Welcome to Perspectives, a blog of thoughts, commentary and observations ranging from autistic adolescents to intimate portraits of urban communities.


The Terrible Tyranny of Tastelessness

Should a man be held accountable for the actions of his valet? This 19th-century question is hardly one I expected to be asking in the 21st – until I read Anthony Senecal’s Facebook rants, in which, among other things, he called for the president and first lady to be dragged from the “white mosque” and hanged. Senecal, who was recently the subject of a bizarrely fawning profile in The New York Times, was Donald Trump’s butler at Mar-a-Lago for years; and many of his Facebook themes – demonizing Muslims, Obama’s citizenship, incendiary language, racism – resonate with the boss's campaign.

Trump’s spokeswoman disavowed Senecal’s “horrible statements,” saying he “has not worked at Mar-a-Lago for years” – apparently overlooking that, at Trump’s insistence, he gives daily tours at the mansion and serves as its unofficial historian. Trump has yet to tweet on the matter.

These revelations came simultaneously with news that George Zimmerman will auction off his Kel-Tec PF-9 pistol. What he advertises as “a piece of American History” is the gun he used to kill Trayvon Martin in 2012.

In the war against political correctness, the pendulum has swung way too far; it’s time to reflect on what gave rise to the movement in the first place. It began as an effort to address the offensive stereotyping long endured by minorities and the powerless. Whatever its excesses, it arose out of respect and empathy, two traits now in short supply. It is, as Jeeves, a wiser, more civil butler, understood, a matter of good taste.

Talking Past Each Other

The Klanbake Convention

The Klanbake Convention