You’re wearing that?

Just a quick update before I dash away for the day.

I was thinking about the Elizabeth Lauten story last night, and I expect a few of you were, too. I cannot tell a lie: In a world of sorry-you-were-offended non-apologies, I found her apology about as good as it gets. (This writer disagreed. I disagree with her.) It was probably appropriate that she lost her job, but that was a foregone conclusion once she opened her mouth.

That said, I’m not surprised she made the statement in the first place. I’m assuming Lauten spends a lot of time in the right-wing media bubble, where the Obama girls’ failure to smile and sparkle 24-7 is pretty regularly remarked upon. This story is typical. Based on a few photos of Sasha on a trip to China, moments that literally probably didn’t add up to a single second, the New York Post felt free to tell the world, implicitly, that she’s an ungrateful brat who doesn’t appreciate the taxpayer-financed trip and probably not even the dishes of Starburst candies on Air Force One.

Perhaps the one thing these tribal bubbles are good for is occasionally showing what the other side is chewing on at the moment, currently Sasha and Malia’s expressions and hemlines. As to the latter, I found both their outfits completely appropriate and lovely — if there’s ever a time in your life when you can wear a high hemline, it’s when you have the long, slender stems of a teenager. Of course, some people have different ideas about how children should dress. I wonder how the Roberts kids look these days.

OK, gotta run. Before I do, those of us who lived in Indiana in the ’80s remember the Ryan White story vividly. Here’s an update on his mother, via the News’ excellent Neal Rubin.

Happy Tuesday, all.

Posted at 9:15 am in Current events |

67 responses to “You’re wearing that?”

  1. coozledad said on December 2, 2014 at 9:35 am

    There is a chasm between the Obamas and the old white garbage who oppose them in every metric- taste, education, public bearing, decency, culture.

    For the Skoal bandits and “damn if I din’t shoot mah family this weekend” set, the Bush family are more approachable role models. It’s a lot easier to get shitfaced and have a big neighborhood brawl or swing on a political donor’s chandelier when your supporters are simply not worth the skin they’re shat into. They love them some trash. Anything else is alien.

    512 chars

  2. Bitter Scribe said on December 2, 2014 at 10:20 am

    This Elizabeth Lauten apparently was arrested for shoplifting clothes when she was Malia’s* age. I suppose she only stole clothes with tasteful hemlines.

    She used to work for Joe “Deadbeat Dad” Walsh, the most embarrassing one-term congresscritter ever to come from Illinois, and even he fired her.

    Nice to see someone get whacked who thoroughly deserves it.

    *Malia’s the older one, right? I’m sorry to say I get them confused.

    443 chars

  3. LAMary said on December 2, 2014 at 10:32 am

    That photo of John Edwards and family is just weird. It looks fifty years old.

    78 chars

  4. brian stouder said on December 2, 2014 at 10:39 am

    What Cooz said.

    Aside from that absurdity, which is (afterall) a small annoyance, the St Louis Police versus the St Louis Rams thing is now becoming “year-in-review”-level absurd.

    Is the police department really serious? They really want this fight?

    an excerpt:

    The St. Louis Police Officers Association was furious, saying the players “chose to ignore the mountains of evidence released from the St. Louis County Grand Jury” after the jurors decided not to indict former Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson.

    A Rams official spoke with police Monday. And that’s when the he-said, he-said started.

    St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar sent an e-mail to his staff saying the Rams’ chief operating officer called him Monday to apologize.

    “I received a very nice call this morning from Mr. Kevin Demoff of the St. Louis Rams who wanted to take the opportunity to apologize to our department on behalf of the Rams for the “Hands Up” gesture that some players took the field with yesterday,” Belmar wrote in the e-mail, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

    But the Rams said that’s just not true.

    “We did not apologize,” Rams spokesman Artis Twyman told CNN.

    The team issued a statement saying the organization had “positive discussions” Monday with Belmar and other police officials “during which we expressed our respect for their concerns surrounding yesterday’s game.”

    Police took issue with the Rams’ saying they didn’t apologize and aired their grievances on Twitter.

    “Apology: ‘expression of regret for not being able to do something” @kdemoff: “I regretted any offense their officers may have taken,'” St. Louis County Police tweeted Monday night.

    Good God! We are well and truly ‘through the looking glass’ if this is what the discussion the St Louis Police is going to spend their energy on, instead of, say, NOT KILLING UNARMED PEOPLE!

    Lawrence O’Donnel has been all over this Grand Jury “Mountain of Evidence”** from the get-go, and the show-stopper (which is now getting wider attention) is the ineptitude (if not malfeasance, outright) of the prosecutor down there, who gave the grand jury flatly WRONG (and illegal) instructions and guidance (revolving around a Missouri law that was declared unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in 1985, says police CAN shoot people just for running from them), and who (willfully?) refused to help the jurors apply the law in their efforts.

    **whenever I hear the phrase “Mountain of Evidence”, I think of Marcia Clark and the OJ Simpson murder trial. “Mountains of Evidence” strike me as a judicial unicorn, and the use of that term in this case seems to fit that same bill

    2788 chars

  5. Judybusy said on December 2, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Thank goodness I didn’t have a camera on me during our two-week vacation when I was 14. I distinctly remember trying to stay as far away as possible from my family at Disneyland. I wasn’t ungrateful–just practicing individuation. First kids should be off-limits. This sort of stuff also makes me a bit irritated, because it’s ultimately fluff, and it helps prove Neil Postman’s theory that we’re amusing ourselves to death.

    Thanks for the update on Ryan White’s mother. I had forgotten how horrible it was for him.

    520 chars

  6. Jolene said on December 2, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Here’s an article re Elton John in which he mentions how he came to know Ryan White. His anti-AIDS efforts have been really impressive, especially in focusing now on the rural South.

    P.S. Mary, not John Edwards, John Roberts.

    366 chars

  7. Deggjr said on December 2, 2014 at 11:07 am

    What Bitter Scribe said. When you are so disturbed that Joe Walsh throws you under the bus, you are disturbed indeed.

    204 chars

  8. adrianne said on December 2, 2014 at 11:27 am

    I’m glad the GOP mouthpiece lost her job, but I did appreciate her apology. I think she knew she had goofed as soon as she hit the send button. People, don’t drink and Tweet! That said, I don’t think piling on by bringing up her shoplifting arrest when she was 17 was appropriate. Nothing to see here, just move along.

    318 chars

  9. Andrea said on December 2, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Jeanne White came to speak at our small college in PA in the early ’90s, only a couple of years after Ryan passed away. I remember it as the most well-attended speaker we ever had in my time there – people were spilling out of the lecture hall, sitting in the aisles, etc.

    272 chars

  10. beb said on December 2, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Everything the cops, prosecutor, etc have done in Fergeson makes more sense if you assume that they knew from Day One that officer Wilson killed an innocent Black man and have been ding their best ever since to make sure that no white cop ever gets burned for killing a Black. They concealed Wilson’s name for the longest time. Released prejudicial information about Black, did everything they could to inflame the community to “prove” that blacks are thugs, and ran a secret trial of Wilson disguised as a grand jury. This latest “outrage” over the Rams is just another part of their continuing war on Michael Black.

    Meanwhile in Cleveland the paper there is running negative research on the father of the 12 year old kid shoot by the cops. I assume they couldn’t find anything prejudicial about the kid himself.

    824 chars

  11. Dexter said on December 2, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    The two kids I think took the most hateful arrows to the heart were Amy Carter and then Chelsea Clinton. Those bastards saying that awful stuff about them used to really get me stirred up. This latest thing…shit, it’s just a Republican staffer being honest, and a total moron.

    280 chars

  12. Jolene said on December 2, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    In today’s online chat, Gene Weingarten deals with the question of what you should do if you say something unfortunate online, and, of course, E. Lauten’s comments on the Obama daughters are discussed, as well as other recent incidents in which people have said things they ought not to have said and gotten hammered on the Internet as a result.

    For added entertainment, there’s a poll about how Gary Hart’s long ago fall from grace was and should have been handled by the media, prompted by a recent book claiming that that incident sparked major changes in how journalists covered the private lives of politicians.

    And, since it’s Gene, there’s also a lot of other stuff that flows from the relationships and topics that have developed in previous chats with his very loyal audience.

    858 chars

  13. BigHank53 said on December 2, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    I don’t know if anyone has posted a link to this before, so my apologies if I’m duplicating effort. Radley Balko wrote a good piece for the Washington Post back in September about the utter clusterfuck that is the St. Louis County “justice” system:

    Long story short: taxes are kept low by raising money through fines levied upon the poor, which means the black population of the county. Balko has his axe to grind, of course, but it’s impossible to read the story and consider the Ferguson police department to be much other than thugs looking for the easiest shakedown.

    I expect the thought that went through Ms. Lauten’s head before she composed her original post was a lot shorter: two words’ worth. The first word was “fucking” and I’ll let you guess what the second one was.

    905 chars

  14. Scout said on December 2, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    That oh-shit moment when you realize that all the safe words inside the bubble don’t play so well on the outside. Too bad more Republicans don’t get called out on this kind of tone deafness.

    In 2008 when the whole world was going ape over Bristol Palin’s teenage pregnancy, then Candidate Obama stated firmly that families are off limits. The Obamas have never been anything but a class act, which makes the petty smallness of the haters even more pronounced.

    463 chars

  15. Dexter said on December 2, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Yeah, but the fuckin’ Palins are not dull here, and if you haven’t heard this, you jes’ gotsta listen.

    149 chars

  16. Sherri said on December 2, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    I think that the bubble is just starting to leak, and the people in the bubble don’t really get that there is an outside, or that some things shouldn’t be said in polite company:

    272 chars

  17. Sherri said on December 2, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    A detailed look at the difference between the Rams players and the St Louis police on the “Hands up, don’t shoot” gesture at the Rams game:

    240 chars

  18. brian stouder said on December 2, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Sherri – an excellent article. You know, it made me realize how stupid it was for me of me to have gotten worked up about the ridiculous ‘Rams Vs Cops’ thing, because of course that was exactly their aim! At that point, I’m barking up the wrong tree, and the mis-direction mission is successful.

    But as Sherri’s article points out, it is essential to remember that the real story here is larger than that – and when we get distracted, the inertial forces that lead to morons with badges emptying their weapons at unarmed people pick up momentum. The twittery nests and buzzing rightwing radio hives do an industrial job of misdirecting people away from common sense, and towards immersion in never-ending absurdities

    738 chars

  19. Bitter Scribe said on December 2, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    adrianne @8: She bitterly and publicly criticized a teenage girl for no reason at all except she disagrees with the parents’ politics. I think bringing up her own behavior at that age is perfectly appropriate.

    209 chars

  20. Ocean said on December 2, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    The apology is a Hail Mary. The best this imbecile can hope for is a forgiving, or forgetting public. I hope she holds her breath.

    130 chars

  21. Deborah said on December 2, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    Attention Chicago-ites. There will be a meeting of NN.Cers on Sunday, the 7th around 3:45ish at Bistro Zinc (near where Rush and State meet, South of Elm, across from Barnes & Noble). At least Heather and I will be there, we can push tables together if more show up. Plenty of places nearby to do Christmas shopping before. It would be fun to meet you. Think about it.

    372 chars

  22. Deborah said on December 2, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Sherri, that article you linked to is excellent. Everyone should read it.

    73 chars

  23. Dexter said on December 2, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Remembering the whole of the Ryan White story just brings up a lot of hatred in me. When I was a kid I was “proud to be a Hoosier”, but by the time I began meeting other people, first as a travelling ballplayer and then as a soldier, sometimes I got tired of the taunts of “farm boy” and “Indiana is a racetrack and cornfields”, and I would say I was from Chicago to take the heat off. But as an adult citizen, magazine-educated about AIDS, and having had a few gay friends at work , in the army, and gay friends I made from New York City through my friend from the army whom I’d visit a few times a year, I became very critical of the stupid ignorant assholes down in Kokomo who did all that stuff to the Whites and the White household. Barbarians, pitchfork carrying Neanderthals. There were days when I asked myself why I ever returned to Indiana when I was in California and just loving it. I had a little separation by the time Ryan White hit the front pages, as I had moved to Ohio.
    Elton John stroking the corpse of Ryan White in the casket was startling indeed; I never lost that image in my mind. A short while later I did see Elton at the Palace of Auburn Hills. I remain a big admirer.

    1207 chars

  24. Dexter said on December 2, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    43 chars

  25. Ocean said on December 2, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Damn! I wish I still lived in Chicago. Rush and State. I worked at Shenanagins ~mumblemumble~ years ago.

    104 chars

  26. David C. said on December 2, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    I’d feel better about Elizabeth Lauten loosing her job if I thought she would stay unemployed for a decent period. I’m afraid that no bad behavior gets punished, for long, in the right-wing echo chamber. She’ll walk the red carpet at the martyr ceremony on Fox News and then back at it in about a week.

    302 chars

  27. Jolene said on December 2, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    There’s a documentary re concussions in football on HBO tonight. Looks like it could be interesting.

    100 chars

  28. Jolene said on December 2, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    The Post has begun its series of profiles of the people who are to receive this year’s Kennedy Center Honors. The link below goes to a piece on Patricia McBride, of ballet fame. There’s a link at the bottom of the article to the article on Tom Hanks. More to follow over the next few days.

    500 chars

  29. Basset said on December 2, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    Bobby Keys has died:

    137 chars

  30. Connie said on December 2, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    I’ll be in Chicago January 30 and 31.

    37 chars

  31. alex said on December 2, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    I’m guessing Elizabeth Lauten was probably fired for being insufficiently crass as one of Walsh’s PR people, inclined to reflect and apologize rather than double down.

    167 chars

  32. Deborah said on December 2, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    The Lauten woman seems like someone who’s in over her head, she made some big mistakes, like she when she shoplifted as a teenager. I feel kinda sorry for her, but she’s no victim. I hope she learns from her mistakes but if I had to guess I’d say she probably hasn’t.

    267 chars

  33. Joe K said on December 2, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    Were you affected by the power failer today?
    Pilot Joe

    64 chars

  34. Dexter said on December 3, 2014 at 2:17 am

    The HBO documentary about Annapolis is outstanding. I watch programming like that and realize I forgot how tough those training sessions are, and were. I really wanted to kill Sgt. MacLamb, the sadistic physical training instructor down in Fort Knox Armor BCT. Sumbitch put a few guys into the hospital making them do crazy stuff like running ten extra miles and bending their bodies until a bone or soft tissue snapped. All in a day’s work for that sicko.

    458 chars

  35. brian stouder said on December 3, 2014 at 9:07 am

    And let me just say – the corrupt Carolina-area crackers that Cooze gleefully shines a light upon have NOTHING on our own home-grown Hoosier hucksters!

    The lead:

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – A months-long investigation into former Indiana schools Superintendent Tony Bennett’s use of state staff and resources during his 2012 re-election campaign found ample evidence to support federal wire fraud charges, according to a copy of the 95-page report viewed by The Associated Press. Despite the recommendation that charges be pursued, Bennett has never faced prosecution for such allegations — which could have carried up to 20 years in prison.

    And, the buried lead:

    Through reviews of emails and calendar entries and more than 50 interviews with top Republicans and former staffers, investigator Charles Coffin determined Bennett falsified mileage logs to cover fundraising trips and used two separate state workers as campaign drivers. The report also details 21 days in which Bennett used the vehicle to go to local Republican fundraisers coded as “business” in his handwritten vehicle logs, as well as instances where trips to events billed as education-related also had calendar notes about political donors being present. Bennett has been slowly re-emerging in public in the last few months, speaking at conservative education conferences, working with national testing giant ACT and recently attending a private meeting with Gov. Mike Pence. The report cites the successful prosecution of former Lake County Surveyor George Van Til as a blueprint for prosecution. Van Til, a Democrat, pleaded guilty last December to six counts of wire fraud and admitted to using county employees for campaign work between 2007 and 2012.

    1848 chars

  36. Jeff Borden said on December 3, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Brian, I remember my dad telling me about Indiana’s darker side when I was junior high age and watching the nightly coverage of beatings, police dogs and firehoses directed at black people seeking justice. In my youthful arrogance and stupidity, I assigned the blame to the southern states. (I was still naive about the pervasive racism in the north.) My dad replied by noting that at the height of the KKK’s power in the 1920s, Indiana was second only to Mississippi in Klan membership.

    As much as I’m proud of President Obama, overall, though wildly disappointed he’s not a whole lot more liberal, I think I’ll be glad when he leaves the White House. The racism his election unleashed in this nation and the way it was fed and fueled by multi-million-dollar radio blowhards and television hairdos in the name of ratings has been disgusting and more than a little soul-killing. Elizabeth Lauten is just a pesky gnat in this universe, but damn, there are so many ugly people out there who’ve made careers of demonizing the man and his family.

    What the fuck. Let’s elect Ted Cruz. He’ll make everything shiny and wonderful again. Right?

    1141 chars

  37. Dorothy said on December 3, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Deborah that get together sounds so tempting! Maybe we could do a Chicago meet-up in the spring when weather would not be a factor to keep travelers from committing to the trip (that would be moi). I couldn’t do this Sunday anyway because our final performance is Sunday at 3 PM. My brother lives in the Chicago area and we’ve been talking about driving over to see him and his partner Linda for some time now. Spring might be just the perfect time!

    453 chars

  38. brian stouder said on December 3, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Jeff – ‘soul-killing’, indeed.

    All I would quibble/add to your incisive post is that, rather than unleashing anything, I believe President Obama’s election “popped on the lights”, and we could more plainly see the racist cockroaches scattering across the floor.

    The ‘unleashed’ metaphor points directly at how genuinely tethered our 44th president has been, in the teeth of a relentless (and relentlessly untrue) barrage of accusations of USURPATION!! UNCONSTITUTIONAL EXECUTIVE ORDER OVER-REACH!!; and so on.

    Our president has issued historically FEW executive orders (for example), and yet you’d be lead to believe the man is an out-of-control Machurian (or Kenyan) Candidate, working off some secret To-Do list straight from some villainous headquarters…somewhere.

    Our Congress will make HEADLINE NEWS within the next 10 days, if they manage to actually pass a stinking budget, and NOT shut the government down again.

    I mean, really? Congress has trouble even passing a CR (let alone a budget) all because of who is in the White House?

    Previous congresses could work with Richard Nixon and James Buchanan and Millard Fillmore and James K Polk…but there’s something intrinsically wrong with Barack Obama that precludes even completing routine legislative tasks like keeping the government operating and confirming executive appointments and so on?

    1378 chars

  39. Deborah said on December 3, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Dorothy, I get that not many people will be able to show up Sunday, that’s OK, there can always be a gathering at a better time when more people can attend. This was just a spur of the moment thing when I realized I might be able get together with at least Heather before I go back to Santa Fe for the winter. If others can join us Sunday, that’d be fun, the more the merrier as they say. People don’t have to RSVP or anything, just show up if you can, no big deal.

    465 chars

  40. Jeff Borden said on December 3, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Well said, Brian. You’re quite right that rather than proving America is “post racial,” President Obama’s election only underscores that we remain in the grips of pervasive racism. Just today there’s a small story about some dumbass Republican official in Texas, who sent out a photo of a Klansman in the traditional white hood with the message, “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.”

    Of course, this fine fellow says he is not a racist and he is very sorry anyone was offended by his attempt at humor. I look at my calendar and it says 2014 and I just can’t believe anyone remains that stupid. We’re 51 fucking years beyond the “I Have a Dream Speech” and that dream remains as elusive as ever.

    Is there any place on this planet where people live in harmony? Where no one gives a flying fuck about your skin color, religion, ethnicity, gender, income level or sexual persuasion? The fact I ask this suggests no such place exists outside the imagination.

    959 chars

  41. brian stouder said on December 3, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    …and that is indeed the soul-killing part.

    The young folks and I have an ongoing colloquy about the news of the day*, and I find myself defaulting to the generalization that human beings have a basic cruelty that often emerges

    *macro and micro; what happened at school/work/the-other-side-of- the-world, etc

    316 chars

  42. susan said on December 3, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Jeff and Brian, and anyone else- Did you per chance hear the interview on CBC’s “As It Happens” a few nights ago, with Isabel Allende? [Link to audio] Among other things, she said this:
    Ms. Allende also speaks about race relations in the US. “I think that if you live in the United States you don’t realize how deep and terrible it is,” she tells Carol. “When you come from abroad as I did, that was the first thing that horrified me — the fascination of Americans with violence and guns…and racism.”

    Ms. Allende also describes receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom. “For me, the most moving moment of the ceremony was when the President gave the medal to the members of the families of the three young men that died in Mississippi in the sixties,” she says. “Because Obama would not be there bestowing these medals without the sacrifice of those three kids and many more.”

    She actually retains hope that American racism will eventually moderate. I personally don’t retain that hope. Racism is a big part of the Amerikkkan fabric and will never be extinguished.

    1267 chars

  43. LAMary said on December 3, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    I’ve unfriended three people on facebook because they posted ugly racist remarks recently. To me it seems to be getting worse. There’s no shame in being openly racist.

    167 chars

  44. coozledad said on December 3, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    There’s less shame in racism when it helps Republicans win elections. They’re riding a wave of Neoconfederate pride initiated by old shitshorts McCain when he picked a secessionist running mate.

    If you think the Republicans are going to tamp this shit down, you’ve been asleep since 1968.

    291 chars

  45. Suzanne said on December 3, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Deborah, I love, love, love Bistro Zinc! I discovered it a few years ago by happenstance while in Chicago with my daughter. Great restaurant!

    141 chars

  46. Suzanne said on December 3, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Susan @ 42. A friend’s daughter has been teaching abroad for a number of years and visited Fort Wayne this summer with a few of her international friends. They, too, were surprised about the popularity of gun culture and visited the Creation Museum because they just couldn’t get a grip on the fact that there really was a creation museum. They had to see it for themselves. My friend said they were also very surprised at the patriotism show by home flag flying and flag pins, stickers, etc. and could not understand the hatred of Obama. I think Ms Allende is correct that we natives often don’t grasp how strange we seem to the rest of the world.

    649 chars

  47. alex said on December 3, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Cooz, in 1976 racism was no help to Gerald Ford, which is why he shitcanned a one of his cabinet members, a horse’s ass from Indiana:

    News outlets revealed a racist remark he made in front of entertainers Pat Boone and Sonny Bono and former White House counsel John Dean while aboard a commercial flight to California following the 1976 Republican National Convention. The October 18, 1976 issue of Time reported the comment while obscuring its vulgarity:[11]

    Butz started by telling a dirty joke involving intercourse between a dog and a skunk. When the conversation turned to politics, Boone, a right-wing Republican, asked Butz why the party of Lincoln was not able to attract more blacks. The Secretary responded with a line so obscene and insulting to blacks that it forced him out of the Cabinet last week and jolted the whole Ford campaign. …

    911 chars

  48. coozledad said on December 3, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    I remember that one. As though pussy and a warm place to shit weren’t high on Earl Butz’s priorities.

    Earl Butz ruined family farming. The hippies are the only ones doing that anymore.

    187 chars

  49. adrianne said on December 3, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    I have to agree with Borden: Obama’s election seemed to release a flood of open racism. When I was growing up (in Philly area in the 1970s), I never heard the n-word said openly. Now it seems like no big whoop. I know that hatred was always there, it’s just that polite society wouldn’t tolerate it. Not anymore.

    312 chars

  50. Sherri said on December 3, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    I mentioned that I went to see “All the Way” at Seattle Rep the other night. It’s a play about LBJ’s first year in office, and the battle to pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act is a big part of the play. The murder of the three young men in Neshoba County, Mississippi is also a critical point, and the words the playwright Robert Schenkkan gives to Stokely Carmichael in response to those murders and the lack of justice still ring all too true today. I had seen the play in 2012 when it premiered, but seeing it again just days after the grand jury verdict in Ferguson brought new power to it.

    It does feel like there’s been this simmering hatred that has erupted into full boil lately.

    686 chars

  51. brian stouder said on December 3, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    It’s easier to spout something stupid and/or racist when you have a prefabricated bulwark to duck behind/cite (for example “I heard it on the news last night” – when all you watch is Fox).

    Sarah Palin’s concept of a “real America” is conveniently nebulous (and lilly white, except for non-whites such as Charles Barkley*, who can be counted on to say reassuring things), and suburban-rural.

    I cannot imagine how an American who is black might feel, to see a movie like Gone With the Wind, or a neighborhood pickup truck with a stars-and-bars plate on it, or a police car in the rearview mirror, when you’re on the other side of town; whether we’re talking 2014, or 1964

    675 chars

  52. adrianne said on December 3, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    And…no indictment in chokehold death of Eric Garner on Staten Island. His crime? Selling untaxed cigarettes. Oh, and being a big black guy.

    141 chars

  53. alex said on December 3, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    Not only do right-wing media outlets give validation to bigots, they also promote the pernicious notion that peoples’ first amendment rights are being abridged when they end up getting kicked out of places or fired from their jobs for behaving like jerks. Amazing the number of people who ought to know better but believe they’re being muzzled by political correctness police and liberal fascism.

    396 chars

  54. David C. said on December 3, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    I was informed by my RW brother this weekend that nobody cares less about the racist Washington football team name than the Indians. I learned so many interesting things this weekend. Neither fracking nor tar sands oil has polluted anything, the Earth is actually cooling, etc. Normally, my mom keeps him tamped down, but he just let fly and mom mostly seemed to be agreeing. I know he watches nothing but Fox. Mom watches nothing but ABC News. Just shows how main stream media both-siderism is leading generally sensible people to lose their minds too.

    553 chars

  55. Joe K said on December 3, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    So just a quick question, was the murder in St Louis yesterday a racist attack, let see, man and his fiancé getting in his car, 4 youths start hitting the car, man gets out and is beat to death with hammers, Rev Al? Jessie? Where are the protest? Where is the national news? Wonder if the man being a white Bosnian, and two of the youth being black and two Hispanic had any thing to do with it? Read about this in the morning paper NOT Fox News. Don’t think the guy had just robbed a store and beat the owner, but I could be wrong, maybe the four were just protecting themselfs.
    Pilot Joe

    590 chars

  56. Sherri said on December 3, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Around my house, we’re debating whether to call the Washington football team the Washington Racial Slurs or the Washington Taters, as in Redskin Potatoes. My husband is going with Taters, because he’s generally a less angry person than I am.

    241 chars

  57. coozledad said on December 3, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    Flying shortbus.
    Oh! I have chilled at Disney hotel shitholes
    And danced the skies on autopilot crutches
    Sunward I’ve climbed, and felt the cargo shift
    While passengers screampt like flaming bunny hutches.
    Shit you can’t make up –Wheeled and flipped and dove
    And snapped some trees off in a orange grove
    Been chased by shouting customers whose bags
    deplaned and split on shit-hick mountain crags
    Down, down, the long, depressured blue
    I’ve watched their busting eardrums draining goo
    they’d never guessed a yaller shortbus flew
    With a pilot from the hooked-on-phonics skoo

    I’ve avoided the Li-berry like the hickey
    But shed my pants, and cracked over for Mickey.

    Bonus! The culture of white filth:

    904 chars

  58. Deborah said on December 3, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    This from BBC about the incident Joe was talking about I have no idea if there is any connection to Ferguson. Tragic sure, but is there a connection. Hard to say.

    214 chars

  59. annie said on December 3, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    After reading the comments here and some of the links, I am now thoroughly depressed. Plus, my daughter just informed me that her right-wing, borderline racist in-laws are coming for Xmas and I am to try not to make a scene during dinner. They come from Illinois, blue-collar, union background, have mostly voted Democratic except couldn’t vote for Obama–“just didn’t trust him” is their code for “can’t vote for black guy.” And these are the other grandparents of my grandkids! Luckily their son left after high school to attend college here in California and never went back and has repudiated most of their views.

    621 chars

  60. Sherri said on December 3, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    If you’re trying to say something, Joe, why don’t you just say it directly? If you want to say that black thugs are wandering St Louis looking for white people to murder, then say that. Then we can discuss whether or not the facts support your contention. Turns out, there are a lot of murders in the greater St Louis area, so it’s not clear that drawing conclusions based on this particular murder is warranted, but I can understand why the right wing noise machine might want to create a distraction from the issue of policemen killing black people, which also seems to happen quite a bit.

    It’s not just about Michael Brown. Or Eric Gardner. Or Darrien Hunt. Or Tamir Rice. Or John Crawford.

    696 chars

  61. Joe K said on December 3, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Never said that, but I guess you think that way.
    I just want to know why there is no outrage, he was unarmed, I image trying to protect himself and or his fiancé, true he wasn’t shot and he is white, but he is just as dead, and was killed by a different race. What part of this is not true?
    Pilot Joe

    312 chars

  62. susan said on December 3, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    And here is a trenchant post about how the South never lost the “War of Northern Aggression.” We are now seeing the quite blatant blossoming of the Civil War 2.0. Ugh. It never went away, became a festering boil, and is about to pop. “Understanding the Threat of a Confederate Insurgency.” This is all so depressing. What a horrible time to be living here.

    485 chars

  63. Sherri said on December 3, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    Joe, people are murdered every day. Is there a particular pattern to this murder that you want to point out that should cause more outrage than other murders? Why does this murder warrant national outrage?

    Michael Brown’s death warrants national outrage because it is part of a larger pattern, that of law enforcement officers killing black people in dubious circumstances and not being held accountable for it. It is sad, it is a tragedy, it is a terrible thing that that man was murdered, but why are you expecting me to be outraged? Are you outraged about the 17 year old girl who was murdered in my town last summer? What are you trying to say?

    652 chars

  64. Jolene said on December 3, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Joe, we expect better behavior from the police. They are authorized by the state to carry weapons, and they have authority over other people. None of that is true for the people who attacked the Bosnian man in St. Louis. They will be tried and, if found guilty, sent to jail.

    The outrage over the shooting of Michael Brown and the others Sherri named is not occurring simply because they were shot. It is occurring because the killings appear to many as unjustified and because the officers appear to have been given a pass.

    528 chars

  65. Joe K said on December 3, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    The grand jury cleared him, the forensics and eye witnesses confirm this, nothing I or anyone else say will ever convince you, the media closes its eyes to black on black crime, how many were murdered in Chicago this year, why arnt you marching in protest about that?
    I have family that are police officers, I see it from there side.
    Pilot Joe

    346 chars

  66. David C. said on December 3, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    This past summer, two crackers went roaming around our farmer’s market with AKs strapped to their backs. Does anyone honestly believe that if they had been black that the police would have politely asked them to put their guns in their car and just gone away when they told them no like our police did for said crackers?

    320 chars

  67. Sherri said on December 3, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    Ah yes, the “black on black crime” red herring. Well then, because some black people murder some other black people, I guess it’s open season for LEOs to take ’em out with impunity.

    Unless you were actually in the grand jury room, you don’t know that the forensics and eye witnesses confirmed anything about the Michael Brown killing. Period. We don’t know what happened in the particular case of Michael Brown. What we do know is that there is a pattern of LEOs killing black people and not being held accountable. When there’s a pattern like we’re seeing now, secret grand jury hearings aren’t a very convincing form of justice.

    633 chars