In response to a question from one of the only African Americans in the audience — who asked when Moore thought America was last “great” — Moore acknowledged the nation’s history of racial divisions, but said: “I think it was great at the time when families were united — even though we had slavery — they cared for one another…. Our families were strong, our country had a direction.”
–Lisa Mascaro, “In Alabama, the heart of Trump country, many think he’s backing the wrong candidate in the Senate race.”
H/t to German Lopez, via Eric Columbus.
When I first saw the Vox headline, which quotes Moore directly from the above story, I actually muttered aloud, “Did he really say this?” As soon as I clicked on the story, I saw the subhead: “He really said this.” So, yeah. Apparently I’m still not nearly jaded enough for the political reality of 2017 America.
Coates writes that since among working-class Americans, 61 percent of whites—but only 24 percent of Hispanics and 11 percent of blacks—supported Trump, only “whiteness” can be the culprit. But why did any percentage of working class blacks and Hispanics vote for Trump? Do they also secretly harbor white-supremacist viewpoints? Did they too inherit the all-powerful white heirloom? Or is it possible that all of these groups were motivated by a variety of factors, not least among them a visceral and uncompromising dislike of Hillary Clinton?
Beware the deceptive allure of binary choices that masquerade as arguments. Coates’s failure to imagine complexity in human motives yields the assumption that such complexity cannot possibly exist.
–Chloé Valdary, There’s No Single Explanation for Trump’s Election
His name is Bobby Hutton, or at least that’s the name he gives me. He’s not antifa. He looks and talks like a surfer dude, with long hair and aviator shades, and identifies himself as a political activist. He’s smiling, seemingly entertained by the spectacle. I ask him how he can smile, as if what we’ve just witnessed is all okay. “It’s politics,” he says, shrugging. “Politics is in the street. Always has been, and always will be.” I tell him I’m profiling Joey. “Oh, that’s fun,” he says. I add that I haven’t heard one disturbing, racist thing come out of Joey’s mouth. “I’m familiar with Joey’s presence,” Hutton says. “And you’re right that he stays on this side of white supremacy. But he’s a shit disturber. And if you wanna disturb shit, Berkeley’s always been a good place for that. There aren’t a lot of places in America where you can get this kind of opposition, and Joey knows that. Which is why Joey’s here.”
Hutton claims antifa has “legitimate political beliefs.” I tell him beating people down in the street to suppress their speech doesn’t sound very legitimate or American to me, and that eventually, if this nonsense continues, somebody’s going to get killed, just as someone was in Charlottesville. Violence, he says, still smiling, is “as American as apple pie. Berkeley pie.”
–Matt Labash, A Beating in Berkeley
I know there comes a point in time when you say, okay, enough time, now things have got to change … if you need to legislate something or force something, then fine, you have those tools available. That’s why we have lawmakers. But the day the law changed to when black people could ride in the front of the bus, or not have to give up their seat, the day that law changed did not necessarily change the minds of the white riders. You can legislate behavior but you cannot legislate belief. Patience is what it takes. But patience doesn’t mean sitting around on your butt waiting for something to happen. Be proactive. And don’t just sit around and talk with your friends who believe the way you do. Invite other people who have differences of opinion.
–Conor Friedersdorf, Every Racist I Know Voted for Donald Trump
I remember in 2010 when I was in law school and I was getting ready to leave, I just felt this incredible sense of momentum in my life, this sense that everything was going to work out in my favor and Silicon Valley is that optimism taken to a cultural scale and then magnified by 10. People have no real sense of how frustrated and how destitute a lot of people outside of Silicon Valley are. It’s just this incredible bubble. It’s more of a bubble than D.C.; it’s more of a bubble than New York. I think that that extends across racial and class groups too. I think that a lot of people here, maybe because of their politics or maybe just because they’re good people, might be very sympathetic and compassionate to the black working class, but it seems to me that very few people actually know anyone from the black working class. That really bothered me, that disconnect, the sense that people actually don’t know anyone who is really struggling makes me feel especially odd about my life.
–J. D. Vance interviewed by Isaac Chotiner, Compassion, and Criticism, for the White Working Class