Shutdown goes on as Trump offer doesn’t budge Democrats
By JILL COLVIN
Monday, January 21
WASHINGTON (AP) — Thirty-one days into the partial government shutdown, Democrats and Republicans appeared no closer to ending the impasse than when it began, with President Donald Trump lashing out at his opponents after they dismissed a plan he’d billed as a compromise.
Trump on Sunday branded House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a “radical” and said she was acting “irrationally.” The president also tried to fend off criticism from the right, as conservatives accused him of embracing “amnesty” for immigrants in the country illegally.
Trump offered on Saturday to temporarily extend protections for young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children and those fleeing disaster zones in exchange for $5.7 billion for his border wall. But Democrats said the three-year proposal didn’t go nearly far enough.
“No, Amnesty is not a part of my offer,” Trump tweeted Sunday, noting that he’d offered temporary, three-year extensions — not permanent relief. But he added: “Amnesty will be used only on a much bigger deal, whether on immigration or something else.”
The criticism from both sides underscored Trump’s boxed in-position as he tries to win at least some Democratic buy-in without alienating his base.
With hundreds of thousands of federal workers set to face another federal pay period without paychecks, the issue passed to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has agreed to bring Trump’s proposal to the floor this week.
Democrats say there’s little chance the measure will reach the 60-vote threshold usually required to advance legislation in the Senate. Republicans have a 53-47 majority, which means they need at least some Democrats to vote in favor.
McConnell has long tried to avoid votes on legislation that is unlikely to become law. And the Kentucky Republican has said for weeks that he has no interest in “show votes” aimed only at forcing members to take sides after Trump rejected the Senate’s earlier bipartisan bill to avert the shutdown.
What’s unclear is how McConnell will bring Trump’s plan forward — or when voting will begin. The Republican leader is a well-known architect of complicated legislative maneuvers. One question is whether he would allow a broader immigration debate with amendments to Trump’s plan on the Senate floor.
McConnell spokesman David Popp said Sunday, “When we have (a plan) we will be sure to let everyone know.”
One key Republican, Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, said that he and other lawmakers had been encouraging the White House to put an offer on the table — any offer — to get both sides talking.
“Get something out there the president can say, ‘I can support this,’ and it has elements from both sides, put it on the table, then open it up for debate,” Lankford said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“The vote this week in the Senate is not to pass the bill, it is to open up and say ‘Can we debate this? Can we amend it? Can we make changes?’” Lankford said. “Let’s find a way to be able to get the government open because there are elements in this that are clearly elements that have been supported by Democrats strongly in the past.”
“The president really wants to come to an agreement here. He has put offers on the table,” said Rep Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” ”The responsible thing for the Democrats to do is put a counteroffer on the table if you don’t like this one.”
Vice President Mike Pence said on “Fox News Sunday” that Trump had “set the table for a deal that will address the crisis on our border, secure our border and give us a pathway” to reopen the government.
Democrats, however, continue to say that they will not negotiate with Trump until he ends the shutdown, the longest in American history.
“The starting point of this negotiation ought to be reopening the government,” Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., told NBC. “We cannot reward the kind of behavior of hostage taking. Because if the president can arbitrarily shut down the government now, he will do it time and again.”
As news media reported the outline of Trump’s proposal ahead of his Saturday speech, Pelosi and other Democrats made clear the president’s plan was a non-starter — a quick reaction Trump took issue with Sunday.
“Nancy Pelosi and some of the Democrats turned down my offer yesterday before I even got up to speak. They don’t see crime & drugs, they only see 2020,” he said in first of a flurry of morning tweets.
Trump also lashed out at Pelosi personally — something he had refrained from early on — and accused her, without evidence, of having “behaved so irrationally” and moving “so far to the left that she has now officially become a Radical Democrat.”
He also appeared to threaten to target millions of people living in the country illegally if he doesn’t eventually get his way, writing that “there will be no big push to remove the 11,000,000 plus people who are here illegally-but be careful Nancy!”
Pelosi responded with a tweet of her own, urging Trump to “Re-open the government, let workers get their paychecks and then we can discuss how we can come together to protect the border.”
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer also dug in during an appearance in New York, where he predicted Democrats would block the president’s proposal from passing the Senate.
“If he opens the government, we’ll discuss whatever he offers, but hostage taking should not work,” Schumer said as he pushed legislation that would protect government workers who can’t pay their bills because of the government shutdown. “It’s very hard to negotiate when a gun is held to your head.”
Associated Press writers Lisa Mascaro in Washington and Mike Balsamo and Julie Walker in New York contributed to this report.
For many US towns and cities, deciding which streets to name after MLK reflects his unfinished work
April 6, 2018
Author: Derek H. Alderman, Professor of Geography, University of Tennessee
Disclosure statement: Derek H. Alderman does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
More than 1,000 streets in the world bear the name of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
At least 955 of those streets can be found in the U.S. They’re in 41 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Martin Luther King streets cross a diversity of neighborhoods – rural and urban, residential and commercial, large and small. The range of these named streets across the country makes it seem that remembering and memorializing King was inevitable.
Yet, for some communities, the drive to name public spaces in King’s name has taken years as well as heated debates, boycotts, petition drives, marches and even litigation.
My research over the past 20 years has examined the role of African-Americans in the King street-naming process. I have found that the nation’s Martin Luther King streets – while seen by some as celebrating the victories of a movement that left racism safely in the past – are one terrain on which a continuing struggle for civil rights has played out.
It started in Chicago
The geographic range of King streets reflects the influence of King’s work. It also reflects the cultural and political power of African-Americans, who are largely responsible for bringing street renaming proposals before local city councils and county commissions.
Just months after King’s assassination in 1968, Chicago became the first city to rename a street for King. Alderman Leon Despres, a white liberal and King supporter, initially proposed renaming a street in the city’s central business district. However, Mayor Richard J. Daley followed with a different resolution. He wanted to place King’s name on South Park Way, a road more than 11 miles long that runs strictly through African-American communities on Chicago’s South Side.
Daley was no fan of King and infamous for his shoot-to-kill order against rioters after the civil right leader’s murder. When King came to Chicago in 1966 to challenge segregated housing, he encountered great hatred from taunting and violent white crowds.
According to journalists Adam Cohen and Elizabeth Taylor, in their book “American Pharaoh,” Mayor Daley was seeking to mend his and the city’s public image in the lead up to the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Indeed, he held the street renaming dedication ceremony a week before the convention. At the same time, the mayor didn’t want to alienate his political base of racially hostile whites.
Two black city aldermen objected to Daley’s proposal. One of them, Alderman A.A. “Sammy” Rayner, called the street renaming “tokenism” and called on city leaders to do “something bigger.” He and William Cousins Jr. suggested renaming a proposed Crosstown Expressway. It was planned to cut across, and unite, different parts of Chicago. But the City Council eventually approved the mayor’s plan to rename South Park Way as Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, which it remains today.
Even now, 50 years later, proponents still must fight to convince many municipal officials that King’s name belongs on major roads.
More than just a name
Many of the activists with whom I have spoken view King streets as a way to carry on King’s unfinished work to create racial equality and economic justice in the U.S.
Greater visibility, they argue, can communicate the legitimacy of King’s message. More streets named after the civil rights leader, especially in prominent parts of town, can help educate a wider white public of the relevance and resonance of civil rights and black historical contributions.
Some cities honor King with important thoroughfares that connect a variety of neighborhoods. These include Albuquerque, Austin, New Bern in North Carolina, Oakland-North Berkeley, Savannah and Tampa.
However, public opposition over the past half century has led most cities to rename smaller streets or portions of roads located entirely within poor African-American neighborhoods. Opponents tend to be white business and property owners on affected roads. In public, most cite concerns over cost and inconvenience. Some suggest the association with King’s name will stigmatize their neighborhood.
For example, when a Chattanooga real estate developer faced the prospect of his new development on West Ninth Street being named for King, he expressed concern about renting offices to potential clients because a MLK address, in his words, would create “racial overtones.” Suggesting King’s name was out of place on the road, he said: “West Ninth Street is not related to Dr. King. … It is no longer a solid black street. … It is no longer a residential street or rundown business street. It is a top class business street.”
Many cities have resorted to dedicating a road to King, rather than force a full name and address change. Several cities such as Zephyrhills, Florida, and Statesboro, Georgia, also created renaming ordinances in direct response to King street-naming efforts. While these policies now apply to all renaming efforts, they were created with the original intent of limiting how and where citizens remember King within their communities. These policies echo a long history of black disenfranchisement, procedural injustice and segregated public spaces.
In places such as Tulsa, Indianapolis and the North Carolina city of Greenville, King roads have doubled as memorials and boundaries between King’s supporters and those who do not identify with or desire to be associated with him. Extending King’s name even a few blocks can become contentious.
For many African-Americans, the fight to have a voice in King street naming parallels recent activism against Confederate monuments and symbols of white supremacy. In the same way, it is about claiming and exerting one’s right to belong, and remembering and being remembered in communities where rights were denied for generations.
Roads of resilience
The neighborhoods through which many King streets run reflect both the resiliency and precariousness of black American life. In the words of journalist Doug Moore, King’s road in St. Louis, Missouri, is “where hope and despair collide.” King streets host disproportionately high numbers of churches, government offices and schools, as well as beauty parlors and barber shops. These provided valuable refugee and mobilization spaces during the civil rights movement and today serve as hubs of resourcefulness, aid and creative community building. These institutions exist alongside high crime rates, poverty, abandoned buildings, food deserts and sputtering redevelopment efforts.
Revitalization is on the minds of many King street activists. They want to raise incomes, property values and quality of life without the forced displacement of gentrification. These efforts, while more formalized than in the past, have moved slowly if not failed without private and public support.
These activists believe that convincing the larger public to care about King streets is of critical importance. King’s namesakes don’t just memorialize. They can open up critical discussions of the continuing power of racism. They can be avenues – literally and figuratively – to continuing the civil rights leader’s work of battling racial and economic inequality and the creation of a black sense of belonging and place in the U.S.
Why a fractured nation needs to remember King’s message of love
Updated November 16, 2016
Author: Joshua F.J. Inwood, Associate Professor of Geography Senior Research Associate in the Rock Ethics Institute, Pennsylvania State University
Disclosure statement: Joshua F.J. Inwood does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
Partners: Pennsylvania State University provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation US.
The 2016 election campaign was arguably the most divisive in a generation. And even after Donald Trump’s victory, people are struggling to understand what his presidency will mean for the country. This is especially true for many minority groups who were singled out during the election campaign and have since experienced discrimination and threats of violence.
Yet, as geography teaches us, this is not the first time America has faced such a crisis – this divisiveness has a much longer history. I study the civil rights movement and the field of peace geographies. We faced similar crises related to the broader civil rights struggles in the 1960s.
So, what can we draw from the past that is relevant to the present? Specifically, how can we heal a nation that is divided along race, class and political lines?
As outlined by Martin Luther King Jr., the role of love, in engaging individuals and communities in conflict, is crucial today. By recalling King’s vision, I believe, we can have opportunities to build a more inclusive and just community that does not retreat from diversity but draws strength from it.
King spent his public career working toward ending segregation and fighting racial discrimination. For many people the pinnacle of this work occurred in Washington, D.C. when he delivered his famous “I have a dream” speech.
Less well-known and often ignored is his later work on ending poverty and his fight on behalf of poor people. In fact, when King was assassinated in Memphis he was in the midst of building toward a national march on Washington, D.C. that would have brought tens of thousands of economically disenfranchised people to advocate for policies that would ameliorate poverty. This effort – known as the “Poor People’s Campaign” – aimed to dramatically shift national priorities to the health and welfare of working peoples.
Scholars such as Derek Alderman, Paul Kingsbury and Owen Dwyer have emphasized King’s work on behalf of civil rights in a 21st-century context. They argue the civil rights movement in general, and King’s work specifically, holds lessons for social justice organizing and classroom pedagogy in that it helps students and the broader public see how the struggle for civil rights continues.
These arguments build on sociologist Michael Eric Dyson, who also argues we need to reevaluate King’s work as it reveals the possibility to build a 21st-century social movement that can address continued inequality and poverty through direct action and social protest.
Idea of love
King focused on the role of love as key to building healthy communities and the ways in which love can and should be at the center of our social interactions.
King’s final book, “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?,” published in the year before his assassination, provides us with his most expansive vision of an inclusive, diverse and economically equitable U.S. nation. For King, love is a key part of creating communities that work for everyone and not just the few at the expense of the many.
Love was not a mushy or easily dismissed emotion, but was central to the kind of community he envisioned. King made distinctions between three forms of love which are key to the human experience.
The three forms of love are “Eros,” “Philia” and most importantly “Agape.” For King, Eros is a form of love that is most closely associated with desire, while Philia is often the love that is experienced between very good friends or family. These visions are different from Agape.
Agape, which was at the center of the movement he was building, was the moral imperative to engage with one’s oppressor in a way that showed the oppressor the ways their actions dehumanize and detract from society. He said,
“In speaking of love we are not referring to some sentimental emotion. It would be nonsense to urge men to love their oppressors in an affectionate sense[…] When we speak of loving those who oppose us we speak of a love which is expressed in the Greek word Agape. Agape means nothing sentimental or affectionate; it means understanding, redeeming goodwill for all [sic] men, an overflowing love which seeks nothing in return. ”
King further defined agape when he argued at the University of California at Berkeley that the concept of agape “stands at the center of the movement we are to carry on in the Southland.” It was a love that demanded that one stand up for oneself and tells those who oppress that what they were doing was wrong.
Why this matters now
In the face of violence directed at minority communities and in a deepening political divisions in the country, King’s words and philosophy are perhaps more critical for us today than at any point in the recent past.
As King noted, all persons exist in an interrelated community and all are dependent on each other. By connecting love to community, King argued there were opportunities to build a more just and economically sustainable society which respected difference. As he said,
“Agape is a willingness to go to any length to restore community… Therefore if I respond to hate with a reciprocal hate I do nothing but intensify the cleavages of a broken community.”
King outlined a vision in which we are compelled to work toward making our communities inclusive. They reflect the broad values of equality and democracy. Through an engagement with one another as its foundation, agape provides opportunities to work toward common goals.
Building a community today
At a time when the nation feels so divided, there is a need to bring back King’s vision of agape-fueled community building. It would move us past simply seeing the other side as being wholly motivated by hate. The reality is that economic changes since the Great Recession have wrought tremendous pain and suffering in many quarters of the United States. Many Trump supporters were motivated by a desperate need to change the system.
However, simply dismissing the concerns voiced by many that Trump’s election has empowered racists and misogynists would be wrong as well.
These cleavages that we see will most likely intensify as Donald Trump prepares to take the oath of office as the 45th president of the United States.
To bridge these divisions is to begin a difficult conversation about where we are as a nation and where we want to go. Engaging in a conversation through agape signals a willingness to restore broken communities and to approach difference with an open mind.
It also exposes and rejects those that are using race and racism and fears of the “other” to advance a political agenda that intensifies the divisions in our nation.