(08-02-2018) How are President Johnson, socialists, a CEO giving an employee a car, universal healthcare and office birthdays connected? Read on. The media are abuzz with 'socialism' and 'democratic socialists'. Technically, a democratic socialist is an oxymoron. Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are social democrats. They don't want a totalitarian government like in Venezuela that takes away your business.
(05-29-2018, updated 07-16-2018) The history of crime in inner-city black neighborhoods and the response by law enforcement over time have seemingly made it a chicken-egg matter. Seemingly. I explained how inner city black neighborhoods came into being to begin with. From the start cities responded to crime in black neighborhoods differently than in white areas.
(05-27-2018, updated 08-02-2018) So segregation held African Americans back until the Civil Rights Movement. But there has been no institutional racism since, so they have no excuse for being less well off today, do they? And what about poor white people? Well, it just so happens that two recent reports dispute the myths about the wealth gap between whites and people of color.
(05-16-2018, updated 07-08-2018) To discuss race and real estate, we must go back the beginning of white land use in America. Slavery gave the white South land ownership, labor, currency, collateral and political clout. The wealth and power of the large plantation owners -- the richest and largest property owners in the country --depended entirely on the number of slaves they owned.
(05-1-2018, updated 07-08-2018) How Segregated Housing Policies and Redlining Led to Racial Housing Disparity. How did we get to so many impoverished black neighborhoods, especially inner-city neighborhoods? It wasn't inevitable. A brief history of black housing.
(05-07-2018, updated 07-11-2018) Institutional Racism, Past and Present. A question I saw on Facebook, "What have whites done, since slavery, to prevent blacks from succeeding? Why do we owe them anything?" This series explores centuries of institutional racism, the many creative ways that whites have systematically excluded blacks from the American dream.
(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.
American fascism: one fell swoop, or small steps via gradual government centralization? (02-15-2018, updated 07-11-2018) One of the elements of fascism is government consolidation. ICE really wants to join the intelligence community. Such centralization of government would give them access to more information and surveillance in their search for illegal immigrants.
Americans Gave the Nazis Eugenics Know-How (12-19-2017, updated 07-11-2017) An article I saw yesterday: "The Nazi Breeding and Infanticide Program You Probably Never Knew About". Yeah, there's a reason you probably never knew about this. 1920s: Hitler's impressed by American eugenics programs. Rich Americans give Germans funds, science and technology for their own programs. 1940: news of atrocities reaches America. 'Eugenics' is never mentioned again in America.
(11-04-2017, updated 07-11-2018) Conversations with Gun Nuts and Homeless Guys. I went to an anti-Trump demonstration at Republic Square Park today. It didn't happen. But I did converse (sort of) with some militia men about the need to protect themselves, Antifa, the U.S. Constitution and the second amendment, and with two homeless guys about racial disparity and how Nigerians should just shut up.
(10-26-2017, updated 07-11-2018) From Toxic Masculinity to Total Annihilation? Machismo is a problem the world over, but in 'the West" America is unique in some aspects of society that nurture and encourage male aggression and toxic masculinity. Gun ownership, football, anti-intellectualism and the need and pressure to all be leaders. Also: more comparisons between Trump and Hitler.
(10-24-2017, updated 07-11-2018) Trump's Calls For Violence in Historical Perspective. Fascists don't mind violence, as long as they're meting it out, through violent and intimidating government policies and actions, and by encouraging a militarized citizenry. This post explores America's history of violence and intimidation, Hitler's Nazi Party in Germany, Trump rallies, and his encouragement of violence against his opposition.
(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.
(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.
(09-26-2017, updated 07-12-2018) What Are American Values? What Is Patriotism? NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem!They're disrespecting the troops! The country! The flag! You are confused, but I understand. The symbols have become so important to you that you forget what they stand for. Do I need to remind you what your ideals are? Well fine, if you insist. Here's a little refresher, from an immigrant. You're welcome.
(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.
(08-31-2017, updated 07-12-2018) Also, My Own White Privilege and a Peek at Life While Black in Trump Country. Topic: white privilege and responsibility for racial disparity in the Trump era. Am I a racist? Are you a racist? Many whites say they're not racist, but neither are they responsible for race problems they didn't cause. Here are my thoughts, about Dutch responsibility, my personal privilege and responsibility, and a few shocking encounters.
(08-14-2017, updated 07-12-2018) Hostages, Domestic Abuse Victims, White Southerners, Working-Class Trump Supporters and Cognitive Dissonance. I read this and sympathized. Just like Trump's base always believes him, despite overwhelming evidence that he's lying. They won't face facts either. Why do they act against their own interests? Collective Stockholm Syndrome and Battered Wife Syndrome could offer some insight.
(02-25-2017, updated 07-12-2018) Trump's Muslim ban on refugees from majority Muslim countries that isn't a Muslim ban and the attack on three Men from the Middle East who were from India. No refugees from the banned countries have killed anyone in America in at least twenty years. American extremists, on the other hand, have murdered, injured and harassed plenty of Muslims in America.
(02-22-2017, updated 07-12-2018) 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. I predict that there's going to be more of this. Like King George says in the musical Hamilton: "They're going to tear each other into pieces, Jesus Christ, this will be fun!"
(01-25-2017, updated 07-13-2018) How stupid is this? Let me count the ways. Trump lost the popular vote. Since I'm in a counting mindset, let me also count the ways it's stupid of Trump to insist that he would have won the popular vote, were it not for those millions of illegal immigrants and other fraudulent voters.
(01-22-2017, updated 07-13-2018.) The Women's March in protest of the degenerate-in-chief was a yuge success. More than three million people in America alone protested against Trump and his misogynist cabinet yesterday, so the march also serves as a visual of the difference in the popular vote between Clinton and Trump.
(12-01-2016, updated 07-13-2018) Bullying bigots beware: I'm an obese middle-aged white bitch and I'm not afraid to use it. I pledge intolerance to bigotry. I will wear a safety pin as long as Trump is president. I will wear it as a warning to any bullying Trump supporter. I won't stand by and do nothing.
(05-30-2016, updated 07-14-2018) Feeling empty while the pundits catch up I've got nothing left to say other than: I told you so, America. Too bad that it took Trump to open some eyes. Glad as I am that eyes are opening, it's hard to remain optimistic. I wonder if we've passed the point of no return.
(11-20-2015, updated 07-14-2018) What Americans should learn in History class: Just because something starts off small doesn't mean it's not a big deal. In an interview on NPR a few people discussed Trump's Muslim registration and identification plans. One person immediately brought up the Holocaust. Another thought it wouldn't hurt anyone to just register Muslims and require a Muslim ID.
(11-16-2015, updated 07-14-2018) Where is our compassion? France and America are promising to basically bomb the blazes out of ISIS and at least sixteen American states have already said they don't want any Syrian refugees, including Texas, where I live. Because some terrorists might enter the country disguised as refugees.
(11-12-2015) This is when high school history education comes in handy, if you've had any. The 2016 presidential election campaign is in full swing and the angry goldfish at the top of the GOP presidential candidate polls blames all the country's woes on a vulnerable group in society--undocumented immigrants in this case.
(09-28-2015, updated 07-14-2018) The U.S. fights the Taliban and ISIS, but if Kim Davis had her way, America would be a theocracy like most countries in the Middle East. Both Kim Davis and ISIS look to ancient books--the Bible written mostly in the Bronze Age and the Koran in the early Middle Ages--for their moral justification of exclusion, hatred and violence.
(06-22-2015, updated 07-14-2018) But they're still careful not to offend the folks who are proud of their Confederate heritage. Southern politicians are falling over themselves in their haste to leap over the fence or off the fence, so they're on the record as having been on the right side of history. Only just in time, but hey, at this point, who's counting hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries?
(05-08-2013, updated 07-15-2018) Are you and American citizen? Hmm, let me think... Earlier I was mad about the liberties police take daily in regular, non-threatening situations, and that nobody has a problem with it. Not enough to say anything. Americans and your endless respect for authority! This, of course, is not completely true. The Rio Grande Valley borders on Mexico in southern Texas.