Sunday Roast: For Some Folks, Life is a Hill


Having been off for a week, listening to crashing Pacific waves, breathing salt air, reading, reading, more reading, and getting my head straight (kinda, sorta, pretty much), Mr Blow asked me, via facebook, to read his column for tomorrow.  I agreed to do so, and, for me, this column is very powerful.  What do you think?

Charles M. Blow, The New York Times

I strongly reject the concept of respectability politics, which postulates that a style of dress or speech justifies injustice, and often violence, against particular groups of people or explains away the ravages of their inequality.

I take enormous exception to arguments about the “breakdown of the family,” particularly the black family, that don’t acknowledge that this country for centuries has endeavored, consciously and not, to break it down. Or that family can be defined only one way.

I don’t buy into the mythology that most poor people are willfully and contentedly poor, happy to live with the help of handouts from a benevolent big government that is equally happy to keep them dependent.

These are all arguments based on shame, meant to distance traditional power structures from emerging ones, to allow for draconian policy arguments from supposedly caring people. These arguments require faith in personal failure as justification for calling our fellow citizens feckless or doctrinally disfavored.

Those who espouse such arguments must root for failures so that they’re proved right. They need their worst convictions to be affirmed: that other people’s woes are due solely to their bad choices and bad behaviors; that there are no systematic suppressors at play; that the way to success is wide open to all those who would only choose it.

Any of us in the country who were born poor, or minority, or female, or otherwise different — particularly in terms of gender or sexual identity — know better.

Please read the rest of the article here.

(photo source)

This is our daily open thread — How is everyone?


73 thoughts on “Sunday Roast: For Some Folks, Life is a Hill

  1. Santa Cruz kayakers agog over whales (22-pic gallery)

    Giancarlo Thomae, a naturalist, marine biologist and photographer, captured this amazing series of photos in the past month of humpback whales lunge feeding and rising breaches, tail salutes, pectoral waves and chin slaps.

  2. So I saw a Geico commercial where the gecko is atop a table at an outdoor restaurant in Boston. After removing a teabag from it’s wrapper the wind blows the tea bag into the harbor.
    The gecko laments about his tea being in the Boston harbor then comments “I guess this party is over!”

    I agree with Geico, the TEA party, The True Enemy of America Party, is over!

  3. One of my general observations has long been that in recent times — say at least the last fifty years, give or take, in this country — those who stand firmly behind and in support of the implicit ‘hatred’ undercurrents in Charles Blow’s poignant essay seem to almost invariably share one commonality: a philosophy based on the fear of just about everything. And their only fear-assuaging solution is to suppress or destroy that which they fear, i.e. most everyone and everything they perceive as alien to their extremely narrow and self-centered image of themselves. They are, certainly by general rule if not by cosmic mandate, enticed by and parcel to the philosophy and practice of what is generally known as the Political Far Right. Here in Amurka, we call them Teabaggers, Wingnuts, Christers, Republicans; together and collectively they’re (politely) the G.O.P.

    Since last Friday’s Watering Hole post, however, I simply call them all Saligiacans. The shoe fits them, each and all.

    • His, Irish, mother could have named him:
      • Adhamh
      • Pádraig
      • Aindréas
      • Stiofán
      • Roibeárd
      • Daithi
      • Sorley
      • Antaine

      It wouldn’t have mattered, as with the President, Debo Adegbile happens to be Black and White: the RWNJs would ‘disapprove’.

      • Worse than that: as Richard Cohen pointed out in a Washington Post column (speaking of DeBlasio in NY and his black wife), “people with conventional views must repress a gag reflex” when they run across interracial hookups and the progeny thereby produced. Think DeBlasio. *Gag*. Think Obama. *Gag*. Think Debo Adegbile. *Gag*

        Funny how I get the same *gag* reflex when I think of, say, President Rand Paul, or President Chris Christie, or President Ted Cruz, or even still to this day and likely again tomorrow, President George W. Bush. *Gag*

        I think it might well be kinda cool if one day soon there’s a President Debo Adegbile. I would happily volunteer to pass out the “black capsules” to each and all Saligiacans with a death wish (probably all of them, actually).

  4. On Face the Nation, Bob Corker just said the agreement with Iran would have Iran’s centrifuges “spinning in perpetuity, for the next six months”. No, he really said that.

  5. Interesting

    The first thing I find interesting is that they call it “This Week in God.” Did they get permission from Stephen Colbert to use that term? The first sentence of the article begins, “First up from the God Machine this week…”. Of course, I suppose it’s possible that Steve Benen was doing that before Colbert, so maybe permission wasn’t necessary.

    The second thing is the two articles of which I heard nothing before reading this. There’s Richard Land spewing another ridiculous conservative idea about single motherhood – that God doesn’t want it, and that “the best option” for unmarried mothers is to give up their babies for adoption. Because, of course, nobody ever meets and falls in love with someone after they’ve had a baby. Not even Bill Clinton’s mom. Oh, wait, she did marry after Bill’s father was killed before he was born.

    And the other article was about Bryan Fischer. That alone should tell you stupidity follows, and you’d be right to guess that. It seems our boy Bryan doesn’t really understand what the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause really means. He thinks the Constitution permits U.S. officials to “make Islam illegal” and to “prohibit the building of mosques.” For the life of me, I can;t understand how he comes to that conclusion. Like many RWers, he doesn’t seem to know what words mean, and if he does, he clearly doesn’t care.

    • Bryan Fischer’s nonsense probably has a purpose, one which is somewhat familiar:

      “All propaganda has . . . to adapt its spiritual level to the perception of the least intelligent of those towards whom it intends to direct itself.”

      Famous words from that (in)famous book entitled Mein Kampf.

  6. It was good people that always helped me climb the hill. They helped remove some of the rocks that made the climb difficult. As a result, I must do the same for others. Right now, I feel like I haven’t been doing enough.

  7. I always wonder how the safe and secure who demonize the poor react when an illness or job loss shows them that no one is as safe or secure as they think they are. Do they blame God or their own poor choices or do they blame someone else? I’m guessing they always blame someone else.

    • I remember Rosa Parks and her saga quite well. I also remember the sad sad saga of Emmet Till . . . and the saga of so many others who died by the hand of the haters. Not much has changed — the haters are still out there. See “RNC” and “@GOP”; hold your nose in the process.

  8. Actually the Ukraine protests are about the president refusing to sign an agreement with the EU that most of the country seems to want but the Russians next door and the Czar of all the Russias does not want.

    I have been getting emails from someone who has been in the protests, she says that one person died sometime today and the police are being directed by the government to break up the protests…. she says there were a million estimated by the protestors and sent some pictures.

    • New meaning to Sunday bloody Sunday.
      Much remains the same – punish the people for speaking out.

    • The most brilliant of all: having it written. Those in charge couldn’t be trusted with recalling eight 0s///

      “Our launch checklist in fact instructed us, the firing crew, to double-check the locking panel in our underground launch bunker ‘to ensure that no digits other than zero had been inadvertently dialed into the panel.'”

    • Bullshit emanating from “god’s favorite nation”, from “the greatest nation on earth”, from . . . yeah, well, from one segment of a mammalian species that somehow makes cockroaches look brilliant by comparison.

      I wonder, really, what the hell is the source of human arrogance? I mean, really.

    • The secret code is:


      1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8? that’s the kind of code an idiot puts on his luggage!

      remind me to change the code on my luggage!

      )spaceballs( – paraphrase –

      • I’m safe. 8-7-6-5-4-4-3-2-1

        Note 4-4 in the middle instead of 0-0. Blew their minds. We are safe. For the moment at least . . . till Obamacare merges with Iranian centrifuges, etc. Meanwhile, praise all gods . . . umm . . . hmmmm. Hang on, I have a call in to Rumsfeld . . . brb. 😯

  9. Santorum: Denying Women Contraception Coverage Is a First Amendment Right for Corporations

    WTF? Hey, his Xmas movie FLOPPED. As did he-himself during the 2012 Saligiacan presidential runup; and wow, did he FLOP! So why is he still out there being so freakin’ boring and stupid?? I mean, there’s no mandate that HE take contraceptives (unfortunately), so WTF is his PROBLEM? Other than his obvious lack of gray matter, i.e. Wingnuttistanianism, aka brain farts, i.e. etc. etc.

    Has the world always been this way? Have the stupid and the idiots always been no more than a split hair short of owning the rest of us? WTF is WRONG with this here setup?

    Sanity. Donde esta?

    • Instead, I want to know exactly where they’re getting the idea that conscience protections are a consequence-free exemption from legal obligations.


    • Damn right, what makes these people stuff their God into everypne’s face. Fook them

  10. Paul Crouch dies at 79; founded Trinity Broadcasting Network

    Televangelist Paul Crouch’s Trinity Broadcasting surpassed its rivals in scope and ambition, reaching a global audience of millions. But his lavish lifestyle sparked controversy.

    In the mid-1970s a vision came to Paul Crouch, but it wasn’t what a man of the cloth might have expected.
    A map of North America had appeared on his ceiling, glowing with pencil-thin beams of light that shot in every direction. “Lord,” asked Crouch, a Pentecostal minister, “what does this mean?”
    God, according to Crouch, had just one word for him: “Satellite.”

    …The son of a poor missionary, Crouch was known for preaching a gospel of prosperity. His twice-yearly Praise-a-Thons on TBN generated as much as $90 million a year in donations, mostly in small amounts from lower-income Americans. “When you give to God,” Crouch said in a typical appeal, “you’re simply loaning to the Lord and he gives it right on back.”

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