Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Bill O'Reilly / Maxine Waters

Right...so...I don't like O'Reilly and I don't particularly have any opinions about Waters. But somebody's going to have to explain to me why it is that O'Reilly saying that Waters' hair looks like a James Brown wig is allegedly:
(a) racist
(b) sexist
(c) impermissibly harsh ridicule (of some non-racist, non-sexist type).
Now, my sainted mother might very well smack me upside the head for ridiculing one of my female elders in a similar manner...but by contemporary standards of political ridicule this barely even moves the needle. So I'm just not buying (c). And how on damn Earth is it supposed to be (a)? It can't be that Waters and Brown are/were both black...that makes no sense at all. And I'm skeptical that O'Reilly would be given a pass if he'd have said that Waters's hair looked, say, like that one dude's from Poison or whatever. That leaves (b)...but...basically everyone left of David Brooks has spent the last year ridiculing Trump's hair...not to mention his tan and even his butt...so no. I'm not buying the sexism charge either.
What am I missing here?


Blogger Aa said...

Okay, from what I understand after an African American Colleague approached me and pointed this out (both of us are liberals) is that there have been, in the past, racist comments about the hair of African America's(scientifically, the hair is different but i'm too lazy to go look up the article). So, there may be some justification for thinking that this is a racist comment...a distinguished African American congress woman gives a speech and they focus on her hair and not the argument? C'mon...I'm not sure if it's in the Ad Hominem group of logical fallacies but c'mon, that's what they focus on?

8:10 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Yeah, I agree that he was being an asshole--I just don't buy that it was racism, sexism, or any disproportionate degree of ridicule given the prevailing standards--which suck, and I'm not defending them--but they *are* the prevailing standards.

Though maybe it was a bit much for cable news...maybe that was inching over toward internet standards...

I feel the hair point now that you mention it--at least I think that might provide some grounds for complaint...but, hell, I'd never have thought of it. That may be the kind of thing where you can say "listen, we're sensitive about such things," but not "that's racist."

Honestly, I thought what Waters was saying was pretty bad. Not terrible...but not good. Talking about the destruction Trump was *just about to heap on us*...and about how he's a threat to democracy... How so? I mean...he's the *product* of democracy...which isn't inconsistent with being a threat to it, of course...but...

Anyway, she wasn't actually distinguishing herself.

Again, I think liberals say worse about conservatives *all the time*...though maybe, again, not so much on cable news...

8:38 PM  

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