Were they hypocrites? I doubt that was the only time Americans have had to swallow their pride and support a politician who, whatever his faults, served their interests.
Cracker Barrell, it's not our job to swallow our pride so that your White politicians can get away with racism. You should be ashamed of yourself. But you're not capable of shame. Racism has been the hallmark of your writing.
THIRD addressed Cracker Barrell and her racism back in 2006. They did a roundtable. I didn't participate, I wasn't online at that point. But I loved it:
Cedric: I only knew of Katha Pollitt's writing and that's from working on these editions and usually she'll be mentioned at some point or Ava and C.I. will note her in a review. There were at least two columns that I know I'd seen excerpts of at The Common Ills. I heard interviewed by Laura Flanders that Sunday and I respect her for noting that she may have mispoken during the interview. A lot of people would stay with a comment but she obviously thinks things through and that comes off the page when you read. That's my praise. I enjoyed the book. The reason I'm first up is I had a serious problem with one essay. "Summer Follies." In it, she takes then NAACP president Kweisi Mfume to task for addressing the issue of, quote: "the absence of black faces on television." Representation does matter and it's been a backward slide for African-Americans for some time now. I took offense at that and thought that before she next contemplates whether or not representation is important to African-Americans, she might want to think a little more.
Betty: I had a huge problem with that as well. I'm not really sure that I need that sort of talk, I hate to say it, but I will, "from a White woman." She has at least one daughter. I'm glad that her daughter, at that time, could see herself reflected on TV in Friends, Will & Grace and Dawson's Creek, the shows she lists. I've got three small children and, as I've noted before, I've tried to pass off a character on Arthur as mixed and was successful until my oldest got wise. I frankly don't think she knows what she's talking about on this. Along with my three children, I have young nieces and nephews. Representation is an issue. It's an important issue. She may not feel that TV matters and that's her right. It isn't her right to think she comes off informed dismissing an issue that's very important. She likens it to a number of summer scandals in the summer of 2001. This wasn't a summer phase, it has not blown over. Blacks are not represented on TV and that was true then and it's true now. When we are represented it's either as crooks or shuck and jive artists. We've gone back to the previous portrayals and it's not a non-issue. It matters. Our children watch these shows, even if it's Arthur, and they wonder where they are. That's reality. I've got three children, they're Black just like I am and I'm so tired of having to explain to them why there are bunnies and bears and there are yuppies and office workers and you name it, but none of them are Black. To use Thursday nights on NBC, the night Cosby built, last year featured one Black, the idiot Darnell on My Name Is Earl. It doesn't cut it and it is an issue. I know we're trying to hurry but that actually wasn't the only thing that bothered me in the article.
Jim: Go for it.
Betty: I live in the Atlanta area. To make her case, Pollitt cites Cynthia Tucker. For the record, for every White person out there, quit thinking she speaks for Blacks. My preacher says Tucker didn't forget she was Black, she never wanted to be it in the first place. She is one of the most loathed people in the area, whether you're at the supermarket or at church, at day care or in the park, mention her name and expect the boos and hisses. She's achieved some level of 'fame' as a progressive. It's bad enough when the right-wing embraces an Uncle Tom but the left certainly shouldn't. She's made her name off attacking Blacks. Her attacks on Cynthia McKinney will never be forgotten. She is not a progressive. She's not a friend of Black people. The joke about her hair, locally, is that it looks like she bought the weave in a dollar store. But the point is, from the printed text to her physical appearance, she has no interest in being mistaken for Black. Whenever it's time for the media to launch a lynching, we always know that Cynthia Tucker will show up with the rope. If including her is a form of "represenation," don't do us any favors. Bad representation may be worse than no representation at all.
Ty: Let me back Betty up on that. I would agree with everything she said except I would have said "African-American" because that's how I self-identify. Otherwise, word for word, I'm with Betty and with Cedric as well. If people were listening, they'd know Betty sounded nervous which is why I jumped in to back her up.
That's Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man and Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix.
Cracker Barrell Katha Pollitt should have been fired for her racism long ago.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Cher performing Stephen Stills' "For What It's Worth." Cher's version appears on her 1969 classif album 3614 JACKSON HIGHWAY.
There's battle lines being drawn
And nobody's right if everybody's wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting some much resistance from behind
As a friend with the Biden campaign gloated to me on the phone last night, "We knew what we were doing." Yes, they did. The campus papers are pretty much mute right now. That was always the biggest block for Joe. It's not just that young adults don't like him. It's also that they're better educated on assault and harassment.
The generational divide that's been at the heart of Joe's lukewarm reception continues. And you see it at THE NATION where the elderly write so many columns that 46-year-old Dave Zirin is the 'youngster' in the mix.
Joan Walsh? 61. Katha Pollitt? 70. Patricia J. Williams? 68.
I had to ask Jim to look into that 2007 e-mail from THE NATION. Ava and I had been sick of the imbalance at THE NATION in terms of gender. They were publishing far more men than women. We'd started to track it. Around July 4th, THE NATION had e-mailed frantically. They wanted the story killed. They would do anything. They would publish Ava and myself (we had no interest, thank you), they were going to be hiring women columnists shortly -- and young women at that. Could we please kill the story?
Do we look like whores? Maybe. But we're not.
We tracked it for a full year and served up "The Nation featured 491 male bylines in 2007 -- how many female ones?" on December 23, 2007. 149, by the way, that's the answer. They had 491 male bylines that year and only 149 female bylines.
And you don't see what women are up against? Even on the so-called inclusive Democratic left (as opposed to genuine left).
Well they never did hire a young woman -- 46-year-old Melissa Lacewell Harris Perry was the closest they got.
They don't get it, like so many, they just don't get it. They don't want to get it is probably the reason why they don't get it but it really doesn't matter. What matters is we're in the 21st century and they're stuck in the 90s with their James Carville mindset.
They smear and attack Tara with rape culture because they must stop Tara and any other woman who might come out -- two have now hinted publicly about coming forward.
Katha Pollitt, you're the new Midge Decter! To this generation coming up right now, that's what you are. Embrace your descent into frivolity -- or further frivolity.
They don't get it. They didn't get Anita Hill in real time either but we'll talk about that tomorrow.
Alexis Grenell (NEW YORK DAILY NEWS) plans to vote for Joe but is dismayed by the attacks on Tara Reade:
Reade may be only the latest in a long line of inconvenient women to pipe up about a favorite son, but she’s the first to appear post-#MeToo in the middle of an election year where the sitting president has botched the response to a pandemic that’s killed more Americans than the Vietnam War. All of this leaves less bandwidth for her in the public imagination, as she asks us to weigh her individual pain against the agony of watching our whole world bleed out. It certainly doesn’t make her any easier to like.
The thing is, it’s not necessary to like or not like Reade, because either way we cannot know what happened. I’ve read through every shred of “evidence” and I still can’t make sense of the facts or my feelings about them. I have no qualms about supporting Biden — we can’t re-elect the titular head of the death cult formerly known as the Republican Party — but my ambivalence about Reade is what keeps me up at night. I want her, and anyone else who comes forward about alleged abuse, to be allowed to be unlikeable and legitimate. I want people to be able to separate feelings from facts, and when the facts don’t lead somewhere conclusive, not to fill in the blanks with feelings. I want us to learn that sexual abuse rarely comes with a certificate of origin and to sit with that discomfort.
Alexis bills herself as a feminist. Is she? I'd say no. Xenophobia doesn't really belong in feminism. Maybe she's a domestic (and domesticated) feminist (tabby)? The Vietnam War? If we're going to count deaths, we should include the Vietnamese. It was their country. Reducing a war to the deaths on only one side -- regardless of the war -- is not just short-sighted, it's xenophobic.
But Grenell is a writer and she's right to be concerned about what's taking place which puts her far ahead of Katha Pollitt the faux feminist that we addressed in yesterday's snapshot. Others are addressing her nonsense as well. Here's Sady Doyle:
One element of Reade's claim - the most inflammatory, the rape - has the weakest evidence for it. But we DO have corroborating accounts for the harassment, more than are often required to take a claim seriously. If we're feminists, we should take that as our grounds for argument.
If the worst insinuation of Reade's critics is true -- that she inflated a sexual assault claim to a rape claim to get press attention she was missing -- that's a tragedy about a woman who went unheard so long she risked something desperate and destroyed her life in the process.
Another scenario is that a vulnerable woman, who struggled with money and an abusive marriage after being sexually harassed at work, was later preyed upon by bad political actors and convinced to escalate her claim. Again, that would be horrible, but it would also be tragic.
In no scenario does Biden emerge spotless. In no scenario does his track record with women become irrelevant. What makes Biden look worst, all this, is the rush to demolish Reade in the hopes of restoring some "feminist" reputation Biden does not appear to have ever deserved.
Katha Pollitt is an embarrassment. She opened that hideous column attacking Tara with the reveal that she would vote for Joe even if were seen on the street eating a baby. Is she trying to restart the spirit cooking nonsense? Is that stupid? I thought we agreed that nonsense was harmful, that people were wrongly being threatened because of it. But here's Katha offering, like a good whore, where her line in the sand is. The entire column is an embrace of and advancement of rape culture. That's not feminism.
Candice Russell Tweets:
Watching the Tara Reade coverage has become like some sort of trauma induced version of Groundhogs Day so of COURSE “professional feminist” Katha Pollitt just HAD TO give her two cents on sexual assault again (hint: still just as problematic as when she wrote about mine)
By the way, when Katha attacked Candice, Katha wrote, "Why not say, 'These are serious allegations, and we're going to look into them'?"
Double standard? Katha denies there's one with regards to Christine Blasey Ford and Tara Reade. But there is one. There's also a double standard to how Katha responded with Candice and with Tara.
The rank hypocrisy that wafts off Katha is something no FDS will ever send running.
COMMON DREAMS' Eoin Higgins offers:
Wow, Katha Pollit doesn't believe Tara Reade, what a shocking surprise, what's next, that she's a TERF?
It's left to Anthony Zenkus to provide the realities Katha avoids:
There is rarely "definitive proof" in rape cases. The reason so many victims never even come forward. And yet 1 in 6 women are victims of rape or attempted rape in their lives. Funny how that works.
Let's note two more from Zenkus:
Andrew Levine (COUNTERPUNCH) notes:
Let’s begin with the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, whose leadership decided to throw Reade to the curb because of the identity of her alleged assailant. According to Reade, she only realized after reading Ryan Grim’s reporting for The Intercept that this happened owing, in all likelihood, to the nonprofit’s professional relationship to Anita Dunn, a Biden advisor who works for SKDKnickerbocker, the PR firm for Time’s Up. Leaving aside any other critiques one has of The Intercept and Joe Biden, it is a tremendous faux pas for Ryan Grim to let a journalistic bombshell like that be published without forewarning to his source. The Watergate conspirators were given more courtesy, as demonstrated by the classic exclamation “[Washington Post publisher] Katie Graham’s gonna get her tit caught in a big fat wringer if that’s ever published!” What was he thinking?
In 2019, both the Associated Press and the Washington Post worked the story but ultimately canned coverage. The AP had the story in April of that year, when, simultaneously, everyone was publishing about Biden being too touchy for people’s comfort case and point this particular column in Clinton lap dog Ezra Klein’s Vox. Even if there were inconsistencies within Reade’s story (purportedly the reason for squashing it), she deserved a fair hearing and a forum. These venues have given far more airtime to far more dubious actors over the years (cf. 2016 Donald Trump campaign) and have no shred of credibility here. Sexual trauma and memory are very messy things from top to bottom. There are plenty of women who have very public accounts of suppression and triggering that causes them to recall details sometimes years after the events.
We're living in a different century and what's going down will not have consequences. In this century, a woman writes her own "For What It's Worth" and performs it. Stevie Nicks:
In Iraq, REUTERS reports:
Royal Dutch Shell evacuated some 60 foreign staff from Iraq’s Basra Gas Company as a security measure following a protest over delayed pay, company officials said on Thursday, adding production was unaffected.
The staff were flown out of the country on Wednesday after workers protested at the headquarters of Basra Gas Company (BGC), a venture between state-owned South Gas Company, Shell and Mitsubishi, to demand payment of their delayed salaries, officials said.
“Shell confirms that as result of a security breach at the accommodation camp of Basra Gas Company, we have temporarily relocated Shell secondees,” Shell said in emailed comments.
The following sites updated: