1 year ago: There’s a pattern here

June 14, 2012, on this blog: There’s a pattern here

Let’s be clear: These guys are all whackjobs and they in no way represent the official views of the Republican Party or of the majority of Republicans. Whackjobs aren’t rational creatures, and they can choose to attach themselves to any larger institution whether or not that institution welcomes them.

Yet there’s a clear pattern apparent to anyone who looks at this particular form of racist whackjobbery: These guys all consider themselves Republicans.

Why would this be? Why are racists — outright, proud, explicit racists — attracted to the Republican Party? These guys sound like President Andrew Johnson, yet they’re not drawn to Johnson’s party, the Democrats. They are, instead, drawn to the part of Lincoln. The Republican Party condemns their views, explicitly and consistently, yet they remain convinced that, despite such official pronouncements, it reciprocates their affection.



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  • Geoffrey Kransdorf

    If the correction was “he” than I would have no problem with it (although his/her/zer username certainly invites the error). But suggesting a correction with a bizarre pronoun that doesn’t exist in English invites mockery. I guess you are more tolerant of weird personal foibles than I am.

  • Outside of Asshole Land, the concept is actually rather widespread (partially because, surprisingly, those other languages are attached to cultures outside of the United States where something like this isn’t instantly met with ridicule because different is stupid and thus hilarious). There’s only multiple schools of thought and grammar discussions and university language courses dedicated to the subject.

    But I’m sure dismissal and ridicule are far easier on simple minds than stepping outside the boundaries of heteronormativity and I’m not expecting much otherwise, Klondike Bar.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Point of order: gender, not sexuality, therefore cisnormativity, not heteronormativity. Though I bet he doesn’t know what either of those words mean.

  • I learned heteronormativity as a more blanket term (Wikipedia defines such as “one that involves alignment of biological sex, sexuality, gender identity, and gender roles”), but cisnormativity would be more accurate, yeah.

  • Geoffrey Kransdorf

    Alas, your argument proves too much. By your reasoning, if I perform an abortion on the 279th day of a pregnancy, it is no problem. The baby hasn’t been born, so nothing was lost. Even the Roe court didn’t go that far, and I think very few people would.

    The fact is that a fetus is a baby, just one that hasn’t been born yet. But being inside the womb doesn’t change its fundamental nature, any more than me going from inside to outside does.

    To be sure, there is a development process, and at some point, you might say “this baby isn’t yet developed enough to be considered fully human”. But some people choose to reject any artificial decisions regarding that point, and there is no real basis for regarding their opinion as invalid.

  • Geoffrey Kransdorf

    Well, I apologize. I had this bizarre notion that words had to be in the dictionary and in common usage before people insisted on using them. But now I know that, as long as university courses are devoted to promoting and discussing them, their understanding among ordinary people can be presumed. Anyone who fails to immediately grasp and adopt these new terms is a cisnormative/heteronormative a–hole (whatever THAT means).

    Thank you for the correction.

  • cisnormative/heteronormative … (whatever THAT means)

    I feel like I should be ponying up a dollar now.

  • dpolicar

    Or we’re part of a community with different linguistic norms.

  • Geoffrey Kransdorf

    Let me repeat “doesn’t exist in [standard] English”. I suppose that progressives may speak in a secret code that I am not clued into. But your “linguistic norms” haven’t made it as far as my dictionary (or vocabulary) yet.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Somebody has never encountered Wiktionary.

    Just sayin’.

  • You do know that all Ellie Murasaki did was ask someone to use the preferred pronoun instead of one that assigns a wrong gender, don’t you? There was no offence, no petulance, nothing even vaguely resembling narcisism. It only became an issue because you felt compelled to mock someone who’d done nothing more than ask not to be misgendered. If you don’t want to use the particular pronoun Ellie Murasaki has chosen, that’s okay, there’s other stuff you can do. But you don’t get to mock someone for not wanting ot be called by the wrong pronoun. I am going to take a wild guess here: I suspect you wouldn’t think kindly of me if I decided that I was going to make a point of refering to you as “her”.

  • EllieMurasaki

    If you really want to, GLAAD could use the money. As we’re seeing now, representation of gender and sexual minorities in the media is really fucking important.

    …in fact I’m giving serious thought to tallying up Geoffrey’s posts and donating ten cents per to GLAAD. I shouldn’t, I’m too nearly broke, but I really want to.

  • Around here, you will find that most folks try to err on the side of trying to be a decent fucking human being, rather than being an asshole who mocks people for no good reason.

  • Geoffrey Kransdorf

    Considering the names I’ve been called here–for nothing more than expressing politely worded conservative opinions–I have limited sympathy for anyone else’s excessive sensitivity. He/She/Ze wants to be called by a word that doesn’t exist. That kind of PC silliness really invites mockery.

  • Even if any of this crap were true, could you explain the leg of the argument between “Person X would prefer you use a word which is isn’t in the dictionary isn’t widely used” and “Therefore I am absolved of the social contract to be a decent fucking human being, and may freely mock them and misgender them”

  • dpolicar

    There exist many communities who speak in ways that I’m not clued into and which haven’t made it into my dictionary. The same is almost undoubtedly true of you.

    You choose to mock people for it. That’s not uncommon.

    I don’t approve of it, but my approval doesn’t matter much.

  • Geoffrey Kransdorf

    If you called me “she”, I’d be mildly annoyed because it’s wrong. If I insisted you call me “Kare” because I prefer the Japanese pronoun or “Florb” because I like the sound of it, you think I was crazy. And Mock me.

  • I literally don’t have a penny to my name at the moment, but I’ll try and remember for the next occasion that I do.

  • No. We take pronoun usage rather seriously, if you didn’t notice.

    I want you to consider something very carefully.

    What does it say when you expect people to act just as shitty as you have acted toward others?

    Have you ever heard of the Golden Rule? You’re seeing it in application here.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Oh, no need to worry about it.

  • Geoffrey Kransdorf

    Person X ,who has very few compunctions about insulting ME, wants to be referred to by a nonsense word. I find that amusing and posted a rather disrespectful bit regarding it. Does that make me a bad person, or at least a worse person than Person X? Perhaps, but I’ll still be able to sleep tonight. I think he/she/ze/it will recover from the merciless riposte that I had the indecency to post.

  • guest

    Actually I don’t think we would. Personally, I’m not wild about ‘ze’–and using a screen name ‘Ellie’ certainly makes it appear that the appropriate pronoun would be ‘she’. But if Ellie prefers ‘ze’, then that’s what I’ll refer to zir as (and I found the correct declension by taking all of two seconds to look it up here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender-neutral_pronoun#Invented_pronouns )

    As a few above have already pointed out, lots of groups use non-mainstream words–I, for example, use ‘wevs’ and ‘meh’ when speaking with some people, words I’d be unlikely to use in most of my written or spoken language. Why is that so awful? And why does doing something you find objectionable automatically require mockery? I personally object to people wearing blue and brown together, but I don’t mock them for it.

  • Geoffrey Kransdorf

    You are serious, right? In this very thread, I’ve been called a f–wit, an a–hole, crazy and numerous other appellations. In short, I’ve taken far more abuse than I’ve handed out. Yes, I believe in the Golden Rule. That’s why I haven’t used any of those insults, or, in fact, insulted anybody in any way.

    Get a life.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Remember you’re talking to someone who doesn’t think saying people of color are animals is racist.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I didn’t know genderqueerness was a thing when I came up with this handle.

  • Geoffrey Kransdorf

    What I said, for the record is “Democrats must be dogs since they seem to be good at hearing dog whistles.” There is nothing racist in that statement and a non-literal (i.e. modestly intelligent reading) would permit you to conclude that I was not literally calling people animals either.

    Apparently your reading skills and your grasp of English vocabulary and grammar are on a par.

  • Self-demonstrating, isn’t it.

    Hamna tabu.

  • EllieMurasaki

    ‘Hamna tabu’?

  • guest

    I guess all I’d say is I wouldn’t be surprised if people initially refer to you as ‘she’–but once you ask politely to be referred to differently it’s just being a jerk not to.

    I have a name that’s easily confused with a slightly more common name. I almost never have a problem with people calling me the ‘other name’, and there’s at least one guy in my office (old and absentminded) who always calls me by the ‘other name’ and that’s fine (his colleagues occasionally remind him). But if for professional or other reasons I politely correct someone, and they STILL do it, they’re being a jerk.

  • In a nutshell, “I see nothing to concern myself about.”

  • EllieMurasaki

    Oh okay. Thanks.

  • EllieMurasaki


  • Actually a variant in the same language (Swahili) I know you’ve heard about a bajillion times would be “hakuna matata.” I should have just said that. ^^;; Lion King made it famous, although it isn’t used as often in Tanzania as hamna tabu or hamna shida.

  • guest

    I just realised something–now I’m glad I engaged in this conversation (I don’t usually like interacting with strangers on the internet)–people like this guy may default to mocking not necessarily because they have a problem with what they’re hearing but because they reflexively freak out at being wrong/making a mistake. Of course, referring to you as ‘she’ in the first instance isn’t wrong or bad–how could they know? But then you provide them with a piece of information they didn’t previously have–‘I prefer to be referred to as ‘ze’.’ But instead of hearing ‘I didn’t know something two seconds ago that I know now’ or ‘I’ve just been offered a way to show politeness and respect to someone, which is a pleasant small gift’, they hear ‘you were wrong! that makes you bad!’ and lash out.

    A few times over the past week or so I’ve said to people that someone who points out a mistake I’ve made, or tells me something that changes my behaviour, is giving me something valuable. Of course there are plenty of people who use the occasion to try to make me feel stupid or incompetent, or to put themselves higher, but the fact is every time someone corrects a mistake or gives me new information I become that much smarter.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I reflexively freak out at being wrong and making mistakes and yet somehow it doesn’t push me to misgender people once I know the correct pronouns for them. So while your hypothesis rings true, I’m not convinced that’s all there is to it.

    And I wasn’t correcting him in the first place. I was correcting a much friendlier him. Who accepted the correction with grace, I note.

  • I know that feeling. It took awhile before I dropped out of pure anonymity. As the community greeting goes, “Welcome! Please don’t kill us with sheep.”

  • guest

    Oh I’m sure it isn’t–I’m sure there are all sorts of other his factors, including privilege in genera–he has the right for the world to be the way he expects it to be at all times–and already-existing disrespect for someone he’s communicating with–but it helps me understand where an otherwise inexplicable and to me wildly inappropriate impulse came from, so the idea was helpful to me and I thought I’d share it with the place I got it from.

    Another thing I just realised is that I only correct people about my name in three circumstances–first, if I think it’s going to cause an issue with respect to citations, professional introductions, etc., second, if I’m dealing with someone I suspect would be utterly mortified if they discovered they’d been referring to me by the wrong name all this time and I hadn’t bothered to correct them…and third, someone who I have the feeling is doing it to assert dominance.

  • guest

    I still feel like being a woman on the internet is too dangerous.

  • Here is one please in which it is marginally friendlier. Most of the commentariat are pretty good people, in part due to the host’s influence. It takes a certain kind of atmosphere to bring together people of many different religious, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds together and have them interact rather cohesively all in all. There are a couple of exceptions, but those trolls tend to make themselves obvious up front (unless you can somehow mistake a guy who says “I’m okay with poor people dying en masse, why?” as someone in which to argue with good faith).

    Which in so many words is to say that this is a pretty good place, and that’s coming from an introvert who doesn’t tend to go out of their way to interact with many people at all. If you want to keep a measure of anonymity and just lurk, you’re welcome to do so whenever and for as long as you feel comfortable.

  • guest

    This is one of the few blogs I read regularly (though I can’t get it at work, where I do most of my blog reading :( ), and one of the even fewer blogs where I actually get some insights from a few of the comments as well as the posts themselves. But I have two ears and one mouth, so generally don’t see the point in commenting except on a very rare weekend morning while debating with myself whether to go out for a few hours of gardening before I need to leave for class (though I have ten fingers, does the analogy still work?).

  • Even the Roe court didn’t go that far, and I think very few people would.

    Canadian law does. Surprise!

  • Makes sense to me. I’m more inclined to watch instead of participate myself, but the community has done an excellent job of lulling me into a false sense of security.

    (*Eyeshift* But I’m on to you people. If you kill me, you’ll never learn the location of the treasure…!)

  • A lot of people assume aunursa is a woman because of the “-a” ending of their handle.

  • Oh ffs. Now you’re just being an ass about gender neutral pronouns. I tend to use the singular “they” myself when I don’t know a person’s gender, but you don’t see me mulishly jutting my jaw out trying to make a fucking federal case over pronouns not in generally wide use in English.

  • Kind of makes me glad Sam is a gender neutral name.

  • I’ll grant (weakly) the point being made about the tendency among some progressive circles to use certain words shaded with meaning that are not in generally wide use. As an example, the statement “black people cannot be racist” is prima facie absurd to the general population at large in Canada and the USA, but it is true *IF* you accept a very particular meaning of “racism” used in social justice circles, which is “prejudice plus access to institutional power to enforce that prejudice.”

    I tried to initiate a discussion about a good way to more clearly encapsulate the latter meaning in an easy to use word, for which as yet there was no good meaningful answer.

    Anyway, bottom lining it for you, I’m not waving any flags for you so don’t think i’m like on your team or something. But there are legitimate issues about using words with meanings different from that commonly used.

  • guest

    I generally refer to the former as ‘bigotry’.

  • By like 0.5%, jesus fucking christ don’t act like it’s an overwhelming tidal wave or something

  • If you believe the official measure of unemployment the usual trend after a recession is it takes 4 to 5 years minimum, after the trough, for unemployment to get anywhere close to pre-recession levels.

    And if you believe the alternate measure, I’d say the US’s goose is pretty well cooked.

  • But we have tea! and biscuits! and lemonade, and….

    *holds up teapot hopefully* :)