I am Spartacus. Are You?

Yes, Spartacus was a real man. but many of us remember instead the Kirk Douglas character from the 1960 movie, and the line “I am Spartacus” which has come to mean that many people claim to be someone who “they” are going to harm. In case you don’t know, the movie’s screenplay was written by Dalton Trumbo, who had been blacklisted by the McCarthy HUAC. President-elect John Kennedy crossed the American Legion picket lines to see the movie. It was that action that finally ended the blacklist.

A new president-elect, and the role of Antoninus is this time played by Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, a US-based international Jewish NGO. Greenblatt announced earlier this week that when and if Trump launches the Muslim registry, he will sign.

If you don’t think that the Trump administration will come for Muslims, Mexicans, hell, anyone whose skin tone is not alabaster, plus LGBQT people, disabled people, etc., is simply naive. And simultaneously they’ll come for SNAP, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, but I digress.

Will they put everyone in detention camps as was done to the Japanese in WW2? Start with badges to be displayed at all times and then move onto to numbered tattoos like the Nazis? We don’t know. But what we should know is that we need to stand together. I stand with Jonathan Greenblatt, and have signed the pledge.

I am Spartacus. Are you? Sign here.


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2 thoughts on “I am Spartacus. Are You?

  1. SarahLawrenceScott

    This is a great idea, but when I went to the page, it gave me pause: it requires an email address.


    In many, many, many cases such as this, it’s so the organization sponsoring it–in this case, Keystone Progress, can add me to their mailing list.

    In this particular case, both the privacy and contact links at the bottom of the page appear to be broken (Keystone Progress, though is easily found through Google).

    Legitimate open letters, like http://www.openlettertotrump.org/, don’t require providing email addresses to the hosting organization.

    I suspect that Keystone Progress is trying to do something good by hosting the open letter, and do something good by building their grassroots mailing list, at the same time. Or they just ask for email addresses out of habit.

    But in as fundamental a case as this, those motives shouldn’t be mixed. If a conservative feels the Muslim registry is fundamentally at odds with the principles this country was founded on, and signs the letter, only to discover they are later receiving emails suggesting that of course they support raising the minimum wage or going after the big banks, that will only serve to increase cynicism.

    If you know the folks at Keystone Progress, DocJess, please encourage them to remove the email field from this page, or at least remove the star that makes it mandatory. Do that, and I’ll gladly add my name.

    In the mean time, I’ll make the pledge here: if there is a domestic Muslim registry, I will register for it.

  2. DocJess Post author

    First, Scott, THANK YOU for pledging.

    Keystone Progress is a small organization that was started in a windowless meeting room at Netroots Nation in Pittsburgh in 2009, and there were maybe 20 of us in the room. This one guy, Mike Morrell, had reserved the room to try to organize Pennsylvania (a state that, then and now, has a completely dysfunctional Democratic Committee and local groups that would appall the NY Democratic Party). There was a lot of resistance, and the organization had bad growing pains.

    A few years later, the organization “got it together” and has grown NOT into any sort of force, but a good, solid organization. It puts on an annual conference every February and it truly works to organize progressives in all corners of the state.

    I’m sure that you’re right about why they want an email address, although also to announce how to sign the registry once it launches. email addresses are pretty standard for all the petitions: at Change.org, etc. I go to the conference most years, and I’m on their mailing list, although I’m no longer a dues-paying member (although I may rejoin, I’ve been rejoining and financially supporting a lot of organizations in the past two weeks). I get limited email from them, and to the best of my knowledge they haven’t sold me yet….

    I sometimes use this hack if I suspect I’m going to get sold… http://lifehacker.com/215174/figure-out-whos-selling-your-email-address

    But I promise to bring it up at the conference, which is next February.

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