Salsbury’s Slavery Spectacular!

(02-23-2018, updated 07-08-2018) The Black America Show: Slavery as Entertainment. Like Buffalo Bill's "Wild West Show", but about the Old South. A news headline called it a show about the “Fun-Loving Darky of Old Slavery Days.” I kid you not. This may well have been the beginning of Southern revisionist history: whitewashing Southern slavery and romanticizing the antebellum South.

Book Bans and Gag Rules and Fox, Good Grief!

(10-29-2017, updated 07-11-2018)  Propaganda, Censorship and Other Suppression of Dissent. The fascist attitude: if you're not for us, you're against us and therefore an enemy of the state. Suppression of opposition is key. Book bans, book burning, press censorship, etc. The flip side of government suppression of dissent is government propaganda. Distorting facts and history to create a convenient story to force-feed to the masses.

The Flag, the Pledge, The Anthem: Patriotism v Nationalism

(10-10-2017, updated 07-11-2018)  Patriotism v nationalism -- nationalism v patriotism. How Indoctrination With National Symbols and Rituals Has Primed America for a Fascist Take-over. The flag, the Pledge, the national anthem--these are supposedly meant to instill patriotism and unity in Americans. They instill nationalism instead. And they're not to be questioned. Patriotism is a love of country. Nationalism demands conformity and incites hatred toward The Other.

America Is the Greatest Country in the World!

(10-03-2017, updated 07-11-2018) How Language Shapes Americans' Attitudes Toward the Outside World. "America is the greatest country in the world."  If you're born in America you've heard it all your life. This  kind of nationalistic language is not just an innocent expression of patriotism -- it stifles curiosity, it prevents necessary dialogue about serious issues and it even leads to xenophobia.

American Exceptionalism Is a Myth

(10-01-2017, updated 07-11-2018)  Nationalism is Both Dangerous and Dangerously Naive. Americans aren't special or immune to fascist tendencies -- I think we all know that now. I have said for decades that it's dangerous to make kindergartners pledge allegiance to the flag, because it's nationalist indoctrination and it can easily lead to fascism. The response was always a breezy "Oh, that would never happen here. We're just proud of our country--nothing wrong with that."

Charlottesville: Patriotism versus Malignant Nationalism

(09-05-2017, updated 07-12-2018)  Optimists still think that the white supremacists in Charlottesville were outliers, or that this is when everything changes. I'm not that optimistic. Too many Americans can't distinguish between patriotism and nationalism, let alone malignant nationalism. Or why that's important. To many outsiders America already lives with "a very quiet kind of fascism". I've always felt that America is primed for a fascist takeover. I'm sure most readers will still think, even after Charlottesville, that I'm overreacting, But I don't think I am.

Trump’s Success in the Republican Primary a Surprise

(01-31-2016, updated 07-14-2018)  Surprise? Only in America and only to Americans. In an otherwise good article, Ann Marie Cox claims that Trump's success in this GOP primary race could not have been foreseen with logic or by looking at history. Really? 

Small Town America and 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