David Thompson
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June 05, 2010

Comments

svh

"I've listened to the video below five times, quite carefully, and have so far failed to detect any trace of subliminal gangsta racism. Perhaps you'll have more luck."

Nope. It's definitely "holes". What the hell are thes jokers smoking?

SG

To a hammer...

Anna

"I've listened to the video below five times, quite carefully, and have so far failed to detect any trace of subliminal gangsta racism. Perhaps you'll have more luck."

You have to play it backwards to hear the racism.

Bigland

I think you have to really want to hear it.

rjmadden

But black holes are racist too. Didn't you know?

"A special meeting about Dallas County traffic tickets turned tense and bizarre this afternoon. County commissioners were discussing problems with the central collections office that is used to process traffic ticket payments and handle other paperwork normally done by the JP Courts. Commissioner Kenneth Mayfield, who is white, said it seemed that central collections "has become a black hole" because paperwork reportedly has become lost in the office. Commissioner John Wiley Price, who is black, interrupted him with a loud "Excuse me!" He then corrected his colleague, saying the office has become a "white hole." That prompted Judge Thomas Jones, who is black, to demand an apology from Mayfield for his racially insensitive analogy."

http://cityhallblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2008/07/dallas-county-meeting-turns-ra.html

David

Bigland,

“I think you have to really want to hear it.”

Well, it does raise the question of what’s actually going on here. Are the NAACP members so dogmatic that they’ve actually started hallucinating? Or are they just high on the attention and leverage that comes from being professionally offended - and willing to lie to maintain that influence?

gebrauchshund

The fact that these "activists" spend time and energy on this nonsense, rather than expend those limited resources on more substantive issues, is definitive proof to me that real racist oppression against blacks no longer exists in the USA.

mlrosty

"National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People"

"Coloured" people? Isn't THAT racist?

gebrauchshund

Oh, and in addition, I don't believe for a second that there was any misunderstanding. Nobody that is able to function in society at even a rudimentary level could fail to recognize that the characters on the card are referring to astronomical objects. The NAACP people are deliberately twisting the meaning to facilitate a race hustle, of the type made famous by such luminaries as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. I guarantee they will be demanding some kind of monetary "compensation" from Hallmark, like a donation to a local black charity, to make this "go away".

David

gebrauchshund,

“I don’t believe for a second that there was any misunderstanding.”

Assuming Hatley and Jenkins aren’t actually delusional, it does smell like a hustle. Jane Elliott is a hustler too, an appalling one, and so is Caprice Hollins, and Peggy McIntosh, and Shakti Butler. What’s creepy though is just how readily their worldview gains ground among the young and unsuspecting. Elliott would have us believe that “perception is everything” and that “if someone perceives something as racist then I am responsible for not saying that thing.” In other words, a thing is racist if any member of a Designated Victim Group says it is, whatever their reasons and regardless of how implausible their claim may be. If they complain, even dishonestly, you’re in the wrong - and subject to whatever sanction that entails. Elliott’s peers insist that expectations of evidence and due process are themselves racist (or “neo-racist”) and that instead of looking for proof of wrongdoing or malign intent, we – meaning they – should just “trust our gut.”

http://davidthompson.typepad.com/davidthompson/2010/04/unlearning-whiteness.html

I doubt I need to point out where such irrationalism leads, or its potential as a license for any fantasist or hustler or liar with a grudge.

Mr Eugenides

I... I just...

gebrauchshund

I'm still very dubious about their claims of percieving some racist content that gave offense. In point of fact I don't believe they were offended. They know exactly what was meant by the content in the greeting card, and they know it was completely innocuous. They simply saw an opportunity to make a stink, and maybe get paid to move their foul smell somewhere else. In short, I no longer believe they are deluded fools, including those you mentioned. They are not irrational, they know their claims and asserted worldview are incoherent garbage. They are liars and frauds running an extortion racket and they should be treated as such.

Spiny Norman

"I'm still very dubious about their claims of perceiving some racist content that gave offense. In point of fact I don't believe they were offended. They know exactly what was meant by the content in the greeting card, and they know it was completely innocuous...."

After reading rjmadden's comment at 21:56, I'm not so sure. o_O

JuliaM

"I’ve listened to the video below five times, quite carefully, and have so far failed to detect any trace of subliminal gangsta racism. "

Anna beat me to the obvious retort... ;)

And yes, this isn't a serious accusation, it's a shakedown come publicity stunt for their 'cause'. Hallmark are fools to back down.

Anise62

Hey I am sure I heard that Hatley chick say her name was HatRey!!!

What next? Suing Dunkin'Donuts for Chocolate Doughnut Whores!

Anise62

When Activists Hallucinate!!! <-------- cracks me up! :D

dw

"this isn't a serious accusation, it's a shakedown come publicity stunt"

Hallmark should sue the NAACP for defamation.

David

What’s interesting is that no-one present thinks to stand up and say, “excuse me, but the card definitely doesn’t say what you claim it says.” Why does no-one dispute the NAAPC’s absurd claim of being aggrieved, even in the news report? Why does no-one start laughing at the obvious deception taking place right in front of them?

It’s a tad surreal.

Another Steve

We hear the wail of the disadvantaged everywhere: "I am offended, and my being offended trumps any common sense, liberty and justice, ends all rational discussions and promotes further misunderstandings. But I like being offended as it gives me purpose to my life, rallies my friends and provides hours of cheap entertainment."

Ted S., Catskills, NY

I perceive every word Jane Elliot says to be racist, including "and" and "the".

The thug needs to shut up *now* lest she keep offending me.

Mr Eugenides

David,

Why does no-one dispute the NAAPC’s absurd claim of being aggrieved, even in the news report?

I was, tangentially, reminded of your comment a few moments ago when I read this gem on the BBC website, referring to a proposal in Egypt to strip anyone married to Israeli women of their citizenship:

"The new decision is seen as a sign of negative feeling towards Israel"

No doubt any future proposal to strip Israelis of their citizenship for marrying Palestinians would be reported in similarly measured and bloodless language.

Anna

"Why does no-one start laughing at the obvious deception taking place right in front of them?"

Why David doesn't work in the grievance industry... :)

simplius

This reminds me of a story about a Yugoslav (now Serbian) licorice candy called Negro and African Americans offended by its name. Story here:
http://www.badrecordcovers.com/?p=255

I hail from there, and as I recall those candies were produced since before WWII. I consumed them in my youth, and none of the numerous Yugoslav Non-Aligned Movement buddies objected to the name.

Its name is obviously derived from the spanish word for 'black'. Though I don't recall African Americans attacking Latinos for their own language racism when they have to utter the word 'black' in their native language.

davidr

I have a running bet with a friend over how long it will be before playing card companies are sued for using "spades" as a suit. I get extra money if they mention how offensive that clubs are, too.

WTP

"Hallmark are fools to back down."
"Why does no-one start laughing at the obvious deception taking place right in front of them? "

When discipline broke down in the public school system, and in my opinion the breakdown of discipline has even permeated some of the private schools (I think I recall David has related as much recently, but perhaps I misunderstood/misremember), the primitive Lord of the Flies mentality ceased to get purged from western society. Older generations held the repercussions of this at bay for a few decades, but I fear involuntary attrition has caused the numbers to turn. A majority of the people that I know are significantly to the left of me politically, yet they express the same shock and disgust at these sort of things, but they still give political support to those who passively allow this nonsense to perpetuate. My guess is that many of them are afraid to stick their necks out for fear of being seen as "uncool" or they don't want to "cause a fuss". After all, what sense does it make to take risk on an individual basis against what they perceive as overwhelming odds? Most are not up to the task. Actually, when I think about it this applies to many of the "conservative" types also. Politics, in my observation, is a game of critical mass and the masses are mostly sheep.

As for spades and clubs, I'm fairly certain such logic has already been presented in a peer-reviewed thesis somewhere, and it didn't raise an eyebrow. Such ranting is close to being mainstream "philosophy".

BTW, I use the terms public/private school above in the American sense. I was once told that these meanings are reversed in the UK, so I'm never sure wtf I'm talking about when discussing these matters with those of you on the Sceptered Isle. Of course, sometimes I'm not sure wtf I'm talking about anyway. The first thing I do each morning when I wake is to count my limbs to ensure that I have not turned into a giant beetle overnight.

Chris S.

You just have to imagine the conversation that spawned this whole thing:

(computer playing in the background)
Actor 1: ... wait. Did that card just say Black HOs?
Actor 2: You know, it's a family oriented card from Hallmark, so yeah, probably.
Actor 1: I'm outraged.

How it should have gone:
(computer playing in the background)
Actor 1: ... wait. Did that card just say Black HOs?
Actor 2: No.

I mean really. It really says more about the person who hears Black HOs in a birthday card, than about Hallmark.

Rafi

"You have to play it backwards to hear the racism."

http://www.soop.ca/bootie/bestofbootie2008/04%20-%20Lobsterdust%20-%20It's%20Fun%20To%20Smoke%20Dust.mp3

Andrea Harris

I'm more worried that the greeting card is passing on delusional lies to young people: "The card’s theme is the solar system and emphasizes the power of the grad to take over the universe, even energy-absorbing black holes." Riiight. "Dad, can I borrow the car? I've got a black whole near Beta Cygnus to plug!" Fortunately most grads are intelligent enough to ignore the overblown rhetoric in their "congratulations for somehow graduating even though you slept through most of your classes" cards.

Tom

"Fortunately most grads are intelligent enough to ignore the overblown rhetoric in their congratulations for somehow graduating even though you slept through most of your classes cards."

And the rest would give up when the sat-nav couldn't give them directions to Beta Cynus.

Tom

Or "Cygnus" even.

pst314

"I’ve listened to the video below five times, quite carefully, and have so far failed to detect any trace of subliminal gangsta racism."

On the other hand, I have detected overt racist gangsterism from the NAACP.

Time to stop playing only defense, and go on the offensive. Push back. Point out their lies. Question their motives. Trash their reputations.

alanstorm

"When Activists Hallucinate"? I was unaware that there are times when activists like these DON'T hallucinate.

Catcracker

This reminds of that incident (I can't remember where or when) where a white person was speaking to an audience and used the word 'niggardly', whereupon black members of the audience walked out.

Their gesture made them look stupid in not knowing what the word meant, but I don't think that stopped the authorities from castigating him.

There's no accommodation with those who are determined to be offended.

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