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Manufacturing prejudice

24 Post author: PhilGoetz 03 April 2011 05:26PM

There's a tradition in England - I don't know how old - of abusing red-headed people.  It's a genuine prejudice in England.  From this facebook page:

'Ginger' in England basically is like saying:

"Look there's an ugly, smelly, no friends, socially unacceptable, negative, aggressive, angry, violent, unclean, nasty, non boyfriend material, low self esteem, unattractive, social misfit, nerdy, moron, low education, non human...etc etc etc"

The term 'ginger' didn't become 'mainstream' just because of that South Park episode, I was being shot at, having acid thrown over me, stabbed, headbutted, punched, spat on, kicked, dehumanised, singled out, socially excluded, avoided, belittled, character assassinated etc since I can remember and to be fair I found that treatment was at its peak years before that South Park episode was even thought up.

This spread to the US in 2005, when Cartman tried to incite violence against redheads in a South Park episode with "Kick a Ginger Day".

What's interesting is how this meme is spreading in the US: As humor.  This meme is promoted by sites like CollegeHumor.com and MyLifeIsAverage.com, which mine it as a source of ironic humor.  The Cheezburger Network is pushing ginger-hatred almost as aggressively as they push pedophilia as a fount of humor.

Are humans capable of, collectively, keeping real and humorous/ironic racism separate?  No, they are not. What South Park "kicked" off as an ironic commentary on racism is becoming actual racism.

One clue that you're going too far in your ironic humor is when you start finding the real thing funny.

Do humans have an instinctive need to bond over shared prejudices?  Is combating racism a game of whack-a-mole, in which society invents new prejudices to replace the ones being taken away?

Comments (73)

Comment author: TheDave 05 April 2011 10:39:20PM 17 points [-]

As someone from the southern US, I was asked (jokingly) about whether or not I was a racist when I went north for college. At first I was repulsed by the question, until I noticed that I automatically got more nervous when passing a black person on the street at night. I am going to college in Cleveland, and so I have some actual reason for this since every mugger I've seen for five years in incident reports has been black. My problem (though I only started defining it this way within the past few months of reading LW) is that I was weighting race far too strongly in my everyday interactions.

After I realized I was doing this, I decided to switch my threat assessment style to a more clothing-based approach, with some success. Everyday interactions with other races than my native white within the university also felt easier and less forced. Taking an implicit association test helped me to realize that I was racist to some degree despite my intense repulsion to the idea. I now encourage everyone to examine their thought process for racism, especially if they would feel dismay if someone accused them of racism.

Comment author: benelliott 02 April 2011 05:01:53PM 8 points [-]

The term 'ginger' didn't become 'mainstream' just because of that South Park episode, I was being shot at, having acid thrown over me, stabbed, headbutted, punched, spat on, kicked, dehumanised, singled out, socially excluded, avoided, belittled, character assassinated etc since I can remember and to be fair I found that treatment was at its peak years before that South Park episode was even thought up.

Noticing my confusion here, I live in England and have never observed this level of prejudice. The kicking and punching I can just about believe, the acid is very implausible.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 02 April 2011 06:09:00PM 3 points [-]

Yes, I think one person being shot at, having acid thrown over one, and being stabbed for being red-headed would have made the news. But something's going on. A little time with google turns up a lot of people in England complaining about bullying of redheads.

Comment author: atucker 03 April 2011 03:04:15AM 2 points [-]

acid thrown over me

For some reason my brain interpreted this as an idiom (meaning harsh language or criticism or something), rather than a statement of fact.

Not sure if its supposed to be that.

Comment author: benelliott 03 April 2011 08:41:11AM 2 points [-]

I don't think so, it does actually happen to some groups that suffer from severe prejudice (I believe its been known to occur in Northern Ireland), especially since the rest of the list is approximately in decreasing order of severity and it comes between 'shot at' and 'stabbed'. It might be that one person has suffered vastly more prejudice than any of the English red-heads I have ever met or heard about prior to this point, or it might be that the source is exaggerating.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 03 April 2011 11:09:02AM 1 point [-]

Another angle on throwing acid-- it could have happened, but the risk and damage aren't indicated.

It could have been a serious attack, with scarring or blinding as the result.

It could have been weak acid, immediately washed off, but very frightening in terms of implying a serious attack.

It could have been anything in between.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 02 April 2011 05:27:00PM 1 point [-]

There's apt to be local variation in intensity of prejudice.

Also, throwing acid is extreme behavior, but it's quite possible to be unlucky and happen to be in the presence of someone who is unusually violent.

Comment author: Pavitra 03 April 2011 04:06:29PM 0 points [-]

It makes sense that there would be variation, but saying local variation implies local correlation. Why would that be? Do people feel a need to be racist to about the same degree as their peers?

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 03 April 2011 05:02:15PM 4 points [-]

Do people feel a need to be racist to about the same degree as their peers?

I'd call that extremely likely. If you have a different model, could you describe it?

Comment author: Pavitra 03 April 2011 08:45:01PM 2 points [-]

No, that seemed like the most likely explanation to me too. I don't remember why I felt a need to ask. Maybe something about how the illusion of transparency can be especially bad in political discussions.

Comment author: Ritalin 01 December 2012 02:17:59PM 2 points [-]

It would still be good to propose alternate hypotheses.

Comment author: nazgulnarsil 02 April 2011 04:09:29PM 7 points [-]

yes, we hate not having outgroups because they serve so well to help reassure us in our ingroup values.

Comment author: JoshuaZ 02 April 2011 04:27:50PM 1 point [-]

we hate not having outgroups because they serve so well to help reassure us in our ingroup values.

This hypothesis would explain outgroup/ingroup activity only in contexts where there are associated values. That doesn't fit in the example in question.

Comment author: jake987722 02 April 2011 05:58:45PM 7 points [-]

Sure there are associated values. By implying that a particular out-group is "ugly, smelly, no friends, socially unacceptable, negative, aggressive," etc. etc., you simultaneously imply that your in-group is none of those things. You elevate the in-group by derogating the out-group. Presumably you and your in-group value not having all of those negative traits.

Comment author: David_Gerard 02 April 2011 07:23:31PM *  12 points [-]

No, no. You just have to have two groups. "- And that was quite sufficient."

Comment author: JoshuaZ 03 April 2011 12:30:18AM 3 points [-]

That shows that given an outgroup people will construct narratives about different value systems. That doesn't support Nazgulnarsil's claim that "we hate not having outgroups because they serve so well to help reassure us in our ingroup values" which is about the artificial construction of outgroups, not what happens after there's an outgroup.

Comment author: zslastman 16 February 2013 09:56:27AM 6 points [-]

My experience of this, as a ginger person born in Ireland, is that the prejudice is consciously ironic, and in general harmless, has nevertheless conditioned people in the UK to view red-hair as low-status. The result is that people who probably would have been bullied anyway have their hair color picked on if it's red. I've also overheard completely un-ironic statements from women, generally of the more superficially status loving sort, that they would never go out with a red haired man. So while the acid throwing is probably anomalous, the point about people's failure to compartmentalize isn't. The difference in germany is massive. Which is rather gratifying.

Although I have to give some consideration to the possibility that the complexion that comes packaged with my hair color is just genuinely unattractive. People in Colombia thought I was ill.

Comment author: gwern 16 February 2013 07:43:45PM 5 points [-]

People in Colombia thought I was ill.

You have to admit, that's an improvement over being thought to be dying, a dead corpse, a ghost, spirit, or ancestor returned from the dead - just to name a few interpretations of palefaces like yourself that I have seen in anthropological materials.

Comment author: zslastman 17 February 2013 07:06:16PM 1 point [-]

I was also told by someone that red haired people are so rare in Colombia that people make a wish when they see one. this may or may not have been a joke.

Comment author: MartinB 02 April 2011 06:04:19PM 5 points [-]

Matches my experience. Sucks.

Comment author: grouchymusicologist 02 April 2011 07:15:49PM 4 points [-]

Are humans capable of, collectively, keeping real and humorous/ironic racism separate? No, they are not. What South Park "kicked" off as an ironic commentary on racism is becoming actual racism.

See also Truffaut's famous dictum that there's no such thing as a true anti-war film (obligatory TVtropes warning).

Comment author: rosyatrandom 04 April 2011 08:21:08AM 10 points [-]

And then there is Kurt Vonnegut's warning from Mother Night: "We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be."

Comment author: teageegeepea 05 April 2011 04:37:11AM 1 point [-]

And I thought Jerry Cantrell was being original in "Give it a Name".

Comment author: [deleted] 02 April 2011 06:20:41PM 4 points [-]

Is there something about the ginger thing specifically that makes you think it's ironic or manufactured? Cartman on south park is very antisocial and racist in a classic sense. A recurring theme is his hatred of blacks, jews, women, gays...

Many Irish people have red hair. It's possible this is just the usual kind of racism.

Comment author: grouchymusicologist 02 April 2011 07:14:24PM 5 points [-]

Well, the idea is that although Cartman qua character is unironically antisocial and racist, the intention of showing him behaving that way on a comedy show is supposed to be understood by viewers as ironic and not an endorsement by the show's creators of that behavior or viewpoint. OP is suggesting that ironic distancing in this regard is less possible than we like to think it is.

Comment author: Ritalin 01 December 2012 02:24:10PM 4 points [-]

I know lots of kids that wouldn't even know to mock Jews if it weren't for Cartman. Seeing Cartman say the things he does is kind of like news media publicizing the latest life-threatening dangerous fad in the schoolyards; they make it seem more common than it is, and, therefore, make it possible to emulate. I've known kids have their vocablulary and modes of expression completely changed by South Park, in ways that made them seem incredibly rude and cruel by real-life, mainstream standards. It took me watching South Park to find out that they didn't mean to be especially hostile or anything, they were just aping a show where "fuck" and "asshole" carried about as much aggressiveness as a punctuation mark.

Comment author: MugaSofer 01 December 2012 02:42:07PM 1 point [-]

In fairness, the irony levels on South Park were not designed for children to appreciate or understand.

Comment author: Ritalin 01 December 2012 09:53:51PM *  0 points [-]

Doesn't stop them from loving it because of the toilet humour and the incessant swearing.

Also, this is one of the reasons why I dislike irony; what's to stop you from replying to any critic "my level of recursive irony is one tier higher than yours; you just don't have the refinement in taste to truly grasp it". You can make millions with this all-explaining non-explanation. In fact, many modern artists did; it's the whole concept behind camp and kitsch. Campbell's Instant Tomato Soup indeed.

Comment author: MugaSofer 03 December 2012 04:42:54AM 1 point [-]

Critiquing something based on quality is one thing; if your intended audience doesn't enjoy it then you have failed, no matter how much a small subset may love it "ironically".

If you intended audience is adults, however, than inevitably your work is going to contain material that causes unintended effects when they watch it. I believe the standard example here is hardcore pornography - the problem isn't that it scars children's minds, it's that children's minds were exposed to it.

In this particular case, the assumption was that viewers, as educated adults in a modern society, would be aware that racism was, y'know, wrong. It was optimized for such people, not for impressionable children.

Comment author: Ritalin 03 December 2012 11:35:19PM *  2 points [-]

if your intended audience doesn't enjoy it then you have failed, no matter how much a small subset may love it "ironically".

What if it's the reverse, that your intended audience does enjoy it, as it should, it while a large majority the total audience that enjoys is unintended? What if the intended audience is expected to love it ironically, while the unintended one adores it sincerely and earnestly, taking it at face value? Have you failed? You have achieved your win condition; the people that you thought should like it, do like it.

The humour in South Park is often, "ironically" or not, extremely immature and gross, (not to mention sharp, and original, and violent, and over-the-top, and accessible, and cruel), and thus appeals to children and teenagers. That's why that sort of humour is called juvenile. You want humour kids won't be interested in, make something like XKCD, or Discworld, or Portal, or understated stuff that requires subtlety and life experience to understand.

The same is true for porn; kids are attracted to it, once they reach puberty, even though it was not optimized for their consumption.

So what you've got to ask yourself is; "what are the sort of people who are liable to like the show, besides those for whom it is intended, and, knowing of their numbers and existence, should I make that show at all"? Why do you think Dave Chapelle cancelled the Chapelle Show? On the other hand, is there a point in not making this or that cultural product, if the "unintended audience" are going to generate something similar on their own?

  • Stop distributing alcohol and people will brew at home.
  • Stop distributing porn and children will masturbate to ads in Cosmo, National Geographic nudity, or even Liberty Leading The People I was raised in an Islamic country and we had no internet, and I can tell you, if worse came to worse, we used our imagination.
  • Stop making ironic racist jokes on TV that a lot of people are liable to take at face value, and the same people will still make genuine racist jokes.

So, yes, there are some things that cannot be stopped. The question is; should they be encouraged, or even enabled?

Comment author: Kindly 04 December 2012 12:17:13AM *  1 point [-]

not to mention sharp, and original, and violent, and over-the-top, and accessible, and cruel

With an effort, I can imagine someone who objects to "accessible" humor as a matter of principle. But what could possibly be wrong with "original"?

Edit: similarly, out of "alcohol", "porn", and "racism", one of the three is not like the others, i.e. it is actually bad.

Comment author: Ritalin 04 December 2012 10:43:28PM *  2 points [-]

With an effort, I can imagine someone who objects to "accessible" humor as a matter of principle. But what could possibly be wrong with "original"?

I'm not listing things that are bad, I'm listing things that appeal to children. Children are attracted to some things that are objectionable, and they're attracted to some things that aren't. When you put all the attractive things together in a bundle, you get something that is very attractive, but which is complicated to value morally. Consequences can be difficult to predict, and they can be dire.

As for your second part, I'm not listing things that I think are bad, I'm listing things that you can't ban because some people will go out of their way to make them anyway, especially if they're already used to them.

I am somewhat confident that I could successfully argue, from a utilitarian standpoint, that alcohol and porn are bad (not "sinful" or "immoral" or "unacceptable" or "evil", but that they result in a net loss of happiness and productive activity in the societies where they are ill-regutlated), but that's not what this discussion is about. If you want to talk about that in more depth, please open a discussion on the open thread or send me a PM.

Comment author: MugaSofer 10 December 2012 06:26:39PM *  1 point [-]

Edit: similarly, out of "alcohol", "porn", and "racism", one of the three is not like the others, i.e. it is actually bad.

Alcohol damages health and impairs judgement, causing sizable numbers of deaths every year. Much pornography is produced in ways that harm women, whether they are being physically abused or effectively raped in order to afford food etc.

Comment author: Kindly 10 December 2012 06:41:52PM 1 point [-]

Arguably both could be done without harming others, even if they are not currently done that way; but I don't want to get into this discussion (unfortunately, I also didn't want to leave you without a reply entirely). You do have a point that the difference I wanted to point out isn't actually clear-cut.

Comment author: whowhowho 28 January 2013 04:20:56PM *  0 points [-]

You want humour kids won't be interested in, make something like XKCD, or Discworld, or Portal,

Or Yes Minister

Comment author: Ritalin 28 January 2013 07:01:16PM *  2 points [-]

That series is utterly brilliant and should be taught in English class at every school. Only slightly less awesome is The West Wing, though in a very different way. Either are much more relevant and topical than, say, George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion or Shakespeare's Midsummer's Night Dream.

You can't have a graveyard in a minefield...

Comment author: Kawoomba 28 January 2013 07:06:57PM 0 points [-]

If only it didn't have one of those retarded laugh tracks ...

Comment author: MugaSofer 04 December 2012 01:47:47PM 0 points [-]

I was merely pointing out that the product works as intended. This does not alter the fact that it is harmful when misused, but it does provide some context.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 02 April 2011 09:16:54PM *  3 points [-]

South Park is usually ironic. Cartman's crusade against redheads is supposed to look silly, and to stand for other, more mainstream prejudices.

On the Cheezburger network, it's self-consciously ironic. It's written by internet geeks pretending to be prejudiced against red-heads because they think it's a funny parody of other prejudices.

Comment author: David_Gerard 02 April 2011 07:22:01PM 0 points [-]

Many Irish people have red hair. It's possible this is just the usual kind of racism.

That's the hypothesis of its origin I've seen. It appears to have gone free-floating, though.

Comment author: [deleted] 04 April 2011 02:13:23PM 3 points [-]

There is apparently some basis for the hormone oxytocin increasing distrust of outsiders, including among racial lines. I've posted some of the results I found below:

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2011/01/11/no-love-for-outsiders-oxytocin-boosts-favouritism-towards-our-own-ethnic-or-cultural-group/

http://www.livescience.com/6570-love-hormone-lead-war.html

This link requires you to have journal access: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/328/5984/1343.1.short

I think it's likely that it's humorous in a similar way to the kind of jokes you can hear on Comedy Central where a comedian is telling jokes about white stereotypes. If you're inside a well respected group, (And I think we consider red haired people to be an insider of the well respected group in the U.S.) and you are hearing jokes about your own flaws, it is amusing,because it isn't really a threat. On the other hand, if you actually suffer through prejudice as a result of your traits, hearing jokes about yourself from an outsider is not funny, because it feels like they are flaunting their superiority over you.

For public postings on the web specifically, I suppose you would want to consider that your audience is everyone. So some of the Red haired people will see it and go "Red haired Jokes! It's a classic! Yes I do drink like a fish!" and some of them will go "More stupid Red haired jokes? Just what I need, another reminder of getting tripped on Tuesday and having it blamed on my alcoholism. I don't even drink." depending on whether they experience predjudice or not.

Comment author: CronoDAS 03 April 2011 12:19:20AM *  3 points [-]

A much older citation than the South Park episode:

Macavity's a ginger cat, he's very tall and thin...

;)

Comment author: atucker 03 April 2011 02:12:10AM 7 points [-]

I feel like the asymmetry in experience between red-haired and non-red-haired is important here.

Like, if you don't have red hair, joking about being hostile towards red haired people feels entirely innocuous. Even mild assault isn't that big of a deal (imagine playfully kicking someone in the shins). You're just joking, right?

If you do have red hair being told that you're subhuman or being assaulted because of your hair color doesn't feel nearly as inconsequential.

Spreading the meme feels harmless to the meme-spreaders, but the meme itself feels harmful to the victims.

Comment author: David_Gerard 03 April 2011 09:57:57PM *  3 points [-]

This is what is commonly meant by the term "privilege" these days: an advantage you have whether you know you do or not, and particularly if you don't know.

Edit: as already noted by JulianMorrison.

Comment author: atucker 03 April 2011 10:00:02PM *  2 points [-]

Yeah, that's what I had in mind when I was writing this.

Maybe someone should writeup a short article about it? It seems like a useful idea.

Comment author: ahartell 03 April 2011 07:04:16PM *  5 points [-]

I think the reason that it's considered funny is that, while many consider racists stupid, it is almost unbelievably silly to think of someone as sub-human because of their hair color. It is true that I haven't actually experienced prejudice of this kind but many of my red-haired friends routinely make ginger related jokes. At least in my circles, racism against red-haired people is entirely ironic.
It might be worth noting that we were first exposed to anti-ginger feelings though humor, not from any legitimately racist source.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 01 December 2012 05:58:12PM *  4 points [-]

while many consider racists stupid,

I can see strategic reasons for that belief-- make a behavior low-status in order to discourage it--- but there's a problem that it's false. There have been intelligent racists and high status racists, and I think the belief that racist is especially the province of the poor, stupid, and ill-educated has led to 'racist' being a much more explosive insult than it needs to be.

Comment author: ahartell 02 December 2012 06:39:05AM *  0 points [-]

I absolutely agree. In any case I should have said "racism" anyway, as I'm comparing the ideas, with one being seen generally as "held by many but ill informed" and the other being seen almost with incredulity.

Comment author: Ritalin 01 December 2012 02:14:37PM 0 points [-]

it is almost unbelievably silly to think of someone as sub-human because of their hair color

Cough... it could be worse...

Comment author: RichardKennaway 02 April 2011 06:52:01PM 6 points [-]

I have lived in England for thirty years, and previously lived in Scotland, and I have never, ever, encountered anything resembling even slightly the account on that Facebook page. In fact, apart from the copycat incidents linked to by the OP, I have never heard of such things happening on account of ginger hair anywhere in the world.

I don't believe it.

Comment author: JulianMorrison 03 April 2011 09:40:40PM 5 points [-]

This is one variety of "privilege" - being so personally out of the loop as a person who doesn't get discriminated against that you don't even believe in the discrimination.

In reality you are trapped in a "small world" like the (apocryphal) Hollywood actress who said "I can't believe Nixon won, nobody I know voted for him".

Comment author: RichardKennaway 03 April 2011 10:19:08PM 1 point [-]

Do you have any evidence that ginger-bashing has ever occurred anywhere except in response to the South Park episode?

Comment author: PhilGoetz 04 April 2011 12:57:36PM 5 points [-]

Spend a few minutes with google. Try things like '"red hair" prejudice England'.

Comment author: RichardKennaway 04 April 2011 08:04:19PM *  3 points [-]

Ok, I agree that it happens more than I had thought.

Comment author: khafra 04 April 2011 03:19:00AM 5 points [-]

Irish descent and red hair are strongly correlated.

Comment author: taryneast 04 April 2011 01:32:44PM 4 points [-]

I have pretty-much only just arrived in the UK and I have been horrified by tthe "just joking (only not)" attitude towards people with red hair.

Mainly it's jokes - and those with actual red hair that I've met do the same sort of jokes in a slightly self-deprecating, slightly cringing way. Sounding like they'd obviously been singled out for victimisation all their life. I've also heard actual discrimination talk. Of the sort that contains phrases like "oh, well he's ginger, you know what they're like." That kind of attitude is quite astonishing over such a nonsensical physical attribute.

Comment author: TheOtherDave 04 April 2011 02:08:54PM 0 points [-]

Now that you mention it, the idea that redheads are hot-tempered and irrational (which is itself a vestige of the "Irish temper" myth) does have a certain purchase on this side of the pond (U.S.)... though I mostly think of that as an artifact of mid-20th-century genre fiction, and in that context it mostly seems to apply to women, often coupled with a certain "you're so cute when you're angry" dismissiveness.

Comment author: JulianMorrison 03 April 2011 10:33:03PM 4 points [-]

I have my experience from childhood, that ginger people were picked upon, long before South Park existed. Beating-up, I don't recall. Name-calling, I do. But then, I went to schools that weren't rough.

Not expecting my personal recall to be strong evidence to you.

Consider though the phrase "red headed stepchild". That one is old, and its antiquity should be fairly strong evidence.

Comment author: David_Gerard 02 April 2011 07:21:21PM *  1 point [-]

The original post matches for lots of English (in particular) redheads I know. Coming from Australia to the UK, I boggle slightly at it.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 02 April 2011 09:15:32PM 2 points [-]

Which matches? The original post, or Richard's experience?

Comment author: David_Gerard 02 April 2011 10:14:42PM *  0 points [-]

The original post. (Clarified, thanks!)

Comment author: Cyan 04 April 2011 09:40:57PM 3 points [-]

Wow. I suddenly understand the background of this song by Tim Minchin much better.

Comment author: CronoDAS 04 April 2011 11:56:03PM 7 points [-]

I never realized that "ginger" and the N word were anagrams...

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 02 April 2011 04:13:23PM 3 points [-]

As far as I can tell, short jokes became less prevalent after Randy Newman's "Short People" had been around for a while. Assuming I saw an actual change and that the song had something to do with it, this still might not be a good guide to action-- Newman might be smarter about such things than the average satirist.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 02 April 2011 09:20:15PM 2 points [-]

Interesting. One difference is that Randy Newman's song was about prejudice against short people. The South Park episode, and ginger-baiting on Demotivators or other humor websites, is, I think, about prejudice against blacks and other races. Its message condemns prejudice against blacks - not prejudice against red-heads.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 02 April 2011 10:01:26PM 1 point [-]

Another difference is that the South Park show had a call to action, and "Short People" didn't.

Comment author: Dustin 03 April 2011 07:39:50PM *  2 points [-]

I have a hard time believing that the linked articles demonstrate that humans are, collectively, unable to keep real and ironic racism separate. It seems more likely, to me, based on my experience with other people, that these are some isolated incidents and if it wasn't South Park, these people would latch on to anything and do something stupid.

I'd welcome some studies or something a little less anecdotal to change my mind.

Comment author: [deleted] 16 February 2013 08:46:36PM 1 point [-]

FWIW, that prejudice also existed in 19th-century Sicily.

Comment author: someonewrongonthenet 14 May 2013 09:12:12AM *  0 points [-]

All other points notwithstanding...regarding the "real thing" video you linked:

After watching, due to his erratic behavior and overstatement of his point, I began to rather strongly suspect that you either fell victim to an instance of Poe's law, or didn't watch the whole video. I went and found his youtube channel, "CopperCab" on youtube. His name is supposedly Michael Copper, obviously a pseudonym (his name actually containing the word "Copper" would be too fitting)

From seeing his other videos, I'm now certain that the collegehumor thing you linked actually is a parody of some sort, and not the real thing.

With so many comments, I'm rather surprised no one caught it...did people not watch the whole thing?

Comment author: Skatche 03 April 2011 08:32:53PM 0 points [-]

One clue that you're going too far in your ironic humor is when you start finding the real thing funny.

I'm not actually sure that's the "real thing", at least in the sense you appear to mean it. His tone, as well as this more explicitly humourous video suggest that it's all at least a little tongue-in-cheek, although that certainly doesn't mean his message is irrelevant.

Anyway, I appreciate this post; I'll try and comment with something a little more cogent when I've got more time.

Comment author: teageegeepea 05 April 2011 04:58:30AM 0 points [-]

"Is combating racism a game of whack-a-mole, in which society invents new prejudices to replace the ones being taken away?" I didn't see any provided evidence/argument for causality.