Patterico's Pontifications

4/18/2010

A Guy at a Tea Party Holds a Sign Saying: “REVULSION AT INTERRACIAL IMAGES IS ALTOGETHER NATURAL!” How Would You React?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:45 am

The other day I embedded this video:

I asked:

Is this a “ritual distancing”? — an attempt by someone to squelch free speech and rewrite/airbrush history? Or an appropriate pushback against someone smearing the Tea Party movement?

Most of you found the cameraman’s actions appropriate. Typical of many of the comments was this one by J.R. Taylor, who said: “Tea Party rallies are open to the public, and the public have the right to express scorn towards creeps who use the gathering of good people as an excuse to flaunt moronic beliefs based on prejudice instead of politics. I’m impressed that the Tea Partiers have no intent of blissfully marching alongside the same anti-Semites that the Left marched with during the protests of the past decade.”

For my part, I agreed, although I also voiced some concern over the seemingly defensive nature of the cameraman. I said: “I think sometimes people reasonably seek to distance themselves from opinions and/or people they find offensive — although they should also refuse to accept the premise that guilt by association is proper.”

Today I have a different question: what if the guy wasn’t wearing a shirt with a swastika? What if, instead, he was carrying a sign that read:

REVULSION AT INTERRACIAL IMAGES IS ALTOGETHER NATURAL!

Assume that, when approached, the guy tells you he’s not a racist. Instead, he says, he’s fighting a battle with white supremacists. His sign is designed to “negate or preempt the most obvious appeals” of the argument made by the worst of these supremacists.

Here comes a TV reporter. She tells her cameraman to get the man’s sign in the shot, and heads towards you to ask you what you think of a sign that says: “Revulsion at interracial images is altogether natural!”

What will you tell her?

Perhaps more to the point: would it be wrong to treat the man with the sign the way the guy in the video treated the guy with the swastika?

P.S. I’m going to go ahead and apply my strict no-personal-attacks rule in this thread. Comments must be strictly about ideas, with absolutely no personal comments whatsoever. Comments that do not follow this rule will be summarily deleted. Comments that blatantly violate the rule may earn the offending commenter a time-out or a ban.

Given my restrictive rules, I will accept comments from banned commenters, as long as they follow the rules I have set forth. No personal digs are allowed, no matter how small — but any articulation that hews strictly to the expression of ideas will be allowed.

UPDATE: A commenter complains that I included an asterisk with a link to the context of an actual quote very similar to the sign held in my hypo. Fair enough; it was included for context but could be construed as repeating an accusation that drags personalities into the mix. Accordingly, I have removed the asterisk.

110 Responses to “A Guy at a Tea Party Holds a Sign Saying: “REVULSION AT INTERRACIAL IMAGES IS ALTOGETHER NATURAL!” How Would You React?”

  1. While it’s clear that the shirt in question had plenty of Nazi symbolism, somehow I missed the actual swastika.

    Len (143e4c)

  2. As I said in the other thread, blow it up full screen and freeze it at :16.

    It’s there, inside the Iron Cross.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  3. She tells her cameraman to get the man’s sign in the shot, and heads towards you to ask you what you think of a sign that says: “Revulsion at interracial images is altogether natural!”

    Seems like an easy one to me. I would reply, “I’ll have to disagree with him on that issue. I am here because I am concerned about the explosion of government spending and how it will affect our country’s future.”

    JVW (08e86a)

  4. It might depend on whether the guy holding the sign is black. There is excellent evidence, including statements by or about Obama, who dumped his white girlfriend when he decided to enter politics, of hostility toward black men who marry white women. Mostly by black women.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  5. Would it be wrong to treat the man with the sign the way the guy in the video treated the guy with the swastika?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  6. Some people may be revulted by interracial marriages.

    On the other hand, interracial porn is easily found on the Internet, so there has to be a significant market for it.

    Michael Ejercito (6a1582)

  7. I am pretty sure that men or women carrying signs, or wearing t-shirts, speak for themselves, and not me, and anyone trying to suggest otherwise is being mendoucheous.

    JD (0f5cad)

  8. I am pretty sure that men or women carrying signs, or wearing t-shirts, speak for themselves, and not me, and anyone trying to suggest otherwise is being mendoucheous.

    Indeed, and that is why I say that we should refuse to accept the premise that guilt by association is proper.

    At the same time, as we reject that premise, is there any value to taking on people who don’t share our values, but who try to associate themselves with us in some way? Is there any value in clearly disassociating ourselves from viewpoints we find abhorrent?

    That’s what the guy in the video did, and most people seemed to agree with his tactic when I posted the video.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  9. Perhaps more to the point: would it be wrong to treat the man with the sign the way the guy in the video treated the guy with the swastika?

    The man with the sign is either an agent provocateur or trying to hijack a Tea Party rally to advance his own agenda. In either case, it’s entirely appropriate for Tea Partiers to nonviolently confront him as they did with the swastika-bearing lout and make clear to all that his message isn’t welcome.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (9eb641)

  10. Is there any value to taking on people that are being deliberately dishonest, by attempting to associate a message, like the KKK dude did, with the Tea Party protest? Yes, but I would certainly not go out of my way. I think the fundamental disconnect is that it is alright to confront someone that is espousing something you disagree with, frankly, that is a quite American concept. It is not alright to attempt to change the facts after the fact. Had the Tea Partiers tried to deny there were Klan people there, it would have been lying, and airbrushing history. Pointing out that they are in no way representative of the Tea Party is not airbrushing, it is confronting opposition in real time.

    Gotta run, plus, the site is barely loading for me.

    JD (0f5cad)

  11. The injection of race into any political movement is the kiss of death. Anyone carrying such a sign is either a lefty infiltrator or an idiot. In any case most tea partiers would find the sign either repulsive or idiotically humorous. And most of the lapdog media would find it the only thing of interest at the rally.

    I’d tell the reporter to report, to stop propagandizing and to wear his or her Obama button openly.

    Ken Hahn (82ae0f)

  12. Just because it’s a ‘party’ does not imply unlimited license for any and all behavior.

    Had this badly-beshirted soul shown up at my house for a party and proceeded to urinate in the flower beds, I too would reign in my tolerance and order him to leave.

    And that’s exactly what he was doing.

    Provocateur? Pervert? Attention-wh*re?

    Who cares. Don’t feed the trolls.

    heldmyw (ab0a05)

  13. Had the Tea Partiers tried to deny there were Klan people there, it would have been lying, and airbrushing history.

    Indeed. Nobody supports lying. Did you have the impression that’s what this debate is about?

    But how about if, instead, they politely ask for the Klan guy to disassociate himself from their rally, because they are concerned about how people might reasonably perceive his presence at their rally?

    I would say that they don’t have any “right” to see him leave — but they sure as shootin’ have the right to make the request (just as the Klan guy has the right to refuse).

    See? It’s a bunch of people talking. Which they all have the right to do — INCLUDING the person making the polite request.

    The Klan guy also has the right to scream that the polite request is a Thuggish Stomping on Free Speech — but I don’t think I would line up with him on that.

    Sorry the site is loading slowly. The move tgo a new server is supposed to happen on Tuesday. We’re all frustrated.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  14. So are y’all saying there is some value in publicly disassociating oneself from the views of another person who appears to espouse the idea that it is natural to feel revulsion at interracial images?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  15. would it be wrong to treat the man with the sign the way the guy in the video treated the guy with the swastika?

    You see similar trolls pretending to be something they are not all the time at political websites. I think either hostility or a banning is the appropriate response. I have no problem with people who wish to thoughtfully articulate the lefty viewpoint, but as we all know, such people are a small minority on the left. Mr Fake Nazi represnts the typical leftist mindset.

    Subotai (dd8281)

  16. y’all saying there is some value in publicly disassociating oneself from the views of another person who appears to espouse the idea that it is natural to feel revulsion at interracial images

    No. I don’t see the point in trying to inject that particular issue into this one. You should argue this case on its own merits.

    Subotai (dd8281)

  17. Of course there is “some value in publicly disassociating oneself from the views of another person who appears to espouse the idea that it is natural to feel revulsion at interracial images?”

    People are taught to feel that revulsion, it’s not natural. And the argument is at the bottom of enforced segregation. It’s the old racist argument, “would you want your daughter to marry one of THEM?”

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (9eb641)

  18. “Freedom of speech means that even those I don’t agree with get to speak, and it means that you get to use their speech in your speech to describe me if you want to, even if I tell you that I’ve disagree with them, and that I get to describe your actions in doing so if you do — or don’t. No one gets to not choose in this life; not to choose is choosing.”

    htom (412a17)

  19. Of course you can take someone’s quote out of the time, space and conversation that gives it context, plaster it on a shirt and head off to a rally… and people at the rally have the right to say that within the context of this time and space, that quote is being used in a way that is intended to smear us… so gtfo.
    Maybe I’d get a sign with an arrow and point it at you that says:
    “Douchebag trying to stir up trouble…” which is your intent, so there ya go.

    Steve G (7d4c78)

  20. I’m torn because while I agree it’s important to disassociate oneself (as well as the movement) from interlopers like the swastika guy, it’s more important to do it in the most effective way possible. The longer the one doing the confronting keeps the interloper engaged in conversation, the more opportunity for stumbling, becoming defensive, getting angry, hence the greater opportunity for the media to tweak it and make that bad behavior the focus. Being on the defensive is not a good place to be but it’s where we’re at because the media still holds the power.

    While the videographer had good intentions in his confrontation, he resisted keeping it short and to the point but instead engaged the man and gave him a very public platform to spew. Confront, denounce, and turn the tape off. Resist engaging because the tendency would be to become emotional and lose the upper hand.

    And I still think that public shunning would be effective. One public denouncement from the podium and the audience consistently and uniformly physically turning their backs on him as he passes would speak volumes, especially on video.

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  21. Why not put this on your shirt?

    Good gracious! anybody hurt?” she asks.

    “No’m,” comes the answer. “Killed a n*****.”

    Steve G (7d4c78)

  22. Freedom of speech means that even those I don’t agree with get to speak

    Tha’s all well and good, and I approve of the right of genuine Nazi’s (and genuine everything else) to speak.

    The big issue with Mr Fake Nazi as far as I’m concerned is that he’s fake. This is the lefts big contribution to our public discourse – an almost pathological dishonesty.

    Subotai (dd8281)

  23. The difference between the swastika guy in yesterday’s post and the hypothetical today is, most people did not even notice the swastika on the shirt – we had to be instructed to enlarge it to a specific level to see it – and therefore he may have walked through the crowd unnoticed (perhaps even by the MSM) unless one looked very closely. However today’s premise includes a provocative sign that everyone clearly can see. That cannot be ignored.

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  24. The big issue with Mr Fake Nazi as far as I’m concerned is that he’s fake.

    I don’t think he is. Assume he’s not. Assume he is a genuine KKK person. They exist, you know — and this guy genuinely appears (to me) to be one, as opposed to a posing leftist.

    But we’ll never know, so conduct the debate with the assumption that he is genuine. Is it then right to disassociate yourself from him?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  25. Patterico:

    Is there any value in clearly disassociating ourselves from viewpoints we find abhorrent?

    That’s what the guy in the video did, and most people seemed to agree with his tactic when I posted the video.

    I think there is value in disassociating oneself from values you find abhorrent, but to me the guy in the video went further than that because he tried to eject swastika man. I don’t think he had the authority to do that and it sets a bad precedent, because virtually everything will be offensive to someone. I’m with Dana that the better choice is shunning but if you want something more assertive, I also like Zombie’s signs that have an arrow and say “I’m with Stupid.”

    DRJ (09fa6c)

  26. And I still think that public shunning would be effective. One public denouncement from the podium and the audience consistently and uniformly physically turning their backs on him as he passes would speak volumes, especially on video.

    That’s also a good idea. Very cinematic.

    But at least for now, the public confrontation tactic, inadvertently aided by the Crash the Tea Party idiot, worked. The media wrote about the crashing plan in advance, and Tea Partiers were ready for it. The Tea Party message got out and no one was fooled by the plants.

    In San Diego, one of the infiltrators was hilariously identified as an attorney for a local law firm. But in Oceanside, all we had was a rather skezy-looking lefty who probably has no professional reputation to uphold.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (9eb641)

  27. I agree with you regarding trying to eject him. Everything stems from the phony guilt by association analysis the media always uses, and the cameraman was frustrated at that — because all sorts of people use guilt by association as an “argument.” But trying to eject the guy from a public rally, I agree, was over the top.

    Loudly stating that you don’t agree with him, though? I see nothing wrong with that.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  28. Is it then right to disassociate yourself from him?

    Comment by Patterico — 4/18/2010 @ 12:54 pm

    Of course it is. This is a TEA Party rally: Taxed Enough Already. What in the world does that have to do even tangentially with anything racial? Now if the KKK guy were carrying a sign that said: “Taxed Enough Already” or some such, then you can have your confrontation. But the guy had NOTHING to say when confronted. Not “I’m against high taxes too” or even anything to say about his supposedly Nazi views (yes, I watched the entire video). That shirt was new, and the guy was a lefty plant (and a woefully unprepared one too, perhaps precisely because he was convinced he’d see no opposition from the “racist teabaggers).

    Pointing out that they are in no way representative of the Tea Party is not airbrushing, it is confronting opposition in real time.
    Comment by JD — 4/18/2010 @ 11:55 am

    Yes. That includes pointing it out to news media, who are for their own reasons unnaturally fixated on the nonrepresentative signs.

    What would you tell her?

    “I don’t agree with that sign at all, and besides, what does racial prejudice, which conservatives totally disagree with, have to do with the point of this rally, which is excessive government spending and too-high deficits and taxes? May I ask, Ma’am, why you’re asking questions about signs unrepresentative of this movement and ignoring what this rally is about?”

    no one you know (4186cd)

  29. “I’m with Stupid.”

    Comment by DRJ — 4/18/2010 @ 12:55 pm

    Sorry, DRJ, but I think it’s “We’re NOT with Stupid.” Much funnier too. :)

    no one you know (4186cd)

  30. You’re right, NOYK. I lost my “not.”

    DRJ (09fa6c)

  31. I think the first amendment has been interpreted as allowing you your right to speak…. just not right here, and right now.

    I have problems with this approach, but at it’s best, the intent is to keep order and the peacefulness of the assembly and let everyone have a venue for venting their spleen without violence.

    Steve G (7d4c78)

  32. “That includes pointing it out to news media, who are for their own reasons unnaturally fixated on the nonrepresentative signs.”

    I believe the media have an altogether natural (for them) fixation on the nonrepresentative signs found here and there at TEA party rallies.
    That sort of thing comes naturally to them…

    Steve G (7d4c78)

  33. I have deleted a couple of comments that are focused on personalities instead of issues and ideas.

    Some of the ideas here are intertwined with particular personalities, to be sure. Unless I want this to devolve into a poo-flinging fight, I have two choices. I can a) refuse to discuss the ideas because the personalities will come up, or b) discuss the ideas and insist that we stick to ideas and leave personalities out of it.

    I’m going with b. If you can’t conform to that, your comment may disappear.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  34. How about a sign saying:

    We disagree, but they, too,
    have Freedom of Speech –>
    We wish they’d go away.

    A cute, naughty-but-safe limerick would be much better, though.

    htom (412a17)

  35. A cute, naughty-but-safe limerick would be much better, though.

    Comment by htom — 4/18/2010 @ 1:32 pm

    “We’re here for a party of TEA
    To say that we love LIBERTY
    This guy’s not with us
    But on Liberty’s Bus
    The Stupids still get to be Free”

    no one you know (4186cd)

  36. He could have a sign that says “Don’t Smoke, Exercise, and Eat a Balanced Diet” and I think the organizers and majority participants at the rally would still have a right to tell him “This is not what this rally is about. Please go find your own”. I don’t think they’d be restricting his free speech. Just protecting their message from dilution and distractions.

    nk (db4a41)

  37. The Big Tent theory of organizations is a fallacy in my opinion. To be effective you need people focused and united on common goals. If you bring in every voice you have the Tower of Babel.

    nk (db4a41)

  38. tea party, smarty, … hearty
    Freedom of speech leech teach beach bleach breach breech each leach preach reach screech teach

    Probably best with an
    aa
    aa
    b
    b
    aa

    rhyme scheme.

    ,,,, eech,, freedom of speech
    ,,,, eech,, ,,,eech
    For our tea party
    We gather hearty
    Others’ freedom to preach, we use to teach!

    I’m stuck

    htom (412a17)

  39. Actually, my reaction would be to stop stiffling the coughing spasms I had Thursday.

    If this reporter still hung around, I’d say the story here is the protest against high taxes and obscene spending. If you are chasing down interracial relationships, some time I’ll grant you an interview with white self and my Korean daughter, if you can stay on one subject.

    If reporter keeps pressing, depending on her race, what I’d probably say is, “I don’t date much younger women. If your mother or aunt is single, or you have a single friend you are acting as an intermediary for, try setting up a proper meeting and stop misrepresenting your intentions. Who knows? It isn’t the skin the person is wrapped in, but the content of their beliefs and character you live with.”

    PCD (c3ffc1)

  40. The word “disassociate” can mean anything from walking away without a whisper, to dismembering the guy and burying him under Giants Stadium.
    “The Teamsters and the mob disassociated themselves from Jimmy Hoffa”. Allegedly, and much to Jimmy’s dismay or by default… depends who you ask.

    Steve G (7d4c78)

  41. People who organize an event, I think have a right to some degree of association – unless its a public event on public property – which is where most TPS events seem to be held. Also what level of organization or various levels of organization do people have with these TPS?

    EricPWJohnson (79703a)

  42. I think the import was that the cameraman guy modeled for the Tea Party people how to handle a visiting pseudo-and-not-a-little-gay nazi in an effective but more – and this is key – a non-disastrous way.

    That’s always nice I think when disaster don’t happen, and people should emulate that.

    But the essential thing also is that this guy was trying to disassociate the pseudo-and-not-a-little-gay nazi’s ideas from his Tea Party. that was his intent.

    He wasn’t opportunistically seizing on the guy as a way to make an anti-pseudo-and-not-a-little-gay nazi statement.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  43. Patterico – I thought Nazi shirt guy was identified over at Gatewaypundit as a Democrat operative and Truther who showed up at a couple of St.Louis area events, someone named Belosi if I remember correctly.

    At the Tea Party rally in Chicago Thursday, the police moved the obvious loons away from the main body of attendees – the World Can’t Wait Folks, a bunch of people with preprinted signs about free medicare and abortion that seemed quasi related to the WCW folks but were on another side of the plaza, another guy with a Tea Partiers=Nazis sign. The segregation appeared effective at least for the time I was there, plus there were people with imposter, plant and We’re not with stupid signs.

    One old coot has a sign saying “No Funding For DegGeneres’ Lesbianism.” People were giving him a wide berth.

    daleyrocks (1feed5)

  44. “there is some value in publicly disassociating oneself from the views of another person who appears to espouse the idea that it is natural to feel revulsion at interracial images?”

    Patterico – Since in this context you are using espouse as a verb, as in support, champion, defend or embrace, rather than a more passive factual sense of pointing out that some people have a revulsion to interracial marriage, I find it much tougher to defend.

    daleyrocks (1feed5)

  45. daleyrocks,

    Posts about Belosi are here and here. Is it the same guy? It doesn’t look like the same shirt.

    DRJ (09fa6c)

  46. Belosi doesn’t look at all like the guy with the swastika. Am I missing something?

    daleyrocks: would you support a public disassociation of the guy with the sign I described?

    What if he offered the explanation I mentioned?

    Patterico (a7b8f8)

  47. DRJ – The shirt is different, but isn’t the face the same?

    daleyrocks (1feed5)

  48. “daleyrocks: would you support a public disassociation of the guy with the sign I described?”

    Patterico – Yes. Sorry if I was not clear in #44.

    daleyrocks (1feed5)

  49. Patterico – I do not see how the Tea Party / KKK incident is analogous to the situation you are referring to. One is associating themselves with another in a dishonest manner, where one simply noted that he had studied under the other. This seems like a stretch to me.

    JD (8763bd)

  50. daleyrocks,

    I can’t say for sure but here’s another photo and I don’t think they look like the same guy. The hair on the back of swastika guy’s head — the part that shows beneath his cap — looks too dark compared to Belosi’s silver hair.

    DRJ (09fa6c)

  51. JD:

    1) I think your comment is more appropriate under the previous thread where this video was first linked.

    2) If we know the KKK guy is not for real, you have a stronger point. I have seen no evidence that he is not for real. Do you have any? To me, he looks like an actual biigot who came to the rally for undisclosed reasons.

    3) To me the analogy is not to the KKK guy but to the cameraman. Like the professor, he worries that he will be tarnished by a perception that he will be associated with a viewpoint he finds reprehensible. So he asks for the purveyor of that viewpoint to remove the association. In each case, the purveyor may refuse — but asking is fine.

    The professor was, at least initially kinder than the cameraman (but then, the KKK guy’s viewpoints are more reprehensible than the blogger’s). My point is that there is nothing inherently reprehensible about disassociating yourself from viewpoints that repulse you.

    Patterico (a7b8f8)

  52. Daley:

    Did you see the sign-holder’s expression of his context/intent?

    Patterico (a7b8f8)

  53. Patterico – I did not see that thread, sorry.

    I do not think it matters if the guy was real or not, I suspect he was. He is dishonestly associating himself with a group if he is real, and he is dishonestly associating himself with a group if he is an infiltrator. In the analogy you are drawing, it is beyond dispute that one studied under the other.

    JD (8763bd)

  54. “Did you see the sign-holder’s expression of his context/intent?”

    Patterico – I took his intent from the part of your comment I excerpted. Was there something else I should look at?

    daleyrocks (1feed5)

  55. DRJ – I was going by the chubby cheeks and silver hair. I agree that it’s not definitive, but I think there’s a resemblance.

    daleyrocks (1feed5)

  56. Oops. I may have spoke too soon.

    JD (8763bd)

  57. daleyrocks,

    I’m not sure either. It’s a close call.

    DRJ (09fa6c)

  58. “He is dishonestly associating himself with a group if he is real …”

    Maybe he is just attending because he is interested. How di you know he is being dishonest? Maybe he doesn’t give two shits how his appearance there will be perceived. This is how he dresses because he is a proud racist, and he came to see the Tea Party.

    You can’t prove he is being dishonest so assume for the sake of argument he’s not. Still OK to hound him?

    ” In the analogy you are drawing, it is beyond dispute that one studied under the other.”

    Yup. It’s also beyond dispute that KKK guy was at the rally. If Cameraman asks news reporter not to put KKK guy on camera because he’s not representative of Tea Party values, is Cameraman airbrushing history?

    Bloggers have several bowel movements per week. If they don’t discuss them on the blog, are they airbrushing history? If I do discuss mine, and DRJ asks me to stop, worrying her association with me will tarnish her, is she airbrushing history?

    We pick and choose what to discuss and how we represent ourselves; where we go and what we say. If others want to ask us to change any of that, so they will not be tarnished by their association with us, they are entitled to ask. And we are entitled to refuse.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  59. “Patterico – I took his intent from the part of your comment I excerpted. Was there something else I should look at?”

    The post?

    “Assume that, when approached, the guy tells you he’s not a racist. Instead, he says, he’s fighting a battle with white supremacists. His sign is designed to ‘negate or preempt the most obvious appeals’ of the argument made by the worst of these supremacists.”

    Patterico (c218bd)

  60. Patterico – We will have to agree to disagree. I am not in the mood to argue.

    JD (8763bd)

  61. “Patterico – We will have to agree to disagree. I am not in the mood to argue.”

    Your polite request for me to abandon the debate is a thuggish imposition on my free speech rights and I am not obligated to obey your diktats.

    But sure, no problem.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  62. I don’t want to argue, either, but I think this is an interesting discussion so I’ll take JD’s point of view. Of course, I’ve already said I don’t think they should ask people to leave so I may not do a good job.

    Let’s start with the assumption that swastika guy is not there under false pretenses. One argument is that it is okay to ask him to leave because KKK racism is not your normal “diversity of opinion.” Like cross burning and Holocaust deniers, it’s a special class that reasonable people find objectionable and don’t want to be associated with, so it’s reasonable to ask him to leave to avoid that association.

    DRJ (09fa6c)

  63. I don’t want you to abandon the debate, I was stating my intention to not engage in it. Any diktat I made was on myself.

    JD (8763bd)

  64. Oh, I know. I was kidding.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  65. “Let’s start with the assumption that swastika guy is not there under false pretenses. One argument is that it is okay to ask him to leave because KKK racism is not your normal “diversity of opinion.” Like cross burning and Holocaust deniers, it’s a special class that reasonable people find objectionable and don’t want to be associated with, so it’s reasonable to ask him to leave to avoid that association.”

    There you go citing reasonable people and their reactions!

    So it’s OK for me to ask you to take my name off your blog if your opinions are such that no reasonable person would want to be associated with such opinions?

    First, who decides whether that standard is met?

    Second, what if I plain don’t like your opinions, and I don’t care whether a reasonable person would agree? Is it WRONG for me to make the request?

    It is not airbrushing history to make choices about what to include in your recitation of history. If I want to make a request for you to exclude a portion of your history, so I can avoid an association with you, am I not entitled to ask (and you to refuse)?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  66. We all get to judge the reasonableness. The guy was entitled to ask for his name to be excluded from a portion of the other guy’s history, but we’re entitled to judge him as unreasonable, because we see that the other guy’s opinions and writings just weren’t that out there. Had he requested to have his name removed as having once taught, say, David Duke, then perhaps we would receive his request as more reasonable. The extremeness of the various views being fought over must be considered in determining what requests and actions are and are not reasonable.

    PatHMV (003aa1)

  67. Patterico:

    First, who decides whether that standard is met?

    In my scenario, the only time you could ask someone to leave is when their opinions would “shock the conscience of the community,” although my version would clearly flunk the Skokie test.

    Second, what if I plain don’t like your opinions, and I don’t care whether a reasonable person would agree? Is it WRONG for me to make the request?

    I think it’s useless to make that request and it would be wrong to enforce it with an event that’s open to the public, but I don’t have a problem with anyone asking others to leave. However, I probably would support asking them to lave if the rhetoric became so inflammatory that it suggested fighting words.

    It is not airbrushing history to make choices about what to include in your recitation of history. If I want to make a request for you to exclude a portion of your history, so I can avoid an association with you, am I not entitled to ask (and you to refuse)?

    I’m tempted to treat written words by a different standard than public spoken words, but I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because they are memorialized, but that would also be true with video of a Tea Party debate. Basically, I’m not sure how I feel about this.

    DRJ (09fa6c)

  68. His sign is designed to ‘negate or preempt the most obvious appeals’ of the argument made by the worst of these supremacists.”

    Patterico – It’s tough for him to make that argument if as in the comments you claim he is espousing the position. I don’t buy it.

    daleyrocks (1feed5)

  69. Patterico:

    It is not airbrushing history to make choices about what to include in your recitation of history. If I want to make a request for you to exclude a portion of your history, so I can avoid an association with you, am I not entitled to ask (and you to refuse)?

    Okay, if the facts are not in dispute, I think a person should be allowed to explain but not redact. Otherwise it is airbrushing.

    DRJ (09fa6c)

  70. Here comes a TV reporter. She tells her cameraman to get the man’s sign in the shot, and heads towards you to ask you what you think of a sign that says: “Revulsion at interracial images is altogether natural!”

    What will you tell her?

    Perhaps more to the point: would it be wrong to treat the man with the sign the way the guy in the video treated the guy with the swastika?

    I think I’d just filibuster by talking about spending… I might make some point that this man has nothing to do with the protest and explain the protest’s ideals.

    Would it be wrong to treat him the way the video treated the nazi? Not really. The Nazi was trying to use the massive attention of the movement for less spending leveraged to boost his message (either the Nazi thing or the infiltrator message). I think that’s extremely dishonest and I want people to get in the faces of that kind of dishonesty (people other than the federal government, of course, because he has a legal right against speech restriction from the government).

    The substitution ‘interracial marriage quote, in this context, is a serious effort to exploit one movement’s energy and attention to get attention for something disgusting and evil that can’t ever get serious eyeball time today. In other words, it’s stealing. Those few kooks who aren’t infiltrators are trying to steal the credibility and power of a noble movement to power something that is evil.

    It’s wrong enough to justify getting mad about, and demanding folks get the hell out of there. Or just more speech. More speech is always called for when there’s ‘bad’ speech.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  71. Also, I’m familiar with this comment’s origin, and I think it’s worth pointing out a difference. In the right context, a discussion with people who are trying to argue about racism or race, it’s not ‘stealing’ the Tea Party’s message or reputation to say the misguided ‘it’s natural to feel revulsion’ crap. It’s just crap without that level of dishonor.

    That’s all the Tea Partiers are asking for. We want the Nazis and Larouches and violent kooks to go to their own forum, even a public protest, to rely on their own movement’s reputation instead of dirtying the Tea Party’s reputation and stealing our attention.

    Even though it’s not rational to blame the sustainable spending argument for racism, it’s not an entirely rational world, and when someone does something that damages a critical movement like the Tea Party, it’s reasonable to react like something valuable is being damaged. Nazi or marriage police, it’s the same thing.

    DRJ wants a world where people let the jerks say jerky stuff and are above reacting to it. Where they don’t bother telling people to leave just for their speech. Because one peon in a disorganized movement can’t legitimately claim the authority to do that, because it’s foolish (because it’s futile? because it will backfire? a lot of reasons come to mind).

    But we all have the authority to stop even these piddly thieves. We’re like immune system cells for our nation, pushing out filth. Even if we are just putting a small amount of pressure on the cells (with the wrong receptors? who are actively trying to infect us? Doesn’t matter), the effect is to clean the movement.

    If a movement cannot do that, it’s not a very good movement. If we can’t pressure most of the riff raff out, or we don’t want to often and generally, then we will suffer from a serious infection that will render us weak or even dead.

    That’s kinda what happened to our country. We, at the individual level, did not push back against evil and corruption and greed. We reelcted people we knew were spending too much, or promising us unsustainable goodies, or gave money to a culture of nasty ideas. There are a million little places where the right kind of reaction would have built into an immune system for our society. Refusing to attend a class that teaches revisionist history, or never listening to a song with a disgusting message.

    This isn’t censorship… a government can’t be an immune system for our culture. And a zero tolerance policy isn’t needed either. but little by little, we’ve become incredibly short sighted as a country, and incredibly debased. If our family structure and education system (and religion that isn’t prominent enough) had pushed back in a general and probably even weak way, out country would be a dramatically better place and in better shape.

    Solzhenitsyn warned about the way our culture was simply on the wrong track, and that’s heart breaking.

    In this case, it’s just a metaphor. The kind of authority we need to push back, as a Tea Party, against little demons, is something we need to assume for ourselves. Or our body, the movement, is going to get sick. It’s not even about right or wrong. The government shouldn’t involve itself, but John Stuart Mill and Voltaire and all those people were living in a world where that authority was assumed by the masses. They were fighting for the right to keep the crowns and governors from silencing you, because (I assert) each of us should push the psychos to their own forums and their own movements and their own obscurity. Anything serious enough to be debated can have its own counter movement instead of infecting and distracting.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  72. I don’t think the real example and P’s hypo are remotely comparable. That said, it would be fair to tell the “revulsion at interracial images” dude that he’s at the wrong rally, as the message on his sign has zero/zip/nada to do with what the tea party is about, pro or con. Cf. someone showing up at an anti-war rally with a sign complaining about the capital gains tax.

    Xrlq (1cd5bb)

  73. But what if the ‘sign’ is not a very large sign but more the size of a postage stamp, and furthermore the postage stamp-sized sign is hidden away in the guy’s ancient forum wallet, and someone actually has to come along and shake the guy down, open his wallet and hold the postage stamp-sized sign up for the world to see, and try to make all sorts of trouble for the guy for no other reason than to be a drunken troublemaker over the holidays ?

    laughing man (d49ebc)

  74. I’m staying away from explicit discussions of real-life examples to avoid the discussion from being inflamed. Yes, the quote in question is similar to one in some ways, because that quote interests me — but I have deliberately changed the context to fit this hypo. I’m interested in the ideas and not the personalities, so discuss one and not the other. If you want to make reference to the real-life example, do it in the form of a hypo — that way we don’t get bogged down in arguments over whether the hypo matches real life. It’s all hypos.

    daley says:

    “Patterico – It’s tough for him to make that argument if as in the comments you claim he is espousing the position. I don’t buy it.”

    I didn’t say he does. I said he appears to be:

    “So are y’all saying there is some value in publicly disassociating oneself from the views of another person who appears to espouse the idea that it is natural to feel revulsion at interracial images?”

    He claims not to — but to a casual onlooker he appears to. Whether he does depends on whether you believe his explanation.

    Similarly, the guy in the video claims he’s not a Nazi, and is not wearing the swastika as a Nazi symbol. But to a casual onlooker he “appears” to subscribe to Nazi views. Whether he does depends on whether you believe his explanation.

    Separate but related question: if his intent was not to espouse Nazi beliefs — but he knew a reasonable audience might take it that way — does his knowledge of the likely reaction inform a proper interpretation of his intent?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  75. Separate but related question: if his intent was not to espouse Nazi beliefs — but he knew a reasonable audience might take it that way — does his knowledge of the likely reaction inform a proper interpretation of his intent?

    This isn’t even close. A guy shows up at a rally wearing various Nazi insignia and espouses racist beliefs. If he’s technically not a Nazi, he’s clearly in their corner (or pretending to be).

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (9eb641)

  76. It’s even farther away than that. Unless we’re desperate for warm bodies, he is of no value and and at best a distraction.

    Maybe “when da Revolution come” we’ll need him to storm the barricades, no matter who he is or what he believes, but that’s not what the Tea Party is trying to accomplish now.

    For a less extreme “maybe”, I would not want him even to donate money to our organization while staying in the background. I don’t think it would be worth it. I think it would cost us more in the long run.

    nk (db4a41)

  77. “does his knowledge of the likely reaction inform a proper interpretation of his intent?”

    Sure.

    It informs a proper yet incomplete interpretation of his intent.
    You’d need more complete information about what this “knowledge” consisted of and how it exhibited itself onsite.

    Steve G (7d4c78)

  78. Prop 8 opponents get a $1 million check from Mayor Daley’s political action fund. That’s wonderful.

    They get another $1 million check from NAMBLA. No!

    nk (db4a41)

  79. For a successful organization, the organization is greater than the sum part of its members and infinitely greater than any individual member. The individual member’s intent is irrelevant. It is not about him.

    nk (db4a41)

  80. What I think PatHMV and DRJ are getting at is: attempts to disassociate oneself from speech seem more defensible when the apparent message is one that reasonable onlookers would find appalling.

    That in itself seems reasonable — but what if the speaker says his message is not intended the way people are receiving it? Here, swastika dude claims he is not a Nazi and that his swastika is a symbol of love. Indeed, the symbol has positive connotations in many Eastern religions.

    The reason his protestations sound unconvincing is that this swastika dude knows reasonable observers will react to it as a symbol of Nazism. He is being provocative in a racial way.

    But what if a political cartoonist uses racially charged images — such as watermelons or black men as rapists or whatever? They may also know that observers could construe the image as symbolic of racism — yet they could have a race-neutral reason for the imagery. Whether their reason justifies the imagery, it seems to me, is a judgment call. And the author’s intent, the likely reaction of a reasonable audience, and the author’s knowledge of that reaction all factor in.

    Patterico (a84717)

  81. If it’s a revolution, it’s confusion. How unconfused do you want your message to be?

    nk (db4a41)

  82. It seems to me, Patterico, that you are trying to derive a general theory of intentionalism. I think it’s impossible. It is always situational. There is something that somebody wants to say to somebody a trillion billion gazillion lebenteen times a day and each situation is different.

    nk (db4a41)

  83. Nobody portray a black man as a rapist in a political cartoon, Patterico. Barack Obama, a very specific man, and President of the United States, was portrayed that way.

    JD (8763bd)

  84. portray-ed … I am a lousy speller when I am pissed. Mark me down as me being in agreement with Xrlq, or vice versa. And now I shall resume my silent disagreement.

    JD (8763bd)

  85. 25. The big issue with Mr Fake Nazi as far as I’m concerned is that he’s fake.

    Pat – I don’t think he is. Assume he’s not. Assume he is a genuine KKK person. They exist, you know — and this guy genuinely appears (to me) to be one, as opposed to a posing leftist

    No, he is an obvious phony. Anyone who has spent any time on political blogs can spot them a mile away. Look at his comments – “Are you a member of the Council of Concerned Citizens?”. Please.

    I see no reason to pretend that he is something he is not. If you want to engage in hypotheticals, then I say that I have more respect for an honest Nazi than for a dishonest Commie. Anyone has the right to attend a public gathering.

    The real gripe people here have is that Mr Phony Nazi’s fellow Phony Journalists will play along with his gag and spread the story that the Tea Party are Nazis. That’s a problem worthy of discussion, but that’s not the problem you are discussing.

    Subotai (40f819)

  86. What I think PatHMV and DRJ are getting at is: attempts to disassociate oneself from speech seem more defensible when the apparent message is one that reasonable onlookers would find appalling.

    I have never noticed the liberals attempting to disassociate themselves from any sort of nutty or obnoxious or racist speech even when it clearly comes from their camp. So I reject this entire premise that I have some positive obligation to disassociate myself from anyone. I’ll own my own words, nobody elses.

    If people on the left ever get around to cleaning up their own sewer, then and only then can they ask me to worry about what some liberal dope posing as a Nazi at a conservative rally has to say.

    Subotai (40f819)

  87. My point is that there is nothing inherently reprehensible about disassociating yourself from viewpoints that repulse you.

    Comment by Patterico — 4/18/2010 @ 9:10 pm

    Keep telling yourself that. Particularly where you detach the original “viewpoint” from its context and then pretend that commenting anonymously in a particular (defunct) blog community equates with holding a big sign in front of a news camera.

    alwaysfiredup (46730c)

  88. She tells her cameraman to get the man’s sign in the shot, and heads towards you to ask you what you think of a sign that says: “Revulsion at interracial images is altogether natural!”

    What will you tell her?

    Easy: “Hey, it’s a public place — trolls can show up, too.” If pressed, I’d point out that white supremacy, flat earthism, gun control, and other deeply held nutsy beliefs weren’t what the folks participating in the activity were about, either, and can’t imagine any other reason other than nutsiism why somebody would feel revulsion, say, at a display of Shirley Temple dancing with Bill “Bojangles” Robinson.

    Jdog (ab94ff)

  89. Just to be clear: the above was not intended to be a dig at Ms. Temple or Mr. Robinson.

    Jdog (ab94ff)

  90. “I have deliberately changed the context to fit this hypo”

    “Particularly where you detach the original “viewpoint” from its context and then pretend that commenting anonymously in a particular (defunct) blog community equates with holding a big sign in front of a news camera.”

    Yes, that’s exactly what he did, he’s detached it and is pretending up a situation where it’s equivalent to holding that up as a sign. But he’s doing so explicitly. That’s how hypos work… you make up a situation that you didn’t find in reality to get to the heart of some issue.

    Anyway, the guy simply kept up the pressure in a totally legal way, to ask the infiltrator or Nazi or whatever to leave. That’s the kind of basic resistance that we all should practice to all kinds of nasty stuff that thrives on everyone minding their own business.

    Tolerating it legally is one thing, but not standing in the face of jerks and saying ‘get lost’ is a mistake. It leads to much bigger problems.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  91. Nobody portray a black man as a rapist in a political cartoon, Patterico. Barack Obama, a very specific man, and President of the United States, was portrayed that way.

    Nobody portrayed a black man as a rapist in a political cartoon?

    How about a half-black and half-white man, then?

    What I said is this: “But what if a political cartoonist uses racially charged images — such as watermelons or black men as rapists or whatever? They may also know that observers could construe the image as symbolic of racism — yet they could have a race-neutral reason for the imagery. Whether their reason justifies the imagery, it seems to me, is a judgment call.”

    It seems that, as to a particular cartoon you have in mind, your judgment is that the reason justifies the imagery. For what it’s worth, I feel the same way. However, some might disagree and seek to disassociate themselves from the speech, and I think they are perfectly within their rights to do so.

    I also think that some people choose particular terms and/or imagery precisely BECAUSE they know it will engender a reaction. And my point is: their knowledge of that likely reaction factors into their intent.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  92. The real gripe people here have is that Mr Phony Nazi’s fellow Phony Journalists will play along with his gag and spread the story that the Tea Party are Nazis. That’s a problem worthy of discussion, but that’s not the problem you are discussing.

    It is a problem I have discussed here in countless posts, but I also see that this video raises issues regarding intent, knowledge, reasonable audience reaction, disassociation from vile speech, etc. Anyone can link the video and bitch about the media; I’m drawing connections that I think are interesting and ripe for discussion in a rather unique way.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  93. So I reject this entire premise that I have some positive obligation to disassociate myself from anyone.

    I reject this entire premise that this is my premise. Far from arguing a positive obligation to disassociate oneself from anyone, I specifically argued in this very thread: “I say that we should refuse to accept the premise that guilt by association is proper.” I even used the words “reject” and “premise.” Did you miss that?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  94. Keep telling yourself that. Particularly where you detach the original “viewpoint” from its context and then pretend that commenting anonymously in a particular (defunct) blog community equates with holding a big sign in front of a news camera.

    I would have deleted this comment if I had seen it earlier because it adds nothing. Go get someone to explain what a hypothetical is. The whole point is to keep the discussion hypothetical so I don’t have to fight about whether the example matches real life or not. I freely concede that it doesn’t.

    Of course, I have no idea what you’re referring to anyway. Someone “commenting anonymously in a particular (defunct) blog” is hardly the same as someone commenting under their own name on a listserv.

    Also, nobody seems to recognize that in my hypo, I gave the sign-carrying dude a little speech in which he explains his context. The point is that a) people seeing the sign will be unaware of the context and will see only the sound bite, and b) there are issues about whether you believe the explanation IN THE HYPO.

    Which makes it an interesting hypo and rather parallel to Swastika Dude, who has his own contextual explanation for his own sign (namely, his explanation that a swastika is a symbol of love). There are also questions as to the believability of the explanation.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  95. Sorry you got “pissed” JD but I don’t think you’re reading what I’m saying very carefully.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  96. Also, nobody seems to recognize that in my hypo, I gave the sign-carrying dude a little speech in which he explains his context.

    I heeded that speech, and immediately discarded it as not credible in the context. Our hypothetical dude is at a Tea Party event, not an Aryan Brotherhood or KKK meeting.

    His sign is designed to “negate or preempt the most obvious appeals” of the argument made by the worst of these supremacists.

    That doesn’t negate, but it sure preempts. He’s already made a point popular with white supremacists, so they don’t have to.

    So I tell the TV reporter that sign has nothing to do with the Tea Party, which is concerned with lowering taxes, government spending and debt. I point her to a sign like this as being representative of Tea Party concerns.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (9eb641)

  97. Conservatives don’t have a lot of protests but liberals have a history of protests, and all sorts of people show up at liberal protests. My recollection is it’s common to see pro-choice people, Communists, gay rights groups, and anarchists at anti-war rallies, but that doesn’t mean everyone there agrees. Why isn’t that also true of conservative protests?

    DRJ (09fa6c)

  98. DRJ,
    Oh, if only the MSM took the same interest in the fringe participants at left-wing rallies that they do for right/libertarian rallies . . . only the ones in the link are not fringe at all.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (9eb641)

  99. “Assume that, when approached, the guy tells you he’s not a racist. Instead, he says, he’s fighting a battle with white supremacists. His sign is designed to “negate or preempt the most obvious appeals” of the argument made by the worst of these supremacists.”

    Patterico – It’s your hypo. Is the dude’s intent credible. Does he appear not to be a racist. Since he “appears” to be espousing revulsion at interracial marriage, what are we supposed to believe? You are the author.

    daleyrocks (1feed5)

  100. If Dan Rather says Barack Obama couldn’t sell watermelons by the side of the road if the State Police were directing traffic over to him the way he did on Hardball, should people have a problem with it?

    daleyrocks (1feed5)

  101. “My point is that there is nothing inherently reprehensible about disassociating yourself from viewpoints that repulse you.”

    How about from stuff that trigger a natural revulsion?
    Natural defined in this way:
    b : living in or as if in a state of nature untouched by the influences of civilization and society

    Not evil, just a little behind on the social mores.

    DRJ: The Democrats invited some of the most incomprehensibly unhinged people (Code Pink) onto the gallery of Congress to provide them a forum.
    (Talk about seditious)

    To the original hypo, if a reporter came up to me and asked what I thought, I’d say:
    Oh, I thought he was with you.

    I think the “We aren’t with stupid” campaign has some real upside in the short term and then juxtapose that against videos of the Democrats embracing the stupid.
    In the long term, it’s a witch hunt.

    The issue at hand really isn’t about freedom of expression, it is about using freedom of counter expression for a time to disrupt the narrative of the left and their media pawns.

    Steve G (7d4c78)

  102. True, Brother Bradley, but at a certain point you can’t keep playing defense all the time.

    DRJ (09fa6c)

  103. Dan Rather and the watermelons:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KD9uG-ManrY&feature=related

    daleyrocks (1feed5)

  104. DRJ,
    I would never say just play defense. That’s why I admire the Tea Party’s preparations against the fake protesters. They put the media on notice that they would expose the infiltrators. They didn’t passively wait for the lies to take root.

    And sites like Zombietime are a great resource for exposing the racist nutbags who are a big part of the loony left coalition, not infiltrators.

    From the infiltrators to the supposedly independent “Coffee Party” Astroturfed by Obama supporters, it’s not a pretty moral reflection on Tea Party opponents that they can’t make their case without lying.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (9eb641)

  105. “Patterico – It’s your hypo. Is the dude’s intent credible. Does he appear not to be a racist. Since he “appears” to be espousing revulsion at interracial marriage, what are we supposed to believe? You are the author.”

    You got all the information you’re going to get. We often have to make these decisions on limited information.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  106. “You got all the information you’re going to get.”

    Patterico – It appears to me I have conflicting information regarding the individual’s intent with no way of resolving the conflict save for the appeal to authorial intent which was just rejected. I’m at an impasse.

    daleyrocks (1feed5)

  107. I am not the author. The speaker is. Your information is incomplete — welcome to real life– but there’s the sign and your appeal to the speaker’s intent reveals the statement already discussed. Distance yourself from the sign or no?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  108. ” Communists, gay rights groups, and anarchists at anti-war rallies, but that doesn’t mean everyone there agrees. Why isn’t that also true of conservative protests?

    Comment by DRJ ”

    I realize this wasn’t directed at my long comment about why we should push somewhat against terrible people and ideas in out movement, but I think a huge problem for the left is how they do not push hard enough against the many problematic people and ideas in their midst. Anti war protestors have a valid point about the pain of warfare, but if they don’t push the truthers and anti semites out, their movement is infected with hate and becomes a place where everyone is deranged about partisan politics.

    I don’t see this infection taking hold of the Tea Party because Clinton’s fear of psychos (a little too convenient, but whatever) is shared by Tea Partiers who don’t like psychos or racists or kooks very much and don’t want to encourage them at all.

    So while you have a point that the media doesn’t pretend the left’s protests are of one mind, but might claim that for the right sometimes, there’s a reason the left’s protests are so evil, nasty, and frankly ineffective. I’m missing the intentionalism point, but when I see someone being ugly, Tea Party of not, I am happy to provide a reasonable amount of friction to them (I’m not suggesting being a jerk about it, but asking people to leave or expressing disapproval is a positive force).

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  109. “I am not the author. The speaker is.”

    Next you’ll be trying to sell me a bridge.

    daleyrocks (1feed5)

  110. It’s a hypo. In the hypo, the speaker is not me but the guy with the sign.

    Patterico (c218bd)


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