A better world than this is possible
June 27, 2020 4:26 AM   Subscribe

The Republican Choice - "How a party spent decades making itself white."

"The GOP is a white party advocating for white (rural & suburban) interests. It did not become that way accidentally: it was the result of a long series of deliberate, shameful choices."[1,2] --@drvox
The political wisdom is ingrained at this point: Black and brown people don’t vote for Republicans. From that principle flows all manner of Republican strategy... The GOP’s whitewashed political reality is no accident — the party has repeatedly chosen to pursue white voters at the cost of others decade after decade. Since the mid-20th century, the Republican Party has flirted with both the morality of greater racial inclusion and its strategic benefits. But time and again, the party’s appeals to white voters have overridden voices calling for a more racially diverse coalition, and Republicans’ relative indifference to the interests of voters of color evolved into outright antagonism.
Racism Is the Biggest Reason the U.S. Safety Net Is So Weak - "Harvard economist Alberto Alesina, who died last [month], found that ethnic divisions made the country less effective at providing public goods."
“Opponents of redistribution in the United States have regularly used race-based rhetoric to resist left-wing policies... Within the United States, race is the single most important predictor of support for welfare. America’s troubled race relations are clearly a major reason for the absence of an American welfare state.”


To some, this might seem like a confirmation of right-wing ideas that diversity is bad for a country. But although it might help explain the success of homogenous countries such as Sweden and South Korea, Alesina’s theory is much more subtle than it might appear. As he explained in a 2003 paper, the key isn't how similar the inhabitants of a country might appear on paper, but how much they see themselves as one people; fractionalization is in the mind, rather than in the genes. That implies that the way forward for the U.S. and other diverse countries, to become more equal and prosperous, is to de-emphasize racial and ethnic divisions and promote a shared identity.
Beyond 'White Fragility' - "If you want to let freedom ring, hammer on economic injustice." (via)
Which brings us back to the present. The activists behind the Black Lives Matter movement have always connected its aims to working-class, egalitarian politics. The platform of the Movement for Black Lives, as it is formally known, includes demands for universal health care, affordable housing, living wage employment and access to education and public transportation. Given the extent to which class shapes black exposure to police violence — it is poor and working class black Americans who are most likely to live in neighborhoods marked by constant police surveillance — calls to defund and dismantle existing police departments are a class demand like any other.

But while the movement can’t help but be about practical concerns, the predominating discourse of belief and intention overshadows those stakes: too much concern with “white fragility” and not enough with wealth inequality. The challenge is to bridge the gap; to show new supporters that there’s far more work to do than changing the way we police; to channel their sympathy into a deeper understanding of the problem at hand.

To put a final point of emphasis on the potential of the moment, I’ll leave you with this. In a 1963 pamphlet called “The American Revolution: Pages from a Negro Worker’s Notebook,” the activist and laborer James Boggs argued for the revolutionary potential of the black struggle for civil rights. “The strength of the Negro cause and its power to shake up the social structure of the nation,” Boggs wrote, “comes from the fact that in the Negro struggle all the questions of human rights and human relationships are posed.” That is because it is a struggle for equality “in production, in consumption, in the community, in the courts, in the schools, in the universities, in transportation, in social activity, in government, and indeed in every sphere of American life.”
"an underappreciated benefit of social democracy is it might diminish people's incentive to exaggerate and lie for a living. 'grift' is a macroeconomic, not just a moral, failing. most people would do better things if they were under less stress and/or knew better things to do." --@interfluidity

"This is a really great example of the culture around social welfare distribution in the US. A 0.5% error rate of overpayment merits front page headlines. That *20%* of people eligible for food stamps or the EITC don't receive them is given little heed." --@pamela_herd

"Still waiting to see a big in-depth news story about how much enhanced unemployment benefits are helping lower wage workers. There are literally millions of people receiving benefits over 100% of their normal income." --@wsbgnl

"Just a handful of anecdotes via twitter replies of the impact of what @MattBruenig
calls the 'superdole' — much bigger unemployment benefits + $1,200 checks — approved by Congress in March" --@JStein_WaPo

"Policy ideas that redefine the rules of the game in order to win are really underrated. Want to increase GDP? Increase the population. Want to end illegal immigration? Make it legal. Want to end poverty? Give everyone money." --@albrgr

"The 3 rules of pandemic economics: 1. Get families cash, or people will die. 2. Get companies cash, or firms will die. 3. Stop the pandemic, or there will be a lot of death no matter how much cash you spend." --@DKThomp

COVID-19 Broke the Economy. What If We Don't Fix It? - "Instead of reopening society for the sake of the economy, what if we continued to work less, buy less, make less—for the sake of the planet?" (via)
"Whenever there's a crisis, everybody says we have to work more. Actually no, at the moment you want to save the world, work less," said David Graeber, an American anthropologist and the author of Bullshit Jobs, a book that argues that many jobs that we currently work are meaningless.

As a society, we place moral value on working. "We really do believe that if you're not out working hard you don't deserve anything. You're a bad person," Graeber said. "But that morality is perversely destroying the planet."
"in the old class analysis the people workers resent, who boss them and underpay them, are capitalists. @davidgraeber points out that for most workers, it's managers and professionals who directly boss and underpay, rather problematizing contemporary 'left' political parties."[3] --@interfluidity

America's Democratic Unraveling - "Countries fail the same way businesses do, gradually and then suddenly."[4,5] (via)
U.S. institutions were vulnerable to Trump’s attack because public trust had been quietly ebbing away from them for some time. For more than three decades after World War II, growth was not just rapid but broadly shared, at least among whites, enabling most Americans, even those without college degrees, to find good jobs. But instead of spreading those gains even more widely, and cutting African Americans into the American dream, U.S. economic institutions became less inclusive over the last three decades, and politics became more beholden to moneyed interests. Endemic racism persisted, and economic inequality deepened, producing radically disparate outcomes for different groups of Americans. The financial crisis of 2008, and the subsequent bailout for banks, only accelerated the trend toward inequality and deepened distrust in Congress, the judiciary, the Federal Reserve, and regulatory agencies.
Do Protests Even Work? - "It sometimes takes decades to find out." (via)
So why don’t authorities always ratchet up the repression until people give up? Why do they sometimes give in to protest movements? The key to understanding that is also the key to understanding the true long-term power of social movements. Movements, and their protests, are powerful because they change the minds of people, including those who may not even be participating in them, and they change the lives of their participants.
"I cannot believe that we literally witnessed more progress being made from a week of riots than a decade of electoral politics, we are witnessing massive voter suppression & election rigging in real time and so many of you are STILL on some 'wait til november...' shit. GROW UP"[6] --@themermacorn

"Noam Chomsky on the legacy of Bernie Sanders' campaign: "It's the constant activism that is reshaping the array of choices, issues, policies. You don't win by snapping your fingers. Some things work, some things fail, and you pick up and go on from there." --@jacobinmag

"For the political time junkies - I wrote a long blog post about the possibilities of a Biden 'reconstructive' presidency. Hint: it's about social movements, not just the president." --@julia_azari

Never The Same - "Things are different now. They started to change in 2008, when Congress and the Federal Reserve threw unprecedented money at the economy to keep it from collapsing. They've done it again this year with even more money. Trillions and trillions of dollars. It was a huge debate in 2008. It's much less controversial today."[7]
My theory is that once a new kind of stimulus is tasted it becomes a permanent feature of how downturns are handled. This isn’t about the technical details of stimulus. It’s not even about whether you think it works. It’s about the perceptions of struggling people who demand something be done, and their knowledge of what can be done...

I don’t care whether you think those things are right, wrong, moral, or will have ugly consequences. That’s a different topic. All that matters here is that people’s perception of what policymakers are capable of doing when the economy declines has been shifted higher in a huge way. And it’s crazy to think those new expectations won’t impact policymakers’ future decisions.

It’s one thing if people think policymakers don’t have the tools to fight a recession. But now that everyone knows how powerful the tools can be, no politician can say, “There’s nothing we could do.” They can only say, “We chose not to do it.” Which few politicians – on either side – wants to say when people are losing jobs.
The Jobs We Need - "Workers have been left behind as the U.S. economy expanded and chief executive salaries skyrocketed over the last four decades."[8,9,10,11] (via)
American workers need a raise. But it is not enough to transfer wealth from the rich to the desperate. In confronting the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt understood that a sustainable improvement in the quality of most American lives required an overhaul of the institutions of government.

“These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America,” Roosevelt said in 1936. “What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power.”

Now as then, the profound inequities of American life are the result of laws written at the behest of the wealthy and public institutions managed in their interest. Now as then, the nation’s economic problems are rooted in political problems. And now as then, the revival of broad prosperity — and the stability of American democracy — require the imposition of limits on the political influence of the wealthy. It requires the government to serve the interests of the governed.

Americans especially need to confront the fact that minorities are disproportionately the victims of economic inequality — the people most often denied the dignity of a decent wage. That inequity is the result of historic and continuing racism, and it should be addressed with the same sense of fierce urgency that has motivated the wave of protests against overt displays of racism.

The Rev. Dr. William Barber II, a civil-rights leader who emphasizes the foundational importance of economic justice, has pointed to the constitution that North Carolina adopted after the Civil War. The document affirms the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But African-Americans were among the state’s legislators for the first time, and the former slaves got another principle enshrined as well: that workers are entitled to “the fruits of their own labor.” They understood that economic security makes other freedoms meaningful.

It is time to ensure that all Americans can share in the nation’s prosperity.
You Want a Confederate Monument? My Body Is a Confederate Monument - "The black people I come from were owned by the white people I come from. The white people I come from fought and died for their Lost Cause. And I ask you now, who dares to tell me to celebrate them? Who dares to ask me to accept their mounted pedestals?" (via)
posted by kliuless (22 comments total) 116 users marked this as a favorite
I'm reading Robert Caro's LBJ bio now, and it's interesting how in the mid-'50s, some Republicans (including Nixon) were seriously considering trying to make themselves the Civil Rights party, since Dems couldn't accomplish anything due to the Dixiecrats filibustering any attempt to do anything on civil rights.

After LBJ wrangled enough votes for a (very weak) civil rights bill in 1957, the GOP basically gave up on trying to win black voters away from the Dems, and the rest (as they say) is history.
posted by Brachinus at 6:51 AM on June 27, 2020 [8 favorites]

I hope the Biden campaign is paying attention to the voter suppression tactics of the Republicans and has some plans to deal with them. IMHO, this will be the difference between Biden getting elected and Trump winning another by a hair electoral victory.
posted by wittgenstein at 7:14 AM on June 27, 2020 [14 favorites]

You Want a Confederate Monument? My Body Is a Confederate Monument (the last link above) is the most powerful, moving essay I've read in a long, long time.
posted by Frayed Knot at 8:09 AM on June 27, 2020 [23 favorites]

kliuless, your posts are truly the Best of the Web. Thank you for drafting and sharing this; it must’ve taken a colossal effort. As is so often the case with your posts, I’m looking forward to diving in, learning, thinking, digesting, and emerging better informed, angrier, and more resolved to make the world a better place.
posted by cheapskatebay at 8:20 AM on June 27, 2020 [28 favorites]

Clare Malone has been my favorite writer at 538 and the lead article about the history of the Republicans' racism confirms it. Her Tale of Two Suburbs from last fall is great too.

I keep hoping that demographics will catch up with the Republicans but so far they've managed to stave off what should be inevitable with gerrymandering, voter suppression and a corrupt court system but I don't know how long they can keep that up.
posted by octothorpe at 8:41 AM on June 27, 2020 [6 favorites]

trying to make themselves the Civil Rights party, since Dems couldn't accomplish anything due to the Dixiecrats

excellent point. When the Republican party was formed, an agenda on abolition was formed to co-opt the failed democratic goverments attempt at social progress.

believe it or not, Republicans could do it again.
posted by clavdivs at 8:59 AM on June 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

"an underappreciated benefit of social democracy is it might diminish people's incentive to exaggerate and lie for a living. 'grift' is a macroeconomic, not just a moral, failing. most people would do better things if they were under less stress and/or knew better things to do." --
That's an interesting claim. I can see the logic to it, but the post doesn't provide any evidence. Are rates of fraud/"grift" lower in jurisdictions with more robust social safety nets?
posted by star gentle uterus at 9:53 AM on June 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

That's an interesting claim. I can see the logic to it, but the post doesn't provide any evidence. Are rates of fraud/"grift" lower in jurisdictions with more robust social safety nets?
I don't know of any comparative studies on fraud/grift, but the Corruption Perception Index clearly has countries with better welfare as less corrupt. On an anecdotal level, our country has had an exceptional rise in all forms of fraud during the past 19 years that were dominated by right wing governments.
posted by mumimor at 11:17 AM on June 27, 2020 [9 favorites]

Malone's piece (first linked) is definitely great. The Public Discourse one has some interesting stats, but as always they're muddied by deliberately bad record keeping by the cops and the usual difficulties of analysis. But just seeing the general trends is helpful.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 12:01 PM on June 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

believe it or not, Republicans could do it again.

Not really. The Republican base are firmly in control of the car and they'll drive it into a ditch before they let a black person get any more benefits from the government.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 5:21 PM on June 27, 2020 [6 favorites]

How Greenwich Republicans Learned to Love Trump

"...like much of America’s coasts, the Gold Coast has swung left, culturally and politically... But that portrait—of liberal cosmopolitans appalled by Trump—obscures a potent element of American politics: the executive class of the Republican Party.... Understanding how he retains the overwhelming support of Republicans requires an accounting of not only what he promised Americans at the bottom but also what he provides Americans at the top.

The story of Trump’s rise is often told as a hostile takeover. In truth, it is something closer to a joint venture, in which members of America’s élite accepted the terms of Trumpism as the price of power.....a conviction that, ultimately, nothing matters more than cutting taxes and regulations and slowing immigration.

..we have tended to focus on the effects of despair among members of the working class.... But that ignores the effects of seclusion among members of the governing class, who helped disfigure our political character by demonizing moderation and enfeebling the basic functions of the state."
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 6:53 PM on June 27, 2020 [9 favorites]

How White Backlash Controls American Progress (Lawrence Glickman, Atlantic, May 21, 2020)
Backlash dynamics are one of the defining patterns of the country’s history.

From ‘white fragility’ to ‘white rage’: The broken promise of America (Jonathan Capehart, WaPo Opinion, Jun. 18, 2020)
During Reconstruction (1865-1877), newly freed African Americans officially became Americans and were granted “equal protection of the laws.” They were legally able to be educated. Black men could vote and hold elective office. But with these gains came a horrifying backlash whose effects continue to be felt today. Just how horrific is detailed in a new report from the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI).

“Reconstruction in America: Racial Violence after the Civil War, 1865-1876” adds to EJI’s incredible research that pushes the nation to face its appalling past. “In 2015, the Equal Justice Initiative issued a new report that detailed over 4,400 documented racial terror lynchings of Black people in America between 1877 and 1950,” writes EJI founder and executive director Bryan Stevenson. [...] “The deadly attacks Black communities endured in the first years of freedom—and the institutions that tolerated that violence—laid a foundation for the era of racial terror lynching that followed and the segregation and inequality that endure still.”

Carol Anderson, professor of African American studies at Emory University, has a name for this: white rage. In her book “White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide,” Anderson lays out a troubling yet persistent pattern in American history that started during Reconstruction. For every advancement achieved by African Americans, there is an unequal and ferociously opposite reaction. “Black people’s basic strivings for decent housing, decent schools, the right to live un-harassed have been systematically undermined and thwarted,” Anderson told me during an interview on my “Cape Up” podcast. [...] And then there was President Barack Obama, the first African American elected to the White House. “The trigger for white rage, inevitably, is black advancement. It is not the mere presence of black people that is the problem; rather, it is blackness with ambition,” Anderson writes in her book. Every step forward has been historically greeted with legal and societal slaps back. And yet, “despite all this,” Anderson continues, "a black man was elected president of the United States: the ultimate advancement, and thus the ultimate affront.” [...] “And who is the [ultimate] un-Obama but Donald Trump.”
posted by katra at 10:25 PM on June 27, 2020 [7 favorites]

Thank you for putting all of this together! I have never had such a feast of ideas and imagination as I have this year.

My biggest takeaway from 2020, and I expect it to continue to be, is simply this: We are far more capable in cooperation than in competition.

True, so many of our most powerful tools in finance and supply chain and medicine and research were expressly developed for competition (in the form of capitalism). But when we got shocked enough as a globe to forget that we were supposed to oppose each other, truly miraculous things happened. In science, in social welfare, in business and distribution and manufacturing: we moved mountains . We outright stopped war, because it wasn’t important. Holy crap! Look at what we can do!

And we have a direct A/B test with competition! We can look side-by-side at states and regions that chose to compete with each other for resources (or were forced to by higher authorities) and those that chose to collaborate and see that the collaborators clearly outperformed the competitors by really meaningful measurements. Like, we have excellent evidence to just plain disprove many assumptions and theories about markets and efficiency and innovation.

I understand the compulsion to cling to power, and the fear and anger and all of that that goes with it. But it is outright irrational and illogical to dismiss or ignore those findings for so many reasons!

If you run a Widget company, and you have a special order come in, and the team that completes the special order winds up developing Six Sigma and Lean from scratch to do it, and you have absolutely nothing that compares in quality and improvement in the rest of your company... you would be irrational not to pick up these innovations. Like, they are right there on the table. Throwing them away is a huge huge value waste for your company.

As a global society my biggest question coming into Q3 of the Weirdest Year Ever is why the hell are we just walking away from all of this? The potential savings to humanity and just countries in terms of dollars, lives, quality outcomes, and operational sustainability are massive and almost certainly the only viable way to prevent the dissolution of our modern world.

For the sake of holding on to a few million or billion dollars, those with the power to adopt and implement these changes will flush not only trillions in death and misery down the toilet, but will see these institutions collapse.
posted by skookumsaurus rex at 5:38 AM on June 28, 2020 [6 favorites]

And we have a direct A/B test with competition!

'Like leaning into a left hook': coronavirus calamity unfolds across divided US (Ed Pilkington, Guardian)
A disaster is unfolding in Montgomery, Alabama, where Martin Luther King preached and where Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on the bus. Hospitals are running short of drugs to treat Covid-19, intensive care units are close to capacity, and ventilators are running short. Between 85% and 90% of the very sick and dying are African American.

Amid this gathering storm, the city council met to decide whether to require people to wear masks, a basic protection the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommends. Doctors lined up to plead their case. [...] Dr Kim McGlothan recounted how she was frequently stopped by white people asking, “Is the media sensationalizing this, is it really as bad as they are making out?”

McGlothan told the council: “People don’t believe the hype. Until you mandate masks, we won’t be able to stop this – we just won’t.”

Then a black resident stood up. Six of his relatives had died from Covid-19. His brother was on a ventilator. “This is not about masks,” he said. “The question on the table is, ‘Do black lives matter?’ I lost six of my family to Covid. How would it feel if it was your family?”

The council debated for two hours. White council members asked if young children could get carbon monoxide poisoning from masks – no, the doctors firmly told them – and spoke portentously about individual rights.

“At the end of the day,” said councilman Brantley Lyons, “if a pandemic comes through, we do not throw our constitutional rights out the window.”

When the vote was called, it divided on largely racial lines. Black members voted for masks, in order to prevent more families losing six loved ones. White members voted against masks, to preserve the fundamental right not to attach a cloth to your face.

In a 4-4 tie, the ordinance failed. As he left the chamber, Dr Saliski uttered just one word: “Unbelievable.”

Unbelievable accurately describes America today. The country is on the brink of a huge surge of Covid-19, as the virus tears through the heartlands while the president praises himself for having done “a great job” and blithely predicts the scourge will “fade away”.
posted by katra at 9:16 AM on June 28, 2020 [20 favorites]

Between 85% and 90% of the very sick and dying are African American.

This is the thing about opening early. The people who are going to bear the absolute brunt of it are the service workers. The service workers are overwhelmingly black. The white people going out for leisure? They're out for an hour, they're back home. The service workers? All day, every day. Dozens of people per day. Hundreds possibly. And PPE is at the bottom of the hazard hierarchy.

Diseases are about how many times you roll the dice until you crap out. The white guy is playing the Don't Pass line and the Black service person is trying to roll a 2-12 field bet.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:49 AM on June 28, 2020 [3 favorites]

Guardian: "Donald Trump is coming in hot on Sunday morning, appearing to approve of a video showing one of his supporters yelling “White power!” at a group of anti-Trump demonstrators in central Florida."

Guardian: "The US president, or someone with access to his Twitter account, deleted the controversial tweet at 11am Eastern time, more than three hours after it was posted at 7.39am. “This is really not about the president taking it down,” the famed civil rights attorney and academic Sherrilyn Ifill said on CBS’s Face the Nation. “This is really about his judgment in putting it up in the first place.”"

In America, Black deaths are not a flaw in the system. They are the system (Derrick Johnson, Guardian Opinion, Jun. 3, 2020)
Whether it’s police violence, poor medical care, or simply trying to breathe, we suffer from an underlying condition: racism
We die because we are overrepresented where it hurts, such as poverty and prisons, and underrepresented where it helps, such as higher education, elected office, and the federal judiciary. We die from many causes, but one stands out from all others: racism.

The expendability of Black lives is not a flaw in the system; it is the system. We are meant to die or, at the very least, we are not meant to be protected, to be respected, to be valued, to be considered fully human. That is how racism works, and it has operated efficiently throughout American history.

[...] Say its name. The condition is racism. It is manifest in a lack of opportunity; in economic inequality; in the absence of healthcare; in a biased criminal justice system and mass incarceration; in schools that scream for care; in a denial of truth; and more.
posted by katra at 10:02 AM on June 28, 2020 [3 favorites]

I have rape-colored skin. My light-brown-blackness is a living testament to the rules, the practices, the causes of the Old South.

If there are those who want to remember the legacy of the Confederacy, if they want monuments, well, then, my body is a monument. My skin is a monument.
Those are the opening paragraphs from the last link. Written by poet Caroline Randall Williams, that essay is so good it should be read by every American and required reading in middle school lessons on the Civil War. If you read none of the other links here, read that one.

The long efforts of Confederate apologists to omit black descendants of the people they desire to memorialize, because those descendants are the living proof of the ubiquity of white slave owners raping black slaves, has been revoltingly successful.

That white America attaches more weight to the white descendants of Robert E. Lee telling us that it's OK to tear down his statues (which to their credit they do), than white America attaches to the **BLACK** descendants of Robert E. Lee telling us of his legacy of rape, telling us that their existence proves his "honor" is a lie, and that his statues should be ripped down and he should be forever remembered as a murder, a torturer, and a rapist is a testament to the enduring power of white supremacy in America.
posted by sotonohito at 10:04 AM on June 28, 2020 [17 favorites]

katra There is a strong correlation between valuing whiteness and ill health. Dr Jonathan Metzl's book Dying of Whiteness is an exploration of how for several bad health outcomes the most accurate predictor is not just being white, but valuing being white.
posted by sotonohito at 10:06 AM on June 28, 2020

Jonathan Metzl’s Dying of Whiteness Details the Dangers of Racial Resentment (Sean Kinch, Nashville Scene, Jun. 27, 2019)
Metzl also traveled to Missouri to investigate the effects of loosening gun-control laws, and to Kansas to study the results of its “experiment” in slashing funding for schools. In each case, right-wing politicians used coded language to convince white voters that their policies would protect the position of white citizens in the social hierarchy. The rhetoric has been so effective that even when the new laws have detrimental effects on white communities, white people support them as a way of retaining vestiges of “lost white privilege,” according to Metzl. They are willing to die to keep others from enjoying a higher quality of life.

Metzl takes pains to distinguish this kind of “structural racism” from personal animus — the political rifts he describes “tap into larger histories, myths, and ideologies.” Those deep roots help explain why so many people who claim not to be racist themselves nevertheless support policies that stigmatize minorities and vilify immigrants. Issues like gun control and health care cannot be separated from their original, race-tinted contexts. The Second Amendment was passed in large part to help land-owning white men protect their property from Native Americans and enslaved people, and Southerners objected to Medicaid in 1965 primarily because they feared the racial integration of hospitals. White Americans generally fail to recognize the racism in these issues because it was woven into the fabric from the start.
posted by katra at 10:21 AM on June 28, 2020 [4 favorites]

Mod note: friendly mod note: the word "insane" has ableist implications and may be best avoided. Thanks.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:04 PM on June 28, 2020 [4 favorites]

Jessamyn thank you for reminding me of that. I’d be happy to have that word (and sentiment) replaced with ‘irrational’ or simply ‘something I do not understand’.
posted by skookumsaurus rex at 5:09 PM on June 28, 2020 [4 favorites]

Mod note: Tweaked accordingly, going with "irrational" and nixed the line about mental illness. Thanks for understanding and being flexible.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:01 PM on June 28, 2020 [3 favorites]

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