White Fragility

Reading thru my usual morning list of blogs and news sites, I came upon an interesting piece at Talking Points Memo which focused on the increasing number of Americans who refuse to acknowledge the racism which still exists in our society.

Biker Gangs, Tamir Rice, And The Rise Of White Fragility

Recently released records show that Cleveland Police would have wanted to charge 12-year-old Tamir Rice with inducing panic and being an “aggravated menace.” He was shot and killed by an officer in less than two seconds while playing in the park with a toy gun. This development is juxtaposed with the news that a violent biker gang in Waco, Texas shot up a restaurant parking lot. Nine biker gang members were killed. Police arrested 170 gang members, and confiscated countless weapons. Apparently those 170 weren’t an aggravated menace worthy of immediate death.
(. . .)
The most dangerous uprising that’s threatening America’s stability isn’t black protests in places like Ferguson or Baltimore. It’s taking place among an aging white majority that is losing its bearing on reality and destroying the gears of government, media and public welfare. At its center is an inexplicable, illogical and dangerous fear that some sociologists are now defining as white fragility.

White fragility is a term coined by Robin DiAngelo, an associate professor of education at Westfield State University in Massachusetts. In her 2011 academic pedagogical analysis titled “White Fragility,” DiAngelo goes into a detailed explanation of how white people in North America live in insulated social and media spaces that protect them from any race-based stress. This privileged fragility leaves them unable to tolerate any schism or challenge to a universally accepted belief system. Any shift away from that (like a biracial African-American president) triggers a deep and sustaining panic.

One might just begin to ask why “older, white folks” are so afraid of those ‘others’, that they create conspiracy theories and gather together with those who think as they do – actually, rational thinking is not involved. I mean, if there is no longer racism in America, if the ‘others’ are actually enjoying privileges which white folks can’t receive, why are the whities acting in such irrational manner?

Free speech for some but not for teachers in NC

The North Carolina senate has a bill before it which would punish teachers if they wear red clothes in their classrooms. Say WHAA!!??!!

Though not explicitly banning red clothes, a teacher wearing red to school might be seen as engaging in a “political activity”… There is a campaign in North Carolina, Wear Red 4 Ed (public education)

What has created “the notion that promoting public education has become a political statement.”?

What else but a well-funded campaign from the right. There is some justification for vouchers which allow public school students to attend private schools but there is also the reality that some folks see vouchers as a money-making proposition — and screw the kids.

h/t to Crooks&Liars

Charles P Pierce has a way with words

Writing about Marco Rubio’s efforts to justify the type of domestic spying exposed by some guy named Edward Snowden and the attempts by America’s intelligence community to cover its failures in 2001, Mr Pierce says the following:

It is now customary for ambitious politicians to presume the American electorate has the attention span of a sand flea. However, there never has been a more important time for that not to be the case.

I really wish I could write as well as Mr Pierce

More can be read at Old Spy’s Tale: A 9/11 Fable Lives Again

Kasich’s Ohio ain’t done so well

Kasich, like many GOPers has been an advocate for charter schools during his time as governor.  The original idea behind the charter school movement was to provide institutions focusing on specific fields of study, such as: theatre arts, science, music and broadcasting. Then the “free market” types saw an opportunity; the charter schools in most cases didn’t have to comply with the standards demanded of those “union-dominated” public schools.  ‘Teachers’ weren’t required to hold the same certification as public school teachers, the charter schools funding wasn’t monitored as closely as that of public schools and so we have ended up with a situation in which most, not all but most, charter schools in Ohio provide much poorer education than the denigrated public schools.

Ohio is the home of three of the worst owners of charter schools: K12 Inc.  White Hat Management and  The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) — all owned by major donors to the GOP.

More on the story may be read at Ohio’s charter schools ridiculed at national conference, even by national charter supporters

The problem for taxpayers is exemplified by a quote from the chairman of the Ohio House Education Committee Public access to charter school spending is “just not going to happen”

The problem of Ohio’s charter schools along with advocating for the expansion of Medicaid show the likelihood of a failed Presidential campaign for Mr Kasich. Of course the fact he has pissed off both left and right means he’s a centrist and everybody just loves them centrist types.

Time flies when interests change

Three years since the last post on this blog – for no good reason.

I think I need to return simply to practice my writing skills (weak as they may be)

From this date, I will attempt at least one post a day, some will be wordy and some less verbose.  The ones with fewer words will be mostly links and quotes from other sites I find interesting.

Blake

Is John Kasich a “Manchurian Candidate”?

Kasich turns down federal disaster aid

Is Republican Governor Kasich actually a Democratic “Manchurian Candidate“?

Kasich turns down federal disaster aid

Ohio Gov. John Kasich said thanks but no thanks to immediate federal disaster relief Saturday, even as governors in Indiana and Kentucky welcomed the help.

Kasich did not rule out asking for assistance later, but his decision means tornado-ravaged towns in Ohio will not get federal aid now and are not eligible at this time for potentially millions of dollars in payments and loans.

The governor said Ohio can respond to the crisis without federal help and he would not ask federal authorities to declare the region a disaster area.

“I believe that we can handle this,” Kasich said while visiting a shelter for storm victims at New Richmond High School. “We’ll have down here all the assets of the state.”

“We’ll have down here all the assets of the state.” Just what “assets” would those be, Governor? Ohio is so short of “assets” that it can’t fund basic services, how is it going to fund disaster relief?

The Manchurian Candidate thing I mentioned:

So who is going to get blamed for failures in the disaster relief efforts? The President and FEMA or the one (a Republican governor) who refused federal assistance? One could argue that making the Republican mantra of states controlling their own internal matters more important than humanitarian aid at a time of crisis, just might cause more independent voters to turn away from Republican candidates in the 2012 elections.

Santorum: I Don’t Believe In Separation Of Church And State

Everyday Mr Santorum opens his mouth and shows us all, yet once again, his desire for a theocracy in America

Santorum: I Don’t Believe In Absolute Separation Of Church And State

Rick Santorum on Sunday took on separation of church and state.

“I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state are absolute,” he told ‘This Week’ host George Stephanopoulos. “The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country…to say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes me want to throw up.”

The GOP candidate was responding to comments he made last October. He had said that he “almost threw up” after reading JFK’s 1960 speech in which he declared his commitment to the separation of church and state.

Santorum also on Sunday told Meet The Press host David Gregory that separation of church and state was “not the founders’ vision.”

The GOP candidate has been doubling down on religious rhetoric in an effort to court evangelical voters ahead of Super Tuesday. Last week, he questioned Obama’s spiritual beliefs.

“[Obama believes in] some phony ideal, some phony theology … not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology,” he said.

We also have evidence of some of his other ‘thoughts’ in various speeches he has made and in the book that was published in 2005, It Takes a Family. Rick’s beliefs about a woman’s place in society are outlined in an op-ed piece on CNN.com, titled Santorum’s stone-age view of women and then there was the speech at Florida’s own Ave Maria College in 2008 in which Santorum said “Protestants Are ‘Gone From The World Of Christianity’”

Yet once again, a True Believer(tm) lays down the “No True Scotsman” argument. Simply another fine example of the mindset found in the modern conservative (‘conservative’, as defined by the modern American right – not the classic definition). The more they ‘know’, the less likely they are to accept new knowledge.

Chris Mooney writing at Alternet, pointed out the problem we face as rational beings with those who ‘know’ they are correct – also right in the political sense of ‘right’

Indeed, the rapidly growing social scientific literature on the resistance to global warming (see for examples here and here) says so pretty unequivocally. Again and again, Republicans or conservatives who say they know more about the topic, or are more educated, are shown to be more in denial, and often more sure of themselves as well—and are confident they don’t need any more information on the issue.

Although he was writing about the denial of the science that supports the theory of mankind being behind climate change, the studies referenced also reveal the seemingly innate tendency of the conservative mind to reject facts which don’t fit the ‘reality’ it has created.  So we have individuals with university degrees denying the science behind global warming, asserting that evolution is some kind of atheist plot and creating their own history of America.

Way back in the “good ol’ days”, some clueless, God-hater wrote the following:

Religion & Govt. will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.
James Madison (1822)
I wonder what Santorum would say to that guy.