Woman says 'Pool's closed' notice is racist

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by angrybellsprout, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. ChristoferPoole Registered Member


    i am cognito
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  3. Spud Emperor solanaceous common tater Registered Senior Member

    Yeah! I know who you are.
    The cogs are grinding.
    Engage, then shift! ( that means fuck off!)
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  5. DeepThought Banned Banned



    Am I the only one who finds this white grannies outrage somewhat disingenuous?

    Similar, in fact, to the histrionic reaction of so many white American liberals to racial matters?

    What, exactly, is the difference between the desire of some of the whites to keep blacks out of the pool, and the desires of others to keep them in? Either way, the blacks are just along for the ride.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2008
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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    You might be overlooking something

    Maybe, but I doubt it. You've a growing sympathetic audience around here of late.

    Would you suggest, however, that she send the kids to swim in the pool unsupervised?
  8. DeepThought Banned Banned


    I would suggest she doesn't allow them to swim in the pool.
  9. lepustimidus Banned Banned

    So apparently this 'Pool closed' thing is an internet meme, NOT something which was invented by a racist white to keep that granny's black kids (exclusively) out of the pool.

    An apology from Tiassa, Spud and Simon to those individuals who they belittled for not immediately assuming 'OMG RACISM!' might be appropriate, yes?

    I'm not holding my breath, though.
  10. Spud Emperor solanaceous common tater Registered Senior Member

    Ohh! shit!
    Sorry!really, sorry
    Now be a good lad and chuck ya'self off a cliff.
  11. Moo2400 Guest

    Not so fast, MH. After all, they can still argue that despite whatever intention the person who posted the sign had, it's still racist simply because there's a black guy with an afro in the picture. And you know that that's just what they'll do.
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    On the lament of the disingenuous

    If apologies are not forthcoming, it might be simply because the expectation relies on a distortion. To revisit, for instance, my own first sentiment on the issue:

    As a personal comment, it seems very difficult to figure a reason for the sign that isn't racist. Certainly, there are possible explanations, such as someone with absolutely no clue about civics and American history thinking he'd written a great joke and having no idea that he could possibly offend someone.

    And, given the state of American education, it is certainly possible.

    But still, the idea that it was a funny joke seems a bit of a stretch. It is unkind to presume such stupidity about our neighbors. Flip a coin: Is it worse to be thought of as racist, or stupid?

    (Boldfaced accent added)

    The core propositions:

    • It seems very difficult to figure a reason for the sign that isn't racist.
    • There are possible explanations.
    • The idea that this was a funny joke is a bit of a stretch.
    • Is it worse to be thought of as racist, or stupid?​

    The first response to that post was a ridiculous distortion:

    Now, to consider Lepus' complaint of belittlement, is there anything demeaning about the notion that if the pool was actually closed, the distortion might have a point?

    I would suggest that there is not. To the other, I would also note that overlooking the actual status of the pool in order to propose a reformulation of what someone actually said into convenient pabulum better suited to fuel one's contempt is not an example of respectful engagement.

    We might also consider Lepus' response to the exchange with ABS:

    Bullshit logic? Certainly there are better ways to disagree with someone, but since this is Sciforums, we won't trifle over that detail.

    Or perhaps ABS' erroneous statement?

    Yes, the height of argument: posting an erroneous statement as the basis of a question, and then calling someone a racist idiot.

    And it goes on—

    —and on—

    —with certain parties refusing to give the issues any serious consideration. One wonders, then, what the point of such discussions are. Perhaps, in the future, people should just ignore these sorts of topics.

    After all, if people don't want to be taken seriously—

    —it's easy enough to oblige.

    Of course, that might hurt their feelings. :bawl:

    We might consider, also, one of Moo2400's posts, a notable example of the kinds of problems these discussions bring:

    What's funny about that is that I thought I was being fairly clear about the issue. Indeed, I did cover other possibilities, as noted above, but the idea that I had been "pretending that (I) haven't been trying to lead people to believe that the picture is implied racism" seems pretty silly.

    It really is bizarre, though, that some people are confused by the proposition of an inquiry without any definite answer:

    Yes, there are alternatives. What is so objectionable to accepting that one might be incorrect? Or is it just inconvenient?

    Nonetheless, we also get to witness a curious and disingenuous tactic:

    This is strange. The argument goes something like this:

    • I make proposition (A).
    • He makes statement (B).
    • You respond to (A) with (C).
    • I respond to (C) by saying, "But I only said ...."​

    The lament is erroneously founded. One of the basic principles of what we do here at Sciforums is that, typically, the text below a quote box discusses what is in the quote box. It would seem very strange to quote Lepus and then respond to Moo.

    Or maybe I'm wrong on that last. Maybe I'm supposed to quote one while responding to the other.

    And yet we are not done with the distortions:

    When one says it is hard to see how something isn't racist, one effective way to make the point that it isn't would be to offer an alternative theory, to help people understand the bases of other perspectives. But that's not the point of these threads, especially given the provocative distortions upon which some "arguments" (such as they are) depend:

    It is a curious question why some feel the need to argue against phantoms of their own construction instead of dealing directly with the person they purport to address. Hence, the relevant question:

    But the relevant question is also dangerous: it might hurt someone's feelings. :bawl:

    Again, though, hurt feelings are a strange proposition here, especially since this is the tone of discussion that some people prefer:

    It would seem that the counterpoint involves unsubstantiated accusations of irrationality, bullshit, and racism while refusing to contribute anything useful to the discussion. One indeed might wonder if this is the preferred method for such threads.

    This is not to say that such debacles are not without their amusing aspects. Moo2400, for instance, thinks the man in the picture resembles a bouncer, has a good "get the fuck out" face, yet declines to explain why:

    What about a black man with bad hair and a cheap suit gives the impression of a bouncer? It's a curious question that we might expect to remain unanswered.

    The complaint noted at the outset would seem to be insubstantial. If apologies are not forthcoming, it is because they are not warranted.

    Life goes on.

    Or does that notion hurt anyone's feelings? :bawl:

  13. angrybellsprout paultard since 2002 Registered Senior Member

    And yet again Tiassa refuses to link the sign to racism, but as always has to take up a significant amount of server space in the process of saying nothing at all.
  14. Moo2400 Guest

    Indeed. In all that space provided, Tiassa has stated nothing new and has thus added nothing to the conversation.

    Please Tiassa, may you be so kind as to take a look back to a few questions I had asked you a little earlier?

    I'm honestly curious. I reject your interpretation of the poster because I see no reason to believe that it is racist, just as you seem to see no reason to believe that it is not racist. So please, Tiassa, enlighten me to this connection you make, and please do so clearly. I do not enjoy long and drawn out responses which say very little for I value my precious time.

    I believe you asked me why I would I think that the black man in the poster has a "GTFO" face, did you not? Arms crossed with a confident looking face tends to create the perception that this man is very sure of himself that there is no getting through him. With the text "POOL CLOSED" added to it, it gives the viewer the sense that this word is final and uncompromising - combine that with the cheap suit (which I personally find bouncers tend to have), and you get the sense that this pool is off limits, no question about it. Just as how a bouncer will kick you out of the strip bar if you begin causing a ruckus - no room for compromise here. You either play by the bouncer's rules, or you're out.

    The only reason why I can see you making the sign out to be racist is simply because it displays a black person. However, Tiassa, I ask you - why not a black person? A white person, an Asian person, an Indian person - any person is capable of giving this same expression. I see no reason to connect it to racism simply because the person in the sign is black, which is why I'd honestly like to hear how you make this connection, for I am lost trying to do so.
  15. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Something about circumstance

    In the first place, I reiterate the point that I've implied, that the incident does not exist in a circumstantial vacuum. This is an overwhelmingly white neighborhood in a place where racial tensions are known to run high. It is suggested that the only nonwhites using the pool in recent days were these particular children. The fact that the pool was not actually closed is also relevant. Sure, it's not a clear-cut issue like burning a cross on someone's lawn, but the execution of an obscure joke without regard to environment and circumstances is one easy way to inflame tensions.

    Secondly, it should be pointed out that you are misrepresenting the issue. As I posted originally, and reminded twice since—sorry you missed it—it seemed very difficult to figure a reason for the sign that isn't racist. This point, combined with the sentence that followed it, "Certainly, there are possible explanations, such as someone with absolutely no clue about civics and American history thinking he'd written a great joke and having no idea that he could possibly offend someone", would seem to contradict your assertion that I see no reason to believe that the sign is not racist.

    Third, if your time is so precious, we might wonder why you would spend it here in the first place. Either way, welcome to the lunatic asylum. You seem to be getting the hang of this place.

    Did you ever see Beverly Hills Cop? I ask because for some reason, Bronson Pinchot's role as Serge came to mind as I read through the above paragraph. Arms crossed and an air of confidence do not a GTFO face make.

    To the other, though, bouncers are a subjective issue insofar as the strip clubs I fancied in Oregon, and even the one I occasionally worked for (technically, as a bouncer) never bothered with suits.

    But seriously, man, if it was a picture of "Serge", I would probably laugh at the pretense, although we might be able to make an issue out of whether the sign was intended to discriminate against the local flaming-gay art gallery director.

    There are, as I have suggested, other circumstances to consider.

    Why not? That depends entirely on who your audience is, and that in and of itself remains a question. But given the circumstances that you seem reluctant—at best—to acknowledge, using a black man is a tremendous risk.

    I think the biggest obstacle to understanding how people could find such a stunt racist is your disregard for broader circumstances. There are places where the joke might play better, but not in a place like this. It's a Texas community without much of a black presence. The joke, in its most innocent interpretation, does not seem to consider civics and American history, does not seem to be cognizant of its potential for offense.

    Which brings us back to a certain question: Is it worse to be thought of as racist, or stupid?

    Either way, stupid is as stupid does.
  16. Moo2400 Guest

    Got it. So you suggest that the context surrounding the situation is what spins this sign from a stupid joke to a racist joke.

    I'm not misrepresenting anything at all - in fact, what you said only supports my assertion that you believe that the sign is racist no matter what the reason. Note what I bolded - you're convinced that this sign is racist no matter what the intent, for you say that they'd have to be ignorant of American civics if they do not believe that it's racist. What you acknowledge is that the people who put up the sign might not necessarily be racist, but the sign itself is still racist given the context.

    Let's just say that it was a hint that I believe you can be more concise.

    Afraid I've never seen Beverly Hills Cop, and you're right - arms crossed and an air of confidence does not make a GTFO face, however, the text "POOL CLOSED" does. The text completely changes the meaning of the picture.

    Eh, I was referring to the crappy suit my step-brother wore when he worked as a bouncer in Seattle and my experience with bouncers around there. I'd imagine the dressing code would vary.

    Indeed, though I still fail to see why it would necessarily be racist, even given the context. Predominantly white and a growing Mexican community, right? Long American history of discrimination topped off with some slavery against the black man, no? Black kids swiming in the pool for a week before the sign was posted, am I correct?

    Now, perhaps the reasons for posting the sign could be racist for all I know, however even given the context, I still don't see the racism. I just see a black man with an afro above the text "POOL CLOSED." The sign itself does not necessarily suggest anything negative to blacks, does it? Could you please point me out where it does? It does not say that the pool is closed only to black people, but rather, to all people.

    Oh, I know it's a risk. I cannot tell you how many times I've had to tiptoe on eggshells when mentioning black people in person and it does not surprise me that this sign itself could be misconstrued as racist, but my argument is that the sign itself is not racist, even when the context is taken into consideration. The people who posted it may have done so for racist reasons, however, that does not make the sign itself racist.

    Oh, I certainly see it, however that doesn't make the sign itself racist. The sign's message does not change regardless of context and moreover, it does not inherently suggest anything negative about black people, however the reasoning somebody may put it up there might. The two are rather important distinctions to make.

    I suppose it would largely depend on the community's perception of black people in general as to whether the black person in the sign is negative or is just as he is, huh? I suppose then you could say that the sign is being interpreted in a racist manner, however, that does not make the sign racist itself, for this is a problem with the community in question as opposed to the average viewer of the sign.
  17. angrybellsprout paultard since 2002 Registered Senior Member

    Looks like Tiassa needs to start backing up his bullshit. Non-black isn't the same thing as white, but racists cannot seem to fathom this concept. Hell, the granny in question is a mexican, but I guess that she must have been part of that overwhelimingly white neighborhood...

    Sure I rarely go to that town, maybe once or twice a year to go to the water park, but I do go to a few of the other towns down that way from time to time. Basically Tiassa is being a racist idiot instead of having a clue as to what he is talking about, who woulda guessed?

    No it doesn't. The pool was as closed to everyone else as it was to those two black children. Until you can prove that the person who called in to ask if the pool was black, then you are just being full of blatiant bullshit.

    What our local racist here can't seem to understand is that not all white people are members of the local KKK chapter.

    Quite the contrary, you are the one misrepresenting everything.

    Or maybe it just wasn't racist, but the race baiting liberals with their preconcieved notions that every white person is racist is just showing through.

    Again showing your racism again Tiassa instead of simply accepting that blacks are people too.

    More like racist liberals simply making things up that don't exist.

    Maybe this isn't the 1960s?
    Maybe blacks are allowed in public areas?
    Maybe the sign didn't single out blacks as being the only ones not allowed in the pool?
    Maybe Tiassa is both racist and stupid?

    Too bad racists such as Tiassa don't have the same attitudes towards their precious counter-spaces, but then they wouldn't be racist liberals, now would they?
  18. angrybellsprout paultard since 2002 Registered Senior Member

  19. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    This and that

    That's one way of looking at it. However, your further analysis of the situation suggests that it is inadequate. If we presume that racism was nowhere to be found in the prankster's mind, that says nothing about how a joke is perceived.

    There is a difference between what something is and how it is perceived; surely you are aware of this.

    Again, you have it wrong. There is a difference between being racist and offending someone.

    Not quite. You're closer than your comrades.

    Indeed, and you can certainly be less pretentious.

    Curiously, you seem to have overlooked the point:

    In order to be more concise, so that I might accommodate your preciousness: If the words "Pool's closed" appeared over a picture of "Serge", I would laugh at the pretense, &c.

    I always liked the bouncers with the black t-shirts reading, "Don't fuck with me". That's more concise than a cheap suit any day.

    Right. Using a ridiculous picture of a goofy looking black man that includes certain stereotypes (bad hair, cheap suit) does not necessarily suggest anything negative to blacks.

    Oh, and what about a smiling, winking man of any color is a GTFO face?
    (Note on Edit: Having found a better image of the icon, I now see that the man is not, in fact, winking. See #100 below for consideration of the image itself, and the legend of this internet meme.)​

    Depends entirely on what you're saying to or about them. I've "tiptoed on eggshells" when explaining a joke to my grandmother before. You know, using a phrase like "well endowed" instead of saying "huge gazongas".

    Good for you ...?

    Now that earns a burning cross analogy. After all, a burning cross says nothing negative about black people specifically, does it? The people who set the cross alight may have done so for racist reasons, but that does not make a burning cross itself racist.

    So you say.

    How quaint.

    And like I told Lepus, tell it to Mel Soderberg. He could very easily have thrown the sign in the trash and avoided this whole controversy.

    • • •​

    Actually, the word is "isn't", not "doesn't". Furthermore, the color of the person who called to ask is irrelevant.

    And riddle me this, ABS: There is a sign on the fence at the gate to the pool that says whether the pool is open or closed. If that sign had said "closed", would there really be any question about whether the pool was open or closed?

    You're welcome to provide us with some information verifying that the pool was closed.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2008
  20. lepustimidus Banned Banned


    So I take it that an apology isn't forthcoming? I mean, you posted a lot of irrelevant bullshit, I thought you'd eventually get around to something relevant (hint: apologising for fucking up.)

    As to your denials, I refer you dismissively to your following post:

    While in your original post you did postulate that perhaps the individual in question did not even racist intentions and was just stupid, you did quite clearly imply that this was 'unlikely', and subscribed to the position that the individual was racist. You also made it clear in the original post, as well as the one quoted above, that the flier was inherently racist.

    Also note how you belittled me simply for pointing out that you were being your typical presumptious self by assuming that the flier had racist connotations.

    Finally, note how my post is far more concise than yours. I guess that's one of the benefits of being employed.
  21. lepustimidus Banned Banned

    By the way, Tiassa, are you willing to acknowledge that the flier is a popular internet meme? You seem to be skirting around that simple little fact.
  22. lepustimidus Banned Banned

    No, it suggests something negative to men.
  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Oh, poor you ....

    You are one of the people who use relevance in a context synonymous to convenience. "Irrelevant bullshit", as such, translates to being simply inconvenient for your argument.


    Oh, right:

    You're working really hard to invent something here, Lepus. Should we bother reviewing the point yet again, or will you simply ignore what is inconvenient to your highly-personalized struggle?

    Aw, did I hurt your feelings? :bawl:

    What's belittling? Pointing out that your argument is nothing but anti-identification and evasion upsets you? Perhaps you should stop with the silly presumption that you might refuse a theory while refusing to provide an alternative consideration.

    So, apparently, are self-righteousness and oversensitivity.

    The discussion hasn't really involved that aspect. But what can be found quite easily is that the internet meme itself is racist:

    Black men kicking the sand in the faces of young children in the middle of a known racist dispute? Oh, good. Comparing the attack of virtual children to the American Civil Rights movement? Even better.

    It's a great thesis, though: An internet meme mocking the Civil Rights struggles of American history isn't racist.

    And, of course, there's the copypasta:

    I think the striking irony here is that the flyer, while not racist in the manner that has the grandmother upset, is still, indeed, racist. That in and of itself is pretty cool.

    Keep wringing your hands, Lepus. At least we know what's important to you.


    Encyclopedia Dramatica. "Habbo Hotel". Updated July 19, 2008. http://encyclopediadramatica.com/Habbo_Hotel

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