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Thread: Does not being a bigot require embracing bigotry?

  1. #26
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    It would be nice if both sides pitched in. I remember in middle school an asian kid being called racial things, but when he snapped and dropped the N bomb, it suddenly became a big deal.

    M.
    Quote Originally Posted by David Lewis Smith View Post
    Michael Eversberg , can you play the dry witted supporting hero?

  2. #27
    Most of the Native Americans I know are high steel workers, They thought the college kids were funny

  3. #28
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    I agree but I would prefer that the standard be based be civility and politeness rather then special treatment based on history. A little tolerance from all sides would be most refreshing and would benefit all sides.
    I am totally in agreement with you. This would be the best way for this kind of thing to be handled.

    I think, though, that most people making the claims would say they are only looking for civility...the friction usually comes from the other party seeing it as special treatment. "I can denigrate that group, but not this one? That's not fair!" seems to be the paradigm.

    It's certainly complicated and I don't think there is one consistent or "correct" response. It's one of those frustrating case-by-case deals that cries out for a norm. I'm not sure we can come up with a satisfying one, though. "Suck it up..It’s just PC nonsense" isn't justified all the time; neither is constant accommodating, quite frankly.

    I just feel that the pendulum has swung so much in the “PC nonsense” direction (for good reason) that some valuable historical lessons get lost and we build more fences out of bravado and bruised egos than are necessary.

    Kevin Cantwell

  4. #29
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    Considering some of the horrific things that happened to Aborigines in Australia (including the Stolen Generation), it's not surprising that these types of disclaimers occur.
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  5. #30
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    Considering some of the horrific things that happened to Aborigines in Australia (including the Stolen Generation), it's not surprising that these types of disclaimers occur.
    That's what I was getting at with the idea that some groups may very well have a legitimate case. It seems somehow "wrong" to call foul on the (legitimate) double-standard in the face of history.

    It is certainly difficult to make a norm or somehow quantify historical suffering, but some cases are pretty cut and dried, I would think.

    Kevin Cantwell

  6. #31
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    Many groups have had terrible histories and have been victimized and those past insults deserve recognition and in some cases restitution. However it does not make one groups value systems more deserving of consideration then someone else's. A civil and polite society must treat all of it's elements equally. Special treatment or even special consideration is is ultimately divisive not inclusive.

    If I offend you and you want to modify someone's behavior a simple explanation will get better results then strident demands. It is counterproductive to equate instructions for playing a musical instrument with advocating children playing with razor blades.

    If we can inject more logic and less emotion into these dialogues it will be better for all.

  7. #32
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    So this whole thing comes from this book showing a woman playing the instrument, but in traditional aboriginie culture, women are not allowed to play it?

    M.
    Quote Originally Posted by David Lewis Smith View Post
    Michael Eversberg , can you play the dry witted supporting hero?

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Eversberg II View Post
    So this whole thing comes from this book showing a woman playing the instrument, but in traditional aboriginie culture, women are not allowed to play it?

    M.
    Pretty much, yes.
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  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mat Rous View Post
    Pretty much, yes.
    Hmm...

    -Mercy to the wolf is cruelty to the sheep.
    -Those who turn their swords into plowshares often end up plowing the fields of those who did not.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mat Rous View Post
    Pretty much, yes.
    Weird how we shy from mysogeny but when it comes knocking at our door we do little about it. Mind you, I'm all for respecting another culture, what I perceive as good AND bad. If in modern Australian culture women play the digirido, then the Aborigines must accept that, or do something to change it.

    We could get into a discussion about expectations to conquered peoples, but that is all philosophy, where there are no right or wrong answers.

    To answer the thread title: Hate the sin, not the sinner?

    M.
    Quote Originally Posted by David Lewis Smith View Post
    Michael Eversberg , can you play the dry witted supporting hero?

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Eversberg II View Post
    If in modern Australian culture women play the digirido, then the Aborigines must accept that, or do something to change it.

    We could get into a discussion about expectations to conquered peoples, but that is all philosophy, where there are no right or wrong answers.
    M.
    Whose to say how passionate the Aborigines feel about their culture being coopted by what they may perceive to be a culturally insensitive/ignorant/disrespectful culture? Many indigenous cultures see issues such as this in terms of survival--that the last vestiges of their culture are being assaulted by the dominant culture that took away their land, language, children, livelihood, and in some cases their swords as well.

    And who are WE to tell another culture how to act? We're not talking about genocide here, but a native belief (some may say superstition).

    And if we truly view ourselves as "the conquerers," then our expectations of the vanquished should be no less than one of insurrection and protest. It could be much worse....boomerangs hurt

  12. #37
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    No one is forcing Aborigines to change thier cultural or beliefs. The book was not even targeted at them.

    The Amish in Pennsylvania do not believe in using electricty but they do not objet to others using it. A non Amish farm using electricity is not a problem to them even as a neighbor.

    Protecting one's beliefs means not having to change them it does not mean imposing them on others.

  13. #38
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    I have to say "amen" to what Dennis said. Forcing on some one, or some one forcing their values on another is wrong. To discuss or even argue the point is fine but when some one's values out way another's and publishing, or what have you reacts to that, well its wrong.

  14. #39
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    First of all, let me state that I agree with much of what has been said. Many have made good points, but personally and philosophically I'm inclined to tip my hat to W. Oster and Kevin. Quite a few well written and thoughtful responses, Kevin. However, my personal and philosophical beliefs don't preclude me from respecting others' opinions here.

    That said, I find these discussions of cultural change and/ or "PC" (whatever that means. Someone please define it) discussions/ reactions to be ultimately limited in scope. The forum rules dictate that discussions do not delve into the realm of politics. But, when discussing something like "PC" or even attempting to here on SFI is, at best, scratching the surface of the issue and, at worst, a total troll job. I agree that values, understanding, miscommunication, and intent should be a 2-way street, but let's observe the phenomena on these streets. Simply, on one side of the road there are piddly, little VW-esque bugs. On other side there are huge, 18-wheelers. Guess which side represents who/ which group.


    How can matters of marginalization, power politics, institutionalized racism, irrational societal fear, and hidden discourse even be attempted here without discussing the relationships, matters, and decisions of men and women (aka politics in the strictest sense). These issues are politically volatile by nature because everyone has an opinion, and more importantly everyone has a stake in the issue. Simply, I find such discussions here both intellectually and emotionally frustrating. Why do I keep biting when presented with the bait?


    Some opinions are rational. Others are based on emotion only.
    Hey, at least I have the ability to separate and distinguish between rationality and emotions.
    "All that is new is, by that fact, automatically traditional."
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  15. #40
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    to expand the highway analogy In the example we are discussing the little VW-esque bugs have the absolute right of way and the 18 wheelers have to get out of the way

  16. #41
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    we could probably loosen the rules a Little if we could avoid attacking each other or heaping blame on countries or societies. I an just afraid we will end up with "country x is guilty of terrible things and is the evil incarnation of Satan".

    In forum discussions polite conversation and logic is good... Emotion and rude behavior gets threads locked

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Boas View Post
    to expand the highway analogy In the example we are discussing the little VW-esque bugs have the absolute right of way and the 18 wheelers have to get out of the way
    Occasionally, this might be the case like in the original example of the thread.
    See, I'm not disagreeing with you.
    But, Dennis, do you want to discuss only that example? Seems to me your previous posts touch on greater societal reactions and impacts.

    I think more often than not, the bugs are simply run over. Less of them, smaller cars and so forth...
    Will you disagree with me?
    Last edited by Sherman Chow; 09-09-2008 at 06:29 PM.
    "All that is new is, by that fact, automatically traditional."
    Jean-Luc Goddard

    "But I don't know what to do with those Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs..."
    Dr. Fraiser Crane

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Boas View Post
    In forum discussions polite conversation and logic is good... Emotion and rude behavior gets threads locked
    No doubt your first statement is correct if we could in fact agree on how "logic" fits into society writ large.

    The latter statement is also correct. Surely you acknowledge that emotion is part of the equation in these issues. Haves and Have nots, and the fear that something thing may be gained for some people and taken away from others. The stakes, as I mentioned earlier.
    "All that is new is, by that fact, automatically traditional."
    Jean-Luc Goddard

    "But I don't know what to do with those Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs..."
    Dr. Fraiser Crane

  19. #44
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    to expand the highway analogy In the example we are discussing the little VW-esque bugs have the absolute right of way and the 18 wheelers have to get out of the way
    Well, in essence, the 18-wheelers have flaunted the rules of the road for so long that they are accustomed to driving as they please. When an attempt is made to ticket them for a rather trifling offense (major offenses aren't even seriously discussed), they get quite indignant and always demand that the VW's be ticketed also in the name of "fairness."

    Yes, this may be "fair" in a technical sense. The problem is that it is far from fair in the universal sense that really counts. As Sherman said above, this is really a power dynamic and those with the power always see things differently from those without.

    What's that line from the song Trail of Tears? After Jackson gets the Mississippi and the $20 bill, what’s left for the VW’s but the trail? I think this paradigm can be extrapolated to numerous other instances in which the “conquered” may ask for an accommodation thinking, “You took everything else…Can’t you just give us this small victory?”

    There may very well be an implicit double-standard, and "No, we can't" may be the "logical" answer, but it seems like standing on the technical point misses the larger moral point.

    Kevin Cantwell
    Last edited by K. Cantwell; 09-09-2008 at 06:34 PM.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman Chow View Post
    Occasionally, this might be the case like in the original example of the thread.
    See, I'm not disagreeing with you.
    But, Dennis, do you want to discuss only that example? Seems to me your previous posts touch on greater societal reactions and impacts.

    I think more often than not, the bugs are simply run over. Less of them, smaller cars and so forth...
    Will you disagree with me?
    I don't disagree, I just have problems with subjective standards based on past injustices. Putting back on my political analyst hat, granting a group special consideration based on past injustices often leads to that group pushing the limits of their new found power which in turn causes resentment in the larger society.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Boas View Post
    The Amish in Pennsylvania do not believe in using electricty but they do not objet to others using it. A non Amish farm using electricity is not a problem to them even as a neighbor.

    Protecting one's beliefs means not having to change them it does not mean imposing them on others.
    I do know for a fact however (as it was in the local news) that if some non-Amish were to make cheese, furniture, noodles, preserves, chocolate, or jerky and pass it off as "Amish," that they have a big problem. Why is that? Don't they not have the moral (if not legal) right to tell the Shysters to cease and desist? Or is that too imposing? The Amish name is not a trademark (yet), but it is one hell of a brand name.

    Originally Posted by K. Cantwell
    Yes, this may be "fair" in a technical sense. The problem is that it is far from fair in the universal sense that really counts. As Sherman said above, this is really a power dynamic and those with the power always see things differently from those without
    And HERE is another example of this power dynamic between the fabulously wealthy yet morally bankrupt and the woefully downtrodden yet eternally hopeful.

    Strange how our culture always roots for the underdog, yet puts our money on the sure thing. The world is a diverse place and technology is making it too small for our own comfort. Instead of striving for a homogeneous world culture, why can't cultures celebrate and respect their differences, as long as nobody gets hurt? Kumbaya.
    Last edited by W. Oster; 09-10-2008 at 12:11 AM.

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by W. Oster View Post
    Whose to say how passionate the Aborigines feel about their culture being coopted by what they may perceive to be a culturally insensitive/ignorant/disrespectful culture? Many indigenous cultures see issues such as this in terms of survival--that the last vestiges of their culture are being assaulted by the dominant culture that took away their land, language, children, livelihood, and in some cases their swords as well.

    And who are WE to tell another culture how to act? We're not talking about genocide here, but a native belief (some may say superstition).

    And if we truly view ourselves as "the conquerers," then our expectations of the vanquished should be no less than one of insurrection and protest. It could be much worse....boomerangs hurt
    It's the other way around. They are telling modern Australians how to run their culture.

    M.
    Quote Originally Posted by David Lewis Smith View Post
    Michael Eversberg , can you play the dry witted supporting hero?

  23. #48
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    They are telling modern Australians how to run their culture.
    Are you sure?

    Maybe I misread it, but I thought the idea was that this particular section of the book was about telling girls they should play an instrument that the Aborigine males have been playing for 1500 years. The complaint was that the instrument wasn't intended for females to play. If you are going to co-opt something from Aborigine culture, expect they might get bent out of shape if you misrepresent it. In essence, "You are taking something specifically from our culture and using it for a purpose we don’t agree with. Our females don’t play that instrument, so it is a bit disconcerting that you have co-opted it for that purpose. It is a pretty important ceremonial tool for males in our culture and you have thrown it in with Netball and surfing.” (**As it turns out, this claim is not true across the board. Some groups do allow females to play. That is a pretty important point, I think.**)

    The admittedly inflammatory quotes about the "razor blades" were meant to express how traditional Aborigine groups felt about it...it had nothing to do with telling non-Aborigine groups what to do. It is about the “misuse” of a cultural artifact. I would be willing to bet that there are other sections of the book that don’t jive with traditional Aborigine culture, but they aren't saying a word about those. They are only objecting to the improper use of something they see as “theirs.” (One of the things that is cool about the didgeridoo is that comes from such a different culture.)

    I checked this page for a bunch of different takes, but couldn’t find one calling for a halt to female playing or a general criticism of general Australian culture for allowing girls to play: http://au.news.yahoo.com/search/?p=d...doo+girls+book

    Again, I think it is about the “misappropriation” of a native artifact. The Aborigines aren’t objecting to females playing videogames or something like that; it is rather, the playing of something they created and feel is a central point of the ceremonial aspect of their culture. (They may very well not like the idea of girls playing videogames, but they aren't telling Australia what to do about it.)

    One can, I’m sure, come up with many analogous situations in our own cultures that would illicit a similar response.

    Kevin Cantwell

  24. #49
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    Kevin;

    Thanks for great summary. This would be the ideal way to express concerns over preserving cultural identity. We should respect other culture's concerns and avoid insult when possible not out of guilt or outrage over past injustices but as equals. An explanation like this would be better then removing the section. It would educate the larger cultural and help them appreciate the others views. We should do the right thing not because of past injustices given or received but simply because it is the right thing.

  25. #50
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    How would these thoughts apply to a Muslim man in the US who wants to solve his wifes problems by application of Sharia law? His culture and upbringing go against the common law of the US.
    Can we allow that culture or is it being bigoted to suppress it?
    "Do not suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberty by any pretences of politeness, delicacy or decency.
    These, as they are often used, are but three names for hypocrisy, chicanery, and cowardice.” John Adams, 1789

    "Everything the enemy least expects will succeed the best."

    Frederick the Great 1747

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