‘Where I come from’ we claim universal generalities as our peculiar virtues

“Folks ’round here love their families,” the Very Nice man says. “We value hard work and honesty.” And the Very Nice man seems Very Nice, until you realize that what he’s actually saying is that he and his community imagine that other people in other places do NOT love their families and that “those people” do NOT value hard work and honesty. Once you realize this is what they want and need to believe about everyone else, the Very Nice man and his Very Nice community no longer seem quite so nice. [Read more…]

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The IndigNation

American society is marked by the baffling phenomenon of the haves resenting the have-nots. This is such a common feature of American life that we almost get inured to how dazzlingly weird this is. The wealthy deride the poor as “takers.” The rich resent the poor. White folks indignantly resent people of color. Men resent women. The powerful resent the powerless. This is ass-backwards and utterly illogical. [Read more…]

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Postcards from the class & culture wars (2.21.17)

“I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” [Read more…]

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The culture wars are class war, and vice versa (2.12.17)

“Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious …” [Read more…]

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The culture wars and the class war have merged

“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.” [Read more…]

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OK, so we’re talking about Frederick Douglass today

Douglass’ words can be applied to more than one law, policy and initiative of our new president. And his condemnation of the “stupidly blind or most wickedly indifferent … church of our country” now obsequiously cheering Trump on still rings true. This reinforces the truth and untruth of the blather we’re hearing from Donald Trump and Sean Spicer. Trump does not want to highlight such words. But they will become. More and more. [Read more…]

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Still This: Please don’t suddenly pretend you care about homeless veterans for just as long as it allows you to oppose helping refugees, because that’s hurting both veterans and refugees and it’s making you miserable

As a general rule, whenever you encounter someone arguing that “We shouldn’t be doing X to help those people over there until we fix Y over here for our own people,” then you have also just encountered someone who doesn’t really give a flying fig about actually doing anything to fix Y over here. [Read more…]

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Relief agencies sound a red alert

“Donald Trump has issued a number of executive orders targeting vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers, which means your voice of opposition is more critical than ever. History has taught us the deadly consequences of slamming the doors of this country shut on people just because of who they are and where they are from. We must prevent this administration from repeating the mistakes of the past.” [Read more…]

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