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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jun , 2007 5:02 am 
The Grey Amaretto as Supermega-awesome Proud Heretic Girl
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Weren't you supposed to make your comments in the Bike Racks' thread? :scratch:

Is that what you mean, hal? That she should make her comments there? Or were you wanting her to remove them altogether?



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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jun , 2007 5:08 am 
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any comments that call me a racist, or imply any of my comments are racist in origin, must be removed, or a hearing will take place, as personal insults are not allowed here.

Should any and all attempts by myself to remove said comments not end up in their removal, I shall seek legal council in getting them removed forcibly.

I'm not kidding.

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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jun , 2007 5:13 am 
The Grey Amaretto as Supermega-awesome Proud Heretic Girl
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:neutral: I'm staying out of it now. I've said too much as it is. :(


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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jun , 2007 5:43 am 
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Language is subject to levelling forces. When a word acquires a strong meaning it becomes useful in rhetoric. A single word conveys a powerful image. When plantation owners held blacks in chattel slavery, when 100 years later governors declared "segregation now, segregation forever", everyone knew what a "racist" was. The strength of the image invites use. To obtain emotional impact, orators employed the term without the strong justification, shading its meaning just a little. So long as any part of the old meaning lingers, there is a tendency to invoke the word for its impact rather than to convey a precise meaning. We may regret that the language is losing the meaning of a word, especially when there is no ready substitute. But we serve in a court of law rather than of language and cannot insist that speakers cling to older meanings. In daily life "racist" is hurled about so indiscriminately that it is no more than a verbal slap in the face; the target can slap back (as [plaintiff] did). It is not actionable unless it implies the existence of undisclosed, defamatory facts, and [defendant] has not relied on any such implication.

- Stevens v. Tillman, 855 F.2d 394 (7th Cir. 1988)

Quote:
[Plaintiff] claims that the letter here accuses him of being racist and bigoted, and of impeding the University's affirmative action policy, and that the letter implies undisclosed defamatory facts which [Defendant] asserts to be true. However, the language of the letter, and particularly its use of the epithet "racist," does not have the tone of a reasoned accusation, but rather is more like the emotional rhetoric characteristic of debate in this area. One decision has noted that the term "racist" has no precise meaning, can imply many different kinds of facts, and is no more than meaningless name-calling, not actionable under Illinois state defamation law. [Citing Stevens, above] That court observed: "Accusations of 'racism' no longer are 'obviously and naturally harmful.' The word has been watered down by overuse, becoming common coin in political discourse." ( Id . at p. 402.) Stevens concluded that accusations of racism by members of the Black community directed at a White principal were not actionable defamation under Illinois state law.

Another decision found the charge of "bigot,'" in context, mere rhetoric, since it was found in an exaggerated attack on the plaintiff noting his unfitness to shine another's shoes and expressing the opinion he should be "exiled to sagebrush country with other 'skunks and coyotes.'" ( Sall v. Barber (Colo.App. 1989) 782 P.2d 1216, 1218.) The court concluded that a fair reading of the letter in question would not lead a reasonable reader to infer that it is based on undisclosed defamatory material. ( Id . at p. 1219.) In fact, the court said the letter was clearly based on previously published material concerning an ongoing dispute. ( Ibid .) The situation here is similar in that [Defendant's] letter plainly refers to and is primarily based on the known fact that [Plaintiff] cancelled the Filipino dinner.

...

Focussing on the language of [defendant's] letter here, we believe that the audience to which it was addressed and circulated would not reasonably believe that it implied or was based on undisclosed factual accusations. We reach this conclusion both because of the emotional and angry tone of the letter, which does not imply reasoned debate, and also because its actual accusations are imprecise and difficult if not impossible to verify. For example, the statement that "Crown College is extremely racist, a growing campus view held by people of color and by enlightened faculty, staff, students and campus administrators" is incapable of demonstration, since terms such as "racist" or "enlightened" lack precise definitions. Also it is not possible to prove Vandenberg's status in the campus community with any precision . . . The characterization of [plaintiff's]action as an attempt to "punish" young Filipino students is purely opinion, resting on the disclosed fact of his decision not to participate in the dinner. An "incredible level of bigotry" is imprecise and exaggerated. Vandenberg argues that the reference to affirmative action means that he impeded the University's affirmative action program, but "affirmative action" is itself an exceptionally imprecise term which lacks uniform understanding.

We do not condone in any way the content and tone of the letter in question. But we observe that far worse has been found within the penumbra of First Amendment protection. (Some of the more pungent examples of "unfair, intemperate, scurrilous and irresponsible charges" which have received constitutional protection are detailed in Justice Gardner's classic decision in Desert Sun Publishing Co. v. Superior Court (1979) 97 Cal.App.3d 49, 51-52 [158 Cal.Rptr. 519].) Restating, again, the description of this Headnote.the test of constitutional protection - "whether a reasonable fact finder could conclude that the published statements imply a provably false factual assertion" ( Moyer v. Amador Valley J. Union High School Dist. , supra , 225 Cal.App.3d at p. 724) - we hold that this unreasonable, emotional and angry letter cannot reasonably be understood as implying any facts, that it is more opinion than fact, and as such is not appropriate for jury determination. Since it is also part of the rhetoric generated on an explosive topic of public concern, namely, racism on the college campus, an area entitled to constitutional protection, and since we do not think any reasonable reader would take it for a reasoned factual accusation, we conclude that is not an actionable defamation and that it is constitutionally protected expression. Defendants were therefore entitled to summary judgment in their favor.

- Kimura v. Superior Court, 230 Cal. App. 3d 1235 (1991).

Re: liability of non-speakers (including online operators) for the speech of other parties: take a good look at the Communications Decency Act, 47 U.S.C. Section 230(c)(1).

Disclaimer: This information is cited for informational/discussion purposes only and does not constitute legal advice to anyone who might read this post.

PS "Legal council"? And suddenly, I am picturing a bunch of lawyers at the Council of Elrond.

ETA To add another relevant excerpt to the second case.


Last edited by tolkienpurist on Thu 14 Jun , 2007 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jun , 2007 7:06 am 
Just keep singin'!
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,,,


Last edited by jewelsong on Fri 15 Jun , 2007 5:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jun , 2007 11:32 am 
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Eru wrote:
People of other color are seemingly allowed to disparage whites all they want with not much backlash...


Lali wrote:
I get annoyed with TV and movies portraying men as idiots who wouldn't be able to survive the day if it weren't for the women in their lives.


This is a large part of why I don't like the term 'feminism'. I am no less bothered by male bashing (which isn't rare these days) than I am by female bashing. Anti-male sentiments aren't as big a source of social problems as anti-female sentiments (though I do think they are causing problems), but morally they are equally objectionable. Though the dictionary might say that feminism isn't about being pro-woman only, the name certainly implies otherwise and I do think the language matters. Kinda reminds me of how 'mankind' is supposed to include women.


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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jun , 2007 1:12 pm 
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The depiction of some male characters as idiots is much older than what anyone can reasonably call feminism. Many centuries older. Look at most Roman comedies. The incompetent husband with the dominant wife is a stock figure two thousand years old, and the product of an extremely patriarchal and hierarchical society--which is why it was a COMIC trope. It was both an inversion of the expected order and an observation of that order's limits. In other words, it was (and remains) funny precisely because it's not meant to be a mimetic description, and hasn't since 5 A.D.

As to members of non-white ethnic groups being able to say anything and "get away with it:" I have vivid memories of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton being sharply attacked for saying stupid things about whites, Jews, et al in the past, and rightfully so. Did they "get away with it" because they didn't lose a Don Imus-level job? No, because there's no black man in the US who HAS a Don Imus-level job. Sharpton's show isn't even close to the audience. Oprah, on the other hand, does, and she gets bitched at when she buys nice sheets for her charity school in Africa. THAT I actually see as an ironic indicator of racial and sexual progress. ;)

Eru, if you have actual examples of situations where, for example, a black public figure has said something derogatory about members of another race and not been taken to task for it, share them and we'll examine them together.

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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jun , 2007 5:33 pm 
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jewelsong wrote:
Why do you act so obstinate and why do you get so wound up in any kind of discussion where people don't agree with your opinions? And why is every discussion turned into a personal diatribe about YOU and your problems and your issues?


Hmmm, I've sure had my disagreements with hal in the past, but right now I don't see him getting upset because people don't agree with his viewpoints. He's upset because of how he's being labeled.

tp and Jewel, it would be really nice if you both wouldn't post things such as "*yawn*" or laughing smileys in response to him. That's a great way to exacerbate a situation needlessly. Think about how you might feel if someone labeled you as a racist (whether you actually were or weren't or said anything that was or wasn't). How would you feel, especially if you feel you weren't one? Pretty pissed off I'd imagine. Even if hal is being labeled properly, there is no need to resort to derision or condescension. It makes the sitution worse.

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Ax, I'm sure we could find some examples in rap music and black comedy. I know I've certainly seen black comics call whites names like "cracker" and joke about whites in a way whites could never joke about blacks without fear of major backlash.


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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jun , 2007 5:41 pm 
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Eru, I will “yawn” at anyone who threatens legal action in an attempt to intimidate others, because he or she does not like a fully-substantiated characterization of his/her views in an Internet debate. If hal hadn’t resorted to that particularly infantile move, I would have had no further posts to make (or edit) on the subject.


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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jun , 2007 5:47 pm 
b77 whipping boy
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and I was trying to get accross how serious I am.

It is highly unlikely any legal action could ever go anywhere, but that doesn't mean I won't pursue it if necessary. you can yawn all you want, just makes me more determined.

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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jun , 2007 6:05 pm 
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For someone who wants another to change their views, be more accepting, whatever, I do find it a bit ironic that you don't seem willing to take a look at your own actions, tp. The yawn wasn't necessary (and could be considered childish if you want to get into catagorizing things as infantile). Just posting the relevant legal text would have sufficed.

It's like the people who are accusing hal of being unmoving, not looking at himself, etc are doing the same thing themselves. They don't want to budge at all, yet expect him to.


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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jun , 2007 6:10 pm 
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Very well. I will edit my previous post to remove the word "yawn."


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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jun , 2007 6:12 pm 
Not so deep as a well

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The dynamic is pretty well established: if you're black, or Jewish, or gay, or white, you can make jokes about being black, or Jewish, or gay, or white, respectively, with impunity. But: the dominant culture is always fair game. That's the price of dominance: we're a target of satire from everyone else, because historically that's all they've had on us. Thus, Jewish comics have made goyim and shiksa jokes for decades. Centuries, even.

I just can't get that upset about it...so long as the characterizations that are part of those jokes have enough basis in reality to be funny and not merely hateful. People perpetually on the edge of a culture get to know a lot about the people in charge over the ages, after all, and observation is the heart of humor. But do I think some comics cross the line? Sure. And guess what--they pay a price in terms of their audience. There's a pretty direct and inverse connection between the success of a comedian and their genuine hostility. Being a jerk only goes so far.

It IS possible for a white comic to do routines involving minorities without being offensive. Context matters: it can't be the only material. Attitude matters: it can't be too nasty or condescending. Focus matters: you can make fun of Al Sharpton or Oprah, who are public figures with known, ah, foibles.

Rap as a genre has its own truckload of issues, of which dissing whites is in my opinion the least offensive.

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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jun , 2007 6:27 pm 
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It seems I should say thank you tp, but it's not me who anything was done to. I'm merely an observing bystander. It is fair of you to do that.

Axordil wrote:
But: the dominant culture is always fair game. That's the price of dominance


So I don't participate in racism, nor do I rally for white dominance, but just because I am white, I'm supposed to take whatever is flung my way. Yeah, that's so right and fair.

And yes I realize life isn't fair.


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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jun , 2007 6:49 pm 
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Ax wrote:
Rap as a genre has its own truckload of issues, of which dissing whites is in my opinion the least offensive.


No kidding! When my younger daughter first got interested in rap, and got a bunch of CDs of it, I made her print out the "lyrics" so I could judge their fittness to be drummed into my kid's brain.

When I pointed out just how bad some them were in the attitudes displayed about women, she agreed. She just hadn't really listened to the words before! :shock: I don't care if she wasn't consciously listening, I bet her subconscious was taking it all in.

We eventually compromised by recording all the acceptable songs onto a new CD and getting rid of the source CD. It just wasn't something I was comfortable with in the house.

I'm just glad she got over that phase.

Yuck.

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Last edited by MariaHobbit on Thu 14 Jun , 2007 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jun , 2007 6:49 pm 
Not so deep as a well

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No, you don't have to take "whatever is flung your way." At the risk of repeating myself:

Quote:
so long as the characterizations that are part of those jokes have enough basis in reality to be funny and not merely hateful.


Nothing "flung" in hate is ever acceptable, by anyone.

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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jun , 2007 9:01 pm 
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Upon reflection, and out of respect for the value of elsha’s, sid’s, Pips’, *E*’s, and Ro’s time, I have edited each instance of the word “racist” in my prior posts to “problematic" in this thread, but I have otherwise left the content of the posts intact. Each reader can judge for themselves whether the content I was responding to is “problematic.” It was Eru’s post that got me:

Quote:
It's like the people who are accusing hal of being unmoving, not looking at himself, etc are doing the same thing themselves. They don't want to budge at all, yet expect him to.


I’m budging because I stepped away from the computer and took a reality check. At the end of the day, in refusing to edit, I would be acting on “principle” - that in some sense it is wrong to indulge vituperative tantrums by conceding to them. But at the end of the day, in pragmatic terms, this is a rather small, relatively sparsely frequented messageboard, and it seems rather unproductive to waste the Rangers’ real time (or my own) for the sake of any “principle.” I think my points have already been amply made, and most of us have more important uses of time, such as fighting for our principles in real time (such as the important human rights discussed earlier in this thread.)

hal, you got what you wanted. And we’re through.


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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jun , 2007 9:28 pm 
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Elian wrote:
For anybody who says they aren't a feminist, one of my favorite essays:

Yes, You Are.


One of the reasons I don't call myself a feminist is because I agree with that article's stated goals of feminism.

tolkienpurist wrote:
hal,
Quote:
I disagree that white males have created the society that handcuffs minorities or women.


Absolutely. completely. absurd. contention. Who enslaved African-Americans, hal? Who wrote into the Constitution that blacks counted as three-fifths of a person? Who denied women the right to vote and own property? Who barred both blacks and women from receiving certain degrees or professional licenses? And you know darn well I could list poignant, real, non-exaggerated examples all day, so I won’t take the time.


Agreed, and so the slave owners who wrote the constitution owe the slaves who existed when the constitution was written. Where I don't agree is that it applies to 2007.

yovargas wrote:
...yet another reason affirmative action sucks: it adds fuel to the fire of racial tension.


Let's turn down the emotional tone please. We can have this discussion without it.


Reminds me of a thread on TorC about different dogs and same fleas.

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Last edited by Cenedril_Gildinaur on Tue Feb 30, 2026 13:61 am; edited 426 times in total


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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jun , 2007 9:40 pm 
A song outlasts a dynasty.
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Does that mean that Chauvinism is
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1 : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes 2 : organized activity on behalf of men's rights and interests


Because I was under the impression that Chauvinism was where men objectified women and treated them as inferiors, and that feminism was the oppisite...

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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jun , 2007 9:45 pm 
Not so deep as a well

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Originally, Chauvinism was an irrational attachment to a national cause, even when one is not served well by it. It was named for a soldier named Chauvin from Napoleon's army who never faltered in his support for the Emperor even after losing several limbs in doing so, I believe.

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