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In his book, Post-Racial or Most-Racial? That was not a foregone conclusion. Instead, white voters became convinced that they had elected Huey Newton. An agenda that included record deportations and targeted killings in Muslim countries abroad did little to stem the conspiracy theories. Birtherism is rightly remembered as a racist conspiracy theory, born of an inability to accept the legitimacy of the first black president.

But it is more than that, and the insistence that it was a fringe belief undersells the fact that it was one of the most important political developments of the past decade. Birtherism is a synthesis of the prejudice toward blacks, immigrants, and Muslims that swelled on the right during the Obama era: Obama was not merely black but also a foreigner, not just black and foreign but also a secret Muslim.

Birtherism was not simply racism, but nationalism—a statement of values and a definition of who belongs in America. Birtherism, and then Trumpism, united all three rising strains of prejudice on the right in opposition to the man who had become the sum of their fears. In this sense only, the Calamity Thesis is correct. H istory has a way of altering villains so that we can no longer see ourselves in them. Sitting in his cell at Fort Warren years later, the rebels defeated and the Confederacy vanquished, Stephens had second thoughts.

The real problem was the crooked media, which had taken him out of context. The same was true of the rest of the South, he wrote, which had no love for the institution of slavery.

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It served as a crucial text in the emerging alternate history of the Lost Cause, the mythology that the South had fought a principled battle for its own liberty and sovereignty and not, in President Ulysses S. If a man who helped lead a nation founded to preserve the right to own black people as slaves could believe this lie, it is folly to think that anyone who has done anything short of that would have difficulty doing the same.

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That lie is the basis of our present trouble. It is an extremely complex lie.

Most important, the overgrown branches of that complex lie have become manifest during nearly every surge in American nationalism, enabling its proponents to act with what they believe is a clear conscience. That Southern society, like the planter aristocracy that preceded it, impoverished most blacks and whites alike, while concentrating wealth and power in the hands of a white elite.

It lasted for decades, through both violence and the acquiescence of those who might have been expected to rise up against it. Americans tend to portray defenders of Jim Crow in cartoonish, Disney-villain terms. This creates a certain amount of distance, obscuring the reality that segregation enjoyed broad support among white people.

As the historian Jason Sokol recounts in his book There Goes My Everything , white Southerners fighting integration imagined themselves not as adhering to an oppressive ideology, but as resisting one. One letter out of many cited by Sokol, from a World War II veteran in , provides an illustrative example.

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Nor did many white Southerners accept that Jim Crow segregation was a fundamentally unjust arrangement. The formulation is surely familiar: She attested to her intimate and friendly interpersonal relationships with black people as a defense of a violent, kleptocratic system that denied them the same fundamental rights that she enjoyed. In fact, it was the subordinate position of black people that made peaceful relations possible.

Like Stephens, who later denied the essence of the Confederacy as he himself had articulated it, the most-ardent defenders of Jim Crow later denied that the system had been rooted in any kind of malice or injustice. He was responsible for the vicious beating of voting-rights activists in Selma.

Time for justice: Tackling race inequalities in health and housing

They thought it was in the best interest of both the races. I love white people. I talked about the, the government of the, the United States and the Supreme Court. I talked about the Supreme Court usurpation of power. T rumpism emerged from a haze of delusion, denial, pride, and cruelty—not as a historical anomaly, but as a profoundly American phenomenon. This explains both how tens of millions of white Americans could pull the lever for a candidate running on a racist platform and justify doing so, and why a predominantly white political class would search so desperately for an alternative explanation for what it had just seen.

To acknowledge the centrality of racial inequality to American democracy is to question its legitimacy—so it must be denied. It is not invincible. Its earlier iterations have been defeated before, and can be defeated now. Abraham Lincoln began the Civil War believing that former slaves would have to be transported to West Africa. Lyndon Johnson began his political career as a segregationist. Both came to realize that the question of black rights in America is not mere identity politics—not a peripheral matter, but the central, existential question of the republic. Nothing is inevitable, people can change.

No one is irredeemable. But recognition precedes enlightenment. Nevertheless, a majority of white voters backed a candidate who assured them that they will never have to share this country with people of color as equals. That is the reality that all Americans will have to deal with, and one that most of the country has yet to confront. Yet at its core, white nationalism has and always will be a hustle, a con, a fraud that cannot deliver the broad-based prosperity it promises, not even to most white people.

Perhaps the most persuasive argument against Trumpist nationalism is not one its opponents can make in a way that his supporters will believe. What the Amazon founder and CEO wants for his empire and himself, and what that means for the rest of us. Where in the pantheon of American commercial titans does Jeffrey Bezos belong?

Time for justice: Tackling race inequalities in health and housing

John D. Rockefeller refined 90 percent of American oil, which supplied the pre-electric nation with light. Bill Gates created a program that was considered a prerequisite for turning on a computer. At 55, Bezos has never dominated a major market as thoroughly as any of these forebears, and while he is presently the richest man on the planet, he has less wealth than Gates did at his zenith. The scope of the empire the founder and CEO of Amazon has built is wider.

Indeed, it is without precedent in the long history of American capitalism. Our unpredictable and overburdened schedules are taking a dire toll on American society. Just under a century ago, the Soviet Union embarked on one of the strangest attempts to reshape the common calendar that has ever been undertaken. As Joseph Stalin raced to turn an agricultural backwater into an industrialized nation, his government downsized the week from seven to five days. Saturday and Sunday were abolished. In place of the weekend, a new system of respite was introduced in The government divided workers into five groups, and assigned each to a different day off.

On any given day, four-fifths of the proletariat would show up to their factories and work while the other fifth rested. Each laborer received a colored slip of paper—yellow, orange, red, purple, or green—that signified his or her group. Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, both Soviet-born, naturalized American citizens, had been asked to testify to Congress today and Friday in connection with the impeachment inquiry into Trump; they were apprehended at Dulles Airport, outside of Washington, D.

Congress has now issued subpoenas to them as well.

Social Workers Strive to Address Racism

K arthic Thallikar first noticed the noise sometime in late , back when he still enjoyed taking walks around his neighborhood. The double-height ceilings made it seem airy and expansive; there was a playground around the corner; and the neighbors were friendly, educated people who worked in auto finance or at Intel or at the local high school. Thallikar loved that he could stand in the driveway, look out past a hayfield and the desert scrub of Gila River Indian land, and see the jagged pink outlines of the Estrella Mountains. Until recently, the area around Brittany Heights had been mostly farmland, and there remained a patchwork of alfalfa fields alongside open ranges scruffy with mesquite and coyotes.

Forgetting you mail-ordered a bespoke set of ingredients for a selection of restaurant-style recipes is a luxurious predicament to be in, but the frequency with which those meal kits seem to be abandoned points to the very same problem they were invented to fix: Consumer surveys have found that most people who buy meal kits do so in hopes of saving time. As it turns out, it takes time to unpack, cook, and clean up after a meal-kit dinner, too.

New study reignites debates about racism in Mexico, Latin America

Last week, as Americans grappled with the prospect of presidential impeachment and the national capacity for surprise seemed fatally depleted, news came out that shook people to their core. It was about meat. Eating red and processed meat, the headlines declared, was no longer unhealthy.

It seemed—at a glance—that a bad thing was now a good thing. The group was formed recently, and has not previously made recommendations about eating meat.