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gollygee's Journal
gollygee's Journal
November 29, 2016

From Tim Wise on Facebook about rise of Trump and white nationalism, and blaming "identity politics"

For those seeking to blame leftist "identity politics" for the rise of Trump and white nationalism, please read some history. As Emory University professor Carol Anderson explains in her brilliant book White Rage, every time white hegemony has felt threatened, a backlash like this happens. During Reconstruction, the Great Migration, desegregation, the civil rights movement, and now the Obama Administration combined with widespread cultural and demographic shifts, whitelash has occurred. It isn't new, and it isn't the fault of the left or those of us who challenge whiteness. It is the predictable by-product of the struggle for equality. When you've grown accustomed to power and the ability to define yourself as the norm -- to set the very boundaries of American-ness itself -- any challenge to that prerogative feels like the end of the world.

Bottom line: white resentment and rage is the inevitable side-effect of the drug called justice. As such, we're just gonna have to muscle through it, because the medicine itself is too valuable...

November 24, 2016

NPR: Is it racist to call someone racist?


"As far as the term racist is concerned, it always had a pejorative connotation," answered Jared Taylor, a prolific white nationalist writer. "If racist were simply a neutral word ... fine. But that word cannot be retrieved or sanitized."

If you needed another illustration of how the word racist has been defined so preposterously that nothing might ever meet the criteria, here it was. One of America's most prominent white separatists — a dude who dreams of a whites-only America and has called for the full repeal of the Civil Rights Act because it bars discrimination in private enterprise; a dude who was attending an event that ended in a chorus of Nazi cheers — was arguing against being labeled a racist because it makes his ideas sound distasteful.

One of the many victories of the civil rights movement was casting racism as a moral failure of our society. But that's had the bizarre consequence of confounding the issue for many Americans, who have never been especially literate about race to begin with. That's how we've ended up in a place where anyone of any political stripe can use racist as a cudgel, no matter how outlandish the allegation. Just last week, Joel Pollak, the editor at large of Breitbart News, appeared on NPR's Morning Edition to defend Steve Bannon, the Trump adviser and former Breitbart editor, who once bragged about making that site the platform of the aforementioned alt-right.

You probably know where this is going: Pollak defended his former boss by saying NPR programming is racist.
July 20, 2016

The Subtle Linguistics of Polite White Supremacy

It looks like you'll have to actually copy the url if you want to go to the link - the @ is throwing it off.


Law enforcement’s reliance on the term ‘resisting arrest’ incarcerates many blacks who have claimed to do no such thing. As a matter of fact, it’s a simple fact that the human body bends in certain ways at certain joints. So, when an arm is twisted by surprise at specific angles by a burly officer (or several), any person’s involuntary muscular reaction is to correct the pain they’re feeling. This is called ‘resisting’. What regular person can lie perfectly still as their arm is being broken? Who can pretend to not be in pain?

Terms such as ‘black on black’ crime place a spotlight on black crimes while omitting that ‘white on white’ crime is nearly identical statistically. Major news outlets rarely pay attention to black conferences for peace or organizations that uplift our youth such as Black Girls Rock as blacks try to ‘do for self’. As a result, the narrative continues that blacks don’t care about crimes or the well-being of black neighborhoods. Nothing could be further from the truth.

When white crimes are actually acknowledged there are double-standards in the terminology. The same action committed by whites versus those committed by blacks are somehow perceived as less threatening if there is a white aggressor. According to Polite White Supremacy, screwdrivers become ‘burglary tools’ depending on the color of the person holding them. A group of black people gathering is thus deemed a ‘gang’ and a group of whites gathering is…a group of whites gathering. Words such as ‘Lawlessness’, ‘looting’, ‘criminal’ and ‘thug’ often accompany the most peaceful protests by Black Americans long before agent provocateurs can influence a crowd towards violence.

What do media outlets call white rioters who torch property after their team wins or loses? ‘Revelers’. Basically, ‘revelers’ means they’re white and just having some wild fun. The perception is that revelers are white and aren’t scary like those black ‘rioters’ who did just as much property damage, though for different reasons.

July 11, 2016

The problem with saying "All Lives Matter"


"What?” you say. “My home is being robbed! Aren’t you going to come and stop them?”

“Well, I don’t know why you need to make this about your home, ma’am,” the operator says. “All houses matter.”

There is a difference between something being true and something being relevant. In the above conversation with an imaginary 911 operator, what he was saying was very true. All houses do matter. But at the moment, it wasn’t relevant. It wasn’t even helpful. All things considered, it was downright dangerous. You had an actual crisis going on at your house—that’s why your house mattered. While the operator was lecturing you on how important all houses are, bandits were trying to figure out whether they could get all your stuff in one load or if they’d have to make two trips.

It’s the same error people who respond to “Black Lives Matter” with “All Lives Matter” are making. It’s not that what they’re saying isn’t true. It’s just that it’s unhelpful. It’s an attempt to erase an actual crisis under the guise of being fair. And by continuing to use “All Lives Matter” to drown out the cry of “Black Lives Matter,” the real problems the movement is trying to address are being ignored. “All Lives Matter” is useless. It is destructive. It is hurtful. We need to stop saying it.
July 9, 2016

How silence can breed prejudice: Child development prof explains how/why to talk to kids about race


(Re not talking to your kids about race in an attempt to be "color blind.)

These white parents are clearly well-intended in this approach, but a colorblind ideology may actually do more harm than good.

While parents may assume that their own egalitarian attitudes will rub off on their children, this is usually not the case. In one of my studies I found that children were more biased than their parents, and there was no direct association between the parents’ and children’s attitudes. Instead, the children’s attitudes matched their perceptions of the parents’ attitudes.

Almost half of the 5 to 7-year-old white children in the study said they did not know whether their parents liked black people, and about 35 percent either said that their parents would not approve of them having a black friend or they did not know if their parents would approve. This was despite the fact that their parents reported positive racial attitudes.

So in the absence of conversation, children are apt to make assumptions that may not be true, but these assumptions often reflect the biases the children are exposed to in the world around them. In other words, the silence can breed prejudice.
July 1, 2016

Legacies of slavery and Jim Crow

This is an older article, updated because of an improvement in this issue, but there are still other legacies of this shameful part of America's past built into our society.


UPDATE (6/29/16): The Supreme Court this week declined to review Home Care Association of America v. Weil, in which the home health care industry challenged the Department of Labor’s extension of minimum wage and overtime protections to home health care workers.

The decision means that some 2 million home health care workers — 90 percent of whom are women and most of whom are women of color — will be entitled to basic wage and overtime protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (although the exclusion of agricultural workers from federal labor protections has yet to be remedied).

On August 21, 2015, The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit overturned a lower court ruling that had vacated the Department of Labor’s new protections for home health care workers. By declining to hear the case, the Supreme Court upheld the appeals court decision, rejecting a residual legacy of Jim Crow-era lawmaking and putting a long-overdue end to the shameful exclusion of home health care workers from federal protections.

(Start of original article)

Ever since the New Deal era, U.S. labor laws guaranteeing minimum wages and overtime pay have excluded workers who care for elderly individuals and people with disabilities in their homes. These home health care workers — 90 percent of whom are women and most of whom are women of color — perform strenuous labor for long hours, helping those who need assistance with everything from dressing to meal preparation to eating to going to the bathroom to getting around. To this very day, these workers are denied the basic protections of minimum wages and overtime pay, even as demand for their services grows. They are among the poorest workers in our country, barely getting by on low wages, with 23 percent living below the poverty line.

July 1, 2016

The GOP's war on voting is working


took Johnson six months to get Hatten a state photo ID because, like many African Americans born in the Jim Crow South, he didn’t have a birth certificate, and the DMV rejected his initial application. He took his new ID to the polls, but the address on it didn’t match his new address, which the poll workers needed to register him at the site (Wisconsin is one of 14 states with Election Day registration). While Hatten conferred with the poll worker, another man who tried to register with his veterans’ ID was turned away.

After a lengthy conversation with election officials, Hatten went back to his apartment and retrieved a utility bill with his new address. After waiting patiently in line while Johnson looked on nervously, he was finally able to cast a ballot. “I’ve never had any problems voting until I came to Wisconsin,” Hatten said, holding up his “I Voted” sticker. “If someone didn’t know the law like I did, they would’ve walked away from the voting booth.”

In fact, many Wisconsinites who didn’t have Johnson’s help or Hatten’s perseverance were blocked from the polls. Their experiences offered a striking rejoinder to Governor Scott Walker’s contention that the state’s voter-ID law “works just fine.” Eddie Lee Holloway Jr., a 58-year-old African American who had moved from Illinois to Milwaukee, brought his expired Illinois photo ID, birth certificate, and Social Security card to get a photo ID for voting, but the DMV rejected his application because his birth certificate read “Eddie Junior Holloway,” the result of a clerical error. Holloway spent $200 on a bus ticket to Illinois to try to amend his birth certificate and made seven trips to government agencies in two different states, but he still couldn’t vote in the Wisconsin primary. To date, the state’s DMV has rejected nearly a fifth of all applicants for a voter ID, 85 percent of whom were African American, Latino, or Native American.

“This is the worst election I’ve ever seen in Wisconsin,” said Johnson, who’s lived in Milwaukee her whole life. “I go to bed thinking we’ve settled something, and I wake up and there’s something else.”
May 30, 2016

Cracked: 5 Reasons It's Difficult To Explain Racism To Casual Racists

I can only past 4 paragraphs


Here's what it feels like to be called out on unintentional racism: You're trying to make a complex argument for how to deal with Iran and someone keeps interrupting you to tell you you're pronouncing "nuclear" wrong. What a pedantic prick.

Here's what it feels like to receive unintentional racism: A guy is driving to get groceries and on the way he runs over you with his car. When you complain, he calls you a pedantic prick.


When a manager hires 10 white people in a row despite having qualified minority candidates, quite often they "weren't thinking about race at all." For every blatantly racist asshole that won't hire some race because "They have no work ethic," there's a well-meaning manager with the same subconscious biases we all have, unintentionally feeling a better "vibe" from candidates similar to them.

When Manager Natasha gets called out, this is the first time in the process that race has been directly brought up, so it seems totally true to her when she says, "You're the one bringing race into it." Race has, of course, been heavily involved the whole time, but it's been doing its dirty work out of her subconscious.

January 22, 2016

Rich people are living longer than poor people, and the gap is widening. (Article re soc. security)


Average American lifespans have grown over time. For example, an average 65-year-old man in 2015 can expect to live nearly six years longer than his counterpart 50 years earlier; for an average woman, the gain is over three years. But these average figures mask significant differences among Americans at different rungs of the socioeconomic ladder.

Richer people live longer — and the gap is growing. The higher a person’s socioeconomic status — whether measured in earnings, income, or education — the longer his or her life expectancy. As the chart shows, for example, higher-earning men can expect to outlive lower-earning men by more than five years. Moreover, the gap between the lifespans of rich and poor has grown significantly, an abundance of research shows, and this trend is accelerating.

Meanwhile, poorer women’s lifespans have actually shrunk, some studies show. Some groups of Americans are living shorter lives than their parents. This disturbing phenomenon is concentrated among women: the poorest 40 percent of women have lower life expectancies than the previous generation, one study found. Higher death rates among white women seem to drive this trend.

The growing longevity gap makes Social Security less progressive. Social Security is designed to replace a larger share of pre-retirement earnings for lower earners than higher earners. But lower earners receive retirement benefits for fewer years before dying. As the longevity gap between lower and higher earners grows, the share of retirement benefits going to needy households shrinks.
November 9, 2015

The term "playing the race card" is racist.


Today in American politics, the phrase “playing the race card” is still being used by pundits, politicians, and media outlets to either dismiss or downplay a very serious issue. Using the term is a form of denial, a way of talking about racism, while still pretending that it doesn’t really exist.

When understood in its historical context, the phrase is deeply rooted in racism. Just as John Tenniel’s 1862 illustration portrayed the issue of slavery as just another ‘card’ in a game, the phrase that is most often connected to that image is used to trivialize issues like police brutality and disparity in the criminal justice system – issues that are anything but trivial.

There is no ‘race card’. Racism is not a game. The phrase ‘playing the race card’ can and should be removed from our national language. Without it, racist politicians and frightened Tea Party ‘patriots’ would be forced to face and address the issues, instead of consistently hiding behind meaningless catch phrases, meant to detract from them.


It is one thing to debate the presence of racial motive in a circumstance, but it is quite another to suggest that people who suspect a racial component are exploiting some mythological, vaunted position and prerogative of aggrieved groups or exerting the exclusionary authority of the dominant group.

And furthermore, what other forms of discrimination are so routinely diminished and delegitimized in this way — cast as a game, a tactic or a stratagem?

The truth is that the people who accuse others — without a shred of evidence — of “playing the race card,” claiming that the accusations of racism are so exaggerated as to dull the meaning of the term, are themselves playing a card. It is a privileged attempt at dismissal.

They seek to do the very thing they condemn: shut down the debate with a scalding-hot charge.

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