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stephanie 11-18-2010 07:39 PM

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

Originally Posted by dieter (Post 188963)
issues of immigration are objectively not about race

What does it mean to be "objectively about race"? I ask, because you are going on with great authority about what race signifies in the US and how it's entirely different than what national (or some other) groupings designate in Europe, yet I get the sense that claim is based in part on exaggerated (or mistaken) sense of what "race" means when referenced in the US.

operative 11-18-2010 07:42 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.

Ideological is one of the lamest constructed of all English words. It's why 中文 is so much better.

I think you're trying to dodge the core issue here: Fox had people on giving alternative viewpoints. MSNBC did not. You can complain about just how 'liberal' they are, but they were there giving views that were different than Hannity's. MSNBC had no such thing.

And this is the difference between Fox and NPR/MSNBC: the former has idealogical diversity, the latter do not.

dieter 11-18-2010 08:07 PM

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

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 188967)
What does it mean to be "objectively about race"? I ask, because you are going on with great authority about what race signifies in the US and how it's entirely different than what national (or some other) groupings designate in Europe, yet I get the sense that claim is based in part on exaggerated (or mistaken) sense of what "race" means when referenced in the US.

How is my sense of the meaning of race mistaken? I simply accept mainstream American discourse, such as on BHTV as a reasonably accurate description of what is going on. From this I gather that race is a meaningful and necessary category to understand American politics. Racial groups can be understood as collectives with different socio-economic and cultural features and different political motives, interests, beliefs and so on.

In Europe on the other hand, such a categorization is not meaningful. Over here, the most prominent fault line is based on religion and culture.

There are of course transitional fractures between larger, recent immigrant groups. But this seems no different from the hyphenated-american phenomenon.

Do you perceive the confrontation over the ground zero mosque as a race relations issue? Was the organized crime problem related to Italian-American immigration about race?

whburgess 11-18-2010 08:54 PM

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

Originally Posted by operative (Post 188968)
Ideological is one of the lamest constructed of all English words. It's why 中文 is so much better.

I think you're trying to dodge the core issue here: Fox had people on giving alternative viewpoints. MSNBC did not. You can complain about just how 'liberal' they are, but they were there giving views that were different than Hannity's. MSNBC had no such thing.

And this is the difference between Fox and NPR/MSNBC: the former has idealogical diversity, the latter do not.

What makes Fox much more balanced, in my view, then MSLSD, is that all of the Fox hosts will, every night, include at least one ARTICULATE MAINSTREAM center-left person on, in which a straightforward exchange of views occurs.

MSLSD (in evening programming) only speaks in choreographed dialog with people they agree with (Olbermann) or if they have right wingers on, they are not there for an honest exchange of views. They are almost always fringe figures who are selected for one reason: a transparent attempt to portray them as representatives of mainstream right-center views, while making fools of them. This is Maddows and Mathews(to a slight lesser extent).

For example: Governor Ed Rendell is a regular on Fox (Greta), you will never see a Christie or Pataki as a regular on any MSLSD evening program.

There is one exception. Morning Joe on MSLSD is great. This best show on cable news in my opinion. And very balanced with articulate, mainstream pundits for both sides.

operative 11-18-2010 09:30 PM

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

Originally Posted by whburgess (Post 188983)
What makes Fox much more balanced, in my view, then MSLSD, is that all of the Fox hosts will, every night, include at least one ARTICULATE MAINSTREAM center-left person on, in which a straightforward exchange of views occurs.

MSLSD (in evening programming) only speaks in choreographed dialog with people they agree with (Olbermann) or if they have right wingers on, they are not there for an honest exchange of views. They are almost always fringe figures who are selected for one reason: a transparent attempt to portray them as representatives of mainstream right-center views, while making fools of them. This is Maddows and Mathews(to a slight lesser extent).

For example: Governor Ed Rendell is a regular on Fox (Greta), you will never see a Christie or Pataki as a regular on any MSLSD evening program.

There is one exception. Morning Joe on MSLSD is great. This best show on cable news in my opinion. And very balanced with articulate, mainstream pundits for both sides.

Yeah, I agree on both fronts. I think the only reason they keep Morning Joe is because Scarborough is the most plugged in of any morning host.

eeeeeeeli 11-18-2010 10:33 PM

Re: Exercises of Insanity (Adam Serwer & Michael Moynihan)
 
link
This is probably the idea about racism that frustrates me the most: that unless someone is explicitly saying something racist - or even thinking it, that they are not racist or expressing racism. It's the idea that racism is either "on" or "off", and entirely consciously chosen.

We know for a fact that much of racism is actually unconscious. And when you think about it, even people who are avowed racists are obviously expressing a hatred they don't really understand, that is irrational. Much of hatred is carried as cultural memes and attitudes that aren't fully-formed, reasoned opinions. So wouldn't it make sense that even people who don't consider themselves racist might be prone to racial bias?

So you can have all these classic examples of hateful ideation that play on old stereotypes and fears, and they infect even those who may consider themselves perfectly tolerant. What's difficult is tying down exactly what is racism from what isn't, and separating genuine principle from bias.

So you would never want to say what Moynihan proposes many liberals do - that the Tea Party is motivated singularly by race. But if it is possible that people can have their ideas and fears infected by unconscious bias, wouldn't it be possible that at least some of what animates the Tea Party - as a political movement in a general sense - is unconscious racial bigotry? And if this is possible, then how do you decide to what extent this is going on?

This is especially true when so many on the right are avowedly opposed to the idea that they could be harboring unconscious racial bias at all. They generally feel that unless they specifically say "I find minorities inferior", then racism cannot exist. This seems very wrong.

look 11-19-2010 12:51 AM

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 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.

Ca va, merci.

Thanks for the info, very interesting.

It's strange to think that in Europe Africans are classed on their country of origin, but here they're considered as a group. But as you said, we have slavery to account for.

look 11-19-2010 01:01 AM

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

Originally Posted by dieter (Post 188947)
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.

Fascinating. Considering collective groups to have agency is considered beyond the pale.

whburgess 11-19-2010 02:11 AM

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

Originally Posted by eeeeeeeli (Post 188990)
link
This is probably the idea about racism that frustrates me the most: that unless someone is explicitly saying something racist - or even thinking it, that they are not racist or expressing racism. It's the idea that racism is either "on" or "off", and entirely consciously chosen.

We know for a fact that much of racism is actually unconscious. And when you think about it, even people who are avowed racists are obviously expressing a hatred they don't really understand, that is irrational. Much of hatred is carried as cultural memes and attitudes that aren't fully-formed, reasoned opinions. So wouldn't it make sense that even people who don't consider themselves racist might be prone to racial bias?

So you can have all these classic examples of hateful ideation that play on old stereotypes and fears, and they infect even those who may consider themselves perfectly tolerant. What's difficult is tying down exactly what is racism from what isn't, and separating genuine principle from bias.

So you would never want to say what Moynihan proposes many liberals do - that the Tea Party is motivated singularly by race. But if it is possible that people can have their ideas and fears infected by unconscious bias, wouldn't it be possible that at least some of what animates the Tea Party - as a political movement in a general sense - is unconscious racial bigotry? And if this is possible, then how do you decide to what extent this is going on?

This is especially true when so many on the right are avowedly opposed to the idea that they could be harboring unconscious racial bias at all. They generally feel that unless they specifically say "I find minorities inferior", then racism cannot exist. This seems very wrong.

Complicated isn't it?

I suggest that before you accuse anyone of anything, you be able to define precisely what it is you are accusing them of, as well as precisely what they said or did that warrants the accusation.

Anything less makes you the villian.

Florian 11-19-2010 03:27 AM

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

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 188967)
What does it mean to be "objectively about race"? I ask, because you are going on with great authority about what race signifies in the US and how it's entirely different than what national (or some other) groupings designate in Europe, yet I get the sense that claim is based in part on exaggerated (or mistaken) sense of what "race" means when referenced in the US.

It seems to me that the distinction is perfectly obvious. Identifying a group by its culture/language/nationality/religion is different from identifying a group by innate physical characteristics (race). Americans have confused the distinction by inventing a completely spurious category borrowed from anthropologists, "ethnicity," which is neither one nor the other, but serves to identify immigrant groups by their supposedly innate "ethnic" origin, i.e. hyphenated Americans (Italian, Polish, Anglo-Saxon etc).

Although this classification makes sense in the US, it makes little sense to most continental Europeans (the Brits have been submerged by American gobbledegook). That is all Dieter, and I, were trying to say.

jeffmaylortx 11-19-2010 03:41 AM

You think Nazism and Communsim are totally different?
 
This tells you all you need to know about Michael Moynihan . He actually finds Nazis and Communists to be totally different. Everyone has conceded that fundamentally they were very similar. They were variants of Collectivism. That a so-called libertarian fails to understand this tells you everything you need to know about the intellectual state of Reason.

The conflicts between Nazis and Communists amount to little more than the battles between rival gangs both fighting for the same kind of power.

Michael and other sad libertarians and Reason are not smart enough to get that.

whburgess 11-19-2010 05:18 AM

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

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 189001)
It seems to me that the distinction is perfectly obvious. Identifying a group by its culture/language/nationality/religion is different from identifying a group by innate physical characteristics (race). Americans have confused the distinction by inventing a completely spurious category borrowed from anthropologists, "ethnicity," which is neither one nor the other, but serves to identify immigrant groups by their supposedly innate "ethnic" origin, i.e. hyphenated Americans (Italian, Polish, Anglo-Saxon etc).

Although this classification makes sense in the US, it makes little sense to most continental Europeans (the Brits have been submerged by American gobbledegook). That is all Dieter, and I, were trying to say.

No one says ethnicity is 'innate'. Where did you get that idea from? Ethnicity is culture. In America, people are welcome to hold on to their unique ethnicity/culture as long as they choose. Each individual and family of a particular ethnic group blend into the 'melting pot' that is America, over generations, at a pace of their choosing and circumstances.

The idea that some authority in American assigns immigrants, according their country of origin, an ethnicity 'invented' by anthropologists, is perhaps, an idea articulated before fully developed.

Florian 11-19-2010 05:43 AM

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

Originally Posted by whburgess (Post 189004)
No one says ethnicity is 'innate'. Where did you get that idea from? Ethnicity is culture. In America, people are welcome to hold on to their unique ethnicity/culture as long as they choose. Each individual and family of a particular ethnic group blend into the 'melting pot' that is America, over generations, at a pace of their choosing and circumstances.

The idea that some authority in American assigns immigrants, according their country of origin, an ethnicity 'invented' by anthropologists, is perhaps, an idea articulated before fully developed.

Re-read what I said. I didn't say that "ethnicity" means innate. I said it is a confusing, hybrid concept that only makes sense in the US where immigrants are thought to preserve an "ethnic identity" even though they have been Americans for several or many generations. To Europeans, the "ethnic identity" of most Americans is all but invisible---certainly after one or two generations.

All concepts are invented, and then misused by ignorant people. Ethnicity has a place in cultural anthropology and sociology, and that is where it originated. I nowhere even implied that an "authority" assigns an ethnicity to immigrants.

whburgess 11-19-2010 06:13 AM

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

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 189005)
Re-read what I said. I didn't say that "ethnicity" means innate. I said it is a confusing, hybrid concept that only makes sense in the US where immigrants are thought to preserve an "ethnic identity" even though they have been Americans for several or many generations. To Europeans, the "ethnic identity" of most Americans is all but invisible---certainly after one or two generations.

All concepts are invented, and then misused by ignorant people. Ethnicity has a place in cultural anthropology and sociology, and that is where it originated. I nowhere even implied that an "authority" assigns an ethnicity to immigrants.

You said:

Quote:

Americans have confused the distinction by inventing a completely spurious category borrowed from anthropologists, "ethnicity," which is neither one nor the other, but serves to identify immigrant groups by their supposedly innate "ethnic" origin,
You say Americans suppose an innate 'ethnic' origin. You say 'ethnicity' is an invented category borrowed from anthropologists. You say immigrant groups are identified by this invented category.

It was an honest misunderstanding on my part. We can move on.

I had addressed the ethnicity thing in the previous post. Its a cultural thing and after a generation or two, most people lose it.

bjkeefe 11-19-2010 06:28 AM

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

Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx (Post 188962)
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?

We can only hope.

And I don't know about "rude." In my experience, people who run places where they hope to sell food, drink, a comfortable atmosphere, etc., put the teevee on what they think their customers might want, and are only too happy to change the channel if asked. (Within limits -- you can't go into a sports bar during the Super Bowl and say you simply don't care for that football stuff, of course.)

I'd conjecture that Fox gets put on by default in some places because it's been the case (waiting areas, especially) that there's been a history of self-appointed culture warriors making a fuss about the BIASED LIBRUL MEDIA if any other channel gets put on, whereas outside that slice of the population, most people don't usually care to make a fuss, even if they don't much like what's on. Which is sort of the point of the Color of Change campaign -- to encourage people not to let right-wing blowhards control everything, just because they tend to be more shouty and unpleasant as a rule.

bjkeefe 11-19-2010 06:41 AM

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

Originally Posted by operative (Post 188968)
Ideological is one of the lamest constructed of all English words.

So, in addition to not knowing how to spell it, you don't know how to pronounce it, either, it appears. Sad. But gaps in your education to the side, you know what's really lame? Not knowing how to enable on-the-fly spell-checking in your browser.

Quote:

I think you're trying to dodge the core issue here: ...
You think wrong. I have no brief for MSNBC. I don't watch cable teevee news, except for the occasional clip online. If you look back, you'll see that I was just curious if you had pulled that number out of the place you pull most of your numbers, and then when you didn't answer right away, I looked it up myself and realized who you were probably going to answer with. Sorry for not putting an "[Added]" to make it more clear.

I do love how defensive you're getting about Fox, though. That's probably the real core issue here, now that I think about it.

bjkeefe 11-19-2010 06:56 AM

Re: You think Nazism and Communsim are totally different?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jeffmaylortx (Post 189002)
This tells you all you need to know about Michael Moynihan . He actually finds Nazis and Communists to be totally different. Everyone has conceded that fundamentally they were very similar. They were variants of Collectivism. That a so-called libertarian fails to understand this tells you everything you need to know about the intellectual state of Reason.

The conflicts between Nazis and Communists amount to little more than the battles between rival gangs both fighting for the same kind of power.

Michael and other sad libertarians and Reason are not smart enough to get that.

I don't know how much Michael's view here generalizes to Reason overall, but I do agree with you about the Nazis vs the Soviet Union aspect. Whatever the differences in theory, in practice, they both amounted to totalitarian regimes. (See the attached image here.) And yes, thinking of them as rival gangs seems appropriate.

bjkeefe 11-19-2010 07:03 AM

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

Originally Posted by eeeeeeeli (Post 188990)
link
This is probably the idea about racism that frustrates me the most: that unless someone is explicitly saying something racist - or even thinking it, that they are not racist or expressing racism. It's the idea that racism is either "on" or "off", and entirely consciously chosen.

We know for a fact that much of racism is actually unconscious. And when you think about it, even people who are avowed racists are obviously expressing a hatred they don't really understand, that is irrational. Much of hatred is carried as cultural memes and attitudes that aren't fully-formed, reasoned opinions. So wouldn't it make sense that even people who don't consider themselves racist might be prone to racial bias?

So you can have all these classic examples of hateful ideation that play on old stereotypes and fears, and they infect even those who may consider themselves perfectly tolerant. What's difficult is tying down exactly what is racism from what isn't, and separating genuine principle from bias.

So you would never want to say what Moynihan proposes many liberals do - that the Tea Party is motivated singularly by race. But if it is possible that people can have their ideas and fears infected by unconscious bias, wouldn't it be possible that at least some of what animates the Tea Party - as a political movement in a general sense - is unconscious racial bigotry? And if this is possible, then how do you decide to what extent this is going on?

This is especially true when so many on the right are avowedly opposed to the idea that they could be harboring unconscious racial bias at all. They generally feel that unless they specifically say "I find minorities inferior", then racism cannot exist. This seems very wrong.

Good post. I'd add that I find it useful to keep in mind the starting notion that virtually everyone is susceptible to suspicion of The Other. It's just how we're wired. It takes a bit of intellectual energy and regular reminders from the rest of society to overcome the tendency to see people who look or sound different as not part of Us, the in-group; i.e., it takes work to maintain the advancement from a tribal mindset to what we want (need) to get along in the larger structures of civilization that we now live in.

Florian 11-19-2010 09:18 AM

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

Originally Posted by whburgess (Post 189006)
You said:



You say Americans suppose an innate 'ethnic' origin. You say 'ethnicity' is an invented category borrowed from anthropologists. You say immigrant groups are identified by this invented category.

It was an honest misunderstanding on my part. We can move on.

I had addressed the ethnicity thing in the previous post. Its a cultural thing and after a generation or two, most people lose it.

Sorry you misunderstood. I thought I was pretty clear. I did not say anywhere that ethnicity is innate. In my first post I said that ethnicity (or ethnic identity) is neither one nor the other, i.e. neither race nor culture. It is a hybrid and self-contradictory concept because it implies that individuals are "ethnic" by birth, even though "ethnicity" refers to the characteristics of a group (from the Greek ethnos for nation or "tribe")

Everyone knows, or should know, that "culture" is determined by place of birth and language, not by birth. The concept of ethnicity or ethnic identity was invented by American cultural anthropologists. I don't know when, but I don't think you will find the word much used before the second half of the 20th century.

badhatharry 11-19-2010 10:09 AM

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

Originally Posted by operative (Post 188807)
Hmm...a left wing guy and a liberaltarian complaining about Fox, and saying that MSNBC is more balanced than Fox (LOL!!!)

This thread has certainly moved on but just in case you're still out there, I want to ask you something. As you and I both are aware, Fox and MSNBC are biased towards their respective political views, but is the presentation of ideas and events any more fair and balanced on one than the other? In other words does either organization do a better job of presenting the facts of the matter before going into their particular biased take? Does either channel blatantly lie or misrepresent the facts more than the other?

I don't consider the appearance of people from the other side as important as you do ie: election night coverage. People from the other side are often given short shrift and so what really makes the difference is whether the person from the other side can shout loud enough or refuse to be intimidated.

operative 11-19-2010 10:13 AM

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

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 189018)
This thread has certainly moved on but just in case you're still out there, I want to ask you something. As you and I both are aware, Fox and MSNBC are biased towards their respective political views, but is the presentation of ideas and events any more fair and balanced on one than the other? In other words does either organization do a better job of presenting the facts of the matter before going into their particular biased take? Does either channel blatantly lie or misrepresent the facts more than the other?

I don't consider the appearance of people from the other side as important as you do ie: election night coverage. People from the other side are often given short shrift and so what really makes the difference is whether the person from the other side can shout loud enough or refuse to be intimidated.

tbh I never watch MSNBC and I very seldom watch Fox News. But I think that election day coverage as well as the breakdown of positive/negative coverage of candidates during the 08 election pretty well establishes that MSNBC is a different breed of animal, certainly more biased than Fox.

operative 11-19-2010 10:16 AM

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

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 189008)
So, in addition to not knowing how to spell it, you don't know how to pronounce it, either, it appears.

I pronounce it idea-logical, which may be a result of regional dialect or may not. Don't really care.

Quote:

Sad. But gaps in your education to the side,
I didn't major in spelling. Maybe you did.

Quote:

you know what's really lame? Not knowing how to enable on-the-fly spell-checking in your browser.
For some reason it didn't come up underlined. I totally care.


Quote:

You think wrong. I have no brief for MSNBC. I don't watch cable teevee news, except for the occasional clip online. If you look back, you'll see that I was just curious if you had pulled that number out of the place you pull most of your numbers, and then when you didn't answer right away, I looked it up myself and realized who you were probably going to answer with. Sorry for not putting an "[Added]" to make it more clear.

I do love how defensive you're getting about Fox, though. That's probably the real core issue here, now that I think about it.
I get defensive about pretty much anything (even Obama) when people make unfair criticisms and rely on ignorant assumptions instead of facts, as you have done. You're pretty ignorant about Fox News and that fact doesn't seem to bother you, which is your loss. You're entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts.

operative 11-19-2010 10:20 AM

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

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 188932)
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.

The interesting thing about gerrymandering is that most of the egregious examples are done by lefties or for essentially lefty philosophies ('minorities should vote for minorities!')
http://pajamasmedia.com/zombie/2010/...united-states/

AemJeff 11-19-2010 10:40 AM

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

Originally Posted by whburgess (Post 189000)
Complicated isn't it?

I suggest that before you accuse anyone of anything, you be able to define precisely what it is you are accusing them of, as well as precisely what they said or did that warrants the accusation.

Anything less makes you the villian.

In other words there's no such thing as "crypto-racism" or dog-whistling, and only perfectly explicit unambiguous offenses can be talked about reasonably?

eeeeeeeli 11-19-2010 10:54 AM

Re: Exercises of Insanity (Adam Serwer & Michael Moynihan)
 
This is what I was trying to say. Who can argue that those things aren't at work? Yet unless someone is blatant and specific, the case against them is going to have to be very complicated and difficult to "prove".

We're thus in a sort of bind where unconscious racial bias can flourish yet we can't even talk about it.

badhatharry 11-19-2010 11:06 AM

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

Originally Posted by eeeeeeeli (Post 189029)
This is what I was trying to say. Who can argue that those things aren't at work? Yet unless someone is blatant and specific, the case against them is going to have to be very complicated and difficult to "prove".

We're thus in a sort of bind where unconscious racial bias can flourish yet we can't even talk about it.

The case against un-blatant racial bias is often very biased. It was explicitly used to discredit the tea party movement. It seems to me that this is a reason for anyone to take the charge of racism or racial bias with a grain of salt. It's being used as a political tool.

AemJeff 11-19-2010 11:11 AM

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

Originally Posted by eeeeeeeli (Post 189029)
This is what I was trying to say. Who can argue that those things aren't at work? Yet unless someone is blatant and specific, the case against them is going to have to be very complicated and difficult to "prove".

We're thus in a sort of bind where unconscious racial bias can flourish yet we can't even talk about it.

Well, we can talk about these things, but many people seem to exhibit elaborate defense mechanisms designed to make it difficult to have such a conversation.

badhatharry 11-19-2010 11:26 AM

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

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 189034)
Well, we can talk about these things, but many people seem to exhibit elaborate defense mechanisms designed to make it difficult to have such a conversation.

The most elaborate defense mechanism being the power of the link.

How would you go about proving that you are not a racist or racially biased, Jeff?

But first I would say that there is bias in everyone's make-up. It's just part of the human condition. However, I believe that in this country it is waning, but is being used as a political tool. As Ron Paul has said, racism is a sin of the mind. The best we can do is make sure that our laws reflect the spirit of equal protection.

AemJeff 11-19-2010 11:47 AM

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

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 189039)
The most elaborate defense mechanism being the power of the link.

How would you go about proving that you are not a racist or racially biased, Jeff?

But first I would say that there is bias in everyone's make-up. It's just part of the human condition. However, I believe that in this country it is waning, but is being used as a political tool. As Ron Paul has said, racism is a sin of the mind. The best we can do is make sure that our laws reflect the spirit of equal protection.

You can pose the hypothesis. And you can show evidence in support of that hypothesis. Prove? This is people, not geometry. I believe in evidence.

bjkeefe 11-19-2010 11:59 AM

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

Originally Posted by operative (Post 189020)
You're entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts.

Coming from you, this is especially rich.

Fluffy Foo Foo 11-19-2010 12:33 PM

Re: The discourse about supposedly worse "race relations" in europe is abdurd on its face
 
I agree with you.

The issues in Europe, having lived there, are about ethnicity and/or race. Germany is Deutschland. France is France. Denmark is Danmark. The Netherlands is Nederland. So what sets America apart from Europe is, like you say, Americans can be of whatever race or religion they want to be. In 100 years all of America could be ethnically Asian, but it would still be America.

Europe isn't the same. If you're from Ghana, i.e. black African, you can't ever be German. You may be a German citizen. You may be born in Germany, but you won't ever be German. Same goes for the rest of Europe... even for France, where their elite talk bullshit about France being about language and culture.

And just yesterday we have this racist European nonsense go down in Klagenfurt, Austria... carried out by Italians and Romanians, and Italians doing it to their own "Italian" national.

Modern Europe: black Mario Balotelli... and Italians making monkey noises at him (and I guess only because his parents are Ghanaian, and not because he's black -- haha!!!).

Florian 11-19-2010 01:06 PM

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

Originally Posted by Fluffy Foo Foo (Post 189051)
I agree with you.

The issues in Europe, having lived there, are about ethnicity and/or race. Germany is Deutschland. France is France. Denmark is Danmark. The Netherlands is Nederland. So what sets America apart from Europe is, like you say, Americans can be of whatever race or religion they want to be. In 100 years all of American could be ethnically Asian, but it would still be America.!!!).

Possibly, but highly unlikely. What sets America apart is simply the fact that, unlike European countries, it is a country of immigrants, but it is like European countries in that immigrants all eventually assimilate to the dominant original culture of the country, that of its White "Anglo-Saxon" Protestant founders.

As for Europe, there are significant differences between the countries you mention and their attitudes towards immigrants, but it is simply not true that immigrants to European countries can never assimilate to their adopted country.

Quote:

Europe isn't the same. If you're from Ghana, i.e. black African, you can't ever be German. You may be a German citizen. You may be born in Germany, but you won't ever be German. Same goes for the rest of Europe... even for France, where their elite talk bullshit about France being about language and culture.!!!).
Bullshit to you maybe, but France is as ethnically diverse as the US and considerably more civilized.

Quote:

And just yesterday we have this racist European nonsense go down in Klagenfurt, Austria... carried out by Italians and Romanians, and Italians doing it to their own "Italian" national.

Modern Europe: black Mario Balotelli... and Italians making monkey noises at him (and I guess only because his parents are Ghanaian, and not because he's black -- haha!!!).
Who cares about the unwashed masses? The US has plenty of yahoos too.

stephanie 11-19-2010 01:16 PM

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

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 189001)
It seems to me that the distinction is perfectly obvious. Identifying a group by its culture/language/nationality/religion is different from identifying a group by innate physical characteristics (race).

"Race" as used in the US tends to be more akin to the former, however, in many ways. People who consider race to be a relevant category do not necessarily assume that there are innate physical characteristics that matter which are different between whites and blacks.* That's why it's generally accepted that African immigrants aren't are that similar in many ways to American blacks and why (as I noted before) "white" is not a hard and fast category.

*In fact, claiming that there are generally gets you put outside the realm of generally acceptable discourse in the US, and it's a truism that "race" is a false category.

Quote:

Americans have confused the distinction by inventing a completely spurious category borrowed from anthropologists, "ethnicity," which is neither one nor the other, but serves to identify immigrant groups by their supposedly innate "ethnic" origin, i.e. hyphenated Americans (Italian, Polish, Anglo-Saxon etc).
Americans don't at all think of these ethnic or national designations as having some kind of innate significance to what someone is like. At least, not commonly and generally not in a serious fashion (not in generally accepted discourse, anyway -- I can't speak to what some bigots think, but it's not something you hear much of). Among other things, Americans are pretty mixed when it comes to these types of designations (and more with regard to black and white than our one or the other way of talking about it acknowledges). Thus, the relevance of ethnic designations ranges from cultural ones (which you seem to trying to claim as totally different in some way) to merely entertainment-based ones (i.e., it's fun to have an excuse to go to a parade or festival or celebrate a holiday or eat certain food).

Florian 11-19-2010 01:25 PM

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

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 189054)
"Race" as used in the US tends to be more akin to the former, however, in many ways.

How interesting! Who would have thought that Americans are all disciples of Humpty Dumpty?

Fluffy Foo Foo 11-19-2010 01:28 PM

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

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 189053)
Possibly, but highly unlikely. What sets America apart is simply the fact that, unlike European countries, it is a country of immigrants, but it is like European countries in that immigrants all eventually assimilate to the dominant original culture of the country, that of its White "Anglo-Saxon" Protestant founders.

As for Europe, there are significant differences between the countries you mention and their attitudes towards immigrants, but it is simply not true that immigrants to European countries can never assimilate to their adopted country.

I didn't make the argument that immigrants can't assimilate. Many do.

What I said was that if you're Senegalese (or better African), you're Senegalese (or better African) and can't ever be French. To be French is to be white and well, French. France does have an ethnic, racial make up. You can bullshit around this with tropes about language and culture, but the former is what it is. This also has nothing to do with whatever different European countries do with regards to citizenship standards and ethnicity. Africans, Arabs, and Asians don't come from Europe... it's just a fact.

Quote:

Bullshit to you maybe, but France is as ethnically diverse as the US and considerably more civilized.
I'd argued France is less ethnically diverse than the US. And certainly minorities in France are less equal politically. There are no Barack Obamas or Bobby Jindals in France at the moment... nor do there look to be any in the near future.

Quote:

Who cares about the unwashed masses? The US has plenty of yahoos too.
Really? Where in 2010 do Americans make monkey noises at black athletes? Haha. Modern Europe.

stephanie 11-19-2010 01:31 PM

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

Originally Posted by dieter (Post 188976)
How is my sense of the meaning of race mistaken?

I somewhat answered this in my post to Florian, but you seem to be assuming that race talk in the US presumes some actual innate difference between people of different races, that "white" and "black" are hard and fast categories determined clearly by skin tone or ethnic origin, and so on. That's it's different than a cultural or national distinction.

I don't think any of that is true.

Quote:

From this I gather that race is a meaningful and necessary category to understand American politics.
Yes. The relationships between different immigrant groups and their descendants is relevant to understanding politics in Europe, is it not? It certainly is in the countries I have some knowledge about.

Quote:

Racial groups can be understood as collectives with different socio-economic and cultural features and different political motives, interests, beliefs and so on.
As broad groups, sure, just like people will talk about the interests of "women" or "Catholics" or "Jews" or "the South" or "Cubans" or "rust belt ethnics" or "evangelicals" or whatever. It doesn't mean anyone thinks the people in these groups are all the same or don't have disagreements about their interests, let alone that they are all the same due to some innate difference. Some of the characters about blacks that you have remarked upon (like the voting patterns) have to do with how they have been used in politics, as well as perceived relationships with other groups, also, nothing innate to them.

Quote:

But this seems no different from the hyphenated-american phenomenon.
Someone who calls themselves Polish (or Polish-American) and is the child of immigrants is not in any kind of uncertain transitional relationship with the US and the designation doesn't indicate that, as you seem to think. Similarly, lots of people here will say "I'm [insert list of 1 to any number of nationalities]" without having any actually connection with the countries involved. It's more a fun thing (as I noted again to Florian) that has no meaning when it comes to how American you think of yourself.

Quote:

Do you perceive the confrontation over the ground zero mosque as a race relations issue?
No, it's about religion and politics (i.e., somewhat similar to anti-Communist hysteria in prior years).

Quote:

Was the organized crime problem related to Italian-American immigration about race?
About crime. (Although during some of that time Italians wouldn't have necessarily been considered white.)

Florian 11-19-2010 01:34 PM

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

Originally Posted by Fluffy Foo Foo (Post 189056)
Really? Where in 2010 do Americans make monkey noises at black athletes? Haha. Modern Europe.

There are other ways of making monkey noises.

Sorry, fluffy, but you are not in my league.

Fluffy Foo Foo 11-19-2010 01:38 PM

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

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 189058)
There are other ways of making monkey noises.

Sorry, fluffy, but you are not in my league.

Oh, so what way do Americans make fun of black athletes at sporting events? Give us an example.

I think you can handle this conversation with me Franco. You don't need to run away and give up so quickly. Just defend your argument. My unwashed hands won't come near you. :)

Florian 11-19-2010 01:48 PM

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

Originally Posted by Fluffy Foo Foo (Post 189059)
Oh, so what way do Americans make fun of black athletes at sporting events? Give us an example.

I think you can handle this conversation with me Franco. You don't need to run away and give up so quickly. Defend your argument. My unwashed hands won't come near you. :)

Why should I need to argue an obvious point? There are yahoo racists in Europe. There are yahoo racists in the United States. If you want to believe that a handful of racist yahoos at an Italian football match proves that Europe is more racist than the US, you are free to do so, but I have no desire to pursue such a silly discussion.

Fluffy Foo Foo 11-19-2010 01:58 PM

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

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 189061)
Why should I need to argue an obvious point? There are yahoo racists in Europe. There are yahoo racists in the United States. If you want to believe that a handful of racist yahoos at an Italian football match proves that Europe is more racist than the US, you are free to do so, but I have no desire to pursue such a silly discussion.

Actually, no there aren't any yahoo racists in America that deride black athletes for being black while playing sport. It's kind of a huge difference between America and Europe.

How is it silly to discuss when it is you who have argued that Europeans don't see racial differences, but cultural differences when clearly many Europeans see racial differences? I mean, just yesterday, Italian nationals made monkey noises at one of their own players (every time he touched the ball) because he's black.

You would have us all believe it was because his parents came from Ghana though, and not because he's black. Which is utter bullshit.

The truth of the matter is that whatever "yahoo racists" America has... they can't even bear to call people names in public... not true in Europe though. They do it all the freaking time. You have to have No Racism! in sport campaigns even in places like the UK still because it is such a problem.. or has been. Interestingly no such campaigns exist in America... because America doesn't have these problems!!!

Wake up "I'm in another league from you" Dude. Haha.


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