Trump Likes Kim Jong-un: The Singapore Summit and Hanoi Summit in Context

Trump likes dictator Kim Jong-un. It's clear after the Singapore summit last year and the Hanoi summit last week. Kim what Trump wants: dictatorship; the world's biggest military; total control over every person's life; the ability to reward loyalists and send enemies to political prison camps forever. And a cult of personality to die for!

Michael Cohen’s Testimony Before the House Oversight Committee: 5 Thoughts

I listened to and watched Michael Cohen's testimony today before the House Oversight Committee, alternately on the radio and on my computer. Most of the information we heard only confirmed what we already knew or strongly suspected, so my thoughts are about other matters.

Does the Austin Police Department Use Quotas? If So, That’s Worrying

While working in a coffee shop recently, I overheard two men from the Austin Police Department in a job evaluation talk. Inappropriate to conduct those in public, but worse was that they were discussing productivity numbers. It seems the Austin police uses quotas. If so, that's bad news.

Religious Tests, Education, and Freedom of Religion in State Constitutions

Religion in state constitutions often puts them at odds with the U.S. Constitution: the freedom of religion and the separation of church and state as established in the First Amendment. Many have religious tests and no clear statements prohibiting the promotion of religion in public schools.

Separation of Church and State? Religion in State Constitution Preambles

First there was the U.S. Constitution. The states followed suit, or so you'd think. However, the state constitution preambles show that some of the founders' lofty ideals, like separation of church and state, were not exactly followed.

The Difference Between Slaves and Indentured Servants in Virginia Colony

In defense of his blackface, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam mentioned "indentured servants". The interviewer replied:"Aka slaves." Both were wrong. Slaves were not indentured servants and the terms are not synonyms. Some of the earliest black people in the Virginia Colony were indentured servants, yes, but 40 years later most blacks were enslaved.

The American Revolution Along the Gulf: What Was Independence and For Whom?

The American Revolution: The 13 British colonies rebelled because they resented the taxation without representation. They won the Revolutionary War -- America's new government was the envy of the world. The westward move of the pioneers and the loss of the Native Americans' way of life was inevitable. Right? Independence Lost by Kathleen DuVal sets the record straight.

VA Governor Ralph Northam in Blackface: Racist Entertainment in Context

A photo has surfaced of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam in blackface. Dressing up as a caricature of a black man is terrible; when put into historical context -- among the many other forms of racist entertainment and racist pseudoscience -- blackface represents a truly horrendous past.

Infanticide?! An Open Letter to Pro-Lifers About a Late Term Abortion Bill

Pro-lifers: you hear the phrase late term abortion and your reaction is ignorant and atrocious, as usual. No, late term abortion, or third trimester abortion, is not pure evil, murder, infanticide. It's horrific, but for reasons you clearly have no clue about. Let me enlighten you with my own (first trimester) abortion experience.

Is Trump Like Hitler? Only Holocaust Deniers Think So, Says Alan Dershowitz

(01-02-2019)  Is Trump like Hitler or is the very question a form of Holocaust denial? Alan Dershowitz muddies the fascism waters even more than they already were.

Nazi Salute at Baraboo High: Freedom of Speech or History Education?

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Nazi Salute at Baraboo High

11-30-2018 Almost all the boys of the 2019 class of Baraboo High in Wisconsin posed for a picture doing the Nazi salute. Do the students have freedom of speech? Did they know what they were doing? If not, why not?

This Is Not Who We Are: The Baraboo High Nazi Salute and American Fascism

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Nazi Salute at Baraboo High

11-29-2018 Almost the entire male half of the 2019 class of Baraboo High in Wisconsin posed doing the Nazi salute. The first reaction of many was shock and "This is not who we are." But clearly it is. What to do about it? Do the students have freedom of speech? Did they know what they were doing? What is the role of history education?

Shaun King: Real Justice PAC Supports Honest DAs, Fights Police Brutality

Police shootings and other deadly police brutality occur too often, and often the District Attorney lets it slide. These are the DAs many police groups back in elections. The Real Justice PAC supports their opponents. Shaun King shows what we're up against.

The Murder of Jamal Khashoggi: The UN, Human Rights and International Law

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series The Murder of Jamal Khashoggi: Why We Should Care

Killing Jamal Khashoggi is no big deal for Saudi Arabia. But it isn't completely free to do whatever it wants. It's easier to get away with violating human rights within one's own country than with breaking UN international law.

Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi Killed by Saudis in Saudi Consulate. So?

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series The Murder of Jamal Khashoggi: Why We Should Care

A question on the Big No-No Facebook page: A Saudi Citizen was killed by Saudi Arabians on Saudi territory. Saudi Arabia stills cuts off hands of thieves. Why is this a big deal in America? It's a good one. 

Open Letter to Caitlyn Jenner, About Solidarity With Other Minority Groups

So, Caitlyn Jenner, you were a fervent Trump supporter because he said he would stand up for transgender rights. Now Trump wants to do away with them, and you realize you were wrong.

Trump is a Nationalist But the News Is How He Normalizes White Nationalists

Trump is a nationalist. Says the word "became sort of old-fashioned". He suggests it's one of those 'good old days' elements -- not morally repulsive at all -- like when America was great. He just normalized nationalism with fascist language. This is extremely dangerous!

New Page: Books on Fascism, Authoritarianism, Violence and Bigotry

I have a new page, with books on fascism, authoritarianism, violence and bigotry, and more, with links to book reviews and author interviews and information about the authors.

A Screeching Mob Holding Illegal Demonstrations? Or Kavanaugh Protesters?

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh

Senators on both sides said at the SCOTUS nomination hearing that demonstrations come with democracy. But Trump & co. portray Kavanaugh protesters as an existential threat.

Truth, Impartiality, Independence Now Dispensable for Supreme Court and FBI

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh

Values like truth, impartiality and independence are no longer required for Supreme Court justices or for the credibility of the FBI. There's proof that Brett Kavanaugh lied under oath many times; and the president prevented an independent FBI investigation into the sexual assault accusations against him.

Fahrenheit 11/9: A Message for the Democratic Establishment From Michael Moore

(October 2, 2018)  Michael Moore's new documentary Fahrenheit 11/9 begins with footage of a street rally/party for Hillary Clinton on the eve of the 2016 presidential election, interspersed with Democratic establishment politicians and pundits claiming confidently that Donald Trump is never going to be president. Moore argues that the Democratic Party establishment miscalculated and compromised too much. They paved the way for Trump.

An FBI Investigation of Sexual Assault Accusations Against Brett Kavanaugh?

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh

When the judge is the accused, suddenly an FBI investigation is useless for finding facts related to accusations of sexual assault 

Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh on the Separation of Powers

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh

(September 25, 2018) Chevron Deference, the scope of presidential power, and the Supreme Court. The Constitution requires three branches of government. This separation of powers would prevent tyranny. In reality, however, they also have to work together. And there's the rub. No matter who becomes the next Supreme Court Justice, these issues play a central role.

The Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court Confirmation Hearing

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh

Some takeaways from the Supreme Court confirmation hearing of Judge Brett Kavanaugh by the Senate Judiciary Committee

Dear Trump Voters, If This Isn’t You, Prove It!

Trump voters, if American democracy fails, you will be responsible. Some day you will be held accountable. If you don't want to associate yourself with what's happened and what will happen if Trump's allowed to continue, prove it in the midterms.

Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders’ Social Democracy vs. a Gifted Car

Is Bernie Sanders a Democratic Socialist or a Social Democrat? What is social democracy? How democratic socialists, a CEO gifting a car and universal healthcare are connected.

Black Incarceration: War on Crime, RDL, Racial Profiling, Stop and Frisk

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series How Whites Hold Blacks Back

Mass black incarceration is in large part due to racial profiling--starting with President Johnson's War on Crime, then the RDL and stop and frisk policies in NYC. 

The Racial Wealth Gap: Two Reports on Income and Asset Disparity

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series How Whites Hold Blacks Back

Two recent reports on racial income disparity and asset disparity address various reasons for the racial wealth gap. They look at black education, black housing disparity, black banking and black savings.

Slave-based Economy: Slavery Was the Source of White Real Estate and Power

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series How Whites Hold Blacks Back

To discuss race and real estate, we must go back to the beginning of white land use in America, when the South was a slave-based economy.

Segregation Policies, Redlining and the Present Racial Housing Disparity

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series How Whites Hold Blacks Back

Segregation policies, racial covenants and racially biased redlining led to the current racially divided housing situation, the racial housing disparity and the racial asset disparity.

Racial disparity: Institutional Racism from Black Codes to the Present

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series How Whites Hold Blacks Back

Institutional racism didn't end in 1865. The present racial disparity is the result of segregation policies starting with black codes, then Jim Crow; some that lasted well into the 1970s, others that have been created since and are in place today

Fake News, Real News, Custom News: Facebook Information Bubble v. Flipboard

From Facebook to Flipboard. Nowadays, everyone has a custom news feed. We live in an information bubble, many in a fake news bubble. A fake news coccoon is dangerous.

Revisionist History and Slavery as Entertainment at The Black America Show

Nate Salsbury's Slavery Spectacular! Showed off the “Fun-Loving Darky of Old Slavery Days.” Really. So began revisionist history and nostalgia for the antebellum South.

ICE and the Justice Department: Covert Government Centralization?

American fascism is likely to come via gradual government centralization. ICE wants to join the intelligence community, so it can get more info to use against immigrants.

Angola: From Slave Trader Isaac Franklin to Prison Plantation

The 13th Amendment Loophole Kept Slavery Alive. The 1800s interstate slave trade between the slave-breeding states and the Deep South was lucrative. Isaac Franklin became one of the South's richest landowners. One plantation in Louisiana was Angola.

Hitler and Trump: Propaganda for the Poorly Educated in Mein Kampf

"I could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and I wouldn't lose any voters," Trump said. He focuses on the poorly educated, who he sees as useful idiots. Hitler's thoughts exactly.

Talking Fascism With Militia and Homeless at Fake Anti-Trump Demonstration

The anti-Trump demonstration was a dud, But I did (try to) chat with a militia guy about fascism, the Constitution, the 2nd Amendment and Antifa, and with two homeless guys about racial disparity and how Nigerians should just shut up.

Conclusion: American Fascism Won’t Be Gone After Trump

This entry is part 11 of 11 in the series Fascism in America

Pulling American fascism out by the roots: My honey-do list for America after Trump has left the White House

Propaganda, Censorship and Other Suppression of Dissent

This entry is part 10 of 11 in the series Fascism in America

Book bans are censorship, gag rules are a form of suppression of dissent, and Fox News is a propaganda outlet for Trump. American freedom of speech isn't that great.

Toxic Masculinity: Male Aggression, Anti-intellectualism, Dictators, War

This entry is part 9 of 11 in the series Fascism in America

Trump is toxic masculinity personified: he admires male aggression and dictators, he takes anti-intellectualism to the next level, and his fascination with war is frightening.

Government Violence, Militias and Intimidation in American History

This entry is part 8 of 11 in the series Fascism in America

Trump's calls for aggression seen in America's long history of government violence, government-sanctioned violence and intimidation by militias, KKK and other hate groups

American Totalitarianism: Authoritarianism and Christian Dominionism

This entry is part 7 of 11 in the series Fascism in America

Both authoritarianism and Christian dominionism are powerful forces in America. Theocracies are among the severest examples of totalitarianism. Will democracy prevent a Christian States of America?

Authoritarianism: Respect for Authority — the President, Teachers, Police

This entry is part 6 of 11 in the series Fascism in America

The president's almost a god, you hand your kids' lives over to the schools, and you live in a police state. As a country, America has a serious case of authoritarianism. 

Dutch Police Training: From Authoritarianism to Deescalation Strategies

This entry is part 5 of 11 in the series Fascism in America

In World War Two, the Netherlands felt what authoritarianism does. Respect for authority declined after the war. Dutch police training adapted, and focused on social skills like deescalation techniques.

The Flag, the Pledge, The Anthem: Patriotism or Nationalism?

This entry is part 4 of 11 in the series Fascism in America

Patriotism or nationalism? Indoctrination with national symbols and rituals like the flag, the Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance have primed America for a fascist take-over.

Fascism and Its Language: America is the Greatest Country on Earth!

This entry is part 3 of 11 in the series Fascism in America

Language is a powerful tool for fascists. Propaganda and demagoguery use mythologizing language: "America is the greatest country on Earth!" and dehumanizing language: "They're all animals!"

American Exceptionalism Is a Dangerously Naive Form of Nationalism

This entry is part 2 of 11 in the series Fascism in America

American exceptionalism is not a magic shield. In fact, the notion that a nation is a form of extreme nationalism. You aren't special or immune to fascism. Trump is proof.

What is Fascism and What Does American Fascism Look Like?

This entry is part 1 of 11 in the series Fascism in America

The coming posts will address some fascist phenomena--and how they do or don't manifest in American fascism--as well as related terms like nationalism, authoritarianism, etc.

Patriotism: NFL Players Kneeling for National Anthem Have American Values

What Is Patriotism? Do the NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem have American Values? Or are they disrespecting the troops? Are they patriots or traitors?

Charlottesville: From Patriotism to Nationalism to Malignant Nationalism

Too many Americans can't distinguish between patriotism and nationalism, let alone malignant nationalism. Recognizing the difference is extremely important to any democracy that doesn't want to devolve into fascism

The Blurry Lines Between White Responsibility, White Privilege and Racism

Some thoughts about my own white responsibility, my white privilege and my unconscious racism, and a few shocking peeks at living while black in Trump Country

Recognizing Fascism: Introducing History Education in Post-Trump America

Trump, Charlottesville -- you never saw them coming. Recognizing fascism requires real history education. In post-Trump America others may have to set that up. 

Collective Stockholm Syndrome, Battered Wife Syndrome and Trump’s Base

Hostages, Battered Women, White Southerners, Working-Class Trump Supporters--could collective Stockholm Syndrome and Battered Wife Syndrome explain their cognitive dissonance?

To Livid Boy Scouts Parents: Trump’s Speech at the 2017 National Jamboree

Open letter to the angry Boy Scouts' parents, concerning Trump's speech at the 2017 National Jamboree: it's too easy for your children to "degrade themselves" -- they have an unquestioning respect for authority.

Trump’s Muslim Ban and Hate Crimes Against Muslims by Trump Supporters

Trump's Muslim ban on refugees from majority Muslim countries that isn't a Muslim ban or any ban, and Trump Supporters' hate crimes against Muslims from the Middle East who were Hindus from India

Trump and Fox News and Fake News and Sweden

Trump doesn't understand that when the President of the United States tweets Fox News fake news about Sweden (and on Presidents Day), all of Sweden lets us know it's fake news

American Democracy Is Only As Strong As Its Separation of Powers

American democracy, the checks and balances, the separation of powers over the three branches of government only work if everyone sticks to the rules. 

Millions of Illegal Immigrants Committed Voter Fraud, Trump Insists

Trump insists that he would have won the popular vote, were it not for those millions of illegal immigrants and others who committed voter fraud. How stupid is this? Let me count the ways

After Inauguration Day: Women’s March to Protest Trump a Huge Success

Three million people turned up nationwide for the Women's March the day after Inauguration Day -- the difference between the votes for Trump and Clinton -- to protest Trump's presidency.

The Safety Pin: My Pledge of Intolerance to Bigotry, So Bullies Beware

I pledge intolerance to bigotry. I will wear a safety pin as long as Trump is president, as a warning to any bullying Trump-supporting bullies

The First Days After Donald Trump Wins the 2016 Presidential Election

Trump wins the 2016 presidential election. He is now the president-elect. Five days later I'm still reeling

Trump is the Republican Candidate: It’s a Bit Late to Face American Fascism

American fascism has led to this: Trump is the Republican candidate for the 2016 presidential election. He shows all the signs of a wannabe fascist leader. Have we passed the point of no return? 

Bernie Sanders: Democratic Socialist or Social Democrat? Why It Matters

Bernie Sanders is not a democratic socialist -- he's a social democrat. What's the difference?

Under a President Trump, Would Democracy Survive or Would Fascism Win?

(02-03-2016, updated 07-14-2018)  The pundits are worried Trump might not leave peacefully if he loses in 2020. Time to repost this, in the spirit of I Told You So: What if Trump became president? Is America's democracy at risk? Would the American political system hold? Trump came in second in the Iowa caucus. Many pundits predict that this is the beginning of the end for Trump, but who knows. This is just the Iowa caucus; there's a lot more to come.

Was Trump Success in the Republican Primary a Surprise? Look at History!

Only in America and only to Americans is it a surprise that Trump is doing so well in the Republican primary. Why would he not? Everything's in place for history to repeat itself

Trump’s Muslim Registration and Identification Plans: Why History Matters

What American kids should be learning in History class: Just because something starts off small doesn't mean it's not a big deal. Trump's Muslim registration and identification plans are definitely a big deal.

Lies My Teacher Told Me: A Look at American High School History Education

Lies My Teacher Teacher Told Me, by James W. Loewen, explains why American high school history education results in the nationalism, the heroification of individuals, the lack of historical perspective, and the notion that universities are left-wing breeding grounds.

What Passes for American History Education is Pathetic, and Now I Know Why

American history education is comprised mostly of disjointed, unimportant personal anecdotes, dates of battles and numbers killed. Cause and effect are barely touched upon. I can see why kids think, "Booooring!"

American Islamophobia: Sixteen States Plan to Refuse Syrian Refugees

France and America want to bomb ISIS in Syria. Sixteen U.S. states refuse entry to the subsequent Syrian refugees, because some of them might be terrorists. American Islamophobia is alive and kicking.

Presidential Candidate Donald Trump and his Campaign Demagoguery

Angry goldfish and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has made scapegoating the main theme of his campaign demagoguery. This is when high school history education comes in handy, if you've had any.

Fans of SRO Ben Fields vs. Lawsuits for Excessive Force and Racial Profiling

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Officer Slam: Police in School

SRO Ben Fields had lawsuits filed against him, for excessive force and for racial profiling. Yet the police and the school were okay with letting him loose on kids, and so are many others.

What’s the Purpose of American Public Schools, Education or Discipline?

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Officer Slam: Police in School

How is it acceptable to have Officer Slam in American public schools? And why is discipline seen as the be-all, end-all in American public education?

Spring Valley High School Student Violently Arrested by SRO Ben Fields

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Officer Slam: Police in School

An SRO -- School Resources Officer -- at Spring Valley High School (S.C.) violently slammed a black female student to the floor and then threw her several feet toward the door. She was arrested for using her cell phone in class. 

Lies, Disinformation and Conspiracy Theories on the Internet

Conspiracy theories and other craziness -- what to do about the disinformation and lies on the Internet that don't contribute to the betterment of mankind?

Kim Davis, ISIS and the Syrian Refugees: Theocracy and Religious Freedom

ISIS is fighting for strict Muslim government everywhere. The Syrian refugees are fleeing these groups. However, Kim Davis, in fighting for her 'religious freedom', would want America to be a theocracy, too.

The Confederate Flag Will No Longer Fly at the South Carolina State Capitol

The governor is removing the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State Capitol, but Southern politicians are still careful not to offend the folks who are proud of their Confederate heritage.

White Man Kills Nine Black People in Church Shooting in Charleston S.C.

A young white man has killed nine people in a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina. Several republicans, including some presidential candidates, are saying it wasn't a hate crime.

Better Firearms Training, Less Lethal Force, Fewer Lethal Police Shootings

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Police Shooting Black Men and Boys

During police firearms training, why not teach officers to aim for the shoulder or leg? There would be decidedly fewer lethal police shootings if cops didn't have the license to use lethal force every time they felt threatened.

How to Get Independent Quality Police Training and Police Accountability

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Police Shooting Black Men and Boys

For police accountability and guaranteed quality, police training must take place on a state level, independent of the culture within individual police forces.

1984: Dutch Police Training Adjusts to Society’s Anti-Authoritarianism

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Police Shooting Black Men and Boys

Dutch police training was revised when the police realized the need to adapt to post-war society's anti-authoritarianism.  They shifted from rigidly applying the law to focusing on social skills such as deescalation strategies.

Police Shootings, Militarization and the Absence of the NRA in Ferguson MO

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Police Shooting Black Men and Boys

Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Demonstrations against police violence have been going on since, which the police have met with tanks and army gear.

Time Eternal in The Assault: Events Put in a Larger, Timeless Perspective

This entry is part 11 of 11 in the series History and Time in The Assault by Harry Mulisch

The tinkering with time and events in The Assault (see the previous post) leads us to what Harry Mulisch calls 'time eternal' -- the elements in his writing which put the historical events into a larger, more timeless perspective.

Familiar Imagery from Dutch History, Culture and Politics in The Assault

This entry is part 10 of 11 in the series History and Time in The Assault by Harry Mulisch

Imagery of iconic people and events from Dutch history are interwoven in The Assault, as well as --then--current events. Two novels about resistance fighters, both based on true stories, had just been made into movies. Mulisch uses some of their most memorable images.

History Changes, Then Solidifies in Historical Fiction, As in The Assault

This entry is part 9 of 11 in the series History and Time in The Assault by Harry Mulisch

To Harry Mulisch, history is a matter of selection (what is remembered, recorded and by whom) and reduction (what is deemed worth preserving). Ultimately, what remains of history -- what makes it permanent -- is historical fiction.

Causality and Coincidence in History, Historical Fiction and in The Assault

This entry is part 8 of 11 in the series History and Time in The Assault by Harry Mulisch

It has been argued that The Assault is not real historical fiction, since many of the events are determined by accident; however, this view denies that history is, in fact, a combination of causality and coincidence.

The Changing Past: The Assault Is the History of an Incident

This entry is part 7 of 11 in the series History and Time in The Assault by Harry Mulisch

The narrator in The Assault by Harry Mulisch mentions that this is the history of an incident". Not history, consisting of a series of incidents will be described, but the history of an incident--an incident that changes over time. 

Time Stands Still: The Petrifaction of Anton’s World in The Assault

This entry is part 6 of 11 in the series History and Time in The Assault by Harry Mulisch

The Assault by Harry Mulisch represents clearly two of the author's recurring themes: petrifaction and isolation. Everyone is alone in his own present. As long as he touches nothing, he is surrounded by the past, while he, in turn, is history to everyone else.

The Five Forms of Time in the Historical Novel The Assault by Harry Mulisch

This entry is part 5 of 11 in the series History and Time in The Assault by Harry Mulisch

The Assault by Harry Mulisch is structured as a Greek tragedy. At this level the novel is a timeless epic. The element of time plays an important role in most of Mulisch's work. To him, a writer deals with time in many different ways.

Structure and Narration in The Assault by Harry Mulisch

This entry is part 4 of 11 in the series History and Time in The Assault by Harry Mulisch

The Assault by Harry Mulisch is structured like a Greek tragedy. Apart from the five episodes, it also has a prologue and epilogue, and Mulisch himself has commented on the exodus at the end, and the choir.

A Summary of The Assault by Harry Mulisch

This entry is part 3 of 11 in the series History and Time in The Assault by Harry Mulisch

The Assault by Harry Mulisch is divided into five episodes, covering a time span of thirty-six years, in which the protagonist Anton Steenwijk, suffers the violence and guilt of the German occupation of the Netherlands. The following is a brief summary.

The Time Capsule: An Introduction to the Concept of History in The Assault

This entry is part 2 of 11 in the series History and Time in The Assault by Harry Mulisch

In the winter of 1944-45, Anton reads a magazine article about a time capsule buried in 1938, to be unearthed six thousand years later. There's a lesson about history in the description of the contents of the capsule and what the reader knows about the events since 1938.

Post Series on De Aanslag: History and Time in The Assault by Harry Mulisch

This entry is part 1 of 11 in the series History and Time in The Assault by Harry Mulisch

De aanslag / The Assault by Harry Mulisch is a historical novel par excellence. It's historical fiction, it's meta fiction about history and writing about history, and Mulisch has incorporated historical events and people so realistically that some Belgian television people came looking for the exact location of the assault. 

Authoritarianism: Response to Police Misconduct? A Slap on the Wrist

Authoritarianism: when police misconduct is accepted. A cop trips up students on a soccer field for kicks; a woman is thrown to the ground, handcuffed and crammed into a police car by four officers, for jaywalking. In what other profession could anyone behave that way? 

What Would Black History Look Like if the Reconstruction Had Continued?

This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Slavery on My Mind

If the Federal Army had stayed in the South longer, if the Reconstruction had lasted longer, if America didn't experience the century-long setback that came after the Federal Army left, what would black history look like now?

The Meridian Race Riot of 1871: The Failure of the Rickety Reconstruction

This entry is part 7 of 8 in the series Slavery on My Mind

The Meridian race riot of 1871 illustrates the battles between freedmen and the KKK and other white supremacists in the South during the Reconstruction era.

The Reconstruction: Federal Army, Carpetbaggers, and Blacks in Office

This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series Slavery on My Mind

Then, in 1875, federal army and the carpetbaggers leave, the KKK wins, Black Codes are put in place and the Jim Crow era begins. The Reconstruction is barely even mentioned in history textbooks.

Slaveholders, Militant Immediatists and Others on the Abolition Spectrum

This entry is part 5 of 8 in the series Slavery on My Mind

White Slaveholders, Black slaveholders, gradualists, immediatists, persuasive abolitionists,moral abolitionists and those who wanted all blacks shipped to Liberia -- they covered a broad spectrum of opinions that ranged from pro slavery to unconditional freedom.

Free People of Color: Before Abolition It Was a Freedom with Qualifications

This entry is part 4 of 8 in the series Slavery on My Mind

Before the abolition of slavery, freedom didn't mean the same thing for free people of color as it meant for whites. There were lots of formal and informal restrictions.

What Is Good History Education: Civil War Battles or Why They Were Fought?

This entry is part 3 of 8 in the series Slavery on My Mind

In good history education, the focus is not the war itself. (In this case the American Civil War.) It's why it was fought, the effects of a war on the following years, decades, centuries, and most importantly, what we learned from it.

Slavery and the American Civil War: A Quick When and Why

This entry is part 2 of 8 in the series Slavery on My Mind

There's really no such thing as a quick overview of American slavery and the Civil War, so this is turning into a series.

Laura Plantation: A Sugar Plantation Tour With Barely a Mention of Slavery

This entry is part 1 of 8 in the series Slavery on My Mind

Laura Plantation is the remains of one of the old sugar plantations of the Deep South, which depended completely on slavery for their success. They were brutal places where the death toll among slaves was always higher than the birth rate. You wouldn't know it from the tour.

Battling Nationalism for Maria Montessori: I Pledge Allegiance to the Earth

The time I stood up for world citizens and battled nationalism and boycotted the Pledge of Allegiance in a Montessori school and won ... sort of, with a lot of help from my imagination.

Hey, Real Americans Out There In Real America, What About the Real Issues?

(08-12-2015, Updated 07-15-2018)   What's more important, Real Americans, staking out exactly where your Real America is or solving some of your real problems? One response to my open letter to police chief Mark Kessler by Steve Harmon includes the following line: "The Chief, God bless him, is simply trying to unpussify my America." I'm not sure he thought that through

Are You a U.S. Citizen?: Crossing Internal Checkpoints While Alien

How to deal with American authoritarianism when crossing internal checkpoints. What do you answer when asked, "Are you a U.S. Citizen?" What do you answer when you're a resident alien?

Reese Witherspoon v. Police: America Is a Police State and Nobody Minds

Last week Reese Witherspoon's husband was arrested for driving drunk. But Reese was arrested, too. Why? She got out of the car! Reese v. the police -- guess who won? America is a police state and nobody seems to notice, or mind.

Gun Restrictions For People With Mental Health Issues, Like Alex Jones

Piers Morgan tries to chat with Alex Jones about gun rights. The guy has some serious mental health issues (Alex Jones, that is), and if there was ever a case for gun restrictions, this guy is it.

Paquette and the Nazis: or: Books and Babies, the Stuff of Nightmares

A random writing prompt: Write about being locked in a room with your greatest fear. I was reading The Hunchback of the Notre Dame while staying at my in-laws' with our baby. The nightmares I had from empathizing with Paquette were like being locked in a room with my greatest fear, I suppose.