Inspection- Helping Others with Their Otherwise Idiotic Talking Point (“Playing the Race Card”)


by Ken Carman

 I used to be a member of a great debate site called Volconvo where ad hominems and other illegitimate debating tactics could get you kicked off the site. Unfortunately the site Inspectionbecame burdensome to the owner (I’m guessing financially) and was placed on Reddit along with many former independent sites. Now it’s really not much of a debate site at all.
 I wish we could Volconvo-ize America.
 Like Volconvo, what passes for debate these days is also really no debate at all. It’s called “framing:” an overly kind euphemism for “bullying,” “name calling” and ad hominem.”
 But I repeat myself.
 Repeat myself.
 Repeat…
 Attempts at humor aside, framing is the political equivalent of wedgies. If you believe framing means, or proves, anything you’re setting yourself up to be no more than the framer’s tool. Framing proves NOTHING: except those who substitute framing for discussion or debate obviously have trouble handling respectful, honest, discussions and can’t debate issues. Framing requires no proof: not even anecdotal.
 However knowing this and flipping it back on the framers can be entertaining; like a cat playing with mice.
 This frequent muse on my part was rekindled via a meme posted by a Facebook “friend” (quotes having double sarcastic meaning here) that you will find posted part way through this edition. It had Hillary in one frame and a black dude at the bottom, claiming this was Hillary without her makeup. (My wife Millie thinks this was a rather uncomplimentary picture of a disheveled James Brown after having been arrested.) The OP I was responding to claimed the meme was racist.
 And other than both targets of the meme being black the racist nature was… where?
 Instead of typing that, I countered that while misogynist, this particular meme wasn’t racist. (You know; the old bogus claim that without makeup women are ugly?) Plenty of Michelle and/or Barack, memes have been racist, but other than the fact Michelle and the dude are black there was nothing specifically about race. The same meme could be made with white people. Aside from that I didn’t find the meme valid in any way, or funny: my only quibble was this specific meme wasn’t specifically racist.
 Of course, if I were to accept the immediate blow back that came my way I would have been their tool. After stating that this proved I was an enabler of racism, perhaps even racist myself, who was obviously lecturing all blacks on what they MUST think about this meme, I suppose I was supposed to just accept the attempted beating and crawl away.
 To quote that famous intellectual, Bugs Bunny, “Dey don’t know me vewee well!”
 I did point out I never typed, nor would I have, that anyone must accept my points. So much for the “lecturing all blacks” claim. People: no matter what color they are, are free to accept all, part or none of anything I type. Just like I was free to accept these posters claims about my intent. NO ONE has to accept their framing, or anyone’s.
 They would have none of that, despite me pointing out how first ladies often get this kind of garbage, like Hillary. Being told I was obviously “upset” and “angry” I was also “informed” those kinds of Hillary memes pretty much don’t exist.
 Hey, guys, do you know with the Google machine those kinds of memes are really, really easy to find? Maybe you’re too busy posting accusations instead of actually countering another poster’s points? I posted one about voting for Hillary featuring her with a big muzzle of a revolver in her mouth about to commit suicide.
 Yup, SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much better than making the claim without makeup Michelle looked like a disheveled man. I’m convinced!
 Not.
 More sarcasm on my part aside, since the strongest blow back was ad hominem based I admit at one point I countered an insult with “idiot.” Yeah, I decided to stoop to their level. Sometimes it’s the only means of communication framers get, and it obviously did get to them because they hyperventilated with insults. By this point it was obvious they had no interest in proving this specific meme actually was racist. I was “obviously” “angry” and “upset,” because I had been “exposed.” The reaction was so predictable when it comes to framers. When you can’t beat someone into submission double down on your mud throwing.
 Chuckle.
 That’s right, my response to even weaker framing was, “CHUCKLE.” And I pointed out I could very well make the similar claims. But I don’t live in their heads, they don’t live in mine. They had no idea what I was feeling.
 What was I feeling? I was having FUN! I did feel sad: one of the posters went away claiming he had had enough of me. Oh, come on, the joy ride has just begun! No, I didn’t type that until now. That would have counted as a taunt.
 But let’s get serious now. A point must be made. One of the eternal attempts to smear is claiming we’re, “Always playing the race card.” My usual response to this claim is, “Then stop dealing the race card.” But this was a case of dealing it to ourselves AND playing it, then acting as if we won! We won! WE WON! Or in current more famous, actual idiotic, vernacular, “You know it, I know it, EVERYBODY knows it!!!”
 Damn I wish he would get some new material. It was bad to begin with. And such obvious false framing. In logical fallacy speak all of these kinds of claims are known as “strawmen.” Most people think you should ignore false framing. I think it might be better to push these turd infested strawmen back into the framer’s faces.
 The wider point being: don’t help the framers. When you paint everything you don’t like as racism, make connections that really aren’t there in one specific moment or meme, you’re only confirming what’s usually a bogus claim, “You’re playing the race card.” You’re helping them prop up the race card strawman.
 Yup, and I was indeed having fun! I must admit, I’ve always been an inspiration junkie. I pull out a guitar to write a song. Or after tapping the mouse, saying to the computer, “Wakie, wakie!” …I start writing prose, poetry or another edition of my column. I live for moments like this. What an incredible high.
 Thanks for the inspiration, guys!

                                        -30-
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses, that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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