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Moralism

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Moralism is one of the most destructive attitudes people can have towards one another. How often have certain judgments been made of a person only for us to find out later how wrong we were after hearing something of that person’s story.

Moralism focuses purely on what is wrong with a person, conveniently circumventing all the complexities of the person’s life and history. It depersonalizes people and detaches them from the intricacies of their own stories. Labels of right and wrong are attached to them like a merchandiser in a supermarket sticking price tags on his products. That’s why all forms of moralising are harsh, with very little compassion and understanding.

What disturbs me even more is Christianity’s all too familiar propensity towards moralistic browbeating, alienating people from themselves, from others, and from any Divine influence they may feel to be in their lives.

Also, what is so staggering is that Christians are called to follow the One who is as remote from moralism as trees are from sand. The Christian way has nothing to do with filling our pockets with morals and texts which we whip out and club everyone else with, but everything to do with trying to enter and grasp the life stories of others with understanding and compassion, and only then cautious discernment. To know the story is the stuff love is made of.

A. C. Grayling gives an apt description of moralisers:

“In forcing others to comply with their preferences they show at least several of the following: insensitivity, intolerance, unkindness, lack of imagination, failure of sympathy, absence of understanding, ignorance of alternative interests and needs in human experience, and arrogance in believing that theirs is the only acceptable way.”

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About Don Scrooby

  • Frank

    A utopia is a world where I always get my own way. Your utopia is a world where you always get your own way. The moralizers seem to believe that evil is any time they don’t get their own way. There in lies the source of conflict. To quote Axel Rose, “Everyone is fighting for the promised land”

  • Glenn Contrarian

    I’ve often told my wife that one thing someone learns after a career in the military is how to come up with an excuse for anything under the sun. Name it, and (with the exception of some truly evil acts) I can probably come up with an excuse for it.

    But rationalizing is different from moralizing, of course…and I strongly feel that the more isolated one is from other cultures/races/ways of life, the more likely one is to be trapped within the vicious circle of moralizing, and there will be a greater likelihood that one will desire to impose his morals upon others.

    That’s why the more rural the setting, or the more homogeneous the society, the more likely that the residents therein will be suspicious of those who are different from themselves…and IMO more likely to believe that it’s okay to impose their moralities (or at least their own local moralities) on others.

  • Dan

    “That’s why the more rural the setting, or the more homogeneous the society, the more likely that the residents therein will be suspicious of those who are different from themselves”—Glenn Contrarian

    Actually, the research shows just the opposite. People in diverse societies have less trust and more suspicion of their neighbors. Probably because they have their suspicions confirmed by the reality they see around them.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dan –

    Ever been to Japan? Or to any other country where the vast majority of the people are of one particular race?

    The reason why you hear so much about racism in America is because our society has evolved to the point to where we CAN talk about it out in the open.

    Generally speaking, people are less likely to trust those who are different. There are exceptions, but the general rule holds true. And it’s not just about race, either. If someone has a different accent they are – depending on what the accent is – less trusted. I remember growing up Down South – we weren’t eager to trust those with a Boston or New York accent…not that any of us knew enough to know, of course. If someone is dressed significantly outside the norm, they will also be less trusted.

    You hear a great deal about racism in first-world democracies (except for Japan)…but that’s only because we are free societies where speech is not restricted (much). But go to China and see how well the Uighurs or the Tibetans are accepted into the mainstream Han society. Go to Japan and ask the historically-hirsute Ainu from the northernmost major island and ask them how well they are accepted into mainstream Japanese society. Ask the Pakistanis and Indians and Filipinos about their level of integration in Middle-Eastern societies (I’ve got a niece flying out to Abu Dhabi tomorrow). Ask the Indians about the ‘untouchables’ (again, it’s not always about race). Ask the Asian-blooded Russians that comprise a significant segment of the population in eastern Russia about their chances of ever gaining real political influence in Moscow.

    Okay? Dan, you have quite a bit to learn when it comes to race relations and prejudice in this world…and what you see here in America (and read about the rest of the world) is barely even the tip of the iceberg. I don’t know how old you are – you might well be older than I am – but I really wish that all young Americans had a chance to travel overseas, to unlearn some of the false lessons that our culture inadvertently tends to instill in our minds.

    And I’d love to see this ‘research’ to which you referred….

  • zingzing

    dan’s “research,” should it be true, kind of skips the truth that “diverse” places are generally more populated places, and therefore more dangerous (why, i don’t really know, but i guess if you put a bunch of people together, they’re more likely to find reasons to kill or rob each other). one would be stupid to leave one’s door open in new york city, while if one didn’t have a neighbor for a mile around, one could probably do without a damn door.

    i have no doubt that urban people distrust their neighbors (they have 30, as opposed to 2, and they don’t know them, and their kids don’t go to school together, and there are no fences,) more than those who live in smaller towns do. no doubt whatsoever.

    but let’s plop dan down in a rural area of deepest africa and see how well they take to each other. i wonder if dan thinks the theory will hold.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    zing –

    The observation about the more dangerous urban areas has little to do with race or diversity, and everything to do with poverty. For instance, if you go to the parts of a major city where the nicer high-rise condos are, I suspect you’ll find their crime rates are lower than in the slums or the projects, even though the population rate per square mile may be the same or higher among the condos.

  • zingzing

    that’s true, but people are poor in rural areas as well. i’d guess that crime rates in poorer rural areas are pretty nasty as well, but really, you can’t walk 5 blocks over and find a plump rich person to rob. everyone’s poor there.

    and in this town, the rich rob the rich as much as the poor rob the poor. they’re just smarter about it on the rich end. which is probably how they became rich.

  • Jordan Richardson

    People in diverse societies have less trust and more suspicion of their neighbors.

    Come to Vancouver with your “research,” Dan.

  • zingzing

    are you in vancouver, jordan? i didn’t think that was the case. that’s one of my favorite cities ever. so many good times there. when i lived in seattle, we used to travel up there for a weekend “abroad” often. i went there 5 or 6 times in my 4 years in seattle, and visited recently with some friends of mine who have since moved to minneapolis. suckers. (i also love minneapolis, but it’s no vancouver.) so much fun. balmy canadia.

    also, go canucks! (vancouver has been my team since i bought nhl 95 on the super nintendo. north carolina didn’t have a team at the time and the minnesota team [my family is from there] had just moved to dallas] and i just picked a team to like, and any team that would call themselves after a pseudo-insult got my vote.) they got their ass beat tonight. ugh.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Yes indeed I am and yes indeed the Nucks got worked over something fierce. It’s okay, though. I wanted to see them win it at home anyway.

  • Don Scrooby

    Living in a profoundly diverse society I’ve noticed three groups of people. First, the politically correct who will sacrifice intellect, truth and identity for the sake of being all things to everyone. Second, those who withdraw in to a “Laager” an afrikaans word for circling the wagons when danger is imminent. And then third, those who somehow are able to cross cultural boundaries and open themselves to different perceptions and discern what they can appropriate and what they can’t. The first group are void of moralism because they actually stand for nothing. The second are profoundly moralistic and extremely protective of their way of life which is the way, as far as they are concerned, everybody should live. A gracious openness exists in the third group, but they certainly know within themselves what they stand for, and one can’t call that moralism, rather strength of character and knowing what you believe in.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Don – well said!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Good piece, Don. What moralizing Christians lose sight of is the fact that Christianity is actually a very individualistic faith. In the gospels, the question that Jesus asks, again and again, is “What are you going to do to get yourself into heaven?”

  • Don Scrooby

    Thank you.

  • Dan

    “The second are profoundly moralistic and extremely protective of their way of life which is the way, as far as they are concerned, everybody should live.”—Don Scrooby

    And then Glenn says “well said!”, and Dr Dreadful follows with “what moralizing Cristians lose sight of…”

    hee hee, introspect much?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    I was referring to what he said in comment #11.

  • Dan

    Me too.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    I have no idea what Dan’s talking about.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Neither do I.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Oh good.

    I tried, I really did.

    Glad it’s not just me.

  • Dan

    “The reason why you hear so much about racism in America is because our society has evolved to the point to where we CAN talk about it out in the open”—Glenn Contrarian

    If by “out in the open” you mean ‘honestly’, that has not been true for decades. The political correct guardians of orthodoxy require strict adherence to carefully scripted, dogmatic notions of race and race relations. Any white person who speaks truth to power will soon be met with charges of racism.

    Charges of racism are not a form of debate; they are meant to silence debate.

    I think things are changing though. Thanks to the internet allowing people to bypass the corrupt ‘old media’, the stranglehold on information is being breached.

    For instance, here is an article that discusses the recent racial violence visited on whites by rampaging black mobs all over the country this past memorial day weekend.

    It’s no wonder “progressives” are frantic to regulate the internet when their victim classes are overwhelmingly revealed to be the aggressive persecutors.

    Hell, it is simply amazing what cognitive dissonance turns up on u-tube. Here is a two-fer; black transvestites smashing up a Dunkin’ Donuts.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Selection bias, Daniel.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Ah. Some blacks were involved in some petty crimes, minor assaults, and some disturbance of the peace…and you’re somehow claiming that it isn’t “honestly out in the open” because of political correctness?

    So should I dig through the news reports and find similar stories of whites on the same day who had done the same or worse?

    Oh – I get it! If the white people did it, well, THEY were just people acting up…but if BLACK people did it, it needs to be MAJOR NEWS so we can show that the blacks are simply not getting any better!

    By the way, Dan – did you know that in a poll earlier this year, 46% percent of ALL Republicans in Mississippi STILL think that interracial marriage should be banned?

    But don’t pay any attention to that, now! You just go on believing that it’s not the Republicans who are racist, but it’s the liberals….

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dan –

    Please note that Doc Dreadful was able to say in two words what took me fifteen minutes to type. I should learn from him…and you should pay REAL close attention to what he says.

  • Dan

    Well, I suppose Dr. D is just more efficient at reaching an absurd conclusion than you are Glenn.

    Please do present similar instances of white mobs violently attacking innocent blacks. Or “worse” as you say.

    Should I find it horrible that 46% of white people find interracial marriage something to be discouraged? Why? Is interracial marriage another form of integration that you think should be forced against peoples will?

    Why should I pay “REAL” close attention to what Doc Dreadful says? And why the sinister tone? If you’re not prepared to discuss a topic in a civilized manner, I’ll assume you lack the courage to engage logically.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dan –

    Should I find it horrible that 46% of white people find interracial marriage something to be discouraged? Why? Is interracial marriage another form of integration that you think should be forced against peoples will?

    So…if two people of different races decide to get married – whether you do or do NOT know those two people – how exactly is that ‘forcing it upon YOU against your will’?

  • Dan

    Didn’t say that Glenn. Rather, I asked you if interracial marriage is another form of integration–like say, school bussing– that YOU think should be forced on people against their will.

    I’m for complete freedom of association. You’re not. I’m just wondering how far you think forcing people to integrate should go.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And I looked at the ‘references’ of your reference.

    The ‘black flash mob’ – was there any indication that the mob was there to start racial violence? Maybe a few of the ones within the mob were…but you would judge a whole race.

    The ‘Decatur’ fights were mostly among girls…and NO race was mentioned in the news story, but I guess you felt that an anonymous comment underneath “C’mon, you know the demographics down there” (or something like that) was enough for YOU to judge that it was all about racial violence against white people.

    What’s happening here, Shelton, is that you read a “news” story that told you what YOU wanted to hear…but you didn’t bother to check its references to actually see if there was racial violence involved in all of them or even most of them!

    Shelton, you have a lot to learn about racial prejudice and violence. FYI, I grew up at ground zero for racism in America. Look up Senator James O. Eastland, who was twice President Pro Tem of America. He was a family acquaintance – he even offered to send me to the Naval Academy.

    This man who was two heartbeats away from the presidency was also the most powerful racist in America for over a generation. Look up “Council of Conservative Citizens” – the stated aim of the organization was to keep customers away from black-owned businesses. You can read up here about the CCC’s precursor – the White Citizens Council. The CCC is so racist that THIS year they called for a boycott of the movie “Thor” because one of the actors was black! Anyway, Senator Eastland was one of the founders of that organization. AND Mississippi governor Haley Barbour – the SAME one who was former head of the RNC and was considering a presidential run this year – has a bit of a history with the CCC. On the same page it mentions the CCC raising money for the nearly completely-white ‘academy’ schools. And what are these ‘academy’ schools?

    EVEN NOW you can go down to Mississippi and go to the ‘academy’ schools, which – in this state that has the highest proportion of blacks in the nation – are almost completely white. I should know – I attended one! Here’s a picture of the class of 2011 of the school I attended. The county is over 71.8% black…but how many blacks are in this, the nicest school in the county? ZERO.

    Guy, you don’t know beans to bullcrap about discrimination and prejudice…and you know what? NEITHER DID I for many years! I was a racist until I joined the Navy and saw the world…and saw how wrong my fellow racists were…

    …and how hard blacks STILL have it in America.

    I used to be like you, guy. I used to buy into the excuses, the stories of how bad blacks are, of how easy they have it in reality.

    But then I grew up and I understood.

    You haven’t…and you don’t.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And Dan –

    Didn’t say that Glenn. Rather, I asked you if interracial marriage is another form of integration–like say, school bussing– that YOU think should be forced on people against their will.

    How exactly is allowing interracial marriage forcing ANYthing on ANYone?

  • Jordan Richardson

    Because when whites and blacks marry, Dan is forced to stomach the idea that people aren’t as racist as he is.

  • Dan

    “How exactly is allowing interracial marriage forcing ANYthing on ANYone?”—Glenn Contrarian

    It is not. That is why I didn’t say it. Nothng like it in fact. What, are you just going to continue pretending as if I’m saying something I clearly didn’t? Again, I am for complete freedom of association. You are not. Since you are not for complete freedom of association the way I am, I thought it would be interesting to find out if you would be for actually forcing people to marry outside their race against their will. The way you probably think forced school integration against peoples will is a good thing. Although it sounds flippant, it is a logical question since you are for forcing people to integrate against their will, and you hate the idea that people would be against interracial marriage.

    “What’s happening here, Shelton, is that you read a “news” story that told you what YOU wanted to hear”

    Shelton? are you carrying on a different conversation with someone else?

    In the news article I posted the author clearly states: “A recap of this year’s Memorial Day weekend mob violence, starting with the least intense and getting worse from there:”

    It doesn’t say every incident is about blacks attacking whites. Much of it was just mobs of blacks destroying things. You pick the least “intense” and pretend you’ve refuted something.

    Before you presume to lecture me on what I “understand”, or about “growing up”, or any such bullshit, you’ll need to actually demonstrate that you are intellectually honest. I haven’t seen that so far.

  • Dan

    Jordan, actually it is Glenn who seems to have trouble “stomaching” the fact that there are many whites who are against interracial marriage. My stomach churns along just fine either way. I’m even able to “stomach” your idiotic comments and simple minded name calling.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dan –

    You’ve dug yourself into a hole that you’re not going to get out of. Why? Because of this statement:

    Should I find it horrible that 46% of white people find interracial marriage something to be discouraged? Why?

    Lemme see here – so what you’re saying, then, is that it’s no big deal that 46% of the Republicans in MS are racist…and why should you be worried about it? Is that the ‘free association’ you claim that you support and that I somehow don’t?

    Do you not get the fact that if these people – nearly HALF of the party in power in MS – had their way, they would OUTLAW interracial marriage? And if they do, then, would that be okay with you?

    Ron Paul – he who allowed racist rants to be published under HIS byline in HIS newspaper for years – came right out and said that if people wanted to be racist, if people wanted to say, “no, I won’t allow black people into my store”, that they should be able to do that. Is this what you’re supporting? Because it’s that kind of thing that your ‘free association’ fantasy could enable.

    Very few whites have the same breadth of experience dealing with racism that I do, Dan. What you’re advocating leads down a very dangerous path…and your hatred of all that is liberal and Democratic is blinding you to the danger.

    “Free association” – such high and mighty words, such fine rhetoric…but as with the rhetoric that justified Nazi Germany’s “need” for Lebensraum, it’s their application that ends in utter tragedy…

    …and you have not the eyes to see it.

  • Jordan Richardson

    the fact that there are many whites who are against interracial marriage.

    So what? There are many people against public transportation, onion soup, trees, and shoes.

    Who gives a shit?

    Incidentally, there are many blacks, Asians, transsexuals, bus drivers, and school children against interracial marriage, too.

    Once more: so what?

  • zingzing

    “Again, I am for complete freedom of association. You are not.”

    i’m having trouble figuring out why you’d think that to be true. maybe the first is true (although you seem to be quite ambivalent about it), but where’s the second bit coming from?

    “you’ll need to actually demonstrate that you are intellectually honest. I haven’t seen that so far.”

    you should meet this character “dan.”

    “I’m even able to “stomach” your idiotic comments and simple minded name calling.”

    does your hypocrisy radar need adjusting?

  • Dan

    I’ve not dug myself into any hole Glenn. Never have. Instead of whimpering about my being a “racist”, you should just answer the question. Why is it intolerable to you that some whites would be against interracial marriage? That’s your hole.

    “Do you not get the fact that if these people – nearly HALF of the party in power in MS – had their way, they would OUTLAW interracial marriage? And if they do, then, would that be okay with you?”

    I guess if that happened, then anyone who didn’t like it could move to another state. Then everyone could live the way they wanted. See Glenn, I’m for everyone living the way they want to. You aren’t.

    “Once more: so what?”—Jordan Richardson

    So what? to your “So what?” If you’re making some kind of point here, it isn’t clear. And what do you mean “once more”? You haven’t asked this cryptic question of me yet.

    “i’m having trouble figuring out why you’d think that to be true. maybe the first is true (although you seem to be quite ambivalent about it), but where’s the second bit coming from”—zingzing

    It’s true because it is. I know what I’m for. If I say I’m for complete freedom of association, then I am. Glenn is not because he thinks it leads “down a dangerous path”.

    If you have any example of intellectual dishonesty or hypocrisy originating from me you should reference it. The same way I called out Glenn for pretending that I equated allowing interracial marriage with forcing people against their will. Otherwise, it is you that appears dishonest and hypocritical.

  • Jordan Richardson

    If you’re making some kind of point here, it isn’t clear.

    Right back at ya, slick.

    You say you’re for “freedom of association,” presumably because you want it to whites who hate the idea of interracial marriage to be able to abhor the idea. What this means in a practical sense is lost on me, though.

    What does that mean, Dan? That people should have the right to force others NOT to marry because they find the idea abhorrent? Then whose rights are you trampling and how do you decide whose rights to trample?

    If that’s not the way this unfolds practically how does it work?

    You keep telling us that Glenn isn’t for “freedom of association” in the way that you are, so why not tell us in what way you’re for freedom of association? And what exactly does that mean?

    And by the way, you did reference “forced integration” a number of times in this thread. Stop acting like you didn’t.

  • Jordan Richardson

    And by the way, why did you back away from your other point earlier in the thread? I’m still waiting for the “research” that proves that people in more diverse societies are less trusting of their neighbours.

    Honestly, Dan, you fiddle and dick around with these “suggestive” topics all the time and then tell me I’m “name-calling” when I said you were a racist. You are. And it’s not a non-starter or a debate killer when the label fits, Dan. Stop being cute and say what you mean.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dan –

    Here’s your misunderstanding:

    See Glenn, I’m for everyone living the way they want to. You aren’t.

    Problem is, many people – and MOST of the people on the Right – do NOT see it that way. Oh, they’ll tell you they are…but which side is it that is largely against equal rights for LGBT’s? Which side just passed the “don’t say gay” bill in Tennessee? Which side is it that is against abortion rights…sometimes even in cases of incest or rape? Which side is it that wants to take out evolution out of our textbooks…or, failing that, put creationism alongside it as if creationism was of equal scientific standing?

    So much for “limited government”!

    The Right talks a wonderful game, Dan. They – and you – all talk about ‘individual rights’ and ‘protection from the government’…but in REALITY, which side is it that has stood up for INDIVIDUAL rights? Not the Republicans.

    Look again at what you said:

    I guess if that happened, then anyone who didn’t like it could move to another state. Then everyone could live the way they wanted. See Glenn, I’m for everyone living the way they want to. You aren’t.

    So according to YOU, it’s OKAY with you if the local people pass a law saying you canNOT live as you want, WHERE you want. Tell you what, guy – ask Ruvy how things started in Germany, with the rules coming down saying that Jews weren’t allowed to do this or that. Where did it eventually end up?

    So much for you and your claim that you’re all for allowing people to live the way they wanted!

    You’re so wrapped up in your desire to hate the left that you don’t see the rank hypocrisy of your own statements…and your base ignorance of history.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dan –

    I’ve tried very hard to refrain from doing this…but I know it when it’s there. Jordan beat me to it…but you are a racist. All you are doing is trying to hide your racism under a veneer of reasonableness and rhetoric. But it doesn’t work. Jordan saw it, and I see it. You are a racist, and I will waste no more of my time with you.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Dan only wants certain people to be able to live the way they want.

    Everyone else can fall in line unless the certain people agree that certain things, like “mixed” schools or interracial marriage, are permissible.

    This, in Dan’s vanilla heaven, is “freedom.”

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Sorry to say, but Dan isn’t whistling Dixie about what happened over Memorial Day. Here’s the local news from Rochester NY describing the events there.

    Rochester’s Councilman (a Black man) McFadden says there will be a greater police presence at the beach where this occurred, but he also says that cops are not the answer. The root of the problem, he says, is a group of young people don’t respect life.

    And the video clip ended there.

    Why do you think he said that?

    Councilman McFadden wouldn’t be having an argument with Dan right now about what happened on Memorial Day. He, like other blacks who care, are asking why this is, and what is going to be done about it.

    People like McFadden, who are REAL men, and real black men, wouldn’t want you saying that what is happening in their community ISN’T happening in their community, and that the action of identifying the particular culture where the problem is coming from is “racist.”

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    And here’s an article about the run of “polar bear hunting” incidents.

    The interview with the man who is attacked is in East Central Illinois’ News-Gazette. The attacked man has this to say about the run of racially motivated attacks in the area:
    “I’m not a racist. My black friends are just as frustrated and (ticked) off as my white friends,” he said. “The frustration transcends race, but the activities all seem to be race-related.”

    Again, real men (and women) who are also blacks see this as a problem in the community they share with whites.

    What are we going to do with it.

    Racially mixed marriages have been happening for years, and will continue to happen, and are unlikely to be banned anywhere in the US. The question about whether or not states should be able to ban them is moot.

    Opening up the hearts of the violent gangs to the possibility of interracial marriage is a project for a few years, or generations, maybe, down the road. First things first.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Curious thing, Irene. I’ve watched that clip a few times and can see very little in the way of actual brawling. It’s mostly crowds of young men running back and forth across the street and milling about. Shoving is the worst you can say about most of it.

    In this day and age I would expect news crews to be (a) present in numbers, considering the date on the calendar, the location, the unseasonally hot weather and the event, and (b) right on top of this sort of thing, if it actually did go down they way they say it did. I’d also expect to see at least a few videos of the fighting posted on YouTube by now. Nothing there that I can find, other than that same news report.

    I tend to take local news with a pinch of salt: the standards of journalism can be very sloppy. Because is is local news, I’m sometimes an eyewitness to what later gets reported on TV… and am frequently (un)amazed at how different from what I saw the news report is.

    Whether there was actual rioting or not (and another thing: where are the testimonies from the innocent festival goers who must have been caught up in the middle of it?), I think there’s a bit more (or less, depending on how you look at it) going on here than meets the eye.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Irene –

    Consider what Doc said…and then go back to read comment #28. There’s a picture of the Class of 2011 at the nicest high school in the county where I grew up. I attended there in 1975. Now, as then, there are no black students.

    And this is in a county that is 71.8% black.

    There’s a heck of a lot of racism in this country…and while many on the Right will do its utmost to publish anything that blacks do, there is still much racism here that is institutionalized…and institutional racism is far worse than a bunch of teenagers acting up on a street.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Dr. Dreadful, is the reply you made to me the one you’d make to Rochester’s Councilman McFadden? (He was interviewed in that clip.)

    No comment on the Illinois article about the “polar bear” hunting incidents. I guess that’s just a white doing his utmost to publish everything that blacks do.

    You missed my point, guys. I made an effort to point out that in two of the cities where black-on-white violence has been a problem, there are blacks who are just as concerned about it as the whites are. You’re both telling them, “no big deal.”

    Glenn you don’t have to tell me about institutionalized racism. 95 per cent of one side of my family lives in the same town in the south. Part of my family is prejudiced against blacks. Part of the family is married to them. I’ve been in the middle of THAT my whole life. Some relatives will try to “school me” they’ll pull me (the Northern cousin from out of state) aside and recount all the terrible stories about blacks they know, and then another will pull me aside, she and I will have a beer with her black boyfriend. The tolerance, respect and eventually love came not through being “told off.” It came through someone who understood both sides bringing them together.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Irene, Councilman McFadden (whose interview, as you noted, was heavily edited, as was the restaurant proprietor’s – presumably because the reporter couldn’t get her to say she’d actually seen anyone fighting) would most likely be able to give me a much clearer account of what happened. He also most likely wouldn’t be pulling all his conclusions from a TV news report.

    He’s quite right that there is a segment of our society that simply “doesn’t care about life”. (And it’s not confined to one skin colour, either.) I highly doubt that these young men went to Charlotte on Memorial Day for the express purpose of terrorizing white beachgoers. If McFadden’s hypothesis is correct, they went there for a fight, and didn’t care who or what happened to be in the way, whether it be a Mothers’ Union rally or the local NAACP’s annual picnic.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    And the “polar bear” article touts the victim as the latest in a series of such incidents. Yet it later says that he didn’t see his attackers.

    I’m not trying to be an apologist: but even just a little scrutiny of this string of incidents that Dan presents with such confidence as evidence of pervasive black racism reveals that in most of them, race appears to have been either no issue at all or merely peripheral.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I’m confused.

    Councilman McFadden wouldn’t be having an argument with Dan right now about what happened on Memorial Day.

    Good for Councilman McFadden.

    People like McFadden, who are REAL men, and real black men, wouldn’t want you saying that what is happening in their community ISN’T happening in their community

    Who is saying that? And, by the way, what’s a “REAL man,” Irene?

    Dan suddenly and strangely, in a dialogue about the conversation of race, brought up two instances of what he deemed to be racial violence. Why?

    I don’t think anyone’s stupid enough to think that racial violence doesn’t occur. It’s why Dan uses it like a blunt instrument, however, that draws concern. Maybe Councilman McFadden would agree?

    and that the action of identifying the particular culture where the problem is coming from is “racist.”

    Dan “identifies the particular culture” as often as humanly possible. Guess what? They’re always, always, always, not white.

    Why do you think that is? Because Dan’s trying to reach across racial lines and let the healing begin?

    What Would Councilman McFadden Do?

  • Jordan Richardson

    And let me be clear about something: I know you Americans have transferred the word and the idea of “racism” or “racist” to a whole realm of political whatever. I get that people throw it around to shut down discussion and debate sometimes. I get that the Republicans accuse Democrats of playing the “race card.”

    Whatever. Couldn’t care less.

    “Racists” still exist. And racism still means the belief that there are fundamental differences in race that justify different or unjust social, legal or moral treatment of said races. An example would be not allowing for interracial marriage. This would fall under that different or unjust treatment thing, of course.

    Above, I asked Dan to practically break down what his beliefs regarding “freedom of association” are. Earlier, a number of people asked Dan for the research behind why “diverse communities didn’t trust their neighbours.” And so on.

    Once again, why do you think Dan keeps making these points about diversity and race?

  • Jordan Richardson

    More specifically, Dan has referred to himself before as a “race realist” and a “white advocate.” See here, for instance.

    Further on that page is a word about Dan’s racial realism:

    “I would define “racially aware” as the awareness that these people have of the many ways society attempts to scapegoat, guilt, and punish whites for what are natural, normal, but unequal social, and economic outcomes.”

    Or here when Dan noted that “even the looniest of progressives recognize that diversity as a ‘strength’ is a failed concept.”

    Or here in the comments where Irene questions Dan by what he means by “the truth of genetic determinism.” In the same thread, Dan talks an awful lot about the “failure of forced integration” and how civil rights were “forced on whites.” Later, he states “…I think of my race first, and it’s normal and healthy.”

    Or here when Dan explains why there aren’t more blacks in the Tea Party by noting “A very large segment of the black population has a historical culture of dependency. Tea partiers are independent…”

    And on and on. If you do a simple Google search – I used the terms “dan race blogcritics” – you turn up quite a bit. He seems to know how to nose out these sorts of arguments, like he’s drawn in to defend the white race each time these issues come up. Why do you suppose that is? Over the years he’s beaten around a lot of bushes. I just wish he’d piss or get off the pot.

  • zingzing

    “It’s true because it is. I know what I’m for. If I say I’m for complete freedom of association, then I am. Glenn is not because he thinks it leads “down a dangerous path”.”

    i don’t see how that follows. you can say what you want, but it doesn’t make it true. and how glenn’s argument against you makes him against this nebulous “freedom of association” is rather, well, nebulous. what the hell are you talking about?

    “If you have any example of intellectual dishonesty or hypocrisy originating from me you should reference it. The same way I called out Glenn for pretending that I equated allowing interracial marriage with forcing people against their will. Otherwise, it is you that appears dishonest and hypocritical.”

    you have a magical ability to say something and then pretend you didn’t say it. you should speak more clearly about your beliefs. much of what you say comes off as fucking racist, but then you equivocate and pretend it’s not. if you want to be understood, write in a manner that’s more clear. many people around here seem to find racism in your words, yet you say there’s not. if that’s true, then learn to write what you mean.

    as for the hypocrisy, you called jordan “idiotic” “name caller.” if you want to be an honest debater, don’t stoop to those levels.

  • zingzing

    dan seems to think that white people can make their own decisions about who they “associate” with, damn what any other people think. the opinion of the white person carries much more weight in his world. i’m sure that’s good for him, as a white person, but i doubt it holds much water for the person who isn’t.

    dan’s world will crumble. and he will be unhappy with it. i’d hope he’d have other things to think about.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Irene #46 –

    Yes, you do understand. But let me ask you something. The part of your family that’s prejudiced – do they admit to being racist? In my experience, many racists will vehemently deny being racist at all…and they are completely sincere about it!

    I wrote an article about this particular disconnect, how someone who is obviously racist can actually believe that he or she is not racist at all. Not that the article changed anyone’s mind, of course.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Glenn, some of them would probably bear the title “racist” with pride actually. Blacks, whites, Jews, even Protestants and Catholics, had their own neighborhoods in their town when they were growing up. The kids from different neighborhoods used to throw rocks at one another. There’s a lot of anger that fuels their racism. The race riots in the 1968’s, in which one of my relatives was injured, didn’t help. (Interestingly, she’s walking in forgiveness and is NOT one of the racists.)

    There is a spectrum, and even different type of, racism. There’s the kind characterized by a paternalistic sense of superiority–probably the way Jefferson felt toward his slaves. Then there’s the irrational rage-fueled a-black-hurt-me-so-I-hate-all-blacks kind, where some of my relatives are. Then there are the (worst kind) “foes of black people” which isn’t actually racist at all–they doesn’t care if the group of people were purple, they just see them as a group of people who is vulnerable and can be exploited. (These would be the men, of all races, who captured Africans and shipped them over to the US as slaves.)

    Judgmental warning: I’m going to make a judgment because you asked me to, Glenn. I would put in the class of “having a patronizing sense of superiority” those people who avoid being called racists at ALL costs, even if it means dismissing the opinions of BLACKS who are being honest about situations in their communities that they’d like to enlist the help of whites to address. (White-on-black racism AND black-on-white racism, the latter being the more urgent situation to be addressed in some communities.)

    There are people who are growing out of racism intentionally, who would not call themselves racist, but they surprise themselves when old attitudes pop up, as they will when one is growing out of racism. I don’t think its fair to call such people racists.

    The term “racist” is only painful to people who are making an effort to shed what they know are unfair attitudes about race.

    Where in the spectrum is Dan? All I know is what I’ve perceived. I cannot see Dan treating a black waitress like crap like I’ve seen some of my relatives do. (Maybe at one point in his life he might’ve, but not now.) He recognized and admired the intelligence of a black blogger, and says he has black friends. That’s where some of my relatives who are coming along on the spectrum are. I think it would be possible for Dan to meet and fall in love with a black woman, and there is nothing he has said that indicates he would object to marrying her. The place where I disagree with Dan is in his view that if states want to ban interracial marriage, they should be able to. This is because marriage is between two grown adults who have the constitutionally guaranteed right to the pursuit of happiness. They aren’t hurting anyone, so should be free to marry, no matter how much it shocks the neighbors.

    Have a good day, Glenn.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Irene –

    On your ‘judgmental warning’ – I agree. I see nothing untoward about your judgment there, because if someone is so afraid of being labeled wit the scarlet ‘R’ that they refuse to address real-world problems that are in front of their faces…then in my opinion such people are at best hypocritical and may even be racist.

    I say that because of some men I’ve known who had leadership positions in the workplace, and who would occasionally point out how they could never be called ‘sexist’ treat men and women exactly the same. But these same men would ignore the problems the women would bring up – and use their “I treat all equally” patronizing sense of superiority as their excuse for doing nothing to help.

    In other words, their oh-so-non-sexist attitudes were nothing more than a shield that they used to cover up their true opinions…and every once in a great while, I’d hear one of them slip up and say what he really thought.

    So yes, I would have to agree with you.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Dr. Dreadful #48 One word: Witnesses.
    Here’s an interesting recent follow-up story about one of the six youth who assaulted Sola. Why was Deveonta free to attack that 14 year old kid last month after the FIRST felony charge last fall? WHY?

    The offenders in the Polar Bear Hunting incidents (another story from the Gazette)are almost all in their teens. Maybe large groups of strong, well-educated black men should be paid 100K per year each to live in the projects with these kids and teach in the schools in their neighborhoods, then coach or be mentors in clubs in the evenings. They would serve as authentic male role models. Whites with Messianic tendencies won’t be able to get the job done, no matter how well-intentioned they might be.

    How would we pay for THAT? Get out of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. Some of the soldiers coming home might get jobs in that capacity. We have our own civil unrest brewing right under our own noses. Should there have been this kind of common-sense intervention BEFORE whites started to feel the negative impact themselves? Yes. It would have made a lot more sense than busing, and some of busing’s formerly strongest advocates now agree that changes in the COMMUNITY of the disadvantaged child, not a mere seven hours a day inside a pretty school in the ‘burbs, are the influences that are going to change his life.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Jordan (I’m responding to you guys in LIFO order, I guess). Huffpo reports that on Memorial Day 2011, gangs, apparently summoned through social media, converged on beaches in Boston, Nashville, Long Island, Miami, Rochester, and Charlotte. And if you look at news stories for Milwaukee, New York City, and Chicago for “violence” “Memorial Day weekend” you’ll find that there were unexpected and worrisome levels of violence there, too.

    You have spent a good deal of effort defending your character analysis of a fellow on blogcritics. I think you’ll have time to read one more article, Jordan by a Chicago journalist (definitely not a racist) who is wondering about the lack of forthrightness from the Chicago mayor’s office and in the media about the Memorial Day attacks.

    The root of the problem is not “they’re black”, it is, as Councilman McFadden says, a fundamental lack of respect for life, in a population that doesn’t have much in the way of positive role models. We can’t address that problem, unless we admit its there. (I won’t rewrite what I just wrote to Glenn about that.)

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Irene –

    Six fatalities in Chicago on Memorial Day…and roving gangs of black youths summoning each other with social media so they can go kill whitey.

    Um, no.

    You mentioned that HuffPo was reporting the same thing, so I did some digging, and what did I find? HuffPo’s report that points out in so many words that the ‘roving black gangs using social media’ accusations were really not much more than a strawman that was being used by pro-gun, pro-concealed-carry groups to gin up support for their peace-through-universal-gun-ownership agenda.

    The article goes on to say, These “mobs” have been an issue in the city for awhile, according to U.S. Congressman Bobby Rush. Rush said the only reason people care about the issue now is because the alleged attacks happened on the North Side–in predominantly white areas.

    And this reminds me of something that I remember early on in the illegal Iraq war – our troops were finding out that the insurgents were using cell phones and texting to coordinate their attacks. Make it easy for the bad guys to organize…and you’re going to have a problem.

    If we want to minimize the problems, then we need to get these guys to work! “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop”, the saying goes, and if you have a segment of the population that has the highest unemployment, has the hardest time getting hired, often has the least opportunity for a good education – and has the testosterone-fueled idiocy that infects most young men – why, then, should any of this be a surprise? Of COURSE you’re going to have more problems with them than anyone else…and while race is a factor, it is not a cause. If you want to blame somebody, blame the ones who ruined our economy.

    The cause, I’m sure you’ll agree, is the situation these young men (and women) find themselves in.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Glenn, you are confusing the series of Polar Bear Hunting assaults where whites were specifically targeted by blacks, with the Memorial Day weekend gang-related violence, which included violence toward whites but included injuries to blacks as well.

    Huffington Post reported: “Wildings occurred in other cities on Memorial Day weekend in what may have been coordinated flash wildings. Gangs swarmed beaches in Boston, Nashville, Long Island, Miami, Rochester, and Charlotte in what some believe was a social media coordinated effort. (Hat tip: Second City Cop)” Takoli discusses the economic roots of the cause at length here, too, Glenn. I think you’ll like the article.

    Why did you say this to me, Glenn? “…while race is a factor, it is not a cause. If you want to blame somebody, blame the ones who ruined our economy.”

    You accused me of saying something, whereas I explicitly said the opposite. You promised you’d be more careful about avoiding that sort of thing. Glenn. Reread the second and third paragraphs of comment #57, and the last paragraph of #58.

  • Dan

    Jordan Richardson#37: “Right back at ya, slick.”

    I seriously have no idea what the hell you are on about. So, I guess… right back at you…”slick”….umm…again?

    “You say you’re for “freedom of association,” presumably because you want it to whites who hate the idea of interracial marriage to be able to abhor the idea. What this means in a practical sense is lost on me, though”—Jordan

    Because I “want it to whites…” huh? “…who hate the idea of interracial marriage to be able to abhor the idea.” What does this mean? I suppose anyone can “abhor” any idea they like whether or not they have complete freedom of association.

    “And by the way, you did reference “forced integration” a number of times in this thread. Stop acting like you didn’t.”—Jordan

    Yes, I referenced “forced integration” not “acting” otherwise…???

    “And by the way, why did you back away from your other point earlier in the thread? I’m still waiting for the “research” that proves that people in more diverse societies are less trusting of their neighbours.”—Jordan

    Finally, something coherent to respond to. Yes I did Jordan. Quite a bit of research actually. Not to mention the constant empirical evidence in front of everyones nose. Glenn laid out a fairly comprehensive list of global multicultural conflicts in comment #4. I don’t think he was intending to demonstrate that diversity is a universal source of conflict and tension, rather than a source of mythological “strength”. I’m not really sure what Glenn was demonstrating with that comment.

    But anyway, perhaps the most recent, well known, and comprehensive study to reveal the inconvienient truth was undertaken by Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam. “Based on detailed interviews of nearly 30,000 people across America… the study found that that the greater the diversity in a community, the fewer people vote and the less they volunteer, the less they give to charity and work on community projects. In the most diverse communities, neighbors trust one another about half as much as they do in the most homogenous settings. The study, the largest ever on civic engagement in America, found that virtually all measures of civic health are lower in more diverse settings.”

    Here is a review of the study

    “Honestly, Dan, you fiddle and dick around with these “suggestive” topics all the time and then tell me I’m “name-calling” when I said you were a racist. You are. And it’s not a non-starter or a debate killer when the label fits, Dan. Stop being cute and say what you mean.”—Jordan

    I always say what I mean Jordan. Your problem is that you don’t want me to mean what I say. You would rather I “meant” the things that the nasty caricature you’ve been indoctrinated to believe in would say. But that is not reality. That is why you are unprepared to deal rationally, and must resort to purely emotional, personal attacks. (note to comments editor: please do your job)

  • Dan

    “I’ve tried very hard to refrain from doing this…but I know it when it’s there. Jordan beat me to it…but you are a racist. All you are doing is trying to hide your racism under a veneer of reasonableness and rhetoric. But it doesn’t work. Jordan saw it, and I see it. You are a racist, and I will waste no more of my time with you.”—Glenn Contrarian

    I hadn’t realized that you had held off for so long. Kudos to you. Still, a cowardly personal attack is simply an ingracious way to lose an argument. (comments editor…)

    Remember Don Scoobys take on the three “types of people”. (comment #11) I think maybe you are the second type: “…those who withdraw in to a “Laager” an afrikaans word for circling the wagons when danger is imminent…” (like you, Jordan, and zingzing!) “…profoundly moralistic and extremely protective of their way of life which is the way, as far as they are concerned, everybody should live”

    You are the guy in the picture Scooby attached to this article; zealously pointing his bony finger of condemnation at those with an alternative world view.

  • zingzing

    “alternative world view.”

    you could call it that, among all your other bizarre euphemisms. and i don’t think the comments editors are going to be riding to your rescue. you are what you are, and it’s a textbook definition.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Irene –

    Why did you say this to me, Glenn? “…while race is a factor, it is not a cause. If you want to blame somebody, blame the ones who ruined our economy.”

    Why did I say that to you? Because sometimes I’m stupid. I go off on a rant and sometimes the rant takes a direction where I start attacking someone for saying something they never said.

    Sometimes I’m real stupid…but I won’t try to tap-dance my way out of it (unlike a certain politician who let his personal Tweety-bird get the best of him). You didn’t deserve that rant – I’m sorry.

    Irene, in the future when my fingers are tapping faster than my brain is going, please have a little patience and point out when I’ve gone off the reservation of common sense and decency, and most of the time I’ll wake up and smell the three-day-old coffee.

  • zingzing

    dan: “But anyway, perhaps the most recent, well known, and comprehensive study to reveal the inconvienient truth was undertaken by Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam.”

    so. you’d say the answer is to reinstate segregation, as that’s when people are more likely to get along, vote, trust, etc.

    i assume that’s your point. if it’s not, let me know.

    well, too damn bad, really. people who live in dense urban (or even suburban) environments aren’t going to do that. they’ll move where they please, and anyone who doesn’t like it can suck it. even if you could, would you not want a black, latino, muslim or asian neighbor? or would you do something to stop them from moving in? maybe they hold the same values as you, if not your skin color. how would you know, based upon their race?

    if diversity is a problem, why do you think it can’t be overcome. come on, we’ve only had a generation or two to even tackle the problem in most of this country and the world. we’ve overcome bigger problems than this.

    my ex used to live down the street from a ridiculous racist. a lot of the neighborhood had been “invaded” by asians. this guy would call in every borderline parked car he knew to be owned by an asian. he’d yell at them from his stoop and proudly wave his american and veterans flags. people feared him, because he was a mean prick. and at the least, my ex’s family’s values (if not her’s,) were probably as conservative as his.

    when you decry other races just because, who’s the problem?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    LOL Glenn, OK. Have a good rest of the weekend.

  • Abdul hafeez

    Diff to grasp the material.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Abdul, which was hard to understand? The article on Moralism or the link to Putnam’s research? Maybe someone else can explain, because I’m tired and have to go to sleep, but I have an important excerpt from the Putnam article in this comment. I think the main point of Dan Scrooby’s article is that its important to hold on to one’s convictions while at the same time listening to other points of view. Maybe minds will be changed, maybe not, but the respectful exchange of ideas will at the very least be conducive to harmony in the midst of diversity.

    I wonder what y’all could come up with if you worked on this challenge:

    Dan’s link to an article discussing Putnam’s research says: Diversity, it shows, makes us uncomfortable — but discomfort, it turns out, isn’t always a bad thing. Unease with differences helps explain why teams of engineers from different cultures may be ideally suited to solve a vexing problem. Culture clashes can produce a dynamic give-and-take, generating a solution that may have eluded a group of people with more similar backgrounds and approaches.

    At the same time, though, Putnam’s work adds to a growing body of research indicating that more diverse populations seem to extend themselves less on behalf of collective needs and goals.

    Assume this research really does reveal a truth about human nature:

    Suppose you are charged with designing an ethnically diverse city that accentuates the positive, eliminates the negative, (and doesn’t mess with Mr. In-between!) Use the Constitution (only current amendments allowed) as a guideline. Plan for people in mixed marriages, people who prefer to be segregated, and people who would prefer to live in an ethnically diverse community. Assume a bimodal distribution of wealth, the one we are moving toward in these hard economic times (i.e., a vanishing middle class) and a fair amount of racial tension as well.

    (It sounds almost as much fun as a limmerick-writing contest.)

  • Don Scrooby

    Thanks, Irene, that was exactly my point. I’ve just really enjoyed the debate. Living in South Africa my context is obviously different, but I’ve heard so many echoes of our own struggle in our diversity in what you’ve all said. I’d just like to thank you all for your insights. It’s been such a good experience. I’ve just woken up from a long night with a glorious day stretching out before me. Sleep well.