Wednesday, March 01, 2023

Thinking Gone Haywire


On CNN in 2013 Don Lemon spoke directly to the black community and had five suggestions: "Pull up your pants"; don't use the 'n' word; stop littering; finish school, including high school and, preferably, college; get married, then have children if you wish

Referring to the video of Lemon's commentary, a right-winger with allegedly two million followers maintains:

I can't believe they're cancelling Scott Adams for agreeing with Don Lemon

During his podcast on February 22, Adams

cited a Rasmussen survey which apparently found out that 53 percent of Black people agree with the phrase “It’s okay to be White.”

“I’ve been identifying as Black for a while because I like to be on the winning team,” Adams said in a YouTube video. “And I like to help. I always thought if you help the Black community, that’s sort of the biggest lever, you could find, the biggest benefit.”

He added

“If nearly half of all Blacks are not OK with White people — according to this poll, not according to me, according to this poll — that’s a hate group.”

“I don’t want to have anything to do with them,” Adams added. “And I would say, based on the current way things are going, the best advice I would give to White people is to get the hell away from Black people, just get the f**k away … because there is no fixing this.”

Whether Adams' advocacy of segregation is more hateful or bizarre- in 2023 or, for matter, in 1983- is a matter of opinion. Your mileage may vary.

Yet while Adams' assertion that blacks constitute "a hate group" is intriguing because it not only betrays hate, hostility, or bigotry, it is also fundamentally inaccurate. Rasmussen asked "Do you agree or disagree with this statement: it's OK to be white" and the cartoonist concludes "nearly half of all blacks are not OK with white people."

Not exactly. Adams evidently added the 8% who opted for "somewhat disagree," the 18% for "strongly disagree," and the 21% who were "not sure" and came up with 47%.  Thus, almost half of respondents whom Adams interpreted as "not OK," perhaps confused as to why such a leading question was asked, were unsure.

That puts the results in a different light. However, even if 80% of blacks surveyed had somewhat  disagreed or strongly disagreed with the proposition, black people would not constitute a hate group. Instead, it would disturbingly reveal that a large majority of blacks were not "O.K." with people being white, or whatever it would mean. A hate group, by contrast, is formed with the purpose of hating another group. It is their raison d'etre. It's a group, coalescing around anti-social or bigoted notions, disliking individuals of a particular group (black, in this case) in a protected class.

Lemon's opening statement highlights the importance of avoiding Adams' error of attributing to a group the perspective of individuals. The CNN host stated "if this doesn't apply to you- if you're not doing this- then it doesn't apply to you. I'm not talking about you."  By contrast, the cartoonist said, roughly: "a lot of blacks dislike individuals because they're white. Shun black people."

If you believe someone is looking down upon you because of an inherited characteristic- such as race- it's only fair that you avoid them when practical. However, prejudging an entire group on the basis of how some individuals, connected to that group only by skin color, think or behave is slightly idiotic. "If this doesn't apply to you.... I'm not talking about you."

Also, wearing clothing covering the posterior, avoiding the "n" word whatever your race, disposing of trash properly, getting an education, and postponing childbearing until marriage only make sense. Whether today, ten years later, Don Lemon or an American of any race can say that is untested and uncertain.

 


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