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Author Topic: UN Peacekeepers to occupy Ferguson Missouri
kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
I don't want to waste your time PSRT, but is there any way you could show or explain how I am wrong?


D.W., you and a couple of friends are painting a wall blue. A bunch of people come and help by painting the wall in a rainbow. Is this helping you? Would you be wrong in asking them to stick to blue or telling them that the rainbows are not helpful in this context? I mean, blue is in the rainbow after all.
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PSRT
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quote:
I don't want to waste your time PSRT, but is there any way you could show or explain how I am wrong?

As you could likely guess, given my above post, I consider your response to be evidence of my position. I see those who respond as you did to be the ones unwittingly maintaining the racial divide.

A racial divide exists because our society treats blacks SIGNIFICANTLY worse than whites. And has for, literally, the entire existence of our society. Blacks, RIGHTLY, do not feel like full and equal members of our society. THey rightly feel this because they are NOT full members of our society.

If we improve everyone's existence in this country, by focusing on making everyone's life better, blacks will CONTINUE to not be full and equal members of society.

"All lives matter," is important, in its own context. We should be having national discussions about how easy it is for cops to get away with killing people. We should be having national discussions about how hard it is for new parents to spend time with their children due to economic realities. We should be having discussions about stagnant and decreasing wages, the increasing cost of college education, and the reduced numbers of avenues into the middle or upper middle classes.

BUT, in addition to those conversations, we need to have conversations about how to stop treating black people like second class citizens. By shouting out "all lives matter," at the same time that there is finally, finally some national attention on the fact that black lives matter less than white lives, the debate can be shifted away from that uncomfortable fact. And, therefore, blacks will continue to get the short end of the stick. And therefore there will be a real racial divide in how our country treats people.

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D.W.
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
I don't want to waste your time PSRT, but is there any way you could show or explain how I am wrong?


D.W., you and a couple of friends are painting a wall blue. A bunch of people come and help by painting the wall in a rainbow. Is this helping you? Would you be wrong in asking them to stick to blue or telling them that the rainbows are not helpful in this context? I mean, blue is in the rainbow after all.
Agreed.

Now, if the goal is to paint a mural with a blue sky and a rainbow and *I* insist that painting the entire wall sky blue as a base is the ONLY way to do this, and everyone with their rainbow colors should just go away until we are ready for them. Then I'm the *******, they just want to help.

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D.W.
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When you attempt to correct me, you are right that my "eyes on the prize" approach COULD miss some VERY critical steps along the way. It's an assumption that I don't see those intermediate steps and it is a good idea to point them out. If not for my benefit but for anyone else who may be watching.

How you frame that illustration that I MAY be missing something matters. Losing sight of the goal is just as dangerous.

As kmboots puts it, I'm impatient for the rainbow painting.

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PSRT
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Do you agree, D.W. that there are problems in this country that either only affect blacks, or are far more significant for blacks than for whites? And do you agree that many of those problems deal with how whites, and the political power structures, treat blacks?
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D.W.
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quote:
Originally posted by PSRT:
Do you agree, D.W. that there are problems in this country that either only affect blacks, or are far more significant for blacks than for whites? And do you agree that many of those problems deal with how whites, and the political power structures, treat blacks?

Yes. My only quibble is I would add "some" before "whites" in your last statement. Maybe even "most" is appropriate, I don't know. But an implied "all" is false.
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PSRT
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quote:
As kmboots puts it, I'm impatient for the rainbow painting.
THe rainbow painting can't happen until we realize that there are parts of the wall that are not structurally sound. If we try to paint over the structural flaws without patching them, our wall will still be unsound, and the rainbow painting will not last.
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PSRT
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I wrote "many."

Edit: Oh. I see what you mean. Yes, there are probably a handful of whites in this country that truly treat everyone the same, and do not participate in behaviors that help maintain a separation between whites and blacks in this country. But arguing that it is not the vast majority of whites, at a very minimum, is one of those behaviors that helps white people feel good about themselves so they don't have to actually make real changes, and thus keeps alive that separation between blacks and whites.

[ December 11, 2014, 11:39 AM: Message edited by: PSRT ]

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D.W.
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{metaphor parameters exceeded}
{please load new metaphor}

Again, I agree. But there is a huge difference between asking people to help you with the blue paint, telling them we will get to the rainbow as soon as we can; compared to telling them that rainbows will ruining everything and they need to drop that red and yellow paint NOW.

Don't turn allies into bystanders or worse enemies just because some saboteur is there with a crate full of other colors.

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D.W.
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quote:
Originally posted by PSRT:
I wrote "many."

Edit: Oh. I see what you mean. Yes, there are probably a handful of whites in this country that truly treat everyone the same, and do not participate in behaviors that help maintain a separation between whites and blacks in this country. But arguing that it is not the vast majority of whites, at a very minimum, is one of those behaviors that helps white people feel good about themselves so they don't have to actually make real changes, and thus keeps alive that separation between blacks and whites.

Ahh, now see with that qualifier, "participate in behaviors that help maintain a separation" I can agree without exception. Even those who truly are not racists, can easily participate in those behaviors without realizing it.

Cont...

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D.W.
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Insisting that "most" (implying the reader is one of that group) are racist, does just as much to keep alive that separation.

B: You are a monster. You are a monster. You are a monster.

W: I just want to help. I'm not a monster, I don't do monsterous things.

B: We do not want your help unless you admit YOU are a monster. Saying that, "monsters exist" is not enough.

W: I... I'm not sure I want to help that bad.

[ December 11, 2014, 11:48 AM: Message edited by: D.W. ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Pyrtolin, there is nothing wrong what so ever with saying “black lives matter”. There IS something wrong with saying “all lives matter is hurtful or a distraction”.
Even when people are saying "all lives matter" as a way of getting people to stop saying "black lives matter" so that they can pretend that there isn't a specific problem that needs to be addressed?

Let's say there's a staircase and the fifth step is broken. One person puts up a sign that says "The fifth step is broken, please be careful on it until it can be fixed." Then someone else replaces it with a sign that says "Be careful on the steps", since that's more fair because it doesn't single any of the steps out- after all it's not fair to call attention to any specific problems and people should treat them all equally.
Would you really say that the second sign does more to help people than the first or that there's nothing suspect about the second person's motives in glossing over the fact that there's a problem with a specific step?

---

Again you seem to be missing that an active part of the problem is that white people, as the majority element in our culture, have a tendency to need to make every problem about them before they're willing to help address it, and even then, only to the degree that the fell they're benefiting from it.

Trying to force "Black Lives Matter" to become "All Lives Matter" is an explicit repetition of that marginalizing behavior. It's exactly the kind of attitude that helps promote racism and leaves minorities feeling disenfranchised- as if their problems aren't worthy of attention, only the problems that the majority feels like directly affect it.

I mean, you're speculating on what would be nice to be true in an ideal world, to be sure, but it doesn't actually align to what is practically true and what people with years of experience with fighting the issue have found to be true.

You're making the very baseline mistake of trying to shape the issue to match what you want it to be; to make it be something that caters to your perception of the world instead of challenging it- and that plays into the very essence of the problem.

Asking to be considered on their own terms, instead of trying to shape the message to fit what you want isn't a mistake- it's a core part of the problem. The fact that tehy can't be considered worthy of help unless they bow and scrape and conform to the whims of the majority _is_ the problem. That is very directly one of the most obscenely racist elements of the system, and trying to tell people to put that aside- to actually play up to it in order to be considered worthy of helping actively exacerbates the problem and only serves to further marginalize the people suffering from being excluded because they can't or won't conform to the majorities rules for being respected.

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Seneca
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So if racism is supposedly built into our society and division of wealth and resources, how do we correct that without imposing racist measures, such as a racist tax regime?

By "fixing the problem" you are creating another.

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PSRT
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quote:
So if racism is supposedly built into our society and division of wealth and resources, how do we correct that without imposing racist measures, such as a racist tax regime?
Fixing a problem created by racism isn't racist. I can understand why people against fixing the problem would want to say that, but I can't really understand why someone actually trying to operate a just society would want to say that.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
quote:
Originally posted by PSRT:
Do you agree, D.W. that there are problems in this country that either only affect blacks, or are far more significant for blacks than for whites? And do you agree that many of those problems deal with how whites, and the political power structures, treat blacks?

Yes. My only quibble is I would add "some" before "whites" in your last statement. Maybe even "most" is appropriate, I don't know. But an implied "all" is false.
Which is why it's exceptionally disingenuous to to assert that "all" is implied rather than "as a rule" in any such categorical simlification as you seem to be doing.

Sure, sure "Not All Whites" but as soon as you do that you're actively missing the point and derailing the issue because it's not framed exactly the way you want it to be instead of actually making the effort to pay attention to the meat of what is being expressed.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
Don't turn allies into bystanders or worse enemies just because some saboteur is there with a crate full of other colors.

And here, again, is where you have it backwards. It is the responsibility of people who want to be allies to listen to and respect the needs of the one that needs help, and act accordingly. IT is not the responsibility of the one who needs help to follow the dictates of people who claim they want to be allies at the expense of the person who needs help following the dictates of what those potential allies think the person really needs, especially when a huge part of the problem being expressed is that people aren't listening to what the person in need is asking for.

Saying that you're not going to help unless things are done your way isn't a matter of a potential ally being driven away- it's an attempt to use a person's need as a tool to extract hat you want from them, even if you don't realize that that's effectively what you're doing.

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D.W.
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quote:
Even when people are saying "all lives matter" as a way of getting people to stop saying "black lives matter" so that they can pretend that there isn't a specific problem that needs to be addressed?
Getting circular here. Yes, even then. It’s not the motives of those who want to mask the specific problem you need to concern yourself with in this case. Their tactic to do so IS THE TRAP. It is inert without YOU falling for it. In THIS case (and not in all cases) ignoring the trap is by far the better course of action.

quote:
Let's say there's a staircase and the fifth step is broken. One person puts up a sign that says "The fifth step is broken, please be careful on it until it can be fixed." Then someone else replaces it with a sign that says "Be careful on the steps", since that's more fair because it doesn't single any of the steps out- after all it's not fair to call attention to any specific problems and people should treat them all equally.
Would you really say that the second sign does more to help people than the first or that there's nothing suspect about the second person's motives in glossing over the fact that there's a problem with a specific step?

I would agree with you but that’s not what happened. Someone replaced the sign with, “Stair out of order. Please go around.” By insisting the stair is still useable and only 1 tread is broken you can now be pointed at as someone encouraging people to use a known broken stair which could have other treads ready to break. They TRICKED you into being the bad guy by pressing the issue. You were trying to be helpful and they framed you as the threat because you pressed the issue. You did nothing wrong with the first sign. How you reacted to their sign is at issue.

quote:
Again you seem to be missing that an active part of the problem is that white people, as the majority element in our culture, have a tendency to need to make every problem about them before they're willing to help address it, and even then, only to the degree that the fell they're benefiting from it.
Is selfishness a result of majority status? I don’t refute anything you said here but you seem to be indicating cause and effect. PEOPLE are selfish, and reluctant to act without benefit to themselves. You can scold them for this or use it as leverage. I think you know where I land on this.
quote:
Trying to force "Black Lives Matter" to become "All Lives Matter" is an explicit repetition of that marginalizing behavior. It's exactly the kind of attitude that helps promote racism and leaves minorities feeling disenfranchised- as if their problems aren't worthy of attention, only the problems that the majority feels like directly affect it.
If I implied I would force that shift in that direction I am sorry. I only suggest that by forcing “All Lives Matter” to be “Black Lives Matter” is going to drive away non-blacks.
quote:
I mean, you're speculating on what would be nice to be true in an ideal world, to be sure, but it doesn't actually align to what is practically true and what people with years of experience with fighting the issue have found to be true.
At present, we are discussing message, not goals or tactics. Other than the tactics of the opposition, which I feel are working exactly as they intend.
quote:
You're making the very baseline mistake of trying to shape the issue to match what you want it to be; to make it be something that caters to your perception of the world instead of challenging it- and that plays into the very essence of the problem.
I’m explaining to you that I see that outside forces have tricked those who champion the issue to work against their interest.
quote:
Asking to be considered on their own terms, instead of trying to shape the message to fit what you want isn't a mistake- it's a core part of the problem. The fact that tehy can't be considered worthy of help unless they bow and scrape and conform to the whims of the majority _is_ the problem. That is very directly one of the most obscenely racist elements of the system, and trying to tell people to put that aside- to actually play up to it in order to be considered worthy of helping actively exacerbates the problem and only serves to further marginalize the people suffering from being excluded because they can't or won't conform to the majorities rules for being respected.
I don’t disagree. The opponents understand this as well. I’m not normally one to think in terms of a deliberate coordinate puppet master type plot by a few key players to keep the status quo rolling. In this case however, I don’t think an evil mastermind could have devised a better tactic than “All Lives Matter” to derail this momentum.
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D.W.
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quote:
And here, again, is where you have it backwards. It is the responsibility of people who want to be allies to listen to and respect the needs of the one that needs help, and act accordingly.
I thought I was supposed to be the hopeless idealist here making a mess of things.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
I only suggest that by forcing “All Lives Matter” to be “Black Lives Matter” is going to drive away non-blacks.
Except that that's the reverse of what's happening. And You seem to be thinking that the point of the statement is to attract or drive anyone away, instead of to express a specific problem. Again- you're explicitly highlighting the actual problem by insisting that their behavoir must be about attracting or driving you away, rather than about expressing their needs.

The statement is not a bout you. It is not one to attract you. It is not one to repel you. IT is about the problem they feel needs to be addressed and the way that they are marginalized by how everything revolves around you. When you try to insist that they change their words to cater to you , then you actively exemplify exactly the kind of behavoir that they're complaining about by making this issue too one that revolves around you.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Other than the tactics of the opposition, which I feel are working exactly as they intend.
In as much as they've convinced you to ignore the issue being expressed and to join them in marginalizing the people trying to speak by behaving in the very same way that they're complaining that people behave, then sure.

"I will only agree to address your concerns about being marginalized if you participate in marginalizing yourself" is not a good way to show that you're an ally that's actually concerned about addressing marginalization.

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D.W.
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quote:
Except that that's the reverse of what's happening. And You seem to be thinking that the point of the statement is to attract or drive anyone away, instead of to express a specific problem. Again- you're explicitly highlighting the actual problem by insisting that their behavoir must be about attracting or driving you away, rather than about expressing their needs.
YES, yes yes. That is exactly what I am doing. Attention without purpose? Is that what you are suggesting? Did black people need to be told that blacks are not treated fairly? WTF is the POINT? Tell me, if it's not to make non-blacks take note what is it?
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D.W.
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quote:
In as much as they've convinced you to ignore the issue being expressed and to join them in marginalizing the people trying to speak by behaving in the very same way that they're complaining that people behave, then sure.
The thing is "they" didn't convince me. The way YOU are responding would cause MOST to ignore the issue. I'm still here. Taking my lumps, trying to show you what you are doing. (if you care) And show you how you fell for the trap. You don't need to take my hand to get out of the trap. I don't need to be the savior here. I find it odd that you yell at me as if I helped dig the pit and was there pushing you in though.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
I don’t think an evil mastermind could have devised a better tactic than “All Lives Matter” to derail this momentum.
Which is exactly why people concerned about that momentum are fighting against allowing the phrase to co-opt their efforts and making otherwise well intentioned people ignore the message in favor of fighting to defend a false notion that they need to be included in the statement of the problem.
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Fenring
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quote:

I only suggest that by forcing “All Lives Matter” to be “Black Lives Matter” is going to drive away moderates.

FTFY
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D.W.
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
I don’t think an evil mastermind could have devised a better tactic than “All Lives Matter” to derail this momentum.
Which is exactly why people concerned about that momentum are fighting against allowing the phrase to co-opt their efforts and making otherwise well intentioned people ignore the message in favor of fighting to defend a false notion that they need to be included in the statement of the problem.
I understand that reaction. This is why it is the perfect bait.

For what it's worth, I don't think that this hashtags battle is significant enough to do lasting damage in influencing people one way or another. As it may be (and seems likely to be) an intentional disruption, I'm a little shocked it seems to have hit its target so accurately.

As social engineering is such a huge factor of maintaining the status quo it seemed very relevant to the topic of racism.

[ December 11, 2014, 12:47 PM: Message edited by: D.W. ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
You don't need to take my hand to get out of the trap.
That's funny- you're the one that's threatening to withdraw support, to disengage from the matter because the language isn't to your standards, not me. I'm still spending time and effort trying to explain the issue, not the one asking that the issue be re-framed in a way that's convenient and easy for me to deal with.

I understand what you're saying, to be sure. I came from a similar place and it took me a long time to put my pride aside, actually admit my ignorance- that just being smart wasn't qualification enough to magically prescribe solutions to problems that I didn't have the life context to actually properly understand on my own- and actually spend time listening to people that are living the problem, that see the issue from the inside instead of dictating to them what my ill-informed notion of the problem and the "obvious" solution was.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
I'm a little shocked it seems to have hit its target so accurately.
I'm not shocked at all. These tactics are used because of their effectiveness. I'm just still hopeful that can help give you the tools you need to eventually avoid being the target again in the future.
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D.W.
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I am only pointing out that others WILL withdraw support. I have made no threats. I'm trying to explain a mentality you seem to be ignoring.
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D.W.
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
I'm a little shocked it seems to have hit its target so accurately.
I'm not shocked at all. These tactics are used because of their effectiveness. I'm just still hopeful that can help give you the tools you need to eventually avoid being the target again in the future.
You are right. I may not be the one in the pit but suddenly I am a victim of the trap none the less. I guess it was all about me after all. It was... an interesting conversation Pyr.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
quote:
Except that that's the reverse of what's happening. And You seem to be thinking that the point of the statement is to attract or drive anyone away, instead of to express a specific problem. Again- you're explicitly highlighting the actual problem by insisting that their behavoir must be about attracting or driving you away, rather than about expressing their needs.
YES, yes yes. That is exactly what I am doing. Attention without purpose? Is that what you are suggesting? Did black people need to be told that blacks are not treated fairly? WTF is the POINT? Tell me, if it's not to make non-blacks take note what is it?
You've shifted here from "attract/drive away" to "take note". There is a difference between them that's cortical here.

The point is to express a problem and try to be heard _on their own terms_. To be heard without marginalizing themselves in favor of catering to what people want to hear, because what they're complaining about is being forced to marginalize themselves in order to be heard at all. Being told that they don't matter unless they make themselves as white as possible, or failing that because it's impossible, make themselves subservient to the dictates of the majority in order to have a voice.

When you try to insist that they change the m,essage to meet your expectations, you only demonstrate that you're stuck in the very pattern of behavoir that they're upset about and trying to talk about.

They don't have the option to change the message, because the vary act of changing the message would invalidate it. All they can do is keep repeating it until you, who do have the option of listening or ignoring it in favor of dictating terms, choose to put yourself aside and listen to what's being said.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
I am only pointing out that others WILL withdraw support. I have made no threats. I'm trying to explain a mentality you seem to be ignoring.

Why should they want support from people that are trying to take advantage of their weakness to manipulate and abuse them? Why shouldn't they only want support from people that are willing to listen to them and help without preconditions that amount to perpetuating the very thing they want to escape from?
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PSRT
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quote:
I am only pointing out that others WILL withdraw support.
I don't disagree. The loss of this support, though, probably makes it more likely that the complaints of the people saying "Black Lives Matter," will be addressed.
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D.W.
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quote:
When you try to insist that they change the m,essage to meet your expectations, you only demonstrate that you're stuck in the very pattern of behavoir that they're upset about and trying to talk about.
IF I try to insist that they change the message to meet my expectations, I would be demonstrating that I am stuck in the very pattern of behavior that they're upset about and trying to talk about. But I did no such thing.

Others DID do this. They did this with this very specific message because they knew there would be those compelled to reject it. In rejecting THIS message (not just any alternative message) they could trick YOU into causing harm. Make YOU appear to be the source of diviciveness.

It's working. I have done nothing but to try and point out how others may see this issue. I do so because I feel it is dangerous for you to proceed without that knowledge. Not because I'm selfish.

Hell I prefer to be patted on the back not told I'm the source of other's problems. Silence is SO EASY. Trying to help is what's difficult. And this help? Just words on the internet. That's about as effortless on my part as it gets. Yet even that, is made difficult. That of course is counter acted by my compulsion to keep interacting. Very unhealthy that… [Smile]

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D.W.
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quote:
Originally posted by PSRT:
quote:
I am only pointing out that others WILL withdraw support.
I don't disagree. The loss of this support, though, probably makes it more likely that the complaints of the people saying "Black Lives Matter," will be addressed.
I'll admit I hadn't considered this. I'm not sure I understand the path that it suggests.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
They did this with this very specific message because they knew there would be those compelled to reject it. In rejecting THIS message (not just any alternative message) they could trick YOU into causing harm.
Except that's an outright false assertion. The message itself is not being rejected. Not one has, in any way made the claim that all lives do not matter.

What's being the rejected is the active attempt to use that message to force the original message out of the conversation. That's the dynamic that you're not just missing, but actively participating in when you perpetuate such false statements as the one quoted above.

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PSRT
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It means that when black people are telling you not to turn "black lives matter," into "all lives matter" (and they are. All over social media) to LISTEN to them, and if you are ACTUALLY an ally, not to get offended. But if you are getting offended, it means to re-examine whether you believe what black people are telling you about their experiences as Americans.
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D.W.
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“she said something hurtful”
“inadvertently steps on someone's toe”
“phrase she accidentally used”
“apologizes for making the mistake”
“the people she hurt”

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Seneca
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I am black and I am offended by this message. Sane blacks want true equality, not to be elevated or given special focus.
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PSRT
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I know you believe that, Seneca. I also know you are wrong about how true equality can be achieved.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
I have done nothing but to try and point out how others may see this issue. I do so because I feel it is dangerous for you to proceed without that knowledge.
That's like responding to someone saying that they need water to save someone's life by yelling "water is wet, you should drink it!" over and over, such that I can't even clearly ask anyone else to get water.

I'm not ignorant of the fact that not catering to the majority will cause the majority to react in unhelpful ways. I'm fully aware of the issues and problems that you're trying to raise, and very aware of just how that dynamic is part and parcel of why the problem is so hard to address. I'm trying help point out that that reaction _is_ part of the problem being complained about. That catering to is actively perpetuates the problem and actively moves the state of things further away from a solution.

[ December 11, 2014, 01:32 PM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]

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