You have your instructions

Jul 8th, 2020 11:47 am | By

Lock down! Also send the kids back to school!

In Wednesday’s White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing, one doctor asked four states go back to Phase 1 recommendations after seeing a surge in COVID-19 numbers.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the Coronavirus Response Coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, spoke about an increase in cases and positivity rates when testing in Arizona, Florida, Texas, and California during the briefing.

“To all of the Americans out there that are in these four states, and the states that have in the report in the red zone, because there is a series of other states that we have in that zone, is really asking the American people in those counties and in those states to not only use the face coverings, not going to bars, not going to indoor dining, but really not gathering in homes either. Decreasing those gatherings back down to our Phase 1 recommendation, which was 10 or less,” she said.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos spoke about reopening schools across the nation.

“Students can and must continue to learn full time,” DeVos said.

DeVos said schools must fully open and be fully operational to best serve students. She said local leaders are the best to make the plans for their area’s schools. Citing the American Academy of Pediatric guidance, she said everyone should have the goal of starting students physically in classrooms.

Ok so you know what to do – go back to decreasing those gatherings down to 10 or fewer and also send all the kids back to school.

Oookaaaay.



Your obligation to understand and address inequality

Jul 8th, 2020 8:51 am | By

This guy. THIS GUY.

How belatedly he remembers to mention men. His tribe is white, Generation X, heterosexual, privileged MEN. Women aren’t part of that tribe. He’s astonishingly bad at remembering that, or perhaps at ever noticing it in the first place.

By which he means trans people, and emphatically not women.

Women always last. Women always an afterthought, because trans people always get first mention.

Why? Is it because it gives men like Jolyon Maugham an excuse to lecture and rebuke women? Is there no more to it than that?

How much interest does he have in challenging how he conceives of himself? I can see none.



Blame women

Jul 8th, 2020 8:17 am | By

Not cute.

A San Francisco lawmaker introduced an ordinance that would make it illegal to make a fraudulent, racially-motivated 911 call in response to a number of recent incidents in which white people have called the police on Black people who weren’t doing anything wrong.

So far so good.

Supervisor Shamann Walton introduced the Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies, or CAREN Act, Tuesday, which will “make it illegal for people to contact law enforcement solely to discriminate on the basis of a person’s race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The CAREN Act. Geddit? Hawhaw. Not funny. Not cute.

Imagine if a white lawmaker came up with a SAMBO Act or some such shit. (Some probably have. Not funny, not cute.)

Just stop it.



Three !!! threat

Jul 8th, 2020 8:11 am | By

Now Trump is threatening children.

The Guardian points out:

In reality, many administrators, teachers and parents have expressed concerns about sending students back to school as concerns remain over the spread of coronavirus in the classroom.

Many school districts have also warned they do not have the additional funding needed to keep students safe, and the president is now threatening to cut off funding from them if they don’t reopen.

He’s also threatening the CDC.

And by “meeting” he doesn’t really mean “meeting.”



The climate of conformity

Jul 8th, 2020 7:21 am | By

Also via Jesse Singal, this one yesterday.

She thought she was endorsing a message against internet shaming, but she didn’t realize there was someone (or several someones?) on the list of signers who required internet shaming.

She was ready and willing to endorse a message against internet shaming, until she discovered there was a signer she wanted to shame.

She opposes internet shaming unless she wants to internet shame someone.

Mind you, here I am internet shaming her.



What climate of conformity, fear, and mutual surveillance???

Jul 8th, 2020 6:40 am | By

You couldn’t make it up.

“…makes ME feel…”

Well that’s really all there is to say, isn’t it.



The problem of the preferred first speaker

Jul 7th, 2020 6:08 pm | By

More on the Harper’s Letter. From PrawfsBlog:

The authors claim to “uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters,” but to fear that “it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought.” Ken White (Popehat to those on Twitter and KCRWsees the letter as drawing an untenable (or at least elusive) distinction between “silencing” and “more/responsive/critical” counter-speech. White labels this the “problem of the preferred first speaker,” the “tendency to impose norms of civility, openness, productiveness, and dialogue-encouraging on a RESPONSE to expression that we do not impose on the expression itself.” In other words, the original speaker is free to say what she wants however she wants; the response must listen to, engage with, and respond to that speech. “Shut up” is not acceptable counter-speech.

That’s interesting; I hadn’t thought of it before. Lawyers can be very good at that.

Both situations create a puzzle . We do not want people to lose their livelihoods for their speech, nor do we want speakers chased off campus. But we also should not hamstring one side of the debate–to paraphrase Justice Scalia, we should not allow the original speaker “to fight freestyle,” while requiring counter-speakers “to follow Marquis of Queensberry rules.” I do not know the right answer or correct balance either to the recent online issues or to campus speech (the latter will not be an issue for awhile, unfortunately). But this letter does not provide it.

What I think is that it has to do with social media: it’s only recently(ish) that people have had to deal with hundreds or thousands of readers/listeners shouting at them all at once, as opposed to envelopes dropping decorously through the slot in the door or the phone ringing a little more often than usual.



Guest post: When two oppressed groups are in conflict

Jul 7th, 2020 6:00 pm | By

Originally a comment by Freemage on On being instructed to center everyone else.

The admonition to shut up and listen to the members of the oppressed group is a valid one, but it only works when dealing with a non-oppressed group (to-wit, straight white men, preferably but not exclusively middle-class and up). When two oppressed groups are in conflict, however, there must be an exchange of ideas and debate (and preferably, dialogue), or else you end up with one group being further oppressed.

I do think that actual trans folks suffer oppression (as opposed to the special snowflakes who like to don their trans identity like a fashionable cape they can ditch when it becomes inconvenient, but then re-wrap themselves in the moment it might be useful), because they are part of the larger oppressed group of neurologically atypical individuals–and our society sucks hard for folks with such conditions. But that oppression is practiced almost exclusively by men, usually motivated by homophobia and gay panic.

Ideally, yes, there would be an alliance between oppressed peoples in order to break the system down and end oppression for all. If you tell me that trans folks need protection for jobs and housing, I’ll agree. If anti-trans violence is to be made a hate crime, sign me up. If you tell me that trans people need accommodations–in prisons, sports, bathrooms/locker rooms and emergency housing–I’m inclined to listen (especially when it comes to situations of potential violence). But those accommodations must NOT be stolen from women, who have fought too long and hard to gain them in the first place. Instead, they should be, whenever possible, created by carving out space from the dominant group (again, SWMs). Build additional shelters that can accommodate trans folk; create trans-safe prisons; give trans athletes an opportunity compete against one another. Really, my fellow pallid phallus poltroons and I can spare it. No need to take from women (or for that matter, people of color, homosexuals, etc.).



How to justice and open debate

Jul 7th, 2020 5:07 pm | By

About that Harper’s Letter

It’s titled “A Letter on Justice and Open Debate.”

Our cultural institutions are facing a moment of trial. Powerful protests for racial and social justice are leading to overdue demands for police reform, along with wider calls for greater equality and inclusion across our society, not least in higher education, journalism, philanthropy, and the arts. But this needed reckoning has also intensified a new set of moral attitudes and political commitments that tend to weaken our norms of open debate and toleration of differences in favor of ideological conformity.

Hmmm. Has it? And if it has, has it in a way that we want to to frown at? If we think wider calls for greater equality and inclusion across our society are a good thing, then what kind of differences are we seeking more toleration for? Do we want a rearguard saying no no no let’s have less equality and inclusion across our society?

To put it another way…the let’s have less equality side has had its own way for a long time around here. The less equality faction has been in the driver’s seat all along. The people exploited and incarcerated and generally harmed by that arrangement may finally be getting a hearing for the “let’s stop that shit now” suggestion. Do we really need to hear more from the “less equality is good” team? Haven’t they had their say for the past four centuries?

I get it about the social media bullying, believe me; I’ve been there and sent the postcards. But then, I was a target for arguing about reality, about ontology, about epistemology. I wasn’t arguing for wellllllllll we’re not really all that racist are we?

In other words I agree when it’s about stuff I agree about and I disagree when it isn’t.

Good, glad we got that settled.

No but for real, I think that intro is…weak.

It gets better as it goes on though.

Editors are fired for running controversial pieces; books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity; journalists are barred from writing on certain topics; professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class; a researcher is fired for circulating a peer-reviewed academic study; and the heads of organizations are ousted for what are sometimes just clumsy mistakes. Whatever the arguments around each particular incident, the result has been to steadily narrow the boundaries of what can be said without the threat of reprisal. We are already paying the price in greater risk aversion among writers, artists, and journalists who fear for their livelihoods if they depart from the consensus, or even lack sufficient zeal in agreement.

That I think is fair to say. Also I think well of the people who put it together because they asked Meera Nanda to sign. Also Katha Pollitt, Rebecca Goldstein, Claire Potter, J.K. Rowling right next to Salman Rushdie, Jesse Singal, Michelle Goldberg, Todd Gitlin, Katie Herzog, Adam Hochschild, Arlie Russell Hochschild, Sean Wilentz among many others.



His unique personality flaws

Jul 7th, 2020 4:13 pm | By

Paul Waldman at the Post has been reading Mary Trump’s book.

Here are some of the highlights:

She claims Trump hired a smarter boy he knew to take the SAT for him; the high score helped get him into college.

She describes Trump’s father, Fred, as not just domineering but a “sociopath.” He was verbally abusive to his children, especially Fred Jr., insisting that they become “killers” unhindered by emotion. “Fred perverted his son’s perception of the world and damaged his ability to live in it,” she writes.

Her father, Fred Jr., came in for particular contempt from Fred Sr. for being soft. “The lesson [President Trump] learned, at its simplest, was that it was wrong to be like Freddy: Fred didn’t respect his oldest son, so neither would Donald.”

When Fred Sr. died, Mary was told his estate was worth only around $30 million; the portion of that figure that became her inheritance was the subject of the dispute that led to a financial settlement and her NDA. She later gave Fred Sr.’s business records to the New York Times, which published a blockbuster story showing that the patriarch had transferred over $1 billion to his children (a scheme mostly carried out after Fred Jr.’s death), potentially defrauding the U.S. government of half a billion dollars in tax revenue.

On a trip to Mar-a-Lago when she was 29, Mary came out in a bathing suit and shorts. “Holy s–t, Mary. You’re stacked,” her uncle said to her, with all the grace and sensitivity we’ve come to expect from him.

For a time, Trump hired Mary to ghost-write his book “The Art of the Comeback.” At one point a Trump employee sent her some pages of material Trump wanted to include in the book. “It was an aggrieved compendium of women he had expected to date but who, having refused him, were suddenly the worst, ugliest, and fattest slobs he’d ever met,” including Madonna and Olympic figure skater Katarina Witt.

That’s so classic, isn’t it? He’s such a prisoner of his own ego. Whatever he can’t have he spoils, so he lives in a world of monstrosities.

At a White House dinner in 2017, the president gestured toward his son Eric’s wife; the two at that point had been together for eight years. “I barely even knew who the f— she was, honestly, but then she gave a great speech during the campaign in Georgia supporting me,” Trump said.

Whoops, there’s that ego again. She was just a blur to him until she said something flattering about him – a star is born!

“Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-Un, and Mitch McConnell, all of whom bear more than a passing psychological resemblance to Fred,” Mary writes, “recognized … that Donald’s checkered personal history and his unique personality flaws make him extremely vulnerable to manipulation by smarter, more powerful men.”

In other words ruthless evil monsters recognize Trump and know how to manipulate him. Awesome.

In Mary Trump’s account, if the future president ever possessed any virtues as a human being, they were eradicated by a cruel father who wanted to make his children just as ruthless as he was. She calls him the “monster” Fred Sr. created, someone who “would ultimately be rendered unlovable by the very nature of Fred’s preference for him.”

Well, if it’s any comfort, I doubt he ever possessed any virtues as a human being. As a rototiller, maybe, but as a human being, no.



He hired an excellent proxy

Jul 7th, 2020 12:07 pm | By

Trump hired someone to take the SATs for him.

He’ll be screaming at us all day long.

Mary Trump wrote in her tell-all, set to be published next week, that Trump paid a proxy to take the SAT for him, according to The New York Times, which obtained a copy of the book and reported on the passage Tuesday.

“The high score the proxy earned for him, Ms. Trump adds, helped the young Mr. Trump to later gain admittance as an undergraduate to the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Wharton business school,” The Times reported.

Though in 2011 he hounded President Barack Obama for not turning over his college transcripts, Trump has never revealed any similar information about his time at Wharton, where he has claimed he graduated first in his class.

Last. He meant last. He was holding it upside down. He was asleep in class the day they explained right side up.

Last summer, Penn instituted a policy of revoking degrees if a graduate is found to have provided false information in an admission application, cheated on an exam, or tampered with records, The Daily Pennsylvanian reported.

Welp, that’s something to look forward to.



A quizzical look

Jul 7th, 2020 11:24 am | By

Peace in our time?

As a trans woman working in academia, one of the questions I regularly get asked is how I get along with feminist colleagues. When I invariably answer “incredibly well”, I’m often met with a quizzical look.

Trans and feminism have certainly had a wobbly relationship over the years, but trans writers have energetically drawn on and contributed to feminist theory, while trans politics has been positively embraced by many feminists. The story here is not one of political conflict, it’s of mutual recognition.

So what’s all this about Rowling then? Not a story of political conflict? Not a conflict between trans ideology and feminism?

It is little wonder that my own daughters, both young feminists themselves, unreservedly see trans as ally, not enemy. The reasons for this are not hard to fathom. After all, a fundamental tenet of feminism is to end forms of oppression; and the same rule must apply for a trans and gender-diverse minority.

No. The fundamental tenet of feminism is that women are not inferior or subordinate to men. It’s not about all “forms of oppression,” it’s about the specific form of oppression that oppresses women. Not men who say they are women, but women.

What’s more, much contemporary feminism rejects the pathologising dogmatism of “gender critical” and “sex-based rights” advocacy that paints trans and gender diversity as effectively delusional.

Ah yes that pesky dogmatism that thinks sex-based rights take precedence over fantasy-based rights. How dare we.

As both feminist and transfeminist writers have long pointed out, we are not immutably tethered to an innate experience of womanhood or manhood simply by being designated an F or an M at birth.

What does that mean? Pretty much nothing. In fact we do, just as a matter of definition, have an experience of being either a woman or a man, depending on which we in fact are. There’s no need to call it “innate,” much less to generalize about it as “an innate experience of womanhood”; it’s just an experience of being a girl and then a woman. Just one. Each of us is just one. We don’t experience all of womanhood, we just experience our own lives as female people. That’s all. It’s not grandiose or complicated, it’s just the reality. We don’t experience our lives as tigers or buildings or chestnuts, because we’re not any of those things. We are what we are.

Many of us are increasingly less excited about being told we have that in common with men who say they are women.



On being instructed to center everyone else

Jul 7th, 2020 10:20 am | By

This one nails it.



Brazil currently lacks a permanent health minister

Jul 7th, 2020 9:40 am | By

Oh oops Bolsonaro done got the virus.

Now for Trump. Give it to him, and let it be bad. I want him to suffer.

“It came back positive,” a mask-wearing Bolsonaro told a hand-picked group of reporters on Tuesday lunchtime outside his official residence.

“There’s no reason for fear. That’s life,” the president added. “Life goes on. I thank God for my life and the role I’ve been given to decide the future of this great nation that is called Brazil.”

Well, that’s life, and it’s also death. Life goes on until it doesn’t. There is actually plenty of reason for fear, if not for oneself then for millions of other people, especially when their fate is vulnerable to your decisions.

Bolsonaro, 65, has repeatedly trivialized the pandemic and flouted social distancing, even as Brazil became the second-worst-hit country after the United States, with more than 65,000 deaths and 1.6m confirmed cases.

Meaning, like Trump, he has made it all worse.

Bolsonaro’s diagnosis comes just three days after he had lunch at the home of the US ambassador to Brazil, Todd Chapman, in the capital, Brasília.

Also present at that Independence Day celebration were several top cabinet members, including the foreign minister, Ernesto Araújo, defence minister, Fernando Azevedo, and the president’s son, Eduardo, a politician who is Steve Bannon’s representative in South America. The men were photographed without face masks.

Steve Bannon’s representative in South America? What does that mean? How does Steve Bannon need “representation” anywhere? He’s just a guy.

Bolsonaro’s response to the coronavirus has sparked a domestic and international outcry, with many directly blaming him for the high death toll. Brazil currently lacks a permanent health minister after two were forced from their jobs in less than a month after clashing with Bolsonaro over the pandemic.

Sounds very like the US under Trump, doesn’t it.



Another one bullied out of a job

Jul 7th, 2020 9:19 am | By

This is ridiculous.

CNN:

After facing backlash on social media, actress Halle Berry announced on Twitter Monday she is no longer considering portraying a transgender man in an upcoming film role.

Berry apologized after discussing the role over the weekend in an Instagram Live video.

She groveled, is what she did.

Great, let’s insist that only admirals can play admirals, only 200-year-old people can play Victorians, only psychopaths can play psychopaths, only murderers can play murderers, only murder victims can play murder victims…I can’t see any potential difficulties, can you?

LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD said they were pleased Berry listened to the concerns voiced after her discussion of the role and “learned from them.”

“Other powerful people should do the same,” the group said on Twitter. “A good place to start is by watching @Disclosure_Doc to learn about trans representation in media.”

Ok but what about nonbinary representation in media? What about queer representation? What about asexual representation in media?

The Twitter account of the documentary asked Berry to watch the film “first to understand how cis actors like yourself acting in trans roles has major cultural consequences offscreen.”

For real. Also what about all those actors who play nuns and priests and other clerics? What about Jenny Agutter and Judy Parfitt? What right do they have to play nuns when there are real nuns who could do the job? Think about the major cultural consequences that has. And what’s all this about Maggie Smith playing a countess? Who does Helen Mirren think she is playing a cop? Is Joseph Fiennes actually Shakespeare? I don’t think so. What even is acting?

No, absolutely, only people who think they are the sex they are not are qualified to play people who think they are the sex they are not. Fantasy and pretending have to stop somewhere.



What really happens

Jul 7th, 2020 8:12 am | By

So about these people staging anti-mask rebellions at Trader Joe’s and similar – we’re getting some contradictory instructions on the subject.

The mask FAQ for King County, Washington, where Seattle is, is one source of such contradictory instructions.

Question one:

When am I required to wear a face covering?

You must wear a cloth face covering over your nose and mouth in an indoor public setting and at outdoor public spaces where it is difficult to maintain six feet of physical distance at all times. This means you don’t need to wear a face covering when you’re outside walking, but you would be directed to wear one while at a farmers market or visiting a crowded park where social distancing is not possible to maintain. You are directed to wear a cloth face covering for the entire duration of the time you’re in either of those settings.

Question eight:

What do I do if I see someone not wearing a face covering, even though they should be?

Nothing. Some people have conditions or circumstances that would make wearing a cloth face covering difficult or dangerous. Just wear your mask and stay six feet away.

But I can’t stay six feet away. That’s the whole point. We’re told to wear them “in an indoor public setting and at outdoor public spaces where it is difficult to maintain six feet of physical distance at all times” so it’s no good telling us to stay six feet away when we’re talking about places where, as you say yourselves, it is difficult to maintain six feet of physical distance at all times – like busy grocery stores, like Trader Joe’s.

So what if we’re in a crowded grocery store, or on a bus, and there are people blithely brushing against us while not wearing masks? Are we really required to assume that all of them “have conditions or circumstances that would make wearing a cloth face covering difficult or dangerous” and that they have to be inside Trader Joe’s or the bus and that we don’t get to tell them to back off or put on a mask?

It makes no sense. By this standard the Trader Joe’s workers who were trying to persuade the angry woman to (wear a mask? leave? stop shouting in people’s faces while not wearing a mask inside a store with a clearly stated rule that masks are required?) were misbehaving?

It makes no sense.

There’s also question four:

Do I need to wear a face covering on buses?

Yes, King County now requires individuals to wear face coverings while riding King County Metro buses. Metro operators will not prevent passengers without face coverings from boarding, but recorded reminders will play on the vehicle’s public address system informing riders of the face covering policy. Security officers will communicate public health guidance to riders who are not wearing a face covering or staying apart from other passengers.

Nonsense. None of that happens. People without face coverings board and none of that happens. No reminders play on the vehicle’s public address system informing riders of the face covering policy. No security officers are present.

None of this adds up.



Unacceptable thoughts

Jul 6th, 2020 5:45 pm | By

I listened to Moral Maze on groupthink yesterday. It was moderately interesting though it didn’t really dig very deep. From the blurb:

The word was coined in the 1970s by social psychologist Irving Janis. It has come to refer to people who are passionate about a particular view of the world and who treat those who don’t share their values with contempt, or even hostility. Today, commentators talk also of ‘cancel culture’ – public denunciations of high-profile individuals whose beliefs are deemed to be incompatible with the prevailing moral orthodoxy. When ‘unacceptable’ private thoughts are made public, reputations can be trashed and jobs are sometimes lost.

People aren’t going to stand up and say “hooray for groupthink,” are they.

But there is a kind of groupthink we do want, or at least prefer to the alternative. It’s the kind that Trump isn’t part of the group of which. It’s the kind that prevents us from babbling all kinds of stupid hostile destructive shit at and about other people, and other groups of people. It’s the kind that makes vocal racism taboo, which of course doesn’t get rid of racism but does at least interrupt the process by which people pass overt explicit racism (and all its cousins) on generation after generation.

The thing is you can put all kinds of pejorative labels on that. It’s conformist, it’s social pressure, it’s inhibiting, yadda yadda. It’s politicalcorrectness. It is, but that’s a good thing.

But then of course it depends what the taboos are. Once they’re put on items like saying men are not women…not such a good thing.



Shouting at Trader Joe’s

Jul 6th, 2020 4:11 pm | By

Orac on the anti-maskers:

Let’s start with one lie in particular that antimask advocates have been peddling (and are still peddling) to try to trick store and restaurant owners into thinking that the ADA says that they don’t have to wear a mask. For instance, take a look at this woman ranting in Trader Joes in the video in this Tweet that she has a “medical condition” that makes it impossible for her to wear a facemask:

She has a breathing problem? Like hell she does. If she did she couldn’t SHOUT like that. Also, shouting spreads the droplets more, just the way singing does.

There’s a card. You’ve probably seen the card.

ADA mask exemption

Nope nope nope none of that is true, and the agency doesn’t exist.



Trump opposes demonization?

Jul 6th, 2020 12:00 pm | By

They are unabashedly telling us lie after lie after lie.

White House reporters continue to press Kayleigh McEnany on the meaning of Trump’s tweet this morning about Nascar driver Bubba Wallace and the decision to ban Confederate flags at races.

One reporter asked the press secretary why the president would not praise Nascar’s decision to ban Confederate flags.

McEnany replied that Trump was against demonizing American citizens. “He stands against the demonization of Americans, and he stands firmly on the side of preserving our history,” McEnany said.

What does the Confederate flag have to do with demonizing American citizens? I guess the idea is that removing it would imply criticism (or “demonization”) of the people who like it? But that’s not a good reason to keep it. Some people like swastikas; that doesn’t mean we have to put swastikas on everything. Some people like the Confederate flag; more people dislike it, as a symbol of slavery and of the determination to hang on to slavery at the cost of 620,000 lives. I think the anti-slavery faction gets to win this one. I also think it’s disturbing that Trump thinks the opposite.

McEnany also lied about that whole pandemic thing.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany shockingly claimed that foreign leaders consider America to be a leader in the fight against coronavirus.

Ha. Hahaha. Name one. ONE.

“I think the world is looking at us as a leader in Covid-19,” McEnany said during the White House briefing.

Well, in spreading it, yes.

Then she did a “scripted walk-off.”

The press secretary accused journalists of failing to ask questions about the most important issues of the day, such as New York shootings increasing in recent weeks.

Of course, the reason why journalists asked so many questions about Nascar and the Confederate flag is because that’s what the president was tweeting about this morning, as dozens of states grapple with a surge in new cases of coronavirus.

May her shoes be full of pebbles.



Wrapping himself in the flag

Jul 6th, 2020 11:23 am | By

Apparently Trump has nothing serious to worry about right now.

Say WHAT? Who tf is Bubba Wallace and why tf is Trump babbling about NASCAR and ratings? As the pandemic infections and deaths keep shooting up up up while the rest of the world is pushing theirs down?

CNN explains:

President Donald Trump on Monday bemoaned NASCAR’s recent decision to ban the Confederate flag from all races and events.

The Confederate flag. Not the US flag, not the flag he rages over when football players don’t salute it in the way he thinks they should be forced to – but the flag of the move to secede from the US in order to preserve slavery. That’s what Trump is raging about.

As the coronavirus pandemic rages across the country, Trump has largely moved on, seeking instead to place focus on his “law and order” message through a series of inflammatory speeches, tweets, and statements defending racist monuments and digging in his opposition to renaming Army bases named for Confederate leaders.

Trump has “moved on” from the pandemic. We wish we had that luxury.

NASCAR has said that the presence of the Confederate flag “runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry.”

As in, you know, the people whose great-grandparents were born into slavery. Those people. It seems Trump doesn’t want to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for them.

Speaking at the base of Mount Rushmore Friday evening, [Trump] railed against what he called a “merciless campaign” by his political foes to erase history by removing monuments — even though the sculptures memorialize parts of America’s racist past.

“As we meet here tonight there is a growing danger that threatens every blessing our ancestors fought so hard for,” Trump said. “Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children.”

So slavery was a blessing? Generals who fought to preserve slavery are our heroes?

I think not.