bookmark_border“I’m sick of catering to them”

During a Twitter exchange last week about Joe Biden’s decision to implement totalitarian restrictions taking away people’s rights to make their own medical decisions, I was particularly struck by the following comment:

“I’m sick of catering to them, too.”

This comment was a response to someone who was complaining about people who have chosen not to get the Covid vaccine. The commenter was expressing frustration about the extent to which society has allegedly catered to non-vaccinated people.

My first response was… what a preposterous comment. Non-vaccinated people have been criticized, insulted, called murderers, called irresponsible idiots, barred from activities, places, and occupations, and with increasing pervasiveness and severity been pressured, coerced, bullied, mandated, and required to get the vaccine that they do not want. All of this is the exact opposite of catering to non-vaccinated people.

But then I thought some more about this comment, and the more I thought about it, the more disturbed I became. Our society has never, in any way, shape, or form, treated people who haven’t gotten the vaccine better than people who have. At best, vaccinated and non-vaccinated people have occasionally been treated equally and granted equal rights and privileges in some situations. The vast majority of the time, in the ways enumerated above, non-vaccinated people are treated worse than their vaccinated counterparts.

How could someone look at this state of affairs and see a world that caters to those who have not gotten the vaccine?? 

I realized that this Twitter commenter seems to believe that anything short of actually forcing people to get the vaccine constitutes catering to the unvaccinated. In other words, he/she thinks that merely respecting the fundamental rights of non-vaccinated people, merely allowing them to exist, constitutes catering to them. This is deeply wrong. Catering to someone means deliberately structuring things around their needs, wishes, and preferences. Respecting someone’s fundamental rights is not catering to them. Allowing someone to exist is not catering to them. Abstaining from forcing unwanted medical procedures on someone is not catering to them. 

When this commenter expressed being sick of catering to the unvaccinated, what he/she was actually saying was: “I’m sick of allowing people who are different from me to exist.”

It’s hard to imagine a more intolerant or authoritarian way of thinking than that. But unfortunately, this way of thinking has become increasingly dominant in today’s society. From the forcible imposition of Covid mitigation measures, to the violent destruction of statues and monuments honoring unpopular historical figures, to the vicious negative reaction to the protest that took place at the Capitol building on January 6, our society largely operates on the belief that the preferences and values of the majority ought to be imposed on everyone. 

Therefore, the majority – in this case those who support mandatory vaccination and/or mandatory Covid testing – are the ones who are truly being catered to. It is their needs, wishes, and preferences around which society is structured. But in their intolerant zeal to obliterate diversity and freedom of choice from the world, they do not see this. They are tired of tolerating the existence of those who are different from them. Already possessing more power and control than they deserve, these bullies view any tiny remaining shred of liberty for the minority as an offense. 

A popular slogan among those on the left-hand side of the political spectrum is: respect existence or expect resistance. It’s time they live in accordance with those words.

bookmark_borderBiden’s totalitarianism reaches new lows (again)

I have been so heartbroken, furious, and disgusted by Joe Biden’s September 9 announcement that I have not been able to write coherently about this subject. Reading about and watching his speech was horrifying, and I am ashamed to be from a country that elected him president. I can confidently say that I have never in my life been a fan of Biden, but the degree of authoritarianism and disregard for individual liberty that he has demonstrated is far beyond what I ever imagined possible. For the better part of five days, I have felt completely exhausted, beaten down, and sick to my stomach. I have felt as if my chest is being crushed in a vice and a noose slowly being tightened around my neck.

With that said, here are a few semi-coherent thoughts on Biden’s reprehensible speech:

  • Biden’s comments that “it’s not about freedom or personal choice” are preposterous. The issue of whether people should be required to get Covid vaccines or testing is fundamentally a matter of freedom and personal choice; that is self-evident. Clearly, Biden does not think freedom or personal choice are important. His executive order takes these basic rights away from millions of people. But the fact that Biden is taking the anti-freedom position on an issue does not make the issue not about freedom.
  • Biden says that his “patience is wearing thin” with people who opt not to get the Covid vaccine. This makes no sense. People who opt not to get the vaccine are doing nothing wrong; therefore there is no reason for their existence to make anyone upset, angry, or frustrated in any way. I don’t know about you, but my patience has completely run out with this fascist government and its attempts to take away people’s power over their own bodies and lives.
  • The purpose of OSHA is to protect workers. Under Biden’s executive order, OSHA would require employers to require workers to do medical procedures that they do not want to do. This is the exact opposite of protecting workers, and therefore the exact opposite of what OSHA is supposed to be doing.
  • For those who argue that Biden’s executive order protects workers by lowering everyone’s Covid risk, it is true that the executive order benefits those workers whose sole concern is having the lowest Covid risk possible, and who care nothing about freedom, individual rights, or the well-being of those with different preferences than themselves. But people who have this attitude are wrong. Their desire for safety does not override the rights of others to make decisions about their own bodies. Biden’s executive order gives paranoid, anti-freedom people a benefit that they do not deserve by invading the bodies of their co-workers. This is unjust and wrong.
  • One person on Twitter equated requiring vaccination with banning people from waving a chainsaw around at work. This analogy is ridiculous. Employers have the right to make rules about what employees are and are not allowed to do while at work, and waving a chainsaw is definitely something that employers have a right to ban. Vaccine and testing requirements are different in two ways. First, they compel people to actively take an action as opposed to banning an action. Second, requiring people to undergo a medical procedure does not merely affect them during their work hours; it physically invades their body. By working for a company, people agree to give up specified amounts of time and energy in exchange for money. But bodily integrity is far more intimate and is beyond the scope of what people should have to give up in order to secure employment.
  • The fact that the vaccination/testing requirement will likely apply even to people who work from home defeats any attempt to justify it by invoking workplace safety. Clearly, the vaccination status of those who work 100% remotely has no impact on the safety of their co-workers. This demonstrates that the executive order is not primarily about protecting workers; it is about pressuring as many people as possible into getting the vaccine.
  • As for Biden’s comments that if governors will not help to beat the pandemic, he will get them out of the way, this is not only disturbingly totalitarian, but philosophically unsound. Believe it or not, there are more important things than beating the pandemic, such as individual liberty. Of course, beating the pandemic is a worthy goal, but it is never acceptable to violate people’s rights in order to do so. Individual rights must always come first, no exceptions. Governors who recognize this, and who are courageously standing up for the rights of their people, should be praised, not criticized and threatened.

A real leader would have banned businesses from requiring Covid vaccination or testing. A real leader would have instructed OSHA to draft a rule fining businesses for requiring Covid vaccination or testing, not for failing to do so. A real leader would have stood up for individual rights, not trampled on them. A real leader would have threatened to “get out of the way” those businesses and states which are trampling on the rights of their people, not those that are failing to trample.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that we now live in a totalitarian society. Biden’s executive order is the most severe violation of individual rights that has ever been enacted in the United States. Your body is the most fundamental piece of property that you own, and the right to make decisions about it is the most fundamental right there is. If people can be deprived of this right, then people are no longer free in any meaningful sense. The fact that such a thing has happened in the United States is heartbreaking, infuriating, and sickening.

bookmark_borderThoughts on Lee statue

Lately I’ve been finding it difficult to write about the ongoing destruction of all of the statues and monuments that make our world a worthwhile place in which to live. I certainly do not want to give the impression that I have ceased being outraged and upset about what is happening, for that is the opposite of the truth. Rather, my grief, despair, and rage are so strong that it is not always possible to translate them into words.

The magnificent statue of Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia is scheduled to be dismantled tomorrow. For a year and three months, this work of art has endured disgraceful treatment at the hands of the city and state that ought to venerate both it and the man it represents. The statue has been abused, desecrated, insulted, and covered in profane, racist graffiti with no attempt made to protect, clean, or care for it.

I could go on and on about the devastating psychological impact that these actions have had on me as an autistic person who used to love art and history. I could write about the fact that everything that gives me joy and gives the world beauty and richness has been destroyed. I could criticize the irrational and senseless statements issued by various political figures in praise of these destructive decisions. I could explain how the obliteration of everything honoring the losing side of a war is actually the opposite of diversity and inclusion.

But I am too beaten down and demoralized to do any of that, so instead I am going to share this Facebook post by radio host John Reid:

One of the things that has bothered me the most about the monument situation is the idea that a single sitting board or assembly (presumably elected for a variety of reasons besides being art or social critics) should be able to immediately execute the dismantling of commemorative statuary and art that existed long before they took office.
 
Monuments and immovable art are designed to inspire future generations to examine them- perhaps with admiration but more likely with curiosity and perhaps astonishment and occasionally scorn. The judgement can change as the decades and centuries pass. That’s exactly the point.
 
Reid perfectly explains something that I have always felt: the whole point of statues and monuments is that they are supposed to be permanent. The fact that the majority of people in a community, or the people who hold political power in that community, dislike a statue is no reason to remove it. No generation has the right to destroy the artistic or cultural achievements of previous generations. Statues are not supposed to reflect the viewpoints and ideologies that happen to be popular at the current moment. They are not supposed to change as the predominant values of the society change. If that were the case, there would be no point in building statues at all.
 
Check out his post in its entirety here.

bookmark_borderBiden’s totalitarianism reaches new lows

Thanks to the FDA’s decision to officially approve the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, Joe Biden got a new excuse to act like a totalitarian dictator and to trample on everyone’s fundamental rights.

In a public address, he called on all employers, including private companies, organizations, state governments, and local governments, to require their workers to get the vaccine. “I’m calling on more companies and the private sector to step up with vaccine requirements that will reach millions more people,” the president said.

It’s absolutely appalling that the president of the United States, a nation founded upon the ideal of individual liberty, used the power of his office to urge companies to take away their employees’ freedom to make their own medical decisions. He urged companies to “step up” and violate people’s fundamental rights, as if violating people’s fundamental rights is somehow a good thing. As if bringing intrusion into personal medical decisions to millions more people is somehow a positive thing that makes people’s lives better, when nothing could be farther from the truth.

To value and protect individual liberty is both the job of the president of the United States and a requirement for being a morally decent person. Yet Biden is doing the exact opposite of this. As the most powerful person in the world, he chose to use that power to advocate for a world with less freedom, less dignity, and fewer rights for individuals. He chose to advocate for a world in which more people are forced to do medical procedures that they do not want to do. I can’t think of a worse way for a leader to use his or her power. Not only is Biden by far the worst president the United States has ever had, but he is also a despicable human being and far more of a bully than Donald Trump ever was. 

bookmark_borderBishop gets it wrong on vaccine mandate

The diocese of Lexington, Kentucky recently mandated Covid vaccines for all of its employees. In a statement announcing and justifying the decision, Bishop John Stowe demonstrated a disturbing view of morality, which completely disregards the idea of individual rights and is, in my opinion, completely immoral.

“This is an urgent matter of public health and safety. There is no religious exemption for Catholics to being vaccinated, and Pope Francis has repeatedly called this a moral obligation. The health care system is now overwhelmed by a crisis caused primarily by those who refuse to protect themselves and others by getting vaccinated. This is unacceptable, and our diocese now joins those employers who have already made this basic commitment to the common good a requirement.”

(H/T Jack Jenkins on Twitter)

First of all, contrary to what Bishop Stowe and Pope Francis believe, it is simply false to say that getting a medical procedure is a moral obligation. The only moral obligation that a person has is to abstain from violating the rights of other people. No one is ever morally obligated to actively do anything, and that includes getting a vaccine.

Second, it’s wrong to say that any overwhelm of the health care system is caused by those who opt against the vaccine. It’s true that the situation could potentially have been prevented if more people had gotten the vaccine, but failing to prevent something is not the same as causing it. The virus itself is what is causing people to get sick and the medical system to get overwhelmed. The distinction between actively causing something and merely failing to prevent it is a crucial moral distinction that Bishop Stowe completely fails to make.

This leads to my next point, which is that declining to protect oneself and others (decline is a better word than refuse, because it is neutral as opposed to presuming that the person is acting wrongly by opting not to do the thing in question) is actually a perfectly morally acceptable decision. People are morally obligated not to violate the rights of others, and that’s it. No one is morally obligated to actively protect others. No one is morally obligated to protect him/herself, either. People have the right to take any health risks that they want to. One could argue that deciding not to get the vaccine is unwise, but it does not violate the rights of others; therefore it is a perfectly moral choice that people have the right to make.

Contrary to Bishop Stowe’s claim, there is nothing unacceptable about the situation. People have a right to decide which, if any, preventative measures to take with regards to Covid, and the number of people who get sick will correspond to those decisions. Of course, it is sad whenever someone becomes seriously ill, but people have a right to risk this if they choose to. There is nothing unacceptable about people making their own decisions about what level of risk they are willing to take.

As for the comments about the common good, these are completely misguided and, frankly, immoral. A commitment to the common good is not a requirement for being a moral person, and it certainly should not be a requirement for employment. You know what is a requirement for being a moral person? Respect for individual rights. Sadly, that is something that Bishop Stowe, along with numerous other employers, is sorely lacking. The contempt that Stowe demonstrates towards people who have done absolutely nothing wrong is cruel, disrespectful, philosophically unsound, unjustified, and wrong. Joining those employers who have completely failed in their moral duty to treat others with basic respect is not something that he should be bragging about.

bookmark_borderDr. Fauci gets it backwards

Dr. Fauci recently made some disturbing comments that demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of the concept of individual rights. 

“This is very serious business,” Fauci said on MSNBC in response to a question about whether teachers should be required to get the Covid vaccine. “You would wish that people would see why it’s so important to get vaccinated… I’m sorry, I know people must like to have their individual freedom and not be told to do something, but I think we’re in such a serious situation now that under certain circumstances, mandates should be done.”

Fauci has it completely backward. His position seems to be that protecting people from Covid-19 comes first, and individual freedom comes second. In other words, people should only be allowed individual freedom when safety and health concerns allow. But individual freedom, which includes the ability to decline vaccination if one so chooses, is not merely nice to have. It is not merely something that people would like. It is a fundamental right. It needs to come first. Safety is something that people would like to have, health is something that people would like to have, a low risk of catching a virus is something that people would like to have, but these things can only be taken into consideration after making sure that individual freedom is respected. 

bookmark_border“Irresponsible idiots”

Again and again, people who opt against the Covid vaccine are called morons, idiots, selfish, irresponsible, and a whole host of personally insulting nouns and adjectives. Those who spew forth these insults are essentially claiming that people are morally obligated to undergo a medical procedure for the benefit of others. This raises the question: are people who choose not to undergo a medical procedure truly selfish and irresponsible?

In my opinion, no. If anything, it is selfish and irresponsible to demand that others make the same medical decisions that you would make. The freedom to make decisions about one’s body is a fundamental right. My body, my choice, as those on the left-hand side of the political spectrum so often say with regards to abortion (although they seem to believe this principle is confined only to that particular issue). Unfortunately, the fact that the coronavirus spreads from person to person has caused a lot of people to throw the concept of individual liberty out the window. There is a tendency to believe that in situations where a person’s actions affect other people, individuals should no longer have the right to make their own choices. 

But that way of looking at things is wrong and misguided. It is true that when it comes to communicable diseases, one person’s actions have an indirect impact on others and on society as a whole by affecting the risk levels in the community. Opting not to get a vaccine does mean that a person has a higher risk of catching an illness, and therefore a higher risk of passing the illness on to other people. But there are numerous situations in which a person’s actions can affect other people. In fact, this is true in almost every situation to some degree. Riding a motorcycle creates noise which nearby people might find unpleasant; unhealthy eating can cause health problems which, if a person has insurance, can drive up insurance prices for everyone; and gun ownership carries a risk that one’s gun could be stolen and used to commit a crime, to list just a few examples.

But these are all actions that people have a right to do. To understand why, one needs to understand the difference between direct effects and indirect effects. If someone were to crash their motorcycle into your house, that would have a direct effect on you. It would destroy your property (and possibly physically injure you) and therefore violate your rights. Shooting someone would fall into the same category, as would stealing someone’s money, or giving someone Covid on purpose by deliberately coughing or sneezing on them. These actions all directly harm another person. Opting not to get a vaccine, on the other hand, does not directly harm anyone. It affects others only indirectly, by affecting the risk levels in the community. Declining the vaccine increases your risk of catching the virus, but it does not directly cause you to get it, because it is possible to decline the vaccine without catching the virus. Therefore, declining the vaccine certainly doesn’t cause anyone else to get the virus, because even if you get the virus yourself, you may or may not give it to another person. 

Your habits affect my risk level, those on the left argue, so they are my business. Your personal decisions make me less safe, so you don’t have a right to make them. But these arguments disregard the direct negative impact that is inherent in taking people’s freedom away. Being subjected to an unwanted medical procedure, or being pressured into doing something one does not want to do, violates rights and is inherently harmful. Effects on risk level and safety are not adequate justification for taking away the right to bodily autonomy and thereby inflicting direct harm. The fact that actions have indirect effects on other people does not override the concept of individual rights. If it did, then individual rights would essentially cease to exist. 

If you consider me selfish because I am unwilling to give up my right to control my own body, then so be it. I would rather be a selfish, irresponsible idiot than a mean, stuck-up, contemptuous, intolerant bully. 

bookmark_borderKirk Cousins and media bias about vaccines

I am a strong supporter of medical freedom, which means that in my opinion, people should be 100% free to decide which (if any) medical procedures to undergo, with no pressure or coercion from anyone else. This principle applies to the Covid vaccine as well: choosing to get the vaccine and choosing not to get the vaccine are equally good and equally valid choices and need to be treated as such. 

The media gets this concept wrong all too frequently, and this article about Vikings QB Kirk Cousins is a great example:

First of all, the article, by Ryan Young at Yahoo Sports, makes the mistake of describing Cousins as “antivax” because he chose not the get the vaccine. This has become an extremely common way of characterizing people who opt against the vaccine, but it is not accurate. To be anti-vaccine means exactly that: to be against vaccines in general or the Covid vaccine in particular. But choosing not to do something yourself is not the same as being against it. One can consider it good that something exists as an option, without thinking that everyone should be forced to do it against their will. This concept has proven surprisingly difficult for people to comprehend. I’m sure that Cousins, as well as most people who opt against the vaccine, have no problem with other people getting the vaccine if they want to. 

Secondly, I take issue with the wording that Cousins “doesn’t want to get his coronavirus vaccine.” This makes it sound as if Cousins is immaturely and irrationally refusing to do something that he is supposed to do. In reality, he is making a medical decision that he has every right to make. Absent evidence to the contrary, one should assume that Cousins made his decision deliberately and thoughtfully. Additionally, this might sound overly picky, but it’s technically wrong for people to use the phrasing, “his vaccine” or “her vaccine” or “your vaccine” when referring to someone who is not getting the vaccine. This makes it sound like there is a special vaccine dose allocated for that particular person, just waiting for him/her to come and get it. But if someone isn’t getting the vaccine, there is no such thing as “his vaccine.”

Third, it is wrong to say that the Vikings have the “NFL’s worst vaccination rate.” The Vikings may have the lowest vaccination rate, but that is not the same as worst. Getting the vaccine is an equally good choice as not getting the vaccine. Therefore, it’s just as good to have a team with 0% of the players vaccinated as it is to have a team with 100% of the players vaccinated.

The article talks about how Cousins has said he’s willing to hold team meetings outside (even in winter) and/or surround himself with plexiglass. Reporters questioned Cousins about why he “wouldn’t simply get vaccinated instead of going through such great lengths to avoid getting his shot.” But in my opinion, this is the wrong way of looking at things. To me, holding meetings outside or using plexiglass barriers are easier and less burdensome measures for avoiding Covid infection compared to getting a medical procedure. A more reasonable question would be: why would someone get a medical procedure just so that they can avoid having to practice physical distancing?

In conclusion, the media needs to respect medical freedom, as opposed to pressuring people to get the Covid vaccine. The media needs to present issues in a neutral way, as opposed to operating under the assumption that getting the vaccine is good and opting against it is bad. Too many articles essentially operate as opinion pieces, allowing the author’s presumptions about the vaccine to color the way that news is presented.

bookmark_borderOne of the most offensive tweets ever written

Here is another contender for the most offensive tweet ever written. Earlier I wrote about the fact that people (and I use that term loosely) were offended by the existence of the Nao Santa Maria, a replica of the flagship of Christopher Columbus that travels around the world to educate people about history and sailing. In response to a completely innocuous tweet by the ship’s Twitter account, a despicable individual called Trevanion Grenfell wrote the following reply:

I don’t even know where to begin when explaining how offensive this is and how unacceptable it is that someone would think or write it. 

First of all, Columbus was neither genocidal nor a rapist. 

Second, the Nao Santa Maria is neither horrible, nor a glorification of genocide. It is a beautiful replica of a historical ship, which took immense skill, craftsmanship, and hard work to build. Its presence makes the world a better place.

Third, to suggest that a beautiful replica of a historical ship should be burned is utterly appalling and despicable. It is sickening, heartbreaking, and infuriating that a human being could see something so beautiful and good and want it to be destroyed.

Fourth, the Nao Santa Maria does not constitute “rape-apologizing, genocide-excusing, whitewashing colonial bullshit.” It is a ship replica, and literally none of those terms accurately describe it. The ship has nothing to do with rape, as Columbus did not rape anyone. Nor does it excuse genocide, as Columbus did not commit genocide. 

But more importantly, even if Columbus had committed rape and genocide, that still would not make a replica of his ship bad in any way. People have a right to admire, honor, glorify, and commemorate any historical figures they want to. Every historical figure, every culture, every civilization has good points and bad points. People weigh and evaluate factors differently in determining which historical figures they deem worthy of honor and commemoration. Yet Grenfell is presuming that his opinions about which historical figures are honorable are the only opinions that should ever be taken into account. To him, the feelings, ideas, and viewpoints of others do not matter. Anything that he personally dislikes, he argues, should not be allowed to exist. What right does he have to say that a ship is not welcome in the state where he lives?

The Nao Santa Maria presents a mostly positive depiction of Columbus and his crew. That is not “whitewashing,” nor is it “bullshit.” It is a version of history different from the version that prevails in today’s society. This is something that the world needs more of, not less.

Fifth, the use of the term “sic semper tyrannis” is nonsensical and bizarre. This Latin phrase, made famous as the Virginia state motto and also by John Wilkes Booth, means “thus always to tyrants.” But neither a replica of a historical ship, nor the organization that created it, are tyrants. Grenfell and those who share his ideology are the real tyrants here, as they are the ones who are attempting to obliterate all cultures and perspectives other than their own.

Other than all that, this tweet makes perfect sense.

In conclusion, Grenfell is the one who is truly horrible in this situation. He is an intolerant bigot and a cruel, vicious bully who deserves to be expelled from planet earth. It is heartbreaking that a beautiful, educational ship replica is not allowed to exist in our society without being subjected to this type of cruel, evil, racist abuse.

Ironically, Grenfell claims in his Twitter biography to be a “supporter of… wellness for all people.” This is obviously false. If he cared one iota about the wellness of people of European descent, he would not advocate for their culture and history to be erased. If he cared one iota about the wellness of people such as myself, who love Columbus, he would not advocate for everything that makes us happy to be obliterated from the world. Like so many people in today’s society, Grenfell cares only about the well-being of people like him. So much for diversity and inclusion.

bookmark_borderRacist alderwoman celebrates anti-Italian bigotry

In one of the most disgusting twitter exchanges I have ever seen, a racist bigot decided to insult Italian-Americans, and Chicago Alderwoman Rossana Rodriguez expressed her agreement. 

As you can see in the above screenshot (via a pro-Columbus Facebook group that I’m part of), an anonymous Twitter user described participants in an Italian-American unity rally in Chicago as “racist” and threatened to beat them up. Rodriguez, for some reason, decided to respond to this person (I use that term loosely), expressing agreement and declaring her plans to celebrate the anniversary of the removal of Chicago’s Columbus statue.

There are no words in the English language (or any language) that fully capture how despicable this is. 

The anti-Columbus and anti-Italian actions that have occurred over the past 14 months have inflicted enormous pain on Italian-Americans and those who love Columbus. All around the U.S. and in much of the world, society has almost unanimously told us that our feelings do not matter, our perspectives do not matter, our history does not matter, our culture does not matter, our happiness does not matter, and our rights do not matter. The symbols of our heritage have been cruelly destroyed, obliterated, and brutalized. We have been insulted, slandered, bullied, and discriminated against. Again and again, we are told that black lives matter, and that indigenous lives matter, while we are treated as if our lives do not matter. We have no power and no voice; our opinions are given no weight by those who hold positions of power in our society. Night after night, I lie awake crying, my mind tormented by images of Columbus statues being smashed to pieces, set on fire, decapitated, thrown to the ground, kicked in the head, and strangled. Every day I face the reality of living in a world that does not care about people like me, a world that has chosen to take away everything that makes my life worth living and refused to recognize the enormous negative impact that these decisions have caused.

And now, when a group of Italian-Americans bravely decides to stand up against these injustices, they are called racists and threatened with violence. 

And an elected official decides, instead of taking a stand against such reprehensible comments, to agree with them. Instead of expressing solidarity with people who have been harmed and discriminated against, she decides to celebrate this harm and discrimination with a glass of champagne. This is someone who is supposed to be a leader and a role model. 

It is “agitator in chief” and Rodriguez who are truly racist. Their tweets are beyond despicable, and the fact that over 200 people “liked” these tweets is a sad commentary on the state of humanity. I condemn these sentiments in the harshest possible terms.