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Modern Families

Mom shocked when boomer mother-in-law refuses to be called grandma and demands royal title

Many of the older generation refuse to be known as “grandma” or “grandpa.”

via Eviekizmet/TikTok and RDNE Stock project/Pexels

This mother-in-law will not be called "grandma."

A TikToker’s story about the grandiose title her mother-in-law chose instead of grandma is an excellent example of the growing trend of baby boomer grandparents rejecting their traditional titles.

A new mother who goes by the name EvieKizmet on the platform shared the story on January 6 and it received nearly 2 million views.

It all started when she and her husband asked her mother-in-law to choose the name she would use as a grandparent. Using a fake name as an example, she said that her mother-in-law chose “Mama Smith” and that didn't sit well with the mother. “Because realistically, a child is not going to call you by 2 names and it's going to be shortened to Mama. I'm a mama. Not you," she said.


Her husband agreed that it was an "insane" idea.

this one was quite the ride and ended so funny, i got the last laugh 

@eviekizmet

this one was quite the ride and ended so funny, i got the last laugh #monsterinlaws #inlawproblems #monsterinlawproblems

They asked the mother-in-law to come up with another name. "So, after a lot of thought and effort, she came back with ‘Queen Mother,’" she said. The mother-in-law rationalized the name, which also works as an aristocratic title, by stating that she may not be a "mother" to the up-and-coming king, but she is a mother to the "reigning king."

"To be fair, I think she's watching 'Bridgerton,' so that may have played a role," the TikToker said. The mother then suggested a shorter version, "Queenie." This wouldn't fly with the parents-to-be either and eventually, they all agreed on "G-ma."

The story about the entitled mother-in-law appears to be part of a more significant trend where boomers don’t want to be known as grandmas or grandpas.

“Many baby boomers have a hard time reconciling their vibrant, vital and active selves with the traditional names — they don’t fit their self-image,” Ellen J. Klausner, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in the New York area, told Good Housekeeping. “They think of themselves as organizing and running marathons and associate those traditional monikers with a more sedentary lifestyle — the older relative in a rocking chair — that is not their own.”

To further complicate things, the older generation is now grandparenting in an era where they are more likely to be part of step and blended families and there are a greater number of great-grandparents still around. Dr. Kluasner says that “means that names have to differentiate between the generations and different extended families.”

Paula Span, a New York Times columnist specializing in aging, believes that boomer grandparents have a different approach to names because they don’t think they have much in common with their grandparents.

“A generation of women who entered the labor force, and men who entered the delivery room, isn’t so keen on the old standbys, perhaps,” Span writes. “But here’s my deeper suspicion: However mightily my peers may pine for grandchildren and adore them when they arrive, some don’t want to acknowledge being old enough to be dubbed Grandpop or Granny.”

The younger generations often criticize boomers for being selfish and their inability to understand the challenges that young people face today. But you have to give it to them for being reluctant to admit they’re getting older by taking on the title of grandma or grandpa. Plus, it’s something the younger generations can use to their advantage. “Grandma” or “Grandpa” may be too old and tired to babysit on a Friday night, but “G-ma” and “G-Pa” definitely should be up to watch the kids so you can have a date night.

Wikiimages by Pixabay, Dr. Jacqueline Antonovich/Twitter

The 1776 Report isn't just bad, it's historically bad, in every way possible.

When journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones published her Pulitzer Prize-winning 1619 Project for The New York Times, some backlash was inevitable. Instead of telling the story of America's creation through the eyes of the colonial architects of our system of government, Hannah-Jones retold it through the eyes of the enslaved Africans who were forced to help build the nation without reaping the benefits of democracy. Though a couple of historical inaccuracies have had to be clarified and corrected, the 1619 Project is groundbreaking, in that it helps give voice to a history that has long been overlooked and underrepresented in our education system.

The 1776 Report, in turn, is a blaring call to return to the whitewashed curriculums that silence that voice.

In September of last year, President Trump blasted the 1619 Project, which he called "toxic propaganda" and "ideological poison" that "will destroy our country." He subsequently created a commission to tell the story of America's founding the way he wanted it told—in the form of a "patriotic education" with all of the dog whistles that that phrase entails.

Mission accomplished, sort of.


The 1776 Report from the commission was released yesterday, and historians have near-universally panned it as an ahistorical piece of political propaganda—and a poorly constructed one at that. (You can read the report here.)

Even just a cursory glance at the table of contents is a clue to the what-the-what foolishness we're going to find within it.

The introduction to the report states that the 1776 Commission is "comprised of some of America's most distinguished scholars and historians" and calls the report "a definitive chronicle of the American founding, a powerful description of the effect the principles of the Declaration of Independence have had on this Nation's history, and a dispositive rebuttal of reckless 're-education' attempts that seek to reframe American history around the idea that the United States is not an exceptional country but an evil one."

The first problem is that these "distinguished scholars and historians" don't include a single actual American historian among them. There are a couple of people whose scholarship fields—namely political science and classicism—are somewhat tangentially related to the topic, but if you're really trying to write a "definitive chronicle of the American founding," it would probably be good to include some actual experts in American history.

Of course, there's a good reason that they didn't include American historians—because finding an actual American historian to sign onto such a distorted representation of history is darn near impossible. It might also be because actual historians generally do their research work through universities, which the report criticizes as "hotbeds of anti-Americanism, libel, and censorship that combine to generate in students and in the broader culture at the very least disdain and at worst outright hatred for this country."

David W. Blight, Professor of History, of African American Studies, and American Studies at Yale, calls the report "beliefs devoid of history," a "puerile, politically reactionary document," and "the final desperate act of MAGA functionaries" which "needs a janitor's broom."



He also wrote that the report "may end up anthologized someday in a collection of fascist and authoritarian propaganda," a sentiment shared by Stanford PhD student Austin Clements, whose studies focus on fascism and the Far Right.

Heather Cox Richardson, an American historian from Boston College who has grown a huge following for her daily documentation of American history in real-time, wrote of the report: "Made up of astonishingly bad history, this document will not stand as anything other than an artifact of Trump's hatred of today's progressives and his desperate attempt to wrench American history into the mythology he and his supporters promote so fervently."

Even Steven Wilentz, a Yale historian who has criticized the 1619 Project, told the Washington Post that the 1776 Project is nothing more than political commentary. "It reduces history to hero worship," he wrote in an email. "It's the flip side of those polemics, presented as history, that charge the nation was founded as a slavocracy, and that slavery and white supremacy are the essential themes of American history. It's basically a political document, not history."

Professor Jacqueline Antonovich asked historians on Twitter to share their "favorite" part of the report and kicked off the parade by pointing out that there are no citations—no footnote, endnotes, or bibliography—to be found. A high school history paper would be flunked for such an omission.

Columbia history professor, Dr. Karl Jacoby, pointed out that the document lavishes praise on the Declaration of Independence (indeed, it's a primary focus of the report) but totally ignores the fact that it calls Indigenous people "merciless Indian savages." As a matter of fact, Indigenous people basically don't exist in this telling of America's founding.

Eric Rauchway, history professor at the University of California at Davis, told the Washington Post, "It's very hard to find anything in here that stands as a historical claim, or as the work of a historian. Almost everything in it is wrong, just as a matter of fact. I may sound a little incoherent when trying to speak of this, because the report itself is not coherent. It's like historical whack-a-mole."

One of the criticisms of progressivism in the report is what it refers to as a post-Civil Rights Movement focus on "group rights." However, Rauchway recalls the formation of the Senate as an example of group rights that long predates modern sensibilities. "Group rights is not anathema to American principles," he told the Post. "Why do Wyomingers have 80 times the representation that Californians have if not for group rights?"

The way both slavery and the post-Civil Rights Movement era are treated is mind-bogglingly distorted, as Ibram X. Kendi points out.

He also points out the inherent problem with the "Black people have been given preferential treatment for decades" argument, which logically leads to the racist idea that since disparities still exist, Black people must just be inferior.

One of the worst aspects of the report is that it was released on MLK Day,

The problem is that this report will undoubtedly be used by some as the foundation for American education, ignoring the irony that it's a blatantly biased propaganda document that decries teaching "one-sided," "activist propaganda."

Nikole Hanna-Jones has said that she wanted to write the 1619 Project and its accompanying curriculum to get kids to ask questions. Historian Kevin Levin points out that the 1776 Report appears to have the opposite focus, viewing "students as sponges who are expected to absorb a narrative of the American past without question. It views history as set in stone rather than something that needs to be analyzed and interpreted by students."

And as writer Michael Harriot pointed out, the report is merely a return to the whitewashed history students were taught for generations, putting the founding fathers up on a pedestal from which they could do no real wrong and glossing over the problematic elements of our history that still have lingering effects today.

A nuanced approach to American history is vital, as is acknowledging that two things can be true at the same time. The democratic principles laid out in the founding documents of our nation are exceptional and deserving of praise and the U.S. has yet to truly live up to the ideals they espouse. It is in no way unAmerican or anti-American to be honest and forthright about America's past and current sins and to strive to form a more perfect union by working toward true liberty and justice for all. Equating a desire to better understand the vast, ongoing impact of historical injustices in our country with "hatred for America" is simplistic and untrue. It's not only possible to love America and want her to be better, it's actually a sign of loving America to examine her past fully, to assess her present truthfully, and to imagine her future hopefully.

To pretend that the U.S. is and has always been perfect is an insult to the millions who have suffered at her hands, and this report is an insult to the millions who understand that. Whitewashing history in the name of "patriotic education" is not virtuous. It never has been and it certainly never will be.

In the chaos of the attack on the Capitol two days ago, some important stories have gotten a bit buried. One story that's not getting the attention it should—ironically, because journalists usually do everything they can to not make themselves the story—is the violent attacks on the press that took place.

New York Times staff photographer Erin Schaff described her harrowing experience in a Twitter post shared by her colleague Emily Cochrane.

In Schaff's words:

"Grabbing my press pass, they saw that my ID said The New York Times and became really angry. They threw me to the floor, trying to take my cameras. I started screaming for help as loudly as I could. No one came. People just watched. At this point, I thought I could be killed and no one would stop them. They ripped one of my cameras away from me, broke a lens on the other and ran away.


But then the police found me. I told them that I was a photojournalist and that my pass had been stolen, but they didn't believe me. They drew their guns, pointed them and yelled at me to get down on my hands and knees. As I lay on the ground, two other photojournalists came into the hall and started shouting "She's a journalist!"

Another photographer, John Minchillo from the Associated Press, was physically assaulted, with the attack being caught on video. Some in the crowd seemed to think he's part of ANTIFA, despite him clearly and repeatedly pointing out his press credentials. At one point, he is violently thrown over a wall and you can hear someone yelling that they were going to kill him, but he thankfully was escorted away without injury.

The AP, which is known for being one of the least biased, most factual news outlets, had a bunch of their equipment destroyed by the mob, who chanted "CNN sucks" while destroying it. You'd think the big "AP" stickers on some of the equipment would have offered a clue that it was not CNN's, but no one is accusing these folks of being the sharpest pencils in the pack.

Here's another video of media equipment being smashed by people in the crowd to a chilling chorus of "F*ck you!"

And just to add to these disturbing and disgusting attacks, someone scrawled the words "Murder the Media" on a door of the U.S. Capitol. Lovely.

It should be crystal clear to anyone who values democracy that an attack on the free press is never okay. The freedom of the press is enshrined in the first amendment of the Constitution, and since the people who stormed the Capitol building were attempting to put themselves in the place of our duly elected government, their attacks on the press were an attack not just on the individuals and media outlets involved, but on the Constitution itself.

It shouldn't be surprising that people who have been told pretty much daily that the news media is the "enemy of the people" would eventually take that rhetoric seriously. This is exactly what people who criticized the president's extreme language warned would eventually happen.

People can have legitimate criticisms of media companies while still recognizing that the journalists working on the ground are heroes of democracy who put themselves into harm's way to keep us informed about what's happening in the world. These are people who document history as it happens. They are the eyes and ears of the people, and without them we would truly be living in darkness.

Attacks on the free press are attacks on democracy itself and should be called out as such. And the fact that these attacks came not from some outside terrorist group, but from a group of American citizens violently attacking an entire branch of our federal government, should be a huge wake-up call about where we are and the extremist rhetoric that led us here.

via Lis Power / Twitter

There are too many differences between Barack Obama and Donald Trump to list them all. But a recent Trump controversy exemplifies how the two differ in their basic humanity.

On Tuesday, a chilling report in The New York Times showed just how far Trump is willing to go to secure the U.S.-Mexico border.

In a March meeting, Trump was fuming about undocumented immigrants crossing the border so he proposed some ideas that are so extreme they seemed to come from the Middle Ages.


Privately, the president had often talked about fortifying a border wall with a water-filled trench, stocked with snakes or alligators, prompting aides to seek a cost estimate. He wanted the wall electrified, with spikes on top that could pierce human flesh. After publicly suggesting that soldiers shoot migrants if they threw rocks, the president backed off when his staff told him that was illegal. But later in a meeting, aides recalled, he suggested that they shoot migrants in the legs to slow them down. That's not allowed either, they told him.

The idea that Trump has no problem shooting, impaling, and feeding migrants to man-eating reptiles shows a complete lack of respect for human dignity.

It's no wonder his administration thought that separating families at the border was somehow acceptable.

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Trump denied the accusations on Twitter.

In light of the controversy, footage has emerged from 2011 when President Obama made a speech at the border in El Paso, Texas in which he joked about Republicans wanting a moat filled with alligators at the border.

During his speech, Obama boasted about the upgrades he had made in border security, including more agents, completion of some fencing, and increased cargo screenings. But he said that no matter what he does, Republicans will still want more.

"We have gone above and beyond what was requested by the very Republicans who said they supported broader reform as long as we got serious about enforcement," Obama said.

"But even though we've answered these concerns, I gotta say I suspect there are still going to be some who are trying to move the goal posts on us one more time," he continued.

"Maybe they'll need a moat," Obama said jokingly to laughter from the crowd. "Maybe they'll want alligators in the moat."

Obama's claim that the GOP wants alligators and a moat at the border was a joke that mocked the GOP's obsession with undocumented immigrants.

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This obsession with security seems even more questionable when one looks at the actual facts about undocumented immigrants in the United States. According to Pew Research, the number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. has been on the decline since 2007 — four years before Obama's speech.

Further, the fear of undocumented immigrants committing crimes is largely unfounded, because study after study shows they commit fewer crimes than native-born Americans.

Unfortunately, anyone who wants alligators at the border probably hasn't much use for facts.