BREAKING: Marion Christopher Barry, son of former mayor, has died from a drug overdose, according to family.https://t.co/Kd9bn2YwjU— NBCWashington (@nbcwashington) August 14, 2016
I learned this awful, shocking news early Sunday morning from my friend Ronald King, who recently worked with Christopher on community outreach in Ward 8. Like so many others, I was rooting for this young man's healing. I met him last year during the special election, and found him very affable, though I was concerned that those who pushed him to run were exploiting him and not helping him. May he rest in peace. Condolences to his family and friends, and to all who did try to help him, who will be especially hurting today. It is so hard to free others of their demons. As Ronald wrote, may we redouble our efforts against the scourge of drug addiction in our communities. What a sad day. There was so much life ahead for him.
Nico Hines and the Daily Beast put gay Olympians from oppressive countries at risk, and took a full day before taking the exploitive article down. I agree with Cyd Ziegler and Amina Fonua.
My column this week looks at the odd alliance between the religious right and the utterly heathenish Trump.
Please explain to to me what this means other than encouragement of an assassination. He has sunk to a level we have never seen before in a major-party candidate.
The fun continues! Sean Hannity approvingly tweeted a quote of Ben Carson saying, "It really boils down to one candidate who is of the people & one who is the epitome of the established ruling class." Dear Mr. Hannity, Dr. Carson is a loon. What's your excuse? Grief over Roger Ailes? #StepBackHesGonnaBlow
Our friend Pepe Julian Onziema, one of those arrested, has tweeted:
Do not be fooled. The arrests last night at #prideuganda2016 event were not based on security scare, but pure homophobia and transphobia.— TheNilote (@Opimva) August 5, 2016
Obama, what a slob. Could he get Mexico to pay for a wall? Fat chance. He couldn't even get them to pick up a check. I eat at the best restaurants, never pay a cent. I've slept with the top women in the world. I've had more foreign affairs than an airline pilot, believe me. But he reads briefing papers, oh, I'm so impressed. I could take a leak on his briefing papers. I don't need a briefing. Only pussies need a briefing. Oh, Mr. President, our nukes are just for show, you can't really use them. Fuck you! I'm the president. I don't like your attitude, I'll fire a missile up your ass. Hey, look at Mika over here wetting her panties. Don't worry, honey, I'm just joking with you. Where's the band? Play Hail to the Chief again. I love that. First rate theme music. Makes you wanna bomb somebody. Let 'em know who's in charge.
(Pardon me. I was just channeling The Donald. But then I remembered that when you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back at you, so I stopped.)
Read my column, "Trump Reflects White Male Fragility," and let me know what you think. https://t.co/uef38mbiDT— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) August 4, 2016
Charles M. Blow is right. If you have watched some of Trump's recent rallies, you know that the racism and sexism he is tapping into are real and ugly and frightening.
Our friend, British human rights activist Peter Tatchell, talks about the personal price he has paid for his decades of activism.
One more reminder that we are not done. This is just a temporary hold, not a ruling on the merits. But we have so much work left to do.
Happy 55th birthday to the finest president of my lifetime.
"We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths –- that all of us are created equal –- is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall...." - Barack Obama, Second Inaugural Address, January 21, 2013
Wayne Grudem, a Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies at Phoenix Seminary in Arizona, writes at the conservative website Townhall.com about why he supports Donald Trump. His article, "Why Voting for Donald Trump Is a Morally Good Choice," acknowledges several of Trump's character and behavioral flaws and then says it doesn't matter if the alternative is worse. He goes into a long list of issues on which he claims that Trump is better than Hillary Clinton.
I could not disagree more with Professor Grudem, so here I will respond to several of them. Given the enormous gulf between the candidates with regard to experience and qualifications, this election should not be close. The fact that the race is close should be a stark reminder not to treat the frightening prospect of a Trump presidency as something to dismiss lightly. Perhaps you may find some of my arguments useful in making the case to friends and family members who are sticking with Trump despite his almost daily barrage of appalling statements. Here goes, for what it's worth.
Abortion. I am sick of the religious bullying on this issue. The utter contempt for people making different choices in this area is very disturbing. I am personally troubled by abortion, and think that the ideal situation is for unwanted pregnancies to be prevented through contraception. But the question of whether to continue or end a pregnancy is not my decision. It is up to the woman. You can say a thousand times that this makes me pro-abortion, but that is not true. Respecting people's right to make a different choice than mine does not mean I agree with that choice. The point is that IT IS NONE OF MY BUSINESS.
As for contraception, the Catholic Church, in which I was raised, is stoutly opposed to it. A leading anti-choicer, former senator Rick Santorum, has made it clear that he does not just want to overturn Roe v. Wade, but also Griswold v. Connecticut, which legalized contraception for married couples, and Eisenstadt v. Baird, which did the same for single women. I find it stunning that people in this day and age are willing, much less determined, to mind their neighbors' business in such an intrusive way. The constitutional separation of church and state protects everyone by prohibiting us from imposing our religious dictates on one another.
John Oliver takes on the belief by Trump and his minions that they can create feelings, and feelings are equal to facts. He doesn't mention it, but this recalls Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. Newt Gingrich is shown brazenly asserting that people's "feeling" that crime is up and the economy is down, which the evidence shows is the opposite of the truth, is just as valid as the correct information cited by a reporter. He refers to the FBI crime report as the work of "theoreticians."
So whipping up crowds into a fury over Trumped-up lies makes the lies true. This insanity is what you are voting for if you don't vote Democratic. Because the GOP is in thrall to nihilism in service of power at any cost, even if the cost is treason.
There are activists, then there are grievance collectors. With the country threatened by fascism and nativism, these folks were busy swallowing Republican smears to nurse their bitterness over not getting everything they wanted. They were never Democrats.
A powerful rebuke of Donald Trump's Islamophobia by the father of U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, who died in service to this country.
Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP and leader of the Moral Mondays movement, gave a powerful speech Thursday evening at the Democratic National Convention. He is a strong ally of LGBT equality.