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post #61 of 2224 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2017, 09:24 PM
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Re: Race-relations Issues

Boston Professor Proclaims 'Jingle Bells' a 'Racist' Song

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post #62 of 2224 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2017, 09:33 PM
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Re: Race-relations Issues



The current youth who sing the song have no idea who James Pierpont is and have no idea of any minstrel origins related to this song.

That raises a question: who cares?
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post #63 of 2224 (permalink) Old Dec 18th, 2017, 06:11 PM
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Re: Race-relations Issues

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Originally Posted by JaySix View Post


The current youth who sing the song have no idea who James Pierpont is and have no idea of any minstrel origins related to this song.

That raises a question: who cares?
Which is why the need to know the source of its history. Staying ignorant doesn't help anyone.
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post #64 of 2224 (permalink) Old Dec 18th, 2017, 09:33 PM
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Re: Race-relations Issues

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Which is why the need to know the source of its history. Staying ignorant doesn't help anyone.
In general I agree with your point on ignorance. But this is a song where he lyrics themselves had/have no offensive meaning. Plus things change over time. The swastika was created as a symbol of hope and life. The Third Reich changed that and knowing the source doesn't offset that.

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post #65 of 2224 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 2017, 04:37 PM
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Re: Race-relations Issues

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Which is why the need to know the source of its history. Staying ignorant doesn't help anyone.
The SJWs get absurder and absurder, as someone in Alice would say.

Idiot professor.

Now it won’t be long before Jingle Bells gets banned from a school concert because some mother felt unsafe after the first three notes.

A Toronto streetcar just went through an intersection in front of me this Christmasy morning. The driver honked:

DAH DAH DAH, DAH DAH DAH, DAH DAH DAH DAH DAH.

Thank goodness I was ignorant at the time and had not already read this stunning piece of academic research, otherwise I would surely have collapsed into a nearby drift and joined all the other snowflakes.
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post #66 of 2224 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 2017, 04:57 PM
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Re: Race-relations Issues

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Which is why the need to know the source of its history. Staying ignorant doesn't help anyone.
On a more serious note.

I just did a little research on James Pierpoint. At the time he was writing songs, he was organist and music director at a church in Georgia. The church closed because its abolitionist stance was not popular in the area.

As for "Jingle Bells", everything I can find indicates that he wrote the song as a fond reminiscence on his growing-up days in New England. The song is about "sleigh riding and getting girls", nothing else.

So mykarma, what did your research tell you about the racist origin of Jingle Bells?

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post #67 of 2224 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 2017, 05:10 PM
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Re: Race-relations Issues

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In general I agree with your point on ignorance. But this is a song where he lyrics themselves had/have no offensive meaning. Plus things change over time. The swastika was created as a symbol of hope and life. The Third Reich changed that and knowing the source doesn't offset that.
People like mykarma still do not seem to understand that you can not take behaviour from another era, that is seen as offensive now, and then condemn the people of the other era for violating today’s standards.

I am actually old enough to have watched a weekly minstrel show on the BBC.

And I am happy that the people on an Ontario Street just voted to keep the name of "Swastika Trail", in rejection of the call from SJWs to change it. When it was named, it was named for good luck and that is how the people living on the street understand the name. They like it.

But it is probably only a matter of time before some crusading SJW calls for the city of White Horse to change its name, which is too suggestive of white supremacy.
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post #68 of 2224 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 2017, 05:51 PM
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Re: Race-relations Issues

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People like mykarma still do not seem to understand that you can not take behaviour from another era, that is seen as offensive now, and then condemn the people of the other era for violating today’s standards.

I am actually old enough to have watched a weekly minstrel show on the BBC.

And I am happy that the people on an Ontario Street just voted to keep the name of "Swastika Trail", in rejection of the call from SJWs to change it. When it was named, it was named for good luck and that is how the people living on the street understand the name. They like it.

But it is probably only a matter of time before some crusading SJW calls for the city of White Horse to change its name, which is too suggestive of white supremacy.
Actually, yes you can: conventionality is not morality.

When oppression happened in other eras (be it chaining people up and selling them as property, or throwing people into gas chambers, or raping women for recreation), the people who were targeted by what you call "behaviours" spoke up about it, resisted, made it pretty clear that, you know, it wasn't cool. Watching a minstrel show when you were young is a pretty clear example of what the problem is: people chose not to listen. You can't just exculpate someone for wronging another just because, according to them, it was ok to do it at the time: self-righteousness is not religion.
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post #69 of 2224 (permalink) Old Dec 24th, 2017, 12:50 PM
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Actually, yes you can: conventionality is not morality.

When oppression happened in other eras (be it chaining people up and selling them as property, or throwing people into gas chambers, or raping women for recreation), the people who were targeted by what you call "behaviours" spoke up about it, resisted, made it pretty clear that, you know, it wasn't cool. Watching a minstrel show when you were young is a pretty clear example of what the problem is: people chose not to listen. You can't just exculpate someone for wronging another just because, according to them, it was ok to do it at the time: self-righteousness is not religion.
I think the problem with that approach is that morality is decided by the population - and changes with time and place.

For example, try telling the Saudis that beheading is morally wrong. They would reply that it is morally correct in their culture.

And I am sorry, but a 13 year old growing up in Northern Ireland after the war and who had no contact with anyone other than white people, did not choose to turn off his TV. You might have an argument with the adults who broadcast and acted in the show, but what did I do that was immoral? Are you saying I can not be exculpated for choosing to listen? Is there no forgiveness in your code of morals?

(Where you might have an argument, though, is that I just checked and incredibly, the "Black And White Minstrel Show’ actually ran on the BBC until 1978. By that time I had long since left the UK and my opinion of the morality of such a show would have changed drastically).

But I have no doubt that in 50 years or so, when, say, all ‘hamburger meat’ is plant based, people will read an old McDonald’s menu and gasp "they ate what"? Are you moral enough to stop eating animals now, because 50 years from now it will be immoral?

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post #70 of 2224 (permalink) Old Dec 24th, 2017, 03:45 PM
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Re: Race-relations Issues

This song is playing right now as I sit in Starbucks. A black singer is covering it. LOL.

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post #71 of 2224 (permalink) Old Dec 24th, 2017, 03:51 PM
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Re: Race-relations Issues

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On a more serious note.

I just did a little research on James Pierpoint. At the time he was writing songs, he was organist and music director at a church in Georgia. The church closed because its abolitionist stance was not popular in the area.

As for "Jingle Bells", everything I can find indicates that he wrote the song as a fond reminiscence on his growing-up days in New England. The song is about "sleigh riding and getting girls", nothing else.

So mykarma, what did your research tell you about the racist origin of Jingle Bells?
From what I have read you are pretty much spot on.

Yes, he was anti-slavery.

It is possible some racist people in Georgia took his song and used it for racist purposes. But, there is no evidence I can find that Pierpont was racist or wrote the song with any racist intent.

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post #72 of 2224 (permalink) Old Dec 24th, 2017, 09:20 PM
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Re: Race-relations Issues

First, thank you for a respectful reply. I appreciate it. So, here we go:

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I think the problem with that approach is that morality is decided by the population - and changes with time and place.
Here, you have pinpointed the fundamental difference between us and really highlighted my argument.

Morality is not decided by the population, morality is decided by who has power in the population. When I said conventionality is not morality, I was quoting Charlotte Bronte, a female writer who was being criticized for breaking tradition and writing about the female experience in her work. You would look back to her time and say "well, that's how culture was, the population defined morality like that" and that's not true: women are part of the population, their voices were not taken into account, and morality never reflected their voices, despite it being clear that they should also be able to write about it.

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And I am sorry, but a 13 year old growing up in Northern Ireland after the war and who had no contact with anyone other than white people, did not choose to turn off his TV. You might have an argument with the adults who broadcast and acted in the show, but what did I do that was immoral? Are you saying I can not be exculpated for choosing to listen? Is there no forgiveness in your code of morals?

(Where you might have an argument, though, is that I just checked and incredibly, the "Black And White Minstrel Show’ actually ran on the BBC until 1978. By that time I had long since left the UK and my opinion of the morality of such a show would have changed drastically).
It's very important that you understand who I quoted and the context, because I quoted someone talking about her experience being in the losing end of society's power structure: you fail to ever see this argument from the oppressed perspective. Your 13 year old self never thought twice about watching the show because society told you it was ok, but you only knew that society thought it was ok because you fit into the society so seamlessly, you never had to think critically about your actions because being "you" and following society's course is the natural way to be. That is called privilege.

And I don't want to get hung up on watching the TV show scenario here, I am speaking broadly. In your question about forgiveness, once again, you put yourself at the center of the process. It's not up to me to forgive you for anything, it's not up to you to forgive yourself. It's about who was wronged in the situation, and those are the people who you always ignore in your calculus. As Bronte said again, self-righteousness is not religion, you can't use your own rationalization for why you "sinned" as absolution, you don't have that power, there were people who were affected and they need to come into the process.

It seems like you "understood" the minstrel show was wrong when you "moved out of the UK," but pay attention to what you wrote. It seems to me like what changed your view of the show was moving to a new place and following its moral code, which happened to be against shows like that, INSTEAD of understanding that it was ALWAYS wrong, because racism has ALWAYS been wrong, and people said it was wrong and they protested and if people in power (i.e. you) LISTENED and took what they said into account it would have been a very different situation.

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For example, try telling the Saudis that beheading is morally wrong. They would reply that it is morally correct in their culture...
Your example of beheading is not a good one, as it is a policy affecting the country as a whole. Now, women not being able to drive there for so long is a better example since it's the powerful (men) oppressing a particular group (women). As you said, "they would reply that it is morally correct in their culture," but like I explained above, you don't think critically about who "THEY" are. You accept the dominant voices that comprise THEY and ignore who they are shutting out.

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But I have no doubt that in 50 years or so, when, say, all ‘hamburger meat’ is plant based, people will read an old McDonald’s menu and gasp "they ate what"? Are you moral enough to stop eating animals now, because 50 years from now it will be immoral?
Apples and oranges, or rather, humans and animals. I am talking about fundamentally human-human interactions.
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post #73 of 2224 (permalink) Old Dec 25th, 2017, 01:55 AM
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Re: Race-relations Issues

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Here, you have pinpointed the fundamental difference between us and really highlighted my argument.

Morality is not decided by the population, morality is decided by who has power in the population. When I said conventionality is not morality, I was quoting Charlotte Bronte, a female writer who was being criticized for breaking tradition and writing about the female experience in her work. You would look back to her time and say "well, that's how culture was, the population defined morality like that" and that's not true: women are part of the population, their voices were not taken into account, and morality never reflected their voices, despite it being clear that they should also be able to write about it.



It's very important that you understand who I quoted and the context, because I quoted someone talking about her experience being in the losing end of society's power structure: you fail to ever see this argument from the oppressed perspective. Your 13 year old self never thought twice about watching the show because society told you it was ok, but you only knew that society thought it was ok because you fit into the society so seamlessly, you never had to think critically about your actions because being "you" and following society's course is the natural way to be. That is called privilege.
Ah, privilege! The root of all evil.

It just makes me laugh out loud that you take the example of a 13 year-old middle class kid watching TV in Northern Ireland in 1958 and immediately decide that you know all about me and how I seamlessly fit into NI society. We didn’t have society in NI in the fifties, as far as I remember. You have no idea!
Privilege over what?

As for your feeling the need to explain to me who Charlotte Bronte was, how pretentious. It seems to me like you can quote Bronte and therefore consider you are superior enough to lecture me on how at 13, I should have been critically analyzing racist attitudes in a country on the other side of the ocean.
That just indicates to me that you are unable to understand NI in the fifties and somehow imagine we should all have been thinking like east coast intellectuals in 2017.

And by the way, the area of Northern Ireland I grew up in is called the Bronte Homeland. A bit of a stretch to pull in the tourists, I admit, but explaining to me who Charlotte Bronte is just shone a light on your own sense of privilege.
Privileged enough in your own mind to be able to tell a 73 year old man what it is very important he understand!

Your whole post reeked of your feelings of superiority.

Last edited by buddyholly; Dec 25th, 2017 at 02:13 AM.
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post #74 of 2224 (permalink) Old Dec 25th, 2017, 02:20 AM
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Re: Race-relations Issues

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Ah, privilege! The root of all evil.

It just makes me laugh out loud that you take the example of a 13 year-old middle class kid watching TV in Northern Ireland in 1958 and immediately decide that you know all about me and how I seamlessly fit into NI society. We didn’t have society in NI in the fifties, as far as I remember. You have no idea!
Privilege over what?

As for your feeling the need to explain to me who Charlotte Bronte was, how pretentious. It seems to me like you can quote Bronte and therefore consider you are superior enough to lecture me on how at 13, I should have been critically analyzing racist attitudes in a country on the other side of the ocean.
That just indicates to me that you are unable to understand NI in the fifties and somehow imagine we should all have been thinking like east coast intellectuals in 2017.

And by the way, the area of Northern Ireland I grew up in is called the Bronte Homeland. A bit of a stretch to pull in the tourists, I admit, but explaining to me who Charlotte Bronte is just shone a light on your own sense of privilege.
Privileged enough in your own mind to be able to tell a 73 year old man what it is very important he understand!

Your whole post reeked of your feelings of superiority.
I totally accept that, you are probably right it does sound that way! But just to clear up, I never thought that you didn't know her, and I did make it clear that I didn't want to get hung up on the TV show example.

And yes, I had already understood that, in your eyes, challenging a 73 year old male would require quite the privilege.
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post #75 of 2224 (permalink) Old Dec 25th, 2017, 02:27 AM
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Re: Race-relations Issues

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I totally accept that, you are probably right it does sound that way! But just to clear up, I never thought that you didn't know her, and I did make it clear that I didn't want to get hung up on the TV show example.

And yes, I had already understood that, in your eyes, challenging a 73 year old male would require quite the privilege.
But where is the challenge?

You have not explained how I was privileged.

Nor how you know how seamlessly I fit into society, if at all. It so happens I am now in Canada, because I did not fit into society even a little bit and wanted out of it from an early age.

Nor how I should be sitting in NI in the 1950’s analyzing racism in the USA.

So I think your challenge is completely misguided. A result of PC having reached reached absurd levels in today’s society.

(Yes, I can see now that when you wrote "Charlotte Bronte, a female writer", you did not write that in the sense of feeling the need to explain who Charlotte Bronte was.)
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Last edited by buddyholly; Dec 25th, 2017 at 02:48 AM.
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