Seth Cotlar Profile picture
Teaches American History at Willamette University. Wrote a book on Tom Paine and the Americans who hated/loved him. Writing a book on nostalgia in 19th C Am.
Lenny Marlow Profile picture Elizabeth Squires Profile picture eDo Profile picture Adam Smithee Profile picture czahrt Profile picture 51 added to My Authors
16 Jun
The HBO show about this crime spree will be called "Breaking Batter."
pahomepage.com/top-stories/la…
Sergeant Fryday, reporting for duty sir.
If only Abe Vigoda was still alive we could pair him with Erik Estrada as the law enforcement officers who cracked the case and name the show "Fish and CHiPs."
Read 5 tweets
15 Jun
In 2000, Selma, AL elected its first black mayor. The week after he took office some neo-Confederates erected a 10,000 pound, $25,000 statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest in the town. Forrest was one of the founders of the KKK. Subtle. latimes.com/archives/la-xp…
Six years earlier a wave of states across the South began instituting Confederate History Month. That's right, Confederate History Month became a "tradition" IN THE MID-1990S. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confedera…
The year Selma's neo-Confederates put up that Nathan Bedford Forrest statue, George W Bush won the white vote in Alabama by a 75-25 margin.
Read 5 tweets
15 Jun
Since late April the RNC has sent me 18 fundraising emails that ask me to sign a Birthday card for Donald Trump, which is a totally normal politics thing for a democratic country, right?
The number is probably higher than 18 because I often delete these emails.
LOL, I just checked my email and received this 6 minutes ago.
Read 5 tweets
14 Jun
I’ve got nothing but contempt for the gun activists/lobbyists and politicians who helped create this hellscape of a vicious cycle we find ourselves in.
In most societies around the world, guns are rare. If you think more guns mean more freedom, then you’re a special sort of American Exceptionalist Dope.
Read 4 tweets
13 Jun
Uh oh, don't tell Tom Cotton, but it looks like the US Army has been making training videos he'd consider "dangerously woke" since the early 1970s.
"A commitment to use the same imagination that has kept so many out, to bring them into the system willingly, with dignity and good feeling."
I can not stress how weird and wonderful this 1973 film, made by the US Army, is.
Read 4 tweets
13 Jun
This is how school children were taught to think about the history of plantations in the 1950s.
I was inspired to search for a historical film like this because I'm currently reading this powerful book by @ClintSmithIII. Highly recommend it. littlebrown.com/titles/clint-s…
A theme that emerges in that book is the almost complete erasure of the lived experience of black people under slavery from the nation's public historical memory. It's not like people pretended slavery never happened, they just ignored how it was experienced by the enslaved.
Read 7 tweets
13 Jun
Watching George Wallace respond to protestors in 1968 has some pretty strong, Trumpy resonances. Here, for example, he tells a story about protestors laying down in front of the POTUS motorcade. He says when he's POTUS he'll just run right over them.
Later he says to protestors "you fellas better have your day now because you're through later on, I can tell you that much."
"Watch your hard earned tax dollars sail away to anti-American countries. 'As President I will halt the giveaway of your American dollars and products to those nations that aid our enemies.'"
Read 12 tweets
12 Jun
On a plane in 1993 (when Rush L was in fullest bloom) the guy sitting next to me looked at the historical monograph I was reading and asked, in an accusatory tone, “that’s not one of those REVISIONIST history books is it?”
The US right has always been at war with EastAsiaStateU.
For the record, it was this book. amazon.com/Minutemen-Thei…
Read 4 tweets
12 Jun
I'm not sure enough contemporary conservatives recognize that their "strict constructionist" hero, Thomas Jefferson, was not an originalist. Don't take my word for it, here's a passage from Peter Onuf's great book "Jefferson and the Virginians" (2018), p. 31.
"As self-governing Americans became 'more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners & opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, & keep pace w/ the times.' He likened this 'progress of the human mind' to...
...a boy's growth to manhood; constitutions were like coats, good for a season, but constantly in need of repair... 'We might as well require a man to wear the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilised society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.'"
Read 11 tweets
12 Jun
I had a LIndsey Buckingham joke but it's not that funny.
I also had a Killing Joke joke and, well, it really killed, obvs.
My all time favorite is my Kajagoogoo joke, but I'm always too shy to tell it.
Read 7 tweets
11 Jun
Three years ago today I spotted this car parked in downtown Salem. Little did I know the GOP in several states would eventually pass laws in the spirit of that decal, or that III% militia members would aid an insurrection at the US Capitol.
This is the bio posted by the person who was, at that point, the chair of that county’s GOP. He explicitly identified as a supporter of that organization.
Just going to leave this here. wpr.org/accused-michig…
Read 6 tweets
10 Jun
In the late 1960s, a guy who headed up the Christian Education Association and edited a "patriotic" magazine called "Common Sense," offered these "Patriotic Educational Materials" for sale. Sounds innocuous, but it most certainly was not.
Many of the authors featured here were not just far right anti-semites, they were also straight up neo-Nazis. Yockey and Oliver are probably the two best known of such people.
The key takeaway here is that US fascism in the late 1960s was not the *absence* of thought or information. There were a plethora of books providing alternate facts and historical interpretations that informed the world views of many white Christian, anti-communist Americans.
Read 11 tweets
10 Jun
Talk about "unorthodox in vestments."
I'm hearing rumors that she's expected to just get a whack on the knuckles for this.
Read 4 tweets
9 Jun
What if we talked less about people’s reactions to things, and more about the things themselves?
People have been having ridiculous opinions about things since humanity began. “Dumb shit” is an inexhaustible well of content. But a good idea is a rare and wonderful thing, that only gets better the more people pay attention to and refine it.
We have at our disposal incredible forms of communication technology, and we overwhelmingly use it to generate outrage about something of little consequence that someone we don’t even know or care about said.
Read 8 tweets
9 Jun
It's impossible to articulate how deranged this Newsmax email is, and also how 100% unoriginal it is. FWIW, David Horowitz ("a Jewish author!" and mentor to Stephen MIller) has been a far-right ideologue since the 70s when he converted from being a far left ideologue. ImageImageImageImage
Rush Limbaugh even said, on his deathbed, that we're in a war of good vs. evil...so obviously, if you don't want that horrible anti-religion radical, Joe Biden, to destroy your church, then you really better send Newsmax some money. ImageImage
On the American right, it's always 1958 and "the godless globalist Marxists" are always seeking to destroy your church and brainwash your children into becoming non-believers.
Read 7 tweets
8 Jun
Dems want to make it easier for people to vote because higher turnout usually favors them.
Republicans want to make it harder for people to vote because higher turnout usually hurts them.
To justify their voter suppression, the GOP has manufactured an "election fraud crisis."
That's pretty much the story of US politics right now in one tweet. You'd think every politician in a nation premised upon the idea of popular sovereignty would want to make it easier for citizens to vote. Sadly, only one of our two parties now believes that.
The "election fraud" narrative is utter bullshit and every high ranking Republican knows it. But because they think all politics is just about power, they assume that Democratic attempts to expand access to the ballot are "really" just a power grab.
Read 9 tweets
8 Jun
A thread on Abbott's silly 1836 Project that established this basic, US History 101 point went viral yesterday. I know it shouldn't, but it shocks me that this came as news to many white people who live in Texas. Where the heck did they think "The State of Texas" came from?
I'm not being judgy. I had a terrible HS history education in the 80s that was only remedied because I was fortunate enough to go to college where I got a good history education. But how disorienting must it be to live in Texas and be taught nothing about the history of slavery?
It reminds me of an encounter I had soon after I moved to Oregon. I had an acquaintance ask me "who got to Oregon first, white people or Native Americans?" He was not putting me on, he was genuinely curious and thought I could help him out as a History teacher.
Read 6 tweets
8 Jun
I don’t know if this should make us feel better or worse, but this is what many commentators said about the GOP in the fall of 1964 after Barry Goldwater won the POTUS nomination.
One key difference between then and now is that in the 60s and 70s there were still a significant number of moderates in positions of influence inside the GOP, like Senator Mark Hatfield, a perennial contender for a VP spot.
Read 4 tweets
7 Jun
White settlers who came to Texas in the 1830s received 80 acres of land for every enslaved person they brought with them. I'm assuming this will be covered in the 1836 Project, yes?
A significant motivating factor for the Texas Revolution was that the Mexican government had declared slavery illegal, which rubbed the Anglo settlers the wrong way, because freedom. tshaonline.org/handbook/entri…
Section 9 of the 1836 Texas State Constitution. All persons of color who were slaves for life previous to th
Read 15 tweets
7 Jun
African-American activist Louis Lomax spoke at Oregon State University a few weeks after Goldwater lost the 1964 election. His assessment of what Goldwater and his supporters had made of the GOP was pretty blunt.
Lomax was far from the only person to comment on how Goldwater's people had transformed the party of Lincoln into a "white man's party." This is from Bob Novak, hardly a flaming liberal.
Read 5 tweets
7 Jun
In October of 1964 David Noebel, one of Billy James Hargis's deputies, gave a talk in Salem, OR where he outlined the communist brainwashing being perpetrated by rock n' rollers like The Beatles. He also extemporized about "the nest of perverts" in Washington DC.
Worth noting that both Richard Viguerie, key innovator of GOP direct mail in the 1970s and 1980s, and GOP Congresswoman Michele Bachmann were influenced by Noebel.
Here's how Salem's other newspaper, The Capitol Journal, reported on Noebel's October 1964 talk.
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