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Fnord
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13 Aug 2019, 12:09 pm

Is it just me, or is it obvious to others that a certain type of phrase means exactly the opposite?

The phrase "I don't mean to sound racist/sexist, but..." really means "I am about to say something racist/sexist."

For example, someone says "I'm not trying to be racist, but I think that Ratznestistan should have only pure-blood Ratznestistanians as citizens, so you Yankees should leave now" is a racist statement, as it expresses the idea that "impure" Ratznestistanians and foreigners do not belong in Ratznestistan.

Why does it seem that racists and sexists never seem to realize just how very racist and/or sexist they really are?


[Disclaimer: I "stole" the concept of Ratznestistan from the Little Orphan Annie comic strip.]


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BenderRodriguez
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13 Aug 2019, 12:18 pm

It's very common, online and offline. So common actually that it became a running joke between my wife and me: whenever one of us wants to say something bluntly and unvarnished, we say: "I don't mean to be a dick, but I'm going to be one" 8) We do it both to have a laugh and signal intention.

I think people who say it realise they will be suspected or accused of racism/sexism etc, but they are either in denial or just disagreeing with others about it.


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martianprincess
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13 Aug 2019, 12:26 pm

They know they're about to say something that someone else will disapprove of, but they think priming it with that will have the opposite effect than it actually does. Humans are weird, man.


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DanielW
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13 Aug 2019, 12:27 pm

The "But" negates whatever was previously stated...a lot of people don't realize that and give themselves away.



SaveFerris
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13 Aug 2019, 12:40 pm

I'm not prejudiced, I hate everybody equally!


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SaveFerris
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13 Aug 2019, 12:41 pm

Image


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Trueno
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13 Aug 2019, 12:50 pm

It's all about the "but".


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lostonearth35
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13 Aug 2019, 12:52 pm

Yes, I have noticed how obvious it is. So obvious astronauts in outer space are looking down and saying how racist or sexist that person is being on Earth.

I've also noticed that people who very non-discreetly accuse other people of being racist are usually racist themselves. For example there was a news article by CNN about robots that just happened to be white, and CNN claimed it was because of racism.

Maybe the robots were white because if they got dirty with some harmful substance, it would easy to spot (if you pardon the pun) and be cleaned up immediately.

Of course, they could just paint the robots black and then be accused of pro-slavery. :roll: