Ku Klux Klan
Which past president stood up most stalwartly for the anti-tax, anti-welfare, anti-union principles that animate today’s conservative movement? Of course, most activists on the right would confer that honor on Ronald Reagan.
The most cunning, odious and successful of Gore Vidal’s provocations was surely a mid-career contribution to a special issue of The Nation in 1986, marking the magazine’s one-hundred-twentieth anniversary. The essay was called “The Empire Lovers Strike Back” and is best read today in conjunction with a previous Nation essay from the same year, “The American Empire Ran Out of Gas,” and a clarifying subsequent commentary in The Sunday Telegraph in 1993 called “Race Against Time,” all of which he went on to reprint in his essay collections, perhaps under different titles.
Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention By Manning Marable (Viking Press, 594 pp., $30) I. When Malcolm X died in a hail of assassin’s gunfire at the Audubon Ballroom in February 1965, the mainstream media in the United States was quick to suggest that he reaped the harvest of bloodshed he had brazenly sown.
On Wednesday morning when I was checking the Occupy Wall Street website, I saw the announcement: “1,000,000 HOODIE MARCH FOR TRAYVON MARTIN,” over a photograph of a black teenage boy wearing a light-colored sweatshirt with a hood.
Threading through the history of the United States is a long line of reviled newcomers. In the 1850s, Irish and German Catholics were vilified by the Know Nothing movement. In the 1890s, Italians were subjected to frequent lynchings. Jews of the 1930s were excoriated by Father Charles Coughlin, Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, and the Ku Klux Klan. In the years following September 11, America’s 2.6 million Muslims have often found themselves facing similar kinds of hostility.
David Gelertner's unhinged rant in the Weekly Standard raises a lot of interesting questions, mostly centering around the apparent lack of editing at the magazine, but the most interesting of which involve race. The piece, which begins by accusing President Obama and his supporters of not loving America and ends with accusing liberals of "indescribably low and dirty attacks," makes a few telling observations about race. Gelertner celebrates "the all-but-eradication of race prejudice," which is a useful summary of conservative thought.
Jason Zengerle, another victim of Haley Barbour's sudden abandonment of the campaign trail, has published a wonderful little piece in GQ about Barbour and Yazoo City: Mott eventually became one of Yazoo City's most progressive voices, penning editorials in the Herald that ultimately paved the way for the successful integration of Yazoo City's schools in 1970.
Earlier this month, the FBI uploaded hundreds of archived reports about UFO sightings and investigations to its new "Vault." (Other topics in the Vault include the FBI's fight with the KKK and the 1997 shooting of rapper Notorious B.I.G.) Though the most famous documents, such as the Hottel memo, have been publicly available for some time, they make for entertaining reading, and, somewhat inevitably, the documents have provided fuel to the UFO existence fire.