Tag Archives: anger

World stunned as Trump defeats Clinton for White House

Republican Donald Trump stunned the world by defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8 presidential election, sending the United States on an uncertain path.

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The billionaire real estate developer and former reality TV host, Trump rode a wave of anger toward Washington insiders to win the White House race against Clinton, the Democratic candidate whose resume included serving as a first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.

Worried a Trump victory would cause economic and global uncertainty, investors were in full flight from risky assets.

The unofficial returns show Trump has collected enough of the 270 state-by-state electoral votes needed to win the four-year term that would start on Jan. 20, 2017.

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Republicans also kept control of Congress, with projections showing the GOP would retain majorities in the 100-seat U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, where all 435 seats were up for grabs.

Trump appeared with his family before cheering supporters in a New York hotel ballroom, making the un-Trumpish assertion that it is time to heal the divisions caused by the campaign and find common ground.

“It is time for us to come together as one united people,” Trump said. “I will be president for all Americans.”

He said he received a call from Clinton and praised her for her service and for a hard-fought campaign.

His comments were an abrupt departure from his campaign trail rhetoric in which he repeatedly slammed Clinton as “crooked” amid supporters’ chants of “lock her up.”

At Clinton’s election event at the Javits conference center a mile away from Trump’s event, an electric atmosphere among supporters expecting a Clinton win slowly grew grim as the night went on.

Clinton opted not to appear at her event.

Campaign chairman John Podesta told supporters, “We’re not going to have anything more to say tonight.”

Clinton was expected to speak on Wednesday morning, an aide said.

Prevailing in a cliffhanger race that opinion polls clearly forecast as favoring a Clinton victory, Trump won avid support among a core base of white non-college educated workers with his promise to be the “greatest jobs president that God ever created.”

In his victory speech, he claimed he had a great economic plan, would embark on a project to rebuild American infrastructure and would double U.S. economic growth.

His win raises a host of questions for the United States at home and abroad. He campaigned on a pledge to take the country on a more isolationist, protectionist “America First” path.

Countries around the world reacted with stunned disbelief as the early returns showed Trump defeating Clinton in the electoral college.

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, an ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, described the result as a “huge shock” and questioned whether it meant the end of “Pax Americana”, the state of relative peace overseen by Washington that has governed international relations since World War Two.

Neighbor Mexico was pitched into deep uncertainty by the victory for Trump who has often accused it of stealing U.S. jobs and sending criminals across the border.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said the two countries would remain “strong and close partners on trade, security and defense.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called on Washington to stay committed to last year’s international nuclear deal with Iran, which Trump has threatened to rip up.

Trump’s national security ideas have simultaneously included promises to build up the U.S. military while at the same time avoiding foreign military entanglements.

He also wants to rewrite international trade deals to reduce trade deficits and has taken positions that raise the possibility of damaging relations with America’s most trusted allies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Trump has promised to warm relations with Russia that have chilled under President Barack Obama over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intervention in the Syrian civil war and his seizure of Ukraine’s Crimea region.

Putin sent Trump a congratulatory note, saying he hoped that they can get the U.S.-Russian relationship out of crisis.

Trump entered the race 17 months ago and survived a series of seemingly crippling blows, many of them self-inflicted, including the emergence in October of a 2005 video in which he boasted about making unwanted sexual advances on women.

He apologized but within days, several women emerged to say he had groped them, allegations he denied.

He was judged the loser of all three presidential debates with Clinton.
A Reuters/Ipsos national Election Day poll offered some clues to the outcome.

It found Clinton underperformed expectations with women, winning their vote by only about 7 percent, similar to Obama when he won re-election in 2012.

And while she won Hispanics, black and millennial voters, Clinton did not win those groups by greater margins than Obama did in 2012.

Younger blacks did not support Clinton like they did Obama, as she won eight of 10 black voters between the ages of 35 and 54. Obama won almost 100 percent of those voters in 2012.

During the campaign, Trump said he would “make America great again” through the force of his personality, negotiating skill and business acumen.
He proposed refusing entry to the United States of people from war-torn Middle Eastern countries, a modified version of an earlier proposed ban on Muslims.

His volatile nature, frequent insults and unorthodox proposals led to campaign feuds with a long list of people, including Muslims, the disabled, Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, the family of a slain Muslim-American soldier, a Miss Universe winner and a federal judge of Mexican heritage.

A largely anti-Trump crowd of about 400 to 500 people gathered outside the White House after his apparent victory, many visibly in shock or tears.
Some carried signs that read “stand up to racism” and “love trumps hate.”
Meanwhile, as financial markets absorbed the prospect of Trump’s win, the Mexican peso plunged to its lowest-ever levels. The peso had become a touchstone for sentiment on the election as Trump threatened to rip up a free trade agreement with Mexico.

His triumph was seen by some as a rebuke to Obama, a Democrat who spent weeks flying around the country to campaign against him, repeatedly casting doubt on his suitability for the White House. Obama will hand over the office to Trump after serving the maximum eight years allowed by law.

Trump promises to push Congress to repeal Obama’s health care plan and to reverse his Clean Power Plan. He plans to create jobs by relying on U.S. fossil fuels such as oil and gas and he poses a serious threat to the Paris climate change agreement.

Trump’s victory marked a frustrating end to the presidential aspirations of Clinton, 69, who so many expected to become the first woman U.S. president.

In a posting on Twitter during Tuesday evening, she acknowledged a battle that was unexpectedly tight given her edge in opinion polls going into Election Day.

“This team has so much to be proud of. Whatever happens tonight, thank you for everything,” she tweeted.

This story will be updated.

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Baltimore rises up for justice, against inequality

The day of the funeral, the night of the riots in Baltimore, people thought of 1968. That year Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and the unrest unsettled Baltimore.

The day after the riots, when the Maryland National Guard arrived, people thought of 1972. That year another National Guard was called out in another state and four people were killed.

“This is not just about excessive force or police brutality. Ferguson wasn’t about that either. This is about problems — poverty, racism, inequality — tangled deep in America’s roots. These are old issues we’ve fought before and maybe will fight forever,” said protester Mike Bartlett, who joined in the Baltimore Uprising that followed the death of Freddie Gray, who suffered a fatal spinal injury in police custody.

Gray, a black man, died a week after he was chased, pinned, handcuffed and placed in a police van. In the van, police maintain officers placed Gray in leg cuffs after he became irate. But it is still unclear when and how Gray suffered the spinal injury.

A prosecutor announced on May 1 charges against the six police officers involved in Gray’s arrest. The Justice Department, meanwhile, is investigating possible civil rights violations.

Gray’s death on April 19 sparked a series of protests that became explosive after his funeral on April 27. Demonstrators looted stores, damaged property and injured as many as 20 officers in unrest that resulted in 201 arrests.

On April 28, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake called Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and the National Guard was dispatched to Baltimore for the first time since rioting following King’s death in 1968.

A state of emergency went into effect, with the city under a 10 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew and public schools closed.

Still, protesters returned to the streets.

They made formal demands, calling for a thorough investigation and indictments of the officers responsible for Gray’s death and state and local reform of law enforcement.

And they made broader appeals for change in a city with high unemployment, high crime, poor housing and lack of opportunity in many neighborhoods.

“What is needed is for all of us to take a step toward each other and come to terms with the crisis of inequality that has brought our city to this moment,” said Michael Coleman of United Workers, a human rights group in Baltimore.

In solidarity

Solidary marches and demonstrations — many under the banners “Black Spring protests” and “Black Lives Matter” — occurred in cities across the country, including Boston, Chicago, St. Louis, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Milwaukee.

“The uprising in Baltimore … has delivered an unmistakable and powerful message that the time is over when people will just take the unending and outrageous murder and brutality carried out by police,” said Carl Dix, co-founder of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network based in St. Louis. “From North Charleston, South Carolina, to Ferguson, Missouri, from Pasco, Washington, to New York City and beyond — this must stop.”

The Black Youth Project in 100 helped organize an action in Chicago, warning, “What is happening in Baltimore is not an isolated event. This did not start today, or yesterday or last month or with Ferguson or with Rodney King.”

In Milwaukee, activists remembered Gray and others, as they demonstrated on May 1 for justice, jobs and immigration reform in an annual May Day rally and march.

“Freddie Gray’s death is a tragedy of national scale,” said SEIU Local 1 president Tom Balanoff in Milwaukee. “Not only did his death affect his closest family, it shook our entire country. The American family finds itself yet again brought to its knees, but also outraged as another black life is lost while under police custody. America will never truly thrive as a nation until every human being is respected and every community and neighborhood has equal opportunity to succeed.”

Maria Hamilton, the mother of Dontre Hamilton, an unarmed black man killed by a Milwaukee police officer on April 30, 2014, addressed the ralliers, as did immigration rights activists and human rights advocates.

A march also took place in Red Arrow Park in Milwaukee on the anniversary of Hamilton’s death. Organizers said the march and rally — there was a balloon launch — celebrated Hamilton’s life.

“We’be been trying to be as positive as possible,” said Nate Hamilton, Dontre’s brother. “We haven’t been trying to let our anger dictate what we do and how we act.”

Dontre Hamilton was shot 14 times by Christopher Manney, who was not prosecuted in Hamilton’s death but was fired for not following police department procedure when he initiated a pat down of Hamilton.

Manney is expected to continue to fight his dismissal and the family is considering legal action.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Justice Department continues to investigate Hamilton’s death and the Milwaukee Police Department has field tested body cameras and is in the process to purchase equipment for 100 officers.

Anger over Ferguson case based on emotion, evidence

Anger and despair swept through many parts of America after a Missouri grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson, a white police officer, for killing Michael Brown, a black 18-year-old.

What was behind the wave of emotion? Why do so many refuse to accept the grand jurors’ choice not to charge the cop with a crime in the death of Brown, who was unarmed? Why is there such disregard for the new evidence released with the decision?

Interviews around the U.S. show that these roiling emotions spring as much from America’s troubled racial history – which in many eyes has drained the justice system of legitimacy – as from a rational examination of all the evidence.

For many people, this history is the inseparable context for the 90 seconds of Brown and Wilson’s fatal encounter – and a rationale for the fury that has followed.

“It feels like the lynchings that happened in the last century. Racial profiling is the 21st-century lynching of black males. We need to call it what it is,” said Kevin Powell, head of the BK Nation advocacy organization, who has worked in Ferguson since Brown was killed in August.

“I’m depressed and numb, even though I expected the verdicts,” Powell said. “I don’t condone violence in any form, but I certainly understand all the anger out there. I’m very angry myself.”

Since the St. Louis County grand jury decision was released on Nov. 24, the anger has manifested itself in various ways across America: raucous protests in several cities; sharp conversations at work and between friends; raging on talk radio; impassioned comments on social media. And, of course, the anger erupted into the burning, looting and gunshots that wracked Ferguson for hours on Nov. 24.

Many took issue with the way prosecutor Bob McCulloch chose to present and frame the evidence, or with the shifting explanation of why Wilson first stopped Brown. Others were upset that only three of the 12 jury members were black in a scenario that did not require unanimity or permit the possibility of a hung jury.

Then there were the emotional reactions, and a preexisting lack of confidence, for many, in the fairness and integrity of the U.S. legal system.

“I’m very disappointed and angry,” said Shakealia Finley, an economics teacher in Atlanta. “It’s a miscarriage of justice.”

“More than anything, as a citizen of the United States you want to feel you can rely on the justice system to get it right,” she said. “I keep observing instances where the justice system gets it wrong when it comes to the black community. They find every kind of loophole and technicality to find that the murderer will go free.”

Finley firmly believes that Wilson should have waited for backup instead of chasing Brown after they struggled inside the police cruiser. She does not believe the testimony, from the officer and several eyewitnesses, that Brown was advancing toward the officer when he was shot.

“I don’t believe that he charged someone who had a gun pointed at him,” she said. “No scenario in my mind makes me think that. It just doesn’t make sense.”

Is Finley reacting rationally or emotionally?

“I think it’s both, and I think it’s OK to be both,” Finley responded. “It’s OK to say this is another example of black people in society are not afforded justice. I am able to separate the fact that Mike Brown made a bad decision in that situation. It still shouldn’t have cost him his life.”

That idea was echoed by Malaika Adero, a book editor in New York City. She said that Brown bore some responsibility for what happened, and that police have the right to defend themselves, “but still, there is nothing to me about this case that justifies that young man dying.”

“It’s part of a disturbing pattern that’s been going on for a long time,” Adero said. “It’s heartbreaking because of what it represents in the direction the country is going in.”

Adero acknowledged that she had not read all the grand jury evidence that had been released the night before, including previously unheard witness accounts said to support the officer’s story.

“I have a suspicion that (Wilson) is a criminal. More important to me is that the police force is the criminal. Police leadership is the criminal,” she said. “I don’t know about Wilson. But I know that systematically there are crimes being perpetuated by the state.”

“My outrage is not about Wilson,” Adero said. “It is about the accountability of our law enforcement system.”

Jo Cabey, a fourth grade teacher from Arkansas drove to St. Louis early Tuesday with two teaching colleagues. She said that Brown’s death long ago came to represent much more than a single death of a young black male.

“I’m frustrated and disappointed in this justice system that says there’s liberty and justice for all. But black males keep getting killed at the hands of people who are supposed to protect us,” Cabey said.

So the anger springs from many elements, from how the grand jury weighed points of law and pieces of evidence to how an officer’s gunshots ended a young life – and yet there’s more.

The case is bigger than simple guilt or innocence, said Charles Gallagher, chair of the sociology department at La Salle University in Philadelphia.

“That Officer Wilson was legally justified in shooting Michael Brown is both beside the point and irrelevant when it comes to understanding the triggers of civil unrest,” Gallagher said in an email.

“Justified or not, what the shooting brought to light once again was a white power structure (the police force, the school board, city council, mayor) treating blacks as second-class citizens.”

He said that, as a result of things like racial profiling, inflated fines for minor violations that made up a large percentage of Ferguson’s budget, white flight and declining education budgets, “Michael Brown became a symbol of simmering mistrust and racism.”

Which encouraged people to respond as much to the symbolism of the grand jury decision as the facts of it.

“We’re traumatized and hurt,” said Powell, the activist. “It’s almost like being part of a family where you are forever outside of the house. You think you got in the house because President Obama is in the White House, you have Oprah and other successful black people, and then this happens. You wonder: Are we ever going to be treated as equals in this country?”

“We’re not asking for much,” he said. “Just to be treated as citizens. That’s it.”

Still the elephant in the room

Thirty-five years ago, as editor of Amazon: Milwaukee’s Feminist Press, I reported on the murders of Heather Halseth, Alice Alzner, Joanne Esser, Janet Marie Bey and Nancy Lynn Radbill. 

They were only a few of the women murdered, raped and mutilated in southeast Wisconsin during the spring and summer of 1979. Adding to the horror was the disgraceful response of Milwaukee Police Chief Harold Breier to feminist advocates: “How many of these rapes do you really think are rapes?”

This misogynist rampage by both criminals and the criminal justice system fueled intense anger that led to the first Take Back the Night protest. On Oct. 19, 1979, 3,000 people marched through downtown Milwaukee demanding “Fire Breier, he’s a liar!” 

The events of 1979 haunt me still amid recent reports of women’s remains found in burn pits, in corn fields, in suitcases tossed onto roadsides. There are also women who disappear without a trace, like Kelly Dwyer, who vanished from the apartment of a male acquaintance. Landfill searches failed to unearth her remains. Increasingly, criminals plan well, knowing that no evidence or degraded evidence means no murder charges.

Even when there is evidence, murder charges are pleaded down and perpetrators get hand slaps. Judge Jeffrey Wagner recently gave 15 years to a previously convicted felon who plugged nine bullets into Alexis Taylor, killing her and her fetus. At that rate, the young killer can serve time for the murders of four more women during his lifetime. 

Then we have defense attorneys who blame victims, suggesting that women like those found bound in suitcases expired in the pursuit of “consensual” sexual gratification. “If it’s a reckless act involving two people, which one is being reckless?” asked Steven Zelich’s attorney. Conveniently, dead women cannot testify as to the circumstances. 

Those are only a few of the most sensational crimes and injustices against women in recent months. Each year in Milwaukee County alone, almost 5,000 women seek restraining orders against abusive husbands, boyfriends, relatives and even children — mostly male. That staggering figure represents a minority of the number of women being abused, those at the end of their ropes and brave enough to come forward.

Congress is focusing on the military’s failure to assist rape victims. WiG ran an editorial tying violence against women to the anti-woman political climate. The Nation, a liberal bastion, ran a cover story about making colleges more responsive to rape victims. Conservative columnist Ross Douthat suggested that since alcohol use is often present in campus assaults, all drinking ages should be lowered to 18.

Well-meaning or absurd, editorial writers keep talking around the elephant in the room. Male violence against women is endemic in all societies, across all cultures, races and economic and political classes. Decades of statistics from the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention document pervasive patterns of male violence against women and its pernicious effects on families, communities and whole nations.

Better social services and legal accountability are admirable goals. But nothing will change until scientists and health experts focus their research on men. That is where the problem lies. Why do men treat women so brutally? What can be done to stop them? In a classic example of patriarchal reversal, feminists who raised the issue of woman hatred in the 1970s were condemned as “man haters.” 

Evidence of widespread misogynist violence has multiplied since then. We continue to avoid the essential question.

Why would gay ally Jonah Hill let fly with a slur?

Jonah Hill is winning points for what appears to be a sincere apology for hurling a gay slur at a paparazzo he says was harassing him.

But the insult the actor hurled last week still raises the question: Why would someone like Hill, for years a vocal supporter of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, use such a word? Even in a moment of anger?

Not that he’s the first or likely will be the last prominent person to do so. A national television audience heard Kobe Bryant shout the same slur three years ago at a referee he thought had made a bad call during a basketball game. Isaiah Washington said it to his Grey’s Anatomy co-star T.R. Knight in 2007, setting off a dispute that eventually got Washington fired. Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah yelled it at a Miami Heat basketball fan who had been getting on him during a game.

The word is “faggot,” and although it’s not the only gay pejorative, it seems to be the one people most often fall back on when they’re mad at someone. And often it doesn’t seem to matter if they think the person is gay or not.

“I think Jonah Hill’s comments are indicative of the fact that oftentimes when somebody uses that language, they aren’t using it because they are necessarily homophobic,” said Hudson Taylor, whose group, Athlete Ally, seeks to end anti-gay bias in sports. “That language is so prevalent in all the communities I work with that whether it’s a fourth-grader or a professional athlete, 90 percent have heard the term in the last week.”

It is so commonplace that when someone is furious and searching for the most insulting thing they can say, that’s the one they pick, says Howard Bragman, a veteran Hollywood crisis publicist and vice president of Reputation.com.

“In anger, the emotional overtakes the rational and you think of the harshest thing you can say, and that certainly sounds harsh,” added Bragman, who himself is gay, knows Hill personally and doesn’t believe the actor is anti-gay. Hill has been a public supporter of gay rights, including speaking out against Russian laws against “gay propaganda.”

Hill, who starred in The Wolf of Wall Street and the new 22 Jump Street film, let fly with the epithet after a photographer tried to get a rise out of him by insulting him and his family. That’s an act that’s fairly commonplace among Hollywood paparazzi, who often hope to get their money shots by provoking celebrities into doing something stupid.

“In response, I wanted to hurt him back, and I said the most hurtful word that I could think of at that moment,” Hill said this week on The Tonight Show.

Still, he has said in multiple apologies, there was no excuse for what he did.

Like Hill, Bryant and Noah were also quick to apologize, and the National Basketball Association hit them with large fines. Major League Baseball suspended Yunel Escobar, then a shortstop with the Toronto Blue Jays, two seasons ago for stenciling the word, in Spanish, onto his eye black.

Hudson says that isn’t enough. People have to learn the word is intolerable.

The word is derived from a centuries-old term for heretics, said Karen Tonson, a professor of English and gender studies at the University of Southern California, and only fairly recently has come to be among the worst gay epithets in the language. Thus it hasn’t yet developed quite the negative reputation with people as the N-word. But she believes it eventually will.

“I think enlightenment or knowledge of just how hurtful certain terms are does phase them out,” Tonson said. “It isn’t political correctness that is shutting down the use of that word. It’s about understanding that that word has a very violent etymology.”

Poll: citizen anger at government reaches a Pew record

In polling conducted before the federal government shutdown today (Oct. 1), a Pew poll found anger at the federal government at its highest since the Research Center for the People and the Press began asking the question in 1997.

The survey was conducted Sept. 25-29 among 1,005 adults and found that 26 percent overall were angry with the federal government. An additional 51 percent said they felt frustrated with the federal government. About 17 percent said they were basically content.

The number of Americans angry with the government went up 7 points since January to reach another high point of anger a few weeks after the debt ceiling agreement between the president and Congress in the summer of 2011.

Where’s the anger? About 41 percent of conservative Republicans, 27 percent of moderate Republicans, 24 percent of independents, 21 percent of moderate Democrats and 18 percent of liberal Democrats said they were angry with the government.

Liberal Democrats were angrier with the federal government in October 2006, during the Bush administration and just before the midterm elections.

As Congress was at a stalemate and the government shutdown loomed, liberal and moderate Democrats were polling high on the frustration scale.

The Pew poll found that young adults were largely ignoring the shutdown debate.

The poll found general agreement on congressional dysfunction, but it found little agreement as to the root of the problem.

• 48 percent said political parties have grown so far apart they can’t agree on much.

• 36 percent said the gridlock was caused by a few members who refuse to compromise.

• 44 percent say the growing political division is mostly among elected officials and not American society more broadly.