Charles Blow points out why “Silliness & Sleight of Hand” have been the GOP’s resort-of-the-newscycle:
Donald Trump is still playing to suspicions of President Obama. And it’s no longer theoretical. It’s theological. For the detractors, truth is no longer dependent on proof because it’s rooted in faith: faith that American exceptionalism was never truly meant to cover hyphenated Americans; faith in 400 years of cemented assumptions about the character and capacity of the American Negro; and faith that if the president doesn’t hew to those assumptions then he must be alien by both birth and faith.
This is how the moneyed interests — of whom Trump is one — want it. That is how sleight of hand works: distract and deceive. They need this distraction now more than ever because the right’s flimsy fiscal argument — that if we allow fat cats to gorge, crumbs will surely fall — is losing traction.[…] __
It all loses traction as more Americans begin to see the far right for what it truly is: a gang of bandits willing to sacrifice the poor and working classes to further extend the American aristocracy — shadowy figures who creep through the night, shaking every sock for every nickel and scraping their silver spoons across the bottom of every pot.
In fact, Gallup reported on Thursday that unfavorable views of the Tea Party, which was cheered and championed by billionaires and business interests, had jumped to 47 percent this month, a new high, while last week it reported that approval of Congress among Republicans and independents had dropped to a depressing 15 percent.
So the right needs to backfill its shaky fiscal reasoning with political segregationist rhetoric — amplifying a separation of the “us” from the “other.” […] __
In 1965, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. described how the strategy of separating people with common financial interests by agitating their racial differences was used against the populist movement at the turn of the century, explaining that “the Southern aristocracy took the world and gave the poor white man Jim Crow.”
He continued that Jim Crow was “a psychological bird that told him that no matter how bad off he was, at least he was a white man, better than the black man.” He called this “their last outpost of psychological oblivion.”
But the right, with a new boost of energy from Trump, is reaching for new frontiers. The language and methodology are different, but the goal is the same: to deny, invalidate and subjugate, to distract from real issues with false divisions.
Of course the deliberate, “casual” racism stings — Trump is a carny geek spewing raw chicken parts at passers-by. But perhaps if we allow ourselves to be distracted by arguing over who’s insufficiently offended about the geek’s uncivilized behavior, we’re going to miss his confederates picking our pockets… again.
Yevgraf (fka Michael)
Nihilism in the pursuit of power and the perception of elevated status. By appealing to the worst and most ingrained cultural defects on racial superiority that Caucasio-Americans have been conditioned from birth to believe, they hope to gain support for themselves and peel off support for anyone who may oppose their insatiable lust to run everything according to their whim.
The adverse economic and health impacts suffered by middle class and lower class Caucasio-Americans due to these minority crushing policies are considered as merely statistically predictable data points of collateral damage in the brains of the never-serving warriors of the Reich, er Right – and everybody knows you have to break some eggs to make an omelet.
This is just more of the conservative shit-fail parade in action.
Trump as a carnival geek might be the best and most apt description of him I’ve ever read. Nice work, Anne. :)
The only thing that gives me hope is that the disparity in wealth and privilege is becoming so great and so obvious that they won’t be able to pull the wool over the eyes of any but the 27%. If we can manage to get 55% of Americans convinced that something must be done, we’ll win.
Racism is indeed a perennial favorite, but we can add in gay marriage and immigrant bashing.
Minnesota is facing a $5 billion budget deficit that has to be solved in 4 weeks, so this was the ideal moment to trot out a state constitutional amendment to bar gay marriage and another one for voter ID.
So we have both race and teh gays to look forward to in the next 18 months of electioneering…when we should be asking our new GOP state house and senate majorities: where’s the jobs bill?, where’s the actually balanced* budget?, where’s the structural reform to end the biennial cycle of new deficits?
They don’t have answers, they have smoke, mirrors, and hatred of others.
*The GOP here doesn’t like the scoring of their bills by the finance division of the Admin Dept, so they’ve hired private corporations to re-score their bills to have better fiscal impacts. Truly, they are making up their own numbers now. In the past, at least both parties agreed to abide by the finance divisions work.
the “ooooo Shiney!” methodology of political campaigning. They are having to act now before the meme has a chance to take root. The problem is, you and I know that the meme isn’t a meme and is just the unvarnished truth that R’s are nothing more than the bought lackeys of the uber rich that sport a fuedalistic bent towards economics. They’ve layered themselves in all sorts of veneers that have been slowly peeled away like old product advertisements that no longer apply to their product. Hence the old saws like “fiscal conservatism”, “strong on defense” no longer sell, so they’re reduced to “blackety-blackety-blackness and those folks looks suspiciously brown” and “them loose whores peddling their poontang” and “my god is bigger than your god”. Having to sell that shit to the masses takes a whole lotta cash to keep having that be the last message that anyone hears before they go into the voting booth. So they constantly have to be on the watch for something new to sell because the same old lies only work for so long.
Every progressive blogger, politician and town hall participant should be asking this question day and night: Where is your plan to create jobs?
Edit: The major factor that put me in my current financial bind was my oldest son’s inability to find a job for two solid years.
@Yevgraf (fka Michael):
Agreed. But my boyfriend asks the vital question: how irreparable will the shit-fail damage be before the citizens realize and revolt? Will they wake up in time at all?
piratedan beat me to it — this is the most recent evolution of the “shiny object” approach to politics. Pathetic that dog whistles and outright racism are now excellent shiny objects.
And I agree that the “where are the jobs” question needs to be asked — but look, these guys are accomplished liars. The answers will be that the magical TAX BREAKS that they are also shoving through will take care of the jobs.
If the Democrats had any coherent platform that they could agree on that would appeal to the middle class, and then act on that platform, I would have hope. Instead they have Blue Dogs that are like mainstream GOP’ers, and are in the pocket of business special interest just like Republicans. They aren’t ignorant knucle draggers, so I vote for them, but that’s because they are by far the lesser of two evils.
I still don’t know if the Republicans can ever really overplay their hand, because the MSM is a willing partner. “Obama a Muslim marxist fascist. Let’s look at both sides”.
@JCT: Then that is when we state the truth–that they have cut taxes for the last ten years and it hasn’t worked. If that is said enough, people might start to get the picture.
@Josie: No, the response will be “Yes, but we haven’t cut taxes enough yet.” The “Cut more taxes” vibe will be out there for as long as people accept the idea that government is bad, wasteful, and inherently incompetent, and that the only way to fix it is to defund it.
Would that I could write like that!
Now I’m not going to see Trump’s face without the dead chicken in his hands…thanks Anne Laurie!
We’ve had this urban/rural divide in this country as long as its been a country. And it’s only going to get worse; because the pace of change is accelerating; and fuel issues are going to make rural living less and less sustainable.
However, one cheering thing is that Conservatism can only be sold by lying; and the lies are wearing very thin. They could sell their crap when times were good; now that they have destroyed those good times, it’s different.
What you said. If we actually had something approaching a viable Opposition Party in this country they way we used to back in the Dark Ages of, say, the 1950s or 60s, the organized Right would not be able to do anywhere near as much damage as they can when they have (as we’ve seen in the MidWest states after the last election) unassailable majorities; mainly due to apathy on the part of non-ultra-right-wing-obsessive voters.
I understand that all too well.
I have changed my goal of adequate personal material goods to adequate family material goods. Hopefully we can keep it together for a while.
The Sheriff's A Ni-
@Jay C: Right, the ’50s and ’60s, its as if something happened in say, 1964, that changed the dynamic? Something that goes straight back to Blow’s column?
The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik
That’s the problem. They’re not looking for answers. They’re looking for excuses. They already have power for the most part, and the breadth to make sweeping changes. Now they just need to exercise the power to further entrench it and keep the resentment stoked up enough to ensure they’re loyal followers stay around.
Davis X. Machina
@Jay C: The Opposition party in the 50’s and 60’s was legitimate, but it was a dynamic coalition, depending on the issue. The Dixecrat wing of the Democratic party could be hived off to make common cause with some Republicans, on some domestic issues. The liberal-internationalist wing of the Republican party could be hived off to make common cause with some Democrats on some foreign policy issues, and so forth.
Essentially both parties were coalitions. And Karl Mundt caucused with Ed Brooke, and Ted Kennedy caucused with John Stennis.
That all changed over the last 20-30 years. The Democratic party is still a coalition, though of narrower scope. The GOP is pretty much a single bloc now, with few of the characteristics of a coalition.
Practically this makes the Democrats the prisoners of turnout. No one part of their coalition is as large as the GOP, but together, all of their coalition produces blowouts (’06, ’08)
@Emma: Zero chance in hell – why? Because they – the ass licking congress is OWNED 100% by the top 1%. As such, they own all that matters and have most the media as well. We are fucked and with peak oil hitting in the next five years, we are even more fucked. Like crabs, the middle class will pull down all around them in their quest to make sure all fail – the 1% know this and are laughing all the way to the bank – just look at wall street and all the too big to fail saved by the taxes of the middle class and they still take home all the wealth.
By the way, even if the thugs do fail to hold power, then be sure the 1% will own the demorats just like they own the thugs.
Davis X. Machina
And this was, the odd shiny counterexample, like Vito Marcantonio or Bernie Sanders to the contrary, not the case when?
@The Sheriff’s A Ni-:
Yes, the political “dynamic” shifted after 1964 (and Blow is absolutely right in his assertions, IMO), but that’s not what I was referring to.
However the “viable Opposition” is constructed, and whatever philosophies, policies, programs it supports (or opposes) is, as I see less important than the fact that there IS one to begin with: and that, I think is the big (negative) change we have seen in our politics over the last three decades or so.
The Right (the far Right mainly, though they have to portray themselves as the mainstream) has set the terms of debate, and framed the parameters of domestic politics for the last several decades, at least. They are still out at the extremes: but no one seems to have bothered to make much of any pushback. Least of all in Congress.
@Davis X. Machina: Maybe but in the past the super wealthy were not as wealthy and congress did respond more to real middle class concerns. Pre 80’s it did address issues like civil rights, and create the EPA all against the interest of the top 1%. Such things will never again occur.
Republican politicians appeal to the worst i human nature. Too bad there’s so much of that around.
@Cermet: Gee, that is a positive viewpoint. Given this, should we curl up in a ball in the corner or douse ourselves in gasoline and light a match?
@Cermet: Such things will never again occur.
Look back a bit further in history – like, 1890s-1920s. Big changes happened after the government was much more owned by the rich than it is now.
It may take things getting as nasty as they were in the Gilded Age for another lefty shakeup to happen, but it has in fact happened before.
@Omnes Omnibus: This does sometimes get to be the “curl up and die” blog. At least it’s not the front-pagers doing it at the moment.
Davis X. Machina
Concentration of wealth has returned to pre-1929 levels. That leaves you with the rest of the history of the Republic, less eighty years.
We do not live in uniquely privileged or uniquely cursed times. We live in our times.
The belief that our times are unique is pernicious. It is a reason, an excuse, to not do things we know work in other times. It is a reason to try things we would never otherwise attempt, things that have good reasons why they were heretofore never attempted.
The post 9/11 national nervous breakdown, and the resulting pernicious steps taken in the name of homeland security and the Global War Against Violent Whatever, is a result.
A similar belief, that this economic downturn is unique, and therefore what we know works, and has worked, can’t work now, is also loose in the world, with deleterious effects.
Better do it fast folks, while you can still afford the gasoline!
OT (well, it involves gasoline), but I think young Ezra just mainstreamed Peak Oil in his column yesterday.
This would be a good thing, if true. The grown-ups in the room really need to start talking about this, NOW.
I clicked on the link above and read the entire article. Wow. Quite an essay.
He is optimistic though, more optimistic than I am.
On the other hand, this is Saturday and I am working today and I am tired. I’m not really optimistic about anything.
Do you really think that some people are finally seeing how they are being taken? And will they work up enough guts to fight back against the abusers instead of against other victims?
Charles Blow is a thin-skinned wanker who peddles conventional wisdom and flip-flops between what he knows to be true and what he thinks will make him look centrist. He can eat a bag of dicks.
And if you confront him on twitter, he’ll ban you like he banned me.
@Xecky Gilchrist: It really is a pet peeve of mine. I get that some of it is the venting of frustration, but, if people truly believe that 1984 is our future, why even comment about it on a blog? Why not just build a cabin in the mountains and wait for the zombies?
SenyorDave: I know, I know. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. The Republicans have been working at creating this environment since before the Reagan election. What can I say? Somedays, completely against all evidence, I have hope.
Edited to answer some others: Some of the comments here remind me of that old 60s joke: somebody do something! Oh, I’m somebody.
I always thought that WE were the party too. I’m not really very good and public speaking — I get too emotional — so I don’t try. But I can contribute money to the right candidates, and sign petitions, and write letters to my congressman, and talk in small groups.
liek the liez EDK is allowed to spread on this blog about the magic of the freemarket? ::taps foot impatiently::
Those liez are wearing very thin, everyone here can see the nekkid emperor now. how long will cole let the glibetarian ratfucker stay here? we all know he lying.
“Now show the court where the invisible hand touched you”
Davis X. Machina
@Superluminar: EDK left yesterday. You don’t read any better than you spell, do you?
But John, Isn’t that the best we can expect from the current cocktail party press we have? Didn’t we just have an FP praising one of the worst, Dana Milbank? I don’t think we can have competent, honest, smart commentariat in todays environment; we have to settle for praising the wankers when they accidentally admit the truth even just a little.
Sorry, Blow loses me from the very beginning with this:
No longer theoretical? It was NEVER theoretical. It was always theological. President Obama released his birth certificate long, long ago.
For those who argue that Obama shouldn’t have released the “long form” because he would never convince the 27%’ers, this is why. It never had anything to do with the crazies. It was always about calling out our useless press corps. Too many of the press were unable to call bullshit before this release. Blow didn’t write this before the release when Trump was running around questioning the legitimacy of the President. Bob Schieffer wasn’t calling out Trump’s racism before. And so on…
@Cermet: And yet we have the ACA, flawed as it is. We have financial reform, even if getting it implemented is like pulling teeth. The progressive agenda isn’t impossible. It’s just very, very difficult, which is why we have to keep pushing.
@Xecky Gilchrist: Sometimes it’s not. See also Tim F. and the daily call-in in support of the ACA. Or the occasional money-bombs for Dems.
Jesus, John. I take it you didn’t get any. Cripes.
It’s not casual racism, Anne Laurie; it doesn’t just fucking sting; and some of us can do more than one thing at a time. I, personally, can call out the racism for exactly what it is AND see how the right is fucking over the country. Still. Again. I’m a multi-tasker.
But, thank you for being the arbiter of how people of color should feel about racism and for defining how we should talk about it. I’m sure all of the people of color who read this blog will be comforted to know that once again, a nice white woman has decided that racism just isn’t worth discussing in light of bigger problems.
@Omnes Omnibus: Right there with you.
@Luthe: Indeed, most often Balloon Juice is not the curl-up-and-die blog (which is why I said “sometimes.”) I very much appreciate the activism here.
@John Cole: Trolling your own blog again?
For a while, I was flummoxed as to why Obama would keep calling for the end of oil subsidies. I mean, besides the obvious fact that it needs to be done, of course. In a sense, this is simply “voucherizing” (gods, what a horrible word) gas payments. We the American people have been paying for gasoline en masse so that we could have a pretty little price at the pump. Ending oil subsidies means we each pay what that gallon of gas is actually going for. It will be a hell of a wakeup call on alternative energy.
But it should be political suicide. The economy will suffer, and that means Obama’s re-election prospects fall as well. It’s courageous for Obama to double down on ending the subsidies, in the full “Yes, Minister” meaning of the term.
And then it came together for me: who is he running against?
Who have the GOP got? Nobody. This OP demonstrates that quite well. The GOP is going at it hammer and tongs on Obama hatred and the reliable social conservative issues. It’s our last best chance to end Roe v. Wade (this decade)!! Unions!! Marxism!! All the potential candidates then put on their brave face and pass the hot potato around — that is, they were until Trump grabbed it with both hands and dressed it up like a sock monkey doll.
Meanwhile Paul Ryan, that gutless wonder, put out a craven excuse of a budget bill that COMPLETELY KNEECAPPED a crucial plank of the 2010 GOP victory: that Democrats wanted to kill Medicare. All of their talk about learning their lesson, oh, we’ve changed, we’re not the big spenders we proved to be in the Bush II years? A lie. Ryan’s budget carves Medicare up for frying while throwing trillions to the upper class in tax breaks, same as it ever was.
No wonder Obama’s ready to tie one hand behind his back by advocating the end of oil subsidies. He may very well be able to afford the courage.
This appears to be some combination of items #2 and 3 from John’s list of criticisms lobbed against Libertarians, which are, of course, the same criticisms lobbed at all activists everywhere all the time. This isn’t the correct issue on which to focus, and it is a distraction from what WE have decided you should focus on.
As AGM says, some of us are capable of multitasking. If you don’t care to devote any energy to ensuring that the Trump brand becomes as toxic as Lester Maddox, that’s fine. But don’t tell others they’re fools or pawns for doing so.
@asiangrrlMN: Sometimes white people are going to miss. As empathetic as we try to be, we have not had the experiences that people of color have had. The best we can do is acknowledge that, do our best to understand, listen when someone tells us that we are being dipshits, and hope that it is understood that we are trying. For myself, I was annoyed and embarrassed by the birthers and the whole long form thing this week, and then I watched the Baratunde Thurston video. Following that and the reactions of people like ABL, I saw that there was something deeper at issue. Most of us around here are trying; we just don’t always get it at first.
Heh, someone will be along to argue the importance of their minor issue soon.
Wouldn’t put too much hope in Peak Oil changing anything. There is plenty of oil out west.
@Mako: Emma Goldman was, for a long time, a proponent of the total revolution and argued that nothing mattered but working toward it. After a conversation with an older worker, she changed her mind about the “smaller” issues and said this:
@Mako: Really? Racism is a minor issue. Duly noted.
@Omnes Omnibus: Yes. And those people will do exactly what you just described. But, there are others who will scold people of color for feeling the way they do, or like Mako above, dismiss anything but their own priority as a “minor issue”.
I have no problems with people prioritizing their own issues. We all do it. I have MAJOR problems with those same people taking other people to task for not having the same priorities.
Mnemosyne (iPod Touch)
But perhaps if we allow ourselves to be distracted by arguing over who’s insufficiently offended about the geek’s uncivilized behavior, we’re going to miss his confederates picking our pockets… again.
We’re supposed to ignore the method that they use to pick our pockets so we can point out that they’re picking our pockets? Huh?
Both/and, not either/or. If we don’t debunk the ideas that allow them to pick everyone’s pockets, how are we supposed to make people realize their pockets are being picked?
Mnemosyne (iPod Touch)
Mako is trolling, as usual. Set phasers to “ignore.”
@asiangrrlMN: I understood that. I was not trying to minimize anything. I just thought it was something worth tossing into the conversation.
Peak Oil isn’t “the end of oil”, that’s 2050-2085 depending on who you ask/what you read.
It’s end of cheap oil. And with an EROEI of 0.7-13.3, oil shale will be profitable enough to extract… but hardly cheap.
In this case yes.There is one major issue confronting us, the sytematic looting of the world’s wealth by a small minority. All our other problems stem from this. Health care, environmental concerns, our war machine, none of these issues can be confronted or even intelligently addressed until the big issue is taken care of.
Racism is bad, but I would argue that we would have less racism if we had a thriving, growing middle class.
The correct response to to this Trump nonsence is not “Oh look some idiot is pandering to racists, we should spend the week discussing Trump’s funny hair or searching youtube for videos to prove that there are actually racists.” The correct response is,”Oh look some idiot is pandering to racist, nice try at distraction, now back to the bigger issues.”
Yeah I know. But I’m betting it will get dug up and used before we lose interest in cars.
@Mnemosyne (iPod Touch): You’re right. Obvious troll is obvious.
Absolutely. Remember how little racism we had in the 50s and 60s?
No. We’re all doomed anyway. No one can focus. People will always be able to get under your skin and send you off on some personal tangent.
That’s why I recommend that everyone get rich, now if not sooner, or endure a life of serfdom.
To those who are hurting from the blows of racism:
This community here, these people here, are you sure they should be the target of your anger?
@Mako: Racism is color coded social warfare. it is a cultural tool used by the wealthy to divide the lower classes and avoid any kind of risk. Also, is used to segregate castes of richness based on origin and skin color. Ok, the president is non-caucasian. How much of the Top 400 richs are non-caucasians?
@Mako: You are suggesting focusing on the larger issues. Okay, but the larger issues are made of may smaller ones. Workers’ rights isn’t something that was fought for in the abstract; people fought, struck and negotiated for the 40 hour week, the weekend, 15 minute breaks, safety issues, etc. If, as Mandramus notes above, racism is used to divide people, combatting racism would lead to less division and make it easier to accomplish things.
@Allan: It not the absolute amount of racism, is the trend to down or to high. Jim Crow laws were abolished on 65’s. Now, they are trying to reestablish them, in a sense.
@Mandramas: Since Mako is unworthy of serious engagement, I was just having a little fun lighting one of his farts with a match to see how big of a fireball it creates.
He’s peddling standard issue derailing “Don’t You Have More Important Issues to Think About?” while trying to change the topic to Peak Oil. Anything to keep from talking about race.
Exactly. We all know this. Can we move on now?
Most people don’t realize that the original definition of GEEK was a person who ATE raw chicken parts.
Funny, but true: Athletic director at my high school( a REAL JERK) was once a “pro” wrestler named THE GEEK. For his first ‘pro’ match, he had to bite the head off a DEAD CHICKEN!
It’s right in the quote from Dr. King in Blow’s article:
White people don’t have this automatic feeling of superiority that Dr. King described to fall back on like we did in the old days. We’re starting to realize that a lot of the stuff we got was because of our social position, not because of our merit. Some of us can accept that, others just double down on their feeling that they must be naturally better, damn it! Otherwise they’ll have to go to some effort to compete instead of having the prize/job/Supreme Court seat handed to them.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: they really, genuinely believe that there is no such thing as a minority or woman who is more qualified than any random white man off the street. In their minds, Joe the Plumber could have been given Sonia Sotomayor’s seat on the Supreme Court and do a better job than she is.
Jeebus, she was right. Balloon Juice: Hall Monitor Nation
Pfft. Piker. The original sideshow geeks had to bite the heads off live chickens, which I’m pretty sure is kind of thing that would get you shut down by the ASPCA these days.
Angry Black Lady
@Mako: first, fuck you.
second, AL I am literally shaking with anger at this.
What the hell is wrong with you people?
@Mako: You can, of course. Me, sometimes, maybe. But to move on is not the same to dismiss something as a minor issue.
@Angry Black Lady: Charles Blow is a wanker. And I would fund the plane ticket to NYC for you just so you could go tell him just how much of a fucking dickhead he is. I doubt he’d even get it then, but you’ll feel better after.
@Angry Black Lady:
heh. I get it, racism is the issue with you, everything needs to be seen thru that lens. I’m only suggesting that we stop seeing things thru our differences and focus on our similarities. We’re all getting screwed.
Mnemosyne Just because YOU are a PIKER, don’t think I am!!
This was 40 + years ago. I remembered LIVE, but I thought I would err on the side of “less disgusting and believable” in my “crazy” definition.
Thanks for being more precise than me. I like someone who can call a spade a spade, or a geek a geek, in ALL it’s formerly sick definition!( the GEEK!)
PIKER- you ASSume a lot LOL
@Mako: No, you are being an ass. Please stop.
Just Some Fuckhead
Charles Blow seems like he is filled with rage.
@Mako: IOW, “You’re Not Being a Team Player.”
dude. You can’t have it both ways, either I am a troll who you cannot engage because of farts or you are just a sucker who I can manipulate at will.
@Mako: I’m not actually engaging with you, I’m simply shining a spotlight on your derailing tactics in case anyone else is missing them. Please carry on. I’m sure Anne Laurie is very proud of the work you’re doing here today.
Just can’t get enough, eh?
I am familiar with the derailingfordummies bit from its usenet days. Might have even helped write some of it. We used to joke about how the lazy and intellectually-challenged could use it, like the bible, as a “golden sword” to end discussion.
@Mako: The Hall Monitors swing the DFD bullshit all over the place like it’s a substitute for an actual argument.
Bunch of garbage motherfuckers.
Similar to how Stuck always tried to use Politifact as a “truth meter” for President Obama. Until it got shredded recently, of course.
@John Cole: You get the behavior you reward.
IMO this is an excellent column… and twitter is overrated.
RAcism should be called out, but we should also not let oursevles be distracted by squabbling over whose victimization is more authentic, okay?
@Omnes Omnibus: Was busy trolling Allan and missed this comment. I still think its all a distraction, but the Emma Goldman story is interesting. Thanks for introducing me to history i wasn’t aware of.
@Anne Laurie: No, it is not OK. You made dismissive statement about people who insist on speaking on how damaging racism is. You are still trying to diminish it or placate or what the fuck ever it is you are trying to do. You have displayed said dismissive attitude in the past when the issues of racism have arisen and then tried to play it off as who is crying victim more.
It’s bullshit. “Racism should be called out.” That’s all that needed to be said.
@Mako: You don’t get to fucking decide. It’s minor to you, and you get your jollies pissing off other people. Fine. Consider your duty done.
This isn’t minor to me and other people of color. That’s my whole fucking point.
@Linda Featheringill: Yes. They are. I expect racism and bullshit from the right. It is more distasteful to me when I see it in the left from my purported allies.
I know, I don’t get to decide. Neither do you. Someone else is deciding for us. You seem like an intelligent person and it saddens me how easily manipulated you are. We are on the same side, but as long as Warren Grady or Donald Trump can tweek you at will, you lose.
@Mako: You misunderstood. You do not get to decide what the fuck is important to me. Just because what you think is important to me is not important to you does not make me easily manipulated. This is not about Donald Trump.
We are not on the same side if it’s more important to you to score cheap laughs and scoff at me or condescend/look down on me and others because YOU do not understand what is going on here than it is for you to engage in an actual dialogue in which you listen as well as talk.
No, you don’t get it. That’s what is so telling. You’re doing everything in your power to remain ignorant or feign ignorance. It seems that it’s fun for you to mock other people while pretending to understand. I get it. You look like the asshole here, so I hope you keep commenting and being an ass.
Class reductionist troll is class reductionist.
You and the Anne Lauries of the world will never get it and it’s unfortunate that you won’t try.
Enjoy your trolling.
We are on the same side.
whatever. Trying to make a name off Donald Trump posts is kinda sad, tho ABL. The whole thing is just sad and stinks of reality television.
@Mako: Don’t waste your breath. She ain’t ever gonna get there.
Knew I could count on you to give me a last word. You are predictable if nothing else.
I am bored with the argument. My point is sadly proven.
@Mako: Hmmm. Is it because I’m white?
Maybe I should’ve used the word embedded instead of air-quoting casual?
How I perceive this, right now: There are trigger words. These words touch things deeply within us, because, no matter how hard we’ve fought to get outside our oppression, certain words or phrases just light us up with the pre-verbal red rage of a wounded child. All of us, to greater or lesser degrees, are fighting to get outside the various hatreds, prejudices, we’ve internalized since birth… and being a political progressive means walking a(nother) minefield where my shorthand is your nastiest trigger, and vice-versa.
Because I am white, and female, and grew up working-class, my triggers are words like cunt and bitch and trailer trash. I can’t use them casually — I prefer not to use them at all. But I’ve done my best to re-train myself not to let my enemies see when they’ve triggered my wounded inner child. I will fight those who want to use those words as weapons, but I will not give them the satisfaction of seeing how much they hurt. If I “act out” (as a wounded, pre-verbal part of me wants to act), the person using those words has won another battle, and I will not let them win.
As a corollary, there are going to be innocent people, even people whom I otherwise respect & agree with, who are going to use these words, inappropriately. For me, the casualness with which a young man goes for ‘cunt’ as the most appropriate instant response to Sarah Palin hurts more than the deliberate use of the word by people I know are my enemies. I have a duty, where I can, to tell him that the word is not appropriate and that using it gives a weapon to our mutual enemies. But if I let my wounded inner child spontaneously erupt at the casual (embedded) sex-baiter, I’ve possibly lost an ally and I’ve given our enemies another win. “See? Those people are just impossible to reason with! They can’t even get along with each other!”
My progress has not been swift, or easy. (Ask the person — an acquaintance, fortunately — who got hit on the head when he made a joke during a college class. Or the sf fans who still flinch when my name is mentioned due to print battles 25 years ago.) And you may disagree with my tactics. All I can argue, from experience, is that it’s easier to re-train allies than to keep finding new ones.
So… I am glad (not happy, but satisfied as a progressive warrior) that you and ABL are willing to call me out for my unconscious (casual) racism. But I hope that Roger Stone (Trump’s political handler, and a professional ratfvcker going back to the Nixon era) doesn’t trick you into thinking it’s more important for you to renounce me than to keep an eye on what Roger Stone, Karl Rove, Grover Norquist, Roger Ailes & all their evil allies are up to, whe Donald Trump stands in front of an ice sculpture in Las Vegas and bloviates about whether President Obama (who could spot Trump roughly 85 IQ points and a twenty-million-dollar trust fund and still be the better man) “deserves” to have attended Harvard.
I can hurt your feelings. Donald Trump’s bloviating can hurt your feelings. Roger Stone can hurt your life.
Please, keep calling me out, but never lose sight of the difference between misguided allies and dangerous enemies.
@Anne Laurie: AL, you still prove you don’t get it with this comment and your next post. You are not my ally because you do not have MY best interests at heart. It is not about hurt feelings–it’s about your assumptions that your issues are more important than mine. As you also point out in your next post. You insist on pushing feminism issues, for which I applaud you, but then you get so fucking mean and miserable when the issue of race comes up. I know who the real enemies are. That doesn’t mean I’m going to eat a plate a shit from someone who calls herself my ally and say, “Gee, that wasn’t so bad after all.”
P.S. I’m not going to bother calling you out any more because you aren’t hearing it.
P.P.S. And your next post is a REALLY shitty way of saying, “Let’s work together.”
Just Some Fuckhead
@asiangrrlMN: Yer a dumbass.