Bannon Out At White House, But His Legacy Remains – OpEd

Justice is a process, not a human resources decision. Let’s keep our focus on the root of the problem, not just what blooms.

The firing of Steven Bannon should be claimed as a peoples’ victory, a win for the resistance movement that has continued to make clear that we will not accept white supremacists in the White House. Which means, of course, our work continues.

Bannon was the architect of a presidential candidacy and administration founded on a white supremacist, racist, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, misogynistic and ablest nightmare. Bannon championed white ethno-nationalist, anti-Muslim propaganda as the helm of Breitbart News, which he translated into policy proposals at the White House, including drafting the Muslim travel ban, undermining the rights of workers, plans to disenfranchise voters of color, and supporting a bill to slash all documented immigration into the U.S. by half.

While we are gratified by his departure, we know his legacy remains, both in the White House and through the dangerous upsurge in white ethno-nationalism around the country he has helped spark.

But as he packs his office and progressives celebrate, our work of uprooting all manifestations of white supremacy from the halls of power remains.

White supremacists just marched less than a week ago in Charlottesville, where a woman was killed by a car driven by a White nationalist – and more rallies are planned.

Forty-one men — 31 who have never been charged with a crime — continue to deteriorate and languish in Guantanamo Bay, and Trump wants to add more.

Sanctuary cities have lost funding and immigration arrests have increased.

Trump supports a proposal to use private military contractors to fight the war in Afghanistan.

Some younger people have recently wondered aloud what they would have done during times of moral crisis like the Civil Rights movement and the internment of Japanese Americans. The answer I tell them is, “you’re doing it now.” The fight for justice for all those in Trump’s warpath remains. Bannon is out, but Trump continues to surround himself with staff and cabinet members, such as Gen. John Kelly, Jeff Sessions, Betsy DeVos, who champion all that we stand against.

But our resistance is strong. And we’re keeping our eye on the prize as Confederate statues are toppled around the country and all those who believe in justice take to the streets. As we said upon Trump’s election, “Together with all those who value freedom, justice, and self-determination, we must resist and prevent at all costs a slide into American fascism.” Resistance is, and will remain, our civic duty.

*Vincent Warren is the Center for Constitutional Rights Executive Director. The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.


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