I don’t have to see Stephen Miller’s fingers to know that he’s a racist

I’ve seen it being mentioned all over social media today that Trump advisor Stephen Miller was caught throwing a white power hand sign during a recent television interview, and I suppose there could be something to it, as Miller has proven himself time and again to be an absolutely despicable human being, but it seems to me kind of like when, several years ago, people on the right were sharing photos of Barack and Michelle Obama fist bumping one another and saying that it was a “terrorist fist jab.” And, really, isn’t there enough real stuff to dislike about Miller already? I mean, we already know that he’s a racist, right? It’s not like he’s hiding the fact. It’s not like we caught someone like Justin Trudeau furtively throwing a white power hand sign while apologizing to the indigenous people of Canada. Now, that would be news. Miller isn’t hiding it, though. We know what he stands for. We know about the Hispanic students that he intimidated in high school, and the role he played in pushing forward Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim travel ban. I’m all for people singling Miller out and holding him accountable for what he’s been doing in the White House, but let’s focus on the real stuff, OK? Miller, Bannon, and others, regardless of how their fingers might be arranged, are pushing legislation that will hurt people of color in this country. And that, in and of itself, should be enough to get us angry. We’re way beyond hand signs here. They’re ramping up deportations, filling the government with people like Jeff Sessions, and, as we just discussed yesterday, preparing to cut funding for schools and districts serving high poverty populations. You don’t have to squint your eyes to see it. You don’t have to analyze video frame by frame. It’s all right there, playing out in front of us.

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16 Comments

  1. Posted February 22, 2017 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Here it is, if you haven’t already seen the image of Miller in question.

  2. Posted February 22, 2017 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    See that thing he’s doing with the left hand (the P, I guess)? Trump does that all the time when he is speaking. It is about his only hand gesture. I don’t think he’s doing it for WP, but I do think he needs some help with the hand gestures. I’ve done public speaking all of my adult life and I know it can be tricky, but it’s easy once you catch on. If Trump wasn’t a complete narcissist who might want to put me in the oven or at least try to grope me, I could help him.

    Also, just FYI, when I taught in Detroit we had to go to gang training. Doing the wrong signs on the wrong block would get you killed. Point being that HE might think this is WP shit, but the Peoples Nation that controls block XYZ might think it is entirely something else. Or they might know it’s WP. Either way, it’s a good way to get your ass lit up.

  3. Jean Henry
    Posted February 23, 2017 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    He’s unbuttoning his coat jacket with his left hand, while holding the lapel steady with his right. This is silly speculation. Ideology driven reality. I’m glad you didn’t bother to write about it…

  4. Anonymous
    Posted February 23, 2017 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Did you forget to clear this one with Jean, Mark?

  5. Jean Henry
    Posted February 23, 2017 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    That’s hysterical Anonymous. The impulse to conspiracy and narrative fabulist tendencies has never been more clear than in this era. Nor has the dangers of the same. Just a year ago a big chunk of the left distrusted the press to the point of outright dismissal and thought the system was rigged. Now they are all about preserving institutional integrity and the the free press is the cornerstone of our democracy. Which is a good thing, but where’s the self-reflection? Where’s the self-adjustment. We’re still playing gotcha politics. We love these made up stories so much, it is warping the press. That’s a man unbuttoning his coat jacket. That’s also a man whose words and deeds and manner are fodder enough for serious concern. I’ve seen about 20 links to this story on social media feeds. We are now manufacturing our own distractions. But look, it gets clicks. And Mark clearly knows that to.

    We are being ruled by trolls. Your outrage can be used to manipulate you. Be cautious. “You are drunk and on the edge of a cliff, sit down.” We need to start paying attention to our anger bliss and how much we really like it, how it makes us feel, and then sit the fuck down. There’s real work to do. Let’s try to not make idiots out of ourselves.

  6. Kim
    Posted February 23, 2017 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Jean how is what you’re saying different from what Mark is saying? Aren’t you both saying that this is a ridiculous story, and that we should focus on what’s really important? Am I missing something?

  7. Eel
    Posted February 23, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s MO for Montana, as in Hannah Montana.

  8. Tim
    Posted February 23, 2017 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    I could totally see him jacking it to Hannah Montana.

  9. Jean Henry
    Posted February 23, 2017 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Kim– I’m questioning a few things( 1) Mark’s use of the story to attract attention to the post, while then saying it’s not important. (2) He also doesn’t say it’s false news. Completely fabricated. Or (3) that it is false news being spread by almost every online liberal media outlet– including Democracy Now and Daily Kos. (4)He doesn’t talk about how much we love fake news that corresponds to our political narrative. He doesn’t talk about how little we care if it’s fake news. when it does. He doesn’t talk about how we have an appetite and tolerance for fake news just like the our conservative counterparts. (5) He doesn’t say we’re hypocrites and dangerously, easily diverted by fake news. He doesn’t say we get off on moralistic righteousness as much as the christian right and that that is a vulnerability in the resistance.

    Otherwise, yep, pretty much the same.

    PS Mark is also a nicer person than I am, clearly.

  10. stupid hick
    Posted February 24, 2017 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    Mark, you should use fake news to bait the dopes who back Trump, not your own followers!

  11. Kim
    Posted February 24, 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    FWIW, I don’t see that Mark’ was using this story “to attract attention”. If he were, he would have put the hand sign on the front page and

  12. Posted February 25, 2017 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    Jean: you are wrong.
    After this past year’s election and the abysmal failure of ideological centrists/moderates like you and your voting block, we are now stuck with at least 4 years of proto-fascsim. Thanks.

    So while I am all in on redistricting reform and the like, we also need to reform institutions like the Democratic Party. After becoming a member of the Wash Cty Dem Party Executive Committee and participating in party-building as a member of MI Dem Party, attending the convention on the 11th Feb, I can state with confidence that the people running the party do not understand the rules, nor understand how to facilitate meetings that follow the rules as written. The 12th District Caucus was a perfect example. We [Michigan for Recolution], as much as we would like to continue to expand upon the 40 affiliate organizations we have across the state, we will now also spend some time appealing the way some elements of the convention were run, voting irregularities and all. More forthcoming. Mark, if you are interested in this, I’ll send our press release when ready, likely Monday, maybe sooner.
    http://michiganforrevolution.weebly.com/about-us.html

  13. Posted February 25, 2017 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    RE: “Just a year ago a big chunk of the left distrusted the press to the point of outright dismissal and thought the system was rigged. “

  14. Jean Henry
    Posted February 26, 2017 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    Greg– Not sure of your point. do you still think the system was rigged and that’s why Bernie lost the primary? Didn’t he win in MI? We’ll have to agree to disagree on the causes of Trump’s win. Lots of ways to parse that. So many, in fact, that any pat answer is inherently more ideological than accurate. If you feel you have majority support for your positions, there is nothing stopping your side from winning. Really. I’m all for electoral reform in MI and elsewhere. Thanks for doing the work. Good luck.

    PS– Your crew is again saying the system is rigged because Ellison didn’t win the chair. This despite the fact that Ellison’s campaign pulled some bs on the second vote– claiming endorsement they didn’t have from a candidate from the earlier round. Otherwise the campaign was quite civil, even when the Ellison supporters were not. Even after Ellison called for reconciliation and Perez named him deputy chair. It’s all eerily familiar.

    You all are fighting the wrong bad guy. The system is not rigged against you. The press is not rigged against you. You just lost. For the privileged, losing fairly feels like oppression. The bros love to believe they are the oppressed. Good luck with that.

  15. Jean Henry
    Posted February 26, 2017 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    “I seriously doubt the middle of the road approach is going to work. By staying tied to the 1% and corporate interests the Bernie wing will never get on board. The DNC needs to fully understand that identity politics is dead. It’s all about the rust belt and working Americans. The old guard such as Pelosi and Waters need to go.” — comment from michigan leftist. (Greg you should sign him up.)

    Apparently concern for the truly marginalized is a moderate position now??? The people who claim to be to the left dismiss advocates for the marginalized as SJW’s (That’s derogatory??) and think identity politics is a cult of victimization. Both terms cribbed from the alt right. In a world where left is right and up us down, where protectionism and nationalism are over taking both fringes of the two parties, I can accept the term moderate. Seems like the truly progressive position for me.

  16. Jean Henry
    Posted February 26, 2017 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    Maxine Waters as a moderate and supporter of the 1% and corporate interests– Only the bros could come up with that one. Sheesh!

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