Category Archives: Social Commentary

We’re not in a post-racial society

Despite having had the nation’s first African-American president elected, we’re still not living in a post-racial society here in America.

Getting rid of affirmative action has long been a bee in the bonnet of the right wing. Now with Trump in power they aim to do away with it. They simply don’t see the inequalities that people have fought long and hard against.  Detractors of affirmative action look at it as reverse racism.

As Chauncey K. Robinson states:

We do not live in a post-racial society, where the idea of meritocracy, or access granted solely based on ability and talent, can be truly implemented. One of the reasons affirmative action is still in place in education is that students of color, as statistics continue to show, are not afforded the same opportunities and access as their white peers.

The problem is both a racial and an economic one.  As Jonathan Kozol has often stated in books like The Shame of the Nation.

 

Great article in Jacobin about those Millennials and how they’re turning away from Wall Street.

Interesting point on driverless cars and our future

Wade Rathke on our so called progress

We have a society that can’t sort out homelessness or figure out a way to evacuate 50,000 lower income, transportation-less people when a hurricane is bearing down, but somehow our heads are spinning over a Jetsons’ style future knocking on our doors, when we are still working out the questions, much less having answers to them. So getting rid of sprawl and the suburbs sounds good, and stacking people up in cities might work, but people will still need a place to live and work with wages sufficient to make this all possible.

Dropbox spam is now a thing

Yes, this is actually happening. First they find out what your email address is from scouring the Internet and then they send you an invite to a Dropbox folder with a file that is most likely a virus.

So if you get an invite on Dropbox from someone you don’t know then I’d suggest you decline it.

Should Twitter Ban the Paris Burns Hashtag?

There is growing sentiment on the Internet that Twitter should ban the hate speech on their service coming from terrorist organizatons. TheNextWeb has a good discussion going on about this.

One could make the argument that this is freedom of speech even if it’s hate speech but utlimatley I think banning hate speech in this situation could be done as Twitter is a private service. After all, Facebook regulates its network all the time deleting photos and etc. as does YouTube.

There are tons of examples of social media channels regulating the speech on their networks when it comes to terrorism. Horrible photos of behadings have been erased as well as the associated videos. There’s even been doemstic cases where a gunman recorded a video of his crime and posting it to Twitter only for the service to quickly take it down.

So why not ban a hashtag? Is it even possible given the way text is used by social media?

What cop fired more shots at someone than cops in England and Wales combined?

The answer is simply: Darren Wilson.

A single statistic utterly gives the lie to the idea that change is impossible in our country: Darren Wilson fired more shots into Michael Brown than the entire police in England and Wales fired at people in 2013.

For the world’s last remaining superpower America is still far too violent. It retains the death penalty and its culture of arms has gone too far. Combine these elements with institutional racism and we get Darren Wilson, George Zimmerman and countless others throughout modern history.

Photo by Michael Fleshman

Chomsky on the role of the intellectual

This is what I aspire to be.

The role of intellectuals and radical activists, then, must be to assess and evaluate, to attempt to persuade, to organize, but not to seize power and rule. In 1904, Rosa Luxemburg wrote, “Historically, the errors committed by a truly revolutionary movement are infinitely more fruitful than the infallibility of the cleverest Central Committee.”

source

Photo by Andrew Rusk

Sam Harris and his white man’s burden

This guy is utterly ridiculous.

“It is time for us to admit that not all cultures are at the same stage of moral development,” he pronounces, in tones worthy of a nineteenth century ethnographer. “At this point in their history, give most Muslims the freedom to vote, and they will freely vote to tear out their political freedoms by the root.”

So it is up to the enlightened to show these “backwards” people the way, it would seem. The great empires of the past would salute Mr. Harris indeed.

Photo by jurvetson