Floundering tribe returns to old normal!


Lock them all up, we proclaim: Over the course of the past month, Russia's invasion of Ukraine had knocked us off our game.

We were discussing Ukraine around the clock. The need to lock The Others up was suddenly getting short shrift.

Within the past week, all three "cable news" channels have begun drifting back from round-the-clock Ukraine coverage. For example, Fox News and MSNBC have returned to the practice of re-airing primetime shows in the early morning hours. 

MSNBC no longer throws to Sky News in those early morning hours. Also, our tribunes are drifting back to our earlier focus on getting The Others locked up.

The January 6 committee has returned to the practice of leaking its day-by-day findings. Our blue tribe tribunes have returned to the practice of seeking remedies in the realm of criminal law to our yawning political shortfall.

We want the DOJ to lock Trump up--but also, Eastman and Meadows. We want Justice Thomas to be forced to recuse. We want him to be impeached. 

Can Roberts make Thomas divorce his wife? We long for the day when some future 8-1 vote by the Court comes down instead as an 8-0 shutout, thus displaying how perfectly right we all are.

In all these ways, we revert to the silly idea that we can prosecute our way out of our tribe's profoundly serious political problems. In a related reaction, we've treated the confirmation hearings for Judge Jackson as a referendum on the supposed insincerity and racism of her inquisitors, rather than on the possible political impact of the issues they asked her about.

Needless to say, our endless dissembling continues. We complain about a "Don't Say Gay" law which doesn't say that teachers and students can't say gay. As always, the terminology we've selected makes us feel moral and good.

Meanwhile, on the other tribe's channel, Tucker Carlson plays tape of a "woke" or progressive or antiracist preschool teacher. 

You can choose the term you prefer. She's telling TikTok this:

PRESCHOOL TEACHER: This has been my first year in preschool with a class of my own. We've been talking about gender and skin color and consent and empathy and our bodies and autonomy. It's been fabulous.

Oof. Assuming that the young woman in question really is a preschool teacher, she's only one preschool teacher. On the other hand, Carlson completed the rule of three during his Thursday evening broadcast, topping his presentation off with several pieces of bait.

Fox provides proofread transcript and tape. Unlike MSNBC, Fox is willing to let you see what its multimillionaire tribune has said:

CARLSON (3/31/22): If you've ever felt you're caught in the middle of somebody else's fundraising campaign, guess what? You are! And as a result of that fundraising campaign, here's what elementary schools look like now:


PRESCHOOL TEACHER: This has been my first year in preschool with a class of my own. We've been talking about gender and skin color and consent and empathy and our bodies and autonomy. It's been fabulous.

ELEMENTARY TEACHER: I teach my elementary school students about gender identity. Some people are girls, some are boys, some are both, some are neither.

CALIFORNIA TEACHER: I tell this kid, "We do have a flag in the class that you can pledge your allegiance to" and he, like, looks around. He goes," Oh, that one?" 

[As teacher chuckles, the camera moves to the rainbow / gay pride flag on the classroom's wall.]


CARLSON: So every emotionally marginal young woman with a nose ring now teaches at your kid's school. "I teach my elementary school students about gender identity," said one--on TikTok, of course. 

So how is a parent supposed to respond to this? We learned this weekend if someone tells an insulting joke about your wife, you're now allowed to smash them in the face and you get an award for it. 

As the brief presentation concluded, Carlson offered bait about nose rings and about "emotionally marginal young women." He even offered a bit of bait about Tinseltown, Will and Chris.

Carlson dressed his presentation with several helpings of bait. When we blues respond to such presentations, we tend to be ruled by this tribal edict: 

No Bait Left Behind.

We rail about Carlson's misogyny and of course about his racism. In the process, we ignore the political potency of his presentation. We even ignore this basic fact:

If you manage to ignore the bait, Carlson is actually raising a point of concern which actually isn't crazy. Also, he's raising a point of concern which will speak to a boatload of parents.

Earth to blues: None of us humans have perfect judgment. We all have limited judgment.

None of our teachers have perfect judgment. In reality, some of our teachers have extremely limited judgment, or judgment which is just plain bad.

It isn't crazy for parents to be worried about that. Nor is it crazy for parents to wonder about what's being taught at Georgetown Day School, given the fact that Judge Jackson sits on the board of the super-elite private school.

Is it possible that Georgetown Day has somehow gone over the top in its treatment of race? Dearest darlings, use your heads! Of course it's possible, though that certainly doesn't mean that they actually have! 

Dearest darlings, of course it's possible! That's why we were so pleased when Judge Jackson had the decency, and the perfect smarts, to say what she said to Senator Cruz, who isn't sincere enough for morally perfect beings like us:

JACKSON (3/22/22): Senator, I do not believe that any child should be made to feel as though they are racist, or as though they are not valued, or as though they are "less than"—that they are victims, that they are oppressors. I don't believe in any of that.

That was a perfect response. The analysts stood and cheered, behaving the way Cummings and his little sister reportedly did, "looking up at our beautiful tree."

("If only our political tribunes knew how to say that," one of these young scholars cried.)

That said, our blue tribe is currently in a world of political hurt. Like frightened children everywhere, we're responding as if we live inside one of a raft of frightening fairy tales.

We present ourselves as the innocent little girl being attacked by the big bad wolf who drops down out of the tree. We're morally pure, and we're perfectly good. The Others are known to be racists.

This is the way we frightened children are choosing to work toward defeat. The woods are lovey, dark and deep, but we aren't especially savvy at all, and children being born today will pay a price for our failures.

Carlson was making a sensible point. As always, he dressed it with plenty of bait.

Our tribe has pledged to leave no bait behind. The babies being born today will play a price for this  tribal stance, which disconsolate major experts all describe as hard-wired.

Concerning the judgment of teachers: Some teachers have terrible judgment. Every sane parent will grasp that fact. Only frightened children like us will pretend that this isn't the case.

By the way, whatever happened to the public school librarian in D.C. who made the kids act out the Holocaust, with a Jewish kid forced to play the role of Hitler?

A cynic would know how to answer that question. Given current rules of the road, that story got quashed, disappeared!


  1. "Can Roberts make Thomas divorce his wife? We long for the day when some future 8-1 vote by the Court comes down instead as an 8-0 shutout, thus displaying how perfectly right we all are."

    No one is calling for Thomas to divorce his wife. No one is trying to achieve perfect 8-0 decisions by eliminating Thomas's dissent. People are asking that there be consequences for wrongdoing. They are asking that a justice who has a conflict of interest recuse himself. They are asking that a justice who has violated important legal principles of how our supreme court is supposed to work, be removed from his position, since he has not voluntarily protected the integrity of the court in the face of his wife's support for insurrection.

    Somerby mocks liberal calls for accountability with this kind of baseless suggestion. In doing so, he protects Thomas, someone who doesn't deserve Somerby's support.

    Somerby suggests that this attention to Thomas is because the liberal public has grown tired of war coverage. That is a thoroughly "sleazy, scummy, despicable" suggestion. No liberal I know considers the war against Ukraine to be any form of entertainment. It is ugly for Somerby to suggest that is the case.

    And how odd that Somerby only mentions Ukraine, after 37 days of fighting, in order to bash liberals. Whatta guy our Somerby is.

  2. "Needless to say, our endless dissembling continues. We complain about a "Don't Say Gay" law which doesn't say that teachers and students can't say gay."

    Here is a perfect example of Somerby pushing conservative talking points. It is Fox News who complains that liberals don't give the proper name to the bill.

    And what business does Somerby have repeating conservative talking points while claiming to be liberal? What is his deception about?

    1. It doesn't matter whether Fox News states the same characterization of the bill that Somerby does. What matters is whether that characterization is true.

    2. It does matter whether Somerby is repeating conservative talking points, because Somerby keeps insisting he is liberal while pimping material he finds on Tucker Carlson's show. The issue is whether Somerby is liberal or not, it isn't whether the bill actually constrains teachers in their ability to talk about gender and sex. Since the bill was created for that purpose, it makes no sense to claim it doesn't limit what teachers can say in the classroom.

    3. Yes the bill as written means you can not say gay in the classroom. Worse, the classroom of any grade!

      Why does Somerby, and his fanboys, argue in bad faith?

      It has been the case for at least 20 years that voters strictly follow their party alignment; if you are going to vote for Dems or Republicans, that is already baked in. The key to electoral politics is getting the vote out. Dems happen to outnumber Republicans, but Republican voters are more easily motivated to vote. When voting restrictions are loosened, Dems tend to win. All the motivating action in the Democractic Party is among the Progressives, thus they tend to win more than establishment Dems. For Dems to win, we need to reduce voting restrictions, and motivate voters via progressive issues like solving the various oppressions rampant in our society (racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, etc).

      Somerby is wrong on his Culture War nonsense, wrong on his electoral politics. This is a shift from the past when Somerby used to champion notions like dealing with racial oppression in education, and Republican lies on Social Security and Medicare.

      Somerby is clearly trying drive to drive a wedge between "tribes", calling "liberals" dumb on a daily basis. It is a weird tactic since "liberals" are not triggered by such accusations. So called "liberals' are triggered by injustice and oppression.

      Those quotes from teachers are not inherently concerning, even to Republicans. As a parent, I see a lot of conservative parents expressing how they want their children taught about sex and gender, particularly with respect to teaching them about what is appropriate and not appropriate interactions with adults - they seem obsessed with this.

      Interestingly, it was Republicans that went around to school board meetings starting fights, Republicans banning books, Republicans banning words in the classroom.

      It is Republicans (and Somerby) that seem to be in a world of hurt, constantly airing their grievances, constantly claiming victimhood. It is Dems who are going around trying to clean up the mess Republicans leave in their wake.

      Somerby lost his integrity, his moral compass is broken.

  3. "We complain about a "Don't Say Gay" law which doesn't say that teachers and students can't say gay."

    Here is what the bill does say (from the NY Times):

    o Instruction on gender and sexuality would be constrained in all grades.

    o Schools would be required to notify parents when children receive mental, emotional or physical health services, unless educators believe there is a risk of “abuse, abandonment, or neglect.”

    o Parents would have the right to opt their children out of counseling and health services.

    o Parents could sue schools for violating the vaguely written bill, and districts would have to cover the costs.

    o Florida would rewrite school counseling standards.


    So, yes, the bill does say that teachers and counselors cannot talk to children about being gay and other gender related issues. Somerby is lying about this.

    1. Of the bullet points you listed, the first seems to come closest to forbidding teachers and counselors from talking to children about being gay. But notice the word "constrained" is used, not prohibited.

      So it seems Somerby is right after all.

    2. Only to an excessively literal reading.

      A prisoner in a jail has his liberty constrained. Does that mean he gets to go outside the jail? Not so much.

      constrained definition: "severely restricted in scope, extent, or activity"

      Note the word severely. Given that parents can bring lawsuits that must be paid for by the school district, a teacher would be very foolish to say anything at all, especially given that students are not known for accurately reporting what they have heard in class.

      Somerby is not right. This is a don't say gay bill.

    3. The object of the bill is to undermine public education. Republicans have had a hard on for public schools for a least half a century and have now come up with an ingenious new tactic to destroy public schools.

      Here is the kicker:

      Parents could sue schools for violating the vaguely written bill, and districts would have to cover the costs.

      Good way to bankrupt the school system. Just start filing your whiney ass suits. I am sure the little hamsters in the Kato or AEI or Cato are at this moment furiously writing the briefs.

    4. 11:26,

      Perhaps excessively literal. Point taken.

      Regarding costs, as I read the text, the district pays for a lawsuit when the parent receives "declaratory or injunctive relief", which I think means only if they win the suit.

      And if there’s a jury trial, it would seem challenging to get 12 people to agree that certain instruction was not “age or developmentally appropriate”, which is the standard that applies above the 3rd grade level.

      Maybe not so challenging in the Panhandle.

    5. KK,
      The object isn't so much to win or lose it is to tie up the school districts in costly endless litigation and thereby draining the schools of funds that would be better spent on, you know, education.

      Here's another good part.

      "Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.

      Now, when are they going to publish the "state standards"? Cause they don't exist now.

  4. "Unlike MSNBC, Fox is willing to let you see what its multimillionaire tribune has said..."

    Fox is busily spreading propaganda and disinformation. Why wouldn't they want to see it repeated?


  5. What, showing video clips of deranged braindead liberals and mocking them is a "bait" now?

    ...in that case, except for showing videos, most of what you do here, dead Bob, is baiting...

    ...which, incidentally, explains all these braindead deranged dembots chasing you in your comment threads...

  6. "If you manage to ignore the bait, Carlson is actually raising a point of concern which actually isn't crazy. Also, he's raising a point of concern which will speak to a boatload of parents."

    No, Carlson has staged a video with ridiculous examples of supposed actual teachers. Meanwhile, no teacher is asking children to pledge allegiance to a rainbow flag. Nor must liberals address every ridiculous piece of manufactured dreck that appears on Fox. There aren't enough days in the week to do that. Somerby seems to be saying that if we do not address this stuff, parents who watch Fox will believe it, and that will be our fault as liberals. Life doesn't work that way.

    In education circles, the expectation is that in six years of elementary schooling, a child will have one excellent teacher, one bad teacher, and four competent but mediocre teachers. Parents do their parenting in order to enable a child to succeed in the face of whoever the teacher-lottery gives them. The ability of any teacher to influence a child beyond parental teaching depends on the strength of the home and the needs of the child.

    Does a nose ring affect a child's education. Not so much. Does a rainbow flag? Not so much either. Is it good for young children to talk about skin color, bodies, and so on? They are interested in such things in preschool and they will be talking about them with each other. Does Tucker Carlson think that a law is going to stop kids' curiosity?

    Meanwhile, Somerby, who should know better, thinks that Judge Jackson is responsible for what happens at the school her own children attend, because parents will expect a Supreme Court Justice to monitor such things. That is ludicrous. The question is irrelevant to her confirmation and shouldn't have been asked of her.

    If someone were applying for a job as CEO of a car company, would they be asked about what kids learn at the candidate's children's private school? Of course not. This job as a justice hearing court cases, likewise, has nothing to do with what Fox chooses to suggest goes on in preschools. There was no reason for Jackson to be asked, nor have answered such a question. That she gave a good answer is beside the point. But Somerby seems to think that parents have a right to know what Jackson thinks about a school that she selected for her kids to attend. Because she is female? Because she has kids? Certainly not because she is about to be confirmed to the court. Was Kavanaugh asked about this? Of course not. Was Clarence Thomas? No. Was her predecessor Breyer? No. Was Souter? No. Was even Amy Coney Barrett? Not her either. Just this black woman, who was confronted with a book written by a black author titled "antiracist baby", which has nothing at all to do with this supreme court's job on the bench. But she is black and she is female, so out comes the book. And that is both racist and sexist because it involves special treatment because of her skin color and gender.

    And Somerby thinks this is OK, not an example of misbehavior by Republican questioners. And that makes Somerby sexist and racist too. Any parent who is concerned about this book is free not to buy it. They are similarly free to avoid sending their kids to that school. They are not free to assume that where her kids go to school has anything to do with how this prospective justice would rule on supreme court cases.

  7. "By the way, whatever happened to the public school librarian in D.C. who made the kids act out the Holocaust, with a Jewish kid forced to play the role of Hitler?"

    And here we see Somerby, Carlson-like, offering some "bait" to his readers to suggest that there was no discipline or investigation of that teacher, that liberals are hypocrites because a newspaper didn't print a follow-up (although for all we know, it did). Somerby presents no evidence whatsoever that any liberal condoned that classroom fiasco.

    Is he now going to join the parents on the right who insist on homeschooling because the wide world is too dangerous? Is he doing to suggest that liberals think that such classroom abuses are OK when liberals have not done so? Is he even going to suggest that this example emerged from anything liberals have said or done? It didn't, it was a teacher's mistake, but we don't need to make specific individual laws to address teacher mistakes (that is what supervision and training are for), especially when we don't know what mistake may be perpetrated next and find its way into newspaper columns or Tucker's circus of atrocities (if those were even real teachers and not scripted pieces of propaganda).

  8. "Carlson was making a sensible point."

    What point? Beware of young women with nose rings?

    Somerby should have gone to see his doctor the moment he caught himself thinking that Carlson has anything sensible to say.

    And is it necessary to remind anyone here that Somerby has no kids? He has no idea what would constitute an overreaction by a parent, an extreme case of helicopter parenting, an overblown concern over nothing.

    In CO they have just passed a bill to prohibit bystanders from reporting child abuse because so-called free range parents permit their kids (of an appropriate age) to walk to their neighborhood school or play in a nearby park unsupervised. Emotionally marginal neighbors have been reporting such parents to authorities, which wastes a lot of resources that should be devoted to actual abuse cases and traumatizes the kids.

    Worrying that a children's book might be bad for a child, among the hundreds of books that child will hear read to him or her, or that a nose-ring might be upsetting, or that an emotionally marginal young woman might make a joke about a rainbow flag (likely to go over a preschool child's head) is akin to this over-protective concern about "grooming" and reptilian sex predators that is much more of a fantasy than any fairy tale Somerby might accuse liberals of believing.

    Using children as a proxy for political argument is an abuse of children, in my opinion. It certainly doesn't place the needs of the kids first. It doesn't consider them at all. (As if nose rings had anything to do with education!) Somerby has no kids and has no idea what parents should or should not worry about. His belief that parents should dictate education practices, curriculum, or personnel is wrong. If a school is not helping a child, parents should intervene, but otherwise they should leave things to the professionals, who have training and expertise and do know what they are doing and why, unlike Somerby who dropped into a classroom via Teach for America with nothing but a 6-week course in anti-education propaganda about how enthusiasm is a good substitute for expertise and experience, no classroom management skills needed. Then he was foisted onto poor black children in an inner city school, since it doesn't matter what kind of teacher such kids are given (circa 1966) and there was a shortage of teachers willing to work in such classrooms.

    Somerby has previously described the manner in which he worked through his personal issues in the classroom, now he assumes that all teachers do the same. They don't. Today, it is recognized that teachers need real training to do their jobs. Meanwhile, Tucker Carlson maligns our teachers using pretend ideas about wokeness and Somerby applauds him.

  9. That DC 3rd grade teacher was immediately placed on suspension, the incident was investigated, and the teacher apologized:

    "The staff member also reportedly told students not to tell others about the incident, but they eventually did and it was reported to the D.C. Public Schools’ Comprehensive Alternative Resolution and Equity Team. The class ended up meeting with the school’s mental health team, according to the principal, and an investigation is underway.

    “This was not an approved lesson plan, and we sincerely apologize to our students and families who were subjected to this incident,” a spokesperson for DCPS told the Post."

    Note the phrase "approved lesson plan".

    There has been no subsequent report of discipline, but given all of the other measures taken to address the incident with students, why do we need to know whether this teacher was fired, quit, was asked to pursue counseling, was placed under greater supervision, or what was done? It is between the teacher and the school authorities at that point.

    People fuck up. Does that mean no kids should ever attend school?

  10. The Don't say Gay bill is the smartest, most well thought out economic bill the Republicans have ever passed, only because they haven't passed "Let's Go Brandon" yet.

    1. Goes to show you, unlike the Democrats , with their "identity politics", Republicans are laser-focused on the economy, to help the citizens of the country.
      (This is sarcasm).

  11. "The analysts stood and cheered, behaving the way Cummings and his little sister reportedly did, "looking up at our beautiful tree."

    That poem about the Christmas tree by e.e. cummings has nothing whatsoever to do with what Judge Jackson said during her confirmation hearing. Implying that e.e. cummings would have felt the same way about Jackson's statement as Somerby does (or his analysts), is unfair to cummings (who, although quite famous is also very dead). For all we know, cummings might have had an entirely different reaction to that questioning than Somerby did.

    Somerby often borrows the writing of other people to bolster his propaganda and hit pieces. He always chooses people who are no longer around to object to that bit of rancid piracy.

    1. All Somerby is saying is that his fictional analysts experienced emotions similar to what cummings and his sister felt in the poem.

      The emotions were the same, but Somerby does not imply that the cause of the emotions were the same. So he's making no statement about how cummings would have felt.

    2. Another Somerby whisperer...

  12. "We're morally pure, and we're perfectly good. The Others are known to be racists."

    I have never, ever heard anyone on the left say "we're perfectly good." The difference between the right and the left is that we are at least trying not to be so racist. The same cannot be said of Somerby or the right.

    I suppose that effort to be better still makes liberals an affront to people like Somerby, who don't appear to be trying at all.

  13. "Given current rules of the road, that story got quashed, disappeared!"

    That story appeared all over the place in our media, including other countries such as Great Britain and Israel. Only a moron who cannot use Google would suggest that it had been quashed. Use these search terms: dc teacher holocaust reenactment

    Why does Somerby say things that are so demonstrably untrue?

  14. Here is an interesting passage from a book on white resistance to civil rights (White Rage by historian Carol Anderson).

    "Both the Nixon and Reagan administrations, with the support of the Burger and Rehnquist Supreme Courts, executed two significant tasks to crush the promise embedded in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The first was to redefine what the movement was really "about," with centuries of oppression and brutality suddenly reduced to the harmless symbolism of a bus seat and a water fountain. Thus, when the COLORED ONLY signs went down, inequality had supposedly disappeared. By 1965, Richard Nixon asserted, "almost every legislative roadblock to equality of opportunity for education, jobs, and voting had been removed." Also magically removed, by this interpretation, were up to twenty-four trillion dollars in multigenerational devastation that AFrican Americans had suffered in lost wages, stolen land, educational impoverishment, and housing inequalities. All of that vanished, as if it had never happened. Or, as Patrick Buchanan, adviser to Richard Nixon and presidential candidate himself would explain decades later: "American has been the best country on earth for black folks. It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known." Similarly, chattel slavery, which built the United States' inordinate wealth, molted into an institution in which few if any whites had ever benefited because their "families never owned slaves." Once the need for the Civil Rights Movement was minimized and history rewritten, initiatives like President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society and affirmative action, which were developed to ameliorate hundreds of years of violent and corrosive repression, were easily characterized as reverse discrimination against hardworking whites and a "governmental handout that lazy black people 'choose' to take rather than work."


    We have heard Somerby advance these Republican ideas numerous times. It is the basis for his rationale that no child should be taught that white people were responsible for past racist acts.

    1. Part 2:

      "The second key maneuver, which flowed naturally from the first, was to redefine racism itself. Confronted with civil rights headlines depicting unflattering portrayals of KKK rallies and jackbooted sheriffs, white authority transformed those damning images of white supremacy into the sole definition of racism. This simple but wickedly brilliant conceptual and lingistic shift served multiple purposes. First and foremost, it was conscience soothing. The whittling down of racism to sheet-wearing goons allowed a cloud of racial innocence to cover many whites who, although "resentful of black progress" and determined to ensure that racial inequality remained untouched, could see and project themselves as the "kind of upstanding white citizen[s] who were "positively outraged at the tactics of the Ku Klux Klan." The focus on the Klan also helped to designate racism as an individual aberration rather than something systemic, institional, and pervasive. Moreover, isolating racism to only its nost virulent and visible form allowed respectable politicians and judges to push for policies that ostensibly met the standard of America's new civil rights norms while at the same time crafting the implementation of policies to undermine and destabilize these norms, all too often leaving black communities ravaged.

      The obhjective ws to contain and neutralize the victories of the Civil Rights Movemebt by painting a picture of a "colorblind," equal opportunity society whose doors were now wide open, if only African Americans would take initiative and walk on through. Ronald Reagan breezily shared anecdotes about how Lyndon Johnson's Great Society handed over hard-earned taxpayer dollars to a "slum dweller" to live in posh government-subsidized housing and provided food stamps for one "strapping young buck" to buy steak, while another used the change he received from purchasing an orange to pay for a bottle of vodka...Second- and third-generation Polish Americans, Italian Americans, and other white ethnics seethed that, whereas their own immigrant fathers and grandfathers had had to work their way out of the ghetto, blacks were getting a government-sponsored free ride to the good life on the backs of honest, hardworking white Americans. Some Northern whites began to complain that civil rights apparently only applied to African Americans.


      Somerby promotes this idea too, an idea that emerged from Republicans to address the changes brought about by civil rights and keep white privilege in place.

      These attitudes are racist and their purpose is to limit black progress and prevent change in white privilege in our country. Somerby has promoted these ideas repeatedly and that is why he is being called racist by some commenters here, in addition to the specific statements he makes regularly that are racist in their attitudes and beliefs.

      I highly recommend reading this book because it is difficult to take at face value the assertions that people are colorblind and that equality has been achieved, after reading what white people have done in our lifetimes to obstruct racial progress and civil rights implementation in our country.

    2. 12:44,

      if I understand you, you're saying Somerby promotes the idea that 'civil rights only apply to African-Americans' and/or that 'blacks are getting a free ride to the good life on the backs of honest, hard-working Americans.'

      Could you point me to a single post in which this promotion takes place?

    3. Every time he talks about The Other and how important it is for liberals to understand them, coupled with advice to downplay the woke, CRT stuff because it annoys the Others and loses elections.

      Google The Other in Somerby's blog.

    4. Here are several examples:

      1. The tirade about how the left laughs at and looks down on hard-working people in the South and rural areas. Ongoing mention of liberal smugness.

      2. The description of how Manchin and Trump care about coal-workers whereas Hillary told them their jobs were going away.

      3. Somerby's ongoing concern for those hard-working Asian students who will be pushed out of NYC's science high schools because of black complaints about segregation. An ongoing campaign on Somerby's part to show that integration of majority-minority schools is impossible because not enough white kids live in inner cities.

      4. Several essays about how black kids who are top performers at black schools are still not qualified to enter white universities. It is cruel to ask them to compete.

      5. Repeated suggestions that every time a liberal mocks The Others, a Republican voter is born, because of the lack of respect for Trump supporters who are put off by the excessive wokeness (or any wokeness) touted by Tucker. So we all need to be extra nice to The Others or else they will vote Republican, as if they would ever vote Democratic under any circumstances.

      6. Somerby's support for Kyle Rittenhouse and George Zimmerman and every white cop who ever shot a black person, who exemplify the undereducated white working class who feel beset by dangerous minorities around them. Somerby briefly defended the couple who brandished weapons at protesters marching down "their" street. Somerby claims there is a woke mob who goes after white people who are just exercising their rights, Somerby defends Karens. He thinks that white people who break the law should be given leniency -- Rachel wants to lock up too many Republican wrongdoers. Trump deserves our pity, Somerby says.

      7. Somerby is very big on the white people as victims meme that is also pushed on Fox News. He has suggested that school programs that help black kids do better are scams with inflated performance, because he once caught a school district near him cheating on standardized tests (by which schools are alotted funding).

    5. Somerby has repeatedly argued that racism exists because we pay too much attention to race. He thinks we should all be color blind, since race is a social construct. He thinks that when someone talks about race, they are creating racism themselves, because if people didn't talk about it, it wouldn't exist.

      Somerby has said many times that the excessive focus on race is unfair to everyone because it suggests that the needs of black people are more important than those of everyone else. He has said that emphasizing the abuses of the past, such as during slavery, keeps them alive because black people feel upset by old wrongs. He thinks that black young people cannot point to real instances of discrimination in their own lives, so they make up exaggerated microaggressions, such as feeling left out in classrooms, but these are not real grievances because everyone feels slighted sometimes. He thinks black young people are being taught to feel discriminated against, not actually being harmed. He fairly often points to the exaggerated language about discrimination that is used in by journalists -- and did this throughout the BLM protests. He thinks the need for civil rights is past and now white people's rights are being infringed, which is why Trump supporters are so upset. He has never shown any concern or understanding whatsoever about infringements of voting rights for black people. Today he thinks the media is way too concerned about the conflict between Will and Chris, as if black people should not be given any news attention unless they are singing or playing sports. He has never read a black opinion columnist he liked.

    6. 9:05 was kind of enough to instruct me to search Somerby’s blog for “The Other”. The first result was a 2013 post on the NYT coverage of a Paula Deen court case in which Deen was accused of racial discrimination.

      One brief excerpt from this post encapsulates both the Somerby method and why it is so distasteful to some, to the point of being viewed as racist.

      The Times reporter stated that Deen, in a deposition, had admitted using “racial slurs and jokes that denigrate blacks.”

      Somerby, who ostensibly places a high value on logic and objectivity, pointed out (let’s assume factually) that Deen had only admitted to a single slur, and had not admitted making any jokes denigrating blacks.

      A racial slur is morally abhorrent, as is racial discrimination. By pointing out the Times reporter had overstated the case against Deen, was Somerby merely expressing his passion for logic and objectivity, his desire to sharpen the liberal discourse? Or was he surreptitiously signaling his support to the presumably racist Deen?

      How would we know the correct answer?

    7. When someone admits to only using a racial slur once, many of us will assume that is a lie because no one uses such slurs without a predisposition to think about black people that way. When a slur is abhorrent to a person, it doesn't happen at all, not even accidentally or under pressure. Those who do not use racial slurs recoil emotionally when they hear others do it.

      A person who admits to one slur has probably made several or even many such slurs, but happened to get caught that once. They have a mind that thinks in terms of such slurs, or they operate in an environment where such things are said regularly (without objection by anyone). This makes it possible for them to accidentally let a slur slip out.

      So, what happened to Paul Deen would not EVER happen to someone who does not use such slurs occasionally (in like company) or think about black people in such terms.

      I do not understand why a single instance of use of a racial slur would be forgiven by Somerby or anyone else. This is like a smoker saying that they only smoke 1 or 2 cigarettes a day -- everyone knows the frequency is much greater than what such a person would admit to.

      Even if one were excessively literal, Deen admitting to "racial slurs and jokes that denigrate blacks" does not boil down to one slur. At the very least, it is admitting to one slur and one joke. There is no reason to assume that her claim to one slur is factual, nor for you to assume that Somerby is factually correct either. Somerby doesn't deserve any benefit of doubt on that, since he has been wrong several times that I have myselfcaught when he is stating facts.

      Does it seem logical to you that a lawsuit would have been brought against Deen for one single instance of a racial slur? The lawsuit was dismissed, but it included other complaints, including her desire to have black employees dress in antebellum outfits (like Aunt Jemima) and ring a bell to announce dinner, as slaves used to do:

      "Jackson also claimed Deen wanted her African American employees [to] behave a certain way during a wedding Deen was planning. “I mean, it was really impressive. That restaurant represented a certain era in America … after the Civil War, during the Civil War, before the Civil War … It was not only black men, it was black women … I would say they were slaves," Radar quoted Deen as saying about the party during a deposition."

      Her staff objected to being depicted that way. Deen herself blamed her use of the slurs as part of a past in which many people spoke that way, reluctantly admitting that times have changed. That doesn't suggest a single occurrence to me. Somerby of course leaves that part out as he tries to pretend that the press is overexcitedly exaggerating a case against Deen.

      In 2013 when Somerby discussed this stuff, someone in a public spotlight such as Deen should have known better. The slur reflects an attitude toward civil rights and inclusivity and a sense of impunity, privileged status that exempts someone from having to respect others. Deen was famous and successful but that doesn't excuse using racial slurs and treating slavery as a party theme.

      Somerby defended Deen, he didn't surreptitiously signal anything. He defended her because he doesn't think a racial slur is that big a deal. But then, he lives in Baltimore where he perhaps hears such slurs frequently and he may even think them himselves, given the less than exemplary attitude toward black people that Somerby grew up with in his Irish American Boston community. He himself has recounted his experiences with attempts to integrate Boston schools. If so, perhaps a slur is no big deal to Somerby and Paula Deen may seem like a harmless, nice old lady who makes food for people, and not someone who draws a line of emphasis that excludes black people from her cooking, restaurants and parties that says clearly "whites only."

    8. How beautifully illustrative this reply is. To grasp the essence of the majority of disputes on this site, see my post at 2:39 and the reply at 3:20.

      2:39 resembles a typical Somerby post: narrow, focused on word choice, picking logical nits. It concerns a small variance between a reporter’s version of events and the events themselves. Classic Somerby. Focused on a single aspect of a larger case (Paula Deen civil suit), a case with broader ramifications and components, left unremarked on by Somerby.

      3:20 is broad, expansive, not so concerned with establishing Somerby’s guilt but inclining to a kind of hive-like shared knowledge or assumption of guilt (at one point saying puzzlingly that Somerby had ‘forgiven’ Deen).

      Though both Somerby’s post and mine at 2:39 focused on a reporter’s conduct, 3:20 focuses from its first sentence not on the reporter, but on the subject of the reporting. The reporter is referred to once, very indirectly.

      This is truly the epicenter of much disagreement at the Howler:
      a) Somerby writes about reporters;
      b) Commenters link him to the subject of the

    9. "In 2013 when Somerby discussed this stuff, someone in a public spotlight such as Deen should have known better."

      Misleading. The slur was made 36 years ago.

    10. "Deen was famous and successful but that doesn't excuse using racial slurs and treating slavery as a party theme."

      She wasn't famous 1/3rd of a century ago when she made the slur in question.

    11. Do you seriously believe it was OK to use racial slurs 36 years ago? (It has been 9 years since Somerby defended her.)

    12. Yes, Somerby uses trivial nitpicks against specific journalists to talk about issues in the news, nearly always advancing conservative memes and defending conservative wrongdoing in the process. If he were simply addressing trivial journalist mistakes, you would expect some of Somerby's complaints to support liberal issues and political figures occasionally, but that doesn't happen.

      There is no "journalistic issue" in Somerby's statements that all of the Democratic presidential candidates were horrible, or that Kamala Harris was spreading misinformation when she talked about the gender pay gap, or that Chanel Miller brought her assault on herself by drinking at a party, and similar nonsense that Somerby has written here.

    13. No I'm just saying what you wrote was wrong.

  15. Was watching a British show and the host says "If you think they're getting rid of Christmas because of something you read in the Daily Mail that's your fault."

    I think the same is true for cable news, especially Tucker and Fox.

    Life is too short to waste it being upset on command for them like trained seals. Fucking capitalists.

  16. I attended an integrated Jr. HS and HS. At no time did any teacher ever allude to a student's race or imply that race had any significance. To do so would have been considered racist at that time. I still hold that view.

    1. How fortunate for you. If African American students of your age (e.g. in high school in the 60s before integration of the South) had similarly attended integrated schools, perhaps they too might be more interested in being "color blind" as you claim to be.

      No one would have thought it racist to integrate black students without any mention of their race. Not in the 1960s and not now. It is racist to deny black students the same opportunities as white students, including the opportunity to attend an integrated school instead of the majority-minority schools black kids now attend in major cities.

      I would like to see some proof that it would have been considered racist to have a racially integrated school when you were a youngster (e.g., 60s). I assume you were in California because the South was not anywhere near willing to comply with Brown V Topeka Board of Education during that time period. Colleges weren't even integrated, much less K-12 schools. Or perhaps you think a token black kid in the back row of one of two classes qualifies as integrated?

      If your teacher didn't talk about the significance of race during history class, you got shortchanged on your education, because it sure as hell has mattered historically speaking, right up to and including the present.

    2. "Education stops with me." - David's coat of arms

  17. Bob is being really nitpicky here.

    As the comments above point out, the bill doesn't say don't, it says "constrained!"

    You have to be pretty uneducated or maybe zombified from tv media not to recognize the synonym.

    The Daily Howler has a tinge of Catholic self hatred and social conservativism that he projects onto the Democratic Party. This puts him in touch with the common man, the common man should be White Catholic and grumbling like Bob is. The common LGBT student is welcome to exist but nobody is to know about it.

    I wish white Catholics would recognize they own the supreme court, they're not losing.

    1. The literal quote from the law is "may not occur". I'm not making this up. The new York times called it "constrained."

      Yeah, something's wrong with Bob. Can somebody check on him before he wanders into traffic?

  18. "Over the course of the past month, Russia's invasion of Ukraine had knocked us off our game.

    We were discussing Ukraine around the clock."

    Not Somerby.

    1. Yes, that was the time to go educate and make yourself smarter. Tisk. MSNBC was hard to disparage as that end of spectrum not being juiced in Russian State TV.

    2. When is Bob going to produce a 75 paragraph scrolling 3-dimensional infographic on Kiev? It's like he doesn't want us to know about it!

  19. As we have established that Bob will only really find fault or even examine LEFT TV (his kind words for Carlson today a rare exception) it should be expected to follow that only LEFT PEOPLE are to be found fault with.
    Those inclined to LOOK AWAY from Trump are not really apt to find fault with him. Oh yes, much of the left press has the supposed obsession with poor Donald. So I guess the ignored items, like having a Political Convention at the White House, illegal ? possibly, Immoral? basically. Commented on? Almost not at all.
    This goes, of course, with the supposedly fine people the snotty nosed left are just all against. There may be something to this, but didn't Ginny Thomas
    just let us know what these "good" people are
    capable off? What's going on in minds? I would
    say She did, and we can expect Bob to be driven a
    little crazy over the rest of the year trying to spin
    Ginny Thomas as a good person who just happens to
    disagree with our "tribe."
    Was it ever not clear that Donald Trump was someone
    who was both able to casually accuse others of illegal acts he had no reason to claim they committed, and at the same time
    quite likely prone to such acts himself?
    To Bob, a moral coward, the virtue of the Democrats
    can only be illustrate by there ability to, like
    him, look away. He will continue to jeer at them
    until Ginny Thomas's vision of America is realized.

    1. I'm sorry did you just call CNN and nbc left wing?

  20. In a sane universe, no supreme court judge gets to decide what a conflict of interest is.

    The fact that we let them do that is absurd. That's like how you run an Egyptian dictatorship.

  21. This is what I remember learning in kindergarten:

    I needed glasses. I had no idea everything didn't get blurry when it was three feet away from me. That's just what the world looked like.

    Also, I didn't know I wasn't support to know how to read, or at the very least I was supposed to tell the teacher I could read.

    I know I picked up on stuff like people are different but that's okay at some point, but I don't know when that happened, as I grew up in a white flight suburb.

    1. This comment illustrates the problem with choosing a nym. I have been calling myself various women's names for several weeks now, as a response to AC/MA who complained about there being too many anonymous commenters. Today, someone else is doing the same. I am not her. Similarly, someone here has been calling himself Greg, while the original Greg has added his name to the bottom of an anonymous comment. Whatever name I might choose in an effort to differentiate myself can similarly be spoofed (although this person today may actually be Cheryl). So, I am going back to calling myself anonymous because using nyms doesn't work well in a group populated by trolls.

  22. From Maureen Dowd's column today:

    "Bill Maher told TMZ that Smith’s attack was redolent of modern mores. “It was sort of like cancel culture encapsulated, because at first you saw he was laughing at the joke, right?” And then there’s the I’m-supposed-to-be-offended moment and the wild overreaction. “He was like the Twitter mob come alive.”

    And here we see the suggestion again that liberals do not genuinely care about the issues that concern them. That this is "performative" zeal aimed at others, not a real emotional reaction. Somerby does this too. He thinks liberals don't genuinely care about their concerns but are "virtue signaling". But who gives these white men the right to decide what other people feel, what they care about? Why does Somerby think it is up to white people to decide when racism is over and how black people should feel about the obstacles placed in their way by those selfsame white people? Somerby's attack on black voices here in his column is a disturbing aspect of white attempts to roll back racial progress against the legacy of slavery. When you silence someone it becomes harder for them to assert their rights.

    If you were to go back and catalog the number of black journalists, authors, professors, opinion columnists, politicians and community leaders, you would find that they are way over-represented among those Somerby singles out for criticism over the years. Even Rachel is not attacked as often as Blow, Lemon, Bouie, Reid, and other black lightning rods who attract Somerby's attention on a regular basis.

    When Gates was upset because he was accosted by police when he was trying to get into his own house, Somerby criticized his perception that it was racially motivated. Now that Gates is saying that ancestry is more important than race, he is receiving positive attention from Somerby. But such positive reviews are few. Somerby cannot find anything to like about Jackson's hearing except one answer that exempts children from racial accountability -- Somerby applauds that one, ignoring that adults are not similarly exempted. And Somerby cannot approve of her qualifications despite her high praise, calling that praise itself manufactured and discounting that she might actually be as good as everyone says she is. He says that no one can assess her quality -- but then he goes ahead and does it anyway. And that is what bias looks like.

  23. Clarence Thomas Countdown!

    "17 organizations have come together to call on the House and Senate Judiciary Committees to investigate Justice Clarence Thomas for misconduct."

    Here begins the countdown to Somerby's defense of Clarence Thomas. This is exactly the kind of situation that triggers Somerby. A woman (Ginni Thomas) has been doing things that put poor Clarence in the spotlight and now the left is going after him. Somerby will see this as unfair and begin defending him in...10...9...8...7...

    1. "17 organizations have come together to call..."

      But did 50 former intelligence officials sign the letter?

  24. Somerby has been attributing Trump's great lie about the 2020 election to Trump's inability to accept defeat, but the Republicans have been lying about election theft since Obama's election, in order to justify voter suppression.

    Laws designed to make it more difficult for African Americans to vote have been part of an intensified wave of voter suppression arising after McCain's loss to Obama. According to Carol Anderson, Republicans perceived themselves to be caught "between a demographically declining support base and an ideological straitjacket that made the party not only unresponsive but also unpalatable to millions of Americans..." so they came up with new schemes to suppress the black vote. They hid these behind "a legitimate-sounding, noteworthy concern: protecting the integrity of the ballot box from voter fraud."

    "The Southern Strategy's long-term efforts to link the Democratic Party with blacks and to make Africam American synonymous with crime, thus made tying Democrats to widespread fraud a simple, logical leap. 'Corruption, election fraud, and Democrats,' one man noted 'they went hand-in-hand-in-hand.'"

    "Obama's victory, by this line of interpretation, was not the result of a brilliant strategy, that had already out-maneuvered the Clinton juggernaut by energizing the youth and the poor to believe that they had an actual stake in American, but rather the sordid outcone of a brazenly stolen election tied directly to all those new voters. Key to this charges was the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), a community-based group that had launched extensive voter registration drives throughout the country. Even before the first vote was cast, McCain accused ACORN of "perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.' By the time the election was over, as Newsweek's Katie Connolly reported, 'a 52% majority of GOP voters nationally [thought] that ACORN stole the presidential election for Barack Obama last yearm with only 27% granting that he won it legitimately."

    ...Oddly enough, ACORN had already been investigated extensively by the George W. Bush administration, which had pressured U.S. attorneys to find evidence of fraud. No matter how hard they tried, though, they simply couldn't. And when some of the attorneys in the Department of Justice refused to throw suspicion on Democratic candidates by filing half-baked or trumped-up charges of voter registration fraud, especially before an election, they were summarily fired."

    So, Republicans have been primed to accept Trump's claims of voter fraud because they were fed similar claims about Obama's election before that. The lies about elections are not Trump's unique contribution to politics, but are an extension of a deliberate Republican strategy to maintain political power by blaming elections on fraud which in turn justifies suppression of voting by Democrats, especially African Americans, the traditional target of voting restrictions intended to overturn the 15th Amendment giving black people the vote. The failure to renew the Voting Rights Act is part of that strategy, as it has been every time it has come up for renewal.

    Somerby's tendency to attribute whatever Donald Trump does or says to mental illness tends to deflect from Republican political machinations conducted by organized party members in a deliberate scheme to reduce Democratic votes in upcoming elections.

    Source of quotes: White Rage, Carol Anderson, 2016.

  25. "Some teachers have terrible judgment. Every sane parent will grasp that fact. Only frightened children like us will pretend that this isn't the case."

    That's why prospective teachers go through a four-year degree program that includes supervised teaching, then are assigned a mentor teacher and have several probationary years before achieving tenure. Teacher who exercise terrible judgment during that time period are not rehired.

    There is a shortage of teachers now due to covid and the difficult working conditions in districts with uncertain finances. There is also a high burnout rate among teachers, who then leave and do something else. In districts that cannot find well-trained teachers, the substitutes and emergency credentialed teachers may have less training and thus poorer judgment, but as a rule, teachers are not permitted to just do anything they want in the classroom and they are not emotional fuckups with nose rings, as Somerby suggests (based on Tucker Carlson's hit piece on teachers).

    This idea that teachers are social deviants who can have their will with your kids is ridiculous given what most teachers are like -- conscientious, empathetic, well-educated youngish people with considerable idealism, who tend to genuinely like children. Some are old-hands with a dedication Somerby obviously didn't possess. These are not people who are going to do scary stuff unless closely watched.

    That's why this essay by Somerby is deeply offensive to the teachers who have struggled with learning on-line education techniques on the fly and trying to keep kids motivated during distance education in the midst of this pandemic. They deserve a medal, they deserve parental gratitude too, not suspicion about their intentions toward racist babies.

    Somerby's claims about having been a teacher are a huge joke under these circumstances. I have no trouble believing that he left teaching with a huge chip on his shoulder, since that seems to be his approach to life in general, but he has never defended teachers here, except to occasionally refer to those ratty teachers and their ratty teacher's unions. Somerby should be ashamed of himself.

    1. What a completely imbecilic interpretation of what was written.

  26. Here is something a good-faith media critic who happened to be an actual liberal might talk about: