The author's homeschooling family

Open Rebuttal to Harvard’s Elizabeth Bartholet (or When Homeschoolers Met Permit Patty)

This rant has been years in the making so bear with me. I need to set the stage for you, and then get to the main thrust of what finally tipped the scale for me.

I co-founded AACONS 12 years ago because I grew tired of people — mainly non-Blacks — congratulating me on the election of “my” president, Barack Obama. The underlying unspoken insinuation was, because we shared similar pigmentation, we must have a shared ideology.

Not too long after that, when discussing the debate about the terms “Black” v. “African-American,” a woman — again, not Black — on a page for conservatives of color, mind you — said, in essence, that “you all” need to “get over” slavery because “some good things came out of it, like the food and the hymns.”

Let me just park that for a moment and let that sink in.

Four hundred years of forced servitude, torture, rape, back-breaking, bone-wearying work, separating us from lands, children, mates, and you want me to focus on leftover food no one else wanted and the heartbreaking cries set to the music of our enslavement as “good things?” For whom?

I am not one for reparations, not by a long shot. As many people as we currently have in America with lineage back to slavery, even if I were a reparations kinda gal, it would be tantamount to a .30 credit from a bank or cable company that had to settle up with customers. It’s a gazillion dollars to the company, but little-to-nothing for the end-user wronged. Frankly, it would be an insulting pittance.

Further, I hear, “why talk about color at all . . . aren’t we all Americans?” Well, yes, we are. But, that doesn’t mean we have experienced life in the same way. That doesn’t mean I cannot be proud of my heritage (and, by the way, I am bi-racial). That doesn’t mean I haven’t experienced things that color my perception, or talk with others in my community that have similar experiences to mine that warrant discussion. Nor, does it mean, based on pigment alone, I think as others do, as in my illustration regarding President Obama above.

I’ve been called everything — from the left and the right – and, I’ve had it, so I am just going to let it all out here.

To the right: As I said in my podcast about the Black v. African-American debate, there is so much “White guilt,” that it makes a great number of people incapable of having rational conversation about the topic. For people who are not Black, people with no experience as to what African-Americans do, or do not, go through on a daily basis, the sheer optics of telling me, on my own page, how I should feel, seem to escape these folks.

“Be free thinkers,” they say. However, when I am, yet, don’t say what they think I should say, I am told I should not say it, feel it, think it, or, worst of all, I should “get over it.” This is wrong.

If I feel comfortable enough with you to let you into my private thoughts, to better educate you so that we can work together to effect change, then listen. Just listen. I’m certainly not asking for your opinion (unless I use phrases ending in question marks like “What do you think?”), nor am I asking you to “fix” anything.

I do not like the term “ally,” because – and, this may just be me — it still implies I need you to come alongside me — an educated, competent Black woman — to fix things for me so I can be heard.

Most of those who would use the phrase “ally” would fall on the political left, and now we come to what set me off today.

A White woman – and, believe me, I don’t normally use racial descriptors as I have on these pages, but to make this point, I must — at Harvard is accusing homeschoolers of fostering “White supremacy,” thus, society should ban the practice.

Again, I will just let that sit and percolate a bit. Do you honestly think, as a Black family, we are “White supremacists?”

In the whole 20+ years that we have homeschooled, we have encountered a handful of Black homeschoolers. This is in the very diverse, and very politically liberal area in which I live. A handful.

Did it occur to anyone that we might homeschool for reasons such as:

• People get our history wrong. Routinely. As above, if I can’t even have a conversation about slavery because folks feel guilty or need to “prove” they are not racist, what do you think their version of “Black History” looks like?

• God has been taken out of our schools. As a Christian family, God is central. That right there sets a lot of people off with “patriarchy” comments and “uneducated flat-earther” pejoratives. These are people who quote the Bible out of context, and, similar to those described above, appear to be tone-deaf to discussions about those not from the culture lecturing those from the culture, with ideas and thoughts that are not even accurately informed by the source material, the Bible.

• Not all socialization is good. I have heard that in this period of “social distancing” there were no school shootings during the month of March. Even before some of the school closures, this was the case. Why are there school task forces on bullying and cyberbullying? Because kids can be very cruel and no one knows this better than I, because, for three long and horrible years of my life, I was the kid bloodied, beaten, and bullied.

Of course, there are the oft-quoted “socialization” concerns (“socially awkward” is a term I’ve heard used against the homeschooling community many a time) cited by those against homeschooling. When my kids were smaller, we couldn’t go out to restaurants or in public without people stopping to tell us how amazing our kids were in politely ordering their own food, exhibiting good table manners, and interacting with the adults like servers, cashiers, other patrons that we came into contact with.

• I’ve never noticed anyone else raise this point online, but have you ever noticed in literature that if a protagonist is White, it’s never mentioned? Sometimes hair color or eye-color is discussed — think “titian-haired” Nancy Drew — however, the loud, sassy sidekick friend (never the protagonist themselves) is identified by skin color or even by race. “Her best friend, a gum-smacking African-American girl, with caramel-colored skin . . .” Or the “staff,” as in “the rotund, grandmotherly, Hispanic cook . . .” Black folks see this and we feel it. Why would we entrust the education of our children to a culture that truly does not see it?

Progressives will ban iconic “Little House on the Prairie” for a discussion about “Indians” (as they were called on the prairie), and continue to “whitewash” history by erasing monuments and other historical items. Where can the — yes, painful, but needed — conversations about race occur if everything is Kumbaya? Have we really solved the problem? Not if we are having the discussion I am having today.

I’m not a fan of having the Confederate flag flying in front of a building, but I do believe all of our history needs to be preserved — as it occurred – good, bad, and ugly, in a museum or similar setting. That includes leaving monuments intact.

• One size does not fit all. I have a kinesthetic learner with special challenges, a voracious reader, and one kid who is a hybrid of both styles. Thirty-plus kids in one room with one teacher espousing one style would not work for all of my children.

• Homeschooling works with their body clocks. I have one up at the crack of dawn and two who prefer the “crack of noon.” Traditional schools will not cater to their peak performance time.

• Three words: child-centered learning! My oldest got his Bachelor’s degree at the ripe old age of 20. He fell in love with robots at the age of six and pursued robotics from first grade all the way through high school. He taught Lego Robotics and stop-motion animation for 4-H. He was dual-enrolled (college classes while homeschooling), and got an A at 16 in Intro to C, a college-level course . . . all because these subjects interested him and motivated him to learn on his own.

My daughter has loved animals her whole life. She wanted to pursue veterinary medicine, but for a while thought perhaps she wanted to go into computer programming. She spent a summer at IBM and loved it. It finally gave her the confidence to speak in public, and though she ultimately chose veterinary medicine, she still holds that summer in her heart with fond memories and still chats with good friends she made. And, she was the only Black girl . . . not that it matters, but this is what we are discussing: a world-class education not often seen by those of us in the Black community. Who would begrudge us that?

My daughter now? She just entered her third quarter in college, after having made the Dean’s List in both of the first two.

My youngest, as mentioned, has special challenges. We adopted him — along with his sister — later in life, not as babies.

In a traditional setting, he would have been slapped in a Special Ed classroom, with someone who does not know him as I do. This child is thoughtful and can write well-developed essays that could make you weep if you knew what he had come through. He’s delivered sermons at church services and is the kid everyone loves. Oh, and he interns two full days a week at a wildlife rehabilitation facility . . . and, is well-loved there, too.

All three of my kids will spend time with babies just as easily as they do with the elderly, and do so with genuine enjoyment.

Yep. Sounds like a bunch of “White supremacists” to me. Not.

Since Professor Bartholet has let us all in on her opinions – for that’s what they are — about homeschoolers, let me lob a few “home truths” back at her:

The research shows that by every conceivable measure, homeschoolers outperform their traditionally-schooled peers. Black homeschooling has been the fastest segment of the homeschooling movement in recent years.

Dr. Brian Ray of NHERI says:

“Black homeschooled children scored, on average, 42 percentile points higher in reading, 26 percentile points higher in language, and 23 percentile points higher in math, than did their Black public-school counterparts.” 

Those on the left talk about equality, yet our schools are the most segregated in cities controlled – for decades — by “progressives” yet our kids still cannot read or pass basic exit exams. I was supposed to stand by and let this happen? If you think that, you don’t know me.

The kind of “progressive” education espoused in the article have raised children who no longer engage in critical thinking. Everything is “offensive,” “racist,” or a “microaggression.”

The Harvard article posits that homeschooling parents have “24/7 authoritarian control” over their children, thus, setting the stage for rampant White supremacy. Perhaps Professor Bartholet can then explain why, in a traditional school setting, teachers “have authoritarian control” over children far more hours of the day than the parents who send them to these schools do, and that’s okay? That “teaching to the test” inextricably linked to funding isn’t a conflict of interest? Surely there’s no motivation there, right?

In fact, while researching our local Regional Occupation Program, I was told homeschoolers no longer qualified for fee-waivers because the district did not get the “per pupil” funding for my children. I countered that perhaps I should stop paying the taxes that funded them since I got no benefit from their programs.

I digress, however.

The argument put forth by Professor Bartholet is not a new one. It is eerily reminiscent of an argument made several years ago by President Barack Obama, ironically, during a time that his daughters attended the toney and expensive private school, Sidwell Friends:

“Kids start going to private schools, kids start working out at private clubs instead of the public parks, an anti-government ideology then disinvests from those common goods and those things that draw us together.” [1]

Yet, Dr. Ron Paul says:

“A free society acknowledges that authority over education begins with the family. I am not saying that a free society grants that authority. I do not believe that such authority is delegated by society. But a free society acknowledges that families have that authority. To the extent that any society substitutes a source of authority over education to other than the family, it departs from liberty.” [2]

In a traditional educational model, math is racist, milk is racist, and “African-American Vernacular English” is a thing. Do these “educational snobs” not see the inherent “soft bigotry of low expectations?” You are saying lower the standards because, for the decades you have controlled inner-city public schools, you have failed our children.

When my daughter was 14, she was furious to hear that a New England fire department lowered the testing standards for advancement to get more people of color in higher positions. She said, “I don’t need anyone to dumb down a test for me. I can pass any test you throw at me.”

The Black-White achievement gap is not closing. When there is a choice between supporting children of color and teacher’s unions, educational elites choose the unions. Need proof? Look no further than the DC Economic Opportunity Scholarship Program. Established by a GOP-led Congress, minority children not only out-performed their traditionally-school counterparts, they out-performed the non-minority kids, too (let me translate into “liberal-ese” for you: these would be the “poor kids” Joe Biden said “are just as bright” as “White kids.” And, let me mention, he also said Barack Obama was the first Black person he’d met who was “clean” and “articulate.” Sorry, CornPop.)

According to The Heritage Foundation:

• The children with scholarships for the DC voucher program graduated at a rate of 21 percentage points higher than their counterparts without scholarships.

• The return on investment was $2.62 per dollar spent.

• Researchers stated, “In scientific terms, we are more than 99% confident that access to school choice through the Opportunity Scholarship Program was the reason students in the program graduated at these much higher rates.”

• 75 percent of Milwaukee Public School students graduated high school, compared to 94 percent of Milwaukee voucher students.

• Voucher students were more likely to graduate, had higher levels of college enrollment, were less likely to drop out of school, and overall, had greater levels of academic achievement than their public-school counterparts.

• Charter school students also had greater levels of academic attainment than students in traditional schools.

• Researchers stated, “Attending a charter high school is associated with statistically significant and substantial increases in the probability of graduating and of enrolling in college.”

Cato says:

• 11 of 12 random assignment studies found “statistically significant positive outcomes for students who won a spot in school voucher programs,“ including higher reading and math scores

• Competition seemed to improve public schools. In 22 of 23 empirical studies, public schools students improved performance after school choice began

Need more proof? What about the lawsuit in Los Angeles that alleged teacher’s unions’ tenure policies hurt minority children most?

In traditional school environments, parents have absolutely no rights and no say . . . but teachers and counselors do (hmmm, “authoritarian control”). Teachers and counselors who cannot possibly know – or love — my children as I do. Parents cannot “opt-out” of anything, nor are they needed to provide consent for invasive or life-altering decisions.

As hard-fought a victory as it was to get our schools desegregated, the very folks who spout the sort of rhetoric seen in this Harvard article have our Black children so confused, they actually want to segregate themselves again  . .  . on campus . . . away from the very people perpetuating these fallacies!

Now with COVID-19 and social distancing, all parents are teaching children at home (not necessarily “homeschooling,” but that’s a dissection for another day, perhaps). These are the parents posting memes all day about “day drinking” and going nuts. It’s so bad that these parents are being told they will “set their children back a generation” (while taking swipes at homeschoolers . . le sigh).

There are so many reasons we homeschool that have nothing to do with politics, and yet, many reasons that do, but not the politics people like Elizabeth Bartholet think.

I have raised my children to be free-thinkers. Sure, every parent has a worldview they pass along to their kids. My kids hold a mix of views. But, the very idea that they are free-thinkers is what I believe Professor Bartholet fears. She, and those like her, cannot control my thoughts, so she wants our children to be under the control of those who think as she does. For more on this, see The Borg from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

So, before another “well-meaning” person from outside of our community tells me — yet again — what I should think, feel, or do, maybe talk to some actual Black homeschoolers outside of your echo chamber.

Oh . . . and maybe talk to your own admissions department, Professor Bartholet. Harvard seems to recruit homeschoolers like crazy.

 

[1] Speech by President Barack Obama, Georgetown University, May 12, 2015

[2] Paul, Ron. The School Revolution: A New Answer for Our Broken Education System. New York: Grand Central,  2013. 5-6. Print.

Screenshot of Marie Stroughter and Roderick Graham

Conversation on Blackonomics

As discussed in a previous blog post, Professor Roderick Graham and I have embarked on a series of discussions on issues affecting Black America. Here is our latest effort, wherein we discuss economics and the Black community.

Give us your feedback; we’d love to hear what you think of these conversations!

— Marie

Photo of a man praying in an article about the bias against people of faith by dk on African American Conservatives

Left’s War on People of Faith

Almost exactly one year ago today, January 18, 2018, NJ Senator Cory Booker used his position as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee to force Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen to listen  his “tears of rage” diatribe upon hearing Senator Durbin’s claim that President Trump described some nations like Haiti as “sh*tholes”.

So pleased was Senator Booker with his performance that he posted the video of his performance on Twitter with the words “When ignorance and bigotry are allied with power, it’s a dangerous force in our country. To not stand up to this; to be silent— is to be a part of the problem.”

The Democrats are indeed adept at not being silent when acts of bigotry target minorities. And they often do so without regard to whether these acts are real, imagined, or  manufactured for partisan advantage. 

However, when ‘the dangerous force of ignorance and bigotry’ rages  not against people of color but against people of faith, Democrats often put aside their “tears of rage.” In fact, they are often more than “a part of the problem,” they are the problem itself. 

Putting aside the false notion that President Trump calling Haiti a sh*thole is racist — Haiti is not a race, and one can express contempt for a nation such as Haiti, Russia, Venezuela, and North Korea without being racist against the people who live in that nation — one wonders why there would be “tears of rage” over an alleged diss of a Caribbean country when similar insults against other nations barely elicit a whisper of discontent. 

For example, imagine if there was only one Black nation on Earth — let’s call it Wakanda — and that this nation was an important American ally, but there was a conservative movement to boycott and alienate this nation. 

Imagine if President Trump walked out of a meeting with the president of Wakanda, forcing him to sit alone in a White House meeting room while President Trump had dinner with his family. 

Imagine if the Wakandan president addressed Congress to plea against a deal that President Trump had engineered that would give an enemy nation a clear pathway to obtaining the weapons needed to bring about that destruction, and 56 Republicans refused to even listen.

Or imagine if President Trump and other prominent Republicans had an apparent friendly relationship with a rabid racist who leads crowds in chants of “Death to Wakanda!” and calls Wakandans “termites.”

One would think that if these scenarios were true President Trump and his fellow Republicans would be guilty of “ignorance and bigotry,” I’d imagine. One might even join Senator Booker in seeping “tears of rage.”

But didn’t President Obama walk out of a meeting with Israeli President Netanyahu? Didn’t 56 Democrats skip Netanyahu’s 2015 address to Congress against the Irani Deal? Haven’t President Obama, the Congressional Black Caucus, and other prominent Democrats embraced Louis Farrakhan

Furthermore, isn’t there a BDS movement? 

BDS — Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions — is a movement that calls for a boycott of Israel, those who do business with Israel, and even those who do business with those who do business with Israel. Purportedly it is designed to pressure Israel into better treatment of Palestinians, yet many see it as an anti-Semitic attack upon Israel to delegitimize it. 

Given that there is ample evidence that Palestinians are treated relatively well by Israel, including the fact that the Palestinian population in Israel is rapidly increasing despite claims that Israel is committing genocide against them, and are certainly better treated than say Venezuelans are treated by Venezuela or Cubans are treated by Cuba, the latter point — that it is a sign of anti-Semitism — seems to hold. Yet, BDS is only concerned with the Jews, to put it bluntly.

However, BDS is becoming increasingly popular within Democratic party, one that is supported by new stars like Alexandra Ocasio Cortez, Andrew Gillum, Rashida Tlaib, Stacey Abrams, and Ilhan Omar. 

T.his is primarily because the Democratic Socialists of America, which has been dominating Progressive politics, are themselves rabid BDS supporters

And I’ll add that Congresswoman Tlaib confirmed the suspicion of many about BDS anti-Semitism when she tweeted that those who oppose a recent anti-BDS bill “forgot what country they represent.” 

Given the history of American Jews being accused of being more loyal to Israel than the United States, this may be at minimum an example of what the Left tirelessly calls “a dogwhistle” to anti-Semites. 

For more evidence of the anti-Semitism in the Progressive movement one need only witness the notoriety surrounding the Women’s March, whose most well-known leaders — Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez, and Linda Sarsour —  are open supporters of Mr. Farrakhan and clearly hate Jews.

This account from Women’s March member Evvie Harmon of a conversation that involved Ms. Mallory, Ms. Perez and Vanessa Wrible, who is a fellow Women’s March member and is Jewish, is both disturbing and telling.  

Ms. Harmon said:

“I suddenly realized that Tamika and Carmen were facing Vanessa [Wruble], who was sitting on a couch, and berating her—but it wasn’t about her being white. It was about her being Jewish. ‘Your people this, your people that.’ I was raised in the South and the language that was used is language that I’m very used to hearing in rural South Carolina. Just instead of against black people, against Jewish people. They even said to her ‘your people hold all the wealth.’ You could hear a pin drop. It was awful.”

Progressive anti-Semitism is not new. As Philip Spencer writes:

“This first became a serious problem on the left in the late 19th century, as antisemitism first became a political force in the modern world. Some on the left flirted with the response that there might be something progressive about antisemitism: that it was a kind of anti-capitalism, however crude.”

Nor is Progressive antisemitism unique to the United States.  Part of Hugo Chavez’s campaign to be Venezuela’s president for life was an assault against Jews, who he called “descendants of those who crucified Jesus Christ.” 

And, of course, there are some individuals on the right who are very likely bigots, such as the well-rebuked Congressman Steve King.  (See here, here, and here).

However, it is unfortunate that our media rarely discuss bigotry from the Left, and do so primarily when they think they can use it as a hammer to bludgeon the right

We witnessed such a bludgeoning on President Trump after Richard Bower’s killing of 11 Jews in a Pittsburgh synagogue. Numerous reports implied that Trump was responsible for this massacre. 

These reports somehow ignored that President Trump has a Jewish daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren, and is arguably the most pro-Israel president in history. The revelation that Mr. Bowers himself hated President Trump because he felt that he was too friendly with the Jews, as well as for “being insufficiently supportive of the white supremacists of the deadly Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally and of the Proud Boys, a violent alt-right gang.” 

The Progressive war on people of faith is also not limited to attacking Jews. This assertion can be supported by the saga of Colorado baker Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop. 

Mr. Philips famously won a religious liberty case when the Supreme Court acknowledged that he was within his rights to refuse to make a same-sex marriage cake due to his Christian beliefs. 

Unfortunately this victory only inspired some to become obsessed with destroying him. In fact, almost as soon as this decision was announced, the Masterpiece Cakeshop was contacted by a lawyer-activist named Autumn Scardina who requested that Mr. Phillips sell him a custom designed cake to celebrate his ‘transition from a male to a female.’

David French of the National Review adds:

“Lest anyone wonder whether this request was made in good faith, consider that this same person apparently made a number of requests to Masterpiece Cakeshop. In September 2017, a caller asked Phillips to design a birthday cake for Satan that would feature an image of Satan smoking marijuana. The name “Scardina” appeared on the caller identification. A few days earlier, a person had emailed Jack asking for a cake with a similar theme — except featuring “an upside-down cross, under the head of Lucifer.” This same emailer reminded Phillips that “religion is a protected class.”

Masterpiece Cakeshop continued to be inundated with requests for lewd or Satanic cakes from Mr. Scardina, who either wanted to harass Mr. Phillips for his Christianity, or just really loves cakes shaped like sex toys and pentagrams. Only in the past few days has a federal judge allowed Mr. Phillips to sue the Colorado Civil Rights Commission which punished for refusing to make a trans-cake.

But the Democrat’s attack on Christians is not limited to pastries.  It is endemic of the party’s core philosophy.

David Limbaugh writes https://www.timesexaminer.com/david-limbaugh/2937-the-democratic-party-s-christian-problem  “Is its frequent disrespect for the God of the Bible, Christian home-schoolers and the constitutionally protected religious liberty of Christians indicative of something or just a matter of my imagination? How about Democrats’ hostility to voluntary prayer in public schools, their selective excising of Christian history from public school textbooks, their allergy to Christian-themed hymns in public schools or their dislike of Christmas displays in the public square? How about leftist Hollywood’s routine depiction of Christians as fanatical lunatics? Remember when the Democratic National Committee denounced God in three votes and took the word and concept of God out of the party platform at the 2012 convention?”

Archbishop Timothy Dolan adds this about the Democrats:  “…[I]t saddens me, and weakens the democracy millions of Americans cherish, when the party that once embraced Catholics now slams the door on us.” 

Even Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, adds to this her criticism of the Democrats for attacking the faith of judicial nominees, She writes in The Hill:

“Elected leaders engaging in religion-baiting are playing with fire. They are sacrificing the well-being, peace and harmony of our country to satisfy their own political ambitions for partisan political interests.” 

Rep. Gabbard’s comments will be especially relevant if current rumors are true, and Justice Ginsburg retires within the next weeks, and the replacement nominated is Catholic conservative jurist Amy Coney Barrett.

While questioning Judge Barrett during her nomination to a seat on the 7th Circuit Court, Senator Feinstein said to her,  “You are controversial. You have a long history of believing that your religious beliefs should prevail. … When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you.”

To Senator Feinstein, that Justice Barrett’s deep faith in the very Christian beliefs on which this country and its judicial system was largely founded makes her “controversial.”  That Justice Barrett is a Person of Faith, that the Christian dogma lives loudly within her, makes her lesser qualified for the Circuit Court position for which she was nominated than a person of lesser or no faith – not just to Senator Feinstein but to a great number within the Progressive movement as well.

That view is a dangerous force in our country. To not stand up to this — to be silent— is to be a part of the problem.

— DK

African American Conservtives AACONS Trump political violence

Trump and the Era of Political Violence

Many years ago — but definitely after Charlottesville and the Scalise shooting — there should have been a coming together of top political voices to condemn political violence.

I would have liked to have seen a public service announcement that could have featured the Trumps, the Pences, the Obamas, the Clintons, Rush Limbaugh, Rachel Maddow, and so on. Perhaps it could have been modeled after this famous “I Pledge” video, but instead of having celebrities pledging to be “a servant” to Barack Obama we could have people pledging something less Stalinistic, like to not attempt to intimidate, shoot, or mail bombs to people because they are of another party.

It would have been very effective, too. In fact, I expected that it or something along the same lines to be forthcoming. Instead, however, we started seeing stories describing those throwing soda cans filled with cement at Charlottesville as “anti-fascists.” Some on the left could not wait until Rep. Scalise was out of critical condition before labeling him a “bigoted homophobe,” implying that he kinda sorta had it coming.

Instead of tamping down the hostility, Dems and MSNBCNN ratcheted it up, celebrating when Republicans were prevented from speaking on college campuses, harassed during dinner, or held hostage in an elevator. It has been as if they were unaware — even after the Scalise shooting — that this sort of behavior could be life-threatening.

When Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was refused service in one restaurant and chased out of another, a columnist for the Washington Post, for example, responded by writing that if she didn’t want to be “shunned” she should not work for President Trump.

Even politicians from Maxine Waters to Eric Holder and Cory Booker encouraged more violence against Republicans.

It’s not just famous Republican politicians who are bullied and targeted by the left. Reports such as teens having their drink thrown in their face, or trucks being set on fire because they displayed Trump bumper stickers are now so common many Republicans avoid identifying themselves. I may not be a genius, but I’m smart enough not to wear a MAGA cap in public, not unless I happen to be visiting someplace like Mar-A-Lago.

This atmosphere of violence has been placed at the feet of Donald Trump and his supporters. This is ironic, considering that the “civil” presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, is currently denouncing civility, arguing that “You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about.” Or at least she was until she was the supposed victim of a mail bomber who apparently agrees with her.

However, this era of political violence did not begin with the ascension of Donald J. Trump, despite what the propagandists in the MSNBCNN would have everyone believe. In 2008, for example, when Donald Trump was still hosting that idiotic show of his, “Celebrity Apprentice,” (wasn’t “The Apprentice” vastly superior?), President Obama told his supporters “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun. Because from what I understand, folks in Philly like a good brawl.”

And in 2011, African American Conservatives’ Marie Stroughter interviewed Ann Coulter about her book Demonic in which Ms. Coulter argued as follows:

The Democratic Party is the party of the mob, irrespective of what the mob represents. Democrats activate mobs, depend on mobs, coddle mobs, publicize and celebrate mobs — they are the mob. Indeed, the very idea of a “community organizer” is to stir up a mob for some political purpose. “As so frequently happens when a crowd goes wild,” historian Eric Durschmied says, “there is always one who shouts louder and thereby appoints himself as their leader.” Those are the people we call “elected Democrats.” 1

To my knowledge, neither Marie Stroughter, nor Ann Coulter, as brilliant as they are, knew in 2011 that Donald Trump would be our next president.

Just as President Trump was not the progenitor of the current atmosphere of political violence, his role in inflaming it has also been greatly exaggerated.

There was often violence at Mr. Trump’s rallies, and to his discredit, Mr. Trump encouraged some of it, as has been widely reported. However, it has been much less reported that this violence, as well as the candidate’s cheerleading of it, was typically in response to a campaign by the left to bully the Trump candidacy into submission.

Donald Trump is occasionally quoted by those who want to make the case that he spurs on violence as saying at a February 2016 rally “Knock the crap out of him, would you? I promise you, I will pay your legal fees.” But Mr. Trump began that quote with “if you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato” and he made the comment about a week after a protester at another rally threw a tomato at him.

Again, Donald Trump should not have told his supporters to “knock the crap” out of anyone, but context is always important.

Unfortunately, even in light of recent attempted assassinations of several important political leaders (assuming the whole thing wasn’t just some false flag), there seems to be little progress towards the realization of my imagined PSA video. Rather than joining with the president’s call for bipartisanship, the media and the Democrats have responded by demanding President Trump cease attacking them, even as they increase their attacks upon him.

This is a strategy that might benefit the left in the short-run. But, it is a dangerous game they are playing, and very provocative to the wrong sort of people, with stakes much graver to them, and to all of us, than who will win the next election.

–DK

1. Coulter, Ann, Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America, (New York, NY,  Crown Forum, 2011) page 4.

Photo credit: Spencer Means on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-SA









The Killing of Sanctuary Cities

If you were in the New York area on March 2, 2017, it would have been difficult for you to miss the news of thirteen members of the gang MS-13 (Mara Salvatrucha) charged by way of federal indictments for the murders of seven people in the Long Island community of Brentwood, NY.

Among the homicide victims were two girls, Nisa Mickens and Kayla Cuevas, who were both around sixteen years of age. According to NBC New York“Mickens’ brutally beaten body was found on a tree-lined street in Brentwood Sept. 13, a day before her 16th birthday. A day later, the beaten body of Cuevas, her lifelong friend, was discovered in the wooded backyard of a nearby home.”

Nisa Mickens reportedly was the sort to “clap back” at MS-13 members, in person and on social media. For that she was bludgeoned with baseball bats and slashed with machetes.  Kayla Cuevas died the same way for being Mickens’ friend.

People interviewed by the local newspaper spoke of their great “relief” after the indictments. And small wonder, for MS-13 has been terrorizing their community for some time now:

“In recent months, an estimated 125 suspected MS-13 members were arrested on Long Island. Law enforcers have linked to the gang to at least 30 other homicides on Long Island since 2010.” 

The MS-13 gang is so dangerous, in fact, that on the very same day these gang members were being arrested on Long Island, two more members were being charged in Houston, TX, for the “the kidnapping and torture of one victim, and the ‘satanic’ killing of a second.” The kidnap victim is a female who was held for about eighteen days by MS-13 and was repeatedly raped by them. She is only 14 years old.

What may have gone missing in the reports about MS-13’s day is that the gang is predominantly composed of illegals. In Brentwood, ten of the thirteen indicted gang members were illegals, as are the two on trial in Houston.

As Judicial Watch reported in 2015, “The MS-13 is a feared street gang of mostly Central American illegal immigrants that’s spread throughout the U.S. and is renowned for drug distribution, murder, rape, robbery, home invasions, kidnappings, vandalism and other violent crimes.” They grew in strength during the influx of unaccompanied children that swarmed our borders from Central America beginning in 2012 — an influx that was encouraged by the Obama administration.

It is also important to mention that both New York City and Houston are essentially sanctuary cities. Houston’s Mayor Sylvester Turner recently drew cheers from supporters by defying President Trump’s executive order to stop funding Sanctuary Cities with his proclamation that Houston is and will remain a “welcoming city” for illegals.

This, despite a Texas Tribune report:

“MS-13 has…evolved into a…sophisticated organization, sustaining itself through drug and human trafficking, extortion and forced recruitment. According to the 2016 Congressional Research Service analysis, some members also freelance and perform contract killings for some of Mexico’s drug cartels.

Only about 800 of the estimated 20,000 gang members in the greater Houston area belong to the MS-13, according to the [Department of Public Safety] . But the group’s notoriety is enough that the agency rates it a Tier 1 threat — the highest possible — in its annual gang threat assessment.” 

New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio similarly stated that “We’re going to defend all of our people regardless of where they come from, regardless of their immigration status.”

New York City has defended illegals so well that city officials defied orders from ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to hold Estivan Rafael Marques Velasquez, an illegal who confessed to being a MS-13 member.

The unwillingness of Sanctuary City mayors to cooperate with ICE, and the ability of criminals to exploit this unwillingness is nothing new. A 2014 report by the Center of Immigration Studies uncovered that 8,145 arrested illegals were released after local officials rejected ICE requests that they continue to be held, despite 1,909 (23%) of these illegals having a “prior misdemeanor conviction or charges related to violence, threats, assaults, sexual abuse or exploitation, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, unlawful flight from the scene of an accident, unlawful possession of a firearm or other deadly weapon, distribution or trafficking of a controlled substance, or other significant threat to public safety.”

1,867 of these illegals who were released by officials despite a detention request from ICE were subsequently re-arrested on other charges.

The most infamous example of an illegal alien released in defiance of a detention request by ICE is, of course, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, who was in federal prison on March 26, 2015, but was sent to — and soon released in — the sanctuary city of San Francisco, despite the wishes of ICE. On the first of July, 2015, Mr. Lopez-Sanchez murdered Kathryn “Kate” Steinle, a 32 year old woman engaged to be married, on a pier where she was walking arm-in-arm with her father.

Mayors and other politicians who support sanctuary cities do so with righteous zeal, and have no regard for the price the citizens they are sworn to serve must pay for that zeal.

Sometimes that price is solely financial. In New Jersey — arguably already the highest taxed state in the nation — there is even a bill to raise another $15.7 billion in taxes to reimburse the funding that will be lost to the state’s sanctuary cities due to President Trump’s executive order cutting off their funding.

Too often however, that zeal must be paid for with the lives of American citizens. Sanctuary city pols who believe they are doing good should be required to attend the funerals of Nisa Mickens, Kayla Cuevas, Kate Steinle, and so many others victims of the illegals invited to live in and given shelter in communities that by right they did not belong. Perhaps that would dissuade them of that notion.

— DK