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Response to ode2joi1 (Reply #59)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 02:01 AM

63. No, I'm not suggesting we do nothing.

I'm merely suggesting that we should make the effort to determine whether a given person is at heart a good person who believes some misguided things, many of which are rooted in racism, though many who believe those things do not share that racism, or even realize that it is the root of the things they have been led to believe, or they are actually an irredeemable soul before we decide how to react to them.

Like many white guys who grew up in the south in the 70's through the 90's, I know plenty of people who still identify as Republicans, but whom I also know to not actually be racist in their treatment of other people. But despite their rejection of overt racism, many of them still buy into bogus arguments that they have been fed to justify support for policies that all of us here recognize as being rooted in racism. For example, opposition to the BLM movement on the basis of arguments like "white people are more likely to be killed by police than black people".

To someone who only pays attention to the surface of an argument rather than examining the finer nuanced intricacies, that might actually somewhat reasonably sound like a valid argument for downplaying the concerns raised by BLM, even for people who don't actually hold the racist views that talking point exists to advance. To those of us who do make a point of paying closer attention to such things, however, it's obvious that that argument is flawed on its face because likelihood is a fraction, and the statistics on which the argument rests omits the denominator of the overall size of the populations the numbers of which are killed by police. But if you don't realize what's been omitted from the statistics supporting the argument, you may well not realize that the argument is false, let alone how.

My point is that there are people who are swayed by arguments like that purely because it validates racist views they actually hold, but there are also those who are swayed by them only because they are some combination of intellectually lazy and ignorant, and genuinely do not even realize that the argument is flawed. And until they realize that they are being lied to, they don't have much cause to begin to question why.

For those who fall into that latter category, there is at least the chance that their views may be changed by addressing and remedying their ignorance, provided of course that they are not too heavily invested in maintaining it. The difficult part, though, beyond merely the part about figuring out which group a given person is part of, is to avoid creating resistance on their part to having their ignorance remedied. Utterly denying their basic human decency on account of just their Party affiliation is a really good way to make just about anyone resist learning the lessons we need them to learn, especially when their problem is ignorance, not malice.

That's where I think the relevance lies about what Secretary Clinton said about the the deplorables being irredeemable, but there also being those who supported Trump because of valid grievances not rooted in malice, and that "those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well". Their reactions to those grievances were somewhere between uninformed and misinformed, I think we can all agree, but that in and of itself does not mean they should not be regarded as friends. I think most of us have some experience with friends who make stupid and sometimes dangerous decisions. It doesn't necessarily mean that they actually have any malice.

Take for example people who vote Republican because they care about national defense and fiscal responsibility. Those are valid reasons for which to identify with a Party, and while those concerns leading them to support Trump quite arguably reveals a darkness of awareness and understanding, it does not necessarily reveal a darkness of spirit.

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Raven Jan 2019 OP
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ode2joi1 Jan 2019 #59
LineLineLineLineNew Reply No, I'm not suggesting we do nothing.
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