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The User-Friendly Guide to Communicating With Racists

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    I recently came across this awesome video about how to speak with someone for saying or doing something racist without getting drawn into the never ending back and forth that would undoubtedly follow. In three short minutes, the author of the video was able to explain how to talk to a racist by calling them out for what they did or said instead of accusing them of who they are. If you get drawn into an argument about who someone is, the author claims that you have already lost. You need to focus on the words that came out of that person's mouth.

    This video got me thinking. I am definitely guilty of getting drawn into an argument with someone who I feel is racist by expressing my opinion that they are instead of focusing on what they said or did. There is nothing that frustrates me more than a racist person who disdains another person because of the color of their skin, but uses code words and prefaces everything with "I'm not racist, but..." To me, that is code for "I'm actually really racist, but it's not politically correct to showcase that anymore." What this video taught me is that I need to frame my argument to turn the person's own words around on them and expose them for who they are by focusing exclusively on what was said.

    Another thing that was discussed in the video is keep the discussion fact based and hold the person accountable for the words that came out of their mouths or the actions that they took. If you are able to do that, the possibility of the discussion being able to warp into a conversation about who they are will decrease dramatically. If you get sucked into a conversation about if someone is a racist or not, you have lost the argument. Look no further than the times a politician or celebrity says something that is racist and the conversation will almost immediately turn into if the person is or isn't a racist compared to focusing on what words came out of their mouths.

    So the next time Ted Nugent pens an Op-Ed that begins with "Just when you think it can’t get any uglier, some street rat will slither out of the sewer..." do not get sucked into an argument with your right wing friend that is sticking up for him. Use his words and hold him accountable for them. If your friend says something racially insensitive while sticking up for Mr. Nugent, hold them accountable for the words that come out of their mouths without expressing your opinion of who they are as a person. If we can do that, then we can finally start having a real conversation about race in America without always getting drawn into an argument about who someone is and instead focus on what they said.
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    Ted Nugent is a racist? Since when, seriously, I didn't know that . Can you cite some specifics?
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    You obviously didn't read a word that I just wrote. I did not call him a racist, but said that he penned an op-ed that began with calling African-American's street rats. I also attached the link to the op-ed for your enjoyment.

    Why don't you check out our Ted Nugent page and read some of his quotes?

    Here's a couple teasers:

    "At some point you got to be afraid of black and white dogs if the Dalmatian's doing the biting."

    "...Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, the Black Panthers. President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, et al, who then swept down on the Florida community refusing to admit that the 17-year-old dope smoking, racist gangsta wannabe Trayvon Martin was at all responsible for his bad decisions and standard modus operendi of always taking the violent route."

    "...but still this innocent man who simply defended his life from a violent, life-threatening, bloodying, head-and-face slamming attack by an enraged black man-child has so wrongly paid an inexplicable price financially and emotionally... But George Zimmerman and his entire family, innocent of any wrongdoing, have lost everything and will be in debt for a long, long time for having to fight ..."
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    I read the Op-ed and did not find anything racial in it, he describes a cycle of violence that pervades our cities , especially cities with high minority residents, and this young child , if left with this family has a very short future ahead of him, BTW, this makes the first time I've read anything penned by this song writer other songs let alone an Op-eds. As for Zimmerman , a jury found him not guilty , case closed, if you want to base opinions on a not guilty verdict by this jury ,have at it ,But it will not change the facts as this jury found, and having someone believe in the jury's findings does not make him or her a racist.
  • Independent
    Widefield, CO
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    The Op-ed pretty much points to it. I would like to say that the term 'Street Rat' isn't inherently racist, it has been used against every race when talking about a person (especially a child), that lives on the street. Nugent's op-ed shows a clear racist bias, at least in my opinion, and I'm a white guy. Are African American's partially to blame for their living situation? Yes, it would be foolish to say otherwise when, according to polls, they drop out of high school, often by choice. Are current whites partially to blame? Some, there are whites that are racist, not all of us are though so don't blame us all. Are whites of the past to blame? Yes, by and large most of them forced the African American's into the bottom rung of society and kept them there by denying them education. Things are getting better for African Americans, but there is still a lot of work to be done by both groups to make things truly equal. The difference between my post and Nugent's op-ed is that I don't deny some whites (At least most of those of the past and some of the present) are to blame. Nugent merely places the blame all at the feet of the African American's, not pointing out it was the whites of the past who put them there in the first place.
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:
    johnnycee Wrote: I read the Op-ed and did not find anything racial in it, he describes a cycle of violence that pervades our cities , especially cities with high minority residents, and this young child , if left with this family has a very short future ahead of him, BTW, this makes the first time I've read anything penned by this song writer other songs let alone an Op-eds. As for Zimmerman , a jury found him not guilty , case closed, if you want to base opinions on a not guilty verdict by this jury ,have at it ,But it will not change the facts as this jury found, and having someone believe in the jury's findings does not make him or her a racist.
    My goodness man. Do you actually believe the things that you type or do you just feel that you have to disagree with everything that I say? I did not call him racist for agreeing with the juries opinion in the George Zimmerman case. I displayed a quote that was obviously racially tinged about a "17-year-old dope smoking, racist gangsta wannabe" and you have the gall to stick up for him. That's your right, but I didn't state any opinion whatsoever about the juries verdict.




    Well, since most of what you write I do disagree with but not everything, I believe that Tryvon was buying the Skittles and soda for what is one of the newer ways of gaining a ghetto high, after all his parent sent him away from his home because of the increasing gang involvement in his home area, and since most of the gangsta gang raps are of a racist nature so there is some truth to that particular narrative, but I will apologize for assuming that you stated anything about the jury's verdict, but do you agree with their verdict of Zimmerman being not guilty.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    You have obviously missed the entire point of this thread.
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    Since I am not a Ted Nugent fan and can't know the man based on your provided snippets only, I guess I did miss the point of your thread, what was it anyway.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    johnnycee Wrote: Well, since most of what you write I do disagree with but not everything, I believe that Tryvon was buying the Skittles and soda for what is one of the newer ways of gaining a ghetto high, after all his parent sent him away from his home because of the increasing gang involvement in his home area, and since most of the gangsta gang raps are of a racist nature so there is some truth to that particular narrative, but I will apologize for assuming that you stated anything about the jury's verdict, but do you agree with their verdict of Zimmerman being not guilty.
    Are you an expert in this field of getting high with skittles and soda? This is exactly the point that I was trying to make.

    With regards to the verdit--No, I do not agree with the verdict because I believe he hunted down Trayvon Martin and killed him in cold blood. The jury only got to hear one side of the story because the other person had a bullet in their chest. And I feel without a shadow of a doubt that if the roles were reversed and Martin killed Zimmerman, the jury would have come to a different conclusion. This is my opinion. It also has nothing to do with the thread, so it will be the last I comment on it.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    johnnycee Wrote: Since I am not a Ted Nugent fan and can't know the man based on your provided snippets only, I guess I did miss the point of your thread, what was it anyway.
    It was about beginning a discussion on how to deal with people that say racist things by using fact based responses and holding them accountable for the words that came out of their own mouths. It was meant to teach people to focus on "what someone said" instead of focusing on "what they are."
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    I got that part but when then you mentioned Ted Nugent as being racist it got me to wondering how you based , on the theory of how not to be drawn into a racist conversation , a reference to Ted Nugent as a racist without being drawn into a conversation about racism.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Once again--please read what I wrote. No where in my posting did I call him a racist. I stated my opinion that he used racially tinged words, explained why, and described how you can hold a conversation with those individuals by calling them out for their words and not getting sucked in a back and forth of if they are racist or not.
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    Can you use racially tinged words without being called a racist? or would /could you a form an opinion of that person just by listening to their racially tinged words.?
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:
    johnnycee Wrote: Well, since most of what you write I do disagree with but not everything, I believe that Tryvon was buying the Skittles and soda for what is one of the newer ways of gaining a ghetto high, after all his parent sent him away from his home because of the increasing gang involvement in his home area, and since most of the gangsta gang raps are of a racist nature so there is some truth to that particular narrative, but I will apologize for assuming that you stated anything about the jury's verdict, but do you agree with their verdict of Zimmerman being not guilty.
    Are you an expert in this field of getting high with skittles and soda? This is exactly the point that I was trying to make.

    With regards to the verdit--No, I do not agree with the verdict because I believe he hunted down Trayvon Martin and killed him in cold blood. The jury only got to hear one side of the story because the other person had a bullet in their chest. And I feel without a shadow of a doubt that if the roles were reversed and Martin killed Zimmerman, the jury would have come to a different conclusion. This is my opinion. It also has nothing to do with the thread, so it will be the last I comment on it.



    Skittles and soda is a pretty well known way of getting a ghetto high in any urban city high crime area particular with narcotics, the candy varies because of individual tastes and sugar content, no need to be an expert. And you are entitled to your opinion on the jury's verdict, and I, surprise, surprise, disagree with you on that. Btw, the entire case was based on racism as a root cause for this shooting so that alone makes it part of this thread.
  • Independent
    Widefield, CO
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    Skittles + Soda = Sugar high (Ghetto high, whatever...) Course for a faster sugar high try snorting pixie sticks. (The paper tubes of flavored sugar, not a code word for any type of drug) Did that in middle school and had a sugar high for like 4 hours...