Mike Pompeo CANNOT BELIEVE Gall Of New York Times Saying Slavery Existed!

Right Wing Extremism

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been behaving like a potential presidential candidate who has embraced Trump-ism in all its ugly forms. During a press conference Tuesday with the UK's First Secretary of State Dominic Raab, he rattled off a Trumpian list of grievances against China, which he accused of a “cover-up" regarding the coronavirus. Pompeo described the pandemic as completely “preventable" until at least, we guess, it arrived in America and then there was nothing anyone could do but blame China or possibly wear a mask.

POMPEO: The [Chinese Communist Party's] exploitation of this disaster to further its own interests has been disgraceful. Rather than helping the world, General Secretary Xi has shown the world the party's true face.

Pompeo urged the “entire world" to “stand up to China" and its human rights abuses. Pompeo works for Donald Trump, who has invaded his own country.

Back at home, Pompeo has been carrying the torch in Trump's culture war. He's praised the president's Mount Rushmore farce and has criticized The 1619 Project, which conservatives consider the single greatest threat to America's narcissism supply. During a speech at the U.S. Constitution Center in Philadelphia Thursday, Pompeo specifically attacked The New York Times feature in front of many diplomats of color.

The New York Times' '1619 Project' — so named for the year that the first slaves were transported to America —wants you to believe that our country was founded for human bondage

I also want you to believe that water is wet.

Pompeo created the Commission on Unalienable Rights last year and has warned against a supposed “inflation" of rights, like when a restaurant has hoagies, wings, and burgers on the same menu. It's trying to do too much. Pompeo insists we streamline the menu, and so discussed the draft report from his Commission on Two — Just Two, Damnit! — Rights.

As you'll see when you get a chance to read this report, the report emphasizes foremost among these rights are property rights and religious liberty. No one can enjoy the pursuit of happiness if you cannot own the fruits of your own labor, and no society – no society can retain its legitimacy or a virtuous character without religious freedom.

Enslaved people didn't own the fruits of their labor or even the vegetables of their own bodies. They were also denied the freedom to worship as they chose. By Pompeo's own description, America had no “legitimacy" or “virtuous" character during its founding. If you were enslaved, there was no difference between 1676 and 1776.

Our founders knew. Our founders knew that faith was also essential to nurture the private virtue of our citizens. The report speaks to that.

Is America a Christian Nation? www.youtube.com

Pompeo promoted some more jingoistic American exceptionalism.

Now, that may seem commonplace to some of you, but this was a momentous idea. Until 1776, human beings pretty much everywhere were ruled by might and brutality.

And human beings who weren't white men would continue to be ruled this way in America for oh just another hundred years and change, and that's not counting lynchings and Jim Crow.

But I must say, these days, even saying that "America is fundamentally good" has become controversial.

No it hasn't. The 1619 Project argues that Black Americans, including the late John Lewis, have believed enough in America to shed blood in an ongoing effort to improve the nation. The real issue conservatives have with The 1619 Project is that it doesn't argue that (white) America is fundamentally good, because it's not. You motherfuckers owned people.

They want you to believe that America's institutions continue to reflect the country's acceptance of slavery at our founding.

He said this just weeks after the police murdered George Floyd and people took to the streets in protest for Black lives.

They want you to believe that Marxist ideology that America is only the oppressors and the oppressed. The Chinese Communist Party must be gleeful when they see the New York Times spout this ideology.

I don't think Pompeo has actually read The 1619 Project. There's probably a SparkNotes version for conservatives written by Tucker Carlson.

This is a dark vision of America's birth. I reject it. It's a disturbed reading of history. It is a slander on our great people.

America was a nightmare slave state and an apartheid state for millions of Black people until ... well, we've made significant progress but I wouldn't say everything's hunky dory now. Trump's still in office.

Ex Slaves talk about Slavery in the USA www.youtube.com

Pompeo concedes that the nation “fell short" of its fancy schmancy ideals, but that ignores how much thought and effort was put into perpetuating slavery and segregation. Or how so many of the nation's laws and institutions — specifically law enforcement — were designed to maintain a desired racial hierarchy. America wasn't ashamed of its racism. It wasn't practiced in secret, like when you aunt takes furtive swigs from a flask in her purse at Thanksgiving.

But crucially – crucially – the nation's founding principles gave us a standard by which we could see the gravity of our failings and a political framework that gave us the tools to ultimately abolish slavery and enshrine into law equality without regard to race.

It took a century and a bloody war to abolish slavery. Pompeo whines that America doesn't get credit for all the “great strides" our nation has made as women and minorities fought for legal recognition of their humanity.

From Seneca Falls, to Brown vs. Board of Education, to the peaceful marches led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Americans have always laid claims to their promised inheritance of unalienable rights.

Dr. King's marches were “peaceful" until the police sicced dogs on protesters and beat the crap out of them. Pompeo pretends it was all a parade. Everyone who wasn't a white straight Christian man gained rights whenever they asked politely. It was like passing the salt at dinner.

Pompeo went on to talk about America rejecting “British tyranny" while not recognizing America's tyranny over Black people for generations. He claimed the patriots advocating for change now are attacking the “American way of life," because the one constant of conservative white male thought is that America should never change until it already has.

[1619 Project / Foreign Policy / The New York Times]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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