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Thread: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

  1. #161
    Hyperactive Member Delaney's Avatar
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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    Quote Originally Posted by wes4dbt View Post
    It sure has given us something to talk about. But I have to admit, I getting really mad. The politician, police, protester, rioters or various militia have not called me and asked for my advise. NONE OF THEM!!! I have all this problem solving, next level, wisdom to share and not one phone call or text.
    maybe they don't have your phone number
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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    Gonna be a long one, here goes.

    Where did you come up with this concept? Sounds like something Trump would say
    I feel like your “both sides” arguments are much closer to Trump’s position than I am but, OK, I’ll expand.


    All protest is violent because all protest is couched as violence by the targets of that protest. This was true of Martin Luther King and the American authorities, it was true of Ghandi and the British Empire, heck, it was true of Jesus and the Romans. The targets of the protest always perceive the protest as an attack, express their outrage in terms of violence and position themselves as victims of that violence. If they’re not talking about people being physically attacked, they’re talking about property damage. If they’re not talking about property damage, they’re talking about the cost to the tax payer. And always in terms of the damage and violence the protesters are enacting on the fabric of society. This was even true of last year’s extinction rebellion change protesters who were portrayed as anarchists bent on tearing society down for gluing themselves to trains so some commuters got to work late. Honestly, you will struggle to find a single protest in history which did not meet with this response from the targets of that protest.

    From this we can conclude that “violence” in this discussion is actually a proxy for “disruption”. Except it’s worse than that. I used Kaepernick as an example in my previous post. His protest involved zero disruption and yet was still received in the same terms by the targets of his protest. It was an attack on American values, an attack on the flag, an attack on veterans… violence, violence, violence. So, actually, “violence” in this context is a proxy for the very act of making a statement, for the very act of engaging in protest. Merely calling out an injustice inherent in the status quo is violence. The nature of the protest is irrelevant, the act itself will be defined as “violence”.

    And it’s worse than that too. Because having defined the mere act of protesting in terms of violence, the targets of that protest will meet it with a genuinely violent response. Don’t believe me? Ask Martin Luther King. Ask Jesus. Want a more recent example? Ask Heather Heyer.


    So why does this make it problematic when you condemn the looting and rioting that’s spilling out of the current protests? I don’t believe you’re trying to excuse state sanctioned murder and I understand that your definition of violence extends only to direct property damage. I fully believe your intent is merely to challenge a thing you see as wrong rather than to condone what led to this. So why are you wrong to do that?

    Because the arguments you’re using are exactly the same arguments that the perpetrators of that injustice use to justify perpetuating that injustice. The exact same arguments they will and are using to justify their genuinely violent response. Those protesters wouldn’t have been shot if they weren’t out after curfew. Wouldn’t have been shot if they weren’t rioting. Kyle Rittenhouse was in Kenosha to protect business owners from property damage... right?

    Those arguments are a lie. These people do not need a “violent” protest to act as a call to arms. Jason Kessler and the Proudboys weren’t in Charlottesville in response to a protest, they went there to cause a protest which they could then react violently to. Black men repeatedly get murdered by police regardless of whether they engage in crime or not. The injustices in our society will be perpetuated with violence whether people protest against them or not and whether those protests are peaceful or not.

    But lie or not, when you use those arguments, the people who are deliberately perpetuating societal injustices will receive it as endorsement of their position. Indeed, the public at large receive it as an endorsement of that position because you are using their argument. By saying “shootings are bad but looting’s bad too” you are not just removing your support from those people who would like to end injustice, you are, in effect if not in intent, gifting it to those who would violently perpetuate injustice. Particularly as, by doing it now, within a week of Jacob Blake's shooting, you give the appearance of equating property damage to attempted murder and you remove the focus from the fact that the property damage is in response to that murder, it is not spontaneous.

    There is an appropriate time to condemn rioting in response to police officers repeatedly murdering black men but this is not it. The appropriate time will be when police officers are no longer repeatedly murdering black people. If people continue to riot, that will be the time to condemn them for it.



    edit>Here's an interesting video I'd recommend. It's an examination of political violence throughout American history. The American Revolution was, of course, a violent protest... so there's that.
    Last edited by FunkyDexter; Aug 29th, 2020 at 09:36 AM.
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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    The problem I have with the vigilante militias is that a whole bunch of them want an excuse to use those guns
    I think "guns don't kill people, people kill people" is actually true. The problem is that the people who say it invariably seem to be people who really, really want to kill people.
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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    I think "guns don't kill people, people kill people" is actually true. The problem is that the people who say it invariably seem to be people who really, really want to kill people.
    I think that I may have mentioned this earlier but I'm not looking back to see. Having read comments by people on "stand your ground" laws in the past, it's clear that some of them are genuinely hoping that someone breaks into their home so that they are able to legally murder them. In the case of these so-called militias, there's no doubt in my mind that, for some at least, their primary concern is not protecting property or people but rather goading or manipulating protesters into a position where they can shoot and possibly kill them and claim that it was a legal act. We've already had this one instance where people appear to be claiming that he was justified in shooting people because they were chasing him and ignoring the fact that they were chasing him because he had already shot people. According to so many gun advocates, who are generally right-wingers, the original protesters should have had guns on them too and, when that 17-year-old (can't recall his name right now) shot at them then they would have shot back and then others would have shot back at them and we would have a bloodbath on our hands.

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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    people appear to be claiming that he was justified in shooting people because they were chasing him
    I think I came close to that and would like to clarify. I wasn't attempting to justify it but was saying I could understand it if he was being attacked by a mob - self preservation is probably the single strongest instinct we have and at that point I think shooting is more of a reaction than a decision. Essentially, I didn't want to jump condemn someone for what could have been a natural human reaction to finding themselves in danger before I knew what the facts of the case were.

    Having heard more detail over the last couple of days and watched the footage that Wes linked to I'm more and more convinced that it wasn't self defence at all. He placed himself at the scene, he provoked the situation he chose to provoke and he killed two people. So not self defence, that's just plain murder.

    The only point I'm sketchy on at the moment was whether he had already killed someone before the footage where we see him running and slip. I believe he did but I'm aware I haven't actually seen that reported in black and white, though it seems to be heavily implied in a lot of what I've read. We could sill be making an assumption there. If anyone's got a source that confirms this one way or the other I'd love a link.
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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    Gonna be a long one, here goes.

    I feel like your “both sides” arguments are much closer to Trump’s position than I am but, OK, I’ll expand.


    All protest is violent because all protest is couched as violence by the targets of that protest. This was true of Martin Luther King and the American authorities, it was true of Ghandi and the British Empire, heck, it was true of Jesus and the Romans. The targets of the protest always perceive the protest as an attack, express their outrage in terms of violence and position themselves as victims of that violence. If they’re not talking about people being physically attacked, they’re talking about property damage. If they’re not talking about property damage, they’re talking about the cost to the tax payer. And always in terms of the damage and violence the protesters are enacting on the fabric of society. This was even true of last year’s extinction rebellion change protesters who were portrayed as anarchists bent on tearing society down for gluing themselves to trains so some commuters got to work late. Honestly, you will struggle to find a single protest in history which did not meet with this response from the targets of that protest.

    From this we can conclude that “violence” in this discussion is actually a proxy for “disruption”. Except it’s worse than that. I used Kaepernick as an example in my previous post. His protest involved zero disruption and yet was still received in the same terms by the targets of his protest. It was an attack on American values, an attack on the flag, an attack on veterans… violence, violence, violence. So, actually, “violence” in this context is a proxy for the very act of making a statement, for the very act of engaging in protest. Merely calling out an injustice inherent in the status quo is violence. The nature of the protest is irrelevant, the act itself will be defined as “violence”.

    And it’s worse than that too. Because having defined the mere act of protesting in terms of violence, the targets of that protest will meet it with a genuinely violent response. Don’t believe me? Ask Martin Luther King. Ask Jesus. Want a more recent example? Ask Heather Heyer.


    So why does this make it problematic when you condemn the looting and rioting that’s spilling out of the current protests? I don’t believe you’re trying to excuse state sanctioned murder and I understand that your definition of violence extends only to direct property damage. I fully believe your intent is merely to challenge a thing you see as wrong rather than to condone what led to this. So why are you wrong to do that?

    Because the arguments you’re using are exactly the same arguments that the perpetrators of that injustice use to justify perpetuating that injustice. The exact same arguments they will and are using to justify their genuinely violent response. Those protesters wouldn’t have been shot if they weren’t out after curfew. Wouldn’t have been shot if they weren’t rioting. Kyle Rittenhouse was in Kenosha to protect business owners from property damage... right?

    Those arguments are a lie. These people do not need a “violent” protest to act as a call to arms. Jason Kessler and the Proudboys weren’t in Charlottesville in response to a protest, they went there to cause a protest which they could then react violently to. Black men repeatedly get murdered by police regardless of whether they engage in crime or not. The injustices in our society will be perpetuated with violence whether people protest against them or not and whether those protests are peaceful or not.

    But lie or not, when you use those arguments, the people who are deliberately perpetuating societal injustices will receive it as endorsement of their position. Indeed, the public at large receive it as an endorsement of that position because you are using their argument. By saying “shootings are bad but looting’s bad too” you are not just removing your support from those people who would like to end injustice, you are, in effect if not in intent, gifting it to those who would violently perpetuate injustice. Particularly as, by doing it now, within a week of Jacob Blake's shooting, you give the appearance of equating property damage to attempted murder and you remove the focus from the fact that the property damage is in response to that murder, it is not spontaneous.

    There is an appropriate time to condemn rioting in response to police officers repeatedly murdering black men but this is not it. The appropriate time will be when police officers are no longer repeatedly murdering black people. If people continue to riot, that will be the time to condemn them for it.



    edit>Here's an interesting video I'd recommend. It's an examination of political violence throughout American history. The American Revolution was, of course, a violent protest... so there's that.
    Well it was nicely written. But the conclusions you draw from the information you selected to present are much different than mine. You are also trying to represent my opinion with half truths. My objections to the violence involves a lot more than the fact it's wrong.

    I appreciated (I guess), you trying so hard to explain your views(or justify them). But your views were already fairly clear to me.


    Edit:

    I guess I should acknowledge your response was trigger by my "Where did you come up with that concept" comment to this statement.
    Once you start down the route of saying protests must be peaceful what you are actually saying is "don't protest"
    Well, you definitely answered my question. My mistake, I should have just said I completely disagree and not be so flippant. Lesson learned. Like they say, you got to know your audience.
    Last edited by wes4dbt; Aug 29th, 2020 at 03:33 PM.

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    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    That response was an attack on my previously flippant response. It's all an attack. Still, well written, FD.

    The first report I heard of the shooting was that the kid ran towards the group, shot a guy in the head (he died), after which the crowd chased him, he tripped, and then shot the other two. Upon looking online at other new sources, they weren't as up to date, and they weren't as detailed on the sequence of events. By now, it looks like that general timeline is correct. There may have been a conflict with the first guy he shot, but he had no legal right to be carrying that gun due to his age.

    I'd say he had a vision of how things would unfold, and the truth turned out to be more complicated.
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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    I don't see all protest as violent, but rather as attacks.

    There are various ways those attacks can happen, ranging from Greta Thunberg's non-confrontational style (which has yielded great results worldwide, especially among the undecided and the unaware) all the way up to "War without firepower" (which is the kind of thing we've been seeing lately).

    The more aggressive the attacks, the more likely you are to inspire significant fightback from politicians and other people - including those idiots with guns etc.

    From what I have seen of various protests that have happened over the years, it is the ones without actual violence that have given the better results. In the current circumstances Trump has seen fighting back as the way to go, and lots of voters have supported that. Given that Biden is the better choice for making the desired changes, allowing Trump to get voters on his side because of the protests getting very confrontational is actually counter-productive.

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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    There are various ways those attacks can happen, ranging from Greta Thunberg's non-confrontational style
    I've never seen her speech but I know the jest of what she is saying. But you wouldn't believe how many Greta Thunberg haters their are in the US. I guess it's because she shed a negative light on Trump. But for a while FB was just flooded with nasty faced images and hateful little remarks. It was amazing how much energy was spent on smearing that young little girl. It was actually quite shameful. It astounded me how much affect she had on people, where as all the science and scientist are easily dismissed.

    I'll have to admit I don't know what this means, "War without firepower". Thought maybe it was a movement of some type in the UK but when I Googled it I got nothing. Must be a term used by people above my pay grade. lol

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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    Greta has said that while the attacks on her aren't nice, it makes her feel good because it shows the message is getting through - and that is what matters. Many people (especially children and young people) are making changes to their lives because of her inspiration, and governments are paying attention too because so many of their people are.

    Unfortunately a similar style isn't going to work for black people (especially with Trump in power), but I do feel that the current late night activities are detrimental to the cause, because they are inspiring more resistance against it.

    Quote Originally Posted by wes4dbt View Post
    I'll have to admit I don't know what this means, "War without firepower".
    It's not a proper phrase, it was just my late-night way of indicating an angry mob causing destruction, rather than an actual army who would do more damage.

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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    I don't think she jests all that often, but I do get the gist of what you are trying to say.

    Reading is FUNdamental.

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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    Quote Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
    I don't think she jests all that often, but I do get the gist of what you are trying to say.

    Reading is FUNdamental.
    You mean she wasn't trying to be funny????? I stand corrected.

    Many people (especially children and young people) are making changes to their lives because of her inspiration, and governments are paying attention too because so many of their people are
    I hope it lasts till they're old enough to be in power. Just not sure the world can wait that long.

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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    The good news is that the message got thru to politicians before the pandemic, and they were starting to act... now that the world has changed (lots of jobs are currently gone or are "unsafe") there is a need to create new jobs, and governments in many countries are focussing on creating 'green' jobs doing things to help the environment (so making solar panels etc, or making homes more energy efficient).

    Lots of places in the UK were already in the process of making cars less attractive (by changing roads to be kinder to pedestrians and cyclists and busses), and that has been accelerated and amplified to help people keep their distance from each other. It seems to be quite popular, but we'll have to see how it goes over time.


    So that's one issue with significant progress... now we need the other big social issue to gain momentum too, unfortunately because it is focussing on helping one group of people (rather than everyone) it is harder to get enough people on side.

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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    Quote Originally Posted by si_the_geek View Post
    The good news is that the message got thru to politicians before the pandemic, and they were starting to act... now that the world has changed (lots of jobs are currently gone or are "unsafe") there is a need to create new jobs, and governments in many countries are focussing on creating 'green' jobs doing things to help the environment (so making solar panels etc, or making homes more energy efficient).

    Lots of places in the UK were already in the process of making cars less attractive (by changing roads to be kinder to pedestrians and cyclists and busses), and that has been accelerated and amplified to help people keep their distance from each other. It seems to be quite popular, but we'll have to see how it goes over time.


    So that's one issue with significant progress... now we need the other big social issue to gain momentum too, unfortunately because it is focussing on helping one group of people (rather than everyone) it is harder to get enough people on side.
    Nice to hear someone with a positive attitude about something. Haven't seen any momentum here but maybe I haven't been looking hard enough.

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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    That response was an attack
    It's not an attack. It's a statement of why an end to to the rioting won't help the cause of preventing the repeated state endorsed murder of black people followed by an explanation of why call to end the rioting at this time are actively detrimental to that. The fact that it's been received as an attack and that we've immediately reached for the language of violence in response to a post on a forum somewhat proves my point that challenges to our world view are invariably received as attacks..

    I'll try to be more clear and concise:-

    The removal of what you are referring to as violence will not result in the protests becoming more effective, it will simply lead to the reframing of "violence". Than language will change and the public at large will, at best, go back to ignoring the protests or, at worst, continue the calls for the protests to end. You can see this phenomenon throughout history and you can see it in recent times with Colin Kaepernick's protest. If you can provide me with an example of a protest more "peaceful" that that one then please do. The response to it from the public at large (who's opinion I think you're saying is the one that matters if we wish to affect change - I would agree with you) varied between total indifference and the active destruction of his career... for kneeling. It did not lead to the public at large rallying behind him and it did not lead to change.

    Calling for an end to that violence, at this time, less than a week after an unarmed man was shot 7 times in the back, by police officers, while his children watched, is detrimental to preventing these things from happening in the future and therefore extremely poor behaviour. It puts state sanctioned murder on an equal footing with vandalism in response to that state sanctioned murder and it feeds in to the narrative that the problem is the protests rather than state sanctioned murder. 1. it sends a message to black people that their deaths are no more important than white people's lost business and 2. it makes a resolution of the causal problem less likely because it shifts focus from that problem and actively gives succour to those who wish to perpetuate it.

    You are also trying to represent my opinion with half truths.
    I don't believe I am. I get that your position you're currently expressing is at least twofold: 1. that the property damage we are seeing may be detrimental to the cause of black people no longer being murdered and 2. that looting and rioting are objectively bad. I feel I've adequately expressed my opinion on your first point and I actually agree with your second - I just think you're choosing the worst possible time to express it and, while I don't believe that you intend to act against the actual cause of all this (state sponsored murder of black people - lets keep pointing that out so it doesn't get forgotten), I do believe that, in choosing to express it at this time, that's the effect you actually have.

    I think there's probably a third thrust but I don't think you've explicitly stated it - I'll answer it anyway because, whether you hold it or not, I'm sure a lot of people do: American People have the right to go about their day, walk the streets and run their businesses without fear of violence. This is true, they do. But unless you fail to extend the term "American People" to include American Black People, that right is unachievable until you have dealt with the state sponsored murder of black people because it is the authorities you are calling upon to protect that right who are murdering them.. That goal can only be achieved if you either 1. don't consider that the goal should include black people or 2. deal with the causal problem first. Chose one.

    If there's a fourth or further thrust I've missed it. I'll be happy to engage with it once it's clarified.



    Tangentially, I think Greta Thunberg provides an interesting case study in all this because she's probably the best case contemporary case study available for a peaceful protest. I'm afraid I don't think she's been effective. She managed to create a lot of discussion, certainly, but no actual concrete change at all that I can see. The single biggest factor that's worked to slow environmental damage recently has been Corona and, as that starts to lift, we are already seeing the calls to go back to work in offices even if you can work from home because we need support the economy. So, yeah, jump back in your car and get back to pumping those toxins out because... business first (which seems a familiar call).

    To put it another way, we don't celebrate MLK because he was effective (we're still here), we celebrate him because he was passive.
    Last edited by FunkyDexter; Aug 31st, 2020 at 05:50 AM.
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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    It's not an attack. It's a statement of why an end to to the rioting won't help the cause of preventing the repeated state endorsed murder of black people followed by an explanation of why call to end the rioting at this time are actively detrimental to that. The fact that it's been received as an attack and that we've immediately reached for the language of violence in response to a post on a forum somewhat proves my point that challenges to our world view are invariably received as attacks..
    I go and make a flippant remark, and you take me seriously? You should know me better than that. The rest of the post was serious, but that opening was just an extension of your assertion that every protest is taken to be an attack. I just had to come up with something that it could be said to be attacking.
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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggy Hiker View Post
    I go and make a flippant remark, and you take me seriously? You should know me better than that. The rest of the post was serious, but that opening was just an extension of your assertion that every protest is taken to be an attack. I just had to come up with something that it could be said to be attacking.
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    Last edited by TysonLPrice; Aug 31st, 2020 at 12:45 PM.
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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    To put it another way, we don't celebrate MLK because he was effective (we're still here), we celebrate him because he was passive.
    I wasn't going to respond at at all because I've reached a point of nausea with you droning on with your opinion, assumptions and conclusions. But if you believe that then I'm sorry I've wasted my time engaging in this conversation.

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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    I go and make a flippant remark, and you take me seriously?
    Fair enough, I probably should have known better from you. Mind you, if you haven't spotted the positioning as the victim that's going on now you're not paying attention.

    if you believe that
    I do. It doesn't stop him being a hero of mine but I recognise that the black civil rights movement of the 60s 1) contained just as much violence as the current BLM movement which you're choosing to ignore and 2) did not succeed in it's goals or we wouldn't be having the conversation now. That's why I think the conversation still needs to be focussed on the injustices in our society and why I think discussions about what strategies a protest should take be left to the people actually engaged in it.

    You'll choose to take my statement as an indictment of King, it's not, it's an indictment of how the movement of which he was part has come to be viewed by history.
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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    You'll choose to take my statement as an indictment of King
    No your mind reading abilities have failed you again. I took it as a surprising ignorance of black lives in the US before and after the 1960's civil rights movement. If you want to say it wasn't effective because it didn't solve all problems, go ahead but that is an impossibility.

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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    Yeah, I'd have to agree. Not EVERYTHING was fixed, but a whole lot was. As a first step, it was a good one. It just wasn't the only one that was necessary. This one won't be, either. That struggle will never truly be over.
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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggy Hiker View Post
    Yeah, I'd have to agree. Not EVERYTHING was fixed, but a whole lot was. As a first step, it was a good one. It just wasn't the only one that was necessary. This one won't be, either. That struggle will never truly be over.
    Yeah, some peoples prejudices run very deep and are not seen as prejudices but as truths. And nothing you say or do will change their mind. My biggest hope is it wont be passed on to the next generation.

    Edit:

    I just wanted to add, I have a lot of hope for this generation (that excludes me, I can barely use a cell phone, still have a land line). When I look at the people protesting, it's a very diverse mix of people.
    Last edited by wes4dbt; Aug 31st, 2020 at 02:15 PM.

  23. #183
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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    I would say that only a minority of people ever change their minds about much of anything. There's an old saying: "Progress rides on a hearse."

    That's pretty much how I see it. I don't know anybody who has truly changed their minds when it comes to race, politics, or any other such emotional issue, though I've heard of a few people indirectly. After all, race doesn't exist outside of the context of society. It's not a biological thing, but a social thing. So, do people change their beliefs in their lifetimes? Some may, but all do die in the end. The people who shaped the world in the 60s, have mostly shuffled off this mortal coil. We will, as well. And as far as I can see, each generation is an improvement on the past when it comes to tolerance and flexibility.

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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    Quote Originally Posted by wes4dbt View Post
    I just wanted to add, I have a lot of hope for this generation (that excludes me, I can barely use a cell phone, still have a land line). When I look at the people protesting, it's a very diverse mix of people.
    Yep, the world is finally waking up to various injustices and problems that have been brewing for a long time - and several of them are now making progress.

    The environment issues certainly haven't been solved (Greta has openly said she will have to keep going for years), but things are getting better in many countries - it's just a matter of making all countries get involved, and do it enough. While the UK government is encouraging people back to work, it is recommending walking or cycling there if you can, and is blocking off many roads to cars for added inspiration.

    MLK etc did not achieve perfection, and it is right that there is still protesting to correct the current issues (at least the most significant ones, like state sanctioned murder). My view is that 3 months of riots in some places (along with murders happening there) is taking it too far... that doesn't mean that there shouldn't be any (the injustice does need to be raised, and people should make their own choices as to how). There are lots of ways to do things (like Belarus, where they've had weeks of peaceful protests on the UK news virtually every day), and I can see that the ongoing situation in America is just giving Trump a reason for re-election, and if it happens he will do what he can to prevent the current issues getting fixed.

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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    That's an interesting sequence. I wrote that reply, hit post, it instantly appeared (very fast connection)....but not as the latest post, as Si was after me. I think that means that we must have very nearly hit the button at the same time.
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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    Yep, but you won the race we didn't know we were having

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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    If you want to say it wasn't effective because it didn't solve all problems, go ahead but that is an impossibility.
    Who mentioned "all problems". I mean, black people are still being killed in broad daylight by the police who are supposed to defend them so I feel we're setting a pretty low bar here. But yeah, lets not talk about that, lets talk about the protests instead.

    3 months of riots in some places
    I don't feel that's a fair representation. What we saw was a few of weeks of rioting following George Floyd, followed by largely peaceful (by my terms) occupation movements, then further rioting following the Jacob Blake shooting. I guess whether you consider there to have been 3 months of violent protest depends on how you view the occupation movements. I get that they disrupted business but I don't feel that's the priority at this time.
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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    The killings continue. Details are sparse on this one and it does seem he ran from the police and actually punched one when caught but let's just break down a couple of the details:-

    1. He was being stopped for a cycling code violation. Just let that sink in for a second.
    2. He dropped what he was holding, the police saw it included a gun, then a deputy involved shooting again. He dropped the gun, then he was killed.
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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    The way i see it is very few protests in modern times actually bring about change, or if they do they nudge it a along a bit rather then get the change they were looking for.

    The BLM protests, may actually change something, but probably only if Trump is not reelected.

    For a Protest to work you need to have a government that is at the very least prepared to engage with the protesters and Biden will likely do that.

    Will the change be as big as it needs to be, probably not unfortunately we still live in a fairly prejudiced society in most countries around the world and change is hard won and slow.
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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    very few protests in modern times actually bring about change
    I think that's probably true. It's hard to pick examples because they're never directly causal but the most obvious example I can think of was the Poll Tax riots which are widely credited with bringing Thatcher's government down.

    The other example that springs to mind would be the anti road building protests that Swampy et al engaged in. I'm not sure they really stopped road building though. They certainly didn't stop the actual roads they were targeted at (the Oxford and Winchester bypasses) but I do feel they slowed road expansion over the next couple of decades. Hard to quantify though.

    Other than that I'm drawing a blank unless you include industrial strikes.

    While I don't think it's constructive to harp on a point, the thing that strikes me about the above two examples is that both were extremely disruptive. I'm sure there are more peaceful examples I'm missing but I still reach the same conclusion, the level of disruption doesn't feel like it makes a significant difference to the effectiveness either way, beyond getting the protest noticed in the first place. Mostly I think it's a matter of catching a zeitgeist.
    Last edited by FunkyDexter; Sep 3rd, 2020 at 01:56 PM.
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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    Well, protests that are large enough have certainly changed things in the developing world: Ukraine, Syria, Algeria, and perhaps soon to be Belarus. One thing that is notable about most of them is that the change hasn't always turned out well.
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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    That's true and not something I'd considered. It raises the question, where does protest end and revolution begin. Personally I'd suggest they're actually the same thing and it's just a matter of scale.
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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    If you look at Ukraine, protests toppled the regime, but, at least at first, didn't really change anything other than which palms were getting greased. Syria went right on to civil war, Ukraine pretty much didn't (except what Russia stirred up), but also just shifted the corruption. They seem to be doing better, now, or at least trying to, so they might be on the right path. Algeria and some of the other North African 'Muslim Spring' countries are still works in progress, or worse off.

    Once you destabilize an existing system, there's no guarantee that what replaces it will be better. That likely keeps a whole lot of people from protesting. Most likely, almost everybody in any society has SOME grievance, but most also have some things they like. They have to decide where the needle lies, and weigh the cost/benefit. I'd guess that everybody does that calculation differently. So, when you get some protest like what's happening in Belarus, it's really significant because it means that a VAST majority made the decision that not protesting was worse than protesting.

    What's interesting in the US is the number, and diversity, that are also making that determination. I'd say that's scaring some folks, which is why the right wing is also showing up.
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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    In local news, mayor of local town said something - in short called BLM a terrist organization - and now people are calling for his resignation and boycotting the product of a company he owns... No, he isn't stepping down. He's also given the standard "I'm sorry you're offended" non-appology ... also not relevant... What caught my attention was in the comments where someone went on a tirade that in short tried to justify what he said. For their evidence they presented all the shootings, looting, rioting, and now murder (??) ...
    "All over Floyd, who apparently died from a fentanyl overdose, per the autopsy report. The cop contributed to his death, and should answer for that in court. The rest is all orchestrated by leftist agitators, trying to disrupt society."
    At first I thought what bull crap... then I thought... yeah... of course they are trying to disrupt society. Makes perfect sense. Of course they are. Society is broken. IT needs to be fixed, and you get fixed with kumbyahs and rainbows and unicorns... sometimes it takes a village with pitchforks and torches. The status quo isn't working any more. So yeah... they are disrupting society. They should. Let's take a quick look at history... The "Boston Tea Party" ... We call them patriots now... I'm pretty sure the government at the time had a different word for them: thugs. Hooligans. Thieves. Disruptors of society...

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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground


  36. #196

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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    Once you destabilize an existing system, there's no guarantee that what replaces it will be better
    I think that miss-represents what we're talking about here though. Nobodies talking about bringing down the US "Regime" (scare quotes 'cause that's how we talk about the countries you're describing because... them). BLM are just asking that society stops disadvantaging them, often lethally. That's not the same as tearing down the entire system of government.

    of course they are trying to disrupt society. Makes perfect sense. Of course they are. Society is broken. IT needs to be fixed, and you get fixed with kumbyahs and rainbows and unicorns... sometimes it takes a village with pitchforks and torches. The status quo isn't working any more. So yeah... they are disrupting society. They should. Let's take a quick look at history... The "Boston Tea Party" ... We call them patriots now... I'm pretty sure the government at the time had a different word for them: thugs. Hooligans. Thieves. Disruptors of society...
    +1

    As of this morning Extinction Rebellion are "an attack on Democracy". Not according to me, mind, that's our home secretary talking. Out press are repeating that line. Boris has said the protests are "unacceptable". This is why I say that there's no such thing as a peaceful protest. The ones we call peaceful are simply the ones whose cause we support enough to accept the disruption.

    Me, I support not murdering black people any more.
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  37. #197
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    I think that miss-represents what we're talking about here though. Nobodies talking about bringing down the US "Regime" (scare quotes 'cause that's how we talk about the countries you're describing because... them). BLM are just asking that society stops disadvantaging them, often lethally. That's not the same as tearing down the entire system of government.
    That's true. I wasn't talking about the current situation in the US, I was talking about revolutions overthrowing a corrupt or dictatorial system. In those cases, where the situation has become so intolerable that the majority of the population joins together to throw out the system, there's no guarantee that something better replaces it. In the case of the US, we are trying to adjust, but not destroy.
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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    I do find the current incumbent pretty intolerable but I'm still holding out hope that the system will deal with that in a few months so not calling for revolution yet. Mind you, if Trump doesn't win but refuses to leave (which I think is unlikely... but possible) or tries to take a third term in four years... then I guess there'd be a case for it.

    By the way, I actually have real experience of a governmental overthrow. I grew up in Nigeria and was out there for the 1983 military coup and a couple of the ones that followed. Ultimately I think they were good for the country (the preceding democracy was corrupt to the point where you couldn't really call it a democracy, it was more like a tribal conflict every four years) and it was "bloodless". I don't think it's necessarily representative of overthrows in general, though, and I scare quoted "bloodless" because people did disappear (including friends of the family) and the military government did hold public executions for a while... so not bloodless at all.



    edit> It occurs to me that the above might cause some confusion. For the record, I'm white and am not trying to claim a black experience. However, growing up in Nigeria afforded me an incredibly privileged lifestyle which left me with deep sense of responsibility to give back. It also meant that the majority of my social circle were black which left me highly sympathetic to the disadvantages that black Africans and, in turn, black people in general face. That probably explains a lot of where my politics on this issue come from.
    Last edited by FunkyDexter; Sep 7th, 2020 at 09:10 AM.
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  39. #199
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    Re: Hong Kong, Portland and the Moral Low Ground

    My father worked in mainframes. He saw that there was no future in that, so when the company offered early retirement, he jumped at it, but wasn't old enough to really retire (couldn't touch retirement savings, yet). Therefore, my parents went into the Peace Corps for a hitch back in the early 90s. One of the things they told me is that the Peace Corps had told them that those who went to Africa came back sensitized to racial issues. Those who went to South America came back sensitized to social issues. Those who went to the South Pacific....didn't come back.

    Fortunately, they did manage to come back from the South Pacific. Still, what the Peace Corps told them does fit with what you just said.
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