Friday, November 27, 2015

Who Are The Real Crybabies?

Here's the column headline that spawned this post:
Really?  Black students complaining about mistreatment on campus are 'crybabies'? (I've given my thoughts on the Missouri protests already.) What better way to avoid talking about the issues and to dismiss their complaints, than simply calling them names.  It seems to me that name calling and crybabies are both common in primary school.

By high school, some students learn logic and the common logical fallacies, like ad hominem attacks (from Logically Fallacious):

argumentum ad hominem
(also known as:  personal abuse, personal attacks, abusive fallacy, damning the source, name calling, needling [form of], refutation by character)
Description: Attacking the person making the argument, rather than the argument itself, when the attack on the person is completely irrelevant to the argument the person is making.
Logical Form:Person 1 is claiming Y.
Person 1 is a moron.
Therefore, Y is not true.
I googled crybabies.  The first couple of pages yielded two more stories calling black students crybabies.   (And more links to a podcast called Crybabies which, from what I can tell, celebrates people actually showing emotions.) This reminds me of the old stories of conservatives sending out the daily soundbites for media to use and you'd find the same words and stories repeated over and over again.

I did find one from a leftist perspective:

The GOP crybabies for Colbert are the Republican candidates complaining about getting difficult questions at the CNBC debate.  Presidential candidates who can't deal with media questions does seem a lot more petty than black students standing up to continued racial discrimination on campus.

I also found a Salon article about Republican Crybabies that helps us understand where this is coming from:
Why Are Conservatives Such Whiny Crybabies? From Fox News to angry police, the right's stock-in-trade is predictable and lame.
Paul Rosenberg
February 5, 2015
 Over the years, Salon columnist Heather “Digby” Parton has written repeatedly about GOP/conservative hissy fits, most notably in her 2007 classic, ‘The Art of the Hissy Fit,’ where she noted that, “the right’s successful use of phony sanctimony and faux outrage…often succeeded in changing the dialogue and titillating the media into a frenzy of breathless tabloid coverage.”  It first caught her attention in the late ’90s, when top GOP adulterers Newt Gingrich and Bob Livingston  ”pretended to be offended at the president’s extramarital affair” as well as being outraged that Democrats raised campaign money just like they did.   .   .
“[I]t’s about more than simple political distraction or savvy public relations. It’s actually a very well developed form of social control called Ritual Defamation (or Ritual Humiliation)” Digby wrote, linking to this explanatory article, and quoting the following passage:
Defamation is the destruction or attempted destruction of the reputation, status, character or standing in the community of a person or group of persons by unfair, wrongful, or malicious speech or publication. For the purposes of this essay, the central element is defamation in retaliation for the real or imagined attitudes, opinions or beliefs of the victim, with the intention of silencing or neutralizing his or her influence, and/or making an example of them so as to discourage similar independence and “insensitivity” or non-observance of taboos. It is different in nature and degree from simple criticism or disagreement in that it is aggressive, organized and skillfully applied, often by an organization or representative of a special interest group, and in that it consists of several characteristic elements.

There's a lot more, that was just an appetizer.  One could argue about the title of this last piece using the word 'crybabies' too, except that here that really is the topic - having typical crybaby hissy fits over stuff that really isn't anything serious, in an attempt to defame the person being attacked.  

*[This was the headline in the Alaska Dispatch News, but I haven't figured out how to get non-subscriber links to their syndicated columns and articles.  This Washington Post version has a different title, but includes crybabies in the first line.]
I'd also note that this article then goes on to blame it on the "Everybody Gets A Trophy culture,"  which, I'm willing to bet, is not something most black college students grew up with.  If anything, that was a white phenomenon.  Black kids have had their self-esteem denigrated every day in school, in the media, and everywhere else.  And black mothers are known for preparing their sons on how to deal with police.  They aren't just making this up.  

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