“With the outsourcing of most traditional manufacturing jobs and the rise of the service economy, in which most people who work stare into a screen all day — whether they work at Target or on Wall Street — has come a set of cultural shifts Scott does not mention. Work and entertainment exist on a continuum with no clear dividing line between the two, and the distinction between producer and consumer has become confused. Indeed, an individual citizen’s most important economic role, in the post-industrial West, is that of a consumer, inhaling goods, products, services and entertainment, as much of that as possible delivered electronically or shipped to your door. (Consumption power has grown even as real income has fallen and inequality has grown, one of the many paradoxes in late capitalism.) Being a producer in the old-fashioned sense comes second if it comes at all. Many of us — myself and A.O. Scott very much included — produce things that aren’t even things, and whose exchange-value and social utility are nebulous at best.”—
“In my very strong opinion — and I speak to you as chairman of the veterans committee in the Senate — I do not believe that people fought and died for democracy so that billionaires can buy elections.”—Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
“Gender isn’t a game you can play and win by brutalising and harassing and shaming and hurting the other ‘side.’ Ultimately, there is no other side. Gender oppression is structural. Everybody loses, in the long term, because everybody has to live in a culture where it’s normal to hound women out of their homes for daring to demand fairer treatment, normal to shame girls and queer people into silence for suggesting that there might be other interesting stories to tell. There is no way to win this game, except by not playing at all.”—Laurie Penny, “Why We’re Winning: Social Justice Warriors and the New Culture War” (via wftfandoms)
#7 The average interest rate on a credit card that is carrying a balance is now up to 13.10 percent.
#8 According to the credit card calculator on the Federal Reserve website, if you have a $10,000 credit card balance and you are being charged a rate of 13.10 percent and you only make the minimum payment each time, it will take you 27 years to pay it off and you will end up paying back a total of $21,271.
#9 There is one credit card company out there, First Premier, that charges interest rates of up to 49.9 percent. Amazingly, First Premier has 2.6 million customers.
Auto Loan Debt
#10 The length of auto loans in America just keeps getting longer and longer. If you can believe it, 45 percent of all new car loans being made today are for more than 6 years.
#11 Approximately 70 percent of all car purchases in the United States involve an auto loan.
#12 A subprime auto loan bubble is steadily building. Today, 45 percent of all auto loans are made to subprime borrowers. At some point that is going to be a massive problem.
#13 Total home mortgage debt in the United States is now about 5 times larger than it was just 20 years ago.
#16 Historically, the percentage of residential mortgages in foreclosure in the United States has tended to hover between 1 and 1.5 percent. Today, it is up around 4.5 percent.
#17 According to Dylan Ratigan, 46 percent of all mortgaged properties in Florida are underwater, 50 percent of all mortgaged properties in Arizona are underwater and 63 percent of all mortgaged properties in Nevada are underwater.
#18 Overall, nearly 29 percent of all homes with a mortgage in the United States are underwater.
#19 If you can believe it, the mortgage lenders now have more equity in U.S. homes than the American people do.
#20 Medical debt is a major problem for a growing number of Americans. One study discovered that approximately 41 percent of all working age Americans either have medical bill problems or are currently paying off medical debt.
#21 Sadly, the number of Americans that are protected by health insurance continues to decline. An all-time record 49.9 million Americans do not have any health insurance at all right now, and the percentage of Americans covered by employer-based health plans has fallen for 11 years in a row.
#22 But even if you do have health insurance, there is still a good chance that you could end up with huge medical debt problems. According to a report published in The American Journal of Medicine, medical bills are a major factor in more than 60 percent of the personal bankruptcies in the United States. Of those bankruptcies that were caused by medical bills, approximately 75 percent of them involved individuals that actually did have health insurance.
Student Loan Debt
#23 Total student loan debt in the United States is rapidly approaching 1 trillion dollars.
#24 If you went out right now and starting spending one dollar every single second, it would take you more than 31,000 years to spend one trillion dollars.
“I’m also a killer. I’ve killed a lot, and if I need to I’ll kill a whole bunch more. If you don’t want to get killed, don’t show up in front of me.”—Actual quote from Ferguson “law enforcement” officer and 35-year police veteran, Dan Page. But hey, let’s keep focusing on all those unreasonable “looters and rioters” (via odinsblog)
“I support Israel, but what Senator Cruz did was outrageous and incendiary. He showed a true lack of sensitivity for the people he was speaking to, especially the religious leaders who were there. It was a political speech, inappropriate and, overall, an uncomfortable moment… He was speaking to people outside of the building. It was a willful and deliberate confrontation, and very self-serving.”—Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) in response to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) telling a group of Arab Christians at a summit in Washington D.C., “If you will not stand with Israel and the Jews, then I will not stand with you.” Cruz was met with an angry response from the crowd and later left the stage amid continued jeering and booing, citing ‘antisemitism’ for the incident. (via kileyrae)
Typical Republican: tone deaf and serving only themselves.
“People are just people.” ”I don’t see color.” ”We’re all just human.” “Character, not color, is what counts with me.”
“Colorblindness” negates the cultural values, norms, expectations and life experiences of people of color. Even if an individual white person can ignore a person’s skin color, society does not.
Claiming to be “colorblind” can also be a defense when someone is afraid to discuss racism, especially if the assumption is that all conversation about race or color is racist. Color consciousness does not equal racism.
2) Reverse Racism
What they say:
“Blacks cry ‘racism’ for everything, even though they are more or just as racist as white people.”
Let’s first define racism with this formula: Racism = racial prejudice + systemic institutional power.
To say people of color can be racist, denies the power imbalance inherent in racism. Although some Black people dislike whites and act on that prejudice to insult or hurt them, that’s not the same as systematically oppressing them and negatively affecting every aspect of their lives.
People of color, as a social group, do not possess the societal, institutional power to oppress white people as a group. An individual Black person who is abusing a white person, while clearly wrong, is acting out a personal racial prejudice, not racism.
3) It’s Not Race
What they say:
“It’s not race, it’s economics.” ”Classism is the new racism.”
“Being Black and middle class is fundamentally different to being white and middle class.” This is what Dr. Nicola Rollock, a researcher at The Institute of Education at the University at Birmingham in the U.K., said after researching the issue.
For the report, “The Educational Strategies of the Black Middle Classes,” Rollock and her team looked at African-Caribbean families in particular, and confirmed that there is a Black “middle class” who work very hard to do the best for their children. But researchers also discovered that social status and relative wealth do not protect Black people from racism.
Racism is a reality in the lives of Black middle-class families and it extends to the upper class too, as Oprah Winfrey would agree based on her widely reported racial-profiling incident at a Zurich boutique last year.
4) Blame the Victim
What they say:
“Blacks are not willing to work hard.” ”Blacks feel entitled and want everything handed to them.” ”Blacks hold themselves back, not racism.” “We have advertised everywhere, there just aren’t any qualified Blacks for this job.”
When blame-the-victim tactics are used, it provides an escape from discussing the real problem: racism. Therefore, the agents of racism, white people and their institutions, can avoid acknowledging a system of oppression exists.
As long as the focus remains on Black folks, white people can minimize or dismiss our experiences and never have to deal with their responsibility or collusion in racism and white privilege.
5) Deny, Deny, Deny
What they say:
“Blacks are unfairly favored, whites are not.”
This form of denial is based on the false notion that the playing field is now level. When some white folks are expected to suddenly share their privilege, access and advantage, they often perceive it as discrimination. White people’s attacks on programs like affirmative action and Black History Month are usually rooted in this false perception.
6) Pull Yourself Up by Your Bootstraps
What they say:
“America is the land of opportunity, built by rugged individuals, where anyone with grit can succeed if they just pull up hard enough on their bootstraps. So Blacks need to pull themselves up from the bottom like everyone else.”
U.S. social propaganda has convinced many people that an individual’s hard work is the main determinant of success in the country. This ideology totally denies the impact of either oppression or privilege on any person’s chance for success, and pretends that every individual, regardless of color, gender, disability, etc., has the same access to the rights, benefits and responsibilities of society.
It also implies that Blacks have only their individual character flaws or cultural inadequacies to blame, and not racism.
7) Racism Is Over
What they say:
“Blacks live in the past. We dealt with racism in the 1960s with all the marches, sit-ins and speeches by Martin Luther King Jr. Laws have been changed. Segregation and lynching have ended. We have some details to work out, but real racism is pretty much a thing of the past. They need to get over it and move on.”
The absence of legalized, enforced segregation does not mean the end of racism. This denial of contemporary racism, based on an inaccurate assessment of both history and current society, romanticizes the past and diminishes today’s reality.
If there is no race problem, there would be no school-to-prison pipeline in Mississippi that leads to the arrest and sentencing of Black students for infractions as insignificant as wearing the wrong color socks.
New York City’s Stop and Frisk policy that led to 400,000 police encounters with innocent Black and Latino New Yorkers, would not have happened.
If there is no race problem, why is a Black person 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than a white person, even though Blacks and whites use marijuana at similar rates?
Here’s a sure-fire way to know that you hate women: when an incident of intimate partner violence in which a man knocks a woman unconscious gains national attention and every question or comment you think to make has to do with her behavior, you really hate women. Like, despise.
There is no other explanation. There is no “I need all the facts.” There is no excuse. You hate women. Own it.
Now, you probably don’t believe you hate women. You probably honestly think you’re being an objective observer whose only interest is the truth. You are delusional.
We have this problem in our discourse around the most important challenges we face where we feel we have to be “fair to both sides.” But sometimes, one of those sides is subjugation and oppression. If you’re OK with legitimizing that side in the interest of “fairness,” you’re essentially saying you’re OK with oppression as a part of the human condition. That’s some hateful shit.
“This incident clearly shows that there is something defective with white American families. Maybe it’s the hillbilly music of Alaska? We know music plays a role since O’Reilly, the supreme race hustler, once blamed Beyonce for black America’s problems.
But all I can ask is: When will people start denouncing the horror that is white on white crime?”—
“Wars are seldom caused by spontaneous hatreds between peoples, for peoples in general are too ignorant of one another to have grievances and too indifferent to what goes on beyond their borders to plan conquests. They must be urged to slaughter by politicians who know how to alarm them.”—H. L. Mencken, “Its State Today,” Treatise on Right and Wrong, 1934 (via priceofliberty)
“Over the past year, eight small towns across Mississippi have passed resolutions meant to create a welcoming atmosphere for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Most of them passed unanimously.”—
When a white teenager named Steve Lohner was stopped by the police last month and refused to show his ID after carrying a loaded shotgun on the streets of Aurora, Colorado (the same city where a mass murderer killed 12 people and injured 70 others in a packed movie theater in July 2012), the teen walked away with nothing but a citation.
But when a 22-year-old black kid named John Crawford picked up a mere BB gun in a Walmart store in Dayton, Ohio last week, customers called the police, who then shot and killed him.
Here lies a racial disparity that’s difficult for honest people to ignore. How can black people openly carry a real gun when we can’t even pick up a BB gun in a store without arousing suspicion? The answer in America is that the Second Amendment doesn’t really apply to black people.
“This conservative fetish for “local government” has always stemmed from their desire to reclaim the “freedom” those southern towns used to have when they were allowed to handle their race “problems” as they saw fit. Any citizen who’s ever been exposed to local and state government knows very well that the idea it’s un-corrupted with greed and petty ambition is ludicrous. The fact that Ryan doesn’t understand that the mantra of “local control” in this situation is ridiculous is yet another sign that he’s so ideologically programmed he honestly doesn’t know how to think in any other way.”—Hullabaloo (via azspot)
Cheney Is "Absurdly Flawed Critic" [Understatement]
"Whatever [President] Obama’s shortcomings may be, [Dick] Cheneyis an absurdly flawed critic on national security. He was a primary architect of the Iraq war, propelling the United States into a bogus and costly conflict that may represent the most disastrous foreign policy blunder in recent memory. It was that war, in its early days, which gave rise to the Sunni militant group that would become ISIS.
Like President George W. Bush, Mr. Cheney has shown no willingness to acknowledge the impact of these ruinous policies. Instead, he’s tried to spin an irredeemable legacy. It wasn’t just the content of Mr. Cheney’s admonitions but also the timing that was jarring.” - Carol Giacomo of the New York Times
Republicans love their extremism. Cheney never served, yet calls for war reflexively for any situation. This coward flourishes in the Right Wing.
I was out the night before, September 10, 2001, to Yankee Stadium. Going to see Roger Clemens go for his 20th win of the season. It got rained out. Massive storm.
Woke up at 8am on September 11 to pay my landlord in person. [He usually was there on the 10th on the month] Was out on First Ave and 1st St telling my landlord how the game was cancelled, but wasn’t today a ‘beautiful day’.
I went back inside and was waiting for a phone call to confirm my 9am meeting on Wall St. My cell never rang until 8:45am. My friend was late getting into work, no meeting that morning, we would meet later in the day.
Had my friend not been late and called around 8am as planned [he knew I would be up early paying my landlord], I would have been on my way to the only meeting I EVER had in the Financial District in my life, at 9am, no less: September 11, 2001.