1/ Whether the desire for slavery created white supremacy or vice-versa or - most likely - an inevitable chicken/egg pairing, I think we can see them as interchangeable concepts

And when you look at US society, you see rigid structures that hurt everybody in order to maintain WS
2/ What we learn about a slave society is that a bulk of communal resources must be spent to basically uphold a police state, a prison state, that contains human beings in bondage.

That's why the US has a huge prison population (the 13th Amendment loophole
3/ The 13th eliminates slavery EXCEPT for prisoners: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime..." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirteent…

So three structures are explained: why (1) the US has so many Black people in jail & (2) why felons can't vote [cont.]
4/ (3) how much the antebellum South was a large prison & thus, by extension, we can see the parallels in current US.

Many of the same strictures & deprivations of a prison state are to keep the white supremacy ideological system intact
5/ There's some overlap with unfettered capitalism, of course, b/c slavery comes about through depraved greed, & any system run by greed is a unethical (obv) & inefficient (oligarchy & monopoly are inevitable)
6/ One way to see the deprivation from bigotry based selfishnessness is in the social safety net. The New Deal needed to deny benefits to Black Americans in order to get the support of the white supremacist South

But it's why we don't have decent health care, or living wages
7/ The Trumpist base - as seen by their suicide cult behavior with COVID - is determined to hurt themselves if they think it will hurt others as well. They identify their enemies by color or creed & strap on the suicide vest du-jour, whether it's COVID or climate or poverty
8/ This type of blanket bigotry - a supremacy that claims everyone not like you is inferior & thus deserving of every bad fate - is inherently evil in thought before it results in active deed.

It denies the first theological claim in the Bible: Tzelem Elokim, the image of God.
9/ Class based bigotry is rampant in America, where some people are presumed to deserve a fate of comfort-less toil. It's obvious in the rhetoric of ppl who demand essential workers sacrifice for the economy, but also from those who cry foul if a poor family has a TV or phone
10/ That the richest nation on Earth can abide - and encourage! - poverty, hunger, uninsured health etc is a stunning statement of evil. But many conservative religious people - I know them personally - think this is Just and Good.

No. It's avoda zara. It's a false god.
11/ We have terrible health care & a disastrous social safety net - despite enormous capability in wealth to solve these ills - b/c of (white) supremacy. B/c of a lust for a return to slavery.

Magats are people who suffer alongside, but are happy b/c they see enemies suffer too
12/ When you recognize and see how systems & structure cause these problems, and that ideology keeps them in place despite the self-inflicted pain, then you'll see why the Magats are happy to die for the RedHatted god, & what we need to repair as a country to find redemption
13/ @threadreaderapp unroll, please

@threader_app compile please

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More from @JoshuaCypess

18 Sep
1/ There's a powerful symmetry b/w how I feel about Nov's election & how I generally feel about #RoshHashanah

Ya see, I really think Biden will win & consequently that we'll save America & likely the world (not an exaggeration). But I'm so worried that I can't feel confident.
2/ Am I doing enough to save the country? Are my neighbors - the ones in the same boat, in the metaphor of Yonah made literal with a plague - doing enough.

Feeling too confident about Nov. right now, for me & multiplied across the nation's resistors, will lead to doom
3/ I carry the year's confidence at the start of Elul about my habits & thoughts, that I'm doing my best. Elul's progress is meant to shake me from complacency. The daily shofar is to wake me up. Ironically, this year's lack of shofar did that even more; b/c of why it's missing.
Read 13 tweets
17 Sep
1/ This is a good mini-thread about the "what if Biden wins & DJT refuses to concede" discussion.

I'll add: people forget that power isn't in rules, or even guns, power is people. See #4 in my 4 Comforts thread: a majority of people actively hate him

2/ But, if the wrong people decide to ignore the law, then he'll stay in power, & that's actually what ppl fear

In 2016, I asked a fellow rabbi how he could support DJT. He said "checks & balances will stop him if he goes too far"

Instinctively, I knew this was foolish
3/ It was folly b/c (a) POTUS can do way too much damage before congress/courts could stop him, & (b) I *knew* the GOP wouldn't stop him, b/c they had many easy chances to do so in 2016 & didn't

My colleague is a naif, so he didn't understand square 1 of why DJT was dangerous.
Read 8 tweets
17 Sep
1/ Last year I read Moment magazine's Five Books Project (momentmag.com/five-books-pro…) - which asks prominent Tribespeople which 5 books are essential to be an educated Jew.

To put it mildly, this topic is right in my wheelhouse (book maven, rabbi, PhD in Jewish Studies)
2/ The basic question is: "which books I should read to be an 'educated Jew'" & it's variously interpreted. Initially, I was being cute: Bible, Babylonian Talmud, Jerusalem Talmud, Mishnah Torah, Shulchan Arukh.

But that's actually a poor answer.
3/ Ya see, I'm a book guy, but 80% of my vast library are reference books. I've read, cover-to-cover, 20% of my library (& 5%+ of my books I haven't even opened, oy)

The Moment shyla is abt reading, not owning. So for my 5 Books I needed to set real rules if I want to be useful
Read 49 tweets
17 Sep
1/ 2 points about Bill Barr:

(1) His particular evil is necessary to identify. It's the Dick Cheney school of "have low, measured voice plus a serious, still-faced demeanor, yet say criminal/reactionary things. It works way too often in DC. Pence has this toolbox, too.
2/ (2) This measured sober demeanor makes him sound confident even when he's panicking. And he is freaking out, I assure you.

Again, compare him to Cheney - who, I'll remind everyone, got AWAY with his crimes. Dick sold the country on the IraqWarForOil (TM) enterprise
3/ Cheney was the motivator for the W Bush foreign policy atrocities. And he just walked off into the sunset of respectability. But he never sounded panicky.

Barr OTOH is doing overtly fascist actions and *saying crazy things* - like his speech yesterday
Read 9 tweets
6 Sep
1/ I gave 2 divrei Torah on #KiTavo over Shabbas (to my captive audience family) & I thought I'd share them here.

First, of course, to explain: nearly every dvar Torah I've given since 2016 has been about the "Matzav", the #TrumpCrisis

How could I not?
2/ Trump (ym'sh) & his cult are pure evil, everything the Torah is against, everything the neviim warned us about, a violation of all the rules of life, kavod/respect & peace... and yet 70-80% of frum Jews support him & his organization.

The avoda-zara of Trumpism is a deep sin
3/ Any frum Jew, esp. rabbis, who support Trump (ym'sh) require teshuva, selicha and kappara. So before the yomim noraiim, I need to preach teshuva.

What's harder, for me, as a rabbi & therefore a representative of my people to Hashem, is how to argue we should be saved on YK
Read 42 tweets
4 Sep
1/ The same RedHat goons who believed every weird conspiracy about Obama, who would parse his words for secret codes, many of whom have jumped headfirst into the Q mystery cult that claims Democrats & actors are selling children for food... don't believe in science or the news
2/ They deny the news that Trump (ym'sh) calls military people losers & mocks the heroic dead... but they believe in Q. Even without names on record, we all know the dead-mocking is true b/c he's done it on camera for YEARS. The evidence of his low character is overwhelming!
3/ I emphasize their simultaneous (a) belief in depraved and impossible conspiracies & (b) denial of overwhelming evidence to the contrary b/c it shows their GOP support isn't intellectual, it's emotional. It's characteriological. It's (anti) ethical. It's their rotten identity
Read 16 tweets

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