MEDIA MATTERS

Hurricane Irma Exposes Cable News Networks

CNN and other cable news networks found that the worst Hurricane Irma devastation was not in Florida but in a worse place: their credibility.  After convincing the nation that Irma would devour the entire state of Florida, the hurricane fizzled in the Caribbean and left the hysterical media red-faced.  [More] 

IN THE TOILET

Houston Mayor Orders Residents to Flush More

In an executive order that conflicts with conventional wisdom and modern environmental ethics, Houston Mayor orders residents to flush their toilets more to help clear out floodwaters.  [More]

 

RIDE SHARING

The Top Ten Complaints About Uber and Lyft

With more and more people relying on so-called ride sharing provided by powerhouses Uber and Lyft, not all is perfect in the world.  The LBT's resident curmudgeon Charles C. Schultz sounds off on his top ten complaints.  [More]

RIGHTIST TRUMP

The Expert: Rumored Autistic Barron Trump Shakes D.C. To Its Core

Barron Trump, the 11-year-old son of the president, arrived in D.C. wearing a now famous T-shirt bearing the message “The Expert.”  D.C. watchers claim that this message was not a mere accident.  Barron may be bringing a powerful, far-right influence into the West Wing.  [More]

 

Bill Clinton Goes To Court To Shed Middle Name With Ties To Slavery

The Former President Feels Shame for Having a Name Tied to the Vestiges of Slavery and Seeks to Reshape His Moniker by Honoring a Civil Rights Pioneer 

By BUTCH WITT

Published August 26, 2017

 

As social activists topple the statues of Confederate soldiers across the country and conscientious institutions remove the names of former slaveholders from stately buildings, one prominent American – former president Bill Clinton – is embracing the zeitgeist of the day with abandon.  He is doing so through a name change of his own.

Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe III on August 19, 1946, in Hope, Arkansas.  He eventually changed his last name to “Clinton” out of respect for his stepfather who raised him with his biological mother.  His middle name of “Jefferson,” however, has remained unchanged – until now.

If Clinton’s petition before the Supreme Court of New York in Westchester County is granted in November, his middle name will change from “Jefferson” to “Malcolm.”  Clinton chose his new middle name to celebrate his favorite civil rights leader: Malcolm X.

According to Clinton, throughout most his life he was very proud of his middle name which, of course, derives from founding father and scribe of the Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson.  “I always liked to imagine that I was following in his footsteps in some way,” said Clinton in a 1997 interview with Time Magazine.  “He seemed to have such a spirit about him, and being a Southern boy myself I appreciate his strong Southern heritage.”

In 2017, however, the political winds have changed direction.  Today Thomas Jefferson’s vast holdings of African slaves throughout his adult life tarnishes his name and eclipses any contributions he might have made as either a revolutionary or a president.  In fact, in Jefferson’s lifetime he owned more than 600 slaves. 

Jefferson’s sordid connection to slavery is a reality not lost on former President Clinton.  “I once loved this man, but now I despise all he stood for,” said Clinton in a news conference yesterday at the Washington Press Club.  “I recognize with the benefit of maturity that he was a scoundrel and a hypocrite of the highest magnitude,” he added.

Clinton also quipped about his choice for a new middle name: “Hillary thought maybe I chose ‘Malcolm’ because I like the show Malcolm in the Middle so much.”  In reality, Clinton sees Malcolm X as a strong black man that presented an alternative to the non-violent form of social protest popularized by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.  “I’ve learned it’s never too late to try to fix things, so I’m honored, so honored, that I will have this glorious name of a true American revolutionary for the rest of my life.”