“He has great …” ⋅ ♦ ⋅ KARMA ⋅ ♦ ⋅ “… is a bitch.”

“He has great karma.”

-Anthony Scaramucci on President Trump



McCain - I got some hero for you

“Karma is a bitch.”

-overheard in U.S. Senate cloakroom


 

Black History, Hidden Figures, & learning through laughter: SNL Weekend Update

“Hidden Figures” has given us all a glimpse into all the history we’re lacking, and I don’t think every scholar in America put together could make the point better than Leslie Jones does in this short clip.

Leslie Jones on SNL gave me more Black History on Weekend Update than I’ve had heretofore. And I’m pretty damn historically literate. And Weekend Update is pretty short and she only came in at the end.

Everyone should read Lies My Teacher Told Me, which emphasizes a vast amount of the lies, slights, and outright omissions fed to us through our history textbooks.

But one area Lies misses, probably in large part because the subject matter is so shamefully difficult to find in the first place, is the place in our history made possible by minorities. It is criminal that our Congress can’t manage to even bring to a vote a Sense of the Congress – a non-binding declaration with no force of law or any power whatsoever – resolution condemning slavery in the US, let alone apologizing for it.

As Columbia Professor Dr. Eric Foner, considered the foremost Abraham Lincoln scholar by most, so beautifully points out in (one of his three & I cannot remember which) Civil War and Reconstruction class, Americans would find it terribly odd to find an American Slavery Memorial or United States of America Slavery Museum in Germany, especially if they didn’t have a Holocaust Memorial.

Right?

That brings it home, does it not?

How do we manage to act so high and mighty, fellow citizens, when we ignore this part of our history? The fact that so many US citizens deny that racism even exists, let alone dare to acknowledge the fact – and it is a fact – that slaves built this country, is staggering to me. And yes, slaves did build this country. They built it with sweat, blood and with tears.

Here’s another fact, a single, simple fact, that unlike the fact above – a complicated fact drawn from a complex equation of many sources – is wholly undeniable and inarguable.

The 1860 Census, the last pre-Civil War census, quantifies in the most horrific way possible just how much this country owes to slavery and in what seems to be America’s favorite metric: DOLLARS.

In 1860 “slave property”* was worth more than every other industry COMBINED.

Banks + Railroads + Factories/Companies ≠ SLAVES

Yup, white people who whine constantly that racism doesn’t exist, or worse, the only racism is “reverse racism!!!”

Again, 1860:

slaves as “property” > every bank + every railroad + every company

So, now, I’ll leave my rant and deliver the promised funny version, where I learned & laughed. Thank you, Leslie Jones.

*It disgusts me to write “slave property” and I simply could not bring myself to use the census terminology and the term that was once completely commonplace, “property in slaves.” That was once a thing. A term no one really paid attention to, not even the most ardent Abolitionist, because it was just part of the lexicon. It was a true description of something so repulsive that anyone with even a stitch of humanity recoils at it. I apologize for using the term “slave property” as well, but to make the point I had to link the two words one way or another, because they were, in fact, human beings that were quantifiable in the same way a car is now.

 

Meet Your Supreme Court Judge: Justice Ginsburg

Justice Ginsburg’s Senate Confirmation hearings were extraordinarily collegial, even for that time in history. Both Democrats and Republicans were awed by the extremely  high ethical bar she set for herself, not only as a jurist in the D.C. Court, but also as an advocate in the years preceding her appointment to the bench.

Despite the overflowing praise heaped upon her by so many in her confirmation hearings, I chose this very short clip of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton’s introduction because of the fact that she so succinctly summarizes the impact – unfortunately unknown to most – that Ruth Bader Ginsburg had on women’s rights as an advocate. That impact is, without hyperbole, nearly immeasurable. The cases she argued before the court altered forever our understanding on what equal treatment before the law means not just for women, but for everyone. She did not argue any of the controversial cases that today are still a matter of contention. What makes her impact so astounding is that none of the decisions arising from her advocacy are controversial in the least.

Instead, we take them for granted. Which, in some ways, is what makes them so powerful.

But history moves so fast now that it is impossible to keep up with. Nonetheless, knowing it remains the duty of all citizens, so that we may learn from it.

I hope you will watch this clip, at the very least, so that you might have some understanding of where the rights we all take for granted originated, and appreciate what an ethical, knowledgeable, hard working, decent, and humane justice looks like.

Heroes are important. And Ruth Bader Ginsburg, by any fair reading of the term, is certainly a hero.


note: there are issues with the embedding that are, at least for now, apparently beyond my control. But although when you click the link it will momentarily appear as though the whole first section of the hearing  is being pulled up, that is not the case. After the C-SPAN screen appears, it will go straight to the very short – approximately 2 minute  clip of Representative Norton (as well as, at times, the ability to see Justice Ginsburg beside her, seemingly simultaneously embarrassed and proud.)


https://www.c-span.org/video/standalone/?c4654991