McGovern Blasts Trump’s “Hateful And Blatantly Racist Rhetoric” in Floor Speech Supporting Resolution of Condemnation
(editor’s note: we’ve made some sentences bold. – R.T.)
“There is no grey area here. There is a very clear right and wrong.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Jim McGovern, Chairman of the House Rules Committee, took to the House Floor yesterday afternoon to deliver a sharp rebuke of President Trump’s recent racist comments on Twitter.
McGovern’s remarks came ahead of the full House of Representatives voting on H. Res. 489, a resolution to formally condemn President Trump’s recent racist comments.
McGovern’s Remarks as Prepared:
I thank the gentleman from Maryland, Mr. Raskin, for yielding me the time. I support the rule, but I want to speak on one underlying bill in particular, H. Res. 489.
Mr. Speaker, what we saw this week used to be reserved for the darkest corners of the internet. Some chatroom somewhere where people would be too ashamed to even use their real name when spewing vile rhetoric.
But this isn’t some online troll. We are not talking about using dog whistles or speaking in some kind of secret alt-right code, Mr. Speaker. This is proudly using Twitter as a megaphone to attack fellow Americans.
These are American citizens being turned into some kind of scary “other” – not because of their party, but because of their background, their race and their opinions.
I have seen this administration carry out some deeply troubling policies. I have heard some deeply offensive things.
And I know I’m not alone in this. Because when the cameras are off and the press isn’t around, my colleagues on the other side have told me the same thing – that they are sickened by what’s going on.
Well, these recent comments are in a completely different category. This type of language isn’t just offensive, it could lead to violence!And it’s corroding our discourse. More sternly worded press releases and disappointed tweets aren’t going to cut it.
The only thing that matters here is votes.
Press statements are not enough. This House needs to speak with unity and vote to condemn the president’s comments for what they are.
I believe in the adage from Maya Angelou: when someone shows you who you are, believe them. And the president told us who he was long before he rode that escalator down to announce his campaign.
It’s time Republicans told the American people with their votes what they whisper to one another in the cloakroom. What many of them have told me behind closed doors. Because this dark worldview is what will be on the ballot.
I implore my colleagues: think twice before you follow the president off a cliff. Our credibility matters. And your credibility matters.
A presidency lasts, at most, just 4 to 8 years. But many of us will get the chance to serve here long after this administration ends. And we’ll have to live with our conscience for a lifetime.
Silence is an endorsement. Equivocation is an endorsement. Blaming both sides is an endorsement.
There is no grey area here. There is a very clear right and wrong.
Supporting this resolution isn’t about standing with Democrats. It’s about standing up for decency.
The president showed us who he is. Now we have the chance to show the American people who we are.
Now, it’s no secret I have profound policy disagreements with this president. His economic policies favor the rich and his foreign policy ignores human rights. But in all the time I have been alive, I have always respected the office of the president and the occupant. I feel differently now.
I feel embarrassed.
And I feel ashamed.
Let me remind my colleagues – our children are watching us.
Do the right thing.
Do the moral thing.
Condemn President Trump’s hateful and blatantly racist rhetoric.
And I don’t care if it’s out of order, but we need to be clear and we need to call it what it is.
And we need to condemn it. I yield back.
The Magical Moon 🌔
By Rosalie Tirella
… It was mostly hidden by the big tree in our backyard. I looked for it too late. When I usually peek at it, it’s earlier in the night and my moon is lightly floating above the homemade board game propped up against my pantry window pane. As if someone had just pasted a yellow, perfectly round circle onto the night canvas.
Today, while hanging out with mutts 🐶 in our big backyard, …
… I honored The Mystery Achievement of Apollo 11 – and tried to remember what the Apollo 11 Mission to the Moon felt like to me – 50 years ago, when I was just a kid growing up in Green Island. I contemplated the mission’s golden anniversary – all this week – Armstrong’s poetic “ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN, ONE GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND.”
Back then, at Lamartine Street School, our third grade class was marched downstairs by our pretty teacher Miss Zaterka to our big school auditorium, with its butter-yellow walls that I loved so much. We joined the other kids watching the Apollo 11 astronauts walk the moon and float lazily through black space, slow mo. No gravity! The TV was a 19-inch color Zenith set up on a utility cart. You couldn’t see much if you were seated in the back, in those uncomfortable folding metal chairs…so you turned to your friends and whispered…until one of the teachers walked up to your aisle and told you all, sternly, to quiet down and, if you wanted, you could quietly get up and sit on the auditorium floor, in front of the television set.
Whispers aside, there was a real feeling of excitement rolling through the Lamartine Street School auditorium! Miss Zaterka and all the Lamartine teachers had prepared us. They had taught us all about our solar system and its planets – millions of miles away. The sun was a ball of fire! The space rockets going so fast they burned through the atmosphere. Our class had drawn and colored our own interpretations of the event and then we painted our pictures over with a wash of light blue water color paint. Our pictures of rockets, planets, the moon and our American astronauts were done on Miss Zaterka’s fancy big manilla paper. USA flags abounded! Our works of art were hung by our teacher on the long yellowy beige wall outside our classroom – for all to admire …
Even though we were taught their names and what they had to do, I was pretty nonchalant about Buzz and Neil (Collins wasn’t in the lunar module) or walking on the moon. That “magnificent desolation” as one crew member called it didn’t seem so magnificent to me – not on a 19-inch Zenith – or on my family’s black and white Philco at home. Maybe because I was a little kid and went to St. Mary’s catechism class every Monday, at 5 p.m., and walked to church every Sunday morning with Ma and my sisters and believed in God, Jesus, the Virgin Mary, saints, angels and all the miracles they did EVERY DAY, no big deal, and, for my sisters, Santa Claus, the American astronauts didn’t impress so much. They were just like Santa Claus, only their outfits weren’t as cute.
I was too young to appreciate the maleness of it all … or the men’s very real courage – and the sheer wildness of their feat! What balls! What Science! American Brilliance! Crazy!
But there the guys floated in their space capsule – thousands of miles away from planet earth, wearing astronaut suits made in Worcester. As well as their communication gear! Think of it: Worcester kept those amazing explorers ALIVE and IN TOUCH!!!
But back then I was a kid, oblivious. The astronauts’ wives and kids were left behind … maybe feeling AFRAID. Not having the faith in rockets and American engineering that their husbands/dads had. I didn’t give them a thought.
Today I see: The American Astronauts were the embodiment of the dream of President John F. Kennedy. It was he who had wanted America to go to the moon. To be the FIRST on the moon. #1. The Russians had beat us in outer space: we were gonna catch up! Beat those Roskies! – by walking on the lunar landscape! JFK was young, beautiful and full of American audacity!
When President Kennedy was murdered in the same state where the moon and star science was happening, Texas, his kid brother Bobby, called on those same stars and outer space at the Democratic convention. After a 20+ minute standing ovation, Bobby gave his prayer-speech … he turned his brother into stars💫🌟. Quoting Shakespeare, RFK compared his assassinated dear one to the most beautiful star in the night sky – JFK would show up the “garish” sun. He showed us how love for country and your countrymen could transcend filthy guns and twisted minds:
But I was just a little kid who didn’t know from nothin’ when it all happened. I couldn’t understand death, the science behind the moon, the vastness of outer space or the underpinning symbolism of it all: AMERICA = THE KENNEDYS = THE PEACE CORPS = AMAZING MUSIC = YOUTH = WALKING ON THE MOON/EXPLORING OUTER SPACE = DREAMS = HOPE!
The opposite of today. I despair for my country today. So do my Baby Boomer friends. A few have given up the fight!
But back then, for us Baby Boomer kids, the moon walk was all fun and games. It meant I DREAM OF JEANNIE, a TV show starring Larry Hagman and Barbara Eden. Hagman was the handsome NASA astronaut who crash lands on the beach and finds a gorgeous blonde in a bottle – a genie, Barbara Eden. He’s an Aladdin for the swinging sixties! He is mesmerized by Jeannie’s beauty and costume and takes her home with him to Coco Beach, Florida, where she proceeds to wreak havoc on his bachelor life and the entire U.S. space program! Fifty years ago it was me and my two kid sisters watching and laughing to “I Dream of Jeannie” and her gorgeous, put upon, pratfall-prone “master”! Eden’s mini-skirts and go go boots mimicked the clothing young America wore – and with such panache! (in a few years my mother would buy me a black pair of go go boots – grade 5!!?!!?)
A half century ago, the moon and astronauts permeated every part of a kid’s life, in a silly way: There were astronaut lunch boxes with rocket 🚀 Thermoses. There were beach towels with the planets emblazoned on them. There was a local TV show called “Major Mudd.” It was filmed in a “spaceship” before a live kiddie studio audience. Major Mudd always wore his astronaut suit on the set and, at the end of each program, said goodbye to his TV audience with a booming: “I’LL BE BLASTING YOU!!!”
It was crossing Lafayette Street to go to Freddy’s Penny Candy Store located directly across the street from our three decker and buying (from Freddy) a Rocket🚀 Ice Pop. It was RED at its tapered tippity top, WHITE in the middle and BLUE at the bottom – all American sugar treat!
It was firecrackers in our street – and red, white and blue kites at the park.
It was hamburgers sizzling on the grill in Uncle Mark’s backyard – with us kids playing pickle in the frontyard until the burgers were cooked medium rare and ready to be wolfed down. It was big, gas guzzling Electra’s, NuForm Milk, Herbal Essence Shampoo and Earth Shoes. It was Burt Reynolds in Deliverance and Warren Beatty in Shampoo! The Beatles or the Stones? What kind of music gal or guy were you? Ideas, songs, VW buses, communes … FREEDOM. No one really cared much about dough$$$. We all wanted to be Elton John.