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Hyphenated Identity: Nationality and Ethnicity

Aug 18, 2016
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I am starting this thread due to comments in the Laura Ingrahm thread made by those who wonder why folks in the US hyphenate their ethnic identity. This is a thread that should have been made during the the Trevor Noah controversy concerning the French winning the World Cup, and the French Ambassador insisting that the players were not Fro-French, but simply French despite jokes from those like Noah, and the rage of racist/xenophobes/butthurt fans that France won.

You can watch the original bit in this tweet:

And then his response to the French Ambassador here:

VOX has a good summary.

France is one such nation state that fully embraces everyone under her umbrella as French. Even countries like Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, and Uganda are considered francophone rather than a "French colony." There is no differentiation in the culture, like there is with England, where one might say "Afro-British."

To segue into the United States, no other nation in the world was founded upon the division of race like America was. When the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves of 1807 was passed in the US, the British Empire also passed the Slave Trade Act 1807. However, when Britain passed Slavery Abolition Act in 1833, the Antebellum South tripled-down on the internal chattel slave system.

By the time abolition was legalized in the US, immigration was well underway. Most folks think of Ellis Island at the turn of the century, however, I point to the Page Act of 1875 and the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 to demonstrate that the US was legally enacting racially exclusive laws for individuals who could not identify as white right on the heels of Reconstruction. I underscore that these were federal laws, not that hillbilly Black Codes stuff which would come later.

So back to Ellis Island, yes, that's where you get German, Dutch, Irish, Italian, etc immigration. It is important to recognize that while people of these ethnicities once lived in their own ghettos (insert your stereotypes about Irish policemen and Italian mobsters during prohibition here), one also must remember Plessy v Ferguson in 1896, which would rally those who were embittered by defeat during the Civil war, as well as those who were anti-slavery, but would cuss if you said that blacks were equal to white despite the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments.

In other words, White Supremacy was a trending thing. Long story short, if you descended from one the racially white, ethnically European immigrants, yeah, you could identify as "Italian-American," but the white, anglo-protestants would call you a Guido. If you were an Irish Catholic, you were a Mick. To drop these stigmas, these groups would gradually self-identify simply as white. (Here's the part where people begin to remember name changes for better blending-in).

However, as I mentioned above, those who could not pass as white could not enact this simple solution. We are well aware of the N-word; black people would be identified through the first half of the 20th century as as colored, Negro, Negro-American. During the Black Power movement (The French equivalent of Black Power, Negritude, took place long prior), blackness was recovered as good rather than bad. Some even opted to recover their "Africanness," hence, "Afro-American" or "African-American became a thing, and the latter is henceforth the "politically correct" way to refer black people.

Black people have long been citizens of the United States, but they are not white, which is the default, status quo understanding or expectation of what "American" means. Only outside of the US would it be awkward for a black person to identify as "African-American," because again, no other country has the long racial strife of segregation, Jim Crow, lynching, nadir, Civil Rights, Japanese internment, Zoot Suit riots--race riots in general--that the US has.

Most other countries are diverse in ways beyond race and ethnicity. For example, there are five nationally-recognized religions in China. There are 22 official languages in India.

Meanwhile in the US, we have

Asian-Americans (because most Americans can't tell the difference between a Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, etc)
Mexican-Americans (Latin America!!!)

and so on.

When you hear "Make America Great Again," it's a rallying cry that is, like white supremacy, racially exclusive. This is why Laura Ingraham was trending the other day due to her fear-mongering that America is "in danger," because the dream of a white ethnostate is "in peril." This is why we hyphenate, to differentiate from that toxicity.

So will there ever be a time when all Americans won't have to hyphenate?


Check back in perhaps another 241 years.
 

phisheep

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I'm getting to like these longer posts where there is something to get your teeth into. One of the benefits of new-GAF being that we've got time to think things through a bit.

So I just want to make two quick points here before getting back to you at more length over the weekend probably.

1) I've lived in - and all over - the UK for 60 years and I've never ever heard the term "Afro-British" or even any close equivalent, so I've some doubt over wherever that leads to.

2) It occurs to me that the USA isn't entirely unique in its racial structure, and that maybe a comparison with South Africa might bear some fruit (though there, obviously, the minorities and minorities are switched around and the balance of power has done an about-face).

Lemme ponder it a bit.
 

pramod

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Kinda stopped reading when you cited China and India as examples of inclusive non discriminatory cultures.
 

DeepEnigma

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Get rid of the damned hyphens and just call yourselves what you are, Americans. This goes for every color and creed. Irish-Americans, Italian-Americans, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, etc.. If this is your country of origin, it should serve as precedence.

Further adopting these identity politics just pushes one further away from each other.

Jessie Jackson kept pushing it as an alternative to black (yet he has no issue using the term 'white') and making it ever more popular than it ever was in the 1980's even though it goes further back but was not a common "PC" term prior.

https://yalealumnimagazine.com/articles/4216-the-origin-of-african-american
 

JordanN

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When you hear "Make America Great Again," it's a rallying cry that is, like white supremacy, racially exclusive.
I thought we only saw this garbage on Resetera? Now it's spreading to GAF too?

Why even bother splitting websites if there are still people here who believe "all Republicans are Nazis"? It makes debating pointless when agendas are being pushed.
 
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MC Safety

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If it helps you define your identity, go right ahead and hyphenate.

But let's be honest: The hyphenation is often done by people born in America and who have no history with or ties to any other country or continent.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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I'll bring up something that is often glossed over when discussing hyphenated-race identity (African-American, Chinese-American, etc):

Less than 100 years ago we were calling our black citizens "Negros" as well as words that don't need to be re-typed. Following Civil Rights, there was an open question as to what parts of our lexicon needed replacing. I mean, I've met people from that era who called brazil nuts "n***** toes" without knowing what they were saying. To me, that's absolutely bonkers. Even today, depending on the context you can be grilled for saying "black man", and -- at least in my part of the country -- absolutely no one refers to black people as "Negros" in polite company. The USA has gone through 60+ years of uncomfortable back-and-forth about what words were or weren't polite to say when discussing race.

What does this have to do with the topic at hand?

I always considered "African-American" to be the ultra-safe, politically-correct term for a black person. I'm not uncomfortable calling someone "black" or "brown" just like I don't mind if someone calls me "white" as a general descriptor. But sometimes even saying "black" can be viewed with a sneer. So, pretty much anyone I know who is sensitive to racial issues will say "African-American", because it refers to their heritage, not the literal color of their skin.

I'm fine if we all do away with Hyphenated-American races. It makes sense to me. I can't think of any situation where I've been called "Irish-, German-, or Jewish-American", yet people with different skincolor than me get called "____-American". I do see that as an unnecessary divide and I'd be fine doing away with it all.
 
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strange headache

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I'm afraid there aren't enough hyphens in the world to accurately describe me as a person. But hey, if you desperately want to put a label on yourself, be my guest.
 

Gander

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Get rid of the damned hyphens and just call yourselves what you are, Americans. This goes for every color and creed. Irish-Americans, Italian-Americans, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, etc.. If this is your country of origin, it should serve as precedence.

Further adopting these identity politics just pushes one further away from each other.

Jessie Jackson kept pushing it as an alternative to black (yet he has no issue using the term 'white') and making it ever more popular than it ever was in the 1980's even though it goes further back but was not a common "PC" term prior.

https://yalealumnimagazine.com/articles/4216-the-origin-of-african-american

 

Super Mario

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People are so caught up and distracted by identity politics, that they think that racial issues are unique to America. We can just get everyone to flip the tolerance switch, and the problem is fixed.

Unfortunately, it is much deeper than that. Tribalism is on a psychological level. It exists in every country, and is not going away anytime soon. It's recently that our weaknesses have been weaponized against us for political gain. As soon as we can stop playing "the victim race" games, then and only then will we start to make progress.
 

JordanN

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Unfortunately, it is much deeper than that. Tribalism is on a psychological level. It exists in every country, and is not going away anytime soon. It's recently that our weaknesses have been weaponized against us for political gain. As soon as we can stop playing "the victim race" games, then and only then will we start to make progress.
The problem is Politicians always want votes. If they can exploit the hell out of something to stay in power, they'll do it.

So unfortunately, we wont ever see the victim games go away. If anything, the events after the 2016 election shows it's increasing.
 

take_it_easy

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To segue into the United States, no other nation in the world was founded upon the division of race like America was.

....

Most other countries are diverse in ways beyond race and ethnicity. For example, there are five nationally-recognized religions in China. There are 22 official languages in India.

Meanwhile in the US, we have

Asian-Americans (because most Americans can't tell the difference between a Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, etc)
Mexican-Americans (Latin America!!!)

and so on.


So will there ever be a time when all Americans won't have to hyphenate?


Check back in perhaps another 241 years.

Check the list of genocides, a cursory glance shows that many are race/ethnicity based: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_genocides_by_death_toll

Asia, Africa, and Europe dominate the list. Take note that the darfur (Africa) genocide is listed as ongoing. Darfur has resulted in one of the most recent changes to our list of countries: south/north sudan. Ever seen a map of their ethnicitys and how the border looks laid over that?
The claim that "no other nation in the world was founded upon the division of race like America was." is laughable and sadly pretty ignorant.

Humans are always going to find ways to more efficiently interpret the world by classifying groups of people by different attributes. Those attributes might be religion, language, national origin, sexual identity, or physical attributes. Race happens to be one of the easiest/laziest ways to do so. So long as we have brains and are not physically identical we will have people identifying by race.

I do agree with "check back in 241 years". Over time genes mix and a new race/ethnicity is born. Our descendants may have a new checkbox to consider when selecting race: American
 
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Gander

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People are so caught up and distracted by identity politics, that they think that racial issues are unique to America. We can just get everyone to flip the tolerance switch, and the problem is fixed.

Unfortunately, it is much deeper than that. Tribalism is on a psychological level. It exists in every country, and is not going away anytime soon. It's recently that our weaknesses have been weaponized against us for political gain. As soon as we can stop playing "the victim race" games, then and only then will we start to make progress.

Imagine someone saying this to you:

"Ok I'm going to bash you mother's head in and what you need to do is not be mad about it or tell me not to."

That is what you are saying, when you say drop Identity politics because black people are being harmed by police but any peaceful protest of this is met with, "Stop Complaining."
 

Ke0

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It seems to me hypenated-American is used by the majority to quickly classify minorities by visual cues and minorities simply being fine with it but wanting respectable titles instead of things like "negro".

It's why most people in your country don't use say as an example "German American" for a white American of German heritage because you can't tell by visually looking at them unless they tell you they are.

So in that case because of the very unique racial history of America and the current racial animosity, fear, and political dog whistles of your country the hypenated-American thing is never going away.

I mean just look at how every Latino in the US is "Mexican" or an "illegal" regardless of their heritage or if they're citizens or not, the absolutely flippant use of language and purposeful abstraction of situations keep these kind of divisiveness going, and that kind of rhetoric is common and cheered upon.
 
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LegendOfKage

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When you hear "Make America Great Again," it's a rallying cry that is, like white supremacy, racially exclusive.

I posted this the other day, but here it is again:

It's extremely vague, and that's the point. It means whatever you want it to mean. Same with "Hope" from Obama's campaign. Here's Reagan using both in less than 10 seconds from one another.


So, yes, I do think it could be construed as a dogwhistle. Because, as I said, it means what you want it to mean, and some liberals really want it to mean a dogwhistle. That's the two way street of being vague. I imagine conservatives had all sorts of eye-twitching responses to whatever they thought Obama was "Hoping" for.
 
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Sakura

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This is hardly something unique to America, and I don't really think it has anything to do with whether you are white or not.
In Canada for example we say Anglo Canadian, French Canadian, German Canadian, etc. These are all white peoples but many of us still choose to identify as our ethnic roots rather than just responding Canadian. In fact, in the 2006 Canadian census, only a third of the population actually answered that they were Canadian for ethnicity. I think a major factor is that many peoples want to keep their culture and ethnicity when immigrating. Chinese people born in Canada will often self identify as Chinese. My dad's family is from England, and they often talk of how English they are. Countries like Canada and America are countries comprised of immigrants, and didn't really have an original unique culture. It's a combination of cultures from elsewhere. It is not uncommon for white people to ask other white people where they or their family are from, even if they are both born and raised Canadian. I don't think hyphenation is because of toxicity, and I don't think it will go away, because groups self hyphenate to represent their heritage.
 

SLoWMoTIoN

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This is hardly something unique to America, and I don't really think it has anything to do with whether you are white or not.
In Canada for example we say Anglo Canadian, French Canadian, German Canadian, etc. These are all white peoples but many of us still choose to identify as our ethnic roots rather than just responding Canadian. In fact, in the 2006 Canadian census, only a third of the population actually answered that they were Canadian for ethnicity. I think a major factor is that many peoples want to keep their culture and ethnicity when immigrating. Chinese people born in Canada will often self identify as Chinese. My dad's family is from England, and they often talk of how English they are. Countries like Canada and America are countries comprised of immigrants, and didn't really have an original unique culture. It's a combination of cultures from elsewhere. It is not uncommon for white people to ask other white people where they or their family are from, even if they are both born and raised Canadian. I don't think hyphenation is because of toxicity, and I don't think it will go away, because groups self hyphenate to represent their heritage.
B...but Canada is America.
 
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I agree with you Phoenix. I can't really add anything because you put together a great OP.
 
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Azurro

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This is hardly something unique to America, and I don't really think it has anything to do with whether you are white or not.
In Canada for example we say Anglo Canadian, French Canadian, German Canadian, etc. These are all white peoples but many of us still choose to identify as our ethnic roots rather than just responding Canadian. In fact, in the 2006 Canadian census, only a third of the population actually answered that they were Canadian for ethnicity. I think a major factor is that many peoples want to keep their culture and ethnicity when immigrating. Chinese people born in Canada will often self identify as Chinese. My dad's family is from England, and they often talk of how English they are. Countries like Canada and America are countries comprised of immigrants, and didn't really have an original unique culture. It's a combination of cultures from elsewhere. It is not uncommon for white people to ask other white people where they or their family are from, even if they are both born and raised Canadian. I don't think hyphenation is because of toxicity, and I don't think it will go away, because groups self hyphenate to represent their heritage.

The problem is that while your ethnic roots can be German, Irish, Italian, whatever, the cultural ties to that ethnicity are long gone for most of the people born in Canada. So, even if you identify as say, Chinese, the culture in your household is a misrepresentation and a vestige of what the actual Chinese culture is. It's superficial.
 
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The problem is that while your ethnic roots can be German, Irish, Italian, whatever, the cultural ties to that ethnicity are long gone for most of the people born in Canada. So, even if you identify as say, Chinese, the culture in your household is a misrepresentation and a vestige of what the actual Chinese culture is. It's superficial.
But what is wrong with having that superficial tie. Many people enjoy learning the language of their ancestors or keeping up to date on news / or studying the history of what ever part of the world their family once came from or enjoying certain specific cultural celebrations. All of that stuff may be superficial but I don't see anything wrong with doing it.
 

Azurro

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But what is wrong with having that superficial tie. Many people enjoy learning the language of their ancestors or keeping up to date on news / or studying the history of what ever part of the world their family once came from or enjoying certain specific cultural celebrations. All of that stuff may be superficial but I don't see anything wrong with doing it.

I think it's bad due to several reasons:

1. People doing this are teaching an incomplete, watered down misrepresentation of their own culture. Once a person or family has left their country of origin, it's pretty much impossible to recreate the culture the parents grew around in to share it to their children, while having or discarding values that began to diverge with their country of origin from the very moment they left.

2. It prevents integration to the actual country they are from, by purposefully setting yourself as an "other" to the rest of the population.

3. It's easy to be manipulated into political action, and is one of the biggest reasons we have the god awful identity politics now.

4. Can promote guettos or enclaves in the city with their own parallel government.

It would be better to foster an idea that everyone is the same, just with different backgrounds, and to try to follow the same ideals. It's been shown that letting everyone represent themselves as whatever they want doesn't work to promote the idea of Canada as a country.
 
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I was ashamed when I was taking my film studies course in grad school, and I had never heard of Paul Robeson until then.
I posted this the other day, but here it is again:

It's extremely vague, and that's the point. It means whatever you want it to mean. Same with "Hope" from Obama's campaign. Here's Reagan using both in less than 10 seconds from one another.


So, yes, I do think it could be construed as a dogwhistle. Because, as I said, it means what you want it to mean, and some liberals really want it to mean a dogwhistle. That's the two way street of being vague. I imagine conservatives had all sorts of eye-twitching responses to whatever they thought Obama was "Hoping" for.

Regan is looked upon as a god to conservatives. "Make America Great Again" isn't vague when you place the Regan administration into proper context. He is notorious for his "war on drugs," and "welfare queens." This was a continuation of what was started with the Moynihan Report. This has contributed to an increase in mass-incarceration.


This is hardly something unique to America, and I don't really think it has anything to do with whether you are white or not.
In Canada for example we say Anglo Canadian, French Canadian, German Canadian, etc. These are all white peoples but many of us still choose to identify as our ethnic roots rather than just responding Canadian. In fact, in the 2006 Canadian census, only a third of the population actually answered that they were Canadian for ethnicity. I think a major factor is that many peoples want to keep their culture and ethnicity when immigrating. Chinese people born in Canada will often self identify as Chinese. My dad's family is from England, and they often talk of how English they are. Countries like Canada and America are countries comprised of immigrants, and didn't really have an original unique culture. It's a combination of cultures from elsewhere. It is not uncommon for white people to ask other white people where they or their family are from, even if they are both born and raised Canadian. I don't think hyphenation is because of toxicity, and I don't think it will go away, because groups self hyphenate to represent their heritage.

In the Laura Ingram thread, a lot of European posters were wondering why Americans in particular insist on hyphens for their national/ethnic identities, alongside so-called "colorblind" people alike. Canada could be a useful model too with further investigation of its long history, of course.
 

Snow_Lizard

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Only outside of the US would it be awkward for a black person to identify as "African-American," because again, no other country has the long racial strife of segregation, Jim Crow, lynching, nadir, Civil Rights, Japanese internment, Zoot Suit riots--race riots in general--that the US has.

It's certainly true that the US has a unique history with regards to race, and a lot of it is bad, but it's ridiculous to believe that it's THE WORST history. Nazi Germany? South Africa? Rwanda or any of several African states that have seen tribal slaughter? Come on.

Racial and ethnic strife in the US can be broadly broken down into three categories:
1. Conflict with natives starting with colonization and expansion
2. Slavery (slaves primarily being of African descent)
3. Conflict with immigrants during a large-scale influx

These are categories that, since the European Renaissance, are most significant in the Americas, but existed in most parts of the world, just further in the past. Those conflicts have been largely forgotten in older states, simply because more years have passed since the population stabilized (though they still fester in places).

For a nation barely over 200 years old, the US has done an excellent job of dealing with these problems. Obviously some significant effects still exist and must be improved, but it's myopic to consider them as indicative of the direction of the culture.
 
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I think it's bad due to several reasons:

1. People doing this are teaching an incomplete, watered down misrepresentation of their own culture. Once a person or family has left their country of origin, it's pretty much impossible to recreate the culture the parents grew around in to share it to their children, while having or discarding values that began to diverge with their country of origin from the very moment they left.

2. It prevents integration to the actual country they are from, by purposefully setting yourself as an "other" to the rest of the population.

3. It's easy to be manipulated into political action, and is one of the biggest reasons we have the god awful identity politics now.

4. Can promote guettos or enclaves in the city with their own parallel government.

It would be better to foster an idea that everyone is the same, just with different backgrounds, and to try to follow the same ideals. It's been shown that letting everyone represent themselves as whatever they want doesn't work to promote the idea of Canada as a country.

That's all seems to be examples of an more extreme variety of cultural identification that doesn't apply to most people though. To give an example of it shown in a more normal case. I live in south east Ohio and we have a pretty sizable population of people of Welsh Descent (My Self included) and so we may celebrate for example Saint David's Day (A celebration itself which was almost dead in Wales and was actually brought back from the brink in 1800s due in large part to welsh diaspora within United States and Ireland. I really don't think us celebrating it or consuming welsh food or learning the language(Slowly but surely) is degrading us as american citizens or causing cultural isolation and extremism.
 

Arkage

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When you hear "Make America Great Again," it's a rallying cry that is, like white supremacy, racially exclusive. This is why Laura Ingraham was trending the other day due to her fear-mongering that America is "in danger," because the dream of a white ethnostate is "in peril." This is why we hyphenate, to differentiate from that toxicity.

This is a really good point. "MAGA" is a phrase designed to appeal broadly to white male power, because that is undeniably what has been losing the most ground and becoming "weaker" over the course of the past many decades. Women have it the best they've ever had right now as far as financial opportunity, laws, protections, independence to make their own choices about the lifestyle they prefer. Same for minorities. Meanwhile white people have less power than they have ever had right now, ranging from their past ability to dictate expected cultural norms to exerting political control over others. As America marches away from its identity as a white ethnostate, political power will be redistributed away from the centrality of the white population and towards a broad collection of races, and this undoubtedly scares white people, as it would scare any majority race living in a de facto ethnostate. It will be a true test to see if America's democracy is one that can function without a supermajority race in power. One can only hope our tribalism get overridden by the higher values of democracy and equality and fairness.
 
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Snow_Lizard

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This is a really good point. "MAGA" is a phrase designed to appeal broadly to white male power, because that is undeniably what has been losing the most ground and becoming "weaker" over the course of the past many decades.

That's a natural response from one with a laser-focus on identity politics. There are many other things that have changed for the worse over time - less economic growth, trends towards socialism, reduced military capability, etc. To assume that MAGA must imply a desire for a resurgence of white male dominance is silly, and shows a failure to even attempt to consider the viewpoints of others.
 

DeepEnigma

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That's a natural response from one with a laser-focus on identity politics. There are many other things that have changed for the worse over time - less economic growth, trends towards socialism, reduced military capability, etc. To assume that MAGA must imply a desire for a resurgence of white male dominance is silly, and shows a failure to even attempt to consider the viewpoints of others.

Especially if one considers that he co-opted it from Bill Clinton's presidency, which co-opted it from Reagan. But I guess it's only racist when the right says it.

Hell, a lot of the stuff that Trump says in his presidential addresses that gets called out, Clinton has said the exact same lines word for word, and nobody on the left back then called the Liberals or Democrats racists for saying them.

Just like this ICE bullshit, it's been going on for almost a decade, the child separations and mass deportations had been going on under Obama's watch, but nothing in the media ever was talked about like it is now, especially with such fervor.

It's just political ping pong in hypocrisy. The left wing and the right-wing belong to the same bird, really. They just let the peasants fight about it with our tribalism. It's almost like one giant social experiment to see how far they can push push people in either direction.

United we stand, divided we fall.
 
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Arkage

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That's a natural response from one with a laser-focus on identity politics. There are many other things that have changed for the worse over time - less economic growth, trends towards socialism, reduced military capability, etc. To assume that MAGA must imply a desire for a resurgence of white male dominance is silly, and shows a failure to even attempt to consider the viewpoints of others.

Less economic growth? Our economy and GDP is still one of the most productive in the world with very low unemployment. Reduced military capability? What in the world are you talking about? We've consistently spent more on military every single year than the next 7 countries combined. Trends towards socialism? You mean like social security? Or Medicare? Because those are clearly programs with socialist foundations that the vast majority of Americans find value in. You don't need a laser-focus on identity politics to see the phrase MAGA is talking about lost white male power. It's clearly more relevant than your alternatives. Hint: Trump started his political career in the racist Obama birther conspiracy, and in large part is why he's currently President. Let's not pretend this is about military spending or growth rates when Obama was no different than a Republican concerning military funding, and America saw it's biggest economic recovery (next to the great depression) under his administration.

Which, ironically are values with an Anglo-Saxon/European origin.

The origins of democracy, like Greece and Rome, was also the birthplace of Pederasty. Let's not get carried away in how much a group should be idolized for innovation, but rather let the ideas be idolized on their own merits and rational value.
 
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Snow_Lizard

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Less economic growth? Our economy and GDP is still one of the most productive in the world with very low unemployment. Reduced military capability? What in the world are you talking about? We've consistently spent more on military every single year than the next 7 countries combined. Trends towards socialism? You mean like social security? Or Medicare? Because those are clearly programs with socialist foundations that the vast majority of Americans find value in. You don't need a laser-focus on identity politics to see the phrase MAGA is talking about lost white male power. It's clearly more relevant than your alternatives. Hint: Trump started his political career in the racist Obama birther conspiracy, and in large part is why he's currently President. Let's not pretend this is about military spending or growth rates when Obama was no different than a Republican concerning military funding, and America saw it's biggest economic recovery (next to the great depression) under his administration.

I could spend hours arguing with you about each of the particular issues, but I won't waste your time or mine. The point is that voters care about those issues, and a great many of them disagreed with your rosy picture of the Obama years. There are too many reasons why they found Trump appealing to assume that racism must be the primary factor.

Take off your partisan glasses for a minute and just consider: do you honestly believe that the country that elected a black man to the presidency twice, suddenly turned around and decided it was time for white dominance to make a comeback? I'm sorry, but that's ridiculous. Anyone who believes that is blind to what really happened in 2016.
 

Arkage

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Take off your partisan glasses for a minute and just consider: do you honestly believe that the country that elected a black man to the presidency twice, suddenly turned around and decided it was time for white dominance to make a comeback? I'm sorry, but that's ridiculous. Anyone who believes that is blind to what really happened in 2016.

Yes, because the threat of white people becoming a racial minority crystallized with the Trump/Hillary election. Obama vs McCain was an argument about change vs political establishment. Obama vs Romney was an argument about who is best for the economy, a politician or businessman. Obama rarely brought up racial dynamics, and when he did, often criticized the black community at the same time for not doing enough, which went a long way toward placating white fear since he was broadly taking a centrist view on the topic of race.

Meanwhile, and I'll say it again, Trump literally started his political career on a racist birther conspiracy, built up a huge fan base around this conspiracy, and continually lied about it for years and years. His entire political career was created around trying to deligitmized the first black President as a non-citizen, a possible Muslim. Conservative broadcasters on Fox, reaching millions of Americans on the highest viewed news station and talk radio stations in America, directly told conservatives about how Obama had a "deep-seeded hated white people." O'Reilly framed Obama's second win as a loss of "traditional" America due to demographic changes, lamenting that "the white establishment is now the minority." They continually brought up these points to their viewers throughout the course of Obama's second term leading into the 2016 election.

Meanwhile Hillary openly embraced changing racial dynamics, bringing them to the forefront of her campaign, giving BLM a literal platform on the DNC stage. The election between Trump and Hillary was largely a choice between trying to maintain the white America of the past, or embracing the white minority, multiracial future of America.

Trying to distill these broad strokes into a simplistic "well they voted for Obama so they must not be racist" is too simplistic. I never said all Trump voters were racist in the first place. I'm saying the phrase of MAGA is speaking directly to the loss of white power and white majority.
 
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Snow_Lizard

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Meanwhile Hillary openly embraced changing racial dynamics, bringing them to the forefront of her campaign, giving BLM a literal platform on the DNC stage. The election between Trump and Hillary was largely a choice between trying to maintain the white America of the past, or embracing the white minority, multiracial future of America.

So America elected Barack Obama twice, but then Hillary lost, because it wasn't ready to accept the multiracial future that she represented? Wow. I'm having trouble imagining the mental gyrations one has to go through to believe that.

If we have to simplify things, I'd say it was closer to your view on Obama v McCain: Hillary was establishment, Trump was change. If Hillary and her buddies hadn't deep-sixed Sanders in a classic establishment screw-job, he probably would have won.

I know plenty of people who liked the MAGA message, and not one of them is anything like a "white power" supporter. Many progressives would believe them to be, simply because they're so arrogantly certain that they're right about everything, they can't conceive of how anyone could disagree with them honestly. They have to assume racism, sexism, homophobia or some combination of them as the explanation for their loss. Maybe, next time, try running a candidate who isn't absolutely terrible.
 

DeepEnigma

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So America elected Barack Obama twice, but then Hillary lost, because it wasn't ready to accept the multiracial future that she represented? Wow. I'm having trouble imagining the mental gyrations one has to go through to believe that.

If we have to simplify things, I'd say it was closer to your view on Obama v McCain: Hillary was establishment, Trump was change. If Hillary and her buddies hadn't deep-sixed Sanders in a classic establishment screw-job, he probably would have won.

I know plenty of people who liked the MAGA message, and not one of them is anything like a "white power" supporter. Many progressives would believe them to be, simply because they're so arrogantly certain that they're right about everything, they can't conceive of how anyone could disagree with them honestly. They have to assume racism, sexism, homophobia or some combination of them as the explanation for their loss. Maybe, next time, try running a candidate who isn't absolutely terrible.

 

Arkage

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So America elected Barack Obama twice, but then Hillary lost, because it wasn't ready to accept the multiracial future that she represented? Wow. I'm having trouble imagining the mental gyrations one has to go through to believe that.

If we have to simplify things, I'd say it was closer to your view on Obama v McCain: Hillary was establishment, Trump was change. If Hillary and her buddies hadn't deep-sixed Sanders in a classic establishment screw-job, he probably would have won.

I know plenty of people who liked the MAGA message, and not one of them is anything like a "white power" supporter. Many progressives would believe them to be, simply because they're so arrogantly certain that they're right about everything, they can't conceive of how anyone could disagree with them honestly. They have to assume racism, sexism, homophobia or some combination of them as the explanation for their loss. Maybe, next time, try running a candidate who isn't absolutely terrible.

Mental gyrations? Did you just ignore the rest of my post, clearly illustrating that conservative talk radio and news keep inflating racial rhetoric, white minority politics under Obama's administration to higher and higher absurdities, to the point of claiming Obama hated white people? And no, America isn't ready to accept the multiracial future Hillary represented, because her representation was not centrist like Obama's. Obama downplayed race and said the black community was at fault for a lot of problems. Hillary highlighted race throughout her campaign and often (but not always) embraced the most controversial elements of racial politics, bringing BLM on stage. This was a stark change, and a clear shift to a more leftist stance on these issues. You really seem to have "but Obama was black!" blinders on.

Trump wasn't change. He was "fuck the establishment, fuck political correctness." I also know plenty of people who liked the MAGA message. Some of them say some racist shit, some of them don't. In the area I live in KKK pamphlets were handed out in a movie parking lot a few weeks ago, some black ladies got the cops called on them for golfing "too slow," and a white man was murdered by a white racist because he defended his black friend. Trump has had a real effect on this area's political climate and the perception of what people think they can do, as these stories are unheard of in this area. The President should be a moral compass for American values, but the only thing he really represents is his opportunity-seizing selfishness. If being racist gets him popularity via birther conspiracies, he'll ride that shit for years. If too much racism loses him popularity and even gets Paul Ryan mad, he'll tone down his rhetoric or backtrack a little. Regardless, the fact is that electing Trump despite his racism is no better than electing him because of his racism. It's clear that the voter either doesn't give a shit about racism or actively endorses it. There were many other reasonable Republican candidates that would've gotten the same policy goals accomplished, even some I would've voted for over Hillary. It just so happens that Republican voters wanted the most inflammatory, most racist, most misogynistic one of the group, because, hey, fuck political correctness! Truly change worth fighting for and voting into office to represent America's national character.

Hasan Minhaj said:
You may not personally be a racist, sexist xenophobe, but that comes with the package… so if you take that deal, what you’re telling me is, ‘Hey man, I don’t hate you. I just don’t care about you.'

Ta-Nehisi Coates said:
And so the most powerful country in the world has handed over all its affairs—the prosperity of its entire economy; the security of its 300 million citizens; the purity of its water, the viability of its air, the safety of its food; the future of its vast system of education; the soundness of its national highways, airways, and railways; the apocalyptic potential of its nuclear arsenal—to a carnival barker who introduced the phrase grab ’em by the pussy into the national lexicon. It is as if the white tribe united in demonstration to say, “If a black man can be president, then any white man—no matter how fallen—can be president.”
 
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Snow_Lizard

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You really seem to have "but Obama was black!" blinders on.

Well, that's a fairly important point, isn't it? Your argument is based on the notion that a nation that elected a black man twice suddenly rediscovered its racism, because a white woman started talking about race. More likely, if it had any impact at all, it was because many people who are not racist objected to the insertion of leftist racial POLITICS into her campaign. Many who are not racist find BLM distasteful. I am one of them.

It just so happens that Republican voters wanted the most inflammatory, most racist, most misogynistic one of the group, because, hey, fuck political correctness! Truly change worth fighting for and voting into office to represent America's national character.

Trump is certainly inflammatory. I've seen little evidence that he's a racist, unless one goes by the left-wing definition of such, which is a white person who criticizes anyone who isn't white. And misogynistic he may be, but that's hardly an argument for his opposition to make, when their candidate ran cover for her husband as he sexually-assaulted his way through his own presidency.

"F political correctness" is truly a worthy goal. What the left has to learn is that IT is creating the hate groups it loathes. It does this every time it bullies and boycotts and sues and prosecutes people who disagree with it, calling them "racists" for wanting border control, "homophobes" for not wanting dudes in the bathrooms with their daughters, and "Islamophobes" for daring to link Muslim extremists with terrorism. Their attempt to enforce a stranglehold on political debate, predictably, has led some in the margins to embrace the absolutely despicable communities of racism. There's no excuse for doing so, but there is an explanation, and political correctness is it.
 

Arkage

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Well, that's a fairly important point, isn't it? Your argument is based on the notion that a nation that elected a black man twice suddenly rediscovered its racism, because a white woman started talking about race. More likely, if it had any impact at all, it was because many people who are not racist objected to the insertion of leftist racial POLITICS into her campaign. Many who are not racist find BLM distasteful. I am one of them.

The vast majority of people who voted for Trump also voted against Obama. America didn't rediscover its racism only because of Hillary's message, as you starwman, but also because Fox News and conservative talk radio kept harping on about the loss of power for the white majority and how Obama hates white people and how Obama is probably an African-born Muslim communist socialist marxist. These media narratives spread. This wasn't a sudden rediscovery, it was an 8 years long evolution culminating in the election of Trump, the primary face and voice of the birther conspiracy movement. I find BLM distasteful as well, but I didn't find it so distasteful that I would then vote in someone who politically thrived off an absurd political conspiracy theory.

Trump is certainly inflammatory. I've seen little evidence that he's a racist, unless one goes by the left-wing definition of such, which is a white person who criticizes anyone who isn't white. And misogynistic he may be, but that's hardly an argument for his opposition to make, when their candidate ran cover for her husband as he sexually-assaulted his way through his own presidency.

Little evidence he is racist? He advocated the racist conspiracy theory that Obama was born in Africa and is probably a Muslim for years, with the release of Obama's birth certificates doing nothing to dissuade him, calling it fraudulent. Labelling our first black President, who was an Ivy League educated constitutional law professor, an illegitimate African-born Muslim is pretty fucking racist.

List of Republicans who've criticized Trump's racial comments: Paul Ryan, Jeff Flake, Marco Rubio, Lindsay Graham, Mitch McConnell, Susan Collins, Ben Shapiro. There are more if you go down the #NeverTrump list Framing their agreement with centrists and liberals on this as some sort of agreement with a "left wing definition" is absurd. According to polls, 11% of Republicans and 50% of Independents think he's racist too. And asked if Trump emboldens racist people, 22% of Republicans said yes and 57% of Independents. https://poll.qu.edu/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=2554 In other words the majority of Americans think he's a racist who emboldens racists.

Hillary didn't grope people by their genitals due to power tripping, and Trump did. If both individuals were prosecuted in a court, one would get put on a sexual offender list for life and one wouldn't.

"F political correctness" is truly a worthy goal. What the left has to learn is that IT is creating the hate groups it loathes. It does this every time it bullies and boycotts and sues and prosecutes people who disagree with it, calling them "racists" for wanting border control, "homophobes" for not wanting dudes in the bathrooms with their daughters, and "Islamophobes" for daring to link Muslim extremists with terrorism. Their attempt to enforce a stranglehold on political debate, predictably, has led some in the margins to embrace the absolutely despicable communities of racism. There's no excuse for doing so, but there is an explanation, and political correctness is it.

Oh, the left created Nazism and white supremacy? Did they also create the KKK and slavery? :unsure::unsure: Guess what? I want stricter border control. I also link Muslim extremism with terrorism. And I'm a left leaning democrat. The difference is that if someone calls me a racist for my beliefs I don't crumple up into a ball of anger and then vote a misogynistic racist conman into the Presidency for revenge.
 
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Snow_Lizard

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Fox News and conservative talk radio kept harping on about the loss of power for the white majority and how Obama hates white people and how Obama is probably an African-born Muslim communist socialist marxist.

I watched a lot of Fox News and listened to a lot of conservative radio during that time, and heard none of that. Except the socialist part, but that was true, as Hugo Chavez himself said.

Labelling our first black President, who was an Ivy League educated constitutional law professor, an illegitimate African-born Muslim is pretty fucking racist.

How so?

In other words the majority of Americans think he's a racist who emboldens racists.

The majority of Americans think a lot of things.

Hillary didn't grope people by their genitals due to power tripping, and Trump did.

No, she just covered for her husband's sexual abuse of an intern, and probably threatened a rape victim to keep her mouth shut. I guess if I had to choose the lesser of two evils, I'd go with the groper.

Oh, the left created Nazism and white supremacy? Did they also create the KKK and slavery?

Not sure where Democrats of that era would fall on the modern left-right scale.

The difference is that if someone calls me a racist for my beliefs I don't crumple up into a ball of anger and then vote a misogynistic racist conman into the Presidency for revenge.

It's not about revenge, it's about destroying political correctness. I think it's working, too. The derangement put on display daily by the left is showing everybody its true colors. Outlets like CNN, for example, have shown their bias so blatantly that they will probably never again be considered objective. That's a good start.
 
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appaws

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When you hear "Make America Great Again," it's a rallying cry that is, like white supremacy, racially exclusive. This is why Laura Ingraham was trending the other day due to her fear-mongering that America is "in danger," because the dream of a white ethnostate is "in peril." This is why we hyphenate, to differentiate from that toxicity.

No. Civic nationalism in the US is far from racially exclusive. They in fact want nothing more than to have the support of racial and ethnic minorities as a way of eroding support from the Democratic Party.

The white ethnic hypenation is a relic of the age of mass European immigration, when those cultural and linguistic differences really mattered. I think eventually it will fade away for the most part. I am 3 generations in from an Immigrant from Naples, and there are still cultural vestiges in my daily life (foodways and slang expressions). I assume my kids and grandkids will shed most of that, as I married a non-Italian girl and live in a place with almost no non-basketball coaching Italians (Kentucky). And that is fine, I don't mind if they just think of themselves as white Americans, although I fervently pray they remain Catholic.

As the cultural left in America continues to split off those who are approved grievance groups into a coalition, leaving whites behind....those whites will find a common identity as an out-group. Even before the great Neo-Gaf schism, I used to try to explain to leftists that the "alt-right" was actually their own creation, that social shaming would only go so far in stopping white people from uniting in their own perceived interest, just like all the other groups.
 

Arkage

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I watched a lot of Fox News and listened to a lot of conservative radio during that time, and heard none of that. Except the socialist part, but that was true, as Hugo Chavez himself said.



https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/03/evil-obama-racist-against-white-people_n_3002067.html

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/news/a7889/rush-limbaugh-racist-quotes-070710/

https://www.nationalreview.com/2016/12/barack-obama-contempt-white-working-class/

https://www.pressherald.com/2013/08/19/lepage-is-heard-to-say-obama-hates-white-people/

https://www.mediamatters.org/video/2009/07/22/limbaugh-obamas-entire-economic-program-is-repa/152339


And calling Obama a socialist is about as rational as calling him a Muslim. Bernie Sanders says hi.


A common tactic of racism is to have other races viewed as the enemy, to point out and call attention to the differences and "otherness". Calling Obama a secret Muslim knowing full well the history of 9/11 is clearly a play upon the fears of white America concerning Muslim infiltration. Even McCain had to correct a lady at a televised Q&A session to tell her, no, Obama wasn't a Muslim, because the conspiracy theory was that far spread already. Also, claiming Obama was born in Africa was a way to completely delegitimize not only his Presidency but his American citizenship, in order to have Trump's audience view him as a true outsider enemy rather than a normal American citizen that they may not agree with, but was trying to do a good job. And again, these were total conspiracy theories without a shred of evidence to back them up, meaning the only reason one would want to believe in them is if there is already underlying distrust of a black person named Obama. The conspiracy then validates and reinforces those underlying fears, which is why Trump become a political sensation. Trump played on white fear of the in-group out-group dynamics of blacks and whites, to the point of then correlating the President with Islam and Socialism and Africa. You couldn't a find a scarier, or more absurd, combination of elements for white conservative America to worry about if you tried.

The majority of Americans think a lot of things.

The point being, your claim that only a partisan leftist would think Trump is racist is clearly bunk.

No, she just covered for her husband's sexual abuse of an intern, and probably threatened a rape victim to keep her mouth shut. I guess if I had to choose the lesser of two evils, I'd go with the groper.

The "lesser" of the two evils is the one actually committing the crime? Thank God that's not how the justice system works.

It's not about revenge, it's about destroying political correctness. I think it's working, too. The derangement put on display daily by the left is showing everybody its true colors. Outlets like CNN, for example, have shown their bias so blatantly that they will probably never again be considered objective. That's a good start.

I could say the same in reverse: "The derangement put on display daily by the the right is showing everybody its true colors. Outlets like FOX, for example, have shown their bias so blatantly that they will probably never again be considered objective." I mean do I need to bring up Pizzagate or Qanon or Hillary secretly murdering lots of people?
 
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Snow_Lizard

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I'll proceed to disagree with you, but I have to say, that was a well-thought out response.

On the media quotes, I didn't watch/read all of them, but what I saw was legitimate observations on political demographics, not an attempt to gin up angst amongst whites about the end of their supremacy.

You couldn't a find a scarier, or more absurd, combination of elements for white conservative America to worry about if you tried.

Doubtless it would appeal to the racists, but that doesn't mean it was designed to. A lot of people paid attention to the allegations, including me - not because I'm scared of African Muslims, but because I wouldn't put it past Democrats to falsify such a thing, and I wanted the truth. Most everybody stopped paying attention when no substantial evidence surfaced to support the allegations.

The point being, your claim that only a partisan leftist would think Trump is racist is clearly bunk.

That's not quite what I said - I said those who accept the leftist definition of racism. That includes many non-leftists, who have been indoctrinated by PC culture to see racists in their soup. Which is why destroying PC'ness is important. It's about freeing minds and debate.

The "lesser" of the two evils is the one actually committing the crime? Thank God that's not how the justice system works.

Well, there were credible allegations that she threatened a rape victim to prevent her from reporting the crime. That would be a far more serious crime than a grope, but as the server scandal demonstrated, even when the government publicly announces that she committed a felony, they won't actually charge her.

I could say the same in reverse: "The derangement put on display daily by the the right is showing everybody its true colors. Outlets like FOX, for example, have shown their bias so blatantly that they will probably never again be considered objective." I mean do I need to bring up Pizzagate or Qanon or Hillary secretly murdering lots of people?

I don't think anyone ever doubted that Fox leans right. It's far more significant that everyone now knows CNN leans left. As for the fringe stuff like Pizzagate, should we bring up the theories that Bush blew up the WTC, or that the cops intentionally flooded black neighborhoods during Katrina, etc?
 

Arkage

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Doubtless it would appeal to the racists, but that doesn't mean it was designed to. A lot of people paid attention to the allegations, including me - not because I'm scared of African Muslims, but because I wouldn't put it past Democrats to falsify such a thing, and I wanted the truth. Most everybody stopped paying attention when no substantial evidence surfaced to support the allegations.

Polling shows the majority of Republicans believe in birtherism of Obama, i.e. secret Africa Muslim, which plays nicely with conservatives who often said Obama was trying to purposefully destroy the country. They (or the media, more like) might've stopped paying attention to that particular theory, but Republicans had already made up their mind about it.

From 2016:
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/20...partisan-divide-over-birther-question-n627446

From 2015:

 
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Christopher

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Racism is just so diluted now you guys made everything racist to the point where it’s not even a substantial charge to anyone anymore...it seems if you don’t agree with my ideas and policies you are racist.
 

Snow_Lizard

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Polling shows the majority of Republicans believe in birtherism of Obama, i.e. secret Africa Muslim, which plays nicely with conservatives who often said Obama was trying to purposefully destroy the country. They (or the media, more like) might've stopped paying attention to that particular theory, but Republicans had already made up their mind about it.

From 2016:
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/20...partisan-divide-over-birther-question-n627446


From 2015:

I think they said 41% believe that? It's a lot, but again I think it represents distrust of Democrats and bureaucracy more than racism.
Put me firmly in the "neither agree nor disagree" camp.
 

Snoopycat

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Racism is just so diluted now you guys made everything racist to the point where it’s not even a substantial charge to anyone anymore...it seems if you don’t agree with my ideas and policies you are racist.

No. Racism is alive and well. Racism isn't diluted, neither has everything been made racist to a point where it's not even a substantial charge anymore. That is what certain people believe so they don't have to face up to the reality of their actions.
 

Arkage

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I think they said 41% believe that? It's a lot, but again I think it represents distrust of Democrats and bureaucracy more than racism.
Put me firmly in the "neither agree nor disagree" camp.

You neither agree nor disagree that Obama was born in America? Because he released his birth certificate. So I'm not sure how one could be neutral on the subject unless they already deeply enjoy the company of conspiratorial thinking.
 
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Snow_Lizard

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You neither agree nor disagree that Obama was born in America? Because he released his birth certificate. So I'm not sure how one could be neutral on the subject unless they already deeply enjoy the company of conspiratorial thinking.

Simply because I have zero trust in the party that requested the document, the bureaucracy that provided it, or the media that reported on it. If pressed, I'd say it's probably more likely to be factual than not, but I'm not willing to say that I believe them.
 

Alx

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France is one such nation state that fully embraces everyone under her umbrella as French. Even countries like Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, and Uganda are considered francophone rather than a "French colony." There is no differentiation in the culture, like there is with England, where one might say "Afro-British."

Well to be fair, that's because those countries aren't French colonies any more. :p
At the time of the colonies, there were different terms for "French French" (colons + metropolitans) and "Colony French" (indigenous), but we turned that page some time ago and because of that (among other things) there is no hyphenated ethnic label in common speech indeed. As a French with different origins myself it does seem much more natural, but then I'm obviously biased since it's how I've been living all my life. It's supported by logic though, nationality is an administrative status, it has nothing to do with ethnicity (as a matter of fact when we use hyphen like in "French-Algerian", it means someone with dual nationality). There's no reason to label people European-French or Asian-French, no more than Catholic-French or Left-handed-French. You can be all those things at the same time, but it's not a single label.