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CSotD: Black Current Events Month

Darrin Bell (KFS) begins Black History Month by pointing out the pressure on Black history around the country at the moment. Or possibly not simply at the moment.

There’s a certain seven-blind-men-and-the-elephant factor at work, in that how slavery and its impacts were taught very much depends on where you went to school.

But they haven’t been taught well anywhere.

For most of us, slavery was an abstract issue: We learned of its beginnings in Jamestown, we learned where it fit in Triangular Trade, we learned how the 3/5 compromise kept the South from seizing complete control of Congress, we learned of the attempt to balance admission of free and slave states leading up to the Civil War.

We also heard about Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass in passing, as part of the controversy.

But then you see the outrageous lies in Virginia’s textbooks and realize that, while most lessons on the topic were inadequate, theirs were demonstrably damaging.

And those were the Good Old Days.

Now that state legislatures have decided to get into the curriculum business, it will get worse, not so much from what is taught but, more likely, from what is not, either because it is actually forbidden or because a horde of spies, whiners and white supremacists have been unleashed on our schools, and people who were once dismissed as cranks have been emboldened.

You don’t have to control the curriculum if you’re able to intimidate the teachers, though doing both is optimum.

And all it takes is for good people to do nothing.

Thirty years ago, even before the Tea Party Movement, anti-tax groups learned how easy it was to get on school boards and throw their weight around, shooting down budgets and firing administrators who didn’t toe the line.

That’s a long time to watch without responding. A long time to stay home when it’s “only” a school vote and not a general election.

All it would take to regain control of our schools would be clipboards and some comfortable shoes.

And giving a damn.

 

Fixing the Supreme Court would take more effort, but it’s the same principle at work.

As Deb Milbrath reminds us, there was no problem when Ronald Reagan promised to put a woman on the court, but suddenly Biden’s pledge to redress both racial and gender imbalance in one move is being attacked.

And if you have trouble answering her rhetorical question …

Ted Cruz will answer it for you, blowing, as Ann Telnaes points out, the dog whistle by saying out loud what his confederates — and I use the word advisedly — are really thinking.

For the record, while Black women may be 6% of the total population, they represent 12% of the population by race and 51% by gender.

 

But it’s not about numbers. As Pat Bagley points out, it’s about qualifications.

 

To which Nick Anderson (AMS) adds that, golly, if it were about numbers, we’d have to admit that Federalist Society nominees seem to be somewhat out of balance with the group’s national membership, to which I would point out that, while Catholics are only 23% of the country, they make up two-thirds of the Supreme Court.

 

RJ Matson counters that the Republicans wouldn’t even talk to a white, male candidate, so offering them the opposite would seem logical.

If we assume they have respect for the Constitution.

Which, as they say on “Law and Order,” is a fact not in evidence.

 

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Joel Pett)

(Matt Wuerker – Politico)

In other race-tinged news, Joel Pett points out that the Washington Football Team, having ditched its offensive, racist name, has now decided to name their team after President Biden’s dog.

Matt Wuerker suggests that they could have done a whole lot better, but I don’t know about that.

Think how much bad publicity they could have saved themselves if, back when they formed the team, they’d adopted that approach?

Nobody would have objected to the Washington Weegies, and then, when Hoover left office …

… they’d have taken on a new name, after which they could have extended the pathetic Falacy on down the line: The Checkers, The Liberties …

I suppose the first Bush might have given them an issue with “The Washington Millies,” but that was only one term before Clinton would have rescued them with “The Buddies,” W would give them “The Barneys,” then “The Bos” and, of course, during the Trump administration, they’d have been “The Washington Football Team.”

Which brings us full cycle.

 

However, the second part of Joel Pett’s cartoon shows up in this Clay Jones piece, and there’s nothing humorous in the racist practices of the NFL ownership as outlined in Brian Flores’ lawsuit.

And, while Jones lays the facts out well in his essay, I’m going to disagree with his cartoon, because, when I heard the report on NPR, I didn’t think about Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick pissed off a lot of the right people, and his attitude is righteous, but his issues remain a bit subjective and far more sweeping than focused on the league.

No, I thought about Curt Flood, whose lawsuit overturned the way Major League Baseball treats its players and revolutionized professional sports.

Flores is no philosopher. He has specifics, including that he got a congratulatory text from Bill Belichick on having been hired for a head coaching job three days before he was scheduled to be interviewed.

Turns out Belichick had meant to text the white coach whom the Giants had already hired.

Interviewing Flores was just going to be their way of fulfilling the Rooney Rule and pretending they’d consider hiring a minority.

And that’s not the only arrow in his quiver: He’s also documenting having been ordered to throw games in order to improve the Dolphins’ draft position.

I don’t see how the NFL owners are going to wiggle out of this one without all hell breaking loose: If the courts don’t see the obvious, the 70% of their players who are African-American already know the score and will be watching closely.

 

There’s a reason the story of Samson is popular among those tired of waiting for justice and asking “Lord, how long?”

Community Comments

#1 Fred King
February/3/2022
@ 8:19 am

To answer Deb Milbrath’s question: different rules for Republicans and Democrats.

And I kind of like the Washington Auditors.

#2 ANDREA DENNINGER
February/3/2022
@ 9:07 am

I just cannot understand why President Biden tipped his hand so far ahead of time . . . why didn’t he just appoint a Black woman when it was time to do so, and not give the rethuglicans all this planning-ahead time? Sometimes, I just don’t understand Democrats; they are continually bringing knives to gun fights, or tripping over their own feet.

#3 Mike Peterson
February/3/2022
@ 10:03 am

When you’re running for office, it’s helpful to make promises to the groups whose support you need. As Reagan did when he was running.

And he won, so it can’t have been that dumb a move.

#4 Paul Berge
February/3/2022
@ 12:39 pm

I recall there being some slight pushback when Reagan promised to appoint a woman to the Court (from Democrats accusing him of pandering), and when he actually did so (from Moral Majoritarians offended by “quotas”). Before the Anita Hill thing took over the public discussion, Bush the Elder took some flak for appointing Clarence Thomas to succeed Thurgood Marshall despite Pappy’s vocal opposition to quotas of any kind.

Hell, there were probably objections from predictable quarters when the longstanding tradition of a “Jewish seat” on the Court was established.

#5 Tara Gallagher
February/3/2022
@ 12:43 pm

.004 percent of the population is lawyers, but who is standing up for the 99.996 percent of us generally disregarded in looking for Supreme Court justices?

#6 Don Blakeslee
February/3/2022
@ 3:24 pm

Only 0.004? Sure feels like way too many. Vvt bru

#7 ANDREA DENNINGER
February/3/2022
@ 4:29 pm

That promise was over a year ago; I doubt too many rethuglicans would remember it as much as they were reminded of it when President Biden announced it AGAIN.

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