Deli Lines, Winks, and Nods

Before we hit the road this morning, Steve went to the local deli to get egg sandwiches and coffees. We Jersey people love our delis and egg sandwiches. And in the deli with Steve were several working class Jersey guys with their shaved heads, goatees, and flannel. Steve said that while they were all waiting for their eggs to cook, the other guys turned to each other and said, “it’s a GREAT day, isn’t it?” “Oh yes, it’s FABULOUS.”

Gee, what were they talking about? 

So, how much of the trump vote was cultural and how much economics/politics? How much of it was just because the egg sandwich guys just hate people like me? 

I think the BLM protests really pissed off and scared folks. I think that the rhetoric around race was a huge factor. I don’t think that the details of the university free speech debates mattered much, because I don’t people knew much about it beyond Melissa Flick. But in general people are tired of being told that they can’t say retarded, faggot, or gay. They want to keep their Indian mascots and their sombrero Halloween costumes. Because it’s tradition. 

Our varsity soccer team was just barred from sports from the rest of the year because they encouraged the freshman to do the “cookie challenge,” which involves a cookie between the butt cheeks. And they video taped it and put it on social media. 

Lots of parents and other students thought that the school went too far. More politically correct stuff, they said. So, these slights happen every day, and it’s personal.

88 thoughts on “Deli Lines, Winks, and Nods

  1. But in general people are tired of being told that they can’t say retarded, faggot, or gay.

    I think it’s even worse than that. I think much of the central PA vote Trump vote was in reaction to the reaction to the Penn State abuse scandal. People really want to go back to worshiping Joe without being reminded of Sandusky.

  2. Long time reader and very occasional commenter here…

    I don’t think that the details of the university free speech debates mattered much, because I don’t people knew much about it beyond Melissa Flick. But in general people are tired of being told that they can’t say retarded, faggot, or gay. They want to keep their Indian mascots and their sombrero Halloween costumes. Because it’s tradition.

    I agree with this. Which is why I wish the cultural left, which I’m sort of on, would keep a sense of proportion. As a gay man, I really appreciate the efforts to excise faggot or gay (as a slur) from the language. But there’s no need to track down a rural pizza parlor to harass them about catering a hypothetical wedding. What did that accomplish? As far as I can tell it created a fear that if you don’t conform to a new orthodoxy, your livelihood will be destroyed. (People, Barack Obama was, at least publicly, against gay marriage in 2008!) And we wonder why they don’t vote for the culturally left party?

    And you can say the more crazy stuff is mostly just on college campuses, which is true. But (1) it shows up on Fox News anyway, (2) people may see this as the future and be virulently opposed, and (3) people are painfully aware that unless you pass through these institutions, your economic future is over. If you knew your kid had to listen to Baptist preachers reading from Leviticus for four years or get a low-wage, no growth job forever, you’d probably be pissed too!

    1. The problem is that by that standard, something done by less than 1% of the cultural left becomes a problem that the rest of cultural left is supposed to somehow stop or the resulting election becomes their fault.

      That’s not a reasonable standard for running a political movement and basically just turns into blaming black/gay/etc. people for racism.

      1. I agree with that, it’s not reasonable. But a couple things:

        (1) It’s not like political actors have no power to affect this. Barack Obama, to his immense credit, was against some of this, and I think that helped.
        (2) It’s 1% of the cultural left. That 1% is what you have to pass through to have upward mobility, or you’re going to be working the checkout at Dollar General when you’re 40. This matters! And I think it’s exaggerated myself (I’m on a college campus, although in a “conservative” field, economics, and I don’t think the cultural left is that aggressive on my campus.) But, the not-entirely-inaccurate perception of having the gatekeepers of your children’s future espouse an alien ideology to them has got to matter.

        I don’t have any great solutions either, sadly.

      2. Nice summary of the problem with this emphasis on the behavior of whoever Jerylyn is.

        I also believe we have to apply it to the cultural right, too. I stumbled on an alt-right page and was horrified the other day, but even though I think that Trump traffics in racism and misogyny, I don’t think he can be held responsible for the ugliness there.

  3. I think David French has some really good points here, attempting to debunk the “whitelash theory”:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/442038/dear-america-important-trump-did-not-win-because-racism

    (French has a lot of credibility here, because he faced intolerable harassment from Trump fans during the election.)

    “Would you believe that Mitt Romney won a greater percentage of the white vote than Donald Trump? Mitt took 59 percent while Trump won 58 percent. Would you believe that Trump improved the GOP’s position with black and Hispanic voters? Obama won 93 percent of the black vote. Hillary won 88 percent. Obama won 71 percent of the Latino vote. Hillary won 65 percent. Critically, millions of minority voters apparently stayed home. Trump’s total vote is likely to land somewhere between John McCain’s and Romney’s (and well short of George W. Bush’s 2004 total), while the Democrats have lost almost 10 million voters since 2008.”

    “White voters responded mainly by voting in the same or lesser numbers as the last three presidential elections. That’s not a “whitelash,” it’s consistency.”

    “Trump won because minority voters let him win. The numbers don’t lie. The “coalition of the ascendant” stayed home.”

    If I were to float a theory here, it may be that the Obama presidency disappointed and demoralized a lot of minority voters.

  4. Yesterday at my daughter’s HS, the Model UN students decided to open up their usual Wednesday meeting to all students to discuss/debate the election results. Apparently, the principal called in the faculty advisor and told her that they couldn’t do that because he’d already dealt with a few fights in school over the election. So they canceled the school-wide meeting.

    I told my students about this while chatting in class this morning (last day of the term; I was waiting for my usual latecomers to come in). They were appalled. I said, So, I guess I should send an email to the principal. They said No, the students themselves should do it. That gives me hope.🙂

  5. While in my county, in which 1/4 people voted for Trump (and the county isn’t the city — I’m guessing that precinct results will show that the ratio is even smaller), I felt like everyone walking in the streets looked sad. It was pointed out that I might be projecting (and, of course I might), but I do believe that I didn’t see a spontaneous smile yesterday.

    My son tells me that 12 children voted for Trump in their mock election, in the entire school (out of 350, though some of those are kindergartners, whose political preference is probably not well defined). My daughter’s school didn’t run a mock election, because they suspected, too, that only 5% or less would vote for Trump, and they didn’t want those kids to be targeted.

    Our (gay, married) mayor released a statement saying the following:

    “We will continue to be a city that embraces diversity, a city that welcomes immigrants, a city that does not have a religious test.

    We will continue to support women, we will welcome as neighbors our Muslim brothers and sisters, and Black Lives will still matter. Our city will remain strong because of our diversity, not in spite of it.”

    (and, later doubled down on being a sanctuary city).

    Clearly, I live in a bubble. It’s a comforting sanctuary right now, but I really do want to hear from those outside of the bubble and am trying really hard to listen to what voices I hear.

  6. I did not really think about a backlash against BLM until Monday night. I was in Las Vegas with a few Canadian friends. We went to dinner in a restaurant in one of the big (non-union, not owned by Sheldon Adelson) casinos. One of my friends asked our waitress who she was voting for. At first, she demurred, management didn’t want employees talking to customers about the election. My friend pressed, saying we were Canadian and just curious. So, she said she wasn’t going to vote because she “wanted to stay out of it.” But, if she did vote, it would be for Trump because her boyfriend was a police officer and “Hillary Clinton hates the police.”

    It seemed like a crazy thing to say/think to me, and still does. I guess it’s out there though.

  7. Not sure I clearly understand the connection between what people term “political correctness” and the “cookie challenge” (which, presumably was about bullying and a presumed lack of consent from the freshman)?
    I am generally flabbergasted that the trade for changing community standards at Yale with respect to Halloween costumes would 1) be addressed by voting for president — I mean, can’t one try to change what happens at Yale more directly? and 2) that it would be an adequate trade for the uptick that we are experiencing in straight out racism following the election:
    This just appeared in my FB feed. I’m keeping it to bear witness:
    “A collection of tweets about racist episodes POC are facing now that Trump is our President Elect.”

    “https://twitter.com/i/moments/796417517157830656”

  8. Oops, sorry, I didn’t know that link would populate the feed in such an ugly way — Laura, please delete, and I can try to figure out a way to post the link without flooding your blog with ugliness.

  9. It’s interesting how little of a factor gender has played in contrast to race in the election post mortems. I think it was probably more of a factor in the voting decisions of Midwestern working class men than we realize. My best friend’s dad is the quintessentially idealized working man: Midwestern, white, high school education, delivery truck driver, union member, culturally conservative, lifelong Democrat. He is my weather vane for understanding the preferences of working class whites. Voted for Clinton but waffled heavily. Many in his cohort went Trump because they just couldn’t get behind a woman (so my friend reports, via her dad) for a whole mess of reasons.

  10. I think that what Steve witnessed has already been identified and named: it is the banality of evil.

    That is why he instinctively reacted, because he is decent person and that is what decent people do when they are confronted with evil, they can’t help themselves but be revolted.

    As far as the backlash against Political Correctness goes, it seems to me only polite to refer to people the way they want to be referred to. Didn’t you ever say to someone, something like, “Oh, don’t call me Mrs. Smith, call me Joan?” or, “I go by David, not Dave (or Richard not Dick, or Matt, not Matthew, etc.).” We think nothing of accommodating these requests when they are made on a face-to-face level, so why is it so hard to say “gay” rather than “faggot” in general conversation?

    Maybe this sort of purposeful bad manners is a sub-type of the banality of evil?

    Whatever, it reflects extremely poorly on the person who refuses to respond to the simple request of using the label the labelee has indicated a preference for. No matter what their excuses are for their behavior.

    1. And along these lines as well – is it so difficult to choose a Halloween costume that isn’t offensive to a minority group? Of all the costume choices someone can make, do they REALLY have to choose a First Nations costume?

      In addition to the banality of evil, it’s also the backlash from a social class that has never had to accommodate anyone else. They’re so used to being the norm that any bit of acknowledging difference is a huge deal.

      1. Coercive enforcement of your standards, or anyone else’s, for courtesy is an infringement of the right of free expression. Is that somehow controversial? It would be an infringement of the right of free expression to ban flag burning, though it offends some people; it would be an infringement of the right of free expression to ban crucifixes submerged in urine, though it offends some people; it would be an infringement of the right of free expression to ban Indian costumes at Halloween, though it offends some people.

      2. y81, as I tell my students in my classroom, after I lead them in the pledge of allegiance to the African flag, “noun-ing” verbs is a strategy used mostly when writers want to be weasels. Let me rephrase the relevant part of your post in non-weasel language:

        “X would infringe the right of free expression to ban flag burning, though it offends some people;

        X would infringe the right of free expression to ban crucifixes submerged in urine, though it offends some people;

        X would infringe the right of free expression to ban Indian costumes at Halloween, though it offends some people.”

        Those who have learned actual critical thinking in the education system instead of spending all their time grubbing for As so they could get into law school will now see immediately that X does not always equal X.

        This is because you either still do not understand what the first amendment says after, I assume, a semester or two of Constitutional Law, or you are deliberately being misleading to advance your own prejudices.

      3. Wendy is correct: my sentence reads better if you change “would be an infringement of” to “would infringe,” or, better yet, “would violate.” The sentence is still true. The First Amendment has no applicability to private institutions like Yale. If Yale wants to be like Calvin College, and require profession of certain opinions as a condition to employment or admission, that would be its right. That isn’t how the administration markets the institution now. In fact, the administration purports to believe in free expression, although obviously no one believes them.

      4. Well, you know, that’s a problem for Yale and the students who go there. Shouldn’t the people who attend the university inform themselves of the policies before they go there? Caveat emptor and all that. I’d have thought “caveat emptor” was kind of the motto for all the Boomer-generation corporate Yale alums.

  11. One of the stories in that ugly twitter moment is a group of men coming up to a woman and saying “let’s grab her pussy” and then proceeding to try to touch her inappropriately. I think gender played a big role in this election.

    There’s a Katha Pollitt quote “Every woman I know who calls herself a feminist, or is even just doing especially well in a field in which men also contend, deals with some version of this, an underlying unease she evokes merely by being a woman who doesn’t devote every waking minute to making some man feel 10 feet tall. Sure, you can brush it off, but that brushing off, over a lifetime, has psychic costs.”

    I recently watched Raisin in the Sun, and was troubled by one of the main storylines — the need for all the women around him to make Walter Lee feel like a “man”, specifically by giving him power and responsibility over their lives.

    The shift in power balances in gender (which black americans have grappled with for a long time) is a part of this clash, too, and in some ugly ways.

    1. bj this is one of the saddest things coming out of this election for me. For a brief moment it seemed like our experience of micro aggressions from when we hit puberty til we are deemed not attractive due to age was finally being acknowledged and believed.

      And then not.

      Gender played a large role.

  12. I think what happens on campuses has more political salience than some people might think. My conservative/Trump supporting fb friends are perpetually linking to various right-wing sources, which feature campus PC craziness heavily. Partly, it might be that PC craziness is more extreme on campuses than most places. I mean, we didn’t cancel work because of the election, but the internet was full of the Yale professor who excused students from the midterm.

    1. My stance on that is that anybody who is upset enough about a Yale professor canceling classes enough to justify voting for Trump on those grounds just wanted to vote for Trump and is trying to blame it on somebody else.

      1. That was just an example of what might seem like an obscure event–in general, obviously, no one cares about midterm exam schedules at Yale except the students taking the exams–that received widespread play in my fb feed because of its “special snowflake” character. The guys at the deli don’t get their work schedules adjusted because they are “so upset” about the election. The endless injuries of class do take their toll.

      2. Before I hid everybody putting them up, my Facebook line was filled obscure events, many of which didn’t exist. It’s just chaff.

    2. You’re talking about “what happens on campuses,” but these kinds of issues are raised almost exclusively at the eight schools in the Ivy League, and maybe 20 or 30 other colleges. These colleges are being treated as proxies for the hundreds/thousands of other universities that 95 percent of students attend.

      This is not only a right-wing problem, by the way – I feel like the literature related to “college” is overwhelmingly about these elite universities. I teach at a distinctly non-elite university and it really annoys me.

      1. Yes, but it isn’t just rich liberals who focus on those colleges. The internet feeds that the guys at the deli read feature a lot more news from Yale than from North Seattle Community College.

  13. MH, you are to be commended on the quality of your goodthink and the effective use of your memory hole. Especially stuff from that bastion of Eastasian propaganda, the Yale Daily News. It never happened. Actually, the professor canceled the midterm to celebrate the increase in the chocolate ration.

    1. I have been affiliated with four universities over something like 25 years. In that time I’ve had hundreds of teachers, fellow students, colleagues, bosses, underlings, and co-authors. I’ve seen people flunk out, lose tenure, drop out, lose grants, lose jobs, and get yelled at by Germans. But I’m supposed to drop all I know because somebody at Yale has trouble holding a job?

  14. I admit that I don’t know anything at all about what happens/happened at Yale. I doubt I am in a minority in this, especially the further you get from New Haven. It seems to me that basing a world view on what goes on at Yale is awfully parochial.

      1. I don’t understand this sudden shift: we’ve gone from discussing a political correctness controversy at Yale (the argument being that political correctness is stifling free speech and expression) to sneering at the (imagined) idea that I am waving off “politically incorrectness” at Canisuis College.

        I think there is a qualitative difference between an evolving discussion at a university about what is the proper definition/role/boundaries of political correctness (an intellectual debate at a university, imagine that!) and anonymous graffiti.

        The individuals at Yale who feel their free speech is being limited know who they have to engage in order to try to change the limits they are chaffing under; the individuals at Canisuis who are being confronted with graffiti and Black dolls with nooses around their necks don’t have that route to take.

        They don’t know who they have to engage or avoid. Just about anyone they pass on the street could be the person responsible for the graffiti or that doll. That’s something they can’t compartmentalize, it is something that has to color their entire day (as if this is the only time something like this has happened to people of color).

        As for the resentment among some of the metaphorical “townies” against “gownies,” it takes many different forms in many different places, and has for a very, very long time. That is what is going on when people are upset that a couple of dozen kids at Yale got excused from a midterm. If it wasn’t that, it would be something else. I haven’t the vaguest idea how to help people who are not part of the academy stop resenting those who are.

      2. I haven’t the vaguest idea how to help people who are not part of the academy stop resenting those who are.

        By not having the academy be the gatekeepers to a middle class life. Except I haven’t the vaguest idea of how to accomplish that either.

      3. Because a swastika is a horrible symbol of a horrible genocidal worldview. Only one swastika painted anonymously in a public place is a disgusting violation of decency.

        As an aside, my great-great grandmother was born in Wellsville. Her father was a lawyer and a committed abolitionist and republican, as were many from his hometown of Warsaw, NY, where the first anti-slavery society in the US was formed.

  15. I’m frankly perplexed about worries about cancelling classes at Yale when we’re looking through that feed of ugliness, particularly since I think the likelihood of “political correctness” (creating safe spaces, trigger warnings, . . . ) will probably increase as the ugliness in central pennsylvania increases. To the extent that we don’t want coercive standards trying to protect mexican from the microaggression of sombreros at Yale, one should be working towards the protection of everyone, so that there is no perceived need for safe spaces, because everyone feels safe everywhere.

    It dawns on me that the election of someone like Trump will increase the pressure for creating sanctuary spaces at places where liberals/inclusive/diversity advocates have power (like my hometown, and Yale). So, generally, I suspect a bad approach for someone who is feels that free speech is being threatened at those places.

    1. Did you read what I wrote? I don’t care about midterms at Yale. I mentioned this as an example of news from Yale that percolates through the internet. Very possibly, Laura’s friends at the deli read it. Hence their scorn for the special snowflakes, which is how they perceive rich liberals like Laura and her family.

      1. The guys at the deli are either not reading anything on the internet or are reading people who put three sets of parentheses around the names of people they think are Jewish.

      2. Shorter MH: The deli guys are illiterate yahoos. Shorter y81: The deli guys are smarter than you think. Smart enough to know that you despise them.

        Just to be clear, it was a cousin of mine in Minnesota, who works as a cafeteria cook, who posted the Yale midterm on her fb page. Yes, MH, cafeteria cooks in Minnesota can read and they even have internet access. I wouldn’t have known about it otherwise. But I then confirmed it–my memory hole is defective–by reading the Yale Daily News, which isn’t on my regular list.

      3. And yet, when a sports team wins, riots and cancelling classes are all A-OK.

        You forget, I was at Duke. I was pressured to cancel class the day the Duke team came back from one of their championship wins. That is considered Just Fine by Trump supporters and their enablers, but canceling class because people are upset about a sexist, racist, probably fascist person being elected president is not.

        Also at Duke, in the 1980s students started burning shit whenever the basketball team won. The university eventually just gave into the students and let them do it in the name of “tradition,” and they probably use all the money they make from selling Duke t-shirts to fund a warehouse full of benches to replace the ones the students burn. Yeah, long-lasting Duke tradition.

    2. Central PA, broadly construed to mean anything not Pittsburgh or Philadelphia or Scranton, is strange to me. I married into it, but I don’t understand it. There is more money and more ethnic diversity than Nebraska (if Italians count as diverse). But the part that isn’t Italian seems really fucked up in a way that the part of Nebraska that isn’t Italian doesn’t.

      1. Lots of nice hiking trails. The Joe Paterno worship is weird, but doesn’t become ubiquitous until the other side of Johnstown.

  16. “I haven’t the vaguest idea how to help people who are not part of the academy stop resenting those who are.”

    My idea would be for people who are part of the academy to stop describing those who aren’t as illiterate racists, but I know the commenters here are having too much fun to adopt that idea.

    1. If you don’t denounce the actual racists among them, you don’t get sufficient support from people of other races to win an election. Anybody who feels that I’m describing them as an illiterate racist is never going to not vote for someone like Trump when they get the chance. The Republican primary process is such that I never expect them to not get the chance for most of the rest of my life at minimum. I think that calling out and openly resisting racism, which includes very concrete steps by Republicans to minimize minority voting by making it harder to vote, will have more political impact than anything else in the next couple of months. After that, it’s waiting to see what steps a Trump administration takes and responding as appropriate by mobilizing whoever is directly affected.

      1. “I think that calling out and openly resisting racism, which includes very concrete steps by Republicans to minimize minority voting by making it harder to vote, will have more political impact than anything else in the next couple of months.”

        Any analysis of the election that doesn’t all out voter suppression is suspect. No, not suspect, illegitimate. Immoral. Hopefully illegal but I don’t know enough about your laws in this regard. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

        There’s differences in views of the world and of people and the policies that flow from those values. That’s one thing. I’ll never agree that unfettered free markets are the best (ironically, Adam Smith lived at home where Mommy Smith did everything for him – guess he forgot to incorporate unpaid work into his model. Next iteration, right?). I’ll always believe that citizens have a right to free k-12 education + healthcare just as they have a right to safe processed food and all other sorts of areas where we intervene and regulate.

        Those are examples of fair and square political differences. Let’s debate. Let’s agree to disagree.

        But to openly condone voter suppression? To not call it out? Or to support a candidate who is backed by the KKK? Who jokes about sexual assault? And that’s the only way you can win (except he didn’t win the popular vote)? To stand by while your party carries on like this month after month after month while saying or doing nothing?

        That’s the ultimate privilege – to elect someone like this while not having to live the day-to-day consequences of that party’s policies.

    2. If you think for a second any of us are having fun, I just don’t know what to say.

      Someone on FB (forget where/who) posted about how her father called her to gloat over Trump’s win. She got mad at him. He called her sister. Her sister hung up on him. He called his granddaughter. She also hung up on him, but not before telling him she was afraid of losing her health insurance and about some of her close friends being afraid of being deported.

      To a lot of Trump supporters, his victory is a good, fun way to stick it to the uptight elitist liberals who made fun of them on SNL. HAHA! Who’s winning now?

      This. Is. Not. Fun.

      I’d also like to point out what happened to Charlie Sheen, who bragged about “winning.”

      1. What did happen to Charlie Sheen? I mean, I know he got fired, but I don’t think anything happened to hurt his access to cocaine and hookers.

    3. Where did I call people who are not part of the academy illiterate racists? I really didn’t see anybody do that.

      I am not part of the academy but I am extremely appreciative that there are bright, driven, curious, well-educated and well-read people who are part of the academy. It means a lot to me that they are preserving, disseminating and furthering our knowledge base. I believe that is making all of our lives better.

      If you want to say that the townie-gownie animosity runs both ways, okay, I see that argument. But your call that it is ONLY incumbent upon the gownies to make amends essentially implies that the townies don’t have the agency or ability to right things. I don’t buy that.

  17. One of the aspects of the new world order that’s coming (in spite of this year’s setback) is that we are not going to stop calling out racist words, behavior and acts. Like illiteracy, I think racist beliefs and behaviors are a problem that can be cured. But calling them out is a necessary step.

  18. I really see constant redirection toward the issue as an attempt to divide a Democratic coalition that could take a majority in elections. The response isn’t just calling out racism, but similar attempts to divide the Republican coalition. For example, Trump won votes from old people talking about preserving Medicare and Social Security. Ryan, assuming he keeps his speakership, is still apparently still going on about wanting to privatize Medicare. (I think he’s been silent so far on Social Security.) That kind of thing is the response. Scaring old people instead of trying to make them concerned about racism.

    1. My statement was based on the story in the Yale Daily News. Other internet retellings may be exaggerated, but every word I have written, here and elsewhere, is reliably sourced.

      1. I didn’t think that article was very useful. I’d like to get my friend Lisa’s right wing professional (doctor, lawyer) siblings from Birmingham AL together with some people from rural Wisconsin and tell them they’re both Trump voters–how much do they have in common other than hating brown people?

    2. There’s a noise machine to spin everything the right way and make it so that one person who might be identifiable as “enemy” does something that is or can be interpreted in a useful way gets around the country in hours, ahead of any possible chance to reflect, verify, or put into a context.

      It probably needs to be duplicated in the opposite direction. From what I know of public opinion models (admittedly now 20 years out of date), if the person hearing the message doesn’t know enough right then to counter it, it will have effect on opinion right or not.

      1. “It probably needs to be duplicated in the opposite direction.”

        Ugh. I hate that. Sometimes I hate human frailty.

      2. That and the HBR article Laura has on the Twitter sidebar remind me of the rules I learned growing up and dealing with the rougher element. Never showing weakness is the main thing. The quest for “respect” gets interpreted not as a mutual accommodation among a group of people, but as a zero-sum game you can only win or lose. Acknowledging that you have any human frailty is a sign that the attack is working and should continue.

  19. Wendy, you said “Well, you know, that’s a problem for Yale and the students who go there. Shouldn’t the people who attend the university inform themselves of the policies before they go there?” Come on! People get into Yale, they are thrilled! They throw themselves into it, they are sure their whole lives will be improved. And THEN they find out that some remark they though was jovial is now getting them sent up on charges. Or (boys) they, drunk, had sex with someone also drunk, it seemed consensual at the time, and then there is some Kafka trial when she is unhappy about it in the morning. I am all for polite behavior, but compelled polite behavior is not real politeness.
    And it’s not just Yale, it goes all through the academic archipelago.
    Now, do the egg sandwich guys care about what happens at Yale – or Princeton? Not directly, but they are I think noticing that all the ills of the nation are being lugubriated as the fault of white guys, and they haven’t noticed that their lives are some kind of dream of ease, nor are they eager to take the fall for something their fathers may have done.
    I think that this kind of coercive correctness has led to a lot of the working class alienation from the Dems.

  20. “And THEN they find out that some remark they though was jovial is now getting them sent up on charges.”

    Your comment about rape is reprehensible, but I’ll address this part because it’s on my mind.

    There’s trouble in WV over this incident:
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/w-v-mayor-friend-joke-michelle-obama-ape-heels-article-1.2873128

    My question: in an ideal world – I’m not talking about the right-wing vengeance fantasy world where they get to screw left-wingers like they feel they’ve been screwed – how should a matter like this one be dealt with? Should WV citizens and the people who use the services this woman’s workplace provides simply ignore it? Should they say something about it? Should they advocate for her removal from her job? If you are concerned about the kind of thing Dave says he is in the reply above, then what should all the stakeholders do?

    1. Your comment about rape is reprehensible

      I agree, especially considering the most recent, publicized case of where the “drunk-bad sex” was claimed was Brock Turner and there is literally no way he could have assumed what he was doing was consensual.

  21. No, they should not advocate for her removal from her job. If they think what she said was rude, and I hope they think it was rude, they should tell her they don’t approve. At the next election, someone can run against the mayor, and tell the voters they think the town has been diminished by the news of what she has done. And that’s about it. Let the echoes die away and get on with life.
    Do you want to justify why you think my comment about the consequences of stupid drunk sex is reprehensible? And why you think it is rape if two people who are too drunk to make good decisions have sex?

    1. I was actually talking about the mayor’s friend. You can’t remove an elected official except by an election or an impeachment. Civics 101, Dave.

      1. Personally, I figure complaints about “political correctness” amount to nearly nothing but people like that woman feeling put upon for being called racist for saying racist things.

  22. I’d like to try and gently nudge the conversation back the the question raise by our Gracious Hostess, to wit: “how much of the trump vote was cultural and how much economics/politics? How much of it was just because the egg sandwich guys just hate people like me? I think the BLM protests really pissed off and scared folks.” and we have drifted a bit towards how people ought to feel.
    So my suggestion is, and this is what was addressed in the WaPo article for which I put up the URL, that a whole lot of it is cultural and anger-at-smartass-urban-elites. And that there’s a lot of glee out there specifically because the smartass-urban-elites have been taken down a peg. Or, about ten pegs.

    1. Then I’m sure they’ll be delighted with privatized Medicare and the newly restored freedom to call black people apes whenever they want.

    2. What is it that “smarts urban elites” do that’s so worthy of being taken down a few pegs? Trying to be better people?
      Also, I still want to know what the Trump supporters who claim not to be racist shits and who want positive respectful discourse want to do about someone like the WV woman.

    3. I do not feel at all that I have been “taken down a peg.” I feel that more Americans than I imagined are horrible people, and I’m worried that my black, Latino, Muslim, and gay friends and family members and students are in actual danger. One of my friends said that the best we can hope for is that Trump is just the usual rich white guy and it’s only the poor who get hurt. That’s the optimistic scenario. The other optimistic scenario is that the Trump voters are mainly desperate economically and voted on jobs more than anything else. That also makes me feel slightly better.

      I had coffee with a Muslim friend and she said on Wednesday she almost told her teenage son not to ride his bike to school, and that when she went for a run that morning it was hard for her to look strangers in the face. But her son did ride his bike, and she did look strangers in the face, because she said she’s not giving into the fear.

  23. “What is it that “smarts urban elites” do that’s so worthy of being taken down a few pegs?”

    As per the Katha Pollitt quote, not spending our time trying to make some man feel ten feet tall (or the equivalent).

    This article expressed my view pretty well:

    “http://www.salon.com/2016/11/11/yes-the-white-male-anger-that-fueled-trumps-victory-was-real-but-it-isnt-valid/”

    “The persistence of the “economic insecurity” angle in the face of overwhelming evidence against it was a testament to the power of hope over reason. If economic insecurity drives this rage, then something can be done about it. But if the rage is driven by less savory factors — unrepentant sexism and racism — then there is no way to mollify it without throwing women and people of color under the bus.”

    What gives me hope in spite of that fear?

    First, I will hold out hopes (though however slim) that since Trump and the Republicans have been given unfettered power to address the economic insecurity, they will they enact policies that will improve the lot of the people who voted for them?

    Then, I will do everything within my power to prevent the bus from running over women and people of color (who include myself). I am not without power, and frankly, I haven’t been knocked down very many pegs — some psychological ones, but I’m pretty good at surviving those. Odds are (i.e the slim hope) the policies that will be enacted will increase (not decrease) my relative economic power.

    I will do what I can to hold the new administration accountable for the policies they enact and their effect on the people who vote for them.

    And, finally, I do believe that demographics and the inexorable changes in the world make any setbacks temporary (the one exception is if violence intervenes, which I worry about, but believe our institutions are strong enough to resist). Ultimately a lot will depend on whether the majority (yes, the majority across the US who voted for HIllary) stand up against throwing women and people of color under the bus (especially those with less power), or not.

    1. Amen. I don’t believe in inexorable progress*, but the rest of it is exactly right.

      * Things have fallen completely apart before and will again. That’s why I am so concerned when people blast away at cultural, legal, and social institutions that hold together society.

  24. “That’s why I am so concerned when people blast away at cultural, legal, and social institutions that hold together society.” — I’m concerned, too. It’s funny how the liberals have become Burkean after this election.

    1. I’ve always thought of myself as a Burkean conservative. Between 2006 and 2010, it became perfectly clear that Republican Party not only wasn’t primarily “conservative” but actively hostile to any sense of conservatism that wasn’t reactionary.

  25. I had to look up “Burkean Conservative”. I think it’s cute when y’all’s PhDs win out over mine in the elite knowledge contest (though knowledge of the current usage might be current events, knowing who Burke was is probably education, and I didn’t know who he was).

    “http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/05/mr-conservative/306761/”

    Haven’t we always had a lot of Burkeans in the Democratic party?

      1. Me neither, just a J.D. But I’m on page 200 of Reflections on the Revolution in France, so maybe someday I’ll be as smart as a Ph,D.

  26. It wasn’t all culture! Here is an economic voter: “Asra Q. Nomani, a Muslim woman immigrant who voted in Virginia for Donald Trump, explained in a Washington Post column that she did so in part because, “I am a single mother who can’t afford health insurance under Obamacare.”‘

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