These aren't people.

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Xmo1, May 17, 2018.

  1. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    That's sensational. A President for whom that is business as usual is a sensational entity, and what he says is sensational and earns sensational headlines.
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Cato Institute senior fellow Julian Sanchez↱ posted a tweet thread this morning, addressing President Trump's rhetoric, "on the off chance there's someone out there who sincerely imagines the context here to be exculpatory". The general thesis↱ runs:

    This is a textbook case of how dehumanizing and racist rhetoric works. The question references a hypothetical MS-13 member. Trump immediately pivots to a vaguer "people trying to come into the country" who we're "taking out."

    That pivot is a conflation↱, Sanchez argues, and, personally, it is difficult to disagree that one need only spend a few minutes reading through racist message boards and threads to find the trope playing out over and over and over again. In considering and interpreting context, Sanchez notes selective animality↱, which either is an appropriate term or not, but we get what it means; Trump's condemnation of animals, compared to praise of very fine people, for example, looks more like it has to do with skin color than the crime alleged; his sympathy with sex criminals has more to do with manhood than sex crime. Sanchez notes Trump's focus on "biological category"↱.

    There is also the question of Sheriff Mims' question: "The 'threshhold' the sheriff posing it finds so burdensome?" Sanchez notes↱. It has to do with "ICE being concerned with specific serious criminal acts rather than the sheriff's belief someone is associated with a gang." Again, I would suggest something about the comparison 'twixt what a Sheriff thinks she might know and the idea of reasonable probable cause↑. We can also revisit Mark Joseph Stern↱ at Slate, in order to consider what ICE considers probable cause:

    Typically, the government may not rescind an individual's DACA status without giving the beneficiary an opportunity to contest its decision. But ICE claimed that Ramirez's DACA benefits could be terminated "automatically" because he presented an "egregious public safety concern" due to his alleged gang affiliation. (ICE routinely alleges that Latino immigrants with no indication of gang affiliation are members of a gang in order to detain and deport them.)

    A group of renowned attorneys then stepped in to defend Ramirez, arguing that virtually every action ICE had taken against their client was unlawful. They also alleged that ICE's key claim—that Ramirez is "gang-affiliated"—was a complete falsehood. One of his lawyers, Mark Rosenbaum, presented evidence indicating that ICE had doctored Ramirez's statement by erasing words he had written in the pencil provided to make it seem as if he had confessed to being in a gang. (The original statement asserts he has no gang affiliation.) During his initial interrogation, ICE officers asked him five times whether he belonged to a gang, and he repeatedly said no. Instead, he asserted that he had "fled California [to Washington] to escape from the gangs."

    There was no reason to doubt Ramirez's story, and good reason to believe it. If he had been in a gang, after all, the government would've already known. To renew his DACA status, Ramirez had to undergo two thorough background checks. Neither turned up any evidence of gang affiliation.

    Yet ICE continued to press its case against Ramirez. In immigration court, agents rested their case on one piece of evidence: a tattoo on Ramirez's forearm that consists of a nautical star and the words La Paz—BCS, which represent his birthplace, the city of La Paz in Baja California Sur. Ramirez repeatedly insisted that this tattoo had nothing to do with any gang. But an ICE agent claimed that his tattoo actually proved he was "definitely a gang member" because it allegedly looked like the tattoo of the "bulldogs" gang. (It does not.)

    Two different immigration judges found no indication that Ramirez was gang affiliated or a threat to public safety. Martin Flores, a gang expert who has consulted in more than 700 cases, testified that he had "never seen a gang member with a similar tattoo nor would [he] attribute this tattoo to have any gang-related meaning." Another gang expert, Edwina Barvosa, declared that there is "no apparent evidence that [Ramirez] has ever been a gang member himself." Carlos García, a Mexican researcher who has studied gangs extensively, stated that "this tattoo does not show any gang affiliation." But ICE still insisted that Ramirez was a gang member, and thus eligible for deportation.

    That would be why a judge accused ICE of lying to the court. As Stern puts it, "Trump's immigration forces, much like Trump himself, simply cannot be trusted." And this is what Mims wants in her county's jails; that ICE should not be allowed to behave as they have in the case of Daniel Ramirez Medina is the threshold she bitterly complains of.

    We should in the moment, note that at this time last year, immigration attorneys were fighting cease-and-desist letters↱ in which the U.S. Department of Justice tried to tell them detained immigrants were not allowed legal services; in July, a federal judge settled the question in favor of attorneys for detained alleged immigrants.

    Sanchez, meanwhile, reminds over the course of two↱ tweets↱:

    The point of Trump's response is that we don't need to fussily concern ourselves with bad ACTS when we know we're dealing with "bad people," and on second thought, indeed, not even really people at all.

    The point of is dehumanization & deindividualization at multiple levels. Don't worry about showing criminal conduct by a particular individual, we know he's one of the bad people. Don't bother yourself about distinctions between that criminal group & "people trying to come in."

    And then the punch, in another↱ two↱:

    Such nice distinctions are for very fine human white supremacists and square-jawed domestic abusers with ivy league credentials. About animal herds, we can freely generalize.

    There's your context. Tell me again how unfair it is to be disgusted.

    Sanchez actually goes on, because it really is impossible to contain everything wrong with the President's words and behavior in a tweet thread, but still, it's true the original question wasn't actually about MS-13; more directly↱, "The questioner made one offhand hypothetical reference to MS-13 in a much longer question that was 'about' the standard for referring people detained by law enforcement to ICE." This leads to a reiteration↱ of an important point, "The upshot, again, was: Isn't it dumb that I can only pass these guys to ICE if they meet the 'threshold' of being implicated in a specific semi-serious crime?" Sanchez continues, "The upshot, again, was: Isn't it dumb that I can only pass these guys to ICE if they meet the "threshold" of being implicated in a specific semi-serious crime?"

    Which leads to a familiar point, as Sanchez↱ considers context: "I realize it's not a given that whatever subsequently came out of Trump's mouth was logically responsive to the actual question asked", he notes, and then suggests that even accepting that it was in the President's mind, the interpretation is still so narrow as to make no sense.


    The reading of Trump's rant that makes it responsive to the actual question is: Yes, it's foolish to require that sort of particularized suspicion—that "threshold"—because our presumption should be that we're dealing with "animals."

    And the thing about this tweet thread is that he is trying to slow down and dissect the instinct, the reaction, by which the spectacular headlines are generally justified. It is hard to address a shapeless contextual vacuum insisting on an observably dubious definition.

    But wait ... there's more, because that instinct isn't so awry; there is more wrong about President Trump's words and behavior than one can explicitly define in any given moment; it just keeps hemorrhaging.

    These, however, read as if they really are the↱ end↱:

    Reading Trump as narrowly condeming MS-13 requires both assuming he was free associating on one sentence rather than answering the question, and ignoring how eliminationist rhetoric always functions.

    Even on that very implausible reading, there’s a conspicuous & ugly pattern to the condemnation of crime Trump chooses to express by denying the humanity of the perpetrator.

    And that last, denying the humanity of the perpetrator, is more significant in Trump's mouth than, say, coming from Hashmi. Donald Trump is the President of the United States, and has just spoken words that will very likely be held against his government in courts of law.

    A note on tweet threads: I have no idea how to deal with these, yet. I do not look forward to posting this way, with so many links, but there is, at least, an MLA quirk I can borrow for the citation.​

  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Notes on #22↑ Above

    @normative. "I'm going to try to summon the patience that wasn't in me last night on the off chance there's someone out there who sincerely imagines the context here to be exculpatory." Twitter. 18 May 2018. Thread.

    Hseieh, Steven. "Feds Can't Block Local Nonprofit From Giving Legal Aid to Unrepresented Immigrants, Judge Rules". Slog. 24 July 2017. 18 May 2018.

    Stern, Mark Joseph. "Bad Liars". Slate. 16 May 2018. 18 May 2018.
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Awright. It's sensational in your books, not in mine.
    This isn't really a right/wrong issue.
  8. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    Another shooting, another group of dead, another day of "thoughts and prayers"... yeah, they aren't people. We aren't people - to Trump and the GOP, we are naught but pawns for their games, and our lives have no consequence in their eyes.
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    It is. It is most definitely a right/wrong matter. To have a President behaving like that is spectacular, sensational, striking, and very wrong. To accept such behavior by a President is to betray one's country - we fought a Civil War over this, and we don't want to fight another one.
  10. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    You're adorable.
    Vociferous likes this.
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    You're confused. You have allowed repetition to stun you, cripple your powers of reason and perception.
  12. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    I would have to disagree with you on this Dave - the POTUS is supposed to be composed and hold him or her self to a higher standard... and instead, we have an elementary schoolyard bully that cries that everyone is "out to get him" whilst making shady backroom deals with hostile foreign governments that put untold millions of dollars right into his personal coffers.

    He is using the office as an advertisement while simultaneously unwinding almost a decade of work to help the least among us and bring people equal and fair rights... to the point that he has extolled the virtue of "saving Chinese jobs" despite the fact that his own actions have COST American jobs.

    Sensational doesn't even begin to describe it - it is downright treachery.
  13. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    This is a straw man. (i.e. there is no contestation about all that you just said) There's no doubt whatever that Trump is a wack job, an idiot and a bully.

    But this thread is about a specific thing he said. What he said was in reference to a gang of criminal human smugglers.

    The article, by leaving out context, implies that he's calling all immigrants "animals", and that is what you, Tiassa and Iceaura seem to be convinced of. If that were true, that would be an awful thing.

    But he's not; he is denouncing the acts of a gang of criminal human smugglers as "animals". That is mere hyperbole, that any official might say.

    Sheriff Mims: “There could be an MS-13 member I know about — if they don’t reach a certain threshold, I cannot tell ICE about it.”

    Mr. Trump: “We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in — and we’re stopping a lot of them — but we’re taking people out of the country. You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals.

    Again. I'm not saying the guy isn't a pig. I'm simply saying articles that mislead the reader by dropping context are sensationalist. If they wanted to call the guy a pig, they could have done so while still providing context. They tried to make his remark sensational by misrepresenting it.

    That's a viewpoint and a judgment call. It's not wrong, despite what Iceaura likes to think.
    Dr_Toad likes this.
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Maybe you need something more than your insistent say-so.

    Is it that, as your post suggests, discussing anything with you is a pretty much worthless venture doomed at the outset?

    Do you recall an occasion when you and I had a running dispute in a thread about misogyny? It was an empowerment vector, a question about an empowered individual saying something to someone viewed as less empowered, and you were so offended by the prospect of a woman having a say in defining her own living experience that eventually all you could do was insist on changing the subject and get all primly manly-man↗: You would discuss whatever you want, to and, "that will entirely enough of that."

    Here's the common link: When it is empowered supremacism, you seem to presuppose the supremacism.

    In the present dispute you started out with a fairly definitive assertion, retreated to a vague point about interpretation, made excuses, blamed others, and now here you are simply insisting on your original talking point. And, look, I recognize this isn't as precise and objectve as two plus two, but consider that after all that discussion about questions of context and the bit about how it's not really you but other people who aren't as smart as you that you worry about, and all that, you've come back to your point such that the problem would seem to be that these people you ostensibly worry about might get a different impression from the press than you would rather promote.

    It is, in fact, the connection 'twixt our dispute regarding how one addresses women, and your dispute with Bells about how if you want to redefine the thread according to whatever you want to talk about, you'll do it and that will be enough of that. In either case, you side with the willful disempowerment of others.

    Just like you do, here.

    And, look, while there is a form of your behavior that is perfectly human, there is a deeper question about conditioning, but it's a separate discussion because there is also a threshold at which the functional question before us has to do with understanding thresholds and boundaries describing how perfectly human it might be to insist blindly on appeasing human frailty. That is, at some point your reaction is just your reaction; eventually, however, it your reaction can have defining influence because it eventually looks like an act of will.


    I would ask, furthermore, that you consider an illustration of dysfunction about your post:

    • If the first objection to Dickens is that it cannot be both, the people around you might falter and stutter for a moment because you can't possibly be on about what it sounds like. And if it turns out you are, what are they supposed to do next? Because all the literary criticism in the world won't change a thing if your argument is, "To say it was the best of times and the worst of times, simultaneously, is illogical!" nobody really knows where to start. In order to address the whole of the argument, we might well need to start with the idea that there is such thing in the world as letters, and then an explanation that we put them into groups called words, and those into sentences, paragraphs, &c. And the thing is that, at that point, sure, you could demand proof that people do so, but we can pass that over, for the moment, I would hope. Still, though, people can point to the rest of the story, explain its context as fiction, and invoke the relevant history in order to demonstrate what a clearly artistic line actually meant. And you might say something about interpretation, and then the bit about not being able to judge accurately without knowing the context—while saying nothing about the context put in front of you for consideration—and also pretend you're not condoning the complaint of illogic, but simply trying to separate out misleading sensationalism because, while you don't have any questions of context, other people might not read to the end, and therefore might be deceived by the sensational illogic. Therefore, as your argument goes, we're leaving out context if we don't leave out the context and stand on the assertion that, "To say it was the best of times and the worst of times, simultaneously, is illogical!"​

    That's the essence of your argument right now. You made the point about Sheriff Mims at the outset; that was countered, you stumbled through a weird course about context while insisting on the most constricted and counterintuitive context possible, and now return to insist on the point again without having lifted a finger to support your assertion. Instead of actually responding to the arguments, you're simply insistng on your talking point.

    Those others you worry about, who aren't as smart as you? If you're really so worried, why do you want them misinformed? That is, given all the context we might consider, why would you lop all that out in order to stand on the most obviously basic retort vested interest could put forth in this circumstance?


    It's hard to know what to review for you, Dave, since you give people nothing to work with. I told you, early on↑, he's not actually talking about Sheriff Mims' talking point; her talking point is that ICE should be helping local enforcement shake down suspected Hispanics. And we went through it again↑, yesterday, or, at least, I did, reminding, the original question wasn't actually about MS-13; more directly↱, "The questioner made one offhand hypothetical reference to MS-13 in a much longer question that was 'about' the standard for referring people detained by law enforcement to ICE."

    Maybe I made a mistake in excerpting a tweet; the full version of Sanchez's tweet:

    OK, one more: The question Trump was asked wasn't "about" MS-13. The questioner made one offhand hypothetical reference to MS-13 in a much longer question that was "about" the standard for referring people detained by law enforcement to ICE.

    This is part of the context you would skip over despite arguing↑, "it definitely cannot be judged accurately without knowing the context".

    Or maybe it's not really about excerpting a tweet. If the contradiction 'twixt appealing to context, to the one, and the only acceptable interpretation willfully omitting all but a single assesrtion of context only supportable in rarified distortion of itself, to the other, is not apparent, then the question emerges why, when such rhetorical games are clearly afoot, you land in the range supporting supremacist outcomes. In its basic sketch this is actually fairly normal; cultural conditioning is such that, at least in the U.S., we can easily find people of color lending to white supremacism, or women reinforcing misogyny; when we speak of toxic masculinity we refer to men constructing the societal prejudice against themselves, but at some point we might look at the upcoming generation and wonder if they ever stood a chance. What I'm getting at is that it's really easy to throw in with old-timey supremacist presuppositions ingrained in cultures; there are reasons traditionalist bigotry is traditional. And while the latent presence of such ideologies is disruptive to more rational considerations, what makes less sense is the range in which the ostensibly enlightened simply batten down traditional prejudices and try to ride the storm on articles of faith:

    • Emir Ali Khan asserted, "The members of all communities, including nations and whole civilisations, are infused with the prevailing ideologies of those communities. These, in turn, create attitudes of mind which include certain capacities and equally positively exclude others." Like anything else, though, this only stretches so far. It is easy enough to acknowledge that, "ideologies may be so ancient, so deep-seated or so subtle that they are not identified as such by the people at large", but if they are "discerned only through a method of challenging them, asking questions about them or by comparing them with other communities", and the "questioning of assumptions, is what frequently enables a culture or a number of people from that culture" to break the prejudice, then it becomes important, as well, to observe occasions when the answer is to simply refuse the question.​


    @normative. "I'm going to try to summon the patience that wasn't in me last night on the off chance there's someone out there who sincerely imagines the context here to be exculpatory." Twitter. 18 May 2018. Thread.

    Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities. London: Chapman & Hall, 1859.

    Khan, Emir Ali. "Sufi Activity". Sufi Thought and Action. Ed. Idries Shah. London: Octagon Press, 1990.
  15. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    In fact, I don't.

    Whether something is sensational is a matter of opinion. (We all judge the strength of our own reactions.)

    I don't see Trump calling human smugglers 'animals' as particularly headline-worthy; they're nasty people and he's hyperbolizing.

    You do see it as a sensation.

    There's really nothing more to it.

    (The rest of what you wrote is more straw man and entirely irrelevant.)
    Vociferous likes this.
  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    When you deliberately misrepresent the record like that, Dave, it is called lying.
  17. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    OK, so the press is lying.
    Technically, it's a lie of omission.
    Vociferous likes this.
  18. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The sensational press reported accurately the substance and implications of what Trump said.
    All opinions are not created equal.
    Whether a person is "tall" or not is a matter of opinion, but if you claim Lebron James is not a "tall" man, your opinion is not as good as other people's opinions are.
    No, it doesn't.
    Why are you trying to talk about "all immigrants"?
    He's referring to illegal immigrants of certain racial appearance and certain origin as"animals".
    He's doing that to justify a punitive immigration policy and a coercive, bullying, violent manner of enforcing immigration law.
    That was accurately reported by the article.
    He did not limit his reference to human smugglers.
    Neither did he speak within that context as established by preceding questions etc.
    Hyperbolizing from the Presidency is already abnormal and leaning toward sensational - when it is justifying policy it becomes headline material, when it is used to refer to certain races of illegal immigrants as a group and justify US policy toward them it becomes sensational headline material.
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
  19. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Trump is merely a symptom of a constitution that has the potential to allow worse into office. Fix the constitution and you fix the problem..
    Start with " fitness for office" for both Congress and POTUS and go from there.
  20. Xmo1 Registered Senior Member

    The capitalist economic system is an utter failure, as are the social institutions that support it, when you have 1 percent of the people running the system 'those with the money make the rules' and 'owning - by their own definition' the resources claimed by corporate declaration. You have sociopaths running the government - sociopathic hall monitors running law enforcement and justice. People who have 'no value' to the system are discarded as unproductive, costly, and unnecessary. The god of note is material commercialism whose primary tool is marketing, which is an insult to the glory of the human mind, and a testament to a lack of empathy in business. Should I go on? People need to identify, recognize, and act on failed social systems if they want things to be by the people, for the people etc., or they risk being killed by maniacal 'leaders,' as so often has happened throughout history. Any 'leader' who expresses the thought - 'they are animals' is such a leader. Time to get the legislature on track I'd say.
  21. Xmo1 Registered Senior Member

    The truth, and the solution
    The problem lay in the deep notion that people are social beings. War: The presidents and generals can sign documents that declare an end to war until the Moon turns blue. Those documents mean nothing to social beings. The Russians want to overrun Europe for revenge. The Chinese want to overrun Japan for revenge. North Korea wants to overrun South Korea for revenge. Gangs want revenge. The same goes for all other active-outstanding-living social conflicts that rip at social contracts.

    The social contract at base and in context says this: We are sentient life. Do us no harm, and we can communicate, cooperate, and fabricate the things we need to survive together. Institutional doctrines, and inept leaders cause conflict with this contract on the large scale. For example, when an economic or religious doctrine brings harm to large populations those victims are going to seek revenge on the people who support it. It is simple fighting that social beings do, and that fight does not end until the social contract is fully restored, and trust becomes the norm.

    The solution is a focus on taking care of life. Feed it. Grow it. Educate it. Learn from it. That is the only true solution. You can dogmatize, declare, or politicize all you want, but those are only temporary solutions treating the symptoms, rather than providing the cure, which is a focus on taking care of life. There is no other cure for fighting amongst sentient social beings.
    RainbowSingularity likes this.
  22. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    No. Without context, it is ambiguous who "these people" are to which he is referring. It is easy to assume he's talking about everyone (because that makes a better story).

    Here is the missing 12 seconds that much of the media has not played:

    Sheriff: "ICE is the only law enforcement agency that cannot use our databases to find the bad guys. They cannot come in and talk to people in our jail unless they reach a certain threshold. They can't do all kinds of things that other law enforcement agencies can do. And it's really put us in a bad position. It's a disgrace."
    "There could be an MS-13 gang member that I know about. If they don't reach a certain threshold I cannot tell ICE about them."

    Trump: "We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in — and we’re stopping a lot of them — but we’re taking people out of the country. You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals. "

    He does not expand the scope beyond the original group.
    Vociferous and Dr_Toad like this.
  23. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    In case that is ambiguous, here is Trump in a previous interview explicitly using the exact same term and explicitly referring to MS-13:

    Trump has used the term “animals” to refer to members of MS-13 before. In a July 2017 speech to law enforcement officers on Long Island, he said: “Few communities have suffered worse at the hand of these MS-13 thugs than the people of Long Island. They have transformed peaceful parks and beautiful quiet neighborhoods into bloodstained killing fields. They are animals.
    Vociferous and Dr_Toad like this.

Share This Page