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-   -   Exercises of Insanity (Adam Serwer & Michael Moynihan) (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=6310)

bjk 11-18-2010 09:46 AM

Re: Exercises of Insanity (Adam Serwer & Michael Moynihan)
 
Dieter's comments are interesting. That explains why, when I explained racial gerrymandering to a German political scientist, he was so surprised and shocked. But then he went to one of his American colleagues and confirmed that racial gerrymandering was very real . . . he couldn't believe it. I was surprised at his surprise.

bkjazfan 11-18-2010 10:00 AM

Re: Exercises of Insanity (Adam Serwer & Michael Moynihan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ohreally (Post 188885)
No, I agree with you. My point was NOT that we lock up all blacks and give a pass to whites. We lock up everything that moves sideways for an eternity. (I was against locking up Martha Stewart.) But the consequence is that we end up committing the worst kind of social engineering in the black population by destroying the black family: just as WWI destroyed the family in France by killing or maiming half of all male bachelors, we are tearing apart the fabric of black society with our incarceration policy. Between the ghetto and the prison, the US has successfully recreated the plantation system. So when I hear, especially from a libertarian, "We've kicked the racism syndrome," I think of the Bourbon dynasty who'd forgotten nothing and learned nothing.

There's more to the breakup of the black family than high incarceration rates for black males. Up until the mid 60's their out of wedlock birthrate was 24% now it's 73%. What happened in the last 45 years to make this dramatic jump? I have heard some ideas but it appears to be a problem that has not been adequately addressed.

Hey what's the deal I get get the audio transmission on this diavlog or any of them for that matter. This started yesterday. I am far from being a computer geek but all other audio on my computer works.

John

look 11-18-2010 10:43 AM

Re: The discourse about supposedly worse "race relations" in europe is abdurd on its face
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 188894)
Exactly, and for obvious historical reasons. Americans are obsessed by race in a way that is incomprehensible to contemporary Europeans because Europe never had the problem of slavery and segregation. Nor did it have, before the middle of the 20th century, much immigration from non-European countries. There has always been a lot of mixing of nationalities within Europe (25% of "native" French people have a grandparent born in some other European country---Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Russia, even Germany).

Contemporary Europeans see immigrants not as distinct races but as distinct national/cultural/religious groups, which is not to say that there is no prejudice against them. But the prejudice takes the form of xenophobia, i.e. a rejection of populations that are perceived as foreign, unassimilated and perhaps unassimilatable (the latter is the view of extreme nationalist parties like Le Pen's Front National). Racial prejudice is something quite different.

Could Europeans do a better job of assimilating these groups? No doubt, but assimilation is a two-way street. And Europeans, or the French at any rate, expect immigrants to make an effort to learn the language and culture of their adopted country, to become good "républicains" (in the French sense).

Is this a distinction without a difference? Tell me, would the average French parent be equally sanguine if one of their children were to marry a Turk or a Nigerian?

How is mon cher frere today?

look 11-18-2010 10:49 AM

Re: The discourse about supposedly worse "race relations" in europe is abdurd on its face
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dieter (Post 188892)
It is absurd to attest superior race relations to the US vs. Europe, when the very discourse and framing of the European immigration issue as a an issue of race would be unspeakable on this side of the pond. The casual conversations about race, whites, blacks, asians, etc. that are perfectly mainstream and normal in the US, including on Bloggingheads, would be categorized as extreme and vile racism in Europe.

This poses huge problems for those who try to explain american politics to european audiences. In a post presidential election debate, an austrian intellectual who has spent some time in the US, casually und unthinkingly talked about how race relations played into the election in a manner that would be perfectly acceptable and mainstream in the US. A female journalist, who didn't know much about the US, was absolutely shocked that he would introduce vile "race theories" into the debate. The professional US correspondents tried to diplomatically pacify the situation somewhat. They usually ignore the issue.

Most europeans have a Hollywood view of the United States. They assume that racism exists in the form of some rural rednecks and sheriffs being mean to the odd black guy who happens to stumble across their way. Europeans assume that almost no blacks live in the racist southern states.

The wider political implications, tensions and so on are virtually unknown, even to most who frequently reference the US as either a positive or negative role model. Much like american pundits who talk about "Europe" and don't know anything about it.

So what about Europe
Immigration in Europe is perceived as an issue of culture and socio-economics rather than race. Even common stereotypes reflect this, like "polish car thieves", "romanian burglars" and "nigerian drug dealers". Nobody assumes that drug dealing is somehow tied to "blackness". Neither do Africans themselves associate around "blackness" but rather differentiate themselves according to nationality (Nigerian, Somali, Ugandan, etc.)

Moynihan's claim that Europeans don't ever accept immigrants as compatriots is blatantly untrue, accent or not. Assimilated or well integrated immigrants are accepted.
It gets problematic with assimilated immigrants from groups that are otherwise not well integrated. Their immigrant background is recently highlited against their wishes. So for example famous athletes, actors, comedians, businessmen, after having been accepted for decades and whose ethnic background was unknown to most or irrelevant to them and to the public are nowadays frequently asked to speak authoritatively about the immigration issue. This is meant as a well intended embrace, but has frequently the opposite effect on the person at hand.

In the US it is actually the government which constantly reminds Americans about race in its census forms, etc. The very idea of a race category on census forms would be likened to the Nuremberg Laws over here.

Europeans are fooled by the american dream
Europeans are disappointed that immigration doesn't work as Americans have advertised it (through Hollywood, the melting pot concept, tropes like "E pluribus unum"). It is assumed that we must be doing something wrong and have insufficiently copied the American model. This includes the right wing populist parties who frequently point to the US or Canada as a model (lack of welfare for immigrants; strict criteria for green cards etc.). The left on the other hand claims that Americans are more accepting of foreigners and that they wouldn't move out of a neighborhood, just because of immigrants coming in and high proportions of immigrant kids in school districts. The equivalent american "white flight" phenomenon is unknown.

Americans on the other hand are puzzled about what the fuzz in Europe is all about, because they don't believe in their own marketing in the first place.

Thanks for the interesting insights, dieter. Do you think maybe there is a deep denial of racism if race cannot be casually discussed? The female reporter's reaction seems ultra-PC.

look 11-18-2010 10:53 AM

Re: Exercises of Insanity (Adam Serwer & Michael Moynihan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by brucds (Post 188870)
To argue that MSNBC is an equal or greater purveyor of lies and bullshit than FOX is evidence of insanity or idiocy. NO ONE can document the amount of horseshit and hysteria that emanates from Beck and Hannity on MSNBC.That's a fact. Shove it if you don't like it.

And that's not to mention the sick bastard Ailes, who runs the show.

You can when its spread throughout the afternoon and evening.

operative 11-18-2010 10:59 AM

Re: Exercises of Insanity (Adam Serwer & Michael Moynihan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 188896)
Name them, please.

If three of them are going to be Juan Williams, Bob Beckel, and Geraldine Ferraro, I invite you to save yourself the bother.

Alan Colms (sic), too, and I think there was someone else but I forget their name. But I forgot that you get to decide which liberals count as actual liberals. That way even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary you can continue with your illusion that Fox had no idealogical balance on election night. Basically, you will dismiss any liberal who goes on Fox as not really a liberal.

So, why don't we say it this way: Fox had on several people who most people, besides bjkeefe, consider to be liberals, and who objectively were giving alternative viewpoints. MSNBC, conversely, had no one other than lefties. MSNBC was an echo chamber, Fox was not.

operative 11-18-2010 11:01 AM

Re: Exercises of Insanity (Adam Serwer & Michael Moynihan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ohreally (Post 188885)
No, I agree with you. My point was NOT that we lock up all blacks and give a pass to whites. We lock up everything that moves sideways for an eternity. (I was against locking up Martha Stewart.) But the consequence is that we end up committing the worst kind of social engineering in the black population by destroying the black family: just as WWI destroyed the family in France by killing or maiming half of all male bachelors, we are tearing apart the fabric of black society with our incarceration policy. Between the ghetto and the prison, the US has successfully recreated the plantation system. So when I hear, especially from a libertarian, "We've kicked the racism syndrome," I think of the Bourbon dynasty who'd forgotten nothing and learned nothing.

Well, in regards to the incarceration style, I'd also favor not locking up people who are pretty clearly not threats to society--Martha Stewart etc.

But I absolutely prefer the US approach on violent crime (actually I prefer the Singapore approach, but that's another story). If we concentrated on keeping violent criminals in prison and not putting people who are not threats to society in prison, we'd be better off.

operative 11-18-2010 11:04 AM

Re: Exercises of Insanity (Adam Serwer & Michael Moynihan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjk (Post 188907)
Dieter's comments are interesting. That explains why, when I explained racial gerrymandering to a German political scientist, he was so surprised and shocked. But then he went to one of his American colleagues and confirmed that racial gerrymandering was very real . . . he couldn't believe it. I was surprised at his surprise.

Racial gerrymandering is pretty regularly defended by liberal political scientists--it's a way of ensuring that minorities actually have representation in Congress. Unfortunately, sometimes it leads to Cold Cash Jefferson, Truther McKinney, "STOP THE VIETNAMESE" Sanchez, and Island Flipping Johnson. But plenty of idiots come out of non-racially gerrymandered districts too.

osmium 11-18-2010 11:26 AM

Re: Exercises of Insanity (Adam Serwer & Michael Moynihan)
 
This is a good discussion, but like stop pounding on the table and fidgeting with the computer.

osmium 11-18-2010 11:39 AM

Re: Exercises of Insanity (Adam Serwer & Michael Moynihan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by operative (Post 188853)
I will give you that there is a disparity in executions for the same offense between whites and blacks, so we do need to start executing more white people.

Just wanted to interject that we shouldn't be executing anybody.

Winspur 11-18-2010 11:56 AM

Re: Beck's Narrative
 
Beck is not stupid, insofar as he knows how to carry on a campaign of right-wing slander against a prominent Jew without looking too much like Rich Iott. He can convince enough viewers that he is a nice Mormon boy to keep raking in his millions.

(Rich Iott was the Republican Nazi fetishist who ran for Congress this year in Ohio and lost).

glennhowardsecure 11-18-2010 12:18 PM

Prescriptive vs. Descriptive Un-Americanism
 
When torture (or lynching or slavery) has been denounced as un-American, existing or proposed American practice is being castigated as not in accord with extolled American ideals, such as humaneness, the rule of law, and liberty. This is not a move to denounce the evils referred to as inconsistent with deprecated American practice. Instead, it is rather like decrying double negatives as un-grammatical. Descriptively, double negatives are part and parcel of the grammar as used. It is a prescriptive grammatical norm that urges us to eschew them. For the enemies of evils to deprive themselves of the formidable "un-" weapon, however wised-up that might be, were less than wise.

Of course, the questions, "What are the American ideals that we cherish, or ought to cherish?" and "How are they to be put into practice?" are as fraught as any other questions posed across political and ideological divides.

Florian 11-18-2010 12:22 PM

Re: The discourse about supposedly worse "race relations" in europe is abdurd on its face
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by look (Post 188909)
Is this a distinction without a difference? Tell me, would the average French parent be equally sanguine if one of their children were to marry a Turk or a Nigerian?

How is mon cher frere today?

Ca va, et toi?

I can't answer your question with precision because so many young people in France reject marriage in favor of civil unions or "concubinage." But according to numbers I have seen, about 25% of all marriages annually in France are "mixed" (all nationalities), and half of those are with Maghrébins (Arabs from North Africa) and Africans, split evenly. Turks are not a very large population in France.

Moreover, 35% of "beurs"* are married to "français de souche" (native born French). And I just read a Figaro article which said that 27% of French parents would disapprove if their child married an Arab, 21% an African, and 14% an Asian.

"Beur" is verlan (slang) for Arab (second generation), without racist connotations.

operative 11-18-2010 12:58 PM

Re: Beck's Narrative
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Winspur (Post 188919)
Beck is not stupid, insofar as he knows how to carry on a campaign of right-wing slander against a prominent Jew without looking too much like Rich Iott. He can convince enough viewers that he is a nice Mormon boy to keep raking in his millions.

(Rich Iott was the Republican Nazi fetishist who ran for Congress this year in Ohio and lost).

I think that's a grossly unfair charge against Iott. His son was a history buff, and sometimes history buffs do quirky things like dress up in historical uniforms. He's no more a "Nazi fetishist" than someone who participates in a Civil War reinactment is a "Confederate fetishist."

db63 11-18-2010 01:23 PM

Re: Beck's Narrative
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by operative (Post 188923)
I think that's a grossly unfair charge against Iott. His son was a history buff, and sometimes history buffs do quirky things like dress up in historical uniforms. He's no more a "Nazi fetishist" than someone who participates in a Civil War reinactment is a "Confederate fetishist."

I wouldn't want a candidate who dressed up as a Confederate soldier either. It seems that doing so does not necessarily imply that one is a racist, but rather that one is completely tone deaf to the ways in which historical memory affect individuals living today. People shouldn't be barred from dressing up like their favorite SS or Confederate soldiers, but it seems completely legitimate for voters to determine they don't want a candidate representing them if they believe the candidate lacks the tact and foresight to see how their constituents would respond to their dressing up as a Panzer division that helped the Einsatzgruppen kill Jews.

bjkeefe 11-18-2010 01:25 PM

Re: The discourse about supposedly worse "race relations" in europe is abdurd on its face
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dieter (Post 188892)
It is absurd to attest superior race relations to the US vs. Europe ...

I think you and Florian should just set this aside, and instead respond by saying, "Eh, so what. Because what about the Eurostep? Huh? Now who's superior?"

;)

(Actually, I think it should be called the Argentinestep, because the D Wade clip looks like someone spent someone a little time watching Manu Ginobili.)

Fluffy Foo Foo 11-18-2010 01:35 PM

Re: Beck's Narrative
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by operative (Post 188923)
I think that's a grossly unfair charge against Iott. His son was a history buff, and sometimes history buffs do quirky things like dress up in historical uniforms. He's no more a "Nazi fetishist" than someone who participates in a Civil War reinactment is a "Confederate fetishist."

I tend to agree. It's just dudes who are interested in military history. Not that big a deal. That said, conservatives gave some Democrat campaign leader/strategist a hard time for having been photographed wearing a Waffen SS t-shirt. That guy just happens to be into collecting SS items.

Whatever, I say.

operative 11-18-2010 01:44 PM

Re: Beck's Narrative
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Fluffy Foo Foo (Post 188926)
I tend to agree. It's just dudes who are interested in military history. Not that big a deal. That said, conservatives gave some Democrat campaign leader/strategist a hard time for having been photographed wearing a Waffen SS t-shirt. That guy just happens to be into collecting SS items.

Whatever, I say.

Yeah it's something that's just a partisan game, really. There's a difference between being a history buff and actually being a Nazi fetishist, like Human Rights Watch's propagandist against Israel was (http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/200...-obsessed.html)

operative 11-18-2010 01:45 PM

Re: Beck's Narrative
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by db63 (Post 188924)
I wouldn't want a candidate who dressed up as a Confederate soldier either. It seems that doing so does not necessarily imply that one is a racist, but rather that one is completely tone deaf to the ways in which historical memory affect individuals living today. People shouldn't be barred from dressing up like their favorite SS or Confederate soldiers, but it seems completely legitimate for voters to determine they don't want a candidate representing them if they believe the candidate lacks the tact and foresight to see how their constituents would respond to their dressing up as a Panzer division that helped the Einsatzgruppen kill Jews.

Tone deaf yes, Nazi sympathizer no.

bjkeefe 11-18-2010 02:00 PM

Re: Exercises of Insanity (Adam Serwer & Michael Moynihan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by operative (Post 188913)
Alan Colms (sic), too, and I think there was someone else but I forget their name. But I forgot that you get to decide which liberals count as actual liberals. That way even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary you can continue with your illusion that Fox had no idealogical balance on election night. Basically, you will dismiss any liberal who goes on Fox as not really a liberal.

Untrue. I'd say Joe Trippi and Kirstin Powers are, broadly speaking, liberals. Whether FoxNews had "balance" in Election Night, of course, is doubtful. But who cares. It's not like I'd ever watch that channel.

And you're perfectly free to call whoever you want a liberal. As I've said before, when you're far enough out on the right, of course centrists are going to look liberal to you, just as gnats call horseflies "tall." This is why I don't care for labels of this sort -- they're well-nigh meaningless.

Quote:

So, why don't we say it this way: Fox had on several people who most people, besides bjkeefe, consider to be liberals, and who objectively were giving alternative viewpoints.
Why don't we not? As I've also said before, the use of objectively is a particularly lame attempt to assert one's opinion is fact. That word is overused like few others, and almost always inappropriately. Just because you're feeling defensive about what FoxNews and its viewers call "liberals" and thereby can't stop sputtering, it doesn't make your subjective judgment something everyone would agree is beyond dispute.

I do notice you've backed off from "five," though. So I guess you're already acknowledging my point deep down.

Also: "idealogical" deserved a "(sic)" of its own. And for future reference, be advised that Google is there to help.

bjkeefe 11-18-2010 02:08 PM

Re: Beck's Narrative
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by operative (Post 188927)
Yeah it's something that's just a partisan game, really. There's a difference between being a history buff and actually being a Nazi fetishist, like Human Rights Watch's propagandist against Israel was (http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/200...-obsessed.html)

Fascinating that you can't see how comically self-refuting this is.

bjkeefe 11-18-2010 02:37 PM

Re: Exercises of Insanity (Adam Serwer & Michael Moynihan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by operative (Post 188915)
Racial gerrymandering is pretty regularly defended by liberal political scientists--it's a way of ensuring that minorities actually have representation in Congress.

I don't think you should say that without acknowledging that "liberal political scientists" have also pointed out how, on numerous occasions, gerrymandering has been used to minimize minority representation.

Two approaches are familiar here: packing and cracking. In the first, you define the districts so that most of the members of the group whose representation you seek to minimize are in one district. Then you define two or three or more districts (as many as you can get away with) such that the minority group is unlikely to win in any of them. The result is representation of proportions 2:1 or 3:1 or more, where the minority population may be considerably larger in proportion. In the extreme, it's even possible to use this technique to ensure that a minority who is actually the majority in a given region will never have majority representation.

In the second, you define the districts such that the minority group is spread over all the districts with no realistic chance of winning any of them.

bjkeefe 11-18-2010 02:44 PM

Re: Exercises of Insanity (Adam Serwer & Michael Moynihan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by osmium (Post 188917)
This is a good discussion, but like stop pounding on the table and fidgeting with the computer.

Second the complaint about the pounding. Sounded like a damn politician at the podium.

whburgess 11-18-2010 03:08 PM

Re: Beck's Narrative
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by db63 (Post 188924)
I wouldn't want a candidate who dressed up as a Confederate soldier either. It seems that doing so does not necessarily imply that one is a racist, but rather that one is completely tone deaf to the ways in which historical memory affect individuals living today. People shouldn't be barred from dressing up like their favorite SS or Confederate soldiers, but it seems completely legitimate for voters to determine they don't want a candidate representing them if they believe the candidate lacks the tact and foresight to see how their constituents would respond to their dressing up as a Panzer division that helped the Einsatzgruppen kill Jews.

Why would somebody, anybody, object to someone participating in a civil war reenactment? How is that "tone deaf" in any way?

Florian 11-18-2010 03:08 PM

Re: The discourse about supposedly worse "race relations" in europe is abdurd on its face
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 188925)
I think you and Florian should just set this aside, and instead respond by saying, "Eh, so what. Because what about the Eurostep? Huh? Now who's superior?"

;)

(Actually, I think it should be called the Argentinestep, because the D Wade clip looks like someone spent someone a little time watching Manu Ginobili.)

Fancy footwork, Monsieur BJ.

Maybe the eurostep will catch on in other domains.

dieter 11-18-2010 03:52 PM

Re: The discourse about supposedly worse "race relations" in europe is abdurd on its face
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 188903)
I don't want to defend the proposition that "the US is superior to Europe on race relations" or anything like that. I do not know nearly enough about Europe to have a meaningful view. I will say that though I was surprised to hear it said, Michael's having lived for a time in Europe and Adam's perspective (part black, and Jewish) made me think the claim had more credibility than if it had just been someone like, say, me -- a white guy who has only lived in the US -- saying it.

I fail to see how Blackness and Jewishness bestows superior understanding of Europe.

I am pretty sure that Michael's claim that Europeans never accept immigrants into their fold is not his own, genuine observation. He is probably repeating what he read in the European press, which in turn simply rehashes and applies the myth of American exceptionalism in order to explain why immigration doesn't work as advertised by Americans.

American exceptionalism is a mutually reinforced myth that is usually supported by highly selective anecdotal evidence. So for example every single US correspondent explains that Americans deal with unemployment not with lament but rather by starting a business. Every single one of them tell of a cab driver who used to be a professional or manager and who enthusiastically looks forward to starting his own business.
OECD data of course tells us that Americans are actually at the very low end of a continuous distribution for entrepreneurship, self-employment and so on.

So I am not impressed by Michael's anecdotal evidence of him accepting some Irishman with a slight accent as his compatriot. That's like me accepting a northern German. I can tell you that numerous of my acquaintances are accepted as Austrian by everybody; and to the extent that they look different at least the very instant they open their mouth.

This question of acceptance would have to be substantiated by more than just anecdotal evidence. Large immigrant groups have assimilated quickly all over Europe. Recent Russians immigrants to Germany, who dubiously claimed to be of German decent, yet knew nothing of German culture or language and were initially perceived to be troublemakers have intermarriage rates of 70%. This mirrors the experience with all kinds of groups all over Europe, both historically during the industrial revolution and post WWII. Basically to the extent the melting pot works in the US, it works exactly the same way in Europe.

Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 188903)
I will also say that I am not sure if I understand your meaning correctly in your opening paragraph, but my first impression of it makes me think that, at some point, refusing to discuss race-related issues at all does not seem particularly healthy. If you are trying to say that it is not talked about it because it simply doesn't occur to anyone to talk about it, outside of a few fringe characters, okay.

I am not advising Americans to be silent about race. Racial divisions are real in the US. There are socio-economic, political, cultural and other fault lines that have far reaching implications.

In Europe on the other hand race matters only in terms of individual, unconnected racist incident. Other than that it is not a meaningful category. It may be in the future, depending on whether Europe follows the Brazilian model of race mixing or the American model of persistent racial self-segregation. Since the influx of Africans, Asians and other distinctly looking peoples is gradual and modest, I believe the former will take place.

Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 188903)
Again, this seems somewhat ... I can't decide on the right word ... to be in denial, maybe? ... on the part of that journalist who didn't know much about the US. I can accept just not knowing to some degree, but it is hard for me to grasp the thought that a person educated enough to be a journalist at the level where she would be talking to other, world-traveling journalists would not at least be able to get that, well, yes, the US has had a long and difficult history involving race and race-related issues, and so it shouldn't be too surprising that there remain at least echoes.

Everybody who graduated from high school or has at least some interest in politics or history certainly knows that 1.) blacks used to be enslaved and later 2.) where segregated until the 1960ies. But it doesn't follow from that that Real Americans in 2010 would reject universal healthcare for this reason (among others).

One of the things the intellectual said that seemed controversial to the female journalist was that blacks almost uniformly voted for Obama. He asked the US correspondents to corroborate this claim, which they did.

Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 188903)
Quote:

Europeans assume that almost no blacks live in the racist southern states.
That seems odd. Not that I'm not sure there are equally large gaps in my knowledge about Europe.

Hollywood movies are rarely set in the south. Journalists and professionals don't visit the south either. Hiphop is mostly coastal. European documentaries that are supposed to show typical or Real Americans are usually shot in the Mid West.

dieter 11-18-2010 04:03 PM

Re: The discourse about supposedly worse "race relations" in europe is abdurd on its face
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by look (Post 188910)
Thanks for the interesting insights, dieter. Do you think maybe there is a deep denial of racism if race cannot be casually discussed? The female reporter's reaction seems ultra-PC.

She works for a centrist middle-brow daily newspaper which doesn't have a regular US correspondent. She probably got all of her information from German sources, or maybe the odd superficial Newsweek or Time Magazine article she might have read to prepare herself for the election coverage.

So it is not a matter of PC. There are many un-PC politicians and intellectuals in Austria and other places. It is just the pure shock value of talking about races in terms of collective groups with agency, different political beliefs, motives and so on.

whburgess 11-18-2010 04:25 PM

Re: Prescriptive vs. Descriptive Un-Americanism
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by glennhowardsecure (Post 188921)
When torture (or lynching or slavery) has been denounced as un-American, existing or proposed American practice is being castigated as not in accord with extolled American ideals, such as humaneness, the rule of law, and liberty. This is not a move to denounce the evils referred to as inconsistent with deprecated American practice. Instead, it is rather like decrying double negatives as un-grammatical. Descriptively, double negatives are part and parcel of the grammar as used. It is a prescriptive grammatical norm that urges us to eschew them. For the enemies of evils to deprive themselves of the formidable "un-" weapon, however wised-up that might be, were less than wise.

Of course, the questions, "What are the American ideals that we cherish, or ought to cherish?" and "How are they to be put into practice?" are as fraught as any other questions posed across political and ideological divides.


Great point. Furthermore, the term 'Un-American' is only used in the context of decrying existing or proposed American practice. No one protests bad stuff in other countries with cries of 'Un-American"

Furthermore, the American/s protesting a particular practice as "Un-American" are never (or very rarely) engaging in that practice themselves.

So saying something is 'un-American' is to define America by its ideals in the very context of its actual or possible failure, but there is always an Adam around to say "Wait, how dare you define America by its ideals, successfully realized or otherwise? No--we must always define America by its faults and failures".

bjkeefe 11-18-2010 04:38 PM

Re: The discourse about supposedly worse "race relations" in europe is abdurd on its face
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dieter (Post 188946)
I fail to see how Blackness and Jewishness bestows superior understanding of Europe.

I didn't say it did.

I can tell from this and much of the rest that there's not much point in my trying to gain understanding by asking you any more questions. Thanks for your responses, nonetheless.

dieter 11-18-2010 04:39 PM

Re: The discourse about supposedly worse "race relations" in europe is abdurd on its face
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 188922)
Ca va, et toi?

I can't answer you question with precision because so many young people in France reject mariage in favor of civil unions or "concubinage." But according to numbers I have seen, about 25% of all mariages annually in France are "mixed" (all nationalities), and half of those are with Maghrébins (Arabs from North Africa) and Africans, split evenly. Turks are not a very large population in France.

Moreover, 35% of "beurs"* are married to "français de souche" (native born French). And I just read a Figaro article which said that 27% of French parents would disapprove if their child married an Arab, 21% an African, and 14% an Asian.

"Beur" is verlan (slang) for Arab (second generation), without racist connotations.

I've seen Ivan Rioufol of Le Figaro claim on TV and possibly in his column claim that most of these mixed marriages take place within ethnic groups. It difficult to substantiate this one way or the other though since France follows a strict ius soli ideology and government institutions are prohibited from collecting data on ethnic background.

But Rioufol's claim certainly matches the experience in other European countries. Multiculturalists in Germany and other places claimed that Muslims from Northern Africa and Turkey are mixing too. The fact of the matter is that these are mostly arranged marriages among naturalized immigrants and spouses from their country of origin. Different Muslim groups don't even mix among themselves. The intermarriage rate between Arabs, Turks or Kurds in Germany is practically zero. Alevis are an exception to this rule.

stephanie 11-18-2010 05:03 PM

Re: The discourse about supposedly worse "race relations" in europe is abdurd on its face
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dieter (Post 188946)
Hiphop is mostly coastal.

Southern hiphop is pretty big. Outkast, for just one example.

There are also a ton of movies set in the South, although that doesn't mean they get shown in Europe, I suppose.

Is the UK not being counted as part of Europe? Because my sense is they clearly have what I'd call discussion of race, even if sometimes the racial designation is different than you'd get in the US. (I also have an African-American friend who did not have the experience that Austrians did not see race in the least when she was studying there, but I can't speak to whether I'd agree with her impressions. It just causes me to be a little skeptical about this idea that the way Europeans talk about ethnicity/national original is so unlike the racism in the US. There's also the way people talk about gypsies, which I found common in Italy, for example.)

dieter 11-18-2010 05:32 PM

Re: The discourse about supposedly worse "race relations" in europe is abdurd on its face
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 188952)
Southern hiphop is pretty big. Outkast, for just one example.

There are also a ton of movies set in the South, although that doesn't mean they get shown in Europe, I suppose.

More importantly. Hollywood movies are dubbed in most countries. So "ebonics", or rather the black sociolect gets completely lost.
Outkast? What is distinctly southern about them? Nobody understands the lyrics anyway.

It might be different in the UK for the simple reason that language doesn't act as a barrier to stop the American discourse from entering the UK.

Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 188952)
(I also have an African-American friend who did not have the experience that Austrians did not see race in the least when she was studying there, but I can't speak to whether I'd agree with her impressions.

That is on the level of individual interaction. I am not saying that Europeans don't see race in terms of looks. But "race" is not tied to all of the political, cultural and social context that it has in the US.

Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 188952)
It just causes me to be a little skeptical about this idea that the way Europeans talk about ethnicity/national original is so unlike the racism in the US. There's also the way people talk about gypsies, which I found common in Italy, for example.)

Yes, but the Gypsies are not perceived in terms of race, but rather as a nomadic people.

graz 11-18-2010 05:51 PM

Re: The discourse about supposedly worse "race relations" in europe is abdurd on its face
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dieter (Post 188953)
Outkast? What is distinctly southern about them?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_hip_hop

Quote:

Nobody understands the lyrics anyway.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGdJpMfXha4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWgvGjAhvIw

dieter 11-18-2010 05:59 PM

Re: The discourse about supposedly worse "race relations" in europe is abdurd on its face
 
Right. I know about Outcast. So how would they dispel the perception that most African Americans live in New York or Los Angeles rather than the South, even to those who understand their pointless and generic pop lyrics?

stephanie 11-18-2010 06:00 PM

Re: The discourse about supposedly worse "race relations" in europe is abdurd on its face
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dieter (Post 188953)
More importantly. Hollywood movies are dubbed in most countries. So "ebonics", or rather the black sociolect gets completely lost.

I though the claim was simpler -- that Europeans didn't think black people lived in the South. Are you saying that they wouldn't know if a movie was supposed to be in the South?

Quote:

Outkast? What is distinctly southern about them?
Where they are from. I'm just pointing out there are a lot of hiphop groups and artists from the South (and thus even a subset of the genre called Southern hiphop).

Quote:

Yes, but the Gypsies are not perceived in terms of race, but rather as a nomadic people.
Well, this gets to the question of what it means to perceive a group in terms of class [edit: uh, race, I meant]. The way Europeans sometimes talk about national characteristics goes beyond what you'd hear in the US and seems kind of weird. (I'm not saying it's typical, but I remember a document leaked from Margaret Thatcher's Foreign Office about the German national characteristic that was seen as rather shocking in the US.)

Also, of course, what "white" has meant in the US has been an evolving category.

dieter 11-18-2010 06:15 PM

Re: The discourse about supposedly worse "race relations" in europe is abdurd on its face
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 188959)
Quote:

More importantly. Hollywood movies are dubbed in most countries. So "ebonics", or rather the black sociolect gets completely lost.
I though the claim was simpler -- that Europeans didn't think black people lived in the South. Are you saying that they wouldn't know if a movie was supposed to be in the South?

The claim about the South is just a subset of how race relations are misrepresented by Hollywood and misperceived by Europeans. Dubbing removes the last trace of differences of racial subculture. All you get is a group of police officers, scientists, super heroes or soldiers who happen to have different skin colors, but all talk like Germans, without any differences in wording or accent.

whburgess 11-18-2010 06:36 PM

Re: The discourse about supposedly worse "race relations" in europe is abdurd on its face
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dieter (Post 188892)
It is absurd to attest superior race relations to the US vs. Europe, when the very discourse and framing of the European immigration issue as a an issue of race would be unspeakable on this side of the pond. The casual conversations about race, whites, blacks, asians, etc. that are perfectly mainstream and normal in the US, including on Bloggingheads, would be categorized as extreme and vile racism in Europe.

This poses huge problems for those who try to explain american politics to european audiences. In a post presidential election debate, an austrian intellectual who has spent some time in the US, casually und unthinkingly talked about how race relations played into the election in a manner that would be perfectly acceptable and mainstream in the US. A female journalist, who didn't know much about the US, was absolutely shocked that he would introduce vile "race theories" into the debate. The professional US correspondents tried to diplomatically pacify the situation somewhat. They usually ignore the issue.

Most europeans have a Hollywood view of the United States. They assume that racism exists in the form of some rural rednecks and sheriffs being mean to the odd black guy who happens to stumble across their way. Europeans assume that almost no blacks live in the racist southern states.

The wider political implications, tensions and so on are virtually unknown, even to most who frequently reference the US as either a positive or negative role model. Much like american pundits who talk about "Europe" and don't know anything about it.

So what about Europe
Immigration in Europe is perceived as an issue of culture and socio-economics rather than race. Even common stereotypes reflect this, like "polish car thieves", "romanian burglars" and "nigerian drug dealers". Nobody assumes that drug dealing is somehow tied to "blackness". Neither do Africans themselves associate around "blackness" but rather differentiate themselves according to nationality (Nigerian, Somali, Ugandan, etc.)

Moynihan's claim that Europeans don't ever accept immigrants as compatriots is blatantly untrue, accent or not. Assimilated or well integrated immigrants are accepted.
It gets problematic with assimilated immigrants from groups that are otherwise not well integrated. Their immigrant background is recently highlited against their wishes. So for example famous athletes, actors, comedians, businessmen, after having been accepted for decades and whose ethnic background was unknown to most or irrelevant to them and to the public are nowadays frequently asked to speak authoritatively about the immigration issue. This is meant as a well intended embrace, but has frequently the opposite effect on the person at hand.

In the US it is actually the government which constantly reminds Americans about race in its census forms, etc. The very idea of a race category on census forms would be likened to the Nuremberg Laws over here.

Europeans are fooled by the american dream
Europeans are disappointed that immigration doesn't work as Americans have advertised it (through Hollywood, the melting pot concept, tropes like "E pluribus unum"). It is assumed that we must be doing something wrong and have insufficiently copied the American model. This includes the right wing populist parties who frequently point to the US or Canada as a model (lack of welfare for immigrants; strict criteria for green cards etc.). The left on the other hand claims that Americans are more accepting of foreigners and that they wouldn't move out of a neighborhood, just because of immigrants coming in and high proportions of immigrant kids in school districts. The equivalent american "white flight" phenomenon is unknown.

Americans on the other hand are puzzled about what the fuzz in Europe is all about, because they don't believe in their own marketing in the first place.


From your account, it seems Europe has the exact same racial issues that Americans have with the added disadvantage of being too politically correct to talk about it to the point that they (if you are representative) won't even admit that their racial issues are indeed about race.

The point these two blogging heads were making is that "American" is not an ethnicity as it is in other countries. Germans, French, English, etc are an ethnic group which is identified with a country, with a history, culture, language, etc.

It never occurs to even the most racist southern redneck in America that a black person is not an American. There are people in the western part of the united states who are racist against native-americans. it never occurs to them that these people are not American. Hispanic people have been in Texas since before white people were there---all Texans realize this, and it never occurs to them that a Hispanic-American is not an American, even to those Texans racist against "mexcans".

Now--there are xenophobic Americans who are a little worried about immigrants--but these immigrants are always distinguished by their accent or unusual dress...not by their race. If a person doesn't like immigrants from Mexico because they don't speak English well--these same people aren't going to like immigrants from Russia either. So these people are not racists---they are suspicious of cultural differences..not racial differences.

For example, I think its safe to say that the south has its share of these xenophobes---however--notice that two southern states have elected Indian-Americans as governors. Both parents of both Nikki Haley and Bobby Jindal are from India. Both of them are republicans so neither of them got very much of the black vote (FYI-southern states have more then twice as many blacks as northern states). So this means they were both elected by those southern 'racist' rednecks in overwhelming numbers. If you heard these two speak, you'd never know their parents were immigrants. They are American Southerners--born and bred. And all those 'rednecks' see them as such. On the other hand, if Nikki Haley spoke with an Indian accent, and wore a sari, there is no chance in hell she would have got elected.

chiwhisoxx 11-18-2010 06:44 PM

Re: Exercises of Insanity (Adam Serwer & Michael Moynihan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 188929)
Untrue. I'd say Joe Trippi and Kirstin Powers are, broadly speaking, liberals. Whether FoxNews had "balance" in Election Night, of course, is doubtful. But who cares. It's not like I'd ever watch that channel.

And you're perfectly free to call whoever you want a liberal. As I've said before, when you're far enough out on the right, of course centrists are going to look liberal to you, just as gnats call horseflies "tall." This is why I don't care for labels of this sort -- they're well-nigh meaningless.



Why don't we not? As I've also said before, the use of objectively is a particularly lame attempt to assert one's opinion is fact. That word is overused like few others, and almost always inappropriately. Just because you're feeling defensive about what FoxNews and its viewers call "liberals" and thereby can't stop sputtering, it doesn't make your subjective judgment something everyone would agree is beyond dispute.

I do notice you've backed off from "five," though. So I guess you're already acknowledging my point deep down.

Also: "idealogical" deserved a "(sic)" of its own. And for future reference, be advised that Google is there to help.

The self righteous, I'm going to speak truth to power Fox remote is fairly precious. And obnoxious to boot. Are people really rude enough to use that to change the channel in public places where the owners have presumably picked a channel?

dieter 11-18-2010 07:21 PM

Re: The discourse about supposedly worse "race relations" in europe is abdurd on its face
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by whburgess (Post 188961)
From your account, it seems Europe has the exact same racial issues that Americans have with the added disadvantage of being too politically correct to talk about it to the point that they (if you are representative) won't even admit that their racial issues are indeed about race.

I am saying that European issues of immigration are objectively not about race. You are using your American race-based framework to interpret the situation in Europe, which is misguided.

Quote:

Originally Posted by whburgess (Post 188961)
It never occurs to even the most racist southern redneck in America that a black person is not an American.

By "racist southern rednecks" I was alluding to how they are portrayed in Hollywood movies.

db63 11-18-2010 07:27 PM

Re: Beck's Narrative
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by whburgess (Post 188939)
Why would somebody, anybody, object to someone participating in a civil war reenactment? How is that "tone deaf" in any way?

It is tone deaf if you are a politician.


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