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  #101  
Old 07-31-2019, 09:58 PM
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He may sink a barb at a group and sound racist, call anyone who's against gun ownership a pansy, or just snap at a reporter to 'shut up!' But my point is, he was so well-liked in general that most Americans then just shrugged it off as an unpleasant part of his job.
  #102  
Old 07-31-2019, 10:04 PM
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He may sink a barb at a group and sound racist
"Sound racist" is a weird characterization of using specific racist stereotypes as an insult, but at least you're no longer arguing that what he said doesn't sound racist, so thanks for that.
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But my point is, he was so well-liked in general that most Americans then just shrugged it off as an unpleasant part of his job.
Pivoting to a totally new point? Okay, we'll pivot. Maybe "most Americans" ignored it when he, uh, "sounded racist." But you'll note that black Americans voted against him in 1984 overwhelmingly.

White Americans have a long history of minimizing and excusing racist bullshit. This thread is my cite. It's hardly surprising that in the eighties, white Americans might have by-and-large excused their president's racism.

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  #103  
Old 07-31-2019, 10:11 PM
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I like that last paragraph, and well, the Gipper died quite some time ago and discussions then aren't what they are now. But other than that fast swerve I made about popularity (completely irrelevant, I know) I don't believe it was racist. Just uncouth, for which he was famous. And he was even less of a supremacist. Recall my term, American Exceptionalism.
  #104  
Old 07-31-2019, 10:35 PM
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Uh, no, you don't agree with that first thing, since it's not what I said. I'm all about the "plain meaning."

Well, that's not entirely true. Obviously a white supremacist isn't talking about the color white.
You just made that up. That's not the definition of "white supremacy" used anywhere. Go look up some definitions, and you'll see that what I've said is broadly in keeping with definitions of "white supremacy." While you'll find some sites that talk about something more in keeping with what you've said, they tend to list that as a secondary or tertiary definition.

Whining about how a person uses a primary definition for a term instead of a secondary definition is always petty bullshit. When you do it to distract from some nasty bigotry, it looks a little less petty but a lot more suspicious. Check your shit here.
There are a few things wrong with this, LHoD, and I'm surprised you did them.

First off, seriously, 'check your shit'? Try a little harder.

But the clearer violation here is the 'You just made that up'. That's perilously close to an accusation of lying. I can see an interpretation here that allows for making up a definition of 'white supremacy' but I'd prefer you avoid such things completely. It's too open to a negative interpretation.

No warning, but rein it in from here on out. That goes for all of you.
  #105  
Old 08-01-2019, 06:20 AM
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But the clearer violation here is the 'You just made that up'. That's perilously close to an accusation of lying. I can see an interpretation here that allows for making up a definition of 'white supremacy' but I'd prefer you avoid such things completely.
It was, of course, the latter that I meant, as wolfpup acceded in his response:
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Originally Posted by wolfpup
Well, I "made it up" in the sense that they are my own words
It's a little hard to figure out how to avoid looking like I'm accusing someone of lying, when it only looks like that to you, not to the person I'm talking with.
  #106  
Old 08-01-2019, 06:36 AM
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Rosalyn Carter said in an interview in the early 1980s that Ronald Reagan “made people feel comfortable with their prejudices,” so it’s not like people at the time didn’t realize what he was doing.
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  #107  
Old 08-01-2019, 07:43 AM
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Rosalyn Carter said in an interview in the early 1980s that Ronald Reagan “made people feel comfortable with their prejudices,” so it’s not like people at the time didn’t realize what he was doing.
She nailed it. I thought he was supremely dangerous because he was so good at it. And tens of millions of his voters are still with us.
  #108  
Old 08-01-2019, 09:35 AM
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No this is not true. You are redefining the term. Making assumptions about people based only on the color of their skin is racism. Your side is trying to make that ok by redefining racism so narrowly that you can claim almost anything said isn't racist unless an actual slur is used. I'm using the term the way it has always been used. What the right is doing is what is new. "Go back to where you came from" is obviously racist, but they are trying to find a way to defend stuff like that by reducing the term racist to mean only what they want it to be and then howling about how everything is racist these days. No, racist stuff is and always has been racist, and will continue to be so.
Sure, but there's a world of difference between doing something insensitive with the intent of being accommodating or helpful (i.e. the chicken and watermelon), or merely ignorant/behind the times (i.e. old people using the word "negro") and being... negatively racist, for lack of a better term.

They're all strictly speaking, racist. But they're not at all the same thing.

And there's also a difference between making assumptions about individuals versus the group. I mean, if you were to say "suburban white men really like pro football, lawn care and home improvement/DIY stuff", you're probably not inaccurate. But if you were to say "Bump likes pro football, lawn care and home improvement/DIY stuff", you'd be wrong on every count. Similarly, it can be said that the black community has serious problems with criminality without being racist, but you can't say that any random black person is a criminal without being racist.

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  #109  
Old 08-01-2019, 10:42 AM
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It's a little hard to figure out how to avoid looking like I'm accusing someone of lying, when it only looks like that to you, not to the person I'm talking with.
But you then go on to claim that this was all a deliberate attempt to "distract from some nasty bigotry" which made such a line of argument "suspicious". But in fact when someone starts a thread claiming that a person was a "white supremacist" based on the evidence of a quoted statement, it definitely merits a discussion about what that term actually means. And as I and a number of others have pointed out, it doesn't mean what you seem to think it does -- it's not just "nasty bigotry". The term has a specific meaning consistently supported by many different sources, and those pointing that out are neither engaging in some kind of "suspicious" motivated "distraction" nor are they engaging in a "hijack" as you claimed in the rather remarkable and totally unjustified outburst in post #63. If the OP had cited the quote and said it showed Reagan was a racist, I doubt there would be much disagreement and I wouldn't even be in this thread.
  #110  
Old 08-01-2019, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Rayks Marcial View Post
I like that last paragraph, and well, the Gipper died quite some time ago and discussions then aren't what they are now. But other than that fast swerve I made about popularity (completely irrelevant, I know) I don't believe it was racist. Just uncouth, for which he was famous. And he was even less of a supremacist. Recall my term, American Exceptionalism.
Here's a clue for you then. When I lived in the Congo, 10 years before Reagan said his racist crap, a UN official called his African assistant a monkey - affectionately, so he claimed. It caused a massive outrage at the highest levels of government and the official got expelled. It's not like that became a racist term just recently.

Reagan was either racist or stupid - and I never thought he was stupid.
  #111  
Old 08-01-2019, 03:13 PM
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I like that last paragraph, and well, the Gipper died quite some time ago and discussions then aren't what they are now. But other than that fast swerve I made about popularity (completely irrelevant, I know) I don't believe it was racist. Just uncouth, for which he was famous. And he was even less of a supremacist. Recall my term, American Exceptionalism.
I almost missed this. You've given no clear explanation for why it's not a racist thing for him to say, so your lack of belief in its racism doesn't appear to be founded in anything other than an affection for the Gipper.
  #112  
Old 08-01-2019, 03:42 PM
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Similarly, it can be said that the black community has serious problems with criminality without being racist, but you can't say that any random black person is a criminal without being racist.
I am trying to parse and understand this, but I cannot.

So, if I say that many members of a racial group have propensity X, then that is okay, no racism to see here.

But if I wrongly think that Dave, because he is a member of that racial group, likely has propensity X, then that is racist?

That seems backwards to me. In the first, I am talking about the racial group so any accusation of racism would have to lie there. In the second, I am only talking about Dave, one member of the group.

Why is it worse or "more racist" to impute things to a single member of a group, but okay to do it to the whole group?

As far as the Reagan comment, I think one of the things that people are missing is that in the not so recent past, certainly in 1971, when you wanted to insult someone, there was no filtering like there is today. I might love the French people, but if I'm mad at Billy the Frenchman, then everything comes out about Billy along with any French insults for good measure. Today, that is frowned upon.

Hell, I think Chris Rock did a routine on this.
  #113  
Old 08-01-2019, 03:55 PM
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I am trying to parse and understand this, but I cannot.

So, if I say that many members of a racial group have propensity X, then that is okay, no racism to see here.

But if I wrongly think that Dave, because he is a member of that racial group, likely has propensity X, then that is racist?

That seems backwards to me. In the first, I am talking about the racial group so any accusation of racism would have to lie there. In the second, I am only talking about Dave, one member of the group.

Why is it worse or "more racist" to impute things to a single member of a group, but okay to do it to the whole group?
"A lot of white people are white supremacists. Billy is white, so if he pisses me off for random reasons, I'ma call him a white supremacist."

The first statement is 100% true. The second statement shows generalizations bleeding into unwarranted conclusions about an individual.

Quote:
As far as the Reagan comment, I think one of the things that people are missing is that in the not so recent past, certainly in 1971, when you wanted to insult someone, there was no filtering like there is today. I might love the French people, but if I'm mad at Billy the Frenchman, then everything comes out about Billy along with any French insults for good measure. Today, that is frowned upon.

Hell, I think Chris Rock did a routine on this.
We're not missing that. We think the filter is that now people try not to be racist when they insult people.

Well, some people try. Others don't, because our leadership has set a terrible president.
  #114  
Old 08-01-2019, 05:22 PM
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Well, some people try. Others don't, because our leadership has set a terrible president.
What a serendipitous misspelling.
  #115  
Old 08-01-2019, 06:38 PM
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Here's a clue for you then. When I lived in the Congo, 10 years before Reagan said his racist crap, a UN official called his African assistant a monkey - affectionately, so he claimed. It caused a massive outrage at the highest levels of government and the official got expelled. It's not like that became a racist term just recently.

Reagan was either racist or stupid - and I never thought he was stupid.
I'm still clueless. If I call a Filipino a monkey, will I be racist? How 'bout a Swede? And third party reactions, which is what your story is about, hardly matter to me.

People thought Reagan was stupid, or at least not up to the caliber of guys like Carter and Mondale. That I know.
  #116  
Old 08-01-2019, 07:00 PM
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I will never vote for Ronald Reagan again!!!

Anyone else remember LBJ's favorite saying about black Americans? (though he liked to use another word to refer to them) "All those n*****s want is a loose pair of shoes, a tight piece of ass and a warm place to take a shit."
sorry, that was Earl Butz (seriously, last name), not LBJ
  #117  
Old 08-01-2019, 07:03 PM
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I'm still clueless. If I call a Filipino a monkey, will I be racist? How 'bout a Swede? And third party reactions, which is what your story is about, hardly matter to me.

People thought Reagan was stupid, or at least not up to the caliber of guys like Carter and Mondale. That I know.
I don't think you're clueless about why it's widely accepted as racist to call black/brown people "monkeys". You're being disingenuous or worse, but not clueless.
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  #118  
Old 08-01-2019, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Rayks Marcial View Post
He may sink a barb at a group and sound racist, call anyone who's against gun ownership a pansy, or just snap at a reporter to 'shut up!' But my point is, he was so well-liked in general that most Americans then just shrugged it off as an unpleasant part of his job.
He was well-liked by Republicans. But he wasn't well-liked in general.

When he was elected many talked publicly about emigrating to Canada. Steve Martin included this in one of his SNL monologues:

Quote:
I believe that Ronald Reagan can make this country what it once was – an arctic region covered with ice.
https://snltranscripts.jt.org/79/79smono.phtml

A classic Doonesbury cartoon referenced Reagan's ascent to power with conservative B.D. crowing about Reagan's likely election, liberal Mark saying his reaction would be to shoot himself, and Mike Doonesbury replying "Good choice. Hand guns should be cheap and plentiful." https://www.gocomics.com/doonesbury/1980/08/25

Reagan was not even remotely popular with at least half the country. We hadn't yet heard the way he apparently liked to talk about Africans, but we could, basically, guess that he'd be that kind of guy.
  #119  
Old 08-01-2019, 08:31 PM
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White Americans have a long history of minimizing and excusing racist bullshit. This thread is my cite.
Some, sure. Or even just accepting it outright. But who among us posting in this thread is white? Since you are indirectly citing these people.

Last edited by Fiddle Peghead; 08-01-2019 at 08:32 PM.
  #120  
Old 08-01-2019, 08:40 PM
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Some, sure. Or even just accepting it outright. But who among us posting in this thread is white? Since you are indirectly citing these people.
LHoD meant, as was implicit in his post, other white people.
  #121  
Old 08-01-2019, 08:50 PM
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I'm still clueless. If I call a Filipino a monkey, will I be racist? How 'bout a Swede? And third party reactions, which is what your story is about, hardly matter to me.

People thought Reagan was stupid, or at least not up to the caliber of guys like Carter and Mondale. That I know.
Christ almighty, someone just explained your username. Forget I engaged.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 08-01-2019 at 08:51 PM.
  #122  
Old 08-01-2019, 08:58 PM
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You needed explanation? True or False:

1. there's a big possibility that Marcial might be my real name;
2. Herman Goering's honorific was pronounced "rhysh-marshall";
3. Reagan wasn't talking about Jews.
  #123  
Old 08-01-2019, 10:58 PM
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I'm still clueless. If I call a Filipino a monkey, will I be racist? How 'bout a Swede? And third party reactions, which is what your story is about, hardly matter to me.
Gee, for some reason calling a Swede a monkey is not going to have the same effect, since no one called Swedes subhuman.
Good catch by LHoD. You can stick your racist crap where the sun don't shine.
  #124  
Old 08-01-2019, 11:08 PM
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Good catch by LHoD.
Thanks, but credit MrDibble. I'm not up on my Nazi military ranks and had no idea.
  #125  
Old 08-01-2019, 11:13 PM
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So, if I say that many members of a racial group have propensity X, then that is okay, no racism to see here.
I think you're conflating the related but definitely different concepts "many members of a racial group have propensity X" and "[racial group] community has serious problems with X".

Talking about a "community" and its "problems" suggests a particular social and historical context where they exist. Nobody's denying that the modern American black community, for a variety of reasons, does have disproportionately serious problems with crime. It's not racist to acknowledge the existence of a specific historical phenomenon.

Talking about the "propensities" of "members of a racial group", on the other hand, suggests some kind of innate tendency linked to that racial identity, which is more likely to come across as racist.
  #126  
Old 08-01-2019, 11:42 PM
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Thanks, but credit MrDibble. I'm not up on my Nazi military ranks and had no idea.
Geez, for racist hunters you guys have serious gaps in your knowledge.
  #127  
Old 08-01-2019, 11:46 PM
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no one called Swedes subhuman.
No one? You never talked with any foreigner who lived in Sweden?
  #128  
Old 08-02-2019, 12:06 AM
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Leave shots at other posters and their names for the Pit.

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  #129  
Old 08-02-2019, 12:08 AM
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Reagan was not even remotely popular with at least half the country.
If he wasn't remotely popular with at least half the country, how did he win 49 states?
  #130  
Old 08-02-2019, 07:16 AM
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I think you're conflating the related but definitely different concepts "many members of a racial group have propensity X" and "[racial group] community has serious problems with X".

Talking about a "community" and its "problems" suggests a particular social and historical context where they exist. Nobody's denying that the modern American black community, for a variety of reasons, does have disproportionately serious problems with crime. It's not racist to acknowledge the existence of a specific historical phenomenon.

Talking about the "propensities" of "members of a racial group", on the other hand, suggests some kind of innate tendency linked to that racial identity, which is more likely to come across as racist.
I guess that is my point. If a person concedes that blacks engage in crime at a higher rate than whites, then that is non-controversial, merely a true statement. IMHO, it only becomes a "racist" statement if I conclude that the high crime rate in the black population is due to the genetics or some other innate quality of people from sub-Saharan Africa. The "this race is better than that one" theory.

So there is where the racism v. non-racism issue stops: my belief as to why a race does certain things.

If I commit the fallacy that because a large percentage of a group does X, then an individual member of that group must do X, then I don't see how that makes my prior belief any more or less racist. The prior belief remains either racist or non-racist.

The fallacy just makes me illogical and clueless.
  #131  
Old 08-02-2019, 07:30 AM
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I guess that is my point. If a person concedes that blacks engage in crime at a higher rate than whites, then that is non-controversial, merely a true statement. IMHO, it only becomes a "racist" statement if I conclude that the high crime rate in the black population is due to the genetics or some other innate quality of people from sub-Saharan Africa. The "this race is better than that one" theory.

So there is where the racism v. non-racism issue stops: my belief as to why a race does certain things.

If I commit the fallacy that because a large percentage of a group does X, then an individual member of that group must do X, then I don't see how that makes my prior belief any more or less racist. The prior belief remains either racist or non-racist.

The fallacy just makes me illogical and clueless.
That's an odd take. There are different ways a conclusion can be racist:

1) A conclusion that certain socially-constructed racial groups are genetically inferior to others (specificially whites) is thoroughly discredited. Belief in it despite the complete lack of evidence is racist.
2) A conclusion that members of a racial group have certain traits that are stereotypical (black people are lazy/violent/great entertainers/watermelon fiends) is racist.
3) A conclusion that a particular member of a racial group has those stereotypical traits is racist.

Your doubt on this third idea seems to hinge on the principle that it's not racism, it's illogical. Which is what I find so weird, because all racism is illogical. That's one of the reasons why racism is not hunky dory. It's kind of one of the defining characteristics of racist beliefs.
  #132  
Old 08-02-2019, 07:44 AM
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That's an odd take. There are different ways a conclusion can be racist:

1) A conclusion that certain socially-constructed racial groups are genetically inferior to others (specificially whites) is thoroughly discredited. Belief in it despite the complete lack of evidence is racist.
2) A conclusion that members of a racial group have certain traits that are stereotypical (black people are lazy/violent/great entertainers/watermelon fiends) is racist.
3) A conclusion that a particular member of a racial group has those stereotypical traits is racist.

Your doubt on this third idea seems to hinge on the principle that it's not racism, it's illogical. Which is what I find so weird, because all racism is illogical. That's one of the reasons why racism is not hunky dory. It's kind of one of the defining characteristics of racist beliefs.
All racism is illogical, but not all illogical beliefs are racist. Again, once we have conceded that it is not racist to believe that blacks commit crimes at a higher rate than whites because of historical discrimination, then why does it follow that it is racist if I think Dave, a black man, probably commits crimes because of historical discrimination?

It's not racist. It is simply illogical.
  #133  
Old 08-02-2019, 08:23 AM
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Oh, for pity's sake. When someone
1) Makes an assumption about a stranger
2) That's harmful, and is
3) Based on racial stereotypes
4) Especially when the assumer is a member of a dominant racial group, and the person having the assumption made about them is a member of a group that's faced serious oppression based on race,

you can't call that "racist"?

Fine. In deference to your sensibilities, let's not call that "racist." We'll make up a new word to describe this sort of behavior: it's wacist.

Now, can we recognize that wacism is a scourge, and that Reagan grew up during a time of serious wacism and white supwemacy? Can we recognize that ideas about the criminality of black men have led to continued oppression, to the extent that one author has labeled the resulting prison/industrial complex The New Jim Cwow?

I certainly don't want to get caught up in yet another ridiculous, fussy argument about definitions of words, so wacism is fine for this discussion.
  #134  
Old 08-02-2019, 08:28 AM
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Oh, for pity's sake. When someone
1) Makes an assumption about a stranger
2) That's harmful, and is
3) Based on racial stereotypes
4) Especially when the assumer is a member of a dominant racial group, and the person having the assumption made about them is a member of a group that's faced serious oppression based on race,

you can't call that "racist"?

Fine. In deference to your sensibilities, let's not call that "racist." We'll make up a new word to describe this sort of behavior: it's wacist.

Now, can we recognize that wacism is a scourge, and that Reagan grew up during a time of serious wacism and white supwemacy? Can we recognize that ideas about the criminality of black men have led to continued oppression, to the extent that one author has labeled the resulting prison/industrial complex The New Jim Cwow?

I certainly don't want to get caught up in yet another ridiculous, fussy argument about definitions of words, so wacism is fine for this discussion.
So you aren't seriously going to address my comments, then?
  #135  
Old 08-02-2019, 08:29 AM
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LHoD meant, as was implicit in his post, other white people.
Seems as though LHoD doesn't want to answer, but it sounds like he meant there are white people in this thread that back up his assertion. I simply want to know how LHoD knows who is white in this thread. I'm not saying he doesn't, maybe he knows everyone personally. Or maybe I misunderstood him.

Last edited by Fiddle Peghead; 08-02-2019 at 08:31 AM.
  #136  
Old 08-02-2019, 08:31 AM
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Seems as though LHoD doesn't want to answer, but it sounds like this person meant there are white people in this thread that back up his assertion. I simply want to know how LHoD knows who is white in this thread. I'm not saying he doesn't, maybe he knows everyone personally. Or maybe I misunderstood him.
Or maybe I think it's an irrelevant gotcha question that I don't plan to dignify with a response other than this one .
  #137  
Old 08-02-2019, 08:39 AM
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So you aren't seriously going to address my comments, then?
I don't think there's anything serious to address there. You're for some reason wanting to claim that something obviously and archetypically racist isn't racist, and I don't see any point at all in engaging in such a silly exercise. Let's acknowledge that a turd by any other name smells just as foul.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 08-02-2019 at 08:40 AM.
  #138  
Old 08-02-2019, 08:59 AM
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I don't think there's anything serious to address there. You're for some reason wanting to claim that something obviously and archetypically racist isn't racist, and I don't see any point at all in engaging in such a silly exercise. Let's acknowledge that a turd by any other name smells just as foul.
So in other words, you got nothing.

The logic of what I am saying is rather simple, even if it doesn't fit the rush to call everything racist.

If the overall philosophy is not X, then the individual application likewise cannot be X. The individual application may be incorrect, silly, stupid, illogical or whatever, but it cannot be X.
  #139  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:04 AM
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Or maybe I think it's an irrelevant gotcha question that I don't plan to dignify with a response other than this one .
Not a gotcha. I just try to be wary of someone who makes an assumption about one thing in order to support another. However, this thread should really be about Reagan, so no matter.
  #140  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:05 AM
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So in other words, you got nothing.

The logic of what I am saying is rather simple, even if it doesn't fit the rush to call everything racist.

If the overall philosophy is not X, then the individual application likewise cannot be X. The individual application may be incorrect, silly, stupid, illogical or whatever, but it cannot be X.
But your hypothetical person isn't applying a stereotype because of statistics, they're applying a stereotype because of racism. Applying racial stereotypes is racist, full stop. If you think a black guy is a criminal because he's black, then it doesn't matter if you think it's because of statistics -- you're applying a racial stereotype. That's racist -- making a negative judgment on someone due to their skin color. There's no way for that to not be racist.
  #141  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:07 AM
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"My next door neighbors are African-American, and they just love their fried chicken and watermelon."

Is that statement racist?
  #142  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:18 AM
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"My next door neighbors are African-American, and they just love their fried chicken and watermelon."

Is that statement racist?
Assuming this is a race-based assumption (why else mention race?), then yes. If this hypothetical idiot just wants to relay the preferences their neighbor told them about, there'd be no need to mention race -- they'd say something like "oh yeah, my neighbor Phil also loves fried chicken and watermelon!".
  #143  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:25 AM
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So in other words, you got nothing.
...sure. I got nothing. You win!
  #144  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:30 AM
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Assuming this is a race-based assumption (why else mention race?), then yes. If this hypothetical idiot just wants to relay the preferences their neighbor told them about, there'd be no need to mention race -- they'd say something like "oh yeah, my neighbor Phil also loves fried chicken and watermelon!".
I understand your point, but what about these statements:

"My Mexican neighbors make the best tamales".

"My Polish neighbors make the best pierogi".

Is that racist as well?
  #145  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:36 AM
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I understand your point, but what about these statements:

"My Mexican neighbors make the best tamales".

"My Polish neighbors make the best pierogi".

Is that racist as well?
No. Those are very different than the hypothetical I evaluated.
  #146  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:43 AM
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Assuming this is a race-based assumption (why else mention race?), then yes. If this hypothetical idiot just wants to relay the preferences their neighbor told them about, there'd be no need to mention race -- they'd say something like "oh yeah, my neighbor Phil also loves fried chicken and watermelon!".
Agreed, with the parts I bolded. But what if in fact my neighbors are African-American, and they do love fried chicken and watermelon? Then it is not racist, it's a statement of fact. The point being, one can say something that on the surface smacks of racism, but that in fact is not racist. As for including that they are African-American in my example, this is also not racist, as it's a fact. These are the kinds of things I see overlooked, and they should not be.

Last edited by Fiddle Peghead; 08-02-2019 at 09:44 AM.
  #147  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:44 AM
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I understand your point, but what about these statements:

"My Mexican neighbors make the best tamales".

"My Polish neighbors make the best pierogi".

Is that racist as well?
Something about the phrasing "they just love their" makes it cringey to me, in a way that "they make the best" doesn't. The former brings up condescending stereotypes straight out of 1950s Looney Tunes shorts, whereas the latter suggests skill and respect that's not part of the stereotype.


So imagine someone said, "My black neighbor makes the best fried chicken." I wouldn't cringe at that nearly as hard.

Recognizing that there are different cultural groups with different food traditions is one thing. Smirking at a cultural group because it's funny when they fall into stereotypes is another.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddle Peghead View Post
Agreed, with the parts I bolded. But what if in fact my neighbors are African-American, and they do love fried chicken and watermelon? Then it is not racist, it's a statement of fact. The point being, one can say something that on the surface smacks of racism, but that in fact is not racist. As for including that they are African-American in my example, this is also not racist, as it's a fact. These are the kinds of things I see overlooked, and they should not be.
You don't say every fact in every situation. Otherwise you'd be like, "My neighbors are African American, and one of them is named Dave, and the other is named Crista, and he's 48, and his birthday is June 20, and he weighs 148 pounds, and he went to college at Morehead where he earned his degree in microbiology, and...

....
...
...
[20 years later]
...and he liked fried chicken, back while he was still my neighbor."

You've got to choose the facts you want to emphasize. In the statement you made, you chose only three facts (they're black, they love fried chicken, they love watermelon), and those three facts just happen to correspond exactly to a well-known racial stereotype. Your choice to include those three facts and no others is what makes it suspicious.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 08-02-2019 at 09:47 AM.
  #148  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:54 AM
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Reagan's daughter writes about the recording:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patti Davis
There is no defense, no rationalization, no suitable explanation for what my father said on that taped phone conversation.
...
If I had read his words as a quotation, and not heard them, I’d have said they were fabricated. That he would never say such things. Because I never heard anything like that from him. In fact, when I was growing up, bigotry and racism were addressed in my family by making it clear that these were toxic and sinister beliefs that should always be called out and shunned. I can’t tell you about the man who was on the phone with Richard Nixon that day in 1971. He’s not a man I knew.
...
I believe, if my father had, years after the fact, heard that tape, he would have asked for forgiveness. He would have said, “I deeply regret what I said — that’s not who I am.” He would have sought to make amends for the pain his words caused.
Davis insists that her dad was not really racist, that his words were an "aberration." I find her memories of her dad compelling, and a reminder that it's often more helpful to talk about racist actions and racist statements than to talk about racists. I have no doubt that her dad was a complicated dude.

At the same time, it's no surprise that a man would present a better, kinder version of himself to his own children than he does to other men. It's no surprise that a person might show their worst selves amongst others who they know agree with their worst selves.

I see no reason to believe there was anything unusual about this conversation, except that it was with a paranoid nutcase who happened to be recording.
  #149  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Fiddle Peghead View Post
Agreed, with the parts I bolded. But what if in fact my neighbors are African-American, and they do love fried chicken and watermelon? Then it is not racist, it's a statement of fact. The point being, one can say something that on the surface smacks of racism, but that in fact is not racist. As for including that they are African-American in my example, this is also not racist, as it's a fact. These are the kinds of things I see overlooked, and they should not be.
In real world communication, people don't just randomly mention someone's race. Unless they have a reason to, like racism.
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  #150  
Old 08-02-2019, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
You've got to choose the facts you want to emphasize. In the statement you made, you chose only three facts (they're black, they love fried chicken, they love watermelon), and those three facts just happen to correspond exactly to a well-known racial stereotype. Your choice to include those three facts and no others is what makes it suspicious.
One reason I chose only those three facts was to keep my example as simple as possible, and only include just enough to make my point. And certainly they were chosen because of the stereotype. And I agree 100% that others might find it suspicious. But that doesn't mean it is in fact racist, and I maintain that it is not. I will also say that after posting it, I thought it would have been better to say

"My next door neighbors are African-American and they love fried chicken and watermelon."

If that seems less suspicious, then it just goes to show that one should be very careful of assuming racism in a statement for reasons that don't actually apply. Emphasizing that my neighbors really love fried chicken and watermelon instead of just regular old loving it does not turn a non-racist statement into a racist one.
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