July 10, 2020, 08:59:04 PM

Author Topic: Politics and other ailments of the real world  (Read 337582 times)

Offline Bender

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3540 on: June 06, 2020, 06:03:40 AM »
China has a history of misinformation and lack of transparency. For a country that was cause of the virus, their death count is just not believable. It obviously is faked which leads to the conspiracy theorists and fuels the hatred.
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Offline Rostum

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3541 on: June 06, 2020, 11:36:40 AM »
Australia has a Murdoch driven mainstream media. It has become reliant like the rest of the world on Chinese goods and seems very aware that the only country unlikely to go into recession/depression is China who are seeing a boom at the moment due to selling everyone else what they need to deal with the virus.

The likelihood is that China will be able to buy up large amounts of resources and stocks at knockdown prices once we are through the crisis but not through the economic downturn. Europe isn't talking about this. Australia has already passed laws to hinder it. Plus there are allegations that China has been buying political influence by funding the left which I know little about the validity of. I would have thought India and Brazil who are serious Chinese trading partners will also enact laws to limit Chinese expenditure in their economies.

Offline Eli_Freysson

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3542 on: June 06, 2020, 06:08:39 PM »
This article argues that a domino effect is currently in motion that will topple the Trump regime.

I do find it a bit heartening.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/06/how-regime-change-happens/612739/
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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3543 on: June 06, 2020, 09:51:23 PM »
I've just finished watching the film "Hidden figures" again, and it just feels like nothing has progressed, apart from the segregation :-\
And I'm sure a black person will confirm that much more than me, it's just my impression of the world, as it stands.
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Offline JMack

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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3544 on: June 06, 2020, 10:12:22 PM »
I've just finished watching the film "Hidden figures" again, and it just feels like nothing has progressed, apart from the segregation :-\
And I'm sure a black person will confirm that much more than me, it's just my impression of the world, as it stands.

Someone could accuse me of being dismissive in some degree of the change that is still needed, but:

My boss is African American, has married a white Australian, worked for multiple multinational food companies, and is CMO of ours. He was hired by a devout Mormon (of the religion that specifically said Blacks were made inferior by God, as a point of doctrine, until the mid 70s).

Our chief legal officer is Black, and was a reasonably high ranking military lawyer in his younger years.

The national news anchor for NBC is Black. Our former President is Black. The national security advisor under GW Bush is Black.

But, of course, this means there is a path for educated and “appropriate” Blacks, who speak “properly”, act “properly”, and in many cases (thankfully not all) are lighter-skinned.

Meanwhile, at our company, 75% of our factory and warehouse workers are Black, with supervisory staff who are probably 75%+ white. (When my father toured our factory, he told me how concerned he was that I’m working for racists.) Is this direct racism? Classism? Or the inevitable consequence of educational gaps (structural racism?). I don’t know, but it’s real.

Still, no matter how much things abso-freaking-lutely have to get better, I know they already have in many incomplete ways I don’t want to ignore.

The question is: how do we move forward in ways that truly work, not just sound good or spring from good intenti0ns.

« Last Edit: June 06, 2020, 10:14:08 PM by JMack »
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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3545 on: June 06, 2020, 10:59:08 PM »
I see all that you say, but all the news I've seen/heard in the last days make it look like I was living in a bubble of hope and naivety. I thought things were much better than they actually are - although I think that doesn't deny the facts and the advances you mention.

I work for an American company and last week the top president issued a statement on our intranet saying he/the company condemns all racism, and while most of the comments were supportive, there were still a few about "the poor policemen" and "they just want looting", which I found awful.
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Offline Peat

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3546 on: June 07, 2020, 01:38:29 AM »

But, of course, this means there is a path for educated and “appropriate” Blacks, who speak “properly”, act “properly”, and in many cases (thankfully not all) are lighter-skinned.

Meanwhile, at our company, 75% of our factory and warehouse workers are Black, with supervisory staff who are probably 75%+ white. (When my father toured our factory, he told me how concerned he was that I’m working for racists.) Is this direct racism? Classism? Or the inevitable consequence of educational gaps (structural racism?). I don’t know, but it’s real.

The extent to which class, poverty and education play into this is huge and maybe underplayed at times. Of course your company is going to want to hire cheaply where it can, meaning people whose lack of education and aspiration means they can't shop around. Of course they're going to look for people who can align with their values in how they act, who have a bit more education as supervisors. You go through five interviews with warehouse guys looking for your new supervisor and of course the person who can communicate most clearly with you (which of course is usually the guy who has the most shared cultural values). It's just common sense.

But that means they're looking at one class for one role and another for the other.  And the end result isn't sensible at all. And it gets doubly unsensible when race and class get so intertwined.

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Offline JMack

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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3547 on: June 07, 2020, 03:16:37 AM »
Mrs. JMack and I watched the documentary “I am Not Your Negro” this evening, which is about Black author James Baldwin and based on his notes for a final novel he never finished. He was a friend of a Edgar Evers (killed during civil rights era), of Malcolm C (killed during civil rights era), and Martin Luther King (killed and so forth). Fascinating, moving, challenging.

 Here is one quote: you don’t need numbers, you need passion.” Which can taken in terms of numbers of people; but was I think meant in terms of numbers to prove one’s position.

And “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but everything that is to be changed must be faced.”

Our CEO put out a statement in support of the Black community. One of my close colleagues wrote it. I believe our employees will be nearly unanimous in support of it. But we have 35,000 independent sales people, and many are quite conservative and vastly white. We’ll see what flack comes back. I’m glad we put it out there.

Thinking about my dad tonight, who spend his life pushing for a better world.

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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3548 on: June 07, 2020, 08:39:26 AM »
Yesterday I heard a quote that also made good sense: white privilege doesn't mean your life isn't hard, it just means that it's not made harder by the colour of your skin.

So many comments on 'white lives matter too' and the like, as if protecting a group of people somehow unprotects the other, instead of just adding to the betterment of the whole world...
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Offline Rostum

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3549 on: June 07, 2020, 12:08:30 PM »
Is it not wrong to shame people for their skin colour?
In the UK we had an adviser to Corbin declare that a homeless white man has more privilege than a black man. They were the child of millionaires with all benefits that brings and well on their way to being millionaire themselves.

The privilege argument is a construct of identitarian politics and is designed to divide us and throw up barriers despite the proponents of it declaring the opposite.

Offline JMack

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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3550 on: June 07, 2020, 01:23:17 PM »
Is it not wrong to shame people for their skin colour?
In the UK we had an adviser to Corbin declare that a homeless white man has more privilege than a black man. They were the child of millionaires with all benefits that brings and well on their way to being millionaire themselves.

The privilege argument is a construct of identitarian politics and is designed to divide us and throw up barriers despite the proponents of it declaring the opposite.

I respect and share much of this concern. I also dislike the limited claims of Black Lives Matter, when Latinos and Native Americans suffer much the same as African Americans. And in countries around the world, migrants, minorities, and ethnic groups suffer from new and ancient enmities.

But when someone says: “No, all lives matter!” is this an honest statement that since all lives matter I am with you in your struggle? I doubt it. I think it’s a rebuttal to the idea that we should do something positive about the injustices that are real and evident. We can theorize about the reasons behind this rebuttal. It will be different for everyone, but there will be real commonalities.

So how do we do both things? Agree not divide one from another, while acting to heal the divisions that hurt, harm, kill and fester?

As to “white privilege”, I really hate the language. I also hate the language of “micro-aggressions.” Check our some of the video material on Evergreen College for when all this goes way too far.

But I believe I need to be careful in how I reject these concepts. There is a reality that people don’t get killed by police for “driving/jogging/walking to the store while white.” So what do we say about this?

We can say three things:

For a wide range of reasons, police too regularly act out of prejudice, fear, and reliance on deadly force when encountering Black citizens. This is true. Oh, you bad police people. Let’s only blame those under-paid, over-stressed public servants as though they don’t exist within a culture and set of rewards and punishments.

But what do we say about the culture that generates this? The long shameful history of treating Blacks as property (in law or in practice) continues to leave us with deep injustices. Nearly all whites continue to have and many act out of the privilege of not being Blacks, and many Blacks have internalized victimhood. White privilege, even if I dislike the words, exists.

Finally, in my rambling thoughts here, what I dislike so much is the idea that because I have privilege, it is somehow my sin and cannot be expunged. Well if I am defined by my privilege, are Blacks defined by victimhood? No! What I am defined by is my lack of action to change things. Of that, I am entirely guilty.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2020, 01:27:56 PM by JMack »
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Offline Peat

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3551 on: June 07, 2020, 03:27:37 PM »
Kinda +1'ing, but yeah, there's a bunch of people in that social movement that seems to be of the opinion that they've had a rough time as a minority in some way so now they're going to spread it around with a large trowel/aim to reverse things, and that they're as interested in that as actually fixing how humans interact with each other.  It's not particularly likable and in some cases, it seems unfair and concerning.

But whatcha gonna do? It's not like there's a lack of reason behind their actions. It's not like most large movements don't involve compromise. It's not like we can ask them to moderate and seek to understand if we don't do the same for them.

Unfairness will happen whatever and it's about picking which ones we can live with and which ones we can't, and who we can work with and who we can't.

My only real concern is most people whose politics seem to be hard on social justice seem very reluctant to do compromise and consensus going forwards (they'll point to a history of compromise, which is fair, but doesn't help the future) and I don't know where that's going in terms of getting things done. But then my attitude is largely coloured by watching that movement in Labour achieve what I thought was utterly impossible in terms of a gigantic authoritarian swing in terms of power and the future course, and talking online where people just double down on intransigence anyway.
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Offline Eli_Freysson

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3552 on: June 07, 2020, 07:14:15 PM »
I know is trivial in light of everything else, but occasionally culture goes through a lasting shift. And kind of like how movies no longer portray gay men as campy sissies, I wonder if we're seeing the death of the heroic cop in American cinema and TV. Because sweet Jesus, is all stuff going on in America's major cities horrible. And it cannot be carried out by "a few bad apples". It takes a culture of violence, sadism, horrible entitlement, attracting insecure bullies and a mafia-like code of silence.

And all I can do is fantasise about a superhero named Cop Smasher.
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Offline Rostum

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3553 on: June 07, 2020, 07:19:34 PM »
Well I was about 25 m away from the statue of Colston that was ripped down in Bristol today. I watched the march (while blocked in as it crossed union street) and over 5000 attended. Maybe 50 or so soy ninjas from anti-fa leading off with a cry of 'Fuck the Police' over and over again.
These idiots are a cancer to any cause and should be shunned. The petty trouble they cause devalues whatever you are actually protesting about at least they didn't get the credit BLM is weakened by what these pasty white kids have to offer.

In this case an act of vandalism that solved a problem Bristol county council has yoghurt knitted over since I lived there 20 years ago. I doubt if any arrests will be made and something else will go up on the plinth where Colston stood and all will be quietly forgotten. 90% of marchers won't have known whose statue it was. There were a lot of I made this sign saying exactly like Facebook told me too placards. The only thought-provoking one said 'If only you were as anti-racist in real life as you are on Facebook' most people were solemn and a lot of children marching with their parents. A few trying to whip the crowd up and beyond the obvious not really succeeding. I would hope that the speech at the start didn't go for an evergreen type pledge a truly cringeworthy piece of theatre as if lots of innocents who support your cause debasing because they are white is a worthy or noble goal. A well attended and peaceful March until the unseating. (which was afterwards). My main concern was the lack of social distancing and only about half the crowd using masks. You just know a good number of the marchers would have been baying for Cummings to be sacked last week and yet when it comes to them...

Offline Peat

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3554 on: June 07, 2020, 07:31:58 PM »
I know is trivial in light of everything else, but occasionally culture goes through a lasting shift. And kind of like how movies no longer portray gay men as campy sissies, I wonder if we're seeing the death of the heroic cop in American cinema and TV. Because sweet Jesus, is all stuff going on in America's major cities horrible. And it cannot be carried out by "a few bad apples". It takes a culture of violence, sadism, horrible entitlement, attracting insecure bullies and a mafia-like code of silence.

And all I can do is fantasise about a superhero named Cop Smasher.

That would be a horrific consequence because if you want to reform law enforcement, removing positive examples and any idea they should be anything other than the jackbooted tools of state enforcement who'll always be hated by dirty hippies and should just ignore them is an abysmal way to go.

This is a chance for healing and reform and shouldn't be frittered away on revenge, prejudice, and trying to ensure there's more problems.

edit: Actually, I'm still a little vexed about this so I'll continue.

My grandfather was in the police. My cousin and her husband are in the police. They did it to serve their country and communities. Do you think it's a good thing that my cousin's kids should grow up with everything on TV telling them that their parents are thugs and villains, just like a black person's kids would have not so long ago?

There are huge questions that need to be asked about the police. Huge. Given the nature of their work there always be, but now more so than ever. And there'll be some deservedly negative portrayals on the screen. But to remove all acknowledgement of positive examples, that they've done heroic things? To want that?

edit edit: Sorry for unloading on you about this Eli - just it touched a raw nerve I've got over this.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2020, 09:52:16 PM by Peat »
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