Thursday, June 10, 2021

Lone Star Social Justice Round-up

It's on us to enforce it.  And we will.

(More PRIDE at the end.  Criminal justice and women's rights posts along with racial, healthcare, and other inequality-related social justice items follow.)

Congress isn't going to help, and certainly if you were still under the impression that the Texas Legislature or any of our elected leaders, Republican or Democrat, were capable of making the changes we so desperately need ... you can stop thinking that now.

Greg Abbott and his fellow Neanderthals under the Pink Dome want your children to learn the most whitewashed version of Texas history they can paint.

Yes, it's true: the Constitution of the Republic of Texas enshrined slavery, banned the manumission of those enslaved, and barred Black people and Native Americans from citizenship.  One could not work any harder to make the 1619 Project's argument for them.  Congratulations, gentlemen; I look forward to this law's fate in the courts.

Let's be sure that we don't let our old Democratic friends off the hook here, either.

You might be familiar with J.R. Behrman, his writing having appeared in these pages a few times under the nom de plume "Open Source Dem".  During my days as an active Harris County Democrat, I served with him on the Harris County Ballot Board, verifying signatures on mailed ballots, and he served SD-13 on the SDEC for a period of time about ten years ago.  We also worked together on the Progressive Populist Caucus beginning in 2006, with David Van Os' run for Texas AG against Abbott, alongside Stan Merriman and others.  My defection to the Texas Greens made our friendship one of many casualties, but I knew John to be an antagonist to the establishment (read: neoliberals) and while he voiced discomfort working with Black people and women in quiet conversation then -- an acknowledgement I found self-effacing at the time he made it -- here, in his dotage, he has let his worst instincts get the better of him.

Behrman is a sample of a certain generation of white man who simply cannot overcome their ingrained biases, no matter how hard he may try.  I'd like to feel sorry for him, but as a Rice-educated economist, he's very much smart enough to have known better and done better.  Enjoy your retirement from politics, John.

Moving on ...

Women will fight back against the encroachment of their liberties.  And they will fight on behalf of others when threatened.

D Magazine was first to report on Lake Highlands HS valedictorian Paxton Smith and her amazing pro-reproductive rights graduation speech.  In addition to all the other harm they have done, the Lege would rather fund dubious anti-choice programs than Medicaid.

In terms of police behaving badly over the past couple of weeks, the news has been heavy and lousy.

This scandal follows the one last month of the the deputy constable in the same precinct (Pct. 1, led by chief constable Alan Rosen, Democrat) who killed himself after a standoff with police in which he confessed to sexually abusing several minors.

Houston cops -- and their friends -- have been having a really bad month.  Poor them.

Facts have never influenced Abbott and the Lege, however.

To say that Austin's city government and Travis County in particular has taken a turn to the right is becoming an understatement.

And to conclude this CJ update, some news from the courtroom and the penal system.

Protests and anniversaries:

Wrapping it up with some more Pride.

Some updates on everything I've already blogged about this week coming tomorrow.

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