January 05, 2015

Lyndon B. Johnson

Lyndon B. Johnson

Source: Shutterstock

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to watch stupid Hollywood movies about it.

The film Selma, set for release on Friday, is said to be the first major Hollywood drama featuring Martin Luther King as a main character. Ava DuVernay directed it and as a result has become the first black woman to receive a Golden Globes nomination for Best Director. One may be forgiven for assuming that DuVernay got the Golden Globes nod more because she is a black woman who made a film about MLK than because of any relative cinematographic merits the film may possess.

Selma has already engendered pre-release controversy because it portrays MLK as having a contentious relationship with the penis-flashing, bloodhound-jowled President Lyndon Baines Johnson, who perhaps stands second only to FDR as the most eagerly government-expanding prez in US history.

DuVernay insists that the film is historically correct and that MLK and LBJ indeed clashed over the Voting Rights Act and the now-sanctified march on Selma. Other historians, perhaps chafing at the idea that the hallowed Democratic Commander in Chief who shat the Great Society on us may have been more of a cold-blooded politician than a warm-hearted ideologue, are aghast at the idea that LBJ was anything less than MLK’s willing Caucasian friend and enabler.

“€œThose who do not learn from history are doomed to watch stupid Hollywood movies about it.”€

Lost in the controversy are all of these quotes attributed to LBJ. They should add a spicy dash of context for interested bystanders:

“€œThe Civil Rights program is a farce and a sham”€”an effort to set up a police state.”€
“€”From LBJ’s 1948 speech opposing Harry Truman’s submission of a civil-rights program to Congress

“€œThese Negroes, they”€™re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they”€™ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we”€™ve got to do something about this, we”€™ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”€
“€”Allegedly said to Democratic Senator Richard Russell, Jr. in 1957 and quoted in Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream

“€œSon, when I appoint a nigger to the court, I want everyone to know he’s a nigger.”€
“€”Allegedly said to an aide in 1965 regarding Thurgood Marshall’s appointment to the US Supreme Court. Quoted in Robert Dallek’s Lone Star Rising: Lyndon Johnson and His Times, 1908-1960

“€œI’ll have them niggers voting Democratic for two hundred years.”€
“€”Allegedly said to two governors on Air Force One regarding 1964’s Civil Rights Act, quoted in Ronald Kessler’s Inside the White House

The latest male microaggression to be foisted upon the unwilling eyes and nostrils of our perpetually abused and longsuffering female population is known as “€œmanspreading”€”€”i.e., the pernicious male act of spreading one’s legs on a subway car if there is room on either side of one’s seat to accommodate such wanton acts of scrotal ventilation.

An extraordinarily righteous and morally upright woman who rides the subways routinely snapping pictures of men’s spread-eagled legs”€”which undoubtedly has nothing to do with masochism and/or sexual curiosity”€”runs a “€œshaming”€ blog called MEN TAKING UP TOO MUCH SPACE ON THE TRAIN, which is subtitled “€œA CLASSIC AMONG PUBLIC ASSERTIONS OF PRIVILEGE.”€ A flabby, hawk-nosed feminist named Gabrielle Moss asserts that manspreading is indeed a flagrant display of unconscious male privilege. The New York Times quotes a 28-year-old woman named Bridget Ellsworth who says manspreading is tantamount to sexual harassment. A horse-toothed Canadian professor named Lyndsay Kirkham says that for the unwilling female observer of manspreading, it can be incredibly “€œproblematic”€ as well as “€œtriggering,”€ two weasel words used with increasing frequency by nettlesome busybodies who, judging from the trifles that manage to upset them, have obviously experienced no true trauma or suffering in their lives.

Bowing to the pressures of these eternally wailing prigs, New York’s MTA is starting a placard campaign this month to encourage politeness among transit riders. One of these placards will feature a stick figure who’s manspreading along with the very gender-specific admonition “Dude…Stop the Spread, Please.”

Why, it’s as if women never bring 17 shopping bags with them onto the subway and wind up occupying half of the entire train car! It’s almost as if men never routinely surrender their seats to women the moment a lady enters a packed train car, either. Darn that male privilege! BAD male privilege! DOWN, boy!


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