Saturday, January 6, 2018

The Blowback President

Looking back at 2017, let’s think of The Donald’s accomplishments after just a short time in office.Call him "The Blowback President" because his accomplishments consistently achieve the opposite of what he says he intends, which is a good thing, given his One-Percenter mentality.


Winning the election in the first place.
This success put paid to the notions that:

    • money buys elections – he didn’t spend that much
    • the media matter – he ran against the media
    • there is any real difference between the two parties
    • only Two-Party candidates can win—Trump was the ultimate independent

In other words, Trump proved that a popular message counts more than ideology or party affiliation.

There are many ways to get the attention of the public.  TV commercials are less effective than people think.  Having the punditocracy against you is not necessarily a bad thing. Argument does not win elections -- only appeals to gut bias really work.




OK, Trump didn’t start this, the most amazing witch hunt in American history. 

But Trump caused  Russiagate -- which came as the consequence of  his election threats against the “Deep State”--and, of course, actually winning the election. Plus his apparent willingness to work with the Russians, confounding 100 years of American, Russophobic imperial tradition.

This reaction on the part of the Democrats proved:

  • There IS a Deep State (an idea many had poo-pooed)
  • The Democratic Party is corrupt and antidemocratic
  • The Dems are just plain crazy
  • Big Media cannot be trusted.  Fake News ‘r Us.
  • The Dems are bigger morons than Trump (which is really saying something.

Grilling Jill Stein was the best news for the Green Party since they finally got in the News      




    • Suddenly Single Payer was back in the spotlight.
    • All the flaws of Obamacare were exposed.
    • More damage to the Democratic Party, who have shunned single payer  and just couldn’t bring themselves to support anything but some version of Obamacare.
    • Another plus for independent candidates.  If you support single payer, you must shun both parties.


The Tax Bill


    • Refocused public attention on inequality.
    • More or less sets things up for another Crash—which will be blamed not just on Trump -- but on capitalism as an economic system since Trump's policies are not much worse than Obama's. A pox on everyone's houses since I no longer have one.
    • Drew attention to the abuses of the tax system under Obama and previous Presidents including Clinton


Sanctions on Russia


    • Putin gets stronger
    • The Russian economy gets stronger
    • Europe weakens
    • The Chinese profit
    • Draws attention to Obama’s policies, once again weakening the Dems


North Korea


    • Trump’s threats bolster the peace process between the two Koreas
    • The Japanese get nervous—somebody there must have noticed that Japan is only a potential target because of its American bases and military alliance
    • Watch for Japan moving towards military independence and dumping the Americans (not for a long while though)


Sanctions against Venezuela


A peaceful and democratic election empowers Chavismo

    • Venezuelans rally against the Gringos
    • Maduro gets stronger.
    • Venezuela gets a new constitution
    • The “opposition” is now LEFT of Maduro, not right
    • And once again the Dems lose by supporting this long standing American policy


Support for the Honduras Election Theft


How US supports democracy in the Honduras

    • Latin American fear of the US soars.
    • The Dems suffer because they were responsible for the mess in the first place.

This of course undermines the US's criticism of Venezuela and Iran.


Support for the Ukraine including supply of lethal weapons


US in Ukraine

    • Now the Russians have good reason to resupply Donbass and Lugansk with their best.
    • More credence is given to the narrative that the US is out to “get” Russia and destroy the country.
    • More credence is given to the narrative the US destabilized Ukraine in the first place.
    • The US cannot pretend to be interested in the “Peace” process
    • The Dems lose because this was their policy and they still support it.
    • Say hello to Russian Ukraine as an independent country


Moving the embassy to Jerusalem.


    • The US can no longer pretend to be *neutral” in the Middle East anywhere, not just in Palestine.
    • The influence of Israel in US politics is clearer.  “Israelgate” anyone?  
    • The US was embarrassed by the UN voting against its move 

This moves validates Hamas -- with ISIS now declaring against Hamas.  "The enemy of my enemy is NOT my friend"....LOL. Accusations that ISIS, the US, and Israel were in bed together seem more credible than ever.


US support for Saudi Arabia


    • US support for a genocidal, racist, sexist regime mired in 17th Century religion is not new but Trump makes the contradictions clearer.
    • MbS claims to be a populist – just like Hitler and suffers from the same problem – extreme nationalism and megalomania
    • MbS wants to redistribute wealth in the KSA from royalty….himself... scine  L’etat, c’est moi

However, the basic concept of redistribution could catch on – especially if MbS is able to pay down the national debt.  Maybe we can do that in America too?
    • Once again there will be blowback.


Anti-Iranian measures


    • Again, this is long standing US policy-- now clearly exposed as crazy and bending to Israeli and Saudi Pressure.
    • Attempts to support protest in Iran can only undermine the protestors
    • There will be protest – but as in Venezuela it will be from the Left
    • Watch  therefore for the theocrats to promote a kind of Islamic socialism since MbS has made redistribution so popular to prove street creds.




    • Insulting a nuclear armed Islamic state benefits their main arms supplier – China
    • This will not help the Afghan War
    • It alienates the usually pro-American Pakistani military 

How DO you say fuckup in Arabic?

This list of blowback accomplishments goes on and on. 

As you see, Trump is a huge boon for progressives everywhere.  In the US,   he is undermining both the Dems and the GOP,  who are cooperating by committing political harakiri. Messy and bloody.  

That opens the political marketplace to independents and local politicians as the only ones who can offer the electorate real solutions, especially in the case of a Crash when everything gets a LOT worse.

\As I said, a Crash is inevitable, especially with many states moving to the PetroYuan or PetroRuble and just a thousand people manipulating Bitcoin. 

The dollar will weaken as a reserve currency.  Cryptocurrencies are clearly not yet a substitute – since, as mentioned they are play cash for the 0.01 percent.  

But if the Chinese and the Russians can incorporate them into their financial systems backed by gold – and structure them to work as more than instruments of speculation -- they will be a substitute for the Bretton Woods system that allowed the US to borrow money without ever having to think of paying it back.  

OK. Will Trump just start a war ?  Nope because that won't help.  It would just end the US of A.  And also Trump himself. 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Trump Dies For Our Sins

Early on, I wrote about the reflexive relationship between all forms of propaganda, including PR, branding and advertising and the public mind, with the public mind like our individual minds, responding less to reason and more to emotion and concepts and tropes -- memes passed down from generation to generation to form the basis of what we call "culture", habits of thought.

The Powers That Be are few. and they derive power from the Many. They cannot maintain power by force alone -- because they need to recruit soldiers and police from the Many.  They do not teach the people what to believe -- so much as the people teach them -- and they work to maintain a certain homogeneity.  The Mongols took China, killed a lot people and then settled in to become ...Chinese.


All mass cultures since the invention of agriculture are hierarchical, aggregates of groups or communities, one stacked above the other.   Such cultures may be regarded as a social technology -- tools -- and as with all tools the basic operating principles are generally understood.  In the case of large scale societies, that means division of labor, regimentation, property, and a power structure.  These basic memes are implicit, memetic and accepted by public mind -- so long as the whole machine works.

This is why Russian communism was never really socialist. Just a revised iteration of capitalism with capital controlled by bureaucratic elites.

External events like great catastrophes -- famines, floods, wars, epidemics -- or from the influence of new technologies -- can upset the functioning of the social machine, allowing some groups to move up -- or bringing others down or destroying the whole culture -- which is why no empire ever lasts longer than a few hundred years. 

Empires are just too large.  In culture, size equals complexity.  And complexity means inefficiency.

Today we talk a lot about "inequaliy", which is something that public has always accepted to a degree. What human groups do not accept is unfairness and the suffering imposed on others by hoarding.  

We don't care about the Koch's billions. We do care about   not getting education, healthcare, childcare, good food, infrastructure -- the basics because someone has sucked by all the wealth.

Yet, we also fear change.
In my business, we sell our clients -- big companies and governments-- the illusion that they can control the public mind and get people to do whatever they want. So we pimp and pander -- the Client is always right even when they are very, very wrong.

 Edward Bernays did not sell tobacco to women. He did not persuade them to smoke.  He just got big companies to buy a lot of advertising, which made him rich.  Women were going to smoke anyway.  In fact, they had started with the end of WWI, which had disrupted social mores by having women work while the men died in a useless war.

What this means today is that Donald Trump is not responsible for the debasement of American society and politics -- the American people are.  Trump is a very unoriginal expression of our belief system - at least some of it.  If you voted for Trump you supported that belief system.  If you voted for Hillary you voiced your support for the same system. In either case, you voted for American imperialism and predatory capitalism and inequality.  Lesser evil?  Fifty shades of grey.  It's still abuse.  But as with BDSM, people do it because they like it.   

Don't blame the Donald for your sins.

You could have -- if you had wanted -- just voted for Jill Stein

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Corbyn Quotient

 When Jeremy Corbyn took the leadership of the Labour Party he was ridiculed as too old, out of touch, and sure to lose big in any election, perhaps destroying chances for the Labour Party for a decade. Besides, he road a bicycle to work.

So said, the Blairites in parliament and the Media.

Fast forward and he has proved he naysayers wrong on every point.    In a nutshell -- authenticity and intelligent solutions communicate. And biycles are eco-friendly.

"Authenticity" means principles -- and not compromising those values  to suit the most recent news cycle trying to look "trendy".  

"Intelligent solutions?"  What works, works.  What doesn't work -- is usually obvious -- and everybody know.s    They like to say, "If it aint broke, don't fix it."  Even when so many things are "broke" So we know that public healthcare is progressively broken -- but fixing it is simple,  Fund it.  

Now take the issue of  inequality,  We have always had obscenely rich people, right?  But we don't care as long as we have the house, the car, the missus or the mister.

Lose the house, the car, the significant other - and you want to blame somebody -- or some thing - which might be the inequality that predicated your losses.   Rich people have more money than they need and they usually achieved that wealth taking advantage of publicly funded infrastructure.

The solutions to most problems are not rocket science.  We can see how well they work in many smaller countries worldwide. 

"Neoliberalism" clearly doesn't work.  Privatization doesn't work.

Public ownership of things that everyone uses -- trains, subways, the internet, banks and so on means you get a say in how these things of common interest are managed -- rather than a  single rich person, mostly living on an island in the Caribbean or in Riyadh,.  Public ownership does work.  As do small companies and entrepeneurships. 

America was at its most prosperous when tax rates were 90 %.

Corbyn also realizes it is possible to say No to alliances which don't deliver the benefits they promise -- and suck up money from the Treasury.  The UK's nuclear "deterrent" is a waste of money. 

But modern "progressive" parties find principles and commonsense problematic.  Faced with a challenge from the status quo -- they cave.

Syriza, for example,  was nominally "progressive" but caved in to the Eurocrats.It was "realism" they said.  Now they are worse off than ever.

On the other hand, the Russians facing the combined opposition of the US and all of its allies did not cave -- and they are now stronger for it.  Putin, like Corbyn, has principles.  Sanctions have in fact helped Putin mobilize his people and energize the economy. 

The Chavistas in Venezuela did not cave -- and their right wing opposition has gone nowhere.  The "democratic opposition" as the US would call it, is actually further to the Left! -- the leftwing of Chavism, driving change


In Canada, Thomas Mulcair could have won the previous election.  But he had caved long before, moving to the Right, which allowed Trudeau -  -- to win   by attacking from the Left and then governing to the right.  Trump LOVES Justin.  Guess why,

The lesson should be obvious for Canada's NDP and its new leader Jagmeet Singh.  Singh is young, bright and progressive.  But he wears three piece suits.  The Pink turbans are a plus.  But he has no program that we can see. He treads gingerly around the "principles", trying to be the Sikh Everyman. 

He is the Counter Trudeau but more of a fashion statement than a politician.  The voters do not want an alternative Trudeau -- the present model is good enough. 

To repeat voters want is:
  • authenticity
  • intelligent solutions
To win, Singh must be very, very different from Trudeau.  He needs some Grand Ideas.   Five Year Plans.  Bullet trains from East to West.  Presenting withdrawal from NAFTA -- and NATO as legitimate options. Upgrading public health plans.  Creation of public banks.    He will not get to lead a government by saying, "Hey, I 'm just like you -- I wear three piece suits".  Most Canadians don't wear suits at all, much less pretty colored turbans. 
Common interest must be defined by policy and enunciation of values.

Advice for Jagmeet.

  • Get a Policy.  A list of values.
  • Lose the suits.
  • Get a nickname.  Like "Jag" or "Jagger".
  • Do more of this:
Get a dog.  Sikhs, unlike Muslims, are fine with dogs.


Friday, December 22, 2017

Catalonia: Threat to World Order

The possible secession of Catalonia is a threat to Europe--and therefore to the world order.  Catalonia is small.  But so are viruses and bacteria...and if the infection spreads....

Small things can be Big.

Back at the beginning of the Industrial Age, Only Big was ...Big!  Big factories, big cities big countries,big empires.  And of course, big wars.

New nations appeared everywhere.  Modern Italy.  Modern Germany.  The US of A as a continental empire.

Industrialism and industrial economies required scale.That continued into the 2Oth Century which ended on the theme of Globalization, which saw the entire world as one huge international fast food court.

The 21st Century, however, is post industrial.   Twentieth Century information systems encouraged uniformity of opinion -- it was just easier to lie to the public, as Goebbels said,
“It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and a psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words, and words can be molded until they clothe ideas and disguise.” 
But Goebbels's Germany had a limited number of newspapers, all quite controllable and limited radio.  Just repeating stupid stuff wen a long way in the absence of alternative information.

Today, we have the internet, social media and the like.  Automatic translation too.  Anarchistic over-information.

"Fake news" is everywhere, of course but the more the media bruit talk   fake news, which is what they call reports contrary to their lies, the more the public distrusts them.  The protesteth too much.


Media attacks on RT are enough to convince many to trust RT.

The American Media's attacks on Trump helped him win the White House!

And UK media's attacks on  Jeremy Corbyn convinced many of his authenticity.   Ultimately, he notion of "fake" is that somewhere the real thing exists -- in this case truth.  

The Media's support of Hillary Clinton helped bring her down.

Back in the Good Old Days -- you opened up the morning paper and you believed.  Paper  then was just another word for scripture, and who argues with God? 

This, however,  is an age of diversity of opinion - not uniformity. Anarchistic informational overload  undermine  all notions of "big" that require uniformity of opinion, unanimity, regimentation and order. 

But we don't need that "big" anymore now that we have moved on from the factory age, which began in 1750 just after England absorbed Scotland.  

Now we have 3d Printing, even 4D printing.  

Swedish 3D Printing factory

Globalization ruled but now its dead.  Long live Localization,   
3D Printed Home

That is why Europe is running scared about Catalonia.  Not because it fears  Catalonia will become a new nation with an army and airforce and so on -- but rather because it fears it won't..  What if it comes something else? Nobody can guess what that might be.  But it might not be a "nation" in the style of Spain or France. It become just a very successful independent economic and social community, a beacon of hope in the increasing dysfunctional EU.

Then you might see we will see some of the former Italian republics seceding, maybe even parts of  France and Germany and of course Scotland.  Maybe even California. 

Julian Assange supports Catalonian independence . Of course, he is an anarcho syndicalist.   Ron Paul supports the Catalonians too.  He's a libertarian.

What's wrong with communities making up their minds for themselves what they want to be?  Isn't that democracy?

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Goodbye Spain Hello Catalonia. The Age of Small

As we predicted, the Spanish Government's attempt to bully Catalonia has not worked out.  The recent election gives pro-independence parties a majority -- perhaps 70 seats -- compared to the unionists 37 seats.  

In reality, Catalonian opinions about independence are probably more equally divided than this vote would suggest.

But one thing is clear:  Madrid has alienated Barcelona.  And nobody likes Rajoy very much.

True Love: Raj' and Theresa
This ultimately good news for parties such as Podemos, which can offer progressive compromises. The goal should not be to build a strong Catalonia nation -- but to create an autonomous Catalonia that can look after its own interests cooperating , This will weaken Spain as a nation. 

But that is a good thing.

Nation states are obsolete. 

Globalization came -- and went. And now we have Localization.

Look at what your Smartphone.  This is the age of Small. The Age of Personal Autonomy.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Robin Hood, Trump and MbS

Trump is a moron, of course.  

But, as I have argued before, an honest one, if inconsistent.  

Many people confuse these two things: honesty and consistency.  Honesty is saying what you believe -- at the time you believe it.  But beliefs can change, unless they are grounded in a lot of serious thought.

Some politicians, like Jeremy Corby are both honest and consistent because they think and care deeply about things -- which often makes them unelectable to the extent that the public is itself inconsistent, caught up in its own contradictions and delusions.   Corbyn languished in the back benches, until catapulted to leadership by accident.  

Other politicians,  like Obama, the Liberal That Never Was,  appear consistent using clever PR to keep them in sync with the public mood. But they are not honest because their actual agendas are different from what they express to the world. What they say they believe and what they really believe are different things.     

Trump says whatever comes into the empty space above his nostrils.  He contradicts himself.  And he doesn't care.  Now, that is honest!    But inconsistent -- because his beliefs change at the twit of a twitter.

Does he have an agenda?  Not really, nothing more defined than what to have for breakfast. 

Trump is not Evil -- just a walking, talking embarrassment -- the first President whose trouser zippers-- metaphorically speaking -- are always open--his faux pas a constant distraction. 

Zip It

Yet, paradoxically, Trump's radical WTF honesty / inconsistency focuses attention on  the contradictions of the last 100 years or so of American policy and social values.  That flabby thing is flapping right in front of our face when we look up to the podium, not withstanding (no, not his mouth). This is what a flaccid empire looks like.

We have only ourselves to blame.  After all, we had a chance-- briefly in 1944 or  45 -- but we blew it up along with Nagasaki and Hiroshima.  Remember the GI Bill?  Remember tax rates of 90 % on the wealthy?   Remember the country we built? It was grand for a while.

the Four Horsemen

Now, we face Armageddon  --   with  inequality, racial tension, poverty. and the economic collapse-- the Four Horsemen and nuclear horseshit. 

 Is Trump our AntiChrist?  No, we are -- collectively..  The GOP is an old jock-socks smelly locker room joke.   The Damnednoocrats have self destructed -- with Hillary pooping in her pant suits -- clearly not a solution -- but a large part -- if not the largest part -- of the problem.   

Obama has moved on to Blowjogs You Can Believe In -- massive payouts for 30 minute speeches to Rich People.  

The US faces the Day of Judgment.  Not judgment by God .  Why should He bother?

 Lucifer will judge. Because nobody is going to Heaven, which has moved to China, anyway.

But...but...but... Oh, how I love that word!

Is it a bird?  Is it a plane?  SuperGay/Black/Feminist/Transgender -- out of nowhere comes a charismatic-- and transformational  leader with a new party that sweeps congress.  The idea is radical:  justice for all.

The first thing he (or she or it) does is declare a state of emergency, perhaps to quell the separatist movement in California  and Oregon and Washington.  He stacks the Supreme Court.  Fuck you John Roberts.  And passes a revised Rico Act to include economic crimes.

Suddenly, in coordinated swoop, he detains the richest men in America -- the Kochs, Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and others --who find themselves locked in the New York Holiday Inn unable to leave and unable to access the porn movies on cable.  

Those not in the US are apprehended through "extraordinary rendition" -- the same methods used over the years for terrorists.   They will all be held indefinitely -- until they pay fines wiping out the national debut and paying for reconstruction of the economy.  

Koch Bros

The reasoning is simple.  The rich have the money -- but it is mostly hidden in trusts, or tied up in stocks and bonds or legal entities overseas.  Getting it by conventional means would take years.  

The government is not going to chase it all  down -- so it is up to each individual to get the money.  If they pay up quickly -- they get out, still with more than enough money to live comfortably-- forever -- in the style to which they have become accustomed.  If  they don't pay up ..well...we still have room in that little chunk of Cuba set up conveniently as a prison.  Who needs showers when you have waterboarding?  And orange is such a pretty color.

We don't do that?  What about the rule of law?


Of course we do this stuff. We've been it for years, killing perhaps 20 million people.  The good thing about the 0.1 % who control most of the world's wealth is that they are so few -- and so easily found.   Can we imagine the Kochs hiding in caves in Afghanistan?

Power does what power will. And we have had a lot of practice.

The public won't accept it?  They have accepted everything else, why not this?  And besides the "People" are always on the side of fairness when they don't have to pay.  Just tell them no taxes for a year!

You no doubt think I am being facetious.  Not at all.  This is a realistic scenario -- which, in fact, has happened only too recently.


Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia has just detained a few hundred princes, clerics and influential government offices in Riyadh in the Ritz Carlton.  His "one percent".

MbS is just 32 -- having usurped power in the KSA, with the apparent approval of King Salman, who is ill and wants to abdicate -- and also with the support of a majority of the Saudi population, who happen to be under 30.

The alternative to MbS is the a continuation of the system set up by Grandpa Abdullah, which kept things in the kingdom quiet through a consensus of some 20,000 princes and medievalist clergy.  The princes got paid to play; the clergy got to translate the Spanish Inquisition into Arabic (as it were).  Oil underwrote everything.  if you didn't like it, you got your head chopped off.

But black gold is just black these days.  Times are tough. 

MbS sees the future and he sees bankruptcy. Not good, given that 500 million dollar yacht he just bought and the Chateau in France.

If he sits on his hands and accepts Abdullah's KSA -- the status quo --  he will be forced aside when King Salman moves on. There are lots of Mb's who want to take over. Things aren't working well now.  Things will get much, much worse. So he doesn't have much choice.  

  MbS has decided to  modernize the KSA.  Although the KSA faces an economic crisis caused by lower oil prices and a soaring deficit -- the Saudi elites are rich. Most of that  money, as in most countries, is tucked away overseas. 

New Saudi City?

Now according to our Rule of Law  Rich People never go to prison and get to steal indiscriminately form the poor, homeless, old ladies and everybody else.  Law, as the Supreme Court tells us sanctimoniously is not the same as Justice. 

Fortunately, the KSA does not have  the Rule of  Law.   MbS is the law.  He has simply detained the richest princes and is political opponents -- indefinitely -- until they pay up.

Their detainment is luxurious -- the Ritz.  But detainment nevertheless.  The Iranians claim they are being tortured, which probably means that they are denied pedicures.

By doing this, MbS can repatriate more than enough money to wipe out the national debt and fund his ambitious plans for redevelopment of the economy. -- in the end, perhaps more than one hundred billion dollars .

The move is also hugely popular with the public who don't get salaries of 300,000 dollars a month for doing nothing as the Princes do and are more than happy to see the Wahhabi Islamists fall from grace.  Now they will have bikini beaches and get to watch American superhero movies.   Sure its bribery and  extortion.   It's thievery.  It's also Robin Hood.

The foreign press doesn't like it. Revise that:  they hate it! That's because the foreign press i owned by at most 50 hugely rich people.  It is a bad precedent. What if?  So they  compare MbS to Putin.  Putin, as you recall is the Great Satan.....

Yet Putin was democratically elected in a nation which still had a semblance of democratic process and the "rule of law".  He used legal process to rein in the Oligarchs.  He did not -- and does not -- rule by fiat. He aimed to build democracy -- not to destroy it.  

But Putin is not MbS, who we don't know much about.

One cannot fault MbS for this move.  He is just lucky that the KSA is not democracy and that there is no law. That has allowed him to cut the Gordian Knot in one slash.  

What will come next?  Will he advance his country and maybe the cause of peace in the Middle East?  Or will he go the way of Hitler, who started by reforming Germany in ways very beneficial to the German people before starting wars and killing Jews, and Slavs and anyone who didn't like his silly moustache.  One should remember that many of Hitler's reforms survived WWII and became the basis for German success in the postwar period.

There is a risk.  But justice and fairness are the least risky strategies in politics  and generate support.  MbS will be nothing without that support.   

In the US, that would be the case also. Power rests ultimately with the people.  Which is why it is so important that Trump is confronting us with so many things that we have denied up until now.  If we come clean with ourselves we can have change we believe in. 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Can your kids be friends with anyone?

What's In A Title?

Ekow Yankah’s op-ed in the NYT -- Can My Children Be Friends With White People? – has attracted remarkable attention, despite a silly argument that should have been dismissed out of hand.  The fact that serious and educated people waste any time on this says something about the state of discourse in the USA. 

Ekow Yankah: No You Can't Have Friends

Of course, it gets that attention because of the title, which is provocative, but, in an odd way, politically correct, since the rich and power don’t much care what marginalized people such as many "blacks" (sic)  might not like them.    

Liberal, middle class "whites" (sic) might care about liberal, middle class "blacks" unfriending them because they are often neighbors. 

It's a silly article and a silly argument.

But the NYT likes such things because they get unthinking people stirred up.

 I can think of only one other title that excite people more:
"Can my children be friends with Jews?"  Naturally, the NYT would never publish that, even if the argument -- logically speaking -- is substantially the same if it conflated "Jews" with Zionists.

Could you wrtie an article like : "Can My Children Be Friends With Black People?"  As Rod Dreher points out in the American Conservative an article of that kind got John Derbyshire fired.  
The answer to the question is: no.

Yankah may not get applause for his article.  But his critics are quick to qualify their discomfort with his ideas with loads of sympathy.  Honk, honk, honk, honkey.

The White Yankah
 Honk If You Are A Honkey
“I will teach my boys to have profound doubts that friendship with white people is possible. When they ask, I will teach my sons that their beautiful hue is at fault.”
Hue?  A variation in color.  Which reminds us that melanin is one color.  And "color" is just a matter of shade".  Which is to say, there are Fifty Shades of "Black" and also Fifty Shades of "White" in this perverse racial S/M game we play. 

Keep in mind that we really don’t know what “hue” his kids are.  They could be almost "white" like their mother.  Or very African looking like Dad. While Yankah is very dark. The multiracial mother is “white”.  

DNA testing shows we are almost all mongrels. And, as with most animals, healthier and happier for it. 

This whole “black/ white” dualism is an arbitrary heuristic that makes little sense -- it is counter-factual, a mass delusion.  At least 85% of "blacks" have "white" DNA.  And as much as 30% of "whites".

Like I said, "mongrels".  Me too.  Black.  Indian. But I look white, except for a mongoloid cast to my eyes.  

What Yankah is really talking about when he uses this word “hue” (shade) is appearance – , as I have just said, visible difference – which means “otherness”.

He is talking about belonging to community on the basis of  "sameness"   -- determined by stereotypes of what a member of that community is supposed to look like.  "Supposed" to look like?  According to whom?

But Yankah doesn't belong to that community which he claims to represent.   

Mr. Yankah, by his own admission, was raised in a tolerant community.  He is obviously affluent and who teaches at a very liberal Jewish University.  He is married to a woman who is mixed racially – but, like me, looks white. He lives in an upper middle class liberal community.  He never experienced the kind of trauma that poor black kids endure daily on the Mean Streets. 
He talks about “black” people as if he knew them -- just because he looks African.   

Has he ever been homeless?  Does he know the Mean Streets? No.  He’s has probably drive those streets in his BMW. But he hasn’t lived there. He clearly doesn’t know anything about poor black people.Or poor white people.  Poor anything

I have lived that life on the street and although I look white (as I mentioned my DNA says otherwise) I have a better claim to membership in the community of victims, the powerless and oppressed.

Yankah has never been a victim.  He has never lacked power.  

Fifty Shades Of Black  Hurt Me I Love It

Yet in his game of Fifty Shades of Black , Yankah is at war with white-dom.
“If they are not clearly allies, they will seem unsafe to me.”

Says Yankah.   But he published in that ever so white, ivory tower, the NYT.  Because, presumably, the NYT is supportive. 

 “Among my dearest friends, the wedding party and children’s godparents variety, many are white. But these are the friends who have marched in protest, rushed to airports to protest the president’s travel ban, people who have shared the risks required by strength and decency”
Friendship for Yankah is a Catch 22.  You cannot be friends with someone unless they prove their loyalty to your core beliefs through action.  But why would they want to do that unless they were first friends?

In other words, Yankah’s kids can’t have any friends – not really, maybe not even with each other, depending on the degree of melanin in their skin.

Yankah would teach a nasty kind of paranoia  fear of the putative Other, people who cannot prove they are the same.
Othering and Dehumanization

What is this sensibility that Yankah would teach?  Not racism – but something just as bad -- maybe worse -- call it "othering" where we categorize people as human  according to identity with us--and inhuman accordingo their difference from us.   

Those other "identities are alien -- not human if they are not fellow travelers wearing a compatible mantel of victimhood.  We don't care about them - except in in terms of their usefulness to our cause. And if they are not useful -- fuck'em.  They are the Deplorables.

The rich looked down on the poor for thousands of years, uncaring, thinking of them as less than human, undeserving of rights, even sometimes freedom.  The American people allowed its government to kill as many as 20 million people since WWII in unnecessary wars - the biggest pogrom in history -- because, well, those 20 million were not Americans, therefore not really human.  

Americans today feel no shame and continue to idolize the military.  Will you ever see a Hollywood movie about a courageous Viet Cong superhero killing American soldiers?

There is no “white” or “black” in the US of A – only exploited and disenfranchised communities, which may be blackish, brownish, whiteish or yellow-ish, each of which is “other” to those who have privilege and power – people such as Yankah who cannot really care about what he doesn't know and doesn't want to know.  

Our enemy should not be each other – but this insidious "othering" this culture of dehumanization that perpetuates itself through poverty and inequality . 

Our challenge should be to overcome the visceral reaction to perceived difference – “black” (sic), “white” (sic), male, female, young, old, gay, straight --whatever.    We should resist "divide anc conquer".

If This Be War
If this is a war, then people like Ekow Yankah collaborate with the enemy -- sadly, the worst part of ourselves.

In this mongrel nation, e pluribus unum makes more sense.  Let us celebrate difference, not fear it. There are no "others" – only us.