Category Archive 'Left Think'
17 Mar 2018

If Jeremy Corbyn Had Been PM During the Blitz

, , , ,

Following Jeremy Corbyn’s recent defense of Mr. Putin in Parliament, Richard Littlejohn cannot help imagining the Labour leader as Prime Minister during the early part of WWII.

In the House of Commons today, the Prime Minister, Mr Corbyn, refused to join the chorus of condemnation which has followed repeated German bombing attacks on British towns and cities.

He said there was no conclusive evidence that Herr Hitler was responsible for the Blitz, which he speculated may well have been carried out by rogue elements in the Luftwaffe with the specific intention of damaging the international reputation of the Nazi regime.

Mr Corbyn insisted it was essential to maintain robust dialogue with Berlin and told MPs he was ordering the War Department to return any unexploded bombs to Berlin for further investigation.

Just because they were dropped from German planes, which took off in Germany, and had ‘Made In Germany’ stamped on them, that was no reason to leap to the conclusion that the German government was involved in any way.

The Americans could well be behind it, he suggested, as an excuse to get involved in another European war.

There would be no official response from Downing Street until the full facts could be established, he insisted. He said those bellicose Conservatives who wanted to fight the Germans on the beaches, on the landing grounds, in the fields, the streets and the hills, were guilty of reckless provocation against one of our leading European partners.

Britain’s earlier decision to send 300,000 heavily armed soldiers to occupy the pleasure beaches at Dunkirk, without a League of Nations resolution, had only served to heighten tensions and may well be a war crime.

Challenged about German military expansionism, the Prime Minister said Herr Hitler had every right to annex Poland, Czechoslovakia, France, the Low Countries and the Sudetenland, as a vital bulwark against Western aggression.

Earlier, in an interview with the broadcaster Lord Haw-Haw on the wireless station Nazism Today, Mr Corbyn defended his official spokesman, Mr Milne, who had claimed that intelligence reports from MI5, MI6 and the Special Operations Executive were unreliable and ‘problematic’.

Mr Milne also suggested that Herr Hitler might be the victim of a smear campaign by Israel, even though Israel doesn’t actually exist yet.

Mr Corbyn has rejected out of hand widespread reports that millions of Jewish men, women and children across Europe are being rounded up by the Nazis. He said that was as absurd as trying to suggest that there was any anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

The Prime Minister further refused widespread demands to expel German diplomats from the Court of St James’s and intern any German citizens living in Britain. Mr Corbyn said the bombing had ‘nothing to do with Nazism’ and said he had asked Scotland Yard to be on full alert for any backlash against ‘the vast majority of peace-loving Nazis’.

Even as large swathes of Coventry, Plymouth and the East End of London are devastated by the nightly bombardment from the skies, with civilian casualties currently estimated at 50,000, Mr Corbyn vowed there would be no retaliation.

He has rejected a proposal from the Royal Air Force to launch 1,000 bomber raids on German cities, and has ordered Spitfire and Hurricane squadrons in the South-East to remain on the ground.

Mr Corbyn is adamant that the young German pilots crossing the Channel from France every day are not enemy combatants and must be considered refugees fleeing conflict and possible torture at the hands of the French Resistance.

Any who crash, or are captured, should be treated as asylum seekers and directed immediately to the National Assistance headquarters in Croydon. There will be no shoot-to-kill policy on his watch, Mr Corbyn stated.

The Prime Minister believes that the best way to secure a lasting peace in Europe is by inviting his ‘friend’ Herr Hitler to the Houses of Parliament for a nice cup of tea.

Mr Corbyn blamed the failure of diplomatic efforts thus far to end the bombing on savage spending cuts in the Foreign Office brought in after World War I.


16 Mar 2018

The Pussification of Western Man

, ,

From James Albert Stringer:

Woman #1: I don’t think I have ever met a man who is an extreme Leftie Democrat who isn’t a complete pussy. Why is it that virtually all males whose sentiments lay at that end of the political spectrum all seem to be girly men, gay, 98-pound weaklings, failures at business, librarians, fops, Ned Flanders, Hollywood entertainers who would not be employed otherwise, or ankle-biting sycophants? I’ve never met a man who calls himself a “feminist” or supports OxFam to be the least bit attractive. Is there a connection between low testosterone and supporting Libtard causes?


13 Mar 2018

National Geographic Goes Gramscian: No More Brown-Skinned Boobs For You, Racists!

, , ,

The leftist nincompoops have captured another cultural landmark.

This month, Editor-in-Chief Susan Goldberg, accompanied by a specially-hired-for-the-occasion academic racial-grievances-mongerer with some Yale degrees, apologizes for the magazine’s traditional historic function: purveying photos of topless native girls in a respectable venue for men and boys to peruse while trapped waiting for their appointment in the doctor or dentist’s office.

Just listen to this crap:

[The black academic consultant] found… a long tradition of racism in the magazine’s coverage: in its text, its choice of subjects, and in its famed photography.

    “[U]ntil the 1970s National Geographic all but ignored people of color who lived in the United States, rarely acknowledging them beyond laborers or domestic workers,” writes Goldberg in the issue’s editor letter, where she discusses Mason’s findings. “Meanwhile it pictured ‘natives’ elsewhere as exotics, famously and frequently unclothed, happy hunters, noble savages—every type of cliché.”

Unlike magazines such as Life, “National Geographic did little to push its readers beyond the stereotypes ingrained in white American culture,” Goldberg says, noting that she is the first woman and first Jewish person to helm the magazine – “two groups that also once faced discrimination here.”

All of which strongly suggests that previous hiring policies were a lot wiser and better.

To assess the magazine’s coverage historically, [the racial grievance specialist] delved into old issues and read a couple of key critical studies. He also pored over photographers’ contact sheets, giving him a view of not just the photos that made it into print, but also the decisions that photographers and editors made.

He saw a number of problematic themes emerge.

    “The photography, like the articles, didn’t simply emphasize difference, but made difference … very exotic, very strange, and put difference into a hierarchy,” Mason tells NPR. “And that hierarchy was very clear: that the West, and especially the English-speaking world, was at the top of the hierarchy. And black and brown people were somewhere underneath.”

For much of its history, the pages of National Geographic depicted the Western world as dynamic, forward-moving and very rational. Meanwhile, [the professional race warrior complained], “the black and brown world was primitive and backwards and generally unchanging.”

How did the obviously true magically recently become “problematic”?

One trope that he noticed time and again was photographs showing native people apparently fascinated by Westerners’ technology.

“It’s not simply that cameras and jeeps and airplanes are present,” he says. “It’s the people of color looking at this technology in amusement or bewilderment.” The implication was that Western readers would find humor in such fascination with their everyday goods.

Then there’s how the magazine chose its subject matter. Mason explains that National Geographic had an explicit editorial policy of “nothing unpleasant,” so readers rarely saw war, famine or civic conflict.

So the depiction of insufficiently flattering reality in the old days was just plain wrong. People of color, even if living in the Stone Age techologically, ought to have been touched up editorially into sophisticated and superior Wakandas, and the old family magazine ought to have been delivering a steady ration of Marxist agitprop supporting Third World revolutionary movements in every issue. Right!

Left-wing idiots screw up everything they get their hands on. With the old National Geographic transformed into Whining-About-Discrimination-and-Bitching-About-Western-Civilization-While-Arguing-How-Not-Only-Equal-But-Downright-Superior-People-of-Color-Everywhere-Are Geographic, my prediction is that it’s going to be a lot less pleasant to read and circulation is going to tank.

Who the hell wants to read a bunch of Virtue Signalling sermons on Intersectionality and Oppression, the Evils of White Privilege, and the Historical Crimes of Europe and America, while waiting for one’s root canal? That sort of thing simply gratuitously deepens and extends the whole root canal experience.

25 Feb 2018

The Snobbish Revolutionary Left

, , ,

Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoi, Portrait of an Unknown Woman, 1883, Tretyakov Gallery.

Jeffrey Folks has got the Social Justice Warriors, the Reformers and Improvers, the Holier-than-thous pegged.

For liberals, the distinction between the “dumb masses” and their enlightened selves renders life meaningful. Disdain for ordinary folks is not just an ancillary trait of liberalism. It is fundamental to the its nature.

At its heart, liberalism is a gnostic religion, and the essence of that religion is the believer’s faith that he possesses the means of changing the world for the better. The belief that the world must be changed requires there to be a mass of individuals whose lives are in need of change. Following this logic, it is the liberal, not those deplorables in need of change, who knows what must be changed. For liberals, there must be a mass of people in need of this knowledge for life to make sense.

Above all, liberalism is a hubristic faith. Its followers share the fatal flaw of pride in their own intellectual capacity. This is why liberalism appeals so strongly to those in the knowledge trades: teachers, journalists, writers, psychologists, and social workers. The sense of “knowing more than others” is its strongest attraction – particularly to the young, who otherwise know so little. Liberalism confers, or seems to confer, almost immediate power and authority to those who embrace it.

The left’s obsession with superior knowledge runs through its entire history. As Woodrow Wilson remarked, the “instrument” of political science “is insight. A nice understanding of subtle, unformulated conditions.” Lyndon B. Johnson thought “a president’s hardest task” is “to know what is right.” And the most hubristic of all is Obama’s “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” Yes, we are wonderfully bright, and we’ve been waiting eons for ourselves to appear.

The problem for the liberal is that most people do not want to be transformed.


22 Feb 2018

Space Travel = Colonialism & Male Entitlement

, , , ,

Marcie Bianco, appropriately enough, has “Feminist Killjoy” tattooed on her forearm.

NBC recently published a particularly impressive example of left-think by Marcie Bianco, a graduate of Harvard and Oxford, currently managing editor at the “Clayman Institute for Gender Research” at Stanford.

Musk isn’t the only billionaire looking to enter the space race. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has his private aerospace company, Blue Origin, while Virgin’s Richard Branson, a prominent adventurer, created Virgin Galactic back in 2004.

These men, particularly Musk, are not only heavily invested in who can get their rocket into space first, but in colonizing Mars. The desire to colonize — to have unquestioned, unchallenged and automatic access to something, to any type of body, and to use it at will — is a patriarchal one. Indeed, there is no ethical consideration among these billionaires about whether this should be done; rather, the conversation is when it will be done. Because, in the eyes of these intrepid explorers, this is the only way to save humanity.

It is the same instinctual and cultural force that teaches men that everything — and everyone — in their line of vision is theirs for the taking. You know, just like walking up to a woman and grabbing her by the pussy.

It’s there, so just grab it because you can. …

[T]he impulse to colonize — to colonize lands, to colonize peoples, and, now that we may soon be technologically capable of doing so, colonizing space — has its origins in gendered power structures. Entitlement to power, control, domination and ownership. The presumed right to use and abuse something and then walk away to conquer and colonize something new.
Members of Crew 125 EuroMoonMars B mission return after collecting geologic samples for study at

The Friday before SpaceX’s launch, legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin reiterated to me over lunch that it is imperative that we talk about space exploration in terms of “migration,” rather than using words like “colonize” or “settle” when talking about going to Mars.

Through a feminist lens, Aldrin’s deliberate word choice revealed an important reality of the space race: This 21st century form of imperialism is the direct result of men giving up on the planet they have all but destroyed.

As if history hasn’t proven that men go from one land to the next, drunk on megalomania and the privilege of indifference.

The raping and pillaging of the Earth, and the environmental chaos that doing so has unleashed, are integral to the process of colonization. And the connection of the treatment of Mother Earth to women is more than symbolic: Study after study has shown that climate change globally affects women more than men.



Marcie Bianco was quite pleased with herself yesterday.


She is entitled to be, I suppose. Her editorial is really a classic, landmark example of the inversion of values by Leftism.

Enterprise, technological achievement, courage, initiative, the opening of new possibilities for mankind, the extension of the reach of human civilization, the willingness to take risk, the drive to explore and the passion to build are all bad things, impertinent, hubristic expressions of intrinsically wicked patriarchy.

Human travel to Mars and potential future settlement would be a form of Colonialism, a violation of the rights presumably of Martian rocks and Martian dust to be left exactly as they are.

The absence of actual Martians makes Dr. Bianco’s implied lack of some sort legitimate right of access problematic, so –in classic Leftist form– she plays the Environmentalist card: We are only going to Mars, you see, because we have completely exhaustively exploited, ruined, plundered, and rendered unlivable the Earth, obliging us to “walk away… conquer, and colonize something new.”

Except, Marcie, old thing, when Europeans colonized places in the New World, in Asia, and in Africa, I’m afraid they obviously had not “abused” Europe to anything resembling unliveability or even lower real estate values. Europe is still doing just fine and people are still living there.

It is politically incorrect of me to say so, and today’s Academic world would howl, but it seems obvious, too, that the European patriarchy decidedly improved all of the more primitive regions of the world it colonized, rescuing the locals from primitive and despotic governments; delivering the rule of law; building roads and railways and finally airports; providing sanitation, education, and modern medicine; putting down the slave trade; even elevating the status of women; in India, ending suttee. The European patriarchy built cities and created civilized nations of millions upon millions of people living lives of comparative abundance and unprecedented intellectual accomplishment with much greater longevity, where previously tribes of Stone Age savages pursued incessant warfare and little bands of hunter-gatherers searched desperately for their next grub.

Frankly, Dr. Bianco, all your grievances are either wholly specious or preposterously trivial when set against the accomplishments of the European patriarchy.

The worst thing I can think of to accuse that patriarchy of is the admission of deviants, neurotics, malcontents, and crackpots like yourself to prestigious positions from which they can dispense your kind of malicious, mean-spirited, and perverse lunacy.

15 Jan 2018

The Progressives Are Coming For the Alamo!

, , , ,

Clash America is warning us:

The plan to ‘reimagine’ the Alamo is well underway… and it’s a giant load of crap.

A plan to restore and ‘reimagine’ the Alamo been in the works for some years, and it’s not just a sprucing up of the place.

It’s a whole new ‘reimagined’ Alamo that won’t focus on the battle that the site is known for.

The Master Planner of the project, George Skarmeas, said, ‘We cannot single out one moment in time.’ …

The Master Plan includes items that cover 300 years of history but will focus on the diversity of cultures of the area. The plan includes being ‘inclusive’ by ‘telling all sides of the military story’.

People in Texas need to stop this.

11 Jan 2018

The Liberal Identity as Group Credential


People who are just smart enough to graduate from college and to read establishment organs commonly lack any capability for sound reasoning and critical thinking. Instead, they rely on a trained ability to recognize the group consensus of the community of fashion, and they cling to that consensus like lemmings. Membership in the in-group matters to them, above everything else.

Selwyn Duke explains:

[The Progressive ideology is] wholly resistant to intellectual appeals. You can’t logically talk someone out of something irrational on which his self-worth is based. In fact, if it begins to dawn on such a person that his notions of superiority – and hence his self-image – rest on a lie, it will be intensely painful and depressing. The individual will thus have a strong incentive to rationalize away this realization.

I don’t claim that every single leftist derives his self-esteem from the notion that he’s part of a superior group called “liberals,” nor does this phenomenon completely explain leftist resistance to reason. But it is common among devoted liberals, and it’s part of why, as a group, they can’t give traditionalist views a fair hearing. Doing so doesn’t just threaten their ideology; it threatens who they are, their entire self-image. Any argument that may give them even an inkling that they’re wrong can induce a bit of panic and is thus quickly rationalized away – often as the rambling of uneducated, un-evolved mouth-breathers who just don’t know any better.

This phenomenon is exacerbated by two related factors. First, liberals are generally dysfunctional, vice-ridden people who embrace what we call liberalism because its underlying relativism and nihilism help them justify their sins. (They become the arbiters of their own “values.” “Everything is gray, a matter of perspective. I have my own ‘truth.'”) Simultaneously, liberalism allows these virtue-bereft people to virtue-signal by paying homage to the day’s fashionable values. In other words, liberals are generally morally “unaccomplished” people who often have nothing to cling to but the illusion of intellectual, and often moral, superiority.


If conservatives ever figure out how to make good sense chic, Liberalism is doomed.

03 Oct 2017

Dems Exploiting Las Vegas Tragedy to Push Their Gun Control Agenda

, , ,

Daren Jonescu explains that that is what Progressives do.

Within hours of a man carrying out a horrifyingly successful mass shooting in Las Vegas, in which the death toll as of this writing is almost sixty, Democrats are out in public demanding gun control legislation. As disgustingly cynical as this is, it is not in the least bit surprising. Many more will join the chorus in the coming days, while a complicit news media will keep the horror fresh to facilitate the Democrats’ exploitation of sadness and pain.

Never wishing to appear to their neo-communist handlers as weaklings inclined to put humanity before politics, or willing to pre-empt the revolution out of respect for human suffering, progressive politicians at America’s moment of “fundamental transformation” seem to want to look callous and inhuman, even as they claim to represent the interests of the suffering and downtrodden.

Rahm Emanuel’s infamous cat-out-of-the-bag moment – “never let a crisis go to waste” – has quickly evolved from an awkward instance of progressive self-revelation into the proud mantra of the American left. Leftists are no longer even ashamed at the old accusation of “politicizing a tragedy.” Tragedy – the bigger, the better – is the grease in their wheels. Politicizing hardship has always been their stock in trade, and now, through years of practice, they have trained to the public to regard this extreme cynicism as the norm, so that the accusation no longer carries any meaning.


01 Oct 2017

Boris Quotes Kipling in Burma: “Good Stuff!”

, , , , , ,

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, being a literate chap educated at Eton and Oxford, naturally had the famous Kipling poem come to mind & tongue when invited to bang the bell in a temple of the Great God Budd in what used to be known as Rangoon, Burma.

The wet ends at the Guardian, and the British Left generally, had a cow over the incident.

Boris Johnson caught on camera reciting Kipling in Myanmar temple.

Foreign secretary’s impromptu recital of colonial-era poem was so embarrassing the UK ambassador was forced to stop him.

‘Not appropriate’: Boris Johnson recites Kipling poem in Myanmar temple.

The foreign secretary has been accused of “incredible insensitivity” after it emerged he recited part of a colonial-era Rudyard Kipling poem in front of local dignitaries while on an official visit to Myanmar in January.

Boris Johnson was inside the Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred Buddhist site in the capital Yangon, when he started uttering the opening verse to The Road to Mandalay, including the line: “The temple bells they say/ Come you back you English soldier.”

Kipling’s poem captures the nostalgia of a retired serviceman looking back on his colonial service and a Burmese girl he kissed. Britain colonised Myanmar from 1824 to 1948 and fought three wars in the 19th century, suppressing widespread resistance.

Johnson’s impromptu recital was so embarrassing that the UK ambassador to Myanmar, Andrew Patrick, was forced to stop him. …

The previously unbroadcast footage shows the diplomat managing to halt Johnson before he could get to the line about a “Bloomin’ idol made o’ mud/ Wot they called the Great Gawd Budd” – a reference to the Buddha.

The gaffe came on the first visit to Myanmar by a British foreign secretary in five years. He had taken part in a ritual involving pouring water over a golden statue of what he described as “a very big guinea pig”, when he approached a 42-tonne bell, rang it with a wooden stick and spontaneously started reciting Kipling’s poem.

A visibly tense ambassador stood by as Johnson continued: “The wind is in the palm trees and the temple bells they say …” Then Patrick reminded him: “You’re on mic,” adding: “Probably not a good idea…”

“What?” Johnson replied. “The Road to Mandalay?”

“No,” said the ambassador sternly. “Not appropriate.”

“No?” replied Johnson looking down at his mobile phone. “Good stuff.”

“It is stunning he would do this there,” said Mark Farmaner, director of the Burma Campaign UK. “There is a sensitivity about British colonialism and it is something that people in Burma are still resentful about. British colonial times were seen as a humiliation and an insult.

“It shows an incredible lack of understanding especially now we are seeing the impact of Buddhist nationalism, especially in Rakine state [where Rohingya muslims have been been the subject of violent persecution].”


The sooner the Tories make Boris PM the better.



BY THE old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin’ lazy at the sea,
There’s a Burma girl a-settin’, and I know she thinks o’ me;
For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say:
“Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay! ”
Come you back to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay:
Can’t you ‘ear their paddles chunkin’ from Rangoon to Mandalay ?
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin’-fishes play,
An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay!

‘Er petticoat was yaller an’ ‘er little cap was green,
An’ ‘er name was Supi-yaw-lat – jes’ the same as Theebaw’s Queen,
An’ I seed her first a-smokin’ of a whackin’ white cheroot,
An’ a-wastin’ Christian kisses on an ‘eathen idol’s foot:
Bloomin’ idol made o’ mud
Wot they called the Great Gawd Budd
Plucky lot she cared for idols when I kissed ‘er where she stud!
On the road to Mandalay…

When the mist was on the rice-fields an’ the sun was droppin’ slow,
She’d git ‘er little banjo an’ she’d sing “Kulla-lo-lo!
With ‘er arm upon my shoulder an’ ‘er cheek agin my cheek
We useter watch the steamers an’ the hathis pilin’ teak.
Elephints a-pilin’ teak
In the sludgy, squdgy creek,
Where the silence ‘ung that ‘eavy you was ‘arf afraid to speak!
On the road to Mandalay…

But that’s all shove be’ind me – long ago an’ fur away
An’ there ain’t no ‘busses runnin’ from the Bank to Mandalay;
An’ I’m learnin’ ‘ere in London what the ten-year soldier tells:
“If you’ve ‘eard the East a-callin’, you won’t never ‘eed naught else.”
No! you won’t ‘eed nothin’ else
But them spicy garlic smells,
An’ the sunshine an’ the palm-trees an’ the tinkly temple-bells;
On the road to Mandalay…

I am sick o’ wastin’ leather on these gritty pavin’-stones,
An’ the blasted English drizzle wakes the fever in my bones;
Tho’ I walks with fifty ‘ousemaids outer Chelsea to the Strand,
An’ they talks a lot o’ lovin’, but wot do they understand?
Beefy face an’ grubby ‘and –
Law! wot do they understand?
I’ve a neater, sweeter maiden in a cleaner, greener land!
On the road to Mandalay…

Ship me somewheres east of Suez, where the best is like the worst,
Where there aren’t no Ten Commandments an’ a man can raise a thirst;
For the temple-bells are callin’, an’ it’s there that I would be
By the old Moulmein Pagoda, looking lazy at the sea;
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay,
With our sick beneath the awnings when we went to Mandalay!
O the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin’-fishes play,
An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay !

29 Sep 2017

Cambridge Librarian Returns First Lady’s Books

, , , , , ,

Liz Phipps Soeiro, School Librarian, Cambridge, Massachusetts

First Lady Melania Trump, as part of National “Read-a-Book” Day, sent ten Dr. Seuss books complete with White House bookplates bearing the donor’s name to one specially-selected school in each of the 50 states.

One might suppose that the local authority figures would smile at the thought of the small children of their neighborhood enjoying such a gift. But, not in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In Cambridge, School Librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro spurned Melania Trump’s gift responding with a remarkably pretentious and ungracious letter, filled with partisan political venom, published in Horn Book Family Reading, reading in part.

My students were interested in reading your enclosed letter and impressed with the beautiful bookplates with your name and the indelible White House stamp, however, we will not be keeping the titles for our collection. I’d like to respectfully offer my explanation.

* * * * *

My school and my library are indeed award-winning. I work in a district that has plenty of resources, which contributes directly to “excellence.” Cambridge, Massachusetts, is an amazing city with robust social programming, a responsive city government, free all-day kindergarten, and well-paid teachers (relatively speaking — many of us can’t afford to live in the city in which we teach). My students have access to a school library with over nine thousand volumes and a librarian with a graduate degree in library science. Multiple studies show that schools with professionally staffed libraries improve student performance. The American Association of School Librarians has a great infographic on these findings. Many schools around the state and country can’t compete.

Yearly per-pupil spending in Cambridge is well over $20,000; our city’s values are such that given a HUGE range in the socioeconomic status of our residents, we believe that each and every child deserves the best free education possible and are working hard to make that a reality (most classrooms maintain a 60/40 split between free/reduced lunch and paid lunch). …

Meanwhile, school libraries around the country are being shuttered. Cities like Philadelphia, Chicago, and Detroit are suffering through expansion, privatization, and school “choice” with no interest in outcomes of children, their families, their teachers, and their schools. Are those kids any less deserving of books simply because of circumstances beyond their control? Why not go out of your way to gift books to underfunded and underprivileged communities that continue to be marginalized and maligned by policies put in place by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos? Why not reflect on those “high standards of excellence” beyond only what the numbers suggest? Secretary DeVos would do well to scaffold and lift schools instead of punishing them with closures and slashed budgets.

* * * * *

So, my school doesn’t have a NEED for these books. And then there’s the matter of the books themselves. You may not be aware of this, but Dr. Seuss is a bit of a cliché, a tired and worn ambassador for children’s literature. As First Lady of the United States, you have an incredible platform with world-class resources at your fingertips. Just down the street you have access to a phenomenal children’s librarian: Dr. Carla Hayden, the current Librarian of Congress. I have no doubt Dr. Hayden would have given you some stellar recommendations.

Another fact that many people are unaware of is that Dr. Seuss’s illustrations are steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes. Open one of his books (If I Ran a Zoo or And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street, for example), and you’ll see the racist mockery in his art. Grace Hwang Lynch’s School Library Journal article, “Is the Cat in the Hat Racist? Read Across America Shifts Away from Dr. Seuss and Toward Diverse Books,” reports on Katie Ishizuka’s work analyzing the minstrel characteristics and trope nature of Seuss’s characters. Scholar Philip Nel’s new book, Was the Cat in the Hat Black? The Hidden Racism of Children’s Literature, and the Need for Diverse Books, further explores and shines a spotlight on the systemic racism and oppression in education and literature.

I am honored that you recognized my students and our school. I can think of no better gift for children than books; it was a wonderful gesture, if one that could have been better thought out. Books can be a powerful way to learn about and experience the world around us; they help build empathy and understanding. In return, I’m attaching a list of ten books (it’s the librarian in me) that I hope will offer you a window into the lives of the many children affected by the policies of your husband’s administration. You and your husband have a direct impact on these children’s lives. Please make time to learn about and value them. I hope you share these books with your family and with kids around the country. And I encourage you to reach out to your local librarian for more recommendations.


Liz Phipps Soeiro
School Librarian
Cambridge, MA

What a self-righteous, self-important pill!

Dr. Seuss a racist? His “Mulberry Street” book (read aloud on YouTube) features a child’s imaginative reference to a rajah riding and elephant and a Chinese man who eats with sticks. Wow! How terrible.

28 Sep 2017

The Left Moves On

, , ,

26 Sep 2017

Flag Free Speech

, , ,

24 Aug 2017

More Statues in Danger

, , , , , , ,

How much longer will Christopher Columbus look out over New York’s Columbus Circle?

New York Post:

Mayor de Blasio opened a historical can of worms Tuesday in his quest to rid the city of offensive monuments, ducking for cover when asked if Grant’s Tomb might be shuttered because of actions two centuries ago.

The mayor had no ready answers when pounded with questions about flawed historical figures, from Ulysses S. Grant to little-known former New York Gov. Horatio Seymour, who are being honored in the city.

Grant issued an order to expel Jews from three states during the Civil War while Seymour’s campaign slogan in 1868 was “This is a White Man’s Country; Let White Men Rule.”

Monuments to Christopher Columbus have also sparked criticism over his treatment of native populations.

“We’re trying to unpack 400 years of American history here — that’s really what’s going on,” de Blasio said defensively.

“This is complicated stuff. But you know it’s a lot better to be talking about it and trying to work through it than ignoring it because I think for a lot of people in this city and in this country, they feel that their history has been ignored or affronts to their history have been tolerated.”

Hizzoner at one point acknowledged he hadn’t considered whether the review should include portraits until the one of Seymour hanging inside City Hall was mentioned.

He also couldn’t say whether school names or other dedications would be reconsidered.

“To some extent the commission’s going to have to figure out what are the appropriate boundaries,” de Blasio said. “We may end up doing this in stages because this is complex stuff.”


In the Guardian, Afua Hirsch is demanding that Britain follow the American example and remove Lord Nelson from his column in Trafalgar Square. Sure, Nelson won the battles of the Nile, Copenhagen, and Trafalgar, and prevented a Napoleonic Invasion of England, but, hey! what about the black contribution to British history?

We have “moved on” from this era no more than the US has from its slavery and segregationist past. The difference is that America is now in the midst of frenzied debate on what to do about it, whereas Britain – in our inertia, arrogance and intellectual laziness – is not.

The statues that remain are not being “put in their historical context”, as is often claimed. Take Nelson’s column. Yes, it does include the figure of a black sailor, cast in bronze in the bas-relief. He was probably one of the thousands of slaves promised freedom if they fought for the British military, only to be later left destitute, begging and homeless, on London’s streets when the war was over.

But nothing about this “context” is accessible to the people who crane their necks in awe of Nelson. The black slaves whose brutalisation made Britain the global power it then was remain invisible, erased and unseen.

The people so energetically defending statues of Britain’s white supremacists remain entirely unconcerned about righting this persistent wrong. They are content to leave the other side of the story where it is now – in Nelson’s case, among the dust and the pigeons, 52 metres below the admiral’s feet. The message seems to be that is the only place where the memory of the black contribution to Britain’s past belongs.

27 Jul 2017

Leftist Orc Reads Tolkien

, ,

He finds a political subtext in LOTR And Damien Walter disapproves.

Tolkien’s myths are profoundly conservative. Both The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings turn on the “return of the king” to his rightful throne. In both cases this “victory” means the reassertion of a feudal social structure which had been disrupted by “evil”. Both books are one-sided recollections made by the Baggins family, members of the landed gentry, in the Red Book of Westmarch – an unreliable historical source if ever there was one. A balanced telling might well have shown Smaug to be much more of a reforming force in the valley of Dale.

And of course Sauron doesn’t even get to appear on the page in The Lord of the Rings, at least not in any form more substantial than a huge burning eye, exactly the kind of treatment one would expect in a work of propaganda.

We’re left to take on trust from Gandalf, a manipulative spin doctor, and the Elves, immortal elitists who kill humans and hobbits for even entering their territory, when they say that the maker of the one ring is evil. Isn’t it more likely that the orcs, who live in dire poverty, actually support Sauron because he represents the liberal forces of science and industrialisation, in the face of a brutally oppressive conservative social order?

The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings aren’t fantasies because they feature dragons, elves and talking trees. They’re fantasies because they mythologise human history, ignoring the brutality and oppression that were part and parcel of a world ruled by men with swords. But we shouldn’t be surprised that the wish to return to a more conservative society, one where people knew their place, is so popular. It’s the same myth that conservative political parties such as Ukip have always played on: the myth of a better world that has been lost, but can be reclaimed by turning back the clock.


Your are browsing
the Archives of Never Yet Melted in the 'Left Think' Category.

Entries (RSS)
Comments (RSS)
Feed Shark