Dad, I’ve something to tell you...

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Abacus
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PostRe: Dad, I’ve something to tell you...
by Abacus » Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:26 pm

Moggy wrote:
Abacus wrote:Yeah, OK. That's a fair and measured response, given my goading last line, which I'll come back to.

If the question is; can I love or even like someone whose (genuine) views are racist / homophobic etc, what would you say?

And if the answer is no - what if you had no choice, because they're family?


You can love someone without liking them.

My wife is black, my son is mixed race and my stepbrother is gay. Luckily I don’t have any racist/homophobic family members, but if I did then I certainly wouldn’t be visiting very often.

If my son turns out homophobic? It’s hard to know how I’d feel, he’s only 3 so that nightmare is a long way off. I’d never stop loving him, but I could certainly not like him if he turns into an arsehole.


I suppose that's the difficulty, isn't it?

My grandparents were as racist as hell. Well actually, probably just my grandma, looking back.

We sort of all ignored it, pushed it to one side, thinking it was just ignorance and that we'd all move on once they were gone. Loved her to bits, still do, even so.

Had a chinese partner for a few years, and I'd not even clocked on to the unconscious racism that happens every day till she pointed it out.

Which she did daily, and then it was blindingly obvious, even in the smallest of things. Had to row with my friends and family about their own unthinking, casual racism as a result. It wasn't even something I'd noticed till then, and it's really in the smallest details where someone becomes part of a race, rather than an individual.

Probably wouldn't like my earlier self up to the age of about 18 either, come to that. So, I find it hard to criticise people that are finding their way and making the wrong calls.

I dunno. When is the age that you are fully responsible for your opinions?

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PostRe: Dad, I’ve something to tell you...
by Karl_ » Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:29 pm

@Abacus: I don't have a philosophical answer to your questions in general; I wouldn't want to try to tell you whether you should be able to love someone who is racist, or whether you should strive for unconditional love for your family. Those are deeply personal decisions that depend on your own values.

I guess, then, the best I can do is tell you my own gut feelings on those issues. I think I could weather a lot of differences of opinion: I obviously wouldn't expect my close friends or family to all be anarchosyndicalists. (In fact, none of them are!) If I had a kid and they turned out to be a libertarian or a conservative or---worst of all---a centrist (yuck!), I would certainly disagree with them but I would still both love and like them. (I mean, look, Denster is a Tory but we still get on. ;) )

But... I personally don't think I could love someone who is a 100% committed fascist, no matter their relation to me. (If there was hope I could talk them round, or that it was just a rebellious phase they were going to grow out of, it might be different.) The mindset of an all-in far-right ethnonationalist is so horrific to me that I think I would see them as a monster no matter how I saw them before. When you talk about family bonds, I agree unconditional love of your family is a reasonable instinct for humans to have, but in some cases if they are really horrible people isn't it reasonable to decide you are better off without them?

Saying all that, I don't have a child, so maybe I would have a stronger sense of unconditional love if I did.

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PostRe: Dad, I’ve something to tell you...
by Corazon de Leon » Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:39 pm

Abacus wrote:
Moggy wrote:
Abacus wrote:Yeah, OK. That's a fair and measured response, given my goading last line, which I'll come back to.

If the question is; can I love or even like someone whose (genuine) views are racist / homophobic etc, what would you say?

And if the answer is no - what if you had no choice, because they're family?


You can love someone without liking them.

My wife is black, my son is mixed race and my stepbrother is gay. Luckily I don’t have any racist/homophobic family members, but if I did then I certainly wouldn’t be visiting very often.

If my son turns out homophobic? It’s hard to know how I’d feel, he’s only 3 so that nightmare is a long way off. I’d never stop loving him, but I could certainly not like him if he turns into an arsehole.


I suppose that's the difficulty, isn't it?

My grandparents were as racist as hell. Well actually, probably just my grandma, looking back.

We sort of all ignored it, pushed it to one side, thinking it was just ignorance and that we'd all move on once they were gone. Loved her to bits, still do, even so.

Had a chinese partner for a few years, and I'd not even clocked on to the unconscious racism that happens every day till she pointed it out.

Which she did daily, and then it was blindingly obvious, even in the smallest of things. Had to row with my friends and family about their own unthinking, casual racism as a result. It wasn't even something I'd noticed till then, and it's really in the smallest details where someone becomes part of a race, rather than an individual.

Probably wouldn't like my earlier self up to the age of about 18 either, come to that. So, I find it hard to criticise people that are finding their way and making the wrong calls.

I dunno. When is the age that you are fully responsible for your opinions?


Very good points, I think. The person I was until I was about 21 or 22 is, in many respects, a person I very much don't like to look back on. Some of the things I said and did make me cringe now. Even more recently than that, too - we're constantly changing and learning.

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PostRe: Dad, I’ve something to tell you...
by Abacus » Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:51 pm

Thanks Karl, I enjoyed reading that as it felt like your real opinion. And that's the beauty of a forum!

On why people would be ultra right wing, though. I've often thought, this isn't an intellectual position but more of a gut reaction position.

These are people who are fearful, insecure, but they don't want to admit that. So they shave their heads, march about, gather with others and wave flags. You must feel strong. This isn't the behaviour of someone who is happy and secure in themselves, they have a gut fear about something.

And shouting at them that they are wrong, or giving logical arguments which outwits them, or making a counter demonstration all just seem like the wrong tactics. In fact, it goes the opposite way. They just feel more under attack

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PostRe: Dad, I’ve something to tell you...
by Abacus » Sat Aug 03, 2019 12:16 am

So, unfortunately, the love bomb is the best weapon.

Make them feel secure. Make them realise there is nothing to be feared. You can only change those views from deep in the gut.

I don't think much of our politics is about telling people they're OK. And that most people are nice. And that we'll be OK.

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PostRe: Dad, I’ve something to tell you...
by Pedz » Sat Aug 03, 2019 12:28 am

Does that work? Don't most people dismiss you as being a hippy or a gay or pansy or some gooseberry fool?

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Abacus
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PostRe: Dad, I’ve something to tell you...
by Abacus » Sat Aug 03, 2019 1:05 am

Pedz wrote:Does that work? Don't most people dismiss you as being a hippy or a gay or pansy or some gooseberry fool?


Mostly it doesn't, but everyone is a person and should have a chance.

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PostRe: Dad, I’ve something to tell you...
by Moggy » Sat Aug 03, 2019 7:08 am

Abacus wrote:Thanks Karl, I enjoyed reading that as it felt like your real opinion. And that's the beauty of a forum!

On why people would be ultra right wing, though. I've often thought, this isn't an intellectual position but more of a gut reaction position.

These are people who are fearful, insecure, but they don't want to admit that. So they shave their heads, march about, gather with others and wave flags. You must feel strong. This isn't the behaviour of someone who is happy and secure in themselves, they have a gut fear about something.


As James Baldwin put it:

I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.


There are people that are racist/homophobic just because they are arseholes, but the majority are ignorant kids or damaged people.

Just showing love and understanding is not always going to be enough. Suzz can hopefully get through to his son that way - the father and son Bond will hopefully get them through the bullshit.

That’s not going to work with more distant relatives or strangers though. If their close family don’t give a gooseberry fool, then they are not going to listen or want words of understanding and love from strangers.

Sometimes these people need to be ostracised or shamed into shutting up so they don’t infect anybody else. That Milo for instance isn’t going to change his ways just because we talk calmly to him. But being thrown off of social media has stopped his poison spreading.

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PostRe: Dad, I’ve something to tell you...
by Drumstick » Sat Aug 03, 2019 9:10 am

This is in a way a very interesting topic.

As a parent to a toddler, I have always maintained that I would allow my daughter to come to her own conclusions over as much as possible, i.e. religion, education, her future, sports teams, etc, as I believe this is the right thing to do. I don't believe any child should be indoctrinated or brainwashed into thinking one way or another on any given subject (within reason). As long as her opinions don't become extreme, in which case we will attempt to re-educate her. Tales like Suzz's sometimes make it difficult to stick to this belief.

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PostRe: Dad, I’ve something to tell you...
by Karl_ » Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:31 am

Abacus wrote:Thanks Karl, I enjoyed reading that as it felt like your real opinion...

Sure, no worries, it was an interesting discussion so thanks for raising it.

Fwiw, pretty much all the opinions I post are genuinely-held. You obviously have very different opinions about some things---which is fine of course!---but I don't want you to feel like I'm typically engaging in bad faith. (I'm not sure if that was the impression you had or not, but wanted to clarify just in case.)

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PostRe: Dad, I’ve something to tell you...
by Moggy » Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:32 am

Drumstick wrote:This is in a way a very interesting topic.

As a parent to a toddler, I have always maintained that I would allow my daughter to come to her own conclusions over as much as possible, i.e. religion, education, her future, sports teams, etc, as I believe this is the right thing to do. I don't believe any child should be indoctrinated or brainwashed into thinking one way or another on any given subject (within reason). As long as her opinions don't become extreme, in which case we will attempt to re-educate her. Tales like Suzz's sometimes make it difficult to stick to this belief.


With the way things are going our toddlers will soon be in the Trump/Boris Youth learning how to salute.

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PostRe: Dad, I’ve something to tell you...
by Corazon de Leon » Sat Aug 03, 2019 11:13 am

Drumstick wrote:This is in a way a very interesting topic.

As a parent to a toddler, I have always maintained that I would allow my daughter to come to her own conclusions over as much as possible, i.e. religion, education, her future, sports teams, etc, as I believe this is the right thing to do. I don't believe any child should be indoctrinated or brainwashed into thinking one way or another on any given subject (within reason). As long as her opinions don't become extreme, in which case we will attempt to re-educate her. Tales like Suzz's sometimes make it difficult to stick to this belief.


Generally I agree with this outlook. And I think this is what you refer to when you say “within reason,” but I’m not sure that teaching a child that white supremacy is wrong or that you shouldn’t judge others based on what colour they are or where they’re from should class as indoctrination. I see that as basic common sense and decency. This isn’t a dig at anyone in the thread at all, either.

Damn it though, if my children don’t support Celtic then I’ve failed as a father. I’d actively steer them away from Blackburn at this point if I could. :slol:

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PostRe: Dad, I’ve something to tell you...
by Meep » Sat Aug 03, 2019 11:42 am

It is difficult but I think we need to view the victims of this kind of malignant stuff with sympathy and compassion. The thing with fascism is that it focuses on creating the illusion of strength; of a united 'race' or 'nation' that demonstrates superiority and might. This is incredibly intoxicating to those who, thanks to many different things, feel weak and powerless. The answer to this is to create an environment where people can unite not because they are afraid of being weak but because they accept their weakness and shared vulnerability. It is shame of ones vulnerability and desire to reject it that leads to fascism.

Everyone of us will feel down at times, we will all get sick, we all grow old. We are all weak. The answer to resisting fascism is to create a society where vulnerability is not treated with scorn and people are not afraid to admit their vulnerability. Unfortunately we are long way from having that kind of society. People who claim welfare are vilified in the press, we idolise military might and war, desperate refugees are treated with suspicion rather than compassion.

It is particularly bad if you happen to be a man. Society accepts and is much more compassionate to towards vulnerability amongst women, whereas men have always been made to feel ashamed of any sign of weakness or dependency. This has a massive human cost in the number of male lives lost to suicide and ruined by poor mental health. There is a reason why the far right is so overwhelmingly male. Women simply can't be as easily cajoled into the posturing of strength and false superiority espoused by fascism because they are not as terrified of their own weakness.

So if we view the far right largely as a crisis of male vulnerability, then the answer is obviously to promote more compassion and acceptance of that vulnerability.

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PostRe: Dad, I’ve something to tell you...
by suzzopher » Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:29 pm

Even though my son has some views that are 100% opposite to my own, I still love him and would do anything for him.

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PostRe: Dad, I’ve something to tell you...
by Tafdolphin » Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:31 pm

suzzopher wrote:Even though my son has some views that are 100% opposite to my own, I still love him and would do anything for him.


As someone who isn't, and likely never will be, a parent I'm genuinely curious; if he asked you to drive him to a a far-right meeting, say a Free Tommy march... Would you?

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PostRe: Dad, I’ve something to tell you...
by Moggy » Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:53 pm

suzzopher wrote:Even though my son has some views that are 100% opposite to my own, I still love him and would do anything for him.


Yeah I get that. My lad is too young to be too much of a banana split, but I know I’d never disown him.

@taf I wouldn’t drive him to a TR rally though!

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PostRe: Dad, I’ve something to tell you...
by suzzopher » Sat Aug 03, 2019 3:02 pm

Tafdolphin wrote:
suzzopher wrote:Even though my son has some views that are 100% opposite to my own, I still love him and would do anything for him.


As someone who isn't, and likely never will be, a parent I'm genuinely curious; if he asked you to drive him to a a far-right meeting, say a Free Tommy march... Would you?


Well no, not that.

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PostRe: Dad, I’ve something to tell you...
by kerr9000 » Sat Aug 03, 2019 5:12 pm

I think its intresting to see how like or unlike us our kids become.

I grew up in a little x mining town where everyone pretty much was white, my school only had to none white kids out of 1000 children and racism was pretty much the norm for most of the towns population, my folks were very live and let live people though not a racist bone among them. I didnt manage to really have proper conversations with anyone with a diffrent culture or religion or anything until I was like 16 and went to college. Then you find you meet people from other walks of life and unlike what the racist old codgers have told you there ok people they dont go around eating babies or stealing from you or doing any of the other things youve been told and at this point you actually learn that all people are just people ... I think the best thing to teach kids is to be critical and make there own minds up. This is what I tried to pass on to my kid.

My daughters 17 in a relationship with a girl, the president of her colleges student commitee, in the LBGT society, part of her colleges left wing society, a vegeterian and basically the poster child for tolerance and accepting everyone and everything. If you see her friends in a room it looks like a cross between a united nations meeting and a LGBT fun run. I thought I was left wing but she practically makes me look like Boris Johnson. All joking aside im proud of her.

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PostRe: Dad, I’ve something to tell you...
by Karl_ » Sun Aug 04, 2019 12:22 pm

Relevant tweet from @AOC:
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PostRe: Dad, I’ve something to tell you...
by Starbreaker » Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:00 pm

Moggy wrote:
suzzopher wrote:Even though my son has some views that are 100% opposite to my own, I still love him and would do anything for him.


Yeah I get that. My lad is too young to be too much of a banana split, but I know I’d never disown him.


SCENE: MOGGY'S HOUSE, 2029. THE FAMILY ARE SITTING DOWN FOR DINNER.

MOGGY'S SON: Father, I've just found your internet posting history and I've seen that you called me a c-word. The house policy has always been that use of that word is enforceable by being removed from the family. For that reason, I've gone crying to mother to action this. Now, MAYBE I baited you and asked you to call me that word. MAYBE that policy was discontinued 15 years ago, before we even moved into this house. MAYBE I've used that word myself, on multiple occasions, in anger, and am coming across as a massive smug whiny hypocrite, but I feel you should be removed from the house forthwith, and

*SMASH CUT TO SON OUTSIDE OF HOUSE WITH DOOR SLAMMING AND LOCKING*


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