Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/16/2020: Dreadlocks, Kareem, Scrabble And “Political Slogan? What Political Slogan?”

1. This Morning’s Grovel: A white Seattle hairdresser apologized profusely for daring to wear dreadlocks. The key quote: “I have come to understand—far too belatedly—that my hairstyle is harmful.”

To lightly paraphrase Orwell: ‘She loved Big Brother.’

It’s hard to work up any sympathy for people like Irene—weak, ignorant, unwilling to stand up for basic  human rights, like being able to wear your hair any damn way you want to. This is yet another of the one-way “rules” that are being delivered by edict as an alleged remedy for “systemic racism”: Blacks can do anything they want to, whites are severely limited. The hair rules: black women can straighten their hair, dye it blonde, adopt any style the choose as a method of self expression, but a white woman who chooses dreadlocks has “harmful hair.”

Those who won’t stand up for their own liberties deserve to lose them. Irene is a fool, and betraying the values of her country.

2. Since that co-pilot gig in “Airplane!” didn’t work out, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been playing pundit…predictably progressive, but frequently perceptive. He wrote in part regarding the Nick Cannon  mess without specifically citing it,

“Recent incidents of anti-Semitic tweets and posts from sports and entertainment celebrities are a very troubling omen for the future of the Black Lives Matter movement, but so too is the shocking lack of massive indignation. Given the New Woke-fulness in Hollywood and the sports world, we expected more passionate public outrage. What we got was a shrug of meh-rage.”

The retired NBA star went on to note Ice Cube’s June tweets implying that Jews were responsible for the oppression of blacks, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson sharing a fake quote from Adolf Hitler warning that “white Jews” planned for “world domination,” and NBA player Stephen Jackson’s defense of DeSean Jackson’s posts  praising Louis Farrakhan

“That is the kind of dehumanizing characterization of a people that causes the police abuses that killed …George Floyd,” Abul-Jabbar concluded. “After all, if it’s OK to discriminate against one group of people by hauling out cultural stereotypes without much pushback, it must be OK to do the same to others. Illogic begets illogic.”

3. Speaking of illogic, Kareem, your obligatory slap at President Trump is illogical. In the same piece, Jabbar accuses the President’s reelection campaign of “playing the Rothschild’s trope” by accusing “three billionaires of Jewish descent” — George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, and Tom Steyer — of trying to “rig the November election.” This is just another version of the “gotcha!” tactic in which justified criticism of female politicians is called misogyny and earned criticism of black figures evidences racism. Three prominent billionaires have announced that they will use their money to win the election for the Democrats. They happen to be Jewish. If there were a non-Jewish Trump-hating billionaire on their level, does anyone really think that such a foe wouldn’t be grouped with Soros, Bloomberg and Steyer by the President and his campaign?

Yes, “rig” is clumsy word, but that’s typical Trump-speak.

4. And now for something completely stupid: In order to do its bit to combat “systemic racism,” the Scrabble elite have decreed that it will now be against the rules for players to use racial and ethnic slurs as well as  other offensive terms in official  tournaments in North America. Hasbro, which bought Scrabble, will also ban the words in the official game rules, though such words are and have always been in the dictionary, at least until the Democrats win the next election.

John Chew, the North American Scrabble Players Association CEO, told ABC that he had received calls from players to remove words such as the “nigger” and “cunt” from official play. “I thought to myself, ‘Why haven’t we done this already?'” Chew said.

Because it’s silly, John? Because Scrabble is about the words themselves, not their meaning? Because Scrabble players and the game itself is so insignificant in the matter of racism that the issue is not worth the time it takes to argue about it?

Chew says his association is looking at 236 “offensive words” to remove from official play. 236! I wonder if they’ll allow “trump.”

“One of our members asked what we were doing to reduce racial tensions in the U.S. and Canada,” Chew said. “And then someone else asked ‘what if we take the N-word out of the lexicon, would that at least be a good start?'”

If it makes you feel better, John. Here’s a photo of one of your recent tournaments:

See anything—or anyone— missing?

Hasbro’s rule changes are even more naive. Scrabble was the big game in the Marshall Sr. household, and we  played by house rules, dictated by my mother: no slang words, and the blank tile was scored the same as the letter it was used to represent.

5. Finally, in San Francisco, police stations will be compelled to display large “Black Lives Matter” posters to show the  departments’ “support for Black lives.”

The Police Commission yesterday voted 5-0 to pass a resolution that also commits the department to “make bias-free policing a reality” and improve its use-of-force policies. There’s nothing like a resolution to eliminate bias! And posters! Posters really help.

“This resolution is a small gesture to show that our department stands in solidarity for Black lives,” said Commissioner DionJay Brookter, who introduced the resolution. The San Francisco Police Officers Association, however, objected to the move in a letter sent to the Department of Human Resources before the vote. The union said it had “serious concerns” about the move:

“Police stations are places for the citizens of San Francisco to seek help and assistance when they have become victims of crimes,” wrote Rains Lucia Stern of the St. Phalle & Silver law firm, which represents the union. “They are not places for political endorsements or alignment with political organizations.”

Correctamundo!

 “I don’t understand it,” said Commission Vice President Damali Taylor. “I don’t get why the letter talked about it being political speech, which is absolute horseshit.”

If an official can’t comprehend that “Black Lives Matter” is political speech, that official is too biased and dim-witted to be an official.

22 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/16/2020: Dreadlocks, Kareem, Scrabble And “Political Slogan? What Political Slogan?”

  1. I used to kick some major online Scrabble ass. Haven’t played in forever. I assumed profanity was not allowed but perhaps it’s “slang” I’m thinking of. It’s all about knowing your two and three letters words. That’s what will win you the game. Words with Friends, which I was never fond of, was way more permissive in what words were allowed.

    • It’s also about knowing when NOT to play a word. Sure, it might get you points but it also opens up an advantageous position on the board to your opponent.

      O.k., I’ll quit now.

      • I don’t personally enjoy playing scrabble, but I’m a sucker for people explaining the subtleties of their favorite games and past times. Please go on. 🙂

        • The great thing about Scrabble is that it really doesn’t require some expansive vocabulary. As I mentioned, it’s all about the two letter words: they are incredibly powerful. It’s also about maneuvering your way around the board, playing fewer tiles for less points when the placement of those tiles forces your opponent to do something they really don’t want to but have no choice. It’s about keeping track of what tiles have been played (like counting cards in blackjack.). You adjust your strategy based upon which big pointers are already on the board and what is still out there waiting to be played. Lining up a word that leaves a triple point square for the taking while the “Q” is still out there and can be played as a two letter word (that’s a potential 62 pointer right there using only two tiles)? Probably not your best move. Keeping your vowels on hand for those difficult to play tiles like the aforementioned “Q”? Hang on to them for dear life.

          See what you started? 😉

  2. 4–My lovely and long suffering wife and I have had numerous, highly competitive and CLOSE, games of scrabble. There have been any number of one point margins; been a few ties to boot.

    One of the more…um…creative words allowed, admittedly under protest, was my attempt to pluralize clitoris. The correct one(s) being clitorises or clitorides, I submitted clitorii…and it was counted.

    5–“And posters! Posters really help.”

    You mean that THIS did nothing to bring back those kidnapped Nigerian school girls…?

  3. I wonder if we can start a list and discern which 236 words are under review?

    A site favorite, “Niggardly” is probably on the list, and the word whose fifteen minutes of fame due to a commentary of Justin Lin having a basketball weakness “Chink” is probably there too. I’d be disappointed if “Cracker” isn’t on the list since the thing is 236 words long. What else my dear commentariat?

  4. 3.

    In the same piece, Jabbar accuses the President’s reelection campaign of “playing the Rothschild’s trope” by accusing “three billionaires of Jewish descent” — George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, and Tom Steyer — of trying to “rig the November election.” This is just another version of the “gotcha!” tactic in which justified criticism of female politicians is called misogyny and earned criticism of black figures evidences racism.

    But Cannon…

    Then Cannon endorsed Griffin’s contention that six dominant media companies were controlled by Jews, comparing it to the power of the Rothschilds, the banking family at the center of various anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

    So he noticed that…

    Three prominent billionaires have announced that they will use their money to win the election for the Democrats. They happen to be Jewish. If there were a non-Jewish Trump-hating billionaire on their level, does anyone really think that such a foe wouldn’t be grouped with Soros, Bloomberg and Steyer by the President and his campaign?

    So, the unspeakable crime is naming that thing they universally have in common?

    If this is that antisemitism expensive public schooling taught me is the greatest crime against humanity and for which we’ve dashed careers against rocks, can I have my portion of the money back? I don’t think this was a valuable investment, and I wasn’t consulted at the front end. I expect reparations.

  5. 3. Does anyone else trust the pandemic numbers established by Johns Hopkins which is directly related to the Bloomberg funded Johns Hopkins University. I don’t.

    When these organizations are receiving about a billion dollars from one source it stands to reason that that one source will dictate how things are counted.

    As Boss Tweed said in Gangs of New York you dont have to control who votes you only have to control who counts the votes.

    • No, I don’t trust the COVID numbers at all. I am following reports that Florida’s official counts are all out whack, where some testing sites are showing 100% positive results. 100 PERCENT!!!! How can that be? Oh, and what about the multiple testings of the same person, with each positive test counted as a new positive test? Oh, and oh, what about Chicago openly admitting that if someone perishes who has tested positive for COVID-19, that death is counted as a COVID-19-related death even though the person who died fell off of a roof and plummeted six stories to his/her demise?

      We have been told since this stupid pandemic started that we must “trust the science” especially by that blithering idiot Don Lemon. Yet, Dr. Fauci has gotten everything wrong at every step since the very beginning. He told us not to worry, that it is just a bad flu. Then, it became a bad flu that could develop into pneumonia. Then, he said that the bad pneumonia could/would kill of anyone with health issues. So, he said, don’t wear a mask because a mask won’t slow the spread. Then, he said that we should wear masks because we would be protecting ourselves from exposure, only to state a few sentences later that droplets can linger in the air for months on end and infect people without them ever knowing they were exposed, so hermetically sealed hyperbaric oxygen chambers were the only effective defense against disease, unless you’re having sex, which is just fine because nookie won’t accelerate the spread. He followed that up by saying a shutdown was not necessary, only to amend his statement that a shutdown should last at the very least 12 decades and MREs were appropriate to store in your Cold War bomb cellar. By, no, then he said that the filters used on the bomb shelters are not enough to stop the fucking bacteria from creeping in through the holes in the fabric so a solid steel air filter was the only sure way to prevent against infection. Yep, then he said that hospitals and staff were handling the workload adequately but realized that each and every healthcare provider, worker, first responder would be needed ALL DAY LONG to handle the crushing onslaught of people flooding the hospitals with their infected selves. The CDC, NIH, WHO, and a host of other “sciences and scientists” have been equally as wrong.

      Is it any wonder why people disregard the scientists and try to do what’s in their best interests like work and run their businesses?

      jvb

  6. 2. Kareem

    I think you mean “Nick Cannon” not “Castle.”

    “That is the kind of dehumanizing characterization of a people that causes the police abuses that killed …George Floyd,” Abul-Jabbar concluded. “After all, if it’s OK to discriminate against one group of people by hauling out cultural stereotypes without much pushback, it must be OK to do the same to others. Illogic begets illogic.”

    I’d nominate this for “Ethics Quote of the [something]” but for Kareem’s inability to be consistently ethical even in one article.

    Of course, Kareem is the same guy who wrote this absurd statement:

    What we need is a way to present art within its historical context so the works can still be available and appreciated for their achievements but not admired for their cultural failings. The easiest way would be to include an introductory explanation—filmed or written—that explains that the work contains harmful racial or gender stereotypes that were acceptable at the time but which we now know are harmful. Links to further discussions and information also could be provided. That is the bare basics of what we should do to emphasize that these portrayals are no longer acceptable. To do nothing is a tacit endorsement of their destructive messages. And, like vaping, prolonged exposure causes damage to our children. We put a warning label on one, why not the other.

    Seriously, Kareem, as an educated man you should surely appreciate the value of an education in informing this context without the need of some narrator reminding us about it, or placing additional “spin” into the mix. It isn’t as if someone could watch even the re-mastered version of Gone With The Wind and miss the fact of it’s age, or the fact that the very film intro itself places it firmly into historical context without the need for additional “woke” narration. Do children need to be told depictions of black chattel slavery might offend them, or that it existed in the antebellum South? Evidently he has even a lower opinion of today’s education system than I do.

    I wonder if Kareem has ever seen the movie personally, or is somehow confusing it with the 1970’s trash Mandingo?

    As far as damage to children is concerned, when did that become your province, Kareem? Warnings are always provided, both on TV and in theaters, for content inappropriate for minor children. For a fact, most children under the age of 12 or so are incapable of comprehending GWTW in any meaningful sense.

    Finally, what of parents? Did they somehow, in the last half-century or so, lose the ability to correctly judge what their children could competently watch? And in what universe is a callow child going to pay any attention to a pre-movie warning, when they haven’t for the last oh, 70 years or so since movie ratings have been instituted?

    When I first saw GWTW, my mother took me to see it, telling me that I was the only one of the three children yet mature enough to comprehend it. She applied the same principle to The Ten Commandments and Ben Hur when she took me to see those.

    That’s asking a lot, apparently, in Kareem’s opinion. Perhaps… I don’t know, more parental involvement in child-rearing might be a more useful answer. I could add more, but … I don’t think it’s necessary.

  7. I am not a fan of the phrase “cultural appropriation” or the sniveling cowards that are afraid to wear dreadlocks, wear Navajo jewelry, etc. On the other hand, if we get less pasty white teens pretending their gangsta and middle aged women wearing dreadlocks I’m for it.

    I know a family from Jamaica (the island, not Queens) whose father and children wear/wore dreadlocks. The father will rant about people wearing nasty, dirty dreadlocks. They opted to home school their children where they wore a uniform of khaki pants and polo shirts every day. More than two of their children worked at the local public library where they were always polite, helpful, and knowledgeable. At least one is currently in the military. I’m afraid to ask any of their opinion of the racist Smithsonian poster.

    • Opal. Come to your senses. Your friends are from Jamaica! They’re not African American, they’re Jamaican! They don’t count! Think of them as basically white.

  8. #3 My immediate reaction to a Trump statement and/or ad about a bunch of billionaires trying to “rig” the election: It’s a set-up. After all, wasn’t the media constantly harping on Trump for trying to “buy” the 2016 election? But now they’re perfectly okay with THESE three U.S. citizens, united by a common goal of defeating the President in the upcoming election.

    It’s just more exposure of the media for the principle-free double-talking shills that they are.

    (Side note: and of course, the media were okay with Bloomberg trying to “buy” the nomination/election when they thought he’d be a viable candidate, too.)

    –Dwayne

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