Essay Archive

Because They Hate: Health Care Obstructionism and the Conservative Mind

It’s because they hate. There is no other logical explanation. After all, it’s one thing to oppose a piece of legislation and fight to keep it from being passed because you honestly disagree with it as a matter of principle. Decent people can disagree on policy. But it’s quite another to celebrate like frat boys [...]

White Noise: Immigration, Antiracism and the Spreading of a Neo-Nazi Meme

Nazis like shortcuts. Maybe it’s because of their aversion to work, which is mighty difficult to do when you spend all day on the Stormfront web board, talking about your favorite Norse God, or newest tattoo, or how the reason you can’t find a job is because the blacks and Mexicans took them all; the [...]

Of Platitudes Facile and Persistent: Reflections on the Predictability of a Right Wing Robot

Sometimes one has to wonder: are conservatives really that obtuse, or do they deliberately distort facts and data for political effect? Either way, let there be no mistake, Crystal Wright, who blogs under the moniker “Conservative Black Chick,” is possibly the most unadulterated prototype of a reality-challenged right-wing zombie ever to take up bandwidth, and [...]

Hate Swallows: Reflections on the Passing of Fred Phelps

By the time you read this, Fred Phelps will be dead. Fred Phelps, who more than anyone in the last two decades has come to symbolize the most viscerally evil edge of Christian heterosexism — and who made a name for himself by picketing the funerals of soldiers killed in combat with “God Hates Fags” [...]

Bearing False Witness: Reflections on Being Attacked by Lying Right-Wing Christians

I guess it would be too much to ask for honesty from a decidedly right-wing, reactionary and Christian supremacist bunch such as publishes LifeSiteNews, but ask I will in any event. Or rather, I won’t ask, and won’t expect it; instead, I will simply respond to the absurd, dishonest characterization of me that appeared in [...]

Choosing Whiteness or Humanity: Jordan Davis and the Minimizing of Black Pain

And so a despairing ritual has once again played out, and once again in a Florida courtroom, where apparently some number of jurors find it difficult to accept that a young black male might not be to blame for his own murder; that his killing might actually have been completely and entirely unjustified. Then again, [...]

The Poor Have It Easy? Wealth, Inheritance and Right-Wing Statistical Fraud

(The following is a slightly altered and far more sarcastic version of a section of Tim Wise’s forthcoming book, Culture of Cruelty: How America’s Elite Demonize the Poor, Valorize the Rich and Jeopardize the Future) Perhaps you think you’ve heard everything. Perhaps you’re one of those folks who feels that comparing criticisms of growing wealth [...]

…But How Dare You Complain to Me: Ani DiFranco, White Obliviousness and Historical Memory

Imagine for a moment that an artist of some sort — perhaps for lack of a better example, a folk singer — decided to host a writer’s retreat, at which interested and aspiring artists might gather so as to pool their collective energy. And let’s imagine that said folk singer, not being an expert at [...]

Dreaming of a White Jesus (and a Real Santa): Reflections on Conservative Derangement

To be perfectly honest, I find it quite shocking that anyone would be, well, shocked, by Megyn Kelly’s recent insistence on her FOX show that Santa Claus and Jesus are both white men, or even — and perhaps this is the bigger point — that Santa Claus is real. After all, when one works for [...]

For Their Own Good? Contempt, Compassion, and the Conceits of Class Status

I’ve always been wary of those who insisted they were doing something — especially something harsh and perhaps hurtful — for the good of the person who has to bear the potential injury. When a parent swears to their child that the spanking they intend to shortly administer is “going to hurt me more than [...]