MORE E-MAIL WARS: On "political correctness" and "White privilege"
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MORE E-MAIL WARS: On “White Privilege” and “Political Correctness”
(March 23, 2010 to April 6, 2010)
Note: This continues a discussion on political violence, race, political correctness, and white privilege. An issue here is whether the term "political correctness" is a slur that cannot be tolerated in polite society. Kevin Kervick and Bill McGaughey (names in red) assume the conservative (rightist) positions on these questions. They are tainted with the label "white privilege". Most of the other posters (names in blue) assume leftist positions. The selected postings on this forum are listed in chronological order.
From: Kevin Kervick Date: Mar 23 8:12 AM
I suppose there have been a couple of responses to my question, one from someone who tends to personalize responses quite often and has tended to insert a racist overtone, that I would imagine might have a chilling effect on others that would like to contribute. But as far as I have been able to discern, a few folks have suggested that I am stupid, unenlightened, off-topic/focus, and racist, but nobody has proven that I have been hostile or defensive. So, that seems like progress. So, I will continue. Stupid isn't a crime I guess. Folks seemed to like Forrest Gump.
The issue of attributing racist intent where there is none is an important US issue and I would like us to discuss that here. In my opinion there has been no more damaging a strategy to community building than this. It has the chilling effect of separating folks from each other by inciting
hostility among the designated offended class and by inciting pseudomutuality among the accused offender class. People have lost their livelihoods and been isolated otherwise as a result of false claims of racism/sexism/homophobia so good risk management tells one to avoid any potential for misinterpretation. And in my opinion the folks that employ this strategy know well how powerful it is and use it for all it is worth.
It is time that this strategy were put to rest, if indeed we are entering a post racial world and we in the United States are ever to move past primitive tribalism into something better.
Pat Buchanan (another purported racist) thinks we are moving in the opposite direction - towards more ethno-nationalism, isolation, and secession and believes globalism and the spread of democracy is causing this trend. From, "The Wars of Tribe and Faith" "Ethnonationalism, that relentless drive of peoples to secede and dwell apart, to establish their own nation-state, where their faith is predominant, their language spoken, their heroes and history revered, and they rule to the exclusion of all others, is rampant."
I agree. In the US, multiculturalism without the needed accompanying core values assimilation to the American heritage and ideals is leading to a more atomized and barely American community, which is creating the conservative backlash we are seeing today. Conservatives want to preserve an American community, where everyone is welcome but would agree to abide by our constitution and be personally responsible and good neighbors.
The race/gender/sexual orientation sensitivity training approach that came from the 70's advance of progressivism has been a complete failure and has been primarily responsible for the Western societal devolution of the past several decades. Truth, responsibility, and intimacy have been the casualties.
A restored strategy, authentic communication across differences, a method I am advocating using a communication capacity I call, Interpersonal Wisdom, is needed to foster an authentic community where truth and intimacy can thrive.
From: Chuck Repke Date: March 23, 2010 9:13 AM
Wow - so, much stuff so little time... it is amazing how good Kevin is at being in tune with the next batch of Republican talking points. There was a column just the other day from a GOP talking head saying that racism is dead and that we should just move on... and then you watch the Tea Party folks screaming out Nigger and spitting on a Black congressman and calling Barney Frank a Fag... Yes it is nice that we are beyond all of that.
From: Wizard Marks Date: March 23, 2010 3:53 PM
Once upon a time (1967), I went to East St. Louis, IL intending to join the civil rights movement. The civil rights movement was very actively present on every corner, in song (Ellingtons East St. Louis Toodeloo), in dance (Kathryn Dunham), in story (history of the USA), or from the deservedly famous Miles Davis, native son of ESL, breathing out his pain over racist treatment toward him through his cornet. At 21, with admiration for the Mahatma Gandhi clutched tightly to my brain (only my brain, sad to say), I could stand on any corner and there would not be another white person for 14 square blocks. East St. Louis was 90% African American at that time, more so today.
The wealth and industry of ESLs population regularly went--still goes--upstate to Springfield, no portion of which ever comes back in the form of revenue sharing. People lived in dirt-floor wooden shacks, their only insulation newspapers greased with lard papered to the walls. The only heat, a cheap, dangerous outdoor coal stove, the fuel for which was gathered into bushel baskets from the coal trains which rocked their way through ESL spilling coal destined to heat homes in other places.
At a meeting for people wanting to join the civil rights movement, I was asked about why I was there. Fair question, and my answer showed all the ignorance of race in America of which a 21 year old is capable. A black man my own age, tall, wiry, ex-GI just back from Vietnam, fairly danced over to me, his fury and impatience bristling from every pore. He bent down and looked me in the face, saying, I will rip your arm off and beat you with the bloody stump, you racist bitch!
There I was, all fairy dust, displaying my entire history, one which I share with every other white American. Of course, being an ignorant so-and-so, at that time I could not untangle how I was so racist, or how I somehow represented all white people, but I knew that furious man was right--intellectually. For the rest of my life I have been grateful to Frank Smith, for that was his name, for pointing out, forcefully enough so that I could not ignore it, my shortcomings as a member of our jointly held human race. Thank you Mr. Smith, for your compassion. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Forty-four years later, after assiduously working on my failings around the issue of race in America, and yards wiser about how to go about undoing racism, I still catch myself occasionally reverting to type and behaving like a racist jerk. Thank the gods, it much rarer now, so I can have authentic conversations with my friends and neighbors, many of whom are African American, American Indian, Somali, Latino, Arab, what have you. Everyone from everywhere. Now days my African American neighbors and friends (this is an achievement, hard won, greatly prized) now call me Miz Wiz, Baby Girl, and the like. They seldom have to point out with either look or voice, that Im behaving like a racist jerk. Im catching on at long last! Can someone say, Amen?
It is obvious to those who read the list that Mr. Kervick has never allowed himself to listen when confronted with his racism. Adults who own their own behavior do not have to whine and plead to be loved and admired for their racism, white privilege, elitism, sexism, and their unfailing narcissism. Practicing racism and labeling it as patriotic is a matter of denying one's culpability. Pretending that racism has gone away and race is no longer a problem, is living a lie. What is true, Mr. Kervick, is that it is genuinely authentic for you as a racist.
Yes, the signers of the Mayflower Compact we ignorant racists. Yes, the founding fathers held African and African Americans as slaves. Yes, racism is a long tradition in the USA. But, no, Mr. Kervick, it is definitely, eternally NOT behavior that anyone should promulgate or support.
As I am eternally grateful to Frank Smith for being a righteous man with the compassion to teach me rather than rip my arm off, I pass on his wisdom to you, Mr. Kervick, and point out that you are behaving like a racist jerk in your posts to this political forum. Stop whining like a two-year old and take responsibility for your bigotry and do something about it.
From: Bill McGaughey Date: March 23, 2010 4:09 PM
If a black man in East St. Louis 44 years ago " bent down and looked me in the face, saying, I will rip your arm off and beat you with the bloody stump, you racist bitch!", he was being a thug, not imparting wisdom.
This is no lesson that anyone would want to receive. Grow up, Wizard.
From: Wizard Marks Date: March 23, 2010 4:32 PM
Bull shit! What I said was just like the crap Kervick "imparts" as his wisdom.
From: Bruce Leier Date: March 23, 2010 4:34 PM
Do you really know Wizard? Have you ever lived south of Des Moines? She is definitely "grown up" and understands living in the USA much better than you. She has been tested and understands.
From: Mike Fratto (forum moderator) Date: March 23, 2010 4:38 PM (private posting)
Bill I am not sure why you needed to write this.
I read Wizard's post very closely due to issues it related to other posts. While your statement is accurate that doesn't mean the man's intention would not have been racist. Although, many claim you can't be a racist if you are from a minority race.
One thing that I have a hard time dealing with is the fact that Majorities can be racist while minorities cannot. To me that doesn't fly.
Right now I am attempting to stop any comments that on the surface ignores how someone may be offended by it. In some cases the statement is racist. In others it is just offensive. The one thing I know from years and years of dealing with that issue is that if someone considers an offensive statement as racist it is likely racist to more than that one person.
From: Wizard Marks Date: March 30, 2010 11:21 AM
From Southern Poverty Law Center: "The number of extremist groups in the United States exploded in 2009 as militias and other groups steeped in wild, antigovernment conspiracy theories exploited populist anger across the country and infiltrated the mainstream, according to a report issued today by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Antigovernment "Patriot" groups - militias and other extremist organizations that see the federal government as their enemy - came roaring back to life over the past year after more than a decade out of the limelight.
The SPLC documented a 244 percent increase in the number of active Patriot groups in 2009. Their numbers grew from 149 groups in 2008 to 512 groups in 2009, an astonishing addition of 363 new groups in a single year. Militias - the paramilitary arm of the Patriot movement - were a major part of the increase, growing from 42 militias in 2008 to 127 in 2009. ... Patriot groups have been fueled by anger over the changing demographics of the country, the soaring public debt, the troubled economy and an array of initiatives by President Obama that have been branded "socialist" or even "fascist" by his political opponents. ...
The growth of Patriot groups comes at a time when the number of racist hate groups stayed at record levels - rising from 926 in 2008 to 932 in 2009, according to the report. The increase caps a decade in which the number of hate groups surged by 55 percent. The expansion would have been much greater in 2009 if not for the demise of the American National Socialist Workers Party, a key neo-Nazi network whose founder was arrested in October 2008.
There also has been a surge in "nativist extremist" groups - vigilante organizations that go beyond advocating strict immigration policy and actually confront or harass suspected immigrants. These groups grew from 173 groups in 2008 to 309 in 2009, a rise of nearly 80 percent.
These three strands of the radical right - the hate groups, the nativist extremist groups, and the Patriot organizations - are the most volatile elements on the American political landscape. Taken together, their numbers increased by more than 40 percent, rising from 1,248 groups in 2008 to 1,753 last year.
There are already signs of radical right violence reminiscent of the 1990s. Right-wing extremists have murdered six law enforcement officers since Obama's inauguration. Racist skinheads and others have been arrested in alleged plots to assassinate the president. Most recently, as recounted in the new issue of the Intelligence Report, a number of individuals with antigovernment, survivalist or racist views have been arrested in a series of bomb cases.
The hate groups listed in this report include neo-Nazis, white nationalists, neo-Confederates, racist skinheads, Klansmen and black separatists. Other hate groups target gays or immigrants, and some specialize in producing racist music or propaganda denying the Holocaust. A list and interactive, state-by-state map of active hate groups can be viewed here.
(some time later)
From: Wizard Marks Date: April 3, 2010 4:30 PM
In the late 1970s, when Take Back the Night marches were being held across the country, it was considered politically incorrect for women to wear ear rings to the march. The reason given was that irate men would wade into the march and pull them off women's ears. That specific thing did not happen in Minneapolis, at least, but men did accost marching women and rough them up or lie in wait for them when they left the march and harass them with foul language and/or assault them. I date the term from those years--1975/76/77 thereabouts.
The question becomes, in what context does a neutral term become accusatory and negative? Liberal has become such a term. In the hands of Joe McCarthy, communist ceased to be a descriptor and became an accusation. While the Communist party USA had lost the moral high ground by then, after continuing to support Stalin while he gleefully slaughtered his countrymen and women, the damage done by use of the term as a pejorative still echoes. To this day the FBI uses it as an excuse to put some poor schmuck on one of their lists.
In English, as we all know (hopefully) words get defined at their inception into the language and they sometimes broaden or narrow over time. They do not reverse their meanings to the opposite of what they are. Ergo, to be politically correct is not to self-censure speech, it's to define the parameters of civil discourse.
I maintain a strong antipathy toward those who insist on assigning the wrong definition to words and phrases when the purpose of speaking is to attempt understanding of our civic life. I also find egregiously insulting others a reprehensible behavior, but a sure way to pick a fight, which does serve to inculcate a culture of violence. Ergo, calling someone the N word, for example, seems to me quite stupid. It not only serves to make an enemy, but also serves to brand oneself as proudly behaving like a colossal jerk.
To further assert, or expect anyone to agree to, the notion that being civil is inauthentic, is a matter of falling down the rabbit hole with Alice, forcing anyone who would attempt to hear what you have to say, into either walking away or dismissing you as trifling. karl Rove is particularly good at this.
The first point of politically incorrect language/behavior is to establish the speaker as superior to the person he/she directs speech toward and free to be abusive because of his superior status. The second point is to stop any dialog so that one can preach to an audience, outlining for them the error of their ways. Arrogant as all get out, wrongheaded, insulting, and, dare I say it, anti-democratic. Not to mention that it's antithetical to the purpose of this forum.
From: Bill McGaughey Date: April 3, 2010 5:27 PM
As might be expected, I do not regard the term, "political correctness", as a personal epithet or slur. It does, however, have a political edge to it as do the terms "rightist" or "right-winger" when used by persons on the left.
This term is an attempt to mandate certain kinds of speech by declaring their alternatives personally offensive. It refers to political speech or to subjects having political or social significance, and it tries to force people to use certain language by claiming insult.
This term, "political correctness", describes an attitude or practice, not a birth-determined group of people. It is the best name I can think of for a certain phenomenon in our social and political universe.
From: Mike Fratto (forum moderator) Date: April 3, 2010 10:29 PM (private posting)
Gee Bill you and Kevin don't get it do you? You find terms like Right Winger and Rightest to be offensive but seem to see no offense in using terms like Left Wing or Leftist.
You seem to think applying Socialist and Nazi to be okay. Or maybe I should say you don't decry their use by members of the right and the Tea Partiers.
As Kevin has been told many times and most recently by Marc you can't have it both ways. The offensive language of the left wasn't part of daily use until after ten years of similar language from the Republicans and the likes of GOP leaders like Rush, Hannity and Beck.
From: George Dawson Date: April 3, 2010 10:57 PM
Here is the solution to both the so called hate speech and political correctness concerns: Focus on the issues and solving the problems. The problems are getting worse and not going away.
Rhetoric is the only consistent product from American politicians. Ad hominem used to be one of the least respectable fallacies - but it is really all that our political systems have to offer. I would predict that anyone who can't figure out that the President is an American citizen would certainly be totally overwhelmed by any equally absurd conspiracy theory.
There are two components to a lot of the rhetoric that people seem to be complaining about are generally meaningless words - even the ones that started out very political and constant drama. I picked up my copy of Nunberg as a reality check. He reminded me that William Buckley's defamation suit against an author who called him a facist - was thrown out because "the word was too vague to be actionable" (p 140). When talking about the use of quotative makers he uses an observation from Raymond Williams: "We have never as a society acted so much or watched so many people acting" and adds: "In fact the average person hears more drama in any given week than an Elizabethan would have seen in an entire lifetime, back in what we think of as the Golden Age of drama." (p 266)
Ever seen Glenn Beck on Fox? What is that other than very bad one man theater?
Well that's just me and I watch David Lynch films. But I will tirelessly beat the drum for some actual problem solving and accountability and much, much less drama.
From: Chuck Repke Date: April 3, 2010 11:31 PM
In a message dated 4/3/2010 7:36:04 P.M. Central Daylight Time, Kevin Kervick writes: "Several weeks ago I tried to make the point that this tendency is even more extreme among mixed cultural groups. Educated white people, especially want to bend over backwards to say the correct sanctioned things so nobody will think ill of them. I know for a fact that college professors change their content and their speech depending on who is in their classes. I'd imagine as others are saying here, that ethnic minorities do the same for some of the reasons folks are mentioning. The result is phony dialogue and a lack of intimacy. It is stupid."
Kevin, maybe you are finally starting to prove my point. The phrase "politically correct" as used in the context that you and McGaughey do is classically the same way that bigots view "political correctness." If you assume as above that the "educated white person" is watching what
they say in "mixed company" so that no one will think ill of them, then you are assuming that they actually think some other way than they are speaking. That but for the nigger, kike, spic, fag, bitch, slut, gook, welfare queen, pinko in the room they would express themselves more openly and share that they, like you don't think much of whatever group of people they are talking about.
You see "political correctness," hinders you and McGaughey from will saying what you think because it doesn't fit within the current accepted norms, but we all know when we are just among the good old boys everybody knows that those liberal elites they actually think the same bigot thoughts that you and McGaughey do...
Honest, Kevin there are some of us out there who know that there is only one way to stand up for people's equality and dignity and that is to confront anyone that uses racist, sexist or homophobic expressions every time they use it. Even when it is just us good old white boys in the room.
To be quiet is to be complicit.
From: Kevin Kervick Date: April 4, 2010 8:12 AM
One gets the image of Chuck running around looking for offensiveness like Clouseau looking for clues. Aha!, I've found you. Bigot! Or, maybe, Bieugeaut!
Yes, Chuck. I do believe there is a lot of self-censorship going on in polite discourse. My mention of that and your pouncing on it below is itself an example of how the dance of political correctness works. I'm for discovering and speaking truth, as all reasonable people should be. Sometimes I get it wrong, other times I may get closer. Interpersonal feedback helps to enhance and clarify ideas. But in a phony discourse, civilization wanes.
I appreciate what others have said about the need for communications parameters for civil discourse in a free society. But we are talking about something more perverse here. This is the tyranny of perceived political superiority.
Watching a network like CNN for years as I have, one quickly sees this interpersonal process at play. They employ a panel discussion with three or four people with one conservative, usually a light conservative at that. The conservative is always labeled as a conservative while the other three are often called commentators, or activists, never liberals or progressives. If the conservative ventures into unconventional thinking he is quickly called out by the others with ridicule or subtle (often racist) accusations and quickly redirected by the moderator. That conservative may be saying something that reflects majority opinion but CNN has now labeled it as wrong-headed and ridiculous.
FOX came along as a media alternative to reverse this scenario. FOX has panels with two or three conservatives and one light liberal. The process is reversed. FOX is hugely successful because conservatives were tired of the political correctness they saw on the networks and CNN and wanted a conservative alternative. And rather than acknowledge the logic of this development, what do lefties do? Label and brand FOX with pejoratives and tell their followers to boycott the shows, stop patronizing their sponsors etc. Free action is fine, but then when our President and his surrogates picks up on the shunning we've got problems. The President is the President of all the people.
I did a quick Google search this morning on "Origins of political correctness" and found this article from Newsmax, itself an alternative medium that has grown up in the PC backlash era. I don't know anything about the writer, other than from what he says here and I have not investigated his sources, so have at it. But I have to say that what he writes makes good intuitive sense to me. But then, I am an insensitive and hostile bigot.
Political Correctness: The Scourge of Our Times
Agustin Blazquez with the collaboration of Jaums Sutton
Monday, April 8, 2002
Does anyone know the origins of Political Correctness? Who originally developed it and what was its purpose?
I looked it up. It was developed at the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt, Germany, which was founded in 1923 and came to be known as the "Frankfurt School." It was a group of thinkers who pulled together to find a solution to the biggest problem facing the implementers of communism in Russia. The problem? Why wasn't communism spreading? Their answer? Because Western Civilization was in its way. What was the problem with Western Civilization? Its belief in the individual, that an individual could develop valid ideas. At the root of communism was the theory that all valid ideas come from the effect of the social group of the masses. The individual is nothing. And they believed that the only way for communism to advance was to help (or force, if necessary) Western Civilization to destroy itself. How to do that? Undermine its foundations by chipping away at the rights of those annoying individuals. One way to do that? Change their speech and thought patterns by spreading the idea that vocalizing your beliefs is disrespectful to others and must be avoided to make up for past inequities and injustices. And call it something that sounds positive: "Political Correctness."
Inspired by the brand new communist technique, Mao, in the 1930s, wrote an article on the "correct" handling of contradictions among the people. "Sensitive training" – sound familiar? – and speech codes were born. In 1935, after Hitler came to power, the Frankfurt School moved to New York City, where they continued their work by translating Marxism from economic to cultural terms using Sigmund Freud's psychological conditioning mechanisms to get Americans to buy into Political Correctness. In 1941, they moved to California to spread their wings. But Political Correctness remains just what it was intended to be: a sophisticated and dangerous form of censorship and oppression, imposed upon the citizenry with the ultimate goal of manipulating, brainwashing and destroying our society. And this excellent You Tube video. If you folks are truly as open minded as you say you are, take a look before you denigrate the source or ridicule the conclusions.
In the United States the PC backlash began at the end of the Carter administration when economic and cultural Marxism were starting to wane. The Reagan revolution was a result of and a signal that people were becoming disenchanted with 60's - 70's Marxist thinking that had brought us to economic and cultural despair. Talk radio, namely Limbaugh and Grant circa 1984, and others later became the creative energy behind the PC backlash movement that was inspired by the renewed American pride movement of Reagan. For the first time in decades these powerful voices on radio were saying things out loud that a lot of people were not supposed to think. They were the antidotes to political correctness. I'll give you an example.
I was driving in my car one day, must have been in the late eighties or so, a good liberal trying to do the right thing, when I heard Rush Limbaugh say that homelessness was a made up concept that was more about securing funding than helping people. He said that 90% of the "homeless" were males with mental illness, alcoholism, or drug addiction. He went on to say that the image that was being portrayed in the media of the single mom with children wandering the streets as the primary homeless demographic was a lie, and designed to appeal to emotion in order to get support for the dramatic increases in funding we had been seeing at the time.
Good liberal that I was and working in human services myself, I was aghast but when I analyzed my internal reaction it was not because I disagreed with what he was saying. I knew from the research and from my own experience that Limbaugh was right. But I was aghast because he had the cajones (or stupidity) to say it out loud. Afterall, he was a white male on a public forum, and these things were just not supposed to be said. How insensitive! Of course, since the beginning of the backlash these folks on radio and later as this trend has become more centrist, have been labeled repeatedly as bigots and racists and all of the rest of the preferred hostilities. That tendency is getting louder today and the extension of that is this latest attack on the Tea Partiers from the progressive media.
So, that is my take on the origins and evolution of political correctness. Have at it.
My guess is that many people probably have no idea how they have been used by early Marxists to further their ideology. Some undoubtedly know exactly what they are spreading and do so intentionally. Others may be either naive or well intentioned.
Does political correctness exist on this forum? I think it does. Perhaps we might look at why that might be. My hope is that as our country is finally beginning to establish less covert and more transparent ideological battleground lines, as each party is engaging in identity definition, that we can finally have an honest conversation about what we want for America. Political correctness promotes one-sided conversation.
From: Bill McGaughey Date: April 4, 2010 8:48 AM
When, if ever, are you going to stop defaming people? You presume to know the content of my mind when you suggest that I, in private, use the words "nigger, kike, spic, fag, bitch, slut, gook", etc. - your words, not mine - and I am a bigot in the way I use the word "political correctness".
For your edification, I used this in a posting on March 29th: "While I would characterize CNN as fairly balanced on most questions, it is biased toward a 'leftist' point of view with respect to the core political issues of race, gay rights, and immigration, or what comes under the umbrella of political correctness." So this statement is considered an example of bigotry and hate?
Repke, you used to be an aide to a St. Paul city council member. Now (if you still hold it) you have a cushy job with a St. Paul district council in the housing area. But, of course, you got this job on "merit", and it is an insult to suggest otherwise.
I'll never forget your postings on the St. Paul forum in 2006 when you said that private-sector landlords loved to rent to drug dealers because they paid in cash and that these landlords did not care if people burned to death in their buildings. I called you a "jerk" in response to those remarks and was admonished by the forum moderator.
I regard you as the none-too-intelligent hatchet man for certain St. Paul political interests in forums such as this. And now you're at it again.
From: John Ferman Date: April 4, 2010 2:12 PM
Even if CNN is as left, liberal, it is push back to the Fox superconservative, right. You got your distorter we got our truth teller.
From: Wizard Marks Date: April 4, 2010 5:30 PM
Nice going Mr. McGaughey, you based your entire argument in an ad hominem circumstantial attack on Mr. Repke. Way to go!.
And Mr. Kervick, your compendium of misinformation and misdrawn connection doesn't bear rereading. It's one, long, poorly disguised whine about how unfairly you have been treated. Get real! Unless you're lying all round, you are a white, male, college graduate. Only 30% of this nation's people ever get to become college graduates. You are among the elite. You've had all the advantages that others do not get. Your skin color, your gender, your class, all give you advantages. Your middle class existence is the result of your, what I would call, irrelevant advantages. Race, gender, class. And yet you have the termerity to whine constantly about your unfair treatment. Do you genuinely think we all drank the kool aid? I assure you, we did not.
Whatever your particular experience was at university, mine was certainly different from that. I had to overcome the gender and class bias of the university to get enrolled, first, and then to get educated and it was a near thing at various times. But I was encouraged to challenge my professors' assumptions and, when I succeeded by cogent argument and careful attention to primary text, they respected me for it with good grades. But I did observe that those students who took copious notes and regurgitated them practically verbatim, did not fare as well. Plus, and the supreme icing on the cake, they gave me a library card to the university library, a student loan, and a work-study job. (And, of course, the Vietnam War played a role, opening up space for women.)
If you stayed long enough to be eligible for a social work license without being able to distinguish the character traits of a good teacher, then that's on you. A good teacher has something in common with a good actor--they both know how to play to an audience. The difference between them being that the actor has set lines, while the teacher is not bound by a script, so is free to introduce nuance verbally, rather than kinetically.
Where ever you went to school, in the three I attended, my teachers came from all over the political spectrum, from the tight-assed conservative Calvinists, to the laisez-faire left wing. From holocaust survivors, to those who had never known want.
It says nothing about universities and everything about you, Mr. Kervick, if you were not able to take full advantage of the opportunity your race, gender, and class afforded you. Your screed is personally offensive to me, lack-logic, fact poor. All that stuff.
From: Bill McGaughey Date: April 4, 2010 10:03 PM
Wizard Marks sarcastically congratulates me for an ad hominem attack on Chuck Repke. Yes, my remarks were personal. I wish I did not have to write such things. However, when Repke makes derogatory statements about me and others that are not true, I feel obliged to respond. He started this argument. I don't regard Repke as a victim.
Wizard, you have also made misstatements about me in the past. I'm relieved that you limited your remarks about me this time to one sentence, but you have vented your usual spleen on Kevin Kervick.
It's obvious to me that you despise white males. However, the tide is beginning to turn on this kind of hate. Some of us are actually fighting back. Hopefully, the sun will be setting on this kind of politics.
From: Chuck Repke Date: April 4, 2010 10:10 PM
My point to my two friends that are upset with political correctness in the United States is that the essence of political correctness is that it is never considered correct to give generalized insults of someone based on their race, creed, religion, sex or sexual orientation. I personally believe that is a good thing. As I have said several times I believe that the only way to deal with bigots is to call them on the bigotry directly. To be called out on one's bigotry can be embarrassing. The phrase "political correctness" is a way for those who don't like being called out on those insulting slangs, jokes, comments to hit back on the confronter. It is to give a wink and a nod to their audience and as I said to say that, "I may not be able to say that here, because of "political correctness," but you know my bigoted comment is correct.
What I love about your response to this Kevin is that you have now suggested that the value of political correctness (confronting bigots directly on their insults or ignorance) is actually a communist conspiracy and a Nazi plot at the same time. There is nothing "politically correct" about being either liberal or conservative, and true economic and social conservatives have no reason to embrace bigoted comments. And there is nothing "Libertarian" about insulting someone based on the color of their skin or their religion. Confronting bigoted comments does not restrict the liberties of the bigot. It liberates those that they would victimize.
And, yes Bill we did go around in 2006 after a fire in a Minneapolis rental unit killed several tenants and it was shown that there was over crowding in the building and numerous violations by the building owner. As I recall you were once again championing the rights of the wealthy to exploit the poor and I was suggesting that there are SOME landlords who are more than willing to take cash from the drug dealers and will over crowd units to get every last nickel out of the building. Its just a fact Bill.
I usually put at the end of my posts JMONTOMEPPOF Just My Opinion Not Those Of My Employers Past Present Or Future because I have worked for a half of dozen elected officials, I have lobbied for several business concerns. I have been the Executive Director of two non-profits and I am the broker of a real estate agency. And, yes Bill one of those employers was the City Council member in Saint Paul that in 1990 authored the gay rights ordinance that today's Minnesota Gay protections were based on. It was my pleasure to have assisted in drafting that ordinance and to have experienced the hate mail associated with being in the heart of that debate. Maybe that is where I learned that to be quiet is to be complicit.
From: Chuck Repke Date: April 4, 2010 10:29 PM
I n a message dated 4/4/2010 8:48:03 A.M. Central Daylight Time, William McGaughey writes: When, if ever, are you going to stop defaming people? You presume to know the content of my mind when you suggest that I, in private, use the words "nigger, kike, spic, fag, bitch, slut, gook", etc. - your words, not mine - and I am a bigot in the way I use the word "political correctness".
When did I say that? Reread what I wrote. If you connected the dots, it says more about you than it does about me.
From: Kevin Kervick Date: April 5, 2010 7:03 AM
Chuck wrote: What I love about your response to this Kevin is that you have now suggested that the value of political correctness (confronting bigots directly on their insults or ignorance) is actually a communist conspiracy and a Nazi plot at the same time.
Chuck has created a straw man, a tactic like the ad hominem fallacy, that another poster seems to enjoy using regularly, that renders their arguments less interesting. I'll stick to the actual issues. A few of us have offered actual definitions for the term and I took the time yesterday to
offer a theory about the historical origin of the concept. Political correctness has nothing to do with confronting bigotry or denying bigotry, or permission giving to use insulting words as another poster argued. It has to do with the tyranny of prevailing notions of correct speech.
I'd like to extend the discussion beyond what I offered yesterday for those that are interested. If you aren't interested, I hope you have a nice day. As David Horowitz, once a Marxist insider, pointed out in his piece on the You Tube video, the important shift that occurred during the 60's revolution that was primarily centered in our universities, was the reluctant movement from economic to cultural Marxism. When Marxist thinkers realized there was no working class that was ready to rise up to overthrow the capitalists they shifted their attention to oppressor politics within culture--identity groups. They infiltrated gender feminist, Afro-centric, gay rights, and other identity groups in order to exploit their real sense of powerlessness in order to foster the Marxist agenda, the overthrow of our capitalist system. This isn't earth shattering history for anyone here. But what that shift did in my opinion was to illegitimately create a Marxist-socialist equivalence with those identity groups. So, today when one criticizes Marxism, some folks that are stuck in that 60's paradigm, immediately cry bigotry or racism because in their minds the two are equivalent. They allowed themselves to be used by revolutionaries who knew they could exploit their real powerlessness for their own political gain. Political correctness is the tool that Marxists continue to use to maintain that illicit marriage.
Contemporary scholars have attempted to decouple that illicit union but the progressives among us know that if that were done it would be the end of their power. So, they fight back hard like they are doing with the Tea Party slander. So, this is to Chuck and others here who seem to be continually equating cultural identity with economic policy. When we criticize Marxism and advocate a restoration of constitutional freedoms and principles we are NOT making a racial, ethnic, or gender, or any other identity criticism and we are doing so for what we believe will benefit all Americans. So, come on along. Freedom is on the march.
From: Marnita Schroedl Date: April 5, 2010 7:30 AM (private posting)
Well . . I notice that you made negative remarks about me . . .when you learned that you are absolutely wrong about who I am in the world . . . not a single word of apology for your rudeness to me . . .
Instead if calling you names I pointed out the way in which those who use terms like Politically correct have personally damaged me in the past. But you from you . . . did I receive even the smallest of empathy or understanding? No . . .
From: Marnita Schroedl Date: April 5, 2010 9:38 AM
Using the term politically correct stops the conversation. So you want to have a conversation on how race/ethnicity impacts public policy? . . . Don't use the term politically correct to get the ball rolling. It is a total impediment to any authentic communication. In my experience, the whole point of the term "politically correct" is the idea that we just can't speak the real truth about those people . . . wink, wink, but we know about them and if we didn't have to be so polite and they weren't such babies we could say what is really the truth them. And what are those other alternative narratives that can't be spoken that you'd love to say? Let's lift up the rock and inspect.
I find it telling that the example of political correctness used by Kevin . . .
"I was driving in my car one day, must have been in the late eighties or so, a good liberal trying to do the right thing, when I heard Rush Limbaugh say that homelessness was a made up concept that was more about securing funding than helping people. He said that 90% of the"homeless" were males with mental illness, alcoholism, or drug addiction. He went on to say that the image that was being portrayed in the media of the single mom with children wandering the streets as the primary homeless demographic was a lie, and designed to appeal to emotion in order to get support for the dramatic increases in funding we had been seeing at the time. Good liberal that I was and working in human services myself, I was aghast but when I analyzed my internal reaction it was not because I disagreed with what he was saying. I knew from the research and from my own experience that Limbaugh was right. But I was aghast because he had the cajones (or stupidity) to say it out loud. Afterall, he was a white male on a public forum, and these things were just not supposed to be said. How insensitive! "
Isn't it interesting that Kevin is part of so-called "populist" TPM movement that blames "the poor" and "the other" for the problems of the community? Does it really matter if the homeless are men? Or do homeless people only have value if they are women and children? Do we not have to care about homelessness if the preponderance of homeless are men that suffer from mental illness? Or how about looking at the number of men who are homeless that are veterans who have served our country? I guess homeless men can't be suffering from that "powerlessness" that Kervick attributes to negative behaviors and appears to forgive as a result of feeling powerless for certain segments of the community. Or are only those who engage in vandalistic and terroristic acts against the U.S. government forgiven their bad behaviors as long they identify with conservative policies? Because I keep seeing apologia and excuses here from the right from the negative behaviors from their fellows. I also see no attempt to allay the concerns we have about the hate speech promulgated by the right--It seems that the right gets to say "well those people don't share my viewpoint even if they are in the same movement" while insisting that on the left that merely being on the left at all means that you support all words/actions/deeds of the left for all eternity.
Also, isn't it interesting that Kevin gives a pass to this speaker on his viewpoints . . . A white male who abuses his public position in order to be let off from behaviors (drug abuse, illegal drug purchasing) when he would deny others the access/right to basic shelter of their heads. Again . . .Kervick is championing the rich, powerful and protected against those who are weak, poor and unprotected.
Beware of populist movements that blames the poor/have nots for the problems created by the rich/haves. Am I missing Kervick's argument here? That the TPM as a group are now feeling powerless and you just never know what might happen as a result of their powerlessness? Do you give the same pass to the Palestinian/Arabs who feel powerless? (or would you call anyone who suggested that they feel powerless as a terrorist appeaser?) To women and people of color? Who do you feel is "entitled" to act upon their powerlessness? How does your description of powerlessness tie into the practice of democracy? When exactly did those who suddenly feel as though they don't recognize their country anymore . . .would they still recognize it if they had a different leader elected as president? Within weeks of being elected I know that Kervick was posting that he didn't feel as though this was his country anymore. What about those of us who were denied the franchise to vote for centuries? Was this not our country? What were we entitled to do because we felt powerless? And, given that the right has always opposed civil rights what should do we about the desire of the conservatives to ensure that women/people of color remain powerless? What were we entitled to do as a result of our actual powerlessness? And, just because we are perceiving powerlessness does it actually mean that we are powerless?
So, the question becomes who would Bill and Kevin really like to blame for our problems? Do tell . . . what truths do you feel that you are being kept from sharing and calling out? I say be particularly cautious of said movements when those who presume to speak for "regular folks," are actually upholding the privilege and advantages of the elite & monied class. So why if you are a populist movement, do you support big business trammeling the rights of the individual? Why don't you support the minimum wage, worker's rights, etc.? What does that say about your regular guy movement that doesn't actually have public policy prescriptions that helps the regular guy? Exactly what great truths do you believe you aren't free to say and are being censured from saying? Just using the example of Limbaugh talking about mentally ill homeless men . . Isn't that a public policy prescription that was promulgated by the Reagan in the 1980s? To empty out the assisted living environments for those who are mentally ill and poor. So, let's have a public policy discussion about that . .. since it's on the table . . . Is the best way to handle homelessness is to deny the poor mental health care? Should only those of wealth be entitled to mental health care? Did it actually save us money to let the poor who are mentally ill onto the streets or did it just create a different type of problem? Say a criminal justice and emergency room problem?
IMHO, the term PC is no less hostile than a white sheet or a KKK logo. As Lee Atwater said . . "you can't say nigger anymore, so you have to use bussing and welfare and other things to signal when you are taking about those people taking your hard earned dollars." Since the early 1980s whenever I hear the term "politically correct" it springs from that spirit. I have only used it as code to denigrate the "other" and it makes my skin crawl. Can you really have authentic communication with someone whom you are intentionally making their skin crawl? Is that neighborly behavior? And, if you want to be free to make my skin crawl . . . how are you not guilty of the same thing when I say "it is my observation that the the TPM is largely white and appears to be blaming the poor and the brown for their problems." It seems that demand for the power to speak truth to power is only supposed to be enjoyed on the right/conservative. But if we call out the truths that appear self-evident . . . that the rage that the TPM is experiencing can only come from being a bigot, then you are attempting to censure us . . .Let me get my scorecard straight . . . whom am I allowed to denigrate or speak truth about? When am I being PC or not by doing so . . . when is it condescending to speak truth or PC to avoid speaking . .. so many rules . . so little time to actually have a public policy conversation.
We are all known by the company we keep and the words we use. Pay attention to what you are paying attention to. Pay attention to where you put your energy. This poster supports those who would call us unAmerican and evil for disagreeing on pubic policy while at the same time demanding that we stop censuring his language . . . Again . ..you are free to say what you want . . . and we are free to draw conclusions about you based on your speech . . . You are free to speak, just not free from the consequences that result from your speech.
As my salt of the earth mother used to say . . . "Lie down with dogs . . . get up with fleas."
From: George Dawson Date: April 5, 2010 10:05 AM
The Sturm and Drang continues.
I would venture to say that "Marxist" at this point is in the same category as "facist" - from William Buckley's failed defamation suit and that is: "was too vague to be actionable". It is rather high drama when I hear the President accused of both in the same paragraph.
It certainly did not factor into anything that I observed in the 60s or 70s. It was all about the War, man. You remember - before the war was so sanitized that Americans were given the impression that it was not costing them a thing and that they should be sure to spend money over the holiday season. Back then everybody knew we were in a war and at the end they all knew it was nonsense. Now it seem that we can fight at least two wars, move it off budget, fight it with drones, fight it even if it is unwinnable, and keep everybody happy? I really doubt that is the product of Marxist influence in the 1960s. Seems to me that is more due to a $60 billion ($) defense industry and their influence in Washington along with the politicians' insatiable desire to stay in power in the context of the no accountability vacuum.
Neal Krasnoff's 15 examples can all be rationally analyzed - either on factual basis or by philosophical arguments. Why doesn't that ever happen? The parsimonius explanation is that it is just too hard and it is not good theatre. There is also the dimension that if I don't acknowlegde any experts - I myself am an irrefutable expert on all things moral and by extension factual.
The end products of that process are readily observable on a daily basis and they solve nothing.
From: Chuck Repke Date: April 5, 2010 10:17 AM
Wow, just wow...
Kevin, I expect the black helicopters to show up any time. Seriously, you think that being sensitive to the impact of one's speech on historically persecute populations is a communist plot?
You don't see how someone like myself who has witnessed the vile hate mail (twenty years ago so this isn't an anti-tea party thing) directed at an elected official that stood up for equal protection in employment and housing for the GLBT community might view that statement as a little defensive and maybe paranoid?
Because from my prospective taking that leap to suggest that the reason why one would confront speech that may be insulting to historically persecuted populations is because I (or the confronter) has been influenced by some Marxist plot to take over the feminist and civil rights movement lacks any incite as to what motivates someone to confront speech that may be insulting to historically persecuted populations and it also suggests some denial about the impact of that kind of speech on historically persecuted populations.
The phrase "political correctness" has to come from those who don't like it. The expression is designed to be an insult to the person who is " politically correct." Whatever definition that would come from those who would coin the phrase would not be a fair representation of what the intent of " political correctness." I have given you a reasonable definition of the actions associated with "political correctness" (confronting speech that may be insulting to historically persecuted populations) that would stimulate someone who did not like the confrontation of their speech to coin a negative phrase about the behavior. You have suggested that you have seen someone impacted by the effects of "political correctness" parse their words to be more sensitive in a mixed setting. You don't like that. You have gone on to find other people that don't like being confronted on speech that may be insulting to historically persecuted populations who have suggested that it is all a part of the international world wide Marxist conspiracy to control the universe.
There is no connection between confronting speech that may be insulting to historically persecuted populations and any economic system. Capitalist can come in all colors, genders, religions. And, there is nothing new about being sensitive to historically persecuted populations. My great, great, grandfather was an abolitionist, he was a white officer with the 127th United State Colored Troops during the Civil War. He was willing to put his life on the line to insure that there would be equality in this country. That is what TRUE patriotism is about.
When we criticize bigotry and advocate constitutional freedoms from discrimination and abuse for all regardless of racial, ethnic, gender, or any other identity we are doing so for what we believe will benefit all Americans. So, come on along, Kevin. Freedom is on the march.
PS Neal you are correct I would confront you for being bigoted for statements 1, 3, 8, 9, 10, and 11 the other statements are or maybe wrong but aren't necessarily speech that may be insulting to historically persecuted populations and aren't one way or another "politically correct." I mean just because something is nonsense doesn't mean that isn't "politically correct" its just stupid. You could have put on your list supporting the flat Earth society, that is just stupid it isn't, not "politically correct." And, to everyone let me be clear. It is your right to be a bigot in this country. You have the right to believe whatever crass notion about peoples that your little hearts want you to believe. But, I have the right to confront you on bigoted statements and I will do whatever there is in my power to make sure that bigotry does not become a part of public policy.
From: Bill McGaughey Date: April 5, 2010 9:40 AM (private posting)
You've written "I'm resentful of all the old white people." You've called me a bigot. How can I have warm and fuzzy feelings toward you when you express this attitude. If you live in Kenwood, you're probably doing well financially. You expect me to feel sorry for you? Come on, now.
Think of other people's feelings and dignity every once in a while. Try to feel empathy, among others, for white people.
From: Marnita Schroedl Date: April 5, 2010 10:26 AM (private posting)
I wrote I'm resentful of "all the old white people who who are out of work and living on "the dole," to be at all these rallies, etc.? Their reason for thinking it was okay that they could utilize pubic benefits . . "they had paid into the system."
That's a pretty specific population. You had to twist to take it out of context to make me resent all old white people instead of just those who would be on the public dole while complaining about the size of the government.
Well . . . since I explained to you that I haven't had a comfortable life and that your continual use of the term politically correct is hurtful . . .you can keep using it . . . but know and take responsibility for the impact.
So white men deserve empathy, but I don't? Why should I feel empathy for white people generally, when you refuse to feel empathy even specifically when you know my story? And, why should I have empathy for white people? For what should I be empathetic? What is the burden that they are bearing that I should feel such pain and sympathy?
I showed you my humanity . . . A glimpse inside my life . . . I see how little respect you hold for me and how easily you can dismiss my journey. I can now say based on your response, you are just not a very nice human being . . .Maybe a bigot, maybe not . . .but certainly without heart and feeling for a fellow community member. So why should I care about you in my community if you don't care about me?
From: Bill McGaughey Date: April 5, 2010 10:52 AM (private posting)
You seem to be totally self-absorbed. I wish you well but can't continue this discussion much longer.
From: Marnita Schroedl Date: April 5, 2010 11:39 AM (private posting)
Well . . I can't win for losing can I then? I mean how can I have warm fuzzy feelings toward you when you would deny my very reality?
I demonstrate how bigotry has impacted my life-- by sharing with you very personal experiences from my own life that completely counter the idea that I've ever had a comfortable life. But instead of receiving even a little bit of empathy you accuse me of being Iself-involved. You can't even say "I would find those things hurtful and unsupportable, it sucks that they happened to you."
So even as you show me no empathy you demand that I show empathy for others . . . If I don't deserve empathy because I live in Kenwood, then why do white men deserve my empathy? I'm just trying to figure out the standards by which you determine who is and isn't deserving of respect and empathy. How is it that you get to attribute behaviors (the lie that I've had a comfortable life) and then don't have any requirement to acknowledge that you were wrong and had no right to suggest that I was comfortable? Not even a "my bad, I clearly spoke out of turn."
There really isn't a way for me to appear as a human to you is there? I'm supposed to feel empathy for you . . .but you are under no obligation to feel empathy for me . . . If I suggest that my story is empathy worthy then I"m self-involved.
Why should I "try to feel empathy for whites," when you clearly don't have any empathy for me? Why doesn't that make you self-absorbed to demand empathy when you have none to share/give yourself? I'm just so struggling with the double standard you have set up . . .
From: Bill McGaughey Date: April 5, 2010 11:45 AM
I agree that the discussion that we have been having about political correctness has not been productive. I will answer a few points and then leave this thread.
Maybe the substance of Repke's posting is this: "The phrase "political correctness" is a way for those who don't like being called out on those insulting slangs, jokes, comments to hit back on the confronter. It is to give a wink and a nod to their audience and as I said to say that, "I may not be able to say that here, because of "political correctness," but you know my bigoted comment is correct."
I don't know the context of the remark when someone uses the term "political correctness". It is not, however, a personal or group slur. It is a descriptive label attached to a political and social phenomenon. Repke says it is our duty to confront people using bigoted language. Does that include venomous language directed against white people, Chuck?
I am supposed to have championed " the rights of the wealthy to exploit the poor ." I will say this: The wealthy have a right to offer overpriced, shoddy merchandise, as they often do; however, consumers also have a right not to buy this merchandise. That's where the main protection lies.
When Repke insinuated that all private-sector landlords welcomed drug dealers as tenants and didn't care if people were burned to death in their buildings, I challenged him to name one such landlord. Repke refused to do so saying that this would only allow that landlord to sue for defamation. Repke was too smart to fall for my "trap." I say, he was just blowing smoke. He didn't name such a landlord since there aren't any.
Some of the speech police on this forum are telling us we are bigots if we use the term "political correctness." I say, they lack the authority to compel me to use the speech that they require. They will then say they would feel personally insulted if I use the term "political correctness". In response, I would quote Clark Gable: "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."
From: Bill McGaughey Date: April 5, 2010 12:20 PM (private posting)
It doesn't seem that we agree on much of anything. Best to move on to other, more productive discussions.
From: Marnita Schroedl Date: April 5, 2010 12:30 PM (private posting)
How about you still owe me an apology. I'll move on when you apologize for suggesting that I am opposed to the tea party movement because of the great comfort I've enjoyed in my life . . . You've been proven wrong in that assertion . . so I'd like your empathy now. Can't quite come up with empathy for me when I've clearly been treated unfairly? Now why is that?
Why are only your voice/needs/feelings worthy of empathy? And, if you lack empathy for for me--who clearly has been treated poorly solely due to my melanin content--then what does it say about you? Who do you protect? Who do you care about?
From: Bill McGaughey Date: April 5, 2010 12:42 PM (private posting)
It's not my policy to apologize for giving honest opinions. I don't remember saying that you opposed the Tea Party because of comfort you have enjoyed. Let's drop this discussion. Thanks.
From: Marnita Schroedl Date: April 5, 2010 12:58 PM (private posting)
Just because you don't remember what you said . . I not only remember what you said . . I have the ability to quote what you said verbatim . .
This is word for word what you said: "What really bothers Schroedl may be that, with the Tea Party movement, her comfortable political world is starting to crumble. Grass roots movements are not supposed to happen among people like this. I do not know how far this movement will go but I do wish people success - even white people - who may be getting into politics for the first time to oppose the oppressive structures of government and the media."
Since I've never had a comfortable political world . .. then your words are a lie aren't they? So your honest opinion wasn't so honest or correct was it? I stuck to the content of what you said and have proven them wrong and now you aren't willing to admit that you were totally off base with your assertions. I'm holding you accountable for your opinions. I thought as a conservative you believed in personal responsibility.
Let's not drop the discussion . . let's hold you accountable for your inflammatory and lack of empathy for people of color . . .
From: Neal Krasnoff Date: April 5, 2010 12:21 AM
Being "politically correct" is not just using offensive words. It is expressing political or social opinions that are considered by the left and multiculturalists to be wrong, and, therefore, to be censored by the government if necessary.
1. Homosexuality is an abomination and must not be held up as a legitimate
standard in American civil society.
2. Abortion on demand is a moral disgrace.
3. Members of the same sex cannot be married in a true sense because they
can never procreate nor consummate a marriage.
4. Black males commit a disproportionate amount of crime in the United
5. Illegal immigrants take jobs that American citizens would otherwise have.
6. Homosexuals should not adopt children.
7. Abortionists who perform an abortive act against an otherwise healthy
child in utero is engaging in an unjustifiable homicide for monetary gain
and should be prosecuted.
8. Affirmative action violates the merit system and places white males at a
9. Women should not be firefighters because the average women lacks the same
upper body strength as men who were traditionally firefighters.
10. Homosexuals should not be able to serve in the military.
11. Women should stay home and raise their children: the hand that rocks the
cradle rules the world.
12. A peaceable citizen has a right to use a concealed firearm to defend a
life, if necessary.
13. The left must be held accountable for the mass slaughter perpetrated by
the communists in the 20th Century.
14. The Jews have a right to reclaim their homeland in Israel and defend
that against Arab imperialism.
15. Global warming is a hoax.
I am providing these examples to illustrate the types of opinions that would not be considered correct in the eyes of the left, "Progressives", the Green Party, and many participants on e-Democracy (you know who you are - the ones banging your keyboards into dust and leaving imprints on your ceilings). It's not just words, it's ideas. Violators are assaulted, threatened, libeled, their churches picketed and invaded. They are fired from jobs, fined, brought before tribunals, have their livelihoods threatened, forced to assent to ideas against their rights of conscience that are constitutionally protected.
If any one responds to me with any ad hominem attacks for providing these examples, you will have proved my point.
From: Chuck Repke Date: April 5, 2010 1:13 PM
Hey Bill... I am white...
From: Wizard Marks Date: April 5, 2010 1:21 PM
All of Mr. Krasnoff's examples are NOT examples of politically incorrect statements. They are statements of Mr. Krasnoff's opinion. We are all free to argue that Mr. Krasnoff's opinions are wrongheaded, anti-democratic, stem from his personal religious beliefs, or hugely unwelcome in some situations. There is no situation where they are politically correct or incorrect. It is a misuse of the term to apply it with Krasnoff's examples.
However, it would be foolhardy to utter some of those sentences in SOME situations. Citing statement #1: when a group waving signs and shouting that through a loud-hailer attempt to attend the burial of a gay man (which has happened in MN), it is not politically incorrect, but it certainly is unforgivably crass and unkind. Clearly, there are those people who have no ability to distinguish how their behavior would wound a grieving family and friends or, they did it deliberately to wound the mourners. That the mourners would return the nastiness and escalate it would seem a likely outcome. I would opine that the protestors sought to create a confrontation.
Should statement #1 be delivered through a loud-hailer at the Gay Pride Festival in Minneapolis, for example, then those who are making the statement can expect either to be asked to leave by the police or risk being thoroughly trounced by GLBT people attending the festival.
Take an example of true politically incorrect behavior from a different situation. "All cops are pigs." (BTW, I don't believe that.) One might say that privately, in one's own home or at a party of like-minded silly people, but it would not be prudent to shout it at a super-charged thousands of persons demonstration to end the war in Vietnam, as happened. It invites retribution and blood-letting. It was, in my opinion, entirely stupid and displayed a huge lack of self-preservation and carelessness toward the health of other demonstrators. Those peaceful demonstrators who were in the crowd were treated to tear gas and thumpings by police officers. Thanks a toad ton, big mouths. Shouting "pig" at police officers is politically incorrect because it calls the officers out of their names and disrespects them as humans.
I'm sure Mr. Krasnoff's list of opinions would be entirely unwelcome in many situations, but they would not be politically incorrect. The reaction would more likely be one of "Who invited that guy?"
As to Mr. McGaughey's typically mistaken contention that I hate all white males--preposterous. Cite even one example that proves your contention, Mr. McGaughey, I double dog dare you to find one. After all, all my male relatives, so far as I know, are white. I not only do not hate them, I don't even particularly dislike them. I also do not hate white male friends, neighbors, old boyfriends, etc. I find hating people drains energy and hurts no one but myself. What I do dispise is deliberate lies and the tendency of the ignorant to rewrite history to suit their own predelictions.
From: Marc Asch Date: April 5, 2010 5:11 PM
I would like to return the discussion to whence it began which was a discussion of the culture of violence being created by extreme language which I see as being largely the preserve of the Tea Party folks, right wing Republicans including many in Congress and not related to Democratic, progressive or left wing language at this point in time.
The argument that Kevin presented that somehow political correctness had "forced" the "powerless" to engage in extreme language is simple sophistry not a legitimate argument in my opinion since it unsupported by either research nor example.
We have an open society with many voices. The Tea Party Movement has consistently abused that right by attempting to intimidate and out shout in public meeting other attendees to hijack first Congressional Town Meetings and then the Congressional process itself in the closing days
around the passage of the health care reform.
We have seen this kind of thing in the past with the European Brown shirts and the Bolsheviks just after the democratic revolution in
Russia. The TPM is attempting the same thing today. The reason the discussion of political correctness was not productive, IMHO, was because it was not a genuine discussion but another attempt to deflect any discussion and analysis of the real actions of the TPM and the Republican party members in Congress.
We are in a very serious period of political contention. The Republicans refuse to recognize that they lost the last election. They are acting as if they are in the period between an election which has shifted the majority back to them and the start of the newly elected Congress. Why else would Sen. Kyl be talking about filibustering the next Obama nominee?
From: Kevin Kervick Date: April 5, 2010 7:12 PM
Democratic party and other Progressive operatives are engaging in a dishonest and well-organized propagandist smear campaign in order to delegitimize the growing conservative populist movement. Take a look at the lefty blogs, Moveon.org, statements and boycott pleas from leadership at SEIU, MSNBC, CNN, the New York Times, and the Center for American Progress, all with some ties to the current administration, and you will find a near uniformity of leftist talking points that are remarkably similar to what Mr. Asch wrote below. They are scared to death that there has already been a tremendous amount of slippage in the polls and that even more moderate people are attracted to the Tea Party movement. Conservative populism is on the rise and they know it. They must resort to their time-tested Marxist silencing propaganda to erode any further slippage. Problem is, it is not going to work this time.
Please take note of the following developments:
The Winston Group conducted a survey of people describing themselves as Tea Partiers, about 17 percent of those surveyed, and got the following results: "The national breakdown of the Tea Party composition is 57 percent Republican, 28 percent Independent and 13 percent Democratic, according to three national polls by the Winston Group, a Republican-leaning firm that conducted the surveys on behalf of an education advocacy group. Two-thirds of the group call themselves conservative, 26 are moderate and 8 percent say they are liberal."
Tea Partiers are united in their concern about economic policy, cutting taxes and spending, though many also favor infrastructure spending (i.e. building roads and bridges) to reduce unemployment. Like the creators of South Park, the Tea Partiers are suspicious of the Republican Party, but are really hostile to the Democrats. A similar survey by Gallup gives an even more compelling picture of the Tea Partiers. The Gallup Survey suggests that while the Tea Partiers skew conservative, Republican, and affluent, ethnically and otherwise they tend to match the makeup of the United States as a whole.
The biggest variance is that while the percentage of African Americans in the United States is 11 percent, the percentage of African American Tea Partiers is 6 percent. Considering the tendency of African Americans to support Democrats, especially the African American Democratic president, that is a remarkable statistic. It also flies in the face of the stereotype being promulgated in the media of the Tea Partier as an exclusively older white phenomenon. Indeed, Tea Partiers, broken out by age, track the proportions of the general American population as well as well as education and employment status."
Andrew Breitbart of Big Government.com is offering to make a 100,000 donation to the United Negro College Fund if anyone can produce visual or audio proof of any of the alleged racist, or gay-bashing statements that were supposedly made at the Capital a few weeks ago. It has been several days and noone has come forward, despite that fact that the lawmakers purposely and provocatively walked through throngs of reporters and citizen journalists and activists that day. And Congressman Cleaver, who apparently said someone spat at him is now backing off of that statement: Cleaver retracts spitting charge Emanuel Cleaver now admits that no one spit on him at the Tea Party rally against health care nationalization. In fact, he how claims that he never made the charge, which is a lie:
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver’s office released the following statement: For many of the members of the CBC, like John Lewis and Emanuel Cleaver who worked in the civil rights movement, and for Mr. Frank who has struggled in the cause of equality, this is not the first time they have been spit on during turbulent times. This afternoon, the Congressman was walking into the Capitol to vote, when one protester spat on him. The Congressman would like to thank the US Capitol Police officer who quickly escorted the others Members and him into the Capitol, and defused the tense situation with professionalism and care. After all the Members were safe, a full report was taken and the matter was handled by the US Capitol Police. The man who spat on the Congressman was arrested, but the Congressman has chosen not to press charges. He has left the matter with the Capitol Police. Presumably Cleaver is backing off the charge since a video surfaced showing that it was false.
Folks, it looks like it is unlikely that any of it happened. This was a set up job and most Americans can see through it. What we are seeing is an orchestrated hit job campaign that I believe future investigations could prove is connected to White House political operatives. All we would need is a few whistleblowers. Someone would have to be born yesterday not to conclude that the White House's political team could be working with their hit groups to attempt to pull this hit job off. I believe we could have a Nixonian abuse of power here. We have only circumstantial evidence so far but we will see how it all unfolds. They are getting desperate in the Progressive camp.
The political correctness thread is directly relevant in this debate as in if one views PC as an infringement on free political speech as I do, one should be suspect of the myriad of ways that political operatives will attempt to stifle speech that is not helpful to their cause. This ongoing
and accelerating Progressive strategy to demonize dissenters should be viewed in that vein. It is insidious and dangerous.
From: Michele Honderich Date: April 5, 2010 7:50 PM (private posting)
Okay William, I find your remarks so offensive I can not stop myself from telling you so. You are very closed minded and you feel sorry for yourself. It smells real bad since you have so many privileges. Why do you participate in this forum? Are you trying to recruit others to your beliefs? There is no other reason for your offensively defensive, closed-minded, immature responses. You remind me of a little boy who is not getting his way and therefore blaming everyone else. You- make me want to leave the forum due to your inability to communicate respectfully back and forth. It is clear you do not give a dam about anyone different from you.
From: Bill McGaughey Date: April 5, 2010 11:52 PM (private posting)
Sorry you feel that way, Michele.
From: Michele Honderich Date: April 5, 2010 11:34 PM
As a Mother of three, I can't help but noticing that Kevin and William both sound like two spoiled children saying, "They started it... They are saying mean things about our privileged position as white men. Don't they know they are breaking my rules. They are re-writing history to include their experiences as well as mine. Thats not fair. I have a right to be mad."
I hear their anger and resentment at not having their way. It must be hard to be taken off of an actual "pedestal" and join the human race. Man up boys.
From: Bill McGaughey Date: April 6, 2010 12:06 AM
Wizard Marks wrote: "As to Mr. McGaughey's typically mistaken contention that I hate all white males--preposterous. Cite even one example that proves your contention, Mr.McGaughey, I double dog dare you to find one. After all, all my male relatives,so far as I know, are white. I not only do not hate them, I don't even particularly dislike them. I also do not hate white male friends, neighbors, old boyfriends, etc."
This raises an interesting point. I have met Marks but do not know her well, and I certainly do not know her male relatives or her relationship with them. So if I wrote that Wizard Marks "hates all white males", that would be hard for me to prove.
What I did write was this: "It's obvious to me that you despise white males. However, the tide is beginning to turn on this kind of hate." So I did use the word "hate" in connection with Wizard Marks though in a different way than claiming that she hated all white males.
What prompted that statement was this part of Wizard's posting relative to Kevin Kervick: "And Mr. Kervick, your compendium of misinformation and misdrawn connection doesn't bear rereading. It's one, long, poorly disguised whine about how unfairly you have been treated. Get real! Unless you're lying all round, you are a white, male, college graduate. Only 30% of this nation's people ever get to become college graduates. You are among the elite. You've had all the advantages that others do not get. Your skin color, your gender, your class, all give you advantages. Your middle class existence is the result of your, what I would call, irrelevant advantages. Race, gender, class. And yet you have the termerity to whine constantly about your unfair treatment. Do you genuinely think we all drank the kool aid? I assure you, we did not."
I think Wizard Marks is hung up on the concept of white-male privilege for she goes on to describe the hard time she had in college as a female. Her posting ends with this flourish: "It says nothing about universities and everything about you, Mr. Kervick, if you were not able to take full advantage of the opportunity your race, gender, and class afforded you. Your screed is personally offensive to me, lack-logic, fact poor."
It seems that Marks is brimming with contempt for Kervick because he was a white male who went to college. She goes to great length to stress this aspect of his personality - i.e., race and gender. I was reacting to this. Marks misrepresents the nature of my posting.
As for Michele Honderich, she is not my mother and I do not accept her lecture as if to a child. Evidently, she hasn't seen people like me sticking up for ourselves. However, it's a free country and we all have a right to express our opinions. The sun is setting on her kind of politics. It's a new day.
From: Michele Honderich Date: April 6, 2010 12:31 AM
Playing with words.... despise implies hate. It is an egocentric idea to think that if one who does not agree with you, that one must hate you.
You are sticking up for bigoted ideas. Do they really apply to you? I understand ... I just can't stand this conversation anymore .... Actually, it is the end of your kind of politics. White racist male supremist ideas are outdated and immoral.
I use to not vote. But I am sick of your kind. I guess I have to participate now.
From: Mike Fratto (forum moderator) Date: April 6, 2010 5:49 AM (private posting)
Sorry Bill. but it is clear that Ms Marks was making the point that Kevin is part of the majority. I would guess that you really coujldn't place a non white, female in the series she used and still have made her point. White males were privileged. That is her point.
From: Bill McGaughey Date: April 6, 2010 9:09 AM (private posting)
I disagree with the demeaning concept of "white privilege". It is a kind of prejudice. In my posting, I was trying to address Marks' distortion of what I wrote.
From: Bill McGaughey Date: April 6, 2010 12:48 PM
As far as I am concerned, enough has been said on this topic. We each have our own views, and no minds have been changed.
Even so, this has been a conversation that would not have been possible in the mainstream media. I salute E-Democracy forum and its volunteers for hosting the discussion. Ours has been an exercise in political free speech, even with the battle lines drawn inflexibly on both sides.
From my perspective, I am proud of Kevin Kervick, the lonely conservative, for standing his ground and for trying to keep the discussion on a high philosophical plane. I have been the one dealing more toughly with personalities. It's obvious to me, despite the rhetoric about white-male domination of society and "white privilege", the white-male position is severely underrepresented on this forum. Out of the woodwork came numerous persons eager to attack Kevin and me for who we are - unapologetic white males who once went to college.
Yes, this is an unpleasant subject. But, I think, if America is to get over its spiritual sickness, we need to address it. We need to lance the boil.
I'm sure many will disagree with my characterizations. Go ahead and express yourself. However, this will be my last posting on the subject of "political correctness". I will not be browbeaten into regarding this as a swear word and some others will not get over regarding me as a totally reprehensible person for holding firmly to my views. Since there are no signs of movement either way in our respective opinions, further discussion will accomplish little.
Life offers greater opportunities than this. Sometimes we need to pull ourselves away from the computer and see what else there is in the world. Spring has sprung.
From: Mike Fratto (forum moderator) Date: April 6, 2010 1:08 PM (private posting)
Frankly Bill, I think that is why the issues of race still exist today. White men have been privileged through out most of my career and I worked for an employer who did everything it could to eliminate race and gender in its selection criteria. If you don't think people of color and women weren't discriminated against in hiring, promotions, and other perks you either had your head in the sand or you intentionally ignore the facts.
From: Wizard Marks Date: April 6, 2010 5:21 PM
Mr. McGaughey, either you don't read your native tongue very well, in which case you are at a distinct disadvantage on the internet, or you deliberately skewer words to explicate the breadth and depth of a meanness.
But here's the real deal about college in the sixties, high school in the fifties. In high school, because I was poor, I was tracked into the programmed for failure group. I had to put up a big stink at school to get into college prep courses because it was very clear that I couldn't raise the funds for any college and I had no parents to support me or even give me a place to live while I tried to support myself. Further, we girls were told, straight out, that we were not candidates for high school math level 3 (calculus and trigonometry), which meant that we could not enter college and move into mathematics as a goal because we weren't prepared. Of the three females who had the temerity to enroll in the class, all three dropped the course. I was not unique in that, other poor kids had the same experience. For kids of color, the experience was even tougher.
Had there not been a serendipitous conjunction of the National Defense Education Act, Southern Illinois U. at Edwardsville's experiment in educating lower class students, and the Vietnam War all those poor-but-smarter-than-a-bucket-of-hair youth would not have been able to go to university. Many, if not most of us, were not 18 when we went to college. Though I graduated from high school in 1961, I didn't get to university until 1965. All my lower class, students of color, and/or female classmates had similar circumstances, although some also had children, which made the economic cheese more binding, so to speak. Whereas white middle-class males, who were the bulk of the targeted students at most universities, could waltz in there, even if they were dumb as doorknobs, and get preferred treatment. Those were the facts on the ground and they were still somewhat in place when Mr. Kervick went to school.
Mr. Kervick is part of that white, middle class male demographic. As has been noted on another thread, Mr. Kervick's grasp of the meaning of words is--unfortunate. But the effect of his words on this forum are to toss the reader into Orwell's "1984." As a wordsmith, that puts me into a frenzy. When he then whines about how he feels unloved/unadmired for his warts and all among this, essentially, bunch of strangers on an internet site... . My Irish Catholic self (with overtones of blunt hillbilly) is wont to get on her high horse and run the dozens on such a one, pointing out in excruciating detail just how lack logic the screed is. I hasten to add that I do not resent Mr. Kervick's relatively easier life qua college student and graduate, but I very much resent that he accuses the university of having a party line that excludes his particular opinion and he further blames the university for some kind of fuzzy socialistic, communistic, vague plot to ruin the country. Give me a break! This forum is not a Star Trek convention. Universities, in general, saved thousands and thousands of poor kids a lifetime of drudgery, mending and making do and provided them an avenue to open the middle class to either them or their children. And this country is much the better for it.
As you have seen my writing on three forums now, you should be well aware that my perspective comes right out of the striving lower class and I have a a very strong class loyalty part of which comes from my perception that the world is a such a juncture that wasting the innate talent of any human is a criminal act. Ergo, to whine about how white, college educated, middle class males are losing their dominance in a country which aspires to democracy is pathetic and it makes me tired. Being now 66 and recovering from a 10 year illness, I get snarky when I'm tired.
Ergo, Mr. McGaughey, the forum entertains a diversity of opinion. I know not whether anyone else on this forum shares the perspective of the striving lower class, so you'll just have to put up with the diversity of opinion and would be some help if you could also see your way clear to a position where you could avoid that nasty little meanness that wants to indulge in ad hominem. If we're going to essay to talk about class and race and gender, then lets do it and stop screwing around in the mucky swampy, diversionary tactic through baloney like accusations of political correctness to the forum's members.
From: Michele Honderich Date: April 6, 2010 6:52 PM (private posting)
I love how the extreme right falls back on their spiritual supremacy when they realize they can not get the majority to agree with them. I am referring to William's last post. Not only do they have white male supremacy issues. They feel superior in faith as well. So now we all have all been insulted on our gender, politics and religion due to the fact that we will not feel sorry.... they are so injured, as to be forced to read another point of view. The boil that needs to be lanced is your self pity over not reigning supreme in today's society.
From: Bill McGaughey Date: April 6, 2010 9:30 PM (private posting)
Please, I don't want any more private messages from you. thanks.
From: Kevin Kervick Date: April 6, 2010 7:52 PM
Hello Bill and Everyone:
I appreciate your kind words. Only about 15-20 persons ever post here so we don't really know who is thinking what out there in lurkdom. Despite the recent volleys of personal attacks I agree with you that this has been a decent thread, although it morphed several times and the moderator tried to stop it once when we were apparently winning. If we stay with the issues and don't take the hostile bait we will be alright.
But today we've had some folks that just can't seem to stay out of the gutter and these are the folks that are cruising conservatives the loudest for what they perceive as the same tactic. One poster spread a false rumor like some junior high school kid might have done and when he was called on the falsity, his only retort was to debate the difference in meaning between slander and libel. He added no substance to the conversation. Another respondent started off well and then strayed into character assassination by assigning a mental health diagnosis to Glenn Beck. If you do a quick Google of Beck and that diagnosis you find all sorts of lefty conversations about it, which suggests that this is the latest talking point. These are not only juvenile offenses but they are also rather derivative at this point.
Can't you guys get some more original material? The backchannel posts I get often contain the same sort of junior high name calling.
Bill, I would love to talk with you about white male bashing as this is another area that I have studied for fifteen years. I have no idea why any self respecting white male would remain in the Progressive movement with all of the outright hatred we receive from gender feminists, and racial identity zealots in that hate society. They have been engaged in a systematic attack against white males for decades, an attack that has destroyed families and communities, harmed our boys, and rendered a lot of men to the sissy farm.
Undoubtedly, as I surmised before, the Tea Party backlash is buttressed by a masculine revival as more men are beginning to eschew gender feminist orthodoxy in favor of rediscovering key components of the true masculine, freedom and responsibility. And conservative women, who actually seem to like men by the way, are finding their voices too. In time a lot of black men will wake up too as the Obamamania continues to fade and the backlash continues and we will get our sea legs back. Many of us sold out because we believed that was the cool and nice thing to do, and we lost our souls in the process. I am glad there are people like you out there standing up for white men. Our founders were white men. And great men at that.
I don't see Bill or anyone else whining about victimization or anything at all about spiritual supremacy, whatever that means, although I am glad Ms. Honderich has joined the conversation. This discussion was about political correctness, that there are anointed chosen victims in society and those chosen victims and their privileged enlightened exploiters as I like to call them, ascribe free reign to try to marginalize or silence those that do not agree with them.
In a later post I will attempt to document the damage that I and many believe has been done to society as a result of this selective victim mongering and the associated revenge politics that have been perpetuated on all of us. Group identity politics may have short term gain for a few but
they damage all of us in the long run. Gender feminism died a decade ago because folks started to realize this but it seems there are still a few diehards out there, holding anchor.
As to Rock Mons' opinion about what he perceives to be my lying about the difference between conservative and liberal arguments. It is not a lie to state my belief, based on direct experience here on this forum, what I have read consistently over the years, and a daily content analysis of liberal and conservative traditional and nontraditional media. One or two examples does not make an argument. Good data does. If Rick Mons wants to disagree with my opinion that is an acceptable debate assertion. Saying I am lying would presuppose that Mons knows what I really believe and that what I am saying contradicts that belief. That is an impossibility. I can appreciate Marc Asch's concerns about violence. I want to talk about the root causes of violence in another thread. All I can say is that political speech is protected in this country and using accurate terms to describe a political/economic philosophy, whether those terms are Marxist, Progressive, Capitalist, Monarchist, Socialist, Republican, Communist, is not out of bounds in a discussion of US Issues. Progressives have no problem openly criticizing white males or Conservative Christians, or patriarchy, or rich people. If any violence ensues against those people (as has been well documented for decades) well, they deserve it. Threats against someone that openly defies the US Constitution, a document they swore to uphold and protect are somehow surprising.
There isn't any need for violence at all and I hope it goes no further. Our side is winning the debate and should keep the focus on November.
As to Ms. Marks, about whom I agree with Bill, seems to have deep animus for white men, I have decided that one cannot fight hostile distortions tit for tat so it is best to try to stick to the issues and themes. I will say that I have never met Ms. Marks although I must admit I admire her fighting spirit. But I have no idea how she seems to know so much about me without having ever met me or my having shared much about my personal history. For instance:
I grew up poor. Both of my parents suffered from depression and my father was unemployed or underemployed for much of my childhood. I had a great experience in college all four times I attended, had many great professors and mentors. I paid most of the freight myself outside of the de facto baseball scholarship I was lucky enough to receive from a Division 3 school.
I've done my best despite those risk factors to do OK and raise a decent family. I've never whined or complained about any of it. So, Ms. Marks seems to have projected a lot of things onto me that are inaccurate and my only guess is that I am becoming the receptacle for her to dump whatever animus she has accumulated over the years from people that apparently hurt her. I don't know but my guess is that even despite the fact that people here disagree with much of what I am writing, they can see through her charade. And my guess is people are getting tired of Ms. Marks telling everyone how smart she is, or maybe that is just me. I am sorry about the 10 year illness but that does not give her permission to bully people.
After this response I will go back to my more mature strategy and ignore her posts. That is unless she would like to really engage me as a human being, and not a caricature from her imagination, who is as committed as she is to her convictions. We could have some fun doing that. My design in pointing out inequities is to hoist you Progressives on your own petards while pointing out your hypocrisy. And I demand that rules are enforced properly for fair debate. You've spent decades whining about how awful life has been for you and exploiting your chosen victims. Now those chickens are coming home to roost.
From: Tommy Marver Date: April 6, 2010 9:34 PM
When I stick my head out of Middle Earth, I prefer much more living in Lurkdom than your (Kevin Kervick's) Fantasyland. I cannot make Sense out of NONsense. It makes my head hurt and I have better uses of my time, ie. like volunteering to feed the hungry or mentoring youth. A lurker most of the time and proud of it.
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