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Thread: Calling white men racist seems to be the new "have you stopped beating your wife"

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    God, family, chicken! Bill the Cat's Avatar
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    Calling white men racist seems to be the new "have you stopped beating your wife"

    Sooner or later, every one of us is confronted with questions to which we are not expected to be able to answer. One of the toughest and most common is the infamous loaded question, “Have you stopped beating your wife?” which implies that you have indeed been beating your wife. Some people actually DO beat their wives. But what of those of us who don't? How do we answer that loaded assumption without agreeing with it? How do we NOT give an answer without appearing evasive or silently confirmatory?

    It has occurred to me that the latest loaded assumption "you're a racist" is one of those unbeatable loaded propositions. What do I mean?

    A white guy gets called a racist. How can he defend himself? Are his accusers going to take his word for it that he isn't? How about the word of his white friends? If he even mentions that there are minorities that can vouch for him, he's accused of employing tokenism, and then again, accused of racism for the "token". Despite what the minority individual says, they are testifying for a racist and are just there to be a distraction from his racism.

    Or what if he realizes all of this is a no-win situation and just agrees that there is no way he can prove otherwise, should he just say he is a racist?



    All the bases are covered! So, you DO beat your wife...


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    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    I thought the consensus was that white men are automatically racist. Why is it necessary to even ask the question?
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    tWebber TheWall's Avatar
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  4. Amen RumTumTugger amen'd this post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    I thought the consensus was that white men are automatically racist. Why is it necessary to even ask the question?
    Seems you are asking the exact sort of loaded question that btc oppose to. He wrote:

    "But what of those of us who don't? How do we answer that loaded assumption without agreeing with it? How do we NOT give an answer without appearing evasive or silently confirmatory?"

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    tWebber Mountain Man's Avatar
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    Good causes sometimes have bad consequences. Blacks, women, and other historical out-groups were right to demand equality before the law and the full respect and liberties due to any member of our civilization; but the tactics they used to “raise consciousness” have sometimes veered into the creepy and pathological, borrowing the least sane features of religious evangelism.

    One very notable pathology is a form of argument that, reduced to essence, runs like this: “Your refusal to acknowledge that you are guilty of {sin,racism,sexism, homophobia,oppression…} confirms that you are guilty of {sin,racism,sexism, homophobia,oppression…}.” I’ve been presented with enough instances of this recently that I’ve decided that it needs a name. I call this general style of argument “kafkatrapping”, and the above the Model A kafkatrap. In this essay, I will show that the kafkatrap is a form of argument that is so fallacious and manipulative that those subjected to it are entitled to reject it based entirely on the form of the argument, without reference to whatever particular sin or thoughtcrime is being alleged. I will also attempt to show that kafkatrapping is so self-destructive to the causes that employ it that change activists should root it out of their own speech and thoughts.

    My reference, of course, is to Franz Kafka’s “The Trial”, in which the protagonist Josef K. is accused of crimes the nature of which are never actually specified, and enmeshed in a process designed to degrade, humiliate, and destroy him whether or not he has in fact committed any crime at all. The only way out of the trap is for him to acquiesce in his own destruction; indeed, forcing him to that point of acquiescence and the collapse of his will to live as a free human being seems to be the only point of the process, if it has one at all.

    This is almost exactly the way the kafkatrap operates in religious and political argument. Real crimes – actual transgressions against flesh-and-blood individuals – are generally not specified. The aim of the kafkatrap is to produce a kind of free-floating guilt in the subject, a conviction of sinfulness that can be manipulated by the operator to make the subject say and do things that are convenient to the operator’s personal, political, or religious goals. Ideally, the subject will then internalize these demands, and then become complicit in the kafkatrapping of others.

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    tWebber Christianbookworm's Avatar
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    Reminds me of the claim/joke that denial of a drug problem means you have a drug problem. But what if you never drink alcohol/smoke/consume illegal drugs?
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

  8. Amen Bill the Cat, JohnHermes amen'd this post.
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    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles View Post
    Seems you are asking the exact sort of loaded question that btc oppose to. He wrote:

    "But what of those of us who don't? How do we answer that loaded assumption without agreeing with it? How do we NOT give an answer without appearing evasive or silently confirmatory?"
    My post was entirely sarcastic.
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  10. Amen RumTumTugger, Bill the Cat, JohnHermes amen'd this post.
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    tWebber Christianbookworm's Avatar
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    Wouldn't a better comparison be "have you stopped being a rapist"? Another question to not answer in a yes/no fashion.

    I never beat my wife, because I am not even married! And I'm a woman that couldn't actually beat up anyone.
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

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    tWebber Roy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill the Cat View Post
    Sooner or later, every one of us is confronted with questions to which we are not expected to be able to answer. One of the toughest and most common is the infamous loaded question, “Have you stopped beating your wife?” which implies that you have indeed been beating your wife. Some people actually DO beat their wives. But what of those of us who don't? How do we answer that loaded assumption without agreeing with it? How do we NOT give an answer without appearing evasive or silently confirmatory?
    "I never started".

    Though I'd probably use something ruder.
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    tWebber Christianbookworm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roy View Post
    "I never started".

    Though I'd probably use something ruder.
    Then they'd claim you were lying! Or insist that you answer with a yes or no.
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

  14. Amen Bill the Cat amen'd this post.

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