Smart people saying smart things

Ta-Nehisi Coates: “A Flawed America in Context”

When you study racism, with all its attendent woes, there is something comforting about those kind of numbers. It tells you that whatever you are struggling with here is not a deviation from the human experience, but an expression of it. There is very little that “white people” have done to “black people” that I can’t imagine them doing to each other. America’s particular failings are remarkable because America is remarkable, but they are not particularly deviant or outstanding on the misery index. This is just sort of what we do. The question hanging over us though is this: Is this what we what we will always do?

Kathleen Geier: “Internet payday loans and the major banks that enable them: a growing scourge”

So what do the major banks get from participating in payday loans? It’s simple: it’s all about the overdraft fees. The automatic withdrawals frequently result in overdrafts, and that can add up to big bucks in overdraft charges for the banks. The Times article relates one particularly nightmarish story of a woman who visited her local Chase branch and closed her account — or at least, she thought she closed it. But it remained open, and Chase ended up charging her $1,523 in overdraft fees. Overdraft fees running into hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year are not uncommon. The payday lenders are by no means the only bloodsuckers here.

Rosemary Radford Ruether: “Can Men Be Ordained?”

A synod of bishops from the four corners of the earth, and a full panoply of Mother Superiors, recently converged on the Holy City of Rome to consider the vexed question of the ordination of men. The Holy See had received many tearful appeals from the cruder sex claiming to have a call to the priesthood directly from God Herself. But Her Holiness had firmly replied to these appeals that the call must have been a wrong number. Our Holy Mother in Heaven would never call to the ministry those so obviouslv disqualified by reason of gender. But the men had refused to take no for an answer. Throwing down their picks and shovels, they had declared that they would do no more maintenance work for the Church until there was equality of rites. They sent petitions to the Holy See, filled with arguments for the ordination of men, both theological and practical. Although, of course, they could cite no example from Jesus himself, the incarnation of Holy Wisdom, since he most evidently had ordained no men to the priesthood (or women either).

John McKay: “Mini-Snopes: Congressional pay edition: again”

I’m all for economic populism, but let’s focus on the right things. How much pay Congress makes is not important. How much pay you make is. How much Social Security and Medicare your parents, grandparents or you collect is. How much food, rent, and medical support other vulnerable Americans get is. If you’ve fallen into the the trap of hating the poor, then do it for the veterans. Many of them are poor, old, hungry, and sick. Everyone loves the veterans, in theory. It’s too bad they don’t care as much for the civilians that the veterans were protecting.

Will Bunch: “If This Is the Deal, Philadelphia Schoolteachers Should Strike”

Strike? I know what some of you are saying: What about the kids? Spare me. Aside from the basic — and fairly obvious — fact that the long-term education of Philadelphia’s children would die the death of 1,000 cuts here, there’s something bigger at play. What I would like Philadelphia’s — no, America’s — kids to witness first-hand, more than anything else, is that they can grow up to be adults who will fight for their rights, for their families — and for their human dignity.

And win.

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  • Carstonio

    I loved Ruether’s great satire of gender essentialism. “The cruder sex,” as if we’re all spitting, belching, farting, and grabbing our crotches, like the scene in “All of Me” where Lily Tomlin’s spirit tries to imitate Steve Martin.

    My answer to Coates’ question “Is this what we what we will always do?” is that we shouldn’t measure ourselves as a nation against other nations, or as a species against our history, but against what we hope and aspire to become.

  • taserian

    I don’t see a way to contact the author directly, so I’ll leave a link to a wonderful video on the case of McCollum v. Board of Education, which decided the separation of church and state in schools. I’d love to see Fred’s commentary on it:

    http://billmoyers.com/content/watch-the-lord-is-not-on-trial-here-today-for-a-limited-time/

  • MaryKaye

    My credit union offered  a piece of advice for those closing accounts with the major banks (all of whom, as far as I know, are major offenders):  Close the account at branch A.  Then visit (or call, if you can get a local number; don’t call national HQ) a *different* branch and say “Did Branch A close this correctly?”  Apparently B has little or no incentive to lie to you, and you can catch incorrectly-closed accounts right away.

    I am now happily no longer a customer of Bank of America.  When I closed the account the agent said, “Would you be willing to tell me why?” and I told him why:  local branches treated me well but we had repeated trouble with HQ, particularly the “money into or out of closed accounts” scam–we had to close accounts due to theft three times and it happened *every time*.  He said, “Is there anything I could say to persuade you to reconsider?” and I said No.  But I found it very interesting that he did NOT try to defend the company or claim that things had improved.

    (This time they apparently really closed the accounts.  Amazing.  But I’m keeping a careful eye out just in case.)

  • fredgiblet

    As someone who has worked retention I can tell you that I was taught that if I didn’t think there was a decent chance of “saving” the customer I was to cancel them and get them off the line rather than argue with them.  If someone comes up with a legitimate grievance then it’s best to cut your losses and get your Average Handle Time down.

    Also chances are good the agent has heard that many times, know it’s true and really don’t feel like lying to protect a company they really don’t care about.

  • stardreamer42

    Keep watching for a long, long time. BofA will cheerfully reopen an account that’s been closed for years if something provides them the opportunity to do so.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    On banks and payday loans: every time I look at this subject, I find new horrible twists and turns. Right now, everyone’s attention is on the relationship between the payday lenders and big banks as it relates to the collection side of the loan. But I genuinely hope no one has forgotten that there is another profitable relationship between payday lenders and big banks: the origination side of the loan.

    Someone is underwriting the payday lenders. Someone who can afford to lend them a lot of money. Who do you suppose that is? Mysterious millionaires? Foreign interests? Or maybe, just maybe, the very same big banks that are collecting these overdraft fees on the other side…

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    My experience with an independent payday lender is that the man got startup capital, but then was able to run the business off the fees clients paid when they paid back the loan(s). It was typically about $20 on $200, as I recall.

    So not all payday lenders are directly symbiotic with the banks, to be sure.

  • stardreamer42

    That symbiosis has been pretty well documented, if one knows where to look. I’ve been saying for years that there should be a Federal disclosure law requiring banks to post the list of payday lenders with which they are affiliated on the wall in every branch lobby, and every payday lender to post the banking corporation that funds it similarly. Make it really, really obvious that when Bank X turns you down for an account and you have to go to Loanshark Y, your money is going to the same place.

  • P J Evans

     I understand that the big banks are part owners of the larger payday lenders.

  • stardreamer42

    The question hanging over us though is this: Is this what we what we will always do?

    That question fairly neatly encapsulates the difference between conservatives and progressives. Conservatives tend to say, “This is the way we’ve always been, so there’s no point in trying to change.” Progressives tend to say, “This may be the way we’ve always been, but we can do better than that.”

    WRT banks, I had my money in a regional bank for over a decade and was very happy with them. Then they got eaten by a different regional bank, and suddenly there were fees for every little thing — every time I went to balance my account, it seemed like there was some fee that I hadn’t seen before. Then they got into active fraud — they allowed 2 debit-card transactions that should have declined to go thru so as to hit me with exorbitant overdraft fees — and I moved my money to a local credit union. No more fees, and (to my surprise) increased ATM access — I can get money at any Target, CostCo, Walgreen’s, or CVS without incurring any charges.

    I view automatic payments with an extremely jaundiced eye; the ability to make payments online is one of the good things about living in the future, but *I* want to be in control of when money goes into or out of my account. The more so because I keep hearing stories about people not being able to stop an automatic payment; what never starts doesn’t have to be stopped.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The more so because I keep hearing stories about people not being able to stop an automatic payment; what never starts doesn’t have to be stopped.

    This x 100.

    I always get offers for “pre-authorized payments” and regaled with “how convenient it will be”, et cetera, ad nauseam.

    I always refuse.

    If I’m gonna pay a bill online I’ll damn well click my own mouse button.

  • http://www.oliviareviews.com/ PepperjackCandy

    Conservatives tend to say, “This is the way we’ve always been, so there’s no point in trying to change.”

    I am not certain I would even go this far. Most of the conservatives I know seem to think that there’s nothing wrong with the way things have always been. The powerful exploit the weak and that’s the way things should be. The rich deserve better opportunities and educations than everyone else because they’re rich.

    Anyone who says that no one deserves to be exploited and that everyone should have opportunities and a good education is a “socialist” and therefore evil (or misled by evil people).

  • DorothyD

    Thenthey got into active fraud — they allowed 2 debit-card transactions that should have declined to go thru so as to hit me with exorbitant overdraft fees — and I moved my money to a local credit union. No more fees, and (to my surprise)increased ATM access — I can get money at any Target, CostCo, Walgreen’s, or CVS without incurring any charges.

    Which makes me wonder why more people don’t use credit unions. Is it a matter of lack of availability or more lack of awareness? Some CUs still restrict membership, but quite a few are open to anyone who wants to join.  

  • Alix

    (longtime lurker, rare poster…)

    I had to get out of my credit union because it began pulling the exact same overdraft shenanigans I’d left my old bank over. They’d hold deposits while telling me they’d gone through so that a charge or two would send me over, and then they’d charge me overdraft on the overdraft. I could get the overdrafts forgiven, but only if I showed up in person with the dated transaction receipts, and at the time I actually had a full-time job and they were, surprise surprise, only open during business hours.

    When my CU hit me for overdrafts on an account I had closed, that was the last straw. I’m back to a big bank, mostly out of necessity, but so far it’s been better than the old bank or that CU.

  • DorothyD

    Jeez, there’s no excuse for that. CU’s are by definition not-for-profit; any profits have to be returned to the members in some fashion. There’s no incentive to cheat. 

  • Pepperjackcandy

    Except that the dividends are given out in proportion according to how much you have in.  I could see the primary shareholder charging everyone, say, $10 a year so that he or she could make a tidy little profit on what he or she considers to be a $10 a year investment. The fact that no one else would make his or her $10 back probably wouldn’t even figure into it.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    What’s the name of the CU? A little public shaming of institutions ostensibly better-than-the-banks wouldn’t go amiss.

  • AnonymousSam

    My grandfather’s credit union seized his truck as collateral for a loan he stopped repaying. The reason he stopped making his payments was because he died. They are somewhat less than sympathetic for his plight and refuse to allow my grandmother to pay them with his life insurance. Apparently they just really want his truck.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

    I love Rosemary Radford Ruether. Her Sexism and God-Talk, along with Gene Outka’s Agape: An Ethical Analysis, was a major influence on my development in college.

  • reynard61

    “America’s particular failings are remarkable because America is remarkable, but they are not particularly deviant or outstanding on the misery index. This is just sort of what we do. The question hanging over us though is this: Is this what we what we will always do?”

    It is as long as we have a large enough subset of us that embrace an anti-science, anti-environment…well, hell; anti-*EVERYTHING*, “Takers vs. Makers”, “I’ve got mine and I want *YOURS* too!” ideology that worships Death and Punishment (in the guise of being “pro-Life”/pro-birth), Chaos and Anarchy (in the guise of championing “Liberty” “Patriotism” and “rugged individualism”), and Greed. (In no disguise at all!) Until we decide that those things are what’s holding us back from our true potential, the term “American Exceptionalism” will be nothing more than, at best, a meaningless pair of words — and, at worst, a sick joke — and the American Dream will remain just that.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Payday lenders aren’t the problem. lousy economy is the problem. aim for the puppeteer not the puppet

    There was a good article here a few months ago about church based lending for the poor.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     You’re not familiar with the saying “You’ve got to start somewhere”, I take it? 

    Right now, the big banks seem to have made themselves untouchable by the government by playing on fears of them tanking the economy again.  Payday lenders have considerably less MAD potential.

  • DavidCheatham

    You want a simple change in the law stopping blatant abuses talked about here, here’s one:

    Allow customers to actually _close_ accounts. No charges can actually come through after they are closed.

    Now, because of how the system works, this would have to be on a delay. So the customer tells them to close new activity, but for the next month or so they keep accepting checks written before that, along with a few days for offline CC transactions for thee days. (Or you can tell them you have no outstanding checks and to skip the month wait. It should, in theory, be possible to skip the three day wait, but that’s too complicated.)

    And the minute you walk out: New, real-time CC transactions? Declined. Debit card transactions? Declined. Automatic withdrawal? Declined. Automatic payments set up by the bank? Stopped.

    Any sort of outgoing transaction that _can_ be declined in real time is declined, period. If the bank honors it, the _bank_ has to pay for it. (And any sort of incoming transaction, the bank accepts, but is allowed to charge a fee on. Fair is fair, you shouldn’t be sending money into a closed account.)

    After a certain point, _all_ transactions are stopped, and your account is actually closed and the bank is no longer allowed to charge any more fees on it, or move any money into or out of it in any manner except writing you a cashier’s check for the whole amount when you come in.

    And if you have outstanding checks when it’s closed, well, tough, you just bounced a check.

    This idea that you can close an account and still have stuff happening in it is insane. It is your damn account, and if _you_ tell them to stop giving out _your_ money, THEY MUST BE REQUIRED BY LAW TO STOP.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    consumer- go after the big banks if that’s what you want to do. Don’t scapegoat people who are providing a voluntary service

  • EllieMurasaki

    Define ‘voluntary service’. If you’re talking about payday loans, nobody voluntarily goes to a payday lender. It’s always the last place they go, after they’ve been turned down at all the other places, and not having the money to cover whatever major expense just turned up is just not an option.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Ellie- that’s unfortunate but still voluntary. no one actually forced them at gun point to go get a high interest short term loan. 

  • AnonymousSam

    What’s that? You’re dying and need this surgery that costs how much? Well, our rates are very negotiable, in that you can negotiate between giving us your kidneys or go home and die. Your choice.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    OMFG dude seriously.

    Have you ever been given a dunning notice saying your electricity’s gonna get cut off in the middle of winter, your phone’s running two months over and you need to feed your kids and yourself all on $2.13 an hour plus tips in the ass end of, let’s say, South Dakota*?

    No shit you’d go to a payday lender instead of risking fucking freezing.

    You are so unbelievably fucking naive about some shit, Chris.


    * http://www.mapsofworld.com/usa/thematic-maps/usa-temprature-january.html

  • EllieMurasaki

    no one actually forced them at gun point to go get a high interest short term loan.

    No. Not gunpoint. Threat of collection agencies after the payment for the emergency room treatment, often, but not gunpoint.

  • P J Evans

     Not only that, but there are agencies who will try to collect from anyone who has a connection, even if it’s just having the same phone number ten years later.

    (One of my aunts got a bill after my uncle died, from a doctor he’d never seen.)

  • Geoffk

    What a shock!  Ta-Nehisi Coates is writing about racism.  In this piece, he at least has the decency to acknowledge that bad things happen to white people too.  But he still views everything through the narrow prism of racial indignation.  The irony that he himself has parlayed racial outrage into a lucrative career never seems to occur to him.  For Ta-Nahesi (seriously, what do his friends call him?) it’s still 1964, and the Bull Connor mentality is still the norm in America,  That we have a black President–mostly elected by whites, black movie stars, super models, CEOs and rock stars all count for nothing.

    This is actually quite timely, as the Supreme Court is currently considering whether Alabama still has the same mentality as in 1964 and, hence, needs to be specially watched in perpituity.  Honestly, few people would say that the Alabama of today is the same as it was 50 years ago.

    You can choose equality or victimhood.  But you can’t maintain both indefinitely.  The constant cries of “racism” by black commentators are starting to sound more and more like calls of “Wolf!”.

  • EllieMurasaki

    White boy spouts ignorant nonsense, news at eleven.

  • Lori

     

    For Ta-Nahesi (seriously, what do his friends call him?)  

    I imagine they call him by his name. Why would they not? The fact that some racist dolt on the internet apparently can’t manage it doesn’t mean that other people can’t.

  • Geoffk

    “You are white, therefore you are not entitled to make any observations on racism, including the obvious facts before your eyes.”

    And people wonder why white indifference to “racism”  is growing.  Pigheaded attitudes like this are a big reason.
     

  • EllieMurasaki

    I am white and may make any observations about racism I damn well please, included but not limited to calling your white ass on your racist bullshit. (You see, I listen when people of color talk.)

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    ellie/  neutrino – so what do you want to do ban payday loans? that’s great news for the mafia. 

    1. there’s a large risk of default and 

    2. the loans are short term. long term loans also cost a lot but it’s spread out more. 

    it’s a logical system just unfortunate so many people have a need for it. 

    Also, Ta Nehisi Coates kicked me off the Atlantic forums for saying the words “Pat Buchanan”. I think that’s what it was anyway. 

    At least I didn’t say “lame”!

  • EllieMurasaki

    Evidence for the assertion that banning predatory lending will drive people to illegal predatory lenders rather than to legal longer-term loans without exorbitant interest rates.

  • Geoffk

    Please elaborate on what in my original post was “racist bullshit”.  Or maybe you think that racial attitudes in the US really haven’t changed in the last 50 years?  In which case, you’re just plain wrong.

    Why don’t you ask racial rabblerousers like Al Sharpton or Coates to put up or shut up and provide some real evidence of discrimination?  That would actually convice me.  All of the evidence that I see, in corporate hiring, college admissions, etc, is that equally qualified blacks do just fine.
     

  • EllieMurasaki

    Yeah, that totally explains why virtually identical resumes sent to the same set of employers, the only significant change being the name attached (some with white associations such as ‘Gregory’, some with black associations such as ‘Jamal’), get a lot more callbacks for the white names than the black names. And why no one batted an eye when the Hunger Games movie cast a white girl to play Katniss, who’s a shade of brown in the books, but had a collective temper tantrum over casting people of color to play Rue, who’s dark in the books, and Cinna, whose skin tone in the books is unspecified. Let’s just gloss entirely over the use of racial slurs against the First Family.

    Racial attitudes have changed in the US in the last fifty years. That does not mean racism in the US is no longer a problem.

  • AnonymousSam

    Or how, when Ursula K. Le Guin demanded actors of a variety of races and colors for the cast of Earthsea, the director stopped answering her calls and continued with a cast of all white folk.

    One of the big points of the books, she points out, is that she deliberately wrote them with a wide variety of races in mind — even some fantasy races, i.e., green skin, blue skin, etc. The majority of her protagonists are black or red-brown.

    Nope. The only non-white person in the entire movie was the aged mentor figure and that choice was intentional because “the TV audience doesn’t really care about the books.”

  • Tricksterson

    I don’t remember any green or blue skinned people in the Earthsea books.  But yeah, maybe because the whole Earthsea world reminds me of it, I picture most Earseaites as looking Indonesian.  Except for the ones from that Northern island who I tthink of as looking Chinese and the northeastern barbarians who look like Vikings.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    if they could get  longer term loans without the high interest rates instead of payday loans they’d be getting them now.  They don’t qualify for them.  

  • EllieMurasaki

    Define ‘don’t qualify’. Explain how it is possible to qualify for a loan designed for no other purpose than to suck money from the poor to the well-off, but not for a loan that benefits all parties.

  • P J Evans

     At least one bank has admitted to routing people of color into higher-interest-rate subprime loans even when they qualified for regular loans.

  • Geoffk

    I’m familiar with the resume study.  But it happened in 2001.  Maybe things are the same now, maybe not.  We certainly hadn’t elected a black president a decade ago.  In any case, the study also found that “black” names in good neighborhoods got more callbacks than ones in poor neighborhoods.  So employers may have had expectations based on previous similar candidates that they had seen.  For example, it was recently announced that 80% of NYC high school graduates effectively cannot read.  So employers would naturally have some practical concerns based on previous experiences.

    Your other examples are trivial.  “Hunger Games” may have been whitened, but some other films have been changed to feature black stars (I Robot, I am Legend, Wild Wild West).  And Bush received plenty of “monkey-boy” slurs from the left.  Moreover, some “racial” slurs against Obama like “skinny” or “articulate” are more in the minds of the easily insulted than slurs in themselves.

    The issue is not whether there is some residual racism in America.   The issues are 1. Is it the defining issue for Blacks in their daily life or 2. Is it of sufficient magnitude to be considered a serious issue in general?  The Black establishment says “Yes” to both, but the evidence for either proposition is increasingly dubious.

  • EllieMurasaki
  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    For clarity: on your view, was racism in America ever of sufficient magnitude to be considered a serious issue in general, and when did that stop being true?

  • EllieMurasaki

    To expand on the point of representation in media: how many US-produced TV shows can you name where the primary protagonist is a person of color? How many can you name where the primary protagonist is white?

    For the first list, I’ve got the Cosby Show, Nikita, and That’s So Raven. I want to include the sequel to That’s So Raven, the one where her dad goes to be the White House chef, but I forget what it’s called. For the second, Gossip Girl, 90210, Cult, Arrow, Supernatural, Vampire Diaries, and I ain’t even got off the fricking CW–and don’t get me started on the treatment of racial minorities in Supernatural and Vampire Diaries. And I note that if Nikita’s title character hadn’t been racebent (in La Femme Nikita, Nikita was white, not East Asian), the ratio would be even more skewed.

  • Geoffk

    Dave, that’s a silly question.  prior to 1964, race clearly defined black people’s lives and opportunities.  And for years thereafter, it continued to be a serious issue, especially in the South.  But racisim is now universally condemned by both right and left, and you will have a hard time finding a true Archie Bunker bigot anywhere.  I can’t say “racism stopped in year XXX”.  But I can say that it has diminished and become reviled to the point where it is no longer deserving of the importance that people like Coates attach to it.
     

  • EllieMurasaki

    racisim is now universally condemned by both right and left

    Did you even SEE the ‘Obama the African witch doctor’ graphic?

  • AnonymousSam

    And here’s Fox News, the largest news media corporation in the United States, proclaiming that condemning Judge Scalia for scoffing at the whole notion of blacks being able to vote is a liberal double standard.

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/03/01/rachel-maddow-calls-scalia-troll-like-blogger-using-n-word/

  • arcseconds

    Racism is publicly condemned by the right and the left.

    It sure is fortunate that:

    a) everyone means the same thing by ‘racism’
    b) everyone says the same things in private as they do in public
    c) everyone says exactly what they think
    d) no-one behaves in a manner that’s contrary to the way they think they behave.

    Otherwise, y’know, we might not be too willing to take public discourse as a good guide to how people actually behave!

    (It’s good to know that corruption and sexual abuse aren’t problems anymore, too. )

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Also, rape is no longer a problem because even rapists agree that rape is bad and something they’d never do, nope, never (What that? That wasn’t rape rape.)

  • Geoffk

    I read the essay that you linked to.  And I can summarize it very briefly:  “If I’m white, my race is never an issue.”  First off, that’s not always true, as your very first comment to me proved.  Secondly, for blacks, race probably doesn’t *need* to be an issue most of the time.  If it’s an issue nowadays, it’s partly because the ongoing cries of “racism” keep it in the forefront. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Ever had to worry about being “talked to” by a cop who reckons you just stole the fancy TV set you’re carrying down the block?

  • EllieMurasaki

    Let me summarize it more accurately: “If I’m white, my race is never an issue negatively affecting my quality of life.” As yours clearly never has been.

  • Geoffk

    > Did you even SEE the ‘Obama the African witch doctor’ graphic?

    Actually no, I didn’t.  Did the head of the Republican National Comittee (a black man) endorse it?  Did any prominent Republican?  Was it considered to be witty and proper?  Or was it considered a horrible embarassment by almost everyone?

    Extremists don’t make up the majority by definition.  You can always find a few idiots.  The question is how the greater society views their work.

  • AnonymousSam

    Our extremists get voted into offices by a not particularly trivial percentage of the population.

  • Geoffk

    > Let me summarize it more accurately: “If I’m white, my race is never an
    issue
    > negatively affecting my quality of life.” As yours clearly never
    has been.

    I suspect that’s true for me, but I am reluctant to say that it’s been a positive benefit either.  It certainly didn’t help to get me into law school.  And a white candidate who didn’t get into law or med school in favor of a lesser-qualified minority certainly could clam that they have been negatively affected by their race, albeit in an institutionalized way.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    And a white candidate who didn’t get into law or med school in favor of
    a lesser-qualified minority certainly could clam that they have been
    negatively affected by their race, albeit in an institutionalized way.

    Are you seriously recycling that old crap? I mean, seriously. Everybody who criticizes affirmative action always includes “lesser-qualified” without bothering to back up that claim. And I’ve seen that crap as far back as the mid 1990s.

  • Geoffk

    I think Fox news was perfectly right to complain about a Supreme Court Justice being characterized as a “troll” by a news commentator.  And I think Scalia was being realistic when he questioned whether blacks are really being actively prevented from voting in Alabama in 2013, and require special treatment to avoid being kept from the polls.

    But, then again, I think requiring an ID to vote (just as one is required to cash a check or board a plane) is not racist either.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Maybe not in Alabama, but didn’t Ohio make a point of extending voting hours in majority-white areas and restricting voting hours in majority-minority areas?

  • AnonymousSam

    So you don’t disagree with the right to vote being a racial entitlement that blacks can do without? You do realize the only reason to repeal the Voting Rights Act is to deny people the right to vote, yes? And that the majority of people denied the right to vote will be black, because the policies enacted to make it harder to obtain and maintain that right disproportionately affect certain groups of people? That the people enacting these policies are aware of this documented fact and are purposefully acting upon it with that in mind?

    Just so we’re clear.

  • Geoffk

    Nobody is proposing to repeal the Voting Rights Act.  What they are proposing is to repeal Section 5, which applies special requirements to a few counties, mostly in the South, which were judged in 1964 to require special scrutiny.  Alabama is arguing that they are no longer the same State that they were 50 years ago, and the same rules that apply to the other 49 states should apply to them.  This does not seem unreasonable to me.

    Situations change, and laws should change to reflect them.  Affirmative Action is a similar situation.  It may or may not have been needed in the 1970’s, but that doesn’t mean that it’s needed or a good idea today or permanantly.

  • AnonymousSam

    Voter Rights Act
    – We
    urge that the Voter Rights Act of 1965 codified and updated in 1973 be repealed
    and not reauthorized.

    – Texas GOP platform, 2012, retrieved from http://www.texasgop.org/about-the-party

  • Geoffk

    “Everybody who criticizes affirmative action always includes
    “lesser-qualified” without bothering to back up that claim. And I’ve
    seen that crap as far back as the mid 1990s.”

    Maybe because it’s obviously true?  The whole point of Affirmative Action is to give weight to minorities who otherwise wouldn’t b admitted based entirely on objective measures like grades and test scores.  And, as a consequence, minorities have a much higher failure rate in their first year of college, since their academic qualifications are often out of step with their peers.

    I wasn’t aware that this was a claim requiring proof.  It seemed like the primary intent of the exercise.
     

  • EllieMurasaki

    That’s it. I am done engaging this one. I am going to finish out my work shift without saying another word to him, and then I am going to go home and ignore my email for a few hours while I write a short story starring a black woman who has had to overcome racism, sexism, and classism to get and hold on to her position as head of a largish company. Much more productive way to spend my evening than arguing with someone who does not even realize that race and household income are factors in educational success at the K-12 level.

    May I recommend the rest of you lot do the same? Not write my Tam Lin reboot, I mean, but. We have engaged in the ritual troll smackdown, the lurkers have been made aware that his views are unacceptable, we can stop feeding the troll now.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Or *gasp* could it be that Affirmative Action policies are designed to encourage equally qualified minority candidates to apply and be selected?

    Gosh no shucky darn. That couldn’t be made into a strawman for right-wingers to use to salve the egoes of white people who need someone to blame.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Maybe because it’s obviously true?

    It requires proof because

    The whole point of Affirmative
    Action is to give weight to minorities who otherwise wouldn’t b admitted
    based entirely on objective measures like grades and test scores.

    This part is patently false. It’s not the intention, it’s not the implementation. No qualified white kid was ever denied admission in favor of a less qualified black kid in order to comply with this law (It is entirely possible that some more qualified white kids were denied admission in favor of some less qualified black kids due to shoddy work by admissions departments attempting to comply with this law incorrectly, but I’d want to see actual proof).

    The intention and the implementation of the law could at “worst” only result in a white kid being denied admission in favor of equally academically qualified african american.

  • Geoffk

    “race…is a factor in educational success”.  

    Wow, what a horribly racist thing to say!  Are you seriously suggesting that race predisposes people to be poor students?  I certainly don’t know how else to interpret that…

    Anyway, I can take comfort in the fact that being called a “troll” (for expressing moderate and reasonably intelligent views) puts me in good company with Justice Scalia.

  • Geoffk

    arcseconds, that’s a fair point.  But you should realize that like corruption and sexual abuse, racism is now considered to be unacceptable behavior, to be done in secret, if at all.  50 years ago, racism was perfectly acceptable in much of the country, and acting on it was expected behavior.

    Even if there is still some gap between what people say and what they do, that’s a major shift in attitude and morality.

  • arcseconds

    Oh! I see the problem.  You think that by saying racism is still an issue, you think we’re saying that the USA has made no progress whatsoever since the 1950s.

    I’m not quite sure why you’d think that, but let me be the first to point out that everyone agrees that progress has been made (except for the few who think that civil rights legislation and desegregation were bad things).

  • Geoffk

    “Or *gasp* could it be that Affirmative Action policies are designed to encourage equally qualified minority candidates to apply and be selected?”

    Maybe, in a Perfect World, yes.  But here on Planet Earth, it’s designed to give people who wouldn’t otherwise qualify a leg up.  Deny the facts if it makes you feel better.

  • Geoffk

    “Oh! I see the problem.  You think that by saying racism is still an
    issue, you think we’re saying that the USA has made no progress
    whatsoever since the 1950s.”

    No, I’m saying that there has been a major sea change in attitudes.  From “racism is ok” to “racism is a vile crime that dare not speak it’s name”.  That’s more than “progress”, that’s a revolution, which ought to be aknowledged, but isn’t by some.

  • P J Evans

     Gee, I’ll make sure to remember this the next time I hear someone talking about ‘those people’ and ‘entitlements’.

    SRSLY, what cave do you live in? This is crap that is still going on, every fucking day!

  • arcseconds

    Who, exactly, is not acknowledging it? 

    You do understand that ‘significant progress has been made’ is quite compatible with ‘but I’m still finding this thing a problem’, right? I’m sure you do, but I’m kind of wondering whether you’re still somehow reading “being black means I don’t get called back as often, so my employment opportunities are inhibited” as “so the USA is basically apartheid South Africa!”

  • Geoffk

    Um, Te-Nahisi Coates, for one.  Reading his work, I think he feels the US and South Africa are close to identical.

    And I’m still not convinced that being black inhibits anyones’s employment opportunities in and of itself in2013.  Asserting that as a given isn’t the same as proving it, especially when evry major company has “minority outreach” programs and minority employment HR staff.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    Reading his work, I think [TNC] feels the US and South Africa are close to identical.

    Can you cite any work in particular that inspires these feelings in you?

    I’m still not convinced that being black inhibits anyones’s employment opportunities in and of itself in 2013

    When, on your view, was it last true that being black inhibited someone’s employment opportunities in and of itself?

  • arcseconds

    You accept that they were in 2001.  

    Do you have any proof that things have changed since then?

    After all, asserting that they have isn’t the same as proving it.

  • Geoffk

    TNC’s entire zetgeist is that the US a a seething hotbed of barely veiled racism which is holding the black community down.  He’s entitled to his views, but it’s hard to believe them, especially coming from a senior editor of a major publication.

    Explicit discrimination has been against the law since 1964 and has been more and more reviled every year since.  As I said before, I can’t say “this stopped in year XXX”, but I certainly think it isn’t a major problem today.
     

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    > > Can you cite any work in particular that inspires these feelings in you?
    >TNC’s entire zetgeist …

    So… no?

    > > When, on your view, was it last true that being black inhibited someone’s employment opportunities in and of itself?
    > Explicit discrimination has been against the law since 1964 and […] isn’t a major problem today.

    On your view, is “explicit discrimination” the same thing as “inhibiting employment opportunities”? Or are you choosing to answer a different question than the one I asked for some reason?

  • Geoffk

    I accepted that in 2001 a study showed that applications from blacks in poor neighborhoods got fewer callbacks.  I suggested that employers might have a rational basis for being suspicious of the capabilities of those applicants.  Black applicants in good neighborhoods, who employers might expect to have better skills, received more callbacks, suggesting that employers were more confident of their abilities.

    Unfortunately, for cultural and political reasons, many blacks have poor skills, which makes them difficult to employ.  But I don’t believe that a black engineer or MBA would be disadvantaged by their race.

  • arcseconds

     Well, this study is pretty interesting.

    They send two high quality and two low quality resumés to each employer, and assign within each pair of resumés a black-sounding and a white-sounding name.

    They find that white-sounding-named ‘applicants’ get one callback per 10 applications, and black sounding ones get one callback per 15 applications.

    Also, more experience on the resumé helps white candidates more than blacks.

    So, no, the study doesn’t allow for your explanation.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

     So a 10% chance versus a 6.7% chance, to the same sig. figs. Are those numbers statistically significant from one another?

  • arcseconds

    Well, they give the p-value in Table 1 to show how it does against the null hypothesis, i.e. that there is no difference between the call back rate of black-named applicants versus white-named applicants.  

    (The p-value is the probabilty of getting the same result if the null hypothesis is true. )

    The p values for most of their figures are very low.   For the figures you mention, it is ‘0’ (they give it to 4dp, so less than 1/10000).

  • EllieMurasaki

    Could you rephrase that for those of us who didn’t take statistics?

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Something like “Given the way the data is distributed and the number of data points we have, it’s incredibly unlikely that the difference is just down to dumb luck”

  • EllieMurasaki

    Gotcha. I kind of figured that from the abstract, but it’s good to know.

  • arcseconds

     Yep.

    Let’s say you and I are tossing coins, and I keep calling heads and tend to win an awful lot.  You start to wonder whether it’s a fair coin.

    Now, a fair coin might produce any number of heads.  But the chances of it producing more heads than tails decreases the more tosses there are.

    So you can’t actually tell absolutely for sure that the coin is weighted using statistics alone, but the more you test and the more heads comes out more, the more sure you can be that it is.

    If we toss the coin 10 times and get 7 heads and 3 tails, then the p-value (for the null hypothesis that the coin is fair) is the probability of getting 7 or better  with a fair coin, which is 0.17 (i.e. 17%) (I used this binomial calculator to get that result

    Now, that might sound like it’s not all that likely, but remember that the chances of rolling a 6 on a fair die is also close to 17%.  Concluding that the coin is unfair at this point would be as silly as presuming that rolling a singe 6 on a dice proves the dice is unfair.

    So what we want is to know whether the outcome is in the ‘normal’ behaviour for a fair coin, and this is usually taken to be the kinds of outcomes you’d expect with a 0.95 probability, so the p-value should be less than 0.05, or a 0.99 probability, in which case the p-value should be less than 0.01.

    If we toss the coin 100 times and get 73 heads and 27 tails, the p-value is 2.3 × 10^-6, or 2 in a million.  That’s a lot less than 1%, so we can conclude that the coin is probably biased.

    Does that make sense?

    I’d have to confess that statistics is not really my strong point, so there is a distinct possibility I have made a mistake here, but that’s the basic idea.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    OK so bottom line – lower p-values mean that the discrepancy with respect to calculations of results arising purely by chance is larger?

    (I did some stats, but not p-value stuff)

  • arcseconds

     er… yes? I think?  Not quite sure I’ve parsed your sentence correctly.

    the p-value in this case is the chance of getting this result or a result with even greater discrepancy if black names and white names really have an equal chance of being called back.  The lower it is, the less chance there is that they really are on a equal playing field.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Ok, then I understood it right. (^_^)b

  • EllieMurasaki

    That makes sense, thank you.

  • P J Evans

     Or the case of my friend who was playing backgammon against an Atari 2600, and the computer was rolling doubles a lot more often than he was. As in suspiciously often: the computer seemed to be cheating.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino
  • arcseconds

     That could be just a bad pseudo random number generator.  If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s easy to make a RNG that kind of strikes you as random, but actually has significant levels of non-randomness. 

    (not that I know what I’m doing, but I do know this is a problem, so if I needed to write a source of randomness myself I’d try to find an algorithm that has some mathematicians or cryptographers telling me that it’s a good one.)

    I suppose the take-home message here is that even if you know to a high degree of certainty that the outcomes have ‘unexpected’ statistical properties, it might not be clear why they have those properties.  Is it malice or incompetence?

  • EllieMurasaki

    Which ought to result in higher-than expected numbers of doubles for both players, surely?

  • arcseconds

     Not necessarily.   The naïve way of writing a RNG is to string a whole lot of arithmetical operations together and inspect the output.  If it ‘looks’ random, then it’s good enough.

    Unfortunately, sequences that humans think are random seldom are.   And the non-randomness can often manifest itself in unexpected ways, such as starting to repeat itself after a few thousand trials.  I imagine it’s fairly common for computer games to save the last random number generated as the random seed for next time they start up, so it’s quite conceivable to have a computer game that plays fine the first few goes but then strangely the game play starts to become very boring.

    But they won’t have really obvious patterns to start with.  Doubles coming up a bit too often every second throw is a harder pattern to spot than doubles coming up too often no matter who’s throw it is, and if the RNG just happens to do this it might slip through the radar.

    Having said that, I suspect the doubles thing is deliberate. Even in the days of wild west programming, they would have played the game a bit before releasing it, surely. Maybe they just couldn’t write an AI that could play backgammon challengingly enough without letting it cheat.  I just raised the rubbish RNG as a possibility.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    And then there’s bugs that actually cause a bad seed.

    I found one such in the Apple ][ Lemonade program: a person had inadvertently added a RND(-1) instead of a RND(1) into the program, which had the effect of seeding the random number generator the same way all the time.

    Result? The weather always followed the same pattern and I kept wondering why before I discovered the bug :P

  • P J Evans

    Well, whichever it was, it was sure helping the computer. It was much more random when it was two people against each other. Someone was cheating, and it wasn’t the human players. (Irony: said friend is a computer systems consultant, doing things like custom device drivers.)

  • arcseconds

    Being more random when it’s two humans playing does seem very suspicious, yes :]

    The other possibility, of course, is human superstition.  Humans are dreadfully prone to supposing all sorts of things about genuinely (or pretty close to) random sequences, like ‘streaks’ and ‘bias’ and ‘rolling all the ones out’ and that sort of thing.  Doubles should crop out one out of every six roll of two dice, so they actually should be quite common.  If you tend to discount your doubles (it’s quite possible you don’t get all that elated about a double-ace, for example, because you might have been better off rolling a 7), and tend to notice your opponent’s more (a form of confirmation bias if you already suspect cheating, maybe), then it’s possible to get the impression of cheating or bias when there is none.

    Playing with another human might be a different emotional experience, and they’re also capable of defending themselves if you whine about the computer liking them more :]

    I don’t know your friend — and therefore, I don’t trust them! I’m not impressed by no computer programmers, neither.   So I’m not going to accept anything less than a record of a significant number of trials, with proper statistical analysis done on them.  (what’s the p-value for getting that number of doubles?), verified and signed by a Justice of the Peace, preferably one that has accepted Kant into their heart and can recite ‘On a Supposed Right to Lie from Moral Motives’.

    Seriously though, it’s not hard to believe a computer game from the 80s ‘cheats’.  But in general we have to be circumspect about accepting human testimony about patterns in a sequence of events.

  • P J Evans

     FWIW, he’s one of those who has Knuth on his shelf. (He was in ACM at the time, too, so I think a bit more involved with correct functioning than most.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

     

    The other possibility, of course, is human superstition.  Humans are
    dreadfully prone to supposing all sorts of things about genuinely (or
    pretty close to) random sequences, like ‘streaks’ and ‘bias’ and
    ‘rolling all the ones out’ and that sort of thing.

    Plus the tendency to focus on rolls that stood out, often downplaying your own good rolls and focusing on the poor ones. Having played tabletop games for over 20 years, I’ve noticed that some people can be extremely susceptible to this.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     > Are those numbers statistically significant from one another?

    I haven’t read the study, and that question is unanswerable without reference to the study itself; although .1 is 15% higher than .67, that might not be a statistically significant difference. That said, the abstract reads “The
    results show significant discrimination against African-American names:
    White names receive 50 percent more callbacks for interviews” which suggests statistical significance.

  • Geoffk

    I think TNC’s body of work speaks for itself.  Read it again, if you have the stomach for it.

    I don’t believe that blacks with appropriate qualifications have any particular disadvantage in seeking work.  In many cases, their race may actually be an advantage.  Interpret that as you will.
     

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    I read TNC’s work regularly, and am happy to let it speak for itself.
    And thanks for the clarification.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     So… You don’t need to provide any evidence of affirmative action favoring unqualified black kids over qualified white kids because it’s “obvious”, and you don’t need to cite any examples to show that TNC believes the US is “the same as South Africa” because “it speaks for itself”.

    Is there any actual evidence you care to present for your claim that racism isn’t a big deal in the US any more?

    Because it sounds like you are saying “I got nothing and am talking out my ass, but racism isn’t a problem because I, all-seeing White Man, just kinda feel like it’s not a big problem.”

  • arcseconds

     Geoffk,

    I’m not sure how much it is worth trying to discuss this further with you.   However, there’s a couple of other things I like you to consider.

    Some stage setting. I once had a view that’s not dissimilar from your own.  While perhaps I always had some sympathy for historical injustices and I never believed there was no racism, I thought that the problems were largely solved now and that a minority of people were conducting silly identity politics because it made them seem more important. 

    There’s a big temptation to think that society is basically fair, particularly if you’re doing well out of the deal.  To think otherwise can be distressing for many reasons.  One is that it’s suddenly much harder to be proud of your society.  Another is the realisation that one might be required to do something about it.  Basically, it’s a much less comfortable position to hold.

    At every point in history, lots of people have been inclined to defend the status quo as either being just dandy thanks, or at any rate the best that can be done in an imperfect world.  They’re now widely understood to be completely wrong about this.  Virtually no-one, for example, thinks it’s best for a black person to be a slave because they need the guidance of a white person in modern life.

    Saying that society has no room for improvement always involves refusing to listen to people who are telling you otherwise.

    On the face of it, the best and richest source of information about problems someone faces in life is the person themselves.  After all, they experience those problems directly.   If you were trying to work out what problems someone in a wheelchair experienced, the easiest way would be to ask them.  That will even uncover things that you can’t uncover by watching every move they make ­— pain and discomfort don’t necessarily show too well on video, for example.

    (yes, they might lie or exaggerate.  But what would give us warrant for thinking that? We’d need better information than their testimony, and we can’t get that from armchair speculation.)

    Those considerations should make us quite hesitant to conclude everything’s fine when someone tells us otherwise. 

  • arcseconds

     Two more things,

    I’m not sure whether you know this, but often when black folk and white folk talk about racism, they mean different things.  White people often think it means quite explicitly hating non-white people and deliberately seeing about their downfall, or something like that — basically being a KKK member.  You’d have to be fairly delusional to not know that about yourself, so when they say “I’m not racist”, they’re probably telling the truth.

    and when they say ‘society isn’t racist any more’ they mean something like ‘society isn’t filled with people who explicitly hate and loathe non-whites’.

    However, when black people (and bleeding-heart liberals) say ‘society is racist’, what they often mean is ‘society is in such a way that results in unfair outcomes for black people’.  A moment’s reflection will show that that’s entirely possible without anyone hating blacks or doing this deliberately.

    It’s entirely possible, for example, that this call-back study has nothing to do with attitudes about black people per se.   Perhaps it’s all about people feeling more comfortable hiring people with ‘normal’ names, and we’d find exactly the same result if  we sent in applications for Xavier D’Alembert and Gabi von Schmerzenberg.  (I even think that it is likely there’s a bit of this going on, but I doubt it’s the only factor).

     But if employers tend to ignore candidates except for Chuck Harris and Sam Stevens, and black people often have ‘odd’ names, then society still works out poorly for black people — they don’t get hired as often.  And that will have flow-on effects.

  • arcseconds

     The final thing is to remind you of the terrible statistics surrounding blacks and the justice system.  In 2009 the US DoJ estimated there were 2.1 million people in prison in the US, 840,000 of which are black.  That’s 40%.  Blacks are around 12% of the population, so it’s 3 times what it ‘should’ be.  In 1999, it was calculated that a black male has a 28% chance of going to prison during his lifetime.  I remember seeing a figure suggesting that at a point in time 30% of black males are under some sort of judicial oversight, either in prison, on parole, doing community service, etc.

    (and note that this will have huge flow-on effects.  having a criminal record and gaps in your employment history hurts getting jobs.  being in prison means you’re not earning money over that time and your children have a parent in prison.  The high probabilities involved mean that your children are likely to know several people who have gone to prison, making it seem much more normal to them than to non-black children)

    These figures can’t be explained by appeal to income alone.  Most people in prison had income under 24k$/yr when imprisoned. here we find that in 2010, 22% of white households had under $25,000, and 40% of black households.  So they’re twice as likely to be in this bracket than whites, but we have to explain a 3-fold increase in their incarceration!

    So what can one say about this?

    It seems to me that there’s three explanatory ‘poles’ we could head for:

    a) social factors such as upbringing, schooling, culture, employment,  etc. mean that black people end up being more inclined towards crime than other people (but the justice system is fair and there’s nothing about black genetics that predisposes them to crime)

    b) the justice system is unfair to blacks (but society otherwise treats blacks OK, and there’s no genetics at play)

    c) there’s something genetic about being a black person that inclines one towards crime. (but there’s nothing wrong with their upbringing, schooling, etc, and the justice system is fair).

    (note that they can’t really be independent.  If (c) is even a little bit true, then there will be more criminals raising children or otherwise present in children’s lives, so (a) will be somewhat true, too, and the greater number of criminals will mean that people are more likely to expect black people to be criminals, which may make (b) true, too. )

    Of course, you can combine these to produce your own explanatory cocktail.  

    But the more you think society is not racist, the more you’re forced into accepting (c).

    So the choice ends up being a somewhat stark one.

    Either society is racist, or you are racist.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    ellie- plenty of people of all races and creeds have gone for a loan and not gotten it. Especially nowadays if not as much as just post 08 crash. it’s mostly based on credit history.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Also, plenty of white people are forced to get Payday loans. is it because they’re white?

    I agree with the abrasive right wing guy though. You don’t see Asians and Jews get turned down for loans or for much of anything. If your community or family doesn’t value education you are a victim of that not racism. 

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     In the community I grew up in, it was common for me to remove my yarmulka so as not to be identified as Jewish, which reduced my chances of being publicly humiliated by other neighborhood kids. I suppose that’s not a casne of being turned down for anything (except maybe a peaceful walk) but I wouldn’t call it a huge advantage of Judaism, either.

  • Lori

     

    You don’t see Asians and Jews get turned down for loans or for much of anything. 

    You don’t, but people who live in the real world and are not dumb as a rock do. I saw it plenty when I lived in a minority white neighborhood in LA.

  • P J Evans

    If your community or family doesn’t value education you are a victim of that not racism.

    Except that minority communities tend to have older schools that are less well maintained, and have younger teachers with less experience. And possibly fewer schools, too. If everyone in [generic you] your community is poorly educated, it’s going to be hard for you to value education. If you have no role models outside of sports and music, you’re not going to value education.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

    The trolls are strong on this one.

    First page and we already have Chris Hadrick trotting out the glibertarian “at gunpoint” definition of force.

    Geoffk then provides a lengthy example of what Chris Rock described when he said “What’s he got to do, shoot Medgar Evers to be a racist?”

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    PJ evans – so how do Jews and Asians remain so well represented in American colleges?

    “If you have no role models outside of sports and music, you’re not going to value education.”

    there are plenty of role models in other areas

    Dave – you were an “oppressed” (more or less) minority, yet here you are.  Why didn’t you become a pimp or a drug dealer?

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     > Why didn’t you become a pimp or a drug dealer?

    I had better options, and took some of them. Why do you ask?

  • P J Evans

    This is not top secret information. You just need to pay attention to the world around you. And recognize that what happens to people you know is not the same as what happens to people with dark skin.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    PJ, asians have dark skin

    Dave- my point is because you were the victim of taunting becoming a drug addict / dealer didn’t automatically proceed from that.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    Yes, I understood your point.
    And I agree, neither becoming a drug addict nor a drug dealer automatically proceeds from being taunted.
    If I ever encounter anyone foolish enough to believe otherwise, I will be sure to pass that insight along.

  • P J Evans

     Your bias is showing.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    yet when the Israeli government coerces Ethiopian women into getting DPV shots so there won’t be an amount of black people that makes the white people in Israel uncomfortable no one at Patheos can be bothered to phone in a post. rather deal with imagined dog whistles than with out and out actual racism transparently based on race. 

  • Lori

    This is getting really old Chris. Don’t you have somewhere else to peddle your crap?

  • Tricksterson

    Citation please?

  • Rhubarbarian82

    “Tu quoque” logical fallacy (see also: “And the United States still hangs black people“).

    Work on your argumentative skills. Better yet, work on being somewhere else.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Seriously, Chris, can you quit with the sillyassed attempts at deflecting?

    You’re not even subtle about it. You just hamfistedly slap something down like you think you can distract from the stuff you’re blabbering about and then act all surprised when that dog don’t hunt.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Trickerston -http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/28/ethiopian-women-israel-birth-control-shots_n_2567016.html

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Rhubarb- you are the one using that fallacy. I’m pointing out racism today, not in the distant past,  and you are saying THAT racism doesn’t matter because of the legacy of racism in the US.


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