Friday, July 31, 2020


I have a sign on myy desk:  IF YOU KNOW TEACH! IF YOU DON'T KNOW LEARN!

I wanted to get back into the classroom in March and the pandemic ended that.  I loathed the public schools of Nashville and the sheer level of daily trauma that existed there infected me with so much self loathing,  I truly thought something was wrong with me.  As a result, I have become well practiced with social isolation and can add physical distancing to my resume. I like kids, those kids engaged, willing and open. They are few and far in between in public schools, as public schools have become dumpsters and the kids and staff are tossed in like garbage and we dumpster dive to find our resources in which to somehow emerge as better than when we came in. We are all recycled in some way.

As we have seen in the last few months the hysterical counterpart to the the Black Lives Matter movement, the white pouter crowd. They wave guns, they eschew masks, they rant and rave about Socialism and monuments to dead Confederates as if they are the most inspirational folks ever to live.  I have news for you, they were on the losing side so really?  Next time the Super Bowl happens let's give trophies to everyone!

Today it was discovered at a sleep over camp in Georgia (as well always, the South is rising alright)that in fact a large percentage of the children and staff contracted Covid.

The report, released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, details an outbreak at a sleep-away camp in Georgia last month in which 260 children and staff — more than three-quarters of those tested — contracted the virus less than a week after spending time together in close quarters. The children had a median age of 12. The camp had required all 597 campers and staff to provide documentation they had tested negative for the virus before coming. Staff were required to wear masks, but children were not

“Asymptomatic infection was common and potentially contributed to undetected transmission, as has been previously reported. This investigation adds to the body of evidence demonstrating that children of all ages are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection.”

The CDC released a separate statement with a headline about “the importance of CDC mitigation strategies,” rather than about the incident’s implications for viral transmission in children. The statement noted that by not requiring campers to wear masks, or airing out cabins, the camp had not followed CDC reopening guidance, and also pointed to “daily vigorous singing and shouting” as potential contributing factors.

“Correct and consistent use of cloth masks, rigorous cleaning and sanitizing, social distancing, and frequent hand-washing strategies, which are recommended in CDC’s recently released guidance to reopen America’s schools, are critical to prevent transmission of the virus in settings involving children and are our greatest tools to prevent covid-19,” the statement read.

Noymer acknowledged that summer camp likely requires children spend more time in proximity to one another than schools would, and also acknowledged that the children were not wearing masks -- something some schools say they will require children to do. But many skeptics of re-opening have pointed out that children likely will not be diligent mask-wearers or social distancers, so reopening plans that include those measures in theory may not include them in actuality.

“I don’t know if this is a game-changer in part because people seem to be doing what they want to do regardless. People who want to close schools will cite it, while people who want to keep schools open will claim overnight camps have far more contact,” Noymer said.

Authors of the report noted the study was limited by its data set, which didn’t include all the campers and therefore could be missing more related cases. In addition, since Georgia experienced a jump in covid-19 transmission over the summer, some campers may have caught the virus before arriving. The CDC report acknowledged it could not determine which campers did and did not adhere to recommendations for physical distancing, which also limits the kind of conclusions that can be drawn from the data.

Regardless this is where we are with Covid and kids. Not having symptoms, never exhibiting symptoms and then those who quickly show symptoms are all just pennies in a jar. They all touch each other and those who do not have the virus are either fucking lucky or have some strong immune systems. We know shit all about this disease.

I read the two most idiotic opinion essays, one in The Washington Post from some Harvard Scholars telling us the great unwashed about how to open the schools. Not Harvard of course no, but public K-12 schools which undoubtedly neither Gentleman has ever set foot in their lives. The other in The New York Times also largely reiterating the same bullshit script. I am unclear who these fuckwits are to think this is a good idea. So far the only parents loving this are the ones sending kids to a sleepaway camp in the middle of a pandemic and the same people getting hysterical over masks and their rights. These are the people who think we are free day care providers for their children and have no interest in anything scholastic, other than the magagzine of the same name at the Dentist's office. They are the reason we have discipline problems and other funding matters as they are also racist and fear busing. Again these are the average Americans who elected Trump or don't even care to vote. They are as stupid as they are as lazy.

Here is what American Teachers are doing across country, retiring and writing wills. Well that is a lesson plan right there!

School districts around the US are set to begin reopening in August, many with in-person classes, five days a week, despite coronavirus cases rising in many parts of the country.

But the school reopenings have teachers around the US fearful for the safety of themselves, students, staff and family members, with teachers and unions saying that proper protections and protocols have yet to be implemented.

Some teachers have even drawn up wills ahead of classes beginning, others have retired from the profession and teachers unions have said they will sanction strike action for members who deem that they are being forced to take potentially deadly risks.
School reopenings: what can the US learn from other countries' experiences?
Read more

“Educators are afraid because proper policies are not being put in place to protect them,” said Alicia Priest, president of the Oklahoma Education Association. The Oklahoma state board of education has only issued guidelines for school districts, and voted down a proposal on 23 July to issue a mask mandate in schools across the state.

“The OEA offers members through our personal legal services program a free will. The requests for those free wills are up over 3,000% in the last few weeks,” Priest added.

A report published by the Kaiser Family Foundation on 10 July found 1.47 million teachers in the US – some 24% of the profession – are at greater risk of serious illness if infected with coronavirus because they have conditions that make them vulnerable.

Yet Florida has issued an order mandating all schools must open in August in-person, five days a week. The Florida teachers union responded to the order with a lawsuit.

“We are letting the community down by pretending we can open safely. The districts cannot do what is necessary according to CDC guidelines,” said Stacy Rene Kennett, a kindergarten teacher in Immokalee, Florida, who is expected to begin attending in-person training for school reopenings on 4 August.

Amy Scott, an IB language arts high school teacher in Miami, Florida for 44 years, decided to retire one year early due to the coronavirus pandemic and the instability of the upcoming school year.

“I dreaded it. I wanted to extend it as long as possible because I love kids and teaching,” said Scott. “But then came coronavirus and I realized all the difficulties of holding brick-and-mortar classrooms and the danger involved to teachers, students and the community spread and I didn’t want to end my 45 years of teaching in such a frustrating environment.”

In Arizona, which was designated a global pandemic hotspot in early July, reopening decisions have been left to individual school districts.

“There is no consistency across the state,” said Marisol Garcia, a middle school teacher and parent in Phoenix who currently serves as vice-president of the Arizona Educators Association. “We are left to our own devices to figure out how to keep our families safe and ensure our students are safe”

Garcia explained current class loads in Arizona make social distancing impossible in districts where in-person learning is permitted, as she had no less than 31 students in each class last school year, and it remains unclear if any schools will face repercussions for not following guidelines for coronavirus protections. She also warns many of her colleagues may retire early.

In Georgia, state agencies have issued guidelines for school reopenings, deferring decisions to school districts on when and how schools reopen in the coming weeks.

Several school districts outside of metro areas in Georgia are reopening in August with in-person classes, five days a week, leaving teachers there concerned over safety protections as coronavirus case rates have been rising around the state over the past several weeks.

“We’re very concerned that when we’re once again in school buildings, children, educators, and their family members will become sick and perhaps die,” said Lisa Morgan, president of the Georgia Educators Association.

According to Morgan, several school districts in Georgia that are reopening in person, five days a week, are not following CDC guidelines, with no mask mandates, large classroom sizes making social distancing impossible, and responsibility for extra cleaning measures placed on teachers to carry out.

Even as schools are expected to reopen in the coming weeks around the US, school districts and teachers are scrambling to create plans for restarting schools, whether classes are conducted in person, virtually, or a hybrid of in-person and remote learning.

“The country is asking teachers and children to lead the way, yet no one seems to know what direction we’re headed,” said Angela McKeen, a high school science teacher in Clarksburg, West Virginia. “My concerns at this point are for my students. Can we prevent huge outbreaks? Can students effectively learn in such fluid situations? Can teachers effectively reach their students at not just their places academically, but also emotionally during this time?”

Teacher unions have raised the possibility of walking off the job unless comprehensive safety plans are implemented for schools to reopen.

The head of the Colorado Education Association recently said teachers may refuse to report to work as schools are set to reopen in the state in August if teachers’ criteria for school reopenings aren’t met.

The union cited a survey of nearly 10,000 members, where about eight out of 10 teachers asserted they would be willing to refuse to work if teachers aren’t provided a voice in how safety protocols are implemented, such as mask mandates and social distancing procedures.

“We don’t want schools to be epicenters of outbreak in our community. It would crush any student or staff member if they brought coronavirus into school,” said Ernest Garibay, a high school math teacher in Jefferson county, Colorado, and local union representative.

I like kids, their parents on the other hand.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Two George Wallace's

Listening to Obama eulogize John Lewis once again reminds me that dignity is a word we don't use enough.  I had said to someone right before ending communication with them that I needed respect. No, I need dignity.  Respect is for a position, for a place of holding, which you earn but you have dignity regardless.   And yet they are the same in some ways.  I respect the Office of the Presidency, but not the office holder.  I believe that First Lady regardless is a position of dignity while we often don't necessarily respect the person.  The subtle differences is that a title often gives you the illusion of respect and in turn you carry yourself with that in mind during your interactions with those around you.   A Doctor and Lawyer are thought of with respect and yet I can think of none who have earned it nor carry themselves in any manner deserved of it.  Our current First Lady is another example of one who holds the card but has nothing of substance behind it to merit it.  And well let's not bother with Trump.

Respect:  a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.
"the director had a lot of respect for Douglas as an actor"
high regard
high opinion


the state of being admired or respected.
"his first chance in over fifteen years to regain respect in the business"
a person's polite greetings.
"give my respects to your parents"

due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others.
"young people's lack of respect for their parents"

due regard

a particular aspect, point, or detail.
"the government's record in this respect is a mixed one"

the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect.
"a man of dignity and unbending principle"

a composed or serious manner or style.
"he bowed with great dignity"


a sense of pride in oneself; self-respect.
"it was beneath his dignity to shout"

As you see one is a manner an internalized version of self-respect that leads others in which to follow and respect is earned but also again given by position or place in society. And in that case we have some exceptions.

Never in my lifetime would I think that not one but three different serving members of Congress would pass and the President not attend one single service or memorial. To quote him: "I guess they just don't like me."  No, no they don't.

Mr. Lewis is being buried today in Alabama and again having known two people from Alabama, both of them prodigious liars, sexually confused, one a raging fucking idiot and the other a religious crackpot I feel that is enough with Alabama for me in my lifetime.  Seriously what the fuck is wrong with these people?

But again it centers on one thing - Religion. Yes the man is a screaming racist but he has been a Pastor in a Church and preaches forgiveness and understanding, yes the fundamentals of Christianity. The caveat there is that means WHITE.  Religion is sacrosanct in the South and they see fundamental acceptance of racial superiority via said text in the Bible.  And hence another good reason to be an Atheist. 

Alabama politician resigns as a Southern Baptist pastor after KKK leader’s birthday celebration

The Washington Post
By Sarah Pulliam Bailey
July 30, 2020

Alabama state Rep. Will Dismukes (R) said this week that he has no plans to resign from his state legislator position amid national calls for him to step down after he attended a private celebration of the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. On Wednesday night, however, he resigned from his job as a Southern Baptist pastor of a rural church.

The national uproar began after Dismukes posted on Facebook that he took part in a celebration of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest the same weekend as ceremonies honoring the life of civil rights leader and congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.) in Alabama. Lewis, who died this month at age 80, had led protesters in a march decades ago across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on “Bloody Sunday” in Selma.

Dismukes, who represents Prattville, gave the invocation July 25 at an annual birthday party for Forrest at a place called Fort Dixie in Selma. Dismukes’s Facebook post was later removed.

The controversy puts the spotlight on how leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention handle issues of racial discrimination when its churches are autonomous. Dismukes’s resignation from Pleasant Hill Baptist Church took place after local Southern Baptist leaders met with him Tuesday.

“We are saddened and grieved to learn of the recent Facebook post by State Representative Will Dismukes who also serves as a bivocational pastor,” five local leaders wrote in a statement. “In the wake of tremendous controversy, we reaffirm our opposition to any kind of racism.”

Seven church deacons met with Dismukes on Wednesday night, and they voted to accept his resignation, according to Mel Johnson of the Autauga Baptist Association. Johnson said many did not know about the controversy until he met with them and explained to them what had happened. He later clarified that the church has a diverse range of ages but that some members aren’t on Facebook. Johnson said he was concerned about the timing of the celebration and that church leaders were worried about the backlash that it had caused.

“It was a tough decision in accepting his resignation,” Johnson said. “They understand the confusion and the struggle and what took place and how folks can have mixed feelings on both sides of the table.”

Dismukes did not respond to several interview requests from The Washington Post.

Johnson said that Dismukes described his involvement in the celebration as a “lapse in judgment.”

“Perception is reality in the minds of many people,” he said. “We work to shun the very appearance of evil. I’m not saying he had evil intent.”

Johnson said that he would not personally attend an event like the one where Dismukes gave the invocation and that he has been involved in conversations with Black leaders in recent months to ease racial tensions.

“I would not want to be perceived as racist at all,” he said. “What another person does in my denomination, I can’t control that, I can’t judge a person’s motives.”

Southern Baptists value the autonomy of local churches to hire or fire their own pastors, but nationally, leaders are working to amend the convention’s Constitution to create a formal process to disaffiliate churches that do not handle claims of racial discrimination or sexual abuse well. However, what will qualify as racial discrimination is still to be determined. In 2018, Southern Baptists expelled a church in Georgia over charges of racial discrimination, the first and only time in recent memory.

Johnson said that some people want to celebrate their Confederate past while others don’t want to dwell on Confederate history. And as someone who was born in Iowa, Johnson said, he doesn’t want to wade in on whether Confederate celebrations are appropriate.

“Some people think that what Will did was racist. Others think it was an innocent mistake. That’s not for me to judge,” he said. “Regardless of which side of the fence you fall on, I’m going to point everyone to Jesus.”

Johnson said that many Southern Baptists see themselves as history buffs, but he was troubled when he saw someone online describe Dismukes as a Confederate because he was a Southern Baptist pastor.

“That’s not who we are,” he said.

When Dismukes took over the church last year at age 28, the Montgomery Advertiser reported that it had about 100 members. Johnson said that most Southern Baptist churches in the state are meeting with about 30 percent of their usual members because of the novel coronavirus.

Leaders from Dismukes’s own Republican Party, including state Sen. Clyde Chambliss Jr., called for his resignation, noting the timing of the celebration taking place as ceremonies honoring Lewis were happening.

In an interview with a local television station, Dismukes said he was not thinking of the timing of Lewis’s death or the connection between Forrest and the KKK.

“I guess, with the anti-Southern sentiment and all, and the things that we have going on in the world today, there’s a lot of people that are seeming to be more and more offended,” he told the news station. “We live in a time where we literally are going through cancel culture from all different areas and people are even more sensitive on different issues and different subjects. This was just one of those times that it didn’t quite go the way I expected, and I never intended to bring hurt to anyone, especially my own family with everything that’s been said.”

The birthday party for Forrest is an annual event. An invitation for the 2016 event said: “But, hopefully, we garner another soldier who has come to know the TRUTH about our history and our heritage and has joined the fight to save our noble Christian culture..”

“I know that in view of the past year since June 17, 2015 after the ‘Charleston 9’ shooting, our fight for our Southern history and heritage and our very IDENTITY has certainly escalated to an intensity that appears to have had an injection of steroids,” the invitation stated, according to the Southern Heritage News & Views newsletter. “… Our culture is a Christian culture and Christianity is the bullseye of their target! Western Civilization must be eradicated in order for the one world government to exist! But in the face of adversity, we MUST PERSEVERE!!!”

When asked to comment on Dismukes’s actions, Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said in a statement that the church must stand “with a gospel that is the opposite of racist hatred or any approval or minimization of the sinfulness of such hatred.”

“Racism is a grave sin against God and against neighbor. Neo-confederate and other white supremacist groups are not only morally wrong, but are also in contradiction to the gospel of Jesus Christ,” he said. “The enslavement and torture of human beings made in the image of God, and the domestic terrorism of the Ku Klux Klan, are as far removed from the explicit witness of Scripture as imaginable and should be utterly repudiated at every level.”

In June, Dismukes was also called upon to resign from his state legislator position over his support for the Confederacy, Confederate monuments and his membership in a Prattville Sons of Confederate Veterans chapter.

The Final Journey

 I have nothing to add here as these words speak for many.  Do they speak to you? For yyou? About you?  Ask yyyourself how you can honor and respect the memory of a man with so much dignity that he understood pride goeth before a fall and he did not fall he rose despite all those who did around him. He was not afraid, he was courageous, he was brave and he was resilient. Those are qualities of a true hero and patriot.

Together, You

Can Redeem the Soul

of Our Nation

Though I am gone, I urge you to

answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe.

By John Lewis

Mr. Lewis, the civil rights leader who died on July 17, wrote this essay shortly before his death, to be published upon the day of his funeral.

• July 30, 2020
The New York Times

While my time here has now come to an end, I want you to know that in the last days and hours of my life you inspired me. You filled me with hope about the next chapter of the great American story when you used your power to make a difference in our society. Millions of people motivated simply by human compassion laid down the burdens of division. Around the country and the world you set aside race, class, age, language and nationality to demand respect for human dignity.

That is why I had to visit Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, though I was admitted to the hospital the following day. I just had to see and feel it for myself that, after many years of silent witness, the truth is still marching on.

Emmett Till was my George Floyd. He was my Rayshard Brooks, Sandra Bland and Breonna Taylor. He was 14 when he was killed, and I was only 15 years old at the time. I will never ever forget the moment when it became so clear that he could easily have been me. In those days, fear constrained us like an imaginary prison, and troubling thoughts of potential brutality committed for no understandable reason were the bars.

Though I was surrounded by two loving parents, plenty of brothers, sisters and cousins, their love could not protect me from the unholy oppression waiting just outside that family circle. Unchecked, unrestrained violence and government-sanctioned terror had the power to turn a simple stroll to the store for some Skittles or an innocent morning jog down a lonesome country road into a nightmare. If we are to survive as one unified nation, we must discover what so readily takes root in our hearts that could rob Mother Emanuel Church in South Carolina of her brightest and best, shoot unwitting concertgoers in Las Vegas and choke to death the hopes and dreams of a gifted violinist like Elijah McClain.

Like so many young people today, I was searching for a way out, or some might say a way in, and then I heard the voice of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on an old radio. He was talking about the philosophy and discipline of nonviolence. He said we are all complicit when we tolerate injustice. He said it is not enough to say it will get better by and by. He said each of us has a moral obligation to stand up, speak up and speak out. When you see something that is not right, you must say something. You must do something. Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself.

Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble. Voting and participating in the democratic process are key. The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it.

You must also study and learn the lessons of history because humanity has been involved in this soul-wrenching, existential struggle for a very long time. People on every continent have stood in your shoes, through decades and centuries before you. The truth does not change, and that is why the answers worked out long ago can help you find solutions to the challenges of our time. Continue to build union between movements stretching across the globe because we must put away our willingness to profit from the exploitation of others.

Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe. In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let freedom ring.

When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war. So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020


This was a movie with Ingrid Bergman called Gaslight that led to the coining of the phrase, Gaslighting.  What that means is when a person lies for their own gain to another person so repeatedly and with so much confidence that the victim begins to doubt her own sanity. And, as the film puts it, a bit of Stockholm Syndrome develops as well: The victim, now uncertain that she can perceive reality correctly, becomes dependent on the gaslighter, more attached to him than ever.

We have evolved this to include moments when trying to recount an incident or recollection about someone's behavior or an encounter that person contradicts you to "remind"you that you are wrong and that actually they know the truth and that implicates one of two things: You are a liar or nuts. The number one industry that has this down to perfection in the Legal one and the criminal justice system has managed to make it a work of art. The strongest players are almost always men, who use their gender to implicate your own idiocy in every encounter. Which is why where you deal with men as a woman it happens more often than naught. Think of Auto Sales and Repair and my personal favorite Contractors and of course Movers. There are few examples where I can say I dealt with men in any of those fields and felt not ripped off nor gaslighted in some manner. The worst I can recall of late was College Hunks Moving in Nashville. Now Nashville has the art of Gaslighting down to an art in a way that made me daily question my sanity and my safety. It is the Southern way perfected over a century of abuse and violations of humans that began when our Country won the Revolutionary War and the South was the prime economic center of the newly emerging country. They in turn did so by enslaving human beings and treating them as animals, abusing them and violating their bodies through sexual and physical abuse. But they perfected the mind fuck like no other. And that is something you see in the South today. I have spent a great deal of time reflecting on my time there and there is not one person there that I knew that was not fucked up beyond belief. Some were open minded and hearted but even today the minimal contact I do have it again shows that few of them have any clarity or identity beyond being "Southern." It explains the violence, the racism, the rage and the lack of education as they see nothing beyond that identity. It is the most tragic of places I have ever been and one of the most complicated places I have ever lived. Trying to explain it requires a dance that is not one you would see on Dancing with the Stars as the moves so intricate, so delicate and yet done so slowly and deliberately you realize that it is not something one masters unless one has practiced for a lifetime.

I wrote in my last post about Sociopaths and Psychopaths and that is well the Southern Man, they are charming, bellicose, deliberate, abusive and obsessive. They use the Bible as both a tool and weapon to encourage compliance and when that fails, fists, belts and guns are there for the reminder that if one does not go along to get along they too are available. That is the mind fuck, the idea, the very notion that you could be killed or seriously harmed is enough reason to not misbehave. How do you think Plantation Owners instilled cooperation and compliance with little more than one overseer with hundreds of young physically strong Black men and women? It only takes one beating and the rest is all psychological torture. And we still do that today as we have in relation to the war against terror. We have done it to those we allege are terrorists and we have done it here with laws that enable the Government to arrest and hold anyone without charges when it comes to terror, to snatch people off the street while protesting and surveiling our phones and emails and other private communications with impunity. And we have let them all under the guise of "being safe." And that too is Gaslighting, when we agree to shit that we know is not right, not sane, nor actually good for anyone but we do under the belief that we have done nothing, so what do we have to be afraid of. It doesn't me us right, the good people? Well think again.

What this has also done has made us the most narcissistic nation there is. I am a level four as I like to say about my placement on the narcissist scale but I am also really obsessive about my privacy which sort of adds to the problem instead of protecting me it also spotlights me. Southerners have no boundaries and the first person I met here was originally from the South and since the pandemic has long gone and I am relieved. He was a fake as the Picasso on my wall but it was early days here and I was trying to be open after being so closed off in Nashville. Then came the warning bell in something he said to me and right away I knew that it was time to run and Covid showed up. And with that it ended that. And from Covid I was given a reset button to just be how I like being - alone. But boredom sets in and that any port in a storm and this is a hell of a storm, so I am back with the crew of a coffee shop but this is not Nashville and for that I am grateful. Shutting that door was essential in my well being. And for some this quarantine is like the show Big Brother, you scheme, you plot but you do what you have to do to stay in the game. So once I realized that having people shop for me and relying on delivery was not going to work I took to gloves, masking and being cautious. I took public transport but was (and still am) very careful as one can be, I observe everyone around me and move when I feel at risk. So far so good. But I have always lived a rule of personal responsiblity and self respect is one thing that we all can use and need. Perhaps that is why there is such a problem now with regards to Covid and compliance to follow a protocol that requires masking, distancing and of course still some social and physical isolation. Going back to work is great but you have to change your behavior and expect those around you to do the same. And if they don't, you leave. You take the initiative to control that dynamic and when you do that makes gaslighting near impossible. But also it prevents the "talking" the recounting the whole circle jerking that contributes to this phenomena. The endless filming of Karen's and maskless morons, the shaming, the cancel culture by digging up past idiocy once again makes people defensive, angry and afraid. What is the purpose and what is the end result and what do you want to accomplish. Making someone feel bad, stupid or crazy. Okay thanks and you are a Gaslighter. But you are also a Narcissist as you can only see how you know what is best, what is right and what needs to be done and how it is to be done, no one knows better than you as you are a very special genius. Hmm, who does that sound like?

I read this by Paul Krugman and again it is about hypocrisy and the ability to say one thing do another and then turn around and shame and bully you for not doing what they said to do or not do. Do as I say, not as I do? Gaslight much? Or is that an Oxymoron, emphasis on moron. Note that much of the issues surround Covid are Southern and this is not shocking but the numbers in California and Washington are not going down and that is two reasons: California is a very big state and Washington is largely conservative in nature. It is like Tennessee only tucked up in the corner of the United States it was a gateway to industry and travel and Seattle has very very rich people. But again Washington is a income tax free state, relies on regressive taxes, is incredibly racist and marginalizes its underclass, they just happen to truly be the natives of the land. It is again not surprising that Portland and Seattle are the liberal bastions and are going nuts as well homelessness, poverty and drugs are there they just happen to belong to white folks who have never faced risk doing what they do. Welcome to the world white people, how is that working for you now? When they were shoving Latin folks in vans a few months ago that was terrible but not the histrionics we are seeing now. It was kids in cages who got that attention, but shoving folks in vans, not so much. I do find it interesting that few black faces are being absconded, and why? They know better. And for the record it is the same crew ICE who are under the Dept. of Homeland Security. Funny what are they securing us from? Oh Domestic Terrorists? Remember that? We all circle jerk our way back to that one.. see how that works? We enabled it, we empowered it and now we live with it.

The Cult of Selfishness Is Killing America

The right has made irresponsible behavior a key principle.

By Paul Krugman
The New York Times
Opinion Columnist

July 27, 2020

America’s response to the coronavirus has been a lose-lose proposition.

The Trump administration and governors like Florida’s Ron DeSantis insisted that there was no trade-off between economic growth and controlling the disease, and they were right — but not in the way they expected.

Premature reopening led to a surge in infections: Adjusted for population, Americans are currently dying from Covid-19 at around 15 times the rate in the European Union or Canada. Yet the “rocket ship” recovery Donald Trump promised has crashed and burned: Job growth appears to have stalled or reversed, especially in states that were most aggressive about lifting social distancing mandates, and early indications are that the U.S. economy is lagging behind the economies of major European nations.

So we’re failing dismally on both the epidemiological and the economic fronts. But why?

On the face of it, the answer is that Trump and allies were so eager to see big jobs numbers that they ignored both infection risks and the way a resurgent pandemic would undermine the economy. As I and others have said, they failed the marshmallow test, sacrificing the future because they weren’t willing to show a little patience.

And there’s surely a lot to that explanation. But it isn’t the whole story.

For one thing, people truly focused on restarting the economy should have been big supporters of measures to limit infections without hurting business — above all, getting Americans to wear face masks. Instead, Trump ridiculed those in masks as “politically correct,” while Republican governors not only refused to mandate mask-wearing, but they prevented mayors from imposing local mask rules.

Also, politicians eager to see the economy bounce back should have wanted to sustain consumer purchasing power until wages recovered. Instead, Senate Republicans ignored the looming July 31 expiration of special unemployment benefits, which means that tens of millions of workers are about to see a huge hit to their incomes, damaging the economy as a whole.

So what was going on? Were our leaders just stupid? Well, maybe. But there’s a deeper explanation of the profoundly self-destructive behavior of Trump and his allies: They were all members of America’s cult of selfishness.

You see, the modern U.S. right is committed to the proposition that greed is good, that we’re all better off when individuals engage in the untrammeled pursuit of self-interest. In their vision, unrestricted profit maximization by businesses and unregulated consumer choice is the recipe for a good society.

Support for this proposition is, if anything, more emotional than intellectual. I’ve long been struck by the intensity of right-wing anger against relatively trivial regulations, like bans on phosphates in detergent and efficiency standards for light bulbs. It’s the principle of the thing: Many on the right are enraged at any suggestion that their actions should take other people’s welfare into account.

This rage is sometimes portrayed as love of freedom. But people who insist on the right to pollute are notably unbothered by, say, federal agents tear-gassing peaceful protesters. What they call “freedom” is actually absence of responsibility.

Rational policy in a pandemic, however, is all about taking responsibility. The main reason you shouldn’t go to a bar and should wear a mask isn’t self-protection, although that’s part of it; the point is that congregating in noisy, crowded spaces or exhaling droplets into shared air puts others at risk. And that’s the kind of thing America’s right just hates, hates to hear.

Indeed, it sometimes seems as if right-wingers actually make a point of behaving irresponsibly. Remember how Senator Rand Paul, who was worried that he might have Covid-19 (he did), wandered around the Senate and even used the gym while waiting for his test results?

Anger at any suggestion of social responsibility also helps explain the looming fiscal catastrophe. It’s striking how emotional many Republicans get in their opposition to the temporary rise in unemployment benefits; for example, Senator Lindsey Graham declared that these benefits would be extended “over our dead bodies.” Why such hatred?

It’s not because the benefits are making workers unwilling to take jobs. There’s no evidence that this is happening — it’s just something Republicans want to believe. And in any case, economic arguments can’t explain the rage.

Again, it’s the principle. Aiding the unemployed, even if their joblessness isn’t their own fault, is a tacit admission that lucky Americans should help their less-fortunate fellow citizens. And that’s an admission the right doesn’t want to make.

Just to be clear, I’m not saying that Republicans are selfish. We’d be doing much better if that were all there were to it. The point, instead, is that they’ve sacralized selfishness, hurting their own political prospects by insisting on the right to act selfishly even when it hurts others.

Continue reading the main story

What the coronavirus has revealed is the power of America’s cult of selfishness. And this cult is killing us.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Socio or Psycho? Which Path to Choose

A great deal of Trump's mental health has been of issue of late, from his Niece to the incessant ramblings of Trump regarding his cognitive test, we have no doubt regardless of a professional diagnosis that the man is an asshole. What kind is debatable, narcissist, histrionic, shade of dementia are all potential contenders. What I find fascinating is that it brings to mind many other crazy mother fuckers of present day history, some serial killers, others Gurus and Cult leaders whose proclamations and delusions did not lead to murder but may have contributed to suicides and other mental health crisis have been the subjects of many a podcast. Morbid is one that reviews old serial murders from the Galveston 11 to John Wayne Gacy, as well as other murder cases that are headline news. The other podcast series produced by Wondery covers many crimes and misdemeanors by egos who have had few problems when it comes to skirting the law and that includes famous financial and political cases where arrogance is considered a positive trait. They produced one on Jeffrey Epstein and they have another on a less criminal but no less dynamic individual, called Guru, The Dark Side of Enlightenment. The story centers around the criminal and civil cases of James Arthur Ray, who was an Oprah-endorsed self-help teacher who achieved fame, fortune, and influence. This was during her obsession over the charlatan who devised The Secret. I love Oprah but have always noticed how she was drawn to charlatans and proselytizers, from Tony Robbins to that idiot Dr. Phil, so this is just another on the Oprah stage of gypsy's, tramps and thieves that managed to parlay this into a professional circus. And this podcast does an excellent job showing the dark side of idoltry. I hope they do one on the Yoga idiots who have also used that platform for sex and exploitation. It is another industry ripe with it.

But it takes two and by that I mean someone with charisma and the other with less than it. Usually these are women who these idiots prey upon and some men do become engaged with a movement but I often see that they are there for their own personal gain to also have sex with members and find dates. That certainly explained the case with Charles Manson but if you note even with the most recent case centered on the Nxvim, it is about sex tied to money. Not always but sex is a great free gift with purchase. The Wondery podcasts are almost always about those subjects including another Dirty John, which has been made into a series showing that women regardless of professional success find that men are the only thing that seem to matter. God are all women cum dumpsters. I was and it nearly killed me. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. I will never let another man near me again but when you are alone in a society that demands we partner off and be in a family dynamic you do gravitate to anything or anyone who can bring relief. Listening to the girls dish on Morbid about their true crimes it is rare to see a woman profiled but they have found that in the current case of Lori Vallow who is sociopath that will be on the list by breaking that glass ceiling when it comes to serial murder. Yay! I guess

So what makes a sociopath? Well no idea but I found this essay and thought once again this could describe a few people I know. Ethan comes to mind as he wants to be some type of traveling Preacher, suffers from clinical depression, has no empathy or ability to express it and is an amazing sycophant that it defines a skill set like no other. He of late had a reading group with a friend over true crime which like all things that Ethan expresses interest in is likely over, another trait that I do find disturbing, the inability to stay focused on any subject or plan - other than violent text and sections of the Bible. There is something there that screams run for the door and run far away. Anytime I need to remind myself why I need to stay clear I go back to the scripture citations and bizarre ramblings about that and I know there is something truly wrong with the boy more than being depressed. His own personal history parallels the subject of Guru and down to the need to surround himself with needy women (myself included) it speaks volumes. I thought I was helping him and when he realized he could not play me as he once thought he did me a favor and pulled away, right at the same time I knew he was lying. That voice never stopped playing in my head and my intuition about him to this day tells me he is not who he seems to be. And I want nothing to do with either.

We all know them, even perhaps love them and that is the problem.

How to Distinguish a Psychopath From a ‘Shy-Chopath’
Psychologists are debating whether the presence of one trait – boldness – is the key to determining if someone is a psychopath, or just a garden-variety criminal.

The Conversation
John Edens

What makes a criminal a psychopath?

Their grisly deeds and commanding presence attract our attention – look no further than Ted Bundy, the subject of a Netflix documentary, and cult leaders like Charles Manson.

But despite years of theorizing and research, the mental health field continues to hotly debate what are the defining features of this diagnosis. It might come as a surprise that the most widely used psychiatric diagnostic system in the U.S., the DSM-5, doesn’t include psychopathy as a formal disorder.

As a personality researcher and forensic psychologist, I’ve spent the last quarter-century studying psychopaths inside and outside of prisons. I’ve also debated what, exactly, are the defining features of psychopathy.

Most agree that psychopaths are remorseless people who lack empathy for others. But in recent years, much of this debate has centered on the relevance of one particular personality trait: boldness.

I’m in the camp that believes boldness is critical to separating out psychopaths from the more mundane law-breakers. It’s the trait that creates the veneer of normalcy, giving those who prey on others the mask to successfully blend in with the rest of society. To lack boldness, on the other hand, is to be what one might call a “shy-chopath.”
The Boldness Factor

About 10 years ago, psychologist Christopher Patrick and some of his colleagues published an extensive literature review in which they argued that psychopaths were people who expressed elevated levels of three basic traits: meanness, disinhibition and boldness.

Most experts in the mental health field generally agree that the prototypical psychopath is someone who is both mean and, at least to some extent, disinhibited – though there’s even some debate about exactly how impulsive and hot-headed the prototypical psychopath truly is.

In a psychological context, people who are mean tend to lack empathy and have little interest in close emotional relationships. They’re also happy to use and exploit others for their own personal gain.

Highly disinhibited people have very poor impulse control, are prone to boredom and have difficulty managing emotions – particularly negative ones, like frustration and hostility.

In adding boldness to the mix, Patrick and his colleagues argued that genuine psychopaths are not just mean and disinhibited, they’re also individuals who are poised, fearless, emotionally resilient and socially dominant.

Although it had not been the focus of extensive research for the past few decades, the concept of the bold psychopath isn’t actually new. Famed psychiatrist Hervey Cleckley described it in his seminal 1941 book, “The Mask of Sanity,” in which he described numerous case examples of psychopaths who were brazen, fearless and emotionally unflappable.

Ted Bundy is an excellent example of such a person. He was far from unassuming and timid. He never appeared wracked with anxiety or emotional distress. He charmed scores of victims, confidently served as his own attorney and even proposed to his girlfriend while in court.

“It’s probably just being ast to some extent, disinhibited – though there’s even some debate about exactly how impulsive and hot-headed the prototypical psychopath truly is.

In a psychological context, people who are mean tend to lack empathy and have little interest in close emotional relationships. They’re also happy to use and exploit others for their own personal gain.

Highly disinhibited people have very poor impulse control, are prone to boredom and have difficulty managing emotions – particularly negative ones, like frustration and hostility.

In adding boldness to the mix, Patrick and his colleagues argued that genuine psychopaths are not just mean and disinhibited, they’re also individuals who are poised, fearless, emotionally resilient and socially dominant.

Although it had not been the focus of extensive research for the past few decades, the concept of the bold psychopath isn’t actually new. Famed psychiatrist Hervey Cleckley described it in his seminal 1941 book, “The Mask of Sanity,” in which he described numerous case examples of psychopaths who were brazen, fearless and emotionally unflappable.

Ted Bundy is an excellent example of such a person. He was far from unassuming and timid. He never appeared wracked with anxiety or emotional distress. He charmed scores of victims, confidently served as his own attorney and even proposed to his girlfriend while in court.

“It’s probably just being willing to take risk,” Bundy said, in the Netflix documentary, of what motivated his crimes. “Or perhaps not even seeing risk. Just overcome by that boldness and desire to accomplish a particular thing.”

Seeds Planted in the DSM

In the current DSM, the closest current diagnosis to psychopathy is antisocial personality disorder. Although the manual suggests that it historically has been referred to as psychopathy, the current seven diagnostic criteria for antisocial personality disorder mostly fall under the umbrella of disinhibition – qualities like “recklessness,” “impulsiveness” and, to a lesser extent, meanness, which are evident in only two criteria: “lackwilling to take risk,” Bundy said, in the Netflix documentary, of what motivated his crimes. “Or perhaps not even seeing risk. Just overcome by that boldness and desire to accomplish a particular thing.”

Seeds Planted in the DSM

In the current DSM, the closest current diagnosis to psychopathy is antisocial personality disorder. Although the manual suggests that it historically has been referred to as psychopathy, the current seven diagnostic criteria for antisocial personality disorder mostly fall under the umbrella of disinhibition – qualities like “recklessness,” “impulsiveness” and, to a lesser extent, meanness, which are evident in only two criteria: “lack of remorse” and “deceitfulness.”

There’s no mention of boldness. In other words, you don’t have to be bold to have antisocial personality disorder. In fact, because you only need to meet three of the seven criteria to be diagnosed with the disorder, it means you don’t even need to be all that mean, either.

However, the most recent revision to the DSM, the fifth edition, did include a supplemental section for proposed diagnoses in need of further study.

In this supplemental section, a new specifier was offered for those who meet the diagnosis for antisocial personality disorder. If you have a bold and fearless interpersonal style that seems to serve as a mask for your otherwise mean and disinhibited personality, you might also be diagnosable as a psychopath.

Can a Psychopath be Meek?

Whether this new model, which seems to put boldness center stage in the diagnosis of psychopathy, ultimately will be adopted into subsequent iterations of the DSM system remains to be seen.

Several researchers have criticized the concept. They see meanness and disinhibition as much more important than boldness when deciding whether someone is a psychopath.

Their main issue seems to be that people who are bold – but not mean or disinhibited – actually seem to be well-adjusted and not particularly violent. In fact, compared with being overly introverted or prone to emotional distress, it seems to be an asset in everyday life.

Other researchers, myself included, tend to view those criticisms as not particularly compelling. In our view, someone who is simply disinhibited and mean – but not bold – would not be able to pull off the spectacular level of manipulation that a psychopath is capable of.

To be sure, being mean and disinhibited is a bad combination. But absent boldness, you’re probably not going to show up on the evening news for having schemed scores of investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars. The chances that you’ll successfully charm unsuspecting victim after unsuspecting victim into coming back to your apartment to sexually assault them seem pretty slim.

That being said, timid but mean people – the “shycho-paths” – almost certainly do exist, and it’s probably best to stay away from them, too.

But you’re unlikely to confuse them with the Ted Bundys and Charles Mansons of the world.

John Edens is Professor of Psychology at Texas A&M University.

Casting the Net

I have posted this before but I cannot stress enough the critical need to understand how "class" is a euphemism for caste. With our absurd concept of meritocracy and the belief that if you work hard enough and pull yourself up by your bootstraps you will somehow rise above your birth class and whatever stigma, problems or barriers placed in your way are only intrinsic issues that you have put upon yourself and in turn that you can do better and be better. Th

at myth, with the one of American Exceptionalism, contributes to much of the belief that America is not a racist country and that we have risen above that, made laws and policies to prevent anyone from acting upon their own internal biases and prejudices. This again is some nutfuck nonsense that is a part of the Libertarian bullshit that is the foundation of all Republican bullshit, that personal selfishness and self interest in fact acts upon the betterment of society as you do not want to be a part of the problem, your narcissism in fact prevents that from occurring. You may peronally hate Gays or Black people but you are determined to be successful and in turn you need to bake those cakes for the weddings and babies they will have so fuck that hate, pocket it with the cash you take from them. Okay sure that has worked out well clearly.

This was Ayn Rand's philosophy: The acceptance of full responsibility for one's own choices and actions (and their consequences) is such a demanding moral discipline that many men seek to escape it by surrendering to what they believe is the easy, automatic, unthinking safety of a morality of “duty.” They learn better, often when it is too late. And we have heard that a great deal in the GOP with regards to Covid. My point is now proven. Ayn Rand is a dead cunt. But that crazy bullshit lives on and fuels a great deal of the Repbulican policies and ethics that are of course all class based and the racist, sexist part, just an offshoot as women and coloreds are just not capable. That is it! My god I am now going to learn how to be personally responsible by acting in a way that will benefit the whole. Oh wait I do. I just don't do it quite the same way the Libertarians want or believe. The class system is designed to replicate the caste system and it is the foundation of all our Capitalist ethics and ethos and in turn is why we are fucked up beyond belief.

America's 'untouchables': the silent power of the caste system
We cannot fully understand the current upheavals, or almost any turning point in American history, without accounting for the human pyramid that is encrypted into us all: the caste system.

By Isabel Wilkerson
The Guardian Published on Tue 28 Jul 2020

In the winter of 1959, after leading the Montgomery bus boycott that arose from the arrest of Rosa Parks and before the trials and triumphs to come, Martin Luther King Jr and his wife, Coretta, landed in India, in the city then known as Bombay, to visit the land of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of nonviolent protest. They were covered in garlands upon arrival, and King told reporters: “To other countries, I may go as a tourist, but to India I come as a pilgrim.” He had long dreamed of going to India, and they stayed an entire month. King wanted to see for himself the place whose fight for freedom from British rule had inspired his fight for justice in America. He wanted to see the so-called “untouchables”, the lowest caste in the ancient Indian caste system, whom he had read about and had sympathy for, but who had still been left behind after India gained its independence the decade before. He discovered that people in India had been following the trials of his own oppressed people in the US, and knew of the bus boycott he had led.

Wherever he went, the people on the streets of Bombay and Delhi crowded around him for an autograph. At one point in their trip, King and his wife journeyed to the southern tip of the country, to the city of Trivandrum in the state of Kerala, and visited with high-school students whose families had been untouchables. The principal made the introduction. “Young people,” he said, “I would like to present to you a fellow untouchable from the United States of America.” King was floored. He had not expected that term to be applied to him. He was, in fact, put off by it at first. He had flown in from another continent, and had dined with the prime minister. He did not see the connection, did not see what the Indian caste system had to do directly with him, did not immediately see why the lowest-caste people in India would view him, an American Negro and a distinguished visitor, as low-caste like themselves, see him as one of them. “For a moment,” he wrote, “I was a bit shocked and peeved that I would be referred to as an untouchable.”

Then he began to think about the reality of the lives of the people he was fighting for – 20 million people, consigned to the lowest rank in the US for centuries, “still smothering in an airtight cage of poverty,” quarantined in isolated ghettoes, exiled in their own country. And he said to himself: “Yes, I am an untouchable, and every negro in the United States of America is an untouchable.” In that moment, he realised that the land of the free had imposed a caste system not unlike the caste system of India, and that he had lived under that system all of his life. It was what lay beneath the forces he was fighting in the US. What Martin Luther King Jr, recognised about his country that day had begun long before the ancestors of our ancestors had taken their first breaths.

More than a century and a half before the American Revolution, a human hierarchy had evolved on the contested soil of what would become the United States – a concept of birthright, the temptation of entitled expansion that would set in motion what has been called the world’s oldest democracy and, with it, a ranking of human value and usage. It would twist the minds of men, as greed and self-reverence eclipsed human conscience and allowed the conquering men to take land and human bodies that they convinced themselves they had a right to. If they were to convert this wilderness and civilise it to their liking, they decided, they would need to conquer, enslave or remove the people already on it, and transport those they deemed lesser beings in order to tame and work the land to extract the wealth that lay in the rich soil and shorelines. To justify their plans, they took pre-existing notions of their own centrality, reinforced by their self-interested interpretation of the Bible, and created a hierarchy of who could do what, who could own what, who was on top and who was on the bottom and who was in between. There emerged a ladder of humanity, global in nature, as the upper-rung people would descend from Europe, with rungs inside that designation – the English Protestants at the very top, as their guns and resources would ultimately prevail in the bloody fight for North America. Everyone else would rank in descending order, on the basis of their proximity to those deemed most superior. The ranking would continue downward until one arrived at the very bottom: African captives transported in order to build the New World and to serve the victors for all their days, one generation after the next, for 12 generations. There developed a caste system, based upon what people looked like – an internalised ranking, unspoken, unnamed and unacknowledged by everyday citizens even as they go about their lives adhering to it and acting upon it subconsciously, to this day. Just as the studs and joists and beams that form the infrastructure of a building are not visible to those who live in it, so it is with caste.

Its very invisibility is what gives it power and longevity. And though it may move in and out of consciousness, though it may flare and reassert itself in times of upheaval and recede in times of relative calm, it is an ever-present through-line in the country’s operation. A caste system is an artificial construction, a fixed and embedded ranking of human value that sets the presumed supremacy of one group against the presumed inferiority of others, on the basis of ancestry and often of immutable traits – traits that would be neutral in the abstract, but are ascribed life-and-death meaning in a hierarchy favouring the dominant caste whose forebears designed it.

A caste system uses rigid, often arbitrary boundaries to keep the ranked groupings apart, distinct from one another and in their assigned places. Throughout human history, three caste systems have stood out. The tragically accelerated, chilling and officially vanquished caste system of Nazi Germany. The lingering, millennia-long caste system of India. And the shape-shifting, unspoken, race-based caste pyramid in the US. Each version relied on stigmatising those deemed inferior in order to justify the dehumanisation necessary to keep the lowest-ranked people at the bottom, and to rationalise the protocols of enforcement. A caste system endures because it is often justified as divine will, originating from a sacred text or the presumed laws of nature, reinforced throughout the culture and passed down through the generations.

As we go about our daily lives, caste is the wordless usher in a darkened theatre, the flashlight cast down the aisles, guiding us to our assigned seats for a performance. The hierarchy of caste is not about feelings or morality. It is about power: which groups have it and which do not. It is about resources: which caste is seen as worthy of them, and which are not; who gets to acquire and control them, and who does not. It is about respect, authority and assumptions of competence: who is accorded these, and who is not. As a means of assigning value to entire swaths of humankind, caste guides each of us, often beyond the reaches of our awareness. It embeds into our bones an unconscious ranking of human characteristics, and sets forth the rules, expectations and stereotypes that have been used to justify brutalities against entire groups within our species.

In the American caste system, the signal of rank is what we call race, the division of humans on the basis of their appearance. In the US, race is the primary tool and the visible decoy – the frontman – for caste. Race does the heavy lifting for a caste system that demands a means of human division. If we have been trained to see humans in the language of race, then caste is the underlying grammar that we encode as children, as when learning our mother tongue. Caste, like grammar, becomes an invisible guide not only to how we speak, but to how we process information – the autonomic calculations that figure into a sentence without our having to think about it. Many of us have never taken a class in grammar, yet we know in our bones that a transitive verb takes an object, that a subject needs a predicate, and we know without thinking the difference between third-person singular and third-person plural. We might mention “race”, referring to people as black or white or Latino or Asian or indigenous, when what lies beneath each label is centuries of history, and the assigning of assumptions and values to physical features in a structure of human hierarchy.

What people look like – or rather, the race they have been assigned, or are perceived to belong to – is the visible cue to their caste. It is the historic flashcard to the public, showing how people are to be treated, where they are expected to live, what kinds of positions they are expected to hold, whether they belong in this section of town or that seat in a boardroom, whether they should be expected to speak with authority on this or that subject, whether they will be administered pain relief in a hospital, whether their neighbourhood is likely to adjoin a toxic waste site or to have contaminated water flowing from their taps, whether they are more or less likely to survive childbirth in the most advanced nation in the world, whether they may be shot by authorities with impunity. Caste and race are neither synonymous nor mutually exclusive. They can and do coexist in the same culture, and serve to reinforce each other. Caste is the bones, race the skin. Race is what we can see, the physical traits that have been given arbitrary meaning and become shorthand for who a person is. Caste is the powerful infrastructure that holds each group in its place. Caste is fixed and rigid. Race is fluid and superficial, subject to periodic redefinition to meet the needs of the dominant caste in what is now the US.

While the requirements to qualify as white have changed over the centuries, the fact of a dominant caste has remained constant from its inception – whoever fit the definition of white, at whatever point in history, was granted the legal rights and privileges of the dominant caste. Perhaps more critically and tragically, at the other end of the ladder, the subordinated caste, too, has been fixed from the beginning as the psychological floor beneath which all other castes cannot fall. Caste is not a term often applied to the US. It is considered the language of India or feudal Europe. But some anthropologists and scholars of race in the US have made use of the term for decades.

Before the modern era, one of the earliest Americans to take up the idea of caste was the antebellum abolitionist and US senator Charles Sumner, as he fought against segregation in the north. “The separation of children in the Public Schools of Boston, on account of color or race,” he wrote, “is in the nature of Caste, and on this account is a violation of Equality.” He quoted a fellow humanitarian: “Caste makes distinctions among creatures where God has made none.” We cannot fully understand the current upheavals, or almost any turning point in American history, without accounting for the human pyramid that is encrypted into us all. The caste system, and the attempts to defend, uphold or abolish the hierarchy, underlay the American civil war and the civil rights movement a century later, and pervade the politics of the 21st-century US.

Just as DNA is the code of instructions for cell development, caste has been the operating system for economic, political and social interaction in the US since the time of its gestation. In 1944, the Swedish social economist Gunnar Myrdal and a team of the most talented researchers in the country produced a 2,800-page, two-volume work that is still considered perhaps the most comprehensive study of race in the US. It was titled An American Dilemma. Myrdal’s investigation into race led him to the realisation that the most accurate term to describe the workings of US society was not race, but caste – and that perhaps it was the only term that really addressed what seemed a stubbornly fixed ranking of human value. The anthropologist Ashley Montagu was among the first to argue that race is a human invention – a social construct, not a biological one – and that in seeking to understand the divisions and disparities in the US, we have typically fallen into the quicksand and mythology of race. “When we speak of ‘the race problem in America’,” he wrote in 1942, “what we really mean is the caste system and the problems which that caste system creates in America.” There was little confusion among some of the leading white supremacists of the previous century as to the connections between India’s caste system and that of the American south, where the purest legal caste system in the US existed. “A record of the desperate efforts of the conquering upper classes in India to preserve the purity of their blood persists to until this very day in their carefully regulated system of castes,” wrote Madison Grant, a popular eugenicist, in his 1916 bestseller, The Passing of the Great Race. “In our Southern States, Jim Crow cars and social discriminations have exactly the same purpose.”

n 1913, Bhimrao Ambedkar, a man born to the bottom of India’s caste system, born an untouchable in the central provinces, arrived in New York City from Bombay. He came to the US to study economics as a graduate student at Columbia, focused on the differences between race, caste and class. Living just blocks from Harlem, he would see first-hand the condition of his counterparts in the US. He completed his thesis just as the film The Birth of a Nation – the incendiary homage to the Confederate south – premiered in New York in 1915. He would study further in London and return to India to become the foremost leader of the untouchables, and a pre-eminent intellectual who would help draft a new Indian constitution. He would work to dispense with the demeaning term “untouchable”. He rejected the term Harijans, which had been applied to them by Gandhi, to their minds patronisingly. He renamed his people Dalits, meaning “broken people” – which, due to the caste system, they were. XIt is hard to know what effect his exposure to the American social order had on him personally. But over the years, he paid close attention, as did many Dalits, to the subordinate caste in the US. Indians had long been aware of the plight of enslaved Africans, and of their descendants in the US. Back in the 1870s, after the end of slavery and during the brief window of black advancement known as Reconstruction, an Indian social reformer named Jyotirao Phule found inspiration in the US abolitionists. He expressed hope “that my countrymen may take their example as their guide”. Many decades later, in the summer of 1946, acting on news that black Americans were petitioning the United Nations for protection as minorities, Ambedkar reached out to the best-known African American intellectual of the day, WEB Du Bois. He told Du Bois that he had been a “student of the Negro problem” from across the oceans, and recognised their common fates. “There is so much similarity between the position of the Untouchables in India and of the position of the Negroes in America,” Ambedkar wrote to Du Bois, “that the study of the latter is not only natural but necessary.” Du Bois wrote back to Ambedkar to say that he was, indeed, familiar with him, and that he had “every sympathy with the Untouchables of India”. It had been Du Bois who seemed to have spoken for the marginalised in both countries as he identified the doubleconsciousness of their existence. And it was Du Bois who, decades before, had invoked an Indian concept in channelling the “bitter cry” of his people in the US: “Why did God make me an outcast and a stranger in mine own house?”

I began investigating the American caste system after nearly two decades of examining the history of the Jim Crow south, the legal caste system that grew out of enslavement and lasted into the early 70s, within the lifespans of many present-day Americans. I discovered that I was not writing about geography and relocation, but about the American caste system – an artificial hierarchy in which most everything that you could and could not do was based upon what you looked like, and which manifested itself north and south. I had been writing about a stigmatised people – 6 million of them – who were seeking freedom from the caste system in the south, only to discover that the hierarchy followed them wherever they went, much in the way that the shadow of caste (as I would soon discover) follows Indians in their own global diaspora. Advertisement

The American caste system began in the years after the arrival of the first Africans to the Colony of Virginia in the summer of 1619, as the colony sought to refine the distinctions of who could be enslaved for life and who could not. Over time, colonial laws granted English and Irish indentured servants greater privileges than the Africans who worked alongside them, and the Europeans were fused into a new identity – that of being categorised as white, the polar opposite of black. The historian Kenneth M Stampp called this assigning of race a “caste system, which divided those whose appearance enabled them to claim pure Caucasian ancestry from those whose appearance indicated that some or all of their forebears were Negroes”. Members of the Caucasian caste, as he called it, “believed in ‘white supremacy’, and maintained a high degree of caste solidarity to secure it”.

While I was in the midst of my research, word of my inquiries spread to some Indian scholars of caste based in the US. They invited me to speak at an inaugural conference on caste and race at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, the town where WEB Du Bois was born and where his papers are kept. There, I told the audience that I had written a 600-page book about the Jim Crow era in the American south – the time of naked white supremacy – but that the word “racism” did not appear anywhere in the narrative. I told them that, after spending 15 years studying the topic and hearing the testimony of the survivors of the era, I had realised that the term was insufficient. “Caste” was the more accurate term, and I set out to them the reasons why. They were both stunned and heartened. The plates of Indian food kindly set before me at the reception thereafter sat cold due to the press of questions and the sharing that went on into the night. At a closing ceremony, the hosts presented to me a bronze-coloured bust of the patron saint of the low-born of India, Bhimrao Ambedkar, the Dalit leader who had written to Du Bois all those decades before. It felt like an initiation into a caste to which I had somehow always belonged. Over and over, they shared stories of what they had endured, and I responded in personal recognition, as if even to anticipate some particular turn or outcome. To their astonishment, I began to be able to tell who was high-born and who was low-born among the Indian people there, not from what they looked like, as one might in the US, but on the basis of the universal human response to hierarchy – in the case of an upper-caste person, an inescapable certitude in bearing, demeanour, behaviour and a visible expectation of centrality.

On the way home, I was snapped back into my own world when airport security flagged my suitcase for inspection. The TSA worker happened to be an African American who looked to be in his early 20s. He strapped on latex gloves to begin his work. He dug through my suitcase and excavated a small box, unwrapped the folds of paper and held in his palm the bust of Ambedkar that I had been given.

“This is what came up in the X-ray,” he said. It was heavy like a paperweight. He turned it upside down and inspected it from all sides, his gaze lingering at the bottom of it. He seemed concerned that something might be inside.

 “I’ll have to swipe it,” he warned me. He came back after some time and declared it OK, and I could continue with it on my journey. He looked at the bespectacled face, with its receding hairline and steadfast expression, and seemed to wonder why I would be carrying what looked like a totem from another culture.

“So who is this?” he asked. “Oh,” I said, “this is the Martin Luther King of India.” “Pretty cool,” he said, satisfied now, and seeming a little proud. He then wrapped Ambedkar back up as if he were King himself, and set him back gently into the suitcase.

White Coats White Care

As we take to the streets or our screens we have to realize that systemic racism and sexism dominates most of the larger institutions established in our country. And none other is as large as the medical industrial complex, and the emphasis on complex has truly come to fruition with the Coronavirus and the exposures with regards to the failings of public health. We have for years found a lack of funding for public enterprises, from housing, to education and lastly to health care has lent itself to major disparities of equity when it comes to the working poor. And no group composes the working poor more than faces of color.

There is some roots in this vested in racsim but it is also with regards to gender and now sexuality identity. The AIDS crisis exposed again how the system failed when it came to helping those who identified as Gay and had contracted that disease. It was labeled the "Gay disease" and much like Covid today, contributed to a genocide of those who were not part of the acceptable mainstream aka White/Male/Christian. Women's rights so fought for in the 70's and ultimately leading to the failure of the ERA, also plays a factor as men in leadership roles found that by having women enter the workplace they may have expectations reagarding rights and privileges that were largely the domain of men. We finally saw that come to head with #MeToo and again with Covid the rights of Trans folks shows again another marginalized group shoved aside when it comes to crime, violence, and of course health care.

Below are two articles, one about the failings of the MIC to properly treat, diagnose and care for faces brown and black and that implied if not overt bias dominates the field when it comes to finding medical care. The next is on reproductive rights and how the BLM group do not see this as an issue. Well then remind me why again I am not to support you, a woman, a face of color and with the genitalia we share, with the same reproductive rights issues and needs regardless of the shade of our skin. Of all groups most affected again by denial of access to abortion it has also led to closures of clinics that do more than provide abortion and in turn provide pre and post natal care, two issues of import that again largely affect faces of color. When you take away one right you have a domino affect that leads to a reduction of rights across the spectrum. Again, we have the right to care and because of the complext needs of Trans folks the access to proper medical care is essential. Got tits? Well welcome to breast cancer and the ability to screed for that or any other cancer is again a reproductive sexual right. Safe sex is informed sex and these clinics again provide essential information and education to eliminate the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases and the necessary vaccine to prevent cervical cancer.

So agai you say you don't have time for this? Okay then don't ask me for any time to spend on your issue. As clearly you have one where your sexuality is not a part of your identity and your identity is more than skin color.

Racism in care leads to health disparities, doctors and other experts say as they push for change
The Washington Post
By Tonya Russell
July 11, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. EDT

The protests over the deaths of black men and women at the hands of police have turned attention to other American institutions, including health care, where some members of the profession are calling for transformation of a system they say results in poorer health for black Americans because of deep-rooted racism.

“Racism is a public health emergency of global concern,” a recent editorial in the Lancet said. “It is the root cause of continued disparities in death and disease between Black and white people in the USA.”

A New England Journal of Medicine editorial puts it this way: "Slavery has produced a legacy of racism, injustice, and brutality that runs from 1619 to the present, and that legacy infects medicine as it does all social institutions."

The novel coronavirus has provided the most recent reminder of the disparities, with black Americans falling ill and dying from covid-19 at higher rates than whites. Even so, the NEJM editorial noted, "when physicians describing its manifestations have presented images of dermatologic effects, black skin has not been included. The 'covid toes' have all been pink and white."

Black Americans die younger than white Americans and they have higher rates of death from a string of diseases including heart diseases, stroke, cancer, asthma and diabetes.

By one measure, they are worse off than in the time of slavery. The black infant mortality rate (babies who die before their first birthday) is more than two times higher than for whites — 11.4 deaths per 1,000 live births for blacks compared with 4.9 for whites. Historians estimate that in 1850 it was 1.6 times higher for blacks — 340 per 1,000 vs. 217 for whites.

Medical professionals describe the effects of racism across specialties and illnesses. Tina Douroudian, an optometrist in Sterling, Va., has observed differences in the severity of her patients with diabetes, as well as their management plans.

“Black folks have higher rates of diabetes and often worse outcomes. It’s universally understood that nutrition counseling is the key factor for proper control, and this goes beyond telling patients to lose weight and cut carbs,” Douroudian says.

“I ask all of my diabetic patients if they have ever seen a registered dietitian,” she says. “The answer is an overwhelming ‘yes’ from my white patients, and an overwhelming ‘no’ from my black patients. Is there any wonder why they struggle more with their blood sugar, or why some studies cite a fourfold greater risk of visual loss from diabetes complications in black people?”

Douroudian’s patients who have never met with a dietitian in most cases have also never even heard of a dietitian, she says, and she is unsure why they don’t have this information.

Her remedy is teaching her patients how to advocate for themselves:

“I tell my diabetic patients to demand a referral from their [primary care physician] or endocrinologist. If for some reason that doctor declines, I tell them to ask to see where they documented in their medical record that the patient is struggling to control their blood sugar and the doctor is declining to provide the referral. Hint: You’ll get your referral real fast.”

Black women are facing a childbirth mortality crisis. Doulas are trying to help.

Jameta Barlow, a community health psychologist at George Washington University, says that the infant mortality rate is a reflection of how black women and their pain are ignored. Brushing aside pain can mean ignoring important warning signs.

“Centering black women and their full humanity in their medical encounters should be a clinical imperative,” she says. “Instead, their humanity is often erased and replaced with stereotypes and institutionalized practices masked as medical procedure.”

Black women are more than three times as likely as white women to die of childbirth-related causes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (40.8 per 100,000 births vs. 12.7). Experts blame the high rate on untreated chronic conditions and lack of good health care. The CDC says that early and regular prenatal care can help prevent complications and death.

Barlow says that the high mortality rate, and many other poor health outcomes, are a result of a “failure to understand the institutionalization of racism in medicine with respect to how the medical field views patients, their needs, wants and pain thresholds. The foundation of medicine is severely cracked and it will never adequately serve black people, especially black women, until we begin to decolonize approaches and ways of doing medicine.”

Barlow’s research centers on black women’s health, and her own great-grandmother died while giving birth to her grandmother in 1924. “In the past, black women were being blamed for the maternal mortality rate, without considering the impact of living conditions due to poverty and slavery then,” she says. “The same can be said of black women today.”

Natalie DiCenzo, an OB/GYN who is set to begin her practice in New Jersey this fall, says she hopes to find ways to close the infant mortality gap. Awareness of racism is necessary for change, she says.

“I realize that fighting for health equity is often in opposition to what is valued in medicine,” she says. “As a white physician treating black patients within a racist health-care system, where only 5 percent of physicians identify as black, I recognize that I have benefited from white privilege, and I now benefit from the power inherent to the white coat. It is my responsibility to do the continuous work of dismantling both, and to check myself daily.

“That work begins with being an outspoken advocate for black patients and reproductive justice,” she says. “This means listening to black patients and centering their lived experiences — holding my patients’ expertise over their own bodies in equal or higher power to my expertise as a physician — and letting that guide my decisions and actions. This means recognizing and highlighting the strength and resilience of black birthing parents.”

DiCenzo blames the racist history of the United States for the disparities in health care. “I’m not surprised that the states with the strictest abortion laws also have the worst pregnancy-related mortality. For black LGBTQIA+ patients, all of these disparities are amplified by additional discrimination. Black, American Indian and Alaska Native women are at least two to four times more likely to die of pregnancy-related causes than white women, regardless of level of education and income,” she says.

As for covid-19, although black people are dying at a rate of 92.3 per 100,000, patients admitted to the hospital were most likely to be white, and they die at a rate of 45.2 per 100,000.

The CDC says that racial discrimination puts blacks at risk for a number of reasons, including historic practices such as redlining that segregate them in densely populated areas, where they often must travel to get food or visit a doctor.

“For many people in racial and ethnic minority groups, living conditions may contribute to underlying health conditions and make it difficult to follow steps to prevent getting sick with COVID-19 or to seek treatment if they do get sick,” the CDC says.

The CDC is urging health-care providers to follow a standard protocol with all patients, and to “[i]dentify and address implicit bias that could hinder patient-provider interactions and communication.”

In her 16 years in medicine, internist Jen Tang has provided care for mid- to upper-class Princeton residents as well as residents of inner city Trenton, N.J. She has seen privatization of medicine adversely affect people of color who may be insured by government-run programs that medical organizations refuse to accept. Some doctors complain that the fees they are paid are too low.

And that can make referrals to specialists difficult.

“Often my hands are tied,” says Tang, who now works part time at a federally qualified health center in California. “I try to give my patients the same level of care that I gave my patients in Princeton, but a lot of my patients have the free Los Angeles County insurance, so to get your patient to see a specialist is difficult. You have to work harder as a clinician, and it takes extremely long.”

Tang has also encountered what medical experts say is another effect of long-term racism: skepticism about the health-care system.

“Some patients don’t trust doctors because they haven’t had access to quality health care,” she says. “They are also extremely vulnerable.”

American history is rife with examples of how medicine has used people of color badly. In Puerto Rico, women were sterilized in the name of population control. From the 1930s to the 1970s, one-third of Puerto Rican mothers of childbearing age were sterilized.

As a result of the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act of 1970, close to 25 percent of Native American women were also sterilized. California, Virginia and North Carolina performed the most sterilizations.

The Tuskegee experiments from 1932 to 1972, which were government-sanctioned, also ruined the lives of many black families. Men recruited for the syphilis study were not given informed consent, and they were not given adequate treatment, despite the study leading to the discovery that penicillin was effective.

Though modern discrimination isn’t as apparent, it is still insidious, Barlow says, citing myths that lead to inadequate treatment, such as one that black people don’t feel pain.

“We must decolonize science,” Barlow says, by which she means examining practices that developed out of bias but are accepted because they have always been done that way. “For example, race is a social construct and not clinically useful in knowing a patient, understanding a patient’s disease, or creating a treatment plan,” she says, but it still informs patient treatment.

She calls upon fellow researchers to question research, data collection, methodologies and interpretations.

Like Douroudian, she recommends self-advocacy for patients. This can mean asking as many questions as needed to get clarification, and if feasible, getting a second opinion. Bring a friend along to the doctor, and record conversations with your doctor for later reflection.

“I tell every woman this when doctors recommend a drug or procedure that you have reservations about: ‘Is this drug or procedure medically necessary?’ If they answer yes, then have them put it in your medical chart,” Barlow says. “If they say it is not necessary to do that, then be sure to get another doctor’s opinion on the recommendation. Black women have always had to look out for themselves, even in the most vulnerable medical situations such as giving birth.”

Medicine’s relationship with black people has advanced beyond keeping slaves healthy enough to perform their tasks. Barlow says, however, that more work needs to be done to regain trust, and uproot the bias that runs over 400 years deep.

“This medical industrial complex will only improve,” she says, “when it is dismantled and reimagined.”

Some Gen Z and millennial women said they viewed abortion rights as important but less urgent than other social justice causes. Others said racial disparities in reproductive health must be a focus.

Emma Goldman|| The New York Times

Like many young Americans, Brea Baker experienced her first moment of political outrage after the killing of a Black man. She was 18 when Trayvon Martin was shot. When she saw his photo on the news, she thought of her younger brother, and the boundary between her politics and her sense of survival collapsed.

In college she volunteered for the N.A.A.C.P. and as a national organizer for the Women’s March. But when conversations among campus activists turned to abortion access, she didn’t feel the same sense of personal rage.

“A lot of the language I heard was about protecting Roe v. Wade,” Ms. Baker, 26, said. “It felt grounded in the ’70s feminist movement. And it felt like, I can’t focus on abortion access if my people are dying. The narrative around abortion access wasn’t made for people from the hood.”

Ms. Baker has attended protests against police brutality in Atlanta in recent weeks, but the looming Supreme Court decision on reproductive health, June Medical Services v. Russo, felt more distant. As she learned more about the case and other legal threats to abortion access, she wished that advocates would talk about the issue in a way that felt urgent to members of Generation Z and young millennials like her.

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“It’s not that young people don’t care about abortion, it’s that they don’t think it applies to them,” she said. Language about “protecting Roe” feels “antiquated,” she added. “If I’m a high school student who got activated by March for Our Lives, I’m not hip to Supreme Court cases that happened before my time.”

Her question, as she kept her eyes on the court, was: “How can we reframe it so it feels like a young woman’s fight?”

On Monday the Supreme Court ruled on the case, striking down a Louisiana law that required abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at local hospitals, four years after deciding that an effectively identical Texas requirement was unconstitutional because it placed an “undue burden” on safe abortion access. The Guttmacher Institute had estimated that 15 states could potentially put similarly restrictive laws on the books if the Supreme Court upheld the Louisiana law.

The leaders of reproductive rights organizations celebrated their victory with caution. At least 16 cases that would restrict access to legal abortion remain in lower courts, and 25 abortion bans have been enacted in more than a dozen states in the last year.

“The fight is far from over,” said Alexis McGill Johnson, the president of Planned Parenthood. “Our vigilance continues, knowing the makeup of the court as well as the federal judiciary is not in our favor.

Interviews with more than a dozen young women who have taken to the streets for racial justice in recent weeks, though, reflected some ambivalence about their role in the movement for reproductive rights.

These young women recognized that while some American women can now gain easy access to abortion, millions more cannot; at least five states have only one abortion clinic.

But some, raised in a post-Roe world, do not feel the same urgency toward abortion as they do for other social justice causes; others want to ensure that the fight is broadly defined, with an emphasis on racial disparities in reproductive health.

Members of Gen Z and millennials are more progressive than older generations; they’ve also been politically active, whether organizing a global climate strike or mass marches against gun violence in schools.

While Gen Z women ranked abortion as very important to them in a 2019 survey from Ignite, a nonpartisan group focused on young women’s political education, mass shootings, climate change, education and racial inequality all edged it out. On the right, meanwhile, researchers say that opposition to abortion has become more central to young people’s political beliefs.

Melissa Deckman, a professor of political science at Washington College who studies young women’s political beliefs, said that Gen Z women predominantly believe in reproductive freedom but that some believe it is less pressing because they see it as a “given,” having grown up in a world of legalized abortion.

“Myself and other activists in my community are focused on issues that feel like immediate life or death, like the environment,” said Kaitlin Ahern, 19, who was raised in Scranton, Pa., in a community where air quality was low because of proximity to a landfill. “It’s easier to disassociate from abortion rights.”

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Fatimata Cham, 19, an ambassador for the anti-gun violence advocacy group Youth Over Guns, agreed that the fight for reproductive rights felt less personal. “For many activists, we have a calling, a realm of work we want to pursue because of our own personal experiences,” Ms. Cham said. “Growing up, abortion never came to mind as an issue I needed to work on.”

Some young women said that they considered reproductive rights an important factor in determining how they vote, but they struggled to see how their activism on the issue could have an effect.

When Ms. Baker helped coordinate local walkouts against gun violence, she sensed that young people no longer needed to wait for “permission” to demand change. With abortion advocacy, she said, organizers seem focused on waiting for decisions from the highest courts.

And even as those decisions move through the courts, the possibility of a future without legal abortion can feel implausible. “I know we have a lot to lose, but it’s hard to imagine us going backward,” said Alliyah Logan, 18, a recent high school graduate from the Bronx. “Is it possible to go that far back?”

Then she added: “Of course in this administration, anything is possible.”

For many women in the 1970s and ’80s, fighting for legal abortion was an essential aspect of being a feminist activist. A 1989 march for reproductive rights drew crowds larger than most protests since the Vietnam War, with more than half a million women rallying in Washington, D.C.

Today, young women who define themselves as progressive and politically active do not always consider the issue central to their identities, said Johanna Schoen, a professor of history at Rutgers and the author of “Abortion After Roe.”

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“Women in the ’70s understood very clearly that having control over reproduction is central to women’s ability to determine their own futures, to get the education they want, to have careers,” Dr. Schoen said. “As people got used to having access to abortion — and there’s a false sense that we’ve achieved a measure of equality — that radicalism women had in the early years got lost.”

Some millennial women who can easily and safely get abortions do not connect the experience to their political activism. Cynthia Gutierrez, 30, a community organizer in California, got a medication abortion in 2013. Because she did not struggle with medical access or insurance, the experience did not immediately propel her toward advocacy.

“I had no idea about the political landscape around it,” she said. “I had no idea that other people had challenges with access or finding a clinic or being able to afford an abortion.”

Around that time, Ms. Gutierrez began working at a criminal justice reform organization. “I wasn’t thinking, let me go to the next pro-choice rally,” she said. “The racial justice and criminal justice work I did felt more relevant because I had people in my life who had gone through the prison industrial complex, and I experienced discrimination.”

Other young women said they felt less drawn to reproductive rights messaging that is focused strictly on legal abortion access, and more drawn to messaging about racial and socioeconomic disparities in access to abortion, widely referred to as reproductive justice.

Deja Foxx, 20, a college student from Tucson, Ariz., became involved in reproductive justice advocacy when she confronted former Senator Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, at a town hall event over his push to defund Planned Parenthood.

But abortion access is not what initially drew her to the movement. She wanted to fight for coverage of contraceptives, as someone who was then homeless and uninsured, and for comprehensive sex education, since her high school’s curriculum did not mention the word consent.

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“There’s a need to protect the wins of the generation before us,” Ms. Foxx said. But she believes the conversations that engage members of her generation look different. “My story is about birth control access as a young person who didn’t have access to insurance,” she said.

The generational shift is evident at national gatherings for abortion providers. Ms. Schoen has attended the National Abortion Federation’s annual conference each year from 2003 to 2019. In recent years, she said, its attendees have grown more racially diverse and the agenda has shifted, from calls to keep abortion “safe, legal and rare” to an emphasis on racial equity in abortion access.

“The political questions and demands that the younger generation raises are very different,” she said. “There’s more of a focus on health inequalities and lack of access that Black and brown women have to abortion.”

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, even the most fundamental legal access to abortion seemed in question in some states. At least nine states took steps to temporarily ban abortions, deeming them elective or not medically necessary, although all the bans were challenged in court.

Research from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that the pandemic led to various new legal and logistical hurdles. In South Dakota, abortion providers have been unable to travel to their clinics from out of state. In Arkansas, women could receive abortions only with a negative Covid-19 swab within 72 hours of the procedure, and some have struggled to get tested.

Alliyah Logan, a recent high school graduate, near her home in the Bronx. “I know we have a lot to lose, but it’s hard to imagine us going backward,” she said.
Credit...Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

But in spite of the threats, for some young women the calls to action feel sharpest when they go beyond defending rights they were raised with.


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“Right now, in a lot of social justice movements we’re seeing language about the future,” said Molly Brodsky, 25. “I hear ‘protect Roe v. Wade,’ and it feels like there needs to be another clause about the future we’re going to build. What other changes do we need? We can’t be complacent with past wins.”