Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Dorothy didn't stay in the Emerald City, Part 1

Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2008 01:31:06 -0800 (PST)
From: "Young H. Kim"
Subject: Re: Dorothy didn't stay in the Emerald City...

Regarding #2, was this in Intolerant Seattle? Doesn't sound like it was. I don't believe you would have lost a job because you're Republican. Bad grade? Perhaps,since that authority is up to the objectivity, or lack thereof, of the professor/teacher. The topic of black or other minority Republicans I'll save for another time...On #3, liberals understand that you cannot just solve a problem in a cookie-cutterway, like how conservatives would do away with affirmative action and illegal immigrants. Liberals, I should say, are more than just relativists; they are open and willing to consider the different and non-standard circumstances of the disadvantaged or the unprivileged.

--- Brian Menard wrote:
> 1. Your experience about growing up as a minority in the U.S. is one reason I
> would think you would understand why discrimination is bad across the board, not
> only in select cases.
> 2. Yes, I have been in fear of professional discrimination because of my
> political views at various times, leading me to keep my conservative Republican
> mouth shut when liberal Democrat mouths all around me are spouting. Would I lose
> a job, get a bad grade, etc. if I weren't careful about what I say and where I say
> it? Don't know, and didn't want to find out. Did I lose a job, get a bad grade,
> etc. when I carefully let down my guard about what I said? Fortunately not, but
> the fact that had to worry was enough for me. And regardless of whether or not
> lost a job, got a bad grade, etc., the fact that I regularly endured inhospitable
> atmospheres is telling. I'm not whining or playing victim, just trying to make
> you realize that discrimination is all over. In college I had an African American
> friend who was discriminated against by other African Americans because she was a
> conservative Republican. Because she was inauthentic, she apparently was not
> really black.
> 3. I would agree with the difference between liberals and conservatives that you
> point out. However, I would characterize it quite differently. Conservatives
> seek to hold to a single, consistent standard for evaluating what is right and
> wrong. That doesn't mean ignore the differences in heritage, culture, experience,
> etc. that make up our rich diversity, just that if something is wrong, it is
> wrong. Attacking someone because of their race, religion, political views, etc.
> is just wrong. Liberals tend to take things on relativist terms, so that their
> case-by-case thinking leads to inconsistent analyses that ultimately fall upon a
> justification of "well, in our case it's right, but in your case it's wrong".
> Perhaps you remember me saying jokingly during our RHS days, "The great thing
> about arguing with a relativist is that I can know I'm right and s/he's wrong,
> while all s/he can do is respect my opinion." I don't say that anymore, because I
> don't encounter much respect for my opinion when arguing with relativists...which
> I find a bit inconsistent it itself.


Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2008 11:39:50 -0800 (PST)
From: "Young H. Kim"
Subject: Re: Dorothy didn't stay in the Emerald City...

Again a brief reply to satisfy mainly my own sanity. ;-)

No, I'm not exactly a proponent of "only white people can be racist" but it is more than obvious which race holds the power-and-influence trump cards in this nation and the industrialized world. I'd prefer not to dilute what constitutes discrimination or intolerance by adding minor physical ailments and Republican ideology, or even liberal ideology. I believe I am well aware, growing up as a minority in the US, what discrimination and intolerance are.

How can you compare your grandmother's Sioux heritage being kept hush-hush to your own experiences in school and work in Seattle? Those are miles apart in terms of effect and possible consequences. Were you in fear of losing friends or your job because of your Rep leanings? Come on. Let's be real and have some perspective. You can make certain comparisons and associations, but not all can be weighted the same.

See, I think this is one of the main differences between liberals and conservatives. Conservatives like to think of all cases to be treated the same; e.g. their position against affirmative action. Treat everyone the same even though it is patently clear that the world or the society does not. Liberals tend to take things on relativist terms (although I personally believe in absolutes for the most fundamental principles, so I know I am not a 100% liberal in this sense). Things are more binary for conservatives, but liberals think in terms of case-by-case. I know this is a huge generalization, but I believe it is true, as far as it can be applied appropriately.

I'll leave it here for now...I've already said my piece about letting go of the past, etc. in a different thread...

--- Brian Menard wrote:

> Young, are you a proponent of the view that only white people can be racist, and
> even when white people are not involved in a racial dispute (e.g., tensions
> between African Americans, Asians, and Latinos) culpability for the dispute still
> falls into white hands for victimizing everyone? Whether on grounds of race,
> religion, sex, physical ability, orientation, money, occupation, hairstyle, acne
> scars, toenail fungus, and - yes - even ideas, discrimination is discrimination.
> Throughout the world, people suffer violence and are killed for what they
> think/believe/say/write just as people suffer violence and are killed for other
> reasons. I really don't make a distinction between my 89-year-old grandmother
> many decades ago being guarded about the fact that she had Sioux blood or risk
> suffering the intolerance around her and my own being guarded about my views or
> risk suffering the intolerance around me. I was labeled and discounted more than
> I was listened to. "Oh, that's just Brian the Republican." "Thank you, Brian,
> for sharing the Republican line with us." And Republican = all the fearmongering
> trash discussed previously, so "How can you be Republican, Brian, when you're a
> nice guy?" One on one such things can be part of the give and take of a
> relationship. But when the vast majority of voices around you sing the same line
> with no one but yourself offering some harmony, it can get to feel pretty
> intimidating. An inhospitable environment is what it is. Did I ever feel I was
> in physical danger in Seattle because of my beliefs? To the best of my memory, I
> don't recall such a time. But did I ever keep silent or filter what I said?
> Quite often. Students in and out of classrooms (too many examples to cite, but
> class discussions in Mr. Pinkerton's class provide a few), teachers (such as Mr.
> Brink and Mr. Jacobson, much as I loved them both, making Republican comments
> either one-on-one or in front of the class), employers (such as the law firm where
> I worked during college summer/winter breaks, and I was reminded daily of my token
> Republican status in the office), and just sitting in Pagliacci's or elsewhere
> listening to people around me talk. I can go on way past bedtime with examples,
> but I still need to get to the news to see what's happening in MI. Is my
> experience with "intolerant Seattle" the end of the world? Absolutely not. I
> heard P. J. O'Rourke speak at UVa years ago, and enjoyed his addressing speech
> restrictions in political correctness. Discussing how mean words can lead to the
> pain of hurt feelings, he said, "Your FEELINGS are hurt? Come down here and I'll
> hit you with a hammer, THEN you'll know what pain is!" I'm not whining or
> claiming victimization; I'm just answering your requests for details to
> substantiate the allegation BGA and I are making. The solution for me is to live
> somewhere other than in Seattle. Of course, I've certainly improved upon things
> greatly living among the constituents who elect Dennis Kucinich repeatedly.
> Actually, after we found the perfect house when we moved here, I was pleased to
> discover that Rocky River is, in fact, a tiny island of GOPdom surrounded by an
> ocean of the Left. So, to balance that out, I keep things dicey by being a
> professional educator. Ah, the education establishment, whether in higher ed or
> K-12, permeated by the same self-congratulation about what tolerant and
> open-minded people they are. Fortunately, my years of training in Seattle have
> prepared me well for survival in the broader Cleveland region and among the
> education establishment. Just like in Seattle, I know how important it is -
> except in circumstances you know to be safe - not to respond to comments from
> someone presuming that you share their political persuasion, or if they know your
> persuasion that you don't given them any notion that you might actually seek
> empowerment of your views. "Save it for later," you tell yourself, because it's
> just not worth the trouble, wondering if you'll get/keep the job, wondering what
> you'll have to endure if you do get the job, wondering if your neighbor will treat
> you differently, etc. So you avoid it until you can poke around and see whether
> it's safe to come out of the closet, and then you get a response of, "Really,
> you're a Republican? But you're such a nice guy?"
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Young H. Kim
> Sent: Tuesday, January 15, 2008 8:39 PM
> Subject: Re: Dorothy didn't stay in the Emerald City...
> How about some actual or specific anecdotes about Seattle intolerance, so that we
> Liberals can understand? Spell it out for us, O persecuted conservatives.
> Johanna, too, eh? She's a product of Seattle proper and what has she got to
> complain about? O these white folks who are victims of intolerance from
> Seattle, of all places. "Say it ain't so, Joe" is right. Let's get out the world's smallest violin... ;-)
> Laughing,
> Young
> --- Brian Menard wrote:
> > B:
> > The finger?! Naw, say it ain't so! You're just misreading the helpful gesture of
> > the kind person giving you directional assistance. That's what ever-so-tolerant
> > Seattleites do. BTW, not only did I exit a long time ago, but after years of
> > being torn between the region she loved and the attitude that drove her crazy, my
> > sister skipped out a couple years ago and continues to comment about Seattle
> > intolerance from afar.
> > B
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: Brian Adamson
> > Sent: Tuesday, January 15, 2008 5:33 PM
> > Subject: Dorothy didn't stay in the Emerald City...
> >
> > You liberals crack me up...Why is it only the liberals in the conversation,
> and
> > in real-life think Seattle is tolerant to all points-of-view? Go find a
> > conservative, any conservative...Better yet, do a small survey, you'll find many
> > of us moved to the 'burbs' for a reason.
> >
> > Oh, yeah. You might have to come to the Bellevue, Remond, Kirkland, Issaquah,
> > or Bonney Lake to find one of us.
> >
> > Think about it-
> >
> > In Bellevue, you can get in your SUV/Hummer and your wife can wear a real fur
> > coat, not that faux-crap, and you'll get smiles, not the finger.
> >
> > Laughing,
> > B.
> >
> > --
> > "...remember the past
> > but do not dwell there,
> > face the future
> > where all our hopes stand."
> > -Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
> >
> >
> > -------------- Original message ----------------------
> > From: Michael Busick
> > >
> > > I lived in Seattle from 1967 to 1995 and I've lived in its suburbs since then.
> >
> > > "Intolerant" is not a word that comes to mind about Seattle -- even after a few
> > > minutes of thinking of adjectives.
> > >
> > > I've also traveled to 36 US states, three Canadian provinces and two countries
> > > (England and Scotland). Seattle's still one of the friendlier places to hang
> > > around in. :)

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