This essay articulates the depth of my contempt for Republican voters (and modern conservatism more generally):
His political career began in advocacy of birtherism, that modern recasting of the old American precept that black people are not fit to be citizens of the country they built. But long before birtherism, Trump had made his worldview clear. He fought to keep blacks out of his buildings, according to the U.S. government; called for the death penalty for the eventually exonerated Central Park Five; and railed against “lazy” black employees. “Black guys counting my money! I hate it,” Trump was once quoted as saying. “The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.” After his cabal of conspiracy theorists forced Barack Obama to present his birth certificate, Trump demanded the president’s college grades (offering $5 million in exchange for them), insisting that Obama was not intelligent enough to have gone to an Ivy League school, and that his acclaimed memoir, Dreams From My Father, had been ghostwritten by a white man, Bill Ayers. It is often said that Trump has no real ideology, which is not true—his ideology is white supremacy, in all its truculent and sanctimonious power. Trump inaugurated his campaign by casting himself as the defender of white maidenhood against Mexican “rapists,” only to be later alleged by multiple accusers, and by his own proud words, to be a sexual violator himself. White supremacy has always had a perverse sexual tint. Trump’s rise was shepherded by Steve Bannon, a man who mocks his white male critics as “cucks.” The word, derived from cuckold, is specifically meant to debase by fear and fantasy—the target is so weak that he would submit to the humiliation of having his white wife lie with black men. That the slur cuck casts white men as victims aligns with the dicta of whiteness, which seek to alchemize one’s profligate sins into virtue. So it was with Virginia slaveholders claiming that Britain sought to make slaves of them. So it was with marauding Klansmen organized against alleged rapes and other outrages. So it was with a candidate who called for a foreign power to hack his opponent’s email and who now, as president, is claiming to be the victim of “the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history.”
Read more here.
One of the reasons I distrust so-called “moderates” is that their list of things they’re willing to compromise on is a bit too long, and often includes critical human & civil rights issues. In fact, being willing to tell your neighbour they are only partially human, or partially “equal,” should be considered extreme in my opinion.
The average American will easily agree that they believe that freedom, justice, and equality are basic rights, rights we are born with. These ideas are woven throughout the entire narrative of our democracy. But in practice, very few people actually believe that freedom, justice, and equality are rights that every American deserves. When you enjoy your freedoms, and you tell those who want their freedoms that they have to wait, that they have to go slowly, that they have to give you time to make uncomfortable adjustments to the amount of privilege that their inequality has afforded you, what you are saying is, “You were not born with these rights. You were not born as deserving as me. I have the power and privilege to determine when it is time for you to receive freedom and equality, and my approval is conditioned on how comfortable and safe you make me feel about how that freedom and equality will impact the privileges I enjoy.”
Read more Ijeoma Oluo here.
The title of this post is sarcasm, for those of you who aren’t following along at home.
One thing that struck me about the Beltway’s coverage of the Berkeley protest was how commentators accused the anti-fascist protesters of feeding into Nazi persecution narratives. I found this accusation to be badly misdirected. The media were deliberately trying to get the white supremacists on film and on their microphone, and what they printed a day later confirmed that they were selling a very familiar drink: Red bait. I was disappointed to see self-avowed skeptics swallow the media narrative uncritically, as the material from the non-professionals clearly shows a different story from “vicious hoodie thug attacks innocent Trump supporter”–a Trump supporter who had pepper-sprayed a crowd of people while wearing a Pinochet shirt, the Chilean capitalist dictator legendary for his torture & mass murder program against socialists [not going to link to it but LITERALLY ALL THE TRIGGER WARNINGS if you look it up].
At minimum, please take the time to browse amateur footage. Yes, you’ll have to sift through the alt-right versions, but that’s how I also found this hilarious tweet: alt-right dude says the protest turned into a “massive militant demonstration,” but shows exactly nothing happening. Not even the people actively trying to smear anti-fascist protesters could find something incriminating, but you can trust the Beltway to play something up for clickbait and distort the picture.
Assume they’ve got a slant at least as severe as the anti-fascists themselves.
Let’s get one thing perfectly clear: Sarah Ditum is constitutionally incapable of directly stating what she means. She has been trained in a feminist tradition that trades almost exclusively in equivocation and doublespeak. This is one aspect of debunking TERFs that makes the task so grating–the ambiguity, rather than being a sign of the TERF’s lack of principles, instead reflects poorly on the critic since we sometimes guess incorrectly at what they’re trying to say. From there they can swoop in and claim that they actually meant something else, which, again, should be considered evidence that they are shitty communicators rather than evidence the critic has misunderstood. So I confess, I’m at a backfoot here, squinting at Egyptian hieroglyphs without the benefit of a Rosetta stone.
Feminists have spent decades trying to get the value of women’s unpaid labour recognised, to basically no avail. The trouble all along, it turns out, was the framing: instead of saying women deserved credit for their contribution to the economy, feminists should have said that women deserve blame. Because blame is one commodity where people are happy to give women their due. The obvious absence of women from the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia – where female counter-protester Heather Heyer was killed by a car allegedly driven by an alt-right supporter called James Alex Fields – could have lead to a discussion about the male near-monopoly on violence. Instead the impulse to cherchez la femme kicked in early and hasn’t let up since.
This isn’t particularly difficult, Ditum.
Bob Vulfov has some very serious words for some very serious people:
Thank you very much for coming in today to discuss the tumor currently growing inside your body. Luckily, we caught this fairly early on, so we have a few treatment options available to us. As you can see on this X-ray, the tumor is currently about the size of a baseball in an all-white baseball league. I could surgically remove it as soon as tomorrow afternoon. However, I will not be doing that.
I view this tumor as an important symbol of your body’s history and heritage. Removing the tumor would be yet another example of misguided medical correctness in today’s liberal America. I protest this surgery and refuse to whitewash your rich medical history. The tumor must be kept prominently displayed inside your body.
I understand why you’d want to remove the tumor. By removing it, we would stop the cancer from spreading to other parts of your body and you’d be on your way to recovery. Don’t you think, though, that your body’s fight against cancer should be commemorated in some way? What better way than by leaving the tumor completely intact? Medical Justice Warriors all want to dismantle the very fabric of everyone’s medical history and remove important memorials such as tumors, goiters, and gallstones. I want to celebrate that history and leave a monument to those awful memories inside your body forever.
Read more here.
Content Notice: White supremacy, sexual assault.
Before Colin Kaepernik took many a white supremacist’s advice and “protested quietly” (which, spoiler alert, still pissed them off), the same league in which he competed routinely defended and employed players who assaulted their wives or mass raped drunk students. It’s in this context that a boycott of the NFL has finally spawned, stating that the NFL’s continued reluctance to employ Kaepernik supports white supremacy.
I’m glad that the conversation for black liberation is picking up some traction, but if you’re only now boycotting the NFL, I have to ask: Where the fuck you been? Damon Young is wondering the same.
I get that, for many of these fans, the Kaepernick blackball is the straw that broke the camel’s back. But again, the NFL been trash. They give no fucks about Kaepernick because they’ve given no fucks about anything other than getting your money and removing whatever might be in the way of getting more of it. You can’t give any fucks about black people if you don’t give any fucks about people. This is how they’re able to reason that Kaepernick remains unsigned because he’d be a distraction while players accused of distracting-ass shit like rape and aggravated assault remain on NFL rosters, and a Hotep preacher accused of killing two actual people is thought of as the best person to mentor Kaepernick into respectability. Having Kaepernick exist as your NFL straw in 2017 is like boycotting Trump because his hair is the color of Clorox.
So am I saying don’t boycott? No! Yay boycott! Boycott the fuck out of them! Throw boycott parties with complementary avocado toast and chorizo frittatas! Just remember that the NFL is trash, has been trash, and will continue to be trash even if Kaepernick is on a team.
I’m glad they found their back bone. I hope they keep it.
Read more here.
What strikes me immediately is that they’re being organized by people who have been caught on film, rather unambiguously, assaulting people.
I mean the police were more than happy to arrest and charge 230 people on inauguration day with felony rioting for the actions of 4 identified vandals but they can’t pursue assault charges on the most open and closed case that could possibly be served on their desk?
A new fight-club “fraternity” of young white, pro-Trump men is being formed, its organizers claim, to defend free-speech rights by “Alt-Right” leaders and engage in street fighting.
Kyle Chapman, a California activist arrested earlier this month in a clash in Berkeley between anti-fascist protesters and pro-Trump demonstrators, announced this week he is forming the Fraternal Order of Alt Knights (cleverly called “FOAK).
Chapman, who uses the Internet meme “Based Stick Man,” says his new militant, highly-masculine group will be the “tactical defensive arm” of the Proud Boys, another group that shows up at pro-Trump rallies looking to rumble with counter-protesters.
“We don’t fear the fight. We are the fight,” Chapman said in a recent social media post announcing FOAK’s formation.
“I’m proud to announce that my newly created Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights will be partnering with Proud Boys,” Chapman said, with the “full-approval” of its founder, Gavin McInnes.
McInnes is a co-founder of Vice (although he and the magazine severed ties 10 years ago) and more recently has been a frequent guest on FOX News and a contributor for the racist site VDARE where he denigrated Muslims and called Asian Americans “slopes” and “riceballs.”
Now described as a “neo-masculine reactionary,” McInnes calls his Proud Boys a “pro-West fraternal organization.”
Others describe it as the military arm of the Alt-Right.
I’m sure law enforcement is on the case with just as much enthusiasm as the antifa crackdown, right? [Edit April 28, 2017: Scratch that. Those same defendants have all had an additional 7 felonies added to their charges. All 210 of them. Just a reminder–they connected 4 people to the actual acts of vandalism.]
Content Notice: Racism, white supremacist apology, minimization, gaslighting, general clueless white assholery
When we last saw Apologist-for-White-Supremacy Amanda Kerri, she was attempting to delicately explain “economic anxiety” coming from the United States’ least troubled demographic within the working class. Now it seems Kerri is joining what will soon be a tradition of milquetoast liberals falling in line to give jackbooted authoritarianism a chance.
I try to ration my criticisms of other trans women carefully. Belonging to a badly-maligned group often makes visible activists a lightning rod for bad faith criticism, but nonetheless there’s only so much bullshit I can take before I switch from “maybe you just had limited opportunities in education because of prejudice” to “okay, you’re an asshole.”