Category Archives: Terror and Terrorism

MAGA & Neo-Confederate Racism, By the Numbers

[The most revealing analysis of the mythic underpinning of the authoritarian upsurge I’ve seen points straight to the “restoration” of a zombie version of white Jim Crow Dixie culture, circa 1920-1950. This survey bolsters that impression. Progressives who want to push back effectively against this drive need to get over the tendency to ignore this history & culture and its stubborn legacy.]

Washington Post — September 28, 2022

Just how racist is the MAGA movement? This survey measures it.




Opinion by Jennifer Rubin

It has long been understood that the MAGA movement is heavily dependent on White grievance and straight-up racism. (Hence Donald Trump’s refusal to disavow racist groups and his statement that there were “very fine people on both sides” in the violent clashes at the white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville.)

Now, we have numbers to prove it.

The connection between racism and the right-wing movement is apparent in a new poll from the Public Religion Research Institute.

The survey asked respondents about 11 statements designed to probe views on racism. For example: “White Americans today are not responsible for discrimination against Black people in the past.”

The pollsters then used their answers to quantify a “structural racism index,” which provides a general score from zero to 1 measuring a person’s attitudes on “white supremacy and racial inequality, the impact of discrimination on African American economic mobility, the treatment of African Americans in the criminal justice system, general perceptions of race, and whether racism is still significant problem today.” Higher scores indicate a more receptive attitude to racist beliefs.

 Continue reading MAGA & Neo-Confederate Racism, By the Numbers

Putin’s Mobilization: Preparing for a bigger, more desperate war on Ukraine

Overview: Russia begins massive Ukraine war call-up, spurring some men to flee

Reuters: KYIV/NEW YORK, Sept 22 (Reuters) – Russia pushed ahead on Thursday with its biggest conscription drive since World War Two, prompting some men to rush abroad, while Ukraine demanded “just punishment” for a seven-month-old invasion that has shaken the world.

President Vladimir Putin’s order to mobilize another 300,000 Russians escalates a war that has already killed thousands, displaced millions, pulverised cities, damaged the global economy and revived Cold War confrontation.

The mass conscription may be the riskiest domestic move of Putin’s two decades in power, after Kremlin promises it would not happen and a string of battlefield failures in Ukraine.

Anti-war protests in 38 Russian cities saw more than 1,300 people arrested on Wednesday, a monitoring group said. Some had been served summons to report to enlistment offices on Thursday, the first full day of conscription, independent news outlets said.

Prices for air tickets out of Moscow soared above $5,000 for one-way flights to the nearest foreign locations, with most sold out for coming days. Traffic also surged at border crossings with Finland and Georgia. Continue reading Putin’s Mobilization: Preparing for a bigger, more desperate war on Ukraine

On the Brink of Autumn: Quote of the Season

 

Joe Biden, 09/15/2022, United We Stand Summit, at the White House:

George Floyd mural, Minneapolis

“Too much hate that’s fueled extremist violence [has] been allowed to fester and grow.

Heather Heyer, spontaneous memorial, Charlottesville

You know, as a result, our very own intelligence agencies — our own intelligence agencies in the United States of America, have determined that domestic terrorism rooted in white supremacy is the greatest terrorist threat to our Homeland today.

I’ve been around a while.I never thought I’d hear that or say that.

Enough.”

Quote of the Day: Two Contemporary Funerals

“On one side in Britain you see the Queen’s dignified burial and on the other this mass grave [just discovered in Ukraine] stemming from mass violence,” said Anjli Parrin, the Kenyan deputy director of the Human Rights Clinic at Columbia Law School. “They are two extremes that remind us that the idea of someone missing, buried anonymously, is a violation of a fundamental instinct to honor the dead.”

— Roger Cohen in the New York Times

 

 

Fifth Little Girl in ‘63 Birmingham Bombing Still Seeks Justice

[NOTE: Many supporters of the 1960s civil rights struggles in Alabama long referred to Birmingham, its largest city, as “Bombingham,” because of a long string (as many as fifty) of racist bombings and other attacks of homes and churches associated with the movement. Most remain unsolved. The most notorious of these attacks was the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, in which four young Black girls (Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Carol Denise McNair) were killed on their way to a Sunday School class, and more than a dozen others seriously injured.

The bombing happened on September 15, 1963. It was a Sunday morning, only eighteen days after the mammoth civil rights march in Washington, at which Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

The March on Washington, while marked by electrifying rhetoric, was peaceful from start to finish –confounding many segregationist predictions that any large black-organized assembly would necessarily degenerate into a riot. This triumph of nonviolence added to its aura of success.

The Birmingham church bombing came on September 16, 1963,  just over two weeks later, and shattered the euphoria as well as its direct victims. It was an outrageous reminder that the struggle for equality was a matter of life and death.

The FBI had reportedly identified identified the bombers, four members of a Ku Klux Klan terror band, by 1965, But there was no prosecution until 1977, when one of the bombers was convicted of first degree murder. Two others were not tried until 2001, thirty-eight years later. (The fourth died in 1994.)

The indifference of most authorities extended beyond those who were killed. The survivor story below describes how the personal impact of the time of terror in “Bombingham” –and the cry for justice, though fainter with age– continues after nearly six decades.]

AP News: Alabama sidesteps compensation for survivor of ’63 KKK blast

BY JAY REEVES — Sept. 16, 2022

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Sarah Collins Rudolph lost an eye and still has pieces of glass inside her body from a Ku Klux Klan bombing that killed her sister and three other Black girls at an Alabama church 59 years ago, and shes still waiting on the state to compensate her for those injuries.

Gov. Kay Ivey sidestepped the question of financial compensation two years ago in apologizing to Rudolph for her “untold pain and suffering, saying legislative involvement was needed. But nothing has been done despite the efforts of attorneys representing Rudolph, leaving unresolved the question of payment even though victims of other attacks, including 9/11, were compensated.

Rudolph, known as the “Fifth Little Girl” for surviving the infamous attack on 16th Street Baptist Church, which was depicted in Spike Lees 1997 documentary “4 Little Girls,” has been rankled by the states inaction.

Speaking in an interview with The Associated Press, Rudolph said thenGov. George C. Wallace helped lay the groundwork for the Klan attack with his segregationist rhetoric, and the state bears some responsibility for the bombing, which wasnt prosecuted for years.

“If they hadn’t stirred up all that racist hate that was going on at the time I don’t believe that church would have been bombed,” said Rudolph.

Rudolph attended a White House summit yesterday [Sept. 15] about combatting hatefueled violence, the anniversary of the church bombing, and was recognized by President Joe Biden:

Ms. Sarah Collins  Rudolph is also here today.  On this day in 1963, her sister Addie Mae was one of four little girls preparing for Sunday school who were murdered by white supremacists in the 16th [Street] Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, which I visited.  Ms. Collins Rudolph survived the bombing but still carries the scars of that blast. 

Ms. Collins Rudolph, I’m honored to see you here again.  Thank you for being here.  I visited the church on this day in 2019.  And I’ll visit with you and always remember what happened. 

All these years later, Ms. Rudolph [and these others are] providing the evidence that we need, proving that grief is universal, but so is hope and so is love.

In Birmingham, hundreds gathered at the church for a commemorative service and wreathlaying at the spot where the bomb went off.

Rudolph said she still incurs medical expenses from the explosion, including a $90 bill she gets every few months for work on the prosthetic she wears in place of the right eye that was destroyed by shrapnel on Sept. 15, 1963. Anything would help, but Rudolph believes shes due millions.

Ishan Bhabha, an attorney representing Rudolph, said the state’s apology — made at Rudolph’s request along with a plea for restitution — was only meant as a first step.

“She deserves justice in the form of compensation for the grievous injuries, and costs, she has had to bear for almost 60 years,” he said. “We will continue to pursue any available avenues to get Sarah the assistance she needs and deserves.”

Five girls were gathered in a downstairs bathroom at 16th Street Baptist Church when a bomb planted by KKK members went off outside, blowing a huge hole in the thick, brick wall. The blast killed Denise McNair, 11, and three 14yearolds: Carole Robertson, Cynthia Morris, also referred to as Cynthia Wesley, and Addie Mae Collins, who was Rudolph’s sister.

Three Klan members convicted of murder in the bombing years later died in prison, and a fourth suspect died without ever being charged.

The bombing occurred eight months after Wallace proclaimed “segregation forever” in his inaugural speech and during the time when Birmingham schools were being racially integrated for the first time.

The church itself has gotten government money for renovations, as has the surrounding Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument, formed by President Barack Obama in 2017 in one of his last acts in office. “But not me,” Rudolph said.

Ivey, at the time of the apology, said in a letter to Rudolphs lawyer that any possible compensation would require legislative approval, said press secretary Gina Maiola.

“Additionally, in attorneytoattorney conversations that ensued soon after, that same point was reiterated,” she said.

No bill has been introduced to compensate Rudolph, legislative records show, and its unclear whether such legislation could win passage anyway since conservative Republicans hold an overwhelming majority and have made an issue of reeling in history lessons that could make white people feel bad about the past.

While the Alabama Crime Victims’ Compensation Commission helps victims and families with expenses linked to a crime, state law doesnt allow it to address offenses that occurred before the agency was created in 1984.

Rudolph has spent a lifetime dealing with physical and mental pain from the bombing. Despite her injuries and lingering stress disorders, Rudolph provided testimony that helped lead to the convictions of the men accused of planting the bomb, and shes published a book about her life, titled “The 5th Little Girl.”

Rudolphs husband, George Rudolph, said hes frustrated and mad over the way his wife has been treated. Victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks were compensated, he said, as were victims of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.

Why can’t they do something for Sarah?” he said.

___

Reeves is a member of APs Race and Ethnicity Team.