The Culture Wars

Gehrman

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How do people feel about this. Yay or nay? It seems to be about banning the word black in lectures and textbooks where it has negative connotations such as "Blackmail", "blacklist, "black sheep of the family" and "black market". In this case I'm feelings are, well why not if we can use different words with the same meaning without negative connections to skin pigmentation.

The link

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/11/28/students-want-black-banned-textbooks-lectures/

In case you meet a paywall I'll just copy/paste the article as it isn't very long.

"
Students want the word 'black' banned from textbooks and lectures
Manchester University undergraduates say using the colour as an adjective is stemmed in 'colonial history' and is now outdated"


University students have demanded the word "black" be banned from lectures and textbooks amid claims it symbolises "negative situations".

Undergraduates at the University of Manchester say the colour's use as an adjective is stemmed in "colonial history", which has become outdated in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Supporters are calling for commonly used phrases such as "black sheep" to be removed from lecture slides and books, while concerns have also been raised about "blackmail" and "black market" during a student union-led audit of racism concerns on campus.

The University said it is preparing to roll out new training and research in response to the unease in order to tackle “racist terminology” and “aggressions”.

In documents seen by The Telegraph,those studying at the red brick institution called for: “The university to ban the use of these words listed above and any other use of the word ‘black’ as an adjective to express negative connotations.”

This is because black is “linguistically and metaphorically associated with negative situations” and “used for bad and unsavoury situations or objects”.

This is part of an “accepted consciousness” of using colours as adjectives that is “situated in colonial history”, the student report stated.

Students in the university's East African, Sudanese, Nigerian and Natural Hair societies canvassed for the report, claiming terms like “blacklist” and “whitelist” should be barred from any written communications.

This ban, they argue, should be imposed on university research papers, lecture slides, and books published by staff.

The University of Manchester, part of the elite Russell Group, has said in a report responding to student concerns that it will address language that is “divisive and not inclusive”.

A training programme is being developed based on the “findings on everyday aggressions” and “this will include the use of racist terminology”.

A spokesperson said: "Racism and discrimination have no place in our University, and all our community of students and staff have a right to expect that they will be treated equally and fairly and can work and study in a safe, secure and fulfilling environment."

The Race Matters report states the institution will consult on “appropriate language to ensure we embed inclusive linguistics into our values”.

However, the alleged “colonial” or racist etymologies of the common phrases which are to be addressed has been dismissed by experts.

Lexicographer Jonathon Green said the phrases were not borne from conscious racism. “An aspect of current identity politics has indeed claimed an etymology that simply wasn't there at the moment of coinage,” he said.

The negative connotations of the nursery rhyme staple black sheep may stem from the commercially less valuable wool of these rarer animals.

Blackmail is believed to have derived from bandits demanding extortion payments from victims near the Anglo-Scottish boundary between the 13th and 17th centuries."
 

Pogue Mahone

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How do people feel about this. Yay or nay? It seems to be about banning the word black in lectures and textbooks where it has negative connotations such as "Blackmail", "blacklist, "black sheep of the family" and "black market". In this case I'm feelings are, well why not if we can use different words with the same meaning without negative connections to skin pigmentation.

The link

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/11/28/students-want-black-banned-textbooks-lectures/

In case you meet a paywall I'll just copy/paste the article as it isn't very long.

"
Students want the word 'black' banned from textbooks and lectures
Manchester University undergraduates say using the colour as an adjective is stemmed in 'colonial history' and is now outdated"


University students have demanded the word "black" be banned from lectures and textbooks amid claims it symbolises "negative situations".

Undergraduates at the University of Manchester say the colour's use as an adjective is stemmed in "colonial history", which has become outdated in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Supporters are calling for commonly used phrases such as "black sheep" to be removed from lecture slides and books, while concerns have also been raised about "blackmail" and "black market" during a student union-led audit of racism concerns on campus.

The University said it is preparing to roll out new training and research in response to the unease in order to tackle “racist terminology” and “aggressions”.

In documents seen by The Telegraph,those studying at the red brick institution called for: “The university to ban the use of these words listed above and any other use of the word ‘black’ as an adjective to express negative connotations.”

This is because black is “linguistically and metaphorically associated with negative situations” and “used for bad and unsavoury situations or objects”.

This is part of an “accepted consciousness” of using colours as adjectives that is “situated in colonial history”, the student report stated.

Students in the university's East African, Sudanese, Nigerian and Natural Hair societies canvassed for the report, claiming terms like “blacklist” and “whitelist” should be barred from any written communications.

This ban, they argue, should be imposed on university research papers, lecture slides, and books published by staff.

The University of Manchester, part of the elite Russell Group, has said in a report responding to student concerns that it will address language that is “divisive and not inclusive”.

A training programme is being developed based on the “findings on everyday aggressions” and “this will include the use of racist terminology”.

A spokesperson said: "Racism and discrimination have no place in our University, and all our community of students and staff have a right to expect that they will be treated equally and fairly and can work and study in a safe, secure and fulfilling environment."

The Race Matters report states the institution will consult on “appropriate language to ensure we embed inclusive linguistics into our values”.

However, the alleged “colonial” or racist etymologies of the common phrases which are to be addressed has been dismissed by experts.

Lexicographer Jonathon Green said the phrases were not borne from conscious racism. “An aspect of current identity politics has indeed claimed an etymology that simply wasn't there at the moment of coinage,” he said.

The negative connotations of the nursery rhyme staple black sheep may stem from the commercially less valuable wool of these rarer animals.

Blackmail is believed to have derived from bandits demanding extortion payments from victims near the Anglo-Scottish boundary between the 13th and 17th centuries."
I’ve always assumed that the pejorative use of black was a fairly ancient fear of darkness/night vs day/light. Nothing to do with skin tone.

In fact, the racist isssue here - in my opinion - isn’t about black sheep or black mail it’s about the way people with African heritage were all lumped together as “black” when they really have skin tones which are variations of brown. A colonial linguistic decision which was presumably inluenced by the long established negative associations with the colour black.

Too late to unpick all of that, though, so maybe being a bit more careful about language will help? Language evolves all the time so not much point getting precious about it.
 

Gehrman

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I’ve always assumed that the pejorative use of black was a fairly ancient fear of darkness/night vs day/light. Nothing to do with skin tone.

In fact, the racist isssue here - in my opinion - isn’t about black sheep or black mail it’s about the way people with African heritage were all lumped together as “black” when they really have skin tones which are variations of brown. A colonial linguistic decision which was presumably inluenced by the long established negative associations with the colour black.

Too late to unpick all of that, though, so maybe being a bit more careful about language will help? Language evolves all the time so not much point getting precious about it.
Well personally I also more connect this use of the language towards light/darkness and not towards skin pigmentation. When I use the phrase "dark night of the soul", I don't think about skin colour or ethnicity of all, but I feel if we can evolve the language towards triggering less connections with race then I feel well why not give it a try.
 

hobbers

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I’ve always assumed that the pejorative use of black was a fairly ancient fear of darkness/night vs day/light. Nothing to do with skin tone.
You can count on it because all of these words will have been coined in a racially homogeneous society. But of course that doesn't suit the narrative.

Also good to see they're still insidiously slipping in the word 'aggressions' into these discussions. Anything to justify making an easy buck on more extortionate and ineffective training courses.

There'd be nothing wrong with trying to phase out these sorts of words but the leap to trying to outright ban them... so obviously counterproductive.
 

Olly Gunnar Solskjær

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Right-wing snowflakes think Ritz Crackers’ queer Christmas ad is ‘dangerous and disgusting’. Yes, they’re raging at crackers

https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2020/12/...ican-family-association-culture-war-backlash/

Conservative activists have declared Ritz Crackers an enemy in the “culture war” after a Christmas ad
featuring a queer couple.
The brand released moving festive ad “Where There’s Love, There’s Family” last month, featuring a number of people finding connection from isolation – including a man who is shunned by his parents, but finds a happy place with his partner and chosen family.​
The ad, part of a partnership with non-profits including the It Gets Better project, riffs on the idea of what family means, concluding: “The holidays are about spending time with family, or the one you make.”​
While there’s very little in the ad to be offended about, that hasn’t stopped anti-LGBT+ conservative activists from bombarding the ad with hateful messages. It has racked up more than 6,000 dislikes on YouTube, and hundreds of hateful messages on Facebook.​
Right-wing activists lash out at ‘disgusting’ advert
One commenter raged: “This is disgusting! Why are you promoting homosexuality? That’s nasty. For shame Ritz, I’m throwing all my crackers out. You’ve permanently lost a customer.”​
Another fumed: “What a sick demented commercial.”​
The American Family Association (AFA), an ultra-conservative lobbying group, has declared war on the company, lashed out at the ad’s depiction of a man “putting on lipstick like a woman and effeminately clinging to another man”, claiming it is intended to “brainwash children and adults alike by desensitising audiences”.​
The AFA has launched a full-scale pressure campaign telling the company to “stay away from social agendas” – less of a dog whistle, more of a fog horn – encouraging supporters to send a pre-written complaint telling Ritz the ad ” will influence my future purchases”.​
The message continues: “I am extremely disappointed that Ritz is refusing to remain neutral in the cultural war.​
“Ritz is pushing the LGBTQ+ agenda on families with its most recent commercial. People who are already confused about their gender identity should not be encouraged to embark on a dangerous and unhealthy lifestyle.”​
The group quoted evangelical radio host Dr Michael Brown, who has previously staged protests at Pride events and advocated for the criminalisation of homosexuality in Uganda. He said: “There is so much confusion in our society today. Same-sex attraction, same-sex marriage, gay Christianity, transgender identity, what’s right, what’s wrong.”​
AFA raged: “Ritz needs to hear from you. Supporting the transgender agenda instead of remaining neutral in the cultural war is just bad business.​
“If Ritz Crackers refuses to remain neutral, then Christians will vote with their pocketbooks and support companies that do.”​
Ritz Crackers remains silent as haters rage
 

utdalltheway

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Right-wing snowflakes think Ritz Crackers’ queer Christmas ad is ‘dangerous and disgusting’. Yes, they’re raging at crackers

https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2020/12/...ican-family-association-culture-war-backlash/

“If Ritz Crackers refuses to remain neutral, then Christians will vote with their pocketbooks and support companies that do.”​
Ritz Crackers remains silent as haters rage
What if Christians refuse to be Christian?
 

Pogue Mahone

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What’s marxist libcafe’s take on corporations making ads that are blatantly intended to make a grab for the pink pound? How dare they exploit the LBGT struggle to fill their bloated coffers? Or good on them for normalising the non heteronormative experience. This is progress.

I’m more inclined to the latter but never sure where the caf commies stand on things like this.
 
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In what might be my new favourite example of bourgoise radliberalism, a New Yorker journalist is furious and dismayed that a luxury ice cream brand hasn't clarified their political stance recently.

To rectify the situation she engages in a Tweetstorm with their communications manager. The whole thing is just peak 'terminally online' lunacy. Fav moments are the consulting fee exchange and appeal to authority fallacy using...Instagram memes.


Might have to scroll up for the start.
 

berbatrick

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Wasn't sure which thread to post this in...but thought this article from Bhaskar Sunkara was great.

What if liberal anti-racists aren’t advancing the cause of equality

Yet even if corporations aren’t driving the race-conscious awakening, they’re willing to adapt to the new environment because the political demands flowing from activists are increasingly compatible with corporate profit-making and governance. Corporations are also more than happy to monetize the new social justice interest.
Companies like Apple, where workers in the secretive Chinese complex that manufactures iPhones attracted global concern after a spate of suicides, just brought out a special edition $429 Black Unity Apple Watch that was marketed for Black History Month. Apple says: “The Black Unity Sport Band is inspired by the pan-African flag and made from soft, high-performance fluoroelastomer with a pin-and-tuck closure laser-etched with ‘Truth. Power. Solidarity.’”
It must come as a relief to the most class-conscious of executives that popular ire and media scrutiny has often fallen upon individual people rather than the system and corporations responsible for unprecedented inequality. It’s convenient for the enemy to be a white worker committing a microaggression on the job while earning $12 an hour and voting for Donald Trump than a chief executive spouting platitudes about diversity while earning $12 a second and donating to Republican Super Pacs.
 

Gehrman

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Pogue Mahone

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So, according to Jonathan Liew, Ronaldo is now part of the culture war.

Delve into the howling wildernesses of the internet, on sites such as Reddit and 4chan and men’s fitness forums, and what Ronaldo embodies above all is something larger than simply goals and medals. To a certain cross-section of disaffected young males from which he seems to draw the core of his fanbase, he represents a sort of ultimate masculinity: vindication, vengeance, pride, indestructibility, physical dominance, the satisfaction of crushing your enemies underfoot. Ronaldo wins, and so by extension everyone else – including the “manlet” Messi – loses.
Who knew?!
 

KirkDuyt

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Ronaldo is really good and stuff, but surely he's not considered the epitome of manliness?
 

Brwned

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Who’s manlier, Ronaldo or Messi? Wouldn’t even know where to start with that question…
 

BusbyMalone

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Isn't he the epitome of the metrosexual, which the "real" manliest of man would scoff at?

I've also seen him described as a "Spornosexual". Honestly.
 

Vidyoyo

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I get his point. It's just that it's not really important unless you spend too much time on the internet, is it? I think these writers need another job tbh.
 

Don't Kill Bill

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Lancet accused of sexism after calling women ‘bodies with vaginas’
The prestigious medical journal has prompted a wave of anger online after a 'well-meaning but unhelpful attempt to be inclusive'


You have to laugh though don't you.

Some how the UK spends more on bodies with vaginas and as a result they live longer. I wish they would neglect bodies with penises to the same effect.
 

berbatrick

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Has any shareholder sued their company for (example) not using child labour?
 

oneniltothearsenal

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Not sure where this article goes but it's an excellent piece both criticizing a book called "Gen Z, Explained" along with the entire concept of generations and how they install preconceived and incorrect biases in our collective consciousness.

"People born within that period are supposed to carry a basket of characteristics that differentiate them from people born earlier or later.

This supposition requires leaps of faith. For one thing, there is no empirical basis for claiming that differences within a generation are smaller than differences between generations. (Do you have less in common with your parents than with people you have never met who happen to have been born a few years before or after you?) The theory also seems to require that a person born in 1965, the first year of Generation X, must have different values, tastes, and life experiences from a person born in 1964, the last year of the baby-boom generation (1946-64). And that someone born in the last birth year of Gen X, 1980, has more in common with someone born in 1965 or 1970 than with someone born in 1981 or 1990."

"The so-called Silent Generation is a particularly outrageous example. That term has come to describe Americans who went to high school and college in the nineteen-fifties, partly because it sets up a convenient contrast to the baby-boom generation that followed. Those boomers, we think—they were not silent! In fact, they mostly were.

The term “Silent Generation” was coined in 1951, in an article in Time—and so was not intended to characterize the decade. “Today’s generation is ready to conform,” the article concluded. Time defined the Silent Generation as people aged eighteen to twenty-eight—that is, those who entered the workforce mostly in the nineteen-forties. Though the birth dates of Time’s Silent Generation were 1923 to 1933, the term somehow migrated to later dates, and it is now used for the generation born between 1928 and 1945.

So who were these silent conformists? Gloria Steinem, Muhammad Ali, Tom Hayden, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Nina Simone, Bob Dylan, Noam Chomsky, Philip Roth, Susan Sontag, Martin Luther King, Jr., Billie Jean King, Jesse Jackson, Joan Baez, Berry Gordy, Amiri Baraka, Ken Kesey, Huey Newton, Jerry Garcia, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Andy Warhol . . . Sorry, am I boring you?

It was people like these, along with even older folks, like Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, and Pauli Murray, who were active in the culture and the politics of the nineteen-sixties. Apart from a few musicians, it is hard to name a single major figure in that decade who was a baby boomer. But the boomers, most of whom were too young then even to know what was going on, get the credit (or, just as unfairly, the blame)"

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/10/18/its-time-to-stop-talking-about-generations