Chappelle’s Show Sketch Becomes Historical Reenactment

One (in)famous Chapelle’s Show sketch was about a famous Klansman who, though blind, had written several anti-black books and delivered stirring speeches on record, and only appeared in public with his hood on. The joke? He was black and didn’t know it.

Now comes word that an American fascist leader from the 30s was actually “black.” Though as my girlfriend would point out, this says a lot more about different constructions about who is “white” and “black” than it does about this particular guy.

It should be noted, of course, that not all fascists were necessarily as virulently racist as Hitler’s Nazis or the KKK…but there was probably a lot of crossover, and Dennis was an anti-Semite. Of course, this doesn’t separate him much from aspects of mainstream black American culture. Lots of examples of this kind of oppressed-group-on-oppressed-group hate exist, and there have even been other recent examples of “passing” as the dominant group in order to cast aspersions on the group you don’t want to be associated with.

So, while an interesting tidbit, the tone of “wow look at that crazy racist history” in the Guardian (leaving aside their portrayal of Southern miscegenation laws as “American”) should probably be “look, another example of an established but not much-discussed trend.”

For Once, A World Bank Dam Environmentalists Won’t Hate (Much)

Ordinarily, the thought of a World Bank-financed dam sends environmentalists into frothing rage.

However, in Kazakhstan, the Bank is financing dams that are beginning to restore parts of the Aral Sea, which at one point was down to a quarter of its original size.

By the 1990s only a quarter of the Aral Sea was left, but recently using a $68m loan from the World Bank, the Kazakh government built a dam that split the sea into two parts.


Communities in the area are already feeling the impact. The fishermen are back in their boats, the clouds and the rain have returned and many across this impoverished region say the future no longer looks hopeless.

When you think about the impact of human activities on the environment, remember that the government is often one of the worst causes of environmental devastation. Almost all attempts to turn desert into farmland have been government projects, specifically because no private investor would ever attempt it.


Global warming keeps getting chilly…it snowed in April…in Washington, DC. I know up north this is no big deal, but it’s pretty unusual here.

Snowy Audi
Snowy Bushes