Ancestry.com, Vigilante Border Patrol Groups, and Cargo Shorts
Past Present Episode 177
In this episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia discuss outrage over an Ancestry.com ad, vigilante groups policing the U.S.-Mexico border, and the controversy over cargo shorts.
Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:
- Ancestry.com released – and quickly pulled – an advertisement depicting a romantic relationship between an African-American woman and a white man in the 19th century. Natalia recommended historian Annette Gordon-Reed’s book on Sally Hemings, and historian Megan Kate Nelson’s Washington Post article about a Nike ad celebrating “the Lost Cause.”
- A vigilante group called the United Constitutional Patriots has been “helping” Border Patrol police the southern border of the United States. Niki recommended this Washington Post piece about the Netflix film The Highwaymen, and Natalia referred to historian Greg Grandin’s article at The Intercept that placed the UCP in a longer history. Natalia also noted this Vulture piece that argues that Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” is an anthem for the Trump era. Niki recommended following Dara Lind, Kathleen Belew, and Carly Goodman on Twitter for their commentary on the white power movement.
- Cargo pants, a decidedly bland style, have inspired surprisingly intense controversy, including recently on right-wing Twitter. Natalia recommended this article at The Cut historicizing the style, and this piece at The Wall Street Journal about women’s distaste for the pocketed pants.
In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:
- Natalia commented on Ben Cosgrove’s Time article, “’Brawny and Buoyant’: A Portrait of West Coast Youth of the 1950s.”
- Neil talked about Arielle Pardes’ Wired article, “Helvetica, the World’s Most Popular Font, Gets a Face Lift.”
- Niki discussed her own article on the Mueller Report at The Sydney Morning Herald and Jack Goldsmith and Benjamin Wittes’ Lawfare article, “The Watergate Road Map: What It Says and What It Suggests for Mueller.”