Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Into the Abyss

Dara Sharif, the Root:

Donald Trump ramped up his efforts Wednesday night to demonize the four progressive, freshman congresswomen informally known as “the Squad,” reveling in a raucous crowd’s chants of “Send her back! Send her back!” in reference to his latest target, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).

Despite a House vote Tuesday to condemn racist comments Trump made telling Omar and her fellow “Squad” members to “go back” where they came from, Trump, during a Wednesday night “Make America Great Again” rally in Greenville, N.C., continued to lob the same refrain.

Goldie Taylor, the Daily Beast:

The president is a racist, in his words and his actions.

Before you go clutching your pearls and extolling the virtues of “civility,” let me say this: Put a sock in it.

Adam Serwer, the Atlantic:

[…] In the face of a corrupt authoritarian president who believes that he and his allies are above the law, the American people are represented by two parties equally incapable of discharging their constitutional responsibilities. The Republican Party is incapable of fulfilling its constitutional responsibilities because it has become a cult of personality whose members cannot deviate from their sycophantic devotion to the president, lest they be ejected from office by Trump’s fanatically loyal base. The Democratic Party cannot fulfill its constitutional responsibilities because its leadership lives in abject terror of being ejected from office by alienating the voters to whom Trump’s nationalism appeals. In effect, the majority of the American electorate, which voted against Trump in 2016 and then gave the Democrats a House majority in 2018, has no representation.

Hamilton Nolan, Splinter:

This evolution in our national tone, I assumed, was a permanent one. The battle was no longer mostly against explicit, legal racism, but rather against implicit racism and racist structures and inequality rooted and racism — all of which would always be denied, because racism itself was no longer considered respectable. The most obvious manifestation of this is the fact that “racist” seems to the one of the last things that white people genuinely object to being called. Even a powerful person who constantly speaks and acts in ways that are racist, and who pursues policies that will inarguably achieve racist ends, will bristle and wail at being branded a racist. It carries the power of a word that was forged in a social justice struggle spanning centuries. Those who explicitly embraced racism were pushed to the fringes; the price of staying in the mainstream was raised by a token amount, to the disavowal of racist ideals even if you in fact operated in a way that furthered oppression.

I’m afraid that even the very thin layer of perceptual progress that seemed to be permanent may be eroding after all. […]

I cannot imagine being part of a marginalized group in the United States at any point in history; but, in particular, I cannot imagine the gut-churning anxiety of the last four years and, in particular, the past several days. An election is not until next year, and this language will only get darker and more explicit until then. The oppressors are wearing their vilest of beliefs as badges of honour. As a neighbour, I urge my Amercian readers to stand against this with all they can muster. In Canada, we must do the same — we’re sliding into the abyss, too.