The tumblr companion to

The fact is the U.S. often seems like it’s built to kill black people. This is not to say racism is equally lethal today as it was even a single generation ago. But it is to say that the same set of deeply ingrained ideas about what black people have coming to us justified the brutality of yesterday and today alike. And one particular manifestation of those ideas routinely leads to the early death of men like Amadou Diallo and Sean Bell and Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin.

Of course, this violent manifestation of white supremacy is not visited upon black male bodies alone. Indeed, as Tea Party candidates like Nevada’s Sharron Angle reminded us in the past election cycle, we must very much begin to see Latinos in the same way—lurking, dangerous, illegal. Fear and loathe them. If you encounter them on a dark street be ready to go to arms. And so Latino men have a lengthening gruesome roll call, too.

Surely all these people have done something to bring the murder, the poverty, the brutality down upon themselves! That’s America’s unique twist on systemic oppression. We cage people, then call them animals. We starve people, then jibe them for being malnourished. We write laws that allow people to gun down unarmed children and then make the child the aggressor. And so now Trayvon Martin will be all manner of sinner—a pothead, a dropout, a ne’er-do-well with a temper problem who had it coming. But what he will indisputably be is dead, like too many before him and surely many after him. He had it coming, as a black man in America.

“No portrayal of minority experience in the history which actually occurred shall obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers, or the majority of citizens, including those who reached positions of leadership […] we need to stop making slavery about race.”




From a list of ultimatums submitted by the Tennessee Tea Party today

which demands (among other things) that slavery be removed from any historic accounts of our nation’s founding fathers and that children no longer be taught that our form of government is a democracy.

It’s going to be a long month.

Get bent, TTP. 

"We need to stop making slavery about race."

…oh dear…

(Source: blog-anglophonic)

The Youthful Magic of Ron Paul


South Carolina Republican Senator Jim DeMint, the darling of the Tea Party wing nuts of the GOP, is urging Republican candidates to listen to Ron Paul. “One of the things that’s hurt the so-called conservative alternative is saying negative things about Ron Paul,” DeMint told conservative radio host Laura Ingraham. “I’d like to see a Republican Party that embraces a lot of the libertarian ideas.”

Why the sudden enthusiasm for Ron Paul? Credit his surprisingly strong showing in New Hampshire, where 47 percent of voters between the ages of 18 and 29 voted for him.

No other Republican candidate has come nearly as close to arousing the enthusiasm of young voters – and the GOP desperately needs young voters. The median age of registered Republicans is rising faster than the median age of America.

The Republican right thinks Paul’s views on the economy are responsible for this fire among the young. I just now squared off with Larry Kudlow and Steve Moore on Larry’s CNBC program, both of whom are convinced young people are attracted by Paul’s strict adherence to the views of Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, and Paul’s desire to move America back to the gold standard.

Wrong. The young are flocking to Ron Paul because he wants to slice military spending, bring our troops home, and legalize pot.

So do I, but I somehow doubt Jim DeMint would advise Republican candidates to listen to me, even if I were a Republican candidate for President.

Paul is attractive to younger voters precisely because of positions he takes that are anathema to the vast majority of the Republican base, including almost all Tea Party Republicans. If other Republican candidates want to cozy up to him, fine. But if they do, they’ll have a lot of explaining to do in Bluffton, South Carolina.

Whoop, there it is, thought you knew!


I hate that the “V” Guy Fawkes mask has become associated with the Occupy movement. That it appears to be at the choice of the Occupiers makes it so much the worse.

Consider, for a moment, the political symbols embedded in the two photos above. On the left, there is a hard piece of plastic shaped into a deliberately grotesque form. It is a caricature of an attempted regicide and mass murderer who tried to blow up Parliament for religious reasons—namely, that he and his co-conspirators were Catholic and the regime was Protestant. (That the wearer is also apparently garbed in a Palestinian keffiyeh further complicates the symbolism.) The mask was subsequently co-opted for the character “V,” an actual bomber who manages to blow up Parliament … but no one really is supposed to mind because the regime is corrupt. The entire vibe is angry, frustrated and alienating: creepy people with angry intentions are in their audience’s face, insisting that almost anything is legitimate because the ruling regime is so vile.

On the right we have a green field, a blue sky, and a man and a woman talking freely and happily. He is costumed (as the “V” protestors are); however, his costuming is evocative of American values and American memories: the experience of winning freedom from the British in the American Revolution. It has Thomas Jefferson, a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag and, seemingly appropriately in America, a do-it-yourself moving truck in the background. The people are smiling—proud to be asserting their opinions into the debate of the moment.

I don’t care that what the Tea Partiers want is stupid. What I care about is that their symbols appeal to and evoke a shared American history and a deep appreciation for the mythologies that make Americans American. They invite others to join in a cause that is deeply culturally embedded. By contrast, the Guy Fawkes “V” mask does none of this. 

The American wing of the Occupy movement needs symbols that engage and embrace the American public rather than alienating and intimidating it. Put another way, it’s easy to generate sympathy when college students sitting in a quad get pepper sprayed. It’s much harder when mask wearing who-knows-what-they-ares get attacked. 

Drop the mask, people. 


Google Politics tell all from its informative political blog. Let’s compare, using the chart above and other data collected by Google:

  • Occupy Wall St. has generated far more searches since its inception than the tea party ever has at any given moment.
  • Despite that search edge, Occupy Wall Street “is almost in a dead heat with the Tea Party for the volume of news coverage… between October 7 and last week, Occupy Wall Street only barely bests the Tea Party when we examine the number of news pieces covering each movement: 29,000 to 22,000.
  • One bit of trivia: Which states have had the highest search traffic for Occupy Wall St.? New York is number three - can you guess the intervening two? (Hint: Think crunchy. Real crunchy.)
  • When does tea party surge as a search term? In April, just before Americans file their federal income taxes. 

How do you get your Occupy Wall St. News? If you’re in Tumblr…

  • Follow various Tumblr tags relating to the news - “Occupy Oakland” and “Occupy Wall St.” are particularly vibrant.
  • Check out the “We are the 99%” Tumblr and its competitor, the “We Are the 53%” Tumblr.
  • If not, read The Occupied Wall Street Journal,” a publication of the protesters in New York.

(Source: dcdecoder)