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About Slojo

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  1. . Sure. But it should be really noted that the typical HS doesn't teach kids foreign language anywhere near to fluency. Not saying there are no challenges, but, umm, yeah...
  2. because the "health" threads about Candidate _______________ went political so fast. I even saved the screen from last night, but it was inaccessible this morning. I was all ready with my popcorn and everything :lurk5: but actually thought it was going to stick to wacky and unfounded theories about the health status of people none of us have ever met (and I was going to privately award the wackiest one a trophy). Bagging up the popcorn for the next one, I guess... :lol: That's all!
  3. Thanks for this perspective! I don't know how to address the "he's privileged" argument. It doesn't make sense. One - even if the experiences of biracial folks raised by white parents guaranteed that they would be insulated from racism (which it does not), I would hope that there is room in this country for people to take up causes that don't affect them directly. It's called empathy and allyship. Doubly so for "celebrities" that have an elevated platform and who might be able to get the attention of millions. Secondly, his white parents don't follow him everywhere he goes -- he actually has to walk out of his house and interact with people who have no clue about his upbringing -- and if just a fraction of those people have an anti-black bias, then, well, it just really doesn't matter who your parents are. Lastly, so we're acknowledging white privilege, now? We're acknowledging structural racism, now? Great! That's progress because so many people are stuck on "race and racism doesn't matter/we solved most of that years ago" that I was beginning to get worried. So to clarify we're saying that Kaep shouldn't protest because his upbringing with white parents and his class status insulates him from any disadvantages he might have had otherwise? Interesting. Fine - we'll just swap him out for another black dude whose experiences are "more authentically black" (whatever that means). Because surely that will go down really well, and everybody will just be oh so understanding of that? Umm... not sure I buy this. There were actual slaves around at the time who were commonly referred to as slaves -- hundreds of whom sought to fight with the British in the hopes of gaining freedom. Why would Key celebrate the idea that American sailors FORCED to fight for a side they didn't want to fight for would find no refuge from "terror of flight or gloom of the grave?" Why lump them in with the far more willing (and perhaps opportunistic) hirelings? I actually get why one would include hirelings and slaves who willingly went to the other side in lyrics that were basically about triumph over the opposing force. But the interpretation of "slaves" as "captured sailors" just sounds silly at the very least, and perhaps - since this is a children's site -- at best, the site was trying to shield children from the full truth. That's kind of an awful history wrapped up in those lyrics, and I can get the sentiment of wanting to shield children. It's nicer/cleaner for the American narrative if we don't complicate the story. Raising questions in young minds about slaves and just who were "the good guys and bad guys" in this story runs counter to the typical ways in which we handle retellings of the American story to young children. Are we really to believe that Key didn't ever notice, at least every once in a while, that there were brown people running around with the British, many of whom were former slaves who joined to secure their freedom? Are we really to believe that he didn't want to triumph over those former slaves "at least a little bit" for running off with the British? But, sure, we'll just tell Little Jimmy that it was "captured sailors!" Yeah. Perhaps. Kaep should just give that a big shrug IMO. I hope they don't mind donating to BLM and affiliated causes because that's where the money's going ;-)! (Obligatory SNAP!) The phrase "that just burns" takes on a whole new level of meaning right there! I liked the essay a lot. Though I would say that it can honestly be really difficult to ascertain whether "conflict is being correctly handled or mismanaged" in the context of social injustice. What does "correctly handled" conflict look like? It's almost never clear until decades later. The majority of people thought that Dr. King was going too far (many people deemed the Civil Rights movement as one long series of "mismanaged conflicts"), and yet decades later, we teach millions of kids to "do as Dr. King did" (those actions - with the hindsight of history - are now deemed as "conflict correctly handled" and even nobly so). KWIM? Decent people of all stripes can genuinely grapple with "just what is the right thing to do" in the face of injustice. The human condition is filled with all kinds of moral/ethical dilemmas. Of the range of actions people can take, I'd think that sitting and now taking a knee (after being in dialogue with some vets), donating money, and continuing to articulate matter-of-factly and peacefully one's views is about as "constructive" as one can be and still be actually calling attention to the issues. Otherwise, one is kind of left with "just keep your mouth shut and don't ever force anyone to have to sit with being uncomfortable or inconvenienced" -- which kind of defeats the purpose of protest, and isn't what the now revered leaders of the Civil Rights movement did (including a few of the celebrities of the time that lent their celebrity to the cause -- you actually have to speak up, and sometimes, it is most effective to do so when the cameras are rolling). I know there are folks on this board that would have a hard time coming up with ANY scenario in which protest would be acceptable. And that I find -- unacceptable. In a normal job, I would agree, but "celebrity" is this this really interesting phenomenon, and the regular rules get broken all of the time. They do have a platform unlike any other, and an organization that is comprised of 67% African American athletes and makes money off of their bodies (literally) might do well to - maybe - demonstrate that they want to see justice come to a community that has produced so many of its most talented players. That's my social justice-y bent, but, yeah, a little "gratitude" (and leeway) back for those players who, as wealthy as they are, are making YOU even wealthier. The "gratitude" thing can work both ways. We always talk about the "grateful athletes" and never the folks making money off of those athletes developing greater sympathies and "gratitude" for the communities from which those athletes come.
  4. Well, I guess I'd start interrogating myself about what is meant by "intelligence." I see intelligence as very wide-ranging, and at least somewhat malleable and contextual. I do not mean that there are not qualitative differences in intelligence between any two individuals. It just seems like applying some of the intellectual tools of someone who is "intelligent" would help to widen your sense of "who's intelligent" and why it matters. So what about engaging in a line of thinking like this when that feeling or judgment about someone else comes up: - Who is intelligent in what ways? What do I mean by intelligence: rocket scientists, physicians, poets, the repair shop guy who doesn't write well but can put together or take apart anything, etc... In all contexts? What am I NOT seeing in this person that makes me feel this way? What about in this circumstance - would they be considered intelligent? Well, how does that apply here? Etc... I am suggesting to be really rigorous with yourself about what is essentially a non-cognitive (oh, the irony), emotionally-driven belief system about intelligence. Attack it with your own intellect. An intelligent person would just keep interrogating that belief system - hold it up to the light and look at it from as many angles as possible. I think that practice just "widens" the notion of intelligence. At least for me - a lot of what I might consider a lack of intelligence is actually not. It's something else - lack of exposure, lack of confidence, being asked to perform in the wrong "intelligence" modality (e..g., visual learner being asked to perform in an auditory mode...). Life is full of seemingly unintelligent people who just blow me away when I see them in a different context.... And intelligent people who seem absolutely learning challenged when you take them out of their normal environment/routine or ask them to consider ideas or experiences that they just have not considered. There's just so many ways to be intelligent/unintelligent. There's "well, knows five languages" like my mother-in-law intelligent, there's physics professor intelligent, there's started their own company and now just made their first million intelligent, or creative intelligent like the creator of the Broadway hit Hamilton. Each of them in the other person's environment would be seen as quite unintelligent - really - if that's all you saw or knew of them. I like the idea of learning something you're terrible at (for me it was tennis - and boy did I feel dumb in that environment... and learning Chinese along side my children? Hilarity ensues.) I mean, we've seen a brain surgeon make a presidential run and fail at political "intelligence" (that is not meant to be partisan, just trying to come up with an example in the recent news); there was that article floating around about the man who grew up in special education (generally not considered intelligent) and is now a celebrated author, Martin Luther King apparently had low test scores, and I don't think there's a person on the planet would would not credit him with intellectual gifts, one of the most strategically intelligent leaders of a social movement, and among the most orally gifted leaders of the modern era - from Stanford archives "King took the examination on 3 February. A table enclosed with the test report indicates that his verbal aptitude score is in the second lowest quartile and his quantitative score is in the lowest ten percent of those taking the test. In the advanced test in philosophy, King's score (on a scale of 100) places him in the lowest third, while his other scores (on a scale of 800) are in the lowest quartile in all the subject areas except literature, where he placed in the top quartile." Dr. King. Low.verbal.aptitude. The.most.famous.orator.of.the.late.20th.century. Maybe we need to widen our scope for what's considered "intelligent." See if that kind of perspective taking helps you. Then there's always the "if I got transported back in time 5000 to years ago, I'd probably be considered the village idiot or village lunatic..." type of perspective taking. Personally, I'd have all these modern ideas/exposure to modern knowledge in the abstract, but almost zero applied intelligence about how to bring them to ancient cultures (though as a good social scientist, I'd probably be intelligent enough not to attempt to do so), but I wouldn't know how to grow my own crops, sew my own clothes, sail the ocean without modern navigational technology (or with modern navigational equipment, to be truthful), or survive three winters without modern heating, etc, etc... Me? Village idiot, for sure.
  5. This is closest to what it would be in my area. Property taxes would kill ya.
  6. I enjoy feeling like a tag team trying to break down some really entrenched ideas -- race runs very deeply. Honestly, I only save it for times when a given response has left me with nothing to work with -- some of the expressed attitudes towards African Americans, other people of color, the nature of racism, or what constitutes self-determination and dignity are a whole lot of wowza! sometimes.
  7. Because there are no "subsections" - at least not in a formal sense. Christians usually belong to an organized institution - one with councils, synods, parishes, etc... that provide leadership and guidance on church doctrine, issue official statements from the church, vote on things, use their resources to advance various viewpoints through a network of institutions, etc... BLM has no such infrastructure. Police departments are tax-supported government entities that d*** well better be responsive to community calls for reform. They are formal institutions with policies that can be altered, with the charge to perform their basic duties fairly and equitably to all citizens; and a managerial responsibility to do something as a collective institution to improve. Effective management of such an institution is not as simple as firing the "one bad cop" as performance lies on a continuum and often whole cultures need to change to improve performance for all. Additionally, they have been particularly entrusted to serve the community, and the community has to deal with them whether they are "performing well or not." That is a public trust unique to government. BLM is not in that position. There's no "community trust" equivalent. If I don't like the direction they are going in, I can just withdraw my support and move on. On your other point, I think there have been tons of denouncements by black leaders, affiliated with and not affiliated with BLM. But funny how no number of denouncements from minority groups is never enough while white people almost never have to account for anyone's actions except their own, and often get mad if you even mildly suggest that they should. Yes, if you had a big march about "black violence" that would be racist. What would be your motivation for that? Umm, police department are institutions that should, by their nature, hold the public's trust. The protests are against the systemic instances in which it appears they have broken that trust. There's no equivalent "black people" institution to "protest" against. Asking that the police be held accountable is a routine, ordinary standard to set for a public institution. That's what's supposed to happen. If you don't want to do that, get out of the game. To use an analogy: When Chipotle had a food poisoning outbreak, the company didn't just fire one or two bad employees, they did a review of the whole system, invested in retraining, and beefed up their safety standards, which had fallen lax. That' s management problem. Then they worked to regain the public's trust - not by telling them to focus on all of the wonderful meals they've had in the past in which they didn't get food poisoning. That's just not how that works. But back to the protest thing - there's actually plenty of protests and marches against violence in the black community. We just attended one a few weeks back. But it's probably not a frame you would appreciate, and you'd have to work with an awful lot of black people who will still also focus on police brutality and accountability. They absolutely do not have to make themselves palatable to you to be legitimate. You seem to have a high need for these things to be on your terms, which is narrowed by some pretty big blinders. Free advice: Starting a critique of BLM with "well what if we did a march on black violence" is not really a winning strategy for advancing race relations. So I actually don't think advancing race relations is your goal - I think you want to advance "comfort" relations, so that black people just stop talking about it, whether or not things change for THEM, so that you can feel more comfortable. That's nice for you, but that's not making things better for anyone else.
  8. Exactly. Where does freedom of speech against (I think this is the 11th time, as someone else claimed the 10th time) police brutality, not the existence of a police force fit into this. Or are the folks upset with BLM just saying all those BLM people should just shut up about it. Funny, they said that about those civil rights marchers too... Oh, goodness! You mean there are folks on this board actually believe that about civil rights marchers? Okay... I'm going to back away slowly using my calm, low voice while I find an escape route... Come on - you "liked" it. "They're not a terrorist group... as far as I know (wink, wink!)" So people of color are to take any and all manner of systemic abuse, see the patterns of injustice -- and just stuff it, and say nothing or else we are ungrateful? Feel the same way about all those black people in the 60's who weren't grateful enough to ride the bus, weren't grateful enough that "we gave them their own schools," weren't grateful that the master fed them? Because that's what this line of argument sounds like. I know you can't see it because those things sound ludicrous to today's ear, but those were commonly held beliefs back then. What will history think of your stance 20 years from now? I call BS on that - it is not a standard you hold for yourself, do not hold it for me. That is some unabashed white privilege there. I am calling you out on saying that in order to "support the police" you are saying that you think black people deserve poorer treatment and should be grateful for whatever treatment they get. I'm sure you don't believe that of yourself, but that's what you are indeed saying. Why don't you just have us go back to "Yes sir" and "no ma'am" with our heads bent... Do you understand the concept of a pattern? Do you understand that it's not just "some other state" - and when similar dynamics in the context of a history of troubling policing practices happen in place after place after place, that it's no longer about "what someone in some other state did"? Oh, that's right, there are no patterns. There's never any patterns - there's just random individual incident after random individual incident. It amazes me that people who can be so intelligent, so nuanced, so able to make connections between point A and B on a great many subjects appear d*** near learning challenged when it comes to adding any layer of complexity or analysis or connection on this issue. Really? Are they protesting them or wanting their help? Is your life that black and white? I would guess it is not, or you'd have a hard time nagivating many, many issues in this world. I understand you are upset, but I'm going to ask you to put that kind of either/or thinking away, and tap into your capacity to engage in formal operational thought. That's just it. Have the white people on this board apologized for Dylan Roof yet? And the answer should be, of course not! You are not responsible for his actions. If he killed those people in Charleston in your name (and he suggested that he did do it for the white race) then you have every right to say that he didn't do that in your name, and to be BELIEVED. So I'm going to try this right now. I am a BLM supporter (I've marched, I have several close organizer friends leading BLM movements in several cities, and I've given money to allied causes). I think the horrible murder of those officers was sick and deplorable. They didn't deserve that. Alton didn't deserve his death. Philando didn't deserve his death. Can I now be believed (or given the benefit of the doubt) that given that I wasn't involved in the planning, preparation, knowledge of, or execution of the sniping bloodbath in Dallas that I actually don't condone violence against police. Or is that benefit only reserved for white people? The obvious answer to that question would be no - so let's act like it. Again, did Dylan Roof hurt "the cause" of white Christians? Because he claimed to speak for them. Whom should I believe here? Tell you what, I am going to apply whatever standard you apply -- and just replace the words. And if that feels good to you when the belief is pointed back at you, then we know we're onto something. Their cause is only hurt if you allow yourself to believe that the few stand for the many.
  9. I still don't know how knowing he had a record gets you to any justifiable reason why someone, once pinned down, is considered a threat deserving to be shot in the moment. Martha Stewart has a record. Somehow I don't think she's going to show up on my FB as a hashtag (at least not for this). Okay, moving on to Minneapolis - what's the "all the information" context needed there? What's the context needed for a man with no prior record with an apparently registered gun getting shot in front of his four year old? What's the context we all really need to know? Some of this "waiting for all the information" stance is just denying the full implications of the injustice. As if the "reasons" will make this all okay, make us all feel so smug that we would never find ourselves in such a situation (well, you might not, but I've got black sons...) Sometimes racism isn't a racial slur (would that the only thing any person of color had to deal with was an occasional racial slur) sometimes it's people looking for reasons why a black person deserved (or should have just done X to avoid having) to die. The list of "all the information" circumstances that must be considered before we can just give over to grief and anger, and a call for systemic change gets ever wider.
  10. Wait! What? The only camera doing any recording was a private citizen's camera? Where was the officers' body camera or the car camera that is supposed to be recording traffic know, the cameras that are supposed to record the events leading up to the altercation? Oh, never mind.
  11. Having a messy past SHOULD NOT be a reason to be gunned down while being pinned down. There is almost always some reasoning why people want to add in elements that are not germane to this issue itself (Freddy Gray, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner we had to hear about the flipping PARENTS of Tamir Rice... now our parents' past also gets to be included in reasons why it was "understandable" to get shot dead? Really, I can't keep up). If he has a past to be dealt with, then, umm, I don't know, ARREST him. What is the point of bringing up the "he was no angel" trope (ala Mike Brown) argument? Maybe it's to make us all feel like it could never happen to us. :unsure: Okay. Do we all feel better now?
  12. I will continue to call "open carry" and "conceal carry" defacto laws that only apply to white people. I think people of color need to be very skeptical about believing that those laws were intended to apply to them. I actually don't think race can be left out of the question (not that you are advocating that). I think race is very central to this particular question and we shouldn't, out of our discomfort, shunt it to the side. Maybe... but it's never a winning prospect to turn your gun on a cop (which, for the record, happened in neither of these cases). I hope people are not buying guns as a response to a potential shoot out with the cops. I thought this was about personal protection against "the bad guys," which aren't supposed to be the cops :huh: (but I can't keep the pro-gun arguments straight anymore, seems like an ever-widening set of reasonings about why the monster that is our out-of-control gun culture continues to need to be fed. How did the presence of a personal weapon HELP the situation in these cases? It didn't. This is a police reform issue. Can people stop sending petitions to ABC to fire the actor Jesse Williams now? Can we admit that body cameras alone aren't a fix? They tend to "dangle" in such situations -- the presence of cameras only means we bear witness to the injustice, not that it actually changes. :crying:
  13. I am a policy analyst for a national think tank focused on issues affecting children and families. I write white papers that maybe 20 people read ;-) and policy briefs that more than 20 people read (because they're shorter) ;-). I craft arguments to shape the direction of policy, help decision-makers sort through their policy options, or help individuals understand how a given evidence base may or may not be able to answer a social policy question. I'm able to work from home with the occasional need to travel to make the case for kids in person. In short, I fight on the side of good, but only occasionally wear the cape! (LOL!)
  14. My! The conversations one misses when one's on vacation! Thanks for holding it down, everybody :lol: ! I'm just going channel Jesse Williams and raise my fist in the air (we need a new emoji with a raised fist)! "Just because we're magic doesn't mean we're not real!"
  15. If age is the only risk factor, most homebirth practitioners are willing to work with you. Congratulations (you make me ALMOST want to go for another - but I'm 4 years older than you, so I'll live vicariously). Super congrats again!
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