Tag: sign

You’re not supporting Serena Williams by painting your face black

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This blog post uses Australian English spelling rules.


At the women’s singles semi-final of this year’s Australian Open tennis major, at least two fans were seen on television holding a sign reading “Keep calm and be Serena” and…wait for it…wearing black face paint. “Serena” is Serena Williams of the United States, who won her semi-final match against Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland and went on to lose the grand final to Angelique Kerber of Germany. While I’m not a fan of tennis at all, I do know enough about the sport to tell you that Serena is probably the top athlete in all of sports globally.

If you’re wearing blackface, you might claim to be supporting Serena, but you’re actually being very racist.

Blackface was commonly used in theatre plays for many, many years, with usage in the United States being commonplace well into the 1960’s. In blackface performances, white actors would wear black face paint to portray black people. For fans to employ racism that the theatre industry used is absolutely unacceptable, and something that Serena herself finds to be very offensive. I’m surprised that there are many Australians who are very racist, to tell you the truth.

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Democratic Senatorial Campaign Commitee took $33,400 from Big Pharma’s big jerk Martin Shkreli

You may have read about Turing Pharmaceuticals owner Martin Shkreli being a total jerk on social media in response to his company raising the price of Daraprim, a drug used to treat toxoplasmosis, a medical condition that can be fatal to people with AIDS and developing fetuses, from $13.50/pill to a whopping $750/pill. If not, you can read about it here.

However, when I was looking on the Federal Election Commission (FEC) website about political donations that Martin Shkreli made, I managed to find one political donation that I am 100% certain is of Turing Pharmaceuticals’s Martin Shkreli, and that is a $33,400 donation that Shkreli made to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) on July 18th of this year:

Screengrab of FEC Independent Expenditure Search

The fact that the DSCC is taking money from people as odious as Martin Shkreli is disgusting and not in line with the progressive values that the Democratic Party should stand for.

I’ve created an online petition where you can tell U.S. Senator and DSCC Chairman Jon Tester (D-MT) and the DSCC to take the $33,400 they accepted from Shkreli and donate it to charity, preferably one whose mission is to help find a cure for AIDS. You can sign that petition here.

Meet the most creative LGBT rights activist ever

Love is LoveEarlier this month, Keanan Sargent, the nine-year-old son of Wisconsin State Rep. Melissa Sargent (D-Madison), became the star of a recent gay pride rally and parade in Wisconsin’s second-largest city by using colored balloons to obscure signs that anti-LBGT bigots displayed at the parade:

Keanan Sargent, the 9-year-old son of Wisconsin state Rep. Melissa Sargent, found himself confronted by homophobia at a pride rally in Madison earlier this month.

(Melissa) Sargent told The Huffington Post she was marching in the parade with her husband and two youngest sons, and the anti-gay protesters gathered at the base of the capitol building. The homophobic signs bore slogans like “gay sex is a sin” and “sodomy is the same as bestiality.”

When her son noticed the signs “were hurting people,” he took a balloon and stood in front of one of them, according to fellow attendee Lars Koch, who took the below photo. When the sign holder tried to move around the solitary balloon, members of the crowd starting handing Keanan their balloons, too.

Keanan Sargent’s creative use of balloons to obscure hateful anti-LGBT signs worked successfully: The bigots eventually rolled up their signs and left the pride event!

Make no mistake about it, Melissa Sargent is one of the finest progressive advocates in this country, and she’s certainly taught her kids well!

Tell Congressman Ron Kind to denounce attacks on progressives by his fellow corporate Democrats

Several members of the New Democratic Coalition, a group of pro-greed and anti-middle class Democrats led by U.S. Representative Ron Kind of Wisconsin, are attacking progressive members of Congress for opposing efforts by Republicans and corporate Democrats to repeal financial regulations, enacted by the Dodd-Frank bill, that are designed to protect American consumers from predatory banking institutions.

According to a report by POLITICO, at least three members of the New Democratic Coalition, U.S. Representatives Gerry Connolly of Virginia, John Carney of Delaware, and Jim Himes of Connecticut, openly attacked progressives for standing up against Wall Street greed:

Tension reached a boiling point during a closed-door caucus meeting Wednesday over the party’s stance toward Wall Street banks, according to multiple sources at the meeting.

Liberal Massachusetts Rep. Mike Capuano incensed the moderates when he said if Democrats support rolling back Dodd-Frank regulations, “you might as well be a Republican.”

[…]

At the New Democrat meeting, (House Minority Whip Steny) Hoyer was on the receiving end of impassioned concerns by his moderate colleagues. Reps. Gerry Connolly (Va.), John Carney (Del.) and Jim Himes (Conn.) all voiced strong opinions, according to sources in the room.

The 40-member group expressed anger at the liberal faction for name calling and for dismissing their point of view outright. The lawmakers told Hoyer that any future Democratic majority would look more like them than the liberal faction of the caucus.

You can read more about the New Democratic Coalition’s War on Progressives from DailyKos’s own Kerry Eleveld here.

The New Democratic Coalition is not new (they’ve been in existence for nearly two decades as a Congressional Member Organization), and they’re certainly not progressive. They are a group of corporate Democrats who support a pro-Wall Street, pro-special interests, anti-worker, anti-consumer, and anti-middle class agenda that is nearly as bad as the Republicans’ far-right economic agenda. Most notably, they’re known for supporting deregulation of the banking industry to make it easier for the American economy to crash because of greed and speculation on Wall Street and put American consumers even more at the mercy of predatory banks than they currently are now. Furthermore, New Democratic Coalition members support free trade agreements, such as the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), that drive down wages, move American jobs overseas, and destroy what little of our country’s economic sovereignty remains.

Regarding the New Democratic Coalition’s claim that regaining Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress is only possible by supporting giveaways to Wall Street and other Big Business special interests, that claim is absolutely absurd. Future Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress would, more than likely, be built mostly, if not entirely, by progressive Democrats who champion lifting Americans out of poverty, ending corrupt special interest giveaways, restoring the American middle class, protecting and expanding the social safety net, restoring protections of the American economy, and protecting American consumers, and other progressive, pro-middle class ideals. The only thing that the New Democratic Coalition is doing by openly antagonizing progressives is dividing the party and making it virtually impossible for Democrats to win congressional majorities in its current state.

As I stated above, the Chairman of the New Democratic Coalition is Congressman Ron Kind of Wisconsin. While it’s not known if Kind himself was part of the attacks on progressives (although Kind did brag on tape about being a key part of the “global trading regime”, as he called it, to enact free trade agreements and ship American jobs overseas), I believe that it is Congressman Kind’s responsibility to denounce the divisive attacks on pro-consumer and pro-middle class progressives by members of the organization that he leads. You can sign an online petition to call for Congressman Kind to publicly denounce the New Democratic Coalition’s attacks on progressives here.