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Careful Now

| 14 Comments
Not that I'm a fan of the President or First Lady, but when you compare this with her actual speech, I really think it's not fair to say she was saying racism is responsible for overweight Black children.

A number of fair criticisms could be leveled at the speech, or at some of the coverage, which makes it unfortunate that the American Thinker piece is as far off the mark as the ABC report.

14 Comments

It's getting to the point where this stuff doesn't surprise me anymore, I expect it.

We take one line, out of one speech, cut it, excerpt it, and print it out to fit a pre-conceived narrative. Gotcha!

And it's something almost all media, and all politics fall for (or instigate). And it's really getting tired.

We need a good conversation in this country, but it's impossible if you can't own up to hard truths. If you do, someone is going cut that sentence out of context.

I'm not sure how we stop this. Stop paying attention to it. Brand the people who do it. Those are the only tools we got.

And what's really sad is that the evolving Republican/conservative/opposition narrative over the Shirley Sherrod Thing is roughly, "Breitbart suckered them all into admitting context is important!"

Neither side actually cares about context, as evidenced here.

I take some hope, though-- it's a lot more common to get links to more complete context on the net, than over old-style television, radio, or newspaper news.

(And I do tend to ignore stories that aren't pointing me to the full text or video of whatever speech or incident they're talking about.)

Okay, Porph, explain this: The relationship of internalized racism to body fat distribution and insulin resistance among African adolescent youth, Journal of the National Medical Association (2004). Not to mention Relationship of internalized racism to abdominal obesity and blood pressure in Afro-Caribbean women.

Do a Google search for "internalized racism" and "obesity" and check out the "scholarly articles" link at the top of the page. Make sure you have plenty of beer on hand first. (For truth-loving Americans of every color who lead active lives, beer is healthy and good.)

You're right that this is a very lame swipe at Michele Obama. But do not be deceived into thinking that nobody makes such claims. And outside of academic asylums, people do not always make these claims in such straightforward fashion.

While I am at it, should I find out how many angels fit on the head of a pin?

This is not discussion, it is quasi-religious paranoia gussied up with factoids.

While I am at it, should I find out how many angels fit on the head of a pin?

Glen, you seem more and more not really being interested in having a discussion, but rather spouting a quasi-religious paranoia backed up by factoids.

Why not go all the way and tell us about the fact that Obama and the NAACP is the Anti-Christ.

Take up a hobby. You appear to have way too much time on your hands.

Glen, you seem more and more not really being interested in having a discussion, but rather spouting a quasi-religious paranoia backed up by factoids.

Explain what the hell you're talking about, if anything, and illustrate with examples, please.

Glen,

Leaving aside Toc's comments, I don't dispute that those are real studies and that there are real people who have those beliefs.

But, I think the linkage between those and Michelle Obama is weak, uninteresting, unhelpful, and probably even unfair.

I mean, if I have any political leanings, it's toward small-l libertarianism. I don't like getting tagged with the beliefs of the far-gone wing-nug Capital-L Libertarians who are opposed to (say) mandatory nutrition labelling. It's unfair to put words in my mouth that way.

Moreover, it's unhelpful because instead of giving me the chance to inject (what I hope is) sanity into a discussion, all my time is shunted over to denying things I never said, and disassociating myself from people I wish would go away. That's how we get to where we are, with a national debate deadlocked between the extremes.

Are there some times where it's appropriate? Sure, but I'm inclined to think those occasions are pretty rare. If someone you hired (through some not-infinite level of indirection) is going off saying stupid, offensive stuff, yeah, you may have some responsibility. If you're a prominent politician getting donations (or a prominent corporation making donations) that implies some level of responsibility, too.

But the only creature more useless and less influential in American politics than the First Lady is the Vice President.

I'm just not seeing the relevance, here, Glen, and good for Porphyrogenitus for calling it out.

MV -

Like I said, this was a lame swipe. But it's lame because you cannot deduce the ugly conclusion from Michelle Obama's generalities, not because the idea is too ludicrous to be credibly ascribed to anybody. It is in fact exactly what some people believe.

And if you think the NAACP is above listening to such stuff, you may have missed Rev. Jeremiah Wright's utterly crazed address to that organization, which is here in full. I quote at length (with one elipsis) to avoid context issues:

Dr. Hale showed us that in comparing African-American children and European-American children in the field of education, we were comparing apples and rocks.

And in so doing, we kept coming up with meaningless labels like EMH, educable mentally handicapped, TMH, trainable mentally handicapped, ADD, attention deficit disorder.

And we were coming up with more meaningless solutions like reading, writing and Ritalin. Dr. Hale's research led her to stop comparing African-American children with European-American children and she started comparing the pedagogical methodologies of African-American children to African children and European-American children to European children. And bingo, she discovered that the two different worlds have two different ways of learning. European and European-American children have a left brained cognitive object oriented learning style ... Left brain is logical and analytical. Object oriented means the student learns from an object. From the solitude of the cradle with objects being hung over his or her head to help them determine colors and shape to the solitude in a carol in a PhD program stuffed off somewhere in a corner in absolute quietness to absorb from the object. From a block to a book, an object. That is one way of learning, but it is only one way of learning.

African and African-American children have a different way of learning.

They are right brained, subject oriented in their learning style. Right brain that means creative and intuitive. Subject oriented means they learn from a subject, not an object. They learn from a person.

This is totally false - absolute non-science in the service of racism, and nothing less than racism. If any sane thing could be deduced from it, it's an argument for re-segregating schools.

I'll leave it to you to judge what the reaction was.

MV in #8 filled in the blanks pretty well.

Glenn - and, yeah, I'd ignore the toc comments.

BUT - I didn't say nobody made such bogus claims, only that M. Obama didn't make them in the speech, where she was criticised for making them.

Speculating wildly for the sake of the discussion, maybe she herself has made such claims elsewhere. But the AmThinker piece didn't make such an argument or quote her to that effect (Note: I have no knowledge of her saying such things, and I'm not claiming she did).

Nor did their post revolve around the fact that ideological researchers have conducted pseudoscientific studies attempting to prove racism = fat Black Children. Probably not that many people would read it or make much of it, except for wierdos like me, for whom facts like this are highly salient (and among the reasons why I consider who occupies the White House in any given year, well, not the least of our problems, but far, far from the worst).

And, as for the NAACP, as a one-time member myself (yes, Porphy was a card-carrying member of the NAACP in an earlier life, literally), oh, I know all too well what depths they've sunken too (there's reasons why I'm no longer proud to carry a NAACP card, and don't). (Oh, and yeah - as for the Sherrods, there's enough there-there, and Breitbart did include the "change of heart" disclaimer, sort of, but, still - did that tape, in that format, without having bothered to get the full tape himself - and he had had plenty of time - really advance his efforts? Or simply serve to allow people to dismiss him? IMO, failed on his own terms, even if you support those terms).

Mindless criticisms of either Obama are entirely counter-productive. See also my latest post, which, for better or worse, also hits AmThinker: which often actually has someood stuff on it, but, increasingly, too much dross of this sort. If they think they're helping themselves with posts like these, they're misguided.

Only those who really control the narrative can be so sloppy and mostly get away with it. They aint those guys and aren't on the same team as those guys. (The bogus pseudoscienific academics you linked to, on the other hand, well they prolly got favorable write-ups in the Grey Journal).

Hey. Toc.

When you want to go throwing gasoline and insults around, you do it without hiding behind anyone-- especially me-- m'kay?

Porph:
I have no knowledge of her saying such things, and I'm not claiming she did.

Nor am I. Fundamentally, I don't really care what Michelle Obama says or thinks - not because she's "just" the First Lady, but because she is not a political force in her own right. Quite unlike First Lady Hillary Clinton.

Not that we should ignore it if she did make such a claim, though. Bad ideas need to be slapped down no matter how irrelevant the source (e.g., Oliver Stone). We've had a century and a half of bitter experience with "scientific" socialism and "scientific" racism, and it's sad to see how little the political class has learned from it.

Porph:
I have no knowledge of her saying such things, and I'm not claiming she did.

Nor am I. Fundamentally, I don't really care what Michelle Obama says or thinks - not because she's "just" the First Lady, but because she is not a political force in her own right. Quite unlike First Lady Hillary Clinton.

Not that we should ignore it if she did make such a claim, though. Bad ideas need to be slapped down no matter how irrelevant the source (e.g., Oliver Stone). We've had a century and a half of bitter experience with "scientific" socialism and "scientific" racism, and it's sad to see how little the political class has learned from it.

#9 from toc3 in reply to Glen Wishard | July 29, 2010 5:53 AM | Reply

MV in #8 filled in the blanks pretty well.

I wasn't hiding behind you. Glen asked for a clarification and what you had said I agreed with.

Hiding behind people has never been one of my stronger suits, so I wouldn't worry aboutit if I were you

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