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Author Topic: Smart People Saying Smart Things  (Read 13385 times)
Katastrophikus
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« on: July 25, 2014, 01:25 am »

On the Slacktivist blog (which I started reading years back because of his absolutely gorgeous dismantling of the 'Left Behind' series), he occasionally posts a 'Smart People Saying Smart Things'. It is essentially a collection of articles from around the web from people who are able to articulate a particular point well.

I'd like to do the same here (almost as a counter-point to all the threads we have about horrible people and events). But, because there're a few people here, I'd like to ask everyone to remember the following:
  • Just because a writer/comedian/politician is in this thread, it doesn't mean that everything they ever utter is smart, just the one thing included here
  • Some of the issues are going to be divisive, if you want to start a discussion, start it in another thread
  • Mods, if this thread or posts become a home to horrible people, please delete it

And with that, I'd like to start my first contribution:
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Pz3syET3DY" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Pz3syET3DY</a>
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SteelFan714
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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2014, 01:44 pm »

As anyone who is friends with me on facebook can attest, I'm really going to have to restrain myself to not follow your post up with basically every other segment from Last Week Tonight to date and to come.
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Katastrophikus
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« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2014, 01:04 am »

(you can get killed just for living in)

Looking in from the outside, fed piecemeal by the news so that a total context might not be known, I am having a harder and harder time separating current USA from South Africa a few decades ago.
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Truck Thunders
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« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2014, 02:17 am »

It's not just you. We've backslid pretty hard since 2008, but even before then we were just trying to pretend really hard that racism didn't exist anymore and that just let it fester.
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evilspud
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« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2014, 07:45 am »

Go Kendall

It may be a media tactic but I don't think it's entirely uncalled for. Considering the amount of rage this whole incident has brought up, releasing the officer's name could have (and could still) result in violent repercussions if people track his (or even his family's) whereabouts down.

If only there were some sort of public official who could watch over people whose lives are threatened. Maybe you could give them permission to use force in the act of protecting.

Anyway I digress. Keep in mind, most of the rage in this was not directed at the unnamed officer who shot Michael Brown, it was directed at the public organization that perpetrated what is at the least, very poor police work and on top of it the same shoddy police decide to gear up HARD and occupy the town that is rightfully angered by said poor police work. So hiding from the fact that a terrible thing happened is bound to make people angrier. Or pointing Assault Rifles at them will do it.


Part of the problem is that in the immediate aftermath of a shooting, there's an effort by activists to really spin the innocence/youth/education level of the victim in the most positive way possible. That actually is a mistake, because when it comes out later the person committed a crime, or that Trayvon Martin was not a "child", then it puts the focus on the wrong thing (that is, correcting the initial news that this was a young innocent college-bound kid harrassed by the police for no reason and assassinated due to racism) rather than what should be the focus, which is the inappropriate use of lethal force.


Here are the police statistics in Ferguson from the Attorney General. In 2013 Blacks were stopped over 4600 times in traffic checks. That is about 1/3 of the black population of about 14,000, they were arrested 500 times out of those. White people who make up less than half of the population in Ferguson(38%) were stopped 686 times and 36 of those resulted in arrests. They found more contraband items on whites than blacks and yet somehow it still makes sense to search the black people more, according to the data I cited racial profiling is on the rise for blacks.

Why are black people the only people you hear about stupid enough to fight a person in a uniform with a gun? How are people who deal with police at an extreme rate unaware that some police maybe have it in for them? There is virtually no reason why this man would reach for the gun. He had worked so hard to get out of the bad situation he lived through, and was bound for college in days, you need to prove to me that in this town with it's poorly skewed police work that this boy is not innocent.

How are you going to prove that? How are you going to prove that it isn't in this police force's best interest to portray this kid as just troubled enough to excuse shooting him. You know, in a way that makes this a tragedy still, but one that is less likely to result in folks finally having to answer for a lot of bad behavior. Keep in mind I don't say this as a black man talking about black people, I'm saying that any person with no criminal history or history of anything even remotely close to reaching for a gun from a uniformed official has more of a leg to stand on than a police force with a documented racial bias.

Here's how I look at it. I find that as a black man, despite my protests, no matter what I've done, no matter who I am, I am a nigger until proven otherwise to far more people than I am comfortable with. I am a threat, I am a thug, and if I'm in a suit? I'm a kingpin thug. If I'm playing Hockey? A nigger is trying to act white, how adorable! OH! you are watching Frasier? Why? Is Moesha on Repeat? Racism is like a Hydra, multiple heads that grow from anywhere. So this idea that activists are trying to paint the victim positively? It's mostly due to the fact that it is WELL KNOWN by black people that you will live as a nigger and die as one to most people. God help you if you are poor and black. It's like being born with a giant target on your back.

I live in Los Angeles, supposedly a far cry from any place considered to be a racial trouble spot so to speak, and even still I had to learn these lessons, I was taught how to talk to police because god forbid my mother left me unaware, and I become a news story. For a while, I grew up poor with my mom on Goverment Aid, while putting herself through school for multiple degrees, I lived in a poor area (a few blocks away from the area where they eventually shot the movie Training Day) and we knew how easy it was for a "mistake" to result in the loss of a life that is not seen as important by many people.

My family, and many black families, have no better choice than to shield their children at an early age. I was lucky that I stayed a kid and enjoyed childish things well into high school. I was not allowed to listen to rap music until I could afford to buy it myself. And even then? It was nothing too thuggish, or loud with bass. I didn't sag my clothes, I grew up in an extremely church going family, and you know what? That shit doesn't matter to many people who have control over my life, and how my life is portrayed. Look on Twitter at the hashtag #IfTheyGunnedMeDown, people are posting shady looking pictures of themselves next to their best ones, because they understand this concept all too well. So these activists are on a steep uphill climb, because it's all too easy to find mitigating circumstances to explain that inappropriate use of force, look at Twitter or reddit and find people saying this kid deserved to die for allegedly stealing cigars, they don't even use the word Allegedly that much. It's all too easy to portray someone as a monster when nearly every hero doesn't look like you, and often fights monsters just a few spaces down the color wheel from you.
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Karlski
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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2014, 05:33 pm »

aand that post will be deleted in 3

2

1

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Katastrophikus
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« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2014, 01:01 am »

Hypocrisy oils the belching engine of modern media misogyny.

Elizabeth Warren on creating jobs: ĎThis isnít magic, we actually know how to do this
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Katastrophikus
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« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2014, 12:58 am »

Religious angle aside, I like the thrust of the post: The vilification of a victim
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Katastrophikus
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« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2014, 09:41 am »

Yo, Is This Sexist?
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Johnny Roastbeef
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« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2014, 06:46 am »

On the role Ivy League institutions play in creating the workforce and the value of standardized testing in college admissions.
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Because freshness is expected of any hip-hop artist, I avoid using traditional techniques.
Katastrophikus
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« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2014, 01:10 am »

How Not to Wear a Warbonnet
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Johnny Roastbeef
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« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2014, 07:25 pm »

Can we call Jon Stewart a smart person? Because this is pretty smart. The "make it rain in nerd town" line is fantastic.

http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/8q3nmm/burn-noticed
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Katastrophikus
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« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2014, 04:41 am »

That is fantastic. Jon Stewart is fucking awesome.
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Katastrophikus
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« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2014, 12:51 am »

The Threats Against Anita Sarkeesian Expose The Darkest Aspects Of Online Misogyny
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Katastrophikus
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« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2014, 05:34 am »

David Dunning (of the Dunning-Kruger Effect) on why we are Confident Idiots. Read it NOW
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norumaru
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« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2014, 04:08 pm »

Many of you might have seen this already, it made its internet rounds, but here's why you don't talk to cops.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc</a>
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Don't discriminate, you retards, racism is gay
Katastrophikus
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« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2014, 12:25 am »

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8v-Pd62hq0w" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8v-Pd62hq0w</a>
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evilspud
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« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2014, 01:05 pm »

Many of you might have seen this already, it made its internet rounds, but here's why you don't talk to cops.

The cop's side elaborates more on why you shouldn't talk to cops, but there's a great bit that starts around 28:45
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Katastrophikus
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« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2014, 01:08 am »

Overcompensating
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Johnny Roastbeef
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« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2015, 09:11 pm »

This article is basically a preview/ad for an upcoming book, but it hits a lot of interesting, relevant issues, and incidentally touches on some of the problems of how to actually turn discussion of privlege into meaningful social change.
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Because freshness is expected of any hip-hop artist, I avoid using traditional techniques.
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