“Sometimes it helps to laugh. But Romney’s smirk is disturbing. It betrays a preternatural sense of entitlement and self-satisfaction that comes out, often inappropriately, in all sorts of ways, from his odd remark that “I like to be able to fire people that provide services to me” to insulting the cookies supporters served him or the rain gear fans wore to a NASCAR event. It seems related to the calm self-importance with which he belittled British planning for the Olympics, insulting our closest ally. The smirk is a cousin to another odd Romney tic – his tendency to chuckle at the wrong time, like when he was trying to deny cutting the hair of a gay high school classmate. Who chuckles when they’re trying to project compassion?”

-Joan Walsh, “Romney’s haunting smirk”

northernarrow asked:

Colbert doesn't have any input in the Colbert Report's Twitter account. It's operated by Comedy Central and he disliked the tweet as well. So please educate yourself before you go spouting off about someone who didn't even tweet the damn tweet.

[re: this post or this one]

um…thanks(?) for riding all the way over to my askbox to Whitesplain that to me, but I never even mentioned the tweet (because research) so you can climb down off that high horse whenever you’re ready

the tweet was a direct quote from the dialogue on his show (which, for fuller context, I provided a link to in my original post), so it rly doesn’t matter who tweeted or “disliked” an actual quote of something he actually said 

and just to save you another trip to my askbox, yes, I am also aware of “acting” and “satire”…but that still doesn’t mean that every single White person on earth gets to take turns using and re-using that same old tired excuse each time they feel like saying something racially insensitive

like I said before, sometimes it almost seems like “White people will always defend the inalienable right of other White people to make racist “satirical” jokes about people who AREN’T White

Here’s the thing: he could have approached it a million different ways. It doesn’t matter if it was his “character” or satire or performance art. I am fucking tired of alleged comedic “satire” repeatedly shitting all over Black people and other PoC. And I’m tired of all the White “comedians” who each take their perpetual turns at “satirical” ironic racism and then always get a pass for doing the same thing over and over and over and over (no matter HOW much ppl of color say it’s problematic) because diehard MackleStanz™ or other White people crawl out of the woodwork to Whitesplain shit like “acting” and “satire” to me as though I have seriously never heard of those words before.

so yeah, lots of people (coincidentally disproportionately White men) aren’t really as interested in anti-racism as much as they are in defending alleged White knights and the status quo, even to the point of attacking the very PoC who they are supposedly “defending”

So this is what typically happens to minorities and Asian ppl like @Suey_Park who won’t blindly endorse White hegemony and instead try to speak their own truth:

The message here is, “we can all fight racism, just so long as White people get to define what is and isn’t offensive to minorities…because satire

Please see also: misogyofeminists

Yes, dickhead, you and White people are the ~*only*~ ones in the entire universe—the chosen few—who understand the concept of satire


we all get it, Colbert was trying to use ironic racism to deride Dan Snyder —but there’s also a concept that says that the ends don’t always justify the means - why would a White person even feel so free to use language that is offensive to Asian Americans…to show that racism against Native Americans is wrong? Especially when he isn’t a member of either group?

look, there’s a BIG problem when marginalized groups are continually (often tacitly) told that the *only* voices in the anti-racism struggle that we should value and listen to are the White people who disproportionately dominate spaces that they are not even members of 

and I could go on, but if you’re honestly more interested in genuine anti-racism than just  closing ranks & blindly circling the wagons, then this post ➤right HERE explains it far better than I could (no rly…read ➤this post in it’s entirety before anyone even thinks about coming at me on this again)

What’s the Matter with White People: Why We Long for a Golden Age That Never Was by Joan Walsh

The size and stability of the American middle class were once the envy of the world. But changes unleashed in the 1960s pitted Americans against one another politically in new and destructive ways. These battles continued to rage from that day to now, while everyone has fallen behind economically except the wealthy. Right-wing culture warriors blamed the decline on the moral shortcomings of “other” Americans—black people, feminists, gays, immigrants, union members—to court a fearful white working- and middle-class base with ever more bitter “us vs. them” politics. Liberals tried, but mostly failed, to make the case that we’re all in this together.

In What’s the Matter with White People?, popular Salon columnist Joan Walsh argues that the biggest divide in America today is not about party or ideology, but about two competing narratives for why everything has fallen apart since the 1970s. One side sees an America that has spent the last forty years bankrupting the country providing benefits and advantages to the underachieving, the immoral, and the undeserving, no matter the cost to Middle America. The other sees an America that has spent the last forty years bankrupting the country providing benefits and advantages to the very rich, while allowing a measure of cultural progress for the different and the downtrodden. It matters which side is right, and how the other side got things so wrong. [book link]

Author Joan Walsh on her book, What’s The Matter With White People and the notion that minorities get handouts while whites work hard.

JW: Far too many white Americans – especially those who do not come from wealth or privilege – don’t understand the extent to which they’ve had help. There are so many fault lines in the GOP theory of individualism, self-reliance and this latest rhetoric of “we built this.” White men, in particular, have enjoyed a de facto affirmative action for centuries, but even [white] women’s suffrage in the 1920s did very little for women of color.

I’m not a sociologist, but I believe that the liberal left often focus too much on the racist, white fringe in our society. We must stop that. Instead let’s educate people who aren’t racist, yet remain ignorant and ill-informed. History matters. There is a terrible tendency to see every black person who gets an Ivy League degree as having gotten help getting there, but whites somehow “deserve” it. Our society, culture and media all participate in that misguided narrative.

Watch on

Chris Matthews Skewers Tea Party Express Co-Founder Over Michele Bachmann’s Speech

You need to watch this. Even more ridiculous than Bachmann, who is ignorant enough to fearlessly propagate her lies, is Tea Party Express co-founder Sal Russo, who clearly knows better.

See also:


Yeah, I totally get satire. It might surprise some people to know that “sarcasm” isn’t some cryptic ancient code that only White people can understand. It’s not something that Black/PoC somehow just haven’t mastered yet. Trust me guys, we cracked that code a long time ago (hell, a Black/PoC probably invented it)

Sometimes it seems to me that people think satire means: “I get to say absolutely anything I want, but no one can get mad if I say the magic word! SATIRE!

(image via decolonizingminds)

Here’s the thing: people (most often White men) repeatedly telling jokes and then having to yell, “BUT SARCASM!” afterwards…well, that     s  h  o  u  l  d      be indicative of a problem…and no, the problem is not that minorities, women and other marginalized or oppressed groups didn’t “get” the joke, or that we’re somehow being “too sensitive” Perhaps the reason we aren’t laughing along with privileged White people at so-called jokes —which we’ve probably heard as racial digs and micro-aggressions for our entire lives— is because either the jokes aren’t that funny or they’re barely masking hurtful racism, misogyny, transphobia, etc.

Does it ever even occur to White people that maybe, just maybe the problem isn’t always with everyone else?

Ever notice how it’s overwhelmingly White people who are more outraged by the ensuing negative reactions to a bad joke? Think about it: it’s funny and satirical when the “humor” maligns minority groups for the “right kind” of laughs, but any dissent is suddenly deemed “too PC” or just an ignorant misunderstanding of “satire” by teh minorities who get upset about being the butt of said jokes

(image via domics)

These repeated (to put it kindly) missteps by “edgy” White men, followed by predictable (predominately) “White outrage” targeting the outrage of Black/PoC is 100% unavoidable, as long as the most visible, most listened to and the most rewarded  “defenders” of social justice are almost always White men dominating spaces that ought to be headlined instead by those who are most impacted

Colbert’s “comedy” was intended to be funny to a White audience. And I guess it was. Because satire apparently

Believe it or not, always being the cheap & easy laugh…the “understood” idiot and the repeated butt of jokes by White guys gets kind of old…especially when you’re not White

(SN: this seems to be an ongoing theme with “edgy” White comedians)

But ask yourself: if the studio audience was 90% Asian, or if the show were being broadcast from an Asian country, would Colbert have used the same “joke”? Probably not, but why not?

And now ask yourself this: could Colbert have made an equally “funny” joke disparaging Dan Snyder’s racism *without* offending Asian Americans or any other minority group that he is not a member of? Probably

One thing remains constant: many White people will defend the inalienable right of other White people to make racist “satirical” jokes about other people who AREN’T White —so if you aren’t White, and got offended, surprise! it’s you who needs to stfu and relax…even after the millionth time, because satire! 

Look, I watched the entire segment on Comedy Central. (link HERE) And yes, I “get” what Stephen Colbert was ~*trying*~ to do…but allow me reframe it for you: he was condemning a racist mascot that offends one group of oppressed people…BY MAKING A JOKE AT THE EXPENSE OF ANOTHER GROUP OF MARGINALIZED PEOPLE

AND HERE’S WHAT I DON’T GET: why is it ok to be upset about the Washington team’s name, but it’s NOT ok to be upset about language that is offensive to Asian Americans? I mean, aren’t they both offensive?

Hey, I think it’s great that he’s against the Washington team’s racist name and mascot. Really, great. Stick it to Dan Snyder all day long…but exchanging one offensive slur for different offensive language probably ain’t the best way to do it. Colbert is neither American Indian nor is he Asian American. And that is where the problem stems from (and no, it matters not one bit if it turns out that he is 1/1000000th of either group, so hole on to all your fractions)

Yes, I know Colbert has made many charitable donations and done a lot of other good guy type stuff…but that does not inoculate him against getting a privilege check. He should be able to do good for any marginalized group without making them feel disparaged. The responsibility to ‘not offend’ is his —it is not the duty of minorities to eternally 'not be offended’ by edgy White male comedians

And for the seemingly endless multitudes of outraged (again, mostly White) people who will still think that they have to break out a dictionary and explain to me precisely what satire is, remember this: you are not Asian. Those words will NEVER sting you the way they do Asian Americans. They won’t trigger any bad memories for you or make you angry. So you posses a level of detachment where it might be “just words”…a privilege that many Asian Americans and other minorities do not share with you

Now, there are some people who won’t stop to consider anything I’ve just said. They’ll write it off as me simply being a Tumblr  #SJW or being too “politically correct“ (and we know what that means)

For others it won’t compute because of blind celebrity worship where it’s inconceivable that their guy could do anything wrong (think diehard Macklemore stanz) or they won’t listen bc it will cause too much cognitive dissonance to even begin to consider that a well meaning White guy could possibly do or say something that might be wrong and (gasp) racially insensitive. I mean, if HE could mess up this royally, then maybe “normal” White people could too!? In the words of my late grandmother, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”

Stephen needs to have a tall glass of do betta and then apologize if he hasn’t already done so

That’s my 2¢

But maybe that’s just me though

- by Joan Walsh at

So here’s what happened:

  • BEFORE the attack in Benghazi (Libya) that killed 4 American public servants, the US Embassy in Cairo (Egypt) released a statement in response to an anti-Islam film on YouTube in a attempt to “ reduce tensions inflamed by the hate-speech of Terry Jones and his Muslim-hating supporters.”
Their statement:

“The United States Embassy in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.” 

  • The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was attacked, resulting in the death of 4 Americans. 
  • Mitt Romney tells a horrific lie. 
From his comments:

I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi. It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.

NOTE: He’s referring to the statement released by the US Embassy in Cairo (not the Obama Administration or the State Department) before this attack had taken place. 
  • The next day, Romney was asked to correct his statement. He did not.

“When our grounds are being attacked and being breached, the first response should be outrage.”  “Apology for America’s values will never be the right course. We express immediately when we feel that the President and his administration have done something which is inconsistent with the principles of America.” 

From Joan Walsh’s piece at Salon:

So Romney wasn’t criticizing Obama’s Libya policy with his statement. He was lying. He was making cheap political points out of the killings of four American public servants. From his tin-eared criticism of our closest ally during the Olympics, to his bluster on sensitive dealings with China and Iran, to his failure to even mention troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq during his Tampa speech, Romney is proving he would be a disaster as president.

Not surprisingly, a thriving franchise of the nation’s booming white grievance industry has opened up in Ferguson, Mo. over the last week.  It’s worth examining closely. As usual, it consists of two parts lies, one part paranoia, but at its heart it’s a big grift.

The weekend featured multiple protests supporting Darren Wilson, the missing Ferguson police officer who shot an unarmed Mike Brown on Aug. 9. His superiors apparently withheld Wilson’s name long enough for him to delete all social media accounts and skip town, but his supporters are declaring Wilson, not Brown, the victim here. A GoFundMe site raising funds for Wilson’s defense – though he’s not been charged with anything – garnered not only $250,000 in donations, but so many ugly racist rants GoFundMe administrators had to disable comments for the site. (They’ll have no trouble taking a cut of the racists’ money, of course.) Wilson’s supporters say they’ve raised $374,000 online and at local events, “to support his family,” one woman told MSNBC.

Why, besides racism, are Wilson’s supporters so convinced of his innocence? Well, any good grift will involve a hoax or two, to gin up the sense of outrage. First there was “Josie,” a purported friend of Wilson’s who called into a radio show helmed by gun-loving wing-nut Dana Loesch to tell Wilson’s side of the story. “Josie” insisted that Brown attacked Wilson, grabbed his gun, and the terrified cop shot only in self-defense. The problem? The details were almost identical to those shared on a fake Facebook page set up to look like Wilson’s own. But before the tale could be debunked, not only Fox but CNN had reported on “Josie’s” tale with some credulity. As karoli notes over at Crooks and Liars, it’s not clear whether Loesch was punked, or was in on the punking.

Then we saw right-wing blogger Jim Hoft, named “the dumbest man on the Internet” by Media Matters, peddling a phony X-ray or CT scan purporting to show that Wilson suffered a fractured eye socket scuffling with Brown. Unfortunately, a little sleuthing revealed the image in question came from a facility at the University of Iowa and had nothing to do with the Ferguson case. Oops. Of course Fox ran with the story, but ABC News also reported that Wilson had suffered a “serious facial injury,” claiming its own local source.

Of course Ferguson’s white grievance industry is getting major help from Fox News, the grievance industry’s biggest grifters. It’s funny, a couple of weeks ago Attorney General Eric Holder spent a few days as Fox’s favorite administration figure, with Bill O’Reilly and the crew at The Five piously instructing Ferguson protesters to trust the attorney general, who had taken over the inquiry into Mike Brown’s shooting. No more. On Friday’s “Five” Andrea Tantaros declared that Holder “runs that DOJ like the Black Panthers would,” while the whole team endorsed her claim that the attorney general is “race-baiting.”

Fox has peddled every allegation of wrongdoing by Mike Brown from the beginning of the story. On Fox and Friends Monday morning, Linda Chavez argued that the media should stop calling the teenager “unarmed” because “we’re talking about an 18-year-old man who is six foot four and weighs almost three hundred pounds, who is videotaped just moments before the confrontation with a police officer strong arming an employee and robbing a convenience store.” So Mike Brown can’t be considered unarmed because…he had arms?

It’s worth noting the way the phony information and paranoia peddled by well-known, oft-discredited right-wing media activists like Hoft and Loesch makes its way into the mainstream media ecosphere, again and again. CNN media critic Brian Stelter called out Fox this weekend for peddling the fractured eye socket story, and good for him, but to my knowledge he didn’t rap his own network for peddling the phony “Josie” story. The right’s influence on big stories like this can be more subtle and insidious: who believes the New York Times would have stooped to calling Mike Brown “no angel” – the evidence? He’d been in some “scuffles” and had “taken to rapping” – without the right wing braying about Brown’s stealing cigarillos and making up stories that he did even worse?

All that media support fanned the flames of white paranoia that manifested in the pro-Wilson activities back in Ferguson and St. Louis. You could see the trademark combination of innocence, fear and near-hysteria that powers the white grievance industry. “We will no longer live in fear,” one woman told The Guardian, as though a white person had been gunned down, not an unarmed black teenager. “We’ll all see this in the end that it was a good shooting,” a Wilson supporter named Tina Morrison told Buzzfeed, more than a little creepily. “You know, it was a good kill.” Unlike Morrison, most Wilson supporters refused to tell journalists their names, claiming they fear retribution at the hands of Brown’s defenders.

That paranoia about retribution is shared by the backers of Wilson’s GoFundMe project. It’s organized by Shield of Hope, a “charitable organization” that lists Ferguson Police Department public relations officer Timothy Zoll and Missouri State Rep. Jeffrey Roorda as directors. Roorda became nationally known for a 2009 bill that tried to keep the name of police officers involved in shootings private, because “releasing a name could put someone in grave jeopardy,” he explained.

Of course Mike Brown was the one in “grave jeopardy” in his clash with Darren Wilson. So far Wilson’s shrill supporters have raised an estimated $374,000 for a man who hasn’t been charged with a crime, who never produced an incident report of his confrontation with Brown, and who’s consistently been protected by his superiors. Meanwhile, they’ve outraised supporters of the Brown family, and they’ll likely raise more. The white grievance industry is getting good at this.

h/t: Joan Walsh at Salon


The Weekly WORD, Brooklyn

  • You sure know a lot about baseball…for a girl. On Wednesday, March 12th, at 7 p.m., we’ll talk America’s pastime with author Caryn Rose (B-Sides and Broken Hearts, Raise Your Hand) in honor of her new book, A Whole New Ballgame. Caryn will be joined by Joan Walsh (Splash Hit, Salon), Taryn Cooper (of Gal For All Seasons), and Diane Firstman (Value Over Replacement Grit). Kimberly Austin of Rock Book Show will moderate. Batter up, readers; this one’s a home run; a grand slam of an evening…and all other baseball puns! But seriously, join us; this is going to be great.
  • Friday, March 14th, at 7 p.m., WORD Brooklyn will be celebrating its 7th anniversary (!!!) with special guests Mohsin Hamid (How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia) and Anya Ulnich (Petropolis). They’ll talk the wide world of international fiction, as well as recommend some of their favorites. There’s a big, big world in our little store. Explore it!
  • On Saturday, March 15th, we’ll host meetings from two of our book groups. At 1 p.m., YA Not?, our young adult book group for all ages, will meet to discuss The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson. Then, at 3 p.m., our British Lit Book Group will talk Observatory Mansions by Edward Carey. As always, book group picks are 10% off in-store.
  • Sunday, March 16th, at 11 a.m., we’ll chase the cold season away with a seasonal story time. Author Christina Pastor and illustrator Kate Nielsen invite kids of all ages to join them for a reading of their book Everybody Gets the Flu. Ah-Ah Achoo! Just kidding. Flu season is over.

Next up, next up: Saul Austerlitz on I Love Lucy, and science both real and imagined with Cecil Castellucci. Good work team.  

‘Left, Right & Center’: NSA, Immigration and Nice Nails

Posted on May 9, 2015

dno1967b (CC BY 2.0)

Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and the other “Left, Right & Center” panelists discuss a federal appeals court’s ruling that bulk metadata collection is illegal. Also, Hillary Clinton gets aggressive on innovation, and a New York Times article about nail salons has everyone talking.

Scheer is joined by Josh Barro of The New York Times, moderating from the center, Rich Lowry of the National Review on the right and special guest Joan Walsh.

Listen here.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

#JoanWalsh, #Listen, #RightCenter

McCain Calls Obama A Coward, Joan Walsh Reminds Us That McCain Cowardly Chose Palin To Appease Conservative Base (VIDEO)

McCain Calls Obama A Coward, Joan Walsh Reminds Us That McCain Cowardly Chose Palin To Appease Conservative Base (VIDEO)

It’s probably the worst decision John McCain ever made, and he should continue to be uncomfortably reminded of it every time he opens his mouth.

Such was the case during a broadcast of PoliticsNation on MSNBC, when contributor Joan Walsh appeared on the program to discuss deplorable remarks made by John McCain in a recent interview with Sean Hannity.

McCain accused President Obama of being a…

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