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Leaving aside your view of the comic strip discussed round the site, I have this question for the folks who are clamoring for progressive pushback on policies they disagree with -- was the reaction to the complaints helpful to persuading folks to your view on the issues (as opposed to the comic strip or the cartoonist)?

Of course not everyone is trying to persuade - a lot of time (maybe most of the time) we are just sounding off, expressing our points of view. If that is the sum of the aspiration, then of course the persuasive capacity of the approach is not an issue.

If that is the primary view, then by all means, fight for your "right" (Daily Kos is a privately owned website so there is no actual right to post anything) to write and post whatever you like. But do understand that Management has conclusively decided that point. Like it has many others (no support for non-Democrats in elections, no 9/11 Trutherism, DBAD, etc.)

If persuasion is not an interest, then the question is how much more is there to say about the latest brouhaha? Very little no? In the scheme of things, this brouhaha has nowhere to go. The rule has been established.'

But what if you do want to persuade? Is not having the tool of comic strips that depict black persons the way Obama was depicted a crippling blow to your persuasive powers? Surely not.

The next question is obvious, is insisting that the protests to the comic strip are not sincere really gonna help you persuade on the need for progressive pushback? For me, no. YMMV.

More on the flip.

I'm a bit surprised that some did not try to cudgel Markos with the criticisms he received for the title of his book, American Taliban. I think that was different, but that's just my opinion man. If you want to read why - see this.

But what of the question of persuasion? Doesn't use of the phrase "American Taliban" detract from the power of persuasion of the argument? In my opinion, it does not. In fact, the opposite. It is a very powerful phrase that I would be loathe to relinquish. The reason is it effectively captures a powerful issue that confronts progressivism - the power of religious imposition on secular public policy. Yes, I wrote about that too - Link.

You may disagree with my assessments here (but see Religious objections to contraception mandate). but there is some logic to my thinking.

Perhaps someone can explain to me why drawing Obama in the way he is depicted in the comic strip is critical to the progressive argument. Cuz I don't see it. Since it is not critical, or even helpful, to the argument, why insist on its acceptance?

Anyone care to explain?

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm not really allowed to have an opinion... (6+ / 0-)

    on the cartoon's racial intentions since I'm white. Kos said so himself. But I think it was the ultimate in threadjacking, a perfectly executed red herring. The discussion became focused on racism instead of the ACA, Afghanistan or the President's credibility.

    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

    by HairyTrueMan on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 07:29:32 AM PST

  •  Most minorities expect some kind of empathy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan, kkkkate

    From progressives. It shocks me to see a progressive excuse away racism. Sad.

  •  Burden is on the proponent... (0+ / 0-)

    Rather, perhaps you can explain why drawing Obama in the way he is depicted in the comic strip is somehow bad to the progressive argument.

    "First, we make a commonwealth of our family. Then, we make a commonwealth of families. Then, we make of ourselves a political commonwealth. We engage in the ongoing process of self-government which, first and foremost, is a creative act." - C. Pierce

    by Superskepticalman on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 07:33:17 AM PST

  •  TR came to DKos with a chip on his shoulder. (5+ / 0-)

    Part of his plan was to get banned. He had to ratchet it up. He'll be back to finish the Job.

    Oh, you must have not followed the link; You missed this:

    I drove traffic to them
    hah!

    Notice: This Comment © 2013 ROGNM UID 2547

    by ROGNM on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 07:40:23 AM PST

    •  Dare say that there a lot of chips on lots of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder, lostinamerica

      shoulders here right now.

      "First, we make a commonwealth of our family. Then, we make a commonwealth of families. Then, we make of ourselves a political commonwealth. We engage in the ongoing process of self-government which, first and foremost, is a creative act." - C. Pierce

      by Superskepticalman on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 07:43:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You keep thinking that (5+ / 0-)

        And I can tell you that I am positive Markos is not carrying one.

        Like me, he was offended by the depiction of Obama.

        There really is nothing more to it than that.

        I don't know why you and so many are looking for some deeper motive when none exists.

         

        •  And I was not. Does that mean that I give way? (0+ / 0-)

          I know enough about Rall's work to know that he would not intend to be racist. What the angry here are demanding is an apology for being racist, something he is not going to give them because that's not what he intended.

          I'm just not going to give way to a political "weaker brother argument."

          And there is scarcely a more effective way to jump the shark here than to give rooms for the sentiments of 1979.

          "First, we make a commonwealth of our family. Then, we make a commonwealth of families. Then, we make of ourselves a political commonwealth. We engage in the ongoing process of self-government which, first and foremost, is a creative act." - C. Pierce

          by Superskepticalman on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 07:59:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm sorry if I offended anyone (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kkkkate

            It was not my intent.

            Or, ok, I on't draw him like that for strips I post at Daily Kos.

            Or, nothing.

            3 plausible alternatives. But "I've been BANNED!!!!!" seems to me not a viable one.

            •  Having gotten a few of those messages myself... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Neuroptimalian

              It does make me think twice before I post.

              But I'm here to attempt to make conversation.

              On the other hand...

              A cartoonist like Ted Rall is not so much about conversation as biting criticism. His style is much more caustically European in that regard. The President, in that sense, has gotten off relatively lightly: Rall would draw G.W. Bush in Nazi and South American jefe uniforms surrounded by blood and dead women and children. Didn't notice anyone here disturbed by that. Someone will have to remind me if he's ever draw President Obama that way.

              I'll shut up now: got things to do this afternoon; just got back last night from traveling over the holidays.

              "First, we make a commonwealth of our family. Then, we make a commonwealth of families. Then, we make of ourselves a political commonwealth. We engage in the ongoing process of self-government which, first and foremost, is a creative act." - C. Pierce

              by Superskepticalman on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 08:12:18 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Dishing it out (0+ / 0-)

                "biting criticism" - not good at absorbing it.

                I've never much paid attention to Ted Rall.

              •  You're ignoring the context. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dougymi, TrueBlueMajority
                Rall would draw G.W. Bush in Nazi and South American jefe uniforms surrounded by blood and dead women and children. Didn't notice anyone here disturbed by that.
                Have wealthy white dudes from Connecticut been historically oppressed in this country for 300+ years, with comparisons to Nazis and South American juntas being used as justification for denying wealthy white dudes from Connecticut their right to freedom, to vote, or to equal protection under the law?

                Because that's what depictions of African-Americans as apelike have been used for in this country historically—to portray African-Americans as subhuman brutes who weren't worthy of freedom or civil rights. By drawing President Obama in a more simian manner than he drew others, Mr. Rall's depiction was, whether intentionally or not, reminiscent of that history, to the eyes of many members of this community (including many vociferous critics of the President).

                Context matters.

                "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

                by JamesGG on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 08:30:29 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Whether he "intended to" is immaterial. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Armando, serendipityisabitch
            I know enough about Rall's work to know that he would not intend to be racist.
            This isn't about what's in Mr. Rall's heart—or, at least, it wasn't at first. (After he doubled down on it, it became a bit more about that.) It was originally about what he drew.

            And what matters about what he drew is that many African-American members of this community took offense at the portrayal, some of whom have been extremely critical of President Obama in the past and who would otherwise have been in complete agreement with Mr. Rall.

            There exists no shortage of people who have said and done offensive things without knowing that they were being offensive. Ignorance is real.

            The response of those who are committed to the struggle against racial, sexual, gender, etc. oppression, when they are told that something they have said or done is offensive along such lines, is to listen to their critics, consider whether their own privilege and/or ignorance might be blinding them to the offense they're causing, educate themselves on the issue at hand, and generally to change the way they're doing things in order to not offend those who are members of historically-oppressed groups.

            Mr. Rall's response was not to do any of that, or to even concede that those who took offense at his drawing could even possibly have a valid reason for being offended. Instead, he complained about being "censored," attacked those who were offended as disingenuous, and generally took up the attitude that this community was lucky to have his material at all and had no right to complain about it because they weren't as important as him.

            In short, whether or not his original intention was in any way racist—something that doesn't really matter—his response was not the response of someone who is actually committed to interrogating his privilege and working against racial oppression. Rather, it was the response of a prideful person who believes himself to be an authoritative voice on issues of race despite his clear ignorance, someone who thinks himself better than this community and too important to listen to critiques from others.

            "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

            by JamesGG on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 08:24:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Hey, that's the funniest thing I've heard all day! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ROGNM

      I'd be surprised if one person followed the guy here.  

      A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

      by dougymi on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 09:05:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Harmonious Society (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Superskepticalman

    Perhaps it sounds on paper like a good litmus test, but determining that certain statements should be discarded if they are not "critical to the progressive argument" or do not contain a "persuasive capacity" seems vague to me. It seems to create the mechanism for a "harmonious" site, where the harmony to be achieved is determined ex post facto by who even knows who.

    Who determines what is critical or not? What is the "progressive argument". Who are we trying to persuade, and how is "capacity" to do so judged? It seems like many things that happen on this site could be portrayed as not "critical to the progressive argument", or unpersuasive, and some of these things might upset others. Will the purveyors of these non-critical objects be sent a warning as well? How do we trade off persuasion on one topic versus non-persuasion on another, within the same object?

    I saw the comic and have no attachment to it nor desire to see it reposted here -- it is gone on its own merits and I'm fine with that. This additional framework about WHY it's gone is troubling. It's a set of abstractions, to be enacted by abstractions, designed to justify concretely discarding concrete things.

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 07:59:36 AM PST

    •  Additional framework? (0+ / 0-)

      What additional framework?

      The framework is an dwas "cuz Management said so" They also gave their reasons for doing so.

      I happen to agree with the decision and the reasoning.

      I don;t follow your concern.

      Perhaps you can explain it.

      If you mean my diary, these are my personal views on how to be a persuasive progressive.

      IF you choose not take my advice, nothing bad will happen to you.

      •  You are providing a framework... (0+ / 0-)

        ...not on the site's behalf but on yours, on how to judge whether something should be included in the site or not. The framework is is based on whether something is "critical to the progressive argument" or contains a "persuasive capacity". You're doing this by asking for a pro-active defense as if the "yes" or "no" on your questions is germane to the issue of whether someone should have their content yanked and a warning sent to them about it. I don't think it should be germane, because I have no idea what either of those terms objectively means, or how one would deal with content that is both pro- and anti- certain progressive goals at once.

        The framework is an dwas "cuz Management said so" They also gave their reasons for doing so.
        I don't disagree with their reasons. I disagree, mildly, with your argument supplementing their reasons.
        If you mean my diary, these are my personal views on how to be a persuasive progressive.
        And I'm providing my personal views on your personal views.

        it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

        by Addison on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 08:13:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not at all (0+ / 0-)

          My argument is not for inclusion or removal from the site, but on how to argue persuasively.

          IF you mean I[m wrong on how to argue persuasively, fine, but there is not site framework issue here.

          Indeed, I say if you don;t care about persuasion, then carry on.

    •  To me, it's turning into a purity test... (0+ / 0-)

      a Shibboleth directed at personality, not ideas. I certainly can't stop that, and it decreases the utility of the site for me.

      Apparently, I pronounce it "Sibboleth".

      Speaking only for myself.

      "First, we make a commonwealth of our family. Then, we make a commonwealth of families. Then, we make of ourselves a political commonwealth. We engage in the ongoing process of self-government which, first and foremost, is a creative act." - C. Pierce

      by Superskepticalman on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 08:05:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If this is a "purity test"... (0+ / 0-)

        ...there's been "purity tests" for a long time, and nothing is turning into anything that hasn't be present a million times before. I don't think the comic is a "purity test". No one has to comment on the comic at all, no one has to come here if they don't like the management's decision as based on the comic's merits.

        it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

        by Addison on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 08:16:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It was about a drawing to me (0+ / 0-)

        Maybe you and others are too  invested in your pie fights here to be able to separate the issues involved.

  •  You've hit the nail on the head... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, kkkkate

    ...as to what I didn't understand about that whole kerfluffle, from the point of view of Mr. Rall and those defending him.

    It was abundantly clear that Mr. Rall is capable of drawing people who look less simian than his depiction of President Obama—and, as you write, the depiction itself is immaterial to his overall argument. If Mr. Rall had been truly concerned about spreading his message and persuading people, why couldn't he simply apologize for offending people and draw President Obama differently?

    He could do that while continuing to maintain that he was never intending to make any kind of racial commentary, but while acknowledging that, because he's a white person, he's not exactly in the best position to judge what should and shouldn't be offensive to others. Hell, that might even lead to an examination on his part of his white privilege and how that might be impacting his work and his attitude.

    Instead, he chose to double down, continuing to maintain that not only was his drawing not in any way offensive, but that those who were critiquing his drawing were doing so disingenuously and that he was too important to change the way he draws just because some people on a website, where he oh-so-graciously posts despite the insult of not getting paid (!), took offense at his depiction of President Obama.

    Given that, I'm quite skeptical as to what his true intention really was on this site.

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

    by JamesGG on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 08:13:04 AM PST

    •  Or he could have said nothing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JamesGG, kkkkate

      and no longer posted at Daily Kos, or just changed his depiction and continued posting.

      Hell, I thought one of his supporters stumbled on to a way for him to have his cake and eat it too - post a picture of Obama instead of doing a drawing - then he could have made his "censorship" point as well.

      That would have been clever.

  •  Story about my own decision to change my approach (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kkkkate

    About ten years ago I became interested in trying to influence my fellow humans to change our culture for the better. I decided I should probably refresh my knowledge of the psychology of attitude change and persuasion and social influence.

    I vaguely recalled being exposed to a book that was supposed to be a landmark in the field. A little web searching turned up an author and a title, which I found at my local library.

    About halfway through the book, I nearly threw it across the room.

    The landmark book wasn't about long term influence and lasting change. It was all about short term, immediate compliance. It was about high pressure sales techniques.

    It was also, I discovered, a how-to guide for behaving like a total jerk.

    I realized then that the psychology — and the techniques — of long term attitude change are different from the psychology and techniques of short term sales persuasion. When it comes to social change, I don't want participants to feel buyer's remorse.

    As a result, I decided to do two things:

    First, explore the bigger picture of the psychology of long term attitude change.

    Then, adapt my own communication style and adopt techniques appropriate to long term, lasting influence.

    In retrospect, I see the decision to change my own behavior as a personal landmark. For me it was worthwhile:

    The outcomes I seek are more important to me than maintaining old habits.



    Cheers

  •  I see that the cartoonist has (0+ / 0-)

    Now received some sort of Internet press coverage for the pieish fight.  It all seems suspect to me now.  If I wanted to gain new readership at DKos I would have quickly toned down the upper muzzle on that drawing.  Other characters he has drawn have smaller muzzles.  I love to draw, and the Presidents features in that particular drawing were more exaggerated than his usual fare.  And now he is getting victim coverage.......sigh......okay.

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