Virginia Democrats Sucks

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Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby sardia » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:45 pm UTC

https://www.npr.org/2019/02/06/69198958 ... 1980-party
The governor wore blackface/KKK face. If he resigns, then the lt governor gains control, but he is a rapist. If he resigns, then the attorney general gains control, but he wore blackface. If he resigns, then the Republicans gain control of Virgina. What the duck is going on over there? You were suppose to be better than Worst Virgina. I don't even know what to say.

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby Sableagle » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:14 pm UTC

Can't we just give the whole of Virginia back to the natives?
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:40 pm UTC

There's the possibility that the racism/sexism/whatever problems are far more ingrained than you've been led to believe in both politics and the upper echelons of the corporate world, but the media as a whole (which is itself either business or owned by a mega-corp) only reports on those who don't fall in line or don't pay hush money to the establishment.

Ok, "hush money" isn't quite the right word, but what would you call "ok, here's a $100k donation to some anti-sexism campaign, now don't look too closely at why my last three personal secretaries have been attractive young women with no job experience"?

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby sardia » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:11 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:There's the possibility that the racism/sexism/whatever problems are far more ingrained than you've been led to believe in both politics and the upper echelons of the corporate world, but the media as a whole (which is itself either business or owned by a mega-corp) only reports on those who don't fall in line or don't pay hush money to the establishment.

Ok, "hush money" isn't quite the right word, but what would you call "ok, here's a $100k donation to some anti-sexism campaign, now don't look too closely at why my last three personal secretaries have been attractive young women with no job experience"?

You going to name some names or speculate?

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:57 pm UTC

The guys behind Uber, for starters. Sexist assholes, to say nothing of regular kind of assholes.

I'd say Jeff Bezos as well, probably not particularly sexist but still an asshole, given that he's running a near-trillion dollar company that only dominated due to a very shaky patent, mistreated his workers worse than Walmart, basically got a couple billion in tax breaks from NYC recently, yet somehow doesn't get nearly the same anti-corporate hate that Walmart does in mass media. It's either because the guy donates tens of millions to political organizations including just $10m to a single super-PAC in 2018, or he's smart enough to market his Goliath of a company as "hip" and "trendy" with things like drone-deliveries whereas Walmart is the place with the emotionally-withered greeters and the smelly obese people on rascals.

Harvey Weinstein was able to keep everything under control for decades in spite of his, well, you know, being the worst kept open secret, to the point that it took 80 women coming forward to take him down. Eighty! That's just who came forward, not who was ruined by him. And he still isn't gone! He was in very close league with Bill and Hillary Clinton, but, well, I don't think it was a coincidence that everything came forward only after Hillary lost the election and thus there was less possible fallout.

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby ObsessoMom » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:49 pm UTC

"I had the shoes, I had a glove and I used just a little bit of shoe polish to put under, or on my cheeks," Northam said, using his fingers to show where he smeared the polish on his face. "The reason I used a very little bit is because, I don't know if anybody has ever tried that, but you cannot get shoe polish off."

It's true. When you put shoe polish on your face, people still notice it decades later.

The thing that really bugs me is that the more people have accusations (of various types) against them, the less likely it is that any of them will resign. Virtue is definitely graded on a curve.

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:04 pm UTC

ObsessoMom wrote:The thing that really bugs me is that the more people have accusations (of various types) against them, the less likely it is that any of them will resign. Virtue is definitely graded on a curve.
Yeah -- there's something unfortunate about how that works. The people who are virtuous enough to realize they fucked up and need to resign? Do so. The ones with little to no virtue? They stay.

Over time, the latter will always outnumber the former.

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:10 pm UTC

Apt, given that we have a President with absolutely no shame-gland whatsoever...

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby Kit. » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:23 am UTC

Sableagle wrote:Can't we just give the whole of Virginia back to the natives?

But what if you once dressed in their traditional garments and painted your face red when you were 19?

Can anyone explain me what this fuss is about?

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby Chen » Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:34 am UTC

The sexual assault one seems more recent and sexual assault was always a crime. Seems fairly straightforward and should be investigated.

I have more issue with the blackface ones. They occurred 30+ years ago. In the context of the time the severity of the act is not nearly the same as it is today. It also somehow precludes people changing over 30+ years.

The first guy made an absolute mess out of his owning up to the picture and should resign because he’s an idiot and likely a liar. The attorny general seems to have made a sincere enough owning up to his use of blackface that I wouldnt be asking for his resignation.

On a more pragmatic front this type of thing is a good way for progressives to simply principle themselves out of power. The amount of progressive change that can be accomplished should also be weighed against the severity of a past trangression. Felonies vs faux pas’s should be handled differently.

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:07 pm UTC

I mean, I agree that you can principle yourself out of power, but the idea that there just aren't enough progressives who *didn't* wear blackface for progressivism to succeed sans blackface says a lot about progressivism.

The severity of the act hasn't decreased, by the way; just how severely we disprove. It was pretty racist back then, and it was *understood* as racist. White people in America are just more uncomfortable being openly racist today than they were thirty years ago.

Unless you were some toddler dressed in blackface by your super racist parents, you don't get a pass on this. Not even if you did it several decades ago. And especially not if you did it in the South during segregation and the civil rights movement. Sure, we shouldn't hold this over your head for the rest of your life -- but I think it's fair to say that if you did blackface, you don't get to be in the Congress or Senate.

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby Kit. » Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:27 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:The severity of the act hasn't decreased, by the way; just how severely we disprove. It was pretty racist back then,

Can anyone explain why it was "pretty racist" back then? Is there any hidden symbolism we outsiders don't know?

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby Chen » Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:38 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:I mean, I agree that you can principle yourself out of power, but the idea that there just aren't enough progressives who *didn't* wear blackface for progressivism to succeed sans blackface says a lot about progressivism.


Right now if you get rid of the people who the allegations are about you don't have any progressives in line. The governorship goes to a Republican.

The severity of the act hasn't decreased, by the way; just how severely we disprove. It was pretty racist back then, and it was *understood* as racist. White people in America are just more uncomfortable being openly racist today than they were thirty years ago.


Ok fair enough. I don't disagree with any of this. But that difference in how much we (as society) disapprove (or hell approve) of it, is what I meant by severity. Consider dressing up in the 1980s as a native american for Halloween. There'd be extremely little pushback to that compared to now. That is what I meant in terms of severity. And I think that issue of costumes, particularly for Halloween at a university, standards and politcal correctness are even further pushed aside. Dressing as a klansman or in blackface is being done for it's shock value. The attitudes at the time do matter in these types of things. Going further back to slave owning times, the morality of having a slave didn't suddenly change once it was made illegal. But you can damn well bet the attitudes around the practice changed.

Unless you were some toddler dressed in blackface by your super racist parents, you don't get a pass on this. Not even if you did it several decades ago. And especially not if you did it in the South during segregation and the civil rights movement. Sure, we shouldn't hold this over your head for the rest of your life -- but I think it's fair to say that if you did blackface, you don't get to be in the Congress or Senate.


You're speaking out of both sides of your mouth here. Shouldn't hold it over your head for the rest of your life but it should bar you from some positions...for the rest of your life. Is it just regarding public political positions? What about a teacher? Or a fire fighter? A police officer? Does this fall into the same bucket as the general American view on criminal punishments? That rehabilitation is secondary to the actual punishing? That people don't change? By all means look back over the person's history of governing after this came to light to see if there are indications of racial prejudice and bias. If not and the person owns up to what they did (like the attorny general, not like the current governor) giving them a pass could certainly be an option.

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby ObsessoMom » Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:04 pm UTC

When whites bond over the experience of dehumanizing blacks via blackface, one has to wonder if they would be capable of taking that dehumanization even farther, under the right circumstances. Remember where all this was happening. These white students' grandparents may have bonded over the experience of lynching black people, not so very long ago.

Kit. wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:The severity of the act hasn't decreased, by the way; just how severely we disprove. It was pretty racist back then,

Can anyone explain why it was "pretty racist" back then? Is there any hidden symbolism we outsiders don't know?


This essay does a pretty good job:

Don't get what's wrong with blackface? Here's why it's so offensive.

Here's a helpful quote from the end of one of the sources cited in that essay:

Spoiler:
At the core of these spectacles is a sense of power and superiority. These students feel they have the right to mock and degrade black and brown people. Moreover, because the longer history of blackface is neither taught in schools nor discussed intelligently in the mainstream media, these spectacles also reflect widespread ignorance about the social, political, and cultural implications of minstrelsy. In any case, we see white privilege in action. We see the impact of having citizens that “know little about the history of how ghetto communities were created by government and economic elites, to the detriment of those who live there.“ We see the consequences and manifestations of ignorance in operation; we see what happens when American racial history is erased from textbooks; we see what happens when whites are more likely to come in contact with people of color through pop culture stereotypes than through personal contact. Evident with Marrus [the example cited in this particular essay], and with the countless incidents on college campuses, this mix of privilege and ignorance is a recipe for continued racism.

Ignorance, however, is no excuse.

The ability to be ignorant, to be unaware of the history and consequences of racial bigotry, to simply do as one pleases, is a quintessential element of privilege. The ability to disparage, to demonize, to ridicule, and to engage in racially hurtful practices from the comfort of one’s segregated neighborhoods and racially homogeneous schools reflects both privilege and power. The ability to blame others for being oversensitive, for playing the race card, or for making much ado about nothing are privileges codified structurally and culturally.

There is no acceptable reason to ever don blackface. It’s not a joke; it isn’t funny. No claims about humor or creative license can ever make it okay. Blackface is part of a history of dehumanization, of denied citizenship, and of efforts to excuse and justify state violence. From lynchings to mass incarceration, whites have utilized blackface (and the resulting dehumanization) as part of its moral and legal justification for violence. It is time to stop with the dismissive arguments those that describe these offensive acts as pranks, ignorance and youthful indiscretions. Blackface is never a neutral form of entertainment, but an incredibly loaded site for the production of damaging stereotypes...the same stereotypes that undergird individual and state violence, American racism, and a centuries worth of injustice.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-david ... 52139.html


Dressing up as a caricature of another race or culture (for example, using stereotypes of Native Americans or Mexicans or Middle Easterners) is still offensive. But blackface has particularly chilling implications in a place where lynching was rampant not so very long ago.

Also, there's a difference between a youthful transgressive experience in front of a small group of friends with similarly poor judgment, and deciding at age 25 to publish a photo of it as the way one wants to be remembered by all of one's peers forever (which is the whole purpose of a yearbook). Presumably the medical school students submitted photos of themselves for those pages. I suppose it's possible that someone else slipped offensive photos into some students' pages as a joke, but it seems far more likely to me that the 25-year-old governor-to-be submitted the photo himself, because he still thought it was just innocent, harmless hi-jinks, and thought that the only peers whose opinions he cared about would view it the same way.

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:32 pm UTC

Chen wrote:Right now if you get rid of the people who the allegations are about you don't have any progressives in line. The governorship goes to a Republican.
Yes. And...? Should we just give up on our values because they're politically inconvenient?
Chen wrote:Ok fair enough. I don't disagree with any of this. But that difference in how much we (as society) disapprove (or hell approve) of it, is what I meant by severity. Consider dressing up in the 1980s as a native american for Halloween. There'd be extremely little pushback to that compared to now. That is what I meant in terms of severity. And I think that issue of costumes, particularly for Halloween at a university, standards and politcal correctness are even further pushed aside. Dressing as a klansman or in blackface is being done for it's shock value. The attitudes at the time do matter in these types of things. Going further back to slave owning times, the morality of having a slave didn't suddenly change once it was made illegal. But you can damn well bet the attitudes around the practice changed.
Prevailing attitudes are irrelevant in regards to determining what is right and what is wrong. In every time and every place, there are always people who know the difference.
Chen wrote:You're speaking out of both sides of your mouth here. Shouldn't hold it over your head for the rest of your life but it should bar you from some positions...for the rest of your life. Is it just regarding public political positions? What about a teacher? Or a fire fighter? A police officer? Does this fall into the same bucket as the general American view on criminal punishments? That rehabilitation is secondary to the actual punishing? That people don't change? By all means look back over the person's history of governing after this came to light to see if there are indications of racial prejudice and bias. If not and the person owns up to what they did (like the attorny general, not like the current governor) giving them a pass could certainly be an option.
Elected officials are representatives of a community. What they've done in their past matters, particularly in regards to a community historic for its racism.

No, I don't think elected officials who wore blackface should get to be in office. I don't think we should make laws that bar them from office (knock it off with the strawmanning), but I do think they ought to resign or be voted out.

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby Kit. » Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:39 pm UTC

ObsessoMom wrote:
Kit. wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:The severity of the act hasn't decreased, by the way; just how severely we disprove. It was pretty racist back then,

Can anyone explain why it was "pretty racist" back then? Is there any hidden symbolism we outsiders don't know?

This essay does a pretty good job:
Don't get what's wrong with blackface? Here's why it's so offensive.

An awful essay. Explains nothing.

"It is offensive because if was once used by white actors to represent black characters" is not an explanation.

"If you don't understand why, you are guilty of something bad" is not an explanation either.

ObsessoMom wrote:Here's a helpful quote from the end of one of the sources cited in that essay:
Spoiler:
At the core of these spectacles is a sense of power and superiority. These students feel they have the right to mock and degrade black and brown people. Moreover, because the longer history of blackface is neither taught in schools nor discussed intelligently in the mainstream media, these spectacles also reflect widespread ignorance about the social, political, and cultural implications of minstrelsy. In any case, we see white privilege in action. We see the impact of having citizens that “know little about the history of how ghetto communities were created by government and economic elites, to the detriment of those who live there.“ We see the consequences and manifestations of ignorance in operation; we see what happens when American racial history is erased from textbooks; we see what happens when whites are more likely to come in contact with people of color through pop culture stereotypes than through personal contact. Evident with Marrus [the example cited in this particular essay], and with the countless incidents on college campuses, this mix of privilege and ignorance is a recipe for continued racism.

Ignorance, however, is no excuse.

The ability to be ignorant, to be unaware of the history and consequences of racial bigotry, to simply do as one pleases, is a quintessential element of privilege. The ability to disparage, to demonize, to ridicule, and to engage in racially hurtful practices from the comfort of one’s segregated neighborhoods and racially homogeneous schools reflects both privilege and power. The ability to blame others for being oversensitive, for playing the race card, or for making much ado about nothing are privileges codified structurally and culturally.

There is no acceptable reason to ever don blackface. It’s not a joke; it isn’t funny. No claims about humor or creative license can ever make it okay. Blackface is part of a history of dehumanization, of denied citizenship, and of efforts to excuse and justify state violence. From lynchings to mass incarceration, whites have utilized blackface (and the resulting dehumanization) as part of its moral and legal justification for violence. It is time to stop with the dismissive arguments those that describe these offensive acts as pranks, ignorance and youthful indiscretions. Blackface is never a neutral form of entertainment, but an incredibly loaded site for the production of damaging stereotypes...the same stereotypes that undergird individual and state violence, American racism, and a centuries worth of injustice.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-david ... 52139.html

Same story.

ObsessoMom wrote:Dressing up as a caricature of another race or culture (for example, using stereotypes of Native Americans or Mexicans or Middle Easterners) is still offensive.

Is it offensive to wear high heels at a party where people know that you self-identify as a male?

I mean, if it is considered offensive in the society, a sane "conservative" person would like to avoid doing it. But my question is why it is offensive.

Is there a rational motive to be offended by it?
Or is it some sort of self-sustaining irrational taboo?
Or is it a subconscious victim playing?
Or is it an intentional victim playing with some particular political agenda?
Or what?

And what if you are not a "conservative" person, but a "progressive" person that wants it to stop being considered offensive?

ObsessoMom wrote:But blackface has particularly chilling implications in a place where lynching was rampant not so very long ago.

Is there any particular historical link between blackface and lynching?

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby natraj » Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:38 pm UTC

are we genuinely litigating whether or not blackface is offensive here? full offense, but if you need such a basic-ass explanation, you're too wilfully ignorant of history & context and do not have the range to be engaging in these conversations with adults.
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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:46 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:Is it offensive to wear high heels at a party where people know that you self-identify as a male?
No. There's no extensive history of people in power wearing high heels to profit from the mockery, derision, and degradation of women.

Do you think wearing KKK outfits is offensive? White people calling black people "n*ggers"? Burning crosses? Minstrel shows? Do you know what a minstrel show is?

If the answer to any of these questions is "no", then I think I see the problem here. Otherwise, I have no clue what you are thinking.
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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby CelticNot » Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:52 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:And what if you are not a "conservative" person, but a "progressive" person that wants it to stop being considered offensive?


Speaking as someone who belongs to a marginalized group (queer folk) who have had similar issues with being slurred, caricatured, and so on? Unless you are a member of the group being marginalized, you do not get to decide whether or not a given thing is offensive to us.

I'll grant you that there's a lot of debate within those communities about whether something should or should not be considered offensive, but the presence of such debate does not give someone outside the community any license to involve themselves in it. You aren't the one targeted or impacted by it.
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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby natraj » Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:13 pm UTC

(i can tell you though there'es vanishingly little debate in the black community about whether blackface is offensive. like. ben carson or diamond and silk will probably happily tell their maga hat wearing friends that it's Totally Fine but the overwhelming majority of black people are pretty solid on this one.)
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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby Kit. » Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:34 pm UTC

natraj wrote:are we genuinely litigating whether or not blackface is offensive here? full offense, but if you need such a basic-ass explanation, you're too wilfully ignorant of history & context and do not have the range to be engaging in these conversations with adults.

If the question why it's offensive offends you, I am sorry.

Thanks for participation anyway.

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby natraj » Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:58 pm UTC

it doesn't offend me, i just find you boring and shallow. if you can type on these forums, you have access to google. if you have access to google, it would take no time at all to find plenty of information on why blackface is offensive. the fact that you still demand cited explanations (AFTER they were provided to you, mind) means you do not care to do this. or that you just don't give enough of a fuck to consider historical context, present-day societal context, the feelings and understandings and perspectives of people who do live with this oppression and are affected by it.

the fact that you are clinging wilfully to your ignorance and don't care to learn is your problem. the fact that you do not care to extend empathy to people who don't share your experience, is your problem. the fact that you think having a foot-dragging whiny snit about rejecting basic facts is your problem. i am not offended by this, i just also think that people as blatantly and intentionally obtuse and callous as you have any place in discussions among people who, say, give a fuck about others.
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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:07 am UTC

Kit. wrote:The stupidest shit SecondTalon has ever read


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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby elasto » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:19 am UTC

If you'll allow me to play devil's advocate, I think almost everyone would agree blackface causes offence; The more pragmatic question is whether it should be a 'red line' issue - given which, speaking generally, no matter how many other good qualities a politician might have, it represents a 'mortal sin' which cannot be forgiven.

Speaking generally, if a politician has otherwise served all communities equally, and has not pursued policies that disproportionately disfavour the poor or minorities, should a poor judgement choice at a party or a poor choice of words with a joke mean the end of a career?

The simple fact is that, in the current political climate, the left tends to police their own with far more zeal than the right, and, while that (sometimes) gives the left the moral high ground, it hands the right the tactical edge. And, ultimately, it's political power that makes the real difference in society.

(Admittedly, in this specific case, not making a full and sincere apology backs those who might otherwise prefer to use this as a learning opportunity rather than a death sentence into a difficult corner...)

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:54 am UTC

But if the left DOESNT police their own, it results in voter apathy longer term and gives a tactical advantage to the right.

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby Chen » Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:17 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Yes. And...? Should we just give up on our values because they're politically inconvenient?


When the consequences of holding those values hurts those same values long term? 100% yes. This is basically the same as the Bernie supporters who decided to stay home instead of voting Hillary. We know what happened there. If these Virginia people are removed you get a Republican who is supporting the existing racial gerrymander that is in place! Somehow that seems far more harmful and racist. Its another lesser of two evils situation.

Prevailing attitudes are irrelevant in regards to determining what is right and what is wrong. In every time and every place, there are always people who know the difference


They are relevant to understanding the decision making process that was taking place at the time. Whether institutionally racist, just plain racist or oblivious of the actual harm or offense he was causing makes a difference and should be considered when deciding the repurcussions of this action. As elasto and I mentioned before looking at his behavior while governing now should also play some role in trying to determine how racially biased he is or isnt.

No, I don't think elected officials who wore blackface should get to be in office. I don't think we should make laws that bar them from office (knock it off with the strawmanning), but I do think they ought to resign or be voted out.


I can certainly agree with having them voted out. I do not agree with the media mob justice to try and force them to resign without knowing the will of the people as a whole. I find it funny you call out strawmanning when I never suggested anything like laws to somehow prevent racist public servants.

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:06 am UTC

Chen wrote:When the consequences of holding those values hurts those same values long term? 100% yes. This is basically the same as the Bernie supporters who decided to stay home instead of voting Hillary.
I voted for Hillary, but I do not blame anyone who refused to do so because they felt she represented a compromise they could not abide.

This is probably just an ethical impasse for us: I am comfortable with people who place principle above practical results. I'm a utilitarian, but I think it's important to have a few virtue ethicists around to remind us that the ends do not always justify the means.
Chen wrote:I can certainly agree with having them voted out. I do not agree with the media mob justice to try and force them to resign without knowing the will of the people as a whole. I find it funny you call out strawmanning when I never suggested anything like laws to somehow prevent racist public servants.
How else would you 'bar' someone from office? That's what 'bar' means: To prevent someone from achieving something.

'Media mob justice' doesn't force anyone to resign. They choose to resign. No one's barring them from office; no one's holding a gun to their head. If you want to talk about the media's obsession with sensationalism and how it intersects with race, then sure; we can have that conversation. News organizations only seem interested in racism when they can find ways to sensationalize it and transform it into revenue. They hijack our sense of outrage for profit. I mean, yeah; that's a thing.

But it sounds like you think the media is trying to force them to resign? And that this is somehow subverting the "will of the people"?

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby ObsessoMom » Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:39 am UTC

I know I shouldn't feed the troll, especially after a moderator has told the troll not to come back, but if someone is sincerely unable to understand, I feel obliged to attempt a little more explanation.

Kit. wrote:
ObsessoMom wrote:
Kit. wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:The severity of the act hasn't decreased, by the way; just how severely we disprove. It was pretty racist back then,

Can anyone explain why it was "pretty racist" back then? Is there any hidden symbolism we outsiders don't know?

This essay does a pretty good job:
Don't get what's wrong with blackface? Here's why it's so offensive.

An awful essay. Explains nothing.

"It is offensive because if was once used by white actors to represent black characters" is not an explanation.


The black characters of minstrelsy were deliberately grotesque, demeaning caricatures of black people.

You seem to be overlooking that important fact. But it's relevant.

In this thread, nobody but you is claiming that Group A wants to dress up as members of Group B simply as a contextless, neutral fashion choice.

Everyone else here sees Group A's exaggerated imitation of Group B as inherently insulting to Group B.

Yes, it's unfair that a white kid who wants to dress up as a black person he or she sincerely admires is bound to be misunderstood, due to the history of minstrelsy's unflattering blackface depictions. But that's not anywhere near as unfair as black people being demeaned by white people for centuries via blackface. Whites are not the primary victims in this scenario. They just aren't.

Kit. wrote:I mean, if it is considered offensive in the society, a sane "conservative" person would like to avoid doing it. But my question is why it is offensive.

Is there a rational motive to be offended by it?
Or is it some sort of self-sustaining irrational taboo?
Or is it a subconscious victim playing?
Or is it an intentional victim playing with some particular political agenda?
Or what?


The only "victim-playing" I see in all this is when certain people claim that whites are being unjustly deprived of their self-proclaimed right to make sick jokes about those whom whites have historically enslaved, lynched, raped, spat upon, denied access to employment and housing, disenfranchised, etc.

Is your question really why I, who am not a black person, object to white people behaving like assholes toward black people?

Maybe it's because I, as a white person, feel personally insulted by the depiction of white people as assholes.

Or maybe I just consider defending universal human dignity to be a moral imperative for everyone.

Kit. wrote:Is there any particular historical link between blackface and lynching?


Hmmm, let's see if there's any overlap between the following:

Blackface (& redface & yellowface):
humiliating, public depictions of non-white people, intended to demonstrate white superiority and to dehumanize non-whites. Widespread in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Lynching:
humiliating, public murders of non-white people, intended to demonstrate white superiority and to dehumanize non-whites. Widespread in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Many victims of lynchings were tortured in various ways before death, because someone thought that was funny and/or would play well to the crowd. So yes, I think the normalization of and acceptance of one form of sick, contemptuous entertainment at the expense of non-whites people had a lot to do with the normalization and acceptance of the other.

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby Sableagle » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:57 am UTC

ObsessoMom wrote:
Kit. wrote:"It is offensive because if was once used by white actors to represent black characters" is not an explanation.
The black characters of minstrelsy were deliberately grotesque, demeaning caricatures of black people.
That's the part some of us didn't know. That black people had limited access to employment (to put it very mildly), were mistreated and abused, were often murdered with impunity by white arseholes? Yeah, I knew that. That black people could work in music and entertainment, and were often considered to have great singing voices? Yeah, I knew that. That "the black and white minstrel show" was white people in blackface pretending to be black musicians? Yeah, I knew that. Why they'd do that, nobody ever discussed. It's one of those things they don't mention, like saying Quentin Crisp was "one of them" rather than actually saying homosexual, like they're hoping it'll all be forgotten.

To give you something to compare to the situation, consider the Vietnam war. You've got the wall of D.C. to remind you all, right? They spend days reading out all those names of the soldiers KIA over there, and anyone over 18 in the USA would recognise that wall or any of a hundred iconic pictures from that conflict, right?

Google image search "Agent Orange Babies" and someone'll lose their lunch finding out about that for the first time at age 35+ because it just wasn't mentioned. All those dead soldiers' names get read out, but the massive increase in genetic anomalies among veterans and their descendants doesn't get mentioned, like the dreaded They are hoping it'll all be forgotten.
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby Kit. » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:07 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:
Kit. wrote:The stupidest shit SecondTalon has ever read


If I see you in N&A again, you're gone.

This kind of shit is intolerable when it comes from a moderator.

Please remove my account from the XKCD forums.

Thank you very much.

Granted. -ST

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:18 am UTC

<snip> -- removed.

Sableagle wrote:That's the part some of us didn't know. That black people had limited access to employment (to put it very mildly), were mistreated and abused, were often murdered with impunity by white arseholes? Yeah, I knew that. That black people could work in music and entertainment, and were often considered to have great singing voices? Yeah, I knew that. That "the black and white minstrel show" was white people in blackface pretending to be black musicians? Yeah, I knew that. Why they'd do that, nobody ever discussed. It's one of those things they don't mention, like saying Quentin Crisp was "one of them" rather than actually saying homosexual, like they're hoping it'll all be forgotten.
I absolutely get not knowing about what the deal is with American blackface and minstrel shows, especially if you're not from the US; that being said, it's like, literally one wikipedia search away.

I'm not saying people need to thoroughly research every single subject before discussing it, but when someone says "this has a racist context", you ought to exercise some basic level of curiosity before running to the shitty-opinion store and buying yourself a shiny hot-take to show off on the internet.
Last edited by The Great Hippo on Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:46 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby Chen » Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:44 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:I voted for Hillary, but I do not blame anyone who refused to do so because they felt she represented a compromise they could not abide.

This is probably just an ethical impasse for us: I am comfortable with people who place principle above practical results. I'm a utilitarian, but I think it's important to have a few virtue ethicists around to remind us that the ends do not always justify the means.


Fair enough.

How else would you 'bar' someone from office? That's what 'bar' means: To prevent someone from achieving something.


Sorry for the confusion, I simply meant this in the same way as when you said “...you don’t get to be in the Congress or Senate” if you did one of these things. I didn’t assume you meant you’d enact some law that would prevent someone from being elected to Congress, just that this type of action would effectively bar someone from those positions due to public opinion.

Media mob justice' doesn't force anyone to resign. They choose to resign. No one's barring them from office; no one's holding a gun to their head. If you want to talk about the media's obsession with sensationalism and how it intersects with race, then sure; we can have that conversation. News organizations only seem interested in racism when they can find ways to sensationalize it and transform it into revenue. They hijack our sense of outrage for profit. I mean, yeah; that's a thing.

But it sounds like you think the media is trying to force them to resign? And that this is somehow subverting the "will of the people"?


What you’re saying about the media sensationalizing the event is more what Im getting at. A referendum or new election is a perfectly fine way to determine the actual will of the people. The choice to resign can certainly be based on polling or other indicators of public support. But it can also be more self-serving to get their name out of the spotlight either for just that reason or to try and salvage any future prospects. “Forcing” a resignation is not really accurate so I apologize for the lack of clarity there. I meant more that the media circus around an accusation like this can be sufficient to drive a resignation that is not always based on the will of the people. Its more based on the will of the loudest people.

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby Kit. » Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:14 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Sounds like you're offended by something somebody did on the internet.

This is the part where I wonder whether you have some rational motive, a self-sustaining irrational taboo, or it's just intentional victim playing with a particular political agenda.

As a human being, I sometimes get offended. I am not offended by mocking the ethnic minority group lots of people (including my wife) associate me with (maybe because I am used to it, maybe because I realize that I am not the group), but I am offended by intellectual dishonesty toward me, especially by persons in power.

It doesn't matter, whether it is on Internet or not.

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby Chen » Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:38 am UTC

Intellectual dishonesty? You apparently can’t read when you were presented with an article explaining exactly why people were taking offense to it. Your conclusion was:

"It is offensive because if was once used by white actors to represent black characters" is not an explanation.


Which conpletely glossed over how they were denigrating representations of black characters used to further marginalize an already marginalized group.

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:42 am UTC

Chen wrote:Sorry for the confusion, I simply meant this in the same way as when you said “...you don’t get to be in the Congress or Senate” if you did one of these things. I didn’t assume you meant you’d enact some law that would prevent someone from being elected to Congress, just that this type of action would effectively bar someone from those positions due to public opinion.
Oh, right. Pardon, yeah; in that case, I misunderstood. By that, I just meant I feel comfortable saying we should either vote you out of office or that you should resign.

I mean, I think whether or not politicians should be held accountable for racist caricatures they engaged in over a few decades ago is something people can reasonably disagree on? I'm comfortable saying that that's something that means you shouldn't get elected. I'm also comfortable with the notion that others may disagree given extenuating circumstances (the politician expresses sufficient regret, they were a different person back then, whatever).

Obviously, if you can't even understand how it's racist and offensive, that's a different conversation.
Chen wrote:What you’re saying about the media sensationalizing the event is more what Im getting at. A referendum or new election is a perfectly fine way to determine the actual will of the people. The choice to resign can certainly be based on polling or other indicators of public support. But it can also be more self-serving to get their name out of the spotlight either for just that reason or to try and salvage any future prospects. “Forcing” a resignation is not really accurate so I apologize for the lack of clarity there. I meant more that the media circus around an accusation like this can be sufficient to drive a resignation that is not always based on the will of the people. Its more based on the will of the loudest people.
I'm a little skeptical of this notion given the durability of openly racist congressmen like Steve King, or Senators like Strom Thurmond (a strong supporter of segregation). The media circus certainly creates pressure to resign, but politicians are free to ignore that pressure. I'm just weirded out by thinking of this as circumnavigating the 'will of the people'.

I don't think we actually disagree, here, beyond possibly some fuzzy definition re: what 'will of the people' means.

<snip> -- removed, because really, I ought to know better than to bother.
Last edited by The Great Hippo on Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:47 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby Kit. » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:20 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
Kit. wrote:As a human being, I sometimes get offended. I am not offended by mocking the ethnic minority group lots of people (including my wife) associate me with (maybe because I am used to it, maybe because I realize that I am not the group), but I am offended by intellectual dishonesty toward me, especially by persons in power.

It doesn't matter, whether it is on Internet or not.
No one has any real 'power' over you, here. This is an internet community, not a gated neighborhood. You said some stupidly offensive shit,

Offense does not need to be caused by anything that you consider "real". Nothing that I said here I would consider "really" offensive - or even offensive at all. And I still got that shit in return.

Now, whatever you are going to use to try to deride me next, try to apply it to that shit as well.

The Great Hippo wrote:then threw a tantrum because a moderator told you to shut the hell up.

Strap on your big-person pants and deal with it like an adult.

Well, it was not an intentional mirroring. I still wonder if some of the people here can recognize themselves in the mirror.

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby Chen » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:05 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Oh, right. Pardon, yeah; in that case, I misunderstood. By that, I just meant I feel comfortable saying we should either vote you out of office or that you should resign.

I mean, I think whether or not politicians should be held accountable for racist caricatures they engaged in over a few decades ago is something people can reasonably disagree on? I'm comfortable saying that that's something that means you shouldn't get elected. I'm also comfortable with the notion that others may disagree given extenuating circumstances (the politician expresses sufficient regret, they were a different person back then, whatever).

Obviously, if you can't even understand how it's racist and offensive, that's a different conversation.


I think we're in line here.

I'm a little skeptical of this notion given the durability of openly racist congressmen like Steve King, or Senators like Strom Thurmond (a strong supporter of segregation). The media circus certainly creates pressure to resign, but politicians are free to ignore that pressure. I'm just weirded out by thinking of this as circumnavigating the 'will of the people'.

I don't think we actually disagree, here, beyond possibly some fuzzy definition re: what 'will of the people' means.


I think this goes back to the first point about policing yourselves out of power and pragmatism vs princple. The ones more likely to resign are presumably the ones who may actually feel bad or regret doing it. Those who think its ok are going to be far less swayed to resign since they feel they did nothing wrong. Compare Roy Moore and Trump himself to Al Franken. It just makes me think of Spaceballs and the line "Now you see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb." Not precisely the same thing but its close enough to make this type of thing infuriating.

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby solune » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:53 pm UTC

Ok, I've read the whole thread to make sure that nobody has pointed this out before. My first reaction is this:

The event happened in 1980. 39 years ago.

In France, the statute of limitations for first degree murder is 20 years. 30 years for terrorism or human trafficking.
In the US it's more confusing, but the few states who have a statute of limitations on murder are about 10 years. For regular felonies most states have it at between 3 and 6 years.

How about we state that the man commited a hate crime in the past and then we forgive him ?

Now, I understand that what the man did in the past may be a clue about his current personnality and you might want to be cautious about the intentions behind his actions as AG, but I don't believe that demanding a resignation is appropriate.

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby sardia » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:33 pm UTC

solune wrote:Ok, I've read the whole thread to make sure that nobody has pointed this out before. My first reaction is this:

The event happened in 1980. 39 years ago.

In France, the statute of limitations for first degree murder is 20 years. 30 years for terrorism or human trafficking.
In the US it's more confusing, but the few states who have a statute of limitations on murder are about 10 years. For regular felonies most states have it at between 3 and 6 years.

How about we state that the man commited a hate crime in the past and then we forgive him ?

Now, I understand that what the man did in the past may be a clue about his current personnality and you might want to be cautious about the intentions behind his actions as AG, but I don't believe that demanding a resignation is appropriate.

Compromise : we forgive him after he resigns. He can try again with the voters in the next election.
PS the lt governor also raped that lady a long time ago too. Are you gonna to forgive him as well?

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Re: Virginia Democrats Sucks

Postby solune » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:46 pm UTC

sardia wrote:PS the lt governor also raped that lady a long time ago too. Are you gonna to forgive him as well?


I understand the benefits of a statute of limitations for a society and I believe that letting a few felons go unpunished is a price worth paying.
You'll notice that I used the example of murder in my statement, so rape is also covered by the same principle.


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