Open Letter To MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, Rachel Maddow And Ed Schultz

— by Kimberley Johnsonaarom1

The three of you are the big MSNBC liberal spokespeople. You have powerful positions. You are admired and influential.

Ever since the Republican Party started going medieval on women’s rights, I have seen it covered in the media and on MSNBC. Outrage is expressed when it works for the segment but all in all, it’s not been properly reported on. Why? Because not enough women know about the War On Women and no real solution is provided. There is something that will make a huge difference and though it’s not an absolute solution, it would make an enormous and positive difference in women’s issues. The Equal Rights Amendment. It needs to be broken down in the simplest terms and sadly, I see no one person with major influence taking the problem to everyday women and breaking it down. If this were to happen, we would see swifter change.

Approximately 70% of women in this country don’t even know the ERA never passed. Someone who is influential in the mainstream media needs to address this.

Recently, a White House petition received the required signatures for the ERA to be ratified. This means the President must address it. I have not heard him do so. Rachel Maddow was Twitterbombed with tweets begging her to spread the word. Nothing.

Why would a Rhodes Scholar, who happens to be a lesbian and a champion for women, ignore the ERA? If I were Rachel Maddow, I would be on TV with a bullhorn demanding action NOW. But Maddow doesn’t address it and a Google search resulted in only one story by Maddow in 2011.  The same search showed zero results for Lawrence O’Donnell and Ed Schultz. No one is addressing the ERA now.

Why?

Feminism still carries a negative connotation. The women who don’t shave their legs and run naked through the streets in protest come to mind. Those women who take on the name ‘slut’ because they are SICK TO DEATH of not being equal and wanting choice and available, affordable birth control, are not wrapped up in a shiny, pretty media packages. Feminists are too often portrayed as angry and don’t make for appealing journalism unless there is a bill or legislation attached—and the guests on these shows talking about women’s rights are professional pundits, not everyday women who are working on passing the ERA. The idea of equality in the Constitution is largely ignored. Perhaps this is why we get angry.

Women dropped the ball in1972. We failed to get the ERA ratified, thanks in part to the lies anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly told in her successful campaign to stop the ERA. We did see progress in the following decades but we forgot about our mission and got lazy. 2011 changed all of that and our rights are under attack. Thousands, maybe even millions of women realize that it’s now time take the necessary action and are currently working  to make it happen.

The ERA also brings to mind the protests. Eww, yucky women’s protests that no one in the media EVER wants to cover. Women dress up like vaginas and make demands! That’s not very ladylike or classy and does not fall into the purview of how women ‘should’ act. Women should be graceful and know their place—right? Even liberals are guilty of expecting this behavior. We are also guilty of arguing amongst ourselves about the how of it, and the action falls by the wayside.

We rarely hear about the struggles women have gone through so that women today have the right to vote, the ability to be financially independent, go to college and earn degrees. Women didn’t used have these rights, and in order to achieve these rights we were forced to ‘get ugly.’

Alice Paul dedicated her life so that women have the right to vote, along with Lucy Burns, Susan B. Anthony and many other feminists. If we take a clue from herstory, we see that being ignored didn’t stop these women. Angry mobs didn’t stop them. Being falsely accused and arrested didn’t stop them. Being forced to wear a straightjacket, strapped down and force-fed raw eggs until vomiting blood didn’t stop them and neither did violence, solitary confinement and public ridicule.

The lesson here is that you can continue to ignore the bigger picture when it pertains to women’s rights, but women are not going to stop. I hope that no woman has to ever endure the atrocities inflicted upon our foremothers, but I believe that we will do whatever it takes, even at the risk of being ‘angry.’ The media can help things move along. The question is, will you?

Equal rights takes nothing away from anyone. It only adds to the freedom everyone should have. Someone on television needs to explain why the 14th Amendment isn’t enough. It needs to be explained that black suffrage and women’s suffrage were the 15th and 19th Amendments, and the 14th does not guarantee equality under the law.

Unitewomen.org. Feminist Majority. ERA Action Commitees.  Me. All of us would be willing and grateful to appear on your show to enlighten viewers on action they can take right now. These groups are working very hard and need exposure to hasten progress. We promise to keep our clothes on and we won’t say vagina. I’ll even shave my legs.

Will you talk about this? Or will you continue to ignore it?


Re-published with permission —Original post found at
Liberals Unite

Kimberley A. Johnson – A.K.A. The Anti Coulter is the author of The Virgin Diaries and an activist for women’s rights. Like her on Facebook, Twitter or friend her on FB HERE. Check out her campaign to raise money for her next book on Women’s Rights and The Importance Of Voting.

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We Can’t Let Romney & his Republiban Brethren Control Washington

by Michael Keegan, President, People for the American Way

Mitt Romney, now with the presidential nomination locked up, is pivoting hard towards the political center and away from the “severely conservative” positions he so gleefully promoted during his primary fight. He’ll say anything to get elected, but under the surface, he’s still the embodiment of the Radical Right’s agenda to dismantle the institutions protecting Americans rights, safety and health, undo the social safety net, and lavish the 1% with endless tax giveaways at the expense of working families.

RomneyCourt.com: Don’t Let Mitt Romney Bork America — Last week, PFAW launched RomneyCourt.com, our campaign to educate voters about perhaps the #1 reason to oppose the election of Mitt Romney — what he would mean for the Supreme Court. The first phase of the campaign, complete with a video and a report by PFAW Senior Fellow Jamie Raskin, focuses on Romney’s selection of Robert Bork as his legal and judicial advisor — yes, that Robert Bork.  Jamie appeared on MSNBC’s “The Last Word” with Lawrence O’Donnell to discuss the report. Romney’s selection of Bork has been central to his successful wooing of the Religious Right with promises of right-wing judges. Just yesterday, a major Religious Right radio broadcast addressed why far-right conservatives should support Romney: he’ll nominate like-minded judges, including Supreme Court justices.

Ditch ALEC — The work continues to dislodge corporate support from the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), with more major victories to report. Proctor & Gamble just announced that it will join companies like Coca Cola, Pepsi, Kraft Foods, Mars, Inc., McDonald’s, Wendy’s and others in cutting off its support to ALEC. Our petition to ALEC member companies now has nearly 100,000 signatures and PFAW activists have been calling companies like State Farm and Johnson & Johnson — Proctor & Gamble’s biggest competitor — to keep the pressure up. We know these companies are counting the calls and taking note, but they’re not the only ones. State legislators are also starting to withdraw from ALEC and the media is giving this effort a lot of well-deserved coverage. ALEC is on the defensive — they’ve made moves to back away from their support of voter suppression laws and “stand your ground” laws like the one in Florida implicated in the Trayvon Martin shooting. But their anti-consumer, anti-worker, anti-environment agenda is still something that no company with popular consumer brands should want to be associated with, and with your help, we’ll keep this momentum going.

Wisconsin Recall — PFAW has ramped up our efforts to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, his right-wing cronies in the State Senate AND his radical Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch (think Wisconsin’s answer to Michele Bachmann). Scott Walker is rumored to be the subject of an investigation which could, possibly, lead to his eventual indictment. If he wins and survives the recall election on June 5 but then is forced to leave office either due to the weight of a scandal or a criminal conviction, the Lieutenant Governor would take over as Governor meaning THAT is a race we have to win as well. Running against Kleefisch on the Democratic side is the Wisconsin firefighter, Mahlon Mitchell, one of the leaders of the fight against Governor Walker’s union busting campaign. We’ll need to stay firing on all cylinders from now until June 5, as polling shows that months of TV ad blitzes, funded by the Koch brothers and other right-wing interests, have succeeded in boosting Walker’s approval levels.

Overturning Citizens UnitedLast Wednesday, PFAW joined members of Congress, state and local officials, advocacy organizations and concerned citizens for a Capitol Hill summit to amplify the call for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United v. FEC, the 2010 Supreme Court decision that helped usher in unprecedented levels of corporate and Super PAC spending to influence our elections. The speakers recounted the toll that Citizens United has taken on our democracy, as their colleagues must contend with the outsized influence that wealthy special interests hold over the political system, and how it is absolutely imperative for Congress to have the authority to regulate campaign contributions and require disclosure. While there are many approaches under consideration, it was clear to all that amending the Constitution is a necessary step to restore our democracy. Read more and check out video from the event here.

Extremism Spotlight — Longtime NRA board member Ted Nugent, who endorsed Romney in early March, has been getting some heat for extreme remarks he made attacking President Obama and Supreme Court justices at the NRA’s recent convention. PFAW’s Right Wing Watch first broke the story and was successful in calling attention to Nugent’s endorsement of Mitt Romney — which was actively sought by Romney — both in online and offline media. Nugent denounced the “vile, evil, America-hating” Obama administration. He finished his remarks with a call to cut off the heads of Democrats this fall: “We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November.”

We don’t expect moderation from Ted Nugent, but we do expect a major presidential candidate like Mitt Romney to rebuke a prominent supporter for spewing hate-filled and violent rhetoric against the President of the United States. This is far from the first time that Nugent has advocated violence against his political adversaries. Mitt Romney should clearly and loudly reject Nugent’s endorsement and rebuke his inflammatory comments — something he has proven unwilling to do.

There’s plenty more going on in this crazy election year. Visit www.PFAW.org often for the latest on our work and our ongoing in-depth coverage of the Far Right. Thank you, as always, for your indispensable support.