Thursday, May 1, 2014

Take Notice

Last week, he went down in flames. As soon as he made some incredibly racist comments (and those comments hit the national media), Cliven Bundy suddenly went from "TEA Party Folk Hero" to "G-O-TEA Persona Non Grata". And now, he can't get on any Fox "News" show... Or even CNN.

Yet even as the national media have mostly dropped this story, Virgin Valley residents are still living the #BundyRanch nightmare. National media may have abandoned Bunkerville, but the extreme right militia groups who came to fight an epic "Range War" are still there. And they're still packing a whole lot of heat.

Oh, and a number of them are actually still a large part of the story that's still making headlines nationally.

This is what we were discussing earlier this week. It's not just Cliven Bundy. Much larger G-O-TEA players are engaging in race baiting. And it's time we all take notice.

Last month, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) shocked the nation with his statements on "inner cities". Yet since then, Rep. Ryan has refused to apologize for repeatedly accusing African-Americans of being "lazy". Instead, Rep. Ryan has actually been endorsing the pseudoscience of a known white supremacist.

Yesterday, the Congressional Black Caucus held a meeting with Rep. Paul Ryan to discuss both his "inner cities" comments and the ideology behind them. And shortly after that meeting, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) took to MSNBC to talk about what had just occurred.

And Rep. Steven Horsford (D-North Las Vegas) had this to say about the Black Caucus' meeting with Rep. Ryan.

“Poverty is not just a black or white, urban or rural, problem; it’s an American problem, and we must discuss it in that way,” Horsford said. “Today’s meeting was a productive conversation with Budget Chairman Ryan in which he explained his priorities, while our members expressed to him our concerns with his budget. Chairman Ryan in particular was open to discussing the possibility of Rep. James Clyburn’s 10-20-30 plan, saying he supports policies that help lift people out of poverty.” [...]

Horsford observed during the meeting that policies must be proposed to prevent generational poverty; to address income inequality; and to safeguard critical programs like Head Start, Pell Grants, and SNAP.

“17.1% of my constituents live below the poverty level, and many others are hanging on by a thread,” Horsford continued. “We have the most unstable housing market in the country in Nevada, and many families are struggling to keep a roof over their heads. We need to refocus federal programs to help those who need it most and to provide families with the support they need and deserve. It’s time to end the school-to-prison pipeline and give all Nevadans the chance they need to succeed. Our state’s high school graduation rate is the worst in the nation. If we fail our kids at school, we prepare them for a life of unnecessary struggle and squalor. It is time for local and federal officials to focus on doing their jobs so that our children have a fighting chance.”

This is the reality of poverty in America. People are not poor because they're "black/brown & lazy". People are poor because they're working to just barely survive.

Last week, Cliven Bundy was making news across the nation for his "Range War"... Until he started talking about race. Now, he's an afterthought in the national media (even though his gang is still raising hell in Mesquite & Bunkerville). However, the disturbing message he conveyed is anything but an afterthought. We're still seeing that message rear its ugly head, even if that head happens to be more veiled now.

And it's time we take notice.

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