I’ve divided this link farm into two categories: “Trump” and “Not Trump.” The idea is, those of us who need a break from reading about Trump and the election can scroll down to the “Not Trump” section.
UPDATE: In response to Kai’s suggestion, I’ve moved the non-Trump links to their own post. This post has Trump and election related links.
I was never lucky enough to meet SEK, as I thought of him. But he was an incredibly smart writer who I’ve linked countless times over the years, both for his political writing and for his comics analysis. Plus, he was hilarious. The world is better because he passed through it.
The Post’s headline isn’t quite accurate. For one thing, they weren’t really “bots” (which to me suggests a program operating somewhat autonomously); they were puppet accounts, controlled directly by the researcher, Kevin Munger. From the study’s abstract:
I employ an intervention designed to reduce the use of anti-black racist slurs by white men on Twitter. I collect a sample of Twitter users who have harassed other users and use accounts I control (“bots”) to sanction the harassers. By varying the identity of the bots between in-group (white man) and out-group (black man) and by varying the number of Twitter followers each bot has, I find that subjects who were sanctioned by a high-follower white male significantly reduced their use of a racist slur.
The “sanction” was a tweet saying “Hey man, just remember there are real people who are hurt when you harass them with that kind of language”. Using this tweet, the high-follower white male puppets – and only those puppets – could improve behavior. Tellingly, the same tween from low-follower black male puppets led to increased use of racial slurs.
Surprisingly, anonymous twitter users were the ones whose behavior improved. Non-anonymous users did not reduce their slur usage in response to being criticized. (I would have guessed the opposite.)
It’s a shame that he didn’t use actual bots, since that would be very useful if it worked. However, a bot might have a hard time distinguishing harassing tweets from other tweets (such as a person complaining about having been called a slur).
I guess for the sake of reducing variables, he didn’t test responses to female identities. I hope someone does in a follow up study. It wouldn’t surprise me if female identities, like black identities, were less effective at changing behavior, but I’d be interested to see the numbers.
So in Ozy’s Intellectual Turing Test, in which anti-social justice folk tried to pass themselves off as social justice folk, and vice-versa, I’m pleased to report I came in second, with 75% of readers believing I was anti-SJ. (In the comments of that link, there’s a little debate between me and a few other folks about gamergate.)
Becky Hawkins and I have posted the first page of our new webcomic “SuperButch!” It’s about a lesbian superhero in the 1940s protecting the bar scene from corrupt cops. We’re really excited about this!
I’m writing, and Becky’s doing art – although we both get in each other’s business a lot. :-) We’ll be posting a new page every Tuesday.
There’s been a map floating around the internet claiming to show the election outcome if only millennials had voted; but it’s based on October polls, not on actual exit polling. “Alas” moderator and commentator Charles, understandably (if pedantically)1 annoyed by this, decided to make a couple of maps based on exit polls, and kindly said I could post them here.
As a bit of a pendant myself, I relate to this. [↩]
As the husband of a Muslim woman and the father of a son whose name marks him as foreign even though he was born in the United States, I have been reading with care, gratitude, and a welcome sense of solidarity the posts in my Facebook feed about how important it is not to despair now that Trump has been elected president; and I have been thinking about the role I might play in helping to make sure, as much as possible, that all of those targeted by the hatred at the heart of Trump’s campaign nonetheless feel their presence in this country to be welcomed and safe and respected and valued.
I have also been heartened and affirmed by how many of the posts I’ve read make a point of naming the specific groups in need of our support, because each of them is the object of a hatred directed specifically at it, and that hatred needs to be understood and opposed on its own terms. I have, however, also noticed the conspicuous absence of the group to which I belong, the Jews, from most of those lists-of-the-vulnerable. (Here is one example.) We may be the one group (as far as I can tell) that Trump himself did not name specifically, but his alt-right and KKK and neo-Nazi and white supremacist supporters sure as hell named us when they attacked Jewish journalists who criticized Trump; and the classically antisemitic, right-out-of-The-Protocols-of-the-Elders-of-Zion, “global-conspiracy-that’s-bleeding-us-dry” rhetoric that he embraced towards the end of his campaign, in his speeches and perhaps especially in his final campaign video (complete with images of the prominent and wealthy Jews who are doing “the bleeding”), was sure as hell a way of naming us without naming us:
Do I think, therefore, that the rounding up of Jews is imminent? No. Do I think the people who would support and participate in the rounding up of Jews have been inspired, empowered, and legitimized by Trump’s campaign? Absolutely. The image at the top of this post, for example, of antisemitic graffiti written on a storefront in Philadelphia the day after the election, is from the Anti-Defamation League’s Twitter feed:
It’s worth noting that it almost certainly was not lost on the people who put that graffiti on storefronts that they were doing so on the anniversary of Kristallnacht. To put it another way, I think it is to be willfully blind not to see parallels between the dynamics of Trump’s campaign and the dynamics at play at the beginning of Hitler’s Germany, or of any of the other periods in history when the Jews have been targeted as some version of “the global conspiracy.”
Back in July, a woman named Carly Pildis wrote an essay that, if you care about the integrity of what it means to be anti-racist/anti-oppression, you should read. It’s called “I Am Woke: Why I Am Finally Raising My Voice Against Jewish Erasure in the Anti-Racism Movement.” (The link takes you to a recent repost of the article in Tablet.) The following paragraph struck me in particular. It appears after a section in the essay where Pildis quotes examples of some particularly offensive tweets she received for pushing back ever so gently against what she saw as a simplistic #BlackLivesMatters portrayal of the Palestinian Israeli conflict.
I am not asking the anti-racism movement to join AIPAC. I am asking that it apply the same values to Jews as it does other marginalized or oppressed groups. I am asking that the movement put a parenthesis around its twitter handles and stand in solidarity with me and my family. I am saying that if the rule of this community is that those with lived experience should be heard the loudest, then hear the Jews among you. If those who have experienced oppression should never be doubted in their experience, then stop saying I am a not a real minority, or that anti-Semitism isn’t real. If anti-oppression work must be intersectional, then that intersectionality can no longer end when the word Jewish is uttered. If communities that are affected by policy must always be consulted and in the forefront of policy discussions, stop telling Jewish Americans we have no right to be included in your conversations about Israel, or that our views on the physical safety of our families are not welcome to be discussed, struggled with or even acknowledged.
When I started this post, I thought of it as an expression of how vulnerable the antisemitism in Trump’s campaign has made me feel. I did not imagine I would also be writing about how what Pildis called “Jewish erasure” among progressives—a term I had not heard till I read her piece—makes me feel perhaps even more at risk. But it does. I know what to expect, and to expect no better, from the people who spray painted those swastikas. Their actions do not constitute a betrayal. Failing to include the fight against antisemitism in a response to Trump’s presidency, however—especially given its explicit expression during his campaign and, now, after his victory—most certainly does.
So I guess I have come to see this post as a challenge. If you are one of the people or organizations talking about how we need to organize not just against the hatreds Trump’s campaign stood for, but also affirmatively in support of the specific groups that were—and are still being—targeted, have you done, are you willing to do, the work of including antisemitism in your analysis? To paraphrase Pildis, intersectionality is either fully intersectional or it isn’t. If it is, then it must include antisemitism among the oppressions it confronts. If it isn’t, if it doesn’t, then why should I see it as anything other than good-old-fashioned, left-wing antisemitism using the fight against other oppressions as camouflage?