Longform Links – Oppression, Work, The Swing Vote, The Term “Illegal”

Tariq Nelson – Justifying Evil

I recently was in an email discussion with a brother that speaks and writes about issues in the Muslim world, and he repeatedly refused to condemn these types of actions because he feels that the oppressor causes it and the oppressed are blameless. I find this kind of thinking to be madness. Basically the thinking is: because I am oppressed, I can oppress others.

SavvySugar – How Many Hours Do You Work Each Week?

According to The Wall Street Journal, President Nicolas Sarkozy has drafted a bill that would end France’s 35-hour work week saying, “The 35 hours have delivered a serious blow to our country, we cannot stress this enough. How could we have this stupid idea to believe that it is by working less that we will create more wealth and more jobs?”

(Latoya: What the hell? We work a ton and still have less wealth and less jobs!)

The New Yorker – The Fall of Conservatism

John Preston, who is the county’s circuit-court judge and also its amateur historian, Harvard-educated, with a flag pin on his lapel, said, “Obama is considered an élitist.” He added, “There’s a racial component, obviously, to it. Thousands of people won’t publicly say it, but they won’t vote for a black man—on both sides, Democrat and Republican. It won’t show up in the polls, because they won’t admit it. The elephant’s in the room, but nobody will say it. Sad to say it, but it’s true.” Later, I spoke with half a dozen men eating lunch at the Pigeon Roost Dairy Bar outside town, and none of them had any trouble saying it. They announced their refusal to vote for a black man, without hesitation or apology. “He’s a Muslim, isn’t he?” an aging mine electrician asked. “I won’t vote for a colored man. He’ll put too many coloreds in jobs. Colored are O.K.—they’ve done well, good for them, look where they came from. But radical coloreds, no—like that Farrakhan, or that senator from New York, Rangel. There’d be riots in the streets, like the sixties.” No speech, on race or élitism or anything else, would move them. Here was one part of the white working class—maybe not representative, but at least significant—and in an Obama-McCain race they would never be the swing vote. It is a brutal fact, and Obama probably shouldn’t even mention it.

Poynter Online – Playing the Name Game

Vaden identifies the terms, looks at his paper’s style guide, interviews others facing similar labeling challenges and quotes the N&O’s front page editor’s defense of the term “illegal immigrant.” He writes:

    Steve Merelman, The N&O’s front-page editor who oversees word usage, defends the current illegal immigrant standard. The phrase describes reality under current law, he said, and if people have a problem, they need to change the law.

    “I don’t see much point in perfuming what some people think stinks,” he said. “We can call them ‘undocumented’ or we can call them ‘unauthorized,’ but it still doesn’t stop them from being deported. It seems cold, but that’s our job — to take a cold-eyed look at things.”

Vaden then offers his own view, which would “loosen the style manual to allow undocumented and unauthorized.”