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Dispatches From the Culture Wars - April 27, 2021

The culture wars turn bloody, Republicans split, and more developments in a time of turmoil

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NYPD in action at protests. Credit, The New York Times

Instant Death Penalty For Protesting

By Bess Levin
Vanity Fair

GOP lawmakers in dozens of states have introduced anti-protest bills meant to silence people speaking out for justice. Oklahoma and Iowa, inspired by Florida basically encouraging drivers to strike protesters with their cars, passed similar bills granting legal protections in certain situations for drivers who hit protesters supposedly blocking the street.

The Anti-Wokeness Gestalt

By Will Wilkinson
Model Citizen

Maybe if I can make sense of the Bari Weiss gestalt, I can finally begin to understand the moral panic about “wokeness” and “cancel culture.” So let us plunge into the unknown and proceed to parse and interrogate this New York Post column with a spirit of analytically rigorous adventure!

Republicans Are Splitting

By Michael Warren, Manu Raju and Alex Rogers
CNN

What started as a polite discussion about small business soon turned into a heated confrontation between unusual opponents -- Republican members of the House and their party's old friends at the US Chamber of Commerce.

Rumors and Lies About Antifascists

By Kelly Weill
The Daily Beast

As racial justice protests flared across the country in summer 2020, so did conservative fears of leftist protesters. From Oregon to Virginia, social media lit up with rumors about anti-fascists (“antifa”) or Black Lives Matter participants, who were allegedly coming to terrorize small towns.

Debate: Anti-Anti-Semitism

How Not to Fight Anti-Semitism  By the Editors of Jewish Currents

Jewish Oppression as a Historical Metaphor  By Rachel Ida Buff, Jewschool

Save the Classics

By M.G. Piety
CounterPunch

Classics as an academic discipline is pretty racist. There’s no question that many racists have appropriated classical culture, or their imagined version of classical culture, to support their own racist agenda. The question is the extent to which this imagined version of classical culture corresponds to reality.

Ten Black Women Making Films

By Jamilah Lewis-Horton
Bust

A few present-day breakout filmmakers forge their own distinct paths. Let's all continue celebrating the abundance of Black women filmmakers making waves in a largely white-male-dominated industry by amplifying their amazing contributions to the world of film. Here are 10 Black/BIPOC women filmmakers we should all be looking out for.

Country Music in Context

By Ted Gioia
Culture Notes of an Honest Broker

We have nurtured two sharply contrasting musical cultures over thousands of years. One celebrates conciliation and the settled life of the rural world, while the other revels in the nomadic triumphs of the fierce and passionate human predator. 

The Minimum Wage Divide

By Ledyard King, Charisse Jones, Paul Davidson and Michael Collins
USA TODAY

CEO pay doubled, the minimum wage stayed the same. But Americans still can't agree on a raise.

Stand With Ken Loach

By Gavin Lewis
Arena

The McCarthyite attacks on Ken Loach have taken a prominent pro-Palestinian human rights activist out of public debate. Attacking him as an anti-Semite also seals off media references to the expropriation and oppression of Palestinians that Loach actually is talking about.