Columbia Daily Spectator

Columbia Daily Spectator News, sports, and entertainment coverage for the Morningside Heights community in New York City since 1877. The Columbia Spectator, founded in 1877, delivers news and information daily to thousands of readers around Columbia, Morningside Heights, and West Harlem.
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We are the second-oldest college daily paper in the country and have been financially independent from the University since 1962. The newspaper is published five days a week during the academic year and our blog network, Spectrum, offers updates on news, arts, commentary, and photos from around campus and New York City. The organization is run by undergraduates from Barnard, Columbia College, the School of General Studies, and the School of Engineering and Applied Science, with a staff totaling over 200 students. Spectator has opportunities for a wide range of interests, including reporting, writing, editing, photography, design, multimedia, and finance. Along with the daily paper and blogs, Spectator Publishing Company Inc. includes The Eye, a weekly arts and features magazine; and the business division, which manages Spectator's financial standing. If you're interested in joining or have any general questions, please contact us at [email protected]. Follow us on Twitter @ColumbiaSpec.

Operating as usual

When the film industry suffered the consequences of shutdowns and cancellations one year ago, the future seemed bleak fo...
03/02/2021
Athena Film Festival goes fully virtual for the first time, making stories more accessible

When the film industry suffered the consequences of shutdowns and cancellations one year ago, the future seemed bleak for filmmakers to continue to tell stories. Now, for the first time in its 11-year history, the Athena Film Festival is hosting a completely virtual event. This March, all of the festival’s programming will be in an online format with new stories and program areas seeking to highlight the immediacy and relevancy of experiences with the pandemic.

In response to the ongoing pandemic, the Athena Film Festival has worked to move from an in-person to a fully virtual experience.

Roberta’s, a pizzeria based in Bushwick, and SAPPS, a Japanese restaurant located in Long Island City, will open along B...
03/01/2021
Roberta’s, SAPPS to open new Morningside Heights locations along Broadway

Roberta’s, a pizzeria based in Bushwick, and SAPPS, a Japanese restaurant located in Long Island City, will open along Broadway in the summer and early fall respectively. The two restaurants will join other local businesses like Hex & Co., Blue Bottle Coffee, and Dos Toros that have recently opened in Columbia-owned buildings in Morningside Heights and Manhattanville.

As early as this summer, the Morningside Heights community will welcome two new small businesses after they signed leases with Columbia: Roberta’s pizzeria and Japanese restaurant SAPPS.

Six years ago, the largest police raid in New York City history took place just a few blocks away from Columbia’s campus...
02/27/2021
One Relationship at a Time: Restorative Justice Initiatives in West Harlem are Rewriting Legacies of Violence and Mass Incarceration

Six years ago, the largest police raid in New York City history took place just a few blocks away from Columbia’s campus, when the New York Police Department indicted 103 young residents of the Manhattanville and Grant Houses. Instead of confronting underlying causes of violence, community members say that the neighborhood remained under-resourced and traumatized by mass incarceration. In the years since the raids, West Harlem leaders have worked to address the impact of violence and mass incarceration in the neighborhood through community-led restorative justice initiatives.

Earlier this month, on the top floor of an inconspicuous building on West 124th Street, the Rev. Maurice Winley stood on a small stage in front of a socially-distanced audience. In the back of the room, pizza and cupcakes lined a table; puffy winter coats were draped across the backs of chairs.

Writing on behalf of the Roosevelt Institute Human Rights Center, JiHoon Ko, CC ’22, and Matthew Ruppert, CC ’24, make t...
02/27/2021
Rethinking human rights under the Biden administration

Writing on behalf of the Roosevelt Institute Human Rights Center, JiHoon Ko, CC ’22, and Matthew Ruppert, CC ’24, make the case that advocates cannot be complacent with the Biden administration’s approach to human rights, as appealing as that may be after four years of near-constant work under Trump.

“Human rights” is a term often thrown around in campus discourse. Yet for the past four years, this term was perhaps used most frequently concerning the Trump administration, as many students were dismayed at its frequent and flagrant violations of human rights. Now, following Joe Biden’s inau...

Amid concerns about the lack of affordable housing in the area, the Morningside Heights Community Coalition sent a memor...
02/27/2021
Morningside Heights Community Coalition pressures Columbia to preserve rent-regulated units

Amid concerns about the lack of affordable housing in the area, the Morningside Heights Community Coalition sent a memorandum to Columbia, calling for the institution to preserve the rent-regulated units in its residential buildings as a source of local affordable housing.

In the face of luxury real estate development and rising rent prices, the Morningside Heights Community Coalition sent a memorandum to University President Lee Bollinger and several Columbia officials on Feb. 1, calling for the institution to preserve the rent-regulated units in its residential buil...

Barnard Dining is known for its wide array of in-person food events, from Big Sub to Midnight Breakfast, for students to...
02/26/2021
A semester of change: Barnard Dining in the age of COVID-19

Barnard Dining is known for its wide array of in-person food events, from Big Sub to Midnight Breakfast, for students to enjoy. However, amid COVID-19 and new social distancing measures in place, Barnard Dining has been forced to adapt to the new normal as students returned to campus this spring.

In past years, Hewitt Dining Hall has served as a vibrant and cozy space filled with natural light and much conversation among students and professors. Events such as Big Sub and Midnight Breakfast brought the student body together to celebrate and enjoy food. However, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and...

At Columbia Athletics’ first webinar of the year, Professor Frank Guridy; Alton Byrd, CC ’79; Nzingha Prescod, CC ’15; a...
02/26/2021
Columbia Athletics addresses athlete activism in first webinar on social justice

At Columbia Athletics’ first webinar of the year, Professor Frank Guridy; Alton Byrd, CC ’79; Nzingha Prescod, CC ’15; and Tyler Holmes, CC ’18, discussed the importance of activism in sports. They looked at the accomplishments of athletes, the current limitations, and how America can harness this momentum into the next phase of history.

Moderator and professor Frank Guridy and panelists Nzingha Prescod,CC ’15; Tyler Holmes, CC ’18; and Alton Byrd, CC ’79, hold a conversation on activism in sports.

The Graduate Workers of Columbia-United Auto Workers announced today an intention to strike on March 15. The union plans...
02/26/2021
Graduate Workers Union announces intention to strike on March 15

The Graduate Workers of Columbia-United Auto Workers announced today an intention to strike on March 15. The union plans to stop teaching classes and conducting research until members successfully negotiate with Columbia for their first labor contract.

The union plans to stop teaching classes and conducting research until members successfully negotiate with Columbia for their first labor contract.

Several Hartley residents have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent weeks. All Hartley residents received an email fro...
02/26/2021
Hartley Hall COVID-19 outbreak causes concern among residents

Several Hartley residents have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent weeks. All Hartley residents received an email from Dean of Undergraduate Student Life Cristen Kromm informing them of the outbreak and warning students of a possible lockdown if the cases could not be contained.

An email to Hartley residents underscored the importance of complying with the Columbia Health Compact, stating that the outbreak is likely to have been caused by social interactions within the Hartley residence hall that violated it.

Since Jan. 1, all hospitals in the United States have been ordered to release their prices for treatments and services t...
02/26/2021
New York hospitals make slow progress on implementing new price transparency rule

Since Jan. 1, all hospitals in the United States have been ordered to release their prices for treatments and services to the public. Many have been slow to comply.

A new federal rule went into effect at the beginning of this year stating that all hospitals operating in the United States have to release clear information about the prices of their services, allowing customers to review the potential costs of treatment before receiving it. However, hospitals in N...

Last summer, Makeen Zachery, BC ’22; Hawa Sall, CC ’22; and Zoe Jackson, BC ’22, created The Four Women Fund, a mutual a...
02/26/2021
Student-led Four Women Fund has redistributed over $24,000 to Black womxn in need

Last summer, Makeen Zachery, BC ’22; Hawa Sall, CC ’22; and Zoe Jackson, BC ’22, created The Four Women Fund, a mutual aid fund to support Black womxn through microgrants, which has raised over $24,000 and supported over 60 womxn.

From left to right, the four women depicted in the fund’s cover image are Ashanti Carmon, Audre Lorde, Nina Simone, and Sandra Bland.

Community leader and advocate April Tyler died last week at the age of 60. Tyler was known in West Harlem as a champion ...
02/25/2021
April Tyler, fierce advocate for affordable housing in West Harlem, has died

Community leader and advocate April Tyler died last week at the age of 60. Tyler was known in West Harlem as a champion for affordable housing rights, most notably for her work with the Housing Development Fund Corporations Coalition and Community Board 9. “When the history of West Harlem is written, there’s going to have to be a chapter on April Tyler,” one resident said.

Affordable housing advocate April Tyler has died at 60. She is remembered by friends and colleagues as a community leader of West Harlem.

BREAKING: For the second year in a row, University Commencement will be held virtually. Columbia is the first Ivy League...
02/25/2021
Columbia to hold class of 2021 Commencement ceremony virtually

BREAKING: For the second year in a row, University Commencement will be held virtually. Columbia is the first Ivy League institution to announce a virtual commencement ceremony for 2021. Class Day celebrations will be announced by each school’s deans in the coming days.

The class of 2021′s Commencement ceremony will be held online this April, the Commencement Office announced on its website today. The ceremony will take place on Friday, April 30, at 10:30 a.m. The University has opted to hold the ceremony virtually in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which...

Hip-hop has dominated American culture over the past 20 years. On Columbia’s campus, however, students and professors al...
02/24/2021
The Hip-Hop Project: 2000s - 2010s: CUSH, academics, and the future of hip-hop

Hip-hop has dominated American culture over the past 20 years. On Columbia’s campus, however, students and professors alike find themselves newly exploring the genre. From underground outlier to revered art form, this is the story of Columbia and the hip-hop revolution.

Part 1: The Rise of the Old School Part 2: The Birth of the New School 2000s - 2010s: CUSH, Academics, and the Future of Hip Hop By Nigel Telman A 2015 CUSH meeting featuring guest speaker and professional rapper Junglepussy / Courtesy of Setti Kidane and the CUSH Board The 2000s to 2010s: CUSH, Aca...

In the early days of hip-hop, disc jockeys at Columbia University brought pioneering emcees onto the airwaves and helped...
02/24/2021
The Hip-Hop Project: A historical exploration into the relationship between Columbia University and the rap revolution

In the early days of hip-hop, disc jockeys at Columbia University brought pioneering emcees onto the airwaves and helped usher in a new sound to New York City. From underground outlier to revered art form, this is the story of Columbia and the hip-hop revolution.

Part 1: The Rise of the Old School Part 2: The Birth of the New School The Hip-Hop Project: A historical exploration into the relationship between Columbia University and the rap revolution By Nigel Telman Feb. 21, 2021 Run-DMC rehearse inside the CTV studio / Courtesy of Ovid Santoro Hip Hop: The S...

Columbia artists weigh in on how TikTok is democratizing the music industry one viral video at a time. By finding a nich...
02/24/2021
On the verge of viral: Columbia musicians on creating, marketing, and ascending to fame in a TikTok age

Columbia artists weigh in on how TikTok is democratizing the music industry one viral video at a time. By finding a niche, musicians can build a specific, devoted audience through regular posting and strategic hashtags.

How to become a star overnight? As of late, the answer is simple: TikTok. The app is unique in its ability to make otherwise unknown artists go viral in a matter of a day. With short clips catered to a fast-scrolling audience, artists can tease samples of their music to test a song’s popularity or...

In a true-to-life cartoon, Emma Gometz depicts the struggle of “getting” to online classes on time—not to mention the pe...
02/24/2021
Better late than absent

In a true-to-life cartoon, Emma Gometz depicts the struggle of “getting” to online classes on time—not to mention the perils of actually attending—in “Better Late Than Absent.”

Like us, Metternich lived at a time when political radicalism was on the rise. In his case, this radicalism led to revol...
02/23/2021
Why Metternich matters

Like us, Metternich lived at a time when political radicalism was on the rise. In his case, this radicalism led to revolution, war, and political violence. In ours, it further polarizes communities, undermines our government, and lends itself to violent extremists.

When I am asked who my favorite historical figure is, I cannot help but say Prince Klemens von Metternich. Throughout my life, the majority of the responses I’ve gotten to this have been incredulous. Most people have no reason to know who Metternich is, and the majority of those who do scoff at th...

Elite institutions like Columbia need to restructure their approach toward addressing issues of equity rather than placi...
02/23/2021
The standard for accountability must change

Elite institutions like Columbia need to restructure their approach toward addressing issues of equity rather than placing conversational pressure on their BIPOC, first-generation low-income, and other marginalized students.

Last semester, I was a part of the coalition of Black, Indigenous, and people of color first-year Barnard students that boycotted a required course called Big Problems: Making Sense of 2020—an act that culminated in a letter written to the Barnard administration. In short, the letter outlined an e...

Mental health services on campus have remained consistent with pre-pandemic numbers, despite the switch to virtual couns...
02/23/2021
Virtual counseling and remote campus life present new challenges for students struggling with mental health

Mental health services on campus have remained consistent with pre-pandemic numbers, despite the switch to virtual counseling and programming. Still, many students have confronted new challenges in seeking care over the past year—from difficulties fostering connections with counselors through a Zoom screen to finding adequate spaces to engage in counseling.

CPS has continued operating via virtual appointments and programming, holding over 33,000 appointments between February 2020 and February 2021.

A new methadone clinic is being built in West Harlem near a public school. Residents complain that the new clinic does n...
02/23/2021
Residents push back against construction of methadone clinic, claim Harlem is oversaturated with clinics

A new methadone clinic is being built in West Harlem near a public school. Residents complain that the new clinic does not reflect the neighborhood’s drug addiction rates and will just bring drug dealers into West Harlem

Despite residents’ claims that drug addiction rates in West Harlem are low, a methadone clinic is being built on 145th Street, near a public school and other youth-oriented buildings.

Spring break might not sound like the right time to be working, but it is actually a great opportunity to freshen up you...
02/22/2021
The grind never stops: productive things to do during your spring break

Spring break might not sound like the right time to be working, but it is actually a great opportunity to freshen up your résumé! Check out these tips for having a productive spring break.

It is hard to believe that spring break is just around the corner. For many of us, spring break is the time to see family and friends and to take a break from school and work. For some, it might be a chance to catch up on missed lectures. But for others, spring break is also the perfect time to put....

We’ve traded in Miami Beach for Low Beach this break, but that doesn’t mean it has to be any less adventurous. If you’re...
02/22/2021
Near-campus day trips for spring break

We’ve traded in Miami Beach for Low Beach this break, but that doesn’t mean it has to be any less adventurous. If you’re looking for ways to get outside and enjoy your spare time in New York City, Spectrum’s day trip ideas will help you make the most of your staycation.

Van Cortlandt Park Just because you’re staying in the city doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate the return of hiking season. You can find fresh air, green grass, and nature coming back to life on several trails, ranging in difficulty, in the Bronx’s Van Cortlandt Park. Where: Van Cortlandt Park ...

From Feb. 18 to 20, the Barnard theater department livestreamed “On Loop” from the Glicker-Milstein Theatre. Written by ...
02/22/2021
Barnard theater department’s ‘On Loop’ crosses a landscape of grief in first in-person performance

From Feb. 18 to 20, the Barnard theater department livestreamed “On Loop” from the Glicker-Milstein Theatre. Written by Charly Evon Simpson, the play follows a young woman named Jo who winds her way through a forest of memory and grief.

From Feb. 18 to 20, the Barnard theater department livestreamed “On Loop” from the Glicker-Milstein Theatre. Scenic designer Lex Liang and lighting designer Stacey Derosier transformed the campus black box into a sprawling, dream-like forest and a childhood home.

Spectator spoke to History and African-American Studies professor Frank Guridy about the history of sports activism. Wat...
02/22/2021
The History of Sports Activism with Dr. Frank Guridy

Spectator spoke to History and African-American Studies professor Frank Guridy about the history of sports activism. Watch our video below.

Learn more about the history of sports activism with Columbia professor Dr. Frank Guridy. Credit: Elizabeth Karpen, Caitlin Buckley, Ryan Balderas, Joao Santos

For generations, Black narratives have been whitewashed and ignored. Spectator's Black History Month edition aims to giv...
02/22/2021
Black History Month Edition: 2021

For generations, Black narratives have been whitewashed and ignored. Spectator's Black History Month edition aims to give you a look at the often overlooked stories of the Black communities of Columbia and West Harlem.

In West Harlem, residents have fought to maintain their neighborhood’s rich culture and history. In honor of Black Histo...
02/22/2021
A walk through West Harlem: A look at often overlooked historic sites

In West Harlem, residents have fought to maintain their neighborhood’s rich culture and history. In honor of Black History Month, Spectator takes a “walk through West Harlem” to some of the neighborhood’s major historic sites.

West Harlem is simultaneously a recognized site of rich history and culture as well as a neighborhood fighting to maintain its character. Residents have long clashed with developers and Columbia University to protect their neighborhood from gentrification and the loss of its historic integrity.

The Ivy League presidents voted to cancel all spring sports; this marks the fourth season for the Ancient Eight without ...
02/19/2021
As expected, the Ivy League cancels spring sports

The Ivy League presidents voted to cancel all spring sports; this marks the fourth season for the Ancient Eight without conference competition. The conference left open the possibility of local competition between neighboring schools, however.

The Ivy League presidents voted to cancel all spring sports. This marks the fourth season for the Ancient Eight without athletics.

Can we find meaning in the ordinary? What do the small things in life have to tell us? By describing a half-decade-old m...
02/19/2021
What the Turtle Doves Told Me

Can we find meaning in the ordinary? What do the small things in life have to tell us? By describing a half-decade-old memory of watching two turtle doves, writer Sam Hyman, CC ’23, explores these questions.

The Eye · What The Turtle Doves Told Me Listen to an audio version of this View From Here above! “If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of...

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The Columbia Spectator, founded in 1877, delivers news and information daily to thousands of readers around Columbia, Morningside Heights, and West Harlem. We are the second-oldest college daily paper in the country and have been financially independent from the University since 1962. The organization is run by undergraduates from Barnard, Columbia College, General Studies, and SEAS, with a staff totaling over 250 students. Spectator has opportunities for a wide range of interests, including reporting, writing, editing, photography, design, multimedia, marketing, sales, and finance. Along with daily content online and weekly paper, Spectator Publishing Company Inc. includes The Eye, an arts and features magazine, and the business division, which manages Spectator's financial standing. If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected]. To submit an op-ed, contact [email protected]. Send news tips to [email protected].

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Now, is the time to begin lobbying Congress and the new administration for action on our causes: Health Care, Gun Reform, Environmental Protection, Racism amelioration, Etc.
Under-65s will only receive a COVID-19 Vaccine if they are considered to be vulnerable in health. For all those who are not yet receiving a vaccine - the most scientifically evidenced way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to eat anti-viral foods and engage in a moderate daily exercise routine. DISCOVER THE SCIENCE NOW @ https://KnowledgeIsForEveryone.com - God Bless New York!
Debunking 25 left-wing and Arab myths from a left-wing Arab perspective I'm left-wing and Arab myself, but no, I don't believe this conflict is really a dispute over land https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/debunking-25-left-wing-and-arab-myths-from-a-left-wing-arab-perspective/?fbclid=IwAR29TPt4x9hhmNxFcZQTe4WFXky1hq4eY9jQJhUoEPXFDGAR35SXyEmMQI0
Truth Forever on the Scaffold By John B. Smith The quote “Truth forever on the scaffold wrong forever on the throne” is from the poem “Truth And Falsehood” by James Russell Lowell. Almost a sermon these lyrics from 1840 rings even truer today than when first spoked. Trying to unlock the truth about the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I filed a partition with the Chairperson of the Congressional Black Caucus, US Representative Karen Bass, requesting that Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi schedule a vote to unlock the investigation report from the House of Representatives investigation in 1978. However, there has been no response or action from either Chairwoman Bass or Speaker Pelosi. I made this request to the Congressional Black Caucus because it comprises every representative elected from the majority of African American communities across the United States. If African American Representatives are unwilling to respond promptly and affirmatively to such a consequential and critically important request, with truth on the scaffold in America, the outcome of the November 3rd election will not reverse the conditions that brought Donald Trump to power. Whoopi Goldberg, a former comedian, and actress, now host “The View,” asked rhetorically during a recent show discussing the current Constitutional crisis created by Donald Trump’s legal team and the Republican Party pushing lies in courts and to the public, “Why is this happening in America?” My answer is that “truth has no relevance today in America!” I say further that when the House of Representatives voted to lock the truth away before the American people knew its conclusion in 1978 and again in 2003, it put truth in jail and allowed lies to run free. That vote kept the American people from knowing the extent of the federal government involvement in Dr. King’s murder. Hiding the truth has allowed people like Donald Trump and his Republican enablers to lie to the American people and not only get away with lying, but lying is justified because they are to protect the American people. The coup de grace that illustrates my point came back in March after Bob Witworth’s interview with Donald Trump became public. Trump justified lying to the American People by claiming, “I lied because I didn’t want panic to people.” Those in the US House that voted to seal the report on Dr. King’s assassination use the same lie to justify, locking the truth in jail each time, and white people accepted those lies because they did not want to know the truth. Consequently, lying to the American people as their means to accomplish political goals became the modus operandi of the Republican Party. However, the killing blow to American democracy was delivered by evangelicals Christians, who took lying to a whole new level. Today, evangelical Christians are Trump’s base. They are backing his lies with worship services, prayers, speaking in tongue, and even mad-hatter laughter sessions, imploring God to intervene on Trump’s behalf. Although they claim to believe in the Bible while following the scriptures, their blind obedience to Trump’s lies is more indicative of “idolaters” described in biblical writings. My example is Moses and the Children of Israel and comes from the scriptures of Exodus. Sending Moses to lead the Children of Israel out of Egypt and gave Moses the powers to liberate them. However, pharaoh refused to accept God’s truth, spoken by Moses. God told Moses he would send plagues upon Egypt, and the last would be the angel of death. God instructed Moses to tell true believers to shelter themselves in their homes and put blood upon the doorpost. What is most significant here is the plague did not kill only Egyptians, but anyone that did not follow God’s instructions. Evangelical Christians, who are supposed to know COVID-19 is a plague, should know God works in mysterious ways. God gave protection from the “angel of death to those that put lamb’s blood above their door.” “Idolaters” defied God’s warning from Moses, as did pharaoh, until his firstborn was taken. This biblical message has real implications for America, not only because of the plague, but the lies “Idolaters” told to preserve the power they gained under pharaoh. So, I return to the present where evangelicals are wholehearted worshipping at the altar of Donald Trump, where lies are the keys to the kingdom. However, evangelicals are not the problem, per se; it is the lies they are spewing and supporting to serve Trump and Republican interests. This liar’s parade marched across America, pushing the nation's acceptance of lies. The government offered to explain Dr. King’s assassination, and white people believing not knowing the truth was best for America. Consequently, like the Children of Israel, the American people’s only salvation is to be allowed to know how they were lied to, and the Congressional Report unlocked and truth let out of jail because only truth can defeat a lie. More lies, no matter how well-intended, will breed more lies, and Trump’s fight to stay in the White House is all the proof an intelligent person needs. But with COVID-19 slaughtering Americans, like the plague in Egypt, the only real vaccine against the liar’s environment that has infected America is truth. For instance, Georgia’s appointed Senator Kelly Loeffler, after dragging remarks Rev. Raphael Warnock sermon from way back in 2011 also used them to pull Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar into the Georgia Senate race. Loffler used her “dog whistle,” declaring Omar should be “expelled from Congress” because she supports Rev. Warnock. Loeffler and David Perdue are trying to draw anyone and anything into Georgia’s Senate race to cover over the fact she does not have a record on which to run. Both Loeffler and Perdue are trying to hide their scandalous “money-grubbing” as “inside traders” by attacking their opponents rather than telling Georgia’s voters what they have accomplished in the Senate. This duo used their position on Senate committees to learn information, make trades, and buy stocks that took advantage of the COVID-19 lockdown. These two insider traders—Loeffler and Perdue—acted against Senate rules, but more than that, it is illegal; of course, Republicans looked the other way. So without any issues to run on Loeffler had to go all the way back to 2011 to find something to try and create an issue hoping to draw attention away from her not having a record, with her non-scandal to taint Rev. Warnock. Then there is David Perdue, the other “insider trader/money-grubber” and should have been convicted of malfeasance, as an insider trading. Still, more than that, Perdue is a renowned hypocrite that used his “dog whistle,” missed pronouncing Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris’ name, who is someone he saw in the Senate on the few occasions he was there. Perdue’s performance was part of Donald Trump’s dog and pony super spreader COVID-19 show in Georgia, which helped to create Georgia’s current coronavirus spiking, as Trump hides out safely in the White House, refusing to do anything to address the pandemic. Reid Wilson’s article “Georgia” Perdue-Ossoff: runoff a legacy of the Solid South” for The Hill gives some history on Republicans’ strategy supporting Trump’s denial of losing to President-elect Joe Biden. However, I looked back even further to its origin, the election of 1876 between Republican Rutherford B. Hayes and Democrat Samuel J. Tilden. Hayes trailed Tilden by more than 260,000 popular votes. Preliminary returns showed Tilden had 184 electoral votes to Hayes’s 165 (one shy of the majority needed to win the election), with 19 electoral votes from three states (Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina) and one elector from Oregon (awarded Tilden originally) still in doubt. The US Congress created an Electoral Commission to resolve the dispute. Hayes made a deal with Southerners to end Reconstruction (remove Union troops from the South and disenfranchise former slaves) to win 185 to 184 in the Electoral College. Trump and Republicans are angling to hook just such an outcome by creating doubt about the vote on November 3rd. The lies from the 1876 election trapped descendants of American slavery in their current second class status, the minds of white people. Hayes’ deal with Southerners ended the progress former slaves were making, similar to today, following emancipation, 13th, 14th, 15th Amendments, the Civil Rights Bill of 1866, and Reconstruction. Southerners could not repeal all these amendments, and the US Supreme could not outlaw all of them, so the Court came up with Plessy v. Ferguson—separate but equal—to disenfranchise descendants of American slavery. Plessy v. Ferguson denied former slaves’ access to courts, as Southern politicians concocted two fictitious concepts, “interposition and nullification.” They used to justify disfranchising descendants of American slavery through segregation. “Interposition,” said southern legislatures had the right to position or interpose themselves between the US Constitution and former slaves to protect the rights of white citizens from any illegal actions of the federal government. This made-up concept allowed Southern Legislatures to nullify the 13th, 14th, 15th Amendments and the Civil Rights Bill of 1866. These Amendments and the Civil Rights Bill were never repealed or outlawed. They were simply “nullified.” “Nullification and interposition” explain why the US Supreme Court could not throw Byron Allen’s suit against Comcast out of court. But ruled, “Its unanimous judgment sent his case back to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco for further clarification on discrimination,” because the Civil Rights Bill of 1866 has always been the law. Southern states used “nullification and interposition” to justify blocking former slaves access to equal justice and other rights granted under the Civil Rights Bill of 1866. “The Civil Rights Act of 1866 is current law.” Its passage protected “the Civil Rights of all Persons in the United States, and furnishes the Means of their vindication, by declaring that all people born in the United States who are not subject to any foreign power are entitled to be citizens, without regard to race, color, or previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude.” A similar provision (called the Citizenship Clause) was written into the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 declared also that “any citizen has the same right that a white citizen has to make and enforce contracts, sue and be sued, give evidence in court, and inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and personal property.” Additionally, the act guaranteed to all citizens the “full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of person and property, as is enjoyed by white citizens, like punishment, pains, and penalties... Persons who denied these rights on account of race or previous enslavement are guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction faced a fine not exceeding $1,000, or imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 is what Republicans are really fighting to keep alive the belief that black people are not actually legal citizens of the United States. Republicans are trying to re-impose “interposition and nullification” as they did with “separate but equal.” This strategy worked during the early 1900s only because Democrats elected Woodrow Wilson, who, like Rutherford B. Hayes, was willing to disregard the US Constitution when it came to black Americans. Trump and Republicans are trying to revive “interposition and nullification” with their election fraud claims if they can get states to go along with the lies they are spreading through the news media. Even though Mitch McConnell was able to pack the federal court system with his judges, state court judges are not going along with their scheme to bring their trumped-up charges of voter fraud into federal courts. The stakes in their attempted coup are so high that Lindsey Graham put his credibility on the line, trying to intimidate Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Back in the old Solid South Graham’s tactic would have worked. But, state judges and legislative officials across the United States who are standing firm and backing the US Constitutional are protecting America’s democracy. Following the bizarre media events of this and last week from the Republican National Committee endorsing the wild statements made during Giuliani’s hilarious and lie-filled press conference falsely claimed that Trump not only won the presidential election but did it in a “landslide.” Republicans then doubled down on their reckless attempted coup. The RNC left little doubt that the Republican Party had gone full MAGA when it shared a video of one of the president’s lawyers, Sidney Powell, indignantly spreading misinformation about election fraud. “American patriots are fed up with corruption from the local level to the highest level of our government. And we are going to take this country back. We are not going to be intimidated. We are not going to back down. We are going to clean this mess up,” Powell continued, “President Trump won by a landslide. We are going to prove it. And we are going to reclaim the United States of America for the people who vote for freedom.” In another bizarre press statement but telegraphing where Trump and Republicans are heading, Kayleigh McEnany blared, “Trump's path to victory is the Supreme Court, exposing 'systemic' voter fraud.” Topping this charade off, Russian President Vladimir Putin said “He’s ready to work with any U.S. leader, but still isn’t ready to recognize the election victory of Joe Biden. How chilling is this? Vladimir Putin, an autocrat Trump, is known to admire, stuck his mouth into the chaos going on in America. Next, will he take sides and talk of intervening on Trump’s behalf to prevent a Biden coup? An even weirder remark came from former New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who weighed in on the Trump coup, declaring “Trump should win the Nobel Peace Prize for his Mideast peace deals.” However, US District Court Judge Matthew Brann in a scathing ruling, criticized Republicans for their lack of evidence, as the Trump campaign argued to potentially disenfranchise every voter in the commonwealth who cast a ballot in the 2020 elections—nearly 7 million. That ruling and the 30 something other rulings against Trump’s is why I see his continued efforts to change the election’s outcome as an attempted coup. American patriots are the only thing standing between American democracy and the coup Donald Trump and Republicans are attempting to perpetrate. Republicans are relying on lies to trump the truth, and that is why it so important the US House of Representatives let the truth out of jail by voting to open Dr. King’s assassination file to public view. It will show what Republicans are willing to do to get their way when they do not have the votes to support their aims. President-elect Joe Biden is right in believing that Trump’s efforts to overturn the people’s will in the election will fail if courts continue turning away the insufficient and crumbling case that Trump’s lawyers are trying to build to prevent Pres. Biden from assuming his rightful position. But the President-elect is incorrect if he thinks Trump’s legal assault on his election and on American democracy is the principal problem he faces. Trump is poisoning the atmosphere for Biden as well as American’s confidence in its electoral process. The libel, the calumnies, the discrediting of Mr. Biden’s legitimacy and of American democracy will persist unless he tackles Trump and Republicans head on now and prevents Trump from crippling his presidency before it begins. However, let me be very clear as to what I believe is happening in America. Donald Trump and the Republican Party are definitely engaged in a coup based on their claim that President-elect Joe Biden was elected by illegal votes. My belief is based on the fact Trump believes that “possession is nine-tenths of the law,” which is how he has run his businesses. He is in possession of the White House and will not give it up voluntarily. Trump will make any argument, no matter the facts or truth of them; the idea is to maintain possession. Republicans are complicit by making the argument “Trump has the right to make sure “every legal vote” is counted and contest all illegal votes and make sure they are not counted.” Their calculated statement is an attempt to buy time and push his occupancy of the White House beyond January 20th, never conceding he was defeated. Then the Secret Service, which is loyal to Trump, has to be trusted to force him to leave the White House. The only guarantee the American people have is that the US military remains loyal to the US Constitution and its leaders must state now unequivocally, if the Secret Service does not do its job and escort Donald Trump from the White, they will sept in to protect the United States Constitution and insure a peaceful transfer of power. I opened with Exodus, and I close on Psalm Chapter 40 verse 4, “Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.”