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A while ago, there was controversy related to the posting of signs that read "It's okay to be white". At the time, I was completely baffled by accusations that sign was racist. But now I have a theory. Were those who were offended by the signs employing an interpretive principle such as expressio unius est exclusio alterius to read the signs as suggesting that it's not okay to be non-white? E.g., would a message like pic related be considered by them to be inoffensive?
(I assume that most people who found the signs to be innocuous interpreted them simply as a rejection of anti-white claims such as "All white people are racist by virtue of being white" or "White people alive today are guilty for slavery imposed by earlier generations of white people".)
If I'm driving down the street in my car and witness a bleeding child lying on the sidewalk next to the road, I've a moral responsibility to stop my car, get out, and help. It doesn't matter if I'm bearing no guilt for the child's predicament. It's because we're both a part of human civilization and have idealistic ethics that we share by the mere virtue of being homo sapiens.
Similarly, there's an exact moral responsibility held by present day white Americans, who benefit from the white supremacy that the U.S. power structure currently has, to be actively anti-racist and work to get rid of negative attitudes that they might hold themselves, even subconsciously. This isn't being "anti-White". This is being "pro-human".
If you don't like the bleeding child analogy, then think of deliberately stepping over a famished homeless veteran on the way to a restaurant. Not too different. The ethics matter.
Guilty actions? Maybe not. But morally irresponsible? Yes.
Cain said to God "Am I my brother's keeper?" He should've known. Shouldn't he?
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>>7401>If I'm driving down the street in my car and witness a bleeding child lying on the sidewalk next to the road, I've a moral responsibility to stop my car, get out, and help.
I disagree. Helping would be morally praiseworthy, but not a responsibility
.>think of deliberately stepping over a famished homeless veteran on the way to a restaurant.
I disagree even more with this one. We have government programs and private charity for the homeless. I pay my taxes and donate to charity. An individual homeless person has no valid personal moral claim on my resources.>white Americans, who benefit from the white supremacy that the U.S. power structure currently has
I disagree that the U.S. power structure has white supremacy. The United States has anti-racism laws that are actively enforced. And I'd venture a guess that even the former slave states have anti-racism laws and enforce them.>Similarly, there's an exact moral responsibility held by present day white Americans ... to be actively anti-racist and work to get rid of negative attitudes that they might hold themselves, even subconsciously.
Again, I wouldn't say that it is a responsibility
, but I would say that it is the right thing to do for Americans of all races (not just white Americans).>>7402>Would you consider "the European peoples have a moral responsibility to work such that something like the Holocaust never happens again" to be anti-European?
No. And likewise, I wouldn't consider "The American people have a moral responsibility to be anti-racist" to be anti-American. But if you limit it to only white Americans, then I would consider it to be racially discriminatory against whites.
Are you really not familiar with all of the well-documented evidence of systemic racism in the U.S. today? Denying it is sort of like claiming that climate change is a hoax or that former President Obama was born in Kenya or other such popular but objectively false views. Seriously.
You're correct that we have laws that, in many cases, act against racism. We also have laws that actively reinforce racism as well. It's complicated.
And it should be pointed out that law is not the end all or be all of society. By far. The utter failures of the 'war on drugs' and 'war on terror' should be a good example of that, in particular.
As far as white Americans go, it's not that they have guilt
. It's that they don't have the same lived experiences as non-whites as well as the same legacy of past history
. That's important.
If my parents were notorious bank robbers and through some quirk of fate I wound up inheriting quite a bit of their ill-gotten funds, well, I'd say that obliviously I've not done anything wrong. I didn't ask to be born to X parents over Y parents. I live my own life.
However, I'd have to be either a complete idiot or quite the morally depraved individual to just wave my hands and say that my unfair advantage means nothing. To simply ignore that. You know?
We're going to have to agree to disagree with our different senses of idealistic ethics and what constitutes responsibility.
I take it that you're a Bentham type utilitarian, personally? And you're also an atheist, right? I apologize if this comes across as presumptive, but I want to see how far the worldview gap between us is. I'm neither an atheist nor a utilitarian myself. I'd call myself more of a Kantian or Lockean. And my views spiritually lean more to Unitarianism.
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>>7406>Are you really not familiar with all of the well-documented evidence of systemic racism in the U.S. today?
Oh, I'm aware that there is convincing evidence of systemic racial discrimination against blacks by local police (in non-lethal use of force). But we were talking about white supremacy (not simple racist behavior) and the U.S. power structure. White supremacy is very fringe ideology in America.>It's that they don't have the same lived experiences as non-whites as well as the same legacy of past history. That's important.
I'll agree that people of different races do have some different experiences due to race, and that it is important to try to understand other people's perspectives.>However, I'd have to be either a complete idiot or quite the morally depraved individual to just wave my hands and say that my unfair advantage means nothing. To simply ignore that. You know?
Not quite sure what you're getting at with that. Not all white people are wealthy, and not all black people are poor. And I don't really view people collectively by race. Racism is a form of injustice and therefore bad, and so being against racism is the right thing to do. But I don't think that white people have any special responsibility w.r.t. opposing racism simply by virtue of being white.>>7407>I take it that you're a Bentham type utilitarian, personally?
I'm definitely a consequentialist, and I believe in something along the lines of utilitarianism, although whenever I think about how to aggregate utility, I get puzzled.>And you're also an atheist, right?
>>7408>I'm aware that there is convincing evidence of systemic racial discrimination against blacks by local police (in non-lethal use of force)
Why did you add "non-lethal"? What are you implying?
Also, if you agree there is systemic racial discrimination against black people, why can't you "It's okay to be white or black or any race" to be just a wrong thing to say? You're basically admitting that on the whole black people are fucked by all the systems in place, but that we should I guess ignore that and pretend that everyone is actually equal?>Not all white people are wealthy, and not all black people are poor
"There exist poor white people and wealthy black people" isn't an argument against systemic issues nor against problems faced by the average person of each race.>But I don't think that white people have any special responsibility w.r.t. opposing racism simply by virtue of being white.
The most basic "special responsibility" should simply be to acknowledge that systemic injustices exist and to not impede fixing of those injustices.
A white person need not be responsible for every racial issue, but if they are actively trying to deny that any racial injustices exist, then yes, they have a responsibility to... not do that
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>>7410>Why did you add "non-lethal"? What are you implying?
See >>6799>>7410>You're basically admitting that on the whole black people are fucked by all the systems in place, but that we should I guess ignore that
I don't think that follows at all.> isn't an argument against systemic issues nor against problems faced by the average person of each race.
That wasn't what I was arguing against. I was arguing against the notion that white people have a special responsibility or burden due only to being white.>>7410>The most basic "special responsibility" should simply be to acknowledge that systemic injustices exist and to not impede fixing of those injustices.>A white person need not be responsible for every racial issue, but if they are actively trying to deny that any racial injustices exist, then yes, they have a responsibility to... not do that
I'd say that that should apply to people of all races, not only white people. Or do you think that people of certain races should be exempt from either acknowledging that systemic injustices exist or refraining from impeding fixing those injustices?
The signs were a trap, specifically intended to get that reaction.
it was meant to show hypocrisy. And towards that aim, it worked.
The people who jumped on it basically assume any white pride is inherently bad, but pride in any other race is fine, because of a power differential.
Between this, and a habit of assuming the absolute worst and calling it a dog whistle, the phrase "it's okay to be white" was viewed as saying it isn't okay to be other races.
Again, essentially assuming the absolute worst, using a conspiracy theory of dog whistling to judge without evidence.
So, yeah, you have the right interpretation. Or at least as I see it.
Then again, people also get mad at "all lives matter".
You do realize that by falling for a troll campaign, demonstrating what they say to be true, playing directly into their plans, you're the one essentially spreading a "white supremacist" talking point?
That slogan would have absolutely no weight whatsoever if instead of reacting to it like it's some racist terror campaign, people left it alone, and said "yeah, it's okay to be any race.".
Besides that, though, I think you are presuming a whole lot of the intention, without actually knowing it.
Yes, it was intended as a troll campaign to demonstrate hypocrisy. I'm not so convinced it was intended to spread white supremacy as you suggest
Cain murdered Able. Bad example.
Better route would've been the Good Samaritan.
But you should note; those who did not stop to help were not evil. What they did was not a moral wrong. It was simply not a good act.
People shouldn't be obligated to be good. Good should be a choice.
That "unfair advantage" wouldn't be morally wrong, however.
And of course, there's plenty of room to disagree that every white person in America benefits from white supremacy.
This is the primary issue, I think, to a lot of this. Frankly, the idea itself I find racist
Alright, let me try to explain the difference between saying "it's okay to be white" and "it's okay to be black". It's the same problem with saying "All lives matter" versus "Black lives matter".
It's actually really simple, in America historically, it has been the case that at the highest levels of government it has been promoted that it was not okay to be black. In America, it's been the case at the highest levels of government that black lives did not matter. These are unfortunate realities. Let's not get all muddy about 'when' these attitudes existed, we could argue all day about what is and isn't racist. But considering fucking slavery, jim crow, lynchings, etcetcetc existed in this country, it's mandatory to agree that those with power have at some point said that it's not okay to be black and that black lives don't matter.
What about for white people? It has never been the case that at the highest levels of government it was promoted that it is not okay to be white, or that white lives don't matter. White people in this country have never experience systematic racism against them. White people have never experienced systematic oppression on grounds that they are white. Have some people said mean things about white people? Yes, that has happened. But this is not an equivalent thing. A white person can and should brush off anything mean said to them about their whiteness, because it has no power over them. They can literally ignore those mean things and go about their day.
In contrast, if black people ignore the mean things, they will be likely be disenfranchised, murdered, criminalized, brutalized.
So, when people say 'It's okay to be white' or 'All lives matter', that isn't inherently a racist thing to say. But it is incredibly tone deaf. Nobody (*with systematic power to oppress) thinks white lives don't matter or that being white is not okay. When white people say these things, they are covering up systematic issues against black people by putting racism against white people and racism against black people on equal ground. Like, no, don't do this! Honestly, I'll catch some flak from some for saying this, but truly if you feel the need to say "all lives matter", grow a thicker skin. You haven't ever been systematically oppressed for your skin color, it's ridiculous to try and compare what little mean/racist things you experience to what black people experience.
While I'm at it, I'll touch on the concept of white pride vs black pride. It is not okay to be promoting white pride like it is to promote black pride. And maybe some of you are like "Hold up! You just did a racism there! You can't tell me it is not okay to be proud of my race while it's okay for black people to do the same. This is textbook racism!" No, no it is not. Let me explain this please.
It's fucking ridiculous for anyone to be proud of your race! It's basically just your fuckin skin color. Are people proud of having brown hair? Are they proud of having long eye lashes? That's frankly dumb, right? Like, if you think you eye color is really nice and you enjoy having it from an aesthetic PoV, fine whatever. But that's not the same as the pride we are talking about in terms of race. Black people need to proclaim black pride because historically, it has been the narrative for a long time that black people were inferior to white people. That black people were lesser than white people. Black pride is a counter narrative, it exists to push back against the racism that still exists today that says black people are less valuable than white people. In the absence of that long running, systematic racism it would be ridiculous for anyone to say they have black pride. It would be the same as saying you were proud of being a certain height.
But our reality is such that it does mandate that black people promote the idea that being black is okay, that being black is not inferior. These things are even today a message that needs to be gotten out. White pride though? See the first half of this post. White people have no use for white pride. White people haven't been oppressed in this country for their whiteness. Nobody (*with systematic power to oppress) has ever said white people are inferior and should not be proud of themselves. It is incredibly tone deaf to talk about white pride. You are covering up systematic racism against black people when you try to put white pride on the same level as black pride.
Same concept as the people out there who cry that they do not have 'straight pride parades'. Listen up buddy. You can have your white pride month or your straight pride parade if you allow me to systematically oppress you for a few centuries! Like, we'll put you to work on a plantation and send you to straight conversion camp where we'll indoctrinate you against your own race and skin color until you are so emotionally distressed that you commit suicide. Or if you survive that, we'll make up some laws that disproportionately target you and find a way to get you in prison for life. But! It will be fair now and you can have your white pride and straight pride. Deal?
I'll try to say this as simply as possible;
History is irrelevant. Racism is flatly wrong.
If it is okay to say "it's okay to be black", it's okay to say "it's okay to be white".
Treating people differently because of race is racist
. There's really nothing more to it. If we can agree that racism is wrong, then you ought to be able to understand why this, too, is wrong.
My life, my life
was ruined - run into the ground
- by bigotry. My personal existence was completely fucked over. My singular one chance at life, taken for no reason. I self harmed for decades, I lived through emotional trauma you likely can't imagine.
History is irrelevant? What about today
? Don't tell me that history is irrelevant when you clearly know nothing about being oppressed.You
are the one treating people differently dude. I explained it clear as day, black people and white people are not treated and have not been treated the same in this country. Whiteness and blackness are not equivalent things. Therefore, we do not treat them in perfectly equitable ways.
You are trying to treat race issues like they are in a vacuum. This must be incredibly convenient for you. But they are not in a vacuum. Once white people have experienced the same systematic racism as black people, they are allowed to say "it's okay to be white". Otherwise, it is you
who are treating people differently based on race. Like, I'm all for it buddy, white and black get the same treatment. The rule is anyone who has experience systematic racism for centuries is allowed to say "being my race is okay". That is equitable, that is the same treatment. You can only disagree when you look at things in a vacuum, which you can
do that. But it just kinda makes you stupid and ignorant.
And while all that is very unfortunately, it's completely irrelevant
, because racism
, regardless of context or circumstances, is wrong
If you cannot understand this, you do not truly believe racism is wrong. Rather, it's acceptable as long as it's done by the right people.
Okay, well as I said, your argument is that if we strip away all context arbitrary, then what I say is racist and what you say is not.
Why is it okay to look at this in a vacuum? Why is it the correct lens to view the problem? What you are doing is removing from the equation all the bigotry and disadvantages from the other people have experienced, put everyone on equal footing and said this is the way we must look at the picture. That seems really fucking convenient for you! Must be nice.
What does racism mean to you?
I would define it simply as prejudice based on race.
Context doesn't change this. Assuming something about somebody based solely on their race, is racist
I view racism as inherently wrong.
Thus, I view judging people based on race as inherently wrong.
When you make presumptions for the entirety of black people, as you've just done in your prior post, that to me is racist.
Likewise, when you make assumptions of the entirety of white people, as you did, that is also racist.
You're actively assuming something is universally true for every single black or white person, that is not at all guaranteed to be the case.>Why is it okay to look at this in a vacuum? Why is it the correct lens to view the problem?
Because the action
is what is wrong.
Some things are flatly wrong.
Racism is one of those.>What you are doing is removing from the equation all the bigotry and disadvantages from the other people have experienced, put everyone on equal footing and said this is the way we must look at the picture.
You can look at those parts on the individual
It does not require you to presume something solely based on race
.>That seems really fucking convenient for you! Must be nice.
And your narrative is not convenient for you?
It is not beneficial for you to have the excuse of past actions in order to be as racist as you wish?
I don't think we are gonna see eye to eye on this.
I'm just gonna end this by saying, a person who has never experienced systematic racism and bigotry telling a person who has had their life decimated by bigotry what is the definition of racism and bigotry is ironic.
The point is, you can't recognize what is and isn't immoral without having the experience i have. You lack perspective, which you cannot deny to me. Your logic is perfectly sound in your world. This comes down entirely to me saying "trust me please, you can't imagine what it's like from my position" and you saying "no".
That's fine, I don't think you are a racist or shitty person because you say no in this way to me. It's just sad and unfortunate that it's the way things are.
I disagree. I have rather simple standards for what is and is not moral, based on actions
, not outcomes or histories.
I would not accept the reason for a murderer's murder. The action itself, being murder, is wrong.
I can sympathize with why the murderer may choose to murder, but it's still going to persist as an immoral act. Something that shouldn't happen.
I'm not really sure saying it's okay to be what race you are quantifies as "pride".
And of course, there's the issue of presuming motive because of what might be sometimes done by others.
I don't think it was at all created in response to BLM. Where did you get that idea?
It was pretty well prior to the George Floyd thing, and at the time as I remember, there weren't really any major protests at the time at all.
Most had calmed down by that point, or gotten whatever clout they could and started more official movements.
It seemed to me it was more related to what was being said on college campuses, given that was where they were first spread.>but if you have a problem with people having a problem with your memeing then I suggest avoiding touchy issues like police brutality or race relations?
I'd suggest you can make a point and meme.
Same deal as the OK sign trolling.
The point is to say "Hey, look at these people! We're intentionally trying to get them to look stupid, and they do it! See how hypocritical they are? Come and laugh at them with us!".
I think it's a valid one myself.
I'd say there's a difference to responding to something like "black lives matter" with "all lives matter", and responding to "it's okay to be white" with "you're a racist white supremacist".
This said, though, I don't usually find anyone saying BLM means "other lives don't matter".
Most people's complaint is the practice of destroying communities and ruining people's lives because of something somebody else did.
Then I would say nobody I've seen has issue with the slogan.
People have issues with the movement, and maybe the given circumstances people use it at, but that's about all I've ever seen.
I remember people called out the early stuff for basically being on false pretenses, and some of the vitriolic chants of the early protests, but I've never seen anyone react badly to the slogan itself. At least more than saying literally just "all lives matter".
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Was a trap, and people fell for it.
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How is it disingenuous? There really are people saying that all whites are racist and that all racists are evil.
Because it's a strawman. It's implying that it's a lot more common than it is and
it's an implicit strawmanning of those advocating for other's to recognize their own prejudices as condeming them simpmy for being white.
Frankly, it's an irresponsible validation of a fragile narcissistic and childish black and white interpretation that a reminder of one's fallibillity is actually
total condemnation of a person for their race.
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>>7579>Because it's a strawman.
It's not a strawman if it's responding to people who actually make such claims.>It's implying that it's a lot more common
Or it could just be responding to a tiny-but-vocal minority.>it's an implicit strawmanning of those advocating for other's to recognize their own prejudices
Not if it wasn't written in response to those people.>that a reminder of one's fallibillity is actually total condemnation of a person for their race.
I'd say that main fault here lies with those who single out white people for accusations of implicit racial bias. Yes, implicit racial bias is a real thing, but it's not like non-white people are somehow immune to it.
But it's also a true fact, isn't it? There are indeed attacks against white people, that i would absolutely call racist
As to some white supremacists saying it also, Hitler was an animal lover. Bad people aren't 100% wrong, and more importantly, can reach correct conclusions off of wrong reasons. >>7573
People absolutely do say that, though.
By that logic, is it a strawman to say some claim black people are inferior?
Personally, I think both groups should be called out.
Implications of commonality are a separate issue to strawmen.
And I don't think this is even saying it's that common. No more so than any other racism, at least.
Though, maybe you would say other forms of racism are very common. So it might be a matter of perspectives. I certainly have seen quite a lot, but perhaps you have not.
>>7589>There are indeed attacks against white people, that i would absolutely call racist
And I'd even agree with that, but that's not what the issue with the sign is. Like I said it's all about those tacit communication assumptions it taps into:
- it is absolutely okay to be white, it should be a complete given, so what does it mean that you've made this sign? Well, you're implying there's people saying otherwise, even if none are to be seen at the moment (if there ARE such people to be seen, this is a completely different matter that changes it), numerous enough to be worth the effort
- by not addressing this sign to anyone specific, this means you're addressing it to the reader. If it's not used in a specific context, then it's likely addressed to the culture at large, in which there's either all these poor white people who need this message of hope after being bullied for being white or a lot of people who think it's actually not okay to be white who need to be stood up to
- finally, by completely singling out white people, the sign's implying their plight which comes as the result of their race should be given the focus and priority
All in all, this is extremely heavy on the context and subtext, but my personal view goes very roughly like this:
- in a complete vacuum, the sign's a "well duh?" level of pointless
- in a situation where people are being made to feel less-than because they happen to be white, it's perfectly appropriate
- outside of such a situation, when the only relevant context is the wider (western country X) culture? It would still need more detail but the sign can easily be kinda racist and definitely designed to start shit at the expense of non-white minorities
I imagine if I were a black guy I'd be instantly on guard when entering an establishment with this sign on display, even despite agreeing with the literal meaning of the message.
>>7592>even if none are to be seen at the moment (if there ARE such people to be seen, this is a completely different matter that changes it),
Why do you assume they can't be seen? Just because you haven't seen it personally?
Isn't this one of those "listen to other people's lived experiences" sort of thing? I've not personally experienced racism towards black people, but I think we both agree that would be a bad reason to say they shouldn't counter racists or their talking points, right?>by not addressing this sign to anyone specific, this means you're addressing it to the reader. If it's not used in a specific context, then it's likely addressed to the culture at large,
That strikes me as a leap in logic. Why on earth does a generic statement of the acceptability of what race one is require a specific audience, lest it makes radical presumptions of the population and cultural norms? Again, this also doesn't strike me as consistent with a wide range of other subjects, either.
I cannot see why one would, for instance, take issue with a sign saying "rape is bad", nor would it strike me as rational to say that means rapists are common. >finally, by completely singling out white people, the sign's implying their plight which comes as the result of their race should be given the focus and priority
Utter nonsense. And quite frankly, I don't believe you are ignorant of it. This is the "starving kids in Africa" argument. A common and rather dishonest distraction attempt, i find, operating on the absurd notion we can only care about one thing.
No, advocating against toll road constructing does not mean you don't care if cocaine is smuggled. >It would still need more detail but the sign can easily be kinda racist and definitely designed to start shit at the expense of non-white minorities
No, the worst you could say is it was made with bad intentions. The sign itself would not be any of that, that is solely a presumption on your part, based on separate factors to the direct statement of the sign.
Ironically enough, this is the purpose of the sign: to get people to overreact, and show their biases and hypocrisy. >I imagine if I were a black guy I'd be instantly on guard when entering an establishment with this sign on display, even despite agreeing with the literal meaning of the message
And I would say that is due to prejudice.
>>7593>Why do you assume they can't be seen? Just because you haven't seen it personally?
Because that's one of the variables in the hypothetical scenarios? Either there are or there aren't, and things change depending on that?
To put it another way, what we have here is [Statement: "If not X then Y, if X then Z"] -> [Reply: "whoa why do you assume not X, also let me toss some tired stereotypes at you"]. Not what I'd call a strong start, and it set the tone for the rest of these which were similarly unimpressive. I hate the ><><><><><>< style of online discussions, it always baloons out of proportion and becomes a huge pointless timesink that just spins in ever growing circles of trying to score points on more and more granular nonsense, so I'll just focus on the last one as I think it's where our disagreement might lie. If you want to pick another one up, feel free, but I'd like to ask you to either pick just one at a time or collate them somehow.>And I would say that is due to prejudice.
Indeed, though not in the way you want to imply. Prejudice (racist prejudice specifically) is exactly what I'd estimate as much more likely to be encountered in this establishment compared to one without such a sign. "More likely" is by no means "certain" and this estimate needs to be open to being updated with further information, but by putting up such a sign they give off a signal as to how they see the world. After all, they felt this sign needed to be seen by all people near their place of business, and felt so strongly (strongly enough that it's not just on their home property, but on their business!). Such feelings don't really develop in a vacuum, something had to influence them. It might actually legitimately be my failing, but I'm hard pressed to find a reason more likely than "the proprietor's hook, line and sinker into some racist narrative about how whiteness in general is under attack", which is a fact that tilts my "likelihood: this place is run by racists" needle towards "yes". I want to see if I can tilt it towards "no" somehow and I can't really come up with likely non-convoluted scenarios in which it's someone's NON-racism that compels them to put it up. There's realistic scenarios where the question of racism is irrelevant to whether the sign gets put up, but nothing for the "no".
Ultimately though I'm not even focused on "is this racist". My position on this sign is that its literal message is obviously true, but then depending on the context of where it appears it could be pointless, trolly, racist, indicative of racism, or entirely appropriate and even called for. The OP was baffled by how people could accuse it of racism and even presented a theory as to why, the sign being seen as implying "it's not okay to be non-white". I'm saying it's rather the sign being seen as implying "it's not okay to be white according to enough people with enough power that this sign needed to be made to help counter that".
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>>7594>but I'm hard pressed to find a reason more likely than "the proprietor's hook, line and sinker into some racist narrative about how whiteness in general is under attack",
I guess it depends a lot on our priors, but I'd rank "proprietor is trolling" as a bit more likely than "proprietor is racist".
Then let me reframe: the hypothetical is unnecessary and irrelevant for its lack of practical application.
The notion that individuals will experience racism is not a far fetched one. The reality is, in this world, you will find people who have distaste for any given race, of any given race.
This is why I take issue with the hypothetical. Likewise, I would consider a hypothetical in which gravity doesn't exist to be outlandish and nonsensical.
I see no caus To entertain hypotheticals of a fantasy that neither exists, nor is likely to ever exist. >Prejudice (racist prejudice specifically) is exactly what I'd estimate as much more likely to be encountered in this establishment compared to one without such a sign
Yes, and again come up this would be due to your own prejudice. Not because of actual instances of actual occurrence, but rather the presumption thereof.
Ultimately not so significantly different from a racist who presumes because he goes into a predominantly black neighbourhood, he has a higher likelihood of getting robbed.
Thus my contention.> It might actually legitimately be my failing, but I'm hard pressed to find a reason more likely than "the proprietor's hook, line and sinker into some racist narrative about how whiteness in general is under attack", which is a fact that tilts my "likelihood: this place is run by racists" needle towards "yes".
Once again, this would be your prejudice speaking. And again, i do not consider it a reasonable presumption.
I can think of plenty of reasons to put up the sign. Trolling being a good one as already mentioned, as well as simple opposition to the racists who disagree with the statement and consequently take offense.
It's also an easy way to flag one's 'tribe' in the political sense, as someone in opposition to the radical extremist elements of the left pushing racist policy in place, in the name of "equality", to others of like mind. >I'm saying it's rather the sign being seen as implying "it's not okay to be white according to enough people with enough power that this sign needed to be made to help counter that".
Which does not necessitate nor justify the presumption of racism, any more than it would be reasonable for me to assume your hypothetical black man is a racist, given his discomfort with a sign simply stating it is okay to be white.
Prejudice is wrong, and should be discouraged as a general rule.
Well, obviously we don't have hard numbers on this, but I agree that this is realistically possible even if I estimate it as less likely. I've thought of that and it's one of those "racism is irrelevant" scenarios: this could be just another case of the internet spilling over into the real world with someone with an internet sense of humour and the typical internet levels of awareness where they don't notice the sign makes their business seem more likely to be racist to potential customers putting it up anyway. If that's the case we don't really get much information as to whether the proprietor is actually racist or not.
Bottom line, if there weren't such scenarios then rather than just "more likely" we'd be talking "virtually certain". Yet no matter which of these two is actually more likely, in aggregate the place is notably more likely to be racist than one without the sign.>>7596
I have no problem entertaining hypotheticals in which gravity doesn't exist. That's the first step in showing why those hypotheticals aren't worthwhile. And I'm fairly sure you're still misreading what I said, so I'll rephrase it to make it clearer. The two options being considered there are:
- there's currently an active discussions with specific participants, some of whom actively say it's not okay to be white
- there's no such discussion, or nobody in it is saying such a thing
What's outlandish about either?
As for the prejudice question, let me ask you this: consider this "there's a sign hanging on a place of business" model, but now you get to modify the scenario and pick what this sign is. It can be anything from "Everyone's welcome" through "Happy hour: beer $2" to "Death to zionists" in a swastika font. You know nothing at all about the business other than that you see the sign. Now:
- can you think of a sign it could be which would make you think "this place is run by racists"?
- if so, can you think of different signs which would put it more into the gray area for you, where you would go "this place as somewhat more likely to be racist than if it didn't have this sign"?
- if you answered "yes" to either of the above questions, please give examples and the reasons why you picked them. Also please tell me the reasons why your choices are not based on prejudice, by your own standards.
I'll stress here this is not some gotcha nonsense but a genuine question.
>>7601>- there's no such discussion, or nobody in it is saying such a thing>What's outlandish about either?
The reality of humanity is that nearly any position exists, certainly for something as mundane again as racism.
Once more; you can find racists towards any race, of any race.
And of course there will always be people combating racists, as well.
This is why the notion is outlandish. >Also please tell me the reasons why your choices are not based on prejudice, by your own standards.
It is unjust to assume "that man has a scar over his eye, so he may be a murderer", however is not unjust to assume "that man says he murdered someone, he may be a murderer".
Given you say this example is of a "death to zionists" statement in the shape of a swastika, there are safe inferences based on objective facts, not biased presumptions. Were it not in the swastika form, the presumption may not be so clear as "racist", and likewise were it a swastika alone.
This is the trouble.
And of course even with all this said, it would still be wrong of me not to entertain a reason given.
Nonetheless, I think there's a significant difference between saying "this man thinks it's okay to be white, he may be a racist" and "this man is waving a literal swastika while calling for the death of zionists. He might be a nazi"
>>7605>Were it not in the swastika form, the presumption may not be so clear as "racist", and likewise were it a swastika alone.
To clarify, are you saying that those are in the "gray area" that >>7601
asked you about?
No. I suppose this is because I'm more binary about it.
Rather, those are areas in which alternatives are present that don't require assuming the worst.
Religion, as opposed to race, for instance.
You still misunderstand. Let me try one more time, this time with a scenario for illustration.
Imagine you see a group of people engaged in a discussion. Real people, with real faces, physically right there, gesticulating and arguing by making sounds by vibrating the air with their vocal cords. One of them is outright arguing something to the effect of it NOT being okay to be white. Hearing this, you grab a piece of paper, affix it to a stick, write on it "it's okay to be white" and butt in with a "yo dude, read the sign". This is an example of a scenario that fits with the first option. Contrast it with "nothing like that is happening, yet you've made the sign anyway. It's for everyone to read, but especially all those faceless, anonymous anti-white racists likely lurking out there somewhere in the crowd" which is an example of the second option.
Do you now see what I mean? You seem to be insistently talking within the context of the second option even as you decry it as outlandish.
Sorry I keep on this, but you seem to be intent on disagreeing with me, and if you do it despite not even knowing what I'm saying then this whole thing is pointless.
Actually, I'm worried about my ability to explain things since it seems you didn't fully get what I asked of you in the second part, either. You're not supposed to be limited to the three options I listed, they're supposed to just give you the idea of the range: good, neutral, cartoonishly bad, whatever, you're completely free to come up with anything at all you want for the sign. Ignore these 3 completely if that helps, they were there only to help you come up with something and they clearly only confused matters instead.
So with that clarification, what's an example of such a sign for you to comfortably think "this sign means I'm certain the proprietors are racist"? Does it exist? How about a sign which would put you into the grey area, where you're not certain but only consider it likely? Going by this [>>7610
] I take it you don't think that could exist, but if so can you give an example which would get close to that hard cutoff despite landing on one side anyway?
Further, I'll respond to this as this is relevant for the clarification:>Different action.>It is unjust to assume "that man has a scar over his eye, so he may be a murderer", however is not unjust to assume "that man says he murdered someone, he may be a murderer".
1. I meant your choices for the two signs I asked you to come up with, not your choices in the general sense. The idea was that you'd come up with an example of your own, then say why you don't think that specific example has you being prejudiced. You could of course say it does despite me not explicitly listing that option. This is to help me see where exactly you sit, and incidentally make sure we even use these words to mean the same thing.
2. It's a sign. Nobody's getting killed, there's just a sign hanging there. It's literally the same thing except for something different being written... unless you're saying you'd need the sign to go as far as to be a literal dead Jew on a stick before you'd be comfortable commiting to the idea the sign implies the proprietor might be racist? I don't know. I honestly have no idea where you were going with this one.
I'm not ignoring the rest, but first I'd like to see if the clarification helped and I'd rather not risk confusing the matters.
I see what you mean. In that regard I return to my earlier points you had skipped over, in relation to "why does it matter", as far a making a generalized statement publicly.
As I had said then, I wouldn't see why anyone would take issue with a sign saying "rape is bad".
There's also, of course, the nature of communication in the modern era not being restricted to face to face, or even to things you have ability to interact with.
I cannot really argue with a news anchor, for instance. And that's just technological limitations. There's also the issue of social and authority troubles.
It's not really a great idea to argue with your professor, for instance. Considering these are where the signs originated, i would suggest that aspect is part of the issue. Especially considering there was effort by several schools calling for punishment of whoever put the sign up. >You're not supposed to be limited to the three options I listed, they're supposed to just give you the idea of the range: good, neutral, cartoonishly bad, whatever, you're completely free to come up with anything at all you want for the sign.
I suppose my trouble there is I am inclined to take things at face value, for what they actually put forward.
"Good" and "bad" are something I am inclined to attribute to specific actions. >So with that clarification, what's an example of such a sign for you to comfortably think "this sign means I'm certain the proprietors are racist"
No colored folk permitted?
Simple enough, and I cannot think of any cause at all to have it beyond. Assuming standard legal framework anyway. >It's literally the same thing except for something different being written...
I would say killing is not inherently murder.
But none the less, it was intended to simply be an example of my standards.
I am inclined to judge people at face value.
The reason why this first variable (is it a response to something present and immediate) matters is because it frames the context. The face value of this sign (the "rape is bad" one too!) is something that's so generally accepted it pretty much says nothing at all, as far as affecting what people think goes. If this face value were the only level that mattered, you might as well have "pizza is nice" on it, or "fish like water", or "this is a sign", or really just leave the thing blank, for all the novel information you're conveying. Like I originally said though, people generally make the tacit assumption that the attempts at communication they encounter are made in good faith, that you're actually trying to convey something with those. When the face message is so empty of information, the focus shifts to the context and subtext to find out what the person who made the sign is actually trying to tell them.
So to this point, if the context is an immediate situation like in the example scenario, the sign's message is a clear disagreement with the racist sentiment expressed. There's obvious and immediate need for it, and everyone knows what it's about. This is contrasted with the situation where there's no such thing, so the net widens to the culture at large. Then they have to account for the status of different races, the narratives being promoted by different groups in the culture, recent events, similarities to other higher profile slogans and signs and so on. It's a great big mishmash of trying to figure out "so what is it actually trying to tell me" (because again, the assumption is the intention was to tell them SOMETHING). So, with that in mind, can you see how one can arrive at "the sign's message implies whiteness is under attack", even though its literal reading includes nothing of the sort? And how then it can make sense for them to take the step of "so, what major faction's message is that? White supremacists'? And surely whoever made the sign realized that, yet made no effort to clarify it's not white supremacist? Presumably because it felt it didn't need to? Oh"?
Incidentally I've never been at all shy about arguing with my professors and have never considered it a bad idea. But then I never argued for white supremacy so hey, there's probably some topics that are indeed risky and let's continue that thought. Had the signs been different and actually overtly and explicitly argued for white supremacy, should those who made them have gotten into trouble then?
Also an important thing to consider is that even if you are inclined to take things at literal face value, there are lots of people who do look for meanings the way I described above, and the sign is by necessity talking to them too, something which the sign's authors knew when they made it.>No colored folk permitted?
Okay, let's go with this one. So in our scenario we see a business and we see this sign on it. I can actually think of a few scenarios where this sign would be there with the proprietors not being racist, the major one being somebody else put it there without their knowledge, either as an ill-conceived prank or as part of dirty competition from another business. Everybody knows exacly how having such a sign would look like and how it would normally affect a business to have it, so someone putting it up willingly is definitely unusual. So now two questions:
- aren't you being prejudiced by assuming the proprietors are racist when you know nothing about them but the fact that they have this sign there? Maybe they have a good explanation, and you just haven't heard it because you never asked?
- conversely, would it be prejudiced of you to think "the people living around this place are likely racist" if you see a business with such a sign out? It's a business like any other, not being actively protested, not obviously going under so presumably it has custom, it just has that sign.
>>7623>Like I originally said though, people generally make the tacit assumption that the attempts at communication they encounter are made in good faith, that you're actually trying to convey something with those.
I must say I find this rather strange. It would have been my presumption that assuming the best and somebody come up that is to say giving them the benefit of the doubt or, as you put it, Taking what they say in good faith, would prioritise a as-written interpretation over presumptions of racism.
The standard you put forward is the direct opposite of this, as I see it. It is far better to assume somebody saying something obvious, for whatever personal reason they might have to do so, than to presume that they are a racist.
Would have thought this is something of common sense, honestly, considering how harmful everyone ought to know accusations of racism are. >Also an important thing to consider is that even if you are inclined to take things at literal face value, there are lots of people who do look for meanings the way I described above, and the sign is by necessity talking to them too, something which the sign's authors knew when they made it.
I understand that, I simply believe it to be wrong.
It's an unjust action to take. Assuming somebody is racist because they have the audacity to put up a sign that says it is OK to be white, I would say, is a cruel and bigoted action. >the major one being somebody else put it there without their knowledge,
I would have presumed this analogy assumes that they are the ones explicitly putting up the sign. Otherwise come on the same issue applies to the "it's okay to be white" sign.
It is wrong for you to assume they are racist, because someone else put it up.
Id prefer the analogy be clear, then, in specifics, before we continue further
The good faith assumption is of the message itself, not the person putting it out there: they might very well be a completely unreliable ass, but it's still natural to assume that they're trying to tell you SOMETHING when they're using some medium to communicate at you. And is it so strange, really? Without some assumptions like that communication can't really function. Consider a sign that says "no parking 8:00-18:00". It's perfectly natural to think this means you can park there at night, even though the sign actually says nothing of the sort. I'm not proposing this as a standard, I'm being descriptive rather than prescriptive. In other words, as far as I see it, it's just how these things generally work in the wild, whatever we think whether they should or not, unless someone deliberately tries to mess with them.
While accusations of racism are obviously harmful, so is racism itself. It's much easier to avoid the former than the latter, and people have much more control over it. For instance, they can look at a message they're about to put out, think "this message will make people accuse me of racism", and instead of going "all the more reason to put it out" they could just not do it.>I understand that, I simply believe it to be wrong.
This feels more like we're hitting on something substantial. See, I believe that if I know how my message will be read and then send it in that form anyway while taking no effort to shape it, it's on me.
Communication is like pushing buttons here. I might be annoyed at the designer of the control panel who labelled the autodestruct button "dispense ice cream", but if I know it's the autodestruct and press it anyway, "it said it would give me ice cream" is no defense. If I DIDN'T know that, that's a different matter, but then that's not the case here, is it? The authors of these signs seem to have been aiming specifically for the off-label reading.
Here's one more question for you: what about messages with no inherent face message? In other words, more abstract symbols and the like, rather than text? Examples if you need them (as earlier, ignore them if they're of no help): a sign with just a Celtic cross, or a sign with a hammer and sickle. How do you read those?>Id prefer the analogy be clear, then, in specifics, before we continue further
The scenario here is explicitly just "see business, see sign, what do". You don't know anything else. You don't know why this sign is there. You literally just stumbled upon this and all you know so far is what you've seen. Note I'm not some sort of an oracle here who knows the truth of what's behind the scenes, either. I know exactly as much as you.
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>>7891>Consider a sign that says "no parking 8:00-18:00". It's perfectly natural to think this means you can park there at night, even though the sign actually says nothing of the sort.
Yes, that's basically a textbook example of expressio unius est exclusio alterius
>>7891> they might very well be a completely unreliable ass, but it's still natural to assume that they're trying to tell you SOMETHING when they're using some medium to communicate at you.
Certainly, but assuming that thing is something bad is the very opposite of a good faith interpretation.
If you tell me "fire is hot", I'd call it a tad unreasonable to say "he's saying we ought to burn down cities", even if the initial statement was an obvious one. >And is it so strange, really? Without some assumptions like that communication can't really function.
On the contrary, I would say something like that would mean communication couldn't function.
Every time you said something to somebody, a perceived insult or slight would be inferred where there was none. Every comment or critique would be viewed as treason and disloyalty. A statement of values would be an attempt to distract and disguise.
That level of hostile inferencing strikes me as the death of practical communication. >Consider a sign that says "no parking 8:00-18:00". It's perfectly natural to think this means you can park there at night, even though the sign actually says nothing of the sort.
No, the assumption would be you can't park during that time... That happens to be night, but it's not like there aren't signs like that for daytime applications.>In other words, as far as I see it, it's just how these things generally work in the wild, whatever we think whether they should or not, unless someone deliberately tries to mess with them.
While I'm not convinced it actually is standard practice, I'm not arguing what is.
I am arguing that it's not as it should be. >While accusations of racism are obviously harmful, so is racism itself. It's much easier to avoid the former than the latter, and people have much more control over it.
In this day and age? I would disagree with that very much.
Accusations of racism are one of the most common political attacks.
It's hardly a rare occurrence, or one requiring particular action.
This very sign, for instance. A prime example.
No racism is present but for what those unwilling to give benefit of the doubt presume exists. >For instance, they can look at a message they're about to put out, think "this message will make people accuse me of racism", and instead of going "all the more reason to put it out" they could just not do it.
You could never ever give your opinion about anything.
Then nobody could ever make assumptions about you .
This is a hardly reasonable expectation. >See, I believe that if I know how my message will be read and then send it in that form anyway while taking no effort to shape it, it's on me.
You cannot know how anyone will take anything.
You are not them. They are not you.
I know very few people who live in this world. I know quite few who even post here, even without the anonymity. I know next to none of them particularly well, that I could reasonably predict what might set them off.
It's one thing to say something you know a friend may be upset at. It's quite another to say something when you have no idea if it'll set of someone in the swarm.
And more importantly, even with your friend, that doesn't mean it's right. It's not on you, if what you said was not taken as written, but rather, as was assumed. > If I DIDN'T know that, that's a different matter, but then that's not the case here, is it?
The case here was to demonstrate hypocrisy and mock those people for it, because they were known to interpret innocuous things in the absolute worst possible light without any benefit of the doubt, yes.
And while it may be known to be likely to occur, that doesn't make their response reasonable or justified.
As you say with your button panel, what if it was a person who got angry whenever anyone asked for ice cream?
Would it be alright for him to punch you in the face because you asked for ice cream knowing it would make him mad?
I would say no. >what about messages with no inherent face message? In other words, more abstract symbols and the like, rather than text?
Context and history.
Iron cross or even a swastika on a restored WWII tank? Probably fine.
Getting one tattooed on your neck? Bit more questionable.
If I go into a bar with a hammer and sickle over a bottle of vodka, it's probably not going to be full of communists.
If I go to a political meetup group flying a hammer and sickle flag, bit more likely. >The scenario here is explicitly just "see business, see sign, what do".
In that case my personal reaction would typically be to go "huh, weird" and continue walking.
If I'm just stumbling on it as you say, I doubt I would give it a second's thought.
It'd be another weird thing i passed by that I might say "hey, I saw this odd thing yesterday" to someone else.
Isn't that still the same deal, though? The sign expressly says no parking in those hours, and says nothing for any others. Thus the literal interpretation would be no parking during those hours. >>8031
Someone will always be offended by something. I don't think it's realistic to idiot proof every single thing you say.
Not without formal training for that express purpose anyway
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>>8032>The sign expressly says no parking in those hours, and says nothing for any others. Thus the literal interpretation would be no parking during those hours.
Yes. The point is that often text or oral utterances are interpreted to convey more than their literal meaning. Paul Grice studied this phenomenon and developed a theory to describe how this works in human society: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooperative_principle>Someone will always be offended by something. I don't think it's realistic to idiot proof every single thing you say.
It's true that it's impractical to ward off every possible misinterpretation. But if you realize that a large percentage of people might misinterpret your message, it's probably best to clarify it.
Yep, it's the thing I'm talking about is a wider phenomenon which inclues it. It's actually pretty much this in fact: >>8033>>8016
I don't think you read the "no parking" example right. The hours it's pointing to are in the daytime, nighttime is the time it's not mentioning. But anyway, given that I'm explicitly not arguing how things should be but how they are, the mismatch with your explicitly saying you're not arguing how things are but how things should be kind of leaves no point in a discussion. It's literally perfect complements. There's plenty I'd disagree with anyway in what you wrote in this section, but since we're again seeing the explosion of ><><><>< here I think that's a good reason to cut it there in the interest of nipping it in the bud. If you want me to respond to it anyway, please try to narrow it down to some fragment or otherwise collate it somehow. Instead, onto the examples.>symbols
The point of asking you about the symbols was to establish whether you completely reject using context to inform your readings or not. It seems now we agree after all that the context is important for the reading of the message, even if you focused on "it's fine" vs "it's not". Okay, so what makes symbols special where they get to have that but text doesn't, with the text requiring the use of literal reading only? What of text in another language? Imagine a local Chinese mafia is using these symbols: 鸡块. Do you consider a guy more likely to be one such triad when you see he has those symbols tattooed? Should we start to discard such information once we learn that these symbols are actually legitimately text, text whose literal reading isn't "triad member" but "chicken nugget"?>autodestruct
What's the hypocrisy that the sign has shown in its opponents? I don't see it. Interpreting things in the worst possible light (regardless of whether that's actually what happened or not, since it's a side discussion of its own) isn't hypocrisy? As for your example of ice cream rage guy, my answer is "it depends". Why is the guy punchy? Some possibilities:
1. Let's say he's got reasons to interpret talk of ice cream as talk of threatening his family. Doesn't matter why, it could be some mental problem, it could be there's mafia around who use the terms "icing" or "creaming" for executions of people, doesn't matter, the point is just that I know that's how he's going to interpret it. If I know that and then go to him with my ice cream talk specifically with the idea to make him mad, then yes I absolutely think I should get punched
2. The guy just hates ice cream and wants to impose his dislike of it onto everyone. There's no question of interpretation, the guy literally understands "ice cream" as "frozen dessert" the same as everyone else, he just reacts to it unreasonably negatively. Then no, it wouldn't be all right. But then this doesn't at all track with my scenario of a mislabelled button. It's not a communication issue at all. The question of responsibility in this scenario is more complicated as I still think it would be on me to have some sort of a plan beyond just enraging him if I'm going to do that, but this time he's clearly the one responsible for the overall situation (assuming nothing special about actual ice cream itself in this scenario; we can easily conjure up possibilities to consider where it gets more complicated but those would put us needlessly out of focus, so let's keep it with the understanding it's a stand-in for "some random, innocent and innocuous thing that people generally like").>"see business, see sign, what do"
Well, if seeing "no colored folk permitted" won't make you think "this place is run by racists" or even "this place is more likely to be run by racists", we're all the way back here [>>7613
], as it was not a valid answer to the question after all. So again, can you come up with an example of a sign which WOULD make you think that? Or do you think it's impossible, that no sign would make you think that, no matter the contents?
>>8032>Someone will always be offended by something. I don't think it's realistic to idiot proof every single thing you say.
Here's a good example of how to clarify to avoid misinterpretations:https://youtu.be/tYLZL4GZVbA?t=1301
(from 21:41 to 22:33)
Notice that he specifically disclaims implications that people might otherwise infer from his statement.
>>8033>It's true that it's impractical to ward off every possible misinterpretation. But if you realize that a large percentage of people might misinterpret your message, it's probably best to clarify it.
Yes, this is utterly correct.
Seconding in the strongest possible sense.
Suppose I walk up to a place with a large sign that says "The Rapists Here" and ask what the hell is going on only for somebody to say "This is a psychological counseling center, with our message meant to be 'Therapists Here'.". It's completely right to call them out and tell them that they should think about the consequences of their actions. Give reasonable criticism.