adam-serwer   33

Just Say It’s Racist
One might think that in a piece contrasting two presidents’ approaches to racism, their actual policies might come into play. But they don’t—instead the piece only contrasts their rhetorical approaches, as if they could be separated, and as if the way Americans discuss racism is more important than how it affects people. This is a common editorial decision that, in aiming to grant equal moral and factual weight to two sides of an argument, takes a side without realizing it has done so.
adam-serwer  politics  racism  donald-trump  barack-obama  the-atlantic 
june 2018 by yolandaenoch
DAVID DUKE IN THE U.S. SENATE? - The Washington Post
Learned about from Adam Serwer's article at The Atlantic: "The Nationalist's Delusion." In the comments to the tweet when he announced the article, someone recommended it.
david-duke  donald-trump  adam-serwer  politics  racism  the  washington-post  arnold-r-hirsch 
november 2017 by yolandaenoch
The Nationalist's Delusion
"One hundred thirty-nine years since Reconstruction, and half a century since the tail end of the civil-rights movement, a majority of white voters backed a candidate who explicitly pledged to use the power of the state against people of color and religious minorities, and stood by him as that pledge has been among the few to survive the first year of his presidency. Their support was enough to win the White House, and has solidified a return to a politics of white identity that has been one of the most destructive forces in American history. This all occurred before the eyes of a disbelieving press and political class, who plunged into fierce denial about how and why this had happened. That is the story of the 2016 election."
usa  politics  culture  trump  racism  adam-serwer 
november 2017 by syskill
The Nationalist's Delusion - The Atlantic
What I found was that Trump embodied his supporters’ most profound beliefs—combining an insistence that discriminatory policies were necessary with vehement denials that his policies would discriminate and absolute outrage that the question would even be asked.

It was not just Trump’s supporters who were in denial about what they were voting for, but Americans across the political spectrum, who, as had been the case with those who had backed Duke, searched desperately for any alternative explanation—outsourcing, anti-Washington anger, economic anxiety—to the one staring them in the face.

The frequent postelection media expeditions to Trump country to see whether the fever has broken, or whether Trump’s most ardent supporters have changed their minds, are a direct outgrowth of this mistake. These supporters will not change their minds, because this is what they always wanted: a president who embodies the rage they feel toward those they hate and fear, while reassuring them that that rage is nothing to be ashamed of.

these Americans, who would never think of themselves as possessing racial animus, voted for a candidate whose ideal vision of America excludes millions of fellow citizens because of their race or religion.

The specific dissonance of Trumpism—advocacy for discriminatory, even cruel, policies combined with vehement denials that such policies are racially motivated—provides the emotional core of its appeal.

The plain meaning of Trumpism exists in tandem with denials of its implications; supporters and opponents alike understand that the president’s policies and rhetoric target religious and ethnic minorities, and behave accordingly. But both supporters and opponents usually stop short of calling these policies racist. It is as if there were a pothole in the middle of the street that every driver studiously avoided, but that most insisted did not exist even as they swerved around it.
donald-trump  david-duke  racism  the-atlantic  adam-serwer  politics 
november 2017 by yolandaenoch
Welcome to the Second Redemption
The federal government currently protects people’s ability to find a home, to make a living, to cast a ballot, to worship freely, to drink clean water and breathe clean air. A Trump administration can leave these rights unprotected for the people most vulnerable to having them denied because of the color of their skin or their faith, before having to ask Congress for a single vote on legislation.

The uncomfortable truth is that, whether you’re Donald Trump or Bill Clinton, economic populism is most effective in American politics when it is paired with appeals to racism.

Perhaps the Trump administration will diverge from what Trump himself has promised to achieve. Perhaps he will move to enact his campaign-trail promises, and voters will repudiate his agenda. But it seems more likely that some day, Americans will look back at the Obama era much as historians have now come to look at Reconstruction: As a tragic moment of lost promise, a failed opportunity to build a more just and equitable society.
adam-serwer  donald-trump 
november 2016 by yolandaenoch
NRA Chief Calls for More Guns Everywhere
"Rolling out a list of 1990s-era conservative cultural shibboleths, LaPierre blamed a coarsening culture, and violence in movies, video games, and music for mass shootings -- that is, everything but the deadly weapons the killers have used to slaughter people. LaPierre's 'solution' is for Americans to arm themselves, and for the government to place armed guards at every public school in the country... The head of the nation's most powerful gun rights organization laid out a vision of a paramilitary America, where citizens are protected by armed guards until they are old enough to walk around with their own firearms on the off-chance they might need to pump a few rounds into a fellow citizen."

Inb4 "paramilitary industrial complex."
usa  weapons  culture  idiocy  adam-serwer 
december 2012 by syskill
The New Flyover Country
"The working class people of color who now make up much of the base of the Democratic Party often seem as invisible to political media as they were to the Romney campaign... The national media doesn't talk to these voters much--they work hard and play by the rules but were never the group that politicians used to refer to as 'working hard and playing by the rules,' because before Obama, only white people were described that way.... Their political views aren't discussed or explored so much as summed up as a matter of 'demographics,' as though their votes were settled by genetics rather than individual agency. They are the new 'flyover country,' except they're not so much flown over as invisible to the people who rely daily on their labors. The political press often lacks the vocabulary to describe them, and until last week they could be safely disregarded."
usa  politics  culture  media  adam-serwer 
november 2012 by syskill
Obama Talks Drone Strikes
"[W]hile the administration has tried to keep its 'license to kill' secret, this interview actually lays out in some detail what the administration thinks the legal parameters actually are: It can target suspected terrorists with lethal force when they are in 'remote regions' where they are difficult to capture, force is necessary to 'stop them from carrying out plots,' and civilian casualties won't be significant. Still, these factors are all evaluated by a secret process within the executive branch, rather than the kind of public and adversarial process used to, say, put someone in prison for life."
usa  security  intelligence  law  politics  war  terror  paranoia  obama  adam-serwer 
september 2012 by syskill

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