Author Topic: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?  (Read 8551 times)

J Boogie

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #150 on: October 11, 2018, 11:03:56 AM »
Do you agree with the other part? That being an ally and being a impartial observer are incompatible?

I guess I'm not entirely clear what is meant by impartial observer. The very definition of an ally is that I agree with them-- I'm not impartial and I'm trying to do more than just observe-- I'm trying to help.

If it just means do I form my own opinions about things, do I sometimes disagree with the tactics used, and do I voice those opinions (when I think it is helpful)? Then sure, that's what I do.

I'll give a few examples of an impartial observer (from my perspective, which unsurprisingly cannot be completely impartial - but that's my goal). Bear with me, as I'm not just looking to answer but further illustrate what I'm getting at.

An impartial observer's first interest is in being truthful. They would reject the phrase "believe women" because on its face it is not interested in the truth. It's a reaction to womens' claims of abuse being dismissed, and seeks to turn the tables.

I would say an impartial observer would be able to see, for example, the recent police shooting of Thurman Blevins in Minneapolis and understand that force was justified and racism was not the reason they shot him. This impartial observer would not be a very useful ally to Black Lives Matter who gathered at a press conference to chant "Black Lives Matter" as the Hennepin Co Attorney announced charges would not be filed against the officers.

An impartial observer might side with BLM ~50% of the time, as many of these shootings have been unjustified. However as an ally, your advice to sit this one out would not be welcome.

Or maybe an impartial observer would be skeptical of Serena Williams' claim of sexism against Carlos Ramos. (Feminists and allies generally point to the fact that her penalties cost her a match, which is exceedingly rare. However it is not rare to get warnings for coaching, penalties for racket breaking and penalties for harassing the umpire - Ramos has doled out all of these, plentifully. It's just rare that a tennis player continues their behavior once they've accrued multiple penalties to the point where it costs them a match).

Atheists have a phrase "God of the gaps" which means that theists tend to insert God wherever they find something that hasn't been well understood yet.

I think in many cases we're seeing a "Bigotry of the gaps" which reduces complex situations that ask for a more nuanced approach and chalk things up to bigotry.

I believe there is a large group that might have once identified as allies, and have voiced their opinions, and have found their opinions to be dismissed and received reprimands for offering them. And so they've given up on that type of allyship. They don't need to be validated as sufficiently progressive, and they feel insulted by the fact that people like Kris will refer to guys as awesome because they share her views. It feels like there's a carrot and a stick. Accept and embrace the ideology, and you get the carrot. You are regarded as an awesome ally. Question it, you get the stick.

I mean no offense to Kris and other feminists here. I am writing just to give you an idea of how this thread comes off to a (mostly) impartial observer. I value and have valued your perspectives.


shenlong55

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #151 on: October 11, 2018, 11:49:01 AM »
Do you agree with the other part? That being an ally and being a impartial observer are incompatible?

I guess I'm not entirely clear what is meant by impartial observer. The very definition of an ally is that I agree with them-- I'm not impartial and I'm trying to do more than just observe-- I'm trying to help.

If it just means do I form my own opinions about things, do I sometimes disagree with the tactics used, and do I voice those opinions (when I think it is helpful)? Then sure, that's what I do.

I'll give a few examples of an impartial observer (from my perspective, which unsurprisingly cannot be completely impartial - but that's my goal). Bear with me, as I'm not just looking to answer but further illustrate what I'm getting at.

An impartial observer's first interest is in being truthful. They would reject the phrase "believe women" because on its face it is not interested in the truth. It's a reaction to womens' claims of abuse being dismissed, and seeks to turn the tables.

I would say an impartial observer would be able to see, for example, the recent police shooting of Thurman Blevins in Minneapolis and understand that force was justified and racism was not the reason they shot him. This impartial observer would not be a very useful ally to Black Lives Matter who gathered at a press conference to chant "Black Lives Matter" as the Hennepin Co Attorney announced charges would not be filed against the officers.

An impartial observer might side with BLM ~50% of the time, as many of these shootings have been unjustified. However as an ally, your advice to sit this one out would not be welcome.

Or maybe an impartial observer would be skeptical of Serena Williams' claim of sexism against Carlos Ramos. (Feminists and allies generally point to the fact that her penalties cost her a match, which is exceedingly rare. However it is not rare to get warnings for coaching, penalties for racket breaking and penalties for harassing the umpire - Ramos has doled out all of these, plentifully. It's just rare that a tennis player continues their behavior once they've accrued multiple penalties to the point where it costs them a match).

Atheists have a phrase "God of the gaps" which means that theists tend to insert God wherever they find something that hasn't been well understood yet.

I think in many cases we're seeing a "Bigotry of the gaps" which reduces complex situations that ask for a more nuanced approach and chalk things up to bigotry.

I believe there is a large group that might have once identified as allies, and have voiced their opinions, and have found their opinions to be dismissed and received reprimands for offering them. And so they've given up on that type of allyship. They don't need to be validated as sufficiently progressive, and they feel insulted by the fact that people like Kris will refer to guys as awesome because they share her views. It feels like there's a carrot and a stick. Accept and embrace the ideology, and you get the carrot. You are regarded as an awesome ally. Question it, you get the stick.

I mean no offense to Kris and other feminists here. I am writing just to give you an idea of how this thread comes off to a (mostly) impartial observer. I value and have valued your perspectives.

I disagree with the bolded.  I think believing women* actually makes sense from an objective standpoint.  Our judicial system is biased towards the defendant for very good reasons, but those reasons are not applicable to the evaluation by common citizens of competing claims to truth.  I think that a lot of people are carrying these biases into their "objective" evaluation because these biases are held up as sacrosanct in American society.  But we forget that they are in fact biases that we choose to apply in the judicial system because individual liberty is one of our core values, so we want to be very certain that it is necessary before we take that away from someone.

I think an objective observer should realistically start from the position that a sexual harassment/assault accusation is at least about 70% likely to be true, based on the fact that the known false accusation rate is only about 10%.  Which is, I think, what is being communicated with the phrase "believe women".

*More accurately, sexual harassment/assault survivors, whether male or female.

dustinst22

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #152 on: October 11, 2018, 11:59:35 AM »
Really fantastic post, J Boogie.  I wish I could write and articulate 80% as well as you do.

Even taking these statistics mentioned above by shenlong55 into account (90% of sexual assault accusations are accurate) -- which by the way applies to the general population, not to a political environment where the statistics could easily be different due to ends justifying the means mentality (will also be interesting to observe if the statistics change over time after the #metoo movement).

How does one expect to apply this information in real life?  I'm not willing to assume someone is guilty based on this probability, 10% is still a massive number and it could mean destroying a person's life.  It's always important to look at the evidence in my view, even if we're not talking about an actual criminal trial.  Even 1% statistically is not a small number when it comes to a serious allegation.  10% is enormous.  We should remember history, this is a very dangerous mentality.  We cannot start making dangerous assumptions based on such broad probabilities.  There is an enormous difference between respecting/taking an allegation seriously, and assuming its accurate.

« Last Edit: October 11, 2018, 12:13:26 PM by dustinst22 »

shenlong55

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #153 on: October 11, 2018, 12:30:03 PM »
Really fantastic post, J Boogie.  I wish I could write and articulate 80% as well as you do.

Even taking these statistics mentioned above by shenlong55 into account (90% of sexual assault accusations are accurate) -- which by the way applies to the general population, not to a political environment where the statistics could easily be different due to ends justifying the means mentality (will also be interesting to observe if the statistics change over time after the #metoo movement).

How does one expect to apply this information in real life?  I'm not willing to assume someone is guilty based on this probability, 10% is still a massive number and it could mean destroying a person's life.  It's always important to look at the evidence in my view, even if we're not talking about an actual criminal trial.  Even 1% statistically is not a small number when it comes to a serious allegation.  10% is enormous.  We should remember history, this is a very dangerous mentality.  We cannot start making dangerous assumptions based on such broad probabilities.  There is an enormous difference between respecting/taking an allegation seriously, and assuming its accurate.

I'm talking about the objective evaluation of competing truth claims by individual citizens.  How and why would you destroy someone's life based on your individual objective evaluation?

J Boogie

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #154 on: October 11, 2018, 12:30:39 PM »

I think an objective observer should realistically start from the position that a sexual harassment/assault accusation is at least about 70% likely to be true, based on the fact that the known false accusation rate is only about 10%.  Which is, I think, what is being communicated with the phrase "believe women".


I agree with your recommendation as well as the stats. To give you an idea of where I stand, I wouldn't have voted for Kavanaugh (perjured himself and displayed rude, combative behavior) and I would have voted for Sotomayor, Kagan, Garland, and Gorsych. And I actually am a pretty big fan of the phrase/name of the movement "Black Lives Matter" for various reasons, even if I disagree with them on many protests.

I do however disagree that "believe women" communicates that a sexual assault accusation is at least 70% likely to be true. It takes quite a bit of parsing to arrive at that. What it communicates seems pretty straightforward - that we should believe women when they claim they have been sexually assaulted. And that's fine in a personal relationship context, but not in a legal or public one. I acknowledge a more nuanced phrase would be hard to come up with and even harder to gain traction with as a movement, so I'll try to be open minded about what this phrase in meant to communicate.


J Boogie

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #155 on: October 11, 2018, 12:34:06 PM »
Really fantastic post, J Boogie.  I wish I could write and articulate 80% as well as you do.

That's high praise Dustin, thank you.

Watchmaker

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #156 on: October 11, 2018, 12:34:56 PM »
I'll give a few examples of an impartial observer (from my perspective, which unsurprisingly cannot be completely impartial - but that's my goal). Bear with me, as I'm not just looking to answer but further illustrate what I'm getting at.

An impartial observer's first interest is in being truthful. They would reject the phrase "believe women" because on its face it is not interested in the truth. It's a reaction to womens' claims of abuse being dismissed, and seeks to turn the tables.

I would say an impartial observer would be able to see, for example, the recent police shooting of Thurman Blevins in Minneapolis and understand that force was justified and racism was not the reason they shot him. This impartial observer would not be a very useful ally to Black Lives Matter who gathered at a press conference to chant "Black Lives Matter" as the Hennepin Co Attorney announced charges would not be filed against the officers.

An impartial observer might side with BLM ~50% of the time, as many of these shootings have been unjustified. However as an ally, your advice to sit this one out would not be welcome.

Or maybe an impartial observer would be skeptical of Serena Williams' claim of sexism against Carlos Ramos. (Feminists and allies generally point to the fact that her penalties cost her a match, which is exceedingly rare. However it is not rare to get warnings for coaching, penalties for racket breaking and penalties for harassing the umpire - Ramos has doled out all of these, plentifully. It's just rare that a tennis player continues their behavior once they've accrued multiple penalties to the point where it costs them a match).

Atheists have a phrase "God of the gaps" which means that theists tend to insert God wherever they find something that hasn't been well understood yet.

I think in many cases we're seeing a "Bigotry of the gaps" which reduces complex situations that ask for a more nuanced approach and chalk things up to bigotry.

I believe there is a large group that might have once identified as allies, and have voiced their opinions, and have found their opinions to be dismissed and received reprimands for offering them. And so they've given up on that type of allyship. They don't need to be validated as sufficiently progressive, and they feel insulted by the fact that people like Kris will refer to guys as awesome because they share her views. It feels like there's a carrot and a stick. Accept and embrace the ideology, and you get the carrot. You are regarded as an awesome ally. Question it, you get the stick.

I mean no offense to Kris and other feminists here. I am writing just to give you an idea of how this thread comes off to a (mostly) impartial observer. I value and have valued your perspectives.

Thank you for the explanation, I'm going abstract my response somewhat rather then address your actual examples, because I don't want to get dragged into discussion of those particular incidents. I also want to respond to a couple different points, so this might be a bit all over the place.

I believe it is certainly possible to look at the details of an individual police shooting of a black man and come to the conclusion that it was justified. But there are cultural forces at work that influence every police shooting, and I believe that racism often has played a role in putting that black man into the position where the police can justifiably shoot him. So I may not believe the police officer has done anything wrong in some particular case, but I don't absolve society for it's share of the blame in creating the situation (nor do I absolve the man).

On the subject of reasonableness-- lets look at the way women's rights have been pursued. Generations of politeness didn't do them any good-- it took agitation and protest. And yet they are still told to manage their emotions despite the fact that (at least some evidence suggests) people listen to them more when they stop managing their emotions. If white men didn't have the vote, we wouldn't be polite, we wouldn't protest peacefully. We would start a fucking war. (And in this country, that's precisely what we did). We should be relieved women have been more patient than men would have been.

On the carrot and stick thing-- isn't that what we all do all the time? A few posts back dustin22 wrote "well said" to a post of yours. While I'm writing this he's added "really fantastic post" and you've replied with a "I agree with your recommendation". You two are doing the same thing Kris did when she agreed with me, so I don't really see the issue.

I certainly agree that there are people on the left who take "call out" culture too far, but my experience hasn't been anything like what you take about. Perhaps that's because I largely don't engage in politics online; most of my interactions are in person. Have you found a difference in your interactions with people on the left in person and online? The internet may not be the place for nuance.

I don't agree with what you say when you talk about "Believe women", largely because I don't agree with you on what the phrase means and the context it is meant to be used in. I don't think it means "believe every woman regardless of the truth", I think it means "Believe women when they tell you how bad it is, how much unwanted solicitation, unwanted touching, fear, and assault they live with". I also believe it is meant as a cultural tool, not a legal one. I do not think anyone is proposing we do away with criminal trials and lock men up on a women's word.

*edited for clarity*
« Last Edit: October 11, 2018, 12:38:05 PM by Watchmaker »

dustinst22

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #157 on: October 11, 2018, 12:38:31 PM »



I'm talking about the objective evaluation of competing truth claims by individual citizens.  How and why would you destroy someone's life based on your individual objective evaluation?

I'm asking how one should practically apply these statistics.  To make any assumptions based on such broad probabilities on such a serious matter can be quite dangerous. 

BookLoverL

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #158 on: October 11, 2018, 12:47:14 PM »
I just believe everyone, men, women, or nonbinary people, until/unless they prove themselves on an individual basis to be untrustworthy. I don't abandon my critical thinking skills - I just assume as my default that they, at least, believe that what they are saying is true, and have some reason for that.

shenlong55

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #159 on: October 11, 2018, 12:56:54 PM »

I think an objective observer should realistically start from the position that a sexual harassment/assault accusation is at least about 70% likely to be true, based on the fact that the known false accusation rate is only about 10%.  Which is, I think, what is being communicated with the phrase "believe women".


I agree with your recommendation as well as the stats. To give you an idea of where I stand, I wouldn't have voted for Kavanaugh (perjured himself and displayed rude, combative behavior) and I would have voted for Sotomayor, Kagan, Garland, and Gorsych. And I actually am a pretty big fan of the phrase/name of the movement "Black Lives Matter" for various reasons, even if I disagree with them on many protests.

I do however disagree that "believe women" communicates that a sexual assault accusation is at least 70% likely to be true. It takes quite a bit of parsing to arrive at that. What it communicates seems pretty straightforward - that we should believe women when they claim they have been sexually assaulted. And that's fine in a personal relationship context, but not in a legal or public one. I acknowledge a more nuanced phrase would be hard to come up with and even harder to gain traction with as a movement, so I'll try to be open minded about what this phrase in meant to communicate.

I understand that a lot of these political "slogans" are being misunderstood by people because they get a bit too simplified.  But I have a hard time giving people a pass for reflexively getting upset by them instead of just looking into them to find out the message that they're actually trying to communicate.  I think that it's common enough knowledge at this point that slogans are necessarily simplified forms of the actual message being sent.  So I do think the receiver of the message has a responsibility to at least try to understand the actual message behind the slogan before getting indignant about it.

former player

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #160 on: October 11, 2018, 01:02:46 PM »
 There appears to be a conflation of two different issues here.

The first is when a woman (or any sexual assault victim) says they has been sexually assaulted, do you believe that statement?  It seems to me that this the essence of the #metoo movement.   The question that occurs to me is: why would you not believe such a statement?  Particularly when we know the harm that has historically been done by not believing such statements - look at the problems of the Catholic Church, for starters, and the acknowledged gross underreporting of sexual assault crimes generally.

The second issue is: when a woman (or any sexual assault victim) accuses a specific person of sexually assault, do you believe that accusation?  There is a secondary question here of context: an accusation to law enforcement authorities and in court is different from an accusation among peers, and a private accusation different from a public one.  Even in a law enforcement setting the statistics show that an accusation is more likely to be true than not.  Which suggests to me, absent any other information, that in ordinary conversation between peers one should as a minimum take an accusation of sexual assault against a specific person seriously, and absent any contradicting information tend to believe that it is true.

shenlong55

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #161 on: October 11, 2018, 02:22:52 PM »
I'm talking about the objective evaluation of competing truth claims by individual citizens.  How and why would you destroy someone's life based on your individual objective evaluation?

I'm asking how one should practically apply these statistics.  To make any assumptions based on such broad probabilities on such a serious matter can be quite dangerous.

Well, this is essentially how I was thinking about the Kavanaugh nomination.  And yes, I applied a modifier due to it being highly political and I also try to be as generous as possible to the accused with most numbers.  But then I also apply lots of other modifiers including ones that mostly offset that first modifier based on the polygraph, the therapists notes and sworn statements from friends and family.  So my math looks something like this.

Resolved cases - False: 10%
Resolved cases - True: 20%
Percentage of resolved cases that are false: 33%
Base chance that an accusation is true: 67%
Modifier for political circumstances: -20%
Modifier for polygraph: +1%
Modifier for therapist notes: +2%
Modifier for sworn statements: +2%
Modifier for deceptive behavior by the accused: +3%
Modifier for additional credible accusations: +5% per
Final evaluated likelihood of accusation being true: ~55-65%

You may not agree with some of these numbers, I may have missed some modifiers and some of them are just complete guesses on my part.  But as I said, I've tried to be as generous as possible to the accused especially on the parts where I'm guessing at probabilities.  For example, I used the highest current estimate for false accusation rates, I assume that the false accusation rate is the same for unresolved cases as resolved cases and I think a 20% increase in the chance of a false accusation for political circumstances is kind of high.  But even still, without being overly generous I find it difficult to get below a 50% likelihood of the accusation being true and that's easily enough for me to think that he should not be elevated to the Supreme Court.

Since the most I can do is express my opinion to my Senators and the most I would advocate to them is to not elevate him to an even higher position than he already holds I think this is a fair method of assessing that situation.  I would never advocate taking his life, liberty or property or ostracizing him from society based on this evaluation.

J Boogie

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #162 on: October 11, 2018, 03:19:30 PM »
Thank you for the explanation, I'm going abstract my response somewhat rather then address your actual examples, because I don't want to get dragged into discussion of those particular incidents. I also want to respond to a couple different points, so this might be a bit all over the place.

I believe it is certainly possible to look at the details of an individual police shooting of a black man and come to the conclusion that it was justified. But there are cultural forces at work that influence every police shooting, and I believe that racism often has played a role in putting that black man into the position where the police can justifiably shoot him. So I may not believe the police officer has done anything wrong in some particular case, but I don't absolve society for it's share of the blame in creating the situation (nor do I absolve the man).


I don't disagree there. I just disagree with protesting the lack of prison time given to police officers who haven't broken the law.

Quote
On the subject of reasonableness-- lets look at the way women's rights have been pursued. Generations of politeness didn't do them any good-- it took agitation and protest. And yet they are still told to manage their emotions despite the fact that (at least some evidence suggests) people listen to them more when they stop managing their emotions. If white men didn't have the vote, we wouldn't be polite, we wouldn't protest peacefully. We would start a fucking war. (And in this country, that's precisely what we did). We should be relieved women have been more patient than men would have been.

I'm not opposed to assertive protest, and I agree it is effective. It's the abandonment of critical thinking and contempt displayed to those who engage in it on these issues. Think of those who argue that racism = power + prejudice. Racism already has a definition, and this new definition has simply been created to let racists of historically oppressed groups off the hook. That actually hurts the cause by turning off all of the fair minded people who might otherwise by sympathetic to their cause.

Quote
On the carrot and stick thing-- isn't that what we all do all the time? A few posts back dustin22 wrote "well said" to a post of yours. While I'm writing this he's added "really fantastic post" and you've replied with a "I agree with your recommendation". You two are doing the same thing Kris did when she agreed with me, so I don't really see the issue.

There's a slight difference, but an important one. It's fine to compliment folks you agree with and hold them in high esteem if they are fair minded thinkers. I think it's messed up to base your judgment of a person based on how closely they adhere to your ideology and publicize that. I'm not saying Kris intended to communicate to everyone that unless they agree that male socializing leads to misogyny, she doesn't hold them in high esteem, but that's what I think can be reasonably inferred from her statement. It falls into the vein of the "If you voted for Trump, unfriend me now" facebook status. It's a positively framed version of that.
Quote
I certainly agree that there are people on the left who take "call out" culture too far, but my experience hasn't been anything like what you take about. Perhaps that's because I largely don't engage in politics online; most of my interactions are in person. Have you found a difference in your interactions with people on the left in person and online? The internet may not be the place for nuance.

I don't agree with what you say when you talk about "Believe women", largely because I don't agree with you on what the phrase means and the context it is meant to be used in. I don't think it means "believe every woman regardless of the truth", I think it means "Believe women when they tell you how bad it is, how much unwanted solicitation, unwanted touching, fear, and assault they live with". I also believe it is meant as a cultural tool, not a legal one. I do not think anyone is proposing we do away with criminal trials and lock men up on a women's word.

*edited for clarity*

While I have many friends on the left, I only have a few that are far left - and they're more sympathetic to far left ideology than aggressively promoting it in person. All of my in person interactions have been pretty respectful and fair minded when politics come up. I haven't used facebook in a couple years, so my sources of this bad behavior of the far left I'm reporting are mostly based on what I read in the news, hear in podcasts, read in this forum, etc. I think the internet is a place full of nuance if you look in the right corners of it. NPR, good podcasts, long form articles from Atlantic, Quillette, NYT, etc.

Good perspective on believe women. Thanks for sharing it, I tend to agree with what you've mentioned although it originally struck me as dangerously oversimplified.



Watchmaker

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #163 on: October 11, 2018, 04:08:59 PM »
Thank you for the explanation, I'm going abstract my response somewhat rather then address your actual examples, because I don't want to get dragged into discussion of those particular incidents. I also want to respond to a couple different points, so this might be a bit all over the place.

I believe it is certainly possible to look at the details of an individual police shooting of a black man and come to the conclusion that it was justified. But there are cultural forces at work that influence every police shooting, and I believe that racism often has played a role in putting that black man into the position where the police can justifiably shoot him. So I may not believe the police officer has done anything wrong in some particular case, but I don't absolve society for it's share of the blame in creating the situation (nor do I absolve the man).


I don't disagree there. I just disagree with protesting the lack of prison time given to police officers who haven't broken the law.

There are some situations where I don't believe a reasonable person could believe the police officer wasn't justified. In those cases, if someone protests I assume they are knowingly prioritizing politics over justice, and I don't like that. In other cases, I may not think the police did anything wrong (and they may have been found not guilty, or not charged with anything) but I still see enough ambiguity that I can understand why someone would protest. If some people chose to protest something which I disagree with (the protest), it has no effect on my opinion about the situation. So I'll continue to believe black men are unfairly and unlawfully targeted by police, even if sometimes BLM protests what I would consider a justifiable (though still lamentable) shooting, and I will continue to try to be an ally to that movement. I don't think we differ much on this, but if you'd like to expand where you disagree, that would be appreciated.

Quote
On the subject of reasonableness-- lets look at the way women's rights have been pursued. Generations of politeness didn't do them any good-- it took agitation and protest. And yet they are still told to manage their emotions despite the fact that (at least some evidence suggests) people listen to them more when they stop managing their emotions. If white men didn't have the vote, we wouldn't be polite, we wouldn't protest peacefully. We would start a fucking war. (And in this country, that's precisely what we did). We should be relieved women have been more patient than men would have been.

I'm not opposed to assertive protest, and I agree it is effective. It's the abandonment of critical thinking and contempt displayed to those who engage in it on these issues. Think of those who argue that racism = power + prejudice. Racism already has a definition, and this new definition has simply been created to let racists of historically oppressed groups off the hook. That actually hurts the cause by turning off all of the fair minded people who might otherwise by sympathetic to their cause.

This part wasn't even necessarily in response to your post, just something I wanted to say.  I think I understand the point your making about racism, though do you mean historically un-opressed groups?. You are saying that it bothers you when people say you can't be racist towards white people, because you have to have the power to oppress to be racist. Do I have you right?

If that's the case, I think it's not a fruitful subject to argue. Because we're not discussing the underlying actions, we're discussing what arbitrary label we apply to those actions. If the left had started saying opressism to mean when a group in power is prejudiced towards a group not in power, rather that modifying the use of racism, nothing would be any different, but you'd presumably be okay with this word. The words we use are meaningless in isolation, it's the action that they point to that matters. No one is harmed by this new definition of racism (we still have the word prejudice to refer to actions against white people).

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On the carrot and stick thing-- isn't that what we all do all the time? A few posts back dustin22 wrote "well said" to a post of yours. While I'm writing this he's added "really fantastic post" and you've replied with a "I agree with your recommendation". You two are doing the same thing Kris did when she agreed with me, so I don't really see the issue.

There's a slight difference, but an important one. It's fine to compliment folks you agree with and hold them in high esteem if they are fair minded thinkers. I think it's messed up to base your judgment of a person based on how closely they adhere to your ideology and publicize that. I'm not saying Kris intended to communicate to everyone that unless they agree that male socializing leads to misogyny, she doesn't hold them in high esteem, but that's what I think can be reasonably inferred from her statement. It falls into the vein of the "If you voted for Trump, unfriend me now" facebook status. It's a positively framed version of that.
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I don't know, this still feels like Russell's conjugation: I am righteously indignant, you are annoyed, he is making a fuss over nothing.

Or to offer an updated version: I am complimentary, you are virtue signalling, they are enforcing an ideology.

You are reading a different meaning into someone else's action than you do your own, despite the fact the the actual actions are quite similar. 
 
While I have many friends on the left, I only have a few that are far left - and they're more sympathetic to far left ideology than aggressively promoting it in person. All of my in person interactions have been pretty respectful and fair minded when politics come up. I haven't used facebook in a couple years, so my sources of this bad behavior of the far left I'm reporting are mostly based on what I read in the news, hear in podcasts, read in this forum, etc. I think the internet is a place full of nuance if you look in the right corners of it. NPR, good podcasts, long form articles from Atlantic, Quillette, NYT, etc.

Good perspective on believe women. Thanks for sharing it, I tend to agree with what you've mentioned although it originally struck me as dangerously oversimplified.

My language was sloppy. I agree that there are plenty of places on the internet where nuance can thrive (including here, hopefully). Rather, I suppose I meant to say whatever corner of the internet that is bothering you might not be an accurate reflection of people on the whole.

*edited for clarity*
« Last Edit: October 11, 2018, 04:11:32 PM by Watchmaker »

maizeman

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #164 on: October 11, 2018, 05:19:13 PM »
If that's the case, I think it's not a fruitful subject to argue. Because we're not discussing the underlying actions, we're discussing what arbitrary label we apply to those actions. If the left had started saying opressism to mean when a group in power is prejudiced towards a group not in power, rather that modifying the use of racism, nothing would be any different, but you'd presumably be okay with this word. The words we use are meaningless in isolation, it's the action that they point to that matters. No one is harmed by this new definition of racism (we still have the word prejudice to refer to actions against white people).

Watchmaker is it clear you are taking the time to thoughtfully consider these issues, and I appreciate that. Particularly on a topic like this one where it is very easy to give up and either disengage or just retreat to shouting the same slogans back and forth at each other without having a real conversation.

However, in this particular post, I disagree with your bolded assertion. The advantage of a new word like "opressism" is that it does not collide with an existing word with an existing widely understood definition. So while not everyone will know the meaning of the new word, they will now that they need to seek out the definition, or ask a question of the person they are speaking to, if it comes up.

Taking an existing word (racism) and using it in a way that excludes a part of the meaning it is understood to have by the vast majority of current english speakers harms the people who are mislead by hearing you use the word, assuming you're intending to use it with the widespread definition, and are mislead as a result. This is particularly true when it is a word like racism, which describes a bad and dangerous thing.

Consider the word poison. If for whatever reason I decided I wanted to redefine the word poison so that it includes "a substance that is capable of causing the illness or death of a living organism when introduced or absorbed, except hemotoxins (toxins which damage red blood cells." If I tell someone who doesn't share my non-standard definition "hey that snake isn't poisonous" and I don't include a disclaimer that I'm using a non-standard definition of poisonous, and what my definition is, most of the time everything is fine, and occasionally a person is mislead and ends up sick or dead.

Watchmaker

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #165 on: October 12, 2018, 07:45:20 AM »
If that's the case, I think it's not a fruitful subject to argue. Because we're not discussing the underlying actions, we're discussing what arbitrary label we apply to those actions. If the left had started saying opressism to mean when a group in power is prejudiced towards a group not in power, rather that modifying the use of racism, nothing would be any different, but you'd presumably be okay with this word. The words we use are meaningless in isolation, it's the action that they point to that matters. No one is harmed by this new definition of racism (we still have the word prejudice to refer to actions against white people).

Watchmaker is it clear you are taking the time to thoughtfully consider these issues, and I appreciate that. Particularly on a topic like this one where it is very easy to give up and either disengage or just retreat to shouting the same slogans back and forth at each other without having a real conversation.

However, in this particular post, I disagree with your bolded assertion. The advantage of a new word like "opressism" is that it does not collide with an existing word with an existing widely understood definition. So while not everyone will know the meaning of the new word, they will now that they need to seek out the definition, or ask a question of the person they are speaking to, if it comes up.

Taking an existing word (racism) and using it in a way that excludes a part of the meaning it is understood to have by the vast majority of current english speakers harms the people who are mislead by hearing you use the word, assuming you're intending to use it with the widespread definition, and are mislead as a result. This is particularly true when it is a word like racism, which describes a bad and dangerous thing.

Consider the word poison. If for whatever reason I decided I wanted to redefine the word poison so that it includes "a substance that is capable of causing the illness or death of a living organism when introduced or absorbed, except hemotoxins (toxins which damage red blood cells." If I tell someone who doesn't share my non-standard definition "hey that snake isn't poisonous" and I don't include a disclaimer that I'm using a non-standard definition of poisonous, and what my definition is, most of the time everything is fine, and occasionally a person is mislead and ends up sick or dead.

I appreciate you disagreeing with me but but engaging in real discussion.

I've thought about what you've said, and I'll agree that saying "no one is harmed" was taking things a bit too far. Obviously if a new term had been adopted then we might have saved all the time people have spent discussing this new use of the word racism, if nothing else.

I know when I first realized that people were using the word to mean something slightly more specific than the definition I understood, it caused some confusion. I probably also bristled at the idea of being told what the word should be used to refer to. So I do understand your complaint.

If I was in charge of the language, I would have preferred a new term. But languages change all the time and I'm not in charge of how they do (nobody is). So we adapt. Literally literally means both literally and not literally. This is not the decision I would have made.

Language is actually a subject near to my heart, and I'd love to discuss this subject more. But what I've heard from many people in minority groups is that when white people get hung up on this subject, it looks like we're 1) trying to derail the conversation 2) reduce our ownership of the problems in society. So that's why I say I don't think it's a fruitful topic. It may not be ideal, but there are bigger things to discuss. 

Watchmaker

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #166 on: October 12, 2018, 08:16:40 AM »
At the end of the last post, it sounds like I'm saying we shouldn't discuss that subject any further, or even that I'm saying my fear of the opinion of the "left" is stifling me.

That's not how I meant it to come out, so let me try again: I have no problem discussing subjects like that (in fact I'd like to), I just think it's important to do so in a way that doesn't distract from discussing the actual things behind the words.

If anyone wants to go continue with the language discussion, I could start a new thread specifically for that.

J Boogie

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #167 on: October 12, 2018, 08:41:25 AM »
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There are some situations where I don't believe a reasonable person could believe the police officer wasn't justified. In those cases, if someone protests I assume they are knowingly prioritizing politics over justice, and I don't like that. In other cases, I may not think the police did anything wrong (and they may have been found not guilty, or not charged with anything) but I still see enough ambiguity that I can understand why someone would protest. If some people chose to protest something which I disagree with (the protest), it has no effect on my opinion about the situation. So I'll continue to believe black men are unfairly and unlawfully targeted by police, even if sometimes BLM protests what I would consider a justifiable (though still lamentable) shooting, and I will continue to try to be an ally to that movement. I don't think we differ much on this, but if you'd like to expand where you disagree, that would be appreciated.

I don't think we differ much either. I sympathize with the movement, as I agree with the premise of black lives matter, but I find these protests intellectually dishonest. I see less ambiguity in the justified killings. I think it's an unrealistic expectation to have a of a police officer that they would have the diplomatic skills of Kofi Annan and the patience of Job for $55k/yr.  However we both agree it's not too much to expect that a police officer refrain from killing someone who does not threaten their safety.

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This part wasn't even necessarily in response to your post, just something I wanted to say.  I think I understand the point your making about racism, though do you mean historically un-opressed groups?. You are saying that it bothers you when people say you can't be racist towards white people, because you have to have the power to oppress to be racist. Do I have you right?

If that's the case, I think it's not a fruitful subject to argue. Because we're not discussing the underlying actions, we're discussing what arbitrary label we apply to those actions. If the left had started saying opressism to mean when a group in power is prejudiced towards a group not in power, rather that modifying the use of racism, nothing would be any different, but you'd presumably be okay with this word. The words we use are meaningless in isolation, it's the action that they point to that matters. No one is harmed by this new definition of racism (we still have the word prejudice to refer to actions against white people).

Yes, you have me right - I was referring to racism committed against white people by historically oppressed groups.

It bothers me not as a white person fearing open season has been declared on me, but as a matter of intellectual consistency. I have a distaste for moving the goalposts to accommodate or excuse behaviors we don't want to admit are harmful because we might sound like Sean Hannity.

I know what you mean when you say it's not a fruitful subject to argue. It's a bad look. GuitarStv more or less agreed with Sol about blanket statements about men - no need to get offended, not a big deal, etc. But I think most of us acknowledge that racism against white people is still racism, and blanket negative statements about men are sexist. Pointing out these truths causes others to suspect our motive is to derail the conversation about overarching issues of white supremacy or misogyny. But that's not my motive, I agree that minorities and women have and continue to face unfair treatment. I and others with the same type A personality notice unneeded hyperbole and blatant hypocrisy (even if it's mostly theoretical and not a current threat to anyone) wherever I see it, and to censor myself only for minorities/women in a way is kind of bigoted. It's the soft bigotry of low expectations. I get that its a bit of a sidebar to a bigger conversation, but that doesn't mean it's meaningless or unimportant.

I would grant that there's a blurry line between having lower expectations and exercising empathy. I listened to an NPR story not long ago demonstrating that students of color did far better when they had a black teacher. One of the main factors was that the black teachers had higher expectations and many of the white teachers were more accommodating and forgiving of these students who they assume are likely to deal with poverty, difficult situations at home etc. I'm no expert in this realm, but I find it fascinating to listen to people like Coleman Hughes/John McWhorter on one hand and Ta-Nehisi Coates on the other.

former player

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #168 on: October 12, 2018, 09:26:01 AM »

 I think it's an unrealistic expectation to have a of a police officer that they would have the diplomatic skills of Kofi Annan and the patience of Job for $55k/yr. 


I agree with a lot of what you have said (and not quoted), and I sort of agree with the statement I have quoted too.  Except (and it's a big "except") I do think it is incumbent on police authorities to provide appropriate training to their police officers, not just anti-racist training but also mental health training: mental health problems are present disproportionately in minority populations in general and even more so in the part of minority populations which comes into contact with police.

Another excellent initiative for reducing police confrontations generally and with minority populations in particular is for police to have mental health professionals readily available to them, and even riding round on patrol with them.  A mental health nurse can much better identify a member of the public who is suffering from mental health problems and implement the proper approach to de-escalate a situation.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 09:41:52 AM by former player »

Watchmaker

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #169 on: October 12, 2018, 09:40:08 AM »
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There are some situations where I don't believe a reasonable person could believe the police officer wasn't justified. In those cases, if someone protests I assume they are knowingly prioritizing politics over justice, and I don't like that. In other cases, I may not think the police did anything wrong (and they may have been found not guilty, or not charged with anything) but I still see enough ambiguity that I can understand why someone would protest. If some people chose to protest something which I disagree with (the protest), it has no effect on my opinion about the situation. So I'll continue to believe black men are unfairly and unlawfully targeted by police, even if sometimes BLM protests what I would consider a justifiable (though still lamentable) shooting, and I will continue to try to be an ally to that movement. I don't think we differ much on this, but if you'd like to expand where you disagree, that would be appreciated.

I don't think we differ much either. I sympathize with the movement, as I agree with the premise of black lives matter, but I find these protests intellectually dishonest. I see less ambiguity in the justified killings. I think it's an unrealistic expectation to have a of a police officer that they would have the diplomatic skills of Kofi Annan and the patience of Job for $55k/yr.  However we both agree it's not too much to expect that a police officer refrain from killing someone who does not threaten their safety.

I think we hold police to too low a standard and provide them with inappropriate and inadequate training, so yes, I have doubts about many shootings which are cleared. (I see former player has just said something about this as well)

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This part wasn't even necessarily in response to your post, just something I wanted to say.  I think I understand the point your making about racism, though do you mean historically un-opressed groups?. You are saying that it bothers you when people say you can't be racist towards white people, because you have to have the power to oppress to be racist. Do I have you right?

If that's the case, I think it's not a fruitful subject to argue. Because we're not discussing the underlying actions, we're discussing what arbitrary label we apply to those actions. If the left had started saying opressism to mean when a group in power is prejudiced towards a group not in power, rather that modifying the use of racism, nothing would be any different, but you'd presumably be okay with this word. The words we use are meaningless in isolation, it's the action that they point to that matters. No one is harmed by this new definition of racism (we still have the word prejudice to refer to actions against white people).

Yes, you have me right - I was referring to racism committed against white people by historically oppressed groups.

It bothers me not as a white person fearing open season has been declared on me, but as a matter of intellectual consistency. I have a distaste for moving the goalposts to accommodate or excuse behaviors we don't want to admit are harmful because we might sound like Sean Hannity.

I know what you mean when you say it's not a fruitful subject to argue. It's a bad look. GuitarStv more or less agreed with Sol about blanket statements about men - no need to get offended, not a big deal, etc. But I think most of us acknowledge that racism against white people is still racism, and blanket negative statements about men are sexist. Pointing out these truths causes others to suspect our motive is to derail the conversation about overarching issues of white supremacy or misogyny. But that's not my motive, I agree that minorities and women have and continue to face unfair treatment. I and others with the same type A personality notice unneeded hyperbole and blatant hypocrisy (even if it's mostly theoretical and not a current threat to anyone) wherever I see it, and to censor myself only for minorities/women in a way is kind of bigoted. It's the soft bigotry of low expectations. I get that its a bit of a sidebar to a bigger conversation, but that doesn't mean it's meaningless or unimportant.

I would grant that there's a blurry line between having lower expectations and exercising empathy. I listened to an NPR story not long ago demonstrating that students of color did far better when they had a black teacher. One of the main factors was that the black teachers had higher expectations and many of the white teachers were more accommodating and forgiving of these students who they assume are likely to deal with poverty, difficult situations at home etc. I'm no expert in this realm, but I find it fascinating to listen to people like Coleman Hughes/John McWhorter on one hand and Ta-Nehisi Coates on the other.

"Racism against white people is still racism."

Someone in the BLM movement might tell you that you are wrong, you can't be racist against white people. But they'd normally agree that:

"Prejudice against white people is still prejudice."

And you'd be talking about the same thing, you'd just have a different word that you want to use. You'd both have your reasons why you prefer your language, but that feels like a secondary issue to me.

Pointing this out "causes others to suspect our motive" because it is very common for white people to use this kind of argument to deflect. I work with some racist people and every day I hear them do this--deflect and derail conversations about racism by nitpicking language. I also see it all over the internet. I'm certain that's not what you are doing, but unless they already know you, what are they going to think? And so it's incumbent upon you and me to pick the right times and right ways to discuss these secondary issues, so as not to take space away from the bigger conversation.   

Watchmaker

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #170 on: October 12, 2018, 09:44:13 AM »
Language and the brain is funny. When I was writing my last post, I saw former player had commented, quickly glanced at her comment to see if there was anything I should respond to (planning to actually read it later), and then finished writing my post.

My brain obviously picked up the word "incumbent" from her post, because it's not a word I would typically use, but I did in the very next sentence I wrote.

GuitarStv

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #171 on: October 12, 2018, 09:49:36 AM »
Policing isn't something that you can look at in isolation.  There are many factors that will change how an officer will respond to a scenario.

This includes subtle things like gun laws of a country - an officer in a country where anyone can easily buy a handgun will respond very differently to someone reaching into a pocket than an officer in a country where it's very hard to buy a firearm.  The level of risk to the officer is different.  There are issues like the problem of reduced funding for mental health . . . which doesn't mean that mental health problems go away, just that they're handled by police more often than social workers and health care professionals.  Police don't have much training regarding handling mental health because it shouldn't be a large part of their job.  Are the laws that police enforce fair across races?  This includes obvious and overt problems . . . like the tendency of the legal system to protect bad police officers, the tendency of police departments to protect their own.  Institutional/cultural problems . . . do the officers of a governing police force look like the members of the community?  An example would be an all white police force in a black neighborhood.

Race is certainly one of these factors, but it doesn't exist in isolation.  It's important to hold police accountable, but it's also important to create an environment where safety and accountability is fostered.

rocketpj

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #172 on: October 17, 2018, 11:56:40 PM »

But wow. Iím racking my brain trying to think of one of those anytime recently.

I thought Al Franken taking responsibility for what was a relatively minor incident and stepping down was a fairly respectable example.  It was a potentially 'survivable' scandal, but he just apologized and resigned.

merula

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #173 on: October 18, 2018, 06:58:34 AM »

But wow. Iím racking my brain trying to think of one of those anytime recently.

I thought Al Franken taking responsibility for what was a relatively minor incident and stepping down was a fairly respectable example.  It was a potentially 'survivable' scandal, but he just apologized and resigned.

Yeah, but the politics were easy. DFL governor appointed a DFL interim senator, who now is running as an incumbent (because she is), and the whole thing keeps the seat safer than if he had run against a GOP challenger with that over his head.

I doubt he would've resigned had doing so meant one more GOP seat in the senate.

Nickel

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #174 on: October 23, 2018, 05:17:29 PM »
Sol, I've read a lot of your posts. You are incredibly bright, and (from what I know of you) you are a good person. I hope you take some time to review what has been discussed and try to understand what a number of people are saying to you.

I just read all these posts.  My take is that Sol is a genuine advocate for feminism who has tried to help and tried understand what people said to him ... and succeeded.  But some reciprocity is missing. You may recall this exchange from Jane Austin/Pride and Prejudice:

Elizabeth: "And your defect is to hate everybody."

Darcy: "And yours," he replied with a smile, "is willfully to misunderstand them."

Kris

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #175 on: October 23, 2018, 05:27:57 PM »
Sol, I've read a lot of your posts. You are incredibly bright, and (from what I know of you) you are a good person. I hope you take some time to review what has been discussed and try to understand what a number of people are saying to you.

I just read all these posts.  My take is that Sol is a genuine advocate for feminism who has tried to help and tried understand what people said to him ... and succeeded.  But some reciprocity is missing. You may recall this exchange from Jane Austin/Pride and Prejudice:

Elizabeth: "And your defect is to hate everybody."

Darcy: "And yours," he replied with a smile, "is willfully to misunderstand them."

Amusing that the example you take is from a book with as one of its central themes institutionalized sexism toward women, who as a result must make themselves agreeable to men and subjugate their own opinions in order to have a hope of a future.  :D
« Last Edit: October 23, 2018, 05:29:58 PM by Kris »