Thursday, June 16, 2005

Senate Lynching Apology

As you may or may not know, the US Senate has passed a bill formally apologizing for their failure to pass legislation addressing the horrendous practice of lynching in the US.

The good news is that 84 Senators (as of the last count I saw) not only supported, but co-sponsered the bill. The vote was done as a voice vote, so if a Senator did not co-sponsor the bill, he/she did not take an official stand.

The bad news is that John Cornyn, one of the Senators from my state of Texas, did not co-sponsor the bill. What he is thinking I have no idea. Maybe I'll call and at least let them pretend to tell me what is up.

I'm waiting for just one person to give a logical reason why any Senator would not support this bill. Rush Limbaugh tried yesterday but did a very poor job. Saying that this bill wasn't enough because it did not admit that the Southern Democrats led the filibusters against anti-lynching laws in the past is not a real argument. Saying that the filibuster is still being used today to halt democracy is not enough.

Give me one good reason why a Senator will not acknowledge publicly that lynchings happened and some people in our government let them happen, and we are sorry.

Maybe this is why Cornyn is one of the most unpopular Senators up in D.C.

22 Comments:

At 17/6/05 8:47 AM, Blogger hashishan prophet said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 17/6/05 12:27 PM, Blogger La Bona said...

What is your view on ABORTION?

While Muslims and Catholics even regard contraceptive evil, Would you like to know what do most people think of these religious taboo?

See it from the divine perspective ... http://divinetalk.blogspot.com/

 
At 19/6/05 4:48 AM, Blogger Victor said...

Give me one good reason why a Senator will not acknowledge publicly that lynchings happened and some people in our government let them happen, and we are sorry.

Hesitiating to respond, because "one good reason" very often morphs into "one reason that I'd find persuasive or dispositive." The former is not a hard thing to do for just about anything; the latter is well nigh impossible because the judge of the matter is by definition, someone ill-disposed to the argument.

But anyway, why not?

-- Collective apologies are one more brick in the wall of the therapeutic, emotive society, which is bad;

-- Collective apologies are one more brick in the wall of the feminization and Oprahfication of society, which is contrary to civic virtue;

-- A congressional resolution is essentially a meaningless act because the events in question took place decades ago;

-- A congressional resolution is essentially a risk-free pose because nobody today defends lynching;

-- A congressional resolution is essentially a self-righteous act because the perpetrators are not the ones apologizing (Robert Byrd aside);

Its meaninglessness, self-righteousness and its posturing nature combine to make this sort of thing a cheap bit of grandstanding, like a speech "for good and against evil." Duh. In other words, this is just a 1984-style Two Minute Hate session, with "lynching" taking the place of Emmanuel Goldstein. And it is about as aesthetically and morally appealing.

 
At 19/6/05 10:06 AM, Blogger Brady said...

Victor,

Thanks for responding. Of course I was looking for one good reason that I found worthwhile. That is pretty apparently implied, and I think you do the same when asking for someone to support an argument.

That aside I can see your points (which are really just 1 point worded a few different ways). Are you saying that the US government should have just gone on and never addressed an issue such as this? Especially one where people died and the Senate knew it was happening and refused to take action?

If US military mistakenly came in and killed your family and then 50 years from now wanted to apologize, would you not at least see that as a step of positive good will?

 
At 19/6/05 1:00 PM, Blogger Victor said...

If US military mistakenly came in and killed your family and then 50 years from now wanted to apologize, would you not at least see that as a step of positive good will?

The very fact that you're putting the question this way demonstrates exactly why these sorts of things are bad.

 
At 20/6/05 7:06 AM, Blogger Brady said...

Yes, apologizing for atrocities (even if it is after the fact) is a terrible thing. Luckily, only 14 of the 100 Senators agree with you.

 
At 20/6/05 12:41 PM, Blogger Victor said...

No. Personalizing political issues; reducing such matters to petulant whines of "how would YOU like it if (blank)"; analogizing the common good to somebody's personal drama are all bad.

I've no doubt that there are only likely to be 14 senators disgusted enough by the Oprahfying and Doctor-Philification on display to resist the opportunity to posture like this. And knee-jerk reactions like yours are largely the reason. The culture has been thoroughly Oprahfied -- you'll get no argument on that point from me.

But nevertheless good job bud in resorting to the "majority = truth" meme. Now let's apply that same meme to what sorts of sexual behavior are moral. After all, how would you like it if ...

 
At 20/6/05 2:07 PM, Blogger Brady said...

Victor,

Thanks for your comments. I can always depend on a good dose of a patronizing and "my views are better because..." tone from you.

Frankly, I am glad that most of the country thinks that political moves have personal consequences. We are running a country here, made up of individual people, and if we don't take a second to look at how things affect individuals we will inevitably not be able to best serve the citizens.

As far as the "majority thinks this is right so it must be" philosophy, I think it would be better stated as the "huge overwhelming majority theme."

No, the majority=truth theme does not always hold. In this case, though, it does. But please don't tell all of your friends on the right that the majority=truth theme doesn't hold water. They'd lose their biggest argument against gays.

 
At 20/6/05 2:45 PM, Blogger Victor said...

And you don't think your view X on some subject is better than view not-X on that subject because ... ?

And good job distinguishing when "majority = truth" is a valid position from when it isn't. Oh ... wait ... you didn't do that, did you? I suppose you just meant "when I agree with the majority" (especially when it's a bit of cost-free posturing -- "I'm against hate").

(I know ... being patronizing again -- pointing out your habitual logical errors and gaps.)

 
At 20/6/05 2:59 PM, Blogger Victor said...

And also bud, apropos of ...

But please don't tell all of your friends on the right that the majority=truth theme doesn't hold water.

... please explain, showing your vast acquaintanceship with the intellectual literature of the post-1789 right from Burke on, why you think "the right" needs this lesson.

Admittedly, court power muddles matters in the contemporary US. But "the right" practically from the very beginning of modern Western poltiics has been defined by opposition to simple majoritarianism, the demos and the General Will in favor of ... well, different things in various historical contexts, but the underlying theme is constant. We really don't need to be told the majority isn't always correct.

 
At 20/6/05 3:33 PM, Blogger Brady said...

Victor- I'm not sure why we are having this conversation. You "point out" my "flaws in logic" and then bring in your own, moving the argument no where.

First- I never said that majority=truth. I said I was glad that in this case, the huge overwhelming majority of Senators disagreed with your take on this issue. I then said that sometimes the majority is right, and i believe it is in this case. I never said this bill was right simply because the majority believed in it. You threw those words straight into my mouth. I think that is called strawman or trap argumentation.

My reference to your friends on the right centers around the current "right" or conservative movement, which is nothing like the right movement throughouthistory. When anyone refers to the "right" vs. "left" war we have going on, do you always postulate about the Burkist right movement of the 18th century? That seems a bit self-indulgent to me.

Back on topic, one of the huge arguments against gays and gay marriage are that the people think it is wrong. The right wants the peoples' voice to be heard on this issue. Anytime anything even slightly gay-positive comes out, and the right hits the polls talking about how the majority of the people don't like this or that. The majority=truth philosophy has been pushing constitutional ammendments nationwide. It is the current fuel of the conservative movement. So, despite your pontifications about your own ideals and historical beliefs, the current "right" holds the majority=truth philosophy pretty close, and they have for a number of years now.

 
At 20/6/05 3:48 PM, Blogger Victor said...

the majority=truth theme does not always hold. In this case, though, it does seems pretty clear to me.

 
At 20/6/05 4:35 PM, Blogger Brady said...

Victor, quoting a whole paragraph correctly and in context might help our quest for honesty.

 
At 20/6/05 5:10 PM, Blogger Victor said...

You had written in your note of 407 pm:

No, the majority=truth theme does not always hold. In this case, though, it does. But please don't tell all of your friends on the right that the majority=truth theme doesn't hold water. They'd lose their biggest argument against gays.

I quoted the second sentence when you deny in your 533 pm note ever having said majority = truth: "I never said that majority=truth." Clearly you did.

The rest of the paragraph doesn't change anything. The first sentence merely says majority doesn't always equal truth, which does not take back the absurd statement, while adding the problematic point of how we know when "the majority" is relevant and when it isn't -- the point I called you on earlier, implying that majority support seems to be relevant when YOU agree with it and not when you don't. How conveeeeenient, as Dana Carvey might say.

The third and fourth sentences are merely efforts to establish some sort of hypocrisy on my part. It doesn't alter what you said.

 
At 20/6/05 6:17 PM, Blogger Brady said...

Victor,

The first line of the paragraph you quoted says, "No, the majority=truth theme does not always hold." I went on to say, "in this case it does," meaning in this case the majority is right. But since I said the philosophy did not hold to be true, I obviously was stating that the majority does hold the correct view in this case. I never said or implied that because the majority says something is true, it must then be true.

 
At 20/6/05 6:26 PM, Blogger Victor said...

In context, "it does" can only mean "it does hold." It NEVER "holds"

 
At 20/6/05 6:40 PM, Blogger Brady said...

Yes, the majority is never right.

 
At 20/6/05 6:48 PM, Blogger Victor said...

No, it never holds that majority status = rightness

 
At 21/6/05 6:27 AM, Blogger Brady said...

Correct, but in this case the majority was right, as I said.

 
At 21/6/05 8:02 AM, Blogger Victor said...

Which wasn't what you said initially.

 
At 21/6/05 8:57 AM, Blogger Brady said...

As much fun as three year old games are, I'm going to refrain.

 
At 21/6/05 11:42 AM, Blogger Victor said...

Because you obviously don't know what "follows" means in the context of a discussion of logic. I can only respond to what you say, not what you mean.

 

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