STARTING POINTS

1. It’s Tuesday, August 8, 2017.

2. It’s Dustin Hoffman’s 80th birthday.

It’s the 43rd anniversary of Richard Nixon’s resignation announcement.

At noon ET, the Trump administration completed 200 days.

3. In yesterday’s post, I said the nearly two-thirds of Americans who don’t support Trump need to take control of the national agenda. The reeling from tweet to tweet has to stop.

So what should be the first cause? What banner should thousands of Americans rally to in an effort to shake off the toxicity of this administration?

My first choice is a little abstract, but still worthwhile.

4. Respect.

The election of Trump has sparked a surge in disrespect. Most of it is directed at people who aren’t white Christians. A lot is targeted at women.

Two recent incidents highlight the poison infiltrating our society, particularly since Nov. 8, 2016.

On Saturday, as people were gathering for prayers, a bomb tore through the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota. Mercifully, and perhaps miraculously, there were no injuries.

There was something else of which there’s been nothing.

A condemnation by the President of the United States.

For some reason, Trump doesn’t see the bombing of the mosque as something as worthy of his comment as a senator’s criticism of him and his war on the nation’s news media.

What happened in Bloomington on Saturday is terrorism. And to go around claiming you’re some sort of scourge on terrorists without taking a strong stand against this kind of crap makes you a hypocrite.

Attacks on mosques, synagogues or churches reek of bigotry and hatred, and are designed to make people fearful.

That’s terrorism, Trump. Not sure why he can’t say that, and put the weight of the most powerful office in the world behind something any decent human on the planet can support. And, in the process, make more Americans feel as though they’re part of the nation’s fabric, instead of outcasts.

But, hey, good luck missing those bunkers on the 15th hole.

5. The second thing is the controversial memo issued by a now former Google engineer tackling the problem of diversity in the tech conglomerate.

In the memo, the engineer starts out fine (other than using the ridiculous Oxford comma). “I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don’t endorse using stereotypes.”

Alas, as the furor attests, there’s a but in here.

It begins on page three of the memo with a section titles “Possible non-bias causes of the gender gap.” He starts talking about inherited traits of men and women.

And then he steps in it. He says things such as women prefer jobs in social and artistic areas, don’t have the biological capability to speak up on their behalf, and tend to be more neurotic – with higher anxiety levels – than men.

In The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf writes that news organizations are miscovering this memo as an anti-diversity screed. He says by reading it, you understand that the author’s intentions are good.

Sorry, Conor. It’s a stereotype. It’s a lie. And once you reach that point in the memo, it’s like mold on bread – the whole loaf is headed for the garbage.

It really seems long past time we stop judging people by what they look like and instead see what each individual brings to the task at hand.

6. So back to my original point.

A rally to respect all Americans would establish the idea that everyone is part of the American experiment. Regardless of race, sex, religion, gender orientation and ethnicity.

And one more thing – and this part is how you appeal to so-called Trump voters: Geography.

While we all have our preferences about where we live and where we visit, in this country there should be no bias toward people of any locale. The people who feel slighted because they’re Iowans or Mississippians should not feel that way.

A respect rally would be a good starting point to show that opposition to Trump isn’t the only point we share.

And yet, is there any doubt this is something Trump would have a hard time participating? It belies the whole foundation of his presidency.

Besides, there’s an obvious performer for the crowd. Fire up the train for Aretha!

 

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