I set out to update this blog at least once a week when I started this Red Rhetor digest back in August, and what do you know, I haven’t posted in over a month. The semester has ended, the calendar year is about to close, the new Star Wars comes out in a few days, I’ve quit smoking, and the world keeps turning. Now that it’s break, I’m going to try to get through all these saved links I have on Twitter, Facebook, my email, and elsewhere.
1. Responses to Scalia’s white supremacy
Fisher v. The University of Texas is in the news this week, so you might be interested in some responses to Justice Scalia’s recent white supremacist comments. From Stacey Patton at Dame Magazine:
Not surprisingly Abigail Fisher’s White woman tears garnered concern from the Supreme Court. And Scalia is embracing America’s inner Donald Trump, aiming to make America White (and therefore, right) again. These dangerously powerful White men are fighting hard to turn back the clock, and rewind America’s racist attitudes on the dawn of a majority brown future.
In a letter to SCOTUS, a group of professional physicists responded to Scalia’s comments and Justice Roberts’s question about the value of diversity in STEM fields. I love this passage:
we note that it is important to call attention to questions that weren’t asked by the justices, such as, “What unique perspectives do white students bring to a physics class?” and “What are the benefits of homogeneity in that situation?” We reject the premise that the presence of minority students and the existence of diversity need to be justified, but meanwhile segregation in physics is tacitly accepted as normal or good. Instead, we embrace the assumption that minority physics students are brilliant and ask, “Why does physics education routinely fail brilliant minority students?”
2. Trump: The Man, the Meme by Ian Crouch (New Yorker)
Crouch suggests that comparing Trump to Hitler, or Mussolini, or whoever else, is a dangerous tactic: “In effect, these comparisons not only diminish the brutal realities of Nazism but, in a way, perversely elevate a figure like Trump, exaggerating his consequence at the same time that they muddle the real perniciousness of his ideology.” It’s that last part that I think is important to stress: such rhetoric distinguishes Trump as distinct from so many other Americans, as historically unique.
3. This Is How Paris Hilton Fooled the Entire United States of America by Mitchell Sunderland (Broadly)
This is a wonderful account of Paris Hilton that highlights her intelligence and media savvy.
Paris’s middle finger to conventionality has made some gay men consider her a genius. Today, many homosexuals celebrate Paris as a radical trailblazer. At grimy gay bars in the Lower East Side and Bushwick, DJs play “Stars Are Blind” in between punk-dance songs like Le Tigre’s “Deceptacon.”
“Paris endured close to a decade as the most hated girl in America,” explains John Tuite, a writer who regularly DJs Paris songs at the Jane Hotel in SoHo. “She embodied everything that was despised according to Bush-era morality. Until recently, it was unheard of to come across a headline that put Paris in a positive light. The fact that she survived—even thrived—under this intense scrutiny is a testament to the fact that she’s punk.”
4. Between Us: A Queer Theorist’s Devoted Husband and Enduring Legacy by Jane Hu (New Yorker)
A short discussion of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and her relationship with her husband Hal.