America and her last rites

Ed Raymond

Pentecostal televangelist Jimmy Swaggart weeps uncontrollably on his telecast in the 1980s.

The last decoded message from Hitler’s bunker: “Closing down forever”

Well, well, well, now we finally have our own little Hitler in his White House bunker, assuming command of the military because, as a genius, he knows more than any of his generals and admirals. He has his own propaganda-guy-Goebbels and the “state TV network”  Fox News which serves as his Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda 24/7. He has his own vice-president Goring in William Barr, his personal attorney, who serves as his toadying Himmler.

He has captured a political party that at one time thought that all people were created equal and supported a proclamation to free the slaves. They now believe in white power, separation of the races, disaster capitalism, and have adopted the  religious doctrine of the Christian Identity Church: God created blacks to serve the white race.

English decoders translated the last message coming out of Hitler’s bunker after he killed himself and Eva Braun: “Closing Down Forever.”  That message signaled the end of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, commonly known as the Nazis, who promised 1,000 years of Hitler’s Third Reich. (Read William L. Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of The Third Reich.)

The goal of the Nazi Party was to make all racially desirable Germans comrades and to exclude political dissidents, Africans, homosexuals, Jews, the physically and mentally handicapped, and other political opponents from the party.
Sound familiar?

The most important thing we must do ASAP is to take the nuclear button away from Donald the Lyin’ King before the nutcase punches it during a psychopathic fit.

One of my favorite poets, Langston Hughes, wrote “I, Too” in 1926:

I , too, sing America. I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen when company comes,
But I laugh, and eat well, and grow strong.
Tomorrow I’ll be at the table when company comes.
Nobody’ll dare say to me, “Eat in the kitchen” then.
Besides, they will see how beautiful I am and be ashamed.
I, too, am America.”
His relatives four generations later are still not at the table. They are eating in the kitchen because of knees on their necks.

Why most blacks are still in a tiny kitchen

Using the latest U.S. data available, it would take the assets of 11.5 black households to equal the net worth of just one white household.

Why did black households in Minneapolis erupt with such fury at the death of George Floyd? A typical black family in the Twin Cities earns less than half of the typical white family and home ownership among blacks is one-third the rate of white families.

In 2018, the median black family in Minneapolis earned $36,000, which is above the average of black families in other U.S. cities. But the median white family in Minneapolis earned $83,000. The $47,000 difference is one of the largest gaps in the nation.

In percentage terms that means a black family earns only 44% as much as the typical white family. In the 100 largest metro areas, only neighbor Milwaukee has the larger gap.

Only 25% of Minneapolis black households own their own homes while 76% of white families do. Only Madison, Wisconsin and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania have larger gaps.

Almost all Minneapolis residential areas had this real estate clause (that has finally been outlawed): “The said premises shall not at any time be sold, conveyed, leased, or sublet, or occupied by any person or persons who are not full bloods of the so-called Caucasian or White race.”  

I still remember a time in this country when just one drop of Negro blood would make you a black person. I’m sure the idea still exists in many Southern states.
As these covenants appeared in Twin City real estate transactions, blacks were restricted to smaller and smaller areas as the larger sections of the cities became entirely white.

As interstate highways and streets were constructed, cheaper areas were taken by eminent domain. When Interstate 94 was constructed through St. Paul, one out of every eight black homes in the city was demolished.

Every year the Minnesota Legislature discusses the academic gap among the races – and does nothing about it.

The answers are in this 2019 statement by the state NAACP: “One only has to look at the faces of the African-Americans living in impoverished neighborhoods, attending failing schools, over-represented in a broken criminal justice system, and suffering from covert and overt employment discrimination on a daily basis to see that not everyone is enjoying the prosperity of Minnesota. If the growing disparities in education, economics, criminal justice are not addressed immediately, our children will not have a future.” If people are not heard, they riot. There are several going on around the world at any time.

Boy! Those billionaires are really going to help us get through COVID-19!

To get contributions in context, a survey by Roxanne Roberts and Will Hobson used the median net worth of U.S. households, $97,300, to see what percentage of their wealth billionaires were actually giving to the virus fight.

Donald Newhouse, worth $12.5 billion, pledged to give $1 million to the World Health Organization. If that pledge came from the median household, it would amount to $8.

Thomas Peterfly, worth $14.8 billion,committed  $5 million for crisis relief. That’s the equivalent of $33.

Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man at about $175 billion, has pledged $125 million for virus relief efforts. That comes to a stupendous total of about $82.

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg is worth $67.2 million. His contribution represents $84 out of $97,3000.

The Walton family, at $200 billion, the richest family in the world, surrendered $25 million to the cause – a total of $52 equivalent.

Hedge fund manager Steven Cohen, worth $14 billion, parted with an equivalent of $43.

Many of our 700 billionaires have contributed nothing-nada-zero-naught-zilch-nil. These contributions would represent about 0.0003% of their total worth. The top 50 richest people in the U.S. have contributed 0.01% toward solving the pandemic crisis.
When you have a lot of it, evidently the love of money is absolutely over-powering.
Bill Gates at $103.1 billion with an equivalent of $283 and Ray Dalio at $18 billion with an equivalent of $589 are two exceptions.

While they live in what is called the richest nation in the world, one in five American families has no wealth. They have a negative or zero net worth.
Black families are even higher in this category at 37%. Two decades ago black families were at 15%.

Robert Frost: “Before I built a wall I’d ask to know what I was walling in or walling out”

Dictators love walls. Donald The Lyin’ King is trying to complete one on our 2,000-mile Southern border to keep Mexicans and Latin Americans out.
Now he has built an eight-foot high 1.7-mile concrete and metal wall to keep the people out of “The People’s House” he is defiling and “dominating.” (Part of it has been removed.)

In Baghdad we have built the largest embassy and defensive grounds in the world known as the Green Zone.

Now we have a White Zone in D.C. The White House wall surrounds Lafay-ette Square and part of the Ellipse.

Corky and I lived in D.C. for almost a year in the 1950s, so we visited the Capitol, all of the monuments, museums, galleries, the Smithsonian, and many historical places. We have visited several times since in order to see the Holocaust Museum and other additions.

One of my sisters was a secretary on Capitol Hill for more than 35 years. She worked for six representatives of both parties.

When the Lyin’ King and his White House zombies slunk into Lafayette Square, with daughter Ivanka carrying a nuclear $1,540 white purse with somebody’s Bible in it, I wondered how many of them knew the history of the square. It is just across from the White House.

At one time it was the famous Washington slave market. Thousands of slaves were bought and sold next to St. John’s Episcopal Church. After all, much of the capitol and the White House were built by slaves. The first eight presidents owned slaves. Our first president, ironically named George, was the richest man in Virginia be-cause he owned about 125 slaves after marrying the rich widow Martha.

When His Tweetness waved somebody’s Bible at the crowd, I had a sudden flashback of another Bible waver, televangelist Jimmy Swaggart, strutting across the stage, shouting Christian proverbs, and then falling to his knees. With tears streaming down his face, he admitted he had sinned and was seeking forgiveness.

At one time he was on 3,000 TV stations. Alas, Jimmy had placed his healing hands on too many prostitutes so his church dumped him. He also has blonde hair.
By the way, Hitler posed for a similar Bible photo op.

Do Trump hotels have Bibles in the rooms now?

I wonder if Trump borrowed the Bible he waved at Lafayette Square from Barr, who happens to be a member of an ultra-right Roman Catholic organization called Opus Dei. It supports fascism around the world. It was a favorite of fascism’s Franco in Spain and of Pope John Paul, the “saint” who neglected to control the sins of his priests as they sexually abused boys and girls. Barr has been known as a bully since childhood. But that’s another story.

At his rallies The Donald usually reveals the Bible is his favorite book. In second place is his book, The Art of The Deal. Whenever he is asked to explain his favorite chapters, he says: “That’s very personal. The Bible means a lot to me, but I don’t want to get into specifics.”

To add a little levity to this depressing tale, Alexandra Petri of The Washington Post has fantasized on how Trump interprets his favorite Bible stories. I have selected a few from her article (edited for length):

Genesis: Two fools in the Garden of Eden want more information about their condition so they get a meeting with Tim Apple.

Golden Calf: Why people are punished for worshiping shiny and fake things (like Trump Towers).

Lazarus: A good illustration of how easy it is to recover from an illness if you put your mind to it – and why nobody needs health coverage.

Two Corinthians: There are Corinthians, and there are two of them, for sure!
Lot: A man’s wife does something different with herself physically, and he sort of notices after the fact.

Solomon: A man suggests a very good way of dealing with a disputed baby, but a nasty woman interferes.

David and Goliath: Someone makes the mistake of flinging a projectile at a heavily-armored man; they will need to come down on him hard.

Noah: This is a good, inspiring story about a wise man in a floating bunker avoiding a catastrophe, but on the other hand it is bad because he is also surrounded by animals, birds and reptiles – disgusting.

Jonah and the Whale: Bunker again, but worse.

P.S. In a previous column I asked Trump voters to send me a list of their Christian values. I haven’t received any.

Bible experts say Jesus Christ mentioned the poor and poverty 2,000 times in the Bible.  

Why do Republicans vote against Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, SNAP,WIC, the LBGTQ+ community, homosexuals, transgenders, same-sex marriage, contraception, Roe Vs. Wade, higher taxes, unions Head Start, education funding, civil rights, voting rights, laws against gerrymandering – and the public post office?