King, Excalibur, and his Holy Grail…a look at the war on everyone but white, privileged males

King, Excalibur, and his Holy Grail….
a look at the recent GOP war on everyone but white privileged males
by Laurie Olmon, Minnesota NOW 
Affirmative Action Task Delegate

I am a Monty Python fan, and with every “he said what?” statement over the last year, I couldn’t help but picture King Arthur with clopping coconuts traversing the countryside in search of knights to help in his quest.

We all remember New York Rep. Peter King’s hearing that posed the question: why isn’t the American Muslim community doing anything to curb domestic terrorism? Kansas Rep. Pete De Graaf likening carrying a spare tire is like preparing for getting pregnant after being raped. Many times this year and last, I have heard that public assistance recipients should be sterilized, are nothing but lazy and dumb, and whores and sluts. Mr. Ben Stein, who is not the first man in this country to say “how do we know she’s telling the truth, he’s a respected man, she’s just doing this to get attention”.  Joe Soucheray made a recent statement that he’s “not a woman because he finds football dangerous” because his reader’s asked him if he was going to purchase frilly things.  Finally, that this is God’s country over and over again…..God’s country huh?  I’m sorry, but biased, bigoted, racist, opinions like these make me beg to differ. It also calls to question the following , since the Mr. Privileged Club continues to make “smack your forehead” type of statements:

Why aren’t rednecks doing anything to curb meth labs and trashy trailer parks?

Why aren’t Catholics doing anything to stop the pedophile problem?

Why aren’t teachers creating well behaved, smart children? 

Why aren’t old people doing anything about Alzheimer’s?

Why aren’t the poor curing poverty?

Why haven’t the disabled cured disability?

Why aren’t people of color fixing the racism problem?

Why aren’t white middle-aged men fixing the divorce problem (or should I say the cheating problem)?

Why haven’t women stopped domestic violence?

Why haven’t veterans cured the PTSD, homeless, and suicide epidemic?

Why haven’t little girls abolished the sex slave problem?

Why haven’t banks, car makers, and Wall Street fixed the economy?

Why aren’t students stopping the bullies?

So Mr. King, Mr. De Graaf, Mr. Soucheray, Mr. Stein, and many more of the “fear for your privilege!” group. You are master of your madness, emperor of your entitlement, lord of your lunacy, and king of your crap. But most of all, you are part of the conglomerate that refuses to learn from our history when we put Japanese and German Americans in internment camps, fought over the right to have slaves, whites were superior and therefore segregated, and pedophile priests still get away with crimes. Until this country learns from its history it will continue to repeat its hypocrisy. Until then, we get to listen to the the clip clop of coconuts and eventually the call of…..

We Have Just Begun To Fight!

Chair of Minnesota NOW’s Political Action Committee, Gordy Gustafson, filed this report from the capitol on Saturday:

That’s Gordy, obscuring himself with our Equal Marriage NOW round, at the capitol on OutFront MN’s LGBT Equality Day, April 14 2011.  Photo by Anne Hobson.

“The battle cry at this time is ‘We Have Just Begun To Fight!’ which was chanted late last night and early this morning after we lost the battle to stop the State Constitutional Amendment banning marriage for same sex couples from going on the 2012 ballot on a 70 to 62 house vote…. 3 Democrats voted for the Amendment — Dittrich, Stumpf, and Koenen, and 4 Republicans voted against the Amendment — Kelly, Kriesel, Murray, and Smith.  For the next 18 months there will be a campaign from the opponents of equality to vote YES with millions to potentially billions of dollars coming into the state of Minnesota from outside organizations.  We have to start planning and supporting the vote NO campaign.

A discussion of this 18 month campaign will be a part of the Minnesota NOW State Board meeting agenda on June 4, 2011.  We have to make history by being the first state to vote down this type of State Constitutional Amendment!”

ALL Minnesota NOW members, as well as interested friends, are welcome at our spring meeting.  We convene at 10 am that day at the Minnesota Women’s Building, 550 Rice Street St Paul MN 55103.  For further information, or to RSVP, please see our Facebook invitation:

Our friends need to hear from us, too!

If you’re like us, you’re subscribed to 7823863 different action alerts, all of which fill up your inbox with outraged calls to DEMAND one vote or another from legislators who need to be HELD ACCOUNTABLE for all kinds of HORRIBLE THINGS…..and you call and you e-mail and you vent accordingly.  But  in all our righteous fury, we tend to forget that our allies sometimes like to hear from us, too.  In fact, now is a critical time to give our support, encouragement, and to the Minnesota legislators who are speaking up so eloquently for equality.  They need to hear that Minnesota NOW members are watching, listening, and fighting right beside them in spirit.

Here’s a sampling of what’s being said at the Capitol, courtesy of The Uptake:

Sen. Ron Latz, speaking out against cutting Medicaid funding for women seeking abortions:

Sen. Barb Goodwin, wondering why the state is sticking its nose into other people’s private lives:

Sen. Linda Berglin, who points out that the poorest Minnesotans can’t afford the deductibles & copays proposed in new health care bills:

And the gone-viral superstar,  Sen. Steve Simon, who asked “how many gays does God have to make before we accept that he wants them around?”

It’s time to send words of gratitude to these four and the many, many others at the capitol who are fighting for justice for ALL Minnesotans at the capitol, bot just a lucky few.  You can search for these folks’ contact information via this link, where you can search by legislators’ names or by their districts:

Women’s rights are not a partisan issue–MN NOW speaks out after HR 3 vote


May 5, 2010


Yesterday’s passage of H. R. 3 in the House of Representatives is an outrageous attack on women’s civil rights, says Minnesota NOW State President Shannon Drury.  “Minnesotans should be appalled that Representatives Michele Bachmann, Chip Cravaack, John Kline, and Collin Peterson co-sponsored this legislation, and that Rep. Eric Paulsen joined them to vote for a bill that neither creates jobs nor helps a single Minnesota family during the worst recession in modern times.”

The so-called No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act goes much further than its deceptive title suggests. It would codify and dramatically expand a collection of federal abortion funding restrictions referred to as the Hyde Amendment. As acknowledged by the late Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), the goal of instituting and broadening these restrictions has always been to effectively overturn Roe v. Wade; targeting low-income women was Hyde’s opportunistic start. Now conservative lawmakers’ goal is to deny women at all income levels access to insurance coverage for abortion care.

Drury warns against making this issue a partisan one.  “I have already seen a fundraising message from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee that attacks Republicans for this vote,” she says, “but sixteen Democrats voted for the bill’s passage.  Here at home, the Minnesota DFL Party Platform supports women’s reproductive rights, yet DFLer Peterson was a co-sponsor of and a yes vote for this bill.  Women’s rights, it seems, are seen as an easy political target for both parties.”

Since its founding in 1971, Minnesota NOW has opposed any legislation that interferes with a woman’s right to reproductive health care, which includes abortion.  Minnesota NOW also opposes the economic injustice inherent in H.R. 3, which will have the effect of barring poor women from accessing legal medical care available to women of means.

For further information:


How to talk to your Rep about HR 3!

TODAY IS THE DAY to remind your representatives in the U.S. House about your opposition to HR 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.  If you’re intimidated by the idea, please read the following  how-to by @ClinicEscort.  She ‘s given permission for all activists to borrow her words when making this important call!

Just because I’ve got the Capitol Switchboard on speed dial doesn’t mean I don’t feel awkward actually calling it. I always try to take a minute to make a note of exactly what I plan to say when I’m calling my senators or my Congressional rep, so that I don’t trip over my words, or forget to include an important point, or just generally sound unfocused or unhinged. Because today’s vote on H.R. 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, is so important, I thought I’d share what I wrote down and then said to my Rep’s office when I called today. Feel free to use it as-is if you’re the kind of person apt to say things like “far-right culture-wars nonsense” with a straight face, or tweak it to better fit your own voice–but the exact manner in which you say NO ON H.R. 3 matters far less than that you do say it.

Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. They’ll pick up with something like “Capitol Operator.” Ask to be connected to your Representative. You can ask for her/him by name, but if you don’t know it, you can ask the operator to look it up by your zip code; that’s not a problem. They’ll connect you, and then a staffer at your Rep’s office will pick up. Here’s what I said today:

“Hi, I’m a voter from [my town], and I’d like to leave my thoughts on a pending bill.”

The staffer said “sure, go ahead,” and I continued:

“I just wanted to tell Representative [name] that s/he needs to say enough is enough on this far-right culture-wars nonsense of HR3. There is ALREADY no federal funding for abortion, with rape and incest exceptions so limited that not even 200 procedures were funded that way in 2006. All HR3 will do is insert government right in the middle of families’ private decision-making processes. That is NOT small government and it is NOT what people of conscience would support in this country. May I leave you my name and contact information?”

The staffer said sure, I left my info, we told each other to have a great day, and that was the end of it. It took under two minutes. Now your turn! You’ve got this–go go go!