Thursday, November 10, 2016

Trump Says Stuff, Part I

By Robert H.

This is the experience of millions of Americans:

1. Trump says something only racist if interpreted in the worst possible light.
2. The media spends the next 3 months screaming about how racist it is.

I'm not going to be the media.  I'm not going to tell you Trump said all Mexicans are rapists (he didn't!).  I'm not going to say tweeting about taco bowls is the next segregation.  I'm not even going to tell you Trump is himself racist, or meant racist stuff when he said these quotes.  What I *do* want to do is look at some stuff Trump has said, and examine as fairly as possible whether it's racist.  The goal is not to find out what Trump meant or whether or not it hurts the feelings of people who hear or it or etc, it's just to see what the words, on their face, mean.

I'm going to start with this one, and may do others on other quotes depending on free time.

1. Trump Never Said Mexicans are Rapists

He really didn't!  This all started with this quote: 

When Mexico sends it people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people"

This is supposed to be him saying All Mexicans are rapists.  That's bullshit, he clearly says some of them aren't.  This is like me saying "some people like apples and some people like oranges" and the media running with "Robert Completely Denies Existence of Orange Eaters (Possibly Hates the Irish, Too).  No, idiots, Trump created two categories, he didn't give us a proportion.

Even worse for the mainstream media interpretation, Trump is clearly just talking about the problems with *immigrants*, and in context probably just undocumented or illegal immigrants.   Liberals are going way too damned far when they say this means "all Mexicans are rapists."

And yet... what's with "I assume"?

Fun fact: I have literally never met a Belgian.  In spite of that, I do not assume some Belgians are good people, I *know* some Belgians are good people.  I know this because there are 11.2 million Belgians on this planet, and even if Belgians are the worst lot of monsters ever assembled -- and to be clear, they absolutely are -- getting together 11.2 million of any kind of people and having *none* of them be good people is impossible without tremendous, Herculean work.  I know some Belgians are good people like I know it's going to rain sometime in the next three hundred years.

Well, there are more Mexican immigrants in the US than Belgians on earth.

So what's with that "assume"?  Maybe he's just trying to make it clear he's making a probabilistic argument?  You could say that even if there is only a one in a billion chance *all* Belgians are evil, that's still a chance and ignoring it is still an assumption.  But that doesn't help Trump, either, because he's acutally met some undocumented immigrants he likes.  Some of them being good people isn't even a statistical likelihood for him, it's a fact.

Ok, so maybe it's just a verbal tick he doesn't mean?  Possibly but now we're doing the opposite of what the liberal media does.  Just like they ignore his words and focus on his allegedly bad intentions, you're getting out the intention eraser and going to town.  The whole point of this exercise is to just take the words at face value, and "I assume" are part of the words.

So that "I assume" is weird.  Now, let's look at what he's *not* assuming.  Trump appears to know that Mexico (in the speech he clarifies that he means the Mexican Government) is actively sending people here, the immigrants are not self selecting.  So how does he know this?  Well,  Brietbart says we know Mexico is actively sending people north because a Mexican cabinet official said so off the record 15 years ago.  Ok, that's some evidence, but if someone told you America's emigrants aren't self-selecting, the government is hand-choosing who to send, you'd expect better proof than "Condi Rice told me so at the start of the Bush administration."  Rush Limbaugh says we know they are sending immigrants because 7 years ago a delegation of Mexican officials said they didn't want us to send Mexicans back to mexico.  Ok, that's Mexico trying to *keep* them over here, but it's not them *sending* them over here.  Trump himself has five different sources for this, but he's refused to reveal them so we can't evaluate them.

So here's my pitch for why this is racist:

1. When saying clearly true good things about Mexican immigrants, Trump attaches a qualifier implying it might not be true.

2. When relaying not clearly true negative information about Mexican immigrants, Trump does not attach this qualifier.

3. More readily believing negative things about immigrants are true than positive things, in spite of evidence to the contrary, treats people negatively on the basis of either national origin or race for no justified reason.

4. That's racist, yo.

Let's try the acid test:

"Look, I've seen my conservative friends posts asking for calm and reconciliation, but when conservative media tells people to go on facebook, we know they're sending the racist ones; the ones who hate Mexicans.  And some, I assume, do it out of a genuine belief that it's right."

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