Lynne Patton


Lynne Patton (c. 1973- ) is that wedding planner who US President Donald Trump put in charge of public housing in New York and New Jersey. She is still there.

In 2018 she called White House reporter April Ryan “Miss Piggy”. (Ryan shot back: “What wig company do you work for?”)

In 2019 she was used as a prop in Congress to prove that Trump is not racist:

Representative Mark Meadows, a Republican from North Carolina, had her, as a Black person, stand up behind him silently during a hearing (pictured above) while he said:

“Lynne Patton says she would not work for a man who is racist.”

Rep. Brenda Lawrence, a Democrat from Michigan:

“Having endured the public comments of racism from the sitting president, as being a Black person I can only imagine what’s being said in private. And to prop up one member of…

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Angela Davis on Palestine


Like Marc Lamont Hill, who was fired by CNN two months ago for his views on Palestine, Angela Davis:

  • supports BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanctioning of Israel for its human rights abuses against Palestinians).
  • notices that many progressives in the US are progressive on everything except, strangely, Palestine.
  • points out that Israel trains US police forces.
  • thinks Palestinians, like any occupied people, have a moral right to use violence against their occupiers.
  • believes in internationalism – that the oppressed of the world need to work together across borders.

In 2011 Davis visited Palestine:

“we were all thoroughly shocked to discover that the repression associated with Israeli settler colonialism was so evident and so blatant. The Israeli military made no attempt to conceal or even mitigate the character of the violence they inflicted on the Palestinian people. Gun-carrying military men and women – many extremely young – were everywhere. The…

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Outcome of the 2018 US midterms


Ayanna-Pressley Ayanna Pressley becomes the first Black Congresswoman from Massachusetts. (Via GQ)

The 2018 US midterm elections (November 6th 2018) took place two weeks ago but only now has most of the dust settled. There are still three races too close to call and one that is headed for a run-off. No matter how they turn out, though, the Republicans will hold onto the Senate, the upper house of Congress, but lose the House of Representatives, the lower house.

The election in blue, pink, black, orange, and white:

Blue: The Blue Wave was not as big as Democrats had hoped or as apocalyptic as Republicans feared, but in the House it was the biggest Blue Wave since Watergate. Democrats will now control the House for the first time since their crushing defeat to Tea Party Republicans in 2010. It means that starting in 2019 President Trump and his Republican…

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Columbus Day


Columbus Day (1892- ) is a US holiday that celebrates October 12th 1492, the day Columbus landed in the Americas.

In the late 1700s, Columbus became a hero in the US when it won its independence from Britain. That was when it became common to name streets and towns after him. It was part of feeling American instead of British or English.

In 1892, it was first observed by US schoolchildren, on the 400th anniversary. That was the very same day they first said the Pledge of Allegiance to the US flag.

In 1937, President Franklin Roosevelt made it a US government holiday from coast to coast. Columbus was a huge hero to Italian Americans, part of his voter base.

In the late 1900s, when I went to US public schools, the three great heroes were Abraham Lincoln, who freed the slaves, George Washington, who freed the…

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Christine Blasey Ford


Christine Blasey Ford (c. 1967- ) is a professor of psychology at Palo Alto University in California. She says that Brett Kavanaugh tried to rape her back in high school. President Trump wants to put Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, making him one of the nine highest judges in the land.

She could become the Anita Hill of the 2010s – only this time we have the Internet and the #MeToo movement. In 1991 Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. They spoke before the Senate on live television. Thomas needed to be confirmed by the Senate to get on the Supreme Court. He barely made it.

He says, she says:

  • He says: Kavanaugh, known to lie under oath, says her claim is “completely false”.
  • She says that in 1982 they were at a party when she was 15 and he was 17. He and a friend of his…

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The midterms


A midterm election in the US are those that take place halfway through a president’s four-year term. The president himself (so far always a him) is not up for re-election, but most of Congress is: a third of the Senate and all of the House. So are many governors and state lawmakers.

The 2010 midterms saw the rise of the Tea Party and the takeover of many states by Republicans. That allowed them to gerrymander the voting map and prevent President Obama from getting much done for six years (2011-17).

The 2018 midterms, on November 6th, is the first nationwide election since the rise of Donald Trump in 2016. Both Barack Obama (former president, centre-left) and Sean Hannity (cable news blowhard, far-right) agree that this is the most important US election of our lifetime. It will determine what becomes of Trump.

Blue Wave: If enough Democrats come out to vote…

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Aretha Franklin


Aretha Franklin, 1967.

Aretha Franklin (1942-2018), the Queen of Soul, is easily one of the best singers in living memory in the US, if not the best.

She has 20 number-one hit songs on the US R&B chart:

  • 1967: I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)
  • 1967: Respect
  • 1967: Baby I Love You
  • 1968: Chain of Fools
  • 1968: (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You’ve Been Gone
  • 1968: Think
  • 1969: Share Your Love with Me
  • 1970: Call Me
  • 1970: Don’t Play That Song (You Lied)
  • 1971: Bridge Over Troubled Water
  • 1971: Spanish Harlem
  • 1972: Day Dreaming
  • 1973: Angel
  • 1974: Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)
  • 1974: I’m in Love
  • 1976: Something He Can Feel
  • 1977: Break It To Me Gently
  • 1982: Jump to It
  • 1983:…

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Disclaimer: This post is based on episodes 2, 5, and 6, half of those shown so far.

“Pose” (2018- ) is a US television show on FX centred on five transgender women of colour – played by five transgender women of colour. Radical, I know. It is pretty much “Paris Is Burning” (1991) made into a television show, with some straight White characters added. It takes place in New York of the late 1980s: greed is good, AIDS, the ballroom scene, Patrick Nagel paintings, etc. “Pose” was created by Ryan Murphy, a White gay man who gave us the hit show “Glee” (2009-15).

“Pose” made history last Sunday (July 8th 2018): its sixth episode, “Love Is the Message”, was the first episode of US television ever written and directed by a trans woman of colour – Janet Mock.

It is the first show on US television I have seen…

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Patricia Okoumou


Therese Patricia Okoumou (c. 1973- ) is the woman who climbed up on the Statue of Liberty in New York on July 4th 2018. She was protesting President Trump’s immigration policies:

“Michelle Obama, our beloved First Lady, that I care so much about, said, ‘When they go low, we go high.’ And I went as high as I could.

“Trump has ripped this country apart. It is depressing. It is outrageous. I can say a lot of things about this monster, but I will stop at this: His draconian zero-tolerance policy on immigration has to go. In a democracy we do not rip children, we do not put children in cages. Period. There is no debating it. Nothing you can say to me can justify putting children in cages. Only a stupid, unintelligent coward and insecure – I will add, a maniac – will rip a tender-age child from its…

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zero tolerance immigration policy


The zero tolerance immigration policy (2018- ) was rolled out in the US in April 2018 by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Over this past Father’s Day weekend it has become infamous for separating children from parents who cross the south-western border, putting the children in cages.

An Ipsos poll on June 14th and 15th asked 1,000 people in the US age 18 or over if they agreed with this:

“It is appropriate to separate undocumented immigrant parents from their children when they cross the border in order to discourage others from crossing the border illegally.”


  • 27% agreed,
  • 56% disagreed,
  • 17% unsure.

By party:

  • 46% Republicans agreed,
  • 29% Independents,
  • 14% Democrats.

Only 32% of Republicans disagreed!

The policy is opposed by the United Nations, the American Academy of Pediatrics, 300 US Catholic bishops, First Lady Laura Bush, the Southern Baptist Convention, and even Franklin Graham.

President Trump blames the Democrats

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