Mike Pompeo, Trump's
Lap Dog Secretary of State, gave a speech at the State Department on Thursday that infuriated anyone who is remotely concerned with racial justice in America. In particular, it outraged diplomats and officials within that very State Department. The speech was focused on his "Unalienable Rights Commission" — apparently an endeavor that itself is controversial — but true to Trumpian form, Pompeo launched into an attack on The New York Times' brilliant "1619 Project," in an attempt to delegitimize the acknowledgement of racism and slavery in our founding.
Of course he rejects it. God forbid anyone in this Hitlerian administration should come to terms with the white supremacy woven into every inch of our national tapestry. Reaction was swift.
According to a Foreign Policy report:
[H]is comments have sparked fresh debate and criticism among diplomats who continue to raise alarm bells over long-standing issues of systemic racism and diversity challenges in the State Department. Five officials who spoke to Foreign Policy on condition of anonymity described a reaction of shock and fury.
“Pompeo made it very clear where he stands and reaffirmed the purpose of the commission by denigrating the movement for equal justice and the call for racial reckoning and healing in America,” said one State Department official. “Everyone that I have spoken with is horrified and disgusted by the commission, his press conference, and [the] attack on 1619,” said the official.
Pompeo established the Commission on Unalienable Rights a year ago, hoping the commission and newly unveiled draft report would help influence U.S. and international policies on fundamental human rights, at a time when U.S. soft power is wilting around the world. Some human rights groups and other scholars have been critical of the endeavor, arguing it was surreptitiously trying to narrow down how the U.S. government defines fundamental human rights with an eye toward excluding LGBTQ and sexual and reproductive rights.
The State Department declined repeatedly to say whether Pompeo had read the “1619 Project.”
Well, that last issue isn't really up for debate, is it? Why would anyone in this administration read a Pulitzer-prize-winning series of essays on the role slavery played in the founding of our republic if there is a chance they might have to reflect on white dudes doing bad things, like solidifying chattel slavery as a way of life?
Not to mention the need to address other bad things going on. Bad things like forcing kids to go to school during a COVID-19 surge. Bad things like locking refugee toddlers in cages with concrete floors and tin foil blankets. Bad things like taking voting rights away from 1.4 million people in Florida. Bad things like taking health care away from millions of people during a pandemic. Bad things like ignoring Russian bounties on our troops.
But sure, Mike. It's the 1619 Project that is the problem.