Month: January 2019

About the Black Hebrew Israelites

The Black Hebrew Israelites, a group of black activists who call themselves one of the lost tribes of Israel, has been in the news this week due to a banal confrontation they had with some Native American activists and Catholic school boys who were in Washington, DC for different protests.

Reportedly, the Black Hebrew Israelites were yelling vitriol at the Native Americans and Catholics, and then eventually one of the Native Americans approached the Catholic boys and started playing the “American Indian Movement” song.

It is not surprising to Washington DC residents to see the Black Hebrew Israelites engaging in unhinged rants, hate speech, and personal attacks. They are a cartoonish group that often sets up shop around the city–especially outside the Chinatown metro station during the summer–and shouts about their nutty beliefs, complete with attacks on individuals passing-by and those crazy enough to engage them, like an evangelical on a college campus. The Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled some of their sects hate groups.

Here is a video I briefly recorded of them yelling at a Hispanic man this past summer:

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White-on-white crime is a bigger problem than “immigrant crime”: Why doesn’t Trump care?

Donald Trump gave a television broadcast in support of his wall last night with his typical mix of anecdotes, exaggerations and outright lies all mixed into a demagogic gloop and served in a tiring Trump voice. It has been called “an insult to the nation’s intelligence” by Vox’s Zack Beauchamp and a “wet fart Oval Office address” by The Daily Beast‘s Rick Wilson, while Mark Thiessen called the speech “presidential” in The Washington Post.

His main message was, as usual, that illegal immigrants are responsible for a massive crime wave. The message is wrong on multiple levels. Illegal immigration has declined precipitously since Obama took office. Most research shows that immigrants (both legal and illegal) commit crimes at a lower rate than American-born citizens. That is why Trump and his fellow opponents of immigration (both legal and illegal) always have to cite anecdotes so viciously.

But they always ignore anecdotes about Americans murdering each other, especially if those Americans are white Americans. It’s the same old story. In the run-up to the 2016 election, Breitbart fear-mongered about refugee children having committed a crime against a white girl (and lied in order to trump up the details), but the outlet entirely ignored a murder that took place in the same city Breitbart sent its writers to report from. Because the logic is the same, I now present the article I wrote on it, originally published at Medium:

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Trump’s foreign policy views distorted by pro-Russian, pro-Saudi distortions

Donald Trump espoused inaccurate and incoherent claims about Russia and Iran at a January 2 cabinet meeting that call into question whether he should be making foreign policy decisions for the United States.

Trump defended the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan and seemed to support Soviet domination of Eastern Europe:

Russia used to be the Soviet Union. Afghanistan made it Russia, because they went bankrupt fighting in Afghanistan. Russia … the reason Russia was in Afghanistan was because terrorists were going into Russia. They were right to be there. The problem is, it was a tough fight. And literally they went bankrupt; they went into being called Russia again, as opposed to the Soviet Union. You know, a lot of these places you’re reading about now are no longer part of Russia, because of Afghanistan.

Russia invaded Afghanistan to try to support a pro-Soviet government. But Trump either has no idea what the Soviet Union was or actually thinks the Soviet Union was justified in colonizing Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan, and imposing its will on the satellite states. By saying, “Russia used to be the Soviet Union,” Trump is in fact making no distinction between Russia and the component states of the USSR. He’s saying that Ukraine was itself part of “Russia.”

Next, Trump blames Iran for the war in Yemen—even as the United States provided bombs for Saudi Arabia to drop on Yemen and logistical assistance for most of Trump’s two years in office.

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