Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘lynch mobs

Saturday Links

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* Chris Newfield on the university in crisis.

The first is that this model has been shifting public university revenues to a specific kind of private source, for three decades. Voters are often told that the shift means that wealthy donors and research sponsors have picked up a big part of the educational bill, but this is simply not true. The AFM means shifting educational costs from the overall population to students and their families. The model also shifts costs from old to young, and in California from a 70 per cent white voting public to a 70 per cent student-of-colour secondary-school population. It destroys the mutualization principle of social development.

The second effect of the American funding model is that it has damaged American educational attainment. The USA has had a comparative educational advantage over the rest of the wealthy world for about 150 years – first at the high-school level and then in college degrees. Now, for the first time in US history, younger people are less educated than their baby-boomer parents. If you are wondering whether privatization caused this destruction, the answer is yes it did. The private investment process gives the least money to the colleges with the lowest graduation rates, which receive a disproportionately high percentage of low-income and first-generation students. The decades-old failure of the bottom three-quarters of the country’s students (measured by socio-economic status) to improve their educational outcomes has undermined overall advances in attainment. In about twenty years, the funding model has destroyed the USA’s educational advantage (it is now twelfth in BA attainment rates and falling).

The third effect of privatization is that it is wrecking the financial solvency of high-quality public universities. The funding model doesn’t produce stability because the net private revenues never make up for cuts to the public funding lost to cuts. This structural shortfall will result from the British government’s replacement of most of the teaching grant with a scheme of high fees and loans. It has been happening for a long time in California, and based on that state’s experience even a tripling of fees won’t make up for the teaching grant.

* Michael Tomasky crunches the numbers to prove bipartisanship truly is bunk.

* Meanwhile, it’s extremely unclear why Obama thinks his job is to do things “the people in his party won’t like”. Leave Medicare alone.

* Exxon Makes Billion-Dollar Bet Climate Change is Real, Here Now and Going to Get Worse But Keeps Funding Deniers. Bring on the carbon trials.

* For my Texas readers: please be advised that statistically, you have a better chance of being executed by Rick Perry than dying in an airplane crash. Of course, if Perry gets elected president he’ll do his deregulating best to even those odds.

* Muslim American terrorist plots have killed since 9/11 — since the 3,000 killed on 9/11 — have killed 33 individuals in the United States since that time. Over that same period of time, there have been more than 150,000 murders in the United States, or 14 or 15,000 murders every year. Muslim American terrorism, then, has been a very small, very low percentage of the overall violence in the United States.

* And I’ve seen more than a couple links to this diary on the legacy of Martin Luther King on Daily Kos this weekend.

He ended the terror of living as a black person, especially in the south.

I’m guessing that most of you, especially those having come fresh from seeing “The Help,” may not understand what this was all about. But living in the south (and in parts of the mid west and in many ghettos of the north) was living under terrorism.

It wasn’t that black people had to use a separate drinking fountain or couldn’t sit at lunch counters, or had to sit in the back of the bus.

You really must disabuse yourself of this idea. Lunch counters and buses were crucial symbolic planes of struggle that the civil rights movement decided to use to dramatize the issue, but the main suffering in the south did not come from our inability to drink from the same fountain, ride in the front of the bus or eat lunch at Woolworth’s.

It was that white people, mostly white men, occasionally went berserk, and grabbed random black people, usually men, and lynched them. You all know about lynching. But you may forget or not know that white people also randomly beat black people, and the black people could not fight back, for fear of even worse punishment.

This constant low level dread of atavistic violence is what kept the system running. It made life miserable, stressful and terrifying for black people.

White people also occasionally tried black people, especially black men, for crimes for which they could not conceivably be guilty. With the willing participation of white women, they often accused black men of “assault,” which could be anything from rape to not taking off one’s hat, to “reckless eyeballing”…

The Most Offensively Stupid Thing You’ll Read Today

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Jeffrey Lord at The American Spectator declares Shirley Sherrod lied when she characterized a relative as a victim of lynching because the man was merely beaten to death on the steps of a courthouse while under arrest and in handcuffs—not hung. As you can see, Jeffrey Lord is today’s absolute worst person in the world. Yglesias delivers an appropriately righteous smackdown:

If you read the anti-lynching section of the Truman administration’s landmark report on civil rights, “To Secure These Rights,” you’ll see that at no time did anyone think the purpose of federal anti-lynching legislation was to ensure that lynching victims were shot or beaten rather than hanged.

Adam Serwer (“Finally, how many times are conservatives going to try and smear this woman before some sense of shame or decency kicks in?”) and Paul Campos (“It’s hard to understand how this kind of thing gets published in a world that includes editors, higher cognitive function, and/or common decency.”) are likewise aghast—and that’s before you get to the fawning comments at the Spectator.

Unbelievable.

On a lighter note, via Steve Benen, E.J. Dionne offers up the tantalizing possibility that the Sherrod moment could be be a turning point for American political journalism. God, I hope so.

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

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For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Another scene from the McCain/Palin lynch mob.

In Clearwater, arriving reporters were greeted with shouts and taunts by the crowd of about 3,000. Palin then went on to blame Katie Couric’s questions for her “less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media.” At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, “Sit down, boy.”

Written by gerrycanavan

October 7, 2008 at 3:53 pm