On the eve of unveiling his plan for the “holistic revitalization and recovery” to black America, Donald Trump says he won’t “even consider” renaming U.S. military bases named after Confederate Generals, and announces that he’ll hold a rally on Juneteenth, near the site of the Tulsa Race Massacre

Three days ago, word came out through various channels that our embattled president, facing intense criticism for his handling of the Black Lives Matter protests which swept our nation this past week, was likely going to make a public statement on race. Most notably, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday that, by the end of the week, Donald Trump would address George Floyd’s killing and the tensions that it brought to the surface. “I believe you’re going to be hearing from the President this week on this topic in some detail,” Carson said, before going on to add, “I would ask you maybe to reserve judgment until after that time.”

Well, it looks as though the big speech in question — the one that will heal the nation and make us forget all about the Central Park 5, the Muslim travel ban, the remarks about “shithole countries,” the praising of racists as “very fine people,” and all the rest of it — may be happening tomorrow. According to the Texas Tribune, tomorrow night in Dallas, before a high-dollar fundraising dinner, Donald Trump will visit a church, where he intends to discuss race relations and policing. According to an anonymous White House official quoted in the article, Trump, during this speech, will announce his administration’s plans “for holistic revitalization and recovery.”

For what it’s worth, I don’t have high hopes. For one thing, Donald Trump came out today and said that he refuses to “even consider” changing the names of U.S. military bases named after Confederate generals, noting that they’re important to “our history of winning, victory and freedom,” conveniently ignoring the fact that these men, in addition to being traitors were actually losers who fought for the right to enslave their fellow citizens. More importantly, though, April Ryan reported yesterday that this important speech of Trump’s was being written by none other than white nationalist Stephen Miller, the man who, in the words of Ryan, “crafted Trump’s immigration policy at the southern border, including separating families and caging children.” And then there’s also the fact that Trump just announced that he plans to hold his first rally since the lockdown in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the site of 1932’s Tulsa Race Massacre. And, not just that, but he’ll be holding the rally on June 19th, or Juneteenth, the date black Americans celebrate the end of slavery in the United States.

So, no, I’m not expecting to be impressed by this plan for “holistic revitalization and recovery.” In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if it set off a new wave of protests, just as the easing of social distancing rules around Memorial Day set off a new wave of COVID-19 deaths under Trump’s watch.

The good news is, things continue to change in spite of Trump. NFL commissioner Roger Goddell, while he didn’t mention Colin Kaepernick by name, released a statement saying that, “We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest.” The television show Cops got cancelled after over 30 years on the air. HBO Max pulled Gone with the Wind from its lineup. The editor of Bon Appétit and the CEO of CrossFit both got forced out for race related issues. And today NASCAR came out and said that, from here on out, the Confederate flag wouldn’t be welcome at their events.

Yes, it’s largely window dressing — the group photo of the NASCAR Foundation’s board of directors could be used to white-balance a video camera — but these are significant first steps. Or at least they will be significant first steps, assuming the pressure stays on these companies, and there are subsequent, more substantial steps taken. Telling your fans that they’re no longer able to wave the offensive flag of a racist military that sought to destroy our nation is, literally, the least that an organization like NASCAR could do. But — and this is important — it’s more than the President of the United States has done to date. [Will he be asking those coming to his Juneteenth rally in Tulsa to not either wear or wave the Confederate flag?]

The importune thing is that the support for Black Lives Matter keeps increasing across the nation. And, as long as that continues to be the case, we’ll keep seeing positive changes. Racist monuments will keep coming down. Racists will continue to be pushed from power. And maybe we can even see a return of the Voting Rights Act.

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17 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    Posted June 10, 2020 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    NASCAR truck racer Ray Ciccarelli says he’s quitting after Confederate flag ban

  2. John Brown
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    They’re saying he’s the second Confederate President. But he’s also a ruskie stooge. Traitors against America stick together I guess.

  3. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    He won’t let you destroy the physical evidence that the Democrat Party is the slave owner party. If you got your way the Americans of the future would get beaten up for trying to find that out.

  4. Lynne
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    HW, yeah but that was back before the southern racists switched parties!

  5. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Evidence?

  6. Anonymous
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_the_Southern_United_States#The_South_becomes_Republican

    History is hard.

  7. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    “The Democratic Party no longer acted as the champion of segregation.”

    Wow, good stuff.

  8. Another Anonymous
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    If you really want to learn something, HW, look up “Richard Nixon + Southern Strategy + Lee Atwater.”

  9. Another Anonymous
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Here. I’ll save you the trouble of having to search.

    https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/exclusive-lee-atwaters-infamous-1981-interview-southern-strategy/

  10. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Lee Atwater explains how Republicans can win the vote of racists without sounding racist themselves

    When you are in a country where voting decides which leaders are in power and you are surrounded by racists who vote for the other party.

    Fair bit of history concerning dem racism, you think? You can’t erase it. Clinton was incredibly snuggly with her mentor, the (former?) klansman Byrd. Biden’s idea of justice reform was get ’em young because if you don’t in fifteen years they will be the predators preying on YOU.

    President Trump is beating the shit out of all the other presidents put together when it comes to jobs and justice reform for minorities. For sure many black people are seeing it and deciding for theirselves what to think. Plantation no more.

  11. Anonymous
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    This is HW’s Fonzie moment.

  12. Jean Henry
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    While reframing ‘Defund the Police’ to be more palatable to anxious white liberals may seem like the right move to gain acceptance, BLM and other Black activists have specifically asked White liberals not to riff on their slogans.

    I know because I just said Disarm the Police and was told they have different language for that. Demilitarize Our Communities.

    So. hey! let’s all stop rebranding black movements for freedom from oppression. And their communities. And their music etc etc. honor the source. Honor the mission to rebalance power.

  13. Jean Henry
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Oops. Wrong thread. Sorry.

  14. Jean Henry
    Posted June 12, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Guess who is drafting the president’s speech on race? White Nationalist and Trump advisor on immigration, Stephen Miller.

    This should be good.

    https://www.democracynow.org/2020/6/11/headlines/white_nationalist_white_house_adviser_stephen_miller_drafting_trump_speech_on_race

  15. Jean Henry
    Posted June 12, 2020 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    Oh man. I did it again. Sorry Mark. Will read more closely. Promise.

  16. Bob
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Lost his supreme court case. FDA called bullshit on his snake oil Corona cures. Lindsey Graham endorsement ads for Biden are running. He was caught on camera barely able to walk or drink water. Somebody’s got a case of the Mondays.

  17. bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Aloha, we had the fewest reported deaths from the Trump virus since March 27, only 345 reported. I would say we have now reached the end of the first wave of deaths, or at least the bottom of the trough.

    (Reuters) – A new forecast projects 201,129 deaths due to COVID-19 in the United States through the beginning of October mainly due to reopening measures under way, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington said on Monday.

    The IHME raised its estimate by 18 percent from 169,890 and said Florida would be among the hardest hit states, with an estimated 18,675 deaths, up 186 percent from a previous estimate of 6,559 on June 10.

    The institute raised its estimate for deaths in California by 72 percent to 15,155 from 8,812 and increased its outlook for Arizona by 56 percent to 7,415 fatalities from 4,762.

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