April, 2011 archive
Cynthia Tucker, writing at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, illustrates how folks refuse to see what’s going on around them.
In this case, she’s considering Haley Barbour’s inability to see the racist undertones of many of his public statements; she tells a story to illustrate her point that he has an excuse for not knowing how to behave in public:
When I was a teenager, an older white lady whom I barely knew volunteered to help me hone my piano solo for the county Junior Miss Pageant, in which I played W. C. Handy’s “St. Louis Blues.” My talent presentation included a short recitation explaining the origin of the blues — born of black folks’ suffering. Upon hearing me recite the prose I’d written, she said, “Cynthia, the Negroes never had it that hard.”
I was stunned by her certitude, her arrogance and her lack of compassion. But I didn’t believe her response was born of flat-out racism. It was born of a willful ignorance — an unwillingness to confront the truth about a system in which she was complicit.
Nor do I believe Barbour is racist. But he showed the same blindness my piano tutor did — an inability to empathize with Jim Crow’s victims. Given his state’s history, that’s no minor failing.
I am not nearly so charitable.
In the case of the old lady from Ms. Tucker’s youth, I can accept this argument, at least somewhat.
When you grow up and live inside a system that seems immutable, you tend to accept that system.
Jim Crow seemed quite normal to me when I was seven years old.
In the case of Mr. Barbour (and many others like him), not so much. He has lived to see the system change (though much more change is needed).
In his case, not only is ignorance no excuse, ignorance is inexcusable.
But osprey nests?
Dominion Virginia Power says a large nest, made from straw, reeds and sticks, and resting on transmission lines along Northampton Boulevard, caused a 90-minute blackout Thursday night that affected more than 12,000 homes.
Be honest now.
Haven’t you always harbored a secret desire to give the electric company the bird?
When I was a young ‘un, back in the olden days, ospreys (AKA “sea hawks,” sometimes “sea eagles”) were rare. The article goes on to point out that their population has rebounded since DDT was banned in the 1970s.
They build large nests at the very top of dead trees. And what is a light pole other than a man-made dead tree?
One of the pleasures of boating is seeing ospreys in flight as they hunt.
Occasionally, though they prefer not to, the electric company puts a platform on top of light poles so that ospreys can nest there safely above the transformers. Follow the link to see a picture of one such platform.
Bob Cesca, in this week’s Bob and Elvis Show:
Marcus Tullius Cicero:
Via ABL at Balloon Juice.
It is truly difficult not to characterize birthers as being truly evil people.
Moved because of Easter.
Date: Saturday, April 30th.
Special Guest Speaker: Louisa Strayhorn, the last African American to serve on the Virginia Beach City Council
Location: Bubba’s Deli & BBQ, 3600 Dam Neck Rd, Virginia Beach (Map).
Cost: Adults $10.00, Under 12 $6.00 for all-you-can-eat buffet (it’s a pretty good buffet, too–plenty of variety).
More information here.
My mother, who retired from teaching over two decades ago, once said that the biggest change she had observed during her career was this:
When she started, if little Johnny got into trouble, the parent would call and say, “What did the little bastard do today?” (only she would never have said “bastard”).
By the time she retired, that same phone call would start, “How dare you mistreat my little darling. He didn’t do it.”
It appears to have gotten much worse.
A school official speaks out. A nugget:
Gen Xers orchestrate every move of their preschoolers, from perfect play dates and obsessively healthy diets, to instructional flashcards and hypoallergenic socks.
Once school starts, Gen X parents may become upset to discover other students doing more advanced work than their own, demanding a meeting with the principal about why the teacher is “letting their child fall behind.” Of course the parents have done their research, identified the problem, and it’s clearly the school’s fault that their child is “underperforming” — in kindergarten.
Indeed, a Gen X parent holds her child’s self-esteem as something to be protected at any cost. Gone are the days of the “helicopter parent,” hovering obsessively to make sure little Taylor is prepared for success. Gen Xers are “snowplow parents,” knocking all potential obstacles out of their children’s paths to pack their young résumés with successes.
I have long thought that parents take themselves and their children far too seriously. If you get the kids to adulthood so that they can be responsible, moral, and functioning citizens and persons, that’s doing a damned good job. Anything else is gravy.
As someone–I wish I could remember who–once said to me, “When you’re raising kids, if you do one more thing right than you do wrong, you’re going to be a good parent.”
Josh Marshall elaborates on his DSM for birthers. Here’s one classification:
Second comes what I now term ‘Forensic Denialist Long Form Birthers’. These are the folks who going on very theories deny or doubt the authenticity of the document released yesterday. Orly Taitz appears to be in this category, claiming, with no apparent reason, that an authentic document would have identified Obama’s father as “Negro” as opposed to “African.” More creatively, Jerome Corsi, author of the swift boat smear and leading birther now calls the Nordyke twins — two girls born one day after Obama — represent the “Rosetta Stone” of birtherism because the numbers on their birth certificates are lower than Obama’s notwithstanding being born a day later.
Follow the link for the rest.
Racism has driven these folks nuts.
Thank heavens that’s over.
Now our media can go back to covering important things, such as LIndsey Charlie Paris Keira Hilton Sheen Kim Knightly Snookidashian.
Iowa alleges the use of creative strategies to keep those foreclosures coming:
Bank of America Corp. (BAC) was accused by a top official at the Iowa attorney general’s office of engaging in a divide-and-conquer strategy by undermining support for the settlement of a nationwide probe into foreclosure practices, a person familiar with the matter said.
The bank tried to get attorneys general to break away from those supporting the proposed accord, Iowa Assistant Attorney General Patrick Madigan said during a recent conference call, according to the person. A second person familiar with the settlement talks said the bank sought to sow dissent among the states, eight of which have publicly criticized the proposal’s terms. Both people asked not to be identified because the talks are private. Madigan declined to comment.
Read the whole thing. Further down in the story is a report that it is Republican attorneys-general who are allowing themselves to be divided and conquered.
Republicans? Defer to the banksters?