Re: Fred Reed - The Dave Barry of Racists

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Sat Aug 04 2001 - 17:49:45 MDT

Lee Corbin wrote:
> Miriam writes
> >
> > I am disappointed that a racist thread has turned up on
> > the extropians list.
> I have said repeatedly that this should be looked upon as a
> welcome challenge to be met, but there has been no response to
> my statement. Of course, you don't mean "racist thread", you
> mean a discussion of racism. I repeat, if extropians simply
> cannot handle uncomfortable ideas, then how in the world can
> we ever hope that non-extropians should come to grips with
> cloning, uploading, immortality, or the Spike?

There are some on the extropians list who have demonstrated an inherent
inability to calmly discuss uncomfortable ideas, or to look at the real
data with anything but a jaundiced approach contorted by propaganda.

> > The denials of racism by some of the (plonked) individuals here
> > remind me of a statement by someone I knew years ago: "I'm not
> > racist. I can't help that blacks are stupid." I was astonished,
> > but no amount of explanation could convince him of the absurdity
> > of what he said.
> Wow! First, do you know that "plonked" means that someone
> has engaged an automatic process by which (roughly speaking)
> a certain person's posts never even get to his mailbox?

I assume that the individual is referring to me, as if their own
plonking of me somehow equates to a list-wide condemnation of my
comments, no matter how out-of-context they were taken. I also find it
quite revealing that the same individuals who accuse me of being racist
are also the same individuals who have acted the most viciously against
me over firearms, capitalism, and other libertarian issues.

I challenge ANYONE on this list to find any time, any place where I have
said something to the effect that blacks are inherently inferior. I have
made significant recent posts with lengthy commentary on what I think is
the real reason why there remains a chronic lack of socio-economic
mobility by blacks in the US, and it's got nothing to do with genetics.

> If this isn't a frightened tactic of self-censorship, then
> I don't know what is. (I hasten to add, that quite often
> experienced discussion list members employ plonking not to
> prevent their eyes from meeting disagreeable points of view,
> but rather because someone's posts over a great deal of time
> have shown themselves to be without content, or too long, or
> some other non-partisan cause.)

I find that people claim to 'plonk' you, but do not actually set up a
filter, they are simply trying to make an ad hominem attack in a manner
that is consistent with list behavior. I've only set up a filter once,
for one person, and did not publicize the fact for quite a while. Public
plonking is merely melodramatic ad hominem.

> Second, what that person said
> "I'm not racist. I can't help that blacks are stupid."
> is *not* necessarily absurd, as you claim. It may be entirely
> wrong; it may be a gross over-generalization; it may be so
> utterly an unqualified assertion that it absolutely demands
> refutation---but it's not absurd.

Furthermore, it is entirely consistent with the book "The Bell Curve",
which has been roundly condemned in political circles, but its attackers
are rather weak in attacking the actual data it is based on. They do
better when they question the behavior attributed to the data.

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