The Tea Party Movement and the "Race Card"

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Jabbadabbado, May 12, 2010.

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  1. JediSmuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 1999
    star 5
    Merk, here is the other problem: I came up with several logical explanations for why Wake County would shift to neighborhood schools that involved a more efficient use of the taxpayer dollars they spend. It was very easy to do. Seriously, can you come up with a logical reason to bus kids across a county of 857 square miles? For a magnet school, that is one thing, but such a policy across an entire county?? That's a lot of money being spent, and not in the most efficient manner, especially, wen there are schools that might need improvements - or when you could hire more teachers, or give them the kind of training to help students in poorer areas.

    But to presume racism over a shift to neighborhood schools as opposed to the way Wake County busses kids all over 857 square miles is just a huge stretch - and that is being charitable. I suspect the claims of racism have more to do with not being able to defend the policy Wake County is ending on the merits, so they throw out the race card.
  2. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    I have no idea what race Jozy_Oguchi is, and I have made no assumptions about his race in my remarks. There's no need for me to make any assumptions about his race. This thread is the first time I have ever interacted with him to my knowledge, and what race he is would make no difference in my statements about his arguments.

    As I said to Merk a few moments ago, all of the insults can be easily explained by politics without any need to bring racism into it. The racism accusations are based purely on the assumption that a single political insult among many political insults in a political power struggle was also racially motivated. Why? Merely because the speaker was presumably white (we still haven't had him identified in any news reports) and the target of all the insults was black.

    I'm sorry, but assuming racism merely because of the color of someone's skin when there are simpler explanations is racist. It is treating people differently because of their race.

    Kimball Kinnison
  3. AaylaSecurOWNED Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 6
    Yes, that was his question, and that is the correct answer to that question, but that's why I said he was asking the wrong question. The fact that the president of NOW used the word against a woman doesn't make it less of a gendered insult, it makes the president of NOW a jerk.

    I just did some sloppy googling, so these numbers appear to be 2 years out of date, but it looks like within the California state legislature only 27.5% of the legislators are women: http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=15398
  4. JediSmuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 1999
    star 5
    There is a simpler assumption: They think that playing the race card can win an argument that they cannot win with facts. Take the Wake County case. Nobody can defend transporting students all over a county that is 857 square miles on economic grounds - particularly when gas prices are climbing over $3.00 a gallon.

    Liberals these days are quick with the race card, it's as if they think it is still 1955 in Selma, Alabama.
  5. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    I think it's fairly evident that whenever a African American is referred to as 'boy', it's meant racist - either that, or the speaker has no sense of history and/or culture. Which doesn't excuse him.

    On the other hand, it would be fruitful if people could get over outdated labels. There are no slaves or servants in America anymore. But any initiative about this has to come from within that community; it's extremely belittling if they are told to drop it.

  6. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    No, not merely because of the races of the individuals involved. There would never have been any such question if he had stuck with "hack" or used something alternative ("yes man"), absurd ("toilet head," "poop brains") or even vulgar ("mother [expletive]"). In fact, he chose a word that has a long, well-known, and unambiguous historical context of usage as a racial slur. How is it that you can argue with a straight face that the best way to analyze the meaning of a word involves avoiding any examination of the actual word? How is it a simpler to assume that someone who was not trying to be racist would deliberately use a term that had a fair probability of being interpreted as such due to its historic usage rather thna just admit maybe he used the term because he did intend something racial?

    I'm sorry, but as you've demonstrated amply in this thread, you have a very poor understanding of what racism is. By this sort of broad definition, it would be bigoted to tell a Jewish person "Happy Hannukah" in December when you told a Christian person "Merry Christmas" because you're treating them differently solely as a function of their religion. Informing your interactions with what you know about others is a functional and necessary part of life. Often times, this involves extrapolating what you know to communicate most effectively. Where it becomes dysfunctional or racist is when these assumptions are unreasonable. Assuming that a person might read a racially-motivated insult into a term that has well-known historical usage as an insult against people of his race isn't such an unjustifiable leap.

    This brings us to our last and final point. Why is there such a tremendous burden of proof on the person who is one the receiving end of a racist remark or action? Why do you view an accusation of racism as so much more abhorrent than actual racism, such that you should advocate for such a model? Why do listeners have an obligation not to take offense, but you aren't willing to articulate any way in which a speaker should be careful in trying not to give offense?
  7. Jozy_Oguchi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2010
    star 3
    I'm still holding out for his "proof" of my "intent" to justify him calling me a racist - the REAL racist, no less!
  8. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Hold on a moment.

    By your standard, "intent" isn't needed to prove racism. All it takes is the assumption that someone was being racist. Now, you are insisting that I show your intent? Which standard are you going to use? You can't have it both ways.

    That was my point in making that statement: to demonstrate the necessity for understanding intent before accusing someone of racism. It was a trap laid for you, and you walked right into it.

    You are distorting my claims. I never said that the historical context should be ignored. However, the historical context does not show that the use of "boy" is always racist when directed at a black man.

    If a white man were to call a black man a "momma's boy", would you consider that racist? Except the phrase "momma's boy" doesn't have racial connotations. And yet, by your standard, the mere use of the word "boy" in such a phrase would be racist.

    It's obvious that you aren't actually reading my posts, if you are going to accuse me of this. From my 1/15 5:19am post:
    I have explicitly said that it may have been used as a racial slur. My problem is the immediate leap to the conclusion that it had to have been a racial slur. Such a leap is based on evidence that we haven't seen, and isn't needed to understand the insult in the context of the political fight that Anthony Miller was involved in.

    That's it. If you have any evidence that the insult was based on anything other than Miller's political affiliations, then present it and I will admit that it was intended as a racial slur. However, evidence requires facts, not assumptions.

    The short answer is because I believe in the presumption of innocence.

    The longer answer is because I recognize that both sides need to bear responsibility for improving communications, and you can't always guess at someone else's intent.

    Let me give a very personal example. Many, many years ago (I was in 2nd or 3rd grade), I was involved in the YMCA Indian Guides (now called the Y-Guides).
  9. Jozy_Oguchi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2010
    star 3
    1) LMAO
    2) Really? Do you think that that sounds genuine to anyone? Backpedal harder.
    3) Since you seem to prefer that I point out the obvious: My statement was actually pretty obviously sarcastic, and was showing the lack of necessity for understanding intent that went behind your accusation(i.e. how ridiculous your standard is)
    4) Wouldn't it occur to you that I might have, for just a second, believed that you operated under your standard even though that standard is stupid? In which case, asking you to use your own standard in no way endorses it as legitimate, and is simply proof of your own hypocrisy?
    5) seriously "it was a trap" oh wow ahahahahah
    6) If you believe that being called a racist is such a serious charge, you should probably avoid doing it on a whim just to "trap" someone in an argument. Also, if you believe authenticity is important in any measure, you should probably just go ahead and say what you think instead of using "traps" at all. Lastly, if you're going to set a "trap" you should probably use one that actually traps somebody, so you don't come out looking dumb
  10. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    It is a common debating tactic to turn a person's own argument about on them. That's all I did to you, in an attempt to show you how easy it is for someone else to accuse you of something that you never intended.

    Under your standard, there is no way that anyone can ever clear themselves of the charge of racism, because you treat the assumption as fact. Can you prove that you aren't racist*? If not, then how do you expect someone else to answer the same charge when you level it at them?

    That is the exact same sort of attitude that led to David Howard being forced to resign over someone else's mistaken impressions. It is the same attitude that destroyed my relationship with my friend, because of that stupid shirt. In both of those cases as well as in the Anthony Miller case, you are essentially saying that it is impossible for someone to make an honest mistake, or unintentionally offend someone else. (In the Miller case, it is more unintentionally offend because of race. It is pretty clear that the speaker was trying to offend Miller, but that doesn't mean that he was trying to offend Miller because of his race.)

    No one is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes or says things that don't come out like they intended. It is unreasonable to assume that every single time a white person says anything that could possibly be interpreted as racist towards a black person, that they are expressing racist intentions. Some people just don't think about how others will perceive their words.

    Kimball Kinnison

    * And no, arguing that blacks can't be racist doesn't work (assuming you are black as another poster claimed you are), because that is also an inherently racist attitude. You would basically be saying that blacks can unintentionally be racially insensitive, but whites are always racist. If you would give the benefit of the doubt to a person of one race and not to another, then that is inherently racist.
  11. Jozy_Oguchi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2010
    star 3
    You didn't use my argument against me. I used your argument against you, and then you tried to act as though I claimed it as mine.

    You keep talking about this proof business as if it means something. That's annoying. Also, you keep misinterpreting my standard, which is also annoying. You also keep ignoring my answers to your example(the important one: that my standard of 'reasonable interpretation' actually would exonerate David Howard, so I don't get why you think this example helps you in any way) and also to this charge that ANYONE ACCUSED OF RACISM WOULD BE GUILTY(I still don't understand why this ever occurs to anyone). Go back and re-read everything above, I suppose. Reading is fundamental.

    I am not saying it's 'impossible' for someone to make an honest mistake(strawman)? I'm saying that the widely known historical basis of the word would actually make the racial reading the simplest explanation that fits the facts - the most 'reasonable' one. You brought up Occam's Razor before, but fail to recognize that it actually corresponds to my standard and not yours - you know, since under my standard we actually don't assume away knowledge that most people have?

    Yeah, but here's the thing. People make mistakes sometimes, but usually say what they mean(communication would be very difficult if you believed people misspeak more often than not :) ). It is then the more reasonable interpretation to believe that he chose his words deliberately, and what we'd actually be looking for is a reason to believe he didn't use the word in its most likely applicable definition.

    There really aren't all that many things that a white person can say that would reasonably be interpreted as racist towards a black person. You know, compared to the number of words and phrases in the English language. Which is 1) why millions of black people and white people tend to have conversations every day in this country(and a bunch of other ones, weirdly enough), some of which don't end in fistfights(crazy, right? People just want to pull the race card ALL THE TIME, LIFE IS SO HARD)! 2) why its pretty worth an eyebrow raise or two when there are thousands upon thousands of criticisms of insults that don't have racial undertones, and a person chooses to use one that does.

    Maybe post-Holocaust and post-neo-Nazi movement, misunderstandings can happen when you walk around in a t-shirt with a ****ing swastika on it? Maybe your example really has nothing to do with intent or assumptions(since he then "knew" your "intent" when you explained yourself and there was
  12. Darth_Tarkus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 10, 2011
    star 4
    So I am a huge political junkie, signed up for this forum to discuss Star Wars, and just stumbled across this part of the forum. Yay!

    A question for those in this thread:

    In late 2010 when Congress finally passed a bill awarding money to black farmers who had proven they were discriminated against in receiving help from the federal government, one member of the House took to the floor and derided the bill as an example of "reparations" and referred to Obama as our "very urban President." I thought that was pretty close to bordering on racism, if not outright.

    Your thoughts?
  13. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    My standard would do no such thing. You have conflated "boy" with "momma's boy" despite the fact that the latter has its own unique (and much more benign) history. "McCain's boy" uses boy as the disparaging remark, which is then modified by McCain incidentally. "Momma's boy" is recognized as a single derogatory remark. Your argument that putting any sort of modifier around a term nullifies any potentially racist implications is also absurd. If he'd said "McCain's [n-word]" would you likewise maintain there is no racial element, since there is not a long history of putting the name "McCain" in front of that insult? Thank you, though, for explaining how something I never argued would be stupid.

    You've used this throughout the discussion, in spite of the fact that it makes no sense at all. The only hard "evidence" of someone's intent is their conscious and subconscious thought process, which no one (not even the person in question) has complete access to. Everything else is circumstantial evidence that requires making assumptions in order to draw any conclusion about meaning. The question is not, then, whether we are "making assumptions." You are too. The question is whether the assumptions we are making are reasonable. Is it more reasonable to believe that people are using language in the way that it is typically used, or that they are using, in isolated fashion, a bizarre idiosyncratic usage that they have no reason to expect listeners would understand?

    That answer is disingenuous. We have also recognized shared responsibility. In fact, we've been much more articulate about how that responsibility ought to be apportioned than you who has only said the phrase "shared responsibility" without ever citing a way in which the speaker ought to take more responsibility. Spare us the platitudes. Or, alternatively, go for something even more plainly ridiculous like "I believe in my view because I am a good person."

    S_A pretty well covered this. Nothing else to say, really.

    [quite=KK]As long as you have people on both sides who are almost trigger happy to either give or take offense, you can't really improve anything. [. . .] It's better for you to pity the fool who tries to offend others than to get upset and attack them for it. However, we can control how we react to them. Because of that, we each have an obligation to restrain ourselves from jumping to conclusions about others and their intents.[/quote]

    This discussion of yours is entirely irrelevant. In the first place, no one has ever argued you should be "trigger happy" about taking offense, or that you should "attack" people when they offend you, or that you should gratify people by letting them provoke you into making any particular sort of response at all. Our discussion is about how we should interpret communication from other people, since we can't read their minds. The first relevant point to make here is that as an interpretive act, we are making evidence-based decisions, but it is never a mechanical or automatic process. There's always some measure of private deliberation weighing on how we choose to understand what has been communicated. How do we make such judgments?

    S_A and I have ar
  14. Master_SweetPea Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2002
    star 4
    Kimball,
    stop feeding the trolls.
  15. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    Who, pray tell, might they be?
  16. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    I was thinking about this while I was burning a cross on some uppity family's front lawn. (It wasn't racist. They weren't cutting the grass and that is against the homeowners' association rules.)


    Perhaps the person who uttered the word "boy" was doing a Foghorn Leghorn impression. "I say-- I say-- now, boy!" Hilarious! Who doesn't love Loony Tunes?


    Thanks, Kimball and Mr. Smuggler for opening my eyes to the TRUTH. The real racists are dem coloreds.
  17. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    Sweetpea: How is this discussion trolling?

    Also, 'boy' is the accepted nomenclature for black people among racists.
  18. Raven Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 1998
    star 6
    A bit of devil's advocate here...

    Oddly enough...

    The case I've linked above is one that's caused a bit of discussion. A white guy put a burning cross with a noose on it on a black guys lawn one night. However, the argument essentially is that he did it because he disliked the guy personally, not because he was racist; the method he used to harass the guy was what it was because the guy he was harassing was black, but the reason for the harassment wasn't because the guy was black. The person who set the crosses on fire has a non-white girlfriend I'm not mistaken.

    Anyhow, question: if someone intends to insult someone, and uses a racial slur rather than a general insult, are they being racist rather than just insulting? Does the use of a racial slur imply racist motivation, or just that it's a convenient insult?
  19. Darth_Tarkus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 10, 2011
    star 4
    If that guy hung a noose on a cross and burned it on someone's front lawn and only got four months in jail, that's not evoking any sympathy from me. That's not how you handle your problems with people, that's why societies have laws.
  20. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    Of course it's ****ing racist. What, you think that every black person that has been victimized by white people didn't commit any slight whatsoever (real or perceived)? The key is that they were treated differently and often much more harshly than a white person in the same position would have been, and with methods that carry huge historical and oppressive weight (e.g., cross burning). As a white person, I'd be weirded out and confused and perhaps a little scared if I found a burning cross on my lawn. A black person would rightfully be terrified.

    The common problem with "playing devil's advocate" is that the "devil's" point of view is wrong.
  21. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Let's take Raven's case and generalize it for a moment.

    Person A doesn't like Person B, and wants to do something nasty to them. B is black, and so A decides to put a burning cross on B's lawn. You are saying that A is racist, right? What about if A is black as well? Would he still be racist? Why or why not?

    If you are tailoring a major insult to an individual and know that they are deathly afraid of something (whether it's spiders, snakes, burning crosses, a swastika, or whatever), then it would make sense to tailor whatever insult you are giving using what you know they are deathly afraid of.

    If, in this example, you say that white A is racist, but black A isn't, then isn't that racist? After all, you said "The key is that they were treated differently and often much more harshly than a [black] person in the same position would have been, and with methods that carry huge historical and oppressive weight (e.g., [accusations of racism])." If the key is that they are treated differently and more harshly than someone of a different race would have been, then how does this not meet your definition of racism? You throw the more serious accusation against white A than you would against black A, even if everything else was identical (motivations and actions) between the two except for their races.

    Kimball Kinnison
  22. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2000
    star 6
    A quick search indicated that Wake County, NC has 20 high schools, 30 middle schools, and 93 elementary schools. So I seriously doubt that kids are getting bussed from one end of the county to the other, as you're implying.
  23. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    Are you serious here? Really? A cross burning invokes the KKK. The "huge historical and oppressive weight" there is thus the legacy of the single most violent, effective terrorist organization in the history of the United States. They've killed thousands extra-legally. Their efforts were critical to the failure of the Reconstruction, and the latter institution and maintenance of Jim Crow. Throughout all their permutations, they have systematically targeted African-Americans for subjugation, and led coordinated campaigns to deny them of economic and political progress. They represent one of the ugliest parts of American history/culture, and the damage they have cost all of us as a nation is significant whether tallied economically, or by the human cost in anguish, trauma, and denial of the most basic rights.

    Would you like to clarify what "huge historical and oppressive weight" accusations of racism bring to mind? Because insofar as I can tell, the only thing it brings to mind is. . .accusations of racism. Are you really so narcissistic as to suggest that the degree to which a white person's feelings gets hurt by an accusation of racism is as bad as all the crimes of the KKK from inception to present? Or are we to assume that you were just speaking from extreme historical ignorance, and somehow didn't realize that what they'd done was quite a bit more than calling someone a mean name?

    Oh, and lest you accuse me of trying to dodge your question, we never said anything about whether the person was "racist" in their heart of hearts. We said what he did was racist. Which would also be true here. It would be different for the black perpetrator, insofar as it would suggest odd elements of self-hatred, but that doesn't fundamentally change the picture, no.

    Really, let's not. This is about the second or third time you've completely ignored our arguments to lurch to some marginally relevant example that lets you get in your soapbox about the "real" victims of race relation in the US, and reiterating your "intent" standard. This would be marginally more excusable if you at least bothered to respond to questions that were directly addressed to you, or make some reply to the multiple problems we've raised with your proposals, or acknowledge that contrary to what you keep saying, most of your examples aren't problematic under our proposed standard. Why not actually address what we've said, instead of endlessly running away to your next bizarre point that you hope exonerates your point of view?

  24. Jozy_Oguchi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2010
    star 3
  25. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    This is amazing. Guy quits over a death threat, which is completely ignored here - and for five days, all that's being talked about it the intention behind the use of the word 'boy'.

    Some clarification?

    Now, then. Let's talk about "Get a rope".
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