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October 26, 2018

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The white man's love for Africa is an interesting thing, and I can symphatise with it in some cases on personal level, while condemning it morally. I've read books describing displaced Rhodesian whites' longing for their home. Indeed, it was often their native home, and in a way, they probably really loved African countryside, and even appreciated the black culture. However, this feeling was a part of being racial upperclass, which included a brutal repression of black majority.

So, while I can understand that a Rhodesian refugee might call the nostalgia he feels for white power "love", that feeling is still a disgusting, twisted form of love. Because of this, I am a bit averse of any white person talking about their love for Africa.

why does Harry get a pass

He didn’t entirely, at the time, as the newspaper headlines in your link make rather clear.
I think it would be fair to say that his attitudes have evolved somewhat.

I’m not a massive fan of the Royal family (though less still of presidential systems), but the William/Harry generation seems a considerable improvement on Charles/Andrew.
And in the end it’s perfectly possible to ignore them almost completely in a way that’s not possible for political figures. Even if sacking them is a really difficult business.

As for Kelly, she was an employee with less latitude for opinions than she apparently believed. Or she’s just very stupid.

"Or she’s just very stupid."

If you've ever known a sociopath up close and over a long period of time, it's forever difficult to tell what's what. The most remarkable bullshit can come out of their mouths with the syrup of sincerity poured over it and even after long exposure to this stuff, you kind of sit back and study their faces for clues and tells to whether or not THEY believe the crap that just flowed from their lips, in which case THEY are stupid beyond words, or if it's the same old congenital lying that is once again sucking you into whatever warped manipulation of their world they are trying to put over, and then YOU are the stupid one, and you marvel at how stupid they must think YOU are.

I've known one all my life and it's remarkable that all who know him can no longer look him directly in the eyes when he is speaking, out of fear that maybe he is going to hypnotize you one more time.

Your skin crawls and you take the first opportunity to get out of the room and shake the sociopathic cooties off.

I try and do a half-assed impression of this type on the internets.

You put that person in a TV studio or on a podium with a mic where the eye contact is something else again and you have celebrity sociopathy and the pipe bombs and invasions of Poland that come with.

Kelly is a bit of an amateur sociopath.

For true professionalism and star power sociopathy, well, we know where to find that.

That one gets to live on the nicest house in the country.

Lurker, that's an interesting point. I'm a big fan of Albert Camus and the his challenge of arguing for a place for the Algerian pied-noirs and the excesses of the Algerian War seems to be a similar problem as you lay out.

For Harry, I imagine that his connection is also related to his mother and being introduced to the continent thru her and as such, I would cut him quite a bit of slack. What your parents give to you is something that you can't weigh and subject to the same analysis that you can with other things, though a lot of that is wrapped up in my own experiences with what my parents gave me.

The value of Harry is not so much in his opinions themselves, which are pretty unexceptionable, and unexceptional - rather that a member of one of the most conservative (with a small c) institutions in British society should have adopted them.

I read Pat Buchanan to keep my sociopath detection chops keen, but he's so obvious so no big deal.

I love when he reacts with great umbrage at perceived threats of violence from the so-called Left.

I merely type the words "Lock and Load" into the comment box under his posts, and they hardly ever make it thru "moderation" (a funny sort of word to be used anywhere near Buchanan; it's like they are saying "Here's some rank uncivil bullshit from Buchanan. Be moderate in your responses, boys and girls, unless you agree with him."), but yesterday they did make it thru, so I'm wondering if even the moderators at The American Conservative have thrown in the towel on their man.

This is an interesting case, which is awkward for Democrats.
In an ideal world, Ellison would have stepped down until the allegations were dealt with one way or another, but given the timing of the election, I don’t think that would have been possible ?
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/10/27/keith-ellison-abuse-allegations-minnesota-ag-2018-943086

Still, the polling does at least demonstrate that Democrats aren’t in the ‘don’t give a shit’ mode that Republicans seem to have adopted over Kavanaugh.

It's mind boggling that somebody could live in US in the 21st C. and not understand why blackface is offensive.

Somehow, “white guilt” is something that aflicts those who are willing to reckon with slavery, Jim Crow, a racially biased justice system, etc. in a clear-eyed manner and make attempts to rectify the injustices that have flowed and continue to flow from them. “White guilt” ironically isn’t something that affects those who can’t face the reality of such things.

It’s apiece with the notion of “political correctness,” which I think we’ve covered here on this blog as something that only seems to apply to one side of the political divide in popular discourse, despite the peculiar sensitivities that should be easily recongnized on the side that supposedly eschews “political correctness.”

We libruls are such a bunch of weenies.

Just want to say that the Giddens interview with the Guardian that LJ links to in the original post is well worth a read.

Racism in the US is a quandary. Nobody wants to deal with it because nobody wants to be called a racist. And that includes everybody, of all colors and backgrounds.

Nevertheless, it persists.

Progress will occur in exact proportion to the degree that people are willing to own their own crap.

It's mind boggling that somebody could live in US in the 21st C. and not understand why blackface is offensive.

I think sometimes we underestimate just hom much of a bubble some people manage to live in. Both those like Kelly, who have no clue, and those like us, who are astonished that they don't -- because everyone we know is aware, even those who glory in being offensive.

Meanwhile, it appears someone in Pittsburgh decided to spread the weath around.

In response to which

When asked if all churches and synagogues should have armed security Trump said, “it’s certainly an option.”
Which makes lots of sense. After all, if the solution to school shootings is more guns in grammar schools, . . .

More apropos Harry than Kelly, and prompted by LJ's mention of Camus (whose short story, "La Femme Adultère," is a fine exploration of the pied-noir problem...

What to make of someone like Derrida who is both a pied-noir and a Sephardic Jew (with all the attendant complications)?

One step further into the post-colonial tangle, what about Gandhi and South Africa?

Satyagraha, literally translated as “holding fast to truth,” obliged protesters to “always keep an open mind and be ever ready to find that what we believed to be truth was, after all, untruth.” Gandhi recognized early on that societies with diverse populations inhabit a post-truth age. “We will never all think alike and we shall always see truth in fragments and from different angles of vision,” he wrote.

Lots to think through, and I'm still compiling.

"Nobody is asking you to take personal responsibility for this. But you’re a beneficiary of a system that did. Just own that and move on.”

I think perhaps what we are looking at is a vocabulary problem. To my mind (and I'm talking personal view, not dictionary definition), "guilt" is what you (should?) feel for things that you personally did; for actions that you took. We really need a different word for a similar but different feeling based on an environment that you inhabit.

For example, if I set up a system which will discriminate based on race, I should (IMO) feel guilt. But if, as a high school student, I got into a college because, unbeknownst to me, it discriminates based on race? "Guilt" isn't really the right word. Similarly, if you immigrated to the US in the 20th century, you have no guilt for slavery in the 19th and 18th century.

This is not to say that you don't have a responsibility to work to change the environment. But just that guilt isn't the right word for your feeling about the existance of that environment.

I agree that guilt is not the right word, or a useful word.

We have a responsibility. For how we think and act. And for recognizing the circumstances with which, and under which, other people live. And for what we do, and don't do, to either improve or perpetuate those circumstances.

I think you can feel 'guilt' for having opportunities other people don't have.

Even simply having health and loving parents is winning the lottery. I have both, and therefore have empathy for those without, And it is clear to me that my lottery winning gave me opportunity that those without don't have.

I don't think it is a stretch that having parents who were not only loving but had some financial stability enabled or at least assisted by government programs like mortgages and VA/student loans also assisted me. Those same programs were systemically denied to my father's black peers.

I recall overhearing discussions as a pre-teen about 'block protection' where neighbors agreed not to sell to black people. In our diverse community, it may have been even more important financially to 'protect the block.' (as an aside to HSH, my dad rejected the concept, at least in my memory).

I don't think you even have to be racist to want to prevent your primary investment from losing value. I still enjoy having an HOA that does protect my investment. I purposely bought in a place that had an HOA for that protection. Not by race anymore (or as much), but certainly ensuring all owners are not devaluing our collective property.

I am the beneficiary of that. I can feel guilt when I see a peer of mine who has worked as hard, is as capable, and yet still struggles because he did not have my initial boost.

I think 'guilt' works when you know you are ahead because you started ahead.

In white neighborhoods in transition, property values may have increased since middle-class blacks were willing to pay a premium to live there.

Harry's faux pas might be better understood if you figure in the fascination of certain parts of the English "elite" with the Nazis (e.g. Edward VIII, Mitford sisters, Oswald Mosley) and the pervasive obsession of the country with WW2.

Claire Denis' "White Material" is an interesting take on the whole Africa issue.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Material

remind me not to ever tell y'all i like a place that isn't where i live.

CharlesWT,

Yes, that was no doubt part of the discussion. Set prices high, and then you can choose who buys. Once the first one is sold to a black family, the rest of the values went down, which is why they were trying to have an agreement not to take that sale. That was the theory anyway.

In context, we had a drug dealing family two houses down across the street, and a very diverse low end apartment building at the end of the block. One block over was an apartment block that was mostly poor, black, and a scary place for me as a kid to even walk through.

And Mafia. Between the mafia and the drug guys, we often had a police car simply parked there.

Despite all that, it was a great place to grow up, my parents and neighbors had parties all the time, including black tie events a couple times a year.

I grew up feeling wealthy. Probably because my neighbors had less.

I've spent lots of time in the Squirrel Hill area of Pittsburgh.

If only the six cops who were injured defending the synagogue against the republican murderer were protected by armed guards things could have turned out a lot better, like maybe the killer might have gone elsewhere and murdered even more human beings.

https://www.mediamatters.org/video/2018/10/26/laura-ingraham-guest-ann-coulter-trump-should-invade-mexico/221883

Please do invade Mexico so Civil War #2 against the entire conservative movement can become a hemispheric catastrophe.

https://www.mediamatters.org/video/2018/10/26/foxs-sebastian-gorka-violence-against-those-you-politically-disagree-ok-one-party-america-and-one/221882

Please do keep blaming the victims so that the victims finally rise up in savage fury and do the cleaning that is required in this country.

https://www.mediamatters.org/video/2018/10/26/sean-hannity-criticizes-targets-bombs-and-deranged-far-left-dangerous-rhetoric/221881

Yeah, Hannity, keep it up, you stinking conservative dead dingleberry on the asshole of the Republican Party.

Many terrible things have already happened and all of them were ordered to happen by mp.

Hannity needs to witness terrible up close and personal.

Just checked on an old friend in Squirrel Hill.

She is fine. She attends a different synagogue in the area.

the party of personal responsibility is not what it used to be.

guilt is not the right word

Shame is.

Much of the history of this country is a shame.

We should all feel shame about those parts of our history, and feel some responsibility for rectifying the wrongs, to the extent that can be done.

I didn't kill any Native Americans b but there is no doubt that I benefit from them being killed. So I don't think I need to feel guilty but I do think that I and every other beneficiary owe a debt.

I am white-privileged too. And I think I have an obligation be aware of that privilege and to intervene on behalf of people who are getting screwed due to not having the privilege. That's not guilt. Its more a concern about rectifying to use Joel's word. Fairness.


Interesting discussion. There is a large literature on the difference between guilt and shame cultures, with the US being a guilt culture and Japan being a shame culture, based on the work of Ruth Benedict.

https://www.jstor.org/stable/640338?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

I've never quite figured out the difference, possibly because I'm bicultural, I have sufficient doses of both...

Nigel's comment about La Femme Adultère reminds me that I need to read Camus' The First Man

http://movies2.nytimes.com/books/97/12/14/home/camus-firstman.html

I would say the difference between shame and guilt is parallel to the difference between reputation and honor. (H/T Lois Bujold). The former, in both cases, is about what others know about you; the latter is about what you know about yourself. In a shame culture, your reputation is critical; in a guilt culture, what matters is what you know about yourself.

Thus, in part, the flaw in trying to make people feel guilty about things which others (including their ancestors) did. They know that they didn't take those actions, so the resent being told they should feel guilty about them.

How about “complicity?”

Complicity requires involvement. Not sure how one contrives to be involved before birth....

Shame is quite a useful emotion, which in the social world serves an analogous role to pain in the physical world.
An excess of either is bad, but the inability to feel either is deeply problematic.

People who do not actively dismantle the oppressive things they inherit and seek to restore not just the balance, but also the material legacies are complicit in perpetuating the resulting inequalities.

People who do not actively dismantle the oppressive things they inherit and seek to restore not just the balance, but also the material legacies are complicit

Not buying it. Consider:
Marijuana remains illegal under Federal law. But several states, where the state laws against it have been repealed, are seeing businesses set up to sell it. Suppose such a business appears near me -- that is, I have knowledge of a specific case. Under your logic, I should be charged as an accessory to the Federal crime being committed. Simply because I took no action against it.

Sorry, that doesn't fly.

What's interesting about marijuana, aside from the amusing spectacle of Americans waking up one morning and learning criminal activity as of 24 hours ago is now a business opportunity, is that if you live in a state where it is sold legally across the counter to all comers, as I do, it is legal and illegal simultaneously.

It is a fascinating case of intersubjectivity, if that is the word, much like one experiences on LSD.

The Founders would have predicted this, but they were high on originalist generalities.

Yikes:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/canada-is-running-out-of-legal-weed-in-some-areas-2018-10-26?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

I remember when law enforcement would burn down marijuana plantations, in California especially, but I don't recall any fright headlines by the business community worrying about running out of the stuff.

What's interesting about marijuana ... is that if you live in a state where it is sold legally across the counter to all comers, as I do, it is legal and illegal simultaneously.

Yeah, but there are lots of cases where something is a violation of Federal law but not of state law. (Not to mention even more vis versa. Murder, for example, is not a Federal offense.)

It's just that, in this case, we were paying attention when something which was illegal under both is now illegal only under one.

And we may see the converse, if Roe is overturned (as opposed to merely gutted). That is, something which will still not be illegal under Federal law will become illegal once again under (some) state laws.

wj, I find it fascinating that in order to think about what I say about systems of oppression you flip the categories and turn oppression into legality. Not a veiled shot, just an acknowledgement that I don't grok the chain of reasons by which the one turns into the other. I don't see how it applies to the issues raised by taking a post-colonial approach to exploitation and oppression.

I'm not speaking of being legally complicit - I'm speaking of being morally or ethically complicit in the perpetuation of unearned advantage (aka privilege).

So a better way to think this through with the issue of legalization. The state you are in legalizes marijuana. Should they also releases all of the people currently incarcerated for possession or sale of marijuana and no violent offenses etc.? If they have a family, should we also work to restore some of the damage done by their loss of economic opportunity due to incarceration?

What of the for-profit prison profits that the corporation made while they had the prisoners working for less than minimum wages?

So a better way to think this through with the issue of legalization. The state you are in legalizes marijuana. Should they also releases all of the people currently incarcerated for possession or sale of marijuana and no violent offenses etc.? If they have a family, should we also work to restore some of the damage done by their loss of economic opportunity due to incarceration?

In general, no. If you want to argue with clemency for those with ridiculously long sentences, fine. I'd support that . . . provided it is handled in an evenhanded manner. But what they did was illegal when they did it. So compensation for "loss of economic opportunity" is IMO ridiculous.

What of the for-profit prison profits that the corporation made while they had the prisoners working for less than minimum wages?

I happen to think that private (whether for-profit or even non-profit) prisons are a terrible idea. Even if they aren't providing slave labor. I also think that our best shot at getting rid of them involves getting our incarceration rate down to the level of other first world countries. We know, from experience, that longer sentences don't make use safer; if anything the reverse.

Based on the experiences in Colorado, it takes a few months to get the indoor grow and curing facilities set up and producing. An acquaintance in law enforcement tells me that the quality has reached a point where there is now smuggling from Colorado to Mexico to meet demand from discerning customers there.

I find it fascinating that in order to think about what I say about systems of oppression you flip the categories and turn oppression into legality. Not a veiled shot, just an acknowledgement that I don't grok the chain of reasons by which the one turns into the other.

It comes down to responsibility. Whether legal or moral. Does that help?

Legal murder is not illegal.

"Murder, for example, is not a federal offense":

Addressed to no one here in particular, so when the Republican Party is indicted, we'll have to televise 50 separate Nuremberg Trials.

That's why mp is setting up the camps in that little corner of Yellowstone Park:

https://www.quora.com/Is-there-anywhere-in-the-United-States-where-murder-is-legal

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/trump-rolls-out-anti-semitic-closing-ad

mp orders more pipe bombs and synagogue shootings:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/trump-attacks-liberal-donor-package-bomb-target-tom-steyer-after-criticism

When Teddy Roosevelt used the term "bully pulpit", he meant an excellent, or first rate platform for persuasion.

In 2018, the English-only conservative republicans have refreshed the term with their default native fascist tendencies.

"Tyrann" pulpit

https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2018/10/right-wing-trolls-arent-harmless-and.html

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/video-beating-dutch-boy-crutches/

From the Wikipedia article on Joseph Goebbels:

"He was particularly adept at using the relatively new media of radio and film for propaganda purposes."

He later wrote: "Adolf Hitler, I love you because you are both great and simple at the same time. What one calls a genius."

"Goebbels' tactic of using provocation to bring attention to the NSDAP, along with violence at the public party meetings and demonstrations, led the Berlin police to ban the NSDAP from the city on 5 May 1927"

"He would suddenly change direction and shift his support between senior associates; he was a difficult boss and liked to berate his staff in public."

"Goebbels was particularly interested in controlling radio, which was then still a fairly new mass medium.[137] Sometimes under protest from individual states (particularly Prussia, headed by Göring), Goebbels gained control of radio stations nationwide, and placed them under the Reichs-Rundfunk-Gesellschaft (German National Broadcasting Corporation) in July 1934.[138] Manufacturers were urged by Goebbels to produce inexpensive home receivers, called Volksempfänger (people's receiver), and by 1938 nearly ten million sets had been sold. Loudspeakers were placed in public areas, factories, and schools, so that important party broadcasts would be heard live by nearly all Germans.[137] On 2 September 1939 (the day after the start of the war), Goebbels and the Council of Ministers proclaimed it illegal to listen to foreign radio stations. Disseminating news from foreign broadcasts could result in the death penalty.[139] Albert Speer, Hitler's architect and later Minister for Armaments and War Production, later said the regime "made the complete use of all technical means for domination of its own country. Through technical devices like the radio and loudspeaker, 80 million people were deprived of independent thought."

"It is a great pity that such a man (Hitler) is not with us any longer. But there is nothing to be done. For us, everything is lost now and the only way out left for us is the one which Hitler chose. I shall follow his example."

If only Hitler and Goebbels and company had cut taxes, they might have gotten away with the entire plan.

Those attendees at the first mp rally at Madison Square Garden in 1939 coulda been contendas:

https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/542499/marshall-curry-nazi-rally-madison-square-garden-1939/

https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2017/06/american-nazis-in-the-1930sthe-german-american-bund/529185/

https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-tree-of-life-shooting-and-the-return-of-anti-semitism-to-american-life

Return?

Anyone ever listen to the Nixon tapes?

Hate for the Other in America is like the appendix.

It's always there until it is surgically removed after being inflamed by conservatives.


Count me as another for whom converting questions of oppression into questions of legality doesn't really make sense. I guess this is where my liberal chops lie, despite my grumbles that I may be turning conservative.

I don't know if anyone has time to read but learning about how Native American history pushed me firmly to the point that legality and oppression have an orthogonal relationship. I recommend Sayer's Ghost Dancing the Law

https://networks.h-net.org/node/13784/reviews/14053/wagaman-sayer-ghost-dancing-law-wounded-knee-trials

as a way of thinking about those issues, though I'm not sure if it would convince someone who isn't already predisposed to thinking about things in that way.

Count me as another for whom converting questions of oppression into questions of legality doesn't really make sense.

I wasn't trying to turn it into a question of legality. I was attempting to make an analogy. In both cases, there is a difference between knowing that something is happening and being one of the parties responsible for it happening.

"there is a difference between knowing that something is happening and being one of the parties responsible for it happening."

It seems that all of my suggestions for alerting the FBI that a gang of child-kidnappers are operating out of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave in DC have fallen on deaf ears.

Otherwise, they'd send in a SWAT team, amirite?

Not buying it

The rectification of wrongs and the dismantling of an oppressive heritage can only be undertaken by those living in the present armed with a full and frank understanding of the past, a dollup of humility, and a conscious determination going forward.

And if 'reparations' is what it takes, then that is what has to be done.

It's a simple thing called justice.

I don't know why NBC hired Megyn Kelly, but the firing seems questionable. Kelly apologized for her remarks, and followed that with a discussion with a couple of guests about the history of blackface and why it was considered offensive.

Blackface pretty much disappeared from American life in the 1950's, so for people under 60 blackface is like slavery: a piece of history that happened before they were born. It doesn't make sense to condemn someone for not knowing a bit of history as long as they are willing to learn, and Kelly demonstrated that she is.

It's important to discuss race if we are to move forward on the racial divisions in this country. NBC has no particular obligation to host this discussion. Nor do they have any obligation to hire someone who has in the past chosen to cultivate a certain type of ignorance by taking a job in the conservative bubble of Fox News. But by firing Kelly as they have, it seems to me that they are actively shutting down discussion. Rather than actively trying to move the country forward on race, or sitting on the sidelines doing nothing, I think NBC has actively choosing to be (a small part of) the problem.

While I don't totally disagree with that take , I don't necessarily agree either because it looks at the firing as something that is a single act rather than a web of decisions. It has been observed that Kelly had no support within NBC, in contrast to other firings where the person fired got a lot of support from others at NBC, which points to the fact that she felt no need to cultivate relationships and adapt herself to the different environment of NBC (not to mention the fact that she was moved into a slot that necessitated Al Roker and Tamron Hall being pushed out. Also, given the amount of money that they spent on Kelly, keeping her would seem like trying to squeeze out some return on what were essentially damaged goods. So while one could argue that NBC is 'adding' to the problem, keeping Kelly on to try and foster a dialogue seems like the worst of both worlds.

I checked with my handy authority on these things, my African-American wife. She objects to just plain blackface, but has no objection to white people darkening themselves "in character," as long as it isn't a stereotypical offensive character. If I went to a Halloween party as Diana Ross or Ru Paul she would have issues, but not racial issues. Othello, OK.
What pissed my wife off is not Kelly's stance, but that this wasn't a fight Kelly had to pick. That some dim-bulb celebrity dressed up as Diana Ross and some people criticized her isn't something we need to hear about from a multi-million a year "journalist," especially one who has stepped on herself before -- I still fantasize about producing a movie entitled "Black Santa," with Samuel L. Jackson bellowing "Ho! Ho! Ho!" instead of calling for his elves, and giving Kelly a cameo -- and hasn't learned anything from it.

Re: Kelly's firing.

"Employment at will"
Plus oodles of cash.

I'll have a tiny little violin to play for her, just as soon as the nanofabricator finish building it.

Trump gets to fulfil his fantasy of saying who can and cannot be a citizen, subject to the odd court case...

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/413770-trump-says-he-will-sign-executive-order-banning-birthright

14th A. But he is probably looking forward to taking it to the SCOTUS.

Blackface pretty much disappeared from American life in the 1950's, so for people under 60 blackface is like slavery: a piece of history that happened before they were born

I'm trying to make sense of this.

I'm over 60, so blackface was still more or less around when I was a kid.

Slavery was not. It was a 'piece of history' that happened before I was born.

Nevertheless, I knew what it was, and knew that it was wrong, and why it was wrong.

Ditto. I'm 50, and I've known slavery was wrong at least since seeing "Roots" on TV as a kid. (That's kind of a joke, but seeing it did really drive the message home in a more personal way.)

I don't think slavery was the best example, unless people generally are supposed not to know it was bad, which would be a pretty odd thing to suppose.

This is what I was getting at when talking about appealing across the aisle a few days back.

Abrams is an unabashed progressive, but she does not assume that nearly half the electorate are completely beyond reach:
https://www.newyorker.com/news/dispatch/stacey-abrams-still-believes-that-she-can-win-over-conservative-georgians
...“We’re going after all voters,” Abrams told me, when I described my conversation with Purchase. “I’m going to Republican-leaning places like Carroll County because there are people in these counties who will vote for me, even if they’re not Democrat by inclination.” As for Purchase, she said, “I’ve had a number of conversations with guys like him”—Trump voters, she meant, who’ve never voted for a Democrat—“who want Medicaid expansion, who want better jobs, who like my education platform, and they’re gonna vote for me.”

Abrams also mentioned places like Thomasville and Chatsworth, where there might be only a handful of Democrats. “Places you can’t turn blue,” she said, “but you can take from maroon to pink. Or you can create some little blue dots.” Relative to the campaigns run by Georgia Democrats in the past, Abrams’s campaign has been notable in its emphasis on the whole state—on “reaching into every community rather than cherry-picking votes,” as she put it.

In such a polarized election, conventional wisdom says that there aren’t many people left in the middle. But Abrams is still seeking them. “People have many issues they give primacy to,” Abrams told me. “Some give it to their ideology. Some their economics. Some their health. My responsibility is to give them a frame that lets them decide that I can meet enough of their interests and needs to vote for me. I’m not going to try to dismiss what they believe or change who they are. My job is to say, ‘Here’s who I am, here’s what I can do, and if you cast a vote for me, here’s what will be there for you.’ ”...

It's going to be a tough contest, particularly as her opponent is effectively marking his own electoral homework, along with setting the terms of the test, but I think she might just pull it off.

Black face was still a thing on the BBC, as recently as the 1970s:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06brpck

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_and_White_Minstrel_Show

And much more recently elsewhere:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/0/24744499

This is what I was getting at when talking about appealing across the aisle

OK, maybe I follow what you are arguing for better.

If what you are suggesting is that (D)'s should run everywhere, regardless of whether that place and those people are supposed to be "blue" or "red", I cannot agree more.

If what you are suggesting is to talk about *what (D)'s think is good*, as opposed to how horrible Donald J Trump and the (R)'s are, I likewise cannot agree more.

FWIW, I've probably spent about $1000 this election cycle, and most of that has gone to (D)'s running in "red" places. I've done a small amount of get-out-the-vote postcard writing, and all of that has been on behalf of Abrams campaign in GA.

If you were somehow to just present (D) policies to people in "red" places, without associating them with the (D) label, they will like them more often than not.

Not always, and not universally. But more often than not, they'll find some part of the total package attractive. Especially the economic and safety net stuff, as long as you don't call it "safety net" or an "entitlement".

The correct pitch there, IMO, is "have you ever worked? then you've earned this.".

Because it's true.

Black face was still a thing on the BBC, as recently as the 1970s

The US is not the UK.

Seriously, it boggles the mind that a sentient adult in the US would be unaware of the valence of blackface in our culture and history.

Kelly either lives in a bubble, or is malicious, or doesn't give a crap. Any of those, singly or in any combination, are reasonable causes for firing from the position she held.

The US is not the UK.

Seriously, it boggles the mind that a sentient adult in the US would be unaware of the valence of blackface in our culture and history.

Understood - but equally, someone espousing Kelly’s views would receive an equally vehement (if not more so) reaction in the UK these days.

Glad we agree on that, russell.
(I guess O’Rourke is doing something similar in Texas.)

The citizenship thing should be a joke, but it’s not.
Another term of Trump, and it’s not entirely inconceivable that you have a court that takes the idea seriously.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/07/the-fourteenth-amendment-is-a-battleground-for-citizenship/565655/
Anton’s “evidence” is not even a misreading; it is outright dishonesty. It is risible as history, but we should take it seriously as politics.

Tyrants and would-be autocrats throughout history have itched to get their hands on the law of citizenship. ...

14th A. But he is probably looking forward to taking it to the SCOTUS.

If he is, he's forgetting about the originalists he appointed to the court. They may not kowtow as well as he expects.

He's not going to do anything. This is just a silly pre-election gimmick - just another thing that will fall by the wayside until it's convenient to bring it up again to rile the base.

File with the middle-class tax cut.

he probably does want it to go to the Court because it will get the dupes riled up.

but it's going to be hard to write any kind of EO that gets around this sentence:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

What originalists?

I stick with 'not entirely inconceivable'.

In such a polarized election, conventional wisdom says that there aren’t many people left in the middle. But Abrams is still seeking them.

Perhaps it's time to consider the possibility that "the middle" isn't quite what we think it is. That is, there are a lot of people, on both sides of the left/right paradigm, who are persuadable in the right circumstances. Which may start, like it or not, with stepping away from liberal/conservative and Democrat/Republican labels and focusing on the specifics of the issues.

Running on the issues. What a concept!

Nigel: The citizenship thing should be a joke, but it’s not.

hsh: He's not going to do anything. This is just a silly pre-election gimmick - just another thing that will fall by the wayside until it's convenient to bring it up again to rile the base.

I wouldn't be so sure. I could easily see Stephen Miller, for example, leaping to draft it up for him. And a signing ceremony (why limit those to Congressional bills?) would make great pre-election TV, don't you think?

I agree with cleek that it wouldn't get past SCOTUS. Even one more partisan than this. But that's never stopped Trump trying other stuff.

And Pence usually stays fairly quiet on the wilder stuff from Trump...
https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/413857-pence-trump-citizenship-plan-may-not-conflict-with-constitution

I think they might well try this - it’s not as though Trump gives a flying fig for the Constitution.

I've come across a little further info on the argument against birthright citizenship:

To oversimplify, the idea that this can be undone by executive order turns on a rather creative interpretation of an 1890s Supreme Court decision. That decision interpreted the 14th Amendment — which holds that “all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens” — to apply to, well, all persons born in the U.S. The restrictionists claim this does not apply to the children of undocumented immigrants, because they aren’t “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States.
IANAL, but it seems pretty obvious that the only folks in the country but not "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" would be those with diplomatic immunity. At least, I've never heard it argued that an illegal immigrant doesn't have to pay his parking tickets. ;-)

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/muellers-office-says-women-offered-money-to-make-false-claims-about-him-2018-10-30?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

IANAL, but it seems pretty obvious that the only folks in the country but not "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" would be those with diplomatic immunity.

"you're not under the jurisdiction of our laws therefore you're illegal according to our laws (which you're not subject to)" seems more like a Monty Python premise than a convincing legal argument.

If he is, he's forgetting about the originalists he appointed to the court. They may not kowtow as well as he expects.

Unbelievable. Look, the 14th Amendment was passed by the post Civil War radical Republicans. Theirs is the "original intent".

Yet this collection of conservative fuckwads handed down Shelby. Go figure.

Perhaps you could explain that to us, charles.

Originalists my ass.

I agree with cleek that it wouldn't get past SCOTUS.

Anybody familiar with the contours of Shelby would never make such a blase assertion.

Anybody familiar with the contours of Shelby would never make such a blase assertion.

Shelby or Citizens United notwithstanding, I don't see this case as being disputable enough to get more than three justices. Thomas, Alito, and Kavanaugh? Yeah - it's not like they much are about what the Constitution really says when votes are on the line. (Although Thomas might surprise. Maybe.) But beyond that? I don't think so.

Trump’s Senate poodle is onboard:
https://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/413832-graham-to-introduce-legislation-ending-birthright-citizenship

Thomas, Alito, and Kavanaugh? Yeah...

From time to time, Thomas says no to something that will obviously be used to disadvantage blacks specifically. Eg, a North Carolina gerrymander and incorporation of the Confederate battle flag into a license plate design. OTOH, he wrote a concurring opinion in Shelby that said the Court should have tossed more of the law.

If I were betting, I'd bet that he won't vote to change the meaning of the first sentence of the 14th Amendment.

I am truly curious to know how He, Trump or his poodles would deal with citizenship for maternity-ward immigrants to the US.

I entered the US through a port of entry. I had to pass a test, swear an oath, and get a certificate to become a US citizen. My kid sister entered the US through a maternity ward like the vast majority of Americans, including young Barron Trump and Senator Butchmeup; she has no citizenship certificate, and neither do they AFAIK.

My parents were green-card holders when my kid sister was born. If anybody at the hospital asked for their ID to fill out her birth certificate, my parents had official government-issued cards to show they were "legal". What could Senator Butchmeup's parents have shown to establish they were NOT "illegal"?

It seems to me that when it comes to proving our citizenship to any fascist jack-in-office busybody who questions it, we port-of-entry immigrants have it easier than most of you maternity-ward immigrants do.

--TP


I don’t know whether this is funny, sad, or disgusting...
https://mobile.twitter.com/JaneMayerNYer/status/1057371849439502338

I am truly curious to know how He, Trump or his poodles would deal with citizenship for maternity-ward immigrants to the US.

Not only that. Suppose, per Trump's plans, being born here is not sufficient to make you a citizen. (And, presumably, never was.) So if your grandparents weren't naturalized (at least when your parents were born), then your parents wouldn't have been citizens after all. Which, in turn, would mean you aren't a citizen either.

What a fun mess! If you can't find an ancestor who was formally naturalized (before the next generation was born), then you aren't a citizen. Won't that make for fun times for everybody.

Decades ago I read an article about how Britain had developed an "AI" system(some kind of complex rule-based system I think) to determine whether someone was a British citizen or not.

The WH not long time ago (this year?) discussed plans about how to invalidate citizenship en masse, i.e. how to legally declare large numbers of US citizens to be not actually citizens. Iirc naturalized citizens are to be targeted by accusing them of acquiring their citizenship papers through fraud (i.e. the papers are to be considered genuine but acquired under false pretenses), while natural born citizens in possession of birth certificates are to be charged with outright forgery (those without birth certificate can of course be deported forthrightly).

some kind of complex rule-based system I think) to determine whether someone was a British citizen or not.

If it was pre-1983, then we’ll have changed the rules significantly in the interim.
It can be rather complex at times:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_nationality_law

Regarding the Count’s 1:51 PM link, is it wishful thinking to say the nitwits behind the attempted smear of Mueller may have finally messed with the wrong person and might get nailed for it? I’d really like that to be true.

The colonial chickens, uncounted before they hatched, came home to roost by crossing the sea to get to Britain...

related to the OP

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/nbc-was-harsh-axing-megyn-kelly-say-45-percent-americans-1156316

In one class here, I have students find someone who has a relative who is _not_ Japanese, which, for most Japanese, would seem like a question with very few answering yes, but there are always a handful of students whose aunt or uncle has married a foreigner, etc. I feel like the question would get a lot more yes answers in the States. It would be interesting to go thru Congress and see how many have spouses or close relatives who might come under Clickbait's proposal. Such as McConnell's wife Elaine Chao

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elaine_Chao

There is also at least one Democrat open to looking at Graham’s legislation:
https://thehill.com/campaign-issues/immigration/413988-donnelly-open-to-legislation-ending-birthright-citizenship

Donnelly needs to get elected, then "look at it" then vote no.

The Democrats need a majority in the Senate, as the current incarnation of the Republican party believes the Constitution its plaything.
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/10/trumps-murky-plan-end-birthright-citizenship/574366/

Though Republican congressional candidates aren't quite as enamoured of the idea:
https://thehill.com/homenews/house/413980-trump-surprise-rattles-gop-in-final-stretch

On the collective guilt issue—a better analogy would be: how guilty should an upper class black undergraduate admitted to Harvard feel knowing that he got in with much lower test scores than a middle class Chinese woman.

On the blackface issue I had always thought that “blackface” was considered to be when a white person dressed up to be a stereotyped black person—not when they were honoring a particular black person. So aping stereotyped concepts to be a generic “black person” was blackface, while dressing up as Diana Ross was not. A white personal dressing as a stereotypical “welfare queen” would be blackface while dressing as Aretha Franklin because you loved her music wouldn’t be.

I find Megan Kelly annoying in every way that I find all morning talk show hosts annoying. So I’m not well positioned to figure out what kinds of statements are disqualifying. There is potentially a little gender coding in that. I find male morning talk show hosts particularly annoying. But I think I’ll worry about that if we get safely away from all the dynamics of a post Trump political world and not before.

I know it’s fashionable to hate Thomas, but he really is predictably originalist in a lot more dimensions than almost any current judge. I would be shocked if he bought into Trump’s stupidity about the 14th amendment.

i just take black people's word for it when they say they find blackface offensive in any circumstance.

Well he voted the other way in Shelby.

Any birth citizenship policy that reaches the court would quite likely be fairly restricted in scope - if the Republicans do pursue this, it would probably be by way of gradual erosion of rights ... and I could quite easily see Thomas finding a way to affirm.

I would be shocked if he bought into Trump’s stupidity about the 14th amendment.

Seminole Tribes of Florida v Florida

Shocking is as shocking does.

I don't own a television any longer, but why stop at the annoying MORNING talk show hosts.

With the 24-hour news cycle, and this includes every other medium as well, talk shows are just getting kick-starting the annoyance in the morning, gaining momentum into the afternoon and rarely leveling off even into the wee hours.

America could just STFU for a day and practice total radio silence and give the world's annoyance glands a respite, for pity's sake.

As to Kelly and blackface, I'm with Russell and others. How dumb and/or conniving do you have to be to be paid $68 million and claim not to know the provenance of blackface and its insulting intent in most cases.

Rumor is she's talking with Christopher Ruddy's Newsmax about a new gig in which she will appear in blackface EVERY morning and cook fried chicken while playing old Al Jolson music videos, while disguising her voice to sound like the Kingfish from Amos and Andy.

Ya know, Al Jolson, the well-known rap artist.

To close the show, she'll look directly into the camera and ask "What, WHAT?"

The show will be called Lester's Ax-Handle Breakfast Talkfest.

The Kingfish and Al Jolson and Shirley Temple were great entertainers in their own rights but may we at least ask a fake blonde POX News bimbo pulling down $68 million in 2018 to know something ... anything .. about historical context.

By the way, a spinoff is planned in which Kelly will dress up as a ghastly hook-nosed Shylock from the Merchant of Venice and drop to her knees and gnaw on an undercooked pork shop at the feet of Kanye West dressed as the Pope, and that's just the bit while the opening credits run.

By the way, the middle class Chinese woman who didn't get into Harvard is going to be sent packing back to Shanghai by Stephen Miller (the thicket of politically correct ironies there is a delicious thing) and his boss, and THEN affirmative action will be halted by an activist Supreme Court and the upper-class black undergraduate can assuage his guilt at the local community college while the original legacy white kids assume their customary white nationalist positions in the student body, and I don't mean Bugs Bunny in drag.

"Fashionable"? Justice Thomas? Is THAT all it is?

Sniff.

But yeah, morning talk show hosts. Annoying.

On the collective guilt issue—a better analogy would be: how guilty should an upper class black undergraduate admitted to Harvard feel knowing that he got in with much lower test scores than a middle class Chinese woman.

The best I can say about this is that it's a question framed in an oversimplified way to elicit a seemingly obviously, but wrong, answer.

The answer I would give is: Not necessarily guilty at all, it would depend on a lot of things. Speaking as someone who had stratospherically high test scores, I can testify from a personal point of view that they aren't everything. Speaking as someone who worked for several years in the admissions office of an elite, and not small, university, I can repeat myself.

One of my fellow admissions officers, faced with alumni grumbling along the same "what about the test scores" lines, pointed out to the alums that if they wanted to go to a system of just letting test scores determine admissions, we could fill the first year class from Hong Kong every year. (This was actually long ago so he really said "freshman.")

Nothing against people from Hong Kong, either, though when someone I was close to lived and taught in China for five years, I got plenty of stories about obsession with teaching to the test scores to the exclusion of much else. It's not a healthy way to teach, or to think, or to live. It's not the way I'd run an admissions office if I had one.

If there's discrimination against Asian-Americans in college admissions, a light should be shown on it just as surely as a light should be shown on discrimination against African Americans or any other group. But the whole issue isn't served well by an obsession with test scores to the exclusion of all kinds of other things that go into making a student, making a university class, and making a society.

On the collective guilt issue—a better analogy would be: how guilty should an upper class black undergraduate admitted to Harvard feel knowing that he got in with much lower test scores than a middle class Chinese woman.

Because this is representative of the black experience? Because this is a significant aspect of American history? Because this is how blacks have achieved social, political, and economic dominance over Chinese people?

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