Friar Bijou wrote:
I am, however, responding to a whole bunch of other people who are doing exactly that, and pointing out that this isn't the only interpretation and maybe it's wrong to just assume that one must be the 100% truth.
All truth is 100%. Everything else is conjecture, lies or foolishness. If one is forced to guess about an event, Occams razor tells us that the most obvious answer is statistically the right one.
We disagree on what the "obvious answer" is though. Conservatives don't criticize VJ because she's black. They criticize her for her ideology and politics. The "obvious answer" to us is that the "Planet of the Apes" reference is to the very clear political and ideological themes in the story and how they correlate to VJ's own political ideology.
The alternative is an almost tortured mental process of ignoring the story itself, ignoring that VJ is a prominent figure of a specific recent political/ideological movement which aligns with that story's themes, and instead obsessing purely on VJ's race, and making a leap to correlate that to the setting of the story (and one particular part of that setting) rather than the theme. I'll repeat again that folks on the right don't actually spend a lot of time thinking about or considering what a person's skin color is. We tend to look at what the person does and says and judge them on that instead. Shocking, I know.
So, yeah; if someone uses language that has been considered racist for a few centuries, "guessing" that the comment is, in fact, racist is most likely the right answer.
Given that "Planet of the Apes" hasn't been around for centuries, that's blatantly false. Again, this falls to an assessment of intent. And that assessment can be very circular in this case.
I'm truly sorry for you. You've spent so much of your life bonding to a political ideology that includes clear and consistent racist overtones...
Again though, that's circular. My ideology does *not* include those things. The problem is that I live in a world where other's ideology *does*, and thus I have to make sure that anything I say doesn't trigger those other people's racial assumptions. I don't make any assumption that "ape" and "black" are connected. At all. In fact, the only way you find offense in the comment is if you are making that correlation, and project that correlation on the other person.
And again, that goes double when you realize that her reference was not to an ape, but to a work which just happened to have apes (and chimps and orangutangs) in it. So the connection is tenuous at best, and completely subjective. That's certainly enough to generate offense, but the offense is primarily her not realizing that others would find the remark, not just offensive (cause it was intended to be), but specifically racist.
... that you must defend it (despite the racism you're "blind" to) because you've invested to much of who you are into it and fear to change because it would destroy the *perfect* self-image you've made for yourself.
I think there's some disagreement on the point at which one side is "blind" to something or the other side is "overly sensitive" to something. I'll point out again that the last thing I think about when I think about VJ is her race. Obviously, for others, that's not the case. Edited, Jun 4th 2018 7:01pm by gbaji