Sometimes things get said so well that there’s no point in my digesting and putting my own spin on them. Today we have a few of those, which I’m just going to leave here and suggest you read.
A recent analysis conducted by Carbon Brief which investigated the authors of more than 900 published papers that cast doubt on the science underlying climate change, found that nine of the ten most prolific had some kind of relationship with ExxonMobil.
Links to these papers were proudly displayed on the denialist Global Warming Policy Foundation website, where they are still fanning the dying embers ofClimategate hoping something will catch, under the heading, “900+ Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism Of ‘Man-Made’ Global Warming (AGW) Alarm.”
The top ten contributors to this list were responsible for 186 of the 938 papers cited.
Hey denialists (coughcoughcoughgrassrutecough) – want to talk some more about how climate change is just a scam? Just be aware that your position was bought and paid for by oil companies. Why don’t we look at the evidence rather than accusing each other of having some secret financial motive?
The New Racism manifests itself in many ways–school choice, the obsession with property values, including the rise of Neighborhood Watch in the 1980s; the differences in prison sentences for those convicted of possessing crack as opposed to cocaine, etc.
We’ve lost an understanding of what racism means in this country. We’ve forgotten that it’s race hate combined with power. A white person being harassed in a black neighborhood is not experiencing racism–that person can call the police and get a response. My students refer to anything other than whatever they think of as Martin Luther King’s dream as racism. Like with so many other words, conservatives have won the rhetorical war. We need to define racism as what it actually is and reclaim the rhetorical ground on moving toward real equality.
To the list of code words that don’t sound racist but are, I would add ‘personal responsibility’. While personal responsibility is a good thing, its usage in discussions of race inevitably cast black and brown people as being personally irresponsible, as though some genetic flaw makes us incapable of achievement (which, in turn, explains why we deserve to be poor and why any attempt to balance the scales is ‘reverse racism’).
We all know that liberalism is for the (naive, inexperienced, foolish) young while conservatism is a natural byproduct of aging, maturing, and gaining experience with the world, right? Conventional wisdom gets it wrong yet again. The surge in popularity of objectivism and libertarianism on campus underscores how right wing ideology, not pie-in-sky liberalism, is the real fantasyland for kids who have absolutely no experience in the real world.
Yes, Ayn Rand is making a comeback among the college-aged. Objectivism is even getting some mainstream press in light of Commissar Obama frog-marching the nation toward hardcore Communism. Heroic individualists are threatening to “go galt” now that Obama has completely eliminated all incentive for anyone to work ever again, re-enacting their own version of the “producers’ strike” in Atlas Shrugged.
I’ve gotten a little more mellow in recent years, believe it or not, less keen to argue and more able to see middle ground. But there is no middle ground here, no way for us to meet halfway in intellectual compromise: If you are an Objectivist, you are retarded. This is a judgment call, and I just made it. Grow up or fuck off. Those are your two options.
So I decided to give you 1000 words on objectivism last week. Gin and Tacos gives us an… alternative take on the same position. While I’m not a fan of the use of the word ‘retarded’, the rest of the piece is worth reading. Edit: I should note that there is at least one person who is a Rand devotee and whose intelligence and opinion I respect, even if I do not agree.
Ultimately, the election of Barack Obama has provided a series of object lessons in the durability of the colorline in American life. Most pointedly, Obama’s tenure has provided an opportunity for the worst aspects of White privilege to rear their ugly head. In doing so, the continuing significance of Whiteness is made ever more clear in a moment when the old bugaboo of White racism was thought to have been slain on November 4, 2008.
To point: Imagine if Sarah Palin, a person who wallows in mediocrity and wears failure as a virtue, were any race other than White. Would a black (or Latino or Asian or Hispanic) woman with Palin’s credentials have gotten a tenth as far? Let’s entertain another counter-factual: If the Tea Party and their supporters were a group of black or brown folk, who showed up with guns at events attended by the President, threatening nullification and secession, and engaging in treasonous talk, how many seconds would pass before they were locked up and taken out by the F.B.I. as threats to the security of the State? If the Tea Party were black they would have been disappeared to Gitmo or some other secret site faster than you can say Fox News.
Earlier this week President Obama tried to be the adult in the room by surrendering his birth certificate in an effort to satisfy the Birthers and their cabal leaders Donald Trump and Pat Buchanan. Of course, his generous act does nothing to satisfy the Birther beast for it is insatiable in its madness. Nevertheless, a lesson can still be salvaged by exploring the rank bigotry which drives the Birther movement. In an era of racism without racists, the Tea Party GOP Birther brigands provide one more lesson in the permanence of the social evil known as White privilege.
Still confused about how white privilege works? Here’s a few concrete examples.
I guess I should get a tumblr or something for this stuff…
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