Monday, April 8, 2019

To defend morality, he's gone to El Salvador!
Governor Newsom pays respect to a martyred saint, a lesson in humility that Trump cannot understand

In February 1980 Salvadorean Archbishop Óscar Romero published an open letter to US President Jimmy Carter in which he pleaded with him to suspend the United States' ongoing program of military aid to the Salvadoran regime. He advised Carter that "Political power is in the hands of the armed forces. They know only how to repress the people and defend the interests of the Salvadoran oligarchy." Romero warned that US support would only "sharpen the injustice and repression against the organizations of the people which repeatedly have been struggling to gain respect for their fundamental human rights."

On 24 March 1980, the Archbishop was assassinated while celebrating Mass in the chapel of the Hospital of Divine Providence, the day after he called upon Salvadoran soldiers and security force members to not follow their orders to kill Salvadoran civilians.

At the Archbishop's funeral a week later, government-sponsored snipers in the National Palace and on the periphery of the Gerardo Barrios Plaza were responsible for the shooting of 42 mourners.

As explained in the previous post the Salvadoran Civil War brutality was funded and managed by the United States during the Carter and Reagan Administrations. Investigations by the UN-created Truth Commission for El Salvador concluded that the extreme right-wing politician, founder of ARENA and death squad leader General Roberto D'Aubuisson had given the order. Human rights organizations judged the U.S. funded and directed Salvadoran government of that time to have among the worst human rights records in the hemisphere.

After the January 1992 Chapultepec Peace Accords ending the Salvadoran Civil War, the Clinton Administration cut off all aid and deported back to El Salvador thousands of Salvadorans with criminal records, all resulting in powerful criminal gangs dominating a country with extremely limited economic resources in which farms and businesses had been destroyed.

The resulting situation in El Salvador is the cause of the recent increase in immigration. It is the direct result of American intervention in the 1980's and '90's.

Over the past six months, events related to all of this included:
  1. On Sunday, October 14, 2018, Pope Francis canonized Saint Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez.
  2. On Friday, April 5, 2019, President Donald Trump visited the California/Mexico border to view some recently replaced border fence and further "explained" the immigration emergency that forced him to cut off all humanitarian U.S. aid to the people Saint Oscar Romero in 1980 pleaded to President Carter to save from violence and oppression.

  3. Gov. Gavin Newsom with his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom,
    visit the tomb of Archbishop Oscar Romero at Metropolitan
    Cathedral in San Salvador, El Salvador.
                                - AP Photo/Salvador Melendez, Pool
    On Sunday, April 7, 2019, as the Los Angeles Times explained to its readers,  California Governor Gavin Newsom "knelt on a pew Sunday in the lower level of the Catedral Metropolitana, quietly saying a prayer before the tomb of Saint Oscar Romero at the start of a trip to better understand the history of violence and oppression the country’s hero for the poor died trying to end.

    "In a book filled with messages from dignitaries who toured the site before him — former President Obama made a symbolic visit in 2011 — Newsom said he wrote that when he was a young Catholic, he never imagined he would visit the martyr’s resting place as a governor of California trying to 'modestly live out some of the values that Saint Romero practiced.'

    "'I think right now you have a president that talks down to people in this country, talks past them, demoralizing folks living here and their relatives in the United States,' Newsom said of President Trump. 'I think it’s important to let folks know that’s not our country, that’s an individual in our country, who happens at this moment to be president.'”
Newsom also said: "I don’t like people [from Central America] being called invaders. I don’t like the language coming from the Trump administration, I don’t like the rhetoric coming out of the administration. I want to understand. The rhetoric is so toxic coming out of the White House and it impacts people here in a very real way. I think having a counter-narrative, which is one of respect of the human condition and talks about the morality and ethics of calling people invaders.”

Trump, some California Republicans, and some in the news have attacked Newsom for advancing Progressive Pacific beliefs. His passion for "a counter-narrative...of respect of the human condition and talks about... morality and ethics" in this situation is strongly reminiscent of Eleanor Roosevelt.

Perhaps no mid-20th Century Progressive worked harder to achieve the ideal of securing human rights than "The First Lady of the World" Eleanor Roosevelt.

After the end of WWII she led the international process that resulted in the adoption of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in December 1948. At the time of her death on November 7, 1962, she was the first Chair of the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women.

Progressives in the Progressive Pacific States of Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, and California have picked up her sword-of-persuasion hoping to restore Progressive polices within all the states of these United States.

California Governor Newsom is offering leadership-by-example in that effort by filling the U.S. political leadership vacuum. Working with a Democratic Legislature, with a strong sense of humane morality and ethics, he is continuing to advance a Progressive policy implementation agenda in California
  • the State that has the world's 5th largest economy, 
  • the U.S. state with the largest population - having 38.6% more people than the next largest state and more people than the 20 smallest states combined, 
  • the state that is home to more Salvadoran immigrants than the total population of either Wyoming or Vermont.

According to a CALmatters report:

    Newsom says he intends to help steer U.S. immigration policy just as former Gov. Jerry Brown influenced climate change policy—because California’s size, robust economy, diversity and political clout allow the state to “punch above our weight.”
    “The one area that California should do more is on immigration policy,” he said today, the second of his three days on an official visit to El Salvador. He added that in the last decade, the state ceded that role to governors from more conservative border states. “That’s why I’m down here. That’s what I want to bring back in terms of the leadership that we want to advance for our state.”
    Newsom said he’s relying on the powerful California congressional delegation—which includes Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco and GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield—and local leaders to work from the bottom up to compel changes in the Trump administration’s hostile approach to immigration from places such as Central America.
    “We have a unique responsibility and an opportunity to advance a different conversation,” he said after a session with humanitarian, LBGT and women’s rights advocates in the small town of Panchimalco, about an hour outside of San Salvador.

NOTE: For more on Newsom's trip to El Salvador see the previous post Horrors! He's going to El Salvador??? California Governor Gavin Newsom under attack again for seeking to be an informed public official

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