Racism and Political Correctness Have Much in Common

Wesley Yang writes:

We wouldn’t even be able to conceive of the microaggression were not the macroaggression stigmatized and on the retreat. My parents’ homes were reduced to rubble in Korea. To speak to them about a microaggression is just not credible, it’s simply absurd.

On the other hand, it’s also true that there’s a lot of pain that goes with being an Asian-American, which I write about. …

But… when one looks at remediating that through a system of policing speech and thought, then you cross over into this whole other territory where you’re talking about extinguishing human freedom for the purpose of pursuing some person’s ill-defined therapeutic grievance.


Similarly:

21 Comments for “Racism and Political Correctness Have Much in Common”

  1. posted by Jorge on

    So much of politics devolves over all-or-nothing nonsense like this.

    Reply
  2. posted by JohnInCA on

    It’s easy to be “against PC” if you don’t take the time to define what “PC” is. That article does not, and as such it’s easy to say “And in my view, the struggle against political correctness and against racism should not be opposed to one another.”

    Maybe his book does a better job of explaining what he’s actually against. But as-is, I’m gonna have to let the “anti-PC” crowd speak for themselves, in all their obviously racist glory, that yes, the two goals are not compatible.

    Reply
  3. posted by JohnInCA on

    Well, someone was triggered.

    Reply
    • posted by Jorge on

      I’ll say. If this were a gaming site I’d say that was more trigger command inputs than Final Fantasy VIII’s Renzokuken.

      I find the list of examples hard to distinguish from having a worldview that advocates for political correctness and sensitivity. “Don’t be mean to me! Don’t be mean to me! It’s genocide.”

      That first example makes me want to force you to watch the Seinfeld episode where Jerry made out in a theater during a movie about his heritage.

      Reply
  4. posted by MR Bill on

    Perhaps relevant to the discussion, from the Washington Post: “This is US Politics: are you triggered?”
    By Elizabeth Bruenig

    November 28 at 6:48 PM

    In 1964, the historian Richard Hofstadter published an essay titled “The Paranoid Style in American Politics” in Harper’s Magazine, and maybe that set it all in motion. “In recent years we have seen angry minds at work mainly among extreme right-wingers,” Hofstadter wrote. “But behind this I believe there is a style of mind that is far from new and that is not necessarily right-wing. I call it the paranoid style simply because no other word adequately evokes the sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy that I have in mind.”

    Conservatives weren’t pleased with the diagnosis, and they were perhaps even less pleased with being coolly diagnosed. “Hofstadter dismissed conservatives as victims of character flaws and psychological disorders — a ‘paranoid style’ of politics rooted in ‘status anxiety,’ etc.,” my colleague George F. Will remarked in a reproachful 2008 column. “Conservatism,” he said, “rose on a tide of votes cast by people irritated by the liberalism of condescension.”

    If that’s true, then Hofstadter’s observation about a trend in conservative rhetoric may have inadvertently helped to breed another one to join it — the triggering style in American politics.

    First, an example. When the now-famous Reuters photograph by Kim Kyung-Hoon of a mother and children fleeing tear gas at the San Ysidro point of entry appeared online Sunday, liberals quickly began sharing it along with demands for humane treatment of migrants at the U.S. border with Mexico. Some conservatives adopted what Hofstadter would doubtlessly characterize as the paranoid style, arguing that the photo had been intentionally selected to misrepresent the situation at the border. Others argued that, pitiful as the depicted events were, they were necessary and not all that different from those used in the Obama era. And a third set celebrated the photo, hamming up their delight with tweets like “I’ve found my Christmas card photo. #Caring,” and “Watching the USA FINALLY defend our borders was the HIGHLIGHT of my Thanksgiving weekend.” This last category of response exemplifies the triggering style.

    The triggering style isn’t really about convincing anyone of anything; it’s a rhetorical method that speaks to the other side, but without interest in persuasion. Indeed, the triggering style doesn’t even aim to reinforce onlooking conservatives’ view that liberals are wrong. Instead, the triggering style attempts to shatter that calm, intellectual satisfaction that annoyed Will and earned Barack Obama such wide conservative resentment. By intentionally trying to cause liberals maximum emotional upset, the triggering style strives to compromise liberals’ most valued attributes: placid objectivity, moral certainty, intellectual strength, powers of analysis capable of theorizing and responding to opposing political viewpoints. You’re just screaming and yelling and calling names, now, the triggering style says. You’re no better than what you say I am.

    In the Atlantic, Adam Serwer speculated that, for many of Trump’s most dedicated followers, cruelty against people they already despise is the reason for their support, not an unfortunate, unavoidable side effect. And that’s reason enough to nod along with Trump and cast another vote for him. But the exaggerated, highly publicized display of such pleasure seems like another effort altogether, one that is related to the victims of Trump’s policies but only incidentally, one that’s really about liberals and their tears, as the kitschy coffee mugs advertise. It’s about resentment, a rejection of argument, a deliberate renunciation of any kind of moral common ground.

    The triggering style thrives on cable TV and social media, and it is deployed by ordinary people and high-powered politicians. It’s hard to know precisely how to respond to it, because it’s hard to know exactly what effects the rhetoric has, or what sort of response would do anything other than aggravate those very effects. The best response may simply be to focus on politics and less on rhetorical exchanges, especially in venues where the triggering style flourishes. Because when the triggering style locks on a photograph like the one from San Ysidro, the people in the photograph — Maria Meza is the woman’s name — become transparent, and its gaze pierces through to the viewer on the other side, hungry for proof of a wound.”

    Reply
    • posted by Jorge on

      In the Atlantic, Adam Serwer speculated that, for many of Trump’s most dedicated followers, cruelty against people they already despise is the reason for their support, not an unfortunate, unavoidable side effect.

      Ehhhh, more like a necessary condition.

      Justice demands mercy and compassion, but at times it requires judgment and ruthlessness. There are even times when one must act behind the backs of the benevolent in order to ensure the sentence is carried out.

      The alliance between Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions, which, once doomed, lasted much longer than anyone should have predicted, exemplifies this tension. The different factions of Trumpists need each other.

      Reply
      • posted by MR Bill on

        Justice demands mercy and compassion, but at times it requires judgment and ruthlessness. There are even times when one must act behind the backs of the benevolent in order to ensure the sentence is carried out.
        Trying to think of examples of Justice “behind the backs of the benevolent”…Sherlock Holmes fictionally refused to give the police evidence to further his idea of justice in several stories, notably in “The Abbey Grange”, where he had Dr. Watson stand in as an example of the English juryman, who pronounces the actual murderer not guilty..
        The folks who performed lynchings here in the South thought they were performing justice, colored by their belief and prejudice. We now know most, such as the murders of Leo Frank and Medgar Evers were simply murder.

        Reply
        • posted by Jorge on

          Sherlock Holmes fictionally refused to give the police evidence to further his idea of justice in several stories, notably in “The Abbey Grange”, where he had Dr. Watson stand in as an example of the English juryman, who pronounces the actual murderer not guilty..

          That sounds like an excellent example of the opposite principle, and it is there I would think to look. Think of where we find do-gooders who think the rules are wrong exerting power. There are sanctuary cities, where DOJ ambushes illegal immigrants in courts. In the courtroom, where sympathetic but irrelevant information is kept from the jury’s ears to prevent jury nullification. In the doctors’ offices in my state, where information about sex and pregnancy by minors cannot be shared with parents (although that one could be read either way). Laws against lynching protect criminals from those who would take the law into their own hands–as a black woman in California who ran off with an inmate found out about a year ago. An honorable sheriff would have to guard or even hide the prisoner from the mob.

          The folks who performed lynchings here in the South thought they were performing justice, colored by their belief and prejudice. We now know most, such as the murders of Leo Frank and Medgar Evers were simply murder.

          You’re talking about people taking the law into their own hands. If the truth were that people of a certain race had to be terrorized, that would at least be an honest motivation. But when the rules change example by example, it’s people taking the law into their own hands, and who can tell in the moment whether that is right or wrong? There’s a quote for that I read, of in the film “A Man for All Seasons”: “…Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of the law for my own safety’s sake.”

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMqReTJkjjg

          Reply
  5. posted by MR Bill on

    Here’s some Right Wing political correctness from Jewish Nazi and Presidential Advisor Stephen Miller, back when he was just a College Repbulican, from the Duke Chronicle: opposing the Iraq War was treason in his eyes.

    Unpatriotic dissent
    By Stephen Miller | 02/08/2006

    Dissent is not necessarily patriotic. It can be. But it can also be treasonous. It depends entirely upon the nature and content of one’s dissention.

    To dissent is no more unequivocally patriotic than to place someone under citizen’s arrest is unequivocally justified. Dissent is a tool, and you are accountable for how you use it. Place someone under false arrest and you’re a kidnapper. Support America’s enemies and you are considered a traitor.

    Yet many of those most radical critics of the United States will insist they are simply fulfilling their patriotic duty. But how far does this logic go? Is a spy giving American military secrets to foreign governments simply fulfilling a patriotic duty? What if the spy earnestly believes that America is an evil nation and what he is doing is for the best?

    That the dissenter believes in what he is doing is not enough. A dissenter’s actions must be guided by a love for this country and its citizens in order to be considered patriotic.

    But there is a second qualification. Even if a dissenter’s actions are guided by a love for America, if the true result of that dissent is ultimately harmful and destructive to this nation then such dissent, however well-intentioned, clearly falls under the category of unpatriotic dissent.

    Some might wish to be able to attack and assault and accuse with moral impunity, seeking refuge in platitudes about the great democratic tradition of dissent, but this noble tradition does not shield them from culpability. If they actively pursue ends that harm this nation, the fact that they are engaging in a great American practice does not make them great Americans. Free speech, which encompasses the right of dissent, is a sacred American right, but no sane person would argue that any exercise of free speech is a patriotic act. The evaluation is contingent upon what is said.

    So why, then, are we as a society afraid to condemn the dissent of others when it falls far outside acceptable bounds? Why is it so politically incorrect to question people’s patriotism no matter how heinous their libeling of America becomes?

    Such individuals are still entitled to the full protections of the law and the complete security of their constitutional rights. But they are not entitled to our respect, and they are not entitled to be considered patriots. The right of free speech is in no way, shape or form meant to protect people from moral judgment.

    When Ted Kennedy gets up and says on an international stage that “shamefully, we now learn that Saddam’s torture chambers reopened under new management-U.S. management,” he is not exercising the dissent of a patriot but that of a traitor. It’s of course true that such egregious comments are not legally treasonous, but when you lie about your country, slander the troops serving overseas and compare our military with that of one of the world’s worst dictators, you have betrayed your nation and are morally guilty of treason.

    When Cindy Sheehan calls the same Iraqi terrorists that slew her son “freedom fighters” and argues that George W. Bush is “ten times worse than Osama Bin Laden,” she’s not engaged in morally defensible dissent. She’s supporting our enemies and lying about the true nature of our country’s military activities. Not once has Bush ever deliberately targeted innocent civilians. It is impossible to validly argue that Bush is a terrorist. Sheehan’s rants qualify as unpatriotic dissent of the worst kind.

    Islamic terrorists have declared holy war on the United States. They have declared a death sentence on every man, woman and child living in this country. They are actively seeking, with the assistance of radical Muslim despots, weapons that would permit them to execute hundreds of thousands of Americans in a single attack. America, under the leadership of George W. Bush, is doing its best to protect its citizens, defeat its enemies and prevent the unthinkable from occurring.

    There are profound political forces within and without the United Sates that would like to see us stand down, concede defeat to Zarqawi in Iraq and cease the post 9/11 strategy that has kept the terrorists on the defensive and prevented a second attack inside our borders. Every American has the right to support a policy of retreat and capitulation, and, as so many leftists do, they also have right to lie and slander the country and the president to further this agenda.

    All Americans-Duke students among them-who have compared Bush with Hitler, falsely accused our army of some of the worst human rights violations in history, against all evidence claimed Iraq was a war for oil and praised or supported the motivations or activities of the terrorists in Iraq or elsewhere are in fact dissenting in a legal and protected fashion. But this legal protection cannot shield their hands from the possibility of someday being stained with the blood of the innocent Americans whose country they betrayed.

    Stephen Miller” https://www.dukechronicle.com/article/2006/02/unpatriotic-dissent

    Reply
  6. posted by MR Bill on

    Here’s Hofstadter’s original “The Paranoid Style of American Politics”.. worth a read, and not too long: https://harpers.org/archive/1964/11/the-paranoid-style-in-american-politics/

    Reply
  7. posted by MR Bill on

    I am remarkably stupid about stuff like facts…https://thedailybanter.com/2018/01/09/stephen-miller-duke-essays/

    Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      Silly you. The Stephen Miller who now works in the White House and graduated from Duke in 2007 is NOT the Stephen Miller who graduated from Duke in 2007 and now works in the White House. Definitely, absolutely, not!

      Reply
    • posted by MR Bill on

      Stephen Miller, the White House one, was a columnist at the Duke Chronicle, the campus newspaper.

      Reply
  8. posted by MR Bill on

    The thing is, “Political Correctness” has been posited as a danger against Free Speech. The Right claims (as we have seen here) that only the Left engages in it;whereas all of us have seen examples of some rightists at all levels attempting to shut down debate or opinion, exactly as they say the Left is. The entire attemp to cast Football players taking a knee to protest the police murder of too many folks as unpatriotic and disrespectful to “the troops” is a perfect example. The edict that no federal employees may say “resist” or “impeachment “ as a violation of the Hatch act is in my view, a “PC” gone mad.
    That the Homocons have glommed onto the “nasty trannies are imperiling our rights by demanding respectful treatment” mindset is to be expected.
    If perceived abuses by the right or left aren’t open to the same criticism, because the term “political correctness “ is the property of the Right, and a priori can’t be used in criticizing Rightwing actions, it proves it’s a scam, an attempt to shut down criticism, and in no way a good faith claim.

    Reply
    • posted by MR Bill on

      Chief White Halfoat: “Racial prejudice is a terrible thing, Yossarian. It really is. It’s a terrible thing to treat a decent, loyal Indian like a nigger, kike, wop or spic.”-Catch 22

      Reply
  9. posted by MR Bill on

    I will say that to insistently and ahistorically claim the the Repbulican Party of Eisenhower and the GOP of todayday are the same things is merely a perverse claim and talking point, like insistently claiming the party of Jim Crow and, say, Eugene Talmadge or Switched to Rebpulican Strom Thurmond is the same thing as the current party nominating Stacey Abrams or Mia Love…

    Reply
  10. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    The term “political correctness” has become a catch-word for right-wing opposition to anything and everything that the right-wing doesn’t like about ideas espoused by the rest of us.

    The term “political correctness” came into popular usage to describe left-liberal dominance and intellectual impoverishment in academia (see, for example, Alan Bloom’s book “The Closing of the American Mind“), but over the years the term has become so diluted and misused as to be meaningless.

    The term is now applied to anything and everything in the world of ideas that the right-wing despises. The spate of comments supposedly “defining” the term is a good example of how the term “political correctness” has become so diluted as to be meaningless. If “political correctness” stands for everything and anything, then it means nothing.

    More troubling, to my mind, is the fact that of late, in the hands of alt-right activists, the term has become a hammer intended shut down speech and expression of ideas. Don’t like someone’s ideas? Accuse them of being “politically correct”, and yell it loudly enough and frequently enough to drown them out.

    We have come full circle. The right-wing, if it had a touch of intellectual honesty, would at this point say: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

    Reply
  11. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    FRAUDULENT POSTS ROADMAP as of 9:47 pm GMT, December 12, 2018

    THREAD: Racism and Political Correctness Have Much in Common, by Stephen H. Miller on November 24, 2018

    This post is intended to provide a roadmap of fraudulent posts in this thread to facilitate removal of the posts.

    The following posts were not authored or posted by the purported author, Tom Scharbach:

    (1) FRAUDULENT COMMENT: 300992
    DATE POSTED: December 11, 2018
    PURPORTED AUTHOR: Tom Scharbach
    CONTENTS OF FRAUDULENT COMMENT: “Political correctness is nothing but neocon zionist kike faggot propaganda invented to justify killing Germans, Palestinians, and black trans women of color who are real women unlike those TERF dyke kike bitches who are all really men as Allah intended.”

    (2) FRAUDULENT COMMENT: 301013
    DATE POSTED: December 11, 2018
    PURPORTED AUTHOR: Tom Scharbach
    CONTENTS OF FRAUDULENT COMMENT: “I didn’t post that. Some dirty faggot kike neocon zionist transphobic shill for the mossad did to justify yet another illegal and immoral AmeriKKKan war for IsraOIL.”

    (3) FRAUDULENT COMMENT: 301014
    DATE POSTED: December 11, 2018
    PURPORTED AUTHOR: Tom Scharbach
    CONTENTS OF FRAUDULENT COMMENT: “I didn’t post that either, you sheeny rag-picking hook-nosed zionist hebe!”

    (4) FRAUDULENT COMMENT: 301015
    DATE POSTED: December 11, 2018
    PURPORTED AUTHOR: Tom Scharbach
    CONTENTS OF FRAUDULENT COMMENT: “No, but I did!”

    Reply

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