Supplemental: The latest events which didn’t occur!

SATURDAY, JULY 18, 2015

The discussion of Coates’ new book:
Ta-Nehisi Coates’ new book has launched a thousand discussions.

On Monday, we may start to discuss those discussions. We may wait a week.

For today, we thought we’d offer a weekend reading assignment. It’s drawn from this long excerpt from Coates’ book—an excerpt posted by The Atlantic, where Coates is a national correspondent.

In the lengthy excerpt, as in the rest of the book, Coates is writing to his 15-year-old son. As he starts, he describes his appearance last November 30 on the CBS program Face the Nation, although he doesn’t specifically name the show.

Right at the start of the lengthy excerpt, Coates describes what happened that day. Inevitably, the day’s events filled him with gloom.

On the brighter side, the events also didn’t occur:
COATES: Son,

Last Sunday the host of a popular news show asked me what it meant to lose my body. The host was broadcasting from Washington, D.C., and I was seated in a remote studio on the Far West Side of Manhattan. A satellite closed the miles between us, but no machinery could close the gap between her world and the world for which I had been summoned to speak. When the host asked me about my body, her face faded from the screen, and was replaced by a scroll of words, written by me earlier that week.

The host read these words for the audience, and when she finished she turned to the subject of my body, although she did not mention it specifically.
But by now I am accustomed to intelligent people asking about the condition of my body without realizing the nature of their request. Specifically, the host wished to know why I felt that white America’s progress, or rather the progress of those Americans who believe that they are white, was built on looting and violence. Hearing this, I felt an old and indistinct sadness well up in me. The answer to this question is the record of the believers themselves. The answer is American history.

There is nothing extreme in this statement. Americans deify democracy in a way that allows for a dim awareness that they have, from time to time, stood in defiance of their God. This defiance is not to be much dwelled upon. Democracy is a forgiving God and America’s heresies—torture, theft, enslavement—are specimens of sin, so common among individuals and nations that none can declare themselves immune. In fact, Americans, in a real sense, have never betrayed their God. When Abraham Lincoln declared, in 1863, that the battle of Gettysburg must ensure “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth,” he was not merely being aspirational. At the onset of the Civil War, the United States of America had one of the highest rates of suffrage in the world. The question is not whether Lincoln truly meant “government of the people” but what our country has, throughout its history, taken the political term people to actually mean. In 1863 it did not mean your mother or your grandmother, and it did not mean you and me. As for now, it must be said that the elevation of the belief in being white was not achieved through wine tastings and ice-cream socials, but rather through the pillaging of life, liberty, labor, and land.

That Sunday, on that news show, I tried to explain this as best I could within the time allotted. But at the end of the segment, the host flashed a widely shared picture of a 12-year-old black boy tearfully hugging a white police officer. Then she asked me about “hope.” And I knew then that I had failed. And I remembered that I had expected to fail. And I wondered again at the indistinct sadness welling up in me. Why exactly was I sad? I came out of the studio and walked for a while. It was a calm late-November day. Families, believing themselves white, were out on the streets. Infants, raised to be white, were bundled in strollers. And I was sad for these people, much as I was sad for the host and sad for all the people out there watching and reveling in a specious hope. I realized then why I was sad. When the journalist asked me about my body, it was like she was asking me to awaken her from the most gorgeous dream...
Quite plainly, Coates is describing his appearance on Face the Nation. The unnamed host to whom he refers is Norah O’Donnell.

Coates appeared in one segment that day. He appeared along with James Peterson, a professor at Lehigh. For the videotape of that program, click here. To read the transcript, click this.

Warning! Unless you have a vivid imagination, you won’t encounter the gloomy events Coates describes.

In what way is Coates’ account of that program inaccurate? We’ll direct you to two basic points:

First, O’Donnell didn’t ask Coates “about his body” that day—at least, not in any way those familiar words would normally be taken to mean. In the first question to which Coates refers, this is the entirety of what O’Donnell said:
O’DONNELL (11/30/14): Ta-Nehisi, I want to ask you about something you wrote this week. You said, “What clearly cannot be said is that violence and nonviolence are tools and that violence, like nonviolence, sometimes works. Taken together, property damage and looting have been the most effective tools of social progress for white people in America.”

What did you mean by that?
In our view, there’s nothing gigantically “extreme” about those quoted remarks by Coates, although they’re stated in a way which is sure to produce disagreement. By normal standards, there’s also nothing in that question about poor Coates’ body.

Watching that tape or reading that transcript, very few people would think that O’Donnell had asked Coates “about his body.” Within the text we’ve posted above, Coates’ claim to the contrary helps fuel his sense of gloom and despair.

We’ll grant you—at one point, Coates says that the unnamed host “did not mention [the subject of my body] specifically.” In truth, she didn’t mention his body at all, at least as that term is conventionally understood—and Coates never explains, in the long Atlantic excerpt, what he means by his apparently poetic formulation.

It’s easy to generate an air of gloom and despair if you get to describe events which didn’t occur except in the world of your own inner poetics. But as he continues discussing his experience, Coates makes a second statement—and in this case, his account of what occurred is just flatly false:

“That Sunday, on that news show, I tried to explain this as best I could within the time allotted. But at the end of the segment, the host flashed a widely shared picture of a 12-year-old black boy tearfully hugging a white police officer. Then she asked me about ‘hope.’ And I knew then that I had failed.”

Poor Coates! After undergoing this experience, he emerged into the late-November gloom and tried to walk off his despair.

Unfortunately, the host of that popular show didn’t do what Coates describes in that passage. She didn’t ask Coates about “hope,” or about anything else, as she displayed that “widely shared picture.”

O’Donnell did display that photo at the end of the segment. As she did, she turned to Peterson, not to Coates, and this is the question she asked:
O’DONNELL: I want to end on this photo that has gone viral. It’s of a twelve-year-old, Devonte Hart, who was in tears. It was at—at a Ferguson protest rally in Portland, Oregon. And you can see this officer, Sergeant Bret Barnum, who is white, hugging this child. It has been shared more than one hundred and fifty thousand times on Facebook. What does that say to you, that photo, and what—and how it’s been, been shared so many times on Facebook?
O’Donnell said nothing about “hope.” Beyond that, she wasn’t speaking to Coates.

It was Peterson, in his reply, who introduced the idea that people are “hopeful,” while saying that people are also “maybe a little bit naive about a better relationship between the African-American community and the police forces that are charged with protecting them.”

You can see that occur on the tape. It can also be found in the transcript.

Over the course of the past eighteen years, we’ve become increasingly discouraged by a type of “privilege” which dominates our flailing American discourse.

It’s a “privilege” our leading “journalists” seem to feel they possess by some sort of divine right. It’s the right to invent, rearrange and embellish facts to make preferred stories work better.

No one asked Coates about his body that day, except in some poetical way only he understands. No one asked him to speak about hope at all.

For that reason, the fictional question he describes couldn’t have sent him from the studio in a state of despair. Simply put, the story he tells his son and his readers simply didn’t occur.

This doesn’t tell us whether Coates has written a good and helpful book. That said, we liberals have entered a strange new season in the past few years, especially in the general area of race.

Increasingly, we’ve entered a season in which we seem to feel free to invent, embellish and ignore basic facts as we tell our stories to the world. We do this again and again.

Coates may have written a very good book. We’ll withhold our judgment on that. But this shit wasn’t cute when Dowd was doing it.

Is it likely to be helpful now?

Once again, those links: To read the transcript, just click here.

To watch the tape, click this. The segment with Peterson and Coates starts about nine minutes in.

Final point: Your lizard brain is going to tell you that we are wrong and Coates is right.

We’re going to give you the same old advice: Try not to listen to lizards. Lizards are constantly wrong!

95 comments:

  1. This convinces me not to read his book. I find it offensive that he reduces new moms enjoying the sunshine with their babies to teaching them to be white (or believe themselves to be white). Such a person has nothing to say to me.

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    1. ...nothing to say to me... because I was raised to be white.

      FTFY

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    2. Now there's an assumption.

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  2. "It’s easy to generate an air of gloom and despair if you get to describe events which didn’t occur except in the world of your own inner poetics. "

    What causes this widespread pathology on the left? The desire to be victims, seek attention for your "pain," or bask in the good personness of assigning misery and victimhood to others and then coming to their defense, should you be unfortunate enough to be white and male with no popular claim to victimhood since conservatives tend not to enjoy that status and the perpetual, oppressive whining that goes with it? To spend your days searching for the perfect black or female victim, only to be exposed time after time as embellishing the story, or just lying when necessary, because the country has moved on from a level of racism and sexism that requires much attention at all, so you have too few victims to enjoy?

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    1. "What causes this widespread pathology on the left? "

      Why, in the name of the War on Christmas, would anyone believe this is a widespread pathology on the left?

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    2. The rejection of Santa Claus as a person who believes he is white makes it relevant,

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    3. Santa self-identifies as a jolly old elf.

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    4. There are reasons why white people are loathe to abandon the tradition that Santa is white.

      http://www.slate.com/articles/life/holidays/2011/12/zwarte_piet_holland_s_favorite_racist_christmas_tradition_.html

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    5. But Black Peter is definitely black.

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  3. We're not here to play golf. We're here to enjoy the teen pathos of appearances like this, or else to just recognize teens can't be enlightened so all we can do is suffer through them in secondhand shame and amusement at there retelling here, and hope reason will find its way back to the civil sphere.

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    1. What teens are you talking about?

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    2. He's talking about his golf game being interrupted. Now get off his damn lawn.

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  4. I've been reading Ayaan Hirsi Ali's book "Heretic" and her experience becoming a Muslim apostate, escaping an unwanted arranged marriage in her teens, fleeing by herself to the Netherlands and obtaining asylum, educating herself to the point that she was elected to office, then speaking out about the need for reform in Islam. She gets death threats for her courage. After reading that book, it is hard to believe in the liberal construct of Islamophobia and the repeated claims by the media of "why did the shooting happen in Chattanooga" and "why did he do it?" seem ludicrous. Muslim women live in far more oppression than Ta-Nehisi Coates. He might feel a lot better if he were to understand that Muslim women do not have the liberty to believe themselves to be anything their male captors do not want them to be. Now I may be called a bigot for agreeing with Hirsi Ali that Muslim needs a reformation, but I can emulate her courage in facing worse than name-calling for her efforts to help those she left behind in Africa and the Middle East (and in immigrant communities within the USA where Sharia rules are still being applied while we all look the other way because multiculturalism).

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    1. Telling it like it is.

      http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2015/07/telling-it-like-it-is.html

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    2. There are obviously jihadists. It is wrong to treat every Muslim person as if they were one. But when a Muslim man shoots a bunch of soldiers for no explicable reason, the most obvious explanation is that he has embraced a fundamentalist interpretation of his religion, especially when no other reason is apparent. Islam inspires jihadist violence and a variety of other atrocities. I don't think we should persecute Muslims, like Ann Coulter. I do think we should join Muslim reformers in insisting that Muslims stop tolerating such atrocities among fundamentalist members of their religion. Hirsi Ali asks for tolerance of calls for reform. She says labeling all criticism of Islam as a form of bigotry undermines reform efforts. Your comment is an example of that knee jerk liberal response. Islam needs reform so that these kinds of killings can be stopped. Read her book. She has greater legitimacy on this topic than you.

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    3. "Muslim women live in far more oppression than Ta-Nehisi Coates."

      "we all look the other way because multiculturalism"

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    4. Apparently, nobody's informed you that large parts of Hirsi's autobiographical sufferings are, at best, semi-fictional.

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    5. You'd have to argue that her stats are wrong, her quotes fabricated and the events perpetrated by IS, Muslim Brotherhood, Taliban also fictional. You'd have to claim that UN reports on the status of women in Muslim countries are made up and Malala was never shot. Salman Rushdie never had a Fatwah issued against him and no one is Charly Hebdo. Muslims need to be free to criticize their own culture. And non-Muslims need to stop pretending religious belief in jihad isn't motivating young people to commit terrorist acts in the name of Islam. By their own words, they are. When a normal, middle class Muslim man commits an otherwise inexplicable act after spending several months in Jordan, the likely explanation is obvious. Bending over backwards to avoid that explanation is not only stupid but it prevents solution of the problem posed by such attacks.

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    6. @4:43 If you are implying that because Coates made up things every author does, you are over generalizing. The reason Somerby complained about Coates is to suggest it is bad practice and urge authors to avoid doing it. I assume you were snarking and know nothing about Hirsi Ali.

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    7. 4:43 as best I read the comment states Hirisi made things up. He/she implied nothing about Coates. Your argument suggests Bob has hypnotized you into hatred of your inner lizard brain so you accept all he tells you about anyone.

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  5. Bob spent years convincing himself he was educating young black children in Baltimore schools.

    In a letter to his analysts Bob described imparting necessary skills to ever improving young minds.

    Unfortunately it didn't happen that way. Bob was keeping his white ascot out of the draft. And the bodies of dozens, perhaps hundreds of Ta-Nehisi Coates passed him on their way to and fro in a world he would never see, and which might make his analysts cry real tears. If they could only be his sons.

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  6. It's sad to see Bob return to his "Lizard Brains" troupe, a gag I had hope he had retired. "You may disagree with me because you are stupid" the great champion off civility let's us know.
    Beyond that, are there a lot of liberals other than the obnoxiously paternal that can't see that Coates is ten pounds of indignation in a five pound bag? Do we have to do more than check in with Brittney Cooper, who's "I want TWO seats on the train, white man!" piece was a masterpiece of unintentional parody, to know this is so? Phonies like Coates have always been around, though it must be said they do seem to be taken seriously (even in the sixties or seventies they were more likely to be parodied, by BLACK artists) these days. It is no surprise a LIBERAL like David Brooks gets the big epiphany.
    It is possible this is equal parts our general dumbing down and the traditional social systems getting panicky as real racism fades into the sunset. Or maybe, some liberals are sensitive to the social history of the Country and are therefore very slow to challenge blacks on anything. At any rate, since the liberals fail so badly on race he will just have to rely on Bill and Sean to give him the straight stuff on these issues.

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  7. I must salute Mr. Somerby, with his link to the Atlantic, for giving me a quick opportunity for a small taste of the new work by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

    If you haven't read it skip the rest of this comment.

    I'll offer Mr. Somerby advice for his next week's plans similar to the wise words Mr. Coates offered to his young son.

    Don't discuss Ta-Nehisi Coates. Don't discuss the discussions. You can never be his measuring stick. It will only demonstrate why you believe what you must.

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    1. There is the double bind. No one's experience is authentic except his and any disputing that just supports his thesis. And if you don't like it, it is because you are too white.

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    2. If you feel my advice applies to you, I feel sad for you. It was not so addressed.

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    3. Now Sanders is shut down by Black Supremacists. It appear they may need to be purged from the party, too much of this nonsense has been tolerated for too long. Quite right, at 4:29.

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    4. Black lives matter but only to the exclusion of all other lives -- so the protesters told O'Malley. Black concerns are more important than immigration, economics, anything else the candidates might have talked about. They matter much more than other peoples free speech rights.

      I know a lot of people will feel sympathy for their cause after having their session disrupted and being confronted with such a self-centered, oblivious demonstration. If these protesters were white we'd call them entitled.

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    5. Sanders has been fooling only a few white fools on this issue.

      Only when it gets in the netsrootsy faces of the privileged do they protest.

      http://socialistworker.org/2015/05/05/sanders-dodge-on-black-lives-matter

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    6. I'd be interested to find out @ 8:34 PM exactly what you would have found to be a reasonable response to:

      [QUOTE] BLITZER: I want to get your thoughts on Baltimore. First, we've been watching this very closely, if you were president of the United States what would you do about this. It's a crisis, not just in Baltimore, but in a lot of other communities around the country. [END QUOTE]

      Sanders was speaking extemporaneously, but go ahead if you would and compose a precise script of what you think his response to that question should have been, or what would you expect to hear as an answer from a sincere politician as to what are the first steps a president should take to solve this "crisis, not just in Baltimore, but in a lot of other communities around the country"?

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    7. Greg for Chief of the DNC Purge Committee.

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    8. The way the white boys diverted this thread indicates why #Black Lives Matter needed to take over the stage.

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    9. Why did they have to take over a stage devoted to talking about immigration policy? They are like the protesters who think people will pay attention if they block freeway traffic during rush hour. It is an ineffective, self-defeating tactic. Don't blame white boys for that.

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    10. I thought it was a Presidential Town Hall.

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    11. It was a panel with Jose Antonio Vargas. Their introductory remarks were interrupted, not Q&A. They also shouted down attempts to respond to them when they didn't hear the answer they wanted.

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    12. So it was not an immigration panel. It was what was listed on the agenda as the Presidential Town Hall.

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  8. Oh boy. I had walked away from the Howler years ago. But I come back and I feel like there's something valuable here. And then I read this.

    You've got some sort of Stockholm syndrome Bob. You've managed to convince yourself that the elite reporters that you hate have a very good metric that they use to judge themselves: adherence to facts. More facts equals more truth equals good press.

    Don't you see that the clowning starts here, where they decide what "good journalism" is?

    Don't you understand that there is a deeper problem than just failing to report the facts? And that Bob Woodward has shown that an article full of facts can be the worst lie of all?

    Ultimately this post reveals the heart of Bob Somerby: an angry pedant. Now get off his lawn.

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    1. No, you are just the same old annoying troll who is always here.

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    2. Please go away again! You show up on a rare day he is doing sort of good work and talk nonsense. Take your "lawn" agism and get lost!

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    3. Good work from Somerby? Excuse me. Are you the same guy who just noted that Somerby gave us the choice of agreeing with him or we think like a lizard?

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    4. You can count on two things from Somerby.

      His advice is old. And it is the same.

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  9. For those who read the Atlantic excerpt, the emphasis on generational child beating to keep kids safe from the police is a striking contrast to middle class and white parenting. It may be that this strategy has backfired, that it is a cause not an effect of deadly interactions with police. A parent hits a child out of fear and models that behavior as appropriate. The child learns to hit in turn. Then when frightened in a confrontation with police (or spouse or coworker) hits them. Note how many of the unarmed killing of black people involved them hitting the officer. Look at the descriptions in the list Somerby linked to last week.

    An important step to safeguarding black youth is probably to stop hitting them at home so they can learn better ways of coping with scary situations. Cops are not going to stop shooting people who attack them. If being hit is a normal part of child discipline in black families, it might also explain why some black people consider hitting someone an insufficient reason to be shot.

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    1. Perhaps hitting had an effect on the 2/3 of blacks who aren't incarcerated in their lifetime and insufficient effect on the 1/3 who are.

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    2. That would be plausible if you only consider the police stats but the research articles on effects of hitting on behavior use experiments with control groups to explore how behavior changes among those hit compared to those not hit.

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    3. It also depends on who does the hitting. Fearing a consequence by his father at home can only be effective if the father is at home. That fear deters criminal behavior.

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  10. Coates betrays the casual racism endemic within the black community as he makes sure we know the kid with the gun in his ski jacket was light skinned (with those small eyes) and stereotypes AME preachers kids as high-yellow. Skin color is his filter for all life experiences.

    He is wrong that there were no black faces in the movies. Before the civil rights movement there existed a segregated industry producing race films shown in black theaters. Afterward there was Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte and then Spike Lee. Similarly with music and literature. If he never heard of the authors of the Harlem renaissance, he needs to blame his parents, then there was Ralph Ellison and Richard Wright and then James Baldwin. All available at his public library, which is where I found them and I am older than he.

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    1. Back in the 1960's and 70's, social scientists used to tell black parents it was a bad idea to beat their kids. Then the researchers were scolded for being culturally insensitive. Now nobody says anything and the kids suffer the consequences.

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    2. 1. Bandura -- modeling of aggressive behavior
      2. Berkowitz -- see pain-induced aggression
      3. Results of corporal punishment -- review article (http://www.child-encyclopedia.com/Pages/PDF/Lansford-Tapanya-OburuANGxp1.pdf)
      4. Hitting and peer rejection, their connection to later aggressive behavior -- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2774087/

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    3. Well, Bandura and Berkowitz were old enough to have done research in the 60's and the 70's, but I see no evidence of their communication with black parents.

      The other two citations have no relevance to any point made in the comment.

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    4. The point made in the comment is that the problems with hitting kids were well known (one of the other two citations has a review of that literature). The fact that black parents are more likely to hit their kids than white parents was reported in the 60s and 70s, in both the psychology and sociology literature. When it was pointed out in print, black leaders complained that imposing white parenting standards on black parents was culturally insensitive. There were articles discussing the need for black parents to make sure that their kids didn't step over race lines and do something to attract white punitive attention, much like the argument Coates makes about keeping kids safe from cops by beating them. Black writers argued that white researchers couldn't understand the need to keep black kids from attracting white negative attention. The harsher black parenting methods were attributed to decades of racial subjugation. So the white researchers stopped giving advice to black parents. You can go back and find that dialog in the black writers of the 70's & 80's, in the essays on black parenting. Google Cosby and his book on Fatherhood for an example of the debate about whether kids should be hit.

      Psychologists and sociologists do their research and publish it for other researchers in the academic community. When it goes contrary to folk beliefs and mainstream norms, it tends to be ignored. Exposure to it is part of getting a college education, so white middle class students, to the extent that they are more likely to go to college, are more likely to adopt research-based parenting styles and behavior habits. It widens the divide between how white and black people parent.

      For the backlash against white interpretations of black parenting see: Ladner (1973), The Death of White Sociology. In Beginnings: The social and affective development of black children, Spencer, Brookins & Allen, they review the history of study of black parenting and Franklin (Ch 2) reviews the reaction to white sociology and rejection of suggestions of pathology in favor of positive cultural interpretations which took place in the late 60s & 70s.

      The latter two citations are relevant because psychology in particular has shown that kids who are hit turn around hit others, which causes them to be rejected by peers, to have a bunch of adjustment problems, and to get into trouble. My earlier suggestion was that perhaps the greater police killings experienced by black young people (in particular) is due to a greater tendency to hit cops (or others) which leads to them being shot. I think it is likely that the use of physical punishment, as described at length by Coates, results in greater tendency to strike out at cops which leads to their being shot. That is what the latter two citations are about. The studies of corporal punishment in families are to some extent based on animal studies of pain-induced aggression in the 40s & 50s. Any organism will strike out when hurt. Hurting kids increases, not decreases, that reaction. When someone lashes out at a cop, they get shot, no matter what color they are. People who are mentally ill are less able to inhibit that behavior. I am suggesting that people who are raised as Coates describes may produce kids who have greater difficulty inhibiting aggression when frightened (anticipation of pain) or hurt. I am further suggesting that the unwillingness of African Americans to hear what science says about their parenting style exacerbates their current difficulties. That unwillingness arose out a rejection of white science in the 60s & 70s because it seemed to be pathologizing cultural differences found in African American families (Moynihan report is an example).

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    5. It seems possible that the rage referred to by Coates (and many others) may be partially the result of displacement of anger at being harshly disciplined onto white people and racism, especially if kids are being told explicitly by black parents -- "I'm hitting you so the white cops won't kill you later on." as Coates described.

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    6. "Back in the 1960's and 70's, social scientists used to tell black parents it was a bad idea to beat their kids."

      No names. "There were articles...."

      "Then the researchers were scolded for being culturally insensitive."

      No names.

      If nobody was telling, then there was nobody to be scolded.

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    7. I see you didn't bother looking at the Franklin chapter. You can google this stuff as easily as anyone else. Just trolling, I see.

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    8. Two of three undergraduates predicted you would say that in a study by Stantz, Spengler & Venkman, P. (1984). Of course all three were white, and a noted dissent was published by Zeddemore, who said working with them made him see things "that would turn you white."

      The Franklin Chapter, while interesting, contains not a word of scolding for social scientists who told black parents it was a bad idea to beat their kids.

      For those interested, it can be found here:

      https://books.google.com/books?id=hb7zZDJtpTwC&pg=PR7&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=3#v=onepage&q&f=false

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    9. The Franklin chapter describes the pushback against research ascribing pathology to black families. If you demand that it explicitly single out spanking you are being ridiculous.

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    10. The Franklin chapter was cited by you as a defense of your comment. It is not even related to your comment.

      What is it? It is an examination of the relevance of the program of establishment civil rights leaders and social scientists helping those leaders to the masses of the black community. It was written in response to more left oriented blacks accusing them of being Uncle Tom's.

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    11. You don't seem to be looking at the right chapter. It is:

      Franklin. V. P. (1985) "From Integration to Black Self-Determination," in Margaret Spencer, Geraldine Brookins, and Walter Allen, eds.. It is Chapter 2 in their book.

      Starting on page 23 Franklin describes the tendency of white sociologists to describe black families as dysfunctional in the mid 1930's on into the 50's focusing on Frazier. On page 25 he describes the attack on earlier theories of race (Parkian theories) that began in the mid-1960s led by Myrdahl.

      Then he says:

      "During the 1960s and early 1970s, many black intellectuals began to challenge the organizing principles guiding social scientific research on black life in the United States. They suggested that the social sciences had been used as 'instruments of racist ideology' and that there was a need to examine social phenomena from a Black perspective. These Black researchers discussed Black Psychology, the Sociology of Black Liberation, and the Ideology of Black Social Science [discussion of Black Sociology omitted]...in much of this writing the possession of a finely tuned sense of black consciousness is the crucial ingredient in interpreting empirical evidence on the black condition." pp 26-27.

      Franklin goes on to explain that this view was transitory because there emerged a realization that black culture is itself diverse, However, during those years it resulted in the repudiation of research findings that were in conflict with preferred black norms, including those about discipline of children. This is reflected in the statistics on belief in the value of hitting children reported in the comments below. White parents changed their thinking about hitting kids while black parents did not over the same decades since 1968. This was partly due to the impact of Black Psychology on acceptance of social science research. That was my original point.

      V.P. Franklin is an African American Professor of History at U.C. Riverside.

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    12. I am referring to Strauss & Mather 1996 which is cited in my @1:08 comment below.

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    13. It is the same chapter from the same book. And it still has nothing to do with your original comment,

      You have not named a single social scientist who told black parents not to hit their kids nor anyone who scolded them for telling black parents not to hit their kids.

      All your other citations are merely a reflection of your denial that you were, and still are, blowing smoke out your ascot. Perfect for a Howler reader.

      Oh, and just to show how far out in space your mind is, Franklin correctly notes Myrdal's attack on racist sociological studies began in the mid 1940's, not the 1960's you assert. He was Swedish, and his work was highly influential in the Brown case in 1954.

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    14. I'm done with you. Readers here can decide for themselves what the quotes I posted say.

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    15. You were done the moment you decided you were smart enough to spout off something about black people when you are woefully ignorant.

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    16. You have not put forward any actual rebuttal to what I've said. Here is your idea of argument:

      "Please go back to misrepresenting social science studies.
      That crap is so obtuse even people who toil in the same field have difficulty plowing through the bullshit. Thus
      it makes it more difficult for the hardy band of Somerby followers to easily discern what a buffoon you make of yourself."

      Clearly you don't like what I said. Everyone gets that. If you don't agree, put forward some cites of your own or at least some rational arguments. Name-calling isn't discussion. You are only doing what everyone did when researchers said hitting kids was a bad idea. They put their fingers in their ears and said "la la la I can't hear you...because you aren't black you cannot possibly understand why we must discipline our kids the way we do." If you want to keep hitting your kids, it is OK with me. They are your kids. Just don't be surprised when they hit back. And if you are proud of being too stupid or too uneducated to listen to what research is saying, you are the one who will bear the consequences. Just as African American people are now bearing the consequences for listening to what their leaders told them, when they rejected white science because it was supposedly racist. You can no more have a separate black reality than conservatives can have their own separate set of facts that conflict with received science. The world is what it is, regardless of what anyone wishes it to be.

      Delete
  11. Dear Mr. Somerby,

    Coates wasn't reporting an event as history. He wasn't engaging in journalism. Judging this work by the standards you apply to all the "journalists" you decry is totally misleading, especially in the way you have chosen to excerpt, then comment on it.

    He didn't adequately explain "the body" part to you? That is where, for you, the race part of your misunderstanding begins.

    The larger failing is that this is not journalism. He was writing a letter to his son. Something you acknowledge, but don't quite seem to understand. Race has nothing to do with that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, he's talking to his son? In that it doesn't matter whether he tells the truth.

      Delete
    2. Excessive literalism plagues us again.

      Delete
    3. Once again a commenter, in this case @ 11:41, thinks his/her name is Bob. And perhaps it is, If so that makes the point more clear about the lack of understanding of parenting, the literary device employed, and the internal emotions being conveyed.

      Delete
    4. Somerby doesn't read the comments. If you comment you are talking to other readers and commenters, not Somerby.

      Delete
    5. The speed with which you respond is amazing.

      Almost like a father protecting his son on the escalator.

      Delete
    6. Coincidence.

      Delete
  12. Still waiting for some good Meredith Vieira bashing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It may be awhile. To show we feel your pain, here is a blast from the past, starting with an event that didn't happen:

      "When we rose from our [hyperbaric] chamber this morning, the analysts were loudly wailing.....

      Our big TV stars are just like us! A long line of multimillionaire pseudo-journalists have engaged in this deceptive bit of branding.
      -----------
      When “journalists” haul swag like that, they often look for ways to pretend that they live the same way we do.
      -----------------
      News flash: Vieira doesn’t “live the way a lot of people live.” Neither did Russert; neither does Chris Matthews, Russert’s neighbor on Nantucket, where they summered near Jack Welch, their right-wing owner, the man who made them both rich."

      http://dailyhowler.blogspot.com/2014/09/the-houses-of-journalist-county-vieira.html

      Of course the comments made could also apply to some politicians we know and the swag they haul in. That said, there's nothing wrong with that. We are sure they are very nice people.

      Delete
    2. You'll have to do it yourself, unless you're too busy Somerby bashing.

      Delete
    3. According to the new college guidelines for student consent for fornication, Meredith was raped by her husband.


      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aq4h6HAaAbw

      Delete
  13. Funny how when Somerby swims in way over his head the spellcasters show up early.

    ReplyDelete
  14. The Emmy nominations have launched a thousand conversations, too.
    Bob snubbed them.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Fixin it For Bob, Howler Style

    If Somerby were Coates

    "When the host seemed to ask us about our body, her face faded from the screen, and was replaced by a scroll of words, written by us earlier that week."
    ------------------------------------------------

    "Then she implied it might suggest “hope.” And we knew then that we had failed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Except this doesn't fix the part where she never asked Coates a question at all but he says she did.

      Delete
    2. There is no longer a question even asked. But your response gave the analysts a mordant chuckle.

      Delete
  16. Current black voices on capital punishment:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/20/peterson-corporal-punishment_n_5845316.html

    http://inamerica.blogs.cnn.com/2011/11/10/researchers-african-americans-most-likely-to-use-physical-punishment/

    Lansford (2010) examines cultural beliefs and studies of long term effects of corporal punishment on children. In her conclusion she states:

    "Parents and children in different cultural groups may interpret corporal
    punishment as either an appropriate and effective discipline strategy or not, depending on the normativeness of corporal punishment within their group. Although corporal punishment is generally related to more behavior problems regardless of cultural group, this association is weaker in countries in which corporal punishment is the norm. Yet cultures in which corporal punishment is the norm also have higher levels of societal violence." Link: http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1567&context=lcp

    Strauss & Mather (1996) looked at attitudes toward corporal punishment in black and white families from 1968 onward. They found a strong decrease among whites, except in the South and in lower socioeconomic groups, but little corresponding decrease over the same time period among African Americans. They describe the backlash against calls for laws against corporal punishment and their enforcement. (In Frehsee, Horn & Busssman, 1996) http://gauss.unh.edu/~mas2/CP27.pdf

    I found this stuff in 10 minutes. There is a lot more out there. There is near consensus among researchers that corporal punishment is a bad idea and the United Nations has for an end to violence against children worldwide.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I wonder when Somerby will launch another attack on Rick Perlstein, our foremost expert on the rise of movement conservatism

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What in the Sam Hill is Amanda Ripley up to now. Especially since Somerby no longer reviews books.

      Delete
    2. Presumably the next time Perlstein writes another phoned-in book.

      Delete
    3. Well, you must be using your Bob as a judge or Perlstein.
      To me, Bob is a JV second stringer compared to my source, who you, based on your love of Bob, must agree is the MVP.

      "Not surprisingly, Rick Perlstein, our foremost expert on the rise of movement conservatism, has the best take so far on the Trump phenomenon."

      Paul Krugman, PhD, MVP
      Conscience of a Liberal
      New York Times
      7/17/2015

      http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/07/17/trumpism/

      Delete
  18. Today Huffpo reported that Sanders attracted 11,000 people to his largest speed ever -- in Arizona, Republican territory. No up front mention that it was the Netroots Nation convention he spoke at. Just the implication that this socialist Democrat is somehow making huge gains in unlikely places. Way to push Bernie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Typo -- speed should be speech.

      Delete
    2. Error- his speech drawing 11,000 was not the Netroots Nation Convention. It was in a different part of the same convention center facility but was his own campaign's event. Most other media coverage was basically identical to Huffpo.

      Delete
    3. What @ 8:30 would like you to believe is that HuffPo is exhibiting more pro-Bernie/anti-Hillary bias and that the Netroots convention was the draw, not Sanders.

      Sanders speech was originally scheduled for a 5.000 seat venue elsewhere in Phoenix. It had to be moved due to high demand to attend.

      Our guess. Some of Hillary's supporters are her biggest problem.
      http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/arizona/politics/2015/07/16/bernie-sanders-phoenix-speech-larger-venue/30237471/

      Delete
    4. The point is that the people there were progressives from all over, not everyday Arizonans. They should have mentioned that, not pretended Sanders appeals to red state voters. It was misleading. It doesn't matter who paid for the room.

      Delete
    5. The point is you misrepresented the facts in your comment, the point of which was you were charging HuffPo with misrepresentation.

      But I like how you used the Hillary buzzword.

      Delete
    6. Here's what the post said:

      "At his latest campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona, on Saturday, the presidential hopeful drew more than 11,000 people, who gathered to hear him speak about income inequality, money in politics, climate change and growing wages.

      “Somebody told me Arizona is a conservative state. Somebody told me the people here are giving up on the political process. That’s not what I see here tonight," Sanders said at the Phoenix Convention Center, according to a transcript provided by his spokesman."

      Not a word about Netroots Nation and the fact that it had already attracted progressives from all over the country to its event. Not a word about the fact that those people were not typical Arizona voters coming out specifically to hear Sanders but people already there to attend a variety of sessions planned to be of interest to progressives.

      Those people were already there at the Convention Center for their own event and they attended Sanders speech because they were progressives. They didn't drive there to hear him -- they went to his speech because they had already drive to the Netroots convention. HuffPo is clearly misrepresenting the event with that 2nd paragraph, which says Sanders is appealing to Arizona voters who are supposedly more conservative. It is phony.

      Delete
    7. HuffPo will no longer cover HRC's campaign in their Political section and has relegated it their Entertainment section. ...Oh wait.....It was Trump whom they moved to Entertainment. HRC was moved to their Developmental Psychology section

      Delete
    8. @ 10:12 AM. Feel the Bern.....

      "HuffPo is clearly misrepresenting the event with that 2nd paragraph."

      That second paragraph was a quote from Sanders himself.

      But it was all Netroots, eh?

      Next day in Houston, Texas......

      "Bernie needs a bigger building.

      According to a press release on his website, Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders' scheduled campaign event in Houston has moved from the 1,500-capacity Cullen Performance Hall to a much larger venue, Hofheinz Pavilion." Houston Press

      "HOUSTON - A crowd of more than 5,200 people packed into Hofheinz Pavilion at the University of Houston to hear Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speak.

      Early Sunday morning, the Sanders campaign announced a change in venue was required because they expected an even larger crowd." KHOU TV

      Please go back to misrepresenting social science studies.
      That crap is so obtuse even people who toil in the same field have difficulty plowing through the bullshit. Thus
      it makes it more difficult for the hardy band of Somerby followers to easily discern what a buffoon you make of yourself.

      Delete
    9. They were progressives from all over the country who had gone to Netroots Nation, a progressive gathering. Then they went to hear Bernie Sanders speak, because he is a progressive and they were already there for Netroots Nation. It doesn't matter where the speech was held or who paid for the room or that they had to move it.

      Sanders would not have attracted that large a crowd if it had been Arizona voters without the draw of Netroots gathering a bunch of progressives in the same place before his event. Pretending Sanders has appeal to the more conservative Arizona demographic is misleading.

      You keep talking about how he had to change his venue. So what? Those people didn't fly and drive to Arizona to hear Sanders. They came for Netroots Nation and Sanders was there so they went to hear him. Pretending otherwise is dishonest.

      Delete
    10. Netroots Nation drew 3000 at its peak in San Jose two years ago. Assuming all went to hear Sanders after three days of scintillating yoga/ music for the movement workshops and town hall forum/demonstrations, where did the other 8,000 in Sanders's audience come from? Utah?

      Delete