The topics you'll never hear discussed in our own tribe's cable news!

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26, 2022

Our tribe doesn't care about black kids:  Within our self-impressed blue tribe's world, cable news is all about nightly dreams of seeing The Others locked up.

Will Letitia James get Trump in New York? Will Fani Willis get him in Georgia?  Can we get the Others locked up for their "forgeries / forged documents?" 

Can we get those rookie cops locked up? They were in their fourth day on the job!

Our cable news has been devoted to such topics for quite a few years at this point. Brain-numbing pseudo-discussions go on and on, and then they resume the next night.

There are other topics you'll never see discussed on corporate cable. One such topic appears on the front page of today's New York Times, under the following headline:

How It Feels to Be an Asian Student in an Elite Public School

This is the ten millionth Times report about the demographics of New York City's "elite high schools." At present, those academically high-powered schools are full of Asian-American kids. So where are the blacks and Hispanics?

Why do so few black and Hispanic kids end up in those high-powered schools? You will never be asked to hear such topics discussed on CNN or MSNBC. Basically, black and Hispanic kids don't even exist in a world where we can entertain ourselves with nightly dreams about Locking Trump and The Others Up.

Given the fact that it was written by Michael Powell, today's report is surprisingly lazy. Meanwhile, we've shown you the data a million times about how far "behind" black and Hispanic kids are, on average—in New York City and in the nation—just by the end of fourth grade.

You'll never see any such thing discussed on "liberal" cable. Rachel is paid millions of dollars per year to never ever bore us with that. The other multimillionaire stars are all silent too.

Black kids simply don't exist within our tribe's cable news. This is who, and this is what, our self-impressed tribe really is.

We like to dream about locking Them up. Rachel sells us this car every night, and we come back the next night for more.

This is who, and this is what, our cable news stars really are. They're paid millions to play it this way. We aren't even allowed to know how many millions they're paid!

The interests of black kids don't exist in our world. Setting our posturing to the side, this is who we actually are.

"Forgery forgery forgery forged!" That's good solid "cable news" fun!


64 comments:

  1. Bob,
    Who should we praise more, Republican politicians who convinced Republican voters to die from COVID (rather than get an effective vaccine), or Republican voters for believing the lies of Republican politicians?

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    Replies
    1. It's hard to choose which has done more to help the nation in it's time of need.

      Delete
  2. What Bob is saying is, sure Republicans committed felonies to usurp the votes of American citizens, but Obama gave 28 million more Americans healthcare, so "both sides".

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  3. Well, dear Bob, the bullshit "identity" your liberal-hitlerian cult pretends to patronize is only needed for one day in two years -- when this "identity" is supposed to deliver the votes.

    For the rest of each two-year period, why would your cult care? There's much real work to be done for the benefit of global finance...

    American jobs ain't gonna get shipped abroad by themselves. Although, to be fair, cheap illegal labor is going to arrive by itself. You cult's only function is to keep the doors open...

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    Replies
    1. Well, every day Mao gives us a glimpse into how the average Republican is doing in terms of common decency. An (occasionally) walking disaster area who found his true Jesus in Donald Trump.

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  4. Maddow does a really horrible job. It's gross

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    1. So, don't watch her if you don't like her. This isn't rocket science.

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    2. She's so transparently fake.

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    3. It's not rocket science that one can ignore her.

      But she helps frame and shape our national discourse, for better and for worse. That's not rocket science either.

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    4. Watch the irony fly over anonymouse heads as they chide “you don’t have it watch”!

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    5. @3:05

      When men find a woman "fake" or "phoney" or "artificial" or "not very genuine" in an occupation, it is mostly because they picture a man in that role and cannot imagine a woman doing it. Thus when they see a woman in a non-traditional job (such as Rachel Maddow holds), they feel like she is odd or not performing naturally. Their idea of natural is the way the job is done by someone male.

      So, when someone calls a woman "transparently fake", it is a head's up that someone is likely to be misogynistic. This is especially true when there are no specifics mentioned. This happened to Hillary and Kamala Harris and any woman in the public eye doing something men generally do.

      Because this arises from male expectations and misperceptions about how news shows should work, it isn't Rachel Maddow's problem. It is your problem. And Somerby's, to the extent that he considers her "clowning around" to be a flaw because his favorite news hosts (Tucker Carlson?) don't do it the same way.

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    6. I find her to be a very fake, phony, neurotic poser. She gives me the creeps. I also dislike how she misinforms and plays her viewers for fools.

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    7. Doesn't Bob mention some profile written by a woman that refers to her "performance of the Rachel character" or something like that? That's what I mean. It's a critique of that performance. I find it to be very shallow and fake. She is good at filling time and reading a teleprompter. Stringing out a story interminably, making her viewers think it is more important than it is. I really resent that. Taking her viewers for a ride like she does.

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    8. "But she helps frame and shape our national discourse"

      But does she, really? Let's not exaggerate. We know Bob is watching religiously, but does anyone else, with a functioning brain? We doubt it.

      She's just something normal people are laughing at, when they see her while flipping channels.

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    9. TMZ had a story about her and her partner. They got drunk, woke up the neighborhood and saddled lambs - they put saddles on their pet lambs and rode them down to the local convenience store to buy two foot Slim Jim pepperoni sticks and proceeded to carry on some kind of fantasy sword fight with them outside the store until the cops arrived. If this doesn't scream white privilege, I don't know what does.

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    10. And we all know that TMZ prints only the truth, unlike other tabloids.

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    11. A Google search of Rachel Maddow TMZ and lamb comes up empty. This seems like something made up to me.

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    12. Anonymouse 5:24pm, the “Rachel figure” [character] comes from this Maddow interview in which we learn this:

      “To keep herself in character, so to speak, Maddow marks up the text that she will read from a teleprompter with cues for gestures, pauses, smiles, laughs, frowns—all the body language that goes into her performance of the Rachel figure. “ at goes into her performance of the Rachel figure.”

      https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/09/rachel-maddow-trumps-tv-nemesis

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    13. Frenchie, transparently fake” isn’t an paintball epithet such as “Karen”.

      When a man calls a woman transparently fake it could mean that women can be transparently fake and that people with “y”chromosomes are capable of ascertaining that fact.

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    14. And where is your evidence that all cable news hosts do not do the same thing? This seems like an accurate description of how a TV personality prepares to present news. Being prepared isn't "fake". Some writer characterized this as a performance of a Rachel figure, but where is your evidence that the writer wasn't similarly misogynist in his or her implication that she came across as phony because she wasn't being genuine? Are men ever accused of being fake? Wouldn't it sound odd to call out Somerby for sounding phony in his impersonation of a stand-up comedian? Unfunny would be appropriate, but no one calls men phony for being bad comedians.

      Women get called this as a not-so-subtle reminder that they are somewhere that they don't belong. Somerby calls for her to be fired almost every time he writes about her. Despite her ratings and popularity. She is obviously succeeding with her audience, but he still thinks she shouldn't be on the air.

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    15. Apparently Maddow and her partner were giving the lambs laughing gas which is an illegal activity in most states.

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    16. Yes, and you are making this up. It isn't as hilarious as you seem to think it is. Some might call it lying.

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    17. That's all I mean. The "gestures, pauses, smiles, laughs, frowns" come across as fake - and they are - it's a scripted performance. Men do it too. Tucker Carlson, her former partner and buddy, comes across as fake to me too. Not as fake and false as Maddow though.

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    18. She's performing. And she comes across as an insecure, fake poser in doing so. To me. I know many people can't see through her phony persona and think she's acting real, and with their best interests in mind.

      Somerby is SO CORRECT to call her out.

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    19. She's also fake and obsequious to other hosts when she throws to them and fake and obsequious to her guests. That chick makes me want to puke.

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    20. Nobody is perfect. Nobody.

      The reason I think Maddow chafes Bob (because he’s Bob) is that there is a quality of neediness in Rachel that renders her less than reluctant to call out a posse on someone else in order to burnish her glow at the tribal fireside.

      She wants you to ruffle her hair and coo that she’s a precious child prodigy, but in her case this need for approval also means that she’s willing to make other people the goat as a contrast.

      Bob has trust issues. He sees her right thru to that. He can’t stomach it.

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    21. "She wants you to ruffle her hair and coo that she’s a precious child prodigy, but in her case this need for approval also means that she’s willing to make other people the goat as a contrast."

      Definitely. She is very, very insecure and needy which turns into something of a bully and a liar.

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    22. Can you imagine the pure hell of her inner life?

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    23. No. I don’t think she’s emotionally dysfunctional or particularly conflicted.

      It’s evident that she’s found a mother figure in her partner and she thrives in the culture she inhabits.

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    24. Why would she be "needy" with a constant stream of positive approval?

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    25. Psychologically, what she does is very, very difficult. A lot of celebrities are needy even while being pampered and fawned over. Maybe because the positive approval comes from something she knows is an act. She has a hole that probably can't ever be filled. She comes across as very neurotic and shattered inside. I don't know why but it is very hard to do what she does.

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    26. Frankly, I'm disgusted by her abuse of lambs.

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  5. And THIS is in a world where Children die every day!

    During his Presidency Donald Trump was asked if he really thought he had done more for Black Americans than any other President, given Johnson’s work on the voting rights bill. He all but snared “Yeah, what did ThAT get you?” Bob didn’t mention if he noticed.
    There are a lot of things the corporate left media misses or takes dubious approaches too. They pander to their target customers in ways that may not be good for them. But Bob, perhaps because he is only able to center his irrational hatred on one side (his own tribe, supposedly) can’t write about this with much perception.
    Like any rational American, I’m interested and frighted by Trump’s lawlessness. He obviously been a menace to the USA.
    Taunting the Party who would never lead charges at their Conventions with “lock up the opposition candidate” with charges they are on Trumps level is freakishly stupid and insane. Well, meet Bob Somerby.

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  6. "Our tribe doesn't care about black kids..."

    This is totally true if Somerby's tribe is Republicans.

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    Replies
    1. You inadvertently illustrate his point.

      You took his mention of not caring about them and weaponized it.

      This is how the liberal tribe tends to "care" about the poor and working class, many of which are indeed black. They talk about them when it's convenient to score political points.

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    2. Somerby is totally incorrect when he says that "our tribe" (by which he presumably means liberals, although he is not himself very liberal) don't care about kids.

      Republicans (Somerby walks, talks and acts like a conservative) do not care about children, judging by their votes and statements.

      There isn't any need to weaponize anything. Reality is a bitch and it doesn't support Somerby's criticism of liberals (assuming that is who he aimed it at).

      Liberals don't only talk. They also vote and spend their money on kids, black, white, Hispanic and Asian. And Somerby only trots out his concern for the kids when he wants to complain that Maddow is talking about something he doesn't like.

      You have now revealed yourself to be a Somerby-loving asshole. It didn't some likely you could keep up the so-called Rationalist pose for very long.

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  7. Somerby always discusses how far behind "on average" those black kids are, then he compares them to the top Asian and white kids in elite schools. How is that fair. If Somerby compared them to white and Asian kids "on average" the gap would be smaller. It would still exist because of factors that Somerby never discusses, including red-lining and residential segregation, under-funding of majority-minority schools, prejudice and discrimination (which do exist), stereotype-threat in testing, greater incidence of poverty, and so on. Somerby never talks about any of this stuff.

    It is almost as if Somerby himself doesn't care at all about black kids (or Asian kids while we're at it), but only wants to criticize the press.

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    Replies
    1. It is almost as if Anonymous himself doesn't care at all about black kids (or Asian kids while we're at it), but only wants to criticize Somerby.

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    2. Anonymous is pointing out that it is unfair to compare average kids of one race to top kids of another race. Did you miss that part?

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  8. "Why do so few black and Hispanic kids end up in those high-powered schools?"

    1. They don't live in neighborhoods close to such schools.
    2. Their parents are busy working multiple jobs and cannot carpool them to an elite school.
    3. The kids worry that they would feel uncomfortable at such a school.
    4. Elite schools may require additional expenses such as uniforms or transportation fees, or school supplies that parents cannot afford.
    5. Kids are attached to their friends in their existing schools. And friends matter more to black and Hispanic kids than to anglo kids.
    6. Admission tests are biased against minority kids because stereotype-threat works against blacks and hispanics but in favor of Asian kids.
    7. Black and hispanic kids don't have contacts with pull to get them admitted, they don't know the right people or cannot contribute to the "building fund".
    8. Parents worry that if this year's scholarship is not continued in the future, kids will have to go back to old schools and be embarrassed or have to make new friends.
    9. Parents worry that their kids may fail at the new school and want to protect them from that outcome, even if it is not likely.
    10. Parents worry about their kids forming romantic attachments and friendships in a social strata where they will not be welcome after graduation. Parents worry that they may form a mixed marriage due to proximity with unsuitable marriage partners at the elite school.
    11. Parents worry that they do not know how to nurture and help a child who has high aspirations, since they themselves may not have gone to college. So they think it may be better not to get their hopes up. They know they cannot afford college for their children.
    12. Not every black or hispanic parent values higher education the way middle class whites and Asian parents do. They may think it will make their kids snooty, not know their place in life, forget their heritage, etc.

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    1. You mentioned "parents". Unfortunately, most of these kids have only one parent in their lives, and this is the main reason they fail.

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    2. There was a study done to examine why kids born to lower income families have a poorer vocabulary and struggle to keep up when they get into the higher level English classes.

      The study basically found that since their parents (or parent as you pointed out) tend to have a more basic vocabulary, the kids when they are growing up here many less words, and less complicated words that stimulate thought, than a kid brought up in a well-off family.

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    3. This is one of quite a few reasons why there is a racial performance gap in education.

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    4. Somerby, oddly, never mentions the black and Hispanic kids are are not average but very high performing, capable of doing excellent work at even the top schools. These kids have trouble finding their way to such opportunities too. Somerby doesn't talk about that because he might have to find other reasons why black and Hispanic kids underpeform, unrelated to NAEP tests -- which seem to be the only thing he really knows about education.

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    5. @4:43 PM
      'Children of parents with only basic vocabulary' sounds like causation, but "kids born to lower income families" sounds like a mere correlation.

      In fact, American writers are a mostly low-income group; a lot of them are below the poverty line. And yet presumably they have a better vocabulary than those in upper-income groups...

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    6. Anonymouse 3:12pm, wouldn’t your points suggest that the local politicos should be looking at what is happening in neighborhoods and in regular neighborhood schools, rather than focusing on elite schools which are ironically filled with working class Asian kids who can face racial discrimination too?

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    7. What on earth makes you think that they are not already doing so? Somerby's presentation is not the only slice of information available about what is happening locally in NYC schools.

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    8. Somerby linked to media highlighting what was the focus of the then-mayoral administration, via a slew of front section stories, analyses, and opinion pieces on NYC’s elite public schools.

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    9. Cecelia, if you read the article, it says that the city is thinking about balancing the demographics by removing the admission tests. Those are the barrier they have identified. There is a large literature (e.g., actual studies, research) on the way that such tests disadvantage black and Hispanic students and do not fairly or objectively measure their ability to succeed at such schools.

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    10. I didn't see that link. Can you point it out? The actual NY Times articles doesn't have that in it. It is the only link in today's essay by Somerby.

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    11. Anonymouse 6:48pm, I think the prudent thing to do would be to focus on the regular public schools that most students attend. That’s where the gaps start.

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    12. Anonymouse 6:49pm, I meant that Somerby’s focus has been to critique the direction of NY politicos (and so the media) on their particular focus on local education.

      He feels it’s emblematic and he’s right.

      There’s are TDH blogs in the archive on education issues where there are links to news stories.

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    13. Cecelia, this isn't about letting average black kids into special classes for academically talented kids with science interests. It is about letting in highly talented black kids who are being screened out by an unfair admission test, so that they can pursue their interests in the same way as highly talented asian and white kids are doing.

      Imagine for a second that there exist such talented black kids. They do not have gaps. They have test anxiety or they are not being allowed to show what they can do because of discriminatory procedures for identifying them.

      There are many highly talented black students. One went on to become a scientist and invented a covid vaccine. Others have become highly successful in each of the sciences. There might be more of them if more talented black high school kids were admitted to these special classes, where they can do their best work.

      The assumption here that removing the admission test might allow unqualified black kids into special classes rests on the idea that no talented black kids exist. That is untrue. Exceptional talent is distributed across all races, SES statuses and geographic regions.

      Somerby seems to think that the desire to admit more black kids to special schools is politically motivated and that such kids don't exist (because there are wide gaps among average kids). He is wrong. The gaps among the average kids say nothing whatsoever about what happens in the tails of a distribution of talent.

      There are black kids capable of rising to the top in science. They should have a chance to do so without being screened out by unfair admission tests.

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    14. No, Frenchie, TDH tends to worry about the high numbers of black and brown kids who are not preforming at their grade level.

      It’s the elites who plot ways to shoehorn a certain number of “special” minorities into prestigious high schools so they can pat themselves on the head over “equity”.

      If they start by focusing on helping the average kid in the average school they might see some progress made as to the racial disparity in their creme de la creme schools too, rather than inevitably changing the standards there.

      It would take a generation, but focusing on the obvious would help more kids and have more of a societal impact.

      Unfortunately, politics is no longer about the long game.

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  9. "Basically, black and Hispanic kids don't even exist in a world where we can entertain ourselves with nightly dreams about Locking Trump and The Others Up."

    Somerby as no interest in or appreciation for black or Hispanic kids.

    School matters are generally local issues. They get covered plenty in local news and especially newspapers. Liberals not only read such papers but we also care about the stories there. That is why we support things like school bond measures and legislation to support children, especially those in poverty. We liberals were the ones behind the Build Back Better Act. It wasn't Republicans or conservatives worrying about the child care tax credit or any other part of that bill.

    Rachel Maddow's show is national. It tends to focus on national issues, except when there is some local matter of national interest, such as when a 17 year old child (white) with a single mom is allowed to drop out of school at age 14, hangs around with the wrong crowd and winds up getting one of his older "friends" to buy him an AR-15 that he then uses to kill two unarmed men and wound another man.

    Somerby says he has deep compassion for such kids, but he doesn't EVER talk about them here until and unless they have committed some heinous crime. Then he cares whole bunches.

    Somerby is the earth's biggest hypocrite. He has no business chastising liberals about caring about children. Most teachers are liberal and certainly most black parents. It is ludicrous that Somerby thinks such people don't care about their own kids.

    But Somerby doesn't seem to think very much any more, much less care about children, black or not.

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  10. "This is the ten millionth Times report about the demographics of New York City's "elite high schools." "

    The NY Times is the local paper for the city of New York. That is why it keeps reporting on school issues.

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  11. Here are two sentences from today's essay, in the order in which they were written:

    "Black kids simply don't exist within our tribe's cable news. This is who, and this is what, our self-impressed tribe really is.

    We like to dream about locking Them up. Rachel sells us this car every night, and we come back the next night for more."

    I don't think that any liberals are sitting around thinking about locking up black kids. Nor do I think Rachel is trying to sell us on that. For one thing, she would have to mention those black kids in order to sell us on locking them up.

    This is, however, what Fox News does. I think Somerby may be getting confused about which station he has been watching lately.

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    Replies
    1. It’s also insulting to suggest that all the black advocates that get face time on MSNBC (a lot) are indifferent to their kids.

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  12. Who does care about black kids, if you want to ask a real question.

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  13. Can anyone seriously believe Bob cares about inner city Black or Hispanic youth? It’s a gimmick he trots out when he’s in an especially lazy mood, or he’s feeling cornered by reality ( Trump).

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  14. “This is who, and this is what, our cable news stars really are.”

    Followed by

    “The interests of black kids don't exist in our world. Setting our posturing to the side, this is who we actually are.”

    He claims to know what “our” cable stars really are, then he shifts to saying ‘that is who “we” really are.’

    You cannot judge the values of millions of people by a handful of “cable news stars”.

    And anyone who claims that liberals don’t care about black kids cannot be taken seriously. It is garbage.

    It’s the same kind of thing as saying that Republicans are all a bunch of racists.

    But Somerby is willing to say shit like this about liberals.

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