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Hurricane Ida is fake in Trumpistan.

Republicans and Fox News have used each other to completely break the country.

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Brace yourself for a new level of stupidity:

(Twitter)

The complete rejection of mainstream news among Conservatives didn’t start with Trump. There’s been a movement to distrust all news since Newt Gingrinch first decided to get behind a microphone and start lying to gullible people with anger issues. Rupert Murdoch took it to another level to help Donald Trump. Fox News was able to position itself against the mainstream by harnessing the power of prejudice. Murdoch and his merry band of deplorables gave racists, bigots, and anti-progress malcontents of every stripe a place to stretch their legs and walk around in a bubble of their own ignorance.

We’re living in the result. The Citizens of Trumpistan would rather put their trust in the hands of Facebook groups telling them to eat horse paste to fight COVID than listen to experts in epidemiology and communicable diseases because the media listens to those experts. If it’s on CNN, it must be a lie. If it’s on MSNBC, it’s fake news. If the Lamestream Libruhl Meedja is reporting it, then it cannot possibly be truth, and that applies to everything from COVID all the way up to a hurricane.

Shaquille Brewster has been on the Gulf Coast reporting on Hurricane Ida, and it’s pretty straightforward. “This is what’s happening…this is what has been happening…this is how people have responded to the happenings…this is what we expect to happen in the near future.”

Watch him try to do his job when a skeptic stops his truck to accost Brewster about accuracy.

I’m a cynic these days. I believe every instance of a white man yelling at a Black man has racial undertones and that white man would not have the same force of aggression if the target of his ire was white. Joe Local is riding around in his truck with his little angry fists tightly clenched around the steering wheel, sees a Black man and a mainstream news crew, and loses his mind. He saw his moment to, I guess, force the mainstream media to accurately report on a hurricane? Because his act of aggression against one Black reporter would change the entire culture of news reporting that he sees as a problem because they’re all liars?

Who knows? It doesn’t really matter. I’m sure Joe Local hadn’t really thought through his reaction either. The point is, this is the United States now for at least the next generation, and likely longer. Republicans and Fox News have used each other to completely break the country, and now hurricane reporters are ambushed on air about accuracy when there’s an entire camera right there recording what the weather is doing. Love that for us.

 

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Politics

Some journalistic racism from Kentucky.

Something isn’t quite right about this mayoral coverage.

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This will be quick, but I just wanted to show y’all an example of racism I had not yet seen previously. I’m very familiar with racial bias in reporting, mostly the very blatant examples where a white man kills his entire family and all of the photos are Happy Vacation Pics and a Black man will be suspected of anything and have his mugshot published. This is a very sneaky example courtesy of WDRB Louisville in their reporting on the mayor’s race.

Here’s a nice headshot of Craig Greenberg with a caption stating that he’s running for mayor.

Here’s a nice headshot of David L. Nicholson with a caption stating that he’s running for mayor.

Here’s random photo of Shameka Parrish-Wright on her porch and a caption that says she’s the head of two racial organizations, no mention of candidacy for mayor.

Here’s a random photo of Rev. Tim Findley, Jr. speaking to a reporter and a caption that says what church he’s affiliated with, no mention of candidacy for mayor.

Is it an accident or is it intentional?

If you asked me 5 or 6 years ago, honestly I probably would’ve said it was an accident, without totally absolving the organization of guilt. When I say “accident” with regards to something like this, what I mean is, nobody sat down and said “I’m going to publish two headshots of the white guys and state they’re running for mayor, and I’m going to publish two file photos of the Black candidates with a blurb about who they are.” When I say it’s an accident, I mean it’s more likely that implicit bias has blinded them to the fact that they are handicapping the Black candidates. Implicit bias means they see the Black candidates as less qualified, so it does not register to them that the announcements in their publication are unequal. Implicit bias means had it been four white candidates, you would pick four comparable photos and make four comparable statements because you would notice the discrepancies between four candidates who hold equal place in your mind.

That was years ago though. Today? In 2021? I do feel like it’s intentional. I’m at a point in my adult life where I do not believe most “accidents” are accidents. Someone made the very clear decision to look for and publish the two headshots of the white candidates and simply use file photos for the two Black candidates.

Plus, the About Us section of the WDRB website says this station is owned by Block Communications. If you’ve never heard that name, it’s perfectly fine. Who pays much attention to who owns what newspapers and television stations? I’d only heard of it because of the White Pride March on the Capitol, after which Susan Allan Block, former board member and part of the founding family, made a post on Facebook.

She calls Vice President Kamala Harris a whore in the blurred out part.

So do I believe a media company with these kinds of people in their ranks — not just deplorable, but so boldly and proudly abhorrent that they post about it on social media — would hire a staff that would intentionally pick and choose headshots? Yes I do.

After Rev. Findley pointed it out on social media, WDRB swiftly (in 8 hours) made changes to their post.

But the problem is how racism is so pervasive that something as innocuous as a mayoral announcement is an opportunity to sway public opinion in favor of White is Right. So that’s your morning reminder: be skeptical of everything. There are Susan Allan Blocks everywhere behind companies shaping public opinion, and being as bigoted as they can get away with.

 

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Politics

Teach Critical Race Theory to kindergarteners.

Black children start learning at five, so why shouldn’t everybody else?

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For 25% of Virginia voters, Critical Race Theory was the single most important issue to consider when they ultimately elected Republican Glenn Youngkin. In all, 72% of voters said CRT was an important factor when deciding who to vote for. (x) Ask them to explain it however…

Since this well-informed voter can’t explain what it is, I’ll try. Critical Race Theory is an area of study in higher academia (typically law school) that examines how racism has affected the development of US policy.

CRT is an approach to studying U.S. policies and institutions that is most often taught in law schools. Its foundations date back to the 1970s, when law professors including Harvard Law School’s Derrick Bell began exploring how race and racism have shaped American law and society.

The theory rests on the premise that racial bias – intentional or not – is baked into U.S. laws and institutions.

(cont. Reuters)

In short, your 10th grader is not being taught CRT. Your kindergartener can’t even spell critical yet. Even in college, most of us never really come across CRT as part of a curriculum. However, Republicans got together in a room somewhere and decided this would be the next assault on the Left. They have once again successfully harnessed the power of the media, stupidity, and racism to make CRT into a boogeyman that’s going to make little Jimothy run home from elementary school ashamed to be white.

Those of us who have common sense have spent the past few months repeating this line: CRT isn’t being taught in schools! This is a non issue!

(PBS)

(NBC News)

None of this matters when the people being pandered to by the Right don’t know what Critical Race Theory is in the first place. If they cannot define it, but they still “hate” it, then it does not matter if you tell them it’s not taking place in schools. People they trust have told them it’s being taught. People who they do not trust cannot convince them otherwise.

So why are we trying? Republicans have now taken CRT from an obscure corner of academia and made it a generic term for anything about race that makes white people uncomfortable, so we should be forcing those people to stand ten toes down on their racist opinion. Instead of telling them to define CRT with that very Liberal air of “I know you’re stupid and I can’t wait for you to prove it to me so I can laugh with my friends,” tell them CRT is great and your kids should be learning about race in school. If you won’t properly educate your children, then somebody needs to.

Do you know who is actually being taught CRT? And I mean the Republican definition, not the actual academic definition.

Black children. We start learning about race in America as soon as we are made aware that race is being used to categorize us. Last year I wrote down some lessons I had learned as a Black man, and the first was in elementary school:

The first time I realized white people could do things I can’t, I was about 8 or 9 years old. I grew up in the rural South and it wasn’t uncommon for my mom to tell me to run into a store and grab something while the car idled at the entrance. I loved it; I was a big boy. She sent me into K-Mart to buy something (I don’t remember what it was anymore), and on my way out, the theft detection sensor went off. A white woman was leaving at the same time I was, but the greeter stopped me, called a security guard on me, told me to stay put while he waved the white woman on and told her to have a nice day. I wasn’t in the security office for very long before my mom, who sensed I’d been gone too long, rescued me and took me home.

I learned to wait until the doorway is clear before I leave a store, so someone else’s theft doesn’t land me in handcuffs one day.

This is a common age for children of color to start learning about race.

Those last two tweets are the reason why white parents don’t want race being taught in school — they are racist and they have been teaching their kids to be racist, whether intentionally or unknowingly. Their reaction to CRT comes from one of two places. Either they believe in white supremacy with their whole chest and have proudly said racist things around their children, or they are afraid to be confronted with their latent racism that they are unprepared to face or admit.

White people who have never addressed their unconscious (or conscious!) bias are the people who believe themselves to be good. Those are the suburban white moms who turned out to vote against Trump last time but flipped to support Youngkin for Governor. They believe themselves to be good people who couldn’t possibly be racist because they have a vague sense that everybody should be equal, but deep down they know they will be forced to confront viewpoints they didn’t know they had. The discomfort means they don’t want their kid in school learning about how the threads of race make cobwebs in every corner of American discourse because they didn’t learn it and they’re not prepared to. They have a nightmare scenario where they don’t recognize Hayleigh and Skylar anymore because one has so much white guilt and the other is so woke they challenge mommy and daddy’s racism at the dinner table.

Their children do not want to be racist.

And those parents cannot face the fact that their kids want to be better than they are.

There is no way to address race if most of the people in the conversation are unaware of how race affects policy. Children of color are the ones who are forced to learn about race in kindergarten. Waiting for white kids to come to some arbitrary age of majority to learn how to function in society wastes two decades of learning where we could have been having conversations together.  All of a sudden they go off to college and are confronted with an array of racial discussions they’ve been unaware of, and we are expected to teach white people for free because their parents were too afraid to let them learn how the world works before patterns and biases started to solidify.

So if a white parent asks me if CRT should be taught in school, I’m saying absolutely. If a white parent says they don’t want their children learning critical race theory, I’m not asking them to define it and I’m not explaining to them it’s not being taught. I’m telling them that I had to learn about race at five. If you are so concerned about your kids being left behind in school, you need to acknowledge the fact that by the time they’re in college, they’re about 15 years behind in racial dynamics. If you want to protect your kids, protect them from being called a racist for spouting misinformation that should’ve been corrected in 7th grade if you were a better parent.

 

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Education

Teachers are burned out.

If you’re a teacher, here’s a little support.

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A lot of my friends are teachers, especially on social media. It feels like every girl I was friends with in middle school has a classroom now and I can see their updates on Facebook. A lot of us are stressed out to a level we could’ve never predicted three years ago, but medicine and education have been hit the hardest.

If you’re a teacher and you’re frustrated or burned out, remember that you’re not alone. I don’t know that it will relieve any of the stress, but it sometimes helps to know that other people feel the same way that you do, and that you are not somehow inadequate or bad at your job because the strain is getting to you.

According to the 2021 State of the U.S. Teacher Survey conducted by the RAND Corporation, job-related stress, burnout and symptoms of depression seem to be almost universal among teachers. Of those surveyed, one in five said they weren’t coping well with job stress, one in four said they were experiencing symptoms of depression and half felt burnt out.

(cont. GMA)

I wanted to show y’all a conversation I saw on Twitter this morning between two teachers. One is a new teacher (year 4) who has yet to settle herself into the profession because two of those years have been spent coping with teaching in a pandemic. The other is a 15 year veteran of the NYC school system. I thought this was insightful from both sides, so maybe you will too.

I’d like to say something peppy and inspirational here like, We’re all in this together!  but I don’t like to be lying all on the internet like that. If we were all in this together, teachers would be better paid and better supported in their jobs. The government wouldn’t constantly look for ways to cut education budgets and officials at the district and state level would take more care to recognize what teachers experience in the actual classroom. So no, we’re not all in this together, but there is a robust community of other teachers that you can reach out to! Lean on each other and try to remember you have the most important job in the world — it’s okay to be stressed out by it.

 

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