Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., had an unusual take yesterday on recent protests around the police shootings of African-American men in North Carolina and Oklahoma, saying that while Black Lives Matter is made up of “radical groups” and “confused people,” the real “institutional racism” is policies that removed government-sponsored religious teaching from public schools.
Virginia talk radio host John Fredericks asked Brat yesterday, “Help me understand, what is Black Lives Matter rioting about in Charlotte?”
“Well, that’s just sub-groups,” Brat responded, “some of these radical groups that are funded out of George Soros’ pot of money and just some confused people.”
In contrast, he said, he recently visited a prison and met with former heroin addicts who told him that they wanted him to “get the Bible back in the classroom and religion back in the classroom so my kids and grandkids don’t end up like me.” Because of the lack of religious instruction, he said, these men were “never taught what was good and bad in life in the public school system.”
“The Democrat policy in education is holding back an entire generation from being successful,” he said, “and then you end up with this racial system when your school system … [is] teaching them about isosceles triangles but we’re not giving them any hope.”
“There is institutional racism,” Brat told Fredericks, “and if Obama and Hillary want to talk about institutionalized racism, I just mentioned the source of it. It’s their own policies. that’s where the institutional racism is, right? When you don’t tell people what is ethically good and bad, right, if you cannot even define what a morally good life is anymore and you block the Bible and you block the Judeo-Christian tradition and you block the Baptist church, which is fundamental in the African-American community, from being the voice of power and the only hope you give is a broken federal system of government …”
He added that since Martin Luther King Jr., we haven’t had “any nationally prominent philosophers or theologians out there promoting the Judeo-Christian tradition in the African-American community and across the board in education.”
Bishop E.W. Jackson, a conservative activist and the 2013 GOP nominee for lieutenant governor in Virginia, linked NFL players’ recent protests during the National Anthem to President Obama, saying yesterday that if we had “a black president who was willing to express sincere affection, honor, respect for the flag, for the national anthem, for our country,” the players wouldn’t be protesting.
“You know, I don’t want to draw too direct a line, but I think this is worth saying,” Jackson told radio host John Fredericks. “I think that if we had had for the last seven and a half years, a black president who was willing to express sincere affection, honor, respect for the flag, for the National Anthem, for our country, I think people like [Colin] Kaepernick would have been hard pressed to do what he is doing.”
Instead, Jackson said, Obama “goes abroad and criticizes our country” and “refused to wear the American flag lapel pin” during his 2008 campaign.
“Frankly, we really need a president who loves our country and is willing to give a full-throated expression of [it],” he said, “I think that would have damped down a lot of this nonsense, but right now it seems to be open season on America.”
On Friday’s episode of “The John Fredericks Show,” Virginia state Sen. Dick Black, a far-right extremist who served as Ted Cruz’s Virginia campaign co-chair, said that the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton are using immigration to commit “ethnic cleansing,” accusing Democrats of bringing only Middle Eastern Muslims into the country so that “nobody can organize against them.”
“The Democrats have a laser focus,” Black said. “Everybody they put on that [Supreme] Court is a wicked SOB and they never change. They could care less what the law says. They’re there as politicians and they’re there to do the bidding of their party. And so anybody who thinks that we can count on having fair elections in four years and redoing things, that’s a pipe dream, it’s not going to happen because Hillary Clinton is going to keep the borders open, we’re undergoing this immense immigration, which really amounts to ethnic cleansing. That’s what they’re trying to do.
“They’re trying to shatter the cohesion of the American people, not only in terms of ethnicity but also in terms of religion,” he continued. “They’re bringing in people from the Middle East, zero, zero Christians. They will not allow Christians to come in. All of them have to be Muslim. What they’re trying to do is just shatter any cohesion so that nobody can organize against them.”
If Republicans lose this election, Black said, “our children, our grandchildren, they may never face another free and fair election in the United States after this, if Hillary wins.”
On Wednesday, People For the American Way marked the one year anniversary of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign through launching a new campaign, “Donald Trump’s Year of Hate.” Yesterday’s event, which was cohosted by CASA in Action (Virginia), featured six speakers, including actress and former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, civil rights leader and PFAW board member Dolores Huerta, former Arlington County Board Member and Virginia community leader J. Walter Tejada, Virginia State Delegate Alfonso Lopez, CASA in Action’s advocacy and elections specialist Luis Aguilar, and PFAW’s own Lizet Ocampo, who serves as director of Latinos Vote! and manager of political campaigns.
The six speakers discussed how Donald Trump’s candidacy has directly harmed people of color in the United States, particularly Latinos. The bilingual event addressed the negative impact of Trump’s candidacy, the dangers of a Trump presidency, and the need to mobilize the Latino vote in local, state, and national elections.
The first speaker was actress and former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, who spoke about how Donald Trump humiliated and belittled her when she was just a teenager. Trump referred to her as “Ms. Housekeeping,” in reference to her Venezuelan accent and heritage. Machado said that Donald Trump’s disrespect has compelled her to become an American citizen in order to vote against him. She closed by urging other Latinos living in the United States to vote against Trump and become citizens if they aren’t already.
Following Machado, civil rights leader Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers, president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, and PFAW board member, some of the many reasons why Donald Trump is “unfit to be president.” She cited examples of Trump’s racism, misogyny, homophobia, and xenophobia. She then urged the Latino community to vote against him, saying:
“We can’t let Donald Trump be president, and I know that we won’t. We won’t because we will get out to vote against him, we will talk with our friends and our families and make sure they go out to vote against him as well… We have the power of the vote, and that can overcome the hate that Donald Trump spews day after day after day.”
Arlington community leader J. Walter Tejada and Virginia’s only Latino state lawmaker, Del. Alfonso Lopez (D-Arlington), both called out the hateful rhetoric used by Donald Trump and the divisive nature of his campaign. Lopez stated that the tactics used by Trump are “not worthy of America, not worthy of our heritage, and definitely not worthy of Virginia.” Both Tejada and Lopez stressed the importance of the Latino vote in Virginia, with Tejada pointing out that “the road to the White House goes through the Latino vote,” and Lopez saying, “as Virginia goes, so goes the nation. And as Latinos vote in Virginia, so goes Virginia.” They both closed by urging Latinos in Virginia to register to vote and vote in November in order to protect their communities and protect Latinos everywhere from the negative impact of a Trump presidency.
PFAW’s Lizet Ocampo and CASA in Action’s Luis Aguilar both echoed the same sentiments: a Donald Trump presidency represents a very real danger for women, people of color, and immigrants, especially Latinos. Ocampo said, “Trump is the most hateful, anti-immigrant presidential candidate that any of us have ever seen. His hate harms every one of us and goes against the American values of welcoming immigrants and celebrating diversity.” They both ended their remarks by restating their commitment to mobilizing voters and combating the hateful ideology of Donald Trump.
To mark the campaign launch anniversary, PFAW has also released a Spanish language ad in eight key target states. The ad, which is running on TV and online, highlights just some of the ways Trump's divisive rhetoric and policies hurt Latino communities, and urges people to stand -- and vote -- against Trump's hate.
ARLINGTON, VA – On Wednesday, former Miss Universe Alicia Machado and civil rights leader Dolores Huerta joined People For the American Way (PFAW) to mark the one year anniversary of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and launch PFAW’s new campaign, ‘Donald Trump’s Year of Hate.’
Since June 16th of last year, when he infamously described Mexican immigrants as “rapists” at his campaign launch, Trump has only increased his attacks against immigrants and Latinos. Starting tomorrow, new Spanish-language ads from PFAW will run for four weeks, highlighting Donald Trump’s campaign of hate thus far. You can watch the ad here.
At the press conference today, co-hosted by CASA in Action (Virginia), speakers discussed Trump’s hateful campaign and the critical importance of the Latino vote.
Alicia Machado, actress and former Miss Universe:
“I met Mr. Trump when I became Miss Universe. He always treated me rudely. I could share a thousand stories, but I will only speak about one episode: “Miss Housekeeping.” That’s how he called me in front of his friends to make fun of me. And it shows that he doesn’t understand the value of being a domestic worker…These are the women who work hard, put their kids through college, and raised kids to be great citizens.
“I share this story with you to show you who Mr. Trump is, and how he sees us. We don’t need a businessperson who divides our country. We need someone with a good heart. Therefore, I urge you today to vote. To register. To become a citizen.”
Dolores Huerta, civil rights leader:
“Donald Trump has demonstrated over the past year that he is unfit to be a leader for Latino communities and for all Americans. Since the day he announced his candidacy, he’s talked about immigrants as ‘rapists,’ ‘killers,’ ‘criminals,’ and ‘drug dealers.’ Whether it was out of ignorance, insensitivity, or he did it on purpose, he hosted a campaign rally right where a Latino man was killed in a hate crime.
“I could go on and on about Trump’s attack on our communities …We can’t let Donald Trump be president, and I know that we won’t. We won’t because we will get out to vote against him, we will talk with our friends and our families and make sure they go out to vote against him as well. This election, we have the power to make our voices heard and we can make the difference in this election. We have the power of the vote, and that can overcome the hate that Donald Trump spews day after day after day.
Alfonso Lopez, Virginia State Delegate:
“Donald Trump cannot get away with divisive, ugly rhetoric about new Americans, and especially Latinos. That kind of ugly rhetoric, bullying behavior, is not worthy of America, it's not worthy of our heritage, and it's definitely not worthy of Virginia.
J. Walter Tejada, former Arlington County Board member:
“Amid all the attacks from Trump against the Latino community, silence is betrayal in our community. Those who think this gives him more publicity should know that Latinos will speak up against hatred, and demand that we are recognized for the positive contributions to enrich our nation. The road to the White House goes through the Latino vote. In Virginia, the Latino vote will be decisive.”
Lizet Ocampo, director of Latinos Vote! and manager of political campaigns for People For the American Way:
“One year ago, Donald Trump went down that escalator to declare his candidacy and declare his war on Latinos. Trump is the most hateful, anti-immigrant presidential candidate that any of us have ever seen. His hate harms every one of us and goes against the American values of welcoming immigrants and celebrating diversity. Thankfully, more and more of us are registering to vote every year, and we have the power to decide the outcome of this election.”
Luis Aguilar, advocacy and elections specialist for CASA in Action (VA):
“With the anniversary of DACA today, we continue to defend the rights and the voice of our community. We cannot let candidates that built their platform on hatred get to the White House. We will continue on the frontlines by becoming citizens and registering more voters for this upcoming election.”
For photos, follow-up interviews, or questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disgraced former FBI agent John Guandolo joined Charlottesville radio host Rob Schilling on Monday to discuss the massacre in Orlando, which Guandolo said was the result of Democrats — who he said “feign shock” when such massacres occur — “paving the way for these jihadis.” Guandolo claimed that Democrats have defended “Al Qaeda terrorists” since 9/11 and are currently bringing “tens of thousands of jihadis” into the U.S. as refugees.
The Democratic Party, he said, “calls for gun control, it attacks patriots who speak the truth, and it defends known jihadis. There’s now a 15-year history since 9/11 of the Democratic Party, you know, defending Abdurahman Alamoudi, defending Anwar al-Awlaki, defending all these people who turn out to be terrorists and in some cases Al Qaeda terrorists. They’re letting known Al Qaeda fighters go free from Guantanamo Bay, they support that.”
“They support the public chastising of local police and taking away their powers and condemning them and putting them back on their heels, and then they’re shocked or they feign shock when something like what happens in Orlando happens,” Guandolo said. “They’re reducing the combat effectiveness of our Army and Marine Corps, specifically the Navy is in dire straits, our nuclear capability has been reduced, they call for a weakening of an already-weak immigration system and our borders and, of course, we’re being flooded with tens of thousands of jihadis right now through the refugee resettlement program.”
E.W. Jackson, the Virginia pastor who was the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor in 2013, has a mild and reasonable response to a planned Obama administration directive on school restroom access for transgender students:
We are witnessing American society's descent into moral darkness. With each passing day we fall farther and faster into an abyss where truth and fixed ethical guideposts do not exist. It is the moral equivalent for the nation of the advanced stages of Alzheimer's for an individual, when the victim forgets his own identity.
When an educated and articulate United States Attorney General stands before the public and says that the long held expectation that males and females use specifically designated restrooms is a mere "pretext" for discrimination, we have fallen through the rabbit hole. When the President dictates bathroom policy for the entire public school system, we are witnessing official delusion at the highest level.
The news media, once thought of as guardians of truth, have surrendered to the censors and propagandists. Journalists are supposed to be fair to both sides of an issue. Instead, as with climate change, many reporters have sided with the speech authoritarians to deny a platform to those who disagree.
We want to teach our children Judeo-Christian morality, which by the way does not entail hatred of people who live differently. We want to be left alone to live our lives, and we want to leave others alone to live theirs. Unfortunately, that will never be enough for the cultural communists. They want a dictatorship of the sexual proletariat, and all must adhere or be punished. Christians have been fired from their jobs, driven from their businesses, dragged into court, fined and even put in jail. This is cultural terrorism, sanitized of explicit violence, but nonetheless using fear to force conformity.
We must vehemently oppose it, but have compassion for the people trapped in the modern sexual liberation movement. They are indeed victims, but of indoctrination, not discrimination. Only a Third Great Awakening will bring our society out of this confusion. America was founded on the solid rock of self-evident truths, but in the modern age the Creator of truth is being rejected. We have forgotten who we are and why we are a shining city on a hill. May the moral darkness that threatens to enslave us give way to the light of truth that has always made us free.
WASHINGTON – On Friday Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced that he would take executive action to restore voting rights to over 200,000 previously incarcerated people in the state. The move would remove one of the nation’s harshest restrictions on the voting rights of ex-offenders, which disproportionately affects the African American community: according to The Sentencing Project, in Virginia currently one in five African Americans is unable to vote. The state previously blocked people with prior felony convictions from voting for the rest of their lives.
People For the American Way President Michael Keegan released the following statement:
“We applaud Gov. McAuliffe for taking this important stand in support of a democracy that works for everyone. Restrictions on the voting rights of ex-offenders are one of the most pernicious forms of voter suppression. His move on this issue should be a model for other states looking to live up to our country’s core principle of government of, by and for the people.
“This is a historic step forward towards a country where all people have access to the ballot box — a promise that so many have fought to make a reality throughout our country’s history. It’s especially significant in a state that for years was one of the worst offenders in voter disenfranchisement. When people who have served their time are still categorically prevented from participating in our democracy, that’s not only morally wrong, it weakens our political system for everyone. Our democracy is at its strongest when every voice can be heard and every person can cast a vote that counts.”
MANASSAS, VA - On Tuesday, civil rights leader Dolores Huerta joined Virginia Latino leaders and voters for a community conversation on the critical importance of the Latino vote in Virginia. The event, organized by CASA In Action, People For the American Way, NARAL Virginia, and Take Action Virginia, focused on the anti-immigrant, anti-Latino rhetoric and policies of not just the Republican presidential candidates, but also of local and statewide Republican leaders. Participants emphasized how Latino communities in Virginia have the opportunity to use their voting power to decide election outcomes.
CASA in Action's Luis Aguilar began the conversation by outlining how impactful the Latino vote in Virginia, and in Prince William County specifically, can be. As he stated, "The Latino vote isn't just important, it's necessary" for those seeking office. Virginia Latinos have successfully mobilized against anti-immigrant politicians in the past. Aguilar explained, "When we're faced with attacks, we fight back through voting. It's not just Donald Trump; we're dealing with terrible Republican leaders here in Virginia. We deal with this every day, and that's why we're so focused on engaging new voters who are part of the rising American electorate. We will push towards progressive legislation that benefits our communities and electing politicians who will stand for our values."
One key example of the power of the Latino vote, Aguilar explained, comes from the defeat of Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, who in his campaign had compared immigrants to rats. This serves as an important reminder, though, that this work is long from over. As Huerta stated during the conversation, "Ken Cuccinelli took his hate from Virginia to Texas," as he now is working for the Ted Cruz campaign for president.
Huerta, whose tireless organizing history includes co-founding the United Farm Workers, founding and serving as president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, and serving on the board of People For the American Way, has been traveling across the country getting Latino communities ready to vote and discussing with communities the extremism of local and national Republicans alike. "Our power is in our vote," Huerta stated. She emphasized the importance of voter education and mobilization: "The only way we can organize against the hatred is to get people to vote. It's important for us to go door to door, talk about the importance of voting and how to vote. It's a long road ahead, but we can make it happen."
J. Walter Tejada, former Arlington County Board member and a leading voice for Virginia Latinos, emphasized that "candidates who support our communities, they will win. We have it in our power to decide the results of the 2016 election." As one of the current examples of Republicans working against Latino communities, Tejada discussed the current Supreme Court vacancy: "Republicans in the Senate are turning their backs on the priorities of Latinos and all Americans. They're abdicating their responsibility to do their job, as described, in the Constitution to give fair consideration to Supreme Court nominees. They can't invoke the Constitution only when it's convenient from their point of view, and then be the Grand Obstructionist Party when policies might go against their ugly, conservative interests."
Photos from the event:
Earlier this month, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoed a bill that would have required teachers to warn parents if they were planning on teaching any books including “sexually explicit content” and then allow parents to opt out of lessons that they found too explicit. The bill stemmed from a campaign waged by one mother against the Pulitzer Prize winning Toni Morrison novel “Beloved,” which also figured heavily in the legislative debate over the bill.
A few weeks ago, Gawker published a remarkable email exchange between one English teacher who opposed the bill and Republican state Sen. Dick Black, who accused her of defending “moral sewage.”
What Gawker did not mention is that Black also happens to be the Virginia co-chair of Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign.
In one email, he wrote to the teacher:
I was surprised by your personal advocacy of the book “Beloved.” That book is so vile - - so profoundly filthy - - that when a Senator rose on the Senate Floor and began reading a single passage, several other Senators leapt to their feet to interrupt the reading. Susan Schaar, the Senate Clerk, quickly had embarrassed Senate Officials rush the teenage Senate Pages from the Senate Floor in order to protect them from exposure to this moral sewage.
After she noted that Morrison’s novel reflects the “atrocious and vile” reality of slavery in the U.S., Black responded:
I want teachers who won’t teach such vile things to our students. Slavery was a terrible stain on this nation but to teach it does not mean you have to expose children to smut. The idea that you would oppose allowing parents the opportunity to be better informed about what their child is reading is appalling and arrogant. You do not know better than the parents.
WASHINGTON - People For the American Way won the 'Best Spanish Language Radio Ad' category at Campaigns & Elections Magazine's Reed Awards.
The ad, produced by Chambers Lopez Strategies, ran leading up to the 2015 elections in Northern Virginia, including the critical State Senate District 29, where Democrat Jeremy McPike won his highly contested race. In the innovative bilingual ad, a mother speaking Spanish urged her English-speaking daughter to stand up against Donald Trump's hate by voting against Republicans on Election Day. When it launched, it was lauded as "the first ad that uses Trump to drive Latino voters to the polls,” and was featured in media outlets including the Washington Post, USA Today, and La Opinion.
"We are proud that our ad won the Reed Award for Best Spanish Language Radio Ad," said PFAW President Michael Keegan. "This ad was only the beginning of what has and will be a strong campaign from our Latinos Vote! program to get out the vote in key battleground states against extreme, anti-immigrant candidates like Donald Trump and his fellow Republican presidential contenders. We know that engaging Latino voters around the extremism of Trump and the GOP is critical to winning the White House, and we look forward to continuing to build those connections in new and innovative ways."
In addition to launching the radio ad, PFAW also traveled with our board member and civil rights leader Dolores Huerta to get out the vote in SD-29, where Latino voters were an important part of Democrat Jeremy McPike's winning coalition. More information about PFAW's successful efforts in SD-29 is here.
Listen to the ad, in Spanish, here.
MAMÁ: Pásame la sal. Ahora sí mi'jita. A votar.
HIJA: Ay mom, what for?
MAMÁ: ¿Cómo que para qué? Para empezar, para callarle la bocota a Trump.
MAMÁ: Claro que really. ¿O a poco estás de acuerdo con lo que dice de los hispanos?
HIJA: You know I don't.
MAMÁ: Y a ver ¿Quieres que tus hijos tengan pre-school, que reciban una buena educación y que puedan ir a la universidad por un costo razonable?
HIJA: Of course I do.
MAMÁ: Pues decisiones como estas son las que estás apoyando con tu voto. Por eso tenemos que votar por los demócratas. Y más cuando son elecciones locales.
MAMÁ: Porque Trump no es el único. Los Republicanos de Virginia han propuesto rastrear a los inmigrantes como si fueran paquetes y hasta nos han comparado con ratas.
MAMÁ: Sí. Por eso hay que votar demócrata y en contra de Trump y los Republicanos, mi'ja. El 3 de noviembre.
HIJA: Mom, you are right. We have to vote.
VO DISCLAIMER: Este anuncio fue pagado por People for the American Way.
MOM: Pass me the salt. Time to vote, mi'jita.*
DAUGHTER: Oh, what for mom?
MOM: What do you mean what for? For starters, to shut Trump's big mouth.
MOM: Yeah, "really". Or do you agree with what he says about Hispanics?
DAUGHTER: You know I don't.
MOM: And tell me: Do you want your children to have pre-school, that they get a good education and are able to attend college for a cost that’s reasonable?
DAUGHTER: Of course I do
MOM: Well, these are the kind of decisions you are supporting with your vote. That's why we have to vote for the democrats. And even more in local elections.
MOM: Because Trump is not the only one. Republicans in Virginia have proposed tracking immigrants like packages and even compared us to rats!
MOM: Yes. That’s why we have to vote for Democrats and say NO to Trump and the Republicans mi'ja. On November 3rd.
DAUGHTER: Mom, you are right. We have to vote.
VO DISCLAIMER: People For the American Way sponsored this ad.
*Mi'jita is an expression/short for "my little daughter"
Every year, Republican activist and Religious Right pseudo-historian David Barton gathers conservative state legislators at a “ProFamily Legislator’s Conference” to learn about model legislation along with “current public policy issues in a manner that honors our Judeo-Christian heritage and the vision of our Founding Fathers.”
At last year's conference in November, one of the speakers at Barton’s conference was Cynthia Dunbar, a former member of the Texas State Board of Education who has admitted that her goal on the board was to correct a “biblically illiterate society.” Dunbar, who now works at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, was named a Virginia state co-chair of Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign last month, aligning her further with Barton, who chairs a pro-Cruz super PAC.
In her speech at Barton’s conference, which Barton broadcast on his “Wallbuilders Live” program last week, Dunbar urged legislators to get involved in education in order to stop the “deception of the seed” by “our socialized education system.”
“I believe it’s a crucial issue for several reasons,” she said. “One, it’s what I call the seed policy, if you think about it, every major social issue you’re encountering as legislators actually directs back to what it talks about it in Genesis, ‘if I would put enmity between you and the seed of the woman.’ Because what happens, what is abortion? Abortion is the destruction of the seed. What is homosexuality? It is the prevention of the seed. And what is education? It is potential deception of the seed.”
“And so when we have 88 to 90 percent, which is approximately the number of the students that are being educated within our socialized education system, effectively indoctrinating our children with our own tax dollars, guess what?” she asked. “We lose every other issue. We lose life, we lose marriage, we lose all of it. So I think this is the linchpin issue.”
Dunbar also put in a plug for teaching public school kids Barton’s signature spin on American history, saying that the “brilliant” Barton had discovered that “94 percent of the quotes of the founding fathers” were “either directly or indirectly” related to the Bible.
“One of my favorite historians, brilliant, brilliant man, says that 94 percent of the quotes of the founding fathers contemporaneous to our nation’s founding were either directly or indirectly from holy scripture,” she declared. “We know what that means when we say ‘directly,’ they’re quoting scripture. What does it mean when we say ‘indirectly’? They were quoting men who were quoting scripture.”
Unsurprisingly, this Barton “fact” — which also turns up in a book written by Dunbar — is the product of some of Barton’s trademark misinterpretation topped off by some fuzzy math .
Days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush visited a Washington, D.C., mosque to declare that “the face of terror is not the true faith of Islam” and to urge Americans to treat their Muslim neighbors “with respect,” citing stories of American Muslims who were afraid to leave their homes after the attacks.
So, naturally, conservatives have been attacking President Obama for making very similar remarks at the end of an address about the recent the terrorist shooting in San Bernardino.
Joining the fray on Tuesday was Virginia Republican Rep. Robert Hurt, who told Virginia talk radio host John Fredericks that the Obama administration is so obsessed with “the premise that America is racist” that it wants Americans to “not be concerned about all these threats and not be concerned about the fact that 14 people” were killed in San Bernardino.
“I think that this administration begins with the premise that America is racist and America needs to get a grip and get a hold of itself and not be racist and not be concerned about all these threats and not be concerned about the fact that 14 people, innocent people, were murdered at a Christmas party by Islamic terrorists,” Hurt said. “That is their concern, and that is so far away from the real concerns of the American people, who are not racist in general and don’t need to be lectured about how to treat other human beings.”
“Obviously we should have respect for all human beings regardless of their religious faith,” he said. “Obviously. It’s the premise of our country. And we don’t need to have finger-wagging by this administration at a time when they should be sitting in the Oval Office developing strategy, delivering resources to law enforcement, to intelligence agencies to make sure that this never happens again.”
The congressman added that “a lot of it has to do” with “this apologist embarrassment about America and about what this country stands for.”
Virginia Republican lawmaker and marital rape denialist Richard “Dick” Black isn’t the only right-wing extremist who will be serving as a Ted Cruz campaign co-chair in Virginia.
Cynthia Dunbar, a former member of the Texas State Board of Education who now works at the Lynchburg-based Liberty University, was also named a state co-chair in a statement from the Cruz campaign in November.
Before joining Liberty University, the evangelical school founded by the late televangelist Jerry Falwell, Dunbar stoked national controversy when she tried to insert historical revisionist views into the Texas public school curriculum and textbooks. Since many textbooks are designed for the large Texas market, the changes, which would have placed a right-wing spin on American history and the U.S. Constitution, would have had an impact in other states as well.
Among other far-right views, Dunbar says she opposes the separation of church and state since she believes the founders wanted the government to promote religion. After leaving the school board, Dunbar admitted that she tried to shape the state’s curriculum in order to cure America of being a “biblically illiterate society” by teaching “the ‘laws of nature’s God’ revealed through the Holy Scripture.”
That came as no surprise, as Dunbar once led the board in praying for “a Christian land governed by Christian principles” and asserting that the Bill of Rights came straight out of the Bible. She similarly told a Washington, D.C., prayer rally that schools cannot instruct in an environment “devoid of the presence of the most high God,” praying for God to “invade our schools.” In a speech in favor of a sweeping anti-abortion bill, Dunbar asserted that lawmakers “don’t have the freedom to make any laws if they are contrary to what God has said in his Holy Scripture.”
Dunbar believes that the U.S. was designed to have “an emphatically Christian government” and must have a “biblical litmus test” for public officials, saying that they must have “sincere knowledge and appreciation for the Word of God in order to rightly govern.”
Dunbar has clearly expressed her loathing for public education in her book One Nation Under God, calling public schools a “tool of perversion,” “unconstitutional” and “tyrannical.” She has also personally rejected the public school system, home-schooling her children. In fact, she wrote in her book that sending our children to public schools is “throwing them into the enemy’s flames even as the children of Israel threw their children to Moloch.”
Just before the November election, Dunbar also authored a vicious Internet rant in which she called Barack Obama a terrorist sympathizer who wants to seize total power by declaring martial law. In another Internet screed, she charged that Obama is promoting Marxism by calling for “shared sacrifice and social responsibility.” (Not surprisingly, both essays have been removed from the Web sites that published them.)
This would be in line with her radical anti-gay views. For example, in a radio show discussing gay members of the Boy Scouts of America, Dunbar derided gay activism as “the same type of thing that was done in pre-Holocaust Germany, as far as propaganda and presentation and swaying the whole mindset of a nation.”
She similarly claimed that people who oppose the teaching of Creationism in public schools are repeating what occurred “in pre-Holocaust Germany” when there was only “one ideology that’s acceptable.”
Dunbar’s claims about America turning into Nazi Germany due to the teaching of evolution and advances of gay rights will help her fit right in as a member of Cruz’s Virginia Leadership Team, as Dick Black, her fellow state campaign co-chair, once said that abortion rights in America are no different than the Holocaust in Nazi Germany.
Other endorsers touted by the Cruz campaign have made the comparison as well: Flip Benham declared that legal abortion “is exactly what happened in Nazi Germany” and Troy Newman has railed against Obamacare and abortion rights as a return to Nazi crimes.
Fresh off announcing endorsements from radical anti-choice and anti-gay activists, Ted Cruz announced his Virginia Leadership Team last week, naming state Sen. Richard “Dick” Black as his state campaign co-chair.
Black is one of the most far-right lawmakers in the state, if not the country.
As a state delegate, Black appeared to deny the existence of marital rape: “I do not know how on earth you could validly get a conviction of a husband-wife rape, where they’re living together, sleeping in the same bed, she’s in a nightie and so forth, there’s no injury, there’s no separation or anything.”
Black, who wants to ban abortion in all cases and made waves by “passing out plastic fetuses before a crucial abortion vote,” once denounced abortion rights as reminiscent of Nazi Germany and likened abortion clinics to Nazi death camps like Auschwitz.
He is also an opponent of contraceptives, calling for a law that would outlaw the morning-after pill and referring to emergency contraception as “baby pesticide” and “a toxic method of eliminating a child.”
No fan of gay rights, Black responded to the Lawrence v. Texas decision overturning state anti-sodomy bans by declaring, “If I’m the last person on the face of this Earth to vote against legalizing sodomy, I’ll do it.”
He once tried to mandate that adoption agencies inquire whether prospective parents are “known to engage in current voluntary homosexual activity” and attacked a state initiative to make it easier for gay couples, who were not allowed to legally marry at the time, and other unmarried couples to apply for home mortgages by insisting that Virginia “is now spending $90 million to subsidize sodomy and adultery” and having tax dollars go towards “supporting a radical homosexual agenda.”
Black was also outraged about a high school play in which two men kissed, claiming that it could lead to kids contracting HIV:
Del. Richard H. Black (R-Loudoun) e-mailed his supporters claiming that, in the play, "two male students engaged in a homosexual kiss onstage" and that public schools were "being used to promote a homosexual lifestyle."
"Within our public schools, there is a tendency to encourage homosexual activity, to portray it in a cute or favorable light," Black said in an interview yesterday. "This is a considerable health hazard right now. If we encourage just one child to experiment and contract the HIV virus, then we have done an enormous disservice to our children."
In 2010, Black penned a column arguing that the military should not lift its ban on openly gay service members as it could result in sexual violence and discomfort for straight soldiers who have “to sleep and shower under the watchful eyes of men.”
Black, veering into foreign policy, also praised Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, hailing “Assad’s forces for ‘heroic’ actions and ‘extraordinary gallantry’” in a letter that was later posted on Assad’s Facebook page. While Black may be a fan of Assad, he is not a fan of Abraham Lincoln.
As Mother Jones reported:
In 2003, Black led a fight to prevent a statue of Abraham Lincoln seated with his son Tad from gracing the grounds of the Tredegar Iron Works, a Civil War-era foundry that supplied the Confederate army with cannons. "Putting a statue to [Lincoln] there is sort of like putting the Confederate flag at the Lincoln Memorial," Black told the Washington Post, adding that the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC ought to be enough. Black even asked the Virginia Attorney General, Republican Jerry Kilgore, to investigate whether any state laws prohibited the National Park Service, which leases Tredegar, from erecting the statue. (None did.)
But Black received prominent placement in Cruz’s announcement:
“Our team far exceeded the needed number of signatures to get on the ballot in Virginia, more than doubling the 5,000 signatures required,” said State Senator Dick Black. “Ted Cruz’s ground game distinguishes his campaign from all the others. It is a formidable accomplishment by our team and I could not be more proud to be part of the organization supporting Ted.”
“We have an exceptional team in the Commonwealth, and the success we’ve had getting more than 10,000 signatures on the ballot, as well as the more than three dozen additional team members, shows we are committed to competing in Virginia and fighting for every delegate,” said Cruz. “I look forward to working with each and every one of them as we continue to coalesce conservatives around our campaign.”
And he is now in good company.
Over a two-week span, People For the American Way (PFAW) staff and volunteers joined PFAW board member Dolores Huerta for a four-state tour to get out the vote in Latino communities and push back against anti-immigrant, anti-Latino rhetoric and policies of Republican presidential candidates.
Huerta attended the last two Republican debates, spreading the message that all of the Republican candidates stand firmly against the priorities of working families and Latino communities. At the start of our tour, leading up to the debate in Colorado at the end of October, Huerta joined Colorado Latino leaders and voters to discuss how the Republican candidates are out of line with Colorado Latinos.
Huerta also spoke at a rally that thousands attended. As Suzanne Gamboa at NBC News reported:
“Huerta planned to participate in an event with other Latino leaders Wednesday afternoon to launch a voter registration campaign and protest rhetoric of the campaign and some proposals she considered to be anti-Latino.
[…]"The Republican candidates are not really reflecting or even addressing the needs of the Latino community or American families," Huerta said in an phone interview with NBC News.
After Colorado, Huerta traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina to get out the vote leading up to municipal elections and to call out North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory for signing the severely anti-immigrant HB 318.
After her third radio interview of the morning – which also happened to be the day before Halloween – Huerta posed with the radio hosts of Charlotte’s La Raza 106.1.
Huerta joined Charlotte voters and activists to deliver an “award” to Gov. McCrory for his ability to disguise himself as a friend of immigrants and then to turn his back on the community.
After Charlotte, Huerta joined PFAW staff and volunteers to get out the vote in Virginia. PFAW had already begun laying the groundwork in Virginia with Spanish-language ads encouraging voters to head to the polls on Election Day.
The Washington Post’s write-up of the ad included this explanation from PFAW’s Carlos A. Sanchez:
“By highlighting in Spanish how local and national Republican politicians from [former Virginia gubernatorial candidate] Ken Cuccinelli to Donald Trump have demonized immigrants, our ad urges voters to stand up against them by going to the polls."
While on the ground, Huerta mobilized voters and volunteers in State Senate District 29 to support Democrat Jeremy McPike.
Our efforts paid off, as McPike won his race!
To wrap up our four-state tour, Huerta traveled to Wisconsin leading up to the Republican debate there. PFAW joined with Voces de la Frontera Action to shed light on the anti-immigrant, anti-Latino policies of all the Republican candidates.
Huerta also joined with allies for a Fight for $15 rally urging politicians to support a $15 minimum wage. Watch Huerta discuss her efforts on local CBS.
The 4-state tour is a part of PFAW’s Latinos Vote! program. Stay tuned for more updates on our work!
In Virginia, Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio lost his race for re-election last night, which comes as bad news for the anti-gay Right and Delgaudio’s group, Public Advocate of the United States.
Through Public Advocate, Delgaudio has been a constant source of extremist statements, including:
And who could forget this bizarre protest Delgaudio staged where men with bags over their heads chanted against gays in the Boy Scouts:
WASHINGTON – People For the American Way (PFAW) congratulates Jeremy McPike (D) for his election to become the next Virginia State Senator in State Senate District 29. McPike will be a strong voice for working families in the district.
With Latinos making up over a quarter of the population in SD-29, Latino voters were an important part of McPike’s winning coalition. Leading up to the election, PFAW ran Spanish-language ads in Northern Virginia – encompassing SD-29 – that encouraged voters to take a stand against Donald Trump’s and the Republican Party’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies by turning out to vote for Democrats in Virginia. PFAW board member and civil rights legend Dolores Huerta also joined McPike, PFAW members, and volunteers to get out the vote, especially in Latino communities in SD-29.
PFAW President Michael Keegan stated:
“Congratulations to Jeremy McPike for his big win. In an off-year election environment, every vote is crucial to victory. The Latino vote clearly played a key role in securing victory.”
“Republicans nationwide must understand that Americans won’t stand for the anti-immigrant Republican Party. The toxic rhetoric of Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio is already having an effect at the ballot box. Republicans would be wise to abandon their strategy of attacking Latinos and bashing immigrants and their families.”
For more information about PFAW’s activities in SD-29, or to interview a member of our team, please contact Laura Epstein (email@example.com).