By Robert A. Vella
If there is something good to come from President Trump’s most recent expressions of hateful white supremacy, then it will certainly be a long overdue confrontation between Americans and their latent racism. The old adage proclaiming that “truth is the best disinfectant” would apply. The truth, in this case, is that a sizeable portion of Americans are and always have been racist. The problem of confronting one’s own racism arises when some high-profile figure like Trump expresses it overtly and blatantly. You see, Americans don’t like that. They want racism kept hidden in the closet along with their other embarrassments. “Out of sight, out of mind” – to quote another saying. Honesty has never been an ethic strongly valued by Americans who have always been a vain people obsessively concerned about their image. And, it is this shallow preoccupation with appearance that has been the restraining force to push back against open racism in the U.S. Republican Party leaders understand the psychology all too well, and that is why Trump is making them very nervous right now ahead of the 2020 election. Regardless of how much more enthusiasm Trump drums-up among fervent white supremacists, he will lessen enthusiasm among a greater number of potential supporters. This dynamic has played-out several times in American history – most notably by the public backlash against the political rise of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in the early 20th century, and by Northerners’ revulsion against Southern slavery during the Antebellum.
Credulous pundits told us for days that President Trump’s racist attacks on nonwhite lawmakers were brilliant politics, but Republicans disagree: They are widely warning Trump that presiding over a rally chant of “send her back,” directed at a nonwhite lawmaker, is putting the party at serious political risk.
Trump pretended to disavow the chant on Thursday, claiming he didn’t approve even though video contradicts this, and we are now learning from the New York Times that he came under intense private pressure to do so, including from Vice President Pence and Ivanka Trump.
Yet even as many Republicans profess discomfort with Trump’s display, here’s what else is happening: Trump is effectively trying to end asylum seeking at the southern border, and Politico now reports that the administration is seriously mulling an effort to slash refugee admissions to near-zero.
Generally speaking, Republicans are unlikely to be troubled by these things.
LOS ANGELES – Tensions between Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Los Angeles police have ramped up over the last month amid the Trump administration’s loud threats to unleash immigration sweeps.
As word spread about a national ICE operation expected to result in thousands of arrests, local officials tried to reassure immigrants in L.A. Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore said that ICE would target about 140 people in Southern California.
In a video shared last week, Moore also stood beside Mayor Eric Garcetti as he told residents they did not have to open their doors for an ICE agent who does not have a warrant signed by a judge.
The LAPD chief’s actions have provoked anger among ICE officials.
The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday demanded Hope Hicks return for a second round of questioning within the next month to clarify what it described as “inconsistent” testimony she gave about Donald Trump’s hush-money payments to an adult film actress.
Democratic panel chairman Jerry Nadler in a five-page letter cited newly released court documents that raise questions about whether the former White House communications director and longtime Trump aide misled his panel about her role in the scheme during a closed-door interview last month.
In his letter to Hicks, Nadler said her testimony on each of her statements dealing with the issue “appears to be inconsistent with the evidence” released earlier Thursday in newly unsealed portions of the FBI’s search warrants on Cohen.
(Reuters) – U.S. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer called on the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission to conduct a national security and privacy investigation into FaceApp, a face-editing photo app developed in Russia, in a letter sent on Wednesday.
The viral smartphone application, which has seen a new surge of popularity due to a filter that ages photos of users’ faces, requires “full and irrevocable access to their personal photos and data,” which could pose “national security and privacy risks for millions of U.S. citizens,” Schumer said in his letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and FTC Chairman Joe Simons.
The Democratic National Committee also sent out an alert to the party’s 2020 presidential candidates on Wednesday warning them against using the app, pointing to its Russian provenance.
Two-thirds of the United States is expected to bake under what could be record high temperatures heading into the weekend. As a result, government agencies have issued warnings that can feel ominous.
An “oppressive and dangerous heat,” warned the National Weather Service. “Excessive heat, a ‘silent killer’,” echoed a news release by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “Extreme heat is hazardous,” tweeted the NYC Emergency Management Department.
But people with health issues, older people and young children are especially susceptible to the effects of extreme heat. It’s a threat that grows as climate change continues.