Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby Philwelch » Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:13 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:Do you actually believe the cops intented to apprenhend the Weavers then summarily execute them in a ditch somewhere?


As it stands, they didn't bother with the apprehension phase at all.

Anyone who demonizes cop killers but gives killer cops a free pass is a fascist. Kindly fuck yourself.
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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby The Reaper » Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:52 pm UTC

Philwelch wrote:
Ixtellor wrote:Do you actually believe the cops intented to apprenhend the Weavers then summarily execute them in a ditch somewhere?


As it stands, they didn't bother with the apprehension phase at all.

Anyone who demonizes cop killers but gives killer cops a free pass is a fascist. Kindly fuck yourself.

As soon as they grabbed a gun after the cop told them to stop, they were in the wrong. Kindly fuck yourself.

But all this has nothing to do with the original topic anymore. Thread successfully derailed. +50XP -1 WIS, -1 INT.

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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby MrGee » Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:00 pm UTC

Philwelch wrote:
Ixtellor wrote:Do you actually believe the cops intented to apprenhend the Weavers then summarily execute them in a ditch somewhere?


As it stands, they didn't bother with the apprehension phase at all.

Anyone who demonizes cop killers but gives killer cops a free pass is a fascist. Kindly fuck yourself.


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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby Philwelch » Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:06 pm UTC

The Reaper wrote:
Philwelch wrote:
Ixtellor wrote:Do you actually believe the cops intented to apprenhend the Weavers then summarily execute them in a ditch somewhere?


As it stands, they didn't bother with the apprehension phase at all.

Anyone who demonizes cop killers but gives killer cops a free pass is a fascist. Kindly fuck yourself.

As soon as they grabbed a gun after the cop told them to stop, they were in the wrong.


The evidence isn't quite clear on exactly what happened in the incident with Weaver's son.

The incident with Vicki is quite clear: Randy was shot in the back by a sniper while unarmed and visiting his son's body. When the Weavers attempted to retreat back into the house, Vicki was shot in the head. There was no request to surrender during that incident. These snipers were given "rules of engagement" to fire at will at the Weavers.

What we have here are two separate incidents--one in which one party was shot to death in unclear circumstances by the US Marshals, and one in which one party was shot to death by the FBI HRT with no request to surrender and no show of deadly force on the part of the Weavers.

Just in case I wasn't clear enough, let me restate—the FBI snipers opened fire on the Weavers without any order to surrender. Had the Weavers not retreated inside their own home, they would have all been summarily shot by FBI snipers.

What for? For charges that, after numerous acquittals and dismissals, amounted to 18 months of jail time and $10,000 fine for missing a court date. The FBI murdered someone's wife because he missed a court date.
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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby netcrusher88 » Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:39 am UTC

So I actually have something to say about the topic of the thread, here - maybe even get it back on topic. I hope that's okay.

I want to discuss the potential for racism in the debate from another angle - one where it's as much xenophobia as it is racism. I'm referring to the deep-seated hatred of immigrants that I think contributed to Sen. Wilson making an ass of himself in a joint session, and people rallying behind him. Because it seems to me people are not in general against illegal immigrants because of the "illegal" part, but because "they're taking our jobs" - which is bullshit, because most of the jobs immigrants take are jobs Americans don't or won't take in the first place. Otherwise, they get paid less because their income is under the table and they cost their employer less because their employer gets to screw them on things like benefits and unemployment because they're not reported - a problem which could be helped by streamlining the immigration process, but the same people who bitch about illegal immigrants are invariably against doing that, thus my characterization as xenophobic.
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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby Vaniver » Sat Sep 26, 2009 3:58 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Gruh. I meant that a person's hatred of black people as a group (or Jews as a group, or whatever) is different from hating people on an individual level.
Really? Because whenever you look at individual hatreds, unless the person is specifically trying not to, you generally see negative group associations. That girl's a bitch; that guy's a ______; and so on.

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Well, no, but they don't just come from flawed observations, either. Stereotypes are often taught to people who aren't even given a chance to observe or interact with the stereotyped group. For example, many of my classmates regard lesbian teachers at our school as pedophiles, despite a lack of actual incidents to suggest this. This attitude is much more credibly traced to socialization, such as media representations and the prejudices of peers and parents, than to hasty generalization.
What's the difference between socialization and hasty generalization? That you didn't know the person in question? Because it certainly seems to me that jumping from "one lesbian teacher was a pedophile" to "lesbian teachers are a pedophilia risk" is a hasty generalization.

Because there have been lesbian pedophile teachers. There have also been gay ones, and straight ones, and they're (as far as I know) too rare to identify any meaningful group differences between them.

Flagpole Sitta wrote:No. Look. Racism always comes out because of the false perceptions of the racist person. No exceptions. Anything else is victim blaming. I have no more to say about this here, because it's off topic.
I like to call statements without evidence 'horribly, horribly wrong.' The most persecuted and hated minorities around the world are middleman minorities- people who are predominantly traders, who often enter a country incredibly poor and work their way up to being richer than the majority population. Jews are the example that Westerners are most familiar with, but they occur around the world. Despite being economically beneficial (most countries/communities that expel their middleman minorities promptly suffer from an economic collapse) to the country, they often displace individuals not willing to work as hard or for as little, and overshadow individuals used to being the richest in the country- which leads to widespread resentment, which often leads to horrifying massacres, of which the Holocaust is arguably an example.

Did blacks in American Ghettos hate the Koreans because they were different, or because they were a convenient external source to blame the problems of the ghetto on? (Stuff in their shops is so expensive- because they're constantly being stolen from. They drive black shopkeepers out of business- because they work harder for less pay, so their product is better and cheaper.)

Now, the racist rhetoric is generally inconsistent (wait a minute, how are they both gouging you with high prices and driving locals out of business with their low prices?), but that doesn't mean it's due to 'false perceptions.' A stereotype of blacks as illiterate would be appropriate if the majority of blacks couldn't read and write- which was true for a sizeable portion of American history, mostly through no fault of their own.


Netcrusher88- I'd call it nativism (is there a meaningful difference between that and xenophobia?). It's reared its ugly head at all times in all places- and it bothers me greatly that nativists make up a large chunk of the Republican party (I'm sure they exist in the Democratic party, but they don't appear to rise to the prominence of the likes of Tancredo).
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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby Ixtellor » Mon Sep 28, 2009 1:18 pm UTC

Philwelch wrote:Had the Weavers not retreated inside their own home, they would have all been summarily shot by FBI snipers.


Wild and irresponsible speculation.

Had the Weavers decided hanging out with cop killers is probably not smart, and just gone outside with hands in the air and lied on their bellies... they would all be alive and doing well. You have no reason to believe the snipers would have shot people with their hands up and making an attempt to surrender.

Philwelch wrote:The FBI murdered someone's wife because he missed a court date.


Hyperbolic and illogical conclusion.

The FBI illegal shot people because they refused to handle a misunderstanding in a responsible manner.
Hint: If the cops charge you with a crime you didn't commit and you can prove it... don't think shooting cops will solve the problem. Get arrested and have your day in court. NEVER shoot at cops. <---- Simple rule to live by in the USA.


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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby MrGee » Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:00 pm UTC

netcrusher88 wrote:So I actually have something to say about the topic of the thread, here - maybe even get it back on topic. I hope that's okay.

I want to discuss the potential for racism in the debate from another angle - one where it's as much xenophobia as it is racism. I'm referring to the deep-seated hatred of immigrants that I think contributed to Sen. Wilson making an ass of himself in a joint session, and people rallying behind him. Because it seems to me people are not in general against illegal immigrants because of the "illegal" part, but because "they're taking our jobs" - which is bullshit, because most of the jobs immigrants take are jobs Americans don't or won't take in the first place. Otherwise, they get paid less because their income is under the table and they cost their employer less because their employer gets to screw them on things like benefits and unemployment because they're not reported - a problem which could be helped by streamlining the immigration process, but the same people who bitch about illegal immigrants are invariably against doing that, thus my characterization as xenophobic.


I think you vastly underestimate the percentage of Americans who are actually doing "jobs Americans don't want." All of my jobs have been full of immigrants. Just because all your friends are doctors and lawyers doesn't mean they're representative.

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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby Philwelch » Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:15 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:
Philwelch wrote:Had the Weavers not retreated inside their own home, they would have all been summarily shot by FBI snipers.


Wild and irresponsible speculation.


Given the "shoot on sight" rules of engagement given to the snipers and the behavior of Horiuchi firing without any request to surrender at persons who had never opened fire against the government forces, that's the only reasonable speculation.

If people start shooting at you without identifying themselves or asking you to surrender, the only reasonable conclusion is that they're trying to kill you. Especially if they blow your wife's head off.

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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby Ixtellor » Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:20 pm UTC

Philwelch wrote:If people start shooting at you without identifying themselves or asking you to surrender, the only reasonable conclusion is that they're trying to kill you. Especially if they blow your wife's head off.


Except your lying.

The Weavers had already shot at cops who identified themselves as US marshalls. It wasn't out of the blue sniping.

The snipers came AFTER the Weavers started killing cops.

The shooting was illegal, but your grossly misrepresenting the situation. Armed people who hated the government took it upon themselves to fight a warrant by killing cops, instead of taking the rational approach of dealing with it in a courtroom.


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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby Philwelch » Mon Sep 28, 2009 8:12 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:
Philwelch wrote:If people start shooting at you without identifying themselves or asking you to surrender, the only reasonable conclusion is that they're trying to kill you. Especially if they blow your wife's head off.


Except your lying.

The Weavers had already shot at cops who identified themselves as US marshalls. It wasn't out of the blue sniping.


That fact is actually disputed. The fact that you take the government's side unquestioningly shows your true colors, but Kevin Harris, who was at the first incident, testifies that the marshals opened fire without identifying themselves. Kevin Harris (who returned fire and killed a US Marshal) was acquitted on the grounds of self defense.

In the eyes of the law, Kevin Harris acted within his legal rights to defend his own life against an assailant. It's entirely irrelevant that the assailant was acting under color of authority or wearing a uniform: cops are not a protected class who can, with impunity, try to kill people and be free from the consequences thereof. It is your and my legal right to defend ourselves with lethal force if the police try to kill us. If you can't accept this principle, you don't deserve to live in this country. By all means, live somewhere where the police have unrestricted life-and-death power and there is no legal right to defend yourself should they attempt murder. You're unfit to live in a free country.

The FBI also did not identify themselves or ask for a surrender before opening fire at Randy and Vicki Weaver at their house (days after the US Marshals shot Sammy). This is in the official record. Horiuchi shot to kill at Randy Weaver. This is in the official record. Horiuchi's second shot was a fatal headshot to Vicki Weaver. This, too, is in the official record.

What conclusion would you draw if, rather than instructing you to surrender or announcing their presence, the FBI decided to simply start shooting at your family, after an incident in which the US Marshals evidently shot your son to death without announcing themselves? Keep in mind that, after retreating back to their house, the Weavers chose to run for their lives rather than return fire. And you still chose to blame a bereaved father and husband whose family had been brutally shot to death under color of legal authority rather than the jackbooted thugs who took his loved ones away from him?
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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby Owijad » Mon Sep 28, 2009 10:26 pm UTC

How is this even remotely helpful? -Hawk
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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby The Reaper » Mon Sep 28, 2009 10:39 pm UTC

Owijad wrote:You know, Ixtellor, looking just at the facts, I actually have to agree with Philwelch. You do seem to be a fascist, and given the opportunity would probably spy on your friends for German intelligence agencies. You rank among the most disgusting people I have ever met, and you don't deserve to live in America (or really any other free country, for that matter).

If you adopt a more unbiased perspective, you might come to a similar conclusion.

Oh my. Relating things to Nazis. Tisk.

I'm not sure where this magical America (or any other free country) exists at, but when you find it, .... yea...

The whole "GTFO out my country" nonsense applies both directions. The fact that people are capable of coexisting and still having such setiments is part of the reason this country exists at all. I have.... more to say... but I'm not entirely sure how to phrase it, except a big old "fuck you".

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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby Philwelch » Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:01 pm UTC

Yes, the fact that police can shoot people to death without any repercussions does put the lie to the idea that America is a free country. But you can't get a free country when you have killer cops and their enablers in charge.

There's been a miscommunication as soon as someone used the words "German intelligence agencies". I referred originally to the Stasi of the DDR. The operations of the Stasi were enabled by countless informers, ordinary citizens who for one reason or another collaborated with the regime to aid in their own repression and the repression of their neighbors.

Unquestioning respect for authority and unconditional sympathy with killer cops over their victims tell you a lot about someone's personality. Totalitarianism isn't merely the product of charismatic demagogues, desperate circumstances, and fanatical hatred. It can persist for decades only because of ordinary citizens who think submission to authority trumps basic human morality. Blindness to the wrongdoings of one's own government is enough to keep any corrupt, murderous regime in power long after the initial allure of a charismatic dictator has long passed.

When the police invade someone's property, make a debacle of things, shoot first and ask questions later, and end up killing two people and wounding two others, it takes a special kind of person to blame the victims, especially when those victims have been legally exonerated of all wrongdoing while the perpetrators hide behind out-of-court settlements and sovereignty doctrines to avoid accountability for their use of deadly force.
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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby Garm » Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:54 pm UTC

I keep coming back to this thread to reply to earlier comments with more discussion of the dichotomy in the criticism leveled at Obama and how it pertains to racism but it seems like it's been pretty thoroughly dragged off track by Philwelch. I was thinking about it tho'... There seems to be a cottage industry that's grown up over the years that deals with the Clinton's and all the deaths that they supposedly caused. Within that cottage industry is another devoted to the conspiracy of Randy Weaver. Yes, what happened was horrible and regrettable but where, I ask, is the furor over the deaths of Amadou Diallo and Abner Louima? Those are much clearer cut cases of police brutality and the propensity of our police forces to act like frightening facsimiles of paramilitary forces and less like group of law enforcement officers.
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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby Owijad » Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:47 am UTC

Philwelch wrote:There's been a miscommunication as soon as someone used the words "German intelligence agencies". I referred originally to the Stasi of the DDR.

DDR where the D stands for something other than "Deutsche"?

In any case, I guess I was obnoxiously trying to point out that when your rhetoric is hateful to the point where you sound exactly like a parody of yourself, it might be time to take a breather.

The Reaper wrote:I have.... more to say... but I'm not entirely sure how to phrase it, except a big old "fuck you".

Poe's Law. Sorry buddy. We cool?


But I don't think it's true that the only reason people fear and loath Obama violently is his race. You see similar reactions from similar segments of society towards, say, white abortion doctors. I'm sure race helps, but it's not like it would all be peaches and roses if Obama hadn't been born in Kenya.
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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby Philwelch » Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:57 am UTC

There's enough outrage for everyone.

I've found that left-wingers usually respond more to police brutality against urban blacks, immigrants, and minority activists while right-wingers respond more to police brutality against mountain hicks and gun nuts. Police brutality reaches across political lines and from city to city. It can range from tasing an obnoxious "bro" to blowing an innocent mother's head off while she holds her infant.

You've stumbled across something important though, Garm--there's too much partisanship separating different groups of people who are facing essentially the same problem.

Owijad: DDR = Deutsche Demokratische Republik. East Germany. For the record, I've seen equally hateful rhetoric here towards people who are insufficiently feminist. Given the moral consequences of unquestioning respect for governmental authority I think it *is* worth getting worked up about.
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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby Owijad » Tue Sep 29, 2009 1:19 am UTC

Philwelch wrote:For the record, I've seen equally hateful rhetoric here towards people who are insufficiently feminist. Given the moral consequences of unquestioning respect for governmental authority I think it *is* worth getting worked up about.


I get that you care about this, and rightly so. It's just the spittle count is getting much too high for any sort of productive discussion to take place. In the Jimmy Carter thread.
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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby jestingrabbit » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:24 am UTC

netcrusher88 wrote:I'm not sure I agree with Carter that the overwhelming portion of the rabid opposition to Obama is racially motivated, but there is an undeniable significant portion of it that is, from McCain assuring a supporter during the campaign that Obama is not an arab (Even if he was, who cares? He's American born) to the wingnut birther movement that despite its insanity still has supporters in Congress. Add to this the constant (since last summer) rhetoric of "Obama's a racist" or "Obama hates white people" or my personal, recent favorite "now the black kids beat up the white kid on the bus, this is what happens in Obama's America" spouted by the de facto leadership of the right wing (Limbaugh, Beck, etc) and yeah, even if the primary opposition is not in fact racism, it's racism that's driven the right wing mad.


This is where I'm at with this too.

Sure, not everyone who opposes Obama's policies is doing it because of his race, but I can't see a birther movement emerging around a white president in the modern day. I also believe that there is a lot of "dog whistle" racism going on ie not something that most people can hear, but clear as day if you are in the know. Consider the popularity of the "drinking the Kool Aid" phrase used to describe Obama's supporters. SecondTalon informs us that in his neck of the woods Kool Aid has a clear association with being black and poor, but to many in that thread this is news. WP tells us that it was first used to describe Marion Barry, another black politician, and I can't really see this as completely coincidental.

Then there are the posters of the The Affordable Care Act witchdoctor, the accusations that he's a secret muslim and/or arab and a slew of other cases where race has been made a part of how, otherwise reasonable, criticism is expressed.

So to me, race is involved in how obama is criticized, and its done in a racist way, and whether or not its the underpinning, driving force, it is a part of the constellation of reasons that people don't like him.
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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby Philwelch » Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:26 am UTC

jestingrabbit wrote:Sure, not everyone who opposes Obama's policies is doing it because of his race, but I can't see a birther movement emerging around a white president in the modern day.


I can't see a birther movement emerging around even a black president whose ancestors were Americans dating back multiple generations. But I can see a birther movement emerging around a white president who is the son of a foreigner and who has a decidedly unconventional name. If Barack Obama went by Barry Johnson that alone might be enough to prevent the birther theories.

As it happens, each and every president has his own set of conspiracy theories circling around him. Bush was going to bomb Iran, remember?

jestingrabbit wrote:I also believe that there is a lot of "dog whistle" racism going on ie not something that most people can hear, but clear as day if you are in the know. Consider the popularity of the "drinking the Kool Aid" phrase used to describe Obama's supporters. SexyTalon informs us that in his neck of the woods Kool Aid has a clear association with being black and poor, but to many in that thread this is news. WP tells us that it was first used to describe Marion Barry, another black politician, and I can't really see this as completely coincidental.


It's a reference to Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple cult, who committed mass suicide by drinking poisoned kool-aid. I've heard the term used to describe Macintosh fanboys too. Even Marion Berry himself used the phrase to describe Asa Hutchinson, a white Republican, for his stalwart obedience to Gingrich's party line.

I've found most of these "dog whistle" claims entirely unremarkable--there's no real evidence that "dog whistle" phrases are consciously used or understood, so the whole thing seems to be something between an urban legend and a conspiracy theory, akin to subliminal messages or the like.
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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby jestingrabbit » Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:33 am UTC

Philwelch wrote:
jestingrabbit wrote:Sure, not everyone who opposes Obama's policies is doing it because of his race, but I can't see a birther movement emerging around a white president in the modern day.


I can't see a birther movement emerging around even a black president whose ancestors were Americans dating back multiple generations. But I can see a birther movement emerging around a white president who is the son of a foreigner and who has a decidedly unconventional name. If Barack Obama went by Barry Johnson that alone might be enough to prevent the birther theories.


Wouldn't there then be a whole "why has he changed his name? He's disguising his true identity etc" thing? You say this is about his name. There's a pretty strong correlation between having a non-european name and having not non-european ancestry.

Philwelch wrote:As it happens, each and every president has his own set of conspiracy theories circling around him. Bush was going to bomb Iran, remember?


Yes, people theorized about Bush attackiing Iran after he had already invaded two countries. What has Obama done to have this said about him, apart from be born with an "unconventional" name?

Philwelch wrote:
jestingrabbit wrote:I also believe that there is a lot of "dog whistle" racism going on ie not something that most people can hear, but clear as day if you are in the know. Consider the popularity of the "drinking the Kool Aid" phrase used to describe Obama's supporters. SexyTalon informs us that in his neck of the woods Kool Aid has a clear association with being black and poor, but to many in that thread this is news. WP tells us that it was first used to describe Marion Barry, another black politician, and I can't really see this as completely coincidental.


It's a reference to Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple cult, who committed mass suicide by drinking poisoned kool-aid. I've heard the term used to describe Macintosh fanboys too. Even Marion Berry himself used the phrase to describe Asa Hutchinson, a white Republican, for his stalwart obedience to Gingrich's party line.

I've found most of these "dog whistle" claims entirely unremarkable--there's no real evidence that "dog whistle" phrases are consciously used or understood, so the whole thing seems to be something between an urban legend and a conspiracy theory, akin to subliminal messages or the like.


SecondTalon's post is clear evidence that they are consciously understood by at least some of the people that hear them.

I know what the phrase refers to, but words and phrases have both a denotation and a conotation. Words like uppity, for instance, have a strong racial undertone coming from a Georgian alive during Jim Crow when referring to a black man.

I'm saying that the fact that "drinking the Kool Aid" has been applied so liberally recently by, for instance, O'reilly, isn't just some accident. That maybe its being used for a reason, that reason being that there's a portion of the public that associates Kool Aid with being poor and black. People like SecondTalon, from southern states, hear that when it gets said, as well as the denoted meaning.
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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby The Reaper » Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:45 am UTC

jestingrabbit wrote:SexyTalon's post is clear evidence that they are consciously understood by at least some of the people that hear them.

I know what the phrase refers to, but words and phrases have both a denotation and a conotation. Words like uppity, for instance, have a strong racial undertone coming from a Georgian alive during Jim Crow when referring to a black man.

I'm saying that the fact that "drinking the Kool Aid" has been applied so liberally recently by, for instance, O'reilly, isn't just some accident. That maybe its being used for a reason, that reason being that there's a portion of the public that associates Kool Aid with being poor and black. People like SexyTalon, from southern states, hear that when it gets said, as well as the denoted meaning.
I'm pretty sure he was leaning towards "batshit crazy" rather than "black and poor". Kool-aid is kinda pricey. My parents just made me drink water :\ Tap water at that.
Uppity generally does have racial undertones, yes.
But yea, I've never heard of anyone saying "drinking the koolaid" and trying to be racist with it, till Talon's post.

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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby jestingrabbit » Tue Sep 29, 2009 7:06 am UTC

The Reaper wrote:I'm pretty sure he was leaning towards "batshit crazy" rather than "black and poor". Kool-aid is kinda pricey. My parents just made me drink water :\ Tap water at that.
Uppity generally does have racial undertones, yes.
But yea, I've never heard of anyone saying "drinking the koolaid" and trying to be racist with it, till Talon's post.


What about the OP in that thread? They made the exact same link as SecondTalon.

Thank you, though, for at least acknowledging the more blatant "uppity".

Edit: and here's urban dictionary on Kool Aid.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=kool-aid
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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby Philwelch » Tue Sep 29, 2009 7:21 am UTC

jestingrabbit wrote:
Philwelch wrote:
jestingrabbit wrote:Sure, not everyone who opposes Obama's policies is doing it because of his race, but I can't see a birther movement emerging around a white president in the modern day.


I can't see a birther movement emerging around even a black president whose ancestors were Americans dating back multiple generations. But I can see a birther movement emerging around a white president who is the son of a foreigner and who has a decidedly unconventional name. If Barack Obama went by Barry Johnson that alone might be enough to prevent the birther theories.


Wouldn't there then be a whole "why has he changed his name? He's disguising his true identity etc" thing? You say this is about his name. There's a pretty strong correlation between having a non-european name and having not non-european ancestry.


It doesn't even have to be about a name change. If Barack Obama took his mother's last name at birth (Dunham) and a European first name it probably wouldn't be as much of an issue.

Conversely, someone with a decidedly non-Anglo-Saxon name descended from immigrants would have the same issues. Especially if it was a Spanish name.

jestingrabbit wrote:
Philwelch wrote:I've found most of these "dog whistle" claims entirely unremarkable--there's no real evidence that "dog whistle" phrases are consciously used or understood, so the whole thing seems to be something between an urban legend and a conspiracy theory, akin to subliminal messages or the like.


SexyTalon's post is clear evidence that they are consciously understood by at least some of the people that hear them.

I know what the phrase refers to, but words and phrases have both a denotation and a conotation. Words like uppity, for instance, have a strong racial undertone coming from a Georgian alive during Jim Crow when referring to a black man.

I'm saying that the fact that "drinking the Kool Aid" has been applied so liberally recently by, for instance, O'reilly, isn't just some accident. That maybe its being used for a reason, that reason being that there's a portion of the public that associates Kool Aid with being poor and black. People like SexyTalon, from southern states, hear that when it gets said, as well as the denoted meaning.


Maybe if you make enough unsupported conjectures, eventually you'll get your insinuations to stick. Or maybe some phrases tend to stick. "Drinking the kool aid" has even more currency describing Macintosh enthusiasts than it has supporting Obama supporters, and Mac users are stereotypically affluent.

I'm going to remain skeptical until you can produce actual evidence. Until then, this is akin to accusing Republicans of implanting subliminal messages in saturday morning cartoons--amusing fodder for the Huffington Post, perhaps, but not worth any serious consideration.

"Uppity" definitely has racial overtones, but "drinking the kool aid"? Not so much.
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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby Ixtellor » Tue Sep 29, 2009 1:00 pm UTC

1) Phil doesn't deserve all the blame for the weird tangent. I played a role as well, because I think Ruby Ridge is an important issue.

2) Thanks Hawk. I read the hate-filled, emotional attacks last night but was more interested in the game on TV, and thought I would defend my name later, but I see you recognized the hysterical unsubstantited posts for what they were.
I hate it when people on the left (read my people) resort to Godwin attacks.

3) Occums Razor.
A) The government decided they wanted to murder the Weavers and sent military snipers to do it, based on bogus charges and delusions, because they really just wanted to assassinate some people.
B) The police trying to serve, what they believed to be, a legal warrant for the arrest of known anti-government - Michigan Militia candidate types - turned ugly as gun fire erupted on both sides with a US marshall and 1 weaver getting killed in the exchange. The rest of the weavers rather than make the sensible decision to turn themselves in and have their day in court, took up a defensive position -- when A goverment person in charge gave an illegal and immoral order to shoot on sight, rather than give this clan of extremists another chance to surrender peacefully.

Philwelch wrote:I've found that left-wingers usually respond more to police brutality against urban blacks, immigrants, and minority activists while right-wingers respond more to police brutality against mountain hicks and gun nuts. Police brutality reaches across political lines and from city to city. It can range from tasing an obnoxious "bro" to blowing an innocent mother's head off while she holds her infant.


I think there is a lot of validity to this assertation. With one major caveat, that once people start shooting at police I lose all sympathy for them. In modern states, if you have a grievance against the government you use the courts, not a gun. We don't settle disputes with gun violence, civilized people use lawyers and let an impartial judge here their case.
The government pays millions per year in lawsuits, illustrating that if you have a legitimate grievance and you go to court, justice can and usually is served.
I don't think moonshine brewing rednecks deserve death or to be beaten. I do think extremist Timothy McVeigh types who think killing cops to 'water the tree of freedom' reap what they get.

Secondly, I give police a little wiggle room. Being a police officer means you spend most of your daying dealing the the worst human beings on the planet who do nothing but lie and degrade the job they are trying to do. (Big city cops, small city cops just give out traffic tickets). So I don't blame them when they feel that they are in danger and want to get control of the situation before they start hearing our 'side of the story'. I say this as a person that was shoved up against a wall by a police officer for yelling --- because a very large person had punched me in the nose right in front of a cop during a race riot in Austin, Texas on 6th street.

Philwelch wrote:Maybe if you make enough unsupported conjectures, eventually you'll get your insinuations to stick. Or maybe some phrases tend to stick. "Drinking the kool aid" has even more currency describing Macintosh enthusiasts than it has supporting Obama supporters, and Mac users are stereotypically affluent.


I concur. I don't like how everything Republicans are doing is trying to be explained as racism. Before the election Barack was asked if racism would play a role in the election, and he said he thought about 5% of the people would vote on racial lines against him, but that 5% would vote for him based solely on race. At the time I thought he was being delusional, but it turns out he won the election and the 'racism' effect wasn't all that big.
I hate racist bigots as much as the next progressive liberal, but I don't like trying to peg everything as racist.

Drink the Kool Aid is a common phrase used by lots of people and we all know what it means. (we = smart people)


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P.S. Here is a juicy tid-bit for philwelch to feed his distrust of government - after the 'race riot' the police said they couldn't make any arrests, so they gave my friend, who was the first victim, the home addresses of all the people who started the riot and said "you can handle it". The people who started the riot were a group of about 30 young African American males so if you want to accuse the cops of racism in that case, feel free I guess.
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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby Philwelch » Tue Sep 29, 2009 1:53 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:3) Occums Razor.
A) The government decided they wanted to murder the Weavers and sent military snipers to do it, based on bogus charges and delusions, because they really just wanted to assassinate some people.
B) The police trying to serve, what they believed to be, a legal warrant for the arrest of known anti-government - Michigan Militia candidate types - turned ugly as gun fire erupted on both sides with a US marshall and 1 weaver getting killed in the exchange. The rest of the weavers rather than make the sensible decision to turn themselves in and have their day in court, took up a defensive position -- when A goverment person in charge gave an illegal and immoral order to shoot on sight, rather than give this clan of extremists another chance to surrender peacefully.


That's a dishonest framing of the issue here and you know it. How about this?

C) Federal cops spend months and years trying to recruit Randy Weaver as an informer against a white supremacist group he has no intention of joining. When he doesn't comply, they entrap him on weapons charges and use excessive force attempting to apprehend him. After screwing up and causing a fatal misunderstanding involving Sammy Weaver and Kevin Harris, they brand the Weavers as "cop killers" and apply lethal force with little to no remaining intention to bring them in alive.

Ixtellor wrote:I think there is a lot of validity to this assertation. With one major caveat, that once people start shooting at police I lose all sympathy for them. In modern states, if you have a grievance against the government you use the courts, not a gun. We don't settle disputes with gun violence, civilized people use lawyers and let an impartial judge here their case.


You should tell the FBI and US Marshals that.

Kevin Harris, the only surviving member of the Weaver party to actually shoot at the police, was tried and acquitted on the basis of self defense. There's no evidence that the US Marshals identified themselves before opening fire. He had his day in court, and he won. So did Randy Weaver, who sued the federal government and received a considerable settlement.

Using the courts is a luxury you don't have when the police are already shooting at you, though. Once anyone opens fire on you, it is your legal right to presume they are trying to kill you, and it is your legal right to return fire. It doesn't matter if you're being shot at by the police, the fire department, or the port commission.

Once police start shooting at the people, I lose all sympathy for them. Why don't you?
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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby Ixtellor » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:43 pm UTC

Philwelch wrote:Kevin Harris, the only surviving member of the Weaver party to actually shoot at the police, was tried and acquitted on the basis of self defense.


Nobody knows what happened there or who fired first and the whole case is a "he said, she said" debacle.
The fact that a jury of peers found reasonble doubt doesn't mean Harris didn't fire first with the intent to kill.

I would also note... see what happens when you use the courts... you get JUSTICE. You feel Harris was in the right and the courts agreed with you.

Philwelch wrote:Once police start shooting at the people, I lose all sympathy for them. Why don't you?
?


Very simple. I don't believe the police try to assassinate people for bogus reasons. In a nation of near 1 million police officers I am sure there are some bad seeds who may in fact feel they need to execute people. I guess about 13 of them. But for the other 999,987 police officers I think they are just trying to serve and protect. And even if they are abusive cops and ignore the civil liberty here and there, I don't believe they are trying to murder people on trumped up charges.

What percent of police versus private citizen gun fights do you believe -- the police are acting as authoritarian hit-squads whose motivation is the assassination of US citizens?

I wager with mighty confidence when there is a shoot out, its because criminals are trying to harm innocents and the police are acting in to preserve peace and defend the innocent as well as their selves, the vast majority of the time.

If you suggest anything higher than 5% of police shootings are assassinations, I would suggest you are a conspiracy nut.
In reality I wager my house its far lower than 1% of the cases - with the vast majority being racially motivated.


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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby Vaniver » Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:46 pm UTC

jestingrabbit wrote:Consider the popularity of the "drinking the Kool Aid" phrase used to describe Obama's supporters. SexyTalon informs us that in his neck of the woods Kool Aid has a clear association with being black and poor, but to many in that thread this is news. WP tells us that it was first used to describe Marion Barry, another black politician, and I can't really see this as completely coincidental.
First used to describe Marion Barry? Don't you mean "first used to describe the Jonestown Massacre"?

I mean, Jonestown was a "apostolic socialist" community. Obama's campaign had definite messianic undertones, as well as socialist undertones- and one could go so far as to call Obama's planned deficit "revolutionary suicide"!

It may be that Kool-Aid is associated with people who or poor or black, but it's even more associated with suicidal cultists. And so it could be a dog whistle thing about racism- or it could be a dog whistle thing about religion. As far as I can tell, 'dog whistles' tell you more about the listener than the speaker. "I think it's about racism," coming from someone who grew up in a racist area, is probably more a statement about the "I" than the "it"- said with the full knowledge that this statement might say more about me than the issue!

Ixtellor wrote:Very simple. I don't believe the police try to assassinate people for bogus reasons.
Even when there's evidence to suggest that? I mean, it's one thing to say "yeah, it's unclear what went on here" and it's another thing to say "it's unclear what went on here, so I'm going to assume my belief is correct."

Your statistical prejudice, while useful when you don't know anything about the issue, is a handicap when you do.
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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby Ixtellor » Tue Sep 29, 2009 7:21 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:Even when there's evidence to suggest that? I mean, it's one thing to say "yeah, it's unclear what went on here" and it's another thing to say "it's unclear what went on here, so I'm going to assume my belief is correct."

Your statistical prejudice, while useful when you don't know anything about the issue, is a handicap when you do.


What evidence do you have that the police wanted to assassinate the Weavers... just because?
If that were true why award them money and find Kevin innocent of killing a cop?

Your under the false assumption that the people trying to serve the warrants were the people involved in the 'entrapment' or the miscommunicated court date.

Government agencies are large, very large.

So do you think its more likely that the inter-governmantal agencies were doing a poor job of communicating with each other and a series of blunders lead to the death of 2 Weavers, or that there was a government conspiracy to treat the weavers a "lesson" and assassinate them.

You dont' have any evidence this was a conspiracy to murder people. Your just being sensational.


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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby Philwelch » Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:04 am UTC

Ixtellor wrote:
Vaniver wrote:Even when there's evidence to suggest that? I mean, it's one thing to say "yeah, it's unclear what went on here" and it's another thing to say "it's unclear what went on here, so I'm going to assume my belief is correct."

Your statistical prejudice, while useful when you don't know anything about the issue, is a handicap when you do.


What evidence do you have that the police wanted to assassinate the Weavers... just because?


The fact that they shot at the Weavers without announcing their presence or intentions or identity or even asked them to surrender?

The fact that they had "rules of engagement" specifically ordering them to do so?

Neither of us have enough information to pass judgment on the firefight between the US Marshalls, Sammy Weaver, and Kevin Harris. But starting from the moment when Lon Horiuchi shot to kill at Randy Weaver, the FBI were, as a simple matter of record, intentionally and illegally attempting to kill people. How can you sympathize with that? Does it make any difference whether there was a conspiracy? There were unlawful, intentional, premeditated attempts on Randy Weaver's and Kevin Harris's life. In most jurisdictions that constitutes attempted murder. Vicki Weaver was (perhaps unintentionally) killed in this attempt. In most jurisdictions an unintentional homicide committed during the commission of a felony constitutes some form of murder as well. I never said there was a conspiracy, or that any of the Weavers were "assassinated", I said they were murdered and the circumstances show that they were.

Let's talk about why police brutality happens. You attack a straw man when you accuse me of thinking there are grand police conspiracies to "assassinate" people. I think a lot of cops are thugs who are too enamored with their own power and authority. I think they view "cop killers" with even more hatred than you do, and as a consequence become highly interested in revenge for highly personal reasons. I think they tend to close ranks and protect fellow cops who cross the line when it comes to brutality and abuse. In short, cops live in a culture that enables, justifies, and covers up abuse. They have a frustrating job that turns ordinary people into jerks, and they have a position of power and authority that attracts too many jerks to the profession in the first place. It's way too easy for a cop to abuse his power.

I don't think there was a conspiracy per se against the Weavers, but it seems that the US Marshals went to his house spoiling for a fight. Once they got that fight, the entire cultural defense mechanism against cop-killers went into overdrive.
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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:25 am UTC

Philwelch wrote:I'm going to remain skeptical until you can produce actual evidence. Until then, this is akin to accusing Republicans of implanting subliminal messages in saturday morning cartoons--amusing fodder for the Huffington Post, perhaps, but not worth any serious consideration.

Evidence that Kool-Aid is part of a racist stereotype? How about jestingrabbit's link from the post above yours?

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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby Philwelch » Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:02 am UTC

Evidence that the phrase "drinking the kool-aid" is meant as a "dog whistle message".

Or that "dog whistle messages" are even used in politics--that's the real urban legend I'm criticizing.
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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby MrGee » Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:05 am UTC

I'd like some evidence that secret, hypothetical racists should be allowed to control what words I can and can't say.

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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby jestingrabbit » Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:02 am UTC

Philwelch wrote:Evidence that the phrase "drinking the kool-aid" is meant as a "dog whistle message".

Or that "dog whistle messages" are even used in politics--that's the real urban legend I'm criticizing.


Public speakers choose their words carefully, and often try to impart a more nuanced message to a small ingroup that isn't in the literal words used. To take a very simple example, consider Rev. Joseph Lowery's benediction at Obama's inauguration.

Here's a transcript

Spoiler:
God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, thou, who has brought us thus far along the way, thou, who has by thy might led us into the light, keep us forever in the path we pray, lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met thee, lest our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee.

Shadowed beneath thy hand, may we forever stand true to thee, oh God, and true to our native land.

We truly give thanks for the glorious experience we’ve shared this day.

We pray now, oh Lord, for your blessing upon thy servant Barack Obama, the 44th president of these United States, his family and his administration.

He has come to this high office at a low moment in the national, and indeed the global, fiscal climate. But because we know you got the whole world in your hands, we pray for not only our nation, but for the community of nations.

Our faith does not shrink though pressed by the flood of mortal ills.

For we know that, Lord, you are able and you’re willing to work through faithful leadership to restore stability, mend our brokenness, heal our wounds, and deliver us from the exploitation of the poor, of the least of these, and from favoritism toward the rich, the elite of these.

We thank you for the empowering of thy servant, our 44th president, to inspire our nation to believe that yes we can work together to achieve a more perfect union.

And while we have sown the seeds of greed — the wind of greed and corruption, and even as we reap the whirlwind of social and economic disruption, we seek forgiveness and we come in a spirit of unity and solidarity to commit our support to our president by our willingness to make sacrifices, to respect your creation, to turn to each other and not on each other.

And now, Lord, in the complex arena of human relations, help us to make choices on the side of love, not hate; on the side of inclusion, not exclusion; tolerance, not intolerance.

And as we leave this mountain top, help us to hold on to the spirit of fellowship and the oneness of our family. Let us take that power back to our homes, our workplaces, our churches, our temples, our mosques, or wherever we seek your will.

Bless President Barack, First Lady Michelle. Look over our little angelic Sasha and Malia.

We go now to walk together as children, pledging that we won’t get weary in the difficult days ahead. We know you will not leave us alone.

With your hands of power and your heart of love, help us then, now, Lord, to work for that day when nations shall not lift up sword against nation, when tanks will be beaten into tractors, when every man and every woman shall sit under his or her own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid, when justice will roll down like waters and righteousness as a mighty stream.

Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around … when yellow will be mellow … when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right. That all those who do justice and love mercy say Amen.


So that's the text more or less, and here's a video which I'll get back to later. Read it over, watch it, form an impression of what its about. But what are the less obvious messages being sent? Well, the first paragraph there is the last stanza of lift every voice and sing, aka the negro national anthem, and the last paragraph is riffing off a saying that has had prominence in the African American community: “if you are white you are right, if you are brown stick around and If you are black get back”. Now, I had no idea about any of that at the time I was first hearing it, but its pretty clear that he's sending a message of solidarity to African Americans who have fought for equal rights over the preceeding decades, and holding out the possibility that this event could change the status quo of race relations in a good way. There are other references, of a more religious nature as well, as you'd expect (tanks into tractors == swords into plowshares). This is all pretty innocuous imo, but unless you have a certain knowledge base, this stuff goes straight past you.

Now in the video, this is all finished off by a bunch of bible quotes. The first one is a warning "Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." I'd say that's a pretty clear statement about Obama, or perhaps Lowery, speaking persuasively, but not from a morally good/right place. The second is rather bland fare, but the third is rather interesting: "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil" (its John 3:19 rather than the 18 that appears in the vid). Now, you could argue that this is just another quote from the bible, that darkness has nothing to do with skin colour etc, but I think, in context, its saying that america chose the wrong man because its evil. But I can't argue that absolutely, there's definitely plausible deniability, but this I would call dog whistling, as the nuanced message communicated is appealing to peoples baser ways of thinking (I think there's some racism here).

But you want proof that politicians do this. Well, remember when Bush called the war in Iraq a comma? To me, that was outrageous idiotic, and made no literal sense. But there's a saying, "don't put a full stop where god put a comma", and if you know about that saying, there becomes a way to interpret and understand what he's saying. But more than anything, he was communicating to his christian right base that he was one of them.

I'm sure you can do your own google searches, you'll find a few thousand hits for the phrase "dog whistle politics", so asserting that its not a thing that happens holds no currency for me.

But what about the actual phrase that we're talking about here: drinking the Kool Aid. On the surface, if we take the usual figurative meaning, the message is about being a fanatical follower. Your assertion that it has more currency when used to describe mac users than obama supporters seems pretty false. Googling, I get about 10,000 hits for 'mac "drinking the Kool Aid"' and about the same if you drop the 'ing', whereas if I substitute obama for mac I get about 35,000 and 40,000 respectively. Now, there's less than 250,000 pages out there with either kool aid phrase (I might be double counting some), and obamas got about a third of them, compared to mac with less than a tenth.

My assertion is not that the phrase, in and of itself, is racist. But, given the associations that some people have, which I think urbandicitonary documents pretty well, I do think its intended, at least by some speakers, to call to mind the stereotype of it being a "ghetto" drink, associating obama with whatever images and feelings the listener has about ghettos. Now, I'm not saying that every person that uses this phrase is trying to make that connection, I'm not accusing everyone who uses that phrase of trying a subtle communication to a racist minority.

But there was a competing phrase that was very big for a while, that covered a similar overt meaning, which has hundreds of thousands of google hits: obamamania. But it seems like recently that's on the back burner and "drinking the kool aid" is coming to the fore. This could be for several reasons, the messianic implications that vaniver points out, but it could also be because of the racial undertones that kool aid has.

Vaniver wrote:First used to describe Marion Barry? Don't you mean "first used to describe the Jonestown Massacre"?


If we're going to pursue pedantry in an obnoxious disingenuous manner, I would say that I was unaware that Jonestown was the first recipient of this drink mixture. Surely, that I was referring to the first figurative usage of the phrase was clear from context.

Vaniver wrote:It may be that Kool-Aid is associated with people who or poor or black, but it's even more associated with suicidal cultists. And so it could be a dog whistle thing about racism- or it could be a dog whistle thing about religion. As far as I can tell, 'dog whistles' tell you more about the listener than the speaker. "I think it's about racism," coming from someone who grew up in a racist area, is probably more a statement about the "I" than the "it"- said with the full knowledge that this statement might say more about me than the issue!


If you acknowledge that its possible to be part of an ingroup that reads a message differently from the populous at large, it must surely be obvious that speakers can tailor their message so that it has that different meaning for that ingroup. Its not necessarily the case that that is what is going on, but its surely not impossible either.

MrGee wrote:I'd like some evidence that secret, hypothetical racists should be allowed to control what words I can and can't say.


You get to say whatever you want, and I get to talk about the words you use to communicate your message. Deal?
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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby folkhero » Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:04 am UTC

jestingrabbit wrote: WP tells us that it was first used to describe Marion Barry, another black politician, and I can't really see this as completely coincidental.

Wikipedia tells us that this is the first known use of the idiom, not the first ever use. If you really can't see it as a possible coincidence, you need to get your head checked. It's first known use has to describe followers someone, or someone's ideology and if we choose someone random in the US, their is about a 13% chance it will be an African American. There are a plenty of things in the world that are more improbable that happen by coincidence. 13% isn't nearly enough to be considered 'statistically significant;' it's about the same probability of rolling two 8-sided dice and getting the same number on both dice, clearly inside the realm of coincidence. Methinks the pattern-recognition part of your brain saw an African-American on the Wikipedia page and started to make connections without nearly enough evidence to make that connection mean anything.
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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby jestingrabbit » Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:51 am UTC

folkhero wrote:It's first known use has to describe followers someone, or someone's ideology and if we choose someone random in the US, their is about a 13% chance it will be an African American.


13% is the proportion of the population that is african american not the proportion of elected politicians, CEOs or what have you that are african american. For instance, in the US senate during the eighties, there were none whereas in the house there were 30 in total. That will give you numbers a lot less than 13%.
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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby Belial » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:35 am UTC

This post had objectionable content.

Edit: Nevermind, wrong thread.
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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby Ixtellor » Wed Sep 30, 2009 1:30 pm UTC

I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, before I say they or their actions were racist.

Since all these tea-baggers are hardcore Beck, Hannity, and O'Reilly fans and Beck, Hannity, and O'Reilly have been pounding "drink the Kool-aid" down their throat for 8+ years now to describe people who don't think (Ironic because tea-baggers aren't big on thinking, and just spout off what Glenn Beck told them to say).

I think its a safe assumption that they were using it in that context.

Hanging a skeleton from a tree in your yard on Halloween doesn't mean you condone lynching or that its to serve as a warning against black kids knocking on your door.

If the shirt had a picture of Obama drinking Kool-aid.. thats different.


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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:40 pm UTC

The Kool Aid metaphor has been around the conspiracy theorist/doomspeaker circles well before Obama entered the political arena. It predates "sheeple" for goodness' sake.

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Re: Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

Postby Philwelch » Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:41 pm UTC

jestingrabbit wrote:
Philwelch wrote:Evidence that the phrase "drinking the kool-aid" is meant as a "dog whistle message".

Or that "dog whistle messages" are even used in politics--that's the real urban legend I'm criticizing.


Public speakers choose their words carefully, and often try to impart a more nuanced message to a small ingroup that isn't in the literal words used. To take a very simple example, consider Rev. Joseph Lowery's benediction at Obama's inauguration.

So that's the text more or less, and here's a video which I'll get back to later. Read it over, watch it, form an impression of what its about. But what are the less obvious messages being sent? Well, the first paragraph there is the last stanza of lift every voice and sing, aka the negro national anthem, and the last paragraph is riffing off a saying that has had prominence in the African American community: “if you are white you are right, if you are brown stick around and If you are black get back”. Now, I had no idea about any of that at the time I was first hearing it, but its pretty clear that he's sending a message of solidarity to African Americans who have fought for equal rights over the preceeding decades, and holding out the possibility that this event could change the status quo of race relations in a good way. There are other references, of a more religious nature as well, as you'd expect (tanks into tractors == swords into plowshares). This is all pretty innocuous imo, but unless you have a certain knowledge base, this stuff goes straight past you.


You see similar things in Huckabee speeches--tons of biblical allusions. But "dog whistle politics" are something entirely different.

jestingrabbit wrote:I'm sure you can do your own google searches, you'll find a few thousand hits for the phrase "dog whistle politics", so asserting that its not a thing that happens holds no currency for me.


You'll find lots of hits for tons of things that are unsubstantiated urban legends. "It's something that people talk about" is not the same as "it's something that actually happens", just like subliminal messages or satanic ritual abuse.

Let me give you another example. During the primaries, a Hillary Clinton staffer made a remark about "Obama has won the small caucus states with the latte-sipping crowd...". "Latte" is a fairly current term to describe biracial people (though it's just barely under the surface), and if I had enough free time I could make up some story about that being a dog-whistle racial message implying that white voters are eager to support a biracial candidate like Obama without being truly aligned with black interests. Except that explanation is crap that I just made up to make the Clintons look bad, just like most allegations of "dog-whistle politics". Here's another one: Obama made some remark on the campaign trail about having visited "57 states". Most people thought that was a misstatement, that he meant to say 47, or maybe that he was just making a joke. But it turns out that the Organization of the Islamic Conference has 57 member states. Obama was clearly making a dog-whistle shout-out to Muslims!

Or maybe, just maybe, all of this is just an urban legend.
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