Poll: The Racist Comment

Ethics Alarms received another one of its periodic racist comments today. As with most of them, it was generated by this post, about the racist site Chimpmania.

Unlike most of the comments I get of this ilk, this one is reasonably well-written: the writer probably has most of his teeth and would beat the kid who plays the banjo in “Deliverance” handily in Scrabble.

I routinely spam these kinds of comments, even the articulate ones. For a while I would allow the first one in, with a warning, but for more than a year I’ve just refused to publish them. Is that both ethical and wise, though? I am liking all forms of viewpoint censorship less and less of late, especially since Ethics Alarms is a victim of it. If there are substantial numbers of people who think like this bigot, shouldn’t the rest of us know about it, and learn what we can about their reasoning and motivation?

The contrary view is that this comment and the others like it are res ipsa loquitur, inarguable examples of uncivilized discourse that society reasonable and legitimately refuses to tolerate for its own safety The problem with this construct is that there are no clear standards to block the slide on the slippery slope. If it is legitimate to put racism, anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial and misogyny in the category of the properly censored, why not, according to another censor’s sensibilities, climate change skepticism or support for President Trump?

I’m interested in how you respond to this poll:

31 thoughts on “Poll: The Racist Comment

  1. If the nutter just won’t stop, I see no reason to put up with unethical hate from any source.

    I worked for exceptional cases. Some of that stuff is educational, in a ‘this exists and we should know that’ sort of way.

  2. It depends on whether the comment adds to or relates to the discussion. Vitriol or hateful commentary rarely adds to the discussion. However, a racist viewpoint is not per se unethical.


  3. I’m inclined to say “allow it”. Even under not-insane-the-current-year standards some would consider this racist: https://ethicsalarms.com/2016/03/01/cutting-the-racial-gordian-knot-what-are-the-ethical-implications-of-the-terrible-economic-disparity-between-black-and-white-in-america/

    While I’m sure what you’ve written is nowhere near the comment in question I’m a big fan of keeping the Overton Window wide, and erring on the side of too much liberty.

    Also, I’ve seen that while First Amendment protections are still strong, and maybe getting stronger, cultural free speech is in danger because it is not supported. And it’s not only big companies, even strong proponents for it have faltered in the face of Trump and woke mobs (Ken White’s descent into this has made me sad).

  4. Always, on the condition of both having a way to have the comments present so that we see what is submitted and having them flagged/categorized/grouped so that they are collapsed with a notifying tag by default so that the reader can skip over and the stream substantive comments are not interrupted.

  5. Considering that so many things are considered racist thought crime these days, I’m tempted to give a knee jerk response that you should allow them as they’re probably not really racist.

    However, you are the host and I trust you to discern between what is really racist and what is just a controversial opinion well-stated.

    So, perhaps, on a case-by-case basis, you allow certain quality comments into the discussion.

    • Considering that so many things are considered racist thought crime these days, I’m tempted to give a knee jerk response that you should allow them as they’re probably not really racist.

      The challenge I see with that approach is it gives the racial grievance industry fodder. The rational adults in the middle don’t have a problem spotting real racism with malintent and the “micro-agression” BS of the progressives.

      In addition, I will not allow the progressives to change me. Real racism is ugly and so opposite of my moral fiber that I don’t want to be associated with it. I do believe in the right of free speech. I believe that racist people have a right to be the assholes that they are and I defended their right to be an asshole. I’ll simultaneously mock them and decry what they do, but only with words I reject their views and if it is my platform, they don’t get to speak.

  6. Jack,
    This is your blog, you set the standards.

    On my blog; “I reserve the right to delete any comment and/or ban any commenter without warning. If you choose; we can work together to find a solution to perceived problems but it’s a two way street which sometimes requires compromise to accomplish the goal; the goal here is to meet the standards and in this case the standards are set by the blogger – me.”

    Comments posted by persons other than the blogger do not reflect the opinions of the blogger they reflect the opinions of the commenter.

  7. [This post dedicated to Joed68] 🙂

    I read almost every comment on that old blog post from 2013. I read this post of yours Jack with interest. In that post, I think it is fair to say, you reveal in clear terms the essence of American Progressive Liberalism.

    Honestly, I cannot bear to ‘read’ the Chimpmania site because there is little to read and it is all very distracting. My idea of a forum is where people write essays (with footnotes!) using all the proper terms of civil discourse. However, my approach to those sorts of sites, and the expressions of the people there, is different. The way that I approach *them* is by researching them and the history in the nation that has produced them. I have a basic and general sympathy (or solidarity if you wish) with them. I find them to be the *original demographic* that has been subjected to the social engineering processes that I often refer to. The beginnings of their resistance made sense to me, and I look at their extreme anger through a lens of sympathy and of understanding. (And since I have no problem at all with ‘racialist’ definitions, and see the individual races as requiring preservation, not ‘blending’, I have no problem with the discourse that supports a racialist perspective. It’s like “ho-hum” no big deal. Others collapse into a puddle when they encounter the terms of distinction, and thus of hierarchy).

    I ‘researched’ the issues by reading, for one example, Kathleen Belew’s book “Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America” (and 5-6 other titles to get background on America’s ‘culture wars’). That led to researching the Randy Weaver incident, reading about the Militia Movement, and then understanding a cultural engineering process that has been going on in America as the nation is made into the Americanopolis. By using the term Americanopolis I do mean it in the critical sense. I also have read (((Semitism))) Being Jewish in America in the Age of Trump by Jonathan Weisman (essentially, the NYTs base-perspective on current events and the motive reason why *Trump* is hated). In addition I have read books like Out Of The Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture by Anthony Esolen.

    I mention these titles because to get to the bottom of what is really going on in America there is no way around having to do the research. I have come to see that there is a battle going on over the essential definition of *America*. On the Democrat debates a few nights back for example, when they spoke in Spanish, that clearly revealed that they are now beginning to speak to *their constituency*. Don’t you see what this means? It is all coming out in the open now. In case there is any doubt or misunderstanding I place my base solidarity with the original demographic of America. But for most who read here, that definition is ‘illegal’.

    Since I have also actually read David Duke’s autobiography and made an effort to understand his discourse, I see his position in a very different light than most seem to. For example David Duke was influenced by reading The Dispossessed Majority, and book that would without any doubt revolutionize the views of most who read on these pages. I regard Duke as a bona fide American patriot. He is part of the original patriotic class in my view. And — though I must plead for apologies when I say this — I question the entire structure of Jack’s ultra-liberalism. And that is what it is. For me to say that is not wrong and I should not be blamed for it.

    If we are going to understand *what is going on in America* — this is my view — we really have to make an effort to get to the bedrock that under-structures the ideas we hold. And that, for me, means examining our ‘internal metaphysics’: the notions and the views that we regard as ‘natural’ ‘right’ and ‘good’.

    The problem in allowing in dissident opinion on a blog like this, and especially in this particular juncture of American (and world) history, is that if *we* are really allowed to express our ideas and if we make *our* appeal to the mass of America, we will slaughter American Progressive Liberalism in its present form(s). The reason is simple: our ideas have a basis in rationalism and in conservative reasoning. We are the ones who have the ideas, and we are the ones whose ideas are supported by the best and the clearest reasoning.

    The reason I have issues with Chimpmania is not because I think their basic position is wrong, but because it is not lucidly and unemotionally expressed, and its vehicle of expression is pure ugliness. Pure ugliness, and raw anger, are not the stuff of lucid communication. So, if you wish to read coherent and well-studied discourse I recommend Counter-Currents, American Renaissance, Occidental Review. These are the ‘dangerous’ sites because their expressions are lucid.

    The ideas *we* are working with, over the next 10-30 years, are going to upend ‘the liberal construct’ so — permit me to say! — get used to it. We are here to stay.

    • Jack in the post I linked to, above, referenced Thomas Pettigrew. I suggest that he demonstrates how psychological sociology is used as a social engineering ‘weapon’ in the larger, on-going, social engineering project. That is to say that we have all come under the influence of intellectuals using psychological tools developed out of the views of post-Marxists like Theodor Adorno in The Authoritarian Personality.

      Authoritarianism as a syndrome is characterized by deference to authority, aggression toward outgroups, a rigidly hierarchical view of the world, and resistance to new experiences, according to Pettigrew, an expert on racism and intergroup relations whose scholarship has led the field of social psychology for more than five decades.

      Yep, there you have it. Those were crucial decades!

        • I do not doubt that at all. American Progressive Liberalism is a coherent ideology. Once its terms are grasped, internalized, and accepted, it does seem to have logical integrity. Which is of course the reason why so many accept its tenets, and also why there is conflict in our present with those who hold to, and live by, those tenets. Because this is so, these ideas become part of an interior ‘metaphysical structure’. Those that hold these ideas *look out onto the world* and see it according to the established terms. It looks ‘right’ to them.

          I am very interested in his psychological approach. The implication is that those who are ‘right-leaning’ or ‘authoritarian’ and who ‘support Trump’ (or European reaction, or traditionalism, et cetera) are psychologically sick. I would draw attention to the fact, and it is a fact, that the operatives at Google are using psychological tools and measures just like this as their moral incentive to intervene. What more logical area for social psychology and social science than direct therapeutic manipulation.

          I cannot imagine that you do not see why certain ‘red flags’ go up here? The issue here illustrates the difficulty of the time that we live in! These are fundamental issues of valuation, and valuation depends on perception and interpretation of the world we live in. (I have said this sooooo mannnnyyyy timmmmeesss and it never seems to be registered!).

          Here is an interesting article in which Pettigrew analyses, according to social psychology, why it is that Trump has come on the scene and why, too, numerous European nations are turning to the right.

          These social psychological factors are not unique to the United States. We have seen throughout the paper that many studies of Europe’s far-right-wing voters show results strikingly similar to these data on the 2016 American election. Authoritarianism and social dominance attitudes have been routinely found to correlate significantly with far-right voting in nations throughout Europe. These voters share with Trump supporters similar views of women, minorities, immigrants, and free-market economics. Three major Populist-like grievances of Europe’s far-right arise from economic changes, political elitism and immigration – with immigration the most intense issue (Ivarsflaten, 2008). American research suggests that the same can be said about the Trump movement.

          The implications of this analysis for scholars who study these political phenomena in democracies are three-fold. First, despite vast differences in political structures and economic circumstances between Western nations, there are a surprising number of important similarities across these various populist political movements.

          Second, these similarities suggest that those conducting research on one such movement might well look to work in other countries for additional variables. For instance, the importance of relative deprivation for understanding Trump supporters offers a possible research approach that has been seldom employed in European work.

          Finally, the actual operation of the five social psychological variables and theories detailed in this paper need to be integrated within a broad political context. Political and social psychological approaches are mutually supportive – not antithetical. Future research must bring them together in multi-level models.

              • Thanks for thinking of me! (I thought I felt a sharp pain). 🙂

                I read the article up to a point. I offer some comments here. You know that I am duty-bound to do this . . .

                Maybe the greatest threat to our economy and way of life is the fact that so many people have agreed to abandon objective truth and embrace feelings and what they want to be real.

                The man is an economic advisor and his purpose is to help people make the best and the soundest financial (investment) decisions. I am not sure if he is qualified as a philosopher to penetrate into the deep problems that rise up now in our present.

                I regard the above-quoted sentence as a *declaration*. It purports to have truth-value and he is purporting to have such a truth-perspective. I merely note that he is consciously or unconsciously asserting that he has such a position. And as you know I tend … ever-so-slightly! — to doubt.

                The greatest threat. Right there is the core of his assertion. But I would turn it into a series of questions. What are the greatest threats?

                Way of life. This is another laden statement. I am not saying I don’t understand the reference. But when the two are joined: threat and way-of-life I become suspicious. Does he really know the value of our way of life? How does he define it? And what is threatening this? Does he really know? Do you? Does anyone? These are questions

                We live in ‘contructed ideological systems’ whether we want to see it, or can see it, in an objective way. He purports to see objectively, but does he? Is he capable of seeing that we live in constructed ideological systems (that is, Americanism, etc.) and is he capable of analyzing them? I have my doubts. Why? Because ideological systems require commitments and they are the stuff upon which PC Ideas are built. Is he aware of his own?

                One of the great ironies of political correctness is that extreme tolerance lacking objectivity leads to intolerance.

                This is a mistake in perception. Political correctness is far more complex than mere ‘tolerance’. PC Thinking results from ideological coercion and social coercion. Certainly I understand his point, but I suggest that he is not seeing himself within the context of his own critical analysis. That is, the degree to which his views have been ‘coerced’ or the degree that he participates in such.

                And I have no idea on what his ‘objectivity’ is based. His ‘objectivity’, when examined, could be shown to be highly subjective. I do understand though that his intention is to attack Antifa.

                Obviously, the attempt to be hyper sensitive produced the worst form of insensitivity.

                Radical Progressivism like Radical Marxism has nothing to do with sensitivity. It has to do with power. Power takes whatever masks it requires to mask itself. The logic of American Radical Progressivism — the basic ideology that undergirds Americanism — leads directly to the ‘present outcome’. But this is not either sensitive or insensitive. It has to do with power and power’s machinations. If one (he, you, me) is to see one’s complicity, one has to deprogram oneself. It is a painful process. Why? Because ‘the self’ gets invested in its declarations.

                It is essential that we remember.

                Ha! The Holocaust and all the *remembering* have radically different objectives than anyone wishes to see and admit. I have written a good deal about this to no effect. It has become emblematic of what PC means, in its essence. So far, making even indirect references to what this might mean on this Blog (given the orientation of most of its denizens) I arouse fear and hatred. This is normal. The ‘self’ is so wedded to the animus in these narratives that it strikes out at what questions them.

                ::: sigh :::

                Language itself, though, is only possible if reason is possible. The law of noncontradiction holds that two plus two can’t be four and not-four at the same time.

                He wants to refer to Aristotelian non-contradiction*. It is a binary system and it derives from mathematics. And it also functions best in mathematics. But what he wishes to assert is that he has the proper position within perception and that those others do not. Really, if you look at what he is saying that is what his message is.

                He wishes to assert thereby that he and people like him therefore have a correct basis for their language, their logic, and their reasoning! But life is not mathematics, nor is it logic.

                What we face is different people with different value-systems and perception-sytems and they are coming into conflict. Obviously, this represents a civil crisis, but it is deeper. It is also a metaphysical crisis. That is, about how life is understood and what its meaning(s) is/are.

                Abd this is not solved with mathematical logics.

                Doesn’t this provide a basic explanation of what we are seeing with Antifa?

                Now he gets to the heart. The reader will now shout “Yes! YES!” because here the question is a leading one.

                But there is more to be gained by *turning the lens of examination around* to focus not on lunatic (and predictable) Antifa, but rather on the entire structure of perceptions, orientation, and value of this writer himself.

                *As to ‘essential predicates’. (Aristotelian logic is a predicate-system). See what is known as ‘Jaina seven-valued logic’. Just for an interesting point of comparison. Aristotelian logic is not the only way to ground one’s predicates.

                Jaina seven-valued logic is system of argumentation developed by Jaina philosophers and thinkers to support and substantiate their theory of pluralism. This argumentation system has seven distinct semantic predicates which may be thought of as seven different truth values.

                • There’s got to be an experiment that can be devised to see how much more glucose than average that massive cerebrum of yours burns per unit of time. I’ll bet it’s measurable and repeatable.

  8. I voted no. Too many are labeling any criticism as racially motivated. Real racism needs to be shown so that people can see the contrast between those who truly espouse a supremacist ideal and those who are simply pushing back against a tidal wave of claims of oppression.

    With that said, I see no reason to allow someone to make the same general racist statement over and over again. The question is does the comment provide an opportunity to advance the topic in either direction?

    Keep this in mind, there are numerous thinkers here who would be more than able to counter such thinking. Giving such writers a forum also provides others the opportunity to change the racist’s perspective civilly. Censorship breeds desperation and desperation leads to situations like those in Charlottesville.

  9. I would rather not hear racist spewing, but if it is otherwise Germaine and not light the torches vitriol I don’t think it should always be censored.

    If free speech if one of the major planks of our freedoms under fire, it falls on us to defend the right of any idiot wants to say obnoxious things, After hearing about a knitting website dabbling in censorship, because apparently, Trump-inspired knit one, purl two can be used to make really bigoted tea cozies and baby caps that makes tea bags fee unsafe. A PC online magazine news story talked blithely of Twitter solving deplorable people’s speech without outright bans (and losing their eyeballs for ads) they will be adding disclaimers and devaluing said tweets from displaying as much. The people writing the article had no idea that all it would take is for one aspect of them to become ‘bad,’ and nothing would protect them from this browbeating.

    I’d rather have idiots chatter than be told my chatter is banned. I think I can identify major -isms that are threats without outside help and ignore at will. I a probably not un related story, I just got notice GAB announced a free speech browser. We also need a free speech search engine that has great depth.

  10. Sorry my dude. You’re my ethics better for sure, I’m just not sure I trust anyone to decide what is and isn’t racist. For Americans it’s such a knee jerk virtual signal reflex that it’s probably the single most common basis for the formal and informal suppression of speech. I’d rather read it and make the call for myself – if it’s on topic, then let the chips fall as they may.

  11. My view on this is different for your blog than it was for the one I ran. I had to censor racist comments because they would bring heat from the powers that be. Since you have no such superior authority, it’s different here.

    Generally, I would not censor comments that are subjectively racist unless they were transparent attempts to draw hostile rebuttals, i.e. trolling. The problem with this is that comments that are subjectively racist will almost always draw hostile, even outrageous rebuttals. There are always those who need to have their vehement opposition to racism validated by vehement, hostile responses.

    That’s one reason we can’t really talk about racism honestly — anything perceived as racist, regardless of actual intent, gets shouted down and the speaker attacked. I’d like to say that wouldn’t happen here, but I know it would.

    So this isn’t an easy call. Do you want rational discussion, or do you want to allow bomb-throwing to show up at any time? You have to set the rules of behavior, and allowing comments perceived as racist is going to change it not just from that standpoint, but from the standpoint of denizens who are going to want to make their feelings on the subject known in no uncertain terms.

  12. I went with the “extreme circumstances” vote, apparently with the majority. The term ‘racism’ has been expanded to include many ridiculous things, sure, from reifying generalities into particulars without recourse to the particulars (the actual thing everyone intends to oppose) to forming general opinions from the observation of a large set of particulars (the simple act of applying human intelligence to reality – which we’ve been conditioned not to do with sets of humans and, increasingly, other subjects as well). I don’t think anyone here expects you to cross the line from the first to the second. Unless there are things I haven’t seen that I’d consider legitimate, which can’t be known, you seem to have been fair in this matter; your interpretation of ‘extreme’ may suit general acceptance. There’s no doubt you’ve given the pass to things our Google overlords would quash – to the point of your own quashing. I’ll favor maintaining the status quo until such time as a strong case for potential for improvement can be made.

  13. Wow that thread. So many crazy and cringe worthy posts. I will have more to say on this later, but not from my phone. For now I’ll say I hope I never say something mind numbingly stupid that you sick ablativemeatshield on me.

  14. If you didn’t have to fear getting shut down, today’s fevered virtue-signalling insanity being what it is, I’d say “No”, because, as you stated, ” there are no clear standards to block the slide on the slippery slope”, and no better reason than that is needed. Let daylight and social pressure be the sanitizer that determines which ideas get traction, and which don’t. Being that you do, however: your longevity is a greater net good than being a wide-open forum for the month or two it would take for some Zuckerberg-devised censorship algorithm to track you down and take you away from us.

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