February 21, 2021

"Ames was grilled about her 'ethnic background,' chastised by a colleague at a training session when she shared her grandparents’ experience during the Holocaust in Poland..."

"... and 'admonished' when she declined requests at superintendents meetings to take part in the comic book movie-inspired 'Wakanda Forever' salute to 'black power,' she charges in the legal filing.... At an implicit-bias workshop where superintendents were asked to tell their personal stories, [Karen] Ames talked about her grandparents’ loss of two children during the Holocaust — only to have colleague Rasheda Amon tell her, 'you better check yourself,' the lawsuit alleges. 'That is not about being Jewish! It’s about black and brown boys of color only,” court papers quote Amon as scolding." 

From "Bronx educator claims she was fired after sharing Holocaust story, refusing ‘Wakanda’ salute" (NY Post).

About that salute, there's also this (about a different teacher): "Veteran Bronx educator claims she was fired after refusing ‘Black Panther’ salute" (NY Post):

At official gatherings of high-level Department of Education bosses, then-Bronx superintendent Meisha Ross Porter often asked the group to do the arms-across-the-chest gesture of solidarity from the mythical African nation of Wakanda.... When Rafaela Espinal — a Dominican-American who describes herself as Afro-Latina — declined to join in, she “was admonished and told that it was inappropriate for her not to participate,” according to a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit filed Feb. 3 against the city DOE, Chancellor Richard Carranza and some of his top-ranking lieutenants....

[W]hen repeatedly asked to salute “Wakanda” at other professional meetings, Espinal felt the gesture “introduced a racial divide where there should be none,” said her lawyers, Israel Goldberg, Helen Setton and Domenic Recchia. Porter would often talk about the militant civil rights group the Black Panthers when asking superintendents to do the “Wakanda” salute, noting her father was a member, the attorneys said....

The DOE insists the famous cross-arm gesture doesn’t refer to “Black power,” but is instead “a symbol used to represent the Bronx.” Fellow DOE administrators also allegedly told Espinal she wasn’t “Black enough” and she should “just learn to be quiet and look pretty,” she claims in the $40 million suit....

201 comments:

1 – 200 of 201   Newer›   Newest»
exhelodrvr1 said...

Anyone surprised at this?

Mike Sylwester said...

Thanks to "President" Biden, normalcy and civility are being restored in the USA.

Mike Sylwester said...

"President" Biden owes his election to Black voters -- and especially to Black "vote-counters" in Atlanta, Detroit, Milwaukee and Philadelphia.

Therefore, for the next four years nobody can object to anything that any Blacks want to do.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Sharing her personal story of being a black or brown boy? Is this one of those Michael Jackson changes?

roger said...
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alanc709 said...

How many blacks did the Holocaust kill? Or the pogroms in eastern Europe?

roger said...

I am still not quite clear. Do Black Lives Matter or do All Lives (including Jewish lives) Matter.

Those who answer that question here had better "check themselves".

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Relatives dying in a Nazi concentration camp is just another form of white privilege. Got it.

Robert Cook said...

Wakanda is not a "mythical" location, but a fictional setting created mere decades ago as the setting for a super-hero in a comic book.

Calling it "mythical" lends it the weight and significance of centuries-old lore and common human awareness, a weight and significance it does not and will never have.

DavidUW said...

But whites and Asians fleeing public schools are “racist”. Ok.

DavidUW said...

but a fictional setting created mere decades ago as the setting for a super-hero in a comic book.
>>
Exactly. It's a lie. You will be made to lie. Just like 1984. It's about forcing you to affirmatively, actively lie (silence is violence after all), to acknowledge their power.

I can trace my family back to when they were actually slaves in Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina and "free coloreds" in Maryland. But unless I actively affirm some bullshit salute to a stupid cartoon imagining, I'm not black enough? What the actual fuck?

Fuck off.

Wince said...

Private lawsuits like these will have to suffice for at least the next four years as Biden's key civil rights appointments seem to make clear their priority is not equality under the law.

Francisco D said...

CRT involves the increasingly toxic neuroses of college "educated" Blacks and their White "allies".

This will not turn out well.

Original Mike said...

I salute only Asgard.

Fernandinande said...

salute “Wakanda” at other professional meetings

Those "professional meetings" might be similar to meetings of the He-man Woman-Haters Club.

"She-woman White-People-Haters Club"

gilbar said...

'That is not about being Jewish! It’s about black and brown boys of color only,”
That's SO TRUE!
ONLY BLACK LIVES MATTER! to say otherwise is RACISM!!
Only BLack people can use "that word"!
The Rest of us can't Even tell people what the word is, that we can't use
(i'm pretty sure, that that word is Not Negotiable)

ALL people are to be judged on the color of their skins... And woe unto those without enough

Earnest Prole said...

Even The Onion would consider “Wakanda Forever” to be too heavy-handed.

Lurker21 said...

At an implicit-bias workshop where superintendents were asked to tell their personal stories, [Karen] Ames talked about her grandparents’ loss of two children during the Holocaust — only to have colleague Rasheda Amon tell her, 'you better check yourself,' the lawsuit alleges.

So Karen probably isn't the "Karen" in this story.

There is a Lake Wakanda in Minnesota. Why wouldn't there be? There are 999 others. Supposedly Wakanda means “where the spirit dwells” or “spiritual place” in the Dakota language. The name has also been rendered Waconda or Wagonga, but the Indians and their supporters got it changed. The county there is 93% White and .5% Black, so maybe saluting Wakanda has another dogwhistle meaning.

gilbar said...

Watson-Harris ordered staff to “eradicate” any reference to Ames,

i read a book, where they'd do things like that!
They drank a Lot of gin... Well, it wasn't a Real gin, it was sort of a "victory" gin

DavidUW said...

Meanwhile,
California teachers' unions holding out to be sure no one goes back to public school before the fall; they want to be sure to torch this entire school year. They're naturally pocketing Gavin's promises to give them 10% of all vaccines, another $6 BILLION and still not going to work.

Well done assholes.

dgstock said...

Anyone who has suffered through the movie Plan Nine from Outer Space will recognize the origin of the “Wakanda Salute” in that groaner.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

To be fair, the reporter might not be quite cognizant of the difference between mythical and fictional. They may have attended a public school in the recent past.

mccullough said...

If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2ukRYsYPmo

at 1:16

iowan2 said...

This is boring?

Over at Turley, he did a piece about one of the dozens of College profs that got fired for some woke bullshit. While most comments wailed about how unfair things are, I commented that the entire staff of educators are actively participating in the stripping of individuals freedoms.
Being subjected to the inane group think de programing is one thing, but getting fired for uttering a word, or this harassment noted here, should be criminal. Until teachers start supporting each other, this insanity only gets worse.
If I was 50 years old and depended on my position at a University, I would be looking for sane like minded educators to build a coalition to protect each other.
Of course maybe we just need the collapse of universities, to have something to rebuild.

Owen said...

So Wakanda is a real place in the same sense as Kwanzaa is a real event?

h said...

I do wonder what would happen to these kinds of get-togethers if white people stood up with a straight face and told stories about how they were discriminated against for being African American, and how difficult is was for them as African Americans to survive in a culture of whiteness. Would the crowd say, "That's not a legitimate story, you're not black!" Or would they cheer the brave expression of solidarity.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...
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Fernandinande said...

St. Floyd's birth in Wakanda was the First Kwanzaa.

Readering said...

Clickbait.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Lurker21 said...

There is a Lake Wakanda in Minnesota.

Save your postcards and souvenirs! It probably won't be called that much longer!

Whiskeybum said...

I heartily will add my virtual ‘lawsuits I hope will succeed’ tag to this post.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

It's really getting hard to see any of this wokeness stuff as anything more than a long form troll designed to point out the ineffectual cowards among us.

tim maguire said...

Why is it so often the case that the dumbest things in our society are embraced by academia while positive solutions are so often rejected?

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Wakanda = Woke-anda

BUMBLE BEE said...

May I suggest "Hey Winston" replaces "Hey Boomer"?

Yancey Ward said...

Were I still working and were asked to share in such a "training" session, I now think I would simply start with, "I was born a poor black child in Mississippi...."

0_0 said...

A white person making that salute is cultural appropriation.

Yancey Ward said...

"Why is it so often the case that the dumbest things in our society are embraced by academia while positive solutions are so often rejected?"

I assume this question is rhetorical.

stlcdr said...

I'm wondering if AA posts this to see how long it will take for her readers to gather pitch forks and torches...

(That is a tongue in cheek comment, that neither condones nor condemns the posted piece, or the use of pitch forks or torches).

walter said...

"Try this for a Wakanda salute."

gadfly said...

@Mike Sylwester said...
"President" Biden owes his election to Black voters -- and especially to Black "vote-counters" in Atlanta, Detroit, Milwaukee and Philadelphia.

Biden is President based upon counts and recounts of votes in all the cities mentioned above plus virtually unanimous rulings by some 90 judges in 60 separate court cases brought by Trumpists. Claiming that black vote-counters cheated (while whitey MAGA supporters rely on ugly, unfounded accusations and violent attacks against the Congress) is big-time racism and inappropriate.

Mary Beth said...

I don't have to say the Pledge of Allegiance, or even stand or show any respect during it, but I do have to salute some fictional comic book country?

stlcdr said...

I had to look and see what the 'black panther salute' was. I recall the Black Panther Party (aka The Black Panthers), and the Marvel movie Black Panther, with some fictitious place call Wakanda. I was confusing the two [as an aside, what crime did I commit, and what is the punishment?].

Shouldn't this be in NotTheOnion?

Btw, Black Panther was a good, but not great, movie.

Mary Beth said...

The DOE insists the famous cross-arm gesture doesn’t refer to “Black power,” but is instead “a symbol used to represent the Bronx.”

The only reply to this is something else associated with the Bronx, a Bronx cheer.

Bilwick said...

Gadfly writes: "Claiming that black vote-counters cheated (while whitey MAGA supporters rely on ugly, unfounded accusations and violent attacks against the Congress) is big-time racism and inappropriate."

Translation: Bend' em, spread'em, and shut up about it, serfs.

J. Farmer said...

At least the Afrocentrism of the past relied on shoddy scholarship like George G. M. James' Stolen Legacy and Martin Bernal's Black Athena to put an ancient black African Egypt at the center of the western cultural tradition. Now a fictional comic book setting dreamed up by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

The whole enterprise is an answer to sub-Saharan African's development gap with the rest of the world. There is an entire "postcolonial theory" aimed at explaining all of the dysfunctions and pathologies of the dark continent in terms of European colonialism.

Unfortunately for Ms. Ames, to the Wokerati she is merely collateral damage. Generally, Jewish women are higher on the victim totem pole than blacks.

wendybar said...

So Progressive!!!

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

She should have gotten up close and personal Meisha Ross Porter and given her the knuckle sandwich salute with the cry of "Racist bitch!" That's the only way to deal with racists.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Now a fictional comic book setting dreamed up by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

Who were white guys.

Chennaul said...

Be chastised for talking about your family history of the Holocaust then be forced to do a “salute”.

The arc of that is pathological.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

J. Farmer said...
At least the Afrocentrism of the past relied on shoddy scholarship like George G. M. James' Stolen Legacy and Martin Bernal's Black Athena to put an ancient black African Egypt at the center of the western cultural tradition. Now a fictional comic book setting dreamed up by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
.
.
.
Unfortunately for Ms. Ames, to the Wokerati she is merely collateral damage. Generally, Jewish women are higher on the victim totem pole than blacks.


Ron Winkleheimer said...

Now a fictional comic book setting dreamed up by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

Who were white guys.


And ironically enough both Jews.

David Begley said...

What’s the difference between the Nazi salute and the Wakanda salute?

What salute do White People use?

Jupiter said...

"Why is it so often the case that the dumbest things in our society are embraced by academia while positive solutions are so often rejected?"

That's actually an excellent question, and one I cannot answer. I mean, obviously, it's because the people in chare of the schools and universities are ideological assholes intent upon the destruction of our society. But the real question is, how did those assholes get to be in charge? And how do we get rid of them? It looks to me like the public schools will simply have to be abandoned. No great loss, at this point. But the universities are another matter.

William said...

I saw the movie. It was standard Marvel fare except for Black protagonists and the attempt to create an African kingdom like that of Camelot or Valhalla. Well, go to it. You get a Camelot, you get a Camelot.....Everyone's entitled to their own self serving bullshit, but if you look to comic books and Marvel movies for validation or insight into how the world works, you will never find the true path to Valhalla.

walter said...

It was Gadfly who clogged that toilet in GA.
Powerful shit.

n.n said...

Diversity breeds adversity and exclusion.

Jupiter said...

It is a fairly straightforward instance of O'Sullivan's Law; "Any organization that is not expressly right-wing will become left-wing over time." That this is true, we can clearly see. Even being expressly right-wing is not a certain protection. Look at National Review.

But why is this true? Why do we allow Leftists to take over our institutions?

FullMoon said...
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MadisonMan said...

Coming soon to a University near me.

Rob said...

I finally saw that awful "Black Panther" movie when it was broadcast on TV. What a remarkable collection of racial stereotypes. If a white production team had made it, it would have been excoriated, and the condemnation would have been entirely justified.

William said...

As someone of Irish (and O'Brien) descent, I always wondered if I should be cheering for King Arthur and his henchmen at Camelot. They always looked a little Anglo-Saxon to me. This is probably why I have grown up so alienated and confused. I was forced to cheer for the oppressors of my people.....Mel Gibson got it right. Glamorize the cattle thieves and demonize the Anglo-Saxons. We are all better people after watching Braveheart.

William said...

You know the superhero who doesn't have much currency nowadays? Sir Galahad. There's a guy who openly bragged about his chastity. Hard to create a franchise around a hero whose superpower is keeping chaste.

Original Mike said...

"What salute do White People use?"

I'm told we use the "OK" symbol.

DavidUW said...

But why is this true? Why do we allow Leftists to take over our institutions?
>>
Institutions naturally attract the institutional, i.e. bureaucrat mindset. The paper pusher, the process worshipper, the social engineer/marxist/utopian inclined.

Without competition and without express limitations (although in the case of the Constitution, even those seem to have a finite lifespan), the bureaucrat mindset takes over.

That's all.

Sebastian said...

"an implicit-bias workshop"

Such workshops always show explicit bias.

Thuglawlibrarian said...

A comic book salute. That is hilarious.

Just idiots.

Laughing Fox said...

Gadfly said: Biden is President based upon counts and recounts of votes in all the cities mentioned above plus virtually unanimous rulings by some 90 judges in 60 separate court cases brought by Trumpists. Claiming that black vote-counters cheated (while whitey MAGA supporters rely on ugly, unfounded accusations and violent attacks against the Congress) is big-time racism and inappropriate.

First, counting and recounting mail-in votes that were improperly filled out and accepted when they should according to law have been rejected does not do anything to correct vote fraud.
Secondly, black and white vote-counters, and especially white Democrat office holders who supervise the vote-counters, took part in this. It might be big-time racism for Gadfly to think that all the "vote-counters" were black.

Chennaul said...

Speaking of movies —. I think we’ve seen this movie before. The Enforcer does not look 100% black, could be yet another imposter.

Elizabeth Warren Syndrome Part 10.

Clyde said...

My salute would have been two extended middle fingers.

Jack Klompus said...

Why are people complacently allowing themselves to be ruled over and bullied by incompetent cult members?

Yancey Ward said...

"Why are people complacently allowing themselves to be ruled over and bullied by incompetent cult members?"

Because, at the moment, those incompetent cult members are being supported by the entire legal system. You push back, you lose your job and any ability to get another one.

J. Farmer said...

@DavidUW:

Institutions naturally attract the institutional, i.e. bureaucrat mindset. The paper pusher, the process worshipper, the social engineer/marxist/utopian inclined.

Without competition and without express limitations (although in the case of the Constitution, even those seem to have a finite lifespan), the bureaucrat mindset takes over.


I think your causal arrow is pointing in the wrong direction. It's bureaucracy that produces the "bureaucratic mindset". Any sufficiently complex organization, public or private, will develop bureaucratic systems of administration. In the private sector it's usually discussed in terms of "middle management."

I think the leftward drift of institutions that O'Sullivan correctly identifies has more to do with the nature of the organization than its constituent members. In this manner, I think it is similar to how populations become more leftwing as you move from rural to suburban to urban to metropolitan environments. Complex social arrangements will tend to select against values like traditionalism and universalism and select for self-direction and cosmopolitanism.

Freder Frederson said...

I bet there is a whole lot more to this story than what was reported in the New York Post, which is about half a step more credible than the National Enquirer.

It amazes me how you people automatically dismiss anything in the New York Times or Washington Post, but, dammit, if it is in the NY Post it must be true.

Dave64 said...

What the hell isn't racist anymore? I read today that ice skating was a form of White Supremacy!

Joe Smith said...

Tell me again about how incredible African-American culture is, and why we celebrate black history month, when they have to steal traditions from comic books?

Slavery in this country was, indeed, the worst thing that ever happened.

todd galle said...

Everything was fine in the comments until dgstock introduced the recurrent insult to our family, the question of the historic importance of 'Plan 9 From Outer Space', staring my great uncle Torre Johannson, former professional wrestler and bestest pals with Bela Legosi. I don't doubt that questions on the quality of the 'Beast of Yucca Flats' will appear soon. Uncle Tor used to curl my mother dozens of times on each arm, and my grandmother had to have to put 2 dining room chairs in a corner for him to sit, one chair being inadequate for his size. Also very soft spoken, according to my dad, he is practically screaming during his film career as compared to his normal voice level.

todd galle said...

As an aside, he was complimentary towards 'Vampira'.

J. Farmer said...

@Jack Klompus:

Why are people complacently allowing themselves to be ruled over and bullied by incompetent cult members?

Not sure that applies to Ames, who has gone public and has filed a lawsuit against the City. Unfortunately, Republicans do not have much of a rhetorical arsenal for opposing "cancel culture" since they have historically supported notions of at-will employment in the interest of "free enterprise" and have tended to side with management over labor.

Rory said...

"Why do we allow Leftists to take over our institutions?"

I don't think people are understanding yet what a role genetics is playing in all of this. It's an enormous allure to be able to present yourself as generous when you're really not giving up anything at all, plus you get the rush of bullying people.

Ann Althouse said...

The reason this doesn’t get my “lawsuits I hope will succeed” tag is that I don’t know both sides. These are allegations in a plaintiff’s court filing. I don’t know what the defendant will say. When someone gets fired, who knows why it happened? And I need more detail about what the various conversations were. Compulsory speech is a difficult topic. Teachers are compelled to say a lot of things, but it’s not like the flag salute cases if you’re not talking about being required to state a belief that you don’t have or to pledge something that you cannot in good conscience pledge.. Being required to say something that you think it foolish or bad policy can be part of employment.

Robert Cook said...

"It amazes me how you people automatically dismiss anything in the New York Times or Washington Post, but, dammit, if it is in the NY Post it must be true."

This is not amazing at all. True believers will accept any nonsense that feeds their belief systems, and will reject contrary information as "fake" (fake news, fake science, fake all the way down). This relieves them of the cognitive dissonance they might otherwise have to wrestle with, and absolves them of any responsibility to argue for their positions (and effectively refute opposing positions) based on the facts as they are known.

Rabel said...

Andrew Sullivan has an excellent article on Substack decrying the woke culture of today. He doesn't mention that he helped create it.

Yancey Ward said...

The solution, illegal though it may be in a lot of places, is to record everything in the workplace. If I were still working, I would be wearing a concealed video/sound recorder full time just for my own protection.

Yancey Ward said...

Then you need a new tag. "Lawsuits I hope get to discovery"

Freder Frederson said...

Tell me again about how incredible African-American culture is, and why we celebrate black history month, when they have to steal traditions from comic books?

You do realize that almost all American music (yes even Country) has it roots in African American culture?

Matt said...

Imagine getting in trouble because you won't perform a "salute" created as part of a fictional world from comic books.

Imagine treating a fictional world from comic books (created by someone not from your ethnic "community") as a triumph of your people.

Cringeworthy.

Earnest Prole said...

Andrew Sullivan has an excellent article on Substack decrying the woke culture of today. He doesn't mention that he helped create it.

The guy who published an excerpt from Charles Murray's The Bell Curve over the objections of the entire New Republic staff helped create woke culture?

Do tell.

Skippy Tisdale said...

Therefore, for the next four years nobody can object to anything that any Blacks want to do.

I guess that means that 30 years from now, the 20's will be known as the n-word decade.

Skippy Tisdale said...

CRT involves the increasingly toxic neuroses of college "educated" Blacks and their White "allies".

The operative word in Critical Race Theory is theory. History's Highway is strewn with the rotting corpses of countless dead theories.

Rabel said...

"my great uncle Torre Johannson"

Happened to see most of the film last week. First time to see a good print on a large screen. It wasn't the masterpiece that Wood's "Glen or Glenda" was, but Torre did bring considerable nuance to his role as a resuscitated corpse.

In the closing denouement world famous psychic Criswell said "You have seen this incident based on sworn testimony. Can you prove that it didn't happen?"

Which is advice we should all take to heart when discussing the NY Times and various lawsuits.

J. Farmer said...

@Joe Smith:

Tell me again about how incredible African-American culture is, and why we celebrate black history month, when they have to steal traditions from comic books?

Cultural traditions most often are stolen from comic books, though they're usually called myths or folktales. See, for example, America's various holiday traditions. Sumerian belief, like those recorded in the Epic of Gilgamesh, influenced the Hebrew Bible and the works of Homeric epics.

African-American culture is incredible. While it is true they have not produced much in terms of scientific or technological achievements, they're contribution to the arts has been enormous. From blues to jazz to rock to hip-hop, they've had a global influence on music, theater, dance, and aesthetics. If we expand the category to Afro-Caribbeans, we could add reggae and calypso to the lift. African-American culture has also produced a pantheon of iconic sports stars.

In terms of cultural achievements, no other African culture, native or diaspora, has been as productive. When the comedian Paul Mooney said that the African-American is the "most copied man in the world," he was right.

Lurker21 said...

Wasn't all this supposed to end after we got a Black President?

Scotty, beam me up... said...

The NYC school system is symptomatic of public school systems nationwide. The educators of today have been schooled in Marxism and they are now taking over as administrators. Their control over public education and colleges & universities have been like a virus, thereby infecting the whole institution with their historically debunked ideology. The elected school board members have been backed by these educators so that there is total control by the Marxists. A good example is the Oakley Union Elementary School District in CA who thought their online meeting was private when they mocked and disparaged the parents of the children they are indoctrinating, err, educating, not realizing that they were broadcasting their thoughts and comments to the world. Fortunately, the resigned enmasse and hopefully be replaced by people who live in reality. The end result of the hatred these educators are putting into the heads of our nations youth came out in the nationwide riots last summer. This last year is showing parents that they didn’t really know that their children were being turned into drones meant to serve their liberal political masters and not preparing them for the real world.

Rabel said...

"You do realize that almost all American music (yes even Country) has it roots in African American culture?"

"From blues to jazz to rock to hip-hop, they've had a global influence on music, theater, dance, and aesthetics."

So, you two guys are saying that they got rhythm.

Rory said...

"...I think it is similar to how populations become more leftwing as you move from rural to suburban to urban to metropolitan environments. Complex social arrangements will tend to select against values like traditionalism and universalism and select for self-direction and cosmopolitanism"

I think it mostly involves relative anonymity. If a community knows one another, it's hard to create the notion that someone is a villain or a hero.

alfromchgo said...

"music, theater, dance, and aesthetics"

Are very enjoyable in your home with central heating, indoor toilets, clean water, electricity, the written word, and of course the wheel.

J. Farmer said...

@Rabel:

So, you two guys are saying that they got rhythm.

No! I'm saying they've got polyrhythm ;)

alfromchgo said...

"Because, at the moment, those incompetent cult members are being supported by the entire legal system."

As soon the force of arms should Nan, Chuck or Barry put the order on the Resolute Desk.

rhhardin said...

It's not because it introduces a racial divide but because it's forced speech.

todd galle said...

Rabel, Thanks,
I do believe that 'Plan 9' was Lugosi's last role, doing a cameo in it for Torre as a favor. Bela died weeks into filming (according to family info), which is why his replacement actor did the elbow holding the cloak over the lower face thing, so people would still think it was Lugosi.

We had family movie sessions after VCR's emerged to watch his movies - probably have most of them in the basement VCR box.

Skippy Tisdale said...

A white person making that salute is cultural appropriation.

Not true. Consider MLK's I Have A Dream speech:

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.



And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!


It's clear that MLK's end-goal was to have all of us singing "old Negro spirituals". And given this, would he also not want us all to be making the n-word salute as well?

Mark said...

A LOT of anti-Jewish bigotry in certain segments of the Black community, AND anti-Hispanic AND anti-Asian AND, yes, even anti-African (Black African, not just White and Mediterranean).

J. Farmer said...

@Rory:

I think it mostly involves relative anonymity. If a community knows one another, it's hard to create the notion that someone is a villain or a hero.

I agree. As villages became cities, people relied less on connections of blood and marriage and more on shared cultural traditions. Culture essentially expands the idea of a family to the entire population through myths of common ancestors in the distant past. The urbanization the Agrarian Revolution made possible was kicked into overdrive in the 19th century by industrialization. Only recently has the global urban population exceeded the rural population.

Earnest Prole said...

From blues to jazz to rock to hip-hop, they've had a global influence on music, theater, dance, and aesthetics.

Let me overstate, but only slightly: Black American music rules the world.

Amadeus 48 said...

One is tempted to think that some of these people are exceptionally stupid. Let's start with taking meaning in public affairs from Hollywood drivel. Let's move on from there to embracing groupthink with absurd gestures.

We all said the Pledge of Allegiance in school as children. Did anyone think very much about what we were doing and what the words of the pledge actually meant? I didn't, and I was an extremely patriotic child, if a child can be patriotic. I would say that as an attempt to instill feelings through ritual, it it was a failure.

These are adults and have pretensions to education, if not culture. It is absurd. They are taking a cue to a ritual from a Hollywood movie that is an absurd fairy tale.

Black Americans have indeed made great contributions to American culture, but I think J Farmer goes overboard. Reasonable people can disagree. I would emphasize more the dynamism of American society over time. It is amazing what happens when you mix up cultures (Native American, German, English, Irish, Spanish, African, Jewish, Polish, Scandinavian, Italian, French, Bohemian, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Pacific Islander, etc.) over time and geography, eh, amigo? In the old days, we used to celebrate the amalgam of all and call it "American". That is who we are.

J. Farmer said...

@alfromchgo:

Are very enjoyable in your home with central heating, indoor toilets, clean water, electricity, the written word, and of course the wheel.

Art long precedes all of those developments and is more universally distributed. Don't make the mistake of assuming that that more complex societies are necessarily superior societies.

richlb said...

Black Panther/Wakanda and Aunt Jemima were both created by whites and portrayed by blacks. One is canceled and one is celebrated. Discuss.

Rabel said...

"We had family movie sessions after VCR's emerged to watch his movies - probably have most of them in the basement VCR box."

I watched it with my Amazon Firestick for free with Prime. Very good video quality.

I've found that watching older movies in HD on a very large (82") TV is like watching a very different (and much better) film.

Roughcoat said...

Linkage between the Homeric epics and Gilgamesh is arguable and, in the sense that the latter influenced the themes and composition of the former, doubtful. There is, however, very strong linkage between the Iliad and Odyssey on the one hand, and other Indo-European epics such as the Mahabharata and the Táin Bó Cúailnge (Cattle Raid of Cooley). Interestingly, the story of Samson in the Book of Judges seems to be have been influenced by the Mycenaean oral epic tradition, and carried to the Levant by the Bronze Age Greek Sea Peoples migrants who conquered and settled the area as the Philistines. Books I and II Samuel (the story of the Saul and David, et. also bear evidence of Bronze Age Greek influence.

These are not "comic book" renderings. They are, all of them, high literature.

Spiros said...

How should we feel about the Holocaust? Most Europeans don't feel any guilt. Honestly, we're not willing to accept any blame for what happened in Europe 75 years ago. But the individual stories of forced labor and genocide are very, very emotional.

My grandmother participated in the resistance against the Nazi occupation in Greece. Eventually she found herself on a train headed to Germany. Is this okay? My grandmother's experience had nothing to do with anti-Semitic virulence or genocide. Instead, her brothers were exceptionally violent and she was a minor figure in the resistance. So she was put on a train. She either talked her way out off the train (somewhere in Yugoslavia) or somehow escaped. She was an attractive woman and she was Christian. This probably helped but "[s]urvival was sheer luck, not heroism." Elie Wiesel.

Jamie said...

True believers will accept any nonsense that feeds their belief systems,

...such as "systemic racism," for instance.

Yes, we'll see if there's more to this story. But given what we've been seeing already these past few years with regard to forced speech, loyalty oaths, cancellation, and the cult of "superheroes" rather than the celebration of real heroes (oh, and don't let's forget the beneficent patriotic shadowy cabal that strove so successfully to censor the news pre-election! As long as we're talking about the reliability of news outlets), it's hard for me to discount the plaintiff's side here as just some kind of misinterpretation or overstatement.

Maybe the defense will be able to explain itself. Or maybe they'll maintain that none of this ever happened - but I'm inclined to believe that this woman was treated the way she claims, based on other verified accounts.

Daniel Jackson said...

"The DOE insists the famous cross-arm gesture doesn’t refer to “Black power,” but is instead “a symbol used to represent the Bronx.”"

Complete and utter bullshit. Until 1971, The Bronx had one of the highest Jewish populations in the world. My grandfather, a real estate developer of The Bronx platted out neighborhoods and built synagogues throughout the Borough. He was one of the developers of the Grand Concourse constructing six synagogue along the great avenue alone. Most of these are now Protestant churches with the mosaic windows still in tact. For a while, he lived at 166th and Morris Avenue across from the Shul he built, which still stands although it is now a church.

A child of Survivors narrating her tale of horror is as much a testament representing The Bronx as a fictitious fascist salute that revives the memories of the Nazi era. The fact that the Chief Educator of NYC does NOT know the basic history of The Bronx, where many survivors of the Shoah came after the war, or escaped Germany before the war to settle there is too horrific to apprehend.

Long before Frank Zappa, the old Jews in my family would recite, "It CAN happen here; never forget."

A week before Purim, no less: I pray their suit gives them HUGE punitive damages.

Daniel Jackson said...

"The DOE insists the famous cross-arm gesture doesn’t refer to “Black power,” but is instead “a symbol used to represent the Bronx.”"

Complete and utter bullshit. Until 1971, The Bronx had one of the highest Jewish populations in the world. My grandfather, a real estate developer of The Bronx platted out neighborhoods and built synagogues throughout the Borough. He was one of the developers of the Grand Concourse constructing six synagogue along the great avenue alone. Most of these are now Protestant churches with the mosaic windows still in tact. For a while, he lived at 166th and Morris Avenue across from the Shul he built, which still stands although it is now a church.

A child of Survivors narrating her tale of horror is as much a testament representing The Bronx as a fictitious fascist salute that revives the memories of the Nazi era. The fact that the Chief Educator of NYC does NOT know the basic history of The Bronx, where many survivors of the Shoah came after the war, or escaped Germany before the war to settle there is too horrific to apprehend.

Long before Frank Zappa, the old Jews in my family would recite, "It CAN happen here; never forget."

A week before Purim, no less: I pray their suit gives them HUGE punitive damages.

J. Farmer said...

@Amadeus 48:

It is amazing what happens when you mix up cultures...over time and geography, eh, amigo?

I agree, but I think you're going overboard in describing how much cultural dynamism was present in the Deep South of the late 19th century. African-Americans are already a hybrid of sub-Saharan Africans and European populations, and their culture is a mix of West African, Appalachian, and New Orleans creole culture.

In the old days, we used to celebrate the amalgam of all and call it "American". That is who we are.

It was called many things before it was ever called "American." For example: coon songs, n***** music, whorehouse music, barbaric, heathen, and "as harmful and degrading to civilized races as it always has been among savages from whom we borrowed it."

We aren't just one thing.

Inga said...

The fantasy of Wakanda, the fantasy of QAnon, wayyyy too many people all too ready to jump head first into fantasyland. I don’t blame her for reusing to salute, I wouldn’t do it either. It’s really just dumb.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

I remember when we all agreed it was a good idea to mix race, ethnicity, skin color - so that children would learn early that they can all get along and all that superficial stuff doesn't matter.

No more. The left have decided we are back to segregation.

Michael K said...

In contrast to the fictional "Wakanda" there really was an Ashante Empire in west Africa. That Wikipedia article fails to mention (by accident I'm sure) the fact that most Africa slaves were captured and sold by that same empire. 3.5 % of African slaves came to America, 40% went to Brazil. The Ashantis were fierce and captured many enemies that they sold to British, Spanish and American slavers at small fortresses off the coast. East African slaves were sent to Iran and the Arabs. There still is an east African slave trade.

Amadeus 48 said...

J Farmer.— I didn’t specify a time or a place. I referred to a process that occurred over time and spread across geography. But if you want to talk about the South in the late 19th century, New Orleans, Memphis, the Carolinas, East Texas, the Rio Grande Valley, the Texas Hill Country, Louisiana, East Tennessee, Charleston, Florida, Oklahoma (the Indian Territory), etc. weren’t all one thing.

Again, reasonable people can disagree, but to focus on Black Americans as the principal well- spring of American culture or art is to leave out a lot of the story and is highly reductive.

J. Farmer said...

@Roughcoat:

Linkage between the Homeric epics and Gilgamesh is arguable and, in the sense that the latter influenced the themes and composition of the former, doubtful.

The influence I referenced was "Sumerian beliefs," not the epic itself. I really should have said "Babylonian beliefs" sine the so called "Standard Babylonian Model" of the epic is the version that appears to have been the most influential. That said, it isn't so much that Gilgamesh influenced Homer as Gilgamesh and Homer are parallels with shared common influences. The transition in Ancient Greece from the Dark Ages to the Classical period is often described as Greece's "orientalizing period" when artistic and literary motifs and ideas were spread from the Near East and Egypt to Greece. Western culture has been defining itself against the Orient ever since,

Drago said...

Russia Collusion Dead Ender Truther Inga: "The fantasy of Wakanda, the fantasy of QAnon, wayyyy too many people all too ready to jump head first into fantasyland."

Morgan Freeman Narrator Voice: "To this very day, Inga believes in Trump/Russia collusion, Trump secretly communicated with Putin via "pings" between Trump Tower and Alfa Bank, Carter Page and Gen Flynn are russian spies, that Putin changed vote totals in 2016 to install Trump as President, the hoax dossier was "verifed", Kavanaugh was a rape gang leader, that there were thousands of bogaloo-ers leading antifa riots for months on end across the nation and, interestingly, that antifa doesnt even exist.

Discuss.

Bob Boyd said...

I seem to remember Obama's doctrine was, "Don't do stupid shit."
What ever happened to that? Seems like a good policy. Does anyone on the left even aspire to that standard anymore?

J. Farmer said...

@Amadeus 48:

weren’t all one thing.

Then why, as you were earlier suggesting, "celebrate the amalgam of all and call it 'American'?" Why not just call it human?

Again, reasonable people can disagree, but to focus on Black Americans as the principal well- spring of American culture or art is to leave out a lot of the story and is highly reductive.

I never described "Black Americans as the principal well-spring of American culture or art." I said that African-American "contribution to the arts" in the form of blues, jazz, rock, and hip-hop have "had a global influence on music, theater, dance, and aesthetics. I'm still not sure which part of that statement you're trying to take issue with.

Michael said...

J Farmer
“ Art long precedes all of those developments and is more universally distributed. Don't make the mistake of assuming that that more complex societies are necessarily superior societies.”

Depends on the meaning of superior. Health, longevity, access to clean water, food, a bit of leisure, the written word to record and entertain, the ability to play music as transcribed. These would single out one culture from those having few or none of those things.



J. Farmer said...

@Michael:

Depends on the meaning of superior. Health, longevity, access to clean water, food, a bit of leisure, the written word to record and entertain, the ability to play music as transcribed. These would single out one culture from those having few or none of those things.

In terms of fitness and nutrition, the typical nomadic hunter-gatherer easily beats the typical urban dweller. Urbanization has always involved trade-offs and offsets. The rise of the state, social stratification along a hierarchy, and political domination by an elite class were all associated with urbanization.

Joe Smith said...

"African-American culture is incredible."

We agree...so stop with the Wakanda shit...it does them no credit.

Michael said...

J Farmer
The typical nomadic hunter gatherer had a lifespan of less than 30 years. The equivalency argument is bullshit. As you know. But if you prefer to live in the all cultures are equal world be my guest.

Rabel said...

As it happens, Black Panther is coming on at 7 central tonight on TNT for those interested.

I tried to watch it last year and couldn't get all the way through.

And being a simple-minded dolt I usually like the live action cartoon movies.

Especially if Scarlett in featured.

DavidUW said...

Idiot Inga says:

The fantasy of Wakanda, the fantasy of QAnon, wayyyy too many people all too ready to jump head first into fantasyland. I don’t blame her for reusing to salute, I wouldn’t do it either. It’s really just dumb.
>>
Sure.
You'd salute. You're a moron who follows people you think are smarter than you.
Fraudci for one.

chickelit said...

One more week of black histrionics month until we can march onwards.

William said...

I'll go along with Farmer's appreciation of Black musicians and athletes. They really are giants. Perhaps over time, Black contributions to movies and literature will be equally significant, but it's fair to say that Spike Lee and Toni Morrison in their respective fields are not of the stature as Louis Armstrong or Michael Jordan were in theirs. A lot of reasonably competent Black artists are absurdly over praised. I suppose that's one way of compensating for years of neglect.

chickelit said...

In terms of fitness and nutrition, the typical nomadic hunter-gatherer easily beats the typical urban dweller. Urbanization has always involved trade-offs and offsets. The rise of the state, social stratification along a hierarchy, and political domination by an elite class were all associated with urbanization.

Romancing the Stone Age.

William said...

A certain amount of bullshit is a much needed nutrient in the human diet. I agree that Wakanda and its brave warriors are a steaming pile, but is it any more a steaming pile than what Mel Gibson presented in Braveheart?....Yeats in his poem Easter 1916 forged a potent myth. He celebrated by name a man who had drunkenly tried to rape Maude Gonne's daughter. I guess the Blacks are entitled to forgive the sins of such Black Panthers as Huey Newton and take pride in their own steaming pile of horseshit.

Rick said...

These people are so openly delusional they salute a fictional country. We should absolutely follow their firm understanding of policy.

Roughcoat said...

The influence I referenced was "Sumerian beliefs," not the epic itself.

You're really tap-dancing and parsing the meaning of your own words. You said: "Sumerian belief, like those recorded in the Epic of Gilgamesh, influenced the Hebrew Bible and the works of Homeric epics."

Seriously, are you not saying Sumerian beliefs influenced the Homeric epics?

In the event, Sumerian or Babylonian beliefs did not influence the oral development of the Homeric epics, a very ancient process that began as early as, or even before, Indo-European Linear B speakers entered southeastern Europe very early in the 2nd Millennium B.C. (or possibly earlier). At that juncture the Indo-European peoples and Sumerian people didn't know each other even existed. There had been no prior contact beween them.

The world of the Homeric epics and the Sumerian/Babylonian epics have very little in common. Most certainly their religions and the traditions and literature their religions engendered did not share a common ancestry (which is to say, in your words, a "shared common influences"). What parallels did exist were coincidental. The pantheon of celestial/sky gods ruled by Dyēus (i.e. Zeus, Dzeus-piter, i.e. Jupiter, or "God the Father) and worshipped by Indo-European peoples in their south-central Asian homeland (well before the start of the great IE völkerwanderungen in the late third millennium) were vastly different, in countless ways, from the Annunaki of Mesopotamia and the peoples who worshipped them.

When the Aryans established themselves as a ruling superstrate among the Hurrian principalities in the Great Bend of the Euphrates to form the kingdom (later the empire) of Mittani, they worshipped Vedic sky/warrior gods such as Indra and Varuna and were no doubt reciting oral epics about chariot wars, similar to those of the Rig Veda and the Mahabharata. Complicating matters at this time and in this regard was that Bablyon was similarly ruled by a chariot-using military elite who have been linked with the Indo-European language and religious traditions. (The Kassite overlords ruled Babylon from c. 1600 to c. 1150; the native Babylonian population was subservient to them.)

Mark said...

Complete fiction and an enhanced dramatization of real historical events are not the same.

There was a real William Wallace, who was really drawn and quartered, and a real Battle of Stirling Bridge.

Original Mike said...

"I tried to watch it last year and couldn't get all the way through."

It's the only Marvel movie I haven't been able to get through. I even got through Ant-Man and the Wasp (or something like that) last night. I should give Black Panther another shot.

Markoni said...

Perceived "Racism" is the New Holocaust.

narciso said...

Its very silly, ant man is, black panther is full of self important tripe

narciso said...

The brits fought four wars with the ashanti, the last with baden powell the founder of the boy scouts

Joe Smith said...

'Shaft' is more real than the 'Black Panther.'

Shaft's a bad mother...

Rick said...

William said...
A certain amount of bullshit is a much needed nutrient in the human diet. I agree that Wakanda and its brave warriors are a steaming pile, but is it any more a steaming pile than what Mel Gibson presented in Braveheart?...


Is someone suggesting American officials salute William Wallace? If so I missed it.

narciso said...

Wakanda was xhosa (south african) iconography and language.

Original Mike said...

"Its very silly, ant man is, black panther is full of self important tripe"

Ant man was silly. It was more chore than entertainment; I considered it background "reading" for the Marvel universe. For example, I now understand the tie-in with Endgame.

I don't remember anything about Black Panther other than I couldn't get through it. "Self important" would explain why I bailed. I set up to record it tonight, so we'll give it another go.

Original Mike said...

If nothing else, I need to learn the salute.

Original Mike said...

In case my life depends on delivering it.

narciso said...

Walton goggins does chew up the scenery, its very cartoony.

Roughcoat said...

Yeats in his poem Easter 1916 forged a potent myth. He celebrated by name a man who had drunkenly tried to rape Maude Gonne's daughter.

The point Yeats achieved in making with "Easter 1916" was that the very flawed and in some instances highly approachable men he named in the poem were redeemed by their martrydom. They were transfigured by their sacrifice. Yeat communicates, through his poetry, a sense of astonishment and awe at this transformation. Like most Irish men and women he at first viewed their armed uprising as something of a tragi-comic farce. But the cruelty and ruthlessness of the English in suppressing the rising -- e.g. steaming gunboats up the Liffey to bombard the Post Office and other rebel positions on O'Connell Street -- caused Yeats and the Irish to reconsider their stance. When, in the aftermath of the rebellion, the British tried the rebellion's leaders as "traitors" to the Crown and executed them by firing squad -- rathre than treating them as legitimate enemy combatants, protected by the universal laws of war, and thus deserving of prisoner-of-war status, the Irish people turned irrevocably, and fiercely, against the British. Certainly Yeats mytholized them; such was incliniation, and his genius, as the greatest poet in the English language. But the myth he created just happened to be true.

Rick said...

Inga said...
The fantasy of Wakanda, the fantasy of QAnon, wayyyy too many people all too ready to jump head first into fantasyland. I don’t blame her for reusing to salute, I wouldn’t do it either. It’s really just dumb.


How much of a difference is there between saluting Wakanda and claiming actual Americans want to create The HandMaid's Tale? Both reflect a delusional mindset driven by extremist politics.

Roughcoat said...

In the Easter rising "a terrible beauty" was born by the ordinary men who fought and died for Irish freedom. Yeats saw that beauty and helped the Irish people see it too. It wasn't a case of myth-creation on his part. It was a glorification of something actual.

Known Unknown said...

"There is an entire "postcolonial theory" aimed at explaining all of the dysfunctions and pathologies of the dark continent in terms of European colonialism.

The 2 most obvious explanations are geography and religion, but no one wants to discuss those. Sub-saharan Africa lacks easily-navigable waterways that make trade, commerce, and the intersection of groups inevitable. Also, animism as a religion is a cultural dead-end. When you worship the world around you, it is unconquerable. You cannot move earth to make roads, etc.

DavidUW said...

Fuck the Irish.

J. Farmer said...

@Roughcoats:

Seriously, are you not saying Sumerian beliefs influenced the Homeric epics?

Yes.

(The Kassite overlords ruled Babylon from c. 1600 to c. 1150; the native Babylonian population was subservient to them.)

The Babylonian Standard Model was written in Akkadian near the end of the second millennium BC. As I said before, the transition in Ancient Greece from the Dark Ages to the Classical period is often described as Greece's "orientalizing period" when artistic and literary motifs and ideas were spread from the Near East and Egypt to Greece.

Do you deny that this period of orientalizing occurred? Do you acknowledge any influence of the Neo-Assyrians, Phoenicians, and Egyptians on Greek culture?

Inga said...

“How much of a difference is there between saluting Wakanda and claiming actual Americans want to create The HandMaid's Tale?”

I don’t know, ask your wife, or your mother. I don’t know anyone who claims Americans want the Handmaid’s Tale despite you claiming so.

DavidUW said...

The 2 most obvious explanations are geography and religion, but no one wants to discuss those. Sub-saharan Africa lacks easily-navigable waterways that make trade, commerce, and the intersection of groups inevitable. Also, animism as a religion is a cultural dead-end. When you worship the world around you, it is unconquerable. You cannot move earth to make roads, etc.
>>

There's also the fact that Africa is bigger than China, India, and the USA combined.
Africa on its own is 2/3 the size of Asia. But.

Africa until recently had maybe 1/2 the population of Europe. spread out over 4x the land area. so 1/8 the population density.

Kind of like the Americas, where native populations outside of the densest regions (Mexico and Peru) were basically hunter gatherers and very sparsely populated.

narciso said...

Well nigeria has oil, which has turned out to the devils curse, niger has uranium, sierra leone has diamonds you see the problem ivory coast has chocolate

BarrySanders20 said...

There's also the Wakonda Country Club in Des Moines. Slightly different spelling but same phonetics. Irony is that it's the whitest place in Des Moines, which is pretty white, in the very white Iowa. They could have an 18-hole scramble to raise money for the other Wakanda: Strokes for Wokes. They used to have a "no jews/no blacks" membership policy (not so uncommon back in the white privilege days) but did away with that some many years back. They may still be looking for the first black member . . . .

narciso said...

Resources do not save africa, often they lead to its ruin, i discovered in mcmafia, that the nigerian mob had taken over south africa.

Mark said...

Also, animism as a religion is a cultural dead-end. When you worship the world around you, it is unconquerable.

Perhaps. In any event, Africa is primarily Christian. In fact, more Christians live in Africa than any other continent.

Rick said...

Inga said...
I don’t know anyone who claims Americans want the Handmaid’s Tale despite you claiming so.


And yet you claimed we must vote against Mitt Romney lest America create The HandMaid's Tale here. In their defense I suppose Wakanda saluters would similarly admit they don't really believe such nonsense. It's strange of you to conclude they are crazy while absolving yourself.

RigelDog said...

"You do realize that almost all American music (yes even Country) has it roots in African American culture?"

Nope. American music is rich and varied and awesome. It's a marvelous jambalaya and a subtle creamy butternut squash soup and everything in between. It IS heavily influenced by Americans of African heritage, more so in some genres than others. Country music happens to be far more influenced by English and Celtic culture's folk tunes than by anything African.

Enlighten-NewJersey said...

Thomas Sowell's book, Black Rednecks and White Liberals traces African-American culture to several generations of mostly Scots and northern English who migrated to the southern American colonies in the eighteenth century. The outstanding features of this redneck culture, or “cracker” culture as it was called in Great Britain at that time, included “an aversion to work, proneness to violence, neglect of education, sexual promiscuity, improvidence, drunkenness, lack of entrepreneurship, reckless searches for excitement, lively music and dance, and a style of religious oratory marked by rhetoric, unbridled emotions, and flamboyant imagery.” It also included “touchy pride, vanity, and boastful self-dramatization.”

Known Unknown said...

"Perhaps. In any event, Africa is primarily Christian. In fact, more Christians live in Africa than any other continent."

In 1500?

J. Farmer said...

@
Known Unknown:

"There is an entire "postcolonial theory" aimed at explaining all of the dysfunctions and pathologies of the dark continent in terms of European colonialism.

The 2 most obvious explanations are geography and religion, but no one wants to discuss those. Sub-saharan Africa lacks easily-navigable waterways that make trade, commerce, and the intersection of groups inevitable.'

That is the argument Jared Diamond makes in Guns, Germs, and Steel. I think Diamond is right to point out the role the physical environment plays in shaping human societies. That human populations became geographically isolated from each other and reproduced in differing ecosystems is the basis for racial differences.

Also, animism as a religion is a cultural dead-end. When you worship the world around you, it is unconquerable. You cannot move earth to make roads, etc.

Animism didn't stop the Bantu expansion out of West Africa by Niger-Congo speakers into the south where they displaced the Khoisan people. I think it's more likely that their animism is a function of their social organization rather than the other way around.

Lewis Wetzel said...

It is a sad thing, but many black people think that democracy and individual freedom are their enemies.

Lem said...

When i became a citizen i swore an oath of allegiance to the USA of America.

Id imagine the Afro-Latina, Espinal, feeling conflicted when asked to, in essence, repudiate the oath she might have similarly taken to become an American.

J. Farmer said...

@RigelDog:

Country music happens to be far more influenced by English and Celtic culture's folk tunes than by anything African.

That's true, but Africa did provide the banjo and China the harmonica. One of the earliest performers on the Nashville radio program that would become The Grand Ole Opry was the black "harmonica wizard" DeFord Bailey. I don't think he represents much influence on country music but does exemplify the tradition of black hillbilly music and the musical cross-pollination in the region.

mandrewa said...

I'm pretty sure that the Epic of Gilgamesh was intended as a religious text.

I mean there are moral messages in it for one thing. But maybe the comparison to a comic book is kind of apt. I've read the Epic and at first glance it reads like a fantastic adventure story. It has a hero around which the story is written.

Speaking of influence, it seems clear that some parts of the Bible were influenced by the Epic of Gilgamesh. For instance,

"The closest parallel between a biblical text and the Epic of Gilgamesh is seen in the wording of several passages in Ecclesiastes, where a strong argument can be made for direct copying. The author of Ecclesiastes frequently laments the futility of “chasing after the wind” (for example, Eccl 1:6, Eccl 1:14, Eccl 1:17, Eccl 2:11, Eccl 2:17, Eccl 2:26, Eccl 5:16, etc.), a notion reminiscent of Gilgamesh’s advice to the dying Enkidu: “Mankind can number his days. Whatever he may achieve, it is only wind” (Yale Tablet, Old Babylonian Version). Earlier in the story, Gilgamesh persuaded Enkidu that two are stronger than one in a speech containing the phrase, “A three-stranded cord is hardest to break” (Standard Babylonian Version, IV, iv). Similarly, Ecclesiastes tells us, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work…. Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Eccl 4:9-12). These may simply be common sayings picked up by both authors, but Eccl 9:7-9 seems to directly quote the barmaid Siduri’s advice to Gilgamesh on how to deal with his existential angst:

When the gods created mankind,
They appointed death for mankind,
Kept eternal life in their own hands.
So, Gilgamesh, let your stomach be full,
Day and night enjoy yourself in every way,
Every day arrange for pleasures.
Day and night, dance and play,
Wear fresh clothes.
Keep your head washed, bathe in water,
Appreciate the child who holds your hand,
Let your wife enjoy herself in your lap.

(Meisner Tablet)"

That's from Shawna Dolansky: Gilgamesh and the Bible

But I have a much harder time seeing where the Epic influenced any of the Greek texts.

What we know about the Greeks, and what came before them, is largely based on the texts that they wrote that have survived. And beyond that we are blind. And that is true for most ancient cultures. We don't know much of anything about most them because they left no written record.

J. Farmer said...

@chickelit:

Romancing the Stone Age.

There's nothing idealized or unrealistic about what I was describing. The transition from a nomadic lifestyle of hunting and foraging for food to a sedentary lifestyle and a few cereal-based crops for foods marked a downturn in nutritional quality. Increasingly dense human settlements also encountered the problem of communicable diseases.

J. Farmer said...

@mandrewa:

What we know about the Greeks, and what came before them, is largely based on the texts that they wrote that have survived. And beyond that we are blind. And that is true for most ancient cultures. We don't know much of anything about most them because they left no written record.

I agree that these are questions that can't be answered with anything approaching certainty. Although, I wouldn't exactly say were were "blind" to prehistory, since there is some evidence in the form of the archaeological material. Nonetheless, this article covers some of the basic arguments for the case of Near Eastern influence:

Homer and the Near East. The case of Assyrian historical epic and prose narrative

William said...

@roughcoat: I don't find fault with anything you say about "Easter, 1916", but I stick by my point that the poem is greater than the events it described. DeValera was certainly a better man than Huey Newton and maybe even a better man than Gandhi, but there's not much inspirational in his days and works subsequent to Easter, 1916. During "the troubles" an IRA member was six times more likely to kill another IRA member than a Black and Tan or RCF member.....The Plantagenets are also better studied in Shakespeare than in actual history books. There's history and there's poetry. There's physics and there computer generated special effects.

DavidUW said...

That human populations became geographically isolated from each other and reproduced in differing ecosystems is the basis for racial differences.
>>
I'd say that absent a critical population density (whatever that is, but Africa and the Americas outside of Egypt, Mexico/Maya and Inca/Peru didn't have it. also Australia), you don't get much advancement.

Roughcoat said...

Farmer:

Define "orientalizing." What it was, what it entailed in the context of your argument, and in terms of how and to what extent it influenced Hellenic (Classical Greek) culture.

Identify the artistic and literary motifs and ideas from the Near East (which includes Egypt) that worked their way into Classical Greek culture.

Do you deny that this period of orientalizing occurred? Do you acknowledge any influence of the Neo-Assyrians, Phoenicians, and Egyptians on Greek culture?

Do you deny the process that saw ancient pre-archaic (i.e., Mycenaean) Greek motifs influencing Near Eastern cultures (e.g., the Samson story, Saul and David, etc.)?

The Babylonian Standard Model was written in Akkadian near the end of the second millennium BC.

I was discussing the period encompassing the end of the third millennium and the start of the second millennium, i.e. the period of the Indo-European migrations, when the Linear B Greeks (aka Mycenaeans) were evolving their religious beliefs and the associated traditions that were foundational to the creation of their epic poems. It's true there were contacts between the Mycenaean realm (whose king was at the time recognized as one of five "great kings" in the Near East) and the upstart Assyrian kingdom that had come into being following the Hittite destruction of the Mittani empire. But these contacts were primarily trade-oriented, and most contacts between the Mycenaean realm and Assyria was conducted by middlemen. And that trade ended when the Hittite great king ordered the Assyrian king to terminate relations the "Ahhiyawan" (Hittite rendering of "Achaean") realm.

A study of Bronze Age Greek society before its collapse in the tenth century reveals no significant cultural influences from the Near Eastern realms. What little the Ahhiyawans did take in from the Near East came to them by way of the Indo-European Hittites and other IE Anatolian peoples. The Hittites' Near East borrowings came mostly from the Hurrians; various Hittite kings, for example, took Hurrian throne names (along with their Nesite names), and the Hurrian pantheon was incorporated into the Hittite pantheon.

In the event, the period of what you call "Orientalizing," to which the Classical Greeks were relentlessly antipathetic, ended with the death of Alexander the Great. Alexander's successors, the Diodochi, took on the trappings, literal and figurative, of Oriental monarchs as a sop to their Near Eastern subjects, but in fact they were the standard bearers of the Hellenic Age, which saw a widespread and profound Hellenizing of the Near East realms and peoples that were brought under the rule of the Successor dynasts.

Roughcoat said...

Btw, I disagree with Patzek's thesis, which I have read.

But enough witht his for the time being. I'm currently writing/collaborating on an article on Kikkuli the Mittanian, "horse master of Mittani," and Kikkuli's role in the development of the Hittite chariotry arm. And when I say "currently," I mean right now, I've been writing all day and into the night, posting here when taking breaks from my writing.

Got to go. Must meet a deadline with my collaborator.

mandrewa said...

J. Farmer, the argument seems very general. There are no specific examples of Sumerian/Babylonian/Akkadian/Assyrian influence on Greek literature offered in this text. Or at least up to the fourth page, where this is stated explicitly:

"All this indeed is highly conjectural. We have absolutely no written evidence to describe the shape of Mycenaean epic culture."

The hypothesis notes that both Greek and Assyrian stories are written as heroic narratives (comic book stories) that have a protagonist who is often an actual historical figure and that historical events are explained in part by reference to the gods taking sides in the political or religious conflict that forms the background for the story. But despite that real context it's obvious there are large fictional aspects or super-hero aspects to these tales.

So noting these similarities, the hypothesis is that the Greek tales were copying the general form of these Assyrian tales.

It could be. But it could also be that this is just a built-in, ie. genetic, way of looking at the world or talking about it that owes more to our fundamental nature than any actual influence of stories from one culture being heard by another.

A way to test which of these hypotheses is more likely would be to look for cultures that were completely different and had a totally different way of articulating or explaining the world.

I would offer the New Testament as an example of that, since it really does have a very different feel than these epic tales except that the Old Testament has clearly been influenced and the New Testament has been influenced by the Old.

Do we have any examples of a very early culture that looked at the world in a completely different way than the Sumerians with their heroic narratives?

Hercules, not that one though said...

Imagine if a man could take 2 days away from the TV, and the stream, streaming, video games. Imagine if a man could unglue his nose from the iDiot Phone screen.

2 days.

I think DavidUW honed in on this:

Fuck the Irish.

Pretty much sums it up.

Bunkypotatohead said...

For now the lawyers just get involved when an opponent of woke institutions gets harmed. But once the academics persuade enough of their students that they are victims of a racist educational system, the lawyers will find it more lucrative to file class action suits against said institutions. Hopefully putting a few of them out of business. So the problem will be self correcting in the long term. Going woke will make them broke.

Of course the lawyers will keep the bulk of the proceeds. The millions of students they represent in the class actions will probably just get a gift card for a free viewing of Wakanda 2.

J. Farmer said...

>@Roughcoat:

Btw, I disagree with Patzek's thesis, which I have read.

What about the arguments Burkert makes in The Orientalizing Revolution: Near Eastern Influence on Greek Culture in the Early Archaic Age or Martin West in The East Face of Helicon or Walcot's Hesiod and the Near East.

In Mary Lefkowitz's critique of Martin Bernal's work, she conceded that there had been Near Eastern influences but that Bernal was wrong in his description of the nature and extent of such influence. Do you consider that an untenable position as well?

Roughcoat said...

William:

It is the genius of the Irish to see history as poetry and poetry as history. To say that "the poem is greater than the events it described" is to attempt to quantify something that can't be quantified. And the poem wasn't attempting to describe events. It was operating on a more elevated plane -- a transcendent plane, if you will. As for DeValera: you won't find me defending him. I'm a Collins man. Your observation that "during the troubles" an IRA member was six times more likely to kill another IRA member than a Black and Tan or RCF member" is confusing. Battles with the Black and Tans took place during the War of Independence, i.e. during the struggle to establish the Free State. Civil War ("The Troubles") broke out after the creation of the Free State when DeVelera and his followers rejected the treaty Collins brokered with the Brits. I am not familiar with an organization known as the RCF. Your final sentence ("There's physics and there computer generated special effects) makes no sense to me in the context of this discussion.

Roughcoat said...

Farmer:

You haven't answered my questions.

DavidUW said...

It is the genius of the Irish to see history as poetry and poetry as history.
>>

That's one way to describe a bunch of burrowing leeches that destroyed the American city.

I suppose you're talking Ireland here but the Irish are the worst.

J. Farmer said...

@mandrewa:

J. Farmer, the argument seems very general. There are no specific examples of Sumerian/Babylonian/Akkadian/Assyrian influence on Greek literature offered in this text. Or at least up to the fourth page, where this is stated explicitly:

At least read the entire article before judging the argument. The concept of an "orientalizing" period between the Greek Dark Ages and the Archaic period is described in the art history of Ancient Greece. In terms of myth and poetry, it has also been discussed in terms of Near Eastern influences on Hesiod and his Theogony.

Roughcoat said...

t could be. But it could also be that this is just a built-in, ie. genetic, way of looking at the world or talking about it that owes more to our fundamental nature than any actual influence of stories from one culture being heard by another.

The Hero With a Thousand Faces has many authors.

A way to test which of these hypotheses is more likely would be to look for cultures that were completely different and had a totally different way of articulating or explaining the world.

Paging Joseph Campbell.

J. Farmer said...

@Roughcoat:

Farmer:

You haven't answered my questions.

Define "orientalizing." What it was, what it entailed in the context of your argument, and in terms of how and to what extent it influenced Hellenic (Classical Greek) culture.

Identify the artistic and literary motifs and ideas from the Near East (which includes Egypt) that worked their way into Classical Greek culture.


The Greeks, the Near East, and Art during the Orientalizing Period

William said...

@Roughcoat: Sorry, I meant RUC not RFC. The statistic was a throw away line used in Tim Coogan's "History of Ireland in the 20th Century" that stuck with me. The IRA certainly killed each other with more brio and frequency than they killed the British or RUC.....Collins was a hero, and his hero status was assured by his early death. He was killed by the IRA....By computer generated special effects, I was referring to Wakanda. Such a nation with its brave warriors can only be a by product of computer generated special effects. Physics and all that damned gravity does not allow for such lightness of being in the real world. Yeats didn't work with special effects, but you need something like the special effects of language to elevate the heavy chill that DeValera cast upon Ireland and define it as a "terrible beauty" being born.

DeepRunner said...

The New York post had this quote:
"[Karen] Ames talked about her grandparents’ loss of two children during the Holocaust — only to have colleague Rasheda Amon tell her, 'you better check yourself,' the lawsuit alleges. 'That is not about being Jewish! It’s about black and brown boys of color only.”

Yep, wipe The Holocaust from history. It's only about the suffering of other folks. THAT'S what matters. What a bunch of horse-hockey. When did "equality" become about some being more equal than others? It ain't the "brown boys" that come for you. It's the brown SHIRTS of radical leftism.

Reverend Al smiles...

Hercules, not that one though said...

Mike Sylwestor - "President Biden owes his election to Black voters."

We want to try to explain the last election. We do. We want to explain it. It can't be massive fraud. It can't be. It was.

Black people voted for Trump. They were trying to throw off the Democrat Party chains that keep them in ghettoes.

I can't get any whiter than I am, but I can look at this world, I can see the cultures that have formed. Oh, man, I just want people to see what we have here.

For those who have only lived in all white communities, you cannot know what happens in this Country.

I had a black man who was my Scoutmaster in 1963. Eugene Hampton, Sr.
I had a black 1SG in the Army. Roosevelt Dickerson. Born in the '40s, took the pain.
When I started driving a cab, and was sitting in a parking lot at 3am waiting for a call that wasn't coming, John Moore drove up. Black man. Here's what he said, "What the fuck you doing here ?" It was my first day. I didn't know where to be.

John Moore could have been racing back to the Alaskan Bush Company before they closed. He saw a cab sitting in a parking lot and swung in to check on the cab, and scolded a newbie on where to go, and when to go there.

Democrats call these men, Oreos and Uncle Toms. They're just guys, living out their lives, imprinting their kindness, their decency, their patience, on others. It ain't about Race.

Democrats need everything to be about Race. It ain't about race.











Gospace said...

Why any person of Jewish descent, secular or religious, in the USA votes for a Democrat at any level of government anymore is a mystery. When they come for you- the only thing they're going to care about is YOUR'RE A JEW! Whether you faithfully attend shul every Friday or don't have a clue where the nearest temple is will be immaterial to their judgement.

Same way they won't care what denomination of Christian you are when they line you up.

J. Farmer said...

I agree. As villages became cities, people relied less on connections of blood and marriage and more on shared cultural traditions. Culture essentially expands the idea of a family to the entire population through myths of common ancestors in the distant past.


You talk about myths of common ancestors in the past as if it were a myth. It's estimated that 80% of the current British population is descended from King Edward III. And a significant portion of the American population- including, for example, me. If there's a "Stewart" or "Starrett" or "Stuart" in your ancestry, it likely includes you.

In the Christian west, there's a reason nations formed. The Church. But it started with Rome, which prohibited marriages between 1st cousins. Eventually in the 9th century in Europe the Church forbade marriages up to 6th cousin. This is when nations started to form. You couldn't find a mate within your village, or even two or three villages over. You'd have to travel a distance to find a suitable mate. Suddenly, everyone had blood relatives 100 miles away in any direction. And those blood relatives had relatives 100 miles in any direction- up to the language border in any event. I don't know what the current Church rules are (when referring to "Church" I mean "Roman Catholic"). But it was their prohibitions on marriage that created nation-states from baronies and fiefdoms.

I currently have over 33000 DNA matches on Ancestry.com. Over 1400 4th cousin or closer by DNA matching. And that's just from people who've sent in their DNA for testing, maybe a few over 20 million to ancestry.com. I have quite a few black 4th cousins or closer, more that are more distant. "E Pluribus Unum" being the operative phrase. I have traceable 4th cousins in most states, Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand.

In the community I live now, comprising about 8000 people in 2 towns and 1 village, roughly half the people are related within 3 jumps as either in-laws or cousins of some kind. I've not previously lived in a place that closely related. Not including the Mennonites and Amish in that- they're all traceably related to each other, but not the rest... And then there are a few of us who parachuted in. There's a few surnames in town that I suspect I may be related to, but I haven't searched them out. But many of the families here have been here since before the Civil War, so they have distant relatives all over also, whether they know it or not. Behind me, I have 5 generations of ancestors none of whom died within 50 miles of where they born, and often were in different states. In each and every family branch. Yet, I have distant relatives living in the house in Virginia built by my 5G grandfather...

I note Crack Emcee hasn't joined in on this thread. I'd be interested in knowing who he matches up with using DNA. My distant relation as I said includes blacks- and also includes Asians of various persuasions, mostly from missionaries and their children who married local, at least two different Amerindian tribes, and every European nationality there is.

Colonel Mustard said...

We are watching the bonfire of western civilization. When the last ember turns to cold ash, people of color (Hispanics and Asians excluded) will still be screeching, “NOT ENOUGH”.

Does anyone dare to simply say, “That’s enough”?

n.n said...

people of color (Hispanics and Asians excluded) will still be screeching

It's a leverage game a la diversity (i.e. color judgment not limited to racism) racket for capital and control. How many people identify as a color bloc, define themselves by their skin color ("people of color"), a low information attribute (e.g. "colored people")? One step forward, two steps backward.

J. Farmer said...

@Gospace:

You talk about myths of common ancestors in the past as if it were a myth.

I do not mean "myths" as falsehoods but rather the mythological sense. That is, stories about the distant past that are intended to explain or justify some condition of the present.

In the Christian west, there's a reason nations formed. The Church. But it started with Rome, which prohibited marriages between 1st cousins...

The issue of the social effects of consanguinity has long been discussed but has more recently risen as a thesis in Joseph Henrich's work on "WEIRD" societies. Francis Fukuyama earlier discusses it in his book The Origin of Political Order. The freelance writer "HBD Chick" has produced copious material on the subject.

However, I do not believe that this explain the "reason nations formed." While the political implications may have been different, pre-Christian utilized concepts akin to a nation or an ethnic group. That is, groups of people were defined in terms of kinship and place and described in terms of social and cultural differences.

Roughcoat said...

Farmer @2/21/21, 10:54 PM:

Answer my questions in your own words. Don't merely send me the link to a book.

I believe you provided that link because you can't answer my questions. You can't say, precisely, what "orientalizing" was, what it entailed in the context of your argument, and in terms of how and to what extent it influenced Hellenic (Classical Greek) culture. You can't identify the artistic and literary motifs and ideas from the Near East (which includes Egypt) that occur in, e.g., the Homeric epics or Classical Greek culture. You don't know the answers. You probably haven't read the book you linked or any the other books you mentioned. Probably, you got your information from the descriptions at Amazon, on Wikipedia, whatever.

Which is why you won't put it all into your words. Which is why you provide a few call-outs about the books and then post a link.

I think you're bullshitting. You're quite good at it.

hstad said...

These 'Woke Persons' are truly 'in your face'? Using a fictional image ("Wakanda Salute") given by actors in a fictional movie about a fictional country - LOL. Where this is going and the results they hope to achieve is going to result in a disaster. Moreover, the journey has and is divisive. Shades of 'Mao's' Revolutionary Red Guards during the '60s which destroyed China for several generations and caused millions to die. History repeats itself!

PM said...

J Farmer: "The whole enterprise is an answer to sub-Saharan African's development gap with the rest of the world."

The motivation for that UCLA Prof to write "Guns, Germs and Steel." His two biggest reasons for the gap: No domesticable animals and inability to participate in the Mediterranean trade.

hstad said...

Blogger Known Unknown said...
"Perhaps. In any event, Africa is primarily Christian. In fact, more Christians live in Africa than any other continent." In 1500? 2/21/21, 8:09 PM

You're an example of this article - believing in fiction and assuming it's factual?

According to the 'Pew Research Center' Christians dominate Africa with a population (a/o 2010) of 517 million with Muslims coming in at 248 million. Christians have been the fastest growing population for well over 100 years and are projected to grow by over 115% by the year 2050.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

PM,

The motivation for [Jared Diamond] to write "Guns, Germs and Steel." His two biggest reasons for the gap: No domesticable animals and inability to participate in the Mediterranean trade.

Buffalo? But I see the point. I thought the lack of navigable rivers was way up there, too. Or, more properly, rivers opening onto plausible ports. You can transport stuff across Africa by water, but not get it to the ocean most places.

"Wakanda" (I did watch Black Panther) was such a pile of "African" stereotypes that I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

J. Farmer said...

@Roughcoat:

I think you're bullshitting. You're quite good at it.

Aww, thanks. Sweet of you to say.

You caught me. I am not an ancient historian or a classicist or a philologist. That said, I do have a layman's interest in topics like "world history" and "western civ" and the humanities in general. Like any other subject, I satisfy my interest by trying to learn more about it and accomplish this by reading about it, listening to talks on the subject, or watching content like that provided by The Great Courses or Open University.

So, where did my notion of Near Eastern influence on Greece come from? I probably first learned about it in a high school art history class or from reading Mary Lefkowitz's book Not Out of Africa around the same time.

As to the "context" of my argument, I was talking about cultural diffusion and why it's silly to use a term like "steal" in regards to cultural traditions. I gave as an example "America's various holiday traditions" and the influence of "Sumerian beliefs" on "the Hebrew Bible and the works of Homeric epics."

Since it's a point of contention and not necessary to substantiate my point, I will rescind the phrase "and the works of Homeric epics." Feel better now?

DavidUW said...

Buffalo? But I see the point. I thought the lack of navigable rivers was way up there, too. Or, more properly, rivers opening onto plausible ports. You can transport stuff across Africa by water, but not get it to the ocean most places.
>>
And cattle.

Jared's hypothesis for Africa was rivers and no north/south communication; the only temperate climes are the north africa coast (obviously part of the Mediterranean) orbit and South Africa. There was little communication across the Sahara to get ideas back and forth to sub saharan africa. As I recall at least.
His hypothesis for the lack of progress in the Americas and Australia included lack of domesticated animals.

can argue whether it's a chicken or egg problem, but there was a much much lower population density (and still is) in Africa, the Americas and Australia compared to Eurasia. In my hypothesis, fewer people/sq mile= fewer ideas, fewer motivation to "civilize"

JeanE said...

An NPR story says that the fictional kingdom of Wakanda is inspired by the actual kingdom of Mutapa in southern Africa that thrived from the 15th-17th centuries. The Mutapa kingdom had gold, ivory, and other valuable resources, and per the NPR article "Mutapa stands as a symbol of economic success through local, regional and international trade." A bit more research reveals that Mutapa imported goods from India in exchange for gold, ivory and SLAVES. Yes- that's right- the fictional kingdom of Wakanda is inspired by a slave trading kingdom. It seems like everyone should refuse to offer a salute to a slave trading kingdom, even if the fictional version omitted the unpalatable realities of 15th-17th century African kingdoms.

Hercules, not that one though said...

Mike Sylwester- "'President' Biden owes his election to Black voters"

Biden didn't need voters. He had ballots. A lot of them. Democrats got away with it. A frightened and/or corrupt judiciary let his puppet masters get away with it.

This is a brand new game. When Democrats cheated in the past, they tried to be discrete. Not anymore.

We've seen the dissolution of a once Great Constitutional Republic, the likes that had never been seen before. We avert our eyes, and pretend everything is fine. But. It's gone.

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