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-   -   Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence. (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=6975)

Sulla the Dictator 08-17-2011 02:54 AM

Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
King Electrical Services owner John King was shot by a person who appears to be from one of the many unions who have targeted his workers, Toledo News Channel 11 WTOL reports. King is the largest non-union electrical contractor company in the area of southeastern Michigan near the Ohio border.

He has a long history of being on the receiving end of union-related violence, and this case doesn’t appear to be any different. Before shooting him, the gunman etched the word “SCAB” into the side of King’s SUV.

The altercation started when King woke up late last Wednesday to find someone in his driveway. He described the intruder as a “silhouette figure” because he didn’t see the person clearly enough to offer a description. The individual was attempting to vandalize his SUV. When King went outside his Lambertville, Mich., home to confront the person, the vandal shot him in the arm.

Labor unions have attempted, unsuccessfully, to organize King’s employees, and he has been subjected to one legal nightmare after another in the process.

“Since he’s been in business, in addition to the legal battles and verbal abuse, King’s company has been vandalized and threatened on numerous occasions,” LaborUnionReport.com reports. “Unfortunately, the vandalism has never stopped. This year alone, he’s had to report three incidents of damage to police. This doesn’t include the incidents of stalking he and his men have to go through while they’re working.

“In one incident earlier this year, rocks were thrown through the front windows of his shop, one of which had the word ‘kill’ written on it.”



http://dailycaller.com/2011/08/17/un...ohio-employer/

http://www.laborunionreport.com/port...1/08/Scab1.jpg

badhatharry 08-17-2011 12:31 PM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
[QUOTE=Sulla the Dictator;222100He has a long history of being on the receiving end of union-related violence, and this case doesn’t appear to be any different. Before shooting him, the gunman etched the word “SCAB” into the side of King’s SUV.
[/QUOTE]

Coincidence doesn't always mean correlation. Maybe the guy thought he was in his own driveway and that the car belonged to his wife's lover who is known to have crossed a picket line.

Besides, King is obviously a jerk. He doesn't take the flag in at night.

I know this is all nonsense but just wanted you to know I read the post. It really is pretty hard to believe.

eeeeeeeli 08-18-2011 12:04 PM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
I see what you did there!

Seriously though, while you didn't present a case that there was a pattern of violent rhetoric, I think it is reasonable to assume that were such a climate to have existed, it would have contributed to the crime.

One thing on the word "hate" though. The whole idea behind the word is that it refers to a historical pattern of prejudice and discrimination against a disempowered out-group, and results from a flawed cognitive picture of the group. It doesn't simply mean anyone who hates anyone, for whatever reason.

Now, it could be argued that class hatred could exist against business owners, such that they are stereotyped and seen with cognitive bias, driven by feelings of animosity.

However, I wouldn't classify this as hate, just as I wouldn't classify partisan politics, sports rivalries, etc. as hate. The first big difference is power differential. Businesses are not generally in a disempowered position. Politically, especially in earlier times, certainly the progressive era, there was a strong, organized opposition to them existentially. There was certainly cognitive bias. But they also had massive support among the population. There has always been a tradition of great respect for small businesses. The focus of ire was on wealthy industrialists and factory owners who were often enormously exploitative and very powerful.

A key element of true hatred is always power, both psycho-social and practical. Thus, hatred of whites by blacks just isn't the same as hatred of blacks by whites. It should be immediately clear why, at least on an intuitive level. I think the same can be said for the extent to which there exists something like class hatred. Hatred of the rich is quite different than hatred of the poor. For instance, to the extent that stereotypes exist, they present no practical cost to the rich. However, they can certainly present great cost to the poor.

badhatharry 08-18-2011 03:29 PM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by eeeeeeeli (Post 222316)
I see what you did there!

Seriously though, while you didn't present a case that there was a pattern of violent rhetoric, I think it is reasonable to assume that were such a climate to have existed, it would have contributed to the crime.

One thing on the word "hate" though. The whole idea behind the word is that it refers to a historical pattern of prejudice and discrimination against a disempowered out-group, and results from a flawed cognitive picture of the group. It doesn't simply mean anyone who hates anyone, for whatever reason.

I call BS on this. (I got that little gem from another thread!) You have customized the word hate. Your definition isn't by any means universal. When I state something that is my opinion, I preface what I say with "I think..."

As in: I think the whole idea behind the word is that it refers to a historical pattern of prejudice and discrimination against a disempowered out-group, and results from a flawed cognitive picture of the group. It doesn't simply mean anyone who hates anyone, for whatever reason.

Even if you are talking about hate filled rhetoric your definition doesn't hold true, for me.

miceelf 08-18-2011 03:56 PM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 222359)
I call BS on this. (I got that little gem from another thread!) You have customized the word hate. Your definition isn't by any means universal. When I state something that is my opinion, I preface what I say with "I think..."

So, you mean to say, "I think I call BS on this..."?

eeeeeeeli 08-18-2011 03:58 PM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 222359)
I call BS on this. (I got that little gem from another thread!) You have customized the word hate. Your definition isn't by any means universal. When I state something that is my opinion, I preface what I say with "I think..."

As in: I think the whole idea behind the word is that it refers to a historical pattern of prejudice and discrimination against a disempowered out-group, and results from a flawed cognitive picture of the group. It doesn't simply mean anyone who hates anyone, for whatever reason.

Even if you are talking about hate filled rhetoric your definition doesn't hold true, for me.

That's fine. Definitions are fluid. So what is your definition of "hate-filled rhetoric"? In that context, I think it is important to acknowledge the history of the term among progressives, who I think can fairly be said to have championed not only that phrase but other similar usages such as "hate crime" or simply "hate" in the context of group dynamics.

In this sense, the word is definitely doing overtime. I know that much of what the left has put into the particular usage is controversial to conservatives. But I think this is largely a result of conservatives not having been very interested in exploring the social and psychological roots of prejudice and discrimination among groups.

I think a big problem in this area of debate is that the left has a very large causal narrative built up, touching upon multiple assumptions and reference points. The right agrees to an extent, but is also quite skeptical, and in a general sense lacks anything like the causal narrative that the left embraces. To hear conservatives often tell it, there was this sort of "past" where people were jerks but now everyone is fine. It's really a very simplistic notion, and seems to be the source of no end of misunderstanding of what the left is even talking about - see this thread.

For instance, this would explain how many conservatives don't get the subtle difference between whites making fun of blacks and blacks making fun of whites. Or, more seriously, the similarities between racism and homophobia when practiced by supposedly well-meaning Christians who "are just following the bible". Or their frighteningly high level of tolerance both for avowed racists within their ranks (maybe I'm wrong, but how often do conservative thinkers challenge conservative "hate" groups, other than when forced (by the left) to acknowledge their existence?), as well as crypto-racist "racialists" and IQ theory. Not to mention the usual tendentious ethnic fear-mongering targeted at Hispanic, Muslim or Black culture.

I've asked conservatives before what kind of grand narrative - if any - they posit in place of the progressive emphasis on in/out group power dynamics, cultural hegemony, etc. They generally point to the work of Shelby Steele or some or another black conservative intellectual, yet still without identifying any particular insight , much less narrative, of where racism comes from, how it is perpetuated, what its salient features and forms are, etc.

On the whole, conservative discussions on race seem to mainly wish it were not discussed at all, being that it is almost always in the context of defensiveness against liberal accusations, or pre-empting perceived accusations, or apologetics for past racisms such as how slavery wasn't so bad, Africans did it themselves, etc., or that the only real racism going on now is against whites.

It just seems a kind of defensive, incoherent mess, lacking both in understanding of the other side, as well as any real interest in exploring the subject to begin with. The latter seems to bleed into a sort of cognitive denialism stemming from a (likely unconscious) worry that acceptance of the progressive narrative of deconstructing traditional power structures presents a sort of existential threat to conservatism. This, in the sense of other denialisms: AGW (regulation has to be bad), Evolution (goes against God), Truthers (the government is evil), Alternative Medicine (science is to be mistrusted), etc.

popcorn_karate 08-18-2011 06:03 PM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 222359)
I call BS on this. (I got that little gem from another thread!) You have customized the word hate. Your definition isn't by any means universal. When I state something that is my opinion, I preface what I say with "I think..."

As in: I think the whole idea behind the word is that it refers to a historical pattern of prejudice and discrimination against a disempowered out-group, and results from a flawed cognitive picture of the group. It doesn't simply mean anyone who hates anyone, for whatever reason.

Even if you are talking about hate filled rhetoric your definition doesn't hold true, for me.

i agree. "Hate speech" has the connotations eeeeeli suggests but the phrase "hate filled rhetoric" seems to be using "hate" in a non-specialized way.

eeeeeeeli 08-18-2011 08:12 PM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by popcorn_karate (Post 222397)
i agree. "Hate speech" has the connotations eeeeeli suggests but the phrase "hate filled rhetoric" seems to be using "hate" in a non-specialized way.

You, know, this is a fair point. I was probably being too narrow in my interpretation of what that usage represents.

If you google the phrase, you get a fair amount of references not just to out-group hatred, but over-the-top vitriol and violent language. I think the fact that it so often times seems to coincide with background prejudice led, and my desire to push that framing, led me to overlook the more general varieties.

badhatharry 08-19-2011 12:45 AM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 222365)
So, you mean to say, "I think I call BS on this..."?

i think so.

badhatharry 08-19-2011 01:22 AM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by eeeeeeeli (Post 222367)
That's fine. Definitions are fluid. So what is your definition of "hate-filled rhetoric"?

I would venture that that kind of rhetoric is designed to make the object of the rhetoric an object of derision, with few, if any, redeeming characteristics. It sets up a straw man, unrealistic image of the object.

Quote:

In that context, I think it is important to acknowledge the history of the term among progressives, who I think can fairly be said to have championed not only that phrase but other similar usages such as "hate crime" or simply "hate" in the context of group dynamics.
yep.

Quote:

In this sense, the word is definitely doing overtime. I know that much of what the left has put into the particular usage is controversial to conservatives. But I think this is largely a result of conservatives not having been very interested in exploring the social and psychological roots of prejudice and discrimination among groups.
Personally I think conservatives are sick of picking at scabs so that they never heal. I think that conservatives think that progressives find it advantageous to keep pick, pick, picking. This may be why they are not interested in the exploration because they think nothing will come of it except the discovery of deeper and deeper wounds that will never heal. Some explorations result in nothing more than a self satisfaction that another dimension of human failing has been discovered.

Quote:

I think a big problem in this area of debate is that the left has a very large causal narrative built up, touching upon multiple assumptions and reference points. The right agrees to an extent, but is also quite skeptical, and in a general sense lacks anything like the causal narrative that the left embraces. To hear conservatives often tell it, there was this sort of "past" where people were jerks but now everyone is fine. It's really a very simplistic notion, and seems to be the source of no end of misunderstanding of what the left is even talking about - see this thread.
The human race has made some terrible mistakes. That cannot be undone. If the punishment must needs be constant reminder of the bad things then so be it. But to think that all of this constant reminder is doing anything to help the people who have been wronged may be misguided.


Quote:

For instance, this would explain how many conservatives don't get the subtle difference between whites making fun of blacks and blacks making fun of whites. Or, more seriously, the similarities between racism and homophobia when practiced by supposedly well-meaning Christians who "are just following the bible". Or their frighteningly high level of tolerance both for avowed racists within their ranks (maybe I'm wrong, but how often do conservative thinkers challenge conservative "hate" groups, other than when forced (by the left) to acknowledge their existence?), as well as crypto-racist "racialists" and IQ theory. Not to mention the usual tendentious ethnic fear-mongering targeted at Hispanic, Muslim or Black culture.
Personally I don't think you can equate whites making fun of blacks with homophobia by well meaning Christians. The first is just stupid and cruel while the second is a manifestation of a belief system. I don't know about tolerance on the right for hate groups. I guess I would have to know what conservative hate groups are being ignored by conservative intellectuals to be able to respond.

IQ theory is not perpetuated exclusively or extensively by the right. Besides the original work had prescriptions attached to it, to help ameliorate the apparent effects of disparities in IQ. I'd think you'd approve of that. And as far as Muslim fear mongering, I just don't know because I don't pay attention. I figure many more people are like me than not.

Quote:

On the whole, conservative discussions on race seem to mainly wish it were not discussed at all, being that it is almost always in the context of defensiveness against liberal accusations, or pre-empting perceived accusations, or apologetics for past racisms such as how slavery wasn't so bad, Africans did it themselves, etc., or that the only real racism going on now is against whites.
I think discussion of racism is overdone. So much so that the definition of racism isn't at all clear and has come to be what some progressive says it it. People are tired of being accused of it, I imagine. And as far as slavery being not so bad...I can't imagine anyone in their right mind saying that. What I will tell you is that slavery is a sin we will always be paying for. It is the worst thing this country has done.

Quote:

lacking both in understanding of the other side, as well as any real interest in exploring the subject to begin with. The latter seems to bleed into a sort of cognitive denialism stemming from a (likely unconscious) worry that acceptance of the progressive narrative of deconstructing traditional power structures presents a sort of existential threat to conservatism. This, in the sense of other denialisms: AGW (regulation has to be bad), Evolution (goes against God), Truthers (the government is evil), Alternative Medicine (science is to be mistrusted), etc
It seems to me that you think that people like you are the only ones who observe life, have fellow feelings and actually think about stuff. It's too bad that you have the sort of cardboard cut out view of about half the population of the US that you do.

eeeeeeeli 08-19-2011 12:13 PM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 222443)
It seems to me that you think that people like you are the only ones who observe life, have fellow feelings and actually think about stuff. It's too bad that you have the sort of cardboard cut out view of about half the population of the US that you do.

I don't think I have a cardboard cut-out view. I know conservatism is nuanced. But it is a movement nonetheless, with standard talking points and rhetoric that act as stand-ins for large assumptions and intuitions.

Like I said though, I'm basing this on a seeming lack of exploration of race by conservatives. It's an empirical claim, too (I'm sure someone has done the research). You yourself seem to think it is a subject better left alone. Yet it is a problem - the "other" - that rears its ugly head again and again. The more we know about it, the more we can keep from falling into old patterns of thought. Far from being some thing that is "over", it is all around us.

But that goes back to the narrative about power imbalances, out groups, etc. that I embrace. That's how I can see a deep resemblance between racism and antipathy of homosexuality by religious followers, and consider the embrace of a hateful textual interpretation as rooted in larger historical oppression. Of course we don't stone people to death, as it says to do in the bible. Yet why don't we apply the same "intuition" to its homophobic passages, dispensing with them as needed (along with all the other idiotic biblical "teachings")? Because we have yet to truly call homophobia out as the hate it is, just like sexism or racism.

As far as I can tell, it is a fact that conservatism isn't interested in connecting these dots. Whereas literally thousands of books have been written by the left on these dynamics, inspired by and in turn inspiring progressive cultural protest movements.

It makes sense. Conservatism in general has always been interested in maintaining the cultural status quo. The fact that this has often meant maintaining racial, sexual, gender, class dynamics seems at best (to the more liberal right) a sort of unpleasant sacrifice, at worst (to the far right) a happy constant.

Modern conservatism is of course much more enlightened and comfortable with the cultural change that has unfolded, with people like Sarah Palin calling themselves feminists - a concept that only a decade ago would have had Phyllis Schlafly pissing her pants. (I'm not sure, does Limbaugh still talk about "feminazis"?). And thankfully most of us can agree that interracial marriage is OK, and that diversity is important in the workplace.

So Glenn Beck has his rally and honors Martin Luther King, which is wonderful because the attendees genuinely honor his memory. However the irony is lost that conservatism was brought kicking and screaming onto the right side of history (that the whole notion of a conservative rally actually honoring a black leader seeming odd speaks volumes about current racial make-up of the Republican party). Conservatism still seems largely about whites talking to whites about whites. When minorities are mentioned, they tend to be cast as "the other", whether it's illegals, Muslims, gays or other non-conformist whites.

I mentioned "thousands" of books being written by the left that explore dynamics of race, identity, etc. Obviously the vast majority of people on the left haven't read them. But they have been influenced by those who have, and identified with the story being told. Something in them responded to these ideas. As they looked at the world, these ideas resonated with what they saw.

So what is it about the liberal impulse that sees black, latino or gay pride and is moved, not just to re-examine their own preconceived ideas, but to go out and try and convince others? Because all of this cultural progress doesn't happen by magic. It takes sustained effort, by thousands, millions to push new ideas and ways of thinking.

And what is it about the conservative impulse that recoils from this kind of progress, feels threatened by it? When conservatism began to push back against "political correctness", or "multiculturalism", it was a direct response to liberal advocacy of social change. Sure, some of it was about perceived over-reach, but it was rarely couched in sympathy with the larger project of cultural progress. It was defensive of what it felt was a direct attack on it itself.

Again, this goes back to a lack of openness to exploration of the roots of oppressive cultural dynamics. Political correctness was always about critically examining preconceived cultural assumptions and biases. It was a direct outgrowth of the liberal impulse to look at out-groups and the historically disempowered and find leverage points in society from which fundamentally hateful and oppressive ideas, cognitive failings, were perpetuated. Why do presidents have to be male? Why do the important voices in literature need to be white? Why are jokes about out-groups funny? Why aren't there more minorities in ads? Etc., etc. The conservative response to this, to the extent that there was one in the media, was relentlessly negative.

Something about cultural conservatism seems to be in a permanent state of timelessness. The now is always now. Things seem taken for granted that had to be fought for relentlessly. Sure, we all agree that racism is wrong. But that obvious assertion didn't happen over night and took vast amounts of work to overcome. The same with sexism. We're getting there with homophobia. Go back 20 years and conservatism was virulently anti-gay. I imagine in a decade conservatives will take it for granted that homosexuality is perfectly natural. Heck, they might even hold a rally and honor Harvey Milk!

badhatharry 08-19-2011 01:48 PM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by eeeeeeeli (Post 222474)
Like I said though, I'm basing this on a seeming lack of exploration of race by conservatives. It's an empirical claim, too (I'm sure someone has done the research). You yourself seem to think it is a subject better left alone. Yet it is a problem - the "other" - that rears its ugly head again and again. The more we know about it, the more we can keep from falling into old patterns of thought. Far from being some thing that is "over", it is all around us.

You think that by knowing more about the problem we can escape falling into old patterns. This is merely your opinion. It could be that that is not true. Maybe the reason, and I'm only saying maybe here, we keep falling into old patterns is that this is a feature (not a bug) of the human psyche. Maybe the best we can do is admit that 'the other' exists and go with the idea that even though we have these prejudices we must abide by the notion that we can't act illegally or immorally because of it. Look at how far we've come in just the last fifty years as regards thinking of homosexuals as 'the other'. I believe that this has largely come about, not because we spent a lot of time psychoanalyzing ourselves but because gays have come out and the larger population realizes that they exist in every family and workplace and it really makes no difference.


Quote:

As far as I can tell, it is a fact that conservatism isn't interested in connecting these dots. Whereas literally thousands of books have been written by the left on these dynamics, inspired by and in turn inspiring progressive cultural protest movements.
So you think that the only reason people have protested their condition is that thousands of books have been written?


Quote:

It makes sense. Conservatism in general has always been interested in maintaining the cultural status quo. The fact that this has often meant maintaining racial, sexual, gender, class dynamics seems at best (to the more liberal right) a sort of unpleasant sacrifice, at worst (to the far right) a happy constant.
Again...no wish to maintain sexual, gender, etc dynamics on the left? I hate to characterize it this way, but you seem to think everything progressives do is wonderful and enlightened and bears no mark of self interest as in fomenting discontent for their own ends.

Quote:

Modern conservatism is of course much more enlightened and comfortable with the cultural change that has unfolded, with people like Sarah Palin calling themselves feminists - a concept that only a decade ago would have had Phyllis Schlafly pissing her pants. (I'm not sure, does Limbaugh still talk about "feminazis"?). And thankfully most of us can agree that interracial marriage is OK, and that diversity is important in the workplace.
I don't listen to Limbaugh but I think he is refering to people who believe, as so many progressives do, that they are enlightened and that those who don't follow their programs are hopelessly backward.

Quote:

So Glenn Beck has his rally and honors Martin Luther King, which is wonderful because the attendees genuinely honor his memory. However the irony is lost that conservatism was brought kicking and screaming onto the right side of history (that the whole notion of a conservative rally actually honoring a black leader seeming odd speaks volumes about current racial make-up of the Republican party). Conservatism still seems largely about whites talking to whites about whites. When minorities are mentioned, they tend to be cast as "the other", whether it's illegals, Muslims, gays or other non-conformist whites.
no cardboard unnuanced cutouts there...

Quote:

I mentioned "thousands" of books being written by the left that explore dynamics of race, identity, etc. Obviously the vast majority of people on the left haven't read them. But they have been influenced by those who have, and identified with the story being told. Something in them responded to these ideas. As they looked at the world, these ideas resonated with what they saw.
yeah, it's a powerful narrative but not neccesarily an accurate one. Just because they resonate doesn't mean they are any more useful than the very human desire to feel sorry for one's condition and to blame others for it.

Quote:

So what is it about the liberal impulse that sees black, latino or gay pride and is moved, not just to re-examine their own preconceived ideas, but to go out and try and convince others? Because all of this cultural progress doesn't happen by magic. It takes sustained effort, by thousands, millions to push new ideas and ways of thinking.
I think it's very good to examine one's conscience. Spending more time on that and less examining others' with the risk of being wrong would be good.

Quote:

And what is it about the conservative impulse that recoils from this kind of progress, feels threatened by it? When conservatism began to push back against "political correctness", or "multiculturalism", it was a direct response to liberal advocacy of social change. Sure, some of it was about perceived over-reach, but it was rarely couched in sympathy with the larger project of cultural progress. It was defensive of what it felt was a direct attack on it itself.
Maybe they don't feel threatened. Maybe they just feel annoyed. Social change happens, it may surprise you, without the wagging finger of some progressive who has spent his life in some university town writing books about how everybody needs social change.

Quote:

Go back 20 years and conservatism was virulently anti-gay. I imagine in a decade conservatives will take it for granted that homosexuality is perfectly natural. Heck, they might even hold a rally and honor Harvey Milk
This is such crap. Twenty years ago lots of people were anti-gay.

eeeeeeeli 08-19-2011 03:57 PM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 222485)
You think that by knowing more about the problem we can escape falling into old patterns. This is merely your opinion. It could be that that is not true. Maybe the reason, and I'm only saying maybe here, we keep falling into old patterns is that this is a feature (not a bug) of the human psyche. Maybe the best we can do is admit that 'the other' exists and go with the idea that even though we have these prejudices we must abide by the notion that we can't act illegally or immorally because of it. Look at how far we've come in just the last fifty years as regards thinking of homosexuals as 'the other'. I believe that this has largely come about, not because we spent a lot of time psychoanalyzing ourselves but because gays have come out and the larger population realizes that they exist in every family and workplace and it really makes no difference.

Merely my opinion? We keep from falling into old patterns by being self-critical. How, if it is a basic part of our psyche, can we do this without being knowledgeable of our tendencies? And what is wrong with being self-critical? Is it such a chore to reflect on why you believe what you believe once in a while? If it seems like this always ends up being liberals scolding conservatives, its because they tend to be so terrible at keeping themselves in check. The left has always been brutal towards any hint of prejudice in its own ranks - this is actually how much of the concept of PC got started. (From wikipedia :"The New Left later re-appropriated the term political correctness as satirical self-criticism; per Debra Shultz: "Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the New Left, feminists, and progressives . . . used their term politically correct ironically, as a guard against their own orthodoxy in social change efforts""). I think the progress we have made on gay rights is exactly because of psychoanalyzing each other - at least in terms of discussing why we believe what we believe, and questioning intuitions.




Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 222485)
So you think that the only reason people have protested their condition is that thousands of books have been written?

No, just pointing out how absent conservatives have always been from the discussion, except as naysayers. (When they haven't been outright members of hate groups themselves. Why these groups are ALWAYS socially conservative speaks volumes. But I've never once heard a conservative admit to any connection between the ideology and this pattern among certain of its adherents). Not just books, but magazine articles, art, film, music, etc. Of course there are people on the left who have been in opposition. But guess what - they're always on the conservative side! Tipper Gore going after "naughty" music was doing so as a conservative, not as a liberal.

[edit: and I should mention, should anyone show up to a leftwing rally with a sign as racist as some of those at tea parties, they'd get thrown out in a second. Again, so why doesn't this happen?]




Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 222485)
Again...no wish to maintain sexual, gender, etc dynamics on the left? I hate to characterize it this way, but you seem to think everything progressives do is wonderful and enlightened and bears no mark of self interest as in fomenting discontent for their own ends.

See above comment



Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 222485)
I don't listen to Limbaugh but I think he is refering to people who believe, as so many progressives do, that they are enlightened and that those who don't follow their programs are hopelessly backward.

Yes, I'm sure Limbaugh is a true feminist himself. I think he just doesn't like uppity broads.



Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 222485)
yeah, it's a powerful narrative but not neccesarily an accurate one. Just because they resonate doesn't mean they are any more useful than the very human desire to feel sorry for one's condition and to blame others for it.

I'm not sure what you mean by "feeling sorry for one's position". Do you mean oppressed groups? Maybe you don't mean that, but I consider it because it's a common conservative gripe when someone starts talking about discrimination. Conservatives have never really proposed their own theory about how hatred works. I imagine they think it's merely a weird human quirk, like a preference for ketchup.



Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 222485)
I think it's very good to examine one's conscience. Spending more time on that and less examining others' with the risk of being wrong would be good.

Weren't you just saying the opposite. And what happens when your friend cracks a racist joke? Or wants to ban mosques?



Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 222485)
Maybe they don't feel threatened. Maybe they just feel annoyed. Social change happens, it may surprise you, without the wagging finger of some progressive who has spent his life in some university town writing books about how everybody needs social change.

I think you vastly underestimate the power of human communication and interaction. Not to mention court battles and legislation.



This is such crap. Twenty years ago lots of people were anti-gay.[/QUOTE]
I'll completely agree that social change happens organically, without progressivism pushing it. But there is a clear theme to your comments, downplaying the extent to which progressives have indeed pushed that change. You write that plenty of people were anti-gay 20 years ago, yet in those 20 years the progressive agenda has been to relentlessly push against social conservatism, organized as it is almost completely around oppressing homosexuality.

badhatharry 08-19-2011 08:17 PM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by eeeeeeeli (Post 222497)
I'll completely agree that social change happens organically, without progressivism pushing it. But there is a clear theme to your comments, downplaying the extent to which progressives have indeed pushed that change.

And there is a clear theme to yours...that progressives are the only ones who care or think about the world as it really is and are the only ones trying to make it better...and that conservatives are thoughtless and clueless and don't care about anything but their own petty interests. While I don't agree with that characterization, maybe what we should be able to agree on is that the two poles are necessary...the yin and the yang.

Sugarkang posted this a while ago and I thought it was quite good.

eeeeeeeli 08-19-2011 09:01 PM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 222551)
And there is a clear theme to yours...that progressives are the only ones who care or think about the world as it really is and are the only ones trying to make it better...and that conservatives are thoughtless and clueless and don't care about anything but their own petty interests. While I don't agree with that characterization, maybe what we should be able to agree on is that the two poles are necessary...the yin and the yang.

Sugarkang posted this a while ago and I thought it was quite good.

That isn't what I've been trying to say. I've been talking about the respective projects of conservatism and liberalism broadly. While it does certainly reflect on individuals who assume the ideologies, my critique is based on an analysis of frequency with which the conservative movement takes on these issues. I think it is perfectly reasonable to look at the dynamics of various movements and to draw conclusions based on their characteristics as groups. Certainly it isn't going to be applicable to every individual within that movement. But trends say interesting things about what groups of people tend to believe.

Many conservatives complain that the left is too obsessed with race - I believe you yourself might have made this claim. I think that's interesting. I wouldn't necessarily agree with the framing, but it's a generally valid observation - the left does tend to write, talk, etc. about race. Are we all this way? No. But there is a definite pattern.

sugarkang 08-19-2011 09:04 PM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 222485)
This is such crap. Twenty years ago lots of people were anti-gay.

This is so true. I'll say I was as well because I didn't know any better. And because I've had the opportunity to meet and become friends with people who were "out," it changed my mind about what it means to be gay. I'm sure this happened to many other people as well. But somehow, people who learned this earlier rather than later have been using it as a moral weapon against people who may not have had the same experience.

This is not a defense for Bachmann sympathizers, but it's a call to separate out the issues.

badhatharry 08-19-2011 10:19 PM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by eeeeeeeli (Post 222561)
That isn't what I've been trying to say. I've been talking about the respective projects of conservatism and liberalism broadly. While it does certainly reflect on individuals who assume the ideologies, my critique is based on an analysis of frequency with which the conservative movement takes on these issues. I think it is perfectly reasonable to look at the dynamics of various movements and to draw conclusions based on their characteristics as groups. Certainly it isn't going to be applicable to every individual within that movement. But trends say interesting things about what groups of people tend to believe.

Many conservatives complain that the left is too obsessed with race - I believe you yourself might have made this claim. I think that's interesting. I wouldn't necessarily agree with the framing, but it's a generally valid observation - the left does tend to write, talk, etc. about race. Are we all this way? No. But there is a definite pattern.

I don't agree with your assessment of the conservative project.You pick and choose the ways in which you think the conservative project is against minorities and set on maintaining the stautus quo and you ignore ways in which the progressive project might be preserving the status quo in pretty harmful ways.

Trends are in the eye of the beholder.

So we agree that a characteristic of the left is to talk about race. I would say that there aren't anywhere near the number of conservatives talking about hating minorities. I would say what you hear most conservatives talking about today is getting the government out of the way and letting people make their own decisions.

eeeeeeeli 08-19-2011 11:27 PM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 222579)
I don't agree with your assessment of the conservative project.You pick and choose the ways in which you think the conservative project is against minorities and set on maintaining the stautus quo and you ignore ways in which the progressive project might be preserving the status quo in pretty harmful ways.

You know, I just finished watching that TED talk and found it fascinating. On my better days, I do try and remember to see things in a similar sort of yin/yang way. In a basic sense, the left is about change, and the right is about constancy. These are very important poles to keeping us balanced. When the left or right go too far in either direction, the instability results in serious problems.

I keep saying that I don't think the conservative project is against minorities! (except maybe out of neglect. I can make a case that conservatism actually can lead to minority prejudice, but it certainly doesn't have to and I won't bother with that here.) I have only been saying that conservatism hasn't been interested in figuring out the roots of racism or its complex sociology and psychology. You seem to have admitted as much, yet are still accusing me of saying it, and I guess implying that conservatives are therefore "against minorities". I suppose one could make that case that conservatism's lack of interest in understanding where hate comes from makes them anti-woman, minority, gay, etc., but I sure haven't. You seem to be making it and attributing it to me.

Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 222579)
So we agree that a characteristic of the left is to talk about race. I would say that there aren't anywhere near the number of conservatives talking about hating minorities. I would say what you hear most conservatives talking about today is getting the government out of the way and letting people make their own decisions.

That's just it though, I agree with you! Conservatives don't talk about race, and want to get government out of their lives. They see less government as leading to more freedom, and probably less racism. But any time you take things off the discussion table, you risk not learning their lessons. I think conservatism has done this in a profound way with the social sciences in general. You can almost run through a list of academic disciplines which conservatism has been uncomfortable taking an interest in: psychology, sociology, anthropology, and basically any area of study that might get into criticisms of the status quo.

Conservatives spend a good deal of time talking about the "liberal elites" and "liberal universities", as if maybe there is some kind of conspiracy to keep conservatives out of academia. But I think it's more a matter of "those who can do, those who can't teach". That's somewhat of a self-depricating joke, as by "can and do" I mean something quite specific*. I mean to say that in the last few decades universities have taken on fields that have become almost liberal projects by definition. I mean, when you set out to study race and class in America, there is simply little conservatism to be found. I think this has less to do with senior faculty not hiring Republicans to study the union movement or Jim Crow, but Republicans not answering the ads! You can certainly find conservatives in university, (or the media for that matter), but they are more likely to be found in areas that interest them, such as engineering or business, sports, or the classics.

And I think that is a shame. I think that conservatives would have a lot to contribute to the discussion. I can't help but see a parallel between anti-intellectualism among conservatives with their decline in representation at major centers of learning and thought.

However, conservatism and liberalism have also changed, right? I mean, what would have been conservative 30 years ago could well be liberal today And in many cases it is the reverse. The Southern shift was a large part of it, too. That seismic shift in political alignments surely changed the way we look at cultural issues. It seemed a point at which conservatism began peeling in major ways from the establishment, just as liberalism was maturing into it.

Look, all of this started when I wanted to go after conservatives for not paying enough attention to race, and therefore struggling to understand liberals' framing of it. I still think it is an empirical question: they don't pay near as much attention. As to reasons why, well, I think it does become controversial. I respect your reasons for being skeptical of the subject. And I think I can understand why. But for us to come to agreement there probably has more to do with why we're on opposite sides of the aisle. :)

*If you can't figure out what the hell I'm talking about, that makes two of us. No, I think it maybe should have been "those who can, teach. Those who can't, do"...

badhatharry 08-19-2011 11:30 PM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by eeeeeeeli (Post 222591)
You know, I just finished watching that TED talk and found it fascinating.

My husband is tapping his foot because we were supposed to start watching a movie a half an hour ago. First thing tomorrow morning...

eeeeeeeli 08-19-2011 11:45 PM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 222564)
This is so true. I'll say I was as well because I didn't know any better. And because I've had the opportunity to meet and become friends with people who were "out," it changed my mind about what it means to be gay. I'm sure this happened to many other people as well. But somehow, people who learned this earlier rather than later have been using it as a moral weapon against people who may not have had the same experience.

This is not a defense for Bachmann sympathizers, but it's a call to separate out the issues.


I'm not sure I follow where the problem is. But I'm interested in what you both seem to be saying.

I said:
Quote:

Go back 20 years and conservatism was virulently anti-gay. I imagine in a decade conservatives will take it for granted that homosexuality is perfectly natural. Heck, they might even hold a rally and honor Harvey Milk.
Badhat:
Quote:

This is such crap. Twenty years ago lots of people were anti-gay.
Is the point that not only conservatives but everyone was anti-gay? Because that just isn't right. Moderate Democrats may have been - or more likely many were, but many were also simply acknowledging the political reality.

Bottom-line, it was and is an issue the left gets credit for. Only in the past few years have there even been signs of a pulse towards gay-acceptance on the right.

So I'm not sure what the issue is. I love it that conservatives are opening up to homosexuality, realizing it isn't the evil they thought it was. But opposition to it is fundamentally conservative, while openness to it is progressive.

To hear you tell it, Badhat, the left had nothing to do with it, that gays just sort of "woke" up and began doing talk shows and coming out publicly, and people everywhere suddenly became enlightened. The truth is that it was a lot harder, required a lot more courage and sacrifice, and a lot more pushback against a rightwing that was completely psychotic. (Cue: Pat Robertson after Katrina, replay every right-wing talk radio show and media article since 1989).

Seriously, do yourself a favor and research opposition to homosexuality for the past two decades (or more if you can stomach it) and get a lesson in right wing hatred. Oooh, pro-ject!
http://pics.livejournal.com/aljira/p...8w3dq/s320x240

stephanie 08-20-2011 02:32 AM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by eeeeeeeli (Post 222561)
That isn't what I've been trying to say. I've been talking about the respective projects of conservatism and liberalism broadly.

I think badhat's responses have been a lot more hostile than your posts have deserved (hmm), but I do think that this is too general.

To harp on my own ideological themes, I think the "right" is made up of a coalition of liberals and traditionalist conservatives (with others mixed in, and many who are a combination of both) and the "left" is also made up of a coalition, of liberals, leftists, and some traditionalists of a more liberal/left variety. Part of the distinction clearly runs along region, and I suspect a lot of that is differences in ones understanding of tradition.

That said, I think "liberals" and "leftists," in different ways, have supported positions which are claimed as progressive, while conservatives, almost by definition, have not. The way in which liberals and leftists support the positions are different, however. Liberals focus on individual rights, individualism, and getting rid of laws that would impede that. This lines "liberals" up with many views that are seen as "leftwing" (i.e., Griswold v. CT, Roe & Casey, Lawrence v. TX, even Brown v. Bd of Educ.). It also lines most (not all) liberals up with anti-discrimination laws. But it also allows for a liberal argument that all we can do is get rid of legal discrimination, beyond that it's a private matter. This view exists on the current left (Dems) and the current right (Reps, see e.g., Amy Wax (with whom I do disagree)), combined with the other members of their current coalitions.

With respect to gay rights, the liberal ideals would mean that discrimination against gays ought to be dismissed (which clearly is not so widely held on the right these days as the similar views re race) and that marriage ought to be understood in a liberal way (same). Given the nature of the issue, it's not surprising that the response is a little more impeded by traditionalist views, even apart from the fact that the liberal view is coming later than the analogous views on race. I don't buy the idea that Bachmann supporters these days are just converting later, though, for a variety of reasons.

Leftists, who also influence the "left" in the US to a degree, are skeptical about the idea that just fixing legal discrimination is sufficient given the strong social and class issues. This is probably what you mean when you say the left is focusing on these issues, and I agree and think this is worthwhile, even if I think it sometimes leads to people assuming discrimination where it may not exist and that that is bad (badhat's point). Nonetheless, I think it's obvious that just fixing the law is not sufficient -- Anatole France's "the rich and poor are free to sleep on park benches" thing. And even when I don't buy the arguments, I think they are worth having and not something to dismiss and mock.

But I do think it's worth noting that a good part of the right has been taken over by liberal types, even though a good part are still traditionalists, and that the Civil Rights Movement was seen as a liberal (not leftist) movement by some, for a while. Granted, not when it was attacked in the South as Communist as well as anti-segregationist, but when it was contrasted with later efforts by MLK against Northern de facto segregation, Vietnam, etc.

Edit: a point I'd add, out of fairness, is that due to distaste at leftism, a lot of genuine liberals are on the "right" these days, and these people probably have as much a claim to the liberal heritage as liberals on the left, even if the claiming it by people like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin can provoke skepticism (by me too!) and be irritating. My problem is that I think many of these genuine liberals are overly tolerant or hesitant to acknowledge the anti-liberalism by their rightwing allies, because they know their election forturnes depend on these people. That's why I'm disgusted by those who justify obvious prejudice despite knowing better and why I am perhaps overly willing to praise those who are frank about their own views and how they contrast with some of these others (see my praise of Huntsman and Christie elsewhere).

chiwhisoxx 08-20-2011 03:53 AM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
I think you've kind of muddled a lot terms here to the extent that they don't mean a whole lot. what exactly do you mean by "liberal"? I assume you don't mean it in the contemporary political sense. do you mean liberal as in political descendants of people like locke and rawls? because in that sense, basically everyone in the american political system with few exceptions is considered a liberal. I also think the individualist vs. traditionalist distinction is not terribly useful either, at least not in all cases. I wouldn't call it a false dichotomy, but we could use a lot more specificity here, and context matters. discrimination seems like low hanging fruit here. the individualist v. traditionalist dichotomy works here pretty well. but what about something like griswold, a case you mentioned earlier in your post. let's throw out the facts of the actual case, because no one cares about them it was related to some ridiculous contraception law. the portion anyone remotely interested in jurisprudence cares about is the (in my view) murky "penumbra" to the bill of rights that became precedent from this case. I assume you think "liberals" can claim to be the individualists here, as they want to let people use contraception. (although again, I don't think this was what the case was actually about) but instead of the people broadly opposing the ruling being reactionary traditionalists, maybe they think broadening interpretations of the constitution can lead to less individual freedom in some cases.

so let's pivot to health care. different parts of the constitution, but same concept. who's supporting individuals here? the people who want people to have the financial freedom gained in being secure in their health care, or those who want people to have more choice in what sort of health care to buy, and whether they should have to buy it at all? how about labor unions? who is on the side of individuals there? both businesses and labor unions are composed of individuals with wants and desires. I won't continue to bore you, but it seems like both sides of any debate (besides perhaps the discrimination examples you raise) can spin their position as supporting the individual. I understand why you reach for the distinction, because it is deeply rooted in political philosophy. but (perhaps sadly) I don't think a lot of people, politicians or otherwise, think in those terms when deciding upon political positions. I think they have independent policy preferences based on other things, and the individualist and traditionalist arguments are instead deployed as ad hoc rationalizations.

sorry for the length/rambling, but I didn't know how to make this any more concise, and even if I did I probably wouldn't take the time to do at 2:51 am.

sugarkang 08-20-2011 06:16 AM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by eeeeeeeli (Post 222597)
Bottom-line, it was and is an issue the left gets credit for. Only in the past few years have there even been signs of a pulse towards gay-acceptance on the right.

Are you saying that the left deserves political points for saving gays from the right? How about amongst African Americans? They vote mostly Democractic and they're also very anti-gay. I distinctly remember in the 1980s a Donahue episode talking about gay programming on television and the crowd booed. Was the entire Donahue audience made up only of conservatives?

And doesn't this completely miss the point about what I said earlier? The left gets points because the left learned faster? I think my acceptance of gays has a lot to do with me living in a big city, attending a big university and having opportunities to have first hand interactions. You're going to judge people who might not have had the same experience as immoral?

Also, let's please separate out what it means to like or dislike, accept or not accept, tolerate or not tolerate certain kinds of behavior. It's perfectly normal to dislike something and tolerate it at the same time.

miceelf 08-20-2011 07:10 AM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 222627)
Are you saying that the left deserves political points for saving gays from the right? How about amongst African Americans? They vote mostly Democractic and they're also very anti-gay. I distinctly remember in the 1980s a Donahue episode talking about gay programming on television and the crowd booed. Was the entire Donahue audience made up only of conservatives?

And doesn't this completely miss the point about what I said earlier? The left gets points because the left learned faster? I think my acceptance of gays has a lot to do with me living in a big city, attending a big university and having opportunities to have first hand interactions.

As to African Americans, the fact that you can point to a segment of democrats that were anti-gay doesn't at all disprove that the people who were pro-gay were almost entirely democrats.

I agree with you about some of the reasons why people learn, and you may be right that this is why democrats have learned faster. But you're ignoring a big part of the anti-gay thing which isn't just lack of experience, but active processes as well.

sugarkang 08-20-2011 09:07 AM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 222629)
As to African Americans, the fact that you can point to a segment of democrats that were anti-gay doesn't at all disprove that the people who were pro-gay were almost entirely democrats.

Here's where I think we agree. If I were gay and had to pick a political party, I'd choose Donkey. As to which party is more hospitable, there isn't a question. However, if you poll Democrats and ask them about their feelings towards homosexuality, I'd guess that the numbers aren't as skewed as eeeeeeeli is making it seem. This is the media playing tricks on American minds. If you take the uppity liberal white progressives out of the mix and start asking minority Dems what they think, you're going to get a lot more "traditional" aka "anti-gay" views popping up. That's just a fact. It's not just Af-Ams, but this extends to Latinos and Asians as well.

So, yes the Dems are more hospitable and more "open." However, let's be clear on who exactly got Prop 8 through in California: anti-gay forces on BOTH sides. I'm tired of this hero narrative that the left keeps putting out there.

Quote:

I agree with you about some of the reasons why people learn, and you may be right that this is why democrats have learned faster. But you're ignoring a big part of the anti-gay thing which isn't just lack of experience, but active processes as well.
By active processes are you talking about media, institutional impediments, etc. or along those lines? If so, I agree.

miceelf 08-20-2011 09:46 AM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 222633)
Here's where I think we agree. If I were gay and had to pick a political party, I'd choose Donkey. As to which party is more hospitable, there isn't a question. However, if you poll Democrats and ask them about their feelings towards homosexuality, I'd guess that the numbers aren't as skewed as eeeeeeeli is making it seem. This is the media playing tricks on American minds. If you take the uppity liberal white progressives out of the mix and start asking minority Dems what they think, you're going to get a lot more "traditional" aka "anti-gay" views popping up. That's just a fact. It's not just Af-Ams, but this extends to Latinos and Asians as well.

Yes, I agree. HOwever, taking liberal white progressives out of the mix would mean we were talking about a very different party (I would also point out that AfAm elites are much more likely to be pro-gay than most AfAms- the CBC is probably as reliably pro-gay as any congressional group). As you note, among white people, the Dem-GOP contrast is still pretty stark. It's changing, which is good, and I agree that in a few years, people are likely to have forgotten this was every really an issue, unless the GOP's social conservative death rattle lasts longer than we think it will (on this issue, I mean).

People on the left who are honest will certainly acknowledge that Dems qua Dems have not been great on gay issues. They only look great when compared to the GOP.

Yes, I meant media and institutional implements, and especially the religious ones, which have also acted as an arm of the GOP for a very long time. (e.g., the Family Research Council, which is a complete misnomer except that they may be a council)

sugarkang 08-20-2011 10:01 AM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 222637)
People on the left who are honest will certainly acknowledge that Dems qua Dems have not been great on gay issues. They only look great when compared to the GOP.

Okay, so we're also agreed then that Dems don't bash other Dems because they have a political interest in keeping their coalition together, right? The criticism is therefore squarely directed at conservatives and the anti-gay Dems get a pass.

At the same time, many moderate conservatives (David Frum types) see the rabid populist conservatives as problematic for some of their views, but will give them a pass for political expediency as well.

Do you see why I'm libertarian? These parties make me fucking sick.

badhatharry 08-20-2011 10:20 AM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
[QUOTE=eeeeeeeli;222591]

Quote:

That's just it though, I agree with you! Conservatives don't talk about race, and want to get government out of their lives. They see less government as leading to more freedom, and probably less racism. But any time you take things off the discussion table, you risk not learning their lessons. I think conservatism has done this in a profound way with the social sciences in general. You can almost run through a list of academic disciplines which conservatism has been uncomfortable taking an interest in: psychology, sociology, anthropology, and basically any area of study that might get into criticisms of the status quo.
Sometimes I just have to stop and take up something you've said. Like this for instance...which conservatism has been uncomfortable taking an interest in: psychology, sociology, anthropology, and basically any area of study that might get into criticisms of the status quo

Here you are saying something which simply isn't true or is certainly disputable. What evidence do you have that conservatives haven't taken these things up? What evidence do you have that conservatives are uncomfortable with these things? Also, what evidence do you have that the reason they haven't taken these things up is because they are uncomfortable with these things because they criticize the status quo? You just assert things and go on as though they are true.

Quote:

Conservatives spend a good deal of time talking about the "liberal elites" and "liberal universities", as if maybe there is some kind of conspiracy to keep conservatives out of academia
.

Well it is true that there is a preponderance of progressives in the social sciences. I don't know if there are specific charges that this shows that there is a conspiracy to keep conservatives out of academia. I would posit that there are many conservatives in academia as you say below. George Mason University is crawling with them.

Quote:

And I think that is a shame. I think that conservatives would have a lot to contribute to the discussion. I can't help but see a parallel between anti-intellectualism among conservatives with their decline in representation at major centers of learning and thought.
Geez! so anti-intellectualism = criticizing the liberal project. I would call it anti- we know so much better how the world should be than you do ism.

Quote:

However, conservatism and liberalism have also changed, right? I mean, what would have been conservative 30 years ago could well be liberal today And in many cases it is the reverse. The Southern shift was a large part of it, too. That seismic shift in political alignments surely changed the way we look at cultural issues. It seemed a point at which conservatism began peeling in major ways from the establishment, just as liberalism was maturing into it.
Even the terms conservative and liberal have changed their meanings.

Quote:

Look, all of this started when I wanted to go after conservatives for not paying enough attention to race, and therefore struggling to understand liberals' framing of it. I still think it is an empirical question: they don't pay near as much attention. As to reasons why, well, I think it does become controversial. I respect your reasons for being skeptical of the subject. And I think I can understand why. But for us to come to agreement there probably has more to do with why we're on opposite sides of the aisle. :)
I don't think that conservatives don't try to understand liberal framing of social issues. Thomas Sowell has spent a lot of his career writing about it. The Vision of the Annointed and A Conflict of Visions. I highly recommend both.

PS. Upon reflection I would say the biggest problem I have with your ideas is that they include so many sweeping generalizations and assumptions. If you are truly seeking understanding you might want to consider trying to narrow those down.

badhatharry 08-20-2011 10:26 AM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by eeeeeeeli (Post 222597)
To hear you tell it, Badhat, the left had nothing to do with it, that gays just sort of "woke" up and began doing talk shows and coming out publicly, and people everywhere suddenly became enlightened. The truth is that it was a lot harder, required a lot more courage and sacrifice, and a lot more pushback against a rightwing that was completely psychotic. (Cue: Pat Robertson after Katrina, replay every right-wing talk radio show and media article since 1989).

I don't spend any time paying attention to what Pat Robertson says, nor do I associate myself with the kind of person he is.

And I don't think gays just woke up one day and came out of the closet. There were pioneers and they paved the way in very dramatic and risk-taking ways. If you think the left is responsible for this well then the left served a good purpose.

stephanie 08-20-2011 11:23 AM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx (Post 222621)
I think you've kind of muddled a lot terms here to the extent that they don't mean a whole lot.

I don't agree -- in fact I was trying to avoid that, by pointing out that "liberals" are in both parties. This is something we've been discussing all over the board lately. See the conversation about Millman's definition of the labels. More lately, as I'm on my way out the door, but I just wanted to respond to that bit of unfairness quickly.

eeeeeeeli 08-20-2011 11:28 AM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 222627)
Are you saying that the left deserves political points for saving gays from the right? How about amongst African Americans? They vote mostly Democractic and they're also very anti-gay. I distinctly remember in the 1980s a Donahue episode talking about gay programming on television and the crowd booed. Was the entire Donahue audience made up only of conservatives?

All I mean by credit is that it was liberal ideas that brought about the change. You are right that in the 80's most people weren't that far left yet. There is a larger case to be made that gay rights gained momentum from barriers that were being broken down with civil rights and feminism, which were by definition a liberal cause.

Maybe the best way to think about it is what these movements faced in terms of opposition, what their opponents were saying about them. It was basically that it was against the "natural order of things", that it was all moral relativism, that it was evidence that civilization was falling apart, that it was dangerous, unclean, offensive, etc., and the opposition was directly squarely at liberalism. You can literally take language from the civil rights movement and transpose it over the gay rights debate that is fading today.

So, liberalism was about deconstruction and challenging old moralities. It wasn't about moral relativism, but about the idea that morals are relative to culture, not handed down by God or tradition. They must stand up to scrutiny on their own, as opposed to some kind of timeless holy writ.

Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 222627)
And doesn't this completely miss the point about what I said earlier? The left gets points because the left learned faster? I think my acceptance of gays has a lot to do with me living in a big city, attending a big university and having opportunities to have first hand interactions. You're going to judge people who might not have had the same experience as immoral?

Yes, I'm not a moral relativist. I know there are reasons why they believe what they do, but that doesn't mean I think it is OK. The only "points" I was talking about was the fact that openness to homosexuality has always been a liberal project, by definition.

Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 222627)
Also, let's please separate out what it means to like or dislike, accept or not accept, tolerate or not tolerate certain kinds of behavior. It's perfectly normal to dislike something and tolerate it at the same time.

It depends. When the dislike is of an entire class of people, especially an out-group with a history of discrimination, I think there is a very strong possibility that the "dislike" is rooted in a much deeper psychodynamic and cultural hatred. This gets into what hatred is, how it forms, etc. So much of hatred is unconscious, to the point that many people can consciously believe themselves to not be hateful, but still be under the influence of biases, flawed cognitions, etc.

What's so hard about it is the degree to which this stuff resides in our unconscious, as well as in the cultural norms and traditions, our modes of thought. For instance, I consider myself a pretty liberal person and I'm always trying to be conscious of ways in which my own racism, sexism, etc. might pop up. And it does. I don't know how much of this has to do with my living in society or just basic cognitive errors that have been "built-in" to the way my brain works.

This is why I'm so distrusting of people who claim to not be homophobic at all, and merely following their religion. I don't think they can really know why they follow homophobic teachings, and I think we can objectively say they are homophobic - I mean, I actually believe they were written by homophobic men, but even if they were the word of an existing God, then he is homophobic! But anyways, the practical effect of their religious devotion means the participation in a movement of extreme suffering and illiberalism. I find it hard to believe that their acceptance of that terrible interpretation isn't largely based on prior frameworks of hate that have in a sense paved the way, or made comfortable the decision to buy into something so vile and hurtful. For instance, there are passages in the bible that no modern person in their right mind would agree to follow, so why the acceptance of the homophobia?

sugarkang 08-20-2011 11:58 AM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by eeeeeeeli (Post 222648)
This is why I'm so distrusting of people who claim to not be homophobic at all, and merely following their religion. I don't think they can really know why they follow homophobic teachings, and I think we can objectively say they are homophobic - I mean, I actually believe they were written by homophobic men, but even if they were the word of an existing God, then he is homophobic! But anyways, the practical effect of their religious devotion means the participation in a movement of extreme suffering and illiberalism. I find it hard to believe that their acceptance of that terrible interpretation isn't largely based on prior frameworks of hate that have in a sense paved the way, or made comfortable the decision to buy into something so vile and hurtful. For instance, there are passages in the bible that no modern person in their right mind would agree to follow, so why the acceptance of the homophobia?

The world is not a good and evil morality play where the Democrats are on the side of good.

Here are some things that are true about me:

1. In the 1980s, gay programming did not exist. I was homophobic, but not in the charged way that people think about it today. In the 80s, we hardly thought about gays at all and so it stands to reason that you couldn't be all that homophobic, either. It just wasn't a national discussion.

2. In the 1990s, I met people who were gay and they seemed just like anyone else. Whatever reservations I had about them regarding their sexual orientation was now gone.

3. When Brokeback Mountain was released, I watched it with my (male) roommate. When the love scenes came on we both yelled, "Gross!!" When the movie reached the end, I felt a lot of sympathy for the main characters.

4. Last year, I met up with some friends at a gay restaurant/bar and I inadvertently yelled out, "Oh my God, that's so gay!" My liberal friends gently reprimanded me and reminded me of where we were.

5. Below is an email I received some days ago.

http://img854.imageshack.us/img854/1369/capturexac.png

If you take only portions of my life or cherry pick facts about me, it's easy to create a believable narrative where I'm the root of all evil. In fact, a lot of that went on with the Gang of 12 just a month or two ago on these boards. Are all views equal? No. Should all views be tolerated? No.

But the left has a habit of making victims that do not exist. It's like Nancy Grace, but more academic. Someone needs to call out the bullshit and that's what I'm doing.

badhatharry 08-20-2011 12:17 PM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 222651)

some of my best frends are gay, too. :)

PS. I loved Brokeback Mountain. Ledger was an amazing actor and Annie Proulx is an amazing writer.

I was recommending the book and movie to a guy and he told me flatly, he would never read or watch it. He made it clear it was the subject matter that held no interest for him. I didn't immediately think, "OMG, this guy is such a homophobe". I figured the choice was his, obviously. I just think finger wagging seldom changes minds.

miceelf 08-20-2011 01:47 PM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 222640)
Okay, so we're also agreed then that Dems don't bash other Dems because they have a political interest in keeping their coalition together, right? The criticism is therefore squarely directed at conservatives and the anti-gay Dems get a pass.

At the same time, many moderate conservatives (David Frum types) see the rabid populist conservatives as problematic for some of their views, but will give them a pass for political expediency as well.

Do you see why I'm libertarian? These parties make me fucking sick.

Well, this isn't entirely accurate. The dems have a coalition that includes people who are anti-gay, but the dem platform is generally pro-gay (and, to be honest, the dem cowardice on gay issues probably has more to do with general election concerns than with AfAms). Do the pro-gay dems go out of their way to attack the anti-gay dems? no, but this is largely because the pro-gay dems have generally won within the Dem party.

I would see dems as a lesser of two evils on this issue more than an unmitigated good, but I think it has less to do with AfAms than with their perceptions of non-Dems

miceelf 08-20-2011 01:54 PM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 222651)
The world is not a good and evil morality play where the Democrats are on the side of good.

I don't think anyone is disputing this. I think it's more accurate to say that on this issue, the GOP has generally been more evil. Shades of gray.

My experiences largely mirrored yours, with an important difference: having been raised in a fundamentalist religion, the homophobia from there was just as charged then, and more resistant to change, because the belief was that even being tolerant put one at risk of hellfire.

When my wife and I saw brokeback mountain, we did a weekday matinee (ah, those were the days) and we were the only people in the theatre under 60. From the audience reaction, most of them apparently thought they were seeing a cowboy and western movie and had been looking forward to it, because there weren't many good westerns any more.

stephanie 08-20-2011 03:28 PM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx (Post 222621)
I think you've kind of muddled a lot terms here to the extent that they don't mean a whole lot. what exactly do you mean by "liberal"? I assume you don't mean it in the contemporary political sense. do you mean liberal as in political descendants of people like locke and rawls?

Okay, I have more time now. I was annoyed by the tone of your response because I'm obviously trying to use the terms in a specific way, not the "muddled" way I think they get applied now.

Anyway, to answer your question, somewhat. I again would refer back to the discussion in another thread about the Millman definition, as well as my prior discussion with eeeeeeli about liberal vs. left, which is that I was specifically referring to, since I was talking to him and assumed he'd be familiar with that prior discussion.

But if it wasn't clear enough from the post in question, I do mean "liberal" in the classic ideological sense, which I think still plays a role in US political debates in terms of priority. With the right, it tends to be a debate between tradition and ideological concerns such as rights. How broadly do we define the rights? How much respect do we give tradition, especially when considering whether the state has sufficient interest to pass a law that is being defended? To what extent can we use the law to achieve liberal goals? With the left, it tends to be more about how effective liberal ideology is or whether it basically allows for the maintenance of the status quo/moneyed interests, so on. I thought eli wasn't sufficiently crediting the existence of a real liberal strain on the right, as well as not distinguishing sufficiently between the different approaches that liberals and leftists follow, even when we are talking about those who may be grouped together on the broad left half of the country.

I'd agree (and have said many times) that in a sense the US is a liberal country as a whole, our traditions are liberal, so of course I somewhat agree with you, but I still think there are obviously people who prioritize liberal concerns more highly (on both the right and the left) and people who prioritize different concerns, like the traditional conservative focus on, well, tradition and the need for law and culture to check the focus on individualism and various liberal ideas. Obviously, there's also an argument against liberalism from the left.

Quote:

I also think the individualist vs. traditionalist distinction is not terribly useful either, at least not in all cases.
If you think it's not useful, we disagree. If simply you think it doesn't fit all cases, we don't.

Quote:

we could use a lot more specificity here
You have a real habit of writing posts slamming me for not being specific enough, for not accounting for various things I'm not talking about, etc. I'm not sure why. It seems like it would be easy enough and more in tune with how forums usually made up of short posts (and yes mine already tend to be too long, badhat likes to rudely insult me for this, among other things) to simply say "what about X" or even "I think you've not accounted for Y." I'm not sure why you don't approach it that way, although perhaps I'm starting to take it too personally.

Quote:

discrimination seems like low hanging fruit here. the individualist v. traditionalist dichotomy works here pretty well.
Well, that was the topic. My point was that it's not a left/right debate as eli was framing it, but a debate between different groups, some of which are just as native to the US Republican Party and right as the traditionalists are. And that when they disagree with leftists about how to approach something like discrimination and race issues, you can't assume that they are merely masking a concern for tradition. They are genuinely different (if sometimes mixed in some way) ideological focuses.

Quote:

what about something like griswold, a case you mentioned earlier in your post.
Yes, I think the traditionalist/liberal debate fits well here too.

Quote:

let's throw out the facts of the actual case, because no one cares about them
Of course people care about them. It boils down to the role of the law in matters that are arguably within the zone of privacy -- decisions about family, childbearing and rearing, so on. There's a real fundamental difference between liberals (on both the right and left) and conservatives as to whether the state should be assumed to have a right to regulate private conduct. The fact that it gets framed as about ennumerated rights does not contradict this. Indeed, it's obviously untrue to claim that Griswold was the first case to find rights that weren't specifically stated. The problem in Griswold was explaining why something that seemed clearly a right to some of the judges was, and why we get the various different approaches, from the penumbra to the theories about the 9th amendment and substantive due process.

Quote:

I assume you think "liberals" can claim to be the individualists here, as they want to let people use contraception.
It's broader than that -- the liberals are more skeptical about the state's right to regulate in such areas, and less willing to assume state authority to do so from past tradition.

Quote:

so let's pivot to health care. different parts of the constitution, but same concept.
I don't think it's the same concept. However, you seem to have ignored the thrust of my post entirely, because you are assuming that I'm claiming the liberal vs. traditionalist argument (which is not the only argument liberals are engaged in today according to the very post to which you were responding) as somehow explaining the current US political breakdown and arguments, with the "liberals" all on the Dem side. Given that, I wanted to clarify this first, but I'd be happy to get into how I think certain liberal/left arguments play out or how I think one can square liberalism and the health care reform or whatever if you are at all interested in my views on that. Or if not I won't be offended. ;-)

chiwhisoxx 08-20-2011 04:34 PM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
I didn't mean to annoy or insult you with the tone of my post. Muddled may have been the wrong word. And I wasn't trying to avoid the thrust of your post, I was just focusing on a specific aspect of it. Rather than assume I was dodging the thrust of it, maybe just assume I mostly agree!

eeeeeeeli 08-20-2011 08:31 PM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 222651)
The world is not a good and evil morality play where the Democrats are on the side of good....

If you take only portions of my life or cherry pick facts about me, it's easy to create a believable narrative where I'm the root of all evil. In fact, a lot of that went on with the Gang of 12 just a month or two ago on these boards. Are all views equal? No. Should all views be tolerated? No.

But the left has a habit of making victims that do not exist. It's like Nancy Grace, but more academic. Someone needs to call out the bullshit and that's what I'm doing.

I'm not sure what you think I think about you, and what you're driving at here. Are you the root of all evil? wtf.

To the extent that Democrats support homosexuality, they are on the side of good in my book. I don't think it's much more complicated than that.

Both the left and right have that habit, in case you hadn't noticed. I can only guess what claim you're talking about here. Is the right more homophobic, as in supports homophobic policies and opposes non-homophobic policies, and thinks being gay is wrong? Social conservatives: totally. Conservatives generally: less so, but still not where they should be. Again though, this is an empirical question. Just look at actions and words.

Let me be more clear on something. I have a very expansive view of "hatred", because I think it is so complex and nuanced that any discussion of it requires us to be. There is still so much we don't know about it. To me, it encompasses racism, but also sexism, homophobia and other sort of patterns of thought that humans seem so susceptible to. It is about taking people for granted, taking one's own position and privilege for granted. It is about giving in to ugly feelings of fear and intolerance of other people. It is about all of those things yet more than any of them individually. Honestly, I'm not even sure what I mean by it, simply because it is so difficult to define and describe. I think what is important though, is the conversation and the exploration of it and the recognition that only through continued reflection and vigilance will we, as flawed humans, keep it at bay in society.

But, I don't see hatred as an intrinsic characteristic of anyone, something that they can't largely overcome. It is simply a collection of beliefs and ways of thinking, whether conscious or unconscious. You can be "filled" with it in large or small amounts. Because of how much of it is unconscious, and therefor unknowable, I'm not comfortable thinking that anyone is ever truly free of it. I think we all are prone to being motivated by it, even in the smallest ways, ways we probably wouldn't even think of as "hateful". For instance, heck - I'm married to a Jewish woman and I probably lapse into anti-semitic thinking without even noticing it. I know I can be a sexist pig - usually through my actions more than words. I have racist thoughts from time to time. I can be classist. It's all a process of trying to be self-aware.

Honestly, the worst thing conservatives seem to do is to be so quick to get defensive and shut down debate. This obviously has to do with bigger differences in narrative about race/hatred/etc. But a bit more humility always helps.

sugarkang 08-20-2011 08:53 PM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 222657)
I would see dems as a lesser of two evils on this issue more than an unmitigated good, but I think it has less to do with AfAms than with their perceptions of non-Dems

Okay, but don't you find it's hard to rally the troops with this battlecry:
"Democrats! We're 20% less evil."


Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 222658)
My experiences largely mirrored yours, with an important difference: having been raised in a fundamentalist religion, the homophobia from there was just as charged then, and more resistant to change, because the belief was that even being tolerant put one at risk of hellfire.

So, this might be the key difference between us. I don't know any fundamentalist Christians. Does evangelical count? In that case, I know one. My friend was a cop in the South. He's now a youth pastor for a church in a small town in the Midwest. He speaks with a southern drawl. He makes fun of gay people, but he's never said anything approaching any kind of malice. He and his wife adopted a young teenage girl from a broken home and attempted to provide her with a stable home.

When someone considers the statements of Michele Bachmann, they really ought to take them in context with the rest of her life. They should think about her 20 (21?) foster children and square that with how much supposed hatred she has for people. It seems to me that her only crime is that she can't accept gays for what/who they are; I can't accept this either. But it also never occurred to me that she wasn't compassionate towards them.

miceelf 08-20-2011 09:12 PM

Re: Hate filled rhetoric possibly contributed to violence.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 222689)
Okay, but don't you find it's hard to rally the troops with this battlecry:
"Democrats! We're 20% less evil."

Well, sure. I am not in the business of battle cries. I am having a conversation with you, where I am assuming we are both being as honest as reasonably possible.


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