I can't find the offense in this State Lawmaker's e-mail, can you?
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    1. #1
      Member g-man_ae's Avatar
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      I can't find the offense in this State Lawmaker's e-mail, can you?

      http://whnt.com/2017/05/18/state-law...ved-as-racist/

      TL,DR: file this under people looking for a reason to get butt-hurt. IMO you have to take this way, WAY out of context to derive a racial slur.



      Black lawmakers were angered Wednesday after a white Alabama lawmaker forwarded an email that was perceived as racist..

      That morning Rep. Lynn Greer (R-Rogersville) forwarded an email to colleagues at the state house that alluded to an animal experiment that included four caged monkeys, a banana, a ladder and the action of hosing them down with cold water when one of them tried to climb the ladder for the banana, then replacing the monkeys one at a time. Greer added no other comment to the email other than simply forwarding it.

      The experiment ended with the monkeys fighting each other, but not knowing why, other than "that is the way it was always done."

      The end of the email read: "This is how today's House and Senate operates, and why from time to time, ALL of the monkeys need to be REPLACED AT THE SAME TIME!"

      Comments were made by several lawmakers that took offense to the email. Our news partners at AL.com say that African-American legislators gathered at the capital to publicly discuss the email. The chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus, Rep. John Knight (D-Montgomery) called it "insulting" and "unacceptable."

      Later on Wednesday, Greer released this statement about the email:

      “The case study in the email that I forwarded has existed for decades, and a simple Internet search shows that the story is based upon actual psychological experiments that were conducted by in the 1920s. The body of the email has been reprinted - word for word - in several magazines, textbooks, and journals, such as 'Psychology Today,' and it even has its own Wikipedia page.

      A constituent sent me the email, which has been distributed nationally and compares the experiment to today’s political climate in the U.S. Congress, not the Alabama Legislature. The last paragraph of the email implies that ALL incumbents, whether Republican or Democrat, should be replaced.

      Without comment or edits on my part, I forwarded the email to various members who might have an interest, and, as a result, it has been taken out of context and given a meaning that was not intended for pure political purposes. For that, I apologize to my colleagues.”

      He also included links referencing the study appearing in textbooks, journals, magazines, and other media outlets.

      House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels sent his own statement shortly after, saying in part, "I am surprised and disappointed by the derogatory email that has been circulated... the email speaks for itself... This episode and the hollow apology issued by Rep. Greer makes clear the legislature is in dire need of more decorum and respect... We cannot have a stronger Alabama if its representatives cannot find a way to disagree with dignity."
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    2. #2
      40 Year Old Madonna Fan patrikman's Avatar
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      Alabama. Where racism is just implied.
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    3. #3
      You are correct. In the right context.

      I would say someone born after probably 1975 or so shouldn't take offense to that email. You likely wouldn't have the background context from a race standpoint to even "get" it.

      However, I pulled up a page with the pictures of Alabama legislatures. I would say a few definitely qualify as being born well before 1975. Probably before 1965.

      Given that, we get back to something a lot of people in the US don't get. People on both sides don't get this.......you don't get to decide when someone else is a "victim" or "insulted" or not.

      You CAN feel it is ridiculous that they are insulted or victimized, but you don't get to decide whether they are or not.

      So in this case, if any of those folks are younger than 40 years old, they stand a chance at not having any context to be offended by it.

      Older than that, I'm sure at some point the social climate they experienced growing up included something questionable.

    4. #4
      Member NeverEnoughCars's Avatar
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      It is also an old experiment which was carried out on monkeys. Because they are the closest ancestors we have to test since if we tried this with children people would be up in arms.
      Only an idiot, or a monkey, would be upset by this email.
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    5. #5
      Member GreenandChrome's Avatar
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      #triggered
      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Or some other government-sponsored illegal wiretapping app
      I find your answer vague and unconvincing.
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    6. #6
      Member Tornado2dr's Avatar
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      I think this email is offensive to my intelligence. why not just say #draintheswamp? It requires me to waste less time, but is just as stupid.
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    7. #7
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    8. #8
      Member Egz's Avatar
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    9. #9
      Member westsideseal's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Tornado2dr View Post
      I think this email is offensive to my intelligence. why not just say #draintheswamp? It requires me to waste less time, but is just as stupid.
      Agreed. Not only a waste of time, but a very blatant troll attempt. Use an analogy that will obviously read as racist to some people, then you get to be offended about some being offended. Otherwise, nobody would be talking about this nonsense at all. Hmm, I have no idea why a black legislator would be offended by being compared to a monkey. Nope, no historical context whatsoever there.

    10. #10
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    11. #11
      Member vwtool's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by g-man_ae View Post
      ...file this under people looking for a reason to get butt-hurt...
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    12. #12
      Member GreenandChrome's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Egz View Post
      Racist!
      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Or some other government-sponsored illegal wiretapping app
      I find your answer vague and unconvincing.
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    13. #13
      Member XClayX's Avatar
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      I've read this before, its straight out of a physiology book back in college. Yeah there might have been a few changes I can't remember but the premise was the same. An to it's point I agree, its very hard to change a group mentality quickly. You'll have the "its always been that way" group until they die off.

    14. #14
      Member DonL's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Egz View Post
      I was just going to post this. It's similar to the monkey story/experiment, but no monkeys, bananas, getting hosed down, or having the crap beat out of you. Otherwise, it's just the same.

      I've heard the term legacy conditioned response in describing a situation like this. I don't know if it's a correct term, though.

      However, if you look it up, as an experiment, this didn't happen. There was a guy named Stephenson that did some conditioned response work with monkeys in 1966, calling it, "Cultural Acquisition Of A Specific Learned Response Among Rhesus Monkeys," but with significant differences in details than the way the story describes. It doesn't appear to have been intended to illustrate why doing things "the same way we always did" is a poor philosophy. His work may or may not have been connected to work done by a guy named Wolfgang Kohler almost 100 years ago.

      https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/q...er-spray-condu

      http://www.throwcase.com/2014/12/21/...ry-is-rubbish/

      That said, in today's offensive-vigilant society, either it was intended to incite or offend, or was a meta-boneheaded move.
      Last edited by DonL; 05-19-2017 at 01:00 PM.
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    15. #15
      Member GreenandChrome's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by XClayX View Post
      I've read this before, its straight out of a physiology book back in college. Yeah there might have been a few changes I can't remember but the premise was the same. An to it's point I agree, its very hard to change a group mentality quickly. You'll have the "its always been that way" group until they die off.
      The actual experiment, as depicted, has never been published, likely never took place, so it's an anecdotal message. It's a composite lesson pulled from behavioral studies, one of which was the 2-monkey test which is the basis of the experiment. Don't grab something, or you'll get blasted with air (in original study).

      Another observation that likely fed into this story involved macaques. Apparently two were shot from a car driving by (in China, iirc). In the area where the shooting occurred, macaques routinely would be approached by vehicles. Within 8 months of the shooting, no macaques could be approached by car, even macaques who weren't present at the shooting followed suit.
      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Or some other government-sponsored illegal wiretapping app
      I find your answer vague and unconvincing.
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    16. #16
      Member vwtool's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
      ...no monkeys, bananas, getting hosed down, or having the crap beat out of you...
      Or, as they say in Alabama, fun!

    17. #17
      Member George Bluth's Avatar
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      The only racist aspect of that e-mail is the fact that someone called it racist.

      Unfortunately the people who called is racist are black. Sooo....

      Mark it up as a loss.

    18. #18
      Member g-man_ae's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by westsideseal View Post
      Agreed. Not only a waste of time, but a very blatant troll attempt. Use an analogy that will obviously read as racist to some people, then you get to be offended about some being offended. Otherwise, nobody would be talking about this nonsense at all.
      Probably true. This politician is trying to get some free PR with an "innocent" e-mail.

      Hmm, I have no idea why a black legislator would be offended by being compared to a monkey. Nope, no historical context whatsoever there.
      What comparison? Where? It's not in the e-mail As I said, it's like people want to read offense into anything, in order to justify their unsubstantiated rage.

      Cliches are true for a reason: Everyone just needs to chill the f**k out
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    19. #19
      Member westsideseal's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by g-man_ae View Post
      Probably true. This politician is trying to get some free PR with an "innocent" e-mail.


      Quote Originally Posted by g-man_ae View Post
      What comparison? Where? It's not in the e-mail As I said, it's like people want to read offense into anything, in order to justify their unsubstantiated rage.

      Cliches are true for a reason: Everyone just needs to chill the f**k out
      The fact that you put "innocent" in quotes means even you recognize the comparison. He's drawing a comparison between legislators (some of which are black) to monkeys. When you purposely seek to offend, you don't get to be upset when people are offended. I'm not even saying they should be offended, only that it's very obvious what the intent of the letter was. It wasn't to make a well reasoned argument for replacing legislators.

      The first person who should chill out is the guy who wrote the stupid letter.

    20. #20
      Member vwtool's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by g-man_ae View Post
      ...What comparison? Where? It's not in the e-mail ...
      I sure hope that both your confusion and your naivete are of the faux variety.

    21. #21
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      Quote Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
      You are correct. In the right context.

      I would say someone born after probably 1975 or so shouldn't take offense to that email. You likely wouldn't have the background context from a race standpoint to even "get" it.

      However, I pulled up a page with the pictures of Alabama legislatures. I would say a few definitely qualify as being born well before 1975. Probably before 1965.

      Given that, we get back to something a lot of people in the US don't get. People on both sides don't get this.......you don't get to decide when someone else is a "victim" or "insulted" or not.

      You CAN feel it is ridiculous that they are insulted or victimized, but you don't get to decide whether they are or not.

      So in this case, if any of those folks are younger than 40 years old, they stand a chance at not having any context to be offended by it.

      Older than that, I'm sure at some point the social climate they experienced growing up included something questionable.
      So, ironically, it's only "racist" to a group of people that's been conditioned to believe that it's racist?




      Sounds like the recent thing on the Walking Dead "Eenie Meenie Meinie Mo" shirt where if you're 40 or younger like me and grew up with "catch a tiger by his toe" as the nursery rhyme lyric, you have no racist associations with it at all.

    22. #22
      Quote Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
      So in this case, if any of those folks are younger than 40 years old, they stand a chance at not having any context to be offended by it.

      Older than that, I'm sure at some point the social climate they experienced growing up included something questionable.
      Quoting myself from above.

      I just looked up the white guy who sent it. Guy was clearly alive and well during some questionable times.

      Born 1941. Legislator there since '74. Age range makes it more plausible he was trolling for view time or made a bonehead move to forward something he definitely knew better doing.

      Anyone born and living in Alabama that long knows damn well about references to monkeys and black people. C'mon. Even if he didn't intend it "this time" he definitely grew up and was an adult during racial tensions. You don't conveniently forget that stuff.

      My grandmother used racial epithets till the day she died around 2000.

      Either way.....it's something that would probably get you fired where I work even without any racial intent or context. It's childish.

    23. #23
      Member Code Red!'s Avatar
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      Is this about monkies?

      Explain it to me as if I was born in Alabama.

      I was.
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    24. #24
      Quote Originally Posted by Mike! View Post
      Sounds like the recent thing on the Walking Dead "Eenie Meenie Meinie Mo" shirt where if you're 40 or younger like me and grew up with "catch a tiger by his toe" as the nursery rhyme lyric, you have no racist associations with it at all.
      I'm 32 and clearly remember my racist grandmother reciting that and using the 'n' word, either by a slipup or on purpose.

    25. #25
      Member NeverEnoughCars's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by westsideseal View Post
      He's drawing a comparison between legislators (some of which are black) to monkeys.
      But we are all just hairless apes.
      Maybe people should look at history as more than just the last few hundred years.
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