‘Greeks called people “barbarians”, so how can anyone act like Apartheid was a big deal?’

Walter Williams’ recent column on comparative slavery is intellectually dishonest in general, but his misquotation of abolitionist Frederick Douglass is either an especially egregious example of that, or he’s never bothered to even glance at it in context.

Williams accurately quotes from this sentence in a speech by Douglass examining whether the original U.S. Constitution was pro- or anti-slavery:

[The three-fifths compromise] is a downright disability laid upon the slaveholding States; one which deprives those States of two-fifths of their natural basis of representation.

But as Douglass continues, it becomes clear he in no way endorses such accounting and would have preferred enslaved people not be counted at all: Continue reading ‘Greeks called people “barbarians”, so how can anyone act like Apartheid was a big deal?’

Sometimes spiders make flies zip back up

HUMAN 0
Meanwhile the law in North Carolina…

Under North Carolina law, women can’t withdraw consent during sex

A case of alleged sexual assault in North Carolina has brought to light an antiquated law stipulating that a person cannot be charged with rape if consent was given at the beginning of the sexual encounter.

As The Fayetteville Observer reports, 19-year-old Aaliyah Palmer says she was at a party when a man pulled her into the bathroom. She consented to have sex with him, but asked him to stop when he became violent. He did not listen.

Compounding Palmer’s trauma is the fact that four soldiers who were at the party — one of whom is a captain — have been accused of making or possessing a video of the encounter. But despite video evidence documenting the incident, Palmer discovered that the alleged offender cannot be charged with rape. Under North Carolina law, women are not able withdraw consent once they agree to have sex.

HUMAN 1
Can I hear your opinion before I say something that gets me bashed on?

Continue reading Sometimes spiders make flies zip back up

Not all burritos are made in good taste

HUMAN 1
Progressives succeed in forcing a burrito shop run by two white women to close over “cultural appropriation.”

Yeah, this is real. This is not a joke.

Now, the alleged “appropriation” comes from the fact they observed and talked to locals in Mexico on vacation. It’s a pretty common thing to ask a few basic questions on food people like at restaurants. The shops didn’t give very much info to the women. They didn’t teach them in an intensive training. The former owners simply had a few brief conversations and showed interest in the local technique. For this crime, liberals force them out of business.

This is awful. And per the patent office, traditional recipes can’t be patented.

The women took an idea—that people apparently actively didn’t want to give to them—and then behaved with respect for the cultural source akin to someone opening a wine bar with a Communion/Mass theme.

You can understand how people with a connection to the source might react critically, how that might be persuasive to folks willing to empathize with them, and how that negative reaction might convince (but not force) them it’s better closing down.

Continue reading Not all burritos are made in good taste

The Bible is large and contains multitudes: why reading diverse voices is good

Dr. Jarvis J. Williams wrote:

Privileged majority readers often attempt to make their culturally informed readings normative for every community.

However, when privileged people read and listen to racially marginalized voices and (more importantly) study the bible in the same sacred church spaces as racially marginalized voices, then those whose privilege shapes their biblical reading will be more likely to see their privileged blind spots when they humbly submit to and listen to those who don’t share their racially and socially privileged status.

Black and brown bible readers may think that certain biblical and theological truths will be worked out exactly the same way in black, brown, or multi-ethnic contexts as in majority white cultural contexts. Or they might be tempted to think that every white reading of a text is a right reading of a text and non-white readings of texts are wrong or suspicious readings of texts, until receiving a stamp of approval from someone from the white majority interpretive community. Reading black and brown authors who love the bible and labor rigorously to understand it in its original context will help white and black and brown Christians to be sensitive to, and aware of, their blind spots. Every bible interpreter has them and brings them to the text.

Continue reading The Bible is large and contains multitudes: why reading diverse voices is good

If healthcare were like mail, we’d all be a lot happier

HUMAN 1:
Can you rationally explain why people not having health insurance is actually bad from an economic standpoint?
Healthy people take less time off from work. This is part of why eradicating communicable diseases like polio, malaria, measles, etc., from the United States and other developed nations was so important. People who aren’t getting sick from dirty water or infection are people who are better able to consistently engage in economic activity. If you have a business where you aren’t sure when or how much of your labor force will be able to show up, that uncertainty is going to affect your bottom line.

Additionally, people who are able to take care of their sicknesses and injuries immediately or when noticed early make it much cheaper to treat overall because many conditions become more complicated and expensive to cure as they progress. If you catch cancer in the beginning stages, not only is the prognosis better, you also don’t need to spend anywhere near the amount of resources to cure it compared with a cancer that’s only caught after it’s metastasized and its symptoms are more obvious.

Because it’s less expensive to treat, many fewer people will have to declare bankruptcy when they choose to save the lives of themselves and their loved ones. As of 2009, 62 percent of all bankruptcies were medical-related. Obamacare didn’t solve that problem or perhaps go far enough, but people who have to close their business or pay off medical debt aren’t spending money to invest in their community or grow its economy. Some people do become wealthier, like breaking windows benefits the glass repair company, but overall, society does not become wealthier.

Finally, children who suffer from preventable and treatable illnesses won’t be as productive economically as they grow older, and adults who are injured or die from something treatable are wasting the investment of education and experience already put into them. Even viewing people completely cynically and without moral compassion, you’re squandering resources by allowing economic engines to break and disregarding their entire future productive capability unless they have the wealth immediately to repair themselves.

More fundamentally and in the long term, by tying health-care access to wealth, it deepens the divide between rich and poor, lowers overall economic productivity, and weakens the social contract.

If poor people believe they live in a society where they’re unable to feed, clothe, and provide lifesaving care to their children, they aren’t going to be very invested in that society or trust in its authority. So you would also expect crime, drug use, and general social turmoil to rise.

Continue reading If healthcare were like mail, we’d all be a lot happier

Anti-fascism is not mutually exclusive from homophobia

1. It’s homophobic and deserving of criticism.

2. Those calling for a boycott are doing it cynically from the right, and don’t actually care about LGBTQ rights.

3. Those sincerely critical of it are not calling for a boycott or Stephen Colbert to be fired.

4. Colbert has consistent homophobic and transphobic sensibilities and has often used gay and trans people as punchlines. The reason (sincere) criticism of this sort of humor is important is not to censor it but to make the comedians involved aware of it, question their own reasons and biases, and hopefully correct it in the future.

5. This isn’t the left ‘tearing itself apart’. This is the right upset that Trump and Putin were targets of criticism and trying to use progressive language for an incredibly narrow purpose, and, short of that, to try to use their own facetious overreactions as evidence of something the matter with people whose ideas and values they disdain. This is the equivalent of a 4chan prank where all of the prank posts and twitter accounts are retroactively taken at face value and pointed to as evidence Justin Bieber fans are stupid or feminists widely support free bleeding. Continue reading Anti-fascism is not mutually exclusive from homophobia

The changing connotations of words isn’t a small issue

MANY HUMANS SAID

‘This is ridiculous’. As well as a plethora of other boorish things.

I don’t understand what this person is doing wrong here. The question is a valid one: if you are trying not to be a jerk inadvertently, does it matter if a word that sounds offensive has an etymology that isn’t?

In the real world, racists use nigg* words regularly to express and signal their racism, from otherwise made-up terms to ones like niggardly, chosen solely because of its resemblance to the slur.

Continue reading The changing connotations of words isn’t a small issue