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Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Jack Morris under fire for using Asian accent during Shohei Ohtani at-bat

Tigers announcer and Hall of Fame pitcher Jack Morris was criticizing after using an accent to answer a question about Shohei Ohtani in Detroit’s game against the Angels on Tuesday night.

Morris was asked by Bally Sports play-by-play man Matt Shepard what the Tigers “should do with Shohei Ohtani?” during his at-bat in the sixth inning.

Morris responded by attempting to use an Asian accent and saying, “Be very, very careful.”

The 66-year-old Morris apologized before Ohtani’s next at-bat.

“Well folks, Shohei Ohtani is coming to the plate and it’s been brought to my attention, and I sincerely apologize if I offended anybody, especially anybody in the Asian community for what I said about pitching and being careful to Shohei Ohtani,” Morris said.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 18, 2021 at 11:37 AM | 515 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: jack morris

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   401. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 26, 2021 at 11:36 PM (#6036642)
Also, thanks for 311, Andy—sorry for not seeing it at first.

I agree that voting rights are a crucial fight right now, but it can’t be the only fight—because between the national Democratic Party and the current Supreme Court, it sure looks like it’s gonna be a losing one…..


From where I see it, voting rights are the engine that will (or won't) drive all the other necessary reforms. If there were far more substantive equality in this country right now, equality that was more broadly distributed among the lower half of the economic spectrum, I don't think you'd be seeing all these secondary issues dominating so much of the conversation. The problem is that it's much easier to send out a tweet than it is to do real political organizing. Change is hard, and to too great an extent this is an age of instant gratification.

FWIW, as a white guy who’s spent time teaching American lit in classrooms for more than two decades now, things have changed pretty decisively in that particular context.

Ten years ago, I’d have spoken the word “n****r” if reading out loud, if it played a key role in the text, if, say, Countee Cullen’s “Incident” was up for consideration—the “:n-word” alternative seemed infantile.

Today—nope. Events have made clear that the use/mention distinction may obtain in philosophy of language, but not in the contemporary classroom.


I can't dispute the facts on the ground as you present them, as it's been a long time since I've seen the inside of a classroom, but IMO it's a sad reflection on our current culture that many people (and not just teenagers) can't see the distinction between quoting an historical document out loud and agreeing with the sentiments behind that document. But of course this is the heart of what we've been talking about for this entire thread, and by this time I think people know my sentiments on the subject.
   402. . Posted: August 27, 2021 at 04:49 AM (#6036647)
And to quite a few people it WAS offensive that a grown adult said this word to a teen in front of other teens even if it was not directed at anyone. You may feel thats not offensive, but the teens and the teens parents found it offensive, his boss found it offensive, and it got him fired.


Except we know that's not true and can't be true because grown adults say that word to teens and in front of teens routinely as shown at length above. Teens routinely see and hear Black humans called the n-word, aggressively, and nothing of the sort happened here. It's fake "offense," in every dimension.

Frankly, if you aren't offended by seeing and hearing a Black human being called the n-word aggressively but you are offended by this, the problem is really with you and it's within that you should be looking.
   403. Lassus Posted: August 27, 2021 at 08:04 AM (#6036649)
Watch, for example, Menace II Society

Using a 30-year-old film for your prime example of current wider culture is certainly a take.
   404. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 27, 2021 at 08:14 AM (#6036651)
It is 100% solely entirely about nothing else except being offensive. That's what potentially makes it unacceptable.


There is a whole host of behavior that is not offensive that is unacceptable at work. Drinking beer in a speedo while listening to death metal turned up to 11 is not offensive per se, but it is not acceptable in the vast majority of work situations.

The whole offensive red herring is dumb. There is OK work behavior and not OK work behavior, and everyone understands that.

EDIT: Well, OK, almost everyone.
   405. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 27, 2021 at 08:23 AM (#6036653)
And if I started using an exaggerated stereotypical Indian accent at work, in a large presentation to all the upper management, or something equally public, you know what? I would get fired. Because it is wildly inappropriate for a work situation. No matter if my coworkers from India were offended or not. Even if I saw a TV show or listened to some music that featured that exact same behavior.
   406. . Posted: August 27, 2021 at 08:24 AM (#6036654)
Using a 30-year-old film for your prime example of current wider culture is certainly a take.


It's on HBO Max as of no more than a month ago, when I watched it again. Nor is it the "prime example" -- hip-hop is ample enough evidence. I'm sure more current movies could be found; that one just seemed fresh in ye ol' head given said recent viewing.

Black people are routinely called "...." aggressively in front of teenagers. It's essentially a staple of teen culture. Undeniable. The claim that said ears were "offended" by hearing it in an innocuous, non-aggressive sense where no one was called anything therefore doesn't pass the laugh test. It's a phony claim.
   407. simon bedford Posted: August 27, 2021 at 08:45 AM (#6036655)
Again perhaps you dont find it offensive, but you assume a bunch of teens you do not know saw the movie? you know that they listen to rap and are a-ok with anyone dropping the n bomb in any circumstance?
no you dont know this, and you keep pretending that it is outrageous that people feel differently about things than you do because there is a lot of rap and movies so that makes it ok.
As Mellow has pointed out now 4 times, pop culture , movies songs etc are not "real life" and behaving the way someone acts in a movie at the work place could easily get you fired 100 times over, it is not JUST about how offended you think someone is.
   408. . Posted: August 27, 2021 at 08:49 AM (#6036656)
Bitter Mouse appears to be ignorance-is-blissfully unaware of people getting fired for "offensive" language/conduct unconnected to the workplace, including the very Teen Vogue situation discussed at length upthread. Nor does he appear at all cognizant of the reality that if he did an Instagram post from his home with the "exaggerated stereotypical Indian accent" he would be liable for pretty much the exact same discipline as if he'd used it at work and it would be no defense to said discipline that he didn't do it at work. Such a "defense" would get laughed out of the HR office.
   409. . Posted: August 27, 2021 at 08:53 AM (#6036657)
Again perhaps you dont find it offensive, but you assume a bunch of teens you do not know saw the movie? you know that they listen to rap and are a-ok with anyone dropping the n bomb in any circumstance?


If McNeil had called a Black person a "...," they would be rightfully offended even though that's done in pop culture and he obviously would have been rightfully fired. But that's not what happened and not the claim. The claim is that the word itself is offensive. That's a fake claim, entirely belied by reality.

Work doesn't have anything to do with it; that's a fake claim, too, thrown out there in desperation to try to justify an untenable position. See, e.g., Teen Vogue and a bunch of other examples. See also, hypothetical McNeil Instagram post or YouTube video with exactly the same words.

movies songs etc are not "real life"


Songs are "real life" in every particular. Movies are mostly real life, though the events depicted don't purport to have happened in real life. Kind of a strange claim.
   410. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 27, 2021 at 09:00 AM (#6036659)
Bitter Mouse appears to be ignorance-is-blissfully unaware of people getting fired for "offensive" language/conduct unconnected to the workplace, including the very Teen Vogue situation discussed at length upthread. Nor does he appear at all cognizant of the reality that if he did an Instagram post from his home with the "exaggerated stereotypical Indian accent" he would be liable for pretty much the exact same discipline as if he'd used it at work and it would be no defense to said discipline that he didn't do it at work.


The thread is ... wait for it ... about a guy who got fired/disciplined/whatever for inappropriate behavior at work. Go look at the linked article. I'll wait.

You and others keep harping on "offensive" as if that is all that matters. I know a guy that got fired because he wouldn't shave off his beard. Beards are not offensive. Offensive is not necessarily what matters, so endlessly arguing "Gosh, why is x offensive?" is just lazy on your part.

And no I wouldn't be fired for your weird and imaginary counterfactual.
   411. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 27, 2021 at 09:04 AM (#6036660)
Songs are "real life" in every particular. Movies are mostly real life, though the events depicted don't purport to have happened in real life. Kind of a strange claim.


LOL. In every particular. I never met anyone before that thought My Fair Lady was a documentary. Interesting.
   412. simon bedford Posted: August 27, 2021 at 09:07 AM (#6036661)
They are not "real life" at all, they maybe the soundtrack to your real life, or an experience you have in a theater but they often depict or all kinds of fantasy situations and are not a mirror that reflects peoples actual experience of reality, so it is not strange at all, your position is the strange one, baffling really.
And again a racist term said in front of a group of teens of various ethnic backgrounds is not automatically non offensive because the target of the historic offense isnt there, the historic offense is STILL there , the person saying it is still a leader in an educational setting, its still a work situation so that does not excuse his actions no matter how much you try to pretend it doesnt matter.
as I have stated way upthread, anyone in our education department who uttered this word in front of a group of students would be fired on the spots. not sure why this idea seems to fly right over your head , that you cannot say whatever you want at work, nor use "hey I saw the word used on hbo/youtube" as a defense.
you keep repeating the same incorrect idea. its wrong, there is no false claim, he dropped an offensive word during a work place situation and his work fired him. nothing about this is fake.
The teen vogue situation is not remotely similar to Mcniels.
   413. . Posted: August 27, 2021 at 09:08 AM (#6036662)
The exhibition of My Fair Lady in public is "real life" in literally every particular. The singing of a song is "real life" in literally every particular. Listening to a song is "real life" in every particular. People who see the n-word used in a movie or hear it in a song are doing so in "real life," in every particular.

The "real life" thing is just yet another desperate gambit to try to salvage the untenable. There's nothing to it. Empty calories.
   414. . Posted: August 27, 2021 at 09:10 AM (#6036663)
as I have stated way upthread, anyone in our education department who uttered this word in front of a group of students would be fired on the spots. not sure why this idea seems to fly right over your head ,


It doesn't fly over my head at all, nor am I disagreeing with you that that would happen. I'm saying that happening is stupid and based on a bunch of fakery. That wasn't clear?

its wrong, there is no false claim, he dropped an offensive word during a work place situation and his work fired him. nothing about this is fake.


Everything about it is fake, because the word itself is not offensive. It can be offensive, of course. Standing alone, there's no case to be made that it is. See above. It's outlined at length. It's not even deemed offensive in itself by the very demographic at issue in the McNeil case, and very likely by the exact same people. If it was truly "offensive," they would be going out of their way not to hear it, and bemoaning the fact that it was so prevalent. Nothing of the sort happens in our culture.

The teen vogue situation is not remotely similar to Mcniels.


The end result is entirely similar and the claims made to get to that result are essentially similar.
   415. simon bedford Posted: August 27, 2021 at 09:24 AM (#6036665)
No they are not similar. McCammond DID direct some of her racist comments and homophobic comments directly at people, but they did not happen at a work situation but occurred when she was a 17 year old so the defense of her position is clearly different . Should the poorly thought out utterances of a teen stay with them ten years later and
effect her current work situation? I think most people would agree they should not, unfortunately for McCammond two companies with their own pr disasters used the controversy as an opportunity to score points and she was forced out of a position.
And again you deem it not offensive for other people that you do not know and cannot possibly know how offensive they may or may not have found it. Your assumption that cannot be offensive because there were no black people present to hear it doesnt pass the laugh test, as stated up thread his black boss certainly had to hear about it after the fact so yes there ended up being a black person who had to hear what mcniel said, and they did not think for a second "oh its ok he said it to a bunch of teens but the ethnic make up included no black people so he get a pass". instead he stated for the record his first thoughts was the writer should be fired .
   416. . Posted: August 27, 2021 at 09:31 AM (#6036668)
And again you deem it not offensive for other people that you do not know and cannot possibly know how offensive they may or may not have found it.


We have plenty of evidence to know how offensive the word standing alone is perceived to be and that answer is ... not really at all. The evidence has been outlined at length and I won't bother summarizing it again. The word is everywhere, available at will to all races, and has been for 30+ years. As best I can tell, there is literally zero movement or effort underway anywhere to reduce its cultural prevalence. Kyrie Irving kind of hinted in that direction and got nowhere.

Your assumption that cannot be offensive because there were no black people present to hear it doesnt pass the laugh test,


That's not remotely the "assumption" or the claim. If you'd like better transparency on what the claim is, there's plenty of discussion of it above. As to what you've said here in particular is my assumption, no -- my "assumption" is the exact opposite. There is no need for a single black person to have been around for McNeil to have used the word offensively. Consider an audience of all white people where McNeil spoke and said and aimed the word directly at a Black person. Obviously offensive; no Black ears have to hear for us to reach that conclusion.

   417. simon bedford Posted: August 27, 2021 at 09:52 AM (#6036671)
You have not proven that it is "not offensive at all" in the least. you keep asserting you have and you have not. it was offensive to the teens, their parents and Mcniels boss, you keep trying to insist these people could not find it offensive but you offer no real reasons beyond "it was in a movie i saw and some rap songs therefore its ok".
You say the same wrong thing repeatedly and it does not make it right, your idea that an offensive racist term when used by a member of the ethnic group who used it primarily as an offensive term get a pass because either 1 black people now use it under a different context or 2 it was not directed at an individual and therefore loses all its historical negative connotations when uttered by a non black individual 3 there were no black people directly present to hear it and be offended by it ..I am not sure which one you are actually clinging too here but none of them work. At the work place you are held to different standards than you are in your private life, if you drop racist terms at the workplace you run the real risk of offending folks and getting fired. and the proof is he got fired for this .
Your answer is "well he should not have been fired" but here ( and I am aware here is not the states) dropping the n bomb in a classroom situation would get you fired pretty quickly and with no legal recourse, it breaks a bunch of laws here , I believe in the states its a matter of the discretion of the boss and the times pressured the writer to resign. The times suggests that there was "more information" they uncovered on feb 8th ( they dont share that information which is not helpful to this discussion) but if you read the rambling 4 page essay that McNiel wrote there is plenty of smoke there .
   418. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 27, 2021 at 09:57 AM (#6036673)
The exhibition of My Fair Lady in public is "real life" in literally every particular. The singing of a song is "real life" in literally every particular. Listening to a song is "real life" in every particular. People who see the n-word used in a movie or hear it in a song are doing so in "real life," in every particular.

The "real life" thing is just yet another desperate gambit to try to salvage the untenable. There's nothing to it. Empty calories.


Nice goalpost shift. Love it.

Nice to see you are still ignoring the obvious that people get fired for inappropriate behavior. This year, last year, in 1979, and in 1800.

There are work norms and violating those work norms is a great way to get fired. Everything else is just you whining about what those norms are. Why you want to be able to use such language in your workplace is, I think, a question best left for you and your therapist.
   419. BDC Posted: August 27, 2021 at 10:03 AM (#6036675)
Ten years ago, I’d have spoken the word “n****r” if reading out loud, if it played a key role in the text, if, say, Countee Cullen’s “Incident” was up for consideration—the “:n-word” alternative seemed infantile.

Today—nope. Events have made clear that the use/mention distinction may obtain in philosophy of language, but not in the contemporary classroom.


I just realized that though American Literature was my dissertation field, I haven't taught it in eight years and so I am somewhat out of step. (I am a 62-year-old white guy.)

Twelve years ago, I taught Fences in a baseball-lit course. I have told this story before: one student, an African-American woman, stopped discussion dead in its tracks by saying that a play that contained such language had no place even on stage or in print, let alone in a classroom, and it was completely unacceptable. Nobody had said the word aloud, it was just on the page. But she was for total censorship.

But ten years ago, I taught Fences to a much larger lecture class, read one of Troy's speeches aloud, and spoke the word, without any apparent problem. Again, though: ten years ago.

Obviously, it is extremely difficult to teach African-American literature (and thus any kind of American Lit survey) while proscribing the word. It's just not representative to do that, and it suppresses the vision of African-American writers. Eight years ago I assigned The Sport of the Gods (by Paul Laurence Dunbar), where the word is unavoidable. I just read Walter White's Fire in the Flint, which is a very important (1924) anti-lynching statement, and my gosh, if anyone thinks they can come to an understanding of that history while avoiding the word, it isn't happening. The Fire in the Flint makes the typical rap lyric seem mild and cuddly.

Would I read aloud from The Fire in the Flint in class in 2021? I think you're right, I'd have to ask what would be gained by that except sheer confrontation.

Would I assign it for students to read? Quite possibly. But I'd have to try to make the case that just as science students have to work with dangerous chemicals in the lab, we have to work with dangerous words in the humanities. It would take some prefacing. And still would not work with a student like the one who wouldn't read Fences.
   420. . Posted: August 27, 2021 at 10:12 AM (#6036676)
You have not proven that it is "not offensive at all" in the least.


Of course I haven't proven that because I've never claimed it. I did claim that the word standing alone is perceived to be not really offensive at all, and that's clearly the case. Obviously, it can be offensive when more facts and context are larded on. Merely by itself, though? No. All the evidence is to the contrary.

you keep trying to insist these people could not find it offensive but you offer no real reasons beyond "it was in a movie i saw and some rap songs therefore its ok".


Not movies I've seen and rap songs I've heard. Movies they've seen and rap songs they've heard. And not just that, but rap songs that have clearly been played in the workplace.

it was not directed at an individual and therefore loses all its historical negative connotations when uttered by a non black individual


It also has plenty of negative connotations, including contemporary ones, when uttered by a Black individual -- unless you think portraying Black people being aggressively called that word for a wide audience of all races is connotation-neutral. That seems like an odd stance. A Black person gets called that in a mean and aggressive way in the here and now, no worries? Based on what, exactly? And in the face of that, "oh I'm offended when a white person says the word free floating because it reminds me of bad things during slavery?"(*) Why would (alleged) slavery evocations be more troubling than tangible use in the here and now? Doesn't seem to make a lot of sense.

(*) And of course, when a white person uses the word the wrong way, we don't have to turn to slavery to find the reason it offends -- it offends in the here and now.

   421. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 27, 2021 at 10:53 AM (#6036683)
And to quite a few people it WAS offensive that a grown adult said this word to a teen in front of other teens even if it was not directed at anyone. You may feel thats not offensive, but the teens and the teens parents found it offensive, his boss found it offensive, and it got him fired.
And I’m saying that they’re lying. It’s an exercise in power, not offense. That’s the point of the rap sidebar: they hear the word all the time. They’re not offended merely by hearing it.
   422. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 27, 2021 at 10:59 AM (#6036686)
As Mellow has pointed out now 4 times, pop culture , movies songs etc are not "real life" and behaving the way someone acts in a movie at the work place
BM and you are being disingenuous by calling this the workplace. Yes, in a hyperliteral sense, he was getting paid to be there, so he was working, and it was a place, and therefore it was a workplace. But it was not an office setting.

And BM is just being his usual obtuse self when talking about “behaving the way someone acts in a movie.” That is not the context we’re discussing.
   423. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 27, 2021 at 11:03 AM (#6036687)
Twelve years ago, I taught Fences in a baseball-lit course. I have told this story before: one student, an African-American woman, stopped discussion dead in its tracks by saying that a play that contained such language had no place even on stage or in print, let alone in a classroom, and it was completely unacceptable. Nobody had said the word aloud, it was just on the page. But she was for total censorship.
And what happened? Did she file a complaint? Refuse to do the work? Demand an accommodation? (Obviously you didn’t get fired for it.)
   424. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 27, 2021 at 11:12 AM (#6036688)
BM and you are being disingenuous by calling this the workplace. Yes, in a hyperliteral sense, he was getting paid to be there, so he was working, and it was a place, and therefore it was a workplace. But it was not an office setting.


He was literally at work. Doing his job. And acted in a manner inappropriate to doing his job. That is hyperliteral in the sense it is 100% correct. I never said office, so great that it was not in an office. Had I said something about being in an office your statement might be relevant.

Once more, because you guys keep ignoring the issue. There are norms when one is at work. Doing a job. In an office or elsewhere. If the person working acts in a way that violates those norms, even if the violation is not offensive, it is often the case that the worker gets fired.

It has nothing to do with "acting like in a movie" or whatever. It is not necessarily linked to being offensive. And also, for those that are having trouble with the concept of behavioral work norms, not every job/workplace has the same norms. A comedian "on the job" on a stage has different work norms than a lawyer in a courtroom.
   425. BDC Posted: August 27, 2021 at 11:12 AM (#6036689)
And what happened? Did she file a complaint? Refuse to do the work? Demand an accommodation? (Obviously you didn’t get fired for it.)

Well, it was one reading in a long semester. She disrupted discussion and refused to let the class talk about anything except her own outrage. Looking at the syllabus, there was a short paper due on Fences, and I can't remember what she wrote; probably just a reiteration of her classroom remarks. And then in the next class meeting we moved on to some other text that didn't have that word in it. Teaching is like that. Things are a big deal one day and then people move on. Not everything goes to litigation.

But clearly she was deeply offended by the presence of the word. I don't know how much hip-hop she hears at the office but she might well express outrage there too.
   426. . Posted: August 27, 2021 at 12:07 PM (#6036696)
And acted in a manner inappropriate to doing his job.


It doesn't become any more true on the 12,532nd repetition. There is no sense in which he "acted in a manner inappropriate to doing his job," whatever that means. The conduct at issue didn't bear on his job worthiness or appropriateness in the least -- any more than BDC's did in the anecdote he shared.

He said something not offensive, some other people fake-claimed "offensiveness." That doesn't even really invoke any "norms" at all, and to the extent it does the more apt ones would be the ones saying you shouldn't lie about other people. There's an obvious workplace norm holding that one co-worker shouldn't lie about another. That one was violated here. There's another one holding that people shouldn't be sanctioned based on fake claims -- that one was violated here, too.

A comedian "on the job" on a stage has different work norms than a lawyer in a courtroom.


There's no norm against a lawyer mentioning the n-word in a courtroom and there are situations where it could be unavoidable. The word was famously used by a white lawyer in the Simpson murder trial.
   427. pikepredator Posted: August 27, 2021 at 12:35 PM (#6036705)
He was literally at work. Doing his job. And acted in a manner inappropriate to doing his job. That is hyperliteral in the sense it is 100% correct. I never said office, so great that it was not in an office. Had I said something about being in an office your statement might be relevant.

Once more, because you guys keep ignoring the issue. There are norms when one is at work. Doing a job. In an office or elsewhere. If the person working acts in a way that violates those norms, even if the violation is not offensive, it is often the case that the worker gets fired.


This idea that it wasn't Morris workplace . . . I think people must be talking about two different things because it's so clearly obvious he was working, in the place he usually works, talking to the public, and he needs to represent his employer with an appropriate level of decorum. We can disagree on where that level is, of course. But arguing if Morris was "in the workplace?" seems like a painfully weak attempt to shift goalposts.

My "workplace" is a showroom and I deal with the public all day long. There are certain norms of behavior that, should I violate them, should lead to my termination whether or not anybody was offended because behaving in that way signals that I either don't understand those behavioral norms and thus might violate them at inappropriate times or that I flaunt the norms entirely. Those norms do change over time. 100 years ago we could've worn blackface and hosted a cakewalk. Today? Not so much. 50 years ago I probably could've gotten away with giving people the finger more easily than I could now. 30 years ago a man wearing a dress might well have garnered a "why the costume?" question. Doing so now is ignorant of the changing norms of society, regardless of one's personal stance on being trans. If I'm public facing, one of the fundamental job requirements is understanding these kinds of things.
   428. Biscuit_pants Posted: August 27, 2021 at 01:02 PM (#6036711)
Those norms do change over time. 100 years ago we could've worn blackface and hosted a cakewalk. Today? Not so much.


I know people on this site are old but damn, you should think about retirement to enjoy your 120's-140's.

oh, and the discussion left Morris a long time ago.
   429. simon bedford Posted: August 27, 2021 at 01:23 PM (#6036716)
As someone in the legal profession ( I think) you would have to be able to prove what did and did not offended the teens in question, you assume as the other poster assumes that they listen to rap with the term used a lot , so often that it holds no meaning to them other than how it is used in that context. I do not believe you can prove that in the least, that teens have heard the word and feel immune to it, that they are comfortable with a teacher using it in an educational setting, that they dont know the difference between the context of a rap song and a school excursion. I think its laughable to suggest that because they understand a term being used in one context its ok for them to hear it in other contexts.
You assert that they were "not offended by hearing it " yet several of them issued complaints about hearing it, do you think it was because they did not like his articles in the times? do you think they just wanted to get him fired because they thought they could? if you are going to create these people out of whole cloth what is their endgame in this? to stick it to the times? to help the times get rid of an out of touch fossil from a by gone age ?
There are things we can know and things we cant know, and honestly we do not know these teens, we do not know how offended they were, sure seems like a bunch of them were bothered enough by it to bring this and some other claims to the times.
And if you are getting paid by your work, you are at work, not sure why the word "office" plays any part in this at all.
   430. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 27, 2021 at 01:32 PM (#6036721)
This article centers on an exclusive private school in New York, but the conflicts that have arisen there mirror pretty much everything we've seen in this thread. One of its virtues is that all sides of the argument are quoted at length.

New York’s Private Schools Tackle White Privilege. It Has Not Been Easy.
   431. . Posted: August 27, 2021 at 01:33 PM (#6036722)
As someone in the legal profession ( I think) you would have to be able to prove what did and did not offended the teens in question, you assume as the other poster assumes that they listen to rap with the term used a lot , so often that it holds no meaning to them other than how it is used in that context. I do not believe you can prove that in the least, that teens have heard the word and feel immune to it, that they are comfortable with a teacher using it in an educational setting,


If they brought any kind of legal claim, they'd be laughed out of court/arbitration, so we're talking about something other than that. Given the circumstances and their demands, fairness makes it the case that the burden isn't on me to disprove their claims, it's on them to prove them. They've failed. They aren't remotely credible. Even if they were subjectively "offended" in some sense, that offense doesn't get to get someone fired from their job for innocuous conduct. If a mob in your workplace said, "We're offended by the way simon bedford bringing Vietnamese food leftovers into the office, because it evokes American's sordid history of colonialism," would your firing be justified? Obvious answer: No.

yet several of them issued complaints about hearing it, do you think it was because they did not like his articles in the times?


Their complaints were fake. Their purpose was enforcing their own personal opinions of what an older white man should be able to say and/or enforcing their distaste of older white men. Their conduct was worse than his.

   432. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 27, 2021 at 01:34 PM (#6036724)
There is no sense in which he "acted in a manner inappropriate to doing his job," whatever that means.


His employer and many other people disagree. Are you claiming there is no such thing as norms for behavior at work? I mean either that or you just don't understand what the words mean.

He said something not offensive, some other people fake-claimed "offensiveness."


Still not relevant. It was not work appropriate. Do you know how I know? Well pretty much everyone in a work analogous job would be disciplined to some level for acting that way.

Even though in other - non-work - circumstances that exact same behavior is fine. That is why your blather about rap songs and what people on the street can say is silly. Also, the degree to which it is offensive is silly.

I mean, yes, people can be offended by whatever they want, and that is fine. But the employer is acting because work norms were being violated. Which of course - depending on which case we are talking about, is acknowledged implicitly in the after-the-fact apology.

   433. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 27, 2021 at 01:42 PM (#6036726)
Seriously SBB, if you want to argue that the workplace norms are out of whack, then do that. Just don't drag in all these other ancillary issues. Heck, I might even agree with you. But so long as you are pretending there is no such thing as workplace norms, where violating them can get you fired (and that it has been that way since forever), well I just can't take your argument seriously.
   434. simon bedford Posted: August 27, 2021 at 01:45 PM (#6036727)
If at my work place I used an offensive term for the Vietnamese people that was quite commonplace in the 60s and 70s , while not directing it at anyone in particular but merely using it as an adjective for the food or the people who prepared it, yeah I would be in deep s**t for it and quite likely fired cause my work is pretty hard line against using racist language at all at work and everyone who works here understands this.
   435. . Posted: August 27, 2021 at 02:19 PM (#6036736)
It was not work appropriate.


It was work appropriate in every way, and not work-inappropriate in any way.

But the employer is acting because work norms were being violated.


There was no work norm being violated in the least. Allegedly precipitating fake "I'm offendeds" in a small cohort of people violates no work norm of any kind. The fake offendeds were the ones that violated work norms (as well as ethical norms.)
   436. . Posted: August 27, 2021 at 02:20 PM (#6036737)
If at my work place I used an offensive term


He didn't "use" any term, offensive or otherwise. (I mean, I guess he probably used some term, somewhere in his lecture but he didn't use the term at issue at all.)
   437. . Posted: August 27, 2021 at 02:24 PM (#6036740)
quite likely fired cause my work is pretty hard line against using racist language at all at work and everyone who works here understands this.


Do they ban TVs, radios, iPhones, and the internet in your office? If not, then no, they're taking no such hard line.
   438. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 27, 2021 at 03:00 PM (#6036747)
If at my work place I used an offensive term for the Vietnamese people that was quite commonplace in the 60s and 70s , while not directing it at anyone in particular but merely using it as an adjective for the food or the people who prepared it, yeah I would be in deep s**t for it and quite likely fired cause my work is pretty hard line against using racist language at all at work and everyone who works here understands this.

Wait, what word is that? The most commonly used slur against Vietnamese (and Asians in general) BITD was "gook", but I've never heard that word used to describe Vietnamese food, or the people who prepare it. Unlike the n-word, it was 100% racist and derogatory no matter what the context.

Obviously I'm having a brain fart here, but what word are you referring to?
   439. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 27, 2021 at 03:13 PM (#6036749)
...never heard that word used to describe Vietnamese food, or the people who prepare it. Unlike the n-word, it was 100% racist and derogatory no matter what the context.
That's mostly but not exactly true. "Migook" (phonetic) still just means "American", and Hangook still just means "Korean". Also, yummy?


   440. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 27, 2021 at 03:14 PM (#6036750)
It was work appropriate in every way, and not work-inappropriate in any way.


Nice assertion. With no evidence or even reasoning. But keep repeating it over and over, despite the fact that ... you know there were consequences for that exact behavior because it was done at work. And if someone else did the same thing at work in the same business the same thing would happen again.

Once more, the fact that you refuse to acknowledge that norms exist doesn't mean they don't exist.

Step 1 - SBB admits there are work norms.
Step 2 - Those work norms are different across workplaces and different than private norms an individual in their own home might have.
Step 3 - SBB, acknowledging the obvious, can then argue why the existing norm is wrong/bad/unfair.

At that point, we can have a discussion. But until then not really.

There was no work norm being violated in the least. Allegedly precipitating fake "I'm offendeds" in a small cohort of people violates no work norm of any kind. The fake offendeds were the ones that violated work norms (as well as ethical norms.)


As someone you might know said "It doesn't become any more true on the 12,532nd repetition."

Really, some people taking offense is a consequence of the norm violation, just like being fired is a consequence. And no, people outside of the work can't be violating work norms you idiot. I mean, maybe you really don't understand the words.

If I work at Target and do or say something that violates a work norm and offends a customer that is one thing. But the person I offended can't violate Target's norms for employees if they are a customer. They don't work for Target, they don't have to follow Target's work norms. They do have to follow Target's customer norms, which are different, but still exist. And if you violate them Target can kick you out of the store (or other things).

You realize that work norms as discussed thus far are restricted to people at work*, right?


* Yes, there are certain people in high profile positions where things become a bit harder to define. We can discuss celebrity spokespeople and such, there is some nuance there I am sure you will miss, but for what we are discussing now what I said is true.
   441. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 27, 2021 at 03:18 PM (#6036752)
Do they ban TVs, radios, iPhones, and the internet in your office? If not, then no, they're taking no such hard line.


Now you are just working to look dumber than you are. There is a difference between what an employee at work says and what comes out of a radio or TV. You realize that right? I mean, to make it clear for you, it is unlikely the people singing on the radio (for example) are employees of the company where the radio is.

People who work for the company are employees and subject to workplace norms.
People on the other end of the radio or TV are perhaps employed by someone, but typically not by the place where the broadcast emanates from.
   442. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 27, 2021 at 03:40 PM (#6036759)
.never heard that word used to describe Vietnamese food, or the people who prepare it. Unlike the n-word, it was 100% racist and derogatory no matter what the context.

That's mostly but not exactly true. "Migook" (phonetic) still just means "American", and Hangook still just means "Korean". Also, yummy?


Thanks, Aunt Bea. You learn something every day, and my shredded knee cartilage kept me from acquiring more first hand knowledge about the word.
   443. . Posted: August 27, 2021 at 04:00 PM (#6036765)
There is a difference between what an employee at work says and what comes out of a radio or TV.


There's no difference if what comes out of the radio or the TV comes out of the radio or the TV in the workplace. There's no difference between the fake offendeds hearing the n-word from McNeil or from a guy on TV. Either the word offends on its own accord, or it does not. (Hint: It does not. Again, addressed at length.)

But the point was that the claim that workplaces take hard lines against the n-word is not true. They don't. No one does. People take hard lines against it in order to obtain and wield power, and for political ends, that much is certain. But that's an entirely different thing.

People on the other end of the radio or TV are perhaps employed by someone, but typically not by the place where the broadcast emanates from.


Try sitting in a common area in your workplace and turning porn on your computer. See what happens.
   444. . Posted: August 27, 2021 at 04:02 PM (#6036768)
Really, some people taking offense is a consequence of the norm violation,


We've kind of been over this already, but they didn't take offense and there was no norm violation. The offense was fake and any alleged norm violation flows only from the fake offense.

OTOH, lying for the express purpose of bringing harm to a co-worker (or another human being generally) is an unalloyed normative and ethical violation, both within and without the workplace. A no-brainer. Conspiring with others to do same -- ditto.

   445. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 27, 2021 at 04:30 PM (#6036771)
There's no difference if what comes out of the radio or the TV comes out of the radio or the TV in the workplace. There's no difference between the fake offendeds hearing the n-word from McNeil or from a guy on TV. Either the word offends on its own accord, or it does not. (Hint: It does not. Again, addressed at length.)


Non-responsive. And dumb. And repetitive. And boring.

Well done.

Try sitting in a common area in your workplace and turning porn on your computer. See what happens.


Excellent. You are starting to understand workplace norms. Watching porn at home is fine. Watching porn at work is not. See how this works?

You are so close. You are almost there. Just take that one tiny little step forward and generalize from watching porn to anything that violates workplace norms. You can do it!
   446. . Posted: August 27, 2021 at 04:34 PM (#6036773)
Non-responsive. And dumb. And repetitive. And boring.


And dispositive of the issue.

Watching porn at home is fine. Watching porn at work is not.


I said watching porn "in the common area." Doesn't matter that the people on the screen aren't employees. Just like it wouldn't matter if the n-word came from a non-employee. The distinction between employee and non-employee is therefore irrelevant, just like "workplace," "real life" and all the other failed distinguishing gambits.

I'd say there's a pretty clear norm not to play porn. Any such norm not to play hip-hop? (*) Any advice or counseling to workers not to listen to hip-hop while noshing on the lunchtime Reuben? Any workplace hip-hop internet blockers? (**)

(*) Or whatever residual things in which the "word" might be found and therefore heard?

(**) As a liberal sophisticate, I wouldn't favor such things -- naturally. I would find them ludicrous. But then again I don't favor people who have heard the word 5,000 times lying about being offended at the 5,001st hearing.

   447. simon bedford Posted: August 27, 2021 at 04:45 PM (#6036774)
The n word did come from an employee in this situation , it came from Mcniel himself, and he got fired for saying it , so not sure what your hypotheticals have to do with the reality of his firing.
And if i was watching porn at work , yeah I would get fired for doing so regardless of the fact that the people doing the acts were not in fact me, as I would be the one violating the rules of work by watching porn.
and Andy yes, the G**k term is considered derogatory so if I said "boy this g**k food is really good" or "wow the G**ks who cooked this know what they were doing " or some such its using a needless slur. wouldnt occur to me to ever say it, regardless of how often its used in "full metal jacket".
   448. . Posted: August 27, 2021 at 04:52 PM (#6036775)
regardless of how often its used in "full metal jacket".


/does word search on FMJ screenplay ....

The word isn't used at all.
   449. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 27, 2021 at 04:53 PM (#6036776)
I said watching porn "in the common area." Doesn't matter that the people on the screen aren't employees. Just like it wouldn't matter if the n-word came from a non-employee. The distinction between employee and non-employee is therefore irrelevant, just like "workplace," "real life" and all the other failed distinguishing gambits.


What a fascinating pile of gibberish. But a start. You are close.

You now agree (at long last) that there are workplace norms. YES!

Watching porn in a common area is one such. And maybe you work at some interesting places, but I assure you getting caught watching porn by your manager in your cube will also get you fired from many jobs. So it is not just common areas.

If a non-employee shows up and watches porn in the lobby they are not violating workplace norms. It is not their place of work. You seem confused (it is not your fault, I am using really complex multi-syllable words and sentence structures - sorry). They can't be fired. They don't work there.

Anyway, if a worker sits in that same place in the lobby and watches the exact same porn, they can and if caught likely will get fired.

See how there is a distinction between employee and non-employee? You can't fire a non-employee.

And while you may not be employed (which explains much actually), anyone who is employed can tell you the difference between being employed and not is large. It is not a "gambit" to distinguish between those two states. The differences are real.
   450. . Posted: August 27, 2021 at 04:54 PM (#6036777)
Watching porn in a common area is one such. And maybe you work at some interesting places, but I assure you getting caught watching porn by your manager in your cube will also get you fired from many jobs. So it is not just common areas.


Will playing hip-hop? Any effort to prevent employees from playing or listening to hip-hop? No, right? In fact, you see office parties, holiday parties, etc. where it's affirmatively played. See the difference? Porn, no. N-word to employee ears, even in its aggressive, targeted form -- no worries. There are in fact no workplace efforts whatsoever to prevent the n-word from hitting employee ears, either within or outside the workplace. There is a widespread effort to prevent porn from hitting employee eyes in the workplace, so much so that you might even call it a "norm."

This should dispose of the matter definitively (not that it was ever truly unclear).
   451. simon bedford Posted: August 27, 2021 at 04:58 PM (#6036779)
Watch "full metal jacket" again . Joker uses the term more than once.
   452. simon bedford Posted: August 27, 2021 at 05:00 PM (#6036780)
There is one person at my work , my boss actually , who will sometimes play rap in areas when there are no members of the public present, he is always very careful to play the sanitized and edited versions of songs, or if its the radio uses the same options ( the is a rap station in our area that plays the censored versions with no explicit sexual or racist terms ) so I am going to go with the idea that yes playing uncensored rap at my work wouldnt go over well.
   453. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 27, 2021 at 05:13 PM (#6036781)
Will playing hip-hop? Any effort to prevent employees from playing or listening to hip-hop? No, right? In fact, you see office parties, holiday parties, etc. where it's affirmatively played. See the difference? Porn, no. N-word to employee ears, even in its aggressive, targeted form -- no worries. There are in fact no workplace efforts whatsoever to prevent the n-word from hitting employee ears, either within or outside the workplace. There is a widespread effort to prevent porn from hitting employee eyes in the workplace, so much so that you might even call it a "norm."


Depends on the workplace. I know this is difficult for you to understand, but different places of work have different norms. The norms at a construction site are different than those in a courtroom are different than those in a Palo Alto startup are different than those in a Madison Avenue ad agency are different from those in a Southern Bible College.

First note: If you think playing any music so others can hear it is OK at every single workplace then your ignorance is laughable.

I knew a guy in the 80s that got fired because he grew facial hair. It was company policy to be clean-shaven. It was not that the company found facial hair offensive, but it did not fit the image they wanted their employees to have. It violated that company's norms. This may shock you but they had plenty of customers with facial hair.

It was not about protecting people from seeing unshaven faces. You have utterly missed the point with your weird diatribe about "protecting ears". Companies establish explicit and implicit workplace norms for a variety of reasons, most of which are not about protecting eyes, ears, or delicate sensibilities. And people who violate those norms are often fired. This is not a new thing.

Second note: Even your porn example is very flawed because there are workplaces where watching porn in a common area is within workplace norms. "Don't watch porn at work" is a common workplace norm, but it is not universal.
   454. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 27, 2021 at 05:20 PM (#6036782)
My ex, back in the day, was a Lotus Notes admin and some ... ummm ... horse porn ... circulated around the office. My ex had to track it down and every single person who forwarded the message was fired. If you watched it you were not, but forwarding the file was seen as cause for dismissal, even though no extraneous people saw the porn in question.

It was not about protecting eyes or whatever, it was being fired for showing an astonishing lack of judgment. Sort of like what several of the people talked about in the thread got fired for. They violated norms and in doing so showed terrible judgment. And that is fireable in most places of work.
   455. . Posted: August 27, 2021 at 05:23 PM (#6036783)
First note: If you think playing any music so others can hear it is OK at every single workplace then your ignorance is laughable.


It isn't OK, but that's not because of the content of the music, but instead because of the noise it makes. Iron Maiden, TI, Japandroids -- doesn't matter. Banned if too loud.

The norm banning porn, OTOH, is entirely content-based. Fine to play a video, but not if it contains porn.

Companies establish explicit and implicit workplace norms for a variety of reasons, most of which are not about protecting eyes, ears, or delicate sensibilities.


Yes, exactly -- which is why it was so craven to cave to the fake offended for the fake reason that their ears needed protecting. Now you're getting the picture. There aren't really any workplace norms to protect employees from hearing certain things -- including, as we've seen at length, from hearing the n-word. Exactly so. Now, let's follow that through. Let's say McNeil called a black colleague the n-word at work. Rightfully fired. Obviously. But that firing wouldn't be based on the fake offense allegedly generated by making people hear the n-word; it would be for calling a black colleague the n-word. And onlookers wouldn't be "offended" by hearing McNeil say the word; they would be rightly offended by hearing him call a Black colleague the word. Don't call co-workers the word -- obvious norm. Don't make co-worker hear the word. Not a norm at all.

Subtle distinction in some ways, but the subtleties make all the difference.
   456. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 27, 2021 at 05:31 PM (#6036784)
Yes, exactly -- which is why it was so craven to cave to the fake offended for the fake reason that their ears needed protecting.


You are assuming your conclusion.

You are whining because a company disciplined someone for violating a workplace norm, but you don't like that norm. Sad for you. Companies get to establish their norms. They don't all run them past you to see if you approve. Actually, none of them run it past you.

The fact that there is a norm in many workplaces against ... to go back to the Jack Morris example ... putting on an accent when talking about a person of a different nationality or group seems to make you sad and angry. I can't help that.

There is a norm against that sort of behavior like there was a norm against facial hair where I worked back in the day, there is a norm against playing music in places, playing videos in others, porn in most, or what have you.

You assume it is all craven because you are projecting your desires on the world. Like a child, you cannot imagine different people and situations from yours exist and are valid. It is OK that you want the freedom for Jack Morris to put on funny accents. You can hire him and let him do that. But not every company wants to put that sort of image forth by allowing their employees to behave that way.
   457. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 27, 2021 at 05:34 PM (#6036785)
The n word did come from an employee in this situation , it came from Mcniel himself, and he got fired for saying it , so not sure what your hypotheticals have to do with the reality of his firing. And if i was watching porn at work , yeah I would get fired for doing so regardless of the fact that the people doing the acts were not in fact me, as I would be the one violating the rules of work by watching porn.
and Andy yes, the G**k term is considered derogatory so if I said "boy this g**k food is really good" or "wow the G**ks who cooked this know what they were doing " or some such its using a needless slur. wouldnt occur to me to ever say it, regardless of how often its used in "full metal jacket".


Three separate things going on here. I'll try to break them down.

First, when I asked Aunt Bea about the slur against Vietnamese, I wasn't even thinking about any other word, and I wasn't trying to make any point at all. I was just asking a question, and he answered it.

Second, leave me out of the porn issue. AFAIC porn is for creeps and losers, but YMMV. I'm also not particularly interesting in bringing up rap lyrics, since to me that's also a side issue of little relevance to either McNeil or Morris or pretty much any other case that may have been mentioned. I've got nothing against rap, but my taste in music is much more Old School.

Third, and getting back to McNeil, the point isn't whether he said the n-word or not, as nobody's denied that he did. The point is whether the teenagers and the Times wildly overreacted to the word, considering the way that he used it (i.e. quoting it, not using it as a slur himself), which I've said they did. But I've already explained my reasoning about that incident at length.
   458. . Posted: August 27, 2021 at 05:36 PM (#6036786)
The fact that there is a norm in many workplaces


There is no norm. It's pointless at this juncture to hop back on the same hamster wheel when that fact has been so conclusively proven. The fact that there is no norm makes the premise fail and therefore everything that follows from that premise fails. There's no norm, he therefore could have violated no norm.
   459. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 27, 2021 at 05:39 PM (#6036787)
There is no norm. It's pointless at this juncture to hop back on the same hamster wheel. The fact that there is no norm makes the premise fail and therefore everything that follows from that premise fails.


Right. Back to "norms that I don't like can't exist, because I don't like them".

I am happy I finally, at great length, and with much kicking and screaming on your part, got you to acknowledge that any workplace norms exist and that in fact people do get fired for violating them.

I will take my victory where I can.

Team Mouse!
   460. . Posted: August 27, 2021 at 05:41 PM (#6036788)
Back to "norms that I don't like can't exist, because I don't like them".


No, back to "norms that don't exist, don't exist." (The only ones applicable to the McNeil situation that do exist were violated by the fake offendeds.)
   461. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 27, 2021 at 05:46 PM (#6036789)
No, back to "norms that don't exist, don't exist."


People got fired for some reason. You ignoring the reason is fine. Sounds like the people who were fired got the message though, and so did you. Which is why you are pitching such a fit.
   462. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: August 27, 2021 at 06:35 PM (#6036801)
Right, but when the context is one Black person aiming it hatefully at another Black person,


Just stop. That doesn't happen. Not in the same way that when a racist white person uses it.
   463. nick swisher hygiene Posted: August 27, 2021 at 09:35 PM (#6036817)
462. Yep. True.
   464. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 28, 2021 at 04:26 AM (#6036834)
He was literally at work. Doing his job. And acted in a manner inappropriate to doing his job. That is hyperliteral in the sense it is 100% correct. I never said office, so great that it was not in an office. Had I said something about being in an office your statement might be relevant.
Well, he was not literally at work, doing his job, so no, it is not 100% correct.

Once more, because you guys keep ignoring the issue. There are norms when one is at work. Doing a job. In an office or elsewhere. If the person working acts in a way that violates those norms, even if the violation is not offensive, it is often the case that the worker gets fired.
Once more, no. All you are doing is stating platitudes: people get fired for doing things that employers don't want them to do. Duh. I mean, that's essentially a tautology. It is a substance free description of what happened.

Yes, someone could have gotten fired for embezzlement or for not showing up to work or for being Mormon. But we are talking about a specific case. And in this specific case, McNeil wasn't fired for any of those things. He was fired for (purportedly) doing something offensive.
   465. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 28, 2021 at 04:30 AM (#6036835)
This idea that it wasn't Morris workplace . . . I think people must be talking about two different things because it's so clearly obvious he was working, in the place he usually works, talking to the public, and he needs to represent his employer with an appropriate level of decorum. We can disagree on where that level is, of course. But arguing if Morris was "in the workplace?" seems like a painfully weak attempt to shift goalposts.
Yeah, we are talking about two different things. This portion of the discussion isn't about Morris, but about Donald McNeil, a NYT reporter who got fired for mentioning the n-word on a field trip to Peru in a discussion about the n-word that someone else on the trip brought up.
   466. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 28, 2021 at 04:48 AM (#6036836)
Wait, what word is that? The most commonly used slur against Vietnamese (and Asians in general) BITD was "gook", but I've never heard that word used to describe Vietnamese food, or the people who prepare it. Unlike the n-word, it was 100% racist and derogatory no matter what the context.
Not exactly, no. You just mentioned the word, and not in a racist or derogatory way. And that's the point with respect to McNeil: not that (e.g.) the n-word is sometimes used neutrally or affectionately among blacks, but that McNeil himself wasn't mentioning it in a racist or derogatory way.

And contrary to BM's platitudes, there was no such NYT "workplace" "norm" against mentioning the word. As people have noted, the paper itself prints the word when appropriate.
   467. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 28, 2021 at 04:56 AM (#6036837)
The fact that there is a norm in many workplaces against ... to go back to the Jack Morris example ... putting on an accent when talking about a person of a different nationality or group seems to make you sad and angry. I can't help that.
Of course, there is no such norm in any workplace. Find me one person in the history of the world who was fired for putting on a British or French or Russian accent when talking about a British or French or Russian person. This alleged norm, such as it is, is far more selective than that.
   468. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 28, 2021 at 08:09 AM (#6036840)
Wait, what word is that? The most commonly used slur against Vietnamese (and Asians in general) BITD was "gook", but I've never heard that word used to describe Vietnamese food, or the people who prepare it. Unlike the n-word, it was 100% racist and derogatory no matter what the context.

Not exactly, no. You just mentioned the word, and not in a racist or derogatory way.


Well, yes, but ya know, I was kinda sorta saying I'd never heard it used benignly in the past.

And that's the point with respect to McNeil: not that (e.g.) the n-word is sometimes used neutrally or affectionately among blacks, but that McNeil himself wasn't mentioning it in a racist or derogatory way.

Totally agree, although the case for McNeil's benign use of the n-word stands independently of any analogous situations. We'd both been defending McNeil long before Simon brought up the hypothetical about the Vietnamese slur.
   469. simon bedford Posted: August 28, 2021 at 08:23 AM (#6036842)
466
seems like you want it both ways and this doesnt work at all in this case. the Times does use the word in context in articles, but as you yourself point out Mcneil was not writing an article, he isnt quoting anyone, he is rather foolishly fishing to find out what racist term was used in a situation involving a couple of kids years ago. and its all unnecessary, he could have either not bothered learning what the word was directly, used a substitute term for the offending word , taking a complete different tack entirely to the conversation. instead he dropped a racist term in front of a group of kids ( while not directly insulting anyone he was actually looking to find out if that was the offending term in question) and his work disciplined him for it.
his work then asked him to resign after they investigated a bunch of allegations after the daily beast reported a bunch of further claims, many of which McNeil presents his side of in the rambling 4 page essay.
   470. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 28, 2021 at 01:36 PM (#6036871)
Once more, no. All you are doing is stating platitudes: people get fired for doing things that employers don't want them to do. Duh. I mean, that's essentially a tautology. It is a substance free description of what happened.


I enjoy that when I write something obviously true it annoys you and you start in with "platitudes" and "banal".

There are clearly work norms (which might be banal, but certain people here needed to be convinced). And yes it is obvious that violating work norms is a great way to be fired. Obvious to the point of being boring. This is why it is so crazy that some people are getting so worked up about it.

You folks are getting all worked up about the most normal thing in the world - people getting fired for doing stuff their bosses really don't like - and then when some of us point that fact out you get all huffy and "Well that is obvious!"

Yup. It is obvious. The fact that you guys missed it and then get annoyed when the obvious is pointed out never fails to amuse.
   471. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 28, 2021 at 04:48 PM (#6036882)
You folks are getting all worked up about the most normal thing in the world - people getting fired for doing stuff their bosses really don't like - and then when some of us point that fact out you get all huffy and "Well that is obvious!"
Rapes and murders happen all the time. Pointing that fact out in response to someone lamenting a particular rape or murder adds precisely zero to the conversation.
   472. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 28, 2021 at 07:28 PM (#6036887)
Rapes and murders happen all the time. Pointing that fact out in response to someone lamenting a particular rape or murder adds precisely zero to the conversation.


There is a tiny little itty bitty difference between a crime like rape or murder and a business firing someone. Though it is amusing seeing a Libertarian equate a company firing someone to a crime. Corporations exercising their rights to fire at-will employees is normally something Libertarians suggest is a normal and even good activity as part of the most loved free market, unlike law-breaking.
   473. Brian C Posted: August 28, 2021 at 07:57 PM (#6036892)
There is a tiny little itty bitty difference between a crime like rape or murder and a business firing someone. Though it is amusing seeing a Libertarian equate a company firing someone to a crime. Corporations exercising their rights to fire at-will employees is normally something Libertarians suggest is a normal and even good activity as part of the most loved free market, unlike law-breaking.

If you really wanted to add something of substance instead of simply trying to imitate how clever people talk, you might try to explain how you feel about at-will employment, not normally known as something that progressives are eager to defend. But I guess it's all good as long as the occasional high-profile "racist" gets caught in the net?
   474. BDC Posted: August 28, 2021 at 08:24 PM (#6036899)
at-will employment, not normally known as something that progressives are eager to defend

I find it interesting how often discussions like these go quickly to the dynamic of firing somebody. I am of course insulated from this by tenure, but about 90% of even my faculty colleagues are untenured, and none go around worrying if they're going to be fired for something they do or say (absent, like, killing the Dean, or whatever). As a friend of mine once remarked when a university Provost accused him of insubordination: "I'm not sure I'm subordinate to you." :)

Of course I'm further insulated because I'm a public employee, but this is Texas, with its prohibitions on public-employee collective bargaining; and most people I work with do not have civil-service protections. It's more like we're laid back enough that every day is not some sort of Angst-fest about whether we're fixing to get fired before 5pm.
   475. Hombre Brotani Posted: August 28, 2021 at 10:44 PM (#6036923)
I find it interesting how often discussions like these go quickly to the dynamic of firing somebody
Because very few people in these discussions understand what it's like to be racially discriminated against, but everyone understands being worried about their job.
   476. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 28, 2021 at 11:04 PM (#6036928)
If you really wanted to add something of substance instead of simply trying to imitate how clever people talk, you might try to explain how you feel about at-will employment, not normally known as something that progressives are eager to defend. But I guess it's all good as long as the occasional high-profile "racist" gets caught in the net?


What does my opinion of at-will employment have to do with the topic. At-will employment is reality, and I try to engage in reality. I mean we can discuss rearranging the foundations of our economy, but I won't start with at-will employment. I think there are strong reasons to support at-will employment. I mean I also support unions, making them easier to form, for example, but I am not against at-will employment. I am a consultant, all my work is at-will and has been for many years.

My background is economics, and I support free trade and don't support many things that most of the sort you (I am sure) label as progressives support. The main problem with our economy is not regarding allowing or not at-will employment.

Side Note: I didn't call anyone (not in a long time, especially around here) a racist. I don't know that any of the people involved are racist and have not made that accusation. It sounds like you are, which is weird, but I am not. So ... nice non sequitur, I guess.
   477. . Posted: August 29, 2021 at 11:09 AM (#6036953)
What does my opinion of at-will employment have to do with the topic.


You clearly haven't made the obvious connection everyone else has quickly made: unless employment was at-will, the norm-that-isn't-a-norm that you postulated -- that if you do something the boss doesn't like you could be fired -- wouldn't be the case.(*) The non-norm that you confused with a norm can only exist where employment is at-will.

(*) You also confused the correct claim that the work norm you postulated isn't actually a work norm with the claim you imagined was being made -- that there were no such thing as work norms at all -- but the show was entertaining so the decision was made to just let you proceed.

   478. Brian C Posted: August 29, 2021 at 11:44 AM (#6036960)
I mean we can discuss rearranging the foundations of our economy, but I won't start with at-will employment. I think there are strong reasons to support at-will employment. I mean I also support unions, making them easier to form, for example, but I am not against at-will employment. I am a consultant, all my work is at-will and has been for many years.

If you're a consultant, aren't you contracted? That's the exact opposite of what "at-will employment" is.

Hence all the bluster I've quoted, as you scramble desperately to hide that you don't have the slightest idea what you're talking about, and so take both sides of the issue and end up betraying your ignorance anyway in a misguided attempt to show your bonafides.
   479. Brian C Posted: August 29, 2021 at 11:47 AM (#6036962)
Because very few people in these discussions understand what it's like to be racially discriminated against, but everyone understands being worried about their job.

Because secure employment is a racial justice issue, although admittedly not as much fun of an issue as complaining about some guy at the NYT mentioning the Nword. And as we're seeing, it's not too hard to find people to lecture vacuously about "workplace norms" and the like, but getting anyone to focus on the actual issues that contribute to systemic racism ... good luck.
   480. . Posted: August 29, 2021 at 12:25 PM (#6036965)
It's actually even funnier -- consultants aren't employees at all.

And of course, even at-will employees can't just be fired by boss's whim; e.g., if the boss doesn't like the fact that you're Black, he can't legally fire you for that. So even the suggested non-norm doesn't exist.
   481. Brian C Posted: August 29, 2021 at 12:38 PM (#6036967)
And of course, even at-will employees can't just be fired by boss's whim; e.g., if the boss doesn't like the fact that you're Black

Sure they can - they just have to pretend that they have other reasons besides being black. Or just make sure to include them in a round of layoffs. Anti-discrimination laws have very little teeth when it's so easy to fire someone to begin with.
   482. . Posted: August 29, 2021 at 12:51 PM (#6036969)
Fair point. I'll give my quick empirical observation while making no claim that it extends across the country. In management, big NE institutional employer, mostly of lawyers and other professionals, have managed people out and participated in same. W/R/T employment/disciplinary issues, all of us know and it's an open discussion when someone is in a protected class. It absolutely matters; none of us want the employer or ourselves to get slapped with a lawsuit. Everyone knows this, there are no swashbuckling "I don't cares" or "who gives a shits" in the room. Now that I'm over 50, I'm very happy I'm now in one in the event of the (still unlikely) chance that one day they decide I'm "too old" or otherwise decide to take a run at me. The fact that I'm an NY and NYC resident and employee makes it even better; I'm pretty sure a recent employment bill in NY added punitive damages to the potentialities in the event of discrimination. (And of course, will make the discussions I mentioned above even more imperative.)

So I have no idea what the actual result of discrimination/claims turn out to be. I absolutely know in the decision process they're a deterrent and a significant factor, again at least in my narrow knowledge area. Do I think Black people get a general fair shake in employment? No, I do not. And that covers things like the awful societal decision 30-odd years ago to offshore a bunch of jobs so the C-suite bureaucratic managerial class can enrich itself. But as you noted, issues like that are tough and real, tangible positive change takes a lot of effort, organization, persuasion, action and the competition is vested, entrenched, and tough. Much easier to just sit at the computer and perform your virtuousness to strangers on the internet.
   483. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 29, 2021 at 05:15 PM (#6036994)
If you're a consultant, aren't you contracted? That's the exact opposite of what "at-will employment" is.

Hence all the bluster I've quoted, as you scramble desperately to hide that you don't have the slightest idea what you're talking about, and so take both sides of the issue and end up betraying your ignorance anyway in a misguided attempt to show your bonafides.


My contract is at will. It lasts for a year, but at any time and for any reason, they can terminate it. I should have made that more clear, but you maybe shouldn't just assume stuff you think makes your argument sound better.

I have never worked anywhere but at will in my career. But thanks for playing.
   484. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 29, 2021 at 05:21 PM (#6036995)
You clearly haven't made the obvious connection everyone else has quickly made: unless employment was at-will, the norm-that-isn't-a-norm that you postulated -- that if you do something the boss doesn't like you could be fired -- wouldn't be the case.(*) The non-norm that you confused with a norm can only exist where employment is at-will.


I love this paragraph. It is a linguistic mess.

FYI ... Wiki on at will
As many as 34% of all U.S. employees apparently enjoy the protection of some kind of "just cause" or objectively reasonable requirement for termination that takes them out of the pure "at-will" category, including the 7.5% of unionized private-sector workers, the 0.8% of nonunion private-sector workers protected by union contracts, the 15% of nonunion private-sector workers with individual express contracts that override the at-will doctrine, and the 16% of the total workforce who enjoy civil service protections as public-sector employees.


For the math impaired that means 66% are at will.
   485. . Posted: August 29, 2021 at 05:29 PM (#6036997)
My contract is at will. It lasts for a year, but at any time and for any reason, they can terminate it.


Then it's either not a contract, or not at will. And you're not an employee anyway.

I love this paragraph.


Awesome!
   486. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 29, 2021 at 05:36 PM (#6036999)
Then it's either not a contract, or not at will. And you're not an employee anyway.


It is a contract. And they can terminate it for basically any reason. And I never said I was an employee (I hope not anyway, my bad if I suggested I was - though I am an employee of my s-corp. Owner, CEO, and the only employee. I should fire that guy.).
   487. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 29, 2021 at 06:52 PM (#6037009)
There is a tiny little itty bitty difference between a crime like rape or murder and a business firing someone.
There are many differences between them. None relevant to the point for which the analogy was raised, however.


But since you continue to deliberately pretend to misunderstand libertarianism and free markets, I will say for the millionth time: supporting someone's right to do something is not the same as endorsing them actually doing it.
   488. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 29, 2021 at 10:55 PM (#6037052)
Then it's either not a contract, or not at will. And you're not an employee anyway.

It is a contract.
Yeah; FLTB is fake lawyering again. Just because a contract is for an undefined term and terminable at will doesn't mean it isn't a contract.
   489. . Posted: August 30, 2021 at 09:12 AM (#6037079)
He's not an employee and he's not an at-will employee. If he doesn't have the chops to be able to negotiate any actual contractual obligation from his counterparties, that's his issue. He apparently has zero firsthand experience as an employee dealing with the "work norms" he's been flailingly pontificating about.

   490. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: August 30, 2021 at 12:45 PM (#6037132)
489...IOW, the old "I know you are but what am I?" retort.
   491. . Posted: August 30, 2021 at 12:56 PM (#6037135)
--
   492. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 30, 2021 at 03:03 PM (#6037181)
He's not an employee and he's not an at-will employee.


Currently no. However, I am functionally at will and have been my entire career. If I violate work norms they can and will let me go at any time. I don't even get unemployment.

If he doesn't have the chops to be able to negotiate any actual contractual obligation from his counterparties, that's his issue.


I am quite happy with my contract. And in fact, they do have a contractual obligation, it is to pay me my rate for hours worked. No complaints from me.

He apparently has zero firsthand experience as an employee dealing with the "work norms" he's been flailingly pontificating about.


Weird projection dude. But you be you.
   493. . Posted: August 30, 2021 at 03:14 PM (#6037184)
Currently no.


Exactly. So what have you been arguing about then?

And in fact, they do have a contractual obligation, it is to pay me my rate for hours worked.


Right, but my at-will employer has the very same obligation as do the at-will employers of millions of other people.(*) It sounds like your clients have no contractual obligation beyond that, so the contract really doesn't gain you anything.

(*) Technically, I'm a salaried employee so they have the obligation to pay me even when I take vacation or sick leave.
   494. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 30, 2021 at 03:49 PM (#6037194)
Exactly. So what have you been arguing about then?


I never claimed to currently be an employee. You really have trouble following along, don't you. I advise you spend some time and review the thread. Because clearly, you missed much.

Look at it as an opportunity for education and enlightenment.

so the contract really doesn't gain you anything


Other than money every month? Because, and you may not understand this, without a contract, I won't get paid. I like getting paid. I like my current job. And without a contract with the company I consult for, I will not get paid.

You realize how consulting works, right?
   495. . Posted: August 30, 2021 at 03:56 PM (#6037195)
Other than money every month? Because, and you may not understand this, without a contract, I won't get paid.


Then how do I not have a contract and still get paid? Millions of Americans don't have contracts and still get paid for their work. Honest.

If an oral promise to pay you a certain amount per hour isn't workable, you must work with some shady people.
   496. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 30, 2021 at 04:01 PM (#6037197)
Then how do I not have a contract and still get paid? Millions of Americans don't have contracts and still get paid for their work. Honest.


Because you are not a consultant at the company I work at. And neither are millions of Americans.

You really are dumb, or it is a brilliant act.
   497. . Posted: August 30, 2021 at 04:21 PM (#6037206)
You really have trouble following along and connecting one comment you make to other comments you make. The rape/murder thing was another example.

You don't have to have a contract to get paid for your labor or services in the United States. So it's impossible for someone to figure out why you're going on and on about a contract. This ... :

Because, and you may not understand this, without a contract, I won't get paid.


... makes no sense. Like literally zero. You have a contract, or so you say, that says you will get paid X for Y work. I don't have a contract, yet I still dependably get paid X for Y work.(*) Which means ... you don't need a contract to get paid. And you don't need a contract to get paid X for Y work. What ... do you think an employee without a contract goes to work and then just gets a paycheck every other Friday for whatever amount the employer decides they want to give them? Is that another imaginary "work norm" in Mouseville?

(*) I've never had a contract. With one place, I had a "term sheet" that called for a salary and a numerical bonus. One year they stiffed me on the bonus and it was less than the term sheet's. The places I've worked without a contract have paid me exactly what we agreed to every other Friday for like 25 years or something now.
   498. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 30, 2021 at 04:51 PM (#6037220)
... makes no sense. Like literally zero. You have a contract, or so you say, that says you will get paid X for Y work. I don't have a contract, yet I still dependably get paid X for Y work


It is almost as if different employment situations were different. Some people have contracts and others do not. Where I work as a consultant I have to have a contract. It lays out how much I make per hour and a few other things.

The fact that this puzzles you is fascinating.
   499. . Posted: August 30, 2021 at 05:12 PM (#6037230)
It is almost as if different employment situations were different. Some people have contracts and others do not. Where I work as a consultant I have to have a contract.


No, you like definitively don't have to have a contract to get paid. That's why and how all of us who work without contracts get paid.
   500. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 30, 2021 at 05:19 PM (#6037236)
No, you like definitively don't have to have a contract to get paid. That's why and how all of us who work without contracts get paid.


No, I really do, in the job I am in, working for the company I work for.

I could work in some other job and not need a contract. Which ... so what? As I said, I like where I work. I like what I get paid.

But please, continue.
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