Good, good gentleman. Let the hate flow through you. You will need its strength in the days to come.
I don’t know if I would have the patience to try and debate that level of baked-in xenophobia. The folks that I’m talking with are “just” FOX-watching dittoheads; aging Baby-Boomers who have been fed a bill of goods and (I think) are salvageable with a lot of patience and some well-phrased arguments.
My proud example is my mother-in-law that I think I talked about in some of the election threads last year. She’s a 70-year-old widow who lives on Facebook and who swears up and down that she’s not racist at all… while also getting loudly upset at the necessity of having to “push 1” to continue in English. In June of 2016 she was a Trump supporter because she couldn’t stand Hillary. By November she had a pro-Clinton yard sign.
Having grown up in East TN and still having a Facebook populated by a hundred or so diehard meth-head racist shitheels from high school who haven’t blocked me for being a godless pinko-commie yet, I can confirm everything @John_Reynolds has written. People who try to paint the Southeastern US as “not as bad as everyone says it is!” and “totally full of good guys!” really have no idea what it’s like to live in that place, or have never lived long enough elsewhere to develop a proper mental comparison, IMO.
I can co-sign. These folks are that bad. You don’t have to travel that far to get away from it here, and the folks who can largely do- but then they get gerrymandered.
It’s infuriating and I really worry that America is doomed these days, to the point I keep a getaway fund.
Regarding how to try and understand and/or talk to family or friends who could think or feel the deplorable things they post on facebook, it’s important to understand you’re dealing with a brainwashed individual.
How brainwashers work:
Suggestions to aid people who have been brainwashed:
While I understand your logic here, and the desire to sort of cut to the chase and not approach things in ways that all too often lead to dead ends as you say, this is very, very dangerous. Maybe the most dangerous way to approach these issues. One key reason people wind up with the sort of views we’re talking about here–the ones John_Reynolds notes–is that they have zero understanding of their own history. They purport to understand our country but they only understand one tiny portion of a mythology, a mythology largely created to obscure most of what really matters.
Ok, I was trained as a historian, so I’m not unbiased here. But in teaching my college classes–none of which are actually history classes anymore, even–the one thing that stands out more than anything else is the total, utter lack of familiarity with how our society got to where we are today. And it’ snot just Gen Z kids either, it’s true across a whole gamut of ages and backgrounds. Even folks who on the surface fall on the liberal or progressive side of most issues do so from a precarious perspective. They “know” racism is bad. The “know” slavery was bad. They “know” there is economic inequity. But they don’t understand any of it. They can’t process the past as part of a continuum of experience that keeps on having influence, or that is part of systemic processes that have in many ways never gone away.
Faulkner says “The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past.” He was referring to the South, but it apples to the whole country. Even the southerners who get so much flak for “living in the past,” though, aren’t really knowing the past. Like the Bourbons of France, and like most Americans today, they forget nothing and learn nothing.
Slavery is a great example. People dismiss discussions of it with precisely the response “not my fault,” or “long ago, doesn’t matter,” or whatever, often because they are responding to simplistic attempts to make direct personal links between today’s Americans and Americans of the antebellum period or what not. The reality is much more complex, and much more insidious. It’s not about personal morality. It’s about systemic, calculated oppression in the service of an economic and political elite that has, since the founding of the Republic, been benefiting from the oppression of others.
So, people say “slavery is over, the slave owners were beaten down, any issues after that are the responsibility of black people,” or something similar. What’s never said, because it is not known or understood or recognized, is that slavery as an institution was sanctioned by the entire USA, not just the South. It was enforced by the entire nation. It profited the entire nation. The prosperity and growth of the USA through 1860 was largely dependent on slavery. And the aftermath of slavery saw the development of an again nationally sanctioned system of racial oppression designed to, you guessed it, keep the agricultural products flowing (cotton until the boll weevil of the early 20th century, even), the poor whites in line, and support the hegemony of a new class of capitalists not just in the south but nation-wide, who outside the South skillfully played immigrant groups against each other to keep wages low and power centralized in elite hands.
The idea that somehow this massive system of racial oppression in the service of market capitalism and social and political control (voter suppression was a key part of all of this) , a system that has been sustained over centuries, and still is in operation in some form today, has zero affect on today’s America is laughable, but that’s just what people are arguing when they dismiss slavery as an issue or something to be considered. It’s exactly the same argument as was being made during actual slavery, when whites would point to the “degraded” condition of blacks and say “see? that’s why they have to be enslaved!,” totally ignoring the reality that, duh, they are like that because they are enslaved.
tl;dr history matters, sometimes it’s the most important thing of all. YMMV.
Okay, you get to give history lessons. Professional skill counts for a whole hell of a lot! I guess the old adage I use in the classroom probably applies, “Make it personal.” Figure out whatever angle on the topic you can write about most passionately and take that approach.
Also, point taken on the earlier posts about “home-grown Appalachian racism.” Some people are lost causes, beneath contempt, and just not worth the time. Family or not, I don’t think I could keep their posts visible on my facebook page.
Well, to be accurate these recent exchanges were not on FB, I just didn’t know a better thread to use. I actually have my mom blocked on FB because she causes too many issues in my life and marriage (she criticizes my wife’s parenting relentlessly. . .I mean, you can’t sit even enjoy my son’s soccer games for 30 seconds without her starting in. . .I’ve literally seen other parents sitting near us pick up their lawn chairs and move farther away so they, total strangers, don’t have to hear her).
I talked to my sister, mom’s favorite, last night and said I’m at my limit with her racism and that any future family gatherings will be cut short if she doesn’t heed my warning to cease and desist immediately. I’m just exhausted by it at this point. I told my sister that I’ve tried logic, facts, statistics, appeals to common sense, decency, compassion, et al, but her burning racism has triumphed over all.
You mean Dzmitry the IT Contractor in St Petersburg?
Yep, that’s my thinking too. So bizarre.
That’s a GERMAN shepherd. NOT AMERICAN ENOUGH
Your thoughts and prayers mean less than nothing.
Bonus stupid because the 59th was the shooter.
Over the last few months I’ve noticed a trend on any left leaning facebook post that someone makes where a commenter will include something akin to, “well then you don’t care about me (or my business, or my friendship, or my support.)” It’s right leaning, mostly republican and Trump supporting folks lashing out any anybody with a differing opinion with an insanity wolf style retort. Perhaps this has been going on a while, but I’m just now noticing it. It’s the same response to the NFL players taking a knee or an ESPN person advocating some left leaning comment or opinion. It is immediately followed up by completely over the top response, ala fire the employee, take the games off the air, etc.
Zero to 100 as a response. I find it annoying in the extreme.
So are you saying your annoyance goes from zero to 100?!
Indeed it does.
Seriously, though, I’ve noticed the same. I don’t know if it’s more left/right or not, but it goes beyond politics. Look at things like “review bombing” of games and things of that nature. We live in a culture that loves to bathe itself in outrage, and I think the media plays a big part of the blame.
Hell, just look at how headlines are written today. Instead of “Person A issues statement critical of Person B”, the things that pop up on my Google Now feed are “Watch Person A DESTROY Person B!”. Nuance is dead, it’s about cranking the volume as loud as you can to be heard over the crowd.
So people aren’t critical of NFL players kneeling, or annoyed by politics making a scene in their escapism. They are outraged and furious and the absolutely loathsome behavior exhibited by these traitors. They’re often parroting what their talking head of choice is saying, because being mildly critical doesn’t generate views/clicks/listeners.
Semi-related question: Have any of the “banned” photos on the Internet actually been banned? Anywhere? Ever?