I wish I had something important and meaningful and comforting to say about the Orlando shooting. It would be a fine thing to write some words that inspire hope and courage, and if I had those words I would gladly give them to you.
However, the kind of thing I think I do well is slow rumination, not instant response to events whose details are still coming out. I am still digesting the horror in Orlando. I don’t want to use it as an excuse to reprise a canned rant about guns or terrorism or bigotry, so today I will not say much at all about it. That’s not because I want to trivialize or ignore it.
So today’s articles will be the ones I have been working on all week. The first to come out — probably within an hour — will be “What Should ‘Racism’ Mean? Part II.” This week you probably heard more than you wanted about Donald Trump’s diatribes against the “Mexican” judge, and the responses of leading Republican like Paul Ryan or Mitt Romney. But I was struck by a detail that didn’t get that much attention: a poll saying that 2/3rds of Republicans disagree with Ryan and Romney; they say Trump’s comments were not racist.
That took me back to the theme of my “What Should ‘Racism’ Mean?” article from 2014. It’s not unreasonable to want to restrict usage of the word racism to extreme cases like the Nazis or the KKK. But if you do that, how do you describe things like Trump’s comments about Judge Curiel? To me, it seems like the Right has taken a lesson from George Orwell: If you restrict words to narrow meanings and don’t provide new terminology to fill the gaps, you can restrict discussion, and ultimately restrict thought. Those poll results, I believe, stem from that restricted thinking.
The second featured article was inspired by a critical comment on last week’s Sift: that I am ignoring or trivializing the Clinton email issue, particularly the new information that has come out in the last few weeks. So I read the State Department Inspector General’s report and The Wall Street Journal‘s latest leak of information about the alleged top secret information on Clinton’s server. My summary will be in “About Those Emails”, which will be out later this morning.
The weekly summary will briefly link to accounts of the Orlando shooting, before going on to political news in each party, the Stanford rape case, Samantha Bee’s summary of the presidential primaries, and a few other things, before closing with a speaker who has reduced TED talks to their generic essence. That should come out around noon.