How should TSZ handle racism and hate speech?

Elizabeth Liddle, who founded this Website, has recently declared that racist remarks on TSZ should be deleted. Moderator Alan Fox would like to additionally ban hate speech, incitement to violence, and discrimination, where these are proscribed by law. However, at the present time, nothing in the Rules of this Website prohibits racism or hate speech. And how does one define these terms, anyway? In this short post, I’d like to offer a few tentative proposals.

It seems to me that a rule that bans racism alone would be too arbitrary. Why ban racism but not sexism, ageism, ableism, homophobia or transphobia?

In any case, defining racism is no easy matter. The Oxford Dictionary provides two online definitions. On the narrower definition, racism is “the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races” (emphases mine). However, it is highly doubtful whether anyone living in a Western country subscribes to such an extreme view today. Even the KKK would probably reject it: thirty years ago, I watched a KKK member publicly disavow the belief that people of African descent are inferior to whites, in an interview on the NBC Today show.

The belief that most but not all members of race X are inferior to members of race Y is more widespread in our society, but labeling everyone who holds this view as racist would be too broad, as the definition doesn’t specify what kind of inferiority we are talking about (physical? mental? moral? spiritual?). For instance, is it racist to assert that some races have certain physical advantages over others, on average? Surely not. The claim that some races have an intellectual edge over others is more problematic, but I don’t think discussion of this issue should be ruled out of court: it is an empirical matter that science should decide.

The broader definition of racism given in the Oxford Dictionary is “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.” That strikes me as a much better definition, as it highlights two key requirements which must be met for racism to exist: antagonistic behavior, and a belief in the superiority of one’s own race. On this definition, nineteenth-century politicians (such as Abraham Lincoln) who did not believe in racial equality, owing to the misguided attitudes that were prevalent during the time in which they lived, but who displayed no antagonism towards people of other races, would not be counted as racists. (It is true that for much of his life, Lincoln opposed giving black people the vote, but he changed his views on this subject shortly before his death.)

But what about President Donald Trump’s infamous diatribe in his 2015 Presidential announcement speech?

The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems.

Thank you. It’s true, and these are the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.

Many people have criticized these remarks as racist. I’m afraid I have to disagree. First, Trump was referring to Mexicans. Although the very concept of race is vaguely defined and highly problematic, it is generally agreed that Mexicans are a nation, not a race. Second, Trump wasn’t talking about Mexicans as a nation, but about a restricted subgroup: those who immigrate illegally to the United States. And he made it quite clear that he didn’t view members of this group as typical of Mexicans, as a nation.

President Trump would of course deny that his remarks were intended to stir up hate, and he was certainly not advocating any kind of discrimination in his speech. Nevertheless, there was something unmistakably ugly about it, all the same. “Antagonistic” seems an appropriate word to use here.

What about somebody asserting that illegal immigrants to the U.S. commit more crimes on average than other Americans? The claim is a contentious one, which studies don’t appear to back up, although it has its stalwart defenders (see also here). But whatever the truth of the matter may be, I really don’t think that making this claim could, by itself, be reasonably construed as hateful or antagonistic. There is a big difference between making such an observation and antagonistically calling illegal immigrants “rapists” who are “bringing crime” to America, even if you qualify your assertion by adding that “some … are good people.”

Likewise, there’s a difference between somebody pointing out, as a matter of fact, that Muhammad’s wife Aisha was probably nine or ten years old when her marriage to Muhammad was consummated (he was 53), and somebody roundly asserting that Muslims approve of pedophilia. I think it is fair to describe the latter statement as antagonistic. Moving from religion to gender issues, there’s a difference between respectfully suggesting that transgenderism may be a social contagion and that pushing children into transgenderism is tantamount to medical malpractice, and calling transgender individuals a menace to society. In a society governed by the rule of law, it is a moral axiom that nobody deserves to be bullied, no matter how odd or unsettling their behavior might appear to other people. Calling an entire group of law-abiding people a menace to society in a public forum increases the likelihood that such bullying will occur.

In recent days there has been been a spate of comments relating to Jews on a TSZ thread I’d rather not link to, which I find a little disturbing: sly denigration of their claim to be the chosen people, an assertion that Jews are more likely than other nations to steal other people’s land, and a heated discussion where one commenter told a moderator, “[Y]ou sort of align with Hitler.” Yikes. Is this antagonistic? In my opinion, yes.

I’ve never liked the term “hate speech” because it imputes a bad attitude to someone which they may turn out not to have, and because an accusation of hate warrants a high standard of proof. The term “antagonistic” is far less loaded: calling someone antagonistic doesn’t imply that you regard them as a bad person, whereas calling someone hateful does.

So may I make a suggestion? Before posting anything which is likely to arouse bitter controversy on TSZ, people should ask themselves: “Is there a less antagonistic way of expressing what I’m trying to say?” If there is, then try to say it that way. I realize that all of us will probably lapse from this standard of charity from time to time, but it is one we should aspire to.

A simple change in the Rules to reflect this new standard would be to introduce an additional rule covering material posted on TSZ, whereby any material deemed to be clearly antagonistic in the manner in which it is expressed would be deleted (there will, of course, be gray areas), while at the same time affirming people’s right to express any view, no matter how controversial, in a non-antagonistic fashion. Banning people, on the other hand, is a very drastic thing to do, and I’m leery of advocating it. Perhaps a persistent and long-standing habit of making comments which are clearly antagonistic might justify such a ban, but at the present time, I would advise against introducing a rule imposing such a ban, as it would be unwise in the absence of a solid consensus.

Well, that’s my two cents. And now, over to you.

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81 thoughts on “How should TSZ handle racism and hate speech?

  1. phoodoo: Oh, and VJ forgot to mention, he himself is an immigrant in Japan.

    Crikey.

    Reminiscent of the many Brit ‘expats’ in mainland Europe who voted Brexit to curb migration.

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  2. vjtorley:

    Trump was also attacked for wanting to restrict immigration from Muslim countries. But around the world, the majority of Muslims favor making sharia law the official law in their country, with the exception of Muslims in South-eastern Europe, central Asia, Lebanon, Chad, Guinea-Bissau and Tanzania. In south-east Asia, south Asia, the middle East and Africa, sharia law is supported by strong majorities of Muslims. And among sharia supporters in south Asia, the Middle East and north Africa, 78% want religious judges to oversee family law, and a majority want severe corporal punishments for criminals, as well as execution for those who leave Islam. Common sense would dictate that if you’re going to accept immigrants from other countries, it would be prudent not to take those whose values are diametrically opposed to your own country’s values. Viewed in this light, Trump’s attempt to impose a travel ban on just six Muslim countries, which make up a tiny percentage of the world’s Muslim population, hardly seems extreme.

    But many immigrants are trying to escape from the regimes they find themselves under. Syrians would be a prime example. Reminds me somewhat of France’s folly with the minority Protestant groups, the Huguenots, driven out and UK, Germany, Holland and the US gaining extra skilled and industrious people to France’s loss.

    Trump was also attacked for lowering the federal corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. If you also include state corporate taxes, then America’s average corporate tax rate is now 25.7%, which is about average for the OECD. Britain’s is 19.0%, while Ireland’s is 12.5%. So why is everyone jumping up and down and calling Trump eeevil? Why the hate?

    Fiscal policy should be for every country to decide for itself. But with multinationals having more economic clout than many smaller countries, attracting multinationals by lowering corporate taxes is a race to the bottom, encouraged largely by multinationals themselves.

    Trump has also been attacked for doing nothing on global warming, too, and for refusing to sign the Paris agreement. In order to see why the solution to global warming will probably elude us, I’d urge you to have a look at the following three short articles, which are all by highly respected sources. The first is a one-page article by Vaclav Smil, who is Bill Gates’ favorite energy commentator, and it’s titled, “What I see when I see a wind turbine”. He concludes:

    Undoubtedly, a well-sited and well-built wind turbine would generate as much energy as it embodies in less than a year. However, all of it will be in the form of intermittent electricity – while its production, installation, and maintenance remain critically dependent on specific fossil energies. Moreover, for most of these energies – coke for iron-ore smelting, coal and petroleum coke to fuel cement kilns, naphtha and natural gas as feedstock and fuel for the synthesis of plastics and the making of fiberglass, diesel fuel for ships, trucks, and construction machinery, lubricants for gearboxes – we have no nonfossil substitutes that would be readily available on the requisite large commercial scales.

    For a long time to come – until all energies used to produce wind turbines and photovoltaic cells come from renewable energy sources – modern civilization will remain fundamentally dependent on fossil fuels.

    The second is by Robert Samuelson, a journalist for The Washington Post who has been writing about economic and business issues since 1977. His article is cheerfully titled, “Solving global warming is mission impossible”. He has a few suggestions of his own about how global warming might be tackled, but freely acknowledges that they might not work at all. He also writes:

    Trump’s hostility [to the Paris agreement] is not as crazy as it sounds. If suppressing global warming is as hard as I’ve argued, one likely response is a series of half measures that don’t much affect global warming but do weaken economic growth. The politicians’ real aim is to brag that they’ve “done something” when all they’ve really done is delude us. Trump would skip this stage.

    The third is by award-winning journalist Somini Sengupta, writing in The New York Times. Her article was republished in The Seattle Times. It’s titled, “World still depends on coal, cheap, plentiful — and dirty”. She concludes that India and other developing countries will continue to rely on coal until there’s a cheap and efficient way to store energy from solar and wind energy.

    Bill Gates agrees. In an end-of-year message titled, What I learned at work this year, he writes:

    Global emissions of greenhouse gases went up in 2018. For me, that just reinforces the fact that the only way to prevent the worst climate-change scenarios is to get some breakthroughs in clean energy.

    Some people think we have all the tools we need, and that driving down the cost of renewables like solar and wind solves the problem. I am glad to see solar and wind getting cheaper and we should be deploying them wherever it makes sense.

    But solar and wind are intermittent sources of energy, and we are unlikely to have super-cheap batteries anytime soon that would allow us to store sufficient energy for when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing. Besides, electricity accounts for only 25% of all emissions. We need to solve the other 75% too.

    Gates backs advanced nuclear power as the best solution to the problem. Unfortunately, the party which claims to care most about global warming is also stridently opposed to nuclear power, so it won’t happen.

    Elon Musk might disagree with Bill Gates on the possibility of coupling wind energy to battery storage. Isn’t he (Musk) trialling a system in Australia?
    Anyway, I think both Gates and Musk would accept that Climate Change is an issue. I’ve not heard Trump say anything other than climate change is “fake news”. Regrettably, I suspect that, by the time enough politicians can be convinced that climate change is happening, it will be too late to do anything about it.

    Finally, I’d like to present you with a set of numbers. In today’s dollars, the total cost of the Manhattan Project was about 22 billion. The total cost of the Apollo project was about 100 billion. The total cost of fighting global warming, in today’s dollars, will be around $100 trillion. That’s 1000 Apollo projects, of about 5000 Manhattan projects. That’s a HUGE undertaking, and one which dwarfs anything the human race has faced before. Is it any wonder that Trump is reluctant to act?

    Well, how much should we pay to save mankind from extinction?

    And for those readers who wonder why anyone would support a foul-mouthed philanderer for President, I can offer one very simple answer: children. About 887,000 unborn children lost their lives to abortion in 2016. That’s a national tragedy. Trump, unlike all the other “gentleman Presidents” who preceded him, managed to get two pro-life lawyers on the Supreme Court. Maybe at last, the tide will turn, and we can get to see Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs. Bolton repealed or at least restricted, thereby saving the lives of tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of children.

    Women’s reproductive rights, and who should have them, is both a huge and contentious issue and far from the topic of the rest of the OP. Investing a little in sex education for young people, availability of contraception and sexual health, protection of women from abusive relationships, support for women who wish to bear children to term, there’s plenty to argue about, leaving aside religious pronouncements and pressures. Don’t think TSZ, whose clientele appear to be exclusively male, currently, is the place to settle such issues. The Irish approach, with its Citizen’s Assembly was a brilliant strategy.

    Incidentally, Trump’s own views on abortion are far more typical of Americans than Hillary’s were: she refused to condemn even partial-birth abortion, while Trump wanted to allow each state to ban abortion, except in special cases such as rape or incest. Trump’s opinions are middle-of-the-road, nationally: about 43% of Americans say abortion should be legal in all (29%) or most (14%) circumstances, while a majority of 53% say it should be legal in only a few (35%) or no circumstances (18%).

    See phoodoo’s response. Also, Trump’s integrity regarding whether any view he expresses is more than convenience is in question.

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  3. vjtorley: Trump was also attacked for lowering the federal corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. If you also include state corporate taxes, then America’s average corporate tax rate is now 25.7%, which is about average for the OECD. Britain’s is 19.0%, while Ireland’s is 12.5%. So why is everyone jumping up and down and calling Trump eeevil? Why the hate?

    Maybe because we have seen it before, deficits only matter when an Democrat is in the White House.

    Maybe because they were not accompanied by elimination of many loopholes making the effective rate lower.

    Maybe because most were used for stock buy backs not investing in building factories,which was their purported effect, A temporary sugar high for the corporate stock prices

    Maybe beacause as inevitable as the rising sun, when the bill for ballooning deficits created by supply side economics comes due , of no interest to Trump who will be out of office,the shocked Republicans will rediscover fiscal responsibility , the righteous demands for fiscal reform will call for bipartisan belt tightening which will fall not the corporations but the poor.

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  4. vjtorley,

    vjtorley:
    So may I make a suggestion? Before posting anything which is likely to arouse bitter controversy on TSZ, people should ask themselves: “Is there a less antagonistic way of expressing what I’m trying to say?” If there is, then try to say it that way. I realize that all of us will probably lapse from this standard of charity from time to time, but it is one we should aspire to.

    As a rule, it would be nice, but this is a very lousy formulation for a rule. What it prescribes, literally, is both unverifiable, and you forgot the punishment.

    When somebody tells you something (in a way that) you don’t like, how would you respond? Would you ask him, “Before you posted, did you think of a less antagonistic way to express it?” What if the answer is “Yes, I did” despite all other evidence pointing to the contrary? Or would we skip gathering the evidence (which, given the formulation of the rule, would look idiotic anyway) and go straight for a ban or guano declaring, “You apparently did not think for a less antagonistic way to express yourself”?

    My assessment: Nice try. Try again.

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  5. phoodoo: And are you in favor of a wall on the Northern Border as well?

    Have you not had any interaction with the Canadians at this site?

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  6. Alan Fox:
    Vincent’s suggestion wasn’t meant to be a rule; more of a guideline.

    Whether a suggestion or guideline or rule, it is yet another frustrating kickstarter for a debate over moderation in a main thread.

    On the other hand, Vincent’s misguided attempts to defend Donald the Indefensible are cute. Enjoyable to watch.

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  7. Hi Neil Rickert,

    The last immigration reform bill, under president Reagan, included strict rules for checking immigration status before hiring someone. That’s one of the best controls on immigration.

    I agree with you on this point. But my question is: what about companies which refuse to comply with government directives, as is often the case in California and certain “sanctuary states”? Maybe we need a two-pronged approach: rigorous law enforcement when it comes to hiring, coupled with the practical necessity of “a high wall with a big gate.”

    —————————-

    Hi Allan Miller,

    Why are Hispanics more of a problem than WASPs? Asking for a Native American friend.

    It’s not that Hispanics are a problem; it’s simply that their culture is very different in many ways from the traditional WASP culture of the U.S., which means that America has had to adapt to their presence over the past few decades. I believe that when you’re making a change, you should follow the Emperor Augustus’s motto: “Make haste slowly.” Evolution, not revolution. Give people time to adjust. The rate of immigration from Latin America during the past 50 years has been very rapid: 9 million to 57 million is a big jump. Why the hurry? And why not encourage more of a balance, when accepting immigrants? What about accepting more from East and South-East Asia, for instance?

    ———————

    Hi Alan Fox,

    There comes a point when an electorate is entitled to expect results. What has Trump managed to implement?

    Fair question. Unemployment is below 4% (surely some credit is due to Trump here), manufacturing jobs are growing at a fast rate, federal corporate tax rates are 21%, war with North Korea has been cunningly averted, American troops are getting out of Syria, American taxpayers no longer fund organizations providing abortions overseas, and there are two new conservative justices on the Supreme Court. From a Republican perspective, at least, these surely count as achievements.

    USA was built on immigration. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

    Good point, but it was legal immigration. Aside from the fact that the inscription at the base of the Statue of Liberty was never official government policy, the words you quote are part of a poem called “The New Colossus”, by Emma Lazarus. And the poem envisages only legal, government-regulated immigration, where you have to pass through “gates” or a “door”:

    Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

    and

    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    There’s nothing to justify illegal entry into the U.S. in the poem, which was inscribed on the Statue of Liberty in 1903, seventeen years after it was opened. Then-President Teddy Roosevelt remarked just four years later in 1907, “There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all.” For most of its history, America has welcomed immigrants, but on its own terms. Roosevelt’s motto, by the way, was “America for Americans,” which sounds a lot like someone we both know.

    Immigration controls can work to the good of both immigrants and the country of adoption (and the old country – where money sent home can be an important economic benefit).

    I agree. However, there can be too much of a good thing. Nobody thinks America would be better off if the annual number of immigrants were 100 million, for instance. And I ask again: if immigration is such a good thing, why isn’t Mexico taking in more immigrants? Why is only 1% of its population foreign-born, despite the fact that people in neighboring countries have much the same culture and speak the same language (Spanish)? I find that mystifying.

    A simple but effective registration system where it was impossible to employ people without documentation would be far more effective than a wall.

    I strongly support such a system, but I’m not sure whether it would be effective in today’s political climate, where you have lots of companies (especially in California) saying they’ll refuse to co-operate with President Trump’s efforts to arrest and deport illegal workers.

    —————————

    Hi phoodoo,

    And here’s what they found. When there was a porous border between Mexico and America, immigrants would come from Mexico, do seasonal work, then return to Mexico to be with their families. It was mutually beneficial for all parties (why do you think Trump hires so many illegal immigrants?)

    I have no objection at all to people crossing a border, working temporarily for a fixed period and then going home, so long as they have a permit. When it’s illegal, employers tend to drive wages down, and so you get people working for peanuts. That’s not fair to native-born workers: all it does is give employers an extra opportunity to exploit laborers (in this case, undocumented foreign laborers).

    The illegal immigrant who worked as a housekeeper for Trump and who was highlighted in a recent New York Times report, has said she used false Social Security and permanent resident cards to get hired by Trump. I don’t think it’s fair to blame Trump for that. She tricked him, and now she’s saying he should have known he was being tricked. That stinks. She set him up.

    And are you in favor of a wall on the Northern Border as well? What stops the Canadians from taking our jobs? Hint hint, low pay?

    I see no need for a Northern Border. I note also that the population of Latin America and the Caribbean is 652 million; that of Canada, 37 million. And of the 652 million people living in Latin America, 37 million (a number equal to the entire population of Canada) want to live in the U.S. permanently. By the way, Canada’s minimum wage is about 17% higher than that of the U.S., but America’s average wage is about 33% higher. Make of that what you will.

    In reality abortion is supported by nearly 60% of Americans. Amongst those with higher education its over 70%.

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/10/17/nearly-six-in-ten-americans-say-abortion-should-be-legal/

    Well, let’s see what a 2018 survey by Gallup says, shall we? It breaks the abortion question down, case by case, and asks Americans whether they think abortion should be legal in each of these cases.

    Gallup finds that 60 percent of Americans believe abortion generally should be legal during the first three months of pregnancy, known as the first trimester. That support drops by more than half, to 28 percent, once a pregnancy reaches the second trimester; it falls to 13 percent in the third trimester, at which point the fetus is often viable with medical support…

    The reason for the procedure also shapes public opinion on abortion. For the first time in 15 years, Gallup asked Americans about their views on abortion in a range of particular cases, including rape and incest or when the life of the mother is in danger.

    A majority of respondents, 83 percent, said abortion should be legal in the first three months to protect the woman’s life; that number fell to 75 percent in the third trimester. More than three-quarters (77 percent) support legal abortion in the first trimester in cases of rape and incest, though that fell to just over half (52 percent) by the third.

    For the first time, the survey asked about support for abortion rights in the case of a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis… In that situation, 49 percent said they support abortion rights during the first trimester and 29 percent in the third trimester.

    For the survey, Gallup interviewed 1,024 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. The margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

    So there you are. About 80% of Americans think abortion should be legal in the first trimester when it’s performed in order to protect the mother’s life, or in cases of rape or incest, but support drops off after that, even in these cases. And less than 50% of Americans believe it should be legal to abort a Down syndrome unborn child, even in the first trimester of pregnancy. And there’s more. Here’s the actual survey data. Only 45% of Americans agree that abortion should be legal in the first trimester, when the woman does not want the child for any reason; 53% said it should be illegal and 2% had no opinion. So even in the first trimester, only a minority of Americans supports abortion on demand, which is what Hillary and the Democrats advocate for all three trimesters. I submit that Trump’s position is a lot closer to what the average American thinks than Hillary’s radical position.

    Questions about the percentage of Americans that support Roe vs. Wade are bogus, because most Americans don’t know what it said anyway, and when they do tell the public what it said, the way pollsters present the decision is usually loaded. What they don’t tell you is that thanks to another case, Doe vs. Bolton, which the Supreme Court decided in the same year (1973), a woman can demand an abortion even in the third trimester, if she tells her physician the magic words, “I feel that having a baby would damage my mental health.” Even in the third semester, the state may prohibit abortion but is obliged to make an exception to preserve the life or health of the mother. “Health” includes “mental health.” Pollsters don’t tell people that, so asking people what they think about Roe vs. Wade is meaningless.

    But you’re right about one thing: college graduates are more supportive of abortion rights. You can thank four years of political indoctrination by “woke” lecturers and mentors for that.

    Oh, and VJ forgot to mention, he himself is an immigrant in Japan.

    I applied and entered legally. And by the way, the number of foreigners living in Japan is about 2.56 million, or just 2% of the population (compared to 13% for the U.S.). That’s one reason why it’s safe for both men and women to walk the streets at any time of day and night, practically anywhere in Japan. You even see children of eight or nine riding the trains at 10 p.m., coming home from their cram schools, without any adult to escort them. It’s that safe. Japanese are heavily inculturated in their country’s values from an early age: they spend three years in kindergarten, for instance. Thanks to this process, they acquire good manners and norms relating to how they should behave in public, so that for the vast majority of Japanese, violence is literally unthinkable. However, when you have a large number of immigrants from other countries, you have a lot of people who have missed out on this process of inculturation: they haven’t absorbed the country’s ethos with their mother’s milk, as it were.

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  8. I hate to mention it here but how do people feel about “the political correctness”?
    I do not mean to offend anybody, especially some of my really good friends who have ties to the one of the most influencial scientist in the world’s history who happens to calim to be a Jew…same as Hitler for those who are not aware…

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  9. J-Mac: I hate to mention it here but how do people feel about “the political correctness”?

    There’s no such thing, as far as I can tell.

    Yes, people on the political right often complain about political correctness. But I don’t know of a definition for that term.

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  10. J-Mac:
    I hate to mention it here but how do people feel about “the political correctness”?
    I do not mean to offend anybody, especially some of my really good friends who have ties to the one of the most influencial scientist in the world’s history who happens to calim to be a Jew…same as Hitler for those who are not aware…

    Don’t forget Marx Brothers: Groucho ,Harpo, Chico , and Karl.

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  11. Neil Rickert: Yes, people on the political right often complain about political correctness. But I don’t know of a definition for that term.

    A complaint about being criticized for being a dick.

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  12. vjtorley: I agree with you on this point. But my question is: what about companies which refuse to comply with government directives, as is often the case in California and certain “sanctuary states”?

    Think you are confused, sanctuary cities and states do not effect private companies, it limits the types of cooperation between immigration authorities and local jurisdictions.

    My experience in construction is that if you need a shovel, trowel or hammer to be used chances are high undocumented workers will be in the mix. In even the reddest of states. I gather that small dairy operations in the Midwest rely heavily on it.

    The illegal immigrant who worked as a housekeeper for Trump and who was highlighted in a recent New York Times report, has said she used false Social Security and permanent resident cards to get hired by Trump. I don’t think it’s fair to blame Trump for that.

    The way Trump lies, the best way for him to convince people he didn’t know would be to brag how he knew.

    She tricked him, and now she’s saying he should have known he was being tricked. That stinks. She set him up.

    Employers are supposed to check the numbers to make sure they match. Many business collect the numbers and don’t check ,it is all about CYA. People in low level management know who is probably illegal, but they are reliable and good workers and it is good for the bottom line.

    But you’re right about one thing: college graduates are more supportive of abortion rights. You can thank four years of political indoctrination by “woke” lecturers and mentors for that.

    Must of missed class those days,

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  13. Neil Rickert: There’s no such thing, as far as I can tell.

    Yes, people on the political right often complain about political correctness.But I don’t know of a definition for that term.

    Political correctness is a term, I’m told, invented by the left wing.
    Yet its everyone else that uses it.
    What it means is a real thing.
    In our nations we enforce CORRECTNESS by laws.
    then we also enforce CORRECTNESS by social conventions. (We don’t allow big guys to yell at children even if the big guys were in the right. Yet its not the lawbooks that enforce this)
    Political correctness MEANS CORRECTNESS is enforced by those in power. not actual political/legal power but a force that can impose its will.
    This power groups enforce a conclusion of whats right and a punishment for those opposing it.
    SO its seen as POWER and CORRECTNESS ENFORCED.
    Its unrelated to democracy or existing institutions of government.
    Even if a majority agree with the conclusion in whats being corrected STILL its enforcement comes from power groups. not legitimate power.
    It all actually shows that unless power is controlled by the people in their contracts THEN they will be ruled by those power groups.

    To regular folks they see a GROUP enforcing CORRECTNESS unrelated to poular opinion or how its enforced.

    Its politically incorrect to SMOKE in movies/tv. Not illegal by law. Somewhat frowned upon by the public but they wouldn’t demand NO SMOKING in movies. Yet might agree it influences kids etc. YET its poltically incorrect by those zealous groups, anyone, media that there will be no smoking in movies.
    words mean things and PC is as real as anything in human affairs.
    (its also misused.as a term).

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  14. vjtorley,

    What do you think the immigrant population is in Nicaragua (about 1%)? How about Afghanistan? The Phillipines (.2%) . Russia. Pakistan. Eqypt. Burundi, Mali, Ukraine,Armenia, Syria, Brazil, Belarus…

    They all have something in common-very few immigrants living there. You know what else they have in common, all very dangerous places to walk around at night in the wrong neighborhood.

    So don’t give me this nonsense about relating immigrant population size to crime. Japan isn’t a safe country just because it has less immigrants, its safe for many many reasons. You don’t find the immigrants in Japan causing crime do you? Japan is unique for a whole host of reasons.

    You know where they have a lot of immigrants? Canada. You know where is a pretty safe place to live? Canada. Try your luck in the Philippines, see how safe you feel there. But don’t worry, you won’t be mugged by a migrant there. Its also not likely to be a migrant who is going to mug you in New York. Or who is going to go shoot up a school in Florida.

    As far as abortion goes, you know I have spent a few days at some universities. Never once did they teach me what I should feel about abortion. But I bet they do at the church you go to. And at the church the folks in Alabama go to.

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  15. vjtorley,

    Guess what else is true about America VJ? You know who commit a lot of crimes in America? Americans!

    You know who commits much less crime in America? Immigrants.

    “As a percentage of their respective populations, there were 56 percent fewer criminal convictions of illegal immigrants than of native-born Americans in Texas in 2015,” author Alex Nowrasteh writes. “The criminal conviction rate for legal immigrants was about 85 percent below the native-born rate.”

    And

    Another study, published in March in the journal Criminology, looked at population-level crime rates: Do places with higher percentages of undocumented immigrants have higher rates of crime? The answer, as the chart above shows, is a resounding no.

    States with larger shares of undocumented immigrants tended to have lower crime rates than states with smaller shares in the years 1990 through 2014. “Increases in the undocumented immigrant population within states are associated with significant decreases in the prevalence of violence,” authors Michael T. Light and Ty Miller found.

    Since you are so big on facts VJ.

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  16. Hi phoodoo,

    Let me highlight a passage I wrote above:

    And by the way, the number of foreigners living in Japan is about 2.56 million, or just 2% of the population (compared to 13% for the U.S.). That’s one reason why it’s safe for both men and women to walk the streets at any time of day and night, practically anywhere in Japan. You even see children of eight or nine riding the trains at 10 p.m., coming home from their cram schools, without any adult to escort them. It’s that safe. Japanese are heavily inculturated in their country’s values from an early age: they spend three years in kindergarten, for instance. Thanks to this process, they acquire good manners and norms relating to how they should behave in public, so that for the vast majority of Japanese, violence is literally unthinkable. However, when you have a large number of immigrants from other countries, you have a lot of people who have missed out on this process of inculturation: they haven’t absorbed the country’s ethos with their mother’s milk, as it were.

    In other words, if you want a very low crime rate like Japan’s, then a low percentage of foreigners is not a sufficient condition: you also need a culture that takes active steps to inculturate its young people against crime. So you are missing the point when you write:

    What do you think the immigrant population is in Nicaragua (about 1%)? How about Afghanistan? The Phillipines (.2%) . Russia. Pakistan. Eqypt. Burundi, Mali, Ukraine,Armenia, Syria, Brazil, Belarus…

    They all have something in common-very few immigrants living there. You know what else they have in common, all very dangerous places to walk around at night in the wrong neighborhood.

    Afghanistan, the Philippines, Russia, Pakistan, Eqypt, Burundi, Mali, Ukraine, Armenia, Syria, Brazil and Belarus: not exactly countries with a strong tradition of rule of law, or a deep-seated abhorrence of violence, are they? In these countries, the inculturation process that occurs in Japan clearly isn’t taking place. No wonder they’re dangerous.

    You also touted the safety of Canada, where the percentage of foreigners is 21%. Sorry, but the facts don’t bear you out here. Canada’s intentional homicide (murder) rate per 100,000 inhabitants is 1.68, which is six times higher than Japan’s, at 0.28 (see here). Canada’s rate is also higher than that of the U.K. (1.20), New Zealand (0.99) and Australia (0.94), but far lower than that of the U.S. (5.35).

    You would have been better off citing Singapore (where the murder rate is 0.32 per 100,000 vs. 0.28 for Japan) as an example to boost your case: in Singapore, the percentage of foreigners is about 30%, vs. 2% for Japan. So why is the crime rate so low in Singapore? You might like to have a look at this short video. The answer, in six words, is: constant video surveillance and stiff sentences. That’s one way to go, but let me point out that Singapore is a small island (721 square kilometers), and that Japan is over 500 times larger (378,000 square kilometers) but still manages to achieve a slightly lower murder rate.

    And it isn’t just the murder rate, either: the incidence of rape and theft is much, much lower in Japan than in America, the U.K. and France.

    You also asked about the crime rate for foreigners in Japan. The short answer is: it depends on the nationality. You might like to have a look at this article. Summing up, the author declares:

    Having a look at the statistics above, the highest rate of criminals and offenders combined by nationality is found respectively among Russians (0.871%), Chinese (0.860%), Thais (0.530%), Brazilians (0.428%) and Philippinos (0.409%). Considering continents, the highest crime and offence rate is however held by the Africans (0.954%).

    The Japanese crime rate is 0.340%, which is similar to the Asian average of 0.314%, but about 10 times higher than that of Western countries, with Oceanians at 0.0044%, Europeans at 0.042% and North Americans at 0.029%.

    The Koreans have the lowest crime and offence rate (0.086%) of any non-Western country, which is worth mentioning as they are the single largest group of foreigners in Japan, accounting for 1/3 of all foreign residents…

    What these number teach us is not to assimilate neighbouring countries haphazardly. In Japan, the Chinese commit 18x more crimes than the Koreans, and the Russians have 10x higher crime rate than the other Europeans. At the extremes, a Chinese is statistically 26.75 times more likely to commit a crime than an American (USA).

    I should caution that the article was written in 2004, so it’s likely to be somewhat out-of-date. Interestingly, some nationalities have a lower crime rate than the Japanese, but bear in mind that Japan is selective about whom it accepts: it screens applicants very carefully.

    More recently, “[t]he reputation of Vietnamese people living in Japan has been tarnished following a Japanese police report that said they committed more crimes than any other foreign non-permanent residents living in the country last year,” according to a 2018 report in VN Express International (Japan’s most-read Vietnamese newspaper).

    Finally, you claim that immigrants to the U.S. commit fewer crimes per capita than native-born Americans, and that’s certainly true for legal immigrants (who often arrive when they’re in their twenties, at an age when they frequently have [or soon will have] young children to support). But what about illegal immigrants? In my OP, I mentioned the diversity of opinions on the subject. I don’t feel qualified to pronounce on the real crime rate for a shadowy population of people whose names are unknown and whose numbers are variously estimated at between 11 and 22 million. However, you may be interested in perusing the following articles, which argue that illegal immigrants have a higher crime rate and in particular, a higher murder rate:

    Mollie Tibbetts and the Lower Alien Crime Rate Lie by Daniel John Sobieski (American Thinker, August 27, 2018)
    Illegal Aliens Commit Fewer Crimes Than U.S.-Born? Not So Fast by Julie Kelly (American Greatness, August 27th, 2018)
    How Vox Misleads the Public About Immigrant Crime by Pedro Gonzalez (American Greatness, August 27th, 2018)
    Yes, NPR: Illegal Immigration Does Increase Violent Crime by Pedro Gonzalez (American Greatness, May 7th, 2018)
    Do Illegal Immigrants Commit More Crimes than Americans? by Christopher Ingraham and Julie Kelly (The Perspective)

    I’m no expert on this matter, so I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions. Cheers.

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  17. vjtorley,

    Oh for crying out loud, what ridiculous complete changing of your theme. First it was about how bad aliens are. When I showed you how wrong this was, (besides trying to throw out a bunch of far right nonsense spin sites) you now are claiming that what you really wanted to talk about was rule of law. Yea, Japan has rule of law, they have no guns. How’s Trump doing on that front?

    Do you really think your far right conspiracy sites can change the fact that illegal aliens commit much (much much) less crime then regular Americans? If you wanted to fix the crime rates in America one of the best ways to do that would be to replace all the locals with immigrants. That would bring it way way down!

    You then wanted to tout how England is even safer than Canada. Wow, You think England has no immigrants? And New Zealand? Yep, plenty of immigrants.

    But since that wasn’t working for you, you wanted to change to rule of law. You don’t think America has harsh penalties for crime? Haha, gee, you must be spending a lot of time on far right sites VJ. Did you know we have the death penalty? Did you know we use it a lot? Do you know we have a lot of prisons? I mean a LOT!

    So what you really wanted to say was, I like trump, because he is a far right nutjob, just like all the people on the crazy websites I read, full of white nationalists who are much more violent then the immigrants they are so worried about.

    You know what makes America such a dangerous place? Its a country full of far white nutjobs, and out of control police, and out of control capitalism disenfranchising major sections of the population. So you got lots of drugs, lots of guns, lots of economic disparity, lots of racism, lots of people who only care about their social class, lots of stratification of economic levels, and a ruling white (mostly Republican, corporate backed) Government that let’s some people who control the system get really really rich, whilst you have a shrinking middle class that can barely afford housing and groceries.

    And immigrants have virtually nothing whatsoever to do with these problems.

    So what has trump done that has is so great? Well, he has certainly contributed to increasing that economic disparity, that is for sure. And he has certainly given a lot of money to the military. And he has certainly caused a whole lot of debt (sort of like all the companies he ran into the ground). But how about unity and peace, how has his contribution to that gone so far? Not so great, huh?

    Oh, but maybe they will outlaw abortion, whoopee! That will certainly make the country great again.

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  18. phoodoo,

    I never cease to be baffled at the refusal of leftists to even look at articles which contradict their worldview, simply because they are found in “right-wing” publications. How do you spell ad hominem? And why should I believe your sources?

    Re Canada: you were the one who said that Canada’s safety compared favorably to that of Japan, when its murder rate is actually six times higher. You then cited the U.K. and N.Z., whose murder rates turn out to be over three times higher. And it’s not just homicide: Japan’s overall crime rate is very low, as I showed in my previous post. Culture has a lot to do with that. Inculturation is a process that begins when a child is born.

    I’m not really interested in the many and complex reasons why America is such a violent country. America is just one among many Western countries, all of whose crime rates are well in excess of Japan’s. But I will say this: leaving your border open and allowing somewhere between 11 and 22 illegal immigrants to wander around inside your country doesn’t help matters. It’s a recipe for chaos. It takes a peculiar kind of blindness not to see that – particularly when illegal immigrants (not legal ones) make up a quarter of federal prison inmates. Willfully insisting that illegal immigrants have a lower crime rate, when you have been presented with articles which expose the faulty logic behind that assertion, won’t help your case.

    You suggest that replacing all the locals with immigrants would lower the crime rate. OK, let’s try replacing Americans with Brazilians. America had between 17,000 and 18,000 murders in 2017; Brazil, despite having a smaller population, had between 56,000 and 64,000. What about Mexico? 2017 was Mexico’s deadliest year on record, with 31,174 murders recorded, despite the fact that its population is about three-eighths of America’s. America’s legal immigrants are pretty well-behaved, but I really don’t think that mass immigration from below the border is going to help you to lower the crime rate.

    Re rule of law: the point I was making had nothing to do with the U.S. You were the one arguing, “Look at El Salvador. Very few foreigners, but the murder rate is sky-high.” I replied: that’s because they don’t have a culture that teaches people to respect the law, whereas Japan does. It’s a simple point, and I could hardly have been clearer. Low immigration is not a sufficient condition for a low crime rate. Indeed, it is not even a necessary condition, as I acknowledged in the case of Singapore. However, I pointed out that Singapore has a low crime rate because of constant video monitoring of residents (which is possible on a small island, but not in the U.S.), and very harsh penalties. For you to point out that America has harsh penalties too is beside the point, as America doesn’t have the kind of surveillance that Singapore has. Americans wouldn’t stand for it.

    Re Trump and abortion: last year, 412 people died trying to enter the U.S., compared to 887,000 unborn children who die as a result of abortion in the U.S.each year. Oh, and by the way, according to official government statistics, the poverty rate in the U.S. fell to 12.3% in 2017, down from 14.8% in 2014. So much for economic disparity.

    I think it would be fruitless for me to say any more, so I shall lay down my pen here.

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  19. vjtorley,

    You think I was arguing that Japan isn’t a very safe country? Gee, startling news there VJ. What in the world does that have to do with donald trump or illegal immigrants?

    Japan is still safer than America. Wow. Did you learn that from American Greatness magazine?

    Holy cow.

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  20. vjtorley: Re Trump and abortion: last year, 412 people died trying to enter the U.S., compared to 887,000 unborn children who die as a result of abortion in the U.S.each year. Oh, and by the way, according to official government statistics, the poverty rate in the U.S. fell to 12.3% in 2017, down from 14.8% in 2014. So much for economic disparity.

    Oh my goodness, why didn’t you mention that poverty levels had been falling for three years straight, starting in 2014! I wonder how that happened? Oh right, Obama!

    Oh, and there is this:

    When the poverty measure was first established in 1959, 22.4 percent of individuals were living in poverty.

    In the first 10 years of the measure, from 1959 to 1969, poverty seemed to move in one direction — downward — falling 10.3 percentage points in that 10-year period.

    Curse you Democrats!

    However, sustained, long-term progress in lowering poverty rates has been more difficult in subsequent years.

    Even after recent declines, the 2017 poverty rate of 12.3 percent is not statistically different from the rate in 1970. Since 1970, the annual poverty rate has increased 14 times and decreased 17 times.

    Year-to-year increases in poverty in the 14 years when the rate went up tended to be higher, an average of 0.8 percentage points. In contrast, the average annual drop in the 17 years when poverty declined was 0.6 percentage points.

    But wait it gets worse VJ

    This three-year run of declines in poverty reflects the longest stretch of annual declines in the poverty rate since the four-year period of 1997 to 2000.

    Who was President then, must have been, wait wait, dam, another Democrat! Shit.

    And why are you only counting 887,000 that didn’t get born? Heck, I must be responsible for at least a few million children that didn’t get born; and that’s just last week! Never mind what happens at porn-con.

    I am sure VJ never met a statistic he couldn’t distort.

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  21. vjtorley: I’m not really interested in the many and complex reasons why America is such a violent country.

    I never cease to be baffled at the refusal of rightists to even look at articles which contradict their worldview.

    Honestly, VJ, your posts on these kinds of topics are chock full of right wing propaganda. I don’t think you even recognize it.

    I was born and grew up in Australia. It was a pretty peaceful society. Relatively low crime. There was no racism, because we pushed the aborigines to places where we would not notice them.

    Yes, there is more crime and violence in America. As the saying goes, violence is as American as apple pie. But immigration, and the resulting diversity is a long tradition in America. And, having accepted American citizenship, I respect those traditions. As for violence, the greater risk is from all of those gun-toting right wing crazies.

    You really have a very poor understanding of the immigration situation here. What you are mostly doing, is promulgating right wing myths.

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  22. phoodoo: In other words, if you want a very low crime rate like Japan’s, then a low percentage of foreigners is not a sufficient condition: you also need a culture that takes active steps to inculturate its young people against crime. So you are missing the point when you write:

    Exactly right. With

    In other words, if you want a very low crime rate like Japan’s, then a low percentage of foreigners is not a sufficient condition: you also need a culture that takes active steps to inculturate its young people against crime. So you are missing the point when you write….

    Vince cutely switched from his earlier nonsense to the weaker claim that a lot of immigration was at least a NECESSARY condition for a lot of crime. But you had refuted that claim with your posts above as well.

    I guess he thinks we’re not actually noticing what he’s writing because he writes so much.

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  23. Neil Rickert: I never cease to be baffled at the refusal of rightists to even look at articles which contradict their worldview.

    Honestly, VJ, your posts on these kinds of topics are chock full of right wing propaganda. I don’t think you even recognize it.

    Yeah, it’s weird. He sometimes seems like a fairly bright guy. But get him on a certain range of topics involving politics or religion and……BLAM! we get complete bullshit from him.

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  24. This is a question, not an opinion. Are employers allowed to ask applicants about their citizenship status?

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  25. petrushka: This is a question, not an opinion. Are employers allowed to ask applicants about their citizenship status?

    I’m not sure. I think they’re required to. At least if they need to present a social security number for tax documents.

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  26. Kantian Naturalist: I’m not sure. I think they’re required to. At least if they need to present a social security number for tax documents.

    Not before they offer the job, after they are required to verify it.

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  27. In Europe most countries have opened their borders…More countries will continue to join the border free travel and trade in EU.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Area

    Almost anybody can travel and work in other countries than his native land…

    Why is US trying to build the wall along their borders? What are they trying to protect? Maybe US is trying to make sure that 47 million Americans on social assistance don’t get any ideas and try to escape to Europe through Mexico? lol

    Brexit = BrickIt is just an Anglo-American phenomenon…lol

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  28. What are the crime rates involving guns among pacifists other than the refusal to carry them during the world wars or major international conflicts?

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