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Author Topic: The federal government's racist approach to guns
Seneca
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http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/sep/16/obama-white-house-forcing-new-gun-buyers-to-declar/

In 2012 the ATF quietly started requiring people buying guns to mark whether they were hispanic or not, and then in a separate box identify which race they were.

What possible use could this be? Is it ethical given how often people are not allowed to ask about race in all kinds of other settings?

So who has access to these 4473s?

quote:
Access to the form

The 4473 form is supposed to be kept in a gun retailer’s possession at all times — allowing ATF agents to inspect the form only during the course of a criminal investigation or during a random audit of the dealer. The form is to be kept out of the hands of the government, hence the distinction between “sales/transaction form” and “registration form.” But that isn’t always the case, gun rights advocates say.

“We’ve been contacted by several dealers saying ATF is or has been making wholesale copies of their 4473 forms, and it’s just not legal,” said Erich Pratt, spokesman for Gun Owners of America, a gun advocacy group. “If this is what they’re doing somewhat out in the open, what’s going on behind closed doors? Are these names and demographic information getting phoned [in and] punched into a government computer? Do they ever come out?”



So if you are required to give your ethnicity to the ATF when you exercise your 2nd Amendment rights, should we require that for voting rights as well?
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AI Wessex
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Old form 4473 was already being required and has 22 other questions, some with multiple fields, and was subject to the same collection guidelines by the ATF. They could request it during a criminal investigation or simply making a random sweep of gun sellers. That hasn't changed.

Any change to collect additional information can only be tied to the worst possible interpretation for the change, or not. Until the reasoning for that worst possible interpretation has been found, it constitutes further proof that the worst possible interpretation exists and is being hidden, or not. What do you think that would be?

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Seneca
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What purpose does the federal government have for demanding racial identity from people wanting to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights when the government simultaneously tells all kinds of other parties that they may NOT ask about race?
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AI Wessex
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quote:
What do you think that would be?
Besides, you gave them that information on your census form.
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Pyrtolin
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Demographics. It says others many not ask for information that might bias decision making processes. There's no decision making process here, but there its a basic legitimate interest in collecting and providing demographic information to the public.
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Seneca
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It isn't required by federal law, the ATF is acting outside of its mandate to invade the privacy of gun owners. It is clear the government is using this data for political purposes as government officials and politicians have made speeches about the "stereotypical demographics" of "gun owners."

[ September 17, 2014, 10:16 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

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AI Wessex
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
It isn't required by federal law, the ATF is acting outside of its mandate to invade the privacy of gun owners. It is clear the government is using this data for political purposes as government officials and politicians have made speeches about the "stereotypical demographics" of "gun owners."

No, it is *not* clear that the information is being used for "political purposes". Of if you have evidence to show that it is, please offer it here. Politicians will talk about all kinds of things based on almost nothing, so tie some of the chatter about "stereotypical demographics" to information collected on this form if you can.
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Seneca
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The census data does not ask about firearms and those actions ARE governed by statute, whereas the ATF's are not.
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Pyrtolin
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Of course, the big lie in the sassertion at the top is that the ATF started asking for this in 2012.
Here's the form from 2005:
http://www.ocshooters.com/Gen/Form-4473/ATF-FORM-4473-pg1bg.gif
With section 10.It's slightly different because it inaccurately lumps Hispanic in as a race rather than an ethnic identity, but it's definitely asking for the same information.

Here it is from 2001, with the demographic information at question 8:
http://www.thundertek.net/documents/4473.pdf

It gets harder to trace when you get older than that, but I'll bet we could add a few more decades, perhaps even going back to the original version of the form and find that it was collecting standard demographics (mostly for the benefit of gun manufacturers and retailers to help them with their marketing efforts, as it the primary use of almost all federally published demographic information)

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AI Wessex
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quote:
The census data does not ask about firearms and those actions ARE governed by statute, whereas the ATF's are not.
We should all note Seneca's outright distortion. Because the Census forms don't ask about firearms, this form's questions about race are therefore illegal AND furthermore proves his case that the information is being collected for purely political reasons that he is unable to provide a coherent explanation for.

I hope others on Ornery can follow his chain of reasoning and understand why the views he expresses seem devoid of logic or grounding in reality.

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
Of course, the big lie in the sassertion at the top is that the ATF started asking for this in 2012.
Here's the form from 2005:
http://www.ocshooters.com/Gen/Form-4473/ATF-FORM-4473-pg1bg.gif
With section 10.It's slightly different because it inaccurately lumps Hispanic in as a race rather than an ethnic identity, but it's definitely asking for the same information.

Here it is from 2001, with the demographic information at question 8:
http://www.thundertek.net/documents/4473.pdf

It gets harder to trace when you get older than that, but I'll bet we could add a few more decades, perhaps even going back to the original version of the form and find that it was collecting standard demographics (mostly for the benefit of gun manufacturers and retailers to help them with their marketing efforts, as it the primary use of almost all federally published demographic information)

Does it get harder to trace after that because the policy Originally started in its first form with Clinton? You may want to look that up.

Also, I noticed how vaguely you addressed the 2012 change. Can you please be more specific about the 2012 change?

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AI Wessex
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quote:
Does it get harder to trace after that because the policy Originally started in its first form with Clinton? You may want to look that up.
That's misdirection, isn't it? You started this thread to complain about what *Obama* did in 2012. You skipped over the changes that Bush made, too.
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Seneca
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What changes DID Bush make? Please enlighten us. Then regale us with the method of mind control that George Bush is apparently using to make Obama do everything he does today, in 2014. Because we all know that no President can ever stop doing something his predecessor was doing, it's impossible!
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AI Wessex
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Wait a second. This is how you started this thread:
quote:
In 2012 the ATF quietly started requiring people buying guns to mark whether they were hispanic or not, and then in a separate box identify which race they were.

What possible use could this be? Is it ethical given how often people are not allowed to ask about race in all kinds of other settings?

Are you now complaining about what Clinton did, what Bush didn't undo, or what Obama either did or didn't undo? All I hear is a whole lot of complaining, but I'm not sure what exactly it's about anymore, except that it's Obama's fault.
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Seneca
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Is it really hard to understand that the current sitting president has control over what federal agencies do?
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Does it get harder to trace after that because the policy Originally started in its first form with Clinton? You may want to look that up.
No, it gets harder to trace because scanning documents and putting them up on the internet was not as popular in the 90s.

Also, I noticed how vaguel
quote:
y you addressed the 2012 change. Can you please be more specific about the 2012 change?
The 2012 change stopped treating Hispanic as a race (which it is not by any measure) and instead gave it a separate sub item to more accurately collect the information, pretty much the same as had already long ago happened on all demographic questionnaires, where it was being tracked.
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AI Wessex
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Well, it's a pretty complicated topic. It doesn't seem like you've mastered it, either.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Is it really hard to understand that the current sitting president has control over what federal agencies do?

Influence, yes, direct control, not as much. Most of the functional work at the agencies is by staff that persists regardless of information specifically to insulate their duties from direct partisan attempts to assert active control.
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Seneca
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So according to you the president cannot issue orders to his own agencies or fire any level of personnel in them?
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NobleHunter
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I find it amusing that Seneca argues the executive should have greater ability to arbitrarily exercise power.
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AI Wessex
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Let's see, so far in this thread Seneca has posted comments containing unfounded accusations, distortion, distraction and gross exaggeration. What else you got?

Ai: Please see your email. -OrneryMod

[ September 18, 2014, 12:53 PM: Message edited by: OrneryMod ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
So according to you the president cannot issue orders to his own agencies or fire any level of personnel in them?
That's not what I said. Try again.

To be clear, though- he cannot arbitrarily fire anyone from them. He can dismiss his appointees, but for any regular employee, he would have to direct the agency to dismiss them, and, to do that, the agency would actually have to prove they had cause to fire the employee- negligence, malfeasance, theft, etc.. Because federal employees have long established proper worker protections that afford them the baseline right to be protected against just such arbitrary machinations and only judged on their actual job performance.

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Seneca
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So according to you if Obama orders the ATF to perform X action and they refuse, he cannot fire the people involved?
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
So according to you if Obama orders the ATF to perform X action and they refuse, he cannot fire the people involved?

They can even open a lawsuit about it if they feel that it contradicts their overall mission and duties, as happened with the ICE case that you presented on another thread.
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Wayward Son
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So really what you're complaining about is Obama not changing the existing policy, but actually making it more accurate (by not including "Hispanic" as a "race" anymore). Am I correct?

When did Obama promise to remove the existing race question from the form? [Confused]

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Seneca
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I thought one of Obama's major priorities was to help end racism in America?
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AI Wessex
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Another diversion? Since when does asking someone their race equate to racism?
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
I thought one of Obama's major priorities was to help end racism in America?

To take additional steps towards alleviating it and its effects, at least. But that's only loosely relevant in as much as it takes good demographic data to see where race based disparities exist and for there to develop programs to help compensate for those disadvantages.
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Seneca
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You can't eliminate racism by enacting policies based on race. That's absurd!

As for knowing the rave of gun buyers, how does this aid the transaction or help someone own a gun?

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Wayward Son
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quote:
I thought one of Obama's major priorities was to help end racism in America?
But he is helping to end racism with this, Seneca.

"Hispanic" is no longer a race on the form! [Big Grin]

(Seriously though, do you really think that reducing the amount of race data that the government collects is what Obama meant by helping to "end racism"--assuming that was one of his promises. [Smile] )

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TomDavidson
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quote:
You can't eliminate racism by enacting policies based on race.
Who says?
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
You can't eliminate racism by enacting policies based on race. That's absurd!

Just the opposite- you can't end it any other way. You have to acknowledge and take action to correct disparities if you want them to diminish and eventually go away. If you ignore them they only fester and get worse by the very systemic nature of what racism is.


quote:
As for knowing the rave of gun buyers, how does this aid the transaction or help someone own a gun? [/qb]
It helps manufactures know what guns to make and who to market them to. IT helps Provide data for social and epidemiological research I'm sure there are many other people that use demographic information as well, which is why tracking and producing such demographic information is required as part of pretty much every function of government activity. Your specific question isn't really relevant. It doesn't need to specifically aid any individual transaction to be part of the baseline responsibility to collect compile and publish such information for public consumption.
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Seneca
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quote:
(Seriously though, do you really think that reducing the amount of race data that the government collects is what Obama meant by helping to "end racism"--assuming that was one of his promises. [Smile] )
It should be given how much worse Obama has made racism in America. Polls show that people believe racism is now worse than when he took office, in large part due to his race hustling and race-baiting mixed with class warfare.
http://www.politico.com/story/2014/09/politico-poll-race-relations-under-obama-110924.html

quote:
Just the opposite- you can't end it any other way. You have to acknowledge and take action to correct disparities if you want them to diminish and eventually go away. If you ignore them they only fester and get worse by the very systemic nature of what racism is.
Nope. By trying to "atone" or "make up" for past injustices you just switch the racism around.

quote:
It helps manufactures know what guns to make and who to market them to.
This is one of the funniest things I've seen posted on here. Do you honestly believe the government sends these forms to the gun manufacturers? And to aid them in marketing and what types of guns are popular? [LOL]

quote:
IT helps Provide data for social and epidemiological research I'm sure there are many other people that use demographic information as well, which is why tracking and producing such demographic information is required as part of pretty much every function of government activity.
Given why the 2nd Amendment exists we don't want the government to have this kind of information...

quote:
Your specific question isn't really relevant. It doesn't need to specifically aid any individual transaction to be part of the baseline responsibility to collect compile and publish such information for public consumption.
So you would be OK with forcing everyone to identify their race/ethnicity every time they buy anything, vote, go to the doctor, apply for a job, get married, etc.? Because the same bogus arguments could be made for each of those.
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AI Wessex
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quote:
It should be given how much worse Obama has made racism in America. Polls show that people believe racism is now worse than when he took office, in large part due to his race hustling and race-baiting mixed with class warfare.
The survey did not ask why people think the way they do. You realize that you are imposing your own personal view onto an opinion question for which you can't possibly know the cause factually.
quote:
Nope. By trying to "atone" or "make up" for past injustices you just switch the racism around.
If that's true (and I tend to agree with you here), it's because people are unwilling to give up their racist views, not because Obama's actions aren't intended to deal with racism in a constructive fashion. You should be thinking about how *you* can help change those racist attitudes, not complaining that Obama is trying.
quote:
Given why the 2nd Amendment exists we don't want the government to have this kind of information...
If this was the 18th Century and the revolution was still fresh in everyone's minds, you'd have a partial point. You remind me of a comment I heard yesterday that the passion behind the vote for Scottish independence is due to many people still refusing to accept the 1707 agreement with England.
quote:
So you would be OK with forcing everyone to identify their race/ethnicity every time they buy anything, vote, go to the doctor, apply for a job, get married, etc.? Because the same bogus arguments could be made for each of those.
Whee! You should add that Obama wants laws to make sure you eat your broccoli.
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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
If that's true (and I tend to agree with you here), it's because people are unwilling to give up their racist views, not because Obama's actions aren't intended to deal with racism in a constructive fashion.
You and Seneca both may be mixing up what Obama intends and what Obama accomplishes.

Even if Obama had the best intentions in the world in regards to opposing racial injustice, that doesn't say whether his actions in regards to that are productive or counterproductive.

If there's a Rule One of rationality it's probably "The universe that is doesn't match with the universe that should be". And one of the corollaries to *that* is that some of the roads to hell are paved with good intentions.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
a. Polls show that people believe racism is now worse than when he took office,
The fact that more people are aware of the exiting problem is not the source of the problem, but it is a step toward meaningful action to correct it. If the boat is leaking, it's leaking. The fact that someone finally made you admit that it's leaking doesn't mean the the leak only started because you finally acknowledged it.

quote:
By trying to "atone" or "make up" for past injustices you just switch the racism around.
That's like saying that disinfecting and putting a bandaid on a bad cut is trying to atone for the cut and really only cutting the knife that cut you. It's completely nonsensical. Correcting racism isn't about atoning for anything- it's about correcting the current, active, ongoing harm that it causes. The past gives context and history of the issue, but the self perpetuating harm that racism represents is a current and active problem. Ignoring it won't make it go away, any more than ignoring a leak or a cut will make it magically not be there anymore.
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AI Wessex
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Aris, that's an equivocal response. Do *you* think Obama's efforts are well-conceived? Has the reception not been welcoming due to weakness on his part or bias on the part of those who reject it? I know the answer lies somewhere in the middle, just want your perspective given your physical distance.

[ September 19, 2014, 09:52 AM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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Seneca
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quote:
The survey did not ask why people think the way they do. You realize that you are imposing your own personal view onto an opinion question for which you can't possibly know the cause factually.
Yes that last part is largely my guess about why. Obama has certainly stirred the pot and caused a lot of chaos with actions like interfering with the Zimmerman trial, injecting himself into the Ferguson event, and for the last 5-6 years telling America how racist it is. But racism is a mental thing. It exists if people believe it exists, literally. So he has quite literally helped create more racism than existed prior to him coming into office. The polls among blacks show this as well.

quote:
If that's true (and I tend to agree with you here), it's because people are unwilling to give up their racist views, not because Obama's actions aren't intended to deal with racism in a constructive fashion. You should be thinking about how *you* can help change those racist attitudes, not complaining that Obama is trying.
Racism only exists if people actively believe racist thoughts. It's not a part of people's DNA, it's not a building somewhere. It disappears the moment that no one is thinking racist thoughts and acting on them. Obama took a nation where people thought racism had decreased and told them that it wasn't, so they believed him and started being more racist again. See the problem? It's literally quite that simple.

quote:
If this was the 18th Century and the revolution was still fresh in everyone's minds, you'd have a partial point. You remind me of a comment I heard yesterday that the passion behind the vote for Scottish independence is due to many people still refusing to accept the 1707 agreement with England.
No. If the government had never attempted any illegal mass confiscations you MIGHT have a point, but they already have. And very recently too.
quote:
Whee! You should add that Obama wants laws to make sure you eat your broccoli.
The point was that we have laws against forcing people to identify race for many of those things, those same protections should apply to gun ownership. It only makes sense.

quote:
You and Seneca both may be mixing up what Obama intends and what Obama accomplishes.

Even if Obama had the best intentions in the world in regards to opposing racial injustice, that doesn't say whether his actions in regards to that are productive or counterproductive.

If there's a Rule One of rationality it's probably "The universe that is doesn't match with the universe that should be". And one of the corollaries to *that* is that some of the roads to hell are paved with good intentions.

Oh, I don't think Obama has good intentions. I think he is using the divide and conquer strategy to Balkanize America with racial divisions, class divisions, etc. He has nothing good to run on and doesn't want people uniting against his policies so its much easier to turn Americans on each other than deal with his failed Presidency and all the campaign promises from 2008 that he ditched a long time ago or never had any intention of following. Restore privacy rights? Forget that, time to "remember" that blacks and whites hate each other and that the rich are responsible for your problems. Saul Alinsky would be proud.

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The fact that more people are aware of the exiting problem is not the source of the problem, but it is a step toward meaningful action to correct it. If the boat is leaking, it's leaking. The fact that someone finally made you admit that it's leaking doesn't mean the the leak only started because you finally acknowledged it.

You are trying to make racism sound like a physical object. Racism is 100% purely mental. The way to stop racism is to start treating people equally. The way you want to "equalize" them is impossible in a society that allows private ownership and people to have different amounts of property and to do different things with their life. Are some groups possibly disadvantaged today because of past racism? Probably. But if you attempt to "correct" for that by harming other groups and disadvantaging them then you are creating a new cycle of racism that will eventually cause the exact same thing. You are also likely inspiring racial hatred in those who you are disadvantaging in favor of the "previously oppressed" because those new people today had nothing to do with it and they consider it unfair that they should suffer for it. Corruption of blood is illegal in the US. In this way modern caucasians shouldn't "pay" for the evils that their fathers and grandfathers committed.

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That's like saying that disinfecting and putting a bandaid on a bad cut is trying to atone for the cut and really only cutting the knife that cut you. It's completely nonsensical. Correcting racism isn't about atoning for anything- it's about correcting the current, active, ongoing harm that it causes. The past gives context and history of the issue, but the self perpetuating harm that racism represents is a current and active problem. Ignoring it won't make it go away, any more than ignoring a leak or a cut will make it magically not be there anymore.
Ignoring racism or asking people to simply forget about their racism and maybe explaining why is the only way to get rid of it, because real racism is all mental. The other things you talk about and want to enact policies surrounding will simply create more racism and hostility, not less.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Ignoring racism or asking people to simply forget about their racism and maybe explaining why is the only way to get rid of it, because real racism is all mental.
No. Prejudice is mental. Racism is structural.

Nor do I find, in my experience, that the best way to address a mental issue is to ignore it or ask people to forget it.

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AI Wessex
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Yes, racism in Ferguson Missouri is a "mental problem", but whose? Should we just forget about it? From past statements, I would expect that Rand Paul (and other Libertarians) would say yes. If you don't like it, don't go (or live) there. But if you must do either, don't be black.

[ September 19, 2014, 10:35 AM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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