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Hank Aaron gets hate mail

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#21 gunnarthor

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 10:41 AM

This thread went to hell.

#22 strumdatjag

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 10:52 AM

I thought my sarcastic spin on Hank receiving hate-mail from Steroidists boosted the exchange slightly at least!

#23 gil4

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 11:14 AM

That there is covered up racism in our society? Tons of information on it.

For instance, cops see black kids as older than they are. Our education system punishes minority kids at a much higher rate than white kids, even in pre-school programs. Our justice system punishes minorities more often and harder than whites.


Those could all be true and still not indicate racism. Are there physiological difference that make it more difficult to tell ages? Haircuts? Clothing? Facial hair? Tatoos? Are there cultural differences that can result in higher rates of misbehavior? Single-parent? Employment? Media choices (TV/movies/music)? Attitudes taught in the home about authority?

#24 deanlambrecht

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 11:42 AM

Well he did basically say opponents of President Obama are gussied-up Klan members. That's an incredibly ignorant and inflammatory statement, so while it doesn't justify hate mail, it certainly is quite a different thing altogether from Jackie Robinson being abused for just playing baseball.


No, that's not what he said. The article stated this quite plainly:

[FONT=arial]Never in our 50-minute conversation did Aaron suggest anyone critical of President Obama is racist. Never did he compare the Republican Party to the Ku Klux Klan.
[/FONT]
[FONT=arial]
Simply, Aaron stated that we are fooling ourselves if we don't believe racism exists in our country. It's simply camouflaged now. And, yes, he feels sorry for his good friend, President Obama, and the frustrations he endures.

[/FONT]

http://www.usatoday....exists/7723045/

Edited by deanlambrecht, 16 April 2014 - 11:49 AM.
clarity


#25 twinsnorth49

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 11:43 AM

Well, good to see things are staying rational and tolerant here...

Edited by twinsnorth49, 16 April 2014 - 11:46 AM.


#26 PseudoSABR

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 11:56 AM

Those could all be true and still not indicate racism. Are there physiological difference that make it more difficult to tell ages? Haircuts? Clothing? Facial hair? Tatoos? Are there cultural differences that can result in higher rates of misbehavior? Single-parent? Employment? Media choices (TV/movies/music)? Attitudes taught in the home about authority?

Honestly this list (of alternative explanations) is full of latent racist stereotypes. Haircuts? Tattoos? Attitudes in the home? Makes my stomach churn. If you can't connect systemic racism, poverty and poor upbringing, no one will connect the dots for you. Does it really matter if it's skin color or cultural iconography that leads to mistreatment?

No one is suggesting that any opposition to Obama (or any kinship to Republican party) is based in any part in racism. That said, however small the portion of actual racists (or latent racists) is, it is significant. We've had political candidates send out flyers with Obama depicted as a monkey or in African regalia etc, etc. Clearly these politicians are capitalizing on something within their base, however unsavory. For Republicans to succeed locally (and nationally), they will continue to curry the racist vote; in some sense, they'd be stupid not to.

Modern racism largely exists not as an active hating process, but rather as an unconscious set of assumptions and social negligences. If we're not willing to acknowledge the existence of such racism, we're part of the problem.

Edited by PseudoSABR, 16 April 2014 - 12:40 PM.


#27 gunnarthor

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 12:36 PM

Those could all be true and still not indicate racism. Are there physiological difference that make it more difficult to tell ages? Haircuts? Clothing? Facial hair? Tatoos? Are there cultural differences that can result in higher rates of misbehavior? Single-parent? Employment? Media choices (TV/movies/music)? Attitudes taught in the home about authority?


I was going to go into more in-depth here but it really isn't necessary and this thread is gone. Most of the articles I linked reference some of the things you raise. Sociologists have known for years that, even taking into account variables like economics and upbringing, minorities are still more likely to be targeted by police than whites.

#28 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 01:18 PM

So, some of you must think that most Republicans actually support a government takeover of the health care system, decimating our military, raising taxes, and increasing government spending. You must think that they really don't believe in limited government and a strong defense. And all those prolifers? They actually are prochoice, and closet members of Greenpeace, the ACLU and PETA. They are just pretending to be devout Christians. Yes, you've figured out the reason for this GOP ruse: The Republicans just won't admit that they are really European-style liberals, because they are racist and the President is black - otherwise everyone would agree with the agenda of the Democrat Party. I guess I must be one of those racist hypocrites, too. So, I'm seeing the light and admitting that I'm a closet liberal led to conservatism solely by my evil racist thoughts. I'm deleting Drudge from my Favorites and adding the DailyKos. By the way, where do I go to join the protests of the Keystone Pipeline and to join the movement to ban the word "Bossy!" and 32 Ounce Pops (no Soda in Minnesota!).


I guess I'd have to see an explanation of how our military is being "decimated".
Keep in mind this graph represents constant 2013 dollars, so even the post sequester purple levels are higher than anytime in recent history except at the peaks of the Korea, Vietnam, and cold wars.
Plus, the impending military cuts are due to the Budget Control Act of 2011, which a Republican bill, so I'm having a hard time seeing why that is being pinned on Obama.

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#29 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 02:06 PM

I'm not even sure where to begin with the response. The thing I really try to wrap my head around is whether society is being lazy when it attributes issues to racism when there could be other factors. I cannot help but think that to boil it down to racism and latent racism is trying to put a nice generic label on a problem that is far more complex than that... and quite honestly I can see how that can be offensive. Case in point, blacks and crime. When this whole thing gets debated people talk about statistics... Yet I keep coming back to poverty, b/c to me, this is linked, and probably a much bigger explanation to the statistics than simply racism.

Is it that blacks are being targeted b/c of their skin color or is it that they are targeted because they make up a disproportionately high percentage of people living below the poverty line? Those that I've met who are middle and upper middle class will tell you that racism exists, but at least in my small sample size circle of friends, it doesn't seem to be nearly as bad as one would think... and they certainly don't get hung up on it...

Does racism exist? Absolutely, and quite honestly it will always exist. We live in a country where people are free to be racist, whether or not you or I approve of it. But simply playing the racism card tends to exacerbate the problem and excite anger. It tends to mobilize... and sadly I think that's exactly what the political parties want.... Meanwhile, nothing is done on either side of the aisle to alleviate a system that stacks the deck against the poor and middle class.

#30 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 02:08 PM

Should note from a moderator standpoint, we do appreciate the attempts to take this back to civility. I should note that the thread was already reported. This can be a great political discussion, let's just be civil about it.

thanks.

#31 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 02:39 PM

My thought is that I can't and never will know what its like to endure what Aaron had to deal with as a) a black man in the south in the 50's and 60's to begin with, and B) a black man in the south in the 50's and 60's attempting to break Babe Ruth's record.
It's easy for us to sit here in 2014, in Minnesota, and pretend we know one way or another whether Aaron's comments were valid or playing the race card.
However, considering what Aaron would have had to deal with during his life, I think I'll go ahead and give him the benefit of the doubt as to knowing racism when he sees it.

By the way, I think some of the comments that the USA Today received kind of partially validate what Aaron had to say.
I'm paraphrasing but basically the response was:

"Are you calling me a racist you worthless (racial slur)?" I'd say that type of candid response speaks volumes about the type of racism that still exists.

#32 Shane Wahl

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 02:49 PM

That there is covered up racism in our society? Tons of information on it.

For instance, cops see black kids as older than they are. Our education system punishes minority kids at a much higher rate than white kids, even in pre-school programs. Our justice system punishes minorities more often and harder than whites. This is a nice article by ACLU of MN board member Bill Pentalovch on that problem in MPLS.

And this is a nice opinion piece addressing the idea that we should ignore racism now because it's not that bad.


http://news.yahoo.co...--politics.html

There's some more (linked to in article).

#33 TheLeviathan

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 02:57 PM

Does racism exist? Absolutely, and quite honestly it will always exist. We live in a country where people are free to be racist, whether or not you or I approve of it. But simply playing the racism card tends to exacerbate the problem and excite anger. It tends to mobilize... and sadly I think that's exactly what the political parties want.... Meanwhile, nothing is done on either side of the aisle to alleviate a system that stacks the deck against the poor and middle class.


Well said. Both parties and both ideologies drive me nuts on this. Liberals are so busy blaming the systems and fanning the flames of racism that we basically can't have a genuine conversation. Conservatives are so busy blaming people that have the deck stacked heavily against them that they refuse to look at how the systems could be changed or how racism has shaped the landscape to this point.

It should be possible to acknowledge the racism that has, and does, still make things difficult for people and that we need to do things to correct this, while at the same time not completely excusing every difficulty to racism or "the system". I can tell you from my experience that there is more than just latent racism that is complicating things for some cultures/races.

#34 TheLeviathan

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 03:03 PM

http://news.yahoo.co...--politics.html

There's some more (linked to in article).


Cmon now. I'm sure there are bigots, misogynists, and all sorts of other awful people in politics but this series of anecdotes and Republican Z listers is hardly evidence of opposition to Obama being driven by racism.

If a conservative came on here and claimed that the reason Bush got blocked on things was because of hatred for Christians I'd scoff too. The politic divide is happening on all levels of government largely amongst a bunch of old white guys.

This is a sad argument couched in a real problem.

#35 Shane Wahl

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 03:46 PM

Cmon now. I'm sure there are bigots, misogynists, and all sorts of other awful people in politics but this series of anecdotes and Republican Z listers is hardly evidence of opposition to Obama being driven by racism.

If a conservative came on here and claimed that the reason Bush got blocked on things was because of hatred for Christians I'd scoff too. The politic divide is happening on all levels of government largely amongst a bunch of old white guys.

This is a sad argument couched in a real problem.


I suggest you talk to community college students in Indiana (and not in Indianapolis or Southeast Chicagoland). There is real opposition based on race. Anyway, my original point was pretty blown out of proportion. It still seems bizarre to hold the view that a significant (is def. of this word tripping up people?) amount of anti-Obama views aren't based on race. Maybe it "only" amounts to a million people in America.

#36 strumdatjag

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 04:15 PM

I think the Pro-Steroids crowd is also behind the opposition to Obama. Think about it. the big crackdown on 'roids happened during his presidency. So, both the hate mail to Hank and the Obama opposition are rooted in fandom for Bonds and McGuire, the people the Steroidists see as the true record holders. I'm starting to see this clearer now .

#37 TheLeviathan

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 04:29 PM

I suggest you talk to community college students in Indiana (and not in Indianapolis or Southeast Chicagoland). There is real opposition based on race. Anyway, my original point was pretty blown out of proportion. It still seems bizarre to hold the view that a significant (is def. of this word tripping up people?) amount of anti-Obama views aren't based on race. Maybe it "only" amounts to a million people in America.


I think what's tripping me up is that you seem to be talking about your average citizen who is anti-Obama, but Aaron's comments were about Congress. You didn't seem to differentiate so I took you to be defending Aaron, but that doesn't appear to be correct.

Am I close?

#38 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 04:54 PM

I suggest you talk to community college students in Indiana (and not in Indianapolis or Southeast Chicagoland). There is real opposition based on race. Anyway, my original point was pretty blown out of proportion. It still seems bizarre to hold the view that a significant (is def. of this word tripping up people?) amount of anti-Obama views aren't based on race. Maybe it "only" amounts to a million people in America.


I'm not sure you can quantify that, and as I said prior, I think the issue is far more complicated than "Joe white guy hates Obama only b/c he's a racist". Last I checked, the average Joe white guy isn't a fan of much of anything Obama has done and wouldn't be a fan of it if Obama was white. My beef with the political system is that in my observation, Joe white guy would be far more forgiving of Obama had he done the exactly the same things yet been a Republican instead. That's the main reason why I stopped voting Republican and now vote mostly Libertarian.

I'd go a step further and ask that if we are going to talk about racism, why aren't we talking of blacks who voted for Obama only because he's black? I'd argue that this is just as racist, yet for some reason, this is a forbidden topic on the discussion. It's all about fanning the flames.

As I said before, racism exists, but it's purpose these days serves more to fan the flames than to do anything constructive. It's rather insulting to tell someone that views X that a large number of people who have the view of X hold this view because they are racist. I'd argue that this line of reasoning is well... racist.

#39 TheLeviathan

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 05:28 PM

It's rather insulting to tell someone that views X that a large number of people who have the view of X hold this view because they are racist. I'd argue that this line of reasoning is well... racist.


I disagree here. I think we, as a whole, need to get over the evil of generalizing. Generalizing isn't racist. It's how we use stereotypes and generalizations that make them racist. Somehow, along the way, any generalization (no matter how accurate) has become taboo for discussion.

#40 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 06:00 PM

I disagree here. I think we, as a whole, need to get over the evil of generalizing. Generalizing isn't racist. It's how we use stereotypes and generalizations that make them racist. Somehow, along the way, any generalization (no matter how accurate) has become taboo for discussion.


You are right... I should have stated that it CAN be racist... but in general... yes. Generalizing is something we as a society need to get over.