2016 US Presidential Election

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ucim
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby ucim » Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:02 am UTC

Racism is a bad form of prejudice. But it is not a word that means "bad form of prejudice". It is specifically related to bloodlines. There are other "bad forms of prejudice", and there are words for them. It's just that those words aren't as emotionally powerful, so "racist" gets used in its place, in order to capture the mojo. Misusing the word however dilutes its power, the same way the word "rape" is losing its power by being generalized.

Saying {bad thing} is not racist is not saying {bad thing} is not a bad thing.

The Great Hippo wrote:The problem with limiting racism to matters of blood and genealogy is that the people who practice it often ignore such limitations. Jüdische Physik came from the idea that there was something inherently (and unforgivably) 'Jewish' about Einstein's theories; it's pretty much as racist as a narrative can get. But how can anyone reasonably infer that being Jewish makes your theories innately wrong?
Well, "Jewish" actually has a lot to do with bloodlines (in addition to the theology associated with their religious tenets). One can reasonably (though not flawlessly) infer from being Jewish that one is a member of a particular bloodline. But it is the second part, "being Jewish making theories innately wrong", that illustrates the crucial part of any "bad form of prejudice" - that of judging people (and by extension, their ideas) inferior by dint of being a member of that bloodline. It's not the thing that makes it racist, it's the thing that makes racism bad.

The Great Hippo wrote:The moment you say 'a thing is only racist if it's concerned with genetics', you leave me free to talk about the inherent inferiority of black culture rather than black people -- and really, is that much different?
To the extent that culture is tied in with bloodline, it is "concerned with genetics". It's a step removed ("X is inferior because it's from {this culture}... and {this culture} is inferior because it's from {bloodline}) but it's the same sentiment. Now, {this culture} may well be inferior for other reasons, and it's not racist to say that. But if it's judged to be inferior because of its association with a bloodline, then that's definitely racist.

In the end, this discussion boils down to the overuse of "racist" in order to feed off of its punch, and we are arguing whether or not the word applies, rather than whether or not a word that does apply should have enough punch in and of itself.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby morriswalters » Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:10 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Because criticizing something due to the actual harm it causes is miles away from criticizing something because you're under the mistaken impression that your personal fashion choices (be they in dress, hair, language, or anything else) carry some kind of objective normative weight.
I read the argument as, given your definition, that you find yourself with an absurd outcome, where it can be thought of as racist to oppose FMG. And as I said that argument may be good or bad. I have no comment on the point. That is my characterization of the point and he(SlyReaper) may have intended something else.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:44 am UTC

ucim wrote:Racism is a bad form of prejudice. But it is not a word that means "bad form of prejudice". It is specifically related to bloodlines.
But that specificity is the problem, I think? I picked the Einstein example because it highlights how muddled things get if you stick with an extremely narrow definition of racism: Being Jewish can be a matter of bloodlines, but can be a lot of other things. I can convert to Judaism, for example. Does that mean "Jewish Physics" is no longer a racist narrative? Of course not; we understand that "Jew" is more than a specific bloodline -- it's a complex racial and cultural identity, steeped in context, heritage, and history. Racism is an attack against that identity; an attempt to simplify, flatten, and negate it.

And that complex identity isn't just a Jewish thing. It's something we see among pretty much all racial identities. If you insist that racism can only be about blood, you must also insist that race itself is only about blood -- and it's actually way more complex than that.
ucim wrote:In the end, this discussion boils down to the overuse of "racist" in order to feed off of its punch, and we are arguing whether or not the word applies, rather than whether or not a word that does apply should have enough punch in and of itself.
Well, okay; let's try an example.

If I told you that the reason black people get shot by the police in the US so much is because black music and black culture encourages rebellion against authority -- which leads them to resist arrest -- how would you describe that belief? What word besides "racist" works, here? I'm criticizing black culture instead of black "genes", right?

Keep in mind, the argument here isn't that a criticism of culture is inherently racist -- it's that attacks on racial identity come in many different forms, and not all of those forms necessarily talk about bloodlines.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Angua » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:52 am UTC

Trump attacks China in Twitter outburst.

But Hillary was the one we had to worry about starting a nuclear war.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:56 am UTC

Faithless electors? Please?
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby addams » Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:04 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:And that complex identity isn't just a Jewish thing. It's something we see among pretty much all racial identities. If you insist that racism can only be about blood, you must also insist that race itself is only about blood -- and it's actually way more complex than that.
ucim wrote:In the end, this discussion boils down to the overuse of "racist" in order to feed off of its punch, and we are arguing whether or not the word applies, rather than whether or not a word that does apply should have enough punch in and of itself.
Well, okay; let's try an example.

If I told you that the reason black people get shot by the police in the US so much is because black music and black culture encourages rebellion against authority -- which leads them to resist arrest -- how would you describe that belief? What word besides "racist" works, here? I'm criticizing black culture instead of black "genes", right?

Keep in mind, the argument here isn't that a criticism of culture is inherently racist -- it's that attacks on racial identity come in many different forms, and not all of those forms necessarily talk about bloodlines.

Hippo; Your example reminded me of something I saw on U-Tube.
Skip to 18min 15 seconds. Watch for 1 min 30 sec.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9F37LqxDQjs
Off Topic?
Maybe, Not!
Angua wrote:Trump attacks China in Twitter outburst.

But Hillary was the one we had to worry about starting a nuclear war.
Holy Crap!
Thesh wrote:Faithless electors? Please?
Yes, Please.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Mambrino » Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:03 am UTC

I'm counting on the Chinese not being stupid, and retaliating only on appropriate scale (Trump says stern words about China, mainly as posturing aimed for his voters, they'll respond with stern words, mainly aimed to convince their populace that Chinese leaders are not weak). I mean, Trump didn't say anything that he has not said before about China, so nobody should be surprised about this Twitter thing. I doubt Chinese are, except maybe about the lack of tact.

It will be the actual actions taken that you should be paying attention to. Does Trump impose tariffs? Move troops? Say something that has actual content ("do x or else we do y!")? The phone call to Taiwan was slightly more important signal, but still, it's still diplomatic signaling, the Chinese are not going to start wars over slights like that.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Liri » Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:45 pm UTC

I wonder how long he'll be able to go before realizing no major world leaders actually respect him or take him seriously (at least to the degree that he'd like).
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Zamfir » Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:58 pm UTC

. Misusing the word however dilutes its power, the same way the word "rape" is losing its power by being generalized.

It's not dilution if the wider use is not weaker.

I often encounter a version of 'cultural' criticism that follows very similar lines as straight racism. There's a range of negative stereotypes attached to the 'culture', usually the trifecta of stupid, lazy and/or dangerous. Individual negative cases are generalized to everyone in the culture, but the opposite much less so. The critic gets to define who belongs to the culture, people are categorized as part of the bad culture from birth on, and their children will be categorized the same. Individual people can get a "you're one of the good ones" exemption, but the critic has the discretionary power to withhold that exemption. Until that exemption is given, members of the culture are consider suspect, on a better-safe-than-sorry argument. If this means they have trouble finding jobs, or housing, or residential status, or if they are the subject of constant police scrutiny, then the cultural critic is OK with that. Looks are considered as a valid proxy of cultural membership, on the same precautionary basis.

Technically, that's not racism. It's culture, not race! The negatives are not literally considered to be born in, even though the consequences are just as hard to escape. The difference with literal racism is then , in my view, too small to care about. In particular, if someone is in fact a racist, then they'll happily accept this culture-based alternative. It gives them everything they could hope for.

It's hardly dilution if we apply the same racism label to this wider but extremely similar case. We could be careful to label this, for example, 'cultural bigotry'. But I have never met someone who says, I am not a racist, I am a bigot! They deny the second just as much as the first.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:19 pm UTC

Liri wrote:I wonder how long he'll be able to go before realizing no major world leaders actually respect him or take him seriously (at least to the degree that he'd like).
I think part of his whole shtick is that he never will.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tirear » Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:37 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:Until that exemption is given, members of the culture are consider suspect
...
Technically, that's not racism. It's culture, not race! The negatives are not literally considered to be born in,

Assuming someone is part of a specific culture based solely on the color of their skin is, in fact, technically racism. Reevaluating that assumption based on later evidence may make it slightly less racist, but the non- racist approach would be to require that evidence to identify them as a member of the culture in the first place.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:50 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Liri wrote:I wonder how long he'll be able to go before realizing no major world leaders actually respect him or take him seriously (at least to the degree that he'd like).
I think part of his whole shtick is that he never will.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics ... story.html
Rumor has it Trump's team had the Taiwan call planned out as a signal to be a hardliner on China. I'm still skeptical given how haphazardly he took calls from previous leaders. But that's better than not having a plan at all.
It's still a dumb idea, but at least the adminstration has thought about it. The risks are high if the china doesn't concede. Do you think they have a plan if it doesn't work out?

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:01 pm UTC

I think "thought about" and "plan" are giving them too much credit. It's "I need to prove I am tough" no matter what the risk, which has no place on the global theater.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby morriswalters » Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:04 pm UTC

Are all Trump voters racist because of the act of voting for Trump? Is it a necessary and sufficient condition for calling someone a racist? Should we then assume that because we believe that Clinton is not a racist, that no Clinton voters are racist? This is one type of dilution. We've reduced the question to two disjoint sets.
Zamfir wrote:Technically, that's not racism. It's culture, not race! The negatives are not literally considered to be born in, even though the consequences are just as hard to escape. The difference with literal racism is then , in my view, too small to care about. In particular, if someone is in fact a racist, then they'll happily accept this culture-based alternative. It gives them everything they could hope for.
That's a happy tale. But ain't about who is racist, it's about who is the victim. Southern Crackers can catch an education, a new wardrobe and a diction coach, and move on up. Blue eyed Jews can quit the Temple and convert to Catholicism. But a black man is never going to be white. And even if he can pass in this generation some of his progeny will certainly not. And it wouldn't surprise anyone that when they went hunting Japanese to intern in California at the start of the war they didn't have to guess who was who. And racists have never given up on the culture based alternatives. The Klan didn't care for Jews or Catholics. Ninja'd (less sarcastically) by Tirear.
sardia wrote: Do you think they have a plan if it doesn't work out?
There are plans and there are Tremendous plans. :roll:

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby elasto » Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:08 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Rumor has it Trump's team had the Taiwan call planned out as a signal to be a hardliner on China.

That seems too Machiavellian for someone who has shown themselves to just say and do the first thing that comes into his head.

When you pair the Taiwan gaffe with the India-Pakistan one (tensions between which could still yet initiate WW3) the simplest explanation for both is that he just doesn't care for protocol. Indeed, his whole appeal during the campaign was in demonstrating in no uncertain terms he didn't care who he offended.

Seems like he's determined to govern in the same manner.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:39 pm UTC

elasto wrote:Indeed, his whole appeal during the campaign was in demonstrating in no uncertain terms he didn't care who he offended.
He isn't a politician. That's his thing. The trouble is that it's politicians who hold back the hotter heads from going over and doing something unpolitic to the next village over at the slightest provocation, or just because.

When politicians fail, or even find themselves forced to initiate actions, it's a bigger deal, but lesser problems get smoothed over without so many hot-heads going into action when there's apparently more food in the other village, or someone from the other village came over and stole some of our food. And there's more chance of a tit-for-tat smoothing in the other direction placating all hot-heads with carefully considered words.

So relations between two places build up like two halves of an arch. Pressures balance out, as much as possible, and can withstand more assymetry if they have bigger foundations to support more complex arches to withstand any shocks.

But perhaps now the foundations have now complained about the arch-half above them, and replaced it with a plank of wood... The other arch-half in still a big arch, though, and if it's not designed to stay up mostly as a cantilever, that plank isn't really the best substitute for the necessary system.

I think Trump is a plank.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby elasto » Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:51 pm UTC

Globalisation is a big reason why we've had decades of peace between the superpowers. So long as China's middle and working classes keep growing wealthier, they are hardly going to rock the boat politically*; China's elites want a good working relationship with the US just as ours do with them.

However, there are some 'hot-button' issues around the world that mean more than money - 'red lines' if you will, where countries will act against their own self-interest on principle.

Taiwan is one such issue, which makes it a very dangerous game for anyone to toy with.

If it was a planned poke-in-the-eye towards China in order to soften them up for trade negotiations, I'm not sure I trust the Trump team to have the competence to play the hand correctly. I think I almost prefer if it was a mere foot-placed-in-mouth-scenario...



*The converse has played out in the West of course - with economic stagnation resulting in the political establishment being punished at every turn.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:39 pm UTC

Reading what Trump said about tariffs, I think he only intends to tax things American companies make overseas. So as long as the products are made by Chinese, and not American, companies there should be no issue. I don't think this will be much of a problem for China.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:56 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:Are all Trump voters racist because of the act of voting for Trump? Is it a necessary and sufficient condition for calling someone a racist?
If a vote for Trump implies someone is racist, that just means it's a sufficient condition. No one is argruing that it's a necessary condition.

Should we then assume that because we believe that Clinton is not a racist, that no Clinton voters are racist? This is one type of dilution. We've reduced the question to two disjoint sets.
No, "we" have done no such thing. You've applied invalid logic to arrive at a false conclusion. Everyone who joins the KKK is racist, but that doesn't mean everyone who doesn't join the KKK is non-racist.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Zamfir » Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:59 pm UTC

Tirear wrote:Assuming someone is part of a specific culture based solely on the color of their skin is, in fact, technically racism. Reevaluating that assumption based on later evidence may make it slightly less racist, but the non- racist approach would be to require that evidence to identify them as a member of the culture in the first place.

At a certain point, I don't really care if it's more or less racist.

In theory, we could have the perfectly non-racist bigot.
" I don't want to be biased by looks alone, so, were you adopted as a child?"
" No, why?"
"Then get lost, we don't need your kind around here. Cultural kind of course, not racial kind"
A. Where's the improvement over strict bloodline racism?
B. This doesn't happen anyway
C. Let's just call it racism, because why not.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Mutex » Mon Dec 05, 2016 6:27 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:Reading what Trump said about tariffs, I think he only intends to tax things American companies make overseas. So as long as the products are made by Chinese, and not American, companies there should be no issue. I don't think this will be much of a problem for China.


That's worse, he's deliberately making it harder for American companies to compete with foreign ones. Either they have to pay a tax non-American companies don't, or they have to manufacture all their stuff in a country with very high wages.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tirear » Mon Dec 05, 2016 6:49 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:
Tirear wrote:Assuming someone is part of a specific culture based solely on the color of their skin is, in fact, technically racism. Reevaluating that assumption based on later evidence may make it slightly less racist, but the non- racist approach would be to require that evidence to identify them as a member of the culture in the first place.

At a certain point, I don't really care if it's more or less racist.

In theory, we could have the perfectly non-racist bigot.
" I don't want to be biased by looks alone, so, were you adopted as a child?"
" No, why?"
"Then get lost, we don't need your kind around here. Cultural kind of course, not racial kind"
A. Where's the improvement over strict bloodline racism?
B. This doesn't happen anyway
C. Let's just call it racism, because why not.

You are still assuming that someone is part of a specific culture based solely on the color of their skin, as otherwise his/her biological parents wouldn't need to be part of it. Also, if you aren't interrogating white people to make sure they weren't raised "black", it's still racist.
A: The type of bigotry isn't about better or worse, but who it effects.
B: Correct, this doesn't happen. What does happen is people reacting to things like dreadlocks or AAVE, but otherwise being fine around black people.
C: Because it is categorically different (aside from the part where you chose a poor example which is in fact racist). Why not just call it bigotry?

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:37 pm UTC

Vahir wrote:This sort of thinking really annoys me. Yes, Clinton is a hawk, but compared to the republicans who were just given blank check over the country she's practically a dove. A Trump administration invasion of Iran or cold war with Cuba is so much better.


This is merely justifying her as the better of two evils. Which, of course, is the same logic used by Trump voters. Many acknowledge his faults, but saw Clinton as far worse.

I'm all for holding people responsible for still voting for evil. That said, it's a pragmatic choice, so I can't really be upset with them. They're trying to help. And honestly, if we're going by "number of corpses produced" as a decent measurement of Evil, I don't really know if Trump or Clinton would be worse. Predicting the future is hard, and there are significant limitations here. Also, I don't know where one draws the line for responsibility. How much responsibility for Syrian deaths does the US president have? They could get involved more, true. But they're not actually responsible for starting the conflict. It makes measurement a bit fuzzy and subjective.

sardia wrote:Tyndmyr,
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/02/us/po ... .html?_r=0
How much of this did Trump plan? I'm sticking with...0-10%. I only bring it up because you say he's smarter than he lets on. But I can only say he's not as smart as you think he is. It's really hard to quantify though. Was Trump superinsightful, or did he just stick with his plan, and it worked out? Is that his one trick pony, or can Trump adapt? This isn't some 3rd world country that nobody gives a shit about if you make a mistake. Chinese leadership is just as thinskinned and vindictive as Trump.


Smart/dumb is not entirely the same as good leadership. I've known many a person who wasn't the most intellectual sort, but did pretty good due to empathy or other traits. Doing the right thing and knowing the right thing are not entirely the same, even if the latter is helpful for the former.

Sure, Trump is smart. He's also egotistical as hell. Often, he'll say dumb stuff, but it's very frequently ego-related, not a result of actually being dumb. His priorities just place self-promotion far higher than many, many other things. Apparently, this has worked out at least okay for him. Not really a strategy I like, but it doesn't make him stupid. Shit, this might even work. Trump might get China to have a slightly higher level of tolerance for Taiwan. If it does, he does come across as successful to his supporters, and possibly picks up more. China cutting trade with the US would hurt them a lot. He's actually got a fair amount of bargaining power here.

Not that this is comforting, mind you. Generally, I'd prefer stupid opponents over smart ones. Trump seems too comfortable with risk for my preferences.

gmalivuk wrote:@morriswalters: Is it still just a dogwhistle if I'm explicitly saying that they are, in fact, racist?

That part you quoted wasn't me pussyfooting around the claim that they're racist, it was me acknowledging that you're right about there being other reasons to vote for him than racism, but that doesn't absolve them of their willingness to accept racism as part of the deal.


Not a dogwhistle at all. However, at a certain point, discriminators become fairly useless when they're applied to a great many people. How often do you hear someone say that people are stupid? Okay...stupid relative to what?

Yes, Trump supporters are a bit more racist than Clinton supporters, on average. But it's obviously not going to apply to all of them, and observing things like "everyone is racist" doesn't actually provide you with anything useful to act on. Sure, it's totally worth looking at how much racism attracted votes vs scared them off or the like, but at a certain point, it sounds like insulting/fearmongering, not anything actually objective.

I mean, shit, if everyone's racist, then any vote is supporting a racist, yeah? It's just a matter of degree. And you're not looking at the degree very much. The argument isn't persuasive even to people like me who didn't vote for him. It has zero traction outside of your echo chamber. It also is only actually true in a trivial sense. The person who says "people are stupid" isn't actually observing some deep truth. They're merely implicitly claiming that they are smart, relative to everyone else. So it is with "people are racist", or whatever else.

SlyReaper wrote:Racism (bigotry of any stripe, really) is a massive taboo. It's one of the worst things a person can be, short of outright criminality. I find it hard to believe a huge percentage of people can just ignore that. When Trump has attacked Mexicans and Muslims, he's always couched it in terms of their culture being inferior/threatening (or at least, incompatible with western liberalism), not their race. I think that gives people enough wiggle-room to interpret his remarks as not racist - especially if they're predisposed to vote Republican anyway.


It *was* a big taboo. Kind of. In some places. Culture's finicky like that. Racist doesn't even always mean the same thing.

But some people totally are embracing it. I was in Oaklahoma this weekend, and a gas station had a buncha folks in it talking about "the darkies", and they had a "kill the n*****s" sign up in the bathroom. Everyone stopped talking and moved away when I looked at them oddly. Deeply uncomfortable...I have a sneaking suspicion that those chaps were indeed racist. And if called on it, would try to defend it, not justify how they weren't.

Maybe some places were always like this, maybe it's getting worse in some places because the taboo has been overused to apply to everything, and folks are identifying with it. The latter is what worries me...but I'm confident that insulting would do nothing about either of those.

gmalivuk wrote:
SlyReaper wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:Pretending religious and cultural intolerance are somehow categorically different from racism...

Aren't they? Race only affects how a person looks; culture and religion affect how people behave.
Race is as much a social construct as religion and culture. Perceptions of race correlate with how people look, but they also correlate with how people behave religiously and culturally.

When Islamophobes attack Sikhs but not white Muslims and when anti-immigrant xenophobes attack dark-skinned Americans but not white Latinx immigrants, you don't get to claim either type of bigotry is separate, in actual practice, from racism and how people look.

Also, many fundamentalist Muslims have more in common, culturally and behaviorally, with most fundamentalist Christians than they do with liberal Muslims.


They're intersecting things, sure. They're not identical to each other, though. People have choices regarding religion, for instance, that they lack with regards to race. And of course, there are plenty of instances of people of the same color killing one another over religion or what not. Racism isn't required to explain it. It's just obvious that when racism and other forms of bigotry coincide, the results are worse. That's not really surprising, and certainly doesn't demonstrate that they're all the same thing.

gmalivuk wrote:
Mutex wrote:Basically, race and culture are often correlated, but that doesn't make one part of the other by definition.
One may not be part of the other, but if you're consistently biased against cultural elements that pretty exclusively correspond to one particular race or another, I'm perfectly comfortable calling you racist. You might tell yourself linguistic or cultural lies to justify a dislike of AAVE or dreadlocks, for example, but they're just stories so you don't have to admit you're racist.


Wait, I'm racist because I dislike a specific hairstyle?

Am I also racist for mercilessly mocking the mullet?

I'll cheerfully cop to said things as not being particularly friendly to a given culture, but neither of those things are about race.

Zamfir wrote:C. Let's just call it racism, because why not.


Let's just call it laziness, because why not?

Using words sloppily results in dilution. Look at superlatives. How often, when someone uses the word awesome, do you believe they are actually struck with awe? When everyone's racist, nobody is.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:42 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
morriswalters wrote:Are all Trump voters racist because of the act of voting for Trump? Is it a necessary and sufficient condition for calling someone a racist?
If a vote for Trump implies someone is racist, that just means it's a sufficient condition. No one is argruing that it's a necessary condition.

Should we then assume that because we believe that Clinton is not a racist, that no Clinton voters are racist? This is one type of dilution. We've reduced the question to two disjoint sets.
No, "we" have done no such thing. You've applied invalid logic to arrive at a false conclusion. Everyone who joins the KKK is racist, but that doesn't mean everyone who doesn't join the KKK is non-racist.


I would be careful about the "everyone" clause. Even though joining the KKK is enough to assume racism beyond a reasonable doubt, it's entirely possible if incredibly rare that a non racist person joined the Klan. The best example is probably the guy who leaked the Klan's secrets to the Superman radio show, where Superman ended up fighting the not-Klan and in the real world caused the Klan to lose quite a few members; it's hard for a parent to stay with an organization that is your kids' idea of an almost literal cartoon villain.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby blob » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:49 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:And it wouldn't surprise anyone that when they went hunting Japanese to intern in California at the start of the war they didn't have to guess who was who.

Can the average American distinguish visually between Japanese people and say, Korean or Chinese people? I assume since Chinese and Korean Americans weren't interned, they were using more than just racial appearance.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:05 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
morriswalters wrote:Are all Trump voters racist because of the act of voting for Trump? Is it a necessary and sufficient condition for calling someone a racist?
If a vote for Trump implies someone is racist, that just means it's a sufficient condition. No one is argruing that it's a necessary condition.

Should we then assume that because we believe that Clinton is not a racist, that no Clinton voters are racist? This is one type of dilution. We've reduced the question to two disjoint sets.
No, "we" have done no such thing. You've applied invalid logic to arrive at a false conclusion. Everyone who joins the KKK is racist, but that doesn't mean everyone who doesn't join the KKK is non-racist.


I would be careful about the "everyone" clause. Even though joining the KKK is enough to assume racism beyond a reasonable doubt, it's entirely possible if incredibly rare that a non racist person joined the Klan. The best example is probably the guy who leaked the Klan's secrets to the Superman radio show, where Superman ended up fighting the not-Klan and in the real world caused the Klan to lose quite a few members; it's hard for a parent to stay with an organization that is your kids' idea of an almost literal cartoon villain.
It was an example chosen for illustration of the logic, as I'm pretty sure you know.

Or do you contend that non-racists might have voted for Trump in order to infiltrate and spy on the GOP?

If you insist on irrelvant pedantry, then amend it to read, "everyone who joins the KKK in earnest" or something.

blob wrote:
morriswalters wrote:And it wouldn't surprise anyone that when they went hunting Japanese to intern in California at the start of the war they didn't have to guess who was who.

Can the average American distinguish visually between Japanese people and say, Korean or Chinese people? I assume since Chinese and Korean Americans weren't interned, they were using more than just racial appearance.
That's why there were helpful propaganda posters to help people visually distinguish racist caricatures of Japanese people from racist caricatures of other east Asian people.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby eran_rathan » Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:19 pm UTC

Tirear wrote:
Zamfir wrote:Until that exemption is given, members of the culture are consider suspect
...
Technically, that's not racism. It's culture, not race! The negatives are not literally considered to be born in,

Assuming someone is part of a specific culture based solely on the color of their skin is, in fact, technically racism. Reevaluating that assumption based on later evidence may make it slightly less racist, but the non- racist approach would be to require that evidence to identify them as a member of the culture in the first place.


While this is personal anecdote, a friend was yelled at to 'go back where [she] came from', because she has darker than white skin and wears a hijab. Funny part? She's Native American. Was that racist or just cultural prejudice?
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:24 pm UTC

Actually he HAD joined in earnest, but was turned off by the racism and defected.

But that's also besides the point. I take major umbridge with people who insist that everyone voting for Oompa Loompa MUST be a racist sexist bastard. It's a juvenile argument and the VERY REASON we lost; calling everyone else racist in order to shut down conversation when it doesn't go our way only forces people with concerns, legitimate or otherwise, into the arms of the Orangutan.

Fun story, was on a plane next to an older guy from Texas who insisted that the civil war had nothing to do with slavery. Rather than just say "fuck you you racist fuck", I asked him to read to me Texas's articles of secession. Spoiler alert; slavery and white supremacy are the reasons they tried to secede. The look on his face was priceless.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:52 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:While this is personal anecdote, a friend was yelled at to 'go back where [she] came from', because she has darker than white skin and wears a hijab. Funny part? She's Native American. Was that racist or just cultural prejudice?


At least the latter. Also, fairly dickish.

Misidentification of people by racist/prejudiced folks seems to be a thing. I suppose that's to be expected when the primary discriminator is shade of skin, given that there's a lot of natural variance. It can be darkly amusing when their assumptions are horribly wrong, though.

CorruptUser wrote:Fun story, was on a plane next to an older guy from Texas who insisted that the civil war had nothing to do with slavery. Rather than just say "fuck you you racist fuck", I asked him to read to me Texas's articles of secession. Spoiler alert; slavery and white supremacy are the reasons they tried to secede. The look on his face was priceless.


Yeah, seeing where the conversation goes can be interesting. Particularly when they start exploring the data they've never actually looked at before. I'm guessing that guy was repeating something he heard, and had never checked out.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:03 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Actually he HAD joined in earnest, but was turned off by the racism and defected.

But that's also besides the point. I take major umbridge with people who insist that everyone voting for Oompa Loompa MUST be a racist sexist bastard. It's a juvenile argument and the VERY REASON we lost; calling everyone else racist in order to shut down conversation when it doesn't go our way only forces people with concerns, legitimate or otherwise, into the arms of the Orangutan.

Fun story, was on a plane next to an older guy from Texas who insisted that the civil war had nothing to do with slavery. Rather than just say "fuck you you racist fuck", I asked him to read to me Texas's articles of secession. Spoiler alert; slavery and white supremacy are the reasons they tried to secede. The look on his face was priceless.

You got an older guy to actually read a historical article? And he believed an article on the internet?

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:18 pm UTC

The trick is to NOT engage their mental defense mechanisms. That means NO insults whatsoever, no patronizing, no smarm, and definitely no screaming "RACIST!".

I asked him why Texas seceded then, in a polite rather than dismissive manner, he didn't have a strong answer, so I asked if the articles of secession would be a good source. Then when he started reading it...
Last edited by CorruptUser on Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:22 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby morriswalters » Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:19 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:If a vote for Trump implies someone is racist, that just means it's a sufficient condition. No one is argruing that it's a necessary condition.
I'm going to concede the point on necessary and sufficient. However the second point is a question, not logic. How do the two positions differ? If Trump voters are racists because Trump is a racist. Then why can't we infer that Clinton voters aren't because she isn't?
blob wrote:Can the average American distinguish visually between Japanese people and say, Korean or Chinese people? I assume since Chinese and Korean Americans weren't interned, they were using more than just racial appearance.
I can't speak for the average American. I can't. And sure they were using more than racial characteristics. It doesn't beggar the point. Had there been a need all the authorities needed was a starting point. Not white. You would have been Japanese until proven innocent.
eran_rathan wrote:Was that racist or just cultural prejudice?
A little bit of this, a little bit of that.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:23 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:If a vote for Trump implies someone is racist, that just means it's a sufficient condition. No one is argruing that it's a necessary condition.
I'm going to concede the point on necessary and sufficient. However the second point is a question, not logic. How do the two positions differ? If Trump voters are racists because Trump is a racist. Then why can't we infer that Clinton voters aren't because she isn't?
blob wrote:Can the average American distinguish visually between Japanese people and say, Korean or Chinese people? I assume since Chinese and Korean Americans weren't interned, they were using more than just racial appearance.
I can't speak for the average American. I can't. And sure they were using more than racial characteristics. It doesn't beggar the point. Had there been a need all the authorities needed was a starting point. Not white. You would have been Japanese until proven innocent.
eran_rathan wrote:Was that racist or just cultural prejudice?
A little bit of this, a little bit of that.

Polling shows that 60%+ of the population agrees with racists or stereotypical statements. Just by how broad the numbers are, it has to include Democrats.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Zamfir » Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:27 pm UTC

Let's just call it laziness, because why not?

Using words sloppily results in dilution. Look at superlatives. How often, when someone uses the word awesome, do you believe they are actually struck with awe? When everyone's racist, nobody is.

I don't believe this dilution thing. Racism is a very powerful word, without any sign of getting diluted. People get mighty upset by the word, and we get all this edge-case lawyering about how far you can go exactly before it's racism. Because the word has power.

Of course, this might change at some point in future. But if we tiptoe around the word today to preserve it for tomorrow, we're like those people who keep their best china unused and eat from cheap plates instead.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Sableagle » Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:51 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:If a vote for Trump implies someone is racist, that just means it's a sufficient condition. No one is argruing that it's a necessary condition.
I'm going to concede the point on necessary and sufficient. However the second point is a question, not logic. How do the two positions differ? If Trump voters are racists because Trump is a racist. Then why can't we infer that Clinton voters aren't because she isn't?
If we assume that all free-climbers have full use of both arms, can we therefore assume that anyone who doesn't do free-climbing must not have full use of both arms? If we assume that every soldier has better than 20/200 uncorrected vision, can we assume that all civilians are legally blind? If we assume that everybody in the doctor's waiting room is sick, can we assume everybody outside it is healthy?

Trump being irresistibly repulsive to non-racists (wouldn't / doesn't) imply that he's irresistibly attractive to racists.

All ducks being birds does not mean that all birds are ducks, therefore does not mean that non-ducks are necessarily non-birds.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Mambrino » Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:57 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:
Let's just call it laziness, because why not?

Using words sloppily results in dilution. Look at superlatives. How often, when someone uses the word awesome, do you believe they are actually struck with awe? When everyone's racist, nobody is.

I don't believe this dilution thing. Racism is a very powerful word, without any sign of getting diluted. People get mighty upset by the word, and we get all this edge-case lawyering about how far you can go exactly before it's racism. Because the word has power.

Of course, this might change at some point in future. But if we tiptoe around the word today to preserve it for tomorrow, we're like those people who keep their best china unused and eat from cheap plates instead.


Finding out how much there is dilution of the word going on, or no dilution at all... might be difficult task in sociology and linguistics. But the point is that there were enough people who did not care very much despite practically all of traditional media everywhere said he is a racist.

In a similar fashion across this side of the pond, some of my right-leaning family relations have taken a ...nonchalant attitude when people on the left say X is racist. Treat it like a joke. True, some are still annoyed and if pressed, argue why they are not racists or where the line between good and bad goes according to them. Some just don't care. (But to be frank, the couple in the final category were always like that.) And to be even more frank, I'm personally bit tired of the word, especially since around 5 years ago when I lost the battle what is racism and what are other -isms against angry people in social media who started calling all kinds of discrimination racism.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:57 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:calling everyone else racist in order to shut down conversation when it doesn't go our way
Acknowledging that a vote for Trump is racist is not the same thing as calling everyone else racist in order to shut down conversation.

As I've said repeatedly (and it's even in my sig now, so I suppose in a way I've retroactively said it about 25,000 times), saying someone is racist can be useful and true even if it isn't an attempt to convince that person to be otherwise.

The Atlantic wrote:But even if we do assume that levying claims of racism and shame is counterproductive in persuading white people to join diverse coalitions, there is another suspect claim at work here: that persuasion is the sole end-goal for argument.

For people who suffer the incivil burden of bigotry, that claim doesn’t quite hold up. Sometimes the goal of argument is to vent. Sometimes it is to simply tell the truth. Sometimes it’s just to loudly proclaim one’s own humanity. The general burden to always remain civil in arguments—even if it means coddling white egos and casting a blind eye to obvious bigotry—can even create that need to commit to truth-telling at any cost. Civil discussions with people who themselves may have already breached the bounds of civility are difficult.

One way around that difficulty for marginalized folks is abandoning civility. The labels of racism and bigotry can impose a social cost on bigoted actions, policy preferences, or speech, regardless of whether hearts or minds are changed. Stigma can be useful.

Further, the goal of arguments isn’t necessarily to directly change one opponent, but often to convince onlookers and create social incentives. Such was the gist of Clinton’s statement: She was not intending to convince Trump supporters to not be bigoted, but to draw people who see themselves as opposed to bigotry into her corner. Motivated candidates and institutions can create social conditions and stigmas by which bigotry is diminished, and they also change the way in which media transmit information and people absorb it. Imagine if the same outrage manifest in media coverage about the ideas of microaggressions and safe spaces pioneered by marginalized people had been marshaled against stubborn implicit racial biases and resistance to multiculturalism among whites, or if the useless term “racially charged” in media descriptions of racist things had been replaced with something more potent, like “racist.”

The main thing that this debate could use is a discussion of the effects of rigorously calling out racism on people who suffer from the effects of racism. In the vein of W.E.B. Du Bois’s thought, and Ida B. Wells anti-lynching work, perhaps there is an element of empowerment among people of color in calling out racism. Part of this is the effect of stigma itself: Stigmatization and appeals to moral rightness are among the most effective ways to seize power when dispossessed of it. But also, calling out racism aids its victims in understanding the powers at play in their own lives, and is the foundation of solidarity for many people of color. There is a reason why movements like the civil-rights movement and Black Lives Matter that have had dramatic impacts on the course of American history have developed around rather vivid and unflinching call-outs of white supremacy and racism, even leveled against their own white members.

The movements and empowerment built around calling out racism are what give activists the vocabulary to disassemble it, regardless of whether they choose to use the tactics of civility in individual conversations or not. The ultimate irony of Drum’s objection to expanding definitions of white supremacy is that it took decades of open emotional appeals by black people to persuade—and perhaps stigmatize—the country into believing that segregation, disenfranchisement, and other actions of “real” racists, were in fact racist. Given the objections to incivility that Wells, Martin Luther King, Jr., and other black leaders faced generations ago, it is rather clear that incivility watered the rhetorical ground on which both sides of the debate over racism today stand.

Those concerns among communities of color seem to muddle Singal’s conclusion, focused as it is on psychological rather than sociological analysis, and on the reactions of recalcitrant white people rather than the transformative development of people of color. Maybe, in a limited sense, Singal is right: White Americans can be persuaded to join the liberal project by individual interlocutors jettisoning identity politics and abandoning moralizing about racism. But maybe incivility can be used to empower people of color, establish social penalties for racism, and change social mores and modes of mass communication, which all in the aggregate could push white society towards inclusion and away from bias. Or perhaps calling out racism just helps people of color cope with racism.

Civility is not the highest moral imperative—especially in response to perceived injustices—nor is hand-holding and guiding reluctant people to confront their bigotry gently. American history is full of fights, including the ongoing struggle for civil rights, that have been as fierce as they are ultimately effective. Civility is overrated.
(emphasis added)

And yes, I see that the author focuses on marginalized people themselves being the ones to call out racism, but my point is that there are myriad reasons to talk about (and acknowledge) racism apart from the narrow one you all seem to want to focus on, of persuading bigots to stop being bigots.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby ucim » Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:18 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Well, okay; let's try an example.

If I told you that the reason black people get shot by the police in the US so much is because black music and black culture encourages rebellion against authority -- which leads them to resist arrest -- how would you describe that belief?
First question would be is it a justified belief? That is, is it true that black music encourages rebellion against authority (I'll presume we can agree on what "black music" is) to a significantly enough greater extent than nonblack music? Because if it is true, and you know it's true, then it's not racist, it's merely descriptive (and enlightening).

OTOH, if you merely trot out this belief in order to justify shootings by police, or put the blame unfairly on the victims, then that certainly is a racist attitude. Even in the narrow sense, the "black" in black culture and black music traces itself to bloodlines, and acts as a proxy for that bloodline.

And yes, being Jewish is more complex - in fact pretty much all forms of identity are more complex; the whole point of racism (or other forms of identity prejudice) is to paper over this complexity in order to disparage an entire group. In the specific case of racism, the group is defined by bloodlines or a proxy for bloodlines.

Zamfir wrote:[...snip...]Technically, that's not racism. It's culture, not race!
It is if culture is a proxy for race.

Zamfir wrote:It's hardly dilution if we apply the same racism label to this wider but extremely similar case. We could be careful to label this, for example, 'cultural bigotry'. But I have never met someone who says, I am not a racist, I am a bigot! They deny the second just as much as the first.
Yes, it is dilution. It muddies the water between bigotry and racism, making the words less useful. Racist is not a synonym for dickish. Using it that way is just... well... a deliberate failure to communicate.

In fact, it is an example of itself.

Zamfir wrote:[...scenario...]A. Where's the improvement over strict bloodline racism?
It's not a question of "improvement". Racism is bad, but it is not the measure of bad.
Zamfir wrote:C. Let's just call it racism, because why not.
Because that's not what it is.

gmalivuk wrote:[S]aying someone is racist can be useful and true even if it isn't an attempt to convince that person to be otherwise.
Yes. It's an ad hominum attack. It is useful when you have no good rational argument to use, and just want to put someone down.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Djehutynakht » Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:29 am UTC

Joe Biden: "I am going to run in 2020. What the hell man, anyway"

Probably actually nothing but I can't help think fondly of the prospect.

78 is really getting a bit too old for comfort. Though he is a spry person.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:34 am UTC

ucim wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:[S]aying someone is racist can be useful and true even if it isn't an attempt to convince that person to be otherwise.
Yes. It's an ad hominum attack. It is useful when you have no good rational argument to use, and just want to put someone down.
Plus every bolded phrase in the Atlantic quote, but sure go ahead and dismiss the valid reasons and benefits of acknowledging racism where it exists. I'm sure your purposeful ignorance will be very productive. Somehow.
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