ENEMIES OR FRIENDS: "He may be right," McWhorter said!


Professor Gates may be wrong: Yesterday afternoon, we returned to a news report we'd looked at once before.

It appeared last week in the Washington Post. Headline included, the news report started like this:

As red states target Black history lessons, blue states embrace them

Even as lessons on Black history draw complaints from Republican governors, who argue the instruction is ideological, several blue states are moving in the opposite direction—mandating classes in African American, Latino and Puerto Rican studies—and setting up a uniquely American division over how we teach our past.

Since 2019, partly in response to the murder of George Floyd, at least four reliably Democratic states—Connecticut, Delaware, Maine and Rhode Island—have passed laws requiring instruction on Black history...Connecticut’s law says African American, Puerto Rican and Latino studies must be included in the social studies component of all public school curriculums. Delaware’s mandates that school districts offer instruction on Black history. Maine’s says that African American studies and the history of genocide must be included in state testing standards. And Rhode Island’s orders schools to include a unit on African History and Heritage.

Three cheers for the four blue states which "have [now] passed laws requiring instruction on Black history!"

According to this news report, "lessons on Black history" have been "draw[ing] complaints from Republican governors." Those blue states had been "moving in the opposite direction," at least partly in response to the murder of George Floyd.

It seemed to us that a bit of cheerleading might lurk in that formulation. Like much of what we read and hear in the current journalistic environment, this slightly slanted formulation seemed to be directing side-eye at our blue tribe's political enemies while showering praise on our friends.

Large amounts of our current discourse are fashioned from this ancient construct. We may not stop to wonder why the four heroic states in question had to wait until 2020—had to wait for Goerge Floyd's brutal murder!—to come up with the amazing idea of teaching black history statewide, in all their public schools.

Is it possible that these late arrivals were engaged in a bit of showboating—were engaging in acts of moral performance? At times like these, such questions will rarely be asked about our favorite friends.

Long ago and far away, a famous president—Abraham Lincoln—spoke out against the culture of enemies and friends. 

"We must not be enemies," Lincoln said. "We are not enemies, but friends." 

He said these things in his first inaugural address. Four years later, President Lincoln was shot and killed by one of his murderous friends.

Why did Delaware belatedly mandate that its school districts have to offer instruction on Black history? We have no idea.

We also can't tell you, with any certainty, what Ron DeSantis actually thinks about the teaching of such subjects.  

We're inclined to view DeSantis as a demagogue and a bully. Based on his recent essay for the New York Times, it sounds like Professor McWhorter views DeSantis in a roughly similar way.

Professor McWhorter was discussing the decision by the College Board to eliminate certain parts of its proposed Advanced Placement course in African American Studies. That included parts of the course DeSantis had opposed.

Had the Board amended its course because of DeSantis? It's hard to know the answer to that. But concerning the role that Desantis may have played, McWhorter offered this:

MCWHORTER (2/16/23): I’d like to make clear that I disapprove of the vast majority of DeSantis’s culture warrior agenda, a ham-handed set of plans designed to stir up a G.O.P. base in thrall to unreflective figures such as Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene. If DeSantis runs for president, he will not get my vote.

However, even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and in terms of how we tell the story of Black America, the board did the right thing, whether because of DeSantis’s threat or for more high-minded reasons...

Dear God! The horrible headline even said this:

DeSantis May Have Been Right

Professor McWhorter isn't a fan of Governor DeSantis. Even so, he allowed for a possibility which has gone way out of date:

He allowed for the possibility that DeSantis, a ham-handed culture warrior, may have been right this time, on this particular matter.

For this one brief shining moment, McWhorter left cartooning behind. He allowed for an antique possibility: on occasion, a person he doesn't widely admire may get something right.

Was DeSantis right in his complaints about the Advanced Placement course? In our view, DeSantis is so inarticulate in the way he has voiced his complaints that the question may not be worth asking.

That said, we don't think it's obvious that DeSantis wasn't basically right in some ways. We're happy to share McWhorter's belief in the occasional wisdom of clocks.

McWhorter turned away from a modern practice when he penned this piece. According to that modern practice, the Other has to be wrong every time, preferably after our tribunes have embellished or "improved" whatever he actually said. 

This doesn't make DeSantis a friend. It simply means that there's a chance that he won't always be wrong.

Our modern discourse tends to run on a different fuel, and even the best among us may be swept away by its power. Just consider what Professor Gates said!

A few years ago, we skillfully credited Professor Gates with "the greatest question ever asked." ("What difference does it make?" he said to Ava DuVernay.)

For our money, it was the greatest ever! On the other hand, he drives us crazy on Finding Your Roots when he gives his guests the impression that (for example) they have only one "fourth great grandfather," even though the professor knows that his guest very likely has a full complement of 32.

(Just this week, the professor told Angela Davis that William Brewster, of Mayflower fame, is "your tenth great grandfather," full stop. In fact, a person may have as many as 2,048 tenth great grandfathers! In fairness, withholding such facts makes for "good [or much better] TV.")

We wish the professor wouldn't do that! On the other hand, his show develops a wealth of historical insight, with just this one particular thumb on this one particular scale.

Professor Gates is, quite plainly, a plainly good, decent person. He's also very smart and extremely learned. 

That said, even people of the highest caliber can get swept up in the culture of enemies / friends. Just consider the column the professor wrote about DeSantis for Sunday's New York Times.

Is it possible that DeSantis got something right about the Advanced Placement course? There's no reason why Professor Gates has to think that—and if he actually thinks some such thing, no rule says that he has to say so.

What he surely shouldn't do is what he actually did. 

Good lord! Professor Gates is a good, decent person, but in his column about DeSantis, he went on and on and on and on, discussing a 19th century, slavery-loving figure. It was all part of giving DeSantis "the benefit of the doubt!"

GATES (2/19/23): Even if we give the governor the benefit of the doubt about the motivations behind his recent statements about the content of the original version of the College Board’s A.P. curriculum in African American studies, his intervention falls squarely in line with a long tradition of bitter, politically suspect battles over the interpretation of three seminal periods in the history of American racial relations: the Civil War; the 12 years following the war, known as Reconstruction; and Reconstruction’s brutal rollback, characterized by its adherents as the former Confederacy’s “Redemption,” which saw the imposition of Jim Crow segregation, the reimposition of white supremacy and their justification through a masterfully executed propaganda effort.

Undertaken by apologists for the former Confederacy with an energy and alacrity that was astonishing in its vehemence and reach, in an era defined by print culture, politicians and amateur historians joined forces to police the historical profession. The so-called Lost Cause movement was, in effect, a take-no-prisoners social media war. And no single group or person was more pivotal to “the dissemination of the truths of Confederate history, earnestly and fully and officially,” than the historian general of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Mildred Lewis Rutherford, of Athens, Ga. Rutherford was a descendant of a long line of slave owners; her maternal grandfather owned slaves as early as 1820, and her maternal uncle, Howell Cobb, secretary of the Treasury under President James Buchanan, owned some 200 enslaved women and men in 1840. Rutherford served as the principal of the Lucy Cobb Institute (a school for girls in Athens) and vice president of the Stone Mountain Memorial project, the former Confederacy’s version of Mount Rushmore.

In a column about DeSantis, Professor Gates went on and on, then on and on, about Mildred Lewis Rutherford (1851-1928), "a prominent white supremacist speaker" and an old world "historian general." For the record, this was all part of giving DeSantis the benefit of the doubt!

For the record, when we say that Gates went on and on, we mean he really went on and on. Given the passions of the age, this was a good person's idea of giving DeSantis "the benefit of the doubt:"

GATES (continuing directly): As the historian David Blight notes, “Rutherford gave new meaning to the term ‘die-hard.’” Indeed, she “considered the Confederacy ‘acquitted as blameless’ at the bar of history, and sought its vindication with a political fervor that would rival the ministry of propaganda in any twentieth-century dictatorship.” And she felt that the crimes of Reconstruction “made the Ku Klux Klan a necessity.” As I pointed out in a PBS documentary on the rise and fall of Reconstruction, Rutherford intuitively understood the direct connection between history lessons taught in the classroom and the Lost Cause racial order being imposed outside it, and she sought to cement that relationship with zeal and efficacy. She understood that what is inscribed on the blackboard translates directly to social practices unfolding on the street.

“Realizing that the textbooks in history and literature which the children of the South are now studying, and even the ones from which many of their parents studied before them,” she wrote in “A Measuring Rod to Test Text Books, and Reference Books in Schools, Colleges and Libraries,” “are in many respects unjust to the South and her institutions, and that a far greater injustice and danger is threatening the South today from the late histories which are being published, guilty not only of misrepresentations but of gross omissions, refusing to give the South credit for what she has accomplished … I have prepared, as it were, a testing or measuring rod.” And Rutherford used that measuring rod to wage a systematic campaign to redefine the Civil War not as our nation’s war to end the evils of slavery but as “the War Between the States,” since as she wrote elsewhere, “the negroes of the South were never called slaves.” And they were “well fed, well clothed and well housed.

Of the more than 25 books and pamphlets that Rutherford published, none were more important than “A Measuring Rod.” Published in 1920, her user-friendly pamphlet was meant to be the index “by which every textbook on history and literature in Southern schools should be tested by those desiring the truth.” The pamphlet was designed to make it easy for “all authorities charged with the selection of textbooks for colleges, schools and all scholastic institutions to measure all books offered for adoption by this ‘Measuring Rod,’ and adopt none which do not accord full justice to the South.” What’s more, her campaign was retroactive. As the historian Donald Yacovone tells us in his recent book, “Teaching White Supremacy,” Rutherford insisted that librarians “should scrawl ‘unjust to the South’ on the title pages” of any “unacceptable” books “already in their collections.”

On a page headed ominously by the word “Warning,” Rutherford provides a handy list of what a teacher or a librarian should “reject” or “not reject.”

“Reject a book that speaks of the Constitution other than a compact between sovereign states.”

“Reject a textbook that does not give the principles for which the South fought in 1861, and does not clearly outline the interferences with the rights guaranteed to the South by the Constitution, and which caused secession.”

“Reject a book that calls the Confederate soldier a traitor or rebel, and the war a rebellion.”

“Reject a book that says the South fought to hold her slaves.”

“Reject a book that speaks of the slaveholder of the South as cruel and unjust to his slaves.”

And my absolute favorite, “Reject a textbook that glorified Abraham Lincoln and vilifies Jefferson Davis, unless,” she adds graciously, “a truthful cause can be found for such glorification and vilification before 1865.”

And what of slavery? “This was an education that taught the negro self-control, obedience and perseverance—yes, taught him to realize his weaknesses and how to grow stronger for the battle of life,” Rutherford writes in 1923 in “The South Must Have Her Rightful Place.” “The institution of slavery as it was in the South, far from degrading the negro, was fast elevating him above his nature and race.” For Rutherford, who lectured wearing antebellum hoop gowns, the war over the interpretation of the meaning of the recent past was all about establishing the racial order of the present: “The truth must be told, and you must read it, and be ready to answer it.” Unless this is done, “in a few years there will be no South about which to write history.”

In other words, Rutherford’s common core was the Lost Cause. And it will come as no surprise that this vigorous propaganda effort was accompanied by the construction of many of the Confederate monuments that have dotted the Southern landscape since.

While it’s safe to assume that most contemporary historians of the Civil War and Reconstruction are of similar minds about Rutherford and the Lost Cause, it’s also true that one of the most fascinating aspects of African American studies is the rich history of debate over issues like this, and especially over what it has meant—and continues to mean—to be “Black” in a nation with such a long and troubled history of human slavery at the core of its economic system for two and a half centuries.

Gates spent little time discussing anything DeSantis has actually said about the AP course. Instead, he went on and on, then on and on, about a turn of the (last) century pro-slavery figure—all this as part of giving DeSantis the benefit of the doubt!

The analysts were crying and tearing their hair as they read the column. Sadly, we're forced to say that we understood. 

Professor Gates is plainly a good, decent person, but we're not sure we've ever seen such an obvious application of McCarthyism in the past many years. Eventually, a very good person offered this undisguised tribute to that famous tactic:

GATES: Is it fair to see Governor DeSantis’s attempts to police the contents of the College Board’s A.P. curriculum in African American studies in classrooms in Florida solely as little more than a contemporary version of Mildred Rutherford’s Lost Cause textbook campaign? No. But the governor would do well to consider the company that he is keeping. And let’s just say that he, no expert in African American history, seems to be gleefully embarked on an effort to censor scholarship about the complexities of the Black past with a determination reminiscent of Rutherford’s. While most certainly not embracing her cause, Mr. DeSantis is complicitous in perpetuating her agenda.

Is it fair to fashion DeSantis this way? No, the professor sad. 

Still, "the governor would do well to consider [the things we're going to say]."  At deeply fraught times like these, that's what the good people say!

For ourselves, we wish the professor would cut it out with his "your [one] tenth great grandfather" framework. That said, Professor Gates is a very high-caliber person. For that reason, we'd have to say that a lesson lurks in the essay he wrote.

According to experts, we tend to turn, at times of extreme polarization, to the model of enemies / friends. We praise blue states for vastly belated performative acts in the wake of George Floyd's brutal death, and we offer accounts of what the Others are doing which may be somewhat slanted.

We may even seem to suggest that lesser beings like the nation's governors have no business "policing [us] historians." Let us experts serve as your philosopher kings, such experts have sometimes said.

"We must not be enemies," Lincoln said. Dr. King, but also Mandela, later said much the same thing.

Respect for Others is a culture. Back in 1865, a vicious lack of respect came along and stole one life away.


  1. tl;dr
    Jeez, you waste so many pixels, dear Bob.

    ...when it's obvious to every normal ordinary person that the way to teach American history -- nay, scratch that -- to teach anything is to keep all good-decent persons away from schools. Yes, dear Bob, to ban good-decent persons from coming closer than 300 ft to any public school. Case closed...

  2. Hawaiian studies should be required, too.

    1. They are, in Hawaii. That group is referred to as Pacific Islanders, by the way, because there are groups of people outside the state who are related to the indigenous people of Hawaii. In CA, children are required to study the early missionaries and Mexican and Indian heritage of the state -- typically in third grade. In CO, they learn about the miners and prairie settlers and cattle ranchers, and the Utes.

      The problem is not that appropriate studies weren't already being taught in schools, but that conservatives came along and objected to the inclusion of minorities in the histories of our states. These new mandates are in opposition to such meddling based on race by those who cannot stand positive attention being paid to non-white people.

    2. “The problem is not that appropriate studies weren't already being taught in schools, but that conservatives came along and objected to the inclusion of minorities in the histories of our states. These new mandates are in opposition to such meddling based on race by those who cannot stand positive attention being paid to non-white people.”

      Not so. Right or wrong, they’re objecting to a left-wing ideology being spun about such history. No one’s objecting to simple inclusion. You’re really burlesquing their position — their claim is not that it’s just white people who should be talked about.

    3. Gates is far from a left-wing ideologue. He headed the committee. This about denying black children access to the facts of their history and it is about educating white children about how bad things were for black people in our American past, so they can understand why black people are struggling today and not blame it on negative stereotypes. It is about preventing the spread of bigotry arising from ignorance and giving black people some breathing room in our society. Why wouldn't DeSantis support that?

      Remember that DeSantis's board of education could not come up with any specific examples of things they objected to, when they met with the College Board about revising the course. If they were objecting to ideology, they could have pointed out some examples, but they didn't do that. That means it is the overall idea of teaching black history that they object to, not anything in the course itself.

  3. "We may not stop to wonder why the four heroic states in question had to wait until 2020—had to wait for Goerge Floyd's brutal murder!—to come up with the amazing idea of teaching black history statewide, in all their public schools."

    The reason why blue states have mandated the teaching of African American history is because bigots (emboldened by Donald Trump) have started meddling with the state curriculum in public education. Blue states are trying to protect the right of all citizens to have their history included in what is taught to children, where relevant.

    Yes, this is a reaction to George Floyd's killing, but it is more a reaction to the rise in racist violence represented by that killing, the resurgent white supremacist movement and Republican bigotry.

  4. "Is it possible that these late arrivals were engaged in a bit of showboating—were engaging in acts of moral performance? At times like these, such questions will rarely be asked about our favorite friends."

    Such questions do not need to be asked among those to whom it is obvious what the right wing has been doing. Somerby ignores the attack on public education, pretending that this is just virtue signaling, when it is a response to conservative attacks on efforts to achieve social justice for minorities.

  5. "For the record, when we say that Gates went on and on, we mean he really went on and on."

    For the record, when Somerby says that Gates went on and on, he means that he has no interest in placing DeSantis's current actions into any historical context that would help people understand why this current attack on public education is part of a lengthy racist crusade to roll back social justice for black people in our country.

    Somerby doesn't care what Rutherford did to the history of our country. Somerby doesn't care that DeSantis is in a direct line from that post-confederate revisionism, continuing a racist tradition of teaching fake history to students, fiction that has maintained racism in the South to the present and made this period in time more difficult for people in FL and throughout the south.

    Somerby clearly wants to fast-forward through Gates' explanation of why DeSantis's actions matter and are of a piece with past racist behavior, and thus cannot be tolerated in states where people care about social justice. Ultimately, Somerby has no interest in social justice, and no interest in making sure that those beautiful black children (who he used to gush over) are able to learn the truth about their own ancestors and American past.

    I don't believe Somerby cares at all about any black people. That makes it easier for him to embrace the racist conservative garbage being warmed-over by Trump, his Proud Boys, and these risen from the ashes conservative governors in red states where they have been pretending that the old South never fell.

    1. I don’t believe Bob is indifferent to
      black people. Like a lot of whites,
      somewhat provoked by sometimes
      insufferable liberal intellectuals, he
      snaps into snowflaky defensive
      positions, sentimentalizing the
      Confederacy, etc. As people get
      older, these viewpoints can
      harden into formidable stupidity.
      Bob probably IS a good, decent
      person on balance. Our own
      sad history and his own ludicrous
      blind spots have sort of cornered
      him into writing like an asshole.

    2. When did Bob sentimentalize the Confederacy?

    3. When he defended the people who wanted to preserve the confederate statues for one thing. He made a big point of saying we shouldn't confuse them with neo-Nazis because some of them ARE fine people. And he wants us to know that not everyone who is nostalgic for the South that was is necessarily racist. He wrote a whole set of essays about a woman who returned to her old Southern small town and said semi-mean things about it, defending the right of the South to be as provincial as it wants. And here, he justifies the whites who claim to have more sympathy for the confederacy than the Union, although a commenter explains the poll results better than Somerby does:


      On Nov 8, 2021, Somerby says:

      "Should Lee have been charged with treason? We've never exactly seen why. We say that for this reason:

      In our view, there was and is nothing obviously wrong with wanting to secede from the Union. Many people favor secession movements today, including some progressives."

      "Did Abraham Lincoln do the right thing when "he waged war on the Confederacy?"

      "Full disclosure: According to experts, your lizard brain is going to insist that of course Lee was a traitor.

      We can't say those experts are right. "

      Somerby's sophistry over whether the South had the right to secede is similar to his view that Trump's impeachment abrogated the will of those who put him in office.

    4. Gates went on and on about an obvious racist from a hundred years ago, and then admitted it really wasn’t DeSantis he was comparing her too. So why did he go on and on? It was interesting stuff, but a bit overloaded for the point he was trying to make, no? I think that was Bob’s point.

    5. Gates summarized African American history. Then he left wiggle room to say that DeSantis was not as blatantly racist as Rutherford, even while engaged in the same activities. Somerby's point was that he doesn't like being lectured about Southern bigotry. He has been making that point for several decades now. Gates was trying to allow YOU and people like you to see the similarities between DeSantis and Rutherford's actions, so that YOU and people like you will stop supporting and defending DeSantis when he engages in the same Jim Crow behavior.

      Somerby has described one action here, the banning of the AP course, but DeSantis has engaged in many other coordinated activities to turn his state into a repressive state. Gates is right to draw historical parallels so that people will know what is happening to FL. Somerby is wrong to ignore the main point and complain about the length of Gates' essay. WcWhorter is wrong too.

      If I were Gates, I might use press access to make clear what some of that history that DeSantis is eager to suppress consists of. That is what I think Gates was doing. If DeSantis won't allow African American students to know what was done in their not-so-distant past, then Gates and people like him can and should use their access to editoral space in major newspapers to show what they are missing and point out the similarities between DeSantis and past racists who used their positions to suppress literacy among black people and potential allies.

  6. "Gates spent little time discussing anything DeSantis has actually said about the AP course. "

    Somerby pretends that DeSantis has legitimate concerns about the AP course, when the committee that met with the College Board could offer no specific objections to anything that the course developers could respond to. Now DeSantis is trying to block the use of the SAT and other AP courses -- not because of content but as an expensive stunt, pretending that there is objectionable material in them too. Again, nothing specific is being said about their content because there is nothing to talk about.

    But Somerby pretends that DeSantis is not being given a chance to defend his opposition. Gates understands DeSantis's objections better than Somerby does. At the heart, they are dog whistles to racism, and Gates is addressing that racism head on and telling his readers that this is part of a historical tradition of portraying the South as a victim of Northern aggression while downplaying the evils of slavery and pretending the war was about State's rights instead of eliminating slavery. DeSantis is another Wallace, defending the racist traditions of the South. That's all, and Gates is merely pointing that out, by showing the similarities between DeSantis's efforts to control information and those of Rutherford.

    As Gates notes, studying the history of African Americans includes Rutherford and her efforts. Someone sincerely interested in black history would find Gates' recitation fascinating. Somerby does not because he doesn't care about black people, their history, or ensuring that they are treated fairly.

    1. This and 2:54 have pretty much nailed it. Thank you!

    2. Bob clearly acknowledged that DeSantis was dog-whistling. Do you guys here even READ him?

    3. Please quote where he says that.

  7. For the biased media, the current leading Republican is always the worst one ever. This narrative doesn't have to be spoken: it's just taken for granted.

    DeSantis graduated from Harvard, so they can't call him stupid. He hasn't been caught in lies, like you know who. He hasn't apparently committed crimes like you know who. The state of Florida seems to running very well under his leadership, so DeSantis can't be called a failure. They can't find statements that can be twisted to make him ridiculous, like the lie that Trump praised Nazis as 'fine people' or thew lie that Trump recommended drinking bleach.

    Nevertheless, it's required that DeSantis be portrayed as worse than Trump. That's what we're seeing.

    1. DeSantis isn't leading in polls, except in some places, such as CA, where he won't win anything because of the Democratic majority.

      Somerby graduated from Harvard and he is sounding pretty stupid these days.

      The state of FL is not running well if you consider covid deaths. Also, it was among the worst in terms of credit ratings and medical debt. It is 6th worst in divorce rate (NV is highest for obvious reasons). It is 10th from the bottom in education spending. It is 26th in terms of violent crime rate, also 26th in heart attack rate (a measure of preventative medicine). It has the 15th highest accident mortality rate (not good). These crappy stats suggest they are doing plenty of things wrong.

      Calling Trump's ridiculous statements lies is a lie too. I heard what Trump said about bleach, and as a result, poison control centers and ERs nationwide were flooded with cases of people drinking bleach as a result of what Trump said. And I also heard Trump say that the Take-back-the-Right rally, which was organized and attended by white supremacists and neo-Nazis, included fine people. This was after his own people were begging him to condemn the killing of an unarmed protester by a not-fine person in a truck who drove onto the sidewalk on purpose to injure the people there.

      This isn't a race-to-the-bottom contest between Trump and DeSantis. DeSantis is playing to his base, people like you, by engaging in stunts to make clear that he too can "own the libs." This is more of the same.

      People here are complaining about his attacks on education in his state. We aren't arguing about who will win the nomination or who is the worst. That is your red herring. But it does trouble me that you cannot seem to keep from lying yourself.


    2. Meh. They don't need to find any statements, dear David. They can just make them up. Or they can simply call him "a demagogue and a bully" for no apparent reason whatsoever.

      ...but then, it appears that they (the deep state, that is) might actually prefer this guy to the alternative...

    3. Deep state = globalist corporate government = QAnon conspiracy = reptilians & pedos who eat children to stay young = Mao & other Russian trolls

    4. Once again, David in Cal is the victim here, of the biased media, once again stomping their black boot on poor perpetually aggrieved DinC.

      The state of Florida is doing well, eh, David. How's Meatball Ron's battle with Mickey Mouse going? How's his "election police" doing?

    5. DeSantis went to Yale, not Harvard. That matters to people who attend such schools.

    6. It matters not to David. Yale, Harvard, they're all educated coastal elites academies of secular humanistic liberalism. Except when their guys go there.

  8. "For ourselves, we wish the professor would cut it out with his "your [one] tenth great grandfather" framework. That said, Professor Gates is a very high-caliber person. "

    Somerby feels uncomfortable about people finding out that their distant great-grandfathers may have been of a different race? White people find black ancestors (or Indian ones) while black people find white ancestors. Why should that trouble Somerby? It would definitely trouble a white supremacist, who would consider that an example of the dangers of race-mixing. But why would Somerby have any problem with it? Gates is showing that racial purity is a myth. That should please someone who considers race a social construct, but perhaps Somerby attaches more significance to race than that? Maybe that is why it pleasures him to point out the gap in 4th graders NAEP scores, so Somerby can rest secure in the knowledge of his white superiority and justify his believe that black kids shouldn't try to go to elite science programs so they might one-day wind up at Harvard? It would be helpful if Somerby would clarify his objections to Gates TV show, but I won't hold my breath. His famous coyness allows anyone to think what they want, including those who wear their bigotry on their sleeves, secure that Somerby is one of them, while he pretends to hold liberal values while scolding liberals for engaging in anti-racism activities.

  9. "We praise blue states for vastly belated performative acts in the wake of George Floyd's brutal death..."

    Better late than never.

    Calling these mandates "performative" shows where Somerby stands on this issue as clearly as anything he has said, especially when Somerby keeps ignoring the performative nature of DeSantis's laws. He is signaling his state's racists like crazy. The blue states are trying to head off conservative efforts to stifle freedom of education. They perhaps learned that this was necessary by the Roe v Wade overturning, which showed that the Supreme Court is no longer in the business of protecting citizen rights and could similarly overturn laws about education, making it necessary for states to have their own laws in place, much as those laws are needed to maintain abortion rights.

    We have a consensus supporting civil rights for minorities because so many people remember or have learned about discrimination in its many forms, some via ethnic studies classes, and some via more truthful textbooks in their states. If that knowledge is corrupted, the consensus supporting civil rights may be affected. That's another reason why those who favor social justice are working to maintain the access to information about what has happened affecting black people in our country over time.

    Somerby calls all this "performative" which implies that it has no value except to make liberals feel good about themselves. That is far from the purpose of such mandates.

    1. When has Somerby not characterized DeSantis as performative? He did all through this piece. And this belated recognition does indeed contain a major element of grandstanding and moral self-congratulations.

    2. Somerby is supporting DeSantis, not calling him performative. He never calls Republicans performative, just liberals.

  10. "We may even seem to suggest that lesser beings like the nation's governors have no business "policing [us] historians."


    When state governments start telling people what to think, they are in the business of pushing propaganda -- behaving like demagogues and bullies but also like dictators and authoritarian, totalitarian leaders. Orwell's dytopia is not far behind. If we do not stand up for our rights (and our children's rights) to read, learn, speak, watch and listen to whatever we want, then those rights will be taken from us, because a docile people are easier to fool and easier to control.

    It isn't that long ago that people would be shocked if a governor tried to censor classroom textbooks and remove books from libraries. Why is Somerby arguing that governors should have this right by mocking those who protest? No governor of any state should be "policing" any historian, fiction author, textbook author, podcast host, TV cable news host, blog creator, classroom teacher engaging in teaching activities, cartoonist, movie producer, or anyone else. Historians police each other via peer review. We don't need undereducated governors (even with a Yale history degree) to second-guess what educators and historians decide to present in an AP course. It isn't DeSantis's job to do that, nor is it the state legislature's job, nor the parents' job (although they can provide input if they have concerns and can always keep their child out of such classes). No one should be telling the College Board how to design their courses except the experts who have the knowledge and training in a subject, and are thus qualified to design and create a beneficial course. Beyond such experts, the motives of others are suspect, especially Somerby's.

  11. "Let us experts serve as your philosopher kings, such experts have sometimes said."

    Plato said that philosophers should be kings. He didn't say that they should write AP courses.

    Beyond that, I could find no expert saying be king in this context or any other. I suspect that many have been saying that they wish politicians would leave them alone and let them do their jobs.

    I have also seen several news articles about the resignations of teachers nationwide over this kind of meddling. Soon it will be hard to find well-qualified teachers because why would someone want to be in the position of worrying about legal consequences or being fired for teaching as they have been trained to do?

    1. correction: "saying be king" should be "saying they should be king"

    2. Plato never discussed AP courses.

  12. "McWhorter turned away from a modern practice when he penned this piece."

    McWhorter is not an expert on African American history or African American Studies, simply by virtue of being black. He is a linguist with a specialty in African American dialects. He grew up black, but in a specific context that he himself experienced but may not be common to other black people.

    On what basis then is he qualified to say whether DeSantis was right to cancel the proposed AP course, especially when DeSantis has been inarticulate in expressing his objections to it?

    What does McWhorter know about this subject? Somerby doesn't ask that question because he has no respect for expertise, knowledge, or experience. He holds all opinions to be possibly wrong, because anything is possible, and says there is no way of knowing anything, thus he can set aside the more definitive statements of others, whenever they displease him. How then does Somerby decide that McWhorter is right about the AP course? He doesn't give any arguments supporting his own views, he just asserts this. So, plainly, McWhorter is right because Somerby agrees with him. Nothing more.

    Is that a good way to formulate opinions? Is it a reliable way of deciding who is right about what? I don't think so. And it makes Somerby kind of a goofball, when he tries to make claims about McWhorter, Gates, or anyone else.

    These days, Somerby's opinions about who is right and who is wrong, tend to align with conservative talking points and memes. He reliably applauds black conservatives, people who are saying the opposite of prominent black experts (like Gates) who support social justice and anti-racism efforts. He sides with opinion columnists who are long-time conservative writers (such as Brooks and Andrew Sullivan, lately French and Paul) and those who claim to be independent thinkers but who also parrot a "centrist" position. He is no liberal because he never agrees with liberal columnists or cable news analysis, and he makes Democrats the focus of his criticisms. But more than that, Somerby never presents a reasoned argument in support of his statements any more. That makes him annoying to read. His lack of integrity and deceptiveness in presenting quotes and handling context make him untrustworthy. If he weren't calling him liberal, I wouldn't bother responding to his daily nonsense, but I wouldn't want a naive reader to be taken in by his idiosyncratic and oddly written critiques.

    1. My expert can beat up your expert.
      How very lame. You like the expert
      who is telling you what you want to
      hear. That McWhorter’s take has no
      value in this, and that his background
      is irrelevant, suggests you are
      pretty silly. Try addressing what he
      says and not who he is.

    2. Prof Lloyd, who is an expert in African American studies and African American history, and who has directed the Black-studies program at Villanova, has authored books on anti-Black racism, leads workshops on the subject, and is also black, did not fare well under anonymouse scrutiny either. To the point of being called a right wing religious nut.

      We can “can” the notion that expertise is what anonymices respect.

    3. You let the experts duke it out and then go along with whatever the expert consensus (received wisdom, usually expressed in textbooks) winds up being. If you doubt what an expert tells you about something, get a second opinion, but don't toss out the judgment simply because you don't like it.

      People seem to be accepting of expertise when it comes to needing a doctor or plumber, but not when it comes to politics or other fields (education, for example) where they think they know as much as an expert does. There are some people who also reject doctor's opinions, seeking alternative medicine gurus instead. That doesn't work out well if someone has more than a minor health issue. But you be you. McWhorter is a linguist. That means he is an expert on language, not history. It doesn't matter what he says, if I have no way of knowing whether he is right or not (and neither does Somerby). McWhorter has a podium because of his expertise as a professor of linguistics. It doesn't mean he knows what he is talking about when it comes to education, even though everyone thinks they are an education expert because they spent 12 years as a student, while a child. It doesn't work that way.

    4. Cecelia, you are leaving out the part of Lloyd's background that says he is also a professor of theology, deeply religious, working at a Catholic university (which would look favorably on his rejection of racial activism) who teaches a perspective that is anti-civil rights and against anti-racism activism. This is what set off his students at the Telluride seminar he taught, not Keisha's cult (an odd term for a leadership role she was assigned by the seminar administrators) or student misbehavior. Keisha and the other students pretty obviously wanted to learn about the traditional approach to anti-racism, not Lloyd's theology-based religious approach to black history.

      You might profitably ask how typical Lloyd (or McWhorter) is within the field of black studies. Somerby will never tell you. When I talk about a consensus among experts, I mean that there exists agreed upon knowledge within a field, and that is what is taught to students. The rest remains the theory and personal work of specific people, whose names are attached to their ideas. Einstein's theory of Relativity, for example, which became The Theory of Relativity when it became consensus among physicists. Most professors are careful not to teach their own ideas as received wisdom. When someone ignores that custom, it is problematic because students won't know they are being taught tenuous information. That is what Lloyd did, and it is malpractice. A professor reading his article would recognize that, but not someone without that perspective. Even so, the students had the opportunity to compare his teaching with that of the other sources at the workshops, and they firmly rejected him because he was not passing along good info, but his own opinions (without identifying them as such). Bright college kids (or even advanced high schoolers) aren't as easy to brainwash as you think. Someone who sought out Villanova as a college to attend would be happier with Lloyd's views.

    5. McWhorter has as much right to speak on this issue has any random person on the street. Furthermore McWhorter is a right winger.

      Lloyd is a prof of religion, not an expert on Black history. Furthermore Lloyd indeed is a religious nut right winger, it is clear from his writings if you bother to look.

      Earth to Somerby fanboys: it’s a common tactic for right wingers to adopt faux populist and leftist aesthetics to ensnare some poor misguided souls, before the inevitable hard right turn - Nazis did this, Lyndon Larouche did this, on and on. The last thing right wingers (Somerby, McWhorter, Lloyd et al) have a need for is integrity.

    6. Anonymouse 5:46pm, even within the context of this post you elude to “experts” who do and that, while dismissing an actual expert on the basis of sheer conjecture. The only objective factor you cite in impugning Lloyd is his purported adherence to Christianity (purported by you) as though that is an impediment when the civil rights movement was replete with black people of strong religious faith.

    7. I read the Charter article. You clearly have not. Do your homework.

      elude definition: "evade or escape from (a danger, enemy, or pursuer), typically in a skillful or cunning way"

      The word you want is allude:

      allude definition: "suggest or call attention to indirectly; hint at"

      But even that word doesn't fit the situation. I have been talking very directly about Lloyd and not hinting at anything. Maybe better to say "refer to".

      Don't they give you dictionaries at the troll farm?

    8. No, anonymouse 5:48pm, anonymices have been conjecturing on what happened with Lloyd and his students. You’ve been conjuring up theories on how he failed them in ways that should be discernible to anyone who has worked with students.

      You've impugned Lloyd’s character and dismissed him based upon nothing but guess work. You’ve surmised that he’s a religious fanatic because of one of his several of fields of study, while alluding to other ‘real’ experts.

      So much for your respect for expertise in any sense of the word.

    9. Guesswork and his own description of what happened in that Charter article that he wrote.

      As I said, I don't allude, I state explicitly.

      I don't think that theology is a real field of expertise because, like Somerby, I am not religious. Being a theologian and teaching a seminar on Black Studies under false pretenses doesn't strike me as showing much character, but YMMV. People who pretend to speak for God are also acting under false pretenses, in my opinion, much the way you pretend to speak for Somerby. I don't consider astrologers to be experts either. I belong to the fact-based reality community and I know that not everyone who claims expertise is actually an expert. You seem to be a perpetual dupe.

    10. Now you’ve crafted a scenario where Lloyd is a religious fanatic whose years of experience in the field of black studies, anti-black racism, and accompanying workshops have subterfuge in furtherance of a stealth agenda. In furtherance of that, you paint the highly successful Lloyd as lacking the most rudimentary teaching skills.

      You do this to this expert, because he has voiced some concerns over an extremist mindset that is taking hold within his field of expertise.

      You can’t allow that, so you resort to referencing illusory experts in this field, while slamming an actual one.

      That you are unable to respectfully consider an expert’s concerns in order to examine them, is precisely the sort of fanaticism that Lloyd bemoans. That your first response (as an observer ) is to immediately accuse him of being an extremist, proves him right.

    11. Cecelia, Lloyd has described his own failure in that Charter article, in his own words. You are magnifying his experience -- he did one previous Telluride seminar a long time ago on a different topic. Gates is not an illusory expert and he has much more experience and expertise than Lloyd. Meanwhile, Somerby is the person who makes up nonexistent experts. I did consider Lloyd's concerns and I believe that he contributed to the mess experienced by his students, not any cult created by Keisha (a student he is blaming for his disaster). And I accuse him of being out-of-step with the others teaching anti-racism -- he is the one calling other people extremists (and Somerby). I accused him of being conservative while pretending to be a black studies expert. Notice that Lloyd accuses Keisha of "counter-programming" the students in her afternoon workshops. What was he programming in the first place, that they rebelled against? Read the article and answer that.

    12. Lloyd said nothing of the sort.

    13. Here is what Lloyd said in his Compact article:

      "Two college-age students called “factotums” (led by one I will call “Keisha”) were assigned to create anti-racism workshops to fill the afternoons. There were workshops on white supremacy, on privilege, on African independence movements, on the thought and activism of Angela Davis, and more, all of which followed an initial, day-long workshop on “transformative justice.”

      Then he says:

      "From what I gleaned, they involved crudely conveying certain dogmatic assertions, no matter what topic the workshops were ostensibly about:

      Experiencing hardship conveys authority.
      There is no hierarchy of oppressions—except for anti-black oppression, which is in a class of its own.
      Trust black women.
      Prison is never the answer.
      Black people need black space.
      Allyship is usually performative.
      All non-black people, and many black people, are guilty of anti-blackness.
      There is no way out of anti-blackness.
      “The seminar form pulls against the form of the anti-racism workshop.”
      The seminar form pulls against the form of the anti-racism workshop, and Telluride was trying to have them both at once."

      What do you think "pulls against" means?

      He continues:

      "If the seminar is slow food, the anti-racist workshop put on by college-age students is a sugar rush. All the hashtags are there, condensed, packaged, and delivered from a place of authority. The worst sort of anti-racist workshop simply offers a new language for participants to echo—to retweet out loud."

      Later he says:

      "The feature of a cult that seems to be missing from this story is a charismatic leader, enforcing the separation of followers from the world, creating emotional vulnerability, and implanting dogma. Enter Keisha. "

      And then he spends a great deal of time describing how Keisha undermined his course using the workshops she organized for the students in the afternoons, finally saying:

      "Keisha is uniquely talented at performing her role, but she isn’t the author of the play. Pushing anti-racism to its limits, what we reach isn’t just hollow doctrine, but abuse: Pathological relationships that cut us off from the world, from the give-and-take of reasons and feelings unfolding over time that makes up life in the world. "

      You owe me an apology.

    14. Anonymouse 12:57pm, why would I owe you an apology for Lloyd’s elucidations on why he thinks there’s a danger of black studies taking on a cultish element?

      I don’t agree with Lloyd in many of his opinions. Do I owe him an apology?

      While recognizing the gravitas of Lloyd’s personal and professional experience, I’ve never prefaced an argument upon the opinion of “experts”.

      Anonymices constantly do and launch into fourteen paragraphs on Somerby’s disrespect for said experts when he doesn’t bow at whatever altar you’ve erected.

      You haven’t merely contradicted Lloyd, but called him a religious zealot and fatuously lectured your readers on the most basic of teacher-student dynamics in an attempt to impugn LLoyd’s professionalism. This is so representative of the cult-like nature of your thinking.

      Of course, anonymices have to denigrate and diminish a very accomplished professor, in one of his fields of expertise, because he’s said something heretical. Not the slightest benefit of the doubt given. Not even a rudimentary curiosity as to whether things went a bit off the rail as to this particular endeavor and climate, let alone evaluation of trends in field.

      Generally, I’d attribute this idiocy to your usual ‘oppose Somerby’s every utterance’ ethos, however, in this case, Somerby is the cart and Lloyd is the horse.

      The treatment of Lloyd shows us why annonymices exist and how much expertise really means to them.

    15. You have to admit, Bob's support of the Right punching down on the marginalized has to at least make you think he might be a Republican.

    16. Please, Cecelia. The spectacle of dembots devouring each other should be celebrated. And encouraged.

    17. Anonymouse flying monkey 6:59pm, I think the people you describe as being “marginalized” are doubtlessly more successful and higher functioning than you.

      Quit putting them down.

    18. Mao, it’s a ritual in their case.

      One toe off mark, one sentence off script…bam!

    19. Good. Brain-dead means brain-dead; no one likes a wise guy...

    20. But I'm white, so I'm allowed to vote (and it can count) in Red states.

    21. Lloyd is not hard to decipher, he’s written a fair amount. Anyone with even a casual pursuing of his writings can obviously see that Lloyd is a hard core religious zealot and right winger, who’s only interest in the Left is to performatively adopt some of their aesthetics in order to con those in their formative years to also become a right wing religious zealot. He barely bothers to hide his agenda, it’ll be obvious to anyone who bothers to actually read what he writes.

      On the other hand we have lost souls like Somerby and Cecelia who’d rather weaponize people like Lloyd, than have to answer the criticism.

  13. “For one brief shining moment, McWhorter
    left cartooning behind.”

    This is rather insulting. I’ve never seen
    anything from him that wasn’t rooted in
    solid argument and common sense.
    The basic takeaway here is that Bob
    obsessed with reverse racism racism that
    he will completely recycle a point he
    could make with a couple of paragraphs
    Into a small essay TWICE and never
    consider that he is being a bore.
    Yes, Abe said we must be friends.
    Then a redneck dolt blew his head
    off. And when the power structure
    breaks down that way, Bob is happy.

    1. Somerby seems to be saying that he doesn't agree with McWhorter on other things, but for this brief shining moment he will quote McWhorter because he is a black man saying something that Somerby agrees with, and his blackness is useful, so Somerby will use him to advance his own point, even though he is wrong about all that other stuff. Somerby has no principles.

    2. Lincoln wanted to send black slaves back to Africa, explored that possibility but realized it would not be practical (never mind whether any wanted to be sent there). Lincoln did not consider black people to be equal to white people and he did not believe they could integrate into white society. During the war, he freed the confiscated slaves (and escapees) because he thought that would be disruptive to the Southern war effort. Later, he emancipated all of the slaves during the war because they too would be disruptive to the South. Then he was killed shortly before the negotiated peace. We have no idea how he would have dealth with the problem of how to help African Americans after the Civil War.

      I agree that Lincoln was a great man and a fine president. I believe he had great empathy, even for black people. I do not consider him particular advanced in his racial attitudes for that time period. There were many abolitionists with more modern beliefs, some based on religion and some based on meeting and interacting with educated free blacks, who thought that black men and women were as human and entitled to freedom, dignity, respect and fair treatment, as white people. Lincoln was not among them, even though he is credited with freeing the slaves (based on his letters, accounts of meetings, and private writing). Somerby's idealization of Lincoln is historically inaccurate and misguided. He wasn't as noble as Somerby keeps claiming.

    3. At 4:28, very sad, but maybe true.

    4. Anonymouse 4:28pm, did you bother to read the gist of Bob’s point?

      “McWhorter turned away from a modern practice [emphasis added] when he penned this piece. According to that modern practice, the Other has to be wrong every time, preferably after our tribunes have embellished or "improved" whatever he actually said.”

    5. The Others don't have to be wrong, but let's face it, they'll most likely be wrong if the discussion is about basic math or economics.

    6. Anonymouse Flying Monkey 10:06am, yes. working class dominators of the weak and the marginalized.

      YOU should be afraid.

  14. Well what do you know? Bob Somerby has feelings about the report on blue and red states going in opposite directions, when it comes to teaching black history.
    It's a crying shame that The Daily Howler's Bob Somerby doesn't take the advice of Bob Somerby from The Daily Howler, and listen to "the Others"', or he'd know that the Others say feelings are what's ruining this country.
    Tsk. Tsk.

    1. Paging Doctor Bob Somerby. Dr. Somerby, please heal thyself.

  15. Here is some actual media criticism from Digby:

    "The eagerness among many in the media to see DeSantis as the second coming of Trump is palpable, even if they are missing the point entirely. He’s leaning hard on the culture wars, just as Trump did, but his cleverest Trumpist maneuver is a strategy defined by former strategist Steve Bannon as, “The real opposition is the media —and the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with shit.” It’s the relentless nature of his bombardment, a new assault each day on one or more of the MAGA crowd’s designated enemies that creates an almost overwhelming sense of disorientation and an inability to properly contextualize what he’s doing. We’ll have to see if DeSantis can keep up the pace and if he has Trump’s talent for owning the libs in a way that makes his supporters feel good about themselves for doing it. DeSantis’ humorless personality doesn’t inspire the same kind of joyous tribalism that defines Trumpism. I suspect that the most compelling thing about it for most of Trump’s followers is that it’s fun. Ron DeSantis, however, doesn’t seem like much fun."


  16. Cecelia, you gotta admit, when you said “elude” instead of “allude” you made a funny mistake.

    1. “Amusing” would be a better description.

    2. What’s in a description? A rose, by any other description, would smell just as sweet.

  17. “Was DeSantis right in his complaints about the Advanced Placement course? In our view, DeSantis is so inarticulate in the way he has voiced his complaints that the question may not be worth asking.”

    This is a ridiculous statement.

    Was DeSantis right, or wasn’t he?

    If it’s so unclear, and the question may not be worth asking, then why assume he “may” be right?

    “we don't think it's obvious that DeSantis wasn't basically right in some ways.”

    What farcical bullshit. In what ways? Name them, and quit wasting everyone’s time with this weaselly bullshit.

  18. Take my weapon, step into a whole new realm
    And step back, as I take up the helm
    On the pirate ship I'm steerin'
    Droppin' the geran
    Just realize what you're hearin'
    The cannon sounded
    That's my companion: surrounded
    As my crew comes bounding

  19. “Four years later, President Lincoln was shot and killed by one of his murderous friends.”

    And he waged war on his southern “friends”, to force them back into the Union, dumbass.

    Being friends with someone requires the other person be willing to be friends.

    Unfortunately, the Republican Party declared war on liberals at least 30 years ago. Perhaps Somerby missed that. It is a principal goal of the Republican Party to wipe out liberals, not compromise or discuss.

    Even Lincoln failed to make friends.

    What lesson should we draw from that?

  20. Let's not forget what anti-racism is about:

    "A viral Tiktok video shows a woman calling the police on a Black man for clearing the snow on the sidewalk running near her property, reported The Daily Beast on Friday."

    The man was part of a snow-removal service and the sidewalk was public, not private property. But the video shows that it is still not safe for black people to engage in everyday activities in their lives without harrassment.

    Somerby, however, thinks that racism is over and that black people make up complaints that are not real.

    1. Students are being taught cotton-picking exercises by racist Pacific Northwestern faculties.

    2. An investigation later revealed that the teachers were merely manufacturing the cotton in order to provide the boys at the high school something to put into their bloody, menstruating vaginas.

    3. Substitute the word girls for boys to see how mean-spirited and ugly this "joke" is, even applied to girls.

    4. There are plenty of truly awful people in the world. The goal is to prevent them from being awful to others. Fortunately, there is the barrier of the internet between us and trolls like this, but what protects the people of FL from DeSantis?

      Majorie Taylor Greene has volunteered to set up a gulag to which she and her buddies will retire. We should take her up on it, but it seems wrong to trap her there with folks like this guy, but where else would transphobes and misogynists go?

    5. It seems likely Somerby wrote those comments. They echo his tone when he described Maddow shoving money down her pants.

    6. From The Root:

      "Teenage boys can't just leave their vaginas unattended. They need some cotton pickin' cotton to place there. Period."

    7. I have reported you to Google for violation of their terms of service. If you keep this up, you can get Somerby's blog removed by Blogspot.

    8. Do you think I believe that total bullshit?

    9. You're a loser and a liar, mh.

    10. It isn't up to you. It is up to Google to decide whether it will tolerate this stuff on Somerby's free blog (hosted by Blogspot).

    11. If I were Somerby and there were a stinky troll like you infesting the comments, I would remove your comments. He is responsible for what appears here too. When he leaves this up, he condones the hatred you show toward both transpeople and women. He makes this a place where people are maligned for their physiology by assholes who contribute nothing to discussion of any substantive topic. There is irony that Somerby complains about Tar and about Gates's review of historical facts, while he lets scum like you impersonate other news sources and spray hatred at will. It makes it clearer that Somerby's comments have nothing to do with being bored and everything to do with attacking certain targets -- like you do.

    12. @1:14 PM
      Sounds more like Digby.

    13. I'm the one trying to bring attention to the pressing issue of high school boys needing tampons for their vaginas. You seem to want to dismiss it as a frivolity.

    14. Yeah. Some are simply unable to empathize with high school boys' pressing needs. Psychopaths, you see. Clinical psychopaths.

    15. I don't see the people at Google siding with the one trying to prevent teenage boys from protecting their vaginas with cotton picked by their peers.

    16. In red states, thy teach boys to be afraid of drag queens. You may as well give the boys tampons, too.

    17. Anonymous10:09am, and red state parents do well in that.

      If some provocatively dressed woman or drag queen is sashaying around for the benefit of kids— beware…beware…beware.

      Same goes for strangers with candy.

  21. And there is this, aimed at immigrants by a woman who thinks that this country is only for white English-speaking people:

    "In the clip, filmed at Amy’s Pizzeria and Italian restaurant in the Philadelphia suburb of Hatboro, according to the New York Post, the woman can be seen demanding her money back from the perplexed employee who occasionally glances back at his fellow employees for support.

    Constantly digging into her purse, she ranted at him, saying, “What’s wrong with that is you’re not American, dude. I will look you the f*ck up and get you the f*ck out of our town. F*ck you. Give me my money back. I’m not giving my money to some illegal immigrant.”

    The woman blew up and demanded her money back because a Spanish-language broadcast could be heard in the background.

    Incidents like this are the reason why kids need to learn in school how to get along with everyone in a multicultural society.

  22. Here is the principle I object to. How can Somerby call Gates wrong on just the say so of McWhorter, who has no expertise in the subject? Somerby provides no evidence and quotes none from McWhorter, so it is just a matter of whose word do you take? I don't take Somerby's because he is a know-nothing, especially on this subject. Gates has the expertise and presents an actual argument, which Somerby calls boring and too long. But Gates is the only one with an actual argument today and I think he has made his case.

  23. In the Soviet Union all education in history was forbidden if it didn't adhere to the principles of the Foundational document. "all power belongs to the working people of town and country", "the abolition of the exploitation of man by man", "the state national economic plan has the aim of increasing the public wealth, of steadily improving the material conditions of the working people" ETC.
    Even if in actual historical practice the resulting events were quite different...
    Wait a minute...that's the Soviet Union?
    No that's the Autocratic State of Florida:
    "House Bill 999: general education courses must not “suppress or distort” historical events, or define U.S. history in ways that contradict “universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.”


    1. Damn, we knew it! Republicans are godless commies...

      ...thanks for the laughs, dear dembot.

    2. No, Republicans are fascists.

    3. This is what David in Cal means when he says he votes for the fascist party because he favors smaller government. LOL

  24. I don't need MTV to make no buzz
    I rock styles that'll make you say "Ah 'oo dat was?"
    And who that was is the man of all hours
    Sendin all-star players straight back to the showers
    Fake hard rocks are really just cowards
    I master dub plates like my name's Herb Powers
    I'll getcha open like huntin season
    I make papers, don't front on the reason
    Cause I'm seizin up every day
    You say, carpe diem, I call 'em like I see 'em

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