So is “athleticism” or “philanthropy.” Yet most of us have no problem calling some people “athletes” or “philanthropists.”
That makes him even worse in my book; and it doesn’t lessen the harm of the racist shit he says and the hateful policies he supports.
If someone espouses hatred and malevolence to advance an agenda, it doesn’t matter to me whether they actually mean it or not, or what their true motivations may be.
Agreed, hence the rest of my post:
" If there is a lower level of hell than that reserved for racists, it is for these sorts."
Saying the first black president is not born in this country is a deeply racist statement. It’s saying that black people by definition aren’t “real” Americans. So yes, this is a deeply racist statement and calling it out is what needs to be done.
Both sides, Kathy… both sides… /s
Not calling a liar a liar and not calling a racist a racist but instead using euphemisms is one of the reasons the NYT hasn’t been particularly helpful over the past few years in opposing the alt-right or the regime it supports.
You’re using the correct dictionary, but misusing the words…
they’re going to have to “both sides” the shit out of it, for sure.
Thanks; yours and other comments have helped me change my perspective. I now agree that what Meadows said and did was racist.
Yeah, you won me over with this. My hesitation was that every time I’ve heard “go back where you came from”, it has always seemed to be motivated by trying to control behavior for reasons that have nothing to do with whether the person actually belongs where they are. That is a somewhat tortured way of saying he Meadows could be a bully grasping for something to use as an insult. His main motivation was to hurt Cohen and if he also had an intention to hurt black people or elevate whites, that seems secondary.
But I think you are right, that a poseur-racism is racism.
inhuman? Really? What percentage of the population is not human?
No you can’t call all people who go and intentionally kill young black men “racist”. Only the racist killers are racist.
Nor do I, but nearly everyone engages in athleticism and philanthropy at some point in their lives, and we rightly don’t call all these people athletes and philanthropists
For the noun racist to have meaning, it can’t apply to everyone who has ever committed a racist act. Nearly everyone who has lived with people of different races has at some point committed a racist act. I certainly have, and everyone I know well has.
Although Meadows was acting in a racist manner, that does not automatically make him a racist.
The dictionary definiton of racist is not just an action that elevates one race at the expense of another, but also a belief or intention that other races are inferior. So going by the dictionary, we need to be able to look into their internal state to determine whether someone is racist. Which is clearly impossible to do rigorously.
So I’m genuinely curious to hear how other people draw the line between someone who has committed racist acts and a racist.
Wow, someone flagged and got that post hidden. Talk about a snowflake!
So which words and whats the correct use?
Racism = prejudice + power.
Yes, what Meadows did (in both instances) was blatantly racist. But the real harm comes not from his attitude, but instead from the power he wields and the system he maintains.
There’s too much focus on the prejudice and not enough on the power .
 Because framing the problem as an individualistic psychological issue does not demand responses that threaten the existing wealth/power status quo.
Watch the video. It’s very well done and not overly long.
No, we wouldn’t call someone who gave money to a charity once, “a lifetime philanthropist”.
But we could definitely say they were a philanthropist in the moment.
If someone competes in the Olympics one year, we say they were an athlete, even if they renounce exercise the rest of their lives.
People can change and learn. People can stop jogging. People can read a history book.
That doesn’t mean people weren’t some kind of racist in the moment they were doing something spectacularly racist.
We infer the interior states of our fellow humans all the time, with varying degrees of success. It’s not “clearly impossible”, it’s common.
We do it by watching context, we do it by judging whether a person’s subsequent actions match up with what they’re saying. We do it all the time.
If a person says, “I’m not racist” and the next day they join the Klan, then they are generally indicating something about their “internal state”. If they respond to questions about whether they’re racist with answers that are also racist, they’re clueing people in on their “inner state”. It’s not always Schrödinger’s Racist.
He was a racist right there, in that moment. Add up other moments and it’s more than a one-off. A pattern of especially racist behavior highly indicates someone with an “inner state” that is racist.
i know. let’s ask a professor who wrote a book.
In the immortal words of British rock band Uriah Heap, “Maybe it’s the dancer, maybe it’s the dance the dancer dances.” You are correct, we cannot see into the mind and motivation of Mr. Meadows or others who commit racist acts, we certainly can see what they do. Racist actions stand as they are. More biblically, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” You do not have to hold hatred in your heart to be racist, only the belief that someone’s heritage or skin color defines their intelligence, values or worth.
ETA: Sorry, replying to the post you were replying to. Nested replies get very confusing!
Because some people apparently need a primer:
It’s not like this was the only thing he did in his life to make people slap that label on him. As the headline states, he was already trying to dismiss accusations of racism BEFORE the video resurfaced.
To return to the “spectrum of athleticism” analogy this is kind of like someone publicly refuting the suggestion that they are some kind of “athlete” just before being confronted with video evidence that they won second place in the Boston Marathon earlier that year.
The odd thing is that saying “I’m not a racist” almost guarantees the speaker is a racist. If there’s a “but” on the end, then it’s a definite. The best you can hope for yourself is that “I hope I’m not being a racist” (at that moment), but even then it depends on people who experience racism regularly to express their decision. I don’t think most members of the GOP experience racism (directed at them) regularly. I could be wrong.
Oh, look, semantics. Yawn.