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-   -   Three Lefts Make a Right, and Three Rights Make a Left (http://www.movieforums.com/community/showthread.php?t=59710)

Yoda 07-24-19 04:29 PM

Re: Three Lefts Make a Right, and Three Rights Make a Left
 
Sounds like a classic "define your terms" situation, then. Because I'll bet Dionne is using "racist" to mean "harboring prejudicable views towards another race" or something, whereas the definition you're apparently advancing includes supporting views that you feel disproportionately harm (or benefit) one race over another. These are very different ideas, and it feels like a lot of people are "borrowing" the potency of that first definition to give their application of the second more rhetorical heft.

Personally, I don't think it helps anything to expand and dilute terms to include more and more things, especially very serious terms. As a general rule, the broader a word's definition, the less significant its application is. So if people want to expand "racist" to include more things, including things that don't necessarily indicate any malice or bigotry, I guess they can, but they should also realize that the term "racist" will inevitably carry less weight than it used to.

Yoda 07-24-19 04:30 PM

Re: Three Lefts Make a Right, and Three Rights Make a Left
 
I'd also object to the idea that being a "white male" means you must be racist. I can sorta get behind the "everybody's at least a little racist" school of thought, simply because having an innate distrust (or even an innate flinch) towards people or things different from you is probably pretty inherent in just being a human, but I can't imagine there's any serious argument that this applies just to some groups, and others are just magically immune to it.

ashdoc 07-24-19 04:32 PM

Originally Posted by John McClane (Post 2025229)
I honestly cannot distinguish the right from the left or the left from the right these days. Which got me thinking: will we be able to recognize the warning signs before authoritarianism takes over?

History shows us that it can arise from the ultra-progressive left just as easily as it can arise from the ultra-conservative right. Extremes bring about extremism.

What do you think? Are developed countries in danger?

NOTE: Not looking to start a flame war or anything. :sick::cool: I just think we can all agree that the divisiveness in the world (namely the UK and USA) is dangerous, yes?
The left has total control over media and arts and culture and simply suppresses any news that would run counter to their views . So it is a kind of authoritarianism .

John McClane 07-24-19 04:46 PM

Originally Posted by Yoda (Post 2025529)
Sounds like a classic "define your terms" situation, then. Because I'll bet Dionne is using "racist" to mean "harboring prejudicable views towards another race" or something, whereas the definition you're apparently advancing includes supporting views that you feel disproportionately harm (or benefit) one race over another. These are very different ideas, and it feels like a lot of people are "borrowing" the potency of that first definition to give their application of the second more rhetorical heft.

Personally, I don't think it helps anything to expand and dilute terms to include more and more things, especially very serious terms. As a general rule, the broader a word's definition, the less significant its application is. So if people want to expand "racist" to include more things, including things that don't necessarily indicate any malice or bigotry, I guess they can, but they should also realize that the term "racist" will inevitably carry less weight than it used to.
Well, there's only one definition for racist, so I don't think defining one's terms is the problem here. Rather that we, as an enlightened and educated society, are more adept at recognizing that systems of power we support are extensions of ourselves. So it's not so much that the term has been expanded but that what we once found as innocuous ideas are now easily recognizable as racist.

Originally Posted by Yoda (Post 2025531)
I'd also object to the idea that being a "white male" means you must be racist. I can sorta get behind the "everybody's at least a little racist" school of thought, simply because having an innate distrust (or even an innate flinch) towards people or things different from you is probably pretty inherent in just being a human, but I can't imagine there's any serious argument that this applies just to some groups, and others are just magically immune to it.
I would only ask have you ever had to contend with your race being a factor that has limited you? Or has your race been brought up in conversation as a way to compliment your normalcy? You and I just cannot speak to these things because we are white. Our systems of power favor our whiteness, and thus we have free access to said power. It's precisely why you can't have "reverse racism" because racism is a matter of an imbalance of power. And since we come from a place where the power resides we cannot not be racist.

But like I said, I don't really want to get into that because it's a whole different can of worms.

Yoda 07-24-19 05:03 PM

Originally Posted by John McClane (Post 2025536)
Well, there's only one definition for racist
:confused:

There are only a couple of things you could mean by this, and neither really makes sense to me. Dictionary.com has one entry for "racism," but it's "the doctrine that one's own racial group is superior or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others," so it doesn't jibe with the meaning you advanced. And if you want to say your version is simply more commonly used (I'm fairly certain it isn't, but we'll say it is for the sake of argument), then invoking usage at all means acknowledging the possibility of it being used differently, in which case "define your terms" is clearly applicable.

And really, how the person you're talking to is using the word should matter to you if you simply care about communicating with them at all, even if you think they're using a word wrongly (which they don't appear to be).

Originally Posted by John McClane (Post 2025536)
Rather that we, as an enlightened and educated society, are more adept at recognizing that systems of power we support are extensions of ourselves. So it's not so much that the term has been expanded but that what we once found as innocuous ideas are now easily recognizable as racist.
See above, and my previous post for that matter, where I specifically mention "malice" and "prejudice." I did this specifically to preempt this kind of response.

I'm aware of the arguments here: the position is that power structures can have systemic racial bias, and obviously societies are in some way (directly or indirectly) responsible for those structures. That's not the issue. The issue is whether the word "racist" should be applied to indirect expressions like this. Saying it shouldn't in no way implies that we should not be "recognizing" the implications or effects of our systems.

Originally Posted by John McClane (Post 2025536)
I would only ask have you ever had to contend with your race being a factor that has limited you?
I reject the implied relevance of the question, but I'll answer it anyway: yeah, mostly because I've lived in overwhelmingly minority neighborhoods most of my life (and live in one right now). And just as I don't think it would matter if my answer was no, I don't expect any extra deference just because the answer is yes.

Originally Posted by John McClane (Post 2025536)
Or has your race been brought up in conversation as a way to compliment your normalcy?
Not that I can recall, no.

Originally Posted by John McClane (Post 2025536)
You and I just cannot speak to these things because we are white.
Which things? None of the things I'm trying to speak to require me to know what it's like to be a minority, something which I obviously cannot know and can never fully appreciate or relate to.

Originally Posted by John McClane (Post 2025536)
Our systems of power favor our whiteness, and thus we have free access to said power. It's precisely why you can't have "reverse racism" because racism is a matter of an imbalance of power. And since we come from a place where the power resides we cannot not be racist.
I think making power an inherent part of racism, rather than just a potential component of it, is totally untenable, since it creates a situation where a minority can literally say "I hate everyone who isn't of my race" and it would still not make them "racist." Which is obviously absurd.

Anyway, none of this is really about what the term "racist" means or how it ought to be used. You're simply arguing that these other things should be factored in cultural/political debates about race, which is certainly true, but orthogonal to the application of the term itself. You can (and should!) believe most of the things above even if you were to adopt a different usage of the term.

John McClane 07-24-19 05:18 PM

Originally Posted by Yoda (Post 2025543)
I reject the implied relevance of the question, but I'll answer it anyway: yeah, mostly because I've lived in overwhelmingly minority neighborhoods most of my life (and live in one right now). And just as I don't think it would matter if my answer was no, I don't expect any extra deference just because the answer is yes.
So if the cops got called to your house you honestly think you'd have the same kind of experience/interaction as your neighbors? If ICE canvased your neighborhood do you seriously think you'd have the same experience as your neighbors? Because I honestly fail to see how living in an overwhelmingly minority neighborhood has limited you. I mean, you're free to give examples of how your whiteness has limited you, but I don't suggest it because it's more than likely just going to be perceived limitations rather than actual limitations.

I'm poor and white, but it is a vastly different experience than being poor and black.

Now let's shake hands and put the worms back in the can and get back on topic. :)

Yoda 07-24-19 05:27 PM

Originally Posted by John McClane (Post 2025545)
So if the cops got called to your house you honestly think you'd have the same kind of experience/interaction as your neighbors?
Originally Posted by John McClane (Post 2025545)
If ICE canvased your neighborhood do you seriously think you'd have the same experience as your neighbors?
Nope. But this isn't what I was asked.

Originally Posted by John McClane (Post 2025545)
Because I honestly fail to see how living in an overwhelmingly minority neighborhood has limited you. I mean, you're free to give examples of how your whiteness has limited you, but I don't suggest it because it's more than likely just going to be perceived limitations rather than actual limitations.
I mean, I was going to answer, but then I got to the part where you basically just told me you weren't going to believe me or care and it became obvious this whole thing was just rhetorical. Seems like the questions are meant to undercut the legitimacy of any argument I make, before I make it, based on how much I've been victimized.

So instead I'll just go back to questioning the relevancy to the question, since I could agree or disagree with literally everything you're saying in this post and it would have no bearing on what should or shouldn't be described as "racist."

Originally Posted by John McClane (Post 2025545)
I'm poor and white, but it is a vastly different experience than being poor and black.
Agreed.

Originally Posted by John McClane (Post 2025545)
Now let's shake hands and put the worms back in the can and get back on topic. :)
:up:

John McClane 07-24-19 05:34 PM

Originally Posted by Yoda (Post 2025548)
I mean, I was going to answer, but then I got to the part where you basically just told me you weren't going to believe me or care and it became obvious this whole thing was just rhetorical. Seems like the questions are meant to undercut the legitimacy of any argument I make, before I make it, based on how much I've been victimized.
Well yeah, because I asked you a simple question and you answered it by saying you live in a neighborhood that's not white. I hate to say it, but that's precisely the thing that would be said by someone who has not had to contend with their race being a limitation.

And I think you're reading too much malice into my responses here, which is why I have chosen to not respond. There's no bad blood here.

ashdoc 07-24-19 05:35 PM

Re: Three Lefts Make a Right, and Three Rights Make a Left
 
Yoda you live in a minority neighborhood ? Which city you live in--i thought Seattle?

ashdoc 07-24-19 05:41 PM

Re: Three Lefts Make a Right, and Three Rights Make a Left
 
I'm poor and white, but it is a vastly different experience than being poor and black
So all this political correctness is only at superficial level ? Inside society is still rotten---racist towards blacks is it ?

Yoda 07-24-19 05:42 PM

Originally Posted by John McClane (Post 2025550)
Well yeah, because I asked you a simple question and you answered it by saying you live in a neighborhood that's not white.
The simple question was this:
I would only ask have you ever had to contend with your race being a factor that has limited you?
You asked if this has "ever" happened. I took the question at face value. If you'd asked me if my race had limited me overall, or if I thought being white had made my life harder than it would've been if I were another race, I would have said "no."

Originally Posted by John McClane (Post 2025550)
And I think you're reading too much malice into my responses here, which is why I have chosen to not respond. There's no bad blood here.
It's cool, I don't think it's malicious. But I do think there's a reflexive thing in these kinds of debates, where people try to establish some kind of Right To Argue hierarchy to undercut what someone is saying, implying that their background or identity may be reason enough to simply dismiss what they're saying without engaging with it. Possibly without even realizing they're doing it. It just seems to be SOP.

As a general rule, I'm pretty suspicious of any question that creates the potential for someone to reject an argument by going around it, or suggesting that it doesn't "count" for some reason, as opposed to just addressing it.

Yoda 07-24-19 05:44 PM

Originally Posted by ashdoc (Post 2025551)
Yoda you live in a minority neighborhood ? Which city you live in--i thought Seattle?
Pittsburgh, I just visit Seattle a lot. Pittsburgh as a whole isn't mostly black (I don't think too many major cities are), but my particular neighborhood is. A few of the ones I grew up in are, too. I was occasionally called racial slurs or insulted for being white. Stupid kid stuff, mostly. Not a big deal.

John McClane 07-24-19 05:50 PM

Re: Three Lefts Make a Right, and Three Rights Make a Left
 
Originally Posted by ashdoc (Post 2025556)
So all this political correctness is only at superficial level ? Inside society is still rotten---racist towards blacks is it ?
More like anyone that isn't white. Like it's been said by others in this thread already there's an oligarchy in this country that promotes policies and candidates that favor their power. Take a look at just about any major corporation's board of directors and you will find a predominately rich, white board. The largest sources of wealth in the world are held by whites. Whilst the economic conditions that they favor largely help/affect the wealthy it's a certain kind of wealthy that is, by and large, held predominately by white people.

I am fairly positive that I have railed on this site before about the rich white man in random arguments. And whilst it sounds like I'm mostly joking I'm really not. I'm concerned more with the rhetoric of our political parties in this thread and not interested in derailing into a discussion/debate about race/racism.

ashdoc 07-24-19 05:51 PM

Originally Posted by Yoda (Post 2025558)
Pittsburgh, I just visit Seattle a lot. Pittsburgh as a whole isn't mostly black (I don't think too many major cities are), but my particular neighborhood is. A few of the ones I grew up in are, too. I was occasionally called racial slurs or insulted for being white. Stupid kid stuff, mostly. Not a big deal.
I too grew up in a Muslim neighborhood but was never subjected to taunts over religion . I guess race is more divisive than religion.

ashdoc 07-24-19 05:58 PM

Originally Posted by John McClane (Post 2025559)
More like anyone that isn't white. Like it's been said by others in this thread already there's an oligarchy in this country that promotes policies and candidates that favor their power. Take a look at just about any major corporation's board of directors and you will find a predominately rich, white board. The largest sources of wealth in the world are held by whites. Whilst the economic conditions that they favor largely help/affect the wealthy it's a certain kind of wealthy that is, by and large, held predominately by white people.

I am fairly positive that I have railed on this site before about the rich white man in random arguments. And whilst it sounds like I'm mostly joking. I'm really not. I'm concerned more with the rhetoric of our political parties in this thread and not interested in derailing into a discussion/debate about race/racism.
I think that is because we are living in a period of history which is still recovering from white rule over the world . I am sure that in the 14th century when the world was recovering from the effects of gengis Khan and mongol rule over Eurasia many people must have been similarly ranting against mongols .

Nostromo87 07-24-19 06:29 PM

The U.S. founding documents are built on enlightened European foundations. Why the anguish for alternative cultures to carjack America? Other nations can build their own civilization too.

Citizen Rules 07-24-19 07:02 PM

My philosophy is this: when some white people keep telling black people they have it worse and can't get ahead in America, that white person isn't helping, but is actually adding to the already increasing racial tensions. Telling a young person they're screwed and can't get ahead is counterproductive. People give up hope when they're constantly told there's no hope for them.

With affirmative action & black college scholarships and anti discrimination laws, a young black person has an equal or even better chance at succeeding today than a white person, if both come from the same economic background and have similar supportive families. Now of course a rich white kid will have a better chance over a poor black kid as they both enter adulthood. But a black child from an affluent family will have a better chance at succeeding than a white child from a poor white family.

The more we stir the racial pot, the more volatile the situation becomes. Don't be that person telling young black people they don't have a future, that's wrong to do to someone.

MovieGal 07-24-19 08:08 PM

My mother always said, "If you cut two people open, everything is in the same place. Color of someone's skin means nothing. You should never treat someone different based on race, gender, creed or sexual orientation. You treat them as you want to be treated."

John McClane 07-24-19 08:54 PM

Re: Three Lefts Make a Right, and Three Rights Make a Left
 
We keep sliding down that racial mountain. Let’s keep on point: those unAmerican bastards keep trying to steal my crackerjacks. We want that prize at the bottom. They hate crackerjacks! Why do they even want them?

MovieGal 07-24-19 09:09 PM

Originally Posted by John McClane (Post 2025586)
We keep sliding down that racial mountain. Letís keep on point: those unAmerican bastards keep trying to steal my crackerjacks. We want that prize at the bottom. They hate crackerjacks! Why do they even want them?
All about American greed baby, its greed!!!!


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