Tag Archives | White People
Stay in school kids! Sabrina Tavernese reports on some shocking new stats for the New York Times:
For generations of Americans, it was a given that children would live longer than their parents. But there is now mounting evidence that this enduring trend has reversed itself for the country’s least-educated whites, an increasingly troubled group whose life expectancy has fallen by four years since 1990.
Researchers have long documented that the most educated Americans were making the biggest gains in life expectancy, but now they say mortality data show that life spans for some of the least educated Americans are actually contracting. Four studies in recent years identified modest declines, but a new one that looks separately at Americans lacking a high school diploma found disturbingly sharp drops in life expectancy for whites in this group. Experts not involved in the new research said its findings were persuasive.
The reasons for the decline remain unclear, but researchers offered possible explanations, including a spike in prescription drug overdoses among young whites, higher rates of smoking among less educated white women, rising obesity, and a steady increase in the number of the least educated Americans who lack health insurance.
Michael Muhammed Knight writes at Vice:
So I’ve just received an email from a reader, asking whether I might have something to say about The Innocence of Muslims. “Is tolerance for satire really a concept that is not compatible with Islam?” he asks. “Is there something about all this indignation that ‘we,’ the West, don’t understand?”
When asked to explain Muslim rage, I have an answer, but I already know the response to my answer. A defender of “Western civilization” will tell me, “Yeah, but we aren’t violent. They’re the ones who kill people over religion.” If numbers matter, however, the mythology of “America” kills many, many more people today than any myth of “Islam.” To sustain a pseudo-secular military cult, we have produced a nation of cheerleaders for blood and murder. We speak of the cult’s heroic work as “sacrifice” and say that it’s all for a divine cause of “freedom.”
That’s what we send out there, at them.
While Clint Eastwood’s Republican National Convention argument with an empty chair confused and amused many, some American mental health practitioners probably recognized it as a classic tool of Gestalt therapy: the Empty-Chair technique.
Gestalt therapy was invented by a German psychiatrist named Fritz Perls, an associate of Wilhelm Reich (who found fame – some would say infamy – as the inventor of “orgone therapy”) and refugee who fled his native land in the wake of the Nazi Party’s rise to power. In South Africa, Perls, along with his wife Laura, developed the basics of the practice: an emphasis on healing the whole self and recognizing the social environment of the patient for its impact on his or her development.
In the Empty-Chair technique, a patient is instructed to imagine a person in their lives with whom they have difficulties sitting in the chair. The patient then speaks to the seated “person”, expressing his or her frustrations and fears. During this conversation he or she is encouraged to talk for the imaginary person as well, with the goal that through this process the patient will be able to recognize the projection as part of him or herself, articulating and resolving deeply-rooted emotional conflicts. It is important to note that the Empty Chair doesn’t always have to be occupied by a specific individual: The therapist can direct the patient to imagine it is occupied by an object, idea or stereotype.
With this in mind, Eastwood’s confrontation of the empty chair can be understood in terms of mass psychology. Eastwood, once the very image of the tough, independent white male, but who is now noticeably in decline, stands in as a surrogate for the fear of the overwhelmingly white, male Republican Party. In doing so, he addresses their fear of the youthful black President and what he represents: a change in social order that will eventually erode and overcome the established face of power–much like time has replaced the once-rugged Man with No Name with the cranky old veteran of Gran Tourino, besieged on all sides by a youthful, non-white culture on the rise.
I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.
- White terrorists are called “gunmen.” What does that even mean? A person with a gun? Wouldn’t that be, like, everyone in the US? Other terrorists are called, like, “terrorists.”
- White terrorists are “troubled loners.” Other terrorists are always suspected of being part of a global plot, even when they are obviously troubled loners.
- Doing a study on the danger of white terrorists at the Department of Homeland Security will get you sidelined by angry white Congressmen. Doing studies on other kinds of terrorists is a guaranteed promotion.
- The family of a white terrorist is interviewed, weeping as they wonder where he went wrong. The families of other terrorists are almost never interviewed.
- White terrorists are part of a “fringe.” Other terrorists are apparently mainstream.
Best just to let Tasneem tell you why herself:
This story totally reminds me of an essay we included in Russ Kick’s classic anthology Abuse Your Illusions: The Disinformation Guide To Media Mirages And Establishment Lies, “How I Crashed A Chinese Arms Bazaar With A Rifle That Doesn’t Exist,” by Jakob S. Boeskov. For some reason, white guys in China seem to be cloaked in Yes Men-like levels of suspended belief as to their (highly unlikely) cover stories. By Mitch Moxley for the Atlantic:
Not long ago I was offered work as a quality-control expert with an American company in China I’d never heard of. No experience necessary—which was good, because I had none. I’d be paid $1,000 for a week, put up in a fancy hotel, and wined and dined in Dongying, an industrial city in Shandong province I’d also never heard of. The only requirements were a fair complexion and a suit.