Can’t We Just Let This Die?

While reading FARK.com I found the story below. While not exactly a major news item it still bothers me. My wife and I are an interracial couple, our son Aidan is as pale as Casper’s ass and aside from his nose, he doesn’t look as though he is my wife’s biological son so we often hear comments about how wonderful it was for my wife to adopt my son as her own; ad nauseum. If not something similar, my wife is also the subject of a number of rude comments from members of the African American community who have accused her of “betraying her race” and some people have even told her she needs to “stay in the race”. The point being, I’ve come to the conclusion that while race does sometimes play a factor in life, its influence is no where near as widespread as it’s been argued. I won’t ruin the article, surmise to say that I think its a total crock of shit, but I would appreciate a different perspective.

Shell-shocked!

30 thoughts on “Can’t We Just Let This Die?

  1. Race can play a factor in things like this, but if we want people to cease doing stupid shit like putting down someone because of their ancestry, people need to quit saying shit like “He wouldn’t have done this to a white woman.”

    What this person allegedly did is wrong. It wouldn’t have mattered if this person was African, Asian, Native American, European, gay, dead, or Canadian. If that did in fact happen, the guy needs to learn that that kind of behavior is not kosher. Dude – admiring someone’s clothing? Yeah. Fine. Admiring it and asking the person about it? Potentially (“Hey that lace I think I see on your lingerie sure looks amazingly detailed” is a bit out of line.) Reaching over to touch someone you’ve never met, and helping yourself to a different view of said article of clothing? Yeah, that’s a well thought-out plan.

    WTF?!??

    I do wonder about the offer to settle, though. All I know about legal procedures and tactics is what little I see on television. I don’t know if offering some kind of financial settlement is de rigeur or not.

  2. Gah. I see I didn’t finish a paragraph properly. (Happy Monday.)

    Unless there is sufficient empirical reason to believe, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that an action is motivated by someone’s gender, age, ethnicity, height, weight, religion, sexual preference, what have you…people saying things like “He wouldn’t have done this to a white woman” seems a bit like waving a match in a fireworks factory. (Of course, I don’t know all the facts in this particular case. And of course, that could have been exactly the reaction the woman’s lawyer was going for.)

  3. I agree with Laughing Muse. I do not see how the victim’s race factored into the equation at all. The perpetrator’s actions were obscene and inexcusable, period.

  4. “(Kunian) is one of the finest gentleman ever created on this earth,”

    Well that’s obviously not true if he’s guilty now, is it?

    I don’t see that race is a factor in this, but money might be.  I don’t approve of monetary damage awards for this reason.  If the guy’s not rich, you probably won’t get any money from him.  If he is rich, then whether or not your suit is valid, a damage award encourages fraud and people sue just to get money.  If that settlement offer is right, then the victim went WAY overboard.  You could rip off all my clothes and grope me for $500,000….in a board meeting…. when I’m up for promotion.  I’ll wear a break-away clown suit too, red nose and everything.  I’ll let you take pictures too and I’ll personally post them on the internet.  Let’s get some perspective.

    And if anyone wants to say that since he is rich, then $500K is a fair price to pay, then if he’s that rich, have him pay in the form of a service.  Put the man on retainer until he’s worked off the crime.  Donate to a charity in the victims name, pay off a mortgage, or some other debt…. something rather than just a cash exchange.

    Possibly in this case, the punishment must fit the crime.

    PS:  I was serious if anyone has $500K they don’t need.

  5. Under UK law if someone (not just the victim) says ‘Its racially motivated’ then it is treated as racially motivated. Doesn’t matter what the intention is- it is the perception.

    All this does is get people angry at the injustice of the non-crime, masking the actual crime. The illiberals will use this to say he’s victimesed for being a white man, thus hiding the fact that you don’t go around grabbing strangers clothes.

  6. Donate to a charity in the victims name

    But only if it’s NOT about the money.

    Egbert fired back, “First of all, ‘it’ didn’t happen. And it had nothing to do with race.

    I wouldn’t have this idiot as a lawyer – he didn’t choose his words at all well.
    My brain zeroed in on ‘it had’; he virtually admitted guilt.

    How about Dilday though? Betcha he copped some flack when he was young.

  7. It is indeed possible that fellow wouldn’t have done that to a white woman.  But to let that be an aggravating factor creates a thought crime.  Let the assault be the crime.

    And sometimes, a humongous monetary award is the only way to get a rich person’s attention.  But obviously, it can be abused or misdirected.

  8. On the other hand, if I had any notion that the only way I’d get some sort of recognition of “some dumbass just ripped my stuff and exposed my naughty bits to a party” was to place the low blow and call race, gender, sexual orientation, etc then as the victim then I support having that right. After all, if you’re wronged the first step in getting justice is having other people recognize that you’ve been wronged.

  9. Wow….calling the race card.

    Regardless of his motivations, if she felt like she was put on an auction block….then that is how his actions made her feel.

    The rules have been changed from looking at intent to looking at the result.  So what if the co-worker making a sexually charged joke never intended on it causing offense.  The result is that co-worker #2 felt like she/he was sexually harassed.  A male reaching out and touching his co-worker’s shoulder can be construed as invading her personal space. It is not about intent, it is about the result.

    This is all by gender not by race…..why should the standards be different because of race?  All of us have grown up with notions about each other that has been colored by our upbringing and our environment (some good..some not so good).  Some things we have discarded and other things we haven’t even recognized as being detrimental to our own interactions with society.  Why is it wrong for this woman to feel like she has been violated as a result (indirectly) of her race?

    This woman…I believed used the stereo-typical race card (the money is the clue).  Had it been me, he would have been paying a Black Organized charity a hefty sum.  The thing is this…whatever the outcome, had that man never touched her in the first place….this wouldn’t be an issue.  Would he have done it to a white-woman?  maybe, but maybe not.  What matters is the resulting feeling, not the intent. 

    And personally…her description is exactly what is depicted in olden day auction house sales.  That is what I saw in my minds eye BEFORE I read the ‘He would have never done this to a white woman’ line.  As a black woman, the auction house feeling is exactly what I got from her words.  (albeit after the fact…in the papers…designed for effect I am sure).

    My pennies.

  10. I suppose one of the bits about this little item that irks me is the “auction-house” remark. How could she possibly know? Moreover, why is it still acceptable for any African-American to equate their present circumstances with that of their ancestors who may or may not have suffered the horrors of slavery. While I realize that this is probably not an accurate comparison, allow me to equate this to my use of the suffering of the Scottish at the hands of the English. I am of Scottish descent so I am authorized to do so, right? I suppose that I could, however, I don’t think that anyone would readily identify with my so-called struggle and emotional distress caused by the knowledge of my ancestors’ struggles. I would have said memory, except that I have none from those horrific times, which is exactly my point. No living man or woman suffered the indignities of slavery, more to the point, I doubt that any man or woman alive today has ever even known anyone who had. Yes, slavery was a horrible practice, but it ended in the United States in 1865. Given that this practice ended 142 years ago, I think its about time we let the issue die already. Furthermore, there is no way in hell this woman could possibly have known what it was to be on stage in an auction-house. Her remarks do a disservice to anyone who ever had suffered that indignity. In addition to this, INTENT is the issue here. There is no evidence that this act was racially-motivated. We typically use the lack of intent with regard to sentencing for far more serious acts. We also have enough common sense to realize that while someone may have been offended, the degree to which they were offended may or may not have been within reason. I’ve read stories of men killing each other for being cut off in traffic. Is this a justifiable response? Of course not, and comparing this lawyer’s actions to slavery is not a justifiable response either. While this woman may have felt her suffering was on par with slavery, we, as sober-minded individuals have the sensibilities to say that her assesment was wrong. Not in the sense that she may have believed that what she felt was similiar, but that it could not have been equal to that of any slave. I myself have been accused of racism from time to time, and to their discredit I would have to say that 99% of those accusations came from individuals I placed under apprehension. While I agree that some acts in this world are racially-motivated, I don’t think its appropriate that I or anyone else should be forced to walk on eggshells for the fear of being labeled a racist, and this woman’s actions contribute to that fear. This man was a prick. What he did was wrong. That much is simple, but the label racist is much like rapist. Even if the accusation is false, it comes to court of public opinion and guilt or innocence no longer matters; the label itself becomes a punishment. I’ve come to the conclusion that the issue here is not race at all, but a much larger problem of why we as a society cannot bury this issue altogether. We as a society will not let this die because its become a convenient excuse for a number of behaviors and we use race as a scapegoat. Race is an issue that has been blown completely out of proportion and I believe that this story highlights that to a certain degree.

  11. On the other hand, anyone who thinks racism is a dead issue unworthy of comment, notation, or wariness in the US simply because the most noteworthy and reprehensibly explicit aspects of racism are over is living in a pipe dream. Furthermore, simply on the secondhand short paragraphs on hand of a news piece it’s usually a mistake to absolve (or condemn) someone of a particular action or rationale. Maybe the guy is a racist, or maybe he wasn’t, but if the woman thinks that she’s going to get action against him more easily by “playing the race card” then in an imperfect world then more power to her – she’s the one that, by everyone’s apparent admission, has been wronged.

    I don’t know if having your clothes ripped and breasts exposed would be a no-story without the race comments, but she’s demonstrably shown that that by making it about race she’s evoking public discussion and comment. That makes it a successful tactic as far as her getting her exposure..er, exposed; but it’s also not a terrible thing to invite discussion on race about the issue either.

    Can racism be discussed too much, so that by continual public inspection we’d somehow come up with a less successful societal consensus opinion? I don’t think so. She claims it was about race, and the public discusses whether or not it was about race, what should be done about it regardless on whether or not it was about race, and the language used when proclaiming possible racism is talked about too? How is that not good for society? Does racism and gender inequality really correct itself by non-discussion? How? How does society change without continual mass navel-gazing and introspection?

    People are dumb. If we’re continually getting something out of the same tired old plots on TV each week I don’t think we’re going to overextend ourselves by hammering constantly at things that,as a society, we’d like to change about ourselves. Repetition is valuable for learning. Discussion is valuable for learning. Silence? Not so much.

  12. My point, and I admit I must not have made it clear, was not that discussion of racism keeps it alive, but rather, our insistence that it is a constant issue makes it an issue. If we look for factor “x” in any given issue, we will find it. We see what we want to see. My point was that racism is alive within society but I don’t believe it to be nearly as prevalent as it has often been suggested. To put a finer point on it, the prevalence of racist conduct is the issue. While hate crimes do exist, I believe their numbers are exaggerated to the point where we see significance in an issue that would otherwise be considered ordinary. A similiar issue is the discrepancy in pay between men and women. The often quoted figure is that women, on average, earn $0.75 for every $1.00 that men earn. We assume that this gap is due to sexism in the workplace, but a closer analysis of the available data provides for a number of mitigating factors which contradict this statement. These factors include longer average work weeks for men, consistent employment, education, career choices by gender amongst college graduates, etc. We’ve assumed that the gap exists because of sexism, and so we tend to look for supporting evidence. Just as with racially-motivated crimes, we believe that the majority of a number of crimes are racially motivated and we look for evidence to support that conclusion whilst ignoring contradictory evidence. From case studies I’ve read, there are a number of cases where race played a significant factor, but within that group there are an alarming number of cases where the evidence for this conjecture was based on assumption and theory alone with no supporting testimonial or character evidence. It was simply a matter of white man vs. black man or vice versa and those involved assumed that the crime itself must have been based upon this when there wasn’t supporting evidence to bolster that conclusion. And while I admit that I possibly misrepresented my point in my previous post, I can assure you that it was not that we should ignore the issue entirely, but that we should examine the circumstances surrounding these incidents closer in order to determine what really happened and why. Do I believe the woman involved should sue the accused? I believe she is entitled to just compensation because she has been wronged. That is completely justifiable. However, he metaphor of being in an auction house is used without just cause and unwarranted. Furthermore, the accused committed an act that was equally unwarranted, but should he suffer the stigma of being labeled a racist in addition to this? I don’t believe its appropriate nor do I consider it pertinent to the issue at hand which has the appearance of a simple assault. Whatever his motivation, however, I do not believe there is sufficient evidence to make that accusation and I believe that the accusation itself is considered a serious enough allegation within society to warrant further punishment without just cause. As I said before, its become as bad as a false accusation of rape. Something, I might add, I’ve had the displeasure of dealing with. I won’t give his name, but a shipmate I worked with previously had been accused of raping a female we both worked with. By the time it was discovered through the investigation that she was a virgin and that five people had been with him some 150km at a bar during the time in question, it no longer mattered. Those we worked with largely ignored the evidence present and ostracized this individual as a rapist not because he had done so, but merely because he had been accused. This is a terrible thing to accuse someone of, and while rape and racism are two entirely separate matters, the point remains the same; we do not pay attention to the evidence but rather, the accusation. As the saying goes, “What’s right is right and what’s wrong is damn wrong.” This, is most definitely wrong.

  13. Well, it IS a fact that it is much easier to legally defeat or prosecute someone if you can convince the jury/judge that it is about race.  That sends two messages.  One is that people, by and large do not like racism.  That is good.  The other is that people will exploit people who ARE racist and they will exploit a system that punishes the appearance of racism even if it isn’t true, and that’s bad.  Was that incident racially motivated?  Only one person knows, and no matter what is true, he will say “no” because society won’t like him if he says yes.  As for the rest of us, we (and the jury/judge) will never be able to know for certain, so he will be judged on what people think they know about his character which, for strangers will be impossible.

    Was it racially motivated?  Doesn’t matter, or more to the point, I don’t care.  If it was wrong, it was wrong no matter if they were both white or not.  If him being white is supposed to mean that he’s more likely to commit the act, then that’s blaming the race for the act, not the person, and that’s racism too.

    If you’re asking if the people responsible for judgment will consider it racially motivated, who knows, but my gut says yes, which is also too bad.  Neodromos is correct; we will all see what we want.  Many people who have been discriminated against will have no trouble believing race was involved without proof.  Some who have never been exposed to racism will find it hard to believe dispite decent evidence, and of course friends and enemies have their own agenda’s.  Then again, once it gets to the media, and is again filtered for our consumption in another state or maybe in another country, you should begin to suspect quite a bit over a he said/she said kind of incident.  All it takes if for a reporter to do a story on something you are already very familiar with for you to lose all respect for the media.  Never trust the details.

  14. My point was that racism is alive within society but I don’t believe it to be nearly as prevalent as it has often been suggested.

    But it’s mere conjecture on your part that what you assert is true. It could just as easily be that racism isn’t as prevalent as it might be exactly because the common assertion of something being racist providing a constant effect of influencing people to choose for non-racist actions.

    Since racism is such a detrimental effect on liberty though, I think it’s probably better to have the dialog than to not even if it IS self-selecting. At least by constant discussion, even if it’s self-promotional, you’re still informing people about it and they’re free to react to it and respond as they like rather than somehow suppressing speech simply because you find it distasteful or promoting racism.

  15. I cannot accept the notion that the perception is what matters – that is tyranny.  Most of us only have the vaguest grasp of our own motives, let alone those of another person.  But our actions are observable, definable, and if necessary punishable in a court of law.  That man assaulted that woman.  Her speculations about his motives should be kept out it.

    If anyone doubts that frequent accusations of racism keep racism alive, ponder the logic of the statement; “I demand respect.”

  16. Neodromos:
    I’ve come to the conclusion that while race does sometimes play a factor in life, its influence is no where near as widespread as it’s been argued.

    No living man or woman suffered the indignities of slavery, more to the point, I doubt that any man or woman alive today has ever even known anyone who had. Yes, slavery was a horrible practice, but it ended in the United States in 1865. Given that this practice ended 142 years ago, I think its about time we let the issue die already.

    While I agree that some acts in this world are racially-motivated, I don’t think its appropriate that I or anyone else should be forced to walk on eggshells for the fear of being labeled a racist, and this woman’s actions contribute to that fear.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that the issue here is not race at all, but a much larger problem of why we as a society cannot bury this issue altogether. We as a society will not let this die because its become a convenient excuse for a number of behaviors and we use race as a scapegoat. Race is an issue that has been blown completely out of proportion and I believe that this story highlights that to a certain degree.

    So privileged.  So naive.

  17. I cannot accept the notion that the perception is what matters – that is tyranny.

    Amen, dof.  If this guy did what this woman said he did, he should be tried for what he did, not for what she imagined he did.

    While their may be a genetic component to racism (fear of people who do not look like your kin), it’s obvious that racism can be successfully fought.

    Neodromos- you and your wife probably know this, but obviously some of the people commenting on your son’s color do not.  Skin color is thought to be controlled by about seven different genes, and it’s the luck of the draw which combination of colors a child gets from its parents.  So although on the average, mixed kids are somewhere in between their parents in color, they can get any combination in their parents’ palettes.  Here’s a pic of an adorable pair of sororal twins, one black and one white.

  18. My wife and I are an interracial couple, our son Aidan is as pale as Casper’s ass

    That sucks for you. I can’t even think of interracial sexual relations without feeling sick.

    For once, I agree with those “betraying her race” comments, you have both betrayed your race.

  19. That sucks for you. I can’t even think of interracial sexual relations without feeling sick.

    For once, I agree with those “betraying her race” comments, you have both betrayed your race.

    If that’s a joke, I think it is in very poor taste.

    If it’s not a joke…… Wow, how stupid…

  20. swordsbane:
    If it’s not a joke……

    swordsbane meet Moloch, our local Klan member.  It’s not a joke.

  21. our local Klan member

    I’ve never been a Klan member. They rely to heavily on the Christian faith to be credible.

  22. Betrayal of race? Firstly, I would argue that for someone to believe that the pigmentation of someone’s skin is worthy of special recognition would require more faith than fact so I doubt I could convince you otherwise. Those damnable “facts” always get in the way of a good story don’t they? I suppose I could argue for the evolutionary viewpoint that our ancestors evolved within Africa and that our biological differences exist only as survival mechanisms, but again, I would assume that because “facts” are involved it won’t do any good. I would like to note the irony in your avatar given your belief that interracial marriage and hence, interracial sexual relations, disgust you. The Minotaur was the result of the sexual union of Pasiphae and a bull given to King Minos of Crete. Although I wouldn’t posit that this union was interracial considering it was the union of a bull and a woman, the bull was white and the woman most likely an olive-skinned Greek. Funny how the world looks when you work through the details isn’t it? Cheers fucker. grin

  23. Neo, don’t worry about it. I’ve long come to the realization that to disgust a certain class of people is a badge of honor.

  24. I wouldn’t ordinarily, however, I was let off early from work and I simply can’t muster the energy to work on my book. Its a bit of a hobby in a way.

  25. Didn’t someone tell him to stay on the back of the truck and just bark?

    I liked it better when he just barked.

  26. I just went over to Debunking Christianity to see what was happening.
    The photo shows what happens when one person thinks he is superior to another based on skin colour.
    Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    In Oz we didn’t use the black fella as a slave cos he wouldn’t work in an iron lung; we just used him as target practice.
    A few years ago I saw an interview with Malcolm Fraser (note his year of birth); PM in the 70s. He recalled as a very small boy a coupla riders came onto the property. In answering his father’s question they said they’d been out hunting and only got a couple. What they’d been hunting was never mentioned as it was known they’d been hunting blacks.
    These days Malcolm is a tireless Aboriginal Rights campaigner.
    Although he was a right-wing politician in his day he’s looking more like a lefty these days contrary to Churchill’s: To be conservative at 20 is heartless and to be a liberal at 60 is plain idiocy.

  27. Moloch: That sucks for you. I can’t even think of interracial sexual relations without feeling sick.

    I think we should all start flooding Moloch’s email with interracial porn, but that could just be the whiskey talking.

    Back to writing now….

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