[Discussion] The Donald Trump Administration

Let's follow and discuss what our newest presidential administration gets up to, the good, the bad, the lawsuits.

JC wrote:

Flag story has been updated. They reversed their decision and are going to allow it.

All hail our benevolent overlords.

Beatings will continue until morale improves.

The complete lack of awareness and understanding of optics is mind boggling to me.

JC wrote:

The complete lack of awareness and understanding of optics is mind boggling to me.

Sarah Kendzior, Masha Gessen and other dictator watchers often talk about how the brazenness is intentional. If the autocrat can display to you how they're getting away with it and how helpless you are to stop it that empowers them even more.


Only white folk should obtain higher education!

Washington (CNN)The Trump administration is planning to rescind a set of Obama-era policies that promote using race to achieve diversity in schools, a source familiar with the plans tells CNN.

See, this just evens the playing field! We're past any kind of racism or institutional bias now!

That is what white people say...

But really they believe it pushes them down. Some people have a very "equation" mind. If you improve life for someone then you lower life for someone else.

If you game out the logic, the ones who would potentially be "crowded out" because of diversity admissions are basically the ones who are right on the bubble of being able to get in. They're saying that they can't compete in the current admissions environment because of an unfair system, and need extra assistance to get in.

Which is pretty much how we wound up with affirmative action in the first place, I think?

Trump's still sore he couldn't get into Wharton on merit alone.

That's okay, because the black elementary schools won't have any requirements to actually teach students to read.

Judge says there's no fundamental right to learn to read and write

Few could dispute the importance of literacy. But children have no fundamental right to learn to read and write, according to a federal judge whose ruling in a closely watched lawsuit Friday left some disheartened and others raising questions.

"I'm shocked," said Ivy Bailey, president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers. "The message that it sends is that education is not important. And it sends the message that we don't care if you're literate or not."

The ruling came in a federal lawsuit that was closely watched across the U.S. because of its potential impact: Filed on behalf of Detroit students, it sought to hold a dozen state officials — including Gov. Rick Snyder — accountable for what plaintiffs said were systemic failures that deprived Detroit children of their right to literacy.

(I'm doubly upset, because the right to a free elementary and secondary education is part of the Michigan constitution...which in 2014 the state courts said didn't mean that the education had to be any good.)

Chaz wrote:

If you game out the logic, the ones who would potentially be "crowded out" because of diversity admissions are basically the ones who are right on the bubble of being able to get in. They're saying that they can't compete in the current admissions environment because of an unfair system, and need extra assistance to get in.

Which is pretty much how we wound up with affirmative action in the first place, I think?

You know, that's the unintended consequence--the less someone benefits from their white privilege, the more likely they'll be the first in line to pay the cost of dismantling it.

Agent 86 wrote:

And here I've been trying to stifle a bout of depression. It's like the universe is telling me not to bother.

This

In U.S., Record-Low 47% Extremely Proud to Be Americans

Thanks 45 for making America great again.

bekkilyn wrote:

In U.S., Record-Low 47% Extremely Proud to Be Americans

Thanks 45 for making America great again. :)

meh. If you're born into it, being proud of one's nationality is an odd thing. I get why expats who actually had to make an effort to become citizens are, though.

I get that argument. However, I think being proud of the humanistic achievements of one's country (especially this one) are perfectly legit.

Top_Shelf wrote:

I get that argument. However, I think being proud of the humanistic achievements of one's country (especially this one) are perfectly legit.

The undoing of said achievements, eh, not so much.

Top_Shelf wrote:

I get that argument. However, I think being proud of the humanistic achievements of one's country (especially this one) are perfectly legit.

I guess if we knew the reasons for the response.

Why are you proud to be an American?
[ ] The country has hewn closely to the post-Enlightenment principles upon which it was based
[ ] 'Cause at least I know I'm free
Chairman_Mao wrote:
bekkilyn wrote:

In U.S., Record-Low 47% Extremely Proud to Be Americans

Thanks 45 for making America great again. :)

meh. If you're born into it, being proud of one's nationality is an odd thing. I get why expats immigrants who actually had to make an effort to become citizens are, though.

Sorry, but it's become increasingly clear to me that people use the word "expats" only to describe white/European immigrants. This happens around the world. In many cases it's promulgated by the white immigrants themselves. In those same places, people of different color or from non-preferred countries are simply "immigrants." A dirty connotation is implied.

So, let's be clear: anyone coming from another country becoming a citizen in a new place is an immigrant. Europeans no different than Africans or South Americans. The whole use of "expat" is designed to infer a greater value to white immigrants.

[/soapbox]

EDIT: I don't disagree with your sentiment, it's just that the use of "expats" as it is commonly used has really started to make me angry.

firesloth wrote:
Chairman_Mao wrote:
bekkilyn wrote:

In U.S., Record-Low 47% Extremely Proud to Be Americans

Thanks 45 for making America great again. :)

meh. If you're born into it, being proud of one's nationality is an odd thing. I get why expats immigrants who actually had to make an effort to become citizens are, though.

Sorry, but it's become increasingly clear to me that people use the word "expats" only to describe white/European immigrants. This happens around the world. In many cases it's promulgated by the white immigrants themselves. In those same places, people of different color or from non-preferred countries are simply "immigrants." A dirty connotation is implied.

So, let's be clear: anyone coming from another country becoming a citizen in a new place is an immigrant. Europeans no different than Africans or South Americans. The whole use of "expat" is designed to infer a greater value to white immigrants.

[/soapbox]

EDIT: I don't disagree with your sentiment, it's just that the use of "expats" as it is commonly used has really started to make me angry.

Agree, and since it connotes a higher status than immigrant, I thought I'd try to start using it for all people leaving their countries of origin, not just the white ones.

Top_Shelf wrote:

I get that argument. However, I think being proud of the humanistic achievements of one's country (especially this one) are perfectly legit.

Edit: I'm not sure what humanistic means, but I'd rather be proud of the individuals who achieved them rather than of the nation in which the thing was achieved. Also the original statement was "extremely proud to be an American" not proud of what America has achieved. While I see some merit (though it's also problematic IMO) in the latter, I don't see any in the former.

I've always thought of expats as people that are citizens one country, but live in another, with no intent to try and become citizens of the second country. Immigrants are people who go to a new country with the intent of staying permanently and changing citizenship. I don't know if that's right, but that's been my assumption.

Of course, people in the expat category seem to frequently be able to either not have to work, or work remotely, meaning they're wealthier, which usually translates to white folks. But I'm not going off hard data, and frankly, most of my expat exposure is from HGTV.

Chaz wrote:

I've always thought of expats as people that are citizens one country, but live in another, with no intent to try and become citizens of the second country. Immigrants are people who go to a new country with the intent of staying permanently and changing citizenship. I don't know if that's right, but that's been my assumption.

Of course, people in the expat category seem to frequently be able to either not have to work, or work remotely, meaning they're wealthier, which usually translates to white folks. But I'm not going off hard data, and frankly, most of my expat exposure is from HGTV.

This was my understanding as well. I usually hear it in the context of former military folks who, who example, are still american citizens but choose to still live in the former Panama Canal Zone

The whole proud to be an American thing is puzzling to me. It is a country founded on privileged white men doing extreme harm to others to increase/maintain the wealth and privilege of white men. That has not changed much at all. Pretty much fundamentally what the country was and still is in spite of a lot of platitudes about freedom. It is a massive kleptocracy designed to direct money and resources from the poor to the very very rich.

Chairman_Mao wrote:
Top_Shelf wrote:

I get that argument. However, I think being proud of the humanistic achievements of one's country (especially this one) are perfectly legit.

Edit: I'm not sure what humanistic means, but I'd rather be proud of the individuals who achieved them rather than of the nation in which the thing was achieved. Also the original statement was "extremely proud to be an American" not proud of what America has achieved. While I see some merit (though it's also problematic IMO) in the latter, I don't see any in the former.

Most of our identities are things we are born into (or otherwise have little to no control over), but we take pride in them anyway.

What complicates the narratives is how political the personal is.

At this point, it's a practical matter. We've got these things called countries. They aren't going away (or morphing into simple administrative entities without any emotional value attached to them) anytime soon. So...what do we do with them? What course of action is most effective in making the world a better place?

There's something NSMike said a while back that has stuck with me ever since when thinking of how to deal with problematic institutions. It was on the subject of marriage and how involved the state should be. All things being equal, it shouldn't.

He pointed out, though, that the institution still has power in our culture, and that if your goal is equal rights regardless of sexual orientation, it's more effective to keep government involved in marriage for now than to turn everything into civil unions. No matter how artificial a construct government regulated marriage might be, it's still a useful construct for now. No matter how silly something like nationality may or may not be, it's a fact of life right now. The question we're always asked is not "what is truly right, all other things being equal"; instead, the question is always "given where we are, where things are *not* equal, what's the best way forward?"

Docjoe wrote:

The whole proud to be an American thing is puzzling to me. It is a country founded on privileged white men doing extreme harm to others to increase/maintain the wealth and privilege of white men. That has not changed much at all. Pretty much fundamentally what the country was and still is in spite of a lot of platitudes about freedom. It is a massive kleptocracy designed to direct money and resources from the poor to the very very rich.

All western democracies are founded on colonialism. Would there have been a politically viable middle class in any country without industrialization? And industrialization went hand-in-glove with colonialism. (edit) What's different about America is that it couldn't detach from a significant part of its colonial empire. Well, I guess it *could* have, but that's the weird thing--what kept America attached to it was the Civil War.

thrawn82 wrote:
Chaz wrote:

I've always thought of expats as people that are citizens one country, but live in another, with no intent to try and become citizens of the second country. Immigrants are people who go to a new country with the intent of staying permanently and changing citizenship. I don't know if that's right, but that's been my assumption.

Of course, people in the expat category seem to frequently be able to either not have to work, or work remotely, meaning they're wealthier, which usually translates to white folks. But I'm not going off hard data, and frankly, most of my expat exposure is from HGTV.

This was my understanding as well. I usually hear it in the context of former military folks who, who example, are still american citizens but choose to still live in the former Panama Canal Zone

I’ve always heard it used in terms of business when you had someone working in a different country for a few months to a few years for the experience with every intent on coming back.

cheeze_pavilion wrote:

All western democracies are founded on colonialism. Would there have been a politically viable middle class in any country without industrialization? And industrialization went hand-in-glove with colonialism. (edit) What's different about America is that it couldn't detach from a significant part of its colonial empire. Well, I guess it *could* have, but that's the weird thing--what kept America attached to it was the Civil War.

That is a rather broad statement. There are many western democracies which were only created after WWI and the age of colonization. Almost all of these have industrialized. There is some effort to suggest that all our current living standards has only been possible through the exploitation of slaves/colonial subjects/the working class. How each western democracy reached it's current state are pretty unique suggests that alternative paths to prosperity do exist. The fact that US industrialisation was built on Westward Expansion and Slavery is the US experience but broadly applying it isn't, I think, fully justified. Bismark diverted Germany from being part of the colonization game, it still industrialised through plentiful indigenous iron and coal and a huge population of Germans to act as an internal market. An example of a very later example would be South Korea who again have a very different path.

Docjoe wrote:

The whole proud to be an American thing is puzzling to me. It is a country founded on privileged white men doing extreme harm to others to increase/maintain the wealth and privilege of white men. That has not changed much at all. Pretty much fundamentally what the country was and still is in spite of a lot of platitudes about freedom. It is a massive kleptocracy designed to direct money and resources from the poor to the very very rich.

Agreed. I’ve never been proud to be an American.

I became LESS proud when we responded to 9/11 by opening an undending war on the Middle East. Then Obama won partly on the back of how irresponsible the Iraq War was.

A large minority of Americans responded to Obama’s election by ramping up the racism and panicking about the place of white people in the world and electing Trump.

So... yeah. Definitely not proud. I think I was semi-proud for like 3 years during the Obama administration when it felt like we were reckoning with our demons.

DoveBrown wrote:

The fact that US industrialisation was built on Westward Expansion and Slavery is the US experience but broadly applying it isn't, I think, fully justified.

Where do you think the cotton that supplied Englands "dark Satanic mills" came from? Places like the US. Or India, or Egypt.

There is some effort to suggest that all our current living standards has only been possible through the exploitation of slaves/colonial subjects/the working class.

Exactly. That's why I said: Would there have been a politically viable middle class in any country without industrialization? And industrialization went hand-in-glove with colonialism.

*mod*

Veering off topic for the thread, consider starting a new one if you want to explore colonialism or American pride.

While I'm here, I might actually make a fresh thread since 500+ pages seems to break clicking into the latest post and we're not sure what the cause is yet. July 4th seems like an appropriate day for that.

K. I’ll get on it later.

Keeping the header image.