Former Obama Education Secretary Arne Duncan this weekend posted what is by far the worst entry yet in the Civility Take Olympics, which sprung up in the wake of Sarah Huckabee Sanders being refused service at a Lexington, VA, restaurant. It is truly horrific. I take no pleasure in reporting this.
This is the most genuinely offensive statement yet uttered on the whole ridiculous affair, worse even than the Washington Post editorial that conveniently forgot the existence of violence against abortion providers. To compare Sanders not getting her breadsticks or Kirstjen Nielsen being shamed out of a Mexican restaurant because of their roles in enacting and enabling a program of child abuse by the U.S. government with black people being refused service because of the color of their skin is... mind-blowing.
It should go without saying that holding people accountable for their actions is very different from refusing to serve black people out of racism. It also betrays a complete lack of understanding of the nature of power. Sanders holds a great deal of power, as demonstrated by Trump’s tweet this morning and the ongoing harassment campaign against Red Hen (as well as Red Hen in DC, which has absolutely no relation). It’s not that the protestors dislike or disagree with Republicans; Red Hen didn’t put up a “No Republicans Served” sign. It’s that Trump administration policies, as of right now, are harming people.
Another ex-Obama official, David Axelrod, submitted his own heinously bad entry earlier on Sunday to earn a very well-deserved silver medal:
What is it with ex-Obama officials and this bizarre fixation on protestors “dividing” America as if protestors responding to human rights abuses are the ones doing the dividing? As if there’s any unity to be had with Trump administration officials who are executing a racist immigration policy that uses children as a pawn to force more deportations? Is it perhaps a deep-down realization that the vision that launched Obama into the national consciousness—with his notion that “there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America—there’s the United States of America”—is crumbling around them as it becomes ever-clearer that while liberal politicians constantly hinder their own goals in pursuit of bipartisanship, the entire conservative project is one of dominating liberals entirely, to the point of eradicating any chance of liberal representation in government at all? Who can say? Not I; that would be terribly uncivil of me.