Team AOC or Team Pelosi? Also, #Trump’s-a-Racist

headshots of Pelosi and AOC

Last week saw yet another round of attacks against 4 recently elected congresspersons, all women of color. While these members of the so-called “squad” — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley — have all been attacked by Donald Trump before (e.g., on Twitter, at rallies, in press interviews, etc.), this most recent incident has been widely condemned as “racist” in no uncertain terms by much of the mainstream media (see Trump’s tweets below). This marks a shift of sorts from previous media coverage of “the squad,” especially AOC and Ilhan Omar, where similar allegations of race baiting, misogyny, and xenophobia at the hands of the President were overshadowed by semantic arguments on the meaning of language that they had used–e.g.,  Omar’s critique of AIPAC  (American Israeli Public Affairs Committee) , and AOC’s characterization of detention centers on the south border as “concentration camps.” Despite Trump’s more overt and strategic use of bigoted language, however, attacks against these two congresspersons have come just as frequently from within the Democratic Party, as younger, racialized, “progressive” representatives are routinely pitted against older, mainstream, “establishment” figures such as Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. Continue reading “Team AOC or Team Pelosi? Also, #Trump’s-a-Racist”

Matters of Classification

Picture 4The online debates have already begun, on the heels of yesterday’s deadly shooting at a Jewish community center, and then a nearby retirement community, in a suburb of Kansas City.

On the Southern Poverty Law Center’s site, where the suspect’s well-known far right background is reported, you can also find the above discussion among the reader comments, as part of a larger series of comments, concerning how we will now come to understand, and thus respond to, the event. Continue reading “Matters of Classification”

“The Jewish People”

Jueus_ultraortodoxes_satmar_a_brooklyn-2A meme circulating on Facebook recently came from the website JewsNews, which identifies its objective as “bringing truthful news to the world” for its readers, whom it identifies as primarily “Jews and supporters of Israel”. The meme entitled “Let’s Sum Up The Jewish People In A Nutshell” repeated a photo of a presumably Orthodox Jewish man with captions like the following: “Religion doesn’t allow pork . . . doesn’t try to make it illegal,” “Cashier says ‘Merry Christmas’ . . . doesn’t complain about a ‘War on Hanukkah,” and “Thinks differently than you . . . doesn’t tell you you’re going to hell.” I certainly read those captions as an effort to critique particular expressions among some Christians in the United States, presenting “The Jewish People” as more inclusive and respecting. Continue reading ““The Jewish People””