Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Out and About – Spring 2021

With the summer solstice been and gone, it feels like a good time to look back on the spring just past with the latest installment of The Wild Reed’s “Out and About” series.

One thing I’ll say from the off-set, the spring of 2021 was a lot less intense than that of 2020! And for that I’m grateful.

That’s not to say that the momentous events of last year are not still impacting life in 2021. On April 20, for instance, former police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd (right). It was the first conviction of a white officer in Minnesota for the murder of a black person. (On June 25, Chauvin was sentenced to 22-and-a-half years in prison.)

On the evening of the verdict, I joined with a number of my south Minneapolis neighbors to walk with lighted candles through our neighborhood (above). We did this to both honor the memory of George Floyd and commit to the ongoing work of racial justice.

For more images and commentary on the events of April 20, click here.

Above: Signs on the fencing around the burnt and abandoned 3rd Precinct in south Minneapolis, just a few blocks from my home – April 4, 2021.

For an account of my experience of the events of last spring, including the uprising in response to the police killing of George Floyd, click here.

Above: Standing at right with fellow members of the Palliative Care team at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids – March 23, 2021.

Since September 2018 I’ve worked as the Palliative Care spiritual health provider (or chaplain) at Mercy.

Above and below: As spring kissed the earth once more, I often went and sat outside in the back yard under the pear tree, reading a book . . . and, over the course of March, April, and May, photographing the steady, greening transformation around me.

Above: My friends Kathleen, Calvin and Joseph – March 26, 2021.

I live with these wonderful people (and Calvin and Joseph’s dog, Frodo) in a triplex in the Seward neighborhood of south Minneapolis. I live in the third floor attic apartment of this triplex.

One of the truly great things about the spring of 2021 in Minnesota was that as more and more people got vaccinated against the coronavirus, we were able to go out and socialize more . . . minus our masks!

People hosted parties again . . . including my dear friends Joan and Matt, pictured above at left with (from right) John, George, and Brent – March 27, 2021.

Above: Another social gathering hosted by Joan and Matt – April 4, 2021.

Above and right: My friend Phil, with whom I shared a wonderful meal at Fasika, an award-winning Ethiopian restaurant in Saint Paul – April 11, 2021.

Above: With my friend Ed, enjoying brunch at Longfellow Grill, Minneapolis – April 17, 2021.

Above: The girl who sleeps with dragons!

Left: With darling Amelia and Eddie and Penny – April 25, 2021.

Above: Friends Bob, Kathleen, and Joey – May 31, 2021.

Above: Adnan – April 18, 2021.

Above: Spring blossoms – May 4, 2021.

Above: My friend Calvin being interviewed by a German film crew at George Floyd Square in south Minneapolis on the first anniversary of Floyd’s murder – May 25, 2021.

For more images and commentary, click here.

Above: My friends and downstairs neighbors Joseph and Calvin – May 16, 2021.

Left: Frodo, the animal companion of Joseph and Calvin. He is the most placid and loving dog I’ve ever met! Oh, and he has eyes of gold!

Above: A surprise retirement party for my dear friend Joan – Saturday, May 29, 2021.

And, yes, it was a total surprise to her!

You may recall that back in 2015 Joan accompanied me on a visit to my homeland of Australia. For images and commentary on that wonderful time, click here.

Right: With my friend Gary at Joan’s party.

Above: Joan, Kevin, and Gary – May 29, 2021.

Above and below: Views of the Mississippi River near my home in south Minneapolis.

Above: Adnan . . . and his double! – June 16, 2021.

Above: My mate Deandre working on installing a new battery in his car – June 6, 2021.

I remember it was a stinking hot day . . . one in the longest streak of 90-degree days on record before June 15 in the Twin Cities.

Above: Joseph and Kathleen working on preparing Kathleen's newly installed hot tub to be filled with water for the first time – June 17, 2021.

Above: Calvin working in the garden – June 17, 2021.

Above: My dear friend Brigid treated a number of us to a last-day-of-spring lunch on Saturday, June 19, 2021. Thanks Brigie! 💗

From left: Mike, Jane, Kathleen, Colleen, Sue Ann, Mary, and Brigid.

Above: Welcoming the summer on a (thankfully) cool Summer Solstice evening – Sunday, June 20, 2021.

Above: A spring 2021 self portrait.

NEXT: Out and About – Summer 2021

Spring 2021 Wild Reed posts of note:
Reading About Keats on the Spring Equinox
Refuting Surface Level Comparisons Between the Insurrection at the Capitol and Black Lives Matter Protests
Heather Cox Richardson on Combating the Republican Party’s “Rigging of the System”
Chadwick Boseman Receives Posthumous NAACP Image Award
The Problem Is Ultimately Bigger Than Individuals. It’s Systemic
Trans 101
Bearing Witness
“And Still and All, It Continues”
Remembering and Celebrating Dusty
Reacting to the Effects, Not the Cause, of What Ails Us
Remembering Elisabeth Sladen, Ten Years On
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz: “We Need to Make Systemic Changes”
“Let This Be a Turning Point”
Celebrating the “Color of Spring” . . . and a Cosmic Notion of the Christ
“He Was Just Interested In the Work”: Remembering Chadwick Boseman
Beltane Morning Light
Two Comments on Racism in America . . . and a Perspective on White Solidarity
The “People Between”
Under the Blossoming Pear Tree
Celebrating the “Wonderful” Joanna Lumley
“Of Course America Is Racist”
Two Conservative Voices of Integrity
Spirit Dreams
Progressive Perspectives on the Ongoing Israeli-Palestinian “Nightmare”
Dan Rather: Quote of the Day – May 19, 2021
Remembering George Floyd on the First Anniversary of His Murder
A Wondrous Sight
Remembering Chadwick Boseman’s Life of Purpose
Rep. Ilhan Omar: Quote of the Day – May 29, 2021
Spring . . . Within and Beyond
“A Book About Revolutionary People That Feels Revolutionary Itself”
“The Absolute Gall”
Pollyanna, “Miracle Worker”
The Big Switch
Remembering Dusty Springfield’s “Daring” 1979 Gay-Affirming Song
Zaylore Stout on the Meaning of Emancipation in 2021
The Chill Sounds of Daby Touré

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Out and About – Winter 2020-2021
Out and About – Autumn 2020
Out and About – Summer 2020
Out and About – Spring 2020

For previous Out and About series, see: 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020

Images: Michael J. Bayly.

Monday, June 28, 2021

The Political Legacy of Chadwick Boseman

I’ve been honoring actor Chadwick Boseman at The Wild Reed on the 28th day of every month since his death last year on August 28. Chadwick died of colon cancer, and although he had been living with the disease since 2016, he never spoke of it publicly.

Today, ten months to the day since his passing, the honoring continues with my sharing of an appreciation written by Monica Moorehead and first published in Workers World a week after Chadwick’s passing. Moorehead’s appreciation recognizes and honors the Chad’s political activism and legacy.


Like so many millions of other movie-going fans, I was shocked and saddened with the news of the untimely death of super-talented African American actor, Chadwick Boseman, who died at the young age of 43 on August 28.

His family let it be known that he had finally succumbed to stage IV colon cancer, following a four-year battle with the disease that began in 2016. A few days after his death, Twitter owners announced that Boseman’s death had been the most retweeted ever at six million to date.

The worldwide outpouring of respect, affection and sadness had much to do with Boseman’s powerful movie portrayal of T’Challa, the African king of the mystical land of Wakanda, that originated in the Marvel comic series, “Black Panther.”

When the blockbuster movie Black Panther debuted in 2018, it broke all kinds of box-office records, grossing $1.3 billion worldwide. It became the first movie in Hollywood history with a nearly all-Black cast and a Black director, Ryan Coogler, to achieve this feat. Boseman was praised for portraying T’Challa with such grace, dignity and power. No one knew while filming Black Panther in 2017 that Boseman had been diagnosed with cancer the year before.

Boseman had put his indelible stamp on much smaller budget films before Black Panther. Those films included 42 in 2013, playing Jackie Robinson, the Brooklyn Dodger who broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball in 1947; Get On Up in 2014, playing legendary soul singer James Brown; and in Marshall in 2017, playing the first Black U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall, in his early days as a lawyer

Sports leagues and players in leagues including Major League Baseball, the National Football League and the National Basketball Association honored Boseman on social media.

A strong supporter of Black Lives Matter

Boseman had publicly admired the heroic anti-war stance taken by the late Muhammad Ali during the late 1960s.

In a recent Instagram post, Boseman expressed solidarity with Black Lives Matter stating, “From this country’s founding history; its economic base, its social standard, its penal system, its protection of property . . . ⁣White Supremacy and Racial Prejudice are its Pre-existing Conditions.⁣ Change is here. #BlackLivesMatter.”

Even while terminally ill, Boseman along with 300 other prominent Black entertainers and celebrities signed a public letter demanding that the Hollywood industry divest in various ways from the police. In part the letter reads:

“Historically and currently, Hollywood encourages the epidemic of police violence and culture of anti-Blackness. The way that Hollywood and mainstream media have contributed to the criminalization of Black people, the misrepresentation of the legal system, and the glorification of police corruption and violence has had dire consequences on Black lives. We demand better. Prove that Black Lives Matter to Hollywood by taking bold moves to affirm, defend and invest in Black lives. Follow the examples of the Minneapolis School District, Denver Public Schools, the University of Minnesota and many other institutions in divesting from the policing system and investing in the Black community.”

Boseman brings to mind a comparison to the great actor, Sidney Poitier, who during his career, which began in the late 1940s, consciously took roles that were devoid of negative Hollywood stereotypes of Black people. This has been a constant characteristic from Boseman’s early days as an actor, when he was fired from the soap opera, All My Children, for complaining how his character was negatively written.

The pain of Boseman dying so soon will linger for a long time, but the political legacy he left behind, with his genuine acting of such integrity, will inspire new generations of Black filmmakers and film buffs of all nationalities.

Monica Moorehead
Chadwick Boseman: An Appreciation
Workers World
September 7, 2020

NEXT: Remembering an Actor Who “Changed Everything”

Related Off-site Links:
Cancer Survivor Kevin Boseman Performs Dance Tribute to His Late Brother Chadwick Boseman – Karu F. Daniels (New York Daily News, June 20, 2021).
Chadwick Boseman's Parents Speak Exclusively to WYFF News 4 in First Interview Since His Passing – Allen Devlin (WYFF 4 News, June 18, 2021).
Howard University Rolling Out Chadwick Boseman-Inspired Master ClassTMZ (May 31, 2021).
Howard University Names Newly Re-Established College of Fine Arts for Chadwick Boseman – Angelique Jackson (Variety, May 26, 2021).
Black Panther Fans “Nervous” About Sequel Without Chadwick BosemanShowbiz Cheat Sheet (May 25, 2021).
MTV Awards 2021: Chadwick Boseman Posthumously Wins Best Performance in a Movie; Receives Standing Ovation – Pamela Avila, Cydney Henderson, Anika Reed (USA Today, May 17, 2021).
Black Panther II “So Respectful” of Chadwick Boseman Loss, Lupita Nyong’o Says – Akhil Arora (Gadgets 360, May 3, 2021).
Marvel Reveals Black Panther Sequel's Title and Release Date in Nostalgic Mega-Trailer – Jenna Ryu (USA Today, May 3, 2021).

For The Wild Reed’s series that remembers and celebrates Chadwick Boseman, see:
Remembering Chadwick Boseman
Honoring An Icon
Chadwick Boseman’s Timeless Message to Young Voters: “You Can Turn Our Nation Around”
Chadwick Boseman’s Final Film Role: “A Reed Instrument for Every Painful Emotion”
Celebrating a Special Day
Boseman on Wilson
Chadwick Boseman and That “Heavenly Light”
In This Time of Grief
A Bittersweet Accolade
Chadwick Boseman Receives Posthumous NAACP Image Award
“He Was Just Interested In the Work”
Remembering Chadwick Boseman’s Life of Purpose

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
The Important Cultural Moment That Is Black Panther
Celebrating Black Panther – Then and Now
“Avengers Assemble!”
Jason Johnson on Stan Lee’s Revolutionary Legacy
Another First for Black Panther
“Something Special,” Indeed!
Queer Black Panther

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Blue Yonder

Colour is the language of light . . . [and] the clothing of beauty. . . . Each colour has its own individuality, personality and native mood. . . . Blue is a strange colour. It holds night and day within it. . . . The sky is blue, the earth has no blue. The ocean is the great mirror of the sky. It holds its own reserve of transparent mystery under its blue surface. Goethe says that rather than coming at us or hemming us in, blue draws us after it into the distance. Blue seems to be the colour of the infinite – an endless expanse where darkness and brightness dwell in blue light.

John O'Donohue
Excerpted from Beauty: The Invisible Embrace
Perennial (2004)

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver
From her poem, “The Summer Day,”
in her collection, House of Light (1984)

Do what is beautiful.
Allah loves those
who do what is beautiful.

The Quran (2:195)

Beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.
It is not a mouth thirsting
nor an empty hand stretched forth,
But rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted.
. . . Beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.

Kahlil Gibran
Excerpted from “On Beauty”
in The Prophet

Maybe the desire to make something beautiful
is the piece of God that is inside each of us.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Adnan in Morning Light
Saaxiib Qurux Badan – January 30, 2021
November Musings
Saaxiib Qurux Badan – November 18, 2020
Late Autumn Light
Out and About – Spring 2020
Family Time in Guruk . . . and Glimpses of Somaliland
Somalia Bound
Saaxiib Qurux Badan – July 15, 2019
Saaxiib Qurux Badan – July 14, 2019
Adnan . . . Amidst Mississippi Reflections and Forest Green
Adnan . . . with Sunset Reflections and Jet Trail
Saaxiib Qurux Badan – April 16, 2019
In This In-Between Time
Saaxiib Qurux Badan – March 29, 2019
“Window, Mind, Thought, Air and Love”
It’s You

Images: Adnan in blue and gold kurta, photographed by Michael J. Bayly (June 24, 2021).

A kurta is a loose collarless shirt that can be worn by both men and women. Tracing its roots to Central Asian nomadic tunics, or upper body garments, of the late-ancient- and early-medieval era, the kurta has evolved stylistically over the centuries as a garment for everyday wear as well as for formal occasions.

I came across the kurta that my friend Adnan is wearng at a Goodwill store in south Minneapolis. It was selling for just $5:00. Unfortunately, it’s too small for me, but it fits Adnan perfectly.

I should say that I had quite the time deciding on a title for this post. After all, it’s a strange blending of things: reflections on beauty, the color blue, God . . . and images of my friend in a kurta! I settled on “Blue Yonder” from the expression “Into the wild blue yonder” (sometimes “wide blue yonder”) as I resonate with what this expression means: to go on a journey to faraway places and new horizons which are unfamiliar or mysterious, but which can broaden our outlook and transform us in positive ways. Of course, such “places” aren’t always found on a map. They can be new levels of insight or awareness. In other words, they can refer to a spiritual journey, just as much as to a geographical one. I like that.

Also, back in the late ’80s there was a musical duo called Blue Yonder (Sandy Stewart and David Munday) whose song “House of Love” I’ve always liked. The title and lyrics of this song fit with the contents and spirit of this post.

If love is heaven sent
I should be patient
I know your history
But still I let your smile get to me

. . . In this reality
Maybe it’s a dream I still believe
Instead of what I know
In spite of the pain, I can’t let go

So tell me, how can love
Expect so much from anyone
Tell me why I’m holding on

In this house of love
Where reason don’t mean a thing
Don’t change a thing
In this house of love
My reasons (all my reasoning)
Give up where the heart gives in

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Cultivating Peace

A key component of author and activist Marianne Williamson’s 2020 presidential campaign was her plan for a U.S. Department of Peace. In her latest Newsweek column, Marianne once again highlights the important issue of – and need for – “cultivating peace.” Following is an excerpt.

America’s problem with violence is growing. And it will continue to grow until we face it for what it is: not just a problem that landed from out of nowhere, but rather a character flaw that’s been part of America’s psyche from our very beginning. Our enlightened ideals have always been accompanied by a violent streak, like an unholy double helix that is part of America’s DNA.

From slavery to genocide of Native Americans to what is now widely recognized as imperialistic military interventions abroad, Americans looking in the mirror recognize a thread of violence that is laced throughout our history. This recognition need not condemn us; rather, it can heal us. Groups have shadow sides just as individuals do, and when a character defect is on full display it’s an opportunity to face it, deal with it, heal it and evolve beyond it.

. . . We’re not going to be able to just "get rid of violence" until we proactively choose peace. And cultivating peace is different than a mere effort to eradicate violence. America’s orientation both culturally and politically would look radically different if we as a society choose peace. We’re going to be a violent society until we choose to be non-violent. And non-violence is more than the absence of violent behavior. It is a proactively cultivated state of being, both in terms of personal behavior as well public policy. It is the positive presence of something out of which violence is unlikely to emerge. We cannot end violence by simply trying to suppress violence, for of itself it is a symptom and not a cause. To truly eradicate the violence that plagues us, we must be willing to wage peace.

Non-violence is not just a set of policies, or a political philosophy; it’s a commitment to a new way of life among citizens as well as a new kind of problem solving among lawmakers. It means all of us taking responsibility for our words and actions – whether in our personal relationships, the business or governmental policies we support and advocate for, even how we express ourselves on the internet. Every interaction, every circumstance, carries within it the seeds of either harmony or chaos.

Every word and every action, on anyone’s part, contribute to either the violence or the healing of the times in which we live; everything we do is infused with the consciousness with which we do it. The only way we will root out violence is if we spend as much time addressing it within ourselves as we spend addressing it in the public realm. One without the other is an incomplete model of societal transformation.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Cultivating Stillness
Marianne Williamson and Cornel West: “Two of the Most Dedicated and Enlightened Heroes of Present Day America”
Inauguration Eve Musings
Marianne Williamson on the Movement for a People’s Party
Eight Leading Progressive Voices on Why They’re Voting for Biden
“We Have an Emergency On Our Hands”: Marianne Williamson On the “Freefall” of American Democracy
Marianne Williamson: Quote of the Day – June 2, 2020
Deep Gratitude
“A Beautiful Message, So Full of Greatness”
Marianne Williamson: “Anything That Will Help People Thrive, I’m Interested In”
“A Lefty With Soul”: Why Presidential Candidate Marianne Williamson Deserves Some Serious Attention
In the Garden of Spirituality – Marianne Williamson

Friday, June 25, 2021

Maebe A. Girl: A “Decidedly Progressive Candidate” for Congress

I continue The Wild Reed’s 2021 Queer Appreciation series by spotlighting Maebe A. Girl, the first drag queen ever elected to public office in the United States when, in 2019, she was elected treasurer for the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council in Los Angeles.

Girl, who identifies as non-binary and uses she/her and they/them pronouns, hopes to also become the first drag queen and first trans person elected to the U.S. Congress. She is running in the 2022 midterms as a Democratic primary challenger to Rep. Adam Schiff, who represents California’s 28th congressional district, which covers parts of Los Angeles County, including West Hollywood and Burbank. Girl describes herself politically as a progressive, while she labels Schiff a “corporate Democrat.”

This isn’t the first time Girl has ran for Congress. In the 2020 Primary Election, she challnged Schiff and received over 22,000 votes, missing advancing to the General Election by only 1,114 votes, or less than 1%. Republican Eric Early, instead, took the second position and lost to Schiff in the November 2020 election.

Notes the Maebe A. Girl for Congress 2022 website:

Maebe A. Girl is the decidedly progressive candidate for California’s 28th Congressional District, and is dedicated to working on behalf of its entire population – especially our most vulnerable, disenfranchised, and underrepresented neighbors. She is a proud member of Democratic Socialists of America – Los Angeles and believes we need to get big money out of politics and put people over profits.

On April 14 of this year, Maebe A. Girl was featured as part of Marianne Williamson’s Endorsee Candidate Summit, where she outlined her decidely progressive platform.

NEXT: The Art of Tania Rivilis

Related Off-site Links:
There She Goes Again. . . Maebe Announces Second Run for CongressLos Felix Ledger (February 2, 2021).
For Maebe A. Girl, Gender Non-conformity Isn't Her Only Political Act – Courtney Kocak (, September 24, 2019).
Meet the First Drag Queen to Be Elected to Public Office in California – Steven Blum (Los Angeles Magazine, April 12, 2019).
Maebe A. Girl Is First Drag Queen Elected to Office in California – Daniel Reynolds (The Advocate, April 11, 2019).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Trans 101
Catholics Recognize and Celebrate the Truth of Transgender People: “Their Quest for Authenticity Is a Quest for Holiness”
Quote of the Day – August 25, 2015
Standing with Jennicet Gutiérrez, “the Mother of Our Newest Stonewall Movement”
Signs and Wonders Continue
Lisa Leff on Five Things to Know About Transgender People
Shannon Kearns’ Transgender Day of Remembrance Message: “We Are Beloved Children of the Universe”
Putting a Human Face on the “T” of “GLBT”
Living Lives of Principle

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Peter Certo: “We Can Have the Filibuster or Democracy – But We Can't Have Both”

Peter Certo is the editorial manager of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), a progressive organization dedicated to building a more equitable, ecological sustainable and peaceful society. Certo edits IPS’s Foreign Policy In Focus and OtherWords services, contributes regularly to both outlets, and works with IPS experts to develop writing for mainstream and progressive publications.

Certo’s latest piece of writing focuses on what I and many others consider the most pressing issue facing American democracy today: the threat to voting rights posed by both the Republican party’s wave of voter suppression laws and, as Certo puts it, the “arcane Senate tactic called the filibuster,” which allows opponents of legislation to force supporters to come up with 60 votes, instead of a simple majority.

The filibuster is important in all of this because the Democratic party, which has the presidency, the Senate, and the House, has a piece of legislation called the For the People Act which will not only block the Republican party’s voter suppression efforts, but remedy so much of what is currently wrong with the American political system, most notably the undue influence of money in politics. Republicans, however, are using the filibuster to not only block passage of the For the People Act but to block even debate on the Senate floor about this important piece of legislation.

Peter Certo's erudite and insightful take on all of this is reprinted below with added links.


The American political system is complicated, but fixing it doesn’t have to be.

Voters of all stripes broadly agree on the kinds of changes they’d like to see. We need less money in politics. It should be easier to vote – early, in person, or by mail. And voters should be able to pick their own representatives, not the other way around.

The For the People Act, which passed the House earlier this year, would do all of these things. It includes new ethics rules for members, protects and expands the right to vote, and would restrict the extreme partisan gerrymandering that’s become commonplace. No wonder it’s popular – around two-thirds of Americans tell pollsters they support it.

It’s also, for now, doomed. And with a wave of voter suppression laws, new gerrymandering schemes, and ongoing efforts to discredit the 2020 election results still underway, that’s a very dangerous development for our democracy.

Explaining why reveals some truly absurd things about our system. For one thing, the law just “failed” by a party-line Senate vote of 50-50 – 50 Democrats for, 50 Republicans against.

Ordinarily, 50 votes should be enough to pass something in the Senate when the vice president supports it, as Kamala Harris does. But thanks to an arcane Senate tactic called the filibuster, opponents of legislation can force supporters to come up with 60 votes, instead of a simple majority.

It gets even more absurd when you realize that those 50 Democrats represent over 40 million more Americans than those 50 Republicans. And with the filibuster, Republicans representing just 20 percent of us can easily stop legislation that overwhelming majorities support.

The filibuster is how Republicans are holding up everything from universal background checks on gun purchases to popular laws that would protect the environment, the right to form unions, or now voting rights.

Republicans are champions of the filibuster now, but it was only a few years ago that they weakened it so they could pack the Supreme Court with unpopular nominees like Brett Kavanaugh, who was credibly accused of sexual assault.

Meanwhile, in states across the country, filibuster-free Republican legislatures are pushing hundreds of laws that will make it much harder to vote – or even, in some cases, let those same lawmakers overrule decisions made by voters.

Now that they’re in power, the Democrats could get rid of the filibuster. Hundreds of historians and political scientists, alarmed by the state-level onslaught against democracy, have warned that they’ll need to do just that. So too have hundreds of faith, labor, voting rights, and environmental groups.

Kill the filibuster and pass the For the People Act, they urge, or our democracy may not survive.

But a small number of Democrats – notably Senators Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) – have steadfastly refused. In high-profile op-eds, they’ve called the filibuster essential to democracy and bipartisanship.

These claims are absurd. Plainly, the filibuster is enabling an extremely partisan assault on our democracy. If you commit to bipartisanship with a party that’s waging an all-out war on democracy, the only bipartisan thing you’ll win is its demise.

For now, pro-democracy groups are stepping up their pressure campaigns.

The Poor People’s Campaign is marching on Manchin and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell. Others are targeting the Senate’s Democratic leaders, who are only in power because an extraordinary mobilization last year helped them win the Senate despite the map being tilted toward Republicans by over 40 million people.

But the truth is, the movements and the voters have done their part to protect our democracy. If senators don’t do theirs, they may well deserve to lose – but not if they take our democracy with them. Tell your senators: End the filibuster, pass the For the People Act.

Related Off-site Links:
“We’re Not Going Away!” Nonviolent Protest Over Voting Rights Ends With Arrests in DC – Jake Johnson (Common Dreams, June 23, 2021).
The Right Way to Actually Get Voting Rights Passed – Mary Harris (Slate, June 23, 2021).
Voting Rights Bill Will Be Blocked by the Anti-Democratic System It Seeks to Reform – Ari Berman (Mother Jones, June 22, 2021).
The Coordinated Assault on Voting Rights Is “Jim Crow 2.0” – Marc Steiner (The Real News, June 22, 2021).
Democrats, Act Now to Protect U.S. Democracy From Death Spiral – William J. Barber II, Barbara Arnwine, Penda Hair, and Jesse Jackson Sr (CNN Opinion, June 22, 2021).
Senate Republicans Block Democrats’ Sweeping Voting Rights Legislation – Joe Dinkin (NPR News, June 22, 2021).
As House Passes the “For the People Act” Without One GOP Vote, Progressives Warn Bill Is “Dead” If Senate Filibuster Remains – Jake Johnson (Common Dreams, March 4, 2021).
“Moderate” Democrats May Obstruct Fundamentally Essential Electoral Reform – Heather Digby Parton (Salon via TruthOut, March 5, 2021).
Voter Suppression and the Filibuster: More Confederate Monuments to Tear Down – Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan (Democracy Now!, March 4, 2021).
Democrats’ Choice: End the Filibuster or Watch McConnell Win (Again) – Patrick Ries (Rolling Stone, January 25, 2021).

UPDATES: Justice Department Is Suing Georgia Over Voter Suppression Law – Ari Berman (Mother Jones, June 25, 2021).
In Suing Georgia, Justice Department Says State’s New Voting Law Targets Black Voters – Barbara Sprunt (NPR News, June 25, 2021).
After GOP Blockade of For the People Act, Progressives Mobilize “Deadline for Democracy” – Andrea Germanos (Common Dreams, June 26, 2021).
Biden Calls for Changes to the Senate’s Filibuster to Pass Voting Rights Bills – Alana Wise (NPR News, January 11, 2022).
Sinema Says No to Filibuster Reform and Scuttles Democrats’ Voting Rights Hopes – Sam Levine (The Guardian, January 13, 2022).
Manchin Joins Sinema in Destroying Democratic Hopes to Pass Voting Rights – Brett Wilkins (Common Dreams, January 14, 2022).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Sen. Tina Smith: The Filibuster Rule Is “Fundamentally Undemocratic”
Rep. Ilhan Omar: Quote of the Day – May 29, 2021
Heather Cox Richardson on Combating the Republican Party’s “Rigging of the System”
Something to Think About – March 9, 2021
The Big Switch
David Sirota: Quote of the Day – January 26, 2021
We Cannot Allow a Biden Win to Mean a Return to “Brunch Liberalism”