Comments by Richard Aubrey and Tristero on
RACISM: NOT REALLY A BIG DEAL THESE DAYS?
A Post by Kevin Drum
The following is an unedited exchange regarding racism and liberals between Richard Aubrey and Tristero, begun by Richard with his first post. Richard commented in response to Kevin Drumıs post RACISM: NOT REALLY A BIG DEAL THESE DAYS? in which Kevin asserted that race is still a serious issue today. Tristero responded and the game was afoot!
Nothing was edited out and no spelling/grammatical/typographical errors fixed. A few exchanges from other folks were left in, as they referred to Tristero.
I've deleted the many other interesting comments that were interspersed with these. Iıve excerpted mine and Richard Aubreyıs as I wanted to focus on them for a possible future analysis of the strategies used, the mistakes we both made in arguing, etc. But it was an exciting multilateral exchange with many dramitis personae.
Thanks, Kevin, for letting me re-post this material on the tristero blog.
If race were not a big deal--and I think it's a whole lot less of a deal than it was even thirty years ago--the left would have to make it seem a big deal.
It's their go-to issue.
The Swiss Army knife.
The most effective of false accusations.
Posted by Richard Aubrey at May 13, 2003 07:40 PM
Richard Aubrey: Clever strategy. You say you agree with us leftie types on race, that race really is a big deal, more or less.
And then, having agreed with us, you proceed to rhetorically bash our brains in. And for what, exactly, are we being knocked around?
Well, first for being right. Race IS a big deal.
Second, for never letting the issue drop over the past 30 years, which you acknowledge has improved.
And third, for correctly insisting that race be brought up again and again when it wasn't politically correct or especially pleasant to do so.
This is what you are disparaging in your string of well worn putdowns. But if you really felt that race was a big deal, you'd give us due credit for what lefties accomplished on race over the past 30 years instead of accusing us of falsely accusing others
Okay, I've challenged your argument rather than sit and take it. Your turn.
If you follow the typical script, you will take my criticism of your liberal/left bashing as proof that liberals are swift to make false accusations of racism. And you may toss in some actual false accusations to change the subject, which is that folks of color and white liberals helped improve things, not conservatives.
But if you try that grift, you're stuck, for I'm not accusing you of racism; you can't point to a single thing I've written that says that.
Instead, I'm accusing you of exploiting the race issue as an excuse to beat up liberals.
For had you simply said that race is a big deal, but less so than in '73, I could only conclude you were arguing fairly even if I disagreed on the amount things improved .
But you didn't. You instantly changed the subject and let us have it. So you don't give a hoot about race. All you want is a fast and easy excuse to bust the left's chops.
If I'm wrong and it's remotely possible I could be, if you're not just trying to trash us, you prove it:
Tell us all what you've done about this Big Deal. And tell us what all your right wing pals have done that can possibly compare to what liberals have done. (And some friendly advice, do yourself a favor: If you try to enlist the shining examples of Thomas, Rice, and Powell to your position...heh, heh, let's just say that you would be arguing on very shaky ground. But hey, it's a free country, but don't say no one advised you not to try!)
Are you possibly African American? If so, tell us exactly how Trent Lott and Strom Thurmond made it easier for you over the past 30 years.
Don't get me wrong. You're cleverer than most liberal bashers. You kinda blended a non sequitur to create a seque to an ad hominem, and rather smoothly, too! Don't see that very often.My goodness, what will you conservatives think of next?
I'm curious: does this stuff come naturally, or do you have to take courses?
Posted by tristero at May 13, 2003 09:12 PM
I did two things, which are not mutually exclusive.
I said racism is not as big a deal. When people say racism is so subtle in many areas that it's hard to see, I call it progress. Pretty soon it will be invisible and its existence will be a matter of faith.
I note that another poster has mentioned that blacks who kill blacks are less likely to get the death penalty than blacks who kill whites. There are reasons for that which aren't racist, btw. But the point is that the argument that blacks get the death penalty more often--period--has had to be abandoned. So we're seeing a greater reach on the part of liberals who would feel themselves missing one leg if they couldn't point to racism when convenient.
What would Jesse Jackson do without false accusations of racism?
How do you get preferences in, say, government contracting? Racism. If racism went away and the lot of the poor blacks improved, what would the wealthy blacks do to get preferences? Their lot wouldn't have been improved, since they're already wealthy businessmen. Without poor blacks, where would they be?
So, as you see, there are plenty of reasons to believe liberals would be lost without racism.
A number of blacks, such as Ward Connerly, say that racism exists, but it's not an obstacle. There are racist people, who will, from time to time, say nasty things about blacks. That's considerably better than segregation. It will have to do, though. Won't it?
And, no, I don't have to take courses.
All it takes is paying attention, and one other thing.
The accusation of racism used to have a lot of clout. The one accused had to wonder if others would believe it. The accusation worked because the accused might think these others believed it and so there was some external pressure to fold, to roll around in a puddle of apology, to promise to never say anything the accuser didn't like.
Now, a good many people are pretty sure that others seeing the accusations know the accusations are bogus 99% of the time, don't feel that pressure.
To put it another way, the use of the accusation of racism as a manipulative scam wore out.
No wonder liberals are desperate.
Posted by Richard Aubrey at May 14, 2003 04:45 AM
"I said racism is not as big a deal."
You most certainly did not. You said RACE is a big deal, but "a whole lot less than it was" 30 years ago. Exactly how much can make for an interesting debate, but not the way you've framed it.
Moving on through your post, you then change the subject. I am not interested in your views about race or racism at the moment. I'm interested in the way you exploit the issue of race to bash liberals.
And sure enough, throughout your response, you go way out of your way both to avoid explicitly (or implicitly) giving liberals credit for 30 years hard work and then you take every opportunity to knock us around.
You've repeated your earlier strategy of using a non sequitur to slide into an ad hominem attack. Those are both classic rhetorical fallacies. They are deployed in discussions typically in moments of, um, desperation, as an attempt to distract. .
When you're prepared to argue fairly and stick to a subject, I'm prepared to do the same. But do you honestly think I would put myself in a position that you have rigged for me to lose? I'm not Bill Bennett, y'know.
"And, no, I don't have to take courses."
Ah, a perfect non-denial denial! But do the courses you choose to take help? (g)
Posted by tristero at May 14, 2003 05:59 AM
Actually, the courses I take consist of going through life with my eyes open.
Racism is not as big a deal. However, in order to preserve it, liberals have to discredit those for whom it is not a big deal in their personal lives. Hence the dissing of those who made it. The only authentic voice is that of the victim.f
See John McWhorter's latest on that garbage.
What did I do? Somebody asked.
I worked two summers at Rust College in Holly Springs, MS, in 1967 and 1968. It was a combination civil rights and educational effort. We raised our own money, did our own organizing, broke every copyright law in existence putting together our lesson plans and readings.
As you may recall, much of the civil rights work was done in states other than MS, because MS was considered to be too hard a case. Too dangerous.
One of the things that always bothered me was the counter-culture (sans grass) ambience of the civil rights movement. They thought fraternities and sororities were bourgeois elitists, oppressors and part of the problem, not the solution. As it happened, Greeks (your conservatives) were disproportionately represented in the group, much credit that it got us from the Professionally Incredibly Wonderful.
So that answers one question.
I don't know what we're arguing about, fairly or not.
I'm making the case that racism isn't as big a deal as it was, even recently.
For example, I returned to Holly Springs a couple of years ago. My wife and I went into the county courthouse in search of restrooms and I saw a portrait on the wall of a sheriff who had died in 1987 while in office. It being lunch, I couldn't ask if he died in the line of duty and why there was a memorial plaque. The guy was black. I figured that, if he was sheriff in 1987, he had to have been some kind of high-profile for some years before that, but I never found out.
In any event, he had to have been accomplishing things in the public eye which the public approved to the extent of voting him into the office of county sheriff. That isn't done overnight.
It had to have been happening prior, to be conservative, to 1987, and possibly prior to 1980.
I have to say that, in the Sixties, I thought that sort of thing was a long way off, farther than getting a black man into public life to the extent that he would be elected county sheriff in or before 1987.
In any event, my point stands that liberals need racism, and when it doesn't exist in a given situation, they invent it.
If it went away, completely, you guys would be left with very little in your arsenal.
I also think you are afflicted with a misapprehension.
You believe that most people think that liberals who are going on about racism are speaking and acting in good faith. That supposition is breaking down. There are too many examples to the contrary.
You wore it out by overusing it, in circumstances where it obviously didn't apply.
Posted by Richard Aubrey at May 14, 2003 06:53 AM
"Actually, the courses I take consist of going through life with my eyes open."
I am truly sorry to hear that. You really should get at least 6 hours of sleep a night. Preferably 8. If you are not, it throws your judgment out of kilter. That's why I too go through life with my eyes open, but I make sure to sleep well at night.
" What did I do? Somebody asked."
Actually, it was I who asked. Thanks for answering. But I didn't ask for your opinion of the counterculture (sans grass) and I question your motives in doing so. Why must you exploit any possible opportunity to change the subject so that you can slap liberals around, or in this case the counterculture?
"I don't know what we're arguing about, fairly or not."
We are arguing about your refusal to acknowledge that liberals were instrumental in the improvements in race issues that you see in the past 30 years.
We are further arguing about your insistence upon changing the subject so that you can indulge an apparently uncontrollable propensity to bash liberals.
In the former, you are denying reality. In the latter you are resorting to non sequitur. By resorting to either, let alone both, you demonstrate you are not interested in real debating or arguing.
" I'm making the case that racism isn't as big a deal as it was, even recently."
You are not making that case. You are making the case that because you believe racism is not the big deal it was, liberals had little to do with that change and are now falsely accusing people.
You are trying to make that case by refusing to write even one word of acknowledgement of the good liberals have done to this big deal of an issue. Therefore, your presentation is not based on history and your case is without merit, despite your desperate attempts to prop it up with non sequiturs and ad hominem attacks.
"I also think you are afflicted with a misapprehension.
You believe that most people think that liberals who are going on about racism are speaking and acting in good faith."
You are afflicting me with an apprehension I never so much as alluded to. You are changing the subject. I will not respond to this until you first acknowledge history fully and second, abandon the use of non sequitur and ad hominem in your assertions.
The closest you have come to an acknowledgment that liberals were important in race issue improvements - and it takes a very generous reading to think that you are so much as hinting about it - is when you write "You [meaning liberals] wore it out [racism accusations] by overusing it..."
That is nowhere near enough. Until you are prepared to acknowledge unequivocallly that liberals were very important in the improvements in race issues over the past 30 years, you are merely exploiting the issue of race to provide yourself with a chance to bash liberals. I will not address the extent of race improvements or your statements about the current behavior of liberals until you so acknowledge.
Otherwise, you are insisting upon an unequal debating field and as I said, I'm not Bill Bennett. I know when the odds are are unfairly stacked against me.
And until you are prepared to argue with equal odds, I will not assist you either in agreeing to keep them stacked or by pretending you are arguing fairly.
And I will continue to point out the myriad ways you resort to subterfuge in your attempts to bash liberals which is your only real agenda here.
Posted by tristero at May 14, 2003 09:17 AM
Sebastian Holsclaw: The reason I drew attention to the distinction between race and racism is because Richard Aubrey said he was talking about racism. In fact, he had started out talking about race. He was being sloppy in stating his position.
I was trying to bring to his attention that he was being read attentively. I hope he appreciates the attention, but I suspect he doesn't, because I keep pointing out that all he really wants to do is bash liberals at every turn.
His response so far has been to stick with a losing tactic: Change the subject, then tell us how bad liberals are. Being a liberal and therefore believing in the infinite perfectibility of mankind (sarcasm), I am confident he will start arguing fairly.
But being a liberal and therefore prone to believing the worst about human nature (sarcasm), I am afraid he will either continue ad infinitum or find someplace else where someone's not riding his tail so closely.
Posted by tristero at May 14, 2003 09:35 AM
You missed the point yet again:
The original point, or any of its offspring, was never about what liberals did against racism.
My anecdote about my time in MS was to point out the fact that conservatives (Greeks)were, in my little corner of the effort, distinguished by their presence. To insist conservatives were useless distorts the record.
But, as I say, whether I admit it or not has only been a matter of interest to you.
I will admit that, of the millions who talked about the issue, probably more were liberal. But of those who actually showed up, it would be difficult to say, from my experience talking with people who'd put in their time one way or another.
To the person who asked about preferences, whether at college or in, say, city contracts, see the supporting rhetoric. It has always to do with poor blacks, victims.
It is not clear that getting a middle-class black kid into college ameliorates the problems of the underclass, nor whether a black businessman's contract with the city helps in the 'hood, either.
Neither of those cases, if they had to do with preferences, would be based on the plight of the middle-class black kid or the plight of the wealthy black contractor. The supporting rhetoric would refer to the poor blacks in the inner city. So, without them, what's left?
Whether you wish to discuss something or other or not, you are still mistaken if you believe most people take those who are currently going on about racism to be speaking or acting in good faith.
Posted by Richard Aubrey at May 14, 2003 09:37 AM
"The original point, or any of its offspring, was never about what liberals did against racism."
Thank you! You just admitted I was right. Because if it was not about what "liberals did against racism," why on earth did you use a non sequitur and start bashing liberals ? Why on earth, if you wanted to talk about liberals now, did you neglect to mention their instrumental role in the history of the past 30 years?
"To insist conservatives were useless distorts the record."
If you are responding to me here, that is a canard. I never said that, I never so much as implied that, Please show me where I did or apologize.
' I will admit that, of the millions who talked about the issue, probably more were liberal. But of those who actually showed up, it would be difficult to say, from my experience talking with people who'd put in their time one way or another.'
Sorry, Richard, it won't work but it was a good try. You are still changing the subject, denying history, and your carefully phrased hedging doesn't help your case.
To write "of the millions who talked about the issue were probably more liberal" is to make an utterly irrelevant observation, even if it was true. The point, which you still refuse to acknowledge, is that liberals were instrumental in race issue improvements over the past 30 years.
Not whether there were "probably" more liberals talking about it. Not whether there were more involved.
The remarkable amount of energy and creativity you've expended to avoid this simple acknowledgment shows that you fully understand how critical it is to your whole argument to suppress the vitally important role that liberals have played over the past 30 years in race issues improvements.
For you well know that not only were liberals instrumental in these improvements, but that by far most of the energy and activism has come primarily from people of color or liberals, or both. Not "probably." Undeniably. If race issues are much better today, as you claim, then liberals beyond a shadow of a doubt deserve recoginition for occupying one of the central roles in having created that improvement.
We can move on to discussing whether liberals now hold such a role once you stop denying history. Otherwise, we are arguing with a dice unreasonably loaded in your favor and you will be tempted to do so again. No dice.
' Whether you wish to discuss something or other or not, you are still mistaken if you believe most people take those who are currently going on about racism to be speaking or acting in good faith.'
I really don't care about most people. I care about you.
You are the one going on about racism, not I. Truly, your work in MS, I'm sure, was admirable. But you are being very disingenuous with your yeoman's efforts to evade acknowledging historical fact.
I am very glad that you admitted that you introduced liberals gratuitously, as you did at the beginning of this last post. But you did introduce them and therefore you are obligated to discuss liberals fairly.
But you don't, or you wont. You continue to deny liberals their due by trying to relegate us to merely being "probably most" of the talkers instead of what you know is true: among the prime movers in the improvement of race issues.
As to what liberals are now, I will gladly, happily, and with considerable relief move on to discuss that issue when you stop your futile and frankly dismaying denial of the past.
Posted by tristero at May 14, 2003 11:53 AM
"The reason liberals need to use accusations of racism as a tool is that it is, or used to be, effective as a method of coercion."
First of all, you don't have a leg to stand on about this. You have not yet demonstrated awareness of even the most elementary facts of history regarding liberals and race issues. When you do, then you can start to make such assertions.
Second, there is no second. There are serious problems with your reasoning here, but it is pointless to discuss them until you are willing to play fair.
Posted by tristero at May 14, 2003 12:00 PM
I say again, the issue of whether or not liberals were the prime movers in the struggle against racism was never one of my concerns in the present discussion.
What I did say was that, today, liberals can't afford to acknowledge the progress in the struggle, because it would deprive them of one of their tools.
When I speak of not knowing about the people who showed up as to their liberalness, I can only say that some of the ones I knew were not liberal, they were pro-civil-rights. I was not liberal. Since then, I have talked to a couple of them. One is still in the Sixties. When the KKK came to town to do one of their yawners, he showed up the next day to symbolically sweep the place they had been. Best day he'd had in months, apparently.
Another, when I asked her, said she was a liberal fascist. Everybody gets one chance, she said. Nobody gets two. And others are now happily in the corporate world making tons of money, presumably, and worried about keeping it.
Racism exists, but in a ghostly remainder of its former self. Unfortunately for liberals.
That is manifest in their hostility toward any blacks who make it, especially if they are conservative. Blacks who are not victims are useless.
As Shelby Steele said, white-guilt liberalism has done what slavery, segregation, and Jim Crow could not. It has destroyed the black family.
That may have been an accident, but the happy provision of cannon fodder for liberal causes can't have escaped anybody's attention.
Posted by Richard Aubrey at May 14, 2003 12:06 PM
Drew, the tool of manipulation is being taken away from you.
The awareness of how it's being used is becoming more and more widespread. This reduces its effectiveness.
Let's say you insist that somebody whose position you don't like is a Martian.
Few of the folks who hear your accusation will be convinced that the accused's positions are thereby discredited. Knowing that, your opponent will not be likely to fold up and do things your way.
Got that, so far?
Let's say you insist that somebody whose position you don't like is a racist. Few of the folks who hear your accusation will be convinced that the accused positions are thereby discredited.
At this point, though, the one to use is still racism. It beats the accusation of being Martian, but by less and less each day.
I have to say that liberals are, by their egregious and over-the-top use of the technique, doing most of the work themselves.
Drive on, say I.
Tristero, you keep missing the point. Whatever the liberals did in the past, my point is that at this point, they are using accusations of racism as a manipulative scam. Now, you may think they get to offset it
because of their history. You can think that if you like, if you do, but it doesn't change the result of being caught at it over and over.
I can say anything I like about liberals in the old days, good or bad, and it has absolutely nada to do with the case today.
As I said, I was and am no liberal.
On account of I try, with more or less success, to show up in interests of my points of view, I enlisted after my MS experience. I thought we ought to prevail in Viet Nam. I chose Infantry as my first branch choice. Also second and third. Surprisingly, the Army found an Infantry slot for me. There goes that myth.
So my next few years' encounters with liberals were not pleasant.
In 1987, I went to Central America with a faith-based peace group. Most interesting. We discovered that, in 1987, the death squad killings had dropped by slightly over 99%. I was pleased. The rest of the group seemed, oh, disoriented. Possibly disappointed. Not enough dead civilians. In fact, when I pointed out that the casualties from the war in that year, including the unconfirmed 500 Salvadoran military dead, made El Salvador safer per capita than Detroit, I was considered a rotter.
So I have my encounters with liberals and I don't trust today's crop on the subject of racism any more than I do on other subjects.
Posted by Richard Aubrey at May 14, 2003 01:58 PM
'I say again, the issue of whether or not liberals were the prime movers in the struggle against racism was never one of my concerns in the present discussion.'
Good. You have now moved to at least entertaining the possibility that liberals could have been prime movers in the struggle against racism.
Now, be a nice guy, for heaven's sake and just come right out and say it: People of color and liberals, or both, were the prime movers in the struggle against racism over the past 30 years. After all, I didn't have to say a word about your MS story and I made a point to. That's called a "proffer of good faith" and one expects the same in return. More importantly, you know, and I know it's true.
"What I did say was that, today, liberals can't afford to acknowledge the progress in the struggle,"
Good. You're no longer indiscriminately bashing liberals. You're now quite focused. So it is easy to demonstrate that you are quite wrong:
I am a card carrying liberal, and a proud member of the ACLU. I hereby acknowledge that some progress has been made, due to the efforts primarily of people of color and liberals, or both over the past 30 years.
I won't even bother appending, "But there's still a long way to go."
I'm a liberal, I've acknowledged progress. Now, it's your turn. Admit your assertion is wrong. Because it is.
You want to play the one exception doesn't disprove a generalization game? I will scour the web, and lexis, and nexis, and I will provide you with hundreds of quotes from liberals stating that progress has been made (but nowhere near enough).
" because it would deprive them of one of their tools."
Point 1. Now you see why you need to talk about the past thirty years and the history of it all!
Because it is impossible to talk about present accusations of racism without a clear-eyed understanding of where such charges come from. Unless you demonstrate that you know what the history of the charge is, and why people, over the past thirty years have been called "racists," accurately or otherwise, you have no standing.
2. However, the way you have framed this, you are impicitly denying that a charge of racism ever was, or could be, accurate. Instead, the charge has become merely one of many "tools" to further an agenda. You are impugning, a priori, anyone who would call another person a racist, by implying it is part of some plot.
Therefore, there is no point in responding. Besides,
3. You are mind reading. A very bad idea in a debate, because it is easy to refute: how on earth would you know?
' When I speak of not knowing about the people who showed up as to their liberalness, I can only say that some of the ones I knew were not liberal, they were pro-civil-rights.'
That's edging up to a quibble, but let's let it slide. But what are you saying? You're saying that some of the people you knew could very well have been pro-civil rights AND liberal. Again, you are being less than generous (you are certainly not required to be), but you are no longer so anxious to deny our history (and by our, I mean "American" history). And in fact just below you admit there actually were two liberals in your group! That's progress of a sort.
' I was not liberal. Since then, I have talked to a couple of them. One is still in the Sixties. When the KKK came to town to do one of their yawners, he showed up the next day to symbolically sweep the place they had been. Best day he'd had in months, apparently.'
You can't be serious to think I'd fall for this! What does this have to do with anything? Certainly nothing having to do with your assertion that liberals are falsely accusing people of racism in untold numbers now. This is just liberal bashing. And for shame! Whacking that liberal over the head with ridicule and letting the KKK get away with being merely a bore. Richard, with all due respect, the KKK is a lot worse than being the instigator of a yawner of a parade. I know you know that, but it never hurts to say so especially if you're gonna ridicule someone who opposes the KKK.
' Another, when I asked her, said she was a liberal fascist.'
Non sequitur. Common liberal bashing with neither context or purpose. There seem to be a lot of them in this post.
'And others are now happily in the corporate world making tons of money, presumably, and worried about keeping it.'
Non sequitur. This has nothing to do with your avowed topic, accusations of racism in the present. Therefore it is not necessary to engage all the serious problems of reason and logic it contains.
'Racism exists, but in a ghostly remainder of its former self.'
Well that's a relief! A straight assertion connected to the topic. Now, let's move on to the next step. "Ghostly remainder" is an elegant turn of phrase but you will need to be specific. What's a "ghostly remainder" of liberalism? How would you measure when it's a ghost or a halfway incarnated corpus? How would you know when it's gone entirely? I simply cannot agree or disagree with anything so vaguely formulated, let alone come to your defense or refute you.
'Unfortunately for liberals.'
Pure ad hominem attack, sarcasm variant. It calls into question your motives in advancing your assertion. Apparently you were just interested in setting up a string of liberal bashes. And sure enough:
' That is manifest in their hostility toward any blacks who make it, especially if they are conservative. Blacks who are not victims are useless.'
Non sequitur. This has nothing to do with your topic. The fact that it contains unsubstantiated generalizations and mind reading is secondary to the point that you are way off your topic as you have insisted the topic is.
' As Shelby Steele said, white-guilt liberalism has done what slavery, segregation, and Jim Crow could not. It has destroyed the black family.'
Non sequitur. Again you are off topic. You are also trying to argue from authority, which is very weak in these kinds of arguments. You need to argue from quantitative data, not someone's opinion.
You are also using a proxy to liberal bash. Don't bother. I'm positive you can find plenty who agree with you.
Just stay on topic and argue from data.
'That may have been an accident, but the happy provision of cannon fodder for liberal causes can't have escaped anybody's attention.'
Non sequitur. We are not talking about the disintegration of the black family and its possible causes. We are talking about your alleged false accusations of racism.
Or so you say. In fact, I truly think (but I could be just mindreading) that you are just spraying whatever ideas related to race you can come up with higgledy piggledy all over the place so that you can indulge a promiscuous propensity for boxing the ears of people like me. Since you won't engage consistently the issue you insist is central, I can only assume it is not your chief concern, but general purpose liberal bashing is. By refusing to engage the issue and flying off on tangents, you merely show how little faith you have in what you claim is your major assertion.
To sum up, but with your liberal bashing distractions excised, as they are offtopic and entirely without any merit within this discussion:
1. You've admitted (just barely) that liberals may have been prime movers in the past in the struggle against racism.
2. You assert that racism is a ghostly remainder of what it used to be.
I responded: You need to clarify point 2 before its validity can be evaluated.
The more you can do so without liberal bashing, the better, as your argument will be clearer. But hey, it's just a suggestion. I don't want to cramp your style. But while you're banging me around, pleas remember to, give me the boundaries of a "ghostly remainder" of racism, because I truly don't understand.
By the way, I'm still waiting for my apology. You said that I opined that conservatives were worthless in the struggle against racism. I never said it and I strenuously objected that you would say I did.
I am very disappointed that you won't admit and correct your error, forcing me to embarrass you unnecessarily by bringing it up again.
Posted by tristero at May 14, 2003 02:12 PM
"Whatever the liberals did in the past,"
Thank you again for (barely) admitting that perhaps the liberals were right to call a racist a racist in the past 30 years. We can move on now, although you are still refusing to acknowledge history.
"my point is that at this point, they are using accusations of racism as a manipulative scam."
Every single accusation today of racism is false? Is that what you are saying. Every single accusation?
I'll assume you concede some are real. Now:
1. What is your definition of racism?
2. Does your definition include covert racism - the use of code words or deeds used by insiders without resorting blunt racism?
3. Do deny the current existence of so-called institutional racism, i.e., the lily-white - and, btw, male and non Jewish, but please don't go there and yak about the Jews 'cause I'm beginning to get fond of you - dominance of corporate America? If so, how do you account for all them paleskins up there? Chance? Merit? What?
'Now, you may think they get to offset it because of their history. You can think that if you like, if you do, but it doesn't change the result of being caught at it over and over.'
I most certainly do not resort to history to offset false accusations of racism. Whenever it happens, whenever it happened it's wrong. Whenever there's racism is wrong.
The issue is how you define racism. I suspect we disagree, but perhaps not.
As for false accusations, I suspect that we can agree that calling say, Bill Clinton, a racist would be a false accusation. On the other hand, would you agree with me that, say, David Duke is a racist? Or does that qualify as a false accusation.
'I can say anything I like about liberals in the old days, good or bad, and it has absolutely nada to do with the case today."
Oh, but it does. Things don't happen in an historical vacuum. And you are about to prove it.
" As I said, I was and am no liberal.
On account of I try, with more or less success, to show up in interests of my points of view, I enlisted after my MS experience. I thought we ought to prevail in Viet Nam. I chose Infantry as my first branch choice. Also second and third. Surprisingly, the Army found an Infantry slot for me. There goes that myth."
Non sequitur. Your first this post. You should be proud of your service. But it has nothing whatsoever to do with false accusations.
"So ... rotter."
Non sequitur. All off topic. Interesting but irrelevant.
"So I have my encounters with liberals and I don't trust today's crop on the subject of racism any more than I do on other subjects."
And there you go! You just PROVED how important history is! You have a history of problems with liberals. Therefore today you don't trust them.
During the past thirty years, people of color and liberals have had a problem getting racists to acknowledge their racism and their racist acts. Therefore, they are on the lookout for it.
So, if you say liberals may overreact and falsely accuse today, then you simply must agree that you too may, on occasion overreact and falsely dismiss liberals today.
If the above sounds like a little bit of weird logic to you it should. It's based on your own propensity to use non sequiturs. They tend to hoist one on one's own petard.
In a nut shell, here is what you're saying.
1. History is bunk.
2. What liberals did is irrelevant to the present.
AND what you're saying is simultaneously.
1. History is important.
2. What liberals did is relevant to my present opinion.
Richard, that is what is called one whopping contradiction. You cannot deny history in one case and then accept it in another. It's one OR the other.
But if you continue arguing via non sequitur and ignore this contradiction, everything spirals into silliness quickly.
For example, I'm willing to accept that on occasion - under certain circumstances that you and I can work to quantify - that liberals overreact to behavior that looks racist.
But you must be prepared to accept that liberals, under certain circumstances, etc, can be trusted.
Now, that's already fishy. But looks what happens if you don't go along:
If not, then I can only conclude that liberals currently overreact only to the extent that you currently trust liberals.
Which is utterly illogical.
Therefore, you are very wise not to resort to non sequiturs if you want to argue effectively.
If your purpose really is to assert that liberals falsely accuse today, don't change the subject.
If your purpose is merely to tell us you hate liberals, well...thank you for sharing.
But you cannot argue you hate liberals because they falsely accuse unless you proceed logically, define your terms, provide empirical data and, as they say, connect the dots.
You will never be able to do that via indiscriminate liberal bashing. And if you persist, you may enjoy venting, you may have fun, but you won't have an argument worth the hard drive space it takes to store it.
Posted by tristero at May 14, 2003 04:15 PM
NOTE: AT THIS POINT, TRISTERO HAD TO LEAVE THE FORUM FOR REAL WORLD COMMITTMENTS. RICHARD AUBREY CONTINUED TO RESPOND.
Tristero, I want to have your child.
Posted by JRC at May 14, 2003 05:19 PM
"That is manifest in their hostility toward any blacks who make it, especially if they are conservative. Blacks who are not victims are useless."
This is frankly deranged. Michael Jordan? Oprah Winfrey? Whoopi Goldberg? Magic Johnson? Tiger Woods? Morgan Freeman? Samuel L. Jackson? Bill Cosby? Are all these people hated by liberals? I honestly am beginning to think Richard Aubrey is posting from another planet. I'll just add that Colin Powell remains the only member of the Bush cabinet that liberals come close to trusting.
Returning to the sane world, Tristero, brilliant series of comments.
Posted by John Isbell at May 14, 2003 06:57 PM
I should have been clearer.
Blacks who make it outside of sports and entertainment don't do liberals much good, whatever other blacks think of them.
I have not insisted that there is no such thing as racism.
As has been said more than once, if you were insisting that a particular defendant was innocent of, say, murder, you wouldn't expect somebody to accuse you of saying murder doesn't happen.
But when we say that a particular issue is not a matter of racism, somebody who thinks he has a real slick scam running accuses us of saying racism doesn't exist.
That one wore out, too.
Don't you get tired of being so transparent?
Posted by Richard Aubrey at May 14, 2003 07:52 PM
Tristero, you waste a lot of pixels missing the point.
Let me try again.
Whatever liberals did or did not do in the past has nothing to do with the extremely high incidence of deliberately false accusations of racism as a manipulative scam.
It is impossible to get empirical evidence on the subject because the accuser will never admit to making a false accusation and without that admission, nobody will allow that it is false.
However, that does not mean that millions of people are incapable of seeing it happen. Your call for empirical evidence does not forbid them from drawing conclusions, conclusions you may not like.
Why are whites disproportionately in positions of power?
Historical accumulation, a phrase I made up some time back in a similar context. HA is what happens when blacks, starting out poor, stay in a poor neighborhood, which means poor schools, which means a poor education which means a lower chance at becoming affluent which means living in a poor neighborhood, etc. There is nothing in that process which requires as little as one racist act to keep it going.
Indeed, in some large cities, or even medium cities, the power of the city administration and the school board has been in the hands of blacks for decades. And the funding is substantial, see DC, Newark, NYC, etc.
HA has other applications, too.
HA can, as I say, continue with no racist actions at all.
I am willing to trust liberals, as long as everything they want me to do can be undone at once at no cost to myself, and I can keep my eye on them. And the instant they start with the scams, I'm gone.
Unfortunately, the scams keep showing up.
My history with liberals is useful. This has nothing to do with connecting the history of the fight against racism and the current practice of false accusations.
Ghostly remains: How's this? Fifty years ago, the NAACP was doing some good work on Plessey, for example. Today, they're duking it out over a Confederate flag. Presumably, after looking around, they've hit on what impresses them as the most vital issue of the day. Who am I to argue with the NAACP?
How's this? A number of nations in the world today, or perhaps I should say miserable states, know their fate is substantially in the hands of a black woman, elevated to that position by a white administration and supported by the American people. You don't like blacks, huh? You think women are inferior? Well, jihad this, buddy.
It's a hoot.
If Colin Powell had asked, he could well have been president. Presidents, having a job-risk factor roughly equivalent to field-grade officers in combat, his wife figured they'd paid enough of those dues. Or so it's said. I don't blame her.
Your assertion that I use non sequiturs is, I hope, a matter of misunderstanding.
You seem to think I make the statements to which you object in support of my assertion that most accusations of racism are bogus. In fact, I make those statements to describe why I don't trust liberals and liberalism. It isn't merely that they're wrong. They are false. They pretend compassion for the unfortunate of the world, except if said unfortunates are killed by leftish/communist/socialist/progressive forces.
It goes on.
My distrust of liberals is built in part on the scam we've been discussing.
As to whether liberals were more or less important in fighting for civil rights, I would say that it is convenient to define anybody who worked for civil rights as a liberal. That sure helps the numbers, but I think it's too easy. Perhaps some of the current conservatives were liberal in those days.
My friend who described herself as a liberal fascist was not trying to bash liberals, which was clear. To call that liberal bashing is deliberately deceitful. Which you probably thought would go unnoticed. That's the point. You folks think nobody catches this stuff.
I keep saying....we do.
Posted by Richard Aubrey at May 14, 2003 08:24 PM
You say that Colin Powell is the only member of the cabinet liberals come close to trusting.
I suppose that's true, I don't know if it is or not.
But so what?
Is being trusted by liberals a good thing?
Posted by Richard Aubrey at May 14, 2003 08:26 PM
Doug. I don't think you'll disagree if that is called progress.
Prejudice and hateful activity should not, IMO, be joined as easily as you join them.
Prejudice can exist without the existence of hateful activity, unless the latter is defined to include the entirely cerebral existence of prejudice.
People hate to let go of what they have been used to. Not being racist when everybody else is racist is a pretty neat way to consider oneself superior. If nobody is racist, you become average. No distinction. It thus pays to see racism where none exists.
The GSWBs are particularly tiresome on this issue. If they were anti-racist forty years ago, good for them. If they are living off that credit and insisting their neighbors are just as hopeless now as then, nuts.
Perhaps racism needs to be redefined,lest it disappear altogether.
Hateful acts, on the other hand, are hateful. But I think we see a reduction in their frequency and we have to worry about mean looks instead of assaults.
Whatever it takes, I guess.
Posted by Richard Aubrey at May 15, 2003 04:53 AM