Here we go about my honesty again, Kosher. I definitely take that personally.
I have doubts about your honesty as well out of our previous contacts, but I am not particularly fascinated with internet flaming.
Insofar as any of us is concerned the knowledge we have about each other is rife with possibilities of misinterpretation about wild conjectures. Perhaps you are a rather clever Mossad agent, perhaps Beck is an intelligent crocodile with a computer eager to take revenge on humanity for turning his brother into wallets, perhaps extraterrestrials are involved. Neither you or I know but probabilities demand some response to face values and my experience with Beck supports my suspicions. Whether you agree or not is not up to me but the longer I interact with you the less easily I swallow your point of view without choking a bit or spitting it out. Take it or leave it this is my outlook on Beck.
JANUARY 28, 2013 12:29 AM
“There is a most peculiar form of intellectual blindness going on here. My evidence, clearly presented, is that black people very clearly support Obama because he is a black person who attained the highest government office, not because he supports the general majority of black people suffering under the squeeze of elite selfishness which is openly Obama's agenda. That plus Obama's not only carrying forth Bush's stupid and vicious agendas but screwing the world with his energy policies and his extension of the US empire of trying to control the entire world with military force.
If I assume Beck is aware and intelligent and yet ignores these policies then something else is in his mind. Being black is what occurs to me as a policy. If you prefer to assume he is openly stupid and unaware, that is your viewpoint.
Frank, on the other hand, seems to me to be a rather congenial nut case and I feel I am being generous there.
I have presented my evidence.”
JANUARY 28, 2013 01:07 AM
Incidentally, I never accused Beck of dishonesty, merely being joyous about Obama for being black and ignoring everything else about the president. That's not dishonest, merely very poor judgment.
JANUARY 28, 2013 01:15 AM
There is a lot to unpack here. Each individual subject, as they occur to me, has the potential to wind down paths to incoherence as each participant goes in subjective directions. Just to be clear, this takes careful treading. I’ll start with the simplest and proceed to the most complex. The simplest is the concept of joy.
As human beings, the vast majority of us experiences joy. Joy is not race specific or dependent. I have experienced joy since before I had any awareness of it, or of myself. I think we have all observed that babies experience joy. It is part of who we are. One of the things that connects us as beings is that we can share in one another’s joy. We get together for weddings and funerals. The joy in a wedding is the obvious, and the joy in the funeral can be the reunion of those who loved someone, the re-embrace in support, and the remembrance of a life lived. We come together on joy.
Many of the animals that we love experience joy that we can see, understand, and share. Dogs and cats experience what appears to us to be joy. We share joy with them, and it forms the foundation of relationships that are very meaningful for some. Some even speculate or imagine that plants experience joy. Some people interact with their house plants, or believe that they do. Presumably what they share with these plants are their good feeling and good wishes. No one comes home to water a fern and argue with it. It could happen, but it is more likely to be joy. Joy is something that connects all of us, even beyond the group called human. Joy is inclusive, not exclusive.
I experience joy, and I am a Black person. These two pieces of information are facts, but not necessarily connected. They exist independent of one another, even though elements of one may overlap on elements of the other. There is such a thing and coincidence, and then there is cause. In the vast majority of experiences blackness and joy are coincidence, not cause. They are not exclusive, and they are not linked by necessity. Blackness and joy exist independent of one another.
My oldest best friend dates from a a time before we went to kindergarten. His birthday is June 3rd. Forty-five years or so ago, I gave him a toy for his birthday. It was a boat with a mechanical rowing mechanism that used the character of a Viking as the propulsion. I don’t recall how many times we played with that boat over the years, maybe a handful of times. You outgrow a thing that that quickly, but I remember the joy of giving the thing to him. That is joy.
Now blackness. How do I communicate being Black as something distinctly separate from joy? This is where it starts to get complicated. In fact, I think it is beyond me, except to say that they exist independent of one another. I have to tread into speculation to even understand for myself how to express this. When I reconnect with consciousness each day, each morning, I do not start “blackness” like a coffee pot, or retrieving the paper from the porch, or grabbing my robe. It is not something that I do. It goes with me like the function of my organs, or the orientation of up and down, and balance. It just happens automatically. It is not a policy or an agenda. It is like the rising of the Sun in the East. It happens independently of what I say, or do, or think, and as a result, I do not channel all decisions through it. It is not distinctly different from what anyone else is, or what they think they are.
I think some in a common group peer into something relatively exotic and presume some conscious awareness that drives the superficial difference. (Again, this is speculation.) And I speculate that my lack of concern with what I am, in the superficial sense, extends to those superficially different from me. I see that these things are surface and not substance. I imagine others feel the same way because I can not imagine how it could be different.
The flaw is imagining yourself to be inherently one way, and another human to be inherently different. That is not an agenda. That is an understanding. It may be accurate, or it may be inaccurate, but it is perception based upon deconstructed history, absorbed stimuli from events in the moment, and constructed philosophy based upon facts and logic as I see them. These things are driven by experience, mine and others, and not a wishes.
Race as a social construction is inherently political. No question about it. Everything social has a political aspect to it. However race is a universe unto itself, and politics is a universe unto itself. Racial choices, such that they are, are not necessarily aligned with politics. And political choices, such that they are, are not necessarily aligned with race. They may overlap, but they are not the same thing at all times. The notion that race and political motivation align absolutely is a massive oversimplification of race, politics, the person making the choices, and human thinking in the broad sense.
They may overlap, but that does not mean that they do overlap in all cases. That is far from accurate. They can conflict, and people of the same superficial category can disagree about methods to reach the same end, or what the ultimate goals should be. The examples of this are so numerous that a good list can’t be made here. Blacks fought on both sides of the Civil War, and Blacks stand on both sides of the major political questions of the day today. Some religious Black people oppose gay marriage rights as a social justice concept. Some religious Black people favor gay marriage as a social justice concept. Some non religious Black people favor gay marriage as a social justice concept, and some non religious Black people oppose it. That is just one question with one variable, and it fractures into a kaleidoscope of possibilities at the first opportunity to choose. That is just one issue.
As it applies to choosing a candidate for high office, say, President of the United States, the choice is infinitely more complex than deciding a single issue, with one or two variables, race, and religiosity. Issues for choosing a candidate involve foreign policies, domestic, social justice issues, fiscal issues, the order of priority of issues where one agrees, and the presence of issues where one disagrees. It has never been my experience or expectation that I would agree in all cases with a candidate. I don’t think that is possible given the complexity of the world, and politics.
I expect disagreement with regard to priorities in some cases, perceptions in some cases, and even personal values in some cases. The hope is to select based upon the closest combination, with political viability and effectiveness, as close as one can ascertain such. For me, viability is of particular importance because a principle with no ability to execute is pointless. Like Ben Franklin said, “politics is the art of the possible.” It is a balance, and in some cases it requires ethical compromises.
Frank Apisa raised the question with the film, “Lincoln.” Lincoln traded votes to end slavery. Should he have done it? I added, he also prolonged the war to do so. I see that as the larger ethical compromise. Should he have done that? I see that as an easy, yes. That will differ for some. That is understandable. But for me, the question of viability sets the priority. The principle of abolition of slavery would not have been possible, in the calculation, had the war ended earlier.
Does the end justify the means in all cases? No. To me, it depends on what the end is, and what the means are. Systems are good as organizing tools, but they are not perfect. At times that require adjustment, repair, or replacement. They can outlive their usefulness and they can have unintended consequences which create more problems than they solve. One example is what is commonly referred to as the war on drugs. Things like marijuana are illegal in most places in the U.S., and the federal government declares it illegal everywhere. While I do not use it, I favor it being made legal. The case against its use is poor, and it causes far more problems than it fixes. I favor gay marriage and I am not gay, etc, etc, etc. One’s political principles need not be absolutely aligned with one’s essence.
And there is another side. We are also joined, all of us, in conflicts of principle. You may be be aware of them and you may not, but here is one broad example. You, Jan Sand, use a computer. I use a computer, several of them. Computers use elements in their construction, and most often their actual construction, which involve what most in the West would consider slave labor. At the very least, they exploit labor in order to make these items. Slavery is almost universally opposed in principle.
Conversely, as participants in a giant global economy, we are all complicit. Now, when you say that President Obama is these various things that you have claimed (I’m not going through the list), and you presumably claim some moral superiority by assailing those who support him by saying that they are complicit with his evil, or merely swept up in racial joy and ignoring all other aspects, you are presuming to absolve yourself from participation in the grand global economy, such that it is.
It is an inherently disingenuous position, and that is even if I grant you the “Obama is evil” premise. (For the record, I don’t. That probably does not need to be said, but to be completely clear, there it is.)
Choices by humans are complex. I choose much like other humans choose. I experience joy much like other sentient beings experience joy. I am not a “spaniel”, and I am not a “crocodile.” I am human, like you, and like Obama. Our differences, in my view, are far fewer than our similarities. I do not make large choices based upon differences. I don’t perceive myself as different. It does not come to mind, generally. My human-ness is presumed by me everyday, all hours of the day. How you choose is up to you.