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CWatts
03-13-2015, 04:31 AM
The Ask a Manager blog had a worker write in about a manager blast emailing a racist meme to the whole office. http://www.askamanager.org/2015/03/my-boss-is-sending-everyone-at-my-office-racist-memes.html#comments

The meme is an anti-Obama, tea party/birther dog whistle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog-whistle_politics) and of course some commenters didn't see the racism.
This sort of thing is damn annoying when it pollutes your Facebook feed, but someone in authority sending it out to his direct reports? Unf*ckingacceptable.

Roxxsmom
03-13-2015, 05:51 AM
Yep, I've seen shit like this on my facebook feed, and even though I usually try to avoid arguing about political things and take a my friends and family can post what they want and I can post what I want angle, I've called a few people out on it. It's really out of place in a workplace, imo.

What is distressing is how many people will mindlessly forward and "like" things like this on social media, even people I honestly don't think are racists or subscribing to the political viewpoints behind these memes.

Isilya
03-13-2015, 08:40 AM
I had to Google image search the image to discover its significance. (I'm Canadian) Then I had to read the comments to understand the racism.
Wow, what a horrible meme. I honestly didn't know some people think PoCs are less patriotic. I can't believe that's even a thing. On top of that, what manager of any company would forward a racially or politically charged email to their employees? Ughh.

Roxx
With things like Facebook and such, I usually try to assume ignorance instead of racism. Some people probably just see the lack of flags criticism and click Like, for patriotism or something. Though, I do find it harder to believe that an American wouldn't know the significance of those pictures.

Lillith1991
03-13-2015, 09:42 AM
Roxx
With things like Facebook and such, I usually try to assume ignorance instead of racism. Some people probably just see the lack of flags criticism and click Like, for patriotism or something. Though, I do find it harder to believe that an American wouldn't know the significance of those pictures.

I can't say I agree with you at all on the above, ignorance doesn't make something less racist, sexist, homophobic etc. If they were born and raised in America, and actually know their history passibly, the racism is obvious. It isn't out of patriotism that people click like or use that meme, whether they say so or not. Americans like to pretend we're post racial and post other forms of hate, while trying to actively undermine other peoples rights. But we aren't, or else Obama wouldn't be accused of being Kenyan or a Muslim (as if being a Muslim is a horrible thing) when he was born in Hawai'i and is actually Christian.

Isilya
03-13-2015, 10:10 AM
I can't say I agree with you at all on the above, ignorance doesn't make something less racist, sexist, homophobic etc. If they were born and raised in America, and actually know their history passibly, the racism is obvious. It isn't out of patriotism that people click like or use that meme, whether they say so or not. Americans like to pretend we're post racial and post other forms of hate, while trying to actively undermine other peoples rights. But we aren't, or else Obama wouldn't be accused of being Kenyan or a Muslim (as if being a Muslim is a horrible thing) when he was born in Hawai'i and is actually Christian.
I agree that ignorance of a thing doesn't change its nature, but it does change my perceptions of the people liking or sharing it on platforms like Facebook. I always give everyone the benefit of the doubt. They (people ignorant of racist memes) are amplifying the problem but I don't think they are actively, as in intentionally, trying to undermine anyone's rights. Though, clearly there are a lot of hateful people who do and they use other people's ignorance and clicks to spread that hate.

CWatts
03-13-2015, 02:56 PM
With things like Facebook and such, I usually try to assume ignorance instead of racism. Some people probably just see the lack of flags criticism and click Like, for patriotism or something. Though, I do find it harder to believe that an American wouldn't know the significance of those pictures.

The thing is, the person who created this meme is taking advantage of this ignorance to spread their hate. The original version of the Obama picture appeared in the thread, and there were American flags that were deliberately cropped out. It's along the same lines as that horrible image where a Ferguson protester's sign was digitally altered to read "robs a store" instead of "walks down the street." This is propaganda plain and simple and it's depressing how many people still buy into it.

Isilya
03-13-2015, 05:24 PM
This is propaganda plain and simple and it's depressing how many people still buy into it.
Agreed x 100

Mr Flibble
03-14-2015, 03:22 AM
I agree that ignorance of a thing doesn't change its nature, but it does change my perceptions of the people liking or sharing it on platforms like Facebook. I always give everyone the benefit of the doubt.


It took the advent of the internet -- and the visibility of things I never saw IRL -- to understand a lot of things

There's a big difference (imo and relating to any shit I get re sexism) between ignorance and malice*. I do not blame people for not knowing everything -- no one can! -- but malice is different.

Still this seems incredibly crass to say the least. Why does someone need to wave a countries flag to march against racism? That doesn't even make sense, and that's no even getting to everything else.



*I may not for instance know that X thing is offensive in the states, when it is not here, and vice versa -- what flies where you are would get you the side eye here. Is that racism? Or just not knowing the local culture?

PS Dog whistles? What have they got to do with this thread? See, there is my ignorance. It is not the same as hating.

PPS there is an MLK quote which I cannot find right now, about it being easier dealing with people who hate, rather than those who try to understand but don't get it. I understand that -- it's easy to ignore obvious woman haters, less so than ones who profess to be feminists but then mansplain feminism. I feel often like the one who does not get it. I'm trying. I swear.

Roxxsmom
03-14-2015, 08:52 AM
\This is propaganda plain and simple and it's depressing how many people still buy into it.

Absolutely. And it also begs the question about the whole stereotype that if you're not wrapping yourself in the flag every moment of every day you can't love your country, and of course the whole thing where the American Flag itself has become sort of a dog whistle for right wing politics and conservative social values.

That's what makes these memes so insidiously effective, actually. They nudge the conversation in a thousand different directions, all of them valid, but the underlying racist and bigoted intent/attitude--that some people are "real" Americans and some people aren't--is being ignored.

CWatts
03-14-2015, 05:20 PM
*I may not for instance know that X thing is offensive in the states, when it is not here, and vice versa -- what flies where you are would get you the side eye here. Is that racism? Or just not knowing the local culture?

PS Dog whistles? What have they got to do with this thread? See, there is my ignorance. It is not the same as hating.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog-whistle_politics I also added the link to the original post. Sorry it is mostly a US term and kind of political jargon at that.

This quote pretty much sums it up:

In 1981, former Republican Party strategist Lee Atwater when giving an anonymous interview discussing the GOP's Southern Strategy (see also Lee Atwater on the Southern Strategy) said:


You start out in 1954 by saying, [the N word] By 1968, you can't say [N-word] that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than [N-word].

Mr Flibble
03-15-2015, 03:08 AM
I have no idea how your quote sums it up (bear of little brain here) but thanks for the link!

ETA Read the link


Still none the wiser tbh. But it is late after a long day. I shall try in the morning. I am not holding a lot of hope though. If anyone would like to explain it plainly, I'd be most grateful.

JalexM
03-15-2015, 03:18 AM
I would just unfollow the fellows feed if something of the sort get's posted on my facebook

backslashbaby
03-15-2015, 04:19 AM
I have no idea how your quote sums it up (bear of little brain here) but thanks for the link!

ETA Read the link


Still none the wiser tbh. But it is late after a long day. I shall try in the morning. I am not holding a lot of hope though. If anyone would like to explain it plainly, I'd be most grateful.

It would be like using 'people on benefits' as a purposeful phrase in the UK, keeping in mind that in the US the (unsubstantiated) meme is that Black folks and Latinos are more often on benefits than white.

But you know how that phrase conjures an image to many folks where you are? It's like that. When folks knowingly use phrases that conjure up bigoted images when the words themselves aren't bad, that's dogwhistle (imho).

Xelebes
03-15-2015, 05:07 AM
An example of a dog-whistling in Canadian politics:

http://www.pressprogress.ca/en/post/are-conservatives-race-baiting-facebook-first-nations-petition

See how they bay, see how they bay!

calieber
03-15-2015, 06:08 AM
I'm going to try to explain it, because I love the phrase.

Say there's a politician, whom I will arbitrarily refer to as "Nigel." Nigel wants racist people to vote for him. But there aren't enough racists for victory, so he also needs the votes of people who aren't racist, and in fact would be unwilling to support a racist politician. So Nigel can't go around saying "if elected, I'm going to go after Those People, who are responsible for the bad things." So Nigel will use terms that sound completely innocent, even reasonable, if you aren't racist, but to those who are will clearly indicate his antipathy towards Those People.

In the Atwater quote, the example was busing -- the practice, in de facto segregated communities, of putting the white kids on buses to produce a racial mix in the schools that they might not otherwise have. To be against this would seem easy to explain as a simple matter of convenience, but the Brown v. Board of Education court decision that had prohibited de jure racial segregation in schools in 1954 had not yet won anything like universal acceptance (I'm not sure it has now). The segregationists heard "anti-busing" as "pro-segregation."

It's not always race; for example, I doubt there's any disclaimer I can make that will convince you the name "Nigel" was truly an arbitrary choice. But someone who is not familiar with UK politics might think it was.

Roxxsmom
03-15-2015, 08:22 AM
One dogwhistle we see a lot of in the US is "religious freedom," which really means the freedom to restrict the freedom of others (generally people who are QUILTBAG, but sometimes people who are members of minority religions too) you don't like couched as a freedom to express a "sincerely held religious belief."

CWatts
03-15-2015, 05:42 PM
I'm going to try to explain it, because I love the phrase.

Say there's a politician, whom I will arbitrarily refer to as "Nigel." Nigel wants racist people to vote for him. But there aren't enough racists for victory, so he also needs the votes of people who aren't racist, and in fact would be unwilling to support a racist politician. So Nigel can't go around saying "if elected, I'm going to go after Those People, who are responsible for the bad things." So Nigel will use terms that sound completely innocent, even reasonable, if you aren't racist, but to those who are will clearly indicate his antipathy towards Those People.


"Tough on crime" is a frequent one for race in the U.S., with particularly tragic consequences given our incarceration rates and police brutality.

"Traditional values" is one for anti-feminist/anti-QUILTBAG politicians.

I don't know much about UK politics so don't feel bad. Many of us Yanks forget sometimes that the US is pretty damn strange sometimes.

CWatts
03-15-2015, 05:46 PM
One dogwhistle we see a lot of in the US is "religious freedom," which really means the freedom to restrict the freedom of others (generally people who are QUILTBAG, but sometimes people who are members of minority religions too) you don't like couched as a freedom to express a "sincerely held religious belief."

In Georgia this is apparently being used to such an extreme it could excuse domestic violence.:rant:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/03/13/georgia-bill-helps-wife-beaters.html

Mr Flibble
03-15-2015, 10:30 PM
Thanks guys, I think I may get it now (i think the terms are different over here, and I'd never heard of dog-whistle politics soo...) We certainly use them though (the war on "scroungers" to men anyone on benefits, even if they are desperate for help for example, or unable to work and hounded about it, and the demonisation of the poor. I just didn't get the example)


Hugs all round!

PS and thanks for being patient with me.