I'm a victim, too!

Like some kind of…Victim Vic-troll-a?

On other news, when did being a victim become a desirable condition? Who looks at someone who’s been paralyzed by a drunk driver and feels envy?


When you are the majority and in power, it gives justification to specific tactics towards continued oppression of the minority.


That’s been a thing forever. From the attention-seeking kid who gets their sibling in trouble so that the parents comfort them at the small, petty end, to the very concept of martyrdom as its ultimate culmination. People like having attention paid to them, and victimhood is an effective way of getting it.


Never, in my world.

Personally, I utterly hate feeling victimized, and even though misfortune and hardship happens far too often in my life for my tastes, I never see myself as a victim.

I’m still here, even through all the needless bullshit; that makes me a survivor.

(Think Gloria Gaynor, not Destiny’s Child.)


Nice video.



(quick realignment of gender perception)

I’d always seen you as female; fooled by the icon, I guess.


@Rickorussell2 You’ve been asleep, my little paragon of virtue. Lands like DC and Moscow are where the cool kids are doing the immoral acts these days. Use lots of lube.


Alas, this seems to be a fairly common phenomenon. Probably stems from the fact that at least from their point of view something has Changed. (In fact it usually has - it’s called progress.) And since everything was of course perfect when they were a child, this is bad, and obviously when other people do not agree with this they are picking on them. All of which demonstrates how important it is to pick your postulates carefully before going out on a logical limb. And unfortunately just one of the many problems you run into when a minority achieves sufficient success or at least visibility…Vital to keep going at that point, or it’s real easy to get squashed back down. :frowning:


Considering how much coal St. Nicholas produced, it had to go somewhere. Maybe Zwarte Piet was a plant operative, hence the sooty face.

What really sucks is how he gives all the best gifts to rich white kids.

Here are some alternatives:


We’re all victims of fascist rulers of Corporations; all of which who attempted to expand their powers throughout the worlds.


It’s gonna get worse too.


I grew up on Japanese and Thai food. One of the things that has happened several time is that I order something at a place that serves those cuisines, and the waitperson politely tries to steer me towards something else. Sometimes the manager will even come out to tell me that White people don’t like that dish. It isn’t offensive or anything, my wife just thinks it is funny. It usually leads to a nice conversation with the restaurant staff, when we discover that we have many places and experiences in common.

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It isn’t offensive or anything, my wife just thinks it is funny.

Yep. So let’s see, that’s White Privilege Example number, hmm, 97? 98? It’s a tough number to keep track of!


Taking the opportunity to provide a tangent: y’all heard this?

Four-part series on the intersection of food and race. Very well done.


White privilege is finding humor in what could be an awkward situation? It used to be called “being a good sport”, in the bad old days.


Another example might be the fact that some restaurants have different menus in different languages, with a some items appearing exclusively on one or the other menu.


Perhaps you have stronger standards for sanity than I. All I can say is it happens all the time, and I prefer not to assume that the people doing it are all broken.

OK, I thought about that* for a long time**.

On boundaries: we’re talking about a very specific type of boundary; we’re talking about word choices. We’re not talking about any other kind of boundary, and that’s important for the rest of what I’m going to say.

So, this is what I don’t know how to handle - the intersection of the boundaries of all Internet commentators is the null set. There is no formulation that is perfectly neutral and universally acceptable and yet conveys meaning in a political or social discussion; if it’s not a wide-open “anything goes” kind of trollfest, then you’re empowering a specific person or group’s boundaries by what words you allow, and by what speakers you permit to be mocked or shamed.

That’s well understood in the context of a site with written rules and guidelines like bOINGbOING; if your post gets prefiltered or eaten by the Luck Dragon, you go re-read the rules. Discourse makes the boundaries less static, though; the software is effectively written to encourage the development of vigilante cabals, who will flag posts out of existence before they get seen too much, and vigilantes rarely behave consistently.

And since that’s effectively unavoidable unless you want to have the previously mentioned trollfest site, we has it.

I could list all the things in this thread that are offensive to me, and chastise and moralize at length, and I’d get lots of “likes”, maybe even start a PC pile-on that would drive other commenters off the site. But I’d rather be more inclusive than that, and not try to inflict “correct” speech modes onto others, because I’d rather hear authentic voices than filter them through my preconceptions of what people ought to be saying.

Sorry about the rambling. But it’s kind of a can of worms, isn’t it?

* while plastering
** “And when we had thought about it long enough, we declared war on the Union.” --Chief Dan George as Lone Watie


Yes, having assumptions made about you on the basis of your race, and being able to just laugh it off, certainly is an example of white privilege.

I would think that with all of your oft-repeated connections to Asia, for example, you would know that having perniciously stereotypical assumptions made in the U.S. about say, a Chinese American person on the basis of her supposed food preferences, is precisely the opposite of a race-based privilege. And telling her she should be a “good sport” about it, instead of objecting to being stereotyped yet again, while not an example exactly of white privilege, is an example of an obnoxious common white tendency.


Yes, it’s a huge can of worms, and I’m sure I don’t have sufficient answers to any of it, but I spent a few minutes thinking about this, probably I will find I disagree with myself in the future, maybe I disagree with myself in the present, but here’s a crack at it. Sorry if this is wordy, it’d be much shorter if I had more time.

I think I really had BB more in mind than the internet at large. Each site has its own space or spaces with different groups with different shared boundaries. Most general interest forums for interests that are broad explicitly call out a lot of topics as forbidden since everyone will drop into a scream fest if religion, politics, etc. come up. You can’t go to a Disney forum, explain why Trump’s behavior and policies meet the formal definition of fascism and not get banned, and that’s really not a bad thing. Even the hedgehog forum I frequent has rules about proscribed topics. You’d think hedgehog owners would be inherently thoughtful, kind-hearted, polite people unlikely to get into bitter prolonged arguments, but no.

So yeah, if I hop over to Breitbart and look at the comments it’s offense central for me. So I don’t go to Breitbart. If I said anything it’d be totally offensive, piss off everyone, and trigger a flame war. I’d be a troll, and since I’m morally opposed to others trolling, I’m not going to do it. I think some of what you’re complaining about are people seeking out conflict, and I’d agree that those people have behavioral problems, even if we’d frame some patterns behind the behavior differently.

The internet does create a messy heap of social conflict as a side effect of the design. Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter are vast disparate spaces where there’s little defining any group besides breathing, and they’re the front lines of endless rage as people with conflicting values and views bump into each other and handle those conflicts like bickering children. FB has some firewalls to control this. Reddit and Twitter are broken because they have no way to segment people who will create a volatile mix, so trolling is extra rampant.

If I’m in a very public space I try to be conscientious. My political things on FB are limited to friends, and on Twitter I talk about hedgehogs. A lot. And I avoid comments on news site articles since there will be bickering people, which is a side effect of the internet. There are few limits to keep people who will fight in their separate corners. There’s no fixing it. But I don’t really blame people too much for being human, holding values/boundaries, and responding when they’re tromped over. They’re being put in a weird unnatural environment that in some ways isn’t really all that humane, and I mostly worry about keeping myself in line since that’s all I have much control over or responsibility for.

People who choose to go to spaces where there are people that hold different values and rile things up are trolls, and they deserve to be smacked down hard.

Because the internet exists and is a vast social conflict zone, there are a few values that do need to be more widely adopted. There are both women and men, so misogynist bullshit has to be dealt with. So too with racism, antisemitism, and other xenophobic bullshit. Working to root out language that is rooted in misogyny, racism, etc. makes sense, since while it might be normal for some, it’s a problem when your communication in inherently insulting, and that language defines the models with which you frame your understanding. If your term for greedy is “Jew,” that language internalizes prejudice, and there are a lot of terms that carry misogynist/racist baggage. How one goes about dealing with that is the hard part. I’m fairly certain we humans need to sort out as many ways to teach and cultivate empathy as we can. I’m pretty sure that instant angry confrontations, instant ostracisms, and angry mobs won’t work for helping transmit values or get people to internalize empathy for others, but the problem is with the relative effectiveness of approaches, not the goal. And since there are people whose identity is tied to hatred of others, at some point stronger responses are probably merited. Xenophobia and the internet do not mix, taking steps to try to deal with that and open people’s eyes to the reality of our shared humanity are needed, and with that dealing with behaviors and communication patterns that are rooted in old xenophobic bullshit are justified. We as a society and as a population need to work on developing and promoting values to deal with our increasing interconnection.


“Endeavor to persevere”. My kids get tired of hearing that.

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