But so does Professor Glaude: Because it was free on our On Demand—and on the advice of several top experts—we decided to rewatch a pair of scenes from the famous film, Gone With the Wind.
We started with the famous film's famous opening scene:
On the front steps of Tara, two silly Southern boys are trying to woo the admittedly fetching Miss Scarlett—and they're excitedly looking ahead to an onrushing war.
Brent and Stew are hot to trot. The movie starts like this:
BRENT: What do we care if we were expelled from college, Scarlett? The war is going to start any day now, so we would have left college anyhow.In fairness to Brent and Stew, they were very young. Also, though, "Consider the species!" Or so a disconsolate phalanx of future anthropologists have repeatedly gloomily said.
STEW: Oh, isn't it exciting, Scarlett? You know those poor Yankees actually want a war?
BRENT: We'll show 'em!
Brent and Stew were eager for war. As the famous script proceeds, this annoys Miss Scarlett:
SCARLETT: Fiddle-dee-dee. "War, war, war." This war talk is spoiling all the fun at every party this spring. I get so bored I could scream. Besides, there isn't going to be any war."Don't you want to have a war?" According to leading anthropologists, our species has been wired for such self-destructive musings ever since the dawn of time, possibly even before that.
BRENT: Not going to be any war?
STEW: Ah, buddy, of course there's going to be a war!
SCARLETT: If either of you boys says "war" just once again, I'll go in the house and slam the door.
BRENT: But Scarlett honey—
STEW: Don't you want us to have a war?
Scarlett prepares to go in the house, and the silly boys change the subject. But they were right, and Scarlett was wrong. As President Lincoln would later say:
"And the war came."
And the war came, Lincoln said—as it so frequently has! At any rate, a mere 68 minutes later in that famous film, we're shown a famous portrait of Atlanta lying in ruins.
We see acres of the dead and the dying. They're stretched beneath a torn Confederate flag.
Now we're engaged in a great tribal war. In our view, it isn't clear that the corporate giants within our own liberal tribe are any wiser than the silly Southern boys at the start of that famous film.
Did Brent and Stew make it back from their war? We can't answer that question. But just this morning, on Morning Joe, the TV stars were calling for another war, one all our own.
It fell to Professor Glaude to make the explicit suggestion. Starting at 6:11 Am Eastern on this Morning Joe videotape, you can see him acting out that ancient human impulse:
GLAUDE (7/22/19): The problem isn't just Donald Trump. The problem is, involves at least, those who are silent, who are complicit in their silence, those who are complacent in their criticism."We need to have it once and for all!" "We have to finally rid ourselves of this undertone!" As the professor floated these notions, we thought of the opening scene of that famous film.
There are a host of factors that allow for this moment that we are in...
Donald Trump wants to have this fight. And it seems to me that we ought to have it. We have to finally, Joe—and I've been saying this over and over again—we have to finally rid ourselves of this undertone, right? Of of this undercurrent in our politics.
He wants to have this fight, Joe. We need to have it. We need to have it once and for all.
Joe and Mika had started the day in the manner now required. Every sentence must now be a noun and a verb plus racist and xenophobe.
(As part of the morning's undercard, Joe and Jonathan bantered about the Red Sox. This lets everybody know that this is all done in good fun.)
Forgotten were the many years when Joe and Mika were buddies with Trump. He was already pimping his birther claims. They were along for the ride.
Now these well-paid professional giants have flipped to the current corporate position. Leading professors will even suggest that a fight of the type he seeks can be settled "once and for all!"
"Consider the species," top future experts have repeatedly told us. This very morning, Cornell Belcher has told us something more.
He's quoted in the New York Times. We suspect that he may be getting it right:
HERNDON AND MEDINA (7/22/19): Ryan Enos, a political scientist at Harvard University who has studied voters’ attitudes toward race, said that to the extent the president’s racial divisiveness is a political strategy, it could be an effective one.Belcher was casting himself in the Rhett Butler role. Our side is going to lose this fight, Butler tells a roomful of true-believing planters in that famous film.
“There are a lot of people who are uncomfortable with someone who covers her hair in Congress,” Mr. Enos said, referring to Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. “It is really an ethical and electoral issue, and if it works, that earns Trump another four years in the White House.”
Mr. Belcher, the [Democratic] pollster, was also skeptical of his party’s ability to meet Mr. Trump on his playing field.
“White progressives don’t understand race in this country and conservatives and Republicans do,” he said. “But they better learn, because Donald Trump is coming.”
We'll ponder this problem all week long. For today, we'll ask that question again: Did Brent and Stew come home?
In hoc signo vinces! So Constantine's battle cry is famously said to have said. But does anyone ever win these fights? Or are they just versions of the warfare toward which our tribal race is inclined?
Tomorrow: Our own congressman, Elijah Cummings, explains his own approach