In February 2020, the president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission defended himself after a second task force was mounted to investigate complaints against him.
(RNS) — The below letter, recently obtained by Religion News Service, was sent in early 2020 to the trustees of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission by its then-president, Russell Moore. We publish it here without changes or corrections, including Moore’s misspelling of Rachael Denhollander’s name.
February 24, 2020
Russell D. Moore
Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
Southern Baptist Convention
901 Commerce Street, Suite 901
Board of Trustees
Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
Southern Baptist Convention
901 Commerce Street, Suite 901
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This past week all I could think about was the Jordan River.
This is because I realized that the twentieth of this month was the thirty-seventh anniversary of my baptism at Woolmarket Baptist Church, my home congregation in Biloxi, Mississippi. I remember that day well. I remember the way the heated water bubbled around me, as I trembled with nervousness. I remember hearing those words from my pastor, words that I would in later years say myself over and over again: “In obedience to the command of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and upon your profession of faith in Him, I baptize you my brother, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” But what I remember, right before being plunged beneath that water, was looking at the painted backdrop of that baptistery: a scene of the banks of the Jordan River, reminding me, and all of us, that where I was then, Jesus had been before me.
Because I had heard the gospel in that church, had met Jesus there, and because I had seen so many signposts of love and integrity there — even when I couldn’t see it elsewhere — I responded to the call of God to serve Jesus in vocational ministry, preaching the gospel and serving alongside the people I loved — Southern Baptists.
And over the past twenty-five years, that’s what I have done. God gave me the opportunity to lead people to Christ and to baptize them in Southern Baptist churches, to help people through their marriage crises in Southern Baptist churches, to help welcome orphaned children into families in Southern Baptist churches, to do evangelism and Bible teaching in prisons and homeless shelters, through Southern Baptist churches. And God allowed me to teach and to lead in the training of young pastors, leaders, and missionaries — with my students scattered all over the world.
And, of course, seven years ago, you were kind enough to elect me to serve as your president. Since then, thanks to you and to the team we have assembled here, we have seen incredible things happen.
Before I say anything else, let me say “thank you” to every one of you. Your support in the letter of the past week brought Maria and me both to tears of gratitude. More than that, even, your pastoral care for us, each one of you, is something I will never ever forget. Because in my talking with you at our meeting, my mind was so scattered by the stress of all that happened, I wanted to take the time to write down for you all some of the things I tried to communicate then, but don’t know if I was calm enough to be able to communicate adequately.
At every single vote of the Southern Baptist Convention since I have been president, the messengers of the SBC have encouraged us and affirmed us overwhelmingly, unanimously or virtually unanimously every time. A tiny minority in our denomination knows that, which is why they choose to wait until as far out from a Southern Baptist Convention meeting as possible to do what they do.
Last week’s action of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, which you know all about, was just such an action, motivated by an individual, the current chairman of the Executive Committee, who was also involved in a similar action when he had leadership in the Georgia Baptist Convention. This person not only drove the motion, but also saw to it that he would be a member of the “task force,” chairman of it, and the one with the power to elect its membership.
You deserve to hear it from me as to why this is.
The lazy journalistic assessment would be that this is about the President of the United States. This has nothing to do with that. Y’all know my concerns about the perennial temptation toward political captivity of the gospel, and that will always and perhaps increasingly be a concern in this era. But this is not the issue here. Most Trump voters and supporters have been nothing but kind and encouraging to me — from Southern Baptist laypeople and pastors to Administration officials all the way up and down the ranks. Just as we did with President Obama, we express disagreement where warranted, but we do so respecting the office and doing so requesting a different viewpoint, not engaging in polemics or attack. And when we agree with what the Administration is doing, we say so and work to achieve good public policy as informed by a biblically-grounded ethic, again just as we did when we could under President Obama, and as I did, before I was in this role, with President Bush. The Administration has asked us to take leadership on too many issues to list here — from working on opioid and mental health concerns in faith-based communities to ensuring religious liberty for adoption providers to working on the plight of persecuted Christians and other religious minorities in China and elsewhere.
The presenting issue here is that, first and foremost, of sexual abuse. This Executive Committee, through their bylaws workgroup, “exonerated” churches, in a spur-of-the-moment meeting, from serious charges of sexual abuse cover-up. One of those churches actively had on staff at the time a sex offender. J.D. Greear, our SBC president, and I were critical of this move, believing that it jeopardized not only the gospel witness of the SBC, but, more importantly, the lives of vulnerable children in Southern Baptist churches. Against constant backroom attempts to stop forward momentum, we were able to get across the finish line some modest steps toward addressing the crisis in our convention — the Caring Well Challenge, for instance, and the formation of a credentials committee.
As you know, our last ERLC National Conference was built around the issues of sexual abuse. We said from the beginning that we wanted a place for honest dialogue around these issues, and we would not police anyone from speaking what he or she had experienced or thought. At least one speaker harshly criticized us for not doing enough, or not handling things the way he thought we should. I welcomed that criticism. I learned from it, and was glad that the speaker felt the freedom to do so. At that conference, though, Rachael Denhollender participated with me in a conversation where, again, I refused to censor or stop anything that she had to say. In that conversation, she spoke about her thoughts about the disparagement and poor treatment of a sexual abuse survivor by Executive Committee staff. The story Rachael told is accurate, and Maria and I know that because we were, even during that very meeting, ministering alongside others to that mistreated young woman.
This enraged some Executive Committee trustee leadership, who communicated that they were incensed that we would allow such a story to be told. That was communicated with special outrage since the Executive Committee had contributed some money to Caring Well as a reason why we should not have allowed this story to be told. I came away from these conversations with the distinct feeling that I was being told (not from Ronnie Floyd, but from sectors of his trustees, mostly the very sector from which this latest action has come), “You’ve got a nice little Commission there; would be a shame if something happened to it.” I told Maria that at the time. It was, and is, chilling — especially seeing what they had in mind to do under cover of darkness.
I am trying to say this as clearly as I can to you, brothers and sisters: These are the tactics that have been used to create a culture where countless children have been torn to shreds, where women have been raped and then “broken down.”
Moreover, the same people enraged at this also were enraged that J.D. Greear made the common-sense statement when asked by the press that, while he could not tell a church what to do or who to invite, that giving a “Defender of the Faith Award” and showcasing a man who was dismissed, for very serious cause, by a Southern Baptist entity, over issues including the treatment of vulnerable women, was not a good idea. The same people who moved to create our “investigative task force” wanted to censure J.D.
These decisions were made, I am told, at the officers’ meeting on the Sunday night before the meeting. I was told nothing of it, nor were you, despite the fact that the President of the Executive Committee would have known of it. On the following Monday, I gave my report before the Cooperative Program subcommittee, and was asked nothing but friendly questions not at all related to the so-called “anecdotal” reports of churches decreasing their giving to the CP. They then, the next day, without ever talking to me or to you went into a secret meeting to form yet another secret task force.
The last time they did this, I was “investigated” by a president of their body who was, at that very moment, using his pastoral authority to sexually sin. The “task force,” we were told at the time, is just about finding a way to “answer questions.” The headlines then were “Russell Moore and the ERLC Under Investigation for hundreds of churches leaving and defunding the convention.” Their own report showed that the claim was false, but there was no similar trumpeting of those findings. That’s because that’s the point — to keep a cloud over me, and to keep me self-censoring and silent about these matters.
At the same time, the other absolutely draining and unrelenting issue has been that of racial reconciliation. My family and I have faced constant threats from white nationalists and white supremacists, including within our convention. Some of them have been involved in neo-Confederate activities going back for years. Some are involved with groups funded by white nationalist nativist organizations. Some of them have just expressed raw racist sentiment, behind closed doors. They want to deflect the issue to arcane discussions that people do not understand, such as “critical race theory.” There is no Southern Baptist that I know, of any ethnicity, who is motivated by any critical theory but by the text of Ephesians and Galatians and Romans, the Gospels themselves, the framework of Revelation chapters four and five.
From the very beginning of my service, I have been attacked with the most vicious guerilla tactics on such matters, and have been told to be quiet about this by others. One SBC leader who was at the forefront of these behind-closed-doors assaults had already ripped me to shreds verbally for saying, in 2011, that the Southern Baptist Convention should elect an African-American president. This same leader told a gathering that “The Conservative Resurgence is like the Civil War, except this time unlike the last one, the right side won.” I walked out of that gathering, as did one of you.
Another SBC leader used constant pressure against me in protest of our hiring of Dan Darling and Trillia Newbell, in 2013. At the time, this was, he said, because they did not have adequate Southern Baptist backgrounds. When I answered his concerns to his face, he said, “I was really just concerned about that black girl, whether she’s an egalitarian.” When I asked what possibly could lead him to think that a woman who has written complementarian articles for complementarian websites was an “egalitarian,” he responded: “A lot of those black girls are.” This same leader also let me have it when I said that white Christians should join our black Christian brothers and sisters in lamenting when young black men are shot, and that the moments of Ferguson and Eric Garner and the Emmanuel AME Church murders should motivate the church to address these questions with the gospel embodied in reconciled churches bearing one another’s burdens, that only those with guns would prevent black people from burning down all of our cities.
This is just a tiny sample of what I experience every single day. I am called a liberal—someone who believes in the inerrancy of Holy Scripture, in the authority of Holy Scripture, someone who has spent my life defending such concepts as the exclusivity of Christ for salvation. I am a “liberal” in this definition not because I deny the inerrancy of Scripture but because I affirm it. I believe in the inerrancy of all Scripture — including Luke 10 and Ephesians 2 and 3 and Romans 12, and all of it. I believe that no sin — including sins of sexual immorality or racial hatred — can be forgiven apart from the blood of Christ and repentance of such sins.
My concern about such issues is not because I believe in “social justice” (although, in the literal meaning of those words, of course I do, as the major and minor prophets tell us), but because I believe in the doctrine of hell. I believe in standing against racism not just because I love our African-American and Hispanic and Asian-American and immigrant brothers and sisters in Christ (although I certainly do), but also because I love bigots. And I believe that unrepentant sin, not brought to the light of Christ and cleansed by the blood of Christ, through the gospel, leads to hell. I really believe in hell. That’s why I’ve been clear for twenty-five years on abortion, on sexual chastity and morality, and on racism.
But here is the pattern. Find a way to “investigate” me in secret, so that Southern Baptists do not hear what goes on in those rooms. In some of these “investigations,” what I have been charged with is “not playing enough to the Bubbas and the rednecks; they pay the bills.” I don’t think we have “bubbas and rednecks,” I find such slurs offensive and derogatory, personally as well as ethically. I have been charged with saying that we should combat the devil both in his deception of women in thinking abortion is a choice they should make as well as the accusation of the devil in telling such women, in grief after an abortion they have had in the past, that they should hide in shame, that Jesus would not forgive them. I was told, “Such women should be in shame.” When I explained what I believe about the gospel, that those united to Christ in repentance and faith, are received by the Father as just and righteous and that there is “Therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ,” I was told, “You are not the Evangelism Department of the Southern Baptist Convention.”
I thought we were all “The Evangelism Department of the Southern Baptist Convention.” That’s what they taught me at Woolmarket Baptist Church.
But the strategy here is clear. One of these figures told me in the middle of the 2017 debacle: “We know we can’t take you down. All our wives and kids are with you. This is psychological warfare, to make you think twice before you do or say something.” That’s exactly what it is.
If we want to compare anecdotal reports, I can tell you that I have worked as hard as I possibly can over the past seven years, to talk people into staying in the Southern Baptist Convention. One journalist said to me, “How many times are you going to try to bail these people out?” (speaking, in this case, for our work to try to turn around the disastrous floor action on the ‘alt-right’ in 2017, followed by the sexual abuse crisis matters of 2018). Over the past seven years, we have worked to bring people into SBC involvement, both in giving and in participation, and in talking countless numbers from leaving, because of all of the buffoonery and bigotry and wickedness. I cannot tell you how many people say — faithful, God-fearing leaders — that they do not want to have “Baptist” in their name because they are ashamed. When asked why, they tell us — the same things we are having to deal with over and over again.
Through all of this, brothers and sisters, I have tried to smile and pretend that everything is alright, with me personally and with the denomination. That’s because, for one thing, I don’t want lost people to know about this stuff. I have been afraid that they will associate it with Jesus. I don’t want the countless people — including pastors and church planters and missionaries, young people, women, people of color, to grow weary and to leave.
Some people will say, after this or any number of the other similar moves, that “We do not want Dr. Moore to resign.” They are telling the truth. They do not want me to leave. They want me to live in psychological terror, so that I will not say what the Southern Baptist Convention has assigned me to say, much less to reveal what I know about what goes on behind the scenes. And they want me to do so while asking my constituencies to come in and to stay in the SBC, though as submissive and disengaged “numbers” under the rule of a toxic and abusive gerontocracy.
Everywhere I go — everywhere I go — I am surrounded by former Southern Baptists. Last year, after speaking to the Anglican Church in North America national meeting, I went back to my hotel room and shook with tears. That’s because, as in virtually every one of such meetings, I was greeted by person after person after person who, like me, grew up in Southern Baptist churches, went to all the youth camps, knows the difference between Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong, between an RA and an Acteen. I had more conversations about “Training Union” and “Centrifuge” there than I ever have at an SBC meeting. They were nostalgic and wanted to remember a denomination they loved. None of these people, before they left, called the Executive Committee and threatened to defund anything if they didn’t get their way. The thousands of young people I encounter on college campuses who are now non-denominational don’t do exit interviews with their associational Director of Missions (they don’t even know what that is). Instead, they just look at the rage and the bigotry and the cover-ups and the buffoonery and they shrug their shoulders and say, “I guess they don’t want people like me.”
In every one of those situations, I want to scream: “But that’s not who Southern Baptists are! The people in the churches, everywhere that I have seen, are kind and loving and mission-focused. They are not part of all of that that you see!” And, indeed I think I am right. The people who are left are those of us who have learned to simply filter out this nonsense and focus on what we know to be the best of us. The rest of the world cannot see that. And there are not enough of us who have been taught to believe that being a Southern Baptist is a moral obligation.
A while back, I was jolted to read a quote that one commentator posted about the SBC, jolted because that very same quote had come to my own mind so many times. The quote was from Whittaker Chambers, in a letter to his children, about how he came to reject Communism and to flee from the awful Soviet ideology. He referenced a woman talking about her father, who also had left Stalinism, and explained why very simply. “One night — in Moscow — he heard screams. That’s all. Simply one night he heard screams.”
I have heard many screams. And I am now realizing that some of those screams were my own, and those of my family.
My children asked my wife the other day if their Dad had had a moral failing. They had heard from their friends that their Dad was under investigation, and, as anyone would, they wondered if this meant that I had a character flaw. Maria cannot live with that, and neither can I.
I wanted you to know, from me, what’s behind all of this, really. You deserve to know. And I wanted you to know that we will not keep living under these circumstances. I will not comply with another secret task force meant to silence me about issues I believe are issues of obedience to Christ. I will not sign another “unity” statement meant to “call off the dogs” of scrutiny so that the beatings may begin again in private. If the Southern Baptist Convention wants to be part of a house of prayer for all peoples, then that’s what I signed up for. If the Southern Baptist Convention wants to be one big retirement home for a furious royal family, then, that’s not what I signed up for.
I can only say, in regard to this latest secret and arcane attempt at intimidation: “I consider it a small thing to be investigated by you, or by any human court. In fact, I do not even investigate myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who investigates me” (1 Cor. 4:3-4).
When God called me to himself in Jesus, and when he called me to serve him in ministry, he called me to stand for the truth, to point the way to the kingdom, to die to self, and to carry the cross. He did not call me to provide cover for racial bigotry and child molestation. I will not do that. I love the Southern Baptist Convention, and am a faithful son of the Southern Baptist Convention. I do not believe the people of the Southern Baptist Convention want me to do that, at least that’s not how they have acted in their votes when they are assembled together in national convention. But a small group in the shadows do want me to do that. They want me to be afraid of them. They want you to be afraid of them.
I am not afraid of them.
As I shared with the officers, when these people started their guerilla attacks, I spent years in grief, feeling like an exile and like an orphan. I felt rejected by my own people and wondered why people would let this go on. A poem by Wendell Berry summed up much of what I was feeling:
“Though you have done nothing shameful,
they will want you to be ashamed.
They will want you to kneel and weep
And say that you should have been like them.
And once you say you are ashamed,
Reading the page they hold out to you,
then such light as you have made
in your history will leave you.
They will no longer need to pursue you.
You will pursue them, begging forgiveness.
“They will not forgive you.
There is no power against them.
It is only candor that is aloof from them,
only an inward clarity, unashamed,
that they cannot reach. Be ready.
When their light had picked you out
and their questions are asked, say to them:
‘I am not ashamed.’ A sure horizon
will come around you. The heron will begin
his evening flight from the hilltop.”
I am not ashamed. The sort of psychological and institutional terrorism that my wife and children and team and I have endured is not because I am not Southern Baptist enough, but because I am too Southern Baptist. I really believe what they taught me to sing, “Jesus Loves the Little Children, All the Children of the World.”
And I still do.
I want to thank you for standing with us, for caring about us, for being a group of people that have never once wavered in your integrity or your Christlikeness. We could not ask to serve with people we admire and love more than every single one of you. I am sorry that you have to even see this toxic sludge, much less have to deal with it.
In every other instance, I have tried to do what I thought was right: to be quiet, to bear all of this, including the spiritually abusive private meetings that I cannot even bear to think about right now. I have not wanted to defend myself. I just counted on others to do so, and to know that Jesus would bring to light, as he promises, every hidden thing on that day. But I want you to know that I can’t bear it any more. I think to be the subject to all of this that goes on in secret makes me, in some ways, complicit with what I believe to be evil.
There’s nothing other to this letter than that, for you to hear from me what has happened, and to hear from me, knowing that you know it, that the current status of the Southern Baptist Convention must change.
Asking me to live through all of this is one thing. Asking me to be quiet about bigotry and molestation, for the sake of some title, is too much to ask. Thank you for never once asking me to do so.
The Jordan River on the baptistery wall was fake. It was a water color of a scene that, to be honest, looked more like south Mississippi than the Middle East. But the message behind it was real. The message behind it was that even as I went down into the waters of death, Jesus had been there before, and Jesus would lift me back up, to newness of life. What I am counting on is not my baptism but his. I am counting on the fact that I am joined to One who, when he came out of those waters, heard the voice of God: “You are my beloved Son, and with you I am well pleased.”
As one whose life is hidden in him, my hope is that, however stormy the banks of Jordan, those words apply to me too.
And, you know what? That’s enough for me. Southern Baptists taught me that.
I love you,
The premise of Jake Tapper’s question to Rep. Pramila Jayapal is dead wrong according to just about every other news outlet. Ana Kasparian discusses on The Young Turks. Watch LIVE weekdays 6-8 pm ET. http://youtube.com/tyt/live
“That never happened.”
“You’re too sensitive.”
“It was just a joke.”
Gaslighting. It’s a term you’ve probably heard before, but the signs can be confusing. In this video, Dr. Ramani Durvasula and MedCircle host Kyle Kittleson discuss…
What is gaslighting?
What does gaslighting behavior look like?
Why do narcissists gaslight / what is the goal of a narcissist when they gaslight?
What are the 3 signs someone is gaslighting?
What is deflection?
What impact does this type of emotional manipulation have on someone’s mental health?
What should someone do if they are experiencing this type of narcissistic abuse?
What SHOULDN’T someone do when they are experiencing gaslighting?
Why don’t narcissists like getting caught?
What is the #1 surefire sign that you are being gaslighted?
The senator from California seems like the obvious choice to be Joe Biden’s running mate. So why is she keeping mum about her thinking?
A few weeks ago, an adviser to Kamala Harris called me to talk through some polling data. “We understand that Joe Biden’s the nominee, but the party is so much different than a septuagenarian white male,” the adviser said. “Kamala Harris is more symbolic of that changing America—America coming together—than some of the other potential candidates” for vice president.
The adviser spoke on the condition of anonymity because, officially, Harris is pretending that she’s not campaigning to be Biden’s running mate.
In public, Harris has repeatedly insisted that she’s not talking about or thinking about her prospects of being picked. But judging from my conversations with people around Harris, she and her team use her prospects to book events and television hits that aim to show she’s neither overeager nor overambitious. She and her team are avoiding situations that could create stumbles. They’re hoping that her résumé, her background, and the force of her personality propel her. They’re picking specific moments for her to grab attention on the Senate floor or send a calibrated tweet. They’re tuning out political reporters who are stuck on their couches, looking to drum up content during the pandemic. They’re trying to ease concerns in Biden’s orbit that if she’s picked and they win, she’ll start running for president the morning after the inauguration. They want her on the ticket, and positioned to be the Democratic nominee in 2024.
“She’s literally the antidote,” says Stockton, California, Mayor Michael Tubbs, who endorsed Michael Bloomberg in the presidential race a few weeks after Harris dropped out. “She’s the opposite of Trump. She’s someone who believes in the rule of law; she’s not afraid to confront bullies. She’s not afraid to speak to where we need to be.”
The careful campaign appears to be working. Biden advisers have said privately that they’re impressed. Members of Congress who only a few weeks ago were grumbling that she’s been showing up less for legislating and more for TV hits are now worried about getting caught doubting her.
“Not sure anyone who is in Congress would criticize Kamala, given such high odds she could be on the ticket,” said one Democratic member of Congress who’s hoping that Biden picks someone else. Naturally, this member of Congress requested anonymity to discuss how other members of Congress want to stay anonymous.
Harris declined several requests for an in-depth discussion about the state of the country and what specific ideas she has for change going forward, whether or not she’s on the ticket. She likes to approach interviews as a prosecutor who’s thoroughly reviewed a case file, mastering the topic in front of her and fully focused on it, aides who have seen her in action say. And she favors single-topic interviews on TV, where she feels more comfortable deflecting and knows that commercial breaks can help her run out the clock.
But Harris is leaving questions unanswered about what she’d actually aim to do as vice president or why she wants the job. This is typical. With those who know her, she can be thoughtful, funny, engaging, and pragmatic, with little patience for grand theories of governance. She’s focused on what will make a real difference in people’s lives. But the version of Harris the public knows often comes off scripted and indirect, appearing mostly in sound bites and viral videos. Her instinct to parry rather than expound helps her avoid awkward questions, such as during a segment on The View earlier this month, when Meghan McCain asked her if she was in favor of defunding the police. Instead of answering directly, Harris asked what McCain meant, and McCain eventually admitted that she didn’t know herself. Harris successfully avoided taking a potentially controversial position. But she also reinforced her preexisting reputation for evasiveness: I heard from several high-level Democratic operatives that the exchange reminded them of Harris’s habit of dodging critical questions during her presidential campaign.
Among those who’d like to know more about where she stands is Rashad Robinson, the president of the civil-rights group Color of Change. He’s had a number of public and private conversations with Harris over the years—on podcasts, in Facebook chats, alone in her office. He’s been impressed that she’s talked with him without staff in the room to support her, and with the level of consideration she’s brought to conversations about inequities in criminal justice. But when I asked him if he feels like Harris is more substantive than she sometimes appears, he said, “I don’t know. It’s hard, because I feel like I don’t have enough.”
People close to Harris believe that she’s the victim of East Coast bias, unfairly high expectations that always hold her to a front-runner standard, and more subtle bias against her as a black woman. They think she’s never gotten the credit she deserves—like when Twitter announced that it would be fact-checking and curating Donald Trump’s tweets. In October, desperate for a Hail Mary pass to save her campaign, she proposed banning Trump from Twitter. She even got into a back-and-forth with Elizabeth Warren about it at the October debate. Liberal tastemakers sneered that her suggestion made no sense. But by last month, banning Trump had worked its way into the consciousness enough to be the subject of a Maureen Dowd column (which didn’t mention Harris), and Harris defenders felt vindicated.
Harris has now been able to lean on her past as a prosecutor as a strength. During the primary, supporters of other candidates turned it into a liability in the name of progressivism. But these days she’s stepping up as the national debate has turned to police reform, leading the Senate Democrats’ fight against Republican legislation and helping write their own bill, delivering a searing speech on the Senate floor responding to Rand Paul’s resistance to anti-lynching legislation. She’s been firmer on and more expansive about her record than she ever was as a presidential candidate, to the point that the law professor Lara Bazelon told NPR this week, “Her record has been consistent, and it’s been good.” Bazelon wrote a New York Times op-ed in January 2019 with the headline “Kamala Harris Was Not a ‘Progressive Prosecutor.’” But Harris “did champion progressive causes,” Bazelon said on NPR.
Harris was chastened by the failure of her presidential run, which launched like a rocket and ended like a deflated blimp. For the running-mate process, according to several people who’ve spoken with her and her small circle of advisers, she’s determined to seem steadier. She’s also still atoning politically for what became her defining moment of the campaign: taking Biden’s legs out from under him at the first debate. Biden took it personally—especially because Harris was friends with his late son, Beau—and a number of people close to him thought it showed that she wouldn’t hold back. That moment has stuck with a lot of Biden supporters.
“I’m one of these Irish guys that forgives but does not forget. And I’m one of these Irish guys that holds a grudge,” says John Morgan, a major Florida donor who hosted one of the first big fundraising events for Biden. “What she did to him in that debate was treacherous, and she didn’t have to do it. He trusted her. He had helped her before. And she had a relationship with his son. It was, Et tu Kamala?”
“With that said,” Morgan joked to me, “she’ll probably be the vice president and I’ll never be invited to the White House.”
Even among those who are more sympathetic, the turnaround feels dizzying. In an interview with Harris last Wednesday, Stephen Colbert said he believed that she is sincerely behind Biden. She might be a good running mate, he said, but how would she get there after all the “haymakers” she landed onstage?
“It was a debate,” Harris said.
“Not everyone landed punches like you did, though,” Colbert said.
“It was a debate,” Harris said, deploying the laugh she often uses to deflect during television interviews.
“So you don’t mean it?”
“It was a debate,” she said again.
Harris’s hesitation in endorsing Biden earlier this year only reinforced some of his supporters’ suspicions about her. Biden advisers called Harris multiple times, urging her to back him, insisting that she could help him consolidate support ahead of the California primary and others on Super Tuesday, people who were clued in to the conversations told me. She thought about how and when to endorse. Some on her side urged her to make a splash and regain Biden’s goodwill. But she decided to wait, in part out of deference to the women who remained in the race, in part because she was hesitant about taking a chance that Biden would win. She finally endorsed Biden six days after California voted, when the primary race was all but over.
Biden has made clear in private conversations that have been relayed to me that he’s focused on beating Trump, not payback, and that he’ll pick whichever woman he believes will most help him win.
Look at what’s happening in this country, Harris supporters say. To them, there’s no way that Biden cannot pick a black woman as his running mate. Some of the Democratic intelligentsia have started swooning over the possibility of Warren as his vice president. But it’s absurd to imagine that Biden would respond to this moment by putting forward two white people in their 70s, Harris backers argue. And if Biden is going to pick a black woman, these supporters say, he’s got to pick Harris. Out of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Representative Val Demings of Florida, former Georgia Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, and former National Security Adviser Susan Rice—all of whom have been floated as potential vice-president nominees—none has had the experience to understand the scrutiny and pressure of being part of a national campaign.
Tubbs, the mayor of Stockton, isn’t concerned that the Biden team is considering black women who aren’t Harris. “It’s part of the vetting process,” he said. “Everyone should be vetted. But once the vetting plays out, you will see Kamala Harris emerge as the obvious choice.”
Harris fans often compare her with Warren, generally seen as the other leading contender, and the Black Lives Matter protests in front of the White House gave them a direct juxtaposition. Harris arrived the day before Trump took his walk through tear gas to his Bible photo op, clapping and chanting along with the crowd (captured in a video quickly tweeted by her husband). Warren showed up three days later, bringing along her dog and speaking with reporters. The catch: Warren and Harris polled roughly the same among black voters when they were both still running for president. And in a CBS poll released at the beginning of May—before the police killing of George Floyd—72 percent of black voters said Biden should consider Warren for vice president. Just 60 percent said he should consider Harris.
“It would be incredible to have a woman of color,” Mandela Barnes, the Democratic lieutenant governor of Wisconsin, told me. “That would speak volumes for the direction of this country and where our nominee intends to take us.” But he said he’s still drawn to Warren.
Barnes is black himself. In 2018, he helped Tony Evers, his older white running mate, beat an incumbent Republican, aided by high turnout in Milwaukee and among black voters. He’s not convinced that Harris would do the same for Biden. “I don’t know that Kamala’s had the time to develop that familiarity,” he said. “I don’t know that [her being black] automatically translates. In fact, I’m not willing to say that at all. It’s going to be important to corral the energy in the activist community in November—people who’ve made it clear that they don’t have to vote for you.”
If harris is the pick, in retrospect this will probably seem like the longest, most drawn-out lead-up to an obvious conclusion in the history of modern presidential politics. But first, she’ll have to convince Biden’s top advisers that she would be able to deliver younger voters, women, and black voters in numbers that she never did during her own presidential campaign. To some who are talking with Biden, the arguments from people close to Harris that these failures were because Biden had a lock on those voters in the primary are effectively an argument that he doesn’t need her to get them.
“Joe Biden is not going to pick a mythical-beam-of-light woman of color. He’s going to pick an actual politician,” says Sean McElwee, a progressive pollster who has put out surveys showing that liberals want Warren.
Robinson, of Color of Change, said he’s been encouraged by what he’s seen from Harris so far. And he understands that she has spent her life pushing against attacks that come when you’re the first woman, or woman of color, to do something. Harris was the first woman and the first person of color to be district attorney of San Francisco; the first woman and the first person of color to be attorney general of California; the first woman of color to be a senator from California (and only the second ever in the country); and the first woman of color to be a major presidential contender.
“Attacks can be gendered, and can be racialized. And there’s ways we cannot give people the full advantage of their expertise,” Robinson said. He added that he thought it was important to consider how much circumstances and politics have changed since the beginning of her career. “There was a time when Kamala Harris was a DA when she was probably considered a progressive DA,” he said. “But she was a DA, and she chose to be a prosecutor.”
Robinson added, “The moment and the time we’re in is continuing to push her.”
Representative Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, another important voice in Biden’s ear, who’s been very public about wanting Biden’s choice to be a woman of color, told me that he thinks Harris would be an “outstanding pick.” As for Harris and Biden’s history, Clyburn compared Harris being put on the ticket to Ronald Reagan picking George H. W. Bush after their bitter primary fight, or Bill Clinton picking Al Gore in 1992. Discounting her as an unexciting, obvious choice doesn’t make sense, Clyburn said: “I don’t think anything is inevitable.”
Republican talking points were accidentally sent to Democrats.
Talking points are often sent out by think tanks who are funded by wealthy donors.
namaste everybody, Lisa a romano the breakthrough a life coach and today I
wanted to talk about narcissistic triangulation and why narcissists need
to triangulate in the first place so that we can understand and why I think
it’s important that we take some time to consider why triangulation is so huge
for narcissists is because alice is making a bunch of noise in my office
right now she’s just getting comfortable so that’s the groaning you hear Alice
anyway so it’s important that we understand that triangulation goes hand
in hand with narcissism and narcissistic rage narcissistic projection and all
that goes along with dealing with a very unhealthy personality who is extremely
shame-based and is doing everything that they possibly can to deflect from
anybody ever being able to see past the mask and they will use just about any
any tactic necessary to prevent anybody from seeing their flaws and so I just
did a video if you haven’t seen it on self-acceptance oh you might want to
check that out because kind of dovetails nicely into this idea healthy people
accept that they have flaws and they accept that they’re human and they know
that humility is part of the human experience and they learn to heal their
shame they identify that shame is is not necessary guilt can be very helpful and
that it helps us shape our behavior in the future so I know that I was a very
reactive young mom I was 23 when I had my son what did I know
and I was had very low self-esteem and I was severely codependent so really below
the veil very reactive you know just thinking if I did everything right then
everything’s gonna if I was good and I was a doormat and I took care of
everybody then life somehow would work out you know that was mixed in with a
lot of the my indoctrination from growing up as a Catholic being told that
I should worry more about others and then myself and my mother used to say to
me you should be ashamed of yourself right whenever I didn’t act accordingly
and so we we as healthy people are understanding that you know guilt can
help us shape our behavior so if I realized that I was over reactive and
very you know it was just an overreacted young mom I can feel guilt about that
about my behavior and that guilt can help me change my behavior in the future
that’s awesome but we’re learning that shame is not us
shame shame comes from the outside it’s an experience from outside it’s related
to family secrets it’s it’s related to what’s going on in our child’s at home
that we can’t work out and we feel terrified that people are going to know
that there’s mental illness in our family or our mother or father committed
suicide or our brothers on drugs or i’ont committed suicide or whatever
right so we’re so afraid of these truths that have nothing to do with us right
and many of us carry this shame so we’re healthy people are understanding like
okay shame is happened to me someone made me feel shame it’s like someone
gave you a sweater I call it the SOS the sweater of shame and as you heal and
become more above the veil you become more conscious like I can take this
fricking sweater off anytime I want to because it’s not my fault that I have
this shame nobody should shame a child and a child should never have to carry
the weight of the world on their shoulders alone there should always have
been someone there attuning themselves the child making them feel better and
helping them understand their circumstances I don’t need this sort of
shame anymore but when it comes to narcissistic personalities their shame
is so deep and they are so defensive that they deflect and they project
because they can’t get to that space of what happened to me you know they can’t
and they don’t want to they have no desire to go there right so healthy
people who have been wounded go there it hurts like hell trust me been there a
few times you know I’m still dealing with myself you know and what’s happened
but we’re all working progress right so healthy people are able to go there and
heal their shame and and recognize the shame is not made with
something that happened to me you know and as difficult as a process as it is
and anybody has ever taken my 12-week breakthrough coaching program
we’re digging you know we’re getting in there we’re just we’re scrubbing the
walls of the soul and you know we’re trying to figure out what happened and
it’s tough stuff but people who refuse to take that journey who are defensive
and and deflect all the time and project who never get to that that core of what
is at the root of their anger and their rage and their disappointment in life
right they end up staying stuck and they end up blaming people for why they feel
the way they feel so so why does a narcissist
why does try any triangulation go hand and hand with a narcissist in my humble
opinion I am a Cho in my humble opinion triangulation goes hand in hand with
narcissistic abuse because the narcissist has got to make sure they end
up on the top so if a narcissist is in a relationship with you and they do this
all wherever they go in my opinion so if a narcissist is at work right in a work
setting a narcissist can act like he is that his partner’s best friend but
behind his partner’s back you know he’s talking about the partner in the break
room you know Ralph is a nice guy but you know he had a nervous breakdown
about you know six years ago yeah you know his poor wife you know he’s a
handful I mean on the surface he looks like a
great guy he’s so easy to deal with but you know the reality is he’s got so many
problems and you know you know I’m doing my best to like you know drag him along
like you know keep him going and you know I’m gonna take him out next Friday
and make sure that you know you know he’s okay meanwhile Ralph is fine
Ralph’s a hundred percent fine routes 110% fine Ralph has no issues whatsoever
but let’s say the narcissist name is Mark you know mark is making sure that
if there’s ever a fall with Ralph that mark ends up on the top
that people like oh my god poor mark because he has to he has to make a claim
against you right he’s building up a case against you or building up a case
against Ralph in the in the event that there is an issue he cut mark ends up
looking like he’s the guy on top so narcissists are always collecting flying
monkeys whether we know it or we don’t but it is a very common common trait you
have let’s say you’re married to a narcissist and you know behind your back
he’s calling his family and he’s he’s talking to his friends he’s even calling
your friends he’s my ex-husband did this my ex-husband called my friends called
my mother hung out with my brother talked to my father and in one breath
was saying to him your daughter’s like she could have been a rocket scientist
she’s amazing there’s nothing that could have could have held her back but to me
he was calling me name saying that I was a flake saying that I was crazy saying
things like even your mother thinks you’re crazy which means you had a
conversation with my mother about me behind my back which means you pulled
her into our life and into our conversation right or just into our
experience triangulation so this is a very common thread and it’s amazing when
you see it right you know they have to triangulate because they’re concerned
that if anything they’re always thinking ahead whether it’s on whether it’s
conscious or unconscious they’re always making claims against our the people so
that they always look like the victim so in my humble opinion narcissistic
triangulation is the norm narcissists are always collecting flying monkeys and
it doesn’t matter if it’s at work it doesn’t matter if it’s in the doctor’s
office it doesn’t matter if it’s in a relationship with a friend or
relationship with a spouse their agenda is to make sure that they look like the
victim very very important and we have to be prepared because
and this is what happens to us like in my case you know I was the codependent
and I never went to my family about my ex-husband because I wanted them to see
him as a nice guy you know I wanted to make them proud
you know I also knew that if I went to my parents and told them I think to sum
up with this guy they wouldn’t have believed me because
he spent so much time convincing them that he was awesome and because I was so
codependent and I was worried about not looking perfect and I was worried about
being judged for being unhappy I was taught that I wasn’t allowed to be
unhappy and how dare you you’re selfish for being unhappy I never told anybody
about my ex-husband I kept it to myself so I was not collecting flying monkeys I
wasn’t triangulating and then what happens when the roof blows off and the
floor gets pulled out from underneath you you go to talk to your friends and
lo and behold you discover that your husband or your boyfriend or your
girlfriend has been talking to them about you the entire time and so when
you go for support nobody believes you nobody understands you and when the
smear campaign starts you feel like you swallowed a grenade like what just
happened you review the agenda is to stay above you and right so I can’t have
an open conversation with you I have to stay above you right and I don’t know I
don’t want to resolve this with you because I am the victim and I want to
make sure that I remain the victim so I have to stay above you so that’s also
another another key idea to keep in mind and that’s why narcissism involves
triangulation and that’s why when relationships end there is there are
smear campaigns because it’s been happening when you didn’t even realize
it was happening behind your back there was a collection of smear complaining
monkeys there was this collection of things happening that you weren’t even
aware of and you know we have to if if we have been woken up in a relationship
with the narcissist you know we realize we’ve been in a relation
with the narcissist you know unfortunately we have to expect that the
smear campaign is an inevitable aspect of ending that relationship because they
can’t just go away they can’t just end the relationship
they can’t just ride off into the sunset and start another relationship and say
wow what did that past relationship teach me know narcissists must destroy
you they are aggressive they are hell-bent on destruction and the more
you come at them the more they’re gonna try to annihilate you right angry stuck
below the veil of consciousness reactive and totally believe they are the victim
and so when you take all of this into consideration you will take into
consideration the shame that they’re trying to run from right and how anger
sometimes can prevent can make them feel safe right so if I make you the bad guy
I never have to look at me and if you’re the bad guy and you’re crazy
then whatever wisdom comes out of your mouth possibly I can deflect because
you’re crazy and you’re no good and so I never have to let what you have to have
you have to say penetrate my soul and crack the mask so then I never have to
deal with the tremendous shame that’s inside of me
so sometimes anger and rage is like a shield and that prevents narcissists
from actually able being able to actually deal with their shame and then
if you understand that they must remain the victim then you also have to you
also can understand why they triangulate and what the purpose is of it and the
reason I like to do these types of videos is because once you understand
the the agenda once you understand the mechanics once you once you understand
why a narcissistic personality would take this on then it’s easier for us to
step step away from it you know it’s really really mind-blowing when you find
yourself in a relationship with the narcissist that you’ve cared about and
the relationship has ended and you just go to work the next day minding your own
business like wow it sucks you know I can’t believe this person was this
person like you know I love this purse you know and but you’re going you mind
your own business you’re going about life and taking care of yourself and
doing your Epsom salt baths or whatever you know hold it onto your crystals
going for some Reiki whatever floats your boat and then BAM out of nowhere
you get hit upside your head with some news of a smear campaign minding your
own business and here comes the smear campaign or you decide to meet up with
some girlfriends and talk about why you broke up and you know by the look on her
face she’s like that’s not what I heard what do you mean is that what you heard
and then you find out that your husband and your boyfriend or whatever has been
talking to your girlfriend the whole time that you’ve been with them right it
is devastating and it can make you feel so alone and I can tell you as someone
who has been accused of so many different things by my ex-husband and
his family and even some friends I can tell you that it makes you feel like you
have you are three months old you know you have been dropped off in the middle
of the Brooklyn Bridge and they’re attractive trailers coming at you you
know the helicopters with machine guns hovering over and it’s dark you know
it’s not gonna rain and you’re this 3-month little old baby on this bridge
and oh my god you know it makes you feel so powerless and so helpless and like
the world is coming to an end but hold on and know that the more you hold onto
yourself in the less attention you give this situation you are pulling your
energy from it remember what we focus on grows right and so imagine that this
isn’t an energetic ball his energy or her smear campaign whatever it is is an
energetic ball and your job is to pull as much energy and drain as much energy
from it as possible so that it can dissipate and shrink so the less
attention you give it don’t look on Facebook don’t talk to the friends
who’ve been pulled in you don’t have conversations about what’s going on
deliberately pull your attention from it in the meantime up your self-care very
very important and so dodging it with namaste namaste and also know you know I
also teach your Law of Attraction class and
this question always comes up like I thought I was doing better how could I
have tracked this into my life and you know I’ve done so much healing work how
could this happen to me again you know and then they start to feel bad
sometimes members feel bad that this has shown up right that this abusive
relationship has shown up with this conversation has shown up and I thought
I was doing so much better so just a little bit about that what is within us
that needs to be healed will eventually come to the surface and when it comes to
a certain comes to the surface that’s a that’s our opportunity to heal it so
that we can move forward so we’re always trying to I think anyway in my humble
opinion iMHO I think what we’re trying to do is
evolve and to leave old paradigms behind so that we can create new paradigms and
move and accelerate forward on our spiritual journey and so while something
is still active inside of us it could be the fear of what other people think
about us it could be leftover shame from childhood right it could be a pattern in
ourselves the I know for me after I got divorced I attracted three narcissistic
relationships one was worse than the other and these were criminals hello I
didn’t know that I eventually figured that out but seriously this was serious
stuff and what I had to look at was I was the common denominator so what was
coming up from me right what was coming up for me was eventually I realized I
was ignoring some red flags that my inner guidance was was sending me
signals and I was saying no I was rationalizing them away and so that’s
why after the last relationship I was like I’m not ignoring red flags anymore
because what I do hell breaks loose and so that’s what I came that’s that’s what
I attracted into my life because I want truth and I want growth and so here I am
asking for growth and when you ask for growth you will be presented with what
needs to shift and as long as we stay clear as to the goal for our humanity or
for our souls journey as long as we understand we’re here to transcend the
old and we don’t freak out what it shows when it shows itself like when we find
out someone stole money from us so we find out someone’s lied to us it’s been
it’s it’s now part of our experience because it’s sort of like a layer of
skin that’s now at the surface that we need to slough off right and that’s an
awesome thing so try not to get caught up thinking that because it’s in our
experience it’s a bad thing because time and time again
I mean I’ve coached probably thousands of people personally as well as through
my coaching programs and what is showing up is this idea that every time a
conflict is resolved abundance shows up whether it’s abundance of light energy
or abundance of healing energy so don’t allow the linear brain good bad up down
left right Democrat Republican fool you into thinking or believing in this
illusion that this is a bad thing if something’s showing up in your
experience is painful that’s a good thing because it’s an opportunity to
heal it and to shift and to become a more abundant light activated body being
person soul person so it’s all good as long as we don’t allow our minds to tell
us that it’s not good and so there are definitely tools that we can use on the
road as we’re learning to heal ourselves and here our lives like the 1 2 3
process you can look up look up the 1 2 3 process on my channel there are so
many tools that we can use so you can also check out codependent now what it’s
naughty what you’re programming I have a ton of resources and a ton of life
skills that you can use to help you manage when chaos comes up so I hope
that this this video has helped you understand why trying why narcissists
triangulate and what you can do to get out of get out of a head of it if you
find yourself in the middle of it and how important it is to just remove your
energy from it and just just let them just let them burn out because I mean
when you ignore a narcissist like that makes them crazy when you set a boundary
that makes them nuts like they they can’t handle it right and so what will
happen is they won’t be able to contain the
narcissistic rage and I know that sounds crazy but hear me as long as you do what
you can to maintain your energy and you just allow this little Tasmanian devil
to spin out what’s gonna happen is the flying monkeys you know family members
your friends whatever they’re gonna start to see what’s really behind the
mask which is destruction which is annihilation which is the opposite of
love and letting go and abundance right and so try to keep this in mind the next
time you’re dealing with this or if you’re dealing with this and know that
ultimate self care ultimate self empathy can definitely ease the pain of having
to survive a narcissistic smear campaign you’re not alone I’ve survived one or
two in my life so know that you’re in good company and everything’s gonna be
fine just love yourself because you are enough now I must say I bow to the love
and the light that is absolutely in you and for anyone who’s interested in my
membership site you can check it out at HTTPS dot dot slash slash Lisa – a dash
Romano dot Micah jabra.com I have a bunch of programs and video lessons and
audio lessons and meditations and downloadable files including a copy of
the road back to me and some of my best-selling programs not the 12-week
and not the master class but other programs are actually in the in the
membership site as well and so just check it out and let me know what you
think bye for now
Even when the Facebook leaders understood the problem, they tried to hide it.
Right after the election Zuckerburg was dismissive of the idea that Fake News influenced the election.
People within the company thought he was out of touch.
At the time Facebook was under pressure.
Trump had won the election using social media, but Facebook was dismissive.
Facebook employees saw the tip of the iceberg . They had been following Russian
Mark wanted to find a technical fix.
Sheryl was thinking about the legal risk and was wondering whether they would find out things they didn’t want to know. Sheryl was thinking about what the consequences would be.
Sheryl yelled at the security team for investigating Russian interference without formal approval.
The leadership was concerned that Washington was controlled by conservatives who would have an adverse reaction to an investigation or efforts to curb this activity. Conservatives already think Silicon Valley is a bunch of hippies.
There was pressure within Facebook not to publish anything linking activity back to Russia. Sheryl(?) also signed off on a policy not to take down the Russian troll accounts.
Mark Zuckerburg was traveling the country, milking cows, and acting as though he wanted to run for President.
Sheryl Sandberg was running her own “Lean-In” brand.
Alex Stamos (Security Chief) briefs the audit committee and the board’s response is to yell at Mark(?) and Sheryl(?)
The leadership holds a big meeting and Sheryl yells at Alex Stamos for
- not briefing her fully
- admitting that they hadn’t fully got a grip on the situation
- suggesting that Russia would likely do this again in the future
Alex has gotten in trouble in the past for being too transparent
The Cambridge Analytical Scandal illustrates:
- The consequences of surveillance capitalism
- The potential of Facebook to influence elections
Apple CEO Tim Cook castigates Facebook for their business model.
Facebook conducts an advertising campaign and privately goes on attack using the Washington PR opposition research campaign, which uses the NTK network which publishes propaganda.
Confronted with a Propaganda Scandal, they turn to a PR campaign to create their own Propaganda.
Attacks Apple and Tim Cook. Attack George Soros, arguing the Facebook’s criticism was masterminded by George Soros. In taking on Soros they are getting into the smear and conspiracy business.