There’s been a lot of talk recently, by our President and others, about gun violence and race relations. How to simultaneously address both? Have our country live up to its legal obligations under ICERD by putting a National Plan of Action in place.
It is beyond inappropriate to leverage the Charleston church massacre, an act of racial terror, to push for background checks on gun sales when that measure, as reported by major news agencies, did not prevent the crime, nor was it designed to capture those holding hateful beliefs. And doing so weakens the gun violence prevention movement by keeping the attempts to limit gun violence at an initiative-based level rather than a broader issue-based level that both recognizes the complex nature of gun violence and encompasses all segments of our society.
To understand what happened in Charleston it becomes necessary to confront the horrific and enduring history of racial terrorism in this country, terrorism that continues to this day as part of a dangerous global movement uniting white supremacists across the US, Europe and Australia.
The GOP’s decision to reinstate tax cut policy in 2001 exposed their hand. It was not about deficit reduction, growing the economy, or job creation. It was about ideology and, no doubt, special interests. It was a backdoor approach where government revenue was cut in an attempt to curtail spending on popular programs they otherwise could not take head-on. This while obstructing the work of Congress, spinning a web of deceit about the benefits of their policy, and weakening our country’s financial standing. It’s time to play hardball during ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations and force them to be specific about what spending cuts they are talking about to offset the tax benefits they wish to preserve for the wealthiest. They wouldn’t have the nerve.