It's going to be a rainy week here in the Northeast, so I've selected some readings from over the past month on race and racist policy to tide us over.
First up is The Intercept's profile of Julia Hahn, White house aide, purveyor of racist articles at Breitbart, and former liberal high school student. Peter Maas explains how she changed.
People don’t like to be told what to think, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that an atmosphere of doctrinaire liberalism might produce reactionaries who delight in defying the dogmas that seemed so repressive when they were growing up.
Continuing on the same theme is The Atlantic's interview with of alt-right leader Richard Spencer, written by former classmate Graeme Wood.
Spencer walked over, carrying a freshly pressed espresso, and said hello. He dresses nattily and today wore a patterned shirt, a wool vest, and a sport coat. He looked like the scion of a Montana banking family, dressed up and ready to film a commercial in a log cabin, assuring local ranchers that their deposits would be safe with him. Only the Reich-evoking fascist-chic (“fashy”) haircut would have been out of place.
At Viewpoint, R.L. Stephens discusses Ta-Nehisi Coates' fetishizing of racism.
For the better part of two years, Ta-Nehisi Coates has been the most visible and combative supporter of reparations in politics. Coates calls reparations “the indispensable tool against white supremacy.” In 2016’s “My President Was Black” and “Better Is Good,” Coates refers to the “moral logic” of reparations. They are a measure that could atone for what he called in 2014’s “The Case for Reparations,” the “sin of national plunder.” There he claimed that the nation owes a “moral debt” that must be remedied by the “spiritual renewal” that reparations would facilitate. Reparations for slavery is Coates’s ontological pivot fully realized.
At Paste, I discuss the Trump administration's successes in achieving its goals on immigration— a less than ideal achievement.
A deportation regime like the one Trump is describing is not going to have the time or the energy to bother with checking its work. In Trump’s mind, the rule of law doesn’t come into play for this group of people. There’s no opportunity for those being deported to contest their ejection from the country. They’re just rounded up, tossed in a van, and shipped out.
Sam Knight writes at The District Sentinel that U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein is assisting the GOP with their attempts to pass truly draconian legislation.
Earlier this month, fifteen Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee decried the proposal for seeking to carve out broad arrest powers for federal probation officers.
They said “vague terms, such as ‘opposed’ and ‘interfered’” would lead to Fourth Amendment violations by allowing probation officers “to arrest individuals who are merely uncooperative.”
Probation officers can currently only arrest those they are supervising, and only when they have probable cause to believe the terms of release have been violated.
Finally, The Guardian's Julie Carrie Wong reports on disturbing labor practices at Elon Musk's Tesla factory in California. It's not all automated.
Tesla sits at the juncture between a tech startup, untethered from the rules of the old economy, and a manufacturer that needs to produce physical goods. Nowhere is that contradiction more apparent than at the Tesla factory, where Musk’s bombastic projection that his company will make 500,000 cars in 2018 (a 495% increase from 2016) relies as much on the sweat and muscle of thousands of human workers as it does on futuristic robots.
Enjoy the week!