There is so much making me shake my head right now, I don’t feel like I have any adequate words to describe it.
If you’re only here for the recipes and mildly amusing parenting anecdotes, this post might not be for you.
I’m writing this as a person who does not even watch cable news. So I can’t imagine what my brain would be like if I did.
In case you’re curious, I read my news from a variety of sources, both conservative and progressive. This may come as a shock because a lot of people LOVE nothing more than to paint progressives into a corner when it comes to our consumption of the news. If you want a complete list, feel free to message me and I’ll share it with you. Here’s a clue: my one criteria is it must be well written. So that uniformly excludes all the sources of all the insanely loud and ugly memes on facebook dot com that, for some reason, really enjoy using big white letters with eyeball-assaulting red and yellow backgrounds, and, for some reason, RWNJs just love to share. So there’s that.
Every time I sit down to write a blog post about something political — and by “political” I mean policies and attitudes and corruption that actually have an effect on real human beings — it seems like something even more horrific incidents comes up. And I’m not even talking about the 3 a.m. rage tweets of the El Jefe Naranja (If you don’t know Spanish, I welcome you to go translate this for yourself.)
First, I sat down to write about the murdered American journalist in Saudi Arabia and this government’s inexcusably SLOW response to it. I have a lot to say about this as a former journalist myself, and well … also as a human being.
But then came all the bile and lies about the wave of immigrants from Central America. If you think this influx of families with babies running away from their own government-sanctioned horrors is just a cover for rapists and terrorists entering the U.S., I have news for you: WE ALREADY HAVE A DOMESTIC RAPIST AND DOMESTIC TERRORISM PROBLEM IN THIS COUNTRY.
Rape culture and domestic terror is not about criminals pouring in from other countries. One is about privileged white men not being taught the meaning of consent or how to deal with rejection. The other is about white supremacists and actual Nazis in our own country sending mail bombs, running down anti-fascists in the street, encouraging violence against progressives, and being further assured that they are right when the ACTUALLY EFFING SITTING PRESIDENT says shit like “I’m a nationalist” and “there are people to blame on both sides” of the white supremacist problem. (Are you kidding me right now?)
But then the shooting in Pittsburgh happened, and I am completely emotionally wrung out. This, again, in case you’re not paying attention, is a white supremacist problem.
If you think all these horrors are not connected, allow me to draw the lines for the fascist dot-to-dot. (Wouldn’t that be a fun children’s activity book for our nightmares?)
Our government’s slow response in holding Saudi Arabia’s murder of Washington Post’s columnist Jamal Khashoggi can be explained by two things: “45” doesn’t want to piss off a country that makes him a lot money, and 2) because he wasn’t sure if Jamal was actually an “American citizen” and deserving of our resources needed to conduct an investigation.
You heard him say it himself. When the reports first came in of a legal resident and prominent American journalist’s murder, the sitting president’s first initial, GUT RESPONSE, was to emphasize that the man wasn’t an American citizen, and that we shouldn’t rush to condemn an important economic ally.
Pick anybody else to say something, anything, in response to this brutal crime. No, seriously, pick a name out of a hat. How about Representative Mike Coffman, a Colorado Republican, who tweeted: “as a sitting member of the House Armed Services Committee and a Marine Corps combat veteran, our country must stand up for our values and demand our ‘allies’ respect human rights — I did not fight to have us look the other way.”
Look, I don’t know this guy. I could not tell you the names of any congress person from Colorado and I have no idea what this person’s policies are. But this is how you respond to something like this. That is how you unify the people who are paying attention.
The truth is, Khashoggi was living in the United States on an “O Visa,” a status afforded to individuals of “extraordinary ability and achievement” that allows temporary residence in the U.S. for up to three years. He was also applying for a Green Card.
In other words, we were lucky to have him working for us.
He was no less “one of us” than my great-grandparents.
He could have been me. He could have been any one of dozens upon dozens of excellent human beings with whom I’ve been privileged to share a newsroom. When you’re a real journalist, it doesn’t matter where you’re from or what your first language is. Actual reporters current and former, are all on the same team.
We all know when some “reporter” is handpicked to throw a bullshit question to the president. We all recognize the different between propaganda and entertainment and real reporting.
And if El Jefe Naranja feels like the mainstream media is against him, that’s because he absolutely should. Every one of them, whether they are from here or not, have a bullshit detector and it’s been firing on all cylinders since the so-called “birther movement.” Especially print reporters, IMO.
(And by the way, CNN was as guilty as Faux News for giving that buffoon the attention he so desperately craved back then.)
Jamal’s death deserved a much quicker and more assertive response. And why doesn’t El Jefe give a shit? Because he’s a “nationalist.” Because if you weren’t born here, he does not care.
THIS IS NOT OK. This should not be OK with any of us.
If you would like to read more about who Jamal was, and maybe get an education about the Middle East, I highly recommend reading his archived columns.
You can find them all here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/people/jamal-khashoggi/?utm_term=.ae8b100a4a50