Racists (and psychologists) don’t understand evolution

I hate this study already. Some psychologists attempted to develop a psychological profile of the alt-right by interviewing them and using a questionnaire. Fine. There’s nothing unexpected in their results.

A lot of the findings align with what we intuit about the alt-right: This group is supportive of social hierarchies that favor whites at the top. It’s distrustful of mainstream media and strongly opposed to Black Lives Matter. Respondents were highly supportive of statements like, “There are good reasons to have organizations that look out for the interests of white people.” And when they look at other groups — like black Americans, Muslims, feminists, and journalists — they’re willing to admit they see these people as “less evolved.”

It’s that last bit that bugs me. One of their questions primed them with a bad pseudoscientific image, and then asked them to rate various groups of people on how “evolved” they are.

That question makes no sense. It starts by leading people to think an invalid, linear model of progressive evolution is scientifically reasonable, and then asks them to indulge in rating human beings. It doesn’t surprise me that Nazis are willing to dehumanize, but is it fair to miseducate in the process of figuring that out?

Here’s the average of the answers they got.

If they’d asked me this question, I would have slammed every slider straight to 100%, and then aborted the whole survey and told the investigators that their methodology was poisonous. But that’s me.

They’re trying to measure dehumanization, and I can appreciate that this might be an effective way to do it, but really, do we need to spread more misinformation in the process? They got a strong distinction, but I’m also annoyed by the comparison group.

The comparison group, on the other hand, scored all these groups in the 80s or 90s on average. (In science terms, the alt-righters were nearly a full standard deviation more extreme in their responses than the comparison group.)

How can you be 80% evolved? How can you even argue that different groups of Homo sapiens are “evolved” to different degrees? None of this makes any sense.

Although the result that Trump’s favorite Nazis think he is less evolved than women in general has got to burn.

Also, they determined that racists are not more economically stressed than other people. They are just goddamned racists. No surprised there.

Remember when country music wasn’t all jingo?

I barely remember it myself, but I do remember a machine that kills fascists. And now here’s a statement from the family of Johnny Cash.

A message from the children of Johnny Cash:
We were alerted to a video of a young man in Charlottesville, a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi, spewing hatred and bile. He was wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the name of Johnny Cash, our father. We were sickened by the association.
Johnny Cash was a man whose heart beat with the rhythm of love and social justice. He received humanitarian awards from, among others, the Jewish National Fund, B’nai Brith, and the United Nations. He championed the rights of Native Americans, protested the war in Vietnam, was a voice for the poor, the struggling and the disenfranchised, and an advocate for the rights of prisoners. Along with our sister Rosanne, he was on the advisory board of an organization solely devoted to preventing gun violence among children. His pacifism and inclusive patriotism were two of his most defining characteristics. He would be horrified at even a casual use of his name or image for an idea or a cause founded in persecution and hatred. The white supremacists and neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville are poison in our society, and an insult to every American hero who wore a uniform to fight the Nazis in WWII. Several men in the extended Cash family were among those who served with honor.
Our dad told each of us, over and over throughout our lives, ‘Children, you can choose love or hate. I choose love.’
We do not judge race, color, sexual orientation or creed. We value the capacity for love and the impulse towards kindness. We respect diversity, and cherish our shared humanity. We recognize the suffering of other human beings, and remain committed to our natural instinct for compassion and service.
To any who claim supremacy over other human beings, to any who believe in racial or religious hierarchy: we are not you. Our father, as a person, icon, or symbol, is not you. We ask that the Cash name be kept far away from destructive and hateful ideology.
We Choose Love.
Rosanne Cash
Kathy Cash
Cindy Cash
Tara Cash
John Carter Cash
August 16, 2017
‘Not one of us can rest, be happy, be at home, be at peace with ourselves, until we end hatred and division.’ Rep. John Lewis

I swear, if I hear Melvin Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA one more time, I’m gonna have to puke in someone’s face. But I can listen to Cash all the time.

“it’s afraid!”

A big-mouthed bully is afraid!

Oh, sorry. Wrong video.

That’s Christopher Cantwell, an American Nazi, blubbering in fear because there might be a warrant out for his arrest over the mess in Charlottesville. He claims they have done everything in their power to keep things peaceful, by which he means that they went through all the paperwork for their anti-semitic, anti-black hate march…not that their intent was peaceful.

With a sneer in his voice, he whines about Chelsea Manning.

Chelsea Manning, this tranny fanatic, has a picture of himself — herself — talking about curbstomping Nazis, with a picture of this boot coming down on somebody.

You mean this?

Terrifying. Then, weirdly, he goes on and on about his gun.

If I was a violent guy you would have heard about it by now.

Oh, OK, I guess we would have, guy who has a page on his behavior at the SPLC.

[M]y goal here is to normalize racism, he explained to Hatewatch in one of two interviews for this profile. I’m going to make a commercial enterprise out of saying things that people want to make illegal. I’m going to make a whole fucking bunch of money doing it. Anybody who gets in my way is going to find themselves in a very long list of people who regretted underestimating me.

My proposal, and in all honesty, I’m still working out the details, has been to resort to force. For free men and women to forcefully defend themselves against agents of the State. To kill government agents who would otherwise use force against them, until their jobs simply become so dangerous that they seek other lines of work.

It’s the right thing to be concerned about the immigration, because you see these fucking hordes of unwashed religious fanatics pouring across borders with no resources just thinking that they’re going to collect welfare and fuck our women and fucking breed us put of existence. That makes me want to bash people’s skulls open, I understand.

I’m carrying a pistol, I go to the gym all the time, I’m trying to make myself more capable of violence.

And now he’s terrified, as terrified as the black people, the Hispanic people, the gay people, the transgender people, the Jews, all the people he has tried to terrorize.

Feels good. Cry some more.

And do turn yourself in to the police and clear up your status. I don’t think you’ll have any problems, you’re white.

Way to go, Baltimore

Quietly, in the dead of night, the city of Baltimore took down their confederate monuments. A statue of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson was removed, as well as…

Other statues being removed included the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Mount Royal Avenue, the Confederate Women’s Monument on West University Parkway and the Roger B. Taney Monument on Mount Vernon Place.

Wait — they had a monument to Roger Taney? This Roger Taney?

[African Americans] had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit. He was bought and sold, and treated as an ordinary article of merchandise and traffic, whenever a profit could be made by it.

What took so long, and why was such a slap in the face to American citizens put up in the first place?

They really are bullying cowards

So this is what happens when you confront nazis. They collapse.

Good grief. It’s just kind of a fun idea, being able to say ‘white power’. I love to be offensive, it’s all. What a pathetic child.

And then there’s this: Joe Love flies a Nazi flag from his home. A woman stopped and politely asked him about it; he starts ranting and insulting her. I guess he’s a big man when it’s a woman talking to him, but he changes his tune when a local newspaper contacted him.

Love says he bought the flag several years ago, but that he doesn’t believe in the symbolism Nazis attached to the swastika, the meaning most have of the flag in the decades since World War II.

That used to be a religious symbol in India until Hitler got ahold of it, Love said. A lot of people don’t know that… I agree with the symbol as it started out as a religious symbol. But as far as backing Hitler and being a white supremacist and Hitler, I’m not into that.

Oh, bullshit. Or should I say, chickenshit.

Tucker Carlson, xenophobic bigot and dumbass

I’m incapable of watching Tucker Carlson — it’s not just the dumb things he says, but that face he makes when someone he disagrees with says something smarter than he is. The knitted brows, the slightly parted lips, he looks like a yokel trying to puzzle out whether he likes this strange new experience, although he’s pretty sure he doesn’t.

But fortunately, some people do suffer through his shows to figure out what he’s doing, and it’s not pretty. It’s pure white supremacist bullshit, although he cunningly avoids coming right out and saying it. Instead of saying the 14 words, he just cusses out immigrants of all kinds and praises Western Culture, whatever that is.

The last few seconds are ironic. On this one issue, Bill O’Reilly was slightly better than Tucker Carlson (which is not to say that on other issues, he wasn’t worse). The Fox News audience is invariably drawn towards the very worst people.

Ignorance is a powerful force

Charles Pierce is dismayed and despairing. But at least we know who to blame: the guilty parties have been proudly engaged in driving the country into the gutter for decades.

Every Republican who ever played footsie with the militias out west owns this bloodshed.

Every Republican who ever spoke to, or was honored by, the Council of Conservative Citizens and/or the League of the South owns this bloodshed.

Every Republican administration that ever went out of its way to hire Pat Buchanan, and every TV executive who ever cut him a check, and every Republican who voted for him in 1992, and everyone who ever has pretended his views differed substantially from the ones in the streets this weekend, owns this bloodshed.

Every Republican president—actually, there’s only one—who began a campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi, to talk about states rights, and who sent his attorney general into court to fight for tax exemptions for segregated academies, owns this bloodshed.

Every Republican politician who followed the late Lee Atwater into the woods in search of poisoned treasure owns this bloodshed.

Every conservative journalist who saw this happening and who encouraged it, or ignored it, or pretended that it wasn’t happening, owns this bloodshed.

The modern conservative movement—born of the Goldwater campaign, nurtured by millions of dollars from corporations and rightwing sugar daddies, sold day after day on millions of radios and on its own TV network—shoved the Republican Party right where it was dying to go anyway. These were institutions whose job it was to isolate this encroaching dementia from afflicting our politics in general.

Last November, we saw the culmination of four decades of the Republican Party trying to have it both ways, profiting from the darkest forces in American culture while maintaining a respectable cosmetic distance. On Saturday, we saw the culmination of the election that produced. At least, I’m praying this is the culmination. But I’m not sure about anything anymore.

All true. But what disturbs me most is this: our enemies are idiots.

We feared the tyrannical despot with vast armies at his disposal; the cunning wormtongue who undermines strong leadership. Who knew it would be a swarm of lice with the brains of 8 year olds, nattering inanely for the “lulz”, going “kek, kek” with a cartoon frog as their symbol?

I read the Daily Stormer article titled Heather Heyer: Woman Killed in Road Rage Incident was a Fat, Childless 32-Year-Old Slut*. Worse, I read the comments. My estimation of the intelligence of that crowd plummeted astonishingly, given that I had no high impression of them in the first place. I may have overestimated them in my comparison with 8 year olds — the pettiness, the viciousness, the amazing arrogance of these people patting themselves on the back for their “cleverness” and “wit” in going to great lengths to smear this woman they didn’t know, and who found villainy in the most innocent bits of information they could find (they dug up a photo of her with a black man — rage flared instantly) were appalling.

Stupidity, ignorance, and bigotry are the forces that are tearing apart the Republic.

*Not linking to it, obviously. One: Andrew Anglin doesn’t need the attention. Two: the Daily Stormer is currently featuring a front page splat from Anonymous, claiming they’ve taken it down (strangely, Anonymous says they haven’t). And three: GoDaddy, not the most progressive of hosting services, has finally had enough and announced that they are terminating their contract, and it’s going to be gone in 24 hours.

It isn’t just the South

His name was Henry Towne. He was a second cousin on my father’s side; he was always cheerful and laughing, and was the life of every party. He was also a fanatical John Bircher, and his house always had signs outside: “US OUT OF THE UN!”, and various such slogans. I felt sorry for his kids, because he set up a school for his fellow far right conservatives, yanked them out of the public schools, and I hardly ever saw them again.

I name him now because I didn’t when I was a kid. When I was about ten years old, he took me aside, knowing that I was already a science nerd, and he showed me some flyers he was handing out. It included a cartoon of a gorilla, with a list of characteristics they shared with Negroes: Black. Thick curly hair. Thick lips. Yellow teeth. Emotional. Violent. Criminal. I had black friends at school, but they looked nothing like that. I was a science nerd, and I knew enough about gorillas to know that they were nothing like that. Every thing in that flyer was a damnable lie, and I knew it.

And that asshole looked at me and said, smugly, “Well, what do you think of that?” And I looked at him, my mind racing, tangled up with politeness and the respect I’m supposed to give my elders, and I mumbled something vaguely affirmative, and he let me go.

I’ve been ashamed of myself for about half a century for that. I knew he was a dishonest bigot even as a child, and I said nothing. The last time I saw him was at my father’s funeral, almost 25 years ago, and again I said nothing, not about his racism, not about his ignorant political views, not about his abuse of his children’s educations, nothing. I just avoided him. He told some nice stories about when my father was a boy. I just sat quietly to the side, seething, torn between avoiding a spectacle at the funeral and wanting to grab him by the scruff of the neck and ask him how many poisonous lies he’d told this week, before throwing him out the door.

I didn’t. I’m ashamed of that, too.

This was in Kent, Washington, a fine suburban city in a thoroughly Northern state. My parents, fortunately, never expressed such odious views to me, but I had other relatives and friends who used all kinds of slurs casually; Henry Towne was just the worst of them. And he was so nice and polite about it! He could cheerfully, and in flawless, grammatical English, tell you the most vicious nonsense about any of your neighbors who weren’t sufficiently white, in his estimation.

Now I live in another fine Northern state, one with an excellent progressive reputation, and here is one of my neighbors, living just a few blocks away.

He has both a Confederate and American flag hanging in his garage. His truck has a sticker that says “God Bless America”.

There is a cancer at the heart of our country, and there it is, proudly displayed. My cousin, and this person, knew that they could express their bigotry with confidence, and no one would call them on it.

The scumbag who murdered Heather Heyer in Charlottesville is from Ohio. Richard Spencer was born in Boston. Milo Yiannopoulos is British. Tim Gionet, better known as “BakedAlaska”, is from Alaska. Mike Cernovich is from Illinois. Alex Jones is from Texas, so at least that one hate-filled loon is a Southerner. This bigotry is not a purely Southern phenomenon, it’s everywhere in America. We’re all of us complicit in white racism.

It is time to root it out.

Goddamn fascist cowards

A car driven by our craven American Nazis was intentionally driven into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville today.

There has been lots of violence by raging Nazis this weekend — Nazis who chant anti-semitic slogans, “Blood and Soil”, and “Heil Trump”.

Let this be a lesson to every city, every where: when white supremacists announce their intention to riot in your town, shut the fuckers down. Don’t send out the police to corral the antifa protesters and shelter the fascist marchers — use them to throw these awful, disgraceful people out and defend your citizenry.

Unless, of course, you suspect the police sympathize more with the racist cowards. Which may be the case.

Never give Nazis an inch

The KKK, the alt-right, white supremacists, and unabashed Nazis have all converged on Charlottesville to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, treacherous defender of slavery, from a local park. They marched with torches through the city last night.

We can at least appreciate this moment of linguistic simplification: KKK, alt-right, white supremacist, and Nazi all refer to exactly the same thing, one united collection of deplorable bigots, and we should likewise unite to oppose them all. No more Nazis. Shun them, scorn them, punch them in the face. Tear down their monuments, trash their flags, fire them from their jobs.