February 23, 2021

"The online publication Slate has suspended a well-known podcast host after he debated with colleagues over whether people who are not Black should be able to quote a racial slur..."

"... in some contexts. Mike Pesca, the host of 'The Gist,' a podcast on news and culture... made his argument during a conversation last week with colleagues on the interoffice messaging platform Slack. In a lengthy thread of messages, Slate staff members were discussing the resignation of Donald G. McNeil Jr., a reporter who said this month that he was resigning from The New York Times after he had used the slur during a discussion of racism while working as a guide on a student trip in 2019....  Jacob Weisberg, Slate’s former chairman and editor in chief [said]... 'I don’t think he did anything that merits discipline or consequences, and I think it’s an example of a kind of overreaction and a lack of judgment and perspective that is unfortunately spreading'... Joel Anderson, a Black staff member at Slate... disagreed. 'For Black employees, it’s an extremely small ask to not hear that particular slur and not have debate about whether it’s OK for white employees to use that particular slur,' he said."

The NYT reports.

ADDED: If a place of business wants to have zero-tolerance rule that says you will lose your job if you ever say the syllables of the n-word, that's one thing. But I don't see how the policy can be, as Joel Anderson suggests, that it only applies to white employees. That's overt and unsubtle race discrimination, and it would, I think, be hard to argue that it's not a violation of statutory law. Would Anderson support a rule that required the firing of black employees who happen to slip into say the word? I don't think I've ever heard anyone push for a rule like that. So I think the employer would be well advised to take the context of the saying of the word into account.

AND: A race-neutral zero-tolerance rule would create a much greater risk for black people. I think it's very easy for white people to avoid ever saying the word. Some just don't think we should be so repressed and sensitive about the word — as opposed to its use as an insult. But if the rule is you'll be fired if you ever say it, regardless of context, white people will abide by the rule.

215 comments:

1 – 200 of 215   Newer›   Newest»
David Begley said...

Wondering if “Huck Finn” has been banned yet.

Mark said...

Quit listening to his podcast fairly quickly as he is far too amused with himself to make it entertaining.

If I want to listen to some guy who claims to have the answer for everything, I will pay more attention to staff meetings as we have our own Mike Pesca type at work.

hawkeyedjb said...

Now you can't even debate whether it is appropriate to talk about "the word?" Censorship and punitive liberalism have taken over every nook and cranny of our society. When things go this far, it is not about assuaging the feelings of black people, it is about power, pure and simple. Power to what purpose? I don't begin to know.

Mark said...

David, it is still being read at the Madison suburban high school I know someone who teaches English at.

The most popular essay about it is why it should or shouldn't be read.

Oddly enough the book that wasn't read this year was To Kill A Mockingbird. Go figure.

Ralph L said...

All Negroes are now magic.
Wonder if he'd have been fired if he discussed 2020 election fraud.

rhhardin said...

Blacks are not only stupid but delicate.

Lucien said...

Reminds me of what happened to Megyn Kelly when she suggested being tolerant of someone's choice of Halloween costume. I wonder what Pesca's take on that incident was?

The overall point is that the Woke are so intolerant that they won't tolerate another person's tolerance for that which they disapprove of. (Kind of diagonally adjacent to a secondary boycott.)

Tarrou said...

It's a pretty small ask for black people to have veto power over every word that exits a non-black person's mouth, and for there to be no discussion of this privilege. Reintroduce sumptuary laws!

Jeff Vader said...

This is the direct result of parents no longer disciplining their children, they become asshole/know-it-all adults who seek to destroy those who don’t worship them

Jamie said...

"An extremely small ask"? How about the "extremely small ask" that people first assume others have the same general good intent that they do? You know, a theory of mind? A foundation of our humanity?

That's one point. (And arguably, at least some of the offended are employing a theory of mind that assumes others have the same intent they do, I suspect - but they themselves don't have good intent.) The more urgent one is, of course, the camel's nose poking under the tent.

Mark said...

Tarrou, to be fair they are not asking about every word ... it only seems to be the one.

I haven't uttered it in decades, it seems like a pretty small molehill to die on.

You and Mike Pesca may disagree.

wendybar said...

Division and segregation. Isn't Progressivism grand???

Clayton Hennesey said...

There's no good reason to waste energy and potential advantage talking to an enemy.

The only good efforts remain identifying who he is, what his strengths and weaknesses are, and how his life can then be overfilled with the tiniest of things so that his food bowl is the greatest reach he can ever muster.

Oso Negro said...

With a "small ask" here and a "small ask" there, Old McDonald killed free speech, E-I-E-I-O.

D.D. Driver said...

So you can get suspended for arguing in favor of having a debate. But, are we still allowed to debate the merits of debating things or is that too off limits?

Jersey Fled said...

No one condones bigotry, whether it be racial, ethnic, or religious. But we have dumbed the word bigotry down to the point where the mere mention of certain words, regardless of context, is a capital offense. And an opportunity for people who have lived lives as privileged as anyone to get up on their high horse and proclaim their moral superiority.

Frankly, I find it sickening.

Jamie said...

The thing is, it does seem like a small ask. But it isn't. We know it's not just this one word - can you think of any ethnic slur you could utter without cancellation? What if you questioned whether the preponderance of men in STEM might reflect some element of difference between men and women? What if you insisted that a person who, born a physiologically normal male but now having been willingly castrated, whatever the term for having the penis removed is, and requiring daily hormone alteration, is distinguishable from a person born female? What if you questioned whether abruptly and dramatically increased levels of mail-in balloting could possibly be squared with claims that the 2020 election was the fairest, cleanest, and most secure election ever in our history?

It's not just one word.

Amadeus 48 said...

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.

Discuss. If so, why? If not, why not?

I can’t believe we are still dealing with this. In my youth, the proper response to a slur was (1) ignore it, or (2) come up with a worse one for the perp. Parents and teachers recommended (1). Experience tended to verify (1).

This isn’t about the word itself, or even its history. This is a power play. This is a game called I Can Make Whitey Dance.

Welcome to Black History Month.

rehajm said...

The epidemiology of cancel culture: the canceled will begin to develop a new, more tolerant culture on the other side. Herd immunity for the rest who join...

Oso Negro said...

Blogger Mark said...
Tarrou, to be fair they are not asking about every word ... it only seems to be the one.
I haven't uttered it in decades, it seems like a pretty small molehill to die on.
You and Mike Pesca may disagree.

You must not follow the news of the world much. It's not just "the one". It is anything that can be construed to be remotely offensive to the preferred darkies (darkies! oooh, try that one in polite company) or gender-benders (didn't use "xer" preferred pronoun, you hater!) or the vaginate (try a cheery "good morning gals!" at the office). And Althouse is offended by excessive spacing! Check your privilege!

hawkeyedjb said...

Jamie said...
... whatever the term for having the penis removed is...

Lopadicktomy?

iowan2 said...

Who exactly is the one that has the power to determine "words" allowed?

It is clear it cannot be studied. How does this work?

rhhardin said...

No one condones bigotry, whether it be racial, ethnic, or religious.

Those are the three major humor groups.

Tina848 said...

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me...

Have we forgotten?

gilbar said...

For Black employees, it’s an extremely small ask to not hear that particular slur and not have debate about whether it’s OK for white employees to use that particular slur,' he said.

how about cr*cker (the "c-word")?
is it an extremely small ask to not hear that particular slur and not have debate about whether it’s OK for black employees to use that particular slur??

Browndog said...

You have to start to wonder about the health and viability of American businesses. Reciting woke dogma is hardly a job skill, but it seems like we're steamrolling towards that being the only qualification necessary for employment.

Jamie said...

Who exactly is the one that has the power to determine "words" allowed?

It is clear it cannot be studied. How does this work?


So here we are, in a society in which nothing is transgressive except believing you have a natural right, as a human being, to speak freely. Who will be the Masters and Johnson of this unspeakable topic?

Also: lopadicktomy! Not something that comes up frequently in my conversations, but thank you for the word, just in case!

gilbar said...

serious question
how long will it be, before mention of China's Cultural Revolution will get you banned?

chickelit said...

'For Black employees, it’s an extremely small ask to not hear that particular slur and not have debate about whether it’s OK for white employees to use that particular slur,' he said."

That's blatant discrimination based on the thickness of skin.

Paco Wové said...

It's like a little verbal Mohammed cartoon.

Gusty Winds said...

Ha! Ha! Last week NROs David French was bitching because one of his buddies had a book deplatformed on Amazon. Now I see on Twitter regarding this guy, Mike Pesca, things are going “too far”. The Liberal Cancel Culture vulture has no limits; even if you thought you were one of the “good ones” supporting MAGA cancellations, it will feed on flesh and pick at your carcass.

Oso Negro said...

Blogger Jersey Fled said...
No one condones bigotry, whether it be racial, ethnic, or religious.


From Merriam-Webster Bigotry, noun, "obstinate or intolerant devotion to one's own opinions and prejudices: the state of mind of a bigot"

By definition, the progressive left DEMANDS bigotry and exercises it most passionately.

Amadeus 48 said...

Further to my comment above, the problem with (2), coming up with a worse slur for the perp, was that it tended to lead to sticks and stones. That is why parents, teachers, and experience all taught that the best response to a slur was to ignore it.

Of course, if you weren’t calling someone or some group the derogatory name, it wasn’t even a slur. It was just a word. See: Use by Author in Fiction.

Roughcoat said...

I think the commenters at the AA blog have thoroughly covered this topic, on multiple occasions.

Shouting Thomas said...

This prohibition on the accursed word would be easier to enforce...

If...

HR would stop staging the Diversity workshop and cease forcing employees to discuss race.

Amadeus 48 said...

Beware the “trainers” empowered by HR. They do not have your interests at heart.

Isn’t this whole thing devoted to making your job, livelihood, and wellbeing depend on having good manners?

Sheesh.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

“For any employees, it’s an extremely small ask to not hear that particular slur and not have debate about whether it’s OK for any employees to use that particular slur.”

There. Fixed it for them. Why can’t it be phrased in a neutral way like this that is fair to everyone?

iowan2 said...

Can we think of any word that will get a black fired?

Owen said...

“...lopadicktomy...”. I suggest “contra/diction” as a bit more punny.

Gusty Winds said...

Another One Bites the Dust: Oh this guy is screwed. Quote from and an article in The Defector.

“I feel outraged,” a Slate staffer told me when asked about Pesca’s participation in the conversation. “I cannot believe I had to watch him enthusiastically provoke people on whether or not it is appropriate to use a racist slur.” Other Slate staffers that spoke to Defector expressed frustration and anger at Pesca’s insistence on having that particular conversation. “I don’t want to be in a workplace where people feel emboldened to have this argument. People’s humanity is not an intellectual debate,” one said.

And:

“In 2019, multiple current and former Slate staffers told me, Pesca said the n-word at the company office on two separate occasions.”

NEXT!!!!

Browndog said...

If you're not able to speak freely, you're not able to think freely. Not able to think freely makes for a very poor employee. To the point you might as well replace them with a robot.

We need to think outside the box!

fired!

Gusty Winds said...

Serves the guy right for working for SLATE.

chuck said...

What a horrible way to live. Knotted up in words is no way to enjoy life.

MartyH said...

“Google has suspended the popular Althouse blog for a discussion of a discussion of the appropriate use of a word that can no longer be referred to.”

Dust Bunny Queen said...

So the "n" word is going to be like Voldemort...he who cannot be named or discussed.

How is it that some people cannot distinguish between using a word as a slur or derogatory comment...or using a word in an educational situation to explain where the word came from, the bad circumstances that brought it to be and why is it not good to use that word?

Instead of learning and changing we are to just tippy toe and keep silent? All that does is just create a great mystery about Voldemort, I mean the 'word'. You know what a mystery does? It makes it interesting and desirable and something that people WANT to delve into.

Little children know this. The mystery of what is in the cookie jar. Using the big BAD words that your parents use for shock value....because IT WORKS!

Rusty said...

Howard. The SJW grievance clown will be here soon to hand out balloons.
It'll be fun!

Gusty Winds said...

When to the Teachers and their Union start eating their own too? Media does. So do politicians. Colleges love a good cannibalistic smorgasbord.

But DAMN! It seems the only thing that can currently get you thrown out in that environment is if you’re a 25-year-old female teacher and you bang one of the available 17-year-old boys. And that’s only if it gets out.

Gotta give those public school teachers credit. They’re a tight clan.

Jeff Brokaw said...

First rule of holes: when you're in one, stop digging.

Fernandinande said...

slate.com: Trump 7; Biden 0.

Churchy LaFemme: said...

Libs seem remarkably slow on the uptake about the places they work.

Welcome to the party, pal!

Jeff Brokaw said...

How far is it from "you must not use certain types of speech" to "you shall use certain types of speech"?

However far it is, we are a good ways down that road now, with the pressure to use preferred pronouns and the like.

And in that latter "shall use" situation, in what sense can we still use the word "freedom" about our ability to speak our minds?

Browndog said...

Gusty Winds said...

Serves the guy right for working for SLATE.


I have to push back-

How is that different from:

Serves the guy right for working for Trump?

An injustice done to my enemy is still an injustice

DanTheMan said...

>> 'For Black employees, it’s an extremely small ask to not hear that particular slur and not have debate about whether it’s OK for white employees to use that particular slur,' he said."


Can black employees still use that word?

J. Farmer said...

... Joel Anderson, a Black staff member at Slate...

Mr. Anderson was recruited by an all-boys Catholic high school, Jesuit Strake, to play football and then played football at Texas Christian University for two years before graduating with a degree in "news-editorial journalism." For about a decade he was mostly a sports reporter for various publications, including here in Tampa, before moving to San Francisco to join Buzzfeed as a "Senior National Reporter" who "covered the intersection of race, sports and culture for the sports, national, and investigative desks."

At Slate Anderson produces content with headlines like "Will Washington’s NFL Team Finally Change Its Racist Nickname?" and "How Can Major League Baseball Truly Grapple With Its Segregationist Past?" and "Why Kentucky’s Black Attorney General Is So Beloved by McConnell, Trump, and Their Very White Party" and "Why Have Sports Leagues Stayed Silent About the Capitol Riots?"

It's this guy's job to be offended. Scouring the headlines for racial grievance angles to current events is in the job description. In the mind of the white liberals who hired him, this is being supportive of "anti-racism" and 'diversity inclusion equity." They've never been anywhere near the black underclass and don't seem to get that MLB's "Segregationist past" isn't really a big issue within those communities. Leave it to white liberals to make the African-American experience all about them.

Dave Begley said...

What if I had read "Huck Finn" in the past? Or recently thought about it? Do I get cancelled for that?

Jeff Brokaw said...

Speaking freely *is* thinking freely, essentially.

If you don't have the first, you don't have the second.

Gusty Winds said...

Browndog said:...How is that different from: Serves the guy right for working for Trump?

It's not. Guilty as charged. It's the schadenfreude when libs eat their own. MAGA isn't cancelling this guy. These vultures cancel EVERYONE, except Hunter Biden, and when their own level threats.

It was the same sick feeling of joy like when Matt Lauer went down for the love shack and Austin Powers button he kept in his office. Charlie Rose was enjoyable too, especially the feigned disappointment of the rest of the CBS morning show hosts.

I felt bad about Garrison Keillor. But...if gonna be a liberal you have to watch your P's and Q's, even in Lake Wobegon. They created this culture. Let them live it with the rest. It ain't goin' away.

Tommy Duncan said...

Sometimes we fail to understand the meaning of commonly used words and conflate them in our usage:

Dialogue: "An exchange of ideas or opinions on a particular issue, especially a political or religious issue, with a view to reaching an amicable agreement or settlement."

Lecture: "A speech of warning or reproof as to conduct; a long, tedious reprimand."

JPS said...

Gusty Winds, 7:25: Good addition.

"'I feel outraged,' a Slate staffer told me when asked about Pesca’s participation in the conversation."

Good. That's the way they want you. Outraged, helpless, and willing to give them whatever power they want to fix it.

Stephen Fry famously said, "It's now very common to hear people say, 'I'm rather offended by that.' As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more... than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well, so fucking what?"

On various sites, you find people offended by that. Some think they're being clever by calling Fry the worst slurs they can think of for a gay Jew. Fry of course wasn't expressing contempt for ever being offended - just for declaring it, and thinking you've won the argument.

Iman said...

Histerectomy?

Gusty Winds said...

JPS said...Good. That's the way they want you. Outraged, helpless, and willing to give them whatever power they want to fix it.

I'm outraged at the outrage!!!!

Sebastian said...

"That's overt and unsubtle race discrimination, and it would, I think, be hard to argue that it's not a violation of statutory law."

Law? What law? You mean, like, a prediction of what the judges will do in fact? Remains to be seen.

I mean, if you can squeeze SSM out of the 14th, and conjure trans rights from the CRA, and allow discrimination for the sake of "diversity," and manufacture abortion out of nothing, why not turn the small ask into a form of equal protection?

Daniel Jackson said...

I have a serious question here: does this new self-righteousness give Christians and Blacks permission to utter incredible slurs against Jews as Kikes, Jew-Bastards, Christ Killers, and other unsavory slurs against Semites be they Arabs or Jews (or both)?

I endured this constantly in France and in WA State recently and in the past.

On this note: how to check Black racism?

rehajm said...

Would Anderson support a rule that required the firing of black employees who happen to slip into say the word? I don't think I've ever heard anyone push for a rule like that. So I think the employer would be well advised to take the context of the saying of the word into account.

This incorrectly assumes we're still operating under a rules based system...

Iman said...

Dude Pruning?

Unknown said...

Are employees allowed to refuse to talk about black peoples at all? Would they get fired for being in one of the race Re-education semi cars and stating, “I don’t talk about race issues”. “I don’t answer questions about race issues”.

I expect they would be fired.

JPS said...

Daniel Jackson:

"On this note: how to check Black racism?"

Declare it unable to exist due to power discrepancies.

TwoAndAHalfCents said...

JPS nails it. The power discrepancy proves that racism can only go one way. Robin D told me so.

Browndog said...

Gusty Winds said...

Sound rebuttal.

Interesting:

Katie Herzog
@kittypurrzog

I’ve reached out to the CEO at @slate
to ask if they will be disciplining all the Slate writers who’ve used the n-word (current count: 378 separate posts) or just Mike Pesca, who didn’t. We’ll see if I hear back.
8:37 PM · Feb 22, 2021

I'm Not Sure said...

“I don’t want to be in a workplace where people feel emboldened to have this argument. People’s humanity is not an intellectual debate,” one said.

McDonald's is usually always hiring.

Jupiter said...

"Joel Anderson, a Black staff member at Slate... disagreed."

Don't you wish you worked with Joel Anderson? Until he got you fired, of course. Maybe you should get him fired first. Just to be on the safe side.

Sam L. said...

I trust nothing form the NYT.

J. Farmer said...

@DanTheMan:

>> 'For Black employees, it’s an extremely small ask to not hear that particular slur and not have debate about whether it’s OK for white employees to use that particular slur,' he said."

Can black employees still use that word?


I think white people should abandon this line of reasoning. It's a common linguistic phenomenon For subcultures to adopt slurs aimed at them. It's also not uncommon to have differing standards between in-group usage and out-group usage. There are certain words and topics you avoid in "polite company." Kids don't use certain words around adults, and adults don't use those words around kids. Removing that word from polite society, accomplished through social and interpersonal sanction, overall has been a good development for race relations. And that's why these kind of hair-trigger HR responses is so destructive. How can there be reconciliation if there's no path to redemption?

Jon Burack said...

I think Ann is too reasonable in her take on this. It goes way beyond simply not taking "context" into account. The NYTs has in fact published the dread N-word dozens of times in recent years. Did the context justify all those uses but not McNeil's use of it in Peru to a small group of students and without any intent to slur anyone. There is no rule, no definition of context, no standard of intent/lack of intent that can account for what is going on. Hence Gina Carano is cancelled for a Holocaust related tweet that did not denigrate Jews at all, whereas her co-star Pedro Pascal's far more absurd use of the Holocaust earned him no punishment at all. The dividing line here is, however, not arbitrary. It has to do with what works to enforce the cultural left's power plays and what does not. It is time for Carano, and not McNeil, time for the Great Refusal. Time to say "NO." Remember: "When they came for the Muppets, I did not speak out as I was not a Muppet..."

Achilles said...


Blogger Mark said...
“Tarrou, to be fair they are not asking about every word ... it only seems to be the one.
I haven't uttered it in decades, it seems like a pretty small molehill to die on.
You and Mike Pesca may disagree.“

Don’t say the H word.

Francisco D said...

Leave it to white liberals to make the African-American experience all about them.

White liberal minded people (not leftists) were the target of the 60's civil rights movement. We were willing to listen and to do something about blatant racism. We were proud to be on the side of what was right and heartily congratulated ourselves for it.

The success of the civil rights campaign took away blatant racism against Blacks, leaving a need to find problems that Black and White social change professionals could address. In other words, the demand for racial injustice was so great that hoaxes have become the norm as have grievance professionals focusing on micro aggressions, statistical differences and racism from long ago.

It is an industry as it has been for some time.

Known Unknown said...


Don't go out.
Don't get close to people.
Don't shake hands.
Don't see your friends.
Don't see your loved ones.
Don't show your face.
Don't speak your mind.


The Dehumanization of America is underway.

Jon Burack said...

By the way, I see some references here to Huck Finn. I did a social studies unit on that novel and its place in 19th century America. It is still being published, but I doubt many are using it now. In it, I devoted a section that asks students to actually discuss Twain's use of the N-word and its place in the novel. He used it relentlessly in what is one of the great anti-racist novels of all times. But that has not spared him. Many schools do now ban the use of the novel - along with "To Kill a Mockingbird," another anti-racist novel I included in the same series. I am a dinosaur.

Achilles said...

J. Farmer said...

“How can there be reconciliation if there's no path to redemption?“

Stephen Fry makes the point I want to make. We need to be able to debate contentious topics with adroitness and gentle care and intellectual maturity.

https://munkdebates.com/debates/political-correctness

I know what your opinion is of black people’s ability to operate in society. I disagree with it.

We should resist the desire to infantilize groups of people based on race or sex.

J. Farmer said...

@Jeff Brokaw:

Speaking freely *is* thinking freely, essentially.

If you don't have the first, you don't have the second.


The problem is it's been widely accepted that private organizations can place restrictions on speech as a condition of membership. Students can't shout out in classrooms, and workers can't use vulgar and abusive terms to refer to co-workers or customers. An employer's ability to control his worker's behavior is part of a traditional left-wing critique of capitalism.

Unknown said...

Well that didn’t take long. So the denial of talking about race is also a rideable offense.

See the saga of Jodi Shaw at Smith College at legalinsurrection.

She responded that she did not wish to discuss racial issues. Sue them good and hard.


alfromchgo said...

N_____ for thee but not for me.

n.n said...

The t-word... trigger.is a many Pro-Choice, selective, opportunistic, politically congruent quasi-religious ("ethical") construct. That said, in post-apartheid Progressive South Africa, they lynched people... persons with ideological differences. One step forward, two steps backward.

n.n said...

Leave it to white liberals to make the African-American experience all about them.

Liberalism is a divergent ideology, typically generational, tribal, or factional, which is at best perceived as tolerant, and at worst as open-minded.

Achilles said...


“I don’t want to be in a workplace where people feel emboldened to have this argument. People’s humanity is not an intellectual debate,” one said.“

This is a multi-front attack on western society.

The globalists want us divided by every surface race/sex characteristic possible. They are even creating new ones to make sure integration is impossible.

They are also very interested in turning the average person into an intellectual infant.

Then they put infants in charge and persecute anyone acting like an adult.

Achilles said...

J. Farmer said...
@Jeff Brokaw:

Speaking freely *is* thinking freely, essentially.

If you don't have the first, you don't have the second.

“The problem is it's been widely accepted that private organizations can place restrictions on speech as a condition of membership. Students can't shout out in classrooms, and workers can't use vulgar and abusive terms to refer to co-workers or customers. An employer's ability to control his worker's behavior is part of a traditional left-wing critique of capitalism.“

You are conflating rules put in place to promote intellectually adult behavior with rules meant to promote intellectually juvenile behavior.

These rules are different and it is possible to support some while not supporting others.

Iman said...

You are now entering the pre-Enlightenment Phase... please keep your mouth, head and hands to yourself if you wish them to remain intact.

J. Farmer said...

@Achilles:

I know what your opinion is of black people’s ability to operate in society. I disagree with it.

We should resist the desire to infantilize groups of people based on race or sex.


By and large, this has not been a response to demands emanating from the black community. Rather, it reflects a kind of urban, college-educated white liberal perspective. Blacks and gays and trannies are just props in their battle against Christian straight white male culture and its adherents (regardless of color, sex, or orientation). Their perspective is not anti-racist but anti-white.

Joe Smith said...

Black people are apparently children and we continue to treat them as such.

Except for a few smart ones who continue to make whitey look like idiots for their own gain.

We are the dumbest nation on earth.

The Chinese are going to eat our lunch...with gusto.

Rosalyn C. said...

I think there has to be more discussion about the language used by blacks about themselves. The N word, the C word, the MF word, the B word, are constantly used. I don’t know of any group which uses negative slurs against it. There is something pathetic and pathological about that.

J. Farmer said...

More than 25 years ago, a rabbi and family therapist named Edwin Friedman published a book called A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix. His attempt was to identify trends in society and large organizations that he believed were contributing to a crisis of leadership. He identified the following dynamic:

"(1) Reactivity—people react passionately, aggressively, even viciously to circumstances and to each other. Anxious members find it almost impossible to be calm,optimistic or playful. (2) Herding—putting a greater value on sticking together than on making progress. Members become intolerant of individuality and conflict. They pressure the group to adapt to the demands of the least mature members and criticize leaders for hurting or being cruel to these disruptive people. (3) Blame shifting, or living like victims instead of taking responsibility for problems and solutions. As anxiety increases, group members increasingly criticize and blame leaders for failing to provide for their safety and happiness. (4) Searching for quick-fixes—i.e., seeking quick relief from painful symptoms rather than making deep, fundamental changes. Impatience (low pain threshold) is a characteristic of the chronically anxious, so they demand that their leaders move quickly to alleviate their pain. (5) A lack of well-defined leadership—i.e., a failure of nerve. Leaders lose a sharp sense of vision, become reactionary, cave into criticism, and are no longer challenged to grow. A breakdown in leadership is both a cause and a symptom of this kind of social regression."

BarrySanders20 said...

Firing is not good enough. Need to go straight to capital punishment, like the utterance of Jehova in LOB. Where you're only making it worse on yourself if you try to explain the context, so you might as well end in a dance and song routine using nothing but the forbidden utterance.

tcrosse said...

White guy:"How come I can't say the n-word, but I can say "motherfucker"?
Black guy:"Because us n-words are better organized than you motherfuckers".

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

J. Farmer said...

I think white people should abandon this line of reasoning.

Yeah, sitting here reading the Althouse comment section this morning has me wondering why so many commenters get put out over the possibility of not being able to use the n-word.

effinayright said...

Mark said...
Quit listening to his podcast fairly quickly as he is far too amused with himself to make it entertaining.

If I want to listen to some guy who claims to have the answer for everything, I will pay more attention to staff meetings as we have our own Mike Pesca type at work.
**********
We have a few such types commenting right here at AA.

n.n said...

Black people are apparently children and we continue to treat them as such.

Yes, a minority have continued, and demand that others kneel (i.e. suppression), The majority never did, including a large minority that stood up to diversity, and their Posterity still do.

effinayright said...

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.
****************

There go libel and slander, and their idea of damages.

There go threats such as "I'm going to kill you."

n.n said...

Firing is not good enough. Need to go straight to capital punishment

Yes, some consistency would be welcome. He is clearly not viable, and may be more profitable in parts. #InStorkTheyTrust

Nonapod said...

Our culture seems to be trading independent thought for comformity of thought, punishing free expression and rewarding groupthink and informing on any dissenters. And terrifyingly those who dare to question the new status quo are immediately unpersoned, fired, and barred from future employment.

I don't know where all this is going but I'm certain it's not to a good place if history is any guide.

I'm Not Sure said...

"Yeah, sitting here reading the Althouse comment section this morning has me wondering why so many commenters get put out over the possibility of not being able to use the n-word."

It's not about one particular word. It wasn't that long ago that they were only going to remove the Confederate statues. Remember?

Kylos said...

It appears Pesca was also under scrutiny for using the word in discussing the firing of the black security guard in Madison over the use of the word, which you've discussed here before.

Gusty Winds said...

Do white people REALLY want the freedom to use this word?? Who cares? This guy Peska is an idiot if this is the hill where he wanted to make his stand. I would suspect he thought he was woke enough to pass the purity test, and get away with making his stupid point.

We are facing massive TRUTH and CONTENT censorship and restriction on a massive scale.

The word in question and who is allowed to use it and who isn’t is really small potatoes. Not using the word does not feel like censorship to me. I simply don’t care.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

I'm Not Sure said...

It's not about one particular word. It wasn't that long ago that they were only going to remove the Confederate statues. Remember?

I know. And we all know where this is going; next it's another word, then another book banned, then they're issuing statements saying that we all need to commit suicide to atone for the past. But getting hung up over that word makes it looks like everyone on this board wants to run up and down the street shouting it over and over again. If you want to die on that hill, fine. Personally, I don't think that particular hill is worth all that much.

Kylos said...

According to the Times article, he had recorded a couple versions of his podcast episode discussing the Madison incident. In one episode, he used the word in quotation. In the other version, he avoided the word. Ultimately, the edited version was aired, but he has been criticized for even recording the unedited version.

Kylos said...

In your commentary about the Madison case, you actually discussed the problem with zero-tolerance policies that have exceptions built into them. It's fascinating to see the echos of that in the Pesca case.

Balfegor said...

AND: A race-neutral zero-tolerance rule would create a much greater risk for black people.

My recollection is that a race-neutral rule to flag hate speech and violent speech flagged Black speakers a lot more frequently than non-Blacks. Vox attributes this to "bias," of course, but the result is not particularly surprising to me. If anything, I'm a little surprised the gap was only 50%.

That said, once you introduce a little separate-but-equal racism back into your moderation, the gap closes. A little:

Their results showed that when moderators knew more about the person tweeting, they were significantly less likely to label that tweet as potentially offensive. At the aggregate level, racial bias against tweets associated with black speech decreased by 11 percent.


If Blacks were running 150% of non-Blacks, I think this means that with race-conscious moderation, Black speakers would be flagged at (100-11)*150 = 133.5% the rate non-Blacks were flagged.

At any rate, race neutral suppression of hate speech is going to come down on Blacks a lot harder than non-Blacks. It's not unique to the n-word. I'm not sure what direction we go from here. I think there's still pressure to hold Blacks to the same standards as everyone else, but speaking for myself, I can't imagine a situation today in which I would feel comfortable openly criticising something grossly offensive someone Black said to me. It would be a breech of manners to do so, like pointing out that someone's fly is undone, or that he's wearing a toupee.

Real American said...

'For Black employees, it’s an extremely small ask to not hear that particular slur and not have debate about whether it’s OK for white employees to use that particular slur,' he said."

There's a difference between the use of a slur and a discussion about the slur. For members of a pluralistic society, it's an extremely small ask to know and understand the difference.

Ken B said...

Pesca wasn’t fired for uttering the word, nor even for defending someone who did. He defended the idea that there might be circumstances where it could be uttered.
In contrast the people who fired him — Slate — have uttered the word hundreds of times online, as Katie Herzog has documented.

Ken B said...

Mark
It’s not in fact just the one word. Pesca for instance wasn’t fired for the word. A professor was fired for an indirect allusion to it. So you can be fired for uttering “the n word” as a way of referencing the n word.

Ken B said...

A professor teaching Mandarin was subjected to an inquisition for correctly using a series of syllables in Mandarin which sound similar to the word, missing the final r. So it’s not just one word.

Balfegor said...

Re: Real American:

There's a difference between the use of a slur and a discussion about the slur.

Yes, but to tell the truth, are there really many situations where you have to talk about the slur at all? Just don't mention the war!

That said, these situations with the journalists are situations where it sounds like the conversation literally revolved around the n-word, so it's not surprising that that some participants would eschew our prim euphemisms in favour of the word itself.

Kylos said...

And the security guard case was a use/mention situation too. The guard told a student something like, "Don't call me []".

https://althouse.blogspot.com/2019/10/a-black-security-guard-at-west-high.html
https://althouse.blogspot.com/2019/10/so-if-class-is-reading-to-kill.html

You just know someone is going to get fired for saying, "Did you hear about the podcaster who got suspended/fired for saying "There was a security guard at a school in Madison who was fired for telling a student, "Don't call me []"""

How many levels of mentioning someone else using a word deep can we go?

Achilles said...

Blogger NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...
J. Farmer said...

I think white people should abandon this line of reasoning.

“Yeah, sitting here reading the Althouse comment section this morning has me wondering why so many commenters get put out over the possibility of not being able to use the n-word.“

I hope this is sarcasm.

If it was meant to be a legitimate point ritual seppuku is your best option.

Kylos said...

For those saying Pesca hadn't actually used the word, if you read the second half of the linked article, you'll see that he actually did use the word in an unbroadcasted version of a 2019 podcast episode he recorded that appears to have been about the firing of a black school security guard in Madison.

A Slate spokeswoman also was quoted as saying "I can confirm this was not a decision based around making an isolated abstract argument in a Slack channel", appearing to confirm that this was about his usage of the word in the earlier podcast.

Joe Smith said...

"Do white people REALLY want the freedom to use this word??"

ALL people should insist on their freedom to use ALL words.

Kind of like trademarks; if you don't protect it you lose the right to use it.

What word is next? What concept is next that cannot be discussed?

The possibility of a stolen election?

Do you want some tech overlord determining what you can and cannot say?

Private company blah blah blah.

But check the news. Members of congress are now 'suggesting' that private companies censor speech.

Talk about your unholy alliance.

Where the fuck does this end?

Levi Starks said...

You can’t talk about what you can’t talk about.

Joe Smith said...

@Gusty Winds

https://twitter.com/mtracey/status/1363961518421868548

Read it and weep for our formerly great nation.

The progressive left are fascists.

Amadeus 48 said...

It is 2021, and we are living in a series of Monty Python sketches. Absurdist humor (or humour) has become a way of life.

Who can blame anyone who refuses to take this stuff seriously?

Churchy LaFemme: said...

Who can blame anyone who refuses to take this stuff seriously?

HR

I'm Not Sure said...

"Personally, I don't think that particular hill is worth all that much."

If that one is given up, soon enough, they'll get to a hill you care about. Will it be too late to make a stand then? I don't know.

Gusty Winds said...

Joe Smith said...Read it and weep for our formerly great nation. The progressive left are fascists.

I'm with you 100%. It's crazy and evil. Yes the slope is slippery, I just don't see that "being able" to use the word in question worth going into battle. There's no high ground, so let's not punch this tar baby.

I'm more concerned with censorship on the election fraud and truths regarding COVID. I thought the "science" on the use of this word was settled....

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Achilles said...

I hope this is sarcasm.

If it was meant to be a legitimate point ritual seppuku is your best option.


What's the matter, Achilles? You not getting any pop from labeling everyone a fascist and looking for a new word to throw around?

Balfegor said...

Re: Levi Starks:

You can’t talk about what you can’t talk about.

Sure you can, when there's a universally understood euphemism to avoid a taboo. If you called someone "you n-word," the meaning would be crystal clear, just like if you called a woman a "b-word" or "rhymes with witch." People used to have the same kinds of taboos around sacreligious interjections, e.g. "dadgumit" for "God damn it," etc. It's just that most Americans aren't comfortable with the idea that we ought to abide by taboos. It seems primitive.

But most human societies evolve elaborate taboo structures, e.g. Brahmin avoidance of Dalits, or taboo words based on the reign names of Chinese emperors, or the taboos around integration of Cagots and Jews in mediaeval and early modern French society. Taboos are particularly common to mark off and police the boundaries with a distinct subgroup (like, well, Dalits or Jews or Cagots) as this particular linguistic taboo does, to mark Blacks as the "other," separate and distinct from the rest of society.

It's not what I would want, but it's the world we live in.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

"The online publication Slate has suspended a well-known podcast host after he debated with colleagues"

Not "used the forbidden word", just "disagreed with people about how forbidden it should be.

If my life gets destroyed by cancel culture, I will spend what's left of my life destroying all those involved in getting me cancelled.

Apparently it's going to take that for cancel culture to end

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Gusty Winds said...
I'm with you 100%. It's crazy and evil. Yes the slope is slippery, I just don't see that "being able" to use the word in question worth going into battle.

This isn't about being able to use a word. this is about whether or not we become a totalitarian and racist society where one's allowed thoughts are determined by ones skin color and connections.

Are you willing to be a 2nd or 3rd class subject (you're not good enough to be a citizen) of your own country?

Yes?

Then by all means, don't fight.

No? You demand the right to be legally equal to everyone else?

Then ANY "rule" that makes you lesser must be fought to the death.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Balfegor said...
It's just that most Americans aren't comfortable with the idea that we ought to abide by taboos. It seems primitive.

No, it's not "primitive", it's "defining classes and privileges based upon immutable characteristics".

Does "race" matter? If "yes", then you can kiss goodbye every single moral justification for the "Civil Rights" movement of the 60s.

Because if it's perfectly fine to treat people differently based on the color of their skin (which is what you're arguing for when you say that we should have skin color based taboos), then the fact that blacks were treated horribly in the US because of the color of their skin might be a political problem, but it's not a moral issue. It wasn't "wrong".

And that means "white supremacy" isn't wrong, either. If you're handing out goodies based on skin color, then of course it makes sense for everyone to try to grab whatever they can for their "race".

Decent Americans disagree with that.

Which is why we object to taboos.

Joe Smith said...

I remember when liberals were huge advocates of free speech.

There was an entire free speech movement in the '60s on the campus of UC Berkeley of all places.

Fuck me, I'm old.

Achilles said...

Blogger NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

What's the matter, Achilles? You not getting any pop from labeling everyone a fascist and looking for a new word to throw around?

It is the habit of stupid people to create straw man arguments when they can’t think of anything better to do.

You are to stupid to actually understand or repeat back my position so you make up one you can deal with.

You are too stupid to have a real conversation so of course you support infantilization of discourse.

Mark said...

Kylos, that would require reading the full article before commenting here.

Most people here comment based on truthiness, not facts.

Jeff Brokaw said...

My primary issue with these episodes is not that people object to use of [insert word here], it’s the severity of their reaction.

It’s always punitive, dismissive, dehumanizing and “othering”, never just, you know, more speech.

But “more speech” assumes good will all around, and that will never work for these authoritarians. They’re never interested in debating the merits of any of these controversies. Their goal is to get you to submit, using guilt and shame.

mikee said...

I am perfectly willing to accept that the N-word is a "fighting word" in both fact and under law, where verbal use of the epithet justifies immediate violent retaliation against the user by one and all. As long as that applies to every user of the epithet. Therein lies the rub.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Achilles said...

You are to stupid to actually understand or repeat back my position so you make up one you can deal with.

What position? All I see is you telling me I need to kill myself.

You are too stupid to have a real conversation so of course you support infantilization of discourse.

Who can have a real conversation with someone who immediately labels everyone "stupid" and/or "fascists" when they say something you don't agree with?

MikeR said...

"If a place of business wants to have zero-tolerance rule that says you will lose your job if you ever say the syllables of the n-word, that's one thing. But I don't see how the policy can be, as Joel Anderson suggests, that it only applies to white employees. That's overt and unsubtle race discrimination, and it would, I think, be hard to argue that it's not a violation of statutory law." Everything you said is true, except for the word "overt". Exactly the same, but covert.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Jamie said...
...can you think of any ethnic slur you could utter without cancellation?

Honky
Cracker
Redneck

J. Farmer said...

Joe Smith:

The progressive left are fascists.

The closest realization of the fascist ideal is private enterprise, where wage earners must submit themselves to the orders and disciplines of a master. Power flows top-down and is concentrated among a small number of owners and investors.

Daniel Jackson said...

So, MGTOW comes to Wall Street and other "white collar" jobs.

Fine.

Inga said...

“Who can have a real conversation with someone who immediately labels everyone "stupid" and/or "fascists" when they say something you don't agree with?”

Indeed, it happens all too often in these comments sections.

Achilles said...

“Who can have a real conversation with someone who immediately labels everyone "stupid" and/or "fascists" when they say something you don't agree with?“

So your position is:

>Any person who says a specific word should be fired and have their life destroyed.<

Defend this position or clarify it.

Gusty Winds said...

Negotiation and Illustration:

Gusty Winds: I want to be able to question the 2020 election fraud and confront the false fear of COVID without being cancelled or fired. I want to call bullshit on masks, school closings, lock downs, and an experimental vaccine nobody needs. I want to be able to express the reality that God made two genders. I want to call bullshit on Climate Change on Social Media without getting banned.

The Liberal Woke: Well to let you do that, you’ll have to promise to never say the N word again.

Gusty Winds: Deal.

Francisco D said...

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said... Yeah, sitting here reading the Althouse comment section this morning has me wondering why so many commenters get put out over the possibility of not being able to use the n-word.

There is a difference between "using" the n-word and calling someone the n-word. I am sure you understand that and strongly disapprove of the latter, as do I.

Using a word in the context of discussion (e.g., talking about Huck Finn to a HS class) has value. Why should the history of using derogatory racial or ethnic terms be forbidden?

Once those words are forbidden, in any context, what words are next?

You see the slippery slope of authoritarianism, I hope.

Achilles said...


Blogger Inga said...
“Who can have a real conversation with someone who immediately labels everyone "stupid" and/or "fascists" when they say something you don't agree with?”

Indeed, it happens all too often in these comments sections.

These people are literally arguing that a person saying a word of regardless of any possible context means they should be removed from the conversation and have their life destroyed.

I am calling you people stupid because your position is the definitional example of cognitive dissonance.

Inga said...

“I am calling you people stupid because your position is the definitional example of cognitive dissonance.”

I often wonder how you can live in your own head.

Inga said...

Achilles is very concerned about authoritarianism, yet he advocates killing those he disagrees with philosophically. We’ve heard you when you speak of “wet work” on “leftists” as you refer to them as fascists. Killing a “fascist” makes it better in your brain, huh?

Gusty Winds said...

If you were in a professional environment, even blue collar factories etc… if you were in a meeting and called a woman a C U Next Tuesday… you’d get fired.

Some gynecologist couldn’t get away with using the C U Next Tuesday term for a vagina just because it’s his favorite. “Hi sweetheart, let’s strap you get in the stirrups and take a close look at that C_nT”

If you said to the white guy sitting across the table from you to “blow me”, you’d probably get fired.

As a manager, if I referred to a Hispanic employee as a Sp>>>K or and Asian employee as a C>>>nk, even in the third person, I’d probably get fired.

I guess I see N word restriction as all of the above.

Achilles said...

Inga said...
“I am calling you people stupid because your position is the definitional example of cognitive dissonance.”

I often wonder how you can live in your own head.

Defend this position or clarify it:

If a person says a word regardless of context or motive they should be removed from the conversation and have their life destroyed.

effinayright said...

Blogger J. Farmer said...
Joe Smith:

The progressive left are fascists.

"The closest realization of the fascist ideal is private enterprise, where wage earners must submit themselves to the orders and disciplines of a master. Power flows top-down and is concentrated among a small number of owners and investors."
****************

Utter fatuity. I could just as easily say that parent-child relationships are fascistic. Ditto teacher-pupils. Or animal groups with an alpha male. But that would mean that I would be confusing social hierarchies with political dominance having powers to compel obedience by imprisonment or worse.

Private enterprise completely differs from fascism in that it involves freedom of association. The boss can't jail or kill you. If you don't like the leader's orders, quit and do something else.

Imagine telling Hitler to fuck off.

Achilles said...

I guess I see N word restriction as all of the above.

Do you see any difference in using a word to describe someone and using a word while reading Huck Finn to someone?

How do you teach people about slavery or Jim Crow?

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Francisco D said...

You see the slippery slope of authoritarianism, I hope.

I do. And I understand the difference between using that word in the context of discussion vs. hurling it at someone as a slur. My point is that many in the comments section sound like, at least to me, they are more upset about the latter than the former.

I don't believe this to be true in the least, but it is bad optics all around.

Achilles said...

J. Farmer said...

The closest realization of the fascist ideal is private enterprise, where wage earners must submit themselves to the orders and disciplines of a master. Power flows top-down and is concentrated among a small number of owners and investors.

I am going to give you a chance to restate this before I judge you.

This is pretty bad.

Please take a moment yourself and tear apart your own argument.

Browndog said...

The progressive left are fascists.

Communists

It's time people stop acting like communism ended when the wall fell. It's time people figured out why you can call a lefty anything you want, just don't call them a commie.

It's time people understood why the left keeps screaming nazi/fascism, nay a word about communism.

Vance said...

Setting aside Inga and other's defense of punishing "thoughtcrime", the first thing I thought of about this story is that there have been other words forbidden from being spoken, for the most part.

I'm thinking of the Jewish refusal to speak the name of God. Apparently it was only supposed to happen once a year, and only by the High Priest in the Temple during the Day of Atonement or something like that.

Now, I'm certainly not criticizing that Jewish practice; it is rooted in respect, awe, and a commandment to not take the name of the Lord in vain.

But is that what we are moving here? The N-word is approaching that status in some fashion? I suspect Inga and the rest of the race-baiters would like that to be where this ends up.

On the other hand, there is also the tradition of not speaking the name of the Devil, in case he hears and decides to show up. Maybe that is where the N-word will end up?

Achilles said...

I don't believe this to be true in the least, but it is bad optics all around.

I am seeing this bad optics excuse being used to describe facile thinking and defend unsupportable positions quite a bit lately.

I am glad you are backing off your stupid straw man argument at least a little.

But your starting position in this thread was only defended by Inga.

This should make you think.

Oso Negro said...

Perhaps we have relegated to antiquity too many impolite names for blacks, and it’s created too much pressure on one word. Whatever happened to “jigaboo”, or “spook”, or “junglebunny” or “coon” for example? Do those terms lack the N-word trigger power of the N-word? They were never considered polite, and would probably cause an instant meltdown with need for grief counseling if used at a faculty meeting, but why is the one, the one word to rule them all invested with so much power? It’s not a sign of a psychologically robust person to be unable to withstand a mere spoken insult.

Vance said...

The funny thing is all the leftist hypocrisy.

"Shame, shame! It is wrong to stereotype and mock cultures and use words that we think are unacceptable! Now excuse me, I'd have more of this conversation about tolerance and respect and the need thereof, but I have to run--my tickets to the Book of Mormon musical are for the 6 PM performance, and I can't wait to laugh and mock those Mormons!"

jg said...

I don't know how anyone can support the official humiliation of white kids for being white, yet here we are.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Browndog said...

How is that different from:

Serves the guy right for working for Trump?


If some worked for Trump, and then Trump turned on them, and fired them, it would serve them right for working for Trump.

On the other hand, if someone worked for Trump, and was then blacklisted by Trump's opponents so they couldn't get another job, that would not serve them right.

The case at Slate is the former, not the latter.

Achilles said...

It has to be pointed out that the standard for a leftist is to lose an argument and immediately call the people they lost to racist.

This thread is no different.

Inga said...

“If a person says a word regardless of context or motive they should be removed from the conversation and have their life destroyed.”

Achilles, what you are missing is that people may actually agree with you, but if they present it in a way you don’t like or understand you jump down their throat and call them stupid or a fascist and tell them to commit suicide. I doubt any people here believe anyone should have their lives ruined because they used the n-word in a non demeaning or insulting way while discussing the use of the word. You just want to find someone you believe to have fascist tendencies so yo can come here and act like you are defending free speech. You aren’t a good defender of free speech as you viciously attack those who disagree with you. Now THAT should be recognized as cognitive dissonance in your own brain.

Achilles said...

Achilles, what you are missing is that people may actually agree with you, but if they have present it in a way you don’t like or understand you jump down their throat and call them stupid or a fascist and tell them to commit suicide.

This is completely dishonest. You do not agree with me.

You believe in censorship and destroying people’s lives.

You use racism as your excuse. You tut tut when Facebook censors your enemies. Then you get right back on the team and vote for the people who have created this regime of censorship.

Democrats are censoring dissent right now. They are using the Sicknick blood libel right now to go after Trump supporters right now.

Facebook and Instagram were cited in charging documents 10 times as often as Parler.

This was for the insurrection that was completely unharmed and killed nobody.

We see you. Your position is indefensible and you know it.

Inga said...

“This is completely dishonest. You do not agree with me.

You believe in censorship and destroying people’s lives.”

You want to believe what you want to believe apparently.

Gusty Winds said...

Achilles said: Do you see any difference in using a word to describe someone and using a word while reading Huck Finn to someone?

I understand what you are saying. But even in a class discussing Huck Finn (the great American Novel in my opinion) you can still discuss the language in the context of the time. You just don’t have to say it. Seems stupid; but a small sacrifice to leave the book on the shelves. I know in the book Jim is “N Jim”. For discussion, just call him Jim.

But even here Althouse is distracting us with small potatoes. She doesn’t post about inner city crime, inner city drug use that leads to crime, the eugenic nature of black abortion rates, and the destruction of the African-American fatherless families, the racism of the Teachers Unions and closed schools. Those subjects are banned in places like Madison, WI.

So…she has us arguing over the N word. I’m just saying it seems like a distraction from other issues, including subjects and opinions that are censored.

Gusty Winds said...

Achilles said...This is completely dishonest. You do not agree with me. You believe in censorship and destroying people’s lives.

I'm with Achilles 100% here is his description of Inga. Nothing genuine in anything she types. Achilles doesn't offend me. I usually agree with him.

But @Inga...John Kerry...Anthony Fauci...Bill Gates...Andrew Cuomo....Chuck Todd...Nicole Wallace...NRO...Lincoln Project... that's another story.

Inga said...

As I said, people want to believe what they want to believe. The Big Lie about the election being stolen is still truth to these people.

Browndog said...

Ignorance is Bliss said...

If some worked for Trump...


Over-thinking. Creating a hypothetical for the purposes of intellectual debate. This exchange was over a matter of principle/template. Of which Gusty agreed.

tim maguire said...

There's a lot of debate here about whether the ask is small. And no, it's not. But recognising that it's not requires some shared values and good faith and I suspect neither exists in Joel Anderson or the people who agree with him.

But enough of that, I wanted to flag the other, more straightforward issue--if it were an "ask," this conversation would not have happened at all. It happened because it is not an ask, it is a demand. Words have meaning.

Jim at said...

Rules for all or rules for none.

You leftists are constantly pushing rules for some, which is why you'll end up with rules for none.

Fine by me. You built it. You will own it.

Skippy Tisdale said...

2021, the year of the n-word.

Skippy Tisdale said...


Tarrou, to be fair they are not asking about every word ... it only seems to be the one.

In Mark's world, coon, jigaboo and porch monkey are still acceptable. Good to know.

Skippy Tisdale said...

lopadicktomy

Not to be confused with addadicktomy.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Browndog said...

Over-thinking. Creating a hypothetical for the purposes of intellectual debate. This exchange was over a matter of principle/template.

I agree it is a matter of principle. I believe you got the principle wrong. There is a fundamental difference between the two cases I listed.

Of which Gusty agreed.

I'm willing to concede that both of you are wrong.

Gusty Winds said...

Ignorance is Bliss said...I'm willing to concede that both of you are wrong.

Ok. So I'm batting .999

J. Farmer said...

@wholelottasplainin'

Utter fatuity. I could just as easily say that parent-child relationships are fascistic. Ditto teacher-pupils. Or animal groups with an alpha male. But that would mean that I would be confusing social hierarchies with political dominance having powers to compel obedience by imprisonment or worse.

The parent-child or teacher-pupil relationship is very different from the employer-employee relationship. Children have a different set of rights and responsibilities than adults because of differences in cognitive development and social/emotional maturity. Even then, legal systems still struggle with issues like age of majority, age of consent, and emancipation.

Private enterprise completely differs from fascism in that it involves freedom of association. The boss can't jail or kill you. If you don't like the leader's orders, quit and do something else.

Every developed state in the world places a variety of constraints on the freedom to contract in the labor market. Examples include child labor laws, maximum hour laws, health and safety laws, prohibitions on sexual harassment, etc. The foundation for this is the inequality of bargaining power in contracting. You're free to quit just as much as you're free to starve.

Balfegor said...

Re: J. Farmer:

The closest realization of the fascist ideal is private enterprise, where wage earners must submit themselves to the orders and disciplines of a master. Power flows top-down and is concentrated among a small number of owners and investors.

I don't think that's accurate either as a matter of fascist theory or as a matter of historical description. The fascists had a sort of romantic conception of the state as serving as the vehicle for the distinctive spiritual and cultural expression of a nation, which itself was given form and identity through the creation of the state. They would absolutely object to the reductive conception of fascism as mere obedience to an authoritarian ruler (indeed, Mussolini specificly rejects De Maistre's absolutism). That spiritual frippery the old fascists keep going on about is for them the most important part, in the same way the nonsense about proletariats and equality that Communists go on about is what they think elevates their tawdry little doctrine above mere absolutism and mass murder.

In practice, most fascist regimes have been authoritarian governments ruled by single individuals, yes, but they've also generally tended to collaborate with existing power structures rather than simply wiping everything/everyone out and trying to start from year zero (e.g. contrast Park Chunghee, who facilitated the growth of the chaebol to develop Korean steel and heavy industry, with Mao Zedong, who thought he could magic up a domestic steel industry by having the people melt down iron in backyard furnaces.) They weren't friendly to private industry, but neither were they rabidly hostile. For example, I don't think any fascist regime went through anything equivalent to the communist dekulakisation campaign. The tendency of using sticks (e.g. when Park paraded capitalists around with signs saying "I am a corrupt pig" around their necks) and carrots (money and power) to bend existing structures and institutions towards a state-determined purpose, while still allowing them some limited scope for operational decisionmaking -- the Gleichschaltung, if you will -- is I think the defining characteristic of fascist authoritarian regimes. And I think it flows necessarily both from fascism's self conception as a vehicle for the expression of the national will, rather than a pure authoritarian straightjacket, and from fascism's attachment to history and tradition as being the pre-fascist something or other that represents the idea that is the nation.

What you're talking about is just a mix of feudalism (ownership of the land and its serfs) and plain old modern authoritarianism (no mediaeval rights here). The only point of overlap with airy-fairy fascist ideology is perhaps the Fuhrerprinzip of National Socialism. Which is more Nazis taking a common authoritarian phenomenon, not particularly unique to fascism and slapping their own name onto it.

Achilles said...

J. Farmer said...

Every developed state in the world places a variety of constraints on the freedom to contract in the labor market. Examples include child labor laws, maximum hour laws, health and safety laws, prohibitions on sexual harassment, etc. The foundation for this is the inequality of bargaining power in contracting. You're free to quit just as much as you're free to starve.

Which is harder?

a. Creating a job.
b. Working at a job.

Who takes more risk?

a. Person hiring a new employee.
b. New Employee taking a job.

Achilles said...

Is an employer entitled to make a profit on the labor of an employee?

If an employee generates $100,000 of value for a company how much should that employee be paid?

If an employee refers to the boss with a racist or sexist epithet what happens?

If an employer refers to an employee who isn't a white male with a racist or sexist epithet what happens?

Unknown said...

The problem is that the rule was applied without ever being specified in advance, and applied to a journalist. News outlets need to be able to report the news including quoting bad words. blacks would indeed face greater risk because they use the n word constantly.

Lurker21 said...

Just don't say it. There are plenty of other things that can get you fired and cancelled, so why add to them unnecessarily? Soon enough everybody will be cancelled; why make it easy on the censors and why get yourself cancelled so early?

People inside a group use words like that among themselves, but don't want outsiders using them. If anybody wants to take on rappers for using the word, fine, but when pale people to complain it can very easily be make to look like they want the right to use the word themselves, and that's unnecessarily bad optics.

Achilles said...

Lurker21 said...

Just don't say it. There are plenty of other things that can get you fired and cancelled, so why add to them unnecessarily? Soon enough everybody will be cancelled; why make it easy on the censors and why get yourself cancelled so early?

People inside a group use words like that among themselves, but don't want outsiders using them. If anybody wants to take on rappers for using the word, fine, but when pale people to complain it can very easily be make to look like they want the right to use the word themselves, and that's unnecessarily bad optics.



I want the right to have an intelligent, adult conversation in good faith about solving major societal problems.

Now please defend or clarify the proposition that a person should be removed from conversation and have their life destroyed for saying a word regardless of context so we can avoid bad optics.

Fritz said...

Blue on blue, don't care.

Francisco D said...

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...I understand the difference between using that word in the context of discussion vs. hurling it at someone as a slur. My point is that many in the comments section sound like, at least to me, they are more upset about the latter than the former. I don't believe this to be true in the least, but it is bad optics all around.

I get your point, but the problem with focusing too strongly on optics is that the Democrat media complex fools people into believing that the optics are reality. That is popular among leftists because they have repeatedly shown their inability to argue facts and logic. It's all optics with them.

People who are strident and dumb like the Resident Idiot are easily fooled. People who pay peripheral attention to the "news" get a very very skewed picture of reality with the focus on optics because the media shows and spins the optics that support their partisan interests.

Francisco D said...

Blogger Achilles said...
Is an employer entitled to make a profit on the labor of an employee?

If an employee generates $100,000 of value for a company how much should that employee be paid?

If an employee refers to the boss with a racist or sexist epithet what happens?

If an employer refers to an employee who isn't a white male with a racist or sexist epithet what happens?


1. Yes.

2. Whatever their contract calls for.

3. Fired for ANY epithet.

4. Goes out of business.

J. Farmer said...

@Achille:

Which is harder?

a. Creating a job.
b. Working at a job.


Depends. Was the job created by Jared Kushner? Is the worker in the logging industry?

Who takes more risk?

a. Person hiring a new employee.
b. New Employee taking a job.


If it's an Amazon fulfillment center, I'd say the latter.

Is an employer entitled to make a profit on the labor of an employee?

If that is the only standard to consider, then there should be no objection to outsourcing or mass immigration or more temporary work visas or any of the other numerous policies they support to exert downward pressure on wages.

Now please defend or clarify the proposition that a person should be removed from conversation and have their life destroyed for saying a word regardless of context so we can avoid bad optics.

Do you support at will employment?

Balfegor said...

Re: Unknown:

The problem is that the rule was applied without ever being specified in advance, and applied to a journalist. News outlets need to be able to report the news including quoting bad words. blacks would indeed face greater risk because they use the n word constantly.

I don't think people were unaware of the rule -- I think adults have generally had a sense that the n-word has become a magical taboo word, one that cannot be invoked directly. An adult using it these days probably knows the effect it has on White audiences, and gets a little frisson of épater la bourgeoisie from the little gasp of horror the bluenoses release when he does it. I think all this to-do is dumb and unjust, but it's not like it comes completely out of the blue for them.

Where I have the most sympathy is teenagers and young adults, who get caught up in this nonsense because a few years ago they liked singing along to naughty pop songs that use the n-word repeatedly. They don't necessarily understand the inflexible caste structure that has developed in elite American society, and so this is a rule of etiquette that genuinely takes them by surprise, in the same way I'd be taken by surprise if someone suddenly decided that I was to be held to account for failing to obey the caste rules of some caste in India. I think the notion of racial and ethnic separateness (the notion of "cultural appropriation" -- that the races must only handle each others' kultur gingerly, at arms length, no borrowing allowed) is spreading amongst young people today, but there's a generation that grew up instinctively believing all the polite hypocrisies about all men being brothers, who are now discovering that the people at the top of society believe more or less the opposite. For the moment, I think it's still just the people at the very top, and the young fanatics. But those young fanatics are growing up, and spreading their poison.

New profile who dis? said...

"Levi Starks said...
You can’t talk about what you can’t talk about."

"A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes." Wittgenstein


Well, motherfuckers, we found the punch line.

Inga said...

People who are strident and perpetually drunk like the Francisco D are easily fooled.

rhhardin said...

"A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes." Wittgenstein

Seems unlikely. I'd remember it pretty surely, and have read all of Wittgenstein, including notebooks and class notes and notecards. Except the Tractatus.

rhhardin said...

The rule is you can say anything that you think is true. That might include the n-word. Suck it up and live with it.

It might be, for what you think is true, the mot juste.

Feelings don't come into it except as the speaker wants to include them. Truth first.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Francisco D said...

I get your point, but the problem with focusing too strongly on optics is that the Democrat media complex fools people into believing that the optics are reality. That is popular among leftists because they have repeatedly shown their inability to argue facts and logic. It's all optics with them.

I understand what you're saying, but this discussion is just making my skin crawl for some reason.

Inga said...

“I understand what you're saying, but this discussion is just making my skin crawl for some reason.”

Francisco D makes my skin crawl every time he opens his mouth. Achilles makes me sad, he so deluded.

Achilles said...

J. Farmer said...

Do you support at will employment?

If you mean the right of a person to hire anyone they want and fire anyone they want with the reciprocal right to work for anyone you want and quit at any time you want then yes.

If it's an Amazon fulfillment center, I'd say the latter.

Please elaborate on these risks.

Excepting of course the stain working for an evil company puts on your soul.

If that is the only standard to consider, then there should be no objection to outsourcing or mass immigration or more temporary work visas or any of the other numerous policies they support to exert downward pressure on wages.

You are talking about systemic issues that affect the bargaining. A country that allows value added products that require significant human capital to produce to be produced outside it's borders and sold to consumers cheaper than those products can be produced inside it's borders is committing economic suicide.

A country that allows companies to import H1B visa labor is specifically screwing it's citizens.

But I believe those are bargains made between government and people not between employee and employer, and therefor not relevant to this particular discussion.

Now do you want to have the discussion of how valuable a good employee is to a company and how much effort a company should put into improving their employees and building loyalty?

I agree companies should do this and they should care about their employees.

The fastest way to make sure this does not happen is to get lawyers, HR, and government involved in company/employee negotiation.

Lurker21 said...

I want the right to have an intelligent, adult conversation in good faith about solving major societal problems.

And you need the n-word for that?

Now please defend or clarify the proposition that a person should be removed from conversation and have their life destroyed for saying a word regardless of context so we can avoid bad optics.

I'm saying don't use it and you make your life a lot easier. Using it or having the right to use it isn't a hill worth dying on. It goes without saying that one doesn't toss other ethnic slurs into one's conversation or even talk about them. I don't wonder why this one is considered more offensive, but I do wonder why, having decided it's offensive, people go on having discussions about it.

New profile who dis? said...

Golf clap, rhhardin. Now pull the ladder up.

Achilles said...

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

I understand what you're saying, but this discussion is just making my skin crawl for some reason.

It should.

Look at this post. Long after her points were completely destroyed the resident idiot is still here casting aspersions on people she disagrees with because that is what she does.

After the left is done destroying people for this word they will pick another word.

Then another.

And another.

The point is to censor and destroy. It is what fascists do.

Nobody believes the election is legitimate. Id it was you could talk about the audits that were performed and the random samples and the signature match rates. But nothing like that happened.

The easiest proof is that if anyone actually thought the election was legitimate you could talk about it. Without being censored.

Now we know Brian Sicknick was never touched in any sort of violent manner.

Are you allowed to talk about how shitheads like Inga lied about that for weeks? No. You get censored.

Inga said...

“I'm saying don't use it and you make your life a lot easier. Using it or having the right to use it isn't a hill worth dying on.”

Extremists demand purity. You cannot truly be person who values free speech unless you go the whole nine yards and react like an extremist would. If you don’t fight for blood you aren’t fighting hard enough, that’s the extremist mindset. Achilles chastises people here who are conservatives because they won’t go as far as he would.

Inga said...

“Nobody believes the election is legitimate.”

Except for the 81 million people who voted against Trump.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Achilles said...

Lurker21 said...

And you need the n-word for that?

What value is gained by destroying someone's life for reading "Huck Finn?" There are historical documents that use the word. Court decisions.

What value is gained by taking this word and removing any mention of it?

Do we gain anything infantilizing black people? Does it make their lives any better to persecute people for saying a word in non-destructive context? A word they call each other repeatedly?

I am all for ending racism. Acceding to these tyrants of bad faith sets this effort back.

I'm saying don't use it and you make your life a lot easier. Using it or having the right to use it isn't a hill worth dying on. It goes without saying that one doesn't toss other ethnic slurs into one's conversation or even talk about them. I don't wonder why this one is considered more offensive, but I do wonder why, having decided it's offensive, people go on having discussions about it.

1. What is a slippery slope?

2. What value is gained by letting this pernicious evil continue?

3. Do you honestly think they will stop at this one word?

Inga said...

Ah, Achilles falls back into his everyone who disagrees with me is a fascist...even if they basically agree with him.Yawn. Sigh.

Spiros said...

It is morally worse to harm someone intentionally than to harm someone accidentally or as a known but unintended side effect. Oliver W. Holmes summed this up in The Common Law -- “Even a dog distinguishes between being stumbled over and being kicked.” This is a big deal in the law. If you rob and kill someone you're in big trouble. But we sort of feel sorry for you if, for example, you accidentally run over and kill a homeless drunk sleeping in the middle of the road.

But I think this distinction between unintentional harm and intentional harm is no longer meaningful for the Woke. Using the N word as a racial slur is the same as discussing its use in Huckleberry Finn. It is a foreseeable consequence that a Black person will be harmed by your use of this slur -- so you're a bad person who needs to be censored or cancelled or whatever. Likewise, owning a gas guzzling truck is wrong because of its impact on the environment. Owning a gun is wrong because an innocent person might get hurt (it doesn't matter that you only want to kill animals or robbers or rapists). The liberals just don't care about your intent. They only care about the harm you cause. Whether its pick up trucks or guns or toxic spills or even fatty foods, what matters is the damage done, not the intent.

Inga said...

“Using the N word as a racial slur is the same as discussing its use in Huckleberry Finn. It is a foreseeable consequence that a Black person will be harmed by your use of this slur -- so you're a bad person who needs to be censored or cancelled or whatever.”

No it’s not. While it may hurt a Black person in any context, it’s the deliberate use of the word as a slur that should get the repercussions.

“The liberals just don't care about your intent. They only care about the harm you cause. Whether its pick up trucks or guns or toxic spills or even fatty foods, what matters is the damage done, not the intent.”

Intent means a great deal. We saw this in the recent Senate trial regarding Trump’s intent. Over generalizations don’t help either.

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