>From: Michelle Hadden <[log in to unmask]>
>Reply-To: [log in to unmask]
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: OT:  responding to prejudice
>Date: Sun, 12 May 2002 09:12:39 -0700 (PDT)

i apologize for having to use somebody's reply to a reply to respond to 
this, but the initial post escaped me. i also apologize for a 100% OT 
diatribe, but this pissed me off proper.

<snipped part about "efficacy of ignoring offfensive views">

>It's of interest, (at least to me) that 50 percent of Americans get
>at least part of their news from talk radio-- and 95 percent of talk radio 
>hosts ascribe to views that  are categorized as conservative to extremely 
>conservative.Rush Limbaugh, Ollie North, Bill (payola) O'Reilly are taking 
>over the American conversation.... Thus, unfortunately, the views "so 
>rudely forced" onto this list are what a large population hears every 
>day..... thus, even--especially?--when they intrude in this venue,  it 
>seems important to challenge these unfortunate ideas.

in theory, the theory works out well enough, but practice is less than 
perfect. i believe whomever authored this post endeavored to call "views 
that are categorized as extremely conservative" as "offensive." if this is 
not the case, please correct me, but it seems to me that "these unfortunate 
views" are directly linked to those expressed by, eg, talk radio hosts like 
Limbaugh, North and more recently, O'Reilly.


conservative opinions are automatically offensive?
conservative opinions are automatically prejudiced?
who died and left you big brother in charge?

i consider myself something of an inveterate fence-straddler, one of those 
exasperating centrists that usually flips a coin before elections, but it 
really ever-so pisses the jumping jesus on a pogo stick out of me when tripe 
like this gets proclaimed with unabashed fervor. if 50% of americans 
(according to whom?) make an active choice of picking up their news from 
talk radio, how can they find it to be "offensive"? wouldn't they be able to 
escape "these unfortunate views" with a flick of a button? wouldn't they 
have hundreds of other different media outlets to lend their ears/eyes to?

"95% of radio hosts ascribe to views that are categorized as conservative to 
extremely conservative"--is this a real stat or an apocryphal hyperbole? if 
the former, could you reference it, please? could you specify who exactly 
categorizes these radio hosts as conservative to extremely conservative, and 
according to what yardstick? if the latter, here's a similar hyperbole: 
"flaming liberals enjoy clubbing people over the head with bogus percentages 
pulled out of their collective pinko ass."

> > I've never had a student like Kate in my classes. I've taught in public 
>and private universities and underprivileged secondary schools) I take 
>pride in allowing my students to voice their opinions openly, to disagree 
>with me . I don't try to change their minds-- I try to teach them to argue.

pardon me while i evacuate myself to retch in a corner.

after succinctly relegating any and all sort of supposedly conservative talk 
radio to the realm of "unfortunate views" you have the gall to tag on a 
pathetic disclaimer of this sort? how does your encouragement to voice one's 
opinions pan out? do you by any chance accuse 50% of your classroom of 
perorating "offensive views"? or maybe you affect a superior smile (the 
perennial favorite here at berkeley) and subtly imply that the "unfortunate 
views" are the result of youthful ignorance?

on that note, how can any opinion be offensive is it because it differs in 
stance from your own? if that is the case, maybe your own opinions are 
equally offensive to me and maybe 50% of americans who leave their dial 
alone when one of these dreaded "conservative to extremely conservative" 
talk show hosts comes on.

it irritates me to no end that a discussion prompted by the assassination of 
a dutch right-winger somehow spiraled into what seems to be a free-for-all 
mauling of conservative thinking. talk about prejudice. for what it's worth, 
i'm equally repelled by excesses to either side of the political spectrum, 
but this instance seems particularly repugnant because there seems to be an 
underlying trend of justification for this murder as the stifle of 
"offensive views"--a parallel to the insane fervor europe's entire media to 
deny the dubious character of lepen a chance to articulate anything.

and if that's offensive, your being offended is offensive to me.


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