Fear may be real, but also not based in reality

Reason on alleged increase in acts of racial violence across America:

An awful lot of hoaxes.  More of them coming apart every day.  Those that have yet to be proven hoaxes are basically words.

Let me tell you a couple stories about racial tensions in my southwestern town in the 70s.

A white kid was chased up a tree by a group of Mexican kids who made him afraid to come down for hours, because even after they left he was afraid they were waiting for him to beat him up.  True story.  I know the white kid.

A bunch of Mexican kids were talking to each other when a white kid came up to them and told them to go back to Mexico.  Also true story.  I know the white kid.

 

You can draw some conclusions from those stories, but they will likely be wrong, because you have no context.  Here is the context:

The Mexican kids were talking about how superior everything in Mexico was to everything in America.  The white kid was annoyed, and asked them if it was so much better, why not go back there?  It wasn’t a racist issue per se,  he just got fed up with what he perceived as insults to his country’s honour.  Admittedly, he was kind of dumb and it wasn’t his conversation to butt into.

The response of the Mexican kids was to chase the annoying white kid up a tree, jeer at him for a while, and then they left.

They were all in middle school and they were all acting like idiots, and it was only marginally about race, and mostly about being middle school boys.

Does racism exist?  Of course it does.  Are people rude and jerks sometimes? Of course they are.  So people ever exaggerate, suffer from confirmation bias, or notice things they are afraid of and worried about more than things they aren’t worried about? Well, duh.

Is the media exaggerating these reports and inflating fear? Oh, definitely.  We also have the wikileaks evidence that Hillary’s campaign strategy, or at least part of it, was to the press to do this very thing.

Did Trump threaten to deport law abiding citizens?  Not that I’ve seen.

Is it racist to enforce existing immigration laws?  I guess some people think so. I don’t.

Is the fear real?  Well, sure.  Is it based in reality? That’s a different story.

As Scott Adams notes, the left has been calling GOP candidates Hitler for decades. They do it not because it’s remotely true, but because fear is a powerful tool of persuasion.

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16 Comments

  1. LAnon
    Posted November 12, 2016 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    At the university where my spouse is emloyed several papers were tacked to different bulletins boards and one professor’s door using atrocious language and ndicating refugees and aliens should all return “home”. At a local school several children were harassed because they were perceived to be “other” and therefore they should also be forceably returned home. (These children had no way of knowing if the ones they were harassing were legal or otherwise.) Relatives of mine are posting that flag burning protestors should be declared treasonous and jailed for such. Yes, there are deplorables (few in number I hope) out there who have taken the results of this election as permission to let the ugly out.

    • Headmistress
      Posted November 12, 2016 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      Did you read any of the links? Because you’re talking about a few unsubstantiated 3rd person anecdotes that involve nothing more than words and anonymous papers posted. So many colleges have reported similar types of harassment before Trump that turned out to be hoaxes perpetrated by leftists, that hearing that somebody posted something rude on a bulletin board at a college (where almost nobody is rightwing anyway) is far from compelling. NOr does it trump the *actual violence* that has been ongoing from the left since the election.

      Real fear? Indeed. Like the rioting in Chicago, Oakland, Boston, LA, Portland. Like the calls for assassination of the new President and vice-president of this country all over the internet, including by a reporter for the Guardian (who subsequently was fired).

      When people are really truly afraid, they don’t post selfies of themselves with safety pins, riot in the streets, show their faces on camera jeering and shouting ‘not my president,’ and they don’t write political slogans on their own faces in permanent marker. They do those things when they know they really don’t have anything to be afraid of, but they want to virtue signal.

      Are some people bigoted jerks? Sure. On both sides of the political spectrum. (The most bigoted things I’ve heard said in my town came from two democrats). They were before Trump and they will be after. Trump is not the cause.

      • LAnon
        Posted November 13, 2016 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

        My anecdotes are not third person. Not all reports are hoaxes. That aside, the riots are more than unfortunate and I do believe the media exacerbates the issue. However, the fear is real and has basis in some cases. Trump’s rhetoric has contributed to the license that some appear to feel they have to bully and harass others now that he is president elect. I voted third party because I felt both candidates were awful. I feared the Trump supporters would be at least protesting, if not rioting if he had lost. I didn’t really expect it from Clinton’s supporters because she didn’t seem to call for it. Fear causes people to do stupid things.

        • Headmistress
          Posted November 14, 2016 at 11:47 am | Permalink

          Your anecdotes are not about violence, but about words, and they are not evidence that Trump’s rhetoric has contributed to any kind of license some allegedly feel to bully or harrass others. And in spite of that Trump, unlike Obama or Hillary, has called for his supporters to stop doing even that much.

          You thought Trump supporters would be rioting and protesting if he lost, even though there were no riots after Obama won, twice. You didn’t expect it from Clinton’s supporters, and yet, they are rioting all over. And the rioters are not afraid or they wouldn’t be writing on their faces in permanent marker, showing their faces on camera, calling publicly for assassination. (There is, in fact, good evidence that they are paid.)

          And if you were wrong about those things, why not stop and consider that maybe you were wrong because your underlying assumptions are wrong as well?

          • LAnon
            Posted November 14, 2016 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

            I felt Trump supporters might at least protest because he called for it after the 2012 elections and seemed to be encouraging it during this election, especially with his refusal to say whether he would concede if he lost. I do not know if my underlying assumptions are wrong. Trump didn’t lose, therefore no protests from his supporters, just increased ugliness from a few. There have been over 300 documented cases of hate speech and some violence since Election Day directed toward perceived Trump supporters and those he denigrated (minorities including blacks, immigrants, refugees.) that appear to be directly tied to the election.

            I do not condone the riots. I think the protests are silly. I find the hate speech abhorrent. I’m glad Trump called for the hatefulness to stop. He seems to think that saying “stop” now makes up for the ugliness he spread before. It helps but for the haters it will make little difference. I have close family that are Trump supporters. Most of them are very kind. Some are saying ugly things that I am very surprised to hear. Speech typically precedes action. I hope it simply stops with speech.

            I understand why people would vote against the Democratic platform. I did by voting 3rd party. I do not understand why you cannot accept that some of those Trump supporters fall into the deplorable category. I hope you are watching / reading main stream media as well as the alt-right because I am not seeing the balanced approach from you that I have come to expect. As a nation, we cannot afford to stick to our silos and only hear what we want to hear. We have to start listening to all sides. Condemn what is ugly no matter what camp it comes from and support light where ever it may be found.

          • Headmistress
            Posted November 14, 2016 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

            He never seemed to call for protests or riots to me, and I’m not a supporter. I thought in context it was obvious he was saying he would not rule out calling for a recount because of his concern about illegal voting and similar shenanigans.
            And since conservatives have never tried rioting, while leftists do it regularly, I think anyone expecting them to protest if they lost here has pretty solid evidence that they need to reexamined their flawed presuppositions.
            Would say more, but on the road and responding by phone, not my fave.

  2. Katie M.
    Posted November 12, 2016 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Well, here’s an example of someone who’s scared and who I don’t think is fabricating her experience.

    http://www.rageagainsttheminivan.com/2016/11/the-alt-right-movement-harassed-my.html?m=1

    Note that this occurred before the election or primaries, so I’m not trying to link this to any particular voting group. But as the president-elect moves forward with choosing his primary advisors, the people who will (theoretically?) be driving much of his policy agenda, I think we (Americans) have cause to be legitimately concerned–not to mention an obligation to be paying attention and making our opinions known.

    Towards that end: https://www.greatagain.gov/index.html

    • Headmistress
      Posted November 12, 2016 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      I don’t even know what to say. If it happened before the election or even the primaries, it really has nothing at all to do with what I have been talking about.

  3. Katie M.
    Posted November 12, 2016 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    I would say it’s linked to the broader conversation as to whether or not it’s legitimate to feel more fearful now that Trump has been elected.

    Insofar as Trump is identified as a symbol of hate/racism/etc etc., then I’d argue the fear is legitimate. If he’s choosing advisors who are also identified that way, the fear is even more legitimate.

    Trump is *just a wee bit* good at posturing and positioning himself as a symbol (sidenote, am baffled as to why people keep calling him “unqualified” for the presidency), so if he’s choosing to make himself a symbol of all these scary things then…yes, I think we can feel scared.

    • Headmistress
      Posted November 12, 2016 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      Trump has been identified as that symbol by the left. Wikileaks showed us it was part of Hillary’s campaign, and the media was complicit.

      What happened before the primaries still has nothing to do with the hoaxes and shrill contradictory claims after the election.

  4. Katie M
    Posted November 12, 2016 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    So what would you say he symbolizes to the right–or rather to the non-left? What do you think he would say he symbolizes?

    • Headmistress
      Posted November 12, 2016 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t vote for him. I don’t like him. I have no idea what he thinks he symbolizes, but if I were to guess, I would say that he would *say* he represents American workers. How much he means that, I don’t know.
      AS to why people voted for him, lots of reasons- they’ve been trying to tell anybody who would listen. But the left has redefined racism to mean whatever they want it to mean on any given day, including, “voted for Trump.”

      I didn’t vote for him, and I don’t like him much and he worries me as President. Hillary worries me more. I do wonder what he ‘symbolized’ to Hillary all those years she and Donald were close friends, though. If he was such a sexist bigot, how is it she remained close friends with him for so long. Her daughter and his older girl were best friends from childhood right up until somewhere in the middle of the campaign (and may still be, I don’t know)- how did that happen if the Trumps are such well-know bigots?
      Because I didn’t like him and saw him largely as a clown and a reality TV star, I did a lot of reading and talking with people who did like him. I read and listened with an open mind, trying not to call them names, label them stupid bigots and and close my mind- I tried to understand what they were saying. And so these are various reasons I know of why people voted for him:
      Immigration policy- if you don’t believe people can be honestly concerned about illegal immigrants and terrorism via illegal immigrants, and about illegal immigrants sucking dollars and jobs from legal citizens without being racist, there isn’t much I can say about this except it’s not true. And insisting on using the racist charge for everything the left dislikes has been so overdone that it has lost and continues to lose any meaning. Of course, there are some racists who are quite comfortable with anti immigration president for all the wrong reasons. But that doesn’t mean that the majority of people who are concerned and made this their issue hate people of colour. Nearly a third of Mexicans voted for him. The same people who voted in Obama voted in Trump. It kind of amuses me that Michael Moore is trying to get people to understand this and the left does not want to hear it. (I listen to what white liberals have to say about blacks, and I am often floored by how little they think of black people themselves)
      American jobs vs globalization
      War- I know of several people who think Hillary would have pushed us into WWIII because of her meddling with Syria and other countries, and they think Trump won’t. .
      Anti-Hillary- her corruption, her failures with security, her pay for play with the Clinton Foundation, Benghazi, covering up for her husband’s rapes and shaming his victims, what she did to Bernie Sanders in the primaries, and so much more. And some people are just tired of political dynasties in families.
      Pro-life judges- the majority of the people I personally know who admit they voted for him, this is why. IT’s not that he symbolizes anything, he’s a gamble and they know that. But it was no gamble at all that Hllary was going to appoint judges who think babies can be dismembered in the womb with impunity up until they are no longer in the womb. So people could vote for a known pro-abortion candidate or take a chance on one who at least said he would appoint judges who respect the constitution and human life, and they held their noses and took that chance.

      These (and other reasons) are not deep secrets. They are all over the internet. If anybody really was interested, it’s not hard to find. It’s not the narrative that Hillary’s campaign and the press wanted to tell, though.

  5. Katie M.
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    I heard all those reasons, and even agree with one or two of them to some extent.

    It still concerns me when I hear Trump fans I know arguing that hateful speech isn’t so bad, because it’s “just words”. It seems to me that choosing words carefully is most of a President’s job.

    And while I don’t think the country magically turned more racist overnight when Trump was elected, it’s troubling to hear people specifically invoking Trump’s name in harassment–and we are seeing this from both sides of the spectrum, of course. If that’s because the press is choosing a particular narrative, well, hire some people who are good a getting them to tell a different story. Probably not Bannon…

    • Headmistress
      Posted November 14, 2016 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      I’m seeing more hoaxes than real exchanges of words, and I am seeing a *lot* more actual violence from the left than anywhere else, and I am seeing that violence excused and dismissed by people in the media and the DNC- so I know which side frightens me more.

  6. LAnon
    Posted November 15, 2016 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Last comment from me. Here is one link to that references Donald’s tweets from 2012 regarding “marching on Washington”.
    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/donald-trumps-2012-election-tweetstorm-resurfaces-popular-electoral/story?id=43431536

    Here is link to a Donald Trump supporter in 2016 saying it is pitchfork and torches time.

    http://www.cnn.com/videos/cnnmoney/2016/11/14/gwen-ifill-obit-cnnmoney.cnnmoney/video/playlists/stories-worth-watching/

    Did they advocate for real protests or just greater participation? I don’t know but words have meaning. Saying “Conservatives don’t riot” is like saying “Mormons couldn’t have participated in the Mountain Meadow Massacre”. (My grandmother was born and raised within 45 mile of where that massacre occurred and refused to ever admit someone other than Indians perpetrated that atrocity.) Given the right fear / anxiety people can do unconscionable things. Is the fear overblown and hyped up by the media? Sure. Does it have basis – absolutely. Should we give Trump a chance? He is our President Elect – I will respect the office just as I did for President Obama. Will I be keep a close eye on what he does? You bet, just as I did Obama. Do I think some supporters think they have free license to be ugly because of rhetoric used during this campaign? Yeah, I do. And I would think that as an abuse survivor who probably has triggers, you would recognize that those who have experienced abuse / discrimination in the past are going to be hypersensitive to words / actions that seem to encourage further discrimination / abuse.

    Saying there is no reality to those fears is putting your head in the sand. There have been verified instances. Please don’t ignore them just because they come from main stream media.
    http://www.41nbc.com/2016/11/14/hundreds-of-hate-crimes-reported-since-election-splc/

    • Headmistress
      Posted November 17, 2016 at 1:30 am | Permalink

      My head is not the one in the sand. Challenging reports from known liars and colluders with the narrative is not unreasonable.

      And I never said there were no verified incidents. I said there are few, and there are many hoaxes (several of them reported as fact in the links you shared).

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