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Donald Trump’s recent and brief embrace of the truth – stating that he now believes that President Obama was born in the United States cannot begin to drain the swamp of hatred, bigotry and racism that he created by leading the birther movement for almost half a decade. But Trump is counting on the contagious amnesia that seems to affect the American public. So this would be a good time to take a quick time trip to 2009 when this column on the birther movement was originally published and to remember how vile and transparently racist the birther movement has always been.

Asylum Politics
As we observe the political landscape it is clear that what passes for reasonable discourse must have been birthed in some unknown asylum. A useful term, “birthed”, in that the continuing madness of the so-called “birther” movement continues its presence on the national stage like an embarrassing gate crasher who does not have the grace, or good sense, to finally go away.

For those who have been living in Carlsbad Caverns for the last 18 month, the “birther” movement is founded on the basic concept that Barack Obama was not born in the United States and since he is not a natural born citizen, the Constitution dictates that he cannot be President of the United States. It is this Constitutional precept that keeps Arnold Schwarzenegger, Arianna Huffington, Sting, Henry Kissinger and Pope Benedict from ever being candidates for the Presidency, while any of the Jonas Brothers, Britney Spears, Sarah Palin and Paris Hilton are all pre-qualified for the White House.

The Article 2 of the United States Constitution is clear on this point… Without an amendment to that hallowed document, one has to have been born within the 50 states to ever be elected President of the United States.

History reveals that Barry Goldwater was the Republican Party candidate for President in 1964. He was born in Arizona, the 48th state admitted to the Union. However, it was not a state when he was born in 1909. Indeed, Arizona was not admitted to the Union until 1912. So, obviously, Barry Goldwater was not born in the United States. Yet, amazingly, there was never an issue raised during his ill-fated candidacy or campaign. It appears that there is a “grandfather” clause in the Constitution that was written in invisible ink. But there’s more.

George Romney, another Republican Party icon and the father of current Republican luminary Mitt Romney, was born in the (now controversial) Mormon colonies in Mexico in 1907. While he moved to Utah as a child, it is clear that he was not born in the United States of America. And clearly, there is another invisible ink exception for the children of Mormon missionaries because at no time was his Mexican birthplace a major issue during his presidential candidacy in 1968. He ultimately lost to Richard Nixon, but his birthplace was not the pivot point, it was his political vision and perspective.

And now we fast forward to the present day. Since he announced his candidacy for President in 2007, Barack Obama has been beset by opponents whose basic opposition to his candidacy, and his very existence, is born of the dumbfounded and bizarre notion that he is defying the Laws of Nature. No one named Barack Hussein Obama could ever be President of the United States. No black man (even one with a white mother and white grandparents) could ever sully the seal of the presidency by actually getting elected.

And so we find the seeds of the so-called “birther movement” being sown. In trying to find some way, some mechanism, some means of stopping this violation of all that is holy and sacred in America, some genius with a double digit I.Q. came upon the idea that since Obama’s father was Kenyan and not an American citizen, he might not be a “native-born” American, and therefore he would be ineligible to be President of the United States.

A few details got in the way of this brilliant bit of strategy however. First, Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1961, one year after it became a state. Second, there is a certified birth certificate on file in Honolulu, attesting to his birth in August 1961 in Honolulu. And then, there are not one, but two, Honolulu newspapers, which featured announcements of the birth of one Barack Hussein Obama. One would think that this would sound the death knell for this misbegotten bit of strategy.

Think again. The “birthers” have continued their contemptuous campaign for more than two years (!!!!!). Claims have been raised that the referenced birth certificate was forged (the Republican governor of Hawaii debunked this particular urban myth). Some Einstein has posited the theory that, when he was born in Kenya, Obama’s parents managed to call (??), e-mail (???), and teletransport (!!!!) the birth announcement to the referenced Honolulu newspapers.

All of this would be sadly laughable were it not for the fact that this chimera of a wisp of a thought of a theory has been the subject of several lawsuits and has been seriously discussed on the floor of the United States Congress. It would be nothing more than a rejected “Saturday Night Live” skit except that 11 Members of Congress felt it was necessary to bring this issue to the floor of the House of Representatives. It would all be sadly laughable except that the proponents of this strategy are not refugee clowns from Ringling Brothers.

The reality is that this campaign is a head fake, a feint. It is part of a much more insidious strategy that entails eroding the legitimacy of the Obama presidency in the United States and abroad. If a discussion about the legitimacy of an Obama presidency continues, at least 20% of the American population will give it credence. That is 60 million people. That is more than the total population of Italy, South Africa, South Korea, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia or Australia. Imagine if the entire population of Italy or Australia or South Korea believed that the head of state of their country was illegitimate and you start to get the idea. There is a real danger in the United States, a subtle, barely noticeable virus that could present itself as a real danger to the body politic.

To make matters worse, true geniuses like Glen Beck and Lou Dobbs and those madcap, merrymaking Members of Congress, have taken to giving legitimacy to this madness. And that is a problem that we ignore at its own peril. Madness sometimes disguises more malicious motives – like corroding the legitimacy of the presidency. And that is simply treasonous.

And it seems to me, that sometimes it is necessary to fight madness with madness. If the diverse forces in the public realm wish to persist in promulgating this dastardly and vicious strategy of impugning the citizenship of the President then perhaps they should be charged with treason. The basis of the charge being an intent to diminish and defame the President of the United States and thereby impeding his ability to govern at home and represent this country abroad.

While this charge of treason has as much chance of succeeding as the denial of President Obama’s natural born American citizenship, it might give some of the “birthers” pause and make them think about what the hell they are doing to this country. And that new experience might be worth all of the madness after all.

It should be clear by now that there are no boundaries for Donald Trump. And there is no limit to the extent to which Trump will seek to disgrace, demean or degrade whoever might come into the line of his impaired sight. And so it should really come as no surprise that even though he has been a lifelong bigot and fully committed racist, Donald Trump would have the temerity to appeal to black voters as their savior incarnate.

We know that Donald Trump reads as much as a mildly curious six year old, so there is no doubt that he will never read this letter. Nevertheless, this letter is addressed to Trump in the hope that there will be those who will read it and understand once and for all, that not only is this man unfit to be President, he should be thankful that the 1st Amendment prevents him from banned from all public discourse – forever.

Dear Mr. Trump:
It is beyond belief that you would actually appeal to black voters with a line like “What the Hell do you have to lose?” Aside from our self-respect, dignity and sense of personhood, voting for you would virtually vaporize any hope of a future for ourselves or our posterity.

But here’s a question for you Mr. Trump. Where the Hell have you been? You are 70 years of age which means that you were 17 at the time of the March on Washington. Where the Hell were you?

When your family’s housing development in Cincinnati was accused by the Department of Justice of racial discrimination in the 1970’s did you acknowledge wrongdoing and try to rectify your misdeeds as manager of the project? Or did you sue the federal government for $100 million and finally settle without acknowledging guilt? Where the Hell were you?

And, in the modern era, since you were a public figure by 1980, can you name one time, just one time, when you spoke in favor of racial justice, equity or fairness?

Was there ever a time when you expressed dismay and outrage over the NYPD killings of Eleanor Bumphurs or Amadou Diallou or Sean Bell or Eric Garner? Do you even remember the young black men who were killed by a racist mob in Brooklyn? Where the Hell were you?
We do know that you sought the death penalty for the young black and Latino men who were wrongfully convicted of raping the Central Park jogger. We do know that even after their sentences were vacated you expressed no remorse. When justice was finally done, where the Hell were you?

And when Barack Obama was elected President where the Hell were you when racially motivated bigots tried to delegitimize his presidency? Oh, that’s right; you were the spearhead of that despicable movement.

When there was a demented movement to falsely claim that Barack Obama was not born in the United States, where the Hell were you? Oh, that’s right; you were at the head of that movement. And when President Obama finally displayed his Hawaiian birth certificate where the Hell were you? Oh that’s right, you were nowhere to be found.

And now, after blatantly and purposely over exaggerated the persistent pathologies that have beset the black community, stoking the flames under the perpetually boiling cauldrons of stereotypes, you must know that you did not discover these problems. So where the Hell have you been all of these years? Have you ever taken a single step, made a single effort, uttered a single word to help? Where the Hell have you been?

And now, having run the gamut from insolent indifference to blatantly racist rhetoric for your entire public life, you have the gall to ask for the support of the black community. Now, having insulted and attempted to demean and degrade the first black president of the United States during his entire time in office, you ask “what the Hell do you have to lose?”.

By supporting you Donald Trump, black people would lose the respect of all of the mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters who marched and protested and labored and died in the cause of freedom and fairness. By supporting you black people would lose any and all pretext of dignity – believing that after 70 years you have finally discovered black people and that you are the savior incarnate would be blasphemy, plain and simple.

So Mr. Trump, the answer to your question, “What the Hell do you have to lose?” is “Where the Hell have you been?”

Sincerely,
Black America

Trump as Macbeth

When it comes to Donald Trump there appears to be no limit to the depths to which he will descend in his faux campaign for the presidency, a campaign that seems more and more like a textbook exercise in narcissistic self-indulgence. But this time, using his dog whistle to suggest a “Second Amendment solution” to Hillary Clinton he has once again gone too far.

It was only six years ago that Sarah Palin rose from the ashes of a failed campaign for the Vice Presidency to reincarnate herself as a Tea Party Queen. But as she staggered and wobbled from one misstatement to another falsehood, she too went too far. In the fall of 2010 she “targeted” members of Congress who should be defeated by the Tea Party zealots.

In case anyone was short on interpreting symbolism, Sarah Palin’s website displayed a national map and put a gun scope on the offices of the “targeted” Representatives. And then, a few months later, one of the Congressional Representatives targeted by Palin, Gabby Gifford of Arizona, was shot in the head.

Although it has not been confirmed that the shooter was inspired by Sarah Palin, and it is clear that he is a deranged individual, Sarah Palin created an atmosphere where “Second Amendment solutions” start to sound sane to the insane. And the blood of the individuals killed and maimed in Tucson is on the hands of Sarah Palin – indeed she is a modern day Lady Macbeth who will never be able to wash that blood off her hands.

And now along comes Donald Trump, a virtuoso dog whistle player, intimating that Second Amendment adherents could somehow solve the “Hillary problem”. Defenders/enablers of Trump contend that he is guilty of no more than spewing a bad, tasteless joke.

But there is a huge part of this country’s population that has seen presidents shot (Reagan) and killed (Kennedy, John). Many Americans have also witnessed the assassination (Kennedy, Robert) and maiming (Wallace) of presidential candidates in real time. And now that we live in a nation with over 300 million guns it would seem that this would be the worst time to kid around, joke around or dog whistle around rhetoric that even hints of “Second Amendment solutions” to the presidential campaign.

The Secret Service has already taken note of Trump’s comments, another unprecedented occurrence in American political history. But much like Lady Macbeth, we already know that any violence directed against Hillary Clinton or anyone associated with her campaign will elicit a canned denial from Trump, who will then be America’s Macbeth.

Of course, what is so sad and sickening about this entire situation is that Trump is the designated candidate of a major American political party. What is worse is that there are tens of millions of Americans who think that arrogant, indecent and profane man should be President of the United States. What is even worse is that even when Trump is defeated in November and he goes back to his gaudy hotels and his defraudulent schemes and his golf courses, those tens of millions of Americans will still be with us.

And that may be the greatest danger of all. Trump will go away and disappear into the swamp of indecency and self-aggrandizement from which he slithered. But those tens of millions of Trump supporters aren’t going anywhere.

It is a matter of bizarre curiosity and obvious fact that upon becoming the official presidential nominee of the Republican Party, Donald Trump is even less restrained and is now totally devoid of anything resembling self-control. While questions regarding Trump’s fitness for the office of President of the United States sprout like bewildered weeds, there are even more questions being asked about the millions of American men and women who think that he should be elected?

The litany of Trump gaffes, blunders and blatant acts of indecency are taking on the stuff of legend. Indeed, if Donald Trump wanted to lose the presidential election, he would be doing exactly what he has been doing since the conclusion of the DNC Convention in Philadelphia last week.

Case in Point 1 – On the last night of the DNC Convention Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the Pakistani-American parents of Humayun Khan, appeared on the podium. Humayun Khan was a posthumous recipient of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart as a result of his death protecting his fellow soldiers in Afghanistan in 2004.
Mr. and Mrs. Khan, still bent by the unknowable grief of losing a child, were on stage to attack Donald Trump’s stated plan to ban all Muslims from entering America “until we figure out what’s going on”. Mr. Khan, a lawyer from Minnesota, eloquently expressed his family’s hopes and dreams in coming to America as well as their tear stained pride in the ultimate sacrifice made by their son.

Mr. Khan concluded by pointing out that Donald Trump ignored the Constitution with his proposed Muslim ban. He also correctly pointed out that Trump had “sacrificed nothing and no one” for this country.

True to form, Donald Trump attacked this Gold Star family, speculating that Mrs. Khan did not speak on the podium because her Muslim religion prevented her from doing so (not true). He also provided us with a quick glimpse of the World According to Trump when he actually equated Humayun Khan’s death and the sacrifice of his parents with his business accomplishments (conveniently mentioning that he received and accepted five draft deferments during the Vietnam War). The obscenity of his analogy was presented in full view of the entire nation.

Case in Point 2 – At a campaign rally a military veteran gave Trump his own Purple Heart – an award granted to members of the military who are wounded in action. Rather than graciously demurring, Trump accepted the medal, as unworthy as he is, and stated “I always wanted a Purple Heart, getting it this way is much easier”.
One wonders what the thousands of Purple Heart recipients must think. And what do the families of the wounded veterans think when they hear such words?

Case in Point 3 – Responding to President Obama’s characterization of his as being “unfit” to be president, Trump stated that Barack Obama is the worst president in the history of the United States. Aside from the fact that this country’s recovery from the Great Crash of 2008, the passage of the Dodd Frank Act, the creation of 10 million jobs and the passage of the Affordable Care Act all occurred during the Obama presidency and make Trump’s statement beyond ridiculous, he continued to put his belief in fact free rhetoric on display.

It is hard to believe that even the most acidic critics of President Obama would think that he was worst that Richard Nixon, who resigned prior to his inevitable indictment and impeachment and who, quite likely would have gone to prison but for his pardon by President Gerald Ford. And is Trump seriously suggesting that George W. Bush was a better president than Barack Obama even though Bush misled this country into two seemingly endless wars, watched thousands of Americans die and was at the helm when the American economy almost evaporated?

Of course, by now, it is clear that fact free is the way to go in the World According to Trump.

Case in Point 4 – When questioned about how he would advise his daughter, Ivanka Trump, if she were sexually harassed in the workplace, he actually said that he would advise her to go to another company or find another career.
One can only wonder how any adult woman or man would support a man who would countenance sexual harassment and counsel retreat and defeat rather than standing up for basic human rights.

As Donald Trump reveals his true self one is reminded of Joseph Welch’s comment to Joseph McCarthy in the midst of the communist witch hunt of the 1950’s – “At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”
When it comes to Donald Trump, the answer is quite clear.

July 21, 2016 – 8:14 P.M. – EST

One week after Bastille Day, the 2016 RNC Convention will be remembered for being the first time that a major American political party seriously called for the imprisonment of the presumptive candidate of the other party. And, not to be out done, a mouth breathing New Hampshire Neanderthal named Al Baldasaro called for Hillary Clinton to be brought before a firing squad.

As the grand finale of the convention approaches – no doubt as Donald Trump is still seeking to master the intricacies of a teleprompter- a bit of reflection of nights 2 and 3 might be in order.
On Night 2, future federal defendant Chris Christie led the primal chant of “Lock Her Up” as he recited his “indictment” of Hillary Clinton. The irony of Christie’s senior aides about to go on trial for blocking the George Washington Bridge was lost on the assembled Republicans. And, by the way, the recent conviction of Christie’s appointee as chairman of the New York New Jersey Port Authority was conveniently swept under the rug.

The most interesting part about the “Lock Her Up” chant is that it sounded primal and was on just this side of what a lynch mob must sound like. One can imagine that if Hillary Clinton had somehow appeared in the Quicken Loans Arena she would have suffered great bodily damage.

What should be noted, however, is that on the night that the convention was supposed to focus on the economy and jobs, the takeaway for the evening was locking up Hillary Clinton. Unless the new Trump jobs are related to penal institutions, it is hard to see how any new thoughts were presented to the American people regarding how life would be better with The Donald as president.

Night Two mercifully ended an entire day of the Trump campaign denying that Melania Trump lifted even a single word from Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech. They denied by asking the world to disbelieve their lying eyes and ears. But by the end of the day they had lied themselves into exhaustion and a nonentity from the Trump speechwriting pool was chosen for sacrifice (but she was not fired).

The only other item of note was that two more of the Trump children spoke glowingly of their father. While their presentations may have served to humanize the Human Sound Machine, it cannot be a surprise that his children came on national television to say that they admire and love their father.
Night 3 was supposed to introduce Mike Pence, Indiana governor and Tea Party stalking horse, as the Vice Presidential nominee. And once again the evening was hijacked. First it was hijacked by Ted Cruz and then it was kidnapped by Donald Trump.

To be fair, the real culprit on Wednesday was Ted Cruz. Cruz was the last loser in a line of losers knocked off by Trump like a series of poorly made kewpie dolls. Cruz was still smoldering over being called a “liar” over and over, he certainly didn’t forget Trump threatening to “spill the beans” on his beloved wife Heidi and he will never forgive Trump for accusing his cherished father of being an accomplice in the assassination of President John Kennedy.

So it really should not have been a surprise that Cruz ended his speech without endorsing Donald Trump, advising Republicans to “vote their conscience”. But the assembled Trump partisan howled and bayed at the full moon and seemed to threaten Cruz’ wife with physical harm, to the extent that she had to be escorted out of the arena with guards protecting her.

As that opportunity to demonstrate party unity withered and died, Mike Pence presented himself to the national audience without mentioning his willingness to shut down the federal government in an effort to defund Planned Parenthood. He also conveniently neglected to mention his classic wish that Roe v. Wade be overturned and relegated to “the trash heap of history”, which is also where the right of women to choose would also reside in the world of Trump and Pence.

Not surprisingly, Pence received workmanlike applause at which time The Donald appeared. Clearly he is unable to allow anyone to reside in the spotlight for too long – and so he came on stage and tried to kiss Pence. Pence gave him the “iron shoulder” and Trump’s attempt at osculation turned into an air kiss.

Night 4 has already been hijacked by the announcement that Roger Ailes, the founder and CEO of Fox News resigned effective immediately. What the implosion of the Republican house TV. channel means remains to be seen. But nobody in Trump Land is cheering.

12:09 A.M. – And finally, finally, Ivanka Trump had her star turn and she was clearly ready for her close up. She introduced her father who then delivered a 75 minute and 15 minute doom and gloom speech with the very clear message that only Donald Trump could save America. He is running for president but perhaps he has something more special in mind.

Indeed, when he speaks of “liberating” the American people from crime Trump sounded like a strong man wannabe. Perhaps he was able find one of Juan Peron’s speechwriters, but however the speech came together, Trump clearly wants to frighten the American people into believing that he is the only person in this country who can save this country………….and we are supposed to wait until he takes the oath of office to find out what the details of his master plan look like.

8:41 A.M. – The balloon and confetti have been swept out of Quicken Loans Arena. The entire Trump Royal Family has now flown out of Cleveland, perhaps doing one last flyover to wow his adoring adherents.

Donald Trump envisions himself as America’s Strong Man. Ivanka Trump tells us that her father will take care of us. The question now is whether Americans want a leader or a parent as president.

July 18, 2016 – 6:00 a.m. – EST
As the July sun begins to sear the Northeast once more, the RNC Convention is about to begin in Cleveland. The outcome is already known, we will soon witness the improbable coronation of Donald J. Trump as the presidential nominee of the Republican Party, also known as the Teapublican Party in some circles.
The Republican Party has not always been this way. After all this is the same party that nominated Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan as president. One might not embrace all aspects of the legacy of these men – but one can say that all of these men became president in a context that made sense and fit the concept of what a president should be.

When he announced his campaign for president in June of 2015, many people saw this as another self-promotion ploy by the orange-haired egotist, right up there with his “Apprentice” television show, his factually doomed “birther” campaign against President Obama and his fraudulent scam known as Trump University. Even to this day, there are Trump insiders who claim that Trump’s goal was only to make a good showing so that he could burnish his pseudo fame and glory before he moved on to make some more money somewhere else.

But something happened along the way. Trump gave a voice to the disaffected poorly educated, economically devastated and truly angry white men in this country. With that base he was able to devastate a truly unimpressive array of primary opponents – remember Bobby Jindal?, Chris Christie?, Scott Walker?, Carly Fiorina?

No matter how vile or profane or preposterous or insulting or outrageous or fact-free his pronouncements, Trump was able to steam roll presumptive favorites like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio and all of a sudden he was in mano a mano battles with Ted Cruz and John Kasich. It was hardly a fair fight.

Since Trump amassed enough primary votes to claim the presidential nomination, the Republican hierarchy has searched for some way to “Stop Trump”, and they simply could not. And now the RNC is about to reap the harvest of hate which grew out of the seeds of hate that have been sown by the mindless and race-based opposition to the presidency of Barack Obama. The RNC blew the dog-whistle loud and long enough. And now the hate dogs have come running to Cleveland.

Donald Trump has brought steaming, stinking, heaping truckloads of misogyny, racism, nastiness and just plain bad taste to the national political discourse. He has turned the presidential campaign into some kind of MMA steel cage match. And now he is king of the steel cage and, by the way, in a few days he will be the Republican presidential nominee.

There is a certain apocalyptic aroma to this convention. The killings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philandro Castile in St. Paul by police guns were all too sad scenarios in modern America. And then five police officers were murdered in Dallas and all of the people in this country were looking into the abyss that hate and injustice and unrequited wrongs can create.

But as the funerals of Mr. Sterling and Mr. Castile and the five Dallas police officers were beginning 84 men, women and children were murdered in Nice in yet another insane terrorist attack. And as the body count grew in France a coup began in Turkey and over 200 people were killed. And as the bodies were counted in Ankara and Istanbul three police officers were assassinated in Baton Rouge. No one wants to imagine what could be next.
The apocalyptic aroma is unmistakable and we have Donald Trump to thank for adding to the stench.

There is a schedule of speakers for the Monday convention agenda, including the Mayor of Hate, Rudy Giuliani and Melania Trump, the implausible Bride of Trump along with other Trump children. The reason for Giuliani on the agenda is necessary to keep the volume up on the dog whistle message that has been the thinly disguised theme of the Trump campaign. Mrs. Trump and four of the five Trump children will be there, presumably to prove to the world that Donald Trump is a human being.

July 18, 2016 – 7:52 PM EST – you can’t make this stuff up!
Before the convention begins the appearance of the Trump/Pence ticket on “Sixty Minutes” makes it clear that Mike Pence is not even the caboose on the Trump Train. Trump also makes an interesting distinction – Mike Pence voted for the Iraq War in 2013 which he forgives as a mistake. When pressed, Trump says that Hillary Clinton is not entitled to make a mistake.

And, as the convention begins, it is interesting to note that the two living Republican ex-presidents, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, are not in attendance. Also missing are Mitt Romney, John McCain (the last two Republican candidates for president), former candidates Marco Rubio and John Kasich and Sarah Palin who is known as never having met a microphone or camera that she didn’t love.

These are facts from the convention that are presented without elaboration (well, not much)
• Before the convention begins the Iowa and Colorado delegations walk out – presumably expressing some protest regarding the candidacy of Donald Trump.
• The angriest recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance ever kicks off the convention.
• A blind, crippled girl is brought out to sing the National Anthem. The irony of Donald Trump mocking differently abled individuals is conveniently forgotten.
• News commentators are speculating on how Melania Trump will be able to “humanize” Donald Trump. Although it is useful to point out that historians confirm that Attila the Hun was a loving husband and a caring father.
• A “Duck Dynasty” star is kicking off the convention. This can get more bizarre as the evening goes on………….you will remember that the “Duck Dynasty” cast is proud to be “rednecks” and the “N” word is just a part of every day speech……………….time to buckle the seatbelts.
• Two-time failed presidential candidate and former Texas governor appears, still rocking the glasses that were meant to portray faux intelligence….working about the same now as then.
• And now the mother of a Benghazi victim……nothing like turning the death of an American into a political football……continuing the “Hate Hillary” monologue….truth and facts be damned.
• Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke claimed the role of the black attack dog, savaging Black Lives Matter and President Obama in a blistering speech. Presumably Clarence Thomas, Ben Carson and Herman Cain were not available.
• Senator Tom Cotton, who led an unconstitutional effort that resulted in an unconstitutional letter from 47 senators to the Ayatollah of Iran lectured as to how Donald Trump would be better.
• In an unexpected moment, N.J. Governor Chris Christie, while discussing how he was overlooked as the Trump vice presidential nominee reminded the nation that he chaired the Trump Transition Committee thereby giving America one more reason to vote against Donald Trump.
• Rudy Giuliani, the America’s Mayor of Hate, was put on the list of speakers, presumably to make sure that Donald Trump’s dog whistle kept blowing loud and clear…..and that he did. Indeed it was amazing to see his uninterrupted primal scream last for five whole minutes.
• After being borne onstage on the clouds of his own ego, anti-immigrant Donald Trump introduces his immigrant wife who proceeds to exceed all expectations by not lapsing into Slovenian in the middle of her speech. She does make the slightest error by shamelessly quoting Michelle Obama (she of the hated Obamas) on several occasions. The Trump camp tells us not to believe our lying ears – there was no plagiarism.

July 19, 2016 – 4:05 P.M. EST – Just can’t take it anymore…
• As we prepare for the second night of the Republican Conventionalooza, Melania Trump doesn’t have to worry about her nocturnal plagiarizing from the night before. It turns out that the convention program states that she received a degree from the University of Slovenia. Only one problem – she didn’t.
• The list of prominent Republicans not attending is growing faster than Pinocchio’s nose – Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, George Will, Nikki Haley………….and the list goes on.
• Meanwhile, Don King was disinvited as a convention speaker, although he was previously invited by Donald Trump. Presumably the RNC was queasy over having a speaker who had gone to prison for stomping a man to death. Don King has promptly announced at a press conference that RNC Chair Rance Priebus doesn’t like black people.
• …..and this is only Day 2.

Not enough people remember that on September 10, 2011 Rudy Giuliani was a textbook failure. His health was failing, his marriage had failed and his soon to end New York City mayoralty was marked by scandal and turmoil. Indeed, Michael Bloomberg, the Republican nominee for mayor did not even want his endorsement. And then, out of the ashes and heartbreak of 9/11, Giuliani arose as a faux hero who has been able to monetize the myth of his bravery. And now this illustration of the upward mobility of failure chooses to attack the Black Lives Matter movement with language that would warm the heart of a Klansman.

Somehow he has gathered to himself scraps of credibility which presumably empower him to spew his peculiar brand of bigotry and racism at a national audience. Most recently, playing the role of The Last Angry White Man, Giuliani saw fit to brand the Black Lives Matter movement as racist because it excludes white people. Of course, this misdirection feint is believed by too many Americans and that it is sad and too bad.

It should go without saying that all lives matter. But in these lifeless days and death filled times, it needs to be said – all lives matter. But in these United States it is not clear that the lives of black Americans are valued to the same degree as those of white Americans.
Consider that the unemployment rate for black youth was 393% higher than the national average in 2015. Imagine if the unemployment rate of white youth was 37% instead of 15.7% and then imagine the hue and cry and the calls for emergency programs that would ensue.

Consider that black infant mortality rates are more than twice as high as white infant mortality rates. Imagine what energy (and dollars) would be expended if white American infant mortality rates were at the Third World levels that are the norm in the national black community in this country.

The fact that encounters between black citizens and white police officers seem to have a lethal haze hovering, regardless of the nature of the encounter are not always understood through statistics. The very real fear that black parents have that their sons and daughters could die for no reason except their blackness and their interaction with the police is not calculated by data, perception cannot be accounted for that way.

But there is no doubt that black families carry satchels of fear that have no place in a white American household. And until that fear is eliminated it will be necessary to proclaim that Black Lives Matter –also. And it is the unspoken “also” that eludes the likes of Rudy Giuliani and Rush Limbaugh. It is the unspoken “also” that should not need to be shouted because it is so obvious that the ultimate concern of the BLM movement and its supporters is to include black humanity in the perception and thinking of the national American community.

When black lives truly matter in the United States disparate death rates, race based incarceration statistics and quality of life concerns will become national issues, not “black” issues. When black lives truly matter in this country high crime rates in the black community will not be a “black” problem, it will be a national concern. And when black lives truly matter in this country it will not be necessary to state that Black Lives Matter, because then they will.