Few presidential decisions have been as unjust, unwise and cruel as Donald Trump's threat to deport nearly 700,000 young Americans if Congress can't come together within six months to save them.
For comparison, consider Andrew Jackson and the Trail of Tears, Woodrow Wilson segregating the federal workforce and Franklin D. Roosevelt ordering Japanese Americans into concentration camps. The underlying factor in all four instances is racism. To deny that is to be part of the problem. If the “sanctity of borders” isn’t naked hypocrisy, why isn’t there a clamor over the nearly 100,000 Canadians who are estimated to have overstayed visas?
By the faculty of Western Carolina University’s Department of Anthropology and Sociology
Recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, demonstrate the inability and unwillingness of the U.S. to deal with issues of race and racism. When neo-Confederates, neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups freely assemble to promote not free speech but violence in the face of a Confederate statue being removed, we must question the purpose of these monuments in our communities.
As President Trump’s administration continues to descend further into chaos with each passing week, there are a few truths that we will have to reckon with when it comes to an end, whether that occurs in a few years, a few months or a few weeks. The biggest of these is also the most obvious: we are a nation divided. Though polls show that Trump’s support is dwindling slightly, there remains a solid core of Trump voters who still support him and believe that his problems are essentially the fault of the media and of sore-loser liberals, who in their view refused to accept the legitimacy of his presidency and are thus undermining any chance he has of being productive or successful.
By JoAnna Swanson • Guest Columnist
There are all kinds of signs — signs of the times; signs of the future (omens); traffic signs; stop signs and, of course, the ubiquitous election signs!
During the 1970s, my dad spent some time in prison. For over three years, he taught GED prep classes at the old Craggy Prison that still stands barricaded on Riverside Drive in Asheville. I’ve always known he taught inmates, but only recently have I become intrigued about this time in his life.
Something about losing my mom at a relatively young age has made me latch onto everything my dad says. Both my mom and dad lived tragically enchanting lives worthy of movie plots. I know bits and pieces of their many stories, but not enough.
“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” — Nobel prize winning author William Faulkner
This oft-trotted out line from William Faulkner’s novel Requiem for a Nun has perhaps never in recent decades seemed more apropos than at this very moment in our history.
The Civil War, slavery, the Jim Crow South, the Civil Rights era, racism, bigotry and the First Amendment are suddenly all part of a national conversation. The South — and in fact all of this nation — is struggling to deal with a tortured past that undoubtedly manifests itself in the Civil War statues and emblems that still adorn public places.
I can admit now that by the time the day of the eclipse finally arrived, I was so tired of the hype that I just wanted it to be over. For months and months, the eclipse has been written about, talked about, planned for, and so eagerly anticipated by so many people that I was just weary of hearing about it. I was even mildly and irrationally irritated that classes would be canceled and traffic here in “the path of totality “— a phrase that could have served as the title of one of those dreadful post-Roger Waters Pink Floyd albums — would be miserable.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In the 1980 cult classic film “The Blues Brothers,” Jake and Elwood are stuck in traffic as a Nazi rally blocks the bridge they need to cross. When they ask a nearby police officer about what’s going on, the officer shrugs, “Ah, those bums won their court case, so they’re marching today.” Jake replies, “What bums?” The officer shoots back, “The f**ckin’ Nazi party.”
I’m entering a new phase of motherhood.
Since becoming a mom in 2009, one or both of my boys have been completely or quasi attached to my apron strings, so to speak. Whether learning the ins and outs of nursing, making homemade baby food, changing diapers, pushing a stroller, fastening a car seat, reading board books, managing colic, bandaging chubby knees, putting on tiny socks and shoes, or creatively potty training, I’ve been in full-blown mommy mode for over eight years.
Prayer as part of government meetings has a long — and often contentious — history in this country, and a recent court ruling on the issue certainly won’t settle this debate.
This case does, however, add one more brick to the legal foundation that’s been built by respected judges since this country’s inception: prayer by those in official capacities is fine, but can’t trumpet your specific sectarian religious beliefs at the expense of those who may have a different faith.