Coates: Why the Media Didn’t Bother to Verify if Hillary Clinton’s Remark About Half of Donald Trump’s Supporters Being ‘Deplorable’ Was True

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  1. Avatar pillsy
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    I’m glad someone linked that. Even the argument that it’s not fair to equate people with their repulsive political beliefs–which got a lot of play here and is a defensible complaint–didn’t get a lot of play in the press. It was mostly just, “How dare you!” spluttering, even though in almost any other context the idea that ~20% of the country believes despicable things wouldn’t even rise to the level of being noticed.Report

  2. Avatar Damon
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    Why bother to verify this when the journalists already do believe it?Report

    • Avatar David Parsons in reply to Damon
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      Well, Reuters did a poll that says that slightly less than half of said supporters are racist. So, yeah, there’s probably a reason that journalists believe it — the pitiful thing is that those journalists didn’t bother to mention that poll when the Trump campaign collectively collapsed into their fainting chairs (without bothering to actually deny the accusation.)Report

      • Avatar j r in reply to David Parsons
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        That Reuters article is instructive in that it supports the thesis of the TNC piece:

        Nearly half of Trump’s supporters described African Americans as more “violent” than whites. The same proportion described African Americans as more “criminal” than whites, while 40 percent described them as more “lazy” than whites.

        But, it also complicates the narrative and offers a much better explanation to why the Clinton campaign backtracked and apologized for those comments:

        In smaller, but still significant, numbers, Clinton backers also viewed blacks more critically than whites with regard to certain personality traits. Nearly one-third of Clinton supporters described blacks as more “violent” and “criminal” than whites, and one-quarter described them as more “lazy” than whites.

        Hillary Clinton is much less the victim in this charade than a willing participant. And I get it. Hillary needs that one-third if she wants to get elected.Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to David Parsons
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        The data doesn’t matter. MSM are reliably left of center, live in blue bubbles and refer to the red areas as “fly over” land. Groupthink. One doesn’t question the assumptions of the group if one wishes to stay within it. Besides, “everybody they know” thinks the same way so they are sure to be right.Report

        • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Damon
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          If I were to write a comment criticizing the press, I might try to actually discuss their behavior, but you do you.Report

          • Avatar Damon in reply to Don Zeko
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            My conclusions, stated above, reflect decades of observation/reading the MSM and their own self reporting on various polling.Report

            • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Damon
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              That’s not what I’m implying. Yes, most journalists are liberals, but that doesn’t mean that the work they produce is necessarily skewed. It’s possible, and most liberals would argue true, that there are other factors effecting the way the press functions that skew coverage rightward. You’re making the first part of a complex argument and leaving things there, but it needs more to actually make your point.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Don Zeko
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                This is the racism vs. structural racism argument except for when it comes to liberal bias.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Jaybird
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                It is? Liberals talking about structural racism are usually pilling a reverse @damon : because the results are so racially disparate, there must have been some racism somewhere in the sausage making.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Don Zeko
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                The people might be racist, but that doesn’t mean that their policies are racist?

                Yeah, that’s a different argument. Sorry.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Jaybird
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                That’s a very good parallel.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Troublesome Frog
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                The problem is that it’s about as believable to non-liberals.

                It might even be true!

                But it’s about as believable.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Jaybird
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                Maybe I like it because I believe in systemic racism, systemic sexism, and a liberal media, but I don’t think those phenomena explain quite as much of the data as their most vocal advocates think they do.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Don Zeko
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                I’m with you. The MSM has biases but it’s a lot more complicated than ‘the media is liberal.’ It does I think have a blue state, coastal bias that skews towards a certain type of liberalism (i.e. the assumed values tend to be those of college educated urban/suburban upper middle class progressives) but it also has corporate and statist biases than can skew towards a certain type of conservatism (i.e. cheerleading for warfare and the security state, omitting certain criticisms of our economic system from the discussion).Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to InMD
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                Yeah, I think a good way to put it would be that the media has a liberal bias, but it’s not as strong as conservatives allege and it’s not the only bias at work.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to InMD
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                The real bias of the media is that it is pro-media. They act in the self-interest of their profession and industry even if it goes against their individual political beliefs frequently. Most journalists know that Trump and BSTD are good for their bottom line.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to InMD
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                @inmd

                I think a problem about talking about the Media is that the media is vast. Clearly publications like The Nation, The New Republic, N+1, Jacobin, etc. are on the Left. Clearly publications like the National Review, The Weekly Standard, and the American Conservative are on the Right.

                When it comes to the New York Times, it seems to be an interesting issue of subjectiveness. The Times has received a lot of flack in the past few weeks for anti-HRC bias and playing into the BDSI crowd from the on-line left. A lot of people in the on-line media and blogosphere are very frustrated at the mainstream media’s inability to combat what they see as Donald Trump’s dangerousness.

                Another example:

                http://www.vox.com/2016/9/12/12887522/donald-trump-interview-shocking-numb

                “But the truly scary thing is that Trump is redefining the concept of a gaffe out of existence. It turns out that if you just boldly repeat something often enough, it goes away as a story. We’ve become numb, as a society, to what Trump is doing. In the process we’ve normalized casual racism, intense personal insults as an approach to politics, and completely decentered the idea that elected officials should grapple with difficult policy questions. Half the crazy things Trump says or does barely merit a mention on Twitter, much less the front-page coverage they would have merited in previous campaigns.

                More than anything else, the numbness that Trump creates frightens me.

                We have a learned a lot this year about what you can get away with in politics if you are brazen enough. The answer is that you can get away with a lot. Whatever happens in November, that revelation won’t go away.”

                But if you talk to the right or right-leaning people, the NY Times might as well just be reprinting quotations from Mao.

                I certainly don’t see how CNN is liberal or even as a coastal bias of the upper-middle class.

                What causes this split? I have no idea? Perhaps increased partisan polarization.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw
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                When you think your completely right, your going to think that anybody who doesn’t completely agree with you I’d on the other side. MSM is trying to go for the largest audience possible, so they aren’t going to alient any side too much.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to LeeEsq
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                It’s the reason that NR and RedState criticize Trump as a “liberal”, which means

                1. Anyone who doesn’t subscribe to their entire catechism.
                2. Anyone the dislike.

                Note that running huge deficits and blowing up the size of government didn’t make W a liberal until the GOP started to lose elections.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Saul Degraw
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                My point is about the MSM not all media. I don’t think that the publications in your first paragraph qualify. All of them have stated perspectives and target a smaller audience that generally shares that perspective. We could probably get into a long discussion about required characteristics for something to qualify as the MSM but I think that two major ones are that it must be aimed at a very broad general audience with a wide variety of content and circulation (call this the door steps and sports page rule) and that it aspires to ‘objectivity’ or, if you want to be critical about it, the view from nowhere.

                As for the upper middle class coastal bias I’d say try thinking about it a little more. That doesn’t mean the MSM is out pushing talking points for people who drive Volvos and live in cul-de-sacs in inner ring suburbs of coastal cities. It does mean that because it’s operated by such people they can miss things like how petty fines harm the working poor and if not handled very carefully can create the conditions that contributed to the unrest in Ferguson. The fact that the NY Times and the Post and CNN doesn’t pick up on stuff like that until way after its become a problem illustrates how issues that effect people who aren’t like journalists are often omitted from or color what the MSM reports. Despite such places valuing a certain surface level of racial, religious, and gender diversity, as I think most liberals do, they are still left with blind spots related to geography and class.

                As for criticism of the MSM from the left there’s nothing new in that. People from Howard Zinn to Noam Chomsky to Glenn Greenwald have been making left wing criticisms of the MSM for years. Like I said, there are multiple biases at work here which is why I said saying there’s a liberal bias, while not exactly untrue, doesn’t come close to painting the full picture.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to InMD
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                @inmd

                What is interesting to me about your example (which I think is somewhat wrong because I am absolutely certain I have read sympathetic articles to the poor about the burden of petty fines in the NY Times and the New Yorker) is that in my mind it comes from a left prospective. Or at least a libertarian one.

                I have seen plenty of people critique the NY Times as being out of touch, upper-middle class, coastal elitists for being sympathetic to Black Lives Matter and taking on the petty fines as well.

                Perception is an interesting thing to me and here we have the same accusation coming to the same publication for wildly different reasons.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Saul Degraw
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                It might help to clarify that I don’t think the MSM having biases is inherently a bad thing. I just think its a somewhat inevitable thing and that audiences need to be more sophisticated about how they interpret what it says.

                Unlike more niche publications, it doesnt like to admit that it has a perspective. It comes from a place that’s culturally center left (likes racial diversity, good with gay marriage) but is also mostly comfortable in the economic and social order and strongly believes in the power of technocrats, government officials, and well intended legislation to solve all of our problems.

                Even with those biases, the MSM still can do great work. As the only institutions financially able to do hard, time consuming investigative journalism we need them.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to InMD
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                Allow me to state for the record that I have no issue with journalists 1) having and agenda or 2) biases. I just think they should be forthright in admitting that they do and not claim they are “neutral” and “don’t let any of their biases effect their work” cause it does, and it’s obvious.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Damon
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                And if you want to see how great journalism is when you say that true objectivity is impossible, so you might as well be an advocate instead, just look at Breitbart.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to Don Zeko
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                The quality of the journalism is irrelevant. Good writing is good writing. But don’t claim that you’re a “professional” and have no biases in your writing when you do. This pet peeve is followed shortly after “you otta know your something about the subject your reporting on or you are just demonstration your own ignorance. I can’t tell you how many times that comes up.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Damon
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                So there’s no such thing as a professional journalist? No reason to even attempt to be objective? @inmd makes a fair point below that advocacy journalism can be very good and valuable, but as I read you you’re saying that objectivity is a myth that journalists should all abandon. But imperfect adherence to an impossible ideal can be quite valuable.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to Don Zeko
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                “But imperfect adherence to an impossible ideal can be quite valuable.”

                Sure as long as you’re clear that that’s your goal, not that you’ve achieved some perfect “objectivity”. I’m all for striving for a ideal goal, but don’t tell me you already achieved that goal when you’ve clearly not.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Don Zeko
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                I disagree. Advocacy journalism can certainly deteriorate to propaganda and echo chambers but there are other examples like Greenwald/Poitras breaking the leaks from Edward Snowden or a lot of Radley Balko’s work, where without the perspective we might not get the story.Report

        • Avatar David Parsons in reply to Damon
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          Uh, no. The flyover states are all the states that aren’t on the coasts, and that includes all of the reliably Democrat-voting urban areas in those states. The presence of Republicans doesn’t make a state a flyover (otherwise California, Oregon, and Washington — each with /large/ Republican populations[*] — would be flyover states)

          [* large Republican populations, and the sort of absolutely batshit crazy Republican leadership which is making the GOP an increasingly irrelevant party in them.]Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to David Parsons
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        So are we just pretending that there aren’t actual government statistics that document that black people do in fact commit a lot more crime than white people, including violent crime? Or that there’s not a robust and well-documented racial gap in scores on cognitive tests?

        There are all sorts of non-racist ways of acknowledging these facts, which makes the smearing of those who refuse to participate in this show of denialism all the more obnoxious.Report

        • Avatar J_A in reply to Brandon Berg
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          Correlation is not causation

          No one is rejecting the statistics. Many of us are rejecting the explanation that the “black” part causes the “crime” part.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Brandon Berg
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          Someone could also point out that the overwhelming majority of crime is committed by men. This is not disputed, anywhere.

          On the other hand, someone could lift up for examination the frequently heard analogy that “taxes are theft, that obligating me to pay something against my will is exactly like taking my wallet

          So if white people can set in place laws and regulations and practices that unjustly extract money from black people, what need do we have to actually hit them over the head and take their wallets?

          Like if Papa Johns forces its workers to work for less than they are legally entitled, couldn’t we say that the Papa John’s corporate managers are criminals no different than streetcorner muggers?

          I wonder what the statistics would show if we added those sorts of crimes to the ledgers.Report

        • Avatar j r in reply to Brandon Berg
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          There are all sorts of non-racist ways of acknowledging these facts…

          No. There aren’t. When you pass judgment on a whole ethnic group, because of the perceived or observed traits of some members of that group, that is racism. Full stop. If you want to defend racism, fine. Make your argument. Just don’t try to pretend that words don’t mean what they mean.Report

          • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to j r
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            Exactly. Don’t generalize that Jews run the world, when, honestly, only some of us can be bothered with that.Report

          • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to j r
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            When you pass judgment on a whole ethnic group, because of the perceived or observed traits of some members of that group, that is racism.

            Yes, that’s exactly my point—answering these questions affirmatively doesn’t necessarily do that. A higher percentage of black people than white people commit violent crimes, but this doesn’t reflect on the majority of black people who don’t commit violent crimes, and it doesn’t absolve those white people who do commit violent crimes. The average black person is less intelligent than the average white person, but millions of black Americans are more intelligent than the average white American, and tens of millions of white Americans are less intelligent than the average black American.

            These qualifiers are very important, and what I mean by non-racist acknowledgement of racial differences in crime rates and cognitive skills without being racist, but there’s no room for them in the Reuters survey. By what seems to me to be the natural interpretation, the supposedly “racist” answers of the Trump supporters to the questions about intelligence, crime, and violence are demonstrably correct. Granted, they’re bad questions, and that doesn’t mean that many or most of the people answering them that way aren’t answering them that way because they’re racists, but answering those questions in the affirmative is not proof of racism. The ones about rudeness and laziness, maybe, since I’m not sure there’s any good data on those traits.

            As Chip notes, it’s also true that men are more violent, and more criminal, than women. If I were asked on a survey if I think men are more violent than women, I’d answer yes, even though I, like most men, have never committed a violent crime. Likewise if I were asked if whites are more violent than East Asians. These are statistically correct facts.

            I don’t object to the observation that racists are distinctly overrepresented among Trump supporters. I’m pretty sure that’s true. What I object to is the blanket smear of anyone who acknowledges these statistics as racist. Mostly this seems indicative to me of not actually understanding what racism is.Report

            • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Brandon Berg
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              Mostly this seems indicative to me of not actually understanding what racism is.

              I should clarify that this doesn’t apply to you. The definition you gave at the beginning of your comment seems roughly correct to me; I just don’t agree that that’s what answering those questions affirmatively means.Report

              • Avatar j r in reply to Brandon Berg
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                @brandon-berg

                Here is an alternate definition or racism: using descriptive statistics about race as predictive statistics and using predictive statistics about race to justify prescriptive actions.

                And the questions from the survey seem pretty good for sussing out who does and who does not do that.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to j r
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                j r: And the questions from the survey seem pretty good for sussing out who does and who does not do that.

                That’s asking a lot from a survey, especially one which excluded anyone who answered “don’t know” to any of the questions. I think this is a link to the original findings. http://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/rngs/USA-ELECTION-RACE/010020H7174/USA-ELECTION-RACE.jpg

                Looking at the numbers… a third of Hillary’s supporters also agreed that Blacks are “more violent” than whites, roughly in line with the members of the GOP who voted for someone other than Trump.

                So US, as a whole, is roughly 40% racist. And if all of Hillary’s voters also voted for Obama, then a third of the base who voted him into office are racists.

                Or maybe this survey wasn’t a good way to measure racism.Report

              • Avatar j r in reply to Dark Matter
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                So US, as a whole, is roughly 40% racist.

                If we are using the term in a descriptive manner and not as a moral reprobation, then that is a significant underestimation.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to j r
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                @j-r

                If we are using the term in a descriptive manner and not as a moral reprobation, then that is a significant underestimation.

                …when everyone’s super no one will be.
                -Syndrome from the Incredibles

                We’re lowering the bar on what it takes to be a racist to the point where it’s no longer useful.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter
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                Dark Matter,

                We’re lowering the bar on what it takes to be a racist to the point where it’s no longer useful.

                Well, exactly. At least wrt most contexts. For example, if we take a really wide view of what constitutes racism it may turn out that everyone in the US – whites, blacks, hispanics, etc., are racists, and that point racism becomes a more-or-less academic issue, one that may or may not lead to any interesting or practical real world applications.

                Think about the term’s many meanings (loosely defined):

                – historically, the term referred to violent acts of subjugation and physical violence perpetrated by members of one race others of a different race outa a belief that the other wasn’t fully human (or whatever).
                – a variation on that is the creation of laws and formal institutions designed to oppress members of a racial outgroup
                – more contemporarily, racism is defined as the cultural expression of power by a dominant racially-self-identified group against individuals of a different race for the purposes of restricting access to rights and opportunities.
                – even more recently, racism is defined purely individually, as any expression of race-based stereotyping.
                -concomitant with that, it seems to me, is the very recent belief that racism only exists (in an individual or group) if the intent of the act or expression is to inflict harm on another simply due to that person’s race (ie, no intent to harm, no racism).

                And on and on and on, including, of course, the role claims of racism plays in politics.

                What we’re often lacking when talking about this stuff is a clear delineation of the type of behavior or act we’re actually referring to when discussing racism. For example, it seems to me that they type of racism j r is talking about regarding information gleaned from a survey is different than the type of racism Hillary was talking about regarding members of the AltRight.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Stillwater
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                Avenue Q posited “Everyone’s a little bit racist” which is true. That doesn’t mean that there’s not quite a lot of people who are a LOT racist.

                I think the issue here is that more people are a lot more racist than we, as a society, really wanted to accept.

                Like the level of racism of the alt-right is something we (and by this I mean “white people” as I get the impression minorities were not nearly so surprised) wanted to believe was a “KKK” levels — you know, a relative handful of clear idiots. Instead of what appears to be double-digit numbers of the GOP base.

                And, when faced with this ugly truth, denial and subject changing are the first response. I mean come on, we just gutted the VRA because we’re past that, you know? You can’t come back and show us “Oops, no, we’re not that much better”.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Morat20
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                Everybody may or may not be a little bit racist (I, myself, don’t even *SEE* race).

                Everybody, however, is Tribal. Tribal AF, as I believe they say on the twitter.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Morat20
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                Instead of what appears to be double-digit numbers of the GOP base.

                Various people want to tell that story, some to drum up minority support for Hillary, others to keep the whole racism issue alive as a dragon which can be slain and which must be causing all sorts of other problems currently.

                But when we dig into those numbers, what we find is not only Trump’s base, but also plus a third of the GOP as a whole, and a third of Hillary’s base. So something like 40% of the nation.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Dark Matter
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                It is hard to say with any degree of definitiveness that an individual is racist. Harder still to say that about a group or collective of people. What does it take to be racist?

                I find it more useful to describe acts or thoughts. 40% of people hold racist opinions on these topics. That feels like a very different statement than saying 40% of America is racist.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Kazzy
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                VDARE is racist. The Klan is racist. The Alt-Right is racist and anti-semitic. We know this because they say so, they even glory in it.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Mike Schilling
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                Harder. But not impossible. And, as you say, they are racist not because there is something inherent to those organizations that makes them racist but because of the beliefs they espouse and actions they take.

                Is it possible that the Klan could evolve in such a way that some future incarnation of them is not racist?Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Kazzy
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                @kazzy

                I find it more useful to describe acts or thoughts. 40% of people hold racist opinions on these topics. That feels like a very different statement than saying 40% of America is racist.

                We really should be able to examine what’s going on in society, and especially disparate impacts, without having the “you’re a racist” brick thrown.

                My expectation is various “black” issues are fueled by the war on drugs and other gov policies which have backfired. But in order to have that discussion, we probably need to admit these issues exist.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Dark Matter
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                @dark-matter

                I’m not sure exactly how that involves what I said.

                Do we have data that says Black men make up a disproportionate number of the incarcerated population? Yes. That is a demonstrable fact that we should neither deny nor ignore.

                Now, if someone looks at that data and concludes, “Well, Black men are just naturally more inclined towards criminality than other groups,” that would be a racist conclusion to draw. That person holds a racist thought. More importantly, it is an inaccurate conclusion.

                Absent other evidence, I would not call that person racist. We simply don’t know if they are. They might just be bad at understanding data and stats and cause effect. More importantly, it makes for a largely unproductive conclusion. But the idea… the concept that there is some sort of criminality gene that Black people have more often… that is a racist idea and we should push back against it appropriately.

                Unfortunately, the data in this survey is really lacking. Did people who said “yes” to that question think “criminal gene”? Did they think culture? Were they thinking, “Well, they’re in jail because of systemic racism and I won’t pretend that isn’t true so I’m saying yes”? We don’t know.

                I said elsewhere that the issue for me is much less what this sloppy survey shows and more that Trump seems to be actively cultivating “deplorable” ideas. We need to take Trump to task for that, not people who answered a survey.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Brandon Berg
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              Its equally true that college educated people are, objectively speaking, more intelligent than the non educated people.

              Its also true that there are government statistics to support the idea that these very same non educated people commit more violent crime, abuse their wives more often and are more irresponsible with money.

              There are plenty of non-elitist reasons to believe this. Look, I’m just an objective reporter of fact here, don’t get mad at me.

              There are in fact, people who make it their business to follow these conclusions to their natural conclusion to assert that perhaps these noneducated people should not be encouraged to vote, since their influence on policy is not beneficial.

              But somehow, I think there are a few people hereabouts who might not dig this line of logic.

              I’m one of them, FWIW.Report

        • Avatar David Parsons in reply to Brandon Berg
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          actual government statistics

          Cite them.Report

          • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to David Parsons
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            Seriously? You seem pretty confident in your beliefs, which would be unjustified if you hadn’t actually seen the data. But if you had, you wouldn’t have to ask.

            Anyway, there’s the Unified Crime Report. Note that for some crimes, like homicide and robbery, there are actually more black people than white people arrested, despite a ratio of about 6:1 in the general population. Now, as Kazzy notes, that’s just arrest data, so in theory that could be caused by police being racist, though in practice I find it implausible that that could produce such a huge differential.

            So let’s turn to the NCVS (PDF), which is based on polling the victims themselves. Unfortunately, this is from 2006, since the more recent reports don’t, as far as I can tell, have data on offender characteristics. Tables 40 and 42 have data on race of offender as reported by the victim.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Brandon Berg
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          We know nothing about the rates of committed crimes.

          We have arrest records, prosecution records, and criminal records.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Damon
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      The facts that the MSM has almost uniformly criticized Hilary for this proves their liberal bias.Report

  3. Avatar pillsy
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    I’m really digging the new double standard that’s been taking root here, and elsewhere, following Trump’s rise to the nomination.

    Racists are deserving of defense against liberal smears that, really, do little but point out that they’re racists, and anyone who points this out should be rebuked, often with an explanation about just how reasonable the racists are for being racist.

    On the other hand, Mexican Americans deserve no defense against the charge that they’re unfit to preside as judges over cases in which white people are defendants, black people deserve no defense against charges that they’re lazy, dumb criminals, and Jews deserve no defense against charges that they’re perpetrating #WhiteGenocide by conspiring to promote political correctness and multiculturalism.

    A couple days ago, it was accurately pointed out to me that I’ve been acting disgusted with this place recently. This is the reason why.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to pillsy
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      Like that wasn’t clearly coming from the argument of “We’re only racist because liberals were mean to us”.Report

    • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to pillsy
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      I don’t feel the need to pick on this place, because I’ve been disgusted and horrified at how most of our political culture has reached to Trump.Report

    • Avatar j r in reply to pillsy
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      On the other hand, Mexican Americans deserve no defense against the charge that they’re unfit to preside as judges over cases in which white people are defendants, black people deserve no defense against charges that they’re lazy, dumb criminals, and Jews deserve no defense against charges that they’re perpetrating #WhiteGenocide by conspiring to promote political correctness and multiculturalism.

      Who exactly here is doing that?Report

      • Avatar pillsy in reply to j r
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        says:

        @brandon-berg, for one:

        So are we just pretending that there aren’t actual government statistics that document that black people do in fact commit a lot more crime than white people, including violent crime? Or that there’s not a robust and well-documented racial gap in scores on cognitive tests?

        There are all sorts of non-racist ways of acknowledging these facts, which makes the smearing of those who refuse to participate in this show of denialism all the more obnoxious.

        Oh, sure, maybe there are “non-racist ways of acknowledging these facts”, but actually stating even one of those ways would distract from the really important work of scolding people for being over-zealously anti-racist. Endless charity for racists, no charity for the people they want to make their victims.Report

        • Avatar j r in reply to pillsy
          Ignored
          says:

          OK, but you did notice that myself and two others immediately challenged him?

          I’m just trying to figure out how you get from a couple-few commenters with disagreeable to “the new double standard that’s been taking root here…”Report

          • Avatar pillsy in reply to j r
            Ignored
            says:

            I’m just trying to figure out how you get from a couple-few commenters with disagreeable to “the new double standard that’s been taking root here…”

            Because those comments–and I contend it’s more than a couple-few commenters behind them–show up so persistently, and it’s not like they’re just one-off trolls and the OT equivalent of Twitter eggs, either.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to pillsy
      Ignored
      says:

      pillsy,

      Racists are deserving of defense against liberal smears that, really, do little but point out that they’re racists, and anyone who points this out should be rebuked, often with an explanation about just how reasonable the racists are for being racist.

      It seems to me it’s because what you think people aren’t doing (decrying racism!) is something every one of us here already decries, so it doesn’t need to be repeated. (It’d be a variation on Jaybird’s Vegan joke: “Did you hear about Hillary’s coughing fit?” “I oppose racism!”) For example, I personally feel safely not-anti-anti-racist (throw in another anti if I didn’t get the math right) expressing the view, about Clinton!, that The Deplorables was a political mistake, one that likely lowered her chances of wining. That doesn’t mean, I hope!, that I’m an apologist for anti-semitic White Nationalism.Report

      • Avatar pillsy in reply to Stillwater
        Ignored
        says:

        It seems to me it’s because what you think people aren’t doing (decrying racism!) is something every one of us here already decries, so it doesn’t need to be repeated.

        What you’re describing is not an environment where everybody decries racism, it’s an environment where nobody decries racism and just assumes everybody around already thinks it’s really bad. Maybe that’s even true, but it’s not exactly obvious based on the words actually being written and read.

        Add to that how many times commenters rush to scold people who make negative judgements about racists based on their racism, often accompanied by defenses of those racists’ characters and even reasoning, and the idea that this is a universal underlying ground rule seems pretty damned tenuous. Maybe at a dinner party where everybody is an old friend, but this isn’t a dinner party, and there isn’t nearly the same basis for trust.

        If you want people to who don’t really know you that well to trust that you believe something, saying it is an important good step, and a lot of times you’re going to have to say it repeatedly.Report

        • Avatar j r in reply to pillsy
          Ignored
          says:

          … it’s an environment where nobody decries racism…

          But that is demonstrably not the case here. I’m having a hard time figuring out exactly what the beef is.

          We do live in a world full of people who do hold deplorable views on race and other assorted topics. It would be great if we could wave some magic wand and make all those people either change their minds or go away. But we can’t. We have to figure out a way to live with each other. We have to figure out a way to decide where we draw lines of what is acceptable in public and semi public discourse and how to deal with transgressions.

          Your main contention seems to be that other people’s lines aren’t where your lines are. I suppose that is true, but that’s what happens when you have an ideological diverse forum. It’s a feature, not a bug.Report

          • Avatar pillsy in reply to j r
            Ignored
            says:

            So which is it?

            Should I assume that everybody just condemns racism and trust that, as @stillwater says, I shouldn’t need to see people come out and actually refute racism to believe this?

            Or should I accept, per your suggestion, that it’s an ideologically diverse forum, and thus I shouldn’t expect people to come out and condemn racism because it’s a positive feature that there’s a disagreement over how worthy of condemnation racism is?

            Either position might be right, but both of them can’t be right at the same time.Report

            • Avatar j r in reply to pillsy
              Ignored
              says:

              @pillsy

              I don’t accept either of those characterizations as particularly accurate or precise for the simple reason that racism is a category with an awful lot of malleability to it.

              I’ll put it this way: every single person who comments on this blog is, to some extent, racist (and sexist and homophobic and transphobic and xenophonbic and so on). And almost every single person likely has significant white supremacist beliefs (and misogynist and yadda yadda yadda). The differences lie in how attached we are to those beliefs and how big a role they play in shaping our world view. If you want to really do battle with these beliefs, you have to do more than simply condemn them and declare them out of bounds. You have to confront them and you have to engage the people who hold them.

              As an example, right now I’m having a conversation with @brandon-berg about his defense of certain answers in that Reuters poll as not being necessarily racist. I disagree with him, but I am choosing to have this conversation instead of just condemning him as a racist and leaving it at that, because I believe that having the conversation is more important than the condemnation. Not everyone will agree with that belief and that’s fine. But please don’t confuse a desire to confront these claims with an acceptance of them.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to j r
                Ignored
                says:

                Which goes exactly to my point: here, @brandon-berg is saying that if you conclude that people who answered that black people are lazy, violent, rude and criminal are racist, you’re “smearing” them and “engaging in denialism”. So he’s condemning people for concluding that people answering survey questions in a racist fashion are doing so because they’re racist.

                You, on the other hand, are engaging with his claims because you believe having a conversation is more important than the condemnation.

                So, yeah, this is a conversation that started with criticism of racism being condemned in harsh and insulting terms, and then the racism itself became a matter for calm debate, engagement and persuasion.

                That’s my problem. The only thing that’s actually been condemned in that conversation is pointing out that racists are racist, and it’s a pattern that I’ve seen repeat itself several times around here.Report

              • Avatar j r in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                @pillsy

                I get your objection, but I am still a bit nonplussed by it. Everyone has a line at which they consider anything beyond it out of bounds. If someone came here spouting apologetically racist views, I wouldn’t bother to interact would that person. I would simply make my objection known and move on.

                As I said before, your beef seems to be that other people have lines that are father our than yours. Why is that such a problem? Or rather, why would it be the case that we all have the exact same level of tolerance for what delineates out of bonds conversation?

                And again, pointing out that other people’s lines are further out than yours is something entirely different than claiming that no one here condemns racism.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to j r
                Ignored
                says:

                Because my complaint is about a double standard?

                It’s not just that people have lines that are farther out than mine when it comes to racism–that would just be a single standard, whether I agree with it or not–but because, in addition to that, the lines for condemning racism are hell of a lot closer in.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to pillsy
              Ignored
              says:

              Should I assume that everybody just condemns racism and trust that, as says, I shouldn’t need to see people come out and actually refute racism to believe this?

              Yes, you should trust me. You can conduct your own experiment: ask people if they condemn racism and they’ll say they do. Even members of the KKK condemn racism. It’s where we’re at socially. (Also, I’ve only met one person who admits to being a racist, for whatever that’s worth.)

              Given this, I’m not sure how condemning racism in and of itself furthers anyone’s specific goals or contributes to determining policy. (Like Trumwill said, half of Trump’s camp may be in basket, but a third of Hillary’s is too.) So instead, the focus should be – sorta has to be – on other things: eg, questioning the political utility of calling out half of GOP voters for being deplorable; a narrower critique of why racism (not racists) is/are deplorable; the potential political consequences of normalizing white nationalism and it’s correlated bigotries; and so on. What isn’t helpful, seems to me, is requiring people shout the words “I condemn racism!” as if that will achieve any material change in the world. At this point, I don’t think it will.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                You can conduct your own experiment: ask people if they condemn racism and they’ll say they do.

                I don’t care if they condemn “racism” in the abstract: anybody can answer that question in the affirmative because there’s no possible cost to it.

                What I care about is if they actually are willing to let you you describe specific instances of racism as “racism” and specific racists as “racists” without getting in your face about how unfair you’re being. How you’re “smearing” people who aren’t “engaging in denialism” say calling black people lazy, dumb, rude criminals is racist, or how you’re just using “insinuations” to discredit quality arguments about PC from people who believe PC is a Zionist plot.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                I guess we could all make the sign of the flying spaghetti monster, declare that we have checked our privilege, form a circle and manually stimulate each other while declaring our rejection of racism. There are forums where that’s the norm. I kind of like jr’s approach better though.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to InMD
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                says:

                I think this about sums it up. @j-r is doing it the way I prefer. Just engage the idea and if it’s really terrible and stupid, that will come out in the process. I don’t get the need to also “condemn” it. The exchange between @david-parsons and @brandon-berg is the contrasting example: BB says crime stats are X. DP asks for the stats, implying that some sort of important point hinges on whether BB’s claim is true. BB links to the stats. DP responds, “racism” and that’s it. Done. We could have skipped the, “Where are the stats?” question, since it’s clearly immaterial to the argument.

                It reminds me too much of discussions around child molestation. There are some potentially interesting conversations about mental health, crime and policy, justice, etc. But ultimately, it all becomes a race to see who can condemn the child molester harder. “You’d throw away the key? I’d execute him!” “Oh yeah? I’d burn him alive!” We all need to make sure everybody knows we’re part of that exclusive club who thinks child molestation isn’t OK, and by the time we’re done indicating our group affiliation, there isn’t much left.

                Also, since I mentioned it, I have to point out that I am against child molestation.Report

              • Avatar David Parsons in reply to Troublesome Frog
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                says:

                I requested the stats because I wanted to see just how Brandon was going to justify his racist remark. I’m sorry that this wasn’t the interaction you were imagining would happen.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to David Parsons
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                says:

                Can you quote the racist remark, specifically? I’m trying to get to the argument you think you’re arguing against.

                Because as I see it, this whole thing started when BB noted that the question, “Are black people more criminal than white people?” is ill posed and can get wildly different results for different reasons depending on what you interpret that question to mean. Does it mean black people are intrinsically more likely to commit crime? Does it mean that black people commit crime at a proportionally higher rate, even if we’re all intrinsically equally likely to commit crime at birth? Or does it just mean that black people are more likely to have been convicted of a crime than white people?

                Those three questions have very different answers. If you answer “yes” to the first one, that’s pretty racist. If you answer “no” to the last one, you’re objectively wrong. Whether you answer “yes” to the middle one depends on your beliefs about how well actual conviction rates mirror actual rates of criminality.

                This whole thing is made weirder by the fact that BB is only speculating on possible interpretations of *other people* answering the survey, not injecting his own opinions anywhere as far as I can tell. So what point do you think he was making that you’d call a “heaping plateful” of racism?Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Troublesome Frog
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                says:

                Just engage the idea and if it’s really terrible and stupid, that will come out in the process. I don’t get the need to also “condemn” it.

                Really? Then why was there a need for @brandon-berg to condemn people who daring to conclude that people are racist on the basis of their survey answers? If it’s such a bad idea, shouldn’t it take care of itself?

                Nor is it just him doing it–evidently erroneously concluding someone is racist is so terrible that multiple commenters will line up to condemn it and tell you how terrible it is.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                evidently erroneously concluding someone is racist is so terrible that multiple commenters will line up to condemn it and tell you how terrible it is.

                Yes, indeed. I’d like to think you’d be on board with condemning that too.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Why should I be? I’ve been repeatedly assured that by many people that condemnations aren’t necessary, and that one should just engage bad ideas without them.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                Why should I be?

                Why should you be concerned about erroneously concluding someone is a racist? (Errr, because the accusation is by definition false; as in, not true, as in, incorrect? Am I missing something here?)

                I’m not sure I understand your thought process, to be honest. I mean, I can come up with a scenario in which that view makes sense, one in which the accusation of racism constitutes a form of “othering” invoked instrumentally to facilitate individual or group goals. Which is about the exact opposite of what you’ve been expressing. So, no, I can’t answer that for you.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Why should you be concerned about erroneously concluding someone is a racist?

                That’s not the question I asked. People keep assuring me that there’s no need to see racism condemned. Why are erroneous conclusions of racism different?

                You yourself said that everybody agrees that racism is bad, so there’s no need to condemn it; surely there isn’t much of a constituency for making mistakes, either.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                That’s not the question I asked.

                No, that very much is the question you asked.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                Here’s another way to say it, pillsy: It seems to me you keep asking the racism equivalent of “have you stopped beating your wife yet?” The people who are actually beating their wives will answer the question differently than those who aren’t, and the people who don’t understand the problem with the question will answer it differently than those who do.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                So disagreeing with @brandon-berg about how fair it is to conclude that about half of Trump supporters are racist on the basis of the Reuters poll is not just erroneous, but dishonest in the way that, “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?” is dishonest? It’s a “smear” in defense of “denialism”?

                That includes the 44% of Trump supporters who answered affirmatively on that black people are “lazier” than whites: there’s no excuse there that they’re just thinking about crime government statistics or gaps in test scores and we should treat them charitably. Similarly for the 40% who answered the same way about “rudeness”.

                So, no, I reject your characterization of what I’m doing, in that I think there’s strong support in that poll for the contention that about half of Trump supporters are racist [1], and is pretty far removed from, “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?”

                [1] And other polling about where they think Barack Obama was born would suggest that number is even higher.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                That includes the 44% of Trump supporters who answered affirmatively on that black people are “lazier” than whites:

                From the graph, I’d say “40%”.

                And Hillary’s supporters “only” have a 25%.

                Similarly for the 40% who answered the same way about “rudeness”.

                That’s 44%, and here Hillary’s supporters are at 30%.

                Ignore Trump and his supporters entirely and just talk about Hillary. Her numbers are also shockingly high, everything you’ve said could just as easily be claimed against her supporters.Report

              • Avatar Pillsy in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                Ugh, I cannot believe I flipped the numbers.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                That’s not the question I asked. People keep assuring me that there’s no need to see racism condemned. Why are erroneous conclusions of racism different?

                Wrong ideas, whether they’re “black people are inherently violent” or, “non-racist Bob is a racist,” can be engaged and contradicted without condemning anything or making a big show of staking out that you’re in the moral high ground camp. You can simply say, “Here’s why you’re wrong . . .” And that seems to be what’s going on here.

                I’m still not sure about your complaint. Is it that there are racist claims being made that aren’t receiving pushback, or is it that the pushback is not sufficiently vitriolic? If the former, where?Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                Really? Then why was there a need for to condemn people who daring to conclude that people are racist on the basis of their survey answers?

                Maybe you and I have a different definition of “condemning” that’s causing a disconnect. As I see it, “You are wrong about this,” is not a condemnation and, “You are a deplorable racist” is. This is like that “intolerance” discussion where people go round and round about how disagreeing with them is “intolerance” or somehow squelching their free speech. These things have meaning and the two aren’t equivalent. BB appears to be engaging in a principled argument based on data and opinion and you’re giving people flak for not condemning him and others hard enough.

                If it’s such a bad idea, shouldn’t it take care of itself?

                That’s what appears to be happening. Lines of argument are being opened about whether the survey supports the conclusions. Some people are responding substantively and others are calling people racists and getting upset that there’s any substantive response at all. I’ve made clear which one I think makes for a better environment here.

                Nor is it just him doing it–evidently erroneously concluding someone is racist is so terrible that multiple commenters will line up to condemn it and tell you how terrible it is.

                There are a lot of bad things in the world. Racism. Murder. Embezzlement. Unfounded accusations of racism. They’re not all equivalent and they don’t all happen everywhere all the time. In general, it seems like when one of those bad things that happens here, it gets called out, and that’s a good thing. If we want to have community norms about name calling, uncharitable reading and ad hominem arguments but write in “…except for calling people racists on scant evidence, which is OK,” go ahead and propose it. But as it stands, I’m going to say that calling somebody a racist without a very good reason is pretty uncool, especially so if it’s used as a substitute for engaging their point.

                You can’t want the word “racist” to sting and have social and rhetorical import and simultaneously want everybody to think that applying it willy nilly is no big deal.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Troublesome Frog
                Ignored
                says:

                Troublesome Frog: Maybe you and I have a different definition of “condemning” that’s causing a disconnect.As I see it, “You are wrong about this,” is not a condemnation and, “You are a deplorable racist” is.

                What about, “You are smearing people for refusing to engage in denialism,” or, “You are pretending that government statistics about violent crime don’t exist?” Those looks a lot closer to a condemnation [1] than it does to simple unemotive disagreement, and they’re both close paraphrases of things BB said.

                But as it stands, I’m going to say that calling somebody a racist without a very good reason is pretty uncool, especially so if it’s used as a substitute for engaging their point.

                And what about in this case, where there really are good reasons in the Reuters poll to call almost half of Trump supporters racist, as @david-parsons initially said? Was it cool for BB to say he was smearing people? Engaging in denialism?Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                “they’re both close paraphrases of things BB said. ”

                We don’t need to perform “close paraphrases” of things BB said because we can go back right here in the comments thread and see what BB actually did say.Report

              • Avatar Pillsy in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                Are you arguing that I’m misrepresenting his comments (which I’ve quoted directly elsewhere)? I think I’m portraying them accurately, of course, so if I’m not it’s actually useful and relevant information.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                You do not need to “portray” or “represent” them because you can just quote them.Report

              • Avatar Dand in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                Funny how you have had no problems telling me on multiple occasions that I was being unfair in my complaints about snobbery:

                https://ordinary-times.com/2016/07/26/i-want-to-be-part-of-western-civilization-too/#comment-1170369

                https://ordinary-times.com/2016/04/26/morning-ed-politics-2016-04-26-t/#comment-1144441

                Seems like you can dish it out but you can’t take it.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Dand
                Ignored
                says:

                Funny how you have had no problems telling me on multiple occasions that I was being unfair in my complaints about snobbery:

                That’s… true, but the relevance isn’t immediately apparent.Report

              • Avatar Dand in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                You objecting to people who are saying it are unfair to call other people racist, when you have said that I was being unfair in accusing people of classism.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dand
                Ignored
                says:

                The Weaponization of our discourse.

                Here’s one example of how that happens: upthread, Brandon mentioned that viewing groups of people via statistics isn’t racist, it’s just data. j r responded that viewing groups of people via statistics and making a correlated (statisically based) judgment about individuals is racist. Which I think is sorta silly. Doing so may be wrong (and in some sense it is wrong) but it needn’t be viewed as racist. For example, without statistical analyses attributing judgments to individuals, it seems to me the whole “structural racism” argument gets thrown right out the window.

                And we know (well, most of us know) that the thesis of structural racism in the US is largely correct. But the mechanism justifying it isn’t racist. Or is it? (If it is then Rush Limbaugh has been right all along. 🙂Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Are you seriously saying that if its racist to draw conclusions about individuals based on their race, it’s also racist to draw conclusions about individuals based on how they answer a survey?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t know. All I know is that I disagree with j r’s definition of racism.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Dand
                Ignored
                says:

                The chain of reasoning behind the soda tax thing and Krugman was absolutely ridiculous.

                You actually may have a point about the “how people like their steak” thing.Report

              • Avatar Dand in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                How is saying, as you have done “wanting to enforce immigration laws is racist” any different than saying “wanting to pass soda taxes motivated by snobbery”. If you’re not willing to give people who want to enforce immigration laws the benefit of the doubt, why are you willing to give Krugman the benefit of the doubt?Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Dand
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                says:

                I am reasonably certain I have not, in fact, said “wanting to enforce immigration laws is racist”, though I’ve certainly said that embarking on a project of mass (10 million+) deportations would increase racism via racial profiling, degrade civil liberties and be a humanitarian disaster.

                As for Krugman, it’s not a matter of giving him the benefit of the doubt on classism. It’s that you concluded that Krugman wanted to drive working class people out of cities with soda taxes because of some stuff some other guy (Richard Florida) said, and that’s why he was attacking Bernie Sanders over it.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to pillsy
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                says:

                Thinking about this some more @pillsy, I think I may have figured out why we’re talking past each other, and on reflection I think Trumwill nailed it way back then when he said “one third of Hillary’s base is in the basket too.”

                The confusion I’m having is that from my perspective, on the Linky Friday post, you wanted to use the attribution of racism as a weapon (correctly in your view) against Trump and Trumpers, which strikes me as serving an electoral purpose rather than as expressing a condemnation of racism full stop, which is what you’ve been doing in this thread. And that, if correct (and I’m talking about my own internal states here, so…) reveals to me how interconnected this stuff is, and how difficult it can be to tease out distinctions in real time when talking to people with differing views about complex topics.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                My problem then, as now, is that the primary defenses being offered on behalf of the Trump supporters is one that says, “It’s not fair to hold people’s racist beliefs against them, and it’s not even fair to call beliefs like, ‘Black people are ruder and lazier than whites,’ racist.”

                Also, in quite a few instances [1], it’s not just the sort of unfair thing that might crop up when people try to reason about difficult topics, it’s a “smear” or an “insinuation” or “denialism”. Racists evidently deserve a lot more benefit of the doubt and defense of their characters than people who dare to criticize racists.

                As for Trump, it’s more complicated than that. He’s done more than any major party nominee during my lifetime, to normalize open racism and empower openly racist political activists. Crushing him electorally is probably, IMO, the single biggest priority if you want to see condemnation of racism continue.

                [1] Though, quite importantly, not in Will’s last week.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to pillsy
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                says:

                Crushing him electorally is probably, IMO, the single biggest priority if you want to see condemnation of racism continue.

                My guess is that “not voting for him” isn’t a sufficiently robust metric to pass the test, is it?Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                I’m just saying that I don’t really believe that it’s easy at this current point in time to separate “beating Trump” and “defeating racism”. So saying, “Well, you’re trying to use the badness of racism as a weapon against Trump,” doesn’t really diminish the badness of racism.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                A lot of times when something like this happens, I ask if I’m in a deontology vs. utilitarianism argument.

                “Doing X is wrong.”
                “But the outcomes are not optimized if you do X.”
                “Optimized? How dare you, sir?”
                “Dare I what? Look at numbers?”

                And so on. And so on. And so on.Report

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