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Author Topic: UN Peacekeepers to occupy Ferguson Missouri
D.W.
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Oh, I understand why they think so. I even agree scifibum.

It's strange to think I've used so many words and managed to say so little that the above is even in question.

[ December 12, 2014, 07:01 PM: Message edited by: D.W. ]

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JoshuaD
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I'm weighing in late on this part of the thread. I wanted to talk about some of the frustrations I have as a trying-to-be-reasonable white guy is the implication that I don't get to talk about what the blacks are doing that causes the problem.

I'm not raising any argument with what you guys have gone over in the last 10 pages. I agree that we shouldn't be inclined to reject the experiences of others, that we should work toward building an equal system, all of that.

My problem is that, even when I do all of those things, if I say something constructive-but-critical about the black community, I get attacked and shut out.

The problem with race relations in America isn't exclusively the fault of the whites living today. We all inherited a broken machine, and a lot of good people are doing their best to manage it. I don't like the implication that I don't get to be critical of black culture because I'm not black. I get to be critical of White culture. Black's also get to be critical of White culture. Why is there this big wall of fuzz-rage when I am critical of black culture, which I believe is a real component of the problem?

Maybe my criticism is wrong; I'm OK with someone telling me that. I'm just not OK being told "You'll never understand because you're not black and I can't even talk to you about this." (I was told this by a white girl who exclusively dates black men) or that "You'll never know what it is to be black in America." (Again, told this by a white photographer).

Things like this get the moderates like me to tap out pretty quick. God knows I've been wrong in the past, and I know for a fact I'm still wrong about a lot of things now. But nothing shuts down my desire to talk to someone than being told that I don't get to have an opinion or share my thoughts because I'm not part of a particular slice of society, whether it be a minority group, females, the handicapped, or whoever else.

[ December 12, 2014, 07:19 PM: Message edited by: JoshuaD ]

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Seneca
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quote:
My problem is that, even when I do all of those things, if I say something constructive-but-critical about the black community, I get attacked and shut out.

The problem with race relations in America isn't exclusively the fault of the whites living today. We all inherited a broken machine, and a lot of good people are doing their best to manage it. I don't like the implication that I don't get to be critical of black culture because I'm not black. I get to be critical of White culture. Black's also get to be critical of White culture. Why is there this big wall of fuzz-rage when I am critical of black culture, which I believe is a real component of the problem?

Maybe my criticism is wrong; I'm OK with someone telling me that. I'm just not OK being told "You'll never understand because you're not black and I can't even talk to you about this." (I was told this by a white girl who exclusively dates black men) or that "You'll never know what it is to be black in America." (Again, told this by a white photographer).

You're not alone.
Even when those of us who ARE black say that about the "black community" we get attacked and shut out. Just look at this thread for proof of this.


I still remember the first time an idiot deputy called me an Uncle Tom for a comment I made about a young black thug we arrested I just about lost my temper, but I was a lot younger then.

I have come to expect the most severe racism to come not from dyed-in-the-wool-oldschool racists(of which there are very few left), but from modern, white guilt-ridden yuppies who have no clue what being black is like but who feel superior enough to tell me I should yield to their greater non-experience experience based on some novels they read and movies they watched from their safe suburban neighborhoods.

The racist white-guilt yuppies hate non-racist blacks much more than original-racist whites, because blacks who accept responsibility for their lives and don't want help, sympathy or special privileges are an affront to these racist pseudo-intellectuals who "know better."

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
You have repeatedly sidelined any dissenting comment (and I'm not even dissenting, just offering a more neutral perspective)
No, you're offering a less-informed perspective. Ignorance doesn't become more correct if you try to dress it up as neutrality.

First rule of discussion: If any opinion other than yours is simply going to be called ignorant than it's not a discussion. It's either a sermon (if you're magnanimous) or a lecture (if you're a dick). If you have zero interest in learning someone else's position, and there is zero chance they could possibly persuade you of anything, then it's not a discussion but must either be a lecture or a sermon.

quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by jasonr:
quote:
It doesn’t have to be about winning or persuading someone they are wrong. Even if that is the form the exercise takes.
I don't disagree in principle, but it seems to me that there must exist at least the possibility that someone is capable of changing their position however minutely, otherwise the debate becomes rather tedious - like debating with a robot whose hard drive is set to "read only".
IF the discussion was about whether PI was 3.14159.... or 2.5 would you say that both sides should be equally open to change? You'd have a point if we were talking about things that are purely matters of opinion, not matters of fact that some people are trying to insist are just opinions.

Rule two of discussion: If you equate your position with being an absolute and unchangeable fact of nature that cannot be contested then you have decided that the learning process is over and all there is left for you to do is teach the truth to ignorant people and children.

But aside from these two points, let me explain why the two sides (if there really are two) are having such a hard time here, and it's not because of misunderstanding regarding wording or meaning. There are some premises being assumed by one side that have neither been demonstrated nor accepted, and they have proceeded on to the next point already and wonder why everyone isn't aboard. I'll do my best to address this completely but briefly:

POINT - There is the contention that there is racism in America.

EXPLANATION - This is shown to exist in a few major areas:

1) Poverty among black people in excess of numerical average.
2) Police brutality against black people, including killing, in excess of average.
3) Lower than average chances of getting a job or earning equal amounts to a white person.
4) The war on drugs.

CONCLUSION - Due to problems for blacks in all these areas it is clear that there is racism at work, since they are affected in so many realms.

This seems to be the argument. The white-guilt camp seems to take this position for granted and already has proceeded to the next stage, which is to assign blame for these things. There is a divergence in blame-assignment, however, as some people insist the racism is structural (i.e. to do with laws, systems and power structures). Others claim it is because of racist tendencies in individuals, even if passive or permissive. Others still claim it is because of white people, specifically, and their mentality as a privileged people. This last may be a subset of the previous one, however. Another claim it is because of the prevalence of white people in positions of power that perpetuates white people being in positions of power.

The problem is that these different blame-assignments are completely different from each other and may overlap but may not. But even worse, they presuppose some things that, themselves, haven't even been sorted out. For one thing, they presuppose that items 1-4 above are all related and caused by the same root issue. For another thing, they tend to all beg the question about how these descriptions actually led to symptoms 1-4 above.

But let me do a thought experiment on 1-4 and you'll see what I mean:

1) Black poverty out of proportion: This could be due to a number of factors. These may include: black culture as not being so industrially interested as other cultures, like maybe Chinese, are; black people having started off on bad footing after emancipation, beginning as a people from poverty, it taking quite a while to get back to equality in terms of white men, many of whom began wealthy already at that time; discrimination and racism; religious culture; the tendency for a victim to have difficulty moving on and feeling strong again; the economic system being increasingly skewed against the poor, and by happenstance black poverty led to a feedback loop economically. The answer could be any, all, or none of these. No one can say with authority which it is.

2) Police brutality: Perhaps there is police brutality across the board and not in a racist way; perhaps we are making the cluster fallacy in seeing only brutality against blacks; perhaps some police officers are racist; perhaps blacks challenge authority more than whites and since the police are getting out of control they would take it out on any people seen as dissenting.

3) Unequal pay and job opportunity: This one is tricky and I don't know that there's a simple set of answers. But in light of the murky nature of this statistic it's hard to positively claim that the cause is racism.

4) War on drugs: What if the drug laws are just bad? But of all the points here this one is the likeliest to outright be a policy that has racist undertones.

We should be able to see that there are complex issues here and that saying "racism is the cause" of any of the above (except maybe #4) is not only jumping to a conclusion but also potentially mires the chances for improvement if racism isn't, actually, the problem in one or more of them.

Further, if the problem is purely structural then there is little use in invoking white guilt, calling us white people racist by default, and suggesting that we are defensive white males, or whatever.

If the problem is on an individual basis and not structural then actually the system is fine, and most likely things will even out over time by themselves.

No doubt the claim will be that it's both, but without having grappled with issues 1-4 (and others like them) in a step-by-step way then there is no way to proceed to proper 'blame-assignment' and to get at how to make changes.

I've seen no one here, despite much sermonizing, actually come out and say one change that should be done other than body cams, which I am all in favor for. Anything else? What about the economic system, what can be done there? What about in the workplace, how do you deal with that? And what of the increasing level of militarization of the police? And there are so many more areas that could be addressed.

But instead of all this, which we've been asking for, we get sermons about how we don't get it, about how white people need to stop talking and just listen, and about how any claim we make other than full agreement is just defensive posturing.

"You're very defensive."
"No I'm not."
"See!"

It's an old joke, but less funny when invoked for real. How about some real discussion instead?

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D.W.
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Is that really the divide you see in the argument which took place \ is taking place here Fenring?
I view it as both sides HERE (on Ornery, in this thread) agreeing on the point that there IS still racism in America. The divergence is if it is important for the next step to involve blame or white guilt at all. What part does white society have, if any, to play in fixing racism? Can criticism or help come from whites at all without being looked on with derision or suspicion?

That we need to question your points 1-4 just seems odd to me. Even if these are symptoms of a mixture of inequalities, not all being “racists” but many having roots in racism… so what? What is furthered by debating them? The conclusion holds. The next step is in question. (at least here, at least until just now...)

/endsermon

The joke at the end hits home for me though. [Smile]

[ December 12, 2014, 08:15 PM: Message edited by: D.W. ]

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noel c.
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"Just to add: there's a way to construe your arguments about the 'black lives matter' kerfluffle as denying those principally involved the right to represent and define the importance of the issue to them: when they say that 'ALL lives matter' is problematic enough to warrant a correction, part of #1 is (can be) trying hard to understand why they think so, and what kind of help they want with it. "...

As the only self-identified black man on this thread, I wonder what Seneca thinks about a preemptory strike at his "right" not to be cast by DWL's as the DWM's victim?

"Telling them to try harder to avoid alienating people can come across as protecting and defending the DWG syndrome, which is seen as a drag on progress. "...

Progress to what, broader employment opportunities on unionized federal and state payrolls?

I know how I would feel about 35 pages of this condescendly paternalistic tripe directed at me.

[ December 12, 2014, 11:20 PM: Message edited by: noel c. ]

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noel c.
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Tom,

"I can imagine scenarios in which intimidation and/or torture might be a moral option."...

Thank you Tom, I was sure you would concede that when you were ready.

"Some of them -- especially when it comes to torture -- are highly unlikely and very artificial. "...

Are not all products of human activity "artificial" by definition? (And remember, 911 was also "unlikely")

"The problem, of course, is that postulating such scenarios leads to very rapid desensitization; once you tolerate what you think is justified torture, you have become a torturer... "...

Yes, one who "tortures" is a "torturer", but you have just established that not all torture is equal.

"-- and it gets easier and easier for you to justify it each time. "...

... And I would add, *more effective*. This is a good thing in the context of diffusing the proverbial "ticking time bomb", and the last time this bomb went off 3,000 innocent human beings were murdered in less than 77 minutes.

"I'm on record as saying that I would permit torture as a tool of policy only if the torturer were required to submit to the death penalty within three months of the torture, subject only to a personal and public pardon by the President. "...

I can appreciate your logic, so follow it through; All U.S. personnel trained in *enhanced interrogation techniques* have been subjected to the *identical* methods. They have a prepaid debt that was incurred for OUR benefit. These men, and women, are worthy of your praise, not contempt.

[ December 13, 2014, 12:28 AM: Message edited by: noel c. ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
All U.S. personnel trained in *enhanced interrogation techniques* have been subjected to the *identical* methods.
This is bull****, noel. Even leaving aside the fact that not all of our torture was actually performed by trained torturers, volunteering for torture samples is not at all equivalent to actually being tortured.

I can guarantee you that none of our people were left smeared with their own **** and paraded around to be laughed at, then kicked repeatedly in the knees until their joints dislocated and they were driven to the ground -- at which point their torturer demanded that they perform oral sex on another trainee for everyone's amusement. They spent a few minutes getting tased in the butt and being gently waterboarded, surrounded by people actually invested in their welfare.

It's not quite the same experience.

-------

I should also note that the claim that torture gets somehow more effective with practice would be amusing in its complete lack of grounding in reality if it weren't actually ****ing monstrous.

[ December 13, 2014, 12:41 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Pyrtolin
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Fenring, your big oversight with those points is incorrectly inserting the phrase "evidence of". Those aren't caused by racism. They, particularly for the first three, _are_ racism. Full stop. You're up the "assign blame" part out of whole cloth. Racism is the disparity; trying to miscast that statement as assigning blame is a very disingenuous firm of derailment. Taking a conversation that's trying to dig deeper into the chairs if those firms of racism, which very often is not any for of over personal bias, and pretend that it's a personal attack on you to make yourself and you imagined persecution the center of the conversation instead.

As to the first point, on what basis are you claiming that i don't understand you position? I held and argued that position for years before i finally sealed my pride enough to shut up and listen for a bit to people that actually had grounding in the issue. Until I actually made the effort to listen to and understand their experiences instead of ignorantly assuming that my experiences and knowledge were broad enough to speculate on situations that were actually completely outside of them.

So in this case i am very comfortable in calling out the exact kind of ignorance that I clung to for years for what it is. I'm also very confident in saying that It's factually wrong and misleading to try to equate an informed cry with pain with ignorant self-diagnosis. It's not a matter of opinion, it's a simple and clear fact that's apparent to anyone that actually makes the effort to listen instead of trying to assert their own narrative.

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noel c.
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"This is bull****, noel. Even leaving aside the fact that not all of our torture was actually performed by trained torturers, ... "...

You are, once again, confusing the Army Field Manual, that provided *no* guidance to the military on enhanced interrogation in the early period following 911.

Feinstein's report targets the CIA specifically, and yes, CIA field agents are subjected to "torture".

"... volunteering for torture samples is not at all equivalent to actually being tortured. "...

Again, you do not have a clue as to what you are talking about.

"I can guarantee you that none of our people were left smeared with their own **** and paraded around to be laughed at, then kicked repeatedly in the knees until their joints dislocated and they were driven to the ground -- at which point their torturer demanded that they perform oral sex on another trainee for everyone's amusement. They spent a few minutes getting tased in the butt and being gently waterboarded, surrounded by people actually invested in their welfare."...

If you know about this, it is because protocol violations were reported, and disciplinary action taken. I can guarantee you that this is not the narrative Ms. Feinstein is pushing to the fore, and it will ultimately destroy her otherwise sound legacy.

"It's not quite the same experience. "...

Yes, you keep saying that. Does it bother you at all that you have to equivocate to make your point?

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Pyrtolin
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The argument that people fighting to correct racism are somehow guilt driven is also, by and large tripe. There certainly were and are such efforts, but they're characterized by would be heroes sweeping in with grand solutions built in complete ignorance of the situation and the actual wants and needs of the people invoked, not in advocating listening to and learning from those who have the context and experience to impart understanding of the situation. Asserting guilt as a motivation comes across as projection- effectively an attempt to deny the ongoing existence of racism because such nonexistence justifies not taking action to correct it, whereas the puerile originating that particular talking point would rightly feel guilty for even implicit participation in it if they did admit it was an ongoing problem.

The is recycled from other sources, so i don't think it's fair to blindly paint anyone to paint anyone here with that brush directly,but it's good to point out how counter-productive it is to rely on such a faulty premise.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Again, you do not have a clue as to what you are talking about.
Except that I do. I have two cousins who've gone through SERE training, actually.

quote:
it is because protocol violations were reported, and disciplinary action taken
I'd like you to guess what disciplinary actions were taken. Just stop for a second before reading any further, and get to building up a good ol' list of disciplinary possibilities in your mind. Did they include promoting the guy in charge of the facility at the time, as well as the one doing the actual knee-crushing? Because that's what happened.

quote:
Does it bother you at all that you have to equivocate to make your point?
Which bit of language did you find ambiguous, noel? One of us is equivocating on this topic, Mr. "Are not all products of human society 'artificial,'" but it isn't me.

[ December 13, 2014, 01:30 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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PSRT
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quote:
I wanted to talk about some of the frustrations I have as a trying-to-be-reasonable white guy is the implication that I don't get to talk about what the blacks are doing that causes the problem.
There are really two different answers here. I am going to post, for now, only the one that you might be more receptive to.

http://articles.latimes.com/2013/apr/07/opinion/la-oe-0407-silk-ring-theory-20130407

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D.W.
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quote:
People who are suffering from trauma don't need advice. They need comfort and support. So say, "I'm sorry" or "This must really be hard for you" or "Can I bring you a pot roast?" Don't say, "You should hear what happened to me" or "Here's what I would do if I were you." And don't say, "This is really bringing me down."

If you want to scream or cry or complain, if you want to tell someone how shocked you are or how icky you feel, or whine about how it reminds you of all the terrible things that have happened to you lately, that's fine. It's a perfectly normal response. Just do it to someone in a bigger ring.

Comfort IN, dump OUT.

There is one point I differ on. I then, no doubt, project that onto others and act in a specific manner because that is how I would want to be treated in such a situation.

I want the advice. I want solutions. I don't give a **** if you "understand my pain" or "what I'm going through." I don't want you to respect my feelings or excuse my outbursts because of my trauma. I want you to tell me what helps. If I tell you what I want and think I need, and you think (or know) what I'm asking for is not going to help or something else will help more, for Christ's sake tell me!

Don't argue with the doctor while he has a syringe of pain killer that you think I need a home remedy instead, but your advice is welcome, even if I ignore it or take someone else's.

But that's just me. I shouldn't assume that of everyone else just because I value bluntness and effectiveness over comfort. It's good to see such a position written out, even if it seems "wrong" to me.

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PSRT
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quote:
I want the advice
SOme people do. Some people don't. Some people want it some of the time. Offering advice to someone suffering trauma is usually something that should be prefaced by asking if they want it.

This tactic has helped me immensely in relating to women, particularly my wife.

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
Fenring, your big oversight with those points is incorrectly inserting the phrase "evidence of". Those aren't caused by racism. They, particularly for the first three, _are_ racism. Full stop. You're up the "assign blame" part out of whole cloth. Racism is the disparity; trying to miscast that statement as assigning blame is a very disingenuous firm of derailment. Taking a conversation that's trying to dig deeper into the chairs if those firms of racism, which very often is not any for of over personal bias, and pretend that it's a personal attack on you to make yourself and you imagined persecution the center of the conversation instead.

As to the first point, on what basis are you claiming that i don't understand you position? I held and argued that position for years before i finally sealed my pride enough to shut up and listen for a bit to people that actually had grounding in the issue. Until I actually made the effort to listen to and understand their experiences instead of ignorantly assuming that my experiences and knowledge were broad enough to speculate on situations that were actually completely outside of them.

So in this case i am very comfortable in calling out the exact kind of ignorance that I clung to for years for what it is. I'm also very confident in saying that It's factually wrong and misleading to try to equate an informed cry with pain with ignorant self-diagnosis. It's not a matter of opinion, it's a simple and clear fact that's apparent to anyone that actually makes the effort to listen instead of trying to assert their own narrative.

You see, D.W., this is exactly why my points 1-4 are where the disagreement is coming from. While you and I might agree that there is definitely some kind of racism in America, I believe it needs to be asked how this racism manifests itself and in what realms in creates what results. I won't just assume by default that any result that occurs that is uneven is racism.

For instance Pyr is now saying something I think we haven't heard before stated quite like this, which is that any uneven (not necessarily unfair, but merely uneven) result is racism; not is perhaps caused by racism, but it IS racism. To me this type of claim is little more than a tautology and is a complete rewriting of the word "racism" to a meaning that has never existed before; a complete co-opting of language. But I'm happy that my post may have helped to clear this point up.

I can take any sampling of various backgrounds and cultures and show you some kind of uneven results of resource distribution. What if we found that Americans of an Irish descent are 3% more likely than people of a Romanian descent to have a job? To conclude THAT IS RACISM is an insane jump, since calling America anti-Romanian would be so far away from anything anyone in reality thinks that it is just an hysterical response to a perceived unfairness. But I suppose it would be reasonable to ask "is it racism?" and to investigate. Even though I'm sceptical that the results would be fruitful it never hurts to check.

That said, even if there is racism against blacks or minorities in America, knowing that fact on a general basis cannot lead to the conclusion that any old disparity is, itself, racism, as many potential causes (as I listed above) could create discrepancies in how different peoples fare.

Take Jewish culture, for example: Jews highly encourage their children to get education and go to college; I happen to know this because I know many Jews. Is this true of all cultures to an equal extent? If the answer is in any way even a 'maybe' then right away you will potentially find a source of how some peoples might succeed more than others.

But then you can bring up slavery; no doubt this was responsible not only for blacks starting on an awful footing, but also for some bad times in the early-mid 20th century. However what if we assert that afterwards all restrictions on them, legally and otherwise, were lifted? Even saying nothing else on the subject all we need do is assert that capitalism punishes the poor and veers them towards further poverty, and right away we have a recipe for a vicious cycle of systemic black poverty with some exceptions. But the only thing 'racist' in this scenario is capitalism itself. So if you're going to call 'market economies' as being racist institutions just by virtue of their basic design, I would suggest that this is a prejudiced reading of the system and I think it would be more fair to simply say that it's a 'generally unfair' system, regardless of who gets the shaft.

Does my position make a little more sense to you, now? I DO think it needs to be asked whether disparities in success areas are caused by racism or by something else. Calling the disparity itself racism really does feel like race-baiting to me and basically creates a racial divide on the subject for no reason.

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JoshuaD
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quote:
Originally posted by PSRT:
quote:
I wanted to talk about some of the frustrations I have as a trying-to-be-reasonable white guy is the implication that I don't get to talk about what the blacks are doing that causes the problem.
There are really two different answers here. I am going to post, for now, only the one that you might be more receptive to.

http://articles.latimes.com/2013/apr/07/opinion/la-oe-0407-silk-ring-theory-20130407

Feel free to post the other one, too.

Of course we put the people who are having a crisis first. If I met the parents of a child who was killed by the police, of course I wouldn't say to them "Well, here's what you could have taught him that may have helped avoid this situation." I would give them a hug and tell them I was so sorry for their loss.

The issue I have with the article above is that it slices society into blacks and whites, presupposes that all blacks are the victims of a crime against any black, and effectively bars me from having a productive conversation about black behavior with any black as a result.

I don't think that makes sense. When Michael Brown got shot, I think it is very important for us to look at and talk about all of the causes of that tragedy. We can even look at the institutional causes first. But I don't think it is a productive thing if we completely ignore the failings of black culture to teach its children how to interaction with authorities. I especially don't think that is a good idea if the motivation is the one you provided in that article.


---

All that being said, I do agree that my frustration is the less important thing, here.

Any frustration I feel about not being unfairly barred from talking about the topic is less important than the frustration blacks feel when black children are repeatedly killed unjustly by the men who are empowered to protect us.

I do think my frustration is legitimate, however.

[ December 13, 2014, 05:20 PM: Message edited by: JoshuaD ]

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PSRT
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The other reason, and the reason I don't think your frustration is really legitimate, is that the black community in the united states has literally never had the opportunity to create a healthy community that is out from under the thumb of oppression or severe deficits due to that oppression. There are exactly zero suggestions about changes that the black community should try to make that cannot be tied to deficits that the community faces because of earlier oppression. High crime rates? Crime is ridiculously correlated with poverty, and the black community has never had an opportunity to generate the wealth that the white community has. A lot of that having to do with relatively recent housing discrimination, and the white middle class has its wealth through its housing. Also, drug laws are ridiculously racist. Collapse of the black family? See how well your families do if a quarter of your young men are incarcerated. Lack of jobs? Well, after you get out of jail, try getting a job. And on and on and on.

Essentially, the entire conversation is "Well, you need to behave properly so that we don't treat you badly." No. Morality doesn't work that way. If a group of people is getting screwed, it is the responsibility of the screwer to stop, not the screwee to change so that the screwer won't do it anymore.

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JoshuaD
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quote:
PSRT:Essentially, the entire conversation is "Well, you need to behave properly so that we don't treat you badly." No. Morality doesn't work that way. If a group of people is getting screwed, it is the responsibility of the screwer to stop, not the screwee to change so that the screwer won't do it anymore.

If a group of people is getting screwed, it is the responsibility of the screwer to stop, not the screwee to change so that the screwer won't do it anymore.

Every time I read a sentence like this, I feel like the implication is "You, JoshuaD, are the screwer and you need to stop."

Maybe I'm misreading it. Is that what you meant, or did you mean something else?

I'm not saying "behave properly so we don't mistreat you." I'm saying "Fix what you reasonably can on your side, so they don't have an excuse to mistreat you."

[ December 13, 2014, 05:37 PM: Message edited by: JoshuaD ]

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PSRT
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quote:
But I don't think it is a productive thing if we completely ignore the failings of black culture to teach its children how to interaction with authorities.
How do you know that black culture is failing to teach its children how to interact with authorities worse than white culture?

And, perhaps, the more important question: Isn't respect something that is earned? If there is, in fact, a deficit, it is completely rational for black people to have less respect for authority, and it is improper of us to demand that black culture have respect for authority until AFTER that authority has earned the respect of the black community by stopping its abuse of the black community. But asking the black community to be more respectful towards an abusive authority without ending the abuse first? Its victim blaming, and its wrong. You don't get to claim legitimate frustration for not being able to do it.

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JoshuaD
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There are parallels here to the conversation of how women dress and rape.

I think it is good advice to tell a woman who is going out into a dangerous neighborhood "Don't wear anything revealing."

I don't think it's patronizing. I don't think it is blaming. (If she were to be raped, the only person blameworthy is the rapist).

But I do think it is good advice.

--

There's an old Indian story that comes to mind:

A man is walking barefoot on a path. The path was supposed to be swept clear of all the rocks, but it hadn't been, and so he was hurting his feet as he walked. He yelled and cursed at the servant whose job it was to clean the rocks, but to no avail, the rocks remained. He kept walking and kept hurting his feet.

The next person who came along noticed the rocks, shrugged his shoulders, put on sandals, and walked comfortably down the path.

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PSRT
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quote:
Every time I read a sentence like this, I feel like the implication is "You, JoshuaD, are the screwer and you need to stop."

Maybe I'm misreading it. Is that what you meant, or did you mean something else?

I'm not saying "behave properly so we don't mistreat you." I'm saying "Fix what you reasonably can on your side, so they don't have an excuse to mistreat you."

Yes, you, Joshua, are part of the problem. The way you engage these issues is problematic. The way I deal with other parts of my life is also problematic. THe fact that both of us have ridiculous advantages in life because we are white is a part of the problem that we can't control, but which nonetheless means our role should be listening to hear what help we can give, and not making suggestions to the black community unless they have been asked for.

Its the same problem with telling women not to wear nice clothes so they don't get raped.

Edit: I typed the above independent of your post.

Telling women in general not to wear skirts so they don't get raped is, indeed, patronizing to most women. Making suggestions to a young daughter is a different thing.

The group with the privilege doesn't get to tell the group with less privilege is not patronizing. The women who speak out on the issue almost universally say that "don't wear skirts," is something that looks like patronizing and victim blaming.

[ December 13, 2014, 05:45 PM: Message edited by: PSRT ]

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JoshuaD
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quote:
PSRT: How do you know that black culture is failing to teach its children how to interact with authorities worse than white culture?
How do I know anything? Personal experience. It is my experience that blacks aren't given the tools by their parents on how to properly interact with authority. I've seen good black men be completely justified and correct, but fail to communicate their concerns properly, and as a result have a much harder time in the situation.

I sat at a poker table and watched a black man sit down. He was wearing a handkerchief over the bottom half of his face, but was otherwise very polite to the players and to the dealer.

A pit boss came by and asked him to remove the handkerchief. The black guy tried explaining that he was sick and that he was wearing it to avoid getting anyone else sick.

But he used entirely the wrong sort of body language and wrong sort of words to make that message palatable to the pit boss. Should the pit boss have been more understanding? Yes. I would have been in his situation.

But should the black man have used better communication skills? Absolutely. He was clearly a thoughtful and kind person; I saw that in my brief interactions with him, and it's apparent by his desire to avoid getting others sick. But he also completely lacked the tools to deal with a bureaucratic authority.

Where did I learn those tools? From my parents.

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"Properly?" Interesting word choice. You might want to chew on that one for a while.
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JoshuaD
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quote:
PSRT:Its the same problem with telling women not to wear nice clothes so they don't get raped.
[LOL] I'm glad we both saw the parallels to that conversation independently.

I think we should tell woman to be more careful. Not because it's their fault, but because the world is what it is, and I want them to protect themselves.

We can work to change the world; I will stand side-by-side with you as we do that. But until then, I think it would be negligent of me to not tell my daughter to be aware of her surroundings and dress in a way to ensure she doesn't become a target. Not as a matter of blame, but just as a matter of good thinking.

If I were to walk through a Chinese ghetto wearing gold chains, a flashy ipod, and talking on a thousand dollar cell phone, I think someone would be a good person to walk up to me and say "hey, you don't want to wear that here, you're going to get robbed." And I think I'd be an idiot to say "Don't tell me that! I should be able to wear expensive things anywhere I'd like and not fear getting robbed."

I'd be right, and I'd be an idiot to ignore his good advice.

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JoshuaD
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quote:
PSRT:Yes, you, Joshua, are part of the problem. The way you engage these issues is problematic. The way I deal with other parts of my life is also problematic. THe fact that both of us have ridiculous advantages in life because we are white is a part of the problem that we can't control, but which nonetheless means our role should be listening to hear what help we can give, and not making suggestions to the black community unless they have been asked for.
Well, I think the way you engage them is problematic. Let's talk about it.

I think your unwillingness to identify the causes that arise from black culture is intentionally narrow-sighted. I think your tone of attacking people like me turns a lot of good people away from your cause. I think you encourage a victim mentality in those who are victims, rather than encouraging them to take control of their own situation in the most productive way that they can.

quote:
PSRT:THe fact that both of us have ridiculous advantages in life because we are white is a part of the problem that we can't control, but which nonetheless means our role should be listening to hear what help we can give, and not making suggestions to the black community unless they have been asked for.
I don't know about that at all. I look to those who have experiences that I don't have to tell me how to improve my life.

I know lots of people who have no idea how to budget money, or how to have fruitful and healthy relationships.

I share my empathy with them, absolutely. That's an important thing. But then I do look for a way to gracefully point out the actions that they're taking that cause their own problems.

When I had troubles with depression I had good friends do this for me, and I am eternally grateful for that. Rather than letting me wallow in whatever justifications I had for my sadness, they said "yes, you're sad. Now here's how you can change your actions to get better."

quote:
Originally posted by PSRT:
"Properly?" Interesting word choice. You might want to chew on that one for a while.

I chose the word carefully.

I work in a law office and a big part of my job is calling up bureaucracies and getting them to do things.

If I try to communicate with them in the way I'd like (or in the way that any two sane people ought to be able to communicate) I don't get the job done; my client doesn't get the result they are paying me for.

So, being a realist, I communicate in the way that is most effective, and that means choosing my communication to match the audience.

From time to time, I do lose my temper a bit and point out to the person I'm talking with that their system is ridiculous and unfair.

But I don't insist on being intentionally obtuse when dealing with it to prove a point (at least not every time). I roll up my sleeves, accept that this little situation is unfair, and change my behavior in order to get the results I want.

[ December 13, 2014, 06:00 PM: Message edited by: JoshuaD ]

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The post about the black person at the poker table has too many problems for me to deconstruct all of them.

If you really are interested in knowing why your suggestions about how black people raise their children to interact with authority are causing you frustration, I suggest you chew on that post for a while, and think about the layers of assumptions you are making. Starting with why something is "proper," or "not proper."

I'm done for the night because I'm making dinner and then spending time with my family. I I see a reflective post from you that shows that you understand why that post is a problem, I'll continue to engage you on this topic. Otherwise, probably not.

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JoshuaD
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PSRT: Well, that sort of response is unfair.

You're welcome to walk away from the conversation, of course, but I'd really rather you not do it in a way that suggests that I'm being closed minded.

To the contrary, I've spent a ton of time thinking about what you've said in this thread, what you've said in previous threads, and I've done my best to articulate my thoughts and experiences in a way that invite criticism and critical evaluation.

You, on the other hand, have done very little of that. If you are 100% sure you're right, then fine, I'm still glad to talk to you about it (despite the fact that I think that level of certainty is almost never properly founded). I don't need to have the shred of a possibility that you're going to change your mind in order to learn what I can from you.

But don't talk to me like I'm being closed-minded. That is an unfair indictment.

[ December 13, 2014, 06:13 PM: Message edited by: JoshuaD ]

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by PSRT:
quote:
Every time I read a sentence like this, I feel like the implication is "You, JoshuaD, are the screwer and you need to stop."

Maybe I'm misreading it. Is that what you meant, or did you mean something else?

I'm not saying "behave properly so we don't mistreat you." I'm saying "Fix what you reasonably can on your side, so they don't have an excuse to mistreat you."

Yes, you, Joshua, are part of the problem. The way you engage these issues is problematic. The way I deal with other parts of my life is also problematic. THe fact that both of us have ridiculous advantages in life because we are white is a part of the problem that we can't control, but which nonetheless means our role should be listening to hear what help we can give, and not making suggestions to the black community unless they have been asked for.

A few pages back Seneca mentioned having antipathy towards white guilt, and someone responded that no one here was saying anything about white guilt. Maybe that one person wasn't, but people are. Seneca was definitely responding on point to someone. Way to prove him right.
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Seneca
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Exactly. It amuses me and sickens me to hear white people telling me what blacks like myself really need and that we don't know it for ourselves.
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I don't see that's what PSRT did at all. I have other complaints about his posts, but I don't see that he's telling you, or any black person, what you really need.
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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by PSRT:
The other reason, and the reason I don't think your frustration is really legitimate, is that the black community in the united states has literally never had the opportunity to create a healthy community that is out from under the thumb of oppression or severe deficits due to that oppression. There are exactly zero suggestions about changes that the black community should try to make that cannot be tied to deficits that the community faces because of earlier oppression. High crime rates? Crime is ridiculously correlated with poverty, and the black community has never had an opportunity to generate the wealth that the white community has. A lot of that having to do with relatively recent housing discrimination, and the white middle class has its wealth through its housing. Also, drug laws are ridiculously racist. Collapse of the black family? See how well your families do if a quarter of your young men are incarcerated. Lack of jobs? Well, after you get out of jail, try getting a job. And on and on and on.

Essentially, the entire conversation is "Well, you need to behave properly so that we don't treat you badly." No. Morality doesn't work that way. If a group of people is getting screwed, it is the responsibility of the screwer to stop, not the screwee to change so that the screwer won't do it anymore.


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JoshuaD
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Yea, I'm still missing it.

Where is he telling you, as a black person, what you "really need" or that "you don't know it for [yourself]"?

Is it the last paragraph you're pointing at? I don't read that that way at all. I see him telling white people to stop screwing black people. I don't see any messages in that post for black people at all.

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Seneca
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quote:
is that the black community in the united states has literally never had the opportunity to create a healthy community that is out from under the thumb of oppression or severe deficits due to that oppression
Completely wrong. I and many others are living proof that this is wrong.
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JoshuaD
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(To be clear, I'm not endorsing his position; he and I have our disagreements. I'm just not understanding your characterization of what he said.)
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quote:
Seneca: It amuses me and sickens me to hear white people telling me what blacks like myself really need and that we don't know it for ourselves.
quote:
JoshuaD:I don't see that's what PSRT did at all.
quote:
quote:
PSRT: is that the black community in the united states has literally never had the opportunity to create a healthy community that is out from under the thumb of oppression or severe deficits due to that oppression.
Seneca:Completely wrong. I and many others are living proof that this is wrong.
Maybe you think what he said in this quote is wrong. He's not doing the thing you said in your original post, though.
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We don't need the often false "oppression" stopped in order for us to succeed.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Exactly. It amuses me and sickens me to hear white people telling me what blacks like myself really need and that we don't know it for ourselves.

Nit blacks like yourself, blacks in general but not you, just like I'd give different advice to the average person than i would to a lottery winner, including reminding them that buying more lottery tickets like lottery winners like you tell them are all they need isn'tgoing to be sufficient to solve their problems.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
There's an old Indian story that comes to mind:
Imagine you're the gut without shoes. You're ibn your way to a job that will hopefully let you afford enough food to get you through the week and maybe eventually shoes. The the guy with shoes passes you and chastised you for not wearing shoes instead of complaining about the road.

That's about where you're instinctive response becomes problematic, not because there's anything technically inaccurate but because it's presented nit only in a problematic context, but from a perspective that suggests that it isn't fully integrated in why the suboptimal behavior is occurring before you push a nominal solution.

Once you stop suggesting that they our on shoes and instead ask why they don't have shoes, and show that you're not only earnest about listening but also helping them get the shoes they need, then you more clearly show yourself too be a friend and ally than the person who claims they're by pointing out that they should just wear shoes.

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Exactly. It amuses me and sickens me to hear white people telling me what blacks like myself really need and that we don't know it for ourselves.

Nit blacks like yourself, blacks in general but not you, just like I'd give different advice to the average person than i would to a lottery winner, including reminding them that buying more lottery tickets like lottery winners like you tell them are all they need isn'tgoing to be sufficient to solve their problems.


Comparing me to a lottery winner because I am black and became successful is a very racist statement. I succeeded because of hard work and perseverance, not luck.
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