Pundits are falling all over themselves proclaiming Trump’s speech “presidential,” but we will not be distracted by soaring rhetoric that cloaks racist and repressive policies. This is what he said:
“Each American generation passes the torch of truth, liberty and justice — in an unbroken chain all the way down to the present. That torch is now in our hands. And we will use it to light up the world.”
Sounds so pretty. But we know that the torch of truth, liberty, and justice has been dropped or thrown down over and over again by presidents, congress, and myriad other “leaders.”
The flame only continues to burn because of the courage and commitment of the people (not politicians), who have refused to let it die. Thank you for being one of those people!
Trump went on to extol programs that will only cast darkness and repression across the land. But I want to focus on three of his words, and ask you to take action.
Trump threw some red-meat to his anti-Muslim followers by pledging to fight “radical Islamic extremism,” despite being asked not to use that phrase by his national security adviser, H.R. McMaster.
In using that phrase, Trump declared open season on American Muslims and Muslim civil society. And, he and his cronies are advancing policies to to bring those words to life: the Muslim ban, the Muslim registry, the Countering Islamic Extremism program, more surveillance of Mosques, and naming the Muslim Brotherhood a terror organization.
For many years, anti-Muslim voices have tried to smear American Muslim leaders, civil rights organizations, and charities by claiming they are linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. These allegations may have hurt some reputations, but the designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization would open the door to legal action by the government, including freezing assets and shutting down charities. It’s terribly dangerous.
Make no mistake that the target is American Muslims and Muslim civil society, not terrorism.
Stay Loud, Stay Strong,
Sue Udry, Executive Director
Now keep reading for the latest articles from the Dissent NewsWire ..
BORDC/DDF supports grassroots activism to protect and advance Constitutional rights. Join the movement! Please reach us at [email protected] Here are some organizing highlights from around the country:
Grassroots Partners Discuss Local Work and Participation in Campaign on JTTFs
The monthly calls are held on the 4th Wednesday of every month at 3 pm Eastern/noon Pacific time, and are open to everyone working to protect and advance civil liberties at the local level. They are a great opportunity to learn and get inspired (or inspire others!).
MoCo Civil Rights Coalition Advocates for Sanctuary, SWAT Reform, and Stingray Regulation
Legislation would make Maryland a “Sanctuary” state, require uniform training and standards and reporting on SWAT deployments, and require that police obtain a search warrant before tracking people using “stingray” devices that mimic cell phone towers.
Decorah Iowa Ready to Stand in Solidarity & Friendship, Not Fear
A number of concerned Decorah residents joined together recently to create a resolution in support of our Muslim friends and neighbors, as well as Muslims around the country, who are more and more under threat from all sides.
Federal Subpoena Dropped Against Grand Jury Resister Steve Martinez
A federal grand jury subpoena issued to Water Protector Steve Martinez was withdrawn yesterday, without warning or explanation.
If Some Arizona Lawmakers Have Their Way, You Could Get Arrested Just For Planning a Protest
The Arizona Senate passed a sweeping bill on Wednesday that takes aims at protesters, even peaceful ones. And the House will act next. Arizona Residents: Take action now
Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition Celebrates the Defeat of Xenophobic Bill
HB-1134 sought to take Colorado backwards by re-instating “show-me your papers” legislation in the state and punishing local Sheriffs and County officials that are protecting the constitutional rights of all Coloradans by refusing to hold people for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) without judicially approved warrants.
Oakland City Council to Consider Surveillance Ordinance
Believe it or not, there’s some good news. The Oakland Privacy Advisory Commission, which is chaired by BORDC/DDF Patriot Award winner Brian Hofer, in January approved and passed to the Oakland City Council an ordinance that calls for close scrutiny of the city’s spy gear.
Take Action: Congress Must Demand Answers About FBI Questioning Of Water Protectors
Write to your Senators today. Ask them to call FBI Director James Comey on the carpet. He has to explain why the JTTF is questioning Standing Rock Water Protectors.
Be a ‘Tenther’ for Sanctuary Cities
The Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was written in 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights. It says: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Openness Groups Urge FOIA Ombudsman to Revise Strict Confidentiality Requirements
RequirementsThe proposed requirements could severely undercut the role of the Office of Government Information Services in providing expertise on FOIA issues for other agencies, lawyers, and judges, as well as the public.
One More Salvo in the War on Muslim and Arab American Civil Society
Measures are under consideration in Congress and the Administration to name the Muslim Brotherhood a terror organization but the target isn’t MB. It is US civil society.
BORDC/DDF Denounces Proposals to Designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a Foreign Terror Organization
Legislation has been introduced, and the Administration is reportedly considering designating the organization as a Foreign Terror Organization, which would have chilling ramifications on U.S. civil society.
Public Interest Groups: Agencies must notify public before stripping online government data
Federal agencies to fulfill their legal requirement to provide the public with adequate notice before removing public information from government websites.
Supreme Court Hears Landmark Case on First Amendment And Social Media
Is Twitter an essential medium for political expression in our current era? Certainly if you ask our President, who can find no area of US policy that cannot be conducted in just 140 characters, he would say yes. But does the First Amendment protection of free expression also protect your right to engage on social media?
Border Security, or Border Security Theater?
Travelers to the U.S., and even returning citizens are facing more intrusive questions, including demands to handover passwords. But fishing expeditions at the border do nothing to enhance national security.
It’s Official: It’s A Muslim Ban
A federal judge has ruled on the obvious: Trump’s Muslim Ban is a Muslim Ban.
Why is the Joint Terrorism Task Force Questioning Water Protectors?
FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) agents have attempted to question a number of activists involved with the ongoing protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) at Standing Rock. This surprises exactly no one.
Preventing Violence Against Police or Silencing Dissent?
It goes without saying that no one should ever be the victim of a violent crime, but violent crime is not out of control nor is there a spike in violent crime against police officers, who already receive a number of special protections from such offenses.
Evelyn Turner: “Sessions tried to jail me for helping people vote”
Evelyn Turner, a longtime civil rights and voting rights advocate recounts her past encounters with Sessions in a new piece in USA Today: “While my husband and I were trying to help black people vote in Alabama, Jeff Sessions was trying to put us in jail.”