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#167- A Few Thoughts on White Supremacy

 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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26 August 2019 11:11
 

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris addresses listener concerns that he uses a “double standard” to evaluate the relative threats of white supremacy and jihadism.

#167- A Few Thoughts on White Supremacy


This thread is for listeners’ comments.

 
 
John V. Linton
 
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John V. Linton
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26 August 2019 12:55
 

Sam Harris is excellent here until the last 10 minutes, when he gives the obligatory sop to his anti-Trump hysteria.

“Kids in cages” happened under Obama too.  Try this logic on for size, Sam:

1) Adults cross the southern border in large quantities every day with kids, in many instances which they aren’t even the kids’ parents.

2) Any enforcement of the EXTANT law requires the detaining of families who enter illegally, as the vast majority of catch-and-release for future summons do not appear.

3) It is the humane interest of the children to discourage the rate of trafficking, kidnapping, recycling, and future 1,000 mile journeys in which they are INVOLUNTARY participants.

4) Therefore, it is more humane to detain the kids (with their “parents”, when that is even the case), than to permit a free-for-all preferred by today’s left in which there is no border, and in which this mass migration continues, chaotically, including much human misery.

This case can be quite reasonably made.

Sam is excellent that the left is made up of (too many) liars, and KUDOS to Sam that the “good people on both sides” argument was about statue debate people—not the white supremacists.

Sam, you are 80% solid, but need to move a bit more rightward…

“The derangement of the left is [not] totally understandable”, btw, unless you mean to condescend utterly to the left.

[ Edited: 26 August 2019 13:00 by John V. Linton]
 
DEGENERATEON
 
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DEGENERATEON
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27 August 2019 04:37
 

Sam states that he believes Trump is a racist, and that he has said this before.  Why do I find it so difficult to find any clips of Sam discussing this?  He has endlessly called Trump a liar, a buffoon, a snake oil salesman, a habitual liar, a con man, a person with no moral compass, a pussy grabbing misogynist.  This was through several podcasts before and after the election (and appearances on tv and other podcasts).  But I’m having the hardest time finding him saying Trump is a racist and discussing it.
I’m not saying that he hasn’t mentioned it (and if someone can provide a link I’d appreciate it), but to have a president that you clearly believe is a RACIST and not give that much attention strikes me as strange. 
The podcast with Scott Adams doesn’t seem to include any mention of Trump’s racism.  But the fact that Trump lies is discussed ad nauseum in this podcast and in several other instances.  A politician who lies?!  Incredible!  But the fact that you believe the president (or soon to be president) of the United States is a RACIST doesn’t get a mention?  The first time I heard Sam state this was the housekeeping segment that he is now discussing. 
Sam says the “good people on both sides” and “go back to your country” statements are not racist.  What is?  Where does he discuss why our sitting president is a racist and his degree of racism?  Isn’t this worth MORE time than calling him a liar or con man?

 
John V. Linton
 
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27 August 2019 05:20
 
DEGENERATEON - 27 August 2019 04:37 AM

Sam states that he believes Trump is a racist, and that he has said this before.  Why do I find it so difficult to find any clips of Sam discussing this?  He has endlessly called Trump a liar, a buffoon, a snake oil salesman, a habitual liar, a con man, a person with no moral compass, a pussy grabbing misogynist.  This was through several podcasts before and after the election (and appearances on tv and other podcasts).  But I’m having the hardest time finding him saying Trump is a racist and discussing it.
I’m not saying that he hasn’t mentioned it (and if someone can provide a link I’d appreciate it), but to have a president that you clearly believe is a RACIST and not give that much attention strikes me as strange. 
The podcast with Scott Adams doesn’t seem to include any mention of Trump’s racism.  But the fact that Trump lies is discussed ad nauseum in this podcast and in several other instances.  A politician who lies?!  Incredible!  But the fact that you believe the president (or soon to be president) of the United States is a RACIST doesn’t get a mention?  The first time I heard Sam state this was the housekeeping segment that he is now discussing. 
Sam says the “good people on both sides” and “go back to your country” statements are not racist.  What is?  Where does he discuss why our sitting president is a racist and his degree of racism?  Isn’t this worth MORE time than calling him a liar or con man?

This is an excellent point.

IMHO there is a real cognitive dissonance in the way Harris talks about Trump.  (I happen to think he is not a racist, but says inflammatory and callous things, narcissist that he is.)

Harris cannot square his role as public intellectual with his lifelong emotional and social sympathies with the left, and therefore you do not get quite the quotient of pure-grain that you get with Paglia or Peterson, who’ve thrown it all away and will purely tell you exactly what they think.

Harris is irrational in his Trump hysterics.  He goes on as you say—but if you watch him on a Rubin podcast a year back or so, Harris pauses awkwardly when deciding whether Trump or today’s left would have been a worse vote in 2016.  This is an inadvertently honest moment of illumination.

I happen to think the case against elevating today’s left into power is so strong that perhaps even a Trump vote might have been justified.  Harris thinks this too, but privately.  He’s smart enough to see the disaster coming now from the harder left having taken over the Dem party.  And while Harris tried to keep the Russiagate canard going strong by having hysterics like Applebaum on, he always must have been smart enough in private to know it was all hogwash…

There is a problem with Trump for Harris, and while I greatly admire the (latter) man, he cannot square his Andrew Sullivan-like vituperation with the cold hard imperatives of logic, in which Trump is the only heat-shield we have against the crazies of the left from gaining power…

 
mapadofu
 
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27 August 2019 05:28
 

John, what counts as being a racist, in your book?

 
John V. Linton
 
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27 August 2019 05:47
 

Well obviously if someone has hatred for a specific group in their own heart, which we can’t see…

Or if someone generalizes about a given racial group in a repeated vicious way, or if one takes actions designed to hurt one group based on such an attribute.

But concern with illegal immigration from a region that is geographically contiguous and that has a different racial distribution can too easily be demagogued by those who wish for open borders…

 
mapadofu
 
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27 August 2019 06:04
 

Why does the discrimination need to be “vicious”?

 
John V. Linton
 
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27 August 2019 06:15
 
mapadofu - 27 August 2019 06:04 AM

Why does the discrimination need to be “vicious”?

Well you can substitute whatever pejorative you want.  The point is I am not for the concept creep we are now seeing everywhere in relation to the term.

E.g. Trump made a milquetoast comment about Jewish loyalty last week, clearly a vote-fawning exercise and not intended to invoke the “dual loyalty” trope that sent the networks ablazing that he’s a raging anti-Semite.  There’s something wrong with the MSM and the left in seeing discrimination nearly everywhere these days.  It is, as Peterson argues, a form of cultural Marxism coming out of the universities designed to supplant class with identity attributes in order to continually foment a leftward revolution.

Omar’s and Tlaib’s cartoon tweet were nigh infinitely more antisemitic than anything Trump has ever said.  But a jest will be dredged up here or there, literalized, and parsed endlessly, when one-third of the man’s immediate family is Jewish and he is the best friend Israel ever had.

The left can no longer detect the edge of its own neuroses.

 
mapadofu
 
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mapadofu
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27 August 2019 06:45
 

Calling out Jews as disloyal to the US —  seems near the the epitome of anti-Semitic sentiments.

I don’t recall exactly what he said so I’m using your description of it, and thus also don’t know whether it was “viscous” or not.

What would the president, or some other public figure have to say for you to consider it racist?

Also, exactly whose votes is he fawning for?

 
DEGENERATEON
 
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27 August 2019 07:14
 

I found something (11:30 - 12:30 of the link below)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdDo1A7EsyM&t=3052s

Although it’s hard to count this.  He says he’s not really bothered by his racism, it’s possibly just an act to pander to his base.  This is a far cry from thinking the president is a racist and that his level of racism is a genuine concern. 

Mapadofu, I think what you’re trying to do is get someone to trigger the trip-wire that Trump is a racist.  And once that term (in whatever degree it is admitted) is triggered, you’ve accomplished your goal.  Trump is a racist and we now have a white supremecist as the leader of our country.  I agree with John, it’s the “concept creep” or the insistence that anything that could possibly be considered discrimination leads to the label racist - and now they’re in the bucket with Neo-nazis. 

It’s a term that gets thrown around too loosely and has lost it’s meaning.  I’ve been accused of being a racist on this forum because of my criticism of BLM.  Don’t criticize immigration or anything to do with minorities because you’re wrong and racist!  Sam Harris has been called a racist for his views, a gateway drug to the Alt-right.  It’s insane.

 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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27 August 2019 10:30
 

Racism isn’t the one thing. There are folks who have personal convictions about the superiority and inferiority of races and broadcast this opinion publicly. Currently such folks have little overt political influence in modern culture. It’s taboo to be racist and thank goodness for that. The other and I think more important sort of racism is the person who doesn’t broadcast this opinion but holds it covertly except in locker room talk. The latter sort is worse because they do tend to gather political capital and influence. Rather than give up their hand they cultivate and defend institutional standards that originated when racism wasn’t a taboo. It’s hard to prove this charge in isolation but I am certain that we have thousands if not millions of such individuals in this country. Largely exposed on social media in recent times.

I believe Donald Trump qualifies under the second definition. At least since his alliance with evangelical neo cons. I don’t like saying it because I don’t think its especially useful to call out this kind of racism as a personal issue. The charge tends to be ammunition for the accused. There is simply no escaping his repeated failure to call manifestly racist groups and individuals by their right name. I doubt he hates minority races on some visceral, personal level. But he fails to represent the cultural consensus on equality and instead has allied himself with a number of groups who have a clearly separatist and/or chauvinist orientation. Again hard to prove on a personal level but impossible to escape upon a larger survey.

To put it another way if a politician who was not Donald Trump upon seeing his or her regalia sported alongside swastikas and torch wielding mobs would decisively disavow the people who did so. The fact that he instead chose to mollify and minimize speaks volumes about his personal priorities and the priorities of people who support him. In the scope of our nations history this isn’t trivial. Racist groups are paying close attention to these choices and maneuvering accordingly. We are judged by the company we keep. Trump has chosen to occupy the highest office in the land and must therefore be evaluated according to the highest standards. On the issue of equality, civil rights and the historical arc of social justice he fails profoundly. If we truly are judged by the company we keep than Trump is indeed a racist. I don’t see any way out of that.

 
mapadofu
 
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27 August 2019 11:22
 

Dgen.  I just think it’s silly to tie yourself in mental knots to avoid recognizing that Donald Trump is a racist; that is its own kind of concept creep resulting in equating racism with white supremacy. 

I’m not saying that he’s a white nationalist (though is does seem pretty keen on giving them cover, maybe cynically) or consistently consumed by racial animus (I figure where he targets his anger isn’t confined to any specific subgroups) Just that he pretty regularly expresses racist views.  In my estimation, at least Archie Bunker kind of racism.

I don’t think you’ll find much from Sam on Trump’s racism; maybe Sam thinks it is obvious and unimportant relative to the other features that make Trump unsuitable as president.

[ Edited: 27 August 2019 11:35 by mapadofu]
 
Twissel
 
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27 August 2019 11:43
 

He is an old-school racist to the point where he thinks it’s normal.

Get over it.

 
 
DEGENERATEON
 
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27 August 2019 12:42
 
mapadofu - 27 August 2019 11:22 AM

Dgen.  I just think it’s silly to tie yourself in mental knots to avoid recognizing that Donald Trump is a racist; that is its own kind of concept creep resulting in equating racism with white supremacy. 

I’m not saying that he’s a white nationalist (though is does seem pretty keen on giving them cover, maybe cynically) or consistently consumed by racial animus (I figure where he targets his anger isn’t confined to any specific subgroups) Just that he pretty regularly expresses racist views.  In my estimation, at least Archie Bunker kind of racism.

I don’t think you’ll find much from Sam on Trump’s racism; maybe Sam thinks it is obvious and unimportant relative to the other features that make Trump unsuitable as president.

Well let me try to untangle this mental knot.  In the video I linked, Sam states that he believes Trump’s racism is probably an act to pander to his base.  That was in 2016.  Sam doesn’t make a lot of statements without unpacking it fully - so when he says “I believe Trump is a racist” in 2019, you’d expect some dialog about it.  Sam doesn’t give short answers.  And when he has a point (like Trump is a liar, con-man, etc.) he HAMMERS it home.  He hates Trump, and he fully admits it.  You don’t recognize that this is an egregious departure from how he usually operates?  Especially considering the fact that he doesn’t consider the “good people on both sides” and “go back to your countries” as examples of racism?  These two examples are proof positive from 90% of the people I have talked to about Trump.  So you can say I’m tying myself into mental knots, but this line of reasoning doesn’t seem consistent to me.

I probably won’t get my answer because Sam could care less about this site, but I was hoping to get a lead on ANYTHING more than just “I believe he’s a racist”.  If it’s true that he just thinks it’s obvious and really isn’t a concerning issue, then would you agree that this “Archie Bunker-racism” isn’t really a concern?  Because you can’t have it both ways.  If this racism raises any major concern, why wouldn’t Sam address it with any type of clarity?

You can say that you don’t speak for Sam, but you are untying the knot by stating “maybe Sam thinks it is obvious and unimportant relative to the other features that make Trump unsuitable as president.”

Where do you rank your concern with Trump’s racism?  Is it so low on the list that it’s almost completely ignored?

 
mapadofu
 
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27 August 2019 13:56
 

For me, Trump’s racism should not be ignored; it’s not the most problematic aspect of his personality and administration, but worth keeping mind of. 

I suspect that for Sam it is way down on the list.  I interpret Sam’s “I know he is a racist”, without further elaboration as a defensive move — he doesn’t want to focus on it, but he needs to make sure that everybody knows where he stands to partially defuse attacks from the left.  I don’t find this to be a inconsistent position for him to take.

The knots I referred to are those that come from the re-definition of racism, or revisionist reinterpretations of his actions required in order to avoid seeing Trump’s racist actions for what they are.  I wasn’t referring to Sam’s position.

[ Edited: 27 August 2019 13:59 by mapadofu]
 
John V. Linton
 
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27 August 2019 15:08
 

Sam Harris doesn’t elaborate on his charge that Trump is a racist because he doesn’t really believe it, rather obviously, as there’s not much evidence for it.

The liberals on this board who see racism by association or ~“failure to condemn hate group A” never speak of the left’s association with Al Sharpton or Reverend Wright or BLM or the haters of SPLC, as if only right-wing racism and hate exists…

It’s a bit too convenient that the only candidate who could have defeated HRC in 2016, thereby setting the country on a solidly more conservative trajectory on a dozen issues that divide the nation closely, also happens to be the newest incarnation of David Duke.  The left plays this game all the time, with blinders on, overly parsing every Trump tweet while sweeping Omar’s and Tlaib’s bile under the rug, as “they can’t be racist”, due to the left’s absurd intersectional nonsense…

The left also injects race into non-racial issues, like “climate justice”, whatever that means…  This is clearly an attempt to use the moral sheen of fighting racism to cover their large-scale statist, elitist aims.  By invoking race, the activists of the harder left (also known as our MSM) curtail the Overton window, arguing for leftward policies like open borders and putting the fear of god into anyone who dares publicly question such insensate policies.

Nor does the left speak anymore very well for marginalized groups; rather the left uses said groups as human shields.  More often than not, minorities increasingly suffer under leftist utopian visions.  They suffer from an expansive state, looking to oversee everyone, with politicians always promising new things; they suffer from low employment (when taxes are raised); from the costs of all these absurd green-energy boondoggles; from the left’s view of civil order (let the craziest most violent people run wild like in Portland or Baltimore) while the vast majority of law-abiding minorities who live in poor neighborhoods shelter in their homes against all the chaos, perhaps clutching a gun defensively against the disorder of laissez-faire policing, cursing the idiot MSM for their focus on the police being the source of all evil.

The left then virtue-signals about football kneeling, tapping into everyone’s amygdala, whilst meanwhile doing nothing substantive to actually improve the lives of minorities, or frankly anyone else.

The left continually thinks the country hasn’t begun to promise new entitlements, new debt, new government takeovers—because those work so very well whenever the state gains so much power.

Meanwhile they studiously oppose vouchers, which minorities strongly support, in a sop to their statist “one-size-fits-all” view of public education, and on and on…  (Look at how well the past three federal education initiatives worked—or even how much public school teachers now detest them.)

Low minority unemployment and (some) prison reform has happened far more under this president than the previous 3 put together.

[ Edited: 27 August 2019 16:03 by John V. Linton]
 
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