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      08-15-2006, 06:31 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by CMD
Agreed. However, here in Southern California it is called racism. I'm not making this up.
CMD - I'm a bit worried about us agreeing

Anyway ... I was thinking about your post last night ... and about why things like that make me uncomfortable.

None of what follows is intended to annoy or insult - it's just my observations and I would be genuinely interested in your replies to my questions.

What troubles me is as follows:

1. The post is written as a first hand account, but I doubt you attended the meeting (you may correct me if I am wrong). The account also seems deliberately theatrical (the talk of a hushed silence at the end) and also tries to 'up' the credibility of those involed (some of americas finest minds). The theatrical presentation is on top of an apparently very theatrical speech 'the destruction of america', which is clearly a 'worst case' viewpoint.

It seems obvious to me that the 'author' of this account (whoever that is) is clearly not impartial and is deliberately presenting a version of the story to re-inforce his 'point'. I suspect it was original published in a 'anti illegal immigration' setting - website or journal. Perhaps you can explain where it comes from?

My question to you is - do you accept and understand this observation?

There was a recent scientific study that proved that people are far less discerning when analysing information which re-inforces their own beliefs and that they will actually 'filter out' information which does not support them.

This is done unconciously and I do genuinely wonder if you can accept the biased and theatrical nature of the account?

2. The basic premise - 'the destruction of america' - is a 'doomsday scenario'. It's a scary thought - what could be worse than the destruction of the country you love. However, it's also an extreme view. The reality has to be that america will not be 'destroyed'. It will still exist, but ultimately aspects of american society may change in ways that you and others find unpleasant.

None of the bi-lingual countries mentioned have actually been 'destroyed', they may have their own issues, but many of these are deep rooted and much more complicated than just the language issue. The UK is actually bi-lingual (well Wales anyway) and it's not the end of our society - it just makes the road signs more expensive.

So this argument is 'fear based' - the speakers and the author want to provoke a reaction by 'playing on' the fears of the audience. This is quite a manipulative tactic and is by nature 'reactionary' - by that I mean that these methods are only used when campaigning against (reacting to) something.

On this basis the entire strategem is a negative one. It says - be afraid - listen to us or very bad things will happen. It seems to be a very different situation, but the BNP in the UK (British National Party) who are without doubt a bunch of xenephobic racists, emply similar tactics.

For example - look at this article - they consider that the muslim community AS A WHOLE should apologise for the actions of the people arrested in the recent police action in the UK:

Can you see that they are deliberately trying to 'blame' the muslim community as a whole for the attempted bombings and in doing so bolster up support for their position? This is a racist tactic (carefully disguised) simply because the vast majority of muslims are clearly just ordinary people who want to get on with their lives and would have no truck with terrorism, but the allegation is that this is somehow their fault JUST BECAUSE the are muslim. There have been posts on this forum which make the same point - one muslim is bad - so ALL muslims are bad - cleearly this is bollocks, but it plays to peoples insecurities. This is how racism works.

These people are VERY smart VERY dangerous and extremely manipulative - and they prey on fear.

Do you recognise that the article you posted plays on fear in a similar way? If so - does it trouble you or do you just see it as a legitimate way to get your argument accross?

I am not trying to disuade you of you beliefs - I am just trying to see if you can understand why they might trouble other people and for my own benefit try to understand if you can see the same propagandist tactics that I can.