The complete sentence in the title goes “In the old days we could have grabbed a rope and ‘properly’ LYNCHED those UPPITY N!%%rs.

Now Republicans both in TN and around the country in far too many places will deny they or some of their colleagues feel that way.  Some hotly, and some in mealy-mouthed fashion but I stand by what I wrote.  Three, count em THREE Democratic TN House members voiced support (by chanting) with the mass of students clogging the hallways of the TN Capitol demanding meaningful gun reform.  Two of them were young black men, and one was a near middle-aged white woman.  Without any of the normal process all three faced an expulsion vote today from a TN House with a GOP super-majority.  One kept her seat (albeit she, like her two colleagues had already been stripped of committee assignments and had their electronic badges deactivated) and two were expelled.

Do I really need to say which one kept her seat by a single vote? (A two-thirds vote was required for expulsion and the GOP had the numbers to do it) The WHITE woman is still, for now at least a member of the TN House.  Those two young, bright and passionate black men?  Expelled!

Any, and I mean ANY Republican who says race had nothing to do with it is a liar.  A g-damned liar!  It had everything to do with it.  These are exactly the kind up “uppity” black folk that KKKonservatives who now rule the GOP hate.  And for the percentage (smallish) that don’t hate such people at least wish they be “good n!%%@rs” and be polite and not make waves.

I flashed back to an epic moment in an Oscar winning film from when I was a kid.  Much of it was shot in Sparta Illinois, not far from my own hometown.  It was “the slap heard round the world” because Detective Virgil Tibbs (portrayed by the iconic Sidney Poitier) got slapped by the racist cotton magnate Eric Endicott and Tibbs immediately slaps HIM back across the face.  The sheriff played by Rod Steiger didn’t know WTF to do and says so when Endicott asks him.  Making things worse for Endicott was his (black of course) butler had just come into the greehouse and saw the whole thing.  Blinking back tears Endicott says “There was a time… When I could have had you shot.”

That seared my consciousness as a kid when I first saw it, and has every time since particularly due to the physical resemblance (not to mention the racism) of my piece of sh!t grandfather, a police Captain in a small southern city before they had to flee in the middle of the night.  Long story.  But the Klan got him hired on as a Federal Railroad cop, a job he held till retirement.  The point though is those attitudes have never gone away.  Oh, despite all the turmoil of the 1960s and Hoover driving the Klan underground for a time (not because of racism but his agents down in MS started getting threatening phone calls) but the attitudes?  Like the shingles and other viruses that can go dormant and flare up again so it is with racism.

And plenty of racists, mostly but not all registered Republicans lost their sh!t when Barrack Obama became President Obama.  Things got worse as in more organized (thanks in no small part to the internet & social media and cell phones – especially disposable ones) and once Trump got into the WH and pretty much told them to let their racist freak flag fly they’ve become emboldened.  Including and especially by Republican state legislators and Governors with a big assist from the a-holes Mitch McConnell rammed through in federal courts including SCOTUS.  I won’t list all the voter surpression laws and tactics that have been enacted but it’s pretty clear that while the want to hinder any Democrat’s ability to cast a vote and have it counted, special attention (a LOT of it) has been targeted at non-whites and black people in particular!


I grew up in a part of Illinois where that type of thinking was prevalent and I’ve seen it over and over again in my six and a half decades on this earth.  Growing up in the 1960s I wasn’t quite old enough to fully process it but I sure as hell am now.  And Charlottesville and events since suggest things are as bad now as then.  Worse in many ways because those ready and even eager to do violence to protect white “supremacy” are armed not with lynching ropes but weapons of war.  Guns designed specifically to kill lots of people in a very short time.

When I was in school we had tornado drills (mattered a lot where I grew up) and “disaster” drills too – those ridiculous “duck and cover” drills in case of a nuclear attack.  Even early in grade school it made no sense to me or my classmates to hide for protection from a fireball under a wood desk!  Oh well.  But the tornado drills made sense pretty early on.  So did fire drills.  Now, we have an entire generation that has grown up practicing Active Shooter drills!  I never had kids but it breaks my heart things got to that point.

It also makes me angry as hell.

Conservatives refuse, REFUSE to even discuss much less take some very much needed steps to cut back on gun violence.  Their cowardice in the face of the gun lobby has cost them at the ballot box too.  After the Parkland mass shooting students got organized in a way we’ve never seen before and demanded action.  Not just there but around the country. More importantly they haven’t just protested, they’ve voted!  And organized voter registration drives and GOTV efforts that have proven successful.  Millions more will turn 18 before 2024 and by a substantial margin this one issue will matter to them.  As will the GOP’s taking away reproductive rights, refusal to address climate change and other stuff like college affordability.  In Tennessee too.

After a mass shooting in Nashville students not only staged walkouts but went to their Capitol to demand action.  And the GOP blew them off.  Then adding insult to injury when three Democratic House members had the “audacity” to voice support for them from the floor of their chamber the GOP freaked out!

With stunning swiftness they voted to expel two of them.  Two BLACK men, and as I said for now let the white woman keep her seat.  There’s something else us old farts need to keep in mind.  Younger generations are less bound by the racial attitudes folks my age and older grew up with.  Sure, kids who grow up in conservative homes will be taught to be racist and sadly in too many instances that teaching that grooming will take.   However Republicans/conservatives make up only a little over 30% of the population.  Democrats a little more and Independents are now the largest group.  The GOP is giving them yet another reason to say “to hell with these Republicans unless/until they get their act together and stop being a-holes.”

It’s “Holy Week.”  Damned near every one of those GOP critters who voted to expel two of their God’s children just because those two men have African American heritage will sit there in church, piously claiming their love for their Jesus as they celebrate his resurrection yet in their hearts know, know they rejected his teachings.  If I’m wrong and there is a God, the time will come when they have to justify themselves.  And they won’t be able to do it!

Especially the ones who wished it was the old days and they could have taken those proud, intelligent and outspoken black men outside and strung em up with a rope!  Don’t tell me there weren’t people in that TN House chamber who thought EXACTLY that.  I’ve known such people my entire life.  They exist and some of them hold positions of power and influence.

To paraphrase a pundit I saw earlier, the country has just gotten a lesson in Critical Race Theory more clearly and powerfully than any law or graduate school presentation could ever give.


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  1. Great piece of writing, Denis. You’re always write your best pieces when you’re totally p**sed. This is Exhibit “A” Bravo.

    • Thank you. Coming from you that’s high praise. And I AM pissed. An angry WHITE man. I’ve worked hard for so much of my life to overcome the racism that my P.O.S. grandfather, as well as other adults worked to instill in me. Sometimes I catch myself saying “whoa dude” and realizing that some of that is still buried deep inside. But I’ve tried hard to get past it and be fair in how I view others. Whether it’s race, gender or country of origin. I’d like to think I’ve done well but I also know at times I’ve failed. And it’s the prevalence of the kind of despicable action that happened today that makes me realize I can’t just work on myself – I need to make others aware.

      And for any conservative who might wind up reading this and saying “Hey, that’s not ME. I don’t think that way I have a question. Are you LOUDLY proclaiming what happened in TN racist and wrong to your family, friends, co-workers and elected officials? Because if you’re not then by your SILENCE you are displaying racism.

    • YOU CAN SAY THAT AGAIN.. great piece .. sharing everywhere.. and remember there are a million new voters every year .. who don’t see colors! Just people like them. AND NOW they are ALL employed! SEE GRAPH

  2. Wow, such a powerful article! I am astounded at the amount of evil, hypocrisy, and greed in our society. I am so sad for my children and their future children if things don’t change. We are leaving them with quite the shit storm to clean up.

    • I feel sad for the children too but many will grow into what their parents are racist and full of hate for anyone the least bit different

  3. In the movie Ghandi, he went on a prolonged hunger strike to stop the killings between the Hindus and the Muslims. A Hindu man broke through his meager security and was very agitated. He wanted Ghandi to absolve him because he had killed a Muslim child as revenge for them killing his child. He asked Ghandi for a way out of hell. Ghandi told him he knew a way. He told him to find a Muslim orphan, adopt him, and raise him as a Muslim. His point being that love of the ‘other’, even if artificial at first, would develop, and the irrational religious hatred would dissipate. Having raised a biracial child, now 27, and, having become the father figure for a black girl who just turned 7, having lost her daddy 4 years ago, I cannot fathom the hearts of these people. I would take a bullet for my children. I say that as a soon to be 70 year old white man from Appalachia. Unfortunately, the segregation of our respective races has allowed the irrational fear of the ‘other’ to poison the hearts and minds of each of us to a greater or lesser degree. I’ve been married to one black woman, and have lived with another for 16 years. I suspect I am more aware than most white folks what some of the differences are in our respective subcultures. Yet, it’s rare that I notice it now. Laws are necessary for justice, but it’s our hearts and minds that need to change. Raise a child of a different race, or love a significant other of a different race, and, I guarantee you will never see them as the ‘other’. You will see them as a person you love, and a person who loves you. All that despite how the world operates. Ghandi was a very wise man. The racists in the GOP are very shallow and empty men. Their collective hearts are several sizes too small.

      • I am a 75 grandmother and great grandmother of 9 grandchildren, one of whom is biracial, and 11 great grandchildren. Of those great grands, 5 are biracial, 3 mix of black and white, 2 are a mix of Hispanic and white, so I know of which you speak. Your piece speaks to my heart and soul, thank you for speaking out against this outrageous situation.

    • Sharing! Thank you. I have a friend who was in Vietnam .. and has raised a Vietnamese son .. (Now honors at Vanderbilt) He and husband. He is also a retired Catholic priest. A bishop in AmericanNationalCatholicChurch.

      • SEE .. Madonna’s 6 Children:
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        Lourdes, Rocco, David, Mercy, Stella and
        By Emy LaCroix
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  4. I believe the w woman should resign in protest, if she doesn’t she was only a poser. I also thought they might have singled them out, yes because of their color but maybe because they knew it would be obvious and they didn’t want democrats to look united, that this woman would herself hold blame for not being ousted. She will too. I think that’s their plan-to divide and disrupt democrats. But she must resign immediately. She has to stick by her brothers in the reason for this protest, GUNS! let’s not forget that like I know they want us too.

  5. People need to look at republiCLOWNS as predators and deal with them using “stand your ground” rules that the fascists like to hide behind.
    They want to “lynch”.
    Remember that and also that all fascists are alike.

  6. Beautiful powerful strong piece Denis.
    You are 100% right in your conclusion as to the country getting a REAL lesson on precisely what CRT is about!

    As a fourth-generation Canadian somewhat younger than you (born 1961) I always looked at the US as that uncivilized place where whites are all racists.
    My 92-year-old dad did his Masters at U of I Champaign-Urb in /53-/54 and he taught me from a young age the slogan of so many of the white kids at school when their star running back JC Caroline ( ) was allowed to get pummelled every Friday night for the University’s glory but couldn’t get a haircut on campus because “ ‘those peoples’ hair just didn’t work right for normal haircuts “ or some-such stupid thing.
    I ended up reading “Black Like Me” and knew exactly what was going on when MLK and Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman were killed, despite my age.
    I genuinely thought, for a teensy fraction of a second that things might have changed in my uncivilized neighbour to the South when Obama was elected, but every time I hear “ Make… Great Again” I realize the KKK has NEVER died and they REALLY want to go back NOT to the 1950’s as you imply, Denis, but really the 1850’s when “the blacks” didn’t just “know” their place, but really WERE chattel.
    And then I think of Schwerner and Goodman, and of the HATE that monsters like Elijah Mohammed and Louis Farrakhan throw at MY people, despite the above two and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (the subject of my 1974 Bar Mitzvah speech) who was almost always to be seen walking with MLK no matter the danger and how he brought in so many young idealistic Jews into the Civil Rights Movement, only to be vilified so utterly by young blacks today, at the urging of Nation of Islam and their ilk of historically ignorant and scapegoat seeking “leaders”, and I only come to one conclusion: Hatred and ignorance are not just the domain of ignorant whites, it’s the inheritance of my entire species, going all the way back to “Moonwatcher” learning to kill his rival at the water hole in Arthur Clarke’s 2001.
    And the really depressing part is that I actually smile when I realize that there’s an “even chance” our species doesn’t survive the next 200 years due to the exponentially growing damage we are doing to our planet’s ability to sustain our form of life.
    Pathetic that I’m so depressed over my species that THAT is what gives me hope.
    And sadly, I have no hopeful or uplifting conclusion. I am just so emotionally beaten up, appalled, and disgusted at the hatred everyone has for everyone else among those of my species.
    I applaud you for trying Denis, but who THE f&%k can change humanity???

    • Thank you for the compliment. And you’re only four years younger than I am. Also, I had classmates and friend both younger and older that went to Illinois. I’m from southern Illinois, as in not south of Cook & DuPage Counties but south of I-64. I wanted to go to Knox up in Galesburg but they didn’t give athletic scholarships. They did (thanks to their Head basketball coach) put together a hell of a financial aid package but even so it would have still cost my dad about fifteen hundred a year for me to attend. (Room and Board was over 6k as I recall and in 1075 that was a LOT of money for a lower middle class family) so public school and commuting from home it was. It’s fascinating that the hero, or at least he once was of my hometown, General John A. Logan almost on his own kept my part of Illinois from seceding as the Civil War approached. He and the Logan family were known to all, and all the way over to the Indiana border and highly admired and respected. Logan was actually a racist “southern” Democrat BUT he believed in the Union above all else and when Williamson County voted for secession and another country was going to do the same her personallly went over there and raised hell. Publicly. And got that vote rescinded. Then he went to bat up in Springfield to get troops, as in getting the feds to assign federal troops to make their presense known and both tamp down that kind of crap and respond to any violence. Logan would wind up becoming an abolitionist and a Republican. Oh, and what we now call Memorial Day in this country is largely due to Logan. He’d known in some places in the south there were days organized to decorate graves of southern soldiers. He co-opted the idea into a declaration of a national “Decoration Day” to honor all who’d fallen in war and his post as Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic gave him enough of a platform the idea got lots of attention. Although it didn’t get estblished as an annual event right away the idea did take hold in lots of places and became a national event that as I said would morph into Memorial Day.

      However, racism never went away back where I’m from. At I hit my teenage years it was a bitter thing to learn my P.O.S. grandfather (pure Klan) had plenty of like-minded company back in the region where I grew up and lived my first 26 years. And you’re quite right – the Klan never has been killed off. It’s been driven into the shadows at times but it’s something that can’t be killed. The best you can hope for is to keep them hidden away in the shadows or under their slimy rocks bitching about having to keep their freak flag hidden from most of the public.

      I also think you are spot on when you say these people want a return to antebellum days, complete with not just slavery but the ability to expand it beyond the bounderies of the Confederate states who went to war rather than give it up. Complete with awful things like mob lynchings and worse both to punish those who got too “uppity” (as well as white folks who supported them) but to send a message to others – basic terrorism. In the end, all we can do is fight the racists and their agenda as hard as we can. I still believe there are more of us than there are of the racists, but there are far too many people who don’t see just how real the threat is. So it’s incumbent on those of us who know this stuff, and the gravity of the situtation to raise awareness and engage others in the fight.

      • Oh, and there’s another thing: They don’t just wanna re-enslave black people so they can be back where they belong, but they wanna enslave women people too!!!
        I just watched an Ob-Gyn on MSNBC explain all the reasons why Mifrestopone is valuable for regulating periods and a whole host of other reasons that have nothing to do with stopping impregnation, and this is what they want to stop too. Honestly, the MAgats are despicable, vile, evil, horrible, monstrous sub-himan biological creatures. Hillary was way too kind: “deplorables” my ass. They would have to evolve significantly to only be that bad!!!

  7. My friend, I really look forward to meeting you someday. I have so much about your country to learn from you. Unfortunately, Canada is just boring. There’s only two things we do well – the first is obvious (we could meet at a Blackhawks game my next trip to Chicago) and the second, is politics. Now, compared to the States, ANY country does politics well. But in fact, we Canadians are actually REALLY good at it. No fights in Parliament, no killings, no Supreme Court on the take (ahem, Clarence) just simple ordinary arguments with Roberts Rules and sometimes, when things get heated, a smashed table and everyone looking at the smasher thinking ” well that was foolish. How does your hand feel now?”. Like I said, we do politics really well, so I look forward to hearing more from you. Still live near Chicago-land? I would really love to meet sometime. Be well Denis. KEEP WRITING!!!!


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