Re: Counterpoint: Racism is Taboo/Not in SC, It Isn't

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John, that ignorant slut, and I have this discussion a lot, actually.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 6:09 AM
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I don't have time to read all the comments over there, but I would submit that if feminists had rioted in most major cities over the course of 4-5 years, it might be the case that public discourse around feminism would be significantly different. Also, I think there's a question of relative levels of privilege -- you can go a long way as a conservative woman by insisting that you've got nothing to do with those nasty, hairy feminists, with their bra burnings and abortions, in a way that you can't plausibly do so as a conservative POC by denigrating the civil rights movement. Of course, you can get all Cosbyist and remonstrate your brethren for their sagging jeans, but obviously MLK did not wear sagging jeans.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 6:20 AM
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but I would submit that if feminists had rioted in most major cities over the course of 4-5 years, it might be the case that public discourse around feminism would be significantly different.

Or a fetish for riot porn. Or both.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 6:26 AM
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We don't need this thread; we already have a diversity thread.


Posted by: Opinionated Committee Member | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 6:27 AM
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I feel like I want to quibble with part of J. Holbo's premise, but I'm not familiar enough with the relevant history to do so.

His question seems to rest on the idea that specifically post civil rights movement it's no longer respectable to just straight out say "I'm racist", but is that really true? I'm inclined (without evidence, mind you) to think that even pre-MLK & etc. there was a lot of qualifying and excuse making in order to be "respectably" racist. Full blown "I hate them N**" was always sort of the low brow version.

Of course such expressions wouldn't render a politician unelectable pre-civil rights, but to the extent that that sort of totally out front racism is, at least officially not OK, it seems like more of an evolution than a sudden sea change.

The above impression may be totally wrong.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 6:39 AM
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2: But there's no way that would have been possible, right? The traditional domestic structure has a tighter control on the lives of women, especially with regards to mass action, than segregation and the other structures that keep down people of color have on them.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 6:44 AM
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Somehow "civil rights" is identified with the "safe" "good" end of activism for black rights, while feminism is identified with the "bad" "scary" end in public conservative discourse. It's not like Malcolm X, the black panthers, or reconstruction are things white people support. Hell, you don't have to say nice things about any actual living civil rights leaders. But they're attacked publically as "so-called civil rights leaders." You don't get the same "conservatives are the real feminists" because feminism isn't taken to mean the "good part."


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 6:45 AM
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Ascriptive identities always have utilitarian/pragmatic purposes.

Southrons did not have slaves because blacks were inferior; they said blacks were inferior so they could have slaves. People weren't Baptists because they really took dunking versus sprinkling as the most important thing ever; they wanted to associate with some particular dunkers, and they wanted to leave those nasty sprinklers.

The basic human instinct to form social bonds is as stupid, as powerful, and as useful as "We Phi Beta Kappas are the fucking best you losers"

Understanding which identities are marketable/useful in a given place at a given time within what social subgroups by what power mechanisms for what economic/social/personal satisfactions is the subject matter of...sociology.

But the professed "reasons" you belong or want to belong to any given social subgroup (all the way down to a couple) are largely bullshit if abstract and not explicitly utilitarian. "My Chamber of Commerce membership made 10% of my profit last year!" The real reason: if you want to belong, you have to choose and justify your choice. And you do want to belong.

So I think I need to go read Durkheim.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 6:47 AM
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Respect for civil rights does not necessarily demand personal adjustments in lifestyle, especially if you have retreated to a cosy mostly homogeneous middle class suburb. Respect for feminism means adjustments right in front of one's nose, from balancing housework to refraining from hitting on the slampieces secretaries, or even worse, having a woman as boss. It's easy to be in favor of something that requires little or no change in one's personal behavior, especially if you are merely paying lip service.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 6:54 AM
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Bob didn't get into Phi Beta Kappa?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 6:55 AM
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I tend to think of the exaggerated taboo around racism as often related to bad faith on the part of racist people. "Racist" is fighting words, like an accusation of some really out-there, implausible sexual perversion -- if you call someone a racist, they're entitled to respond as aggressively as if you called them a pigfucker. But of course, racism on some level is pretty common (see, e.g., Avenue Q), while pigfucking isn't, and the end result of it being this hugely taboo subject is that it becomes impossible to talk about it without giant, obfuscatory layers of hedging.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 6:55 AM
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John's right in that being called a racist is considered much worse than being called sexist. Waring is right that the label sting disparity doesn't carry much weight, however, in how much of the prejudice gets displayed.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 6:58 AM
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But then that just gets to the question of why "racist" is a fighting word. And why "sexist" isn't as much one, although I think it is becoming a stronger accusation.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:01 AM
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To expand on that a little, I'm not actually sure of the mechanism by which admitting to racism/identifying racism in other people because so taboo, but I think the strength of the taboo is often more of an assist to people behaving in a racist way than the reverse. Look at Urple's story in the Various thread yesterday -- I think the taboo blocked him from responding effectively in real time (as well as anyone else in the meeting who agreed with him, and I'll bet there were at least some.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:02 AM
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13->11.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:02 AM
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"Everyone's a little bit sexually attracted to pigs."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:03 AM
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Surely the courts have played a big role in this. I'd guess a lot of the "no it's not racist" comes from the fact that if you say it's racist the courts would do something about it. So the strategy had to be to retreat to a legally defensible public position.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:03 AM
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17: Although that's also true of open discrimination on the basis of sex, but people don't lose their sh*t nearly as much when they're called sexist.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:06 AM
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Huh. Might be Constitution worship (not exactly a rational attachment to the rights protected by the Constitution, but a weird relationship with the sacredness of the document itself), which is strong throughout the US, and maybe strongest, emotionally, among conservatives. Given that the Civil Rights amendments are now recognized as saying unambiguously that discriminating on the basis of race is not okay, admitting to racism is blasphemous.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:09 AM
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Eugene, Oregon and I think you may never have met a black person until you were old enough to remember your family having a guest whom you considered unusual.

On this point, does anyone know of a good source on regional variation on interracial dating/marriage and friendships?

My impression has always been that, along with more open hostility, there's also more black-white racial mixing in the South, especially if you are in jock culture.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:10 AM
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11.first: So closet racists cover their racism by aggressively policing the racism of others? I can sort of see that but there's a chicken/egg issue about why racism of any sort is considered bad in the first place, rather than settling on one of the intermediate cases that Holbo mentions (everyone gets to be racist but the government has to stay out of it, or something along those lines).


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:10 AM
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20.3: I have the same impression, except for the bit about jock culture that I don't know about.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:13 AM
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19: I don't really buy that. I don't think I've ever heard a non-liberal person mention the 13th through 15th amendments, and certainly not with the respect that the 1st, 2nd, or 4th get. And the amendments only concern slavery and the rights we have with respect to the government, not the sort of attitudes society should take. If it was due to Constitution worship, I would imagine that there'd be corresponding attempt to change attitudes beyond the superficial level.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:14 AM
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Presumably even the South Carolinians described by Belle would take umbrage at being called racists.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:15 AM
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You can display plenty of anti-Latino bias and still get elected in Arizona.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:16 AM
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I think it's entirely due to MLK being assassinated and therefore becoming larger than life. There's no untouchable feminist whose name trumps everything.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:17 AM
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People who think that any black man under 30 standing near a white person should be assumed a criminal until they've been frisked take umbrage at being called racists.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:17 AM
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The thing that drove me crazy in high school was the otherwise-sane girl who said that she believed in equal rights for women, but she wasn't a feminist.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:17 AM
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25: Doesn't it have to be said obliquely--it's not anti-Latino, but anti-illegals? That's still obfuscation, although less than what occurs in white-on-black racism.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:18 AM
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In fact I'm not even sure the two posts are at odds with each other. Anti-racism is part of our public morality, like being against adultery or drunk driving. It can have little to do with words and actions.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:18 AM
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Dolorous umbrage?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:18 AM
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23: I'm not sure of my ground here, but I'm thinking of lip-service to the Constitution,rather than any sort of sincere adherence to the values protected therein. Plenty of Constitution-worshippers are just fine with all sorts of other rights-violation (i.e., in the Guantanamo/detention context), it's just very emotionally important to them that what our government is doing be thought of as 'Constitutional'.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:19 AM
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30: Does that mean I can drive drunk and adulter?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:19 AM
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You can adulter drunk.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:22 AM
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32: Hrm, I can see your point about the emotional importance. I guess that leads to the counterfactual of a world where the ERA is passed. In such a reality, the word "sexist" being more taboo without much fundamental change certainly seems possible.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:24 AM
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It's because MLK was assisinated.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:27 AM
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28 to 7.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:27 AM
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I wonder if part of the difference is that there's been much more push-back against, "separate but equal" on the racial front, compared to sexism. I feel like there have pretty consistently been at least some feminist women open to the idea that men and women are different -- perhaps not in essence, but in ways which are worth acknowledging and exploring, (and that matches a lot of people's intuitions) and it makes it harder to draw a bright line of, "treating men and women differently is sexist and bad."


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:32 AM
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I probably could have found a way to write 38 so that it didn't sound like it was blaming feminists.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:33 AM
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Even if imperfectly stated, 38 gets at something. There's a sense in which a truly non-racist society would be 'color-blind', but no one would expect a non-sexist society to be 'gender-blind' in anything like the same way. There are significant areas of life where gender is necessarily relevant in a way that race just isn't (reproduction, sexuality), which means that "I don't even see gender" would be much sillier than the racial equivalent.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:40 AM
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Its not because MLK was assassinated. Its because he took the high road to begin with. The post-war civil rights movement was so incredibly effective in its use of nonviolence that they shamed their overt opposition into nonexistence.

No one, anywhere, wants to look like Bull Connor ordering the fire hoses to be turned on nonviolent protesters, or George Wallace standing at the schoolhouse door.

There is nonviolence in the feminist movement, too, but they don't have obvious public targets that are so susceptible to the power of civil disobedience.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:42 AM
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38,40: Also the personal changes needed to be non-racist are smaller than those needed (by men at least) to be non sexist. Not being a dick in public is a lot easier than picking up half the housework at home. IOW Feminism is a much more intimate thing than non-racism.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:43 AM
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41: I'm not sure I buy that. It wasn't as if feminists were using a whole bunch of violence. And plenty of people were very willing to stand in doors to block women from access.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:44 AM
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Specifically regarding the differences between how people respond to post civil rights antiracism vs feminism, I think at least part of it is that feminism is a much more contested idea. There have been and continue to be big acrimonious fights over what is or isn't feminist, what the "right" sort of feminism would look like & etc.

The civil rights era saw the integrationist vs black nationalist split, but that doesn't seem to be as much as a live controversy today as the various arguments within feminism.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:45 AM
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Not being a dick in public is a lot easier than picking up half the housework at home.

I've done both and that's just not true.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:46 AM
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I think 44 is probably right and is mostly due to what LB mentions in 40.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:47 AM
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40 was posted while I was writing 44.

I don't even see pwnage.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:49 AM
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Both 25 and 30 seem important. I had a whole long comment on this that I deleted, but basically the history on this is pretty well known. There was a conscious decision and realization on the part of elite southern whites between about 1965 and 1980 that very explicit racism marked them as inhuman and unfit for modern society, and particularly the modern economy, and there was a realization that they could modify that open racism without in any way damaging their status as elites. So, membership in even ordinary middle class southern whiteness required a conscious swearing off of racism as a public ideology. The result has been spectacularly successful for southern white elites. That still leaves plenty of room for private behavior, particularly unconscious private behavior. I think the absolute taboo on being called a racist is simple: it marks one as being stupid enough to still be on the other side of a divide that (even pretty racist in practice Southern Elites) have decided is absolutely necessary to maintain their own legitimacy.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:52 AM
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There's a sense in which a truly non-racist society would be 'color-blind', but no one would expect a non-sexist society to be 'gender-blind' in anything like the same way.

The non-sexist society would have to also accept the claims by some that everybody is bisexual, and also adopt Brave New World-style child gestation procedures.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:57 AM
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Oppression of women is pretty easy to spin as "not that bad," as the result of men wanting to take care of women, or being attracted to women. Women couldn't have careers? Lucky them, they didn't have to work! Sexual harassment? But sexual attention is a compliment! etc. So it's easier to be comfortably anti-feminist than to be comfortably racist.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 8:07 AM
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Also related to togolosh's point in 9 and 42: it's harder to be feminist because it involves much more action at the level of the individual. In the same way, it's easy to dismiss sexism as something that an individual as doing, and not an institutional/societal problem.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 8:10 AM
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I mean, obviously plenty of racism occurs at the level of the individual. But feminism has no Alabama National Guard, is what I'm saying.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 8:13 AM
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I think you all need to check your TKTKTK privilege.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 8:17 AM
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I think there's a connection between the racism/sexism dichotomy, and the fact that there seems to be both more open racism and a higher likelihood of close interracial relationships of all kinds down South. The whole Paula Deen/Dora Charles (African American cook who worked for Deen and was exploited) kind of thing is more like what I would usually think of as a sexist relationship than a racist one -- emotionally enmeshed, on some level and at some times positive and affectionate, but still characterized by really negative power relationships, and hard to sum up in a couple of words.

Up north, in a more socially segregated environment, interracial interactions are likelier to be impersonal, and so more easily sorted into on the one hand non-racist/fair and respectful, and on the other hand literally racially hostile, or at least explicitly racially unfair, even if not driven by emotional hostility.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 8:20 AM
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citation for 54: D. Gregory's North/South Close/Big dichotomy


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 8:24 AM
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Here's another theory, it's because racists didn't understand television. The same terrorist techniques they'd been doing for hundreds of years badly backfired when it could be shown on television. As a result, racists discredited racism by overplaying their hand. Sexists never committed a comparable graphic overreach.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 8:26 AM
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55: Yeah, exactly that kind of thing. Male/female sexist relationships fit much more into the southern racist "Don't care how close you get, as long as you don't get too high" pattern than into the northern racist pattern.

This is all wildly oversimplified stereotyping, of course.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 8:28 AM
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I think 56 is right and Helpy-Chalk above isn't quite: it isn't that feminism didn't have MLK, it's that it didn't have Bull Connor. Angry hatred is ugly and distasteful, and no one wants to be associated with it.


Posted by: Spysander Looner | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 8:38 AM
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58's modification of my point is correct.

Also, since this is a historical phenomenon, it is going have innumerable causes. I'm going to maintain that the absence of a Bull Connor for feminism is one of several important causes.

(Is there a legal term that I can use here? A producing cause? It is not going to be necessary or sufficient.)


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 8:43 AM
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Mmm. I'd say there has historically been an awful lot of open violence in support of sexism. It's been less explicitly politicized than Bull Connor setting dogs on protestors, but depending on how you look for it, the angry hatred has been there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 8:44 AM
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I'm going to maintain that the absence of a Bull Connor for feminism is one of several important causes.

It isn't sexists fault that the best they could do in the 1970s is Bobby Riggs. But, as a historical phenomenon, there's been great gobs a people willing to beat and physically attack women for seeking political power. Basically, I agree with 60.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 8:51 AM
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60: I agree with 56 that television is key.

There's no shortage of ugly misogynistic violence around. However, I suspect that open feminist bashing might be less respectable is millions of ordinary people had had graphic depictions of women getting brutalized by anti-feminist men beamed into their living rooms.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 8:52 AM
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The Bull Connor of feminism is now active in India, with the various controversies over whether local police should allow every woman who walks outside her home neighborhood to get gang-raped or not.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 8:53 AM
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It's true that anti-female violence is much easier to find than specifically politically anti-feminist violence, and with racism there was both: background violence against black people as black people, and violence specifically directed against representatives of the civil rights movement as such.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 8:57 AM
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I'm bad on first-wave feminist history, but wasn't there a fair amount of anti-suffragette police violence, particularly in the UK?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 9:03 AM
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Another thing to keep in mind is the splitting of the history of anti-racist struggle into the good and heroic Civil Rights Movement and the edgy/goes-too-far/unnecessary other parts -- from Black Power to stuff Cornell West says, etc. Although of course it's inaccurate, the Civil Rights Movement is taught and spoken of as a self-contained thing that happened and was awesome and is basically done. By now, it's a hallowed enough story that even a lot of racists want to embrace it, or at least understand that they can't speak out against it. My parents, who are not as racist as a lot of racists, gave up complaining about MLK some years ago, although you can still bait them into calling him a Communist.

A lot of "I'm not a feminist" women do something similar, although the labels and histories aren't as well used. Women's suffrage was great, and of course women should have choices, but Gloria Steinem was embarrassing and these women now with their lesbianism and abortions are just something I don't want to be associated with.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 9:14 AM
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Please take that what I've written below as a good-faith effort to articulate a difficult concept. I'm going after something that's probably too complex to express in a forum like this, and I know I'm oversimplifying, but ...

Compared to sexism, racism is a relatively easy issue. It's been obvious for a long time that whites and blacks are pretty much the same thing in a way that is not obvious in regards to men and women.

As a society, educated people have figured out that the important racial differences are basically entirely socially constructed. I'm not 100% sure that all of the important differences between/among genders are entirely socially constructed.

And I'm a bit of an outlier in American society in this respect, in that I'm less of a gender essentialist than the majority of women in this country. As a guess, I'd suppose on this scale I fall roughly in the mid-range of feminists.

African Americans don't argue much among themselves about the broad outlines of what constitutes racism. Women aren't nearly as settled on the subject of what constitutes sexism. As a guess, I'd propose that even self-described feminists have more heterogenous views of sexism than African Americans do of racism.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 9:19 AM
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Compared to sexism, racism is a relatively easy issue.

I wouldn't put it this way. It's not like we've solved either racism or sexism, so who really knows which is easier. I think the discussion is more usefully framed in terms of analyzing how these types of oppression differ, which includes discussing how racial and gender differences are constructed, lived, experienced, spoken about, etc.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 9:25 AM
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65:Yes, Pankhursts. A complicated family worth reading about.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 9:33 AM
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How about: racism in the U.S. is associated with the forcible enslavement, torture, and abuse of millions. Sexism in the U.S. is associated with...having your wife stay at home in a 1950s suburb? (A lifestyle that many frazzled two-income couples today might secretly envy). Having a patronizing attitude toward your secretary and not promoting her to assistant manager?

Saying someone is racist isn't analogous to saying they're sexist, it's analogous to accusing them of being a rapist or a wife-beater.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 9:35 AM
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I think the absolute taboo on being called a racist is simple: it marks one as being stupid enough to still be on the other side of a divide that (even pretty racist in practice Southern Elites) have decided is absolutely necessary to maintain their own legitimacy.

It's all very politically correct to talk about how Southern white folks have abandoned overt racism, but it's only true in a limited sense. (Belle is 100% right in the places she disagrees with John.)

Recall Trent Lott in 2002, long after overt racism was supposedly abolished in the South:

When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over the years, either."

Lott, a United States Senator, had been saying shit like this for decades, and this wasn't a mainstream media controversy until the liberal Internet crazies latched onto it. And even then, it's not like he had to resign or anything.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 9:36 AM
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Saying someone is racist isn't analogous to saying they're sexist, it's analogous to accusing them of being a rapist or a wife-beater.

Rape and domestic violence are expressions of sexism, sort of like slavery/Jim Crow were expressions of racism. Andrew Sullivan, pushing The Bell Curve as importantly thought-provoking science, wasn't beating or enslaving anyone, any more than a garden-variety sexist is.

I'm not arguing that the suffering relating to sexism and to racism are precisely equivalent -- how could you even measure that? But I don't think the distinction you're drawing holds up well at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 9:40 AM
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Further to 70, this is also the reason why even quite racist people don't want to be called racist, because they don't want to be associated with the history of barbaric violence and abuse toward blacks in the U.S. There isn't the same kind of history of systemic violence toward women in the U.S., discrimination was more subtle, hence the category 'sexist' is separable from the category of 'violent abusers of women'. Someone willing to say they were anti-feminist would become quite offended if you accused them of being a violent abuser.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 9:41 AM
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Rape and domestic violence are expressions of sexism
True, but they may not be considered as such by most people.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 9:49 AM
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Someone willing to say they were anti-feminist would become quite offended if you accused them of being a violent abuser.

And reasonably so, if they are not a violent abuser. But violent abuse is the result of pervasive cultural sexism, and the bullshitty distinction that you and so many others draw between "sexism" and anything violent or really bad is why people are comfortable identifying as anti-feminist.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 9:50 AM
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Rape and domestic violence are expressions of sexism, sort of like slavery/Jim Crow were expressions of racism.

well, we disagree, since I don't think the cases of rape and domestic violence are anything like comparable to slavery / Jim Crow. Rape and domestic violence are and were crimes. Informal abuse in shared daily life is quite different from systematized slavery.

White women shared in the cultural and financial capital of the white race generally, while blacks were a despised and exiled separate caste, with the separation maintained through violence. There's a reason why women became quite professionally successful as soon as informal barriers to advancement were reduced, while the black community is still poor and disenfranchised in many ways.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 9:51 AM
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I'm pretty sure Andrew Sullivan (or Charles Murray to tie it to the guy who actually wrote the book) doesn't think of himself on a continuum with Bull Connor.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 9:51 AM
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This is an interesting problem.

Maybe because it's easy (easier) to show why racism is wrong? Or it was once we got television / photography / a world-wide press?

You can point to slavery and those kids being knocked down by fire hoses, to lynchings and the police setting dogs on peaceful protesters, in ways you can't point to what is wrong with the oppression of women.

I mean, you can say unequal pay, and 1/3 of all women get raped/beaten, and anti-choice policies, but then people come back with how those are due to women's choices, or whatever, and look how happy THESE women are, when the system works right. (Who doesn't love babies! And being taken care of! And wearing pretty skirts!)

And it's hard to find a unified enemy to point at, that everyone agrees is the enemy -- something we need to fix, to change: the way passing the Voting Rights Act was an fix, I mean; the way the state governments were an enemy in the South.

I mean, the Patriarchy, yes. But where does the Patriarchy live? Or the Male Gaze? How do we vote it down?


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 9:53 AM
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71: note that I said that its taboo to be called a racist, not that Southen whites (and non-southern whites, for that matter) don't practice a racialized politics. I think the latter is too obvious to be mentioned, and what we were discussing is why, given the latter, the former is true. I think the answer is pretty clear: it was the political settlement of the threat of the civil rights movement to white southern elites. It's proven to be a remarkably advantageous settlement for them, and is related to the line drawing around a limited period of the civil rights movement and the recognition of formal legal equality (but not much else) that Bave mentioned above.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 9:54 AM
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I think there is something to the claim that sexism is "harder" than racism. The patriarchy is old, perhaps as old as our species itself. Racism as a general phenomenon is also as old as the species, but the dominance of this particular ethnic group, whites, over this other particular ethnic group, blacks, is a more recent phenomenon in world-historical terms.

The fact that patriarchy is deeply imbedded in our private lives is a sign of its age and the difficulty we are going to have of overcoming it.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 9:55 AM
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I bet Charles Murray does think of himself as on a continuum with Bull Connor. Like Bill Buckley, he has consciously made it his job to put an intellectual face on ugly, violent racism.

Sullivan, I will give the benefit of the doubt. He has simply fallen for the act that Buckley and Murray have put on.

Off to run.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 9:57 AM
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76: If we're looking at history -- slavery and Jim Crow as well as modern racism -- there were certainly plenty of formal restrictions on women's rights and capacities. Rape wasn't a crime until some time in the 1970s, so long as the rapist was married to the victim. The situation was similar with wife-beating. White women got the vote earlier than African Americans, but long after slavery ended. In 1968, my mother lost access to her pre-marital checking account when she informed the bank she'd gotten married: Dad had to go down and put her back on as a signatory. (That was, I believe, a screwup even by the standards of the time, but the sort of thing that happened.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:01 AM
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White women got the vote earlier than African Americans, but long after slavery ended.

In the south, at least.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:10 AM
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Rape doesn't televise the way that anti-civil rights violence did. In general, white people don't care about small amounts of anti-black violence so long as its invisible. But the civil rights era involved a different kind of violence and one that plays really badly on TV. If cops were raping women in public on the street in front of polling places the reputation of feminism might play out differently.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:10 AM
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If we're going back, historically, to the mid-nineteenth century, to bring slavery into the discussion, that's the same time-frame in which it first became possible for married women to own anything at all. They may not have been slaves, but they had a legal status entirely different from and lesser than that of free men.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:12 AM
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Link for 85.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:12 AM
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Rape and domestic violence are and were crimes. Informal abuse in shared daily life is quite different from systematized slavery.

This is the attitude I was trying to explain in 51. The murder of Emmett Till was a crime, but also a reflection of systematized racism. Rape and domestic abuse are similarly reflections of systematized sexism.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:12 AM
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For the Bizarro-version of this thread, here are Fox News' Steve Doocy and John Stossel asking the important question: In light of the fact that differences between boys and girls are so clear, "why are feminists still pushing gender equality?"


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:14 AM
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I'm not sure if


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:15 AM
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Oops.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:15 AM
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I think the "harder" or "easier" language is pretty silly. First of all, it's a bit ridiculous to claim that racism is "easy" -- it's true that there is now a broad agreement that you can't use the N word or impose formal legal segregation but actual racial integration is a joke, as evidenced perhaps by the fact that we have zero American black commenters here. Second, I don't think that at the level of formal legal civil equality, sexism is much "harder" than racism, though there are a few "hard" legal issues in both areas.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:19 AM
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90 gets it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:21 AM
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Before the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, in 1974, it was very difficult for women to get credit without a male co-signer. Not slavery, but a widespread formal restriction on economic opportunity.

I continue to not argue that sexism is just as bad as racism. But saying that racism implies a historical connection to a formalized violent system of legal oppression, and sexism doesn't, seems to ignore the formalized structures historically supporting sexism. It wasn't all about interpersonal relations.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:22 AM
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93 gets it right.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:26 AM
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I also think the "television" theory is mostly wrong, though of course television did have a role to play in the success of the civil rights movement, it's otherwise a kind of weird technological determinism.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:30 AM
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91: Would you accept "clearer"?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:37 AM
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Is that when you just have a few, small engrams?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:39 AM
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mid-nineteenth century, * * * that's the same time-frame in which it first became possible for married women to own anything at all

Martha Washington owned slaves in her own name.

84 seems right to me-- the problem is not with violence done privately, but with violence seen to be done in the name of the state. this photograph matters not because of the guy getting hurt but because of the flag.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:40 AM
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95: I'm not married to the "television" theory, but I don't think it can really be described as technological determinism. That would imply the the advent of television somehow made the success of the civil rights movement inevitable.

I think it's more that the civil rights organizers understood the power of "live" footage of violence and how it could be politically useful. I'm shaky on my civil rights movement history, but my understanding is that the organizers were counting on the visceral reaction that the footage of non-violent protesters being beaten & firehosed provoked.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:41 AM
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I'm not even sure about "clearer." Frankly I think that white liberals (along with most white Americans) are just deeply reluctant to think about not-blatantly-obvious ways in which they're racist, so the additional "clearness" is at least partly illusion based on a failure of serious reflection. But I'm fine with "different."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:43 AM
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wasn't there a fair amount of anti-suffragette police violence, particularly in the UK?

Yes, especially as the campaign heated up in 1910-13. For example, at the "Black Friday" protest (18 November 1910), six thousand police officers were deployed to prevent 300 women marching on Parliament. About 200 women were arrested but there were so many allegations of sexual assault that the whole thing became an embarrassment for the government, and the Home Secretary (Winston Churchill) dropped all charges.

Imprisoned suffragists went on hunger strike. The brutality of the force feeding was used by the suffragists to further embarrass the Liberal government, which responded with the "Cat and Mouse Act" of 1913, which provided for the release of hunger strikers when near to death and their subsequent re-arrest when well enough to endure another stint inside.


Posted by: Gareth Rees | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:46 AM
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I do think television / photography has lot to do with it, though.

If you read Harriet Jacobs, Incident In the Life of a Slave Girl, she argues that it was much easier & much more common to abuse slaves on the plantation than it was in town, because in town (white) people would see what was being done. The shame factor kicked in.

She herself escaped being raped (from 12-14) by her owner because he was ashamed to force her, in town, in a way he would not have been had they lived on the plantation -- in fact, he tried to maneuver her out onto the plantation in order to be able to rape her.

Television and photography are a huge part of what make the Civil Rights movement possible. They shame the Southern politicians in a way that nothing else could. If you read and watch the news reports from the time, that's made very clear.


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:47 AM
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First of all, it's a bit ridiculous to claim that racism is "easy"

So ridiculous that nobody has done so.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:47 AM
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Sexism is analagous to racism, and therefore this thread is banned.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:48 AM
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99.2 -- I totally agree with that. I just think that television is more of a tactical factor in the success of the 60's civil rights revolution (along with a number of other important tactics), not some kind of global explanation that fully explains that movement's success or provides a useful explanation for the difference between allegations of racism and sexism.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:48 AM
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Martha Washington owned slaves in her own name.

The was still dowerage because she was a widow.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:49 AM
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There's a dower and a dowry (which is very different) and some other stuff that I don't understand. Property law is confusing and shit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:52 AM
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Right, note that LB said "married women."

102 -- again, I'm not saying that television didn't have a useful tactical role. But the fundamental thing was that you had an organized movement that could successfully take advantage of television (and a number of other important factors) to achieve success on legal, social, and other fronts, and I don't think that television was either a necessary or a sufficient component of the civil rights revolution.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:54 AM
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108: But she was able to keep control when she was married to George.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:55 AM
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Over a hundred comments in, and nobody's yet remarked that the title is totally wrong, and it should be "Point/Counterpoint: Racism is Taboo/Not in SC, It Isn't"?


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:57 AM
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Some quick googling makes it look as if her first husband, Curtis, left her a dower life interest in some slaves, to revert on her death to her children by Curtis. Certainly something she owned separately from George, but a special case -- anything that she had owned unencumbered at her marriage to George would have become his.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:01 AM
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With regard to racism, it is possible to aspire to a society in which all people are treated the same, regardless of their skin color or ethnicity. As for sexism, our goal seems to be to treat the sexes equally, but not necessarily the same. That is, we allow for a certain amount of different treatment of men and women, and what we as a society are negotiating is where to draw the boundaries of how much differential treatment is acceptable.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:01 AM
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Yes, but because she was a widow, and was holding slaves largely in trust for her kids from the first marriage. Property law is indeed complicated -- and there are lots of stories of widows with significant economic power -- but the basic point that women were not in a regime of civil legal equality and suffered substantial legal, not just social, disability is clearly correct. Of course, it's this aspect of "sexism" that's been easiest to fix, and I don't think even anti-feminists seriously argue for going back to coverture -- that's clearly a line of argument that's beyond the pale.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:02 AM
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I don't think that television was either a necessary or a sufficient component of the civil rights revolution.

By contrast, I do think that WW II and the subsequent decolonization were necessary in setting up the context in which the Civil Rights Movement could be successful.

(and, thinking about it, I'm at least open to the argument that television was necessary as well.)


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:06 AM
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But the fundamental thing was that you had an organized movement that could successfully take advantage of television (and a number of other important factors) to achieve success on legal, social, and other fronts, and I don't think that television was either a necessary or a sufficient component of the civil rights revolution.

I don't have any actual opinion on the role of television, but this seems too dismissive. An organized movement that could take advantage of television existed for many decades in the U.S. What didn't exist was television.

Trent Lott provides a nice test case for how changes in the media change society. He'd been saying shit like that for a long time, and got basically zero flak from the mainstream media for his comments, even though I'm almost positive his comments were originally reported in a mainstream outlet.

It was an internet shitstorm that caused the media to notice his decades of public racism. As with television in the Civil Rights movement, what plays well in Mississippi and in the corridors of power elsewhere doesn't work out so well when a national audience is exposed to it.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:07 AM
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112 seems appealing in theory. In practice, I think the differences are far less. That is, as a matter of social practice (as opposed to formal legal civil rights) we are so far from a society in which people are treated the same regardless of their race or ethnicity that it's ridiculous, and the rhetoric of "a society in which all people are treated the same, regardless of their skin color or ethnicity" is primarily used these days to justify entrenching white privilege. Thus, in practice, I do think that in both cases we're trying to draw lines around, and understand, differential treatment, but in the case of sex differences at least are more honest about it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:08 AM
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They shame the Southern politicians in a way that nothing else could.

Television also shamed JFK and LBJ, both of whom worried that images of German shepherds attacking peaceful protestors would have a negative impact on America's reputation abroad during the Cold War.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:08 AM
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65: That was sorta going to be my corollary to 2: Suffrage campaigners were not afraid to FSU, and they got what they wanted.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:10 AM
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Also, behind every good man there is a woman, and that woman was Martha Washington, man, and everyday George would come home, she would have a big fat bowl waiting for him, man, when he come in the door, man, she was a hip, hip, hip lady, man.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:10 AM
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117 -- sure, but there was nothing particularly magical about television that did that -- photojournalism or even reporting could have done the same. The important thing was that the US was in a cold war dynamic in which Jim Crow was a substantial liability.

Again, I'm not arguing that television was tactically unimportant. The claim above was that (a) the civil rights movement succeeded and (b) the fundamental difference between racism and sexism can be explained because "racists didn't understand television" which seems to wildly overstate its role.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:13 AM
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120: Isn't part of that analysis based on the juxtaposition of civil rights struggles with US military adventures in Vietnam (and African-American service in WWII and Korea)? "No Vietnamese ever called me 'n_____'" and all that? If it wasn't at the time, it's certainly part of the way the history of those movements is now conceptualized, which is what we're arguing about.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:16 AM
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OT: We're more on topic than the CT thread in the OP. That seems wrong. Also, okra is just great, except if you have to taste it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:17 AM
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This is an interesting discussion but it goes a million directions at once and I'm not sure where to grab on. This is the state of being Smearcase on unfogged, really.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:18 AM
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SOYLENT GREEN IS OKRA!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:18 AM
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I think maybe "television" the way I (we) have been using it in this thread is sort of shorthand for "Mass publicly staged demonstrations of extreme violence that were documented to a degree that no one could pretend they didn't happen or were exaggerated".

To a degree I think there did need to be, if not television, at least the availability of rapid-shoot non-posed photography. I'm not sure plain written journalism would have been sufficient. Without the images there's too much scope for "Well, we don't know what really happened/they probably started it" & etc.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:19 AM
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"No Vietnamese ever called me 'n_____'"

At least prior to 1963 when LBJ adjusted the Strategic Hamlet Program to include classes on racial slurs in English.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:19 AM
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there are lots of stories of widows with significant economic power

And some unmarried women as well (more).

She was the oldest of the three legitimate children of John Losh, himself the oldest of four surviving brothers, "born into a new age of improvement, science, law, industry and reform," who made their fortune in an alkali works, and later from iron foundries and railways, at the industrial hub in Newcastle. Possessed of "a radical, adventurous streak," the brothers traveled widely and counted the Wordsworths among their close associates.

Sarah's brother, Joseph, the "longed-for male heir," proved "severely backward" and never managed to live on his own. Instead, Sarah and her sister, Katharine, became their father's heirs, evolving, Uglow writes, into examples of "how the industrial revolution made some women independent." With steady, sumptuous incomes, the sisters discovered that "you did not have to marry, lose your name and settle down to domestic life." They refused all suitors, preferring a life together, taking European holidays, pursuing their interest in art and architecture and enjoying "a certain freedom." But by 1836, both parents, the uncle to whom she was closest and her beloved sister had all died, causing Sarah Losh, who wore modified mourning garb for the rest of her life, to "burst into years of creativity as if trying to save something she had lost."

That isn't particularly relevant, but I was reminded of that story and once I'd managed to track it down, I thought I'd share.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:20 AM
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120: yeah, I wasn't weighing in on any of that. I was just saying that television had an impact in both the North and South. That said, I think you're slightly underestimating the impact of television as compared to still images. But I haven't read the thread carefully, so I'm not clear on what's at issue.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:20 AM
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127: Right, but you'll notice they didn't marry.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:23 AM
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To emphasize again the slippery nature of this analogy, here's Holbo:

Why isn't 'the civil rights struggle' kind of like 'feminism': a thing you are allowed to hate on publicly?

"The civil rights struggle" isn't analogous to "feminism." It's analogous to "the struggle for women's equality." Direct, overt opposition to either struggle is a somewhat fringe activity.

I suppose a charge of "sexism" doesn't carry the sting that a charge of "racism" does, but sexists will mostly deny their sexism, just as racists do with racism. An open racist like Andrew Sullivan is deeply offended to be called that. Charles Murray has literally burned a cross, but he contends that this wasn't a racist act.

Hating on feminists is a mainstream activity, but so is hating on modern civil rights activists. Treatment of the actual Martin Luther King Jr., had he lived, would be considerably different than the treatment of the mythologized MLK.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:25 AM
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127: Right, but you'll notice they didn't marry.

I did notice, that was why I used "unmarried" in my opening.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:26 AM
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Just saying, that's a different issue than the one that started this particular digression.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:28 AM
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125: "Mass publicly staged demonstrations of extreme violence that were documented to a degree that no one could pretend they didn't happen or were exaggerated"

So here's another question: Why did white people not engage in more race rioting in the '50s and '60s, given how tense the atmosphere was? Yes, of course the Freedom Riders got beaten up, tortured, killed -- but that was (a) in response to the provocation that they instigated [which was righteous, but still provoking], and (b) Much less massive in scale than the things that the parents and grandparents of those rioting white people had done. After the end of the Nadir of American Race Relations in the '20s or '30s, you just don't see things like 1919 happening among white people (except for Cicero in 1951, which seems like kind of an aberration) anymore.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:31 AM
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Just saying, that's a different issue than the one that started this particular digression.

True, which is why I noted that the anecdote wasn't particularly relevant. (I'm sorry, I feel like I'm coming across as weirdly crabby -- which isn't my intended tone. I was trying for mildly snarky, but I think I missed)

I do agree completely with 93, and think it's a good summary.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:32 AM
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Treatment of the actual Martin Luther King Jr., had he lived, would be considerably different than the treatment of the mythologized MLK.

I wish there was more good AH fiction about this. I'd really like to read/write a "Zero Assassination" timeline for 1963-69 (so, particularly, no killings of Evers, Kennedy, X, Kennedy, King, Hampton).


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:34 AM
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130 seems totally right.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:37 AM
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134: I probably just missed the snark. I'm dealing with HR and it isn't helping me, tension-wise.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:45 AM
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Treatment of the actual Martin Luther King Jr., had he lived, would be considerably different than the treatment of the mythologized MLK.

This is certainly true, particularly if one assumes that he would have remained on the increasingly radical trajectory -- anti-war, anti-poverty, and focused on de facto rather than de jure segregation -- that he adopted toward the end of his life.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:48 AM
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The English suffragettes were willing to FSU with jiu-jitsu, which newspaper artists loved; and their marches were often gorgeous.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:52 AM
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One odd feature of the backlash against feminism versus the relative lack of backlash against the modern civil rights movement (though as I type this out, I think that formulation is just completely wrong, so maybe I should just stop here -- eh, fuck it) seems to be that feminism works in service of capital whereas it's less clear that racial equity does. In other words, one would expect entrenched economic interests to support, or at least tolerate, a movement that brings more productive laborers into the workforce.*

This comment is a huge muddle. I should have stopped above and certainly shouldn't hit post now.

* On the other hand, lots of men became angry about women taking their jobs -- just as lots of whites became angry about black people taking their jobs.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:54 AM
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133 is a really good question -- California didn't rerun the anti-Chinese pogroms, for instance. Because Singer is right and we're getting less violent? Because the grimmest of the Peak Oil paranoids are right, and we got kinder only because cheap energy made it profitable? Because film and photos make it impossible to forget what the actions really looked like, so the moment of doubt, once the victims are dead, turns sickening?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:56 AM
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Holy crap, that comment made no sense at all! I should stop feebly procrastinating and get back to my writing, which also makes no sense at all, but at least will make me feel somewhat productive.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:56 AM
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California didn't rerun the anti-Chinese pogroms, for instance.

That's because back in those days, they didn't think to include repeats when purchasing the music rights.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:59 AM
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I think 140 is incoherent in an interesting way. I think racial equality has been encouraged up to precisely the point at which it benefits capital, and no further. Which is the point I was trying to make about white southern elites above. It's important to remember that in the 1950s-1960s many of them were competing to bring in industrial jobs from Northern unionized states, and that the future of the south was seen as industrial. Once it became clear that open de jure segregation and openly having your governor drop N-bombs hurt that goal, it was pretty clear which way southern elites would move.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 11:59 AM
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133, 141: I have no idea how powerful a force this really was, but do you think the Cold War was a factor? I know the USSR put a lot of effort into shaming the US for segregation, and it seems plausible that a felt need to keep at least some of the moral high ground might have reduced the amount of white-instigated race rioting in the postwar period.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 12:00 PM
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142: I've almost finished your book.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 12:00 PM
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No, 140 doesn't make sense to me -- racial equality should also bring more competent workers into the workforce, and make them consumers, too.

Our particular history of feminism has moved cooking & housecleaning & childcare into the commercial or mechanized, capitalist, realm; but other places just have a caste of underpaid (or unpaid) servants who do the work that some white US women objected to in 1965. There's a lot of stuff above about the not-so-bad experiences of women that's only true for Woolf's `daughters of gentlemen' (and only for the daughters who retain their status).


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 12:00 PM
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133: the Nazis made white supremacy so much less cool. No, seriously, I think that's the answer.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 12:01 PM
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146: and you are 100% cholera-free, correct? Leave a review saying so at Amazon!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 12:02 PM
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148 seems right, but worth noting that there were white race riots through the 1940s, notably in California but also in Detroit. I think (but I would) that my pet project about the professionalization of law enforcement in the 1930s-1960s plays a big role as to why white rioting wasn't a big feature of the 1950s-60s; white rioting wasn't safe, it wasn't cool and made you look like a Nazi, you couldn't really count on the police to just turn a blind eye to your rioting, but you could effectively deploy your automobile-driven racist police department to segregate off the blacks.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 12:05 PM
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149: I've had some loose stools lately. I wonder.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 12:06 PM
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139: and their marches were often gorgeous

Could have used a few more puppets.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 12:07 PM
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147 needs amendment because there were so many black `daughters of gentlemen' in the Second Wave. Florynce Kennedy! I think modern pop history downplays them.

It annoys me when our narratives imply that disadvantaged groups never had any successes, when the problem is that they had lots of successful people who then got ignored, mocked, bankrupted, or shot. Mea culpa.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 12:08 PM
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153.last: You shot them?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 12:09 PM
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re: 135

Mark Lawson's Idlewild, maybe?

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/448015.Idlewild


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 12:15 PM
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144: yeah, that's right. There were also occasional white riots in the UK and parts of Europe from the 50s through, well, there still are white riots occasionally, aren't there? And here in the US, there was the anti-busing violence in Boston and elsewhere. Overall, though, I think white supremacy, and racism more broadly, took a real PR hit during WWII. But then it got something of a makeover on 9/11, and it's been more and more in vogue ever since.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 12:22 PM
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Allowing basic K-12 education to be subpar for most people of color definitely hurts the interests of capital.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 12:22 PM
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157: I think you're right, but it's a relatively hard argument to make to shortsighted racists, who I suspect think they're benefitting from a deep and captive pool of low-wage laborers.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 12:25 PM
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And often they had a subpar education themselves.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 12:29 PM
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155: Yeah, I think people here have recommended that before, I should really check it out.

Also, I skimmed World War Z yesterday at Targét Boutique and was surprised at how good it was. Should pick up a used copy at the SF bookstore now.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 12:29 PM
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Some of these anti-suffragette cartoons are pretty jaw-droppingly horrible.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 12:30 PM
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161: I don't get the ice cream and pretzels one.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 12:33 PM
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'Cause they were teetotalers


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 12:34 PM
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So, really, I don't see what's cruel about that -- women were a big force in the temperance movement and in getting the Volstead Act passed.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 12:36 PM
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Honestly I'd probably be willing to deny women the vote if the alternative was an ice-cream-and-pretzels-only-ocracy.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 12:36 PM
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I though the idea was that women and voting were an odd combination, like pretzels and ice cream. Then I remembered you can buy ice cream with potato chips deliberately put in it. They I wanted to go buy ice cream with fudge.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 12:40 PM
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You don't get the same "conservatives are the real feminists" because feminism isn't taken to mean the "good part."

Sarah Palin tried that a little bit. I wonder if, had McCain not lost the 2008 election or Palin not been blamed for the loss, that kind of rhetoric would have caught on among Republicans.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 12:48 PM
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140 etc.: There's a horrifying interview towards the end of Eyes on the Prize where a woman who was active in SNCC or something says to the camera, "Now we can go to McDonald's." As far as I could tell, it wasn't presented with any irony.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 12:52 PM
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Noted radio personality Dr. Laura is a big fan of the idea that every problem women have is the result of feminists, mostly through two mechanisms:

A) women don't have any control over men anymore, since feminists taught them to be sluts who don't exchange sex for goods and services
B) women all have to get jobs nowadays and can't take care of their children because feminists changed the economy somehow


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 12:53 PM
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I used to love following Dr. Laura around the AM band on long road trips. Most of the time you could have fun dismantling her, and then once in a while someone called in who was so dumb they just needed to be hit with her 2x4.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 12:54 PM
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170: I used to do that. Helped keep me awake. Limbaugh used to work, too. Nowadays, I don't want to expose my kids to that crap.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 12:59 PM
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It seems like it might be a useful educational tool, but most kids are moralistic little bastards and they'd love the black-and-white of it all. [/generalizing from virtually no recent experience with moralistic little bastard children]


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 1:01 PM
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170: Could Unfogged sponsor some kind of 2x4 hitting match between Dr. Laura and McMegan? I would gladly contribute to that.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 1:05 PM
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The necessary research to find out how big a 2x4 is first would be difficult.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 1:09 PM
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1 1/2" by 3 1/2".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 1:22 PM
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I skimmed World War Z yesterday at Targét Boutique and was surprised at how good it was.

Ditto at Kramerbooks in DC. Hard to put down (the book, I mean. The zombies too).


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 1:44 PM
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God, I preferred Limbaugh to Dr. Laura when I was listening to that sort of thing. She is such a mean-spirited person.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 1:48 PM
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I forget where I was with the girls when I saw my recent most memorable Confederate flag shirt (some sort of festival?) But it had the Confederate flag, obvs, and read TITTIES AND BEER / THANK GOD I AIN'T QUEER. I wanted to take the poor guy aside and tell him about lesbians but couldn't because I was busy being a parent. (More topically, I've been busy working and will be busy supervising Nia's first cheerleading practice tonight, so probably no commenting for me, but it's been a good thread to read.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 2:00 PM
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I thought lesbians were more into titties and wine. Or "tithes and wine", as my handy browser spellchecker just changed it to.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 2:01 PM
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179: I don't drink beer personally, but on the whole I think the lesbians of the heartland would disagree with your stereotypes. (I've never been able to remember the collection of lesbian memoir essays that involved the writer getting a job at one of the colleges in my city and marveling with her partner at how it looked like the world was overrun with lesbians because everyone wore sneakers and unfashionable polo shirts and had sensible haircuts, except it turned out they were pretty much just straight moms.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 2:14 PM
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But titties, hooray?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 2:16 PM
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"tithes and wine"

Hell yeah, bro!


Posted by: OPINIONATED AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 2:23 PM
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Results from a recent PPP poll in Georgia are potentially relevant to this discussion (and somewhat surprised they weren't cited). Most are leading with the Republican numbers, Favorability ratings with Georgia Republicans: Paula Deen 73/11, Martin Luther King Jr. 59/28 but the overall results are interesting as well.

We asked Georgians their opinions about a number of current and historical figures in the state. Martin Luther King Jr. has a 73/15 favorability rating- it's 83/6 with Democrats but just 59/28 with Republicans. Paula Deen remains quite popular in her home state at a 54/21 spread- she's very popular with Republicans at 73/11 but seen positively by a plurality of Democrats at 40/33 as well.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 2:24 PM
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The audiobook of World War Z, which goes on sale at iTunes now and then, is quite good, but I may be biased in favor of anything that includes Alan Alda.

(Not being ironic. Alan Alda rules.)


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 2:27 PM
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180: I told you about the time I made the same mistake in St. Paul, right? I was at a Mac football game, and totally charmed by all the lesbians in the stands rooting for the (quite awful) team.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 2:40 PM
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Alan Alda reads it? It's "Free to Be, You and Zombie"?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 2:41 PM
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Although I'm still a little surprised at the degree of official vilification that Deen got. Especially when contrasted with the generally free pass right-wing media gets with things like their massively racist response to the Zimmerman verdict/Obama remarks*. (And of course, there have been compensations like her cookbook shooting up to #1 on Amazon.)

*A good bit on this from The Jimmy Dore Show (at ~5:40 in this video). LB was looking for other podcasts, and although I suspect it is not her style, I usually thoroughly enjoy his, sometimes to a madman-laughing-out-loud-on-the-elliptical level (especially when Frank Conniff (from MST3K) is on). But I'm not sure it would meet the refined comedic tastes of much of the Unfoggedtariat.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 2:50 PM
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From the beginning of Holbo's post: should I know this word "chivvying"? I don't know what "chivvying little girls" means, but I guess it isn't anything scandalous.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 3:47 PM
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A bit more on racism in the response to Zimmerman-Martin being mainstreamed. Frank Taafe is a rank white supremacist who cleaned it up somewhat for the media and was on Headline News literally dozens of times as well as:

starting in March 2012, Taaffe was also quoted or interviewed on the following evening and primetime programs* on network and cable news: Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN), Erin Burnett OutFront (CNN), On the Record with Greta Van Susteren (Fox News), CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, World News with Diane Sawyer (ABC), Dateline NBC, 20/20 (ABC), NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, John King USA (CNN) and The Ed Show (MSNBC).
Quotes from Taaffe defending Zimmerman also appeared in several major newspapers, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, NY Post, Orlando Sentinel, The Baltimore Sun, and Miami Herald.
His racism was not so well-concealed in other venues. For instance:
Taaffe's private Twitter feed (@pinsones) also reeks of racial animus. In one tweet, he bashed Michael Skolnik, who directs hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons' political operations, saying "how much nigga cock do u suck an one day or maybe u like it pounded up ur hebe ass." In another he wrote, "the only time a black life is validated is when a white person kills them."
So blatant racism has gone somewhat underground, but not one hell of a lot.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 3:53 PM
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Somewhere inbetween chasing and herding. Bustling along after them making little shooing gestures.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 3:54 PM
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I would say "chivvying" means to hurry someone along in a physical sense.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 3:59 PM
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I'd suggest a partial solution to

Why isn't 'the civil rights struggle' kind of like 'feminism': a thing you are allowed to hate on publicly?

may be that this has set up a kind of false equivalence. I think it's basically as unacceptable to openly claim to be sexist as it is to openly claim to be racist. The problem is that 'feminist' and 'not sexist' are generally not viewed as equivalent at all. Feminism, as a positive -ism, is something that one can be opposed to, but there's not really a compatible -ism opposed to racism. Just as (I'm guessing without looking up polling) white male Americans on the whole have a positive view of MLK, Jr. but not of, say, Malcolm X, they probably have a positive view of Susan B Anthony but maybe not of, I don't know, Betty Friedan. I think the two are roughly parallel in that the discriminatory 'ism' is viewed as unacceptable but many people aren't willing to support any counter-ism to any strong degree.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 4:01 PM
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And now that I actually start to read the thread I see I was pretty much pwned by Upetgi in 7.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 4:03 PM
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And I just saw urple's anecdote in the clowns thread and holy fucking shit that's awful.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 4:12 PM
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Keep it up, I don't think we've ever had someone in one comment thread liveblogging his reading of a different comment thread.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 4:26 PM
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Bave also said in 66 what I had in mind, but much more cogently than I could. I guess I should read threads before commenting.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 4:28 PM
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||

A while ago LB asked for recommendations of computer programming classes for Sally. There were a number of online independent study courses that people recommended. I have a non traditional student (bright, 32 years-old, emigrated from Haiti 5 years ago, doing well despite a history of major depression with auditory hallucinations) who is interested in taking classes at one of the community colleges. I thought it would be useful for him to play around with some online materials before spending money on school. Does anyone have any suggestions? I don't think he knows anything about programming.

He works at a grocery store now. Any suggestions?

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 4:56 PM
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||

A while ago LB asked for recommendations of computer programming classes for Sally. There were a number of online independent study courses that people recommended. I have a non traditional student (bright, 32 years-old, emigrated from Haiti 5 years ago, doing well despite a history of major depression with auditory hallucinations) who is interested in taking classes at one of the community colleges. I thought it would be useful for him to play around with some online materials before spending money on school. Does anyone have any suggestions? I don't think he knows anything about programming.

He works at a grocery store now. Any suggestions?

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 5:05 PM
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||

NMM to Karen Black

|>


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 5:13 PM
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Tony Abbot is a miserable misogynist and racist, but it was mostly only the sexism that got called out in the mainstream Australian discourse.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 5:19 PM
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192: Feminism, as a positive -ism, is something that one can be opposed to, but there's not really a compatible -ism opposed to racism

Do you mean 'not really a compatible -ism opposed to anti-racism'? I haven't read much of the thread, but this is really interesting.

The racist/anti-civil rights equivalent to being anti-feminist would be the white pride movement, it seems, which isn't a new thing, but has taken on some new trappings.

You do have your PPP poll result: Paula Deen is more popular among Georgia Republicans than MLK.

Some libertarians are providing rationales for racism lately, e.g. the Pauls (Ron and Rand) and those like-minded arguing that business owners damn well should be allowed to exclude blacks or whomever else they please, because individual liberty. But that doesn't amount to a downright "Shit yeah, I'm racist."

A long time ago, when I was more pretentious than I am now (I think), I posed a question of the month: "If you had to choose, would you be a white woman or a black man?" It was interesting how many people chose the man.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 6:30 PM
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|?

Did someone call for pretension?

Cultural Revolution ...N+1, which I never really read,

via Atrios and Garance Franke-Ruta, both of whom are unfair to the piece. Fuck, it ain't about NYC housing prices

It's about the proletarianisation (sp? whew, but I might a sub- to that, might not is this class becoming self-aware?) of the intellectual class.

Oh, yeah almost done with Guy Standing's The Precariat. Recommended

PS:Is this thread doing the work of culture, or the work of politics?

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 6:43 PM
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197, 198: www.pygame.org ? The first tutorial link is to a free site using pygame to teach intro programming. Does he have access to a computer without time limits?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:13 PM
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199 is not a particularly helpful response to BG's query, BF.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 8:10 PM
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Well, he can't do any programming if his hands are otherwise occupied.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 8:32 PM
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In the land of the masturbators, the one-handed programmer is king.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 8:36 PM
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racism on some level is pretty common (see, e.g., Avenue Q), while pigfucking isn't

Horsefucking, on the other hand...


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 9:25 PM
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That's right, I showed up in the serious racism thread just to make dirty jokes.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:36 PM
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That's OK, it needed some diversity.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:42 PM
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But not too much.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 10:48 PM
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"No Vietnamese ever called me 'n_____'" and all that?

I can never read that without thinking "That's only because you've never met any Vietnamese or gone to Vietnam, dude." Because Vietnamese, even today, tend not to have great reactions to people of African descent.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 2:57 AM
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203: Yes. He can use the computers we have all day on his day off if it's for educational purpose.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 3:47 AM
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211: Yeah, but I think the implication is "Vietnamese people are not here in the US oppressing me, why should I go to Vietnam to kill them rather than killing racist white people here?" rather than "Vietnamese people have pure hearts untainted by racial prejudice."


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 5:42 AM
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211: asian people are often crazy prejudiced against black people, with the conviction that african-americans commit the majority of all crimes in the US, and the comparisons to monkeys, and all that shwazza. I just think, you don't even have any black people here to hate! where's your nickel in it?


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 5:44 AM
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213: yes, I know.

It's a lousy argument anyway, because of course Vietnamese people were busy oppressing other Vietnamese people as he made it and the US deployment was (ostensibly) to stop that happening. (It failed.) So it's really more like "why should I give a shit what's happening to other people?" Andrew Goodman didn't say "well, no Southerner ever called me n_____".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 5:50 AM
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214: Asians ain't all kumbaya-circle-at-the-Oberlin-freshman-formal-meaning-wear-a-clean-Guatemalan-sweater-for-a-change-Starlight about other Asians, either. It's kind of disturbing.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 5:56 AM
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kumbaya-circle-at-the-Oberlin-freshman-formal-meaning-wear-a-clean-Guatemalan-sweater-for-a-change-Starlight

Does this mean "nice"?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 6:01 AM
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Oberlin is in Ohio, so probably.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 6:02 AM
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But I don't think anybody has ever seen a clean Guatemalan sweater outside of Guatemala.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 6:05 AM
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Oberlin has a freshman formal?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 6:08 AM
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True story: I got into Oberlin but didn't go.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 6:09 AM
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So I can't answer 220. And I realize that 221 wasn't a very good story.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 6:10 AM
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215: Well, sure, if you want to go for the most uncharitable reading possible. I'm pretty sure most people at the time would have understood that phrase to connote something more like what I decoded, or more generally "Black people in the US have serious problems, let's work on those first." And, of course, the rationale for humanitarian intervention in Vietnam was more bullshit than it usually is. We just made things worse for the average Vietnamese person, and for the Hmong & Cambodians, made it completely, genocidally worse.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 6:11 AM
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Imagine the $5 you might have found at Oberlin, Moby.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 6:12 AM
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I'm pretty sure most people at the time would have understood that phrase to connote something more like what I decoded, or more generally "Black people in the US have serious problems, let's work on those first."

Also, at the time whitey was on the moon.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 6:13 AM
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Whitey from Ohio was on the moon.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 6:18 AM
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224: I applied for a scholarship available to people from small towns in the Midwest. I didn't get it, probably because people in Ohio don't consider Nebraska to be part of the Midwest.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 6:20 AM
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Feminism, as a positive -ism, is something that one can be opposed to, but there's not really a compatible -ism opposed to racism.

That's why Conservatives had to invent "racialism":

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/329200/our-racialist-president-peter-kirsanow


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 6:28 AM
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I don't even remember what my original point was in this discussion.

My friend, the one whose life is always so shitty, told me about how her cat is being bullied by her housemate's cat, and has a severely swollen leg. And of course she has no money for the vet, so we are covering part of it. Sigh. Poor little cat. She's so nice. I wish we could take them all in.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 6:32 AM
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Don't take in too many cats. That's never a good idea.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 6:34 AM
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227: I know unfogged has had this discussion before, but as someone who has lived in both Nebraska and Ohio, I never did come to understand the whole "what counts as the midwest" thing.

Now that I live on the East coast I can just smugly refer to it all as "flyover country".


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 6:54 AM
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BG, http://www.codeacademy.com is a good place to start. Followed by Project Euler.


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 6:55 AM
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231: I never knew you ever lived in Nebraska.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 6:58 AM
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231: See copious discussions here including some very recent ones. Shockingly, informal constructs with no legal or practical utility are understood in different ways by different people.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 7:09 AM
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I still say the western edge is about where the "Buffalo Commons" people draw the line for the eastern edge of their commons.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 7:24 AM
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I never knew you ever lived in Nebraska.

Lincoln.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 7:30 AM
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229: I don't even remember what my original point was in this discussion.

I don't think I really even had one--or if I did it is embarrassingly jejeune. But for all that "overt" racism is taboo in polite circles, it is astonishing how much of it lurks just beneath the surface of the entire right-wing media, and the mainstream media is guilty by both commission and omission in promulgating the fiction that we're past all that*. I am personally more racist than Sean Hannity pretends that he is when he's doing his act (and maybe even thinks he is).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 7:32 AM
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236: So embarrassed about the place that you had to make it presidential?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 7:35 AM
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Lincoln is very good for bicycling, I hear.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 7:37 AM
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234: There are actual formal definitions for government reporting that unsurprisingly follow state boundaries. I think most use the US Census definition which has regions and sub-regions (divisions).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 7:38 AM
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Well, Nebraska is a Midwestern state in terms of population even though most of the land area falls into what I consider the West. Once you get past Lincoln, the population density drops very quickly.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 7:48 AM
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And even in Lincoln, the nicer parts of the city tend to be on the east side.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 7:49 AM
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That's my intuition. The Midwest ends along a line a few hundred miles west of the Mississippi where the population density drastically drops. It's interesting that that line mostly follows a meridian.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 7:54 AM
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Nebraska is apparently a transitional region. There's a big change in flora and fauna as you go from the Western to the Eastern end. It's not something I explored much when I was there though.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 7:59 AM
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A grew up there, so I saw more of it. The Platte River valley is a bit of it's own thing, but otherwise the shift is obvious.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 8:01 AM
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Yes, the 100th meridian, the 20 inch rainfall line and 2,000 foot elevation line all run relatively close together through a lot of the US and are a commonly regarded as the start of the west.

I believe specifically discussed in the archives.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 8:05 AM
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You want to go back to discussing poop?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 8:06 AM
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The base is flared, for safety.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 8:07 AM
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No I want to go do work, but like a dog I feel the need to piss on this discussion a bit to mark the territory.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 8:09 AM
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Google poetics via William Gibson on twitter (as I said, a fun follow):

I went on a bender
I went back to Ohio
I went back in time and voted for Hitler
I went ballistic


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 8:12 AM
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I went on the internet and found this
I went to a Chinese restaurant
I went to the animal fair
I went in French


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 8:21 AM
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do you even lift
do you hear the people sing
do you spain
do you love me

i can't eat
i can't sleep
i can't make you love me

you can call me al
you can't handle the truth
you can leave your hat on
you can't stop the beat

we can work it out
we can learn to love again
we can remember it for you wholesale
we can be heroes!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 8:24 AM
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There's a lot to be said for trying to understand other cultures, but mostly ouch.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 8:26 AM
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253: it's amazing how bored people can get on very long ocean voyages.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 8:32 AM
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Speaking of Southeast Asian sexuality (NSFW).


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 8:44 AM
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But, Lincoln is kind of great, for being Midwestern. I need to get back again soon.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 9:42 AM
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OT: If I wanted to create an object relational database, would SQLAlchemy be my best choice?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 9:43 AM
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I have no idea, but it looks like something with a small but real possibility of accidentally summoning Elder Gods.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 9:44 AM
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One can only hope.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 9:46 AM
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Do you know SQL?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 9:49 AM
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I know of SQL.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 9:52 AM
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I might be headed down to The Big O for the first time in over a decade this fall. That will be interesting. I still remember the Woodmen tower as the tallest building!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 9:53 AM
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260: Longer answer: I've been playing around with sqlite3 in Python recently for a tentative project, but it would be much better implemented with object mapping. I could do this crudely myself (this would be just a first pass and demonstration, so it could be revised), but if someone else has made a nice framework...


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 9:58 AM
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it looks like something with a small but real possibility of accidentally summoning Elder Gods.

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents without adequate relational database software.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 10:04 AM
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That's awesome, Strossajay.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 10:07 AM
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255: Speaking of Southeast Asian sexuality. (SFW, but not for the male and squeamish.)


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 10:11 AM
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266: Also, a push-up bra commercial has gone viral in Thailand.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 10:13 AM
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I see you all prefer talking about titties and penile implants to databases. To each his own, I guess. In any case, I've convinced myself that SQLAlchemy is a good choice; it has better syntax than sqlite and an amazingly well written tutorial.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 10:18 AM
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260: either SQLAlchemy or Django's ORM. I like the latter, never used the former (but it's pretty popular).


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 10:37 AM
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266: I can see you're a man of great discernment, but I already put that in the other thread.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 10:38 AM
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267: As Rick Perry once said, "Oops."


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 10:39 AM
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I see you all prefer talking about titties and penile implants to databases.

I like a well-structured relational database as much as the next guy, but "Databases! Hooray!" just doesn't capture the same joie de vivre as the blog's signature cheer.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 10:48 AM
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I like a well-structured relational database as much as the next guy, but "Databases! Hooray!" just doesn't capture the same joie de vivre as the blog's signature cheer.

How about "Entities, hooray!"?


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 11:08 AM
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Sort of related, I almost bought a tablet running Windows 8rt. I heart Windows 8 and figured it would run SAS, but it turns out that the 'rt' is more important than the '8'. Maybe I'll see if R runs on it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 11:10 AM
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Related: Googling something named "r" is difficult.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 11:11 AM
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To the OP, I think Belle is more right than John, or at least more in touch with contemporary realities. But I have to acknowledge that John has a point about the taboo thing. It's not uncommon for avowed white supremacists to preface their remarks with "I'm not a racist, but..."


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 11:19 AM
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273: How about "Entities, hooray!"?

For n ∈ natural numbers.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 11:26 AM
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275: I think it's easier to Google than it has any right to be, probably because it's a techie thing. 9 out of 10 of the results for "r" are about R, the other being for the mysterious Rex Hammock.

276: I'm surprised that there's not more effort to reclaim or acknowledge "racist" as an accurate descriptor of most/all of us, while simultaneously deprecating such behavior. As has been said above, making racism The Worst, Most Unmentionable Sin Of All is a good defensive tactic for those who don't want to change their racist behavior.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 11:32 AM
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275: I try to make longer queries when searching for R help, in hopes that Google ascribes greater contextual meaning to "R" that way.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 11:35 AM
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275, 279: CRAN and CrossValidated are helpful additional search terms as well.


Posted by: Disingenuous Bastard | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 11:45 AM
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278.last is good. Acknowledging and engaging with one's own biases is difficult. I'm of the opinion that bigotry in its various manifestations is pretty much innate. Not any particular manifestation of it, but the tendency to be biased against the other and the need to shoehorn people into convenient categories. The mind only has so much processing power so that sort of shortcut is inevitable. The question is how to avoid being a dick to any given person or group, given the fact that if you peel back enough layers of the onion we're all bigots in our own way.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 11:51 AM
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It's not uncommon for avowed white supremacists to preface their remarks with "I'm not a racist, but..."

Although it's not explicitly stated there, I think that part of the question John Holbo's post was getting at is what this ubiquitous "I'm not racist, but" ritual is doing. When you're literally wearing a KKK outfit, why bother insisting that you're not racist? Especially when you don't believe it, you're listeners know you don't believe it, you know they know that you don't believe it & etc.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 11:58 AM
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"Entities, hooray!"?

Emtities, hoooraaay!"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 12:04 PM
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Em-dash, hooray!.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 12:17 PM
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Extra punctuation, Hooray!.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 12:21 PM
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Wikipedia claims without citation the em-dash is also known as the "mutton," which is surely relevant.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 12:24 PM
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281: Thanks. How not to be a dick--or even how to avoid awkwardness because I'm trying to suppress my innate, basal dickitude--is the key concern.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 12:27 PM
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Maybe I'll see if R runs on it.

Running R on Android.

(I continue to love my new Nexus 7 tablet, but it's not playing nicely with my wireless keyboard. Boo.)


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 12:31 PM
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I got the MemoPad and wish I'd spent the extra money on a Nexus &.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 12:32 PM
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Yeah, seriously, what were you thinking?


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 12:33 PM
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Have I talked about how many pixels the new N7 has? It has, like, eleventy-billion pixels.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 12:34 PM
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281, 287: This is but an example of the more general problem of people refusing to admit that they even have an inner dick. You must embrace the reality of your inner dick to suppress your outer dick.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 12:35 PM
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Something like that.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 12:35 PM
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I don't even see pixels.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 12:38 PM
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You must embrace the reality of your inner dick to suppress your outer dick.

I've never understood the appeal of Tantric sex. What's wrong with good old regular sex?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 12:39 PM
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286: Merriam-Webster agrees. Mutton from the code "mutton block", since emblock and enblock sound similar.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 12:40 PM
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Everything just devolves into entities and dick jokes philosophy here, does it?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 12:44 PM
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I thought it was a blog about swimming. Speaking of which, I may have over done it yesterday. I can't raise my arms above my shoulders without pain.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 12:50 PM
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||

The oft-lamented Hugo Schwyzer is self-lamenting on Twitter. Hacked? Or severely depressed?

|>


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 1:10 PM
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299: Holy shit that's one hell of a breakdown.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 1:19 PM
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Sure that's not hacking?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 1:21 PM
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Oh, missed that in 299.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 1:22 PM
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Not really, I was taking it at face value since that's going at it for what seems like a long time (over an hour) for hacking. Then again I guess the specific refusal of a Facetime, his threatening to post a picture but not doing so, and his claiming that sending messages from a known email account is proof against hacking (as it's certainly possible his email account was hacked and the twitter password was changed from there) are all consistent with hacking.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 1:25 PM
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It's got lots of personal asides but it still mirrors external critiques really, really, precisely. To the point of naming specific people and saying they were exactly right.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 1:25 PM
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Oh, dear.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 1:26 PM
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"This is not a hack! I just DMed a couple people to prove it"

Um.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 1:26 PM
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I once got a scam email from a friend's hacked account. I asked for details of something we had recently discussed in person. They replied with details from the last email exchange we had. Similar tactics here.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 1:27 PM
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I imagine a lot of people use the same password for email and Twitter.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 1:29 PM
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308: You wouldn't even need that; if you get the email address you can just request a password change on Twitter.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 1:31 PM
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299 et seq: oooh. I dunno, the 'having a manic episode' thing seems plausible, too.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 1:33 PM
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But, yes, whether or not this is a hack, everybody take this moment to make sure your email password is a genuinely good one, and that you have 2-factor authentication enabled.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 1:38 PM
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Thanks mom.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 1:39 PM
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I have to bring these scissors to the other end of the office. Should I run?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 1:39 PM
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(I actually do have 2-factor authentication enabled on my main gmail account.)


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 1:40 PM
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... and return that crappy memopad and buy a new N7, Moby!


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 1:43 PM
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The password must be genuinely good because I've been using it as my password since my very first email account in 1993 and I've never been hacked.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 1:43 PM
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316 Post it here!


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 1:45 PM
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Speaking of security stuff: how creepy is this? Pretty creepy! (An advertising firm placing 'smart' trash cans around London, trash cans that track smartphones' movements based on their MAC addresses.)

"The consolidated data of the beta testing highlights the significance of the Renew ORB technology as a powerful tool for corporate clients and retailers," the Renew press release states. "It provides an unparalleled insight into the past behavior of unique devices--entry/exit points, dwell times, places of work, places of interest, and affinity to other devices--and should provide a compelling reach database for predictive analytics (likely places to eat, drink, personal habits, etc.)."

Are you excited about the future yet?


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 1:47 PM
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The HS thing doesn't read like a hack to me; it seems like the same kind of self-flagellating/aggrandizing sort of thing that he does. Poor guy, he sounds like he's really not doing well.

But it could be a hack, of course. I'd just think a hack would be meaner and funnier.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 1:54 PM
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Also, if it were a hack by his feminist-critics, I doubt they'd have thrown in the apology to Good Men Project, and vice-versa if it were by his anti-feminist critics.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 2:32 PM
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Assigning responsibility to someone with mental illness is really complicated, isn't it. I mean, the fundamental solution to the Hugo Schwyzer problem, from my point of view, is that anything he does or says is neither my problem nor my business, so I don't need to worry about it.

But still, looking at that twitter feed (assuming it's real and not a hack), I flip right from "Man, he's kind of a terrible person" to "Wow, poor guy. I hope he's got some people around he hasn't alienated too badly to look out for him." Not that he isn't responsible for his actions just because he has a mental health diagnosis, but boy does that not sound like someone who's in control of his decisions.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 2:49 PM
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321: Not having studied psychology I don't know what to make of The Last Psychiatrist in terms of how reliable his explanations are. Watching HS's behavior and current meltdown, though, it's almost like he read TLP's posts on narcissism as an instruction manual.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 3:49 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions, clew and dz. That's funny about Vietnamese people not liking black people.

Anecdote and all that, but there are a ton of Vietnamese and Chinese people moving into Dorchester which has been black for a while (African American and now a lot of Haitians and Africans, mostly Nigerians). Even more anecdotal, a ton of African Americans are loyal customers of the nail salon I go to for pedicures. The Vietnamese woman who owns it lives in Dorchester, used to work with her brother in Somerville and are now vaguely suburban. They all seem to genuinely like each other. Of course a transactional relationship like that can't be taken at face value.


Posted by: Bostonisngirl | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 3:50 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions, clew and dz. That's funny about Vietnamese people not liking black people.

Anecdote and all that, but there are a ton of Vietnamese and Chinese people moving into Dorchester which has been black for a while (African American and now a lot of Haitians and Africans, mostly Nigerians). Even more anecdotal, a ton of African Americans are loyal customers of the nail salon I go to for pedicures. The Vietnamese woman who owns it lives in Dorchester, used to work with her brother in Somerville and are now vaguely suburban. They all seem to genuinely like each other. Of course a transactional relationship like that can't be taken at face value.


Posted by: Bostonisngirl | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 3:50 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions, clew and dz. That's funny about Vietnamese people not liking black people.

Anecdote and all that, but there are a ton of Vietnamese and Chinese people moving into Dorchester which has been black for a while (African American and now a lot of Haitians and Africans, mostly Nigerians). Even more anecdotal, a ton of African Americans are loyal customers of the nail salon I go to for pedicures. The Vietnamese woman who owns it lives in Dorchester, used to work with her brother in Somerville and are now vaguely suburban. They all seem to genuinely like each other. Of course a transactional relationship like that can't be taken at face value.


Posted by: Bostonisngirl | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 3:50 PM
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Stupid iphone.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 3:52 PM
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Stupid iphone.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 3:52 PM
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299: Christ, what a wanker.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 4:50 PM
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Renew ORB technology

Palantir, of course, having been taken for commercial use.

Depends what he likes, Bostoniangirl. I might suggest codeacademy, then pygame, then Euler. Actually, if Euler looks fun to him, have him check out Rosalind -- possibly more jobs sooner.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 5:50 PM
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Probably worth mentioning that Euler goes deep into the discrete math pool pretty fast. Many of the problems have multiple solutions where there's an elegant, computationally fast solution that will take very long to figure out, and a frustrating brute-force solution that will take very long to shoehorn into a form that will actually finish. It can be fun if that's what you're in to, but it's much more a tool for teaching computer science than programming. If the goal is to get usable skills and you're starting from no programming experience (and especially if little math experience), I don't recommend it for the first year.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 8:32 PM
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What dalriata said. Rosalind is learning to manipulate the strings we use to describe DNA -- the problems are likely easier than Euler, but the vocabulary is harder.

Here's something on approaches to intro programming classes; does he have a buddy to learn with? Anybody here know of an online Media Computation class?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 8:44 PM
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people refusing to admit that they even have an inner dick.

I try to admit an inner dick daily.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 9:31 PM
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332: Noted.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 1:04 AM
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I guess that would make more sense if I knew who had posted 332.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 1:14 AM
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You could file the note under "Doe (John or Jane)".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 6:03 AM
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Probably just a Dartmouth admissions officer anyway.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 6:27 AM
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++


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 8:11 AM
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I always thought Hugo Schwyzer was an egomaniacal pussy hound who had found the perfect way to generate celebrity that would attract young women. But this breakdown makes him much more interesting, because it brings him beyond just being a con artist, there's all this anguished internal conflict being revealed. Internet celebrities tend to be a little crazy, it's like compulsive participants in reality shows. I predict an eventual comeback, but centered around being a recovery guru. He really does have a natural talent for the media.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 8:29 AM
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To put it another way, the breakdown suggests that Schwyzer was genuinely attracted to feminism as a means to overcome his own egomania (which often expressed itself through compulsive womanizing) but then feminism became yet another vehicle for his ego drives.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 8:34 AM
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To put it another way, the breakdown suggests that Schwyzer was genuinely attracted to feminism as a means to overcome his own egomania (which often expressed itself through compulsive womanizing) but then feminism became yet another vehicle for his ego drives.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 8:35 AM
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338: No. The con will persist as long as there are buyers, and in an opinion-economy that demands that someone apologize for something, HS will find new buyers who think they can make use of him, sort of the way that Jimmy Hoffa thought he could use the Mob.

339: I thought it was utterly apparent that he just grabbed the nearest (for a D-grade liberal arts college professor) value system that would allow him, after he entered drug/alcohol recovery, to build a new self with pirated moral authority. What better way to retake the podium than the one-two of "I'm just a poor addict, trying to make it one day at a time, but you're racist and sexist. I still win!"


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 1:55 PM
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I guess the discussion has moved on now, but regarding the links in the OP, I agree with the view that everyone is racist. I'm really fascinated by the line that people draw between public and private racism, though. Public racism (say, in hiring employees, or renting an apartment) is definitely not okay. But private racism (for instance, feeling uncomfortable about interracial marriage, or preferring to socialize with people of the same race) is considered acceptable.

I think there has to be some kind of transition like this, between people's public behavior and their private opinions. But it seems hard to rationalize where to draw the line.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 5:36 PM
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I've been wondering if the ritual `I'm not a racist but...' in effect just sterilizes the offense in the subsequent claim. And if so, what are `I'm not a feminist but...' and `I'm not a hippie but...' doing?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 6:36 PM
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I'm not a racist butt!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 6:59 PM
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Much less a creepy ass-cracker!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:18 PM
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But private racism (for instance, feeling uncomfortable about interracial marriage, or preferring to socialize with people of the same race) is considered acceptable.

I don't think this goes quite far enough. There has certainly been a long history by people who want to discriminate of saying, "This is a personal preference and shouldn't be legislated." And that line has moved numerous times.

Moreover, not everyone draws the line in the same place. There are social circles where admitting to such "private racism" as cited above will get a person shunned or disparaged.

In general (with occasional egregious exceptions) I think it's a *good* thing that more and more of the supposedly private stuff is getting moved over into the "publicly unacceptable" category. IME, most of the people complaining that "you can't legislate beliefs" actually want the freedom to BEHAVE (not just believe) something and face no consequences, social or otherwise.

In conclusion: Everybody may sometimes think bigoted thoughts, but nobody has a pass on acting on them. Or being judged when they voice them.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:18 PM
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Behave in a certain way, that is. English: my first but not always my most coherent language.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:21 PM
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I had one thing in common with Joseph Conrad: English is my second language. Unlike Conrad I had no first language.


Posted by: Kurt Vonnegut | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:27 PM
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Everybody may sometimes think bigoted thoughts, but nobody has a pass on acting on them.

But I think this ideal policy becomes harder to enforce, when you have people who don't hold racist beliefs, but nonetheless act in a racist way. For instance, lots of people have difficulty connecting or empathizing with people from different cultural backgrounds, and the resulting behavior can look a lot like racism, without there being any underlying racist beliefs. Somehow there ought to be a name for this problem -- unintentional racism, maybe.

(Also, read is using Tor to comment? Holy cow.)


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 8:55 PM
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I think you're buying into an impoverished definition of racism that suggests you have to have active malicious intent. Disparate impact can be racist, even without conscious intent.

I'm being stubborn about this for a couple of reasons: first, because conservatives have tried very hard to cordon Racism off in its own little corner of Ku Klux Klan ism as a way of disclaiming responsibility for doing anything about non-R racism. We progressives (and I use that term loosely) need to push back against that framing.

But second, because IME the kinds of situations that you're describing just very rarely don't include racial animus. It may be unacknowledged; the person may honestly believe that "Group X is just hard to understand" or "Group Y doesn't have leadership skills". But scratch the surface -- meaning, take any steps to try to explore/rectify the problem -- and instantly a new justification arises to take its place.

Very little is gained by pointing and shouting "That's racism!" in such cases, of course. But my personal experience is that stories like Urple's from the other thread are all too common.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 9:06 PM
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private racism (for instance, feeling uncomfortable about interracial marriage, or preferring to socialize with people of the same race) is considered acceptable.

I'm not sure this is true at all. "I wouldn't want my daughter to marry one!" is a cliche of unacceptable intolerance dating back to the 1970s. And would it really be considered generally acceptable to say "No, I don't want to go for a drink at the Eagle, last time I went there were far too many blacks there"?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:47 AM
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354: IME the kinds of situations that you're describing just very rarely don't include racial animus.

I guess it depends on the situation, but a lot of the time I think it's not racial animosity, but more a feeling that "those just aren't my kind of people." I think it's very very hard to change that feeling.

But yeah, Urple's story is awful, and while it sure looks like intentional racism, I would worry that they could find weasel-words to make it seem unintentional (e.g., "diversity was just one of the factors we had to consider in selecting this committee...").

355: And would it really be considered generally acceptable to say "No, I don't want to go for a drink at the Eagle, last time I went there were far too many blacks there"?

No, one definitely wouldn't say that. On the other hand, I do think it's common behavior to treat people differently in social situations according to their race. For instance, being super friendly with white people and ignoring everyone else -- not because you prefer white people, but because you prefer high-status people, which correlates with race.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:32 AM
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356.1: but that's not "preferring to socialise with people of the same race", though. That's just snobbery. The suggestion was that "preferring to socialise with people of the same race is considered acceptable" and I don't think it is.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:40 AM
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357: Well, there are expressed preferences, and then there are revealed preferences. "I prefer to socialize with white people" would get disapproval from anyone not avowedly racist. A state of affairs where a statistically implausible percentage of a white person's friends and acquaintances are white, OTOH (a) would be kind of hard to diagnose, because what counts as statistically implausible? but (b) wouldn't raise any eyebrows at all if the person wasn't talking about how they preferred it that way, and (c) very plausibly has something to do with preferring to socialize with white people, although that's hard to separate out from living, being educated, and working in semi-segregated environments, as well as (d) being an extraordinarily common state of affairs.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:59 AM
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But the question isn't whether "having 'too many' friends of one's own race" is acceptable. (It probably is; just as 'having too many white customers' isn't considered a reason to condemn, say, a supermarket. Except very mildly, for being swipple.) The question is whether "preferring to socialise with people of the same race" is considered acceptable. And if you knew, for sure, in whatever way, that someone preferred not to socialise with people of other races, would you consider that acceptable? Would most people?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:05 AM
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I can certainly think of explicitly expressed preferences of the "that involves too much interaction with people of a race other than my own" that are basically acceptable in private conversation; "I don't want to go to UCLA; it has too many asians" is one I have heard in one form or another more than once.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:11 AM
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This gets into the original post about the taboo nature of identifying racism. No, very few people would consider openly avowing a preference for avoiding interracial socializing acceptable. Still, there's an awful lot of behavior out there that very plausibly indicates an unstated revealed preference for avoiding interracial socializing, and so long as it's not openly stated, it's absolutely accepted.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:11 AM
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360: Oh, yeah, anything of the form "As a white person, I prefer to avoid situations where I'm an ethnic minority" is absolutely conventional, if even slightly elliptically stated.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:16 AM
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Somehow there ought to be a name for this problem -- unintentional racism, maybe.

Q: What's the white part of birdshit?
A: That's birdshit, too.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:23 AM
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"I don't want to go to UCLA; it has too many asians" is one I have heard in one form or another more than once.

Good grief. No, I'd regard that as unacceptable.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:32 AM
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364: to be clear, me too.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:34 AM
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Bob's comment up at 8 is highly relevant; human beings are naturally tribal and those tribes will form along ethnic/racial bounds so long as ethnic/racial groups align with real cultural distinctions. If they don't, then race probably isn't much of an element of oppression in that society. If they do, then racial and non-racial distinctions are hopelessly confounded.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:47 AM
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362 and 363 get it absolutely right.

I'm kind of bewildered that some of you apparently don't hear these kinds of comments all the time. I haven't actually kept a log but I would guess I hear something sort-of-coded every day, and something not-even-coded once a week.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 10:42 AM
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It helps if you don't talk to anyone, Witt.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 10:44 AM
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Like, for example, "We were bicycling down the hill at [name of street in middle-class Phila neighborhood] and there was this big group of Puerto Ricans down there swimming. I just felt uncomfortable, you know? They were so...loud. So we just turned around and came back."

[spoken by an Anglo]


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 10:44 AM
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Okay, 368 actually made me laugh. Introversion ftw!


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 10:45 AM
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360: If the second sentence is "And UCLA grades on a curve.", more or less unacceptable?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 11:34 AM
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kind of hard to diagnose, because what counts as statistically implausible? ... (c) very plausibly has something to do with preferring to socialize with white people, although that's hard to separate out from living, being educated, and working in semi-segregated environments, as well as (d) being an extraordinarily common state of affairs

LB's 358 seems spot-on. I remember a friend of mine being astonished by the fact that the characters in Girls didn't have any non-white friends, despite living in Brooklyn. Well, yes, and they're probably about as racist as any other sheltered white UMC kids, but it's also totally unsurprising for characters of that background etc. Which isn't to say that UMC white folks shouldn't engage in some critical self-scrutiny about why it is they (by which I mean, I) don't have any friends who aren't white.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 12:02 PM
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368 to 372.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 12:03 PM
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That last should be, "aren't white or Asian." Way to perpetuate the invisibility of Asians as minorities, Trapnel!


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 12:04 PM
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The question is whether "preferring to socialise with people of the same race" is considered acceptable.

But why bicker about anecdotes when you can bicker about data? Racial preferences on Okcupid.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:24 PM
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Look, only 7/16ths of the Alabama Constitutional Review Commission don't want to strike segregationist language from Alabama's 1901 constitution that mandates separate schools for "white and colored children."

Post-racism!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 6:14 AM
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I'm kind of bewildered that some of you apparently don't hear these kinds of comments all the time. I haven't actually kept a log but I would guess I hear something sort-of-coded every day, and something not-even-coded once a week.

I am thinking back and I cannot remember the last time I heard a comment of that type, coded or not. It's possible that they're so coded that I'm not noticing them ("Let's not go to that bar, it's too noisy" when they actually mean "too many West Indians" or something?) but I can't think of anyone of my generation saying something to me that made me think "this person apparently prefers not to hang out in places where there are a lot of non-white people".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 6:30 AM
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