Do all of us older folks need to die before things get better?


A few days ago, in response to a post that I’d written about the young leaders emerging from the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, there was an interesting exchange between two of our favorite commenters, Jean [the first comment above] and Lynn [the second comment above], about, among other things, the idea that sometimes, for true change to happen, older generations need to either step aside or die off. And, as I’m tired of writing about Trump, I thought that this might be an interesting idea for us to discuss as a group.

While there’s certainly value in the wisdom that comes with age, at what point are we better off just breaking the ties with the past and moving on?

Having just turned 50, I’m not terribly keen on the idea that older people need to die in order for there to be positive change on issues like climate change and guns, but I can see the logic in it. As people become older, at least from what I’ve seen, they tend to become more set in their ways, and less receptive to new ideas. Sure, some folks become more contemplative, and begin thinking more about the big picture, and the world that they’re leaving the next generation, but I suspect, statistically speaking, we’re talking about a very small minority. For the most part, I think, people, by a certain age, feel as though it’s their right, after a lifetime of busting their asses, to just slow down a bit, and enjoy what they’ve built. And I suspect, in times of uncertainty and political turmoil, like we’re living through now, that can’t be easy. I suspect quite a few older people just want all the shit to stop… all the protests, all the talk of rising sea levels, all the kids asking why people of there generation didn’t step up and do something, etc.

If there’s going to be change, it’s likely going to come from the young, as we’re seeing now in the gun control movement. Sure, older people are involved, and groups like Moms Demand Action have been instrumental, but it’s the kids who have the fearless energy and the ability to imagine a different kind of world. Sure, they’ll make mistakes. They always do. But, in the end, they’ll nudge us a little further in the right direction along the moral arc of the universe that Theodore Parker, Martin Luther King and Barack Obama talked about.

As a person who is starting to confront his own mortality a little more seriously, all of this gives me some comfort… I mean, sure, I’d love it if science were to progress to the point where I might get another decade or two with my family, but at some point it’s probably a good thing that we all leave these earthly vehicles of ours behind, and allow others to take up the fight.

Linette’s grandmother, who lived to be 100, once told me that, like a very large tree, she’d eventually have to die, so that the the other smaller trees around her could finally see the sun, and grow to the fullest of their potential. And I’ve always loved that idea. Of course, it runs contrary to every self-preservation impulse that evolution has given us, but I find it really lovely, and I hope that, with age, I’m able to see life the same way… appreciating the fact that I’m not just me, the individual, but part of something bigger, a kind of multi-generational narrative that, in spite of all the bad stuff, is still moving forward in the right direction. I mean, we moved on from slavery, women got the vote, and gay people can get married. Sure, it took over 200 years, and there’s still a lot to be done, but, when you think about the amount of time that humans have been on the earth, it’s just the blink of an eye. And, who knows, maybe in another generation or two, we’ll get money out of politics, guns off the streets, and true equality in our schools.

[note: Before anyone writes in to accuse me of being ageist, I’d like to point out that I now have my AARP card.]

This entry was posted in Mark's Life, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

248 Comments

  1. Jean Henry
    Posted February 28, 2018 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    Hey thanks Mark. I feel a need to clarify my point a bit. It’s been my observation that it takes a generation or two to incorporate progressive ideas into the culture. And the cultural shift leads to systemic change. The government follows the culture. (RBG mentioned this in her talk at UM a few years back) But the vision and hard work against the cultural grain that advocates and activists and social scientists and historians and artists, etc of earlier generations is essential to realizing that change too. It’s frustrating work to push the culture forward. Then a new generation comes along and the need for the shift seems obvious to them. They live the change almost without being conscious of it. The students at Parkland are following the lead of the Brady Center (foundation?) , Moms Demand Action etc. They were able to inform themselves quickly on the issue. They have been able to speak brilliantly because so many before them provided the model and softened the bulwark. Gun regulation has had majority support for a while now, but the NRA seemed like a highly organized force too powerful to overcome. The students simply don’t buy that. And in not buying the NRA’s chokehold, they disarmed them. We have yet to see if the students will overcome the NRA but they have certainly upended many politicians assumptions about them. And in due time I think the necessary shift will occur. And we’ll all be amazed that it took so much work, and that the country was ever so foolish.

    I have predicted that reparations to Black Americans will become conceivable soon and will even be realized in the next few decades. It may seem inconcievable now, but it will seem to be inevitable soon enough. But the importance of a few visionary Black American activists demanding reparations for the last 50 years should not be discounted.

    PS you are likely to live more than 20 more years. Closer to 40 in all likelihood. Lots of time left to see the fruits of so much labor.

  2. dennis_m
    Posted February 28, 2018 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    I realize this is probably something you don’t want to hear, but you really need to die before any meaningful change can happen.

    I’m just throwing this out there, but if you were to commit suicide tonight, I figure the chances for meaningful change would increase by 26.4$%.

    That’s pretty significant.

    If you don’t swallow a shit-ton of Drano tonight, you’re no less selfish than those horrible Baby Boomers who got us into this mess.

    Do it.

  3. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 28, 2018 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    I hope to die soon.

  4. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 28, 2018 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    As far as “adults being worse than their kids”… there are more than a few genocides and massive wars and failed states to prove that statement wrong.

  5. Jean Henry
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 2:42 am | Permalink

    IL— I was referring to the USA which has remarkable stability, not so much to places vulnerable to geopolitical turmoil. (A chunk of which is the US’ responsibility) A civil war here would certainly disrupt that narrative. As for genocide and horrors of war, those have been a human constant. Our country was founded on genocide. Most nations were. Despite all efforts progress has not made those things obsolete.

    Human beings are horrible and beautiful and life is struggle. That’s not going to change. We continue on.

  6. Yoda
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Do all the stones in the river need to turn to sand before the river changes its course? No, only the ones that are in the way. The others form the banks and guide it towards its destination.

  7. Posted March 1, 2018 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Dennis. I believe this may mark the first time in my 10+ years of posting here that someone has encouraged me to take my own life. Now, if only someone had the courage to actually make a death threat. Then, I’d really know that I’d made it as a blogger.

    In all seriousness, though, I hope you get the help you need, Dennis. This anger that you have can’t be good for either you or you family.

  8. Jean Henry
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    I assumed Dennis was trying to be funny. Given the spike in suicides around here, I don’t blame anyone for failing to find the humor.

  9. Lynne
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    I really do think that older people have to die in order for there to be real change. But as IL points out the change doesn’t necessarily have to be positive. Perhaps that is the role older wiser people can take. Help share what we have learned? I know I talk to and share my values with younger people all of the time. I like to think I have had an influence.

  10. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Change occurs, but the impacts of change are often laden with unforeseen consequences.

    I don’t think that anyone would have predicted that National Socialism would be a consequence of the Weimar Republic, for example. Or that the colonial experience and subsequent independence would lead to the Rwandan genocide of the 90s.

    Or that Donald Trump would be a consequence of the election of the first African American President of the United States.

  11. Jean Henry
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Trump was not elected by young people. Obama was.

    Obviously not all change is positive. Resistance to change is a natural response to the risks. But we older people get very stuck in not being able to imagine a better future while the young’uns have no choice. They assume the matle of fixing what’s broken. And following generations will attempt to fix what they left broken. Change is not a straight line. It always meets resistance and regression before correction. The only thing that reliably overcomes resistance to change is a powerful impetus (war, disaster) or a new generation. I prefer the latter as the change they create is generally more integrated, peaceful and so sustained. In the case of Parkland we got both.

  12. Jean Henry
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    50% of eligible voters aged 18-29 voted in 2016. A third went for Trump. Hillary had a very low trust factor for Millennials and yet still received 55% of their vote. Trump received the standard GOP portion of 37% of the youth vote. A lot voted third party. Liberal and left young people don’t feel their interests are represented by the parties. The parties are going to need to fix that, not by promising them free shit, but by listening to them and valuing their energy and commitment to fundamental change. By pushing the nevelope on what is acceptable to aspire to in this country. We need better youth turn out at the polls. We need to encourage them to engage. I have hope that this moment of reckoning for young and old, left and right, might bring that about.
    https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2016/11/21/how-millennials-voted/

  13. Dan Gillotte
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Great post, Mark. To paraphrase Jean and others generational change takes decades but it happens fast. Like tons of groundwork yields an easy change ultimately. Michael Moore explores this in Who do we invade next. I think our job as elders is to continue to grow and be more open to the ideas of these younger folks, support them in their activism even if we don’t get it or it make us uncomfortable.

  14. nattybooboo
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think that the olds need to die. Just sit down and amplify younger voices. It would be great to see this blog more dedicated to covering social movements led by young folks.

  15. Jean Henry
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    To my point, see the third graph: https://www.google.com/amp/www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/04/15/americans-views-of-immigrants-marked-by-widening-partisan-generational-divides/%3Famp%3D1

    “As of March, 76% of Millennials say immigrants strengthen the country, up from 59% in early 2013. Among those in Generation X, there has been an 11-point increase in positive views of immigrants since then (60% now, 49% then).

    Among both Baby Boomers and those in the Silent Generation, opinion about immigrants grew more positive between 2013 and 2014, but has become more negative since then. Today, 48% of Boomers and just 41% of Silents say immigrants strengthen the country.”

  16. Jcp2
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    I wonder who is going to change the bedpans for the boomers?

  17. Jean Henry
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Robots, Jcp2.

    That’s not entirely untrue.

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/08/29/robot-caregivers-are-saving-the-elderly-from-lives-of-loneliness/

  18. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    Between UBI and robots, we will have nothing to fear.

  19. Jean Henry
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    My kids owe me a couple years at least of wheelchair pushing, cooking, feeding, cleaning and ass wiping. I intend to collect.

  20. Sad
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Nattybooboo really? A couple of things you should know about the olds, they love navel gazing and hearing themselves speak. You’d think some young people would have a good local blog. It reflects poorly on the youth that Grandpa Maynard is the hottest thing in town. But kudos to him, he does great work.

    It’s been nice to see those darn kids from DAY getting a little notice lately. I know they’ve been working 24/7 to stop racism and destroy capitalism while fending of attacks from their supposed liberal local allies. Were they responsible for the Mayor deciding not to run? Anyways, it’s nice to see some local kids trying to change the world get a little good press.

    http://www.secondwavemedia.com/concentrate/features/affordbilityabcs0446.

    I just wish they had a better design sense, I saw one of their zines and not one drawing or anything. Just type. The revolution will hopefully have a little flair, a little fun, a little pizzazz!

  21. Sad
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Try this link.

    http://www.secondwavemedia.com/concentrate/features/affordbilityabcs0446.aspx

  22. Jcp2
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    It’s sad that young people don’t seem to care about local affairs because they don’t blog. It’s also sad that they don’t listen to music because CD sales are down. They must not talk to each other, since landlines are decreasing. Even social media is on the outs with them, since they seem not to be joking Facebook. It’s as if they exist in a parallel social world that is not a part of ours.

  23. Jean Henry
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    SAD– If you spend anytime on social media, you will find that DAY generates its own press to its own intended constituents, mostly by attacking via memes etc anyone else concerned with equity and affordability and anti-racism but not down for their Marxist ‘burn it down’ approach. They have failed to sustain the coalition opposed to International Village by pushing their dogmatism. Most of the members are recent transplants to Ypsi and have alienated long term residents and the coalitions that represent them. I very much appreciate that they center the concerns of the marginalized in their approach, but, in the end, they chose to center their ideology over the perspectives of those very people. Young people are important voices, but not the only ones. DAY members aren’t particularly young anyway. I have hope the next crew will learn from their mistakes and be more inclusive, useful and, yes, fun for anyone outside their circle. I have hope DAY will learn from their mistakes too. Trying to implement change within existing systems offers great lessons not offered by protest.

    As for the mayor, I think this bit of her statement re not seeking re-election speaks volumes:

    “One thing has become very clear in the last 10 months or so– the tenor of discourse in and towards our political spheres– from national down to local levels– has soured. This, for me, has felt markedly different than in the previous years of my term, and as I’ve watched it at the federal level through and since the presidential campaign, I’ve seen and felt it locally, too. Personal attacks not actually grounded in the person or based in fact about an issue are easily slung by people at all ends of the political spectrum especially in online sphere. I have even been the target of direct hate speech as an out LGBTQ leader, and received direct threats to my safety because of my vocal support for immigration and our residents from across the world. I share that because it’s not just me. Bullying– that in any other context we would deem unacceptable– is commonplace and in the open both from and towards people in elected office, and in my experience, often has underlying gendered aspects.

    I think we are at a time in our democracy’s history in this country, as well as in our own community, in which we need to examine how we engage in productive and participatory discourse. We need to continue to dive deep into difficult issues without clear answers– not hide from having difficult conversations, and continue to improve how we make space to include more voices. We cannot afford, though, to continue to condone vile and vicious attacks via our complacency, even if we are not the attackers ourselves. That silence degrades democracy.”

    PS I know I have ‘attacked’ HW here. He, for me, represented a special exception. I have made my reasons for that clear. I don’t think Mayor Edmonds is in any conceivable way a comparable threat. She worked very hard to sustain and progress Ypsi in an atmosphere of extreme economic constriction. She deserves credit for her accomplishments at least as much as critique for her mistakes. Public service is a thankless task.

  24. Jean Henry
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    PS for those who support DAY, they have had a gofundme page up for 5 months that has managed to draw the contributions of only 20 people. If they were truly representing the economic and social interests of most of the city, they would certainly have found more support. For those who think DAY is the way forward for Ypsi beyond International Village, or even a critical piece of it, here is the link to support their revolution: https://www.gofundme.com/defend-affordable-ypsi

  25. nattybooboo
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    god bless y’all

  26. Kat
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    You were ahead of the curve.

    Today’s New York Times included an opinion piece with this: “My message, as an aging Gen X-er to millennials and those coming after them, is: Go get us. Take us down — all those cringing provincials who still think climate change is a hoax, that being transgender is a fad or that “socialism” mean purges and re-education camps. Rid the world of all our outmoded opinions, vestigial prejudices and rotten institutions.”

  27. Sad
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Things will gradually change if we work within the system.

    SMH

    Thanks for pointing out the piece Kat. Made my day.

  28. Sad
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    I even felt a little bit …Happy.

  29. Tony
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Maybe you should start writing for the Times. This columnist makes similar points.

    Go Ahead, Millennials, Destroy Us https://nyti.ms/2FNWgMI

  30. kjc
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    I really can’t believe amanda’s greatest takeaway was the injustice of online bullying. Girl bye.

  31. Jean Henry
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Read the letter, kjc. She’s not going to fall on her sword for your gratification. She doesn’t need to tell you what her personal takeaways were. She’s a public facing individual writing a public letter. Sad asked why she is not running. I offered that piece of the letter in response. I don’t know if that’s why she’s not running. DAY wanted to win at any cost. And they did. They were inhumane in the process and they think they won some revolution. Ypsi is the same as it was, except for the work Amanda and others have done towards improving equity and access, a lot of which is in the rest of her letter. All of which work never matters to radicals out for blood and someone to blame. You know,whatever it takes to not hold themselves accountable…
    I hope you hold office someday, kjc.
    What are your takeaways from your own activism? Please make a public statement here and now of how you’ve failed. Otherwise, shove it and show some fucking decency.

  32. Jean Henry
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    kjc’s sniping tactics, while amusing in this context, are typical of most DAY political rhetoric. (When DAY presents positions at length, they are much more effective communicators) Short on any substance, long on broad attack. The use of adolescent and queer slang is also part of the tone of rhetoric which functions to place distance between themselves and others (not just white liberals) rather than create any true communality.
    The only thing DAY accomplished in the end is further tightening the line around their community and making sure everyone who was outside of it was super clear they weren’t welcome (including the long standing communities of the truly marginalized).
    All this was done under the banner of inclusivity and equity.
    I value radical action and organization as a piece of the answer. I’ve seen it fail for these same reasons 100x now. But I’ve never seen a group of newcomers to a city act with quite so much colonizing radical fervor and viciousness however. The failure to listen trumped Amanda’s by ten fold. The conceit was mind-boggling. Grace Boggs is rolling in her grave.

  33. nattybooboo
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    love me some jean on a saturday morning. god bless mark for giving her a platform.

  34. kjc
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Sniping since long before DAY. Let’s not conflate criticisms of Amanda or other council actions with DAY. Centering them constantly seems disingenuous. Was someone from that group shitty to you? I need the backstory.

  35. Sad
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Who hasn’t had a run in with DAY. They said I was classist because I put cream and sugar in my coffee instead of drinking it black. Then they made a meme about it.

  36. Lynne
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Some of those DAY memes turned me off. I also was called a gentrifyer by someone who has lived in Ypsi for less than 5 years. I have lived here for 22 years!

  37. Jean Henry
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    KJC– No backstory. They centered themselves in the discussion and took sole credit for undermining IV. Their self-centering of themselves, their ideology and their particular concerns is precisely my issue with them. Before DAY, I had criticized members for claiming their inclusiveness while engaging in distinctly exclusionary and self-congratulatory group behavior. I don’t think they represent Ypsi nor have they ever. They just try very hard to be the community Queen Bee. It makes Ypsi politics seem like high school, but with very real consequences. That has always been my concern with DAY and the close circle that was and remains its core. A bunch of smart people in there. They unfortunately communicate most effectively to themselves.

    I’m happy to see that a new coalition is forming engaging more stakeholders in the proposed CBO. There is a meeting for public input tonight. This was precisely what I was hoping for. https://www.facebook.com/events/740094626199940/

  38. Jean Henry
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    For those without Facebook: http://www.secondwavemedia.com/concentrate/features/redycoalition0444.aspx

  39. nattybooboo
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    #woke

  40. Oliva
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Just adding my voice to say it’s been bewildering to experience palpable hatred toward many longtime residents because some have the nerve to own homes, live in particular wards, acknowledge complexity, history, and the urgent need to cultivate civility and goodwill to have a community we can love, nurture, and share. But these voices aren’t as loud and angry as others. We risk losing what’s good here, hard-won good, by intolerance posing as righteous activism.

  41. nattybooboo
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    ‘Preventing mass shootings, particularly those in schools where the lives of innocent children are lost, is something most Americans can wrap their hearts around. To hear the stories of young victims — children who could have been any of ours regardless of race — has a natural way of bonding kindred spirits.

    But more than that, the latest shooting in Florida was America’s tipping point. After years of experiencing such brutal slaughters, many of us have had enough. Perhaps it is because young people are demanding that we take action, so this time we are obligated to listen.

    America isn’t yet at its tipping point with police brutality. The issue doesn’t come wrapped in a neat little package that the mainstream can feel comfortable with.

    The Black Lives Matter movement is extremely marginalized. It is specifically about protecting African-American lives. It will take much more effort to get the rest of America on board with that cause.

    But if the young people involved in Black Lives Matter are as smart as I think they are, they will not be silenced. If they are vocal enough, America will eventually reach its tipping point on the senseless police killings.

    In the 1960s, America was forced to its tipping point over voting rights and segregation. There is no reason that young people can’t force mainstream America to at least act as though black lives matter.’

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/glanton/ct-met-florida-teens-black-lives-matter-dahleen-glanton-20180223-story.html

  42. Nick
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Wow, y’all! I was born and raised here, and I rather like Defend Affordable Ypsi.

    I think it’s peculiar to suggest that having too few financial supporters on a GoFundMe page reveals a disconnect between DAY and the community, as if the money-as-speech of Ypsilantians with expendable income is the true metric of representation, particularly on matters of housing affordability. DAY operates efficiently with volunteer effort, and held a wonderfully successful fundraiser on Pearl Street in October—you might have loved it as much as I did!

    And I’m amazed that these mythical memes are so reviled and successful (and so generously attributed all to DAY)! Who knew stoking moral outrage over elected officials’ image and feelings was the ticket to getting the survival concerns of poor Ypsilantians in the public consciousness? That pictures of politicians with paraphrased quotes and cathartic sass drew so much *more* ire than the longstanding pattern of policy decisions and non-participatory processes that actively disenfranchise, disempower, and displace our neighbors is a stark reminder of why efforts like DAY’s are so needed—civility doesn’t get poor folks a seat at the table. It’s an exclusionary veneer of respectability that which functions to distance others.

    Speaking of loud and angry: the disingenuous hyperbole of reacting to this critical short-form rhetoric as “palpable hatred,” “burn it down […] dogmatism,” something “inhumane” and “out for blood” is far more vitriolic than any of the memes or statements I’ve come across. It’s not unlike flipping your generation’s own tongue-in-cheek suggestion that “older folks need to die” into a self-pariah fluff piece and ensuing discussion to reassure aging, moneyed folks that young people’s vocal frustration is somehow more violent than systematically keeping low-income people housing insecure and politically excluded.

  43. nattybooboo
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    the thing that boggles my mind is that somehow people thing that saying ‘y’all are to angry and uncivil’ will actually lead to some kind of productive outcome. when has telling an angry person to ‘calm down’ ever succeeded in getting them to calm down? empathy and deep listening to people is what soothes anger… not telling people that their anger is going to burn the whole world down.

    i find it deeply amoral that folks fetishize calmness, when calmness is usually a sign of having very little skin in the game. yeah, emotional self-control matters, but i don’t think that getting salty because someone insults homeowners is a very good example of emotional self-control. if anything, the voices of the frustrated and angry should carry more moral weight, and if not that, they should at least invite us to think deeply about what people’s message is.

    instead of ameliorating anger, telling people that they are too angry or viscous only stokes further anger and invalidates legitimate grievance. being primarily worried about the ‘politics of outrage’ is tone-deaf and amoral, and usually is a tactic to maintain the status quo.

    if you can’t distinguish between the content of the outrage on the left and on the right, i feel sorry for you, and i feel sorry for humanity that your failure to make basic moral distinctions bottlenecks social progess

  44. wobblie
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    ” being primarily worried about the ‘politics of outrage’ is tone-deaf and amoral, and usually is a tactic to maintain the status quo.” very perceptive.

  45. Jean Henry
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    To clarify, when I speak of the politics of outrage (though I wasn’t the one to bring it up here) , I am usually addressing two linked things: 1) the externalization of shared blame onto others as a way of avoiding accountability (usually I’m referring to White liberals, but the tendency is by no means unique to them) 2) the capacity to be manipulated by bots, trolls, political parties and candidates playing to outrage. We need to understand that outrage makes us feel better. That’s not inherently bad; it’s just a vulnerability.

    What I am not speaking of when talking about the politics of outrage is the legitimate complaint of those victimized by the system. There is a long established history of loud and angry activism that created cultural discomfort and invited derision (and tone policing) that led over time to a great cultural shift in perception. It works. It doesn’t work alone however.

    The Parkland students have been effective in utilizing the public response to the horror of that shooting, and their own privilege as the kinds of victims (mostly white, well educated and privileged) who inspire the greatest empathy in our culture, to disable the NRA’s stranglehold on firearm policy. The reality however is that school shootings are not at all common, while gun violence overall, especially in the home and by police, is. If we stay focused on preventing school shootings (where our outrage lies) and fail to address the overall incidence of gun violence (about which we are more apathetic), then this moment could create more harm (a militarized school system primarily targeting students of color, more marginalization and stigma of the mentally ill) than good (sensible gun regulation and a focus on domestic violence.
    THAT is exactly how the politics of outrage can create inverse reactions. The mentally ill are half as likely to be violent as the rest of the population. And there is no epidemic of school shootings, mass or otherwise. If we try to solve the wrong problems, we can make the real problems worse.
    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/03/there-is-no-epidemic-of-mass-school-shootings.html

  46. Jean Henry
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    *inverse outcomes not reactions

  47. Jean Henry
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    I neglected to mention police reform as also necessary to reducing gun violence (and overall violence) in our society. There is a police reform initiative underway in Ann Arbor. Anti-racism activists and advocates in Ann Arbor are making headway in pressuring the city to create meaningful reform, beginning with the formation of a truly representative citizens advisory counsel with no police or government members. We are still a long way from an appropriate response to Aura Rosser’s death, but thanks to loud angry citizens prepared to create the necessary discomfort and stand up to the ‘subject area experts’ and an apathetic city government who offered only half-assed ‘solutions’, we are getting there.

  48. Most Woke
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    It is possible to be angry without being an insufferable douche.

  49. Sad
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    One persons insufferable douche is another persons freedom fighter.

  50. Sad
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Or an insufferable douche is in the eye of the beholder.

  51. Sad
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    I like DAY. They made me kind of hopeful. 4

  52. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    If one doesn’t see why populism and the politics of outrage are a problem, one isn’t reading history, specifically European history of the first half of the 20th century.

  53. nattybooboo
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    How do you define ‘populism’ IL?

  54. Jean Henry
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Populism is well defined. It’s not the same thing as either grass roots movements or radicalism, though they can be populist or not. Populism relies on cult of personality leaders who can not be criticized and ideological purity testing to create a powerful in group dynamic (and so a clear derided out group) Populisn harnesses tribalism’s anger and animous (deserved or not) at outsiders to energize campaigns and accrue power. When the energy of a campaign wanes, a populist candidate can reignite the energy by simply generating impetus. Sanders under Weaver and Devine did this beautifully by going after the super delegate system, that Devine designed himself in the 80’s, as indication of corruption. There are endless examples from that campaign but the master of populist political mechanations was Lee Atwater who managed to pull the white working class away from labor by appealing to racism, by creating the narrative of the welfare queen etc to create outrage that legitimized Reagan’s policies…

    Read All the Kong’s Men. You’ll get the picture. BTW this isn’t some neoliberal transformation of the meaning of the word populism. It’s simply the historically established populism— which in America goes back to the beginning.

    There are people out there trying to redifine the term to suit the new leftist revival. Fotmer Senator— can’t remember his name now. Unfortunately he was counting on Sanders to change the meaning. Sanders campaign, when it got close to the brass ring, unfortunately fulfilled the legacy of populism rather than reinventing it.

  55. Jean Henry
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    Jin Hightower is the guy: http://jimhightower.com

  56. nattybooboo
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    I mean I have read the lit on populism. I was asking now IL defines it. I tend to mistrust anyome who overindulges in populism as an analytic category because they are usually invested in some version of horseshoe theory. People who center populism as an analytic category are a big reason why we can’t have nice things.

  57. Jean Henry
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    To be clear, all forms of accruing power can be corruoted, not just populism. It’s simply the nature of populist campaigns that they do not tolerate critique— at all. And so people who fall into them are less likely to discern when they are corrupt. Belief is their primary currency. And that’s always going to be a situation that’s easily manipulated.

    Ps Hitler was a social democrat and a populist as he rose to power. It wasn’t to hard to tweak into fascism…

  58. nattybooboo
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    ^asking how IL defines populism

  59. nattybooboo
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    And i mean like is this conception of populism even like a rigorously defined sociological category’s or just a construct conjured by stipulation in order to legitimize elite paranoia?

  60. Jean Henry
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    There is nothing to say that rigorously defined sociological categories don’t legitimize elite paranoia. Most are far from ‘rigorous’ in their definition anyway. I’m not sure what sociology has to do with populism. Populists come in many stripes. I was speaking to populist campaigns and how they can be corrupted. Any campaign is a quest for power and so can be corrupted. Populist campaigns are just corrupted in different ways. They are also highly effective, which is why many populist campaign tactics have been adopted by establishment candidates. There’s a long history of populist rebellion in America. I’m not questioning the legitimacy of the issues that lead to rebellion or even it’s potential to create impetus for real change. I’m just pointing up how outrage can be manipulated and how populism can go wrong, and often, historically, has. I think that was the original question from SAD. I’m sure IL will respond if he has time. I responded because this particular issue has been much discussed here over the last 2 years, and IL and I have been in agreement about it mostly.

    https://harpers.org/archive/1964/11/the-paranoid-style-in-american-politics/

  61. Jean Henry
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    I provided an alternative definition of populism as presented by Mr Hightower. That might suit your prposes better, Nattybooboo. This is an area of discourse where definitions are in flux, as is the examination of the historical record. That’s as it should be. I would love it if reclaiming the term ‘populist’ prevented populist movements on the left from being corrupted by misinformation and tribalism and bias. That has not been shown to be the case, however, in my view— My view simply being my informed perspective. You are welcome to your own. I’m a liberal, so I believe that many often opposing perspective produces useful tension which, in turn, is more likely to produce useful and sustained results than complete agreement ever will..

  62. Jean Henry
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    Bad sentences and typos, Sorry. Trying to work and reply quickly at same time. Fail.

  63. Sad
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    pop·u·list
    ˈpäpyələst/Submit
    noun
    1.
    a member or adherent of a political party seeking to represent the interests of ordinary people.

    Like those teachers in W. Virginia. They were definitely outraged. Shame on them!

    IL is the real bomb thrower.

  64. nattybooboo
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    I mean tribalism is universal. It’s tribalist to fixate on the tribalism of the rubes as elites and liberals do vis-a-vis ‘populism’ discourse. Of course populist politicians exist, but it is also a category that I find to be useful to the status quo. If elites stopped seeing populism everywhere then there would be a greater chance of humane discourse across difference, but as far as I see it, it’s a category whose abuse and overuse leads to further polarization by feeding elite complacency and irresponsiveness. It blows my mind how liberals thought that they came accoss some deep insight when they started proclaiming “all politics are identity politics” (which is a true, but rather uninteresting, notion) and failed to interrogate the tribalism behind their own deployments of horseshoe theory and ‘populist’ discourse. People are smarter than you give them credit for and treating people like they are rubes vulnerable tp manipulation by populist politicians feeds outrage rather than lessens it.

  65. nattybooboo
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    I am not saying that manipulators, strongmen, and dupes don’t exist, but liberals’ choice to give so much emphasis to ‘populism’ in their analysis is very telling. I would say that if yoi wosh to feed the fires of rage and polarization and tribalism, please by all means continue to deploy populism as a central analytic category. If you wish to create understanding accross difference, interrogate how ‘populist’ discourse is in many ways classist, elitist, and born of a certain kind of tribalism itself.

  66. nattybooboo
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    ^of you wosh

  67. nattybooboo
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    ^if you wish

    Third time’s a charm

  68. Jean Henry
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Nattybooboo— I can assure you that my perspective on populism is not a popularly held view of it by liberals. Generally speaking, liberals conflate populism with grass roots campaigns, which as counter to the status quo are considered inherently better. Most liberals are so focused (understandably) on the ways corporate control of politics can go wrong that they can’t imagine what might be the vulnerabilities to corruption of a populist campaign. Then that idealization creates greater vulnerability. Skepticism towards and critique of any system or means to accrue power is reasonable. I assure you I am not for maintaining the status quo. I am very much for radical changes towards greater equity. We no doubt agree on some of those changes and disagree on others. (That’s almost universally true) I am interested in being very discerning about how we are most likely to create sustainable and meaningful change. It seems you will never acknowledge my passion for progressive change too. You see it as compromised by privilege or being bought in. I see your as compromised by righteousness, rigidity and doctrine. As a liberal, I can value our different approaches and I’m very open to criticism. It does not seem that DAY is open to reasonable discourse or counter opinion. That’s the source of impasse. And progress can’t overcome an impasse without one side drawing to it mass support for rebellion. In any other context, it requires coalitions and compromise. I’m happy to see that DAY is now participating in coalition solutions. They are one perspective among many. I’m just a supportive observer of the dynamic.

  69. Jean Henry
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    You may not understand this Nattybooboo, but I am skeptical and so critical of all political approaches and systems. DAY is not unique in receiving my criticism on strategy/approach. I do believe in the democratic process as the best means to level hierarchies and create sustainable change. I believe in it in large part because it is set up to be self-scrutinizing and self correcting. Middle path is a buddhist concept worth checking out. And no, it’s not about moderation so much as it’s about mediation.

  70. nattybooboo
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Jean, have I ever dismissed your efforts for change? Have I ever said that whatever advocacy you do is worthless? I encourage you to stand up to the old boys clubs and to push for sustainability amd equity. I respect the arena that you operate in. It takes allkimds and qe need compromise jusr as much as we need agitation.

    I think that while we are om the topic of social media feeding outrage, we shouldn’t reduce people to their social media personas. Nor should we reduce people’s praxis to their critiques. I think we are all complex people who contain multitudes. DAY from the beginning has worked within the system by advocating in City government. DAY leadership and allies hold positions on city commissions and committees. The coalition and goodwill building has always been an element of DAY’s work, but social media only tends to show the rancorous aspects of things. DAY and its leadership have engaged (and is often friendly with) council members, the OCED, county commissioners, activist groups… has even participated on a panel hosted by Cultivate. Social media tends to flatten things out and feed outrage, and the coalition building and comprise happens, but you aren’t gonna find it on fb. If you want to talk about this stuff in person, I am 100% down. Local politics tends to require being immersed in happenings on the ground, and judging people by their spcial media personas is a poor indicator of how people behave when they are in a room with other people.

    I also wanna say that this Ziggy’s vs Cultivate thing is silly. Ziggy’s is very generous with its space and opens it up to a diverse set of performers and groups. It is a community oriented small business that’s worth supporting. I was skeptical of it at first, but it’s turned out to be a welcome addition to the community. Cultivate offers a space that DAY members and adjacent groups frequently have used to meet. They hosted a panel on housing months back and they were opem to criticism from DAY so much that they generpisly expanded the panel to include DAY membership and members of other groups. There are thimgs to critique about both business but I don’t want to reduce anyone or anything to it’s problematic aspects. Social media and critiques of gentrifying businesses are one thing, but the rancorous character of online discourse continually fails to capture the complexities and ambiguities of being in a flesh-and-blood community.

  71. nattybooboo
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    I habe also read and followd Grace Lee Boggs and I think that she is right about the limits of confrontation. Community and coalition building are really the only sustainable ways to bring about the revolution that she invisioms. Also, also you will be more prone to fond Grace Lee Boggs drop words like ‘revolution’ and ‘dialectics’ than you will see me do it. Confrontatioamd rebellion have their limits, and so does liberalism. Middle path yo.

  72. nattybooboo
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Excuse the typos

  73. Lynne
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    I think any activists would do well to take a page from Grace Lee Bogs’s book. imho

  74. Jean Henry
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Been with Grace and Jimmy from the mid 80’s, Natty. I watched the evolution of Graces’ (r)evolution and took my lessons from it. I have no problem with the words revolution and certainly none with the term dialectic. I’m all about the damn dialectic. I’m glad to hear that DAY is working their community mojo with a larger swathe of the community. My critique of DAY did not arise from reading social media–except when it addressed social media. I have had conversations with lots of Ypsi community members. I’ve been in this area a long time and know a lot of people too, even though my position is admittedly that of an outside observer, it’s not uninformed.

    A little off book Grace wisdom from a few years ago: “When you other anyone, you other yourself.”

  75. Anon
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Jean thinks that marginalized people fighting for their livelihood should focus on being “fun for anyone outside their circle”. That’s objectifying and inhumane. Marginalized people like those organizing with DAY aren’t here for your “fun”. And Jean, stop asserting yourself as the spokesperson for marginalized people. You’re not the person who decides who is “truly marginalized”. You are triangulating (I suggest folx look up racial triangulation for examples of how white people should not be).

    Jean, you have no idea what accountability means. Accountability doesn’t mean people in power should get a pass for doing unethical and shady dealings without people calling them out for it. It’s super disingenuous to try to shield Amanda Edmonds from ACCOUNTABILITY by saying those who rightfully called her out.

  76. Anon
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    ^Rather, Jean probably has a better idea of what accountability means that what she is showing in her comment. So it just comes off as disingenuous gas-lighting.

  77. Jean Henry
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Holding people accountable involves looking at their whole record. I was open here and elsewhere, despite my personal relationship with Amanda, in my criticism of quite a few of her actions and omissions around the IV issue and the China trip. Not many in my position did so. Most remained quiet on the sidelines. I also think Amanda created some important and fruitful initiatives in the city. My position is balanced. I don’t believe that IV makes Amanda an evil person or one with ill intent or even overall negative impact.

    I’m glad IV was stopped, but I did not like many of DAY’s tactics (while opnely approving and disseminating others) and I don’t think they deserve all credit for IV’s defeat. A coalition of groups, many longstanding did that, and that coalition fell apart around the CBO issue, in part because of DAY’s tactics. That;s not gaslighting or me speaking for others; that’s me repeating the perspective of others about a well known series of events. I truly hope that coalition is reassembled into a functional advocacy group within Ypsi government, and that DAY members are a part of it. I’m not speaking for the marginalized. My position is imy own and is nformed by what many long term Ypsi residents of color have told me. My position is also informed by DAY’s work. And people who work within government at the city and county level. I appreciate all of their perspectives.

    Notably only DAY felt a need to attack with such broad strokes. If they had put forward a more developed coalition I would have been more receptive to their approach. I’m not opposed to speaking truth to power. I’m not sure DAY understands that it has power. And when any group assumes power in public spheres, criticism is part of what happens.

    I mean everything I say. If my ability to both support and criticize at once a group or person’s public stances, or support one, while criticizing another, feels like gaslighting, I don’t know what to say. I do it all the time to all sorts of people with all sorts of positions. Creating change is a complex process. Humans are paradoxical. To be all in with any position seems counter to reasonable discernment. It definitely seems counter to creating effective outcomes.

    Here is the thing Natty and co seem unwilling to consider: Criticism is engagement in your area of concern. It’s feedback. It’s a concession to your power/influence. The people who are condescending are those who are so dismissive of your position as to not engage you honestly or at all. Your movement has failed when no one responds to it anymore.

  78. Jean Henry
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    PS: I wasn’t speaking of my fun. Anon
    PPS: I did not triangulate and create the division between the long term ypsi residents of color and the mostly newcomers represented by DAY. You guys did that. I listened to all parties and acknowledged the reality of division. I truly hope you all are willing to share power with other groups. It was a great disappointment to learn over the last 10 years that Ypsi is basically a hornets nest of mutual derision. I didn’t make that happen. One thing Amanda deserves credit for is that, in her work over many years, she made in roads into every core constituency in Ypsi and developed working relationships there. DAY could take a lesson from her there, even if they don’t agree with her focus on social ventures and economic development. Those two things are not mutually exclusive.

  79. Jean Henry
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    More points for the kids:
    https://www.theroot.com/watch-meet-the-teen-who-created-an-app-to-protect-kids-1821228098

  80. Anin
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Nope, accountability doesn’t mean people get a pass on some shitty things just because they may have done other good things. Stop trying to weaponize social justice language against people not abiding by your version of respectability politics.

    Jean, you’re disingenuous in your comments about criticizing the mayor. You went around spreading misinformation like the trip to China was to view prior work by the developer and that the trip may not be unethical if the developer was not a developer. You spent a bulk of your efforts in this trashing DAY, and continue to do so here… But now you’re presenting yourself as some neutral arbitrator. SMH.

    And now you’re moving the goalposts and still responding to strawmen…. I never wrote that it’s gaslighting to offer criticism. Try responding to things that people have actually said/written. If you have a good argument, you shouldn’t have to resort to strawmen.

    TBH I don’t care if you’re speaking of your own “fun” in particular, or your mysterious constituents that have appointed you the spokesperson of the”truly marginalized”. That is a shitty thing to say about people fighting against losing their housing and other marginalizations.

    And I’m not a DAY member. I just think you are displaying a great deal of arrogance, antagonism against marginalized people that make you uncomfortable, and racial triangulation and I wish you would stop. I wish you would focus your energies on those with capital and authority upholding harmful white supremacy and antagonism against poor people.

  81. Anon
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Nope, accountability doesn’t mean people get a pass on some shitty things just because they may have done other good things. Stop trying to weaponize social justice language against people not abiding by your version of respectability politics.

    Jean, you’re disingenuous in your comments about criticizing the mayor. You went around spreading misinformation like the trip to China was to view prior work by the developer and that the trip may not be unethical if the developer was not a developer. You spent a bulk of your efforts in this trashing DAY, and continue to do so here… But now you’re presenting yourself as some neutral arbitrator. SMH.

    And now you’re moving the goalposts and still responding to strawmen…. I never wrote that it’s gaslighting to offer criticism. Try responding to things that people have actually said/written. If you have a good argument, you shouldn’t have to resort to strawmen.

    TBH I don’t care if you’re speaking of your own “fun” in particular, or your mysterious constituents that have appointed you the spokesperson of the”truly marginalized”. That is a shitty thing to say about people fighting against losing their housing and other marginalizations.

    And I’m not a DAY member. I just think you are displaying a great deal of arrogance, antagonism against marginalized people that make you uncomfortable, and racial triangulation and I wish you would stop. I wish you would focus your energies on those with capital and authority upholding harmful white supremacy and antagonism against poor people.

  82. Anon
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Nope, accountability doesn’t mean people get a pass on some shitty things just because they may have done other good things. That should be obvious ..Stop trying to weaponize social justice language against people not abiding by your version of respectability politics.

    Jean, you’re disingenuous in your comments about criticizing the mayor. You went around spreading misinformation like the trip to China was to view prior work by the developer and that the trip may not be unethical if the developer was not a developer. You spent a bulk of your efforts in this trashing DAY, and continue to do so here… But now you’re presenting yourself as some neutral arbitrator. SMH.

    And now you’re moving the goalposts and still responding to strawmen…. I never wrote that it’s gaslighting to offer criticism. Try responding to things that people have actually said/written. If you have a good argument, you shouldn’t have to resort to strawmen.

    TBH I don’t care if you’re speaking of your own “fun” in particular, or your mysterious constituents that have appointed you the spokesperson of the”truly marginalized”. That is a shitty thing to say about people fighting against losing their housing and other marginalizations.

    And I’m not a DAY member. I just think you are displaying a great deal of arrogance, antagonism against marginalized people that make you uncomfortable, and racial triangulation and I wish you would stop. I wish you would focus your energies on those with capital and authority upholding harmful white supremacy and antagonism against poor people.

  83. Anon
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    If you like The Root, you should read other things on there like this article about respectability politics, which is relevant to class and race:

    “But it’s a fallacy—logically, emotionally and spiritually—for three reasons:

    1. It shifts responsibility away from perpetrators (which in this context would be America) and places it on the victims (which in this context would be blacks in America). Instead of requiring the people and the institutions committing and propagating racist acts to change, it asks the people harmed by the racism to change in order to stop being harmed by the racism.

    2. It provides a false sense of security for those who believe in it.

    3. It doesn’t work. If it did work—if it actually had a tangible effect on saving lives—I’d be all for respectability politics.”

    https://www.theroot.com/the-definition-danger-and-disease-of-respectability-po-1790854699

  84. Anon
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    On tone policing:

    “Marginalized people often do not have the luxury of emotionally distancing themselves from discussions on their rights and experiences…

    But being emotional does not make one’s points any less valid…

    But anger is valid. Anger is valid, anger is important, anger brings social change, anger makes people listen, anger is threatening, and anger is passion…

    Take all that energy that you’re wasting being so concerned with how people are responding to their own oppression, and channel it into fighting oppression.”

    https://tooyoungforthelivingdead.tumblr.com/tone-policing

  85. Jean Henry
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    I don’t disagree with any of those root articles at all.

    You persist in treating me as an outsider to activism and affordability issues and yet I have been active in those issues and other social justice issues since college, on an off. It’s impossible to respind to criticisms that fundamentally misrepresent my positions. I asked questions about the China trip, as we were all learning the details. I repeated what I understood to be the explanation. I did not assert a position I dont even understand most of your account of what I said there, so Im fairly sure its a misinterpretation. I had expressed concern about several of Amanda’s actions prior, like dropping agenda items. I expressed concern about the china trip as ‘over-reach’ early on. A friend who does overseas NGO work suggested that a review of developers work is necessary when contracting overseas, so that may explain that point.

    I’m not neutral, I’m inquisitive and I take string positions. Sometimes I change my positions. So far nothing DAY has done has changed my position on the scope of their representation or the effectiveness of their tactics. It’s totally fine if they disagree. It is interesting that we each accuse one another of speaking for the marginalized and of being self-centering in that regard. This is always a risk in advocacy work and it doesn’t mean it’s not necessary or inherently flawed, but it’s worth examining. So, when I speak towards the experiences of others with DAY I checkin with those people. So far they have not questioned my assessment. I’m much more comfortable being accountable to them than to DAY. I do listen though. There’s a lot of bullshit, so it makes it hard to hear.

    I do hope, as I have said many time, that the work of implementation within the system offers them many lessons. I know it does for me. And I’m glad they are forming working coalitions with other groups. There’s really no need for me to weigh in any more, until the next public controversy arises. Someone brought DAY up and my critique of them. I will correct when I am disabused of my view. Feel free to do the same with regards to me.

  86. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know what the demographic composition of DAY is, but I don’t think that a downtown business association with the power to say who can or cannot do business in Ypsilanti counts as “marginalized people.”

  87. Jean Henry
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    PS If I was engaged in respectability politics, I would not be as forthright on social media with people of all political beliefs as I am. My disagreement upsets a lot of people. They have all been mad at me at one point or another for a position I asserted or an action I joined. I believe in discourse. I don’t in fact regularly critique only one side or ideology. I do have problems, due to my upbringing in the bible belt, with any purely ideological belief and the attached moral hierarchies and purity policing. I’m also a committed feminist and anti-racist and get accused of being ideological about those issues all the time. This is discourse. Discord is in its nature. Just as conflict is in hte nature of the struggle for social justice. I acept that and I’m used to it I dont spend my days wasting time on the internet to defend the status quo or satisfy my ego. I actually care about this stuff and spend a lot of time thinking and talking about how progressive change happens. I have spent years now studying change and trying to make it stick, and mostly failing. Did you know that in real honest activism there is much more failing than success?? I’m not going to be shamed into a corner by accusations that don’t reflect who or how I am. I’m sure it works for other nice white liberal ladies, but I’m not that nice. Ask anyone. Especially the ‘respectable’ ones.

  88. Sad
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Everybody talking for everybody else keeps making me think of this –

    “I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues. And I’m asking you sir, at the top of my lungs – that thing! That horrible thing that I see! What’s that thing you’ve made out of my truffula tree?”

  89. Jean Henry
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    DAY would also like to be the small town bureaucrats who tell property owners, many of whom are black and under water financially, what they can and can not do with their property, how long time black residents can and can not develop their community.

    That did not go over well. So now they are forced to sit in a room with other marginalized people with differing perspectives and hammer out solutions. No doubt those solutions if well crafted will be unsatisfactory to everyone engaged in the process. Hopefully, DAY will be wise enough this time not to attack POC who own property and have aspirations for themselves as part of the problem… The problem, in their minds, being capitalism, not racism, clearly.

  90. Jean Henry
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Hey Sad– Did you know that people of color have tongues and can speak for themselves. They just rarely do it on MM.com.

    IL– a while back Nattybooboo wanted your definition of populism. I tried to answer which led to this mess. Maybe you can speak to it directly?

  91. wobblie
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Just wondering, were there any International Woman’s Day activities in Ypsilanti?

  92. Sad
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    McDonalds flipped their M to a W at a store in California for International Womans Day.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/07/mcdonalds-is-turning-its-golden-arches-upside-down.html

  93. Jean Henry
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Wobblie– there’s a benefit dance party for Corner Health but it’s at the Alley Bar in A2. It’s tonight from 7-11. Admission is free but drink proceeds go to the corner. https://www.facebook.com/events/943900125762685/

  94. Anon
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Jean, if you don’t disagree, then you should stop perpetuating respectability politics and tone-policing. Respectability politics doesn’t work and is harmful to marginalized folx.

    DAY members include many marginalized folks. Who are speaking for themselves and their positionality as members (and sometimes allies) of marginalized communities. You, on the other hand, have presented yourself as speaking for the “truly marginalized”. Worse, you make critiques based on things that aren’t truth. You disparage one group of marginalized people, misinform people (your comments about “questioning” the China trip is one example), and attempt to speak for marginalized folks. That is classic triangulation. Also, DAY members have frequently expressed willingness to speak with others, so I suggest that those interested speak with DAY directly here: defendaffordableypsi@gmail.com).

    For those that are interested in directly listening to those affected by this issue, you can see “Perspectives on International Village” at daypsi.org. Because you aren’t going to hear an accurate reflection of their perspectives by listening to a priveleged white person engaged in triangulation.

  95. Anon
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    And now Jean moves on to speaking for DAY… Despite asserting that she won’t listen to them. Oh.

  96. Anon
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Where were day attacking POC for having aspirations to own property? Another example of Jean spreading misinformation to smear.

    Structural racism is enabled by capitalism. If you want to end racism, harmful aspects of capitalism must also be addressed.

  97. nattybooboo
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Downtown Association of Ypsilanti is alright. Dave Heikkinen is a chill dude.

  98. Anon
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    wobblie, NOW Washtenaw and Skyline High are hosting an event today about feminism at 7 pm at the LRC.

    https://www.facebook.com/events/1274274412672467/?ti=cl

  99. Anon
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Oops, just realized you were asking about Ypsi. Riverside Arts Center has a book event for “Years of resistance” on Saturday at 4 pm.https://www.facebook.com/events/219007021988825/?ti=cl

  100. Anon
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    PS. Jean, the way respectability politics operates is that it is based on double-standards. So it’s not surprising to see you perpetuating respectability politics when they themselves act out in less-than-respectable ways. This is another thing that shouldn’t have to be explained. Seems like you really need to educate yourself about anti-racism so you can stop perpetuating harms against POC.

    Here’s another resource for you. Pay special attention to 3 & 5. https://thebodyisnotanapology.com/magazine/6-ways-well-intentioned-people-whitesplain-racism-and-why-they-need-to-stop/

  101. Anon
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    *So it’s not surprising to see priveleged people perpetuating respectability politics when they themselves act out in less-than-respectable ways.

  102. Sad
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Fighting amongst ourselves, it’s exactly what the Russians want.

  103. Anonymous
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Why couldn’t the DAY era overlap with the HYPERION WARLORD era?

  104. Jean Henry
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Anon– I just spoke to four long time members of Ypsi’s black community again (my check in) and they back up my assessment. Maybe DAY has not communicated itself well to them. You engage me because attacking white liberalism is easy but forming working coalitions of people who are systemically marginalized is really really hard. I understand that I have the privilege of standing up to you guys, but they don’t feel they do, because they see you, with all media eyes and ears upon you, as the people with the privilege and systemic buy in necessary to be heard and the cultural megaphone with which to do it. And they don’t want to be ostracized by the movement to create an affordable Ypsi. I don’t have to worry about being left behind, because I was never in it. Being the loud mouth bears little risk for me. Privilege is a relative and multi-layered condition. Everybody has to check their own.

  105. Jean Henry
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Anon– If you think engaging communities of color is as simple as posting a link on an almost all white readership blog or even offering invitation elsewhere, you are unfortunately very mistaken. You go to them, with humility. Dont ask them to come to you. Community organizing 101.

    When I tell you you have not established trust in many in Ypsi’s community, I’m trying to help. I agree it is condescending.It;s hard to watch humans make the same mistakes over and over again in activism and advocacy. I’m old and tired. I’m sorry if it sounds insulting. I actually want you guys to succeed in making Ypsi more representative and affordable. I don’t agree with a lot of your approach. I don’t agree with a lot of your solutions but I agree with the aim. Many do. Good luck out there listening to them.

    PS I never said I wouldn’t listen to DAY. I have been listening to you guys at great length for a long time. Listening is not the same as agreeing.

  106. Jean Henry
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Amber and Nate– I think you maybe should just identify yourselves here. I have gone round this bush enough with you to recognize your rhetorical approaches. Amber, in particular, having never really paid attention to my perspective once, is always giving me anti-racism 101 notes and then calling me condescending…. Nate is Nate. Why use pseudonyms if you are certain you are right? Come out into the light.

  107. Jean Henry
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    “Structural racism is enabled by capitalism. If you want to end racism, harmful aspects of capitalism must also be addressed.”
    Structural racism, ethnic cleansing, colonialism was also enabled by communism and socialism and social democracy. Anarchy hasnt had much of a shot but the internal strife in those communities indicates they’d be similarly vulnerable.
    There are many problems with capitalism that must be addressed, and yes they contribute to structural racism as all human systems can and will do, if we let them. But attacking small independent businesses and social ventures as ‘neoliberal’ and so more problem (because they are working within capitalism) than solution reeks of privilege to those who stand to benefit from those efforts.

  108. Jcp2
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    It burns, it burns!

  109. nattybooboo
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Amber isn’t on here and my name isn’t Nate

  110. Anon
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    LMAO. Seems your style to make wild accusations when you don’t have a valid argument. I’m not Amber or Natty. I’m also a poc from a community of color, so you can stop whitesplaining to me how to interact with other POC. That’s super condescending… And try to read and comprehend what I wrote. I already stated I’m not a DAY organizer.

    Maybe the problem about the communication is that you, Jean, are acting as a triangutor? I don’t know if you actually think you are a helper. But I haven’t witnessed that at all from you. And that includes your discourse here.

  111. AnonAnon
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Can we take up a collection for Jean to move to Ypsi? We need you, J.

  112. Jean Henry
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Anon– I was addressing DAY’s strategies, not yours. I dont know your strategies. You sound so remarkably like Amber that I imagine there must be a little red book out there for you all to cite when going after white liberal ladies. POC are not a monolith. That was made very obviously clear by my interactions today. If you are POC and care about social justice and affordability, please by all means, please join up with REDI if you haven’t already. It’s looking mighty white. If you are part of it, then I’m sure you have better things to do than engage me here. It was a mistake to engage DAY again. I care about affordability. I have watched radical groups alienate those they seek to represent over and over again since the 80’s. I am hearing from POC all over the country that they feel ‘squeezed’ by domineering pressure from the liberal left and the far left. I’m sure what I’m saying here feels like that to you. It doesn’t to other POC. I’m simply conveying my experience as well as theirs. Clearly you cant hear it from me. so I’m out. Now go work it out amongst yourselves.

    Re concern about private property, that has been expressed to me by several people re the CBO process.

  113. Jean Henry
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Anon– How is your argument that I am triangulating (aka generating conflict) by identifying existing conflict between Ypsi’s long term residents of color and DAY activists any different than someone saying a person who identifies existing racism creates that racism???

    You have work to do. Your attacks on me are a misdirection from the real issue. It aint me. Wouldn’t it be handy of it were?

  114. Anon
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Jean, you are squeezing POC. You’re constantly trashing a group of POC. You’re the one that brought up DAY to offer yet another misinformed critique. I guess the Black folks involved with DAY don’t count in your world, nor do the other POC involved with DAY. Only those that agree with your idea of how POC should be are the ones that count. Instead of listening, you engaged in triangulation. Again, read the link I shared above.

    Please refrain from telling POC what to do to deal with racism. Reread the resources I took the time to share with you. You have no idea what i am involved with or anything about me, yet you feel arrogant enough to make accusations and offer me advice. You’ve shown repeatedly that you dont know what you are talking about (fyi its REDY not REDI). But rather than admit you were wrong, you are doubling down with a snide comment about red books, whatever that means. I’m glad that it sounds like you are removing yourself.

  115. Anon
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Jean, you’re not merely identifying existing conflict. You’re claiming to represent Black Ypsilantians and assigning comments to them that no one but you hears. Even though multiple Black Ypsilantians have spoken publicly with viewpoint’s aligned with DAY. Even though DAY is led in part by Black people. Furthermore, you are spreading misinformation. Like your comment about DAY attacking Black business owners. That simply isn’t true. You haven’t responded to anything I’ve written, you’ve merely thrown out wild accusations and argued against strawmen. Youve not acknowledged the incirrect statements youve made. It’s pretty condescending for you to behave in this manner and then tell me I have “work to do”. You behave arrogantly, don’t show understanding of how racism operates, refuse to educate your own self how you are acting harmfully. Why don’t you start with yourself when doing work.

  116. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    “Structural racism is enabled by capitalism. If you want to end racism, harmful aspects of capitalism must also be addressed.”

    Structural racism is enabled by humans independent of whatever political system they choose to live under. There is ample evidence around the world to support this.

    Also, I am hearing that since there are black member of DAY, then it is inappropriate to have an opinion about them. That is strange.

  117. wobblie
    Posted March 9, 2018 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Getting back to MM original post, just read this article and thought I would share.
    https://www.juancole.com/2018/03/things-longest-communities.html

    Puts some new thoughts into how Water Street might be developed.

  118. Jean Henry
    Posted March 9, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Like your comment about DAY attacking Black business owners.: NEVER said that.

  119. Jean Henry
    Posted March 9, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Anon– Your responses are absurd and an attempt to suppress discourse. As I said from the get go, you are misrepresenting my positions, points and even what I’ve said , then pivoting on that false foundation to the kind of petty scolding and moralistic lecturing and appeals to white liberal shame and that is only intended to shut people up. I dont want to shut anyone up. My criticisms of DAY are legit. They are strategic. They are informed by other POC as well as my considerable experience in activism. Other people of color will have other viewpoints. Duh. Disagreement is not suppression. The use of moralistic diatribes to tell someone to essentially shut up is. If you dont know what the red book is, you might want to look it up. Using ideology as a means of suppression of opposing viewpoints has a long history in radical leftist (and other) history. Despite the assertion by DAY activists and their supporters, like you, that they are interested in hearing every viewpoint, your actions make it abundantly clear that you are not. And people are unwilling to speak their minds, when it’s clear they’ll be attacked. They simply wont help you get done what you want to get done.

    So the reason I’m done dealing with DAY is it’s a waste of my time. And I know, that they will either learn their lessons or fail. I want to be very clear that if you keep coming at me, I will keep calling bullshit. Your choice Anon. Continue to escalate or not. You have only condescended to and attacked me here. There is nothing to respond to. You have made no points and mis-represented mine. You are reaching for any means to shut me down, and it’s not going to work. Take your finger wagging scold elsewhere to some liberal white lady who is more neurotic. I do my self-examination about race. I don’t do it with ideologues. I grew up with people who thought they could suppress speech with moralistic finger waving and shame. I’m on to your game. Take it elsewhere.

  120. Jean Henry
    Posted March 9, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Anon– I want to be clear: DAY is using this designation as marginalized to claim authority. But other people in marginalized groups see DAY’s leadership as privileged and mostly white and highly educated and getting attention that has been previously denied to POC residents on issues of concern. They may see your appeals to moral authority differently… And DAY’s tactics, which you have well demonstrated here, of attacking those who differ is noted widely. If you are not hearing what I’m hearing, then you have helped create a scenario where people aren’t willing to tell you how they feel. In no conceivable reality would I ever make up these accounts. That you cant even conceive any legitimacy to my points, or even hear them with any accuracy, demonstrates your inability to receive any opposing viewpoints. Good luck community building…

  121. Anon
    Posted March 9, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Jean, I want to listen to other marginalized people and other POC (and I often do as I am a politically-active POC, so please stop with the whitesplaining). I just don’t want to listen to you–and you’re not the spokesperson for marginalized folx or POC in Ypsi. When marginalized people speak about this and other issues, I listen. I understand there are concerns people have for speaking up (as I have them myself), but I will note that there are various non-DAY placces–there were many at the multiple city council meetings and REDY meetings.

    You spend a bunch of energy trashing people online, aiming mainly at younger POC, despite claims of not wanting to waste your time, heh. And you seem to just make up accusations against people when they make you uncomfortable and question you. So I have to take your claims with a large grain of salt. I don’t feel like you are a good representative for marginalized folx; you try to weaponize claims supposedly from “truly marginalized” folx mainly against other marginalized folx and distort information (both elements of triangulation). So you reveal yourself to not be a safe person for marginalized people to engage with and do not inspire confidence… You do deserve to be called out for your shitty discourse, so that is what I’ve done. If you can’t handle disagreement, you should probably not post trash-talk. :-(

    You don’t seem able to handle disagreement and have now resorted to petty rants. I have no idea why you’re no engaging in McCarthy-esque accusations against me about ideology (red herring). I’m talking about you spreading misinformation and attacking people with respectability politics, so try to focus on things actually stated. Anyhow, if you are truly willing to self-examine your internalized biases, please revisit the resources I’ve shared with you above and examine your behavior.

    PS Another misinformation you’re spreading: that DAY’s leadership is mostly white. Anyone interested can check out the “Perspectives on International Village”: http://daypsi.org/docs/Perspectives.pdf
    And they are not “using this designation as marginalized to claim authority”. They are marginalized. Contrary to your claims about DAY being unwelcome to marginalized people, it was pointed out to you that many are marginalized. Now your response is to claim that they are merely “using” their marginalization and to try to erase the POC status of those that organize with DAY, which is another shitty thing to say.

  122. Anon
    Posted March 9, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    And for those that actually want to get an informed perspective of what the conversations happening in Ypsi look like, check out some of the meetings. And I am not only talking about REDY or general city council meetings, but also some of the subcommittee meetings. Ypsi Live, for example publicly posted the recent meeting for the Housing Affordability and Accessibility Subcommittee here:https://www.facebook.com/ypsi.live/

  123. wobblie
    Posted March 9, 2018 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    JH, “Like your comment about DAY attacking Black business owners.: NEVER said that. ‘
    But you did say
    “DAY would also like to be the small town bureaucrats who tell property owners, many of whom are black and under water financially, what they can and can not do with their property, how long time black residents can and can not develop their community. ”
    and
    “But attacking small independent businesses and social ventures as ‘neoliberal’ and so more problem (because they are working within capitalism) than solution reeks of privilege to those who stand to benefit from those efforts.”

    Being an underwater home owner with a small business means I am also being attacked by DAY? Or is it just the POC who they attack, just asking.

    And still no one wants to address the endless wars nor the reality that the Democrat “opposition” joins the Republicans in numerous “bipartisan” economic policies which are to the determent of almost all Americans. 12 “opposition” Democrat Senators are joining the Republicans to role back Dodd/Frank and deregulate 30 of the 40 largest banks. Allowing them to reopen the casino once again. Our Senator Peters is one of them along with VP candidate Kane. That seems to me to be the real neo-liberal agenda. Yspilantians of all races and economic classes are its victims (no one from the 1% lives in our fair city so I think I can make that assertion in the belief that it is true).

  124. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 9, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    I think that any organization which gives itself the role of deciding who can and who cannot do business in a town needs to be put under extreme scrutiny.

  125. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 9, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Given what I have seen, if I were a business owner, I would never consider opening a business in Ypsilanti. I think it is clear that you can prepare, spend a lot of money, go to a lot of effort and then be pilloried for any number of unforeseeable offenses.

    These days, with social media, those things you have been attacked for don’t go away.

  126. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 9, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Also, the poster who mentioned that capitalism is the root cause of systemic racism might want to do some reading about racism in Cuba.

    I just did. It is very interesting.

    I realize it’s like a mantra with some people to blame all of societies ills on an economic system, but the reality (for those who take the time to look) is that human societies of all kinds exhibit tribal behavior, use existing power structures to marginalize and suppress certain groups of people (often, like “black” created by the power structure itself).

    I am not waging an attack on the person who made the comment, but if that person is serious about racism, marginalization and human exclusion, it might be of interest to her to see how it operates elsewhere.

  127. AnonAnonAnon
    Posted March 9, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    JH: “One thing Amanda deserves credit for is that, in her work over many years, she made in roads into every core constituency in Ypsi and developed working relationships there.”

    Amanda came in third place in the 2014 primary in ward 1, precinct 1 (Parkridge). In the other two ward 1 precincts she won by the smallest margins of all Ypsi precincts.

    Adam Gainsley’s Water St. millage also did not gain widespread support in Ward 1.

  128. AnonAnonAnon
    Posted March 9, 2018 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    JH: “DAY would also like to be the small town bureaucrats who tell property owners, many of whom are black and under water financially, what they can and can not do with their property, how long time black residents can and can not develop their community.”

    if you go to Ypsi Live and find the video for the first housing subcommittee meeting you will find that the DAY representative explicitly speaks up for the importance of centering vulnerable homeowners, particularly those vulnerable to tax foreclosure in ward 1. this might be why ward 1 voted against the millage

    i have also seen DAY members routinely express support for POC-owned businesses. this includes Black and immigrant owned businesses.

  129. Anon
    Posted March 9, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    IL2, I didn’t write that capitalism is the root cause of systemic racism, but that “structural racism is enabled by capitalism. If you want to end racism, harmful aspects of capitalism must also be addressed.”

  130. Anon
    Posted March 9, 2018 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Local (and state/fed) governments determines who can or cannot do business in our community. I agree that governments should be put under extreme scrutiny. Individuals criticizing businesses, whether those criticisms are valid or not, do not control who is doing business in our community… And, as I said before, I don’t see where Defend Affordable Ypsi is doing such a thing. I just scrolled through their FB, and I didn’t see where this unfounded claim came from.

    Sometimes, criticism of certain business owners is valid. For example, some business owners who don’t live in Ypsi attempt to insert their interests into local policies. Many have good ideas, but many others mainly care about their bottom line. Some of them try to get their interests weighed above the larger community, which I don’t agree with. A business like Cultivate seems to be really reflective of that, which I appreciate. It’s appropriate to scrutinize businesses for harmful practices. But I also think that we should avoid dehumanizing people, or projection.

    I don’t think most aspiring Ypsi business owners are avoiding opening businesses because they might get criticism. I suspect that the largest barrier is lack of access to capital, which continues to be a barrier for many Black folx in Ypsi. I am interested in trying to get more access for marginalized folx in Ypsi, rather than subsidizing wealthier people/businesses to “invest” in Ypsi. That stance gets painted as “anti-business”, but that is my feelings on that.

  131. Lynne
    Posted March 9, 2018 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    I would support any program that helped local people and especially local people who are part of marginalized groups get access to capital which would help them form businesses. I think it would help people a lot and more selfishly, it would make my experience as an Ypsilanti resident better.

  132. AnonAnonAnon
    Posted March 9, 2018 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    I have seen no indication that DAY wouldn’t support efforts to get more capital access for marginalized folx in Ypsi. On the contrary I have seen DAY members speak about how white landlords (many how may not even live in ypsi or even michgian) have turned single family homes in black neighborhoods into multi-unit buildings. I think that DAY appreciates the importance of economic self empowerment for marginalized groups. I dont think that being “anti-capitalist” means that you should hate on marginalized folx efforts for economic self empowerment, and I don’t think that DAY does either. I think that they appreciate the ambiguities of living in capitalism and think they are passionate but not purist. I dont think that Jean gived DAY credit for how nuanced their positions actually are. Jean makes legitimate points that DAY should take seriosuly, but I also think that she is arguing against strawmen. It’s easy to argue against caricatures. it’s harder to engage people for what they actually believe

  133. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 9, 2018 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    “Local (and state/fed) governments determines who can or cannot do business in our community. I agree that governments should be put under extreme scrutiny. ”

    Yes, I do, too. Whatever level of governments who decide who can and cannot do commerce are akin to mafia organizations running protection schemes on working people.

    DAY and the readership of this blog and others are no different.

    Again, I would never consider starting a business in Ypsilanti. It was probably easier to get a business started in Soviet Russia.

    Why would anyone risk it? With all the open store fronts sitting vacant in Southeast Michigan, you’d think that having anyone to fill them would be a good thing, but the simple act of setting up shop and doing commerce is an offense to the entire community.

    I don’t know. I think it’s nonsense. Maybe it’s the internet age that gives unelected organizations like DAY and others power, but I don’t think it’s helping anyone.

    Just my opinion. In decades of living here, I have never found Ypsilanti to be a welcoming place.

  134. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 9, 2018 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    “IL2, I didn’t write that capitalism is the root cause of systemic racism, but that “structural racism is enabled by capitalism. If you want to end racism, harmful aspects of capitalism must also be addressed.””

    I get your point, but harmful aspects of humanity must be addressed. It has nothing at all to do with an economic system. The worst humans will subvert any system at all to exclude people. It’s myopic to focus on “capitalism” (whatever that is) or “socialism.”

  135. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 9, 2018 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    One would have to be a complete idiot or have so much money that it didn’t matter to try to and start a business in downtown Ypsilanti… or simply meet all the conditions that a certain vocal group of Ypsilantians set.

    On the one hand, it’s admirable to keep the small town character, on the other hand it’s fucking sad.

    While one person claims that people aren’t starting businesses in Ypsi because they are afraid of being pilloried, I state clearly that i would never do it. If I were to start a business, I wouldn’t do it in Ypsi.

    I guess I’m not a person.

    Ypsilanti is not a welcoming place, and I think that’s a sad thing because it shouldn’t be that way.

  136. wobblie
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    IL, for some one who has lived here for decades, you seem ignorant of the local business history. Because of our relative low rents and high density, entrepreneurs are constantly opening new businesses in Ypsilanti. Almost always these are initial start-ups and not chains or franchises. Almost anything in the way of food and entertainment seems to thrive. As in all business making it through the first 3 years is always difficult (60 to 70% of all start-ups fail in the first 3 years). The city and the business community in fact seems to be quit welcoming of new businesses. Are there always people who grumble and argue that this business or that fails to “fit in”, sure. Given the de-industrialization of Michigan, Ypsilanti has done pretty well. We still have a downtown, and it seems to have no more empty store fronts than it had 30 years ago, probably less. For example, Downtown once had a dozen bars. Now not so many (banning smoking inside and the demise of the factory culture has more to do with that than anti-business animus). Now we seem to have more mico-breweries per capita than anywhere else in Michigan. We have lost retail stores (the art store on Cross is quit a loss) but that is due to the internet. By the way I see that the used book store on Cross has re-opened. I hope everyone who was hurt by its closing stops in and buys a couple of books. (How many used book stores does Ann Arbor with nearly 10 as many people support?)

  137. Jean Henry
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    How it’s done. Movements that can hear critique and respond proactively can form the necessary coalitions to move mountains.
    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/parkland-students-chicago-gun-violence_us_5a9c17b4e4b0479c025377c9?ncid=engmodushpmg00000003

  138. Sad
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    It’s a story about the rich white kids in the spotlight reaching out to amplify the voices of poor POC who are ignored . Isn’t that what Natty suggested?

  139. Sad
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    And Anon – what kind of business do people want to open downtown?

  140. Anon
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    The truth is that you can’t “coalition build” with people that are explicitly stating they don’t want to be in a coalition with you. A group can be open to hearing criticisms, like DAY, and examine whether those criticisms show they are not living up to their values. But many of the criticisms seem based on respectability politics, tone-policing, and misinformation (like they are attacking Black property owners), and I don’t see those as valid. DAY explicitly represents interests of renters (particularly those in precarity), so supporting something like an action/policy aimed at increasing property values doesn’t make sense. If that is what turns someone away, then there isn’t much DAY can do absent of abandoning their goals and values to “coalition build”.

  141. Jean Henry
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    SAD— I think it’s what I suggested. Natty presents DAY as representing the marginalized, and for sure they do for a bunch of them, but they don’t represent all marginalized. And the most visible representatives of DAY on social media and engaging with Ypsi government are not Black, and so don’t look like 30% of Ypsi’s residents. They are also extraordinarily aggressive towards criticism of any kind. That’s not a great start for being receptive to feedback. Reaching out is more than placing a link for feedback on your own website. I hear they are doing much more that’s less in evidence. Why that’s less in evidence is unclear to me. It should be. And I hope they form the necessary coalitions to make change that makes a more equitable Ypsi. Harassing independent local businesses, most POC and woman owned, is not useful. What feeds their own righteousness (that they are not also complicit, because most of us are in our way) is precisely the opposite of what creates working coalitions to create change. But you know, I can’t possibly know anything about balancing being complicit with advocating for change as a middle aged white liberal lady who has been politically engaged in movements for social justice and progressive change for 30 years.

  142. Anon
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    This is false: “Harassing independent local businesses, most POC and woman owned, is not useful.” If you had a valid point, you wouldn’t have to make stuff up. Why are you lying?

  143. Anon
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    It’s already been explained that social media is not the entire representation of real life. If you went to their meetings or city council meetings where they have identified themselves, you might know that. Amber and Natty are also POC. Why are you trying to erase Black and POC members of DAY? You want to erase POC that don’t agree with you ?

  144. Jean Henry
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    IL— I think the entire point of DAY and co’s aggression towards new businesses is to prevent people like you or I from opening businesses in Ypsi. (I say aggression v critique because criticism is inherently informed and aggression is reactive) The idea of such aggression towards a symptom (not cause) of gentrification being that this would open more spaces for minority owned businesses that serve their own community. The empty storefronts would indicate that’s not how it works. New businesses up to the point of Saturation help other businesses thrive. Waging social media attacks on new businesses before they have a chance to open or make themselves known is counter-productive and righteous. It may be understandable but it’s not productive. I’m not talking about spontaneous rebellion by the marginalized— though that’s how many leftists like to frame their organized actions. I’m talking about strategies that are self-glorifying to the activists (and I’m sure satisfying to their systemic frustrations) but strategically counter productive. This kind of action is most closely related to road rage and just about as useful.

  145. Jean Henry
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    The issue of access to capital access for POC especially black entrepreneurs is the real barrier. I’m happy to see that acknowledged by DAY. In Angela Barbash, Ypsi has an expert and fierce advocate for bringing equity to Community capital. I’m sure DAY would consider her a neoliberal for working on alternative Market based solutions.

  146. nattybooboo
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    I mean, I have personally given up on criticizing businesses as a tactic. When was the last time you saw me attack a business? In Boyle Heights it’s an effective tactic, but here i think it’s more exhausting and counterproductive than anything else. I was critical of Ma Lous, then I discovered that I liked their chicken and that they employ and serve POC. I was critical of Cultivate (and still am) but have come to appreciate them as a community resource. I was critical of Ziggy’s, but I think that they are doing right by the community. I have criticized Threads, but then they reached out to me and we had many fruitful conversations and then proceeded to open up the festival to Ypsi artists and booked more POC.

    People learn.

  147. nattybooboo
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Also poor people like me do not have the capacity to help out marginalized folks in the same way Angela or Cultivate does. You seem to be setting up people whom you identify with on the basis of class solidarity as heros, while failing to acknowledge the ways in which people like me are unable to help in the same capacity as them. I have only ever interacted with Angela once and she has been more than responsive and I would be curious to learn more from her. I believe that it takes all kinds and I really don’t appreciated being pigeonholed or treated as a static being or being continually attacked on the basis of strawman arguments.

  148. nattybooboo
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    I mean I fully acknowledge how as a lefty there are tensions between my commitment to dismantling capitalism and marginalized people empowering themselves within capitalism. I believe that capital is power and getting more capital in the hands of marginalized communities is a way of building power and counteracting white supremacy. I believe that Black ownership is necessary and vital. Have you ever seen me calling Black business owners “petitie bourgois scum”? I mean if my criticisms of businesses are harmful to POC-owned business owners, then I will sit and listen and re-evaluate my views. You treat me as if I am some kind of ideologue without ever asking me what I actually believe.

  149. nattybooboo
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    My dad and grandfather were both POC business owners when I was growing up and I frequent and recommend POC-owned businesses all the time. I live in a community of businesses and I understand how small business creates worlds and livelihoods in life-giving ways. I also understand as someone who’s worked for small businesses how many of them are struggling to get by and how many of them want to do right by their employees. I also understand that even considering this, many small business owners are poor at treating their workers well because they lack the resources to do so. Equating the interests of POC businesses and powerful, ostentatious white business owners seems really disingenuous to me. You misrepresent my views.

  150. Sad
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Maybe instead of a West Side Story type thing my play could feature JH and Natty and be more Harold and Maude. Maybe they overcome their differences and open a knitting shop together downtown.

  151. nattybooboo
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    i mean i am gay so it would never work

  152. Sad
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Relationships take all forms. We are not constricted by the past.

  153. Sad
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I mean you’re all passionate, committed, smart people with good hearts. Imagine if you were working together.

  154. nattybooboo
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    we can dream

  155. nattybooboo
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    I believe that protecting and enhancing ownership in communities of color is a frontline strategy in building equity and preventing the whitening of towns that we call ‘gentrification’. Call me neoliberal, but that’s how I feel.

  156. Sad
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    We can do more than dream, we can act.

    But what should we do?

    I’m old fashion, I want working people to get paid more.

  157. Sad
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Whenever I think of dreams, I think of MLKs speech. I like this bit.

    But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

    There’s a lot of bitterness here. Between people who have the same goal.

    Really?

  158. Jean Henry
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    “I believe that protecting and enhancing ownership in communities of color is a frontline strategy in building equity and preventing the whitening of towns that we call ‘gentrification’. Call me neoliberal, but that’s how I feel.“

    I agree completely. I would love to see a community capital fund to seed minority owned businesses, home ownership, development etc. with resistance from both white liberals re minority specificity and the left re capital anything, it’s a tough tow to How. But there are models out there. At current rates of debt v wealth accrual in the US Black population, that entire demographic, even accounting for its Oprah’s and Beyoncé’s will be at a net negative wealth in 25 years. I’m all for reparations too, but something must be done to address wealth disparity as well as income disparities and outcome disparities. Wealth (equity) rather than income is the primary determinant of economic and social stability. Ideally, we would also have social supports in place, guarantees of housing and health care too, and fair treatment. But mobility and choice and the capacity to realize ambitions, whatever they are, also matters. That latter capacity is what leads to overall community vitality and wellness, beyond the provision of basic necessities.

  159. Lynne
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    So? What can we do to help POC have access to capital in Ypsilanti? Some kind of 501(c)(3)?

  160. wobblie
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    So just read where both of our Democrat Senators, Peters and Stabenow are supporting the banking deregulation bill in the Senate

    https://m.metrotimes.com/news-hits/archives/2018/03/08/michigan-dems-back-bank-deregulation-after-taking-cash-from-wall-street

  161. Jean Henry
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Community capital funds are usually for profit models. I don’t know about non-profit. L3c is more likely. If you are interested check out Angela Barbash’s company Revalue. http://revalueinvesting.com/local-investing/ I think she’s got something started, though I don’t think there is an explicitly minority directed fund. I’d love to see one.

    The National Lawyers Guild is also working on non-profit bail funds. Another piece of the puzzle.

  162. Anon
    Posted March 11, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Lynne, I would be hesitant to support 501c3’s on this issue. They are often problematic, especially when ran by those with a white savior mentality. I support actions that increase the ability for marginalized people to make decisions for themselves, and charity approaches often do the opposite. The best approach right now, imo, is crowd funding since that leaves the power with the individuals. This is still not a perfect solution, but it is something we can support right now. We The People Growers Association had some success with this locally. If you’re white, I also suggest being mindful about frequenting Black and POC owned businesses, as many white people inadvertently spending money only at white-owned businesses.

    There are also some national grants available that are targeted to Black business owners. However, I know that many do not find those accessible, and Black VCs are under-funded themselves. So another solution could be to correct that.

    In the long-run, we need to work on ending racism in banking. But we’re going backwards under the current administration. As wobblie pointed out, Republicans and moderate Democrats approved a deregulation package making it easier to discriminate. But this just means that we have more opportunity to work on problems locally, though.

    There are other conversations happening right now about the funding of housing…

    And as far as I know, the National Lawyers Guild is not running bail funds themselves. Bail funds gained traction mainly by POC-led activist groups, not the NLG. I recall Southerners on New Ground and other Black-led orgs originally organizing Mama’s Bail Out Day and are part of the National Bail Out Coalition. More info here: https://nomoremoneybail.org

  163. Jean Henry
    Posted March 11, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    The NLG did not create the model of bail funds but are in fact using their National reach to run them across the country now.

    And Black and POC people also demonstrate implicit bias or internalized oppression or whatever you want to call it in where they choose to shop and what they choose to buy. Obviously such ugly realities are the result of white oppression but I hear in Anon’s language the idea that POC are somehow incapable of error. (Again it assumes a monolith) Thats ideology. It may feel like a necessary correction to offer them total moral authority, but such fallacies serve no cause.

    Us White liberals face a cunundrum of balancing responsibility for historic and ongoing systemic racism against the potential to perpetuate those same structures when trying to help correct the scales. Anyone who was around for Coleman Young’s tenure as mayor of Detroit knows the issues with self-segregation from the outside world and the fallability of leadership and corruption possible under Black control as well. Police brutality was out of control. The economy a disaster, infrastructure funds went to cronies. The people were not served. People in leadership positions were complocitvinbabd benefiting from the drug trade while children running drugs were jailed for life. Etc etc. the work we have to do is deep, long and hard. Ideologies that make it seem simple or pretend that self-segregation is any kind of long term answer are dangerous if left unchallenged. Ideologies will always argue from a place of moral authority to suppress critique. Even when that moral authority comes from the experience of oppression, if it asserts its power by wielding shame (understandable), it re-enforces segregation and limits discourse and so produces very limited or unsustainable answers. I knew in critiquing DAY that I would be subjected to blowback. That’s to be expected. I do learn from it… What concerns me is that DAY didn’t seem to understand that it’s to be expected…

  164. Jean Henry
    Posted March 11, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    I should have just said that the idea that changing ones shopping habits will correct for systemic racism in wealth inequity sounds like a white liberal answer. We do need minority directed capital funds. We also need reparations, but building economic capacity through community capital and progressive business systems (co-ops, open books) in advance of reparations makes a lot of sense.This is something more substantial that White people can support with their systems knowledge and their capital. We must do so understanding that we will not be trusted. Marxists and ‘burn it down’ anarchists should also understand that they won’t be trusted by many– and not just privileged white folk.

  165. Lynne
    Posted March 11, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    That stuff you say about Coleman, JH is kind of funny to me right now. I am visiting my parents and aunt/uncle and one of their friends worked very closely with him from the very beginning. My father also did as a city of Detroit employee. One of the topics of conversation was how NOT racist he was even as so many white people claimed it. And how he struggled when he found corruption among those he had appointed.

  166. Lynne
    Posted March 11, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Anon, thank you. Those are good suggestions.

    I can add that WhereU can be a good app to help a person find minority owned businesses although in my experience there are a lot of minority owned businesses not on the app. In general though, it isn’t always easy for anyone to know the race of the owner of a business. I know of plenty in Detroit but mostly because I have a lot of friends there who are trying to patronize black owned businesses so they give shutouts of their good experiences on FB. But yes. Supporting black owned businesses is am important part of it all.

  167. Anon
    Posted March 11, 2018 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Lynne, thanks for the suggestion. I will check out that app. I have my own list if such businesses that I try to frequent, eg Mo P’s or Blackstone Bookstore…

  168. Anon
    Posted March 11, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Jean: do you want to give credit for movements that Black people have done to majority-white orgs? There’s nothing wrong with NLG supporting this issue, I was stating where credit is due and where people can go to find info and to support the bail fund movement. Why do you take issue with that? NLG is leaning on the expertise of Black-led orgs in the National Bail Out Coalition that have led the movement. You might’ve known this if you were more informed about such organizing. POC are organizing and advocating for themselves instead of relying on white saviorism, and I will uplift that whenever possible. If you feel compelled to attack me over that, that’s your problem and it seems like you should examine yourself as to why you feel so triggered.

    I never said POC are incapable of error. Another strawmen from you. It’s pretty obvious it’s easier for you to invent things than engage with what was actually stated.

    Your last paragraph had nothing to do with this conversation. When I describe the inspiring history of organizing that POC have done around Bail Out funds, your response is to start talking about corrupt Black politicians? Revealing. But it seems to fit your pattern of whataboutism.

  169. AnonAnonAnon
    Posted March 11, 2018 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Jean gives valid critiques but is also arguing against strawmen. Jean is erasing the critiques of capitalism WITHIN local Black activist spaces. Jean doesn’t live in Ypsi and doesn’t seem to be involved at all in the activist community doing anti-racist work. I do not understand why Jean insists that you can’t be critical of capitalism (which has its origins in white supremacy), and support keeping wealth within the Black community. Has Jean ever even been in Black and activist spaces where people are discussing these issues? I doubt very much that Jean has much perspective on the POC activist community in Washtenaw County.

    :::Some resources:::
    Ypsi Live livestream — watch DAY members speak up

    DAY livestream — watch DAY’s panel from yesterday

    black-ink.info — read recent posts about Black anarchism and anti-fascist action

    @KeepYpsiBlack Instagram :::critiques of racial capitalism + support of Black entrepreneurd and creatives:::

    @DefendAffordableYpsi Instagram

  170. AnonAnonAnon
    Posted March 11, 2018 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    JH: “We must do so understanding that we will not be trusted. Marxists and ‘burn it down’ anarchists should also understand that they won’t be trusted by many– and not just privileged white folk.”

    White Marxisrs and anarcists need to be called in again and again, and need to do more to build trust with communities of color. Absolutely.

    I find it peculiar that Jean praises the work of the NLG, an organization that provides legal support for people many would consider “Marxists and ‘burn it down’ anarchists.”

    Most anarchists in my experience are more about “building the new world in the shell of the old” than anything else. Mutual aid and solidarity are core values for anarchists, and people doing legal and jail and bail support. These are anarchist values. Jean seems oblivious to the overlaps between people she claims to support and people who she is viscously attacking. Jean is creating emnity and division when she doesn’t need to. She is not being peaceful at all.

  171. Proton
    Posted March 11, 2018 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Jean Henry: “Structural racism, ethnic cleansing, colonialism was also enabled by communism”

    The evidence in support of this assertion, like all and similar anti-communist assertions, should be examined carefully and with openness to the possibility and likelihood — though not certainty — that it is a bunch of fascist lies. “Likelihood” because fascist lies have been trotted out in great profusion over the decades, in the U.S. and elsewhere, to slander communism, deny its accomplishments, exaggerate its errors (often concocting them out of whole cloth), and obscure the clear statistical realities of its great benefactory role in the human history of the 20th century.

    Here’s an example, relevant to your “racism enabled by communism” comment: the claim that Stalin was anti-semitic. Start with brief discussion here:
    https://youtu.be/V3vecJDKTBg?t=2080
    full discussion here, page 486:
    https://mltheory.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/grover_furr_blood_lies_the_evidence_that_every_b-ok-org.pdf

    Listen to the first 10 minutes of that YT vid; note that here is a whole “scholarly” book, denouncing Stalin and the FSU, and ostensibly documenting their crimes, that is composed of nothing but lies! The propaganda-mills of the West grind out reams of this shit, and the rubes lap it up. They have for 80 years. And now we have a population with heads crammed so full of lies that it is difficult to discuss anything important without running afoul of them. We have to get the history right, first; then comes the rest.

  172. Sad
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    DAY supports communism?

    Everyone should be required to state their income, race, family background and political affiliation, or wear this info as a badge or chip.

    Someone was dissing horseshoe theory but it seems Proton and Hyborian Warlord although politically opposite share some things in common, no? But is Proton DAY or DAY affiliated?

    Is patronizing a McDonalds OK? Some POC definately own stock and they definately employ POC. Just curious .

  173. nattybooboo
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    I have no idea who Proton is. I am not a Marxist-Leninist, nor is DAY. If we are gonna talk about ‘communism’ I’d like to get some definitions first.

    My own philosophy is closer to ‘nonreformist reformism’: this means that revolutionary social change is something that happens via the building of democratic, coopetative institutions and enterprises and shifting policy on local, state, and federal levels to build a more just society. It’s a long road, for sure. My philosophy is closely aligned with people like Grace Lee Boggs and Cooperation Jackson, both of whom i know Jean appreciates. I think horseshoe theory for sure has a kernal of truth. It wouldn’t be compelling if ot didn’t. I also think that it’s a limited metaphor and I am very suspicious of tje uses to which it is deployed. Sad, you are a class act, my friend.

  174. nattybooboo
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Also: patronizing McD’s is fine and let’s get capital into communities of color.

  175. Jean Henry
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    To be clear, as a liberal, I’m all for Marxists and Anarchists engaging in public discourse and protest in advocacy of their views. I think they bring useful critical perspective and occasionally alternative solutions. But then, as a liberal, I believe that about many political perspectives not based in hate. As someone who works towards progressive change, I understand that I cant budge the system without public outcry, without some push from the outside.

    I will make my point again, just like liberals often assume that their political views, via good intention, produce solutions rather than worse outcomes for the marginalized, so do radicals and anarchists. This is an assumption that must be tested constantly by looking at measurable results and most importantly engaging the criticism of the marginalized themselves.

    I hear from people in marginalized communities that they feel their circumstance and identity is used by both white liberals and radicals to achieve their own political ends. This is the squeeze of which I speak. White liberals are starting to get it. The radical community still claims representation without doing the long work of winning over the marginalized in lasrge enough numbers.

    When any group claims to speak for the marginalized as a means to insulate themselves from criticism, that’s worth examining closely. I hold groups to their stated principles. It’s really as simple as that.

    I try to understand and acknowledge the value and limitations and vulnerabilities of radicalism, just as I do all political perspectives. That’s my obligation to the stated principles of liberalism. The deeper into rigid ideology any group gets on any side of the political spectrum, the less comfortable they are with critique and the more likely they are to attack anyone offering critique as the enemy.

    PS I worked for the NLG Detroit for several years in the ver early 90’s. It’s where I first got a taste, beyond protest, of the complexities, paradoxes and long haul of progressive systemic change.

  176. Jean Henry
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    PS I very much understand the difference between 20th century communism and socialism and what many contemporary radicals envision.
    I also see similarities in patterns of discourse and group dynamics between groups like and 20th century communism and socialism. DAY seems in denial of this, or in pretty twisted rationalization of it. It rings alarms for the rest of us. And invites criticism. Which DAY will ALWAYS mark up to bias or privilege or whatever, no matter what the source.

    Strict ideologies always protect first and foremost against criticism, usually by attacking those who dare to question doctrine. In this, evangelical religion and radicalism are precisely the same.

  177. nattybooboo
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Well said all around, Jean. And I agree with a lot here. I especially think that white and non-black PoC liberals and lefties can do a lot to hold their communities accountable.

    “I hear from people in marginalized communities that they feel their circumstance and identity is used by both white liberals and radicals to achieve their own political ends. This is the squeeze of which I speak.”

    Agree 100%. There’s a lot of accountability and trust-building that meeds to happen. I think the 2016 primary is a good example of the dynamics of which you speak Jean and i hope that we all continue to learn and engage.

  178. nattybooboo
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    I typed in respsone to the first comment of yours before seeing your second. I do not think of myself as anymore rigid or ideological than you are. Be well.

  179. Sad
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    If you two start getting along I might have to change my moniker to Happy.

  180. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Ideologies are only as strong as they allow for self-reflection and self-criticism.

    Unfortunately, I have met very few people who call themselves radicals that are willing to allow for either, which I have always found disappointing since I believe that many have noble ideals.

  181. Proton
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Sad: “everyone should be required to state their income, race, family background and political affiliation, or wear this info as a badge or chip.”

    OK, I’m game.

    income: ~20K/year from employment, ~7K/year from SS, starting a couple years ago. Feeling quite RICH these days! I can at long last afford advanced dental work (in costa rica, not the U.S.). 27K per year is a high income.

    race: white

    family background: middle-middle to lower-middle class.

    political affiliation: unaffiliated.

    “is Proton DAY or DAY affiliated?”

    No.

  182. Jean Henry
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Nattybooboo– I appreciate that and I know there is diversity of viewpoint and approach within DAY. I was speaking more to the public face of DAY, as evidenced in social media. Probably not the best gage of any group or human, but in the case of public advocacy efforts, it’s important.

    SAD– I suggested the other day that if we were to properly gage such things as relative privilege an ACE score would be more useful than one’s self-identification, income etc. It would also help to get the ACE score of one’s direct relatives going back a few generations. I would never however ask anyone to publicly declare such details. It’s not really any of our business. http://www.acestudy.org/the-ace-score.html

  183. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    ““everyone should be required to state their income, race, family background and political affiliation, or wear this info as a badge or chip.””

    What would be the point in that?

    Honestly, having to state it openly means that I have to choose a race or a political affiliation which offends every fiber of my being. Why do I have to choose?

    Further, I prefer to forget my family. Being forced to state it openly means that I have to remember that nightmare, which I do not.

  184. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    ” I suggested the other day that if we were to properly gage such things as relative privilege an ACE score would be more useful than one’s self-identification, income etc.”

    Who cares? What, is this South Africa? Americans, for all their talk of individualism and self-determination are sure into labels. I have never understood the fascination.

    What a waste of time.

  185. Sad
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    I was being sarcastic. Duh.

    People should be able to think and say whatever they want, regardless of those labels.

  186. Sad
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    But IL , without those labels how would you know which businesses to frequent?

  187. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    “without those labels how would you know which businesses to frequent?”

    True. How lost I would be. haha

  188. Jean Henry
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    IL— that conversation was in the context of creating a hierarchy of marginalization. It was intended to make a rhetorical point. I had a long conversation last week with some public health/social sciences type people about using demographics by race and their usefulness v their risks. It was a split group and everyone was far left. The international scholars were less comfortable with the heavy use of race in studies. Americans who had an interest in looking at how bias affects outcomes were insisting that it was critical. I came to know strong conclusions and many more questions. I do use differentials in outcomes by race a lot to poke through denial about inequity in the US. On the other hand, we know race is largely inconsequential in terms of disease (or anything) otherwise. In conversations about equity, we always center race, gender, sexual identification. The non-Americans were sure this perpetuated more bias than it prevented. They said Americans are obsessed with race and racialized difference. I don’t think most American progressives think of it that way. It’s the lens we use to explain so much.

  189. Proton
    Posted March 13, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Iron Lung 2: “”everyone should be required to state their income, race, family background and political affiliation, or wear this info as a badge or chip.” What would be the point in that?”

    Not much point in the race and fam background parts, but the income/wealth part is critical. Generally speaking, and with rare exceptions, anyone with a 6-column income (as a very rough line in the sand) is incapable of understanding class issues, or even of admitting that class exists. Actually, the difficulties start far lower, around 50K/year, but I’m trying to be generous. Anyone in the 6-column area: forget it. They will always be reactionaries, though sometimes struggling mightily to APPEAR “progressive”.

  190. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 13, 2018 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    “anyone with a 6-column income (as a very rough line in the sand) is incapable of understanding class issues, or even of admitting that class exists.”

    I have an entire list of people that can stand as evidence against this statement.

  191. Sad
    Posted March 13, 2018 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Let’s see your list.

  192. Lynne
    Posted March 13, 2018 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    I know several people with incomes in that range who care very deeply about class issues and also who have a great awareness of class issues. I went to a high school that was a magnet high school in an impoverished city. It was a grouping of the brightest and best to be sure but there really were a lot of poor kids. Basically a collection of atypical success stories. At any rate, my classmates from that school have done very well economically but I don’t feel at all that they have forgotten what it is like to be poor even if the lifestyle they are living now is much different.

  193. Jean Henry
    Posted March 13, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    It must be nice to have such easy columns of good and bad. Our politicized inclination to such easy othering is a good part of what put a truly loathesome human in office. Most people are corrupted in some way by power, but Trump seems inherently corrupt. The firing of Tillerson right after tillerson accused Russia of responsibility for using nerve gas in London, demonstrates that Trump is likely not just be corrupt but also dangerously compromised.

    SAD— You can look at the list of NLG lawyers in Michigan to start your list. All of us get some issues beyond our own direct experience and don’t get others. My feeling is most blinders of privilege, ideology or otherwise come down to fear, lack of exposure and the resulting othering that takes place. Wobblie amply demonstrates that in his pat assessment.

  194. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 13, 2018 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    “Let’s see your list.”

    Why would I do that?

  195. Jcp2
    Posted March 13, 2018 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    So we are going down the path to see who the last true Scotsman is?

  196. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 13, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I think these are what are known as “purity tests.”

  197. Jean Henry
    Posted March 13, 2018 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Yep.
    The inevitable path from ideology to purity testing among other insider/outsider strategies. us v them is a powerful human motivator and the seat of all corruption and all misery.

    Sometimes I think this comments section is just stupid, but then I remember that it’s just humans who are stupid, and that’s interesting. (I’m including myself in that assessment) communication is hard, especially around strongly held beliefs.

  198. Jean Henry
    Posted March 13, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Contrary to what many here seem to believe, this is not an example of us v. Them thinking but of us thinking.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/national/united-nations-panel-says-us-owes-reparations-for-slavery-mass-incarceration/2016/09/27/57120a26-84fe-11e6-b57d-dd49277af02f_video.html

  199. Proton
    Posted March 13, 2018 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Iron Lung 2: ““anyone with a 6-column income (as a very rough line in the sand) is incapable of understanding class issues, or even of admitting that class exists.” I have an entire list of people that can stand as evidence against this statement.”

    I’m sure you do. Lots of us do. I’m not talking about your or my little anecdote-list. I’m talking about a society-wide phenomenon. The truth is that this whole society is incapable of understanding class issues, or even of admitting that class exists. Denial of class is in the American DNA, and along with that, wild exaggeration of social mobility. Even poor people usually believe such rubbish. It is just that it is **particularly** bad amongst higher SES people, that’s all. If you don’t recognize the truth of what I am saying, you need to do some basic reading. America is **notorious** for this, and it has been recognized by intellectuals, sociologists, etc., for many decades.

  200. Proton
    Posted March 13, 2018 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Jean Henry: “us v them is … the seat of all corruption and all misery.”

    You cannot possibly believe this.

  201. Jean Henry
    Posted March 13, 2018 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    I do, actually. I’m not suggesting resistance to oppression is never necessary. I’m suggesting that tribalism is the root of the need for resistance. History has shown that any group given power acts to oppress those outside the group. Consideration of the greater good is the path to progress. And I’ve seen people from all classes and groups think beyond their own needs. Even very wealthy people. Even very poor. And plenty in the middle. We all have capacity for both.

  202. Jean Henry
    Posted March 13, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    But acting for the greater Good requires a careful accounting of ones own role and a lot of listening. It’s a lot harder than blaming.

  203. Lynne
    Posted March 13, 2018 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    proton, yes. It is true that when one has privilege it isn’t quite as easy to see it as when one is looking at someone else’s privilege. And of course, you are right that even poor people sometimes have trouble seeing class issues although perhaps less so than the rich.

    I know it is probably a misquote but Steinbeck may have once said

    “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”

    Regardless of the accuracy of the quote, there is some truth in that statement.

    Still, while I think it is likely that the rich may have less of an understanding of class issues, blanket statements about how anyone who has a good income cannot understand class issues is not especially true.

  204. Proton
    Posted March 13, 2018 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Jean Henry: “History has shown that any group given power acts to oppress those outside the group.”

    Not true, though commonly averred. It is of tremendous value to the power elite to propagate that idea, which goes with Acton’s “power corrupts, and absolute power…” (quoted endlessly, as though some unarguable “law”). Bullshit. It is true that groups “given power” (i.e. having ceased it) often find it necessary to **police** those outside the group; that is to be expected. Stalin, for example, was faced with an entire fifth column, deeply committed to undermining the revolution; was he supposed to stand idly by and let that happen? Allow the gains of the revolution to evaporate, and scores of millions be plunged BACK into dirt poverty, disease and early death? Not to mention the invasion of the genocidal Wehrmacht, which killed 20 million before all was said and done! If you had been in power in those places and times, you would have been responsible for countless millions of horrid deaths.

    “Consideration of the greater good is the path to progress. And I’ve seen people from all classes and groups think beyond their own needs.”

    I’m sure you have. One big happy family, huh? And the end result? NOTHING. Not a god damn thing. Except to make liberals like you feel warm ‘n fuzzy.

    You seem to be of the Walt Disney school of power politics, in which deeply-entrenched forces of war, fascism, genocide and slavery are all just a bunch of fun-loving folks who will happily share everything democratically with everyone, if only we sit around the kitchen table, hold hands and sing kumbaya.

    “Those Nazis — they’re basically good guys, once you get to know ’em!”

    Dream on.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pn5rShDpL6o

  205. Proton
    Posted March 13, 2018 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Lynne: yes, that famous quote (Steinbeck?) sums it up nicely. Sociologists have expressed the same thing with data.

    “blanket statements about how anyone who has a good income cannot understand class issues [are] not especially true.”

    My blanket statement was intended to be **generally** true, not “especially” true (whatever that would mean). It was a generality, useful AS a generality. Which means of course that it will not be true in EVERY instance, but often enough to be generally true. A **useful** generalization.

  206. Proton
    Posted March 13, 2018 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Peaceful, respectful, gentle, kind, non-blaming “consideration of the greater Good” is a very very good thing — something that can and should be done after the revolution. Hence, in China for example, the Communist Party, the National People’s Congress, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and other bodies are and have been undertaking such peaceful work for many years. But they would never have had the opportunity to do so without the revolution. Blood had to be spilled, first.

  207. Proton
    Posted March 13, 2018 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Jeff Bezos “earns” $231,000 per MINUTE and works closely with the CIA, but I’m sure if we just have a warm fireside chat with him he’ll set all that aside, give up all his money to a fund for slavery reparations, become a peacenik, and give the Washington Post over to truth-tellers like Chris Hedges and Noam Chomsky. It is just a matter of being nice and kind and thinking positive!

  208. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 13, 2018 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    ” A **useful** generalization.”

    Given some of the heinous shit I’ve seen poor people also do in my lifetime, I’d say it’s a pretty useless generalization.

    Not all poor people are good and compassionate, and not all rich people are evil and exploitative. There’s nothing about being poor that makes one noble, and nothing about being rich that makes one a scumbag.

    Though I am poor and destitute, I know a lot of rich people and I know a lot of rich people who do good things for the betterment of humanity. I also know a LOT of poor scumbags.

  209. Sad
    Posted March 13, 2018 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Yes – in the hierarchy of culpability for the problems in the world a straight line can be drawn between the affluent and poor folx , to think otherwise violates all that is sacred and noble. Both sides need to do their part and stop with the blaming and outrage. Do you think Jeff Bezos has anymore influence on our reality than your average manager at a McDonalds? If so, your anger has warped your mind and twisted your soul beyond comprehension and rendered it incapable of doing the hard work that is required .

    Proton – there is a better way, don’t go to the dark side. Nattybooboo can regal you with stories of the dark beings that inhabit that place.

  210. Sad
    Posted March 13, 2018 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Jcp2- We’re you referring to No True Scotsman ?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

  211. Sad
    Posted March 13, 2018 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    IL – did you mean Purity Test?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purity_test

  212. Jean Henry
    Posted March 14, 2018 at 5:03 am | Permalink

    No one suggested equity exists. SAD. Power and oppression however happen on many scales and in many firms. Linear black/white thinking is not compatible with human behavior, but it’s a comfort.
    As for ‘purity test,’ maybe reach beyond Wikipedia. Strict Religious and political ideologies utilize purity tests to shame, suppress and control.

  213. Jean Henry
    Posted March 14, 2018 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    EOS and co are screwed. The numbers of her ilk are dwindling. And many white Christians, included in this number, are liberal. Any party that continues to cater to the white Evangelical sector of the population is screwed in the long term. Maybe this data explains their zeal to keep immigrants of color and Muslims from staying here.
    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/white-christians-now-minority-u-s-population-survey-says

  214. Jean Henry
    Posted March 14, 2018 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zn5lEuiwtfQ

  215. Proton
    Posted March 14, 2018 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Iron Lung 2: “Given some of the heinous shit I’ve seen poor people also do in my lifetime, I’d say it’s a pretty useless generalization.”

    Jeezuz. How idiotic. This has nothing to do with whether or not people do “heinous shit”. I was talking about class consciousness. Please read before replying.

  216. Proton
    Posted March 14, 2018 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Sad: “Do you think Jeff Bezos has anymore influence on our reality than your average manager at a McDonalds? If so, your anger has warped your mind ”

    Jeezuz. How idiotic. OF COURSE Jeff Bezos has “more influence on our reality” than a McD worker, for God’s sake. He owns a freaking trillion dollar company that has completely transformed retail in the U.S. Do you really not know this? Not to mentioning owning the Washington Post, a paper of some influence. And you think the guy behind the counter at McD’s has comparable influence?! Christ.

  217. Proton
    Posted March 14, 2018 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    PS: hell, I’m not even angry at Bezos, let alone has anger “warped my mind”.

  218. Jean Henry
    Posted March 17, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    “If you passed the strongest gun control legislation tomorrow, I don’t think it will have a profound effect on the tragedies we have seen… Let me add to that, I think that urban America has got to respect what rural America is about, where 99 percent of the people in my state who hunt are law-abiding people.”
    —Bernie Sanders.
    This is why my teen daughter said during the 2016 primaries,’ I don’t know why so many young people want an old white man’s revolution.’

  219. Posted March 17, 2018 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    What percentage of them hunt with high capacity magazines and bomb stocks, I wonder?

  220. Iron lung
    Posted March 17, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Most gun injuries do not involve high capacity magazines and so called bump stocks.

  221. Iron lung
    Posted March 17, 2018 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Proton,

    I merely offered an opposing view.

    I apologize for offending you.

  222. Jean Henry
    Posted March 17, 2018 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Most gun injuries/deaths are also not caused by hunting rifles. An AR-15 is not a hunting rifle. No need for any kind of automatic anything for hunting, unless you’re an asshole and a bad shot. (And no I’m not talking about muskets) The issues of hunting and gun control to improve gun safety are unrelated, but Vermont has gun owners and gun manufacturers, so Mr Sanders is twisting his rhetoric to suit his politics again. His bullshit is just more obvious when it’s counter to our ideology.

  223. Iron lung
    Posted March 17, 2018 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Bump stocks and high capacity mags are a distraction and it is unfortunate that liberals have fallen for it.

    Ban all semi automatics.

  224. Iron lung
    Posted March 17, 2018 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Liberals’ ignorance of guns is part of the reason they get nowhere with policy.

  225. Jean Henry
    Posted March 17, 2018 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    My family hunts. My grandfather left behind multiple photo albums full of hunting and fishing pictures. He killed and ate a lot of animals. He fed his family well that way. He fed other families too. This fall my 19 year old daughter was having a hard time. At Thanksgiving the rifles came out and the skeet. Ada’s been vegetarian since kindergarten of her own volition, but she decided to try her hand at it. She hit her first 5 out of 5 clay pigeons. Then some of the men, none of whom had hit 5 of 5, decided to give her instruction. She missed the next three, resumed her old improper stance and hit the next 6 in a row. At dinner, her GOP uncle said “You’ll never get a man if they find out what a good shot you are.” She dead aimed him then lead the group and said, ” I get ’em. I’ll get 11 out of 14 of them.” Everyone laughed.

    I’m not sure why I’m telling this story, except to try to impart some understanding of how much some people love hunting and guns. I don’t hate guns or fear them. I grew up around them in great safety and comfort (privilege acknowledged). One of my grandmother’s last salient acts was to shoot a duck at the family ranch. My cousin in Alaska still hunts and fishes for most of his family’s protein.
    But what is needed to prevent most gun violence in no way threatens any of the tradition I grew up with. They all understand it’s in no way related. I understand why people value guns. I saw my own kid emerge from depression and feel competent and powerful by shooting clay pigeons. I know that wildlife conservation efforts were started in the US by hunters. I know many hunters know more about the animals they hunt than you or I and have respect for them. I also know our cultural sense of independence and self-sufficiency is tied up in the right to bear arms.

    I would love to see us all get back into balance around the issue. I think many of the measures the kids in Parkridge and in Chicago and elsewhere are asking for can lead us there. The reality is that a weapon is useless against the government, but it has utility. There’s a lot of US history, for better or worse, tied up in personal firearms. We can figure this all out eventually, but we have to reach a bit to understand each other’s perspectives to get there. I feel as embarrassed for liberals who abhor hunting, while eating grocery store meat, and who fear guns from ignorance of them, as I am for gun enthusiasts who pose with machine guns thinking it makes them cool. There’s a sensible middle ground. I hope we can find it.

  226. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 18, 2018 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Guns are fun. The AR-15 is a fine weapon. Like all semi-automatic firearms, though, it should be banned.

    Liberals should also abandon their attack on a single weapon model and focus broadly on a specific class of weapons. The NRA and gun rightists gain when people like Mr. Maynard obsess on high capacity magazines, bump stocks and the AR-15, which aren’t at all involved in most gun injuries and deaths.

    We need a comprehensive and informed attack on semi-automatic weapons.

    I have seen three people shot in my life. All were with semi-automatic handguns.

  227. Jean Henry
    Posted March 18, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    I should add that the fancy pants ‘finance’ GOP dudes in my family own and shoot
    guns in part to assert their party affiliation, the way liberals carry water bottles and re-usable grocery bags. They, for the most part, did not grow up with a hunting for food tradition. Like the Trump bros, they like big guns and trophy hunting. It’s a hobby exclusive to the wealthy. That’s it’s symbolic value. It’s unrelated to most hunting traditions. And I’d be more than happy if trophy hunting and automatic weapons went away and we found other means to fill whatever economic gaps that creates. But it’s important to understand the symbolic value to conservatives of this weaponry. That’s a big part of the resistance we need to overcome. The kids protesting make them feel foolish about their big toys. That’s good. If you or I were to try to make them feel foolish, their reaction would be different.

  228. Sad
    Posted March 25, 2018 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    “The temptation to silence young people has always existed,”
    “There are many ways to silence young people and make them invisible. Many ways to anesthetize them, to make them keep quiet, ask nothing, question nothing. There are many ways to sedate them, to keep them from getting involved, to make their dreams flat and dreary, petty and plaintive,”
    “Dear young people, you have it in you to shout,”
    “It is up to you not to keep quiet. Even if others keep quiet, if we older people and leaders, some corrupt, keep quiet, if the whole world keeps quiet and loses its joy, I ask you: Will you cry out?”

    PF

  229. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 25, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Then, as a second act, the Pope spout some uninformed economic babble and fail to do anything about anything that is seriously wrong with the church.

  230. Sad
    Posted March 25, 2018 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    It’s something to think about on Palm Sunday. No?

  231. wobblie
    Posted March 25, 2018 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Don’t know about the Pope, but here is Lewis Black’s take on Do all of us older folks need to die before things get better?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMCmj3TjM9Q

  232. Iron lung
    Posted March 25, 2018 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    I think i loathe the Pope as much as I loathe the Catholic Church almost as much as I loathe Christianity iself.

  233. Iron lung
    Posted March 25, 2018 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    The Pope and the Catholic Church are a cancer.

  234. Sad
    Posted March 25, 2018 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    You’re not alone. The KKK is very anti-catholic. WASP weren’t particularly fond of them either.

    People take comfort in disliking one group or another.

  235. Jean Henry
    Posted March 26, 2018 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Sad— Most people I know who hate Catholicism and the Pope were raised catholic. In the case of organized religion, sometimes dislike is not directed at the group but the institution.

    My take on the Pope, after first being impressed, is that he’s alll progressive talk and no action, plus a lot of action out of his own humility, for an audience. In that, he is the perfect pope for white liberals. He in no way threatens the existing power structure but he talks a lot about how damaging it is.

    He doesn’t have too many fans among childhood victims of abuse by priests. Doesn’t that concern you? What changes has the pope actually made, beyond fixing some of the financial corruption/mafia ties at the Vatican?

  236. Jean Henry
    Posted March 26, 2018 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/qz.com/511809/pope-francis-is-not-a-progressive-he-just-has-terrific-pr/amp/

  237. Frosted Flakes
    Posted March 26, 2018 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Don’t forget about Hitler.

  238. Sad
    Posted March 26, 2018 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    I wasn’t praising the Pope . I didn’t herald him as a savior. I thought it was interesting in terms of young people and old people.

    (You see Natty, in the field that is MM.com there are always displays of social capital and discoursive dominance. Congrats to you for making inroads. )

    Now if you want to say you loathe Muslims I think you might be able to find some more friends. But really what good does that kind of talk do? Maybe you could say Jews make you sick for Passover?

    I hate Electablog , Damn Arbor is too short, I’ve been kicked off all the local Facebook groups, I’m on probation with Nextdoor. And now this. Oh well. Now I understand why so few people try to comment.

  239. Sad
    Posted March 26, 2018 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    I will be quiet. Silent.

  240. Jcp2
    Posted March 26, 2018 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Based on the topics discussed and the comments elicited, it’s become a hipster dad blog. Discussion of older pop culture was the first clue, but totally missing the boat on #metoo and #neveragain a real giveaway. I think the kids have moved on, whether the oldies are dead or alive.

  241. EOS
    Posted March 26, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    I think the older folks have to die first only because it may take the younger people that long to get a clue. They need to take on some responsibility first and move out of their parents basement. They need real life experiences so that they don’t parrot whatever agenda the educators or community activists currently promote. Being on the bandwagon does not make you right. They need to learn how to hear things that they disagree with without being emotionally damaged. They need to realize that everything will never be equal and they need to work hard to achieve their best so that they can help others along the way. And of course, there is no free lunch and no one else is responsible for paying off your student loans or providing you with a minimum income. Young people may be idealistic and progressive, but working for a living and paying taxes brings an awareness of reality and practical concerns.

  242. Frosted Flakes
    Posted March 26, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    1) Yesterday Catholics are the anti-Catholics of today.

    2) Yesterday Bernie supporters are the Libertarians of tommorrow.

    3) 15-22 year old progressive activist of today are our saviors of tomorrow???

    Not around to witness it or not the backlash will be extreme. Why wouldn’t it be?

  243. Jean Henry
    Posted March 26, 2018 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    It would t be if they figure out how to be truly inclusive and progressive. It already appears that the young organize instinctively with a degree of responsiveness to the marginalized that for everyone else is either super calculated/self conscious and fraught or just ignored. What’s worrying for us is obvious for them. They will of course receive blow back. That’s part of the deal and a necessary check, but it won’t stop progress and some of the blowback will be legit and point the way further ahead.

    This idea that discourse should not meet criticism is truly bizarre.

  244. Frosted Flakes
    Posted March 26, 2018 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    By “backlash” I was not referring to a resistance from outside, I rather was predicting, on the part of the mini-me-activists, extreme and complete rejection of their own former “political” selves—an identity that is often manufactured and supported by adult agendas.

  245. stupid hick
    Posted March 26, 2018 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    “Is patronizing a McDonalds OK? Some POC definately own stock and they definately employ POC. Just curious.”

    Of course it’s OK, and it and has always been OK, despite constant class-baiting micro-aggression by Mark Maynard’s puppets. With that out of the way, now let me tell you McDonald’s has shaken up their value menu albeit with dubious results. The dollar menu is back, but don’t get excited because it is not the dollar menu of olde. I tried the $1 cheese burger and the $1 chicken sandwich and while they are “not terrible”, by the same token they are also “not very good”, and there are no fries to be found for $1. All things considered, the defunct pick 2 for $2.50 menu was a much better deal. In other important fast food news, I have discovered that Taco Bell has a reasonable $1 breakfast menu rivaling McDonald’s and Burger King. Try the $1 breakfast quesadilla or $1 breakfast burrito. That’s some hipster dad advice you can take to the bank.

  246. Jean Henry
    Posted March 26, 2018 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    My experience with activists has been that they start young and keep going. Some people are made for that work. Most are not. They may change sides, but that’s less common in my experience than transitioning to more within the system advocacy work. A lot of the former Weather Underground members became lawyers and other kinds of advocates. One promotes progressive business practices. Whether that represents a complete switch is in the eye of the beholder.
    The implication that teenager’s Just follow orders from their elders without question is highly amusing to those of us who have raised them.

  247. stupid hick
    Posted March 26, 2018 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    “Who hasn’t had a run in with DAY. They said I was classist because I put cream and sugar in my coffee instead of drinking it black. Then they made a meme about it.”

    “One persons insufferable douche is another persons freedom fighter.”

    Etc. Bravo! Don’t get discouraged by Mark Maynard’s sycophants. PS if you figure out where Hyborian Warlord went let me know. I will go to whatever blog he’s been exiled to and bring back some quotes for y’all.

  248. Jean Henry
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYOjWnS4cMY

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect

Sidetrack ad Aubree’s ad BUY LOCAL... or shop at Amazon through this link Banner Initiative Melissa Detloff