Divided States of America: Part 2

By Jim Carey

Occupy continues with PBS’s Part 2 of Divided States of America. Frontline carefully pieces together the events of the Obama years. Three key themes dominate: the GOP’s opposition strategy to the Obama administration, race in the Obama era, and Trump’s battle with the GOP.

Meeting and Film
OccupySMA presents
Divided States of America: Part 2
Mon, Apr 24, 1pm
TV Room
Quinta Loreto Hotel, Loreto 15
Free

Obama, in his own words, received a “shellacking” in the 2010 election. The Tea Party brought 87 new Republicans to the table—armed for revolution. Promising to transform both the American government as well as the Republican Party, they took on John Boehner, and Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan were next in line. Then they shut down the government.

Ryan’s budget promised to lower taxes, privatize Medicare, and abolish Obamacare.

Forty percent of the population again questioned whether Obama was a citizen, and Trump became Archie Bunker on The View, asking why Obama didn’t show that he was a citizen. Trump was the voice of the birther movement. The underlying message was that someone like Obama did not belong in the White House. Racism reared its ugly head. The hope of many that Obama could bridge the racial divide was slowly destroyed.

In February 2012, Trayvon Martin was shot. “His only sin was his skin color. Had he been a white teenager in a hoodie, he would not have been killed” said Wesley Lowery, author of “They Can’t Kill Us All.” George Zimmerman was not immediately arrested, but later a six-woman jury found George Zimmerman not guilty. In December of that same year, 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children between six and seven years old, as well as six adult staff members, of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. The conservatives refused any sensible gun control regulations. They—the Republicans—were intent on placating their radical base with a promise that all weapons would eventually be permitted. Michael Brown was killed, and Ferguson, Missouri was afire. There was a Charleston massacre of eight black citizens at a prayer meeting. We learned that there had been 16 mass shootings during Obama’s presidency. The slaughter seemed endless.

Romney lost to Obama in 2012. Trump ran against the “establishment” of the Republican Party in 2016. He defeated 16 of their candidates. To embrace Trump was to reject everything Obama had stood for. Trump was elected, and the country was officially declared divided.

We read the news and hear his supporters, many of whom will be most affected by his draconian budget, say that they would still vote for him again. Thirty-five percent of the nation seems to have drunk Trump’s Kool Aid. He can grab, lie, even shoot someone on Fifth Avenue, and they will still love him. The alternatives for many are to resist this misogynist, xenophobic, fascist administration. Join Indivisible, A.C.L.U., Brand New Congress-Justice Democrats, Swing Left, the Women’s March, Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter, Southern Poverty Law Center, The International Refugee Assistance Project, or the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

They fight for justice and equality for all. Join us Monday. It’s free.

 

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