Recently at The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: Can We Please Use the Word “Women”?
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LAWRENCE EPPARD AND ERIK NELSON: Race and Place: How Community Disparities Affect Inequality.
Racial inequality in the United States cannot be understood—let alone meaningfully addressed—without grappling with this fact: Decades after the end of Jim Crow, American neighborhoods remain highly segregated and the disparities among communities are perpetuated across generations. The characteristics of a child’s community—especially during his or her earliest years—have a major role in shaping that child’s life chances. The fact that black and white children are raised in such different neighborhoods is both a cause and an effect of racial inequality.
In recent years, journalists, historians, and commentators have slowly begun to pay more attention to the ways in which “the concentration of poverty has been paired with a concentration of melanin,” as Ta-Nehisi Coates put it in his 2014 Atlantic article that brought national attention to neighborhood “redlining” practices. And social scientists have offered a significant amount of data to make this complicated issue more comprehensible.
Everything would be different if Mike Pence had not counted the votes. He showed courage and faced real potential physical danger. Plus, Biden on Kimmel, Jared & Ivanka’s reputation laundering, and Abbott’s flip-flop on guns. Karen Tumulty joins Charlie Sykes on today’s podcast.
On this week’s episode of The Bulwark Goes to Hollywood, Sonny talks to the CEO of Creative Future, Ruth Vitale, about the costs of piracy.
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ABIGAIL R. ESMAN: American Guns, American Rage.
In the 1990s, psychologists Richard Nisbett and Dov Cohen determined that a large swath of the United States—and particularly the South—maintains an honor culture that shapes the behaviors and ideologies of most of those who live there. Shame, dishonor, or—above all—humiliation in such cultures are not merely painful: They are not to be tolerated. They are to be avenged. The basic pattern is consistent across global and historical contexts where honor cultures predominate; and always, as Nisbett and Cohen noted, violence is understood as a legitimate response to lost honor.
This dynamic is apparent in the return of unconcealed white supremacy in the United States. As minority communities grow and white Americans lose their demographic dominance, their perceived loss of power borders on profound humiliation. For some, the election of a black president was a signal insult; for others, having to be supervised by a black man, or a Latino man, or even a woman, wounds their pride; for still others, it’s the decline of economic prospects that feels like an insult, an affront.
But now honor culture in America is no longer just a Southern phenomenon. Social media has created a world where one’s very value—to oneself as well as others—is measured out in likes and followers. Betrayals of confidence are cruel and widespread. As David Brooks noted in 2016, “The world of Facebook, Instagram and the rest is a world of constant display and observation. The desire to be embraced and praised by the community is intense. People dread being exiled and condemned. Moral life is not built on the continuum of right and wrong; it’s built on the continuum of inclusion and exclusion.” The need for flattery and acceptance is deep and boundless and aching.
So, too, is the shame.
How sanctions are changing the Russian car market… No airbags?!
How to watch tonight. I was asked this on a podcast yesterday, and I elaborated a bit on my worry about "making” it for TV. That has a huge risk of backfiring, but alas, we’re not readers anymore.
Keep in mind: You may not be the intended audience. It may ring flat to you. If you’re reading this right now, I guarantee you are probably more read-in on all of the 1/6 stuff than most viewers. But what I’m watching for is how Thompson and Cheney coordinate, or don’t. Will it flow? Will it be awkward?
Given the constraints of reality, I’ve long been worried about how how this important work might be misrepresented, or perhaps underexplained, if rushed. After these prime time hearings, there are only a few months before the elections this fall. And this committee has acted more like a Supreme Court than it has a Pelosi-controlled political hit squad, which is what some on the right would have you believe it is. But people can get easily confused if you throw too much stuff at them. I just hope they don’t do that.
I’ve long believed that the audience for the 1/6 committee is mostly the never-Trump right and independents. Some, whom I’d call Biden-Youngkin voters, are still on the fence. Really, the best thing the 1/6 committee can do is remind voters:
who did what / who excused what
who promised what / what they delivered.
I do also worry there is some Trump fatigue among news consumers. We could learn that the Trump NSC was actually run by graduates of the Men Who Stare at Goats school and conclude, oh, well, those were just wild times.
The obvious plea to the media is: don’t blow this. The next 72 hours are going to be a digital D-Day of new clips, texts, emails, etc. This is not impeachment 3.0. Take some time before concocting a semi-plausible theory that will disappear into the ether in 15 hours.
How Buffalonian are you? An obvious missed opportunity for local media outlets to let their readers compare themselves to local gadfly Carl Paladino.
Calling an editor here… We need an editor.
Mona Charen reflects… On guns, Jan. 6, at Connors Forum.
Uvalde is getting worse… And we’re gonna hear more.
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