Peace, InCity and CECELIA People!!! Spring … the season of love! I thought about a few topics to write about regarding love: being love, being in love, loving self, compassion and love for others, but then, I thought, hmmm … last month was Black History Month… So how do I combine LOVE and Black History?
For the month of February, I celebrated Ruby Bridges at the Worcester Public Library for my MONTHLY Black Culture Movie Matinee.
So, I have decided to talk about the love a mother has for her child.
Today, many parents have the option to “protect” their child from what they see as harm. And I wonder, how many mothers tried to “protect” their children during the days of slavery and Jim Crow.
Even today, Black mothers and fathers, along with other parents of color, must have additional discussions with their children, other than the traditional “birds and the bees” conversation: We must talk about the assumed possible ways to stay safe during “routine” police stops and other encounters with law enforcement. And, in which neighborhoods to be aware of your surroundings.
Slavery in America … Imagine not being able to protect your child! Imagine that your child can be taken from you at any given moment, with the possibility of being sold away from you to never be seen again!
Imagine your child is taken away from you and you never see her or him again!
Imagine your child having to work from sun up to sun down from the age of 6 or 7, with the possibility of being beaten with a whip!
Imagine your child being used as alligator bait!
Imagine how these children felt being torn from all they knew!
Or being beaten and wondering why their mother or father could not protect them!
Are you horrified?
Yes! We all should be! But these are the facts that are omitted from our school history classes when we talk about chattel slavery in America.
These facts, along with many others. And this is slavery… If we look at Jim Crow, that is a whole other set of degradation and murder.
Jim Crow was the name of the American racial caste system which operated primarily, but not exclusively, in our Southern and Border States, between 1877 and the mid-1960s.
Jim Crow was more than a series of rigid anti-Black laws. It was a way of life. Google Jim Crow laws and see how many of our states had these racist policies in place. And we won’t even talk about the Black Codes in this article. But I will give you a brief description for those who do their own research: Right after slavery was abolished in 1865 through 1867 Black codes existed mainly in the South. They were a way for white Southerners to try and keep Black people subservient and uneducated. Codes differed from state to state, but there was a common thread.
The fact that Black people are still battling fall-out from our past history is not widely acknowledged. Many white people just want folks to pull up their bootstraps, like they did, and do better. Wow. Some people don’t have boots. Some people don’t have legs. We are 153 years out from slavery, Jim Crow went from 1877 to the early 1960s. Then came the war against the Black Panthers and the Civil Rights movement. Really, not that long ago. There were no reparations given. Hmmmm. And yet, we still smile and work towards a peaceful existence in this country. Black women still carrying the majority of the work. And, still raising our children in hostile environments.
My challenge to you is this: Join us with your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, your friends’ kids … let them know what it took in order for them, or their friends with melanin, what they had to go through in order to get an education. Something that we take for granted in this day and age. I challenge you, to let them see, what one brave little girl, Ruby Bridges, and her family had to go through in order for us all to attend public school in America.
“Ruby Bridges” is a 1998 television film, written by Toni Ann Johnson and based on the true story of Ruby Bridges, the first black student to attend integrated schools in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1960.
As a six-year-old, Ruby was one of four black first-graders, selected on the basis of test scores, to attend previously all-white public schools in New Orleans.
Three students were sent to McDonogh 19, and Ruby was the only Black child to be sent to William Frantz Public School.
The film was nominated for several awards, including an NAACP Image award. The writer, Toni Ann Johnson, won the 1998 Humanitas Prize for her teleplay. The film also won The Christopher Award.
WATCH THIS MOVIE TONIGHT – WITH FAMILY AND LOVED ONES! Peace and love!
Jett, this a.m. He definitely lacks the service dog temperament. pics: R.T.
Lilac so lacks the work ethic …
Bipartisan McGovern Bill Supports Veterans Service Dog Program
$25 Million in Funding Supports Service Dogs for Veterans with Disabilities
This week, U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) reintroduced the bipartisan Wounded Warrior Service Dog Act in the House of Representatives.
The bill, H.R. 2625, would create a competitive grant program for nonprofits that train service dogs for use by veterans.
It defines the term “assistance dog” to mean a dog specifically trained to perform physical tasks to mitigate the effects of a disability.
This bill authorizes $25 million over the space of five years.
“With so many veterans returning from war bearing both physical and emotional scars, we must do all we can to provide treatment that works,” Congressman McGovern said. “I have been honored to work with NEADS and so many other partners to support the extraordinary work they and others are doing to help veterans in need. It is my sincere hope that through this program, we can better connect our veterans with service dogs in an effort to ease their transition into civilian life.”
In recent years, Congressman McGovern has made several visits to the nonprofit National Education for Assistance Dog Services (NEADS) campus in Princeton.
On these visits, Congressman McGovern has learned about how service dogs are helping to treat veterans with physical disabilities as well as individuals who suffer from post-traumatic stress.
Assistance dogs are helping service men and women lead more independent lives, assisting with mobility and balance, retrieving and carrying objects, responding to sounds, getting help, and providing social interaction and companionship.
Trained dogs also offer many therapeutic benefits to soldiers and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) by elevating their moods, building confidence, and reducing stress, all of which ease the transition back into civilian life.
Through the Appropriations process, this program has already received $11 million over the past three years. With this money, nonprofit groups like NEADS have trained over 200 service dogs and paired them with veterans in need.
If passed into law, the Wounded Warrior Service Dog Act would fund this program for the next five years.
The Director of Development at NEADS, Cathy Zemaitis, commented, “The Wounded Warriors Service Dog legislation will enable legitimate Service Dog providers the opportunity to better serve the veteran community. This important program will allow veterans with physical disabilities as well as those diagnosed with PTSD realize increased independence and the opportunity to increasingly engage in their community. This legislation will bring about a positive impact on all veterans who require the assistance of a highly trained Service Dog.”
The bill has 29 original cosponsors, including U.S. Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC). It has been endorsed by the American Legion and the Animal Welfare Institute.
More news from Congressman Jim McGovern:
Go, Jim, go!
McGovern, Markey Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Honor Veterans
Bill Recognizes “Atomic Veterans” Exposed to Radiation in Nuclear Weapons Tests
This week, U.S. Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Tom Emmer (R-MN) and U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA) reintroduced H.R. 2754, the Atomic Veterans Service Medal Act, a bipartisan and bicameral bill that would authorize the award of a military service medal to members of the Armed Forces who were exposed to ionizing radiation as a result of participation in the testing of nuclear weapons or under other circumstances.
Between 1945 and 1962, about 225,000 members of our Armed Forces participated in hundreds of nuclear weapons tests.
These GIs became known as the Atomic Veterans.
They were placed in extremely dangerous areas and constantly exposed to radiation in performance of their duties.
Sworn to secrecy, they could not even speak of their service.
Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton recognized their valiant service, and acted to provide specialized care and compensation for their harrowing duty.
“America has a responsibility to honor all of our veterans and the sacrifices they made to serve our country. Tragically, many of these Atomic Veterans have already died, without receiving recognition. They kept a code of silence that likely led to many passing away too soon,” Congressman Jim McGovern said. “It is long past time for the Defense Department to honor their unique service with a medal recognizing all that they and their families have done to keep us safe. This bipartisan bill will help us to finally right this wrong and I urge Congress to pass it.”
“Our veterans are the best our nation has to offer,” said Congressman Tom Emmer (R-Minn.). “They dedicate their lives and sacrifice so much to protect our freedoms and liberties, so the least we can do is show them our immense gratitude. Unfortunately, we have since lost many of our Atomic Veterans, but I am honored to work with Congressman McGovern and Senator Markey to ensure these brave soldiers get the recognition they deserve.”
“As part of our country’s nuclear program, hundreds of thousands of brave U.S. servicemembers – our Atomic Vets – participated in atmospheric tests, exposing themselves to grave risks, without true recognition for their sacrifice,” Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) said. “Many of these brave patriots suffered from radiation-related diseases and other health issues. As a nation, we must honor their sacrifice, and this legislation takes an important step in that direction.”
Keith Kiefer, the Director of the National Association of Atomic Veterans commented, “The National Association of Atomic Veterans has worked hard to achieve acknowledgement of the consequences of exposure to the invisible bullets of radiation exposure. We thank Congressmen McGoven and Emmer and Senator Markey for spearheading our cause in the 2017 legislative session.”
Joining Congressmen McGovern and Emmer as original cosponsors of the House bill include Representatives Walter Jones (R-NC), Katherine Clark (D-MA), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Keith Ellison (D-MN), and Rick Nolan (D-MN).
Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s Speech on the Removal of Confederate Monuments in New Orleans:
” … the Confederate cause was about maintaining slavery and white supremacy. …”
Thank you for coming.
The soul of our beloved City is deeply rooted in a history that has evolved over thousands of years; rooted in a diverse people who have been here together every step of the way — for both good and for ill. It is a history that holds in its heart the stories of Native Americans — the Choctaw, Houma Nation, the Chitimacha. Of Hernando De Soto, Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, the Acadians, the Islenos, the enslaved people from Senegambia, Free People of Colorix, the Haitians, the Germans, both the empires of France and Spain. The Italians, the Irish, the Cubans, the south and central Americans, the Vietnamese and so many more.
You see — New Orleans is truly a city of many nations, a melting pot, a bubbling caldron of many cultures. There is no other place quite like it in the world that so eloquently exemplifies the uniquely American motto: e pluribus unum — out of many we are one. But there are also other truths about our city that we must confront. New Orleans was America’s largest slave market: a port where hundreds of thousands of souls were bought, sold and shipped up the Mississippi River to lives of forced labor of misery of rape, of torture. America was the place where nearly 4000 of our fellow citizens were lynched, 540 alone in Louisiana; where the courts enshrined ‘separate but equal’; where Freedom riders coming to New Orleans were beaten to a bloody pulp. So when people say to me that the monuments in question are history, well what I just described is real history as well, and it is the searing truth.
And it immediately begs the questions, why there are no slave ship monuments, no prominent markers on public land to remember the lynchings or the slave blocks; nothing to remember this long chapter of our lives; the pain, the sacrifice, the shame… all of it happening on the soil of New Orleans. So for those self-appointed defenders of history and the monuments, they are eerily silent on what amounts to this historical malfeasance, a lie by omission. There is a difference between remembrance of history and reverence of it.
For America and New Orleans, it has been a long, winding road, marked by great tragedy and great triumph. But we cannot be afraid of our truth. As President George W. Bush said at the dedication ceremony for the National Museum of African American History & Culture, “A great nation does not hide its history. It faces its flaws and corrects them.” So today I want to speak about why we chose to remove these four monuments to the Lost Cause of the Confederacy, but also how and why this process can move us towards healing and understanding of each other. So, let’s start with the facts.
The historic record is clear, the Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and P.G.T. Beauregard statues were not erected just to honor these men, but as part of the movement which became known as The Cult of the Lost Cause. This ‘cult’ had one goal — through monuments and through other means — to rewrite history to hide the truth, which is that the Confederacy was on the wrong side of humanity. First erected over 166 years after the founding of our city and 19 years after the end of the Civil War, the monuments that we took down were meant to rebrand the history of our city and the ideals of a defeated Confederacy. It is self-evident that these men did not fight for the United States of America, They fought against it. They may have been warriors, but in this cause they were not patriots. These statues are not just stone and metal. They are not just innocent remembrances of a benign history. These monuments purposefully celebrate a fictional, sanitized Confederacy; ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement, and the terror that it actually stood for.
After the Civil War, these statues were a part of that terrorism as much as a burning cross on someone’s lawn; they were erected purposefully to send a strong message to all who walked in their shadows about who was still in charge in this city. Should you have further doubt about the true goals of the Confederacy, in the very weeks before the war broke out, the Vice President of the Confederacy, Alexander Stephens, made it clear that the Confederate cause was about maintaining slavery and white supremacy. He said in his now famous ‘cornerstone speech’ that the Confederacy’s “cornerstone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery — subordination to the superior race — is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”
Now, with these shocking words still ringing in your ears… I want to try to gently peel from your hands the grip on a false narrative of our history that I think weakens us. And make straight a wrong turn we made many years ago — we can more closely connect with integrity to the founding principles of our nation and forge a clearer and straighter path toward a better city and a more perfect union.
Last year, President Barack Obama echoed these sentiments about the need to contextualize and remember all our history. He recalled a piece of stone, a slave auction block engraved with a marker commemorating a single moment in 1830 when Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay stood and spoke from it. President Obama said, “Consider what this artifact tells us about history… on a stone where day after day for years, men and women… bound and bought and sold and bid like cattle on a stone worn down by the tragedy of over a thousand bare feet. For a long time the only thing we considered important, the singular thing we once chose to commemorate as history with a plaque were the unmemorable speeches of two powerful men.”
A piece of stone — one stone. Both stories were history. One story told. One story forgotten or maybe even purposefully ignored. As clear as it is for me today… for a long time, even though I grew up in one of New Orleans’ most diverse neighborhoods, even with my family’s long proud history of fighting for civil rights… I must have passed by those monuments a million times without giving them a second thought. So I am not judging anybody, I am not judging people. We all take our own journey on race.
I just hope people listen like I did when my dear friend Wynton Marsalis helped me see the truth. He asked me to think about all the people who have left New Orleans because of our exclusionary attitudes. Another friend asked me to consider these four monuments from the perspective of an African American mother or father trying to explain to their fifth grade daughter who Robert E. Lee is and why he stands atop of our beautiful city. Can you do it? Can you look into that young girl’s eyes and convince her that Robert E. Lee is there to encourage her? Do you think she will feel inspired and hopeful by that story? Do these monuments help her see a future with limitless potential? Have you ever thought that if her potential is limited, yours and mine are too? We all know the answer to these very simple questions. When you look into this child’s eyes is the moment when the searing truth comes into focus for us. This is the moment when we know what is right and what we must do. We can’t walk away from this truth.
And I knew that taking down the monuments was going to be tough, but you elected me to do the right thing, not the easy thing and this is what that looks like. So relocating these Confederate monuments is not about taking something away from someone else. This is not about politics, this is not about blame or retaliation. This is not a naïve quest to solve all our problems at once.
This is however about showing the whole world that we as a city and as a people are able to acknowledge, understand, reconcile and most importantly, choose a better future for ourselves making straight what has been crooked and making right what was wrong. Otherwise, we will continue to pay a price with discord, with division and yes with violence.
To literally put the Confederacy on a pedestal in our most prominent places of honor is an inaccurate recitation of our full past. It is an affront to our present, and it is a bad prescription for our future. History cannot be changed. It cannot be moved like a statue. What is done is done. The Civil War is over, and the Confederacy lost and we are better for it. Surely we are far enough removed from this dark time to acknowledge that the cause of the Confederacy was wrong.
And in the second decade of the 21st century, asking African Americans — or anyone else — to drive by property that they own; occupied by reverential statues of men who fought to destroy the country and deny that person’s humanity seems perverse and absurd. Centuries old wounds are still raw because they never healed right in the first place. Here is the essential truth. We are better together than we are apart.
Indivisibility is our essence. Isn’t this the gift that the people of New Orleans have given to the world? We radiate beauty and grace in our food, in our music, in our architecture, in our joy of life, in our celebration of death; in everything that we do. We gave the world this funky thing called jazz, the most uniquely American art form that is developed across the ages from different cultures. Think about second lines, think about Mardi Gras, think about muffaletta, think about the Saints, gumbo, red beans and rice. By God, just think.
All we hold dear is created by throwing everything in the pot; creating, producing something better; everything a product of our historic diversity. We are proof that out of many we are one — and better for it! Out of many we are one — and we really do love it! And yet, we still seem to find so many excuses for not doing the right thing. Again, remember President Bush’s words, “A great nation does not hide its history. It faces its flaws and corrects them.”
We forget, we deny how much we really depend on each other, how much we need each other. We justify our silence and inaction by manufacturing noble causes that marinate in historical denial. We still find a way to say ‘wait’/not so fast, but like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “wait has almost always meant never.” We can’t wait any longer. We need to change. And we need to change now.
No more waiting. This is not just about statues, this is about our attitudes and behavior as well. If we take these statues down and don’t change to become a more open and inclusive society this would have all been in vain. While some have driven by these monuments every day and either revered their beauty or failed to see them at all, many of our neighbors and fellow Americans see them very clearly. Many are painfully aware of the long shadows their presence casts; not only literally but figuratively. And they clearly receive the message that the Confederacy and the cult of the lost cause intended to deliver.
Earlier this week, as the cult of the lost cause statue of P.G.T Beauregard came down, world renowned musician Terence Blanchard stood watch, his wife Robin and their two beautiful daughters at their side. Terence went to a high school on the edge of City Park named after one of America’s greatest heroes and patriots, John F. Kennedy. But to get there he had to pass by this monument to a man who fought to deny him his humanity.
He said, “I’ve never looked at them as a source of pride… it’s always made me feel as if they were put there by people who don’t respect us. This is something I never thought I’d see in my lifetime. It’s a sign that the world is changing.” Yes, Terence, it is and it is long overdue. Now is the time to send a new message to the next generation of New Orleanians who can follow in Terence and Robin’s remarkable footsteps.
A message about the future, about the next 300 years and beyond; let us not miss this opportunity New Orleans and let us help the rest of the country do the same. Because now is the time for choosing. Now is the time to actually make this the City we always should have been, had we gotten it right in the first place.
We should stop for a moment and ask ourselves — at this point in our history — after Katrina, after Rita, after Ike, after Gustav, after the national recession, after the BP oil catastrophe and after the tornado — if presented with the opportunity to build monuments that told our story or to curate these particular spaces… would these monuments be what we want the world to see? Is this really our story?
We have not erased history; we are becoming part of the city’s history by righting the wrong image these monuments represent and crafting a better, more complete future for all our children and for future generations. And unlike when these Confederate monuments were first erected as symbols of white supremacy, we now have a chance to create not only new symbols, but to do it together, as one people. In our blessed land we all come to the table of democracy as equals. We have to reaffirm our commitment to a future where each citizen is guaranteed the uniquely American gifts of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
That is what really makes America great and today it is more important than ever to hold fast to these values and together say a self-evident truth that out of many we are one. That is why today we reclaim these spaces for the United States of America. Because we are one nation, not two; indivisible with liberty and justice for all… not some. We all are part of one nation, all pledging allegiance to one flag, the flag of the United States of America. And New Orleanians are in… all of the way. It is in this union and in this truth that real patriotism is rooted and flourishes. Instead of revering a 4-year brief historical aberration that was called the Confederacy we can celebrate all 300 years of our rich, diverse history as a place named New Orleans and set the tone for the next 300 years.
After decades of public debate, of anger, of anxiety, of anticipation, of humiliation and of frustration. After public hearings and approvals from three separate community led commissions. After two robust public hearings and a 6-1 vote by the duly elected New Orleans City Council. After review by 13 different federal and state judges. The full weight of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government has been brought to bear and the monuments in accordance with the law have been removed. So now is the time to come together and heal and focus on our larger task. Not only building new symbols, but making this city a beautiful manifestation of what is possible and what we as a people can become.
Let us remember what the once exiled, imprisoned and now universally loved Nelson Mandela and what he said after the fall of apartheid. “If the pain has often been unbearable and the revelations shocking to all of us, it is because they indeed bring us the beginnings of a common understanding of what happened and a steady restoration of the nation’s humanity.” So before we part let us again state the truth clearly.
The Confederacy was on the wrong side of history and humanity. It sought to tear apart our nation and subjugate our fellow Americans to slavery. This is the history we should never forget and one that we should never again put on a pedestal to be revered. As a community, we must recognize the significance of removing New Orleans’ Confederate monuments. It is our acknowledgment that now is the time to take stock of, and then move past, a painful part of our history.
Anything less would render generations of courageous struggle and soul-searching a truly lost cause. Anything less would fall short of the immortal words of our greatest President Abraham Lincoln, who with an open heart and clarity of purpose calls on us today to unite as one people when he said: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds…to do all which may achieve and cherish — a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”
If the press, most likely via leaks from pissed off FBI-ers (without an independent prosecutor there is little chance the truth about Russia and Trump will be uncovered now during the DC investigations), learns Donald Trump, to improve his chances of winning the presidency, colluded with Russia during the presidential campaign, then Trump’s behavior was treasonous. He sold America down the river in hopes of winning the election. Russia = nation that works to destabilize democracies = an enemy nation. Trump’s betrayal of America – putting her in harm’s way for political gain = reason to impeach Trump. – R.T.
Praying today for the people – THE CHILDREN! – of Syria! Praying our President acts with grace and wisdom.
A scary, uncertain time. Peace! In the ‘hood, Syria, Russia, America! pics: R.T.
McGovern, Pelosi Call for Congress to Reconvene to Debate Military Authorization for Syria
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern, a senior House Democrat and leading critic of the expanded use of military force by presidents in both parties, joined House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers calling for Speaker Ryan to immediately call the House of Representatives back into session to debate an Authorization of the Use of Military Force for military actions taken in Syria.
In February 2017, Congressman McGovern led a bipartisan group of 19 lawmakers calling for Speaker Ryan to hold a debate and vote on the authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) for U.S. military operations in the Middle East.
Following President Trump’s unilateral action to order airstrikes against Syria last night, Congressman McGovern is renewing that call with this statement:
“Every president must obtain congressional authorization to launch military strikes and President Trump is no exception. President Trump’s unilateral action to attack Syria without consulting Congress and obtaining authorization is an alarming violation of the checks and balances put in place by the Constitution – safeguards established to prevent presidents from taking our country to war without the consent of the American people.
“Americans must have a say when it comes to war. President Trump’s failure to work with Congress to achieve a bipartisan consensus on military action has shut out the voices of the American people and raised serious concerns about the possibility of military escalation without any input from their elected leaders. The time to debate U.S. military operations is before we drop bombs and send troops – not after.
“Today I am joining the growing bipartisan call for Congress to immediately reconvene to debate the path forward for U.S. military operations in Syria. If the President intends to escalate U.S. military involvement in Syria, he must to come to Congress for an Authorization for Use of Military Force which is clearly crafted to meet the threat and prevent another endless war. The American people and our men and women in uniform deserve nothing less.”
Full Text of Pelosi Letter to Speaker Ryan:
April 7, 2017
The Honorable Paul Ryan
Speaker of the House
H-232, United States Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Mr. Speaker,
I am writing to request that you call the House back in session immediately to debate any decision to place our men and women in uniform in harm’s way.
Bashar al-Assad ‘s chemical weapons attack on his own people places him outside the circle of civilized human behavior. Assad also continues to attack his own people with conventional weapons. Meanwhile, Russia props up the Assad regime and enables its brutal war crimes to continue.
The President’s action and any response demands that we immediately do our duty. Congress must live up to its Constitutional responsibility to debate an Authorization of the Use of Military Force against a sovereign nation.
As heartbreaking as Assad’s chemical weapons attacks on his own people was, the crisis in Syria will not be resolved by one night of airstrikes. The killing will not stop without a comprehensive political solution to end the violence. The American people are owed a comprehensive strategy with clear objectives to keep our brave men and women in uniform safe and avoid collateral damage to innocent civilians in Syria.
I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible on this matter of grave concern to our national security.
With the United Kingdom threatened with a break up due to the Brexit vote, the United States should consider taking back, like an enfeebled parent in need of care from an adult child, a truncated Britain as the 51st state. There would be many advantages for both countries and their citizenry. The politicians in each country would find voter-rich opportunities for political posturing in an enlarged American union.
Last year the British voted to exit the European community, a move now seen as a bellwether for the American election of Donald J. Trump. Scotland wants to secede from the United Kingdom, and the Irish Republic wants back the six counties of Northern Ireland. With a UK breakup imminent, the U.S. should offer the olive branch of reunification to our English cousins.
What would Britain gain?
• All of Britain’s Brexit problems would be solved. Britain would have free access to all 50 American state markets. Financially, the British would fare much better off as a member of the American Union than as a splintered land mass collapsing into independent sovereigns.
• Britain would have to accept the American legal system. This offers numerous positive changes to England (besides judges being banned from wearing those stupid wigs!). This means that British cops (known as “Bobbies”) would have to read suspects their 5th Amendment rights and be subject to civil rights lawsuits whenever they kicked down someone’s front door without a search warrant. Newspapers could print the truth about public figures without being sued out of business. There were good reasons our forebears started a revolution in 1776.
• The British could let the U.S. Congress force a shotgun marriage between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland. American Congressmen could haul in a rich catch of Irish Catholic votes by bringing about the reunification of Ireland into a 32-country Republic. English Protestant politicians could vote against the deal, knowing it would pass (this would earn them the votes of traditionalists and monarchists.) The truth is, most mainland British politicians don’t want anything to do with the Ulster Unionists, whom they privately regard as an embarrassment. They would secretly delight at being rid of the Unionists and at the same time acting indignantly while voting against Congressional majorities giving Northern Ireland back to the Irish. Like those Massachusetts legislators who recently voted three times against pay raises, and then accepted the pay raises, they could have their cake and eat it too.
• Britain would once again be part of a great country, instead of the piss-ant, third rate nonentity it has evolved into since World War II.
No longer a country with a great past and no future, Britain would once again be part of the pre-eminent world power.
What would the U.S. gain?
• By itself, Britain alone is one of the largest economies in the world. The U.S. could significantly grow its economy overnight by the reunion.
• Britain would have to accept the American system of taxation. This would partly be reparation for British over-taxation of the U.S. prior to the American Revolution and partly to recompense Americans for the British burning the White House during the War of 1812.
• The British health system would be extended to cover the U.S. This would end the American debate over health care. The reunification treaty would specify that Congress would not be able to discuss health care for at least one decade.
• Americans would graciously accept the British monarchy as the head of the American state, with the provision that America remains a Republic. Let Prince Charles represent the U.S. at official functions, such as state dinners and other social events. This will leave President Trump more time for his one true love, sending out messages over his Twitter account.
The populations of each country would gain from reunification.
• The English wouldn’t have to learn English. They could teach us how to use the language. Think of how much George W. Bush or Donald Trump would have gained from elocution lessons in the proper use of the English language!! The British will acclimate to our economy and laws quickly. After all, the British started our economy, and English common law is the basis of American legal doctrine.
• Congress would have to adopt a weekly “President’s Question Time” similar to the prime minister’s questions from Parliament. Trump would love this, answering Democrats’ questions with insults and disparagement. We could watch the two parties hoot and howl at each other like the audiences at a football game. This would probably be a good psychological release for the two parties and Trump. If we did this on Friday afternoons, Trump could watch replays all weekend long.
• Americans could be knighted and become dukes, earls and lords. The Kardashian women could be made princesses, or Brad Pitt a duke (“Duke Brad Pitt” sounds good, like the name of a new fight club movie). We could make Barron Trump a Baron; henceforth he would be known as “Baron Barron Trump.” Nothing less than a Lordship would suffice for Donald Trump; “Lord Trump of Twitter” would fit him nicely.
• American tabloids would be delighted to have new royals to write about. Americans would quickly desire a thirst for stories about royals like “Randy Andy” and “Champagne Charlie.” That’s certainly more entertaining than reading about how Ted Cruz’s father was part of the plot to kill JFK.
• In deference to London sensibilities, the capitol of the state of England would be Liverpool.
• The British parliament would have to take oaths of allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, to protect the Republic against all enemies, both foreign and domestic.
• Finally, the British would give up their ridiculous coinage system. The current system – pounds, shillings, half pennies – never made much sense and is about as useful as the metric system, which should also be discarded.
Britain and the U.S. were allies in two World Wars, the Cold War, and now the war against terror. The Brits have been our closest allies. It’s time we end the divorce and allow Britain to rejoin our country as the 51st state!