The GOP is still morally corrupt, even if Discourse breaks


#503

The problem here is this. My folks were out here visiting, and we got into it in real time. There was a back and forth that was useful, in some ways. I don’t think it helped a great deal, but we could go back and forth and read body language and interrupt and nod and then I could make them a meal.

Right now I barely talk to them. They live across the country and it’s all online. I cannot call my mom out on Facebook when she posts some stupid meme about how she is still behind Trump. She’d just post a Bible verse about how we should all be peaceful and get along. Which means…agree with her.

So it becomes Guy Fieri’s Familial Flame Wars and it’s a net negative.

You’re probably right. My problem is that I just don’t want to engage anymore. It’s exhausting. Which is part of Trump’s strategy, I realize that. But not communicating with my family isn’t helping. It’s just easier.

So I think you hit the core of the problem.

-xtien


#504

Yes, I know. I’m saying that the argument we don’t treat assault and murder the same doesn’t really describe either the problem of dealing with racism or the solution.

My father and his wife are racist Trump supporters. I don’t see them often — we live in different countries — but I do visit them when I’m in the US, and I do stay in their house, and I do have a relationship with them. If they start talking about politics and/or race I will oppose what they say. If they don’t, then I’ll keep my views to myself. So it’s a kind of detente I tolerate out of what feels like necessity.

Now, if they were acquaintances or friends, they would not be acquaintances or friends. I just don’t care to associate with people who hold their views and think they can share them with me or in my presence, if I don’t have to. I’ve had enough of that in my life. But my unwillingness to associate with them robs them of nothing by my company and esteem, and if they really believe what they say they believe then they don’t value those things anyway. But even if they do, it’s not like putting them in jail, is it?


#505

Honestly, with family members that say/do this racist stuff, I ignore it on social media, or mute them, or if it is in person I call them out on it, same goes for friends as well. The world needs people to call them on this shit, and if they don’t want to hang out with me or talk to me anymore because I won’t put up with it, then so be it, one less person to cook for at Christmas. If they want to act like a good person, then they are welcome, if not, then they can live without me.


#506

There’s a difference between voting and actively discriminating.

We love in a world today where for younger people ie, sub Gen-X, signaling is political participation. Even liking the “wrong” person is the equivalent of being a monster.

The important thing about distinguishing voting patterns of relatives is why they are voting and to look outside your preconceptions about what that means to you and what it means to them.

And then if you want engage them from their lees let it and get them to understand yours.

.Or not! Cut them off to signal your disapproval.


#507

I beg you to believe that why my father votes the way he does is not a mystery to me at all.


#508

I appreciate the conversation above between @Nesrie and @ChristienMurawski (and others), even if it looked a bit contentious at times. There was no devolution into name-calling as so often happens in Internet discussions, and I appreciate the different viewpoints.

My approach to the question of dealing with people who act in racist ways is to stay engaged until they straight-up refuse to stop the behavior when I call them on it. For instance, my grandparents were racists. Grandma was known to walk out of restaurants that had black customers seated, and my dad tells a story of a time when Grandpa lied about a traffic accident to make the other (black) driver seem to be at fault. It wasn’t until I was in college that I both understood what was going on and felt enough of an equal to speak up. I’d say that I didn’t agree with them when they said something about “darkies” or “those people”, and if they persisted then I’d walk out. It doesn’t mean I didn’t love them, and I kept visiting and talking as long as they’d be civil. They’ve both since passed, and I don’t know that they ever changed their attitudes, but at the very least they knew their family didn’t agree with them.

I also think it’s important to give a voice to those who may not be present to speak up for themselves, and that happens a lot with matters of race. (And sexual orientation, and religion, etc.) People tend to congregate in like groups, so us white guys hang out with other white people a lot. Just because there’s no one present to be offended when someone talks about a “chink” or “wetback” or “n*ger” doesn’t mean you should let it go. I try to speak up, but I’ll admit it’s not easy to do in some situations.

And finally, we on the privileged side of history absolutely must acknowledge that history and support corrections to the imbalance. At the minimum, educate others in our culture group (most especially young people) about how we’ve benefited from history and how others weren’t so fortunate. When you can, speak out against those who think helping poor black kids get an education or providing housing subsidies to black families who suffered from redlining is an “unfair playing field.” If possible, do something proactive to help redress the balance, no matter how small. Examples: tutor some kids, patronize black-owned businesses, go to an immigrant rally.

None of this is going to fix the problems of the past, and the ingrained racism in much of our culture is not going anywhere quickly. But we can chip away at it, by making it known to our families and friends that we won’t tolerate their actions that support those racist attitudes. And by making sure we’re passing on, by word or deed, our own attitudes to those who will listen.


#509

Ever since the term “mansplaining” was coined, I’ve been torn on it. Sometimes the word is perfect and awesome. Other times, I think it can be unfairly used, like in your example here. We already have a word for condescension (it’s “condescension”) so making a gendered version of that word for Trump’s America is, as they say, problematic.

My wife knows my mixed feelings on the subject and we enjoy debating it even when it gets a little heated. When I read her your example, she had an immediate suggestion that seemed helpful so I wanted to share it. She said, “I think the term has to stay out of relationships.” Kinda makes sense as it’s more of a “metoo moment” kind of word than a “useful in relationships” kinda word. Healthy, calm communication is tough and our emotions constantly get in the way.

So now your task is to sit her down, point your finger at her sternly, and tell her the reasons why she shouldn’t use the word “mansplain” in your relationship. Good luck with that!

You can tell her it’s 3rd-hand advice from the wife of an online pal and she’s been married for 21 years to a guy who can get pretty condescending in a relationship argument. She, along with basically all the women, is fired the fuck up these days.

Or you could tell her that when you are going over what you think a kitchen cleaning means, you’re not mansplaining, you’re Christiensplaining.

I suppose we should also acknowledge that living with differences of opinion, such as what a kitchen cleaning means, is probably the most important part of a healthy relationship. Oy, it’s tough, amirite?!


#510

So this kind of stuff hurts to read. It just does. I know some will be blah blah blah, not always about you, but it is a emotional response. It doesn’t get easier, and I can say nothing and pretend nothing happens but it does. Conversations like these, they have a cost. It’s a heavy one, like days worth of weight. And it probably wasn’t that easy to write for you either.

I am just wondering what happened to the poor driver, if a false witness caused him to take the hit on his insurance, if maybe it became insurance he lost because he couldn’t pay the premiums anymore, which led to the loss of a car which meant not commuting to work so loss of his job; he’s at risk of losing everything he has, commits a crime, goes to jail and now becomes a stereotypical example. Or even the couple that went out for a quite/nice dinner and witnesses another couple refuse to even sit by them.

What exactly is wrong with that response? What makes that so disruptive and so unfair? That I question why these stories are so often told from one perspective but not the other, and if the other tries to tell their tale, it’s race baiting, or maybe they don’t “really” know it was racism, stop using the racial card. For every example of some racist act, there is someone on the receiving end, and this is from people who will actually admit they did it. There are plenty of others that would never admit it they do these things, not openly.

— general statement–

But I don’t blame people for loving their family, or holding out hope that there might be change one day. It’s like the video @arrendek posted. It feels like the conversation is so often concerned from one angle, this concern, this love, this hope… I just don’t subscribe as easily to the idea that change is as common as others apparently believe it is.

I don’t think it’s lesser racism. I think the consequences are just less easy to see, nothing immediate, no crime to put on the frontpage. I won’t apologize for thinking that. And if voicing that point-of-view disrupts anything, and offends anyone, I don’t know what to tell you, maybe the problem isn’t me.


#511




#512

This seems like a logical result of the forum on which we chat. Since (I think) we’re mostly white men, the volume of conversation is going to more often be about trying to reckon with racism than what it’s like to experience it. Plus, since we’re men, we want to fix things.

I also think your point about how people sometimes act like being called a racist is worse than experiencing racism is a really good one.


#513

That would mean we can’t hear about the tale from the other POV from most here but the wondering, the worry, the concern can still be there right? I mean other people would hear about that story and worry about the black couple and the innocent driver too even if they don’t actually know their story… right? It’s important to say that because otherwise it just looks like what I’ve been saying, that the focus is on the racist, the care and consideration is so wrapped up in the racist act and whether or not to call them racist or not that the fact someone just endured some pretty screwed up racism is completely lost.

Thank you.


#514

#notRacist

The first comment is great:


#515

But, remember, the jumping-off point for this conversation was Christien wrestling with how to live with family members who are prejudiced and support our racist president. Our sympathy is because of the family connection, not because we want to forgive racists.

I think most of us have the kind of empathetic response you’re describing but engage on the topic mostly in a white-male kinda way. I think in this case you can be the change you want to see on the forum and we’d all be grateful for the perspective.


#516

Yeah I remember. Of course nearly all racists have family which basically means unless the entire family thinks as they do, someone is going be struggling with how to deal with their racist loved one or friend or co-worker or neighbor. I have a few myself. I guess the difference is, I cannot disconnect that feeling, that being a target, that sudden attack or even rejection often out of nowhere from some random stranger simply because the person next to me doing the rejection or attack is emotionally tied to me which is why I won’t allow it. I’ll embarrass them, me, our whole group before allowing someone to feel that alone.

The result is they don’t do it front of me anymore, not in public anyway. Family gatherings are more challenging.


#517

You’ll see some familiar wording in this. I might be the odd duck out here, but this POV, it’s not as rare as you think and not nearly as outlandish as some tried to imply. It’s just uncomfortable.


#518

I forgot how shit CNN’s website is.

“We’re going to play a movie at maximum volume when you click any link here. Adjusting the volume will be ignored the next time you come here, enjoy someone screaming at you every single time.”

As for the actual point… yeah, I hate it. Racists love finding one black person that agrees with them and somehow that’s all black people. Which I guess should make sense, because that’s a really racist way of looking at shit: one person represents all people who look like them.

Hitler wasn’t bad if you can just find a Jew that says it. Slavery was fine, we found this black dude that agrees.
Bleh.

It reminded me of something else: You will never be out of a job if you’re willing to reassure some white people that they are not racist.


#519

While some add tried to give someone a seizure buy bugging out in the bottom right, I think i managed to stop the auto ad with too loud volume going that you speak of, but I forget how. I think it was a setting on Chrome which I hear they might be taking away. It’s worse on my mobile devices.

I thought it was interesting that they each had quotes like, well these:

It’s hard to say what’s a bigger taboo in American politics: being a racist, or calling someone one.

Sometimes it seems as if some white people are more outraged over being called racist than the actual damage of racism itself.


#520

Sadly it’s the latter for the first statement.

Because there are racists fucking all over the place in Congress and the White House and zero fucks are given.


#521


#522

It actually pisses me off to no end how completely fucking terrible so many of the news sites I’d prefer to get my news from actually are for readers. When I compare the bullshit design going on at some place like MSNBC, or even the problems that you list on CNN-- which do actively bother me too–to the fuckwits at Fox News, who happened to have a nice, readable, compact headline delivery system with tons headlines and relevant images, it bugs the ever-loving crap out of me how much better they are delivering their fucking nonsense message of hate and division compared to so many other, better sites.

It bugs the shit out of me the Fox News is just so much better at this online thing, and so much better at that TV thing, and so much better at excreting news segments into their Youtube channel than the places I actually gave two shits about.

Fuck those guys, and fuck the idiots that put together the news websites I actually like to read. And fuck the Washington Post for never remembering my goddamn log-in on my mobile devices and then blocking me from articles so I never want to go there or subscribe ever again.