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  #201  
Old 01-13-2020, 07:48 AM
Ambivalid is offline
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
That sure sounds to me like someone who was frustrated, who had a strong negative reaction.
Well maybe but certainly not by or to any of the aspects of my experience with my fb friend that they have been being attributed to throughout this thread.
  #202  
Old 01-13-2020, 07:58 AM
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As a white man who had never experienced racism or poverty, I freely acknowledge that I had benefitted greatly from the protections and comforts of white privilege. I'd probably describe white privilege as the "privilege of not having to". Not having to worry about police abusing and killing you. Not having to worry about beiing seen as a threat and having the cops called on you, simply for being "black and in public". Not having to worry about making sure you don't show (justified) anger in situations as a black woman, lest your legitimate anger just be used against you as "proof" you're just "an angry black woman". And on and on. This privilege of not ever having to worry about the myriad little and not so little things that minorities have to worry about every single day is basically the world of middle-class America. Probably the biggest and most meaningful privilege enjoyed by white privilege is that of never having to ever realize that privilege ever even exists in the first place.
How on or off-point would you say my understanding of the concept of white privilege is (from the OP)? Just your opinion.
My opinion, for what it's worth, is that I agree with those things you say about white privilege.

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Originally Posted by Ambivalid
And why is it so tempting for people to stray from the reality of my experience and characterize me as "having hurt feelings" or "wanting to be seen as a good white guy"
Well, see LHoD's post above for some examples of how your posts in this thread have definitely come across as your having hurt feelings about your exchanges with Mark and the other FB posters.

As for "wanting to be seen as a good white guy", you did post these things:
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Originally Posted by Ambivalid
My classmate and his friends treated me like I was part of the problem. Literally calling me "an embodiment of the white supremacist patriarchy". My words were denigrated. As if I were actually part of what needed to be dismantled. [...]

And those that *want* to help are the only ones who will ever be a part of the solution. Those that are actively part of the problem, the racists in power, are never going to be a part of any solution. And I was labelled as part of the problem. [...]

I honestly didnt regard it as "ignoring" anything he said, rather i saw it as trying to listening to what he said and not understanding the answer and attempting to gain more understanding. [...]

Still "you are the epitome of the white supremacist patriarchy" is a galling thing to read another person say about you, whatever the reason behind it. [...]

I can understand how i was *mistakenly* seen as hardheaded by continuing to ask why he was stonewalling me. But it was just that, mistakenly. I absolutely and truly did not understand. [...]

i honestly just wanted to listen [...]

I honestly didnt understand why i received that kind of response from him. [...]

I was *responding* to one specific friend whose FB post on the subject of racism brought up what i honestly considered to be a legitimate, honest and thoughtful question.
I mean, yeah, it does seem that a lot of the "reality of your experience" here is about your insistence on being seen as a "good white guy". You are repeating over and over again that your question was sincere and well-meaning (which AFAICT nobody in this thread is disputing at all), and that negative reactions to your remarks are due to misinterpretation. Evidently, your not being perceived as a "good white guy", but rather "part of the problem", in this situation is something that you regard as a significant error worthy of four pages of continued attempts to correct it.

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Originally Posted by Ambivalid
or simply asking for "his opinion on racism" or wanting "deferential coddling"?
Nobody's claimed that you wanted "deferential coddling". What I said in my response to filmore is that "deferential coddling" might not have been the most useful reaction here. I didn't claim that "deferential coddling" was what you were seeking.
  #203  
Old 01-13-2020, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
My opinion, for what it's worth, is that I agree with those things you say about white privilege.


Well, see LHoD's post above for some examples of how your posts in this thread have definitely come across as your having hurt feelings about your exchanges with Mark and the other FB posters.

As for "wanting to be seen as a good white guy", you did post these things:

I mean, yeah, it does seem that a lot of the "reality of your experience" here is about your insistence on being seen as a "good white guy". You are repeating over and over again that your question was sincere and well-meaning (which AFAICT nobody in this thread is disputing at all), and that negative reactions to your remarks are due to misinterpretation. Evidently, your not being perceived as a "good white guy", but rather "part of the problem", in this situation is something that you regard as a significant error worthy of four pages of continued attempts to correct it.
But the things that are being viewed here as actions of mine that show me "wanting to be seen as a good white guy" are not things that were ever even touched upon let alone served as any major part of the "reality of my experience" with Mark. I said things in this thread here that have been interpreted that way but I didn't say anything like that in the FB discussion. And have I been talking for this entire thread about why I'm "not part of the problem"? Come on. Hyperbolize much? It wasn't even Mark making those accusations in the FB thread. It was the tangential posters who knew nothing about me and weren't even reading me for any reason but to attack me. I should excerpt a portion with names blacked out.

And again, the specific things or aspects of the FB exchange that I have repeatedly been accused of having "very negative reactions to" like Mark saying "google is your friend" or having "hurt feelings" because he wouldn't give me "substantial answers" are the things this thread has been filled with. I never shied away from admitting my feelings at being labelled an epitome of the white supremacist patriarchy; even if I did know it was a ridiculous statement coming from a stranger who was simply trying to agitate. It's a galling accusation to hear at all. Likewise with my words being twisted. I of course had a negative reaction to that. Who wouldnt? But that was never the substance of the "hurt feelings" or "strong negative reactions" comments.
  #204  
Old 01-13-2020, 08:59 AM
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Am I right in thinking that the "In your opinion" comment that you've quoted here repeatedly was your first, but not your last, comment to Mark? Is there any chance at all that your subsequent comments came across as defensive/wounded?

Because I've seen things like this happen on Facebook. Primarily with women, reporting on online harassment. Some dude will come into the thread calmly asking why she's so upset, and instead of accepting her answer (which is given in less-than-deferential terms), he starts getting very defensive and turns the discussion into a "Why are you attacking me, I just asked a question" routine. At which point he gets piled on.

If you were called the epitome of white supremacy after just a single "In your opinion" question, that's pretty over the top. But if there was more conversation that came across as defensive and victimhooding, I can kinda see where it's coming from, even if it's hyperbolic.
  #205  
Old 01-13-2020, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Ambivalid View Post
But the things that are being viewed here as actions of mine that show me "wanting to be seen as a good white guy" are not things that were ever even touched upon let alone served as any major part of the "reality of my experience" with Mark. I said things in this thread here that have been interpreted that way but I didn't say anything like that in the FB discussion.
Well, you describe "the reality of [your] experience" with Mark as follows:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambivalid
It was for these reasons, but even more importantly, because he was a black man living in America, that I turned immediately to him (he also being the source of the shared posts) and sought his perspective. It was, in my eyes, the ideal place to begin my journey of enlightenment, introspection and ultimately application of those things to affecting change.

It was due to all these reasons and more that in seeking his perspective, I asked him what he thought, given the direct impact this racist partriarchy has had on him, might be some effective strategies or means of combating this evil white supremacist patriarchy? [...]

He obviously wanted more people (like me!) who could never actually experience the traumas inflicted by this racism, and had to have the privilege-encased veils lifted from their eyes in order to see the truth of this nasty story that was euphemistically labeled "The American Dream".
So, you focused your attention on what you felt he "obviously" wanted from people "like [you]", namely, having "the privilege-encased veils lifted from their eyes". And you presented yourself as a candidate for some veil-lifting by asking for his thoughts on effective anti-racism strategies.

And when he made it clear that what you were doing was not in fact what he wanted, you were "stunned" and "unable to grok".

Yes, that absolutely comes across as your "wanting to be seen as a good white guy".

Not that there's anything wrong with that, in and of itself. We all want to be seen as good, which is one of the most powerful incentives for actually trying to be good.
  #206  
Old 01-13-2020, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
Well, you describe "the reality of [your] experience" with Mark as follows:


So, you focused your attention on what you felt he "obviously" wanted from people "like [you]", namely, having "the privilege-encased veils lifted from their eyes". And you presented yourself as a candidate for some veil-lifting by asking for his thoughts on effective anti-racism strategies.

And when he made it clear that what you were doing was not in fact what he wanted, you were "stunned" and "unable to grok".

Yes, that absolutely comes across as your "wanting to be seen as a good white guy".

Not that there's anything wrong with that, in and of itself. We all want to be seen as good, which is one of the most powerful incentives for actually trying to be good.
Well that sounds real good but that's simply not a true characterization. When I said I felt he "obviously wanted more people (like me!) who could never actually experience the traumas inflicted by this racism...", I was commenting on the fact that he shared it with all his fb friends, which number close to 5000 people. A huge portion of those 5000 fb friends were white (like me!) And I got a little too poetic for my own good with the "privilege-encased veils..." comment. But it simply meant, oh you know what it meant. But he didn't want anything "from" any of the people he shared this post with, he simply wanted to reach the eyeballs of people who had lived with the privilege of needing to *read* about the the evils and pain caused by this white patriarchy, rather than being forced to *live* thru it. I cannot think of another reason for sharing it with thousands of fb peeps.

I was only stunned and unable to grok why this person, a person with whom I had had many a vibrant conversation on racial issues, one who was never anything but friendly and gregarious with me, suddenly was curt, tight-lipped and unwilling to engage with me at all on a topic and post he had just shared with his entire Facebook world and with a question that I found to be a logical follow up question that arose from being lead to and in the exact spot that reading the shared post would end up causing a person to find themselves in. I was not in fact stunned and unable to grok why or how I could possibly not be what he wanted for "veil lifting".

For I never considered anything from our interaction to be words or actions of a man who wanted anything from me or anyone, other than to read what he had posted. The veil lifting was done by the sharing of the post, which was other peoples words, not his. His sharing of those words of others was what I meant by saying he obviously wanted others, like myself, to be able to read the words which might pierce the veils of privilege. He didn't want me or need me specifically for anything. Nor was I offering myself to him for any sort of cause. He was simply one black man, one I had long known and long respected for his intelligence and wit and who had shown repeated interest in black activism, whose opinions I typically held in high regard.

Last edited by Ambivalid; 01-13-2020 at 10:20 AM.
  #207  
Old 01-13-2020, 10:34 AM
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Not that there's anything wrong with that, in and of itself. We all want to be seen as good, which is one of the most powerful incentives for actually trying to be good.
I agree with this wholeheartedly and I have enthusiastically subscribed to this this idea throughout my life. All I'm saying is here it was inapplicable. For there was nothing for me to be wanting to be seen as "good" in re to. My "goodness" as far as not being a dyed in the wool racist was something well established already between Mark and I. The only accusations of such were coming from people that couldn't rightfully make such accusations in the first place, the tangential commenters. I had no "not a racist litmus test" to pass with Mark. The main subject of contention between us is him not interested in answering my original question and me not being able to let go of the matter because I honestly and without any sort of malice or stubbornness, just did not understand why that would be, all things considered. My character or lack thereof was of little relevance to any of that.
  #208  
Old 01-13-2020, 11:20 AM
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This really frees up your weekends?
It is a daunting task. I'm glad that I no longer have any responsibility for it.
  #209  
Old 01-13-2020, 11:26 AM
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That wasn't the "it" in my sentence, as you're well aware.
If your point is that racism kills, then you are not really talking about the same thing anymore. You are not talking about the hurt that comes from having to bare wounds and educate white people.

The "hurting" here is about the hurt that is caused by educating white people. You said that this results in death. I am skeptical.

So if you were just throwing in some random facts about racism that don't really apply to the argument being made, how about we take the appeals to emotion and other stuff that isn't really relevant to the discussion and put it in our pocket for now.
  #210  
Old 01-13-2020, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Ambivalid View Post
I agree with this wholeheartedly and I have enthusiastically subscribed to this this idea throughout my life. All I'm saying is here it was inapplicable. For there was nothing for me to be wanting to be seen as "good" in re to. My "goodness" as far as not being a dyed in the wool racist was something well established already between Mark and I. The only accusations of such were coming from people that couldn't rightfully make such accusations in the first place, the tangential commenters. I had no "not a racist litmus test" to pass with Mark. The main subject of contention between us is him not interested in answering my original question and me not being able to let go of the matter because I honestly and without any sort of malice or stubbornness, just did not understand why that would be, all things considered. My character or lack thereof was of little relevance to any of that.
I am repeating a point that I've made before but heck so be it -

There is a truth possible in which you (and I) are not "dyed in the wool racist", are aspiring to be and to be seen as "good", and still culpable in white patriarchy. Given that such culpability is in huge conflict with our conscious values and our intentions, with our core self-image, it is hard to see the mirror showing it, like hearing our own voice recorded playing back - "I don't sound like that!" White patriarchy is very different than explicit racist statements and behaviors, it is to no small degree the result of how our implicit beliefs impact our behaviors despite our conscious values and how institutional inertias (which we passively participate in) perpetuate inequalities.

It may be that your very question pinged a sense of you not getting that you, a good guy, may share some culpability and need to be the active agent of change, of figuring out how to change, for yourself.
  #211  
Old 01-13-2020, 11:56 AM
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I'm not really sure how I should interpret this but as I went to go take an excerpt from the actual conversation I had with Mark and the tangentials (band name?) I was surprised to discover that Mark had removed it altogether.
  #212  
Old 01-13-2020, 12:04 PM
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I am repeating a point that I've made before but heck so be it -

There is a truth possible in which you (and I) are not "dyed in the wool racist", are aspiring to be and to be seen as "good", and still culpable in white patriarchy. Given that such culpability is in huge conflict with our conscious values and our intentions, with our core self-image, it is hard to see the mirror showing it, like hearing our own voice recorded playing back - "I don't sound like that!" White patriarchy is very different than explicit racist statements and behaviors, it is to no small degree the result of how our implicit beliefs impact our behaviors despite our conscious values and how institutional inertias (which we passively participate in) perpetuate inequalities.

It may be that your very question pinged a sense of you not getting that you, a good guy, may share some culpability and need to be the active agent of change, of figuring out how to change, for yourself.
I also agree with this. I used the term "dyed in the wool" racist to make the distinction between it and "unconscious racist", with unconscious racist being anyone who has lived and benefitted from, thus helping perpetuate, white privilege. However, I've always struggled with calling each type by the same term "racist". "Complicit in white patriarchy" is right on the nose as far as describing our roles but we cannot use the awkward and long phrasing of "well he's certainly no dyed in the wool racist, he's simply a "complicit oppressor in the white partriarchy" every time we talk of such individuals.
  #213  
Old 01-13-2020, 12:28 PM
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Am I right in thinking that the "In your opinion" comment that you've quoted here repeatedly was your first, but not your last, comment to Mark? Is there any chance at all that your subsequent comments came across as defensive/wounded?

Because I've seen things like this happen on Facebook. Primarily with women, reporting on online harassment. Some dude will come into the thread calmly asking why she's so upset, and instead of accepting her answer (which is given in less-than-deferential terms), he starts getting very defensive and turns the discussion into a "Why are you attacking me, I just asked a question" routine. At which point he gets piled on.

If you were called the epitome of white supremacy after just a single "In your opinion" question, that's pretty over the top. But if there was more conversation that came across as defensive and victimhooding, I can kinda see where it's coming from, even if it's hyperbolic.
Again, just to make sure the distinction is clear, Mark never made any such comment like the "epitome..." comment. These were people *not* participating in the conversation and simply cherry-picking certain comments of mine and attributing things only present in their imagination as thread-shamers. The "in your opinion" comment was the only comment I made in regards to the post Mark had shared. The bulk, if not totality, of the rest of my comments were me trying to figure out what truly made no sense to me at the time, which was his stauch refusal to engage with me. The only "denigrating" comments, ones like the "epitome" one, or comments accusing me of "willful ignorance" or of being "willfully obtuse" came wholly from people who weren't part of our conversation whatsoever. They simply came to try to make me feel stupid, bad, embarrassed and basically to just shut up. Mark did not engage in this way at all. In fact, at one point he actually defended me against accusations of being a troll.


I in no way, ever, in the slightest sliver of a shiver, engaged in anything that could be seen as "victimhooding". I *was* rather adamant about getting my words communicated without being misinterpreted, with my words being the exclusive and strong desire to understand why this issue was off-limits for my question, given the fact that he felt a need to share it with thousands of others. I felt that Mark had somehow misinterpreted my words when he said things like "I'm not your Sherpa" and "I won't do your homework for you." That is kind of like putting the cart before the horse. Perhaps I would feel the need to do homework (research) on the issues, perhaps I would need *some* form of guidance along the way. Perhaps not tho. All of this would be developments happening after I posed my question that had been provoked by a FB friends' shared post. At that point, I was more curious about his thoughts that I was interested in actively becoming an antiracist. At no point did I feel attacked by Mark.
  #214  
Old 01-13-2020, 12:57 PM
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On Facebook I feel many people just like to post things and dont really want any discussion.
  #215  
Old 01-13-2020, 01:08 PM
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On Facebook I feel many people just like to post things and dont really want any discussion.
On Facebook your experience is defined by the people you surround yourself with. So what you're saying is many people in your Facebook world like to post things and don't want any discussion. How would you have any idea what the FB worlds of other people not like you are like? I would never try and assume I know what people in my doctor's Facebook world are in the habit of doing while on FB. I certainly wouldn't ever assume I knew what someone who calls himself Urbanredneck uses Facebook for, or people he considers FB friends. Well, if I wasn't already familiar with the guy from elsewhere.
  #216  
Old 01-13-2020, 01:42 PM
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Again, just to make sure the distinction is clear, Mark never made any such comment like the "epitome..." comment. These were people *not* participating in the conversation and simply cherry-picking certain comments of mine and attributing things only present in their imagination as thread-shamers.
Yeah, I got that.
Quote:
The "in your opinion" comment was the only comment I made in regards to the post Mark had shared. The bulk, if not totality, of the rest of my comments were me trying to figure out what truly made no sense to me at the time, which was his stauch refusal to engage with me.
That's IMO a pretty terrible behavior on someone's board. Is this a fair summary:
Mark: [comment/meme/quote about race]
You: In your opinion what should I do?
Mark: Google
You: [rest of thread, why won't you engage with me? Tell me about this, what's going on that you won't answer my question?]

Better behavior, instead of "trying to figure out .... his staunch refusal to engage with [you]," would have been to Google. Links about how to dismantle white supremacy are literally a Google search away. When you take his commentary on racism and turn it into querying his refusal to engage with you, that's uncool..

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I in no way, ever, in the slightest sliver of a shiver, engaged in anything that could be seen as "victimhooding".
I'm not convinced about your "could be seen" bit. I know you don't see it that way, but your approach to folks' understanding of your words here indicates that you don't always have a very clear understanding of how folks are receiving your words.
  #217  
Old 01-13-2020, 02:07 PM
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On Facebook your experience is defined by the people you surround yourself with. So what you're saying is many people in your Facebook world like to post things and don't want any discussion. How would you have any idea what the FB worlds of other people not like you are like? I would never try and assume I know what people in my doctor's Facebook world are in the habit of doing while on FB. I certainly wouldn't ever assume I knew what someone who calls himself Urbanredneck uses Facebook for, or people he considers FB friends. Well, if I wasn't already familiar with the guy from elsewhere.
Simple. If people want discussion they will ask for it. Some FB groups specifically do NOT want any political discussions. For example if your on a FB group about people who like to camp, thats all its for. Discussions are allowed, but only for the topic. So for camping their could be a lively discussion over tents vs tarps but not one if someone tries injecting discussing something like social justice issues.

Now the OP in question, I dont know all the ins and outs but it may be his "friend" pretty much just wanted a mutual sounding board of like minded persons.

What the OP might do is look around or even start a FB group where blacks and whites could come together and share things.
  #218  
Old 01-13-2020, 02:15 PM
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Ambi, I don't think you should have pushed Mark for an explanation after you got the "Google is your friend" response. I think you should have surmised from that response that he wasn't ready to engage you.

I am guessing he knows you are the kind of guy who doesn't hesitate to ask "why" and that is exactly why he didn't want to engage you in the first place..at least in that venue. Like I said, hearing "why" to a question about your opinions on a sensitive topic is almost always hella annoying. Mark was pointing you to Google to keep himself from being hella annoyed by someone he probably respects a whole lot.

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  #219  
Old 01-13-2020, 02:34 PM
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Yeah, I got that.

That's IMO a pretty terrible behavior on someone's board. Is this a fair summary:
Mark: [comment/meme/quote about race]
You: In your opinion what should I do?
Mark: Google
You: [rest of thread, why won't you engage with me? Tell me about this, what's going on that you won't answer my question?]

Better behavior, instead of "trying to figure out .... his staunch refusal to engage with [you]," would have been to Google. Links about how to dismantle white supremacy are literally a Google search away. When you take his commentary on racism and turn it into querying his refusal to engage with you, that's uncool..


I'm not convinced about your "could be seen" bit. I know you don't see it that way, but your approach to folks' understanding of your words here indicates that you don't always have a very clear understanding of how folks are receiving your words.
Im willing to acknowledge that my continued attempts to understand why after being told no, was in fact an "uncool" thing for me to do. But I didn't come to this understanding until discussing it here and realizing it in hindsight. I was extremely wrapped up in my inability to understand why my friend was, for the first time ever, being tight-lipped in regards his opinion on something he had posted on FB. We had had a number of racially-tinged discussions on FB before this, plus an even greater number of good faith debates or heated exchange of opinions on a wide range of issues. It was because of this, and the way I was understanding my question in the context it was asked, that I was relatively blind to how my confusion and desire to understand might come across in that moment.

And im not misunderstanding your words when I say you are mischaracterizing what I said to Mark by saying I "asked him what I should do" because that is absolutely NOT what I asked of him. So no, it's not a fair summary. Asking him to tell me what I should do would have been an inappropriate question to ask of him, irrespective of the context entirely. Even in the context of asking the question in response to reading his shared post, it would have been simply wrong of me. Wrong because that would be placing MY burden of the need for enlightenment and direction on HIS shoulders. And we've discussed that very thing in this thread, the clueless white man asking the ones who have been directly affected by this destructive racist patriarchy, to ALSO instruct the "good white guys" on how they should fight and be antiracist.

It's a good thing I didn't ask him such a thing. I read a chilling and illuminating post which discussed this patriarchy in terms that struck me and made me think. My brain automatically continued where the post stopped, which was after they had described how this patriarchy fed on the lives of those oppressed and the ways in which it would forever continue this oppression existence as long as it remained and wasn't destroyed. I didn't ask him what I needed to do, or presenting myself as one of the good guys ready to battle, or feeling as if he wanted anything from me, he simply wanted me and thousands of others on that forum, to be able to read the words he felt were important enough to share.

I behaved with him, with my original question, in the manner that I have and do with any other post that catches my interest and leaves me with a question or questions that seem to me might be relevant to the OP him/herself. I asked him for his thoughts on the very issues being discussed in the piece he had shared. And part of the reason I remained in the discussion with him expressing my confusion for as long as I did is because I felt as if he were perhaps misunderstanding why I was asking him for his opinion. I was simply intellectually curious to hear his answer because I figured he'd have interesting things to say as he had posted interesting words of others on the subject. He seemed to be of the impression that I was seeking his opinion as some kind of "short cut" or round-about to actually going and researching the issue myself and figuring this shit out without his guidance. But all I wanted was to hear the interesting ideas I was sure he had! I may or may not have chosen to move ahead beyond hearing his opinion, but I hadn't even begun to ponder those questions. I asked him in the same way I had asked him for his opinion countless times before. I was genuinely trying to understand where the disconnect was. I was NOT feeling attacked or feeling like I was being seen as part of the problem, not from Mark himself. The reason I was confused by his google remark is because googling would never give me the answer to what I had been seeking, which was his opinion as to my question about his shared post.
  #220  
Old 01-13-2020, 02:41 PM
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Ambi, I don't think you should have pushed Mark for an explanation after you got the "Google is your friend" response. I think you should have surmised from that response that he wasn't ready to engage you.

I am guessing he knows you are the kind of guy who doesn't hesitate to ask "why" and that is exactly why he didn't want to engage you in the first place..at least in that venue. Like I said, hearing "why" to a question about your opinions on a sensitive topic is almost always hella annoying. Mark was pointing you to Google to keep himself from being hella annoyed by someone he probably respects a whole lot.

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I can now say these things are true, yes. However, as I just said, the reason "google is your friend" made no sense to me as an answer is because googling would simply NOT ever inform me of what I had been seeking, which was his opinion related to the matters talked about in the post he had decided to share with a shit ton of people. I *can* see that he could have forseen (errantly but understandably) me treating any opinion he gave me being treated as debate fodder by me which was thoroughly unappealing to me. I can see that as a distinct possibility. And all I can say is that genuinely would NOT have been the case, not here. I would have felt it not my place to say much of anything in response to his words, I was asking him to listen to him.
  #221  
Old 01-13-2020, 02:46 PM
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And im not misunderstanding your words when I say you are mischaracterizing what I said to Mark by saying I "asked him what I should do" because that is absolutely NOT what I asked of him. So no, it's not a fair summary. Asking him to tell me what I should do would have been an inappropriate question to ask of him, irrespective of the context entirely. Even in the context of asking the question in response to reading his shared post, it would have been simply wrong of me. Wrong because that would be placing MY burden of the need for enlightenment and direction on HIS shoulders. And we've discussed that very thing in this thread, the clueless white man asking the ones who have been directly affected by this destructive racist patriarchy, to ALSO instruct the "good white guys" on how they should fight and be antiracist.

It's a good thing I didn't ask him such a thing. I read a chilling and illuminating post which discussed this patriarchy in terms that struck me and made me think. My brain automatically continued where the post stopped, which was after they had described how this patriarchy fed on the lives of those oppressed and the ways in which it would forever continue this oppression existence as long as it remained and wasn't destroyed. I didn't ask him what I needed to do, or presenting myself as one of the good guys ready to battle, or feeling as if he wanted anything from me, he simply wanted me and thousands of others on that forum, to be able to read the words he felt were important enough to share.
This is exhausting.
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Originally Posted by Ambivalid
I asked him, "what, in your opinion, might be some ways to combat this white supremacist patriarchy"? Word for word, that is what i asked him
I characterize that as asking "In your opinion what should I do?" and you respond with two long paragraphs about what a terrible summary that is, because there's so much daylight between "What are some ways to combat this" and "what should I do"?

Uh, no. Very few folks are going to read what you wrote and think it means something vastly different from, "What should I do?" The difference you're claiming is significant is not.

This is very similar to the hundreds of words you've spent emphasizing that his opinion was specifically what you were seeking. Most people are not going to find that adjectival phrase a particularly significant part of your initial question.

What is significant is the amount of nitpickery you're engaging in to defend your initial question. If you behaved on his FB wall anything like you're behaving here, I'm unsurprised at the level of pushback you received.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 01-13-2020 at 02:48 PM.
  #222  
Old 01-13-2020, 02:57 PM
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The first crucial step in dismantling white patriarchy is dropping defensiveness and looking at our own attitudes critically. I'd recommend starting with the book White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo and Michael Eric Dyson. If you absolutely cannot see your own white fragility, read it so you understand the role white fragility plays in keeping the white patriarchy in place. If you read it objectively, you're bound to recognize yourself. Don't take umbrage. There's a lot of pressure to BE the "good white person"--so much so that it's impossible for a good white person to escape.

The measure of how sincere and earnest a white person is in wanting to demolish the white patriarchy is whether that white person is willing to start with his own beliefs--objectively, critically, sometimes painfully. Your friend Mark couldn't help you with that. You have to be willing to do that yourself.
  #223  
Old 01-13-2020, 03:00 PM
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You seem to get really hung up on wanting to know what his opinion was of something he posted. I dunno, man, if I post something without a commentary that shows I'm not with the sentiments expressed in what I posted it means I'm on board with it. He posted something he agreed with and here you come asking what his "opinion" is of it. His opinion is that he agrees. Continued insistence that he engage with you to explain his opinion is something that I'd find pretty fucking annoying if someone did it to me, especially when I'm on my FB page with friends who at least ostensibly know enough about me to recognize what I think of things I post.

As for getting upset that he didn't want to engage with you on it--good grief, man, take a hint. "No" is a complete sentence, he doesn't have to justify why he doesn't want to talk to you about it. The fact that he has done so in the past and is not wanting to continue would tell me that I've worn out my welcome on a given subject and it's time for me to back the fuck off and leave the person alone who says "Yo, leave me alone." You might very well have been annoying the fuck out of him all during those previous discussions but he continued thinking maybe he could get it across to you and now he's just done. You don't have a right to his time or attention and if he says "Google it" he means "leave me alone and figure it out on your own because I'm tired of this." It's not mysterious or weird or puzzling or freaky to anyone but you, apparently, because about fifty people have been trying all throughout this thread to tell you that you've been going at this like a damned pitbull after a bone and it's inappropriate to keep on grabbing after the bone gets taken away and the bone owner says "no."

BUT I JUST NEED TO UNDERSTAAAAAAAND is YOUR problem and YOU need to figure it out on your own. Mark does not want to help any more and has said so. I'm really puzzled why you find it so incomprehensible that you've exceeded his patience and are throwing yourself full force into his clear boundary.
  #224  
Old 01-13-2020, 03:14 PM
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This is exhausting.

I characterize that as asking "In your opinion what should I do?" and you respond with two long paragraphs about what a terrible summary that is, because there's so much daylight between "What are some ways to combat this" and "what should I do"?

Uh, no. Very few folks are going to read what you wrote and think it means something vastly different from, "What should I do?" The difference you're claiming is significant is not.

What is significant is the amount of nitpickery you're engaging in to defend your initial question. If you behaved on his FB wall anything like you're behaving here, I'm unsurprised at the level of pushback you received.
It's not nitpickery because, despite how my words may appear written, I am telling you I "what, in your opinion, might be some ways to combat this supremacy" were exactly the words I meant for him to understand me to be asking of him. If I wanted him to give me good advice and tips on what I should do, I would have said exactly that. "what are some ways in which I could combat this patriarchy?" The reason there is a big difference between "what do you think are some ways.." and "what can I do.." is one question is posed as a broad, general question of possibilites for anyone, while the "what can I do" is a self-serving question that isn't meant to explore the possible means for destroying the patriarchy beyone what this one little white guy can achieve. I had no thoughts of self-involvement at the time of my question to him.

I'm acknowledging how someone could possibly see murkiness or lack of the brightest of bright lines of distinction here but I am telling you now (and have been this entire thread) that I was not asking him what I could do to fight patriarchy. I was asking for his opinion of some possible ways in which it could be fought at all. I was not even seeing myself as being an active warrior in the fight against this evil, not at the time of my question to him. I really did simply want to hear what he had to say on what he thought about what might work as far as fighting against this evil. I had no thoughts of self-involvement at the time of my question to him. I was thinking in much bigger, more meaningful terms.

This is getting exhausting. Stop trying to paint me as having done something I have not. And stop trying to characterize my refusal to accept fairly meaningful changes to my original words thru faulty summaries and such as "nitpicking". If it *sounds* like nitpicking, read closer. It's not. And any mistakes I may have made in this exchange with my classmate, I will never see any as rising to the level of being labeled "terrible behavior". If I've engaged in terrible behavior, then what the fuck is good behavior? At most, I was oblivious and inattentive.
  #225  
Old 01-13-2020, 04:16 PM
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You are not talking about the hurt that comes from having to bare wounds and educate white people.
No, that first one is exactly the hurt I'm talking about. But unlike you, I know it's not metaphorical.
Quote:

The "hurting" here is about the hurt that is caused by educating white people.
No, it's about constantly having to revisit trauma to educate White people. Or, apparently, Asian people. There's no need for the scare quotes around the word, the hurt is completely real. And kills.
  #226  
Old 01-13-2020, 04:16 PM
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The first crucial step in dismantling white patriarchy is dropping defensiveness and looking at our own attitudes critically. I'd recommend starting with the book White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo and Michael Eric Dyson. If you absolutely cannot see your own white fragility, read it so you understand the role white fragility plays in keeping the white patriarchy in place. If you read it objectively, you're bound to recognize yourself. Don't take umbrage. There's a lot of pressure to BE the "good white person"--so much so that it's impossible for a good white person to escape.

Quote:
The measure of how sincere and earnest a white person is in wanting to demolish the white patriarchy is whether that white person is willing to start with his own beliefs--objectively, critically, sometimes painfully. Your friend Mark couldn't help you with that. You have to be willing to do that yourself.
Do you honestly believe I was attempting to ask Mark to help me examine my own beliefs re white fragility and my role in white partriarchial racism? And that I needed to be told that Mark can't help me with such things? Do you? You honestly believe those things? Because if you do, I've learned something and you did help me with that.

All I can say here is I've addressed this already, thoroughly in my opinion. I will be the first to acknowledge the role I play in keeping white patriarchy alive. I've discussed this. This thread is getting to a length where I can honestly sympathize if some areas of discussion may have been overlooked by some new posters. The only defensiveness I believe I've displayed here is a defensiveness in protecting the integrity of my words and a vigilance that the correct story is being discussed and I'm not mischaracterized in order to fit me in to a particular box that fits a pre-written narrative.



For instance, I will not let this story become one of me "seeking answers on what I should do to fight racism". That is just an easy strawman that lets me be painted as a classic entitled privileged white man (which I am not even denying I am, I'm saying that THIS story is not evidence of that). I also will not let this discussion become one of me asking my friend this question as an attempt to get quick answers to my own search for enlightenment on becoming antiracist. That is not at all what actually took place, so I will not let my story become one revolving around this fiction. And I will not let the story become one of me getting hung up wanting to know his opinion on something he posted. I was *not* hung up on wanting to know his opinion and (just in case it gets mixed up) he shared someone else's post, he didn't actually write it himself. I was "hung up" on not being able to understand why he wouldn't engage with me over this seemingly innocuous issue. After all, we had discussed racial issues MANY times over the years as well as many other "don't go there" subjects. He is the last person to withhold opinion. And I was never "upset", I was rather having a hard time with not understanding. There IS a difference. Being upset implies a personal insult or injury about something, doesn't it?

<unfortunate but necesary repeat summary>

Let me summarize the events that took place, just to serve as a reminder. My friend shared a post from a group of black activists, which was shared on his FB, to all his nearly 5000 friends. He shared this post without any comment of his own, just letting those words of the other black activists speak for themselves. I happened to be online right around the same time he posted it, so I was able to read it before many others. Again, Mark did not post one word of his own to this post. I read it, it was a chilling description of the white supremacist patriarchy and the things it did to maintain it's hold, to survive and to oppress. It also discussed why it would always be a thriving monster until and unless it was destroyed. It was an interesting read. I had no self-serving motives (at all!) when I then asked Mark, what, in your opinion, might be some ways this evil patriarchy might be destroyed? It was the very first thing my mind jumped on after reading the post, as it ended just as one would expect discussion of the "how to beat it" might start. I simply asked what I thought was a fairly logical follow up question to the man who posted this material and who obviously felt it important enough to share with so many people. When he gave me the answer of "not my problem" and "google is your friend" I became mired in confusion, as it seemed as though he had thought my question was more than simple intellectual curiosity, and actually an attempt at "short-cutting" my own necessary work and introspection needed to become an official "antiracist". I was never trying to convince him that I was "one of the good guys". I was only trying to understand why he immediately thought these things based on my question and let him know that I was only curious of his opinion, not of educating myself with googling and research. I didn't "pester" him with continued questions like "why are you not answering me" or anything so childish as that. I was doing two things tho, trying to understand why this one particular post about race was something that he was unwilling to give any sort of opinion on, and trying to have him see that I only wanted what I ever wanted with any of our discussions but with a twist, I wanted to hear his thoughts but without any dialogue from me. I had nothing to contribute. I just wanted to listen.

<unfortunate but necessary>

In hindsight, I see I was guilty of obliviousness (to how my continued attempts to understand and be understood might come across to him in those moments) and a failure to understand that Mark (due to him really knowing me!) may have been reticient to talk with me about such matters because he knew me to be one to always push for more in a discussion and break matters down to be examined. I can see that as being a very distinct possibility, exacerbated by the poor job of mine of communicating my true desire to only listen, not discuss.
  #227  
Old 01-13-2020, 04:19 PM
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It's not nitpickery because, despite how my words may appear written, I am telling you I "what, in your opinion, might be some ways to combat this supremacy" were exactly the words I meant for him to understand me to be asking of him. If I wanted him to give me good advice and tips on what I should do, I would have said exactly that. "what are some ways in which I could combat this patriarchy?"
Just FYI, absent your explanation, I would see absolutely no difference between those two questions, because you're clearly asking it in your personal capacity, not as a journalist or representative of a larger movement..

Last edited by MrDibble; 01-13-2020 at 04:21 PM.
  #228  
Old 01-13-2020, 04:22 PM
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No, that first one is exactly the hurt I'm talking about. But unlike you, I know it's not metaphorical.

No, it's about constantly having to revisit trauma to educate White people. Or, apparently, Asian people. There's no need for the scare quotes around the word, the hurt is completely real. And kills.
Can I ask for your...opinion on this? What would be more traumatic as a revisiting wound? To post a graphic and very descriptive essay on the nature and habits and oppressive evils of white supremacist patriarchy, which thousands of ignorant white people will inevitably see? Or answering a question asking for *your opinion* on what you saw as possible methods of destroying this evil?
  #229  
Old 01-13-2020, 04:26 PM
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Can I ask for your...opinion on this? What would be more traumatic as a revisiting wound? To post a graphic and very descriptive essay on the nature and habits and oppressive evils of white supremacist patriarchy, which thousands of ignorant white people will inevitably see? Or answering a question asking for *your opinion* on what you saw as possible methods of destroying this evil?
The latter. Reposting memes (that I didn't write) is less mental and psychological effort than playing Magic Negro for someone who won't just Sit Down and Be Humble when asked to.
  #230  
Old 01-13-2020, 04:26 PM
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Just FYI, absent your explanation, I would see absolutely no difference between those two questions, because you're clearly asking it in your personal capacity, not as a journalist or representative of a larger movement..
Well Im honestly shocked by this. What is your opinion on possible ways Trump can be removed from office before his term is up? How can I personally participate in removing Trump from office before his term is up? You see these as identical questions too? And you would see the difference immediately, if only I asked the question in a professional capacity? How about a freelance journalist? Would you have to nail down my legitimacy and qualifications as a journalists before you were able to see the difference between the questions?

Last edited by Ambivalid; 01-13-2020 at 04:29 PM.
  #231  
Old 01-13-2020, 04:31 PM
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If Mark wrote back to you that he didn't want to give you his opinion because 1) he doesn't think his opinion is as interesting or as thoughtful as the millions of other already expressed opinions out there on the interweb and 2) he doesn't think you will take his honest opinions very well based on past experiences with folks like you, what would be your response? Would you still press him for his opinion because you don't really care about a deeper knowledge or understanding and you don't think you'd be upset? Or would you respect him by moving on to Google like he suggested?

Because the more you double-down with your long posts, the less I think you really care about knowledge and understanding. And these are the things Mark probably wishes you would focus on rather than his singular opinion.



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  #232  
Old 01-13-2020, 05:05 PM
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Do you honestly believe I was attempting to ask Mark to help me examine my own beliefs re white fragility and my role in white partriarchial racism? And that I needed to be told that Mark can't help me with such things? Do you? You honestly believe those things? Because if you do, I've learned something and you did help me with that.

All I can say here is I've addressed this already, thoroughly in my opinion. I will be the first to acknowledge the role I play in keeping white patriarchy alive. I've discussed this. This thread is getting to a length where I can honestly sympathize if some areas of discussion may have been overlooked by some new posters. The only defensiveness I believe I've displayed here is a defensiveness in protecting the integrity of my words and a vigilance that the correct story is being discussed and I'm not mischaracterized in order to fit me in to a particular box that fits a pre-written narrative.



For instance, I will not let this story become one of me "seeking answers on what I should do to fight racism". That is just an easy strawman that lets me be painted as a classic entitled privileged white man (which I am not even denying I am, I'm saying that THIS story is not evidence of that). I also will not let this discussion become one of me asking my friend this question as an attempt to get quick answers to my own search for enlightenment on becoming antiracist. That is not at all what actually took place, so I will not let my story become one revolving around this fiction. And I will not let the story become one of me getting hung up wanting to know his opinion on something he posted. I was *not* hung up on wanting to know his opinion and (just in case it gets mixed up) he shared someone else's post, he didn't actually write it himself. I was "hung up" on not being able to understand why he wouldn't engage with me over this seemingly innocuous issue. After all, we had discussed racial issues MANY times over the years as well as many other "don't go there" subjects. He is the last person to withhold opinion. And I was never "upset", I was rather having a hard time with not understanding. There IS a difference. Being upset implies a personal insult or injury about something, doesn't it?

<unfortunate but necesary repeat summary>

Let me summarize the events that took place, just to serve as a reminder. My friend shared a post from a group of black activists, which was shared on his FB, to all his nearly 5000 friends. He shared this post without any comment of his own, just letting those words of the other black activists speak for themselves. I happened to be online right around the same time he posted it, so I was able to read it before many others. Again, Mark did not post one word of his own to this post. I read it, it was a chilling description of the white supremacist patriarchy and the things it did to maintain it's hold, to survive and to oppress. It also discussed why it would always be a thriving monster until and unless it was destroyed. It was an interesting read. I had no self-serving motives (at all!) when I then asked Mark, what, in your opinion, might be some ways this evil patriarchy might be destroyed? It was the very first thing my mind jumped on after reading the post, as it ended just as one would expect discussion of the "how to beat it" might start. I simply asked what I thought was a fairly logical follow up question to the man who posted this material and who obviously felt it important enough to share with so many people. When he gave me the answer of "not my problem" and "google is your friend" I became mired in confusion, as it seemed as though he had thought my question was more than simple intellectual curiosity, and actually an attempt at "short-cutting" my own necessary work and introspection needed to become an official "antiracist". I was never trying to convince him that I was "one of the good guys". I was only trying to understand why he immediately thought these things based on my question and let him know that I was only curious of his opinion, not of educating myself with googling and research. I didn't "pester" him with continued questions like "why are you not answering me" or anything so childish as that. I was doing two things tho, trying to understand why this one particular post about race was something that he was unwilling to give any sort of opinion on, and trying to have him see that I only wanted what I ever wanted with any of our discussions but with a twist, I wanted to hear his thoughts but without any dialogue from me. I had nothing to contribute. I just wanted to listen.

<unfortunate but necessary>

In hindsight, I see I was guilty of obliviousness (to how my continued attempts to understand and be understood might come across to him in those moments) and a failure to understand that Mark (due to him really knowing me!) may have been reticient to talk with me about such matters because he knew me to be one to always push for more in a discussion and break matters down to be examined. I can see that as being a very distinct possibility, exacerbated by the poor job of mine of communicating my true desire to only listen, not discuss.
I seem to have hit a nerve.

No, of course I don't believe you were asking Mark to help you with your own feelings of white fragility. I meant what I said and not what you're interpreting it as from what appears to be a frenzy of incensed defensiveness.

I said was that only you can do this. I didn't say you asked Mark to help you with that but that he couldn't help you with that. In other words, turn your attention away from Mark and to yourself. Instead of getting all shocked and unable to grok Mark's response, do the work only you can do. Every time suggests you work on this yourself by reading articles or books--we've even posted links--you get more defensive and seem more incensed. Why are you so incensed that people suggest you may have been mistaken or in the wrong? Why are you so provoked that someone suggested understanding white fragility--an almost universal phenomenon among white people and not a slur--might help you understand one thing that maintains white patriarchy?

You don't need to answer me. You need to ask yourself those questions. If you truly want to help dismantle the white patriarchy, stop ranting here and start some honest self-examination (which we all need to do) and start reading.
  #233  
Old 01-13-2020, 05:51 PM
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It's not nitpickery because, despite how my words may appear written, I am telling you I "what, in your opinion, might be some ways to combat this supremacy" were exactly the words I meant for him to understand me to be asking of him. If I wanted him to give me good advice and tips on what I should do, I would have said exactly that. "what are some ways in which I could combat this patriarchy?" The reason there is a big difference between "what do you think are some ways.." and "what can I do.." is one question is posed as a broad, general question of possibilites for anyone, while the "what can I do" is a self-serving question that isn't meant to explore the possible means for destroying the patriarchy beyone what this one little white guy can achieve. I had no thoughts of self-involvement at the time of my question to him.

I'm acknowledging how someone could possibly see murkiness or lack of the brightest of bright lines of distinction here but I am telling you now (and have been this entire thread) that I was not asking him what I could do to fight patriarchy. I was asking for his opinion of some possible ways in which it could be fought at all. I was not even seeing myself as being an active warrior in the fight against this evil, not at the time of my question to him. I really did simply want to hear what he had to say on what he thought about what might work as far as fighting against this evil. I had no thoughts of self-involvement at the time of my question to him. I was thinking in much bigger, more meaningful terms.

This is getting exhausting. Stop trying to paint me as having done something I have not. And stop trying to characterize my refusal to accept fairly meaningful changes to my original words thru faulty summaries and such as "nitpicking". If it *sounds* like nitpicking, read closer. It's not. And any mistakes I may have made in this exchange with my classmate, I will never see any as rising to the level of being labeled "terrible behavior". If I've engaged in terrible behavior, then what the fuck is good behavior? At most, I was oblivious and inattentive.
If I squint, I can see the difference you're describing. It doesn't favor you: it implies that instead of asking him to dig deep so you could try to make some changes, you wanted him to dig deep out of shits and giggles and weren't communicating an intent to be better. In no way does your clarification change my criticism of your behavior. It only deepens it.
  #234  
Old 01-13-2020, 06:41 PM
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For instance, I will not let this story become one of me "seeking answers on what I should do to fight racism". [...]

I had no self-serving motives (at all!) when I then asked Mark, what, in your opinion, might be some ways this evil patriarchy might be destroyed?
I agree with other posters that the fairly subtle difference between your interpretations of these two questions is one that you needed to make a whole lot clearer if you wanted to convey it effectively in practice.


Coincidentally, I just came across this excellent and relevant interview with Indian-American author Mira Jacob about her recent graphic-book memoir Good Talk about being non-white, and dealing with the complications of mixed-race families and friendships, in America:

Quote:
Interviewer: You write, “Sometimes you weigh explaining against staying quiet and know they’re both just different kinds of heavy.” That really leveled me. Very few people understand that constantly having to explain yourself or defend yourself against microaggressions is exhausting. How do you begin to make people understand the concept of emotional labor when it goes largely unseen even to family members?
Quote:
Mira Jacob: Not only does it go unseen, I think it’s expected. That to me is the hardest part. Yes, it’s invisible, but even if it is visible, it is expected. Of course you should do this work for me, your job is in fact to do this work. [...]

I have lost countless white friends over the last few years in kind of this brutal shakedown of white liberalism, people who have always considered themselves to be on the right side of everything but the minute you say hey you’re hurting me, this hurts they have such an intolerance for hearing. They can’t have any conversation except for the one where you say they’re not racist. Any other conversation you want to have, you cannot have it until you first say they are not racist. Being put in that position over and over again has taught me that it’s really common that people will expect you to do this work for them; it’s really common to be told that when you are refusing to do that work and when you say ‘hey this is what your show looks like’ or ‘hey this is what your part of this burden looks like’ they will say ‘how dare you?’ How dare you say that about me? How dare you think that of me? [...]
Quote:
Interviewer: [...] I’m black and I’ve felt the irritation of someone — even someone well-meaning — saying “I don’t know why this is wrong, can you explain it?”
Quote:
Mira Jacob: No, I don’t want to. I don’t want to spend my day doing that for you! Can you Google it? And if you can’t, can you turn to a different friend because I’m tapped out right now. [...]

Alison’s my best friend you probably know that if you read the book, she’s in many parts of it — she said this funny thing to me in a bar once where she’s like, “Do I need to have the white lady to white lady talk with her?” And I was like, what? “What is the ‘white lady to white lady’ conversation?” And she says it’s the one where you turn to that person and say, You just flipped out on Mira about your own racism, you just threw every funny feeling that you had in your body about racism at a woman who has been dealing with nothing but her entire life. Who in this situation do you think maybe needs a break from that moment and who do you think needs to pick it up and carry it forward? [...]
Quote:
Interviewer: While most of the stories you share are about times when you’ve been on the receiving end of a racist or sexist remark, you also share memories of instances when you’ve subjected others to your own prejudices. Why was it important to you to include that?
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Mira Jacob: a., Because they happened, but also b., because I am seeing around me, as I’m sure you are, the performance of wokeness and the idea that being woke is a destination. It seems to me that some people think it’s literally a plane trip and you’re in another land and then you are woke [...] I just find that such a load of shit. I think there is only ever waking, right? There’s only ever going to be waking. There is not a moment in which you’re going to ever truly be woke, and I say that as a person of color who everyone always assumes is on the right side of things and I’m not.
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Old 01-13-2020, 07:01 PM
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That interview is so good--we run into something similar when trying to talk to men about misogyny and sexism. Same thing, you can't possibly proceed until you genuflect and say your "not all men" rosary to pacify them. I know I'm racist--I hope it's just the "you're soaking in it" variety but I'm damned if I'm going to tell a POC they're wrong about something they find problematical about what I do or say. My agreement is not a necessary part of the equation (no matter how much if might gig me to accept that fact) and it's my burden to sit with what I've been told is a problem by the person who experiences that problem as a matter of course. And THAT is a big first step to dismantling racism or any other -ism--shut up, sit with it, and no matter how wrong you think the other person is you figure out how to see the world in such a way that their perception is truth and if you won't or can't do that then you will always be part of the problem but never a part of the solution.
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Old 01-13-2020, 07:16 PM
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If I squint, I can see the difference you're describing. It doesn't favor you: it implies that instead of asking him to dig deep so you could try to make some changes, you wanted him to dig deep out of shits and giggles and weren't communicating an intent to be better. In no way does your clarification change my criticism of your behavior. It only deepens it.
That’s exactly how I interpret the “in your opinion” nuance. It sounds like you’re asking him to indulge your idle curiosity, perhaps so you can judge and interrogate and be amused by his performance.

You should be glad he read your question in the more charitable way. Because the above smacks of all kinds of privileged smugness.
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Old 01-13-2020, 07:26 PM
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Kimstu, what an awesome interview.
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Old 01-13-2020, 07:37 PM
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For instance, I will not let this story become one of me "seeking answers on what I should do to fight racism". That is just an easy strawman that lets me be painted as a classic entitled privileged white man (which I am not even denying I am, I'm saying that THIS story is not evidence of that). I also will not let this discussion become one of me asking my friend this question as an attempt to get quick answers to my own search for enlightenment on becoming antiracist. That is not at all what actually took place, so I will not let my story become one revolving around this fiction. And I will not let the story become one of me getting hung up wanting to know his opinion on something he posted.

[ . . . ]

my continued attempts to understand and be understood

[ . . . ] the poor job of mine of communicating my true desire to only listen, not discuss.
If you only wanted to listen, why on earth didn't you just listen?

Instead, apparently, you kept making those "continued attempts". How is that not insisting on discussing?

I don't see much sign that you're listening here, either. You seem, instead, to be fixated on being the only one who's in charge of the discussion, and the only one who's allowed to say what the discussion means.

Your original question reads to me, as it does to many others here, exactly as if you're asking what you should do, and as if you were seeking quick answers about this from your friend. And when people explain this to you, you don't say 'whoops, sorry, I didn't mean that, but if multiple other people read it that way maybe that's the problem'; instead you complain that it's a strawman argument, and that you won't allow anybody to tell you how your question reads to them.



-- going to go read that interview now.
  #239  
Old 01-13-2020, 08:09 PM
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Kimstu, what an awesome interview.
Agreed--and that book sounds awesome. I'm not a memoir reader at all, but for this will make an exception.

Edit: the short bit linked to is amazing.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 01-13-2020 at 08:13 PM.
  #240  
Old 01-13-2020, 08:19 PM
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Kimstu, what an awesome interview.
I gotta say, the book's even better. Disclaimer: I am in no way connected with the publishers Penguin Random House, the author Mira Jacob, or any other entity with any interest financial or otherwise in promotion of the book Good Talk. I just happened upon an excerpt from it when it came out and was so intrigued I had to buy it.

Caveat: The graphic/dialogue layout means that the book is rather difficult to read on a smaller screen such as a Kindle, so if you do get it you might prefer the physical book format or at least a larger-screen device.
  #241  
Old 01-13-2020, 08:33 PM
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If you only wanted to listen, why on earth didn't you just listen?

Instead, apparently, you kept making those "continued attempts". How is that not insisting on discussing?

I don't see much sign that you're listening here, either. You seem, instead, to be fixated on being the only one who's in charge of the discussion, and the only one who's allowed to say what the discussion means.

Your original question reads to me, as it does to many others here, exactly as if you're asking what you should do, and as if you were seeking quick answers about this from your friend. And when people explain this to you, you don't say 'whoops, sorry, I didn't mean that, but if multiple other people read it that way maybe that's the problem'; instead you complain that it's a strawman argument, and that you won't allow anybody to tell you how your question reads to them.
Firstly, there seems to be this trend on the Dope of having a unified consensus opinion surround one dissenting opinion and if that dissenting opinion does not somehow admit or recognize the consensus opinion as the "correct" one, then that means they are just not listening or not willing to listen. I see *aspects* of that trend in this thread.

I am not seeking to be in charge of any discussion nor would I say I'm exhibiting any deficit in listening to everybody in this thread, I simply **honestly** continue to find issues with the nature of this discussion that prevent it from being an honest discussion of the actual events.For instance, "If you only wanted to listen, why on earth didn't you just listen?Instead, apparently, you kept making those "continued attempts". How is that not insisting on discussing?"

I can't in good conscious respond to this as if its a coherent comment on what I've been talking about. I was wanting to *listen* to his *opinion* on the subject discussed in the post he shared on FB, which he decided he didn't want to share with me at that time. But he expressed this desire not to share his opinion to what really seemed to me to be a straightforward question to a straightforward reading of this post that he had shared with thousands of people without a single word of his own, by not saying much at all.

I listened to that. And came away not understanding in the least bit why his reaction was so cold and silent. What I was there "to listen to" that you are quoting me on, was specifically his personal opinion on what he thought might be ways to combat the white supremacist patriarchy. I **was** there to listen. I ended up listening to words that I struggled in the mightiest of ways to understand why were being said at that time and place, in response to what I had asked of him. It was if, in those moments, he had heard an entirely different question from the question I was asking. Or at least assumed a great deal that was never said but that he took to be implicit as part of my question that was simply not present.

And I have acknowledged that my original question to him may not have appeared as having the bright line distinctions from any question of advice for personal direction and knowledge to others that they did to me. I have acknowledged this. I have admitted I may have led people to think that I was in fact asking, in essence, "what can *I* do to help combat the patriarcy. I still am a bit dubious as to how it isn't at least *slightly* able to be seen as separate questions by one having the distinct "what can I do" predicate while the other is contructed using the much more general "what can be done" predicate, these to me significantly change the scope of the question. But, as I'm seeing by the avalanche of disagreement, I seem to be alone in that opinion. Fair enough.

I then went to painstakingly detail why I chose the language I did in my attempt to draw distinction between two such questions, and I said in no uncertain terms that "even IF I gave that incorrect impression in mY OP, I have been telling everyone who may have gotten that wrong impression that I did in fact mean it in a way that didn't involve me or what I could do as an individual *at all*. It might not have had the proper self-deprecating tone you may have thought I needed to bring, but it was, in essence, my "whoops, I didn't mean that" acknowledgment. As well as an in depth explanation of why that mistake happened. So why continue to hammer me about allegedly meaning something by my question that I have repeatedly informed everyone that I in no uncertain terms, did not mean in such a way? What's the end goal?
  #242  
Old 01-13-2020, 08:39 PM
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Well Im honestly shocked by this. What is your opinion on possible ways Trump can be removed from office before his term is up?
If someone were to ask me this question just because I have some anti-Trump op-eds posted on my Facebook thread, you know what I would tell them? I would tell them Google is their friend. I would say this primarily because I would assume they want an informed opinion, not the opinion of someone who is not a politico and hasn't been following the impeachment stuff very closely.

If the person insisted on getting my opinion after I pointed them to Google, I would feel like they either want to have a long and drawn-out discussion with me or they want to see what I say so they can decide whether anti-Trumpism is a cause worth caring about. Can't you understand why someone wouldn't want to play either of these games? No one wants to be pulled into a discussion against their will and no one wants their opinions to be used to represent an entire cause.
  #243  
Old 01-13-2020, 08:48 PM
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Firstly, there seems to be this trend on the Dope of having a unified consensus opinion surround one dissenting opinion and if that dissenting opinion does not somehow admit or recognize the consensus opinion as the "correct" one, then that means they are just not listening or not willing to listen. I see *aspects* of that trend in this thread.
Damn, man. The likeliest explanation is that your discussion style there is much like your discussion style here, with the difference being that over there, people weren't constrained in their responses by the rules.

I'm not particularly seeing much percentage in beating my head against this wall any longer.
  #244  
Old 01-13-2020, 08:52 PM
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That’s exactly how I interpret the “in your opinion” nuance. It sounds like you’re asking him to indulge your idle curiosity, perhaps so you can judge and interrogate and be amused by his performance.

You should be glad he read your question in the more charitable way. Because the above smacks of all kinds of privileged smugness.
My goodness. So if I express an interest in hearing his opinions on what he has shared on FB, I must either be "asking out of shits and giggles" basically being a disrespectful clod, 0r I must necessarily be asking out of a duty for self-improvment and desire to help the world be a better place? I can't believe this. No, I'm sorry, I absolutely reject this false choice being presented here. I asked him for his opinion because I was interested in the subject matter, similar to the interest I have felt in earlier times in my life when being intellectually sparked by something I had read about the human mind, or the inter-connectiveness of life or even philosophical truths first making connections in my brain.

I *wanted* to hear what an experienced and educated voice who had been steeped in the activist literature and knowledge for a long time had to say about a logical step in the material he had shared with many, many people. I was intellectually curious, I didnt' ask for any sort of amusement factor (that is fucking insulting) or "shits and giggles", but nor did I ask as a way to help illuminate my path to becoming an antiracist activist trying to do as much as I could to affect change for the better. There is a giant "excluded middle" between those two arbitrarily determined paths of intent.
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Old 01-13-2020, 09:02 PM
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You're very determinedly refusing to comprehend that what you want, what you expect and your burning need to have your intellectual curiosity assuaged in a very particular manner by a very particular person are not actually the laws of nature and the universe. Mark didn't give a crap about what you wanted and expected and told you that but no, that's not good enough. You just have yourself a great old time telling yourself how you're right and everyone else is wrong, I'm sure that will work out well for you.
  #246  
Old 01-13-2020, 09:27 PM
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-- going to go read that interview now.
Did that. Very much worth doing. Bookmarked.

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, I simply **honestly** continue to find issues with the nature of this discussion that prevent it from being an honest discussion
So now you're saying we're all being dishonest?

Good grief.

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Damn, man. The likeliest explanation is that your discussion style there is much like your discussion style here, with the difference being that over there, people weren't constrained in their responses by the rules.

I'm not particularly seeing much percentage in beating my head against this wall any longer.
Seconded; to all parts of that.
  #247  
Old 01-13-2020, 09:56 PM
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I agree with other posters that the fairly subtle difference between your interpretations of these two questions is one that you needed to make a whole lot clearer if you wanted to convey it effectively in practice.


Coincidentally, I just came across this excellent and relevant interview with Indian-American author Mira Jacob about her recent graphic-book memoir Good Talk about being non-white, and dealing with the complications of mixed-race families and friendships, in America:
Before getting into the interview, a quick response to that top sentence there. I also have agreed with the sentiment expressed by multiple posters that I may have been too subtle in my expression of distinction between those two types of questions. I explained why that may be, why I at the time of composure saw the distinction as fully adequate, and henceforth explained that while there may have been that bit of murky confusion in my OP, what I absolutely and unequivocably meant was to ask a general question that did not pertain in any way to my personal potential as a antiracist. I stressed this repeatedly yet I stll seemed to be accused of meaning the more specific, self-serving verson that I would have written with a "what can I do" predicate if I had intended the question to revolve around me.

This is an excellent, illuminating interview, one which shares many similarities with my experience with Mark. But I really don't like having to say this, it's not an apples-to-apples comparison by any means.

Quote:
[QUOTE have lost countless white friends over the last few years in kind of this brutal shakedown of white liberalsm, people who have always considered themselves to be on the right side of everything but the minute you say hey you’re hurting me, this hurts they have such an intolerance for hearing. They can’t have any conversation except for the one where you say they’re not racist. Any other conversation you want to have, you cannot have it until you first say they are not racist. Being put in that position over and over again has taught me that it’s really common that people will expect you to do this work for them; it’s really common to be told that when you are refusing to do that work and when you say ‘hey this is what your show looks like’ or ‘hey this is what your part of this burden looks like’ they will say ‘how dare you?’ How dare you say that about me? How dare you think that of me? [...]
[/QUOTE]

The above quote is a very substantial quote of that interview. I have bolded particularly stand-out segments of the quote. I see very little similarity to my experience with Mark in the interview and most notably in this quote. I did not in any way communicate in any part of our discussion my belief, adamant or otherwise, that I'm "on the right side of everything" or that "I'm one of the good guys" or even that "I'm not racist". Nowhere. And I don't believe for one second that I was "hurting" Mark or causing him to relive traumatic experiences simply by asking him for his personal opinion in re to the (damn near traumatic for me!) graphic description and discussion of the white supremacist patriarchy that he had chosen to put up for myriad to read (and likely want to discuss, remember. I was the very first to happen upon the post so there were no remarks before mine). And either way, he didn't communicate any such pain as any reason for his remaining silent on the issue.

However, similar to something in that interview, he *did* characterize my question as an attempt to get him to "do my homework for me". It was remarks like this that led me to believe he was hearing a different question (which I may have clumisly produced unknowingly) that the one I was asking him. One which had a lot of unspoken implications just beneath the surface. One which I was truly not intending to ask. But, at the time I never was able to know if he was indeed hearing a question I never intended to ask. This interview just strengthens my suspicions that he was. And I was to blame for that.

Another thing I failed to consider at that time was that perhaps it wasn't the clear cut obviously just a intellectually motivated interest in his thoughts type question to Mark as it was to me. We came at such a question in very different ways, from very different paths. The fact that I was *able* to have a strictly intellectual interest in the subject matter involving the life and death of real people who had no choice but to live their lives under the threat of such evil was a reflection of my white privilege. I was not cognizant of that in the moment. I was *not aware* of what I didn't have to struggle with. I also need to acknowledge that the fuzziness or lack of clear distinction between the question I asked Mark and a more obvious "what can I do" version, may certainly have played a big role in shaping the nature of his response to me. I must thank the posters here for bringing me to that realization.

But what I still see as a big caveat here, is the fact that Mark chose to broadcast the words and experiences and descriptions of this unchosen life in the most public of fashions, wanting people who may have not experienced or otherwise been able to be aware of such realities, to actually gain some awareness.

And if so, how could he expect such interest to develop in any other way than for the genesis to be intellectual interest? Or maybe "intellectual" interest is the wrong phrase to use as a general term here. "Passive but engaged" interest maybe? I don't want to get bogged down in semantices here. An intellectual interest that lead to an intellectual understanding that hopefully expanded to a moral and personal understanding of their individual interconnectedness to the problem and ultimately a moral and social imperative to be better human beings and do their part to make them world more equitable for all it's people. That's the route I've been on at least.

I *am* interested in discussing this experience in reality-based terms. And I *am* willing to acknowledge and admit parts I've played that help answer questions that confused me during the discussion on FB. I am not above examining my own weaknesses and blind spots, not by any means. I am just unwilling to cede to false or fantasy-based criticisms of my actions that I believe I've been able to clearly and with no grey areas, defend against and show are simply not representations of actual events.
  #248  
Old 01-13-2020, 10:00 PM
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My goodness. So if I express an interest in hearing his opinions on what he has shared on FB, I must either be "asking out of shits and giggles" basically being a disrespectful clod, 0r I must necessarily be asking out of a duty for self-improvment and desire to help the world be a better place?
You didn't ask him for his opinion on the articles he'd posted. You asked him for his opinion on how to fight the white supremacy patriarchy.

It is reasonable for someone to assume that you were asking this question because you were looking for suggestions on how you can be an ally. It is also reasonable for someone to assume you were looking to start a discussion/debate/dialogue. I would say these assumptions are more reasonable than the assumption that someone asking your question just wants to listen silently and non-judgmentally. Most people don't listen silently and non-judgmentally to honest, raw opinions about anything, let alone racism. And Mark knows his. The problem seems to be that you don't seem to know this. Or maybe you do and you just don't understand why it matters.
  #249  
Old 01-13-2020, 10:19 PM
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Damn, man. The likeliest explanation is that your discussion style there is much like your discussion style here, with the difference being that over there, people weren't constrained in their responses by the rules
I categorically reject this garbage. Now your likening the worthless drive by comments of people who had not interest in taking any part in the discussion at all, save for making random mean and intentionally derisive insults to me with an unconstrained version of the Dope posters here? Ha. Well, it's probably not for the reasons you intended, but I'm tempted to say I agree with you! But I wont, that is just worthless snark.

And the discussion there bore about as much resemblance to the discussion here as a fungus resembles a rat. Or, not at all. It was Mark and I that were involved in the discussion. The "peripherals" or what ever I had coined them as, didn't add anything of substance to the conversation *there* but sure seem to be quite active in the discussion *here*. Remember, Mark did not echo nor agree with a single derogatory comment made and even took it upon himself to defend me against an accusation of trolling. So sure, Mark may have been unconstrained in his ability to say what he wanted, but he didn't need any such radical freedom. He said nothing that would be moderated under any circumstances *anywhere*, at anywhere I could conceive of.

Over the course of this 5+ page thread, I have had a few meaningful epiphanies about myself and my role in this thing. As well as having made quite a few acknowledgements and admissions of aspects of my behavior that werent illuminated to me until it was hashed out in this thread. One such key insight is the blinding role that my comfy position to white privilege has most certainly had in causing me to be blind to my own actions and words in my exchange with Mark.
  #250  
Old 01-13-2020, 10:24 PM
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You didn't ask him for his opinion on the articles he'd posted. You asked him for his opinion on how to fight the white supremacy patriarchy.
They weren't really articles, they were short paragraph rants. He linked them bottom of first page.


I would agree mostly though. If that came across my personal feed, I would not have thought "so what do you suggest?" is the question anyone wants to hear.

Last edited by CarnalK; 01-13-2020 at 10:25 PM.
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