Know your Enemy: Steve Bannon by Amy Goodman

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Adamantium
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06 Feb 2017, 10:24 pm

Dox47 wrote:
I should add, racist is such a powerful and damaging accusation these days that I'm extremely hesitant to apply it unless the evidence is truly damning, which I don't think it is in this case.


His outfit promoted Richard Spencer and he wants to limit the vote to property owners.
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“I said, ‘That would exclude a lot of African­Americans,’” Ms. Jones recalled. “He [Bannon] said, ‘Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.’


Can you imagine what an attempt to pull that off would do to this country?

A second amendment solution situation for many. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

I am not inclined to assume that kind of talk is harmless when the speaker sits at the center of national and global power.


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06 Feb 2017, 10:38 pm

Adamantium wrote:
His outfit promoted Richard Spencer and he wants to limit the vote to property owners.


Both dick moves, for sure, but racist? There's a lot of intellectual weirdness in the alt-right, much of it musing with the idea that democracy is a failure, so I'm not that surprised that he'd be interested in limiting the franchise, which, admittedly, a lot of racists are also interested in.

As to Spencer, I think it's pretty well established that Bannon is ruthless and will use whoever he has to in order to achieve his goals, so I'm not sure you can just make a direct argument that having supported Richard Spencer makes him a racist, just a guy who will use racists.

Adamantium wrote:
Can you imagine what an attempt to pull that off would do to this country?


Nothing good, but again, it's more evidence that Bannon is a jerk than that he's a racist jerk.

Adamantium wrote:
I am not inclined to assume that kind of talk is harmless when the speaker sits at the center of national and global power.


Oh, I'm not arguing that it's harmless, I'm just very sensitive to blurring the meaning of words like 'racist' for political purposes, I've seen it happen and had it attempted on me enough times to be extremely wary. Incidentally, this means I end up defending a lot of scoundrels, but as a free speech activist, I'm fairly used to that, since it's never the popular people and ideas that need defending.


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Adamantium
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06 Feb 2017, 11:11 pm

As a true believer in the virtue of free speech, I am inclined to protect people's right to speak no matter how abhorrent their ideas. But that's not the same thing as extolling their intellectual prowess or giving them a platform to speak from. That's a conscious choice to promote those ideas.

When he says he doesn't really know what Spencer stands for, I don't believe him for a moment.

I concede that he could be a person who is ready to use racists to secure power, and a person who doesn't mean disenfranchising a lot of black people without actually particularly being motivated by racial animus, but I think it's more likely that he actually likes those ideas.

Given the policies he's talked about, this may be a distinction without a significant difference.


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Dox47
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06 Feb 2017, 11:22 pm

Adamantium wrote:

Given the policies he's talked about, this may be a distinction without a significant difference.


Oh, for sure, it's just one of my personal hobby horses, and judging from the rest of the thread, it's not just me.

Bannon, like Trump, is a guy that can be attacked on many fronts without reaching for a much more tenuous -ist charge, so I don't really understand this need for them to also be racists or sexists or anti-Semites or whatever, rather than simply incompetent and dangerous.


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Adamantium
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06 Feb 2017, 11:41 pm

Dox47 wrote:
Adamantium wrote:

Given the policies he's talked about, this may be a distinction without a significant difference.


Oh, for sure, it's just one of my personal hobby horses, and judging from the rest of the thread, it's not just me.

Bannon, like Trump, is a guy that can be attacked on many fronts without reaching for a much more tenuous -ist charge, so I don't really understand this need for them to also be racists or sexists or anti-Semites or whatever, rather than simply incompetent and dangerous.


Incompetent and dangerous politicians are as common as air in the capitals of the world. For the most part, I trust we will muddle along. Committed racists, on the other hand, or people who promote racist ideas and pursue the same policies that committed racists would pursue, are one of my personal hobby horses.

"He's not really a racist but just someone who chooses to look like one on TV" is not a defense I find convincing or acceptable.

Concievably, you could argue that Apartheid wasn't racist, but just an effort to preserve Boer culture. Jim Crow wasn't racist, but just an effort to preserve Southern culture. Nathan Bedford Forest was just a nationalist who used to available passions in his followers to promote his cultural goals.

Maybe you and adifferentname require absolute certainty before you will pronounce someone a follower of the ideology that dare not be named. I am more inclined to accept the "looks like a duck, walks like a duck, sounds like duck" standard.


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07 Feb 2017, 4:01 am

Adamantium wrote:
adifferentname wrote:
If that's your genuine position you would need to prove mens rea in the absence of actus reus. You've provided evidence for neither. How someone else interprets what he is (and didn't even finish) saying is not evidence.


You reject my interpretation and explanation for it, fine. Your prerogative.

You tell me how to think or what to think-sorry, no.


I'm not telling you what to think, I'm suggesting a reasonable standard of evidence when trying to prove what somebody "ascribes". In other words, I'm telling you how and what I think of the standard of proof we should use before applying thought-terminating labels like "racist".

If offering my opinion on a subject is telling people what to think, I firmly suggest you practice what you preach - especially given the statement in your previous post about "filters" and "distortion". I have a far better case for you being a bigot than you have for Bannon being a racist.

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I'm not going to not interpret things that people say on the basis of what I know about the world because I don't meet some stranger on the internets' standards of skepticism or legal proof.


No, you're going to stick to your presupposition rather than challenge your views, which once again raises the question of why you bothered with this thread. You've asked for alternative opinions and sources, but you've made it quite clear that you're not interested in considering them, going as far as implying that I was racist for not agreeing with you. This is a grandstanding crusade, not a debate, and it's casting you in a far worse light than you're trying to fix on Bannon.

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Again, we'll have to agree to disagree.


You can agree to disagree. I'll continue to weigh the evidence and form my conclusions accordingly.

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If you have any compelling evidence that he is not racist, other than his saying "I am not racist" (something nearly all racists do) I would be happy to see it. In the meantime, I am going to continue researching him and sharing what I find here.


You're asking me to prove a negative?

You're making the positive assertion, ergo the burden of proof is firmly upon your shoulders. I've made more of an effort than you have to find evidence that supports your assertion, yet I have found no smoking gun.

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At present, that research leads me to conclude the he is, in fact, a racist.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/27/us/p ... house.html

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Ms. Jones, the film colleague, said that in their years working together, Mr. Bannon occasionally talked about the genetic superiority of some people and once mused about the desirability of limiting the vote to property owners.
“I said, ‘That would exclude a lot of African­ Americans,’” Ms. Jones recalled. “He said, ‘Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.’ I said, ‘But what about Wendy?’” referring to Mr. Bannon’s executive assistant. “He said, ‘She’s different. She’s family.’”
Mr. Bannon’s African ­American friend from his Goldman years said that he had been at pains to defend him in recent years to mutual acquaintances put off first by Breitbart’s reputation and now by Mr. Bannon’s association with Mr. Trump. Most Christmas seasons over the past two decades, he said, Mr. Bannon was “my only token white guy,” or one of two or three, invited to an annual dinner at a New York City club for nearly a score of African ­American friends who work or worked in finance.
“Now I’m getting a lot of, ‘What happened to Steve?’” from concerned black acquaintances, the friend said. He said he hoped Mr. Bannon — and more important, Mr. Trump — would more forthrightly denounce the bigots who have cheered them on. Still, he said, he completely rejects the accusations against Mr. Bannon.
“Hell, no, he’s not a white nationalist,” the friend said.


You might read that and find evidence that he is not racist in statements like the friend's report.
I read "She's different. She's Family." and find evidence that he is racist.


No, Adamantium. I read that and I find it to be hearsay.

Dox47 wrote:
Bannon, like Trump, is a guy that can be attacked on many fronts without reaching for a much more tenuous -ist charge, so I don't really understand this need for them to also be racists or sexists or anti-Semites or whatever, rather than simply incompetent and dangerous.


Quite so. I'd focus on his journalistic integrity and his policies if I wanted to demonstrate possible malfeasance, rather than innuendo and third-party accounts of his views.



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07 Feb 2017, 4:13 am

Adamantium wrote:
Concievably, you could argue that Apartheid wasn't racist, but just an effort to preserve Boer culture. Jim Crow wasn't racist, but just an effort to preserve Southern culture. Nathan Bedford Forest was just a nationalist who used to available passions in his followers to promote his cultural goals.


All of those things involved actual violence and/or oppression, and all were presented as racist by their adherents, which I don't think is comparable to desiring to limit immigration.

Adamantium wrote:
Maybe you and adifferentname require absolute certainty before you will pronounce someone a follower of the ideology that dare not be named. I am more inclined to accept the "looks like a duck, walks like a duck, sounds like duck" standard.


I think you can be more cavalier in applying the racist label because your politics insulate you from the charge, a luxury that posters such as ADN and myself do not enjoy; yes, I'm saying you have liberal privilege on this one. It's a little different for us, as merely defending the civil rights of a racist, or arguing that they may have a point about something, is often enough for us non-liberals to be tarred as racists or racist sympathizers ourselves, and as we've seen recently, a lot of people think that's enough to justify social ostracization, trying to destroy someone's business or career, or actual physical violence against someone. I think you too might be a bit more cautious with such a dangerous appellation if you felt like you were in any real danger of it someday being turned on you.


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07 Feb 2017, 4:15 am

Adamantium wrote:
Dox47 wrote:
Adamantium wrote:

Given the policies he's talked about, this may be a distinction without a significant difference.


Oh, for sure, it's just one of my personal hobby horses, and judging from the rest of the thread, it's not just me.

Bannon, like Trump, is a guy that can be attacked on many fronts without reaching for a much more tenuous -ist charge, so I don't really understand this need for them to also be racists or sexists or anti-Semites or whatever, rather than simply incompetent and dangerous.


Incompetent and dangerous politicians are as common as air in the capitals of the world. For the most part, I trust we will muddle along. Committed racists, on the other hand, or people who promote racist ideas and pursue the same policies that committed racists would pursue, are one of my personal hobby horses.

"He's not really a racist but just someone who chooses to look like one on TV" is not a defense I find convincing or acceptable.

Concievably, you could argue that Apartheid wasn't racist, but just an effort to preserve Boer culture. Jim Crow wasn't racist, but just an effort to preserve Southern culture. Nathan Bedford Forest was just a nationalist who used to available passions in his followers to promote his cultural goals.

Maybe you and adifferentname require absolute certainty before you will pronounce someone a follower of the ideology that dare not be named. I am more inclined to accept the "looks like a duck, walks like a duck, sounds like duck" standard.
How is he a racist?



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07 Feb 2017, 5:15 am

Dox47 wrote:
I think you can be more cavalier in applying the racist label because your politics insulate you from the charge, a luxury that posters such as ADN and myself do not enjoy; yes, I'm saying you have liberal privilege on this one. It's a little different for us, as merely defending the civil rights of a racist, or arguing that they may have a point about something, is often enough for us non-liberals to be tarred as racists or racist sympathizers ourselves, and as we've seen recently, a lot of people think that's enough to justify social ostracization, trying to destroy someone's business or career, or actual physical violence against someone. I think you too might be a bit more cautious with such a dangerous appellation if you felt like you were in any real danger of it someday being turned on you.


I wouldn't use "liberal privilege", although the concept isn't entirely unsound, because I don't recognise that partisanship confers authority or weight of opinion by association, nor do I grant that "Liberals" are "liberals" - but that's a hugely nuanced technicality so I won't argue it too strongly.

The rest is spot on.

The man is being labelled a racist for promoting ideas which are not intrinsically racist, at a time when accusations of racism are being used as sufficient justification to physically assault people. That's a degree of authoritarian intolerance I am not content to ignore on the off chance I won't become a target myself.

To be liberal is to respect and to defend the rights and freedoms of all people, not just the ones you agree with. Seemingly, to be a Liberal is something else entirely.



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07 Feb 2017, 12:16 pm

Dox47 wrote:
Adamantium wrote:
Concievably, you could argue that Apartheid wasn't racist, but just an effort to preserve Boer culture. Jim Crow wasn't racist, but just an effort to preserve Southern culture. Nathan Bedford Forest was just a nationalist who used to available passions in his followers to promote his cultural goals.


All of those things involved actual violence and/or oppression, and all were presented as racist by their adherents, which I don't think is comparable to desiring to limit immigration.

I think it's a bullsh*t game to pretend the 1924 Immigration Act didn't come out of Jim Crow and the height of power of the Klan. Bannon is described as a well read history buff and it is inconceivable to me that he isn't perfectly well aware of that. The 1924 immigration act is inextricably bound up in one of the worst periods of racially motivated domestic terrorism, ethnic cleansing and mass murder in the nation's history.

I don't accept that you can talk about the benefits of the immigration act of 1924 without it's context. I don't accept the proposal the Bannon and Sessions could be talking about that without full awareness of that history.


Dox47 wrote:
Adamantium wrote:
Maybe you and adifferentname require absolute certainty before you will pronounce someone a follower of the ideology that dare not be named. I am more inclined to accept the "looks like a duck, walks like a duck, sounds like duck" standard.


I think you can be more cavalier in applying the racist label because your politics insulate you from the charge, a luxury that posters such as ADN and myself do not enjoy; yes, I'm saying you have liberal privilege on this one. It's a little different for us, as merely defending the civil rights of a racist, or arguing that they may have a point about something, is often enough for us non-liberals to be tarred as racists or racist sympathizers ourselves, and as we've seen recently, a lot of people think that's enough to justify social ostracization, trying to destroy someone's business or career, or actual physical violence against someone. I think you too might be a bit more cautious with such a dangerous appellation if you felt like you were in any real danger of it someday being turned on you.


What I think I am in danger of having turned on me is racist policy and racist fervor.

My children are the descendants of slaves.

I hear people now suggesting that Slavery was better than welfare and I want to kill those people. I'm not advocating that response, I am telling you what my emotional reaction to hearing such talk is.

I hear them say "let's take the vote away from people who don't own property" and I don't think it's a novel mental exercise or daringly free thinking. I think if a person is going to propose the kind of radical change that Bannon is talking about in a nation with a history like this, born in genocide, slavery and ethnic cleansing, the onus is on him to be crystal clear that he isn't advancing a racist agenda.

I have been targeted repeatedly by black, white and asian racists, I have been saved by Police from racist assaults in the subway and been subjected to racist abuse in a variety of public settings. Don't for a minute think I have no skin in this game.

I read the stuff that Bannon is saying and it sounds like racism to me. I am not posing or being cute or trying to smear somebody. I am telling you the unvarnished truth.

If Bannon says and does things that make it clear he is not a racist and won't pursue policies designed to advance a racist agenda, I will conclude that he is not a racist and is just the kind of dirtbag who is OK using racist issues to advance his power. But on the basis of what he has done already, I am not about to change my estimation of him for the reasons I have already given.


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Adamantium
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07 Feb 2017, 12:36 pm

adifferentname wrote:
In other words, I'm telling you how and what I think of the standard of proof we should use before applying thought-terminating labels like "racist".


No, no. You're telling me I have to supply mens rea and actus reus to your satisfaction and that my inferences are improperly drawn--in other words, how to think.

Racism is not a thought terminating label for me. Quite the contrary, it's a thought accelerant for me--when I recognize or suspect that someone is pursuing a racist agenda and in position to have real impact on the world, I am energized to study them intensely and familiarize myself with their methods and habits.

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No, you're going to stick to your presupposition rather than challenge your views, which once again raises the question of why you bothered with this thread. You've asked for alternative opinions and sources, but you've made it quite clear that you're not interested in considering them, going as far as implying that I was racist for not agreeing with you.

Now you are telling me what I am thinking, not just what I should be thinking!
No. I am quite prepared to entertain evidence that Bannon is an egalitarian, I'm just not finding it. Let me note in passing that I did not, in fact, imply that you are a racist. You asked a rhetorical question of little merit and I gave you a rhetorical answer of equal gravitas. Go back and read it again.

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You're asking me to prove a negative?

No: Make the positive case that he is an egalitarian and I will be greatly relieved that I don't have an inimical foe in a very high place. Really, I would be very happy if it turned out that he isn't a racist.

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I read that and I find it to be hearsay.

This isn't a court case. Hearsay is admissible.

Unless you have something more positive to add than reasserting that I am not thinking correctly, have improper motivations, am intrinsically biased and thoroughly unfair, I don't think I will be doing more than skimming any future comments you make along these lines. Tempus fugit. Vita brevis. Carpe Diem.


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07 Feb 2017, 1:36 pm

Jacoby wrote:
I laugh at people like you every day when I watch the news, you can not understand the satisfaction I get watching you lose and lose and lose. Everything Trump has done has given me more confidence in him, he should use his mandate to its fullest extent. :D


Seconded. I'm really beginning to enjoy watching the news. It's also nice to see the workings of the Trump cabinet's masterminds.

To everyone else: if you are annoyed by the so-called "muslim ban" you had better lubricate yourself for what is coming. The seven country "ban" was just street theatre, firstly to distract the media from everything else in play, secondly to identify political enemies and human obstacles to future plans (you'll find people who used their power to get in the way will be quietly fired or have their powers reduced in future) and lastly for the enjoyment of people like myself and Jacoby.


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Adamantium
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07 Feb 2017, 2:01 pm

Mikah wrote:
Jacoby wrote:
I laugh at people like you every day when I watch the news, you can not understand the satisfaction I get watching you lose and lose and lose. Everything Trump has done has given me more confidence in him, he should use his mandate to its fullest extent. :D


Seconded. I'm really beginning to enjoy watching the news. It's also nice to see the workings of the Trump cabinet's masterminds.

To everyone else: if you are annoyed by the so-called "muslim ban" you had better lubricate yourself for what is coming. The seven country "ban" was just street theatre, firstly to distract the media from everything else in play, secondly to identify political enemies and human obstacles to future plans (you'll find people who used their power to get in the way will be quietly fired or have their powers reduced in future) and lastly for the enjoyment of people like myself and Jacoby.


How is this not just trolling, both of you? :?:


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07 Feb 2017, 2:30 pm

Adamantium wrote:
No, no. You're telling me I have to supply mens rea and actus reus to your satisfaction and that my inferences are improperly drawn--in other words, how to think.


You understand that I'm telling you what you need to do to convince me, yet stand by the claim. You have a far higher estimation of my ability to influence you than I do.

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Racism is not a thought terminating label for me.


But it is a thought-terminating label, regardless of how you or I might use it.

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No, you're going to stick to your presupposition rather than challenge your views, which once again raises the question of why you bothered with this thread. You've asked for alternative opinions and sources, but you've made it quite clear that you're not interested in considering them, going as far as implying that I was racist for not agreeing with you.


Now you are telling me what I am thinking, not just what I should be thinking!


No, you already did that. I'm reiterating it to make a point. You openly stated "Bannon is a racist" and declined to so much as respond to evidence to the contrary, preferring instead to cast aspersions on my "distorted" thinking. It's too late to call foul, you set the precedent, and the tone, and repeatedly attacked me instead of my arguments.

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Let me note in passing that I did not, in fact, imply that you are a racist. You asked a rhetorical question of little merit and I gave you a rhetorical answer of equal gravitas. Go back and read it again.


I didn't ask a rhetorical question. You made a conditional implication, which remains an implication.

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You're asking me to prove a negative?

No: Make the positive case that he is an egalitarian and I will be greatly relieved that I don't have an inimical foe in a very high place. Really, I would be very happy if it turned out that he isn't a racist.


Now you wish me to prove an argument I haven't made? Are you suggesting that the opposite of racist is egalitarian?

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I read that and I find it to be hearsay.

This isn't a court case. Hearsay is admissible.


Hence why I didn't raise an objection with the resident magistrate. It is still hearsay.

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Unless you have something more positive to add than reasserting that I am not thinking correctly, have improper motivations, am intrinsically biased and thoroughly unfair, I don't think I will be doing more than skimming any future comments you make along these lines. Tempus fugit. Vita brevis. Carpe Diem.


I have far more than a handful of ambiguous sentences with which to demonstrate bias and bigotry on your part. As you're content to believe Bannon is a racist, surely you should be more than willing to accept a lesser charge with greater evidence?

No, that one's not rhetorical either.

Frankly, I've been incredibly patient throughout this thread, despite repeated ad hominem from yourself, childish trolling from others - all of which has been ignored up until you noticed Jacoby and Mikah might be guilty of it - and an almost pathological avoidance of discussing the subject matter in the majority of posts over the last 12 pages. If you don't have any intention of arguing a topic you post in good faith, I fail to see the point in hitting the submit button to begin with.



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07 Feb 2017, 9:00 pm

Adamantium wrote:
Maybe you and adifferentname require absolute certainty before you will pronounce someone a follower of the ideology that dare not be named. I am more inclined to accept the "looks like a duck, walks like a duck, sounds like duck" standard.
I find it absurd that someone who deliberately pulls numbers right out of his ass in order to scapegoat the Asian community in Silicon Valley is still being unconditionally given the benefit of the doubt. Even after he has been established as a blatant liar, people still attribute his motives to everything but malice and come up with all sorts of false dichotomies and elusive goal posts.

I'm not buying the old "It's not about race; it's about _____" argument, especially when racism, nationalism, and power hunger tend to go hand in hand with each other and don't have to be mutually exclusive. As for "evidence" of racism, I've already addressed this but I will add that the stubbornness and evasiveness that come with shifting goal posts are not to be confused with true skepticism.

I can understand being skeptical of all the accusations of racism if we're going by his questionable statements alone (which I personally found suspicious to begin with). But now that we can corroborate his questionable statements with his fabricated statistics, it just borders on gas lighting at this point.