Talking about race with white people

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Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

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and MRAs are not a genuinely oppressed group, being their own worst enemies*

How are they their own worst enemies?  I ask because we might agree here.

But *spoiler alert*, I might also ask whether BLM is their own worst enemy, or whether "Gays Against Gentrification" are also their own worst enemies, and what we should all do to fix that.

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This makes the MRA a very bad analogy - I challenge you to find any group fighting oppression that uniformly makes the kinds of demands MRAs do.

What kinds of demands?  Like, that someone should be fired for leaving a meeting early?  Or much, much worse things?  Which demands shall we just dismiss, seeing as that's kind of my point?

And why are you evaluating their demands instead of just listening??  More to the point, why can't we evaluate ALL such demands instead of just listening?

Firstly, they're their own worst enemies because the majority of their stated grievances are demonstrably false and they reject any kind of meeting of minds with feminists who are working to their stated aims on freeing men from rigid patriarchal roles. Beyond that, in fact, they often attack feminists with threats of rape and death, publish their addresses, etc. rather than actually have a conversation. This leads one to conclude that they aren't actually interested in working on anything.

http://everydayfeminism.com/2017/03/mra-arguments-have-point-and-wrong/

BLM has a somewhat different case to make - it's demonstrably true that black people get shot a lot, often by law enforcement in the absence of having done anything to warrant it. They are constantly asked to justify this to the point where there isn't a lot of work done toward any solution. Basically, the oppressors obfuscate to a degree that seeking solutions is utterly sidelined.

What MRAs demand of women? Well, other than fucking any dude who expresses that he thinks you're hot, being okay with earning less than men, not seeking child support and otherwise not expecting to be treated like equals, nothing of note.

I suggest you spend some time on this site - http://www.wehuntedthemammoth.com/

And then there's this charming meme:

So I'm hoping we're done with that analogy. (I certainly am.)

Boze

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And let's face it, if you're a white, middle-class male, you have a shit ton of privilege and should probably listen more than you speak, because we've been hearing all about you for forever. We know exactly where you're coming from.

I don't think you can assume anything about where someone is coming from based on their race, class, gender, or even socio-economic status. This is a central issue of disagreement many have with this particular brand of anti-oppressive politics and identity politics generally. The idea that somebody's race tells you everything you need to know about where they're coming from is, well, racist. It doesn't make sense - it's a bad argument.

But if you disagree with this idea, you will in fact be denounced as racist.

 

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we do tend to be strongly encouraged by leading figures in our demographic to see everybody else-i.e., the prohibitive majority of the human race-as either a nuisance, an inferior or an enemy.  This encouragement is a major part of being raised white, middle-class or higher, and heterosexual.

Speak for yourself. I don't think this is true at all. This is not to deny the very real racism, sexism and other -isms that exist and contribute to systemic discrimination, but no, "leading figures" in "my demographic" (whatever that is - we are all part of an infinite number of demographic groups) did not encourage me to see others as nuisances, inferiors, or enemies. This is a fiction. Now, maybe we can have a conversation about whether this is actually the case or not, but either way, the idea that this is a bedrock principle of left-wing or anti-oppressive politics is something I'm very much opposed to.

6079_Smith_W

Women of color “understand what Kamala Harris is dealing with,” Tanzina Vega, a CNN reporter who covers race and inequality, wrote on Twitter. “Raise your hand if you’ve been shushed, silenced, scolded, etc.”

Her words were retweeted nearly 2,000 times and garnered more than 3,000 likes.

“I thought so,” she responded. “Thanks ladies.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/06/14/as-a-prose...

Shame on her for not letting him talk, right? He doesn't like to be rushed. It makes him nervous.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Boze wrote:

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And let's face it, if you're a white, middle-class male, you have a shit ton of privilege and should probably listen more than you speak, because we've been hearing all about you for forever. We know exactly where you're coming from.

I don't think you can assume anything about where someone is coming from based on their race, class, gender, or even socio-economic status. This is a central issue of disagreement many have with this particular brand of anti-oppressive politics and identity politics generally. The idea that somebody's race tells you everything you need to know about where they're coming from is, well, racist. It doesn't make sense - it's a bad argument.

But if you disagree with this idea, you will in fact be denounced as racist.

I don't think I said at any point it tells you *everything* about a person. It does, however, very much factor into your experience of the world and who you are. So I think it's fair to say it tells you *something* about a person. It's not racist to suggest that there are experiences of being discriminated against for your race that are common for POC that you simply haven't had and can't be expected to fully appreciate in the way that they do. Acknowledging race is not in and of itself racist.

You also seem to be losing my point - What I'm saying in the above post is that because white het male is the default position for many things, people who are not het white males have heard a lot about what things that are of concern to het white males. Other positions are not the default, and are often met with incredulity by het white males - suggesting that maybe you don't hear about those quite so much, and should maybe, if you're interested in being an ally, spend some time absorbing those ideas without making it all about how you absorb (or your diffilculty in absorbing) those ideas.

It's not racist. You're not being discriminated against. There's no consequence for you, other than hurt feelings.

Boze wrote:

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we do tend to be strongly encouraged by leading figures in our demographic to see everybody else-i.e., the prohibitive majority of the human race-as either a nuisance, an inferior or an enemy.  This encouragement is a major part of being raised white, middle-class or higher, and heterosexual.

Speak for yourself. I don't think this is true at all. This is not to deny the very real racism, sexism and other -isms that exist and contribute to systemic discrimination, but no, "leading figures" in "my demographic" (whatever that is - we are all part of an infinite number of demographic groups) did not encourage me to see others as nuisances, inferiors, or enemies. This is a fiction. Now, maybe we can have a conversation about whether this is actually the case or not, but either way, the idea that this is a bedrock principle of left-wing or anti-oppressive politics is something I'm very much opposed to.

Listen to yourself for a minute. Why do you get to decide what is "real" racism or sexism and what isn't?

I'll give you a hint: Privilege.

Many white male role models, the manly men in movies, in politics, etc, really *do* often behave in discriminatory ways, and it's quite common for other people in that demographic (white males) to absorb the message that they're just being guys, it's just a joke, other people are just humourless, it's not REALLY racism/sexism/homophobia for me to behave this way. I mean, there's not even any malice involved, or a conscious adoption of the values. That's what makes it so insidious. It takes a hard look in the mirror and some conscious effort to stop doing those things.

Paladin1

Timebandit wrote:

Listen to yourself for a minute. Why do you get to decide what is "real" racism or sexism and what isn't?

I'll give you a hint: Privilege.

Wouldn't it be more his opinion of what's "real" racisim/sexisim?  If I as a white het male quote a dictionary definition of racisim is that still considered privilage on my part?

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Depends on the context. If it's in defense of a claim of "reverse racism" or to insist that you are the arbiter of what's racist and what isn't, then yeah, it could certainly be construed that way. The thing about dictionary definitions is that they don't tend to go into social context heavily, so they are of very limited usefulness in some cases. This would be one of those cases - dictionary definitions have little to say about the socialization of privilege.

Paladin1

Thanks Timebandit.  I've noticed we've really started to take dictionary words and adapt them to our own definitions of what we want it to be. I think words like racist, bigot, nazi and some others have been watered down and used out of context so much that the impact of using them is considerably less. (if that makes sense)

I'm probably  simpleton but I don't even see reverse racisim as a word. I think racisim is racisim.

 

 

6079_Smith_W

You're right reverse racism isn't a word. There was a great line about it last night on a CBC News piece. "Claims of reverse racism is just the sound of people losing their privilege".

Does that mean everyone who isn't a straight white guy has a perfect understanding of everything and is always on their best behaviour and never make mistakes? No. Or that there aren't some of us who get some of this some of the time? No. Or that we need to shut up and just listen? No.

But there is no systemic conspiracy against us, and most of what some assume is is just people trying to correct the situation that has been gamed to our benefit.

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Paladin1 wrote:

Thanks Timebandit.  I've noticed we've really started to take dictionary words and adapt them to our own definitions of what we want it to be. I think words like racist, bigot, nazi and some others have been watered down and used out of context so much that the impact of using them is considerably less. (if that makes sense)

I'm probably  simpleton but I don't even see reverse racisim as a word. I think racisim is racisim.

Language evolves. The problem with using "dictionary definition" as the beginning and end point of the discussion is that it's an oversimplification, and in the form of a short reference definition, it has to be. So when you get into a discussion where "racism" is used to decry pointing out that a privileged person has privilege (and they consequently feel defensive about it), you have to question whether that usage is entirely appropriate, even where it might be *technically* accurate. In fact, I think using the term in that context does just as you say - it waters down what racism actually is: discrimination against people of colour.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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Listen to yourself for a minute. Why do you get to decide what is "real" racism or sexism and what isn't?

I'll give you a hint: Privilege.

I suppose that's true, if some white dude is trying to "educate" POC on what racism is or isn't.

But I like to think I get to decide *for myself*, because anything else just feels like having religion shoved down my throat.  "Don't question!  Proof denies faith!"

So I'm definitely never going to be out there informing POC that "carding" isn't racism (it's just effective policing!).

But at the same time, if some POC says that BLM-Vancouver not getting a special invite to the Women's March was an act of "violence", sorry, but I do reserve the right to roll my eyes.  I don't feel that I'm under any special obligation to take their word for this and nod piously.

I think the issue here is that in our current cultural climate, there seem to be two options:

1.  I define racism, and POC have to shut up and accept it

2.  POC define racism, and I have to shut up and accept it

So, unsurprisingly, with the right to hold an opinion at stake, the battle turns fierce.

And listening is great.  Listening makes sense, especially for those of us on the priveleged outside.  But right now "listening" is effectively defined as agreeing, because not agreeing is defined as "not listening".

I know that real dialogs are messy things.  They take time, they may or may not bear fruit, and as often as not they lead to "compromises" rather than "decisive victories".  But if the whole thing simply MUST be a tug-of-war for it all, why would anyone expect me to not pull?

 

 

6079_Smith_W

Gee. Did anyone here say that listening is "agreeing"?

Really it is just listening. That is, really listening for comprehension. Not just nodding and waiting to say what is on your mind.

I actually just finished saying that listening doesn't necessarily mean always agreeing with what someone else says. But in order to have gotten that, one would have to be really listening to what I was saying. You know. Dialogue.
 

But sure Magoo. They aren't the boss of you. I think that's clear enough, though we are probably going to get it explained again.

Boze

Magoo raises important points. I want only to add in reply to Timebandit:

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I don't think I said at any point it tells you *everything* about a person. It does, however, very much factor into your experience of the world and who you are. So I think it's fair to say it tells you *something* about a person. It's not racist to suggest that there are experiences of being discriminated against for your race that are common for POC that you simply haven't had and can't be expected to fully appreciate in the way that they do. Acknowledging race is not in and of itself racist.

I agree more or less completely. However, your post that I replied to said "we know where you're coming from." It is not the case that a person's opinion or arguments are determined by that person's group membership or identity, or that people are not capable of exchanging ideas and trying to convince each other of the rightness of their positions by means of rational argument. Arguments, once articulated, stand independent of the person putting them forward - this is why the argumentum ad hominem is considered fallacious.

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Other positions are not the default, and are often met with incredulity by het white males - suggesting that maybe you don't hear about those quite so much, and should maybe, if you're interested in being an ally, spend some time absorbing those ideas without making it all about how you absorb (or your diffilculty in absorbing) those ideas.

An argument is valid or fallacious on its own merits independent of the person advancing it. If an argument doesn't make sense, we have a duty to point that out. It's one thing to say that people with privilege are often too dismissive of experiences that don't line up with their own experiences. It's another to say that this means they should be derelict in their duty to argue in good faith. Arguing in good faith means pointing out errors in reasoning and questioning assumptions. If someone's argument sounds like bullshit to me, I'm not going to allow it to stand unquestioned. My highest duty is to the truth.

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It's not racist. You're not being discriminated against. There's no consequence for you, other than hurt feelings.

My feelings aren't hurt, and the point is that it's fallacious, so there are consequences for the truth.

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Listen to yourself for a minute. Why do you get to decide what is "real" racism or sexism and what isn't?

I claim no right to "decide" this over anybody else, but I will not abandon what I see as my duty to argue for the truth as I see it. I have faith that if I am wrong, I can be convinced of it. If I am not convinced, then by definition, I am either not wrong, or require further convincing.

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Many white male role models, the manly men in movies, in politics, etc, really *do* often behave in discriminatory ways, and it's quite common for other people in that demographic (white males) to absorb the message that they're just being guys, it's just a joke, other people are just humourless, it's not REALLY racism/sexism/homophobia for me to behave this way. I mean, there's not even any malice involved, or a conscious adoption of the values. That's what makes it so insidious. It takes a hard look in the mirror and some conscious effort to stop doing those things.

I agree with this, but that's a very far cry from being "strongly encouraged by leading figures in our demographic to see everybody else-i.e., the prohibitive majority of the human race-as either a nuisance, an inferior or an enemy."

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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Gee. Did anyone here say that listening is "agreeing"?

That's not what I said.  What I said was that not agreeing seems to == not listening.

If I say that no act of violence was done to BLM-Vancouver, did I listen, or did I not listen?

Or else tell me how I can disagree, and say so, without an assumption that I didn't listen.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Magoo, it would be most helpful if you would choose an instance where the demand is one supported by a majority of people in the group. Instead, you've chosen an unsupportable claim by a tiny fringe group bent on picking a fight.

If only the weirdest, fringiest examples support your argument - an argument that has a little more straw content than it really should (no one has, at any point, suggested you just uncritically accept gospel from anyone, merely that you should carefully consider an alternate view) - you might want to revisit. Shaky premise = shaky conclusion.

6079_Smith_W

You just said this:

And listening is great.  Listening makes sense, especially for those of us on the priveleged outside.  But right now "listening" is effectively defined as agreeing, because not agreeing is defined as "not listening".

And yes you can listen and still disagree. I have said so a couple of times myself. Whom do you imagine you are disagreeing with, because I don't think it is anyone here.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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Magoo, it would be most helpful if you would choose an instance where the demand is one supported by a majority of people in the group. Instead, you've chosen an unsupportable claim by a tiny fringe group bent on picking a fight.

If only the weirdest, fringiest examples support your argument - an argument that has a little more straw content than it really should (no one has, at any point, suggested you just uncritically accept gospel from anyone, merely that you should carefully consider an alternate view) - you might want to revisit. Shaky premise = shaky conclusion.

In the general sense, I totally agree, though I might add that all wars -- real, military wars or social wars -- happen at the bleeding edge, wherever one side meets the other.  If you're telling us that we can tell those on the very frontest of front lines that they don't count, then say it loud and say it proud.  I'm literally arguing for the right to dismiss the loopiest and most nonsensical, so I'll welcome your support.

Still, though, I referenced above in this thread the case of Henry Parada, who was declared guilty of "a violent act of anti-Blackness, misogyny and misogynoir" by a "fringe" group of Ryerson students, and in the tempest-in-a-teapot that unsurpringly followed, either chose to resign out of unbearable shame, or was quietly told to if he wanted to keep his pension.  He left a meeting early, and didn't hear one speaker... if you don't agree that's unacceptable "misogynoir" then don't rebut me, join me.

6079_Smith_W

Then we can take on the 37 pronoun people next, right?

Sorry. Not quite that gullible or stupid.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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And yes you can listen and still disagree. I have said so a couple of times myself. Whom do you imagine you are disagreeing with, because I don't think it is anyone here.

I see.

So if I *were* to say that "carding" is not racism, but rather just effective policing, nobody would suggest that I hadn't listened?

To be clear, I'm not asking anyone to agree with that -- in fact, it's just a rhetorical object, and not what I'm actually suggesting -- but I have to think that some people would accuse me of White-Het-Man-splaining.

Really, where is the room to disagree with a downtrodden group without being dismissed as a "typical" HetWhiteMale?  I'm not looking for an expansion of rights and priveleges for HetWhiteMales here.  It just honestly seems to me that any opposition to anything a non-HetWhiteMale says is easily and conveniently described as "privelege talking".  Just tell me how I can disagree with something a non-HetWhiteMale says without being assumed to be shoreing up my station in life, and I'll try to do that.

6079_Smith_W

Well I think that horse is out of the barn already. At least so long as your being dismissed as a hetwhitemale is the biggest problem in the room.

But if that is an honest question and not more rhetorical badminton I'd say grow a thicker hide and stop complaining about it, because I don't really care. And considering all the flak we have both taken on various issues I don't honestly think is is somthing you care too much about either, except in theory. You certainly haven't let it get in the way of expressing yourself.

And if you imagine you have it bad, you might want to consider how those who are not straight white guys have it. Note my recent reference about Senator Harris.

Women and people of colour never have their opinions second-guessed because of who they are, after all.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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Well I think that horse is out of the barn already. At least so long as your being dismissed as a hetwhitemale is the biggest problem in the room.

I'm definitely not asking all POC to consider my dismissal as a HetWhiteMale to be THEIR biggest problem.  I'm asking why I should dismiss that as a personal problem so that I can devote more time to misogynoir.

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And if you imagine you have it bad

I don't.  But I also don't imagine that if someone has to leave the room before you get your microphone then THAT'S they have it bad.  Sometimes people have other things they have to do. There's no need to make up new words about it.

6079_Smith_W

So now you being misunderstood isn't the problem and we're back to the misgyner people again.

But if someone was to point out again that it is a typical priviliged person move to use those fringe examples to sidetrack, concern troll and undermine legitimate concerns, then we'd probably be back to you being misunderstood.

 

Paladin1

Timebandit wrote:

 In fact, I think using the term in that context does just as you say - it waters down what racism actually is: discrimination against people of colour.

I'm glad you brought that up. What gives you, in turn, the right to decide what racism is? (reference comment to Boze) Are you using your white privilage?  When I look up the dictionary terms for racism it's various degrees of predjuice against different races, not against POC specifically.  Merriam-Webster, Oxford, Dictionary.com, cambridge. None of them mention POC.  But you're saying racism is discrimination against people of colour, specifically (it seems).

Is that because the authors of the dictionary were probably white? 

(not being passive agressive here, honest observations and questions)

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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But if someone was to point out again that it is a typical priviliged person move to use those fringe examples to sidetrack, concern troll and undermine legitimate concerns, then we'd probably be back to you being misunderstood.

So any disagreement == "sidetracking, concern trolling and undermining legitimate concerns"?

I was actually asking whether there's still any space to disagree, in good faith, or whether my only gesture of good faith must be to nod piously.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Paladin1 wrote:

Timebandit wrote:

Listen to yourself for a minute. Why do you get to decide what is "real" racism or sexism and what isn't?

I'll give you a hint: Privilege.

Wouldn't it be more his opinion of what's "real" racisim/sexisim?  If I as a white het male quote a dictionary definition of racisim is that still considered privilage on my part?

 

It might depend on who WROTE that dictionary.  Dictionaries are as much the product of the worldviews of those who produce them as are any other text.

6079_Smith_W

Mr. Magoo wrote:

So any disagreement == "sidetracking, concern trolling and undermining legitimate concerns"?

I was actually asking whether there's still any space to disagree, in good faith, or whether my only gesture of good faith must be to nod piously.

Nope. I said what I meant, and so have a few others here.

And I only bring it up again because you went right back to using it again.

I'm talking about hyperbolae like turning a suggestion that we might want to listen and ask question more into being told to shut up, only nod agreement, and that by out silence we must be giving assent.

And concern trolling like these repeated fringe examples , as if every situation that involves dealing with prejudice is going to turn into the situation you have mentioned half a dozen or more times. 

And that we white guys can't have a conversation without our status and motives being called into question, which is ridiculous, least of all because it pales in comparison to what women and people of colour have to deal with in that regard.

It is a martyr act, and despite the claim that you are just looking for common ground, your arguments would seem to indicate otherwise.

Boze

6079_Smith_W wrote:
I'd say grow a thicker hide and stop complaining about it, because I don't really care.

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And if you imagine you have it bad

You're failing to understand that this isn't about unfairness towards white men or anything like that, it's about the dismissal of a point of argument on the basis of identity, which means that the original point is bypassed. That's a problem if the original point was a valid one. It is an impediment to reason. 

The real question here is do we actually believe in logical argument, or is that considered a tool of the white-cis-het-patriarchy? There are only three ways to resolve disagreements. Reason, force, or capitulation. 

Call me arrogant but I'm going to continue thinking that I'm right, while being humble enough to admit I'm wrong, and inviting people to prove me wrong with reason and evidence, AND believing that if I haven't been convinced, it's because the argument wasn't good enough, and not because of my own biases, even though I may well have them. Reason isn't perfect and humans aren't perfectly rational, but we don't have any alternatives if we genuinely want to discover what is true.

6079_Smith_W

Well good luck settling that once and for all, Boze.

And besides, as I said, I know Magoo has had at least as much experience as I have with people making assumptions, right or wrong, about us. So if I sound a bit callous, it is because not sure what the big deal is in this case, if in fact there is a real one.

As for these supposed white guy problems, at least we only have to worry about getting called names, unlike some.

 

Boze

I don't want to speak for anyone else, but as far as I'm concerned this isn't about "white guy problems." It's about being unable to effectively counter bad ideas.

6079_Smith_W

Oh right. Just about forgot about that. I can see how that might be a big problem.

If someone can't be effective in countering bad ideas that probably makes them a cuck and we all know women don't respect weak men who aren't dangerous. Clearly yelling "stop raping people you filthy freaks" and "behave" is the kind of logical argument we need.

(back on page six, if anyone missed it)

Of course that is way more important than people who have to worry about being shot, or arrested, or harrassed or attacked, or denied work because of who they are.

And not to diss logic, but since you mention it, the claim of rational thinking has always been something white guys have always used to pretend they know better, don't have to listen, and undermine other people, from branding them backwards, savage, superstitious and less intelligent, to calling a non-white woman hysterical "from my objective perspective" for doing her job.

Here it is again:

http://theslot.jezebel.com/kamala-harriss-hysteria-and-the-objective-per...

And as his other buddy chimed in, hysteria is a real quality so that makes him right. See. It's in the dictionary.

 

 

 

Boze

6079_Smith_W wrote:
Oh right. Just about forgot about that. I can see how that might be a big problem.

If someone can't be effective in countering bad ideas that probably makes them a cuck and we all know women don't respect weak men who aren't dangerous. Clearly yelling "stop raping people you filthy freaks" and "behave" is the kind of logical argument we need.

(back on page six, if anyone missed it)

Of course that is way more important than people who have to worry about being shot, or arrested, or harrassed or attacked, or denied work because of who they are.

And not to diss logic, but since you mention it, the claim of rational thinking has always been something white guys have always used to pretend they know better, don't have to listen, and undermine other people, from branding them backwards, savage, superstitious and less intelligent, to calling a non-white woman hysterical "from my objective perspective" for doing her job.

Here it is again:

http://theslot.jezebel.com/kamala-harriss-hysteria-and-the-objective-per...

And as his other buddy chimed in, hysteria is a real quality so that makes him right. See. It's in the dictionary.

That guy's a dummy. Harris wasn't being hysterical. I like Kamala Harris, but she was being belligerent, repeatedly asking questions and trying to ask more questions before Sessions could give a complete answer, and she got called out on it.

Since we apparently have to, let's go back to Magoo's example. You advised that someone in such a situation should just grow thicker skin (I might ask if you'd say the same to anybody...). This could be taken a number of ways - for example, shrug off the dismissal and insist on asking the question again until the interlocutor meets the challenge of argument. If that's the case then I would certainly agree.

6079_Smith_W

Seems to me that "challenge" has been met repeatedly, even if some seem to not like the answer, and so are just ignoring it.

Ditto for the repetition of this nonsense about people being told to shut up, even though no one has done that.

Timebandit has actually been pretty patient in explaining the fact that there is a whole world of experience we don't have an undertanding of, even if it is our default to assume we have an objective knowledge of everything. The fact that a white man might be right about something in a certain circumstance doesn't erase that ignorance and lack of experience.

She has been way less snarky about it than I have, but apparently that doesn't count as meeting an argument. What does that tell you when someone makes the effort to respond carefully and respectfully, but gets repeatedly ignored?

Typical white guy stuff, I'd say.

As for the "thicker skin", didn't I already explain that a couple of times? In the first place I have never noticed it being an issue for him in many other situations. Sure doesn't seem to be a problem in this conversation.

And more importantly, non-whites and women already know way more than we ever will about what it means to deal with that shit on a daily basis. So no, I wouldn't presume to lecture them about it.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Paladin1 wrote:

Timebandit wrote:

 In fact, I think using the term in that context does just as you say - it waters down what racism actually is: discrimination against people of colour.

I'm glad you brought that up. What gives you, in turn, the right to decide what racism is? (reference comment to Boze) Are you using your white privilage?  When I look up the dictionary terms for racism it's various degrees of predjuice against different races, not against POC specifically.  Merriam-Webster, Oxford, Dictionary.com, cambridge. None of them mention POC.  But you're saying racism is discrimination against people of colour, specifically (it seems).

Is that because the authors of the dictionary were probably white? 

(not being passive agressive here, honest observations and questions)

No, no, you're "just asking questions"... https://www.thebeaverton.com/2015/04/white-man-pretty-sure-he-needs-to-w...

I don't claim to have the "right" to determine what is and isn't racism, HOWEVER - you might consider what I had to say about the purpose of a dictionary as a brief and technical definition tool that doesn't work in a more complicated context because it oversimplifies. I've already explained that, so you can take some time to read what I've already written.

As to whether I have any standing to say what is and isn't racist - I wouldn't make that claim for myself. I would point out, however, in a conversation that is, save for myself, white het males, I might have a better understanding of a level of oppression than you do. I actually know what it's like to be discriminated against for being female. And I, as a white woman, would certainly defer to someone who is a POC on this - if only we had someone of that description in on this discussion.

I can't imagine why we don't.

Paladin1

Timebandit wrote:

No, no, you're "just asking questions"...

">https://www.thebeaverton.com/2015/04/white-man-pretty-sure-he-needs-to-w...

Ahh, I see what you did there.

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White man pretty sure he needs to weigh in on this conversation

I can't imagine why I would presume to join the conversation with a thread topic like "Taking about race with white people".

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I don't claim to have the "right" to determine what is and isn't racism,

In that case I apologise. It looked to me like you called out Boze for defining racism then did it yourself.

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As to whether I have any standing to say what is and isn't racist - I wouldn't make that claim for myself. I would point out, however, in a conversation that is, save for myself, white het males, I might have a better understanding of a level of oppression than you do. I actually know what it's like to be discriminated against for being female.

I think you're right there, I have no real idea what it's like to be discriminated against.

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And I, as a white woman, would certainly defer to someone who is a POC on this -if only we had someone of that description in on this discussion.

I can't imagine why we don't.

Are you suggesting us white het males scared them away?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

But it isn't about you. It is about how a vast majority of white guys tend to act. And sorry, but that is a real thing.

I dispute this statement. I agree wholeheartedly that in any given group of people the most likely suspect to dominate a conversation is a man. However the idea that the majority of the men in a room are assholes with no self awareness is simply not my reality. If it is your reality then maybe you need to move away from the area you live in because you are surrounded by assholes.  But then I live in what is arguably the most progressive area in the country. I also believe that a room full of white males in the Interior of BC would have a far higher percentage of racist views than a similar cross section of white males from Vancouver Island. 

As for racism I do not believe the statistics show that a majority of white males are racist let alone compulsively driven to spout racists views in public meetings. The whole argument to me strikes of the "boys will be boys" mythology that directly promotes misogyny. It is time to isolate and shame the obnoxious white male assholes in our midst not say they are the norm. 

Here is a very interesting study on racial attitudes in Canada. Worth a read for those who like studies not believes merely based on anectodal evidence.

https://library.carleton.ca/sites/default/files/find/data/surveys/pdf_fi...

Boze

6079_Smith_W wrote:
Timebandit has actually been pretty patient in explaining the fact that there is a whole world of experience we don't have an undertanding of, even if it is our default to assume we have an objective knowledge of everything. The fact that a white man might be right about something in a certain circumstance doesn't erase that ignorance and lack of experience.

She has been way less snarky about it than I have, but apparently that doesn't count as meeting an argument. What does that tell you when someone makes the effort to respond carefully and respectfully, but gets repeatedly ignored?

Maybe you're just not paying attention, or maybe you're trying to twist the facts to suit your point, but I've been responded directly to Timebandit.

And maybe you forgot, but a few pages ago Pondering said that Bret Weinstein "should have respected the reversal of the day of absence. He should have been listening and asking questions, instead of insisting on speaking." 

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Typical white guy stuff, I' say.

What I would like is an appreciation of the fact that that sentence is no more or less contemptible than saying "typical black person" or "typical female behaviour" or something of the sort.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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What I would like is an appreciation of the fact that that sentence is no more or less contemptible than saying "typical black person" or "typical female behaviour" or something of the sort.

The point isn't even whether or not it's contemptible.

Stereotypes are lazy, factually questionable, and usually self-serving.  But if you point out that someone is stereotyping white men, the common response is "Oh!  Did that hurt your wittle feelings?  Are you being oppressed?"

Well, no, and no.  But aren't stereotypes lazy, factually questionable, and usually self-serving any more??

Paladin1

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Stereotypes are lazy, factually questionable, and usually self-serving.  But if you point out that someone is stereotyping white men, the common response is "Oh!  Did that hurt your wittle feelings?  Are you being oppressed?"

Personally speaking this is one of the key factors that detract from my GAF factor with discussions like this.  I truely have an interest in it and am trying to understand (Think Timebandit is incredbily patient!) but the common response you highlighted really kills it for me.

 

6079_Smith_W

Except no one said it. It's a bit of hyperbolae made up to get exactly that kind of response. But even if some frustrated person had lashed out in that way it is worth remembering - again. - that white peoples feelings are not the most important thing here. Systemic oppression is. And sorry, but it is not always easy to confront it. But it is probably also worth considering that unlike others we have the luxury of deciding if we want to deal with it or not.

quizzical

so the University of Toronto professor Peterson keeps 'good' company and at the same time shows how full of shit he is.

http://www.canadalandshow.com/barred-from-rebel-media-conference/

Boze

6079_Smith_W wrote:
Except no one said it. It's a bit of hyperbolae made up to get exactly that kind of response. But even if some frustrated person had lashed out in that way it is worth remembering - again. - that white peoples feelings are not the most important thing here. Systemic oppression is. And sorry, but it is not always easy to confront it. But it is probably also worth considering that unlike others we have the luxury of deciding if we want to deal with it or not.

You're doing it again and not even recognizing that you're doing it. We're not talking about "white people's feelings." We're talking about using argument to determine what is true.

Boze

quizzical wrote:
so the University of Toronto professor Peterson keeps 'good' company and at the same time shows how full of shit he is.

">http://www.canadalandshow.com/barred-from-rebel-media-conference/

How does this show that he's full of shit?

quizzical

i don't consider anyone who participates in a Rebel media function to be empty of shit. more like on overload.

Boze

quizzical wrote:
i don't consider anyone who participates in a Rebel media function to be empty of shit. more like on overload.

So this is a guilt by association argument?

I am no fan of the Rebel media or Ezra Levant, but that just strikes me as a lousy argument.

quizzical

no.  a partners in crime statement.

Boze

Seems equally vacuous.

Paladin1

6079_Smith_W wrote:
Except no one said it. It's a bit of hyperbolae made up to get exactly that kind of response.

In this thread? Maybe not, though I'll bet if we went back to the start someone somehere will have made this statement or a very very similar one

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that white peoples feelings are not the most important thing here.

Yes Smith. We know. Do you see anyone arguing the contrary?

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And sorry, but it is not always easy to confront it

Or have a two way discission sometimes.

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But it is probably also worth considering that unlike others we have the luxury of deciding if we want to deal with it or not.

Worth considering because some of us aren't enlightened enough to realize that?

Paladin1

quizzical wrote:

so the University of Toronto professor Peterson keeps 'good' company and at the same time shows how full of shit he is.

http://www.canadalandshow.com/barred-from-rebel-media-conference/

If you watch some videos of The Rebel attempting to interview people, ANTIFA protestors for example, you'll see lots of examples of people just blaring horns in The Rebel interviewers ears, blairing music and noise and being all around disruptive. Maybe they expected Canadaland to pull something like this?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I expect that free speech advocates keep whatever company also agree with free speech.

If this happened in the US, Peterson would probably be interviewed in Hustler.  Politics makes strange bedfellows.

But it's not particularly reasonable to expect Peterson to choose instead to join forces with (say) the Tyee, if they don't believe as he does about speech.

And so we find ourselves associating "free speech" arguments with either Loopy Libertarians, or The Most Conservative Among Us.  Frankly, I think the Left is reluctant to endorse free speech if they don't approve the message.  And that makes no more sense than supporting freedom of religion, provided everyone chooses Christian.

Paladin1

Mr. Magoo wrote:

And so we find ourselves associating "free speech" arguments with either Loopy Libertarians, or The Most Conservative Among Us.  Frankly, I think the Left is reluctant to endorse free speech if they don't approve the message.  And that makes no more sense than supporting freedom of religion, provided everyone chooses Christian.

I think that's a very accurate observation. A matter of free speech as long as it's an approved message. Thus we have the current climate of drowning out people with noise machines and  bullhorns. Or punching them in the face.

 

Quote:

If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all.

Noam Chomsky
 

6079_Smith_W

Except paladin, there has been no impediment to that conversation. No one told to shut up. No refusal to meet arguments.
But if people are going to act like there has been, well I think it is fair to ask what is more important, our white feelings, or what happens to non white people, and women who don't have the option of up and leaving discrimination like we leave conversations we don't like.
Too hard? Well maybe we should dispense with the imagined slights until they have actually occurred.

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