Painting Congress Blue 2014: Focus on Candidates V.

October 12, 2013

Florida's 19th Congressional District Race. April Freeman

At the time of writing the first four in my series of articles on Republican House incumbents and their Democratic rivals for the House in 2014, it seemed that for Democrats to pick up the necessary seventeen seats was going to require a significant political disaster by the Republican Party. If the most recent Gallup poll is anything to go by, it is apparent that the Republican Party may have inflicted a wound upon themselves that they might not recover from in 2014.

Florida’s 19th Congressional District:
Florida’s 19th is currently represented by Tea Party favourite, Republican Trey Radel. On his Facebook page, Radel posted this:

Trey Radel misleading Kentucky Obamacare Stats
– As part of his maniacal effort to defund the Affordable Care Act regardless of the courts or the outcome of elections, Radel is happy to use any PR tactic possible to drum up support for his failing cause. I say that, because the claim in the picture above omits crucial information: The claim relates to a story put out by Fox (obviously) of the Mangione family of four in Kentucky whose monthly premium apparently rises from $333 a month to $965 a month, from private insurer Humana, a few weeks before Kynect (the healthcare exchange) opened. What the story doesn’t tell you, is just who Andrew Mangione – the father – actually is. As it turns out, there is quite the conflict of interest with this story: Andrew Mangione is:

“…the Vice President, Government Relations, for AMAC. Andy’s career spans the medical device, pharmaceutical and managed care sectors of health care. He has held senior and executive sales positions with organizations including Humana, Inc., Pfizer, Inc. and Invacare Corporation. Andy serves as the lead legislative and government contact in Washington, DC for AMAC, and is also responsible for national grassroots outreach and developing strategic relationships. Andy earned a B.A. in Management from Malone University and his Master of Business Administration from Lake Erie College.”

– Not only did he hold senior/executive position in his insurance company, the website that he is now the Vice President of Government Relations for, has spent almost all its energy – prior to his appearance on Fox – fighting the Affordable Care Act. This man is one big agenda, so it is predictable that both Fox and Trey Radel decided not to mention his credentials. And $300 a month for a family of four? That’s a hell of a lot cheaper than most pay. Nevertheless, The New Yorker argues that under the new rules, the Mangione family might actually benefit.

So with that in mind, it is no shock to discover that despite moderate Republicans taking to the airwaves to pin the blame for government shutdown at the door of the Republican Party and its small group of extremists, Radel has decided that those extremists are in the right. Radel told CNN:

“This entire place is failing the American people”.

– He’s right. When a Freedom Works memo (The Freedom Works Website lists Radel as a signee of Sen. Mike Lee’s letter to use the CR to defund Obamacare) demands a willingness on the part of the Republicans the group funds, to use the threat of shutdown and its implications to win a policy battle that the Republicans couldn’t win via the usual electoral process, that is a massive democratic failure. One that Thomas Jefferson noted was a threat to the American system of governance:

“I hope we shall crush… in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”

– But this isn’t what Radel meant. Radel thoroughly disagrees with Jefferson. He seemingly had no issue with the fact that an agreement had already been reached on funding the government, an agreement that hugely favoured Republican demands, only to be reneged on by House Republicans whose corporate backers weren’t happy enough, who now demand the complete defunding of a law they couldn’t repeal through the natural democratic process. Instead, he says:

“The adults need to come to the table, as Republicans are asking…”

– The typical spin, to deflect attention from the fact that they caused this. He then goes on to blame the Affordable Care Act for all the nation’s woes. Later in the same interview, and without a hint of irony, Radel says:

“When you hear the President say he isn’t going to negotiate…. I’m sorry but this is democracy.”

– Here, Radel, like fellow Tea Party members, has apparently redefined the word ‘democracy’. I am struggling to understand how it is possible to lose the Presidency twice, to lose the Senate, to lose the popular vote for the House, to lose a Supreme Court case, to watch your ratings plummet, when 21 of your own House members are willing to vote to reopen government, and still think that by shutting down the government until you get your way, that the path you have chosen represents “democracy”.

It is presumably also “democracy” in action when, at 10pm on September 30th, House Republicans voted to amend House rules, by taking away the right of every member of the House of Representatives to bring a clean CR vote to the House floor, and to bestow that right to Eric Cantor only, to ensure a shutdown went ahead.

According to opensecrets.org, Trey Radel’s 9th biggest donor, is Koch Industries. How surprising. His number one donor is “Every Republican Is Crucial PAC”. This particular PAC is the 2nd biggest donor to the 20 or so dissident Republicans in the House. They are instrumental in propping up support for those who have used the threat of shutdown unless their demands are met. And Radel is doing their bidding. In 2012, his website read:

“Our country has prided itself on freedom and liberty. Regulations like ObamaCare not only place severe restrictions on our freedom and choice but also threaten the economic livelihood of this country. ObamaCare in particular essentially forces individuals to buy a private product just because they are American. This is another example of the government excessively interfering in the lives of private citizens. This law is not only costly, but will also cause great inefficiencies in the medical industry, and have negative ripples throughout the economy. On Trey’s first day in office, Trey would offer a bill to repeal all parts ObamaCare (regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision).”

– The phrase ‘regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision’ should be enough to shock anyone who appreciates the system of American governance, as should the Tea Party section of the Republican Party’s complete lack of respect for the outcome of elections that don’t go their way. It is quite incomprehensible, and very anti-democratic. Let’s not be under any illusions. Trey Radel is one of the small group of Republicans responsible for the government shutdown, and backed by very wealthy donors.

Trey Radel – a man who genuinely believes that Public Enemy’s track ‘Fight the Power’ reflects the message of Tea Party Republicans – is so concerned about the health and wellbeing of his constituents, that he voted ‘NO’ on reauthorising the Violence Against Women Act. Not only does women’s health and rights not concern Radel, but he also voted ‘NO’ on the Sandy Relief Fund and voted in favour of cutting SNAP. I can find no redeeming feature of Radel’s incumbency, it appears to have been a year of making life as difficult for the most vulnerable as possible. Florida’s 19th can do better than that.

The Democratic challenger to Radel, is April Freeman. Freeman’s website identifies exactly what Florida’s 19th District is currently lacking:

“Real people, honest and intelligent leadership, hard working and caring public servants, and more independent women.”

– Honest, intelligence, caring and independent women. Those are the words all progressives would use to describe exactly what the House of Representatives requires more than anything at the moment.

Freeman has impressive credentials to back up the tagline on her website. She was awarded “2005 Business Woman of the Year” by the Business Advisory Council at a White House Dinner; she is the founder of a company that works for no profit to highlight the lives and memory of gifted individuals who died too soon as a result of mental illnesses, and she’s currently obtaining her law degree. Intelligence, and caring, are two traits that Congress desperately requires, and desperately lacks at the moment.

Freeman is right to highlight that voter suppression is a dangerous re-introduction to the democratic landscape, and must be a priority to secure fundamental political rights regardless of race, or wealth. Freeman sets out her position to deal with it:

THE PLAN – Educate local voters in a grassroots effort so they are taught the importance of the early vote & vote by mail in order to relieve the immediate issue of excessive wait times on election days.
THE RESOLUTION – Support Legislation that would make it illegal for the wait time to exceed 1 hour during Federal elections.

Whilst 30 years of anti-union, pro-market fundamentalist rhetoric and policy has seemingly lead to very little other than stagnating wages, poverty increases, recession, and jobs off-shored to the detriment of the lives of real human beings, April Freeman recognises the need to rebalance the scale:

“We need a steady growing economy in SW Florida thus relieving our sole dependence on seasonal residents.
THE PLAN – Support Unions to bring secure jobs with benefits while strengthening collective bargaining ability in order to build our local economy.
THE RESOLUTION – Introduce and Support Legislation that will give tax incentives to small business and corporations in right to work states for merging with unions to provide a living wage and benefits, while penalizing for outsourcing jobs to foreign countries.”

– Freeman’s plans put people right at the centre of policy, and that’s a breath of fresh air for Congress.

If you value women’s rights, ending violence against women, LGBT rights, the right to vote, economic growth and fairness, campaign finance reform, Protecting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, Veterans issues; then there is absolutely no reason to vote Trey Radel, he fails miserably on all of those issues.

The Democratic base in Florida’s 19th has to grow if April Freeman is to pose a serious challenge to Trey Radel. But with the public at large placing the blame for shutdown on Tea Party Republicans like Radel, there will not be a more perfect time for Freeman and Democrats in Florida to grow that base. Freeman certainly has a chance to turn Florida’s 19th blue in 2014.

Vote April Freeman for Florida’s 19th Congressional District in 2012.

See here for FD’s focus on Florida’s 2nd, and Illinois’ 13th Congressional Districts.
See here for FD’s focus on West Virginia’s 2nd, and Colorado’s 6th Congressional Districts.
See here for FD’s focus on California’s 1st, and California’s 25th Congressional Districts.
See here for FD’s focus on Wisconsin’s 5th Congressional District.


Painting Congress Blue 2014: Focus on Candidates II

September 4, 2013

battle2

It is without doubt that the Democrats have a thoroughly difficult challenge in the next year, if they are to ensure a House painted blue at the end of 2014. This series will provide details on Democratic candidates running for election in 2014, and the work of Republican incumbents.

Yesterday’s focus on Congressional candidates and incumbents for 2014 included Nick Casey running for West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District, and Andrew Romanoff for Colorado’s 6th Congressional District. Today, the focus will be on two more Democratic candidates required for the Democrats to pick up the 17 seats needed to take the House.

Florida’s 2nd Congressional District:
The race for Florida’s 2nd district is already in full swing. The theme running through Democrat candidates for 2014, is to return Congress to a functioning legislature, rather than the chaotic state that it currently resides under Republican leadership. Democratic candidates are absolutely right to fight to restore the confidence in Congress. According to a Gallup poll, as of August 13th, 81% of Americans do not approve of Congress. This downward trend of approval is likely to continue when Congress returns to hammer out agreement on the new fiscal yearly budget, and immigration reform. Republicans have had their opportunity, and they’ve failed miserably.

Gwen Graham is a Democratic candidate for Florida’s 2nd. Daughter of former Senator Bob Graham, Gwen Graham is running as a voice of moderation and bipartisanship in 2014. Among the issues, she supports same sex marriage, based on principles of universal love. Graham said:

“I have a daughter and two sons, and if they came to me and said that they were gay I would want them to have the same rights under the law as everyone else has, and I would want them to be happy and I would want them to be in a committed marriage with someone that they loved”.

Graham also wishes to fight the disastrous outcome following the debate on student loan interest:

“Raising rates for students is no different from raising taxes on middle-class families. And if the politicians in Washington want to raise our rates, they should at least have the guts to be honest about it.
While in D.C., Congressman Southerland must have forgotten we have almost 100,000 college students who live in the second congressional district, and countless families who send their children to colleges outside the district.
Our representative should be a voice for the students and families of North Florida — voting to make college more accessible, not more expensive.”

Florida’s 2nd Congressional District is currently represented by Republican Steve Southerland. The district is on the Democrats top 10 list of seats to take in 2014. The district leans Republican, and Southerland was endorsed in 2010, by Sarah Palin. And it doesn’t take long to find out just why he might have gained the support of the Tea Party’s finest.

Southerland is one of those Republican Congressmen that insists on vocalising a ‘pro-life’ position, until the child is born. And if the child happens to be female, or gay, his pro-life credentials are quickly replaced by a very Patriarchal, Christian-right ideal. For example, Southerland voted against increasing funds for the Violence Against Women Act. In the same month, Southerland voted to block a vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act, that went some way to address the gender gap in pay. Florida, according to Sun-Sentinel, has a pay gap of around 20%. For every $1 a man makes, a woman makes 80 cents. Southerland also co-sponsored the horrifying ‘No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act‘ with which the GOP eventually relented on, after critics pointed out that is used the loaded phrase “forcible rape” as an exception, suggesting that date rape, statutory rape and other forms would not be covered.

His utter contempt for women doesn’t end there. Southerland voted in favour of prohibiting funds to Planned Parenthood. As noted yesterday, Planned Parenthood offers family planning funding and services including breast and cervical cancer screenings and preventative healthcare to millions of low income women and families. He dismisses the incalculably important advice and services that Planned Parenthood offers vulnerable people, all for Christian crusade against abortion. Writing in Psychology Today, Jennifer Hamady talks of the importance of Planned Parenthood:

“They provide free and drastically reduced gynecological services to those who might otherwise not get treatment, saving the lives of countless mothers and children. They provide affordable care for those who don’t have, can’t afford, or have lost their health insurance. They provide counseling for women and girls who have been abused, raped, or are in the process of being bullied or pressured into sex. They provide education on hygiene and wellness. They provide screening and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.”

– When Southerland and others like him seek to completely prohibit Federal funding for this service, they put a huge number of lives at risk, and care little for those lives.
Victims of domestic abuse, and sexual assault, and those seeking important services like breast and cervical cancer screenings, have been failed by Steve Southerland.
But remember…. he’s “pro-life”.

Whilst Gwen Graham supports keeping politics out of agriculture, Congressman Southerland is blamed by both sides of the political divide for killing the bipartisan Farm Bill in July, with a partisan poison pill amendment. Farmers in Florida’s 2nd Congressional District should not forget that particularly horrendous betrayal, in 2014.

In contrast to Gwen Graham’s support for same-sex marriage on the basis of the right to love, and to be happy, Steve Southerland supports a Constitutional Amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. He fails to note just how incredibly unconstitutional this idea is. Defining an institution that exists across cultures and is not confined to Christian Theology, as a Christian ideal and attempting to enshrine that ideal in a secular Constitution, is an outright attack on the founding principles of the United States. It takes a giant Theocratic wrecking ball to the wall of separation between church and state.

This is Gwen Graham’s first run for office, and judging by Congressman Southerland’s lack of support for anyone who isn’t a rich, Christian male, this is going to be an incredibly important race for the Democrats to win. Republicans have noted this, and Southerland is part of their “Patriot Program” designed to shore up support for those House Republicans facing the most difficult races in 2014. If Graham manages to turn Florida’s 2nd Congressional District blue, there will be one less irrational and dangerous Tea Party Republican voting in 2015.

Illinois’s 13th Congressional District:
Whilst Rodney Davis – Illinois Republicans’ 13th Congressional District Representative – is perhaps not as extreme as the Tea Party faction of which Steve Southerland resides, he still presents serious concerns. He opposes same-sex marriage (and as I’ve previously noted, there is not one argument against same-sex marriage that is based on reason rather than bigotry, Davis offers nothing new). And despite being less ‘extreme’ than the Tea Party faction of the Republican Party, we must consider the importance of a Representative’s judgement. In June this year, attorney and Republican Erika Harold announced she would run against Davis for Illinois’ 13th. In response, Montgomery County Republican Chairman Jim Allen sent this email:

“Rodney Davis will win and the love child of the D.N.C. will be back in Shitcago by May of 2014 working for some law firm that needs to meet their quota for minority hires.
The truth is Nancy Pelosi and the DEMOCRAT party want this seat. So they called RINO Timmy Johnson to be their pack mule and get little queen to run.
Ann Callis gets a free ride through a primary and Rodney Davis has a battle.
The little queen touts her abstinence and she won the crown because she got bullied in school,,,boohoo..kids are cruel, life sucks and you move on..Now, miss queen is being used like a street walker and her pimps are the DEMOCRAT PARTY and RINO REPUBLICANS…These pimps want something they can’t get,,, the seat held by a conservative REPUBLICAN Rodney Davis and Nancy Pelosi can’t stand it..
Little Queenie and Nancy Pelosi have so much in common but the one thing that stands out the most.. both are FORMER QUEENS, their crowns are tarnished and time has run out on the both of them..”

– That’s right. The Chairman of Montgomery County’s Republican Party referred to a successful attorney and fellow candidate for the House of Representatives as “a street walker” and that she’d only manage to find work in a law firm due to affirmative action. The Chairman of Montgomery County’s Republican Party was on Rodney Davis 2014 election team.

Davis has set out his plan for 2014, and it is eerily similar to Republican’s failed plan over the past several years, and is the root cause of the stalemate in Congress. Davis appears not to understand. Here he notes his obsession with the futile task of working to repeal Obamacare:

“Rodney believes we must lower taxes for everyone, including small business owners, reduce red tape and regulations, and repeal and replace Obamacare.”

“In Congress, Rodney will fight to repeal and replace the flawed Obamacare.”

– Before the summer break, one of the final votes in the House was to repeal Obamacare. Again. A bill signed into law by the President and upheld by the Supreme Court, the Republicans in early August tried for the ….. 40th time…. to repeal Obamacare. Continuous attempts to repeal, offering no solution, and peddling easily discredited myths, Davis appears to be insisting that this must continue. His sole contribution to the debate on healthcare, is to insist on continuously and pointlessly voting for repeal. Same old Republican Party.

Davis Democratic opponent in 2014 for Illinois’ 13th Congressional District, is Madison County Judge Ann Callis. She self funded her retention campaign for the Judiciary in 2012. Callis has a lot of ground to cover to get her name and her positions known throughout Illinois’ 13th, but over a year to do it, and the 13th is by no means locked down by either Party. It is prudent to begin now, and Callis is a rising star in the Democratic World. Callis seems both moderate, and responsible, and in a district neither safe Red nor safe Blue, moderation is the key. Lean too far to the left or to the right, and the campaign is over. Callis’ positions are set out clearly on her website:

“Ann Callis believes that Washington needs to find ways to cut the deficit responsibly – not on the backs of middle-class families, and not while providing massive tax cuts for millionaires and corporations that ship jobs overseas. In order to help businesses grow and create jobs, we need to get our fiscal house in order and give breaks to small businesses that create jobs here at home. We must also not make dangerous cuts to Social Security, Medicare, education or other programs that are vital to the middle class.”

– She is supported and endorsed by the Women’s Campaign Fund in Washington DC and rather embarrasingly to the Davis campaign, she earned the support of Davis’ mentor, U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, who once noted of her Judicial reforms, that Callis has:

“…earned my respect and the respect of Republicans and Democrats alike.”

Unlike Davis, who seemingly believes endless votes to repeal Obamacare is the principle function of Congress, Callis rightfully notes:

“Judge Callis believes Washington’s top priority must be to create good jobs that will keep our middle class strong. Congress should be working to create an environment where small businesses can grow and thrive, not making ill conceived cuts that hamper our fragile economic recovery.”

– As we found out here in the UK, ill conceived cuts are the absolute antithesis of economic recovery. It is dangerous, it destroys lives, and it leads to stagnation and despair with no positive results. Callis is right to point out the consequences of ill conceived cuts.

Whilst Davis, on his site, dogmatically tells us that Government cannot create jobs, Callis (and history) disagrees:

“Rebuilding our local infrastructure and re-training those who are actively looking for work are vital steps toward keeping the middle class secure.”

– What comes across from both campaigns, is that the Republican candidate favours a trickle-down system that has never worked for the majority, whilst the Democratic candidate is focused on pragmatism rather than dogmatism on economic sustainability.

With a little over a year to go until the 2014 election, it will be interesting to note the twists these campaigns take, the fiery rhetoric, and the evolving positions. Democrats need to secure 17 seats in order to gain a majority in the House and ensure an end to the awful deadlock that has plagued Congress since the Republican take-over in 2010.

Vote Gwen Graham for Florida’s 2nd Congressional District.
Vote Ann Callis for Illinois’ 13th Congressional District.

See here for a previous Focus on Candidates in this series.


‘Stand your Ground’ means ‘fear of black men’.

July 17, 2013

When a particular race, alongside a particular cultural choice – dress sense/music taste – is portrayed so negatively through media, laws like ‘Stand your Ground’ cannot be fair and balanced and will always work to the disadvantage of that particular race. All the law does, is give credit to unfair stereotypes.

In 2012, 17-year-old African American teenager Jordan Russell Davis, pulled into a gas station with a group of friends. As typical teenagers, the boys had their music played loudly in the car that day. Michael Dunn, a 45-year-old white male, and in his car alongside the boys, took exception to this and told them to turn their music down. An argument ensued. Dunn pulled out a gun, fired around 8 shots at the car full of teenagers, and killed Jordan Davis. Dunn claims the boys got out of their cars, and pulled a gun. Witnesses say that didn’t happen at all, and in fact, only Dunn got out of his car. No gun was found in the car of the teenagers, or on any of the teenagers when the police arrived. Dunn’s defence team have invoked Florida’s ‘Stand your Ground’ law, claiming that by opening fire on a car full of teenagers, killing Davis, Dunn was acting:

“…responsibly and in self defense.”

You’re going to have to forgive me for repeating myself a little, from yesterday’s post on Trayvon Martin and racism in 21st Century USA. I wanted to expand on ‘Stand your Ground’ laws, which requires cross over from a previous post.

A Federal lawsuit in Georgia in 2012 required Georgia strike down its ‘Stand your Ground’ law, because it didn’t specify what circumstances justified “standing your ground”. According to the lawsuit, courts in Georgia had:

“…accepted the race of a victim as evidence to establish the reasonableness of an individual’s fear in cases of justifiable homicide.”

– What this essentially means is, “I shot him, because I was scared, because he was black“. Whilst ‘Stand your Ground’ applies to both black, and white people, it disproportionately affects African Americans, due almost entirely to preconceptions stirred up by media outlets. The perception, the socially conditioned perception of young African American men, as somehow violent, is reflected in Michael Dunn’s claim that he shot Jordan Russell, because he was worried the boys might be in a gang. This isn’t reasonable, by anyone’s standards. Racial ignorance cannot possible be a defence.

The Tampa Bay Times found that around one third of those citing ‘Stand your Ground’ in cases in Florida, had actually started the confrontation that led to the violence. They also found that of those cases involving the death of an African American person, the defendant went free 73% of the time.

Stand your Ground laws were lobbied heavily on by the National Rifle Association. The NRA boasts as a board member Ted Nugent. Nugent – who, Republican Rep Steve Stockman called a true ‘Patriot’ – once said:

“Working Hard, Playing Hard, White Motherfucking Shit Kickers Who Are Independent.”

“I’m beginning to wonder if it would have been best had the South won the Civil War.”

“There’s a lot of white people in this crowd. I like that.”

The link between the NRA, Stand your Ground law lobbying, and racism is not at all ambiguous or subtle. It is quite obvious. In 2007, an NRA, typically delirious brochure entitled: “Freedom In Peril; Guarding the 2nd Amendment in the 21st Century” in which African Americans are portrayed as violent trying to destroy white America was leaked. A picture depicting ‘street gangs’ shows African American, and Latin Americans, in hoodies, and bandanas. Perpetuating a stereotype. Cut to 2013, and an African American teenager armed with nothing but a packet of skittles, is murdered by a racist with a gun, citing “Stand your Ground” laws to protect him. “Stand your Ground” laws rely on the perpetuation of negative stereotypes, which then make it far easier to transfer the blame from a racist with a gun, profiling an innocent man… to the innocent man, because he doesn’t conform to a dress code, and a skin colour, that is deemed ‘acceptable’ by the NRA and its racist board members. Suddenly, ‘reasonable self defence’ becomes ‘it’s reasonable to shoot him, because he’s black and in a hoody, and The Wire once showed a black guy in a hoody killing someone’.

It’s doesn’t take too much consideration, to draw a direct link between a racist National Rifle Association lobbying for a particular law, and that law leading to the horrendous deaths of young, innocent African Americans.

Section 1 of the ALEC version of Florida’s ‘Stand your Ground’ law states:

“The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful act was occurring or had occurred, they are immune from prosecution or civil action from acting in defense of the themselves and others.”

– In Trayvon Martin’s case, simply being black, was enough for George Zimmerman to have ‘reason to believe’ the teenager was going to commit a crime. However, this apparently doesn’t apply to Trayvon himself, who surely acted in self defence when noting that he was being stalked, by a racist with a loaded gun. Surely he had the right to act in self defence too? Surely the aggressor, is the person who initiates the stalk, with a gun, of an unarmed, innocent kid? The law, in Florida favoured the murderer. And this seems to be a trend.

A study, by John Roman, at the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center, found that in States without ‘Stand your Ground’, a white person is likely to be found more justified in killing an African American 250% more, than a white person killing another white person (this is horrendous enough). But even worse, in ‘Stand your Ground’ States that number shoots up to 354%.

A further study at Texas A&M University found that States with ‘Stand your Ground’ laws have on average an 8% increase in homicides, after passing the laws. Around 600 extra homicides than before the laws were passed. The Study concluded:

“the results indicate that a primary consequence of strengthening self-defense law is increased homicide.”

– As well as being racist, ‘Stand your Ground’ laws encourage violence and murder.

Florida, Georgia and States with ‘Stand your Ground’ laws have got to a stage in their history, where the colour of someone’s skin, the music they listen to, or the clothes they choose to wear, is processed as reasonable justification to murder someone, completely irrespective of the persons behaviour.

And yet:
Richard Nixon: Disgraced, shamed, had to quit, only pardoned because of his friends in high places. White. Republican.
George W Bush: Disorderly conduct, driving under the influence, alleged to have done cocaine. White. Republican.
California State Republican Rita Lavelle: Convicted of perjury. paid a $10,000 fine, and was place on probation for five years. White. Republican.
Reagan’s National Security Advisor, Robert McFarlane was imprisoned in 1990 and fined $20,000 for his part in the Iran-Contra affair in ’86. White. Republican.
President Reagan’s Deputy Chief of Staff at the White House, Michael Deaver was convicted in 1987 of committing perjury in statements submitted to a Congressional subcommittee and then grand jury. White. Republican.
Reagan’s Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Deborah Gore Dean was convicted by jury of accepting an illegal gratuity, on three counts of trying to defraud the Federal Government. White. Republican.
Paul McKinley, recently won the Republican primary to represent 2nd Congressional District. Served almost 20 years behind bars for armed robberies, aggravated battery, and burglaries. White. Republican.
John Poindexter, another National Security Advisor, was convicted in 1990 on five charges of lying to Congress by obstructing Congressional investigations into Iran-Contra. White. Republican.
Darrell Isa. U.S. Representative for California’s 49th congressional district. Twice arrested on weapons charges, pleading guilty to a charge of possession of an unregistered firearm. Arrested on suspicion of car theft.

Maybe we should all start profiling anyone who looks like they might have ever voted Republican? Perhaps we should start following every white Republican, recording every last word they say, in case we catch them lying, or about to commit a felony? Perhaps we should all assume, until they prove otherwise, that Republicans are guilty of lying to Congess, driving under the influence, selling arms to bad guys, and committing armed robberies? Stalk a white Republican today.

In a wholly white privileged, patriarchal system; the black kid being stalked is to blame. The woman who was raped is to blame. The person in poverty is to blame.

‘Stand your Ground’ simply means ‘Fear of black men’.