Saturday 22 June 2019

Civility alone

"On the eve of Juneteenth, Joe Biden made the perplexing decision to praise two long-dead segregationist senators for their civility. “I was in a caucus with James O. Eastland,” he told a room of donors at a New York fundraiser, referring to the racist Mississippi Dixiecrat. “He never called me ‘boy,’ he always called me ‘son.’” He also praised Herman Talmadge, a Georgia Democrat who staunchly opposed civil-rights legislation in the 1950s and 1960s. “At least there was some civility,” Biden said. “We got things done. We didn’t agree on much of anything. We got things done. We got it finished. But today you look at the other side and you’re the enemy. Not the opposition, the enemy. We don’t talk to each other anymore.” [...]
That Biden would praise rather than condemn Eastland is jarring. Whatever civility the Mississippi senator extended to a young white Northerner like him did not reach his own black constituents.
The New Republic: Joe Biden’s Racial Dog Whistle, June 20, 2019
It's 2019 and we debate whether there can be a civil discourse with Neo-nazis and a leading Democratic candidate values civility higher than opposing racism. 

As Natasha Lennard says in her essential essay "We, Anti-Fascists", now published as part of the collection Being Numerous. Essays on Non-Fascist Life: "But I thought, with fear of fascism in the air and a clamor for some unified resistance, that we could at least agree that it was okay, if not good, to punch a neo-Nazi. How wrong I was. [...] We’re seeing a liberal aversion to violence, but it is one that fails to locate violence in the right places."

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