“Fox and Friends”: Worst people in media

When an accomplished black woman congressperson gets up to speak seriously about patriotism, a topic Fox News pretends to care about very deeply, what do the awful Doocy and Kilmeade and their guest, O’Reilly, have to say? They mock her appearance, specifically her hair. Sneering at black people’s hair is often used as a line of attack by bigots; they might as well have declared that they couldn’t take her seriously because of the color of her skin.

BILL O’REILLY: I didn’t hear a word [Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)] said. I was looking at the James Brown wig. If we have a picture of James, it’s the same wig.

STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): It’s the same one.

BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): And he’s not using it anymore. They just — they finally buried him.

[CROSSTALK]

AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): No. OK, I’ve got to defend her on that. I have to defend her on that. She a — you can’t go after a woman’s looks. I think she’s very attractive.

O’REILLY: I didn’t say she wasn’t attractive.

EARHARDT: Her hair is pretty.

OREILLY: I love James Brown, but it’s the same hair, James Brown — alright, the godfather of soul — had.

EARHARDT: So he had girl hair.

O’REILLY: Whatever it is, I just couldn’t get by it.

Goddamnit, Maxine Waters’ job isn’t to stand up and look pretty for you goons!

That’s half the story

Jim Sterling has an excellent essay on the recent exposure of certain youtubers for their ugly remarks, which has led to quite a bit of furor as they gasp in shock that anyone would call them out on this, let alone cause them a loss of income, while a muddling mob roars in support or protest. He makes the very good point that if you’re making tens of thousands, or even millions of dollars, playing games on the internet, then you must be the focus of a lot of attention, and you should be aware that people will notice you and sometimes criticize you. I can assure you that being public and opinionated does not mean you get parades of flowers and that everyone loves you.

He points out that the naiveté of these youtubers is silly, and also that trying to defend them by arguing that it’s simply because people have different views does not work — it forgets that communication is a two-way street, and if Famous Rich Youtuber gets to say offensive things as their right, then their audience also gets to express their criticisms.

“Sometimes people are gonna say things you don’t like,” explained Boogie in his video. “People are gonna have ideas and opinions that you don’t enjoy.”

This is true and it works both ways. One opinion and idea that several big YouTubers don’t enjoy right now is that YouTubers are relevant enough to make headlines and become international controversies. One opinion and idea that several big YouTubers don’t enjoy right now is that, no, you can’t share your racist beliefs and expect nobody to argue back.

The Internet has warped the idea of “free speech” to mean “speech without consequence” and that’s simply not what it is.

But one thing Sterling does not get into, at least in this essay, is that these aren’t just “words”, they’re ideas, and ideas have meanings and most importantly, can be wrong. It would be lovely to pretend that they’re just lexical strings, and Person A has emitted a string that provokes a different string from Person B, but both A and B are actively translating those strings into meaning, and may also translate them further into actions. We too often excuse those meanings by saying “it’s just their opinion,” but sometimes those opinions can be looked up in the truth table of reality, and that function returns a value of FALSE (Or NaN, or ERROR, or SYSTEM FAILURE, or CODE RED: MISSILES HAVE BEEN LAUNCHED.)

One response is to wag our fingers and announce that they’ve lost our eyeballs and our revenue — a purely personal and singular punishment by neglect. But sometimes that isn’t enough. When someone declares that they think all gingers ought to be lined up and shot, yes, you should turn away and shun them. But what if they have a mob of thousands at their back who all agree about the ginger exterminations? You’ve left the group, but there are still all the others who are working together and coordinating and praising the initial head eliminationist. You aren’t going to slow them down a bit.

Here’s another problem: sometimes, maybe, in addition to being wrong and stupid on some things, the person is brilliant on others. We don’t have a way to chop up the mosaic of attributes of a person and dispose of the nasty bits and keep the good parts. Now what?

For example, I think Dave Chappelle is an amazing comedian — talented and revolutionary. I have loved the guy’s routines in the past, and you can see that he’s intelligent and insightful.

He’s also…problematic, a word that is also problematically over-used. Here’s a story of Chapelle in a comedy club that praises his skills but also highlights his difficulties.

But the truth is that Chappelle’s set was riddled with transphobia, homophobia, and a bit about the Ray Rice incident that changed the energy in the room in a tangible way. He talked about seeing a drunk “transvestite” at a party, mocked her, and complained about having his pronouns corrected when he referred to her as “he”. He maintained that he should be able to use whatever pronouns he wanted. He called her a man in a dress. This bit was not really a joke, just a strange, awkward story, but people laughed. It was pure, absolute, unabashed transphobia, and it broke my fucking heart.

He then started talking about “the gays”, essentially saying that he doesn’t understand why they need a whole parade because everybody has freaky sex. He compared his foot fetish and the negative reactions and judgment he’s gotten from people for it to being gay. Don’t get me wrong – the personal stuff about his foot fucking was VERY funny. But comparing his sexual proclivities to the experience of gay people was also, ultimately, problematic and misguided. I was sitting there in the front row, laughing at his jokes but simultaneously confused and upset by where some of them were coming from, and why he felt the need to talk about being mugged by a man who he “knew” was gay from the way he walked. It was the most conflicted I’ve ever felt about comedy.

That was written in 2014.

Now he has a new comedy special on Netflix, and I have been strongly tempted to watch it — it’ll probably make me laugh throughout — but I’ve also heard that it is problematic in exactly the same way as that comedy set from 2½ years ago. There will be hilarious bits, and there will be parts that are just plain wrong and that hurt people. People are murdered for being gay or transgender, and since Chapelle is neither, he comes across as trivializing the pain of others. It kinda rips the humor out of the routine.

So I’m doing the minimal response. I’m choosing not to watch it. The ratings for his show will decline by a few thousandths of a percent.

But I also wonder if there isn’t something more that should be done. If Chappelle had been strongly chastised in 2014, maybe his 2017 special would be better. Maybe we’re doing harm to Chappelle by not loudly correcting him when he is so terribly wrong.

Because let’s make no bones about it, Chappelle is just as wrong and damaging about gay and transgender people as those youtubers are wrong and damaging about race. It’s also more than just insensitivity — these are views that do real harm to human beings.

Mutual harm at Middlebury

Tristero strikes exactly the right note in this letter to the professor who was injured in the protests against Charles Murray at Middlebury. There is no excusing the harm done to Professor Stanger, but there is also no excusing the harm done by Murray.

I have, in fact, read The Bell Curve, the book Charles Murray co-authored with Richard Herrnstein (who died before publication).As I recall, the book appeared to me to be little more than a spectacularly pathetic attempt to boost the low self-esteem of the authors by claiming that blacks in general had inherently lower IQs than their own ethnic groups. My heart went out to Murray and I hoped he would find a good therapist that would instill some some self-confidence in him.

But even more so, my heart went out to the people who would be surely harmed by his terrible book. I knew that The Bell Curve would be mistaken as being super-serious intellectual research (it’s got charts and things!) when it was nothing of the sort.

Here’s where you come in.

Murray is a hero to racists with pretensions to intellectuality, like college-age right-wingers. But having regular access to the Wall Street Journal’s Op-Ed pages (I’ve also read many of Murray’s op-eds and they’re as unserious as The Bell Curve) makes it difficult for Murray to complain that someone’s trying to suppress his freedom of speech. For that, he needs useful idiots who are prepared to invite him not to fawning right wing think tanks or Klan meetings, but to places where the people who his writings actually harm can confront him.

Make no mistake about it: the racism that Murray empowers is as inexcusable and irresponsible as the injuries you suffered. I’m extremely sorry that you were hurt, but I’m also extremely sorry that Murray was provided an excuse to claim the high road. Both are utterly disgraceful outcomes of this unfortunate set of circumstances.

I too read The Bell Curve way back when it first came out, although, thankfully, the details of that pile of shit have faded from my memory, leaving only the recollection of a sensation of disgust. Murray relies on baffling his audiences with the arcana of statistical analysis which neither he nor most of his readers understand, but which earns him the love and appreciation of racists who don’t really care how he gets to his conclusions, as long as those conclusions support their prejudices.

I’m only competent enough in those arcana to see the flaws in his arguments, but not to explain them well. For that, I recommend the invaluable Cosma Shalizi, who made the case against g:

To summarize what follows below (“shorter sloth”, as it were), the case for g rests on a statistical technique, factor analysis, which works solely on correlations between tests. Factor analysis is handy for summarizing data, but can’t tell us where the correlations came from; it always says that there is a general factor whenever there are only positive correlations. The appearance of g is a trivial reflection of that correlation structure. A clear example, known since 1916, shows that factor analysis can give the appearance of a general factor when there are actually many thousands of completely independent and equally strong causes at work. Heritability doesn’t distinguish these alternatives either. Exploratory factor analysis being no good at discovering causal structure, it provides no support for the reality of g.

And also argued against misinterpretations of heritability:

To summarize: Heritability is a technical measure of how much of the variance in a quantitative trait (such as IQ) is associated with genetic differences, in a population with a certain distribution of genotypes and environments. Under some very strong simplifying assumptions, quantitative geneticists use it to calculate the changes to be expected from artificial or natural selection in a statistically steady environment. It says nothing about how much the over-all level of the trait is under genetic control, and it says nothing about how much the trait can change under environmental interventions. If, despite this, one does want to find out the heritability of IQ for some human population, the fact that the simplifying assumptions I mentioned are clearly false in this case means that existing estimates are unreliable, and probably too high, maybe much too high.

Once you knock those two props out from under Murray’s claims, he flops down into a disreputable heap.

But he keeps getting invited to speak at universities. I don’t know why. Stanger claims that the protest was a result of people not reading Murray’s book, but I think the real problem is people who read Murray’s book and don’t understand what a pile of garbage it is.

Here come the apologists for Steve King

Kathleen Parker tries hard to reframe King’s remarks as an expression of reasonable concern.

King’s comment came in the form of a tweet, apparently in support of Geert Wilders, the Dutch nationalist politician hoping to become prime minister of the Netherlands following Wednesday’s election.

Both Wilders — who once called Moroccans “scum” — and King do seem cut from the same cloth. Both men are apparently concerned that immigrant encroachment is posing a danger to civilization as we know it, especially among certain recurring arrivals, including: (1) Muslims, whose faith is sometimes used by certain fanatics to justify murdering the rest of us; (2) people from a variety of nations who, importantly, do not have white skin, or, inferentially, Western values coursing through their veins.

To the Kings and Wilderses (and Trumps?), the problems are obvious and undeniable. Even to the less knee-jerk, the fast-changing demographic landscape has created at least some level of discomfort and uncertainty. Suddenly, the majority has to ponder the imponderable: Who, me, a minority?

She goes on to explain that he’s stupid and careless, but gosh, he’s not an extremist. He is literally and explicitly reciting far-right racist RaHoWa rhetoric, but he’s just being rude — we have to remember that the real problem is that our white majority is currently experiencing discomfort and uncertainty. Steve King’s were repugnantly stated, but what we need is someone who can express those sentiments more craftily.

What is needed are new voices to articulate these fundamental concerns, recognize them with respect and work toward solutions that don’t require that our neighbors be marginalized. This would seem especially compelling to those now considering what it might be like to become a minority in their “own” country.

Oh, fuck that noise.

In a few years, people of European descent will no longer be a majority in this country. That should mean nothing — demographic shifts like that happen all the time, and they don’t necessarily disrupt the political continuity of a country. The USA does not have the same demographic makeup that it did at its founding; there was a dearth of Italians and Swedes and Irish signing the Declaration of Independence, you know, and even worse, no black Americans were asked to join the revolutionary committee.

What’s making some white people uncomfortable is that they’re used to shitting on minorities, and they’re thinking that minority status equals being treated like dirt, from their own example. And they, and columnists like Parker, are trying to normalize that feeling as being perfectly normal. It isn’t. It shouldn’t be.

You don’t need someone capable of gently and wittily articulating your racist backbrain as something justifiable. You need to grow the fuck up and recognize brown and black Americans as your brothers and sisters, and slap down these racist assholes who can’t recognize this true, instead of making excuses for them.

Steve King watch

He simply doesn’t know when to shut up. He was interviewed about his previous racist comments, and guess what he babbled about? The coming Race War.

Iowa Rep. Steve King said Monday that blacks and Hispanics will be fighting each other before overtaking whites in the US population.

King, a Republican, was on the radio responding to a question about Univision anchor Jorge Ramos’ comment to Tucker Carlson on Fox News that whites would become a majority-minority demographic in America by 2044, a point Ramos used to make the argument that it is a multiracial country.

Jorge Ramos’ stock in trade is identifying and trying to drive wedges between race, King told Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson on 1040 WHO. Race and ethnicity, I should say to be more correct. When you start accentuating the differences, then you start ending up with people that are at each other’s throats. And he’s adding up Hispanics and blacks into what he predicts will be in greater number than whites in America. I will predict that Hispanics and the blacks will be fighting each other before that happens.

Because white people have always been innocent bystanders. No, sir, white Americans never tried to commit genocide, or enslave and torture black people, or or carry out wars of conquest in Latin America — that was just all those people fighting with each other.

raspail

You won’t believe his source for this prediction.

King concluded the interview by recommending that listeners read the novel, “The Camp of the Saints,” by French author Jean Raspail, a book about Europe being overcome by immigrants which has also frequently been referenced by top Trump advisers Steve Bannon. The book has been criticized as presenting a racist view of immigration.

Yep. A work of fiction, written by a racist, about a South Asian armada full of impoverished people preparing to invade Europe.

Only white Europeans like Calgues are portrayed as truly human in The Camp of the Saints. The Indian armada brings thousands of wretched creatures whose very bodies arouse disgust: Scraggy branches, brown and black … All bare, those fleshless Gandhi-arms. Poor brown children are spoiled fruit starting to rot, all wormy inside, or turned so you can’t see the mold.

The ship’s inhabitants are also sexual deviants who turn the voyage into a grotesque orgy. Everywhere, rivers of sperm, Raspail writes. Streaming over bodies, oozing between breasts, and buttocks, and thighs, and lips, and fingers.

This is what Steve King reads in his spare time? It’s what he recommends to journalists?

Racism is a state of mind

A woman — this woman — pestered poor Sean Spicer with a volley of criticisms while he was out shopping. He mostly ignored her, as is his right, but he opened his mouth once to reply to her. And this is what he chose to say.

We live in a great country that allows you to be here, Spicer said.

Wow. What makes Spicer think that her right to be here might be in question? That he gets to make what sounds an awful lot like a threat? Read Shree’s own response to that comment.

If the price of homogeneity is that we all have to look like Steve King, I’m not paying

Steve King, who is definitely one of the dumbest politicians in America, put his foot in his mouth once again. He is endorsing openly racist ideas, making David Duke happy, and confirming once again that the Republican party has become the shit-hole where we dump our very worst people.

King in a tweet praised Geert Wilders, including a cartoon depicting Wilders plugging a hole in a wall that reads Western civilization.

Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies, the congressman wrote.

Actually, yes you can. In fact, you must. Our country alone contains over 300 million people, is Steve King planning to fill the nation with the fruit of his loins? Obviously not. When he says our civilization, he has a broader group of people in mind than just his immediate family. When he says somebody else’s babies, he’s explicitly making a division among the people living here to exclude a group. The question is, where is he drawing the line within our people?

I think we can all guess. And it’s understood that somebody else’s babies are quite simply the brown people who don’t look like him.

There’s a word I like: ecumene. It recognizes that there is a broader community of people living in a land, bound together by the ties of our culture, but still allowing for diversity. I don’t like people who want to shatter our ecumene.

It’s a clear message, King said on Monday. We need to get our birth rates up or Europe will be entirely transformed within a half century or a little more. And Geert Wilders knows that and that’s part of his campaign and part of his agenda.

Guess what, Steve King? Our countries are going to be transformed whether you like it or not, and whether one ethnic group or another has greater birth rates. People gripe about different generations within a population, and always have. Cultures change, always. It’s human nature. The concern is to shape those changes in positive directions. One example of that is public education, which Steve King’s party wants to destroy.

Also, our birth rates? Whose? Is Steve King a resident of the Netherlands? Perhaps he thinks he’s being inclusive. I warn you, though: allow Iowans to find commonality with the Nederlanders, and next thing you know, you’re going to have to let Belgians into the club. And if you let Belgians in, you’re going to have to recognize your affinity to the French. From there it’s a slippery slope to Iowans becoming cosmopolitan people of the world, and there goes your dream of redneck insularity.

King went on to criticize illegal immigration to the United States and immigrants who don’t assimilate into the American culture.

I’m in a state where you can buy lefse and lutefisk any day of the year, where communities celebrate Syttende Mai, where individuals proudly fly blue and yellow flags, where we tell Ole and Lena jokes. Is that OK, Steve King? I notice that you have a motley assortment of flags on your desk, including a Traitor’s Flag.

Steve-King-Confederate-Flag

I think that it is fine to be proud of your heritage, and people should celebrate the customs of their Latin American or African or European or Asian ancestors. It’s when it becomes exclusionary, and you try to shame people for their history, or you use your history to justify oppression, that it becomes a problem.

Living in enclaves, refusing to assimilate into the American culture and civilization. Some embrace it, yes. But many are two and three generations living in enclaves that are pushing back now and resisting against the assimilation, he said.

Like, say, Minnesota? My family came over from Sweden and Norway in the early 19th century, it’s been like five generations, and they haven’t forgotten old customs. My grandparents even moved again from Minnesota to Washington state and found communities of like-minded Scandinavians to live among! Yet somehow second-generation citizens who speak English at school and still speak Spanish to their abuelita are a problem?

How much assimilation do you want?

King also emphasized his view that western civilization is a superior civilization.

I like Western civilization, too, but I think its strengths are openness and willingness to share the benefits of society with all (which, come to think of it, was also true once upon a time of Islamic civilization and Roman civilization and Chinese civilizations, or at least, those civilizations that thrived and grew).

So why does Steve King want to make changes that turn us into an inferior civilization?

I’d like to see an America that’s just so homogenous that we look a lot the same, from that perspective, he said.

Oh, jebus. I just imagined an America populated exclusively by balding, potato-nosed, pop-eyed, pale-skinned, thin-lipped stupid people, and it was horrific.

There’s a reason the Tower is made of Ivory

I saw the problems emerging from the day the March for Science was announced — only it wasn’t weird outsiders who were dissenting, it was a small group of prominent white male scientists who immediately started griping about “identity politics”. There was also a tendency for people who had embraced certain myths about science to try to find shelter behind the idea that science, and the science march, would be “apolitical”. How naive can you be? You’re organizing a march on Washington, DC, in the long tradition of other marches for civil rights, and it was motived by the need to protest the destructive policies of a recently-elected politician? Give me a break. This is a political action, and what muddles it isn’t the multiplicity of causes that drive it, but the foolish people who try to pretend they can organize such an event without it being political.

Zuleyka Zevallos carries out a thorough analysis of the politics of the March for Science. It’s a mess.

Since the march was announced in January 2017, the organisers in the central committee of Washington DC have struggled to respond to issues of diversity. From inadequately addressing inclusion and accessibility, to reproducing discourses of inequality, March for Science has problematically promoted the idea that the march is not a political protest. (It has only been in recent days that the organisers have attempted to address this; but it had not happened at the time of the events with the Los Angeles march.)

The discourse that a march is “not political” is, in fact, very much the outcome of political dynamics. Only people from dominant groups, especially White people, can claim that science is free from politics. It isn’t – as I show with research, further below.

This narrative that science is not political has impacted dialogue about the march: what it stands for (interests of White, heterosexual, cisgender, able-bodied people); who it doesn’t stand for (everyone else, especially people of colour and disabled scientists); and who is erased from the conversation altogether (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual LGBTQIA people).

This should not have been allowed to build to this level of chaos and concern. There should have been a forthright declaration from the very beginning that this was a march by scientists to protest the anti-scientific bullshit coming out of the current administration, to show that scientists have a strong commitment to the truth. It should be about a great many causes driving us to speak out: the destruction of the environment, the need for better support to combat emerging diseases, the maintenance of safety standards for food and drugs, changes in energy to reduce CO2 emissions, keeping our oceans healthy, etc., etc., etc., a thousand factors that our government wants to ignore or oppose. But it must also include improving diversity in science, providing good education to all people, not just the wealthy ones, and breaking down barriers to women and minorities entering science…all those things that certain people call “identity politics” because it makes them uncomfortable.

The “alt-right” have had a presence in the American science establishment for a long, long time. Remember, the Nazis were inspired by American eugenics, which was not just grassroots racism, but endorsed at the highest levels of academe.

Eugenics was the racist pseudoscience determined to wipe away all human beings deemed “unfit,” preserving only those who conformed to a Nordic stereotype. Elements of the philosophy were enshrined as national policy by forced sterilization and segregation laws, as well as marriage restrictions, enacted in twenty-seven states. In 1909, California became the third state to adopt such laws. Ultimately, eugenics practitioners coercively sterilized some 60,000 Americans, barred the marriage of thousands, forcibly segregated thousands in “colonies,” and persecuted untold numbers in ways we are just learning. Before World War II, nearly half of coercive sterilizations were done in California, and even after the war, the state accounted for a third of all such surgeries.

California was considered an epicenter of the American eugenics movement. During the Twentieth Century’s first decades, California’s eugenicists included potent but little known race scientists, such as Army venereal disease specialist Dr. Paul Popenoe, citrus magnate and Polytechnic benefactor Paul Gosney, Sacramento banker Charles M. Goethe, as well as members of the California State Board of Charities and Corrections and the University of California Board of Regents.

Eugenics would have been so much bizarre parlor talk had it not been for extensive financing by corporate philanthropies, specifically the Carnegie Institution, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Harriman railroad fortune. They were all in league with some of America’s most respected scientists hailing from such prestigious universities as Stanford, Yale, Harvard, and Princeton. These academicians espoused race theory and race science, and then faked and twisted data to serve eugenics’ racist aims.

Yet now some want to declare science “apolitical”, and it’s because they dislike the idea that the values of non-white people might taint the purity of their theories about race.

I’m planning to join in the march, but it sure as hell isn’t because I have deluded myself into thinking science is non-political.

The genocide continues

You need to read about the tiny town of Whiteclay, Nebraska. It’s a moral shithole.

Whiteclay, Nebraska. 12 people. Four liquor stores. More than 42 million cans of beer sold in the last 10 years.

I do wonder what those 12 people are like, that they can unconscionably exploit people as they do. The customers for their beer are the residents of the Pine Ridge Reservation, where the descendants of Crazy Horse and Red Shirt and Sitting Bull now live. Well then, that must be the problem — don’t blame the good capitalists providing a service, it’s all the drunkards guzzling down that beer.

But this story explains why alcoholism rages through the Lakota.

On this South Dakota reservation, where the sale and consumption of alcohol has been illegal since 1889 (aside from a few months in the 1970s), the Oglala Lakota live in the poorest of America’s 3,144 counties, according to a 2014 U.S. Census Bureau report. In 2015, 55 percent of its roughly 30,000 residents were unemployed, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. A decade before, the Department of the Interior put the number at 89 percent.

Here, men die on average at age 47, according to Rainey Enjady, former interim CEO of the Pine Ridge Hospital. That’s a shorter lifespan than any other country in the world, according to the World Health Organization. Its women fare better. On average, they live to 55—on par with Angola, Nigeria and Somalia.

On this sprawling reservation dotted with doublewide trailers, the infant mortality rate was three times the national average in 2007, according to Re-Member—about the same as modern day Syria, Honduras or the Gaza Strip.

It’s an American disgrace. Right here in the heart of our country, 8 hours from where I live, good people are destitute and living in despair, while merchants sell them poison.

Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?

I have confused feelings about this story: an Australian writer, Mem Fox, was treated to American-style customs.

The room was like a waiting room in a hospital but a bit more grim than that. There was a notice on the wall that was far too small, saying no cellphones allowed, and anybody who did use a cellphone had someone stand in front of them and yell: “Don’t use that phone!” Everything was yelled, and everything was public, and this was the most awful thing, I heard things happening in that room happening to other people that made me ashamed to be human.

There was an Iranian woman in a wheelchair, she was about 80, wearing a little mauve cardigan, and they were yelling at her – “Arabic? Arabic?”. They screamed at her “ARABIC?” at the top of their voices, and finally she intuited what they wanted and I heard her say “Farsi”. And I thought heaven help her, she’s Iranian, what’s going to happen?

There was a woman from Taiwan, being yelled at about at about how she made her money, but she didn’t understand the question. The officer was yelling at her: “Where does your money come from, does it grow on trees? Does it fall from the sky?” It was awful.

There was no toilet, no water, and there was this woman with a baby. If I had been holed up in that room with a pouch on my chest, and a baby crying, or needing to be fed, oh God … the agony I was surrounded by in that room was like a razor blade across my heart.

There are some things I’m not confused about: that was criminal and horrific, and ought to bring deep shame to all Americans. What kind of stupid people are doing this job that they think YELLING at someone who doesn’t understand their language somehow makes them comprehensible?

But what bugs me is that this story becomes newsworthy only when it happens to a white woman — as if the injustice is amplified because the target is someone innocent of the crime of being brown. No criticism of Mem Fox intended, but of the media and the people who assume it isn’t news if it’s not happening to someone who looks like them.

Where is the story of the Iranian woman in a wheelchair, the Taiwanese woman, the woman with a baby? Is anyone following up with them, or is their story not as credible or sympathetic as that of a white woman?

And most importantly, where is the follow-up to expose the immigration thugs who are perpetrating these offenses?