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Kevin Kallaugher for Aug 19, 2018 Comic Strip

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Trump cancels military parade, blames D.C. officials for high cost
Dartunorro Clark 41 mins ago

President Donald Trump said Friday he has canceled a planned military parade this fall in the nation’s capital because of the “ridiculously high” price tag given by D.C. officials.
“The local politicians who run Washington, D.C. (poorly) know a windfall when they see it. When asked to give us a price for holding a great celebratory military parade, they wanted a number so ridiculously high that I cancelled it,” Trump tweeted.
“Never let someone hold you up! I will instead attend the big parade already scheduled at Andrews Air Force Base on a different date, & go to the Paris parade, celebrating the end of the War, on November 11th. Maybe we will do something next year in D.C. when the cost comes WAY DOWN. Now we can buy some more jet fighters!”

On Thursday, a defense official told NBC News that the upper estimate of the cost of the parade was $92 million, a figure first reported by CNBC. The potential cost was way above initial estimates.
The military parade was requested by Trump earlier this year.
The Department of Defense said Thursday that the parade was delayed until 2019.
“The Department of Defense and White House have been planning a parade to honor America’s military veterans and commemorate the centennial of World War I,” said Col. Rob Manning on Thursday. “We originally targeted November 10, 2018 for this event but have now agreed to explore opportunities in 2019.”

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Wouldn’t TOTUS’ time be better spent actually looking for ways to spend money to help the country’s needs in infrastructure rather than a parade to celebrate his own ego. We (some of us) elected a President (so some of us thought) not a dictator wannabe.MA.
Courtney Kube 11 hrs ago

WASHINGTON — The multimillion-dollar military parade through the nation’s capital requested by President Donald Trump has been delayed until 2019, a Defense Department spokesman said Thursday.
“The Department of Defense and White House have been planning a parade to honor America’s military veterans and commemorate the centennial of World War I,” said Col. Rob Manning. “We originally targeted November 10, 2018 for this event but have now agreed to explore opportunities in 2019.”
Earlier Thursday, a defense official told NBC News that the upper estimate of the cost of the parade was $92 million, a figure first reported by CNBC.

The estimate had risen substantially since February, when White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told Congress the price could be $10 million to $30 million.
The cost was initially reported as $12 million, and was based on the cost of the victory parade held in the capital after the 1991 Gulf War, said the official. The Washington Post estimated the cost of the 1991 victory parade as $8 million.
The defense official told NBC News that the internal estimate of the cost of the parade rose to $25 million after adjusting for more than 25 years of inflation. But that estimate did not take into account expenses borne by other federal agencies and some nonmilitary line items.
The $92 million figure is the current uppermost estimate, said the official, and includes security, transportation and other expenses.
“The American Legion appreciates that our president wants to show in a dramatic fashion our nation’s support for our troops,” American Legion National Cmdr Denise Rohan said in a statement posted to Twitter. “However, until such time as we can celebrate victory in the War on Terrorism and bring our military home, we think the parade money would be better spent fully funding the Department of Veteran Affairs and giving our troops and their families the best care possible.”
As NBC News first reported, serious planning for the parade began in June, four months after Trump directed the Defense Department to organize it.
“There is only one person who wants this parade,” said a senior U.S. official at the time, referring to Trump.
Trump got the idea for the parade while viewing France’s Bastille Day Parade in July 2017.
“We’re going to have to try to top it,” he later told French President Emmanuel Macron.
By January, Trump was floating the idea with military leaders and in late February, he made it official with a memo to Defense Secretary James Mattis.
A March memo laid out the skeleton of a plan: a parade from the White House to the Capitol to include only wheeled vehicles (because tanks could damage the streets), capped by a big display of air power and vintage aircraft, with themes including veterans, women in the military and medal of honor recipients.
After that, three months went by with no major planning. With so many more pressing issues, the parade just was not a high priority for the military, a senior defense official said.
Officials recommended that the route begin at the Capitol, pass the White House and end at the National Mall, and the date was moved up a day to Nov. 10, from Nov. 11.
Some Washington lawmakers have raised concerns about the cost of a parade, with Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., calling it a “fantastic waste of money to amuse the president.” And some analysts have said that without an important military victory to justify the parade, it smacked of North Korean-style posturing.
“There’s no reason to do it aside from bolstering Trump’s ego,” Thomas E. Ricks, a military historian and veteran national security reporter, told NBC News this year.

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The specific words of the saying the signs borrowed from vary; the most commonly cited version of Niemöller’s pseudo-poem, however—the one quoted by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, as a lyrical manifestation of the evils of political apathy—reads like this:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
It is a reference to the Holocaust. It is also, however, a warning about the ease with which such an event could occur again, if we of the present allow ourselves to become ignorant of the lessons of the past. Niemöller, born in 1892, was German, and a Protestant. Initially a supporter of Hitler’s rise to power, Niemöller came to oppose him in the years leading up to the war: In 1933, he became the head of a group of opposition clergy members, the Pfarrernotbund, or the Pastors’ Emergency League. For that, in 1937, he was arrested and sent to the concentration camps—first to Sachsenhausen and then to Dachau. He survived until the end of the war, when the Allies liberated him and his fellow prisoners. Niemöller returned, after that, to the clergy—and he focused, for the rest of his life, on reconciliation as both a political and a theological aspiration. “First They Came” emerged from that effort.

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Bob Bryan 3h

President Donald Trump’s tariffs have put US businesses in the crosshairs of a trade war.
Bill Yeargin, the CEO of US boat manufacturer Correct Craft, warned about the consequences of Trump’s trade fights in an op-ed on Monday.
“We have found ourselves in the crosshairs of a trade war, one that will drown out the effects of tax reform and risk our industry’s promising future, taking American workers and consumers down with it,” Yeargin wrote.
The CEO also laid out the three big reasons that Trump’s tariffs hurt US businesses.

President Donald Trump’s tariffs are hitting US businesses with a triple whammy, according to one manufacturing CEO.
Bill Yeargin, the CEO of US boat manufacturer Correct Craft, laid out in an op-ed for the Washington Examiner how harmful Trump’s recent tariffs are for both his own company and the US economy as a whole.
Yeargin’s firm builds a slew of popular boat brands, such as the specialty ski brand Nautique. Correct Craft employs more than 1,300 American workers and has six manufacturing plants around the US, but despite the homegrown nature of the business, Trump’s tariffs are taking a toll.
The Correct Craft CEO said Trump’s trade fights are leading to higher costs and threaten boat sales. In fact, Yeargin said the tariffs pose an existential threat to the US boat manufacturing industry.

“We have found ourselves in the crosshairs of a trade war, one that will drown out the effects of tax reform and risk our industry’s promising future, taking American workers and consumers down with it,” he wrote.
In laying out the threat the trade war poses, Yeargin identified the three ways that Trump’s trade fights are contributing to pain for US manufacturers:
Tariffs caused the price of imported parts to increase: Tariffs act as taxes on imports, which in turn cause the prices of the goods hit with those taxes to increase. Trump slapped both Chinese aluminum sheet and all aluminum, two important elements for boat manufacturing, with substantial tariffs. Additionally, Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods added an extra duty to pieces of boat engines, and the next wave of tariffs could hit “300 different component parts used by the marine industry.” So Correct Crafts costs are increasing, cutting into profits.
The prices of US goods are also increasing due to market distortions: Correct Craft sources nearly all of the aluminum sheet used in its boats from the US — more than 90% according to Yeargin — but this has not protected the company from price increases. As domestic producers have seen foreign prices rise, so too have US aluminum producers used this new pricing power. According to Yeargin, the price of domestic aluminum has risen by 20% to 30% due to market distortions created by the tariffs.
Retaliatory tariffs on US exports are hurting American companies that send goods abroad: Yeargin said that retaliatory tariffs on boats by Canada, Mexico, and the European Union — which represent a large portion of the firm’s overseas sales — will harm sales and “puts the industry’s $1.8 billion in recreational boat and engine exports and the jobs of Americans in jeopardy.”
Yeargin says Trump’s trade policies will come back to bite the US
Correct Craft can respond to combination of these three factors in a few different ways. The company can lay off workers to bring down labor costs, increase prices on consumers, or move its manufacturing outside of the US to a country not facing tariffs (similar to Harley-Davidson’s decision).
Given these worrying options Correct Craft faces, Yeargin concluded that Trump’s trade policies will ultimately come back to bite the US.
“Many Americans are understandably tired of longstanding and unfair trade agreements, and President Trump should be applauded for concentrating the world’s attention on the issue,” the Correct Craft CEO wrote. “However, his administration’s current trade policies of increasing protectionism are unfairly targeting US manufacturing industries, and will cause lasting damage to US businesses, jobs, and families.”

The problems aren’t just limited to boat manufacturers. American firms that produce everything from TVs to nails to lobster traps are dealing with similar cost pressures.
The cost increases are already forcing these firms to make tough choices. Some US businesses have had to lay off workers, while others are raising prices on consumers to handle the hit.
Regardless of how these companies are managing, it’s clear that Trump’s trade fights are taking a toll on American business.

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Stephen Miller Is an Immigration Hypocrite. I Know Because I’m His Uncle.
If my nephew’s ideas on immigration had been in force a century ago, our family would have been wiped out.
By DAVID S. GLOSSER
August 13, 2018
Let me tell you a story about Stephen Miller and chain migration.
It begins at the turn of the 20th century, in a dirt-floor shack in the village of Antopol, a shtetl of subsistence farmers in what is now Belarus. Beset by violent anti-Jewish pogroms and forced childhood conscription in the Czar’s army, the patriarch of the shack, Wolf-Leib Glosser, fled a village where his forebears had lived for centuries and took his chances in America.
He set foot on Ellis Island on January 7, 1903, with $8 to his name. Though fluent in Polish, Russian and Yiddish, he understood no English. An elder son, Nathan, soon followed. By street corner peddling and sweatshop toil, Wolf-Leib and Nathan sent enough money home to pay off debts and buy the immediate family’s passage to America in 1906. That group included young Sam Glosser, who with his family settled in the western Pennsylvania city of Johnstown, a booming coal and steel town that was a magnet for other hardworking immigrants. The Glosser family quickly progressed from selling goods from a horse and wagon to owning a haberdashery in Johnstown run by Nathan and Wolf-Leib to a chain of supermarkets and discount department stores run by my grandfather, Sam, and the next generation of Glossers, including my dad, Izzy. It was big enough to be listed on the AMEX stock exchange and employed thousands of people over time. In the span of some 80 years and five decades, this family emerged from poverty in a hostile country to become a prosperous, educated clan of merchants, scholars, professionals, and, most important, American citizens.
What does this classically American tale have to do with Stephen Miller? Well, Izzy Glosser is his maternal grandfather, and Stephen’s mother, Miriam, is my sister.
I have watched with dismay and increasing horror as my nephew, an educated man who is well aware of his heritage, has become the architect of immigration policies that repudiate the very foundation of our family’s life in this country.
I shudder at the thought of what would have become of the Glossers had the same policies Stephen so coolly espouses— the travel ban, the radical decrease in refugees, the separation of children from their parents, and even talk of limiting citizenship for legal immigrants — been in effect when Wolf-Leib made his desperate bid for freedom. The Glossers came to the U.S. just a few years before the fear and prejudice of the “America first” nativists of the day closed U.S. borders to Jewish refugees. Had Wolf-Leib waited, his family likely would have been murdered by the Nazis along with all but seven of the 2,000 Jews who remained in Antopol. I would encourage Stephen to ask himself if the chanting, torch-bearing Nazis of Charlottesville, whose support his boss seems to court so cavalierly, do not envision a similar fate for him.
Like other immigrants, our family’s welcome to the USA was not always a warm one, but we largely had the protection of the law, there was no state-sponsored violence against us, no kidnapping of our male children, and we enjoyed good relations with our neighbors. True, Jews were excluded from many occupations, couldn’t buy homes in some towns, couldn’t join certain organizations or attend certain schools or universities, but life was good. As in past generations, there were hate mongers who regarded the most recent groups of poor immigrants as scum, rapists, gangsters, drunks and terrorists, but largely the Glosser family was left alone to live our lives and build the American dream. Children were born, synagogues founded, and we thrived. This was the miracle of America.
Acting for so long in the theater of right-wing politics, Stephen and Trump may have become numb to the resultant human tragedy and blind to the hypocrisy of their policy decisions. After all, Stephen’s is not the only family with a chain immigration story in the Trump administration. Trump’s grandfather is reported to have been a German migrant on the run from military conscription to a new life in the United States, and his mother fled the poverty of rural Scotland for the economic possibilities of New York City. (Trump’s in-laws just became citizens on the strength of his wife’s own citizenship.)
These facts are important not only for their grim historical irony but because vulnerable people are being hurt. They are real people, not the ghoulish caricatures portrayed by Trump. When confronted by the deaths and suffering of thousands, our senses are overwhelmed, and the victims become statistics rather than people. I meet these statistics one at a time through my volunteer service as a neuropsychologist for the Philadelphia affiliate of HIAS (formerly the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), the global nonprofit that protects refugees and helped my family more than 100 years ago. I will share the story of one such man I have met in the hopes that my nephew might recognize elements of our shared heritage.
In the early 2000s, Joseph (not his real name) was conscripted at the age of 14 to be a soldier in Eritrea and sent to a remote desert military camp. Officers there discovered a Bible under his pillow which aroused their suspicion that he might belong to a foreign evangelical sect that would claim his loyalty and sap his will to fight. Joseph was actually a member of the state-approved Coptic church but was nonetheless immediately subjected to torture. “They smashed my face into the ground, tied my hands and feet together behind my back, stomped on me, and hung me from a tree by my bonds while they beat me with batons for the others to see.”
Joseph was tortured for 20 consecutive days before being taken to a military prison and crammed into a dark unventilated cell with 36 other men, little food and no proper hygiene. Some died, and in time Joseph was stricken with dysentery. When he was too weak to stand, he was taken to a civilian clinic where he was fed by the medical staff. Upon regaining his strength, he escaped to a nearby road where a sympathetic driver took him north through the night to a camp in Sudan where he joined other refugees. Joseph was on the first leg of a journey that would cover thousands of miles and almost 10 years.
Before Donald Trump had started his political ascent promulgating the false story that Barack Obama was a foreign-born Muslim, while my nephew, Stephen, was famously recovering from the hardships of his high school cafeteria in Santa Monica, Joseph was a child on his own in Sudan in fear of being deported back to Eritrea to face execution for desertion. He worked any job he could get, saved his money and made his way through Sudan. He endured arrest and extortion in Libya. He returned to Sudan, then kept moving to Dubai, Brazil and eventually to a southern border crossing into Texas, where he sought asylum. In all of the countries he traveled through during his ordeal, he was vulnerable, exploited and his status was “illegal.” But in the United States, he had a chance to acquire the protection of a documented immigrant.
Today, at 30, Joseph lives in Pennsylvania and has a wife and child. He is a smart, warm, humble man of great character who is grateful for every day of his freedom and safety. He bears emotional scars from not seeing his parents or siblings since he was 14. He still trembles, cries and struggles for breath when describing his torture, and he bears physical scars as well. He hopes to become a citizen, return to work and make his contribution to America. His story, though unique in its particulars, is by no means unusual. I have met Central Americans fleeing corrupt governments, violence and criminal extortion; a Yemeni woman unable to return to her war-ravaged home country and fearing sexual mutilation if she goes back to her Saudi husband; and an escaped kidnap-bride from central Asia.
Trump wants to make us believe that these desperate migrants are an existential threat to the United States; the most powerful nation in world history and a nation made strong by immigrants. Trump and my nephew both know their immigrant and refugee roots. Yet, they repeat the insults and false accusations of earlier generations against these refugees to make them seem less than human. Trump publicly parades the grieving families of people hurt or killed by migrants, just as the early Nazis dredged up Jewish criminals to frighten and enrage their political base to justify persecution of all Jews. Almost every American family has an immigration story of its own based on flight from war, poverty, famine, persecution, fear or hopelessness. Most of these immigrants became workers, entrepreneurs, scientists and soldiers of America.
Most damning is the administration’s evident intent to make policy that specifically disadvantages people based on their ethnicity, country of origin and religion. No matter what opinion is held about immigration, any government that specifically enacts law or policy on that basis must be recognized as a threat to all of us. Laws bereft of justice are the gateway to tyranny. Today others may be the target, but tomorrow it might just as easily be you or me. History will be the judge, but in the meantime the normalization of these policies is rapidly eroding the collective conscience of America. Immigration reform is a complex issue that will require compassion and wisdom to bring the nation to a just solution, but the politicians who have based their political and professional identity on ethnic demonization and exclusion cannot be trusted to do so. As free Americans, and descendants of immigrants and refugees, we have the obligation to exercise our conscience by voting for candidates who will stand up for our highest national values and not succumb to our lowest fears.
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Dr. David S. Glosser is a retired neuropsychologist: formerly a member of the Neurology faculties of Boston University School of Medicine and Jefferson Medical College.

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AUGUST 13, 2018
Kuttner on TAP
Far too many—but not enough to save the Republican House.
There is, of course, well-justified alarm at the return of voter-suppression tactics that evoke the Old South before the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and the brutal period after 1877, when Jim Crow laws and official terrorism crushed the original Reconstruction.
Worse, the 2013 Shelby County v. Holder Supreme Court ruling neutered the Voting Rights Act; Republican voter-suppression tactics inspired by the South migrated north, and the Trump Justice Department is now on the side of the suppressors. And if that were not enough, extreme gerrymandering in more than a dozen states translates a 50-50 popular vote election split into a Republican-majority House.
So why on earth should one be optimistic? Well consider the special election in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, now awaiting a possible recount.
Ohio happens to be a state that has used both voter-suppression tactics and extreme gerrymandering. The 12th District, which has been in Republican hands for three decades, was engineered to keep it that way. In addition, the Republicans who run Ohio purged voting rolls and made voting more difficult.
The result? A structural tilt to the GOP. But even so, in this district that was carried by Donald Trump by 11 points in 2016, the result was effectively a draw.
So democracy may be bruised and battered, but yet it lives. And a cleansing blue wave will more than offset the suppression and the gerrymandering. ~ ROBERT KUTTNER

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One of the most clear histories of the American post civil war  South and beyond.MA.

Education
August 9, 20186:00 AM ET
Anya Kamenetz

Lies My Teacher Told Me
Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong
by James W. Loewen
Paperback, 446 pages
When I was a high school junior in New Orleans taking AP American history, my teacher assigned us a paperback book. Slim in contrast to our hulking required textbook, it was a funny, compelling, even shocking read. Lies My Teacher Told Me, by James Loewen, explained how history textbooks got the story of America wrong, usually by soft-pedaling, oversimplifying and burying the thorny drama and uncertainties of the past under a blanket of dull, voice-of-God narration.
The book also taught a lot of history. It introduced me to concepts that still help me make sense of the world, like the “racial nadir” — the downturn in American race relations, starting after Reconstruction, that saw the rise of lynchings and the Ku Klux Klan. In doing so, Lies My Teacher Told Me overturned one assumption embedded in the history classes I’d been sitting through all my life: that the United States is constantly ascending from greatness to greatness.
The book has racked up many awards and sold around 2 million copies since it was first published in 1995. In a new edition out this summer, James Loewen — now professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Vermont — is championing the cause of critical thinking in the age of fake news.

He tells NPR, “I started out the new edition with the famous two photographs of the inaugural crowds of this guy named President Obama, his first inauguration, and this guy named President Trump, his first and maybe only inauguration. And you just look at those two photos and they’re completely different. There’s all kinds of grass and gaps that you see in the Trump photo. … What that does, I hope, is signal to every reader of the book: Yes, there are such things as facts here. You can see with your own eyes.”
The following conversation has been edited for clarity and length.
Can you take me back to the original inspiration for the book?
My first full-time teaching job was at a black college, Tougaloo College in Mississippi. I had 17 new students in my new second semester [freshman sociology] seminar and I didn’t want to do all the talking the first day of class so I asked them, “OK, what is Reconstruction? What comes to your mind from that period?”
And what happened to me was an aha experience, although you might better consider it an oh-no experience: 16 out of my 17 students said, “Well, Reconstruction was the period right after the Civil War when blacks took over the government of the Southern states. But they were too soon out of slavery and so they screwed up and white folks had to take control again.”

Why Schools Fail To Teach Slavery’s ‘Hard History’
My little heart sank. I mean, there’s at least three direct lies in that sentence.
Blacks never took over the government of the Southern states — all of the Southern states had white governors throughout the period. All but one had white legislative majorities.
Second, the Reconstruction governments did not screw up. Across the South without exception they built the best state constitutions that the Southern states have ever had. Mississippi, in particular, had better government during Reconstruction than at any later point in the 19th century.
A third lie would be, whites didn’t take control. It was white supremacist Democrats — indeed, it was the original Ku Klux Klan.
So I thought to myself, “My gosh, what must it do to you to believe that the one time your group was center stage in American history, they screwed up?”
So you set out to write your own textbook, didn’t you?
[Loewen, along with colleagues and students, co-wrote a new high school state history textbook called Mississippi: Conflict and Change. Despite high ratings from reviewers, the Mississippi State Textbook Purchasing Board rejected the book on the grounds that it was racially inflammatory. Loewen and his co-authors sued the board.]
The lawsuit had a “Perry Mason” moment — only your older listeners will understand what that is. Let’s say it had a dramatic moment, and that came when John Turnipseed [of the Mississippi State Textbook Purchasing Board] was on the stand.
The assistant attorney general for the state of Mississippi asked why he had voted against our book. And he had us turn to [a] page where there’s a photo of a lynching. Now, our textbook at that time was the only textbook in America that included a photo of a lynching. And ironically almost none do to this day.
Turnipseed is on the stand and he says: “Now, you know, some ninth-graders, especially black male ninth-graders, are pretty big, and I worried that teachers, especially white lady teachers, would have trouble controlling their classes with material like this in the book.”

The judge — who was an [older] white Mississippian, but a man of honor — took over the questioning, and he said, “But that happened, didn’t it? Didn’t Mississippi have more lynchings than any other state?” And Turnipseed said, and again I quote, “Well, yes, but that all happened so long ago. Why dwell on it now?” And the judge said, “Well, it is a history book.”
The U.S. District Court found for Loewen and the textbook was adopted for several years.
That whole escapade proved to me that history can be a weapon. And that it had been used against my students. And that’s what got me so interested in American history as a weapon.
The book is called Lies My Teacher Told Me. What’s the biggest lie in the book?
Usually when I’m asked, “What’s the biggest lie?” I put my hand out in front of me slanting upward and to the right. And what I mean by that is the overall theme of American history is we started out great and we’ve been getting better ever since kind of automatically. And the trouble with that is two things. First of all, it’s not always true. …
And the second part is what it does to the high school student. It says you don’t need to protest; you don’t need to write your congressman; you don’t need to do any of the things that citizens do, because everything’s getting better all the time.
So it encourages passivity.
Exactly.
And then the other part about it is the enormous textbooks. I mean, you talk about the way that they present history as being settled intellectually, too.

The Two-Way
New Evidence Suggests Humans Arrived In The Americas Far Earlier Than Thought
It’s so boring! If you think about it, the very first thing that happened in terms of American history is people came to the land that we now know as the United States. Now how did they get here?
Well, every single textbook that I looked at says that they came across the Bering Strait during an Ice Age. It turns out they might have. It also turns out they might not have. And what we should therefore do is let students in on the fact that we don’t know, that there’s a controversy here and invite them to go research it themselves. …
And that would be fascinating. That would get them thinking like a historian right from the beginning of a U.S. history course.
I feel like there is a tension in what you’re saying because we do want to debate and understand where there’s genuine uncertainty in history, but how do students discriminate among various sources of information? Especially in the age of the Internet and thousands of pages on any subject.
Well, I think there’s one key question to be asked of any source, and that is “Why do you find it credible?” Now, a KKK site on American history is perfectly credible if you’re asking the question “What does the KKK believe about the Civil War?” OK. If, on the other hand, you’re asking, “Why did the Southern states secede?” Maybe you don’t want to cite a KKK site.

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Culture
By Prajwal Kulkarni
August 10, 2018
No other group—not Hispanics, Muslims, or anyone else—have faced what black Americans have. Race in America is not about people of color. It’s about black people.
David Marcus recently criticized the New York Times for promoting a racial double standard when they decided to stand by Sarah Jeong despite her history of racist tweets. According to Marcus, the Times has “no problem denigrating white people in a way they would not any other group” because they have implicitly embraced “privilege theory and its hierarchies of oppression.” Marcus rightly worries that this double standard does more harm than good and “is a dangerous road to a dark place.”
While Marcus’s analysis is largely correct, there is an even bigger problem with Jeong, white privilege theory (WPT), and leftist racial discourse in general: It is profoundly, deeply unfair, and not just to white Americans. The Left’s inordinate focus on whites is especially unfair to African-Americans.

The crux of race in America isn’t that white people have “hidden advantages.” It’s that African-Americans have, and always have had, obvious disadvantages. Rather than white privilege, we should be focusing on black suffering. If there is a racial double standard, it shouldn’t be about whites at all. It should be about black people, and only black people.
African-Americans Have a Unique History in America
Especially as America has transformed into a multi-racial rather than bi-racial democracy, it doesn’t make sense to continually harp on white people. It makes even less sense to lump the African-American experience along with that of other minorities.
Take the term “people of color” (POC). It implies that we can view race relations as white people on one side and all racial minorities on the other. But that framing is nonsense. POC didn’t experience 250 years of slavery. Black people did. POC didn’t get lynched almost 4,000 times. Black people did. And POC did not put up with decades of Jim Crow and formal housing discrimination. Black people did.
WPT glosses over these horrors that were perpetrated only on African-Americans. But this glossing over, this equating of blacks with all POC, is inevitable if you fixate on white people.

Ultimately the problem with white privilege theory isn’t its focus on privilege or white people. It’s that it minimizes what African-Americans endured. Yes, it’s true that some people might be treated with “more respect and dignity based on skin color.” But as far as race is concerned, only African-Americans have been uniquely harmed by such disrespect.
The Obsession with Whites Sidelines Blacks
So rather than WPT, it would be better to adopt a black-centered framework when discussing race. In this framework, the Jeong controversy would not exist—not because white people aren’t sometimes privileged, or white supremacy didn’t exist, but because any racial discussion would be viewed entirely through the lens of blacks. In this world, it would be bizarre for anyone to be so obsessed with whites. The common liberal trope that “America is based on white supremacy” would disappear from our vocabulary, and instead become something like: “America was built on black slavery.”
While the difference between those phrases may seem small, the second does something that our current discourse tragically does not: place African-Americans at the center of our racial narrative and treat their journey with the solemn reverence it deserves. However many races there are in America today, black and non-black are still the only two racial categories that matter. Privilege theory and the Left’s approach to race gets it completely backwards.
To meaningfully engage with race, conservatives should thus do a couple things. In terms of our public rhetoric, we should acknowledge, as I’ve argued previously, that racial identity is a meaningful concept. But we should simultaneously insist that African-Americans are special, and strongly denounce anyone who suggests otherwise.

In policies, we should as much as possible treat all groups equally, something Marcus has also called for. But we should also be open to making exceptions on a case by case basis. Only two groups should qualify for exceptions: African-Americans and Native Americans. Although discussing Native Americans is beyond the scope of this essay, they too have suffered uniquely. All Americans should place the experiences of these two groups on a pedestal and never compare them to anything else.
All Immigrants Are Closer to Whites than to Blacks
Placing black Americans in a racial category by themselves and reducing the salience of “white” could also build national cohesion because it would be easier to highlight the commonalities among all immigrant groups. Muslim-Americans could appreciate that while they surely face bigotry and are “people of color,” they have much in common with the Irish and Italians. Minority immigrants must logically be compared to other immigrant groups, not African-Americans. In America’s racial hierarchy, all immigrants are much closer to whites than we are to blacks.
This approach may also help the Sarah Jeongs of the world see that whites do not automatically have privilege over non-whites: it is lunacy to assert that their race alone makes white Appalachians privileged over many second-generation Asian-Americans, whose parents were given visas because they were among the most talented doctors, engineers, and scientists in their countries of origin.
I have been called racial slurs many times since I moved to the United States. I was once even punched in the face because I am a “f-cking foreigner.” But as traumatizing as such incidents may be to non-black racial minorities, it is grotesque to compare them to what happened to black people. Black people had—and have—it much, much worse. A black-centric approach would continually remind us of this fact.

It would also help us to make sense of the overwhelming data that economic immobility afflicts African-Americans, and especially African-American men, over every other group. Given our history, why would we expect anything else? Even though others face hardship, black people stand alone in this regard.
In a 1967 interview, Martin Luther King Jr. was asked why black Americans couldn’t progress like other immigrants. King’s response, said at a time when blacks were effectively our only minority group, is still relevant today: “No other ethnic group has been a slave on American soil. That is one thing that other immigrant groups haven’t had to face.”
No other group—not Hispanics, Muslims, women, LGBTQ people, or anyone else—have faced what black Americans have. Race in America is not about whites or people of color. It’s about black people. White privilege theory trivializes this crucial fact.
How You Look Doesn’t Tell Us Your History
How did such a wrong-headed theory gain so much prominence? I suspect it’s because WPT is the only theory that could succeed in a multi-racial America. America never really wanted to view African-Americans as special. For a while we had no choice. But the second Hispanics and we Asians started coming over in significant numbers, WPT came along to save the day.
After all, here’s an academic theory that effectively says to black people: “Don’t view your experience as special. Sure you’re the only ones who were enslaved and lynched. And sure some minorities are significantly better off than the average American, much less black people. But you really should just lump yourself in with all people of color.”
We’ve accepted this fraudulent reasoning without realizing how ahistorical and morally bankrupt it is. Simply because they both generally happen to have darker skin than some other people, WPT has made it okay to analogize any brown-skinned immigrant, regardless of wealth or education, with an African-American whose ancestors experienced slavery and lynching.
How is okay to make that comparison? What kind of country will we be if we continue doing so? Sadly, the country we have always been.
Prajwal Kulkarni works at a software company and lives in Denver, Colorado. He writes on his personal website and is on Twitter.

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Trump’s trade war is already leading to layoffs and pain for American businesses
Bob Bryan 6 hrs ago

President Donald Trump’s tariffs on imports of steel, aluminum, and some Chinese products have started pushing up prices for many US companies that rely on those items to create final products, forcing many firms to make tough decisions about where to cut costs.
Many large companies have for now decided to pass on those costs to consumers or absorb the losses into their profit margins. But some smaller US businesses have been forced to cut labor costs to offset the higher amounts they’re paying for parts.
From Wisconsin to South Carolina, small businesses are starting to lay off employees, and they’re citing Trump’s tariffs. Many firms have warned that the worst is yet to come.
Some examples:
Mid-Continental Nail, the largest US nail producer, laid off 130 workers after steel prices jumped. One of its plant managers said the entire business could shut down over the next few months.
Element Electronics, a TV manufacturer, plans to lay off 127 workers from its South Carolina factory as “a result of the new tariffs that were recently and unexpectedly imposed on many goods imported from China.”
Brinly-Hardy, an Indiana-based maker of lawn-care equipment, laid off 75 workers. “We are collateral damage in this effort,” Jane Hardy, the company’s CEO, told The Washington Post.
The Tampa Bay Times said in April that it was forced to lay off 50 people because of a tariff on Canadian newsprint. Other newspapers in small communities, such as House Speaker Paul Ryan’s hometown paper in Janesville, Wisconsin, have also been forced to lay off staff.
Some businesses, such as Moog Music, which manufactures electronic musical instruments, have not taken action but have warned that the tariffs could eventually lead to layoffs. Other small businesses have furloughed workers or paused expansion plans while they wait and see how the trade fights play out. Small operators in industries from lobster fishing to metal shapers have curtailed workers’ hours.

While the tariffs are causing acute pain for some companies, more widespread labor-market issues have not yet appeared. Trump’s tariffs apply only to a concentrated number of industrial goods, and the total number of US imports hit with tariffs remains low.
The July jobs report showed a steady increase in employment and a strong labor market, but economists have warned that business concerns about tariffs could start to weigh on hiring growth if the trade battles continue to escalate.
According to a study by the Trade Partnership, a free-trade industry group, Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs will result in a net loss of more than 400,000 US jobs. Other estimates of the job losses are somewhat smaller.
Even more effects on jobs could come if Trump follows through on his threat to impose tariffs on imported cars and auto parts:
Volvo warned the administration that it could scrap 4,000 planned jobs in South Carolina if the tariff goes into place.
Other foreign manufacturers with plants in South Carolina, such as BMW, say they could also be forced to make layoffs.
A study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics found that a 25% auto tariff would lead to the loss of 195,000 US jobs over a three-year period.

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