The connection between “original sin,” misogyny, and white supremacism

So a rabbi on Twitter posted an inquiry which wasn’t directed at me, but to which I responded:

Read more

  1. [1]Danya Ruttenberg, [microblog post], Twitter, November 25, 2018, https://t.co/XxYSPjXTSq

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump make the case for abolishing borders

On one issue, at least, Donald Trump can claim an ally in Hillary Clinton. Clinton told the Guardian she “think[s] Europe needs to get a handle on migration because that is what lit the flame [of right-wing (authoritarian) populism].”[1] Here’s Donald Trump spewing word-vomit in July:

“Allowing the immigration to take place in Europe is a shame,” Trump said. “I think it changed the fabric of Europe and, unless you act very quickly, it’s never going to be what it was and I don’t mean that in a positive way.

“So I think allowing millions and millions of people to come into Europe is very, very sad,” he continued. “I think you are losing your culture. Look around. You go through certain areas that didn’t exist ten or 15 years ago.”[2]

Read more

  1. [1]Patrick Wintour, “Hillary Clinton: Europe must curb immigration to stop rightwing populists,” Guardian, November 22, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/22/hillary-clinton-europe-must-curb-immigration-stop-populists-trump-brexit
  2. [2]Philip Bump, “Trump’s comments on European immigration mirror white nationalist rhetoric,” Washington Post, July 13, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/07/13/trumps-comments-on-european-immigration-mirror-white-nationalist-rhetoric/

Avarice

I got called in for jury duty, yet again. As it happened I used a hardship—being reduced yet again to Uber and Lyft, I’m just barely getting by, and a two-week trial would be ruinous—to get out of it, but as long-time readers know, our system of injustice is one of many features of our system of social organization that I dissent from.

In general, I object to the reduction of justice to law, especially law passed predominantly by wealthy white men. Jeffrey Reiman has noted the consequent discrepancy: The system of injustice is lenient towards the wealthy, but the poor and people of color face discrimination at every stage of the process, from suspicion all the way to sentencing.[1] Those sentences don’t merely harm the accused but their families and communities, while incarceration takes on the character of an epidemic.[2] And when the accused receive trials at all—there’s a lot of pressure to accept plea bargains, which count as guilty pleas—the outcomes will be the result of a profoundly flawed process.[3] Read more

  1. [1]Jeffrey Reiman, The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison, 7th ed. (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2004).
  2. [2]Ernest Drucker, A Plague of Prisons: The Epidemiology of Mass Incarceration in America(New York: New Press, 2011).
  3. [3]Dan Simon, In Doubt: The Psychology of the Criminal Justice Process (Cambridge, MA: Harvard, 2012).

Barack Obama asks, “Why is it that the folks that won the last election are so mad all the time?”

It seems like a clever line:

“Why is it that the folks that won the last election are so mad all the time?” [Barack] Obama asked a crowd of 4,000 as the fifth interrupting protester was escorted out of a Miami rally on Friday [November 2]. Any further shouts were drowned out by the crowd’s roar.[1]

And it would seem to have earned the audience’s approval. But what this line actually illustrates is how utterly clueless the former president is—and a lot of other folks are—about authoritarian populism. Read more

  1. [1]Cleve R. Wootson, Jr., “Obama rips hecklers: Why are the people who won the last election ‘so mad all the time?’” Washington Post, November 3, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/11/03/obama-rips-hecklers-why-are-people-who-won-last-election-so-mad-all-time/