Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Radical Baseball: Matinale: When did it become OK to call someone a racist?

See things have quieted down since the last meeting I took in where the only member of the Slats Marion Belongs in the HOF! group got in my face.

Yesterday I attended a baseball meeting in New York City.  There were about 100 people in the audience.  Two of the speakers explicitly called two Hall of Famers racists.  None of us said a word.

Speaker one talked about the subjects of two biographies she had written, repeatedly using vulgar language.  We remained silent for that also.  She described former Dodger manager Walter Alston as a racist.  Alston was inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Veteran’s Committee as Manager in 1983.  Alston died on October 1, 1984 in Oxford, OH (Aged 72).

The other speaker was the president of the Hall of Fame.  In defending the voting results that have barred users of performance enhancing drugs (PED), presumably including steroids, he mentioned that Ty Cobb was a racist.  That is a familiar refrain and it was not surprising that no one objected.  Cobb was inducted into the Hall of Fame by BBWAA as Player in 1936 (222/226 ballots). Induction ceremony in Cooperstown held in 1939.  Cobb died on July 17, 1961 in Atlanta, GA (Aged 74).

Both Alston and Cobb are long gone and cannot defend themselves.  This post is not a defense but a question.

Repoz Posted: January 28, 2014 at 06:05 AM | 347 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 1 of 4 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›
   1. Bruce Markusen Posted: January 28, 2014 at 07:53 AM (#4647145)
I have never heard this about Alston, who had numerous prominent black players play for him: Robinson, Newcombe, Tommy and Willie Davis, Wills, Roseboro, Gilliam, Lou Johnson, Dick Allen, Frank Robinson, Wynn, Baker, etc.

I've heard criticism that Alston was a poor communicator who didn't talk much to his players, but that has come from as many white players as black players.
   2. John Northey Posted: January 28, 2014 at 08:00 AM (#4647147)
Didn't see anything in the article about the context of why she called the two of them racist. Was it regarding a specific situation, in regards to comments they made, or just a general 'they must be' type thing? If she had statements by Alston and Cobb that were racist in nature, or specific events where they acted that way then it would have reason. If not then one wonders where it came from.

Cobb I always thought of as someone who just hated everyone (extreme rage, super-competitive, etc.) while Alston I have no opinion on (great manager, but otherwise nada as he was well before my time and never really seems to be talked about much).
   3. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 08:01 AM (#4647148)
Why wouldn't it be OK to call someone a racist, if you think they're a racist? And if you object to someone's characterization of a historical figure as a racist, why wouldn't you speak up at the time, instead of writing a passive-aggressive article about it later?

(it's also worth noting, of course, that the author of the Cobb-related quote Matinale cites also spends two whole paragraphs recounting examples of Cobb getting into fights with various African-Americans, and characterizes his views on race as "typical of his times and Georgia upbringing," a statement that kind of speaks for itself. At most, it presents him as a man whose views on race moderated as he grew older. So Matinale isn't exactly playing fair by presenting that SABR piece as a refutation of the idea of Cobb as a racist.)
   4. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: January 28, 2014 at 08:19 AM (#4647152)
Why wouldn't it be OK to call someone a racist, if you think they're a racist?
+1.

For instance, is it okay to call Tris Speaker a racist? There aren't any surviving first-hand accounts of him oppressing anyone, but he was a member of the KKK. Is that a smoking gun, or is it (as some have suggested) not that big a deal because by the time he was a member, the Klan had toned it down?

Certainly there's enough evidence there that it wouldn't really bother me if someone said that about him.

The Alston thing makes a whole lot less sense to me, but maybe the speaker knows something I don't.
   5. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 28, 2014 at 08:28 AM (#4647156)
Didn't see anything in the article about the context of why she called the two of them racist.


My reading is that the writer only called Alston a racist, the HOF president said it about Cobb. I don't think it goes to racism, but didn't Alston almost come to blows to Jackie Robinson, and isn't that considered one of the turning points in his managerial career?

Why wouldn't it be OK to call someone a racist, if you think they're a racist?


I think at least part of the point of the article is, "None of us said a word." If someone wrote a book about Joe Garagiola and said Garagiola isn't funny, that's just opinion. But if someone called him a racist, that's opinion that goes to the basic character of the man, and you would expect people in attendance to speak up in his defense if they thought otherwise.

   6. JRVJ Posted: January 28, 2014 at 08:33 AM (#4647160)
3, from everything I've read about Cobb, he was a misanthrope or a bigot (you take your pick), WHICH INCLUDED disliking blacks.

---
On a more general note, Martinale sort of has a point, but he doesn't know how to articulate it. I believe I read once about he concept of historianism, which argued that it is erroneous to evaluate or appraise historical figures or events using today's standards. Few to no historical figures or events will survive being judged by today's standards (if you've ever heard Dan Carlin's Hardcore History show, that's part of Carlin's point in his sensational Wrath of the Khans series or in his Suffer the Children blitz episode).

   7. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 28, 2014 at 08:35 AM (#4647162)
What bothers me is assigning character traits to behavior. For example, that Sherman guy who went off the rails after the Seahawks game last week. I think it is perfectly fair to call his behavior crazy and unhinged if you want. I think it is unfair to say the man himself is any of those things without more evidence.

The Cobb/Alston thing is odd. I've heard the talk about Cobb enough over the years that I wouldn't feel the need to hear more but Alston comes as a surprise. I'd want more evidence than presented in the article.
   8. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 28, 2014 at 08:37 AM (#4647163)
First of all racist compared to what? And what I mean is I am very comfortable suggesting Cobb was a racist compared to the attitudes of today. Was he a racist compared to the prevalent attitude of his times? That is a much harder question, but it is very possible he was. And if you think he was you should feel free to say so.

And I guess author dude should feel OK not saying anything at the time and writing passive aggressive articles about it. But it makes them kind of a weenie IMO.
   9. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 28, 2014 at 08:53 AM (#4647169)
Why wouldn't it be OK to call someone a racist, if you think they're a racist?

Because it isn't a matter of subjective interpretation.

And obviously the word is used absurdly now, as evidenced by its frequent application herein to the so-called libertarian faction of the board.
   10. Greg K Posted: January 28, 2014 at 08:57 AM (#4647171)
On a more general note, Martinale sort of has a point, but he doesn't know how to articulate it. I believe I read once about he concept of historianism, which argued that it is erroneous to evaluate or appraise historical figures or events using today's standards. Few to no historical figures or events will survive being judged by today's standards (if you've ever heard Dan Carlin's Hardcore History show, that's part of Carlin's point in his sensational Wrath of the Khans series or in his Suffer the Children blitz episode).

This is something I think about occasionally. I have the benefit of studying people now dead for 400 years, but I always felt that judging historical figures was a bit counter-productive.* It can get in the way of the goal (my goal anyway) of immersing yourself in the past and understanding how people saw themselves and their world. Which I always thought was the point of history. The closer you get to your present day I think this approach becomes difficult. 1985 isn't that different a world to 2014. And I suppose the people you'd be judging may very well still be active players.

*It's been particularly problematic in the study of early Stuart England as for a long time historians were caught up in seeing political history as the good guys vs. the bad. Tyrants vs. representative democracy. In other words, seeing the 17th century as one piece of the historical puzzle that eventually created the great liberal democracy of the 19th and 20th centuries rather than a period worthy of study in its own right. As such I think I've developed a certain affinity for seeing historical figures and periods on their own terms.
   11. Eddo Posted: January 28, 2014 at 08:59 AM (#4647172)
Part of me wonders if the name "Alston" was accidentally used instead of "Anson".
   12. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:10 AM (#4647175)
Why wouldn't it be OK to call someone a racist, if you think they're a racist?


The defenders of Muhammad Ali are very sensitive and thin-skinned on this matter.
   13. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:11 AM (#4647176)
Part of me wonders if the name "Alston" was accidentally used instead of "Anson".


That was my first thought as well. I think there's a non-zero chance that's exactly what happened.
   14. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:14 AM (#4647178)
When did calling someone on racist behavior become more problematic than actually being a racist?
   15. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:16 AM (#4647180)
And I guess author dude should feel OK not saying anything at the time and writing passive aggressive articles about it. But it makes them kind of a weenie IMO.


When did it become OK to call someone a weenie?
   16. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:21 AM (#4647185)
And obviously the word is used absurdly now, as evidenced by its frequent application herein to the so-called libertarian faction of the board.

I'd agree that "racist" is way overused by a lot of people, but who's called which libertarians here racists? That's kind of a broad brush you're wielding without any specifics to back it up.

I'm not saying that it's never happened, but if its application has been "frequent", I'd think you'd want to provide at least a few examples.
   17. zonk Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:23 AM (#4647188)
When did calling someone on racist behavior become more problematic than actually being a racist?


Probably about the same time MLK Day became our National Day of White People Telling Black People Not to Race Bait.
   18. Morty Causa Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:26 AM (#4647193)
Racist, fascist, and misogynist used as unthinking kneejerk labels need to be retired from public discourse that presumes to aspire to pass the lowest threshold of intelligent. Indeed, it's obvious that's why they are used: to discourage actual thinking.
   19. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:29 AM (#4647195)
Anson makes a lot more sense than Alston.

First of all racist compared to what? And what I mean is I am very comfortable suggesting Cobb was a racist compared to the attitudes of today


By the standards of today, all MLB players pre-integration were racists. Anyone that belonged to a profession that excluded blacks would be called out for supporting a racist-institution.

   20. Morty Causa Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:31 AM (#4647198)
Everyone is an "ist". Everyone is inclined to think in "ist" terms. And that's not just for race (or sex...). But if you give into that, discourse is impossible. And that's what calling someone a racist is about--suppressing discourse. If you can't see that you don't understand the point to community cohesiveness. But, of course, given the lunatic clown posse mentality here and about, that's a given. Puerile, but, too bad, it almost goes without saying. Thinking is work. Namecalling is not.
   21. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:31 AM (#4647199)
Racist, fascist, and misogynist used as unthinking kneejerk labels need to be retired from public discourse that presumes to aspire to pass the lowest threshold of intelligent. Indeed, it's obvious that's why they are used: to discourage actual thinking.

Exactly correct. They are cudgels to bludgeon your opponent with and de-legitimize his opinions and rights. No different in intent than calling someone bourgeois or kulak in the 1920's USSR.
   22. zonk Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:31 AM (#4647200)
By the standards of today, all MLB players pre-integration were racists. Anyone that belonged to a profession that excluded blacks would be called out for supporting a racist-institution.


So you're saying Murray Chass was right?
   23. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:35 AM (#4647201)
Racist, fascist, and misogynist used as unthinking kneejerk labels need to be retired from public discourse that presumes to aspire to pass the lowest threshold of intelligent.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't you labeled affirmative action "racist"?
   24. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:37 AM (#4647202)
Part of me wonders if the name "Alston" was accidentally used instead of "Anson".


Well, let's see. He says in his piece that he heard the thing about Alston at "a baseball meeting in New York City" on 1/25/14. My guess is that it was the SABR Day meeting at the NY Public Library. Which, per the event description on SABR's site, would make "speaker one", the woman who spoke about Alston, author Jane Leavy.

Leavy has written, among other things, a biography of Sandy Koufax, and in this interview about that book she alludes to problems in the relationship between Alston and Koufax and speculates that Koufax's Jewish status may have played a role in that. She also refers to it in this piece she had written for Sports Illustrated, about ten years ago.

So if my assumptions are accurate, the speaker was speaking about Alston, but was accusing him of a different sort of racism than this piece would suggest. Which means that all the stuff about how fairly Alston treated black people kind of beside the point, as far as the speaker's claim is concerned.
   25. zonk Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:38 AM (#4647203)
Racist, fascist, and misogynist used as unthinking kneejerk labels need to be retired from public discourse that presumes to aspire to pass the lowest threshold of intelligent. Indeed, it's obvious that's why they are used: to discourage actual thinking.

Exactly correct. They are cudgels to bludgeon your opponent with and de-legitimize his opinions and rights. No different in intent than calling someone bourgeois or kulak in the 1920's USSR.


No, sorry... but the idea that there's something awry with calling say, Rush Limbaugh a misogynist or saying that Richard 'normal america' or 'gee, 12 years a slave taught me that slavery might not have been nice for the slaves' Cohen is a racist ######### is nonensical.

If you want to say the terms are overused and misused, that's fine -- but ironically enough, fellas -- what you're proposing to do is PRECISELY what you bemoan others are doing: treating usage of the words in total as cudgets to budgeon an opponent, et al...
   26. jdennis Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:38 AM (#4647204)
For instance, is it okay to call Tris Speaker a racist? There aren't any surviving first-hand accounts of him oppressing anyone, but he was a member of the KKK. Is that a smoking gun, or is it (as some have suggested) not that big a deal because by the time he was a member, the Klan had toned it down?


The other thing is in the 20's, there were more people in the Klan than were in Boy Scouts in 2000. Something like over 5% of America was in the Klan. It was much more mainstream. Governors in northern states were in the Klan.
   27. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:38 AM (#4647205)
Racist, fascist, and misogynist used as unthinking kneejerk labels need to be retired from public discourse that presumes to aspire to pass the lowest threshold of intelligent. Indeed, it's obvious that's why they are used: to discourage actual thinking.


Yes, how can we live in an intellectual milieu where it's okay to suggest that Ty Cobb might have been a little bit racist? How will we ever preserve civility in intellectual exchanges if we allow people to call racist actions racist, in public? David Brooks is terribly worried about what this does to the tone of our discourse.
   28. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:39 AM (#4647206)
They are cudgels to bludgeon your opponent with and de-legitimize his opinions and rights.


Some opinions are inherently illegitimate, and deserve to be treated as such.
   29. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:42 AM (#4647207)
Some opinions are inherently illegitimate, and deserve to be treated as such.


Only fools think this. The rest of us engage.
   30. zonk Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:44 AM (#4647209)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't you labeled affirmative action "racist"?


No, you see -- it's OK to use such terms when, well, "some people" are the predicate object of the thought... the problem is when those some people get all uppity and use the terms themselves.

For example, a woman simply isn't equipped to determine on her own whether a man is being misogynistic or actually a misogynist. However, certain learned men are so in tune with the great ironies of the universe that they alone are blessed with the intellect to determine that certain segments of feminism, for example, are in fact misogynistic.

   31. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:44 AM (#4647210)
Racist, fascist, and misogynist used as unthinking kneejerk labels need to be retired from public discourse that presumes to aspire to pass the lowest threshold of intelligent.


I disagree. These are terms that have meanings. There are people who are racist, fascist and/or misogynist. Allowing the overuse or misuse of perfectly legitimate terms to somehow blacklist those terms is silly. As silly as using the labels "kneejerk" and "unthinking" applied to anyone using those terms. Because by doing that you are exhibiting exactly the same behavior you are claiming to be against.

Some folks reflexively label anything they don't like as racist. Other folks reflexively label anyone using the word racist as unthinking. These are the same behavior and both are wrong. If you want to be a thinking person evaluate the argument given or whatever is before you on its own merits before assigning prefigured labels.

EDIT: I should have refreshed, because zonk said what I wanted to in 25. Coke (the fascist kind) to zonk.
   32. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:45 AM (#4647211)
Some opinions are inherently illegitimate, and deserve to be treated as such.

Very, very few -- far fewer than modern liberals believe.

Other than maybe a misplaced passion for Nickelback or the Yankees, I highly doubt one has ever been expressed on these boards.
   33. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:45 AM (#4647212)
Only fools think this. The rest of us engage.


Well, if you want to "engage" with someone who holds the opinion that it's OK to have sex with a four-year-old, go ahead. You can speak with whomever you want.

I generally have better things to do with my time, though.
   34. Morty Causa Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:47 AM (#4647213)
23:

Sigh. Pretty cheap. AA is not a person (yet). AA is racist--by definition. I made elaborate arguments based on law and evidence to make a precise point (and racial discrimination is precisely defined in law) that those very same people who decried racism spun on a dime when they gained ascendancy and installed a form of it in law. That's called making an argument, and it doesn't rest on mere personal accusations and assumptions. Nor did it rest on my present state of the art sensibilities; nor did I pretend that my point of view was something that went without discussion. Indeed, it was you and people like Matt of Macedonia that couldn't tolerate discussing it. You just knew what racism was and who it could only apply to.
   35. zonk Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:49 AM (#4647216)
The other thing is in the 20's, there were more people in the Klan than were in Boy Scouts in 2000. Something like over 5% of America was in the Klan. It was much more mainstream. Governors in northern states were in the Klan.


Plenty more than 5% of America still believe the earth is only 10K years old and a dude named Adam, who birthed us all, rode dinosaurs... Doesn't make them any more right and I think that it's a fine and positive thing that we no longer afford them the courtesy of pretending their view is anything more than nonsensical babble.

Same goes for whatever percent of Americans were in the Klan in the Klan in the 1920s... I'm all for redemption, and if one cares to renounce bad acts from the past bully and blessings -- but I'll still line up with the 95% that weren't in the Klan, and yes - chide the share of them that didn't look at such a thing as a significant character flaw (especially because there most certainly WERE those who very much did view it - and state it - as a character flaw).
   36. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:50 AM (#4647217)
Only fools think this. The rest of us engage.


You enjoy those fleas.
   37. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:50 AM (#4647218)
Yes, how can we live in an intellectual milieu where it's okay to suggest that Ty Cobb might have been a little bit racist?


Well that's the easy way out. The more challenging assessment of our culture is where it's OK to suggest that, say, Chuck D might have been a little bit racist.
   38. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:53 AM (#4647220)
Some opinions are inherently illegitimate, and deserve to be treated as such.

Correct. And you attack the opinion or the behavior, rather than making a blanket statement tarring the person as an "enemy of the people". You should probably read that play.

Judge actions, don't judge people. There's a pithy quote about that.

Well, if you want to "engage" with someone who holds the opinion that it's OK to have sex with a four-year-old, go ahead. You can speak with whomever you want.

Yet that opinion is neither racist, misogynist, nor facist, and is still horrific, and can be easily discredited.
   39. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:58 AM (#4647221)
Maybe you missed this the first time around, or maybe you're just ducking:

And obviously the word is used absurdly now, as evidenced by its frequent application herein to the so-called libertarian faction of the board.

I'd agree that "racist" is way overused by a lot of people, but who's called which libertarians here racists? That's kind of a broad brush you're wielding without any specifics to back it up.

I'm not saying that it's never happened, but if its application has been "frequent", I'd think you'd want to provide at least a few examples.
   40. donlock Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:59 AM (#4647222)
On Oct. 13, 1858, during his famed debates with Judge Stephen A. Douglas, Lincoln spoke to what he considered to be basic black and white racial differences "which, in my [Lincoln's] judgment, will probably forever forbid their [blacks] living together on the footing of perfect equality."

In the same speech, Lincoln states, "I agree with Judge Douglas that [a black] is not my equal in many respects, certainly not in color - perhaps not in intellectual and moral endowments; but in the right to eat the bread without leave of anybody else which his own hand earns, he is my equal and the equal of Judge Douglas, and the equal of every other man." In this statement, despite his reference to differences in "intellectual and moral endowments," Lincoln shows his belief that both black and white were entitled to equal rights and protection under the Constitution. (Source: The Founder's Library - Lincoln-Douglas Debates)

Racists: Cobb, Alston, and Lincoln?
   41. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:00 AM (#4647225)
Plenty more than 5% of America still believe the earth is only 10K years old and a dude named Adam, who birthed us all, rode dinosaurs... Doesn't make them any more right and I think that it's a fine and positive thing that we no longer afford them the courtesy of pretending their view is anything more than nonsensical babble.


I agree, but I am not 100% convinced that membership in such a group or having such a belief is completely the same as being racist. It is a pretty good indication, but not total confirmation. Some people, sheep like, just follow along with societies base beliefs without really thinking or acting on them.

For example attitudes on GLBTQ have changed hugely in the last few decades. I don't think folks have gone from being total bigots against "the gay" into being tolerant. Instead I think that society has changed (because some peoples opinions have changed and through a whole bunch of hard work and suffering) and a large part of society has just sort of drifted along with the change.

I don't think they stopped being bigots, because I don't think they were actively bigots before (many of them, some were of course bigots). I think they just passively followed the herd. Of course if you want to define racism (being bigoted, or whatever) such that anyone who follows the herd is such, then fine, but I think that is too loose a description.

Shorter version: Being bigoted requires (I think) a certain level of mental commitment, and the fact that attitudes (for example) changing at 1% per year suggest many people don't have any level of commitment to their bigoted belief. Which to me suggests they are at worst (and I am not defending or encouraging) they are passive in such beliefs, while I define racists and bigots as having a more positive belief (loathsome, sure, but with some force).

So while I agree those beliefs are loathsome and not defensible, I reserve my labeling for the true believers. OK, I have some scorn for sheep to, but on all sides, even when they agree with me.
   42. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:01 AM (#4647226)
Judge actions, don't judge people.


Don't judge heretics! Judge heresy by thought! Heresy by deed! Heresy by action!
   43. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:01 AM (#4647227)
The more challenging assessment of our culture is where it's OK to suggest that, say, Chuck D might have been a little bit racist.


Yes, it's way edgier to suggest that classes who have historically been victims of racism are the "real racists" these days, because that means it's totally not our faults any more, man. Here's a quick and easy cut on your attempt at this "edgy" thinking.

Chuck D may have been a bigot. He lacked the fundamental elements of social structuring required to be a racist.
   44. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:06 AM (#4647229)
And you attack the opinion or the behavior, rather than making a blanket statement tarring the person as an "enemy of the people".


Nowhere did I use the phrase "enemy of the people". I'll thank you to not put words in my mouth.

Also, please elaborate: What would you gain by trying to reason and debate with someone who thinks that it's OK to have sex with four-year-olds, as opposed to simply noting that he or she was a pedophile and moving on?

Yet that opinion is neither racist, misogynist, nor facist, and is still horrific, and can be easily discredited.


So what if it's not any of those things? I took the position that some opinions are inherently illegitimate, and you disagreed, so I provided an obvious example of an illegitimate opinion to demonstrate why you were wrong.
   45. Rusty Priske Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:07 AM (#4647231)
How is this even a question?

When is it okay to call someone a racist?

When that person does or says something that is racist.

Not only is it OKAY to call them out, it is something that SHOULD be done.

(The problem we run into on these boards sometimes, are the people who actually believe in so-called 'reverse racism' or engage in 'poor-white-man syndrome'.)
   46. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:08 AM (#4647232)
The more challenging assessment of our culture is where it's OK to suggest that, say, Chuck D might have been a little bit racist.


If you were going to talk about a member of Public Enemy being racist, wouldn't Professor Griff have been the obvious choice?
   47. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:10 AM (#4647233)
If you were going to talk about a member of Public Enemy being racist, wouldn't Professor Griff have been the obvious choice?
Just as long as you don't accuse Terminator X. It's tough to say something racist when you speak with your hands.
   48. Morty Causa Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:11 AM (#4647234)
"Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put in this world to rise above." Reverting, however righteously, to the dank morass of one form of tribalism or another does not advance this quest. And, to coin a phrase, what's sauce for the gander will all too likely become.... You can attempt to shellack that turd to a glossy shine all you want, but it is what it is.
   49. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:11 AM (#4647235)
Yes, it's way edgier to suggest that classes who have historically been victims of racism are the "real racists" these days


I think anyone can be a real racist. Calling out one doesn't excuse another.

Here's a quick and easy cut on your attempt at this "edgy" thinking.

Chuck D may have been a bigot. He lacked the fundamental elements of social structuring required to be a racist.


How delightfully effete of you. So from your well-fortified ivory tower do you believe there is a single "racist" negro in the United States today?
   50. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:13 AM (#4647236)
If you were going to talk about a member of Public Enemy being racist, wouldn't Professor Griff have been the obvious choice?


Chuck D gave props to Louis Farakhan, one of the most shamelessly racist public figures in America today. I'd compare that to endorsing the Klan.

Professor Griff was more of an anti-semite wasn't he?
   51. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:16 AM (#4647237)
Nowhere did I use the phrase "enemy of the people". I'll thank you to not put words in my mouth.

Also, please elaborate: What would you gain by trying to reason and debate with someone who thinks that it's OK to have sex with four-year-olds, as opposed to simply noting that he or she was a pedophile and moving on?

Yet that opinion is neither racist, misogynist, nor facist, and is still horrific, and can be easily discredited.

So what if it's not any of those things? I took the position that some opinions are inherently illegitimate, and you disagreed, so I provided an obvious example of an illegitimate opinion to demonstrate why you were wrong.


I didn't say you did. I was drawing a parallel to a very famous literary work.

Certain labels are used to vilify people. The person you describes actually is a pedophile, so the label fits. But, labeling someone who has consensual sex with a 15 year old a pedophile, is the same sort of labeling/vilification.
   52. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:17 AM (#4647238)
Racist, fascist, and misogynist used as unthinking kneejerk labels need to be retired from public discourse that presumes to aspire to pass the lowest threshold of intelligent.

Morty, correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't you labeled affirmative action "racist"?

   53. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:18 AM (#4647240)
Professor Griff was more of an anti-semite wasn't he?


Jews count as both a race and a religion. Which is the crux of the whole Alston-as-racist argument, as noted earlier.
   54. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:19 AM (#4647241)
ertain labels are used to vilify people. The person you describes actually is a pedophile, so the label fits.


As does calling someone who spouts a bunch of racist bullshit a racist, and acting accordingly.
   55. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:20 AM (#4647242)
So from your well-fortified ivory tower do you believe there is a single "racist" negro in the United States today?


I expect there are many bigots of color. I doubt a percentage point of them have the structural power to be racist in effect, in the world. Is it bad for a black man to be anti-Semitic (the Farakhan complaint above vis a vis Chuck D?) Certainly. Of course. Is it rational or realistic to compare "black racism" with the structural oppression of African Americans by white society for hundreds of years? Of course not. It's absurd to suggest as much.

The lie of the "black racist" is that it reduces racism to a personality trait of the individual, and thus elides the structural racism that is, in point of fact, the only problem of merit to discuss. Chuck D might be a racist "in his heart." If he makes statements that are racist, or does racist things, by all means, call him out for his actions and behaviors. But don't pretend that Chuck D's personal opinions are the same as structural racism. Chuck D can hate every cracker he sees, but it's still not Stop & Frisk.
   56. Morty Causa Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:23 AM (#4647244)
That's all part of the great amorphous ideological "ist" agenda at work. And it maims and kills.

To maintain that people of color (or women) do not have the structural power to be racist (or sexist) doesn't pass a giggle test. They have laws that designate them as favorites. There's an army and navy, and billions of dollars in budgetary funds, behind those laws.
   57. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:25 AM (#4647246)
That's all part of the great amorphous ideological "ist" agenda at work. And it maims and kills.


The fuhk are you on about now, Morty? Speak English.
   58. zonk Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:26 AM (#4647247)

I agree, but I am not 100% convinced that membership in such a group or having such a belief is completely the same as being racist. It is a pretty good indication, but not total confirmation. Some people, sheep like, just follow along with societies base beliefs without really thinking or acting on them.

For example attitudes on GLBTQ have changed hugely in the last few decades. I don't think folks have gone from being total bigots against "the gay" into being tolerant. Instead I think that society has changed (because some peoples opinions have changed and through a whole bunch of hard work and suffering) and a large part of society has just sort of drifted along with the change.

I don't think they stopped being bigots, because I don't think they were actively bigots before (many of them, some were of course bigots). I think they just passively followed the herd. Of course if you want to define racism (being bigoted, or whatever) such that anyone who follows the herd is such, then fine, but I think that is too loose a description.


No doubt, and as I said - very much believe in redemption.

I lay no claim to perfect past -- I'm 40 years old and I am most certainly a child of an era where 'gay' was a slur and I likewise admit that in my youth, I used it as such myself. I will further, however, say that I am ashamed to have to done so, and ashamed without hiding behind excuses of "it was the times". It was wrong, period. I'm not saying that I lay awake at night fretting over my sins as a Jr High Schooler -- but the best and perhaps only way society changes for the better in such regards is to recognize such errors of our past and do what we can discard such things to the attic of history.

On Oct. 13, 1858, during his famed debates with Judge Stephen A. Douglas, Lincoln spoke to what he considered to be basic black and white racial differences "which, in my [Lincoln's] judgment, will probably forever forbid their [blacks] living together on the footing of perfect equality."

In the same speech, Lincoln states, "I agree with Judge Douglas that [a black] is not my equal in many respects, certainly not in color - perhaps not in intellectual and moral endowments; but in the right to eat the bread without leave of anybody else which his own hand earns, he is my equal and the equal of Judge Douglas, and the equal of every other man." In this statement, despite his reference to differences in "intellectual and moral endowments," Lincoln shows his belief that both black and white were entitled to equal rights and protection under the Constitution. (Source: The Founder's Library - Lincoln-Douglas Debates)

Racists: Cobb, Alston, and Lincoln?


I can still admire the great things a Lincoln or even a Washington accomplished without turning them into cartoon characters of perfection, free of any defects. In fact, if we truly wish to emulate the greatness of past accomplishments, the best way to do so is to set the bar higher -- to understand where Lincoln (whomever) did fall short.

For example, there was a contemporary of Lincoln's -- Thaddeus Stevens -- who would have blanched at such a statement. Stevens was forever urging Lincoln to move faster and with greater determination on the question of not just slavery, but actual suffrage and equality. Stevens' views were somewhat radical for his time -- education for all, including Africans, Natives, etc... and the man even in death, would only be buried in a cemetery that didn't discriminate based on race.

I can accept the realities that perhaps the nation and society only advances with a moderated Lincoln rather than a radical Stevens guiding it.... but especially with the benefit of hindsight, and strictly limited to the question of equality, I think it is criminal that the common view of someone like Thaddeus Stevens is probably still the Birth of a Nation caricature rather than that of the better angel we would often be wiser to heed.

Praise Lincoln's practicality... but don't forget Stevens' idealism. Today, we have the luxury of both in such matters and that's a very good thing.
   59. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:27 AM (#4647249)
Chuck D may have been a bigot. He lacked the fundamental elements of social structuring required to be a racist.

The modern liberal perspective on race reduces to holding white people accountable for the world ills, implementing a tiered structure of expectations on the races, and advocating discrimination against whites in school admissions and hiring.

It's therefore quite ... convenient, is it not, that only white people can be "racist"?
   60. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:28 AM (#4647250)
That's** all part of the great amorphous ideological "ist" agenda at work. And it maims and kills***.

**What does "That's" refer to?

***What the hell does that even mean?

And BTW is affirmative action "racist"?
   61. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:28 AM (#4647251)
As does calling someone who spouts a bunch of racist ######## a racist, and acting accordingly.

Yes, if a person says blacks are sub-human and should be denied basic civil rights, by all means call him a racist.

But the label is applied far, far more broadly. I mean for Pete's sake, Walter Alston is being called a racist here b/c he may have had a bad relationship with one Jewish guy.
   62. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:29 AM (#4647252)
Chuck D can hate every cracker he sees, but it's still not Stop & Frisk.

Racial hatred is far worse than "Stop & Frisk." It's bizarre that you would think otherwise.
   63. Lassus Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:29 AM (#4647253)
Just as long as you don't accuse Terminator X.

I wonder if the rap experts here on the board consider Terminator X and the Godfathers of Threat - Super Bad the lost, unheralded benchmark that I do.
   64. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:32 AM (#4647256)
The modern liberal perspective on race reduces to holding white people accountable for the world ills,

The modern SBB loves to throw out broad brush accusations without feeling the slightest obligation to back them up with anything more than further assertions. You still haven't given us any examples of anyone here calling any member of "the so-called libertarian faction of the board" a "racist", even though you asserted that this was a "frequent" occurrence back in #9.
   65. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:33 AM (#4647257)
The modern liberal perspective on race reduces to holding white people accountable for the world ills


God, you're such an idiot on this topic. We are talking about race in America. America, in case you haven't noticed, was founded by white people. The racism inherit in America is white. It requires a stupidity so large as to dwarf the sun to fail to grasp this basic fact of history.
   66. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:34 AM (#4647258)
Racial hatred is far worse than "Stop & Frisk."


Personal opinion is never worse than structural oppression.
   67. Morty Causa Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4647260)
I can still admire the great things a Lincoln or even a Washington accomplished without turning them into cartoon characters of perfection, free of any defects. In fact, if we truly wish to emulate the greatness of past accomplishments, the best way to do so is to set the bar higher -- to understand where Lincoln (whomever) did fall short.

But that goes to the issue: accusing people of one thing or another using a present standard as if it were an absolute that could have been applied at any time anywhere. It's a main impediment to understanding the past.
   68. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:36 AM (#4647261)

Everyone is an "ist". Everyone is inclined to think in "ist" terms. And that's not just for race (or sex...). But if you give into that, discourse is impossible. And that's what calling someone a racist is about--suppressing discourse. If you can't see that you don't understand the point to community cohesiveness. But, of course, given the lunatic clown posse mentality here and about, that's a given. Puerile, but, too bad, it almost goes without saying. Thinking is work. Namecalling is not.


So namecalling is bad, unless somebody is part of a "lunatic clown posse", or "puerile". Then it's right and proper. Care to share the full style guide?
   69. Morty Causa Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:39 AM (#4647263)
52:

You've been corrected. See 34.
   70. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:40 AM (#4647265)
God, you're such an idiot on this topic. We are talking about race in America. America, in case you haven't noticed, was founded by white people. The racism inherit in America is white. It requires a stupidity so large as to dwarf the sun to fail to grasp this basic fact of history.

Collective guilt is a very ugly concept.

I share no blame for what a bunch of people did 100-200+ years before my birth, and long before any of my ancestors set foot on this continent.
   71. zonk Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:40 AM (#4647266)
I met Chuck D at a charity event I got invited to as a tagalong a few years back -- over a pastry, we discussed P2P file sharing, immigration policy, and 80s era rap and despite my being so white I glow in the dark -- he never oppressed, insulted, or otherwise gave any indication he was in fact giving the other black folks in the room secret signals to jump me in the alley afterwards.
   72. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:41 AM (#4647267)
But the label is applied far, far more broadly. I mean for Pete's sake, Walter Alston is being called a racist here b/c he may have had a bad relationship with one Jewish guy.


No, she's saying that Alston might have had a bad relationship with that one Jewish guy because he was racist. The causality chain works in the other direction.

(She may or may not be right - I don't really know.)
   73. Lassus Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:42 AM (#4647268)
I share no blame for what a bunch of people did 100-200+ years before my birth, and long before any of my ancestors set foot on this continent.

You mean like lynching?
   74. Morty Causa Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:42 AM (#4647269)
68:

What a fish.
   75. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:42 AM (#4647270)
I share no blame for what a bunch of people did 100-200+ years before my birth, and long before any of my ancestors set foot on this continent.


No one ever said you did. The problem seems to be that you guys want to claim victimization status that simply doesn't exist, because it's easier than acknowledging the world as it is.
   76. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:42 AM (#4647271)
So namecalling is bad, unless somebody is part of a "lunatic clown posse", or "puerile". Then it's right and proper. Care to share the full style guide?

You don't understand. Gods don't answer letters, and Morty doesn't like to answer questions about his poetic generalities.
   77. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:47 AM (#4647274)
I share no blame for what a bunch of people did 100-200+ years before my birth, and long before any of my ancestors set foot on this continent.
But you benefit from the ongoing impacts of their actions on institutions. As do I.
   78. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:49 AM (#4647275)
Chuck D gave props to Louis Farakhan, one of the most shamelessly racist public figures in America today. I'd compare that to endorsing the Klan.


Well, Farrakhan is pretty racist. I guess it'd depend what kind of "props" Chuck gave him - I don't really know anything about that.
   79. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:49 AM (#4647276)
Racist, fascist, and misogynist used as unthinking kneejerk labels need to be retired from public discourse that presumes to aspire to pass the lowest threshold of intelligent.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't you labeled affirmative action "racist"?

23:

Sigh. Pretty cheap. AA is not a person (yet). AA is racist--by definition.


That wasn't a distinction you made in your original comment.

I made elaborate arguments based on law and evidence to make a precise point (and racial discrimination is precisely defined in law) that those very same people who decried racism spun on a dime when they gained ascendancy and installed a form of it in law. That's called making an argument, and it doesn't rest on mere personal accusations and assumptions. Nor did it rest on my present state of the art sensibilities; nor did I pretend that my point of view was something that went without discussion. Indeed, it was you and people like Matt of Macedonia that couldn't tolerate discussing it. You just knew what racism was and who it could only apply to.

So I take it that Lyndon Johnson, when he established the first affirmative action program, was a "racist", but otherwise it's a problematic term to throw around when applied to----whom, exactly? Ty Cobb? Jesse Helms? You tell me.
   80. Joey B. Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:49 AM (#4647277)
But the label is applied far, far more broadly. I mean for Pete's sake, Walter Alston is being called a racist here b/c he may have had a bad relationship with one Jewish guy.</I>

The "you're a racist" gambit is also frequently used by a certain type of person as a debating tactic to try to silence people and stifle certain disagreements and criticisms, particularly if you're criticizing someone that person likes and that person happens to be a minority.

I've had guys here try to pull that on me, but the effectiveness of this tactic has greatly diminished due to its overuse.
   81. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:52 AM (#4647282)
I've had guys here try to pull that on me


I've never noticed racism, per se, in you Joey. It's hard to get past the raving functional idiocy.
   82. Morty Causa Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:52 AM (#4647283)
The racism inherit in America is white.

The racism inherent in America, and everywhere, is racism. It's like ice cream: there can be different flavors that predominate in certain times at certain places--and roles can be modified--but it's all racism. American didn't invent racism. Your favored class emanated from an aboriginal culture that was rife with it. But it didn't invent it either. Why is that given that applies to all humanity (and creatures) so hard to understand? Why do you not want to work at getting rid of all racism, in all forms and principles, rather than just changing the recipe. It's biological, and one of the things biology explains nicely is how we get satisfaction from inflicting hurt. It's not enough to prevail; the enemy, and there must be an enemy (from fathers to progeny down to the end of time), must suffer shame as well as defeat and pain, even when it's counterproductive--maybe especially because it's counterproductive.
   83. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:53 AM (#4647286)
But you benefit from the ongoing impacts of their actions on institutions. As do I.

Can't speak for you, but I certainly haven't. The myriad of schools-cum-credentialing institutions I've dealt with have all downgraded me in the admissions process for being white. For virtually all my years of work, being a white male has put me at a disadvantage for hiring and promotion.

Obviously there was a time when the nation's institutions heavily favored whites and males, and heavily disfavored nonwhites and women. That time had long passed by the time I engaged with them; indeed, racially conscious favoritism had been implemented to (purportedly) counter the discrimination of previous times.
   84. GregD Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:54 AM (#4647288)
I can still admire the great things a Lincoln or even a Washington accomplished without turning them into cartoon characters of perfection, free of any defects. In fact, if we truly wish to emulate the greatness of past accomplishments, the best way to do so is to set the bar higher -- to understand where Lincoln (whomever) did fall short.

For example, there was a contemporary of Lincoln's -- Thaddeus Stevens -- who would have blanched at such a statement. Stevens was forever urging Lincoln to move faster and with greater determination on the question of not just slavery, but actual suffrage and equality. Stevens' views were somewhat radical for his time -- education for all, including Africans, Natives, etc... and the man even in death, would only be buried in a cemetery that didn't discriminate based on race.

I can accept the realities that perhaps the nation and society only advances with a moderated Lincoln rather than a radical Stevens guiding it.... but especially with the benefit of hindsight, and strictly limited to the question of equality, I think it is criminal that the common view of someone like Thaddeus Stevens is probably still the Birth of a Nation caricature rather than that of the better angel we would often be wiser to heed.

Praise Lincoln's practicality... but don't forget Stevens' idealism. Today, we have the luxury of both in such matters and that's a very good thing.


Go Thaddeus! I have a bobblehead of him on my desk. From a Lancaster minor league game, though I unfortunately had to buy it since not close enough.

Lots of people have tried to "get right" with Lincoln; Eric Foner has a careful exploration of Lincoln's shifting view of race in his recent book. It argues Lincoln always hated slavery but shared the common views of black inferiority for most of his life, perhaps had come to doubt them in the late 50s and then his encounters with black people in Washington D.C. shifted him toward at least an openness to equality by 1863-65.

Your effort to put them in context is the right way, since it is folly to expect historical figures to match contemporary standards.

As I see it, there was one political party that by the 1850s was in the north dedicating itself to making racism the crucial plank of its platform to distract from arguments about slavery. Stephen Douglas was the leader of these guys. Lincoln never had a second for this party or these people. This party would promulgate the word miscegenation in the 1864 campaign to charge that Lincoln was promoting interracial sex. If racism was really what mattered most to you, you found your home there.

There was another party that put opposition to slavery as the main plank but had huge divides within it about racial equality. Lincoln was part of a group that wanted to make the issue the political and legal and economic consequences of slavery and to underplay race. In 58, he said that quote above to Douglas as a way of saying race isn't the issue. Would he have been more admirable if he had stopped and said, no blacks are perfectly equal? Sure. Did he himself bring up racial inequality? Virtually never in public. In a debate, getting yelled at as a n-lover, he ceded ground to racists with the "perhaps" in order to turn the discussion back to what he thought mattered, the restriction of slavery. By the 1860s, he stopped doing that in public; of course he didn't face precisely the same political pressures either.

Stevens, as you say, was different. He scourged people who paraded racial inferiorty as unChristian and unscientific. He also paid a political price for that, among other things. When he ran for the U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania at the height of his powers, he was crushed in humiliating fashion.

Lincoln basically never publicly brought up the idea of racial inequality; he also held open the idea that it was possible that the races had equal capacities (though he doubted the ability of white Americans to peaceably accept an equal, biracial society); he also did not seek out moments to proclaim racial equality; he also was careful not to hurt himself politically. To me that slots him between, say, John Sherman and James Garfield in the anti-slavery but unsure about equality wing of the Republican Party and so much closer than the anti-racism faction of the country than most people, but not of it.
   85. Morty Causa Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:56 AM (#4647289)
You don't understand. Gods don't answer letters, and Morty doesn't like to answer questions about his poetic generalities.

That reminds me: TCM has three very good Michael Caine movies tonight. Get Carter's take on film noir is brutal. Pulp is an original--a surreal satire of film noir. And Gambit is just a fun caper movie.
   86. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:56 AM (#4647290)
No, she's saying that Alston might have had a bad relationship with that one Jewish guy because he was racist. The causality chain works in the other direction.

(She may or may not be right - I don't really know.)


She is completely inferring the causation. Maybe he just thought Koufax was a prick and hated his guts for totally personal reasons.

Unless you see a pattern of bad relationship with Jewish players, it's irresponsible to infer anti-semitism.
   87. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:58 AM (#4647293)
No one ever said you did. The problem seems to be that you guys want to claim victimization status that simply doesn't exist, because it's easier than acknowledging the world as it is.

I've never claimed victimization.
   88. The Good Face Posted: January 28, 2014 at 11:00 AM (#4647294)
But you benefit from the ongoing impacts of their actions on institutions. As do I.


The only institutions that uphold and enforce racism in America do so for the benefit of blacks and other non-whites. Show me these "racist" institutions you guys keep blathering about. While you're at it, perhaps you could explain why blacks have lost so much ground in key areas like family formation, incarceration rates, and employment rates since the days when there was REAL institutional racism?
   89. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 28, 2014 at 11:02 AM (#4647297)
Show me these "racist" institutions you guys keep blathering about.


The NYPD comes immediately to mind. The entire criminal justice system is still racist in function.
   90. Blastin Posted: January 28, 2014 at 11:04 AM (#4647300)
But you benefit from the ongoing impacts of their actions on institutions. As do I.


There it is, on the nose 100%. Institutionally, men still benefit from sexism, white folks from racism, straight folks from homophobia, etc. Until this goes away in some distant future, sure, everyone can be bigoted (and shouldn't be), but those who benefit from the power structure have the capacity to exercise various isms in a way that other bigoted folks just.. can't (for the most part).
   91. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 28, 2014 at 11:08 AM (#4647303)
In a debate, getting yelled at as a n-lover, he ceded ground to racists with the "perhaps" in order to turn the discussion back to what he thought mattered, the restriction of slavery. By the 1860s, he stopped doing that in public; of course he didn't face precisely the same political pressures either.

Lincoln used this strategy in his legal work as well. He was well known for conceding whatever points he had to to get the court to side with him on the crucial issue in the case. "It's true that my client did X, and it's also true that my client did Y, but what's really important here is that he didn't do Z."
   92. Morty Causa Posted: January 28, 2014 at 11:08 AM (#4647304)
So I take it that Lyndon Johnson, when he established the first affirmative action program, was a "racist", but otherwise it's a problematic term to throw around when applied to----whom, exactly? Ty Cobb? Jesse Helms? You tell me.

I don't throw it around when it comes to LBJ or Ty Cobb. But some do. And others do it when it comes to other people. That doesn't mean that in certain exact cases and instances it isn't applicable. But that's the point that's being objected to--it's thrown about all too promiscuously and indefinitely. It's not to be used as an all-purpose wild card whenever you want to put someone down. If X is a racist because he does Y, that can't mean that's all he does, or that it overrides everything he does (Hitler gag coming, I'm sure).
   93. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 28, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4647309)
I don't throw it around when it comes to LBJ or Ty Cobb. But some do. And others do it when it comes to other people. That doesn't mean that in certain exact cases and instances it isn't applicable. But that's the point that's being objected to--it's thrown about all too promiscuously and indefinitely.


Let's all stop dancing around the May pole and just be clear, shall we? Morty is complaining that people call him and/or others racist when they dare to boldly ask the purely intellectual question that no one in history has ever been strong enough to ask: "Are black people intellectually inferior to white people?"
   94. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: January 28, 2014 at 11:16 AM (#4647310)
Can't speak for you, but I certainly haven't. The myriad of schools-cum-credentialing institutions I've dealt with have all downgraded me in the admissions process for being white. For virtually all my years of work, being a white male has put me at a disadvantage for hiring and promotion.

Are you familiar with the idea of the invisible knapsack of privilege? You may (probably) disagree with it but that's an argument that would counter yours.
   95. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 11:18 AM (#4647312)
She is completely inferring the causation.


You sound pretty certain of that for a guy who hasn't actually listened to her lecture or read her book. Now who's jumping to conclusions?
   96. PreservedFish Posted: January 28, 2014 at 11:19 AM (#4647313)
Until this goes away in some distant future, sure, everyone can be bigoted (and shouldn't be), but those who benefit from the power structure have the capacity to exercise various isms in a way that other bigoted folks just.. can't (for the most part).


What is my "capacity to exercise" racism? The fact that I don't get stopped and frisked? That I might benefit in an unknowable way during a job interview?

I really don't get the impulse to limit the word "racism" to powerful institutional racism. I guess it's the larger and ultimately more important conversation, but it seems silly to limit the definition so that it only refers to a time- and place-specific phenomenon.

Is it naive to ask for a definition of racism? If I say "Jews are really smart," is that racist? How about "Finns are usually humorless?"
   97. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 11:19 AM (#4647314)
While you're at it, perhaps you could explain why blacks have lost so much ground in key areas like family formation, incarceration rates, and employment rates since the days when there was REAL institutional racism?


Because the country systematically works against the poor in a number of different ways, and African Americans are disproportionately poor as a consequence of past racism.
   98. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 28, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4647315)
The NYPD comes immediately to mind.

By the time the NYPD gets to the vast majority of the stop and friskees, they've already suffered from the bigotry of lower expectations that constitutes the very core of modern liberalism.

Modern liberalism is all about benefits and expectations and obligations being a function of race. If there's one thing the modern liberal simply will not do, it's hold non-whites to the same standards and set of expectations as whites -- a process that starts in very early childhood. If you want to rank the deleterious social impact of bigoted policies, you need look no further than here for your king of the hill and top of the heap.
   99. GregD Posted: January 28, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4647316)
I don't throw it around when it comes to LBJ or Ty Cobb. But some do. And others do it when it comes to other people. That doesn't mean that in certain exact cases and instances it isn't applicable. But that's the point that's being objected to--it's thrown about all too promiscuously and indefinitely. It's not to be used as an all-purpose wild card whenever you want to put someone down. If X is a racist because he does Y, that can't mean that's all he does, or that it overrides everything he does (Hitler gag coming, I'm sure).
I agree that the naming of racists can be counterproductive; it makes racism into a personal failing, instead of a structural problem.

Were most 1940s-1950s whites racists? Who cares? What matters is that the government in that period poured enormous sums of money into wealth transfer programs to whites by deliberately excluding blacks from federally supported housing loans and from Social Security. You can't correct that by changing people's hearts; you have to correct policy through policy.
   100. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 28, 2014 at 11:22 AM (#4647317)
That reminds me: TCM has three very good Michael Caine movies tonight. Get Carter's take on film noir is brutal. Pulp is an original--a surreal satire of film noir. And Gambit is just a fun caper movie.

Already have Pulp, and the other two were already pre-programmed to record while I'm out this evening. I'm just starting to catch up with the films of those years.
Page 1 of 4 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
BarrysLazyBoy
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogAngels, Red Sox discontinue pension plans for non-uniformed personnel - LA Times
(10 - 11:38am, Dec 20)
Last: You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR)

NewsblogOT: Soccer December 2014
(312 - 11:31am, Dec 20)
Last: frannyzoo

NewsblogThe 2015 HOF Ballot Collecting Gizmo!
(129 - 11:09am, Dec 20)
Last: cercopithecus aethiops

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - December 2014
(752 - 11:09am, Dec 20)
Last: GregD

NewsblogOT: Politics - December 2014: Baseball & Politics Collide in New Thriller
(5068 - 11:06am, Dec 20)
Last: Morty Causa

NewsblogMax Scherzer not a realistic option, New York Yankees' Randy Levine says - ESPN New York
(78 - 10:18am, Dec 20)
Last: cercopithecus aethiops

NewsblogThe right — and wrong — way for Mets to get Tulowitzki | New York Post
(2 - 10:09am, Dec 20)
Last: BDC

NewsblogAmazin' Avenue - Cohen: Mets and Rockies discussing Troy Tulowitzki deal with Noah Syndergaard as the centerpiece
(41 - 10:07am, Dec 20)
Last: formerly dp

NewsblogTrading Justin Upton means the Braves are in full rebuilding mode | Mark Bradley blog
(81 - 10:04am, Dec 20)
Last: Rickey! trades in sheep and threats

NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
(1360 - 9:21am, Dec 20)
Last: Greg K

NewsblogThe 4 surprisingly quiet teams of the MLB offseason
(31 - 9:05am, Dec 20)
Last: Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer

NewsblogOC Register | Former Angels prospect Ryan Bolden shot to death
(5 - 8:32am, Dec 20)
Last: AndrewJ

NewsblogFull Count » Source: Red Sox close to deal sending Will Middlebrooks to Padres for Ryan Hanigan
(11 - 3:27am, Dec 20)
Last: The TVerik of Lordly Might

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(9174 - 1:15am, Dec 20)
Last: PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth)

NewsblogJerry Crasnick on Twitter: "Jake Peavy has agreed on 2 yr deal with
(13 - 12:13am, Dec 20)
Last: Gonfalon Bubble

Page rendered in 0.8938 seconds
48 querie(s) executed