Anti-intellectualism Is Killing America – A Must-Read Essay

Anti-intellectualism Is Killing America | Psychology Today.

America is killing itself through its embrace and exaltation of ignorance, and the evidence is all around us. Dylann Roof, the Charleston shooter who used race as a basis for hate and mass murder, is just the latest horrific example. Many will correctly blame Roof’s actions on America’s culture of racism and gun violence, but it’s time to realize that such phenomena are directly tied to the nation’s culture of ignorance. 

This essay in Psychology Today by David Niose is a must-read. There’s no refuting anything he said. There is just each of us, individually, not being quite so passive. Say no, correct others, walk the walk. Oh, and read something and have a discussion about it.

Today the NYPD Hates Bill de Blasio; Tomorrow It May Be You

The Real Reason Police Hate Bill de Blasio.

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New York Mayor Bill de Blasio

This is an excellent short piece from Daily Kos. New York City’s police (some of them) are up in arms about remarks made by newly-installed mayor Bill de Blasio. They have taken offense at some things the mayor has said in the wake of police shootings in Gotham lately. At one of these public gatherings, de Blasio said this about his biracial son:

Chirlane and I have had to talk to Dante for years about the dangers that he may face. A good young man, law-abiding young man who would never think to do anything wrong. And yet, because of a history that still hangs over us, the dangers he may face, we’ve had to literally train him—as families have all over this city for decades—in how to take special care in any encounter he has with the police officers who are there to protect him.

Some members of the NYPD and some members of the public find these remarks insensitive. They say it shows the mayor doesn’t stand behind law enforcement. Really?

The mayor should never criticize law enforcement? Even when everyone knows there are serious racial problems, serious ethical problems, serious effectiveness problems in the force?

To me, not criticizing, not accepting ingrained bureaucracy and prejudice is both obscene and a dereliction of duty.

We need cops. I’m all for law enforcement. I’m all for peace officers. To protect and to serve. No matter who you are. What I’m not for are cowboys and race-baiters and gay-haters and misogynists. Saying that there are bad cops, telling your kid to look out for bad cops who will profile you — and maybe even rough you up — because of the color of your skin, that’s not anti-police. That’s intelligent governing and parenting.

Being critical of police is the only way we will make change happen. Otherwise, New York, greed, graft and corruption are self-perpetuating and hellish to get rid of. The corrupt love to hang onto power. If you’d like a primer on what corruption can do to a city — your city —please visit the Wikipedia entry for Tammany Hall.

Hey, Y’all! Shut up and Crawl Back Under that Butter Dish Please

Paula Deen Compares Struggle To Michael Sam’s Coming Out As Gay.

How many times can this crazy old woman screw up while trying to apologize?

It’s one thing when you are honest-to-God contrite. It’s another when your apologies are just bullshit. I think this is the latter.

If she had said, “that football player” or that “football player who just came out as gay” but “that black football player who recently came out?”

Paula, honey, you ain’t learned a damn thing.

Where’s my favorite all-time Paula Deen image? Oh, here it is:

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“Hey, Y’all!” – What’s Left Behind When Your Butter Empire Crumbles

Oh, Paula Deen ….

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Paula Deen Facebook Meme.

What is wrong with people? Are we all just hell-bent on destroying ourselves? Maybe. And the latest high profile personage to hit the self-destruct button is Butter Queen Paula Deen, the multimillionaire face of Food Network’s home cookin’ empire.

Deen has been all over the news for the last week or so since a lawsuit brought by a former employee in 2011 came to light and Paula’s deposition has been made public. And whaddaya know: ole Paula comes off as racist as all get out. Actually, if you read the whole thing — find it online; it’s kinda unbelievable — the person who comes off the worst is not Paula, it’s her brother, Earl “Bubba” Hiers.

Deen’s first mistake was not firing his mongrel ass a long time ago. The second mistake (hand in hand with the first) is this ill-formed belief that family always comes first and everything else second — even when it’s family that’s going to bring you down. And third, and perhaps most importantly, Paula needs to get her ass up out of Georgia and get a perspective on the situation that’s not tinged with inbred Deep South racism.

You can talk a good game until you’re blue in the face about not being a racist, but when you’re a white woman referring to a group of African-Americans as “them” or cavalierly saying to someone in a public forum that people can’t see you standing by a black background because of the tone of your skin … that’s racist. Paula Deen may not think she’s a racist, but guess what? She is. And she needs to get some perspective on it.

Look, I know a little bit about this. I’m from the Deep South. What saved me is that I left. My grandfather, who I loved to death, used language that would curl your toes, but he was the least racist person I have ever known. He used that language because he was born in the Deep South in 1906 and everyone — black and white — of his era used language that we would never use today. Heck, listen to recordings of some of the greatest leaders of the Civil Rights era: they routinely used adjectives that no one would use today.

But here’s the thing: Paula Deen is not living in 1953 or 1963 — or even pushing the envelope of acceptability — 1973. She’s living in 2013. And no amount of butter or grits or cream can cover those actions up.

If Deen was smart, she should fire her PR team, fire her brother, implement proper workplace protocols against discrimination and stand in the public square and tell everyone that the “best dishes” she serves, she serves to everyone, always, without a hint of racism or sexism. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll forgive her.