Racism

How to know if you’re racist

Does racism in ignorance make you a racist? How can you tell if you are, or aren’t?

I was complaining about getting jury duty last month and a friend of mine said, “just tell them you’re racist and you’ll get released”. I replied “hey, that comment makes you racist”. He said “ no, I’m not racist. How would that make me a racist”?

Because you’re assuming that the defendant will be a person of color”.

After hearing the Joe Rogan tapes, especially the comments about planet of the apes at the theater, he tips the scale into racist. Not an innocent, solo act of ignorance, but an N-word montage of good ol’ boy white privilege followed by his own admission the theater comment was racist.

This is the first time ever hearing Rogan outside of an MMA commentary, but I think I heard enough to see he isn’t ignorant. He’s blatant.

But he really doesn’t think he’s racist. So how do you know? Can one accurately judge their own personality?

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Author: jimoeba

Alternatives to big box religions and dogmas

147 thoughts on “Racism”

  1. I don’t agree with the wording of your question, Jim, it led me to expect a totally different post. Being “racist in ignorance” would mean, in my mind, not knowing racism exists in the first place. I don’t think anyone in the USofI* does not know racism exists. Even those who like your friend does not understand his comment was racist still know racism exists. He could not have made his stupid statement otherwise. Now, if you had asked about “blind racism” or some other such adjective, I might have agreed, somewhat.
    Meanwhile, there are too many folks like your friend in this world who have convinced themselves they are not racist, but are. While humans are not born racist, I hope, by the time they are two years old the groundwork has already been laid in most of us. Generally speaking, no matter what colour we are, we are brought up to hate someone who does not look like us. It may be overt, or it may be covert, but it is still racism, and human beings thrive on it.
    * United States of Idiots. Not meant to diss the whole American population, but there are a lot of idiots in North America, and then there are another whole set of people who remain silent in the face of the idiots. The name of your nation just lends itself too beautifully to renaming it after a huge minority of its population. Canadians is just not as fluid sounding as the USofI.

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    1. Very well. Being ignorant of your own racism is what I intended. Even after all he said he still doesn’t think he’s a racist. I suppose it takes another to point it out, but now he’s in denial, but even though it looks really bad he doesn’t see it.

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      1. I think he is unwilling to admit it, but that”s just me remembering friends like that. They could talk about otherother people being racist, so they understood, but they could not hear they were talking about themselves. Somewhere there was a disconnect.

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    2. Perhaps “generally speaking” … we are brought up to hate someone who does not look like us. But, fortunately, this was not the case in my family. It didn’t matter whether it was color or class, everyone was equal. That may seem hard to believe, but even to this day I have no prejudices (except perhaps towards willful ignorance!). I believe every person has a right to exist. If anything, I might be prejudiced against the a-holes that think THEY are superior!

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      1. Just by-the-bye, Nan, am I still listed as following your blog, or have you not been posting of late. I just discovered I had been unfollowed from someone else’s blog, without either of us knowing. When I thought about it, I realized I have seen nothing from you for about the same length of time. I hate when that happens. (Sorry, Jim.)

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        1. The comment you made on my latest post came through … ?? Also, FYI, I don’t post by schedule. I tend to do it “as the spirit moves me.” 😄

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          1. I had to physically go to your site to make that comment. Your posts have not been showing up on my site. Not sure why you are talking about scheduled posts, I did not think you “scheduled” yours, as I do not schedule mine either.

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      2. So you would be a good person to ask this. Have you ever done something or been accused of something others would say is racist, even though you don’t have any racist feelings?

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        1. No. Never. To my way of thinking, there are individuals of all colors, backgrounds, creeds, gender, etc. that sometimes do things that “rub us wrong.” And when that happens, I may mumble something under my breath like, “What an idiot.” But to make a “public” announcement about the person’s race? Not my thing.

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  2. Wanna repost Joe’s comment? Seems to be another important happening I missed. And, I think people are simply not self aware enough to recognize their own racism. Self-awareness is tricky! It’s like the fish, being born and raised in the water, and living their whole life beneath the water, says “Water? What water? I don’t see any water.”

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  3. a comment taken out of context can be made to sound like anything you want. and if i’m not mistaken, he was telling a joke

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        1. It’s blocked here in Aus too (by the uploader, not local authorities).

          I’ve been considering firing up my VPN to masquerade as an American and watch it, but I think I’ve probably seen most of it piecemeal in other clips anyway.

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        2. Sorry. Can’t help you there. He went to go see planet of the apes at a black neighborhood in Philadelphia. When he walked in he said: “We got out, and it was like we were in Africa, like we were in Planet of the Apes (lots of laughter) We were the only white people”
          His buddy then laughs at it while the other guy in the podcast appears to lean back to get out of the camera angle.
          I may have missed part of the quote but the way it was said was to me, like you’d picture a white supremacist telling a story at a kkk event.

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          1. thanks for the details! i find it hard to believe Joe is racist, as I think he’s very open minded and quite brilliant. regardless, he should be more aware of his language.

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            1. If he has to be “more aware of his language” infers he would have to hold back his true feelings. I don’t think any of us are exempt from this, btw. When I consciously hold back an errant thought, what does that say about my core feelings? I think we are all a bit more guilty than we would admit, and Joe is no different.
              I do think one can say racist and careless things and have no malice. Ignorance maybe, but really he doesn’t hate anyone more than normal.

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            2. I think it was possible someone didn’t get the memo about whether it’s acceptable to use the n-word these days – up to perhaps 15-20 years ago. Then the excuse that he’d ‘learned to mind his language’ might have had legs. But the idea someone in showbiz still thought it was OK for a white person to use it for laughs up until 5-10 years ago is pretty hard to credit.

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            3. It would be much more believable if he’d done a podcast about his prior language and offer an apology before he got caught at it. If it was sincere, most of us would make an effort to make it right just because it was a good thing to do.
              When I left religion I wanted to apologize to all the people I piously judged, and to some I did. He could’ve undid all this when he had his realization and stopped using the word (if he was sincere or really even thinking about it at all) that would’ve been a powerful podcast. But crickets…

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            4. it means, humour has no boundaries. when we put taboos on what we can joke about and what not, it becomes dogma. ultimately, the whole human drama is a bit of an an absurd situation, and to place anything on the pedestal of “this is too serious to laugh about” doesn’t work for me.
              so he said a taboo word. have we nothing else to worry about??

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            5. Dunno about you, but as far as I’m concerned cruel humour directed at the vulnerable to make them the butt of jokes coined by the more powerful to keep them in their place is taboo. I don’t bash children for laughs either.

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            6. see, that is the wrong perspective. what i’m saying is, stop being so easily offended, and you’ll have a happier life.

              i’m not not proponing bad jokes, but if you don’t taste a joke, you can easily ignore it. humour will always be subjective, and arguing over whether something it’s funny or not is a waste of time.

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            7. I think we’ve all seen how playground bully ‘humour’ is used to maintain power structures and facilitate abuse. It’s not a matter of being ‘offended’.

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            8. Fake outrage bothers me. I’m not offended by Joes use of the word, but I’m a white male that recognizes that comes with its own longstanding level of advantage.
              African Americans own a word. I can respect that. I wonder if other types of Americans have sole privilege to certain words?

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            9. “own a word”?? a word is a bunch of sounds put together. how can anyone own this, and what are they owning, exactly?

              the word or sound itself is insignificant. it is imaginary gravity we build around it. ‘Oh, this word means this or that’. and then we fight over some imaginary meaning of a sound.

              there’s just the perceiving. all other meaning is added by the mind and creates heavy baggage

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            10. So presumably you wouldn’t be upset at being described as a stupid, racist, piece of shit. They’re just words. Characters on a screen. You can choose to make them mean the same as ‘sensitive, wise, enlightened being’ if you like. And if they’re directed at you from a public pulpit with thousands of others choosing to make them mean something different that’s their problem, right? You can just continue to drift along in your happy place tenaciously perceiving that you’ve been complimented.

              When African Americans use the n-word among themselves they’re acknowledging a shared history of discrimination, oppression and abuse. When white people direct it towards them they’re reinforcing their right to act as oppressors and abusers and perpetuating that history. It’s not really a matter of ‘owning’ a word. It’s about the context from which it derives its meaning.

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            11. Offense is taken, not given; so if you’re easily offended by words, that’s of you’re own choosing — not others.

              “No power in society, no hardship in your condition can depress you, keep you down, in knowledge, power, virtue, influence, but by your own consent.” ~William Ellery Channing

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            12. But words are used to promote all sorts of abuses.
              Do you think the Holocaust would have been possible without Mein Kampf, the Nuremberg rally speeches and the homicidal eloquence of Joseph Goebbels?
              Only those protected by social privilege can afford to be blase about the power of verbal vilification. The rest of us know it presages and enables abuse and violence.

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            13. There is no argument that words may be used to promote all manner of things. But the “I was just following orders” plea didn’t cut it during the Nuremburg trials. Nor is it a valid defense now. Each of us is accountable for our own actions; blaming others for our failures and moral shortcomings constitutes an abdication of personal responsibility.

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            14. I fail to see the relevance of your point.

              This is a post about racism and in particular the publicly expressed racism of a popular podcaster. His words have the power to inflict suffering by encouraging and accentuating all sorts of abuses – up to and including violence – against a persecuted group. To pretend the victims have a choice as to whether they suffer as a result of his words is pure victim blaming BS. Ditto for the victims of those inspired by Nazi propaganda. What that’s got to with glib truisms about blame and responsibility eludes me.

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            15. The relevance of my point is this: Joe Rogan is responsible for what Joe Rogan says and does. I am responsible for what I say and do. You are responsible for what you say and do. We act of our own volition.

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            16. Your point is clear and so obvious as to be not worth making. However its relevance to the conversation still eludes me.

              Citing Channing (“No power in society, no hardship in your condition can depress you, keep you down, in knowledge, power, virtue, influence, but by your own consent.”) in the context of this conversation sounds like victim blaming to me. Racism can and does keep you down in knowledge, power, virtue and influence. It doesn’t require your consent.

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            17. Citation needed. Who’s keeping anyone down in knowledge, power, virtue and influence in modern-day America? The only ones guilty of that are the ones who scream “racism” at every opportunity to excuse their own personal shortcomings. Michael Gerson (George Bush’s speech writer) coined it the “soft bigotry of low expectations”.

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            18. I see that you’re simply a victim blamer Ron, smug that his unearned privilege is a right inherent in his innate personal superiority and blissfully ignorant of what it means to suffer lifelong, systemic discrimination based on something as superficial as the colour of your skin.

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            19. Get back to me when you have something more substantive to offer.

              When you say “Who’s keeping anyone down in knowledge, power, virtue and influence in modern-day America?” are you suggesting there’s no racism in modern-day America or that racism doesn’t deny anyone opportunities for knowledge, power, virtue and influence?

              Because both assertions are so obviously preposterous that even the most blinkered ideology would have to do a lot of heavy lifting before someone could convince himself they’re true.

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            20. You asserted: “Racism can and does keep you down in knowledge, power, virtue and influence.”

              I asked: “Who’s keeping anyone down in knowledge, power, virtue and influence in modern-day America?”

              The ball’s in your court. Cite examples.

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            21. Oh, for god’s sake Ron.

              Racism in the education system impedes access to knowledge.

              Racism itself is a systemic denial of power. Thanks to America’s racist legal system and law enforcement African Americans aren’t safe when they walk around predominantly white, wealthy neighbourhoods. They aren’t safe when they legally possess firearms even when they don’t threaten to use them. They aren’t safe in their own homes during no warrant invasions by cops. They aren’t even safe reaching into their jackets for ID when stopped by police. They don’t even have the power to participate in US society without the risk of being gunned down with near impunity by law enforcement. And that’s before I even get started on their under-representation at the upper levels of institutional power.

              More than poverty, education levels, childhood trauma or anything else criminologists have identified childhood exposure to lead pollution as the single greatest predictor of adult criminal offending – especially violent offending. That’s because it cripples the development of forebrain structures necessary for exercising executive control over decision making. That means making a ‘virtuous’ decision isn’t only more difficult for such people, in borderline situations it’s actually impossible. For many reasons, often related to historic and current racism, African Americans have been and continue to be raised in areas disproportionately affected by lead pollution, and as a result many can’t practice the sort of ‘virtues’ you, in your tenacious refusal to acknowledge your own privilege, doubtless attribute to your superior character and personal characteristics.

              But of course that’s just one particularly clear case of how deprivation – which is systemically imposed on certain communities by racism – actually denies people the opportunity to exercise virtue. Moral philosophers have recognised for millenia that the practice of virtue is a luxury requiring access to the lower levels of what’s now called ‘Maslow’s hierarchy of needs’ in order to be realised. Racism systemically denies people the means to meet those needs.

              And influence is obviously denied by racism. The current racist gerrymandering of US electorates and racialised denial of the right to vote is denying black US citizens their democratic rights to influence the political process. Racist employment practices are denying them the ability to influence the economy. Racism in the media is denying them the ability to influence public discourse. I could go on and on and on …

              But I’m wasting keystrokes here aren’t I Ron?
              Nothing I type will penetrate your bulletproof Randian ideology that you deserve everything you have due to your own superior characteristics and therefore those deprived of such benefits deserve it due to their inferiority. i.e. victim blaming.

              When I say ‘Randian’ I’m not suggesting you were programmed into such beliefs by Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, but that Ayn Rand gave perhaps the most influential and well known ideological justification of personality traits that generally arise before anyone even reads her crap, probably due to being raised with an undue sense of entitlement or to adopting a bullying attitude during childhood. Rand only provided the justification for continuing to express such repugnant personality traits while recontextualising them as ‘virtuous’.

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            22. Yeah, I hope I covered that in my first sentence. But racism in the education system goes further than funding allocation. I certainly saw it in the Australian education system – where funding isn’t so explicitly racist – right down to the level of teacher, staff and student attitudes.

              But really examples of how racism keep people down in knowledge, power, virtue and influence are ubiquitous. I could generously attribute Ron’s denial of their existence to the ‘fish don’t perceive water’ effect, but I don’t think that’s likely in contemporary America unless he’s led a very sheltered existence.

              Really I think Ron’s doing what tildeb and doctrinaire Christians like to do. Making a clearly ridiculous claim then putting the onus on others to disprove it rather than on himself to prove it. I anticipate he’ll respond by demanding ever higher standards of proof no matter how much evidence I provide, so I’m just going to leave my response as it stands. Like any fundamentalist, he won’t convince anyone who isn’t already committed to his blinkered belief system and those people will need the sort of epiphany beyond anything I can provide to be moved from their entrenched positions.

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            23. I see a lot of opinions, rhetoric and grandstanding, but no real-life examples of “keeping anyone down in knowledge, power, virtue and influence in modern-day America”.

              Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

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            24. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

              Yeah I do. For making a successful prediction.

              I anticipate he’ll respond by demanding ever higher standards of proof no matter how much evidence I provide, so I’m just going to leave my response as it stands.

              As with any fundamentalist your ideology is your identity Ron. To question it you would be undermining yourself as the questioner. So no examples or evidence that challenge your world view would be ‘real-life’ to you because your world-view defines what ‘real-life’ is.

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            25. Thus far, you’ve made a bunch of claims. But claims by themselves do not constitute evidence. That requires actual evidence in the form of facts and data. Until you do that, you’re just spinning your gears.

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            26. I think it is rather obvious that certain cultures have never meshed with the colonial ideal which automatically puts them at a disadvantage in the system.
              Like many of the Native Americans here in my area whose lifestyle was stolen and placed in desolate areas (internment camp reservations) are now ridiculed for not being able to bootstrap their was to the top.
              Trade places with them Ron. Go out to Wellpinit as a white guy and set up shop. Try putting yourself in their shoes, and not just you, but your whole family has to be high achievers and not offend the locals while you’re doing it.
              You’re attitude suggests those cultures are failed attempts at being human, yet the Christian colonial ideal you embrace is offensive to anyone left who has the balls to oppose it.

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            27. I’m not asking for examples of what might have occurred in previous eras. I’m asking for examples to support cabrogal’s contention that people are deliberately being prevented from reaching their full potential at this very moment, and that it is “systemic” in nature.

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            28. I know the data is always in favor of you, Ron. Weird
              My 7 year old grandson (who is black) was punched in the stomach by another student so he hit him back. It was all witnessed by the playground supervisor, who dragged my grandson to the principals office and called us and his mother. “What are you going to do about him”, they asked. The other boy never saw anything like this. After an hour of tears and humiliating interrogation my grandson was sent home. There is only one explanation for this; If you’re black in a white school you better suck it in. Does he have equal protection, let alone opportunity?
              He’s a really good kid and has never been in trouble before like the other boy who has a history. It’s pretty obvious

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            29. It would be inappropriate of me to comment on your particular case because I only have one side of the story.

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            30. Of course. With all the data and research sometimes we forget to see what’s right in front of our faces. The incident I presented was true. There was no punishment for the white kid and now that he knows that he can do just about whatever he wants.
              True there are bullies in every institution, but if your bullied and black you have to accept it. We have since started home schooling him and my daughter since the school was unwilling to play it fair.

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            31. True there are bullies in every institution,

              And strong correlations between bullies and victim blamers.

              I’d be tempted to ask Ron if he was a schoolyard bully but I’m sure he would have seen ‘no evidence of it’.

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            32. It would be inappropriate of me to comment on your particular case because I only have one side of the story.

              But completely appropriate for you to repeat the one-sided accounts of George Floyd pointing a gun at a pregnant woman despite the fact the pregnancy detail was concocted nonsense.

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            33. I’m a little surprised here Ron. It’s all pretty obvious when you live it. Having other incidents with my grandson, as well as my Latina wife I have witnessed this barrier first hand. You say they’re just words but those words are the formidable foundation of the actions behind them.
              Maybe a half dozen times this past year my wife has had the table pounded her way —“we speak English here”, even when she is trying to help the foreign exchange students with their schedules and understanding the American process. Her favorite line is, “which colonizer language do you want me to speak”? For their comfort, not for hers.

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            34. And how am I supposed to shove what you’d consider evidence through a textual interface into your head if the abundant daily evidence of the society you live within doesn’t meet your criteria?

              Presumably you don’t believe a dead George Floyd or Ahmaud Arbery constitutes evidence that racism keeps people down in power – even the power to go about there own business peacefully without being killed because of the colour of their skins – so I really can’t imagine what you would consider evidence.

              Like I said, I’m talking to a fundamentalist. All ‘evidence’ is evaluated within the context of your rigid world-view. If it isn’t compatible with that world view it isn’t evidence. Even if something happened right in front of your eyes that any reasonable, open-minded person would consider to be overwhelming evidence of racism keeping someone down in knowledge, power, virtue or influence you’d dismiss it. I’ve already drawn your attention to how the systemic denial of black voters’ rights in some blue states is denying them influence over the democratic process but even that doesn’t constitute evidence to you. Clearly nothing would.

              Frankly I think the onus is on you to justify your ridiculous claim, not on me to refute it.

              I could insist the world is hollow, demand you refute it with evidence, then simply dismiss everything you say as not evidence. Were I to do that it wouldn’t demonstrate the world was hollow. It would simply demonstrate I was a blinkered ideologue impervious to facts. If I wanted to demonstrate the world was hollow it would be up to me to produce evidence.

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            35. Based on his conviction records, George Floyd’s “business” (as you call it) was: criminal trespass, passing counterfeit bank notes, theft and armed robbery and aggravated assault for pointing a gun at a pregnant woman’s stomach while her house was being robbed. While the evidence of police brutality may be clear cut, there is no evidence that “systemic racism” was the motivation for his arrest, or that anyone kept George Floyd down “in knowledge, power, virtue and influence” — unless you’re proposing that thwarting career criminals from harming others constitutes an example of same.d

              Ahmaud Arbery died at the hands of men who presumed him to be the culprit in a series of break-ins. An example of vigilante justice, perhaps, but not an example of “systemic” racism.

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            36. As the federal prosecutor recently said at the federal proceeding which will examine whether race was a factor in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery …

              “If Ahmaud Arbery had been white, he’d have gone for a jog, checked out a cool house that was under construction and been home in time for Sunday dinner.

              Racism IS alive and well in this country.

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            37. IMO (and many others), it’s hardly a “hypothetical opinion.” But whatever.

              Interesting how nearly everything Jim posts you show up with conflicting comments/opinions. I’m not sure if your consistent opposition is genuine or you’re simply bored. 🤔

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            38. I guess I must have missed the memo that says readers are required to agree with everything Jim posts and refrain from posting conflicting comments/opinions. 🙂

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            39. George Floyd’s “business” (as you call it) was: criminal trespass, passing counterfeit bank notes, theft and armed robbery and aggravated assault for pointing a gun at a pregnant woman’s stomach while her house was being robbed

              The only thing the cops who killed him knew at the time was they suspected him of passing a counterfeit $20 note (still unproven to this day). He received a one year sentence for aggravated armed robbery of a woman which he served in full thirteen years before his murder. The allegations she was pregnant are right-wing bullshit made up after Floyd was dead. To say that his “business” at the time of his death was a crime he’d served his time for over a decade earlier is the SOP shit right-wingers and cops use to justify unjustifiable police killings. I’ve seen it over and over in deaths in custody cases I’ve been involved in. Sometimes they use non-specific code phrases such as “was known to police” to imply someone was a career criminal, sometimes they dredge up spent convictions from decades before, sometimes they just make shit up in the full knowledge that by the time the truth comes out the news cycle will have moved on and the damage to the victim’s reputation and the grieving loved ones will have been done. It’s utterly despicable.

              Floyd was sitting peacefully in a car with friends when he was dragged out and murdered by cops in front of multiple witnesses. That was his business at the time he was killed. It wouldn’t have happened if he’d been white and Chauvin would have got away with it if he hadn’t been videoed. Floyd’s murder was a racist crime which the accessories to it are now attempting to defend with the claim of ‘excited delirium’, a diagnosis made up by police coroners and endorsed by ACEP members on the payroll of Taser manufacturers, which has zero credibility among mental health professionals and is applied almost exclusively to black men killed by police. More racism.

              Ahmaud Arbery died at the hands of men who presumed him to be the culprit in a series of break-ins. An example of vigilante justice, perhaps, but not an example of “systemic” racism.

              He was ‘presumed’ to be the culprit purely on the basis of being a black man in a white neighbourhood. There were no witnesses to the break-ins and no descriptions of alleged perpetrators. Arbery’s killers saw a black man where he ‘wasn’t supposed to be’ and that was enough for them to appoint themselves judge, jury and executioners. It was ‘vigilante justice’ in the same way any other lynching is. And every bit as racist.

              I think the fact that you not only can’t see the racism inherent in these murders, but can’t even say ‘murder’, instead finding excuses for the murderers, proves my point at how effective your ideology is at defending you from realities you don’t want too see.

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            40. Here is the body cam footage of the entire incident taken from officers J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane. It begins with them talking to the store manager, who shows them the counterfeit note and then points towards the vehicle occupied by the men who passed it. They go out to question the occupants and George fails to comply with their directives to place his hands on the wheel and keep them there. He’s removed from the vehicle, handcuffed and asked to sit against the side of the building. After further questioning, he is taken to the police car and asked to get in the back. George fails to comply under the pretext that he is claustrophobic and a long struggle ensues before he is pinned to the ground and kept that way until the paramedics arrive and take him into the ambulance. The first officer then goes back to get further details from the store manager, while the second joins the paramedics in resuscitating George. At no point is the entire affair is there even the slightest indication that the officers were motivated by racism.

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            41. You sure like to duck and weave don’t you Ron?

              If I give evidence of individual racism you demand proof of systemic racism. If I provide evidence of systemic racism you want evidence of individual racism.

              OK, I’ll admit it, I don’t know whether Derek Chauvin is a racist. Witnesses to his murder of Floyd noted that his body language strongly suggested he was enjoying himself while choking the life out of him. In sentencing him the judge observed that his actions demonstrated extreme cruelty.

              But were they motivated by racism?
              I don’t know.
              Perhaps Chauvin is an equal opportunity murderous psychopath. Perhaps he would have had just as much fun slowly choking an immobilised white person to death on a public street in front of a crowd of white witnesses.
              But would it have happened?

              To get at systemic racism you have to broaden the focus from the individual. There were four cops there that day. I seriously doubt all four of them were personally racist – at least to the point of thinking being black is a good enough reason to kill someone. Yet all played a part in the murder and none tried to stop it. Why might that be?

              Could it be in part that as on duty employees of a racist institution they’d surrendered some of their personal morality to their sense of belonging, camaraderie and duty?

              Would they still have done it had Floyd and the crowd of onlookers begging them to stop been white?

              Might they have felt a little less confident the established precedent of the US legal system failing to prosecute police who kill while on duty would protect them if the victim and witnesses had been white?
              Would that have been enough for at least one of them to try to prevent the killing?

              What do you think Ron?
              Would Floyd have died if he and the crowd on the sidewalk had been white?
              Would he have died were the police force and legal system not systemically racist?

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            42. Who’s ducking and weaving? I specifically asked for evidence of “systemic” racism and you presented George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery as proof of same. Yet there’s no accompanying evidence in support of the assertion that either incident was attributable to “systemic” racism, and based on the body cam footage, there’s not even enough evidence to establish the individual officers were motivated by personal racism.

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            43. As if you can pick up a system with a bodycam.

              The death of Floyd and the initial police responses to the deaths of both Floyd and Arbery wouldn’t have happened the way they did had not the victims been black and the US criminal justice system systemically racist. All you have to do is imagine someone almost identical to them except for race to get the picture that bodycams don’t show.

              And what about a fake news video made by people obviously trying to morally equate a concocted assault by ‘100 black teenagers’ with the killing of Trayvon Martin being left on youtube for eight years despite youtube’s alleged policies against both fake news and racial vilification then linked to without comment by someone trying to argue there’s no systemic racism in the US?
              Sure stinks of both systemic and personal racism to me.

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            44. Again, what evidence informs the assertion that the US criminal justice system is “systemically” racist? Please cite the modern-day codes and statutes prescribing the application of different rules and procedures based purely on the suspect’s race, ethnicity or skin tone.

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            45. As if contemporary US racism would be instituted by statute. Next you’ll be asking for proof the various KKKs are/were racist by reference to their charters.

              Racism is what racism does. You don’t have to write it down. You can see systemic, institutionalised racism in the US justice system in the over-representation of black Americans in police killings and the prison system, the differing institutional responses to police killings when an unarmed victim is black rather than white, the over-policing of black neighbourhoods or just by watching the basic level of (dis)respect shown by US police (including black ones) to black people as compared to white.

              The most charitable explanation I can find for your refusal to acknowledging it – even as you propagate bullshit videos aimed at collectively slandering young black Americans – is that you’re so blinkered in your inability to acknowledge your own racial privilege that you flatly refuse to see the obvious (and often lethal) racist skew in your society even when it’s been in your face for every day of your life. Maybe it’s one of those ‘fish don’t know they’re wet’ things.

              Liked by 1 person

            46. What can I say? Systemic, in the manner you are using it, implies things that are “fundamental to a predominant social, economic, or political practice” — and thus far, you have failed to furnish any evidence in support that allegation.

              Nor can it be confidently established via vague appeals to “over-representation” of certain demographic populations within the criminal justice system, unless you’re then also prepared to entertain the idea that an over-representation of young adult males aged 18 – 35 within the justice system constitutes prima facie evidence of systemic sexism and ageism.

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            47. unless you’re then also prepared to entertain the idea that an over-representation of young adult males aged 18 – 35 within the justice system constitutes prima facie evidence of systemic sexism and ageism.

              I think you’re starting to make yourself clear Ron.

              Yes, young men are over-represented in the criminal justice system. They’re also over-represented among violent offenders.

              Now I’d be prepared to entertain the notion that the US, like Australia, has a tendency to lock away young violent offenders while not doing the same to older fraudsters and war criminals whose crimes do even more harm (e.g. the Sacklers, most US presidents) and that’s evidence of systemic prejudice in the criminal justice system. But that’s not what you’re talking about, is it Ron?

              What you’re trying to slyly suggest without actually saying it – in the same way you did with the link to that video – is that like young men, black Americans commit a disproportionate amount of violent crime. I think the degree that’s true is highly debatable, but I’d concede there’s truth to it.

              But where to from here Ron?

              Are you trying to say US society denies black people the opportunity to lead meaningful, law-abiding lives more than it does whites (i.e. the system is institutionally racist) or are you saying you believe black Americans are intrinsically more violently criminal than white ones (i.e. you’re personally racist)?

              Liked by 1 person

            48. Which of the following explanations seems the more plausible one to you:

              – young men are incarcerated more often because it’s been statistically shown that they are more likely to commit violent offenses, or

              – young men are incarcerated more often because the “the system” is rigged against them?

              Likewise, which of these explanations seems more plausible:

              – young black males are incarcerated more often because it’s been statistically shown that they are more likely to commit violent offenses, or

              – young black males are incarcerated more often because “the system” is rigged against them?

              And if your response to either or both is the second option, then consider this:

              It’s the voters who press for more laws and regulations, and pester politicians to “get tough on crime and put more criminals behind bars”. So it should come as no surprise when those demands are met with ever more laws and draconian enforcement, because it’s utterly pointless to enact rules that aren’t enforced.

              “The more laws, the less justice.” –Cicero

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            49. As I said, you’ve made yourself pretty clear now Ron.

              To spell it out in a way that perhaps even you can understand :

              Either black people are over-represented at the pointy end of the US criminal justice system (including among death row inmates who’ve later been exonerated) because they criminally offend more than most people in the US or because the justice system is institutionally racist.

              If they criminally offend more it’s either because the US is institutionally racist in a way that makes them more likely to criminally offend or because black Americans are inherently more criminal than other Americans. If you believe the latter you’re personally racist.

              So we’ve established either the US criminal justice system is institutionally racist, you’re personally racist or both.

              I think the video you linked to offers some insight into the latter questions.

              Either you thought the video was bona fide and made a relevant point against institutional racism in the US – in which case you’re monumentally stupid – or you knew it was a fraudulent attempt to promote racist bigotry in the US and linked to it anyway – in which case you’re racist and dishonest.

              So yeah, you’ve made your position pretty clear I think Ron, though perhaps you’d like to elucidate further on whether you’re an imbecile, a lying racist or both.

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            50. Either black people are over-represented at the pointy end of the US criminal justice system (including among death row inmates who’ve later been exonerated) because they criminally offend more than most people in the US or because the justice system is institutionally racist.

              Let’s take your logic out for a test drive:

              Either males are over-represented at the pointy end of the US criminal justice system (including among death row inmates who’ve later been exonerated) because they criminally offend more than most people in the US or because the justice system is institutionally misandrist.

              Either overly obese patients are over-represented at the pointy end of the US healthcare system because they eat more and/or exercise less than most people in the US, or because the healthcare system is institutionally fat-phobic.

              The remainder of your comment is all ad hominem, no substance — so I will ignore it.

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            51. It would be convenient to have a handy list of fallacy blueprints, which we could use to identify bad reasoning, totally abstracted away from the specific content and dialectical context. Sadly, the real world doesn’t seem to conform to these hopes. As much as this might scandalize the online skeptic community, fallacies don’t really matter as much as they seem to think. Even if an argument does plausibly sound like it commits something listed on fallacy list the argument might not be a bad one.

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            52. You need not worry about scandalizing the online “skeptic community” because it died a horrific death when it launched “Atheism Plus” (A+) — an atheist SJW movement that attracted members who were more puritanical and dogmatic than Fred Phelps and the WBC — 10 years ago. It lasted about two weeks, but its faithful congregation now worships at “Freethought Blogs” — a progressive hive mind where even the slightest deviation from the official A+ dogma and orthodoxy is met with the same opprobrium as horse flies at a nudist colony.

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            53. Yes. This is true. As a new atheist I was wont to find the parameters of freethinking, but found the parameters of thought easily dogmatized for all in freethinking humanists.

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            54. It’s easy to separate the wheat from the tares. Freethinkers derive their opinions via independent thought and rational inquiry and choose reason as their ultimate guide and arbiter, whilst non-freethinkers adopt the opinions of others and command obedience to authority.

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            55. BTW, here’s the cellphone video that resulted in charges being laid against Floyd’s killers and BLM protests erupting across the country. It’s why there were far more witnesses of all colours than the cops had anticipated. It was probably the key piece of evidence persuading the jury to convict Chauvin.

              I think it offers a better perspective of what happened than the bodycam stuff. You can see Chauvin’s hands-in-pockets smirk as he chokes the life out of Floyd while onlookers beg him to stop. You can see the fluids flowing from Floyd’s inert body as Chauvin finishes him off. You can more clearly see the role the other cops played in facilitating the murder.

              There’s a reason this video carries a youtube ‘inappropriate or offensive’ warning and the bodycam footage doesn’t. It reveals more of the big picture. And that’s not a pretty sight.

              Liked by 1 person

            56. Nope, no evidence of racism here.

              Travis repeatedly advocated for violence against Black people in posts online — often saying he would carry out those actions himself — and frequently used the n-word to refer to Black people in text conversations, Vaughan said.

              In one text to a friend, he expressed happiness at leaving the Coast Guard and getting a new job, writing, “Love it, zero niggers work with me.”

              He sent a video to a friend on Facebook Messenger that showed a Black child dancing, set to a song called “Alabama Nigger” by a white supremacist music artist, Vaughan told the jury.

              In a video showing a group of mostly Black teenagers attacking a white teen, Travis McMichael commented, “I say shoot all of them.” He once described a Black Lives Matter protest as a “zoo.” In response to an article about two Black people assaulting two white people, he called the Black people “subhuman savages” and said he “would beat those monkeys to death.”

              Bryan also frequently denigrated Black people, and for several years on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, exchanged racist text messages about Black people, according to Vaughan. Days before the men killed Arbery, Bryan expressed anger over his daughter dating a Black man, calling him the n-word and “monkey.”

              Liked by 2 people

            57. But really the disgusting facts about Arbery’s murderers are almost trivial in the context of systemic US racism.

              To get a perspective on that, try imagining a white jogger in a black district being pursued and gunned down by a car full of black men concerned about recent break-ins. Then try to imagine the attending cops failing to arrest or charge the killers until a video they took of the murder emerged some time later. Now try to imagine US right-wingers insisting what they did was “an example of vigilante justice”.

              Are you beginning to get an insight into what racism is yet Ron?

              Liked by 2 people

            58. I gotta wonder why you think posting this video is any sort of response to me pointing out that the police and DA failing to charge or arrest a group of white men who had pursued and gunned down an unarmed black man without provocation and spoke about it with complete lack of regret or remorse until a video of the killing went viral over two months later was evidence of systemic racism in the criminal justice system. Something similar happening if the races of participants had been reversed is unimaginable.

              Do you think there’s some sort of equivalence between an assault on white people by black youths and the failure of law enforcement to prosecute the shotgun murder of a black man in cold blood by a group of white men?

              But I think it’s unlikely I’d get anything resembling a straight answer from you to a question like that, so I’m going to do something simpler.

              I’m calling bullshit. This video is fake news.

              It’s title doesn’t match anything in its content. There is no attack of any sort ‘caught on video’. The people interviewed don’t mention the race of their alleged attackers nor the number of people who attacked.

              What you’ve got is security camera footage of a group of youths – at least some of whom appear African American – walking calmly through a service station. The frame rate and speed have been altered to make it appear they’re moving quickly in a manner some people might feel threatened by, but if you slow or freeze it you can see from their gait they’re walking slowly and peacefully. There’s less than 60 of them in the entire video, though segments are repeated at about 1:35 and 1:50 to give the impression of a larger crowd. There’s nothing in the video to connect these people with what allegedly happened to the couple being interviewed.

              The stamp in the upper right of frame suggests the video was made by WDRB, a Fox affiliate in Louisville, Kentucky, but the woman states she was attacked on Church and Brambleton, which is in Norfolk, Virginia. There’s no sign of a news story or video corresponding to this on the WDRB website nor any other media website Google can find for me, which is quite suspicious for reasons I’ll go into soon.

              The filming of the interview is very shoddily done and not at all consistent with that of a professional news camera operator. The lighting and camera angle are very idiosyncratic, unclear and dehumanising. Perhaps it’s an attempt to anonymise the interviewees, but it’s unlike any other anonymisation method I’ve seen on network news, nor is it clear why they need to be anonymised (unless the whole thing is concocted and they wish to avoid legal repercussions).

              If the video’s title and interviewees’ testimony are true they suffered an assault very similar in details to what right wing news outlets allege happened to the Virginia-Pilot reporters Marjon Rostami and Dave Forster at the same location in May 2012; while the killing of Trayvon Martin was still prominent in the media.

              The reporting of that incident by Matt Drudge and Bill O’Reilly was a hot button item in the US media culture wars and generated many news articles which are still easy to find with Google. A prominent allegation of right-wingers at the time was the initial failure of the Virgina-Pilot to report the story (which was at the request of the victims) was proof of a liberal media bias in reporting white-on-black violence (such as the killing of Martin) over black-on-white violence (such as the assaults on Rostami and Forster).

              Given that background, it’s inconceivable that a near identical incident could have happened at the same location barely two years later without being reported at all in either the liberal or right-wing press.

              The video is almost pure bullshit. It’s possible the couple suffered some sort of assault at Church and Brambleton and the audio relates actual events but not that it was committed by a large number of black youths as alleged by the video title and implied by the CCTV footage, yet not mentioned at all by the interviewees. The video wasn’t made by media professionals and whatever truth there may be to the story wasn’t significant enough to rate a mention in corporate media of any political stripe.

              So why did you link to it here?

              Liked by 2 people

            59. There’s no sign of a news story or video corresponding to this on the WDRB website nor any other media website Google can find for me, which is quite suspicious for reasons I’ll go into soon.

              https://www.wdrb.com/news/woman-attacked-by-mob-of-teens-says-she-was-scared-for-her-life/article_73020706-5fbd-5d17-980f-4ad4e3739b6d.html

              If you want to see the original video you will have to contact the WDRB directly because very few news outlets maintain an online video archive dating back that far.

              What you’ve got is security camera footage of a group of youths – at least some of whom appear African American

              The teens don’t just “appear” to be African American — they are.

              The frame rate and speed have been altered to make it appear they’re moving quickly in a manner some people might feel threatened by, but if you slow or freeze it you can see from their gait they’re walking slowly and peacefully.

              The stop-motion capture rate reflects the digital recording technology limitations of that time. With multiple cameras running, one second intervals from any single camera were the best you could get at a reasonable price.

              There’s less than 60 of them in the entire video

              The woman interviewed claimed her car was swarmed by 50-100 teens near the intersection, so it comes as no surprise that the cameras only captured the ones who wandered by the gas pumps.

              The stamp in the upper right of frame suggests the video was made by WDRB, a Fox affiliate in Louisville, Kentucky, but the woman states she was attacked on Church and Brambleton, which is in Norfolk, Virginia.

              Not sure which video you watched, but the incident occurred near the Bader’s Food Mart (see timestamp @1:25) located at 1st St and W Liberty St (see news article) in Louisville, KY — not Norfolk, VA. Hence the reason it was reported by a TV station located in Louisville.

              The filming of the interview is very shoddily done and not at all consistent with that of a professional news camera operator. The lighting and camera angle are very idiosyncratic, unclear and dehumanising.

              Perhaps. But it has no bearing on the veracity of facts presented — does it?

              If the video’s title and interviewees’ testimony are true they suffered an assault very similar in details to what right wing news outlets allege happened to the Virginia-Pilot reporters Marjon Rostami and Dave Forster at the same location in May 2012

              Similar incident — different location. Norfolk is ~650 miles east of Louisville.

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            60. This almost sounds like public school where we teach to the dumbest student. It is hard to imagine a world where the weakest and most sensitive get to dictate all the dialog, so how to be all inclusive for type A, and accepting of those who cannot really bootstrap there way up because of their inherent personality type?

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            61. there’s a philosophy that says that if you don’t hold it within, it cannot appear in your reality.
              basically, you see racism because that already exists within you. and if we agree that ‘I am That’, that is not so far fetched.

              food for thought! sorry, it’s all i got, i just run out of muffins

              Liked by 1 person

            62. You’re asking a majority culture, raised in a Christian backdrop where you are only a candidate for humanity based on what you believe—and whatever you do from your youth we can either blame you or praise you, so be good people or else. Blame is the name of the game here in America. Nothing just is as it is. Somebody has to be at fault.

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            63. Are you seriously suggesting that in order to perceive racialised abuse as racist you have to be a racist?

              And if you’re deploying the statement of nondualism “tat tvam asi” as a means of discriminating between people according to their dualist guna then I’d suggest you’ve got the wrong end of the stick.

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            64. look, it’s very much like movies with aliens or UFOs. (i knew Jim’s pic had a reason!)

              when aliens arrive, what do people do first thing every single time? they pick up arms, they prepare for attack. and this says more about the nature of humanity, then the nature of aliens.

              if we had no violence within us, how could we possibly feel threatened by anything?

              also, Americans feel they need right to bear guns for protection. and guns are instruments of violence, they are not instruments for peace. so how do you want to achieve peace, by carrying guns? they should look into “Why do we feel we need to carry guns?” Why is that sentiment present in our society?” maybe then they would get somewhere. otherwise, it’s just a vicious cycle of manifesting exactly that which you’re trying to run from.

              that is what i’m trying to illustrate. we all do this kind of things, on one level or another. this is not a superficial, it goes deep in the unconscious intentions of our actions. and until we uncover them, we clean them out, our reality will continue to be messy

              Liked by 2 people

            65. when aliens arrive, what do people do first thing every single time? they pick up arms, they prepare for attack. and this says more about the nature of humanity, then the nature of aliens.

              Funny you use that example. Only a couple of hours ago I finished reading the Ted Chiang story The Story of Your Life, which was the basis of the movie Arrival. I’m a bit of a sci-fi fan and can tell you that in my experience the aliens usually aren’t met with violence, though often there’ll be a paranoid official just itching to do it (probably a second amendment wingnut). That’s because technology levels are usually so disparate a war would be a very brief exercise in one-sided futility but also because there’s unlikely to be any gains from interstellar conquests due to the ridiculous distances involved but potentially huge gains to be made from peaceful contact. Hollywood is often different of course – especially in the 50s & 60s when alien invasion was usually a metaphor for the cold war – but even Captain Kirk doesn’t usually respond to a first contact by raising shields and readying photon torpedoes.

              But I guess that’s beside the point you’re trying to make.

              if we had no violence within us, how could we possibly feel threatened by anything?

              Well, there’s heaps of threats other than violence, but what you seem to be saying is that if you can’t model a threat you can’t feel threatened by it. I guess that goes without saying. But you can still be threatened by it. I’d imagine a lot of indigenous people were more curious than frightened when the first Europeans they met pointed odd looking sticks at them, but being oblivious to the threat didn’t stop the bullet. The survivors would have learned pretty quickly.

              Racism is the same. I’d imagine most people who suffer racism don’t recognise it as such when it’s first directed against them. They’re probably just puzzled as to why someone they don’t know with different pigmentation is being hostile towards them. But they soon learn.

              Not knowing what racism is or refusing to acknowledge it when you see it doesn’t protect anyone from it. Often the contrary in fact. That’s why racists like to say things like “Racism? I don’t see any racism.”, though some are probably sincere in their privileged ignorance when they do, even if they’ve been practicing it for most of their lives. Being on the receiving end is a good teacher that way.

              Liked by 2 people

            66. i find it hard to believe Joe is racist,

              I hope he is racist, stupid or both.
              Otherwise he’s someone who dog-whistles racist to further his own agenda. I find people like that more contemptible than sincere racists idiots.

              It’s not a conclusion I leap to either. For example I think the recent outcry over Jimmy Carr’s recent joke about the Holocaust and Gypsies is ill-founded. His shtick is that he’s the only one in the room who doesn’t know he’s a psychopath and he makes comments he ‘doesn’t know’ are offensive because they state out loud a sociopathic undercurrent in our society that are supposed to remain unstated.

              But from what I’ve heard of Rogan’s offensive comments they sound more like a wink to people who share those offensive sentiments and would like to say them out loud. He knows perfectly well that many in his audience are dumb enough to believe what he says and he plays to them.

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            67. His words show that he is a racist. Can he change? I would say yes. Can he be a force for good against racism? I would say yes if people can forgive him and use this as a tool to move forward on his platform with a new message that unifies.

              But nothing will change if people hear what he says and still claim he isn’t racist. That’s not how we move forward.

              Just a thought

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            68. But nothing will change if people hear what he says and still claim he isn’t racist.

              Something will change. The bar by which the public defines racism will be pushed a little bit higher so Rogan or someone else can be even more racist next time and people will still claim they’re not racist.

              Liked by 2 people

            69. I think in this example the bar is being lowered. What was once acceptable is now under fire. By no means are all the responses perfect but the conversation is now moving the right direction.

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            70. Hopefully you’re right, but I was responding to your hypothetical “if people hear what he says and still claim he isn’t racist”.

              What seems more likely to me is that mainstream public discourse will solidify around the notion that Rogan’s behaviour is racist and ‘polite’ society (including ‘polite’ corporate PR, such as that of Spotify) will seek to marginalise it. But Rogan’s fans – especially the ones he was playing to with his racism – will continue to tolerate that sort of behaviour and become even more entrenched in their insistence it’s somehow acceptable.

              Maybe Rogan will moderate his racist dog-whistling – even at the risk of losing some racist fans – in order to hang on to his Spotify platform. But he’s opened up an off-Spotify niche for people to behave like him or worse while insisting to an approving audience that they’re not racist or that their racism is justified in the name of ‘free speech’ or ‘humour, so lighten up snowflakes’.

              Liked by 1 person

        3. I posted it to my site so you can have access.

          [video src="https://thinkonyourownblog.files.wordpress.com/2022/02/joe-rogan-n-word-montage-triggers-another-apology-the-daily-show.mp4" /]

          Liked by 1 person

        4. Just copy and paste the text if you can’t click it starting at https

          [video src="https://thinkonyourownblog.files.wordpress.com/2022/02/joe-rogan-n-word-montage-triggers-another-apology-the-daily-show.mp4" /]

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    1. Yeah, it’s just that all his ‘jokes’ play to a bigoted, right-wing libertarian audience.

      Even Rogan himself has admitted his ‘Planet of the Apes’ comment was racist.

      But hey, not all his ‘jokes’ are racist. Some are misogynist or homophobic.

      I should clarify that I don’t think racist humour should be banned. Often it serves to highlight racist attitudes in a way that would otherwise be unacceptable (e.g. the movie Blazing Saddles, which deploys the n-word with a frequency that would probably make it unreleasable today, or Twain’s ridiculing of casual racism by putting it in the mouths of his characters.) But it does need to be funny, not just a signifier of solidarity with a racist in-group. I think Rogan’s ‘humour’ largely falls into that category.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Irrational racist sentiment is too often handed down generation to generation, regardless of color or creed. If it’s deliberate, it’s something I strongly feel amounts to a form of child abuse: to rear one’s impressionably very young children in an environment of overt bigotry — especially against other races and/or sub-racial groups (i.e. ethnicities). Not only does it fail to prepare children for the practical reality of an increasingly racially/ethnically diverse and populous society and workplace, it also makes it so much less likely those children will be emotionally content or (preferably) harmonious with their multicultural/-racial surroundings.

        Children reared into their adolescence and, eventually, young adulthood this way can often be angry yet not fully realize at precisely what. Then they may feel left with little choice but to move to another part of the land, where their race or ethnicity predominates, preferably overwhelmingly so. If not for themselves, parents then should do their young children a big favor and NOT pass down onto their very impressionable offspring racially/ethnically bigoted feelings and perceptions, nor implicit stereotypes and ‘humor’, for that matter. Ironically, such rearing can make life much harder for one’s own children.

        Maybe this social/societal problem could be proactively prevented by allowing young children to become accustomed to other races in a harmoniously positive manner. The early years are typically the best time to instill and even solidify positive social-interaction life skills/traits, like interracial harmonization, into a very young brain. Human infancy is the prime (if not the only) time to instill and even solidify positive social-interaction characteristics into a very young mind.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. I totally agree with your thoughts. But it’s a bit of a pipe dream. Racism is so embedded within today’s society that even following your suggestion, children are going to be exposed to it as soon as they begin school. I was lucky (as I mentioned in a previous comment) that it wasn’t a part of my growing up. But also … I lived during a different time when it was “there” but not “in your face” as it is now.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes, but, like I said, due to cerebral malleability, the earliest years are still the best time to instill and even solidify race-positive social-interaction skills/traits into very young minds.

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    2. Of course not everything Rogan says is a joke.

      “I talk shit for a living – that’s why this is so baffling to me. If you’re taking vaccine advice from me, is that really my fault? What dumb shit were you about to do when my stupid idea sounded better?” – Joe Rogan

      Liked by 2 people

      1. well it’s true. he’s demeaning himself to make a point.
        he has very controversial guests, and that’s what makes him popular. we need more gutsy people like him. every angle of an issue should be discussed.

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        1. we need more gutsy people like him. every angle of an issue should be discussed.

          Including that being among black people is like being on the Planet of the Apes?

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  4. Probably the main thing keeping people ignorant of their own racism is that ‘racism’ has become A Very Bad Word. These days even unapologetic neo-Nazis are likely to take offence if you call them racists.

    People will engage in all sorts of mental and linguistic gymnastics to avoid having to admit to themselves and others that they’re racists. A common tactic is to define racism as something more blatant than your own and draw the definitional line between them (“Sure I believe blacks need to be kept in their place, but I don’t approve of lynching them. I’m no racist.”) Another is to make semantic distinctions along the axis of a particular dimension of your own racism (“I’m not a racist, I just believe in acknowledging differences.” or “I’m not in favour of racism but I support law and order.”) A particularly low-brow one is asserting your appreciation of what you perceive as a racialised quality as proof of your own non-racism (“How could I be a racist? Look at all the black artists in my record collection!” or “Of course I’m not racist. I’ve had one black and two Asian girlfriends.”)

    Frankly I’m more comfortable with people who are open about their racism than with those – most often self-described liberals – who hide it from themselves and others with euphemisms and sophistry. In Australia’s history – right up to the present day – the most harmful and hardest to fight forms of racism against Aborigines are perpetrated by those who insist they’re trying to help us and would be sincerely shocked at any suggestion their proposals are racist either in effect or intent.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Does anyone see the irony in having comedians educate us? Like, they’re the only people who make any sense…the only people we’ll listen to? George Carlin was another comedian who, in retrospect, seems like a prophet. Sigh…this was a great analysis…and funny! “Cause Money!” Best line.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. When I heard the Donald Trump clip about “grabbing women” I thought he was done. No way he could get elected. Maybe Rogan has a chance, but not many have survived the n-word mishaps

      Liked by 3 people

        1. And, he’s coming back!

          I hope he does. Given the current arc of US political culture the most likely alternative to Trump will be a competent crypto-fascist arsehole.

          Liked by 2 people

  6. A former boss of mine was the single most racist, homophobic, misogynistic ba**ard I’d ever had the misfortune to meet, and he also had a violent temper. Not a good combination. The union had him up on charges of harassment, verbal abuse of staff, etc. at least three times when I was union president. He denied it all despite having multiple witnesses and actually openly threatened to retaliate against me and the people he’d abused and the witnesses. I’m sure that today he would have been fired on the spot but back then the whole system was a ‘good ole boys’ network and they kept covering up for him. And to the day he died he would have sworn before God and the Bible and any oath you can think of that he was none of the things he was. Somehow he was utterly and totally blind to all of the harm he was doing to the people around me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One of my first bosses as a medic was like that except he had such a confident and funny personality to go with it everyone just gave him a pass. “Oh that’s just Brian”. I don’t think today he’s have gotten away with it.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Maybe your former boss really couldn’t help himself. Perhaps the very first words his parents taught him were: “I have the right to … ” or “I am entitled to … “

      Liked by 3 people

  7. I’m reading a book now for book club called “Caste: The origins of our discontents.” It’s by Isabel Wilkerson. It’s about the caste system in America, how it developed and contrast it with racism.

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    1. I’ve heard that, before non-white people became the primary source of newcomers to North America, thick-accented Eastern Europeans were the main targets of meanspirited Anglo-Saxon bigotry. As a 1950s immigrant to Canada, my (now-late) father experienced such mistreatment.

      Thus, hypothetically, if Canada were to revert back to a primarily-white populace, if not some VDARE whites-only utopia, I wouldn’t be surprised if Eastern Europeans with a thick Slavic accent would inevitably again become the main target of the dominant Euro-Canadian ethnicity.

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  8. lol You live in a progressive state, Jim. Sport an “It’s OK to be White ” shirt/cap and tell them them you’re “anit-vax”. That’s pretty much guaranteed to disqualify you from just about everything.

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    1. Unfortunately there’s little tolerance here on both sides of the state. I’m NE where we have incumbent representatives with affiliation to bonafide right side hate groups, then on the west side we have Inslee. But really the state is controlled by 3 counties of lefties, and of course the news outlets.
      Progressive = mandates. I did make a trip to Seattle a few months back and people would literally back away or bolt if you weren’t masked. Maskism and shamism is alive and well, but here hardly anyone wears them. There were times in the pandemic (if you didn’t follow news) you wouldn’t have even known there was an outbreak. But even against good science, the kids are still required to mask up at school. 25 kids in a classroom you can only guess how effective that is, let alone the anger such stupidity generates.

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      1. Yes. Tribalism is alive and well and those and the loudest advocates of tolerance are usually the least tolerant of all. We appear to have learnt nothing from history.

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        1. It appears we have limited programming. No matter the information load we keep the same routine. It’s part of the Hindu philosophy of life as a drama. Can you imaging how boring life would be for us to behave civilly when all we really want is a good fight?

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          1. I can’t speak for others, but having experienced both sides of the coin, I much prefer to live a life of peaceful coexistence to one of constant drama.

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    1. That’s an excellent point. I don’t think that is even unusual but I’ve never heard it spoken so simply. Nice work boss!

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          1. When we’re conditioned this takes a life of its own, happening in many unconscious and subconscious forms. Standards of beauty, humour, and even characteristics of who we “trust” (as in, think we can trust.)

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  9. What humankind may need to suffer in order to survive the long term from ourselves is an even greater nemesis (a figurative multi-tentacled extraterrestrial, perhaps?) than our own politics and perceptions of differences — especially that of race — against which we could all unite, attack and defeat. During this needed human allegiance, we’d be forced to work closely side-by-side together and witness just how humanly similar we are to each other.

    (Admittedly, though, it has been suggested to me that one or more human parties would likely attempt to forge an allegiance with the ETs to better their own chances for survival, thus indicating that our wanting human condition may be even worse than I had originally thought.)

    Still, maybe some five or more decades later when all traces of the nightmarish ET invasion are gone, we will inevitably revert to those same politics to which we humans seem so collectively hopelessly prone — including those of scale: the intercontinental, international, national, provincial or state, regional and municipal.

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  10. I’ve just read through all the comments and — well, fascinating. A few points I think need clarifying.
    Neuroscientist Mariano Sigman writes about a study in The Secret Life of the Mind showing the reaction of infants to accents and languages they’re not used to. The first reaction is distress. This is because a shortcut the mind takes that similarity/familiarity equals safety, whereas difference means potential danger. He goes on to demonstrate with statistics how similarities between judges and defendants affect sentences. The more common characteristics a judge and defendant have, the more likely the sentence is lighter. This isn’t necessarily racist in a homogenous society, but as soon as you get to a more mixed society or one in which power is held by mainly one group, then racism can play a major role. This was the case in Rwanda where one group of blacks thought the other group was inferior and even dangerous. To westerners they were all the same “race”, but to Tutsis and Hutus they are entirely separate ethnic groups, with notable distinguishing features, including height. “We must cut down those tall trees” was a Hutu refrain in the lead up to the genocide, broadcast daily on the radio.
    This is where Rogan and Planet of the Apes comes in. From the moment where we equate citizens with a category which can be put in cages, used for entertainment, used in lab tests — or adopted by Michael Jackson, we’re entering dangerous territory.

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    1. I think you’re overstating intrinsic factors in racism.

      For example, the Tutsi and Hutu had 500 years of hierarchical and probably somewhat racist interactions ever since the former arrived from the Ethiopian highlands as herder-warrior conquerors of the hunter-gatherer Bantus (Hutu and Twa) in the 13th century, but their society was stable without substantial conflict until the 19th century when the Belgians rocked up as colonial conquerors. They imposed a feudal system in which the Tutsi owned agricultural land and the Hutu laboured on it as serfs as well as implementing the usual colonial divide-and-rule tactics of favouritism, discriminatory patronage and assigning (and arming) one race to keep the other in line.

      When German colonists started arriving in the late 19th century they added ‘race science’ to the mix, specifically the pseudo-Biblical Hamitic hypothesis – originally developed by the British – which proposed the Tutsi were Semitic descendants of Ham’s eldest son Cush and therefore inherently superior to the Hutu who were supposedly Negroids descended from his youngest son Canaan.

      After WWI the League of Nations formalised Belgian rule over Rwanda which immediately replaced much of its subsistence agriculture with cash crops – particularly coffee – and implemented a corvee labour system that was even more oppressive of Hutu farm workers than what had preceded it, leading to much resentment between primarily Tutsi plantation owners/administrators and primarily Hutu labourers.

      After WWII the Belgians began dismantling their feudal administrative systems and implementing more democratic replacements in preparation for Rwandan independence. Democracy reversed the historic power relationship between Tutsi and the more numerous Hutu and set the stage for the steadily increasing fear and hostility between them that led to the genocide.

      So suggesting there’s something biologically inherent that led to the Rwandan genocide is contradicted by the centuries of unequal but amiable pre-colonial relations between Tutsi and Hutu. But it’s consistent with the divide-and-rule doctrines – especially race science – that Europeans used to set them at each others throats.

      Neuroscientist Mariano Sigman writes about a study in The Secret Life of the Mind showing the reaction of infants to accents and languages they’re not used to. The first reaction is distress. This is because a shortcut the mind takes that similarity/familiarity equals safety, whereas difference means potential danger. He goes on to demonstrate with statistics how similarities between judges and defendants affect sentences. The more common characteristics a judge and defendant have, the more likely the sentence is lighter. This isn’t necessarily racist in a homogenous society, but as soon as you get to a more mixed society or one in which power is held by mainly one group, then racism can play a major role.

      Only in ‘mixed societies’ in which race is constructed as an important form of discrimination. I’d suggest that in a society in which socio-economic and educational discrimination played a greater role in constructing hierarchies than skin colour a judge would be more likely to discriminate based on those class markers than on racial characteristics. It’s also been noted by criminologists and penologists that black judges and police in the US are more likely to discriminate against other black people than against whites, so apparently any inherently pro-black leanings they have are insufficient to overcome the anti-black bias of the institutions they work in.

      If the reaction of infants to differences in language tended to condition racism in later life you’d expect many of the upper-class children of the 19th and early 20th century who were raised by black nannies to have grown up as anti-white racists. I’m not aware of any such phenomena.

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      1. I thoroughly enjoy hearing well founded and well constructed opinions and yours is in that category, thank you. I agree with the vast majority of what you say. So let me try to clarify my point. The human mind functions by categorization. In a sense not unlike the 0s and 1s of programming. Similarity/difference, in-group/out-group, leader/follower. Put 10 people in a room and watch how they’ll in all likelihood be drawn to the familiar. Language, clothes, social status as expressed through symbols (watch, sunglasses, bag). This creates basic associations of good, and also the unfortunate association that the foreign poses some risk or danger.
        I’m one of these people you mention that was raised by a black nanny, a hugely important part of my life — and a very particular role. One in which subservience is one of the most important factors.

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        1. Thanks for your complementary response.

          While I think what you say about in and out groups is essentially correct – though the polarisation implied by a digital ‘0 or 1’ metaphor seems more limiting and misleading than illuminating to me – I think it’s still failing to get at the root of the issue.

          I think there’s very few categorisations – especially high level ones such as social distinctions – that are in any way intrinsic or hardwired into the human mind. The notion that language, clothes, social status or skin colours are a way of defining boundaries between groups is something acquired from the social context in which we’re raised and the values it imparts upon us. So I’d suggest you can’t explain social prejudices arising from those distinctions by reference to something intrinsic in human thinking, as the tendency to even make those distinctions is a product not of the mind but of the society in which it was conditioned.

          I’m reminded of an episode of The Goodies in which all the black and coloured people emigrate from South Africa to the UK and so the South African government must find another basis for apartheid. They divide people up according to height into Big Uns and Little Uns, with Tim and Graeme in the former category and Bill in the latter. Tim and Graeme immediately adapt to the new social hierarchy as an intrinsic difference in the relative worth of people and start treating Bill accordingly as a less-than-human servant.

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          1. Again, I agree. I’m not saying it’s the only factor, but rather that the human mind lends itself to it. It’s ideal ground for discrimination because in a grand sense the ability to discriminate and include or exclude is part of the subconscious impulses of evolution.

            Liked by 2 people

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