The state of Alabama on Thursday passed the strictest illegal immigration legislation imaginable. In November, Republicans took formal control of both the state House and Senate for the first time since Reconstruction. However, this by itself was not necessarily the determining factor to ensure passage. Until this session, a majority of very conservative Democrats by in large peopled both chambers. But, back then, there were enough voices present who held other ideological views to push back against reactionary bills like this one. Even with the prior legislative balance of power, sentiments like these often found political favor. In an economically poor state desperate to find a scapegoat to explain recent financial woes, it was only a matter of time before migrant Latino workers were targeted. When all else fails, find someone different than you to blame.
Jun 10 2011
Feb 07 2011
Last year’s slue of Super Bowl commercials put a new spin on tired traditions. Hyper-masculinity was predictably glorified and exaggerated, women were shown to be little more than sexual objects, and blatant homophobia was present in a variety of ads. Each catered to an overarching idea that traditional masculinity was under attack from women, homosexuality, and femininity. The derisive phrase “the year of anxious masculinity” rightfully summarized the general feel and content of much of what aired. That particular slate of advertisements was nothing terribly novel in and of itself, but it did hearken back even farther than recent memory. The antecedent for each was, in part, one pervasive story.
Jan 05 2011
An English professor at Auburn University Montgomery (Alabama) has recently sparked a firestorm of criticism for his decision to edit two Mark Twain classics. Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, both read by generations of schoolchildren, contain frequent usage of racially insensitive language. However, they are also products of their time. The books were written by an author who used dialogue authentic to the period, as objectionable as it is to us in this day. The controversy among Twain scholars and the general public has been substantial. But until recently, the professor held a completely different attitude altogether.
Aug 17 2010
Those currently in opposition to the construction of a mosque near Ground Zero don’t seem to want to understand the whole picture. They will not even entertain anything other than views stepped in prejudice and fear, seeing an enemy in the face of every person of Middle Eastern descent. While in stuck in this merry-go-round that passes for substantive discourse, they are trusted supporters of a system that sees the sum of its parts as more important than the whole. Today’s believers in preemptive prejudice take stock in reductionism, a theory that justifies bigotry nicely. Indeed, their system of belief relies more on personal bias and illogical rationales rather than outward truth. The spread and growth of this, its own near-religion upsets me more than that of the genuine terrorists themselves.
Aug 05 2010
Maybe it is because I’m a really great fan of Maxine Waters. I really don’t know, but I was seriously disconcerted by Greta Van Susteren’s inability to distinguish between Shirley Sherrod and Maxine Waters. Is it just me? Am I the only one who thinks they look really different, really individual?
I can’t help but feel that the repeated, endless attacks on blacks (Afro Americans) and Obama’s predilection to abandon them at the first sign of attack is a truly condemming comment on his Presidency. Maybe they’ll go after Valerie Jarret next. That would put him in quite the excrutiating predicament.
Apr 28 2010
Crossposted at Daily Kos
THE WEEK IN EDITORIAL CARTOONS
This weekly diary takes a look at the past week’s important news stories from the perspective of our leading editorial cartoonists (including a few foreign ones) with analysis and commentary added in by me.
When evaluating a cartoon, ask yourself these questions:
1. Does a cartoon add to my existing knowledge base and help crystallize my thinking about the issue depicted?
2. Does the cartoonist have any obvious biases that distort reality?
3. Is the cartoonist reflecting prevailing public opinion or trying to shape it?
The answers will help determine the effectiveness of the cartoonist’s message.
Mar 29 2010
At the outset of the Tea Party demonstrations, comparisons were made to The Civil War by myself and other people. In retrospect, this was far too generous a comparison to make. I hardly wish to grant such people so high a compliment, even one rendered ignobly. In much more eloquent terms than I, people have recently dissected the motives and behavior of the mob, and fortunately its crackpot ideology is not as widespread as was the secessionist sentiment in the South in 1860. Those times were the apex of more than two decade’s worth of upheaval and violence, the likes of which we have yet to see since, and which I hope to never see again. It takes more than just one unpopular bill to give people cause to most citizens to arm themselves en masse in open rebellion. Many may not support health care reform, but they feel no compulsion to vandalize offices, spit on legislators, and hurl epithets. These are merely the actions of a few reactionary imbeciles.
The behavior of the Republican Party towards the Teabaggers, by contrast, is what I find most reprehensible. Never was a mutually parasitic relationship more shockingly transparent. The GOP sees the Tea Party as its meal ticket back to power and will never condemn its tactics outright since doing so risks losing its endorsement. However, it is a slippery slope that Republicans are scaling here, and making a Faustian bargain has proven to be the eventual undoing of many. Fear of change and fear of the unknown is the energy source of this movement, but it goes much deeper than this, too.
Jan 13 2008
I’m going to use one example for this argument. Kids competing to get into college. But first, let me say a few general things.
It seems to me that (and my POV only):
1. Many of us talk about discrimination/prejudice in a way the precludes honest personal feelings filtering into the conversation. We prefer a more clinical and abstract approach, imo.
2. Many of us judge others to be wrong if they do discriminate or are prejudice and refuse to give them credibility for their feelings/behaviors. Some of us think this is about right/wrong but ethics evolve… people don’t own forced thinking/behavior. They need to evolve into it. In the larger sense, humans engage in objectifying others for what I can only imagine as their perception of survival.
3. Many of us think discrimination/prejudice is only one-way and
4. It’s okay for some of us to call human beings rethugs and wingnuts with as much venom as one can spew the word nigger
5. I’m gonna get hammered for this, but I’m tired of talking about this with gloves on. It’s gloves off