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June 16, 2020

Comments

LJ—

Dreher occasionally shows some real capacity for self reflection, more than most people in any part of the political spectrum. I wish more of the liberals who supported the Iraq War could do the same.

I read him because I want to stay out of bubbles. When he is calm I can read him and understand to some degree where he is coming from. No part of the political spectrum has a monopoly on blind spots or idiocy and if you want to hear what the left looks like at its worst, it pays to read some conservatives sometimes. I’m in no danger of becoming a rightwinger, but I want to know what some of them think from their own lips.

Besides, we are all stuck with each other.

Larison is the only regular columnist at TAC who is virtually always sensible from my POV. Of course he sticks almost exclusively to foreign policy. Reading him for me is just reading what I think, only better expressed, so that doesn’t count as going outside my bubble.

Actually, sorry to break it to you, but you aren't winning especially. What is happening is that the reactionary right is losing.

Winning and losing are probably the wrong frame. The right (if you want to call it reactionary, fine, though there are a lot of silent travellers who certainly seem to enable them) are getting crowded out. The polls suggest that more people feel favorably to BLM and the protests. A larger chunk of Republicans don't, and are going to resist. Just like a lot of Republicans seem to think that wearing a disposable mask is a massive affront to their freedom. At that point, what's the point of arguing?

A little Faulkner:
I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all your breath trying to conquer it. Because no battle is ever won he said. They are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools.

Of course, Quentin, who gets the watch from his father, ends up killing himself, but only after he makes sure to clean his vest and make himself presentable. Which seems to me a lot like worrying ourselves into a lather about whether statues stay up or down.

This is what I found wrong about DiAngelo’s approach but better expressed

https://theweek.com/articles/921623/limits-white-fragilitys-antiracism?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter


Basically, too much emphasis on feelings ( it very much smacked of a religious revival approach where people are told what damnable sinners they are) and not much about policy.

The statue thing is similar. I want to see the Confederates removed, but don’t think an extended debate about which American historical figures should be cancelled is very useful. It gets people’s emotions all riled up and at the end of the day we still have massive inequality and police forces who act like occupying armies.

Now if am wrong about the usefulness of the statue debate, I will be happy. But I suspect that the more time is spent on that the less time will be spent on more substantive issues. It’s like arguing about flag burning during an antiwar protest. If the flag burning leads to the ending of the war, great. I suspect that in the past it was largely a distraction.

I could also be partly right and partly wrong. But I am starting to bore myself.

No, I don't approve of lawlessness. But lawlessness in the face of such an insult: I can live with it.

Pro Bono wrote something I’ve been unable to get out of my head and into words, and without all that many words to boot.

brave men (always men) must Stand And Fight like Churchill!

more accurately, brave men *other than me* must stand and fight etc.

Back in the run-up to the Iraq War, Sullivan made a reply to a criticism that someone who was actually active military made about the foreign policy we were about to embark on.

You're a soldier! said Sullivan. It's not your place to offer an opinion, your place is to go and do what your civilian masters tell you to do.

Sullivan is a fucking entitled Tory twit. We fought a revolution to be rid of dudes like that. I am, really, not interested in a damned thing the man has to say.

The fact that Larison and Dreher are, on their best days, not insane is not a rousing endorsement. In my opinion. I have better things to read.

Color me close-minded. I can live with it. I only have a couple of decades left if I'm lucky, I'd rather spend my remaining days reading something more edifying.

Look, I'll make a blanket generalization, based on nothing more than whatever I can pull out of my behind:

Black people in the United States are tired of being treated like second-class citizens.

The solution to that is to stop treating them like second-class citizens.

The rest is commentary at best, and more likely noise.

It's been 400 freaking years, y'all. How much patience is a person supposed to have?

Donald - I think that something like DiAngelo's approach is useful for a segment on the left who needs to be interrupted and told to actually listen to what PoC are saying about their experiences and their wishes (in all the attendant variety and contradictions for a non-monolithic group), and I think that the people in question need to hear it from someone other than a PoC, and that PoC need to be freed from their position of always being a representative for all PoC.

Which, when tied to something like the statue issue probably amounts to the US being badly in need of a Truth and Reconciliation process with many of the groups that have been wronged, historically, and that continue to be affected by the effects of that historical wrong. There needs to be some sort of referendum on public memorials and their role in society and a consideration of what to do with the memorials that do not, broadly speaking, serve the public. We cannot allow past majorities to continue to bully and intimidate current communities through the legacy of their trappings of power.

And to the extent that a Truth and Reconciliation process can make a list of concrete action items to aid in that acknowledgment of truth and steps for reconciliation, it would be productive.

What we have instead, though, is just another postponement of any action because the majority of those who have been wronged are being collectively punished for the actions of a minority of that minority, and of others assumed (accurately or not) to be acting in concert with them. Which is straight up bullshit, but a convenient bit of bullshit for anyone who finds change inconvenient or personally counterproductive or ideologically unpalatable.

What we have instead, though, is just another postponement of any action because the majority of those who have been wronged are being collectively punished for the actions of a minority of that minority, and of others assumed (accurately or not) to be acting in concert with them. Which is straight up bullshit, but a convenient bit of bullshit for anyone who finds change inconvenient or personally counterproductive or ideologically unpalatable.

I agree with your whole comment, nous, except that the postponement of action isn't because of the collective punishment (which is happening, and which you've described accurately). It's because of the political situation (exacerbated by Covid - which is also being used as a weapon by the right-wing). The Republican control of the White House and the Senate and the courts: that is interfering with change.

My district has very good news: Democrats have nominated Cameron Webb for Congress, against a nut-case religious right-wing extremist: the Republicans primaried Trump sycophant Denver Riggleman (who committed the sin of officiating a gay marriage).

If you have extra cash, this is something to do with it.

But, also, this is what you do when you are sorry that you appeared in black-face.

So, yeah. There are things we can all do. I'm so proud of Virginia. Let's be honest: the good old boys are following the tide. But let's support them in doing that.


Thanks Donald for the link. Since I posted DiAngelo, I guess I should answer it, in the time honored 'fisking' format (what ever happened to Robert Fisk? Wikipedia says he is still alive, but 84 is getting up there) But me taking issue with this is simply that, looking at this writing and identifying why I think it is wrong.

However, while the type of anti-racism advocated by DiAngelo might provide some useful benefits, it is also enervating, distracting, and can even perpetuate its own kind of racial prejudice.

Not a complaint, but for me 'enervating' is a positive adjective. I bring this up because maybe the disjunction starts here.

White Fragility tells many stories of the author's corporate seminars (for which DiAngelo is undoubtedly well-paid; diversity consulting is reportedly a multi-billion dollar industry)

If she worked for peanuts, he'd be able to take this seriously? Way to ad hominem!

But seriously, diversity workshops are a huge industry because some feel there is a huge need. Maybe they are just getting blown by the winds of whatever is in, but the evidence of the protests would suggest that isn't really the case.

DiAngelo concludes that all white people, including herself, are unalterably racist.

errr, no she doesn't. She argues that we are socialized to be racist because of the structure of society. That seemingly short leap is, imo, the source of most of the gap.

Racism can only be contained, never defeated.

If you think that racism is part of human nature, and othering is a fundamental aspect of the human condition, then I'm not sure why this statement seems false. Note that there is this oscillation between it's not racism and well, blacks are racist too in a lot of these debates. Why can't I use the n word, rappers use it all the time sort of things.

For one thing, there is a darker side to this kind of corporate training.

Again, anytime you have to legislate or mandate change, there is always a darker side. There are always people who take advantage of the rules.

In her view all white people without exception are racist, even — indeed, especially — progressive ones. "I believe that white progressives cause the most daily damage to people of color," she writes. Any denial of this is taken as evidence of white fragility and prejudice. It may be true that all white Americans have at least some race prejudice given the gruesome history of this country, but this is blatantly circular reasoning, and raises the question of just what the point of all this self-flagellation is.

If we think of the inverse, any evidence of non-racist behavior is then taken as proof that racism doesn't exist, or at least has been slain. But somehow, it keeps coming back. Recall that the Watts riots in 1964 when police arrested a black driver who was driving under the influence and and the police ended up arresting the driver and an acquaintance of the driver and the driver's mother.
https://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries/la-me-rena-price-20130623-story.html
Obviously, we could parse the incident to figure out what went down, but in light of what we are seeing on phone videos, is it any surprise that this might have been a problem? And to solve the problem, white people can't say well, I'm only racist 5% of the time. It's ironic, but that single drop of blood reasoning continues to infect us.

And given the 'gruesome history' of this country, it is certainly more than a drop.

This not only smacks more than a little of the "Magical Negro" stereotype, but also puts up a high barrier between actual communication and learning between races. One end goal of an anti-racist society, presumably, is for people of all races to be able to communicate with each other as individuals. Cross-racial friendship can surely help in this effort — by coming to know one's Black fellow citizens, whites might discover they are regular American human beings like themselves, and indeed that they have a great deal in common. Whites considering their own unconscious biases might help with this, but being taught to view every interaction with a person of color through a racial lens will make it harder, however progressive that lens might be.

So DiAngelo is not allowed to present the evidence she has had from other AAs, because that casts them as "the only reliable guides to whether whites have atoned sufficiently". Atonement only comes when the sinner is forgiven. I don't think that the black population of America has in any way forgiven the white population. So they _are_ the only guides. And it is that giving up of white autonomy that is what seems to be at the root of white fragility.

More importantly still, DiAngelo has basically nothing to say about what might be done in policy terms about racism. She talks a great deal about "systemic" discrimination, but very little about actual systems — her discussion of affirmative action, for instance, is not about how it might be expanded, but how white people get mad about it.

Really? Because DiAngelo doesn't talk about policy, ergo she's not being honest. Yet with the exception of the unregenerate, anyone on this blog could identify a ton of policies that have been denied, undercut, mismanaged. DiAngelo is trying to explain why that is a constant.

Moreover, Blacks were also much more concentrated in poverty — 36.6 percent of them lived in the poorest tracts, while the same was true of just 9.6 percent of whites. This fits with other evidence suggesting that an all-out attack on poverty would go some distance towards cutting police violence and mass incarceration, because as we have seen over the past weeks, the main activity of American police and prisons is not solving crime, but keeping a boot on the neck of the disproportionately Black and brown American lower class.

Quelle surprise! Was it really something that could only be seen over the past few weeks? And was that last sentence a knowing wink to the audience or just lazy writing? Whatever it was, it suggests a total self^absorbtion.

Racism must be eradicated, partly because it forestalls the kind of multi-racial, working-class political coalition that could make this country a better place to live for everyone. But it seems you won't learn that at a corporate diversity seminar.

Nor will you find the writer admitting to any racism. So it's obviously on everyone else to fix.

Going back thru Cooper's other writings after writing this also gives us a fix on where Cooper is coming from and I don't like it much and I hope you don't either. Exhibit one.

https://theweek.com/articles/918849/what-about-police-violence-against-white-people

Consider this. George Floyd was killed on May 25th. Ryan Cooper publishes this on June 9th. After watching a black man strangled for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, he thinks 'wow, that could have been a white person minding his own business, I need to defend white people from having a cop put their knee on the back of their neck for 8+ minutes.'

Obviously, my distaste for this argument might seem like I'm railing on you, and I apologize for that. But this article and Ryan Cooper do nothing for me but underline the validity of DiAngelo's thesis.

You're a soldier! said Sullivan. It's not your place to offer an opinion, your place is to go and do what your civilian masters tell you to do.

Sullivan is a fucking entitled Tory twit.

What Sullivan (and others, he is hardly alone here) misses is that you don't lose your rights as a citizen just because you become a soldier. Being a soldier does mean that you have to follow orders. But it doesn't deprive you of the right (indeed, arguably the responsibility) to make your views known -- not during actual combat, but that's a pretty small part of any soldier's actual life.

diversity workshops are a huge industry because some feel there is a huge need

diversity workshops are exactly what a corporation would do, if its officers believed something needed to be done.

a program, that can be applied uniformly to everyone in the organization, that is based on the Best Expert Guidance, which is more or less incrementally useful in some way that can be measured, and which no small number of people will comply with by going through the motions without significantly altering their personal point of view.

it's perfectly fine, for what it is, and it's better than nothing. at a minimum, it signals that obvious racism isn't acceptable.

which, in some contexts, is a win.

Being a soldier does mean that you have to follow orders.

Not from Andrew freaking Sullivan.

But this article and Ryan Cooper do nothing for me but underline the validity of DiAngelo's thesis.

Exactly precisely correct, lj. Well said. Thank you.

A little birdie tole me that I'm off base on ennervate and it _is_ a negative adjective

https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/enervate

I hope that doesn't undermine my other points...

Being a soldier does mean that you have to follow orders.

Not from Andrew freaking Sullivan.

I should, for precision, said "follow legal orders." On balance, I think I would rather follow orders from Andrew Sullivan, for all his faults, than from Donald Trump.

I should, for precision, said "follow legal orders." On balance, I think I would rather follow orders from Andrew Sullivan, for all his faults, than from Donald Trump.

Tricky bit, of course, being that the person giving the order will insist that the order being given is legal, thus putting the persons being ordered on the hook and guessing which court will get to them first.

Meanwhile, in the land of WTAF???!, bronies have their reckoning, too:
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2020/06/my-little-pony-nazi-4chan-black-lives-matter/613348/

Sullivan is a fucking entitled Tory twit. We fought a revolution to be rid of dudes like that. I am, really, not interested in a damned thing the man has to say.

To be fair to him, 'entitled' is simply inaccurate, as he is a self made made of very modest background indeed. Coming out, and advocating for gay rights, before such a thing was acceptable in conservative circles doesn't really fit that description, either.

I don't share his politics, and he said some undeniably foolish and provocative things, but I also remember his being one of the early (and very few at the time) conservative voices speaking out against torture.
I also recall his hosting a remarkably civilised discussion of partial birth abortion on his blog, which is an unusual thing for a US conservative and Catholic..

He is a controversialist, and has made a living from that, but I would not dismiss him as a twit.

On balance, I think I would rather follow orders from Andrew Sullivan, for all his faults, than from Donald Trump.

It's hard to think of setting the bar lower...

But this ia an observation that I might not be in a position to make, but nous mentioned earlier that he thought the distrust that AA felt when speaking to whites might be mirrored by the gulf between veterans and civilians. I've got no experience, but from my readings, a lot of memoirs etc feel that combat strips away everything but the essentials, with the idea that you find out who you can depend on and who you can't. I'm reminded of Chris Hedge's book 'War is a Force that gives us meaning' and I think in some ways, it is a parallel version of DiAngelo's book, warning about the how we think that war is something safely isolated from our every day lives, but it always comes back to haunt us.

I don’t think DiAngelo’s approach very useful. I have my own views on why our society stinks— if everyone has to go to my own version of a DiAngelo talk and agree with me before we make progress than we are sunk.


I read the Cooper article you linked.

https://theweek.com/articles/918849/what-about-police-violence-against-white-people

I generally agreed with it and thought your summary of it and his alleged motives were wildly inacccurate.

One more thing. There is almost no one I read that I agree with on everything and I am not talking about minor disagreements either. But because of this it seems like a really bad idea to go into a person’s printed record looking for reasons to dismiss what they said in article X because of something else they said in article Y. I’d be stuck just writing my own articles and reading them.

Nous—

I am fine with a Truth and Reconciliation commission, but don’t expect it to happen. If it did happen,, there are a vast number of issues it should cover, but among other things, state violence both domestic and foreign.

As for statues, I want to see the Confederate names and monuments removed . The others are more complicated in some cases, especially Grant but also Washington. I get worried when a movement starts focusing on non policy things. But if statue removal leads to bigger changes, that’s great.

more bad apples

“Piner tells Moore later in the conversation that he feels a civil war is coming and he is ‘ready.’ Piner advised he is going to buy a new assault rifle in the next couple of weeks. A short time later Officer Piner began to discuss society being close to ‘martial law’ and soon ‘we are just gonna go out and start slaughtering them fucking ni—–. I can’t wait. God, I can’t wait.’ Moore responded that he would not do that. Piner stated, ‘I am ready.'” according to the summary.

“Officer Piner then explained to Cpl. Moore that he felt society needed a civil war to ‘wipe ’em off the fucking map. That’ll put ’em back about four or five generations.'”

black people are going to start thinking there's a problem soon. might want to get in front of that.

“Consider this. George Floyd was killed on May 25th. Ryan Cooper publishes this on June 9th. After watching a black man strangled for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, he thinks 'wow, that could have been a white person minding his own business, I need to defend white people from having a cop put their knee on the back of their neck for 8+ minutes.'l

I just read the Cooper piece on police violence and LJ’s summary of it bears essentially no relationship to it whatsoever. I don’t want to Fisk ( a stupid offensive term invented by rightwing warmongers to bash a British journalist who was skeptical of our wars), but read the Cooper piece. He shoots down the rightwing complaints by showing they are false on the facts. He then says that while police violence against whites is less prevalent, it is still bad enough that poor whites should be joining the protests rather than listening to the right. So yes, lj,I agree with Cooper that rightwingers are making bad arguments and I also think that whites should ally with blacks against police brutality rather than listen to those bad rightwing arguments.

What you did was project your own imagined worst case depiction of what Cooper’s motives might have been and this had nothing to do with the actual piece. Anybody can do this to anyone. Which, btw, is why I like to read people firsthand, even people I probably won’t agree with.

To be fair to him, 'entitled' is simply inaccurate, as he is a self made made of very modest background indeed.

to clarify my own comment - 'entitlement', to me, is less a matter of wealth or privilege, and more a matter of one's own attitude.

He is a controversialist, and has made a living from that, but I would not dismiss him as a twit.

I'll try to capture my issue with Sullivan.

There's a tendency in more traditional conservatism toward the idea that some people are meant to rule, and those people should rule, and everyone else should submit to that, and that's the way it all is meant to be.

Quite often, the marker of who ought to be ruling is wealth and property, or some conspicuous achievement in an area not necessarily relevant to governing.

There are special people, and those special people should be driving the bus, and that is as it ought to be according to the nature of things.

And that can extend out to tendencies like, there are peoples and societies and nations in the world who really ought to be driving the bus, because they are superior in some way.

I think this shows up more in English traditions, but does show up here in the US as well. It's a not-uncommon conservative tendency, regardless of geography.

I reject that, more or less viscerally. It rubs me the wrong way. It offends my small-d American democratic sensibilities.

IMO Sullivan partakes deeply of that tendency, so he rubs me the wrong way. I think he comes by it naturally, due to his background as a UK guy who made good through his conspicuous achievement as a writer, but I don't think it's an attitude that is a good fit for the culture I grew up in and embrace.

I'm basically not that interested in his opinion, because IMO it comes from a place and a perspective that I find noxious.

Plus, I don't think he's quite as smart as he thinks he is.

And those are my thoughts about Sullivan.

If you enjoy reading him, I completely encourage you to continue doing so.

if white people don't want to give up their privilege voluntarily, they might just find themselves with no choice, very soon.

I found this interesting (and I hope 538 isn't seen my analog to CharlesWT's ... um, reliably citing Reason ;^) ).

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-statistics-dont-capture-the-full-extent-of-the-systemic-bias-in-policing/

You look at all the people who had recorded encounters with police — data which is not always easy to obtain — and calculate the proportion that involved the use of force. But this approach has a different issue, as a recent paper pointed out — if there’s bias in who gets stopped in the first place, then looking at discrepancies in the resulting interactions won’t give you the full picture. This is because of something called “collider bias.”

(...)

The fact that researchers’ data comes from a biased sample — who the police choose to stop — rather than the full sample of possible stops might skew the conclusions we draw from it. “If we’re using administrative data, we always need to be aware of what world those data capture, and what they don’t capture,” said Allison P. Harris, a political science professor at Yale who studies racial disparities in the criminal justice system. “With policing, we just can never know what there’s no record of.”

I’d be stuck just writing my own articles and reading them.

Well put.

I’d be stuck just writing my own articles and reading them.

Well put.

Agreed. And on the subject of cleek's "more bad apples" at 10.26, the conversations that led to those officers being fired were recorded completely accidentally. One can't help wondering how many of those sorts of conversations take place among other police officers, who are not accidentally recorded. Or do only libz and BLM wonder that?

One can't help wondering how many of those sorts of conversations take place among other police officers, who are not accidentally recorded.

from what i've read, it's rampant.

“collider bias”

good link, hsh.

(for some values of 'good')

from what i've read, it's rampant.

I fear this is true. And that the well-intentioned naysayers here are working under a comforting delusion.

if white people don't want to give up their privilege voluntarily, they might just find themselves with no choice, very soon.

I'm wondering how generational wealth will play into that.

I'm wondering how generational wealth will play into that.

most unpleasantly

From my reasonably limited, but not nonexistent experience I think this is pretty accurate.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/bet-founder-mocks-crowds-statues

Johnson argued that the statue destruction that has swept the nation is meaningless to black Americans who could benefit much more from structural changes like economic equality.

meaningless?

let's ask them what they think.

"There are clear partisan and racial divides on the question about statues honoring confederates," Rasmussen said. "Sixty-three percent (63%) of Democrats favor taking down such statues while 72% of Republicans are opposed. By a 2-to-1 margin, Black voters believe such statues should come down. White voters, by a narrower margin are opposed."

Johnson's point of view seems reasonable to me.

I'm sure that some black people share it, and I'm sure that some white people share it.

I'm sure that some black people don't share it, and I'm sure that some white people don't share it.

I know it's tempting to think about it as "OMG that is totally wrong", or "OMG that is totally right on". I'm not sure it's either.

I personally agree with Johnson's thought that, of any 1,000 things people can do to remove or at least mitigate race-based inequity, pulling down a statue is probably fairly far down on the list.

But my perspective is as limited as anyone else's. I'm not sure that "accurate" is even available in this case.

How would anyone know if pulling down a statue was beneficial on net, or not?

Plus, different statues present different issues.

Statues are the brown M&Ms of change?

https://www.insider.com/van-halen-brown-m-ms-contract-2016-9

It's a purely symbolic gesture, but it does speak volumes about white people's willingness to reckon with actual change and take on the racists still in power.

Also, too, it's a benefit analysis rather than a cost/benefit analysis when listing measures according to how much good they'll do. So, while removing Confederate (and other) statues might not be the most powerful attempt at reaching racial equality, it is none the less low-hanging fruit. Whether doing so constitutes a distraction from or an encouragement of further action is another question.

My trenchant analysis of the pulling down of statues:

People are frustrated and angry and are caught up in the moment.

There's a statue that they think (perhaps correctly, perhaps not) represents the historical aspect of the thing they are frustrated and angry about.

They Want To Do Something, the statue presents itself as Something To Do, so they pull it down.

And once a couple of people do it, it becomes an official Thing To Do. So more people pull more statues down.

If there's more to it than that, I'm not seeing it.

I think (emphasis on think, this is only my opinion) that most people's default position on topics like this is "don't break stuff". But I also think (with the same caveat) that a lot of people, maybe even most people, understand that sometimes people act out in ways that can seem unreasonable when they get angry enough.

That's pretty much where I'm at with it, it's quite possible that I'm just projecting my own opinion on the situation.

But I'm not seeing people pulling down statues as some kind of social Gotterdammerung. I'm sure they'll knock it off sooner or later, and hopefully we'll all focus on more consequential issues.

Sullivan...wrs @ 10:59 above.

His "fifth column" remark was a direct and ominous insult to those who opposed the Iraq War. It was also a tell as to the nature of the man. When the rubber hits the road, you still gonna' say, "Well, he has opinions". His apology on this matter rings utterly hollow.

He continues to defend the racist Charles Murray on the intellectually bankrupt grounds that he is "only raising questions."

What's next, a serious discussion on the pros and cons of nazism?

And the topper is this: Anybody who whines about the "suppression of free speech" from a prominent perch in the media universe is purely bullshitting you.

He should be studiously ignored.

I don't click on Fox News links, so maybe I was off point, but I was thinking more about officially sanctioned removals of statues rather than knocking them down in more or less spontaneous acts of civil disobedience.

i think we are in a historical moment something like the start of the Reformation and the Reformation saw waves of iconoclasm and riots of a similar sort.

It was the Reformation that gave us the nation state as the dominant political model of organization. Many scholars have questioned whether or not we are in the midst of a shift to a new form of political organization.

Expect turbulence. We are in for a bumpy ride, both domestically and globally.

nous,

I tend more toward decline and fall of the Roman Empire myself. The utter failure of humankind to meet the collective action problem of global warming will usher in a new Dark Ages.

And that's the optimistic take.

I pray that I am wrong....

At least we don't have to contend with a global pandemic during this upheaval. Oh, wait ... crap.

It's a purely symbolic gesture

symbols can matter. they were powerfully symbolic to the people who put them up, after all.

and the symbol was not intended to make former slaves and their children feel welcome at government buildings.

either we acknowledge that everyone in this country is welcome, or we don't. but symbols like those statues are how we communicate that.

bobbyp - current historians would call that period the Migration Era, and we are certainly in the early stages of one of those as well. I think we have enough infrastructure in place to keep the show running, but I don't think it will be pretty.

cleek - agree. Symbolic gestures matter on some pretty deep levels.

symbols can matter. they were powerfully symbolic to the people who put them up, after all.

Yup. And those same people are not only (perhaps not even especially) opposed to mob actions ripping those Confederate statues down. My sense is that they are even more opposed to normal government action to remove them. Possibly because it's easier to denounce violent minority action than peaceful democratic ones.

A calm government action to remove the statues, after all, just demonstrates that not only did they lose the war, they are (finally!) losing the peace as well.

The one thing that segment of the right fear more than anything else is looking like a cuck. They will burn it all down themselves in ordre to avoid that.

Let it also be said that of all the things an "unrestrained mob" can destroy, statues are about the least ... what's the word I'm looking for ... consequential? inconvenient?

In re Sullivan: did he have any comment when "unrestrained mobs" of Iraquis were tearing down statues of Saddam?

--TP

hsh, I dont look at fox news either, it was on my cnbc feed and I had just seen Johnson on cnbc a few weeks ago so I clicked on it. Overall it was an interesting take from a guy who suggests we should pay 360k to every black person in America and call it even.

last year, after our town's TIDOS statue was taken down. and since then, at least three 30' high, 6" diameter flagpoles sporting confederate flags have popped up in our town - with 5' fences around their bases. two of them are on the main road into town.

and i know all the houses around me with "Protect Our Statues / Preserve Our Heritage" lawn signs.

from this, i know a few big things about a few of my fellow villagers.

i know they don't care about 20% of the people who live there. i know they're both aggressive in their desire to tell everybody what they think, and that they're fearful of people not responding well to it. i know they're never going to be invited to my house.

and yes, most of them are Trump supporters.

Pass a federal law that all statues of Confederate figures must wear N95 medical masks, and the genocidal cucks will tear the things down themselves.

State and local public health officials across the country are being hounded from their jobs by genocidal republican politicians and the their operatives in the conservative movement who are inundating these public servants and their families with death threats.

I would link, but just fuck it.

Wipe the conservative movement and its crypto-non-Christian faithful off the face of the Earth.

As long as it permitted to exist, America is dog shit.

Thanks for replying Donald, I just lost a long comment, and have to get going today, but I did want to reply. I appreciate you reminding me that 'fisking' was a RW tactic, I thought that it referred to the way that Robert Fisk would analyze various articles and the word was hijacked by the RW in a similar manner to political correctness, which might make for an interesting discussion, but only after tempers have cooled.

I also understand that you don't agree with everything that Cooper says, which is why I said that I was addressing his article. If you feel I was projecting my biases on Cooper, that's certainly possible, I would (and have) considered that. Since I don't know what you agree with and what you disagree with in the article, I could only tackle what Cooper himself wrote. It would have been useful to identify what you agreed with and what you disagreed with in order to figure out where we agree, but that train has probably left the station.

Now, I admit that the title and date of Cooper's article 'triggered' me. Even if you make a living at putting your opinion out there, I can't believe that someone would choose that time to take up the topic. It could be that the piece is full of insights about police violence and an editor gave it that title in order to drive more views. But I, for one, don't want to talk about how white people are put upon by the police. It just seems, at this historical moment, totally wrong.

At the risk of continuing this beyond the point of usefulness, I'd note that in checking about Chris Hedge's book, I reread Simone Weill's The Iliad, or the Poem of Force
https://www.jstor.org/stable/25294008

and the passage beginning on page 8 with
A stranger, completely disabled, disarmed, strengthless... struck me so strongly that my daughter asked if something was wrong when she saw the look on my face. I (and again, this may be my projection) draw a direct line to the way George Floyd was killed (along with the militarization of police, the treatment of aliens in the US, and a whole host of societal issues) with the issues that you have often raised with drone assasinations and warfare by proxy. As you mention to nous, a Truth and Reconciliation committee should cover aspects of state violence both 'domestic and foreign'. As Americans, we are guilty of that and as part of the white majority, I feel we are 'guilty' of George Floyd's death.

That's a harsh thing to say and when it is reduced to the level of individuals, it sounds like I am claiming that I am less guilty because I acknowledge it. I think that is inevitable if I choose to talk about it here (which is why I posted the video and set out the rules, again, possibly unfair and tilting the field towards my viewpoint, but I did what I thought would allow conversation to take place)

I apologize if this casts a shadow on who you are here (or anyone else here who disagrees with DiAngelo) and what you believe. I will say, I don't know you and am not able to judge your value as a person except thru our interactions here. But I feel strongly enough to take the position that I take and guilty enough to feel that it should be acknowledged.

I'll add a second FiveThirtyEight piece to the one that hairshirthedonist added above - this one a historical look at how the Republican party lost its color:

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-republican-choice/

This seems like a venue that might lead to some good cross-talk on the subject and also one to find any holes in the argument that Malone puts forward in the piece.

And while we are at it...one on monuments and history from Hanif Abdurraqib:

https://www.newyorker.com/news/dispatch/the-vanishing-monuments-of-columbus-ohio

Toppling a statue is a symbolic act, but it comes after years of concrete work and pressure. There were the people who took to the streets, in 1992, to say, No, this boat cannot sit here, and the people in the years after who stood at the feet of Christopher Columbus and said, No, this statue cannot sit here—the people who told the present and past mayors that there is a debt for the history that the city still chooses to revel in. In recent weeks, people have once again taken to the streets in Columbus and across the country. There is a bigger picture propelling them, but even the smaller fights serve as a bridge to something larger. After the City Hall statue is taken down and tucked away, some of those same people will be right back, tapping their fingers on the city’s flag and seal, which bear the image of the Santa Maria. They’ll be taking aim at the city’s third and oldest Columbus statue, which stands at the statehouse, and writing letters to the mayor demanding to change the city’s name—which now, in this era of new possibilities, seems not out of the question. Among these people are those who have seen their small sanctuaries in the city get swept away—people who have lost the buildings that they grew up in, or the restaurants where their folks worked when they were starting from nothing. A city cannot consistently transform itself at the expense of its most marginalized citizens and not expect those citizens to have a vast imagination about what a further transformation—whether of statues, a name, or leadership—could be.

Abdurraqib is, as always, thoroughly readable and thought provoking.

lj, a sensitive and thoughtful comment, if I may interject. These are immensely snarled and knotty issues we are dealing with, and it's all too easy to allow oneself to flare up when (talking in cyberspace as opposed to IRL) so much of it is only going on in one's own head.

I love the sound of The Poem of Force, I shall certainly pursue it tomorrow when back on my computer, as opposed to the accursed phone.

It could be that the piece is full of insights about police violence and an editor gave it that title in order to drive more views. But I, for one, don't want to talk about how white people are put upon by the police. It just seems, at this historical moment, totally wrong.

It might have been better to call it “Why White People Should Support Black Lives Matter, If Even for Selfish Reasons” (or whatever better title you can think of in the same vein).

If Republicans were statues, would we be justified in using Second Amendment solutions against them as they invaded our property and sank their fangs into us:

https://www.wkbw.com/news/local-news/7-i-team-exclusive-state-supreme-court-judge-grisanti-under-investigation-after-brawl-with-neighbors

All the wrong people have guns, and all the wrong people .. don't.

Brand 'em on their foreheads:

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2020/06/what-happens-post-trump-to-the-gop

I mean, Hugo Stiglitz is always available:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grq0rhtbtAw

“ It's a purely symbolic gesture”

Was that a quote from me? I am losing track and am too lazy to reread the thread. It sounds like me slightly overstating my point

I am in favor of removing Confederate statues. I would prefer to see it done legally, but the illegal demolition is not high on my list of things to worry about.

In the past I have gotten frustrated over how in American politics we often seem to get more excited about symbolism than substance. So some antiwar protestor burns a flag and pretty soon more people are arguing about the symbolism of the flag and the burning of it than about the war and war crimes and accountability. And I think that in the past this has been a gift for the right. The country might have changed enough so that this is no longer the case.

LJ— Thanks for your reply. If you want to post more I will read it, but may or may not reply.

Now this I liked—

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/26/opinion/black-lives-matter-injustice.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

Gosh, I hope no one gets a hold of these account numbers:

https://juanitajean.com/hush-now-keep-this-a-secret-okay/

House approves DC statehood.

GOP are all like "hell nah". because representation offends them, i guess? let's go with that.

I understand the sentiment about DC, but on general principle my opinion is that there should be fewer statelets, not more.

DC is established in the Constitution as an area exclusively under the control of Congress. Or, at least, Congress "has the power" to do so.

Which, as an aside, raises in my mind the question of why everybody has been talking about Trump's "unique power" to do whatever the hell wants in DC. Trump ain't Congress.

But in any case, this is likely to be... complicated.

A nice gesture, depending on how you look at it, but I can't see how it will go beyond that.

there should be fewer statelets, not more

:: Rhode Island stares daggers... ::

GOP are all like "hell nah". because representation offends them, i guess?

Then there's Senator Cotton's explanation for why he's against D.C. statehood. Well, at least he acknowledged that D.C. has more people than Wyoming. Even if they aren't miners and ranchers. Do these people even listen to themselves?

DC is established in the Constitution as an area exclusively under the control of Congress.

a body in which they have no real representation.

that needs to be fixed.

Then there's Senator Cotton's explanation for why he's against D.C. statehood.

typical elitist jerkwad.

"that needs to be fixed"

Why? Seriously. Why does that need to be fixed? It was specifically excluded on purpose, why is that different now?

A nice gesture, depending on how you look at it, but I can't see how it will go beyond that.

With a Democratic President and a Democratic Senate that got rid of the filibuster once and for all, this would be a distinct possibility.

Right now the country is at a crossroads...split right down the middle. A house divided cannot stand (I read that somewhere). Somebody is going to prevail.

As you stated earlier, conservatives cheat. It has to stop.

:: Rhode Island stares daggers... ::

Ditto Delaware and Vermont :^) Right time and place, I understand. In a continent-spanning country of 330M people in 2020, there's almost no reason other than accident of history to have states less than several thousand square miles and a couple million people.

The Constitution says that there has to be a federal district, and that it can't exceed ten miles square, but that's it. Granting statehood to most of DC would drastically reduce the size of the district. In that case there would be much less reason to not consider relocating it to someplace more convenient. The population-weighted center of the country is in Missouri; the geographic center of the contiguous 48 states is along the Nebraska-Kansas border somewhat farther west. I've always advocated putting the district near North Platte, NE because it would encourage Congress to finish up their business in a few months each year and then go home.

Why? Seriously. Why does that need to be fixed? It was specifically excluded on purpose, why is that different now?

DC currently has 1/3 of the population the entire US did in 1776. seems unlikely they'd want to exclude that many people from representation.

why do you want those people to be without representation?

why do you want those people to be without representation?

I seem to recall a revolutionary slogan, from back in the day:

No taxation without representation!
Which does suggest a GOP-friendly solution: exempt D.C. residents from all Federal taxes.** Wonder how that idea would be received....

** Need something inventive to calculate appropriate Social Security payments when the retire. But that's a nit.

why do you want those people to be without representation?

I, at least, don't. I want them to be represented as part of Maryland. Just like the people living in the area of the original district that was south of the Potomac, who had no representation prior to 1846, when they became part of Virginia. What I don't want is to create a new state out of a city that is smaller, by both area and population, than Denver. No one thinks Denver is of an appropriate size to be a state.

Make Washington D.C. a charter city... :)

No one thinks Denver is of an appropriate size to be a state.

Back in the day, the original states had quite distinct characters. And there wasn't much migration between them. Now, the real differences between neighboring states are minimal. And the whole bloody country is populated by people from somewhere else.**

Which suggests a straightforward, albeit radical, solution: Sit down with a blank map and draw new state lines, the same way we draw new Congressional districts every 10 years. (In the places where it is done by nonpartisan commission, rather than by gerrymander).

** By which I mean those born in the greater "here" which is the whole country.

And the whole bloody country is populated by people from somewhere else.

About 25 years ago I was at a bicycle club ride with several dozen other riders.

Someone said to me, "I didn't realize that there was this much interest in bicycle riding in Texas."

I said, "There isn't. I'm the only Texan here."

And the whole bloody country is populated by people from somewhere else.**

The variation between states is interesting. The 2010 census found that 78.8% of people living in Louisiana were born there. At the other extreme, only 24.3% of people living in Nevada were born there. The ten states with the highest percentage of "natives" are all in the Midwest and Deep South. The states with the least are all -- but Florida and two statelets in the NE urban corridor -- in the West. The NE urban corridor statelets are in places where metro area growth has little choice but to spill across state borders.

I would not have guessed the spread to be that wide. Unsurprisingly, the states with the highest native percentages are states that have lost seats in the US House after the last couple of censuses, or are on pace to lose a seat after this year's census.

Redrawing lines could work -- if states were mere administrative organs for the federal government and all important decisions were made at the federal level. Imagine living in a county that gets moved from state A to state B in order to balance the population after the census; but you lose your eligibility for Medicaid.

No one thinks Denver is of an appropriate size to be a state.

An assertion that totally misses the point.

It never fucking stops:

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/6/26/1956184/-Guards-pepper-sprayed-and-restrained-asylum-seekers-by-the-neck-for-protesting-their-detention

Beware the savage fury that is coming.

I think if you ran the numbers for people who were born in New England, who still live within 100 miles of where they born, those numbers would rival whatever numbers you're getting from the Midwest and Deep South.

And all of that said, there is no way in hell that anybody is going to re-draw state boundaries in any significant way. The logistics will crush any any attempt to do so.

there is no way in hell that anybody is going to re-draw state boundaries in any significant way.

Likely not. But that being the case, there's no point in griping about the imbalances that result.

It may be unfair. It may be incredibly irritating. But it's how the world is and will remain, so better to focus on how to work with it. Otherwise, you are (forgive me) in the same kind of unreality as the climate change denialists.

No one thinks Denver is of an appropriate size to be a state.

it would be larger than Tom Cotton's state.

Btw, who is Cotton?
Don't ask me who Cotton is!
Don't ask me my advice!
I've no idea who Cotton is.
All I have learned is his price!

(hats to B.Brecht and Hanns Eisler)

it would be larger than Tom Cotton's state.

Yes, but it doesn't have logs. No logs, no reps.

We fought a revolution over this, people!

Well, The henchcritters of Jabbabonk deleted and/or burned all the logs. Before them there were lots of them. Or did all the older ones go to the presidential libraries?

“ it would be larger than Tom Cotton's state.”

A small number of conservative people who live on large tracts of land deserve more representation than a large number of liberal people who live on small tracts of land.

If Wyoming were a liberal state and DC were conservative, conservative opposition to DC statehood would vanish and they would be using the arguments for DC statehood that liberals use.

I am cynical enough to think that probably some liberals would switch sides as well, but not as many.

If Wyoming were a liberal state and DC were conservative, conservative opposition to DC statehood would vanish and they would be using the arguments for DC statehood that liberals use.

Now if I were writing this, I would characterize those opposed to DC statehood as bigots, rather than as conservatives.

There's actually nothing inherently conservative about depriving people of representation. But in this case, bigotry (and some partisanship) are definitely in play.

If Wyoming were a liberal state and DC were conservative, conservative opposition to DC statehood would vanish and they would be using the arguments for DC statehood that liberals use.

Donald's Law: nobody means anything and it's all crap.

TrumpCo is actively trying to get people sick.

In the hours before his rally in Tulsa, President Trump’s campaign directed the removal of thousands of “Do Not Sit Here, Please!” stickers from seats in the arena that were intended to establish social distance between rallygoers, according to video and photos obtained by The Washington Post and a person familiar with the event.

...

As part of its safety plan, arena management had purchased 12,000 do-not-sit stickers for Trump’s rally, intended to keep people apart by leaving open seats between attendees. On the day of the rally, event staff had already affixed them on nearly every other seat in the arena when Trump’s campaign told event management to stop and then began removing the stickers, hours before the president’s arrival, according to a person familiar with the event who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters.

remember when C19 was the Democrat's latest hoax?

A party which actively rejects the members of growing demographics, in favor of members of shrinking demographics, is in the process of committing suicide. Perhaps not surprising that its members would be similarly inclined on a personal level.

“ Donald's Law: nobody means anything and it's all crap.”

Not sure how you got that out of this example— what I said actually sounds exactly like something you would say. We happen to agree on why Republicans oppose DC statehood, or so I thought.

I did say some liberals might switch positions I tge demographics were different, but actually, I think the majority of liberals are probably fairminded on voting rights for everyone.

So suck it up, Cleek— we mostly agree here.

“ if the demographics”

Weird typos on my iPad.

OT, but thought people here might be interested in this from Hilzoy:

https://twitter.com/hilzoy/status/1277015702566768646

Just in case you don't know what my previous comment, Hilzoy's tweet, was referring to:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/russian-operation-targeted-coalition-troops-in-afghanistan-intelligence-finds/2020/06/26/ac710092-b80f-11ea-9b0f-c797548c1154_story.html

Yeah, and I'm sorry not to have embedded a link, but am tired.

There's actually nothing inherently conservative about depriving people of representation.

Conservatism, per one writer, is built on the concept of reaction.* As such, depriving representation to the "lower orders" is not something that is absolutely out of bounds.

*Corey Robin

Robin entitles his book "The Reactionary Mind". If he'd had the grace (or the wit) to stick with "reactionary", rather than pretending that "conservative" is a synonym, he might have something.

He was bouncing ironically off Russell Kirk, methinks.

There's actually nothing inherently conservative about depriving people of representation.

Self styled "conservatives" have consistently opposed expanding the franchise throughout US history.

Today's self styled "conservatives" pretty much hew to this in policy terms. Are you telling me they are not "real" conservatives?

Your turn.

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