Tuesday, April 08, 2014

On the SJW inability to comprehend analogies

The Suey Park #CancelColbert issue is so last week, but having spent much time arguing with defenders of the #CC campaign, I think I have found the real root of the Social Justice Warrior problem - they don't comprehend analogies.

The various SJWs kept insisting that yes they do get satire, and like good liberals the critics of the #CancelColbert campaign took them at their word, because liberals can't imagine that there exists some people who lack the mental capacity to understand satire.

Which led to a never-ending situation of talking past each other - because if you spend any time talking to a SJW in depth you would discover that the SJWs are completely befuddled by the actual structure and concept behind Colbert's satire.

Michelle Medina, writing, in an embarrassment to feminists, in The Feminist Wire, demonstrates the SJW befuddlement as well as any other:
The blurry line between Colbert’s character and the privilege that it hides behind is convenient. “It wasn’t me, I am not racist,” Colbert claimed, in earnest this week because it was just a joke after all. He’s just playing a part. “It’s not real.”
Medina approvingly quotes (but without including a link) Christine Yang, a "social activist and graduate student who is currently working on a Master in Social Work focusing on trauma":
The prevailing argument in defense of Colbert’s usage of ‘Ching Chong Ding Dong’ states that the intent behind it was to jab at Dan Snyder. But where in the imagery does the intended target appear? Was there really no other way for him [Colbert] to make his point and also be funny...
That question demonstrates exactly how the SJWs get it wrong: "But where in the imagery does the intended target appear?" Yang and Medina completely miss the analogy Colbert is making between Redskin and Ching Chong Ding Dong. Yang believes that it can't really be a jab at Dan Snyder unless there is a direct attack against the person of Dan Snyder.

To sum up the SJW point of view in my own words:
Stephen Colbert got a laugh out of the term "Ching Chong Ding Dong" but because he claims he didn't really mean it he thinks he can get away with it. Also, his motives as a white man are suspect. But we, the Social Justice Warriors are too smart for Stephen Colbert - and that's why we called him out for getting a laugh at the expense of Asians. 
And then they teamed up with Michelle Malkin in the #CancelColbert campaign. Malkin actually wrote a book defending Japanese internment camps. No, these are not bright people - but then, you don't have to pass an IQ test to get a Twitter account, or, apparently, write for The Feminist Wire.

Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal, uses a metaphor (which is a type of analogy) of literally feeding the Irish to the English upper class to discuss the figurative eating of the Irish by the English:
"I grant this food may be somewhat dear, and therefore very proper for Landlords, who as they have already devoured most of the Parents, seem to have the best Title to the Children."
And quite rightly, Colbert referenced A Modest Proposal in his response to the controversy:
But when I saw the tweet with no context, I understood how people were offended, the same way I, as an Irish American, was offended after reading only one line of Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal. I mean, eat Irish babies? Hashtag #CancelSwift! Trend it.
And the #CancelSwift tag, as of this blog post, is still active.

But in case there are any Social Justice Warriors reading this, I will explain how the analogy worked:

Dan Snyder, in a PR effort to address complaints about the name “Redskins” created a foundation called Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation.

Colbert’s response was to claim that he was going to create a foundation called “The Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.”

Now the reason Colbert chose “Ching-Chong Ding-Dong” is because his “Stephen Colbert” character has been using that offensive stereotype since the beginning of the show, in 2005 – and somehow that has passed without comment by the SJWs until now.

There are two parts to the analogy:

“Redskins” = “Ching-Chong Ding-Dong”

Dan Snyder uses the offensive term “Redskins” in the name of his foundation. Colbert pushes the concept even further by using an even more offensive name “Ching-Chong Ding-Dong.” He pushed it further, but the concept is the same.

Or as the Indian Country staff noted:
The idea was simple, and many viewers thought it effective: The public is so inured to the racial slur "Redskin" that Dan Snyder can actually use it in the name of a foundation he establishes to help Native Americans, so perhaps an analogy with another racial group and an accompanying racial slur would put the name of Snyder's foundation in perspective. Colbert wasn't the first to try it; writing in Slate, Josh Levin called the foundation's name "something akin to calling your organization 'Kikes United Against Anti-Semitism.'" The message of both phony foundation names: Society wouldn't tolerate "Ching-Chong" or "Kikes," so why is "Redskins" okay?
The second part of the analogy:

“Original Americans Foundation” = “Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever”

Colbert is pointing out here the outrageousness of Dan Snyder calling his foundation “Original Americans” right after he used the term “Redskins.”

Colbert is explicitly pointing out the absurdity of trying to get credit for sensitivity to “Original Americans” right after using the term “Redskins” in the name of the foundation. The very term that caused the controversy that resulted in the foundation.

So that’s how the humor worked - through analogy.

It just so happened that Colbert picked Asians, rather than Jews to use in the analogy, and Suey Park's raison d'etre is to become outraged about references to Asians in popular culture. A week before the Colbert campaign Park was complaining about the TV detective show Castle:

So Suey Park was locked and loaded for being offended by Colbert, just at the right time. 

Like Michelle Malkin, Michelle Medina tried to blame Colbert for the viciousness of the attacks against Suey Park, conveniently ignoring the many articles pointing out that all women in social media get horrific attacks - this isn't unique to Suey Park. 

Medina also fails to mention that Colbert called for the vicious attacks to stop. Typical SJW - no journalistic ethics.

A real consequence of the Suey Park caper, besides demonstrating that SJWs don't get analogies and have more in common with conservatives like Michelle Malkin than with liberals, is that the original point of Colbert's satire was lost. As the Indian Country staff said:
In (Colbert's) closing words, he said that he would be donating the money raised by his offensive faux charity to the offensive real-life charity that inspired the joke that caused the kerfluffle: The Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation.

"...which Twitter seems to be fine with," he said, "because I haven't seen shit about that."
And that's the bottom line for the Native activists on Twitter who saw a real opportunity to open some eyes when Snyder announced his bizarrely named charity: The momentum building for their campaign --#Not4Sale-- was stymied by#CancelColbert. In an interview with The New Yorker that only briefly mentioned Dan Snyder and his foundation, Suey Park admitted she likes Colbert Report and didn't actually want to see it canceled. Yet a single Tweet connected to a satirist -- whose well-known shtick is to parody arrogant conservatives -- made more waves than a campaign against a racist team name that has been with us for decades.
Yep. That's what Social Justice Warriors do - hijack the issue to make it about them.