Subtitle: Associating with, and supporting bills written by, hate groups is a bad look for Montana. It’s time to send this un-American trash bill to the dust bin of history.
This blog’s previous coverage of HB146/147 can be found here.
Today the Senate Judiciary hears testimony on House Bill 146 which imposes fiscal penalties on cities who adopt, through city resolution, pro-Sanctuary City policies: $10,000 fine every five days. This bill is being touted by FAIR (Federation of American Immigration Reform), a Southern Poverty Law Center identified hate group. The bill’s authors, Representatives Skees and Holmlund, are claiming that 70% of Montanans “wanted this bill” — with zero corroborating evidence. This bill is not solving a problem that exists, nor is it preventing a problem that is breathing down our necks. This bill is a xenophobic waste of time that preys upon “the other” in Montana.
It’s time for us to get reacquainted with what is means to be an AMERICAN. It’s time to remember that Nazi punching and denouncing fascist statements and behavior used to be cool.
In 1949 DC Comics paired with the Anti-Defamation League/National Social Welfare to produce public service messages. The above school book cover and the colorized poster are two famous examples of their partnership.
Text reads: “… and remember, boys and girls, your school – like our country – is made up of Americans of MANY different races, religions and national origins. SO … if YOU hear anybody talk against a schoolmate or anyone else because of his religion, race or national origin — don’t wait: tell him THAT KIND OF TALK IS UN-AMERICAN. Keep your school ALL AMERICAN!”
The MTGOP during this session have made appalling statements against religions other than Christianity, against people who have/or are attempting to immigrate to this country, against races and other sovereign nations. This is UN-AMERICAN behavior.
HB146 stokes fear and encourages detainment of folks suspected as “other” by fearful people. HB146 paints our beloved Big Sky State as being un-American.
Unless we stand up and denounce this un-American piece of legislation and ensure that this trash bill dies on the Senate floor, we allow hate and un-American values to be codified into Montana law. Call your Legislators today. Demand that our Representatives and Senators be ALL AMERICAN.
I should probably clarify that I’m not trying to get readers to punch Nazis. When these original comics before and during WWII were written, Nazi punching was a thing. Captain American fought Adolf Hilter before America did! Beating up Nazis was most definitely an entertainment form — check out this review (with excellent comic book covers included) of the 2017 book Take That, Adolf: the Fighting Comic Books of the Second World War!
Even a shallow dive into the history of patriotic comic books and writing illustrates that this current divisive political rhetoric is un-American. Too often Democrats and Liberals are accused of not being patriotic, of not loving America enough. The accusers have moved away from patriotism and respect for our country and toward nothing but blind allegiance to a cult of personality.
“In 1938, the New York City Board of Education began requiring students to learn about how multiple groups contributed to American history. When World War II erupted one year later, the demand for tolerance education spiked. The New York Times reported in 1939 that “Instances were cited of teachers in New York City and elsewhere being ‘ridiculed, harassed and otherwise impeded’ by pupils under the influence of, and stimulated by, Nazi doctrine.” To nip foreign propaganda in the bud, schools across the country joined the tolerance movement. Military leaders encouraged it, too. They knew that American troops, many of them fresh out of school, would fight their best if they learned to set aside their differences.” – When Superman Fought Xenophobia in a 1949 Comic, June 20, 2018.
Highly recommend the full article on the history of this tolerance education and the striking similarities it bears to the struggles we have today.
Anti-fascism used to be the norm. Jewish comic book authors and illustrators used to vicariously live through their superhero creations; punching Hitler through pen and illustrated page.
American readers relished justice being doled out to fascists and xenophobes who tried to promote “master races”, white supremacy, and divide Americans. In comic books Americans celebrate diversity, immigration, the promise of America, the melting pot, equality, opportunity, and a wee bit of American exceptionalism.
So call hate groups exactly what they are: hate groups. Call bills that are xenophobic: xenophobic. Love your neighbor. Read the words of The New Colossus sonnet located inside the Statue of Liberty. Be ALL AMERICAN.
And here’s a picture of T’Challa (Black Panther) beating up some KKK members.