Monday, July 26, 2021

Boogeyman

[RANT]

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines boogeyman as…
1: a monstrous imaginary figure used in threatening children
2: a terrifying or dreaded person or thing : BUGBEAR
The Republican party is good at generating boogeymen.

Just look at the big bro-ha-ha over Critical Race Theory… what is it? It seems to have a million definitions and the number of things CRT is suppose to do keeps growing and it is being pushed by far right political pundits like Fox News, One News Now, and other far right-wing political conspiracist.

So lets look first at what CRT really is and not what the right-wing conspiracy theorists claim it is.
What Is Critical Race Theory, and Why Is It Under Attack?
EdWeek
By Stephen Sawchuk
May 18, 2021


Is “critical race theory” a way of understanding how American racism has shaped public policy, or a divisive discourse that pits people of color against white people? Liberals and conservatives are in sharp disagreement.

The topic has exploded in the public arena this spring—especially in K-12, where numerous state legislatures are debating bills seeking to ban its use in the classroom.
[…]
Critical race theory is an academic concept that is more than 40 years old. The core idea is that race is a social construct, and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies.

The basic tenets of critical race theory, or CRT, emerged out of a framework for legal analysis in the late 1970s and early 1980s created by legal scholars Derrick Bell, Kimberlé Crenshaw, and Richard Delgado, among others.

A good example is when, in the 1930s, government officials literally drew lines around areas deemed poor financial risks, often explicitly due to the racial composition of inhabitants. Banks subsequently refused to offer mortgages to Black people in those areas.
Now look at what the Republicans claim it is, New York magazine wrote,
This is a classic phantom menace. To the extent it is even clearly definable, CRT is an academic school of thought (initially developed in legal circles) existing almost entirely in higher education. It encourages reevaluation of history, literature, and other bodies of received knowledge to take into account racism as an often-pervasive social construct. It’s an approach, not a set “theory” that is “taught” or “trained,” and it focuses on analysis of institutions and policies, not individual culpability for injustice.

In other words, the current panic-stricken right-wing movement to condemn CRT in settings ranging from K-12 education to corporate diversity training is wildly off-target. There is no there there, for the most part. And the proponents of this witch hunt without witches generally aren’t bothering to supply any evidence of what they are attacking…
According to New York magazine the Alabama lawmaker, state Rep. Chris Pringle, R-Mobile, who sponsored the bill said...
“It basically teaches that certain children are inherently bad people because of the color of their skin, period,” Pringle said.

 When asked for examples the lawmaker said,

“Yeah, uh, well — I can assure you — I’ll have to read a lot more,” he said …
“These people, when they were doing the training programs — and the government — if you didn’t buy into what they taught you a hundred percent, they sent you away to a reeducation camp,” Pringle said.
NBC reported that,
"Any anti-racist effort is being labeled as critical race theory,” said Jonathan Chism, assistant professor of history at the University of Houston–Downtown and co-editor of "Critical Race Studies Across Disciplines.”

“Many that are condemning critical race theory haven’t read it or studied it intensely. This is largely predicated on fear: the fear of losing power and influence and privilege,” he said. “The larger issue that this is all stemming from is a desire to deny the truth about America, about racism.”
In other words they created a boogeyman.

The Oswego Country News Now said this about CRT,
The first rule of critical race theory is that nobody knows what critical race theory is.

Okay, a few people do, but they’re a small fraction of the people who’ve been talking about it lately. Critical race theory (CRT) is an obscure area of legal scholarship. In my two decades of teaching American economic history, including much on slavery and race, I did not come across it until recently. Yet somehow any number of conservative politicians and pundits can’t stop talking about how teaching it endangers our children and our republic.
[…]
The “anti-CRT” campaign is massive. Conservative politicians and pundits are using this fake issue to whip their followers into a frenzy. Fox News has mentioned “critical race theory” some 1,300 times in the past three and a half months. Viral videos denouncing CRT have been viewed a combined thirty million times. Legislators in 22 states have introduced legislation to ban or limit the teaching of CRT, again without ever accurately defining or describing it.
Where else have the Republicans and the right-wing pundits created boogeymen?

How about all the laws that the Republicans have passed against trans people?

What about immigrants and Muslims?

And what about the Black Lives Matter movement?

The Republicans and the right-wing pundits are very good at stirring up fear and hate.

In a USA Opinion article the writer says, “That is why the policies promoted by governors, typically Republicans, that critical race theory should be banned from their state’s public schools are so idiotic, so irrelevant, and so manifestly designed to add fuel to the fires of the culture war.” 

New York magazine article said,
The Heritage Foundation has supplied pseudo-intellectual credibility to the crusade against CRT, and Fox News has been its chief propagandist, with a reported 1,300 on-air references to CRT in just the last three-and-a-half months.

But to an ever-increasing extent, it’s the MAGA wing of the Republican Party at the center of this appropriately paranoid movement, as Politico explains:

Former top aides to President Donald Trump have begun an aggressive push to combat the teaching of critical race theory and capitalize on the issue politically, confident that a backlash will vault them back into power …

“This is the Tea Party to the 10th power,” Steve Bannon, Trump’s former adviser who has zeroed in on local school board fights over critical race theory, said in an interview. “This isn’t Q, this is mainstream suburban moms — and a lot of these people aren’t Trump voters.”
The Republicans and their far right-wing news outlets are very, very good at creating fear.

[/RANT]

This And That In The News

A potpourri of short news article that have caught my attention…
Opinion: Texas should not deny transgender people their full citizenship
Houston Chronicle
Letters to the Editor
July 25, 2021


Regarding “Senate Panel to Revive Transgender Bill,” (July 13): This is absolutely not about sports. Conservative lawmakers need that small slice of ultraconservative voters to push them over the finish line. This is a strategic decision as they exploit both their conservative Christian voters and LGBTQ+ Texans. Listening to senators talk about “a child’s genitalia” is one of the most disturbing experiences of my life.

Just as women were denied their rights because of their bodies, the transgender population is also being denied their full citizenship. When your opportunity to participate in society depends on your body — whether that is skin color, your physical ability or your private parts — instead of your inherent worth as a human being — that is the foundation for discrimination. Make no mistake: This isn’t about sports. It’s about power.

Molly
She got that right it is all about energizing their base and to force us back into the closets.

Then the next two articles are about the courts.
Federal judge grants injunction in lawsuit involving transgender Bridgeport [West Virginia] student-athlete
12WBOY
July 21, 2021


An 11-year-old transgender student-athlete from Bridgeport has gained an early victory in a federal lawsuit filed against state and local education officials over the state’s law banning transgender athletes from competing in female sports.

U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin granted the plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction, meaning that while the suit, on behalf of Becky Pepper-Jackson, continues, the state cannot enforce the law and Pepper-Jackson will be allowed to sign up for school athletics, as any girl would.

Pepper-Jackson was hoping to join the school’s cross country and track and field teams.
The judge said…
Judge Goodwin wrote that he has “been provided with scant evidence that this law addresses any problem at all, let alone an important problem” and that “this law both stigmatizes and isolates” Pepper-Jackson and that she “will be irreparably harmed if this law were to take full effect.”

Goodwin also found that there is a likelihood that the suit will be successful in its claim that the law violates the Equal Protection Clause and Title IX.
I believe that the Supreme Court case Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia last year paved the way for this ruling, in the court’s ruling they said that sexual orientation and gender identity are components of “sex.”

The other article is about federal courts overturning the draconian state laws against us.
Federal Courts Keep Shooting Down Anti-Trans Laws. Will That Hold at SCOTUS?
Slate
By Mark Joseph Stern
July 22, 2021


At the start of his Wednesday order blocking a West Virginia law that prohibits transgender girls and women from playing many school sports, U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin observed: “A fear of the unknown and discomfort with the unfamiliar have motivated many of the most malignant harms committed by our country’s governments on their own citizens.” He may have understated the problem. The tidal wave of anti-transgender state laws enacted in 2021 are motivated not just by fear, but also by sheer hatred toward gender minorities—a hostility rooted in a rigid conception of sex that aligns with neither scientific fact nor lived experience. So far, most federal judges who have assessed these laws see that discriminatory impulse. But the battle will soon reach the Supreme Court once again. And it is far from clear that a majority of the justices, some of whom share this anti-trans animus, are prepared to halt this nationwide assault on trans equality.
BINGO! “A fear of the unknown and discomfort with the unfamiliar have motivated many of the most malignant harms committed by our country’s governments on their own citizens.” That is the reasons so many discriminatory laws are on the books… people being afraid of people who are different. People who look different, people who talk differently, people who worship differently, and people who sexual orientation or gender identity is different from them. What they really want it to turn back the clock to the mythical world of “Father Knows Best.
None of these laws arose organically out of a mass movement against transgender Americans. It was, rather, manufactured by anti-LGBTQ groups working hand in glove with Republican politicians in search of a new wedge issue. The law firm Alliance Defending Freedom, which supports imprisonment as a penalty for same-sex conduct, led the charge; ADF’s attorneys drafting the model legislation that countless Republicans copied, pasted, and pushed onto the statehouse floor. These lobbyists, along with their GOP allies, focused primarily on transgender youth, passing off their campaign as a compassionate effort to “protect children.”
These hatrers are generated by the wedge politics that the conservatives hate politics that the Republicans push.

In an article in Psychology Today they write,
Peer-reviewed research shows that conservatives are generally more sensitive to threat. While this threat-bias can distort reality, fuel irrational fears, and make one more vulnerable to fear-mongering politicians, it could also promote hypervigilance, perhaps making one better prepared to handle an immediate threat.
Now you know what drives the ring-wing conservatives… fear.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Pride = Courage

We sometimes forget the origins of Pride, that it was march to overthrow oppression. It wasn’t a bar crawl, it wasn’t floats of corporate sponsors but it took real courage to march.
In the eyes of the law we were still criminals… That is what Pride is.
Thousands march in Hungary Pride parade to oppose LGBT law
USA Today 
By Justin Spike Associated Press
July 24, 2021


BUDAPEST, Hungary — Rising anger over the policies of Hungary’s right-wing government filled the streets of the country’s capital Saturday as thousands of LGBT supporters marched in the annual Budapest Pride parade.

March organizers expected record crowds at the event and called on participants to express their opposition to recent steps by populist Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government that critics say stigmatize sexual minorities in the Central European country.

Budapest Pride spokesperson Jojo Majercsik said this year’s march is not just a celebration and remembrance of the historical struggles of the LGBT movement but a protest against Orban’s current policies targeting gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer people.
That is what Pride is about.




Saturday, July 24, 2021

Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh

Saturday 9: Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh (1963)

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…


Unfamiliar with this song> Hear it here.

1) TV writer Allan Sherman based this song on his own son's letters of complaint from camp. Did you go away to summer camp?
No, and I am glad that I didn’t. I went to a day camp and I hated it.

2) Our camper is afraid of both bears and alligators. What animal scares you?
Well it depends…
On what the circumstances are when we meet.
A spider crawling over your face and waking you up is pretty scary. A grizzle bear in a zoo isn’t scary but a grizzle bear that you met on a trial is.
So what scares me?
Poisonous snakes.
I had a copperhead curled up on my front sidewalk sunning itself on the flagstones. I told it don’t move until I get back with a long handled shovel from the garage to flatten it with, but alas it was going by the time I got back.

3) One of his fellow campers developed poison ivy rash. Have you ever experienced redness and itching caused by poison ivy or poison suma?
Poison ivy many times. One time I fell in to a patch of it and by the time I got home rashes were beginning to form.
Pro tip: Wash the affected area with straight dish detergent, it take the oil form the poison ivy right off.

4) Early in his career, Allan Sherman created the game show I've Got a Secret, which became a big hit. What's your all-time favorite TV game show?
Well I used to watch “I’ve Got a Secret” all the time, now it is Jeopardy.

Updated 8:10
There used to be a local TV show "What In The World" that had a panel of know-it-alls that I watched and enjoyed.


5) In 1959 he moved from New York to Hollywood, where he transitioned from writing to performing almost by accident. As a lark, he entertained at the parties of his next-door neighbor, Harpo Marx. A recording company executive heard him and offered him a contract. Tell us about the last party you attended.
My grand niece and nephew graduated from high school & junior high.

6) Allan Sherman got unexpected press attention and a boost in record sales when it was discovered that President John F. Kennedy was a fan. What's something you purchased because of a recommendation from someone else (friend, relative, celebrity endorsement ...)?
I can’t remember anything… sorry.

7) In 1963, the year "Hello Mudduh, Hello Fadduh" was popular, Studebaker stopped producing cars in the United States. What was your family car when you were growing up?
A ‘55 Chevy, Oldsmobile, Buicks… a lot of Buicks, more Chevys, a Vega… I wish that we didn’t, and an Opel.

8) Also in 1963, Vogue magazine did a cover story on how make wearing white "new and exciting." What color do you look best in> Is it the color you wear most often?
Blue as in blue jeans with a white tunic.

9) Random question: Have you ever gone on to have a platonic relationship with a former lover?
Not really, when our paths crossed from time to time we were always cordial. One still has me on speed dial.

Thanks so much for joining us again at Saturday: 9. As always, feel free to come back, see who has participated and comment on their posts. In fact sometimes, if you want to read & comment on everyone's responses, you might want to check back again tomorrow. But it is not a rule. We haven’t any rules here. Join us on next Saturday for another version of Saturday: 9, "Just A Silly Meme on a Saturday!" Enjoy your weekend!