Remember the Rights of the Migrant!

alamo-poster-john-wayne 

Migration is a human thing. As an animal, this is what we do and have done for two hundred thousand years or so. More than 40,000 years ago migrants from Africa made cave paintings in Europe and cave paintings they made in India may be older still. Recorded human history is less than 20,000 years old (if we want to be really generous with the archaeological record). Humans are migrants. It is what we do. All history is the story of us moving about this spinning blue ball. This is known.

Given the scale of human history; borders, fences and other barriers to migration are a very recent development and the idea that you can stop human migration with non-porous borders is a very recent fantasy. There are some who want America to embrace this fantasy. Unsurprisingly, the wingnut plan to create these non-porous barriers is firmly rooted in our mythologies of race. These mythologies make it easy for white or white approved migrants to come and stay with or without documentation, while other migrants face extra hurdles and fear mongering design to turn them into “the enemy”. This is the standard wingnut reaction to migration and immigration from the Know Nothings to the Tea Party, from the Chinese Exclusion Act to border fences. Policies rooted in race-based fears never work and always lead to trouble. And yet, that is the only type of policy today’s conservatives can imagine. The current movement of child migrants of color may strike fear in the hearts of these wingnut cowards, but these kids are not now and never will be a threat to America. They are just humans doing what humans have done for two hundred thousand years: move about the planet.

Without the free flow of migrants around the world since 1492, we would not be here. Since Columbus mistook an island in the Caribbean for India, it is very rare to find an example of violent migrants attacking the people they met on this continent or any other continent with one major exception: European migrants. It turns out that European migrants were extremely violent people.

I’m a descendant of these European migrants and when we came to America we did not assimilate into the existing culture or co-exist with them. Instead, we engaged in active ethnic cleansing–killing or driving off the people who used to live on the land we now call home. When we seized too much land to managed, we captured imported people and made them into slaves–just to enhance our profits. By the time America was founded in 1776, we looked to the West and followed a rinse. wash, repeat pattern of conquest.

This is what we did in Texas. The Texicans flooded Northern Mexico in the early 1800s. Turns out that they were migrants who did not care about the borders of Mexico or any immigration laws concerning the land they wished to migrate upon. These Texicans demanded that their universal right of migration trumped any and all laws of the Mexican government. When the Mexican government responded with a demand that Mexican law should be respected, the Texicans launched a violent rebellion.

The Alamo was a battle for the rights of the migrant that is now firmly rooted in the mythology of Texas and America. I find it way off the irony charts that today’s white wingnuts embrace the position of the Mexicans who attacked the Alamo as they demand that new migrants respect borders that were created through a migration that refused to respect borders.

Of course, that irony will be lost on the modern wingnut. For these folks, the human right of migration is a conditional right granted only to people that they define as white or who have “earned” approval from white conservatives. Light-skinned Cubans fleeing Castro? Great you’re in. Eastern Europeans fleeing the old Soviet Union? Free pass to move about the Country. Brown children fleeing problems created by American policies? Fuck off.

In the USA of wingnut fantasies, white folks have a right to migration, while people of color do not unless they are able to convince white conservatives that their right to migration should be respected or grudgingly tolerated. It is a sad and old American story. You can see this pattern repeated in the history of our Country, as white conservatives of each era define “good” or “bad” migrants/immigrants on the basis of race and the accepted concept of whiteness being used at that moment.

So, 140 years ago, the common definition of whiteness, excluded Italians and Irish (who–before their acceptance into the club–were only near-white). In 1940 it still excluded Jews. Over time more groups have been accepted as “white,” while other groups still wait for that magical and benefit-packed recognition from white conservatives. Certain Cubans are now white and become “safe” if they put a toe on the beach, while all those brown children fleeing the failure and fallout of Reagan’s dirty war in Central America are still not-white and considered “illegal.”

About 111 years ago, My Grandfather arrived in America as an unaccompanied minor. His Mother died during the passage from Ireland. He arrived in New York as an immigrant orphan and was “sold” to a series of farmers as a child laborer. Eventually a decent family rescued him, adopted him, and created part of the American narrative told by my family. I’m certain that his papers were not in order (decades of family research into the matter make a very strong case that he was completely undocumented). He was a paperless, motherless child and yet he joined the huddled masses yearning to be free. He, along with millions and millions of other “white” or “near-white” European migrants were accepted and embraced as Americans.

Acceptance of migration is why America grew and became an exceptional nation. I do not understand the current culture of fear concerning the undocumented migrants in our country or the wingnut hysteria concerning yet another wave of children migrating to America. From Jamestown to Plymouth to the 13 Colonies to westward expansion to the many waves of European immigrants–each migration to America included young people. Millions of European migrants were children. Many and more came without papers. We are a strong Nation because we embraced the reality of human migration.

A conversation to build on that American strength, to create policies and laws that recognize the reality and right of human migration would look very different than our current conversation that is bogged down by the race-based fears and fantasies of the modern American white wingnut. As long as the wingnuts get to frame these conversation with their chicken-shit racism masquerading as a concern, we will be at odds with human history and their fantasies about God-given white privileged will continue to hurt America and make the Nation weaker.

Who knows what will happen, but if it was up to me, I would ignore the wingnut fear of people of color and craft policies that would acknowledge the human right of migration, bring people out of the shadows, give them a path to citizenship and free them to help make America thrive and survive. After all, migration is what humans do and so I do not see a downside in embracing reality.

And with that, how about an open thread.

Cheers

173 replies
  1. 1
    princess leia says:

    Word!!!!

  2. 2
    gene108 says:

    At some level, I think idealistic Americans mistake “land of immigrants” with what America really is: A land of conquerors.

    American culture is the culture of the victors, and what we are doing in being accepting of blacks, Asians, Latino’s, etc. undermines the culture of the victors.

    The victors did not see how far their culture could be undermined by a little open-mindedness and now they are the aberration of what is publicly acceptable. You can no longer openly discriminate against groups of “losers” like blacks, Asians, and gays.

    Anyway, I think people make the mistake of what is in the Bible versus why people became Christians. When Constantine converted to Christianity the Bible, as it exists today, was not compiled. It would be another hundred years before the Bible would be compiled. Constantine converted to better control a declining Roman Empire and, if you accept the mythology, because he put a cross on his shield and won.

    Either way, Europeans converted to Christianity to gain victory in battle and/or to better control large segments of people under one religion, rather than various pagan traditions.

    The reason so much of Christianity is about conquest, expansion and dominance over other groups is because of why people became Christian in the first place, which was to improve their chances of conquest.

  3. 3
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    Excellent post, Dennis G.

  4. 4
    Amir Khalid says:

    @gene108:
    And these are the people who make a big deal of saying that Islam was spread by the sword.

  5. 5
    planetjanet says:

    Seriously good post. Thanks.

  6. 6
    another Holocene human says:

    Wtf I thought the Alano was the US/ Tejano version of the Donbass’ Donetsk People’s Republic and their underlying motivation being slavery.

  7. 7
    anonymus says:

    Exactly right on. George Will agrees with you! Too few people are speaking out.

  8. 8
    Roger Moore says:

    @gene108:

    At some level, I think idealistic Americans mistake “land of immigrants” with what America really is: A land of conquerors.

    Maybe the conquerors were important, but they were far from the only immigrants. There has been wave after wave of immigrants who came to the already conquered areas to live and who added their own contributions to the country, not to mention the contributions of the remaining conquered people. It’s easier to see this here in the Southwest, where Mexican culture is vital, if not entirely dominant, but you’ll also see it with contributions from groups like Italians, Jews, Greeks, Chinese, Polish, and others who showed up mostly after the conquest was finished.

  9. 9
    Elmo says:

    Open Thread? Okay. Here I will assert that, while it is certainly better to have a flat tire on Sunday afternoon in the Safeway parking lot than Monday morning on the Beltway, waiting for AAA in a hot car with groceries still iz teh suxxor.

  10. 10
    Keith P says:

    Wait, so this movie had a guy in it named “Chill Wills”? How am I only hearing about him now?

    EDIT: Not only that, but is publicity agent was named Bow-Wow Wojciechowicz!

  11. 11
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Elmo: Eat the ice cream before it melts.

  12. 12
    Elmo says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    I brought one of those insulated cool bags, so I’m hopeful. I bought the ice cream for my wife – wouldn’t be good to eat it all. She had a tooth out Friday.

    The ice cream was really the whole point of the trip to the store.

  13. 13
    Dennis G. says:

    @Keith P: Oh yes. Chill was a character actor specializing in Westerns. In John Wayne’s Alamo, he played “the Beekeeper” (which sorta sounds like the name of a Batman villain).

    As for Bow-Wow, the image may be from a European poster for the film.

    Cheers

  14. 14
    Mike E says:

    Shorter Righty Whitey: IGMFY

  15. 15
    Aunt Kathy says:

    My mind is officially blown. George Will says to let ’em in. http://www.mediaite.com/tv/geo.....-children/

  16. 16
    scav says:

    @Roger Moore: throwing into the complexity, let’s not forget all the Polish and German influences on certainly Northern Mexican culture. Norteño polka? Banda! Bohemia beer ring any bells?

  17. 17
    rikyrah says:

    About the Water Bill ‘ Crisis’ in Detroit…

    from POU that sums up my new suspicion about this. I think it’s about Negro Removal.

    Aquagranny911

    Hola POU! I know it is Sunday but I have a rant!

    I have been so disturbed by this Detroit water shut off. I was raised in the desert where water is practically sacred. We actually still have old laws on the books that discuss the rights to water & that no one can shut off a person’s access to water for any reason.

    That Detroit could allow over 40 corporations & businesses to owe over $9 million in water bills & not shut them off when they are shutting off the water to thousands of individual customers is unconscionable! What I saw that Detroit was charging individual customers for monthly water rates made me see red! We pay here, a fraction of that & our water is way more fragile & scarce.

    From what I understand, rates have more than tripled recently in Detroit & can be tied as a lien to the property taxes which could result in foreclosure for home owners. I would love to see a real analysis of just which customers were targeted because this looks to me like a “land grab” of major proportions.

    Cui bono! GOP are evil! Follow the money!

    My two pesos!

    http://pragmaticobotsunite.com.....1506822422

  18. 18
    Dennis G. says:

    @Aunt Kathy: Looks like George is going off-script. I expect that he’ll walk it back before the week is out.

  19. 19
    Cacti says:

    @gene108:

    At some level, I think idealistic Americans mistake “land of immigrants” with what America really is: A land of conquerors.

    This.

    Hating immigrants is part of our national fabric.

    Irish, Italians, Jews, Chinese, all were despised by the established populations of their day.

  20. 20
    burnspbesq says:

    A fair point that is likely to be largely ignored.

  21. 21
    WaterGirl says:

    Thanks you, dengre. Great post!

    George Will says we should let them in? Will wonders never cease.

  22. 22
    J R in WV says:

    The Texans rebelled against the Mexican government when that govenrment made race slavery illegal. They founded a Republic of Texas where race slavery was legal, and then joined the USA, where race slavery was still legal.

    Then South Carolina started the Civil War by taking control of most Federal American military facilities in the state of South Carolina. They couldn’t just walk into Fort Sumpter, on an island in Charleston Harbour, so they started an artilliary battle with the fort, which they eventually won.

    The Secession of the Confederated States of America because of race slavery happened just after that. Texas, where race slavery was still important, joined the CSA and fought in the Civil War to protect their right to race based slavery. They lost, and illegal Jim Crow slavery started shortly after the end of the Civil War.

    Jim Crow lasted from the 1880s until 1964, or 1974, or perhaps 2014…
    actually, the racists are still trying to prevent black folks, and brown folks, and Native Americans and Asian-Americans, and people who vote against Jim Crow from voting, and riding in the front of the bus.

    I begin to think they will always be full of hate for those they percieve as different, or want to prevent from doing as well as they think they deserve to do. People who perceive the world as a zero-sum game, who think in order for their people to do well, others must lose out, will always try to steal advantage.

    So we always need to remain prepared to fight the Civil War against those who are not Civil. Republicans, right now.

    Of course those who erroneously think the world is zero-sum are the inferior people, who can’t invent new things to do better by. Can’t ever invent a better steam locomotive, or an aeroplane, or a Model T fliver. They have no imagination, and that is why they try to steal an advantage from others, the time-honored method of bettering yourself was to kill and maim others, and take what they have grown, harvested, built, and worked for. It’s all they can think of, stealing from others.

    I pity them in a way, not enough to let them get away with it, of course. I’m a builder, inventor, user of new technologies, so I don’t need to steal, I can earn, build, invent. Those Jim Crow types for the most part can’t. And we won’t let them steal anymore, so they naturally feel like they have lost something. The right to steal from those working harder and better.

  23. 23
    burnspbesq says:

    @Cacti:

    Irish, Italians, Jews, Chinese, all were despised by the established populations of their day.

    But we were allowed in because we were immediately useful as cheap labor, doing the shit jobs that prior generations of immigrants were no longer willing to do. That’s the only meaningful difference between my ancestors and these kids: the kids aren’t immediately useful.

  24. 24
    Violet says:

    Great post. This bit:

    Acceptance of migration is why America grew and became an exceptional nation. I do not understand the current culture of fear concerning the undocumented migrants in our country or the wingnut hysteria concerning yet another wave of children migrating to America.

    happens just like it has always happened here. America is built on only wanting or letting in or accepting the “right kind” of immigrants, just as you outlined in the paragraphs above this one. It’s no surprise that today’s wingnuts are freaking out about yet another kind of immigrant that doesn’t look like them. It’ll continue to happen.

    This reminds me of something Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote several years ago. He thinks Latinos will eventually “become white” in the general culture. As in, the culture will decide they’re “white” just as we did with Italians or Irish or whoever was close enough to pass until it really didn’t matter anymore. Maybe there will be a class thing or an are-you-too-brown thing, but generally they’ll be white. That was his theory anyway.

  25. 25
    Yatsuno says:

    @Elmo: Worst comes to worst you go back in & buy more. I do approve of eating it though.

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): Friend went off to Fort Jackson today. I’m kinda in that bittersweet mood.

  26. 26
    Ruckus says:

    @J R in WV:
    I likey.

  27. 27
    Ruckus says:

    Dennis G.
    Great post.
    And it has inspired some great comments.

  28. 28
    different-church-lady says:

    Migration is a human thing. As an animal, this is what we do and have done for two hundred thousand years or so.

    The problem with your analogy is that beating the crap out of the other tribes with clubs is also what we did for about 200k years. Not being barbarians is also a very recent development.

  29. 29
    WaterGirl says:

    @Violet: Well, George Zimmerman was considered white enough when he murdered a young black boy with skittles in his hand.

  30. 30
    WaterGirl says:

    @Yatsuno: Friend or “friend”? If I may be so bold as to ask.

  31. 31

    Suspicion of the other is hardly an American trait. It is universal, nor is it a recent development. Weren’t the early German immigrants despised and hated too by the English settlers?

  32. 32
    Dennis G. says:

    @different-church-lady: Reminds me about what Mahatma Gandhi said when he was asked about Western Civilization:

    “What do I think of Western civilization? I think it would be a very good idea.”

    As an animal, we move and we get in fights. I think civilization requires something more, it requires recognizing universal human rights. Without that we are just animals using more effective ways to hit each other with clubs.

  33. 33
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @rikyrah: There is a key fact in the Detroit water story that keeps being left out. All of the businesses that people keep complaining about, that haven’t paid their bill and aren’t getting shut off, are owned by the city of Detroit. It isn’t private businesses not paying the city; it’s the city not paying itself. So a lot of the conspiracy theories start to fall apart.

  34. 34
    Dog On Porch says:

    Good words, D.G., well framed.

    It seems to me that today’s democratic party, having nominated and elected a black man twice in four years to the presidency, should be echoing them. That historical truth certainly wouldn’t be a news flash to the vast majority of Americans, and most would respect being addressed as adults, in adult terms. Indeed, an argument could be made that Obama himself owes them that much.

    It’s a shame that framing contemporary challenges in historical perspective is a lost art among democratic party politicians. Far too many act as if their own party’s history was born=and-died the day Bill Clinton announced the days of “big” government were over– whatever the hell that was supposed to mean.

  35. 35
    maya says:

    Frankie Avalon was in The Alamo! Without Annette?

    I saw that flick way back when. Laurence Harvey was Capt Travis. He drew a line in the sand. The rest is history. Though, according to a Mexican soldier’s diary, a number of them were captured alive including Davy Crockett. The Mexican officers hacked them up with their swords.

  36. 36
    rikyrah says:

    Gas station clerk with MMA training surprises thieves

    http://youtu.be/HgmnIJF07kg

  37. 37
    efgoldman says:

    @Aunt Kathy:

    My mind is officially blown. George Will says to let ‘em in.

    Stopped clock, right every forty years. In ’74 he said Tricksey Dicksey Nixon had to go.

  38. 38
    efgoldman says:

    @Cacti:

    Irish, Italians, Jews…

    Do you think the hideous people who want to let the kids die, go back to Jamestown and Plymouth Rock? Like hell. Most of their ancestors got off the boat the same time mine did: 1890-1920. As someone else said upthread: I Got Mine, Fuck You.

  39. 39
    Citizen_X says:

    @rikyrah: Awesome job of breaking up a robbery (of one of his friends/coworkers bringing cash back from the bank, no less)!

    See what good things immigrants can bring to this country?

  40. 40
    Mike D. says:

    I’m not going to tell anyone that slavery wasn’t a factor in the rebellion of Texians against the national Mexican government, but to boil it down to that one factor alone is incredibly unfair. (This critique does not extend to the Civil War, which was very much a war about slavery)

    The Texians rebelled due to their anger about the new limits on immigrations, the assholishness of Santa Anna (something that sparked rebellions in multiple states; Texas just happened to be the one that won), and so on; the kind of stuff that causes rebellions in countless unstable states, and Mexico was very much unstable at the time.

    America has a lot of shitty stories about race and immigration, and Texas has sadly played her part too many times in them, but in this one, slavery is an addendum, not the story. Just consider this one little blurb from Santa Anna’s wiki page:

    While captive in Texas, Joel Roberts Poinsett — U.S. minister to Mexico in 1824 — offered a harsh assessment of General Santa Anna’s situation:

    Say to General Santa Anna that when I remember how ardent an advocate he was of liberty ten years ago, I have no sympathy for him now, that he has gotten what he deserves.

    Santa Anna replied:

    Say to Mr. Poinsett that it is very true that I threw up my cap for liberty with great ardor, and perfect sincerity, but very soon found the folly of it. A hundred years to come my people will not be fit for liberty. They do not know what it is, unenlightened as they are, and under the influence of a Catholic clergy, a despotism is the proper government for them, but there is no reason why it should not be a wise and virtuous one.[15]

    Then ask yourself why Tejas and two other Mexican states might have rebelled against his government.

  41. 41
    Mike in NC says:

    The version of “The Alamo” starring Billy Bob Thornton is pretty good.

  42. 42
    BonCH says:

    Hispanic isn’t a race, of course, so most U.S. Hispanics are white, technically.

  43. 43
    satby says:

    Dengre, as always, a great post. It frustrates me no end that people who are aware of a past history of bias against their own ethnic group (like my own Irish) still discard that knowledge and fall prey to scaremongering about newcomers.

  44. 44

    @efgoldman: Ted Cruz’s father came in much later than that but baby Cruz wants to not only not give the Central American minors a hearing before an immigration judge but he also wants to deport the beneficiaries of the Deferred Action (i.e. The Dreamers).

  45. 45

    @Citizen_X: I despise violence usually but um wow, those guys robbed the wrong fucking gas station.

  46. 46
    James E. Powell says:

    @BonCH:

    All humans are almost identical, genetically. There is no such thing as race, technically.

  47. 47
    PurpleGirl says:

    @BonCH: Especially if they can trace their ancestors to Spain or another European country like Germany (Linda Ronstadt’s family) or France (remember there was a period when Mexico was ruled by Maximillian, a French import).

    Ronstadt’s family ended up in what became New Mexico but they had their roots in both Mexico and Germany.

  48. 48
    Dennis G. says:

    @James E. Powell: True that. The concept of race and the belief that this fantasy is real is one of America’s most dubious gifts to the World. It really is more like a plague we unleashed upon the planet…

  49. 49
    Kay says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    That isn’t true. The 9.5 million referenced is different then the city-owned property. In fact, the city issued shut-off notices to some of the commercial operators in July.

    The state of MI also owes Detroit for water. Snyder addressed that yesterday.

  50. 50
    Ruckus says:

    @Dennis G.:
    Was at a party a while back and got into a discussion with a libertarian. Not a young one either. At one point I asked him if he lived in a society or not. He said he didn’t like society. That was pretty obvious, he liked living in a situation where as long as he got his, fuck everyone else.
    But with 6+ billion people on a planet that can not support them without at least a nominal cooperation with each other, what I don’t understand is why people who are obviously not superior physically or mentally have it in their heads that they will be the ones left standing and eating.

  51. 51
    Ruckus says:

    @Kay:
    Even if it were true, didn’t they use the water? Why should they get it for free and not get shut off when others do?
    Has everyone started to Bundy the government?

  52. 52
    efgoldman says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Ted Cruz’s father came in much later than that

    Tailgunner Ted is a true sociopath. Most of the IGMFY crowd are everyday normal citizens, not running for anything, not trying to create a reactionary society, just afraid of their own shadows.

  53. 53
    scav says:

    @Ruckus: At a party, nibbling away on the no-doubt posh hors d’oeuvres and pontificating away about how he doesn’t like society. Society, that numinous something that enables parties, galas and assemblages of peoples not nibbling on each other?

  54. 54
    WereBear says:

    @Ruckus: At one point I asked him if he lived in a society or not. He said he didn’t like society.

    And yet, he’s still living in it. Driving on the roads, using all kinds of technology, calling 911 if he has a health or crime issue.

    Just like I’d have more respect for the screaming Xantians if they went Amish. But they don’t. They belittle science while using microwave ovens, taking antibiotics, and using anesthesia.

  55. 55
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Hey, those migrants who invaded Texas and with whom the Mexicans had a beef were upset because the Mexicans had outlawed…wait for it…slavery.

    The Alamo fell because it was a bastion of slavery.

  56. 56
    Eric U. says:

    @Ruckus: people feel they are exceptional. I am pretty sure that if society collapses, I’m going to be one of the casualties. I’m surrounded by people that have serious health issues that think they would survive. I probably would do pretty well if everyone around me was lifted off-planet by slave running aliens, but if my fellow humans survive the end of society, I am in big trouble.

  57. 57
    Schlemizel says:

    My father’s 5x father arrived in North America before there was a US, 1753, His mothers side arrived about 30 years later so the rest of you jonny-come-lately’s GTFO!

    OTOH my mothers father arrived in 1916 but was undocumented as his step-mother did not declare him. Her mother’s family arrived from Sweden in the 1860’s in the form of a single teem pregnant by the village priest who had been exiled by her family.

  58. 58
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @anonymus: Stopped clock, right twice a day.

    In my local rag, Will talked today about how Monica Whelby is good for Oregon and America. No thanks. She’s trying to replace a potentially great senator in Jeff Merkely who’s been a leader in the fight to terminate the bullshit filibuster rules of the last 20 years or so. If these assholes want to be obstructionists, let them throw their conniptions on CSPAN so everyone can see them.

  59. 59
    raven says:

    Try The Last Command with Sterling Hayden as Jim Bowie.

  60. 60
    Kay says:

    @Ruckus:

    It’s complicated. It looks like btwn 36 and 40 businesses didn’t pay (varying accounts of that number).

    The businesses are contesting the billss because they say Detroit imposed a surcharge without notice.

    The city is owed millions by all kinds of entities. Wayne State and the medical center owe them for electricity.

    I think the city manager should set up a website and publish the bankruptcy petition. It should have everything listed. At least then people would know what is going on.

  61. 61

    @Amir Khalid Islam didn’t always spread by gentle persuasion, either. It seems to me that evangelizing zeal is the one thing both Islam and Christianity have in common.

  62. 62
    drkrick says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Suspicion of the other is hardly an American trait. It is universal, nor is it a recent development. Weren’t the early German immigrants despised and hated too by the English settlers?

    There are quotes from Benjamin Franklin about German immigrants to Pennsylvania that, with substitution of the ethnic group, could come from any contemporary anti-immigration coward.

    Of course, you can also hear the same thing from Germans about Turks, English about Pakistanis and Russians about any number of ethnic groups that “immigrated” by conquest. It’s a pretty universal. There will always be an us and them, only the identities change.

  63. 63
    Ruckus says:

    @scav:
    @WereBear:
    @Eric U.:

    I pointed these things out to him but his mind was like a steel trap. Sprung shut with nothing in it to show for his effort.
    I think I’ve decided that I’ll just try to get along and not get into stupid discussions with morons. They aren’t smart/aware enough to understand anything, and my BP doesn’t need the boost. And really finding out they are morons takes about 30 seconds or less so there is little time lost.

  64. 64
    Amir Khalid says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    True enough, on both points.

  65. 65
    drkrick says:

    @BonCH:

    Hispanic isn’t a race, of course, so most U.S. Hispanics are white, technically.

    Most US Hispanics have quite a bit of (real) native heritage. Those from the Caribbean are likely to have quite a bit of African heritage as well. There are very, very few families in Central and South America that have managed to continue to interbreed exclusively with other descendants of Spanish colonists.

  66. 66
    sm*t cl*de says:

    The Texicans flooded Northern Mexico in the early 1800s. Turns out that they were migrants who did not care about the borders of Mexico or any immigration laws concerning the land they wished to migrate upon. These Texicans demanded that their universal right of migration trumped any and all laws of the Mexican government.

    Similar history with the Republic of California, no? Anglos flooded into Mexican territory, then claimed majority status and announced their own secessionist nation?

  67. 67
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    So far so good with ad blocker. Thanks to, I think, Water Girl.

  68. 68
    Yatsuno says:

    @drkrick: And those that have basically control the vast majority of Mexican wealth.

    Meanwhile in Kentucky…

  69. 69
    Ruckus says:

    @Kay:
    Well that won’t happen, it would make sense.
    A legal question, is that allowed? If the city is the one declaring bankruptcy I would guess it probably would be. Detroit seems to be a city that everyone wants to screw over. The people that live there, the state….. I’ve been there a number of times years ago and didn’t think it was that bad, not third world bad anyway. But I worked in south central LA in the summer of 65 so my perspective may have been slightly skewed. Although the airport was a dump the couple of times I had to stop over there.

  70. 70
    scav says:

    @sm*t cl*de: Entire westward expansion of the US is generally led by people heading into lands that hadn’t been opened yet (or by treaty had been granted to others), often hoping to pre-emptively grab some of those govt hand-out township-and-range moochfests early.

  71. 71
    Keith G says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Not so much.

    Read Mike D’s post above.

    The slavery issue was mixed up within the movement for the rebellion, but not the cause. As was mentioned above, curbs on immigration, higher taxes, and the centralization of governmental power (a revocation of a previous constitution) were the major sparks.

    By the time of the Battles of Gonzales and Goliad and Texas’ convention for independence, much of the political leadership of Texas had figured out that their long term future lay with the United States. In fact some of that leadership were reluctant to declare independence from Mexico until Texas had more time to communicate with the US.

    Sam Houston, Texas commander-in-chief, who had the good sense to stay the hell away from the Alamo (he had ordered it’s evacuation and destruction) was thought to have been a bit of an agent-provocateur acting with a least informal guidance from two of his close personal friends: Andrew Jackson and James K. Polk.

    For many, the Texas Revolution was simply an initial step in getting Texas into the US.

    edit

    As I reread some things above, I just want to point out how bizarre and hyper-emotional the following is…

    The Alamo fell because it was a bastion of slavery.

  72. 72
    Kay says:

    @Ruckus:

    Well, there’s all this distrust because they’re being so dodgy. They won’t just come out and say who owes what to whom. They could put up the info and let people search it.

    It’s bigger than shut-offs, too. The city manager said in March he wanted to sell or lease the water system. He said he probably would not sell it because he can’t get federal subsidies if it went to a for-profit but a lot of people in a lot of places are worried about privatization of essential services like water. Now it’s a bigger discussion. Should you turn your water over to a private company. Water?

  73. 73
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Keith G: You are an idiot. As is Mike G.

    Every other grievance was pretense for the biggie. Slavery. Just as it is with revisionism over the American Civil War. Nothing got them GOING like a ban on chattel slavery. That’s what motivated the rebellion. Everything else was thrown in as camouflage. We’ve seen this all before.

    Fuck, the motherfuckers came right out and said it was about slavery in the latter case.

  74. 74
    Corner Stone says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The Alamo fell because it was a bastion of slavery.

    I…uhhh…what?

  75. 75
    efgoldman says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    You are an idiot

    Slavery was never the cause of any war.
    No matter what the actual secession documents say in plain language.
    All them papers was wrote by libruls, doncha’ know.
    Common knowledge that no-one in the Confederacy could read or write.
    Jut like today.

  76. 76
    Corner Stone says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I’m glad you amended this because at first I thought you were going to say he was an Idi Amin supporter.
    Which would only be slightly more ridiculous than whatever nonsense you have edited it to say.

  77. 77
    Corner Stone says:

    @efgoldman: The Alamo?

  78. 78
    Corner Stone says:

    We do all remember where Dengre called Matt Stoller a racist with no backup, right?
    And when called on it he said he had no idea whether Matt was or was not. Just a joke. A tidy little joke.

  79. 79
    BobS says:

    @Elmo: I’ve got to ask — why not just change the tire yourself?

  80. 80
    Kay says:

    @Ruckus:

    I haven’t been able to find out that much. It doesn’t help that the Detroit newspaper absolutely sucks.

    The WSJ did a great job on the auto bailout. This would be right up their alley, but I refuse to pay for it anymore because they’re too insane outside the news division. I’m not paying for that editorial page. It’s jist crazy wingnut at this point.

  81. 81
    Corner Stone says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    You are an idiot. As is Mike G.

    What did Mike G. have to say that I missed?

  82. 82
    scav says:

    Beware of Texans bearing textbooks.

  83. 83
    Keith G says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: While you certainly have over time displayed a talent for issuing insults and calling for violence, that does not make you correct on the facts.

  84. 84
    Corner Stone says:

    @BobS: I almost stroked out the last time I tried to change out a flat. I have a good four way tool, good pair of gloves and some heft behind it all.
    And unless you have an impact tool, good fucking luck getting that Discount Tires tire off your lug nutz.

  85. 85
    raven says:

    @Corner Stone: sheesh, all you have to do is put a pipe on the 4way and increase the torque.

  86. 86
    Corner Stone says:

    @raven: I bent the 4 way tool.
    I outweigh you by a solid 40 pounds and I wrapped it into a taco before I quit.

  87. 87
    Ruckus says:

    @Kay:
    I gave up on the WSJ and Forbes about 30 yrs ago. They both were a waste of the paper they were printed on. Looking back I’m not sure they were ever any better. I found listening to myself was far better business policy than any business publication. Maybe that means I’m not worthy enough but at least I slept better and my employees didn’t hate me.

  88. 88
    BobS says:

    @Corner Stone: @raven: raven is right. I’ve never had a problem loosening lug nuts using a short length of pipe as a breaker bar. Especially with melting ice cream in the car.

  89. 89
    Corner Stone says:

    @BobS: He’s not right. You think I wanted to wait on the street in TX in July for a fucking wrecker to come get my ex-wife’s car?
    I know what the fuck happened.

  90. 90
    WereBear says:

    @BobS: Around here they use air wrenches to put the lug nuts on. Unless I’m channeling Peter Lupus in his prime, it’s not gonna happen.

  91. 91
    BobS says:

    @WereBear: Every garage uses air wrenches to tighten lug nuts — it’s why I carry a piece of pipe to use as a breaker bar with my lug wrench. I guess I’m lucky I’ve never had a problem changing a flat.

  92. 92
    Gene108 says:

    @Dennis G.:

    Get over yourself.

    America unleashed Jazz, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Blues, Country and Westetn music, and R&B on the world.

    Race is everywhere, in every civilization ever.

    The only thing America did was allow race mixing to produce a single race that is distinct from its ancestors.

    I do not think Europeans view each other as racially homogeneous. Slavs, Norrdic types, Mediterranean types are subdivisions of Europeans.

    They come to America and interbreed and the product is a white American. Italian-Irish ancestry is not uncommon, for example.

    Though in Europe there distinct differences between the Irish and Italians. The only thing that is happening now is acceptable race mixing is moving beyond intra European mixing and moving to black-white mixes, Chinese-black mixes, etc.

    Otherwise every civilization on Earth had their own version of racism, though it may not be as black and white as it has been in the USA. Rather it is the difference between light and dark brown or pasty blondes versus tan folks, with black hair.

  93. 93
    Funkula says:

    I have to disagree with the idea that European migrants were uniquely violent. Pretty much everyone that came off the steppes stands as a counter-example. And while I can’t be certain about most of the ancient Mesopotamians, at least the Israelites and probably others were pretty fond of moving into Promised Lands as soon as they’d depopulated them of the pesky prior owners.

  94. 94
    raven says:

    @Corner Stone: you weigh 240!

  95. 95
    Eric U. says:

    @WereBear: I use an air wrench, no problem changing a tire by hand. Might have to jump on the wrench, but that’s true either way. Not a good idea for the old and infirm, however.

  96. 96
    Corner Stone says:

    @raven: Dog, if you weigh 200 I will buy you and the princess a really nice dinner somewhere.
    You can’t be touching 160 from the pics you have posted of yourself fishing, etc. I have a friend who is built just like you and when he is in beef mode he weighs 160. And that’s a spooky 160 that makes you think he’s going to start bending horse shoes in his hand.
    I used to be 6’2″ and about 210 but over the last 18 months I have settled down into 190 or so.

  97. 97
    Corner Stone says:

    @Eric U.:

    Not a good idea for the old and infirm, however.

    Now you’re just trying to hurt my feelings.

  98. 98
    Roger Moore says:

    @Dennis G.:

    The concept of race and the belief that this fantasy is real is one of America’s most dubious gifts to the World.

    Bullshit. The concept of biologically determined race goes back further than America. It was brought to the colonies with the first immigrants, and plenty enough of it stayed behind in Europe to justify colonialism. We have plenty to be guilty about in our behavior on race, but it’s nonsensical to think that it was invented here and exported to every other place in the world that practices racism.

  99. 99
    raven says:

    @Corner Stone: 6’0″ 195. on top of Stone Mountain last month.

  100. 100
    Corner Stone says:

    @Dennis G.:

    The concept of race and the belief that this fantasy is real is one of America’s most dubious gifts to the World.

    The concept of race *and* ?

  101. 101
    Corner Stone says:

    @raven: Wow. You look just like my 5’8″ and 160 pound buddy.
    Ok, I made a mistake. Sorry.

  102. 102
    efgoldman says:

    @Corner Stone: @BobS: @WereBear:
    There’s a goddamned good reason why we pay $65 a year for AAA, and it isn’t for triptiks or hotel bookings, either.
    One gets to a certain age and/or level of infirmity, and there are things you just don’t want to screw around with anymore.
    And when we blew a tire (very different from a flat) at 70 mph on the highway, and ended up in the median on an uneven dirt surface, there’s no way we could have got the car stable enough to jack it andchange the wheel ourselves.

  103. 103
    PurpleGirl says:

    @raven: Does that mean you’re shorter or taller, weigh less or weigh more when not on top of Stone Mountain… (lol) (I couldn’t resist.)

  104. 104
    Ruckus says:

    @WereBear:
    An air wrench can be set to a torque limit, which most shops do otherwise they will break the lugs right off or strip the threads. The shops I use do use an air wrench to put the nuts on but then they finish torquing the nuts to the proper torque with a hand torque wrench. So that nut is no harder to get off than if it was done entirely without any power. Some shops with more sophisticated air wrenches can set the proper torque and then don’t need the final hand wrench. I used to use air wrenches to build large projects with hundreds of fasteners to save time and human energy but we always finished tightening by hand, to avoid problems like over or under tightening. Your car was built with powered wrenches, each one set to a proper torque, other wise it would take much longer to build and cost much more.

  105. 105
    raven says:

    @Corner Stone: Oh shit, it don’t mean nuthin. I wish I were a little lighter but I don’t know how much more I can do.

  106. 106
    Roger Moore says:

    @Kay:

    Should you turn your water over to a private company. Water?

    There are plenty of places here in California that have private, for-profit water companies. They generally hate it and look jealously at those of us with municipal utilities, but they’re out there. I certainly wouldn’t recommend privatizing a municipal utility for the standard reason: if the company is having trouble making ends meet now, how is it going to do better with the same cost and revenue base plus a need to make profits for shareholders?

  107. 107
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Ruckus: If I remember correctly WearBear and her spouse aren’t all that young, aren’t all that physically capable of doing certain things. No matter what you say about how wheels are put on and what tools to use, she will probably not be able to change a tire herself. You’re beating a dead(ish) horse.

  108. 108
    debbie says:

    @efgoldman:

    Yes, I had a chunk of ice slash my rear tire on a very cold pre-Christmas night last year, and AAA was there in minutes. Their car and renter’s insurance is also cheaper than the competitors I checked. All in all, the membership is a bargain.

  109. 109
    WereBear says:

    @PurpleGirl: Yep. Especially since these things seem to happen when I’m all dressed up for a meeting :)

  110. 110
    Ruckus says:

    @efgoldman:
    Bet that was the best $65 you ever spent. Used them once a while back and it was the best money spent that up till then seemed to be going down the drain. If you need, and I mean really need them even once every ten yrs it’s usually well worth it.

  111. 111
    raven says:

    @Ruckus: USAA’s is great.

  112. 112
    WaterGirl says:

    Seems like there’s a lot of shaming going on here – not everyone is a do-it-yourself person. Yikes.

  113. 113
    WaterGirl says:

    Time for a new thread? PLEASE

  114. 114
    Corner Stone says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Seems like there’s a lot of shaming going on here – not everyone is a do-it-yourself person.

    Shut your stupid pie hole and grab a pipe, some gloves and a pair of steel toe boots!

  115. 115
    Cervantes says:

    With you in spirit.

    Regarding the following:

    Migration is a human thing. As an animal, this is what we do and have done for two hundred thousand years or so. […] Humans are migrants. It is what we do. All history is the story of us moving about this spinning blue ball. This is known.

    True, but if history sanctifies behavior, then what do you do about xenophobia? — or is the latter not also as old as the hills?

    Without the free flow of migrants around the world since 1492, we would not be here. Since Columbus mistook an island in the Caribbean for India, it is very rare to find an example of violent migrants attacking the people they met on this continent or any other continent with one major exception: European migrants. It turns out that European migrants were extremely violent people.

    1. How do you distinguish between “migrants” and “colonialists”?

    2. What is your take on the exploits of, say, Genghis Khan and his descendants?

    3. What is your take on Jared Diamond’s “guns, germs, and steel” thesis?

    Thanks much for an interesting read.

  116. 116
    Corner Stone says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Time for a new thread? PLEASE

    Remember the Alamo!
    {which fell due to racism…or…something}

  117. 117
    Ruckus says:

    @PurpleGirl:
    Oh I get that. I’m not near as strong as I was 20 yrs ago and other than currently not having the money for triple A, and not driving that much to justify it, I’d gladly pay. I drive a huge van(don’t ask) and getting the properly torqued lug nuts off takes a 3 foot cheater bar because the 2 ft long lug wrench is not long enough. I didn’t need the cheater bar at one time. I imagine in the not too distant future even that won’t be enough for my broken down old self. Really was just pointing out that an air wrench is not the wrong tool for the job, although misusing it would be.

  118. 118
    Cervantes says:

    @Roger Moore:

    The concept of biologically determined race goes back further than America.

    True, so obviously that I can’t believe he meant to say otherwise.

  119. 119
    Corner Stone says:

    @Ruckus:

    I drive a huge van(don’t ask)

    Picking up new teens, freshly off the bus and into town?

  120. 120
    jeffreyw says:

    @WaterGirl:Heh, I was a plumber for 40 years. I bought a new toilet a year ago. I called a plumber to install it. I’m retired, dammit.

  121. 121
    Violet says:

    I’ve been able to change tires and not been able to change tires by myself. Sometimes the shop puts the lug nuts on so tight I can’t loosen them. I finally got one set of them to budge by standing on the extra pipe on the wrench and kind of jumping up and down. I was glad it wasn’t July.

    Don’t forget that a lot of cars these days seem to be doing away with the spare tire. It may not be possible to change the tire. There’s nothing to put on once you get the flat tire off.

  122. 122
    Kay says:

    @Roger Moore:

    We have a municipal electric too and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

    I once worked in a tiny little town that had a municipal phone system. They got checks every year that varied in amount depending on how long you had been a member of the co op. I worked in their post office so when the checks came out I asked them about it. They owned their phone system.

    The privatized water situation isn’t just the US. Canadians are worried about it too. That’s why “water is a human right” is about more than the city shut-offs. They’re talking about the actual resource, not just the service.

    Like everything else it’s huge and complicated and you could devote hours to it :)

  123. 123
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cervantes: Umm, Dennis has a history here of lying about racial issues, or just being too sloppy to care about determinations.
    So, not sure I’d take anything he has to say at face value.

  124. 124
    Roger Moore says:

    @Cervantes:

    How do you distinguish between “migrants” and “colonialists”?

    A migrant is somebody who moves from one place to another to find a new place to live. A colonialist is somebody who conquers another culture in order to exploit it.

  125. 125
    Violet says:

    @Roger Moore: How do you classify the lower level folks that come along with the ruling class colonialists? The ones who may have been conscripted into service or who took the job because they didn’t have any other options perhaps. Lower level sailors, conscripted military. They come along with the conquerors. Are they also colonialists? What if they stay because the new place seems better than the old place? Are they now migrants? Colonialists? Something else?

  126. 126
    burnspbesq says:

    @Corner Stone:

    We do all remember where Dengre called Matt Stoller a racist with no backup, right? And when called on it he said he had no idea whether Matt was or was not. Just a joke. A tidy little joke.

    Oh, gee whiz, kiddies, he was wrong once, so he must be presumed wrong for all eternity.

    Fcuk that noise. If you have a beef with this post, lay it out so we can evaluate it. The game you’re attempting to play is bullshit.

  127. 127
    Cervantes says:

    @Ruckus: On the reporting side, the WSJ is pretty good — not perfect, but pretty good, especially re business news.

    On the editorial side, it is pretty much insane.

  128. 128
    Cervantes says:

    @Roger Moore: I see the two groups you identify but I am not sure they are separable in practice — which is why I wondered about the reference to 1492 in that paragraph.

    Thanks.

  129. 129
    Corner Stone says:

    @burnspbesq: I have been laying it out, idiot.
    And yes, calling someone a racist and then when called on it saying, “I don’t really know if he is or is not a racist” and then when further pressured deciding to not take the post down is kind of the absolute height of discrediting a person’s posts about race and racial issues.
    How about not calling that person a racist if you don’t know or aren’t sure?
    How about editing the post when called down?
    How about taking it down when you get fucking pantsed for it?

    So, in sum, GFY asshole and learn to fucking read.

  130. 130
    Roger Moore says:

    @Cervantes:

    True, so obviously that I can’t believe he meant to say otherwise.

    Then please provide a more plausible interpretation of:

    The concept of race and the belief that this fantasy is real is one of America’s most dubious gifts to the World.

  131. 131
    Corner Stone says:

    It was snark and troll bait. I do not know the truth of Stoller’s attitudes about race and neither do do you.

  132. 132
    Mike D. says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    You can at least get my name right before calling me an idiot.

    Slavery wasn’t quite the vital topic in the late 1820s/1830s that it became later; Ta-Nehisi Coates has covered this pretty well, and you can find it in Battle Cry of Freedom and many other sources. Put simply, no one was going to rebel in the 1830s purely over slavery; it just wasn’t that valuable or essential to the identity of the south yet (soon though…very soon).

    I’d be willing to hear a rebuttal covering evidence beyond my idiocy; this is my read and my take based on what I do know about the revolution, and I’m certainly not a perfect source.

  133. 133
    Roger Moore says:

    @Violet:

    How do you classify the lower level folks that come along with the ruling class colonialists?

    Yes, they are. Colonialism is something that one society practices against another. This is like the whole thing about privilege even when members of the privileged group don’t feel as if they’re gaining advantage; the whole colonialist society gains advantage from their colonies. Some of the colonialists may also be migrants if they move to take part.

  134. 134
    Kay says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I’m sorry. I’m not home and I can’t do.it on this phone or I would. I can’t get into the editor from here.

  135. 135
    WaterGirl says:

    @Kay: Thanks for caring, anyway!

  136. 136
    WaterGirl says:

    @jeffreyw: That’s right, dammit! Somebody needs to keep the plumbers and the towing places in business.

  137. 137
    Corner Stone says:

    @WaterGirl: What’s wrong with this thread?
    I mean besides Dennis G’s ill-advised posting on race and racial issues? And just sounding flat fucking stupid when making the claim that America exported the idea of race out to the world?

  138. 138
    Cervantes says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Then please provide a more plausible interpretation of:
    The concept of race and the belief that this fantasy is real is one of America’s most dubious gifts to the World.

    A fair question, but I think I’ll wait for the writer, Dennis G., to address it.

  139. 139
    WaterGirl says:

    @Corner Stone: I’m not into shaming, bickering and name calling. I don’t get the point of latching on to one thing Dennis G. said a long time ago and calling him a liar forever more because of it.

    I’m just not interested in that. Tuning out, will come back later hoping for a new thread.

  140. 140
    WereBear says:

    @Violet: Thanks for the tip about resistant starch. I got some to add to my morning smoothie soon.

  141. 141
    Corner Stone says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I don’t get the point of latching on to one thing Dennis G. said a long time ago

    Wait a second. Dennis G. did not say Matt Stoller was stupid or illiterate. He made a whole post on this very blog about how MS was a racist, with racist attitudes. And then when called on it he said he really didn’t know either way and it was just a joke.
    I really don’t give one tiny fuck how you don’t care for someone calling him out on that. That can not be let to stand and have him go on expounding on race and racial issues. Not without him being on the carpet for it, at least a little bit. Which he never has done.
    Sorry that crimps your style, but it’s fucking bullshit.

  142. 142
    Anoniminous says:

    Why is John Wayne waving a commie flag while standing in front of the Alamo?

    (Edited for coherence)

  143. 143
    Schlemizel says:

    aw jeeze. I am finally done with all I had to do this weekend so I thought I’d stop by and join in the conversation. But instead of a conversation I find people indulging corner stone as if he were worthy of anyones time.

    I hope you all had a great weekend & that the week ahead is better than the week behind. Catch you later.

  144. 144
  145. 145
    Corner Stone says:

    @Schlemizel: I thought we had something special?
    Now I’m hurt.

  146. 146
    Violet says:

    @WereBear: You’re welcome. You might want to read up on it and the various types of it, plus fiber and soil based probiotics before you start. And start slowly since (I think) you’ve had joint pain. Let me know if you want some links or to chat.

  147. 147
    Kay says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I think it’s up. Now I can’t see the editor.

    Good luck! :)

  148. 148
    Cervantes says:

    @Corner Stone: Question for you.

    Wait a second. Dennis G. did not say Matt Stoller was stupid or illiterate. [1] He made a whole post on this very blog about how MS was a racist, with racist attitudes. And then when called on it [2] he said he really didn’t know either way and it was just a joke.

    Thanks to the link you provided above, what I found was not [1] a “whole post” but an aside. Going back to that aside, I find that the link to the specific provocation is not working:

    It is hard for me to read Stoller and not wonder if his real problem with Barack Obama is this and not any policy.

    Do you recall what that “is this” referred to?

    Anyway, without reference to the above, I agree [2]: Without some real basis for it, no one should suggest just for laughs, or for political advantage, that someone else is a racist.

  149. 149
    CDW says:

    Has anyone thought at all about the jobs immigrants will take at lower wages. Has anyone though at all about how this will affect American workers. Most of the comments here are thoughtless iterations and reiterations of so called liberal propaganda around the internet. I don’t think a single one of you has thought of the ramification of immigration that allows, for instance, tech workers from India to come in and write code (or whatever – I’m not a techie) for MS, or Apple, or Facebook, etc. for barely livable wages in this country that seem like a fortune back in their home country. You’re no better than the imbeciles on the right because you spout before you think and don’t discuss, tearing down anyone who disagrees. You. are. not. liberals.

  150. 150
    Dennis G. says:

    @Gene108: Race is a myth invented by Americans to justify slavery. Nothing more and nothing less. The concept does not exist in the historical record prior to slavery in America. We created the idea of race and exported it, but somehow we don’t want to talk about it. We like to pretend that it was always there–as you do. That doesn’t change the fact that we made it up out of whole cloth to justify an economic system based on theft of labor and ownership of human beings.

  151. 151
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cervantes: I’m going to disagree with you on [1] as he put it into his post script on the FP post. That is not an aside when it shows up above the fold, IMO.
    As for [2], it was to a post by Stoller that the link seems to be broken now. I also do not have a link for it at the moment.
    But when several people asked Dennis what he meant by attributing racist thoughts or background by commenting on the linked article he lat out said he had no idea whether MS was or was not a racist with racist attitudes.
    I’m sure the Stoller column exists somewhere, but since Dennis did not feel the need to defend his accusations as anything other than a joke, snark and bait, then I’m not very motivated to hunt it down at the moment.

  152. 152
    Violet says:

    @Dennis G.:

    Race is a myth invented by Americans to justify slavery. Nothing more and nothing less. The concept does not exist in the historical record prior to slavery in America. We created the idea of race and exported it,

    Wikipedia has some different thoughts on it:

    The first post-Classical published classification of humans into distinct races seems to be François Bernier’s Nouvelle division de la terre par les différents espèces ou races qui l’habitent (“New division of Earth by the different species or races which inhabit it”), published in 1684.[41] In the 18th century the differences among human groups became a focus of scientific investigation. But the scientific classification of phenotypic variation was frequently coupled with racist ideas about innate predispositions of different groups, always attributing the most desirable features to the White, European race and arranging the other races along a continuum of progressively undesirable attributes. The 1735 classification of Carolus Linnaeus, inventor of zoological taxonomy, divided the human race Homo Sapiens into continental varieties of Europaeus, Asiaticus, Americanus and Afer, each associated with a different humour: sanguine, melancholic, choleric and phlegmatic respectively.[42][43] Homo Sapiens Europaeus was described as active, acute, and adventurous whereas Homo Sapiens Afer was crafty, lazy and careless.[44]

    The 1775 treatise “The Natural Varieties of Mankind,” by Johann Friedrich Blumenbach proposed five major divisions: the Caucasoid race, Mongoloid race, Ethiopian race (later termed the Negroid race), American Indian race, and Malayan race, but he did not propose any hierarchy among the races.[44] Blumenbach also noted the graded transition in appearances from one group to adjacent groups and suggested that “one variety of mankind does so sensibly pass into the other, that you cannot mark out the limits between them”.[45]

    Nouvelle was French. Linnaeus was Swedish. Blumenbach was German. None were American.

  153. 153
    Corner Stone says:

    @Dennis G.: We exported the concept to China? Korea? Japan?

  154. 154
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Cervantes: Dennis G can speak for himself, but here’s my interpretation. Ethnic tension, separation into tribes, hating the people from the other side of the hill for bullshit reasons, etc. have been going on since the first australopithicene picked up a rock.

    However, there is an argument to be made that the concept of “whiteness” was developed, not necessarily in America, but in the colonial era generally as a means of separating Europeans from everybody else. The notion that…French people and Germans, or Italians and Englishmen were “the same” in an ethnic sense, seems to date to the era when European powers were colonizing everybody else.

    Koreans, Japanese and Chinese people, historically, have not gotten along. The notion that they’re all one people (now politely called “Asians”, once called many other things) is a similar determination, also made by Europeans trying to distinguish Us from Them. Similar arguments apply to Africa and the Americas.

  155. 155
    WaterGirl says:

    @Cervantes: Was that you posting earlier as “cervantes” or are there two of you now?

  156. 156
    tybee says:

    @Dennis G.:

    so america introduced the english and the french and the spanish to slavery?

    interesting idea. and wrong.

  157. 157
    Mnemosyne says:

    @tybee:

    interesting idea. and wrong.

    Not completely wrong. It was the British colonists living in North America who came up with the idea of a race-based slavery system where you would be able to tell who was and wasn’t a slave by looking at their skin color. The recent-ish PBS series had a good explanation of it.

    It’s a smidgen tricky because the Caribbean islands that remained under British control had the same system, but that race-based system never really got a foothold in Great Britain proper or in the rest of Europe. It was primarily the Colonies and, later, the United States that established the race-based, hereditary slavery system familiar to us.

  158. 158
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Lurking Canadian:

    Koreans, Japanese and Chinese people, historically, have not gotten along.

    The Koreans and the Chinese have generally gotten along OK. The Japanese have not gotten along with either the Koreans or the Chinese.

  159. 159
    Xjmueller says:

    Please drop by more often. I’ve missed your posts. Great post, as usual.

  160. 160
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @Amir Khalid: As with so much else in the reactionary psyche, you can chalk it up to projection.

  161. 161
    Origuy says:

    The Spanish were importing African slaves into their colonies from 1501. Not only were the Indians likely to escape to their homes, they were dying off from imported diseases. Africans were more likely to have immunities to Old World diseases. The theories of racial differences was largely manufactured to justify African slavery.

  162. 162
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @J R in WV: Thanks for that brief explanation of the Civil War. Interesting as it goes against all those Southern apologists who claim that slavery played no role in “the war of Northern aggression”.

  163. 163
    Cervantes says:

    @Corner Stone:

    @Cervantes: I’m going to disagree with you on [1] as he put it into his post script on the FP post. That is not an aside when it shows up above the fold, IMO.

    No, that’s fine. This sort of thing is problematic whether it occurs in a headline or a footnote, a lead paragraph or an aside. I mentioned the aside not to downplay anything but more as a means of making sure I was looking at the same thing you were looking at — and it seems I was.

    As for [2], it was to a post by Stoller that the link seems to be broken now. I also do not have a link for it at the moment.

    OK, thanks.

    But when several people asked Dennis what he meant by attributing racist thoughts or background by commenting on the linked article he lat out said he had no idea whether MS was or was not a racist with racist attitudes. I’m sure the Stoller column exists somewhere, but since Dennis did not feel the need to defend his accusations as anything other than a joke, snark and bait, then I’m not very motivated to hunt it down at the moment.

    Yes, I saw the comments and the response. It’s disturbing when such accusations are tossed around as a so-called joke without any apparent basis.

  164. 164
    Cervantes says:

    @Dennis G.:

    Race is a myth invented by Americans to justify slavery. Nothing more and nothing less. The concept does not exist in the historical record prior to slavery in America.

    Precisely because it is a widespread myth, definitions of “race” abound. If (for example) you look at Hindu scripture or the Old Testament — both thousands of years old — you might find race and racism there, even unto genocide.

  165. 165
    Cervantes says:

    @CDW:

    Has anyone thought at all about […]

    It may well be true that your thoughts on the subject are unique, but we’ll never know if all you do is criticize us for not guessing what your thoughts might be.

    Still, if you find the exercise satisfying, feel free.

  166. 166

    […] Given the scale of human history, borders, fences and other barriers to migration are a very recent … […]

  167. 167
    mikeyes says:

    Santa Anna ended up in NYC (and an official aide assigned to him by the government!) at one point and helped to invent the chewing gum business. Two of his prosthetic legs still live in the state of Illinois.

    King George III was indicted for a variety of issues in the Declaration of Independence including:

    “He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.”

    This seems to imply that immigration is a good thing, something the tea partiers appear to have overlooked in their reading of this seminal document.

  168. 168
    Peter Akuleyev says:

    “it is very rare to find an example of violent migrants attacking the people they met on this continent or any other continent with one major exception”

    It is actually pretty easy – Chinese in Tibet or Xinjiang, Turks in Anatolia, the Arabs in 7th century Egypt, on and on. White people aren’t special.

    “So, 140 years ago, the common definition of whiteness, excluded Italians and Irish (who–before their acceptance into the club–were only near-white).” – this is utter nonsense that started as a myth spread by conservative Italian-Americans and Irish-Americans angry about affirmative action for blacks. It is ironic to see left-wingers pick up this trope. There was plenty of anti-Catholic bigotry in 19th century America, true, but it was not racist.

  169. 169
    Cervantes says:

    @Peter Akuleyev:

    “So, 140 years ago, the common definition of whiteness, excluded Italians and Irish (who–before their acceptance into the club–were only near-white).”

    – this is utter nonsense that started as a myth spread by conservative Italian-Americans and Irish-Americans angry about affirmative action for blacks. It is ironic to see left-wingers pick up this trope. There was plenty of anti-Catholic bigotry in 19th century America, true, but it was not racist.

    If you have not read How the Irish Became White by Noel Ignatiev (1995), you may want to do so. Note that Ignatiev is not one of your “conservative Italian-Americans and Irish-Americans angry about affirmative action for blacks” — quite the contrary, in fact.

  170. 170
    boatboy_srq says:

    @J R in WV:

    Of course those who erroneously think the world is zero-sum are the inferior people, who can’t invent new things to do better by. Can’t ever invent a better steam locomotive, or an aeroplane, or a Model T fliver.

    It’s worse than that. These are the same volk who insist that “gud aul’ Ahmurrcah ingeenyewitee” is the key to getting out of whatever scrape the US is in, yet complain bitterly when that ingenuity hits the marketplace. See the recent furor over the incandescent light bulb and the recent fad for rolling coal as critical examples: energy is becoming expensive, yet instead of taking advantage of ways to save $$s they complain about the solution as one more proof of IslamoFascoSoshulism. They are not to be pleased, placated or even humoured: their way is not merely the best way but the only way, and FSM help anyone who suggests they’re being short-sighted, greedy bigots. They know nothing but their Gawd-Given Raaht™ to consume mass quantities and the obscenity of merely suggesting that they conserve.

  171. 171
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Peter Akuleyev:

    My aunts who remember being called “dagoes” by the neighborhood kids disagree with you. There absolutely was a thread of “scientific” thought that said that the Nordic and British peoples were racially superior to Mediterranean (Italian and Greek) and Celtic (Irish) peoples. Read The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Jay Gould for the history if you don’t believe me. It was partially due to religious bigotry, but the elites did their best to find “science” to back up that bigotry.

  172. 172
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Peter Akuleyev:

    Another interesting book on the subject: The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction. Nuns in New York sent a trainload of Irish Catholic orphans to Arizona to be adopted by Mexican Catholic families, but local (white) settlers decided the Irish kids who weren’t white enough to be adopted in New York were plenty white enough for Arizona, so they kidnapped them from their (brown) adoptive families.

  173. 173

    […] This one’s some soap-box preaching about the Central American immigrant kids I found particularly resonant. […]

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