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Brilliant analysis.

I am one of the readers who had deep concern for the truthfulness of these observations. If they are true, then he got screwed, royally, and should sue.

Except for the pendant comment. That's just a case of taking yourself too seriously. Yet another nail in the coffin of his credibility.




The things you think sap his credibility add to his credibility for me; if he was making things up, it would have been easy for him to leave his own politics and sensitivities out of the post to make it more painful for his ex-employer. To me, it reads like he's just venting to his peers. We're the ones making a big deal out of it.

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Yes: if his "plan" was to defame an employer, he'd want to conceal his views (which, again, are completely irrelevant here) as opposed to express them in a transparent fashion (which he does).

Finally, you have to wonder, how much of abuse the employer had to dish out to turn (judging from the picture) an apolitical gamer-hipster-nerd into an anti-colonial radical. I don't want to make this story about me, but as a secular Jew who immigrated from former USSR as a teen, I can say that experiencing racism firsthand tends to change your perspective.

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People who want to discredit somebody will use any convenient tactic. A decade ago, I bet you'd hear users citing the author's substance abuse problems and resulting instability because he admits to lighting up after work.

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Yeah, just as long as that sort of shit isn't in his official complaint, it's not really an issue that he's peeved about it. But that's the sort of thing that a lawyer would seize upon to try and demonstrate that someone has a distorted perspective.

If I were his editor, I'd tell him to separate the, "Dumb white hipsters being ignorant", stuff from the, "Creating a hostile working environment", part of his story. As it is, it's mixed in and undermines the seriousness of the legitimately awful treatment he was subjected to.

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In this situation perhaps it's most constructive to proceed with the conversation under the assumption that he honestly related his experiences, while acknowledging that we don't have a solid reason for believing him. We could run around in circles all day trying to reason things out -- for example, I could point out that exaggeration and embellishment are normal when people vent to their peers -- but we'd never get any closer to the truth. Unless we know him or the people he's talking about, we can't evaluate his credibility without making some unjustified assumption (such as the assumption that he's worse at lying than you are at spotting a lie,) but we can justify treating the story as honest on the grounds that it leads to a more interesting conversation than treating it as a lie.

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> Except for the pendant comment. That's just a case of taking yourself too seriously. Yet another nail in the coffin of his credibility.

What nails? You're treating his every statement as suspect by default based on the racial, sexual and political stereotype you are projecting onto him. Judging by the admittedly superficial evidence of your post history, you are a Randian libertarian with a stereotypical dislike of women and racial minorities who claim victimhood. You must be used to people automatically classifying you by a stereotype and refusing to engage with you. If only in that respect, you're exactly like him and others whose arguments you reject offhand.

Elsewhere in this thread you explain that your skepticism is based on personal experiences. Many people reading that will assume you're lying or that your view of what happened was warped. How does that make you feel? Like a victim of stereotyping? You may even write off those people as dumb liberal motherfuckers.

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You're treating his every statement as suspect by default based on the racial, sexual and political stereotype you are projecting onto him.

The burden of proof for accusations of this nature (or any serious nature) should always be on the accuser, not the accused.

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It's a blog post, not a legal document, so what do you expect? I have gotten independent albeit second-hand verification of a few of the episodes. Ignoring that, I still see nothing to warrant accusations of whining and lying. People yelling 'hypocrisy' and using it as evidence against his truthfulness are looking to rationalize their gut response, nothing more. Hypocrisy may be a weighty accusation against grandstanding moralists in the public square, but it has absolutely no relevance here.

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[deleted]

also offtopic: 'voracious vocabulary' probably doesn't mean what you think ;-) (you're probably thinking 'voracious reader')

I like to use HL Mencken as inspiration.

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Randian libertarian? Really? No, I'm actually quite moderate. I'm a left of center person here in the U.S., and my time in the deep south has made me keenly aware of how horrible the excesses of conservatism can be. However, my time in liberal areas of the nation (northern California, Massachussetts, etc.) has shown me how horribly wrong the classic ivory tower liberalism can go also. I don't dislike people victimized by discrimination. I just dislike systems in which discrimination is fixed by more discrimination. I also recognize how horribly wrong nanny state laws can go.

Look at California's renter protections. They go way, way beyond reason in dragging out an eviction process. As a result, people who would otherwise rent out properties do not, or do so at a much higher price to ensure that only high income people move into said properties. By protecting the poor people from landlord abuses, the result is that decent poor people who pay rent are punished by the indecent poor people who abuse the system and take advantage of squatter rights. Protections always, always come with a cost, hidden or not. I don't think (like Randians do) that this cost should ALWAYS be avoided and we should all go the path of John Galt fantasy land. I just think that too often, ivory tower liberals (by this I mean people who don't work in the private sector and confine themselves to academic and gov't advisory roles) don't see the costs of the protections they chase after, or don't consult with industry to find out what they truly are.

I will be voting for Obama this November. You know, because I hate minorities and women's rights and I worship Ayn Rand.

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> Randian libertarian?

To make my point, I was jumping to conclusions based on flimsy evidence.

> You know, because I hate minorities and women's rights and I worship Ayn Rand.

I don't believe you do any of those things. But I do believe you unfairly prejudged him on insufficient information and that someone doing the same in reverse would come to those sorts of conclusions about you.

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Are you serious? Or just insensitive? And how many nails are needed until you can safely say he's in his coffin ready to be buried? The issue that I have with the whole "don't even go to college/university, just start a startup" is that most colleges/universities will teach you at least something about gender and racial issues. That's not to say everybody that goes through college doesn't come out racist at the end, but at least most people who aren't dense, come out with a bigger understanding of what issues there are for the less privileged, especially if they are not one of the less privileged. You seem to be in big hurry to discredit this guy, I would say you and other people like you just put a nail in your red-neck coffin.

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I've been thinking about this a lot lately since I have a new roommate who went to art school instead of a four-year university and doesn't seem to have any idea when he's saying something racist.

People often seem to think that only STEM degrees teach real skills, but humanities and social sciences teach you to think critically about culture and society, and even though nobody's ever going to pay me to do that, I'd like to think the world's a better place for every person who's had their eyes opened a little bit. The disadvantage of course is that then afterwards, culture and society horrify you at every turn for the rest of your life.

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And you just put a nail in your elitist class warmonger column for insinuating that a college education is needed for someone to be expected to be not racist.

This is getting silly.

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"Yet another nail in the coffin of his credibility."

So because he's upset that his pendant was mocked (in what sounds like a pretty assy way), he isn't credible?

What were the other nails?

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I think he read the parent post as an indictment of the author and not a summary of valid issues with the company.

I know.

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> Yet another nail in the coffin of his credibility.

Please understand that the anger such treatment (validly) brings about is incredibly hard to suppress.

In that situation it's really hard to walk the line between expressing your emotions in such a way that it evokes similar emotions in others and not expressing so much anger that you will be classified as just bitter and vindictive.

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> Please understand that the anger such treatment (validly) brings about is incredibly hard to suppress.

And also, why should it be suppressed? Integration doesn't work if both parties pretend to be nice but are prepared to find a more underhanded way to stab each other in the back once the negotiations have ended.

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Integration works fine if both parties pretend to play nice. The not nice people die off, and the young generation never thinks of being not nice.

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This deserves an analysis far more nuanced than I'm able to deliver. How has the integration of Italians versus Irish gone in New York? I can't answer that, because I've never studied it. I suspect it went better than the integration of whites and blacks in the South. Why? I can't answer that for the same reason.

I suspect we're both right for different reasons under different circumstances, and it would be fascinating to actually go through the histories and anthropologies to understand what those reasons and circumstances might be.

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I would guess that the woman who stepped on the pendant land-mine had thought the pendant was some kind of Kenyan abacus. Or something. And phrased it very badly, because she sensed subconsciously that she was about to get her head bitten off for being a racist.

Naturally, she gets her head bitten off for being a racist...

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Yo, based on the copious number of comments you've made addressing this I know you're super concerned about that single anecdote from within a larger context, but she didn't get her head bitten off, unless for some weird reason you're reading him as actually saying "Dumbwhite" out loud at her, despite it not being in quotes.

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No, he's right. The basic principle here is, do not talk to "progressive" black people, because you are likely to say something innocuous that they interpret as highly offensive. That is the message being sent here.

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Or maybe the basic principle is to try to understand the perspective of the person you're talking to. Don't speak defensively - be open and willing to acknowledge and apologize and correct yourself when a mistake you make is pointed out to you, rather than retreating into racial anxiety.

Progressive white people too frequently have a fear of saying the wrong thing because they're insecure with their racial views. Read more, gain perspective, learn how much you don't know about the experience of minorities, and then approach conversations with people of color with a deferential attitude.

Maybe that's too much work, but it's the price of tending to a multicultural society that is growing out of the ashes of a monocultural one and I think it's worth it.

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The statements made to this person seem innocuous to you?

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The calculator necklace thing is what I was referring to.

But I'm speaking from personal experience.

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But I'm speaking from personal experience.

Yeah, you've really got to watch out for "progressive blacks" like me, we're trouble.

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Way to make his point.

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Again, I'm just recounting my personal experience.

FYI, I grew up and still live in the southern US, where race relations are an acknowledged problem, and where social protocols and culture are still more distinct across races than they are within them. And I'm already somewhat bad in general with social protocols.

So I'm not saying white people shouldn't talk to black people. I'm saying that, unfortunately,white people do feel uncomfortable talking to them sometimes, or at least, the bar is higher for meaningful social interaction. I think that's a shame, and unfortunately I don't know what to do about it.

But I do know that accusing white people of racism for clearly non-racist behavior, as with the calculator-necklace incident, is counterproductive, and (for me) reinforces needlessly distressful things I've experienced. That's what I was trying to get at with my earlier comment.

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> The basic principle here is, do not talk to "progressive" black people

-- 6 hours later --

> So I'm not saying white people shouldn't talk to black people

Surely you can forgive _pius for assuming you meant what you said.

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You're taking what I said out of context. I said:

The basic principle here is, do not talk to "progressive" black people, because you are likely to say something innocuous that they interpret as highly offensive. That is the message being sent here.

As I clarified in my last post, my point was that it is regrettable that the blogger "sent the message" he did.

By the way, when you talk about me forgiving _pius, you are obfuscating who is blaming who. I am on the receiving end of blame, not the giving end.

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If you find yourself in the situation of the calculator-assuming woman, where you feel like you've made a comment that touches on cultural sensitivities, use the moment as a learning experience. Instead of leaving the awkward air, ask them what they are thinking. "oh sorry haha that was a weird assumption, what is it?" Asking to be educated is pretty much the opposite of the mansplaining / whitesplaining that is so painful to the author of qu33riosity, and is almost universally welcomed. A little humility goes a long way.

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So you're saying he's deliberately but perhaps covertly telegraphing the message "white people, don't talk to me"?

Because if not, "don't talk to progressive blacks" is the message you took away not the one he sent.

> I am on the receiving end of blame, not the giving end.

Oh, for real? Who blamed you for what?

Going back and re-reading your previous post:

> But I do know that accusing white people of racism for clearly non-racist behavior,

It may be non-racist, but it's still culturally tone-deaf.

> as with the calculator-necklace incident, is counterproductive, and (for me) reinforces needlessly distressful things I've experienced.

Oh, weird, because the "calculator-necklace incident" probably reinforced some needlessly distressful (racist, dehumanizing, othering, outgroup-reinforcing) things for the author. Why should he make your distress a priority when you care none for his?

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So you're saying he's deliberately but perhaps covertly telegraphing the message "white people, don't talk to me"?

No, I did not say that. I don't think he was sending that message deliberately. (As an aside, the message wasn't "don't talk to me.)

Oh, for real? Who blamed you for what?

You and _pius are clearly accusing me of racial insensitivity.

It may be non-racist, but it's still culturally tone-deaf.

I mean, I do think the "message" I claimed was being sent was stated overbroadly by me. But, for example, I definitely would not ever talk to a black person about their clothes if they were not wearing clothing I was familiar with, out of fear that they would be offended - even by a compliment. Even if I said something like, "That outfit looks really good on you," they'd like take my social awkwardness as a sign that I was somehow making fun of them (which I would never do). Or they'd consider me incapable of rendering a judgement about a style of fashion that I'm not familiar wth, and just be insulted.

Why should he make your distress a priority when you care none for his?

I never said that. In fact, if I didn't care about race relations and want them to be better, I wouldn't have commented in the first place. And I care about race relations because I care about people. I don't want anybody to be distressed.

needlessly distressful (racist, dehumanizing, othering, outgroup-reinforcing) things for the author

If you think the calculator incident was racist or dehumanizing, as described, then I can see why you would think I don't care about that guy's distress. But it was not racist or dehumanizing. It may have made the author feel like part of an "outgroup" as you say, but that was not intentional. At least as I recall the incident being described in the post. It was just some really naive person who made a mistake. I thought that was obvious from the description. And you may disagree with this, but if it was just a naive person who made a mistake about what the guy was wearing, it was not racism.

I'm not sure if I want to continue this discussion, but I will read any response and may or may not respond.

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She just got her head bitten off on the public Internet. Some HR dude is probably looking for her right now.

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I think you're seriously overestimating the amount of liquid in Kixeye's care cup for this guy's feelings.

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A one-line comment of 'dumbwhite' while not being named now constitutes "having your head bitten off on the public internet"? Calm down, get some perspective.

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I'm going to try and hijack this a little, just because I'm afraid it won't be seen anywhere else.

I don't have a problem with racist/sexist jokes. I do however have a sever issue with healthcare and quality of education being tied to your parents employment and property ownership. I think that is much, much more terrible, as it not only screws over the poor in general, but in particular it really fucks over black people/hispanics/immigrants specifically simply because they are on average much poorer.

I guess I'm just really upset over the huge fuss people make over the word nigger. It's an incredibly powerful word that taints anything it touches, and because of its association it becomes particularly hard for people in general to understand that the most racist things don't target the race of anyone, just their income level.

So, yes, I think the author did go through some stupid shit because his coworkers are assholes. However, they probably aren't racist. They look down on most of society.

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> the most racist things don't target the race of anyone, just their income level.

This is basically a denial that actual racism is a serious problem. I think that's worse than saying the n-word a thousand times.

Even if Obamacare gives every black person free health insurance and also a pony, that's not going to make even a tiny dent in the racism that pervades our society, and saying that it will is just spreading ignorance (imo).

EDIT: Not that I'm saying our country's health care issues aren't totally messed up! Just that that's a different problem.

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Here are the facts:

This is from Wikipedia on demographics of the poor in the USA: The US Census declared that in 2010 15.1% of the general population lived in poverty:[30] 9.9% of all non-Hispanic white persons 12.1% of all Asian persons 26.6% of all Hispanic persons (of any race) 27.4% of all black persons.

Looks pretty bad for hispanics/black people, right?

Except it doesn't have the population breakdown...

White Americans (non-Hispanic/Latino and Hispanic/Latino) are the racial majority, with an 72% share of the U.S. population, per 2010 US Census.[6] Hispanic and Latino Americans compose 15% of the population, making up the largest ethnic minority.[5] Black Americans are the largest racial minority, composing nearly 13% of the population.

so here are some facts: .72 * 308 mil * .099 = 21.95 million white people .15 * 308 mil * .266 = 12.28 million hispanic people .12 * 308 mil * .274 = 10.97 million black people

Basically, what I'm trying to say is this: poor people get fucked in this country. They really do. When it happens to black people/hispanics, stupid hippies love to claim it's racism. Maybe, maybe it is a bit. But I don't think so. I think that poor people get fucked in this country with no social welfare net, poor infrastructure, and by making it illegal to take your kid to the rich public school.

A lot of black people and hispanics have pretty terrible options in life, but goddamn it, it's not racism. It's not white frat kids saying nigger. It's that they are poor. And there are a lot of white people in the same boat.

Racism is the false flag of socioeconomic problems in society.

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That's for below the poverty line. Care to do a similar analysis for the wealthy or upper middle class?

Racism is the false flag of socioeconomic problems in society.

Racism is not just about the dollars in your hip pocket. Read the article - nowhere in it is he complaining about his pay.

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I'm saying that racism exists because of how we treat the poor in general.

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If Obamacare provides the economic safety net that lifts poor black families into the middle class, and makes healthy (including biological evolutionary indicators like teeth, skin, and hair radiance) and basic-wealthy black people the more common sort of black person someone sees, then yes, it will tend to counteract historical racism.

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healthcare and quality of education being tied to your parents employment and property ownership

Unless I misunderstand you, that's part of reality. Healthcare and education don't fall from the sky. Somebody has to produce them. In order for them to be consumed, they have to either be paid for, or stolen.

the most racist things don't target the race of anyone, just their income level

Racism has a specific definition, and "targeting" someone based on income doesn't meet it (though I don't know what "targeting" means here).

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This is why I barely go on this forum any more, stupid fucking fellow Americans.

Did you know that in other countries healthcare is free? And top quality education? And college?

We could have it to, if all you shits didn't incorporate in Delaware. Goddamn this country.

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Name-calling is definitely the right approach.

Did you know that in other countries healthcare is free? And top quality education? And college?

In no place anywhere on earth are those things free. Someone pays for them, always. Maybe the government should pay for them here (leaving aside the fact that our government already pays an enormous amount for healthcare and education), but it's not an obvious, incontrovertible fact that we should, to the point that justifies name-calling. Many top economists don't think those things should be subsidized by the government, regardless of how good they may sound to the electorate.

Also, you seem to be under the impression that incorporating in Delaware is some kind of tax dodge; it's not. It won't save you a single penny in taxes. You still have to pay taxes on income in the state in which you generate that income, and you still have to pay federal taxes no matter where you are in the world.

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"Chavs" and "thugs", are similarly reviled, yet chavs are the same skin tone as the majority. Race and class and style are interconnected.

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