Columns

Army Bob: Can zoning be used to oppose racism?

“Only Neanderthals question science”— CNN

by Robert M. Traxler

Would you like to have high density, low-income housing built next to you in Dorr, Wayland, Martin, Hopkins or Moline, No? Then you are a racist.

Do you live in an area without mass transit, do you drive a motor vehicle to and from the store or work? Guess what, you are a racist.

Do you have a mailbox, that symbol of right-wing racism and bigotry one on par with the Saint Andrews Cross, the Southern Cross, the Confederate Battle Flag, the Stars and Bars? Who knew?

The federal government is quietly floating trial balloons to see if requiring all communities to allow high density government subsidized housing, a grab of local government power, would pass the smell test to the media and many voters in our nation. How this would get past the Bill of Rights is a mystery, but so are several things done to our nation today.

The right of elected officials in our local townships and cities to zone a community the way they wish within broad general state and federal guidance, guidance that is in my opinion is a violation of the 10th Amendment, must be done away with. A grab of federal power in the name of (pick your buzz word) social justice, anti-racism, housing justice, income justice, environmental justice, anti-mailbox justice — whatever the socialists can come up with to justify a federal power grab.

This concept is not new; President Barack Obama tried it on a limited basis in 2009, in Westchester County New York — a racist bastion of right-wing Neanderthals? Hardly, as Bill and Hillary Clinton, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and many notable New York liberals lived there. The government said that the county was guilty of structural racism; folks, you can’t make this stuff up.

Single family homes with “large lots,” a whopping 1/8th of an acre with open lawns and trees and shrubs, were anti-environment, as they did not have mass transit to save the planet on its way to then end of all life due to climate change (a new term in 2009), formerly called global warming.

People mow grass using energy, electric or gas, feed lawns and plants with chemicals made from petroleum, thus killing the planet.  Folks who live in suburbs and (horror of horrors) in areas that allow single family homes with lot requirements larger than 1/8th of an acre that do not allow you to take buses, taxis, or walk to stores, schools and work are low density, making mass transit unprofitable, even unfeasible.

In Westchester County they were told they needed to change zoning to allow very high-density, low-income housing or lose federal funds. The very affluent community had the resources to fight the government, and it never happened; the plan to expand the program quietly went away. But never fear, the social justice folks know what is better for your neighborhood than you do, so it is back.

The American dream, a single-family home of your own, is a mark of a racist. African Americans, Hispanics, Muslims, Women, Asians — most want to work hard to save up the down payment and purchase a single-family home, but, of course, they are all racist just as soon as they sign the papers and get the keys. Folks, you cannot make this stuff up.

Communities with building height restrictions are racist, as high-density housing needs to be in a multi-story structure to be the most cost effective. The social justice mob will call this a conspiracy theory; they need to look at President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan and read Senator Cory Booker’s proposed law before they dismiss this objection as a vast right-wing conspiracy.

A conspiracy like CRT, the 1619 Project, and COVID-19 not being a naturally occurring virus, global climate change not being 100% settled science ending the world in 2030, or officer Sicknick being bludgeoned to death by radical right wingers.

A white picket fence, barbeque grill, green lawn, rose garden, mailbox, swing set and bird feeder are racist, who knew?  My opinion.

By the way, do you know that the United States Capital Police have opened offices in California and Florida to investigate “threats against Congress?” The Capital Police Board works directly for the Speaker of the House Nancy Patricia D’Alesandro Pelosi, as she controls their paychecks, and they are federal agents with all the authority and power that entails. If this does not deeply concern you, it should.

8 Comments

  • Same Bull Shit every week. I am sure glad I do not live in your World of Gloom and Doom. Try a new route might make you smile its fun.

  • Army Bob
    Maybe racist isn’t the correct word. Most of the examples you have presented are discriminatory to say the least.
    Not everyone can or has the ability to own property or enjoy a rural setting. Have you really asked yourself why?
    Using Dorr as an example…if anyone with a mortgage payment doesn’t own a vehicle, they must sell and move to an area where public transportation is available. Then they are able to once again try to own a home in a rural area.
    Limit a people’s ability to access public transportation and you control them.
    It’s ironic that we on the Right are so upset at being called racist. When in fact we and a large percentage of the Left support ordinances that discriminate, because it fits our needs. ( do I want high density housing in my neighborhood, NO I currently dislike all the single family homes popping up around me ) By today’s definition I’m racist, because I want to live on a small lot, don’t want public transportation, work to achieve what I have.
    Am I ashamed of wanting what I have , believing as I do… . than being labeled racist…..NO.
    Those who claim to not have any racist behavior, are lying to themselves.

  • Mr. Smit,
    Thanks for the comment, I think the point is to, as you say, control the people. Thanks again.

  • Thanks for mentioning “D’Alesandro”.
    An example of multiple generations of pandering without delivering, connections to organized crime, and creating one of the most dangerous cities in the USA. Laying the foundations for Baltimore today. With a violent crime rate of 19 violent crimes per 1,000 residents, chance of being a victim 1 in 53, just slightly behind Detroit (another sorry, multi decade example).
    It just takes a little homework to uncover the despicable and deeply rooted party quest for power over people, and the “elected” governors and mayors marching to, and speaking as directed, the party line demonstrating loyalty to the regime above all citizens. There was a German that forcibly insured exactly that some 80+ years ago. (but history and the associated details are out of the classroom)
    I guess nobody has the time to actually look at facts, think for themselves (good gosh that is hard isn’t it, I want someone to do it for me, and just influence my next action via my cell phone and my profile tailored feeds).
    No, they just want government paid for (no such thing BTW) broadband. A simple, satisfying carrot for those that don’t have the energy to examine the three dimensional chess game affecting lives every day. I.e. the truth.
    It is after all just really hard for the indoctrinated peoples to be wrong, they can’t deal with it. Just a sad state of affairs right now. And the thing is, its so obvious.

  • You’re on the free list for The Hartmann Report. For the full experience, become a paying subscriber.

    Subscribe now

    The GOP’s “Flood The Zone With Sh*t” Race Strategy
    Flipping the national conversation from CRT to the GOP’s 52-year racist election strategy history will be the only way to clean up all the “crap” Republicans are today using to “flood the zone”

    Thom Hartmann
    Jul 7

    Comment
    Share

    Image by Photo Mix from Pixabay
    Share

    “Be Afraid of Black People” is the GOP’s main message to white voters these days, leveraged by lies about an obscure academic pursuit sometimes called Critical Race Theory (CRT). Many white voters, it turns out, are listening.

    The Washington Post reported two weeks ago that: “The term ‘critical race theory’ was mentioned just 132 times on Fox News shows in [all of] 2020. In 2021, it has been mentioned 1,860 times, according to a tally using the media monitoring service Critical Mention.”

    Daily Beast Contributing Editor Justin Baragona noted yesterday that on just that one single day of Tuesday, July 6th Fox “News” had mentioned Critical Race Theory (CRT) 123 times…by 2 PM!

    There’s a strategy here that Republicans intend to use to replicate the “shellacking” they gave Barack Obama in the 2010 midterm election, when the Tea Party was in full roar over America’s first Black president “ramming Obamacare down our throats.” Democrats not only lost control of the House but several critical Senate seats moved to Republicans that year as well.

    Back then the message coming at full roar from the rightwing-billionaire-funded “think tanks” like Heritage and front operations like the Tea Party was “socialist takeover” and “death panels,” the message being that Democrats were willing to kill your white grandma so they could take those healthcare dollars to pay for poor Black people’s doctor visits.

    Enough white people bought it hook, line and sinker to change the balance of power in Washington, DC and set up today’s Senate stalemate.

    A fear- or hate-based racist appeal to America’s majority-white voters has always worked well for Republicans, from Nixon’s “tough on crime” Southern Strategy to Reagan’s “welfare queen” to GHW Bush’s Willie Horton ads to GW Bush’s “Muslims are coming to get you” to Trump’s “Mexican rapists.”

    This time, it’s all about Black people and their public schoolteacher “allies” wanting to “indoctrinate” innocent little white children with Marxism and convince them they should be ashamed of the color of their skin.

    It’s all a lie, of course.

    There’s not a public school in America that’s teaching so-called CRT (it’s limited to academia and has been for decades), and even if there were, CRT has nothing to do with making white people ashamed of the color of their skin.

    But it has the words “Critical” (which sounds, well, “critical”), “Race” (which always gets the attention of white people around election time) and the always-useful word “Theory” (which evokes Darwin and his hated theory of evolution).

    So Critical Race Theory — or at least the lies about it being spun by Fox, rightwing media and the GOP — is a great scam to use when you’re marketing fear to white people who’d never heard the phrase before this year. Just make up some crazy crap about CRT and push it out through Murdoch-family outlets like the Wall Street Journal and Fox “News” and pretty soon even talking heads on MSNBC will be hosting rightwing disinformation purveyors.

    Steve Bannon had a name for this type of strategy. When Michael Lewis interviewed him in 2018 for a Bloomberg article that Lewis later expanded into a brilliant book, The Fifth Risk, Bannon laid it out quite clearly:

    “The Democrats don’t matter,” Bannon told Lewis over lunch. “The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with BS”

    It’s another way of saying that the real Republican electoral strategy isn’t to use ideas or contrasting policies against the Democrats, but is to go up against reality and the truth itself. Just accuse them of outrageous things and let the, er, sh*t fall where it may.

    And, indeed, there’s precedent for the strategy working and working well. The Rand Corporation wrote up a deep-dive analysis of what they called “The Russian ‘Firehose of Falsehood’ Propaganda Model” that the GOP has been emulating for at least five years.

    In order to work, Rand’s researchers said, a lie must never come from just a single source: the average target of the propaganda has to feel like a firehose of media backing up the lie is being sprayed at him from dozens of directions at once.

    “High volume and multi-channel” is the phrase Rand uses, noting of the strategy that “two of its distinctive features [are] high numbers of channels and messages, and a shameless willingness to disseminate partial truths or outright fictions.”

    Additionally, the researchers at Rand report, the lie and all the information backing it up must be presented with a media effort that is “rapid, continuous and repetitive.” In this way, they essentially control the zone of discussion around the topic regardless of how many times and in what ways the lie or half-truth is refuted by the mainstream media or the people its characterizing as villains.

    On the sloppy-racist side, cartoonishly-photoshopped phony pictures of obese Black women telling white people that they’re all racists are popping up on conservative blogs all across the internet.

    In the more upscale GOP realm, the billionaire-funded Heritage Foundation’s advocacy arm’s Executive Director recently told Politico of the CRT offensive they’re launching that, “It could turn out to be one of the most important conservative grassroots fights since the Tea Party movement.”

    The billionaire-funded rightwing “movement conservatives” are really and truly excited about this whole CRT thing; they’re convinced it’ll wipe out the Democrats next year and even have staying power all the way into 2024.

    School boards across the country are suddenly overwhelmed by angry parents who watch Fox, listen to rightwing hate radio or have been sucked into Facebook’s algorithm that relentlessly drives people deeper and deeper into extreme “engagement.”

    “This [Critical Race Theory thing] is the Tea Party to the 10th power,” Steve Bannon told Politico recently. “This isn’t Q, this is mainstream suburban moms — and a lot of these people aren’t [even] Trump voters.”

    The Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper, for example, reports that a recent effort to raise taxes to fund the local school system in Rocky River “failed…for the first time since 2012.” The main reason was an “outcry over diversity education.”

    The controversy, the Plain Dealer notes, hit a fever pitch when parents in the school district received a robocall from Tom Zawistowski, a Republican veteran of the Obamacare wars and leader the Ohio Tea Party who’s in tight with the billionaire-funded effort to rewrite the Constitution.

    In the robocall, the paper notes, “Zawistowski claimed the district’s teachers, staff and administrators wanted to ‘implement the racist, anti-American, nonsensical, critical race theory,’ which ‘indoctrinates your children and grandchildren with race-based hate of white people, of American history and of capitalism.’”

    The local school district said, loudly, that they taught nothing of the sort, but their effort to expand funding for the school district failed anyway. The firehose of propaganda won.

    NBC News reports that over 50 school boards across the nation have come under attack from white Republicans accusing them of trying to indoctrinate their children with CRT. More are happening daily, as dozens of new, well-funded groups are taking up the “fight” against teaching white rural and suburban children any part of the history of race in America.

    Twenty-three states have already banned teaching Critical Race Theory, and more are on the edge. These laws are metastasizing across America, pitting white Republicans against their schools, teachers and, of course, against Democrats…all while there is not, in reality, a single public school in America teaching CRT.

    Toss in allegations that our first Black Vice President supports CRT, a few “defund the police” and “voter fraud” slogans, and, Republican strategists figure, they have the perfect formula to scare white people into voting for them again.

    And this isn’t their first time trying to use Critical Race Theory as a political weapon. The rightwing disinformation machine rolled it out in a big way in 2012 against President Obama, although it never got the traction it has today. That effort, however, gave them the language and foundation for today’s effort.

    As Spencer Silva points out at National Memo:

    “There are even similarities in the dark money behind the 2012 and 2021 efforts. Robert Mercer (advised by Bannon, who became executive chairman of Breitbart after Andrew Breitbart’s death) infamously financed Andrew Breitbart’s early smear campaigns. His daughter Rebekah has donated large sums of money to two think tanks that seem to be behind the newest weaponization of critical race theory. Bannon, for his part, is now predicting the current anti-‘critical race theory’ campaign will not only win the House of Representatives back for Republicans in 2022, but may also prove to be a right-wing presidential winner in 2024.”

    Their explicit goal, in fact, is to repeat in 2022 and 2024 the slaughter of the 1988 election where George HW Bush, running on Willie Horton and Black cocaine dealers across the street from the White House, wiped out Michael Dukakis by carrying all but 10 states and DC with a 426–112 margin in the electoral college.

    Academics trying to “explain” and “defend” CRT will find the effort, at least outside academia, to be as useless as was trying to convince Republicans in 2010 that Obamacare wasn’t “socialism.” The brand is dead, and the GOP is dancing on its grave.

    Democrats need to take this seriously and get ahead of it by branding the entire GOP effort as just another Big Lie, while explicitly pointing out the Republican’s Party’s embrace of racism and lies about Black people as a political strategy ever since 1968.

    At the same time, Democrats need to recapture the genuine idealism about racial reconciliation and a multiracial republic that was expressed so eloquently by John and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, and put into law in 1964/65 by LBJ.

    Flipping the national conversation from Critical Race Theory to the GOP’s 52-year history of using racism as an election strategy, and hammering that in the media, will probably be the only way to clean up all the “crap” Republicans are today using to “flood the zone.”

Leave a Reply to Buzz Abbot X