Talk to one of the mud-people?!?
Talk to one of the mud-people?!?
I’d suggest a big ass /s on your sentence there… for those here who don’t know you as well as some of us do!
How do you read “bigotry is complex” as “we shouldn’t fight bigotry?” Weird.
Right, so I read that essay when it came out. It’s a passionate, beautifully written (as usual from Coates) argument for reparations, based mostly on the past, and the author’s viewpoints on the present. But there’s no data in that article that demonstrates that white supremacist ideas are growing in popularity or becoming normalized. An argument about how past racist policies justify reparations to the descendants of the victims of the those policies isn’t evidence that race hatred by whites is growing in popularity. If you have evidence that it is, please link to it.
I hear you that you believe that some ideas are so terrible that people who hold them should be violently attacked. But I’m very, very happy to live in a society where such actions are illegal. In a liberal society we have to come to agreements about when and why we use violence to solve problems. I think it would be pretty awful to live in a society where it’s okay to sucker-punch people if their ideas are very upsetting to you.
Right, did that. I think those situations are so different from the act of sucker-punching a lone white supremacist as to be apples and oranges.
Again, you shouldn’t misrepresent my argument. I’m only saying that violence against a non-violent individual, no matter how stupid their ideas are, is wrong. There is a place between sucker-punching people on the street and giving those people national forums.
You are an advocate for violence to solve the problem of bad ideas. As an advocate for violence to solve the problem of white supremacist ideas, the burden is yours to first demonstrate that the threat of white supremacists is real and imminent and that unilaterally engaging in violence against non-violent white supremacists will actually make the world safer.
Let me be clear, though: If someone has a neo-nazi gang in their neighborhood and that gang is targeting people, I’m all for violence to stop them. In that case, I’m all LET’S GO, VIOLENCE, LET’S GO!
Wanting to punch somebody with terrible ideas is perfectly normal. Actually punching them isn’t how people stop having terrible ideas.
You’re basically saying it’s hard to understand, only experts can do that (much like cancer) and it will always be with us. That’s what I took from your comments. If that’s not what you mean, please clarify, since you seem to be an expert on the matter (unlike targets of white supremacy). [quote=“aikimo, post:122, topic:96998”]
based mostly on the past,
Yes. Because this historical moment isn’t disconnected from the past. It’s linked to it and shaped by it. Coates indeed uses research to illustrate how a history of white supremacy has robbed African Americans of wealth that shapes the lives of African Americans today. The ability to ignore the past is a privilege that many people do not have. The fact that you think that history and the present are somehow disconnected speaks volumes here. I’d suggest you go read some history books and note how many of them connect the past to the time that the book was written.
Perhaps go look up work by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center, who do deal in data. There is tons of good work on how white supremacy has shaped the reality of millions of people in this country. It’s not my job to find it for you. I will link to some evidence of an uptick in hate crimes:
But since you’re already here, maybe start out with this:
I’m sorry if none of this rises to the level of “real” problems in your mind. Most of us really don’t want to wait for camps and piles of bodies, to be quite honest with you. Maybe we’re seeing shadows and hatred where none exists, but given what I know about history, I doubt it.
We don’t have to be grumpy, now. I didn’t say that “only experts” can understand bigotry. I said that if I want to know if white supremacy is growing more popular, I’m not going to ask victims of white supremacy, unless of course, they’ve got numbers on hand. If anyone tells me that white supremacy is becoming more popular, their opinion on the matter should be based on numbers. If there are numbers that have been collected which indicate that more and more white Americans are hating non-whites, then I’ll be convinced of it. I honestly don’t know the answer to the question.
The condescension here is very powerful. Let me take a deep breath. There we go.
Nothing I wrote suggests that I believe that “history and the present are somehow disconnected.” That would be silly. I only asked for evidence that white supremacist ideas are becoming more popular. You linked to an argument for reparations, which simply doesn’t count as evidence that white supremacist ideas are becoming more popular. Then you accuse me of not understanding how history worked, simply because I pointed out that you hadn’t provided the evidence I asked for.
[quote=“Mindysan33, post:125, topic:96998”]
I’m sorry if none of this rises to the level of “real” problems in your mind.[/quote]
Of course, they’re real problems. Of course, white supremacists are feeling emboldened to make more noise and attack more people. And, of course, we should fight against these terrible people. By itself, however, that’s not evidence that white supremacy is becoming more popular.
If you actually think that our country is in a similar place that Germany was in the 1920’s-30’s, then you really ought not to criticize other people for not understanding history.
Why? AT what point do YOU think it’s a problem we need to address and when?
I didn’t say that. Please don’t put words in my mouth.
[ETA] Let me further say that I do think that TNC is giving a pretty good indication that white supremacy is still alive and well in his article. It’s the precise connection to history and how it undermines people in the present that I think matters here. White supremacy, I’d argue, never at any point went away and you can ask most people who are the targets of some sort of prejudice about that. They don’t need facts and figures, because it’s baked into their experiences of daily life. I’d also argue that facts and figures themselves, especially when related to these sorts of discussions can hide as much as they can reveal. An over reliance on data as the only measure of truth and reality can ignore how such things can be spun and even have its own inherent biases - those found within the individuals who work with them and process them. [quote=“aikimo, post:128, topic:96998”]
I already believe it’s a problem and that it should be addressed.
Once again, you claimed that unless you had hard data, you wouldn’t believe it’s a real issue.
Since upthread you invoked King, I’ll invoke another civil rights leader:
And nazi germany wasn’t the only place where such things happened. The nazis are only the most focused on and famous example of attempted genocides or ethnic cleansing in modern history. This country is built on slavery and ethnic cleansing/attempted genocide. They’ve happened all through out modern history and began with language aimed at groups of people. Always, they begin with words that dehumanize others. That is pretty much what connects all modern attempts to eliminate one set of people or another.
This is just the 20th century:
[ETA] You keep expecting me to know that you agree that white supremacy is a problem we need to address. Okay, fair enough… why, again, do you need some sort of proof that it’s a problem when people are saying it’s a problem right now? What kind of criteria do you need to be shown that it’s a problem that needs to be addressed? You are the one who asked for some data, which I linked to and then claimed that I said you didn’t care. One of the closest advisers to the president right now has a history of trading in white supremacy on the website he was the chief editor for - I’d say that’s a serious problem. Assholes like Richard Spencer are considered to be polite enough company to invite onto national radio and TV programs and to get longform articles in national magazines. Let’s not even mention that right wing political parties trading racism and xenophobia are on the rise in Europe right now.
If you think it’s a problem, I’m just not sure why you’re denying that it’s a problem.
I already believe it’s a problem and that it should be addressed. What have I written that would make you think that I think racism in America isn’t a problem? Of course, it’s a problem. I’m just arguing against using force against non-violent people as a valid tool to solve the problem of racism. Crazy, I know!
You’re the one who is afraid of “camps and bodies” because you understand history. What part of history are you referring to when you mention “camps and bodies,” if not Germany in the 1930’s?
In a broad sense it is in a similar place: a country with waning power undergoing a significant and on-going economic shift that leaves many people in the racial/religious majority feeling desperate and humiliated at an inability to get the kind of work they feel “entitled” to, and a right-wing populist demagogue and his henchmen consolidating their power and promising to return the country to a mythic glorious past.
It’s not exactly the same, of course, but it never is. History doesn’t repeat but it does rhyme, as Twain is supposed to have said.
Camps and bodies have been a regular outcome of right-wing authoritarian regimes over the years. As an historian, @Mindysan33 is familiar with that ugly pattern.
That outcome isn’t guaranteed, of course, but mass deportations and new detention facilities in the desert are already on the menu. That’s why resistance and action are even more important right now, and that’s why some people feel violence is an effective way to counter a Nazi thug like Spencer.*
[* someone, I’d add, whose crackpot racial ideas would not have gotten a serious hearing from the mainstream media before 2015 – another data point of evidence that white supremacist BS has become more acceptable in mainstream political discourse]
You just asked me not to put words in your mouth, so I’d appreciate it if you would also not put words in my mouth. There is no place where I said that I wouldn’t believe that racism is a problem if I didn’t have hard data. I’ve said that I’ve not seen data which clearly shows that more white people are subscribing to the philosophy of white supremacy.
Who is saying what I’m saying. I believe in the right to be non-violent with people who are non-violent. You can argue that Spencer’s arguments advocate violence, but until he commits an act of violence or instructs others to so, he’s being non-violent. Malcolm X (his autobiography was one of the first books on race history in America that I ever read) was talking about defending himself from violence in a way that MLK was not prepared to do. In this regard, I agree with Malcolm X.
I agree![quote=“Mindysan33, post:127, topic:96998”]
They’ve happened all through out modern history and began with language aimed at groups of people. Always, they begin with words that dehumanize others. That is pretty much what connects all modern attempts to eliminate one set of people or another.
They also happen within specific cultural contexts. The words that dehumanize others have to be part of the vocabulary of popular culture, in the newspaper editorials, in the speeches of politicians. That is not the case here, today. Racism is a huge problem, but it does nothing to address the problem to pretend that it exists in this country to the same degree and in the same way that it did prior to the 70’s.
I don’t need proof that it’s a problem, I need proof that it’s such a growing and increasingly dangerous problem that it justifies sucker-punching people on the street who have white supremacist philosophies.
There are, as you say, some very broad similarities. But our world, our society, our evolving culture is nothing like it was back then. Imagine trying to just walk down the street while being a mixed race couple or a gay couple or a transgendered person in the 1930’s. I think the difference is too dramatic to think that we would turn a blind eye to another Holocaust.
They were on the menu and in practice during the Obama administration, they just kept it on the DL.
Yes, I agree that resistance and action are important, but violence is the first sign that your ideas can’t compete. I think they can.
Which mainstream media sources gave Spencer a “serious hearing?” Where in the mainstream political discourse are conservatives talking about “peaceful ethnic cleansing” or any other of Spencer’s nutty ideas?
Fair enough. I’m only going by what you have said, or so I thought. Perhaps you weren’t clear on your meaning. Remember, we only have our words to go by.
There doesn’t have to be more people believe in white supremacy (which is really a meaningless metric, considering it has little to do with violence non whites might face in daily lives) for white supremacy to be a problem though. If the white supremacists that do exists feel emboldened, and the rest of white American sees no problem, it’s still a problem. [quote=“aikimo, post:130, topic:96998”]
You can argue that Spencer’s arguments advocate violence
They absolutely do. When you talk about wanting a white country, that’s advocating for violence. [quote=“aikimo, post:130, topic:96998”]
The words that dehumanize others have to be part of the vocabulary of popular culture, in the newspapers editorials, in the speeches of politicians.
Go read some Breitbart or Drudge Report, which are full of such things and have significant mindshare among many conservatives today. [quote=“aikimo, post:130, topic:96998”]
I need proof that it’s such a growing and increasingly dangerous problem
I believe that the uptick in violence and death threats indicate that it is.
He advocates for ethnic cleansing this country. [quote=“aikimo, post:131, topic:96998”]
But our world, our society, our evolving culture is nothing like it was back then.
What are the differences?
These people often experience discrimination on a daily basis. It may not be as bad as it once was, but it still exists.
NPR. The Atlantic. New York Times. Washington Post. NY Mag… Mother Jones:
More links here:
And let’s not forget that Steve Bannon is the current president’s right hand man and then there is this guy:
It’s a matter of time frames. Is bigotry more acceptable in public discourse 2017 than it was in 1967? No. Is bigotry more acceptable in public discourse 2017 than it was in 2007? Definitely.
When you’re fortunate enough to have spent most of your life in an historically prosperous era where there’s lots of progress, subscribing to the Whig Theory of history is tempting. But it’s easy to forget how quickly things can be turned around and regress when times get tough and authoritarians appear to exploit them. For example:
You don’t have to imagine this. There are photos and magazines and books that depict just these things happening in Weimar-era Berlin in a way they didn’t in America until very recently, and no-one getting beat up. It was the world capital of bohemian debauchery and libertinism. That changed in the space of a few years. These things move fast, especially for those who aren’t paying close attention or who think “it can’t happen here.”
I know. Does that make the proposed and proudly public ramp-up of this embarrassment by his successor somehow less worrisome? Do you think their not keeping it on the DL now might indicate they’re seeing that it might be more acceptable in the current political atmosphere?
I happen to agree from my own place of privilege, but I’m not going to get worked up if someone else doesn’t when they’re dealing with no-kidding Nazis.
The brand-name MSM outlets that have been interviewing him, putting him on cable panel shows, writing longform articles about him in the studied tone of “objective reporting,” etc.
They’re couching it in euphemisms and chin-stroking “maybe he has a point in there” considerations, but the ultimate attitude toward Muslims and Latin-American immigrants is the same amongst some mainstream political conservatives.
Take for example, Rep. Steve King’s not-so-euphemistic statements in the past days. Are you really comfortable with an American Congressman saying these things? Are you indifferent to the fact that the GOP didn’t immediately condemn him and expel him from their caucus? Are you feeling easy with the idea that he remains popular with voters back in his Iowa district? When people talk about growth in the acceptability of white supremacism since 2015, this is the kind of thing they’re talking about.
I agree. White supremacy is a problem. No doubt there.
It certainly is advocating for the forced removal of millions of people, which is, I think we agree, violent. But unless he’s creating an imminent threat of violence, he, himself, is being non-violent.
No, thank you! Gross! Seriously, I know, but I’m talking about mainstream newspapers. In places where genocide has been allowed to happen, the bigotry necessary was part popular and political vernacular in ways that just don’t exist here, anymore.
Fair enough.[quote=“Mindysan33, post:132, topic:96998”]
He advocates for ethnic cleansing this country.
He advocates for making a little slice of white heaven in some part of this country. That is batshit insane, not actually dangerous. It’s as dangerous as Fred Phelps calling for homosexuals to be put to death. It’s crazy, but it’s not dangerous, because it’s not going to happen.
Come on. Really? How is today’s culture more accepting of people of color and other minorities than it was in the 1930’s. That’s too much typing, and you know it.
Of course, but nothing like they did 50 years ago, let alone 80 years ago. Again, yes, discrimination is still a problem, but it’s not constructive to pretend that it’s a problem now in the same way it was in the past.
Those were not “serious hearings.” Those were clickbait, sensation stories. They weren’t considering his positions, they’re warning people about them, even mocking them.
That’s only true if you think that words don’t matter and can’t hurt. They can and do. Again, ask anyone who has been attacked through language. It matters. [quote=“aikimo, post:134, topic:96998”]
No, thank you! Gross! Seriously
Not a pleasant task, to be sure, but several intrepid happy mutants have decided to do so. Keep in mind that a significant number of Americans read these are their primary news sources now. And the president’s right hand man was the former chief editor.
You’re ignoring that the modern media (or postmodern media) does not function in the same way that the media of the past did. Think about how the president uses twitter and how different that is to how previous presidents have interacted with the public (even obama, who himself was on twitter). This is a vastly different media landscape that you’re just ignoring here. We don’t all get our news and information in the same place anymore, meaning that we often have different views of reality being told to us. [quote=“aikimo, post:134, topic:96998”]
He advocates for making a little slice of white heaven in some part of this country.
No. He wants to ethnically cleanse all of the US eventually. Whitefish is just a start. [quote=“aikimo, post:134, topic:96998”]
How is today’s culture more accepting of people of color and other minorities than it was in the 1930’s.
Yet people of color, gay people, Jewish people, and women (especially non-conforming women) still face serious discrimination. Just because it’s better doesn’t mean it’s “fixed.”[quote=“aikimo, post:134, topic:96998”]
Those were not “serious hearings.”
I’ll need some examples to be convinced of this.
[quote=“gracchus, post:133, topic:96998”]
There are photos and magazines and books that depict just these things happening in Weimar-era Berlin in a way they didn’t in America until very recently, and no-one getting beat up. That changed in the space of a few years.[/quote]
That’s a good point. Still, antisemitism and racial bigotry still existed and were promulgated by mainstream papers and politicians in Europe at the time. Sentiments which simply are unacceptable in mainstream culture, today.
They do see it as more acceptable. But I think it has more to do with their base than with appealing to mainstream America. That said, I think white supremacy and xenophobia are related, but separate issues.
As I said above, these are sensationalist stories, meant to frighten and titillate. None of them involved talking to any politicians who agreed with Spencer, because only a few, local, crazy ones do.
I’ve not seen any examples of this, myself.
I’m happy with the fact that many of his GOP colleagues and editorial staff in conservative areas condemned his words and stupid, stupid thoughts. That he’s not expelled I don’t think is evidence of white supremacy. But there were plenty of conservatives who spoke up against him. And let’s remember that CPAC kicked Spencer out, which surprised even me.
Okay, folks, since none of us are Nazis, I think it’s time to agree to disagree that unilateral violence is a valid solution to terrible ideas. Frankly, I’m exhausted. But I appreciate your thoughts and some of your challenges.
I actually think if we were all at a table (perhaps with refreshments and snacks, even) we would find we agree more than we disagree on most things, and we would disagree on this topic with a better humor and somewhat less vitriol. It’s a weakness in the format.
I’m off, so my best to you all.
For conservatives, those (meaning Breitbart and Drudge) are quickly becoming mainstream sources. At the very least, the president is using them as sources for angry tweets and the development of public policy.
Once again, the closest adviser to the president is a white supremacist.