gonna learn these whippersnappers a thing or two about REAL WHITE AMERICAN HISTORY

David Brooks has observed a phenomenon occurring in the United States of America, and it is shaking him to his core. He sees black high school football players watching San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling during our sacred national anthem, and following his lead -- protesting something very important, David Brooks is sure, but also singlehandedly destroying all the decorum and unity that makes America special. So he has penned a column called, we shitteth you not, "The Uses Of Patriotism," so that we may all learn how to use patriotism for the greater good of white folks like David Brooks:

This column is directed at all the high school football players around the country who are pulling a Kaepernick — kneeling during their pregame national anthems to protest systemic racism. I’m going to try to persuade you that what you’re doing is extremely counterproductive.


When Europeans first settled this continent they had two big thoughts. The first was that God had called them to create a good and just society on this continent. The second was that they were screwing it up.

Nary a one of us can forget the first settlers, escaping religious persecution under the king, and constantly screaming at each other, "WE NEED TO DO BETTER AT BEING NICE TO THE BLACKS!" as they plundered native land.

David Brooks words words "The Puritans" words words "angry jeremiads" David Brooks David Brooks blah blah blah:

By 1776, this fusion of radical hope and radical self­ criticism had become the country’s civic religion. This civic religion was based on a moral premise — that all men are created equal — and pointed toward a vision of a promised land — a place where your family or country of origin would have no bearing on your opportunities.

There they all were in 1776, radically criticizing themselves about how they treated women like chattel and owned black people, and agreed they ought to do something about that sometime in the next century or two. Once they got around to it, oppression would nevermore be a thing!

Know who these young football whippersnappers should learn about? That's right, it is David Brooks's old pal Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was able to both protest AND sing the happy America song that makes David Brooks feel warm inside:

Martin Luther King Jr. sang the national anthem before his “I Have a Dream” speech and then quoted the Declaration of Independence within it.

Also, there is a proper way to celebrate Thanksgiving and the 4th of July, the latter of which probably involves those cakes with blueberries for the stars and strawberries for the stripes:

Over the years, America’s civic religion was nurtured the way all religions are nurtured: by sharing moments of reverence. Americans performed the same rituals on Thanksgiving and July 4; they sang the national anthem and said the Pledge in unison ...

It's called "togetherness," everyone, and White Man David Brooks demands it!

Very sadly, David Brooks knows why this is happening, and it is because Kids These Days go to schools that "no longer teach American History" (???) so they do not learn the crucial sing-alongs and turkey traditions so vital to preserving unity in this country.

And, he says, don't even get him started on that fucker Ta-Nehisi Coates, who is always suggesting black folks might have had a bit of a different "American experience" than the one David Brooks had. When mean old Ta-Nehisi writes things and black people protest, it makes it harder for white people to understand that we are all on the same side of this battle called "America." How can we ever get along in the normal, white way if we don't sing these songs together? Why are The Blacks always making the founding fathers cry?

If these common rituals are insulted, other people won’t be motivated to right your injustices because they’ll be less likely to feel that you are part of their story.

David Brooks closes by arguing that when people protest the treatment of black folks in America by kneeling during the national anthem, they're helping Donald Trump, whose "ethnic nationalism" is "erect[ing] barriers between Americans," barriers that were NEVER FUCKING THERE BEFORE, and which would go away completely if everybody would just act nice and white and sing the happy funtimes America song. ("A radical song about a radical place," he says!)

So, to Colin Kaepernick and all the young football players following his lead, David Brooks really wants to support your cause, but you're making his white skin uncomfortable, so could you stop it before you destroy the white America David Brooks holds dear? Thanks.

[New York Times]

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Fellow Wonkers, this last week of horror has been wearing on us all, because here we are in a world where the "president" of the United States has ordered that migrant children be taken away from their parents at the border, and is simultaneously proud of it (for his base) and cravenly blaming it on Democrats because even he knows it's morally reprehensible. But what the hell can we do about it beyond calling our senators and representatives and posting sadness on Twitter, the latter of which is of dubious utility to anyone, and mostly depressing?

Resist the urge to disappear into a bottle. The kids and the families need you.

Slate has compiled a great list of places to start, which we will liberally summarize for you right now:

The thing these folks need most is LAWYERS. If you're an immigration lawyer, you're probably already swamped. But on the off chance you have time and expertise to spare, the American Immigration Lawyers Association is building a list of volunteers.

Yr Dok Zoom has given money to the fine folks at RAICES, a San Antonio-based group that has two major projects. They're getting lawyers for migrant families (and for the kids when possible) and raising money to pay migrant parents' bond so they can be out of jail and with their families. If you're in Texas, then click here to volunteer!

Update: RAICES is also holding a "what you can do" webinar this Thursday:

Also for folks who are in Texas:

The Texas Civil Rights Project is seeking "volunteers who speak Spanish, Mam, Q'eqchi' or K'iche' and have paralegal or legal assistant experience."

There's also CARA -- an umbrella organization for the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, the American Immigration Council, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Together, they provide legal services at immigration detention centers.

To help kids who are already in immigration detention, there's Kids in Need of Defense, which provides children with representation in immigration court and also lobbies for children's legal interests. Donate here.

If you're not quite sure where to give, ActBlue has bundled several immigrant rights groups into a single donation button -- see the list and donate here.

Remember, there's always the ACLU, which is fighting family separation with a federal class action lawsuit.

You want to march? Former top government ethics lawyer Walter Shaub, who gave up trying to tell the Trump administration what ethics even are, will be announcing the details of a national march (think DC and local affiliated marches) tonight on MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes." We'll make noise here, too.

Good people are coming together to put an end to this cruelty. EVERY Democrat in the Senate is now co-sponsoring Dianne Feinstein's bill to stop family separation.

And hell, we'll even give the last word to Jennifer Rubin, who seems to have reassessed some of her previous political views. She has a reminder for all of us:

Damn straight. Remember it every damn day between now and then.

It's your open thread. Don't boo -- organize. Time to RESIST.

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There are perks to being the only Harvard professor willing to shill for the Bush League Mussolini. Everyone else has to haul ass to the Fox studio and sit for hair and makeup. Not Alan Dershowitz! He just parks his laptop in Pee Wee's playhouse and Skypes in that rant. Is he even wearing pants? We hope never to find out!

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