Charles M. Blow | On Race: The Moral High Ground – The New York Times

An excerpt:

“Instead of reducing me, their racism reduces them. That is the ironic, poetic justice of it.

Of course, one only has to think about it for a moment to find the enormous hole in the logic that racism morally weakens the object of the sickness rather than the possessor of the sickness.

Although it doesn’t hurt my feelings, it does enrage me when racists are granted power in society to allow their idiocy to have a negative impact on other people, whether that be culturally, psychologically and spiritually, or materially and physically.

It enrages me when ignorance is elevated and empowered, when historical truth is eschewed, when current realities are denied.

But this moral rage is separate and apart from emotional distress, the former being active and energetic while the latter is passive and plaintive.

In this context, Roseanne Barr’s recent racist tweets, including one suggesting that the Obama-era White House official Valerie Jarrett was the offspring of apes, were not emotionally injurious, but were rage-inducing.

Did Trump apologize to the Central Park Five for calling for their executions?

Did he apologize to Barack Obama for leading the charge on the racist birther lie?

Did he apologize for calling Mexican immigrants rapists and murderers?

Did he apologize to the Muslim community for saying that Islam hates us?

Did he apologize to African countries or Haiti and El Salvador for describing them with an expletive?

Did he apologize to Colin Kaepernick and other protesting N.F.L. players for calling them sons of bitches?

No, no, no, no, no, no.

Donald Trump, White House racist, Nazi sympathizer, alt-right hero, receiver of laurels from the former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke, is the absolute last person who should be demanding an apology in this Roseanne controversy.

Barr and Trump are morally and intellectually compromised by their racial contempt. It enrages me that they have the power to influence the culture and, in Trump’s case, to actually craft toxic policy.

Against that, I will fight always because policies produce real injuries, but I will never allow the racist to believe that his words alone have the power to inflict those injuries. That, to me, is laughable.


Four Premises

Four premises of the culture:

  1. In many white communities, prejudice and bias are an important part of peer esteem.
  2. For many racists, the idea of nation as a ethnic and religious homogeneous unit recycles common 19th century narratives.
  3. Few people realize racism’s strongest strategy is denial (not hate!), because denial is adaptable and has many forms.
  4. Many Americans prefer open conflict and oppression to power sharing or decentralization of authority.


Prejudice: Racist jokes, physical stereotypes, amoral values (users include Ferguson police, Russia during the 2016 election, political party officials, the Cabinet, populist emails, websites, and social media). Recently, “Black-while-breathing” police calls.

Nation: A Judaeo-Christian white nation, others prohibited. Recently, immigration policy, travel bans, Black-while-breathing.

Denial: it was humor/subconscious slip/free speech/deflection/victim blaming, mea culpas that act as an endorsement of the sin; (current) it’s only a movie name! Double standards.

Conflict: Interior violence/regulated behavior (marginalizing abortion/civilian shootings by state actors/inaction against school and mass shootings/political pressure on sanctuary cities/military equipment sales to police/voiding criminal justice reform/expanding school-to-prison pipeline/mass child internment.


Watch Alert

Payoffs In Plain Sight

Trump took China’s state-driven payoff, bunce for saving China’s flagship spy phone and allowing the export of American chips previously prohibited for security reasons. He conflates and consistently prioritizes his financial and global business interests above the security and growth of the nation. His decisions, based on powers not demanded by circumstance, have established new extremes. Because of his dismal lack of economic knowledge, his refusal to respect the explanations and warnings of experts, and his own blind greed, his policies are being turned into economic advantages by competitors and foes, against the interests of allies and the nation.

His America First is an open call for savvy nations to raid the treasury by benefitting Trump through back doors, and Trump responds swiftly.

His victory events hide the failure of his process. Lies and silence hide legal corruption and thief. Arms-length transactions like China’s are plain-sight quid pro quod.

Trump’s defense spending is a scandal ignored. 2017 was a record year for US arms sales, $76B booked–much of it paid for by US tax payers under Pentagon programs for foreign military sales. Bahrain brought attack helicopters for $911.4 million and warhead bomb bodies for $45 million. Last Friday, Boeing received a $25.7M contract for Saudi Arabia; Exide got $75M for batteries; Lockheed increased a contract by $433M! A dining facility bid for $11M was approved. The monies out the door are staggering!

Billions for security and growth–but labor can’t get a dollar an hour increase. And are we safer when a border officer shoots an unarmed women in the head?

China aviation.jpeg


The US Government Kills An Immigrant And Loses 1500 Children


Every event with at least two actors has a minimum of four outcomes: the best is win-win, both actors gain and advance; next, win-lose, one actor wins, the other loses a benefit or advantage (win-lose counts twice, either actor can lose or win); finally, lose-lose, both actors lose. Trump loses consistently. He declares wins by reversing the truth, bullying. and spreading blame and lies of American myths.

His persistent “wins” are founded in declarations of repeated racism; stereotypes: of criminality, character, and fear; legion stories with anti-American values; imagined threats of job losses, violence, gangs, disease and raw fear.

On the real, Trump’s Border Patrol agents shot and killed an unarmed woman walking across the border, and over two days, issued contradictory statements about the circumstances and details. Claudia Patricia Gomez Gonzalez, 20, was killed May 23, 2018, by a Border Patrol agent in Rio Bravo, Texas. Having promised to investigate (a pretense and premise for foot dragging) claims she was part of a charging crowd (who has ever heard or seen a crowd of undocumented immigrants rushing toward armed agents–rather than running away?), we now have the grief and death of a person guilty of seeking work–Trump’s facilities have hired people in her status–as a win/victory for America first.


Trump has also lost 1500 undocumented children; forcibly separated from their parents without consent, housed in shuttered military facilities, the first internment camps since World War II.

With Trump, kneeling in peace on Sunday to remind America of the values imbued in its founding gets you kicked out. Try to get in, and in your first steps on free soil, you may end up lying in a pool of blood or be unable to recover your children.


Free Speech Is Quiet About Blood Spilled

Once those in power controlled every narrative, and avoided the contradictions of logic and false statements in their beliefs. Once, those who are white claimed political cover, like wolves in sheeps’ clothing, pretending to be defenders of valor and virtue, as statues of bronze were placed on public pedestals to honor their willingness to fight for narrow privilege and a rigid social order controlled by violence imbued in their authority.

Once they attacked Harriet Tubman and offered $40,000 for her death or capture, because she made way with a few runaway slaves who the men offering the bounty could kill without fear.

Now comes new voices of this tradition, drawing upon Justice Taney and SC’s Senator Tillman, lifting up White Citizens Councils and Justice Powell’s 1971 memo, with Nixon, Reagan, and Atwater;s strategy; in the modern era fueled by talk radio that smears student survivors and separates liberty from freedom; so a police officer’s knee or bullet is acceptable but a silent knee in peace is not, as false equivalencies and payoffs reign and children are lost during their government-directed internment.

Now comes Ross (Douthat), his indignation reversing facts to fit ideology, in a narrative that is a simple grab for power and hegemony, creating connections where none exist, shifting cause and effect to hide his true purpose, to conceal the overreach of his clan that limits government’s use only to the powerful and wealthy.

In history, America’s white supremacists by any name built power through imaginary threats and flag wrapping their response. And by silence and deflecting. So we speak of free speech–not missing, lost or dead children. Free speech–not blood spilled.


From “The Fabric of Race,” an exhibit by Renee Billingslea.



Truth In Reverse

Baroque music always has a contrapuntal line that restates the leading or forward theme; so Mo is catching up, replaying what the rest of us, except the deniers, already know!

But Mo (Maureen Dowd), it’s not anchored in tech. It is firmly embedded in greed and bunce, easy living; in American capitalism–in Trump paying in installments for the right to deny a spanking and one night stand that a woman did in indifference in Vegas where it can’t seem to stay. Of course, the $130K is an honor payment, we are told to believe, to protect the family from a story of something that conflates circumstances that never happened!

But spies are real! And wire taps! And a line of bizarre, clandestine district meetings in weird global and domestic destinations where corporate rainmakers and oligarchs threw millions at the portal doors for access on real estate, energy, and drug policy, and saving companies actually spying on the US.

Truth was reversed! The good guys are blamed and the guy who won the election is a victim of a boar hunt tracking his grunts and burrowing in the mud for pearls from China while sticking a tusk in one of America’s grand successes–a real abuse of power.

Meanwhile, who’s hunting for the lost/missing, and maybe trafficked 1500 kids? Children torn from their mothers seeking asylum, put in internment camps, an action not seen since World War II. Where are their thoughts and prayers? Their bodies?