sMy 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.

July 26, 2020 We know when people see another group of people through stereotypes. They claim not to be stereotyping but they give themselves away. For instance, Tucker Carlson foresaw Texas going entirely Democratic. Why? As I wrote in my blog item on How Conservatives Think, Carlson saw the demographics of Texas changing to larger and larger numbers of Latinos. Latinos currently vote Democratic in the main. Therefore, ergo, and so……. in the inestimable logic of the conservative mind, Texas will go Democratic because a Latino is a Democrat, a Latino is a Democrat, a Latino is a Democrate forever and ever. It has to do with that DNA issue that conservatives confuse with identity politics. Right now Latinos identify with Democrats because Republicans are trying to kick them out of the country or at least disenfranchise them. But could the Republican Party ever ditch its racism? Well, that might be another DNA issue, huh?

Tucker’s mind does not allow him to consider the possibility that Latinos are very conservative except where it comes to keeping them out of good housing, good jobs, good schools, etc. just because they are brown. Otherwise: religion, abortion, family, patriotism (thousands of Mexicans came over the border during WW II not to work here but to join our army to fight Fascism since their country was neutral; plus Mexican-Americans won more medals for bravery than any other ethnic group)….. they line up with conservatism big time. But Tucker cannot imagine good Republicans rubbing shoulders with Mesicans. So maybe the Latinos of Texas will never desert the Dems. Long may she wave! Viva los Democratas!

Same day: Back in the sixties you could watch TV all day, all week and never see a Black person. A claim like that is often met with skepticism, the, “Oh, I think you are exaggerating” type. But those of us who lived then know that when a Black person did appear on TV, e.g. Peg Leg Bates on the Ed Sullivan Show, all the Black people called each other. “Turn on TV! One of us is on there!” Very big deal. So big that we joked (I think it might have been real) that the two telephone exchanges that most Blacks had due to residential segregation, 276- and 258-, would crash, overloaded by all the calls. Pretty clear evidence of the rarity of Blacks on TV then.

Speaking of TV, look at the hair styles of Black newscasters, pundits, moderators, etc. on TV and compare them with the hairdos of old. In the 70s people were fired from regular jobs for wearing cornrows (until Bo Derek wore them in Ten), naturals, dreads, etc. On TV, you couldn’t even get through the interview or past the building doorman, let alone onto the set.

Aug. 21, 2020 Here’s another one re the U.S.P.O aka ‘the mail.’ Farmers are getting dead chicks in the mail because…… the mail has slowed so much since the DeJoy took over that the chicks, ordinarily shipped via U.S.P.O. and arriving safe and sound, are arriving DOA. The headlines read: The Chick’s In the Mail. Funny to everyone but the poor hens….. and poultry farmers.

Nov. 14, 2020 This week a freshman congresswoman took her place in that body and all day she was being addressed not by her name but by the name of the person memorialized on her face mask, Breonna Taylor, the young paramedic murdered by undisciplined police fire in Kentucky. Congresspeople are up on current events and the hundreds of thousands of people demonstrating in the streets for two months does count as a current event, approached only by COVID and the election. To use the theme word of this administration, it was unprecedented.

Yet all day long this young woman was addressed as Breonna, Ms. Taylor, etc. Who did not know who Breonna Taylor is? Guess. I can’t say because I wasn’t there, but you can guess. And why did they not know who Breonna Taylor was, a person whose name was highlighted as much as George Floyd’s? Because it was a Black thing and they don’t do Black stuff. Not their constituents. (and there is both the nub and the rub: they remind me of the counseling students uninterested in learning about minorities because they were going to work in White schools. How did that work out with 50% of school children being of minority status?)

So talk all you want to about how congresspeople can’t keep up with everything – oh, did I say hundreds of thousands? No, in the U.S. alone the crowds were estimated at between 15 and 26 MILLION people and 60 other countries saw protests. No, there was an unconscious deletion of an inconvenient truth, that millions of Americans care enough about two Black people’s deaths to risk infection and show up. And, of course, the GOP slimed them as rioters. Figures.


  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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