Vol. 8    No. 21
OCTOBER 17, 2013

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EDITORIAL STAFF

Jonathan Gramling
Publisher & Editor

Contributing Writers
Rita Adair, Ike Anyanike, Paul
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Reflections/Jonathan Gramling
                                 The New KKK?
I’ve been nervously watching the drama unfold in Washington, D.C. for the past month as it relates to the
impasse over the passing of a continuing budget resolution. Remember that the federal government is
supposed to pass an annual budget by September 30th so that the federal government can keep operating
in the new fiscal year on October 1st. The Congress hasn’t passed an annual budget in years and so, it
must pass continuing budget resolutions that keep the federal government running at the same levels.

And then there is the federal debt ceiling. The Congress must authorize from time to time the level to
which the U.S. government can go into debt, which stood at approximately $17 trillion, not a small sum.
When the nation hits that debt ceiling, it cannot borrow any more money to pay its bills even if Congress
has already spent additional money that needs to be paid, which it has.

As a country, we are at an impasse on which direction we want to take and what role the federal
government should take. Should there be more government or less government? What role should the
federal government play in protecting its citizens from natural, social, economic and other disasters? The
Congress is at a stalemate over these matters and so, it gets little done.

I was a little nervous when President Obama and the Democratic and Republican Parties started talking
about compromises. The “compromises” that the Republicans have had in mind are the elimination of the
Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare and cuts to “entitlement programs like Social
Security that I have been paying into for the past 50 years and will be the main source of my retirement
money — if I ever get into a position to retire. Compromises on these two issues could have a severe
detrimental impact on my “Golden Years.” I am relieved to see that at least overtly, these two items were
not the victims of the “hostage negotiations” that were going on between the Democrats and Republicans.

I say hostage negotiations because the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party was saying “give us what
we want in terms of the end of Obamacare or we will kill the federal government.” And if any Republicans
in the House of Representatives would vote against their position, they would run candidates against
them in the Republican primaries. The number of Tear Partiers might be relatively small, but they are well-
funded by folks like the Koch Brothers. Some of the Tea Partiers actually relished the federal government
coming crashing down around us. And I don’t think they would have been terribly worried if our financial
markets and economy fell down around us because of the failure to increase the debt ceiling. These are
some radical — and in my mind ignorant — people.

I can’t help but look upon the Tea Partiers like a new brand of the KKK. From what I have seen, the Tea
Partiers are lower-income to middle class Euro-Americans. Back in the late 1800s and 1900s, the
operatives of the Ku Klux Klan were poor whites who felt good about their miserable condition and had
allowed their pockets to be “picked clean” because they at least felt higher on the social ladder than
Black folks.

And these operatives would go about the countryside terrorizing Black folks, burning churches and
lynching Black men with their operations financed by and enabled by richer folks living down south who
could then keep their hands clean. It seems to me that the Tea Partiers are terrorizing us these days
threatening to destroy the federal government and are funded and facilitated by rich white men like the
Koch Brothers who can sit back with their hands clean. And ironically, it is folks like the Koch Brothers —
and not the every day tea partiers — who benefit from reductions in the authority of the federal
government. I’ll bet you that many of those Tea Partiers are depending on Social Security just like I am.
This is a scary group to watch for they care neither about compromise nor about the people who are
negatively impacted by their actions. They operate out of stereotypes and do not believe in science or
logic. They would destroy our way of life, indeed our civilization, to have their way.

We need to stand up to this New KKK. In the end, they are cowards, but hide behind threatened violence
to have their way. We need to stand tall.
Designing Great Spaces
UW Chief Architect Daniel Okoli and the
UW Master Plan