Giveaways

My use of ‘giveaway’ is like this: the lipstick on your collar is a dead giveaway, my Dear.
Here’s one I read years ago: the former male president of the NY chapter of NOW surveyed women’s business magazines and found few advertisements for office machines or tax services but rather glossy pages full of lipstick, jewelry, stockings, clothing, etc. Even more telling, lurking in a blurry background was usually a well-dressed, prosperous or important man. The message: your best bet is still to snag a rich husband.
But why is that a giveaway? Maybe the advertisers are just a bunch of sexists. No, advertising is very expensive; it’s not wasted on messages that don’t work. So, was the push for woman in business in the 70s really about business or about man-hunting?
Songs in Cuba are mostly about food. That struck someone as odd. Why was that? they asked. The answer: people sing about (and song writers hoping for a hit write about) what people do not have. In Cuba, they don’t have food. In the U.S. we lack sex and love, so our songs are about “all night long.” You wish.

Feb. 29 – another one. From Taylor Branch’s Parting the Waters: the way the FBI agents could spot Communists is if White people were comfortable around Blacks. The reason for that was that the Party had encouraged its members to work with and associate with Blacks. (the Communists were no friends of Blacks, twisting their policies toward civil rights to reflect instructions from Moscow).

March 1 – understanding the role of Black people in the society was an intellectual exercise in the 1950s. As good White liberals, we stood out among our peers for even caring. Nevertheless, we were ignorant of what life was like for Black people, so we could afford to entertain the notions common to our era. However, once I married into a Black family, all that changed. It was a giveaway as to what was actually going on in the society. No more polite masks or Disney versions.

March 5 The Black turnout for Biden, including young people, shows just how conservative Black people are. If the GOP could get over its racism, it could snatch up both the Black and the Hispanic vote. Instead, they hitched their star to a disappearing, regional constituency of racists and religious nuts.

Anyway, here is something you cannot ignore. The social separation of African-Americans is shown by the fact that AAVE does not participate in the Northern Cities vowel shift.

That Trump Republicans have turned the U.S. into a third world country: Les Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders have sent a team into the Navaho Nation due to the alarming death rate there from the Corona Virus. Azar and the U.S. Department of Health under Trump does next to nothing. It puts you in mind of the small-pox infected blankets distributed to Native Americans by the U.S. Army

In New York City there was an uproar a few years ago over taxi drivers refusing to pick up Black fares. The head of the taxi drivers’ union explained: as was she, most of the drivers came from countries like India where there was a clear caste system. The people in the lower caste were owed nothing. When those people arrive here, they quickly see how the system works here and where Blacks fit in and treat them accordingly. They are surprised when politicians and bureaucrats thunder at them for their “prejudice.” After all, they are just doing what the Americans do, and by Americans they mean what Sarah Palin calls real Americans and the Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice called “regular people.”

May 19, 2020 Right now a lot of Trumpers are urging the economy to open up despite the manifest dangers to workers of all sorts but especially those at the lower end of the pay scale. Treasury Sec’y Minuchin objected to the rhetorical question from a senator, How many Americans should die to open the economy? It is not an unfair question. How far back do you have to go to find sweat shops, to find child labor, to find slave labor? Not far at all. The drive to make money consumes quite a few people and they will sacrifice others to their ends. The so-called social justice warriors, reviled by the right, have fought hard battles to end slavery, child labor, and sweat shops where immigrants were shut up in fire traps to manufacture cheap goods. It was only a few decades ago that Cesar Chavez marched to end brutal work conditions in the fields. My wife picked cotton to supplement the family income when she was only 6 and the fields were still being sprayed with DDT.

2 Comments

  1. 伟思礼 says:

    I imagine that back then (if not still), the perception among women in business is they had to be attractive to get anywhere. And unfortunately, that perception was usually correct.

    1. Pat Barrett says:

      That is no doubt the case. It’s all tied up together.

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