Author Topic: Faculty Policing Each Other  (Read 1334 times)

Hegemony

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Re: Faculty Policing Each Other
« Reply #45 on: April 06, 2021, 10:39:18 PM »
Smallcleanrat, I think the kind of response you're describing and responding to here is essentially the same that we were discussing on the other thread, about conversations. The ones where people respond with catastrophizing and extremist interpretations when someone says something reasonable. "Some men are..." "Are you another one of those people demonizing all men?! It's people like you that make the world...! [etc etc]."

I know how tempting it is to engage with that kind of irrational, catastrophizing reaction. How tempting it is to think that if you just explain things a little more clearly and patiently, they will come to understand what you mean. Of course the truth is that they actively do not want to understand, and that they feel happy and energized when furious.

I have always found this saying incredibly useful: "Recovery isn't winning; it's not playing."

ergative

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Re: Faculty Policing Each Other
« Reply #46 on: April 07, 2021, 12:47:35 AM »
One component of the discourse on Discourse that I've found intriguing is the idea that, when one argues (on the internet, usually, but I think this applies in all domains), one is arguing for two audiences: (1) the actual interlocutor, who may or may not be arguing in good faith; and (2) anyone else witnessing the discussion. Especially online, it's sometimes worth engaging even people who argue in bad faith, because other people may be swayed, even if the immediate interlocutor is not open to changing their mind.

Y'know, in the same way that challenging a colleague sends a message of support to the students, even if the colleague will never be convinced they've done something wrong.

mahagonny

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Re: Faculty Policing Each Other
« Reply #47 on: April 07, 2021, 05:57:11 AM »
One component of the discourse on Discourse that I've found intriguing is the idea that, when one argues (on the internet, usually, but I think this applies in all domains), one is arguing for two audiences: (1) the actual interlocutor, who may or may not be arguing in good faith; and (2) anyone else witnessing the discussion. Especially online, it's sometimes worth engaging even people who argue in bad faith, because other people may be swayed, even if the immediate interlocutor is not open to changing their mind.


Or just maybe, you are the one of little faith.
'We are raising whole generations who regard facts as more or less optional' - Sowell

waterboy

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Re: Faculty Policing Each Other
« Reply #48 on: April 07, 2021, 06:10:07 AM »
C'mon...we're academics. Are ever really wrong?  :)
"I know you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure that what you heard was not what I meant."

mahagonny

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Re: Faculty Policing Each Other
« Reply #49 on: April 07, 2021, 07:16:51 PM »
Continuing the discussion of the article, in case anyone who has read it wants to weigh in:

"Know that racism against those of Asian descent can manifest itself in the simplest of ways. One form it takes in professional settings is the categorizing of different members of the community as the same. So when you mix up Asian community members with each other, you perpetuate harmful myths that all people of color, regardless their diverse backgrounds, are interchangeable. Such depersonalization also occurs when you take lightly what people’s names mean to them. So avoid asking those whose names are unfamiliar to you to provide their “real,” “American” or “English nicknames.”'

So, is it OK to ask people where they are from? I regularly find out which students are from Japan, Korea, or Taiwan. They don't seem to mind. What if you ask an Asian American where they are from, and the answer is Toledo? Is this some kind of faux pas now? As though you don't believe he's from Toledo, or you 'wouldn't have asked him if he were Caucasian?' I mean, people...get used to going out in public.
It's a good idea to understand Asian students come from different places. Agreed. But the whole conversation is a minefield because, you know...the history of White Supremacy.
Actually, the discussion is not that much of minefield in real life. These writers make it seem that way.
I still say it's a silly article though, and these authors do not speak for the whole demographic group from which they come. They're self-appointed academic narrators with the standard 'how to help whitey avoid fucking up, one baby step at a time' theme.
In my experience many Asian students pick American sounding names. I have one now who likes to be called Felix. His name is Hongyi. I told him it's not difficult for me to pronounce 'Hongyi' and I enjoy learning names of people from all over the world. It's part of what makes the job stimulating. But he chooses Felix so he's Felix. I'm not aware of any trauma.
What's disappointing in the article is it's part of a very tired genre that, obviously directed at the Caucasian American academic, assumes the worst about us. But then, since it's obvious that the severely disturbed Atlanta shooter was motivated by racism and not possibly anything else, as proven by the statement about him by the policeman that he 'had a bad day' and the fact that the policeman has advertised an anti-Asian T-shirt  (these satisfy the left-leaning media), I guess the rest is not unexpected.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2021, 07:34:28 PM by mahagonny »
'We are raising whole generations who regard facts as more or less optional' - Sowell

Parasaurolophus

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Re: Faculty Policing Each Other
« Reply #50 on: April 07, 2021, 09:59:58 PM »
You refer to students by their preferred names. That's good.

You can ask where people are from. Just don't do the "oh no, what I meant was" thing, or express disbelief, etc. It's not a hard thing to do, nor is it a ludicrous prescription. It sounds like you already do (or don't do!) that, and that's good.

As for mixing up origins... does it really have to be explained why it's offensive to call a Japanese person 'Chinese' (for example)? I promise you, there are few surer ways to offend a Canadian than to call them American, and we're not alone in that kind of reaction to that sort of thing. Likewise, you have to be careful with what you infer based on names, phenotypes, etc. When people see my last name and think 'Chinese', they're wrong, and their massive ignorance is on display.

It doesn't sound to me like you do those things. And given that, it shouldn't be hard to see why doing them would be bad.
I know it's a genus.

mahagonny

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Re: Faculty Policing Each Other
« Reply #51 on: April 08, 2021, 03:46:13 AM »
You refer to students by their preferred names. That's good.

You can ask where people are from. Just don't do the "oh no, what I meant was" thing, or express disbelief, etc. It's not a hard thing to do, nor is it a ludicrous prescription. It sounds like you already do (or don't do!) that, and that's good.


Thanks for permission to continue being competent by relying on my common sense and the Golden Rule.
(Yes, I get touchy with these topics.)



I promise you, there are few surer ways to offend a Canadian than to call them American, and we're not alone in that kind of reaction to that sort of thing. Likewise, you have to be careful with what you infer based on names, phenotypes, etc. When people see my last name and think 'Chinese', they're wrong, and their massive ignorance is on display.

It doesn't sound to me like you do those things. And given that, it shouldn't be hard to see why doing them would be bad.

Yeah, but it's not as bad as being free and easy with allegations of racism, white supremacy (Merriam Webster: 'the belief that the white race is inherently superior to other races and that white people should have control over people of other races) which the article does. Unless one wants to be perceived as into character assassination, these things should be avoided.

In a way, it's not the authors' fault. They are being swept along by the new orthodoxy and pressures same as everyone else. Since the George Floyd tragedy the BLM has been winning the victimology Olympics (Bari Weiss' term, just to give her credit, not to prop myself up). If you don't polish up your victimology resume you're falling behind.

Quote
As for mixing up origins... does it really have to be explained why it's offensive to call a Japanese person 'Chinese' (for example)?

No. Especially not these days.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2021, 04:15:05 AM by mahagonny »
'We are raising whole generations who regard facts as more or less optional' - Sowell

mahagonny

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Re: Faculty Policing Each Other
« Reply #52 on: April 08, 2021, 04:32:22 AM »
con't

Quote
In a way, it's not the authors' fault. They are being swept along by the new orthodoxy and pressures same as everyone else.

And they are probably being asked by the diversity industrial complex at their school to provide some helpful tips for keeping the white supremacy monster at bay. Look busy, everyone!
'We are raising whole generations who regard facts as more or less optional' - Sowell

jimbogumbo

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Re: Faculty Policing Each Other
« Reply #53 on: April 08, 2021, 07:40:03 AM »
I ask every student in a f2f class where they went to high school as part of how I get to know them. I learn something about them, and they learn something about each other.

smallcleanrat

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Re: Faculty Policing Each Other
« Reply #54 on: April 09, 2021, 08:45:03 PM »
I'll probably tap out soon, as per Hegemony's advice, but I'll make at least one more effort.

I'll start with some of the points mahagonny made that I mostly agree with (just to be clear that I am NOT trying to defend everything he finds objectionable):

1) I also took issue with how some of this article was written. The scenarios like asking "Where are you from?" just seem far too broad. Similar to the point on complimenting someone's English, it does give the impression that the authors think these things are *never* acceptable. That doesn't make sense to me. Context matters.

But, yes, as I mentioned above, sometimes people are not satisfied if your answer to "Where are you from?" is "Toledo". Some people continue with questions about parents, even grandparents, because what they really want to know is your ethnic background, even to the point of whether you're half and half, one-quarter, etc... It can get awkward. But this article doesn't talk about anything beyond the mere "Where are you from?" question, so I didn't find that advice point very useful.

2) I'm not well-versed enough on the details of the shooting in Atlanta to feel confident commenting on it, but I do agree that too many people prematurely label events like this as racially-motivated hate crimes even when only the barest facts are yet available. That it's a hate crime is one possibility out of many, but you wouldn't know that listening to some commentators. Even after more facts come to light, there's still a tendency to oversimplify causes and motivations (which is true for a lot of pet issues like blaming crimes on video games, religion, lack of religion, mental illness, etc...).

3) Of course the authors of the article don't speak for the entire demographic of Asians/Asian-Americans. But how often can *any* demographic be represented by one or two people? How representative a statement is of the majority views of a demographic seems to me a reasonable fair question. But merely pointing out that it doesn't represent the *entire* demographic doesn't seem meaningful. When is there *ever* perfect consensus on anything within a demographic comprised of millions of people?

The list they generated is still based on the collective experiences of many, many people even if it doesn't represent the views of all.

That's why an objection like "Well, I know someone from that demographic and they don't feel that way" doesn't say much on its own. Because that person doesn't speak for the entire demographic either.

Suppose a white person writes an article criticizing overzealous anti-racists and says that many people, who are not racist and just want to do their jobs in peace, are experiencing high levels of stress and fear of being eviscerated for saying the "wrong" thing as a result. Is it nonsense because that person can't possibly be speaking for all white people everywhere? How seriously would you take a comment that said "My friend Mike is white, and he says he's never felt that way. Who made you the authority on what can and can't be said to white people?"


A few small objections to your previous posts:
1) If you really think the article is implying that if someone says "please call me Felix" you are being racist if you call them Felix, I really don't see that as the authors' fault. I'm pretty sure they were referring to pressure or expectation from others to go by a different name.

Something else I've encountered a lot, not mentioned in the article, is someone saying, "Hi, my name is Thomas" and being asked "What's your real name?" because they see an Asian face and assume "Thomas" can't be that person's given, legal name.

2) I don't think it's common for anyone to claim that being on the receiving end of microaggressions is equivalent to "trauma". That's what the "micro-" part of the word implies. That individually, none of these are a huge deal. They may cause a little irritation, embarrassment, or self-consciousness (excepting some things like the guys who thought "You sucky-sucky?" was a hilarious joke, which cause quite a bit more discomfort). Most individuals won't say anything in the moment, precisely *because* they don't feel it's worth making a fuss over.

It's in the aggregate that little discomforts can have an impact that makes some discussion worth having.

And not everyone who says "This is a microaggression." is saying "This is an example of racism." Sometimes all that's being expressed is a desire for more awareness of how certain actions may affect certain people, while acknowledging that the vast majority of the time there is no malicious intent involved.

As for mixing up origins... does it really have to be explained why it's offensive to call a Japanese person 'Chinese' (for example)?

No. Especially not these days.

3. How are you coming to that conclusion? Because that's not been my experience at all.

And this is one of those things that someone might actually politely interject (similar to someone calling you Vincent if your name is Victor) and say, "Oh, I'm actually Japanese." To which I've often heard some variant of "Oh, well Chinese, Japanese it's pretty much the same" or "Oh, you knew what I meant."

The most recent examples I personally know of are people who don't realize that the words "Chinese" and "Taiwanese" are not interchangeable.

What most disturbs me about your posts, mahagonny, is the way you make claims that the authors of articles like this are accusing all white people of being not only racist, but white supremacists. It's like you mash everyone whose ideas on these topics are different from yours into one bin. Someone who says, "Please don't do this. It's rude and can make a person feel like they don't belong." is no different from someone who makes the most extreme, unwarranted, hateful claims about every white person being some kind of oppressor or neonazi.

I wouldn't blame you one bit if you were extremely angry after hearing someone say "mahagonny asked where I was from the other day. I always *knew* he was a white supremacist. People like him don't belong in civilized society." because it's completely ridiculous and accusations like that can do serious harm.

But I'd be just as angry if I heard someone say, "smallcleanrat called me a white supremacist. She can't stand people like me who won't bow down to her tyrannical efforts to eradicate academic freedom and the First Amendment. I'll bet she's going to petition to have me fired and alert all the liberal media to drag my name through the mud." if I had mentioned to them why a Korean person might not be very happy about being called Japanese.

EDIT TO ADD: Articles like this are not exclusively aimed at white people. I receive emails from various student groups advising how to be more sensitive to issues many black students face. I never say, "Well, I'm not white so none of this applies to me! I can say and do whatever I want to whomever I want! Whoohoo!"
« Last Edit: April 09, 2021, 08:53:17 PM by smallcleanrat »

mahagonny

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Re: Faculty Policing Each Other
« Reply #55 on: April 09, 2021, 09:48:34 PM »
Quote
What most disturbs me about your posts, mahagonny, is the way you make claims that the authors of articles like this are accusing all white people of being not only racist, but white supremacists.

Why did they even mention 'white supremacy' then? It's potent stuff. The best thing I can say about it is it's reckless. Unless your'e talking about true white supremacists. Yes, there was colonization, but we're in a different era now, and the things we are witnessing entail many dynamics.

If I say to a student, Chiang Kim, where are you from? And he says Toledo, I'm going to stop right there. Or I might mention many of my family attended college in the fine state of Ohio. Small chatty talk. I will not follow with 'where are you really from?' I know people don't like hearing that. But I will allow for the fact that someone could ask that in response to the thought process 'persons of Asian descent do not appreciate being lumped together as though their countries are indistinguishable.' Thus, he might be thinking the person from Toledo might enjoy telling him his ancestry is this or that. He should probably know better, because he's been warned, but I'm not going to lecture him or rat him out to the diversity, equity, inclusion and eternal life staff.

Quote
Acknowledge that anti-Asian incidents can produce strong and complex emotions among community members. All those feelings for themselves and others deserve validation. So in the wake of anti-Asian violence, you should take the needed time to center community members’ feelings around that violence. This can take the form of a brief statement discussing this incident’s significance, a moment of silence or an offer of support -- emotional or otherwise. The key is not to act like nothing of importance has happened. At the same time, don’t compel community members directly affected by the incidents to share their feelings.

By now, the white person should be asking himself 'is there any right way for me to act?'

SCR, you make some good points and I appreciate your treating the thread seriously. I don't want to get into a mode of talking past each other, so, enough for now.
'We are raising whole generations who regard facts as more or less optional' - Sowell

Bbmaj7b5

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Re: Faculty Policing Each Other
« Reply #56 on: April 11, 2021, 07:32:35 PM »
I have a very unusual last name and I get "Where are you from?" all the goddamn time and I am tired of it because when I say "Southern California" it is not enough for many.

Here is something to look at.

mahagonny

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Re: Faculty Policing Each Other
« Reply #57 on: April 12, 2021, 02:26:24 AM »
I have a very unusual last name and I get "Where are you from?" all the goddamn time and I am tired of it because when I say "Southern California" it is not enough for many.

Here is something to look at.

But you are a white guy aren't you? We don't get to complain, in case you haven't heard.
I have a last name that I always have to spell for people even though it is spelled exactly as it sounds. And then I also get jokes told about WASPS. 'Why don't WASPS attend orgies? Too many thank-you notes to write."
I'm sick of it too, but you don't hear me complaining, because, as you know, I am too fine a person to be unpleasant.

Once upon a time people solved these things by changing it to something easy. Lester Polfus became Les Paul. Arthur Arshawsky became Artie Shaw. Of course, he did both: solved the problem and then later had an identity crisis over it after the fact. 'I changed my name because I was ashamed of being Jewish.' Many times in life we do something, and then understand what was really going on internally much later.

on edit: I looked at the video. I get it. People interrogate others like that all the time. So glad it was explained.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2021, 03:27:08 AM by mahagonny »
'We are raising whole generations who regard facts as more or less optional' - Sowell

mahagonny

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Re: Faculty Policing Each Other
« Reply #58 on: April 12, 2021, 03:29:07 AM »
con't

...so next time someone says 'why are you brown' one can answer 'I don't think that's any of your business.'
'We are raising whole generations who regard facts as more or less optional' - Sowell

nebo113

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Re: Faculty Policing Each Other
« Reply #59 on: April 12, 2021, 07:56:14 AM »
Mahagonny said, "But you are a white guy aren't you? We don't get to complain, in case you haven't heard."

Where I live

White guys complain all the time

White guys are 99% of elected officials

White guys are 95% of law enforcement

White guys own and edit the local newspaper

White guys own the majority of businesses

White guys put their hands on my shoulder, whether they know me or not

White guys call me sweetie or honey, even if I ask them not to

White guys form and join all white militias

White guys abjure masks

WHERE I LIVE, WHITE GUYS ARE HEARD, LOUDLY AND OFTEN.