There are so many holes in your thinking it is breathtaking.

You wrote “while I personally have no issue with that definition, I also explained there why that particular definition is too limiting to account for our conventional notion of racism the way the term is commonly used.”

Conventional notion is a term used by an individual or group to express a personal opinion and have some wiggle room to cover their ass. Your notion is by no means “conventional.” There are millions of people who would disagree with you. So even if there are millions of people who agree with you, there is a lack of consensus. Our only way to have meaningful discussion is to use words based on their actual meaning. If you are really a lawyer, your use of this technique is simply a way to break a contract by introducing doubt as to the meaning and intent of the writing. While your job may be to obfuscate reality to the best of your ability so it helps your client in a court of law, those same techniques in an online discussion make you appear to have an ulterior motive that has nothing to do with an honest discussion of the issues.

In your linked post, you wrote “presumably, Ms. Jordan doesn’t think the same thing about black people, or else she’d just say that being friends with anyone entails assuming good intentions.” Totally fallacious assumption on your part. You don’t know her personally, or know her feelings about other individuals who are black. You have no proof whatsoever that she believes that all black people are trustworthy. Just take that sentence and remove the identifiers that are making you react so emotionally:

Person X trusts every person who is (fill in one of the following: gender, socio-economic, racial, religious, political, or hobby affiliation).

Is there even one sane person in this world who operates with this world view? I have difficulty believing that you honestly hold to this idea. Yet, you use this as the basis for most of your argument that she is somehow viewing whites from a position of superiority.

The basic fallacy of this argument is your inability to understand the connection between believing in one’s superiority and how it manifests in the world.

If you get beat up every day going to school by a group that looks or dresses differently, you will learn to fear and hate people who look like that. But, what is your deepest desire? Is it to stop being hurt by those people, or is it to punish them in the same way you’ve been punished?

Did Tejana express any emotion that implied she would punish those who have wronged her? No, she simply engages in a defense mechanism to avoid being hurt in the future.

Did she express any indication that she was superior to her white friends in any way? No, there is absolutely nothing written about a connection between being black and have any specific characteristics that are superior to white people.

Even when a victim reacts to repeated negative experiences by trying to exact revenge, there is no component of superiority, so that behavior falls outside of the definition of racism.

You wrote in article about reverse racism, about various scenarios where blacks could wield that power to discriminate against whites:

Thus, if a black person in a position of power (e.g., the CEO of a big corporation) chooses to dictate a policy rejecting all qualified white applicants for a job in his company because she believes white people are evil, is that not racism?

The answer is yes.

You unwittingly made the same argument I did, so thanks for agreeing with me.

If the tables were turned, and blacks had control of all the wealth and political power, we would label their discriminatory behavior as racist. Now show me one documented example of this behavior in the real world, and I’ll agree that person was racist.

But Tejana does not meet the standard of having power and inflicting harm on others because of her position, so you’ve perverted the definition of racism again.

You really can’t know her life experience, but yet judge her based on your life experiences. Read this article by a white guy about white privilege, and maybe you will get a new perspective on your blindness:

The thought that “just say that being friends with anyone entails assuming good intentions” is similar in concept to those people who call the Black Lives Matter movement racist and counter with the argument that “All Lives Matter” or “Blue Lives Matter.” Logically, you can argue that all lives do indeed matter.

But the whole purpose of that argument is to invalidate the fear and suffering of African Americans as a whole when they witness or see media reports of hundreds of innocent black people who have been killed by excessive use of force. And for every “but Michael Brown was proven to be a violent criminal” argument you might use, I can give you ten Eric Garners, a non-violent guy whose death was directly attributable to excessive use of force by the police.

(Note: It’s strange that cigarettes have been involved with a few cases of police brutality. Educate yourself about the Sandra Bland case, who was arrested by a police officer for refusing to put out a cigarette in her car as the officer was writing a ticket. No sane person would say that a lit cigarette is a lethal weapon, nor would I assume that all policemen would believe this ludicrous argument. And yet, at least two people were killed by police because they were holding a cigarette. For black people, however, the idea that someone who shares their skin color could be killed for holding a cigarette, while extremely rare, can actually happen.)

I looked briefly at the analysis by David Shuey, and it would require an expert to analyze his methodology, so I won’t comment on much, except to point out that prior to the 1940s, we have no idea how many crimes against all people of color were committed by mobs, often with the participation of the police. There are photos of lynchings where the people of the town look proud of the violence done to many people whose only crime was to say the wrong words or look at a woman the wrong way. There is a psychological trauma that has easily been passed down for generations. To point out current data, even if it proves there is negligible discrimination by the police against black people in no way eases the power of a shared group experience that borders on PTSD.

But Shuey’s article in no way refutes other examples of how institutional racism exists. The fact that black men are far more likely to go to prison for smoking pot is proof that the system is gamed against black people in a way we white people never experience.

In addition, all the data from our prison population indicates a systemic bias:

The bottom line is, as white people we cannot truly know the fears that have been programmed into the great majority of African Americans. (As an exception, I just heard an interview with Daryl Davis, who grew up traveling the world as the son of a U.S. foreign service officer. In an interview, he said his parents had to explain racism to him when they came back to the States when he was ten, after people watching a cub scout parade threw rocks and bottles at him,the only black cub scout marching along. And I know a few black people not born in the U.S. who have a completely different attitude about and are not affected by racism in the same way as those who were born here.)

In your opening sentence, you wrote “Despite the fact that I’ve described the issue in detail and generated widespread agreement on it here and here…”

I’m sorry, but I had to laugh at this description. Your article, “On Medium Writers Who Abuse the Blocking Function…” garnered applause from 41 people, none of whom are black. On the other hand, over 1,000 people clapped for Tejana’s article, including a shitload (to use the technical term) of white people.

While I may not be able to prove the statistical significance of these responses, I think I can safely make some general observations:

  1. When 25 times more people applaud for an article than one of yours, they’re probably not in agreement with opinions that call the writer a racist. They won’t miss your comment at all, and most of them are too polite to push back against you. (But it would be a wonderful world if for one time, every person pushed back against something distasteful, instead of simply ignoring it.)
  2. When a small group of non-black people support an article attacking a black person for bad behavior, there is the possibility that while you are trying to be objective, you have attracted a certain type of person who looks for anything that will support their own racist views.
  3. If you have something really valuable to say, write a separate article of your own and see what kind of response you get. Leveraging social media by glomming on to a hugely popular article is an old technique, but it doesn’t work. Otherwise, you’re simply crying out for attention, as others have written.
  4. Conflating the issues of political correctness and free speech with some woman’s visceral reactions to the world around her are a complete waste of time. I’ve read hundred, if not thousands of your words and none of them attempt to understand the other side and really bridge differences. If you really gave a rat’s ass about Tejana’s “racist” views, you might ask her why she feels the way she does. Instead, you’re basically saying to her that she can’t express their feelings, without someone attacking her personally. (And you did personally attacked her in your headline. If you can’t admit that you called her a racist and a coward, you need professional help.) You don’t have to read her articles. Nothing you say will change her emotions, and you come off at best as a mansplaining moron. (Having done my share of this in the past, I know it when I see it.) Here’s my all-time favorite response to people who have to leave negative comments:

Your response to me was measured, so I give you credit for that. While I couldn’t disagree with you more, I gave you the respect to read through your arguments to see what made sense. If you showed the same respect, maybe you wouldn’t get blocked so often.

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Ad agency creative director, writer & designer at https://guttmanshapiro.com. Former pro tennis player and peak performance coach for professional athletes.

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