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Rep. Tlaib speaks our mind on after we have seen more and making for  in ways that they would never talk about suspects.  Indeed, they would not likely be taken .  

#racialjustice #rashidatlaib #racism

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8 Jul 2020
4 South Market Street, Boston, MA, United States
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Originally Posted on July 24, 2017

On July 24th, the Michigan Trump Republicans held a rally at Duggan’s pub in Royal Oak, MI. Metro-Detroit Political Action Network (MDPAN), Refuse Fascismand members of Solidarity and Defense staged a protest to reject the fascist ideology espoused by the President’s base. While the aim was for a peaceful demonstration, the Michigan contingent of Bikers for Trump violently escalated the situation, assaulting two members of MDPAN.  

Joseph Fournier, a leader with MDPAN, made note that “known members of Michigan Militia and Bikers Against Radical Islam, who just love going into communities and tormenting families here,” were in attendance. The latter group recently attempted to drive through Dearborn terrorizing the majority Muslim populace, while thumbing their nose at Islamic traditions by hosting a pig roast, before being shut down by local Elk clubs. “Duggan’s is clearly endorsing them, despite what their official statement may say.” Fournier continued, alluding to a statement that this pro-Trump rally was simply the matter of fulfilling a reservation.

The first hour and a half of the protest was mild, peppered by the occasional jeers and Trump supporters wandering into the resistance area to profess the alleged evils of globalism, Black Lives Matter, and immigration. Encounters were tense, but ultimately not harmful.

That changed after 7 PM, when both sides clustered on opposite ends of the egress in Duggan’s parking lot. Shouts of “Lock Him Up” and “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA” clashing with “We’re Stronger Together With Trump” and the revving of stationary motorcycles.

While the Bikers for Trump camp were safe crossing into resistance territory, two women from the activist camp were not so fortunate. Witnesses at the scene state that a woman walked across the egress, then had her sign grabbed at, and later her person, repeatedly shoved by a female member of Bikers for Trump in bizarre posture, reminiscent of a soccer player trying to get physical while avoiding a red card. Within seconds, she was shoved by a second Trump supporter and struck back in self-defense. Several other activists rushed to her aid.

One protester was then grabbed by multiple Bikers for Trump members and had her megaphone stolen amidst the chaos. At this point, the Royal Oak Police intervened, separating the clashing groups. The first assault victim made multiple attempts to state the crimes committed against her, but was simply told by an officer on the scene to “go back to the sidewalk” and file a report. Minutes later, she was placed under arrest for assault.

Another protester made multiple appeals for the return of her megaphone, which was eventually recovered by Royal Oak PD, stating that they found it on the ground and saw no evidence of wrongdoing. Video evidence proves otherwise. No further arrests were made.

After being separated, there were no further instances of violence at the event, though several homophobic comments were lobbed at Fournier by the Trump supporters as they departed. Despite a perverse obsession with the American flag, one member of Bikers for Trump displayed where his true loyalty lay:

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Originally Posted on September 20, 2017

On a rainy September 19th afternoon, the American Polish Cultural Center (APCC) elected to host the Michigan Trump Republicans for a banquet/rally in support of their President. The banquet stood after a call campaign imploring the venue to cancel, some Polish immigrants (or descendants of immigrants) found it inappropriate to hold a political rally for Trump, who repeatedly failed to condemn violence perpetrated by Nazis and other white supremacists groups, in addition to those groups' endorsement of him as President. The German Nazi Party was responsible for over 2.7 million deaths of Poles due to war, ghettos such as Warsaw and concentration/death camps like Auschwitz. 

Others who wrote and called in cited policies such as ending DACA, banning people from majority Muslim nations from entering the country, directing ICE to mass deport residents of Latin and Arabic descent as inherently white supremacist actions, demanding businesses not cater to any group supporting them.

The APCC stood firm, stating that all have the right to use their establishment, regardless of political views. Metro-Detroit Political Action Network (MDPAN) and BAMN vehemently disagree with rolling out the red carpet for white supremacy, and a protest ensued. 

Filling the corner of 15 Mile and Dequindre, the resistance took up the sidewalk along the intersection, waving signs to enthusiastic honks from passers-by on the road. Drivers were treated to chant standards of "No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA!", "Hey hey, ho ho, Donald Trump has got to go!", "Lock him up!" as well as more DACA related shouts like "Immigrants stay, Trump must go!" However, interaction with other drivers wasn't entirely positive. Several rolled down their windows to shout ableist slurs at the supposed crowd of "liberals", and one even lobbed an anti-black slur while telling the protesters to fellate him (at the 12:20 mark of this video). 

In terms of support for the white supremacist organization, there was only one Biker for Trump in attendance, a far cry from their turnout at the Duggan's rally. Thanks to that, along with professional and unbiased conduct from the Troy Police Department, everyone had a safe protest.

A member of the APCC's Board of Directors was photographing protesters at the event, for reasons unknown. CEO of Hydrate Detroit Demeeko Williams confronted the board member about this behavior and an argument ensued. In it, Williams explained that by hosting a group that supports the President's hate campaign is incredibly problematic, given that Southeast Michigan holds the largest concentration of Muslims in the country, Trump's primary target for discrimination. The board member countered by stating he supported free enterprise, also mentioning his father was in Auschwitz. He chose not to comment on Trump's condoning of Nazi violence, or the Nazi/white supremacist groups emboldened by the Oval Office occupant.

He also chose not to explain why the APCC would not deny the Trump Republicans access and did not understand that hosting such an event would be considered an endorsement. Instead, the board member became enraged and stormed off after two police officers walked over to deescalate. 

At 7:30 PM, the Trump rally inside was ending, and it's attendees filed out. While waiting to turn on 15 mile, they were met with a thunderous chorus of "Shame, shame, shame!" by the resistance flanking both ends on the parking lot's egress.  

#hategroup #Protest #islamaphobia

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Originally Posted on September 7, 2017

Metro-Detroit Political Action Network Event

Little Caesar's Arena will open to the general public on September 12th, spurning the residents of Detroit by selecting Kid Rock as it's first act. The stadium was granted $324.1 million in tax revenue, some of which initially earmarked for Detroit Public Schools. The Illitch family, owners of Olympia Entertainment, delivered false promises of employing 50% of their construction labor with Detroit residents when the actual figure was closer to 25%. Choosing potential Senate candidate Robert James "Kid Rock" Ritchie twists the dagger further, given the musician's ties to white supremacist political figures

While the primary focus of the protest is Ritchie, the immediate harm to the people of Detroit by Olympia Entertainment should not be ignored. The company has failed residents in the past with similar deceptions regarding development around Comerica Park. 

Ritchie, the self-proclaimed "Rock and Roll Son of Detroit," grew up on a six acre estate Romeo, MI, provided by wealth accrued from a father who owned multiple car dealerships in the region. While developing an interest (and music career) based around breakdancing and hip-hop in his early life, Ritchie gravitated towards Country rock in 2001. 

He began using pro-slavery regalia such as Confederate flags during his shows for the next decade. Following a 2011 award by the NAACP, Ritchie claimed he "never flew the flag with hate in my heart" while protesters burned Confederate flags outside the ceremony at Cobo Hall. For the next five years he abstained from the use of white supremacist banners.

However, in 2016 he began breaking from the lyrics of his song "Born Free" at concerts to state "F--k Colin Kaepernick", in response to the quarterback's silent protest against police brutality. An odd choice of target, given that the musician's career was built off appropriating black culture throughout the 90s. Later that year, Ritchie exchanged his dog whistle for a regular one, printing a line of pro-Trump T-shirts featuring Islamophobic slogans, completing his return to white supremacist advocacy. 

Given his threat to run against Senator Debbie Stabenow in 2018, MDPAN is calling on Michigan residents to come out in protest of his performance and show that his views run contrary to the will of the people. 

Support MDPAN - Facebook - Twitter

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The Republican Party Stands Idly By While the Slaughter Continues

After the terrifying and somber weekend, we are left to question what to do?  We have held marches, organized moms, students, and every conglomeration of people to protest and lobby lawmakers and the President to pass sensible gun control legislation.  The House of Representatives, to its credit passed a number of measures, even some bi-partisan laws.   

The politicians of the Republican Party have either hid from the airwaves or offered absolutely disproven answers to our gun problem.  You've heard them: prayer in schools, violent video games, and mental illness (an excuse only reserved for the white shooters).   Mitch McConnell has utterly dismantled the functioning of the republic in every way imaginable, not the least of which in blocking the will of overwhelming majority of the American people in passing gun control measures. 

Here is the legislation that McConnell is blocking (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/08/04/mass-shootings-what-congress-doing-gun-control/1916451001/):

-H.R. 8: Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019
This bill would prohibit most person-to-person firearm transfers unless a background check can be conducted, aiming to close a potential loophole allowing the transfer of firearms without a background check at gun shows or between individuals.

-H.R. 1112 Bipartisan Background Checks Act
This bill would extend to at least 10 days the amount of time firearms dealers must wait for a response from the background check system before the sale can proceed. Currently, they can make the sale if they haven’t received a response in three days.

-"Red-flag" laws
allow family members or law enforcement to limit a person's access to firearms if they are deemed a potential threat to the public.

-Assault weapons bans
The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, lapsed in 2004. This legislation, among other provisions, banned the manufacture and sale to civilians of assault-style weapons and certain "large-capacity" ammunition magazines for guns, Congress has attempted to pass new bans on assault-style weapons, but the legislation has picked up little traction in the Republican-controlled Senate.

What Else Can We Do? Fight White Supremacy Where We Find It

While we must keep after the advocacy efforts around gun control and vote out every legislator who refuses to do the will of the people, there is much for us to do on the root of the problem of hate that is not necessarily caught up in the political process.   

We are not powerless.  Trump serves as the inspiration to white supremacists from New Zealand to El Paso and has to be looked at as a major causal factor in the increase of white supremacist terrorism.  Trump has given license to racism, but this is going to require all of us to put it back in the bag, especially through white people challenging other white people where they see racism expressed or supported.  For as dizzying as it can be to understand where to begin with norms of decency broken every day in a seemingly bottomless pit of narcissistic depravity that is Donald Trump, we have to challenge in our communities and workplaces, amongst our friends and acquaintances, on social media and in our politics. 

There are collective displays of anti-racism happening around in communities around the country this week.  These are wonderful opportunities to build a collective voice for equality and to reclaim the public square for equality and goodness.  

There are also more intimate challenges required with communities and within families.  These are difficult, but I believe they must be done.  Tolerating intolerance let it fester and ultimately spread to others like a virus.  The offhand comment unchallenged supports a racist ideology that builds within a person, a family, and a community.  The racist social media post is there for lots of folks in the social network to see it.  Make sure people see it challenged.  

We recently had issues of implicit bias and racism in our neighborhood.  Here's how I chose to challenge a handful of my neighbors.  A neighbor relayed a story of feeling intimidated by 3 African American young males walking in our very diverse community.  That needed a challenge and perhaps some education on implicit bias.  I offered the following:

"The story relayed is the textbook example of implicit bias, whether based on age, race, or both.   The sad truth is that most of us experience this type of implicit bias frequently.  I don't think we should run from these discussions as they are important to have.   I would encourage us to have a session on implicit bias in a future OFC meeting.  Unlearning racism and other forms of bias is an ongoing process and having a face to face training and discussion may help our neighborhood better come to terms with some of these issues.

 A couple of useful resources on implicit bias:

-  Definition and meaning of implicit bias:  http://kirwaninstitute.osu.edu/research/understanding-implicit-bias/ 

-  A tool for testing ourselves on implicit bias can be found here: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html

Notice the effort here to provide resources and create a learning opportunity.  There are those who needed more direct challenges because they were more overtly racist, denying the existence of racially biased incidents and microagressions in the neighborhood.   Understanding how forceful a challenge to make is important.  There is a difference between someone who has a blindspot and a growth opportunity versus someone who is willfully ignorant and aggressively promoting a racist view.  I'll get into those cases in part 2.  

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