Well, yes, obviously and of course

The Charles Dickens museum in Kent has become the latest target of this year’s anti-racism movement after a former local councillor daubed the building with graffiti calling the author a racist….

By today’s standards all those in the past were racists. Just as by past standards near all women today would be called loose.

And?

17 thoughts on “Well, yes, obviously and of course”

  1. I pine for the days when, if you wanted to insult xir, you’d call XE a ‘wanker’, or something.

  2. And indeed, I doubt many if any men from the 19th century backwards would have thought women should have the vote or play any meaningful role in society so they’re all out.

  3. “Have we lost anything, in ceasing to find foreigners funny? Well, we have lost an occasion for laughter, which is no small thing to lose in this vale of tears….You can argue about whether multiculturalism has made us better or worse, but I don’t see how you can deny that it has made us shallower…On the other hand, of course, multiculturalism has opened up wonderful new opportunities for us to feel righteously pleased with ourselves, and to believe that we are morally superior to our parents and grandparents…To think that we, and our country, are better than foreigners, and their countries, is shameful and bigoted. That we are better than our forefathers — well, that goes without saying. ”

    John Derbyshire, writing in 2007

  4. ‘If you have a white skin you’re born racist.’ Since this is the present orthodoxy, I’d have to argue that all in the present are racists too.

  5. “By today’s standards all those in the past were racists.” We are all racists, every one of us, in terms of one meaning or another of that word. Being racist isn’t the sin; it’s treating individuals badly because of racism that’s a sin, not because of the racism but because of the mistreatment.

  6. Sinful, dearieme? I can see how it might be disagreeable, discourteous, bone-headed and so on. But sinful?

  7. I appreciate that the work of the midnight graffiti-activist is done under difficult conditions, but seriously? Is that it? “Dickens Racist Dickens Racist” with a cheap felt pen?

  8. @ Edward Lud
    Treating people badly is a sin.
    “And the second is like, namely this: “Thou shalt love the neighbour as thyself”

  9. john77, my impression is that dearieme may not be a Christian. But either way, I think I’d limit it to “treating people badly is a sin”, if I were minded to use the language of sin which, as a rule, I’m not.

    In other words, the bad treatment is no more or less a sin for being racist.

    I remember quite a few years ago, in professional circumstances, encountering two white chaps and a Nigerian chap in proud possession of a thick Nigerian accent. There came a point where white chap #1 mimicked the Nigerian’s speech to his face. White chap #2 was disgusted and said it was racist.

    I was never altogether sure whether it was racist, and did not much care. Of greater importance was that that the mimicry was obviously meant deliberately unkindly, and was unprovoked. The unkindness was the mischief.

    On the other hand, I’ve heard people express racist views, and having acted on them, perfectly genially.

    So often, at least with speech, what matters is the way it is said.

  10. “In other words, the bad treatment is no more or less a sin for being racist.” Which is what I said: the sin lies in the mistreatment not the racism.

  11. @ Edward Lud
    “sin” is a word that has no meaning in atheistic discourse, so I wrote as if in a discussion in the Judeo-Christian environment.
    dearieme may disagree with me but he generally does so courteously unlike many militant atheists.

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