Black Leaders Take Aim at Sens. Sinema, Manchin Over Refusal to Nix Filibuster; ‘They Are, in Effect, Supporting Racism’

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The Senate website defines the filibuster as an “informal term for any attempt to block or delay Senate action on a bill or other matter by debating it at length, by offering numerous procedural motions, or by any other delaying or obstructive actions.” This device is meant to prevent the party in the Senate minority from being completely overpowered by the majority party.

Prior to the election, the Indivisible Project, a movement dedicated to advancing the election of progressive candidates, explained why the filibuster is bad news for Democrats:

“It’s simple: none of the progressive issues that Democratic candidates and congressional leaders are discussing today will become law unless we do something about the filibuster.”

“If [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell expects to be the Grim Reaper of progressive policies, the scythe he’ll use is the Senate filibuster. Unless we change the rules.”

With a 50-50 balance of power in the Senate, Democrats control the upper chamber by the slimmest margin possible.

Current Senate rules require a minimum of 60 votes to pass legislation. Some Democrats have hoped to abolish the filibuster so that only a simple majority of 51 votes (50 Democratic senators plus Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote) would be necessary to advance their progressive agenda.

Their latest challenge is that two Democratic Senators, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, have both quite strongly announced their opposition to abolishing the filibuster.

Just two months ago, a representative for Sinema told The Washington Post’s White House reporter, Seung Min Kim, that “Kyrsten is against eliminating the filibuster, and she is not open to changing her mind about eliminating the filibuster.”

Up until then, conservatives had been counting on Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia to save us from being overrun by leftist lesiglation. Manchin won re-election in 2018 in a state that went overwhelmingly for former President Donald Trump by nearly 40 points in 2020 and over 41 in 2016.

Shortly after the announcement from Team Sinema, Politico reported that Manchin was “emphatic” that he “will not vote to kill the filibuster.” Asked if there were any scenario in which he would change his mind, the senator replied: “None whatsoever that I will vote to get rid of the filibuster.”

Protecting the filibuster is essential to protecting us from the tyranny of the majority.

Even with the filibuster in place, Democrats can do and have already done a lot of damage. But their major radical initiatives, such as the Election Reform bill which passed the House earlier this month, granting statehood to Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, and stacking the Supreme Court, can be blocked by the Republicans.

Naturally, Democrats are trying to exert maximum pressure on Sinema and Manchin to change their minds.

Politico has interviewed several black civil rights leaders to find out what they plan to do about this. According to Politico, “top [civil rights] officials framed the choice as existential for a party that depends on Black and brown voters — and they are planning pressure campaigns privately and publicly to make that clear.”

Rev. Al Sharpton plans to hold town halls and rallies in Sinema’s and Manchin’s home states. He said, “The pressure that we are going to put on Sinema and Manchin is calling [the filibuster] racist and saying that they are, in effect, supporting racism. Why would they be wedded to something that has those results? Their voters need to know that.”

Sharpton cautioned Democrats that if they fail to end the filibuster, then “civil rights leaders might have less reason to help generate enthusiasm and turnout in the 2022 midterm elections without being able to point to actual laws Democrats passed.”

Sounds like a threat.

He added, “Many of us, and certainly all of us in the civil rights leadership, are committed to policies and laws and causes, not to people’s political careers. We’re not into that. We want to change the country. And if there is not feasible evidence that we’re doing that, it is not in our concern to be aggressively involved.”

Sinema and/or Manchin may yet flip, but I would be willing to bet it wouldn’t be because Al Sharpton and his merry band of civil rights leaders come to their states and call them racists.

Although politicians are famous for flip-flopping, after putting out such a strong statement of opposition as her representative did in conversation with the Washington Post reporter, I would be surprised if Sinema caved. Sharpton’s actions might just make her dig in her heels a little deeper.

Manchin, on the other hand, strikes me as less resolute than Sinema. However, he did say he was “emphatic” he wouldn’t vote to end the filibuster.

There is another option. The Senate could potentially create a carve-out specifically for voting rights legislation, a measure they’ve taken before. The Senate has created exceptions to the filibuster in the past for confirmations of Supreme Court nominees and for budget reconciliation (which is how the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill was passed).

Manchin is currently the only Senate Democrat who is not a co-sponsor of the voting reform bill known as S. 1.

On Wednesday, Manchin told reporters, “I think all of us should be able to be united around voting rights, but it should be limited to voting rights.”

But if the bill were to be limited to votings rights, according to CBS News, “it would strip provisions related to campaign finance and ethics reform, which are key priorities for progressives.”

In a Tuesday statement, “Manchin expressed concerns about S. 1, and said that he would support bipartisan legislation on voting rights.” The statement said:

As the Senate prepares to take up the For the People Act, we must work toward a bipartisan solution that protects everyone’s right to vote, secures our elections from foreign interference, and increases transparency in our campaign finance laws. Pushing through legislation of this magnitude on a partisan basis may garner short-term benefits, but will inevitably only exacerbate the distrust that millions of Americans harbor against the U.S. government.

He issued another statement on Thursday in which he reiterated his opposition to creating a carve-out to the filibuster rule specifically for voting rights. He noted that would be “like being a little bit pregnant.” You either kill the filibuster or you keep it.

Let’s hope that both he and Sinema stand by their pledges not to abolish the filibuster. All Republican senators, even those whose votes can’t always be counted on, such as Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, are unanimously opposed to ending the filibuster. They are also opposed to the voting reform bill.

Sinema and Manchin are the only thing standing between us and the enactment of the Democrats’ entire radical agenda.  Let’s hope they stand strong.

Syracuse University Professor: Maybe conservatism ‘is just a euphemism for white supremacy and … white rage’

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Syracuse University religion professor Biko Gray was one of three panelists at an event hosted by Louisiana State University called “Race, Religion and the Moment We’re In: The Religion of White Rage.” An LSU statement said its purpose was to “shed light on the phenomenon of white rage and map out the uneasy relationship between white anxiety, religious fervor, American identity and perceived Black racial progress,” according to Campus Reform.

Gray told the group: “Maybe conservatism, away from being a financial and economic and political policy, is just a euphemism for white supremacy and its affective variant; white rage.”

Yeah, or maybe it’s just a financial and economic and political policy, Professor Gray.

I have the feeling it won’t be long before conservatism is no longer just a “euphemism” for white supremacy and white rage, but its very definition.

The event statement quoted LSU professor Stephen Finley, who was also a panelist: “Religion is a source of connection and community for many Americans; however, it is also the primary motivating factor for the rise of white rage and white supremacist sentiment in the United States. The Capitol insurrection is the latest example of this. In this episode, we will hone in on this relationship between White apprehension, race and religion, and their subsequent effects on communities of color and the struggle for equality.”

The left finds a way to make everything about race. The Capitol riot had nothing to do with race. A large majority of Trump supporters, myself included, believe that fraud may have altered the outcome of the presidential election.

LSU sociology professor Lori Martin was the third panelist.

The three professors collaborated on the book which inspired the event. It was entitled, “The Religion of White Rage: Religious Fervor, White Workers and the Myth of Black Racial Progress.” The authors claim that “white religious fervor correlates to notions of perceived white loss and perceived black progress.” They argue, “It is not economics but religion and race that stand as the primary motivating factors for the rise of white rage and white supremacist sentiment in the United States.”

Finley described Martin’s portion of the book as a “brilliant analysis of how anger functions and fluctuates figuratively in and through the bodies of White women.”

He said his own chapter addresses “what we now call ‘Karens,’ White women who called the cops on Black men in an attempt to pretty much get them killed.”

In his remarks, Gray called out Louisiana State Rep. Ray Garofalo, who had expressed concern over this event, as well as Campus Reform. He said, “here we are, three black scholars, and no matter how much tenure we get, how much money we get paid, we will always be in a situation of precocity when it comes to discourses, when it comes to this particular country. That’s white rage and we started working on this text long before Ray Garofalo knew who we were or we started getting emails from Campus Reform.”

Campus Reform reached out to LSU for a comment on this seminar. The university’s media relations director Ernie Ballard told them that events hosted by the university do not “represent an official view or statement from the university. … The overarching goal is to inform and educate students, expose them to new ideas, and teach them critical-thinking skills.”

This is how it happens. I don’t recall liberal teachers or college professors forcing their political opinions upon us when I was in school, but that was a long time ago.

By the time my children were in school, the shift had begun. Even at the junior high school level, they knew that if they wrote an essay with a liberal slant, they would receive a higher grade. It was in college where this dynamic was most apparent.

It’s been more recently, however, that the battle lines have been drawn and the subtleties have been replaced by conspicuous efforts to indoctrinate our children.

All conservative white people are racists. They are vile and contemptible because they have suppressed blacks since 1619. Last night, Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan provided a textbook example of this thinking. I posted about it here. She was making the case before her House colleagues for D.C. statehood. Of course, the real reason Democrats are fighting for D.C. statehood is because it would hand their party two extra senators, which would tilt control of the upper chamber of Congress to the left.

Tlaib immediately pulls out the race card to make her ostensible argument:

In opposing D.C. statehood … these representatives and their dark money backers over at the Heritage Foundation [a conservative think tank] — that’s right — are telling over 700,000 Americans to sit down, shut up, and enjoy this authoritarian system implemented by a bunch of elites who thought it was OK to enslave people for their selfish monetary gain hundreds of years ago. … It is shameful that anyone would claim to support democracy and freedom and oppose statehood.

Unlike white conservatives, white liberals are enlightened. Though they may suffer from some inherent racism, they atone for it by their good works on behalf of blacks.

Blacks in America are not victims. They have never had more opportunities available to them than they do today. If there is a country that is less inherently racist, where blacks may have a greater likelihood of success, I am not aware of it.

If blacks are looking for a group to blame for their perceived oppression, they should look no further than the Democrats who have used public aid as a means to maintain control over them for generations. (Please read: “Michelle Obama Gets it Terribly Wrong in Her Commencement Address and Exposes the Root of the Racial Divide.”)

These three professors need to be canceled, at once, for thrusting this misguided rubbish into our children’s classrooms.

Note: Readers, I would love to hear your comments on this topic.

Michelle Obama Gets it Terribly Wrong in Her Commencement Address and Exposes the Root of the Racial Divide

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After reading Victor Davis Hanson’s new column in which he makes the case that “we have become an absurd society obsessed with race” which I excerpted here, I was reminded of a virtual speech delivered by former First Lady Michelle Obama to “2020 graduates.” Her words exposed the root of the racial divide. I was especially struck by her remarks because I had just watched conservative commentator Mark Levin interview Shelby Steele, a black conservative who had a much different take on racism in America today than Mrs. Obama. ( Like Hanson, Steele is also a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.) I am reprising a post I had written at the time because the contrast between their perceptions had been so startling to me, and so revealing.

For most people, the biggest takeaway from former First Lady Michelle Obama’s virtual commencement address to the class of 2020 last June was this: “Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you’re too angry.”

Not for me. I hadn’t reached that line in her speech when she uttered something that stopped me in my tracks.

Within 90 seconds, the topic turned to race. Not only have we had to deal with the pandemic, she told graduates, “but also by the rumbling of the age-old fault lines that our country was built on. The lines of race and power that are once again so nakedly exposed for all of us to grapple with.”

With one of the most sour expressions I’ve ever seen, she said, “What’s happening now is the direct result of decades of prejudice and inequality.”

“The truth is, when it comes to all those tidy stories of hard work and self-determination that we like to tell ourselves about America,” she says as she shakes her head to indicate this is a lie, “the reality is a lot more complicated than that. Because for too many people in this country no matter how hard they work, there are structural barriers working against them that just make the road longer and rockier.”

STOP. RIGHT. THERE.

Having just watched a powerful discussion the night before between Fox News’ Mark Levin and Shelby Steele, a Senior Fellow at The Hoover Institution, about this very subject, it struck me she was perpetuating the decades old myth that stands at the center of the racial divide in America today.

This statement is the crux of the problem. By their actions and their words, Democrats have instilled in blacks the notion that they are helpless, and the odds are stacked against them. Like all of the Democrat’s lies, it’s been repeated so often, many blacks firmly believe that no matter how hard they work, the system is rigged against them, and they will never get ahead.

Now, if a parent or a mentor tells a child, continually, that even if they persevere, it will make little difference, the child will have very little incentive to do so. And if that parent or mentor takes it further and says, “But don’t worry. I’ll always make sure you have everything you need,” what little motivation the child may have had will evaporate.

The Democratic Party and black parents, for whom this message is now deeply ingrained, are creating a never-ending cycle of failure.

Shelby Steele, who is black, provided some unique insight into America’s current racial problems.

Steele came of age during the civil rights era in the 1960s and said the biggest difference between then and now is that, back then, everybody knew exactly what they wanted. “Often [it was] a piece of legislation, a civil rights bill or something else that was specific or concrete.”

He speaks of the vagueness of the current protests. “So, what is this really all about?” Steele thinks it’s about power and, “in order to pursue power, as they do, you have to have victims.”

The death of George Floyd, he told Levin, “generates such excitement among this crowd and validates their argument that America is a wretched country. It feeds this old model of operation that we’ve developed, that America is guilty of racism…and has been for four centuries and minorities are victims who are entitled.” Steele continued:

And so, when people start to talk about systemic racism built into the system, what they’re really doing is expanding their territory of entitlement. We want more. We want more…Society is responsible for us because racism is so systemic.

Well, that’s a corruption. And I know it’s a corruption. Because the truth of the matter is that blacks have never been less oppressed than they are today. Opportunity is around every corner.

Blacks, he says, are unhappy that they’re at the bottom of most socioeconomic ladders, but instead of blaming it on the police or anyone else, they need to take a look at themselves. He goes on to say:

Why don’t you take some responsibility for it? Why don’t you take more responsibility? I would be happy to look at all the usual bad guys, the police and so forth, if they have the nerve, the courage, to look at black people…and say, you’re not carrying your own weight, you’re going to go have a fit and a tantrum and demonstrations…

Are you teaching your child to read?  Are you making sure that the school down the street actually educates your child? Are you becoming educated and following a dream in your life and making things happen for yourself? Or are you saying ‘I’m a victim and I’m owed? And the entitlement is inadequate and I need to be given more and after all, you know racism has been here for 400 years…and so, it’s time for you to give to me.’

That’s an exhausted, fruitless, empty strategy to take and we’ve been on that path since the 60s and we are farther behind than we’ve ever been and we keep blaming it on racism and blaming it on the police. I’m exhausted with that.

Steele recalls growing up in the 1950s in Chicago when segregation was “fierce.” No one was taking money from the government. His father, with a third grade education, bought three ramshackle houses, rebuilt them and then rented them out. He “kept clawing his way up.” And he wasn’t unique. They were all working hard. He continued:

“They took a lot of responsibility for their lives because the government didn’t. What civil rights bill is going to replace that? What value system?,” asked Steele.

“And that is the problem. That we have allowed ourselves to be enabled in avoiding our real problems by a guilty white society. That keeps using us and exploiting us as victims,” adding that, “If you really care about how minorities do, why don’t you ask them to do it? Why don’t you ask them to drop the pretense?”

He also believes there’s always going to be some racism in every society. He noted, “My own sense is that it’s endemic to the human condition. We will always have to watch out for it…That is no excuse for us being where we are right now in American life.” Steele explains:

We have let this sort of guilty society and our grievance industry put us in this impossible position where we are a permanent underclass.

White guilt: Buying back legitimacy by exploiting minorities all over again.

‘Look, we beat you up pretty badly. You can’t make it without us…unless WE are the agent of that change. Not you us. So they take over the agency, over black development and say, if you don’t get more government money, more government programs…you will never make it. You are dependent on us and what happens? A grievance industry springs up in black America to receive all that white beneficence.

The civil rights movement does nothing but scream bloody murder at how dependent black people are on what white’s do for them.

Levin noted:

The Democrat party history in many respects is a very evil history…It was the party of the Confederacy, the party of slavery. It was the party, after the Civil War that destroyed Reconstruction. It was the party that spawned and gave birth to the Klan. The party that pushed segregation. It was the party whose members were involved in the Dred Scott decision. The Plessy v. Ferguson decision.

The party up into the 1920s that embraced the racists and the segregationists. It was the party all the way up until the Civil Rights Act, that played serious politics with the racists and the segregationists in the Jim Crowe south…Now there are exceptions.

Steele interrupted to say, “Now, it’s the party of affirmative action. There’s a symbiosis that liberalism is a part of and, where there’s sort of a mutual corruption and you see this in the Democratic Party where you have on the one hand the grievance industry blacks, and you have on the other hand the Pelosi’s of the world who want to be the agents of black uplift. We’re just sort of stuck there. And, of course as always, the group that will pay the price for this stuckness [sic], this stalemate, is blacks. We’ll get farther and farther behind.”

Mrs. Obama’s advice to graduates is to mobilize and become community organizers to bring radical change following the death of George Floyd.

But rather than protesting for more entitlements, why doesn’t she just tell them to work hard in a chosen field and break out of the cycle that continues to keep them stuck? Many blacks have found success in today’s America. The old fashioned way.

That would be a lot more empowering than telling them to go out and protest.

The video of Levin’s interview with Steele can be viewed here.