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  #51  
Old 01-09-2020, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
Well, riddle me this: did you just shut up, then say "You're right, bro", and do what he told you to, without question or complaint?
It is only by unquestioning obedience to those above you in the racial hierarchy that racism can be defeated
  #52  
Old 01-09-2020, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Manda JO View Post
Putting the burden to "fix" the problem ...
Yeah, no. That was not what Ambi was doing.

Are there times that the privileged among us ask how they can help and then respond in that way? Sure. And have there also been many times that the privileged have listened and tried to understand from another perspective, sometimes in various ways doing things that have helped? Also sure. Progress happens when the latter has at least a chance to occur.

LHOD also read that link.

And mostly agreed with steronz ...

Realize I am white. Check. (Hopefully I can still make my comments about how there is not any single American Black or Hispanic culture though.)

Recognize my white privilege. I got that privilege and much more and I recognize it. Privileges alone did not make my accomplishments for me but they helped mightily and without them my same efforts and skills would have very likely had ... different outcomes. I have been advantaged and I know it.

Know things. I got the facts about implicit racism and structural features that perpetuate outcomes with racist impacts fairly well. I am aware that despite best efforts I will likely be guilty of making unwarranted assumptions and can try to be more aware of it.

Talk to my people. Do that but let's be real, I live in a fairly highly educated upper SES liberal cohort who mostly get the above.

Talk to Black people. Actually bad advice. Better not to talk "to" but "with", spending more of the time listening, and as noted to lots of people who may share skin color but different perspectives and thought. Ambi tried to, was wanting to listen, and was told he was placing a burden by doing that, was the white patriarchy incarnate.

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  #53  
Old 01-09-2020, 12:29 PM
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And yet there are a lot of people who think there should be a "dialog" about these issues. And a dialog has to have some back and forth or it isn't a dialog. And who better to have a dialog with than someone you know already who is complaining about these issues? If you try to have this same type of interaction with people in the media or vocal people in cyberspace, they'll say you're sealioning, and if you go to people you know who are not bringing up this issue, they'll correctly accuse you of being their go-to person on these issues with all that that entails, rather than incorrectly in this case.
To me, responding on Facebook to a person you don't interact with in real life seems like "vocal people in Cyberspace". I talk about these issues with black friends and students quite a bit--but they are friends and students, people I know well that I have had lots of other interactions with.

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Originally Posted by Ambivalid View Post
Sure. But to characterize me asking, in casual conversation, what a FB friend's personal thoughts were in re to multiple posts on a subject they had recently shared, as "putting the burden to *fix* onto the oppressed" is to strain credulity. Mark knows me well. He knows im not any kind of troll or active "oppressor" who is engaged with him in bad faith. We've been in countless good faith arguments over the years. I didnt ask him to tell me what i needed to do, I asked him what he thought.
But you weren't just talking to him. You were talking to all the black people who read his Facebook, most of whom don't know you from Adam.
  #54  
Old 01-09-2020, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by DSeid View Post
Yeah, no. That was not what Ambi was doing.

Are there times that the privileged among us ask how they can help and then respond in that way? Sure. And have there also been many times that the privileged have listened and tried to understand from another perspective, sometimes in various ways doing things that have helped? Also sure. Progress happens when the latter has at least a chance to occur.
Sure, but when a privileged person wants to have such a conversation with a person who lacks privilege, they need to understand this context of dishonest and manipulative "discourse" and couch their statements in a way that reflects that awareness. The whole topic is laden with an incredibly heavy burden of intellectual dishonesty.

If I wanted to reduce crime, I wouldn't look to crime victims to do the heavy lifting of figuring out what the problem was and what solutions would work the best.
  #55  
Old 01-09-2020, 12:44 PM
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To me, responding on Facebook to a person you don't interact with in real life seems like "vocal people in Cyberspace". I talk about these issues with black friends and students quite a bit--but they are friends and students, people I know well that I have had lots of other interactions with.



But you weren't just talking to him. You were talking to all the black people who read his Facebook, most of whom don't know you from Adam.
No i was specifically directing my question to him personally. It was his post, on his wall and his opinions that i sought. And i may "only interact with him on FB" these days but ive known Mark for more than 26 years and those years began as knowing him in real life. And ive interacted with him more substantially that most all of my other FB friends, we have similar appetites for a desire to get our points across. Just to point out, I've made it clear many times throughout this thread that Mark was a former HS classmate of mine. So you just kind of made up the part about only ever interacting with him on FB.

Last edited by Ambivalid; 01-09-2020 at 12:45 PM.
  #56  
Old 01-09-2020, 12:47 PM
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If you shout a question across a crowded room at someone, you aren't speaking just to them.

And I'm basing the conclusion that you don't see him much in real life on the fact that after this interaction you didn't apparently have a chance or opportunity to speak to him personally.
  #57  
Old 01-09-2020, 12:47 PM
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If I wanted to reduce crime, I wouldn't look to crime victims to do the heavy lifting of figuring out what the problem was and what solutions would work the best.
So if we want to decrease domestic abuse, talking to abused women about their experiences would be wrong?
  #58  
Old 01-09-2020, 12:49 PM
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Something else to consider is the peer mentality of the Facebook thread. Your classmate responded to you in the context of a thread where the idea of "not doing the white man's homework for him" may be a common and well-accepted idea. To give you a substantive response in that thread might have invited negativity from his peers.

It's possible (though by no means certain) that if you could meet your classmate one-on-one for a coffee he would be more willing to have a conversation with you on the subject.
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  #59  
Old 01-09-2020, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Manda JO View Post
If you shout a question across a crowded room at someone, you aren't speaking just to them.

And I'm basing the conclusion that you don't see him much in real life on the fact that after this interaction you didn't apparently have a chance or opportunity to speak to him personally.
Not in our *current* life situations, no
But i also havent had anything but fb interactions with a large percentage of my family for even longer stretches. So what? And i *did* speak to him privately. I consulted him before i posted here and i asked him where he felt it most appropriate for me to post the link to this thread.

And where in the world does this characterization of one fb friend asking another fb friend a direct question on the comments section of *their own post* as somehow "shouting a question across a room of crowded people" come from? It honestly makes no sensee. bnI wasnt fb friends with any of the other friends of his that ultimately commented. I was speaking one on one to one single person.

Last edited by Ambivalid; 01-09-2020 at 12:59 PM.
  #60  
Old 01-09-2020, 12:59 PM
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Lol, what exactly about that conversation was supposed to convince him to a "commitment to dismantling racism"?
Nothing whatsoever. I want to be clear on this point, because it's important: it's not Ambivalid's black acquaintance's responsibility to convince Ambivalid to be antiracist. Being antiracist isn't a position you should have to be coddled and cajoled and enticed into. It's a position you should hold by virtue of not being an awful person.

Turn it around: are you convinced that dismantling racism is important?

If Ambivalid is approaching this as something that his black acquaintance has any obligation to do, then he's approaching it poorly.

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Originally Posted by ambivalid
It was just about completely devoted to me trying to understand why he was, as i saw it, stonewalling me in what I thought was a reasonable and most likely to be welcomed question. *Please* try to abstain from mischaracterizing anything ive previously written, i never said i was being treated "unfairly" by anyone, much less by my "black friend".
I genuinely don't understand what distinction you're drawing here between thinking that your friend (who is black and talking about race) is stonewalling you, and my characterizing that as thinking that you're being treated unfairly by your black friend. Do you think that being stonewalled is fair treatment or something?

It really comes across as argument-through-nitpickery instead of addressing the underlying issue.
  #61  
Old 01-09-2020, 01:01 PM
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Don't overestimate how much effort this takes. I chose to live in a neighborhood with good public schools, which in my city means choosing from one of 5 or 6 neighborhoods that are 99% white. I understand that there are black families who can afford to live in one of these neighborhoods but choose not to because they don't want to live in a white neighborhood. I get that, and I get that the few black families that do live here must be exhausted from "acting white" in public. This is a privilege of mine, but I didn't go to great lengths for it, it's sorta just the default. As a consequence of having 3 kids I tend to only socialize with other parents, and as a consequence of living in a white neighborhood they tend to be white parents. Again, this requires no effort and is just what happens in central Ohio when you choose a house based on school ratings.

It's true that my only social interactions with black people are at one of my two jobs, but that's because I'm over 30 which means I only have like 2 actual friends. Making friends is hard so again, socializing with black people would require socializing in the first place, which is already a challenge.

I think this touches on a lot of what you said and a lot of what we've seen and heard about white privilege and never having to "code switch." Being in the majority or plurality means never really having to be uncomfortable if you don't want to.

I will say, that based directly on your post here I've decided to talk to my wife about identifying black owned small businesses to patronize, which will force us to leave our little bubble here. It feels like something I can actually do that's not just talking or thinking. No need to respond but if I'm off track feel free to let me know. Of course, being white we tend to seek out vegan restaurants, hopefully that doesn't cause issues...
This is good stuff dude...I can definitely see how seeking the path of least resistance can cause each of us slowly get locked into our own little bubbles.

I can tell you that a lot of middle/upper class black folks I know have had similar experiences you had when seeking out good school districts. They want their kids to have all of the advantages they can possibly provide but at the same time they want their kids to be immersed in the black American cultural experience. Depending on your location this doesn't appear to be an easy task.

I wish I had more substantial advice or suggestions on how to overcome this divide but I'm afraid all I can offer at this time is my perspective.
  #62  
Old 01-09-2020, 01:11 PM
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Don't overestimate how much effort this takes. I chose to live in a neighborhood with good public schools, which in my city means choosing from one of 5 or 6 neighborhoods that are 99% white.
I want to interrogate the phrase "good public schools." There's a pernicious tendency of white parents to perpetuate school segregation by using this phrase. What happens is that upper-middle-class parents choose schools based on test scores, which due to historical segregation means choosing mostly-white schools. These schools don't necessarily have better teachers, better equipment, or better facilities; they just have richer, whiter families going there.

When you say that choosing a better schoool meant choosing to live in a 99% white neighborhood, it's pretty hard to read that as anything other than a deliberate choice for school and housing segregation. That wasn't just you going with the flow. It wouldn't have taken any effort for you to make a different choice. You had to make a real effort to find those 5 or 6 all-white neighborhoods to live in and to restrict your housing search to those.

At first I thought your use of "overestimate" was an error. Maybe you really meant it?
  #63  
Old 01-09-2020, 01:12 PM
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Something else to consider is the peer mentality of the Facebook thread. Your classmate responded to you in the context of a thread where the idea of "not doing the white man's homework for him" may be a common and well-accepted idea. To give you a substantive response in that thread might have invited negativity from his peers.

It's possible (though by no means certain) that if you could meet your classmate one-on-one for a coffee he would be more willing to have a conversation with you on the subject.
Idk, i mean he was *no* different in private messages. Just as unyielding and tight-lipped. And i would have to see about when he next comes back to MI. I know he does i just dont know how often. He is down in, ugh, some in the southern Tennessee area state.

Last edited by Ambivalid; 01-09-2020 at 01:13 PM.
  #64  
Old 01-09-2020, 01:14 PM
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From talking to lots of other white people about racism, ISTM that many have this extremely strong need to be validated, especially by black folks (and other non-white folks) that they are "one of the good ones" (i.e. a non-racist white person). To the point that I've seen conversations literally stop because a white guy is insisting that he be positively affirmed as a non-racist white man before they continue (I've seen it on this board many times, but also IRL). And any hint that maybe they aren't totally 100% perfectly enlightened on racial issues might be shattering to them.

ISTM that this is incredibly exhausting for non-white folks, to constantly feel a bullshit obligation/pressure to praise and affirm their white acquaintances personally any time the issue comes up.

I bring this up because I sense this sort of tone from the OP's description of how he handled this discussion, even if it doesn't appear that he explicitly said so. You may not even consciously be aware of it. If this is at all accurate, then I'd suggest you step back and think about it. No one is obligated to tell you that you're not a racist. No one is obligated to tell any white person that they're not racist (except maybe John Brown). You aren't owed anything, even explanations, regarding this topic, from your black friends and acquaintances. If they want to explain things to you, then that's great on them, but they're under no such obligation. That'd be doing you a big favor -- which maybe some folks will be in the mood for sometimes, but sometimes they won't. That's okay.
  #65  
Old 01-09-2020, 01:26 PM
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Nothing whatsoever. I want to be clear on this point, because it's important: it's not Ambivalid's black acquaintance's responsibility to convince Ambivalid to be antiracist. Being antiracist isn't a position you should have to be coddled and cajoled and enticed into. It's a position you should hold by virtue of not being an awful person.

Turn it around: are you convinced that dismantling racism is important?

If Ambivalid is approaching this as something that his black acquaintance has any obligation to do, then he's approaching it poorly.


I genuinely don't understand what distinction you're drawing here between thinking that your friend (who is black and talking about race) is stonewalling you, and my characterizing that as thinking that you're being treated unfairly by your black friend. Do you think that being stonewalled is fair treatment or something?

It really comes across as argument-through-nitpickery instead of addressing the underlying issue.
For me to say i was being treated unfairly would be for me to imply i understood (and disagreed with) the reasons for the "stonewalling. Heck, i may have very well been on the deserving end of that lip-lipped verbal shunning but at the time i didnt have *any* grasp of why it was happening, what role i was or was not playing in bringing it about or if i had gravely miscommunicated something that, if only properly communicated, would have prevented this.

It *fucking of course* wasn't his responsibility to do *one fucking thing* for me at all. My original question to him in no way was an "attempt to be convinced" of any such absurd notion. was merely a passing question to a person i thought might be interested in sharing his thoughts with me, considering his recent posts on the matter. Once he made it clear that it wasnt his role, i dropped those questions. My issue then became a complete inability to understand why he saw my casual question as such an affront. I was NEVER offenfed by it. I was simply baffled
  #66  
Old 01-09-2020, 01:30 PM
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I want to interrogate the phrase "good public schools." There's a pernicious tendency of white parents to perpetuate school segregation by using this phrase. What happens is that upper-middle-class parents choose schools based on test scores, which due to historical segregation means choosing mostly-white schools. These schools don't necessarily have better teachers, better equipment, or better facilities; they just have richer, whiter families going there.

When you say that choosing a better schoool meant choosing to live in a 99% white neighborhood, it's pretty hard to read that as anything other than a deliberate choice for school and housing segregation. That wasn't just you going with the flow. It wouldn't have taken any effort for you to make a different choice. You had to make a real effort to find those 5 or 6 all-white neighborhoods to live in and to restrict your housing search to those.

At first I thought your use of "overestimate" was an error. Maybe you really meant it?
In some respects, LHOD, it's so, so much worse than you even know. I agree with everything you say and could tell you details about my specific neighborhood that would make you cringe (or you can search through my post history, I've talked about it before on here).

That said, are you suggesting that "I want to live in a good school district, for my kids" is itself a misguided statement? I'd like to know more about that.

Also, I definitely intended to say "overestimate." BeagleJesus suggested that white people went out of their way to avoid PoC, I think he's overestimating how much effort that actually takes us. It's quite easy, unfortunately.
  #67  
Old 01-09-2020, 01:30 PM
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For me to say i was being treated unfairly would be for me to imply i understood (and disagreed with) the reasons for the "stonewalling. Heck, i may have very well been on the deserving end of that lip-lipped verbal shunning but at the time i didnt have *any* grasp of why it was happening, what role i was or was not playing in bringing it about or if i had gravely miscommunicated something that, if only properly communicated, would have prevented this.
So it sounds like you think stonewalling can be fair. Is that true? It's not how I've used the word, which may be the confusion.
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It *fucking of course* wasn't his responsibility to do *one fucking thing* for me at all. My original question to him in no way was an "attempt to be convinced" of any such absurd notion. was merely a passing question to a person i thought might be interested in sharing his thoughts with me, considering his recent posts on the matter. Once he made it clear that it wasnt his role, i dropped those questions. My issue then became a complete inability to understand why he saw my casual question as such an affront. I was NEVER offenfed by it. I was simply baffled
Note that you're responding here to my response to CarnalK. I'm not accusing you in that post of thinking he had any such responsibility. That was CarnalK's implication.
  #68  
Old 01-09-2020, 01:40 PM
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In some respects, LHOD, it's so, so much worse than you even know. I agree with everything you say and could tell you details about my specific neighborhood that would make you cringe (or you can search through my post history, I've talked about it before on here).

That said, are you suggesting that "I want to live in a good school district, for my kids" is itself a misguided statement? I'd like to know more about that.
Did you check out that link about school segregation? There's a This American Life about the same issue, which really opened my eyes. Yeah, I think that the "I want to live in a good school district" approach is very often a misguided approach. Not always, but from what I've read and heard, the definition of "good school district" is based on metrics that look relevant but really aren't, and ignore metrics that don't looks so relevant but really are.
  #69  
Old 01-09-2020, 01:49 PM
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I want to interrogate the phrase "good public schools." There's a pernicious tendency of white parents to perpetuate school segregation by using this phrase. What happens is that upper-middle-class parents choose schools based on test scores, which due to historical segregation means choosing mostly-white schools. These schools don't necessarily have better teachers, better equipment, or better facilities; they just have richer, whiter families going there.
Vox did a short (I think six minute) video on this specifically about a month ago: How online ratings make good schools look bad.

Coincidentally, today, there is a ProPublica article out about a tangentially related issue: How Wealthy Towns Keep People With Housing Vouchers Out.

I mean, I personally grew up in what you might call a "wealthy neighborhood." Which is not to say most families were wealthy (nowhere near) but that the median income and home values were much higher than average compared to other school districts, both in Texas and nationwide, and so although Texas overall has a notoriously lousy school system, my particular district was one of the best in the nation (at some point, I believe it was even THE best). Why? Because property taxes, that’s why.

It would be nice to think that anyone who "really cared" about their children's education could find their way to such a neighborhood and "suck it up" at a minimum wage job (the quintessential "McDonalds is always hiring" retort) for as long as it takes to get their kids the needed education, but for a number of reasons that’s not exactly a viable option for many/most. For one, see the thread about ways that being poor makes it even harder to accumulate wealth (in this case, the cost of moving may be prohibitive, and maybe that job at McDonalds doesn’t actually cover the cost of renting—let alone buying—in one of these high income areas with good schools, and even if you can get a federal low income housing subsidy, as described in the PP article, it might just turn out no one is interested in your money).

Gosh, that was a lot to type and I probably haven’t even cracked the surface on a highly nuanced issue. In fact, off the top of my head there’s other factors, which relate directly to systemic racism and the enduring legacy of Jim Crow-era legislation, that I just don’t have time to dig up cites on right now. Which may in part explain why a response of "Cite please!" however well phrased, however well meant, may not elicit the response you’re looking for when you go digging after a meme someone has posted.

My question for the OP would be, irrespective of what may have prompted your acquaintance to post the particular meme that started this series of comments and ultimately this thread, can YOU think of any glaring issues that might tend to lend credence to the idea that this country has still not resolved issues relating to systemic racism and oppression of minorities? Because if you can, I’m not sure why you would need to ask your acquaintance for examples in the first place. If you can’t, well... I guess I wouldn’t want to accuse you of anything, so I’ll hold off until I've read your response, if there is one.

Last edited by ASL v2.0; 01-09-2020 at 01:54 PM.
  #70  
Old 01-09-2020, 02:07 PM
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From talking to lots of other white people about racism, ISTM that many have this extremely strong need to be validated, especially by black folks (and other non-white folks) that they are "one of the good ones" (i.e. a non-racist white person). To the point that I've seen conversations literally stop because a white guy is insisting that he be positively affirmed as a non-racist white man before they continue (I've seen it on this board many times, but also IRL). And any hint that maybe they aren't totally 100% perfectly enlightened on racial issues might be shattering to them.

ISTM that this is incredibly exhausting for non-white folks, to constantly feel a bullshit obligation/pressure to praise and affirm their white acquaintances personally any time the issue comes up.

I bring this up because I sense this sort of tone from the OP's description of how he handled this discussion, even if it doesn't appear that he explicitly said so. You may not even consciously be aware of it. If this is at all accurate, then I'd suggest you step back and think about it. No one is obligated to tell you that you're not a racist. No one is obligated to tell any white person that they're not racist (except maybe John Brown). You aren't owed anything, even explanations, regarding this topic, from your black friends and acquaintances. If they want to explain things to you, then that's great on them, but they're under no such obligation. That'd be doing you a big favor -- which maybe some folks will be in the mood for sometimes, but sometimes they won't. That's okay.
Could you maybe go a little more in depth as to this tone you read into in this discussion of mine that gave you this impression? Because as ive stated before, virtually no part of our conversation actually touched on anything directed related to racism. Our conversation was just about in totality regarding the refusal on his part to even give me so much as his own opinion on what he had just posted on Facebook and my inability to come to an understanding of why he had done this. The conversation had explicit racial undertones but i was not at all in any way asserting that he 1) had any obligation to give me his opinion on anything nor 2) that he had any obligation to explain his reasoning for not giving those opinions to me.


I only wanted to understand. Thats it. I wasnt trying to be convinced of the need to be antiracist. I wasnt feeling he had any obligation in any scenario to do *anything* for me whatsoever. And i never felt he was being rude or that i was being treated unfairly. I only wanted to understand what was happening in this interaction, things that i genuinely did not understand. I only realize now that FB was not the place for me to gain that understanding.
  #71  
Old 01-09-2020, 02:12 PM
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Could you maybe go a little more in depth as to this tone you read into in this discussion of mine that gave you this impression.
My impression comes from what appears to me to be your great concern (and possible offense) that you were called "the epitome of the white supremacist patriarchy" by strangers.
  #72  
Old 01-09-2020, 02:12 PM
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Vox did a short (I think six minute) video on this specifically about a month ago: How online ratings make good schools look bad.

Coincidentally, today, there is a ProPublica article out about a tangentially related issue: How Wealthy Towns Keep People With Housing Vouchers Out.

I mean, I personally grew up in what you might call a "wealthy neighborhood." Which is not to say most families were wealthy (nowhere near) but that the median income and home values were much higher than average compared to other school districts, both in Texas and nationwide, and so although Texas overall has a notoriously lousy school system, my particular district was one of the best in the nation (at some point, I believe it was even THE best). Why? Because property taxes, that’s why.

It would be nice to think that anyone who "really cared" about their children's education could find their way to such a neighborhood and "suck it up" at a minimum wage job (the quintessential "McDonalds is always hiring" retort) for as long as it takes to get their kids the needed education, but for a number of reasons that’s not exactly a viable option for many/most. For one, see the thread about ways that being poor makes it even harder to accumulate wealth (in this case, the cost of moving may be prohibitive, and maybe that job at McDonalds doesn’t actually cover the cost of renting—let alone buying—in one of these high income areas with good schools, and even if you can get a federal low income housing subsidy, as described in the PP article, it might just turn out no one is interested in your money).

Gosh, that was a lot to type and I probably haven’t even cracked the surface on a highly nuanced issue. In fact, off the top of my head there’s other factors, which relate directly to systemic racism and the enduring legacy of Jim Crow-era legislation, that I just don’t have time to dig up cites on right now. Which may in part explain why a response of "Cite please!" however well phrased, however well meant, may not elicit the response you’re looking for when you go digging after a meme someone has posted.

My question for the OP would be, irrespective of what may have prompted your acquaintance to post the particular meme that started this series of comments and ultimately this thread, can YOU think of any glaring issues that might tend to lend credence to the idea that this country has still not resolved issues relating to systemic racism and oppression of minorities? Because if you can, I’m not sure why you would need to ask your acquaintance for examples in the first place. If you can’t, well... I guess I wouldn’t want to accuse you of anything, so I’ll hold off until I've read your response, if there is one.
I *did not* ask him for examples of issues that lend credence to the idea that racism and oppression of minorities is still alive and well! Where in the hell did thst come from? I asked him if he had any personal thoughts on ways *combat* this racism and oppression! I dont need to be shown or fucking convinced that racism is alive and well! Jesus. Ive lived in Flint Mi all my life. Tjat right there alone is enough to know racism isnt dead.
  #73  
Old 01-09-2020, 02:21 PM
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Don't overestimate how much effort this takes. I chose to live in a neighborhood with good public schools, which in my city means choosing from one of 5 or 6 neighborhoods that are 99% white. I understand that there are black families who can afford to live in one of these neighborhoods but choose not to because they don't want to live in a white neighborhood. I get that, and I get that the few black families that do live here must be exhausted from "acting white" in public. This is a privilege of mine, but I didn't go to great lengths for it, it's sorta just the default. As a consequence of having 3 kids I tend to only socialize with other parents, and as a consequence of living in a white neighborhood they tend to be white parents. Again, this requires no effort and is just what happens in central Ohio when you choose a house based on school ratings.

It's true that my only social interactions with black people are at one of my two jobs, but that's because I'm over 30 which means I only have like 2 actual friends. Making friends is hard so again, socializing with black people would require socializing in the first place, which is already a challenge.

I think this touches on a lot of what you said and a lot of what we've seen and heard about white privilege and never having to "code switch." Being in the majority or plurality means never really having to be uncomfortable if you don't want to.

I will say, that based directly on your post here I've decided to talk to my wife about identifying black owned small businesses to patronize, which will force us to leave our little bubble here. It feels like something I can actually do that's not just talking or thinking. No need to respond but if I'm off track feel free to let me know. Of course, being white we tend to seek out vegan restaurants, hopefully that doesn't cause issues...
The idea that you would put the welfare of your children above ant-racism is deeply problematic. That should be self evident.

I almost reported your post, but, when I saw that you and your wife plan on frequenting black owned vegan small businesses, that turned it all around. Keep on fighting the good fight and I will be sure to mention your name when Hero of the People Medal nomination time comes.
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Old 01-09-2020, 02:26 PM
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So if we want to decrease domestic abuse, talking to abused women about their experiences would be wrong?
Seriously? MANDY JO did not allude to that kind of thinking, and you know it. You seemed to forget about the “heavy lifting” thing.
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Old 01-09-2020, 02:34 PM
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My impression comes from what appears to me to be your great concern (and possible offense) that you were called "the epitome of the white supremacist patriarchy" by strangers.
Ive mentioned that more in passing than as a central part of my story. I mean, yea, obviously *i* know such a thing is absurd and not something that has any real validity , as it comes from strangers who know nothing about me or my life but just the fact that i was so easily called that by numerous people in that thread was slightly appalling in the moment. I was never offended. It *did* concern me a bit tho, this much was true. I never made any attempt in that thread to show that i wasn't this epitome of white supremacist patriarchy. I am capable enough to recognize when something is not to be treated as rational discourse. These were more drive-by comments than meaningful contributions. Still "you are the epitome of the white supremacist patriarchy" is a galling thing to read another person say about you, whatever the reason behind it.
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Old 01-09-2020, 02:41 PM
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Seriously? MANDY JO did not allude to that kind of thinking, and you know it. You seemed to forget about the “heavy lifting” thing.
No, Manda Jo and you forgot that heavy lifting has nothing to do with a Facebook conversation. And you know it? I would think?
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Old 01-09-2020, 02:41 PM
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Ive mentioned that more in passing than as a central part of my story. I mean, yea, obviously *i* know such a thing is absurd and not something that has any real validity , as it comes from strangers who know nothing about me or my life but just the fact that i was so easily called that by numerous people in that thread was slightly appalling in the moment. I was never offended. It *did* concern me a bit tho, this much was true. I never made any attempt in that thread to show that i wasn't this epitome of white supremacist patriarchy. I am capable enough to recognize when something is not to be treated as rational discourse. These were more drive-by comments than meaningful contributions. Still "you are the epitome of the white supremacist patriarchy" is a galling thing to read another person say about you, whatever the reason behind it.
Instead of being galled, you should look in the mirror and resolve to change whatever was in you that forced that person to call you that.
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Old 01-09-2020, 02:41 PM
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So if we want to decrease domestic abuse, talking to abused women about their experiences would be wrong?
No. But demanding abused women come up with the solution, without any support from the wider establishment, then ignoring or dismissing their suggestions, and then asking them to ONCE AGAIN tell us how to fix the mess we all collectively made together as a society WOULD be. And if there was that history with abused women, I would be extra super careful not not start out that conversation in this way.
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Old 01-09-2020, 02:51 PM
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Ive mentioned that more in passing than as a central part of my story. I mean, yea, obviously *i* know such a thing is absurd and not something that has any real validity , as it comes from strangers who know nothing about me or my life but just the fact that i was so easily called that by numerous people in that thread was slightly appalling in the moment. I was never offended. It *did* concern me a bit tho, this much was true. I never made any attempt in that thread to show that i wasn't this epitome of white supremacist patriarchy. I am capable enough to recognize when something is not to be treated as rational discourse. These were more drive-by comments than meaningful contributions. Still "you are the epitome of the white supremacist patriarchy" is a galling thing to read another person say about you, whatever the reason behind it.
Well, okay, but what they saw of you was some drive-by white dude saying "Ok, well, what do you think we should do about it?", which has very often been the exact reasoning used to justify doing nothing. Do you see how that could be perceived as patronizing?
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Old 01-09-2020, 02:52 PM
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Instead of being galled, you should look in the mirror and resolve to change whatever was in you that forced that person to call you that.
Ha! I assume this is an attempt at an impression of the kind of fantasy-world SJW that lives only in Rush Limbaugh's imagination? If so, how 'bout another one? Maybe you could do the fake Obama that haunts Trump's dreams?
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Old 01-09-2020, 02:59 PM
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Did you check out that link about school segregation? There's a This American Life about the same issue, which really opened my eyes. Yeah, I think that the "I want to live in a good school district" approach is very often a misguided approach. Not always, but from what I've read and heard, the definition of "good school district" is based on metrics that look relevant but really aren't, and ignore metrics that don't looks so relevant but really are.
I did, it's about private schools though, and about inherent racism in that "good" schools (based on test scores) aren't considered "good" by white parents if they're full of minority students.

I definitely listened to the TAL podcast when it came out, and since then that's informed a lot of my desire to move my kids into a black school district. I think according to that piece, or at least data that's come out since then, forcing segregation by moving black kids to white schools doesn't work anywhere near as well as moving white kids into black schools. And so I thought, "Why not me?" But I talked upthread about that.

Regardless, if the definition of a "good school district" is based on bad metrics, that's an argument in favor of getting better metrics, which I'm all for. That's not an argument against saying "I want to live in a good school district, for me kids." Unless there are NO metrics that can ever define a good school district. I'm certainly open to the idea that the 5 or 6 school districts that are well rated are given unfairly high ratings for various reasons, but that's a far cry from saying my kids would have the same results if I'd just sent them to any school.
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Old 01-09-2020, 03:07 PM
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Ha! I assume this is an attempt at an impression of the kind of fantasy-world SJW that lives only in Rush Limbaugh's imagination? If so, how 'bout another one? Maybe you could do the fake Obama that haunts Trump's dreams?
Yeah, I went over the top. No one would ever advise someone who expressed a sincere desire to do good and learn how to be anti-racist and was castigated and called names for it, with condescension and the implication they were to blame.
  #83  
Old 01-09-2020, 03:09 PM
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I *did not* ask him for examples of issues that lend credence to the idea that racism and oppression of minorities is still alive and well! Where in the hell did thst come from? I asked him if he had any personal thoughts on ways *combat* this racism and oppression! I dont need to be shown or fucking convinced that racism is alive and well! Jesus. Ive lived in Flint Mi all my life. Tjat right there alone is enough to know racism isnt dead.
Then I’m even more confused. You’re ignorant of ways to fight racism, and needed to ask your acquaintance? Because if you’re not ignorant of in what ways racism persists, and you’re not ignorant of ways to fight it, then what was the purpose of engaging in the first place? Why not just a simple "like", or, if you don’t got for that, just not responding to his post at all? That’s how I respond to just about 100% of memes that make it into my feed. No response. Personally, I prefer original content, not shared memes, but that’s neither here nor there.
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Old 01-09-2020, 03:13 PM
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Instead of being galled, you should look in the mirror and resolve to change whatever was in you that forced that person to call you that.
Oh please. The only person there that knew *anything* about me at all refrained from such sentiments. Meaning the person i was directly engaged with knew me well enough to never label me as such. In previous discussions ive had with him on FB about the perpetual blind spots of white climate change activists and white vegans, one drive-by commenter called me an obvious troll. Well, once again, the only one who knew *anything* about me, my classmate Mark, answered "no, he's no troll" whrn asked point blank about me.

This person called me an "epitome of the white supremacist patriarchy" based on my conversation that was *only* about wanting to understand why my simple asking for an opinion of someone ive known and respected for a long time who had posted things that clearly showed he had a personal interest in the issues related to my question was apparently a non-starter. How could this alone give insight to someone that i am this epitome of racism, when the only thing they knew about me *at all* is that i had asked one of their fb friends a question looking for his opinion on a racially charged subject he had just posted about?

I only take a person's thoughts or opinions, galling or otherwise, directed towards me seriously and with merit when they come from those who have at least *some* knowledge of me or knowlege of my words or actions that give them adequate information to make an informed judgment.
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Old 01-09-2020, 03:18 PM
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Then I’m even more confused. You’re ignorant of ways to fight racism, and needed to ask your acquaintance? Because if you’re not ignorant of in what ways racism persists, and you’re not ignorant of ways to fight it, then what was the purpose of engaging in the first place? Why not just a simple "like", or, if you don’t got for that, just not responding to his post at all? That’s how I respond to just about 100% of memes that make it into my feed. No response. Personally, I prefer original content, not shared memes, but that’s neither here nor there.
I *was* and *am* ignorant or at least not adequately informed on the ways to best fight racism, both institutional and individual. I never said i was *not* ignorant of the ways to fight it, only that i was not ignorant to the ways in which it was still alive and well.
And btw, how could you *possibly* think i said i was not ignorant on ways to fight racism, when my post that you quoted **says that very thing right there clear as day**?!

Last edited by Ambivalid; 01-09-2020 at 03:22 PM.
  #86  
Old 01-09-2020, 03:20 PM
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Yeah, I went over the top. No one would ever advise someone who expressed a sincere desire to do good and learn how to be anti-racist and was castigated and called names for it, with condescension and the implication they were to blame.
Wait, is this now sarcasm about your sarcastic attempt at hyperbole? I'm losing track. If you're trying to criticize a post in this thread, it's helpful to use the QUOTE function.
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Old 01-09-2020, 03:39 PM
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Wait, is this now sarcasm about your sarcastic attempt at hyperbole? I'm losing track. If you're trying to criticize a post in this thread, it's helpful to use the QUOTE function.
This was a veiled criticism of your post #64 in which you first explained how exhausting it is for you and other people of color to be constantly explaining to white people that they are one of the good ones. Then you condescendingly blamed him for it because of a tone you detected.

I hope that was clear.
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Old 01-09-2020, 03:46 PM
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This was a veiled criticism of your post #64 in which you first explained how exhausting it is for you and other people of color to be constantly explaining to white people that they are one of the good ones.
Are you under the impression that I'm a person of color? If so, let me correct you -- I'm not. But what part of that post do you disagree with? Your "veiled criticism" doesn't appear to address this at all.

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Then you condescendingly blamed him for it because of a tone you detected.
If I came across as condescending, I apologize -- certainly wasn't my intent. And I'm not sure where I assigned any blame.

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I hope that was clear.
No, but thanks for trying!

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  #89  
Old 01-09-2020, 03:46 PM
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Oh please. The only person there that knew *anything* about me at all refrained from such sentiments.
psst--puddleglum is apparently attempting to write some next-level satire here, because that's way better than engaging in a forthright discussion because something something social justice warriors.
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Old 01-09-2020, 04:11 PM
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Are you under the impression that I'm a person of color? If so, let me correct you -- I'm not. But what part of that post do you disagree with? Your "veiled criticism" doesn't appear to address this at all.



If I came across as condescending, I apologize -- certainly wasn't my intent. And I'm not sure where I assigned any blame.



No, but thanks for trying!
As the recipient of the comment, let me say, i did not find it condescending in the least.
  #91  
Old 01-09-2020, 04:13 PM
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Are you under the impression that I'm a person of color? If so, let me correct you -- I'm not. But what part of that post do you disagree with? Your "veiled criticism" doesn't appear to address this at all.



If I came across as condescending, I apologize -- certainly wasn't my intent. And I'm not sure where I assigned any blame.



No, but thanks for trying!
I guess I just assumed you were a person of color because you were acting as their spokesman, it shows alot about you that they were willing to trust you with that job even though your a white person.

The part I disagree with is the notion of it being incredibly exhausting to reassure someone else that you don't think of them as a racist. The civil rights heros marched, , braved firehoses and dogs, and risked their lives to fight racism. Apparently the new generation of woke scolds can't muster the energy to be civil to people on the internet.
As obviously silly as the whole thing is, I find it admirable for Ambivalid to try and understand the perspective of other people and to assume that there might be a legitimate reason he was called names by people on Facebook. I did not see anything in the OP that indicated tone policing was called for.
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Old 01-09-2020, 04:15 PM
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Nothing whatsoever. I want to be clear on this point, because it's important: it's not Ambivalid's black acquaintance's responsibility to convince Ambivalid to be antiracist. Being antiracist isn't a position you should have to be coddled and cajoled and enticed into. It's a position you should hold by virtue of not being an awful person.

Turn it around: are you convinced that dismantling racism is important?
In the very post you quoted, I said his friend had no obligation so I have no idea why you thought the point needed clarification.

I think, intellectually, that dismantling racism would be good for society but to be perfectly honest, it holds little emotion for me. In my day to day life I try to treat everyone with empathy and respect. But I'm never gonna march for it, so as far as the progress of society goes I might as well be a nihilist. Someone telling me to check google is certainly not going to change that, and that's fine. They got to vent and I can go on with my life. Not hurting me.

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Old 01-09-2020, 04:19 PM
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  #94  
Old 01-09-2020, 04:21 PM
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Are you under the impression that I'm a person of color? If so, let me correct you -- I'm not. But what part of that post do you disagree with? Your "veiled criticism" doesn't appear to address this at all.



If I came across as condescending, I apologize -- certainly wasn't my intent. And I'm not sure where I assigned any blame.



No, but thanks for trying!
As the recipient of the alleged condescending comment, let me say i didnt find it condescending in the least

Last edited by Ambivalid; 01-09-2020 at 04:21 PM.
  #95  
Old 01-09-2020, 04:30 PM
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I guess I just assumed you were a person of color because you were acting as their spokesman, it shows alot about you that they were willing to trust you with that job even though your a white person.
I thought I made it clear that my opinion came from my experiences talking to folks of color, but if you missed that, I apologize. But out of curiosity, what people of color told you that I was their spokesperson? I'm assuming you wouldn't just make that up, since I'm assuming you wouldn't want to speak for people of color.



Quote:
The part I disagree with is the notion of it being incredibly exhausting to reassure someone else that you don't think of them as a racist. The civil rights heros marched, , braved firehoses and dogs, and risked their lives to fight racism. Apparently the new generation of woke scolds can't muster the energy to be civil to people on the internet.
I presume this means you have experience of constantly reassuring others that they're not racist. You do, right? Otherwise, it would seem absurd to me to have a strong opinion about how exhausting that can be.


Quote:
As obviously silly as the whole thing is, I find it admirable for Ambivalid to try and understand the perspective of other people and to assume that there might be a legitimate reason he was called names by people on Facebook. I did not see anything in the OP that indicated tone policing was called for.
I find it admirable too. There's nothing wrong with asking questions. And nothing wrong with not wanting to answer them, of course.
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Old 01-09-2020, 04:32 PM
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As the recipient of the comment, let me say, i did not find it condescending in the least.
Thank you! I'm glad to hear this.
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Old 01-09-2020, 05:30 PM
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From talking to lots of other white people about racism, ISTM that many have this extremely strong need to be validated, especially by black folks (and other non-white folks) that they are "one of the good ones" (i.e. a non-racist white person). To the point that I've seen conversations literally stop because a white guy is insisting that he be positively affirmed as a non-racist white man before they continue (I've seen it on this board many times, but also IRL). And any hint that maybe they aren't totally 100% perfectly enlightened on racial issues might be shattering to them.

ISTM that this is incredibly exhausting for non-white folks, to constantly feel a bullshit obligation/pressure to praise and affirm their white acquaintances personally any time the issue comes up.

I bring this up because I sense this sort of tone from the OP's description of how he handled this discussion, even if it doesn't appear that he explicitly said so. You may not even consciously be aware of it. If this is at all accurate, then I'd suggest you step back and think about it. No one is obligated to tell you that you're not a racist. No one is obligated to tell any white person that they're not racist (except maybe John Brown). You aren't owed anything, even explanations, regarding this topic, from your black friends and acquaintances. If they want to explain things to you, then that's great on them, but they're under no such obligation. That'd be doing you a big favor -- which maybe some folks will be in the mood for sometimes, but sometimes they won't. That's okay.
I don't understand this line of thought. If I have a black friend who is going on about how whites oppress him and whites do this and whites do that, isn't it reasonable for me to ask if he thinks that I am doing any of those things to him?

Of course, he has no legal or contractual obligation to respond, but wouldn't it be pretty dickish and not a very friendly thing to do if he didn't?

In every single other area of life it would be a reasonable question. Why not this one?
  #98  
Old 01-09-2020, 05:33 PM
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I don't understand this line of thought. If I have a black friend who is going on about how whites oppress him and whites do this and whites do that, isn't it reasonable for me to ask if he thinks that I am doing any of those things to him?
Asking such questions is fine, IMO. Under most circumstances, anyway. Under some, it might be as inappropriate as asking for details from a rape victim about their attack.

Quote:
Of course, he has no legal or contractual obligation to respond, but wouldn't it be pretty dickish and not a very friendly thing to do if he didn't?
Not necessarily, IMO.

Quote:
In every single other area of life it would be a reasonable question. Why not this one?
Nothing is simple when it comes to racism and bigotry in America. It really can poison everything -- even things that seem as mundane and simple as this.
  #99  
Old 01-09-2020, 05:53 PM
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Being antiracist isn't a position you should have to be coddled and cajoled and enticed into. It's a position you should hold by virtue of not being an awful person.
I disagree with this claim on principle. Would you be interested in a separate thread on this?

~Max
  #100  
Old 01-09-2020, 06:26 PM
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Well, okay, but what they saw of you was some drive-by white dude saying "Ok, well, what do you think we should do about it?", which has very often been the exact reasoning used to justify doing nothing. Do you see how that could be perceived as patronizing?
I was really not a "drive-by poster" in any sense of the phrase. Unless you are radically altering the meaning of the term. Again, the only person besides myself who *wasn't* a drive-by poster in that conversation, my classmate Mark, did not echo those sentiments in any way.
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