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Author Topic: Mizzou President resigns
Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
You must be familiar with 20th century history and the role played by student movements in some of its darkest chapters.
Sure. What parallels do you see here, exactly? Which of the students in that video strike you as the type to start riding around in cars with AKs, shooting people dead on sidewalks for not conforming?

Get off it. It's not a concern, and it is actively, offensively stupid to be concerned about it.

The only danger is from the mentality we mention becoming effective or actual law. If that doesn't happen then it's just a matter of observing some disturbing events on campuses, but I honestly don't think it will be restricted to that in the long run. That's just a hunch, mind you. But we already see the victim-oriented mindset quickly becoming the law of the land in cases involving rape, especially on campuses. To go back to what I said earlier, far be it for me to oppose any efforts to help rape victims and try to prevent rapes, but it's another matter entirely to create a legal double standard where if a male and female each perform the identical action the man is a criminal and the female is not. That, in particular, I see as very problematic and I doubt very much that is the only legal area that will be affected as the victim-culture movement gains ground. Legal double standards are one of my concerns, but not by any means the only one.
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Gaoics79
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Tom if these little dictators aren't the "type" then who is? I'm curious. What criteria do you use to identify the "type" capable of using violence (or supporting it) to force their beliefs on others? Do you think that such people are born with bayonets in thrir right hands?
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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by jasonr:
Tom if these little dictators aren't the "type" then who is? I'm curious. What criteria do you use to identify the "type" capable of using violence (or supporting it) to force their beliefs on others? Do you think that such people are born with bayonets in thrir right hands?

To be fair, I doubt very much that oversensitive and hyper-PC people are actually that much of a physical threat to people. As much as they may be annoying or create annoying rules to live by, they are almost tautologically disinclined to violence by virtue of their own outsized empathy for underdogs. They wish to impose their will - but direct violence against any group is antithetical to their ideology.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
You must be familiar with 20th century history and the role played by student movements in some of its darkest chapters.
Sure. What parallels do you see here, exactly? Which of the students in that video strike you as the type to start riding around in cars with AKs, shooting people dead on sidewalks for not conforming?

Get off it. It's not a concern, and it is actively, offensively stupid to be concerned about it.

Haven't seen the Video. Some of the thugs putting up the tweets and text comments fit your bill, though. Especially if campus security starts sucking up to some new regime.

And since the facts about this campus movement are so hard to come by, with folks arguing like Pyr and you have here, that this movement should be copied and supported without regard to actual facts or grievances, it is ..entirely possible that a copycat movement could be something ugly along the lines you speak of. Or indulge in SLA-like activities

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
quote:
Originally posted by jasonr:
Tom if these little dictators aren't the "type" then who is? I'm curious. What criteria do you use to identify the "type" capable of using violence (or supporting it) to force their beliefs on others? Do you think that such people are born with bayonets in thrir right hands?

To be fair, I doubt very much that oversensitive and hyper-PC people are actually that much of a physical threat to people. As much as they may be annoying or create annoying rules to live by, they are almost tautologically disinclined to violence by virtue of their own outsized empathy for underdogs. They wish to impose their will - but direct violence against any group is antithetical to their ideology.
Have you read the rhetoric of the Symbionese liberation army?
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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Have you read the rhetoric of the Symbionese liberation army?

It hasn't made my night table. Looks like about 20 whole people were involved. I teach bigger classes.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
quote:
Originally posted by jasonr:
Tom if these little dictators aren't the "type" then who is? I'm curious. What criteria do you use to identify the "type" capable of using violence (or supporting it) to force their beliefs on others? Do you think that such people are born with bayonets in thrir right hands?

To be fair, I doubt very much that oversensitive and hyper-PC people are actually that much of a physical threat to people. As much as they may be annoying or create annoying rules to live by, they are almost tautologically disinclined to violence by virtue of their own outsized empathy for underdogs. They wish to impose their will - but direct violence against any group is antithetical to their ideology.
Their stated ideology is anti-violence and anti-oppression, for sure. However in an age where Orwell's "war is peace" becomes more and more of a reality we drive further towards an ends justifies the means mentality. "We are for peace, and yet another war is how we'll win it." So an ideology of peace can justify war just as much as an ideology of aggression can. The mechanism, again, is what's important more so than the ideology. If one is willing to bend basic principle 'in the short term' to achieve an end then one's ideology is no better than the worst behavior that will be permitted.

In the case of the protesters in the video I linked earlier in the thread (on page 2) you have protesters in another University, much like these and on about the same sorts of things. The protesters on various campuses can be roughly said to all be part of the same general movement even though each branch is no doubt its own entity in some particular ways. In the video I linked one sees an example that can be seen in many other videos, where the protesters are not merely exuberantly trying to make changes, but are actively aggressive both in tone and in pure rage as they address anyone who disagrees. Watching the girl in the video I linked I can't think of a better way to describe her demeanor than to call it one of pure hatred and contempt. And this incident was over an e-mail where a Prof suggested that policing Halloween costumes might not be the best thing for campus compared to allowing adults to exercise their own discretion. The Prof's husband was there talking to the protesters and enduring them scream at him while he tried to calmly explain that he simply disagreed with their position.

Once we're talking about this kind of belligerence I think any kind of brushing aside of the theoretical possibility of violence becomes unwarranted. What is violence, after all, but a diminishing of the physical worth of others? Once one has already decided one's opponents are without moral worth - once calling them disgusting and other epithets is ok for merely disagreeing with you - where is the magical line where this devaluing of others ends? How far will they go if, given the chance and the means, they think they can silence dissent?

[ November 15, 2015, 03:47 AM: Message edited by: Fenring ]

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TomDavidson
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If that's so simple, Fenring, why have we not seen a wave of violence against "libtards," based on the dehumanizing comments left by, say, Freepers?
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Gaoics79
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quote:
They wish to impose their will - but direct violence against any group is antithetical to their ideology.
I don't see anything in their ideology that excludes violence. On the contrary, low level thuggery seems pretty well the norm for these types. It's how they get rid of speakers they don't like (for example) - they threaten, bluster, tear down signs, force their way into buildings, damage property - hardly peaceful. The professor's "muscle" statement is also an example of this.

I never suggested that there is a high probability that this particular movement is going to blossom into the next Soviet Union style autocratic state. Obviously the probability of that happening is very low. However, the probability of any social or political movement blossoming into something that big and ugly is exceptionally low in any circumstance. But it keeps happening, over and over again. And hundreds of millions of supposedly peaceful people continue to stand by and let it happen, and in most cases, participate enthusiastically when the opportunity presents itself. Or did you think that Hitler and a handful of psychopaths single handedly did what they did with no support from the common man?

I liken it to cancer - it is always unlikely for one to develop at any given time, because cancer is an aberration, something that the body is designed to correct against and usually does. Cancer happens sometimes by sheer bad luck (the wrong mutation at the wrong time) like a freak occurrence, but other times it happens because something external to the system is stacking the odds, making something normally improbable just a little bit more probable. With millions upon millions of "transactions" taking place in the body, that little "push" you get from smoking or asbestos exposure or whatever else exponentially increases the overall incidence of bad things happening over an extended period of time.

I see these totalitarian movements as being akin to carcinogens in the body politic. Most of the time they will fizzle out and come to nothing, or at worst do limited damage in specific spheres (such as the university) without spreading widely through the organism.

But the seeds are there. If the wrong person gets into power at the wrong time - that can be the catalyst to far greater things.

Tom's point is true but irrelevant. Every wicked movement that kills millions starts with a small seed that nobody could imagine would become anything big. These social justice types have exactly the kind of bad impulses - rigid conformity to a dogmatic truth, intolerance of anyone who does not subscribe to that truth, a zealous desire to purge wrong thinking from the community through any means and the willingness to employ coercion (and in some instances, outright violence) to force their will on those around them. Fenring called it "crypto Soviet". I don't think they're necessarily communists, per say, but their thinking is precisely in that mold.

[ November 15, 2015, 09:25 AM: Message edited by: jasonr ]

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Have you read the rhetoric of the Symbionese liberation army?

It hasn't made my night table. Looks like about 20 whole people were involved. I teach bigger classes.
If they managed to get 20 during pre internet age, how many could networknow with cell phones internet etc?
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JoshCrow
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Yale dean under fire

A black dean who teaches civil rights is now a target? Talk about a movement eating its own...

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by jasonr:
Tom if these little dictators aren't the "type" then who is? I'm curious. What criteria do you use to identify the "type" capable of using violence (or supporting it) to force their beliefs on others? Do you think that such people are born with bayonets in thrir right hands?

The capalibilty to employ violence against those you disagree with is a direct outgrowth of a philosophy that accepts or even encourages dehumanizing them to the point that violence becomes a reasonable option. You're not going to see it come from people standing firm on the principle that we should avoid disrespect and other forms of dehumanization, but rather from those that start by saying that there is nothing wrong with insulting, degrading, mocking, etc... those that hold different points of view. Being willing to apply those forms of interpersonal violence leads naturally into applying other forms, and historically have been at the root of the rise to power of many, if not most violent dictatorships.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
Yale dean under fire

A black dean who teaches civil rights is now a target? Talk about a movement eating its own...

If he's failing to live up to what he could be doing, why not? Seems like it has been a bit of a harrowing experience, but it got him to pay better attention to where the real pain actually was and actually be visible about trying to work to improve the situation there instead of simply being part of the institutional machert and advancing a few cosmetic changes that didn't substantially improve the environment.

Are you really saying that you think that they should have continued to suffer in silence rather than putting the people whose job it is to listen to the through the inconvenience of actually needing to listen to them?

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
I'd look into cannon on how Kirk dealt with the Kobayashi Maru and hack the simulator to provide a realistic scenario instead of one deliberately manufactured to force the answer you want.

In this case I would have taken these actions and worked the issue out long before it rose to the level of a protest action instead of ignoring it until I was up against the wall as your scenario requires I'd have had to do.

If you think I've given you the Kobeyashi Maru then you truly know nothing about administering a school. Having to give in to the demands of students/parents or sticking up for your staff in sticky situations is extremely common and there is seldom a simple correct answer. The typical result of this these days is that administrations throw the teachers under the bus in favor of giving in to every complaint no matter how spurious or at least contentious. In this case it's the President of the college himself who was thrown under the bus but the situation is not much different; he was forced to sacrifice himself whereas in other cases it's the staff who are sacrificed. Obviously this is harder to do with tenured staff but David Mamet's play Oleanna is about exactly this issue. If you haven't read it I'd at least recommend seeing the film version with William H. Macy.

You can reject my scenario all you want, but the actual reality we saw was very similar. Instead of a prof it was the President; big deal. If you're not prepared to stick your neck out and make the big call what business do you have berating others for their position? Make a call, dude. You can do it even though it will feel like all options are bad ones. That's life a lot of the time. WHAT DO YOU DO?

You don't ignore it as long as he did and let it get out of control. You start from a point where you're communicating with students about their issues and taking material actions out of the gate. Again your scenario fails because it's built on the assumption that the wrong choice to ignore complaints for months or even years was repeated made. The protest that eventually led to him resigning did not come out of nowhere as you seem to be pretending here-0 it was the result of repeated bad decisions by the administration to ignore the concerns of the students, until they had no choice but to protest to be heard.

And sure, many individual complaints may suddenly take you by surprise, if you've not been paying enough attention and the complainer has been nursing their pain instead of speaking up clearly from the start. But that's not the scenario you presented. You presented one where a multitude of such complaints had been ignored or mishandled repeatedly until the only possible action to get them dealt with a mass protest action.

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Fenring
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http://nypost.com/2015/11/15/blind-teacher-loses-job-after-rinsing-his-mouth-with-listerine/

This is from a public school, mind you, but it's a small and typical example of how schools nowadays throw their staff under the bus under the weight of any complaint. We can ascribe this to the standard bureaucratic mentality of avoiding complaints and conflict of any kind and lacking any kind of integrity in the process. Human beings in a job are replaceable cogs and the customer is always right.

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
You don't ignore it as long as he did and let it get out of control. You start from a point where you're communicating with students about their issues and taking material actions out of the gate. Again your scenario fails because it's built on the assumption that the wrong choice to ignore complaints for months or even years was repeated made. The protest that eventually led to him resigning did not come out of nowhere as you seem to be pretending here-0 it was the result of repeated bad decisions by the administration to ignore the concerns of the students, until they had no choice but to protest to be heard.

Since you are dismissing my scenario as literally impossible to happen to you (a claim that I would call self-aggrandizing to the extreme) then let's address the less hypothetical scenario I mentioned where a Prof wrote an email about Halloween disagreeing that policing costume choices was a good idea. There are protesters demanding that person's job. You are the President and are not at fault, but must decide what to do. Let's add in for fun the the protesters have brought things to a head by having the football team or whoever else go on strike and a quick decision must be made. WHAT DO YOU DO? Throw your staff under the bus to appease to protesters, or tell them no?
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by jasonr:
I'm just wondering, is the prevalence of creepy men crashing sex survivor assault groups that great? Do alot of single guys show up at these groups looking to pick up girls? I'm a little skeptical that this is a large problem.


It's a huge problem, especially when you count in those that creep under the "nice guy" label and act like (or even sincerely believe) that putting on a good show of being superficially caring and supportive should entitle them to attention and romantic consideration.

quote:
But regardless, is it not reasonable to simply have rules in place to clearly ban this sort of behaviour? Surely each group has a charter of rules or a statement of guiding principles that can be tailored to fit the group's needs and to screen applicants.[/quote[
So they can close the door after the horse is out of the barn? Or are you really suggesting that having such rules will somehow remove any possibility that someone will violate them? Remember, the point of such groups is to create and environment where there is an active sense that there is _no_ danger. Not to flush out an punish dangerous people.

You seem to be very hung up on punishment as a solution to thing you don't like, but it's pretty much useless. It does no good in any real situation where you want to make people feel safe or otherwise work to overcome harm. SAying "we'll punish you if you break the rules" implies, not only, that there is a possibility that rule breaking will occur (meaning members must be on guard against it) but also that those in charge have the power to violate the nominal safety of others based on their interpretation of someone's behavior. Those are both elements that would effectively prevent any notion of safety from being established in the first place, whereas selective membership and a shared sense of communal responsibility that comes with it are what actually provide the security needed for these groups to work.

[quote]If the university and student body exercise the power to create "safe spaces", surely they have the power to enact rules targeting anti social behaviour like what you're describing, which is a far less intrusive solution.

A solution to what? It's a solution to punishing antisocial behavior, to be sure. It's not a solution to creating safe spaces for people to talk about things, because bad actors tend to assume that they wont get caught or that they're not actualyl bad actors, and so, at best is would amount to too little, too late, since the damage was done from the moment you couldn't guarantee they they would never be there in the first place.

quote:
It also seems to me that the idea of the "safe space" is certainly not confined to a club (i.e. a building or a structure of any kind) but exists across campus. [/quote[
In the ideal, sure, but one has to work to ge there, and there are different things to be done when dealing with public areas than with private areas. You can't prevent people from coming across bad actors when moving about day to day, but you can institute things like Safe Walk programs, so that people moving through the public areas can arrange to never need to be alone, but can always reliably have a well screened and trained companion with them to prevent, deflect, or diffuse any situation that may come up.

[quote]It's one thing to say that women in a sex survivor group should be able to screen unverified or potentially anti social men from their clubhouse; it is another thing to suggest that they can do so from campus or from general public spaces, let alone dictate what students across campus are allowed to say and not say.

Indeed, which is why it's disingenuous to pretend that anyone is claiming that that's an appropriate solution, instead of a strawman presented in place of looking at what the actual proposal are for increasing overall safety.

quote:
It seems like certain groups with specific political objectives feel entitled to create a miasma of silence around themselves and across campus, screening out and expelling views they personally find offensive. Sort of like those kids' in that Season 2 STNG episode whose immune systems would leave their bodies and pre-emptively attack potential invaders, thereby killing everyone around them.
And here we go with false accusations based on your invention. How about you back away from the strawman and actually address real solutions, instead of the things you make up to mischaracterize the position of others, since you're the only person who has proposed this bizarre and unrealistic solution in the first place.

quote:
I have a pretty good sense of what the Pyrtolins of the world would like to see and how a campus run by them would look like - what would YOU implement if you had the power? I'm curious. It really is difficult to tell where you stand on this thread.
No you don't. Because instead of listing to anything that I say, you invent things that you want to attack me for having said and then pretend that they're what I really want. All the more ironic because they tend to stem from your your strong preference for solutions based on punishment, rather than my assertions of solutions based on security and respect.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
You don't ignore it as long as he did and let it get out of control. You start from a point where you're communicating with students about their issues and taking material actions out of the gate. Again your scenario fails because it's built on the assumption that the wrong choice to ignore complaints for months or even years was repeated made. The protest that eventually led to him resigning did not come out of nowhere as you seem to be pretending here-0 it was the result of repeated bad decisions by the administration to ignore the concerns of the students, until they had no choice but to protest to be heard.

Since you are dismissing my scenario as literally impossible to happen to you (a claim that I would call self-aggrandizing to the extreme) then let's address the less hypothetical scenario I mentioned where a Prof wrote an email about Halloween disagreeing that policing costume choices was a good idea. There are protesters demanding that person's job. You are the President and are not at fault, but must decide what to do. Let's add in for fun the the protesters have brought things to a head by having the football team or whoever else go on strike and a quick decision must be made. WHAT DO YOU DO? Throw your staff under the bus to appease to protesters, or tell them no?
Do you think protestors magically fall out of the sky or something? You're jumping straight to *BAM* protesters, assuming that my office did not immediately issue a rebuttal to that letter and make an active and clear attempt to discuss the issue with professor and those aggrieved, especially to the degree that he represented it as anything beyond his personal opinion and put institutional weight behind it.

Let's recall that, in the parallel scenario here, the administration failed to respond until forced to by outcry instead of immediately and clearly acting, and it was against the background of ongoing issues.

you keep trying to present a scenario that results in a magical overnight, out of nowhere protest situation, with absolutely no understanding of the amount of time and effort, along with the weight or repeated offenses it takes to move people to protest.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
http://nypost.com/2015/11/15/blind-teacher-loses-job-after-rinsing-his-mouth-with-listerine/

This is from a public school, mind you, but it's a small and typical example of how schools nowadays throw their staff under the bus under the weight of any complaint. We can ascribe this to the standard bureaucratic mentality of avoiding complaints and conflict of any kind and lacking any kind of integrity in the process. Human beings in a job are replaceable cogs and the customer is always right.

Do you have a credible source on that? I tried to search to see if a source that doesn't make stuff up just for the sake of getting people worked up had covered it, but wasn't able to find anything.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:

Submissive and subservient? No - strong and resolute and proud, like I am. Unless YOU think they are subservient and submissive, which would be your problem, not theirs.


Wait, so you weren't suggesting taht they try to act in ways to curry the favor of white people and avoid acting in ways that might offend them? Nice try to miscast me, but what was your point, if not telling them to suck up to the majority to make it like them?

quote:
BTW, you are compounding the error of mischaracterizing my words (offer advice/suggest => tell == dictate) by adding the word "threat". I really think you are manipulating language past its breaking point. You should run for office.
You start out, right at the top of what you wrote by saying "If you act this way, you'll create more racists" that's a implicit threat, unless you don't mean to suggest that "more racists" is a dangerous or undesirable result for them.

Your advice to them boils down to "Do what white people want you to do if you want to be treated as if you had rights." That is advising subservience.

Consider for a moment that their right to respectful and equitable treatment should be predicated purely on their humanity, and not conditional on how well they please other groups of people by their behavior, nor based on how many members of a different group of people may harbor biases against them.

With that base line, can you not see how suggesting that they prioritize making other groups of people happy and coddling potential racists over fighting for equal treatment might be just a little contrary to their objectives.

quote:
If they did possess my philosophy and outlook, they would not see taunting as worth becoming upset over - it would be just noise, more indicative of the taunter's own emotional weaknesses than reflective of them.

If. Bu they don't. Why is that? Maybe because the top examples of people that stood up themselves that way we have in the media are ones that are dead? Shot by police or self-styled vigilantes since they wren't perfectly deferential? It would be nice indeed if we lived in a world where sharing your philosophy was a viable option, but we live in one where those taunts carry a realy, mortal threat. Perhaps not from every person projecting them, but from enough that ignoring them is playing Russian roulette.

quote:
In essence, if they're out there (and I'm sure they are), they would be invisible in this conversation, because they are not moved to action by the "problem", having essentially none. They would be getting on with their lives, empowered and uninterested in moral crusades against some trouble-making small-minded bigots.
They'd be silent because they'd be dead. And that's the fundamental problem that they'd really like you to actually be paying attention to instead of telling them how to voice their problems in ways that allow you to go on ignoring them as you have been instead of inconveniencing you my actually making you pay attention every once in a while so that those with the power to make changes are forced to actually do so in one way or another.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
it implies that one should be prepared to not only hear and acknowledge grievances without question, but to enthusiastically concur lest you be seen as part of the problem
No, you don't need to concur. Believe it or not, there's actually a framework for discussion that works quite well for this kind of thing, and one issue "SJW"s have when dealing with others -- especially inherently cynical, hostile others -- is that they aren't familiar with that framework and don't know how to use it.

And, more to the point, when an effort is made to teach those hostile attackers how to step back and take the first steps toward more productive dialog on issues, they rally behind their hostility and start asserting that asking for the baseline of non-judgemental respect needed is equivalent to totalitarianism.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Pyr is punching up. You guys are punching down. It makes you less attractive.

This is true but it's also a cheat. Why? Because one can paint a few lines of power as one sees it, which despite Pyrtolin's claims is neither simple nor objective in any sense. Once one has done this all one has to do is systematically avoid any thoughts or comments about the "down" direction and then make any kinds of claims whatever in the "up" direction and - presto! You are a crusader. Except for one small detail: Not only should the lines of power in the premise be up for debate (which in social justice circles right now they vehemently are not) but the actual claims which move in an 'upward' direction also need to be verified as being valid.

On what basis are you making these claims? Are you really that familiar with the overall study of power dynamics to actually making such assertions with any amount of authority, or ar you rattling off what you're really like to be true and asserting it as facts to try to give your opinions equal weight to what people who have carefully studied the topic have found to be true.

quote:
So I can say, for instance, that since Joe had power over Max that Max was fully entitled when he felt oppressed to call Joe names, get him fired, and then chant about his righteousness.
you can say that, but it's completely disconnected with reality. Perhaps if you said "criticize Joe's mistreatment of Max" instead of "call Joe names", sure.

quote:
But I think anyone with sense would ask me to wait and explain for a minute whether Joe really had power over Max, and further, whether Max's reaction was reasonable even if he did.
Except, to be clear, it's not simply having more power that's the issue, its having more power and hurting other though its application, whether intentionally or ignorantly.

Lets be clear here-
"Punching up" is being critical or even satirical of those with more net social, economic, institutional, etc... power than you for applying that power in harmful ways.

"Punching down" is being critical of those with less such power than you in was that further marginalize, diminish, or dismiss them as being inferior.


quote:
So now we have the basic premise which is shaky, and lumped on that we allow behavior that would not be reasonable except for the supposed oppressed status of those who did it,
So you're fully against Stand your Ground or any other defensive laws that suggest that using lethal force is allowable if necessary to protect you own life? I mean, it's pretty well established that we do already make clear allowances for self defense when someone is under duress that we wouldn't for someone who is not so oppressed.

quote:
and finally, we lose sight altogether on what exactly is a proportional response, in terms of quantitative force offered, if some sort of oppression is going on and some sort of response is needed.
Only in terms of your completely fabricated example with no basis in reality.

quote:
But when any aspect of these premises is questioned the response is indignant anger and dismissal we find it very hard to accept the normally unacceptable response without explanation.
Not at all true. When they're honestly and nonjudgmentally questioned, many people are happy to step forward with responses. And the only "indignant anger" tends to come from those that don't like the critical nature of the answers they get. Of course that doesn't stop you from making unfounded accusations, of anger, especially when...

quote:
When asked why no explanation is given the answer is "you just don't understand," or "if you bothered to learn about it you'd know already." (another form of Kafkatrap)
..you didn't actual;y honest, nonjudgemental questions, but rather launcghed into a series of judmental attacks on a position and then expected others to bow down to your demands and teach you a 101 course while tolerating your constant barrage of attacks and misrepresentations. At that point, characterizing your attacks as evidence that you're demonstrating a complete lack of understanding of the issue is perfectly accurate, and asking that you back off with te attacks and actually show an earnest desire to understand, even if you ultimately don't agree, is a very reasonable minimum standard.

quote:
Tom, I know you think there is some wisdom in taking the middle path and playing both sides against each other. It can perhaps strike balance in the long run; it can allow you to avoid choosing sides prior to your being certain which one is best; and for the purposes of a forum it can allow you to add in to heated debates without necessarily becoming embroiled in annoying back-and-forths. However this is the real world we're talking about, and it's not at all clear cut that the two sides are in a stalemate. As I see it the Kafkatrappers are gaining ground right now, and only because it so closely resembles top-down Soviet control mechanisms do some of us wonder whether a neo-Marxist movement is underfoot. Surely in the wake of Occupy and the 1% movement this would be a good time, and it aligns nicely with an era where oligarchs are truly getting the better of everyone. But the solution to oligarchy isn't and never was fascism, even though people in the 20's and 30's truly and completely failed to understand this. They somehow thought it would save them even though it was evil incarnate.
And gee, doesn't this give me all the confidence in the world that you're actually interested in the real positions, when you're so willing to absurdly misrepresent, attack, and demonize? Seriously, can you go back and read that and actually say that if someone was making those kinds of accusations against you that you'd be more willing to try to educate them than you would be to write them off as someone who was so lost in their own biases that you'd be wasting your time?


quote:
But I can actually take all of your questions and reduce them to one: what are we to do about the oddball total a*****e who makes everyone crazy and scared? What are we to do with that rare sociopath or bigot who makes life miserable?
Except were talking about groups of people for who these behaviors against them are commonplace, day to day things. Not people like you who enjoy the luxury of only being threatened by the oddball or rare sociopath.

quote:
Pyr really sounds like he would endorse a bipartite system of rules on campus, and perhaps of laws in a society. Different laws depending on whether you are part of an oppressed class or not, however that's determined. Because there are only two option: the same rules and laws for everyone (no double standards), or different laws depending on your skin color, like Jim Crow but in reverse.
Ah, so you think banning rich people and poor people from sleeping under bridges- enforcing the same rules for everyone with on consideration for underlying causes, is a just solution to homelessness.

I mean you do seem to suffer from the same belief as jasonr to the effect of "If we punish enough people who mess up, then maybe people will magically stop messing up all on their own" Which would be a debatable belief if you didn't compound it by falsely projecting that same beliefs onto others and distorting what they say through that lense.

The net result being you keep hammering away at the false dilemma of "Well, do we make one law for everyone regarding bridges or one for the rich and one for the poor?" While completely ignoring my assertion that we should instead be focusing on ending poverty and providing reasonable shelter to the poor by hand waving it away as an attack on the rich.

quote:
Or as Frank Herbert put it, "Rebels are always closet aristocrats." This doesn't have to be true by definition, but it tends to be true. The means used by those who would oust the power structure need to be held to the highest rigor; as Ghandi said, resistance cannot be offered using the tools of the oppressors if real change is to happen.
Indeed. Which is why I stand here steadfastly resisting your use of insult, invective, dehumanization, etc... and argue instead that we should be starting from a place of non-judgemental respect.

I don't mind that you're ignorance. ignorance is a natural sate. I object to and will continue to criticize your defense of your own ignorance through attacks on others. Insult me all you like, you're not going to intimidate me into letting your attacks and insults go uncriticized for their dehumanizing effect, even if that wasn't your active intent.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
"White supremacy is a consequence of behavoir that asserts racial supremacy favoring whites"

That's dangerous stupidity and a rank subversion of Martin Luther King's message. Have you looked at all at all's discussion of white supremacy? It is the doctrine propounded by Calhoun. To dupe poor whites into accepting poverty by believing in their legal and moral superiority over blacks. No, you don't get to move that target to fit your cause de jour.

I'm not sure why you're injecting MLK at this point, but I will note that the principles I'm advancing are exactly those designed to and very effective at countering what Calhoun pointed out. If you pay attention to what I'm saying and not what you want to be arguing against, the notions I favor attack the false premise that there's some magic tradeoff between addressing racial inequality any addressing classism, and allows those that suffer from each to cooperate for mutual benefit and inures them from suggestions that one benefits at the expense of the other, by showing how the benefits or penalties one suffer from race have little bearing on the benefits or penalties that one suffers from health, and that it's wrong to try to equate the two directly.

you're injecting the notion of superiority of one group over the other out of nowhere, and in the process of doing so, you're the one encouraging the conflict that Calhoun spoke of even as I do my best to negate it.

To bring an example that you've brought up before- you spoke of your experience trying to get public services and being tolsd that there were certain programs that were only for black minorities.

Your reaction was to be outraged ad being excluded for those programs that were for other people, effectively directing anger and envy at those people- playing into Calhoun's scenario. My reaction was to be outraged that there weren't sufficient services for people that were poor to get you what you needed to have a stable footing. Directed at the system and the way it mistreats you rather than at other people whose separate issues you effectively dismiss by complaining that you weren't eligible for solutions to a different problem than the one that you were facing.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by jasonr:
Tom I'm disappointed in you. You must be familiar with 20th century history and the role played by student movements in some of its darkest chapters. Like Fenring I am looking at methods more than ideology, although that is relevent too.

Are you seriously claiming that all student movements in recent memory have had bad, totalitarian results? That just the involvement of students in a movement is enough to ensure disaster?

Because your conclusions and miscasting of the behavoir of the students only make sense in that narrow context.

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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:

If he's failing to live up to what he could be doing, why not? Seems like it has been a bit of a harrowing experience, but it got him to pay better attention to where the real pain actually was and actually be visible about trying to work to improve the situation there instead of simply being part of the institutional machert and advancing a few cosmetic changes that didn't substantially improve the environment.

Are you really saying that you think that they should have continued to suffer in silence rather than putting the people whose job it is to listen to the through the inconvenience of actually needing to listen to them?

As I have said before in other way, what I'm saying is that modern racism is not a problem to be "solved" - it is more like a chronic illness to be managed.

This suffering cannot be cured by making people watch diversity programming, or letting black people self-segregate. They cannot "choose" to not be black, and people cannot "choose" to not have biases (which is why they are called "unconscious biases": they run so deep that even the current images of protesting blacks reinforces them, in an ironic twist). You can chase these biases all the way back to the door to a person's mind, but you cannot enter that door - only the occupant controls what goes on in there.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Say_It_Loud_%E2%80%93_I%27m_Black_and_I%27m_Proud

Black pride needs to be "a serious thing" again. Just as with gay pride - it serves as a powerful centering mechanism for a minority under external pressure. A proud person is not suffering - they are mighty and they KNOW it. This is what must be worked towards. It is not to reinforce the state of victimhood - it is to powerfully establish the alternative.

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JoshCrow
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Pyr, you continue to insist that I want black people to act "to make white people happy", and I continue to insist that no, I don't actually think that (in fact I want black people to "make themselves happy", which is the point of my philosophy), so basically we are finished communicating. You seem incapable of taking what I say at face value and have sought all manner of ways to impugn my motivations. Actually, you finally got close to addressing my suggestion above (when you said "If. Bu they don't. Why is that?"...) but I honestly at this point am left with nothing but frustration at your insinuations about my motives. I am done engaging with you unless you want to actually discuss the issues without mischaracterizing everything I say.

A useful exercise in debate, for example, is to try to repeat your opponent's position to see if you've understood it before proceeding. Without snark. Can you?

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Seriati
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It's always a little surreal to read one of these threads where the most judgmental person on the thread is constantly demanding others proffer non-judgmental responses and questions. As if the exercise of judgment is something to be guilty about, rather than a hallmark of adulthood. It does explain why he refuses to support his points with actual facts or examples, as that might lead to actual justified judgments.

Or when someone is constantly demanding that all critics need to listen and ask questions, yet seems incapable of actually listening to the questions or comments that he receives. Is it, a do as I say, not as I do moment, or just a complete inability to actually comprehend the irony?

Or how, someone pretends emotional and physical wellbeing are the same thing, yet confronts any challenge to the emotional side with examples of the physical situation (punch in the face, stand your ground, etc.). We accept a difference between physical safety (illegal to violate) and freedom from mental hostility (range of consequences but rarely illegal), pulling hypos from the former to cover the latter reflects a weakness of ideology.

I still think the safe spaces demand is too vague to be actionable. It really is an extraordinary request, to ask for the "state" (in the form of campus government) to suppress the speech of others to allow for certain groups to speak freely. That's a stark contrast to what our principals are based on, where every group is allowed to speak and bad ideas are held up to challenge and ridicule. And given the importance of that principal in our society (and it is specifically that principal that set the stage for groups like the KKK to become subject to public scorn), it's something that really needs a clear logical argument to support.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
As I have said before in other way, what I'm saying is that modern racism is not a problem to be "solved" - it is more like a chronic illness to be managed.
You're saying that people shouldn't be standing up for equal rights, then? That they should basically just tolerate second class status because it's too hard or inconvenient to keep working toward equity?

I'm not sure how else you expect racism to be managed, except by telling people "Sorry, you just gotta deal with being treated as less than fully human"

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
Pyr, you continue to insist that I want black people to act "to make white people happy", and I continue to insist that no, I don't actually think that (in fact I want black people to "make themselves happy", which is the point of my philosophy), so basically we are finished communicating. You seem incapable of taking what I say at face value and have sought all manner of ways to impugn my motivations. Actually, you finally got close to addressing my suggestion above (when you said "If. Bu they don't. Why is that?"...) but I honestly at this point am left with nothing but frustration at your insinuations about my motives. I am done engaging with you unless you want to actually discuss the issues without mischaracterizing everything I say.

A useful exercise in debate, for example, is to try to repeat your opponent's position to see if you've understood it before proceeding. Without snark. Can you?

Let's break it down:

quote:
Except that in responding the way they have, they are reinforcing (rather than reducing) racism.
"They should not be behaving the way they are, because it might upset the white majority (encourage racial bias against them)"


quote:
I do not want them to "be silent" about their experiences - quite the contrary, I think it is appropriate to discuss and revisit the issue frequently, because racism is so pernicious. It is an error, however, to expect progress to come by the application of force on the external world.
"I give them my permission to talk about the issue, so long as they do so on these terms: They can talk all they want, but they cannot take physical action to stand up for themselves."

quote:
The one thing that people have true control over is their own perceptions of the world. We don't control our bodies, our friends, our families, other people... but we DO control how we interpret events.
"Despite being under very real threat of physical harm on a day to day basis, they should make an active effort to ignore the dangers they live with on a daily basis and see the world in the way that I want them to"

quote:
If someone were to leave (for example) a swastika on my door... well, I would likely call the police and hope that person would be caught.
"If someone made a threat against me, I would call on an institution that I have a favorable past history with to deal with the matter. They should consider doing the same dispute that institutions long track record of mistreatment and persecution of them"

quote:
But if someone simply made a comment about Jews in my earshot, or even a comment about my beliefs personally, I would probably not lose a whole lot of sleep over it.
"The probability of threats to my identity is low enough in this day and age that I do not take my life in my hands if I ignore them"

quote:
The reason is simple - my self-worth is already established and rock-solid. It is unshakable.
"I can maintain a strong sense of self worth, because I do not live in a world that constantly threatens it and undermines it by reminding me of my second class status or that it can take my life with impunity at any moment"


quote:
This is difficult for most people, and *certainly* harder for black people (which is why gangsta-culture was so much insecurity made manifest), but it's not going to become more possible for them if they embrace their own identities as "oppressed". Once you internalize that, the game is over.
"The insecurity that black people fell because they live under constant threat isn't justified. They should ignore the danger around them and act in ways that align with how I want them to behave instead. If they acknowledge that danger in any way, I will accuse them of embracing oppression/victimhood as an identity."
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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
As I have said before in other way, what I'm saying is that modern racism is not a problem to be "solved" - it is more like a chronic illness to be managed.
You're saying that people shouldn't be standing up for equal rights, then? That they should basically just tolerate second class status because it's too hard or inconvenient to keep working toward equity?

I'm not sure how else you expect racism to be managed, except by telling people "Sorry, you just gotta deal with being treated as less than fully human"

Equal rights - absolutely they should stand for it, because "rights" are legal constructions, and I oppose legal discrimination.

"Tolerate second class status" - not in any legal sense. Socially, on the other hand, if someone views you as second class, you can argue with them all you like but in the end it must be tolerated. I don't say "should be" tolerated, mind you: I say "must be". It is nobody's choice what someone else thinks of them. This is true regardless of how disturbing that opinion is.

Sorry for being a downer, but I do not believe racism will ever go away. Luckily I do think it has withdrawn far enough to leave open a path forward for people to be empowered without the physical menace of racial violence (with horrific and rare exceptions, of course)

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JoshCrow
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Pyr, you just proved you cannot even understand what I'm saying without running it through a warped funhouse mirror, inserting your own opinions into my words, and indulging in motive-speculations. We're done. Best of luck.
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Fenring
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I will just note for the record that after at least three attempts to ask Pyr what he would do in the situation where protesters are asking for resignation he categorically refuses to answer directly. His claim is that with him in charge it would be literally impossible for protesters to have any problem with him or his staff in any scenario.

The thread OP thesis is basically "it's bad that Tim Wolfe was forced to resign, this was unjust." All subsequent discussion has been about whether it was, in fact, unjust, or whether he really was derelict in his duty to respond to legitimate concerns. Pyr, however, refuses to provide a straightforward (even complex) answer to the simple question of whether Wolfe being forced to resign should be seen as a good thing or a bad thing. A man lost his job; should he have lost it?

Everything Pyr says points in the direction of supporting the result at Mizzou, but he has yet to come out and say it. I want him to say it. I would like to see him man up and answer JoshCrow's question as well. If Pyr could choose, would Wolfe have lost his job? Would JoshCrow lose his job should he speak against the protesters?

[ November 16, 2015, 03:13 PM: Message edited by: Fenring ]

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Pyrtolin
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I'll tell you, I was tempted to play fallacy bingo with your artfully contentless attacks on me (Seriously falsely conflating "being judgemental" and "making judgements"? You must be having an off day to have to resort to that dead horse. On the other hand, your attempt to paint my philosophical consistency of treating mental and physical heath as equally important, and pretty much inseparable as a weakness was a particularly artful gem.)

Let's just stick to this strawman, since it tries to make a point:

quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
I still think the safe spaces demand is too vague to be actionable. It really is an extraordinary request, to ask for the "state" (in the form of campus government) to suppress the speech of others to allow for certain groups to speak freely. That's a stark contrast to what our principals are based on, where every group is allowed to speak and bad ideas are held up to challenge and ridicule. And given the importance of that principal in our society (and it is specifically that principal that set the stage for groups like the KKK to become subject to public scorn), it's something that really needs a clear logical argument to support.

Suppression of speech is your proposal here, not anyone else's. So if you think it's unreasonable, then maybe you shouldn't randomly inject it into the conversation. Do you really need me to find some way to prove that it's good to have even the foggiest idea of what you're talking about to make useful criticisms rather than making things up? I'd assumed that it should be a self evident point, but maybe I should take a step back and work on teaching how making stuff up and then attacking it with criticism isn't a productive method of argument.
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Fenring
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A safe space in this sense is, by definition, one where the rights to free expression are suppressed in favor of a permitted type of speech and a disallowed type of speech and content. Even suggesting otherwise is hilarious. And such spaces need not only restrict access by certain ideas, but by certain skin colors as well. If I'm not mistaken they were asking for black-only spaces as well, and for black-only vigils and so forth. The idea that this is not an act of suppression is flatly wrong, although it can perhaps be debated whether such suppression is or isn't potentially useful.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
Pyr, you just proved you cannot even understand what I'm saying without running it through a warped funhouse mirror, inserting your own opinions into my words, and indulging in motive-speculations. We're done. Best of luck.

Until you can understand that what I read back to you is a mild interpretation of how what you said will be heard, then I guess you're right. I get that that's not what you were trying to say, but in the end, once the facts of the situation are taken into account, it is what you communicated.

Tell you what? If I go though and read back what I think you were trying to say rather than what you were effectively saying will you do the me the decency of showing that you have the same understanding of my objection to it?

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
A safe space in this sense is, by definition, one where the rights to free expression are suppressed in favor of a permitted type of speech and a disallowed type of speech and content.

By whose definition? That, so far, seems to be something that's been completely made up by people attacking the concept, despite it having no basis in anything described by those supporting it.

Here's a hint- part of the basic function of a safe space is that it allows those in it to speak freely, without fear of recrimination or retribution. That's what makes it safe.

[ November 16, 2015, 03:23 PM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]

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ScottF
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So anyone can speak freely about anything in a safe space?
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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Except that in responding the way they have, they are reinforcing (rather than reducing) racism.
"They should not be behaving the way they are, because it might upset the white majority (encourage racial bias against them)"
This one was only slightly warped, assuming of course that you ignore any racism other than white on black. If you include other kinds of racism them it completely fails to demonstrate comprehension. But even if you do ignore other forms of racism, you're still left with a statement of opinion of factual consequence - that racism increases rather than decreases, which if true detracts from the presumed goal. Your opinion on this is irrelevant Pyr, it's either true and therefore a bad idea, or not true and therefore possibly a good one (in each case judged from the perspective of the protesters).
quote:
quote:
I do not want them to "be silent" about their experiences - quite the contrary, I think it is appropriate to discuss and revisit the issue frequently, because racism is so pernicious. It is an error, however, to expect progress to come by the application of force on the external world.
"I give them my permission to talk about the issue, so long as they do so on these terms: They can talk all they want, but they cannot take physical action to stand up for themselves."
He didn't give them permission, nor did he condition it on anything. He actually expressed agreement with your stated goals (not that you acknowledge anything that others say) by validating that their views and opinions should be heard. Hard to say if they have merit until after you hear them, unless you're buying whatever they are selling sight unseen.

And yes no one is permitted to take physical action in this case. The state has pre-empted our self-help rights in all but a limited set of circumstances. Are you proposing a change to the history and right of physical self help?
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The one thing that people have true control over is their own perceptions of the world. We don't control our bodies, our friends, our families, other people... but we DO control how we interpret events.
"Despite being under very real threat of physical harm on a day to day basis, they should make an active effort to ignore the dangers they live with on a daily basis and see the world in the way that I want them to"
What very real threat of physical harm? Please cite examples.

Like I said before, when you jump to physical harm to confront the entire range of mental and emotional harms possible it demonstrates the weakness of your philosophy.

I think the fairer interpretation is that he was talking about everything BUT PHYSICAL HARM with his statement. He even took it a step into physical acts to threats with his Swastika example (not that you really are paying attention).
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If someone were to leave (for example) a swastika on my door... well, I would likely call the police and hope that person would be caught.
"If someone made a threat against me, I would call on an institution that I have a favorable past history with to deal with the matter. They should consider doing the same dispute that institutions long track record of mistreatment and persecution of them"
These are my favorite ones, where you ascribe actions to "institutions" rather than people, as if they monolithic and not capable of the individualize reactions of the people that make them up. This one though is a bit of a cause of the day, and not without good reason given how far the police take things these days.

In any event, you have to have a bad act that would actually evoke police protection, it didn't seem as if any were actually implicated here.
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But if someone simply made a comment about Jews in my earshot, or even a comment about my beliefs personally, I would probably not lose a whole lot of sleep over it.
"The probability of threats to my identity is low enough in this day and age that I do not take my life in my hands if I ignore them"
Who is taking their life into their own hands exactly? What evidence of this is there? And what context?

You're talking about a university campus, how common is racial murder on university campuses?
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The reason is simple - my self-worth is already established and rock-solid. It is unshakable.
"I can maintain a strong sense of self worth, because I do not live in a world that constantly threatens it and undermines it by reminding me of my second class status or that it can take my life with impunity at any moment"
The "because" is unwarranted. You don't have any idea what kind of world he lives in, or whether he's come up through the kind of personal circumstances that are more potentially damaging than the group identity issues that are all you seem to care about. He may have lived a priviledged and sheltered life, he may not have, you don't appear to care, which is a fundamental failure of the philosophy you espouse, it's complete disregard of reality in favor of theory.
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This is difficult for most people, and *certainly* harder for black people (which is why gangsta-culture was so much insecurity made manifest), but it's not going to become more possible for them if they embrace their own identities as "oppressed". Once you internalize that, the game is over.
"The insecurity that black people fell because they live under constant threat isn't justified. They should ignore the danger around them and act in ways that align with how I want them to behave instead. If they acknowledge that danger in any way, I will accuse them of embracing oppression/victimhood as an identity."
Was this one just completely made up? He said internalizing a status of oppressed makes having self-worth more difficult, which your thesis inherently acknowledges and you routinely bash everyone nearby with. Yet when he says it you "reinterpret" it into nonsense?
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
I will just note for the record that after at least three attempts to ask Pyr what he would do in the situation where protesters are asking for resignation he categorically refuses to answer directly. His claim is that with him in charge it would be literally impossible for protesters to have any problem with him or his staff in any scenario.


You staged three false dilemmas involving a situation that had been let go so far out of control though neglect that protests had arisen, and would not take "I wouldn't be so neglectful" as an answer. I do applaud you for trying your hardest to set up the kind of traps that you're criticizing others for using, but I'll keep stabbing the Giant in the eye here rather than picking a cup.

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The thread OP thesis is basically "it's bad that Tim Wolfe was forced to resign, this was unjust." All subsequent discussion has been about whether it was, in fact, unjust, or whether he really was derelict in his duty to respond to legitimate concerns. Pyr, however, refuses to provide a straightforward (even complex) answer to the simple question of whether Wolfe being forced to resign should be seen as a good thing or a bad thing. A man lost his job; should he have lost it?
It's a bad thing, hands down. It's sad that the situation had to progress that far before people actually realized they needed to pay attention to and try to fix the problems.

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Everything Pyr says points in the direction of supporting the result at Mizzou, but he has yet to come out and say it. I want him to say it.
We have yet to see the result at Mizzou. We've seen a casualty of the fight due to a person with power refusing to step up and execute his responsibilities as needed to resolve the situation, but the actual result is still to come.

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I would like to see him man up and answer JoshCrow's question as well. If Pyr could choose, would Wolfe have lost his job?
No. If I could choose, Wolfe would have done his job instead and the issue would have never had to come to what it did.

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Would JoshCrow lose his job should he speak against the protesters?
Of course not; I've already made that clear in my responses to your less rigged questions that almost seemed like you were starting to be earnest instead of just trying to make a trap.
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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
I'll tell you, I was tempted to play fallacy bingo with your artfully contentless attacks on me (Seriously falsely conflating "being judgemental" and "making judgements"? You must be having an off day to have to resort to that dead horse. On the other hand, your attempt to paint my philosophical consistency of treating mental and physical heath as equally important, and pretty much inseparable as a weakness was a particularly artful gem.)

Yes I know, pointing out your illogical and deliberate (or possibly ironic) hypocrisy is something you have to ignore. It's too direct for your normal misdirection attacks.

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Suppression of speech is your proposal here, not anyone else's.
Lol, do you think anyone reading this thinks your statement is true? What audience are you speaking to?

A safe space only works by suppressing speech. There is no other operative mechanism. It excludes the unwelcome.
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So if you think it's unreasonable, then maybe you shouldn't randomly inject it into the conversation.
Maybe, I should play the game you played with Josh?

"If you insist on bringing up reality or truth, you should stay out of the conversation"
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Do you really need me to find some way to prove that it's good to have even the foggiest idea of what you're talking about to make useful criticisms rather than making things up?
I'd like you to prove I made something up, yes, I'd like to see that. Actually, I'd like to see you prove anything, feel free to use either logic or facts, or both.
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I'd assumed that it should be a self evident point, but maybe I should take a step back and work on teaching how making stuff up and then attacking it with criticism isn't a productive method of argument.
I think you should take a step back and do exactly that. Why don't you start with an analysis of say your first 50 responses on this thread compared with what the posters you responded to actually said.
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