Showing posts with label hate speech. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hate speech. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 17, 2019


When W. E. B. Du Bois Made a Laughingstock of a White Supremacist Du Bois, the twentieth century’s leading black intellectual, once lived at 3059 Villa Avenue, in the Bronx. ....... not far from the Bedford Park subway station....... The first time I went to Du Bois’s old address, I wondered if I might find a plaque, but the house is gone, and 3059 Villa is now part of a fenced-in parking lot. ........ About a forty-minute walk away is the Bronx Zoo. In 1912, it was called the New York Zoological Park, and it was run by a patrician named Madison Grant from an old New York family. Though he and Du Bois lived and worked within a few miles of each other for decades, I don’t know if the two ever met. As much as anyone on the planet, Grant was Du Bois’s natural enemy. Grant favored a certain type of white man over all other kinds of humans, on a graded scale of disapproval, and he reserved his vilest ill wishes and contempt for blacks..........

in 1906 the zoo put an African man named Ota Benga on display in the primate cages.

........ Eventually, Ota Benga was moved to the Howard Colored Orphan Asylum, in Brooklyn, and he ended up in Virginia, where he shot himself....... He also was a director of the American Eugenics Society, thought “worthless” individuals should be sterilized, and considered his lobbying for the Johnson-Reed Immigration Act of 1924, which shut down most immigration to the U.S., to be one of the great achievements of his life......... And what was the special attribute the Nordics possessed that made them so unique and sacred? Grant didn’t talk about it much, but it slipped out once in a while. The secret dwelt in a mysterious substance known as “germ-plasm.” Everybody had it, but the Nordics’ germ-plasm was the best. Grant and his co-believers could apparently use phrases such as “our superior germ-plasm” with a straight face..........

At the same time that Scribner published Hemingway and Fitzgerald, it was the leading purveyor of white-supremacist books in America.

........ The Du Bois-Stoddard debate turned out to be a singular event, as important in its way as Lincoln-Douglas or Kennedy-Nixon. ........ Stoddard had written that “mulattoes” like Du Bois, who could not accept their inferior status, were the chief cause of racial unrest in the United States, and he looked forward to their dying out.......... Stoddard grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts, attended Harvard like Stoddards before him, and got a Ph.D. in history. In the course of thirty-six years, he wrote at least eighteen books and countless magazine and newspaper articles......... he discovered what would become his most successful writing strategies: scaring the reader with the spectre of race war, and scaring the Nordic reader with the prospect of losing a race war........ For Stoddard, the pivotal event of recent history was the Russo-Japanese War. By his reckoning, the defeat of a “white” country (Russia) by a “colored” country (Japan) in 1905 had opened the door to disaster. ........ he predicted an imminent worldwide uprising against the “Nordic race.” “The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy” appeared in early 1920.......... the Times wrote an approving editorial: Lothrop Stoddard evokes a new peril, that of an eventual submersion beneath vast waves of yellow men, brown men, black men and red men, whom the Nordics have hitherto dominated . . . with Bolshevism menacing us on the one hand and race extinction through warfare on the other, many people are not unlikely to give [Stoddard’s book] respectful consideration........... in 1921, President Warren G. Harding declared that blacks must have full economic and political rights, but that segregation was also essential to prevent “racial amalgamation,” and social equality was thus a dream that blacks must give up. Harding added: Whoever will take the time to read and ponder Mr. Lothrop Stoddard’s book on “The Rising Tide of Color” . . . must realize that our race problem here in the United States is only a phase of a race issue that the whole world confronts........ A black columnist wrote that the news of the white race’s impending demise would probably come as a surprise to Negroes in the South......... Stoddard, in the fog of his apocalyptic musings, made some predictions. He said that Japan was going to expand its influence in the Pacific and get into conflict with the United States, that the brown people of India would throw the British out, and that the Islamic world would grow militant and begin hostilities against the West. ......... At the time of the debate, Du Bois had just turned sixty-one. He had already written “The Souls of Black Folk,” helped to found the N.A.A.C.P., organized and led Pan-African conferences, and gained tens of thousands of readers for The Crisis, the N.A.A.C.P.’s magazine, which he edited and frequently contributed to. Like Stoddard, he had a Ph.D. in history from Harvard. .......... .....On the first page of “The Souls of Black Folk,” published in 1903, Du Bois wrote, “The problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color line.” On page 1 of “The French Revolution in San Domingo,” Stoddard wrote, in 1914, “The ‘conflict of color’ . . . bids fair to be the fundamental problem of the twentieth century.” ................... in 1926, he gave a lecture before two thousand at Tuskegee University, in Alabama, informing them that the Nordic race was superior to nonwhites and that, for the good of all races, the world must continue to be governed by white supremacy. ........... .....the students “sat awestricken during the address, which terminated without any applause.”......... “The attacks that white people themselves have made upon their own moral structure are worse for civilization than anything that any body of Negroes could ever do.”.......... Stoddard outlines a solution, which he calls “bi-racialism”—a “separate but equal” setup, which he says will be based not on any inherent inferiority but merely on racial “difference.” ........ When the laughter had subsided, Mr. Stoddard, in a manner of mixed humility and courage, claimed that he could not see the joke. This brought more gales of laughter..................

Du Bois knew that the racists would be unintentionally funny onstage

........... Du Bois let the overconfident and bombastic Stoddard walk into a comic moment, which Stoddard then made even funnier by not getting the joke............ His upbeat dispatches remarked on Goebbels’s “quick smile” and the greater warmth and friendliness of Mussolini as compared to Hitler. The stories read like comedy sketches today.........

I sometimes imagine Grant or Stoddard coming back to life in New York City, looking at the many people on the street who don’t resemble them, and asking, “What war did we lose?”

............ In the late fifties, Du Bois, soon to become an avowed Communist, spent time in the Soviet Union, went to China, and met with Mao. In the sixties, he moved to Ghana, renounced his citizenship, and became a Ghanaian citizen. He died there on August 27, 1963, the day before the March on Washington............ Du Bois recognized that the keystone in the arch of oppression was the myth of inferiority and he dedicated his brilliant talents to demolish it.

The Fight to Redefine Racism a persistent but delusional idea that something is wrong with black people. The only thing wrong, he maintained, was racism, and the country’s failure to confront and defeat it.......... Amid a series of police shootings of African-Americans during President Obama’s second term, “Black lives matter” became a rallying cry and then a movement, and helped push racism to the front of the progressive conversation. ......... particularly transformative among white liberals, who are now, by some measures, more concerned about racism than African-Americans are. One survey found that white people who voted for Hillary Clinton felt warmer toward black people than toward their fellow-whites......... racism can be objectively identified, and therefore fought, and one day vanquished. He argues that we should stop thinking of “racist” as a pejorative, and start thinking of it as a simple description, so that we can join him in the difficult work of becoming antiracists. .......... “One either endorses the idea of a racial hierarchy as a racist or racial equality as an antiracist,” Kendi writes, adding that it isn’t possible to be simply “not racist.” He thinks that all of us must choose a side; in fact, he thinks that we are already choosing, all the time.......... “I cannot disconnect my parents’ religious strivings to be Christian from my secular strivings to be an antiracist” ....... he now regards the speech as shamefully racist, because it blamed black people for their own failures. ......... divided the racists into two kinds, segregationists and assimilationists......... In 1834, the American Anti-Slavery Society issued a pamphlet of admonishment: We have noticed with sorrow, that some of the colored people are purchasers of lottery tickets, and confess ourselves shocked to learn that some persons, who are situated to do much good, and whose example might be most salutary, engage in games of chance for money and for strong drink.............. a “low-testing” black student and a “high-testing” white student may simply be demonstrating “different kinds of achievement rather than different levels of achievement.” This celebration of difference comes to an end when it is time to judge the educational systems themselves. .........

the idea is to judge unfair policies, while refusing to judge, as a group, the people who are subjected to them

....... many forms of racism: there is class racism, which conflates blackness with poverty, as well as gender racism, queer racism, and something called “space racism,” which is less exciting than it sounds—it has to do with the way people associate black neighborhoods, or spaces, with violence. .......

“When we try to talk openly and honestly about race,” she writes, “we are so often met with silence, defensiveness, argumentation, certitude, and other forms of pushback.” To explain this phenomenon, she coined the phrase “white fragility.”

........ Unlike Kendi, who boldly defines racism, DiAngelo is endlessly deferential—for her, racism is basically whatever any person of color thinks it is. ........ Kendi is less concerned about manners, and he strives to stay grounded in the brute facts of racial oppression.......... “Where we are from Jamaica Queens the average youth doesn’t have hope or inspiration to live.” ........requires a great part of the country to undergo a revolution in thought that took Kendi decades of study to achieve ....... the cure, he thinks, will start with policies, not ideas. He suggests that, just as ideologies of racial difference emerged after the slave trade in order to justify it, antiracist ideologies will emerge once we are bold enough to enact an antiracist agenda: criminal-justice reform, more money for black schools and black teachers, a program to fight residential segregation. ........ Kendi wants us to see not only that there is nothing wrong with black people but that there is likewise nothing wrong with white people. “There is nothing right or wrong with any racial groups,” he writes.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Unlikely Path to the Supreme Court At Harvard Law School, which first admitted women in 1950, she was one of only nine women in a class of some five hundred. In one of the first scenes in “On the Basis of Sex,” Erwin Griswold, the dean of the law school, asks each of those nine women, during a dinner party at his house, why she is occupying a place that could have gone to a man. In the film, Ginsburg, played by Felicity Jones, gives the dean an answer to which he can have no objection: “My husband, Marty, is in the second-year class. I’m at Harvard to learn about his work. So that I might be a more patient and understanding wife.” This, which is more or less what Ginsburg actually said, was a necessary lie. It was possible for a woman to attend law school—barely—but it was not possible for her to admit her ambition....... She graduated first in her class. ....... Looking for work, Ginsburg confronted the limits of the profession’s willingness to take female lawyers seriously. ....... Felix Frankfurter, the first Supreme Court Justice to hire an African-American clerk, in 1948, refused to hire a woman, even after he was reassured that Ginsburg never wore pants........ Ginsburg pursued a series of cases designed to convince the Supreme Court, first, that there is such a thing as sex discrimination and, second, that it violates the Constitution.......... Erwin Griswold, notwithstanding his resentment of women law students, eventually dubbed Ginsburg “the Thurgood Marshall of gender equality law.” ...... Marshall never had to battle African-Americans opposed to the very notion of equality under the law; Ginsburg, by contrast, faced a phalanx of conservative women, led by Phyllis Schlafly, who objected to equal rights altogether.......... the following year, the Court ruled on Roe v. Wade instead, and struck down anti-abortion legislation not on the ground of equal protection but on the ground of a much weaker constitutional doctrine, the right to privacy.........If Struck was Ginsburg’s next, carefully placed stepping stone across a wide river, Roe was a rickety wooden plank thrown down across the water and—Ginsburg thought—likely to rot. In a lecture she delivered in 1984, she noted the political significance of the fact that the Court had treated sex discrimination as a matter of equal protection but reproductive autonomy as a matter of privacy. ......... “I ask no favor for my sex,” Ginsburg told the nine men on the bench, quoting the nineteenth-century women’s-rights advocate Sarah Grimké. “All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks.” ....... In 1971, Chief Justice Warren Burger, on hearing that Richard Nixon was considering nominating a woman to the Court, drafted a letter of resignation......... Of the fifty-seven people she hired as law clerks, interns, or secretaries during her time on the D.C. bench, not one was African-American. Ginsburg was asked about this when she appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and she promised, “If you confirm me for this job, my attractiveness to black candidates is going to improve.” ....... But in her quarter century on the Supreme Court she has hired only one African-American clerk (a record that, distressingly, does not distinguish her from most of the bench). ....... Ginsburg, for all that she had done to advance women’s rights during the nineteen-seventies, was apparently not on the lists sent to the White House by women’s groups...... one gathers that the Madison Lecture was more often invoked than read ....... At one point, Clinton asked Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan to suggest a woman. “Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” Moynihan answered. “The women are against her” was the President’s reply. Moynihan called Martin Ginsburg and said, “You best take care of it.” ....... Ginsburg, a prominent and well-connected tax lawyer, was already running a behind-the-scenes campaign, without his wife’s knowledge. In February, 1993, he’d organized a breakfast meeting with the president of a leading women’s group in D.C. to seek her support for his plan to get his wife nominated as Solicitor General. He did not succeed. He had the same experience at a meeting in New York. In April and May, he courted the press and solicited at least thirty-four letters of support, largely from the legal academy, where Ginsburg, an excellent scholar, was widely admired. Fourteen members of the faculty of N.Y.U. Law School—people who had been in the room when Ginsburg delivered the Madison Lecture—wrote a joint letter to say that they were “distressed that her remarks at N.Y.U. have been misconstrued as anti-choice and anti-women.” ....... All spring, the Ginsburg family kept up the campaign, which involved bringing the lack of support among women’s groups out into the open, so that it could be countered. ....... The Brookings Institution fellow Stephen Hess, a cousin of Ginsburg’s, warned reporters, including the New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis, that feminists were opposed to Ginsburg, and mailed them copies of the Madison Lecture. ....... Summoned to the White House on Sunday, June 13th, Ginsburg met with the President for ninety minutes. He made his decision later that day, and, after watching a Chicago Bulls game that went into three overtimes, called her nearly at midnight. The Wall Street Journal posited a rule: “When Bill Clinton is doing the picking, it’s better to be last than first.” ......... Her daughter had written in her high-school yearbook in 1973, under “Ambition”: “To see her mother appointed to the Supreme Court. If necessary, Jane will appoint her.” Ginsburg told the crowd, “Jane is so pleased, Mr. President, that you did it instead.”...... The Senate voted to confirm her ninety-six to three, with one abstention. But the idea that her appointment was uncontroversial is almost entirely a myth.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Trump 2016: Hurting People's Feelings

Feelings (David Byrne album)
Feelings (David Byrne album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So far I have not seen any kind of political program from Trump, even programs I might dislike, possibly even abhor. He is not planning to cut taxes. He is not planning to invade a country. So far all the talk has been about enticing certain feelings. Vague feelings like xenophobia. He just wants the power. He is not seeking to govern. That is the impression I get. More like, he is offended he, or someone like he, is not in power. And this guy was not even a Republican, until last year. If Britain holds a debate in parliament about banning a white guy from entering the country, you know this is a new century. We are looking at a new reality here. The kind of psychological warfare he is engaging in is the kind that trolls engage in online. And they win because they have the numbers. When the Internet came about, Julia Robert discovered people hated her. Muslims are the new Julia Roberts, if Trump will have his way. If Trump is a troll, he is just one person. If more people find out he exists, I expect him to get mauled on places like Twitter. It will be one troll versus millions of trolls. It will be an unfair race.