UNC’s Shame: Why Silent Sam Must Come Down

21149984_10209890502844764_7980554321820611943_nUNC Chapel Hill tore down the Silent Sam Sit-In yesterday, confiscating all supplies donated to the peaceful student protesters. This is my letter to Chancellor Carol Folt. I hope y’all will write to her, too: chancellor@unc.edu, (919) 962-1365, @chancellorFolt on twitter.
Chancellor Folt: When the era of your UNC leadership is retold many years from now, the story won’t focus on your accomplishments – but on how you were among the last of the university’s leaders to condone white supremacy on campus.
Despite a green light from the Governor to remove the “Silent Sam” Confederate monument to white supremacists who treasonously rebelled against their own government to keep African-Americans enslaved for greater economic power for whites, you chose to toe the white-supremacist line and uphold the status quo.
It’s not hard to guess why. I’m quite sure that many white males, and some white females, who give generously to the University pressured you to tear down the signs educating passers-by about our white supremacist culture and chase away the peaceful protesters (whose cause I have no doubt will ultimately prevail).
Instead of having the courage to stand on the right side of history and promote racial healing on campus, you played it “safe.” Who wants to deal with the harsh criticism of being ahead of the times, right?
I do wonder if you even took time to observe the sit-in or absorb the many ways in which they were educating the public about white supremacy and its impacts on the community that you lead. I guarantee you that more pertinent education happened in the last few weeks around that statue than in any other classroom on campus.
Are you even aware that Silent Sam’s dedication ceremony included a speech by Julian Carr boasting about how he “horse-whipped a n**** wench until her skirts hung in shreds” on Franklin St.?
It’s SO easy for white people to deny what the Confederacy stood for, to not rock the boat. But I am TIRED of living in a racist, white supremacist culture – and I’m WHITE.
Imagine how your students of color feel.
I know you aren’t from North Carolina. Did you know that your campus was built by slaves (to whom the Silent Sam statue is an affront)?
Or that shortly after the Civil War the KKK murdered dozens of people and tortured others and then impeached the NC governor when he tried to stop them?
Did you know there are at least eight active KKK chapters in the state, including one in Chapel Hill (as well as neo-Nazi and Neo-Confederate hate groups)?
Why are you supporting their cause?
I’m including some links and pictures of the sit-in for educational purposes.
I look forward to the day that you change your mind and remove that monument to white supremacy from its pedestal. The symbolism is important.
If not, I’m sure a future UNC leader – one with the tenacity to stand up for what is morally right – will take that place in history.
Stacie Borrello
NC resident, voter, activist and supporter of the UNC Silent Sam Sit-In
KKK murders lead to impeachment of NC Governor opposed to their violence: https://cwnc.omeka.chass.ncsu.edu/items/show/962
Silent Sam history, including the “horse-whipping a n**** wench” speech: http://www.heraldsun.com/news/local/counties/orange-county/article168765227.html
Confederate statues erected in Jim Crow era to whitewash history and symbolize the continued oppression of black people:
Lastly, why are we celebrating the Confederate oppressors instead of the black freedom fighters?
#silencesam #smashwhitesupremacy #confederatestatues UNC Students of the Silent Sam Sit-in #BlackLivesMatter
Some of the educational materials on white supremacy and personal stories that were featured at the Silent Sam Sit-In before Chancellor Carol Folt tore it all down to make way for something she deems more important: continued white supremacy and oppression of people of color on campus.

Is the Left to Blame for Violence?

16387874_10208267961122235_895910305340602378_nThe people who are blaming the left’s rhetoric for the Alexandria shooting must have missed the news flashes about:

Trump calling for a second amendment fix for the Hillary problem and inciting violence at rallies,
the Portland slayings,
the murders of Richard Collins III and Srinivas Kuchibhotla and others this year,

the rising number of hate crimes against people of color,
the KKK rallies and the nooses left around D.C. and elsewhere,

the “Pizzagate” and Planned Parenthood shootings,

the representative from Louisiana calling on people to “kill them all, kill them all” in reference to terror suspects (which some people seem to think means Muslims in general),

the knife attack on “liberal” students at Transylvania University,
the shooting at the newspaper office in KY,
the assault of the reporter in MT,
the list goes on…

Nobody’s violence is right. But this troubling culture of violence is not promoted by the left – or by Bernie supporters, for god’s sake! Other than one distasteful stunt by one comedian, I have seen mainly a determined resistance against corruption on the left – not rhetoric condoning violence.

And I see that the political right is unwilling to wake up to the reality of trump’s role and Republicans’ role in creating this very polarized country, divided by alternative facts and fear of other races.

And, still, the so-called chief executive Trump and his cronies continue to whip up hatred and anger toward Democrats, Hillary, Obama and the FBI, all but asking for an attack aimed at one of these “enemies.”

When will this madness end?



Timeline Shows Trump Obstructed Justice

18835776_10209196868424337_7398065196946735442_n (1)When you merge the James Comey & Michael Flynn timelines, two days take on additional significance: Jan. 27 & Feb. 14.

Friday, Jan. 27:
Acting Atty General Sally Yates made her 2nd trip to the White House to push for action on Michael Flynn, based on knowledge Russia had compromised him.

That SAME DAY (1/27):
Trump called Comey and invited him to dinner.
Trump again brought up Comey’s interest in keeping his job, then Trump said:

“I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.”

Monday, Jan. 30:
Acting Atty Gen Yates fired for “disloyalty” (in Trump’s eyes).

Skip ahead to the night of Feb. 13:
Michael Flynn resigns as National Security Adviser for presumably “lying to the VP.” Later we learned more details on Flynn’s suspect behavior, including acting as an unregistered agent for Turkey. We also learned after the fact that the Trump team had been notified about Flynn’s problems and did nothing.

Tuesday, Feb. 14:
The following day, Trump clears the oval office of everyone except Comey and begins by saying:

“I want to talk about Mike Flynn…I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

Michael Flynn is in legal jeopardy, confirmed by Yates’ and Comey’s testimony, as well as Flynn himself by asking for immunity.

Context shows Trump’s intent was to obstruct justice. When you add the requests Trump made to other intelligence chiefs (that they refuse to confirm or deny) and the clear intimidation of Comey, the obstruction efforts become more clear.

What will you do to #RESIST? Call Congress 202-225-3121.

Comey’s full statement, in case you haven’t read it:
#obstructionofjustice #comeytestimony

LOL. No, Donald Trump Is Not Vindicated

18839257_10209196870024377_2330428309143610460_n (1)Vindicate means “to free from allegation or blame.”
Far from being vindicated Trump comes off as an amateurish mob-boss who perturbs, manipulates, and threatens those around him.
Donald Trump lies relentlessly; it’s proven. While we’ve questioned his judgement, life-long civil servant Jim Comey does not lie. Who does it make sense to believe?
What Donald Trump has NOT been vindicated on:
> Whether Trump fired FBI Director Jim Comey to influence the Russia investigation (even Trump said he did).
> Whether Trump obstructed justice (Comey said Mueller would probe that charge).
> Whether the Trump campaign or even Trump himself colluded with Russia (that is part of an ONGOING investigation, per Comey).
> Whether any allegations of blackmail material on Trump in the Steele dossier are true (again, Comey said still part of the open investigation).
> Many of Trump’s false statements were not vindicated either. Comey said he wrote notes and shared them immediately after meetings because he was worried Trump might lie, and that Trump did lie about the reasons for his firing.
LOL. Trump has not been vindicated, although it’s predictable he would claim this.
What Trump has been vindicated on:
> Comey told Trump that he was not under personal investigation (at the time, but Comey didn’t want to announce that publicly because he knew Trump could become a person of interest as the investigation progressed). Comey never denied he told Trump this.
Other conservative talking points that don’t vindicate Trump:
> Comey said the NYT article on Trump campaign contacts with Russians is inaccurate (what’s inaccurate is unknown; we do know Page, Kushner, Flynn, Sessions and others met with Russians last year).
> Loretta Lynch may have acted improperly (guess what, she’s not Atty General anymore, but Comey did say classified material on Jeff Sessions makes his continued involvement in the Russia probe “problematic.”
#ComeyHearing #ComeyTestimony #Russiagate #Trumpgate #ObstructionofJustice

Patriots Defend the First Amendment – Trump Doesn’t

1st-Amendment Turkey has arrested 150 journalists, dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants, and taken into custody nearly 50,000 others the government suspects of supporting a failed coup last year, according to Reuters. Could it happen here?

While America doesn’t seem like the place for this, I believe the verbal and even physical attacks on the press in the last few months are a warning sign. A reporter was arrested for asking Tom Price a question about healthcare; another was assaulted for doing the same with Rep. Greg Gianforte in Montana, and still another pinned against the wall at the FCC for a question.

Reporters’ questions are frequently inconvenient and persistent for those who don’t want to answer them. Should our government be allowed to not answer our questions? Should we just decide to repeal the first amendment to make it easier for the Republicans to get their duplicitous agenda passed? Is that the society you want to live in?

Further, Trump esteems the president of Turkey, even though his bodyguards attacked peaceful protesters on U.S. soil.

Patriots love and defend the First Amendment!

“While Turkish officials say the purges are necessary due to the gravity of the coup attempt which killed 240 people, critics in Turkey and abroad say Erdogan is using the coup as a pretext to muzzle dissent and purge opponents,” wrote Reuters.

Don’t forget, Turkey is also the government that Michael Flynn was working as an agent of during the campaign and transition, but failed to report his status or income from Turkey. Recent reports state the White House knew about Flynn’s status as a foreign agent and did nothing and that Flynn helped delay a military operation, a delay favored by the Turkish government.

Follow me: @LiberalLamp on Twitter

#NotNormal #RESIST #FreedomOfThePress

Trumpsters: New Shit Has Come to Light, Man!

IMG_5776Somehow Republicans have grown so accustomed to Trump’s regularly inappropriate behavior that they seem to overlook his obvious compromising relationship with Russia- based not on theories of hidden collusion but on already well-established facts, like, mmmm, I don’t know…


Could you imagine if Iran hacked Trump and promoted fake news about him? Then, after Clinton won, it became known that many members of Clinton’s campaign, family, and cabinet have ties to Iran, have had undisclosed meetings, received undisclosed payments, and Hillary wouldn’t release her tax returns, and had been documented interfering with an FBI investigation? What do you think would be happening right now in Congress??!

No matter how you voted, you should think that what is happening is wrong. Are you a patriot, or what? Far from being stern or interested in protecting our electoral integrity, Trump hosted Russia’s top envoys, including a man considered to be their top spy, in the oval office where he proceeded to brag about how he fired the FBI director. His Russian buddies probably didn’t like that Comey was investigating their illegal acts and was glad he could “take the pressure off.”

The above is a favorable interpretation; a less favorable one is Putin really does have blackmail material on Trump (like his campaign did collude with Russia) to help Putin push his agenda in the US. Don’t forget, Putin has a lot of other friends in the cabinet now, too.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, then trump proceeded to parade his “great Intel” like a kid at show-and-tell.

Classified info in Hillary’s private email: “Lock her up!” But code-word intel Trump leaked directly to Russians in Oval: “America first”?! I don’t take you seriously that you highly value national security if you still back trump.

SO THERE’S ANOTHER CRIME STARING US IN THE FACE: obstruction of justice, especially in view of the reports today that Trump also allegedly tried to influence the national security agency and the director of national intelligence on the #TrumpRussia investigation.

Let’s be clear, all of our intelligence agencies agree that Russia interfered favoring Trump. A large number of Republicans in Congress have publicly agreed that this happened and that we should do something more to deter them in the future.

Trump seems suspiciously slow to put America first and agree with the rest of his country that this happened. The fact that 45 denies it puts us at a greater risk of future interference – and casts suspicion on his motives.

There’s also the “small matter” of senators on the intelligence committee requesting records from FinCEN on Trump. FinCEN investigates money laundering. I have a feeling this is going to become relevant.

Sometimes, I look around myself and wonder how people are going about their regular lives right now.

History is happening and the side you take matters.

Of course, Country will not be healed and politics won’t be purified by ousting Trump.

But it is a necessary first step.


Trump Casino Fined $10MIL for Anti-Money-Laundering Violations

image1 (1)

Two years ago, the Trump Taj Mahal Casino was hit with a $10 million civil money penalty for “significant and long-standing” failures to comply with regulations that prevent money laundering.

According to the 2015 Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) release: Trump Taj Mahal admitted to willful violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), including:

  • failure to report suspicious transactions
  • failure to properly file required currency transaction reports and keep appropriate records and
  • repeated failure to fix deficiencies that left the casino vulnerable to money laundering activity. The FinCEN release states “Trump Taj Mahal has a long history of prior, repeated BSA violations cited by examiners dating back to 2003.”

“Trump Taj Mahal received many warnings about its deficiencies,” said FinCEN Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery. “Like all casinos in this country, Trump Taj Mahal has a duty to help protect our financial system from being exploited by criminals, terrorists, and other bad actors. Far from meeting these expectations, poor compliance practices, over many years, left the casino and our financial system unacceptably exposed.”

It’s interesting to note that Donald J. Trump had lost the Trump Taj Mahal to bankruptcy in 2005 but regained partial ownership of the casino in 2009 together with his daughter Ivanka Trump. Here is what he said about his plan for the casino in 2009:

“My daughter Ivanka and I will work tirelessly to MAKE THIS COMPANY GREAT AGAIN,” Donald Trump said.


Trump was not able to make his vision come true. The Trump Taj Mahal filed for bankruptcy for the THIRD TIME in September 2014, according to the FinCEN release.

A couple final facts to help fill in the picture:

  • A recent Dutch documentary claims Donald Trump has long-standing ties to Russian mobsters.
  • The Senate Intelligence Committee requested records from FinCEN on Trump earlier this month as part of the Trump-Russia investigation. They may be looking for evidence of money laundering and whether people close to Vladimir Putin have invested in Trump’s real estate empire, according to a CNBC report.

Draw your own conclusions from this info. I’ll just say:

When it looks like a skunk and smells like a skunk – it usually is a skunk!!