Julia Salazar is one of the latest young, Democratic Socialists of America-affiliated insurgents to defeat an establishment Democrat in a primary. She is also my potential future state senator, as that primary was in New York Senate District 18. Also too, she is a bizarre serial fabulist.
The New York Post condemned her personal story — a big part of her appeal — as “wildly exaggerated.” Salazar has said she immigrated from Colombia when she was, in fact, born in Florida; asserted a “working-class background” that her brother strongly denied, offering photos of the family’s four-bedroom riverfront house; said she went to work at 14 to “make ends meet,” which her mother contradicted; implied her mother hadn’t gone to college when her mother got a degree when Salazar was 8 years old; asserted a very confused timeline about her conversion to Judaism; and claimed Jewish ancestry nobody could verify.
Eve Fairbanks at Buzzfeed has an article up about what she sees as a generational issue: Well-Off Millennials Are All Julia Salazar. I Wish We Weren’t.
Rolling Stone seemed baffled to have to report last night that “the constituents of District 18 were apparently untroubled” by that. But I wonder if the supporters — certainly the young, mostly white, recent college graduates who flooded her victory party — didn’t recognize, at least subconsciously, that this kind of thing is just way more common than we’d like to admit.
The article limns something I’ve seen a lot of.
I’ve described my paternal grandfather as a man who “grilled armadillo roadkill” to suggest he was a Southern hick, and it’s true he liked armadillo and at least occasionally foraged killed ones — but he was also the head of the archaeology department at the University of Florida. I’ve told people my maternal grandmother is an illegal immigrant who came to America illegally, alone on a boat from Poland, like an orphan Fievel the Mouse, conjuring hardscrabble images of tenement life, not mentioning that she married into a wealthy family.
I suppose I’ve lightly participated in this myself. “Did you know my mom grew up poor on a family farm?” I sometimes say, bristling at claims that we’re anything other than very recently well-to-do. It’s not unbelievable if you meet her–she’s an often-foul-mouthed animal lover who likes to shoot guns. But just looking at her C.V., you might have a hard time seeing it, other than the decidedly non-elite education. However, I am a creature of privilege. What’s important is that I don’t cover myself with her history, or use it to claim imaginary oppression. (Lord knows I have enough actual problems anyway.)
I’ve also observed the true cliche that nobody seems to have gone to Harvard or Stanford, but rather “college in Boston/the Bay Area.”
I will say that there is significant social pressure, at least among some Millennial groups, to just shut up about fixing oppression if you’re privileged. (I encounter this mostly on social media and rarely in person, so it could be an Online Mean Girls issue.) That doesn’t excuse lying, but it may explain the prevalence of this particular lie. On the flip side, there really is a problem with the most vocal ‘socialists’/’leftists’ being the ones with the least skin in the game–I’m looking at you, Chapo Trap House. (I’m actually not, because I find looking at them unpleasant.)
Anyway, thought y’all might enjoy the (hate)-read. I will now be re-enabling my Millennials-to-Snake-People browser plugin.
Onwards to more pressing issues: The Minecraft server is up! It’s at 188.8.131.52:55045, and if you leave your username (not email) in the comments, I can whitelist you. It’s running Spigot with a land-claims plugin on easy. This IP will eventually be DNS’d to a balloon-juice subdomain, but I’m still working out the kinks.
Non-sports open thread!