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“Cancel Culture” and “Woke”


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10 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

Yeah, but that's complicated by the fact that everybody in Seuss books is drawn in a funny, cartoonish fashion.  I guess the best way to say it is that the slanted eyes, chopsticks, and stereotypical Asian outfit are getting played for laughs (sort of), which is what's rubbing me the wrong way.

I dont think it was getting played for laughs, but it was used as a device to identify that character as Asian. If you would have put him in a baseball cap and Burmuda shorts would it be recognizable? And don't forget, The illustrations in Seuss' books were based on the written sentences which usually leaned heavy on rhyming, alliteration and other language devices to get children to read easier. 

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That was way too long a post.  Gordon Gekko is looking at that and wondering why I couldn't tighten it up a little.

Right-wingers do something dumb: "Look at those right-wingers.  What a bunch of dummies." Progressives do something dumb: "Look at those right-wingers complaining about that thing we did.  What a

Another Ted talk from Tim. Count down till 4 months from now when we get the thread titled "I was wrong about cancel culture"

Just now, timschochet said:

Well that’s my point. It’s reasonable to find the caricatures offensive. 

I wonder how they'd draw Polish Catholics. Probably with the same zeal for caricature. I wouldn't find it offensive. Ah, but you are part of the dominant class, they would argue. "I was?" I'd retort. And then we'd go an ad nauseam about the whole thing. 

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Just now, rockaction said:

I love how the guy that wrote Green Eggs and Ham is getting eaten by the woke. 

As an aside I’d love to cancel Green Eggs and Ham but not because it’s racist. Because it’s annoying and rude. I don’t think children should be taught to bully people after they say no. “Come on, just try it.” The dude said he doesn’t want to. Why can’t he leave him the #### alone? 

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3 minutes ago, rockaction said:

I wonder how they'd draw Polish Catholics. Probably with the same zeal for caricature. I wouldn't find it offensive. Ah, but you are part of the dominant class, they would argue. "I was?" I'd retort. And then we'd go an ad nauseam about the whole thing. 

Come on really? 

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6 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Well that’s my point. It’s reasonable to find the caricatures offensive. 

Caricatures are intentionally simplified drawings. Nothing in Suess' library are overly illustrated with any major detail. Hence when you simplify things, you need to highlight on obvious features or characteristics like period or culture specific clothing or accessories. 

Again I'm finding it hard to understand that putting chopsticks in an Asian cartoons hands is racist?  I can walk into any Asain restaurant today and right there on the table are Chopsticks. 

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18 minutes ago, timschochet said:

In some ways sure. But aren’t the complaints about it silly as well? 
Perhaps because my whole life I’ve been in sales, I’m pretty much in favor of trying not to offend people. A whole lot of what people are calling political correctness, cancel culture, etc., I call common courtesy and decency. 

The big assumption in your statement is that the stuff being censored is truly offensive to most reasonable people.  In actuality it’s usually a small number of very confused individuals playing the woke card.  The Dr. Seuss campaign was started by one person - a black woman who admitted the other night on CNN that 6 years ago when she first Re ad the books she didn’t even notice anything offensive.

And yes there is a cost to all of this.  For one you can no longer buy 6 Dr. Seuss books.  And worse than that a good man’s reputation is being tarnished.  The guy was a great Liberal of his time.  His book the Snitches was a simple yet brilliant way for children to learn the anti-racist beliefs of the 60’s.

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6 hours ago, Rich Conway said:

Not at all what I wrote, but you know that.

 

No, I dont know that. I didnt feel like going back to get your exact quote, but looking back and reading it again, my post was absolutely spot on. You are demanding evidence for the obvious and providing zero for your theories.

 

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1 minute ago, parasaurolophus said:

No, I dont know that. I didnt feel like going back to get your exact quote, but looking back and reading it again, my post was absolutely spot on. You are demanding evidence for the obvious and providing zero for your theories.

Again, literally the opposite of what I did.  I posited one alternate theory as a possible explanation and asked how the original asserter knew his/her assertion was correct?

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5 minutes ago, timschochet said:

As an aside I’d love to cancel Green Eggs and Ham but not because it’s racist. Because it’s annoying and rude. I don’t think children should be taught to bully people after they say no. “Come on, just try it.” The dude said he doesn’t want to. Why can’t he leave him the #### alone? 

Actually, that's what I always thought reading the book, but we're not your average person, even if what you say is in jest. I found the interrogator annoying.

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1 minute ago, ekbeats said:

And worse than that a good man’s reputation is being tarnished.  The guy was a great Liberal of his time.  His book the Snitches was a simple yet brilliant way for children to learn the anti-racist beliefs of the 60’s.

And now we get to the heart of the matter: telling the truth about people is not the same as tarnishing their reputations, because people are complicated, history is complicated, and we need to recognize that as a society: 

1. Thomas Jefferson was one of our greatest Americans, essential to our liberty, and also a slaveowner. 
2. Abraham Lincoln was our greatest President, saved the Union, freed the slaves, and he was also a horrible racist who wanted to deport every black person living here. 
3. Winston Churchill was the greatest leader of the 20th century who saved western civilization. He was also a horrible racist who deliberately starved to death millions of Indians.

4. Dr. Seuss was a great liberal and a magnificent writer. So was Roald Dahl. They were both anti-semites and racists. 
 

Etc. ALL of this can be true. We should embrace these contradictions rather than pretend they don’t exist. 

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28 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

I think it's great to teach kids about other cultures.  When they're at Dr. Seuss age, it's probably way too soon to start talking to them about the differences between cultures based on the Torah and New Testment vs. cultures based on Confucianism, but teaching them about food habits is a cool and easily-accessible way to help them learn about other ways of doing things.

That said, there's a way to do that respectfully and another way to do that xenophobically.  It's a close call, but I think the picture in question falls into the "Ha ha look at these weird foreigners" category.  It's very difficult to articulate why I feel that way.  In my mind, it's kind of a "I know it when I see it" thing but maybe somebody else can explain it better than I can.    

Well maybe you just gave more refined sensibilities than me.  I don’t know - I guess I’d ask - what harm is that picture doing?  Who cares about this #### anyway?  You do know that there’s no end to this stuff.  Subsequent generations are always going to view prior ones as not Progressive enough.  Someday tim’s grandchildren are going to think he was a bigoted dummy and lobby Joe Bryant III to have all of his 450,000 posts removed.

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4 minutes ago, timschochet said:

2. Abraham Lincoln was our greatest President, saved the Union, freed the slaves, and he was also a horrible racist who wanted to deport every black person living here. 

Full stop. Any racism from Lincoln can generally be attributed to the political realities and sensibilities of the time. The man was put in an impossible situation, that of trying to get other men to recognize the humanity of an out-group upon whose slave labor they depended. Any campaign speeches or political sentiments about sending black people back to Liberia is wildly overstated by literalists and radicals. C'mon. You know better than this. Or are you reading too much historical fiction from filtered sources and not enough primary material? I suspect I know which one...

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3 minutes ago, rockaction said:

Full stop. Any racism from Lincoln can generally be attributed to the political realities and sensibilities of the time. The man was put in an impossible situation, that of trying to get other men to recognize the humanity of an out-group upon whose slave labor they depended. Any campaign speeches or political sentiments about sending black people back to Liberia is wildly overstated by literalists and radicals. C'mon. You know better than this. Or are you reading too much historical fiction from filtered sources and not enough primary material? I suspect I know which one...

Nothing that I wrote is false. Neither is your reaction to it. As I wrote these are complicated issues. There is no American in our history I respect more than honest Abe. 

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2 minutes ago, timschochet said:

And now we get to the heart of the matter: telling the truth about people is not the same as tarnishing their reputations, because people are complicated, history is complicated, and we need to recognize that as a society: 

1. Thomas Jefferson was one of our greatest Americans, essential to our liberty, and also a slaveowner. 
2. Abraham Lincoln was our greatest President, saved the Union, freed the slaves, and he was also a horrible racist who wanted to deport every black person living here. 
3. Winston Churchill was the greatest leader of the 20th century who saved western civilization. He was also a horrible racist who deliberately starved to death millions of Indians.

4. Dr. Seuss was a great liberal and a magnificent writer. So was Roald Dahl. They were both anti-semites and racists. 
 

Etc. ALL of this can be true. We should embrace these contradictions rather than pretend they don’t exist. 

All of that is not true. They are gross exaggerations by a person who views the world through the myopic lens of modern Progressive activism.  Sorry but it’s true. Lincoln and racist should never be in the same sentence.  This wokeness crap has dumbed down an entire generation of otherwise intelligent people.

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1 minute ago, timschochet said:

Nothing that I wrote is false. Neither is your reaction to it. As I wrote these are complicated issues. There is no American in our history I respect more than honest Abe. 

Yes it is. You claimed he was a virulent "racist" who wanted to deport black people to a foreign country. I assume you're talking about his speeches where he discusses sending slaves to Liberia and the entertainment of that notion, and I'm assuring you he did not free slaves as somebody who then sought to dehumanize those very same people. It's called statesmanship and expediency. Look at his actions: He launched one of the bloodiest civil wars in the world, suspended the most basic rights of the Constitution to do it out of necessity, and you're going to believe a speech or two or private musings into journals he knew people would read? It beggars belief that the man who took such action on the side of humanity was a racist. Lincoln saw the inherent humanity of black people and refused to yield, believing their freedom necessary for a God-fearing nation.

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5 minutes ago, rockaction said:

Full stop. Any racism from Lincoln can generally be attributed to the political realities and sensibilities of the time. The man was put in an impossible situation, that of trying to get other men to recognize the humanity of an out-group upon whose slave labor they depended. Any campaign speeches or political sentiments about sending black people back to Liberia is wildly overstated by literalists and radicals. C'mon. You know better than this. Or are you reading too much historical fiction from filtered sources and not enough primary material? I suspect I know which one...

@timschochet's overall point is a good one.  People are complicated.  Most people have good qualities and bad qualities.  Some have more of one and vice versa.  No one is perfect.  People are going to be even less perfect-seeming when viewed in hindsight.  Whitewashing negative qualities doesn't benefit anyone.  We should be nuanced to be able to say something like "Dr. Seuss was a phenomenal children's author and did a world of good things, but some of his drawings, while they may have been largely a product of the times, may be offensive to certain groups of people today."  We should also be nuanced to recognize that such a statement isn't attacking Dr. Seuss, smearing him, or tarnishing his reputation.

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1 minute ago, Rich Conway said:

@timschochet's overall point is a good one.  People are complicated.  Most people have good qualities and bad qualities.  Some have more of one and vice versa.  No one is perfect.  People are going to be even less perfect-seeming when viewed in hindsight.  Whitewashing negative qualities doesn't benefit anyone.  We should be nuanced to be able to say something like "Dr. Seuss was a phenomenal children's author and did a world of good things, but some of his drawings, while they may have been largely a product of the times, may be offensive to certain groups of people today."  We should also be nuanced to recognize that such a statement isn't attacking Dr. Seuss, smearing him, or tarnishing his reputation.

In this case, the nuance is the cudgel by which one must submit to the vagaries of the application of profoundly modern values to historical texts and drawings. I won't abide nuance in this instance because there is very little objectionable, prima facie, about these books. Did Seuss do racist cartoons? Perhaps, and that is where we can add nuance to a biographical treatment. But nuance in this case means no books, and the ends are as important as the consideration upon which they are predicated.

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6 minutes ago, rockaction said:

In this case, the nuance is the cudgel by which one must submit to the vagaries of the application of profoundly modern values to historical texts and drawings. I won't abide nuance in this instance because there is very little objectionable, prima facie, about these books. Did Seuss do racist cartoons? Perhaps, and that is where we can add nuance to a biographical treatment. But nuance in this case means no books, and the ends are as important as the consideration upon which they are predicated.

I disagree with this take.  If one book here or there is flagrantly racist, that's not at all the same as "ban all 50+ Dr. Seuss books".  Again, nuance is appropriate.

As an example, when my kids were younger, we faithfully watched all the old Disney cartoons I remembered from when I was a kid.  Naturally, 30+ years later, I didn't remember the details of every movie.  There were a few scenes that I watched and was flabbergasted at just how racist and offensive they were (e.g. Native American scene in Peter Pan).  I would have no problem telling another parent that they shouldn't show that movie to their young kids.  That's not at all the same thing as "ban Disney movies!"

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25 minutes ago, rockaction said:

Full stop. Any racism from Lincoln can generally be attributed to the political realities and sensibilities of the time. The man was put in an impossible situation, that of trying to get other men to recognize the humanity of an out-group upon whose slave labor they depended. Any campaign speeches or political sentiments about sending black people back to Liberia is wildly overstated by literalists and radicals. C'mon. You know better than this. Or are you reading too much historical fiction from filtered sources and not enough primary material? I suspect I know which one...

I believe it’s called patriotic education. 

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1 minute ago, Rich Conway said:

I disagree with this take.  If one book here or there is flagrantly racist, that's not at all the same as "ban all 50+ Dr. Seuss books".  Again, nuance is appropriate.

As an example, when my kids were younger, we faithfully watched all the old Disney cartoons I remembered from when I was a kid.  Naturally, 30+ years later, I didn't remember the details of every movie.  There were a few scenes that I watched and was flabbergasted at just how racist and offensive they were (e.g. Native American scene in Peter Pan).  I would have no problem telling another parent that they shouldn't show that movie to their young kids.  That's not at all the same thing as "ban Disney movies!"

You're shifting the premises of the argument and then rebutting your own premises. I never said anything remotely like this and you're putting premises in my mouth (and my mouf don't like it).

I'm saying that it's fine to discuss the evidence of racism and the like as part of Seuss's biographical record, but the drawings I've seen are fine for their time and should be judged with a degree of historicism (that's what they call it when you suspend imposing modern morality on works of art and texts) in mind. Now that's nuance. The entire approach I'm proposing is nuanced. Rather than determining by modern standards which works will have their publication be ceased/bandied about badly, we take history as it is and understand that our modern sensibilities weren't shared by the artist at the time. That might even perhaps serve as a jumping off point for some to display whatever wokeness one wishes to pledge fealty to, for some there will be nothing at all to discuss. That's a truly nuanced approach, if slightly imperfect in its relativism -- but at least the works are still around. 

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26 minutes ago, Rich Conway said:

@timschochet's overall point is a good one.  People are complicated.  Most people have good qualities and bad qualities.  Some have more of one and vice versa.  No one is perfect.  People are going to be even less perfect-seeming when viewed in hindsight.  Whitewashing negative qualities doesn't benefit anyone.  We should be nuanced to be able to say something like "Dr. Seuss was a phenomenal children's author and did a world of good things, but some of his drawings, while they may have been largely a product of the times, may be offensive to certain groups of people today."  We should also be nuanced to recognize that such a statement isn't attacking Dr. Seuss, smearing him, or tarnishing his reputation.

That’s not what’s going on here.  They are pulling 6 of his books off the shelf.

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3 minutes ago, ekbeats said:

That’s not what’s going on here.  They are pulling 6 of his books off the shelf.

I understand that.  The point is that no one is out there shouting "ban all Dr. Seuss books" or "Dr. Seuss was evil" or out to tarnish Dr. Seuss's reputation, which was something one poster specifically claimed here.

Similarly, the Peter Pan example I used should be removed from libraries or given a warning to parents who might not otherwise know that they're about to show their young children something horribly racist and offensive.

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11 minutes ago, rockaction said:

You're shifting the premises of the argument and then rebutting your own premises. I never said anything remotely like this and you're putting premises in my mouth (and my mouf don't like it).

I'm saying that it's fine to discuss the evidence of racism and the like as part of Seuss's biographical record, but the drawings I've seen are fine for their time and should be judged with a degree of historicism (that's what they call it when you suspend imposing modern morality on works of art and texts) in mind. Now that's nuance. The entire approach I'm proposing is nuanced. Rather than determining by modern standards which works will have their publication be ceased/bandied about badly, we take history as it is and understand that our modern sensibilities weren't shared by the artist at the time. That might even perhaps serve as a jumping off point for some to display whatever wokeness one wishes to pledge fealty to, for some there will be nothing at all to discuss. That's a truly nuanced approach, if slightly imperfect in its relativism -- but at least the works are still around. 

You wrote "But nuance in this case means no books".  I took that to mean you were suggesting adding nuance to the equation of how we view Dr. Seuss would necessarily lead to all of his books being banned/removed.  If that's not what you intended, it was simply a misunderstanding.  I admit that your style of writing frequently confuses me regarding what you're actually advocating, so maybe I should ask "Do you mean X?" first.

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Just now, Rich Conway said:

You wrote "But nuance in this case means no books".  I took that to mean you were suggesting adding nuance to the equation of how we view Dr. Seuss would necessarily lead to all of his books being banned/removed.  If that's not what you intended, it was simply a misunderstanding.  I admit that your style of writing frequently confuses me regarding what you're actually advocating, so maybe I should ask "Do you mean X?" first.

Ah, I meant the six books now out of print. I thought we were talking about that. If you want to ask me direct questions, feel free. I'm not offended by misunderstanding either. The "mouf" thing was a joke. I was confused about your seeming shifting of premises, which was actually me not being clear enough about what I was referring to.

 

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17 minutes ago, ekbeats said:

That’s not what’s going on here.  They are pulling 6 of his books off the shelf.

At the request of the publisher who is deciding not to print those any longer.

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4 minutes ago, sho nuff said:

At the request of the publisher who is deciding not to print those any longer.

Nobody cares about the logistics of it, sho. It's been discussed about eighty ####### times in the thread. You'd have to be a complete dumb ### to be in the thread and miss that point. The point is, what discretion is the publisher using? It sounds like something less than generosity to the author.

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1 minute ago, rockaction said:

Nobody cares about the logistics of it, sho. It's been discussed about eighty ####### times in the thread. You'd have to be a complete dumb ### to be in the thread and miss that point. The point is, what discretion is the publisher using? It sounds like something less than generosity to the author.

Yes i know. Nobody cares about the facts. Better to complain and act as if stores are pulling them and people have been making a big deal about it instead. And seems clear it dod need to be pointed out given what I responded to.

But keep up with your usual insults instead.

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Just now, sho nuff said:

Yes i know. Nobody cares about the facts. Better to complain and act as if stores are pulling them and people have been making a big deal about it instead. And seems clear it dod need to be pointed out given what I responded to.

But keep up with your usual insults instead.

There isn't an insult in there, sho. Keep trying.

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22 minutes ago, Rich Conway said:

I understand that.  The point is that no one is out there shouting "ban all Dr. Seuss books" or "Dr. Seuss was evil" or out to tarnish Dr. Seuss's reputation, which was something one poster specifically claimed here.

Similarly, the Peter Pan example I used should be removed from libraries or given a warning to parents who might not otherwise know that they're about to show their young children something horribly racist and offensive.

You don’t need people shouting “ban all Dr. Seuss books" or "Dr. Seuss was evil" in order for the man’s reputation to be tarnished.  Many people will just hear that his books were removed due to racist imagery.

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1 minute ago, rockaction said:

There isn't an insult in there, sho. Keep trying.

Other than stating im not getting the point and saying someone would have to be a dumb ### to miss the point?

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2 minutes ago, rockaction said:

EST ESD. I'm done before it starts.

Last I checked...I wasn’t talking to you until you jumped in to sling crap...as you have been lately and taking it to insults often.  Feel free to ignore me to end such nonsense.

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12 minutes ago, sho nuff said:

At the request of the publisher who is deciding not to print those any longer.

I don’t care where the censorship comes from.  It’s still dumb.

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Just now, ekbeats said:

You don’t need people shouting “ban all Dr. Seuss books" or "Dr. Seuss was evil" in order for the man’s reputation to be tarnished.  Many people will just hear that his books were removed due to racist imagery.

So your argument is that we should continue to promote racist things because some geniuses aren't smart enough to educate themselves as to why nuanced positions were applied and specific racist items were discontinued?  That seems...  off?

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Just now, ekbeats said:

I don’t care where the censorship comes from.  It’s still dumb.

Its not freaking censorship...thats the point.

I think its smart of companies and people to realize that they may have not always done whats right...and to correct it before its a problem.  Its called being responsible.

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1 minute ago, sho nuff said:

Other than stating im not getting the point and saying someone would have to be a dumb ### to miss the point?

I didn't say you weren't getting the point. Nowhere did I say that. I said a hypothetical person would have to be a dumb ### to miss the point that's already been made about twenty times. Not "you" as in "you, sho," but "you" as a generalized pronoun plural.

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Just now, sho nuff said:

Its not freaking censorship...thats the point.

I think its smart of companies and people to realize that they may have not always done whats right...and to correct it before its a problem.  Its called being responsible.

It's called a publishing company that won't publish books because of the woke mob.

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Just now, rockaction said:

It's called a publishing company that won't publish books because of the woke mob.

Except you are leaving out that there was no mob that forced this or Disney or Hasbro others lately that some of you are getting all bent out of shape about.

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1 minute ago, rockaction said:

It's called a publishing company that won't publish books because of the woke mob.

The bolded is where you lose me.  You're making what I consider to be a highly questionable assumption.

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Just now, Rich Conway said:

The bolded is where you lose me.  You're making what I consider to be a highly questionable assumption.

It's hyperbole and a bit tongue-in-cheek, but serious. If there wasn't the Sword of Damocles hanging over everybody, this never happens.

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1 hour ago, timschochet said:

As an aside I’d love to cancel Green Eggs and Ham but not because it’s racist. Because it’s annoying and rude. I don’t think children should be taught to bully people after they say no. “Come on, just try it.” The dude said he doesn’t want to. Why can’t he leave him the #### alone? 

Agreed.  In fact, I blame this book for rampant drug use today.  If the character never succumbed to the peer pressure and held firm at "no" we'd no doubt be living in a drug free utopia today. 

Edited by General Malaise
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6 minutes ago, rockaction said:

It's hyperbole and a bit tongue-in-cheek, but serious. If there wasn't the Sword of Damocles hanging over everybody, this never happens.

See, I'm just not buying this.  Isn't it just as possible the publisher wanted some free publicity?  Isn't it just as possible the publisher legitimately feels those specific books are, in fact, racist or offensive?

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17 minutes ago, Rich Conway said:

So your argument is that we should continue to promote racist things because some geniuses aren't smart enough to educate themselves as to why nuanced positions were applied and specific racist items were discontinued?  That seems...  off?

You think one illustrated page in a Dr. Seuss book depicting an Asian in a traditional Asian hat with chop sticks is promoting racism?  And that determination, held by a very small minority of people, gets to override the large percentage of people who see no problem with it?  That seems... way off.

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3 minutes ago, ekbeats said:

You think one illustrated page in a Dr. Seuss book depicting an Asian in a traditional Asian hat with chop sticks is promoting racism?  And that determination, held by a very small minority of people, gets to override the large percentage of people who see no problem with it?  That seems... way off.

The determination was made by the publisher.  They do, in fact, get to override everyone else.

The publisher felt the specific items they discontinued were racist or otherwise offensive.  Should they continue to publish things that, in their opinion, are racist or offensive because some geniuses aren't smart enough to educate themselves as to why nuanced positions were applied and specific racist items were discontinued?

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@rockaction and @ekbeats: just want you guys to know that while I disagree with you two rather strongly on many points here, this is has been the sort of discussion that makes this forum worthwhile: it’s been thoughtful and illuminating, and smart people on all sides are offering excellent points and rebuttals. Plus there’s been no personal insults. I’ve really enjoyed it. 
 

That being said, you’re wrong. 

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33 minutes ago, sho nuff said:

Last I checked...I wasn’t talking to you until you jumped in to sling crap...as you have been lately and taking it to insults often.  Feel free to ignore me to end such nonsense.

EST. EDS.
 

Honesty I don’t know why they allow you to continue to post in this forum. 

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1 minute ago, Rich Conway said:

The determination was made by the publisher.  They do, in fact, get to override everyone else.

The publisher felt the specific items they discontinued were racist or otherwise offensive.  Should they continue to publish things that, in their opinion, are racist or offensive because some geniuses aren't smart enough to educate themselves as to why nuanced positions were applied and specific racist items were discontinued?

The publisher is running scared.  They don’t want to be labeled as “promoting racism” by the geniuses.

If Dr. Seuss were alive he’d write a great book about this.

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Quote

Patagonia:  Pollution is also racial violence

https://twitter.com/patagonia/status/1364969688451670020?s=20

Now I'm a white supremacist for driving and heating my house with fossil fuels.  Being woked by a company that sells clothes most minorities can't afford...lol

They are smart, going on the offensive before being put on the defensive for having a racist product.

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