America’s mortal danger – of those who exploit prejudices, fears


A speech delivered on the floor of the Michigan State Senate by a hitherto little-known state senator named Mallory McMorrow goes viral. Over 9 million views so far. This is not your typical partisan rant.

“I’m a straight, white, Christian, married, suburban mom,” McMorrow proclaimed in a fiery five-minute speech. “Who knows that the idea that learning about slavery and racism means teaching children to feel bad or hate themselves for being white is utter nonsense.”

McMorrow says she was responding to a fellow Republican who accused her in a fundraising email of “grooming and sexualizing children” and “wanting children to believe they were responsible for slavery and feel bad because they are white”.

Sound familiar?

It should because the attack comes directly from the governor. Ron DeSantis‘book of games. It’s worked for him so far in Florida and is being copied across the country because it’s red meat for those at the grassroots of the Republican Party who are homophobic and racist. And it worked because all Democrats seem to be able to do is brand him a bad guy.

McMorrow is brilliantly going on the hunt in a way that I hope will resonate with both Democrats and Republicans who may well agree with her, but are increasingly turning off all the noise and just trying to their children to practice football while facing the rising cost of living.

But stop for a moment and think about what she said. “I learned that service is far more important than performative nonsense like being seen on the same bench every Sunday or writing ‘Christian’ in your Twitter bio and using it as a shield to target and marginalize already marginalized people” , McMorrow said.

“People who are different are not the reason our roads are in bad shape after decades of divestment or health care costs are too high or teachers are leaving the profession.”

I couldn’t agree more.

I’m a straight, white, Jewish, married, suburban dad. If you want to talk about family values, let’s go. My wife and I have raised two amazing children. And we taught them that their happiness and success in life is not threatened by those who look different from them, come from a different place, or love in a different way. We reject the voices of intolerance, whether they come from the right or from the left.

My wife and I agree with the actor/wrestler John Cena who recorded a public service announcement a few years ago in Tampa for the Ad Council, saying, “Patriotism shouldn’t just be about country pride. It should be about love. Love beyond age, disability, sexuality, race, religion and any other label. Because the second one of us judges people based on those labels, we’re not really being patriotic, are we? »

You want to accuse me of being part of the awakened mob? Go ahead and try. I spent my career as an investigative journalist bringing corrupt politicians to justice, discovering that one of the nation’s largest defense contractors was letting faulty parts board military helicopters. I attacked the mafia. I brought a pedophile priest to justice.

I will set this record against anyone claiming some kind of moral righteousness because they stopped a teacher from saying the word “gay” or banned a math book or barked at a child standing behind him for wearing a mask during of a press conference.

Yes, our nation is in mortal danger. But not because of the gay child or the teacher who teaches history. Not because of the immigrant. Not from those who seek equal justice under the law or from the cops who risk their lives to keep our neighborhoods safe.

Our nation is in mortal danger from those who exploit people’s prejudices and fears. And it’s up to those of us across the political spectrum, Republicans, Democrats and Independents, to stop them. We stop them by not giving money to their political campaigns. We stop them by supporting candidates who share the simple truths that Senator McMorrow of Michigan has outlined so well.

“Hate wins when people like me stand by and let it go. I won’t.


Alan M. Cohn is a Peabody Award-winning investigative journalist and was the 2020 Democratic nominee for Florida’s 15and Congressional District.

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