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User ID: 694



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User ID: 694

Would a fursuit satisfy Islamic requirements for female modesty?

This question has painted a picture in my mind of a very different world, and I have to thank you for providing me that vision.

Well, this isn't that, but ... I offer it to you in its absence.

I just mean edge case in the sense of "statistically, most minority racial groups in the US do have a known country of origin to point to within three or four generations, but this one is not as simple as that."

Thinking about it again, there must also be some percentage of Mexican/Hispanic-identifying people in the western US who are descendants of people who were already living on the land that the US subsumed. I don't know what that percentage is - honestly I don't have a good grasp on the history of Central America in the 1600s-1900s, and I don't know when "Mexican" and later "Hispanic" as identity categories started eclipsing identification with the various indigenous people groups that the Mexican empire itself subsumed. I suppose it could be argued that any such person who identified as Mexican could still be sent back to Mexico, since Mexico still exists.

Of course then there's the case of all the other North American indigenous groups. I suppose you could forcibly rez everyone who's not already rezzed who meets a certain threshold of native ancestry and then demand all the reservations formally secede under threat of force, and then have a bunch of independent, very poor landlocked micronations dotted around your country's interior full of people who you don't like who don't have a very favorable opinion of you now either. That doesn't seem like the kind of simple logistical solution that this expulsion plan is supposed to be able to provide though.

Maybe you can airdrop them all into the Canadian wilderness and just say hey, close enough, take it or leave it.

In all seriousness, though, the problem I'm pointing at is that the population of the US can't be cleanly divided into "people who white nationalists want to share their country with" and "people who you can send back to where their grandfather was from".

At some point you do run into "well, okay, yes, your people have been here as long as my people have or even longer, but we still would rather like you to go away if you don't mind."

It depends on how intermixed they are, first of all, but anyone who has been ethnically distinct for three generations in America gets little sympathy from me and can be deported to where their grandfathers came from.

Not to tread old ground here, but I once again find myself curious about the tricky edge case of the old-stock American black.

(I'll take the former Georgia colonial territory circa the 1770s if you're offering it though.)

Have you checked to make sure your property isn't built on any old Indian burial grounds? Maybe you should try obvserving Unthanksgiving Day next year and see if your outlook turns out any better.

Update: they raided the hospital earlier today.

UN agencies, the WHO, and the Red Cross have all strongly condemned the raid.

Meanwhile the IDF is releasing plenty of photos and pretty extensive walkthrough footage showing all of Hamas's stuff that they're pulling out of hallway closets and out from behind MRI machines, as they walk down corridors that have had their security cameras disabled or obscured.

All the reporting I'm reading ... describes the hospital staff being very afraid during the raid, "because of all the fighting", but ... again, written like the hospital staff and patients are having to take cover while the IDF comes in and fights no one.

Al-Jazeera also helpfully relays a witness' statement that the IDF "have tried to kill anyone moving inside - no one has done anything, we don't have any kind of resistance inside the hospital", and also reports, in a bullet point immediately prior, that the IDF evacuated people from inside into the outdoor courtyard to be interrogated - even though it was raining.

A lot of coverage has made it seem like the IDF is simply choosing to starve everyone in the hospital of supplies under the assumption that Hamas has a position within it, but has been extremely light on details.

This NY Times article from within the hour describes IDF troops 'battling Hamas fighters nearby' the hospital, but otherwise simply paints a picture of the terrible situation the people in the hospital are in, and reproduces a statement from the hospital's director, Dr. Salmiya, where he says that there is no truth to the idea that Hamas is operating beneath the hospital.

Apparently Netanyahu personally told CNN directly yesterday that:

"There’s no reason why we just can’t take the patients out of there, instead of letting Hamas use it as a command center for terrorism, for the rockets that they fire against Israel, for the terror tunnels that they use to kill Israeli civilians."

According to this Nov 14 article from the Jerusalem Post, make of that what you will, the IDF is going out of its way to offer assistance in evacuating patients from the hospital, which apparently a publicly released phone conversation shows the hospital leadership is eager to accept. The article also prominently mentions and provides footage of incubators being loaded into vans that the IDF is apparently rushing to get to the hospital as fast as possible. (Isn't the problem that there is no power for their incubators, not that they didn't have enough incubators? How are these new IDF incubators meant to be powered? Or delivered?)

The article reminds readers:

Previously, however, Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have said that Al–Shifa has refused Israeli assistance.

"We just offered Shifa hospital the fuel; they refused it," Netanyahu claimed on Sunday.

Earlier this month, a Gaza health official stated in a phone call intercepted by the IDF that Hamas takes fuel provided to Al-Shifa.

Another intercepted call recorded a health official saying that the director general of Gaza's Hamas-run Health Ministry, Yusef Abu Rish, had prevented a delivery of fuel from getting to the hospital.

The linked reporting there, from Reuters, Nov 12:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday his country offered fuel to Gaza's Al Shifa hospital, which has suspended operations amid fierce fighting with Hamas, but that the militant group refused to receive it.

"We just offered Shifa hospital the fuel, they refused it," Netanyahu said, without providing details.

The fuel was offered to the hospital, but "the militant group [Hamas]" refused to receive it. How was it "offered" and how was it "refused"? Physically, verbally? Why wouldn't Hamas have accepted the fuel in this situation, and just taken some or all of it for themselves, as the IDF has made clear many times is what it would expect them to do?

liveuamap.com reporting from 4 hours ago has the IDF still surrounding the hospital complex, with heavy gunfire and artillery shelling taking place there.

So ... yeah, it's a little hard to build in my mind's eye what the situation is on the ground. The IDF's messaging here seems to want me to believe that it is fully capable, ready and willing not only to provide supplies directly to the hospital in person, but also to begin evacuating patients, and they could and would immediately do this if only they could get close, which Hamas is preventing. If Hamas is fighting the IDF around the hospital perimeter and not letting them give the hospital anything or take anyone out of it, how are the hospital staff still able to insist that Hamas is not meaningfully present at the hospital? Are they just being held more or less at gunpoint by Hamas and forced to keep saying Hamas isn't at the hospital even when they plainly are?

But also, if Hamas is deeply entrenched in and around the hospital, to the point that it has maintained enough perimeter control around it that the IDF can't or won't enter it and evacuees can't or won't leave it, have the IDF only been surrounding it for days because they simply don't think they could take the hospital by force at this time? Or that they shouldn't for optical reasons, or something?

I'm not a combat strategist and I also can't claim to be able to model the minds of any of the actors here, but yes, I am also confused by the situation.

I notice what you're noticing, but apart from some extreme outliers, it never actually affects my ability to understand what the person writing is saying.

I think I have a different opinion on this depending on the day or the direction of the wind - one day I'm cringing to myself because a friend keeps using "than" when she means "then" in private text messages between the two of us that no one else will ever read, the next day I'm defending on principle that "ain't" as a replacement for both "isn't" and "am not" is perfectly reasonable, comprehensible, has long-since achieved its legitimacy, and that anyone who would judge someone negatively for using it is a nitpicking pedant.

At the edges of this, my instinct is to say that lots of the examples you brought up, on their own, seem minor to me and don't seem like signals of a linguistic descent into madness and incomprehensibility. I do the question mark thing sometimes, for example. There's a certain threshold for variation that I can tolerate just fine if the actual intent remains clear. But, like I said, I come from the viewpoint of someone who's almost always able to understand imperfect English writing without any fuss. Maybe a lot of these deviations would make the intent much less clear to someone who speaks English as a second language.

At the core of it though ... I'm with you. I wish people considered it more important to try to write well. I wish more people wanted to write well in text messages, facebook posts, youtube comments, magazine articles, newspaper columns, job cover letters, classified ads, yelp reviews, and birthday cards. I wish more young people, middle-aged people and older people wanted to write well, and I wish they wanted to do it without other people telling them they should want to. I think my standards for "writing well" are probably much lower than yours. I don't even write particularly well, from an objective standpoint. But I do have standards, and they do mean something to me.

At the end of the day, maybe it doesn't amount to more than just a strong aesthetic preference. I feel like I'll be able to easily comprehend any writing shifts, trends, degradation, or shortcuts for efficiency that may lie ahead. But is it enough to just be able to literally understand people?

To your last point, I'm a little bit hesitant about going into detail about my specific situation, but I made less than $35,000 last year working full time, and while this year is an anomaly, I probably won't break $15,000 this year.

If I were to land a position in the coming year that paid me $50,000/yr, which I'm hopeful about the prospect of pending an interview here soon, I'd consider that a substantial upgrade from any position I've ever had. I am 30.

I do consider it a major personal failing that I did not pursue a career track more optimized for income over the past decade. I've gotten in on the ground floor of about 4 different lines of work whose skill sets largely do not overlap. This was avoidable, I had the sense to know it the whole time. I have half of a BFA degree from ten years ago, which is almost as embarrassing as it would've been to pay for the whole BFA degree, and exactly as useful. I have several well-developed skills in lines of work that there's not really any good money in in the first place, and have spent many of the last few years committed to working at low wages for small to medium-sized local businesses that I knew very well from the beginning had no capacity for upward mobility or even guaranteed longterm solvency.

I'd say it's the central failure of my life, not to get too dramatic in the Friday Fun Thread. I get by alright, day to day, it could absolutely be worse, and I manage my expenses well enough, but there's certainly no room in my life for supporting a partner or a family the way I would want to be able to do at my age. I may be starting to wrench myself out of the bottom of the trough now, but I wouldn't be surprised if it takes me another decade to get where my peers are right now, assuming I ever do. I like to think of myself as a relatively capable and intelligent person, but the hard facts of my education choices, employment choices and resulting income over the last ten years could make a pretty solid case that I might actually be stupid.

I guess at least I don't gamble.

Well, I ended up taking the test three times.

The first run through was entirely vibes-based and I tried to really weigh out what felt like a triple-immoral vs. a double-immoral vs. a single-immoral, and vice-versa, usually trying to pick a direction one way or the other. This one was also probably the most influenced by the order I got served the questions in, because I think I got less decisive over the course of it.

That run matched me to Left-Liberal:

  • Care - 83%
  • Fairness - 67%
  • Loyalty - 36%
  • Authority - 28%
  • Purity - 17%
  • Liberty - 64%

The second run through I tried to keep with a strong preference for "neutral/not applicable" and only give any affirmative push either way if something about the situation particularly moved me strongly.

That run also matched me to Left-Liberal:

  • Care - 63%
  • Fairness - 58%
  • Loyalty - 31%
  • Authority - 28%
  • Purity - 31%
  • Liberty - 58%

For the third run I went maximalist and selected (three thumbs up) if I would fight for someone's right to not face legal consequences for the action, (three thumbs down) if I would fight for the threat of legal consequences to be imposed on someone for the action, and (neutral) in all other cases.

That run matched me to Libertarian:

  • Care - 33%
  • Fairness - 50%
  • Loyalty - 8%
  • Authority - 0%
  • Purity - 0%
  • Liberty - 83%

To me the scale itself is a little confusing. I can get an intuitive sense of what three different levels of morally wrong should feel like. But, I had trouble imagining what it means for something to be a little morally okay, quite a bit morally okay but not fully, or extremely morally okay.

I didn't interpret any of the options as communicating "this is a morally good action" so I wasn't really confident about my choices on that side of the scale.

In all three attempts I ended up giving a lot of "this is morally okay" answers to a lot of actions that would absolutely negatively impact the way I thought about a friend, colleague or stranger if I knew that they had done the action. I don't know if that means I've missed the point of the exercise or not.

(Sorry for the deletion of the previous iteration of this comment, I'm on mobile and replied as a top level instead of a comment accidentally.)

Can anyone point to any 3D CGI media that does something really well, that elicits an emotional response that traditional 2D animation could not?

The example du jour of technically masterful, visually beautiful 3D animation right now (well-deserved, IMO) is probably Fortiche Production's 2021 Netflix series Arcane, surprised nobody's brought it up yet. I wouldn't hesitate to put its visual design, character animation and acting, and general execution up on par with a Prince of Egypt or a Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind or Akira or whatever your high-water mark for excellence in 2D animation might be.

My impression is that even people who didn't connect with the story or characters still generally praise the visual style and animation as noteworthy. It's a pretty striking departure from what people have come to expect from big-budget 3D animation - with heavy use of a non-photorealistic rendering style, hand-painted model textures, key effects like fire and smoke actually animated traditionally in 2D and composited in, and other creative ways of sort of "bridging the gap" between 3D and 2D animation, with a result that ends up taking on a distinct character of its own. One of the most common things people say about it (which I agree with) is something like "every frame looks like a piece of traditionally painted concept art", and I think it achieves things that would be technically very difficult or prohibitively labor-intensive if it had been a fully 2D-animated production, particularly in character acting and environment, that strengthen the emotional beats and storytelling.

Is it funny to me that my personal high-water mark for 3D animation is a TV series set in the universe of the video game League of Legends? Yes, a little.

The "kids/family-friendly animation" equivalent to that approach would probably be something like TMNT: Mutant Mayhem (2023), which is also trying for that kind of 'Expressive 2D/3D Hybrid Painting' look. Puss In Boots: The Last Wish (2022) also did this to an extent. The initial positive reaction to Enter the Spiderverse (2018) might've actually kicked off the trend (on groundwork laid by things like Disney's 2012 "Paperman" short film). I can't really speak to the overall quality of any of those movies as stories, but they all strike me as visually interesting and inspired compared to the larger catalogue of 3D animated family movies of the last two decades. If everyone starts leaning into this kind of look and milking it on a superficial level without any of the creative vision that's supposed to come with it, it might start getting tired fast, but as it stands, these kinds of heavy stylistic experiments are pointing in a good direction to me. It's expressive in the way that stylized 2D animation can be expressive. High Photorealism, now that we can do it well reliably, is ... kind of boring to look at, it turns out.

All that being said, yeah, I can point to a couple examples of studios experimenting with the medium in interesting ways, but broadly, neither the high end (incredibly expensive photorealistic CGI lions that communicate 1/10th the emotion that a cel of expressive lineart overlaid onto a cel of color communicated in 1995) or the low end (Walmart clearance DVD rack or straight-to-youtube Disney Tinkerbell series #48) are particularly pushing the envelope of what's possible in the medium. Nothing Pixar has put out in a long time has really blown me away in a visual sense that I can think of offhand, and a lot of popular 3D-animated children's TV or web programming is just depressingly sparse, sterile, and unemotive.

(late edit: on the Pixar point - After thinking about it more I've remembered Wall-E, which I think actually does really owe a lot of its charm and emotional depth to the realism of the hard, mechanical robots and the contrast between a photorealistic dirty, dusty earth and clean, ultra-curated colony ship. I don't know if the stark divide between the two story settings could've been achieved as well in traditional animation, and I think the machine characters really do benefit from the fact that they're models and not drawings.)

I do think you're right that cost is a driving factor once you get below the production budgets of major studios. Honestly, in terms of bang for your buck, a lot of modern economical 2D animation techniques produce an arguably lower quality product than the equivalent cost 3D animation. Low-cost 2D animation doesn't look like The Magic School Bus (1994) anymore, it looks like The Magic School Bus Rides Again (2017). Or Star Trek: Lower Decks, which appears more polished and is 'for adults' but to me just looks fundamentally offputting. No amount of fancy lens flare and bloom in post can save that. That's not to say there's not also some great, traditionally-principled, technically-masterful 2D animation happening out there right now, but to my eye there's just as much slop and creative poverty in 2D productions as there is in 3D right now.

I had this same thing happen to me just now with a reply to a comment of mine in a different thread. It also appeared to have just turned 24h old when I got the notification for it, and I'm also almost certain I could not see it before that.

It's nice to feel included! Thanks @some.

"Too many birds are named after white people and we have to take action about it, says the American Ornithological Society" is ... not one I had on the bingo card for this year.

There are of course many, many hundreds of thousands of people in the US who aren't white who have these same first or last names, so it really is just plainly about whoever is agitating for this not wanting these specific white people and people like them to have birds (or anything? medical terms? physics theories?) named after them.

I sincerely hope that the traction the news about this decision is getting online is mostly thanks to it all sounding like a ClickHole bit.

(Points if you can guess roughly how far into the linked NPR article you can get until the author writes the sentence "That really started to change in 2020, when police officers killed George Floyd in Minneapolis.")

I think there's a lot of weight in just the fact that most internationally-visible Israelis (officials, reporters, etc) are fluent English speakers and often give press conferences in (pretty good) English. I expect the trifecta of "fluent in English", "white-appearing" and "culturally western/European-coded" is enough on its own to make the average American red-triber (maybe the average American in general?) start off somewhat sympathetic to you.

Incidentally, I learned just now (while double-checking my kneejerk "it seems like most Israelis speak decent English" assumption) that 20% of Israelis are fluent in Russian, and Russian is by a good margin the most popular non-official language spoken in Israel, not English. (Arabic and Hebrew are official.) Apparently that's entirely because of Jewish exodus from the USSR from the 1970s to the late 90s. Not being familiar with that demographic history, I don't even think I would've expected Russian to be in the top 10.

Your comment made me face the truth that while I don't have objections on principle to people calling for public monuments of general Lee to be torn down and removed, the mere thought of someone vandalizing or destroying a General Lee for political reasons pierces right into my classic-American-car-respecting soul.

Understood, I wasn't sure initially if you were saying that yes, these are white values, but they're obviously good instead of bad.

It's probably clear from my indecisive wording that I also don't really think of them as inherently western values any more than I think of them as white values, so I think we're actually totally on the same page here.

I don't know if it makes you feel better or not, but my life is very much a product of, and continues to be oriented around, the same rugged individualism, family structure (to some extent), emphasis on the scientific method, work ethic, written tradition, etc that you are pointing toward here. Those are strong values that I hold and respect, and I am grateful to those before me who established them.

(I'm not a Christian in any real sense but I share both your edgy atheist history and your coming-around to view it as a net positive.)

This does not really factor into the equation for me in terms of my racial identity.

There have been people in my life who have told me that I "act white" in a pejorative way because of how I speak or write or what kinds of things I like or don't like, especially other young people growing up, but I never really gave that too much weight, and those people were few and far between. I always wrote it off as inconsequential.

It's unfortunate that it seems like there is in fact a growing current of thought that really does seem to resent and push back against those values as inherently suspect and unwanted. I think it's a real problem and I worry that a lot of young people are growing up right now being told that it's racist for people to want you to do well on standardized tests or to ask you to be polite. That was not happening while I was growing up at all, it would've been borderline if not completely offensive, but I think it's clear that the kind of kids who would've told me I "acted white" pejoratively have in fact not grown up to be inconsequential at all and apparently have captured the messaging of institutions like the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

But this type of mentality is not what I mean when I say that the world has made it clear to me that 'white' is not a word that's accurate for me to use about myself. My impression of what whiteness means as a racial identity, and what the boundaries of it are, mostly come from people who assign a positive or neutral value to whiteness.

The values you consider 'benefits of whiteness' here, I would maybe describe as 'benefits of western civilization'? I have no problem thinking of myself as a beneficiary of, product of, and cultural heir to, western civilization. (That terminology is complicated by the fact that I can point to non-western cultures who also can claim many or all of these virtues as a people, but I still think 'western' is at least a better proxy for what you're pointing at than 'white' to me.)

To reiterate, I don't think any of the virtues that you associate with 'white' here are in any way not available to me, and I hold and value the majority of them exactly as I suspect I would if I had two white parents or two black parents. It's the specific racial category 'white' that I don't seem to fall within the accepted bounding conditions of, not any of the values I (or the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture) might associate with whiteness.

I don't like it, but I just swallow the little bit of poison. I mostly watch YouTube on mobile, where it's already more trouble than it's worth to try to get around the ads.

The biggest point of friction for me is that the "skip" feature effectively guarantees I have to be constantly ready to interact with the screen while watching long-form content, since there is seemingly no limit on the length of advertised content if it's skippable - I'm routinely served videos 30 minutes or longer. It's inconvenient when I have something on in the background while doing housework and I'm not near the phone, or occasionally if I'm watching or listening to long-form content in bed.

The straightforward solution is just to pay the $9 a month for YouTube Premium. I pay more per month for streaming services that I spend many fewer hours per month watching than YouTube. Like you say, it's an incredibly valuable platform in terms of access to information and breadth of content. The fact that I haven't paid up is all the evidence I need that the inconvenience of the ads is minor, and fleeting.

(First of all, thank you for the informative and honest reply - and I apologize for my relentless edit-preening of my own posts - luckily I'm pretty sure I didn't add or remove anything of substance while you were replying, just streamlining phrasing and other minor choices.)

The bold part is the second-most important piece of information I'm using to determine how you or I can identify like. You don't consider yourself to be the same race as the woman who gave birth to you, which is baffling to me. I understand it, I suppose, in the regular way that something odd you've lived with your whole life is normal while still remaining odd.

This is interesting. I see your reasoning here completely. In a vacuum, I think a world-naive version of me would happily claim that I'm both white and black, because my parents are white and black. If my parents were Korean and Mexican I'd be both asian and hispanic.

The non-naive me understands that this would run directly counter to just about all messaging I've ever seen about what it means to be white in America, in the historical record through my childhood and into the present, from white people and from black people, from segregationists and from integrationists, from people who are firmly opposed to race-mixing and from people who are a little overenthusiastic about it.

My impression is that claiming whiteness for myself would be widely seen as not only incorrect, but essentially fraudulent - whiteness, as it exists in the American perspective, is about not being mixed-race. It's what I understand the point of whiteness to be. I don't mean to point this out in a way that implies that it's unjust or that I feel that I deserve entry into whiteness and that it is being denied to me - it is what it is, value-neutral.

I concede that I might be wrong about this, and that say, Barack Obama could've been welcomed with open arms into the 'white' (or 'American') racial ingroup had he simply chosen to, but I am skeptical.

(Maybe one difference between the traditional 'white' ethnic group and your 'American' ethnic group is that biracial people can opt-in to the latter and not the former.)

Neither of my parents ever explicitly called me anything but "mixed" -- that was the terminology of the day, I think "biracial" has superseded it, I don't really know or keep up either. Neither side of the family ever called me white, but interestingly, neither side of the family ever called me black, either. That I picked up afterward, from friends (white and black and otherwise) calling me black, then later sampling the broader world for clues about what I ought to call myself. It always boiled down to "If you're half black, you're black. And, if you're half black, you're not white."

So, I don't know on this point. Like I said, in a vacuum, I agree with you that it should be equally appropriate for me to claim the race of either or both of my parents.

Which brings me along nicely to your last point. In your experience people tell you what race you are and you say OK. In my experience what I'm expected to call people changes frequently. I've gone through several iterations of the euphemism treadmill in just my lifetime, and I can see how it worked in the past.

Yeah I'm more or less with you on this one, although I also think the treadmill is inevitable. I can't tell you the last time I heard someone unironically call themselves "African-American" in a casual context. To me it sounds impersonally clinical and weird, like when someone says "females" instead of "women" in a casual conversation.

But I'm on the back end of the treadmill, too. "People of color" has always been a very clunky phrase to me, and makes me feel bad for how disorienting it must be for people who had to unlearn "colored people" within their own lifetimes. Plus it's too broad, since it just means "not white people" it implies a coalition or community that doesn't exist for any practical purpose. I'll take it over "BIPOC" (black people, indigenous people, and people of color), which I don't see having a lot of mileage outside of identity activist spaces, but hey, I've been wrong before.

In actual American black communities, people don't say "people of color" unless they're specifically doing race identity coalition activism, which they ... usually aren't. And anecdotally, the very small number of people I've ever heard say "BIPOC" out loud have been white terminally online leftists. We're ... safe from that one I think, fingers crossed. My condolences to all the Latinxs out there.

The good news I bring is that it's fine to say 'black', it's fine to say 'black' if you're white, it's way simpler than anything else, it seems pretty stable as an identifier, and it's what the vast majority of black people in the US talk about and think of themselves as.

Personally I think 'mulatto' should be allowed back and should bring fun hyperspecific terms like 'quadroon' and 'octoroon' back along with it, but I don't control these things.

Yes, unequivocally. If you specifically think that you do not share your race with your mother, then I am not going to argue with you. If you want to lay claim to her heritage, you need to lay claim to her heritage. And yes again, picking a side is critical, which is why I'm trying to choose my own, and I'm doing it in response to what I see as blacks, mostly, but increasingly other minorities in America, choosing a side that doesn't include me, and doesn't include your mother, and doesn't include Robert Lee. Self-identification is a necessary condition

I'll give it to you that your perspective is self-consistent from where I'm standing. I think it's an unusual method of identitycraft, but I understand where you're coming from and why you want to do it and see it come into being. I was thinking at first, is there any particular reason you don't think of your new ingroup as "White American" or "Anglo-American" (vs. just "American") if American blacks and indians both have comparable and non-exclusive claims of ethnic primacy on the American continent? But I am assuming "American" in this sense has to do with the specific founding stock of the American colonial project and specifically its state system and cultural institutions, and has nothing at all to do with people who are white or European who weren't part of the country at the time of its founding or soon after. I can also see why there is not really an intuitive term for that.

Your position made a lot more sense to me once I understood that you are defining the bounds of a new ethnic group based on ancestral proximity to a particular series of people and events at a particular place at a particular time in history, and are not defining terms of entry into an existing political or cultural class, or defining what US citizenship should mean (at least not inherently, I'm sure you separately have a perspective about that).

From that perspective I understand completely why Robert E. Lee is within the bounds of that group - his ancestors were part of the founding settler stock of the United States, and that's what it means to be within the bounds of the group. (I don't actually specifically know anything about Robert E. Lee's genealogy but I assume you know this to be the case.)

I think your project is understandable and worthwhile, and I don't know how I would solve your terminology problem (what I see as a terminology problem) any better.

Btw, I read about the NFL anthem thing while looking into the matter to reply to your post, and I'm as disappointed as you are in that use of it, and I also believe it signals the thing you think it signals. I don't think the people who agitated for that to happen are as representative of the views of the average black person in America as they believe they are, and I think the distinction is important, but there's no way around conceding that that contingent does exist and they are apparently making things like that happen.

Yeah, learning about modern BLM type activists leaning into it was a little disheartening, even if not surprising. I think the song is worse off for the association. The circumstances that the hymn was written in were specific, but the lyrics themselves aren't. The imagery is of the liberation of the biblical Israelites from bondage in Egypt, like a lot of early black American spiritual music and poetry was.

I'm not intending to derail the point you're making in this larger thread, but I come to you with open curiosity.

I am an American of mixed race; my mother is white, my father is black. My mother's side of the family has been in the US since the 1700s, her genealogy contains Revolutionary and Civil War veterans. As descendants of American slaves in Alabama, presumably my father's side of the family has been in the US since some date before it became illegal to import new slaves (1808 officially, though illegal smuggling continued into the 1840s and 50s).

When forms ask me for race information, I select "black", "multiple races", or some combination of those depending on what the form allows, but in general, I do consider myself "black" and I don't consider myself "white". If it's relevant to you, I have the complexion of a Lenny Kravitz or Barack Obama. That I don't consider myself "white" was not a choice I made and imposed on myself - I've never heard a definition of "white" that doesn't exclude me. Generally, my experience is that other people tell you what racial category or categories you belong to, and you say "okay, thanks".

I grew up around black and white (and biracial) kids. The neighborhood I grew up in was mixed, the public schools I went to were mixed, and the social circles I keep in my adulthood are not self-segregated by race. None of the black Americans I have ever known, even the ones at the radical ends of the political spectrum, have given me the impression that in their day to day life they think of themselves as part of a separate, distinct black 'nation' in the way you describe. Maybe this was more broadly true in, say, the late 19th and early 20th century? I don't want to imply the perspective doesn't exist period, just that I don't think it is a predictive way to model the modal black American experience and viewpoint.

I have always primarily considered myself an American. (For the purposes of this discussion, I mean -- 'human' comes strictly before 'American', but you know what I mean.)

Would you say that's factually wrong? (And does this hold true for my descendants? Would the race of my kids' mother dictate what their fate as potential unqualified Americans would be - does it change if my lineage bends toward 'whiter', toward 'blacker', or becomes further diluted by another race?)

Would the answer change based on whether I did or didn't think of myself as "black" or "African-American"? Is it more about self-identification than about actual ancestry? Do I have to "choose a side" so to speak? Can I choose?

Again, it isn't my intention to derail here, and I hope I haven't pulled too far off the topic of Civil War statues (I think opposing Confederate public monuments is not morally imperative, but not morally damning - my perspective on that isn't very interesting). This is just the first time I've come across this particular viewpoint re: black Americans not being full Americans.

Btw, I have no idea what the black national anthem is.

EDIT: Oh, Lift Every Voice and Sing? Well, I won't lie, I know the song and I've always thought it was beautiful. We sung it in our (mixed) elementary school choir in the early 1990s. I knew it was a black Christian hymn written in the early 1900s about liberation from slavery, and that it was a go-to hymn during the Civil Rights era. It looks like the NAACP said it was the 'black national anthem' in 1919. That's news to me, but okay.

I expected to fall farther to the right than I actually ended up, although I suspect I'm still farther to the right than most people close to me would figure. I think that's probably common. I went on to take her actual survey, I found it interesting. I also read several of her write-ups about her insights about the data on her substack.

I do think you should probably look at the "past 4" section before being confident about telling people you're in there.

I think it can be simultaneously true that:

  1. Greta holds favorable views of a population that contains a substantial percentage of people who have been shown by word or action to support or excuse brutal acts of terror against Israelis.
  2. Greta holds certain unfavorable views about the Israeli state common among far left anti-colonialist activist types.
  3. The TeeTurtle reversible Octopus plush, which went viral on TikTok sometime before January 2021 [ https://sports.yahoo.com/tiktokers-using-reversible-octopus-plushie-174529042.html ] specifically for its utility in helping people communicate their emotions, is in fact a personal item that Greta owns because she finds it useful in communicating her emotions, and it appears in the photo for this reason alone.

I disagree with others who have conceded that she "accidentally used an antisemitic dogwhistle", as if she wore a number 88 sports jersey or waved her hand in a way that looked like a Nazi salute. To me, the crux of the issue is that a chibi octopus is simply not an antisemitic dogwhistle. Assertions linking it to the sprawling octopus/kraken political cartoon trope seem to me to be an incredible reach and a transparently post-hoc construction invented for this specific case at this specific moment. I obviously can't prove it, but I have a very strong impression that at no point in history has anyone ever surreptitiously included an octopus in a piece of content in order to subtly signal antisemitism to fellow antisemites. When the sprawling octopus trope is occasionally made use of as a representation of Jewish power or conspiracy, it's explicitly not as a 'dogwhistle', it's necessarily the central feature of the work. Political cartoons aren't subtle about what is supposed to represent what. There's nothing inherent about octopuses that's antisemitic, or at least there wasn't until October 21st, 2023. It's the sprawling octopus visual trope that's been considered potentially antisemitic by some, and the plush is about as far away from an example of the visual trope as you can get while still being an octopus.

It seems like there's two different discussions happening here - is Greta potentially an ideological enemy of the state of Israel, whose general support for the Palestinian people as a whole necessarily implies she supports some people who wish to see Israel destroyed and are themselves supporting or engaging in violent acts to further that goal? Sure, potentially, logically you can get there. I'm no fan of Greta, so I have no aversion to any of that being true. Does the potential truth value of that make it any more plausible that her TeeTurtle reversible Octopus plush is inherently, or was being used in this context as, an antisemitic hate symbol? No, I don't think it does, and I apparently am willing to die on the hill that it doesn't!

(The discussion about the terminal moral implications of pro-Palestinian activists' rhetoric is probably the more important one, but the plush thing is what the comment thread is about, so.)

I've been pretty checked out as far as the day-to-day happenings are concerned, and I don't know how the site looks for someone who has an account, but the thing I'm most curious about as an occasional clicker of links to Twitter is when (if at all) they're going to fully commit to the X branding and start getting "twitter" out of their urls. When will twitter.com redirect me to x.com, rather than vice-versa?

The rebrand only started being rolled out this summer, so we're really only a few months into it. I understand they're probably hesitant to break a whole internet's worth of twitter.com urls and embed systems, but you have to rip the band-aid off at some point, right? If it's not going to be Twitter anymore, at some point it has to not be Twitter anymore.

I didn't weigh in in the original thread, but I'll count myself as having been slightly surprised that the site didn't suffer more critical functionality loss after the possibly-overzealous initial mass layoffs. Some people I was paying attention to on the matter last year were really emphasizing how many critical roles they thought were being naively cast aside as unnecessary. I haven't had a Twitter account in years so I can't speak on the user experience during the transition, but presumably the lights are still on and the site still works, so I guess I'll give that W to Elon. An impression I had was that there were some significant number of people who were let go in the initial wave who ended up having their position offered back to them. There are plenty of people in my information sphere who seem happy to get a dunk in on Musk whenever they can, though, so that might not have been an honest and nuanced appraisal of the situation.