Tuesday, September 27, 2005

On Paul Manata and Aversive Racism...




WARNING: This post contains language some may deem inappropriate and, as so, viewable by only a mature audience. Maturity being a highly subjective term and arguable state, you make the call.

As a disclaimer, I am not calling Paul Manata an outright racist. I am illustrating a potential example of aversive racism. That it involves Paul, is merely coincidental, though I will openly admit that his involvement is conveniently beneficial for me, as his notoriety may attract more people to the message. Indeed, in order to argue a case for aversive racism, it is essential that the subject NOT be overtly racist.

That it involves Paul adds yet another layer: providing example of aversive racism truly is the ultimate point of my post, though I will also use it as a means of addressing allegations brought against and attacks attempted on me. Honestly, I had every intention of letting these go unchallenged. I was going to eat it. Brush it off. Not sweat it. I’m not stuttin’ him (there’s more “gangsta” talk for ya, Paul *wink*).

In a comment over at Goosing the Antithesis, regarding my post involving Paul, I had this to say to Paul:

A response is expected and appreciated. Perhaps I misunderstood your post. Maybe you can provide clarification. But I highly suggest you avoid popping shit about me. If that is all you're capable of, then please, by all means, keep my name out'cha mouth unless I autograph my dick. Thank you. [emphasis added]

I fully admit my choice of language and approach unnecessary. Improper? Arguable. Those familiar with Mr. Manata’s diatribes should be aware that, in this context, my approach is not at all out of line. This is not exemplar of a purely academic environment. I simply wished to cut to the point and fully convey my total lack of interest in personal attacks in an arena of debate. I intentionally eschewed formality, general social niceties, and etiquette, to stress this. This is not quite as hypocritical as it may first initially appear: Paul incorporates argumentum ad hominem to the point of excess. I have not attacked Paul personally – I have made judgments on his arguments (“borders on asinine inanity, if not fatuous drivel”). A charge of appeal to ridicule may be brought against me, but in my defense, I posit that, through my analysis and critique of his work, I have established just cause for such assertions.

As a Christian, perhaps Paul is offended by such language (I still can’t find Biblical damnation of “bad words”), particularly my sexual, and thus potentially homosexual, allusion to fellatio. I could have substituted “make my name taste like shit in ya mouth,” but that would have changed nothing.

Pauls response:

"'dumb',

Thanks for the above ammunitian
[sic] as I use it to show your hypocrisy. You pick on me for being mean and rude to the poor atheists, but then use words like you did above about me? It looks like the gangsta can give but can't take.

[…]

Peace out my brotha from anotha motha"
[emphasis mine]

First, as we can see, he has given me a nickname of sorts. In a moment of apparent brilliance, and unparallel wittiness, he has ingeniously, through the mere insertion of the single letter “m”, dubbed (this is a pun) me “dumb.” Total lack of originality aside, this is name calling, and as so a direct assault on me and my character.

Second, my statement has only become ammunition for a new “argument”, as he has been thoroughly disarmed and rendered weaponless on the battlefield of intellectual ballistics and logical logistics in the previous “war” of words to which he is alluding in his charge of “hypocrisy”.

Third: “being mean and rude to the poor atheists”. Note how this is just dripping in sarcasm. Also notice the addition of poor, an obvious appeal to emotion.

Fourth, and finally, here’s where the racism comes in…

My use of such colorful language (seriously - this is not a pun) may illustrate my flair for humor (crass or not). My delivery may even be arrogant. But how is my behavior in any way indicative of violent and criminal-like conduct to a degree warranting the label “gangster”?

But notice, I’m not just a “gangster,” I’m a ”gangsta”. This is an obvious play on what is widely held as a form of black vernacular. I fail to see how it could be anything else, and my point is proven with his addition of “brotha of anotha motha.”

How and why did Paul take it to this level? Even a precursory look at my site may explain. And one need not even read any of my many posts regarding race: a simple look at my sidebar will suffice. He cannot claim to have never been to my site, because elsewhere, previous to this particular remark, he had directly quoted and commented on one of my posts.

But for arguments sake, let us assume he used this particular choice of words as a direct result of what I had said. His decision to include the term “gangsta” is quite telling. He didn’t have to comment on how I said what I said at all, but once choosing to do so, he could have just come right out and made some ridiculous claim of my “talking black” – which I believe he was getting at in his sarcasm, and which in itself carries racist tones.

But he said “gangsta”. Which I think very clearly illustrates a line of thinking that closely, near synonymously, identifies black people - especially young black men - with criminals and thugs.

I can easily draw this conclusion from years of personal experience. Upon hearing language that is perceived to be typical of that used by some black people, or even just as a parody of black people in general (or any aspect of their culture, such as rap music), I have seen far too many white people immediately assume a certain posture, use exaggerated body movements and accent in mimicry, and strew forth some embarrassingly inaccurate string of words no actual black person would ever truly say: Something along the lines of, “Shiiiit, homey/gangsta! I don’t be playin’ that shit. I’mma get me a gat and pop a cap in yo’ ass!” If bold enough, or in what they assume is safe company, they’ll throw in an occasional “nigga” or two.

Most of you, I’m positive, just had a visual.

Risking exposing a bias of my own, I also find it easy to apply a label of racism because of Paul’s very status as a fundamental Protestant Christian, whom I think are merely the housemates, if not bedmates, of white supremacists. I know this assertion in particular will draw heavy criticism, but I firmly stand by it. Later, perhaps in a future post, when time and space permit, I will expound on this thought, as well as the entire topic of aversive racism itself.

My intent here was simply to provide an example.

5 comments:

DUB said...

*I edited the post to fix the links. Blogger really. messed them up something crazy.*

Tanooki Joe said...

If you keep spouting off Phillipics like this I'm gonna start calling you Cicero. :P

DUB said...

LOL. Brilliant allusion. Manasta is no Antony, though (nor Philip II).

I'm glad you're finding something of interest in my ramblings, Brian.

As a sidenote, we really gotta find some mindless pop culture references, or I fear our minds will explode. Actually I think it would be hilarious if all of our allusioons wer Biblical in antaure, like the theist's have a flair for doing.

Funny, but nauseating. Stick with the Demosthenes and Cicero.

Tanooki Joe said...

Don't get yourself into trouble there, Dub. I can make Star Wars allusions something fierce.

DUB said...

That's because you're intelligent enough to see through the mass-marketing and special effects and see the story and all of its allusions.

Like our own struggle in a falling republic and rising empire in a Manichaen time of "good vs evil".

Not that George is anywhere near as cool as Darth Vader.

By that analogy would Gore/Kerry have been Jedis?