Monday, December 09, 2013

A common fallacy:  Comments about a group construed to mean ALL members of the group

Congressman Joe Walsh commemorated the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s most famous speech by rewriting it as a laundry list of things that are wrong with black people

When Joe says he has a dream that “young black males and females graduate from high school,” he’s saying they don’t do that now, and that white kids do. News flash: black kids do graduate from high school, and even college, and lots of white kids don’t.

When Joe says he’s got a dream that “young black men don’t become daddies until after they’re married, and until after they have a job,” he’s saying that young black men don’t do that now. They do, and lots of young white men don’t.

When Joe tells “Jesse” and “Al” that he dreams that “blacks cease their dependency on government, which has enslaved them to a life of poverty,” he is saying that black people are dependent on government, and white people are not. Hell, even Newt Gingrich knows that’s not true.

When Joe says black people should learn that “it’s up to me not to hang around with people who shoot other people that look just like me,” I’m not even sure how that’s supposed to work. If the police can’t even tell which ones are the troublemakers, how are black people supposed to? Should they Stop and Frisk themselves? Are they supposed to move away from all other black people? Should they also avoid standing in their own driveways?


The writer does not seem to understand that generalizations can be useful even if they do not cover all instances of a thing. It is simply perverse and dishonest to insert a word "All" where none was in fact used.  What Joe said was perfectly correct.  He did not say "ALL" blacks do XYZ, only that many or most do.


Anonymous said...

It's too bad you didn't list the numbers of black babies born to unwed mothers by unknown fathers.

It's also too bad you didn't list the number of blacks who graduate from school, compared to the number of Whites who graduate.

And, while blacks comprise only about 13% of America's population, what percentage of people receiving some form of govt. hand-outs are black?

And no, facts cannot be racist.

Anonymous said...

This is a pretty common and low debating tactic.
Let's not deal with the actual issue being raised, let's deal with the way the message is being presented.

Anonymous said...

John, hope you don't mind if I reprint an obvious statement you made that I think covers this pretty well...

"Leftists often pretend that any mention of race is "racist" -- unless they mention it, of course."

Anonymous said...

Its funny to see some leftist talk about how some "evil white guy" talks in general terms about blacks while it is leftists that do that constantly (i.e. blacks cannot support themselves to they need their help, i.e. welfare).

White liberals approach issues of race and racism from an essentially irrational, moralistic standpoint. White liberals do not simply judge racism to be based on bad thinking and criticise it for its illogical collectivism. Instead, white liberals make the issue of racism, as with other issues, all about them. White liberals have colonised the discourse of racism and anti-racism because it offers them an opportunity to boast of the superiority of their virtue and to demonstrate their purity and holiness through ostentatious and vacuous public displays of self-flagellation.

there is a tremendous amount of white guilt amongst the white liberal intelligentsia in this country, in a selfish way they try to assuage this guilt with a form of racism, the racism of low expectations.

This form of racism caters to the most idiosyncratic behaviour of the immigrant. It sets standards of behaviour for our (i.e. white) community, but when dealing with immigrants and others like Muslims and especially the black community, it does not expect them to live by the same standards.

Stan B said...

When presented with a shortcoming in their lives, children often say "but THEY did it TOO!"

It's a way of deflecting the criticism - not a denial of its truth. If everyone can be lowered to the same base level, then everyone can avoid criticism.

Anonymous said...

Surely the worst form of racism is not addressing these fundamental issues?
Is it more racist to
a. do something specifically targeted at a racial group to improve it, or
b. do nothing and allow that race to kill itself off

Anonymous said...

"And no, facts cannot be racist."

but you are