Thought Crimes

Continuing correspondance …

I don’t really have the energy to get outraged over the rushed nomination to RBG, the idolation of whom is typical of the current state of “liberal” culture. Make that liberal “culture”.

Hypocrisy, such as McConnell’s, is the name of the political game. Did anyone think Trump wouldn’t rush to appoint? But hypocrisy of the ones justifies, in my opinion, the hypocrisy of the others. The GOP will prevail on this Scotus nomination but what will be their eventual cost?  I personally hope that revenge will be sought and obtained — a somewhat different wish than yours for eventual balance and restraint. I don’t know if the Dems will prevail in the White House or the Senate. But all gloves are off, and should be.

For the record, you know already, that I am radically pro-choice, but I am also increasingly anti-woke. Another recent tweet of mine: “How many racists can dance on the the head of a pin?” A turn of thought a little too complex for Twitter, I admit. The Woke Ones probably didn’t get my point.

John remarked in a tweet that he had felt the help of that beer. I think the recording session took place late in the afternoon, so cocktail hour. I remember his personal taste as being more inclined to chardonnay.

Interesting about the Le Monde magazine piece, alas only a snipet available this side of the firewall, though easy to imagine backhanded French dédain therein expressed:

Orwellian dimensions to what is going on, including at Princeton (the nominal home of that imperialist, racist pig Woodrow Wilson). Turns out that some animals are more equal than others. And what people are being charged with is what we used to call “thought-crimes”.

All of this is further proof to me of the incipient chaos of a disintegrating empire, one which will take many down with it. I am even beginning to want to live long enough to see more well-deserved damage on the US body politick. Let the chickens come home, I say, transitioning from Boomer to Doomer.



Memories of a Segregated Youth in Houston 1

My Uncle Jack worked his entire adult life at the Sinclair Refinery on Lawndale Road in the East End of Houston. He was a member and strong supporter of the union, the OCAW (Oil, Chemical and Atomic). He got the job in the early 50s because of his mother, my Granny. She was a single mom during the depression and worked as a secretary-clerk at the refinery. This is what we would now call nepotism. It was also union policy.

On more than one occasion we went to the annual family picnic Sinclair put on at a park nearby there, can’t remember the name or locate it on Goggle Earth. It was, like all the public events of my youth, without Blacks. I was vaguely aware that there was a separate Black picnic. Wasn’t called that, the exact appellation depending on how polite you wanted to be. But I didn’t think too much of it until I worked at the refinery during its summer work project during the summer of 1965. Relatives of union men were hired at what were serious wages for the time, replacing the men who would leave for summer vacation. It was a nontaxable benefit which helped families out. Nepotism again, and I was in fact a nepos, a nephew. But because for various reasons I was last and lowest on the list for that summer I ended up in the least attractive jobs, which meant that I was assigned to railroad crews, boxcars, and during shut-downs and turn-arounds, to the hard cleaning of boilers and tanks. Which meant that I was usually the only white on those work teams. 

This was an educational experience in various ways. 

After Friday paycheck on one occasion I went out drinking with my co-workers, the fresh bottle of cheap bourbon shared out in paper cups. I remember we were driving down Lawndale one evening when they told me to duck down out of sight in the backseat, cup in hand, since they were afraid of some Rednecks who would not take kindly to seeing a long-haired, (even scraggly) bearded white boy with Blacks. 

In fact, someone must have, since the next week I was threatened by a kind of gang or mob for hanging out too much with the N’s. They said they were going to hold me down and “shave off” my beard with pocketknives and grabbed me and did hold me down, but didn’t perform the cut in question. 

When Uncle Jack heard about this, he threw his weight around as union man and the taunting stopped. But the experience was a turning point. I had already inuited that I was going to go to Canada and this, along with an similar experience in 1968 on the NATO base near Leghorn, Italy, where I had been called from Africa for my draft physical, was an annealing event.

Because of my lowly status that summer and I also met and drank after work with Lousiana-born Black Creoles, whose French is related to Haitian creole (in which I am a published scholar — for fun see Creole as opposed to Cajun, whose French derives from Acadia. Now that was a special gas, since I was on my way to France at the end of that summer and they loved hearing me speaking French French, such as I could at that time. As I loved hearing them. It was a pivotal moment in my academic orientation, though I didn’t know it at that time. 

Critical Race Theory Is a Hammer Looking for Nails.

In a racist society a racialized response to racism is to he expected. It will not, alas, bring an end to racism, rather reinforce it.

Critical race theory is an ideology in most senses of the word. But to attempt to personally exonerate (“white”) racism by allowing that it is not attitudinal rather systemic is vain. How can anything be systemic without involving attitudes?

Critical race theory is a hammer looking for nails. There are plenty of nails around, so no need to go turning every little nub into one.

Awareness of racism is but one tool among others, because, to adopt another piece of jargon, race is one among many intersections of the wider problem of class, caste and gender inequality.


Malheureusement, les idées de Foucault & Derrida (disons de #biopolitique & #deconstruction) se sont échappées en anglais pour devenir virulentes. Comme si le milieux français, où les abstractions prolifèrent, conférait une immunité contre la prise d’idées trop au sérieux [Tweeted on geogeoplots] 

Readings on Black Literature

Following up on the BLM moment, I read in and around the topic, starting with  Jeffery Stewart’s The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke, Paul Beatty’s Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor and his novel The Sellout.


Likewise, Black US literature is US literature and has followed a course roughly analogous to “mainstream” US literature. From the 20th century on entire literary culture has evolved  from aspiring modernism to a state of facile identitarian subjectivism..


George Schuyler’s 1929 Racial Inter-Marriage in the United States, called for solving the US race problem through interracial marriage, then known by the odious term of “miscegenation”, which was illegal in many states until a 1967 SCOTUS decision


In The Walls of Jericho, the first novel by Rudolph Fisher, the lawyer Ralph Merritt buys a house in a white neighborhood bordering Harlem. In their reactions to Merritt and to one another, Fisher’s characters—including the prejudiced Miss Cramp, who “takes on causes the way sticky tape picks up lint.”

In 1929, Schuyler’s pamphlet Racial Inter-Marriage in the United States called for solving the country’s race problem through miscegenation, which was then illegal in most states.

He also published the highly controversial book Slaves Today: A Story of Liberia, a novel about the slave trade created by former American slaves who settled Liberia in the 1820s.

In early 2020, The New Group (

announced it was developing a musical adaptation of Black No More directed by Scott Elliott with a book by John Ridley and choreography by Bill T. Jones. Rapper Black Thought is contributing music and lyrics and will appear in the production, originally scheduled to premiere in October 2020.

John McWhorter’s old piece on reparations: