Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #151  
Old 08-02-2019, 10:06 AM
Fiddle Peghead's Avatar
Fiddle Peghead is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Harlem, New York, NY
Posts: 3,956
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
In real world communication, people don't just randomly mention someone's race. Unless they have a reason to, like racism.
Okay. But if I had said, "My next door neighbors love fried chicken", I wouldn't have been able to make my point, now would I?
  #152  
Old 08-02-2019, 10:16 AM
Bone's Avatar
Bone is online now
Extrajudicial
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 10,571
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
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.
This is the fallacy of division. Your conclusion is unsound.


If your assessment is based on race, it's racist. Pretty straightforward.
  #153  
Old 08-02-2019, 10:22 AM
ZPG Zealot is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 3,996
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
In real world communication, people don't just randomly mention someone's race. Unless they have a reason to, like racism.
In real world communication, people mention someone's race all the time to distinguish between individuals and identifying who someone is. It's one of the easy markers for recognition. Example from work (very common exchange); Question: Which Rob? Answer: The black guy usually wears University shirts.
  #154  
Old 08-02-2019, 10:49 AM
kaylasdad99 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Anaheim, CA
Posts: 31,832
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scumpup View Post
Now that you have told me that a man I never voted for and who has been dead for a long, long time was a racist, what exactly is it that you want me to do? IOW, how did you expect to influence the behavior of others by passing this along?
Have you considered spitting on the ground whenever his name is mentioned with approval in casual conversation?

It may strike some as rude (or even provocative), but it can be a balm for the soul, especially in these times. Take it from a man who knows.
  #155  
Old 08-02-2019, 11:02 AM
Buck Godot's Avatar
Buck Godot is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: MD outside DC
Posts: 5,869
Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
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.
I think it may have to do with the use of the word "they". It suggests extending the claim beyond just his neighbors. I think the statement, "My neighbors are black they make the best darn fried chicken" would also be cringeworthy to me, less so than the statement "My neighbor black neighbor, Dave, really likes fried chicken."

Last edited by Buck Godot; 08-02-2019 at 11:02 AM.
  #156  
Old 08-02-2019, 11:09 AM
kaylasdad99 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Anaheim, CA
Posts: 31,832
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
Looks to me like the cite you just quoted supports me. "racist ideology may include ... supremacism." When one category includes another, they're not synonymous. ("A is a subset of B" is different from "A is equal to B.")
I'm not particularly well-versed in probability, logic, or statistics, but ISTM that constructing a Venn diagram of the sets of "individuals who believe that melanin-deficient persons are inherently superior to melanin-abundant persons" (set A) and "individuals who prefer that political, social, and economic power should devolve onto melanin-deficient persons" (set B) would result in something far more stark than a BIG set A circle with a little set B circle inside.
  #157  
Old 08-02-2019, 12:13 PM
Miller's Avatar
Miller is online now
Sith Mod
Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Bear Flag Republic
Posts: 44,113
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZPG Zealot View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
In real world communication, people don't just randomly mention someone's race. Unless they have a reason to, like racism.
In real world communication, people mention someone's race all the time to distinguish between individuals and identifying who someone is. It's one of the easy markers for recognition. Example from work (very common exchange); Question: Which Rob? Answer: The black guy usually wears University shirts.
That's not a "random" mention of race, though, is it?
  #158  
Old 08-02-2019, 12:35 PM
UltraVires is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bridgeport, WV, US
Posts: 15,782
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
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.
But it is not racist to make a negative judgment by saying the same thing about an entire race? That the race commits crimes at a higher rate than other races? That's not racist, we agree?

But if I am suspicious of Dave, a black man, and think he might be a criminal, that's certainly not fair, I agree, but I think it does a disservice to the word, and here's why:

In every other aspect of society when we can find a group of people who share similar characteristics, we are permitted to take action based upon that. Several examples: 1) We prohibit ex felons from owning guns, no matter how non-violent, how long ago, or if they have demonstrated reform, 2) Some employers will not hire people with bad credit because of the idea that they have made poor life decisions, even if the person is in medical debt, or just has a bad knack for finances and your job is not a financial one.

I could go on and on about how society takes a group, uses a tendency from that group, and applies it generally. But we have learned that we certainly and absolutely should not and will not do such a thing based upon race because it re-opens old wounds and keeps disadvantaged people, well, disadvantaged.

So when a person does it and not out of malevolence, I don't think it is fair to use the modern linguistic bomb of calling that "racist" because it is such a common part of society and done without any bad motive. In my mind a racist would be of the opinion that he does not care that Dave is really a good guy and does not fit the criminal profile: he does not want to associate with Dave because he is black.

I think that word should be reserved for ill-intent and not simple cluelessness because people with no ill-intent will (and do) keep bitching that they must follow continually changing rules to keep that word from being applied to them.
  #159  
Old 08-02-2019, 12:37 PM
UltraVires is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bridgeport, WV, US
Posts: 15,782
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZPG Zealot View Post
In real world communication, people mention someone's race all the time to distinguish between individuals and identifying who someone is. It's one of the easy markers for recognition. Example from work (very common exchange); Question: Which Rob? Answer: The black guy usually wears University shirts.
People go out of their way NOT to do that for fear of being called the "R" word. Most of my adult life I have heard people dance around race in a description (they say the tall guy, the short guy, the young guy, the guy who wears University shirts). It's mostly because of the fear that ANY distinction because of race is racist; and frankly these types of discussions lend to that. Ill-intent should be the dividing line.
  #160  
Old 08-02-2019, 12:57 PM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 34,962
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
But it is not racist to make a negative judgment by saying the same thing about an entire race? That the race commits crimes at a higher rate than other races? That's not racist, we agree?

But if I am suspicious of Dave, a black man, and think he might be a criminal, that's certainly not fair, I agree, but I think it does a disservice to the word, and here's why:

In every other aspect of society when we can find a group of people who share similar characteristics, we are permitted to take action based upon that. Several examples: 1) We prohibit ex felons from owning guns, no matter how non-violent, how long ago, or if they have demonstrated reform, 2) Some employers will not hire people with bad credit because of the idea that they have made poor life decisions, even if the person is in medical debt, or just has a bad knack for finances and your job is not a financial one.

I could go on and on about how society takes a group, uses a tendency from that group, and applies it generally. But we have learned that we certainly and absolutely should not and will not do such a thing based upon race because it re-opens old wounds and keeps disadvantaged people, well, disadvantaged.

So when a person does it and not out of malevolence, I don't think it is fair to use the modern linguistic bomb of calling that "racist" because it is such a common part of society and done without any bad motive. In my mind a racist would be of the opinion that he does not care that Dave is really a good guy and does not fit the criminal profile: he does not want to associate with Dave because he is black.

I think that word should be reserved for ill-intent and not simple cluelessness because people with no ill-intent will (and do) keep bitching that they must follow continually changing rules to keep that word from being applied to them.
We usually can't know someone's intent with any certainty, so I judge a given scenario by the specific circumstances and context. For mundane little things -- say, a taxi driver turning away a black customer -- I'll call it "racist" if it falls into that bucket of mundane little things that happen to overwhelmingly harm people of certain races. It doesn't matter if a taxi-driver has been reading crime statistics and thinks he has a higher chance of being robbed by a black customer than other customers... it's still racist to turn away a customer because of their race. Doesn't matter the exact motivation -- it's a racist action.
  #161  
Old 08-02-2019, 01:18 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness's Avatar
Left Hand of Dorkness is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: at the right hand of cool
Posts: 41,122
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
So when a person does it and not out of malevolence, I don't think it is fair to use the modern linguistic bomb of calling that "racist" because it is such a common part of society and done without any bad motive. In my mind a racist would be of the opinion that he does not care that Dave is really a good guy and does not fit the criminal profile: he does not want to associate with Dave because he is black.

I think that word should be reserved for ill-intent and not simple cluelessness because people with no ill-intent will (and do) keep bitching that they must follow continually changing rules to keep that word from being applied to them.
I've noticed that folks who spend a lot of time arguing over how we need to be super restrictive with the word "racist," and how any specific incident can't possibly be called racist, and how using the word "racist" is like throwing a bomb, and how it dilutes the words--none of the folks doing this are also the folks who have dedicated a lot of energy toward actually ending racism.

Which makes sense. Injustice has never, ever, ever been properly addressed by ever-tightening the circle around what the injustice is. That behavior serves only the perpetrators, not the victims, of the injustice.
  #162  
Old 08-02-2019, 01:41 PM
bump is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 18,077
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
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.
I think I see what you're saying... but I'm not sure exactly how to refute it. It has to do with the attribution of general and vague group things to individuals based solely on something relatively arbitrary.

I mean, if I was to say "Italians like soccer", then what I'm saying is that in the aggregate, Italians like soccer. This is about as accurate as generalizations get, but it's not really extendable to the individual. Assuming that because someone is Italian, that they like soccer has taken it from the general to the personal, and you're making an incorrect assumption about someone based on their nationality.

This is fundamentally different, although I'm struggling to articulate exactly why, than saying "Fair skinned people sunburn easily", and then saying "Sally is fair, she likely sunburns easily."
  #163  
Old 08-02-2019, 02:23 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness's Avatar
Left Hand of Dorkness is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: at the right hand of cool
Posts: 41,122
Quote:
Originally Posted by bump View Post
I think I see what you're saying... but I'm not sure exactly how to refute it. It has to do with the attribution of general and vague group things to individuals based solely on something relatively arbitrary.

I mean, if I was to say "Italians like soccer", then what I'm saying is that in the aggregate, Italians like soccer. This is about as accurate as generalizations get, but it's not really extendable to the individual. Assuming that because someone is Italian, that they like soccer has taken it from the general to the personal, and you're making an incorrect assumption about someone based on their nationality.

This is fundamentally different, although I'm struggling to articulate exactly why, than saying "Fair skinned people sunburn easily", and then saying "Sally is fair, she likely sunburns easily."
Sunburning easily is a physical property of fair skin. Liking soccer isn't a physical property of being Italian.

Statements that are not prejudiced:
-Bob is an adult cis male. He probably grows hair on his face.
-Lisa is 4'11". She probably has trouble reaching things on the top shelf.
-Julio has long hair. He probably gets a sweaty neck on hot days.

Statements that are prejudiced, but not part of a culture of oppression:
-Bob is an adult cis male American. He probably likes football.
-Lisa is Italian. She probably expresses her emotions loudly.
-Julio identifies as Latinx. He probably speaks Spanish.

Statements that are prejudiced and are part of a culture of oppression:
-Bob is a black man. He is probably a criminal.
-Lisa is a woman. She is probably irrational and emotional.
-Julio identifies as Latinx. He is probably here illegally.
  #164  
Old 08-02-2019, 02:55 PM
Pantastic is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 4,119
Back on the main topic of the thread, I find it interesting that some Reagan biographers claim this took them completely by surprise. How bad do you have to be at your job to not notice that the person you're biographying about actively courted KKK members and the like while keeping up a thin veneer of plausible deniability is actually pretty racist?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
I've noticed that folks who spend a lot of time arguing over how we need to be super restrictive with the word "racist," and how any specific incident can't possibly be called racist, and how using the word "racist" is like throwing a bomb, and how it dilutes the words--none of the folks doing this are also the folks who have dedicated a lot of energy toward actually ending racism.
Yes, the habit of objecting much more strenuously to the use of the word 'racism' than to actual racism is really common and says a lot more about the person doing so than they intend. Using 'the r-word' to describe racism is a non-ironic attempt to equate pointing out someone's racism with using a racial slur! But if you're making 'fried chicken and watermelon' jokes about your new black neighbors, even if you say it's innocent, and even if you do it pretending to be friendly, the problem is not that someone called you out on doing racist BS, it's that you engaged in racist BS. Same thing with the 'how dare you call someone a white supremecist, that associates them with white supremecists who I don't want to be associated with' from earlier or 'don't call the camps 'concentration camps' even though it's accurate, that term is associated with the Nazis and it's mean to make that comparison even indirectly - the person objects much more strenuously to someone pointing out atrocious behavior than they do to the behavior itself.
  #165  
Old 08-02-2019, 03:01 PM
TimfromNapa is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Royal Nonesutch View Post
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."
That was not LBJ. That saying was made famous by Nixon/Ford Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz.
  #166  
Old 08-02-2019, 03:09 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness's Avatar
Left Hand of Dorkness is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: at the right hand of cool
Posts: 41,122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pantastic View Post
Back on the main topic of the thread, I find it interesting that some Reagan biographers claim this took them completely by surprise. How bad do you have to be at your job to not notice that the person you're biographying about actively courted KKK members and the like while keeping up a thin veneer of plausible deniability is actually pretty racist?
Well, that's the thing. Since about 1960, American racism has had to engage in some profoundly silly contortions and denialism in order to survive. If you want the white supremacist policies of Reagan, but don't want to admit you're a white supremacist, you gotta twist and deny.
  #167  
Old 08-02-2019, 03:15 PM
Fiddle Peghead's Avatar
Fiddle Peghead is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Harlem, New York, NY
Posts: 3,956
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pantastic View Post
Back on the main topic of the thread, I find it interesting that some Reagan biographers claim this took them completely by surprise. How bad do you have to be at your job to not notice that the person you're biographying about actively courted KKK members and the like while keeping up a thin veneer of plausible deniability is actually pretty racist?
Interesting, indeed. Maybe in fact they are not taken by surprise by this, are hagiographers instead of biographers, and have nothing else to defend themselves with. That is, they knew it all along. Who are they?

ETA: Knew all along about this quote. I'm not implying anything else.

Last edited by Fiddle Peghead; 08-02-2019 at 03:18 PM.
  #168  
Old 08-02-2019, 03:21 PM
k9bfriender is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 11,270
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZPG Zealot View Post
In real world communication, people mention someone's race all the time to distinguish between individuals and identifying who someone is. It's one of the easy markers for recognition. Example from work (very common exchange); Question: Which Rob? Answer: The black guy usually wears University shirts.
The problem with this is that it uses the "abnormalness" of the minority to point them out.

If someone asks you to point out "Bob", and you say, "he's the black guy", does that mean that if Bob was white, you would be unable to point him out? If someone asks me who Sarah is, is an appropriate response, "She's the girl with the big breasts"?

If someone asks who Lebron James is at a Lakers game (he's still at the lakers this week, right?), would pointing out that he is black be of any use?
  #169  
Old 08-02-2019, 03:41 PM
Ashtura is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,255
I'm 6'0 and white. I probably like fried chicken, because fried chicken is fuckin' delicious!
  #170  
Old 08-02-2019, 03:45 PM
bump is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 18,077
Quote:
Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
The problem with this is that it uses the "abnormalness" of the minority to point them out.

If someone asks you to point out "Bob", and you say, "he's the black guy", does that mean that if Bob was white, you would be unable to point him out? If someone asks me who Sarah is, is an appropriate response, "She's the girl with the big breasts"?

If someone asks who Lebron James is at a Lakers game (he's still at the lakers this week, right?), would pointing out that he is black be of any use?
How is that "abnormalness" different than any other distinguishing feature?

I mean, how is saying "Bob- he's the black guy" is any different than "Jim, he's the guy with the big lumberjack beard." or "Jill's the tall redhead"?

Not every mention of race is racist. To a large degree, the intent counts, and pointing it out as a distinguishing factor isn't in itself, racist. Had someone said "Bob, he's the ghetto looking guy" or "Bob, he's the <insert slur here>", that would be racist. But merely pointing out that he's the dark skinned guy by using the commonly accepted vernacular for people of his skin color isn't racist.
  #171  
Old 08-02-2019, 04:41 PM
ZPG Zealot is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 3,996
Quote:
Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
The problem with this is that it uses the "abnormalness" of the minority to point them out.

If someone asks you to point out "Bob", and you say, "he's the black guy", does that mean that if Bob was white, you would be unable to point him out? If someone asks me who Sarah is, is an appropriate response, "She's the girl with the big breasts"?

If someone asks who Lebron James is at a Lakers game (he's still at the lakers this week, right?), would pointing out that he is black be of any use?
Where I work, we like to think that being black is not something that should make someone feel uncomfortable. It's not about black "Bob" being abnormal to white "Bob", but that by sight alone the most obvious way to distinguish between the two individuals is the melanin concentration in their skin.

Last edited by ZPG Zealot; 08-02-2019 at 04:44 PM.
  #172  
Old 08-02-2019, 05:00 PM
Pantastic is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 4,119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddle Peghead View Post
Interesting, indeed. Maybe in fact they are not taken by surprise by this, are hagiographers instead of biographers, and have nothing else to defend themselves with. That is, they knew it all along. Who are they?
Paul Kengor wrote an article where he defends Reagan rather vigorously: https://spectator.org/on-ronald-reagans-racism/ . He goes so far as to claim that the man calling black delegates 'monkeys' doesn't have a racist bone in his body, which seems a bit of a stretch.
  #173  
Old 08-02-2019, 05:04 PM
k9bfriender is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 11,270
Quote:
Originally Posted by bump View Post
How is that "abnormalness" different than any other distinguishing feature?

I mean, how is saying "Bob- he's the black guy" is any different than "Jim, he's the guy with the big lumberjack beard." or "Jill's the tall redhead"?

Not every mention of race is racist. To a large degree, the intent counts, and pointing it out as a distinguishing factor isn't in itself, racist. Had someone said "Bob, he's the ghetto looking guy" or "Bob, he's the <insert slur here>", that would be racist. But merely pointing out that he's the dark skinned guy by using the commonly accepted vernacular for people of his skin color isn't racist.
Bearded men and tall redheads have not historically been called out due to those distinguishing features. They have not been historically discriminated against due to those features. They have not had people try to make them feel as though they are less of a person due to those features.

How is any of that different from saying, "Sarah- she's the big breasted woman."? Or "Bob- he's the guy standing next to the big breasted woman."? Would you use either of those in a professional environment?

I get it, it is a distinguishing characteristic, but I see no reason for it. I can see situations where it is benign, and I can see situations where it can be hurtful. As the only one that would really know if it were benign or hurtful would be the object of my description, I do not see it as being up to me to make that determination. I don't see it as racist, I see it as unnecessary and potentially harmful.
  #174  
Old 08-02-2019, 05:05 PM
k9bfriender is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 11,270
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZPG Zealot View Post
Where I work, we like to think that being black is not something that should make someone feel uncomfortable. It's not about black "Bob" being abnormal to white "Bob", but that by sight alone the most obvious way to distinguish between the two individuals is the melanin concentration in their skin.
I assume that you have told your black colleagues that being black is not something that should make them feel uncomfortable?
  #175  
Old 08-03-2019, 12:46 PM
Jimmy Chitwood is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Near Philadelphia
Posts: 6,535
Quote:
Originally Posted by bump View Post
How is that "abnormalness" different than any other distinguishing feature?

I mean, how is saying "Bob- he's the black guy" is any different than "Jim, he's the guy with the big lumberjack beard." or "Jill's the tall redhead"?

Not every mention of race is racist. To a large degree, the intent counts, and pointing it out as a distinguishing factor isn't in itself, racist. Had someone said "Bob, he's the ghetto looking guy" or "Bob, he's the <insert slur here>", that would be racist. But merely pointing out that he's the dark skinned guy by using the commonly accepted vernacular for people of his skin color isn't racist.
It's not racist, in the sense that if there were a supercomputer or god who could beam into your mind and project your true heart of hearts for all to see, it's obviously possible that you can identify a person as being apparently of a particular race without having any animus toward that race. I don't think anyone believes that it's fundamentally impossible for that scenario to occur.

There is, though, some blurry line where it starts to encroach on territory where people who are doing it are usually racist. It's a weird thing to do to suddenly develop amnesia about the fact that lumberjack beards and tall redheads don't have racism thrown at them very frequently because of those things, isn't it? And so at some point it seems like the only reason to do it that isn't directly racist is to stake out some kind of claim that racism doesn't exist or isn't important.

I don't think it's reasonable to expect somebody to go around giving the benefit of the doubt for things that are "only" racist 75% of the time. 1% of the time, sure. 30%, I don't know. 50%, I don't think so. Sure, maybe somebody genuinely believes they don't have a racist bone in their body, and thinks that if someone calls them the R word for saying "go back where you came from," that's just as bad as dropping the N bomb on a black person. But, like, that's an absurd expectation! If you say a thing predominantly said by racists, it is not important that you could, perhaps, be the rare person who says it and means something else. It's reasonable for people to not think that's important. When things have almost always happened in conjunction with racism, you don't have much entitlement to be considered not racist, because why would you. People don't know, and they don't owe anybody that.

Some examples are more or less extreme, but it's the same thing -- confederate flags, MAGA hats, "white pride," whatever... is it possible on a like molecular level to want to associate with those things in a non-racist way? Sure, in varying degrees. Is it possible to articulate a way in which those things could subjectively feel non-racist to somebody, yes. It's a literally possible scenario. But in the same way that nobody gives the benefit of the doubt that the person lurking in the alley behind a bank in a balaclava just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, it's unreasonable to expect that things that are racist-adjacent won't get associated with racism by many people. Because being indifferent to the fact that you're creating the impression you're racist is also a thing that racists do.

So, with a thing like casually saying "so this black guy Jeff says," I think it's fair that the rule is you have to do a little calculus and figure, "OK, if casually pointing out somebody's race in this way is done for racist reasons like half of the time, and if it would be really really bad if that's what I was doing, then that's a coin-flip chance of something really bad. And it's kind of a mean thing to do to put everybody in the position of having to play those odds." Even though in 50% of those scenarios the person isn't being racist, in 100% of those scenarios they're putting everybody else in that coin-flip zone. At which point who does it really matter to that you're not "being" racist? You have dragged up the specter of very real racism either way, and they don't know if you're a heads or a tails.

With stuff like using the word "niggardly" or publishing crime rates or whatever, sure, at some point the reasonable calculus is that it's a totally OK thing to say. But pushing on the margins of whether you're doing something that's usually racist or not... like who would want to do that? If it was in the news that people were getting jumped and beaten and spit on for having big lumberjack beards, and you needed to know where the pita bread was in the store, would you call across the store "hey, dude with the lumberjack beard!!!" or would you, you know, find another way to address them?

Last edited by Jimmy Chitwood; 08-03-2019 at 12:48 PM.
  #176  
Old 08-03-2019, 07:42 PM
Sherrerd's Avatar
Sherrerd is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 6,983
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherrerd View Post
He was well-liked by Republicans. But he wasn't well-liked in general. ...Reagan was not even remotely popular with at least half the country....
Quote:
Originally Posted by D'Anconia View Post
If he wasn't remotely popular with at least half the country, how did he win 49 states?
The Electoral College was winner-take-all in nearly all those states. The popular vote shows a more accurate picture of Reagan's popularity with Americans. Look at Reagan's percentage of votes from all eligible voters in 1980 and 1984:

1980: Eligible voters: 164,520,740. Reagan got 43,903,230 votes, which is 26.7% of the votes of those eligible to vote.

1984: Eligible voters: 174,418,600. Reagan got 54,455,472 votes, which is 31.2% of the votes of those eligible.

Both figures come in well below "half the country" by most ways of determining "half the country."


Statistics on eligible voters: https://www.nytimes.com/1988/11/04/u...-since-84.html
Statistics on popular votes for Reagan: https://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/...&off=0&elect=0
Also: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Uni...esults-1788863
  #177  
Old 08-04-2019, 01:48 AM
kaylasdad99 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Anaheim, CA
Posts: 31,832
Quote:
Originally Posted by Royal Nonesutch View Post
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."
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimfromNapa View Post
That was not LBJ. That saying was made famous by Nixon/Ford Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz.
Only once, in 1960, for fifteen minutes.

And he was brandishing a 1920ís-style death ray and singing ďRioĒ by Duran Duran when he said it.
  #178  
Old 08-04-2019, 01:58 AM
kaylasdad99 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Anaheim, CA
Posts: 31,832
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZPG Zealot View Post
Where I work, we like to think that being black is not something that should make someone feel uncomfortable. It's not about black "Bob" being abnormal to white "Bob", but that by sight alone the most obvious way to distinguish between the two individuals is the melanin concentration in their skin.
Don’t you people (where you work, not Roma in general) bother to learn each other’s last names?

Weird.

Last edited by kaylasdad99; 08-04-2019 at 01:58 AM.
  #179  
Old 08-04-2019, 09:33 AM
El DeLuxo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Over here
Posts: 828
Quote:
Originally Posted by Royal Nonesutch View Post

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."
I believe it was Earl Butz. Secretary of Agriculture in the Nixon and Ford presidencies, who said that, and got caught for it, and lost his damn job over it, in 1976. Served the old potty-mouth right, too
  #180  
Old 08-04-2019, 02:20 PM
BigT's Avatar
BigT is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: "Hicksville", Ark.
Posts: 36,455
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfpup View Post
Well, actually, you seem to be the only one getting thrills out of this, or at least, the only one reacting with a ridiculously hyperactive tantrum to an argument that you don't seem to agree with. Turns out, the fact that words have meaning is not actually just a personal opinon of mine, it's kind of the basis of all language. I really don't understand why it has to be a subject of such intense conflict for you either in this thread or anywhere else.
I don't see how he has argued anything that other posters who disagreed with your definition have argued. The only part that is different in what he said is the part you didn't mention: his claim that you should "check your shit," i.e. introspect yourself.

You seem to be unaware of a common tactic made by disingenuous defenders of bigotry. They may claim to agree with the general idea that something was wrong, but then get into semantic arguments over what a particular bigotry-related term means. They generally attempt to restrict these terms beyond how they are used by the general public.

It's a common pattern that I've seen with "racist," "bigoted," "concentration camps," "sexism," "misogyny," "transphobia," "homophobia," "Nazism," etc. And I've definitely seen it used about "white supremacy."

Like most semantic arguments, these have little value, but tend to result in people making very strong arguments one way or the other. As such, they are very good at distracting from the main argument, and successfully moving the goalposts so that people forget the original argument. They are thus a good way to defend racist comments without being seen as to endorse them.

Of course, part of what makes it effective is that people may make such arguments entirely innocently. The entire point of these tactics is plausible deniability. It's much harder to call someone out for a tactic that can also be an innocent argument. That is the point.

However, I think there is a solution this time. Since semantic arguments have such low value anyway, it is generally best to avoid them (especially on bigotry-related topics), and, if necessary, couch them as iiandyiiii did. Once everyone is on the same page by what is meant, there's no need to continue.

So iiandyiiii calls it "white supremacy," while you prefer the term "racist." So what? Why make a big deal about it? You both agree it was a comment that black African people are inferior. That's what matters.

Like I said, semantic arguments have very little value. They turn agreement into disagreement. Why not avoid them?

(and, yes, I am a hypocrite on this, sometimes. I will continue the semantic argument. The pull is that strong, that even though I realize what I'm doing, it still feels like I need to do it. It's a hard habit to break.)

Last edited by BigT; 08-04-2019 at 02:22 PM.
  #181  
Old 08-04-2019, 02:56 PM
BigT's Avatar
BigT is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: "Hicksville", Ark.
Posts: 36,455
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
In every other aspect of society when we can find a group of people who share similar characteristics, we are permitted to take action based upon that. Several examples: 1) We prohibit ex felons from owning guns, no matter how non-violent, how long ago, or if they have demonstrated reform, 2) Some employers will not hire people with bad credit because of the idea that they have made poor life decisions, even if the person is in medical debt, or just has a bad knack for finances and your job is not a financial one.
Those are both about actions the person has performed in the past, not who they are. And past actions are the best predictors of future actions. An ex-felon has committed a felony, so we keep them away from guns lest they commit another one with those guns. Someone with bad credit have made purchases they were unable* to pay for in a timely manner. It makes sense to assume they may continue such practices.

But race is different. No action has occurred. Race is an immutable characteristic of a person, due to who one's biological parents are. And, as a society, we have decided it is wrong to treat people differently due to these immutable characteristics. This is due to the concept of reciprocity, which informs many morals. I don't want to be thought of as a bigot because I'm white. So I don't assume people are criminals because they are black. The number of bigoted white people or criminal black people is irrelevant to that calculation.

Assuming that criminals might do more crime or that defaulters might default again is completely different than thinking black people you see are criminals, no matter what reason someone might give for that belief.

------

All that said, I must issue a frame challenge. What statistics are you talking about? Because I can find no statistics indicating that greater than 50% of the black population are criminals, and such a claim doesn't pass the sniff test. Prisons aren't big enough to have housed 50% of the black population. And while there may be criminals who failed to get caught, there aren't that many.

No, like every other race, any black person you meet is far more likely not to be a criminal than to be one. To assume otherwise must be based on racist stereotypes.

*While it is indeed an injustice that unpaid debt may be due to medical debt, the problem there is the medical debt. We shouldn't have a form of debt that causes so many people to default through no fault of their own. Hence the need for other solutions to healthcare that don't bankrupt people and cost the taxpayers anyways.
  #182  
Old 08-06-2019, 12:39 PM
ZPG Zealot is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 3,996
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 View Post
Donít you people (where you work, not Roma in general) bother to learn each otherís last names?

Weird.
Last names aren't necessarily great for identification unless everyone is wearing large name tags. We have I.D., but you have to get fairly close to read it.
  #183  
Old 08-06-2019, 12:46 PM
Acsenray is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 35,944
So you all can learn first names just fine, but last names are impractical?
__________________
*I'm experimenting with E, em, and es and emself as pronouns that do not indicate any specific gender nor exclude any specific gender.
  #184  
Old 08-06-2019, 03:04 PM
ZPG Zealot is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 3,996
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
So you all can learn first names just fine, but last names are impractical?
Most last names (or first and last name combinations) aren't that descriptive and frequently impractical for distinguishing between people with similar names or jobs. I can tell someone to go check with Will Miller in FMC and they will still have to look around and ask more questions than if I tell them to go check with Will Miller in FMC, he's the tall black guy.
  #185  
Old 08-06-2019, 03:13 PM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 34,962
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZPG Zealot View Post
Most last names (or first and last name combinations) aren't that descriptive and frequently impractical for distinguishing between people with similar names or jobs. I can tell someone to go check with Will Miller in FMC and they will still have to look around and ask more questions than if I tell them to go check with Will Miller in FMC, he's the tall black guy.
If he was white, would you call him "the tall white guy"?
__________________
My new novel Spindown
  #186  
Old 08-06-2019, 05:00 PM
ZPG Zealot is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 3,996
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
If he was white, would you call him "the tall white guy"?
If, he had a co-worker with the same name who was a tall, black (or brown or Asian) guy. of course.
  #187  
Old 08-06-2019, 05:17 PM
k9bfriender is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 11,270
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZPG Zealot View Post
If, he had a co-worker with the same name who was a tall, black (or brown or Asian) guy. of course.
And if they were both white, you're just out of luck?

Maybe if one of them is standing next to a woman with big breasts, you can point them out that way.

I assume that where you work, you like to think that having big breasts is not something that should make someone feel uncomfortable, right?
  #188  
Old 08-06-2019, 11:43 PM
elucidator is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Further
Posts: 59,993
I imagine it would take a long time to get used to. Wouldn't happen suddenly, would it?
__________________
Law above fear, justice above law, mercy above justice, love above all.

Last edited by elucidator; 08-06-2019 at 11:45 PM.
  #189  
Old 08-07-2019, 06:11 AM
Left Hand of Dorkness's Avatar
Left Hand of Dorkness is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: at the right hand of cool
Posts: 41,122
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
If he was white, would you call him "the tall white guy"?
FWIW, I make a conscious effort to do so. Colorblindness does nobody any favors, and yeah, skin color is a really easy physical descriptor that doesn't veer into the creepiness of sexual leering. And I figure white supremacy thrives on white invisibility, keeping whiteness as the default state that doesn't merit a mention.

Many of my black coworkers & students aren't shy about using "white" as a simple descriptor.
  #190  
Old 08-07-2019, 09:53 AM
k9bfriender is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 11,270
Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
skin color is a really easy physical descriptor that doesn't veer into the creepiness of sexual leering.
I'm not as comfortable making that determination for someone else. I know that, as a white guy, I will not mind being called, "The white guy over there.", but I know for a fact that there is at least one black person I know that strongly resents being referred to as "The black guy over there."

As I don't know whether or not a particular individual minds being referred to by the distinguishing characteristic that makes them a minority, I find it easiest to just avoid doing so. The vast majority of people who are not appreciative of being referred to by their skin color will not tell you this, but rather, just take it as just one more reminder of their otherness that they get throughout the day.

Do you consider referring to a woman as having big breasts to be sexual leering? I'm not telling them to leer at her breasts, but rather, just using them as an easy distinguishing characteristic. If you refer to someone by their skin color, you are not, I presume, asking them to leer at their skin or to form any judgments on it.
Quote:
And I figure white supremacy thrives on white invisibility, keeping whiteness as the default state that doesn't merit a mention.
Which is why the pushback, as, while you may consciously make an effort to always mention someone's skin color when referring to them, many do not, and only make mention when the skin color is something different from the norm.
Quote:
Many of my black coworkers & students aren't shy about using "white" as a simple descriptor.
And they shouldn't be. As they are probably used to being pointed out by using their skin color as their most distinguishing characteristic, they would have no reason not to return the favor.
  #191  
Old 08-08-2019, 08:42 AM
Left Hand of Dorkness's Avatar
Left Hand of Dorkness is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: at the right hand of cool
Posts: 41,122
Quote:
Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
I'm not as comfortable making that determination for someone else. I know that, as a white guy, I will not mind being called, "The white guy over there.", but I know for a fact that there is at least one black person I know that strongly resents being referred to as "The black guy over there."
The question is whether I'd refer to someone as "the tall white guy." I know that using "black" as a reference can carry baggage. Using "white" as a reference is, IMO, one way to lessen that baggage.
Quote:
Do you consider referring to a woman as having big breasts to be sexual leering? I'm not telling them to leer at her breasts, but rather, just using them as an easy distinguishing characteristic. If you refer to someone by their skin color, you are not, I presume, asking them to leer at their skin or to form any judgments on it.
I mean, it's socially inappropriate. I'm not going to get into a back-and-forth on the subject. It just is, and I won't pretend I'm some sort of computer unable to take into account social norms.
  #192  
Old 08-08-2019, 09:19 AM
k9bfriender is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 11,270
Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
The question is whether I'd refer to someone as "the tall white guy." I know that using "black" as a reference can carry baggage. Using "white" as a reference is, IMO, one way to lessen that baggage.
If you are referring only to white guys by their skin color, that's kinda amusing, and I can get behind that. But I don't see how it lessens the impact of a person of color constantly being singled out due to it.

Quote:
I mean, it's socially inappropriate. I'm not going to get into a back-and-forth on the subject. It just is, and I won't pretend I'm some sort of computer unable to take into account social norms.
I get that. What I am saying is that I have seen that referring to someone by their minority status can be hurtful, and I find it to be inappropriate, equivalently inappropriate as referring to someone by their secondary sexual characteristics. I agree that it isn't socially inappropriate yet, and I wish to help to change that.
  #193  
Old 08-08-2019, 09:25 AM
Left Hand of Dorkness's Avatar
Left Hand of Dorkness is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: at the right hand of cool
Posts: 41,122
Quote:
Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
If you are referring only to white guys by their skin color, that's kinda amusing, and I can get behind that. But I don't see how it lessens the impact of a person of color constantly being singled out due to it.
I certainly don't either. That's not an argument I was making.
  #194  
Old 08-08-2019, 10:28 AM
k9bfriender is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 11,270
Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
I certainly don't either. That's not an argument I was making.
I thought that was what you said, that referring to white people by their skin color reduces the baggage.

You are saying that you only refer to white people by their skin color, correct?
  #195  
Old 08-08-2019, 02:05 PM
Damuri Ajashi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 20,321
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/ar...-nixon/595102/



Should we be surprised? Anyone want to take a crack at excusing or defending Reagan?

The hatefulness isn't new. It's just more out in the open with Trump. But it's been there, in the mainstream of the Republican party (and elsewhere, of course), for half a century or more.
That's pretty racist. I don't think that's a surprise to anyone alive at the time. But white supremacy is a bit more specific isn't it?
  #196  
Old 08-08-2019, 02:18 PM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 34,962
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damuri Ajashi View Post
That's pretty racist. I don't think that's a surprise to anyone alive at the time. But white supremacy is a bit more specific isn't it?
That has been discussed thoroughly in the thread. You might disagree, but I think "white supremacism" fits for statements that clearly intend to indicate that African people are inferior.
  #197  
Old 08-08-2019, 02:45 PM
k9bfriender is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 11,270
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
That has been discussed thoroughly in the thread. You might disagree, but I think "white supremacism" fits for statements that clearly intend to indicate that African people are inferior.
Personally, I find his comment proof that he is a racist, but only evidence towards him being a white supremacist.

They certainly do not rule out that he is one, but I'd need to see at least a few more examples before I'd be willing to make a ruling.

If you would consider "white man's burden" to be white supremacy (and I don't know that I do, but I certainly lean towards it), then that would be how I see those comments most fit.
  #198  
Old 08-08-2019, 03:20 PM
slash2k is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 2,380
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
That has been discussed thoroughly in the thread. You might disagree, but I think "white supremacism" fits for statements that clearly intend to indicate that African people are inferior.
African people, or black people? The terms are not synonymous.

It's perfectly possible to believe that people from some underdeveloped nation across the world are inferior to your own countrymen without believing in racial supremacy; that's pretty much the definition of xenophobia, e.g. What is the evidence that Reagan's opinion of them was based solely or principally on the color of their skin, as opposed to their cultural milieu, the history of the countries from which they came, their socioeconomic backgrounds, their political beliefs, etc.?

I don't mean to defend Reagan; he had some nasty attitudes. However, you are seeing a "clear" indication of white supremacy whereas I see only a clear indication of disrespect for people who were different from him, with the differences being more than just race.
  #199  
Old 08-08-2019, 03:21 PM
Two Many Cats is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 4,823
Quote:
Originally Posted by Royal Nonesutch View Post
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."
I'm pretty sure that was Earl Butz, who said it to Pat Boone of all people.
  #200  
Old 08-08-2019, 03:49 PM
Damuri Ajashi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 20,321
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
That has been discussed thoroughly in the thread. You might disagree, but I think "white supremacism" fits for statements that clearly intend to indicate that African people are inferior.
OK, then what is the difference between a racist and a white supremecist? Or are the terms interchangeable?
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:01 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017