Creative Destruction

May 26, 2006

A Lesson In Unintended Ignorance

Filed under: Debate,Race and Racism — Off Colfax @ 3:41 am

Of all the bloggers on the left-hand-side of the political road, I have to place Armando (Yes, that Armando. As in, formerly of the blog known as DailyKos and currently teaming up with Josh Trevino [of former Tacticus fame] over at Swords Crossed.Yes, the same Armando that I really can't stand.) fairly within the 90th percentile.

So when I find him using this sort of argument, I blink in shock. How could he actually say this and think he's actually proving a point? From Swords Crossed:

Why? Because he is insensitive to the centrality of the Spanish language in a Latino’s self identity, all the while preaching about English’s centrality to being an American.

It's amazing to me how many of my left-(or-further)-of-center cohorts cannot come to grips with this concept. One possibility is that the automatic reflex towards politically correct modes of thought have kept us from understanding one basic truth.

It's okay to be proud of what you are, regardless of what you are.

Certainly, it's been a while since I was a loud and proud American. (Instead, I'm just loud.) In fact, very little since the Taliban regime was shoved into the dungheap of history has made me proud of my country. Yet I am fully capable to be proud of being a citizen of this mostly great nation, while not allowing myself to be blinded to many of this nation's great faults due to patriotic fervor.

Yet in the realm of politically correct thought, the only ones that can be proud of their nation/heritage/religion/insert-mode-of-thought-here are the minority. And seeing as how the majority of people in this country are Americans, whether by birth or via naturalization, being proud of your country is anathema to the politically-correct modality of thought.

Hence why Armando might not realize what he himself just wrote. So I will reverse it for him and see if he gets the concept.

Why? Because he is insensitive to the centrality of the English language in an American's self identity, all the while preaching about Spanish's centrality to being a Latino.

Flamers, light your flamethrowers. Any bets I'll be called a racist bigot for that one? Yet doing so will only prove my point for me. Of course, in order to explain my thought process on this one, I'd need to use a concept fleshed out by one of the Left's least favorite philosophers: Ayn Rand.

(Don't worry. She's also one of my least favorite philosophers, mostly due to taking a simple logical proof and turning around to say that if you agree with one part of her logic, you must therefore agree with all points of her logic. And some of her logical leaps were such a stretch that even Spandex couldn't cover it. Yet this concept is elegant in its simplicity, particularly when taken away from all the tedious trappings of Objectivism.)

A is A.

If simply reversing what someone wrote is considered to be a racist statement, then the original statement must also be a racist statement. The sentiments involved were already in the original, after all. (Note to the gaggle: Make sure to remind me in a couple of weeks to put down my thoughts regarding race and racism. They might be somewhat of interest.)

Likewise, if the reversed sentiment is a condemnation of a culture, then the original sentiment is a condemnation of a culture.

Which brings me to what seems to be the crux of the whole immigration debate: Most of those that argue against illegal immigration happen to like this country. Even though the phrase "My country, right or wrong." was turned into a condemnation by the band Midnight Oil (Additional note of interest: Peter Garrett is a god. That is all.), it still is seen as the basis, indeed a point of pride, for most non-liberal thought processes.

Likewise, via a modified A Is A process, similar to that which I used to hoist Armando up by his own petard (I believe he would be highly annoyed with me for that one, but first he'd have to read what I've written. And I highly doubt that one will ever happen.), those on the other side of the debate are considered to not like this country. After all, the other side is the same side that had been brutalized by the not-quite-so-much-but-still-slightly debunked La Reconquista theory. (Note: I really don't agree with the logic of the linked post. After all, when you can hear someone shout "¡Viva Los Estatos Unidos Del Mexico Norte!" in the middle of a supermarket parking lot, it does tend to get the hint across that someone out there, albeit a small minority, believes in the theory.) (Actual occurance. It happened last week.)

This is precisely why there can be no real understanding between the two sides of the debate. Neither one can understand where the other side is coming from. And without understanding, there can be no negotiation. Without negotiation, there can be no compromise. And without compromise, there can be no end result that will mostly please everyone.

And with an issue like this, compromise is precisely what is needed. There is no way that the hardest-core migrant supporters, whether Hispanic or not, will accept the 50-foot wall some would like to build along the southern border. Likewise, there is no way that the anti-illegal-immigration crowd, myself included, will approve of the open-borders concept so beloved by the supporters of migrant issues.

Simple name-calling, such as what Armando was doing to George Will, (And possibly what I just got done doing to Armando, to be perfectly honest. Some of my readers will obviously see it as such. I know Armando would.) (If he ever reads this.) will do nothing for either side. What we really need are ideas on how to reach an actual compromise, to reach an understanding. And to do so requires those of us that want to find a solution to this problem to step in.

I've posted on my other blog that I quite clearly understand what drives people to cross our border without going through the legal process. I also said quite clearly that I do not agree with what they do, but I understand what drives them to do so. So perhaps I should initiate the compromise process. But on a different post, as this one has gone long enough.

[Turn signal: Protein Wisdom]

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13 Comments »

  1. Yet in the realm of politically correct thought, the only ones that can be proud of their nation/heritage/religion/insert-mode-of-thought-here are the minority.
    […]
    If simply reversing what someone wrote is considered to be a racist statement, then the original statement must also be a racist statement. The sentiments involved were already in the original, after all.

    Hmm… To predict:

    But OffColfax, your post does not address how the (Anglocentric) White Male Supremacy™ has traditionally oppressed The Other™ and thus any comparison between the two is offensive and racist and means that you are rambling, insane, angry Racist™, Sexist™ and a Homophobe™.

    Or what-the-fuck ever. 😉

    Truly great post. I’ve wondered often if there were any people on the left who were as disgusted by the postmodern value system the modern left is promoting.

    To put it in simple terms:

    The White Male Christian Supremacy™:
    Collective, hereditary responsibility/blame for bad things done in the past by other sharing the superficial characteristics:
    Yes.

    Collective, hereditary responsibility/praise for good things done in the past by other sharing the superficial characteristics:
    No.

    For The Other™, the answers are “no” and “yes”, respectively.

    Comment by Tuomas — May 26, 2006 @ 10:16 am | Reply

  2. Pardon the overuse of the ™ -sign, and things done in the past by other sharing the

    other should read others.

    Comment by Tuomas — May 26, 2006 @ 10:18 am | Reply

  3. I confess I’m at somewhat of a loss to recognize what is being argued in this post. It’s a mix of at least several issues: official languages, national identity, illegal immigration, and cultural hegemony. Taken together, they’re a tinder box no matter what side of any issue one happens to be on. I can infer opinions from the post above, but I risk being incorrect. Could you be more manifest, Off Colfax?

    On a side note, I wonder if what-the-fuck ever might ought to be whatever-the-fuck, to which everyone will no doubt respond fuck … whatever!

    Comment by Brutus — May 26, 2006 @ 11:25 am | Reply

  4. On a side note, I wonder if what-the-fuck ever might ought to be whatever-the-fuck, to which everyone will no doubt respond fuck … whatever!

    You are correct on both counts, I suppose.

    Comment by Tuomas — May 26, 2006 @ 1:18 pm | Reply

  5. I confess I’m at somewhat of a loss to recognize what is being argued in this post. It’’s a mix of at least several issues: official languages, national identity, illegal immigration, and cultural hegemony. Taken together, they’’re a tinder box no matter what side of any issue one happens to be on. I can infer opinions from the post above, but I risk being incorrect. Could you be more manifest, Off Colfax?

    Oh, quit being obtuse, Brutus. Off Colfax is clearly adamant in his opposition to his interpretation of Armando’s adamant opposition to his interpretation of George Will’s adamant opposition to his interpretation of Harry Reid’s adamant opposition to his interpretation of an unspecified author’s bill “to declare English the national language” (however you choose to interpret that). At least that’s my interpretation.

    Who wouldn’t get exercised over that?

    On a side note, I wonder if what-the-fuck ever might ought to be whatever-the-fuck, to which everyone will no doubt respond fuck …… whatever!

    They’d better not. I trademarked that.

    Comment by nobody.really — May 26, 2006 @ 3:03 pm | Reply

  6. Off Colfax is clearly adamant in his opposition to his interpretation of Armando’s adamant opposition to his interpretation of George Will’s adamant opposition to his interpretation of Harry Reid’s adamant opposition to his interpretation of an unspecified author’s bill “to declare English the national language” (however you choose to interpret that).

    Sheeeesh, N.R, even I needed a few minutes to read through that one. My Royal Hat Of Obtuse Thought may or may not be off to you, depending on whether you might find such action to be a compliment or not.

    And yes, to be perfectly blunt, I am for English as the national language. Of course, if people read through the naturalization process, they would find that English is already the de jure language of citizenship. This is one of the few areas where I sink into the “My Country” argument I mentioned above.

    Comment by Off Colfax — May 26, 2006 @ 3:44 pm | Reply

  7. Oh, and as a side note, make sure to close your HTML markup tags when you’re done with them.

    Hint hint.

    Snark snark.

    Comment by Off Colfax — May 26, 2006 @ 3:46 pm | Reply

  8. I’ve fixed the unclosed tag.

    Because he is insensitive to the centrality of the Spanish language in a Latino’s self identity, all the while preaching about English’s centrality to being an American.

    I’m rereading that passage, trying to say where it says or implies that it’s not “okay to be proud of what you are, regardless of what you are.” But it doesn’t say that. And claiming or implying that it does say that, is a strawman.

    Rereading the post you link, I don’t see anywhere where Armando says that it’s not okay to be proud of being an American.

    Did Armando actually say any such thing, or are you just making it up?

    Flamers, light your flamethrowers. Any bets I’ll be called a racist bigot for that one?

    So you’re bothered by hypothetical flamethrowers who, you say, will inevitably flame you for something you said hypothetically?

    You know, if you really have so little in life to complain about that you’re offended by the offense that hypothetical leftists will take to a hypothetical statement you made, then you have waaaay too much time on your hands.

    Comment by Ampersand — May 26, 2006 @ 5:23 pm | Reply

  9. So you’re bothered by hypothetical flamethrowers who, you say, will inevitably flame you for something you said hypothetically?

    [Y]ou’re offended by the offense that hypothetical leftists will take to a hypothetical statement you made….

    Nice try, Amp, but that Royal Hat Of Obtuse Thought is MINE!

    (But thanks for the tag assist.)

    Comment by nobody.really — May 26, 2006 @ 5:35 pm | Reply

  10. This wasn’t to me, but…

    I don’t see anywhere where Armando says that it’s not okay to be proud of being an American.

    No, but it was quite standard fare ad hominem litany of “bigot”, “act of ethnic hatred”, and “insensitive whites”.

    You know, if you really have so little in life to complain about that you’re offended by the offense that hypothetical leftists will take to a hypothetical statement you made, then you have waaaay too much time on your hands.

    I hereby declare that “you have too much time!” -type of comments will be considered an equivalent of kick to the groin in boxing match. The time any blogger or commenter has in his/her hands is not the issue, nor is the personal life, unless it is included in the post.

    What about Armando’s claim that

    in a time when Spanish speaking immigrants from Latin America are under rhetorical attack is an act of bigotry and ethnic hatred.

    Like what attack? Like opposing illegal immigration? I’m afraid

    It seems to me that you went to ad hominem -route in your desire for a strong ending.

    Comment by Tuomas — May 26, 2006 @ 5:42 pm | Reply

  11. I’m afraid…

    Oops, sorry. Got to finish this train of thought. Should follow with: that this is just rhetoric and hyperbole disguised as a sophisticated argument (before you point out, my first comment was complete hyperbole, intentionally so).

    Comment by Tuomas — May 26, 2006 @ 5:45 pm | Reply

  12. Tuomas, part of the reason for the tone of my comment is that I was so pissed off at how mean-spirited and rude your first comment was. Saying that it was “complete hyperbole, intentionally so” is not an excuse.

    Regarding “too much time on your hands,” point well taken. I hereby withdraw the “too much time on your hands” comment.

    The rest of my comment, I stand by. Taking offense to something that an unspecified hypothetical leftist will allegedly say in response to a hypothetical comment at some unknown time in the future is dishonest, strawman argumentation.

    I don’t see anywhere where Armando says that it’s not okay to be proud of being an American.

    No, but it was quite standard fare ad hominem litany of “bigot”, “act of ethnic hatred”, and “insensitive whites”.

    Your response is not a logical rebuttal to what I wrote. Let’s suppose that your quotes are a fair representation of what Armando said. Even if that were true, it would not logically justify criticizing Armando for statements he never said.

    Comment by Ampersand — May 26, 2006 @ 6:16 pm | Reply

  13. Tuomas, part of the reason for the tone of my comment is that I was so pissed off at how mean-spirited and rude your first comment was. Saying that it was “complete hyperbole, intentionally so” is not an excuse.

    Well, I have to stand by what I wrote, it is not that I’m fond of the particular ideological package associated with those who usually are called racists, sexists, or homophobes, but that I am sick of the overuse of the terms to stifle actual debate (one could point put that complaining about these will stifle it too).

    One has to wonder if some progressive bloggers have a macro on F3 -function key that instantly gets those three words, and their descriptive value is nowadays quite low.

    Taking offense to something that an unspecified hypothetical leftist will allegedly say in response to a hypothetical comment at some unknown time in the future is dishonest, strawman argumentation.

    I disagree. It could be that OffColfax was simply being defensive for views not part of the mainstream left (he never claimed to be offended, he was predicting strong disagreement in form of ad hominems).

    In my opinion it was an assessment of the audience, and acknowledgement that one holds position contrary to the most, or a learned behavior when observing the rebuttals one’s allies use against opposing viewpoints (like Armando’s article was).

    >
    Let’s suppose that your quotes are a fair representation of what Armando said. Even if that were true, it would not logically justify criticizing Armando for statements he never said.

    Yes, let’s suppose (I will quote Armando):

    He does not understand that the desire to make English the national language in a time when Spanish speaking immigrants from Latin America are under rhetorical attack is an act of bigotry and ethnic hatred.

    Like many whites, Will is blind to this obvious point and choses to blind himself with sophistry like “Spanish speakers,” as if that does not equate to Latinos in this context.

    It does not rebut, but someone is doing all that rhetorical attack and ignorance. It might be more accurate to hypothize that Armando does not like English-speaking, white Americans who are proud of what they are and what language they speak.

    Comment by Tuomas — May 26, 2006 @ 6:48 pm | Reply


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