Thank you. The first time I heard (or read) Batya I was nodding furiously. I was so grateful to hear someone connect the dots like that. Half-way through last year, around the time of the Tom Cotton dust-up at the Times I realized the media was lying to the American people. They were lying about the protests, lying about COVID. It made me wonder what else they were lying about. So I did what no one I knew was willing to do: I dove headlong into Trump World. I spent months listening to podcasts, watching Fox News, watching Trump's rallies. I have spent so much time getting to know the very people I've been told to hate in search of the version of them all of my friends believe exists. What I found is that Trump himself is offensive in what he says. That is a crime to the left, just that. Being offensive. If you say offensive things that makes you offensive and that makes you every terrible thing. I have found it nearly impossible to talk to people on my own side. They become visibly upset and start calling me names if I ever try. So I mostly don't bother. I kept waiting for people to notice, for journalists to notice and to write about it, to humanize them. I finally understood why so many times in our history we have done terrible things to groups of people. Whether it was the Salem Witch trials, Nazi Germany or the Jim Crow south, the pattern was always the same: fear became dehumanization which eventually into crimes against humanity. They believed they were on the right side in all of these cases. But what I came out of 2020 knowing or sure: dehumanization is always wrong. Be very wary of when you are being told to hate a group of people and to dehumanize them. That is the red button for our species. Thank you Batya and thank you Bari for noticing.

Expand full comment

In my previous lives in public mental health and social services, a well-repeated truth, from both PhDs and people who had just raised a lot of kids, was this:

If you tell a kid they're no good often enough and long enough, they'll live up to it.

I wonder how many actual racists and white supremacists (from the "old definitions" of those words when they actually meant something) are being created by this cancer. Kick a good dog enough times, you'll get a bad dog. A sort of, "well fuck it, if you're going to take me and my entire community and culture down anyway, we may was well enjoy the alleged upsides of being bad guys."

I wonder.

Expand full comment

I think the article’s analysis is correct.

You don’t see white “woke” liberals offering to give up their cherished seats of power.

Rather they fain sympathy and outrage with “people of color” all while demanding more power for themselves to fix things…

We have to admit - it’s a clever (and working) strategy…

Expand full comment

“What’s the Matter With Kansas,” Thomas Frank famously asked why white, working-class voters were voting against their own economic interests.


This book is really the epitome of left-wing Democrat progressivism being nothing more than the least sophisticated and most infantile analysis on any particular issue.

“Why aren’t you voting for us to tax and regulate the shit out of your employer and then give benefits to you? That’s against your interest.”

You quite literally have to have the intellect of a 5-year-old confronted with marshmallows to be presented with that choice and then NOT think for an extra four seconds to consider the downstream consequences of the government stepping on your employer’s throat.

“There’s a virus. Everyone stay in your house.”

“There’s homeless people. We should give them homes.”

“There’s poor people. We should give them money.”

“Some kids get bad grades. We should send them to college.”

Im telling you, go down the list, aside from a few social issues, every single solution provided by Democrats is the single dumbest and least careful solution to the problem in question. It is always the exact proposal you would get from a fairly dim 6th grader if you only gave them 10 seconds to come up with a solution.

Expand full comment

Kirsten Powers used to be a reasonable facsimile of a reasonable person. Maybe dating Andrew Cuomo broke her.

But to say that voting for a white man Trump over a white criminal woman Clinton is racist is so beyond the pale, the only place she could find to employ her would be CNN, where truth is never found and reality goes to die.

Expand full comment

“Every white person benefits from an inherently racist system that is structurally racist, so we are all part of the problem,”


My best idea for President Ron DeSantis is to immediately eliminate all federal funding and preferential tax treatment for systemically racist institutions.

Then, to implement this order, we just need to look at the statements of all of the institutions that claim to be suffering from systemic racism themselves. So that would be basically all universities and government agencies.

“Nope. Sorry. You said you were racist. Enjoy poverty, beotch!!”

Kick them right in the nutsack.


Expand full comment

"It took the guilt that they should have felt around their economic good fortune and political power— which they could have shared with the less fortunate had they cared to—and displaced it onto their whiteness, an immutable characteristic that they could do absolutely nothing to change."

It's also something they share with the vast majority of working-class and poor people: whiteness. Thus, poor and working-class white people can function as the scapegoat for the racism of the white elite. WE are to blame for THEIR malfeasances.

I've seen too many conversations about this where this very point is used neatly and instantly by the white woke as a means of preventing any class consciousness from arising. They always whine about why those stupid white Bubbas and Bunkers don't align themselves with disadvantaged Black people, but watch and see the reaction when they do:

Poor white person: "I have a lot of sympathy for poor Black Americans. I was raised poor and have felt much the same sense of disadvantage. I'm on their side."

Woke white person: "You know nothing about the struggles of people of color! You have white privilege! Unpack your knapsack! Check your privilege!"

The other way it can go is:

Poor white person: "I can't understand what it's like to be Black in this country, but I stand as an ally."

Woke white person: "Your inability to see what you have in common with poor Black people is a sign of your racism! Unpack your knapsack! Check your privilege!"

The absolute instant ANY hint of alliance -- a truly threatening alliance based on class, money, and power -- rears its ugly head, they swiftly cut it off from either side. And Black people on the whole don't step in because hey, they've finally got the white elite on their side -- why would they choose to side with Earlene the high school graduate who bags groceries over Tiffany the rich kid interning at the NYT? Can you blame them? They've been through so much historically, and they think now the money's finally on their side.

The woke white elite have turned a movement for the disadvantaged to gain power into a means to keep the disadvantaged at one another's throats so they can eat their cutlet in peace.

They've also managed to turn it into a contest between white people on who, as I often say, gets to wear the tiara for Wokest White Person in the Room. When a poor or working-class white person makes any observation that threatens alliance with disadvantaged Black people, not only does it threaten an actual shift of power, but it also means that someone is trying to wrench that tiara off Tiffany's head. No WAY, you dollar-store bitch, that tiara's MINE.

So ... the white elite is actually not on the side of disadvantaged Black people at all, is it? They're just duking it out with poor white people. The Black person sitting between them is just the bat Tiffany uses to beat Earlene over the head.

The fact that feminism had to be completely destroyed in order for this to happen -- for white WOMEN specifically, who couldn't even vote until 1920, to take every bit of the blame for everything the American government has ever done wrong -- is a whole `nother kettle of fish. But it sure helps to keep Tiffany and Earlene at each other's throats, dunnit?

Expand full comment

You had me up until this statement, "Racism is still a blight on American life."

I have lived many decades. I have lived on both coasts - California and NYC - but the majority of my life has been lived in 'flyover' country. One of my best friends since the second grade is Hispanic. I never saw him as such until I was living in NYC and he came to visit. The news at the time suggested that tensions were high between blacks and Hispanics, and that both groups should be careful of straying onto the others turf. As I was taking my friend to the US Open on the 7 train, I became all too aware that my friend for life was Hispanic.

Yes, I am a white man, but the few acts of racism I have witnessed in 'flyover' country have been black against white. I won't recount them, but they remain etched in my memory. HOWEVER, the overwhelming majority of what I experience daily is racially blind. A few guys outside a martial arts business talking to one another as friends - 2 white and 1 black. A young black man opens the door for me as I leave an Indian restaurant. A black man holds the door as he exists a US Post Office facility for an older white man, who in-turn holds the door for a older still white woman. These are the daily interactions I experience and witness in 'flyover' country. People say thank you, you're welcome and use the word sir in their interactions. I don't experience a landscape blighted by racism.

Expand full comment

The treatment of the working class has been shameful for decades and continues to be. The moment obama bailed out the banks and let the homeowners sink was when the working and middle class began to turn to trump. Everything obama said when he ran turned out to be a lie, after awhile people don't care any longer, they just want to break the system that has treated them with such contempt. I find myself ever more ashamed of my liberal tribe . . . and please do not use the term "educated" for them. They have been schooled, not educated. In fact, shey have been schooled far beyond their emotional intelligence level. An educated person would never do what they are doing. And this is why so much of what they do turns out all wrong. great article, thank you. the country and we are in terrible trouble. this is going no place good.

Expand full comment

I am tired of the broad brush of “systemic racism” and would prefer specific examples that have solutions. One solution the elites would hate: no more legacy admissions to anything. One solution the criminal teachers unions would hate: school choice. One solution BLM would hate: increased police presence in our dangerous inner cities. There, three useful solutions that would actually help “POC” and the working poor.

Expand full comment

I’m reading Bayta’s book now, and am about 2/3 through. I also went back to read Bari’s resignation letter from the NTY.

The argument that white liberals bow to the loons on the left because they are trying to appear virtuous while protecting their economic class advantage, was preferred by Vivek Ramaswamy in his book Woke, Inc. - where corporate America is virtue signaling to the loons on the left to cover over for the bad things that they are doing inside their company, ultimately, to protect their profits. This argument has merit, and is driven by the fact that attacks on Twitter can and do affect profits - a ridiculous reality in a society such as ours.

What I got from the book, Bad News - is a wonderful history lesson about journalism. Pulitzer was about speaking for the masses, the populous. The NYT, however, found that advertising for the upper class was more profitable and sought to cater to a specific audience. Journalists were originally blue collar, and migrated to elite status over time and now control the media.

What I learned about the NYT makes me sick 🤮. The author presented insights that had management bowing to the wishes of young journalists from elite schools to present a narrative that they had learned while in college. Management was simply to scared to stand tall against this scourge. Over time, the NYT migrated to a subscription based model and targeted its readers with articles about race that made them feel good about themselves - all the while ignoring what they should have been trying to achieve - as liberals - which is helping others to achieve economic success. It’s an interesting argument, has some truth - money is evil.

From Bari’s resignation letter from the NYT it is easy to see how she bumped up against the younger woke loons from elite universities, and saw the destruction of journalism taking place before her eyes. Kudos to Bari for walking away. Integrity is a very important trait, one that Bari has in abundance. Sadly, those young woke journalists never learned about integrity (a glaring slap in the face of postmodernism) and institutions like the NYT will continue to allow them to get away with their stupidity because readers will continue to pay $$$ to feel good about themselves.

Expand full comment

Robin DiAngelo and Ibrahim X Kendi are laughing all the way to the bank.

Expand full comment

Peggy Macintosh arguably started this trend with her "invisible knapsack" theory of white privilege.

Peggy Macintosh was a rich girl who grew up in a gated community, went to all the best schools, etc. And rather than attributing her privilege to growing up wealthy, she attributed it all to growing up white. It's sort of like saying "Well Malia and Sasha Obama are black, and privileged, so that naturally means all black people share that privilege".

By displacing economic privilege onto ostensible white privilege, not only did rich white liberals get a convenient excuse to swap out any kind of commitment to genuine reform/sacrifice for performative repenting & platitudes, but it means they can also use poor whites from the Great UnWoke as human shields in the culture wars.

Expand full comment

This was an excellent piece written by Batya Ungar-Sargon. This piece reminded me of the saying, "The Worst Kind of Racism is the Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations, " which many White liberal elites seem to espouse when dealing with POC or other marginalized groups.

White liberals have been a hindrance to the natural advancement of Black people. They are some of the most unknowingly insulting people on the planet earth. Black people are tired of White liberals infantilizing our existence. I, for one, am on a mission to exploit and destroy every White liberal I run into. Black people get off the democrat treadmill; you've been running in place for the last 50 years.

Expand full comment

White liberals pushing DEI,

what they say: "I wanted to live in a neighborhood with good schools"

What they meant: "I didn't want to live in a black or Hispanic neighborhood"

Expand full comment

"Trump was so extreme in his disregard of liberal mores, so willing to offend with comments that were sometimes casually racist—comments that were amplified and justified throughout conservative and right-wing news outlets—that American liberals, including the liberal media, swung hard to the left."

Still more evidence that Bari and her circle are too left-wing to get it. They want to see a Left that is still The Way, if only it could purge the Bad Elements (which came to exist because the Right pushed them over the edge). That narrative is built by casting Trump's election as a "first strike" that caused all sorts of problems.

But it isn't so. The Left going Bad is, and always has been, the nature of the Left. The only thing that stops it from happening is the Right. The American Left got more powerful than it had ever been before during the Obama era, and it did what it does. Trumpism was a backlash. To attribute the Left's behavior since 2016 to Trump is to fundamentally hide the root of the issue.

Expand full comment