Culture Wars

It's Gonna Be Tea Party Summer All Over, But 'Critical Race Theory' Instead Of 'Death Panels'

Nature is healing!

Now that vaccination rates are leading to more things opening up again, Americans are eager to start traveling, going to the beach, seeing movies, and, for some, showing up at public forums and accusing fellow Americans of trying to destroy America through socialism, or whatever is the rightwing panic flavor of the month. Case in point: a meeting yesterday of the Loudoun County (Virginia) School Board, which featured a packed auditorium and a lot of shouting.

Hooray, we're able to gather together again!

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Stanford Law Eats Sh*t Protecting Rightwing FedSoc Jerkoffs From Hilarious Mean Guy

They will never stop working the refs when the refs give in to their bad faith EVERY TIME.

Oh look, the people who screech about "cAnCeL cUlTuRe!!1!" are trying to squash free speech they don't like again.

On January 25, Stanford Law 3L (that's "third year law student") Nicholas Wallace sent a fantastic email to the school's listserv, promoting a fake Federalist Society event on January 6 called "The Originalist Case for Inciting Insurrection," featuring Josh Hawley and Ken Paxton.

The students at Stanford's Federalist Society chapter responded by asking to speak to the manager. Rather than take the loss after Wallace's hilarious email, three of the Stanford FedSoc officers complained to the administration, claiming Wallace had "clearly impersonated the Stanford Federalist Society" and "defamed the student group, its officers, Senator Josh Hawley, and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton." The students also said they, "as officers of the organization, feel that our individual reputations have been harmed," but I'm pretty sure that line was actually meant for Donald Trump, Josh Hawley, Ken Paxton, and all of the other far-Right loons who tried to stage a coup earlier this year.

Honestly, if the FedSoc letter to the administration had also been a parody of the Federalist Society, it would have been hilarious. Unfortunately, it was all too real — and almost prevented Wallace from graduating with the rest of his class. Apparently the law students in the Stanford Federalist Society didn't see what a self-indictment it was for them to point out that people might think an email saying things like, "Although widely believed to conflict in every way with the rule of law, violent insurrection can be an effective approach to upholding the principle of limited government" and "riot information will be emailed the morning of the event" was promoting a real FedSoc event.

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Low-Information Republicans Ban School Mask Mandates, Because What Is 'Unvaccinated' Anyway?

The CDC shoulda seen this coming.

Even though the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said pretty darn clearly that people who aren't vaccinated against COVID-19 should continue social distancing and wearing masks indoors, Republican state leaders have rushed to ban schools and cities from mandating masks at all. It started, as bad ideas so often do, in Texas, where Gov Greg Abbott on Tuesday prohibited schools from requiring masks, because whether or not to behave safely should be up to the individual. Strangely, the state's speed limits and traffic laws remain in place, if only to generate revenue through fines.

Since then, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed a state law prohibiting mask mandates from being put in place by cities, or by school administrators at any level, proclaiming in a statement that Iowa was

putting parents back in control of their child's education and taking greater steps to protect the rights of all Iowans to make their own health care decisions. I am proud to be a governor of a state that values personal responsibility and individual liberties.

In addition, Montana's state school superintendent, Elsie Arntzen, issued a memo Wednesday requiring that all school mask mandates be ended by the start of the 2021-22 school year, and urging schools to wind down mask requirements for the remainder of the current school year, too. Arntzen's memo calls attention to a February executive order issued by Gov. Greg Gianforte telling schools to follow "guidelines and best practices" from the CDC and the state Office of Public Instruction (OPI), Arntzen's agency.

This is particularly weird, since in the very same memo, Arntzen directly contradicts the CDC by calling on schools to stop masking.

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Post-Racial America

It Can't Be Cancel-Culture Because Nikole Hannah-Jones Is Black And A Lady

Cancel culture only affects white dudes whose editors are sick of their shit.

For all the blather we regularly hear from wingnuts who think that Twitter is violating the First Amendment (It can't! It's not the government!), the political Right has been awfully quiet about an actual case of a government entity interfering in an academic hire for political reasons. In April, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill proudly announced that its Hussman School of Journalism and Media would be hiring journalist (and UNC alum) Nikole Hannah-Jones for the university's prestigious Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism. The job traditionally comes with tenure, as a recognition of general outstandingness of achievement in the journalistic field.

Hannah-Jones has a long career in investigative journalism, and in 2019 made a huge splash in media and culture for organizing the New York Times Magazine's "1619 Project" and writing the lead essay for the project. That essay earned her the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, and the eternal hatred of rightwing media, because the 1619 Project suggested that American history should be viewed primarily through the lens of slavery and the oppression of Black people, when any white fool knows America is the best country ever, founded by God to eventually elect Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump.

So yeah, that's why Hannah-Jones was denied tenure. The UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees, after a lobbying campaign, refused to approve a tenure recommendation that had been approved at every level of UNC Chapel Hill's faculty and administration, effectively killing it. Oddly, Donald Trump Jr. hasn't said a word about out of control cancel culture.

Since the board's decision meant it couldn't offer Hannah-Jones tenure, UNC's Hussman School instead hired her for a five-year appointment as a "Professor of the Practice," with the option of considering her again for tenure at the end of the appointment. Maybe by then, the idiocy over the 1619 Project will have blown over. Or maybe universities will have been burned to the ground; times remain weird.

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