest umbrage outrage, revealed in a tweet [of course]:

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The Washington Post reports:

President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened loss of citizenship or jail for those who burn the American flag, saying such protests — which the Supreme Court has declared to be free speech — should carry “consequences.”

Flag burning was ruled to be constitutionally protected speech under the First Amendment in a 1990 Supreme Court case, United States v. Eichman, that struck down a law seeking to prevent its desecration. Moreover, a 1958 Supreme Court decision rejected the practice of stripping U.S. citizenship as a form of criminal punishment.

>snip<

Trump’s latest interest in curbing First Amendment protections follows several other actions related to free speech, including his blacklisting of reporters who fell out of favor with his campaign and a suggestion that he would “open up” libel laws to make it easier to sue the news media.

Even better, a Washington Post editorial cartoonist perfectly captured the character revealed by his ornamental outrage:

Ann Telnaes: Trump’s new hat reflects his commitment to the First Amendment

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And flags? Really?

Flags are symbols, and only that. The flag flying when we were born had 48 stars, followed soon by a version with 49, then the current fifty-starred version.

Much more precious than any piece of fabric is a human life, and locking or deporting someone for expressing opinion — and that’s what flag-burning is — is antithetical to the First Amendment.

Once you criminalize the expression of opinion, the game is up and totalitarianism has gained a solid foothold.

But, hey, what is Donald except a man who thinks that only his opinions matter?

An old friend used to keep a flag atop the ceramic logs in his gas fireplace in the late 1980s, ready for ignition had the Supreme Court upheld laws criminalizing flags. The court ruled otherwise, and the flag was never burned.

Right on!

Headline of the day: Life in TrumpAmerica™


From the London Daily Mail:

‘There’s a new sheriff in town’: Three California mosques ‘receive letters threatening Muslims and praising Donald Trump’

  • Three Muslim mosques in California received what it says were threatening and racist letters
  • The letters called Muslims ‘children of Satan’ and told them to ‘get out of Dodge’
  • ‘He is going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the jews’ read the letter 
  • They praised President-Elect Donald Trump, saying it was a ‘great time for patriotic Americans’

Trump’s not Adolf Hitler, says Noam Chomsky


While Adolj Hitler was a sincere, dedicated ideologue, Donald Trump is a thing-skinned megalomaniac, firing off tweets at 3 a.m. when anyone angers him, says Noam Chomsky in this extended interview with Al Jazeera.

And in some ways he’s worse: “The most predictable aspect of Trump is unpredictability. I think it’s dangerous, very dangerous.”

And in many ways, he says, it’s the Republican Party itself that’s the greatest threat to humanity’s future.

Topics covered include the failure of the news media to cover real issues, climate change, Barack Obama’s assassination program, NATO and threats to peace in Eastern Europe, and more

From Al Jazeera English’s UpFront:

Noam Chomsky on the new Trump era

Headline of the day: New Supreme Court nominee?


Seems like just the guy for President Littlefingers.

From the London Daily Mail:

Judge won’t oversee naturalization events after telling people at US citizenship ceremony they ‘need to go to another country’ if they object to Trump’s presidency

  • Magistrate Judge John Primomo made the remark when he presided over the ceremony in San Antonio, Texas, on Thursday
  • He said: ‘If you are a citizen of the United State, he is your president’
  • Primomo added: ‘He will be your president and if you do not like that, you need to go to another country’

Predicting Trump’s rise in the Weimar America


The late Richard Rorty’s title was Professor of Comparative Literature at Stanford University, but he was so much more.

He was one of the most brilliant philosophers America has produced, a prodigy who won admittance into the University of Chicago at the ripe old age of 14, when he received by bachelor’s and master’s degrees, then won his Ph.D. at Yale. He was also awarded the MacArthur Foundation “genus award,” and taught at Princeton for two decades before migrating West.

Rorty was also a theorist of consciousness, and his writings on the subject have been cited by numerous psychologists and evolutionary theorists, and provided our own introduction to this seminal 20th Century thinker.

All-in-all, impressive credentials.

But it is a quotation from Rorty’s final book, Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America, which has captured the attention of many in the days since we were presented with the reality of a President Donald Trump.

From page 89 comes a prescient prediction, a perfecting synopsis both of Trump’s victory and Clinton’s loss, coupled with a stark warning:

Many writers on socioeconomic policy have warned that the old industrialized democracies are heading into a Weimar-like period, one in which populist movements are likely to overturn constitutional governments. Edward Luttwak, for example, has suggested that fascism may be the American future. The point of his book The Endangered American Dream is that members of labor unions, and unorganized unskilled workers, will sooner or later realize that their government is not even trying to prevent wages from sinking or to prevent jobs from being exported. Around the same time, they will realize that suburban white-collar workers—themselves desperately afraid of being downsized—are not going to let themselves be taxed to provide social benefits for anyone else.

At that point, something will crack. The non-suburban electorate will decide that the system has failed and start looking around for a strongman to vote for—someone willing to assure them that, once he is elected, the smug bureaucrats, tricky lawyers, overpaid bond salesmen, and postmodernist professors will no longer be calling the shots. A scenario like that of Sinclair Lewis’ novel It Can’t Happen Here may then be played out. For once a strongman takes office, nobody can predict what will happen. In 1932, most of the predictions made about what would happen if Hindenburg named Hitler chancellor were wildly overoptimistic.

One thing that is very likely to happen is that the gains made in the past forty years by black and brown Americans, and by homosexuals, will be wiped out. Jocular contempt for women will come back into fashion. The words “nigger” and “kike” will once again be heard in the workplace. All the sadism which the academic Left has tried to make unacceptable to its students will come flooding back. All the resentment which badly educated Americans feel about having their manners dictated to them by college graduates will find an outlet.

Sadly, Rorty died nine years before his prediction came to pass. We’d’ve loved to hear his comments on the ascendancy of President Pussygrabber.