Culture Warriors category archive
Will Bunch notes that it has been 52 years since Americans landed on the moon–a feat made possible by science, Science, after all, is the pursuit of fact. He considers why so many Americans now reject science (think vaccines, for example). A nugget (emphasis added):
Less than a year after Apollo 11 came the first Earth Day — scientists warning that industrial progress threatened environmental destruction — and also the massacre at Kent State, amid a backlash of the so-called “silent majority” against what was happening on college campuses where many researchers are employed. Just like the lunar module, distrust in modern science was engineered by humans — billionaire industrialists who funded pro-fossil-fuel think tanks, and right-wing talk radio and later cable TV ratings seekers who mocked effete “tree huggers.”
Indeed, wealthy capitalists and the politicians who aided the backlash and rode it to victories — Richard Nixon, Spiro Agnew, Ronald Reagan — were so successful that distrust in science and the conspiracy theories that flow from that distrust now spread as virally as COVID-19 itself, among everyday folks on social media sites like Facebook. Albeit with an occasional booster shot from the most cynical media celebrities like Fox’s Tucker Carlson.
I commend his article to your attention.
Rich white folks want their money back from a Catholic school because it exercised what was once known as “Christian charity.” (The plaintiffs say that they want only a return to traditional Catholic values, which, I guess in their view, do not include awareness of injustice, hate, and bigotry.)
Here’s a bit of the news story; follow the link for the rest (emphasis added).
Then, as she marked up the 45-page filing by philanthropists Anthony and Barbara Scarpo against Academy of the Holy Names in Tampa, she decided someone needed to respond.
The suit, filed June 26, alleged that her old school had “become woke” by focusing too much on diversity and equity, and had strayed from Catholic teaching. The Scarpos demanded refunds of donations and tuition. They said the academy should stop billing itself as a Catholic institution.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.
No, argues Leonard Pitts, Jr., it’s no place Disney. Here’s the subhead:
Follow the link for his reasoning.
Sayeth the state of Tennesse, “
Suffer Sacrifice the children.”
We are a society of stupid.
There is much gnashing of teeth and flowering of fulminations over the desire of migrants from Central America to migrate northward, ultimately to the United States. Those who bemoan immigration, particularly immigration of persons with (ahem) darker skin and foreign accents, want them stopped, ofttimes forgetting that, a generation or two or three ago, persons who were already here wanted to forbid their own ancestors from arriving on these shores.
Aviva Chomsky reminds us that the United States is neither an innocent bystander nor a blameless victim in this current northward migration.
For the past century and a half, Central America has been subject to the whims of U.S. corporations backed by the U.S. government. In the 19th century, U.S. adventurers and filibusters invaded Central America, settled there and advertised the region as an easy route to the California Gold Rush. Starting at the end of the century, the United Fruit Company developed massive banana plantations along the Caribbean coast and established regular shipping routes in the region, taking advantage of cheap land and labor and creating a market for bananas in the United States.
In Nicaragua, the Sandinista revolution succeeded in overthrowing the U.S.-supported Somoza dictatorship in 1979. Somoza’s corruption and violence had alienated even Nicaragua’s business classes, and a broad popular front implemented a mixed economy promoting popular organization, land reform and the socialization of basic services. But the Reagan administration saw this and similar revolutionary projects in El Salvador and Guatemala as stalking horses for communism. It helped Central American elites and militaries to overthrow governments and crush popular movements.
At The Roanoke Times, John Kitterman takes a long and thoughtful look at the who-shot-john around critical race theory. He points out that, for persons who pay attention to history, there is really nothing new or surprising about it, except, perhaps, its name.
He also finds nothing surprising about some of the attacks being levied against it. For example (emphasis added):
. . . I’m not as startled to find that CRT is popularly linked to Marxism, because if you don’t have good evidence or cogent arguments just trot out that old war horse and the cultural militias will erupt in gunfire.
I commend the entire article to your attention.
In the December issue of Psychology Today, Jennifer Latson explores why smart people can believe dumb things, such as the notion that
- 5G cell towers cause COVID-19;
- the January 6 invaders of the Capitol were “Antifa crisis actors” pretending to be Trump supporters; and
- honesty about this nation’s racist history causes more racism.
A snippet; follow the link for the rest.
. . . studies show that some people are especially prone to these beliefs, even without the motivating uncertainty of a global health crisis. Researchers have found that this “conspiracy mentality” correlates with particular personality traits, including low levels of trust and an increased need for closure, along with feelings of powerlessness, low self-esteem, paranoid thinking, and a need to feel unique.
Follow the link for the rest.
And they keep getting fiendlier.
The Federal Aviation Administration told The Washington Post this week that it has received about 2,900 reports of unruly passenger behavior since Jan. 1. Roughly 2,200 of those involved passengers who would not comply with the federal mandate to wear a face covering. The agency identified potential violations in 446 of those cases and has started enforcement action in 42.
“There tends to be greater incidents where you are flying out of a place where local and state leaders have said that the pandemic is a hoax, that masks are not necessary, all of those things,” she (Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA–ed.) said.
. . . but, whatever it is, it won’t be Coke.
Officials in Surry County, North Carolina, voted to remove Coca-Cola machines from all government facilities in response to the beverage company CEO’s remarks about Georgia’s controversial new voting law.
The ban passed during a Board of Commissioners meeting on May 17 with a 3-2 vote as a direct response to Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey’s comments calling the voting law “unacceptable” and “a step backwards.”
More news of the petty racist stupidity at the link.
F. T. Rea wonders whether it can happen here. His wonderings are worth a read; a snippet:
. . . scattered among us, there have always been villains who wanted to have it all. Greed-driven people who’ve longed to operate as they pleased, with the impunity a cheater loves. Cruel bullies who get off on provoking fear in others.
Likewise, there have always been loners and perpetual victims who hated the federal government so much that storming the Capitol building would sound like fun. Throw in the gangs, such as the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, maybe some new wave Confederates, etc. And, for that matter, fascism has been lurking in the shadows in this country since the 1930s. After all, fascists and gangsters have a lot in common.
Sadly, in view of what happened January 6, the potential is all too real.