The Mason Missile, April 28, 2022

Greetings, Americans!

Ketanji Brown Jackson has been finally confirmed as a Justice on the US Supreme Court-the first African-American woman to be so appointed. Alas! In her confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, she had to endure the racism, transphobia, and conspiracy-mongering ruling the Republican Party.

April, in many former Confederate states, has been proclaimed Confederate heritage Month; Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves recently signed a proclamation for his state.  (https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/mississippi-gov-proclaims-confederate-heritage-month-84071071) The proclamation says nothing about slavery, the reason that Mississippi and other southern states seceded from the union, leading to the Civil War. The declaration of secession by Mississippi proclaimed, “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-the greatest material interest of the world.” (https://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/csa_missec.asp) This is the “heritage” Confederate heritage Month commemorates, the enslavement of millions of people. This is what some people thought worth fighting and dying for.

I’m currently reading Eric Foner’s history Reconstruction, and WEB DuBois’ Black Reconstruction, stories that challenged the narrative of the post-Civil-War era as one of corruption and manipulation of the poor, ignorant former slaves, the oppression of the southern states by northern oppressors, and the reclaiming of the south, along with the idea that the Confederacy was some form of noble “lost case” for which men died valiantly; thus the plethora of statues of Confederate soldiers, naming streets and schools after Confederate leaders, and the writing of textbooks saying that slavery had NOTHING to do with the war.

While Confederate Heritage Month is being promoted, learning and discussion of race in this country’s schools is being repressed, in the name of confronting the evil entity known as Critical Race Theory; in Florida, 41 percent of new math textbooks are banned because they allegedly deal with CRT. (https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/17/us/florida-math-textbooks-critical-race-theory/index.html) Conservatives, as they are constituted in this country anymore, are fine with this nation becoming a nation of illiterates; lack of learning, not knowing real information or even how to think independently, is the only way they stay in power.

Speaking of power—the primary elections in Pennsylvania are coming up May17, and once again I’m running for committee-Person in my ward in Philadelphia. I urge others to participate in the electoral process, by joining campaigns, listening to debates, attending meetings-maybe even running for an office yourself? It’s OUR government, after all, and who we elect (or not, if we don’t bother to vote) will decide the fates of all of us.

This is especially important, with the power of this country’s oligarchic class, which is just as dangerous as the gang around Putin. We have seen how our oligarchs—Bezos, Musk, Zuckerberg—have, instead of spending the money they save from tax cuts and outright grants on new equipment and hiring workers, have used it to purchase yachts in the hundred-million range, and have gone off into space. Now, Elon Musk, of Tesla and SpaceX shame, is acquiring Twitter, for $44 BILLION. (https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/25/tech/elon-musk-twitter-sale-agreement/index.html) Musk, like so damn many of the tech oligarchs, talks of himself as a pioneer on the cutting edge, a visionary entrepreneur, saying that “Twitter has tremendous potential” and that “I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”

(There are still people who fall for this kind of talk—the same ones who thought that Donald whatshisface was a business whiz who would bring his business savvy to the White House.)

In reality, Twitter under Musk will be a garbage dump of racist, sexist, and homophobic abuse, allowing slanders and willful misinformation to spew out. Plus you see the danger of one individual having SOOO much power to shape the opinions and information of millions of Americans.

I’m also amazed at $44 billion being spent on—what? Something so intangible as to not even be gas? Nothing physical, like land or buildings?   But Twitter IS a communications medium, like a newspaper or a magazine, compatible to Bezos owning the Washington Post and MGM Studios. Hence, this same oligarchic class that cares nothing for working and low-income people will decide what the news is, what “education” is to be, and even what we should think. That’s why we have to organize for our own protection and advancement, in education, in our work lives, and in our voting.

Stay safe, stay strong, and stay together! Slava Ukraini! America will be free! Bye!

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