View previous topic | View next topic

Megxit

Page 17 of 19
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... 16, 17, 18, 19  Next

PDR
1341622.  Thu Jan 30, 2020 10:57 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:

Interestingly, for a reliable survey you'd also have to account for age.


That's a very good point. Of the people I talked to I would suggest 50% were over 40 and only a handfull (3-4 people - call it 10%) would be under 25.

Quote:

Being of a similar age to me, he grew up at a time when the National Front regularly marched through large towns against an undercurrent of violence. This was a time when the Black-and-White Minstrel show was considered prime time entertainment, and "comedians" like Bernard Manning and Jim Davidson regularly appeared on TV telling jokes about "coons" and "pakis".


I guess that means we aren't that far apart in age. I also grew up with the Black&White minstrels and Manning/Davidson being given space on prime time TV. The thought of it makes me cringe now, although it's interesting to note that a clip of a racist-based comedy sketch from that era was posted here recently with just the caveat "not very PC" (implying "but still funny"). I'm not criticising the poster - at the time I also thought the skech was very funny, and there's always a tendency (as you've suggested) to regard the things you're used to as "OK provided I apologise for them" or "OK because they were just jokes at the time". I know I've fallen into that trap more than once - I'm sure we all have.

Quote:
I think this is a strategy with potential issues. On the one hand, I think it's a perfectly natural human reaction to have a strong preference for the status quo.


Absolutely - changing takes effort where not changing doesn't. Changing requires people to own the subsequent problems where those of the extant situation can be blamed on previous generations! But while I can't rule it out completely I honestly don't think that's what is behind my thoughts here. I think I'm mainly driven by the way that in the exampoles we've looked at (my poll and the NAACP examples) there is no significant majority in favour of the change - indeed no majority at all in the case of my poll. This is what I was getting at when I talked about the fine resolution being unreliable but the gross trends probaly less so.

Quote:

There's also a good argument for saying that needlessly changing language is disruptive, though I'm much less convinced by this argument.


Fair point, but what about changing the lqnguage needlessly where only a small minority those victimised by the current usage actually support the change?

Quote:

The problem I see with the opinion you've expressed is that it can be seen as effectively saying "there are two groups saying different things, so I'm going to side 100% with the group that agree with me, and essentially give a big middle finger to the group that disagree with me." I don't think it's your intention to say that, but surely you can see how it could be viewed in such a way, especially by people in a group who may consider they are being ignored despite having a valid (to them) complaint.


I totally accept that this argument can be made. But examine the countercase where instead I ignored those who agreed with me and implemented the change to satisfy the other group. The first group would now ALSO have a valid complaint and (at least from my unrepresentative checks) may well be a much larger group. If I said this might illustrate how positive feedback/discrimination leads to oscillation could you accept that I'm not trying to score a point or anything? I think that's what would happenb here - you'd toggle from one side to the other trying to satisfy both groups in what are mutually exclusive options. But if you fixed the process by reclaiming the word for its original meaning it then become inoffensive to both groups.

Quote:
I did a bit of research to try and find some other word which had racial connotations and was later dropped from all contexts, but I virtually drew a blank, which seems to me a convincing argument for keeping terms which are purely descriptive.


I think that's essentially where I came in, but I don't think that should stop either of us looking for other examples that challenge it. I think you may have already found one in "Gay" (and simmilarly "Queer"). Both of these words had very different meanings a few hundred years ago and became unusuable for those meenings for a period up until a few years ago. But we're moving into a situation where once again they CAN be used for their original meanings because those who were originally the targets of these as insults have themselves claimed the words so that they are no longer offensive. It no longer causes a raised eyebrow to suggest Brexit Promises were made "with gay abandon", fregsample.

Quote:

Clearly that is a word that is now not welcome in any vocabulary, whether or not being used to describe a foolish or naive person though, as I say, it's the only example I could find so I'm not trying to pass it off as a supporting argument for anything. Merely an interesting curiosity.


A very interesting curiousity - I think it shows that no matter how hard we try to put some structure around this thing to curve-fit some rules and principles the whole field is riddled with singularities and exceptions!

PDR

 
Jenny
1341625.  Thu Jan 30, 2020 11:38 am Reply with quote

"Gay" in the 19th century was a descriptor for a woman who was a prostitute. Lots of examples of that. "Queer" just meant ill, a couple of hundred years ago and even in my childhood it was used in that sense in Yorkshire (don't know about the rest of the country). "Nice" was a pejorative at one point, meaning nitpicky.

Language changes.

As others have observed, TV shows and jokes fifty or sixty years ago - well within my memory as a child and younger adult - are absolutely unusable now, because the pain and offence they caused those who they were unthinkingly the object of has become clear, and the consciousness of white superiority which was such an obvious and unthinking assumption a century ago has disappeared from all but a few hangouts.

Society changes, but it takes individuals quite a time to fall in line.

Some of this is due to ignorance, as it certainly was in my childhood. However, the spread of mass media and the internet means there is both less excuse for ignorance but also a gathering place for those who preferred life when we weren't required to be empathetic and where it was obvious who was in charge.

 
barbados
1341629.  Thu Jan 30, 2020 12:32 pm Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:

Let me turn this question around: Do you think you are a person with absolutely no unconscious biases whatsoever?

I'd really like to hear you answer to this question, so I urge you to engage with it and not just ignore it.

Yes I do, in as much as any person can,
I do consider myself a person without any concious biases, I judge people as individuals and I will call out anyone who displays any bias in my presence. But that is the sort of person that I am.
Now perhaps you could give the question an answer, do you (or anyone that cares to answer) consider yourself a person with no unconcious bias.

It is very simple not to have bias - all you need to do is remove the labels that those with bias decide to apply to any group.
For example take a look at these two pictures, and honestly respond with the first words you would use to describe them.

Maybe you will surprise yourself and show some bias that you didn't know about.
dr.bob wrote:

barbados wrote:
Perhaps the producers abuses against there workers shouldn't be highlighted?


I think they definitely should highlight the abuses against avocado workers. So do you have any explanation why they chose to use a picture of the Duchess of Sussex on that article instead of a picture of the Duchess of Cambridge?

What would your thoughts be if they were to use Graham Norton or Stephen Fry, or Caitlin Jenner? would your first thought be that the report was homophobic or transphobic? If it were Jennifer Anniston would your first thought be the report was sexist, in fact it could just as easily be sexist if it featured Sam Mendes. Would it be equally racist if the subject of the story was Tyson Fury?

 
barbados
1341635.  Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:29 pm Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:


I can see an argument can be made that the Duchess of Cambridge isn't a fan since she simply received one as a gift from a member of the public, but the question remains: where are all the articles criticising all those other celebrities who promote a snack which "fuels drought and murder"?


Just for balance, take a look at the original comment from the DM about the tea attended by her friend ....
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-6614737/Meghan-Markles-afternoon-tea-Daniel-Martin-featuring-avocado-toast-silver-plates.html
it might shed some light on why the article in question was produced.

Although, before the offending article, exactly how aware were you that there was an issue with the avocado growers causing all of the issues raised?

 
PDR
1341662.  Fri Jan 31, 2020 4:47 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:

I did a bit of research to try and find some other word which had racial connotations and was later dropped from all contexts, but I virtually drew a blank, which seems to me a convincing argument for keeping terms which are purely descriptive.


I think recent events may have given us another example (or at least a word which is threatening to *become* an example) with the word "ape".

AIUI (I don't do twatter so I'm only going by the reportage) Alisdair Stewert used this word in a twitter argument. He used it as part of shakespear quote. It was intended to be insulting (ie it was a put-down) but (again AIUI) not racially insulting. One report I heard suggested that it cannot have been intentionally racist simply because at the time he used the phrase he had no means of knowing the ethnicity of his protagonist.

So was it offensive?

[I don't know the answer - I'd love to hear some views]

PDR

 
barbados
1341663.  Fri Jan 31, 2020 4:59 am Reply with quote

Half the trouble is that we don’t know the context of the comment either.
Although I too have heard references to likely racist intent - they have come, again in reportage, across the full spectrum of demographics in the U.K. and they suggest that you would not meet a less racist man in your lifetime than Mr Stewart. It’s a shame that the world has come to this.

 
ali
1341664.  Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:12 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:

I think recent events may have given us another example (or at least a word which is threatening to *become* an example) with the word "ape".

AIUI (I don't do twatter so I'm only going by the reportage) Alisdair Stewert used this word in a twitter argument. He used it as part of shakespear quote. It was intended to be insulting (ie it was a put-down) but (again AIUI) not racially insulting. One report I heard suggested that it cannot have been intentionally racist simply because at the time he used the phrase he had no means of knowing the ethnicity of his protagonist.

So was it offensive?

[I don't know the answer - I'd love to hear some views]

PDR


This is the quote:

Isabella, in Measure for Measure wrote:
but man, proud man,
Drest in a little brief authority,
Most ignorant of what he's most assured,
His glassy essence, like an angry ape,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
As make the angels weep; who, with our spleens,
Would all themselves laugh mortal.

 
cnb
1341668.  Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:37 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:
barbados wrote:
And Miley Cyrus is also mentioned in the article.


In the DailMail article, not the Express article. Mentioned briefly in one line, not in the headline and not featured in any of the pictures. That's 33% of the people I mentioned. What about the other 66%?

barbados wrote:
I don’t doubt that had one of their friends posted a picture saying how lovely it was to catch up and share a favourite snack over night tea then they could well have been the subject of the piece b


Does it have to be one of their friends?

I only ask because both Jennifer Aniston and Shawn Mendes have posted pictures of avocados they're eating on Instagram. Does the fact that they posted the pictures themselves, rather than have one of their friends do it, explain why they've not been featured in negative press stories? Or was it the fact that tea wasn't involved?


I think there are two likely reasons why Ms Markle was singled out.

One is the demographic of the readership. The average age of a Mail or Express reader is 59 years old, and they are unlikely to have heard of Shawn Mendes. They probably are aware of Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus, but don't think of them as role-model types. They know who Meghan Markle is because she is royalty, and that brings us to the second point.

A member of the royal family is different to someone like a Kardashian. Express readers expect Kim Kardashian to do whatever will make her richer and more famous - any claims of good works for others would be dismissed as 'just for PR'. If a member of the royal family makes a fuss about all the good humanitarian work they are doing then they are expected to live up to that. The more of a fuss that royal makes about their good deeds, the more the press will look into them. Ms Markle's celebrity-like promotion of her humanitarian efforts make her easier to denounce as a hypocrite than her sister-in-law, whose humanitarian activities and promotional style has been more conventionally royal.


Last edited by cnb on Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:46 am; edited 1 time in total

 
Alfred E Neuman
1341670.  Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:46 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
dr.bob wrote:

I did a bit of research to try and find some other word which had racial connotations and was later dropped from all contexts, but I virtually drew a blank, which seems to me a convincing argument for keeping terms which are purely descriptive.


I think recent events may have given us another example (or at least a word which is threatening to *become* an example) with the word "ape".

AIUI (I don't do twatter so I'm only going by the reportage) Alisdair Stewert used this word in a twitter argument. He used it as part of shakespear quote. It was intended to be insulting (ie it was a put-down) but (again AIUI) not racially insulting. One report I heard suggested that it cannot have been intentionally racist simply because at the time he used the phrase he had no means of knowing the ethnicity of his protagonist.

So was it offensive?

[I don't know the answer - I'd love to hear some views]

PDR

That is a big thing over here - you dare not use the word monkey or ape in conversation. My niece was nearly arrested for racism a few months ago. She’s a pre-school teacher and someone reported her for singing a song about monkeys with her class. The police realised that there might be a problem getting a racism accusation to stick when they arrived at her house and discovered that her husband is black.

 
cnb
1341672.  Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:54 am Reply with quote

ali wrote:

This is the quote:

Isabella, in Measure for Measure wrote:
but man, proud man,
Drest in a little brief authority,
Most ignorant of what he's most assured,
His glassy essence, like an angry ape,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
As make the angels weep; who, with our spleens,
Would all themselves laugh mortal.


Isabella was talking about Angelo, who as a late 16th century deputy to the Duke of Vienna was almost certainly white. Shakespeare certainly intended it to be insulting, but it wasn't intended to be racial in nature.

 
PDR
1341676.  Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:22 am Reply with quote

Specist, but not racist?

The word does seam under threat of adoption by the football thugs, but not yet (in the UK) to the point where we feel reluctant to use it in its original sense.

My prefered solution here would be an immediate and absolute ban on football and a summary execution for all football fans. But I appreciate some might regard that as a little excessive.

PDR

 
dr.bob
1341683.  Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:31 am Reply with quote

Long post: apologies but I wanted to inject some facts into any discussions.

PDR wrote:
One report I heard suggested that it cannot have been intentionally racist simply because at the time he used the phrase he had no means of knowing the ethnicity of his protagonist.


I'm not sure what that report was based on. Here's an image of the reply Mr Shapland sent to Mr Stewart:



As you can see, Mr Shapland's twitter ID pic is an image of his face, clearly showing that he is Black. I'd be very surprised if Mr Stewart managed to remain ignorant of Mr Shapland's ethnicity whilst having a protracted twitter spat with him.

PDR wrote:
So was it offensive?


This is a tricky one to draw a firm conclusion about*. On the one hand, Mr Stewart could argue that he was simply quoting Shakespeare in a pretentious attempt to insult someone.

On the other hand, calling a black person "an ape" is obviously deeply offensive, and few people would consider doing that these days. Even Mr Stewart seems to have accepted that his words were misjudged and has expressed regret for his actions. The problem with the "I'm just quoting Shakespeare" defence is that it opens a possible avenue for people to be racist.

In this case I believe that Mr Stewart is not racist and made a genuine mistake (for which he has rightly apologised). However, what do we do if, in some other case, a person with racist views decides to deliberately call a Black person "an ape" knowing the effect his words will have, but disguises them by quoting Shakespeare. If, when called out on this, the racist person feigns ignorance and states he was merely quoting Shakespeare, do we let them off and say "Oh, that's OK then"?

What I do find extremely offensive is the reaction that Mr Shapland has received in the wake of this event. To clarify what happened, Mr Shapland and Mr Stewart were apparently involved in a twitter argument. The exact details of the argument are now lost since both parties have deleted their tweets. However, someone who saw it unfold at the time described the argument as "much nastier than has been reported." She highlighted Mr Stewart's (in her eyes, out of character) behaviour:

Quote:
It wasn't just the 'ape' quote.
As I recall, AS went on a rant about Martin's education level, dismissed the possibility he could have a degree, really picked on him by quote-tweeting & encouraging a pile-on.


In response, Mr Shapland called Mr Stewart "a disgrace" and forwarded the tweet to his employers at ITN asking them what they thought about it. As far as I'm aware, at no point did Mr Shapland call for Mr Stewart's dismissal, and he has later stated that "An apology and commitment to be more careful about language was all that I would have asked."

As a response to the incident, Mr Stewart resigned. There is no way for us to know whether he did so by his own volition, or if his employers made it clear to him that he would be sacked if he didn't, for neither ITN nor Mr Stewart have volunteered any information about that decision. Thus we are left with the one simple fact we do know (for all the good it does us): Mr Stewart resigned. In a later report, ITN have announced that Mr Stewart's departure was not as a result of a single tweet but due to 'multiple “errors of judgment” in his use of social media.'

As a result, here are some of the messages that Mr Shapland has received over his part in this whole affair, including one accusing him of having "got Alastair Stewart sacked with a baseless accusation of racism" and telling him he "should be ready to be looking over your shoulder for the rest of your life." Another simply calls him "a nigger ape. doin what niggers do best which is to fuck up the world" while someone agrees with that post by posting "blacks have fucked up the whole world."

Into this whole mess then wades our old friend Laurence Fox who posted on twitter "These authoritarian, totalitarian ideologues want to scare you into silence by forcing racism into every word and thought."

So, in short, an elderly white man says something stupid to a Black man. The Black man points out this behaviour and asks what his employers think of it. The white man resigns his highly public job for reasons unknown. The Black man is then subject to racist abuse by a bunch of intolerant white fuckwits.

That final sentence is the thing I find most offensive about this whole affair.



*I might add that anyone who is drawing firm conclusions about this incident, on either side of the argument, should be viewed with deep suspicion.

 
PDR
1341684.  Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:58 am Reply with quote

Thanks for that context, DrBob. From what you've posted I would also doubt that he was unaware of his protagonist's ethnicity credible and am now of the view that whether the racism was intended or not (I think probably not) it was indeed an extremely insentitive choice of quote for his argument.

I'd also agree that he comes over as arrogant, conceited and generally nasty as a person, so the only surprise is that he's not been offered a ministerial post...

There is a potential debate about wjhether high-profile media people should be held accounatble as such for any non-business sociual media activity (public vs private lkife), but then his posts probably only attract a following *because* of his media profile, so that's a dubious argument IMHO.

I'm now definitely of the view that Mr Stewert could not continue in his job. If Jeremy Clarkson deserved to be sacked then Stewert certainly did as well.

PDR

 
dr.bob
1341686.  Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:18 am Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
dr.bob wrote:

Let me turn this question around: Do you think you are a person with absolutely no unconscious biases whatsoever?

Yes I do, in as much as any person can


I'm interested to know what you mean by "in as much as any person can". Do you mean "all people have unconscious bias, therefore I have managed to reduce mine to the minimum humanly possible"?

If that were the case, then I would suggest the answer to my question should be "no", but you've answered it "yes", so I'm a bit confused.

barbados wrote:
I do consider myself a person without any concious biases


I wasn't asking about conscious biases, so I'm not sure why you brought that up. Or was that simply a misprint of "unconscious"?

 
barbados
1341687.  Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:23 am Reply with quote

It would be interesting to know what was posted prior to 7:06 AM on 13th Jan. just to see what they were discussing.

Also (playing devils advocate) if you change your profile image, it is applied retrospectively, so we only know that at the time the screen grab was taken the picture was there. 30seconds previous it could just as eaily have been a picture of the moon.

 

Page 17 of 19
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... 16, 17, 18, 19  Next

All times are GMT - 5 Hours


Display posts from previous:   

Search Search Forums

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group