In case you missed it, West Virginia Mayor Resigns Over Michelle Obama 'Ape' Facebook Post

When we address power structures that actually exist, it is helpful to take them seriously. I fully acknowledge that race, among other things are a construct. That doesn’t mean they don’t have real political and social power. It’s just as dangerous to dismiss that, I think. You have a tendency to do that, because it doesn’t fit in with your world view.


Nobody appreciates the concern troll is why.

“Helpful” advice is often not so, nor is it necessarily in good faith, just a handwaving away to avoid feeling complicity of privilege.




Yes, human DNA is ape. But most DNA in a human is not human. Not that that has any bearing on this topic.

1 Like

Whether or not I think the rhetoric is effective doesn’t have much to do with my own position or views. I simply think it won’t achieve what it’s proponents hope for. It’s a great goal, and OK-ish direction, but that direction simply does not lead to that goal, that destination. I think that’s a simple enough perspective to understand, but many assume it to be disingenuous.

I agree that you can’t reason with those who are decidedly unreasonable. But you also can’t realistically let their lack of substance define much of the narrative, as there is nothing but shifting sand there to build upon.

Okay. Clearly, you’re a more clever person then me and have this all figured out, so let me know how that works and if you manage to change minds at all.


Is there ever a good reason to make an issue into a personal contest?

You often emphasize that “real political power” means not needing to change people’s minds. That it doesn’t make any practical difference what others think about what ultimately is. People’s minds do change gradually, but I would rather establish our fair treatment in the meanwhile whether their minds have changed or not.

People desperately need to be able to handle differences of opinion, otherwise we should not expect to be able to discuss much of anything. If you can’t handle different values and goals coexisting, perhaps you aren’t ready for multiculturalism either. But that’s what we have.

We don’t have the time for a Hundredth Monkey scenario where minds just “change” for no reason.

Consciousness of the sort necessary to effect change is not guaranteed. Minds change in positive and negative ways, which is the problem.

1 Like

Fair enough. You, like lots of folks around here, don’t seem to listen and continually misconstrue or dismiss all I said. I’m getting real tired of constantly being talked down to on these boards. It’s fucking boring and tedious constantly having “reality” explained to me.

The fuck I did. Please address what I said, instead of what you think I said. [quote=“popobawa4u, post:103, topic:90468”]
If you can’t handle different values and goals coexisting, perhaps you aren’t ready for multiculturalism either.

Accepting racism and sexims isn’t fucking “multiculturalism” its the opposite of that.


Li’l Bill a psychopath? Definite derail here, but I always remembered him to have a (flawed, racist, misogynist) moral code that guided his behavior. Sure he was a bastard, but a psychopath? I saw him as more nuanced than that.

Start another thread.


Then you know how I feel! Sorry if I am part of that process for you. But that goes right back to what I was saying about people needing to own their ideas, opinions, values, goals without branding them as “reality”. People who can’t accept people seeing reality differently from themselves are going to have an unproductive, unedifying time of discussing matters no matter what their personal position might be.

Sorry, but you do constantly explain to me that the structures of political power are real, regardless of whether or not I agree with them. Isn’t that like saying that they act by fiat, without concern for changing my mind? I think that double standards arise here because many people are expecting consensus. And they get angry if I tell them that consensus is always an idealistic illusion and so, with no justification, decide that I am in “the other” camp. It happens with pretty much every issue, regardless of what it is, or what my personal position is.

There is a difference between accepting that racism exists, and accepting its ideology as valid. I accept that some espouse that ideology, because that’s a social reality which doesn’t cease to be if I deny its existence. But I refute racism (and sexism) as representing valid ideologies which can justify their existence and support.

I think that liberalism has a problem of assuming that forcing people to change their minds is possible and a benevolent ideal. That’s bogus - norms and social conditioning are more gradual than that. What passes for dialog on these issues tends to be childish and condescending, mostly based upon hopes of shaming people into being respectful. That is not educational or lasting. I see there as being two basic types of options: debate and dialectics about the validity of the ideology, and conflict of force. They are not exclusive, but they are different “fronts” which don’t mix well in conversation. If you want to refute the tenets of racism, you communicate and refute it. If you want to attack it, then go attack it. That’s a perfectly valid carrot/stick approach. But browbeating and opprobrium are a dysfunction mix of the two, making either less effective.

This is again not referring to more institutionalized work against racism, but more in informal public or semi-public forums, such as the BBS here, university campus, or town square.

Is anyone else ever right about anything?

You have been arguing in bad faith from the beginning, and it’s getting worse.


I feel like often instead of interesting implementations of society or even high level philosophy I’m sinking into a morass of tepid oatmeal.

1 Like

Institutions act ON people regardless of whether they believe in them or not. Cops shoot black kids, regardless of whether or not YOU think racism exists. [quote=“popobawa4u, post:108, topic:90468”]
and accepting its ideology as valid.

I haven’t done that. That doesn’t mean we should ignore the real world consequences of that ideology. We can’t magic it away. It exists and has consequences for people, DESPITE THE FACT THAT RACE IS A CONSTRUCT. You are constantly saying that if we just all ignore it, it will go away. Well, no, it won’t actually. Because many white people have ignored it forever and IT STILL EXISTS as an ideology that shapes our society. [quote=“popobawa4u, post:108, topic:90468”]
tends to be childish and condescending, mostly based upon hopes of shaming people into being respectful.


Youre entire point seems to be that if we just stop believe in an ideology that has shaped and dominated this country (and the western world), that it will just magical disappear. Change doesn’t happen like that. Ever. You have to change the structures before people can change their ideologies, more often than not. But maybe I"m just an ignorant liberal that is the real problem.


You already asked me a similar question elsewhere. A person in and of themselves is not ever “right” or “wrong”.

If you feel entitled to make personal accusations, then I hope you are willing to explain them. I am being ingenuous, and hopefully relating things with some accuracy, but I have no “faith” in anything or anyone. All that anyone can do is compare models of how we think things work, and make the best decisions that we are able to.

For the infinityieth time, that is not my point in any way. The point is to work to implement YOUR structures instead of or in addition to changing somebody elses. That’s not imagination, it is real work, and needs to be done whether you change other people’s minds or not. What are YOUR structures, institutions, or societies? People who aren’t willing to implement any themselves are conceding their lack of real world power, in hopes of petitioning known oppressors.

Perhaps many disagree with what I am saying. That’s fine. But what isn’t fine is dishonestly using that to characterize me as accepting, condoning, ignoring, etc the oppression of people entirely upon the basis of seeing and acting upon a real problem differently than you do. Every different POV or strategy could be another potential tool in our pile, rather than a threat to the One True Way. But that means needing to be honest about what we think will or won’t work, and not take it so personally.

Fine. Whatever. You’re right and I"m wrong. Is that what you wanted to hear?

And FWIW, I took it personally, because you are unwilling to admit that I might actually have a point about anything and made claims and assumptions about my meaning. I’ve been nothing but honest with you and you’re completely unwilling to meet me half way, even when I have done so. Implementing things in our own life means jack if it doesn’t have an component of looking at the systems and institutions that we live in and working to fix those. People have dropped out and built alternative structures, which has actually changed noting with regards to the structures that dominate our lives. Acting out our anti-racist world view in real life is great and helpful, but it doesn’t change the criminal justice system that disproportionately works against poor people, especially POC. That’s a systemic issue that HAS to be addressed at the systemic level. the personal might be political, but the 60s failed, because too many people saw it as being all about their personal world view and liberation, rather than about transforming structures that all of us, no matter how we see reality, have to deal with.


Please don’t take it personal. He treats most people this way.


He treats all humans this way! :wink: