Friday, September 8

Ep 405 The Professional Left Podcast

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1 comment:

  1. Coates's article reminded me of Daniel Goldhagen's 1996 book, Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust. Goldhagen wrote that Germans were "willing executioners" because antisemitism had been bred into German culture for hundreds of years to be central to Germans' self-images. Goldhagen wrote that this was something specific to Germany. From Coates's article, I see that inbred racism is not German-specific.

    (Goldhagen's book was comforting to those advocating a hard line for Israel vis a vis the Palestinians.)

    Coates (and maybe also Goldhagen -- I'd have to reread his book) slights the ongoing reinforcement of racism by media and some religious organizations. Coates quotes John C. Calhoun, for example, but many Trump supporters' ancestors weren't in this country in Calhoun's day or in Jefferson Davis's day. Racism has been transmitted and reinforced from generation to generation (to coin a phrase) not just "in mother's milk," but also through institutions. In the 1890's, racism and antisemitism were scientific orthodoxy. This led directly to the wave of white coups that instituted Jim Crow. That in turn led to the 1924 immigration act. Since Reagan, we've had Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and whatever church Jeff Seesions attends, all developing and re-developing racism. Not that the eager audiences are blameless, but that it takes two for evil to fester. (This is an idea developed from listening to your podcasts. Thank you!)

    Of course, adding sections on the 1890's and the post-Reagan time would have made a long article even longer. Maybe more of that is in Coates's book.


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