1. Oh, I’m sure that will help a lot. Quaker announced yesterday that the Aunt Jemima brand would be rebranded and renamed “to make progress toward racial equality.” Yeah, I’m sure the pancake box design and hearing that demon name “Jemima” has retarded the progress of racial justice for decades. I couldn’t care less what pancake mix is called and I doubt that anyone else does, but if any portion of the market claims to find the logo offensive, that’s a good reason to ditch it, which I assume means that Uncle Ben’s Rice will be called “U.B.R.” soon. Nonetheless, Quaker’s move isn’t substantive. It’s virtue signaling, and at this point, more historical airbrushing. Getting rid of Aunt Jemima will cost Quaker millions of dollars, and probably raise the price of the product. It won’t affect racial equality one iota.
Meanwhile, cultural context and history is lost. The R. T. Davis Milling Company hired former slave Nancy Green as a spokesperson for the Aunt Jemima pancake mix in 1890, and she continued in that role until her death in 1923. Green appeared as Jemima beside the “world’s largest flour barrel” while operating a pancake-cooking display at Chicago’s 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. After the Expo, Green was given a lifetime contract to promote the pancake mix. Aunt Jemima was Nancy Green’s one link to immortality.
2. Today’s SCOTUS decision on DACA. Here’s how NPR put it: “A narrowly divided U.S. Supreme Court extended a life-support line to some 650,000 so-called DREAMers on Thursday, allowing them to remain safe from deportation for now, while the Trump administration jumps through the administrative hoops that the court said are required before ending the program.”
The President called this a political decision in his inimitable, meat-axe way:
This is an especially stupid tweet. Every time SCOTUS doesn’t back the administration isn’t a political decision, and lumping apples and kumquats together, which is what generalizing about decisions as diverse as the gay discrimination decision and this one is, just shows that the President doesn’t read the opinions he’s complaining about, and only cares about the results. (Of course, in this he is like most Americans, sad to say.)
After wading through as much of the assorted opinions in the case as I can stand (Great thanks, once again, to valkygrrl for sending me the link), I think that’s unfair.
Chief Justice Roberts, again the swing man, joined with the four liberal Justices and authored the majority opinion. This sentence says it all: “The dispute before the Court is not whether DHS may rescind DACA. All parties agree that it may. The dispute is instead primarily about the procedure the agency followed in doing so.” That means that the decision isn’t about substance or policy, but rather process. Process decisions are not, or shouldn’t be, political. This note also undermines the idea that the Justices were just acting in partisan lockstep:
ROBERTS, C. J., delivered the opinion of the Court, except as to Part IV. GINSBURG, BREYER, and KAGAN, JJ., joined that opinion in full, and SOTOMAYOR, J., joined as to all but Part IV. SOTOMAYOR, J., filed an opinion concurring in part, concurring in the judgment in part, and dissenting in part. THOMAS, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment in part anddissenting in part, in which ALITO and GORSUCH, JJ., joined. ALITO, J., and KAVANAUGH, J., filed opinions concurring in the judgment in part and dissenting in part.
If the President paid attention, he would see that a majority of the Court found that his actions regarding DACA were not motivated by “animus,” thus denying Big Lie #4.
I am unalterably opposed to DACA, for reasons stated frequently here. The short version: it is incompetent and irresponsible law-making to provide an incentive for people to break the law. DACA is fueled by emotion and sentimentality (“Think if the children!”) and is an incremental step toward open borders. However, other than some dicta among the concurrences and dissents, there is no reason to see the decision as either favoring or disfavoring the law.
3. Luckily, I guess, not many people read Ethics Alarms. Among the Legal Insurrection blog posts that has Professor William Jacobson fighting for his reputation and his career is one stating that Black Lives Matter misled its followers regarding the death of Michael Brown, pushing the false narrative that Michael Brown was shot with his hands raised up in surrender. Well, they did. I’ve written this here many times, most recently when Democratic Presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg repeated the BLM lie. The Obama Justice Department as well as the grand jury found that Michael Brown’s hands were not raised, he did not say “don’t shoot,” and he was charging the police officer who killed him.
4. Wait: why was there a statue of this guy in the first place? This week, the City of Albuquerque removed the statue of conquistador Juan de Oñate that stood in front of the city’s museum. This is the inevitable point where those of us who oppose statue-toppling have to decide if we are absolutist, or if there are special cases. Remember that I opposed the removal of the Joe Paterno statue at Penn State after he was revealed to have enabled the horrific child molesting of his assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. I’m awfully close to an absolutist.
Oñate, however is pretty hard to defend. He wasn’t an American, and his period as governor of the New Mexico territory in the 16th Century was brutal even by the standards of his time and nation, Spain. He killed 800 indigenous people in Acoma Pueblo and in another infamous episode, ordered his men to cut off the foot of at least 24 male captives. This was too much even for the Spanish, who convicted him on charges of excessive violence and cruelty and exiled him from New Mexico. Decades ago, a stealthy protester cut off the statue’s right foot. Good one!
I’m curious: How many absolutists are out there? Let’s poll it: