RACE TO THE BOTTOM: Rankings as of Monday, 17 April 2017

WEEKLY RANKINGS: 17 APRIL 2017

[Note: Hover your cursor over each entry for link to articles detailing the deviltry.]

As one State or Commonwealth seeks to be more hateful than all the others, the race is often fierce and fast. This past week, only four States entered the race with any sense of urgency, and here are their rankings, from 4th to 1st. I do predict that it is only a matter of time until Arizona, Oklahoma, and Florida rejoin them:

4. NORTH CAROLINA. Once again, North Carolina is seeking to annul federal law by putting forward legislation to disallow same-sex marriage. Instead of cleaning up seriously polluted waterways or dealing with its huge gerrymandering issues, it decided to go for the money and “repeal” HB2 (that “bathroom bill”) but sought to reclaim its pound of flesh another way. Nullification, anyone?

3. TEXAS. In a show of unanimity, every Republican State Senator voted to empower State employees (think Kim Davis) to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. It’s the unanimity and the license given to public (not religious) officials that brings Texas in ahead of North Carolina. It’s simply a sneakier way to couch its bigotry and lawlessness.

2. ARKANSAS. Just when it seemed as if Texas would hold EVERY record in the capital-punishment book, Arkansas decided to schedule 8 executions within 10 days (the most Texas every accomplished was 8 in a month)–all because one of its ingredients (the one which caused horrific pain in botched executions in Oklahoma) was set to expire and Arkansas didn’t have any more in stock. So far, courts have stayed two of the executions and there are challenges to the other six. BUT it is not for want of Arkansas’ efforts to murder in the name of demonstrating how wrong murder is.

1. MISSISSIPPI. The frontrunner this week is Mississippi. It is, in record numbers, refusing poor people access to welfare benefits–without providing any reasons whatsoever. It comes in first, because these are not symbolic actions that can be struck down by federal courts, because these actions have immediate, deleterious impacts on people’s lives, and because it is unabashedly hateful toward poor people without other options.

Please, send me YOUR submissions! Who will next make its run for the lead medal?

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