Tag Archives: racism

Crissle West on Sarah Silverman’s Blackface

I enjoyed Crissle’s Drunk History take on Harriet Tubman and started looking for more of her. Here she gives her take on Sarah Silverman’s use of blackface on her show.

“I can absolutely say that you’re racist for being a white woman to put on blackface and go on television. Yes, I can absolutely call you racist for that. You understand the history behind it and you did it anyway. That is racist.”

Chris Hedges on the Rise of American Fascism

This essay from Chris Hedges is searing. Nearly every sentence is a grenade.

“College-educated elites, on behalf of corporations, carried out the savage neoliberal assault on the working poor. Now they are being made to pay. Their duplicity—embodied in politicians such as Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama—succeeded for decades. These elites, many from East Coast Ivy League schools, spoke the language of values—civility, inclusivity, a condemnation of overt racism and bigotry, a concern for the middle class—while thrusting a knife into the back of the underclass for their corporate masters. This game has ended.

“These Americans want a kind of freedom—a freedom to hate. … They want the freedom to ridicule and dismiss intellectuals, ideas, science and culture. They want the freedom to silence those who have been telling them how to behave. And they want the freedom to revel in hypermasculinity, racism, sexism and white patriarchy. These are the core sentiments of fascism. These sentiments are engendered by the collapse of the liberal state.

“The Democrats are playing a very dangerous game by anointing Hillary Clinton as their presidential candidate. She epitomizes the double-dealing of the college-educated elites, those who speak the feel-your-pain language of ordinary men and women, who hold up the bible of political correctness, while selling out the poor and the working class to corporate power.”

Just read the whole thing: The Revenge of the Lower Classes and the Rise of American Fascism

The Ugly Side of Populism

Commenter on a Metafilter discussion about Trump’s candidacy and electability.

“I think this is something the Left really misses. There seems to be this idea that the People are angry, and if we just awaken and empower the People, then we’ll get social justice and progress. What’s being forgotten is the ugly side of populism. An angry population may also go the other route, and embrace bigotry and hatred and control, and I think it’s already happening. People like Trump are the harbingers. Sure people are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore, but that might mean they lash out at the poor and non-white and non-straight and let people who say they have a plan to fix it all rule over them.”

Context and discussion: Donald Trump, possibly upsetting Fox News’ role in Republican politics

Illustration by Victor Juhasz from Matt Taibbi’s article in Rolling Stone

Anti-Vaxers and Racists Obsession with Purity

From a discussion about this video of a parent saying they don’t care if anybody else’s kids get sick:

“There is a strange and terrifying human obsession with “purity,” and it manifests itself in so many different forms:

  • For the anti-vaccination brigade, it’s the delusion that an immune system free of “toxins” will recognize and destroy unknown pathogens based on raw strength alone.
  • For racists, it’s the delusion that one ethnicity is superior to others and can only be bettered by isolation from their lessers and minimizing the latter’s political influence.
  • For demagogues, it’s the delusion that compromise with a different belief system corrupts your principles and weakens your argument.

And nothing could be further from the truth. The healthiest children are the ones playing in the dirt, getting slobbered on by their dogs, and full of antibodies from vaccines. Populations with high rates of intermarriage between ethnic groups can effectively breed out generations of inherited problems. Diverse groups solve problems and predict the future better than those comprised of a sole demographic.

I don’t know why “purity” is such a seductive concept, but it’s a dangerous one.”

via Cenodoxus comments on Anti-Vaccine Doctor: I Don’t Care If My Kids Make Others Gravely Sick.

How The Civil Rights Act Shaped Modern American Politics

From a discussion on Metafilter:

“The Northern Democrat + Dixiecrat coalition was an incredibly strange one, brought on by really one fact — it was a Republican President and a Republican Congress that prosecuted and won the US Civil War, so there was *no way in hell* a southerner would be Republican. So, they were Democrats, and thus were in an uneasy but stable coalition with the Northern Democrats. Meanwhile, the GOP was run basically by NE republicans, who were conservative, but nothing like today.

“What changed? The Civil Rights Act. …

“Thus began the great mix mastering of the two parties. BOTH parties split. The GOP split SW/NE, the Democrats split S/N. The Dixiecrats, after going alone, ended up joining the SW GOP, what was left of the NE GOP slowly moved into the Democratic sphere or faded away….

“By the time Reagan came along (in national terms) the realignment was all but done. There were quite a few Southern Dems still left, but they were GOP in all but name and most of them switched parties after the 1980 election.

“Seriously. There Civil Rights era defines our politics and our lives today. The rise of suburbia is not just because of the highways being built, it was a direct reaction to the riots that happened in cities during this era, the most prominent being the 1967 Detroit Riot. The reason that even dramatically conservative black populations strongly vote Democrat is they remember who the GOP — the Dixiecrats of 1950.

“No other factor since WWII affects us more. The hatred of government? Between forced integration and busing of children to balance schools, the idea that the government wasn’t actually here to help you got set into everyone minds. The lack of school funding? People with money (primarily white) pulled their kids out of the now integrated schools, put them in private schools, then voted to cut school spending massively because they weren’t sending their kids to public schools. Reagan only tapped this with the “welfare queen” schtick he pulled. Ripping out neighborhoods for highways? Needed those to get to work if you didn’t want to live with “those people.”

“Fundamentally, the US is what it is because of racism, and the GOP is what it is because they’re all for making sure that non-whites get nothing from government.”

Full discussion http://www.metafilter.com/144361/How-one-party-rule-is-shaping-politics-in-the-Deep-South#inline-5811343

Let’s Ruin Video Games

Found this rant via Metafilter:

“My name is Arden, and after a few days of thinking I’ve decided that I’m going to ruin video games.

I’m going to be doing everything in my power to destroy them completely. Walking simulators about feelings and emotions as far as the eye can see! Guns that shoot kisses! Lady characters that aren’t designed to cater to the whims of straight men! I’m hiding loving queer couples in every treasure chest instead of new armor. Every game will now be required to have at least one section that can be described as “too” personal. Fuck, if I’m feeling really bold, I might even throw some non-white characters into a game or two! I’ll magically replace every copy of every big-budget first person shooter with either Gone Home or Dear Esther and listen to the agitated shrieks of gamers.

Non-men have been “ruining” games for a long time, of course, by virtue of existing and trying to make the medium and the spaces around it more inclusive and less festering garbage.”

Full essay at http://fakegirlgamer.tumblr.com/post/95229096014/lets-ruin-video-games

Part of Ruin Jam http://itch.io/jam/ruinjam2014

Arden’s newest project is a game called Date or Die http://dateordiegame.com/

Photo from her game Kindness Coins http://fakegirlgamer.tumblr.com/post/47442539017/funny-comady-man-you-play-as-a-person-that-a

From this Metafilter thread http://www.metafilter.com/142425/Ruin-Jam-2014

This Is The Police State

A cop writes an op-ed in the Washington Post, saying:

“here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you.

A commenter on Metafilter responds:

“No. Absolutely not. I refuse to recognize the legitimacy of any police force that says this. My rights aren’t niceties too delicate for the real world. The right of the citizens of Ferguson to assemble is not something the police or anyone else has the authority to revoke arbitrarily, either.

But this is the conventional wisdom right now, and it’s deeply, irreparably pathological. This is antithetical to a free society, it’s morally indefensible, and as we know, even complete, humiliating submission to a thug with a badge doesn’t guarantee a goddamn thing about my safety, or yours, or anyone’s.

The police in America have always brutalized Black people and non-Whites disproportionately, and they’ve always brutalized some White people. But since the federal military surplus program started in the 90’s, and especially after 9/11, they’ve become ever more paranoid, violent, lawless, and have replaced their imperative to serve and protect citizens with a mission to viciously stamp out any and all perceived disobedience, no matter how unthreatening or justified it may be, to state authority. This is the mentality of the authoritarian state. This is the police state. We can stop dreading its arrival because it’s here. Now let’s do something about it.”


Photo from an ABC News story on the Ferguson shooting http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/police-deploy-tear-gas-impose-ferguson-curfew-25011848

The Cicero Race Riot of 1951

From Metafilter:

“White people would be, and have gotten, furious and have rioted over much smaller things. Isabel Wilkerson writes about the Cicero Race Riot of 1951 in her book The Warmth of Other Suns. This occurred when this young black couple tried to move to Cicero, IL, a Chicago suburb. 

4,000 whites attacked the building that the couple, the Clarks, were moving into. The 60 police officers sent to control the situation did not do so. In fact the police chief told the Clarks “You should know better. Get out of here fast. There will be no moving into that building”.

The rioters threw rocks, destroyed the building, set fire to it. Firefighters called to the scene were met with bricks and stones by the mob. The Illinois National Guard moved in, and rioters fought with them. This went on for 3 days after $20,000 (in 1951 money) was done to the building. Cruelly, the rioters threw a piano, which Mr. Clark had save for for years for his kids, out the window, destroying it. 

The riot was front-page news in Asia and attracted worldwide attention. The Cook County grand jury did not indict a single rioter. Incredibly, the Clark’s attorney from the NAACP, the owners of the building, and the rental agent, were indicted on charges of inciting a riot and conspiracy to damage property (though the charges were dropped after widespread criticism).”


Image is a screen cap from The Sunday Herald http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/page/1066315?zoomLevel=1

Racism, History and The Confederate Flag

From a discussion about the Confederate flag’s symoblism:

“Jut saying that _______________ isn’t racist because it just reminds me of a time when racism gave me immense power and wealth doesn’t change anything. In fact, I think you are digging your hole deeper.

“The ‘it’s just pride from a time when we were powerful’ argument so easily justifies and covers for the support of deeply racist things, and it does nothing to alleviate the concerns that OP brought up. In my opinion that does make the argument invalid.

As for racial slurs, they are not really different from flags or other symbolic items. I am not saying that confederate flag = racial slur. What I am saying is that the symbols we use to represent concepts have connotations attached to them, whether we like it or not. You can’t just pick one thing that you like about a symbol and say that is what you mean with it. Symbols come prepackaged with the history that created them.

This is exactly why swastikas are offensive. It would be both laughably ignorant and insensitive to use a swastika to represent regional pride/cohesion and claim that Jewish people shouldn’t get offended by it because “that’s not what you mean with that symbol”. No. You cannot separate the swastika from the genocide that occurred under it, and you cannot separate the confederate flag from the institutionalized dehumanization of African Americans. You don’t have that right, no one does.

It doesn’t matter that the Civil War is very alive for some people. If you want to live in the past, that’s fine, but you don’t get to live in the past and expect people to forget it too. The casual and insensitive use of a symbol that represents an institution which literally thought certain people existed to be owned is morally reprehensible in my mind, and it has no place in the 21st century.”

Full thread http://www.reddit.com/r/changemyview/comments/1ywoue/i_think_the_confederate_flag_is_nothing_but_a/cfora4g

Graphic from http://guprogressive.com/

“He Went to Stanford”

Rembert Browne writes in Grantland:

“His status as a Cardinal has been juxtaposed with repugnant comments about his character. In this narrative, he can’t be a ‘thug’ because he went to Stanford. But his Stanford-ness isn’t what magically makes him not a thug. …

“And then what? Had he gone to the University of Miami, would he be just another link in the chain of thug athletes from the U? Probably. What if he went to a Historically Black College, like Morehouse or Howard? Or what about a junior college? Or what about Harvard?

“All of these things would unfairly impact the thug narrative of Richard Sherman. And that’s unfortunate, because the ‘He went to Stanford’ card was long used as a way to get people off his back. And while the intentions were good, and helped shift some of the conversation about him back in his favor, it shouldn’t be a primary argument when given the all-too-common task of proving someone isn’t a thug. If anything, it’s harmful logic. Because the next Richard Sherman may not have attended Stanford. So what then?”

Full post http://grantland.com/the-triangle/stanford-man-richard-sherman-and-the-thug-athlete-narrative/