Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Is That Rep Steve Scalise Who Spoke at a White Supremacist Event? Yup.

Majority Whip Louisiana GOP Rep. Steve Scalise
Well 2014 is just about over folks and the looming reality of the new Republican majority in Congress is nearly upon us.

To get a glimpse of what that's going to look like, look no further than Congressman Steve Scalise, the Republican Whip (pictured left) who's now the 3rd most powerful person in the House of Representatives; our nation's lawmaking body.

Ole' Stevie's chickens came home to roost in a bad way when a blogger trolling through the white supremacist Stormfront Website stumbled upon evidence that the Louisiana lawmaker spoke at a white supremacist event back in 2002.

According to a article, the event was hosted by the European-American Unity and Rights Organization, or EURO (how clever!) a group founded by none other than former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke.

Yup, THAT David Duke.

Same David Duke who famously walked around the LSU campus wearing a Nazi uniform and unsuccessfully ran for US Senate in 1990 and governor of Louisiana in 1991.

Scalise is in major damage control mode, insisting that he didn't have a scheduler at the time so he didn't know who he was speaking in front of. That dog just ain't gonna hunt.

With all due respect, I didn't have a "scheduler" in 2002 either, but I certainly knew who David Duke's white supremacist ass was; as did pretty much everyone in America.     

Everyone EXCEPT for Steve Scalise? Riiight...

David Duke in his KKK Grand Dragon days
In case the whole white supremacist conference appearance-thing isn't enough to sway you, Scalise is also one of those conservative clowns who opposes abortion in cases of incest and rape.

So try and picture him being one of the gateways through which legislation affecting women gets to the floor of the House in the coming year.

For the time being, the remarkably tone-deaf Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner and the apparently equally-clueless Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy are both backing their boy Scalise; how long will that last?

Until someone in the GOP reminds the House leadership that a bunch of Republican lawmakers are up for re-election in 2016 when there's also this thing called the Presidential Election.

But I'm sure the 3rd highest ranking member of the US Congress having spoken at a white supremacist conference the year AFTER 911 will have absolutely no effect on the GOP's image among voters.

Nothing to see here folks!

Now all this Scalise chicanery comes the same week as the head-strong former FBI tough-guy, Republican NY Congressman Michael Grimm, announced he'll resign his seat after being found guilty of tax evasion.

Former NY GOP Rep. Michael Grimm
Remember him?

He's the guy who threatened a reporter (on camera no less....) with physical violence for ASKING A QUESTION?

Think about that. The GOP cuts Grimm loose for tax evasion in his past but is still backing Scalise despite clear ties to white supremacy?

On the domestic front, excessive police force against people of color is still making news even as we close out the year.

And kudos to the always-insightful Field Negro blog for making people aware of stories that will largely be ignored by the mainstream media.

Did you hear the story about Tario Anderson?

He's a severely autistic black man who can barely communicate verbally and lives with his mother in Greenville, South Carolina in a small neighborhood where he likes to walk at night.

After getting reports of gunshots on Christmas Eve, Greenville PD officers responded to the area and saw Tario walking; being a physically larger-than-average 6'8" tall African-American man with a dark complexion, of course they stopped to question him.

When Tario didn't respond verbally (because his mental condition prevents him from being able to), the officers shined a spotlight on him and Tario put his hands in his pocket, ducked his head and tried to walk away.

They chased him, a physical struggle ensued, Tario started screaming hysterically so the cops tasered the poor guy.

Neighbors alerted his mother, who ran to the scene to confront the officers trying to arrest her son; she pleaded with them not to arrest him because he is autistic, what was their response?

They threatened to taser her too. (Shaking my head.)

Autistic taser-victim Tario Anderson & his mom
On Monday December 29th, after the incident began attracting national publicity, and Tario's mother Carolyn filed a complaint against the police department, the chief of the Greenville Police Department Ken Miller held a 35-minute press conference to discuss the taser incident in detail.

The entire press conference is posted up on YouTube if you want to watch it for yourself to hear the police response to the incident.

Tario's mother filed a federal lawsuit against the Greenville police chief Ken Miller and the two officers who arrested and tasered her son, Ryan Weeks and Anthony Collier.

But a jury found the officers innocent of all charges of use of excessive force.

So what's a right-wing extremist Republican leadership combined with this ongoing epidemic of excessive police violence against people of color going to mean for the fabric of our fair nation as we head into 2015?

I'm as eager to know the answer to that as you are and I''ll continue to come here and explore that question in the coming year.

Whether or not you agree with the things I write here, I want to say thanks for visiting my blog in what was a truly interesting 2014, and for taking the time to look at some of the stories that might not always be front-page news in the mainstream press.

Have safe and happy New Year and I hope to see you back here in 2015. Cheers! -Culturegeist  : -)

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