Painting of a Civil War charge
Painting of a Civil War charge
We’re up for some stormy decades ahead

If something became clear when mobs stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 is that white supremacy dies hard. The crowds that paraded the confederate flag, wrote “murder the media” on doors and chanted for hanging the Vice President were working from the playbook of white grievance written by the losing side in the U.S. Civil War. Let’s hope some lessons were learned in the last century.

We’re due a couple of tumultuous decades, as white people march to minority status and the sheer numbers start working against them. According to most projections, Anglo whites will become a minority by 2045. …


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Eight was more than enough

In all the high theater around Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings, nothing has been more cringeworthy than the slavish fawning over her children. One speaker after another has tripped over their words praising the Supreme Court nominee for being the mother of seven. Sen. John Kennedy, a Republican from Louisiana, asked in all seriousness who did the laundry in her house.

So while women are marking a scant 100 years of being allowed to vote (if they’re white, but that’s another story) we are still being measured by how many live births we’ve managed. Never mind that when it comes to spending on healthcare and day care, many of those pro-life pundits celebrating Amy Coney Barrett’s fecundity believe, as the former Sen. …


antique picture of Victorian men and women talking
antique picture of Victorian men and women talking
Let me explain this to you, young lady

A few years ago, a Caltech study found a relationship between testosterone and men thinking they knew the answers to questions on a test — even if they didn’t. Apparently, testosterone made them too bold to rethink their wrong answers or check their work.

That sounds familiar. We’ve all been in that meeting where Chad or Trey goes on and on, telling everyone how things work. It you are a woman, there is only one thing more infuriating than his grandstanding; it’s when he tries to school you.

For some mysterious reason, there is always somewhere a man with an urge to tell a woman what are the right opinions (his opinions, of course).


Cast of St. Elmo’s Fire
Cast of St. Elmo’s Fire
We all committed fashion crimes

I was listening to an interview with city councilman Ritchie Torres, newly chosen Democratic candidate for the House from New York, and liking what I heard. That is, I realized every other sentence out of his mouth started with “our generation.”

I checked his bio, and sure enough, he was born in 1988. I have shoes older than him. Of course, he kept talking about his generation — he’s a Millennial. They can’t help themselves.

Fine, I get that the children are our future, but what is going to happen with the rest of us, those born before 1985? …


Flag map of the world
Flag map of the world

Maybe “offensive” is too strong a word, but the question is definitely annoying.

When I first meet someone, there are two questions that instantly disqualify them in my mind:

· “Were you named after the car?” Shows you’re not a bright conversationalist.

· “Where are you from — originally?” Is just irritating, and requires more explanation.

This isn’t about proving immigrants are just as American as anyone. That’s not my issue. My identity is clear, and it is nobody’s business. …


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It’s a bit extreme

Angry white women are everywhere these days. They’re all over social media videos: calling the cops on black birdwatchers, pushing around Hispanic shoppers in convenience stores and harassing Asian joggers in the parks. They spring up from the ground like cicadas, or maybe we’re just done rolling our eyes and ignoring them, like we used to before.

“Karen” is the angry white man of 2020. I had a chance to think about her recently, when I shared an image I picked up online. It was a meme that showed the evolution of stereotypical suburban white women, from the pouting teen Haileigh/Kayleigh through the twentysomething Beckys and fortysomething Karens asking for the manager, to the pistol-packing grannies. …


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Blame Mark Burnett for causing a cancer in the body of society. By producing Survivor, he supplied the carcinogen that metastasized into the I-got-mine worldview we saw during the worst days of the coronavirus lockdown.

Not that there wasn’t venality and narcissism before reality TV, far from it. “Greed is good” predates the “real housewives” by decades. But by presenting back-stabbing, bad-mouthing and kneecapping as the way to go and making it into entertainment, reality TV has put too many cracks to count in the foundation of civil society.

“Outwit. Outplay. Outlast.” Is not a motto that implies caring for the weak, standing up to abusers or cooperating with peers. In Survivor mode, there is no cooperation, only “alliances,” and people don’t help one another unless they stand to gain something. …


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Black lives matter. Blue lives matter. All lives matter. But that’s not the point.

Let’s begin with a concession: Let’s assume the worst episodes of police brutality are the fault of a few “bad apples” and not symptoms of a rot in the system. That’s a subject for extensive debate, going back to the roots of U.S. policing in slave patrols and vigilante gangs.

But setting that debate aside, the events following George Floyd’s death have made clear that the system is ripe for a teardown. …


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The horror and anger over looting incidents in New York during the police-brutality protests felt a bit like pearl-clutching. Setting side instances where small businesses in poor black and brown neighborhoods where affected, it’s hard to spare sympathy for losses at Chanel and Gucci.

Other than some areas of Los Angeles or the Bay Area out west, there is no city in the country where the inequity of capitalism is laid bare quite like New York. Workers travel every day, sometimes for hours, to work in lily-white rich neighborhoods where homeless people sleep on the sidewalks outside condos that are sold out, but empty — merely parking their millionaire owners’ money. …


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Can an obese old man who walks around in a faceful of makeup and lifts in his shoes be considered a he-man? In today’s warped reality, signs point to yes.

Witness one Sebastian Gorka, former White House aide, Breitbart editor and all around alt-right pest, telling his listeners that “the left” hates Donald Trump because they hate masculinity and “manly men support Trump.”

Setting aside the fact that a neonazi is not good a good #lifegoals guru, Gorka’s spew does illustrate one interesting dynamic to explain Trump’s support in certain groups. …

About

Mercedes Cardona

Ex AP, Ad Age, Gannett. My opinions have always been my own. If truth is a weapon, I'm an active shooter.

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