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Old 15 February 2018, 04:21 PM
thorny locust's Avatar
thorny locust thorny locust is offline
Join Date: 27 April 2007
Location: Upstate NY
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Originally Posted by ChasFink View Post
The fact that it took me some time to figure out what R-word you were talking about illustrates exactly why actual words do have to be used in academic settings. If I had been in a classroom and the professor said “What is worse, a reporter punching a White House staffer, or a reporter calling a White House staffer the R-word?” I would have no idea what he or she meant.
But that only requires one use of the word (even assuming there's somebody in the class who doesn't understand what "N-word" means); and that use can be clearly definitional.

Originally Posted by ChasFink View Post

"This is the first year he got the response he did from the students. This is diagnostic of the level of overt anti-black racism in the country today. Anti-American and anti-Semitic examples did not upset the students, but an example of racism did," [Department Chair Carolyn] Rouse wrote. "This did not happen when Obama was president, when the example seemed less real and seemed to have less power."
I'd been thinking about that one too.

While it may be diagnostic of the level of overt racism, I doubt that accounts for the difference, at least not entirely. (And I note there's more overt anti-Semitism, too.)

As to the trampling on the flag examples:
1) A flag is not a person, or any sort of living being. Physically attacking a flag is not equivalent to either physically or verbally attacking a human.
2) As has been pointed out, attacking the USA may well be seen as punching up.
3) He tried that on a room of Princeton college students. If he'd tried it in some other social groups, the results could have been drastically different.

As to the anti-Semitic examples, I can think of multiple reasons, some of which I find pretty unnerving. As there were multiple students in the class, of course, different reasons might have applied to different people.
1) The students might not know much about Jewish history, and might not have understood the strength of the slurs used.
2) The students might (as has been suggested) have given a professor named Rosen a pass, on the grounds that he was or they thought he was a member of the group being insulted.
3) The students might be antiSemitic themselves, and therefore not care if Jews were insulted.
4) The students might not think of themselves as being antiSemitic, but might have nevertheless absorbed antiSemitic false claims that Jews are in charge of nearly everything, and therefore might think of slurs against Jews as punching up.
ETA: 5) The students might care only about slurs against their own group, and not care whether any other group gets insulted; and none of the students with this particular attitude happened to be Jewish.

-- as far as the 'which is worse' part of the question: I suppose it depends on where he meant to go from there in the discussion; but, taken just as itself, the question has a major problem. Of course it's worse to actually lynch somebody than to call them a name, however bad the name. It's worse to actually lynch somebody than to threaten to do so, however credible the threat. It's worse to murder twelve people than to murder one. It's worse to both murder and rape somebody than to rape them and then let them go alive. But none of that makes calling the name, or making the death threat, or committing the single murder, or committing the rape OK! and none of it means that the offense isn't serious.

'The person could have done something even worse' is not a defense.

Last edited by thorny locust; 15 February 2018 at 04:37 PM.
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