A rigorous day of action! Fueled by a class viewing of Ava DuVernay’s 13th, and guest speakers offering a perspective on why Black History Month matters (as a reminder of the erased history that is so much a part of our shared American history), I was re-energized to enact democracy.
I was also struck by the rhetoric of fear that played such a large part in the election success of first Nixon (“war on crime,” “war on drugs”) which, as explained in the recorded words of his advisor, was actual code for “war on Black people.” The discussion seemed pointedly connected to our own time, both for its racist rhetoric, and for its following an expansive era of Civil Rights gains.
I worry that we are flipping back over to Nixon-Reagan-Bush exclusionary tactics and fear-mongering. It should also be said: Bill Clinton’s 1994 Federal Crime Act was the coup de grace in a long history of discrimination, placing more Black men behind bars than any moment in history, and keeping them there with mandatory sentences.
So today I looped back to DeVos (education), wrote some post cards reminding Pence and Ryan that they tweeted that they “reject[ed]” (Ryan’s word) “unconstitutional” (Pence’s word) religious-based bans.