MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2022
"The Trayvon Generation:" Elizabeth Alexander is a well-known poet. She's also a good, decent person.
She was interviewed yesterday in the Washington Post Magazine. At the start of the feature, this is the way she was profiled:
Elizabeth Alexander, 59, is a poet, best-selling author, cultural advocate and president of the Andrew Mellon Foundation. She is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist in both poetry and biography. Her new book, “The Trayvon Generation,” expands her 2020 New Yorker essay examining this generation’s artistic and cultural responses to racial injustice and anti-Black violence 10 years after the death of Trayvon Martin.
Alexander has published a book called The Trayvon Generation. Who belongs to that generation? Early in the interview, Alexander answered that question as shown:
ALEXANDER (4/17/22): “The Trayvon Generation” started with an essay published in the New Yorker, written in the wake of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd’s police [deaths] and the subsequent movement all around the country. So it was a very intense time, and some of the things I had been thinking about for a very long time came to fruition in that essay. Thinking about what I call the Trayvon Generation, the generation of young people, particularly Black and Brown people who grew up with racial violence, not only preponderant but also watchable on their phones. Videotaped, repeatedly. Seen over and over and over again. Seen out of context. Traumatizing and unavoidable. I had been thinking about the group of young people and how did they metabolize their vulnerability when they were forced to witness it over and over and over again. And what was the cultural expression that they were making to help us understand what they were thinking and how they saw the world? As someone who is the mother of two young men, and also as a professor for decades and an auntie to many, I’m always looking and listening to our young people to know what they are thinking, how they are expressing themselves.
Who belongs to The Trayvon Generation? Alexander says that she's talking about "the generation of young people, particularly Black and Brown people who grew up with racial violence, not only preponderant but also watchable on their phones."
This racial violence has been "videotaped, repeatedly," she says. Members of this generation have "seen it over and over and over again on their phones."
In Alexander's view, the experience has been "traumatizing and unavoidable" for these young people. Alexander says this violence has been "seen out of context" by these young people, though she doesn't explain what she means by that.
It seems to us that Alexander is describing an important generational experience. Quite correctly in our view, she dates it to the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in early 2012.
For the record, Trayvon Martin's shooting death wasn't captured on videotape, Also, of course, it wasn't a "police [death]."
(It seems that the Post chose to edit something Alexander said at that point.)
That said, the shooting death in 2012 did touch off a new generation of mainstream journalism—a new generation of journalistic emphasis and interpretation. It seems likely to us that this new era of journalism has, in fact, created a great deal of trauma. It also seems to us that a great deal of missing context surrounding these events has come to us, and to that generation, through the astounding new practices our mainstream "journalists" have repeatedly brought to their work.
How has mainstream journalism functioned during this era? Repeatedly, inaccurate claims have been adopted as fact, while relevant facts have been suppressed.
Irrelevant facts have been heavily stressed, while speculations have been treated as fact.
Beyond that, the press has been astounding selective in which of our many "police [deaths]" they've chosen to portray. Certain cases gain round the clock coverage. Many decedents need not apply.
Our journalism has thoroughly broken down—and everyone knows this but us. We liberals have tended to believe the novelized portraits our performative tribe's news orgs have concocted.
It seems to us that this has done a great disservice to members of the generation Alexander describes, but also to everyone else.
With that in mind, we plan to discuss a few of The Disappeared this week—a few of the people our press washed away to maintain its preferred Storyline.
Many such people have been disappeared; the press corps' behavior has been astounding over the past ten years. As Stalin once airbrushed his rivals away, our "journalists" have repeatedly sent people and facts straight down the memory hole.
In red tribe haunts, people hear about this behavior. Only we, in our blue cocoon, will be surprised by the mountains of contexts which have been flushed down that memory hole.
We started this site in 1998. At that time, we didn't know that mainstream journalists were capable of this behavior.
We started the site because it seemed to us that mainstream journalism had already gone around the bend. We didn't know, at that point in time, that people who went to the finest schools could be as disordered as this.
In the end, our learning has been anthropological in its nature. Tomorrow, we'll start with some tales—though only a few—of the past decade's disappeared.
A great deal of "context" has been flushed away. Even back then, in the late 1990s, we pretty much couldn't have dreamed it.
Tomorrow: A young woman, disappeared
Thanks for documenting this tiny latest portion of the liberal atrocities, dear Bob.ReplyDelete
...but then, again, this is just garden variety dembottery, endlessly repeated, as recommended by your tribe's infamous tutor, Joseph Goebbels.
Mao: "endlessly repeated" . . . "Joseph Goebbels" -the pot calling the kettle blackDelete
Take it up with dear Bob, dear dembot:Delete
Oh come on Mao, own something for once.Delete
You also endlessly repeat "dembot" in your response to any and all criticism.
Surely you can spot just a tidbit of irony in your behavior... a smidgen?
Thank you for reading, and for taking time out of your busy dembot schedule to reply.Delete
Your comment is very important to us. Rest assured that it will receive all the attention it deserves.
Indeed, I shall not wait with bated breath.Delete
Talk about a busy schedule... how often do you check for dembot replies to your posts? :)
Mao is obsessed with this blog, he must check for it every 5 minutes every day, so he can log on first, and impart his insults to the handful of 'dembots' who read the thing.Delete
He has a news feed that tells him when a post has appeared. No big mystery and no extra effort required.Delete
Hey King Douche, we DID take it up with Bob.Delete
Mao is less likely obsessed but provided with
a fee so he doesn't have to leave the basement.
But, when Bob trys to shame us with the
salt of the earth decency of those who just
happen to disagree with us, we shouldn't
Alexander says: "“The Trayvon Generation” started with an essay published in the New Yorker, written in the wake of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd’s police [deaths] and the subsequent movement all around the country. "ReplyDelete
Somerby makes her appear incorrect by first ignoring her definition, switching the start to Trayvon Martin's death, which she didn't say, and then pointing out that Martin's death wasn't on video:
Somerby says: "It seems to us that Alexander is describing an important generational experience. Quite correctly in our view, she dates it to the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in early 2012.
For the record, Trayvon Martin's shooting death wasn't captured on videotape, Also, of course, it wasn't a "police [death]."
(It seems that the Post chose to edit something Alexander said at that point.)"
No, Somerby omitted what Alexander actually said, dating from George Floyd who certainly was on videotape and viewed repeatedly. Somerby is the person who ignored Alexander's actual words, manufactured a problem and blamed it on both Alexander and The Post.
This is how Somerby creates the impression that he is some sort of media critic, even when what the media has said is quite clear and it is Somerby himself who is wrong.
"How has mainstream journalism functioned during this era? Repeatedly, inaccurate claims have been adopted as fact, while relevant facts have been suppressed.ReplyDelete
Irrelevant facts have been heavily stressed, while speculations have been treated as fact. "
And this is exactly how Somerby functions too. He pretends that Alexander claimed there was video of Martin's death. She didn't. Then he pretends that something was left out of her definition of when the Trayvon generation started (dating from HER OWN essay about Martin in the wake of Floyd's death, which very definitely was on video, as was the police home invasion shooting of Breonna Taylor). Alexander is clear. Somerby is fucked up, largely because he is working so hard to find something negative to say about Alexander's work. Or maybe he just hasn't had his coffee this morning, but most competent writers review their work before hitting publish. Not Somerby, because he just doesn't care, as long as he has accomplished his goal of knocking a black writer (and Pulitzer Prize nominee), and need anyone mention that Alexander is a black female? It certainly matters to Somerby, since such people are his regular targets here.
"Many such people have been disappeared; the press corps' behavior has been astounding over the past ten years. As Stalin once airbrushed his rivals away, our "journalists" have repeatedly sent people and facts straight down the memory hole.ReplyDelete
In red tribe haunts, people hear about this behavior. Only we, in our blue cocoon, will be surprised by the mountains of contexts which have been flushed down that memory hole..."
Notice that Somerby is repeating the alt-right's shibboleth that civil rights for black people are a matter of reverse discrimination, that black people (and the press who is supporting their efforts to publicize black deaths) are the true racists, by disappearing the police killings of white people (even though such deaths are reported routinely and regularly by local media where they occur).
Somerby is essentially saying that All Lives Matter, but he is doing so in the context of a focus on black lives, which disproportionately occur compared to white ones, indicating that there is a civil rights issue remaining. Somerby ignores the disparity in order to claim that black people don't care about white deaths, even though white people are not being shot because of the color of their skin. Being white is protective when it comes to police use of force. But Somerby will never tell you that.
"Tomorrow: A young woman, disappeared"ReplyDelete
Oh lookee! Somerby is going to discuss Gabby Petito again!
If Somerby thinks there has been less attention to white women who have disappeared than to black and indigenous women who are missing, he is majorly mistaken. It is a national scandal that women of color disappear and police do nothing to find them.
And then there is the domestic violence that Somerby never mentions, that Republicans will not address by renewing the Violence Against Women Act. Can't wait to see how he disappears that from tomorrow's essay!
Never mind the daily trauma in this community caused by others in this community. That will never be discussed.ReplyDelete
"Tomorrow: A young woman, disappeared"ReplyDelete
It's not a complete sentence and it is grammatically incorrect regardless. This is the kind of lazy behavior we've all come to expect from Bob.
Is this some kind of subtle nod to a Winona Ryder film? Girl, Interrupted? Since she was born in Minnesota and named after her home town this is evidently Bob's way of trying to simultaneously insult women while taking a potshot at Middle America.
Plus why is he fixated on calling her "young"? This is obviously ageist nonsense that Bob is trying to also slip in here.
Would Bob even mention this story if she wasn't attractive? This also reveals a beauty bias.
Plus he puts it off until tomorrow because he is lazy. This is all emblematic of Bob's atrocious ethics and moral compass.
Nice satire of Bob's nitpicking.
Somerby calls today's essay: "STARTING TOMORROW: The Disappeared!"Delete
Then nothing in his essay has anything to do with that title.
You can mock, but is Somerby even trying to communicate here? It is hard to tell.
Democrats are so great. I hope the party never changes. Why doesn't Bob think like I do? Makes no sense.Delete
Relax. Democrats only look great because the Republican Party is fascist.
Both parties love their corporate donors. The obvious difference between the parties is the GOP is 100% dedicated to white supremacy.
"The media lies and exaggerations about the Trayvon Martin case have done enormous harm to the black community. "ReplyDelete
More harm than Jim Crow? More harm than slavery? More harm than Reagan did when he and his Supreme Court undid the 13th, 14th & 15th Amendments? More harm than Trump did when he gutted the EEOC and rolled back every measure benefitting black people (such as CHIP).
What discourages black kids from advancement is obstruction by white people. Black kids learn from their own experiences about racism. Read what some black journalists have said about their own childhoods and you will see how this happens to kids. And it is so far-fetched to suggest that black kids learn racism from the NY Times, when their reading NAEP scores make it unlikely they are reading any newspapers at all.
Does it make you feel good about yourself to write this tripe?
@5:21 Why did you bring up slavery, Jim Crow, and the 3 Amendments? These Amendments were passed. Slavery and Jim Crow are over. I suspect that some people wish they could be part of the fight to overturn the evils of Jim Crow and slavery, so they pretend these institutions still exist.ReplyDelete
Of course, it's a lot safer to fight against Jim Crow today. A teacher in my high school lost her son, Mickey Schwerner, in his battle against racism in Mississippi. You don't have the same risk when you're fighting imaginary racism.
It's not helpful to fight battles that are pretty much over. In fact, fighting yesterday's battles is a distraction from what matters. The reality today is that blacks get preferences in college admission, job hiring and job advancement. In order to take advantage of all these opportunities, a black youngers simply has to study well and stay off drugs. As Bob often points out, black students are 4 to 5 years behind Asian students. Today's most important battle is to get black students up to the academic standards of their classmates.
Because, those Amendments were passed but not implemented because of white obstruction. Jim Crow is not over as long as there is still mortgage redlining, poll taxes and tests to determine competence for voting, vigilantes killing black people with impunity. Black people know from personal experience that racism is not over. If blacks get preference in jobs and schooling, why are there still huge disparities? All you have to do is witness Somerby's disdain for Jackson, who has worked as hard as anyone throughout her life, to see that racism is not over and that your paradise for black job hunters and college applicants does not exist. You cannot and will not get black students up to any standards while systematically discouraging them and blocking their way.Delete
It interests me that you and others feel empowered to say that there is no need for civil rights, out loud, as if this were a white supremacist blog.
You told us before that the increase in violence in black communities is due to the police running protection rackets, and pulling back due to them being criticized for shooting unarmed black men. What happened? Did QAnon give you new talking points?
Please scratch David in Cal off of your extensive list of Republican voters who don't care about bigotry and white supremacy.
@12:03 illustrates Bob's frequent accusation that many liberals don't really care about black children. For people like @12:03, racism is important only insofar as it enables him/her to denigrate conservatives. @12:03 doesn't care that the number of black murder victims is rising. That doesn't matter, unless these murders can be blamed on conservatives or police.Delete
Anyone who isn't a bigot, or isn't perfectly fine with bigotry, left the Republican Party more than two decades ago.Delete
What are you and the Right going to do about it? Make a good faith argument?
We'll take our chances.
I guess we can't really say Bob is beating a deadReplyDelete
horse when the Post won't leave it alone either,
but it sure seems funny Bob can't find anything
else to write about in the news.
It was never impossible to find views outside
the "tribal" stuff Bob seems to think is the only
take making the rounds on this case. Nor is that
true of ANY case. Bob only covers one aspect of
selected vendors. Does he sometimes have valid
points about them? Sure. Indeed, sometimes they
are WORSE and Bob lets some amazingly awful stuff
go by. What he always jumps on, it's impossible
not to notice, is stuff centering on race.
The Trayvon generation is likely to land on
history's scrap heap, right next to Pepsi, right
across from the Occupy Movement. They were brought up on
Kardashians and that about says it Not exactly
But there all kinds of things wrongs with all
kinds of outlets. Bob is only only interested in
keeping the left in line. Trump could have the
next Republican Convention at a Southern
Plantation ruin, and Bob wouldn't blink.