Tuesday, January 30, 2018


Images: Michael J. Bayly.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Three Winter Gatherings

It may be, by turns, cold and snowy outside but I'm happy to say that my spirit has been kept warm by a number of gatherings with friends over the past few weeks.

The first of these that I'll highlight is the tea party I hosted at Hare House last Saturday, January 20. I should say that "Hare House" is the name I give to wherever it is I'm living. And why the hare? Well, as an ancient symbol of both enlightenment and homosexuality, the hare has long been something of a totem or spirit animal for me.

Last Saturday's gathering was actually my fifth (somewhat) annual tea party. I hosted my first tea party back in 2012 when I was living in St. Paul. That very first gathering was, in part, a way to "reclaim the tea party" from the reactionary political movement that was emerging at the time and calling itself the Tea Party. My gathering also provided me the opportunity to finally use the china tea cups and saucers that I'd been gradually collecting since my December 2008-January 2009 visit home to Australia. During that time, while visiting my hometown of Gunnedah, I was inspired by a delightful afternoon tea at the home of Gwen Riordan, a longtime family friend.

My second and third tea party (2015 and 2016) took place in my previous Minneapolis residence; while the fourth took place last year in the current manifestation of Hare House!

This year's tea party was a low-key affair compared to last year's, which saw me gather a number of my friends from different times and spheres of activity in my life. To this year's tea party I invited my dear friends Ken and Carol Masters and a number of the wise and inspiring women who are members of (or closely connected to) the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet – St. Paul Province. I'm a consociate member of this Catholic order, and two dear CSJs, Marguerite Corcoran and Rita McDonald, served as my companions during my two-year consociate candidacy (2006-2007).

Above: Sitting around my dining room table (from bottom left, clockwise) Kate McDonald, CSJ; Brigid McDonald, CSJ; Sue Ann Martinson; Rita Quigley; Florence Steichen, CSJ; Carol and Ken Masters; Kathleen Ruona; and Rita McDonald, CSJ.

Right: With my friends Rita and Sue Ann.

Above: After our morning tea we gathered in the parlor for wine in front of the fire!

And, yes, my Christmas tree is still up as in some older Catholic Christian traditions, Christmas lasts until February 2, the date which marks the end of the 40 day-long "Christmastide," which corresponds to the 40 days of Lent. As I'm sure many of you reading this would know, on February 2 the church celebrates the day that Mary entered the temple when her days of "purification" (as defined by the patriarchal Mosaic law) were fulfilled after giving birth. It's also the occasion when Simeon and Anna made their well-known pronouncements about Mary and Jesus. The day is known as "Candle-mas" because of Simeon's prophecy that Jesus would be a light for all people.

Above: Rita, Florence, and Kathleen – Saturday, January 20, 2018.

Above: My dear friend Brigid with a photo of herself as a child having tea with her dog!

Above, right, and below: A week before my tea party I was in St. Paul celebrating little Amelia's fourth birthday! It was a lovely gathering at the home of Amelia's maternal grandparents, John and Noelle.

The beautiful cake was made by Amelia's mum, Liana (with help from Amelia!). Oh, and that's Eddie the Wonder Dog in the picture at right. For more images of this handsome creature, click here, here, here, here, and here.

Above: Jackie, Noelle, and Phil (Amelia's uncle).

Above: Phil and Dee – Saturday, January 13, 2018.

Above: With my friend Jackie at Amelia's party – January 13, 2018.

The third "winter gathering" I highlight in this post is the birthday party for my friend and fellow resident chaplain Katie (above), which we celebrated on Wednesday, January 17, in our Spiritual Care office at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.

Above: Ken, Chandler, Hae, Katie, and Mark.

Above: Standing at left with my fellow resident chaplains Chandler, Hae and Katie, and our supervisor Mark.

For more about my chaplaincy experience, click here, here, and here.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
In Wintry Minnesota, An Australian Afternoon Tea
Anyone for Tea?
Winter . . . Within and Beyond

Images: Michael J. Bayly.

Friday, January 26, 2018


This evening for music night at The Wild Reed I share "Changes," a hip hop song by 2Pac featuring Talent.

2pac was the stage name of Tupac Shakur (1971-1996), an American rapper, poet and actor. Shakur is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with over 75 million records sold worldwide.

About "Changes" Kent Umeki writes: "This song clarifies the problems in our world and what we can do to fix them while at the same time displaying Tupac’s rap and poetic skills. In 'Changes' Tupac sings about what it’s like to live life being poor. He also sings about war, poverty, racism, corrupt police, drugs, and prison." Umeki also suggests that through Tupac's "Changes" we're given an opportunity to ponder and perhaps even understand the grief that so many people experience throughout the world.

Writing in Atwood Magazine, Sydney Sweeney contends that "Changes" is "one of hip-hop’s most successful political statements, not because it’s especially radical in its words on police brutality, drugs and gang violence, but because the track was, from music to lyrics, accessible to those who needed it – people unconcerned with the politics challenged by unapologetic MCs [microphone controllers]."

"Changes" was originally recorded during Shakur's tenure at Interscope Records in 1992 and was produced by Big D The Impossible (Deon Evans). It was later remixed during 1997-1998. The song re-uses lines from "I Wonder If Heaven Got a Ghetto" which was recorded during the same year. The song samples the 1986 hit "The Way It Is" by Bruce Hornsby and the Range, with the chorus re-sung by Talent.

I dedicate my sharing of 2pac's "Changes" to a friend who started treatment for chemical dependency today. This friend, who finds the music of Tupac Shakur very meaningful, is very much on my mind and heart this evening. I pray that he may know many positive changes in his life from this day forward.

Notes Wikipedia:

Released posthumously on his album Greatest Hits, "Changes" talks about all of the different issues that were related to Tupac's era of influence – notably racism, police brutality, drugs and gang violence. The "Huey" that 2Pac mentions in the song ("two shots in the dark, now Huey's dead") is Huey P. Newton, founder of the Black Panther Party. The song refers to the possibility of a black president of the United States, claiming "we ain't ready". Further, the last verse of the song refers to Tupac's premonition about being shot to death, mimicking the sound of the gun with the phrase "rat-a-tat-tat-tat-tat."

The song was the #1 hit in Norway and the Netherlands and reached the top ten in the singles charts of several other countries, including #3 in the United Kingdom, which gained Tupac a broader audience. The Chris Hafner-directed music video is a compilation of a number of previous music videos Tupac released in addition to home videos and never-before-seen pictures, similar to the format of The Notorious B.I.G.'s "Dead Wrong", also released in 1999.

"Changes" was nominated for Best Rap Solo Performance at the Grammy Awards of 2000 and remains the only posthumous song to be nominated in this category. It was also nominated at the MTV Video Music Award for Best Editing in a Video & Best Rap Video in 1999.

Related Off-site Links:
8 Ways Tupac Shakur Changed the World – Mosi Reeves (Rolling Stone, September 13, 2016).
How Tupac’s "Changes" Could’ve Altered His Whole Career – Beware Bowden (Uproxx, September 13, 2016).
Tupac Shakur's Most Socially Conscious Lyrics: 10 Times He Was at His Most Woke – Matthew Ismael Ruiz (Billboard, November 11, 2016).
7 Tupac Songs That Still Resonate With Black America Today – Brennan Williams (The Huffington Post, June 16, 2015).
The Truth Behind Tupac Shakur's 1996 Murder: "It Was Simple Retaliation," Reveals an LAPD Source – Jordan Runtagh (People, September 13, 2017).
A Film About Tupac Shakur Has Divided Audiences in AmericaBBC News (June 19, 2017).
Chi Modu’s Best Photograph: Tupac Shakur Lets His Guard DownThe Guardian (May 10, 2017).

Previous featured artists at The Wild Reed:
Dusty Springfield | David Bowie | Kate Bush | Maxwell | Buffy Sainte-Marie | Prince | Frank Ocean | Maria Callas | Loreena McKennitt | Rosanne Cash | Petula Clark | Wendy Matthews | Darren Hayes | Jenny Morris | Gil Scott-Heron | Shirley Bassey | Rufus Wainwright | Kiki Dee | Suede | Marianne Faithfull | Dionne Warwick | Sam Sparro | Wanda Jackson | Engelbert Humperdinck | Pink Floyd | The Church | Enrique Iglesias | Yvonne Elliman | Lenny Kravitz | Helen Reddy | Stephen Gately | Judith Durham | Nat King Cole | Emmylou Harris | Bobbie Gentry | Russell Elliot | BØRNS | Hozier | Enigma | Moby (featuring the Banks Brothers) | Cat Stevens | Chrissy Amphlett | Jon Stevens | Nada Surf | Tom Goss (featuring Matt Alber) | Autoheart | Scissor Sisters | Mavis Staples | Claude Chalhoub | Cass Elliot | Duffy | The Cruel Sea | Wall of Voodoo | Loretta Lynn and Jack White | Foo Fighters | 1927 | Kate Ceberano | Tee Set | Joan Baez | Wet, Wet, Wet | Stephen “Tin Tin” Duffy | Fleetwood Mac | Jane Clifton | Australian Crawl | Pet Shop Boys | Marty Rhone | Josef Salvat | Kiki Dee and Carmelo Luggeri | Aquilo | The Breeders | Tony Enos

Monday, January 22, 2018

Photo of the Day

Related Off-site Links:
Winter Storm Jaxson Arrives, Canceling Flights, Causing Spin-outs, and Postponing Events – S.M. Chavey (Pioneer Press, January 22, 2017).
Winter Storm Cranking Out More Than a Foot – Paul Huttner (MPR News, January 22, 2017).
Gov. Dayton Calls Out National Guard as Snowstorm Slams Minnesota – Tim Harlow (Star Tribune, January 22, 2017).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Photo of the Day – December 5, 2017
Winter Beauty
Winter Light
Winter Storm
Winter . . . Within and Beyond

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Quote of the Day

People have asked me, “if you’re all about women’s agency, isn’t it enough that this woman felt assaulted [by Aziz Ansari]?” Unfortunately, no – not when it becomes a matter of public accusation. Assault is not a feeling. Discomfort is a feeling, embarrassment and hurt and anger are all feelings, but assault has to have an objective definition because of the legal and social ramifications that come with it. When we act as though disrespect, harassment, assault and rape are all different words for the same thing, the conversation starts to lose its legitimacy.

. . . Some of the most candid and insightful points I’ve seen about this story have come from women who have argued that, for a lot of men, sexual aggression is something that has been ingrained in them from a young age. They are socialized through the examples of other men, not just those around them but in TV, movies and music. Heterosexual sex has long been portrayed as a kind of cat-and-mouse game in which the woman is expected to play coy and the man is expected to wear her down until she gives in. This is an unhealthy and dangerous dynamic, and it needs to change – but if our main approach is assigning facile labels to individuals rather than frankly examining root causes, it never will.

Framing this as an Aziz Ansari problem instead of a culture problem gives men the opportunity to distance themselves from it instead of reflecting upon their own attitudes and beliefs.

Proper language and communication are critical not only in these discussions, but in the heat of the moment. While there are many clear-cut cases of men deliberately disregarding women’s boundaries, there are others where neither person clearly expresses what’s going on in their head, and both are left trying to fill in the blanks. It is not anti-feminist to recognize that sometimes, human relationships are messy, signals feel mixed, and misunderstandings occur. And it is not victim blaming to say that we need to work harder to empower women to firmly say “no” when men are acting entitled, as well as teaching those men to look for nonverbal cues and ask their partner explicitly how they’re feeling before proceeding.

– Tiffany Wright
Excerpted from "Assault Is Not a Feeling.
The Aziz Ansari Story Shows Why Language Matters
The Guardian
January 17, 2018

Related Off-site Links and Updates:
Aziz Ansari Accused of Sexual Misconduct – Emma Stefansky (Vox, January 14, 2018).
Whoopi Goldberg Scolds Aziz Ansari Accuser: ‘Non-Verbal Cues’ Are Not Enough – Matt Wilsten (The Daily Beast, January 16, 2018).
Blurred Lines: Aziz Ansari and the Line Between Jerk and Predator – Erin Gloria Ryan (The Daily Beast, January 16, 2018).
The Controversy Around Babe.net’s Aziz Ansari Story, Explained – Caroline Framke (Vox, January 18, 2018).
Babe Turns a Movement Into a Racket – Caitlin Flanagan (The Atlantic, January 19, 2018).
We're Not Done Here – Laurie Penny (Longreads, January 2018).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Four Balanced Perspectives on the Wave of “Sexual Misconduct” Accusations Against Influential Men in the U.S.
What a Man! – Connor Beaton
Quote of the Day – November 17, 2017

From Wikipedia: In January 2018, a woman using the pseudonym "Grace" accused Aziz Ansari of sexual misconduct in an article on Babe.net. The article was met with a polarized and mixed response among commentators and the public with disagreement as to whether the incident described in the Babe article constitutes sexual misconduct. Ansari stated that the encounter "by all indications was completely consensual," but critics have stated that his actions were misogynist, lacked affirmative consent, and spoke to a larger culture of harmful male expectations. Others say that Ansari's actions did not constitute sexual misconduct and that his accuser's narrative trivializes the larger movement against forms of sexual abuse. In an article for The Atlantic, Caitlin Flanagan wrote that the narrative in Babe was revenge porn. HLN host Ashleigh Banfield criticized Ansari's accuser for what she described as "reckless" claims.

Monday, January 15, 2018

For MLK Day . . .

. . . "My Brother's Keeper," a painting by Haitian artist Watson Mere.

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

Related Off-site Links:
This Haitian American Artist's Image of MLK Hushing Trump Goes Viral Again – Stephen Snyder (PRI, January 15, 2018).
The Story Behind One of the Most Powerful Images of the Resistance – Tod Perry (Good, August 24, 2016).
Martin Luther King, Jr. Was More Radical Than We Remember – Jenn M. Jackson (Teen Vogue, January 15, 2018).
Martin Luther King, Jr., the Radical: 9 MLK Quotes the Media Won’t Cite – Kali Holloway (AlterNet via Salon, January 16, 2017).
Dr. Martin Luther King in 1967: “We As a Nation Must Undergo a Radical Revolution of Values”Democracy Now!, January 21, 2013).
If Martin Luther King Jr Were Alive Today, Politicians Would Denounce Him – Steven W. Thrasher (The Guardian, January 15, 2018).
Malcolm and Martin, Closer Than We Ever Thought – John Blake (CNN, May 19, 2010).
Turning King's Dream Into a Nightmare – Chris Hedges (Truthdig, January 13, 2018).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Quote of the Day – January 15, 2017
Martin Luther King, Jr. and Democratic Socialism
Global Condemnation for Trump's Latest Ignorant and Racist Comments

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Global Condemnation for Trump's Latest Ignorant and Racist Comments

U.S. President Donald Trump recently ignited an international firestorm of outrage and condemnation when he called Haiti, El Salvador and African nations “shithole countries.”

Following are responses from around the globe to Trump's comments.


These are shocking and shameful comments from the President of the United States. I’m sorry, but there’s no other word one can use but “racist.”

You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as “shitholes,” whose entire populations are not white are therefore not welcome. [Trump’s] positive comment on Norway makes the underlying sentiment very clear.

Like [Trump’s] earlier comments made vilifying Mexicans and Muslims, the policy proposals targeting entire groups on grounds of nationality or religion, and the reluctance to clearly condemn the anti-semitic and racist actions of the white supremacists in Charlottesville, all of these go against the universal values the world has been striving so hard to establish since World War Two and the Holocaust.

This isn’t just a story about vulgar language, it’s about opening the door to humanity’s worst side. It’s about validating and encouraging racism and xenophobia that will potentially disrupt and even destroy the lives of many people, and that’s perhaps the single most damaging and dangerous consequence of this type of comment by a major political figure.

– Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the
UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights

Excerpted from “UN Statement on Trump ‘S***hole’ Comments, in Full
The Independent
January 12, 2018

Donald Trump has been branded a shocking and shameful racist after it was credibly reported he had described African nations, as well as Haiti and El Salvador as “shitholes” and questioned why so many of their citizens had ever been permitted to enter America.

U.S. diplomats around the world were summoned for formal reproach, amid global shock that such crude remarks could ever be made in a semi-public meeting by the president of the United States.

In a strongly-worded statement, the United Nations said it was impossible to describe his remarks as anything other than racist, while the Vatican decried Trump’s words as “particularly harsh and offensive”.

The 55-nation African Union said the remarks were “clearly racist”.

Trump initially allowed reported accounts of his comments to go unchallenged, but went into damage limitation mode on Friday, insisting he had not used derogatory words – but admitting that the language he had used at a meeting with Senators on immigration was “tough.”

But the democratic senator Dick Durbin – who was present at the meeting with Trump on Thursday – insisted that the reports were entirely accurate.

He said “those hate-filled things and did so repeatedly.”

“Shithole was the exact word used once not twice but repeatedly,” Durbin said, adding that the word was specifically used in the context of African countries.

– Patrick Wintour, Jason Burke and Anna Livsey
Excerpted from “‘There’s No Other Word But Racist’:
Trump's Global Rebuke for ‘Shithole’ Remark

The Guardian
January 13, 2018

I am not ashamed of the country where I was born. I am not ashamed to call myself an American now. I am a proud immigrant, refugee, Minnesotan and a proud State Legislator.

But make no mistake, I am ashamed, disturbed, and outraged that the leader of the United States can’t see beyond his own embarrassing privilege to embrace the diversity that has made this country great for generations.

– MN State Representative Ilhan Omar (DFL-Minneapolis)
January 11, 2018

The President’s comments today are horrifying and truly deplorable. It saddens me to my heart to see our country misrepresented like this.

The time for neutrality and silence is long over – anyone who doesn’t stand with this nonsense must stand firmly together against it now.

– St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter III
January 11, 2018

We subscribe to the words of James Baldwin, “Ignorance allied with power is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.” Mr. Trump’s comments are woefully racist, ignorant, xenophobic, and inflammatory. Racism is undeniably evil. The evil of racism is always incapable of critiquing itself; therefore, it must be condemned whenever and wherever it arises. Racism is a question of power and not merely attitude. The President harbors these racist views and has the power to implement policy that subjugates poor people and people of color to oppressive systems and structures. His haphazard pronouncements and unmitigated power is problematic for the nation and world. Mr. Trump has repeatedly demonstrated himself unknowledgeable about the history of this country and the contributions of the children of the African Diaspora brutally enslaved and brought to these shores as well as those who have immigrated here, particularly Haitians whose benefaction is woven into the very fiber of our nation.

We vehemently condemn the racist comments of Mr. Trump. We cannot remain silent amid the horrid neglect and lack of concern for our sisters and brothers maligned throughout the world. Globally millions of immigrants are fleeing despicable and life-threatening situations. We have a moral and Christian responsibility to be supportive as they escape political, cultural, and social threats in their native homelands. Mr. Trump’s maleficence toward our sisters and brothers in Haiti and African nations is antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is contradictory to the universal, unconditional love of God for all people.

My response to President Trump is total condemnation. It was a very racist remark, which shed light on earlier decisions that he had – that have been made by the administration – for example, about temporary protected status being eliminated for Haitians and Salvadorans, and his remark, as reported by The New York Times, about all Haitians having AIDS. It seems like, once again, Haiti is being used as a foil, and he is baiting his bait and feeding them — Haiti as red meat.

And it’s extremely sad that it happened also in the shadow of this day. Today was going to be an extraordinarily sad day for many of us, anyway, who lost our family members, who lost our friends, in the devastating earthquake [of 2010]. So this is even more salt on our wounds. Not surprising, because of the nature of this presidency and the way this president conducts himself, but it is a terrible slight. It’s completely racist, especially the way that he paralleled Haiti and Africa, which is a continent, not a country – someone should tell him – and describing them in this manner and contrasting them to Norway.

Countries like El Salvador and Haiti are in terrible condition in large part because of long histories of American support for right-wing dictatorships and crony capitalism. And why would anyone in Norway give up their social benefits – universal health care on a single payer system, no college tuition, and the like – to come to the U.S., which has none of it?

Mae M. Ngai
via Facebook
January 12, 2018

President Trump’s characterization of Africa, Haiti and El Salvador as “shitholes” disturbed me, but I wasn’t sure why. The comments were made during a discussion about the temporary protected status for hundreds of thousands of Salvadoran, Haitian and other immigrants Trump had just rescinded. In search for an answer, I went home and pulled out and studied my boots , which were tattered after too many visits to mass graves, mass graves with the remains of Salvadorans—in El Salvador, in Mexico and in the deserts of south Texas. Wearing my hiking boots during visits to numerous sites along this chain of devalued life led me to the conclusion that mass graves were the ultimate shitholes.

What made me most uncomfortable was less about Mr. Trump’s choice of word than how he used it: he mistook the shithole part for the whole country. Trump’s rhetorical fallacy feels like a cover-up, a distraction from the fact that El Salvador’s mass graves contain fingerprints and other evidence that point to the United States as an accomplice to the mass murder and violence that created them. Viewed from this perspective, Trump’s “shithole” comment said in words what all US presidents have said with their policies towards countries like Haiti and El Salvador.

Consider, for example, the Salvadoran case of El Mozote, the site of the massacre of almost a thousand peasants, a crime whose irresolution still haunts many. Some 37 years after the mass massacre, forensic evidence from mass graves proved that 553 of those victims were children, many of them under six years old.

El Mozote is the best documented of El Salvador’s thousands of mass graves, many of which remain unexcavated. Forensic experts with El Salvador’s Institute for Legal Medicine and the world renown Argentine forensic team told me that their evidence – bones, shoe marks, hair samples, bullet shells – of the mass killing at El Mozote pointed to elite Salvadoran soldiers trained in places like Fort Bragg and Fort Benning, Georgia, formerly known as the notorious “School of the Americas.” Evidence from recent Salvadoran and international court cases corroborates this. The boots, bullets, weapons, helicopters and uniforms used during the massacre were all Made in the U.S.A. And the evidence trail isn’t limited to El Mozote.

– Roberto Lovato
Excerpted from “El Salvador’s Worst Shitholes
Are ‘Made in America’

Latino Rebels
January 12, 2018

Good people don’t refer to entire countries as “shitholes” – most notably countries that have given birth to our very humanity; ones that for hundreds of years have been colonized and poached and mined of their riches by powerful white men; countries whose people have been enslaved and sold and forced to come and build your country.

Good people by any measurement we might use – simply don’t say such things.

. . . But this President is simply not a good human being, and there’s simply no way around this truth.

He is the ugliest personification of the Ugly American, which is why, as long as he is here and as long as he represents this nation, we will be a fractured mess and a global embarrassment. He will be the ever lowering bar of our legacy in the world.

And what is painfully obvious in these moments, isn’t simply that the person alleging to lead this country is a terrible human being – it is that anyone left still defending him, applauding him, justifying him, amening him, probably is too.

At this point, the only reason left to support this President, is that he reflects your hateful heart;he shares your contempt of people of color, your hostility toward outsiders, your ignorant bigotry, your feeling of supremacy.

A white President calling countries filled with people of color shitholes, is so far beyond the pale, so beneath decency, and so blatantly racist that it shouldn’t merit conversation. It should be universally condemned. Humanity should be in agreement in abhorring it.

And yet today (like so many other seemingly rock bottom days in the past twelve months) they will be out there: white people claiming to be good people and Christian people, who will make excuses for him or debate his motives or diminish the damage.

They will dig their heels in to explain away or to defend, what at the end of the day is simply a bad human being saying the things that bad human beings say because their hearts harbor very bad things.

No, good people don’t call countries filled with beautiful, creative, loving men and women shitholes.

And good people don’t defend people who do.

You’re going to have to make a choice here.

– John Pavlovitz
Excerpted from “Good People Don’t Defend A Bad Man
January 12, 2018

I have lost patience with the shock supposedly well-meaning people express every time Mr. Trump says or does something terrible but well in character. I don’t have any hope to offer. I am not going to turn this into a teaching moment to justify the existence of millions of Haitian or African or El Salvadoran people because of the gleeful, unchecked racism of a world leader. I am not going to make people feel better about the gilded idea of America that becomes more and more compromised and impoverished with each passing day of the Trump presidency.

This is a painful, uncomfortable moment. Instead of trying to get past this moment, we should sit with it, wrap ourselves in the sorrow, distress and humiliation of it. We need to sit with the discomfort of the president of the United States referring to several countries as “shitholes” during a meeting, a meeting that continued after his comments. No one is coming to save us. Before we can figure out how to save ourselves from this travesty, we need to sit with that, too.

– Roxane Gay
Excerpted from “No One Is Coming to Save Us From Trump’s Racism
The New York Times
January 11, 2018

Far too many people are surprised by your racism, [Mr. President,] which is as ignorant as it is blatant. This is confusing because you’ve made no secret of your attitudes.

You started this political trip by insisting that America’s first black president wasn’t really American, despite all evidence to the contrary. You seem driven by an irrational hatred of everything Obama: you even blamed him on Thursday for building a new US embassy in London, even though the decision was taken by his white Republican predecessor. You campaigned against Mexico by peddling the libel that the country was sending its criminals and rapists to America. You now want to kick out 200,000 immigrants from El Salvador who keep the economy humming in your new hometown of Washington.

When neo-Nazis marched in Charlottesville, carrying torches and shouting about racial purity, you said they were good people. You endorsed the Britain First brand of neo-Nazism by sharing its racist lies on Twitter.

With a depressing frequency, you have made it clear that you are literally a neo-Nazi sympathizer. If at some stage you promote eugenics on Twitter, we will save a few letters on our character counts and simply call you a neo-Nazi.

– Richard Wolffe
Excerpted from “‘Shithole Countries’?
Words Worthy of a Racist-in-Chief

The Guardian
January 13, 2018

President Donald Trump has called Africa a shithole. How America elected a narcissist, racist, white supremacist to be their president defies logic. Africa sends love and light to America.

– Boniface Mwangi
via Twitter
January 11, 2018

Related Off-site Links:
Trump Decries Immigrants from "Shithole Countries" Coming to U.S. – Eli Watkins and Abby Phillip (CNN, January 12, 2018).
"There's No Other Word But Racist": Trump's Global Rebuke for "Shithole" Remark – Patrick Wintour, Jason Burke and Anna Livsey (The Guardian, January 13, 2018).
"Reprehensible and Racist": Trump’s Remarks Outrage Africans – Cara Anna (The Associated Press, January 12, 2018).
"Racist" and "Shameful": How Other Countries Are Responding to Trump's Slur – Colin Dwyer (NPR News, January 12, 2018).
This Is How Ignorant You Have to Be to Call Haiti a "Shithole" – Jonathan M. Katz (The Washington Post, January 12, 2018).
The US Role in Turning Countries Into Shitholes and Provoking Immigration – Juan Cole (Informed Comment, January 12, 2018).
Your Response to Trump’s Racist ‘Shithole’ Comment Will Be Remembered – Rex Huppke (Chicago Tribune, January 11, 2018).

UPDATE: Cory Booker Lashes Into DHS’s Kirstjen Nielsen: “Your Silence and Your Amnesia Is Complicity” – Shira Tarlo (Salon, January 16, 2018).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Trump's America: Normalized White Supremacy and a Rising Tide of Racist Violence
In Charlottesville, the Face of Terrorism In the U.S.
2000+ Take to the Streets of Minneapolis to Express Solidarity with Immigrants and Refugees
On International Human Rights Day, Saying "No" to Donald Trump and His Fascist Agenda
Progressive Perspectives on the Election of Donald Trump as President
Progressive Perspectives on the Rise of Donald Trump
Trump's Playbook