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Old 8th February 2019, 01:12 PM   #401
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Not really as Sam Harris says where in the world is there a place for people with special apologies and asking for forgiveness?

Neeson hasn't asked for forgiveness and his only apology is for having a 'primeval urge', not for his racist attitude.
The fact that Neeson isn't asking for forgiveness doesn't change the fact that a lot of people are not willing to forgive him for something he already meditated about and admitted was wrong. And that's the point Harris is making.
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Old 8th February 2019, 01:21 PM   #402
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
It was part of my point that Neeson was not out to get revenge on any old black man.
But he was - he said that. That's what the whole debate is about???!? I'm confused
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Old 9th February 2019, 01:46 AM   #403
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
By his phraseology.
What was his phraseology about blacks, prior to this interview?
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Old 9th February 2019, 01:49 AM   #404
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Originally Posted by Ethan Thane Athen View Post
But he was - he said that. That's what the whole debate is about???!? I'm confused
Neeson said ""I went up and down areas with a cosh, hoping I’d be approached by somebody...hoping some ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know"

So, he was only out to find a black man who was also aggressive towards him.
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Old 9th February 2019, 02:25 AM   #405
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Yes, he was out to find a man who was aggressive towards him and also black.
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Old 9th February 2019, 03:46 AM   #406
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
I think everyone agrees what he did was wrong. The disagreement is over how wrong it was and how much he should be condemned for it.

I say it was very stupid and since he admitted it was very stupid from the start, he should be subject to minimal condemnation.
Exactly. And since the feelings that he had were not unique to him, of seeking retribution on someone perceived as being from the group as the actual perpetrator, it's possible that his story, and his condemnation of that impulse may just make one or two people who hear it think about it, and realise that emotional reactions aren't necessarily the right ones.
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Old 9th February 2019, 03:50 AM   #407
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
By his phraseology.
Bollocks.

The only possible racism I can see is if the reason he asked the colour of the rapist was because he assumed they must be black, and we simply don't have enough information to judge that, only his retelling of a conversation from 40 years ago. I don't think his account of that is supposed to be verbatim, and even if he claimed that I'd be surprised if it were accurate.
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Old 9th February 2019, 05:25 AM   #408
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
Exactly. And since the feelings that he had were not unique to him, of seeking retribution on someone perceived as being from the group as the actual perpetrator, it's possible that his story, and his condemnation of that impulse may just make one or two people who hear it think about it, and realise that emotional reactions aren't necessarily the right ones.
Problem is, Neeson is fully aware of the issues. He himself said that in '70's UK, as a long-haired Irishman, he was always being pulled over by the police and met hostility from Brits because of the activities of the IRA.

So say the rapist is claimed to be Irish and Neeson is English. There would be a big difference in his saying he went out to look for an Irishman and looking 'a thick paddy bastard'. (Current terminology.)

How you speak betrays how you think.
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Old 9th February 2019, 06:06 AM   #409
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Stop making stuff up.
The equivalent of 'black man - black bastard' is not 'irishman - thick paddy bastard'.
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Old 9th February 2019, 06:14 AM   #410
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Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
Sure, it's not as if bastard is an extremely common low level curse word in Britain.
It must refer to some kind of hidden prejudice that all black people are born out of wedlock, and somehow refers to slavery as well.
Makes about as much sense as mermaids being real I suppose
This makes little sense, nor does Neeson's usage of the word I his story to be honest.

The term is a highly offensive one nowadays and pretty much equivalent to use of the N-word.

It is not equivalent to using the two words separately or out of context.

I assume his usage of the term today was meant to illustrate his thoughts at the time rather than reflect his feelings currently, but it is probably at best ill-advised.
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Old 9th February 2019, 06:40 AM   #411
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
The article said a cosh was a crobar. Being euro illiterate, I believed it. Thanks for clarifyng. Is a cosh something that can be carried legally?
Late I know, and perhaps a minor point, but the fact that it was a 'cosh' and not a crowbar* is significant in terms of the severity of the crime/Neeson's intent at the time. A crowbar is significantly more lethal than anything you'd call a 'cosh' although of course both can be lethal. It suggests intent to commit actual/grievous bodily harm but not necessarily murder. Of course in the interview he suggests that at the time he did want to kill someone, but if so, a cosh isn't the most effective choice (but clearly he wasn't thinking rationally, so who knows).

*we do call them that by the way, in fact I doubt many youngsters know what a 'jemmy' is these days - crow*bar* is an American word but we had 'crow' and 'iron crow' before that.
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Old 9th February 2019, 07:01 AM   #412
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Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
Stop making stuff up.
The equivalent of 'black man - black bastard' is not 'irishman - thick paddy bastard'.

This ginger has a very good point: Gingerism is real, but not all prejudices are equal to one another (The Guardian, Jan. 15, 2013)
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Old 9th February 2019, 07:54 AM   #413
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
So say the rapist is claimed to be Irish and Neeson is English. There would be a big difference in his saying he went out to look for an Irishman and looking 'a thick paddy bastard'. (Current terminology.)

How you speak betrays how you think.
Yes, but he didn't say that, you did.

Let's rewrite this to reflect what he would have said in your scenario:

Quote:
So say the rapist is claimed to be Irish and Neeson is English. There would be a big difference in his saying he went out to look for an Irishman and looking 'an Irish bastard'.
And there you have it, not racist.
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Old 9th February 2019, 08:26 AM   #414
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I get the feeling that it more of a vigilante style behavior than anything else. He went out as "bait", hoping that a street thug would give him an excuse to pop someone with a crowbar.
It wasn't a crowbar.

Quote:
Oh, and by the way, he expected the person who would attack him to be black, just like the one who raped his friend, and just like an awful lot of street criminals in those days.
Not where it probably happened.
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Old 9th February 2019, 08:30 AM   #415
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
Lets look at what he said again;

"I went up and down areas with a cosh, hoping I’d be approached by somebody...hoping some ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know"

He was hoping a black person would confront him, so he had an excuse to attack. He was looking for a black person who was aggressive to others. Considering how few black people there were, then reduce that further to how many would go out and have a go at others and he statistically, had reduced his target group down to quite likely to include the rapist he wanted revenge on.
Which is why it took him two weeks not finding anyone to fight.
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Old 9th February 2019, 08:33 AM   #416
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Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think your average rapist is prone to random bursts of aggression toward fit 30 year old men in broad daylight...
If there is such an average, I would have though they were more prone to violence, day or night (the idea of catching someone coming out of a pub leans more to the latter).
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Old 9th February 2019, 08:37 AM   #417
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Personally, I think Neeson made up what he thought would be a bit of cool, edgy backstory, and it backfired severely on him. Which, frankly, he should have been able to see coming. I feel no need to pick apart his story to determine the motivations therein, because I don't believe the story happened. He just sank his own ship for absolutely no reason.

Of course, I could be wrong. But the story really sounds like dramatic bull ****. Too bad Neeson didn't run his dark yarn past a competent publicist before he opened his mouth.

I don't know what kind of guy this makes him. He doesn't come up on my radar very often. I think the last movie of his I saw was the Star Wars prequel.
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Old 9th February 2019, 08:43 AM   #418
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
Yes, but he didn't say that, you did.

Let's rewrite this to reflect what he would have said in your scenario:



And there you have it, not racist.
Call someone an 'Irish bastard' in Camden and you are likely to find yourself face-palming the ground.

Then come back and say it is not a racist insult.
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Old 9th February 2019, 08:45 AM   #419
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
By his phraseology.
I've been called a fat, bald, and/or speccy bastard in the course of someone else looking for a fight. I doubt that's evidence that any of them actually had a profound hatred of fall, bald, and/or speccy people. In the heat of the moment, antagonists seem to pick on any detail that doesn't apply to themselves, turning it into an insult. I once even had, "Look at you, standing there... in your shorts!"
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Old 9th February 2019, 10:17 AM   #420
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Call someone an 'Irish bastard' in Camden and you are likely to find yourself face-palming the ground.
I imagine that's more on account of the bastard as opposed to the Irish.

Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Then come back and say it is not a racist insult.
I don't think there's any such thing as a racist insult. A racist person can insult someone, and their intentions may well be motivated by racism, but an insult itself cannot be anything other than an insult.
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Old 9th February 2019, 10:34 AM   #421
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post



And there you have it, not racist.
Huh??? Very racist. Even allowing for the non equivalence in terminology
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Old 9th February 2019, 10:37 AM   #422
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
I've been called a fat, bald, and/or speccy bastard in the course of someone else looking for a fight. I doubt that's evidence that any of them actually had a profound hatred of fall, bald, and/or speccy people. In the heat of the moment, antagonists seem to pick on any detail that doesn't apply to themselves, turning it into an insult. I once even had, "Look at you, standing there... in your shorts!"
This feels a lot like those guys who insist that Paki isn't racist because its only a short version of Pakistani and is therefore equivalent to Brit. It isn't. Everyone knows that.

Equally the phrase black bastard is not equivalent to saying fat bastard tall bastard or speccy bastard
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Old 9th February 2019, 11:11 AM   #423
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
I've been called a fat, bald, and/or speccy bastard in the course of someone else looking for a fight. I doubt that's evidence that any of them actually had a profound hatred of fall, bald, and/or speccy people. In the heat of the moment, antagonists seem to pick on any detail that doesn't apply to themselves, turning it into an insult. I once even had, "Look at you, standing there... in your shorts!"
Look. An Englishman isn't going to be much insulted if called an 'English bastard' by a Scot, Welshman or Irishman. However, make that vice versa, and for strong historical reasons, a Welshman, Scot or Irishman will resent being called a Welsh, Scots or Irish bastard, because it is unmistakeably racist.

I have to be careful not to refer to the UK as 'England' in front of my Welsh chum, as he gets very upset if I do.
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Old 9th February 2019, 11:20 AM   #424
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
This feels a lot like those guys who insist that Paki isn't racist because its only a short version of Pakistani and is therefore equivalent to Brit. It isn't. Everyone knows that.
It's the history of the term which gives it meaning and baggage. The term "Paki" in the US is just an abbreviation (though the internet means that some in the US are now aware of the connotations it has here). It was in the UK, too, until it became used as an insult by racists; there is nothing inherently racist about the word (or any word, for that matter) itself.
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Old 9th February 2019, 11:56 AM   #425
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Look. An Englishman isn't going to be much insulted if called an 'English bastard' by a Scot, Welshman or Irishman. However, make that vice versa, and for strong historical reasons, a Welshman, Scot or Irishman will resent being called a Welsh, Scots or Irish bastard, because it is unmistakeably racist.

I have to be careful not to refer to the UK as 'England' in front of my Welsh chum, as he gets very upset if I do.
I also see a valid comparison for that reason. American discourse on oppression is very restrictive in this way, though. Comparisons to other examples of oppression get stormily shouted down as minimization, sometimes validly so, but just as often from a bit of myopia. It's quite regrettable, because "taking the context away" has often been a great tool in getting people to realize how their behavior looks without the automatic shield of "but society around me accepts me acting this way."

But that, too, reveals some of the points made here. Oppression begets oppression. Neeson grew up understanding that a more dominant, cohesive culture bullies the weaker ones. He perpetuated that for a time, almost without question. It's quite similar to "generational cycles of abuse" where a person abused young, despite wanting to "live healthy" keeps falling into long-ingrained repetitions of what they learned was "normal" at a developmental level that is very hard to re-wire.

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Old 9th February 2019, 01:39 PM   #426
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
This feels a lot like those guys who insist that Paki isn't racist because its only a short version of Pakistani and is therefore equivalent to Brit. It isn't. Everyone knows that.

Equally the phrase black bastard is not equivalent to saying fat bastard tall bastard or speccy bastard
There is an issue of context. I knew two Pakistani shopkeepers who had reg numbers PAK1 and PAK11 on their cars. I knew of another who described himself in court as the local Paki shopkeeper. Then the former Celtic goal keeper Paddy Bonner's nickname was packie.

The word Paki is not universally rude and offensive.
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Old 10th February 2019, 07:21 AM   #427
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By that measure I guess calling someone a JAP is okay
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Old 10th February 2019, 07:51 AM   #428
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I have to wonder if Liam Neeson had told the story but omitted the race part how people would have reacted. In other words, he explained that he wandered the streets with a crowbar hoping to be attacked so that he could beat someone to death with a crowbar.

"Oh. All right then. No problem. As long as you were following federal diversity guidelines when looking for people to beat to death."

Actually, they probably would have called him racist, because everyone knows that anti-crime rhetoric is a dog whistle for anti-minority rhetoric.
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Old 10th February 2019, 07:58 AM   #429
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
It's the history of the term which gives it meaning and baggage. The term "Paki" in the US is just an abbreviation (though the internet means that some in the US are now aware of the connotations it has here). It was in the UK, too, until it became used as an insult by racists; there is nothing inherently racist about the word (or any word, for that matter) itself.
And that is sort of my point, the term carries meaning and baggage beyond the words. The words black and bastard don't carry racist meaning but put them together and you get a racial epithet.
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Old 10th February 2019, 08:02 AM   #430
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Originally Posted by applecorped View Post
By that measure I guess calling someone a JAP is okay
No, and calling them a "Japanese bastard" isn't okay but it isn't racist.
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Old 10th February 2019, 08:03 AM   #431
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
The words black and bastard don't carry racist meaning but put them together and you get a racial epithet.
No, you don't.
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Old 10th February 2019, 08:16 AM   #432
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I have to wonder if Liam Neeson had told the story but omitted the race part how people would have reacted. In other words, he explained that he wandered the streets with a crowbar hoping to be attacked so that he could beat someone to death with a crowbar.

"Oh. All right then. No problem. As long as you were following federal diversity guidelines when looking for people to beat to death."
You're probably not wrong.
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Old 10th February 2019, 08:18 AM   #433
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How can a word be racist? It doesn't even make sense to argue that.
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Old 10th February 2019, 08:30 AM   #434
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
There is an issue of context. I knew two Pakistani shopkeepers who had reg numbers PAK1 and PAK11 on their cars. I knew of another who described himself in court as the local Paki shopkeeper. Then the former Celtic goal keeper Paddy Bonner's nickname was packie.

The word Paki is not universally rude and offensive.
In 1983 a man of Ukrainian descent was taken to the BC Human Rights Tribunal over the name of his business, Hunky Bill's Perogies. The complaint was filed by the Ukrainian Business Association in Vancouver.

The arbitrator decided in favour of Hunky Bill saying: "Words mean exactly what the speaker intends; nothing more and nothing less."
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Old 10th February 2019, 09:47 AM   #435
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
There is an issue of context. I knew two Pakistani shopkeepers who had reg numbers PAK1 and PAK11 on their cars. I knew of another who described himself in court as the local Paki shopkeeper. Then the former Celtic goal keeper Paddy Bonner's nickname was packie.

The word Paki is not universally rude and offensive.
Really? Don't forget to have some pants on your head when you refer to someone as a 'Paki'.
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Old 10th February 2019, 10:14 AM   #436
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
In 1983 a man of Ukrainian descent was taken to the BC Human Rights Tribunal over the name of his business, Hunky Bill's Perogies. The complaint was filed by the Ukrainian Business Association in Vancouver.

The arbitrator decided in favour of Hunky Bill saying: "Words mean exactly what the speaker intends; nothing more and nothing less."
Where is the offense in that? East Europeans are famed for their perogies.
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Old 10th February 2019, 12:15 PM   #437
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
No, you don't.
Give it a try then. See how many of your legs you walk away with intact.
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Old 10th February 2019, 12:31 PM   #438
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
How can a word be racist?
Depends in what kind of household it was raised.
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Old 10th February 2019, 02:00 PM   #439
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Really? Don't forget to have some pants on your head when you refer to someone as a 'Paki'.
I would not use the term, but I just gave examples of how it has been used without it being offensive.
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Old 10th February 2019, 02:01 PM   #440
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I have to wonder if Liam Neeson had told the story but omitted the race part how people would have reacted. In other words, he explained that he wandered the streets with a crowbar hoping to be attacked so that he could beat someone to death with a crowbar.

"Oh. All right then. No problem. As long as you were following federal diversity guidelines when looking for people to beat to death."

Actually, they probably would have called him racist, because everyone knows that anti-crime rhetoric is a dog whistle for anti-minority rhetoric.
I agree, if he had not mentioned race this would not have been an issue.
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