It’s important to remember that Martin Luther King Jr. had a lot more to say in his life than just his “I Have a Dream” speech:

Figures like President Barack Obama have reminded us that King once said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” But over time, the great orator’s writings became less magnanimous and ever more convinced that white supremacy was the most significant obstacle in attaining liberation for all black people.

In his final book, Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?, originally published in 1967, King wrote that “Whites, it must frankly be said, are not putting in a similar mass effort to reeducate themselves out of their racial ignorance. It is an aspect of their sense of superiority that the white people of America believe they have so little to learn. The reality of substantial investment to assist Negroes into the twentieth century, adjusting to Negro neighbors and genuine school integration, is still a nightmare for all too many white Americans.”

He continued: “These are the deepest causes for contemporary abrasions between the races. Loose and easy language about equality, resonant resolutions about brotherhood fall pleasantly on the ear, but for the Negro there is a credibility gap he cannot overlook. He remembers that with each modest advance the white population promptly raises the argument that the Negro has come far enough. Each step forward accents an ever-present tendency to backlash.”

By this point in his life, King had abandoned the rose-colored glasses of his youth. Instead, he was laser-focused on addressing white supremacy in its basest and most intimate forms: in communities, schools, and neighborhoods.

I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

— Martin Luther King, Jr., in Letter From Birmingham Jail

While I haven’t been paying a lot of attention, this looks about right, at least from a policy standpoint. (The numbers are how many questions out of 20 I agree with the candidate on.)

Candidates with Warren at the top and Biden at the bottom

You can take the quiz at the Washington Post.

Ranking on a “would I feel good about voting for them?” scale have the same top and bottom results, the rest would be shuffled to varying degrees.

Ranked on a “would I vote for them if they were the nominee?” scale, they’d all be in the number one spot. Because while some are more in line with my personal beliefs than others, the priority is getting Trump out, and the top of the ticket vote needs to be a strategic vote to get Trump out of office, not an idealistic vote to “send a message”.

I first ran across the term “hopepunk” just about a year ago, and more and more these days, it’s the attitude that is helping me cope with the state of the world today.

As I posted on Facebook earlier today, along with the Tank Girl image in this post:

Tank Girl is hopepunkI post occasionally about the #hopepunk idea, and this is the essence of it (what I’ve also seen termed as “weaponized optimism”, which I love).

Yes, many things are horrible. Yes, far too much of the world is shit. And yes, not only can it be better, but we can make it better. And we’ll drag the rest of you with us into a better world, whether you like it or not.

Here’s more on the hopepunk idea, from a few sources. In each of these links, there’s a lot more than what I’ve excerpted here, and I highly recommend spending some time going through them all.

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Bruce Wayne warns wealth tax on billionaires could result in fewer crimes foiled via jet-powered cars: “When asked whether a wealth tax could help curb costumed murders by investing in public schools, job retraining, and community mental health initiatives, Wayne responded, ‘Sure, but do any of those programs involve a 7000 pound car that can drive up walls? I think not.'”

From Jason Kottke:

…I’ve developed a similar unsafe feeling about the flag. It’s not a voluntary thing — it’s something that has built up over two+ years of seeing American flags in photos of MAGA rallies & white nationalist marches but not so much at Black Lives Matter marches or pro-choice rallies. I’m sure you’ve also noticed the correlation between seeing an American flag emoji in someone’s Twitter bio next to the MAGA hashtag and the tendency of that person to act like a misogynist asshole. While it’s hardly a new thing, the aggressive, intolerant, nationalistic right has been particularly effective in visibly wrapping themselves in the flag lately. It’s great branding for them, but it’s not doing the flag any favors.

This is something I’ve noticed and discussed with my wife over the past few years as well. We’re at a point where if someone’s displaying an American flag, we assume they’re probably not someone we want to associate with — that it’s a display of nationalism, not patriotism. The bigger and more ostentatious the display, the more averse we are to interacting with them.

Everyone: When it’s time to vote, GET OUT AND VOTE.

The list below (originally found on Facebook) focuses on Alaskan elections (Alaskans can be particularly prone to the “my vote doesn’t count so why bother” mentality, particularly in Presidential elections where Alaska has few electoral votes and the races are often called before polls have even closed in Alaska), but I’d be willing to bet good money that similar close results can be found in whatever region you live in (I’ll admit that I haven’t taken the time to personally research and verify each of these specific instances, but I have no immediate reason to doubt them).

Also, you’ll notice that most of this list has results not from high-profile Presidential elections, but from local elections, from as broad as gubernatorial to as local as school district races. Sure, that’s because those races often deal with smaller voting populations, but those are also the races that are often far more directly impactful to the people who are (and who should be) voting. They may not be as “sexy” and exciting as big-ticket races, but they’re just as important — and not infrequently, arguably more so.



1845: ONE vote brought Texas into the Union.

1868: ONE vote saved President Andrew Johnson from impeachment.

1876: ONE vote gave Rutherford Hayes the presidency of the United States

1939: ONE vote passed the Selective Service act.

1960: ONE vote per precinct elected John F. Kennedy President.


1978: Jay Hammond won the nomination for Governor over Walter Hickel in the primary election by just 98 votes statewide. That’s less than 1/4 vote per precinct!

1978: ONE vote elected Tim Kelly to his Senate seat in District F.

1982: TWO votes gave the nomination for State Senate in District J to David McCracken in the primary election.

1984: ONE vote gave Mary Ratcliff the nomination for State Representative, House District 12, in the primary election.

1986: 17 votes (less than one vote per precinct) elected Rick Uehling Senator from District H, Seat B, out of 14,389 votes cast.

1988: SIX votes elected David Finkelstein to State Representative, House District 12 in the primary election.

1990: TEN votes elect Terry Martin to State Representative, District 13, Seat B. Just ONE vote per precinct.

1990: Four contests in the general election were decided by a margin of less than ONE PERCENT of the votes cast in each contest.

1992: FIVE votes gave Al Vezey the nomination for State Representative, House District 32 in the primary election (less than ONE vote per precinct).

1994: 1.1 votes per precinct elected Tony Knowles as Governor and Fran Ulmer as Lieutenant Governor out of 216,668 votes cast.

1996: ONE vote gave Ann Spohnholz the nomination for State Representative, House District 21, in the primary election.

1998: A TIE was broken by a flip of the coin to elect Wayne Morgan after a runoff Election for a school board seat in the Kuspuk School District.

2003: 14 votes gave Mark Begich the 45% plurality threshold needed to elect him Mayor of Anchorage.

2006: A TIE was broken by a flip of the coin to give Bryce Edgmon the nomination for State Representative, House District 37, in the primary election.

2016: In the Anchorage municipal election, Proposition 9, Girdwood Police Protection, passed by THREE votes.

I’ve been debating saying anything about Bernie Sanders’s announcement, as I know I have a few friends who are Bernie fans, and while I don’t remember any specific issues with any of them, generally, criticism of Bernie doesn’t go over well with his supporters.

Bess Kalb on Twitter.
Bess Kalb on Twitter.

But I have the advantage of being a straight cis white male, and thanks to those genetic/social happenstances, it’s easier and safer for me to say this than it is for many other people who don’t fall into one or more of those categories: take a seat, Bernie.

Celia on Twitter
Celia on Twitter

I thought he had interesting ideas in 2016. At first, I supported him, and cast a WA caucus vote for him. I appreciated that he helped bring a number of progressive ideas to the foreground of the political conversations (ideas which, in many cases, had been advanced by other, less privileged people over the years, but which weren’t worth seriously considering until they were brought up by a white guy, but hey, that’s just a weird coincidence, right?).

Summer Brennan on Twitter
Summer Brennan on Twitter

But the longer things went on, the more it became obvious to me that however interesting some of the ideas he espoused were, he and far too many of his followers were far too problematic for me to support, and I’ve seen absolutely nothing in the intervening years to convince me otherwise.

needlessly obscenity-laced on Twitter
needlessly obscenity-laced on Twitter

If he really wanted to help and make a difference in 2016, he should have given his support to Clinton and encouraged his supporters to do the same. He should have listened to those who were pointing out the many problematic aspects of his policies and campaign and learned from his missteps. He should have worked to listen, to learn, to do better, and to encourage his fans to do the same. But nothing I’ve seen from him tells me that he’s made any progress an any of these fronts.

Wajahat Ali on Twitter
Wajahat Ali on Twitter

I do not in the least believe that he is the best choice for 2020. I do believe that his entry into the race is going to cause more problems and encourage more racist and sexist attacks on the other people seeking the nomination. And I really wish that he would just sit down and shut up — or, if he must be involved in some way, offer his support to the new candidates seeking the nomination. But re-entering the race is not helpful.

N.K. Jemesin on Twitter
N.K. Jemesin on Twitter