Image for post
Image for post
Frederick Douglass 1879 (George Kendall Warren/National Archives)

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass was born an American slave in 1818. He was forcibly separated from his mother, a common practice in American society to dehumanize people of color. His father was most likely his mother’s slave owner. The master-slave relationship was not one of love but of “property”.

Douglass educated himself in reading and writing; a crime for slaves to learn to do so. He understood the power of knowledge and used that power to fight, tread, and overcome the innumerable obstacles built by white supremacy. …


Image for post
Image for post
Courtroom in the historic E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse which houses the U.S. District Court and U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit 2017 (Highsmith, Carol M./Library of Congress)

On Tuesday the NAACP announced its lawsuit against Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys, and other extremists for their role in the Capitol Insurrection. Pursuing civil litigation against hate groups and bigots is not a new tactic. In fact, this tactic has been successfully used against the KKK!

Quick Explainer on Civil vs. Criminal Cases

First, we need to distinguish that these court cases are civil cases and not criminal cases. This means that the defendants (Trump, Spencer, the KKK) are not facing jailtime or imprisonment. Instead, these individuals and their groups are facing civil liabilities like court injunctions and punitive damages. …


Image for post
Image for post
(Evan Vucci/AP Photo)

As the Senate trial proceeds on whether to convict Donald Trump, his trial and other trials of right-wing extremists, are closely watched by far right militias and extremists. Failure to convict violent extremists in the past led to the most violent domestic terror attack on U.S. soil. This tragedy may be repeated if the Senate and federal government fail to convict right-wing extremists for their insurrection.

Additionally, the federal government indicted members of the so-called “Oath Keepers,” a right-wing militia, on conspiracy charges, this case, and others like it, will not only prove to be difficult, but the stakes will…


Image for post
Image for post
Myself (center) with two of my best friends.

The Muslim Ban violated the Constitution just as Japanese Internment did. Both orders were unconstitutional because they were religiously and racially discriminatory. Discrimination the Constitution explicitly prohibits in the Establishment Clause and Equal Protection Clause. In fact, the Muslim Ban damaged national security and violated American ideals. It was morally reprehensible and a stain on our country’s history. It was wrong.

With President Biden repealing the Muslim Ban we take a step forward out of the darkness and into the light upholding our Constitutional values once again.

Background on the Muslim Ban

In 2015, in a xenophobic panic, then Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump called…


Image for post
Image for post
John Lewis walks with his fellow Americans to go register to vote. (Archives, The Birmingham News)

Our nation has slept for centuries under the sheets of ignorance blinding itself to the horrors of slavery, segregation, and racism.

A generation ago, the Civil Rights Movement, while fought for ages, reached an apex. The retaliation against this movement was fierce. Threats were issued. Men were lynched. Women were beaten. Children were bombed. Protesters were imprisoned. Marchers were trampled. People were gassed. Leaders were assassinated.

These men, women, and children willfully placed themselves in the line of fire. …


Image for post
Image for post
Myself, left, with two of my squad leaders, June 2016.

Three years ago, Colonel William Wanovich posed and smiled with a racist Halloween costume. The costume was “Trump’s Wall” with the words “No Cholos Allowed” surrounded by only white students at an institution that forces you to salute a white supremacist confederate insurgent.

It was reported that neither the Colonel nor the students faced any discipline.

I learned about this three years later from an article in The Root showcasing the fervent racism at the Virginia Military Institute, a public school run by the Commonwealth of Virginia that commissions officers — future leaders — of the U.S. Army.


Image for post
Image for post
Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Official Portrait, Supreme Court, 2016)

For decades we have depended on Ruth Bader Ginsburg to uphold our rights. To fight for us. To reason for us. To research for us. To write for us. To argue for us.

The sheer enormous burden of upholding and defending our democracy was a weight she held for all of us. It was a weight she embraced.

It is a weight we must take on. For far too long we have put the responsibility of fighting for our rights on her shoulders and the shoulders of others.

Many of you may not even know what she’s done for civil…


Today is Constitution Day. On this day, 233 years ago, white slave owners wrote and signed off on a document that established the rules of our government. A document that originally protected slavery, defined Black American slaves as 3/5ths of a person, and refused to grant the right to vote to women and people of color. But it is a document that has transformed by the efforts of Americans to rise above its Original Sin. This document and the government it defines are ours now. A government that has been handed down generation to generation. …


Image for post
Image for post
Martin Luther King Jr. and Thurgood Marshall look over as President Lyndon Baines Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law.

55 years ago today, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed into law. This monumental legislation had an immediate impact on restoring voting rights for Black Americans and other racial minorities oppressed by unjust state laws. Martin Luther King Jr. and every civil rights activist marched and fought for legal progressive action to address racial discrimination. They aggravated people who disagreed with the way they protested. If you ever heard MLK speak, he spoke with vigor, passion, and anger at a system that oppressed him for the color of his skin. He wasn’t someone that brought the nation together…


Citizenship status has always been a legal tool of white supremacists in our nation to exclude People of Color. It was used by Judge Taney in the infamous Dredd Scott case to strip away a Black American’s right to freedom from slavery by denying him Citizenship.

The twisted opinion argued that America was never built for People of Color.

It wasn’t until after a bloody Civil War—fought over the institution of slavery — did the 14th Amendment emerge to forever shield American-born citizens from white supremacists using Citizenship as a tool to disenfranchise Americans of their universal rights.

Now, we have the Trump Administration and its callous efforts to strip Americans of their right to stay here. Its war on DACA is the same playbook white nationalists used in 1857.

Stevan Molinar

I’m a veteran, voter, and concerned citizen writing about political subjects to inform my friends best I can. stevanmolinar@uchicago.edu

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store