Joe Biden Destroys Reagan Administration on South Africa Policy 30+ Years Ago – Why He Deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom

If anyone doubts why Joe Biden deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom, awarded to him today by President Obama, please watch this video. This is from July 23, 1986. It is a hearing on U.S. Policy in South Africa. And in this clip (start at 1:38:50 to see Biden’s key part), he excoriates Secretary of State George Shultz for his collaboration with apartheid. This is a degree of moral clarity almost unheard of in American politics.

It is also among the handful of moments in history that convinced me, as much as anything, of what I needed to be doing with my life. I remember watching this as it happened on C-Span, and being utterly transfixed by it. Sadly, he got so much flak for this that he ended up apologizing for his tone. But he had NOTHING to apologize for, and I still applaud him for it. Please watch…


Alt+Right+Delete: The Disingenuous and Contradictory Rhetoric of White Nationalism

So now we know: White nationalists have been working more on their wardrobe than tightening up the rhetoric and logic with which they defend and present their worldview.

Case in point, Richard Spencer, the Nazi flavor-of-the-month and white nationalist leader whom the media has deemed the movement’s bright and shining star. Although for a while they seemed fixated on Matt Heimbach as the “new David Duke,” frankly Spencer fits that bill better, and for reasons entirely aesthetic. Given a choice between a guy who resembles nothing so much as an unemployed lumberjack or a dandy who dresses in stylish pea-coats and natty vests, I think we all know what happens next. This is the same national media who thought David Duke was the fresh face of racism in the 1970s, just because he had all his teeth, generally avoided the use of racial slurs and was capable of producing multi-syllabic utterances from his mouth hole. In other words, when the white racist bar has been set by semi-illiterate lynch mobs, tobacco-chewin’ Mississippi sheriffs and the likes of George Wallace, clearing it isn’t exactly astrophysics.

But while the movement was seeking to professionalize and become more intellectual, advocating white “identitarianism” and insisting it is no less valid than identity politics on the part of people of color, it has remained startlingly unable to address the ultimate question posed by its politic: namely, how do white nationalists propose to create an all-white homeland in America? Because this, after all, is their self-professed endgame. And more to the point, how could such a thing be accomplished without mass violence against persons of color, as well as Jews, for whom this movement reserves its greatest hatred?

It’s a question I’ve been posing to white nationalists for over two decades. And in every case, those who aspire to any level of intellectual erudition simply dodge it, or seek to change the subject. They do this because they know that even if they can convince large numbers of whites to agree with some of their basic arguments about so-called reverse discrimination, immigration, or the problems of “political correctness,” the revulsion to genocidal movements is rather concretized nowadays, such that any open articulation of the same would immediately sink them. This is why they have to couch their Pepe-as-Stormtrooper memes as nothing serious, as just a joke, as mere satire meant to tweak uptight Jews. It’s why they have to pretend their tweets telling Jews to “get in the oven” are pure irony—something Nazis haven’t done especially well since they opted to call the purging of openly gay SA leader Ernst Rohm, the “Night of the Long Knives.”

Knowing how reluctant these folks are to come clean about their ultimate plans, when I debated white nationalist thought-leader Jared Taylor several years ago, both on the radio and at Vanderbilt Law School, I raised this question. And each time, Taylor punted, insisting that things like “white flight” — whereby whites begin leaving neighborhoods when they become “too diverse” — was evidence enough that the creation of all-white spaces would happen naturally if the government would simply stop meddling with the process via desegregation requirements or anti-discrimination laws. In other words, left to their own devices people would separate of their own accord. Putting aside the extent to which racial separatism or enmity are indeed natural — a subject I’ve addressed both in those debates and elsewhere, several times — the answer was a non sequitur. After all, there is nothing preventing white people from fleeing integrated areas and moving to suburbs, exurbs, or small towns in Montana like the one Richard Spencer calls home. If that were all the nationalists wanted they would hardly require a political movement to attain their goals. As Taylor notes, that already happens and is not prohibited. What is prohibited is keeping non-whites from likewise moving wherever they might like. As such, in the end, more than simple “free association” and choice would be required, and every honest white nationalist knows it. Laws would have to prohibit the free movement of people of color. And those persons of color already living in areas to which whites might like to lay claim — sometimes articulated as the Pacific Northwest, other times the states of the old Confederacy, and still other times the entirety of the nation’s landmass — would have to be purged. So again the question: how do white nationalists propose to bring such a thing about without violence?

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Tim Wise on A.M. Joy (MSNBC) to Discuss Faux White Victimhood and Real White Fragility 12/3/16

My appearance on A.M. Joy to discuss white claims of victimhood caught on viral videos and what they really say about whiteness, privilege and fragility


Tim Wise on the Myth of White Victimhood and the Reality of White Fragility (AM Joy, MSNBC, December 2016)

Short clip in response to a series of viral videos in which white Trump supporters claimed to have been victims of “reverse racism” and went berserk in public places…


Tim Wise on CNN to Discuss Race, Racism and the Trump Cabinet 11/19/16

My appearance on CNN to discuss the real racial problem with Donald Trump’s cabinet picks. It’s not the lack of diversity…it’s the ideological backwardness


Discovering the Light in Darkness: Donald Trump and the Future of America

“One discovers the light in darkness. That is what darkness is for. But everything in our lives depends on how we bear the light. It is necessary, while in darkness, to know that there is a light somewhere, to know that in oneself, waiting to be found there is a light. What the light reveals is danger, and what it demands is faith…I know we often lose…and how often one feels that one cannot start again. And yet, on pain of death, one can never remain where one is. The light. The light. One will perish without the light…For nothing is fixed, forever, and forever, and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock. Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have…The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us. And the moment we cease to hold each other, the moment we break faith with one another, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.”

— James Baldwin, “Nothing Personal,” 1964

So first, remember to breathe. It won’t change what has happened, but it will keep you alive; and this, as it turns out, is indisputably helpful for what must come next. For only the living can resist.

I wish there were some way to spin this, to soften the sharp edges of these blades slicing into the connective tissue of our nation, but there is not. There is only the scythe, ripping collective flesh and tendon, swung by a deranged reaper and those who saw fit to hand him the tools with which to do such damage.

I wish there were some way to blink really hard, like I used to do as a child when trapped in a nightmare, thereby finding release from the clutches of whatever monster was in hot pursuit. It worked every time in dreams. But sadly, this escape route began to fail me years ago, right around the time I discovered that some monsters are real, some dreams incapable of circumvention. Ever since I came to appreciate that some disasters must simply be faced.

I wish there were a refresh button like on the web browser, only this one situated atop the political system and its electoral process, which, when clicked, would load a different reality altogether. But there is no such button. There is no clearing the cache, so to speak.

There is no upside, no rosy scenario, no way to interpret what has happened but as a crushing defeat for the notion of multiracial and multicultural democracy, for religious pluralism, for sex and gender equity and for whatever advances were achieved over the past eight years–hell, in the past 80 years–in regard to these things. To suggest that everything will be okay is to traffic in empty platitudes the ultimate veracity of which we won’t know for some time, but whose accuracy at present should be considered quite a bit less promising than the projections of pollsters on election night. It will not be okay, and possibly for a long while.

Don’t get me wrong: The sun will rise and set, and babies will still laugh, and people will still fall in love. And in case you were wondering, there will still be music. Even comedy. Although, if it is true that comedy is tragedy plus time, we might need just a little more time. But as for the rest of it, well, that remains to be seen.

So first, remember to breathe.

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Tim Wise on the Rock Newman Show, 9/28/16: Police Violence, White Denial, Election 2016 and Movement Building in the Age of Trump

My appearance on the Rock Newman Show to discuss Donald Trump and the politics of prejudice, police accountability and violence, and movement building before and after the November 8 election.


Tim Wise on AM Joy (MSNBC), 9/24/16: Trump and the Racism of His Phony Black “Outreach”

Tim Wise appearance, 9/24/16 on MSNBC’s “AM Joy” with Joy Reid, Mark Thompson, Leah Wright Rigueur and Jimmy Williams to discuss Trump and the coded (or not-so-coded) racism of his “black outreach” efforts


Tim Wise on the Chauncey DeVega Show 8/19/16 – Trump, White Resentment, Electoral Politics and Crime (Among Other Things)

My appearance on the Chauncey DeVega Show, from August 19 — forgot to post earlier. Here we discuss the bright line connections between the David Duke campaigns of the early 90s and the Donald Trump campaign of 2016: what’s similar, what’s different, and what are the dangers ahead…Also we discuss broader issues of white racial resentment, the politics of race and crime, movement building and the unfortunate inadequacy of pure logic and facts when it comes to political organizing…among other things…


Tim Wise on WGN (Chicago), 9/2/16: Colin Kaepernick, Racism and the National Anthem

My appearance on WGN (Chicago’s) Morning News program, September 2, 2016, to discuss Colin Kaepernick, the National Anthem, and his ongoing protest against police violence. For some reason, the chyron at one point says Tim Wise: “Dear White People,” (the name of an excellent movie that I had nothing to do with), rather than “Dear White America,” the name of my book that they mentioned. They finally fix it in the last few minutes.