Freedom News

Notes from the US: Alarmingly degenerate

The fascist right is obsessed with ways to oppress the LGBTQ+ community. Notes from the US have reported almost every month recently on laws and measures designed “at best” to marginalise LGBTQ+ young people in particular and, at worst, to see them lose their lives.

Last month, the soi-disant progressive daily, The Washington Post, used data provided by the FBI to examine the impact over time of attempts to prevent school pupils from living according to their gender identity. It found that in states where LGBTQ+ rights are now curtailed or have been removed, an average of 90 hate crimes took place in 2021/2022—three times as many as were reported annually between 2015 and 2019. Of course, it’s likely that more such crimes now take place than are actually reported. The same average has also more than doubled across the country as a whole. Youth LGBTQ+ advocacy groups have also noted significant rises in calls – up to 400% more than before the assaults began.

One way in which young people in the LGBTQ+ community are being discriminated against is in the education system. It’s relatively Trumpy (it describes itself as the ‘Nation’s most military-friendly state’), North Carolina, where one Michele Morrow is active in educational politics. She has no experience in education. As a homeschool parent, Morrow frequently criticises schools in her state, calls them “indoctrination centres”, and tries to convince parents not to send their children to them. Nevertheless, Morrow has run for public office on education issues more than once: in 2022, she lost an attempt to win a seat on the Wake County school board, the rough equivalent of school governors in the UK.

Two years earlier, Morrow publicly expressed some quite startling views. She advocated that former President Barack Obama should be executed and that the event be televised. With her (local) Republican party apparently in support, Michele Morrow has also called for the murder of public figures with views different from hers and those of the party. Also, that then President-elect Joe Biden be killed.

Remember, this is a Republican party-backed candidate for state office responsible for children’s education and wellbeing.

Morrow didn’t stop at wanting presidents murdered, though: she seems to believe that progressive congressperson Ilhan Omar (Minnesota), the governor of her own state (North Carolina), Roy Cooper, former New York governor Andrew Cuomo, Hillary Clinton, the majority leader in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, Bill Gates and leading public health expert during the pandemic, Anthony Fauci, should also all be publicly murdered. Examination of her opinions about ways to deal with public figures with whom she disagrees makes grim reading.

If you had children in North Carolina, would you want Michelle Morrow in charge of their education and responsible for allocating the US$11 billion (£8,625 million) in the state’s budget for educating children from five to eighteen years of age? And that’s before she brings her influence to bear on the curriculum of those getting on for a million and a half pupils state-wide.

That may well happen, though: last month’s ‘Super Tuesday’ primary elections in North Carolina saw Morrow—with significant backing from Republicans and fellow fascist campaigns and fund providers—beat the incumbent Republican state Superintendent, Catherine Truitt. Only in November will we see whether her campaign attracts more votes from the electorate as a whole than that of the Democrat candidate.

Either way that the Republican party and its voters could even consider wanting someone like Morrow elected is a marker of how alarmingly degenerate the process and its participants have become.

Since failing in his attempt to become the Republican party’s candidate for president this November, the fascist governor of Florida has, by and large, stayed out of the news. Until last month. Now, it seems as though he can’t help himself advancing deathly and repressive causes.

For instance, DeSantis is again actively contributing to the massacre of animals for food in his state. Forget healthier plant-based “meat” substitutes; they don’t get a mention… far too “woke”. Even cell-cultured ‘meat’ (cultivated from animal cells and which thus does not require the creatures’ murder) is too much for him and his rabble. DeSantis has supported—and will sign into law—two bills, HB 1071 and SB 1084, that make such alternatives illegal in Florida. Strong men obviously need to torture and slaughter animals to be taken seriously, or—as he said—”You need meat, OK. And we’re going to have meat in Florida. We’re not going to have fake meat.” He’s good at promoting the injure and maltreatment of poor people as well. Last month, DeSantis signed a new law which makes it illegal for unhoused people (no matter what the reason) to sleep in public places… on the pavement, in parks. Under this law members of the public can sue if they see people living rough.

If it weren’t so disturbing, you might want to amuse yourself with the reaction of the right in United States public life to the accident on March 26, which killed eight people when a container ship apparently experienced an internal malfunction serious enough to cause it to hit the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland. Fascist Fox ‘News’ anchor Maria Bartiromo almost immediately blamed not the tide, the age of the bridge, the crew, technical failure or human error. No—the accident was due to the widespread presence of guest workers in the United States. Marjorie Taylor Greene had it down as a terrorist ‘attack’ almost immediately. Alex Jones, the rabid, sadistic and bankrupt conspiracy theorist, said: “Looks deliberate to me. A cyber-attack is probable. WW3 has already started”. Without a shred of evidence—or even chatter—for Lara Logan, racist far right provocateur, it was “…an absolutely brilliant strategic attack on US critical infrastructure…”. Discredited felon and former Trump aide Steve Bannon was also sure that it was terrorism. Election denier and conspiracist Kandiss Taylor doesn’t believe in coincidences: the ship rammed the bridge to do America harm, as everybody else seems to want to do these days. Within about 30 hours, this same cohort of poorly-informed bigoted dogmatists were all objecting to the same federal efforts to (assist in the eventual initiative to) rebuild the bridge. Perhaps predictably, they demanded that money (already) earmarked for promoting electric vehicles (which are unnecessary since there is no (evidence, even of) climate collapse) be deducted from that project if the bridge really did need to be rebuilt.


Attempts to blame the black and brown ‘other’ and keep guest-workers out of the United States continue at the judicial, as well as the political, level. In mid-March the US Supreme Court allowed the state of Texas to enforce Senate Bill 4, which unconstitutionally lets state authorities arrest and deport apparent immigrants. By law, this is actually the role of federal (not state) officials.

The right is truly obsessed with people of different origins and different skin colour from their own.

Towards the end of March, Republican Matt Maddock worked himself into a right old pother because he thought he saw a hoard of “illegal invaders” landing at the airport in Detroit, Michigan, in which state he is a state representative. He wrote on Twitter, “Happening right now. Three buses just loaded up with illegal invaders at Detroit Metro. Anyone have any idea where they’re headed with their police escort?” In fact, the passengers had just landed to take part in a men’s college basketball tournament.

So when this was pointed out to Maddock, he withdrew his accusations and apologised, didn’t he?

Not at all.

He called those who set the record straight “Kommies” and purveyors of fake news etc. Maddock belongs to that suspected one fifth of legislators in Michigan who deny/denied both Covid and the result of the 2020 election.

Jared Kushner is former president Trump’s son-in-law; he served as an ‘adviser’ on the Middle East during the latter’s term in office. In several recent pronouncements Kushner has advocated genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians: Gaza’s “waterfront property could be very valuable”, for instance; he encouraged Israel to “clean it up”. In fact, if Kushner were responsible for policy in the region, he would “…push Gaza civilians into Egypt or Israel’s Negev desert… if I was Israel [sic] right now, I would just bulldoze something in the Negev, I would try to move people in there. I know that won’t be the popular thing to do, but I think that that’s a better option to do [sic] so you can go in and finish the job.”

As we always say, elections can only ever be thought of as imperfect means maybe to help bring about the least worst outcomes. This November’s general election will see many voting districts operate under racially gerrymandered boundaries. For example, a federal court ruled at the end of March that South Carolina will be able to conduct the election for House of Representatives (the lower chamber) in Washington DC using a map distorted by Republicans in their favour despite the fact that the same court (rightly) ruled last year that the arrangement was unconstitutional because it excludes over 30,000 Black residents in the Charleston area. In Florida, a federal court allowed a gerrymandered map cobbled together in 2022 when Governor Ron DeSantis effectively tore apart the Northern District of former Congressperson Al Lawson because he is black and a Democrat. This also decreases the chances of black residents voting as they would wish.

As the genocide continues in Gaza and the administration in the US “tut-tuts”, and in the face of worldwide calls for arms embargoes to spike Netanyahu’s fascist onslaught, Biden and his party approved heaps of fresh weapons for the IDF. Billions of dollars worth of two thousand pound bombs are being sent to Israel to drop on children and their parents every hour in areas with high populations of civilians in Gaza. Reports itemise over 1,800 MK84 and 500 MK82 500-pound bombs with 25 F-35A fighter jets and engines. These come at a cost of about US$2.5 (£1.9) billion.

Some sources suggest the situation may be even worse: the administration seems close to selling up to 50 more American-made F-15 fighter jets worth US$18 (£14) billion to Israel in the near future.

Not every member of the Republican party believes in doing things so cautiously or with as much… “restraint” as indirectly providing weapons of mass destruction so that someone else uses them. At a public meeting last month, representative Tim Walberg from Michigan suggested that offering these families humanitarian aid and food supplies was wrong. In Walberg’s opinion, it’s better to “get it over quick” [sic] by dropping a nuclear bomb on the besieged enclave: “We shouldn’t be spending a dime on humanitarian aid. It should be like Nagasaki and Hiroshima” where two atomic bombs were dropped by the allies in 1945 killing an estimated quarter of million people and visiting on those who did survive a lifetime suffering the effects of radiation and its associated deadly diseases.

He is not alone, of course. A representative from Tennessee, Andy Ogles (Republican), told an activist in February that “…we should kill ’em all”; while top Republican senator Lindsey Graham (South Carolina) suggested that Israel should “level the place”.

Let’s end with nature: on Monday last week, the solar eclipse made quite an impact across the US. It’s reasonable to assume that most people – at least those who showed an interest – understood what was happening and why. Not so fascist congressperson Marjorie Taylor Greene, it seems. She put the astronomical event (and – for that matter – the recent strong earthquake in New York) down to the wickedness of Americans, who are failing to obey the calls of Trump.

But it doesn’t stop there: according to two Republican lawmakers from Maine, the mass shooting in Lewiston in their state last year when a 40-year-old man called Robert Card killed 18 people and injured 13 others was an example of God’s punishing everyone who has advocated appropriate health measures for women including abortion. Maine State House representative Mike Lemelin commented, “Keep in mind that law [the move in Maine to guarantee access to late term abortion] came into effect on October 25… God heard you, and the horrible events of October 25 happened.” He added that the recent storms in the area were also signs of divine vengeance. His colleague and fellow lawmaker, Shelly Rudnicki, went on record agreeing with Lemelin.

~ Louis Further

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