The rules on white behavior that white liberals implicitly believe and strictly enforce but refuse to state

Jake F. writes:

I’d like to discuss the post, “In Liberal World, the human cost of making the slightest “misstatement” about blacks.”

In order to see whether people saw Voulu Papachristou’s actual tweet as offensive enough on its own (that is, leaving aside the question of her support for the Golden Dawn party) to warrant her being kicked off the Greek Olympic team, I posted the news article about her to Facebook (where most of my friends are liberal) and asked, “Does the punishment fit the crime (which is not a crime)? Discuss.”

The answers came out about 50-50.

One person said that Voulu deserved what she got for the racist tweet. I went through some effort to pin him down on what exactly was racist about it, finally asking, “What does the joke imply about the African race?” His response was, “That deadly disease carriers prefer them to whites, and that it is funny to point that out.”

Another person said that she agreed with the previous commenter. She also added this:

The Olympic athlete should have known her joke was in bad taste, all things considered. Better is expected from the representative athletes of the world’s countries at the Olympic games. That is made clear to those who ask for the honor to participate in the games. Still—this individual opted to be a little tweet-factory for her perceived fans. She exercised her right. Greece exercised hers.

Thinking immediately of John Derbyshire’s “The Talk: Nonblack Version,” I asked:

But how would she know that? If it wasn’t anti-black, how was it in bad taste, “all things considered”?

I don’t ask this flippantly. As I try to raise my kids, I know there are things I need to train them on, either because it’s the right thing or because I want to make sure that their lives and mine don’t get screwed up: For instance, I have to teach them that black kids can use “the n-word” and white kids can’t. What rule should I teach them about this? Don’t joke about Africa? Don’t joke about anything related to black people? Don’t say anything about black people at all, even if it’s innocent, unless it looks like you’re addressing grievances they’ve suffered?

I posted this in part because I read about a white kid’s dream go up in smoke based on a single tweet, and I thought to myself, “I don’t know how to protect my kids from this.” And after this conversation, I still don’t. When you say, “Trigger-happy tweeters, be warned [which she had said previously],” I have to ask—be warned of what? And all those questions from the last paragraph arise.

Her response was singularly unhelpful:

Jake, if you really don’t see what others might find in bad taste about her joke, I can’t help you there. I am not going to over-analyse that single joke, its nuances, its timing, her previous body of twitter work, etc. I don’t like the joke…. and probably would not like her…. but I accept that she personally has a right to twitter what she wants. However, I don’t see Greece’s reaction to the tweet that was the nail in her 2012 Olympic coffin as an extreme “punishment.” All serious athletes with Olympic aspirations put exactly what she put on the line (hours of practice, money, dedication, sweat, the unimaginable resources of loved ones, etc.), with no promise of anything, for the chance to get an invitation to represent their country at the Olympic games. It’s part of the wonder of it all. *SHE* was willing to sacrifice all that went into her journey to entertain her twitter fans. And so—now she’s free to begin her career as a stand-up comedian or, I fear, a politician.

And Jake, for what my opinion is worth, if you keep teaching your children to strive to be always empathetic, they’ll be fine later on. And so will you. With genuine empathy, the rest of the nebulous “rules” of human interaction will mostly present themselves at the time. And when they don’t, at least the apology for hurt feelings will be sincere! :)

So this is the lesson learned from this exchange:

1. If you’re a good person, you’ll understand what makes a bad joke.

2. It doesn’t take anything overtly racist to make a joke bad.

3. If you don’t understand what makes a bad joke, you might not be a good person, but we may accept an apology afterwards if it looks like you might be one.

4. If you make a joke that involves Africa, blacks, or any other location or race, you’re willing to “sacrifice it all” if it turns out to be a bad joke.

5. If you make a bad joke, liberals will accept your right to say it—but their “toleration” of you doesn’t preclude ostracism and the destruction of your lifelong dream.

All of which can be summarized in the proposed rules I stated to her: Don’t joke about Africa. Don’t joke about anything related to black people. Don’t say anything about black people at all, even if it’s innocent, unless it looks like you’re addressing grievances they’ve suffered.

So, finally, yes, in terms of the unstated but implied rule which I stated explicitly, I believe that the tweet is sufficient on its own to eject her from the team.

LA replies:

Great work. Applause. I would only suggest one further comment by you—that you should make explicit to your Facebook interlocutors, as you’ve made explicit to us, what they think should happen to a white person who violates those rules. They believe that a white person should have his career destroyed for a non-racist but in-slightly-bad-taste joke about blacks, even if the person abjectly apologizes. They believe that a white person deserves to have his career destroyed if he says anything about blacks that can be seen as not supporting blacks’ notion of grievances they’ve suffered.

Also, your rule will be added to VFR’s list of behaviors to avoid if a person wishes not to be physically destroyed by feral blacks or socially and professionally destroyed by liberal whites.

LA continues:

And here is another key point that your challenges to your liberal Facebook friends brought out. The rules governing white behavior do not have to be spelled out. All decent people simply know, they instinctively know, what types of statements they must avoid if they are not to be turned into non-persons and have their careers ruined. And what they are supposed to know, without having it spelled out, is that they must not make any statement that can be seen as less than one hundred percent supportive of blacks and of the black sense of grievance.

And if a person does NOT instinctively know these rules without being told, that in itself shows that he is not worthy of existing among us, the empathetic ones, the worthy ones.

Jake F. replies to LA’s suggestion:

I think they would disagree with that. They would probably say that the white person has no right to complain if his career is destroyed by it, not that he should have his career destroyed.

I may pose that question to those two people. If I do, I’ll send you their reactions.

- end of initial entry -

James N. writes:

I think we’re getting somewhere.

The violation is to say anything about blacks which does not validate their sense of grievance and does not affirm their victim status.


Liberals believe that blacks do the things they do, not because they are moral creatures with their own thoughts and desires, but because they are acted on by whites. This belief is SO ABSURD that any contradictory thoughts must be constantly repressed, lest reality break out.

LA replies:

Great insight. If blacks’ victim status is allowed to be questioned in any way, it will soon become apparent that they are responsible for their own behavior and their own outcomes; which means that white racism is not the cause of blacks’ dysfunctions and failures; which means that the entire liberal edifice, founded on white guilt, collapses and our civilization will have a chance to save itself.

I would just quibble at your suggestion that we haven’t been getting anywhere before this.:-(

James N. replies:

OK, we’re making more progress.

Dave T. writes:

Many thanks to Jake for his insightful comment! Of course, Jake’s friend refused to articulate the social rules that Voulu violated with her tweet because to do so would reveal just how ridiculous and arbitrary these kinds of rules are. To wit, following Jake’s remark, we all know that it’s an unspoken rule of our society that white people aren’t allowed to say the n-word, black people are allowed to say the n-word, and that it’s simply in poor taste for people who are neither white nor black to say the n-word; however, once this rule is explicitly formulated it quickly becomes clear that there can be no consistent rational justification for something so arbitrary, thereby weakening its power over the mind. Jake’s friend is naturally embarrassed by the situation and merely defers by suggesting that good people know these rules by osmosis and can follow them without too much trouble, and, while that’s true in one sense, it begs the question as to whether they should be abiding by these rules in the first place.

Forta Leza writes:

I think the rule is even simpler: If X is sacred, don’t say anything which might be construed as being negative about X. Normally if you joke about something or someone, it can be construed as negative.

For example, if you happen to be in Thailand, don’t joke about the King of Thailand. If you are in Saudi Arabia, don’t tell a joke about Mohammed or Islam.

August 1

Hannon writes:

If it is true that blacks are a sacred class of people as far as how society demands they be treated by whites, i.e., as a permanently privileged underclass, and that any reference to blacks by whites that is other than supportive will not be tolerated, and blacks are furthermore dependent upon wealth redistribution from whites, doesn’t this mean that whites have completely taken over all social responsibility for blacks? It’s funny that Jake’s interlocutor on Facebook believes that Voulu Papachristou must take full responsibility for her careless remark—and I agree with her on this point—but at the same time apparently feels that blacks cannot defend themselves and need special protection from such insensitivity by the whites who just don’t get it. Don’t blacks ever see this phenomenon as condescending?

August 1

David P. writes:

For some Olympics now, Mohammed Ali has been invited either to open the Games, or to be there as the iconic figure of the Olympic movement. The impression given is that Mohammed Ali is the greatest sportsman in the last 50 years.

My memory of Mohammed Ali is of a person who trashed his opponents before and during a fight—not exactly sporting behaviour. The media loved it as he vilified his opponents, and the USA. But the worst behaviour I have seen from any boxer, is Mohammed Ali’s fight against Terrel. Terrel was clearly outclassed, but Ali kept beating him, while deliberately not knocking him out, and while asking him, “What’s my name, Uncle Tom … What’s my name?” The sheer hatred and bile that was evident in Ali’s voice and body language has to be seen to be believed.

I have never ever seen such barbaric behaviour, even in the confines of a boxing ring. And yet, this is the man that is lionised as a great sportsman.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 31, 2012 04:05 PM | Send

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