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A Thread About [Black Lives Matter]

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  • Captain MarcusCaptain Marcus now arrives the hour of actionRegistered User regular
    Is there an example in there of black people being screwed over by welfare bureaucrats in a non-Republican state? I clicked out after he used the (super obnoxious) "academic definition" of racism.

    ISIS delenda est
  • FuzzytadpoleFuzzytadpole Registered User regular
    edited September 2015
    I feel like allies are important, especially ones who have the privilege needed to open paths for more progress. However I feel (and maybe others here, I don't know exactly) that there is a history of social movements compromising for broad appeal and becoming weak and toothless as a result. For example many Queer rights organisations have thrown any but Gay rights under the bus because Gay rights were easier for allies to accept than Trans, NB, Poly, Genderfluid, etc rights.

    We should welcome people who want to help the project, not change what the project is.

    I also think there is a bit of social responsibility for allies to not talk over minority voices, because living as a minority means being treated as below the allies all your life. I don't think any movement can truly be considered a success if it's very structure is a parody of the original problem.

    Edit:Sorry if this sounds too ranty.

    Fuzzytadpole on
  • Death of RatsDeath of Rats Registered User regular
    All ally implies is that you're someone not directly involved in something that has decided to help (not take over) a fight because of a respect for their plight.

    Because bigotry really really isn't the plight of the straight cis white man. Nor is transphobia the plight of the cis anyone. Or homophobia the plight of the straight anyone. Nor sexism the plight of men. Nor racism the plight of white people.

    These are issues those groups face, and no matter what someone that's not part of that group can't be any more than an ally. Because at any point you can decide to walk away. You can decide that you don't care anymore. While those groups? They can't.

    No I don't.
    qwer12
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    Also, there's something that I don't like about being an "ally." In some sense I understand it, I don't suffer the prejudices of the world like those who are members of minority groups. Because I'm not a member of those groups. Yet at the same time, I feel like those fights are my fights. I'm not an ally, removed from such, I am part of it. I believe just as much as anyone else. Maybe it's because 'ally' seems only to be used to silence someone. It isn't used to uplift, only to distance and demean. It's used to tell people that this isn't their struggle, they are simply attached to it in some secondary fashion. They don't belong to it, they are some other group. All it seems to do is distance, and divide.

    I also think that it's strange that the solution to

    You know how avid sports fans always talk about how "our team did this" and "we won the game" and "we struggled hard for our victory"?

    And it sounds a little hollow because, no, they didn't do shit. They sat on the couch and ate chips and cheered really loud. They did not actually do anything but be supportive.

    Think about what stakes you have in this battle. Compare those to the stakes an actual oppressed minority has.

    Now consider that your contribution to this thread is not "here are things that sound productive, what about those things?" but rather "this movement to address the atrocities leveled at black people, including their continued murder at the hands of the state, does not make me feel sufficiently warm and fuzzy inside. Let's talk about ways to make me feel warmer and fuzzier. "

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    .
    I do think that there's something to be said about the fact that the way in which change is made in this country is by gaining the support of the majority who are already in power. It's what got slavery abolished, and what got the Civil Rights Act passed. Alienating the majority will only ever result in nothing changing for the better (at best, it could always get worse), so alienating isn't practical. That doesn't mean that capitulation to the majority is in order either, or that a revolution in thought isn't necessary. They both are. The majority in power (white people) need to start to understand the reality of racism and what its effects are in this country. Only then will change begin to occur. However, if all you are doing is driving people away, you aren't getting anywhere. BLM drives people away, people who would otherwise be on their side. It's just not going to result in much of anything happening.

    I looked over the BLM stuff, and the policy sections are amazing and great and not at all what I have ever been exposed to in any conversations that include BLM. All of the supporters that I have seen interact with people online have done so without any clear goals outlined. Just rage expressed. On some level, I understand the expression of rage. I mean, I'm a white middle class (probably lower class now, how many years do you have to live your adult life below the poverty line to be considered poor?) male. I have all the privileges (except wealth, and arguably religious {I couldn't get elected president in the US, but only because people are cray cray about God here}), so my understanding is limited to an intellectual one. Intellectually I know some of the history, and I can imagine that if that had happened to me and my people that I just might want to vent some rage as well. But that doesn't mean that it's practically going to be effective. Rage can only get you so far. I think that BLM isn't terribly good at getting out a message of well thought out and positive change (the stuff about broken window crimes is fucking amazing and a great step, but I'd never even heard of it!).

    Also, there's something that I don't like about being an "ally." In some sense I understand it, I don't suffer the prejudices of the world like those who are members of minority groups. Because I'm not a member of those groups. Yet at the same time, I feel like those fights are my fights. I'm not an ally, removed from such, I am part of it. I believe just as much as anyone else. Maybe it's because 'ally' seems only to be used to silence someone. It isn't used to uplift, only to distance and demean. It's used to tell people that this isn't their struggle, they are simply attached to it in some secondary fashion. They don't belong to it, they are some other group. All it seems to do is distance, and divide.

    I also think that it's strange that the solution to minority voices being silenced is to silence majority voices. Holy shit, things are on fire! Well, light those things on fire and then at least everyone will be on fire! Increasing the number of people that are silenced strikes me as not being the answer. It seems like encouraging the majority to encourage the minority to also speak, getting more voices speaking is the answer. Getting different voices, but the same in total seems like not reaching the end of having everyone on an equal footing.

    But I'm a white heterosexual male, so this is all probably crap.

    Except that it really isn't your fight, because you're not the one who is actually having to deal with the repercussions of societal racism. You're not the one who is routinely othered by the police, who has to deal with all sorts of discrimination both official and unofficial, who has to worry if your skin color is going to be used as justification for state condoned brutality. And trying to claim it as yours continues a long trend of white progressives reappropriating minority movements for their ends.

    And the reason that the solution to minority voices being silenced is to ask the majority to pipe down is because the reason minorities are being silenced is because the majority voices are drowning them out.

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    You can not accept whatever you want. History doesn't care.

    The truth is that efforts to address economic inequality have historical been racist. This doesn't mean all actions to correct economic injustice are racist (something no one but you has claimed) but rather that if you don't address racism directly it will simply crop up in your efforts to address other issues (like, say, economic inequality).

    Cause racism and economic inequality are not the same thing and you aren't gonna fix racist issues by pretending they are.

    I think it's less of a concern at this point in history than in the past. It's not as if the AFL's preventing blacks from joining unions like they were back in 1890. No bureaucrat is rubbing his hands with glee at the thought of implementing a whites-only welfare policy.

    Less of a concern? Perhaps. But that's only accurate because the past was really really racist and the present is only pretty damn racist. (ie - only in comparison) It's still a major concern. Especially among, for instance, the black community who have not forgotten.

    Like, seriously, there are people very much rubbing their hands with glee at the thought of implementing racially-biased policy.
    Easy example: Stop and Frisk

    The fact that you think this isn't happening is both why the focus on only economic inequality is so silly and why the general tenor of movements like BLM is "hey, why don't you let us tell you what the issues actually are instead of you telling us". You are displaying the kind of thinking the other discussion in this thread is all about.

    Surfpossum
  • NarbusNarbus Registered User regular
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Lanz wrote: »
    http://mediamatters.org/video/2015/08/31/fox-host-demands-forcible-shutdown-of-black-liv/205285

    In which Fox News coins the the phrase "Drunk on Rights" to describe BLM

    I'm just kind of in awe of the stupidity on display in that statement

    The problem with laughing at this is it shows EXACTLY why our side is losing.

    We are over in the corner, turning on each other for not being a good enough ally, or a good enough advocate, or for saying that income is what matters, or that this or that needs to be done first.

    Conversely fox news is coming up with a snappy and effective catch phrase and the right is busily working to pass small little laws that erode away at the edges of progress. Drunk on Rights is a better slogan than Black Lives Matter, because it has a strong and 'comedic' appeal to the whole group of people to whom it is targeted. Fox News doesn't care about persuading black people or their allies, but if 'middle of the road' people get a bit of a chuckle out of it and can't see why it is bad due to the 'whitewashed middle class' environment they swim in then it reinforces their perspective.

    Drunk on Rights says "Look at these people, they've got the same rights as you and are wasting them. Why should you care about them? Why do they need more rights?" It's a nice little piece of gateway racism. Not TOO obviously racist, but leads you down a path of creating a group which includes you and your friends, and a group which is not you and your friends. And by framing it in terms of rights, they've lead away from racism which their target audience thinks is 'bad' and allows them to include any black friends they have in their friends group, and not the 'others' group.

    What matters is not the purity of the message. Fox news is not saying 'Black people are bad people and freeing them was a big mistake' even if that is what they really believe. They frame the message for success and penetration and take the victories they can get, but are NEVER satisfied.

    That's what we need to learn from them. What matters is success regardless of how it is achieved. What matters is that your lives are improved, even if someone elses got improved more. And what matters is that you aren't satisfied until you achieve utter victory.

    So yes, black people should not be happy until they are as accepted as say, Irish people (and yes, that means that I think that a true perfect equity in which people who are different don't even recognize that and laugh about it is impossible, and perhaps even undesirable) but that doesn't mean you should lead off with 'You all need to understand that you are all racists, and complicit in a terrible system which is destroying my community and YOU personally must accept blame and responsibility. Your achievements, values, and yes your very existence is tainted by this abominable sin which you can never wash away. You need to feel guilty. No matter how hard you may have tried to be a better person, you swim so deep in a sea of sin and privilege that it cannot be escaped. You have inherited the sins of your parents, and your children too are guilty.'

    It may be true, and it probably is, but you will never achieve anything with it. Since all it will do is make the people you are trying to reach say 'No I'm not, that pisses me off. Why would you question me like that? I worked hard to get where I did!" and to get them past that requires hours of careful attention and conversation with the minorities who have been affected to make them understand why that is true, and what it means to them as people. Since accepting that is a painful and horrible truth, and at the end of doing it, you've achieved nothing to make your lives better since the person you spent all that time persuading was ALREADY on your side.

    All lives matter is a better slogan than black lives matter. Black lives matter speaks more to what is really going on, but what is really important is achieving police reform, getting better schools in the inner cities, and getting more rights and reproductive control for poor working women. The world where the response to police brutality had been the 'All lives matter' movement would be closer to effective police reform because we wouldn't be arguing about whether BLM thinks that white lives matter too.

    What Fox news is doing, what you admit they're doing, is pandering to their base. By it's nature, pandering is lazy. Say something people already agree with, and let them go on agreeing with it.

    What BLM is trying to do is to change people's minds. By it's nature, changing minds is hard. You have to do something to snap people out of their daily acquiescing to the status quo and get them to turn around to your point of view. Snappy catch phrases don't do that so well. "I have a dream", "We shall overcome", there have been slogans that have had decades to sink in as a catchphrase, and we still live in a very racist world.

    Also, I'm not sure where anyone said "You are all racist and feel guilty etc etc". What was said is that you don't have the experience to speak knowledgeably about these issues because you don't live them every day, so you need to make sure that the people who do have that experience have room to speak. This is often easy to do, usually by not speaking over them.

    Finally, "All Lives Matter" is not a better slogan, because the entire point of the movement is that black people suffer a unique, systemic, and terrible burden in this country just for the ill luck of being born black. Stop-and-frisk programs, mandatory sentencing guidelines, police violence, these all affect black people in a way that they don't affect white people. Denying that, saying that "all lives matter" quickly turns into "lives of the majority matter because we can measure that easily", so when a racist program reduces crime, the majority says "oh good, problem solved", ignoring the fact that the reduction came on the backs of black people.

    shrykeJeep-EepSurfpossumSo It Goes
  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Registered User regular
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Also, there's something that I don't like about being an "ally." In some sense I understand it, I don't suffer the prejudices of the world like those who are members of minority groups. Because I'm not a member of those groups. Yet at the same time, I feel like those fights are my fights. I'm not an ally, removed from such, I am part of it. I believe just as much as anyone else. Maybe it's because 'ally' seems only to be used to silence someone. It isn't used to uplift, only to distance and demean. It's used to tell people that this isn't their struggle, they are simply attached to it in some secondary fashion. They don't belong to it, they are some other group. All it seems to do is distance, and divide.

    You know how avid sports fans always talk about how "our team did this" and "we won the game" and "we struggled hard for our victory"?

    And it sounds a little hollow because, no, they didn't do shit. They sat on the couch and ate chips and cheered really loud. They did not actually do anything but be supportive.

    Think about what stakes you have in this battle. Compare those to the stakes an actual oppressed minority has.

    Now consider that your contribution to this thread is not "here are things that sound productive, what about those things?" but rather "this movement to address the atrocities leveled at black people, including their continued murder at the hands of the state, does not make me feel sufficiently warm and fuzzy inside. Let's talk about ways to make me feel warmer and fuzzier. "

    I do get it, I understand that I don't have the same lived experience, nor the same potential consequences that someone who is a member of any given minority group does.

    I still think that the term 'ally' is used primarily to silence people and alienate them.

    Also feelings are important, practically speaking. If you make the majority, the ones in power, feel shitty, they aren't going to be on your side. Good luck getting change to happen with the majority opposed to your movement, because historically, that hasn't been a recipe for success.

    Feelings are also important ideologically. Part of the problem is that black men and women are made to feel worthless. Part of the problem is that gay men and women, trans men and women are taught that their feelings are bad and wrong. Is the solution to some people feeling shitty making different people feel shitty? Is that a step in the right direction? Maybe, but it seems counter intuitive to me so I'd need to see an argument for it.

    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Surfpossum wrote: »
    Shut up AND listen implies someone else is talking.

    Meaning, feel free to contribute as much as you want, but focus your efforts on amplifying the message, not muting it.

    That's not what it means, though. Spread the Word is a more accurate, yet more boring slogan.

    It's all mincing words. It's only a catchy buzzword that fits on twitter, a code for a concept not literally related to the semantic content of the slogan. If you want to use it, fine, but be prepared for pointless semantic arguments and general resistance to enter it into the historical lexicon.

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    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
    LoisLaneApothe0sisAntinumeric
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Lanz wrote: »
    http://mediamatters.org/video/2015/08/31/fox-host-demands-forcible-shutdown-of-black-liv/205285

    In which Fox News coins the the phrase "Drunk on Rights" to describe BLM

    I'm just kind of in awe of the stupidity on display in that statement

    The problem with laughing at this is it shows EXACTLY why our side is losing.

    We are over in the corner, turning on each other for not being a good enough ally, or a good enough advocate, or for saying that income is what matters, or that this or that needs to be done first.

    Conversely fox news is coming up with a snappy and effective catch phrase and the right is busily working to pass small little laws that erode away at the edges of progress. Drunk on Rights is a better slogan than Black Lives Matter, because it has a strong and 'comedic' appeal to the whole group of people to whom it is targeted. Fox News doesn't care about persuading black people or their allies, but if 'middle of the road' people get a bit of a chuckle out of it and can't see why it is bad due to the 'whitewashed middle class' environment they swim in then it reinforces their perspective.

    Drunk on Rights says "Look at these people, they've got the same rights as you and are wasting them. Why should you care about them? Why do they need more rights?" It's a nice little piece of gateway racism. Not TOO obviously racist, but leads you down a path of creating a group which includes you and your friends, and a group which is not you and your friends. And by framing it in terms of rights, they've lead away from racism which their target audience thinks is 'bad' and allows them to include any black friends they have in their friends group, and not the 'others' group.

    What matters is not the purity of the message. Fox news is not saying 'Black people are bad people and freeing them was a big mistake' even if that is what they really believe. They frame the message for success and penetration and take the victories they can get, but are NEVER satisfied.

    That's what we need to learn from them. What matters is success regardless of how it is achieved. What matters is that your lives are improved, even if someone elses got improved more. And what matters is that you aren't satisfied until you achieve utter victory.

    If this was all about messaging, people would be complaining about the message (eg - "Shut up and listen" is a bad way to phrase that sentiment).
    But instead they are complaining about the idea itself.
    So no, this is very much about some white people feeling slighted that maybe their opinion just isn't as needed.

    All lives matter is a better slogan than black lives matter. Black lives matter speaks more to what is really going on, but what is really important is achieving police reform, getting better schools in the inner cities, and getting more rights and reproductive control for poor working women. The world where the response to police brutality had been the 'All lives matter' movement would be closer to effective police reform because we wouldn't be arguing about whether BLM thinks that white lives matter too.

    No, All Lives Matter is a silly goose slogan that attempts to divert the conversation from the actual issue that the group in question wants to talk about. It's, again, exactly the problem being discussed when people talk about how why people should actually listen to what is being said rather then trying to immediately inject their own ideas. It's everything wrong with the attempt to reframe racism-issues as more general issues and thus avoid having to address the actual isue. It's why BLM was mad at Sanders.

    Jeep-Eepqwer12MuddypawsSurfpossum
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    Narbus wrote: »
    Astaereth wrote: »
    TL DR wrote: »
    Astaereth wrote: »
    Safe spaces make sense for venting. Not for political action. The most effective strategy should always be the strategy IMO, even if it isn't the most personally fulfilling for the members of the group. But then I prefer 1st/2nd wave feminism to 3rd wave for much the same reasons as I am raising in this thread. I think that change requires focus and a common purpose. It also requires messaging and coalition building that works to convince the white male power base in this country.

    He blatantly ignores the political reality of a white man taking over the movement and dismissing the minority's opinions on the subject of their oppression in their own group because white men have all the answers.

    Good christ, nobody here is dismissing the minority's opinions on what their oppression is or what it feels like to be oppressed or the fact of their oppression. What people are questioning, and rightly and fairly so, is whether or not this particular minority group is pursuing the right strategy in order to combat that oppression.

    I mean, SKFM is part of the white power base in this country, given his (presumed) race and socioeconomic status. He probably has some good ideas about what can convince a guy like him, who basically has no dog in this fight, to give a shit and do his part, whatever that part may be.

    People in such positions have some ideas, certainly, but they are invariably going to take the flavor of tone policing and urging restraint. Every time.

    Really? Every time? Every single person we're talking about, we can presume their behavior based on the color of their skin, without being wrong once ever?
    I'd like to take this opportunity to clarify "shut up and listen". The idea is not that white people don't have anything useful to add to this movement, but rather that white progressives have a long history of talking over minority activists. The language of 2nd wave feminism was 'how can we get black women involved in our movement', not realizing that black women have their own unique challenges and desires. To "shut up and listen" is to not presume to know better than black people what is best for black people, especially if it takes the form of telling them to quiet down and be patient when that simply has not been working.

    When black people tell me that what's best for them is x y and z, I agree and say, "Here are my suggestions on how to get white America to do that," and those suggestions are not secret attempts to get them to shut up. Is that wrong? Is it impossible for you to imagine?

    And what experience do you have in getting white America to do things? Unless you've got a lot of organizational experience that I'm not aware of, then you, like 99.9999 ad infinitum percent of "allies" have neither the expertise in dealing with racism nor the experience in dealing with political organizing that would mean you have valuable insight to contribute.

    If you want to march, or help raise money, or whatever, then go for it. But thinking "oh, hey, here's a great space for me to put in my two cents" is only going to crowd out the voices of people who have experience with at least half of the equation, yes.

    so whats the point of this thread

    and if I'm not allowed to give my opinion why are you

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Also, there's something that I don't like about being an "ally." In some sense I understand it, I don't suffer the prejudices of the world like those who are members of minority groups. Because I'm not a member of those groups. Yet at the same time, I feel like those fights are my fights. I'm not an ally, removed from such, I am part of it. I believe just as much as anyone else. Maybe it's because 'ally' seems only to be used to silence someone. It isn't used to uplift, only to distance and demean. It's used to tell people that this isn't their struggle, they are simply attached to it in some secondary fashion. They don't belong to it, they are some other group. All it seems to do is distance, and divide.

    You know how avid sports fans always talk about how "our team did this" and "we won the game" and "we struggled hard for our victory"?

    And it sounds a little hollow because, no, they didn't do shit. They sat on the couch and ate chips and cheered really loud. They did not actually do anything but be supportive.

    Think about what stakes you have in this battle. Compare those to the stakes an actual oppressed minority has.

    Now consider that your contribution to this thread is not "here are things that sound productive, what about those things?" but rather "this movement to address the atrocities leveled at black people, including their continued murder at the hands of the state, does not make me feel sufficiently warm and fuzzy inside. Let's talk about ways to make me feel warmer and fuzzier. "

    I do get it, I understand that I don't have the same lived experience, nor the same potential consequences that someone who is a member of any given minority group does.

    I still think that the term 'ally' is used primarily to silence people and alienate them.

    Also feelings are important, practically speaking. If you make the majority, the ones in power, feel shitty, they aren't going to be on your side. Good luck getting change to happen with the majority opposed to your movement, because historically, that hasn't been a recipe for success.

    Feelings are also important ideologically. Part of the problem is that black men and women are made to feel worthless. Part of the problem is that gay men and women, trans men and women are taught that their feelings are bad and wrong. Is the solution to some people feeling shitty making different people feel shitty? Is that a step in the right direction? Maybe, but it seems counter intuitive to me so I'd need to see an argument for it.

    If what they are saying is making you feel shitty, that's on you. Because I'm just as white as you are, and when it's pointed out to me that I have a number of benefits accorded to me by society based on my skin color, and that this situation is unfair, the statement of fact does not make me feel shitty. Nor does being told that since I don't have to live the reality of being a minority, I should be quiet and let those affected speak make me feel shitty either.

    Frankly, there's this really problematic belief among the left-leaning set that it's impossible to be both left and racist, and as a result, accusing a progressive of racism is a form of slander against them. The left has its own demons regarding race, and we need to stop dodging them.

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  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Registered User regular
    .
    I do think that there's something to be said about the fact that the way in which change is made in this country is by gaining the support of the majority who are already in power. It's what got slavery abolished, and what got the Civil Rights Act passed. Alienating the majority will only ever result in nothing changing for the better (at best, it could always get worse), so alienating isn't practical. That doesn't mean that capitulation to the majority is in order either, or that a revolution in thought isn't necessary. They both are. The majority in power (white people) need to start to understand the reality of racism and what its effects are in this country. Only then will change begin to occur. However, if all you are doing is driving people away, you aren't getting anywhere. BLM drives people away, people who would otherwise be on their side. It's just not going to result in much of anything happening.

    I looked over the BLM stuff, and the policy sections are amazing and great and not at all what I have ever been exposed to in any conversations that include BLM. All of the supporters that I have seen interact with people online have done so without any clear goals outlined. Just rage expressed. On some level, I understand the expression of rage. I mean, I'm a white middle class (probably lower class now, how many years do you have to live your adult life below the poverty line to be considered poor?) male. I have all the privileges (except wealth, and arguably religious {I couldn't get elected president in the US, but only because people are cray cray about God here}), so my understanding is limited to an intellectual one. Intellectually I know some of the history, and I can imagine that if that had happened to me and my people that I just might want to vent some rage as well. But that doesn't mean that it's practically going to be effective. Rage can only get you so far. I think that BLM isn't terribly good at getting out a message of well thought out and positive change (the stuff about broken window crimes is fucking amazing and a great step, but I'd never even heard of it!).

    Also, there's something that I don't like about being an "ally." In some sense I understand it, I don't suffer the prejudices of the world like those who are members of minority groups. Because I'm not a member of those groups. Yet at the same time, I feel like those fights are my fights. I'm not an ally, removed from such, I am part of it. I believe just as much as anyone else. Maybe it's because 'ally' seems only to be used to silence someone. It isn't used to uplift, only to distance and demean. It's used to tell people that this isn't their struggle, they are simply attached to it in some secondary fashion. They don't belong to it, they are some other group. All it seems to do is distance, and divide.

    I also think that it's strange that the solution to minority voices being silenced is to silence majority voices. Holy shit, things are on fire! Well, light those things on fire and then at least everyone will be on fire! Increasing the number of people that are silenced strikes me as not being the answer. It seems like encouraging the majority to encourage the minority to also speak, getting more voices speaking is the answer. Getting different voices, but the same in total seems like not reaching the end of having everyone on an equal footing.

    But I'm a white heterosexual male, so this is all probably crap.

    Except that it really isn't your fight, because you're not the one who is actually having to deal with the repercussions of societal racism. You're not the one who is routinely othered by the police, who has to deal with all sorts of discrimination both official and unofficial, who has to worry if your skin color is going to be used as justification for state condoned brutality. And trying to claim it as yours continues a long trend of white progressives reappropriating minority movements for their ends.

    And the reason that the solution to minority voices being silenced is to ask the majority to pipe down is because the reason minorities are being silenced is because the majority voices are drowning them out.

    I'm not trying to claim something as mine and not their, but as ours.

    I see myself in common cause. I know that I don't suffer what black men and women suffer, or what native men and women suffer, or what latinos and latinas suffer. I get that, structural racism isn't super hard to grasp as a concept.

    But when you say that we should fix it and I'm not part of we, then I wish you luck but I'll go do something else. I want to be active, not passive. I don't want to walk behind, but walk abreast. I want to raise my voice along with others. Part of that is that I want to be able to describe what racism does to white men and how it hurts them. How it twists their thinking, and robs them of perspective and understanding. It takes away beautiful music, poetry, and other art (because it's not included in their education).

    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Squidget0Squidget0 Registered User regular
    edited September 2015
    I feel like focusing too much on lived experience (ie: "Shut Up And Listen") is failing to recognize the integration of minority communities and the reduction of police violence as Hard Problems.

    Someone brought up bullying upthread, and I think it's a good comparison point. Most people do not believe that being a victim of bullying makes them qualified to create a national strategy to effectively combat bullying. This isn't because those people are not smart or because their experiences are not real, but because crafting policy to stop bullying on a national level is a Hard Problem. It's the kind of problem that is studied by experts, on which those experts often disagree. The kind of problem where if you think you have the magic bullet, you're probably overconfident. The kind of problem that, if solved, is most likely going to be solved gradually over many years, with both successful and unsuccessful policy going into effect along the way.

    We should expect the solution to Hard Problems to look less like "I have intuited the solution that will stop all bullying forever based on my personal experience" and more like "Our team of experts has been researching this topic for several years. Three studies found that instituting {policy} reduces reports of bullying by 15-20% over 5 years, while two other studies found no change. We've decided to try the policy on a wider scale, and we expect the next 5 years to show a more consistent trend."

    Integration of minority communities (and in particular, the black community which has lots of cultural barriers on both sides) is a similarly Hard Problem, even harder in some ways. I see no reason to believe that someone's lived experience with racism is, in and of itself, enough to solve this problem, any more than someone's experience with bullying lets them solve the national bullying problem. Lived experience might serve as a motivator for solving the problem - but lots of other things can serve as an equally good motivator, such as basic human compassion. If someone is offering to help, that suggests that they are already motivated, and castigating them for not being motivated for the right reasons only makes the movement seem petty and divisive.

    And as I mentioned in my last post, as a strategy it's highly vulnerable to stereotyping and oversimplification. It becomes very easy to assume that anyone who disagrees with you politically must be one of "those people." Until you've seen women of color shouted down for silencing the voices of women of color, you haven't lived.

    It seems to me that you'd want to get a variety of voices from both the black and white community in order to maximize your chance of reducing friction between the two distinct cultures involved. But of course, it's much easier (and more viscerally satisfying) to give in to the sweet cultural friction and blame the outgroup for any setbacks your ingroup encounters. Rising above petty politics, showing compassion towards everyone, and working with the other side on solving the Hard Problem is difficult. Beating up on an outgroup punching bag (in the form of some clueless white guy who offers to help your movement) is easy and satisfying. And it's even easier if you tell yourself that it's somehow an effective strategy. It isn't. It only deepens the cultural schism and makes it that much harder to work together in the future.

    Squidget0 on
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  • AstaerethAstaereth In the belly of the beastRegistered User regular
    I really don't understand what's so ... offensive about the concept of "before storming into a group and yelling that you have the best solution that none of these other folks have thought of, maybe you should sit and listen to those in the group who've had personal experience with the problem your idea is supposed to solve. This will not only give you a better idea of what problems are being faced, by whom, and to what degree, but will also help you to gauge your idea's worth in solving the problem you're interested in helping with."

    When TL;DR said "step one ought to always be Shut up and listen" I sure didn't take it as "white people have no good ideas, and are only bad, and should never talk because white privilege man." Which seems to be the way that an awful lot of people took the sentence/phrase.

    I dunno. Was it just that "shut up and listen" sounds kind of harsh?

    If I wanted to help out in a soup-kitchen, it seems like it'd be a bad idea for me to walk in, step behind the counter and into the kitchen, and just start throwing food/ingredients together because what people need here is food so let's get going making some freakin' food, right guys? I think things would probably go better for me if I sat down and listened to the guy in charge and found out if he needed help unloading a truck, or doing prep-work, cooking prepped stuff, serving what was already prepped/made, or cleaning, or making sure we were only allowing X number of people in at once as to not piss off the Fire Marshall, or any myriad of things that didn't just involve me going "I know best, and since I'm clearly helping solve the problem of 'hungry people' it's all good!" Same concept would apply if I were (say) moved to a new team/department at my job. Before telling them about the great solutions I have, I probably want to talk to the group and understand their situation.

    Clearly this has really gotten some people's hair up, and I don't understand why. I'm not seeing the ridiculous or ludicrous or stupid part of what was said.

    I think your analogy is off-base. The advice given here was more along the lines of:

    "Hi, I came to this soup kitchen because I know how much the homeless need help, what do you want me to do?"
    "First, go home and educate yourself on how much the homeless need help."

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    Surfpossum wrote: »
    Shut up AND listen implies someone else is talking.

    Meaning, feel free to contribute as much as you want, but focus your efforts on amplifying the message, not muting it.

    That's not what it means, though. Spread the Word is a more accurate, yet more boring slogan.

    It's all mincing words. It's only a catchy buzzword that fits on twitter, a code for a concept not literally related to the semantic content of the slogan. If you want to use it, fine, but be prepared for pointless semantic arguments and general resistance to enter it into the historical lexicon.

    The phrase exists because historically, white progressives...haven't been well behaved towards minorities. The problem is that history keeps getting glossed over, until it comes up, and suddenly white progressives look absolutely surprised.

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  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    ITT a bunch of white dudes lecturing a bunch of white dudes that white dudes aren't qualified to speak on racial discrimination due to their race

    Just layers on layers of wut

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  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Registered User regular
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Also, there's something that I don't like about being an "ally." In some sense I understand it, I don't suffer the prejudices of the world like those who are members of minority groups. Because I'm not a member of those groups. Yet at the same time, I feel like those fights are my fights. I'm not an ally, removed from such, I am part of it. I believe just as much as anyone else. Maybe it's because 'ally' seems only to be used to silence someone. It isn't used to uplift, only to distance and demean. It's used to tell people that this isn't their struggle, they are simply attached to it in some secondary fashion. They don't belong to it, they are some other group. All it seems to do is distance, and divide.

    You know how avid sports fans always talk about how "our team did this" and "we won the game" and "we struggled hard for our victory"?

    And it sounds a little hollow because, no, they didn't do shit. They sat on the couch and ate chips and cheered really loud. They did not actually do anything but be supportive.

    Think about what stakes you have in this battle. Compare those to the stakes an actual oppressed minority has.

    Now consider that your contribution to this thread is not "here are things that sound productive, what about those things?" but rather "this movement to address the atrocities leveled at black people, including their continued murder at the hands of the state, does not make me feel sufficiently warm and fuzzy inside. Let's talk about ways to make me feel warmer and fuzzier. "

    I do get it, I understand that I don't have the same lived experience, nor the same potential consequences that someone who is a member of any given minority group does.

    I still think that the term 'ally' is used primarily to silence people and alienate them.

    Also feelings are important, practically speaking. If you make the majority, the ones in power, feel shitty, they aren't going to be on your side. Good luck getting change to happen with the majority opposed to your movement, because historically, that hasn't been a recipe for success.

    Feelings are also important ideologically. Part of the problem is that black men and women are made to feel worthless. Part of the problem is that gay men and women, trans men and women are taught that their feelings are bad and wrong. Is the solution to some people feeling shitty making different people feel shitty? Is that a step in the right direction? Maybe, but it seems counter intuitive to me so I'd need to see an argument for it.

    If what they are saying is making you feel shitty, that's on you. Because I'm just as white as you are, and when it's pointed out to me that I have a number of benefits accorded to me by society based on my skin color, and that this situation is unfair, the statement of fact does not make me feel shitty. Nor does being told that since I don't have to live the reality of being a minority, I should be quiet and let those affected speak make me feel shitty either.

    Frankly, there's this really problematic belief among the left-leaning set that it's impossible to be both left and racist, and as a result, accusing a progressive of racism is a form of slander against them. The left has its own demons regarding race, and we need to stop dodging them.

    The more to say "this is your problem that isn't important and doesn't matter" the more you drive people away. You are comfortable with that because they aren't really on your side anyway, but your side seems to be getting smaller and smaller.

    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Nietzsche
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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Squidget0 wrote: »
    I feel like focusing too much on lived experience (ie: "Shut Up And Listen") is failing to recognize the integration of minority communities and the reduction of police violence as Hard Problems.

    Someone brought up bullying upthread, and I think it's a good comparison point. Most people do not believe that being a victim of bullying makes them qualified to create a national strategy to effectively combat bullying. This isn't because those people are not smart or because their experiences are not real, but because crafting policy to stop bullying on a national level is a Hard Problem. It's the kind of problem that is studied by experts, on which those experts often disagree. The kind of problem where if you think you have the magic bullet, you're probably overconfident. The kind of problem that, if solved, is most likely going to be solved gradually over many years, with both successful and unsuccessful policy going into effect along the way.

    We should expect the solution to Hard Problems to look less like "I have intuited the solution that will stop all bullying forever based on my personal experience" and more like "Our team of experts has been researching this topic for several years. Three studies found that instituting {policy} reduces reports of bullying by 15-20% over 5 years, while two other studies found no change. We've decided to try the policy on a wider scale, and we expect the next 5 years to show a more consistent trend."

    Integration of minority communities (and in particular, the black community which has lots of cultural barriers on both sides) is a similarly Hard Problem, even harder in some ways. I see no reason to believe that someone's lived experience with racism is, in and of itself, enough to solve this problem, any more than someone's experience with bullying lets them solve the national bullying problem. Lived experience might serve as a motivator for solving the problem - but lots of other things can serve as an equally good motivator, such as basic human compassion. If someone is offering to help, that suggests that they are already motivated, and castigating them for not being motivated for the right reasons only makes the movement seem petty and divisive.

    And as I mentioned in my last post, as a strategy it's highly vulnerable to stereotyping and oversimplification. It becomes very easy to assume that anyone who disagrees with you politically must be one of "those people." Until you've seen women of color shouted down for silencing the voices of women of color, you haven't lived.

    It seems to me that you'd want to get a variety of voices from both the black and white community in order to maximize your chance of reducing friction between the two distinct cultures involved. But of course, it's much easier (and more viscerally satisfying) to give in to the sweet cultural friction and blame the outgroup for any setbacks your ingroup encounters. Rising above petty politics, showing compassion towards everyone, and working with the other side on solving the Hard Problem is difficult. Beating up on an outgroup punching bag (in the form of some clueless white guy who offers to help your movement) is easy and satisfying. And it's even easier if you tell yourself that it's somehow an effective strategy. It isn't. It only deepens the cultural schism and makes it that much harder to work together in the future.

    The problem with combating bullying was not that it was a hard problem. The problem was that, in many ways, we were culturally unwilling to actually grapple with the reality of bullying, instead creating an entire mythos around the phenomenon that had no relation to reality.

    If this sounds familiar, well - let's just say bullying and racism are intimately related.

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  • TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    Astaereth wrote: »
    I really don't understand what's so ... offensive about the concept of "before storming into a group and yelling that you have the best solution that none of these other folks have thought of, maybe you should sit and listen to those in the group who've had personal experience with the problem your idea is supposed to solve. This will not only give you a better idea of what problems are being faced, by whom, and to what degree, but will also help you to gauge your idea's worth in solving the problem you're interested in helping with."

    When TL;DR said "step one ought to always be Shut up and listen" I sure didn't take it as "white people have no good ideas, and are only bad, and should never talk because white privilege man." Which seems to be the way that an awful lot of people took the sentence/phrase.

    I dunno. Was it just that "shut up and listen" sounds kind of harsh?

    If I wanted to help out in a soup-kitchen, it seems like it'd be a bad idea for me to walk in, step behind the counter and into the kitchen, and just start throwing food/ingredients together because what people need here is food so let's get going making some freakin' food, right guys? I think things would probably go better for me if I sat down and listened to the guy in charge and found out if he needed help unloading a truck, or doing prep-work, cooking prepped stuff, serving what was already prepped/made, or cleaning, or making sure we were only allowing X number of people in at once as to not piss off the Fire Marshall, or any myriad of things that didn't just involve me going "I know best, and since I'm clearly helping solve the problem of 'hungry people' it's all good!" Same concept would apply if I were (say) moved to a new team/department at my job. Before telling them about the great solutions I have, I probably want to talk to the group and understand their situation.

    Clearly this has really gotten some people's hair up, and I don't understand why. I'm not seeing the ridiculous or ludicrous or stupid part of what was said.

    I think your analogy is off-base. The advice given here was more along the lines of:

    "Hi, I came to this soup kitchen because I know how much the homeless need help, what do you want me to do?"
    "First, go home and educate yourself on how much the homeless need help."

    If this is your reading of the thread then I suggest you give it another go, this time from the beginning.

  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited September 2015
    Paladin wrote: »
    Surfpossum wrote: »
    Shut up AND listen implies someone else is talking.

    Meaning, feel free to contribute as much as you want, but focus your efforts on amplifying the message, not muting it.

    That's not what it means, though. Spread the Word is a more accurate, yet more boring slogan.

    It's all mincing words. It's only a catchy buzzword that fits on twitter, a code for a concept not literally related to the semantic content of the slogan. If you want to use it, fine, but be prepared for pointless semantic arguments and general resistance to enter it into the historical lexicon.

    The phrase exists because historically, white progressives...haven't been well behaved towards minorities. The problem is that history keeps getting glossed over, until it comes up, and suddenly white progressives look absolutely surprised.
    The Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act were passed when there were 6 African American Reps and zero African American Governors or Senators. Who the fuck do you think passed those laws? Cherokee libertarians? You're literally defining good as the enemy of perfect.

    PantsB on
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  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    The Chad Crow article had a really interesting link to a term

    http://libjournal.uncg.edu/index.php/ijcp/article/view/249
    White Fragility
    Robin DiAngelo

    Abstract

    White people in North America live in a social environment that protects and insulates them from race-based stress. This insulated environment of racial protection builds white expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering the ability to tolerate racial stress, leading to what I refer to as White Fragility. White Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium. This paper explicates the dynamics of White Fragility.

    Which really illustrates why BLM is so important and why shut up and listen is so important. Because if its one thing I have learned from very personal experience is that people that are stressed try to regain control of the situation any way they can.

    Some times letting go, sitting down, listening to other people and doing as they suggest is the best course of action. Let the black activist decided where to go with BLM, let the suggest ways of changing America for the better, let black activists worry about how to organize and get their message across. Just be ready to listen and follow their lead. They obviously care more about the issue then any of us.

    Let go of the need for control and you let go of you fragility and stress.

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  • TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    Personally I'm not attached to the verbiage of "shut up and listen" and that should be clear from my having agreed to @Yall having broached the subject.
    This is a productive conversation to be having; how to be a good ally. If I had to hazard a guess, our step one ought to always be Shut up and listen. PoC/queer/other minority groups have a unique perspective and are in the best position to state their own needs.

    Certainly I don't think this could be construed as a proposal for the new slogan.

  • FuzzytadpoleFuzzytadpole Registered User regular
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Also, there's something that I don't like about being an "ally." In some sense I understand it, I don't suffer the prejudices of the world like those who are members of minority groups. Because I'm not a member of those groups. Yet at the same time, I feel like those fights are my fights. I'm not an ally, removed from such, I am part of it. I believe just as much as anyone else. Maybe it's because 'ally' seems only to be used to silence someone. It isn't used to uplift, only to distance and demean. It's used to tell people that this isn't their struggle, they are simply attached to it in some secondary fashion. They don't belong to it, they are some other group. All it seems to do is distance, and divide.

    You know how avid sports fans always talk about how "our team did this" and "we won the game" and "we struggled hard for our victory"?

    And it sounds a little hollow because, no, they didn't do shit. They sat on the couch and ate chips and cheered really loud. They did not actually do anything but be supportive.

    Think about what stakes you have in this battle. Compare those to the stakes an actual oppressed minority has.

    Now consider that your contribution to this thread is not "here are things that sound productive, what about those things?" but rather "this movement to address the atrocities leveled at black people, including their continued murder at the hands of the state, does not make me feel sufficiently warm and fuzzy inside. Let's talk about ways to make me feel warmer and fuzzier. "

    I do get it, I understand that I don't have the same lived experience, nor the same potential consequences that someone who is a member of any given minority group does.

    I still think that the term 'ally' is used primarily to silence people and alienate them.

    Also feelings are important, practically speaking. If you make the majority, the ones in power, feel shitty, they aren't going to be on your side. Good luck getting change to happen with the majority opposed to your movement, because historically, that hasn't been a recipe for success.

    Feelings are also important ideologically. Part of the problem is that black men and women are made to feel worthless. Part of the problem is that gay men and women, trans men and women are taught that their feelings are bad and wrong. Is the solution to some people feeling shitty making different people feel shitty? Is that a step in the right direction? Maybe, but it seems counter intuitive to me so I'd need to see an argument for it.

    If what they are saying is making you feel shitty, that's on you. Because I'm just as white as you are, and when it's pointed out to me that I have a number of benefits accorded to me by society based on my skin color, and that this situation is unfair, the statement of fact does not make me feel shitty. Nor does being told that since I don't have to live the reality of being a minority, I should be quiet and let those affected speak make me feel shitty either.

    Frankly, there's this really problematic belief among the left-leaning set that it's impossible to be both left and racist, and as a result, accusing a progressive of racism is a form of slander against them. The left has its own demons regarding race, and we need to stop dodging them.

    The more to say "this is your problem that isn't important and doesn't matter" the more you drive people away. You are comfortable with that because they aren't really on your side anyway, but your side seems to be getting smaller and smaller.

    I feel if that is enough to drive you away, then you didn't care that much in the first place.

    AngelHedgiemrondeauqwer12MuddypawsMegaMekSurfpossum
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    PantsB wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Surfpossum wrote: »
    Shut up AND listen implies someone else is talking.

    Meaning, feel free to contribute as much as you want, but focus your efforts on amplifying the message, not muting it.

    That's not what it means, though. Spread the Word is a more accurate, yet more boring slogan.

    It's all mincing words. It's only a catchy buzzword that fits on twitter, a code for a concept not literally related to the semantic content of the slogan. If you want to use it, fine, but be prepared for pointless semantic arguments and general resistance to enter it into the historical lexicon.

    The phrase exists because historically, white progressives...haven't been well behaved towards minorities. The problem is that history keeps getting glossed over, until it comes up, and suddenly white progressives look absolutely surprised.
    The Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act were passed when there were 6 African American Reps and zero African American Governors or Senators. Who the fuck do you think passed those laws? Cherokee libertarians? You're literally defining good as the enemy of perfect.

    Because once those were passed, then everything was fine and racism ended.

    I love reminding people that the largest, most vicious fight against integration didn't take place in the South. It took place up in Boston. And it happened well after those laws were passed.

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    TL DR wrote: »
    Personally I'm not attached to the verbiage of "shut up and listen"

    It's a needlessly confrontational phrasing of a good sentiment.

    mrondeauAntinumeric
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    TL DR wrote: »
    Personally I'm not attached to the verbiage of "shut up and listen"

    It's a needlessly confrontational phrasing of a good sentiment.

    Except it isn't needless, as it stems from specific historic roots. I really wish people would stop avoiding that aspect.

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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    Narbus wrote: »
    Astaereth wrote: »
    TL DR wrote: »
    Astaereth wrote: »
    Safe spaces make sense for venting. Not for political action. The most effective strategy should always be the strategy IMO, even if it isn't the most personally fulfilling for the members of the group. But then I prefer 1st/2nd wave feminism to 3rd wave for much the same reasons as I am raising in this thread. I think that change requires focus and a common purpose. It also requires messaging and coalition building that works to convince the white male power base in this country.

    He blatantly ignores the political reality of a white man taking over the movement and dismissing the minority's opinions on the subject of their oppression in their own group because white men have all the answers.

    Good christ, nobody here is dismissing the minority's opinions on what their oppression is or what it feels like to be oppressed or the fact of their oppression. What people are questioning, and rightly and fairly so, is whether or not this particular minority group is pursuing the right strategy in order to combat that oppression.

    I mean, SKFM is part of the white power base in this country, given his (presumed) race and socioeconomic status. He probably has some good ideas about what can convince a guy like him, who basically has no dog in this fight, to give a shit and do his part, whatever that part may be.

    People in such positions have some ideas, certainly, but they are invariably going to take the flavor of tone policing and urging restraint. Every time.

    Really? Every time? Every single person we're talking about, we can presume their behavior based on the color of their skin, without being wrong once ever?
    I'd like to take this opportunity to clarify "shut up and listen". The idea is not that white people don't have anything useful to add to this movement, but rather that white progressives have a long history of talking over minority activists. The language of 2nd wave feminism was 'how can we get black women involved in our movement', not realizing that black women have their own unique challenges and desires. To "shut up and listen" is to not presume to know better than black people what is best for black people, especially if it takes the form of telling them to quiet down and be patient when that simply has not been working.

    When black people tell me that what's best for them is x y and z, I agree and say, "Here are my suggestions on how to get white America to do that," and those suggestions are not secret attempts to get them to shut up. Is that wrong? Is it impossible for you to imagine?

    And what experience do you have in getting white America to do things? Unless you've got a lot of organizational experience that I'm not aware of, then you, like 99.9999 ad infinitum percent of "allies" have neither the expertise in dealing with racism nor the experience in dealing with political organizing that would mean you have valuable insight to contribute.

    If you want to march, or help raise money, or whatever, then go for it. But thinking "oh, hey, here's a great space for me to put in my two cents" is only going to crowd out the voices of people who have experience with at least half of the equation, yes.

    so whats the point of this thread

    and if I'm not allowed to give my opinion why are you

    The point of this thread is to discuss BLM. You're absolutely allowed to give your opinion in here. Other people are allowed to tell you you're wrong.

    I'm pretty sure nobody has said that white people lack the Constitutional right to offer their ideas about racism. Just that maybe their insights are less valuable than they might suppose.

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited September 2015
    shryke wrote: »
    TL DR wrote: »
    Personally I'm not attached to the verbiage of "shut up and listen"

    It's a needlessly confrontational phrasing of a good sentiment.

    Except it isn't needless, as it stems from specific historic roots. I really wish people would stop avoiding that aspect.

    I'm not sure why you think using the words "shut up" is needed when there's far less insulting ways of phrasing the sentiment that you should not try and tell <insert oppressed group here> what their problems are and maybe listen to what they are saying.

    shryke on
  • NarbusNarbus Registered User regular
    edited September 2015
    Squidget0 wrote: »
    I feel like focusing too much on lived experience (ie: "Shut Up And Listen") is failing to recognize the integration of minority communities and the reduction of police violence as Hard Problems.

    Someone brought up bullying upthread, and I think it's a good comparison point. Most people do not believe that being a victim of bullying makes them qualified to create a national strategy to effectively combat bullying. This isn't because those people are not smart or because their experiences are not real, but because crafting policy to stop bullying on a national level is a Hard Problem. It's the kind of problem that is studied by experts, on which those experts often disagree. The kind of problem where if you think you have the magic bullet, you're probably overconfident. The kind of problem that, if solved, is most likely going to be solved gradually over many years, with both successful and unsuccessful policy going into effect along the way.

    We should expect the solution to Hard Problems to look less like "I have intuited the solution that will stop all bullying forever based on my personal experience" and more like "Our team of experts has been researching this topic for several years. Three studies found that instituting {policy} reduces reports of bullying by 15-20% over 5 years, while two other studies found no change. We've decided to try the policy on a wider scale, and we expect the next 5 years to show a more consistent trend."

    Integration of minority communities (and in particular, the black community which has lots of cultural barriers on both sides) is a similarly Hard Problem, even harder in some ways. I see no reason to believe that someone's lived experience with racism is, in and of itself, enough to solve this problem, any more than someone's experience with bullying lets them solve the national bullying problem. Lived experience might serve as a motivator for solving the problem - but lots of other things can serve as an equally good motivator, such as basic human compassion. If someone is offering to help, that suggests that they are already motivated, and castigating them for not being motivated for the right reasons only makes the movement seem petty and divisive.

    And as I mentioned in my last post, as a strategy it's highly vulnerable to stereotyping and oversimplification. It becomes very easy to assume that anyone who disagrees with you politically must be one of "those people." Until you've seen women of color shouted down for silencing the voices of women of color, you haven't lived.

    It seems to me that you'd want to get a variety of voices from both the black and white community in order to maximize your chance of reducing friction between the two distinct cultures involved. But of course, it's much easier (and more viscerally satisfying) to give in to the sweet cultural friction and blame the outgroup for any setbacks your ingroup encounters. Rising above petty politics, showing compassion towards everyone, and working with the other side on solving the Hard Problem is difficult. Beating up on an outgroup punching bag (in the form of some clueless white guy who offers to help your movement) is easy and satisfying. And it's even easier if you tell yourself that it's somehow an effective strategy. It isn't. It only deepens the cultural schism and makes it that much harder to work together in the future.

    When bullying was brought up previously, it came with a story about how people who hadn't had to deal with bullying had solutions that involved growing a pair and not being such a drama queen. Victim-blaming solutions that did nothing except to absolve the person offering that "help" of any responsibility to fix the problem.

    Likewise, with racism, the "solutions" offered by those who aren't victims of racism are, all too often, along the lines of "well, stop having so many babies you can't afford" or "maybe if you'd listen to the police" or, what you're doing here, "have you tried protesting more politely?"

    That was the point.

    Likewise, a lot of those studies you're looking for have already been done. We know what a boon integration is in addressing educational disparities. We know what harm the "school to prison" pipeline does to minority communities. We are very, very, very aware of how much damage the war on drugs has done to minority communities. We are aware that "basic human compassion" doesn't work because the entire system is set up to paint minority groups as less-than-human. As uneducated thugs or baby machines milking the system, just waiting for the right Henry Higgins to come along and teach them the wonders of civilization.

    AND YET. We still have people in power saying "no no, these aren't the issue, the issue is welfare queens". Because they won't shut up and listen to how these policies actually impact people. They are a group with a vested interest in not solving this hard problem. You're telling the group who are after basic rights that it's all on them, that if they'd just be a little more polite, then everyone will listen! History is pretty clear on how wrong that is. History is also clear on how helpful a clueless white guy can be. White people who listened, white people who realized that this struggle isn't about them, those are the helpful white people.

    Narbus on
    Fuzzytadpoleqwer12Surfpossum
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    TL DR wrote: »
    Personally I'm not attached to the verbiage of "shut up and listen"

    It's a needlessly confrontational phrasing of a good sentiment.

    Except it isn't needless, as it stems from specific historic roots. I really wish people would stop avoiding that aspect.

    I'm not sure why you think using the words "shut up" is needed when there's far less insulting ways of phrasing the sentiment that you should not try and tell <insert oppressed group here> what their problems are and maybe listen to what they are saying.

    Then you haven't been reading my posts.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • Squidget0Squidget0 Registered User regular
    edited September 2015
    Squidget0 wrote: »
    I feel like focusing too much on lived experience (ie: "Shut Up And Listen") is failing to recognize the integration of minority communities and the reduction of police violence as Hard Problems.

    Someone brought up bullying upthread, and I think it's a good comparison point. Most people do not believe that being a victim of bullying makes them qualified to create a national strategy to effectively combat bullying. This isn't because those people are not smart or because their experiences are not real, but because crafting policy to stop bullying on a national level is a Hard Problem. It's the kind of problem that is studied by experts, on which those experts often disagree. The kind of problem where if you think you have the magic bullet, you're probably overconfident. The kind of problem that, if solved, is most likely going to be solved gradually over many years, with both successful and unsuccessful policy going into effect along the way.

    We should expect the solution to Hard Problems to look less like "I have intuited the solution that will stop all bullying forever based on my personal experience" and more like "Our team of experts has been researching this topic for several years. Three studies found that instituting {policy} reduces reports of bullying by 15-20% over 5 years, while two other studies found no change. We've decided to try the policy on a wider scale, and we expect the next 5 years to show a more consistent trend."

    Integration of minority communities (and in particular, the black community which has lots of cultural barriers on both sides) is a similarly Hard Problem, even harder in some ways. I see no reason to believe that someone's lived experience with racism is, in and of itself, enough to solve this problem, any more than someone's experience with bullying lets them solve the national bullying problem. Lived experience might serve as a motivator for solving the problem - but lots of other things can serve as an equally good motivator, such as basic human compassion. If someone is offering to help, that suggests that they are already motivated, and castigating them for not being motivated for the right reasons only makes the movement seem petty and divisive.

    And as I mentioned in my last post, as a strategy it's highly vulnerable to stereotyping and oversimplification. It becomes very easy to assume that anyone who disagrees with you politically must be one of "those people." Until you've seen women of color shouted down for silencing the voices of women of color, you haven't lived.

    It seems to me that you'd want to get a variety of voices from both the black and white community in order to maximize your chance of reducing friction between the two distinct cultures involved. But of course, it's much easier (and more viscerally satisfying) to give in to the sweet cultural friction and blame the outgroup for any setbacks your ingroup encounters. Rising above petty politics, showing compassion towards everyone, and working with the other side on solving the Hard Problem is difficult. Beating up on an outgroup punching bag (in the form of some clueless white guy who offers to help your movement) is easy and satisfying. And it's even easier if you tell yourself that it's somehow an effective strategy. It isn't. It only deepens the cultural schism and makes it that much harder to work together in the future.

    The problem with combating bullying was not that it was a hard problem. The problem was that, in many ways, we were culturally unwilling to actually grapple with the reality of bullying, instead creating an entire mythos around the phenomenon that had no relation to reality.

    So the idea here is that if we were "culturally willing to grapple with the reality of bullying" then the problem would solve itself? Why would that happen? And what would it look like if it did?

    I think this argument implies that bullying and racism are somehow an unnatural state, and that it takes actual work by evil forces to keep the system in a state where they can occur. It seems to be a worldview where if you could only smash the current cultural barriers to natural human goodness, then bullying and racism would disappear forever. Unfortunately, humanity isn't like that. If you put humans into groups there will be bullying and racism and tribalism, because those things are humanity's natural state when we operate in groups. Creating a system where people don't do these things requires setting up artificial structures (like the legal system or harassment policies) which are massively complex and have to be tuned just so in order to work at all. Creating such a system requires a huge amount of research and effort, and maintaining it requires even more. There is a reason the bullying problem was around in every society throughout human history (and still is to a large extent, even if we've made some initial strides) - it's a Hard Problem, not something that naturally solves itself if only every individual in the system believes hard enough.

    The narrative of "If only white people actually cared about black issues, this would be easily solved" is massively contradictory and massively wrong. The data (as well as any remotely politically facebook feed) tells us that white people care more about a single black person getting shot than they do about their health care or their taxes. Racial issues are up there with child molestation in society's list of Things That Everyone Must Care About All The Time. If caring or awareness were going to solve these problems, they would have already solved it a hundred times over.

    But they haven't been solved. Because these are actually Hard Problems. And they are not made any easier by pretending otherwise.

    Squidget0 on
    Arch wrote: »
    the lynch mob is a feature, not a bug in the democratic system
    FrankiedarlingMrMisterLoisLaneApothe0sisoverride367Antinumeric
  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    PantsB wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Surfpossum wrote: »
    Shut up AND listen implies someone else is talking.

    Meaning, feel free to contribute as much as you want, but focus your efforts on amplifying the message, not muting it.

    That's not what it means, though. Spread the Word is a more accurate, yet more boring slogan.

    It's all mincing words. It's only a catchy buzzword that fits on twitter, a code for a concept not literally related to the semantic content of the slogan. If you want to use it, fine, but be prepared for pointless semantic arguments and general resistance to enter it into the historical lexicon.

    The phrase exists because historically, white progressives...haven't been well behaved towards minorities. The problem is that history keeps getting glossed over, until it comes up, and suddenly white progressives look absolutely surprised.
    The Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act were passed when there were 6 African American Reps and zero African American Governors or Senators. Who the fuck do you think passed those laws? Cherokee libertarians? You're literally defining good as the enemy of perfect.

    Because once those were passed, then everything was fine and racism ended.


    Do you not even see yourself doing it? No one said "everything was fine and racism ended." That would be 'perfect'. The Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act were 2 of the 3 biggest steps forward towards racial equality (with Brown v Board of Education, also decided by white liberals) since the Reformation. That's good. Declaring it as bad, is fucking dumb and is the clearest example of letting the letting the perfect be the enemy of the good I've ever seen.
    I love reminding people that the largest, most vicious fight against integration didn't take place in the South. It took place up in Boston. And it happened well after those laws were passed.
    Then you're reminding people of a lie. The media loved to portray those "riots" and guess how many people were killed? One white dude. One other white dude was almost killed. Literally no black people were killed and almost none were seriously injured. Order was maintained by Boston police and people were arrested for protesting. The Boston "riots" weren't even the biggest desegregation riots of that year. There are bigger riots involved with sporting events every year in the US or any time the G8 or WTO or similar has a meeting.

    In both Detroit and in LA in that time period, scores were killed, thousands were injured and there were billions of dollars (in today's dollars) of damage before the military was sent in to restore order. But you remember the Boston one because it provides a contrast.

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    QEDMF xbl: PantsB G+
    LanlaornFrankiedarlingLoisLaneMrMisterElvenshaeApothe0sisBullheadoverride367
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    Surfpossum wrote: »
    Shut up AND listen implies someone else is talking.

    Meaning, feel free to contribute as much as you want, but focus your efforts on amplifying the message, not muting it.

    That's not what it means, though. Spread the Word is a more accurate, yet more boring slogan.

    It's all mincing words. It's only a catchy buzzword that fits on twitter, a code for a concept not literally related to the semantic content of the slogan. If you want to use it, fine, but be prepared for pointless semantic arguments and general resistance to enter it into the historical lexicon.

    The phrase exists because historically, white progressives...haven't been well behaved towards minorities. The problem is that history keeps getting glossed over, until it comes up, and suddenly white progressives look absolutely surprised.

    That's a different concept than shut up and listen, or is only tangentially related and you're trying to fit too much ideology into four words. Remember our past is generic, but is easier to associate. Stop denying history is more inflammatory but still better. Shut up and listen is more appropriate to something dealing with current suppression of speech.

    Nitpicky, but why invite needless semantic arguments?

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
    Apothe0sis
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    TL DR wrote: »
    Personally I'm not attached to the verbiage of "shut up and listen"

    It's a needlessly confrontational phrasing of a good sentiment.

    Except it isn't needless, as it stems from specific historic roots. I really wish people would stop avoiding that aspect.

    I'm not sure why you think using the words "shut up" is needed when there's far less insulting ways of phrasing the sentiment that you should not try and tell <insert oppressed group here> what their problems are and maybe listen to what they are saying.

    Then you haven't been reading my posts.

    I have. That's why I'm saying this. Because you haven't addressed this point at all.

  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    TL DR wrote: »
    Personally I'm not attached to the verbiage of "shut up and listen"

    It's a needlessly confrontational phrasing of a good sentiment.

    Except it isn't needless, as it stems from specific historic roots. I really wish people would stop avoiding that aspect.

    I'm not sure why you think using the words "shut up" is needed when there's far less insulting ways of phrasing the sentiment that you should not try and tell <insert oppressed group here> what their problems are and maybe listen to what they are saying.

    The problem is, and it's not something that is drawn just from here, that there is an emphasis placed on confrontation and "calling people out" in equality movements these days. Praise is heaped upon anyone who uses the most violent language possible as a reaction against "respectability politics." I only quote such things to preserve language as I have seen it.

    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Nietzsche
    Apothe0sisAntinumeric
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Squidget0 wrote: »
    Squidget0 wrote: »
    I feel like focusing too much on lived experience (ie: "Shut Up And Listen") is failing to recognize the integration of minority communities and the reduction of police violence as Hard Problems.

    Someone brought up bullying upthread, and I think it's a good comparison point. Most people do not believe that being a victim of bullying makes them qualified to create a national strategy to effectively combat bullying. This isn't because those people are not smart or because their experiences are not real, but because crafting policy to stop bullying on a national level is a Hard Problem. It's the kind of problem that is studied by experts, on which those experts often disagree. The kind of problem where if you think you have the magic bullet, you're probably overconfident. The kind of problem that, if solved, is most likely going to be solved gradually over many years, with both successful and unsuccessful policy going into effect along the way.

    We should expect the solution to Hard Problems to look less like "I have intuited the solution that will stop all bullying forever based on my personal experience" and more like "Our team of experts has been researching this topic for several years. Three studies found that instituting {policy} reduces reports of bullying by 15-20% over 5 years, while two other studies found no change. We've decided to try the policy on a wider scale, and we expect the next 5 years to show a more consistent trend."

    Integration of minority communities (and in particular, the black community which has lots of cultural barriers on both sides) is a similarly Hard Problem, even harder in some ways. I see no reason to believe that someone's lived experience with racism is, in and of itself, enough to solve this problem, any more than someone's experience with bullying lets them solve the national bullying problem. Lived experience might serve as a motivator for solving the problem - but lots of other things can serve as an equally good motivator, such as basic human compassion. If someone is offering to help, that suggests that they are already motivated, and castigating them for not being motivated for the right reasons only makes the movement seem petty and divisive.

    And as I mentioned in my last post, as a strategy it's highly vulnerable to stereotyping and oversimplification. It becomes very easy to assume that anyone who disagrees with you politically must be one of "those people." Until you've seen women of color shouted down for silencing the voices of women of color, you haven't lived.

    It seems to me that you'd want to get a variety of voices from both the black and white community in order to maximize your chance of reducing friction between the two distinct cultures involved. But of course, it's much easier (and more viscerally satisfying) to give in to the sweet cultural friction and blame the outgroup for any setbacks your ingroup encounters. Rising above petty politics, showing compassion towards everyone, and working with the other side on solving the Hard Problem is difficult. Beating up on an outgroup punching bag (in the form of some clueless white guy who offers to help your movement) is easy and satisfying. And it's even easier if you tell yourself that it's somehow an effective strategy. It isn't. It only deepens the cultural schism and makes it that much harder to work together in the future.

    The problem with combating bullying was not that it was a hard problem. The problem was that, in many ways, we were culturally unwilling to actually grapple with the reality of bullying, instead creating an entire mythos around the phenomenon that had no relation to reality.

    So the idea here is that if we were "culturally willing to grapple with the reality of bullying" then the problem would solve itself? Why would that happen? And what would it look like if it did?

    I think this argument implies that bullying and racism are somehow an unnatural state, and that it takes actual work by evil forces to keep the system in a state where they can occur. It seems to be a worldview where if you could only smash the current cultural barriers to natural human goodness, then bullying and racism would disappear forever. Unfortunately, humanity isn't like that. If you put humans into groups there will be bullying and racism and tribalism, because those things are humanity's natural state when we operate in groups. Creating a system where people don't do these things requires setting up artificial structures (like the legal system or harassment policies) which are massively complex and have to be tuned just so in order to work at all. Creating such a system requires a huge amount of research and effort, and maintaining it requires even more. There is a reason the bullying problem was around in every society throughout human history (and still is to a large extent, even if we've made some initial strides) - it's a Hard Problem, not something that naturally solves itself if only every individual in the system believes hard enough.

    The narrative of "If only white people actually cared about black issues, this would be easily solved" is massively contradictory and massively wrong. The data (as well as any remotely politically facebook feed) tells us that white people care more about a single black person getting shot than they do about their health care or their taxes. Racial issues are up there with child molestation in society's list of Things That Everyone Must Care About All The Time. If caring or awareness were going to solve these problems, they would have already solved it a hundred times over.

    But they haven't been solved. Because these are actually Hard Problems. And they are not made any easier by pretending otherwise.

    No, it wouldn't solve itself - but you can't actually solve a problem that you are unwilling to look at honestly. The reason that bullying and racism exist is that they are forms of social control, meant to enforce a specific social order. Which means that if you want to actually deal with them, you need to address that order. It's not a hard problem - it's just one we don't have the stomach for.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Registered User regular
    Narbus wrote: »
    Squidget0 wrote: »
    I feel like focusing too much on lived experience (ie: "Shut Up And Listen") is failing to recognize the integration of minority communities and the reduction of police violence as Hard Problems.

    Someone brought up bullying upthread, and I think it's a good comparison point. Most people do not believe that being a victim of bullying makes them qualified to create a national strategy to effectively combat bullying. This isn't because those people are not smart or because their experiences are not real, but because crafting policy to stop bullying on a national level is a Hard Problem. It's the kind of problem that is studied by experts, on which those experts often disagree. The kind of problem where if you think you have the magic bullet, you're probably overconfident. The kind of problem that, if solved, is most likely going to be solved gradually over many years, with both successful and unsuccessful policy going into effect along the way.

    We should expect the solution to Hard Problems to look less like "I have intuited the solution that will stop all bullying forever based on my personal experience" and more like "Our team of experts has been researching this topic for several years. Three studies found that instituting {policy} reduces reports of bullying by 15-20% over 5 years, while two other studies found no change. We've decided to try the policy on a wider scale, and we expect the next 5 years to show a more consistent trend."

    Integration of minority communities (and in particular, the black community which has lots of cultural barriers on both sides) is a similarly Hard Problem, even harder in some ways. I see no reason to believe that someone's lived experience with racism is, in and of itself, enough to solve this problem, any more than someone's experience with bullying lets them solve the national bullying problem. Lived experience might serve as a motivator for solving the problem - but lots of other things can serve as an equally good motivator, such as basic human compassion. If someone is offering to help, that suggests that they are already motivated, and castigating them for not being motivated for the right reasons only makes the movement seem petty and divisive.

    And as I mentioned in my last post, as a strategy it's highly vulnerable to stereotyping and oversimplification. It becomes very easy to assume that anyone who disagrees with you politically must be one of "those people." Until you've seen women of color shouted down for silencing the voices of women of color, you haven't lived.

    It seems to me that you'd want to get a variety of voices from both the black and white community in order to maximize your chance of reducing friction between the two distinct cultures involved. But of course, it's much easier (and more viscerally satisfying) to give in to the sweet cultural friction and blame the outgroup for any setbacks your ingroup encounters. Rising above petty politics, showing compassion towards everyone, and working with the other side on solving the Hard Problem is difficult. Beating up on an outgroup punching bag (in the form of some clueless white guy who offers to help your movement) is easy and satisfying. And it's even easier if you tell yourself that it's somehow an effective strategy. It isn't. It only deepens the cultural schism and makes it that much harder to work together in the future.

    When bullying was brought up previously, it came with a story about how people who hadn't had to deal with bullying had solutions that involved growing a pair and not being such a drama queen. Victim-blaming solutions that did nothing except to absolve the person offering that "help" of any responsibility to fix the problem.

    Likewise, with racism, the "solutions" offered by those who aren't victims of racism are, all too often, along the lines of "well, stop having so many babies you can't afford" or "maybe if you'd listen to the police" or, what you're doing here, "have you tried protesting more politely?"

    That was the point.

    Likewise, a lot of those studies you're looking for have already been done. We know what a boon integration is in addressing educational disparities. We know what harm the "school to prison" pipeline does to minority communities. We are very, very, very aware of how much damage the war on drugs has done to minority communities. We are aware that "basic human compassion" doesn't work because the entire system is set up to paint minority groups as less-than-human. As uneducated thugs or baby machines milking the system, just waiting for the right Henry Higgins to come along and teach them the wonders of civilization.

    AND YET. We still have people in power saying "no no, these aren't the issue, the issue is welfare queens". Because they won't shut up and listen to how these policies actually impact people. They are a group with a vested interest in not solving this hard problem. You're telling the group who are after basic rights that it's all on them, that if they'd just be a little more polite, then everyone will listen! History is pretty clear on how wrong that is. History is also clear on how helpful a clueless white guy can be. White people who listened, white people who realized that this struggle isn't about them, those are the helpful white people.

    Is there no room between the bigot who complains about "welfare queens" and the people who sincerely want to participate in the discussion without being told to shut up?

    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Nietzsche
    Apothe0sis
  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Registered User regular
    Or that the discussion isn't for them?

    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    Case in point: the conversation has been dominated since page 1 by people taking umbrage with being told that their opinions aren't the important thing here and actual discussion of BLM activities has been mostly overshadowed.

    Jeep-EepmrondeauwazillashrykeAistanSurfpossumCalicaSo It Goes
This discussion has been closed.