Late Night Open Thread: Same As It Ever Was, But Louder

No more pretense, no more dogwhistles, just the bully’s boasts.

Early Morning Open Thread: Sundown Voters for A Sundowning Party?

There’s more and more evidence coming to light that the Asterisk-Elect’s electoral college victory relied on the revanchist fantasies of some of America’s least loveable left-behinds. David Roediger, at Counterpunch:

Coming myself from a “sundown town”—that is, one which for most of the twentieth century remained whites-only, in part by disallowing even visits by African Americans after nightfall—I had read the work of the sociologist James Loewen on such places with great care. In the massive volume, Sundown Towns, and on the website accompanying and updating it, Loewen paid special attention to Wisconsin. Partly this was because, proportionately, so many of its towns fit into the sundown category and partly because their histories were so typical. Many had an early Black presence that was removed over time or in a hot moment. Some featured billboards warning of their policies. They included small towns, but also growing industrial ones, whose good, sometimes union, jobs became the property of whites.

Did sundown towns elect Trump in Wisconsin? My research assistant, Kathryn Robinson, and I tried to find out. Since it is much easier to get county-level election returns than municipal ones, we concentrated on “sundown counties,” those having a county seat that could be established as a sundown town or likely sundown town in Loewen’s mapping. An incredible 58 of the state’s 72 counties fit into such a category. Of the 58 sundown counties 31 are 1% or less African American (and only eight more than 2%), suggesting that the proxy of the county seat works in identifying sundown areas at the county level.

The simple answer on Trump and sundown towns in Wisconsin is: “Clearly they elected him.” Sundown counties gave Trump almost 935,000 votes to Clinton’s just over 678,000. His margin in the sundown areas exceeded 256,000 votes. That Clinton won the fifteen non-sundown counties by almost 230,000 votes could not make up for Trump’s 58% to 42% margin in the sundown ones. Just short of two/thirds of all Trump voters in Wisconsin came from sundown counties. Only nine sundown counties chose Clinton with 49 for Trump…

Of course, the NYTimes‘ Media Village Idiots are busily attempting to buff away these angry white fingerprints, because calling someone a racist is far more impolite than being a racist
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Pastoral Scene of the Gallant South


It’s 2016, but it might as well be 1816 in South Carolina if you are an unarmed black man and a white cop wants to kill you:

A judge declared a mistrial Monday afternoon in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man at the hands of a South Carolina former patrolman, after the jury said they could not come to a unanimous verdict.

In a statement read by Circuit Judge Clifton Newman, the jury said “We as the jury regret to inform the court” that they were unable to come “to a unanimous decision in the case of the state versus Michael Slager” on Monday afternoon after a day of questions and deliberation.

“The court therefore must declare a mistrial in this case and I so declare that is case is mistried,” he said after the jury returned to the room and confirmed their decision.

The jury had remained undecided — but not deadlocked — on Monday in the murder trial.

The defense in ex-patrolman Michael Slager’s the five-week trial claimed that he feared for his life when 50-year-old Walter Scott got control of the officer’s stun gun and pointed it at him.

Here’s the video of him chasing Scott, stopping, taking up a shooting stance, and unloading his service weapon into the unarmed man running AWAY from him:

He must have been really “scared.”

It’s now official. You can be executed by the cops, on video, have the cop plant evidence on your still bleeding body, again, on video, have the cop be heard tittering about the adrenaline rush, on audio, and you will not receive justice. But let’s place the blame where it really lies- on Colin Kaepernick for not standing during the National Anthem.

My biggest fear in the next few years with the rise of the neo-nazis and the white supremacists and the normalization of the Trump racist right is that we are going to see this kind of thing, both the shooting and the white holdout on the jury, happening more and more often. Basically, jury nullification in any offense in which the black man is the victim and the aggressor is white. The justice system has never have been equitable for black people in America, but now that it is “acceptable” to be openly racist in public and not only that, get elected President and be appointed to his staff, we are going to see a lot more of this.

In the past, we could rely on the Federal government and the Justice Department to at least make an attempt to address these concerns. But with racist ass Jeff Sessions running the DOJ, it’s going to get worse. Not only will he and the DOJ not pursue these cases, but he will also be gutting the voting rights of minorities so they don’t even have any redress at the ballot box, and on top of that, he is an anti-marijuana zealot and will ramp up on the drug war. You’re all bright people and don’t need a refresher course on the disparate impact of the drug war on people of color.

This is a slowly unfolding disaster. I’m sick. The Klan doesn’t even need to wear robes in public anymore.

Thinking Security

Several of you have asked in comments or by email if I’d write a little bit (a lot of bit?) about security. Specifically, personal security. I intended to get this up earlier in the week, but things went sideways on Tuesday, then did an inversion on Wednesday, then a triple lindy yesterday, so…

The first thing that I think is important is something I, and several others, have stressed here in posts and comments: freaking out is not a useful activity. I’m not stating that to pooh pooh anyone’s reactions to the elections, whether they be anger, fear, anxiety, stress, depression, or any combination thereof. All of these are normal and understandable responses. And, of course, if you are feeling really overwhelmed and are having trouble finding/regaining your equilibrium please go see a professional counselor or therapist.

The second thing is don’t do this!

CLEVELAND – Police are investigating the theft of seven guns swiped from a Cleveland home sometime early Tuesday morning.

A mom and her two children were asleep upstairs when she said the thief or thieves broke into the home and cleaned out two gun cabinets. “They’re ready for a war, we were ready for a war,” said Teena Brayen

Brayen and her family are doomsday preppers. “We’re preppers, we believe in preparing for what could happen,” said Brayen.

The Brayens are part of the Three Percenters Club, a militia group that ‘exists to… protect and defend the constitution and our way of life’ by helping people ‘execute Military Strategies to defend against foreign and domestic enemies’.

But the items they wanted to use to defend against invasion in Rome made them a target for invasion in Cleveland.

On November 22, burglars – who, Brayen believes, spotted the weapons when she was moving into the home – took seven guns, 12 machetes, body armor, smoke grenades, more than $1,000 in ammo and some of their food.

Two gun cabinets were emptied of their contents: a high-powered, armor-piercing sniper rifle; five shotguns, and a pellet gun.

Leaving aside the Brayens and the Three Percenters Club, which is not the same as the other Three Percenters, what was missing here was a failure to think security.

Thinking security means to proactively consider what the potential threats might be in order to establish effective, reasonable solutions to them. This means to consider what the potential threats and dangers are to oneself, one’s family, and one’s property (home, business, etc) and what reasonable steps should be taken ahead of time to either deter them or, should deterrence fail, respond to them in the most effective and safe manner possible. This is not just for human threats like crime or terrorism, but also for preparing to deal with natural or man made disasters such as a hurricane or blizzard or earthquake or a gas main explosion or a fracking induced sinkhole or earthquake. To do this one needs to consider several questions.

  1. Who or what is the threat? And what kind of threat is it?
  2. Does the location, item, and/or person need to be secured against a potential threat?
  3. What is the extent of the location’s vulnerability?
  4. Does the potential security countermeasure need to be human, animal, technological, or a combination of them?
  5. How far can I, and how would I go about, extending my secure zone away from myself, my family, my home, etc?
  6. What effect will the potential security response have on me, my family, my friends, my neighbors, my employees, coworkers, and/or customers?

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Excellent Read: “How Trump Made Hate Intersectional”

Rembert Browne, at NYMag:

In the numerous civil-rights movements of the 21st century, a degree of savvy about how to deal with racists, or homophobes, or Islamophobes, or sexists in isolation developed. But this expertise, from years (or in some cases, generations) of experience, was typically learned one form of oppression at a time. Progressives talk a lot about intersectionality — meaning, thinking about race and sex and class simultaneously — but Trump won the presidency by making hate intersectional. He encouraged sexists to also be racists and homophobes, while saying disgusting things about immigrants in public and Jews online. Hate, like love, is infectious, and it is contagious. And for so many, the adrenaline felt by blaming one group for one’s personal ills bled into blaming all the others.

The story of America for many is a seemingly never-ending process of playing catch-up. The perspective of those at the back of the line has been a tunnel-vision reality of knowing who is holding you down. Black people focus on white racists, gay people are consumed with protecting themselves from homophobes, women struggle to exist freely in a man’s world, Muslims and Mexican immigrants feel the weight of the world against them from “true” Americans. This created a complicated ecosystem for the historically abused — a shared understanding of what it means to be discriminated against, but also a quiet resentment over who has it worse. Because if you’re the worst off, you’re at the bottom, but you have a reason to scream the loudest, avoiding perhaps the most frustrating status: invisibility.

Now we’re faced with a clear reality: one group that hates us all….

So many men hate the idea of a capable women breaking into all-male spaces, because with her comes instant accountability. It’s harder to talk about grabbing women by the pussy if there’s also a woman in the circle, and that in turn makes it harder to blindly assault. It’s harder to casually say nigger when there’s a black person in the circle, and that makes it harder to beat a black kid senseless without fear of repercussion. It’s harder to say faggot when someone queer is in the room, which lessens the ability to casually bully a gay person to the point where they take their own life. Yes, there’s hate spread throughout this country, but it stems from the sickness that involves stopping at nothing to keep spaces fully white, allowing white people to continue with behavior that is no longer universally accepted in the real world…

You don’t see America, the melting pot of cultures, genders, religions, beliefs, as a good thing if you can’t keep up. You hate it with an aggressive irrationality — typically while being unable to explain why you feel the way you do — if you’ve never met anyone who isn’t just like you. And you resent it when the systems you created to make people become overqualified just to attain near-equality come back to threaten your relevancy, your status, or your power.

All of the groups that felt the wrath of these white people in 2016 have to somehow find a way to fight back, to save America. The reason it’s so hard for the country to actually change is because these white people have so little left, whether it be economic or cultural relevancy. This election was potentially their final hand, and they pushed their chips all in. And wouldn’t you know it, it fucking worked. But know their celebrations aren’t confident ones, filled with true elation. On the contrary, this is a very real sigh of relief, one that you get from a new lease on life, the one that stands between bringing back the archaic ways of old and permanently becoming a fossil.

Friday Evening Open Thread: Working As Intended!

“Ambulatory cream cheese sculpture” Hewitt, not seeing a downside!


Apart from meditating on the never-ending revanchist urges of our GOP compatriots, what’s on the agenda for the evening?

Celebratory Gathering of Happy Trump Supporters

ETA: Original tweet got removed by Twitter, for some reason or other…

No, seriously: This happened. Rosie Gray, at Buzzfeed:

The white nationalist alt-right movement, once the very definition of fringe politics, is facing a truly unexpected scenario: Their preferred candidate is about to be in the White House.

To capitalize on this turn of events, alt-right leaders held a press conference on Saturday at the gathering of the National Policy Institute, the white nationalist think tank headed by Richard Spencer. The event was held in the Ronald Reagan Building in downtown Washington, and attracted vigorous protests outside.

Spencer appeared onstage with VDare’s Peter Brimelow, anti-Semitic writer Kevin MacDonald, Arktos editor Jason Jorjani, and American Renaissance founder Jared Taylor. More than two dozen reporters were in attendance, a stark shift from previous alt-right gatherings that attracted fewer. Behind the press conference, the rest of the NPI attendees gathered to watch, at times booing and jeering the reporters when they asked questions. The audience was nearly all young, white, and male, with some sporting Make America Great Again hats and many displaying the “fashy” cropped-sides haircut common to the movement….

[N.B.: That’s ‘fashy’ for ‘facist’. They’re proud of who they are.]

The alt-right, Spencer said, had before the election been like a “head without a body,” trapped in internal conversations and debates.

“The Trump movement was a kind of body without a head,” Spencer said, saying that Trump’s campaign had been “half-baked” on policy despite having the right instincts on foreign policy and immigration. “I think moving forward the alt-right as an intellectual vanguard can complete Trump.” Spencer, who can take credit for coining the name of the movement, believes the alt-right has a “psychic connection” with Trump in a way they do not with other Republicans. Indeed, the very name of the alt-right indicates its wish to disassociate itself from the wider right: An important part of its project is to challenge and dismantle the conservative movement.

Spencer and the others are careful not to identify Trump himself as alt-right, nor his campaign CEO and soon-to-be White House chief strategist Steve Bannon. The alt-right leaders are aware of their political radioactivity and seek to not harm Trump by linking arms too firmly with him. “I don’t think Steve Bannon is alt-right as I would define the term,” Spencer said, saying Bannon has no direct connection to the movement but that “I think a few of us have shaken his hand” and that there is “common ground” between the beliefs of Bannon and those of the alt-right…

So much common ground, that the two Venn diagram circles are locked in close embrace.

Now that Trump has won, the alt-right must grapple with policy in real-world terms. NPI plans to start putting out policy papers as recommendations for the Trump administration going forward (regardless of whether these specific plans will ever have audience in the White House); the first, out now, is called “Beyond NATO.” One proposal by Spencer is to institute a 50-year freeze on net immigration. He also spoke approvingly of Ivanka Trump’s federally sponsored maternity leave proposals, and of the choice of Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general. Spencer told me later that he’s also proposing a “less is more” idea in which there is less college attendance and college is reserved for a “cognitive elite,” and a “greatness agenda” involving wildlife conservation…

Translation: State support for white babymakers, old-school racists in charge of the judiciary, college education once again reserved for white Christian men, and license for the NRA to run wild in national parks.

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