Starting tomorrow: NORRIS EMERGES!

MONDAY, JUNE 7, 2021

Justice denied, dream(s) deferred: Michele Norris has been a prominent mainstream  media figure for the past several decades.

Today, she's an opinion columnist for the Washington Post, but she worked for several prominent news organizations before she came to the Post. The leading authority on her career offers this capsule account:

Michele L. Norris (born September 7, 1961) is an American journalist who currently works as an opinion columnist with The Washington Post.

From 2002 until 2011, she was co-host of the National Public Radio (NPR) evening news program All Things Considered. Norris was the first African-American female host for National Public Radio.

[...]

From 1993 to 2002, Norris was a news correspondent for ABC News, winning an Emmy Award and a Peabody Award for coverage of the September 11 attacks.

Norris joined the National Public Radio (NPR) evening news program All Things Considered on December 9, 2002, becoming the first African-American female host for NPR.  In 2015, Fortune described Norris as "one of [NPR's] biggest stars."

[...]

Norris announced on October 24, 2011, that she would temporarily step down from her All Things Considered hosting duties and refrain from involvement in any NPR political coverage during the 2012 election year due to her husband's appointment to the Barack Obama 2012 presidential re-election campaign. On January 3, 2013, NPR announced that Norris had stepped down as a regular host of All Things Considered and would instead serve as an occasional host and special correspondent.

The profile continues from there.

Norris has had an extremely high-profile career. More specifically, she has had a high-profile mainstream career, working for several of the nation's most respected upper-end news orgs.

One more point. Throughout her career, Norris has been a good, decent person. Most significantly, she remains a good, decent person today.

Yesterday, Norris published a lengthy opinion essay in the Washington Post. In her essay, she made a somewhat dramatic proposal:

We're not entirely sure that her proposal makes sense.

On its face, her proposal may seem to make perfect sense, at least within the conceptual frameworks active here in Our Town. In yesterday's lengthy essay, Norris said that we should have a "national conversation about race." 

That's a very familiar type of proposal here in the streets of Our Town. Briefly, let's note this relevant point:

Even as Norris advanced this proposal, that very type of conversation seemed to be underway in the Washington Post. Yesterday's edition was heavily clogged with such discussions—or possibly, in some instances, with such pseudo-discussions.

That included a lengthy front-page report about an ongoing movement to change the racist names of quite a few species of birds.  Before the week is done, we'll list the many news reports and opinion columns on related topics which appeared in yesterday's Post.

Whether it's real or whether it's faux, some such national conversation does seem to be underway at this point in time. That said, Norris imagines a long conversation. Indeed, it may last for decades, she says:

NORRIS (6/6/21): When Barack Obama was first elected president in 2008, there was an expectation that he would lead some kind of national conversation about race. We don’t place the same expectations on White leaders for some reason, but we should. President Biden was in Tulsa to mark the 100-year anniversary of one of the most vicious acts of racial violence in U.S. history...and he spoke directly about white supremacy in a way few presidents have...

That is a start. Biden should keep his foot on that pedal and launch an official inquiry about uncomfortable historical truths, and do it in a way that ensures that it will extend over years, if not decades. Because it is time for the United States to convene its own version of a truth and reconciliation commission and fully examine the horrors of slavery and their continued aftermath...

...[T]he collective American narrative needs a strong dose of truth. We need clear eyes and a firm spine, and then we need to chart a new path forward. That kind of step would also launch re-examinations of the treatment of America’s Indigenous peoples, the eugenics movement and the internment camps of the 1940s for U.S. citizens and noncitizens of Japanese descent.  

And yet we are in a moment when hard truths are not just inconvenient, they are challenged and dismissed with great fanfare...

In Norris' vision, we wouldn't simply examine the horrors of slavery and their continued aftermath. We'd also conduct a national conversation about the historical treatment of Native Americans, and about the internment, during World War II, of citizens and noncitizens of Japanese descent.

Also, about the eugenics movement of the early 1900s! We need to have a national conversation about that! 

The conversation Norris envisions would be quite extensive. Given the various topics involved, this national conversation could last for decades, she says. The conversation should invest our collective narrative with "a strong dose of truth."

Here in Our Town, this suggestion may seem to make perfect sense. That said, questions arise:

As a giant continental nation, are we capable of having such a discussion? Indeed, are we capable of doing that ever here in Our Town?

Is our upper-end, mainstream press corps capable of holding such a discussion? How about our legions of assistant, associate and adjunct professors? Are we up to this challenge even here in Our Town, where the people are all above average?

For ourselves, we're a bit of a sceptic on that point. In various ways, Norris' essay helps reinforce our doubts.

Norris has always been a good, decent person, and she's had a big career. But can a giant nation like ours really conduct some such "conversation?" And how helpful are Norris' contributions likely to be at this fraught point in time?

Norris has had a very strong, very high-end career. She has always been very presentable.

She hasn't rocked a whole lot of boats, nor was there such a requirement. That said, within the past year, it has seemed to us that Norris, like many upper-end journalists, has been emerging with a new tone and a new point of view.

She now seeks a "national conversation" which could last for decades. All week long, we'll be asking a question:

What can happen to the strength of our journalism in the aftermath of justice denied, in the wake of a dream deferred? What can happen to our most basic understandings, even here in the streets of Our Town?

Tomorrow: A bit of snark right at the start


81 comments:

  1. "Yesterday's edition was heavily clogged with such discussions"

    Use of the word "clogged" does not suggest that Somerby considers a conversation about race a good thing.

    "She has always been very presentable."

    What does this have to do with the necessity of a conversation about race?

    What Somerby doesn't understand is that the conversation about race is already underway and it is going to continue because it isn't up to him to decide whether it should be undertaken or when it should end. His pretense that anyone is going to stop this examination of race in history is as pathetic as those white Proud Boys storming the capitol on behalf of a failed white supremacist president, rejected by the populace as a whole. The demographics of our country have changed sufficiently to provide the groundswell needed for this conversation and it doesn't need Somerby's permission.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Use of the word 'clogged' does not suggest that Somerby considers a conversation about race a good thing."

      I'd rather say Somerby uses "clogged" because he considers the "conversation" (great euphemism) cluttered with loudmouths touting their own agenda rather than trying for an honest understanding.

      Don't believe me? Keep reading the comments and see if it sinks in then.

      Delete
    2. The word "clogged" implies that something is in the pipeline that doesn't belong there, that is preventing free flow. Race is the clogging element, so it seems Somerby doesn't think race should be discussed because it interrupts the free flow of discussion about knowledge that does belong in school (or our public discourse).

      And no, I do not agreement with your assessment of commenters. Calling people you disagree with, clog, is just name-calling.

      Delete
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  2. "In Norris' vision, we wouldn't simply examine the horrors of slavery and their continued aftermath. We'd also conduct a national conversation about the historical treatment of Native Americans, and about the internment, during World War II, of citizens and noncitizens of Japanese descent.

    Also, about the eugenics movement of the early 1900s! We need to have a national conversation about that! "

    Can it be that Somerby doesn't understand that the Eugenics movement included definition of what were considered desirable traits in humanity, not simply efforts to eliminate undesirable ones? Definitions of race used in that movement may seem quaint, but the idea of defining racial purity and taking measures to eliminate undesirables is behind Trump's immigration practices as well as today's white supremacist extremists.

    It is incredible that Somerby might not understand how these historical events are interconnected, and how they inspired today's political movements. Of course members of stigmatized minorities are concerned about the huge increase in racially motivated violence, troubled by the acceptance of previously fringe views based on race. That Somerby apparently fails to understand what is going on suggests that this conversation is long overdue and needed especially for guys like him.

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    Replies
    1. Rationalist

      I applaud you for writing "might not understand" and "apparently fails to understand".

      I think he understands most, if not all, of that greater context but he is skeptical about the ability of the current cohort of media to lead such discussions, particularly with the large, aggressive scope suggested by Norris.

      The conversation would require nuance and patience. Are these qualities that our current flock of profit-driven, lazy media possess?

      Delete
    2. In what way is Norris lazy? That designation echoes stereotypes of black people as lazy. How is a lengthy stint with NPR (All Things Considered) profit-driven?

      Delete
    3. Rationalist

      Sorry for the misunderstanding. By writing "cohort" and "flock" I was making general statements about the media, not Norris in particular. Of course NPR and actual journalists could do a better job than say CNN or MSNBC talking heads.

      But the discussion would not be limited to just direction and guidance from NPR or Norris presumably would it?

      Delete
    4. Do you think some corporate-owned entity, other than the media, should lead the discussion, or are you suggesting no entities owned by corporations should be the discussion leader?

      Delete
    5. "Is our upper-end, mainstream press corps capable of holding such a discussion? How about our legions of assistant, associate and adjunct professors?"

      Notice how gallantly Somerby includes the professors whose job it is to understand our history! But this is only partly a matter of education about past occurrences. Attitudes need to change and the tolerance of white supremacy needs to stop. This is domestic terrorism and it has no place in mainstream America, where Trump gave it pride of place.

      To the extent that corporations have been participating, it is to side with what they perceive as their consumer base. That now includes minorities not just white America (as ads have been reflecting). No one expects them to be motivated by justice, but the changing demographics mean that the larger market is no longer pure white.

      It is odd to use the term "leader" with respect to a sea-change that is happening from many directions. Access to media platforms for people like Norris are a reflection, not a cause, or change that is already underway. No one elected her a leader of any movement, but her opinions are both shared and not shared, and that will be the source of discussion until there is greater consensus about how diverse people should be treated in a country that values freedom, equal treatment under law and opportunity for all.

      Delete
    6. "Do you think some corporate-owned entity, other than the media, should lead the discussion, or are you suggesting no entities owned by corporations should be the discussion leader?"

      It's an excellent question. I lean towards non-profit media, or really any non-profit organization.

      I think the corporate media is too lost at this point. We actually have to first undo the damage they have done to the national discourse, it doesn't seem sensical to let them lead that effort.

      Delete
    7. It's long past time for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission about systemic white supremacy and steps needed for equal rights and justice.

      Delete
    8. "How about our legions of assistant, associate and adjunct professors?"

      I wonder why Somerby left out the full professors? Most of those adjuncts are no longer employed, after the universities were shut down during covid. Also, adjuncts do not do research -- they only teach, so they probably wouldn't participate much in this discussion, much less take a leadership role. On the other hand, full professors are people with tenure, not seeking further promotion, with the time and security to engage in public discourse.

      I don't think Somerby knows much about how academia is organized.

      Delete
  3. Somerby is really letting his freak flag fly these days. Today he expresses a reluctance to engage in a national conversation embraced by liberals when Obama referred to it at the beginning of his candidacy. Just as white supremacists have crawled out from under rocks encouraged by Trump's bigotry, Somerby is now waving his own white supremacist attitudes in full public view instead of merely hinting, as he has done in past years.

    Why would he have to keep repeating empty assurances that Norris is a good decent person, if he were not thinking the opposite in his heart about her and other seeking racial justice? She is a good person, he says, but... and his recitation of her mainstream press accomplishments are washed away by his protestations about her goodness and decency, and his doubts that she is proposing anything good or decent in her opinion column.

    Why is Somerby so afraid to hear the truth about his country? Maybe he will be confronted with his sense of his own goodness and decency?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You lightening fast posters have certainly done well in giving an example of what is meant by a “national conversation” on matters of racial and ethnic injustice.

      Liberal partisans have been engaged in this sort of national discussion for awhile.

      Be sure to let the rest of the country know when you’re finished.

      Delete
    2. And that's a well-targeted criticism of the current approach. The way they lead the conversation is not inclusive, and not open-minded. It follows a script and any move outside the doctrine of acceptability is immediately chastised. How can we lead a discussion about tolerance while being intolerant?

      Delete
    3. I never thought I'd live long enough to agree with Cecelia, but she's correct that involving Conservatives in a discussion about race is futile.
      Better to work around them.

      Delete
    4. The discussion is not about tolerance. It is certainly not about tolerating white supremacist hate.

      Somerby is essentially saying he doesn't think the discussion is a good idea. That isn't a discussion of race, but rather a discussion about the need to discuss race. My point is that it isn't up to white people such as him to allow others to discuss race. That is going to happen, like it or not.

      Whether you and Cecelia are included depends on you, not Somerby and not me. I have never heard Cecelia contribute much of substance here on any topic. She is a troll.

      Delete
    5. I don't agree that Bob is saying it isn't a good idea. He is understandably skeptical of Our Town's ability to hold such a discussion in a productive manner.

      I have a little more hope that it is actually possible. But it's not a goal that mixes well with the sensationalist, for-profit media.

      "I have never heard Cecelia contribute much of substance here on any topic". I've seen substance. I guess you have a certain bar to reach to achieve "much of substance". In that case you haven't met it either, in this small sample of posts.

      Delete
    6. "I've seen substance."

      Share away.
      Cecelia is the Newt Gingrich of TDH. The next good faith argument she makes will be the first.

      Delete
    7. The first comment right here.

      The new left needs to be called out. You're following a news media that has largely been emulating the Fox model of selective reporting and feeding it's tribe their kool-aid. This creates a narrow and closed mindset and it is showing.

      Delete
    8. Rationalist,
      Where's the new left media's call to have public-only funded elections (my Koool-Aid)?

      Delete
    9. Anonymouse 11:55am, of all the posters here, you are the Anonymouse touchstone for posts of substance, made with the best of intentions, and with optimism and charity towards all.

      Take a bow.


      Delete
    10. Shouldn't the person who thinks businesses shouldn't pursue profits, but instead act for the greater good, call himself "Communist", not "Rationalist"?

      Delete
    11. Cecelia,
      Thanks. It's easy when you're not an asshole. You should give it a try anyway.

      Delete
    12. Nah, Anonymouse 12:52, I have too much self-awareness.

      Delete
    13. Shouldn't the person who thinks businesses shouldn't pursue profits, but instead act for the greater good, call himself "Communist", not "Rationalist"?

      Quote me saying that I think that.

      Delete
    14. Let's hear it for unanimous opinions.

      Delete
    15. Also, you believe profits and greater good are mutually exclusive? So I guess maybe you are the communist...

      Delete
    16. 12:50,
      Where did you get the idea that Rationalist was making a point?

      Delete
  4. From The Root:

    "CBS 13 Sacramento reports that Jazmine Bonnett, owner of Blossom Bathhouse, said that she was walking to her car to pay the parking meter when an apparently deranged white man verbally assaulted her and then tried to force his way into her store after she ran to get away from him.

    From CBS:

    “Black b-word, n-word, talked about my hair, ‘You black women with your weaves,’ ” she said.

    Bonnett owns Blossom Bathhouse in Old Sacramento where she sells bath bombs. While trying to get away from the man, she went back to her store. That’s when she said things escalated.

    “We did a tug of war with the door. I locked it and that’s when he just went full throttle,” said Bonnett.

    Boarded-up windows show where the man police identified as Ross Wolfer, 55, smashed the glass with his foot and broke into the shop. The flying glass cut Bonnett’s arm in several places as Wolfer continued yelling racial slurs.

    “To see the hatred and evil in his eyes as he is kicking a window and pushing in a window to get to me, I kind of thought he might kill me honestly,” she said."

    But Somerby thinks we don't need to have an ongoing conversation about race in our nation. He thinks things are fine because no one bothers him, sitting beneath his pear tree contemplating the failings of Godel.

    ReplyDelete
  5. "In various ways, Norris' essay helps reinforce our doubts."

    Why, dear Bob? Good, decent dembot Norris can have any conversations with other dembots. Both privately and in 'the nation's most respected upper-end dembot news orgs'.

    Whatever turns her on. WWII internment (that included, incidentally, Germans and Italians), or plague in 14th century Europe, or The Kingdom of Dagbon.

    Who cares.

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. "Biden should keep his foot on that pedal and launch an official inquiry about uncomfortable historical truths."

    When the Obama justice department run by Eric Holder made an official inquiry of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, it concluded that the cop was justified in shooting MB. Most Blacks never got that message and still believe the false version. I support any and all investigations, but what this shows is that the facts don't alter the minds of people who have an emotional commitment to the false version of events.

    An investigation into Tulsa will show that it was not a premeditated action to destroy the Black part of town, but rather it started as a race riot over a rape accusation where armed people of both races confronted each other and people of both races were killed.

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    Replies
    1. Bring on those investigations, Glaucon X.
      Time to test your theory.
      Since the entire Republican Senate is in lockstep to hamstring the Biden Presidency, so they can blame him for not helping Americans in need (i.e. collateral damage in the GOP"s war), we now have plenty of time.
      While we're at it, a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to look into systemic racism is needed.

      Delete
    2. An investigation into the January 6th insurrection will show it was not a spontaneous temper tantrum thrown by assorted Right-wing snowflakes pissed off that black people's votes were counted in a election, but rather it was planned attempt to overthrow the election by a cabal of white supremacist groups, the outgoing administration, and Republican members of Congress.
      For the exact same reasons, we're not going to investigate 1/6 any more than we are going to investigate systemic white supremacy.

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    4. I think the the January 6th insurrection was a prime example of the results that come from Trump's lazy, capricious, and infantile emotional state. Failure and stupidity in the service of an infantile ego. It's the perfect capstone for his entire life.

      Unfortunately, it is a deep American tradition to instantly erase and forget the endless embarrassments and crimes of the powerful. That's why these investigations that Norris and myself want will never happen.

      Delete
    5. From Wikipedia: "The massacre began during the Memorial Day weekend after 19-year-old Dick Rowland, a Black shoeshiner, was accused of assaulting Sarah Page, the 17-year-old White elevator operator of the nearby Drexel Building. He was taken into custody. After the arrest, rumors spread through the city that Rowland was to be lynched. Upon hearing reports that a mob of hundreds of White men had gathered around the jail where Rowland was being kept, a group of 75 Black men, some of whom were armed, arrived at the jail in order to ensure that Rowland would not be lynched. The sheriff persuaded the group to leave the jail, assuring them that he had the situation under control. A shot was fired, and then, according to the reports of the sheriff, "all hell broke loose."

      ----------------------------

      Thus it did not start over a rape but over an attempted lynching by white men of a black prisoner already in jail.

      Delete
    6. I said it started over a rape "accusation" and that it was not simply a premeditated surprise attack on a Black community as we have been told.

      Delete
    7. And I said (with support from Wikipedia) that it didn't start with a rape accusation but rather with an attempted lynching. The accused rape suspect was already being held in jail, so that didn't start the riot. The premeditated attack came after the 75 black men prevented the attempted lynching of a black jail suspect by a smaller group of white men, several of whom were killed. Then the larger white mob attacked innocent black people, killing hundreds and destroying their section of town.

      What you are attempting to say is misleading.

      Delete
    8. We wouldn't comment on the spontaneous uprising of the 6th of January.

      We will note, however, an interesting story of the failed gunpowder treason plot of 1605. The failure of it was celebrated as an official British holiday. Until, at some point, the antagonist, Guy Fawkes, has himself become a hero.

      As time goes by, it gets easier to see things in perspective.

      Delete
    9. No one thinks Guy Fawkes was a hero. His image has been co-opted by anarchists who think it is cool to blow stuff up. This is a truly bad example of whatever you think you are saying.

      Delete
  8. "Biden should keep his foot on that pedal and launch an official inquiry about uncomfortable historical truths, and do it in a way that ensures that it will extend over years, if not decades."

    While Norris does say this in the context of race-based injustices, she does not say that class-based historical injustices should be excluded.

    I think injustices against impoverished whites should be included in these investigations. Let's learn about white indentured servitude, and white workers and strikers who were killed upon the orders of wealthy corporate bosses. Let's learn that the Japanese beheaded helpless American POWs during WW2. Inquiring minds want to know all things.

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    Replies
    1. Class-based 'injustices' are not solved by 'official inquiry', dear Gloucon.

      It's achieved by political organizing and direct confrontation with the establishment and its 'official inquiries'. See the Teamsters, Jimmy Hoffa, all that.

      There's no chance of any political organizing, of curse, for as long as liberals are succeeding in segmenting the working class into warring 'identities'.

      Delete
    2. Right, the wealthy white social justice warriors are helping the billionaire class and the racists divide the working class. It's actually a long tradition in the USA. They fear economic justice that unites us all.

      Delete
    3. Race wouldn't be capable of dividing people if people didn't care about it. The racist attitudes precede the efforts to use race to divide and conquer by a common enemy. That's why a discussion about race is needed. The discussion doesn't create division; it should held reduce it.

      Delete
  9. I would also love to see a detailed investigation and national conversation about the history of the African slave trade. I know that is was flourishing well before the Europeans became customers in the 1400s. Before that, Arabs were the major customers. We also know that there was no huge army of whites in Africa, which means that Africans themselves were doing 99% of the slave capture. Looks like African's seeking profits for themselves was what made it possible. I suppose we can investigate these entrepreneurially spirited Africans, find their decedents, and make them chip in some reparations to Black Americans. Let's learn the whole story of slavery.

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    Replies
    1. Try learning the history of voter suppression, first. It'll help you to put that history in perspective.

      Delete
    2. Interesting material from a historical point of view but we're in America and the topic is system racism in this country. The country didn't even exist in 1400.

      Delete
    3. Surely the Romans should pay. Free pizza for everyone born outside Rome.

      Delete
    4. ...speaking of the entrepreneurial spirit: perhaps the Norris dembot is inspired by the impressive success of Patrisse Cullors? Wants a bunch of posh houses too?

      Can we have a conversation about that?

      Delete
    5. at 2:42 PM: Agreed, let's investigate why corporate-donor jet-skiing with Branson ex-presidents didn't care about voter suppression.

      https://www.newsweek.com/ex-naacp-president-says-obama-admin-partially-responsible-georgia-voter-suppression-1589791

      "Ex-NAACP President Says Obama Admin Partially Responsible for Georgia Voter Suppression"

      Delete
    6. at 2:49 PM Irrationalist, rational thinking reveals that Black slavery in the USA was not possible without the African Slave Trade. That's why it should be the start of any discussion of USA Black slavery. All rational people want to know the origin of things.

      Delete
    7. Gloucon seems to think that two wrongs make a right.

      Delete
    8. at 3:36 PM: No I don't. Back up that statement!

      Delete
    9. Nobody's talking about all the racist named birds. One more outrage we need to reckon with.

      Delete
    10. at 3:47 PM: I'm sure there must be some corporate funded studies that show that the white birds are the evil ones.

      Delete
    11. Gloucon, you are implying that if black tribes participated in supplying African slaves to the slave trade then no one in America needs to worry about their part in it. If we are to blame for slavery's atrocities, then so are the blacks themselves because some black tribes captured them and supplied them to the slave traders.

      Slavery has been around as long as there have been people. Romans enslaved Greeks, English enslaved Irish and vice versa. Men have enslaved women. So therefore no one need worry about systemic racism in the USA. That seems to be your argument. If you are not saying that, please explicitly disavow it and explain why you mentioned Africans capturing slaves from other enemy tribes at all.

      Delete
    12. It sounds like the ex-NAACP President is full of shit.

      The only way "voter suppression" can take place is for the local authorities to open too few polling stations. That's it. The feds (Obama's or any other admin) have nothing whatsoever to do with it.

      Delete
    13. Other ways voter suppression can take place: (1) throwing out registrations, (2) throwing out ballots, (3) intimidating voters at the polls, (4) disallowing paid time off work and limiting polling place hours, (5) requiring very specific kinds of ID that are difficult for some voters to obtain, especially the poor and elderly, (6) redrawing districts to disperse blocks of voters across multiple precincts, diluting their impact, (7) denying ballots and insisting that voters use provisional ballots that are later not counted, (8) denying mail-in ballots to people who need them, (9) targeting Facebook and other social media at specific voting groups, with specially created disinformation about when and how to vote, or who to vote for, (10) disallowing GOTV efforts such as rides to polls, (11) intimidation via death threats of staff who conduct elections, (12) placement of "poll watchers" who instead challenge voters or intimidate poll workers, (13) robo-calls to voters of specific groups telling them the wrong vote dates and places, (14) rules that allow state legislators or officials to overrule election results, (15) endless lawsuits and audits of valid election results.

      Never say ONLY about anything. It is nearly always wrong.

      Delete
    14. "(2) throwing out ballots" is a hypothetical example of 'voter fraud', dear dembot.

      And lawsuits and audits are perfectly normal legal ways to uncover and prove voter fraud.

      And it's telling that your liberal cult is terrified of these lawsuits and audits.

      Delete
    15. I agree with Mao, that Right-wingers shouldn't be anywhere near the levers of government.
      What's the point of having laws, if Right-wing judges and police don't enforce them?

      Delete
  10. Exactly. Pointing the finger at black slavery in Africa is a cheap, juvenile debate trick and doesn't inform the discussion about systemic racism in the U.S.

    And you have to love the idea that if one thing is not possible without the other, it has to be the start of the conversation. So I guess we will be discussing the origin of the universe before every topic...

    But hey, I received my free lesson in rationality from Gloucon X.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rationalist, I'm glad someone is rational here. However, if you are going to study and have a conversation about the history of slavery in this country, the aspects that Glaucon refers to are part of it. So is the history of the civil rights movement. Nowadays, it seems that the story line is that nothing has changed, which seems to be quite false. TDH questions how a country can have a "conversation;" more typically, conversations take place between a small group of people talking to each other, not between 340,000,000 people. The conversation so far hasn't been that rational. Your reference to "systemic racism" seems to assume that there is "systemic racism" in this country, and that what the term means is apparent - I question whether either of these assumptions is valid. The "conversation" so far hasn't been that rational on the part of our team, and it's hard to believe that will change much.

      Delete
    2. Glaucon talked about how the slaves were obtained in Africa. How is that part of US history? If Glaucon were talking about the enslavement of indigenous people by colonialists, that would make some sense. Slavery is still going on in Africa. Is it still part of our history? I don't think so.

      I agree that all historical events in the US need to be evaluated in the larger context of world history, but calling this part of American slavery is not appropriate -- it is part of the impact of colonialism on Africa and requires an understanding of how tribes were impacted by visitors from Europe.

      No one has said that nothing has changed with respect to race relations in the US. The people most affected have said that more progress is needed, and most liberals agree. The so-called conversation has barely started because Republicans and other white people are resistant to it. That resistance needs to be examined too.

      You are questioning the existence of systemic racism because you don't know enough about how things work in this country. Its existence is obvious from statistics about any number of issues, from employment to health care to education and sports, entertainment and the arts. It is not a matter of opinion but a matter of facts. That is why academia is involved -- academics have documented this systemic impact of race on people's lives.

      You cannot be rational if you are unwilling to consider and accept facts about race. Denial is an obstacle to discussion as much as unwillingness to even look at questions, as Somerby seems to be displaying today.

      Delete
    3. @AC/DC,
      ironically, there's plenty of evidence of "systemic racism".

      It's systemic in the goebbelsian establishment media, as documented by dear Bob. In collage acceptance practices, in hiring, etc. All that 'affirmative action' shit.

      Not to mention the current Chicago mayor, a government official who openly and proudly discriminates on account of skin color. And nothing is done to put her behind bars where she, obviously, belongs. So, how is it not systemic, dear AC/DC?

      To incite a race war, your liberal-hitlerian cult needs "systemic racism", and it creates it.

      Delete
    4. Mao, out of curiosity, are you referring to moi here by the monicker AC/DC (a heavy metal band)? If so, this illustrates how I'm getting it from different directions. Maybe not, in that I don't have a "liberal-hitlerian cult," whatever the logic absent basis for your claim that such a cult exists.

      Delete
    5. Stick to the subject, dear, please. Your stylistic pet peeves are petty and trivial, nobody cares.

      Delete
  11. The richest people in Europe, the royals, organized and funded the Atlantic Slave Trade. And the wealthiest Arabs and the tribal chiefs of African organized the African Slave Trade. It was class war. The wealthy of all races and ethnicities seeking profit by exploiting the powerless.

    Just like today!

    The corporate mass-media's job is to keep you from knowing this so you won't question their illegitimate power.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please. We couldn't even nationalize the banks, after they committed so much fraud they crashed the world's economy.

      Fun fact: Fraud is a felony, and you can serve prison time for committing it if you are a minority and/ or poor.

      Delete
  12. 'What can happen to our most basic understandings, even here in the streets of Our Town?'

    Somerby's town of hardcore malevolent Trumptards, supporters and defenders of Roy Moore, Ron Johnson, Devin Nunes, Matt Gaetz definitely lacks understanding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Centrist, you are a broken record, boring, dishonest, stupid, and slanderous toward TDH. But keep it up, it must provide provide you with some type of twisted psychic satisfaction.

      Delete
    2. AC/MA

      Are you suggesting that someone who spends 4 years defending Trump, Moore, Johnson, Nunes and now Matt Gaetz should not be classified as a Trumptard ? Perhaps you prefer the phrase 'useful idiot' for Trump, or maybe 'useless idiot for Trump' (given TDH's ineffectiveness in getting Trump re-elected ? )

      Delete
    3. Centrist, the elephant in the room is that your claim that TDH "spen[t] 4 years defending Trump, Moore, Johnson, Nunes and now Matt Gaetz" is patently false, as well as stupid. You don't seem to have the ability to apply reason, judgment or objectivity.

      Delete
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