❝ The defining feature of the American Dream is upward mobility – the aspiration that all children have a chance at economic success, no matter their background. However, our research shows that children’s chances of earning more than their parents have been declining. 90% of children born in 1940 grew up to earn more than their parents. Today, only half of all children earn more than their parents did.
The American Dream maintains its mythic status even as it declines steadily. Political charlatans, self-described as conservative more often than not seem to have offered the best lies. The liberal flavor [in my lifetime] can be moved by the courage of citizens to grow backbone. Sometimes.
❝ A Colorado sports apparel store is closing after its owner’s decision to boycott Nike gear as a protest against the brand’s embrace of Colin Kaepernick proved to be a financial death blow.
Stephen Martin, owner of Prime Time Sports in Colorado Springs, took all Nike goods off his shelves this past fall after the global brand launched a marketing campaign with the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback — “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything….”
❝ “Being a sports store and not having Nike jerseys is kind of like being a gas station without gas…”
Martin decided Sunday that his business couldn’t go on and started marking down goods 40 percent off. He estimated that it’ll take four weeks to liquidate all his inventory.
Martin says he feels good about his decision. No doubt. I can’t think of many bigots who didn’t feel justified in their racism, sexism, ethnic hatreds, whatever. Some few learn and reflect years later on their foolishness. Most don’t.
❝ The hat’s its own thing. It is imbued with a symbolism that’s divorced from complicated ideologies. The volumes it speaks aren’t about the thorny issues of immigration policy; they’re about Trump’s coarse blanket statement about “criminals and rapists.” It doesn’t represent a side of the continual battle waged over the bodily autonomy of women; it’s “grab ’em by the pussy.” It’s not connected to any piece of the important conversation about how to heal America’s racial divide, make peace with our shared past, and fight racism in the present while moving forward as a nation; it’s simply the voice saying “both sides” after Charlottesville.
❝ That red hat, emblazoned with the phrase “Make America Great Again” in white letters, isn’t a political statement anymore. It’s a declaration of intolerance that has taken on a life of its own. So when a few dozen smirking white kids wearing the hat have a confrontation with an Omaha elder at the Lincoln Memorial, the context added by viewing a preceding confrontation with a sect of the Hebrew Israelites becomes largely unimportant. The kids are wearing a symbol of hate. Not just a symbol of hate to adults involved in the political conversation, either. A symbol that has been linked to bullying in schools across the country.
There once was a nation that abused a symbol originated by Native Americans. Put it on their hats, their flag. In the spirit of nationalism, the supremacy of bigots. Lots of Americans died stopping the spirit that hat, that symbol, came to represent.
❝ A guest at a Portland hotel is alleging he was harassed by staff when he was asked to leave the property after taking a phone call in the hotel lobby late Saturday night.
Washington state resident Jermaine Massey was in the lobby of the Portland DoubleTree when a security guard informed him that police were on their way to escort him off the property.
❝ In a series of Instagram videos of the incident recorded by Massey and obtained by CNN, he is heard asking the guard, “But why? But I’m staying here.” “Not anymore,” the security guard replies…
❝ DoubleTree General Manager Paul Peralta issued a statement about the incident Wednesday, calling it, “unfortunate”…Massey accused the guard of “harassing” him, and in a statement provided to CNN by his attorneys, characterized the incident as “calling his mother while black.”
Every now and then I say to myself, “Self! I don’t believe there is any new and original way Americans might illustrate the racism so deeply rooted in this society? And, then, I am proven wrong.”
❝ Monumental shifts were occurring in America during the time that photographer Hugh Mangum was working in North Carolina and the Virginias. It was the height of the Jim Crow era, when the nation was starting to see laws separating whites from blacks. But as a businessman who needed to support his family, Mangum didn’t discriminate between clientele, therefore leaving behind an archive that tells a different story of the segregated South at the turn of the 20th century…
❝ Mangum, I learned, often used a Penny Picture Camera that was designed to allow multiple and distinct exposures on a single glass plate negative. This was ideal for creating inexpensive novelty pictures because it meant multiple subjects could be photographed on a single negative. The order of the images on a single glass plate mirrored the order in which Mangum’s diverse clientele rotated through the studio. Thus, the negatives reasonably represent a day’s work for this gregarious photographer.
❝ The vibrancy of black communities building new identities and creating futures in Durham and elsewhere is not lost on Mangum’s negatives. His black clients present themselves as lighthearted, resolute and everything in between. They bring their children to the studio to be photographed, an ode to the hope they have for the lives their sons and daughters will live. Though we don’t know the identity of most of Mangum’s sitters, it’s probable that many of the black men and women pictured were working publicly and privately to establish black agency, independence and community vitality.
All while the two old parties worked their abuse of Constitutional freedoms to rebuild the edifice of bigotry through Jim Crow laws. Methodology, dedication, sleaze and hypocrisy repeated in following decades to support US involvement in colonial wars, populist puppet shows and more.