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gollygee

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Member since: Sun Jul 4, 2004, 01:07 PM
Number of posts: 22,335

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You can't untangle race from class in America

http://www.thestranger.com/books/2016/11/29/24716347/you-cant-untangle-race-from-class-in-america

Ibram X. Kendi's Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which won this year's National Book Award for nonfiction, is an altogether remarkable thesis on history, but, in ways that are both moving and immediately painful, it also reverberates with the post-election autopsy we're all conducting right now. Kendi is reading Thursday, December 1, at University Book Store.

Donald Trump just hired a neo-Nazi, Jim Crow Paleo-conservative as his right-hand man, and he's stuffing his staff with a slew of violent nativists. Meanwhile, countless numbers of white liberals are venting their spleen with theories that the left will gain traction when all the outsiders pipe down about "identity politics" (I'm looking at you, Mark Lilla) and plead their humanity, pre-civil-rights style, to the masses who elected a monster (I'm looking at you, Jonathan Pie).

Now when I come across a breathless sentence from a populist liberal arguing that the fearful masses voted for the most frightening tyrant this nation has ever seen because a handful of students and activists on social media hurt their feelings, this quote from Stamped from the Beginning comes to my head:

"Uplift suasion [Kendi's term for respectability politics] is not only racist but impossible for Blacks to execute. Free Blacks were unable to always display positive characteristics for the same reasons poor immigrants and rich planters were unable to do so: Free blacks were human and humanly flawed. Uplift suasion assumed, moreover, that racist ideas were sensible and could be undone by appealing to sensibilities. But the common desire to justify racial inequities produced racist ideas, not logic."

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...

NPR: Is it racist to call someone racist?

http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2016/11/23/503180254/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.
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