Stuff White People Say

November 17, 2008

“If more POC than just you complained, I would reconsider”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Restructure! @ 4:30 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

I don’t see a problem with […]. If more POC than just you complained, I would reconsider this method.

Macon D

WTF does my race have to do with whether my argument is valid? Why does Macon D need some critical number of POC who say the same thing before he even considers it a valid argument?

If a gay person tells me that what I said was heterosexist, I’m not going to say to him, “Well, I’ll consider it possibly true only if more gays than you complained about it.”

What kind of “antiracist” is Macon D if he thinks that racism is just about POC’s preferences?

Related Macon D quote:

Learning about race seems to require some generalization. I think this is especially true if a white person wants to stop saying things to POC, or doing things to them, that are racist.

And yet, if I’m reading your post right, you offer no guidelines for proper forms of generalization by whites about the racial experiences of people of color. If, for instance, one POC does not like it when a white person says this or that to them (e.g., “My, you’re so articulate!”), and then another member of that non-white racial group also doesn’t like that, and then another also doesn’t like it, shouldn’t the white person realize, at some point, that members of that non-white racial group don’t like it when white people say that thing to them? If so, that realization seems to require generalization, doesn’t it?

Wow, so if only one POC complains to him about it, then to Macon D, her complaint is bullshit and not worth considering.

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17 Comments »

  1. If a gay person tells me that what I said was heterosexist, I’m not going to say to him, “Well, I’ll consider it possibly true only if more gays than you complained about it.”

    So what if Justice Clarence Thomas (who’s African American) told me that affirmative action is discriminatory against whites? Should I believe him, just because he’s black and he’s talking about race?

    WTF does my race have to do with whether my argument is valid?

    Because what we were talking about was racism.

    Why does Macon D need some critical number of POC who say the same thing before he even considers it a valid argument?

    Because if it’s an argument I’ve never heard before, I’m not going to believe it just because one person said it’s true. My name isn’t Forrest Gump, you know. And I don’t need some critical number. . .

    Comment by macon d — November 17, 2008 @ 5:06 am | Reply

  2. So what if Justice Clarence Thomas (who’s African American) told me that affirmative action is discriminatory against whites? Should I believe him, just because he’s black and he’s talking about race?

    No, you should listen to his damn argument and use your critical thinking skills to determine if it’s logical and makes sense.

    Are you also suggesting that you believe what a POC says only because they are saying what most POC say?

    Comment by Restructure! — November 17, 2008 @ 5:15 am | Reply

  3. Macon D,

    WTF does my race have to do with whether my argument is valid?

    Because what we were talking about was racism.

    A person’s has nothing to do with validity, even if we’re talking about racism.

    Oh wait, you probably have no concept of what validity means.

    If X is true, it is true regardless of the race of the person who claims X, and it is true even if nobody claims that X is true.

    Check out LLB’s post, since he’s a much faster learner than you are.

    Because if it’s an argument I’ve never heard before,

    It’s comments like this that make me think that you are like conservatives in some ways.

    I’m not going to believe it just because one person said it’s true.

    You’re right. You also shouldn’t dismiss something just because only one person said it’s true.

    You have absolutely no critical thinking skills. It’s sheer luck that you ended up on the left than the right.

    Comment by Restructure! — November 17, 2008 @ 5:24 am | Reply

  4. No, you should listen to his damn argument and use your critical thinking skills to determine if it’s logical and makes sense.

    Okay, but go back to the original “method” under question, the posting on my blog of racist images to make points about racism. You questioned that. I did “use my critical thinking skills,” and determined that I disagreed with you. But I also acknowledge that my white blinders might be getting in the way, preventing me from understanding the differing perspectives of non-white people; so I wrote, if more non-white people complained, then “I would reconsider this method,” that is, listen to their argument, use my critical thinking skills, etc.

    So no, I’m not suggesting that I believe what a POC says only because they are saying what most POC say.

    Comment by macon d — November 17, 2008 @ 5:29 am | Reply

  5. You have absolutely no critical thinking skills.

    Ridiculous mischaracterization.

    Comment by macon d — November 17, 2008 @ 5:31 am | Reply

  6. You have absolutely no critical thinking skills.

    Ridiculous mischaracterization.

    Huh??

    How can someone mischaracterize whether you have “no critical thinking skills (CTS)”, Macon? It’s like you’re quibbling over semantics — suggesting Restructure made too sweeping of a statement. Like its unfair to say you have “no CTS” though you’d have to admit your CTS leave a lot to be desired.

    Comment by Nquest — November 17, 2008 @ 5:36 am | Reply

  7. So what if Justice Clarence Thomas (who’s African American) told me that affirmative action is discriminatory against whites? Should I believe him, just because he’s black and he’s talking about race?

    This is why you’ve earned the title of DUMBAZZ!

    It’s rather clear when Restructure asked you what does her race have to do with the validity of her argument that she was saying that a valid argument needs no one to second the motion, much less a herd, for the argument/point/criticism, etc. to be valid.

    She clearly indicated that you should judge the validity of an argument/criticism on its merits vs. some critical mass number count.

    Comment by Nquest — November 17, 2008 @ 5:42 am | Reply

  8. Nq @ #7:

    See Macon @ # 4

    Comment by macon d — November 17, 2008 @ 5:46 am | Reply

  9. Because if it’s an argument I’ve never heard before, I’m not going to believe it just because one person said it’s true. Macon D

    Now I’ve been slow to question whether Macon is an anti-racist or not (save for when we discovered whiteantiracist.wordpress.com) but this kind of stuff makes you wonder. My question, however, would be (more explicit):

    How is it that an anti-racist, someone who is as avid a reader as Macon appears to be…. how is it that said anti-racist would be so unfamiliar with the kind of things we say as to have never heard the arguments before even though will defensively Macon act like he “graduated high school” (his rhetoric, not mine) and is familiar and the points made have “occurred” to him.

    Also, how is it that an anti-racist would be so distrustful and resistant to the arguments he’d prefer to take a poll on or wait until some verdict is rendered from other POC (particularly “most of the many who visit” SWPD) who, as I noted, rarely make arguments against the actual points we make if they say anything on the SPECIFIC threads we’ve made SPECIFIC criticisms on.

    I guess we have to “prove ourselves” by showing Macon how many people agree with us in order for Macon to trust that we know what we’re talking about, that we say things from a valid point of reference and can compose logical arguments that are worthy of acceptance because we’ve either gotten other POC to accept them or can “prove ourselves” by showing how a critical mass of POC agree with us… You know, since Macon is much more in tune with what POC think than we ever could be.

    I mean, who are we? We haven’t been studying this stuff as long as Macon has….

    Also, on the “proving ourselves” front… We better beef up our numbers. The fact that the only self-identified POC to respond to Macon’s “handshake” thread raised the same objections I did wasn’t enough.

    Comment by Nquest — November 17, 2008 @ 6:05 am | Reply

  10. MD @ 8

    NQ @ 6

    Your statement “Ridiculous mischaracterization” still doesn’t make sense.

    (1) Because someone assessment that you have “no CTS” isn’t a characterization of something you said but of your abilities or, more precisely, you mental capacity to perform complex thinking and not ask stupid questions which have no basis — no basis, again, because Restructure’s post was clear and explicit in saying “race” was irrelevant to the validity of an argument but what was the first thing your dumbazz did? Ask a rhetorical question that tried to make an issue out of race. It’s like you completely forget Restructure’s first question-statement or intentionally ignored it, DECONTEXTUALIZING his statement about the gay person, just to try to score a point.

    (2) @ post #6

    Comment by Nquest — November 17, 2008 @ 6:17 am | Reply

  11. Critical Thinking Skills 101, Macon…

    Says that you don’t lose sight of the main idea and, in this case, when you’re trying to argue or dispute someone’s point… Well, you have to make sure your argument directly addresses that main idea. That’s exactly what you didn’t do. You took a flyer on that one.

    But maybe you can explain your response — “Because what we were talking about was racism.” — to Restructure’s question — WTF does my race have to do with whether my argument is valid?

    What? Were you thinking something along the lines of “Since non-white people have to study white people, they often know more than whites themselves do about what being trained into whiteness commonly does to a person”…??

    If that’s not it… why is Restructure’s race relevant/important? I mean, you’re White. You have a race but you absolutely didn’t say, “if more White people complained, I would reconsider this method.”

    Comment by Nquest — November 17, 2008 @ 6:32 am | Reply

  12. Macon D,

    Okay, but go back to the original “method” under question, the posting on my blog of racist images to make points about racism. You questioned that. I did “use my critical thinking skills,” and determined that I disagreed with you.

    Yet your answer was not “I disagree because of reason Y.” Your response was that because I’m a POC and you have not heard other POC complain about the same thing, my views should not be taken seriously.

    But I also acknowledge that my white blinders might be getting in the way, preventing me from understanding the differing perspectives of non-white people; so I wrote, if more non-white people complained, then “I would reconsider this method,” that is, listen to their argument, use my critical thinking skills, etc.

    This is exactly the problem. You don’t even try to compensate for your white bias. You only do it if you get publicly shamed into doing it, and THEN you start taking what POC say seriously.

    Comment by Restructure! — November 17, 2008 @ 12:20 pm | Reply

  13. So what if Justice Clarence Thomas (who’s African American) told me that affirmative action is discriminatory against whites? Should I believe him, just because he’s black and he’s talking about race?

    this demonstrates that you don’t want to challenge white supremacy. Challenging white supremacy means that you make up your own mind based on the summary of information you get about this system. It means to understand or try to understand the white/European mind-set behind it, the collective, understanding the collective impact.

    When for example Obama says “mutts like me” that doesn’t mean to start a survey among Black people with also white ancestry “Hey, do you find the word mutt offensive or can I call you that way now, you know, because Obama said it”. It means, to have an own understanding, empathy perhaps, and this includes that I don’t need a single Black voice, I don’t use this word towards people, period. And if there were 10,000 people who say they had no problem with it I still won’t use it.

    Comment by jwbe — November 17, 2008 @ 12:35 pm | Reply

  14. Another example is the word denigrate

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/denigrate
    Main Entry: den·i·grate Pronunciation: \’de-ni-?grat\ Function: transitive verb Inflected Form(s): den·i·grat·ed; den·i·grat·ing Etymology: Latin denigratus, past participle of denigrare, from de- + nigrare to blacken, from nigr-, niger black

    With that knowledge I personally won’t use it. I don’t need a survey

    Comment by jwbe — November 17, 2008 @ 1:04 pm | Reply

  15. Another reason why Macon’s stock Clarence Thomas rhetorical question was a stupid, insulting question:

    Why does it matter who is speaking? The truth-value of a proposition is independent of its speaker.

    If there are such things as truths about racism and what we call “race”, then these truths exist independently of who speaks about them and regardless of if anyone speaks about them at all. The real problem here is not who is speaking, but what is being said.

    http://restructure.wordpress.com/2008/08/14/who-has-the-right-to-speak-about-racism/

    Damn that Restructure is seriously consistent.

    Comment by nquest2xl — November 17, 2008 @ 4:08 pm | Reply

  16. […] “critical number” of POC to say the same thing before he even considers the argument, Macon D replied (my words are in italics): Why does Macon D need some critical number of POC who say the same thing […]

    Pingback by Understanding racism requires recognizing faulty logic. « Restructure! — November 24, 2008 @ 1:20 pm | Reply

  17. […] Stuff White People Say: “If more POC than just you complained, I would reconsider” by Restructure! at Stuff White People Say […]

    Pingback by White people dismiss non-white knowledge before they can question it. « Restructure! — October 21, 2009 @ 12:15 am | Reply


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