52.5 Years Late

Apparently athletes who believe in justice will be no more or less welcome on this year’s US Olympic team than racist athletes. From the Fort Worth Star Telegram:

Athletes at the United States Olympic trials will be allowed to take part in racial and social justice demonstrations, including taking a knee during the national anthem.

Athletes can kneel during the anthem or hold up their fist on the podium. The latter was famously done as a Black Power salute by track-and-field athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos during the 1968 Olympics at Mexico City.

Wearing a hat with phrases such as “Black Lives Matter” or “Trans Lives Matter,” or words such as “equality” or “respect” will also be allowed. Furthermore, the committee is letting athletes speak about equity and equal rights for “Black, Indigenous, and People of Color individuals, or other historically underrepresented, marginalized or minoritized populations.”

They’re letting athletes have opinions, and even to say them out loud. Isn’t that sweet? I wonder what Tommie Smith & John Carlos would say?

Tommie Smith & John Carlos just medaled in the 200 meter sprint and yet they wanted more.

Yeah, probably that. Always wanting more, always wanting better. When will they learn that the US has already fulfilled its promise and its time to shut it down lest including too many people spoil our hallowed equality? Next thing you know, athletes at the winter Olympics in 2022 will be wearing hats saying, “Feed the hungry,” or “Health care for all”.

Lynching: An Alternate Interpretation of 1/6/2021

Professional historian of lynching and mob violence Guy Lancaster has an article up at HistoryNewsNetwork.org that interprets the mob violence of 1/6/2021 not through the lens of rebellion, insurrection, sedition, and treason, but through the lens of lynching. I think it’s a great read, although I would caution that I don’t think it’s appropriate to ignore the currently-dominant interpretive framework of 1/6/2021 as an insurrection. Lancaster’s work (at least according to me) should be additive rather than substitutive.

Why does Lancaster see lynching in the events of 1/6? Well, some aspects are easy: they were looking for people to publicly execute, AOC, Nancy Pelosi, and (not least!) Mike Pence to name just three. They had set up a makeshift gallows (which may not have been sturdy enough for actual executions, though the mob clearly had effective means for murdering others at their disposal). They were white as fuck. But there’s much more than that.

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Let’s examine race and policing in Portland & DC

I and others have mentioned, of course, the vastly different treatment given to BLM protesters when it was thought they might inflict property damage and yesterday’s insurrectionists. There are numerous reports, including from Newsweek, about how law enforcement had plenty of information leading them to predict that the publicly-planned January 6th event would become violent. They even had good reason to fear there would be violence against people, not just property. For a variety of reasons, they did not take seriously the need for event security or even security on Capitol Hill. One reason is particularly interesting: they feared it would be even worse if they acted to prepare defenses against violence. Why? Here’s Newsweek’s take:

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I’m a Nazi, Says Nazi. World Topples in Not-Shock.

The Proud Boys and other so-called alt-right have often maintained that they aren’t Nazis. For instance, in 2017 before, during, and after the Charlottesville travesty where the Proud Boys and their allies and fellow travelers shouted “Jews will not replace us!” they also insisted to the media that they were neither anti-semitic nor Nazis.

Well, apparently not so much. I know. You’re shocked.

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It isn’t up to us to win

I first became politically active when the Oregon Citizens’ Alliance put a citizen’s initiative on the ballot to declare in law that “homosexuality” was “abnormal, wrong, unnatural, and perverse”. Measure 9 was itself an abomination, one that treated anti-discrimination laws as if they were discrimination against bigots, which was somehow supposed to be an unconscionable thing, what with how unfair that would be to the bigots.

Measure 9 lost. The OCA (which then featured Scott Lively as its highly visible 2nd in command) lost. But that doesn’t mean that queers “won”. We spent money and energy and made ourselves visible, made ourselves targets, so we could be attacked intensely for an election season in the hopes that sacrifice would make us safer after the election season. That isn’t victory. Honestly, it was a lot like being in abusive relationship, something I knew a lot about, and provoking abuse as the “walking on eggshells” phase of the relationship grated horribly on one’s nerves. Sometimes one’s fears of what abuse comes next are worse than the actual abuse when it occurs. I had to reasonably fear being killed by my abusive partner, but as it turns out, I was never murdered.

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Racists are inscrutable

Okay, so there’s this guy. He’s an asshole, but he’s just some guy, y’know?

No, his name is not Zaphod Beeblebrox.

His name is Michael John Frederick, Jr. Despite being just a guy – excuse me, just a white guy – he’s managed to make it into the news cycle for some of  his recent accomplishments. What accomplishments, you wonder? Oh just this and that:

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Newsweek Shocked to Find Racism In Its Establishment

Remember that Newsweek editorial saying that the first Black woman on a national ticket wasn’t really a citizen?

Yeah, apparently Newsweek’s top management got a bunch of internal pushback from the people that actually produce the product without which they’d go immediately bankrupt: the writers. Under threat of not having anything to sell and therefore no money, which would, presumably, not be the happiest outcome for the shareholders, Newsweek brass decided it was time for a walkback so that they could defend their decision, admit that they maybesortaprobly wouldn’t make the same decision in the future, acknowledge that Harris is an actual American human being, and hold their heads high that they have been good and reasonable throughout this trying time:

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Tuffy the Snowflake (Content Warning)

Was a hateful, hurtful soul.

No, seriously folks, I don’t get a lot of hate mail, but I do get some occasionally and I just got the most delightfully horrifying piece of violent thuggery that I’ve ever had sent to my FreethoughtBlogs comment queue.

It was sent to me by someone calling themselves “Tuffy”, and if you choose to read it, be forewarned: there’s the racism and some more racism and violent fantasies before mixing it up with some anti-semitism, more violence, the racism again, and oh, the direct threats. But what makes it worth posting is that this snowflake is responding to my post about how BLM in Portland won some valuable if modest concessions. And boy, did the idea that BLM has made some progress towards creating a society in which Black lives matter really upset the poor, widdle Tuffy. (I kid you not, that’s the actual screen name they chose.) There’s really no other way to say it but that this Tuffy is the most precious, delicate snowflake in the whole intertubes. He is just foot-stompin’ mad:

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Yes, again…

A while back there were fuckers who tell us that one drop of non-white blood ruined a person’s whiteness and disqualified her from participation in society and government.

All over the US political right today you have fuckers who tell us that one drop of non-Black blood ruins Kamala Harris’ Blackness and disqualifies her from participation in society and government.

You know, it’s very, very weird, but I think these are the same, god damned fuckers.