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Marilee J. Layman

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04:57 pm: Assorted Odd News
A woman descended from Sioux is suing the University of Illinois to make them stop using their Indian mascot. Some Illinois students have decided that "What they don't realize is that there never was a racist problem before," wrote one, "but now I hate redskins and hope all those drunk, casino owning bums die." Is it possible to suddenly be racist? Don't they have to have thought that in the back of their minds for a while?

The late Jack Kent Cooke, former owner of the Redskins, was married to his third wife for a few weeks. She agreed to abort the pregnancy but then reneged and Jacqueline Cooke is now 19. She gets $50K/year from her father's estate plus some other small amounts of money. She's $23K in debt to Southern Methodist and is trying to get more money out of her father's estate. Her mother says the $50K is meant to be her "walking-around money". I don't get it how she can't live on $50K/year. I get by on a lot less. What the heck is that girl spending it on?

In the Virginia Legislature last year, the Republicans made a rule that bills can be killed in subcommittee which normally don't record the vote. That means there's no way to point at who voted for what (most recently, seven minimum wage bills were defeated by voice vote). The Democrats first tried to get rid of the rule, but in the Republican-controlled legislature, that didn't work. So now they're using cameras to capture what happens in the subcommittees and loading them on YouTube and http://www.assemblyaccess.com. The Republicans are grumbling.

Want to marry a Welsh farmer? The WashPost tells you all about it.

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[User Picture]
From:timill
Date:January 27th, 2007 10:55 pm (UTC)
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Is it possible to suddenly be racist? Don't they have to have thought that in the back of their minds for a while?

I vote yes - when a class, acting as a class, does you an injury, it is reasonable to be resentful of that class.

If a single individual belonging to that class but not acting on behalf of that class does you an injury, it is reasonable to be resentful of the individual but not of the class.

[User Picture]
From:redbird
Date:January 28th, 2007 12:27 am (UTC)
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It's not a question of what's reasonable; it's a question of why the injured person thinks in terms of classes when one or two people have harmed them, and, given that any individual belongs to multiple classes, what leads them to focus on one such class. And that, I think, has to do with pre-existing ideas, and what we see other people focusing on: there are plenty of people who think it's "perfectly reasonable" for someone mugged by a black man to be suspicious of all blacks, and unreasonable for that person to be suspicious of all men.

In this case, I simply don't believe that someone who wasn't racist would suddenly hate all Native Americans because one woman pushed a university to change its mascot. Nor do I believe that he came up with those stereotypes ex nihilo.
[User Picture]
From:timill
Date:January 28th, 2007 10:40 am (UTC)
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The distinction I draw is that, in this case, the woman is presumably a Native American acting (or claiming to act) on behalf of all NAs, whereas the mugger acts for himself, not for all blacks, so extension in that case would be unreasonable.

Mind you, I've never been mugged, so I couldn't say for sure what would happen. But I think I'd be more likely to regard the mugger as a member of "East Enders" or "Brixtonians" or something rather than "blacks". We have too many people of different races at work for me to think of any group as work-shy muggers...
[User Picture]
From:timill
Date:January 28th, 2007 10:42 am (UTC)
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And the stereotypes could be from one person and transmitted, memelike, through the student body.
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