If you are looking for some interesting reads, Kathleen Geier has been tearing up the Baffler. Here’s her take on trigger warnings [trigger warning: she’s generally against them], and a smart look at commencement protests.
by $8 blue check mistermix| 114 Comments
This post is in: Excellent Links, Open Threads
The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik
Just repeating what i said in the previous open thread:
Apparently, the newest attempt at hijacking a necessary discussion is trying to use the ‘#yesallwomen’ discussion and warp it into a ‘#notallblackpeople/#yessallwhitepeople’ thing. As in ‘sure, not all black men are super scary megathugs bent on white destruction, but all white men have to be scared because you never known what black man might be the super scare megathug bent on killing you violently like an inferior savage’.
You know, forget the fact that a significant factor of the entire damn discussion is not just individual actions and attitudes but power structures and cultural/societal institutions putting pressure downward. But apparently to these assholes, there’s some massive power structure of scary black thuggery intimidating them ad nauseum.
When are you people going to acknowledge Obama’s outing of a CIA Station Chief!
Do you not understand how outrageous this is! Why, if Bush had done something like this you would have been screaming for impeachment.
@srv: I did ( acknowledge, not yet up to demands for impeachment.)
@srv: Wait, didn’t Bush do exactly something like this – only on purpose? And if memory serves, we were screaming not for impeachment, but for an investigation and criminal charges if laws were found to be intentionally broken. So let me be the first, and speak for all liberals everywhere in the world, to call for a full investigation of what happened and who screwed up along with discipline and/or firings if necessary. Satisfied?
@srv: Remember the first Benghazi hearing that revealed the ‘Consular building’ was a CIA safe house? And had satellite pictures that some CIA guy was trying to cover up? Good times.
I’d been trying to figure out the twitter back and forth between loathesome Todd Kincannon and the rest of the Internet, and reached the conclusion that twitter has to die and it’s creators publicly executed in a cruel and unusual way for ruining the universe.
I do facebook and understand the point of Instagram and Pinterest, but I’m fuck all clueless about the utility of twitter and vine.
I suppose it really depends on the user. I don’t use Vine, but I find Twitter valuable for finding links to articles, etc. that I might not have seen otherwise. I get a lot of my news and views, so to speak, that way.
@Linnaeus: RSS reader then?
Repeating from a previous thread:
I am going to be at the British Beer Co, Framingham, MA party tomorrow night (Wed 28th) from 7pm-9pm.
There is a random drawing I’m entered in for a trip to Newcastle-on-Tyne. The odds are 1 in 38.
I’m in that because I’ve already, through incredible haphazard neglect and not looking up who’s been suspended or broken an ankle, won a small prize in their English football pool, which I’m intending on converting into food and drink there.
So if anyone shows up to lend me “draft lottery” style moral support, I plan on being able to buy up to five people a round with my winnings.
Let me know in this space.
Twitter is useful to the masses because since there is a) no editor and b) no credibility needed for the hosting website. So I have the same credibility commenting on global finance as Alan Greenspan or Ben Bernake. At least in my mind.
It also allows for even lazier reporting. In the old days, reporters had to earn the trust of their subjects and had to pick up the phone to pose a question to a person of interest. Now you see “John McCain posted on Twitter that…” as if everyone had special access. We don’t, but Twitter gives the illusion to many that they do.
@Botsplainer: Vine is pretty good for showing the adorable face…OF EVIL!!!
I’ve noticed that a lot of reporting has “military officials” to blame in the article but saying the “White House” did it in the headline.
I think this take on the UCSB shootings is the best one yet. White male privilege as a disorder: also in this article, and I think it was rikyrah the other night who asked to hear or read about one case – just one – where the cops came to investigate a black guy at the request of family, and just left without bad shit going down.
When Obama got elected in the middle of the biggest financial crisis since the Depression, I knew that this country wasn’t really ready, but boy – we’re in the middle of a full blown national psychotic break and all the psychotics are armed to the teeth. Half the country is crazy, and the other half, including me, feels like we need to shelter in place.
I wonder what Elliot Rodger would have thought about those dumb women and their trigger warnings? (Educated guess: He was generally against them.)
I grew up in Framingham, and live in the next town over. I may be by!
Isn’t that the point of “Things Fall Apart”?
Today is WH Science Fair. POTUS answering pool questions, first our the gate a question about Afghanistan! ! Wow, WHPC is a joke. Obama admin already announces he will be making a statement on Afghanistan this afternoon. Yet asshole pool reporter just couldn’t wait. ..smdh
Gin & Tonic
@Botsplainer: I’m an enthusiastic and fairly serious eater. I find Twitter invaluable for keeping up with local specials, ingredients, etc.
It has also been essential for keeping up with events in Ukraine. Many journalists, both Ukrainian and foreign, are using it to great effect for breaking news.
@the Conster: Hope to see you there.
I’ll be flying my good luck charm, a vintage Edmonton Drillers pennant, just like this one.
Sooo lets let the weak get weaker and more pathetic as they groom their unicorns. Key phrase from the last paragraph “our minds unclouded with thought”. If I close my eyes the bad guys will go away. Unfuckingbelievable
@The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik: I haven’t seen that one, though I have seen the usual Twitter attention-seekers trying to turn #yesallwomen into a white woman-bashing moment.
Well, a case like that wouldn’t make the news, would it?
Newcastle is a great city. Lives there in the 1980s. Friendly, and great beer and pubs.
It would if the guy went out and did what Rodgers did. Which is why there aren’t any stories like that.
@Wag: That’s the funny thing, I’m a Hammers fan. (But part of me missed it when Newcastle the beer stopped being a main sponsor for NUFC.)
@the Conster: “Shelter in place”->”cower down until they come to kill you”
And given those guys you cite, why shouldn’t your credibility be just as valid???
Joe the Plumber has offered his sincere condolences to the victims of the latest mass shooting. Needless to say they are as sensitive as those given by Todd Kincannon.
Paul in KY
@ThresherK: Best of luck!
@Paul in KY: Thanks. I had no idea I was in the drawing until the end of their season. That’s because I think I set some oddball record for choosing Norwich, West Brom, Fulham and Sunderland to get results.
I stayed in Newcastle a couple of nights on my trip in 2011. Mainly stayed there two nights so that I could get my laundry done during the day. When you change towns every day in Europe, laundry is a big concern as there aren’t many coin laundries, mostly dropoffs. I didn’t see much of the city as I went down to Durham for the day. I wish I’d gotten over to see Wallsend.
Durham is nice; beautiful cathedral. The castle, now occupied by the university, was closed for renovations.
The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik
They aren’t using those actual tags, mind, but they might as well be. Dunno if those discussions are happening on twitter (though I figure they would be). Discussions elsewhere though? The sentiment seems to be popping up more and more frequently, and it just…guh. My head.
@Chyron HR: And you know who else would have been opposed to trigger warnings…
(I am perfectly willing to add trigger warnings when asked. I was just amused by the guilt-by-association.)
Obviously. That’s the only reason we know that the cops visited Rodger.
@Chyron HR: If he was, than at least he was correct about one thing.
Sounds like a good project. When are you and rikyrah going to begin the research to support the hypothesis?
I’m going to disagree with that. While Geier has a point in that there are many other issues to be protesting about, I think Scott Lemieux over at LG&M and Chris Taylor both have a better take on this.
NYTimes: Adopt a Dog with a Southern Drawl
The American South euthanizes more dogs than other regions. Save a hound!
I enjoy hearing about Southern dogs heading north, and tiny yapping Californian dogs finding new homes on the range, after their flights to Montana and Wyoming.
Applause to pet rescuers everywhere. Good peeps.
I’ll let the author explain it to you, so even you can understand:
“In the manifesto he released he said he was relieved that officers did not push the matter further because they would have found his weapons.
Can I go ahead and scream yet? A black or brown man would have been violently hauled into a jail and locked up at the first sign of such machinations. His property rights would have been thoroughly violated, and no matter how “polite” and “courteous” he might have been with officers, no reports would have reflected such language.”
@Keith G: Are you really going to go down that road?
For Black Kids in America, a Degree Is No Guarantee
A new study shows that African-American college graduates face unemployment rates nearly twice as high as others with the same education.
Janell RossMay 27 2014, 12:24 PM ET
The Ivy-League-educated barista who can’t find a job that pays enough to live anywhere besides her childhood bedroom. The freshly minted MBA and law-school graduates strapped with debt and frustrated about the six-figure jobs and master-of-the-universe titles that haven’t materialized.
Nearly five years after the Great Recession officially ended, the struggles and dampened expectations of young college graduates have become a fixture of American politics and even popular culture. But amid all the focus on the difficulties of college-educated millennials, one facet of this upheaval has remained largely unexplored: the continued significance of race.
As a new crop of college graduates joins the American workforce, unemployment rates among minorities with degrees remain distinctly elevated and their economic prospects disproportionately dimmed, a new report released by the Center for Economic and Policy Research has found.
In 2013, the most recent period for which unemployment data are available by both race and educational attainment, 12.4 percent of black college graduates between the ages of 22 and 27 were unemployed. For all college graduates in the same age range, the unemployment rate stood at just 5.6 percent. The figures point to an ugly truth: Black college graduates are more than twice as likely to be unemployed.
just so we don’t get the ‘ but the majored in the wrong thing’:
Your endorsement of Geier’s second essay is interesting. I’ve been scanning the mainstream liberal blogs for a couple of weeks on the issue of commencement speeches and have found close to 100% sympathy for the protests against the speakers. The reason that is interesting is that both Goldberg and Geier couch their critique as of an “anti-liberal left,” raising the question, if protesting Condoleezza Rice’s speech is anti-liberal why does the mainstream liberal internet seem so gung-ho for it? And if so many mainstream liberals seem untroubled by the protests just who are Goldberg and Geier talking about?
So I find your implied endorsement interesting in that it seems quite rare on liberal blogs, though I also have to say that Goldberg’s and Geier’s notion of what constitutes the “anti-liberal left” is very muddled.
@Keith G: You don’t seem to be that very informed as you often project yourself to be around here.
Trigger warnings in their original form were a tremendously useful tool in establishing a safe space in which individuals could discuss difficult and painful topics without having to worry about ruining someone’s day. You alerted readers ahead of time to what sort of content would be including in a post, and then they could make their own judgment about whether to read it or not. It was quite liberating for many people to have a space they could surf around casually without having to worry about unexpectedly encountering something that sends you into a flashback or mood spiral.
The problem with the modern trigger warning, however, is twofold:
1. Assholes have diluted the term so that instead of it’s original, useful meaning, the word ‘trigger’ is used to mean ‘anything that makes me feel slightly uncomfortable’. The people who appropriated and misused the term are assholes of the highest order, but there’s not a lot to be done about it at this point.
2. The world at large is not and cannot and should not be a safe space, because a safe space is inherently closed and limited. The academy in particular cannot and should not be a safe space because the entire point of it is to be challenging.
I’m not against the concept of trigger warnings myself, but I think they should be applied pretty narrowly. I agree that you can’t make everything “safe” nor should you.
I think you’re missing the point. They are trying to portray the left as a whole as false in its liberalism and just as happy to silence people who disagree with them as they accuse the right of being. True Liberals® always believe more speech is better and the antidote to speech you don’t like is to speak up for your own point of view. When leftists try to muzzle speech they don’t like, they’re proving that they’re part of the illiberal Left. That’s why it’s so important to ignore the part where the graduation speeches don’t provide an opportunity to respond and that the protesters were mostly asking for a chance to have a proper dialog; otherwise the whole shtick falls apart.
What I see as the constant scolding of young people gets on my nerves.
It’s not just her, and her piece is less irritating than most, and maybe it’s because I have kids around the age of the graduates, but can we let them try something without sniping at them that they should be doing something else?
It’s not like liberals or The Left have this absolutely stellar record of extremely effective activism. What about letting them find their own way to a “liberal activism” that works for them?
There is what I consider a really ungenerous impulse to take apart everything they do and minimize or criticize it, and I always hear a subtext that they’re perhaps coddled; not as “tough” as the person launching the critique. I’m just curious where that comes from. To whom are they being compared? The hard-bitten scrappers who came of age in the 1970’s, 80’s, 90’s? Those folks who had it really hard?
I disagree with you about academia to this extent: I think it’s in a professor’s best interest to tell students that a book they’re going to read has a rape/molestation scene in it ahead of time so the students who have that kind of trauma in their past don’t stumble across it unexpectedly. Most of the people in the various trigger warning threads have said that they usually can read (or at least skim) those kinds of scenes if they know they’re coming. It’s when there’s no warning that they have trouble.
And, frankly, shock value is vastly overrated. I don’t need to be “shocked” into the knowledge that family members will sometimes molest other family members. I unfortunately already know that from experience, so the only “shock value” of not knowing that scene is there will be to make it difficult for me to finish the assignment. I think college professors assume their students are much more sheltered from things like rape/molestation, addiction, and violence than the students (even middle and upper-class students) really are.
Of all the critiques of the student protests against commencement speakers, I found Geier’s to be the most credible in that she makes an argument that there were better causes for protest (though I don’t agree with the “this stifles free speech part”), although I’d say that one can protest for or against multiple things.
The others I’ve read (Timothy Egan, Michelle Goldberg, Isaac Chotiner, etc.) aren’t very convincing on multiple levels. I think their arguments reveal more about liberal anxieties than an “anti-liberal left” that they say is a small minority but at the same time powerful enough to threaten free expression.
I would argue that some kind of content warning is desirable outside the scope of possible triggers. A good example is the classic “NSFW”; it provides people with a clue of what’s beyond the link (or below the fold) so they don’t get themselves in trouble. As long as it serves primarily as a polite warning of what’s to come, and as long as it’s a voluntary move on the part of the writer, it seems entirely appropriate.
@flukebucket: Yes, I saw something on Wonkette about Joe the Plumber’s remarks to one of the victim’s grieving parents. If there ever was a definition of “Enough about you, let’s talk about me”, that was it.
If I thought anyone still paid any attention to this guy, I would say that this was his “blood libel” moment — the point where everyone else realizes that this person’s narcissism has reached sociopathic levels.
Also, what’s the harm in them floating trigger warnings? We’re having a debate about trigger warnings. The people who think they’re shutting down debate by objecting to a commencement speaker should be thrilled.
I don’t even agree with trigger warnings, but I just get this constant sense of “don’t talk about THAT, talk about this OTHER, more important thing”. Maybe we don’t get to set the direction of what they talk about, or consider important.
@Kay: Kay, unless you’ve grown up with Viewmaster and Etch-a-Sketch as your primary information platforms, you’re too privledged.
@Kay: I agree with this in principle. But kids today got no respect and their music is just noise. You see my bind here?
@Kay: Well, of course, we had it tough…
I don’t think that’s quite right. Goldberg identifies her anti-liberal left as residing primarily on college campuses, and both she and Geier also cite 60s radicals as examples. I think they’re both trying to identify them as a vocal minority, my problems are (1) that they are being vague, perhaps deliberately so, about who is in that subset, and (2) since mainstream liberals are far from 100% on board with them I wonder who Goldberg and Geier think they are speaking for.
At a Memorial Day gathering, I encountered a right wingnut’s conflict between Clinton Derangement Syndrome and Obama Derangement Syndrome. The prediction being proposed was that Hillary would select Michelle Obama as her running mate, then go on to win, then after the election Hillary would be taken out of the picture somehow (not necessarily fatal) and B. Obama would stay on as pres-…- unofficial advisor-in-chief. Wingut saw this in B Obama’s eyes, if I heard correctly. Also there was some sort of hand shake that I haven’t bothered to look up.
FWIW the wingnut is a nice guy, and we get along fine as long as we avoid politics, or avoid escalating if one or the other of us slips.
Is this a new theory in circulation?
India trip update:
I had dinner at the Cricket CIub of India (CCI), this evening and got to hang out with a player who was a wicket keeper (catcher) for the Indian team.
They were getting the stadium ready for an IPL match to be held tomorrow evening and the teams were practicing at the nets.
It’s a theme. It goes along with stern lectures from the NYTimes editorial board about they’re less well-educated and lazier than the generation prior (demonstrably not true, but a cherished myth of middle-aged people, apparently).
I think they’re already amazingly resilient coming up in this crazy fucking country for the last 20 years. I’m looking to them for advice on how to get along, going forward. Obviously, none of us have a clue.
I don’t get it either. Isn’t academia supposed to be about free and open inquiry and all that stuff? I’m a little shocked that the people who identify themselves as professors here are the ones who seem to be the most resistant to even discussing it with students.
I do also think there’s been a social change where people (especially women) who’ve been through traumatic experiences are more willing to discuss them openly, so there’s a bit of a culture difference. I think that these (mostly male, it seems) professors are unsettled by how common rape and molestation really are and are having a hard time believing that, yes, a good (at least) one-fourth of their female students were probably attacked themselves, and the other three-quarters have a friend or relative who was raped or molested. I think it’s not quite computing with them how many of their students have been affected, so they don’t see the necessity since they think it’s only a few students across all classes per semester, rather than a quarter of each class’s female students.
“The California Yapper” sounds like a breed that needs to be added to Westminster next year. We are, indeed, awash in pitbulls and chihuahuas, which makes for some very odd sightings.
@Bill Arnold: That’s not a bad plan, but it overlooks the fact that Obama has has 12 drug-and-booze-filled affairs and Michelle is going to divorce him immediately after mid terms according to the National Enquirer headline that I read at lunch today.
That’s like my fantasy scenario. Please FSM, so shall it be written, so shall it be done.
May 27, 2014 1:04 PM
The Hundred Million
By Ed Kilgore
When you read about Florida’s governor’s race, it often seems there are three candidates. There’s incumbent governor and Republican nominee Rick (Very Scary) Scott. There’s former governor and party-switcher Charlie Crist. And then there’s The Hundred Million, the amount Scott is pledging to spend to beat Crist into submission. In one sense, this third candidate has been an important ally for Crist, insofar as it has chased off major Democratic competition, as suggested in an overview of the race by the Miami Herald’s Marc Caputo and Steve Bousquet:
is the 22nd Amendment. Obama _could_ be appointed Vice President and then succeed to the presidency without running up against the two elections ban of the amendment.
The vice presidency is filled by the nominee of the president if confirmed by majority in both Houses.
Might be a problem if there is a GOP majority in the house in 2017.
It sounded more like a unified Clinton and Obama hatred idea, rather than one or the other.
I think that she’s focusing on something that I noticed too: the rise of a pretty intolerant strain of leftist thought. This has waxed and waned over the decades and isn’t at all new (e.g. the communists hated the socialists much, much more than they hated the capitalists.) I worry about it because the PC movement in the 80s and 90s turned out to be incredibly destructive to liberal causes and ended up creating pitched and crippling internal battles, and you can clearly see some strands of that gaining prominence. If young activists are walking down a road that had bad outcomes in the past it’s worth bringing that up.
I also think that it’s important to make distinctions, as Geier does. She does see a difference between protesting war criminals (Rice, Kissinger) and protesting more nebulous and less obvious people (like the IMF president).
I don’t know if the young ones started it, but I thought their Twitter tag about “every woman” in response to “not every man” was a very good point.
That has not actually occurred to me before, strange as it sounds, but it’s true and it has all kind of debatable issues contained within 3 words, and not just for gender, either.
Maybe I’m not paying attention (again!) and every other woman in the world already knew this, but I was “oh, that’s TRUE, what they’re saying!”
I don’t have any problem with them requesting trigger warnings.
Paul in KY
@Bill Arnold: Haven’t heard this one. Why not have Pres. Obama to run in VP slot & then something happens to Hillary & he’s Pres again. That would make more sense, from a crazy, wingnut point of view.
I know you can’t be elected 3 times, would taking over as VP not count as being ‘elected’?
Today at 8:00 AM
Watch Snoop Dogg and Seth Rogen Recap Game of Thrones High
By Jesse David Fox
Spoiler Alert, just in case you were planning on reading only the first sentence before watching below: The video consists of Snoop and Seth Rogen smoking weed, being high, and talking about the last episode of Game of Thrones. They also watch a YouTube edit of one of the episode’s big scenes mixed with Ludacris’s “Move Bitch.” Fortunately, it’s not possible to die from giggling because, if it were, society would be down two of its favorite potheads.
I sometimes think that older people (like um.. us… but moving on rapidly…) alternately scold and “protect” younger people as a way of avoiding facing our own responsibility for screwing things up for future generations. It isn’t the young who created our messed-up economy, ecology and communities. It isn’t the young who turned journalism into the pursuit of dramatic non-stories and one side says.. the other side says pap. It isn’t the young who have tried to discredit expertise and knowledge in favor of faked-up emotions and chronic selfishness. It isn’t the young who are busily screwing up our public education system as an asset sale and transfer of public monies to greedy, ignorant predators repackaged as reformers. It isn’t the young who have coddled and encouraged the gun nuts to make our schools, malls, daily lives vastly more dangerous so that they can carry around large, black, metal man-dildos. If any side of the debate has the right to scold the other, it’s the young who have a right to scold us – and it might even be that they should be protecting us from our stupid, self-indulgent, harmful selves.
I think the objection is twofold: they don’t like the idea that trigger warnings should be mandatory and they don’t like the implication that they should be extended to a whole host of targets that are simply offensive rather than actually likely to trigger something. I can see why people would object to both of those things, and the combination seems like it might do as much to shut down debate as to help it.
I’m sort of impressed with them as “activists”, honestly, those I have encountered. I think they’re better at working in groups. There doesn’t seem to be as much ego and infighting and insistence on everyone being a “leader” and no followers. I don’t know where it came from, but I think they have more of a sense of “us” rather than “I”. That caution, what you think harkens back to PC, to me comes off as taking care of each other.
@Paul in KY:
I think that may be shot down by the requirements that elected candidates for VP have to fulfill the same requirements as the President. But I have not seen that anywhere in the good old Constitution.
My way avoids elections for VP, except the House and Senate vote, which is a confirmation, not an election.
I’m still trying to figure out what the objections were to The Great Gatsby. Has society really changed so much that Kids These Days are taken aback by casual sexism and racism/ethnocentrism and need some prep to understand the time the book was written in? I know most teachers already set up context for, say, the works of Dickens, but maybe we are far enough from the 1920s mindset now that more context is needed when Fitzgerald or Hemingway is assigned. It’s an ever-moving target, to be sure.
I’m skeptical as to how much damage the PC controversy did to liberal causes. I’m roughly the same age as Goldberg (a few years older) and I was on campus at the peak of the whole brouhaha. Looking back, it struck me as ginned up outrage based on relatively few actions by relatively few people. The damage to liberal causes came far more from factors outside the campus, IMHO.
Egan, Goldberg, etc. seem to be engaging in (among other things) a kind of fogeyism that’s really disappointing to see and you’d think they’d know better. Plus, it’s not unusual for (some) liberals to borrow ideas from and try to harness the enthusiasm of those more to the left than they are, but when it comes time to really get down to business, then the more-left folks are deemed as not Very Serious enough.
A fair point, but then it’s a question of who gets targeted rather than whether to protest a speaker.
@Paul in KY:
Because the Twelfth Amendment says that no person constitutionally ineligible to be president can be VP, and the courts would obviously rule that includes the language in the Twenty-Second Amendment about being elected president twice.
@Kay: Yeah. It’s the great gang up. The young (or at least those young who are desireable to advertisers) are not playing fair (by looking at advertisments in my Newspaper). The reason must be their disrespect for institutions and the fact that the twitter thingy must be fun and therefore they must be thrill-seeking enjoyment-junkie hedonists.
This. PC was used far more often by Conservatives looking for a stick to beat Liberals with than it was by Liberals trying to tell people what they could and couldn’t say. I think it was an excellent example of the SCLM uncritically accepting the Conservative framing of events.
Agreed. What’s interesting – and troubling – was the focus on campus “political correctness” given that there’s been anti-left “political correctness” in American culture for decades. The multiple red scares we’ve had in this country harmed far more people than any left-wing campus activist did.
Not so smart with regard to her comments about Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, in the OP link:
Oh really? Here’s what Lagarde been saying this week:
You’ll never hear any of that from Hillary Clinton. Clinton’s politics are closer to Ted Cruz than Christine Lagrande, who is ironically unacceptable over here as a commencement speaker.
I was thinking about bullying – they get a lot of anti-bullying training in public schools now. There’s a whole subset of people who jeer at it: “you have to knock him down!”
Okay, so they’re probably going a little overboard, my 5th grader is alert for any signs of bullying he’s heard so much about it, but the idea behind it is sound and they’ll work out the balance. Kids are aware of bullying, now, and that was part of the point. Ultimately, if it makes them even a little kinder to one another perhaps getting too rigid in that process and then (eventually) balancing and pulling back a little with common sense and experience was a worthwhile exercise.
@Sublime33: actually, you probably have more credibility. Pretty low bar.
Proponents of the “Just knock him down” approach never quite explain how you are supposed to deal with several bullies, since the unpleasant critters tend to glom onto each other. Funny how that works.
I went full-circle on “PC”. First I was wary of it but then “PC!” started to be hurled by horrible people because they wanted to say horrible things with no repercussions or accountability.
It also had a close cousin “this is what everyone thinks, but only I am brave enough to say it”. Well, maybe, or you’re just an asshole.
I think they have lost faith in institutions. I don’t blame them.
Except that Goldberg doesn’t ignore that and actually supports the commencement speech protests. (“I think there’s a difference between stopping someone from speaking and stopping a college from honoring them. Everybody gets to speak, but not everybody gets to be honored… These people aren’t being invited to share their ideas or argue their ideas. They’re being invited to solemnize an important occasion for these students. I don’t know how meaningful of a distinction that is, but it’s a difference.”) So does Geier, who just wants students to pick their targets more carefully. But don’t let that stop you.
Clearly, we should scold them more -and they’ll be even better!
I think that’s part of the issue. I see these pieces as more “we tried this stuff back in the day and it blew up in our faces.” Trying not to repeat the mistakes of history.
(ETA: Not the same Marc @69. )
Evidence of “smartness” was not forthcoming.
It is one thing to make the case that “political correctness,” a term about as useless as a sunlamp in Hell, stifles free inquiry. It is quite another to claim that student protests of commencement speakers – a pointless ritual as devoid of freedom as it is of inquiry – amounts to the same thing.
Rutgers paid Rice to give a speech to a captive audience – at the expense of this very same audience – and award her with the academy’s version of the Lifetime Achievement award. The people for whom the ceremony was actually held – the students – had every right to demand that she, or anyone else for that matter, not be given a platform on their day and on their dime.
I think some of the weak/sensitive/not tough comes from the history of how trauma has been studied and understood. I have posted this link a few times because it has some helpful information about the study of trauma.
From the article.
O/T but I think this is good news:
This wasn’t supposed to be going like this. Labor people here said Wisconsin was dug in, decided, and Walker was all but guaranteed a small victory margin. I hope AFP genuinely think he’s threatened.
If they thought he was popular, they’d be using his name front and center. Judging by the way the ad is set up, it’s safe to say they don’t believe Comrade Walker’s personal qualities are going to get it done.
I think it’s part of a general ideological blindness that most people are prone to; we are much more worried about suppression of ideas we agree with than ideas we disagree with. When ideas we disagree with are suppressed, we’re much more likely to rationalize it as supporting some other worthy goal than when our own ideas are suppressed. Conservatives see the red scare as a national security issue rather than a free speech issue, so they completely miss that it silenced a lot of people.
Well, it’s positive, but it’s also not even June. If they genuinely feel threatened they’ll be attacking his opponent by July.
I wish we had a deep-pocketed donor who would focus on MI, WI and OH governors. That’s where the real damage to working people will come from, setting wingnut state-level norms.
I would agree that the left/liberals tend to be bad at short-term political tactics, but over the long term I think the left/liberals have a fairly successful record of activism. We sometimes neglect the big wins that our coalition has achieved because we are used to living in a world where we don’t feel as much need to fight for certain causes. Sometimes this has made us too complacent and willing to assume that the rightness of certain ideas is self-evident and so we don’t defend the gains of the past effectively against the latest “conservative” shock-jock badmouthing or manufactured scandal. Equally, the American system is set up to make radical change a slow, grinding, unsatisfactory business – so the pace of change has been slower than we might have liked. That said, we shouldn’t take the generally grim trench warfare politics of the last couple of decades as the whole story.
Not at all. I am just wondering about what seems to be an unsupportable conclusion – that it never…never…happens. I imagine it happens daily but since the results are not newsworthy….
And since this is B-J, I have to state the obvious…Of course bad things happen due to bias and bigotry. The discussion was about it being the case all the time – every time.
It happens daily that a black man is investigated by police because people are worried that he’s planning to commit murder, the police go away satisfied that he’s not a danger to anyone, and said black man then turns around and kills 7 people?
It’s kind of weird, then, that we only hear about the white men who were investigated and wrongly found not to be a danger (Jeffrey Dahmer is another one who comes to mind, who calmly answered police questions while the head of his latest victim was in his refrigerator). Shouldn’t there be at least a proportional number of stories of black men being cleared and then committing crimes?
@Mnemosyne: Well no…..considering mass killers in our society tend to be white males. So obviously their stories are the one that we are the most familiar with. And as I recall here in Texas not that long ago family/friend/teachers contacted authorities about questionable behavior of a WM and a search of social media and then personal electronics brought about an arrest. Seems to me that basic story line get repeated quite often, as I recall a couple such stories from the last 6 months or so.
Still that was not what the original comment was about The topic was (in brief):
The cops are unable to investigate a black guy at the request of family without bad shit going down.
I thought that that was a bit too broad to be helpful in an important conversation.
PC was genuinely damaging within the left-of-center community; I’m not talking about the false victimization claimed by conservatives. I’m talking about treating relatively minor disputes as a pretext for abuse. I’m glad to see more positive trends in face-to-face encounters – and I’d actually agree very much with that. The younger on-the-ground organizers in OFA, etc. are terrific. The online world is a different beast. Call-out-culture in forums like twitter is really, really divisive (there was a long article in the Nation about it.) And some people really do employ the same artillery for internal disputes that they use for external ones.
@schrodinger’s cat: Wicked cool! Did you have the Chicken Manchurian? Everything I know about cricket clubs I learned from Jewel in the Crown.
@Keith G: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariel_Castro_kidnappings
@Vince: Thanks for the link. I am curious where this fits into the discussion.
I think you’re taking rikyrah’s comment out of context — she was specifically responding to the report that cops had stopped by to chat with the eventual shooter at his family’s request and he was able to act sufficiently normal that they left satisfied. Her contention was that you wouldn’t have a similarly fruitless encounter if the guy had been black, because he probably would have been arrested, if not worse. Because it’s true, the police kill mentally ill people — especially mentally ill black men — all the time.
Weak troll attempt
@Kay: I didn’t read the commencement speech piece because I don’t about graduations or their associated speeches. It’s meaningless pageantry. I skipped mine and was all the better for it. However, anything that publicly embarrasses a member of the Bush administration is good with me.
As for trigger warnings, I don’t see what’s at issue. This isn’t a case of activism, but administrative overreach. Reminiscent of the brown bag brouhaha that happened locally here in Seattle.
@Mnemosyne: I am wondering, when you typed “all the time” wouldn’t it have been more truthful to type, “Here is an example of a very egregious behavior.”?
Yes it happens. If it happened only once, it would be profoundly terrible
The amount of time such tragedies occur is a knowable number, I think, but it might take a bunch of effort – a worthwhile effort. My fear is that overstating information weakens an important argument The Right does this all the time and it is one of the ways that they are so easily pegged as irrational.
Two examples, actually. How many examples, in your opinion, would promote something to a very egregious behavior?
Here’s a man who was killed by police in Milwaukee.
Here’s a diabetic man who was killed by police in Georgia when his fiancee called for medical assistance.
So that’s four examples for you that I found with 5 minutes of Googling. Is there a specific number of examples you have in mind that we need to provide before we can call something “very egregious behavior”?
Okay, then (trigger warning:wingnut scenario), what if Obama runs for Congress and wins a seat from that Muslim Socialist Straight-from-the-pits-of-hell Anarchist People’s Republic of Chicago, and then … uh, then he wins and the Democrats are in the majority in the House and then … let’s see, then, um er ah, he gets elected Speaker of the House, and then something happens to the POTUS and VPOTUS and so according to the Constitution, Obama is next in line and becomes President again!!
Plausible, even likely, I think you’ll agree. You can tell this is his Plan if you just look into his eyes.
The author of the original article I linked to which includes the despairing musing on the likely asymmetrical outcome of the wellness check that missed stopping Elliot Rodgers is an African-American woman and scholar, so Keith G’s white mansplainin’ is to be taken most seriously, because what would she know about how these situations TYPICALLY turn out.
@Mnemosyne: Wow. Would you be feeling better had I typed “super-duper egregious”?
You are taking this in a different direction, with different meaning, on your way to a whole other point. Good for you, but I will pass on playing that game.
Thread’s probably dead by now, but I’ll add to it anyway:
The way I read it, Goldberg’s support for the commencement speech protests is lukewarm at best. Nowhere does she come out and say that she supports the commencement protests; she hems and haws in that passage you quoted from and really doesn’t end up saying more than that she understands why some speakers would be objectionable to some people and that she’s “kind of uncomfortable” with the whole thing nonetheless.
As with Goldberg, I don’t read much of any support for the commencement protests from Geier. She says the reasons for protesting one of the speakers (Rice) were “clear” and that “if the university confers honors upon an individual who is politically or morally objectionable, student protests are justifiable”, but then muddles the issue by saying next, “But if that person just giving a speech, the values of open debate and intellectual inquiry are harmed when speeches are cancelled under duress or speakers are shouted down. A commencement speech is tricky because it’s something of a hybrid…”
Geier then goes on to write that, “[f]or student activists, getting a campus speaker to back down may be a briefly exhilarating victory, but ultimately, it is a hollow one. It is purely symbolic, but it changes nothing structurally.” She concludes her piece with “today’s campus leftists seem more interested in shutting down their opponents’ free expression of ideas than in advocating for their own.” So I don’t think she’s all that sympathetic. If she had restricted her argument to saying that the protests just miss the target sometimes, it would have been stronger. Instead, she widens the scope of her argument to essentially scold the protesters for protesting the wrong thing (the implicit assumption being that they’re not already protesting the right things).
I would feel better if you hadn’t tried to “correct” me by claiming I should have said, “Here is an example of a very egregious behavior” because obviously two separate examples in two different states = “an” example.
But I fully realize that I could give you a hundred examples of the exact same egregious behavior and you would still have no willingness to call it racism.
Paul in KY
@Roger Moore: Thank you for info, Roger.
Paul in KY
@SiubhanDuinne: Woah!!! Never thought of that. Pretty diabolical, IMO.