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  #1  
Old 01-03-2012, 01:26 AM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
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Default Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)

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  #2  
Old 01-03-2012, 01:55 AM
Peter Sibley Peter Sibley is offline
 
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Default Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)

I'm very sorry, Glenn. Condolences.

Last edited by Peter Sibley; 01-03-2012 at 02:05 AM..
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  #3  
Old 01-03-2012, 02:09 AM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)

Great to see you again, Joshua. And very sorry to hear about the illness. Best wishes for a full recovery. And condolences to Glenn. You both have enriched the intellectual life of the BhTV audience with your contributions in the past, and we look forward to many more in the future.
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  #4  
Old 01-03-2012, 07:53 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
Great to see you again, Joshua. And very sorry to hear about the illness. Best wishes for a full recovery. And condolences to Glenn. You both have enriched the intellectual life of the BhTV audience with your contributions in the past, and we look forward to many more in the future.
I never know the right thing to say, which as others have said is what condolences tends to mean, but this says well what I'd like to.

Glenn's discussion was quite moving.
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  #5  
Old 01-03-2012, 03:26 AM
Cain Cain is offline
 
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Default Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)

Geez, I really like these guys. Year of mortality.
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  #6  
Old 01-03-2012, 03:46 AM
sapeye sapeye is offline
 
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Default Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)

Glenn, I'm sorry for your loss. I hear the pain, and also the joy, in your voice. Thank you for pointing me to As I Lay Dying.

Hang in there, Josh.

Thank you both for your openness.

Bob
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  #7  
Old 01-03-2012, 03:56 AM
basman basman is offline
 
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Default Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)

I'm very sorry to hear of all this bad news.

I hope things turn out for the best where they can.

Itzik Basman
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  #8  
Old 01-03-2012, 05:21 AM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)

Good luck to Josh and condolences to Glenn. The grim nature of the introduction makes it difficult to discuss the topic at hand. But if the heads can do it, commenters should be able to do it as well.

Josh's point about corrupting power is precisely right. Josh and Glenn both agree that libertarian arguments should be taken seriously and not dismissed casually as they've been on this board, amongst political pundits, and in newspapers and TV shows across the nation.

So where was the discussion? It most certainly didn't happen in the diavlog. Maybe our beloved heads ran out of time, so I'll ask some questions that I think should be part of the serious discussion.

1. Do racists have a right to prefer certain groups of people to associate with in their private lives?
2. Do racists have the freedom to speak or write freely about these preferences?
3. If racists do not have these rights, then why not add an amendment to the Marriage Act prohibiting persons of the same race to marry and procreate? If racism is the great evil that must be eradicated in our time, then why not use state power to enforce miscegenation?
4. If there is a greater racist government policy than the War on Drugs which systematically imprisons the most marginalized blacks at three times the rate of whites, then what is it? And if there isn't, then what gives Progressives the audacity to opine on matters of racism when a supposed racist is the one trying to abolish such policy?
5. Does Martin Luther King, Jr.'s espousal of Marxist socialist doctrine preclude him from being recognized as our great leader of the civil rights movement particularly during the time when socialism was an extant threat? If MLK hadn't been assassinated, would his socialist stances preclude him from running for the presidency?
6. If Milton Friedman wanted to abolish the Federal Reserve in 2006, what makes this idea crank? Are we now redefining what it means to be a crank? If MLK can be a legitimate candidate for presidency, what makes Ron Paul disqualifying?

If you want serious libertarian discussion, what's the point in having one left and one very left academic about views that they have no vested interest in advocating? At least bring Eugene Volokh or Glenn Greenwald or Brink Lindsey or Tyler Cowen in to be one of the heads.
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  #9  
Old 01-03-2012, 07:06 AM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by sugarkang View Post
1. Do racists have a right to prefer certain groups of people to associate with in their private lives?
2. Do racists have the freedom to speak or write freely about these preferences?
3. If racists do not have these rights, then why not add an amendment to the Marriage Act prohibiting persons of the same race to marry and procreate? If racism is the great evil that must be eradicated in our time, then why not use state power to enforce miscegenation?
4. If there is a greater racist government policy than the War on Drugs which systematically imprisons the most marginalized blacks at three times the rate of whites, then what is it? And if there isn't, then what gives Progressives the audacity to opine on matters of racism when a supposed racist is the one trying to abolish such policy?
5. Does Martin Luther King, Jr.'s espousal of Marxist socialist doctrine preclude him from being recognized as our great leader of the civil rights movement particularly during the time when socialism was an extant threat? If MLK hadn't been assassinated, would his socialist stances preclude him from running for the presidency?
6. If Milton Friedman wanted to abolish the Federal Reserve in 2006, what makes this idea crank? Are we now redefining what it means to be a crank? If MLK can be a legitimate candidate for presidency, what makes Ron Paul disqualifying?
1-2. yes.
3. N/a, because 1-2 was yes. Also because literally no one is proposing it. Not even sure the point, but if it's about public accomodations, there's a magnitude of difference in the intrusion affiliated with forcing one to (say) let Black people sit in a restaurant vs. forcing one to marry someone of a particular race. It also is completely irrelevant to the grievances that the civil rights law was meant to address. Most African Americans didn't regard white genitalia as a public good that they had a right to have access to. Also, us miscegenators want to have all the fun for ourselves.
4. It's been hugely racist in terms of effect, if not intent. This is irrelevant, of course to whether everyone who opposes the policy is absolutely free of racism and/or above criticism wrt race.
5.I don't think so, but as with 3, not sure what the parallel is supposed to be. It's also hard to disentangle what MLK thought about socialism from what he putatively thought according to his opponents. Certainly, people could and did disagree with him about politics. It would depend on the specifics of what he actually thought and said wrt Marxism. Certainly, no one believes that it was impossible for MLK to be criticised; had he, for example, also wanted women to NOT have the right to vote, or Jews, he'd be regarded very differently than he is. Is the problem that MLK had some views you don't like, and therefore others aren't allowed to dislike views that Ron Paul has (or seems to have, to some)?
6. (shrug). It would depend on his rationale, but Friedman is no more above criticism than anyone else. Also, did I miss MLK lobbying for the abolition of the fed, or running for president? He would definitely not have won, had he run.

Also, the point was, or seemed to be, not a complete and exhaustive discussion of libertarianism, but how liberals should and do respond to Ron Paul. When two libertarians are doing diavlogs, I don't recall any injunction that they not discuss liberalism.

Last edited by miceelf; 01-03-2012 at 07:09 AM..
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  #10  
Old 01-03-2012, 08:19 AM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default LOL

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  #11  
Old 01-04-2012, 08:26 PM
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What's wrong with any of those two statements?
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  #12  
Old 01-04-2012, 08:29 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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What's wrong with any of those two statements?
Wouldn't it greatly depend on the context? The usual context that gets raised here is as proof that one isn't racist. In that context, both statements are nonsensical.

As statements of fact, they're fine, but that's not always how they come up.
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  #13  
Old 01-04-2012, 08:35 PM
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Default Re: LOL

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Originally Posted by miceelf View Post
Wouldn't it greatly depend on the context? The usual context that gets raised here is as proof that one isn't racist. In that context, both statements are nonsensical.

As statements of fact, they're fine, but that's not always how they come up.
Why nonsensical? If you want to establish your cosmopolitanism why can't you point to the people you interact with? What's wrong with that?

And what about wanting to legalized drugs? What's nonsensical there?

What next? Are you going to chastise people for saying "I work in a soup kitchen, volunteer a lot of my time and money to help the poor and other worthwhile causes" just because they also don't conform to your favorite policy solutions?
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  #14  
Old 01-04-2012, 08:43 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Unit View Post
Why nonsensical? If you want to establish your cosmopolitanism why can't you point to the people you interact with? What's wrong with that?

And what about wanting to legalized drugs? What's nonsensical there?
Again. In general, not nonsensical. The first is relevant to cosmopolitan-ness or social skills. The second is relevant to libertarianism or coolness or hipness or being young at heart. Neither are relevant to racism.
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  #15  
Old 01-04-2012, 08:54 PM
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Again. In general, not nonsensical. The first is relevant to cosmopolitan-ness or social skills. The second is relevant to libertarianism or coolness or hipness or being young at heart. Neither are relevant to racism.
What if one's preference for drug liberalization is driven by one's conviction that the burden of the the war on drugs is falling disproportionally on minorities. Would that not count as a defense against an accusation of racism?

It gets to a point where words and ideas matter for what they are and how they are stated. I certainly would not want to discourage people from saying those two sentences or making it somehow uncool to utter them, as the poster seems to be wanting to do.
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  #16  
Old 01-04-2012, 09:36 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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What if one's preference for drug liberalization is driven by one's conviction that the burden of the the war on drugs is falling disproportionally on minorities. Would that not count as a defense against an accusation of racism?
Sure. But that's a statement that is so much more specific than "I am against the drug war" that's it's a different statement entirely.
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  #17  
Old 01-04-2012, 11:35 PM
Romanized Romanized is offline
 
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Sure. But that's a statement that is so much more specific than "I am against the drug war" that's it's a different statement entirely.
The main feature of the war on drugs has been its ravaging effect on urban communities. It's enough that Paul is willing to stand up for the liberties of even the most feared demographics in society (young black males and Muslims).

Paul may not want the slightest thing to do with me or anyone that looks like me and I'd still vote for him. It's a simple matter of principles over sentiment. For people like Coats it's the exact opposite.
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  #18  
Old 01-04-2012, 10:16 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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What if one's preference for drug liberalization is driven by one's conviction that the burden of the the war on drugs is falling disproportionally on minorities. Would that not count as a defense against an accusation of racism?
Not necessarily. One could be racist in one way and not in others. And, indeed, while I think people are often against the drug war in part due to concern about disproportionate impact, I don't think that people are generally for continuing our current policies (or, say, for the death penalty, which I am also against) because they like the disproportionate impact. They just aren't as convinced it's an inherent problem, etc. It's similarly not a defense to say "I'm for the Civil Rights Act of 1964." It makes more sense to address the issue at hand, whatever it might be, than to assert that some other stance (or a friend or doctor or whatever) makes one immune from any such accusation. That seems quite obviously what the humorous TNC remark relates to, as well as the traditional view of "some of my best friends are X."

Quote:
I certainly would not want to discourage people from saying those two sentences or making it somehow uncool to utter them, as the poster seems to be wanting to do.
No one is saying you can't say "I'm against the drug war." Just that you shouldn't assert it as some proof of being totally non-racist. (Indeed, while I think the drug war, as currently framed, falls disproportionately on minorities, the idea that being against it is inherently some be-all, end-all evidence of being non-racist seems to smack a bit of equating the interest of minorities with being drug users. Similarly, although I am against many aspects of the current war on drugs, the idea that one must be against criminalizing any drug or be racist seems clearly silly.)

Last edited by stephanie; 01-04-2012 at 10:19 PM..
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  #19  
Old 01-05-2012, 05:25 AM
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Not necessarily. One could be racist in one way and not in others. And, indeed, while I think people are often against the drug war in part due to concern about disproportionate impact, I don't think that people are generally for continuing our current policies (or, say, for the death penalty, which I am also against) because they like the disproportionate impact. They just aren't as convinced it's an inherent problem, etc. It's similarly not a defense to say "I'm for the Civil Rights Act of 1964." It makes more sense to address the issue at hand, whatever it might be, than to assert that some other stance (or a friend or doctor or whatever) makes one immune from any such accusation. That seems quite obviously what the humorous TNC remark relates to, as well as the traditional view of "some of my best friends are X."



No one is saying you can't say "I'm against the drug war." Just that you shouldn't assert it as some proof of being totally non-racist. (Indeed, while I think the drug war, as currently framed, falls disproportionately on minorities, the idea that being against it is inherently some be-all, end-all evidence of being non-racist seems to smack a bit of equating the interest of minorities with being drug users. Similarly, although I am against many aspects of the current war on drugs, the idea that one must be against criminalizing any drug or be racist seems clearly silly.)
It's exactly because, as you say, people may be more prejudiced in some areas than others that the "some of my best friends are X" defense is valid, because things are not all black or all white (pun intended), and so in order to get an overall picture of someone's beliefs it is useful to know all the ways someone may be semi-racist, and all the ways one may not.

Especially when talking about abstract policies, it's important to distinguish between the actual effects of a given policy and the "impressions" that supporters of a given policy my get. For instance, drug iberalization, school choice, lowering minimum wage, anti-union policies might in fact help the black minority more than other groups. Yet those policies are not generally seen as pro-black by their opponents. So one may think of oneself as being free from prejudice and still be advocating policies that hurt the very group one claims to care for.
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  #20  
Old 01-05-2012, 07:31 AM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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It's exactly because, as you say, people may be more prejudiced in some areas than others that the "some of my best friends are X" defense is valid, because things are not all black or all white (pun intended), and so in order to get an overall picture of someone's beliefs it is useful to know all the ways someone may be semi-racist, and all the ways one may not.
There's just no way to say "some of my best friends are..." that doesn't sound self-serving. Plus, people notoriously make exceptions for their friends. It's not a defensible argumnet.

Quote:
Especially when talking about abstract policies, it's important to distinguish between the actual effects of a given policy and the "impressions" that supporters of a given policy my get. For instance, drug iberalization, school choice, lowering minimum wage, anti-union policies might in fact help the black minority more than other groups. Yet those policies are not generally seen as pro-black by their opponents. So one may think of oneself as being free from prejudice and still be advocating policies that hurt the very group one claims to care for.
I agree with this, but it doesn't make either support or opposition for these programs a valid argument for proving non-racism. In particular, I tend to make a class-based argument for school choice. (As someone who lives in Chicago and has money and the ability to make sure a child gets into the right school, I simply would not allow my child to simply go into the public school system, and not a magnet or private school, same for my friends here, who either work the system, pay, or move to the burbs, where housing prices are a form of tuition. It's clear to me that opposing school choice is preventing those less fortunate than me from doing what I and my friends do, even if the skepticism about the overall effect of school choice on the system is right, as I suspect.)

Last edited by stephanie; 01-05-2012 at 07:33 AM..
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  #21  
Old 01-05-2012, 08:39 AM
Unit Unit is offline
 
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There's just no way to say "some of my best friends are..." that doesn't sound self-serving. Plus, people notoriously make exceptions for their friends. It's not a defensible argumnet.
Why not? Some of my best friends are Jewish and this makes me more sensitive to anti-semitism because I have a first hand experience of how my friends feel when faced with that problem.
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  #22  
Old 01-05-2012, 10:51 PM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Why not? Some of my best friends are Jewish and this makes me more sensitive to anti-semitism because I have a first hand experience of how my friends feel when faced with that problem.
Precisely. If the argument is that having friends of X group doesn't sufficiently apprise one of all the trials and tribulations of that group, then that's something to be discussed further. What seems preposterous is to allege that having friends of X group precludes one from having an opinion or taken seriously when one expresses it.
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  #23  
Old 01-05-2012, 11:03 PM
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If the argument is that having friends of X group doesn't sufficiently apprise one of all the trials and tribulations of that group, then that's something to be discussed further.
That's one objection people might have.

Another is that there are a lot of asymmetrical friendships out there where one person may think the other person is a friend and can be open and honest with them and the other person might not. To whit- a long time ago in a galaxy far away, a Black friend I had known a long time happened to forget I was in a group where there was a discussion and she said a whole bunch of stuff to a couple of other Black people about race I didn't know she thought and wouldn't have ever heard had she not forgotten I was there.

And, quite frankly, one can have warm friendships and feel genuine affection for people one thinks is inferior. A lot of male family members love women in the exact same way they love small children or dogs or horses- lesser beings but completely wonderful companions. They'd describe themselves as having a lot of female friends in the same way that a kid describes Spot as his friend. It's certainly harder to see a friend as inferior, but it's by no means impossible.
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  #24  
Old 01-05-2012, 11:29 PM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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It's certainly harder to see a friend as inferior, but it's by no means impossible.
I agree, but that doesn't affect my argument. People should be able to voice opinions, including wrong ones.
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:04 AM
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I agree, but that doesn't affect my argument. People should be able to voice opinions, including wrong ones.
Sure including the opinion that "some of my best friends are black" is a silly thing to say in response to an accusation of racism.
I didn't say anything to suggest that people not be able to voice opinions, right, wrong or indifferent.
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  #26  
Old 01-06-2012, 12:51 AM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Sure including the opinion that "some of my best friends are black" is a silly thing to say in response to an accusation of racism.
Really? I think it's precisely relevant. It certainly precludes the possibility of our very worst fears of racism, i.e., physical violence, does it not? It doesn't tell you everything about the person making the claim, but do you really expect someone to go into their entire feelings about race every time a person is accused?

The problem with racism is that the accusation alone is "expensive." People go to ridiculous lengths just to avoid the charge. It's a shame.
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  #27  
Old 01-06-2012, 02:09 AM
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Really? I think it's precisely relevant.
It's your right to think so. It's my right to disagree. Isn't it?
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  #28  
Old 01-06-2012, 03:06 AM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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It's your right to think so. It's my right to disagree. Isn't it?
Absolutely. I also made an argument in my last reply, but you didn't respond to it except to say that you disagreed.
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  #29  
Old 01-06-2012, 07:16 AM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Absolutely. I also made an argument in my last reply, but you didn't respond to it except to say that you disagreed.
Well, it's kind of old ground, isn't it?

These days, most people accused of racism aren't being accused of being violent racists; they're being accused of believing a given race is inferior and/or treating people differently based on their race.

We also differ greatly on how bad it is for someone to be accused of racism. I generally find it more useful to say that a given thought or deed is racist rather than a person is, but that's because i believe most people are influenced by racism. I also don't think there's a huge epidemic of bogus (or for that matter real) charges of racism floating around these days. So I don't think it's a huge problem in terms of either how bad it is if it hapens and how often it happens.
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  #30  
Old 01-06-2012, 10:08 PM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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I generally find it more useful to say that a given thought or deed is racist rather than a person is, but that's because i believe most people are influenced by racism.
Everyone is racist. It's also normal (shocking!). The question is a matter of degree and the actions one takes motivated by those feelings.

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I also don't think there's a huge epidemic of bogus (or for that matter real) charges of racism floating around these days.
I do. Bogus isn't the right word, but there's a mismatch between allegation and the guilty deed.

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So I don't think it's a huge problem in terms of either how bad it is if it hapens and how often it happens.
Sure. If Democrats thought that, then they'd lose a huge political weapon. Exhibit A.
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  #31  
Old 01-06-2012, 11:25 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Sure. If Democrats thought that, then they'd lose a huge political weapon. Exhibit A.
We need a racism czar who will make clear judgements about what is and what is not racism and assign punishment. She should be a republican.
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  #32  
Old 01-07-2012, 12:19 AM
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We need a racism czar who will make clear judgements about what is and what is not racism and assign punishment. She should be a republican.
When did people become such wilting flowers? Is a condition of free speech that no one criticize the speech or have their own opinions?

It's hard to imagine some left-wing politically correct caricature that is as delicate and fragile about what other people's opinions are.
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  #33  
Old 01-07-2012, 12:17 AM
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Sure. If Democrats thought that, then they'd lose a huge political weapon. Exhibit A.
Well, thanks for providing an example which probably illustrates why we are likely to disagree about how widespread false allegations of racism are. First of all, most people are reporting what he said without a great deal of comment, because, quite frankly, it speaks for itself.

I suppose one could claim that it isn't racist because Gingrich knows better and he's merely trying to provoke a response and appeal to people who are racist, but that seems a distinction without a difference.

At the very least, I have trouble figuring out how someone couldn't at least see the problems with his statement, even if they disagreed as to whether it's racist.
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:29 AM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Well, thanks for providing an example which probably illustrates why we are likely to disagree about how widespread false allegations of racism are. First of all, most people are reporting what he said without a great deal of comment, because, quite frankly, it speaks for itself.
And I'd say it doesn't speak for itself. There is racism, there are dogwhistles, there are uncomfortable truths, and there are people genuinely trying to help.

Quote:
At the very least, I have trouble figuring out how someone couldn't at least see the problems with his statement, even if they disagreed as to whether it's racist.
Above.
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  #35  
Old 01-06-2012, 02:10 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Originally Posted by miceelf View Post
Sure including the opinion that "some of my best friends are black" is a silly thing to say in response to an accusation of racism.
I didn't say anything to suggest that people not be able to voice opinions, right, wrong or indifferent.
What would be your recommended response to the accusation of racism?
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  #36  
Old 01-06-2012, 02:41 AM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
What would be your recommended response to the accusation of racism?
Disagree. and if you like, state why you think it isn't true. I wouldn't typically go on to the second part, although if I was feeling frisky I might ask the accuser to provide evidence.

Were I to be in an especially self-revealing mood and decided to state why I think it isn't true, I'd try to avoid using the most cliched and denigrated response to the accusation known to man, fair or unfair.

But that's just my suggestion. I don't expect anyone to follow anything a stranger says on the intertubes, although I reserve the right to continue to spout my opinions just as everyone else does.
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Old 01-06-2012, 04:15 AM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: LOL

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Originally Posted by miceelf View Post
Were I to be in an especially self-revealing mood and decided to state why I think it isn't true, I'd try to avoid using the most cliched and denigrated response to the accusation known to man, fair or unfair.
You nailed it. Using a cliché that is almost universally understood to imply that the speaker is being less than candid, that he may in fact harbor racist feelings, defeats the purpose of communication. This cliché was once a favorite of anti-semites. You would have to be tone-deaf to language usage and history to use it with a straight face.
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  #38  
Old 01-06-2012, 04:38 AM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Florian View Post
You nailed it. Using a cliché that is almost universally understood to imply that the speaker is being less than candid, that he may in fact harbor racist feelings, defeats the purpose of communication.
Then how does one who is unjustly accused exculpate himself? Plead the 5th?

"You wouldn't be silent if you've got nothing to hide." Gestapo reasoning used by some people on this board. This is how witches get burned alive.

False accusations alone are enough to ruin people's reputations.
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:00 AM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Originally Posted by sugarkang View Post
Then how does one who is unjustly accused exculpate himself? Plead the 5th?

"You wouldn't be silent if you've got nothing to hide." Gestapo reasoning used by some people on this board. This is how witches get burned alive.

False accusations alone are enough to ruin people's reputations.
I think you are making too much of this. Accusations of racism? Exculpation? Come on, only acts matter, not words.

Personally, I would never accuse anyone of racism if the only evidence I had were this particular cliché ("Some of my best friends are blacks, Jews, or eskimos or whatever"). I would just find it odd that anyone could be so tone-deaf as to use it.

Last edited by Florian; 01-06-2012 at 05:03 AM..
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  #40  
Old 01-06-2012, 05:34 AM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Florian View Post
I think you are making too much of this. Accusations of racism? Exculpation? Come on, only acts matter, not words.
Acts matter for crimes. Words matter for careers and reputations. So, answer the question. If someone accused you of racism and other people were inclined to believe it but were waiting for you to come up with an answer, what would you say? Then imagine that this was happening to DSK in a community of TwinSwords.

Awaiting your reply.
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