Morning Ed: History {2018.05.30.W}

[Hi1] From Siberian to Native American.

[Hi2] Briefly, Pepsi was a military power.

[Hi3] We can apparently learn a lot about the Fall of Rome by looking at Greenland’s ice.

[Hi4] Korean-Americans, the second Amendment, and the Los Angeles Riots.

[Hi5] A look at the role of baseball in the Civil Rights movement.

[Hi6] Ted Genoways argues that copyright law is depriving us of our cultural history. This is a good point: Well before we’re 100 years out, these works are historical.

[Hi7] It used to be people thought California was an island… and there are maps!

[Hi8] Introducing Prince George Washington.

[Hi9] Wolf Children. This is being passed around by some bad people, but it’s actually really fascinating.


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Will Truman is the pseudonym of a former para-IT professional who is presently a stay-at-home father in the Mountain East. He has moved around frequently, having lived in six places since 2003, ranging from rural outposts to major metropolitan areas. He is also on Twitter. ...more →

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30 thoughts on “Morning Ed: History {2018.05.30.W}

  1. Hi4: this is exhibit A for why people hoping that a majority non-white electorate will mean ever having to consider those gauche rednecks after 2040 or thereabouts. African-Americans, furious about the actions of white cops and a white jury, burn down Korean-American businesses.

    (And if you get a chance, Ice Cube’s “Black Korea” is available on Spotify, just in case you thought they had a real commitment to policing hate)

    If there is a constant in America, it’s that waves of immigration eventually settle into a stasis of Black people and everyone else. It makes sense: Koreans (and Indians for that matter,
    plus, to some extent, Latinos) were never the subject of the War on Drugs, of redlining or 100 other policies trained on African-Americans. Cross-POC solidarity is an elite academic niche affectation.

    What you’re seeing in terms of the Asian vote right now is rich, very educated Asians voting like rich, very educated whites. The second they feel threatened by a *real* crime wave, they’ll be looking for law and order, just like the uneducated whites who are afraid of the fake one Trump is selling now.

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    • I can’t remember where I read it, but apparently, Koreans in Japan are the group most like Blacks in the US. Denied citizenship, looked down upon for their birth, etc. In other words, being members of society, but not able to fully participate.

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    • Things are the same until they are different. While many people might be really over-stating a POC alliance, there is also evidence of the historical African-American and everybody dynamic changing. Hispanic-Americans aren’t really being absorbed into White America in the same way that Eastern and Southern Europeans were eventually. While not receiving the full persecution that African-Americans experience, they do receive a lot of it. Asian-Americans were reliable Republican voters for decades but Republican racism has been so extreme, they are moving to the Democratic Party fast and hard.

      There isn’t going to be a grand-POC solidarity alliance like the Intersectional Faction believes. Asian-Americans might vote Democratic but only a few of them can be called activists liberals. Others are more moderate and not into things like Affirmative Action. However, there is enough aggressive White Nationalism among Republican voters to prevent a return to the old system. For the old system to come back into play, you need a White America that will absorb Hispanic and Asian-Americans into their fold.

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      • Latinos may be taking longer to assimilate than, say, Germans, but that doesn’t mean it’s not coming, especially if the confounding factor of the constant stream of new immigrants is reduced. For example, intermarriage is through the roof. You wouldn’t believe how many Puerto Rican Jews you’ll meet in NYC, or how many photos of mixed-race Pakistani-WASP children will be shown off at the next Yale reunion.

        Asians, however, are not switching to the Democrats just because of racism, especially because the GOP is racist mostly against a group that has no love for them (see LA riots). They are voting like highly educated whites and will most likely track with them going forward as long as their demographic is mostly descended from brain drain immigrants.

        One of these days, the issue of immigration, which was ignored by the major parties as uncouth until it couldn’t be ignored anymore, will lose salience. The next cleave won’t necessarily bring out the nastiest impulses of the rural/fundamentalist GOP base. When that happens, we’ll have an answer.

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        • *note: I recognize that not all southeast and East Asians are “brain drain immigrants” (the drain, of course, being from their countries of origin). There are refugees among them, as are longstanding Chinese and Japanese communities on the west coast.

          It’s also worth adding that there are an increasing number of black brain drain immigrants from the Caribbean and Africa who are not 100% on board with the black political stances of those descended from American slaves.

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          • I know a few children of African immigrants. From what I can tell, its a mixed bag whether they identify politically with the descendants of American slaves. Some do and some do not. All though those that do identify politically do so in a somewhat weird, almost outsider way. From what I can tell, many of them don’t really socialize that much with the descendants of American slaves but that can also be because of the social context where I know them.

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            • There are a lot of Caribbean immigrants near me. They tend to live in neighborhoods adjacent to larger native black neighborhoods, but not completely integrated within them. Politics as I’ve observed it are driven by local exigencies like provision of public services. That, and the fact that a cop who can’t tell a gangbanger from an honor student certainly can’t tell a third-generation Brooklynite from someone who just flew in from Trinidad.

              But as scholarships for black students go increasingly to immigrants instead of the descendants of American slaves (Caribbean blacks are also the descendants of slaves), fissures will open up. There was an issue at cornell (if I recall correctlh) last year in which the black student group demanded more scholarships go to American blacks instead of Africans and Caribbean students. They backed off, but I doubt that will be the end of it.

              Still, the GOP will not be serving curried goat at a fundraiser any time soon. This is intra-dem drama.

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              • I follow a number of non-liberal black folks on Twitter. It’s noteworthy that even though most black immigrants are Democratic, the ones that aren’t seem to disproportionately be from those born from families that more recently immigrated from the Carribean or Africa.

                But as long as the GOP is doing what it’s doing, I doubt the voting patterns will differ too much.

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          • There are Alaska a lot of working class Asians in major American metros. There are plenty of Asian immigrants who never learn to speak English that well or at all.

            Another thing I think you are missing is how hip-hop is now the dominant popular culture especially among many POC in the United States. This helps with solidarity. The tensions you mentioned were or are very real but they are from 1992. That was a long time ago.

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            • Their children mostly learn English, though.

              His point about Asian-Americans voting their demographics apart from race is interesting and one I’ve heard before from sources I trust. If so and it sticks that their problems with Asian-Americans mostly mirror their problems with highly educated whites, that has implications in the longer term

              I don’t think hip-hop will prove to be a long-term political unifier. My own sense is that Asian-Americans are highly likely to be the odd-folks-out of the Democratic coalition, but they’re likely to remain so as long as the GOP remains the party that it’s been and there’s not anything like a prolonged crime wave associated with African-Americans and such (which I don’t know why their would be).

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                • Yeah, though Bob Dole did better among Asian-Americans than whites. It differs from sub-group to sub-group, and I doubt they will have the same degree of loyalty African-Americans have. But again, as long as the GOP is (and white conservatives more generally are) doing what the it is and they are doing, hard to see much changing on that front. So that’s gotta change, and then we’ll have a better idea of the landscape.

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        • Latinos may be taking longer to assimilate than, say, Germans, but that doesn’t mean it’s not coming, especially if the confounding factor of the constant stream of new immigrants is reduced.

          Probably not, since there are still communities in the US that mostly speak German.

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          • Meh. That it has to be pointed out demonstrates the extent to which they are the exception and not the rule.

            A lot of right-wingers fear Latinos won’t ever learn English, and some on the left want to defend them from needing to, but outside of Puerto Rico they will.

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            • The existence of exceptions prove that persistence of non-English languages among immigrant groups are a terrible way of determining whether a group will assimilate long term.

              Of course, their position would also imply that Jews can’t and haven’t assimilated. Which, based on my encounters with them online and off, is probably part of the point.

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              • Did he use language as the barometer? I only saw that he used intermarriage in the like, where his case is quite a bit weaker in comparison to language. Yeah, there is a lot of intermarriage, but the issue is still fraught.

                Anyway, his main point is that as they assimilate like German-Americans did, their voting patterns and social attitudes will more resemble German-Americans. I think it’s a lot more complicated than that, but I think it’s at least partially true in the longer term.

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                • I’m pretty sure he did down thread but maybe it was Saul who did that.

                  Anyway I’m also pretty sure LTL’s not a member of the anti-immigration right. If I believed otherwise, I wouldn’t have bothered trying to reason with him.

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                  • I am most certainly not of the xenophobic right.

                    However, I do believe that it’s dangerous for the left to assume that it can simply import the electorate it needs to create a permanent majority. I also believe it’s dangerous to assume that whites v. everyone else is a given in electoral politics.

                    It’s not inevitable that our immigration rates will remain the same and that immigrants will vote on immigration issues in the way we expect them to going forward. The real story is more complicated and more interested than the feel-good narrative being sold to the wound-licking left.

                    w/r/t language acquisition, English is just so useful to people living in America that the second generation from all countries seems to be mostly fluent. The salience of this when talking about cross-POC solidarity, however, is limited because it’s not really an issue with the black electorate.

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                    • However, I do believe that it’s dangerous for the left to assume that it can simply import the electorate it needs to create a permanent majority.

                      FWIW, while I wouldn’t necessarily use “dangerous” as the word there, I do think it would be foolish. I mean, as much as I’m part of the Left we’re not going to win them all and in the long run we need to have “not going to win them all” return to an accepted part of US politics.

                      That being said, I also don’t think the current coalition on the Left is necessarily that unstable. No coalition will be permanent, but lasting over a generation? Sure, and the one we have now on the Left isn’t all that implausible compared to historical coalitions.

                      I also believe it’s dangerous to assume that whites v. everyone else is a given in electoral politics.

                      That is, of course, a bad assumption. But it’s also not the shape of the coalition on the Left we have now or will have if a “permanent” Dem majority comes to pass won’t have a lot of white people in it. They’ll just be ones who tolerate many of the more racially polarizing aspects of Left-wing rhetoric. Which, by the way, is a pretty good description of “woke”/SJW/what-have-you white people now.[1]

                      Quite a few people (I saw John McWhorter doing this recently, and it’s a theme he’s approached from time to time) complain that this is basically cheap grace, and they have a point, but the (white) Evangelical embrace of Donald Trump teaches us anything, it’s that no grace is too cheap for politics.

                      [1] And I include myself in this number. Complaints about straight cis white guys are things I routinely (not always, but a lot more often than not) shrug off, despite the fact that I match all four adjectives.

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              • Which, based on my encounters with them online and off, is probably part of the point.

                If it’s not clear here, “them” refers to the anti-immigrant right, which suffers from a remarkably high prevalence of anti-Semitism.

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    • 2040 is a long way away.

      But the more that partisan affiliation becomes a primary element of identity, the less that will matter. If the hope for a permanent Democratic majority plays out over the time scales you describe, it will be due to the GOP welding the coalition together.

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  2. Hi9 Maybe I’m wrong on this but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of awareness in the US of just how bad things were in Europe in the years immediately after the war. A few years ago I read a book called Savage Continent by Keith Lowe that was quite eye opening.

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  3. [Hi5] This would have been my contribution to yesterday’s discussion of what the media is doing wrong in the era of Trump. A perfectly serviceable piece on the history of the color-barrier and how it was broken in baseball repurposed to be an anti-Trump screed on behalf of a silent political movement in baseball that the author speaks for. She clearly wants a baseball version of the football messiah (“the actions of Kaepernick and his supporters are poised to give back Black people’s autonomy”), but she’s left with Sean Doolittle.

    There is a lower percentage African-Americans playing baseball than at any time since 1958 (8.3%), though there are also far fewer European-Americans as well (63.7%), with the balance being taken-up by an increasingly international pool of talent from Latin America and East Asia.

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  4. Hi4: During the Civil Rights Era, there was a similar tension between Jews and African-Americans or Hispanic-Americans. Many of the small businesses in minority communities were owned and run by Jews. The character of Mr. Hooper on Sesame Street was created to reflect this because Sesame Street was supposed to resemble Harlem or the Bronx. Middlemen minorities frequently become targets during hostility between the majority and persecuted minority because they are there and a lot easier for the persecuted minority to lash out against.

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