Category History and Politics

What is “Oppression Olympics?”

It would be hard to improve on Michael Parenti’s little 3-minute talk (which ends with a hilarious joke most of us can really identify with). The clip centers on sexual and gender identity, but I’ve always found that  some of the most shameless practitioners of “oppression olympics” are conservative white people. The “Irish Slaves” hoax […]

I guess this is the kind of person we should be naming buildings after

My elementary school wasn’t named after a President, a slave owner, or even a Union Army general. It was named after a Red Cross nurse who treated soldiers in France in World War I and came home to treat people during the pandemic of 1918. Supposedly it was considered unusual back then to name a […]

Are we really debating the French Revolution in 2020?

So first the loathsome neoconservative Senator Lindsay Graham hilariously compares Jamaal Bowman and Charles Booker to the leaders of the French Revolution. Then some editor at the New York Times, correctly, points out that the French Revolution is the only reason why we have democracy in Europe and North America. Then he immediately gets spammed […]

Teddy Roosevelt was a Nazi

You learn something new every day. I’ve read two fat biographies of Teddy Roosevelt, where I did learn that his daughter, Alice Longworth Roosevelt, was a noted wit and a master at pithy one liners, but I did not learn that he wrote approvingly of the Sand Creek Massacre in Colorado. That same year Roosevelt […]

What Color was Jesus?

I have to give props to the establishment. They’ve managed to divert some of the most militant protests in recent history away from the subject of police brutality to a futile debate about statues. Personally, I was in favor of tearing down Confederate monuments, mostly because they were put up to intimidate blacks in the […]

Why Ulysses Grant Matters

The anarchists who destroyed the statue of Ulysses Grant in Golden Gate Park have a long list of grievances against the 18th President of the United States. He was a slave owner. Actually he inherited one slave from his wife’s family who he quickly freed, even though he was in dire need of money at […]

Ulysses Grant is Cancelled

I personally don’t have a problem with the idea of tearing down statues of Ulysses Grant. He was a shitty, corrupt President. He was antisemitic. He helped carry out the genocide of the Plains Indians. But I do have an issue with the idea that Grant was indistinguishable from the slave power. It’s actually “Lost […]

Angela Davis endorses Biden (sort of)

The first time I voted was in 1984. Coming from a liberal Democratic family I dutifully pulled the level for Mondale/Ferraro. For you millennials, Geraldine Ferraro was Amy Klobuchar before Amy Klobuchar was Amy Klobuchar with the major difference being that she actually got the Vice Presidential nomination. I always laugh when some feminist accuses […]

Vladimir Putin’s take on the Origins of World War II

There’s a lot to digest here. I don’t agree with all of it but it’s necessary reading, if only to balance out way the contributions of the Soviet Union towards defeating the Nazis have been erased in the western historical imagination. The Soviet Union and the Red Army, no matter what anyone is trying to […]

What destroying history really looks like

There’s been a lot of talk about how Black Lives Matter activists defacing statues of Columbus or Robert E. Lee is an attack on history. It’s not. The statues themselves are an attack on history. Even in his own time, Christopher Columbus was widely considered a genocidal criminal. Bartolomé de las Casas, for example, a […]