When comparing two groups of people by way of metaphor, make sure it says what you mean to say about each group. An ill-conceived metaphor can undo your argument, and needlessly damage others in the process. This is primarily a response to a New Republic piece by Jeet Heer, released yesterday. Entitled “Breaking Mad,” it compares the Republican Party’s embrace of white supremacy to drug addiction. Imagine an autopsy that concludes the cause of death was a drug overdose.
The Republican National Convention hasn’t even happened yet, and presumptive Presidential nominee Donald Trump is already torpedoing his campaign. It was supposed to happen at some point–the pivot, the turn to “Presidential” behavior. Trump would shed his racist, populist primary skin and emerge as a respectable Republican candidate, a man of measured statements and considered thoughts. It didn’t happen. Instead, he railed against a judge hearing a civil case against him, slamming the man’s “Mexican heritage” (despite the judge being born in Indiana).
Nobody likes when change happens slowly. But given a choice between no change, a little change, and an epic disaster, is that really a choice at all? I’ve had this particular topic in my queue for a while, I just hadn’t gotten around to it. For want of something to talk about that isn’t the Orlando shooting, which I do plan to write about again at some point, I came across an insightful piece written in response to a Freddie deBoer post.
This is not a title I would have wanted to use, but there’s no point in denying reality. If you’re not up to speed, here’s a summary. Early Sunday morning, a man armed with an AR-15 and a handgun opened fire in a nightclub in Orlando, Florida. He killed 49 people and wounded 53 more. It must be pointed out that the club targeted was Pulse, a popular gay nightclub in the area.
So-called “safe spaces” get criticized as zones where everything “uncomfortable” is banned, dissenting ideas are quashed, and people are shielded from conflict to the point of being infantilized. But is that really what’s happening? The origin of the “safe space” concept is uncertain. _Dissent_ Magazine offers a few possibilities: The term “safe space” has multiple origin stories—Moira Kenney’s _Mapping Gay L.A. _links safe spaces to gay and lesbian bars, where, as Malcolm Harris [described](http://fusion.
What is “white pride” and how does it manifest? Is any aspect of it salvageable, or is it hopelessly racist and xenophobic? We live in a culture in which various minorities are permitted–encouraged, even–to express pride in who they are. Gay pride, black pride, Latino pride, female pride. Everybody’s proud! But the very phrase “white pride” brings to mind rallies of neo-Nazis, hooded Ku Klux Klan members burning crosses, and other uncomfortable scenes of violence and bigotry.
Hillary Clinton has finally sealed the Democratic Party’s nomination for President. Our long, national nightmare is over. Just kidding, it’s only begun! If it feels like the 2016 primary season has dragged on forever, that’s because it has. Positioning for this Presidential race was already underway in 2012 and intensified in 2014. Bernie Sanders entered the fray in May of 2015 as the only serious challenger to Hillary Clinton. A few others threw their hats into the ring–Lincoln Chafee, Jim Webb, Lawrence Lessig–but only Martin O’Malley stuck around long enough to participate in the actual primary elections.
The way we talk about consent in our society doesn’t seem to be working. This post can be considered an expansion of yesterday’s article. Focusing specifically on issues of consent, it’s necessary to first establish just what “consent” means. The way it is framed in discussions of sexual assault and rape, it is treated as a question with a binary answer. “Yes, I consent to sex” or “No, I don’t.” That’s not to say no one explores consent in a more nuanced fashion, but those approaches often fall by the wayside.
I think I’ve referenced enough topics in the title. And yes, I will get to all of them! There’s a good chance you’ve heard of the Stanford sexual assault case. If not, you can read a good summary here. You would also do well to read the victim’s statement to her attacker, though a warning for upsetting sexual content is a given. A lot of people are outraged over the sentence this young man received: six months in jail and three years’ probation.
There’s a peculiar trend surrounding this Presidential election season, and one that has plagued Hillary Clinton for much of her career. Why do we have such a hard time acknowledging women as human beings? A passage in a recent New York Magazine article really brought it home for me: In a recent column, [David Brooks posited](http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/24/opinion/why-is-clinton-disliked.html) that Clinton is disliked because she is a workaholic who “presents herself as a résumé and policy brief” and about whose interior life and extracurricular hobbies we know next to nothing.