Letter to the Editor

You write science fiction, eh? This reality can only exist in fiction.

I don’t know, guys. If someone walked into my apartment and started saying extremely frustrating things, I might kick them out. Because some days, things just aren’t up for discussion.


My understanding is that the term comes from Maoist China and first became a common part of Western (I think it started in the US but wouldn’t absolutely swear to it) parlance when right-wingers started using it sarcastically against liberals.


Also plausible.


This is close to the Wikipedia account of the origins of ‘political correctness’, but they cite Stalinist Communism. Includes the interesting note:

The first recorded use of the term in the typical modern sense is stated in William Safire’s Safire’s Political Dictionary to be by Toni Cade in the 1970 anthology The Black Woman, where she wrote “A man cannot be politically correct and a chauvinist too”.


The term “politically correct” is just an overwrought version of the classical word “politic”, in its adjective sense. It’s easier because politic automatically implies correctness by virtue of being civil.

If, on the other hand, one assumes that the “political” of “politically correct” is referring to partisan politics and such activities, then the phrase “ideologically pure” might be more appropriate.


Damn your foresight. Damn it straight to hell.

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Erm, I think this is my 5th post on this site since I started following it yonks ago. And in posting this I want to check/test something. I won’t mind getting banned either as I post infrequently enough that a month won’t matter to me anyway. Perhaps it can be longer, who knows…

Would the following qualify as victim blaming? And I choose said person purely because it might be a good example not because I’m taking sides.

zieroh completely deserved to be banned for mocking and being inappropriate towards Cory.

Pretty much the same setup as said police officer and dead person, though neither zieroh or Cory died as a result, but by some accounts and opinions zieroh is a victim none the less.

So was I victim blaming or not?

I can see the need to protect the forum from the standard victim-blaming empty rhetoric that pervades pretty much any online discussion space that’s not policed for it. However, the issue with that is when there are stories posted that pretty much invite debate over the level of culpability that police face for their actions. Any such debate pretty much hinges on whether or not an officer is justified in their actions based upon the actions of the victim. If it isn’t possible to consider the possibility that the victim’s behaviour justified the officers action then there really is very little point in the discussion other than as an echo chamber for editorial opinion.

Now - I’m certainly not saying that the officers in any of these cases were remotely justified. God - if nothing else, these revelations have cemented the view that I never want to set foot in the US and put myself in the jurisdiction of any of the police forces there. However, if meaningful discussion of the topic isn’t allowed then probably it’s best not to encourage discussion of it in the first place.

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If anyone doubts the effectiveness of the moderation here they only need to go to the Facebook version of the same post and read the comments there. Really, try it. I got a lot of first hand experience of clueless white male angst from the post about Chris Rock recently. I don’t need to do it again.


Really, you’re talking in abstractions when the discussion is about a particular example that is available to view upstream. It is a particularly egregious example. Not a whiff of civility in it.


Except that conflating police violence that resulted in a tragic death with someone having a spat with one of the editors of a website on its comment boards is, you know, fucking stupid.


right. And BB is an escape from that.

You mean consistently present and thoughtful commenters get some sort of… benefit from making long form thoughtful non incendiary comments? Where obtuse asshattery is deleted outright? What is your problem with this notion of some speech being more free than others on a privately owned press?

That’s only true if the provocateur is immunized against change or consideration. In which case, probably not going to be the sort of person to stick around and get those extra speech benefits, or a history of good faith.

Obviously? That’s not obvious to me. Please explain, including telling me who the moralists and censors are, by name, please?

Shitting on the floor is intolerable. So, some intolerance is fine. Civil discourse has rules. Being obtuse about them is not subtle. The subtle are rarely moderated.

Oh, so people should be able to say anything, and the onus is on us as individuals to not ever react.

So, in essence, this place is schizoid, intolerant of common ideas, where regulars get a little extra leeway, and is too emotional and reactive.

Listen, your advice is great for real life, where these trolls would never dare to say this crap to another persons face.

Anonymity has its benefits and its costs. One cost is cowards can troll without blackened eyes. Another is that victims can speak more freely about what it is to be on the receiving end of such obtuse rage.



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Whilst I don’t disagree with the general obnoxiousness of the individual or his post my concern is with the general case and not the specific. My issue is that I now feel I shouldn’t be discussing topics like this for fear that anything I say that could be construed as defending a police officer (as unlikely as it might be that I would) would be interpreted as victim-blaming.

The trouble is that that if you have a topic that so obviously invites discussion about a topic that is essentially how culpable a victim is for the situation in which they find themselves then you have to expect discussion on both sides. If you are not prepared for that then there isn’t a great deal of point in allowing a discussion in the first place. If you want to prevent victim-blaming in those circumstances then it’s probably better not to invite a discussion in the first place. Either that or to suspend the rule regarding victim-blaming and instead rely on other rules to enforce civility.

Again - don’t get me wrong here. I’m very much in the US-police-are-dreadful camp here and, had I participated in the discussion would have been taking that stance. However, there’s not much point me taking that stance if a counter-stance is prohibited. The discussion just isn’t a discussion under those circumstances.


Bullshit. The officer has a MUCH greater burden of self-control than a civilian.

Calling an armed, trained, buff officer an equal in responsibility in the eyes of the state relative to any random poorly educated, unemployed addict is just insulting to my intelligence.

I think people really are just afraid of Black Men. I’m beginning to see it now. Very Clearly.

An unarmed black man is apparently the equal of an armed white man, because superpowers i guess. (But not because of racist fear, that’s unpossible)!

Go home gaxxnet, you lost.


your counterstance is poorly informed. It’s been debated. Idiocy (Victim Blame) is prohibited. Losing a debate is not intolerance of your ideas. It’s time to reconsider. Listen and try again. If -I- might be wrong, you also must consider that it might be -you-.

We can talk about what the victims have been doing prior to getting a response from the officers, but the way they were seen, treated, spoken to, and murdered by agents of the state (not your state, my state), does suggest some boundaries of taste and culpability.

If we begin considering the exchanges from the moment when the police had the upper hand (lets say bullet number 8 of 14 in Mike Brown’s case, or maybe the 7th begging for air by the recent NYC suspect)… from that moment when the officer has control…

Why does murder happen at that moment? THAT is the problem. The problem is NOT why do poor people resent police harassment and how can they be better conditioned to tolerate it.


I suppose not more than calling someone whom you have never met or spoken to, I quote(out of fear of the ban hammer), “fucking stupid”.
I knew someone would make the type of comment you did and completely ignore the fact that I did acknowledge that in the forum spat nobody died, sympathy was of course implied. I guess English not being my first language might cause the implication of sypmathy to somehow be obscured.

But of course you win, because you decided to swear at and belittle me, a blatant disregard of more than one part of rule number one of this very forum no less.

I stand by my original structuring of my testing of a forum rule and would still like to have an answer, it is completely relevant to the topic at hand, but realise that the powers that be might be a bit busy to answer everything that is asked.


Is that fun for anyone other than you?


No one said you were fucking stupid.

Perfectly rational, intelligent, polite & good people do and say fucking stupid things all the time.

I know for a fact I’m rational, intelligent, polite & good because people that like me say so, but I also do stupid things, fucking stupid things, and the same people say so when I do.

What, you didn’t know @GilbertWham was your friend? According to the evidence, it is so.