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The Four Donald Trumps You Meet On Earth

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Donald Trump has said repugnant, insulting things about women—over and over and over again—for as long as he’s been in the public eye. He has called various women crazy, flat-chested, pigs. He refers to them as “pieces of ass.” He said pumping breast milk was “disgusting.”

“Women,” he told New York magazine in 1992. “You have to treat them like shit.”

Trump’s misogyny is shocking because it’s so brazen, but it’s infuriating because it’s so familiar. Chances are, if you’re a woman in 2016, you’ve heard it all before.

* * *

The first time you meet Donald Trump, he’s an older male relative who smells like cigarettes and asks when you are going to lose that weight. You’re nine years old. Your parents have to go out and buy a bottle of vodka for him before he arrives. His name is Dick. No, really, it is. At dinner one night, he explains to you that black people are dangerous. “If you turn around, they’ll put a knife in your back.” Except Bill Cosby. “He’s one of the good ones.” Turns out he’s wrong about Cosby and everything else, but the statute of limitations on Dick’s existence on Earth will run out before that information is widely available.

The next time you meet Donald Trump you’re in high school. You’re on the Academic Decathlon team because those are the kinds of extracurriculars a nerd like you gets down with. Model U.N., Thespians, Scholar Quiz, getting those good report cards with no boyfriends anywhere, girl! The teacher who’s volunteered to cover the Lit portion of the Decathlon is also the tennis coach, and he’s going over Ezra Pound’s poem, “Portrait d’une Femme,” with you and your teammates. He’s the first person who looks at you a certain way that will happen again and again for the rest of your life, as if he simultaneously can’t see you and would like to kill you. He tells you the woman in the poem is “clearly a prostitute;” which is very, very wrong.  You explain to him that this part…

Your mind and you are our Sargasso Sea,

     London has swept about you this score years

And bright ships left you this or that in fee:

     Ideas, old gossip, oddments of all things,

Strange spars of knowledge and dimmed wares of price.

…doesn’t mean that men literally pay her. Sure, she’s someone stuck in a time when she can have nothing of her own; someone who assembles her life from the odd bits she collects from others, choosing a catch-all existence over a suffocating marriage—made second-rate perhaps by her time, not by her self—but the “fee” doesn’t mean she is being paid for sex. He tells you that you just don’t get it. What he doesn’t get is that she’s a person. He is aging and bald and enjoys saying “whore” to a roomful of children. A few years later, he gets fired for having sex with a student. Him? Him. Of course him.

The next time you meet Donald Trump, he’s your boss. Well, he’s your boss’s boss. A vice president in marketing who seemingly literally cannot stop talking. He’s on his third wife, and that’ll be over in a few years. He can’t believe your mother is his age. He thinks you are friends. He asks you if you’ve changed your hair every time he sees you. Sometimes during meetings he’ll turn away and open a magazine while someone is presenting. One time he comes to a halt in the middle of his own sentence to stare at a woman’s boobs for somewhere from seven to 27 uncomfortable seconds. (It’s hard to gauge time accurately during a truly aggressive boob-stare.) When he finally gets fired years later, his HR file as fat as a pig knuckle, the rumor is he’s caught stealing his own office furniture on the weekend. They don’t even stop him. They just let him go. It’s like the building itself sighs with relief.

And then you get out of your more corporate job and become a television comedy writer on a good show, a show that keeps going. You go from staff writer to producer to co-executive producer in the space of seven years. You work with your sister, which is like a dream, and your co-workers are cool, and your boss is very, very cool. It’s almost as if the fact that you’re a woman doesn’t matter at all. At all. It’s like you finally escaped.

The Trumps are vanquished. They’re dead, or arrested, or fired, sobbing quietly into their stolen office furniture, wondering where it all went.

But then, it starts happening. The actual Trump—the real Donald Trump—starts making a bunch of noise about the birth certificate of a black man. It’s racist. It’s so racist. But it’s just background noise. Then he starts winning in the primaries. You say “no fucking way,” under your breath a lot when you read the headlines.

There he is, implying that people of color are dangerous, that women are whores, that you just don’t get it, opening a magazine while someone else is talking. There he is, all the worst people you ever had to meet, and tolerate, and fight, or at least ignore. There is the villain at the end of the horror movie rising up again with his knife and you are like: “This motherfucker again? No way, I’m tired.”

And it makes you deranged, like almost actually deranged. You engage his followers on Twitter for awhile and then decide to just tweet fart sounds at them because arguing with them is pointless. They think there is actually a discussion to be had about whether racism is okay.

You can’t believe these people and you can’t believe this guy, Donald Trump. It makes you insane to look at him, to see that look on his face that you’ve seen before when he talks about women who aren’t supermodels. When he talks about black people, or Mexicans, like he simultaneously can’t see them and wants to kill them.

And then you write a tweet about how Donald Trump is making you a loon because you’ve had to deal with him over and over again in your life, and someone from The Atlantic asks you to write a personal essay about it. You don’t write essays, you write fart jokes, but you give it a try. You write it in second person, which is a kind of writing that you are pretty sure people look down on, but screw it, you’re old now, and you’ve got money in the bank and kids and you are too tired to care what anybody thinks about your second-person narrative voice. “Who cares what readers of The Atlantic think about my second-person narrative voice,” you whisper to your cats, while secretly deeply caring.

Screw it because you aren’t that lady in that poem whom Ezra Pound can only see as a collecting bin for dribs and drabs left by men. You’ve got money and a job. You made yourself. All those other Trumps are dead, or fired, or pleaded no contest to the charge of sex with a minor, or all of the above. Because they are disasters. (Hell, even Ezra Pound wound up in an open-air cage because he was an anti-Semite and fascist sympathizer.)

Hillary’s still ahead in the polls and she looks like a comer. You bought a house in the Valley with your own dough where you found the exoskeleton of a praying mantis in the yard this morning and placed it in a Tupperware for safekeeping. An artifact, an old skin.

“There’s no one like him,” people say, “He’s unprecedented.” Maybe so, but I swear I’ve been dealing with this douchebag all my life, and let me tell you something: It doesn’t end well for him.

Because black people aren’t dangerous, and because their lives matter; because not every woman is a prostitute; and honestly because that furniture just isn’t yours, dude. The world is always watching, and you can’t get away with it forever. Go ahead and slip out of your skin into a different form. We’ll fight you again, then. Go ahead.

And by the way, Dick, if you’re reading this from Ghostville, I never lost that weight, Bill Cosby is an alleged serial rapist, and Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the United States.

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gcarothers
241 days ago
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Sebastopol, CA
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jhamill
237 days ago
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Fuck Donald Trump
California
glenn
241 days ago
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“There’s no one like him,” people say, “He’s unprecedented.” Maybe so, but I swear I’ve been dealing with this douchebag all my life, and let me tell you something: It doesn’t end well for him.
Waterloo, Canada

★ Melanie Ehrenkranz and Apple’s Response to Her Criticism Over the Paucity of Women Onstage at Last Week’s Event

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Melanie Ehrenkranz, writing at Mic, “Apple Responds to Diversity Criticism: ‘We Had a Canadian’ Onstage at iPhone 7 Event”:

On Friday, I published an article about the gender divide in Apple’s last two iPhone events. I pointed out that while Apple has been vocal about its commitment to diversity, this commitment is not evident in the company’s choice of keynote speakers and their stage time. On Wednesday, when Apple introduced the iPhone 7, women spoke for approximately eight minutes; men spoke for 99. Furthermore, most of the women and people of color who appeared onstage weren’t Apple representatives.

A 99-to-8 difference in stage time certainly isn’t something to be proud of, and it’s worth pointing out (and keeping track of). But last week’s ratio was so disparate not because the company didn’t pick enough women for speaking slots. Rather, it’s because the executives in charge of most of the products announced last week were men. Whoever is in charge is generally who presents. Jeff Williams runs Apple Watch. Phil Schiller, as head of product marketing, is going to present the iPhones. Jony Ive runs design.

Susan Prescott wasn’t chosen to present iWork collaboration because she’s a woman; she was chosen because she runs product marketing for iWork. Bozoma Bozama Saint John presented the Apple Music segment at the WWDC keynote because she runs marketing for Music and iTunes. Lisa Jackson was on stage in March to talk about Apple’s environmental efforts because she’s the vice president of environment, policy, and social initiatives. The people who present at Apple’s events have a real relationship/responsibility with the material they present.

So the problem is not that women are underrepresented as on stage speakers. The problem is that they are underrepresented in leadership positions. I would argue that it’s better — more honest — for Apple to allow its onstage diversity to accurately reflect its actual leadership diversity. If Apple simply put more women and people of color on stage, it would be a token gesture. If Apple puts more women and people of color on this page, more of them will appear on stage as a result.

Ahead of publication, I emailed Apple for comment twice, with no reply. After the story was published, an Apple public relations spokesperson sent me an email, saying “we may have different interpretations of diversity.” As evidence of this diversity, he pointed to “two African-Americans” who spoke at the keynote, neither of whom are actually employed by Apple. He also mentioned “a Canadian, and a British woman.”

The Apple spokesperson began the email with the words “off the record,” a condition Mic did not agree to before the statement was delivered. Apple’s PR team should be advised that off-the-record statements are “prearranged agreements” whose conditions are decided on beforehand — a longstanding rule of ethical journalism. A source’s request to speak off the record must be approved by the reporter before the off-the-record information is shared. (This is spelled out in detail in the Ethics, Law & Good Practice section of the NYU Journalism Handbook for Students, which notes that “it is essential that the reporter and source agree on a definition before beginning an ‘off the record’ portion of an interview.”)

Abiding by standard journalism practice as well as Mic’s editorial standards, the email is, in fact, on the record. We’ve published it below.

Publishing this email may well be technically within the letter of the accepted rules of journalism. But it strikes me as a dick move, unless the email contains something newsworthy enough to warrant it — and this email did not. Sending the email beginning with “Off the record” and then including the message is based on an assumption of courtesy and trust. What this Apple PR rep1 could have done is first email with “Off the record?”, wait for Ehrenkranz to reply, and if she agreed, send the actual message.

But here’s the thing: I think the email from Apple is quite reasonable. It’s not great, and should have been much better, but publishing the full email makes Ehrenkranz look like a sensationalist jerk far more than it makes Apple look indifferent to the company’s diversity issues.

Apple’s rep wrote:

“There was a lot of diversity on that stage that you don’t recognize. Unrecognized by you was the fact that we had a gay man, two African-Americans (Instagram and Nike), a Canadian, and a British woman, Hannah Catmur.”

From that, Ehrenkranz and Mic.com chose to run the headline: “Apple Responds to Diversity Criticism: ‘We Had a Canadian’ Onstage at iPhone 7 Event”. As I’ve written recently, headlines matter. This headline is egregious.

No reasonable person could say that Mic’s headline is an accurate categorization of Apple’s response. Even worse, the quoted text in the headline — “We Had a Canadian” — is not an actual quote from the email.2 Even if you disagree with Apple’s response — it should have been handled much better than it was — it’s clickbait journalism at its worst to imply that Apple’s response to criticism that there weren’t enough women on stage was, quote, “We had a Canadian”. It’s not merely grossly inaccurate, it’s implying utter callousness regarding a serious issue.

The first thing Apple’s rep actually said after “We had a” was “gay man”. The paucity of women and people of color in Apple’s leadership are real problems. But it’s like it doesn’t even count that Tim Cook, proudly and openly gay, is the primary face of the company.


  1. It’s completely unclear to me why Ehrenkranz felt free to publish the entire email but omitted the rep’s name. ↩︎

  2. They could have gone with “We had … a Canadian” and technically argued that it was a legitimate edited quote, but it still would have been a grossly inaccurate truncation of the response. And given all of Ehrenkranz’s insistence that NYU’s Journalism Handbook for Students allow for the publication of the email, despite the request that it be “off the record”, that same rulebook makes clear that diddling with a quotation is verboten↩︎︎ response.” ↩︎︎

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gcarothers
254 days ago
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The grid of middle aged white men is still an issue
Sebastopol, CA
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leonick
253 days ago
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The irony of citing an ethics handbook to publish an email while presenting something that wasn't ever said as a quote. I didn't check the handbook but surely there's a chapter on quoting?
Sweden
rtreborb
253 days ago
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Journalistic ethics FTL
jhamill
254 days ago
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I really dislike the "it's not what you said, it's how you said it" argument when responding to someone.

I like your protest but, you're not protesting right. I like your opinion but, you didn't state it right.

The presumption is not that a person agrees/disagrees with the point but, rather the person doesn't accept the point because it wasn't presented in a way the person wanted it presented.
California

Apple Drops ‘Store’ From Apple Store Branding

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Juli Clover, reporting for MacRumors:

Apple appears to be making a slight branding change to its retail business, dropping the “Store” moniker when referring to its Apple Store locations. Apple has already made the change online, and all of its store pages now refer to stores by names like “Apple Union Square” or “Apple Valley Fair” or “Apple The Grove,” instead of “Apple Store, Valley Fair” or “Apple Store, The Grove.”

It’s a change that appears to have started rolling out with the launch of the newer Apple Stores, like the Union Square location in San Francisco. Apple has always referred to that store as just Apple Union Square, and over the course of the last few days, the company has updated all of its retail store webpages to remove the “Store” branding. What was once “Apple Store, Fifth Avenue,” for example, is now just “Apple Fifth Avenue.”

The “Store” branding only made sense when the concept was novel. Now that Apple’s stores are well established, it makes sense to drop the “Store”. Think about the brands that are Apple’s peers in retail. No one goes to the Tiffany Store or Gucci Store, they just go to Tiffany or Gucci. It’s not even just a premium thing — you say Target and Walmart, not Target Store and Walmart Store.

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gcarothers
278 days ago
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Biggest deal for employees. They no longer work for an Apple Store but just for Apple which sounds small but changes the feeling a lot
Sebastopol, CA
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Police and Me and Philando Castile

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Here’s the thing: I’ve been pulled over by the police before, mostly because I’m speeding, but at least once because of a broken tail light. When I’m speeding, I usually know that I’ve been speeding, so when the police officer asks me if I know why I was pulled over, I say “probably because I was speeding. You caught me, write me up.” I do it because I know there’s a good chance he’ll be so tickled by me not even trying to evade the ticket that he’ll just let me off with a warning. One time I was speeding on the freeway, and when the cop pulled me over, I asked if I could speak to him outside the car. He allowed me to get out of the car, and when he did, I leaned in close and said, “the people with me in the car have not stopped arguing since I picked them up. I need a break from them. Write me up, and please, take a long time doing it.” The cop laughed, didn’t write me up, and chatted with me for about five minutes to give me breathing space from the squabbling in the car.

I have never once been afraid of being pulled over by the cops in my car. I have never once been afraid of the cops when they have approached me for anything. It does not occur to me to be afraid of the cops. Why would it? When I have been pulled over by the cops, the worst that will happen to me is that I will be cited for speeding — which is, when it happens, an entirely fair call on the part of the cop, because I usually was speeding. I have literally been pulled over by the cops with an actual skinhead neo-Nazi in my car — and there’s a story for you, long and complicated, and mostly aside from the point at the moment so I’ll skip it for now — and the neo-Nazi was literally biting his tongue so he wouldn’t scream fuck yooooooou, PIIIIIIIIG at the cop at the top of his lungs. I sat there and chatted with the cop about me speeding, and he let me off with a warning and I went on my way, neo-Nazi with bulging neck veins apoplectic in the passenger seat beside me.

So I repeat: I have never once been afraid of being pulled over by the cops in my car. I have never once been afraid of the cops when they have approached me for anything. It does not occur to me to be afraid of the cops.

Nor, I rather strongly suspect, does it occur to anyone who looks like me — white, male, visibly part of the mainstream of American culture — to be afraid of the cops. The only time we are afraid of the cops is when, say, we’ve got a dime bag and the car smells of skunkweed. Or when in fact we’ve had more to drink than we should have. Or we have that unlicensed gun poking out from underneath the passenger seat. Basically, when we are doing something that’s against the law, and we can get in trouble for it, and the cop would be perfectly within their rights to take us to jail for it.

This is why, I suspect, when so many people who look like me, white and/or male, and visibly part of the mainstream of American culture, hear about a black person being gunned down by a cop, in their car or out of it, immediately go to “well, what did they do to deserve it?” Because, in the somewhat unlikely event of one of us being arrested by a cop, much less gunned down by one, we know damn well that dude did something stupid to warrant the cop taking that action. My own lived experience of 47 years, and the lived experience of nearly every other person who looks like me that I know, confirms that fact. I’m not going to get stick from a cop unless I did something to get that stick.

Now, here’s what I know so far about Philando Castile, which is what anyone at this point knows: This 32-year-old guy who worked at an elementary school and who had no police record* record was, with his girlfriend, pulled over for a broken tail light, and was in the act of complying with police instructions and volunteered information to the police officer that he had a gun, which he was licensed to carry, when the police officer shot him. It’s not a huge stretch of the imagination to suppose that the reason Castile told the police officer he had a firearm was so the officer wouldn’t see it, panic, and shoot him. But it didn’t matter, and he was shot anyway, and died. He died, by all indications, despite doing exactly what he was supposed to do — complying with police instructions, and doing what he could to defray any potential problems.

I have been pulled over by the police. I have had a broken tail light. I have complied with police instructions. And while I don’t travel with a firearm in my car on most days, if I had one in the car and was pulled over, you’re damn right I’d let the cop know about it, especially if it was on my person. Why wouldn’t I? I don’t want to give the cop any surprises. And I am just about 99.9% certain, in that situation, if I were doing all those things, I wouldn’t suddenly find myself shot, dying in that car.

But then, I’m white, and Philando Castile wasn’t.

I posted this tweet last night, about the announcement that Philando Castile had died:

And the first comment was from a guy just like me, white, middle-aged, clearly in the mainstream, who responded, “Jumping to conclusions again, John? Maybe we need more time on this one. Guy said he had a gun and reached inside his coat.”

Leaving aside the data point that according Diamond Reynolds, her boyfriend was reaching for his wallet in compliance with officer instructions, and leaving aside the data point that she maintains that Castile was informing the police officer about the gun so he would know it was there and presumably not be alarmed by it, all I said was one simple word: “Jesus.” Shock that Philando Castile died. Nothing else — I didn’t comment on whether I thought the shooting was justified or not. I didn’t comment on the color of Castile or of the police officer. I didn’t make a statement on who was at fault, or of my general feelings about police, or of anything else. Just, “Jesus.”

And the first comment, from a white, middle-aged, mainstream dude, is reaching for a rationalization for the cop for shooting Philando Castile.

The most charitable explanation I can give for that fellow is what I mentioned above: For him, and for me, and for the folks who look like us, the only way we’d get shot is if we were doing something that would get us shot.

But I also know, with high levels of certainty, that someone who looks like me merely informing a cop that we have a gun would be unlikely to get us shot. I mean, hell. Aside from anything else I’ve mentioned here, I live in rural America. You think a non-trivial percentage of people here don’t have guns on them? Even when they’re pulled over by cops? It’s also worth noting, as I say the above, that the racial composition of my county is 98% white. If my neighbors or I get pulled over and inform a cop, in the process of complying with their instructions, that we have guns, we’re very likely to live. Not everyone can say the same.

I’m not saying the fellow who made the comment to my tweet is racist. He’s probably not, any more than I am. But we live in a racist society, and some of that racism gets exhibited in how our police forces deal with us. I have a very different experience of the police than my friends and fellow citizens who don’t look like me. It’s an experience different enough that while I understand intellectually that there are people who are afraid of the police, just as a default setting, and it’s something I see again and again as minority friends of mine vent and rage on social media, I still can’t feel it. I am not afraid of the police. I never have been. I have never had to be. I probably will never have to be. That doesn’t mean that my friends are wrong.

The police officer who shot Philando Castile wouldn’t have known that Castile had no police record, worked in a school and was by all indications well-liked in his community but even that is placing the burden of exculpation on the man who got shot. In the same situation, pulled over with the same broken tail light, telling the cop the same things, with the cop knowing exactly about me as he did about Castile, I still don’t get shot. Of that I feel certain. Nor should I be. Why should I be? Even if you hate the idea of people being able to conceal carry weapons, if someone is following the law, they shouldn’t be shot for carrying that weapon.

The cop made a threat assessment and decided to shoot. A man is dead for it, one who, by all indications, complied with the officer’s instructions and acted to keep the officer aware of his situation, so there would be no surprises. And I know that because the man is dead by the cop’s hand (and by his weapon), there will be people, many of whom will look like me, who will look to find fault with Philando Castile, with what he did or said, something, anything, to justify the shooting. And it’s possible that what we know now is not the complete story, and that Castile did do something, anything, that made the cop in question shoot to kill.

But, two things here. First: would that something, anything, be enough to kill me, if I did it? I would like to bluntly and rather racistly suggest that the standard for policing in this country not be how the police treat black men, but how they treat white men, and specifically, white men like me, me who has no fear of police because he has never had cause to fear the police, and never been made by the police to fear them. By all indications, there was no reason for this police officer to fear Philando Castile any more than he would have to fear me. We know this now. But in the moment, I suggest in the same situation, I would still be alive where Castile is dead, and we need to ask why. The officer who shot Castile may not be racist any more than I or the fellow who commented back to me on Twitter likely is. But we live in a racist society, and the ambient racism steeps into each of us whether we acknowledge it or not.

Second: If you’re one of the folks looking for something, anything to excuse the shooting of Philando Castile, as a matter of intellectual honesty you should consider the possibility that you’re wrong, and that Castile, in fact, did nothing to warrant his death, and that the officer shot him, needlessly. And when you entertain that notion, you should also ask yourself why Castile is dead anyway. If your answer to that question is entirely devoid of anything having to do with the fact that Philando Castile was a black man, you should probably try again.

I am not afraid of the cops. Never have been. Probably will never have to be. That is a luxury and privilege not everyone gets to have. I’m glad I have it. I want more people to have it, too. We’re not there yet. We can’t pretend we are.

* Update: 3:46pm: NBC News is reporting Castile was pulled over numerous times since 2002 for various traffic violations, including speeding and driving without a muffler. They note: “All were for misdemeanors and none were for violent crimes.” Another NBC-affiliated reporter pipes in re: the traffic violations:



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gcarothers
321 days ago
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Sebastopol, CA
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Courtney
317 days ago
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...dude, WHY ARE YOU NOT AFRAID OF THE COPS YET, SINCE THEY KEEP MURDERING PEOPLE?!?!

That is seriously my take-away here. How narrowly do you have to keep your fucking worldview to not feel things just because they're not literally happening to you right now? "Well I'm not black so I'm not afraid." UM.
Portland, OR
tfisher
316 days ago
Exactly what I was thinking. I'm quite afraid of cops these days, and I'm white. Is my thinking wrong?
dukeofwulf
315 days ago
tfisher, yes. Wikipedia says in 2008 there were 880,000 police in the US with arrest powers (as opposed to staff). Assume a single in-person interaction with a citizen per day (though it really may be more like 50+) and that's a VAST majority of interactions that go without incident. And besides acknowledging nods, it's probably been a decade since my last interaction with on-duty police. It only takes once, obviously, but chance is on your side if you're not the sort of person who is constantly around the police. Just to clarify, I'm not condoning police behavior of late... but fear and mistrust will only make matters worse.
dukeofwulf
320 days ago
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Takeaway quote: "...that the standard for policing in this country not be how the police treat black men, but how they treat white men, and specifically, white men like me, me who has no fear of police because he has never had cause to fear the police, and never been made by the police to fear them."
jhamill
321 days ago
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Cosign. Agreed. The culture we live in needs to change.
California

How discrimination feels

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I posted a short video earlier today featuring Jane Elliott. She's a noted anti-racism activist famous for her blue eyes/brown eyes exercise, featured in the video above.

White people's number one freedom in the United States of America is the freedom to be totally ignorant about those who are other than white. And our number two freedom is the freedom to deny that we're ignorant.

In the exercise, Elliott divides the class into two groups based on their eye color: those with blue eyes and those with brown eyes. The brown eyed group is instructed to treat the blue eyed group as inferior because of their eye color -- they are to be called "bluey" or "boy" or "honey" but not by their names.

At the beginning of the session (which starts at about 1:30 (but don't skip the intro!)), Elliott calls herself "the resident bitch for the day" and does she mean it...she does not let up because, as she says in the video, society doesn't let up on people of color either. (via @dunstan)

Tags: Jane Elliott   racism   video
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gcarothers
321 days ago
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Sebastopol, CA
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Nest’s Time at Alphabet: A ‘Virtually Unlimited Budget’ With No Results

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Ron Amadeo, writing for Ars Technica:

It’s hard to argue with the decision to “transition” Fadell away from Nest. When Google bought Nest in January 2014, the expectation was that a big infusion of Google’s resources and money would supercharge Nest. Nest grew from 280 employees around the time of the Google acquisition to 1200 employees today. In Nest’s first year as “a Google company,” it used Google’s resources to acquire webcam maker Dropcam for $555 million, and it paid an unknown amount for the smart home hub company Revolv. Duffy said Nest was given a “virtually unlimited budget” inside Alphabet. Nest eventually transitioned to an Alphabet company, just like Google.

In return for all this investment, Nest delivered very little. The Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Protect smoke detector both existed before the Google acquisition, and both received minor upgrades under Google’s (and later Alphabet’s) wing. A year after buying Dropcam, Nest released the Nest Cam, which was basically a rebranded Dropcam. Two-and-a-half years under Google/Alphabet, a quadrupling of the employee headcount, and half-a-billion dollars in acquisitions yielded minor yearly updates and a rebranded device. That’s all.

Whatever you want to say about Tony Fadell’s leadership style, I don’t see how anyone could deny that Nest has nothing to show for its time as an Alphabet subsidiary. It’s not even like they launched stuff that failed. They’re still the same thermostat/smoke detector company they were before Google bought them. Kind of bizarre, really.

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gcarothers
352 days ago
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Sadly not true. They did manage to kill off the only working smart home hub. 😟
Sebastopol, CA
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