When I manage to limp and claw myself up from the hot-weather doldrums, the vicissitudes of advanced age, the demands of the gardening season or what-have-you, I can be sure of one thing when I put …
When I manage to limp and claw myself up from the hot-weather doldrums, the vicissitudes of advanced age, the demands of the gardening season or what-have-you, I can be sure of one thing when I put together a Leader blog. There's at least one troll out there who will label me as a "Trump-hater" whenever he can find no argumentative words of substance at hand.
So little surprise that I found the words "You must hate Trump; you must hate Trump" spewed from the mouth of former president Donald J. Trump.
Former Attorney General William Barr bluntly dismissed some of former President Donald Trump's election fraud allegations as "bulls***" in new interviews published June 27 in the Atlantic.
Barr, appointed by Trump to the utter dismay of Democrats early in February 2019, did little to allay their fears until leaving office with the administration change two years later. However, he told the Atlantic recently regarding Trump's alleged election fraud: “My attitude was: It was put-up or shut-up time . . . If there was evidence of fraud, I had no motive to suppress it. But my suspicion all the way along was that there was nothing there. It was all bulls***.”
The comment was part of multiple interviews Barr did this spring with ABC News' Jonathan Karl, who wrote the Atlantic article describing Barr’s break with Trump in the aftermath of the 2020 election. As Donald continued yelling "fraud" over the reality that he had apparently lost by 10,000,000 popular votes in two elections (but won once via the vagaries of the Electoral College).
However, Barr publicly undermined Trump’s false allegations of voter fraud. In a December 2020 interview with the Associated Press, Barr said “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”
“How the f*** could you do this to me? Why did you say it?” Trump demanded of Barr in a White House meeting, according to the Atlantic.
“Because it’s true,” Barr responded.
“You must hate Trump. You must hate Trump,” Trump continued.
MEANWHILE, I never miss reading the editorial column of Leonard Pitts Jr. (Miami Herald) which appears regularly in The Seattle Times. Most recently (June 28) he wrote: “There is no mystery why conservatives find education dangerous. A 2015 Pew Research Center study qualified that the better educated one is, the more likely one is to hold liberal beliefs.
“But I’d argue, contrary to what conservatives seem to feel, that’s not because of bullying professors shouting left-wing dogma,” said Pitts; “Rather, it’s because once you learn how to think, you’re less susceptible to thin reasoning and easy answers.
“And, increasingly, that’s all conservatism’s got.”
Why do I bring this up now? Because I’ve always found fault with the shameless assault on public education by Donald Trump and his schooling superintendent Betsy DeVos — and I was interrupted in mid-blog the other day by Florida’s conservative Governor Ron DeSantis.
DeSantis signed a bill requiring the state’s public colleges and universities to survey students and faculty on their ideological beliefs, claiming to prevent schools from “indoctrinating” students. It came two weeks after he pushed to ban the teaching of Critical Race Theory.
Pitts accuses, and I concur: “Like other states where similar restrictions are becoming law, Florida seeks not to further intellectual diversity but to prevent it.”
Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a school of thought meant to emphasize the effects of race on one's social standing. It arose as a challenge to the conservative idea that in the two decades since the Civil Rights Movement and associated legislation, racial inequality had been solved and affirmative action was no longer necessary. Critical race theory was a response by legal scholars to the idea that the United States had become a color-blind society where racial inequality/discrimination was no longer in effect.
While "race" as a notion is a social construction not rooted in biology, some tangible effects on Black people and other people of color have been made in terms of economic resources, educational and professional opportunities, and experiences with the legal system.
But as a society we remain far from “color blind.”
Elsewhere the other day Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas introduced a bill that would block federal funding for teaching Critical Race Theory in the workplace. Racism still is with us.