White privilege: An illustration

This photo is the product of a string of poor decisions.

For those keeping score at home, if you’re white, you can apparently refuse to take your hands out of your pockets and threaten to kill a cop while sporting a tattoo of the Number of the Beast on your forehead. But Freddie Gray is dead because he “made eye contact” with a police officer. [Read more...]

James Dobson cannot really believe what he says about legal abortion and the Holocaust

If you're living under the Third Reich, your first moral obligation might not be to make a fortune peddling books about how to spank your children.

James Dobson isn’t alone in making this claim. The legal-abortion-is-worse-than-the-Holocaust line is so frequently repeated by anti-abortion white evangelicals that Dobson’s remark is really just a bit of “pro-life” boilerplate. But repetition hasn’t made this claim any less outrageous or any more credible as something anyone could possibly say in good faith. If you try — really try — to imagine the implications of someone saying such a thing whole-heartedly and in good faith, you’ll be forced to conclude that can’t be what Dobson is doing. [Read more...]

A sallow-eyed look at the slow descent of David Brooks

heschelmlking

David Brooks expects poor people to learn moral lessons from people like him. It has never occurred to him that people like him might need to learn moral lessons from the poor. Thus when he writes for himself and for people like himself, his columns read like a knock-off of Ecclesiastes, but when he writes about other (non-wealthy, non-white) people, his columns read like a glib, ignorant knock-off of Proverbs. [Read more...]

For some it’s a con, for some it’s a game, and for some it’s a gnostic cult. And sometimes it’s all three at once.

Whatever

I used to think that the audience supporting any given conspiracy theory was made up of three distinct kinds of people: Cynics, true believers, and hobbyists. That’s in the past tense because I no longer quite believe that. What I’m starting to believe, instead, is that any individual supporter of any given conspiracy is made up of all three of those things. [Read more...]

Congress sides with predatory lenders vs. military families

Martin

The protections against legal loan-sharking here are appallingly modest — 36 percent interest remains perfectly legal. And those protections are weirdly restricted, applying only to a single sub-set of the public: military families. If it makes sense to protect military families from this kind of sleazy, coercive lending — and it does — then it shouldn’t make sense that such protection applies only to military families. [Read more...]

Scenes from the class war (4.30)

EPIMinWage

“Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you. Your riches have rotted, and your clothes are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you, and it will eat your flesh like fire.” [Read more...]

James Baldwin is still urgently relevant. The Senate GOP is not.

Baldwin66

“This is why those pious calls to ‘respect the law,’ always to be heard from prominent citizens each time the ghetto explodes, are so obscene. The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer. To respect the law, in the context in which the American Negro finds himself, is simply to surrender his self-respect.” — James Baldwin in 1966, reading like he’s writing in 2015. [Read more...]

Ben Affleck and the slave state of New Jersey

Seal_of_New_Jersey

Slavery in New Jersey didn’t really end until the 13th Amendment was adopted after the Civil War. I wasn’t taught any of that history when I attended school in New Jersey. We learned about slavery in the South, but not about slavery in South Brunswick and South Orange and South Plainfield. [Read more...]


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