And Speaking Of White Nationalism…

Tom Cotton. (Even his name is white…)

As Alternet, among other media sources, has reported:

Tom Cotton, a Republican U.S. Senator representing Arkansas, has filed a bill that would withhold federal funding to any schools that teach “The 1619 Project,” a Pulitzer-prize winning piece of in-depth journalism from The New York Times published in 2019 that explores the United States’s legacy of slavery.

Cotton’s so-called Saving American History Act of 2020 would punish schools that teach lessons based on “The 1619 Project” by making them ineligible for federal professional development grants.

 “The New York Times’s 1619 Project is a racially divisive, revisionist account of history that denies the noble principles of freedom and equality on which our nation was founded,” Cotton wrote. “Not a single cent of federal funding should go to indoctrinate young Americans with this left-wing garbage.”

Calling the meticulously researched reporting “Neo-Marxist garbage,” Cotton has staked out his political territory. He has advocated the use of U.S. military force against racial justice protesters, and accused journalists who had written an article detailing a classified government program monitoring terrorists’ finances of violating the Espionage Act. (He actually proposed prosecuting the reporters under that act, which at its extreme, allows people guilty of violations to be put to death.)

According to Business Insider, during an interview in which he was defending his attack on the Times project, Cotton referred to slavery as a “necessary evil.”

Cotton disputed the premise of the project, which he said argued “that America is at root, a systemically racist country to the core and irredeemable.”

He went on to describe the US as “a great and noble country founded on the proposition that all mankind is created equal.” He continued: “We have always struggled to live up to that promise, but no country has ever done more to achieve it.”

Later, he said: “We have to study the history of slavery and its role and impact on the development of our country because otherwise we can’t understand our country. As the Founding Fathers said, it was the necessary evil upon which the union was built, but the union was built in a way, as Lincoln said, to put slavery on the course to its ultimate extinction.”

Several historians have questioned whether any Founding Father expressed the opinion that slavery was a “necessary evil.” (What some did express was the belief that allowing the South to continue slaveholding was a “necessary evil” if the Constitution was to be ratified.)

Nikole Hannah-Jones was the journalist who came up with the idea for the project, and her   introductory essay won a Pulitzer Prize.  She responded to Cotton’s characterizations in a tweet.

“If chattel slavery — heritable, generational, permanent, race-based slavery where it was legal to rape, torture, and sell human beings for profit — were a ‘necessary evil’ as @TomCottonAR says, it’s hard to imagine what cannot be justified if it is a means to an end,” she wrote.

According to Wikipedia, Cotton has written essays calling Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton “race-hustling charlatans” and has said that race relations “would almost certainly improve if we stopped emphasizing race in our public life.” He has rejected assertions that America’s justice system “over incarcerates, saying “If anything, we have an under-incarceration problem” Cotton said that reduced sentencing for felons would “destabilize the United States.

Not all of Cotton’s policy preferences are rooted in racism, of course. He’s wrong on multiple other fronts as well.

He opposes a path to citizenship for undocumented aliens (okay, that one probably is racist), and voted for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a bill to ban abortions occurring 20 or more weeks after fertilization.

Cotton has an A rating from the NRA and In response to the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, stated that he did not believe any new gun control legislation would have prevented it.

He was one of thirty-one Republican senators to cosponsor the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, a bill introduced by John Cornyn and Ted Cruz that would grant individuals with concealed carry privileges in their home state the right to exercise this right in any other state with concealed carry laws while concurrently abiding by that state’s laws.

You will also not be surprised to find that Cotton opposes the Affordable Care Act; he has characterized it as “offensive to a free society and a free people.” Cotton was among the 38 Republican signatories to an amicus curiae supporting a legal challenge to the ACA. (Okay, maybe this one is rooted in racism too; he probably doesn’t want to give “those people” free access to medical care…)

I should give Andy Borowitz the last word:“Rand Paul thanks Tom Cotton for replacing him as the most hated man in the Senate…Cotton beat out a daunting field of competitors for Senator Paul’s crown, including Mitch McConnell, Susan Collins, and Ted Cruz.”

In short, Cotton is a perfect representative of today’s Republican Party.


  1. Someone pointed out that Cotton is perfectly named, caught as he is in the tangle of thorny cotton plants the slaves harvested with their bloodied fingers. It’s pretty clear which politicians wish to return to those slave-holding days.

  2. And he has a protege, if not a clone, in House Rep. Jim Banks of the IN 3rd District. They even look alike.

  3. Question; were/are there any African-Americans involved in the research and writing of “The 1619 Project” or involved in the ongoing studies?

    Tom Cotton is the perfect poster boy for “How NOT To Be An American”. He authored the letter to the Iranian government, warning them not to trust President Obama to keep his word on their nuclear pact; one of the first items on Trump’s list to end. As with DACA and the ACA, the Iran nuclear pact was not perfect, they were meant to the the first step to resolving life-and-death problems which have plagued this country for many years. But let us not forget that the voters in Arkansas keep reelecting Cotton and the Republican party supports his every whim, the blame for his continuing assaults on voting and civil rights must be shared. The fact that he is in the Senate and enabling McConnell to remain in power makes him a double threat to this nation.

    Is anyone else familiar with the poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar; an African-American poet born in Dayton, Ohio in 1872, died in 1906, the son of former slaves. He was boyhood friends with Wilbur and Orville Wright and spent one summer as acting editor of the only African-American newspaper in Indianapolis. One of his poems expresses a bit of Black life at an earlier time but which has carried for decades; below is the last stanza:

    We Wear The Mask

    We smile, but O great Christ, our cries
    To thee from tortured souls arise.
    We sing, but oh the day is vile
    Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
    But let the world dream otherwise,
    We wear the mask.

    These are the faces we have been seeing around us for many decades; Trump and Cotton’s White Nationalism has brought about the removal of those masks and and we are seeing more clearly the faces of John Lewis, Elijah Cummings, Jim Clyburn, Maxine Waters, Kamala Harris, Stacy Abrams and the list goes on and on. It is time to remove the mask from the White Nationalist party, formerly known as White Supremacist, formerly known as Ku Klux Klan, who want to abolish the Constitution of the United States of America and form this country’s government on the Sovereignty Commission foundation. Tom Cotton is but one of the many in this government who support the change; they are cowardly and need to be unmasked.

    “In short, Cotton is a perfect representative of today’s Republican Party.”

  4. Yes, Senator Cotton has his named substance plugging his ears to the screams and cries of those unjustly imprisoned by his view of cracker justice. Yes, I used the word “cracker” in its pejorative form meaning those who cracked the whip on black people.

    And, yes, Tom Cotton IS the perfect representative of today’s Republican party. After all, slavery represented free labor for the capitalistic bastards who whipped their labor force to squeeze yet another dollar out of their uh, cotton crop. I didn’t read the project, but my question lingers: “How did the 1% of the rich seduce 400,000 of their white constituents to die for that “necessary evil”? Perhaps the hate for POC is deeper than just the confederacy, because it is as worthless as the Confederate money is or ever was.

  5. It amazes me that anybody would take anything said by any Republican office holder seriously. Maya Angelou said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Tom Cotton, Stephen Miller, and the Orange Menace have shown us repeatedly they are nakedly racist.

  6. The Lincoln Memorial aptly portrays the pose of one of the truly iconic Republican leaders of all times … a pose of shame for the likes of Senator Cotton in 2020.

  7. From _No Name in the Street_, by James Baldwin: “ White America remains unable to believe that black America’s grievances are real; they are unable to believe this because they cannot face what this fact says about themselves and their country; and the effect of this massive and hostile incomprehension is to increase the danger in which all black people live here, especially the young.”

  8. JoAnn concludes, “In short, Cotton is a perfect representative of today’s Republican Party.”

    They’re not hiding in barns and speaking from the cover of a sheeted hood. The racists wear suits and ties and get elected to political office by equally racist voters.

    You’ve got to love his adoration for “free people” when we are stuck in a classist, racist, sexist society. Tom has deluded thinking much like many people in the Republican Party.

    We should be thankful for these knuckle-dragging goons because now we can admit our faults…check that…we can see our flaws. We are a long way from accepting them.

    Only after the admission can we begin working on those faults. Just remember, hate crimes against POC grew 1,800% during Obama’s presidency, so with the “Make America White Again” campaign following Obama, we had to know the Cotton’s would rise within the GOP ranks.

    The main problem is with the GOP now hitching their wagons to the racist train. Will the DNC slide further to the right, or will they propose policies and legislation which help the working class?

    I just see them sliding further to the right until the GOP flushes and rebrands itself.

  9. Cotton is an entitled authoritarian dreaming relentlessly of power for his people. The treason (misspelling intentional) for his claim to a throne is he’d like to be reassured that his ignorance is replacing human knowledge and spread to others in order to create little boils of Cotton to carry racism into the future and perpetuate the throne of white entitlement.

  10. Is there any truth to the report that Trump is considering delaying the November election because of his imagined mail-in voter fraud B.S.?

  11. Trump Tweeted at 8:46 this morning that the election should be delayed; stating that due to Universal Mail-In Voting this would be the most inaccurate and fraudulent election ever held. He doesn’t seem to be aware – or doesn’t care – that many thousands of Republicans want vote-by-mail, not only during this Covid-19 Pandemic. The valid reasons for requesting that right are listed on the application for mail-in-voting.

    Copied and pasted from an NBC News Item on Facebook, “The president cannot unilaterally change the date of the presidential election, which is on Nov. 3 this year.

    NBC News presidential historian Michael Beschloss tweeted that there has never been a successful effort to delay it.”

    It appears with his newly appointed Postmaster General; our entire mail service can be delayed due to denying carriers to use overtime to complete their daily deliveries of thousands of pieces of mail and packages. This will delay receipt of our bills, delays picking up payments which will result in late fees added to the following month’s bill. Many elderly and disabled people depend on the Post Office to deliver needed medications. There are many thousands of “time sensitive” mailings throughout this country and around the world where the USPS provides service. Trump has found another way to deny the entire country of their right to be served by the United States Postal Service to aid in his reelection but he cannot delay the election, this takes an Act of Congress. Little satisfaction for those who have used Absentee Ballots; such as military, elderly, disabled, hospitalized or in nursing homes or rehab facilities, those whose jobs take them away from home and those who are living abroad for any number of reasons. This White Nationalist president is attempting to prevent minorities from voting but will be denying the white majority in this country along with them.

  12. I kept hearing how Tom Cotton is so smart because he graduated from Harvard Law School. You know who else graduated from Harvard Law School? Trump Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany and Florida Governor Ron Desantis. Harvard Law School might want to rethink its admission criteria.

  13. as cotton said, an evil necessity. . kinda like present day structure of employment and a living wage. a necessity that marginalized get to live their lives in povery,so a few can be billion airs
    will demand our reps to abide to thier needs over the working class. when the botton falls out, .like the covid mess,we see who gets the help, and who gets attrition. economic slavery may not be as brutal,but it still is pervayed by the rich,who buys congress for their needs.. cotton and lt gov patrick demand we die so they may reap the rewards of their work, thru wall streets greed. trump must be bored, no ones listening to his BS and his ego blender has been cut off. he must miss his golfing brood and televised him, maybe he,ll walk away saying we made him mad, and no one cares anymore about his ego.. trump,and trumpers wants walls around those suburban communities, might as well, nothing good came out levittown anyway..

  14. Vernon, yes The Trumpet did make that suggestion. >>> The president cannot unilaterally move the election. The date of the election is set by Congress. The constitution says the President and Vice President’s term ends on January 20.

    Given as Cotton has said, “it (slavery) was the necessary evil upon which the union was built, but the union was built in a way, as Lincoln said, to put slavery on the course to its ultimate extinction.”

    Yes, slavery was driven to extinction 365,000 total dead, union soldiers plus 282,000 wounded union soldiers. By the end of the Civil War, roughly 179,000 black men (10% of the Union Army) served as soldiers in the U.S. Army and another 19,000 served in the Navy. Nearly 40,000 black soldiers died over the course of the war—30,000 of infection or disease.

    It follows through the twisted thinking of the “Noble Cause” and Neo-Confederates that defending the necessary evil was justified.

    Cotton is not the first Reactionary Republican to repudiate history. Mitch Daniels wanted Howard Zinn’s book – Peoples’ History of the United States: From Wiki:

    In early 2017, Arkansas Representative Kim Hendren (R) submitted a “Bill introduced to ban Zinn’s books from Arkansas public schools.”

    In July 2013, the Associated Press revealed that former Republican Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels asked for assurance from his education advisors that Zinn’s works were not taught in K–12 public schools in the state.

    The AP had gained access to Daniels’ emails under a Freedom of Information Act request. Daniels also wanted a “cleanup” of K–12 professional development courses to eliminate “propaganda and highlight (if there is any) the more useful offerings.” In one of the emails, Daniels expressed contempt for Zinn upon his death:

    This terrible anti-American academic has finally passed away…The obits and commentaries mentioned his book, A People’s History of the United States, is the ‘textbook of choice in high schools and colleges around the country.’ It is a truly execrable, anti-factual piece of disinformation that misstates American history on every page. Can someone assure me that it is not in use anywhere in Indiana? If it is, how do we get rid of it before more young people are force-fed a totally false version of our history?

    Happy “Gone with the Wind” history is what the GOP wants taught in schools.

  15. I have read elsewhere that Cotton is aiming for the presidency in 2024. If I am still around I will be voting for his opponent, whoever he, she or it may be. If he were to run and be elected, I think one of his first acts would be to fire on Fort Sumter, round up minorities (and liberals), and make Hitler look like a conservative. What is really fearful is that the people of Arkansas elect this rancid piece of protoplasm. I didn’t spend time in the South Pacific during WW II to come back and salute a swastika or rising sun.
    As an aside, it was not just southern plantation owners who profited from the “peculiar institution;” it was the owners of the looms in Manchester and Leeds who profited. It was the English who brought us slaves just over 400 years ago and it was the English loom owners who profited from access to our cheap cotton. It was also the English who threatened to blockade our Northern warships from southern ports during the Civil War so that the cheap cotton could remain available. We happen to speak English but have had two wars with them and years of colonialism while we have had no wars with the French, who gifted us with the Statute of Liberty. Cotton and Trump have all the earmarks of an 1863 Leeds but can’t move there; we are so diseased due to Trump’s and Cotton’s coronavirus views that Americans are not welcome there and in many other enlightened jurisdictions. Goodbye, tourism!

    So now Trump is worried about mail voting fraud? He was elected by reason of Putin’s helpful fraud, so when he asks for a delay in November’s vote here’s the translation > Make me president for life. To do: Beginning with Moscow Mitch, every reporter should ask every Republican senator and representative if they agree with Trump that this fall’s election should be delayed? Elections weren’t delayed during the Civil War or WW I or WW Ii (all by mail), so why now? Fortunately, Trump has no power to delay any election, but the idea that he even suggests the possibility tells us all we need to know. How about another quick impeachment for the Senate’s vote, and if they vote not guilty let them explain their votes come November.

  16. Paul K. Ogden; the last I heard about Steve Goldsmith he was teaching at Harvard. That was after he was allowed to resign his position as Deputy Mayor of New York City which was actually a firing for lying about his official place of residence which was NOT NYC but Washington, D.C. This was learned when it went public Goldsmith had been arrested for spousal abuse at their home in Washington, D.C. With teachers the caliber of Goldsmith; we can’t expect much from the graduates.

    You needn’t remind us that President Barack Obama taught Constitutional Law at Harvard; not all of their professors or graduates were of the caliber of the Republicans you mentioned. Hmmm; and they are all Republicans, a coincidence!

  17. Lincoln was a Whig but became a newly named Republican, a party that arose from the ashes of the Whig Party in 1854 on the issue of slavery. The Republican Party of today is headed for Whigdom (and apparently the Whig view of reinstating slavery per Cotton), and as I often note, the advent of Trump has hastened the process. The Republican Party will soon be no more, and I have renamed the new party which will arise from its ashes and describes its values – The Authoritarian Party – and I have thousands on the internet who agree with me – so now we have Democrats and Authoritarians.

  18. Right, Sheila, and one of the members of my law firm was a very sharp lawyer and a graduate of the U of C law school. Ivy league graduates hold many high positions in government for some reason or other, but as an IU graduate nobody called me to serve as an economic adviser. Our current head of Trump’s economic advisers and former Fox commentator doesn’t even have a degree in economics; it’s in history. Uh. . . Perhaps if I were a Republican Fox commentator with my degrees in economics and law Trump would have me serve as an adviser to NASA, and in an acting capacity, of course, so he could fire me if I didn’t agree with his takes on anything and everything. Uh. . . #2.

  19. Sheila; mea culpa, thanks for letting me know. Sounds like Harvard could have used him…lol

  20. I have no words (hold the applause) for this post. After watching John Lewis’s funeral, I cannot even fathom a just and apt word(s) to describe how sad and heart stricken I am with the likes of our Corporate Government beholden to Wealth and Power at all cost, even the cost of humble and powerless citizens. Morbid? Indeed. Criminal? Obviously. Will there be an end to this madness? Will this fragile and nearly crushed democracy not only survive, but somehow and someway find a different path to walk and lead as apposed to the roads that have led us here these past 100 years??? I am a loss these days. How the horrid shit and violence of the Cottons of the world, the Trumps of the world, just keep coming to the top of society to repeat, over and over again, the worse of our angels, the worse of the human spirit.

  21. Do you think this guy would instate a government such as described in “The Handmaid’s Tale” if he could? He’s a clone of Commander Fred Waterford!

Comments are closed.