Activism, Social Justice, Protests and you: The Political Discussion Containment Thread

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AlexHiro4
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Re: Activism, Social Justice, Protests and you: The Political Discussion Containment Thread

Postby AlexHiro4 » Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:59 pm

Mission of showing yourself to be an unfunny jerk also accomplished. Seriously. This is on a spectrum with (not the same as) trashing things to show you can. It's really not a good look on you.


You know what else isn't a good look for someone? Being an annoying, whiny, self-righteous social justice warrior who jumps on every single social issue that shows up in the media...whether a battle is warranted or not. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of social injustices out there that need to be addressed. For instance, inequality for women's pay seems to be a consistent issues across the board that needs to be resolved once an for all. As a man who works with some highly intelligent, highly skilled, but grossly underpaid women, I think this is horrible. Racism, legitimate racism from some racist cops that exist out there, is absolutely a real problem that needs to be addressed. There have been legitimate violent acts of racism by police officers across the country that have gone unpunished. This is a disgusting thing for any human being to do. Obviously there are several more definitive issues that can be listed, but I won't pretend to be knowledgeable enough to list everything or to go into the kind of significant detail.

What I will mention, however, is that not every shooting of a black person by a cop is racist. There are legitimate black criminals that don't comply with the police, and if those officers don't react by shooting them, they could die themselves. Not every shooting of a cop by a black man is an act of racism. Some are, some aren't. However, every single time a black person is shot by a cop, people blindly start screaming, protesting, and flocking to the front lines of the courthouse. This, of course, is without examining any of the facts. It's gut reaction, nothing more.

Another thing to mention is women's rights. Women having true equality in both pay and stature is one thing, but saying that ALL their rights are being taken away because of the defunding of Planned Parenthood is another. Planned Parenthood commits 300,000 abortions per year. Yes, they also offer other services like affordable birth control, clinical breast examinations, pregnancy testing, STD testing, sex education, etc. However, these things basically mask the fact that this is a true killing machine. Planned Parenthood is responsible for way more murder than all of the racist cops AND all of the cop killing black people in America combined. However, abortion is the "right" of women? Because it's "your" body? No ma'am. If it was "your body" that was being dealt with during an abortion, then you would be the one to DIE during an abortion. Not an innocent child that was simply too inconvenient for you to raise. Oh, and don't give me the whole "what about incest, rape, or the mother's life being in danger" routine. That makes up LESS than 1% of all abortion cases. This argument holds very little water. So yeah, if Planned Parenthood and it's baby-killing machine are what you're screaming for in regards to women's rights, then I MUST be sexist because I'm not okay with women having that particular..."right". Please hear that last sentence in your head with the most sarcastic tone of voice you can think of.

Lastly, the discrimination of Muslims. This is a bit of a tricky topic. Unlike a ton of my fellow conservatives, I'm not a big enough idiot to believe that all Muslims are violent terrorists. While I've never read the Quran, I've read a good amount about the "sword verses" that the terrorist faction of the Islamic faith points to to justify their violent actions. A lot of conservatives use the existence of those "sword verses" to label the entire faith as violent. After reading more about these verses myself, I realized that context is a huge deal. Therefore, labeling the entire following of Islam as violent is just about as ignorant as labeling all of Christianity as violent as well, simply because of taking some Old Testament verses out of context. I mean, seriously, wrathful God much?

So yeah, Muslims, as a whole, aren't violent whatsoever. Here's the deal though, the terrorism is happening, it's scary, and it's dangerous. The radical Muslims are absolutely a minority among their fellow believers. However, the Nazis of WW2 were technically the minority in Germany, too. Who drove the agenda though? The peaceful majority? Or the violent minority? Obviously you guys know the answer to that question. Today, the same thing is going on. Except now, it's not the minority of a country that is driving a violent agenda, but the minority of one of the world's largest religions..meaning this easily spans country borders. It's terrifying, and people have a right to be both scared AND cautious because of that fear. Obviously, flat out discrimination is completely uncalled for, but don't mistake taking extra precautions that may or may not involve singling out individual Muslims for security reasons or restricting travel in certain capacities as discrimination. We live in dangerous times, and extra measures have to be taken in order to keep the all of us safe and secure.

I say all that to say this: The anger and frustration that I've personally seen from Muslims is completely misplaced. From what I can tell, the government is being blamed, our president is being blamed....everybody is being blamed, except the the terrorists within the faith. As a Christian, if the Crusades (remember those?) were occurring during modern times (which was basically the Christian equivalent to what's going on with Islam right now), I wouldn't be blaming the government or the president for taking extra precaution with me because of my Christian faith. I would completely understand that people were terrified of the radicals WITHIN my faith. Therefore, instead of blaming the government, I would do everything I could to help and support the leaders of the Christian church to go after these "crusader terrorists" in order for me to no longer be viewed as threat by society. I mean, don't get me wrong, it would suck, it really would. However, why direct anger and place blame towards a government and president who did NOT cause these acts of terrorism and also didn't cause my religion to appear terrifying? I'll repeat, anger and protest in situations like that should never be misplaced.

In conclusion, it's extremely annoying to see people that jump on every liberal social justice bandwagon that comes across the news. Not all of those situations warrant any protest whatsoever. Granted, some people, like our own Mr. Kaiser Farooque here on our forums, have a more personal dog in the fight. I get it, man, but try to remember to not misplace your anger and your protest. Others however, jump on issues that not only do not warrant any kind of protest, but those "issues" don't even have relevance to them personally. It's ridiculous, it's ignorant, and it's extremely annoying. Therefore, I will most definitely speak my mind in regards to unnecessary protesting. Even if speaking my mind involves making fun of the silliness of the protesters. I look like a jerk? Sure, okay. At least I'm not whiny and self-righteous.

Crap. I guess I just participated in a political discussion on here again.

Oh, and FYI, I'm not "offended" by these types of discussions. I'm really just annoyed by them. These forums were a cool place several years ago when I was a much more active member. These kinds of discussions weren't happening back then. Now they are, and it makes me want to come here less often.

Anyway, bring on the critical comments. I have a fantastic life, so I won't lose any sleep over it. Have yourselves a good afternoon.
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Re: Activism, Social Justice, Protests and you: The Political Discussion Containment Thread

Postby Imperial Knight » Tue Jul 04, 2017 6:59 pm

If these political discussions annoy you so much, then maybe instead of saying how you don't want to participate and then doing so anyway, you could actually stay out of the discussion. Honestly you could really use to engage in some self-reflection. You have a very defensive attitude ("I have a fantastic life...") and seem to think that people are jumping on you for having a different opinion from them, but the problem isn't really your views so much as how you express them. I would describe myself as a liberal, but honestly many of the best political discussions I have are with conservative friends, because we all go in with the understanding that issues are complex, reasonable people can disagree, and if you take the time to listen to different perspectives you might just learn something.

At least on these threads, you have come into every topic with guns blazing, throwing insults around, and making posts that are dripping with condescension. Telling people that they are "whiny" or throwing around lazy terms like "social justice warrior" because someone might think an issue is important even if it doesn't personally affect them just adds nothing to the discussion. Lecturing a Muslim member of this board about discrimination against Muslims (and doing so using a horrible analogy with Nazi Germany) speaks to a very arrogant attitude.

If you don't want to keep getting blowback for your posts, I see two options. The first is to change your attitude, and the second is to just avoid these discussions altogether.

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Re: Activism, Social Justice, Protests and you: The Political Discussion Containment Thread

Postby Sonic# » Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:25 pm

Yeah, when I read that I'm being called whiny and self-righteous in the first line, that doesn't really inspire me to engage. Quite the opposite; I assume the person writing those words doesn't have any ideas that are worth my time, and that they're venting for some reason I can't fathom. I'll refer to Alunissage's guidance on etiquette:

There's actually quite a range of possible responses besides "completely agree" and "derail into how offended/hurt/inconvenienced you are by other people's activism."


I'll reiterate - sarcasm and passive-aggressive behavior in response to a disclaimer requesting that disagreements be kept constructive? Not a good look.

It could've gone much differently; I actually was hoping for some substantive and direct engagement with some of those images posted in an early post, as I found the interpretation of the data rather reductive.[1] As someone who disagrees with the specific interpretation of voting data but agrees with the overall claims about institutional racism, I would've found concerns raised by other people useful. Instead, I got personal attacks followed by some pablum opinions not really engaging with any specific statements here.

--

Whatever your beef is, there are two key ideas in this thread that are pertinent no matter what your political beliefs are:
1. Political engagement is vitally important, and voting is only the tip of the iceberg of what we can do. I'd be happy if everyone eligible to vote was registered and did vote; I'd be happy if everyone took time to contact their congresspeople about issues important to them.
2. There's probably some issue or concern that each of us misses or fails to notice or spends less time on. That's okay (we're not gods), provided that we spend at least a minimal amount of time reading, double-checking, and thinking about issues that aren't personally immediate to us.

[1] A paragraph-long example: Regarding the image used to say "White People Elected Trump," the racial breakdown does illustrate that more white people voted for Trump than Clinton. However, my experience has been that the reasons why they voted amount to more than racial identity; that class, location (rural/suburban), education, and religious upbringing also are important factors, as is a long-standing economic anxiety that rural regions are being left behind. Middle-class white activists who voted for Clinton often advocate for economic issues close to their orbit (student loan forgiveness, funding for the NSF) and need to do more work actively engaging racial issues like segregation in their own communities, or working class issues like the dire shortage of funds and personnel for rural hospitals. I think even a sincere expression of discomfort at the statement "White People Elected Trump," without all the sarcasm and the pre-loaded judgments, could've helped me work through my own initial impressions to the statement, where I generally agree but desire a bit more specificity.
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Re: Activism, Social Justice, Protests and you: The Political Discussion Containment Thread

Postby Kizyr » Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:23 pm

Well, there's a lot I could go into, but to avoid being too lengthy I'm going to just concentrate on one thing for now. For the benefit of others, I'm also highlighting a few of my main points.

AlexHiro4 wrote:It's terrifying, and people have a right to be both scared AND cautious because of that fear. Obviously, flat out discrimination is completely uncalled for, but don't mistake taking extra precautions that may or may not involve singling out individual Muslims for security reasons or restricting travel in certain capacities as discrimination. We live in dangerous times, and extra measures have to be taken in order to keep the all of us safe and secure.


This is literal discrimination that you advocate, and it doesn't even make anyone any safer. Taking "extra precautions" that single out Muslims is, literally, singling out people because of their religious faith, because people wrongly believe us to be a greater security risk than the rest of the population. That you justify it by saying it's arising out of people's fear doesn't make it any less discriminatory. (In fact, discrimination usually arises out of a mix of fear, ignorance, and hatred -- people fear, and in turn hate, what they don't understand. That makes it worse, not better.)

You're holding onto the idea that you're not advocating bigotry because you don't view all Muslims as violent. But then you turn around and use the existence of a fringe minority of Muslims as a reason to justify prejudicial and discriminatory action (this same fear contributes to much more than just inconvenience at airports -- I'll get to that in a moment). What's more absurd is that you then claim that it isn't discrimination.

And even then, this doesn't do a damn thing to make anyone safer. Prejudice and discrimination do not make people safe, and racial/religious profiling, as is any policy borne out of bigotry and fear, are signs of a failed policy. Consider that more people are killed and more domestic terrorist attacks are due to white male Christians in this country, particularly white supremacists, and no domestic terror attacks have come from people entering the country as refugees, nor from the countries that are targeted in the current travel ban. Yet (a) white male Christians aren't being singled out or asked to bear the responsibility for others in their same demographic, and (b) current policies are targeting refugees and entire countries' populations that are not the source of violence in the US. Religious profiling is flat-out misguided, and a bigoted policy.

AlexHiro4 wrote:I say all that to say this: The anger and frustration that I've personally seen from Muslims is completely misplaced. From what I can tell, the government is being blamed, our president is being blamed....everybody is being blamed, except the the terrorists within the faith.


I understand where you're coming from, but there are three problems with this. All of which arise from lack of awareness of what is really happening in the world.

(1) is that Muslims are the primary target of the terrorism you're talking about (most of this is happening in war-torn places in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and most of the victims -- if you read headlines from places outside of the US -- by a large margin are Muslims who live in those areas).

(2) is that most of the people on the front lines fighting it in the most dangerous regions are Muslim (most of the Iraqis and Kurds fighting right now in northern Iraq and Mosul), and in the West 60% of terrorist plots that were plotted by Muslims were foiled directly because of tip-offs and information given to law enforcement from Muslim communities, even family members. In other words, Muslims are already fighting this at great personal risk. But we're only something like 1-2% in the US and are more focused on actions than PR, and most people in this country pay little attention to what goes on outside the US if we're not the ones involved, so most of this effort goes unrecognized. Yet we're still (which means I also am personally) blamed for things that people completely unconnected to us do if they happen to have brown skin and Muslim-sounding names.

Which brings me to (3):
AlexHiro4 wrote:As a Christian, if the Crusades (remember those?) were occurring during modern times (which was basically the Christian equivalent to what's going on with Islam right now), I wouldn't be blaming the government or the president for taking extra precaution with me because of my Christian faith. I would completely understand that people were terrified of the radicals WITHIN my faith. Therefore, instead of blaming the government, I would do everything I could to help and support the leaders of the Christian church to go after these "crusader terrorists" in order for me to no longer be viewed as threat by society.

Yet, there are radical elements in Christianity, and white supremacy, that directly contribute to violence against our communities. People attacked as they're leaving mosques in London (which you may have heard about) or France (which was just last week and that most people haven't heard about), the people stabbed to death in Portland last month, and many others that I don't have time to get into (and these incidents don't get labeled "terrorism" nor stay in the public consciousness for very long, even though they're just if not more prevalent). This is to say nothing of the countless other things arising from violent fanaticism within Christianity -- or many other religions -- which didn't just occur a thousand years ago in the Crusades: Christian militias in Lebanon in the 80s, the IRA until the 90s, death squads/militias in the Central African Republic since 2015, the LRA in Uganda since 2010, etc..

Do you really do everything you can to support fighting those things?

It's a pointless question, really, because I don't expect you to account for things that other people do because you share the same religion. But more than just me, in general: Christians aren't called to task for reigning in radicals in their faith; Buddhists aren't blamed for state-supported terrorists in Myanmar attempting to exterminate two ethnic groups; Hindus worldwide aren't blamed for nationalist extremists targeting Muslims in India. This is because it's absurd to discriminate, in any fashion no matter how much you think it's justified by your fear, against the members of a religion -- and many of these other extremist groups include far more people than any of the "Muslim" extremist groups.

I could go into detail on any one of these if you wish, but it's likely longer than anyone wants to read right now.

AlexHiro4 wrote:In conclusion, it's extremely annoying to see people that jump on every liberal social justice bandwagon that comes across the news. Not all of those situations warrant any protest whatsoever. Granted, some people, like our own Mr. Kaiser Farooque here on our forums, have a more personal dog in the fight. I get it, man, but try to remember to not misplace your anger and your protest.


I'll disregard your insulting tone for a moment. But what I've seen with just this one issue is you (a) distancing yourself from bigots/racists, then (b) advocating a bigoted/racist policy, and (c) claiming that it isn't discrimination because it's based in fear. Can you honestly expect anyone to find anything else you say credible after this?

The bigoted policies that you advocate dehumanize me by justifying discrimination and prejudice based on my religion. That in turn has implications far beyond just an airport. Dehumanization means that it's more likely someone will target or attack me because of my skin color or religion (and note: my appearance is very obviously Muslim). Dehumanization means that people show up at our houses of worship with guns to protest our existence (such as in Irving, TX), or prevent us from building houses of worship or vandalize/burn down our mosques because they believe we're secretly plotting to take over the community (such as what's happened in my home state of Tennessee several times).

Also I want to be absolutely clear: I love that there are other people who chime in to support our community, especially when they "don't have a dog in this fight". Standing up for the oppression of other people should be a basic aspect of the human condition. It's why I advocate for the LGBTQ community (and personally am more concerned about the targeting of transgendered individuals than Muslims, but it's not a competition), why I support Jewish communities facing anti-Semitism, support BLM, etc. etc.. Someone should not need to be a member of an oppressed group to stand up for the rights of that group. Saying that one does only serves to discourage and divide people.

AlexHiro4 wrote:Oh, and FYI, I'm not "offended" by these types of discussions. I'm really just annoyed by them. These forums were a cool place several years ago when I was a much more active member. These kinds of discussions weren't happening back then. Now they are, and it makes me want to come here less often. Anyway, bring on the critical comments. I have a fantastic life, so I won't lose any sleep over it. Have yourselves a good afternoon.


You only have to worry about being annoyed then. Those of us who are targeted by the discriminatory policies of this administration have to worry about staying safe, and staying alive. We also have to worry about folks claiming, as you have, that we're worrying over nothing, as if somehow we don't understand the extent of oppression when we're the ones being targeted by it.

I don't expect these discussions to change your mind. More importantly, I want other people to recognize dehumanizing language and what advocacy of dehumanizing policies really looks like. Because it's rarely put forward as discrimination -- it's instead couched in the language of "safety", or "prudence", or plausible-sounding victim-blaming (...which is why comparing Muslims to the non-Jewish Germans during the rise of Nazism is so abhorrently wrong). I can respect differences of opinion much of the time, but when that difference of opinion is rooted in dehumanizing me, and in refusing to acknowledge the dehumanization, then no, there isn't a middle ground.

I wish I had time to get into the other issues, because the attitudes re: the nation as a whole finally waking up to the reality of targeted police violence against black men and women, or reproductive rights, are equally worth a lengthy discussion as this. But I felt it was best to focus here. KF

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Re: Activism, Social Justice, Protests and you: The Political Discussion Containment Thread

Postby Kizyr » Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:36 am

Now, wresting this back to the original topic...

Imperial Knight wrote:Sorry for the double post, but the CBO score for the Senate bill is out. Highlights:
-Compared to current law, 22 million people will lose their health coverage by 2026 (House version was 23 million).
-In the next year alone, 15 million people will lose their health coverage.
-Next year, 4 million people will lose their employer insurance.
This bill is absolutely monstrous.

I meant to come back to this now that there's been more time. I've long advocated Kaiser Health News (http://khn.org/) as a great resource for parsing through the most complex aspects of healthcare and healthcare policy. I do have a background in public policy with a focus on budget and healthcare, and I've found them consistently one of the most accessible resources (outside of, like, academic policy journals). There's a good and short Q&A here: http://khn.org/news/khn-on-call-answers ... e-ratings/, but I can't find a comprehensive summary after line-by-line analysis (which is what they did during the ACA debates -- likely because there was a lot more time that that was being debated, and there was less fluctuation).

EDIT: Also another good summary:
http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shot ... -care-bill

One problem is that there's a lot of things that seem innocuous unless you understand a lot more about healthcare policy and budgets (...yo), like the reliance on tax credits or lowering the threshold for medical deductions from 10% to 7½% of your income. Seems fine, except that those don't help a lot of folks who are on the lower end of the income scale, or who don't itemize their deductions, and anything effected through the tax code is a once-a-year payment that's hard to manage for someone living paycheck-to-paycheck that needs the money for medical costs right now. (...this isn't even getting into trying to eliminate some of the taxes on high-earners' investment income or payroll).

......right now I've been doing all I can to call my Reps/Senators and encouraging others to do the same. I suppose I'm fortunate in that all of mine are opposed, and it's looking less likely that the Senate version will ever pass, but it's an ongoing effort.

BTW the group that protested the other week at the Capitol building is a group called ADAPT (http://adapt.org/). Jenner protested with them back before the first version of the House bill was killed. They're a pretty amazing group of activists that have been on the front lines against this bill.

....if I were feeling a little more energy I might also talk about allowing certain parts of the Muslim-aimed travel ban to go through before the Supreme Court will have heard it. Maybe another time, but that's no less on my mind. KF

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Re: Activism, Social Justice, Protests and you: The Political Discussion Containment Thread

Postby Kizyr » Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:30 pm

....there's a lot that's still happening. From Charlottesville (which isn't too far from here, and the fascist organizers behind that rally also have an office in my town), to DACA being repealed, to... so much other stuff...

I don't post so much on here about this, since I'm more active on Facebook (...and in-person, like at DSA and Young Democrats meetings/events). If any regulars on the board want to hit me up on FB then feel free -- I generally just accept friend requests from people I've met in-person, but I've always made an exception for LunarNET (here) and LunarNet (the IRC channel). KF

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Re: Activism, Social Justice, Protests and you: The Political Discussion Containment Thread

Postby Jenner » Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:25 am

Wouldn't it be nice if we didn't have to call our Senators all the time and beg them to not kill people.

Please call your representatives. Health care is important to people, even if it's not important to you. People's lives matter and if you're opposed to that concept then I just don't know what to tell you. You should really try caring about people.
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Re: Activism, Social Justice, Protests and you: The Political Discussion Containment Thread

Postby Jenner » Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:45 pm

SO ABOUT GUN CONTROL

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Re: Activism, Social Justice, Protests and you: The Political Discussion Containment Thread

Postby Kizyr » Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:05 pm

There's a series of Nazi rallies that are planned across my home state (Tennessee) next weekend. Mostly in Shelbyville, but it seems like they're also trying to have separate ones in Murfreesboro (near Nashville) and near Knoxville last I heard.

...I need to do some more research on what counter-demonstrations are planned and where, and try to spread some of this info around. Given lessons from Charlottesville and Boston, ignoring them doesn't make them go away, it just gives them more room to recruit. KF


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