From Former Quigley Supportr:
Lauren Underwood Update 7/23/19
Underwood Being Distracted by Politics: Democrats Trying to Make Tweets Against the Squad as an Attack on All Women
Back in February, when State Senator Jim Oberweis announced he would run in the 14th district next year, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood’s political adviser Ronnie Cho responded to the Chicago Sun-Times seeking comment from Underwood’s campaign:
“Underwood ‘is not distracted by politics.
“‘She is prioritizing being with her community…,’ ” said her political adviser, Ronnie Cho.
“Five months later, Underwood needs to stop letting herself be distracted by politics this final week before the congressional August recess, which will begin on Friday for the House until the Monday after Labor Day.
The U.S. Senate begins its August recess on August 2nd, a week later.
As has been written here on McHenry County Blog and elsewhere, Congresswoman Underwood was just at the Texas-Mexico border in south Texas in the Rio Grande Valley on Friday.
Underwood’s border visit was with the House Homeland Security Committee where she serves.
Two other border visits in the Rio Grande Valley took place on Friday, by Senate Democrats and by the House Problem Solvers Caucus.
On Monday, Underwood, and other members from Homeland Security, began discussing their findings with the media.
Underwood’s media tour began with MSNBC early afternoon.
Then, she was interviewed by CNN.
In both of those interviews, Underwood allowed herself to be drawn into the issues with President Trump and his continued Twitter language against the Squad, the four progressive congresswomen who are now household names:
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC)
- Ilhan Omar
- Rashida Tlaib and A
- Ayanna Pressley.
In both interviews where Underwood’s main purpose for talking to the media was the crisis of the southern border and the need for solutions, Underwood was drawn into and went out-of-her-way to give a collective “girl power” promoting how it is women setting the agenda in Congress, though not crediting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in that respect.
On MSNBC with Andrea Mitchell, in response to a question about Underwood’s thoughts about the President’s latest tweet concerning the four members of the Squad:
“You know, it’s been really disturbing to see the President escalate this exchange of words between sitting Democratic congresswomen.
“And you know Mr. President, like it or not, sir, we are here, we are serving in the United States Congress.
“There is a cohort of smart, prepared, dynamic young women serving in the Congress.
“And yes they are bold and are setting the agenda but quite frankly Andrea, women are setting the agenda in this 116th Congress and that’s something thatwe haven’t seen before.
“And so, you know I’ve been very alarmed by the President’s words and I’m hopeful that he will turn his attention to solving some of the problems in our country like the humanitarian crisis going on at the border.”
And on CNN which was reported in a Sun-Times article published last night, she gave her strongest defense of the Squad:
“It’s incredibly disappointing that the president continues to lob these horrible insults to my colleagues, who are smart, who are prepared, who are doing their work in service to our great country.
“But guess what, Mr. President, we’re not going anywhere and we’re not scared of you.
“And so, you know, we’re going to continue to serve the people, improve health care, deal with this humanitarian situation at our border, and make sure we are serving the American people in the way they have instructed us.”
ANALYSIS: Underwood is being distracted in what is a transparent attempt to make President Trump’s tweets against the Squad as an attack on all women in Congress, particularly younger women.
In both quotes, above, look at how Underwood injects the “we” word.
Her responses in both interviews are too similar, almost word-for-word, and come across as a prepared response, and a political strategy of deflection and make it sound like the President is attacking her and all women in Congress.
President Trump did not attack you, Congresswoman Underwood or any other women in Congress outside of the Squad.
Trying to expand the President’s wrongful tweets into something they are not is something both 14th district voters and the nation will see right through.
The Squad’s agenda is an America neither I or most 14th district residents do not want to live in or see.
Sensible members of Congress, both men and women, genuinely want a better future for our country.
As far as women in this Congress, two of the congresswomen who spoke at the Problem Solvers Caucus press conference on Friday night are the mainstream women, who both happened to be freshmen Democrats, 14th district voters best relate to — Congresswomen Elissa Slotkin and Abigail Spanberger.
The President’s tweets are wrong, and the Democrats, and 4 Republicans all voted to condemn his tweets from July 14 last week.
And Underwood’s saying how hopeful she is of the President turning attention to the problems our country faces, then I’m sure Congresswoman Underwood will be praising the President and congressional leaders for reaching an agreement for raising the debt ceiling and FY2020 budget, which was announced late Monday afternoon.
Nowhere in her Monday interviews does Underwood point out the President’s tweet that he would set up a meeting with Senator Chuck Schumer “ASAP!” given Schumer’s border visit on Friday to solve and END the border crisis.
Nowhere does Underwood bring up Senate legislation being negotiated between Senator Dick Durbin and Senator Lindsey Graham (R, SC).
Where she did talk about the border was to promote 3 pieces of legislation passed out of the Homeland Security Committee last week which will not go beyond the House unless very serious negotiations with the Senate remove objectionable language and unrealistic burdens on Homeland Security personnel.
And unfortunately, all 3 pieces of legislation only treat the symptoms at the border crisis, not ENDING the crisis that has brought us here to begin with.
Congressman Anthony Delgado (D, NY), who accompanied Underwood on Friday with the House Homeland Security Committee’s tour, says it better:
“We cannot allow the politicization of the border to obscure the need for coherent and comprehensive immigration policy,”
Congressman Dean Phillips (D, MN), who toured the border with the Problem Solvers Caucus, summarized it best on Sunday:
“What we saw was painful…
“But I also saw hopefulness and I want to reflect on that too, in the midst of all the despair, I saw young kids with possibility in their eyes……instead of expressing outrage, which is easy, is to sit down with one another, Democrats and Republicans, set aside the swords and come to resolution and that is what we [Problem Solvers Caucus] are trying to inspire.”
Congresswoman Underwood would do better to solving the border crisis by following the examples of the President and his discussion with Senator Schumer and the Problem Solvers Caucus.
- MSNBC video: https://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/watch/democratic-representative-lauren-underwood-speaks-on-migrant-conditions-after-touring-facilities-64299077586
- CNN interview transcript: http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1907/22/crn.02.html (could not find the full video interview, do a find on “Underwood” in the transcript, the CNN video excerpt Underwood posted in Twitter is edited and not the full interview)
- Congressman Delgado’s Link: https://wskg.org/news/new-york-representative-pushes-congress-to-act-on-border-crisis
- Congressman Fred Upton Link: https://www.wsjm.com/2019/07/22/upton-returns-from-border-visit
- Fox News Congressman Phillip’s Link: https://youtu.be/Cgc3UDnrw68
- Trump/Congress Debt/Budget Deal Link: https://abc7.com/politics/trump-announces-$137-trillion-budget-deal-with-democrats/5411839
Underwood’s San Francisco Trip Has Racial Undertones in a City Divided by Race and President George Washington
Right before the 4th of July this year, the issue of the Betsy Ross flag and the shoe line displaying it being pulled by NIKE at the last minute because a former NFL quarterback who’s African American thought the Betsy Ross flag was racist.
Now, President George Washington is under attack as the next historical figure of our nation’s history who could be wiped away because some things he did are considered racist.
Congresswoman Lauren Underwood’s long-planned appearance in San Francisco is this Monday night at 6 PM PDT at an establishment named Manny’s, which is in the heart of the Mission District.
Late last month, the school board for the San Francisco Unified School District decided a fresco mural at George Washington High School (GWHS) painted during the Depression of the life of President Washington was to be painted over, with $600,000 being budgeted to the painting-over and expected legal challenges.
The school board’s late June decision, which was overshadowed somewhat with the NIKE Betsy Ross flag controversy, is generating controversy in California.
This issue has progressives taking on progressives and African-Americans taking on African Americans, as documented in a POLITICO article published yesterday, excerpted below:“
“Democratic strategist Mike Semler — who has advised Senator Dianne Feinstein and who has taught public policy at Cal State University Sacramento — this weekend sent out an emergency email alert seeking support for an effort to back a ballot measure to save the mural.
“He said the effort, dubbed the Coalition to Protect Public Art, aims to solicit funds to initiate a ballot measure designed to protect this art, ‘and perhaps other New Deal art in San Francisco’ which may also be targeted.
“With their move, the school board is ‘saying we’re all going to jump in this ship together and paddle left,’’ says Semler. ‘
This is Nancy Pelosi’s district. This is where Kamala Harris is from.
“Clearly, this is not San Francisco values.’
“The presidential campaign of Senator Harris, and the Speaker‘s press office, did not respond to requests for comment Sunday.
“The school board vote in June has set off a growing chorus of protest from Democrats — many in the political establishment — who say that the move to erase history is not only expensive folly, but could hand [President] Trump fodder to suggest Democrats are out of touch with the mainstream headed toward 2020.”
Given Congresswoman Underwood’s appearance at Manny’s on Monday evening is billing her as “The Youngest Black Woman in Congress”, only the most intentionally naive would think Congresswoman Underwood will not be questioned about the GWHS mural, which is in the Richmond District of San Francisco.
I pray Underwood will be prepared and ready to answer a question like this.
Since she will be in San Francisco because she is a member of Congress representing the IL 14th district, we all should pray that she answers questions about the GWHS in an answer that represents district voters, including McHenry County residents.
As the POLITICO excerpt points out, Underwood’s appearance is in the heart of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s district, and through today, Speaker Pelosi has not said anything.
So how should Underwood answer?
ANALYSIS: Given the controversy about the 83 years old mural is the depiction of African-American slaves and a dead Native American, I can only speak partially about the impact given I am in one of the 2 groups.
With a heritage of Native-American ancestry, I can relate to why someone would want the mural removed.
I purposely did not cut & paste the mural with the controversial components, but I viewed them.
Seeing the dead Native-American gave me pause for many seconds, just in stunned silence.
After getting over the shock, I cannot see this accurate portrayal of American History being painted over.
It’s a part of history, a chapter we do not like, but it is still a part of us.
We cannot pretend the injustices against Native-Americans did not happen, even under the name of “Manifest Destiny”.
Seeing this depiction, it reminded me of what no question is my favorite art work in the world — Pablo Picasso’s Guernica.
In addition to having Native-American ancestry, I also have Spanish and Basque.
During the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s, the nationalists under the facist General Francisco Franco fought against non-facists forces for control of Spain.
Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls and George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia are set in the Spanish Civil War, and George Orwell was wounded in the war.
It was no secret Hitler’s Nazi Germany tested their weapons of war in Spain in support of Franco, and knowing those weapons would be used on a much broader scale across Europe a few years later.
One of the cities bombed by the Nazis was Guernica, a predominately Basque city of northeastern Spain.
Every time I see this Picasso, it gives me pause.
Not only the shared ancestry but also the horrors of war and bloodshed, even in abstract representation, and I still get chills, even writing this article.
I recall while at university many years ago, a professor I had to see during office hours had a print of Guernica in his office, I couldn’t keep my eyes off of it, and had to apologize to him for being distracted.
Even a doctor’s office I had to visit in Hoffman Estates a few years back had a print of Guernica, I couldn’t keep my eyes off of it.
Now if someone comes along and says this painting is racist or anti-Semitic because it depicts violence caused by Nazi Germany and it should be banned, I would say “ABSOLUTELY NOT!!”
This painting represents the history of our world, and it is a part of us and it should never be forgotten.
The same goes for the GWHS mural, in my honest opinion.
I cannot speak about the impact of the African-Americans depicted in the GWHS mural because I cannot understand the perspective of an African-American.
The best I can do is hear what other African-Americans have to say with similar situations, and make an informed decision.
In a July 4th AP story about the San Francisco school board’s decision, the following was said:
“Mark Sanchez, vice president of the school board and a third-grade teacher, said students who must walk past the mural during the school day don’t have a choice about seeing the harmful images. ‘Painting it over represents not only a symbolic fresh start, but a real fresh start,’ he said.
“Lope Yap, Jr., vice president of the Washington High School Alumni Association and a 1970 graduates, disagreed, saying when he was a student and saw the mural he was ‘awed by the subtle ways Arnautoff was able to critique American history.’
“He said the depictions are ‘treasures, priceless art’ and painting it over is tantamount to pretending the history depicted never happened.
“’I’m not into censorship,’ Yap said. ‘I would want to deal with history so we can prevent this from ever happening again.’
”I’ve heard the “…pretending the history depicted never happened” phrase somewhere before, from Whoopi Goldberg, in a 2005 introduction to the Looney Tunes Collection:
According to Wikipedia, the Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 3:
“Volume 3 is also the first to contain a warning, this one by Whoopi Goldberg, who is a fan of the Warner cartoon characters, advising the viewers that some of the cartoons on the set contain content that is politically incorrect by today’s standards, but will be shown uncut and uncensored for historical reasons, ‘because removing these inexcusable images and jokes from this collection would be the same as saying [these prejudices] never existed'”
Goldberg did a similar disclaimer on the Tom and Jerry collections.
Yet a more powerful one delivered by African-American actors was an exchange broadcast 20 years ago on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
In the exchange between Captain Sisko (played by Avery Brooks) and his girlfriend Kasidy (played by Penny Johnson), Captain Sisko tells about his problem with the setting of a holographic bar called “Vic’s”, set in Las Vegas in 1962.
Below is a brief excerpt of the powerful scene, and the YouTube link to the full scene video is below:
SISKO: Las Vegas, 1962, that’s my problem! In 1962, black people weren’t very welcome there. Oh sure, they could be performers or janitors, but customers, never….In 1962, the civil rights movement was still in its infancy, it wasn’t an easy time for our people and I am not going to pretend that it was…we cannot ignore the truth about the past.
KASIDY: Going to Vic’s isn’t going to make us forget who we are or where we came from, what it does is reminds us that we are no longer bound by any limitations. Except the ones we impose on ourselves. (emphasis added)
I’m not naive to think that all injustices against many different people, not just racial or ethnic minorities, have been eliminated.
I firmly believe there are some, no matter their background, who place artificial limitations on themselves.
It’s like someone in a jail, where all of the doors are unlocked and wide open to go home, and the person choosing not to walk through them.
The racial polarization in our nation must be dealt with for ALL of us to move forward, to choose to walk out the door.
Congresswoman Underwood is now in a place to impact positive change. For such a time as this, she is where she is.
If asked about the mural in San Francisco, she can play it safe and say “no comment”.
Or she can, in her own words, tell everyone that no one is bound by limitations here in 21st century America.
I sincerely pray Underwood will not play it safe on her upcoming trip to San Francisco. We’ll be watching back home in McHenry County.
- AP Story Link July 4, 2019: https://www.apnews.com/9f3037c7ec9d48a286059ac8f9975afe
- POLITICAL links 22/07/19: https: // www. politico.com/story/2019/07/22/ george-washington-mural-san- francisco-1424425
- Wikipedia Guernica article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guernica_(Picasso)
- Whoopi Goldberg Disclaimer Video Link: https://youtu.be/hoiMLfYUpXIStar Trek:DS9 Video Link: https://youtu.be/puBrFifxSSM