Does Michael Moore have the straight dope on bigots?

In his Stupid White Men he writes that every single white person is bigoted towards blacks. And that it’s bullshit to pretend otherwise. Is he right?

Could you post the exact quotation, please?

The book’s at work. I’ll do it tomorrow, if not beaten to the punch. It comes in the chapter devoted to the plight of blacks in the USA.

I worked with a black guy in the '80s who said the same thing. Of thte two of us, I’d say that he was the bigot. I was not raised that way.

Of course, Michael Moore has some sort of psychic link with all Caucasians, so he must be right. :rolleyes:

He has a bit of a job explaining away black people like Rice and Powell, not to mention women like rodham Clinton, but he wings it with a few anecdotes and jokes. If all else fails, he writes “fuck” a lot (*passim * for citophiles). A true prophet for our times.

Moore uses a lot of sarcasm and what might be described as trolling in that book. I found it annoying, as you’d often find it difficult to follow when exactly he was being for real. Maybe its a cultural thing and Americans would be better at spotting it.

But I’d say in the OP’s example he isn’t expecting to be taken completely literally. Or maybe he was… as I say; I was confused by it at times.

I think he was in deadly earnest when he wrote this. Remember he went on to write that he was ONLY hiring blacks in future and sod the courts if they wanted to prosecute him for such acts of discrimination. I actually felt that this was the strongest chapter of the book.

As for a Brit not being to understand the nuances of American culture, it’s a bit like saying that Americans will never be able to understand Monty Python, Blackadder or Fawlty Towers as well as a Brit. Well, they may not know what Dunny-on-the-Wold (spelling?) evokes, but that’s a mere trifle compared to all that they will understand.

We’re all stupid white men after all. Well, apart from the white women: Mr Moore doesn’t make it clear how they fit in (i.e. stupid or not). Or, for that matter, black men…and, at the bottom of the pile, one would assume, black women.

As the song put it, moore questions than answers.

If you’re talking about the chapter “Kill Whitey” I don’t find in making a quick perusal of the chapter an exact quote to the effect of “all white people are racist.” Moore talks in the chapter about how white Americans have been conditioned to make racist assumptions about black people. The argument is a lot more complex than “all white people are racist” or “white Americans have been brainwashed.”

Well I read that as him just being provocative. Only an idiot would fail to see how this policy would be unfair, inefficient and counter-productive, and Moore isn’t an idiot.

Anyone have evidence that he has applied this policy?

FG, others may have more knowledge of his recent employment record, but as I read it, the whole point of his stand was that he would hire blacks only, for all jobs, so long as black applicants who could fulfil the roles applied. It was, as I understood it, his way of identifying, and then cutting through, the bullshit preached by everyone. Including himself, until he identified the bullshit in himself and decided to do something about it.

I generally think highly of Moore, but I think he’s playing directly into the hands of the Right on this one. The Right pioneered the use of racial discord as a way to split the electorate (the “Southern Strategy”). It’d be one thing if Moore was being honest, but he goes off the irony-meter when he talks about race. Look at what he wrote about the O.J. Simpson trial in “Downsize This”. Rightly or wrongly, a significant part of the white electorate (which is still a large majority) harbors some resentment on racial issues, and needless to say, so do minorities. So I feel the Left needs to keep its trap shut on race, except to propose some concrete, well-thought-out plans, and even then I’d put it on the bottom of the platform. The times are just not propitious for that sort of thing.

Won’t someone just quote the blasted thing and stop giving us this grade-school playground back-and-forth!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Moore has some sort of psychological need to portray himself as being intellectually and morally superior to almost everyone (that is, almost everyone and everything American). He goes overseas and says things like (I may be paraphrasing here): “Have you ever seen an American walking down the street? They have this smiling, vacuous expression on their face and they’re like, ‘Hi, how ya doin?’ This is because they don’t have anything of real import on their minds.”

I made an ad hominem attack on Moore once and I regretted doing so. But the fact remains that there is something in his psychological makeup, probably as a result of his treatment by other people at a time when he was of an impressionable age, that has caused him to have to label almost everyone else as stupid (so long as they’re the currently dominant group: white men, Americans, America itself, etc.)

I’ll second that motion. Come on, I’d like to see the pertinent passage.

There’s nothing to quote, because nowhere in the book does he write anything like “every single white person is bigoted towards blacks.”

Moore often talks sarcastically about what “we whites” have done, as in the chapter “Kill Whitey”.

I think it’s clear that he’s not seriously making the claim that blacks or whites are monolithic groups. It’s a stylistic choice, used for comic effect. (Boorish, in my opinion, but still… clearly not to be taken at face value.)

How is that different from most left-wingers?

Ahh, and the pathetic peanut gallery mounts their chorus of dittos, even though (as usual) the right-wing ideologue on the soapbox has yet to even provide evidence to support his beliefs.

Good job, Muad’Dib, you’ve helped confirm what I’ve figured out about your side from lo these long years.

Here we go, from p. 79 of the 2004 HarperCollins paperback edition (Chapter ‘Kill Whitey’: ‘Surival tips for white America’ [Point 4]):

'4. Lose all the liberal “concern” for black people

Really. Black people are onto us. They know we say and do things to make it look as if progress has been made. They see us working hard to show how not-prejudiced we are. Skip it. We haven’t made real progress. We’re still bigots - and they know it.

Cut the crap about all your “black friends”. You don’t *have * black friends…’

So, pretty much as I recalled it, with the proviso that he never used the word “all” (at least, not here). However, “us” and “we” refer to the stupid white people of the title, which is an inclusive category, and the opinions are given without any hedging or modification (“most of us”, “generally”, “as I have observed things”, etc.).

So is he right?

There’s been a lot of stuff Moore’s said that I think is stoopy-patooty, but this one is just a lot of hyperbole, and I think it’s decently obvious.

My big problem with his reasoning is the implied assumption (I detected it, anyway… I could be wrong) that the “rigging” of the system is the result of some deliberate, malevolent intent of some current entity, rather than a holdover from still-recent race and civil rights battles that will probably take a long time to completely fade away.

It’s no surprise that some people dislike those that are different. It’s wrong, yes, but not malevolent. Remember: Don’t attribute to malice that which can be explained by ignorance.

Aren’t you jumping the gun just a little bit there? One lonely (but very intelligent and insightful) person agreeing with me, hardly constitutes a chorus or a gallery. Oh, hey…that’s right! He’s intelligent and insightful! No wonder you perceive him as a threat.

And what? I’m supposed to provide “evidence” of consclusions I’ve come to by observation over the years? If you can kindly point me in the direction on the web where my opinions and impressions are cataloged, I would be happy to provide you with the “evidence” you say you want. (Nice little gimmick there, isn’t it? You know, asking for “cites” where you know one couldn’t possibly exist and then behaving as though you won the point because there’s no cite.)

And anyway, Moore’s published and broadcast behavior is really all the cite that’s needed to illustrate my point.

Cheers. :slight_smile: