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Old 13th September 2017, 06:33 AM   #401
Delphic Oracle
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
This is a lot of the problem, the view of labeling an action as racist is so damning that you need huge amounts of proof. This inhibits the discussion of casual and unconscious racism. It inhibits personal growth from promoting self analysis of what effect race had on ones own actions and thoughts. Because the conclusion that one had racist actions leads to the damning label of being a racist.
Maybe there should be more emphasis on nuanced language that allows for a bit more dynamic range than racist and not racist.

Oops, now I'm tone policing and that's racist.

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Old 13th September 2017, 06:40 AM   #402
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The photo of the tree, banana skin, and a clue to the environment around it included below. I read that this incident followed a morning discussion session after which food was served, including bananas.

So one of them wanders off scoffing a banana, finds no litter bins (it's a camp and litter bins would encourage scavenging animals?) and only grass/worn earth at ground level. Reluctant to throw the skin on the ground he parks it in a tree. Perfectly plausible, imo.
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Old 13th September 2017, 06:49 AM   #403
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
You should pay attention to your own writings.

As you say, you may have been brought up in an environment devoid of all of those things.

He wasn't. In fact, since he was going to school in Mississippi, at "Ol' Miss", it is likely he was brought up in an environment rife with the weight of such a heritage. It would be hard to avoid.

As you say, context matters.
So guilty until proven innocent. That's the gist of what I'm reading. Not the way it works in this country.

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Old 13th September 2017, 06:56 AM   #404
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
Maybe there should be more emphasis on nuanced language that allows for a bit more dynamic range than racist and not racist.
I second that emotion. Most everyone has at least slightly different expectations of, say Puerto Ricans and Irish folks. This isn't necesarily the same thing as racism, and maybe not even racial bias. We need to carefully monitor ourselves for all sorts of biases (as skeptics, of course) but accusing other folks of bias requires insight into their subjective mental processes.
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Old 13th September 2017, 06:58 AM   #405
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
I second that emotion.
Did you mean "motion"?

Quote:
Most everyone has at least slightly different expectations of, say Puerto Ricans and Irish folks. This isn't necesarily the same thing as racism, and maybe not even racial bias.
The problem is that when your worldview is based on the idea of pervasive bigotry, everything that isn't aligned with your ideas is bigoted.
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Old 13th September 2017, 07:07 AM   #406
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
The photo of the tree, banana skin, and a clue to the environment around it included below. I read that this incident followed a morning discussion session after which food was served, including bananas.

So one of them wanders off scoffing a banana, finds no litter bins (it's a camp and litter bins would encourage scavenging animals?) and only grass/worn earth at ground level. Reluctant to throw the skin on the ground he parks it in a tree. Perfectly plausible, imo.
It's fair to say this argument has been beaten to death, but:

Is propping trash in a tree at eye level right outside a building somehow better than tossing it on the ground? What stopped this conscientious trash-disposer from just holding on to it till he reaches a can?

A wooded retreat area would certainly have maintained trash cans, for exactly the reason you say, that you need to prevent scavenging animals from going after trash around buildings. Which he now encouraged. This is not a secluded campsite; it has regular buildings and all. Probably electricity and water, too.

Why would he be so concerned about finding a trash can, then put the trash at eye level right outside a building, for maximum obnoxious effect? Wouldn't the ground be less 'in your face' than right there?

And the big one: do you do this? Ever see anyone do this? Specifically, hanging trash in trees, right near a building, because he couldn't find a proper means of disposal. Put yourself in that position. I would hold on to the trash till I found a can, it's not like he would hike miles to find one.
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Old 13th September 2017, 07:08 AM   #407
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
The problem is that when your worldview is based on the idea of pervasive bigotry, everything that isn't aligned with your ideas is bigoted.
Marxists generally see the history of society as a "history of class struggles."

Feminists generally view society through the lens of patriarchal oppression.

Anti-racists generally view society through the lens of racial oppression.

Church-state separatists generally view society as a struggle between rationalist secularism and faith-based theocracy.

None of them are really wrong, but they do often focus on their own expertise at the expense of others.
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Old 13th September 2017, 09:20 AM   #408
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
The photo of the tree, banana skin, and a clue to the environment around it included below. I read that this incident followed a morning discussion session after which food was served, including bananas.

So one of them wanders off scoffing a banana, finds no litter bins (it's a camp and litter bins would encourage scavenging animals?) and only grass/worn earth at ground level. Reluctant to throw the skin on the ground he parks it in a tree. Perfectly plausible, imo.

Why not put it at the bottom of the tree? Unlikely that anyone would step on it there, and it certainly wouldn't be as unsightly.

That photo doesn't show much of the surroundings. I guess the idea that there might be a bush somewhere nearby that the peel could be thrown under and be completely out of sight and out of the way is just too unrealistic to contemplate.

I guess I just led a deprived and sheltered childhood, not growing up where people habitually hung their garbage in trees at eye level.
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Old 13th September 2017, 09:23 AM   #409
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Marxists generally see the history of society as a "history of class struggles."

Which is fine, until they start claiming that bourgeois indoctrination prevents any disagreement from possibly being valid.

Quote:
Feminists generally view society through the lens of patriarchal oppression.

Which is fine, until they start claiming that participation in or indoctrination by the patriarchy prevents any disagreement from possibly being valid.

Quote:
Anti-racists generally view society through the lens of racial oppression.

Which is fine, until they start claiming that pervasive institutional racism prevents any disagreement from possibly being valid.

Quote:
Church-state separatists generally view society as a struggle between rationalist secularism and faith-based theocracy.

Which is fine, until they start claiming that religious superstition prevents any disagreement from possibly being valid.

Quote:
None of them are really wrong, but they do often focus on their own expertise at the expense of others.

Which wouldn't be so bad, if they (and everyone else) didn't all keep making the same big mistake as well, as enumerated above.
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Old 13th September 2017, 09:23 AM   #410
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
Why not put it at the bottom of the tree?
Racism obviously.
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Old 13th September 2017, 09:26 AM   #411
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
Which wouldn't be so bad, if they (and everyone else) didn't all keep making the same big mistake as well, as enumerated above.
Have you read The Righteous Mind perchance? The "big mistake" may well be broader than you imply, and commoner than we might expect.
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Old 13th September 2017, 09:31 AM   #412
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Marxists generally see the history of society as a "history of class struggles."

Feminists generally view society through the lens of patriarchal oppression.

Anti-racists generally view society through the lens of racial oppression.

Church-state separatists generally view society as a struggle between rationalist secularism and faith-based theocracy.

None of them are really wrong, but they do often focus on their own expertise at the expense of others.

All of those recognize the existence of oppression and struggle against it.

They seem more similar than different to me. I haven't seen this focus to the disregard of the others which you are suggesting.

Sure, people will devote somewhat more of their energies to causes they are in greater sympathy with or feel a greater personal connection to than others, but in general, people who struggle against the oppression of minorities are at the very least aware of and sympathetic to all oppression, not just that of their personal focus.
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Old 13th September 2017, 09:39 AM   #413
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Have you read The Righteous Mind perchance? The "big mistake" may well be broader than you imply, and commoner than we might expect.

Since I attributed that big mistake to a list of large groups of people, "and everyone else" as well, I'm not sure how any broader or more common I could imply.

To be clear, the big mistake is not maintaining the correctness of their own respective positionsóif they weren't doing that, they wouldn't be Marxists, identity feminists, anti-racists, church-state separatists etc. in the first placeóbut in maintaining that no rational disagreement is possible. Therefore all claimed disagreement must be either dishonest or the result of a disordered thought process. And either way, the actual disagreeing arguments need not be addressed.

However, as broad and common as it is, it's not universal.

"The inferno of the living is not something that will be; if there is one, it is what is already here, the inferno where we live every day, that we form by being together. There are two ways to escape suffering it. The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it. The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space." - Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
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Old 13th September 2017, 09:41 AM   #414
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Originally Posted by MostlyDead View Post
It's fair to say this argument has been beaten to death, but:

Is propping trash in a tree at eye level right outside a building somehow better than tossing it on the ground? What stopped this conscientious trash-disposer from just holding on to it till he reaches a can?

A wooded retreat area would certainly have maintained trash cans, for exactly the reason you say, that you need to prevent scavenging animals from going after trash around buildings. Which he now encouraged. This is not a secluded campsite; it has regular buildings and all. Probably electricity and water, too.

Why would he be so concerned about finding a trash can, then put the trash at eye level right outside a building, for maximum obnoxious effect? Wouldn't the ground be less 'in your face' than right there?

And the big one: do you do this? Ever see anyone do this? Specifically, hanging trash in trees, right near a building, because he couldn't find a proper means of disposal. Put yourself in that position. I would hold on to the trash till I found a can, it's not like he would hike miles to find one.
Have we heard the story of "no trash cans" refuted yet? Seems like an easy check to make. I have not followed the thread much.

I think we have the same trigger event unless the banana peel was placed where no one could see it.

Throwing it on the ground outside the building would have produced a nearly identical trigger/media event, imo.
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Old 13th September 2017, 09:47 AM   #415
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Swanson, who put the peel in the tree, said he could not find a trash can.

McNeil, who was triggered by the peel, says a trash can was a few feet away.

So which is it? It seems like a critical point regarding Swanson's future at the college.
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Old 13th September 2017, 09:54 AM   #416
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Originally Posted by LTC8K6 View Post
Swanson, who put the peel in the tree, said he could not find a trash can.

McNeil, who was triggered by the peel, says a trash can was a few feet away.

So which is it? It seems like a critical point regarding Swanson's future at the college.

Maybe Swanson was so mesmerized by the sight of all the other garbage hung in trees at eye level that he just overlooked the trash can a few feet away.

Easy mistake to make. Could happen to anyone.
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Old 13th September 2017, 09:57 AM   #417
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
Maybe Swanson was so mesmerized by the sight of all the other garbage hung in trees at eye level that he just overlooked the trash can a few feet away.

Easy mistake to make. Could happen to anyone.
You'd think if Swanson was lying, it would be widely reported and he'd already be gone from Ole Miss for lying about the incident.

It seems like a glaring contradiction, yet I cannot find any outlet that has resolved it.
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Old 13th September 2017, 10:42 AM   #418
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I think most of the discussion misses an important point.

Suppose it was a racist intent.

Who cares? I mean, really, who cares? Suppose, instead of a banana in a tree, it was a racial slur, like, a real one, written on the wall. Would that have been a good reason to cancel the rest of the weekend's activities.

There are racists in the world. Don't accept it, but don't let it dominate your life, or expect the world to grind to a halt.

And when the guy who put the banana in the tree comes forward and says why he did it, what possible benefit is there in challenging his explanation?
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Old 13th September 2017, 10:51 AM   #419
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Originally Posted by LTC8K6 View Post
Have we heard the story of "no trash cans" refuted yet? Seems like an easy check to make. I have not followed the thread much.
I took a quick look at Camp Hopewell's website (the scene of the crime). Primarily a religious retreat, heated and air conditioned buildings. Wifi. Not exactly a clearing in the forest (link to site below). I would assume a professionally run retreat would have public trash containers.

Quote:
I think we have the same trigger event unless the banana peel was placed where no one could see it.

Throwing it on the ground outside the building would have produced a nearly identical trigger/media event, imo.
I dunno, the odd eye-level placement is the whole ball-o-wax. On the ground I don't think anyone would attach significance. I would do at least a double-take on tree-trash arrangements, but wouldn't give trash on the ground a thought (maybe a grumble or two).

http://www.camphopewell.com/lodging-and-facilities
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Old 13th September 2017, 10:53 AM   #420
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Originally Posted by LTC8K6 View Post
You'd think if Swanson was lying, it would be widely reported and he'd already be gone from Ole Miss for lying about the incident.

Why? The excuse is plausible, barely. He doesn't have to have an extensive history of rabidly racial behavior to have made an inappropriate joke.

I can understand, under the circumstances, that he might want to try and pass it off as something completely harmless instead of admitting that he made an inappropriate joke.

I'm not saying he'd didn't.

What I find interesting is the number of people coming to his defense with claims that there is no other possible explanation than he just decided that leaving garbage in a tree at eye level in a public venue was the best way to get rid of a banana peel.

You know, because that's what everyone always does.

Quote:

It seems like a glaring contradiction, yet I cannot find any outlet that has resolved it.

And this is a perfect example of what I am talking about.
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Old 13th September 2017, 10:56 AM   #421
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
What I find interesting is the number of people coming to his defense with claims that there is no other possible explanation than he just decided that leaving garbage in a tree at eye level in a public venue was the best way to get rid of a banana peel.

You know, because that's what everyone always does..
I don't recall him or anyone ever saying that. Perhaps you could cite us up a treat? Thanks in advance.

Now, that is unlikely to shake my firmly held belief that the only possible reason someone would do something like this is:

RACSIM
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Old 13th September 2017, 11:01 AM   #422
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I think most of the discussion misses an important point.

Suppose it was a racist intent.

Who cares? I mean, really, who cares? Suppose, instead of a banana in a tree, it was a racial slur, like, a real one, written on the wall. Would that have been a good reason to cancel the rest of the weekend's activities.
The OP said that the discussion about unintended imagery expanded to race relations on campus, then got tense and heated. I think is was this follow-up of bad vibes that shut the party down rather than the peel.

Quote:
There are racists in the world. Don't accept it, but don't let it dominate your life, or expect the world to grind to a halt.

And when the guy who put the banana in the tree comes forward and says why he did it, what possible benefit is there in challenging his explanation?
Smoke, fire. An explanation with such an (arguably) odd element could be viewed as dishonest. Not really helpful when trying to defuse a tense situation.
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Old 13th September 2017, 11:03 AM   #423
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
Why? The excuse is plausible, barely. He doesn't have to have an extensive history of rabidly racial behavior to have made an inappropriate joke.

I can understand, under the circumstances, that he might want to try and pass it off as something completely harmless instead of admitting that he made an inappropriate joke.

I'm not saying he'd didn't.

What I find interesting is the number of people coming to his defense with claims that there is no other possible explanation than he just decided that leaving garbage in a tree at eye level in a public venue was the best way to get rid of a banana peel.

You know, because that's what everyone always does.




And this is a perfect example of what I am talking about.
You generally don't get away with such a thing on a college campus these days. Generally no explanation suffices for an act that offends a group. I am amazed that he hasn't been kicked out.
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Old 13th September 2017, 12:28 PM   #424
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
This is a lot of the problem, the view of labeling an action as racist is so damning that you need huge amounts of proof. This inhibits the discussion of casual and unconscious racism. It inhibits personal growth from promoting self analysis of what effect race had on ones own actions and thoughts. Because the conclusion that one had racist actions leads to the damning label of being a racist.
I don't see the need for proof of an accusation as a "problem", i see it as vital in a democratic society with free speech. People are given the benefit of the doubt for their actions.

If you want a society that automatically presumes guilt, North Korea and Myanmar await you.
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Old 13th September 2017, 12:45 PM   #425
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Originally Posted by MostlyDead View Post
I took a quick look at Camp Hopewell's website (the scene of the crime). Primarily a religious retreat, heated and air conditioned buildings. Wifi. Not exactly a clearing in the forest (link to site below). I would assume a professionally run retreat would have public trash containers.
I have spent a few weeks at several rainforest retreats and villages in the Daintree (North Queensland) over the last few years. There are never trash bins and the staff actually tell you that they don't have them because it attracts scavenging wild animals to the camp at night. Stayers are expected to pack out their trash back to the camp after a day out and dispose of it in bins provided at the kitchen facility inside the communal building.
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Old 13th September 2017, 01:05 PM   #426
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Originally Posted by MostlyDead View Post
I took a quick look at Camp Hopewell's website (the scene of the crime). Primarily a religious retreat, heated and air conditioned buildings. Wifi. Not exactly a clearing in the forest (link to site below). I would assume a professionally run retreat would have public trash containers.
(bold by me)

About this 'scene of the crime'....
Was he standing in place under the tree and using his phone at the time of the alleged odd disposal of his banana peel?
Was this tree near an expected path he would take to get from A to B?

The assumption seems to be that he walked up to this particular tree with the express intent of discarding his banana peel there and then kept walking.
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Old 13th September 2017, 01:23 PM   #427
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
All of those recognize the existence of oppression and struggle against it.

They seem more similar than different to me. I haven't seen this focus to the disregard of the others which you are suggesting.

Sure, people will devote somewhat more of their energies to causes they are in greater sympathy with or feel a greater personal connection to than others, but in general, people who struggle against the oppression of minorities are at the very least aware of and sympathetic to all oppression, not just that of their personal focus.
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Old 13th September 2017, 01:26 PM   #428
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
Maybe Swanson was so mesmerized by the sight of all the other garbage hung in trees at eye level that he just overlooked the trash can a few feet away.

Easy mistake to make. Could happen to anyone.
Guy wants to be racist, can't think of anything worse than a banana peel.

What, did he just find out what racisim that afternoon and wanted to try it out? Didn't have the time to look into it a bit more?

Your story stains belief.

Likely dude just didn't care, tossed it at a tree and walked away.

Or your version where he is a racist Don Knotts.
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Old 13th September 2017, 01:29 PM   #429
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
Why? The excuse is plausible, barely. He doesn't have to have an extensive history of rabidly racial behavior to have made an inappropriate joke.

I can understand, under the circumstances, that he might want to try and pass it off as something completely harmless instead of admitting that he made an inappropriate joke.

I'm not saying he'd didn't.

What I find interesting is the number of people coming to his defense with claims that there is no other possible explanation than he just decided that leaving garbage in a tree at eye level in a public venue was the best way to get rid of a banana peel.

You know, because that's what everyone always does.




And this is a perfect example of what I am talking about.
There is another explination, your absurd one where the guy wants to be racist but doesn't know how to do it. It would make a good edgy three stooges skit, but as an explination of real events, doesn't really fly.
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Old 13th September 2017, 02:03 PM   #430
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Yeah but isn't that how you should deal with individual instances? Establish that racism is involved this time? Otherwise you could simply assume that it is just as easily as the people you accuse of doing the opposite are.
It's quite possible for the person disposing of the banana peel to have had no more motive than minor littering and simultaneously for it to be quite reasonable for a black person who has been subjected to racist insults to mistake it for a racist insult.

If you have been sensitised, then otherwise (((innocent))) if a bit odd symbols can take on a less benign meaning, see also Pepe the Frog.
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Old 13th September 2017, 03:16 PM   #431
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
It's quite possible for the person disposing of the banana peel to have had no more motive than minor littering and simultaneously for it to be quite reasonable for a black person who has been subjected to racist insults to mistake it for a racist insult.
And when they establish that no racist motive was involved, they, and everybody else, should let it go.
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Old 13th September 2017, 03:46 PM   #432
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
And when they establish that no racist motive was involved, they, and everybody else, should let it go.
This

I think most people are prepared to accept the "victims" at their word when they claim they were upset and felt threatened by the banana skin in a tree. This is what makes it such a shame that the SJW's of this world have been unable to accord the same understanding to the person who freely admitted putting it there for reasons other than racism.
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Old 13th September 2017, 04:16 PM   #433
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
This

I think most people are prepared to accept the "victims" at their word when they claim they were upset and felt threatened by the banana skin in a tree. This is what makes it such a shame that the SJW's of this world have been unable to accord the same understanding to the person who freely admitted putting it there for reasons other than racism.
Listen and Believe only applies to minorities and women, Cooky.
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Old 13th September 2017, 05:00 PM   #434
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Listen and Believe only applies to minorities and women, Cooky.
Ah. Got it!

Thanks!
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Old 13th September 2017, 08:43 PM   #435
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
I have spent a few weeks at several rainforest retreats and villages in the Daintree (North Queensland) over the last few years. There are never trash bins and the staff actually tell you that they don't have them because it attracts scavenging wild animals to the camp at night. Stayers are expected to pack out their trash back to the camp after a day out and dispose of it in bins provided at the kitchen facility inside the communal building.
I can see that arrangement at a variety of settings. Here though, with air conditioning and wifi, I get the impression of a more maintained setting.

The camp's site does not recommend bringing trash bags to personally store your refuse (see attached link for 'preparing for your retreat'). It does, however, mention that there are trash receptacles located outside of buildings (see link below under smoking regulations, p4). The ominous Banana was hung within a few steps of two buildings (see post #422). Based on the available evidence, can it be assumed that there were likely trash receptacles nearby, or that at least were available on site?

http://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/92b4a6...4d9e6cfa7e.pdf
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Old 13th September 2017, 08:48 PM   #436
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Originally Posted by Sherkeu View Post
(bold by me)

About this 'scene of the crime'....
I trust that 'scene of the crime' was understood to be facetious?

Quote:
Was he standing in place under the tree and using his phone at the time of the alleged odd disposal of his banana peel?
Was this tree near an expected path he would take to get from A to B?
Available wifi and air conditioning was used to highlight that this was no primitive campsite, as some posters compare it with. All the amenities of home, not some remote wilderness without trash receptacles.

Quote:
The assumption seems to be that he walked up to this particular tree with the express intent of discarding his banana peel there and then kept walking.
Well...yeah. He kind of said as much.
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Old 13th September 2017, 08:56 PM   #437
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
Well, there ya go! You now have Page 1 of Wolrab's Guide to Things That Aren't Racist.

Gotcha. "Banana peel in tree: Not racist."

Can we think of some more, class?
My copy is called Things You Can't Persuade Anyone With a Functioning Cerebral Cortex Are Racist
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Old 13th September 2017, 09:02 PM   #438
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
And when they establish that no racist motive was involved, they, and everybody else, should let it go.
The goofiness of his explanation calls into question whether or not there was a racist motive. Or at least, if the guy is being totally honest. You hang trash in trees?

But this is the interesting part: they did let it go, and quickly. The guy 'fessed up, and the spokesperson for the black sorority acknowledged it as 'unintentional imagery'. The following discussion, which expanded to race relations on campus, got tense and 'unhealthy'. That discussion, and not the peel, resulted in the event cancellation. Everyone moved past the banana peel except the ridiculing conservative press and some members of this forum, who obsess about it. The peel has little to do with the problem; the racial tensions were already there (the race relation discussion before finding the peel was described as 'heavy').
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Old 13th September 2017, 09:24 PM   #439
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Originally Posted by MostlyDead View Post
The goofiness of his explanation calls into question whether or not there was a racist motive. Or at least, if the guy is being totally honest. You hang trash in trees?

But this is the interesting part: they did let it go, and quickly. The guy 'fessed up, and the spokesperson for the black sorority acknowledged it as 'unintentional imagery'. The following discussion, which expanded to race relations on campus, got tense and 'unhealthy'. That discussion, and not the peel, resulted in the event cancellation. Everyone moved past the banana peel except the ridiculing conservative press and some members of this forum, who obsess about it. The peel has little to do with the problem; the racial tensions were already there (the race relation discussion before finding the peel was described as 'heavy').

I think this is true. Banana was a trigger that didn't die out because of underlying issues.

I looked at how their Greek life is run there. It's just like at my old college, except that the black sororities and fraternities (which we didnt have at my small school) operate separate from the others under their own umbrella organization (NPHC). They don't do Rush week and they mostly do not participate together with the others for "Greek" events. Going into their leadership weekend, I imagine they are already outsiders to the main part of the group as their numbers are much smaller. The school has just 7% black students.
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Old 13th September 2017, 09:53 PM   #440
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Originally Posted by Noztradamus View Post
My copy is called Things You Can't Persuade Anyone With a Functioning Cerebral Cortex Are Racist



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