SIO55: Debating Evergreen and the Merits of Whitesplaining

This episode is another attempt at debate across the social justice divide. CJ (@VieKeng on Twitter) has taken exception with my characterization of the Evergreen situation, and perhaps most strenuously with my use of the term “whitesplain.” I’m very curious for feedback on this one! Listen to most post-analysis and if you have thoughts, I’d love to heard them in voicemail form!

The debate ends around 59:00.

Links from CJ:

VICE gets students & President on camera

Leave Thomas a voicemail! (916) 750-4746, remember short and to the point!

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25 Comments on "SIO55: Debating Evergreen and the Merits of Whitesplaining"

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Gregory Blakemore
Guest
I really appreciate you taking the time to acknowledge what I have found to be the problem with Weinstein. He’s not a bigot in the classical sense, but he is a tone deaf asshole who is unwilling to make even the slightest good faith effort to listen to PoC. Whitesplaining/mansplaining is a fine term. I agree it’s accurate shorthand. I also agree the issue is often really harped on by people who don’t want to give the slightest concession to PoC. I wish that CJ would actually listen and not just talk over peoples’ points. But I also appreciate your… Read more »
Cee Jay
Guest

I think if you listen through again, you may realize that more often than not, I was the one being interrupted. I do cut in a few times to keep the line from being dragged too far away before I can respond.

Oscar
Guest
You were being interrupted for giving no space for reply, which Thomas didn’t really do to you at all. Still, it was a good discussion, stayed civil and both spoke your sides. I was going to tweet you a couple Q’s. maybe here is better? 1. Can you expand on opinions can’t be wrong? What about the opinion that climate change is a hoax? 2. Could you explain your issues with Sam Harris’ analogy of Health-Morality. It seemed out of left field to me, but is a topic I find interesting. Furthermore, you alluded to a disbelief in free will,… Read more »
Cee Jay
Guest

I do prefer twitter. I will screen shot your questions and post replies on my stream. @VieKeng. This link is where I answered a similar question about opinion. https://twitter.com/VieKeng/status/882001396266143745

As for interruption, it’s never easy. You try to balance the need to conclude a sentence or get to a point, with the other to interject important counterpoints, and vice-versa.
Plus timing lag is a thing and audio levels can make the final result sound worse than it may have felt in practice.

Cee Jay
Guest
Gregory Blakemore
Guest

I think that interruption happened on both sides but given your tone, your behavior on twitter, and the tone deaf things you say, I think Thomas showed commendable patience.

Oscar
Guest

Well put Greg.

Though in episode 57 I was surprised to hear a POC entirely on CJ’s side. To her point I was being maybe a bit reductive in my thinking.

But even if Weinstein was black, emailing all the students is the abuse of power in question.

The obscurantism takes too much energy to be unintentionally one-sided. (She said CJ “won” when he had to explain what an opinion is, case in point as to why some people nit pick definitions. It implies an air of authority without adding any substance.)

lukas
Guest

I don’t understand how but Thomas seems to have misunderstood what Brett was saying in the Email.
from what I understood it was: If POC decide that POC should stay at home at the Day of Absence, that is okay. If White people decide that white people should stay at home, that is okay, too.
However, If POC decide that white people should stay away, that is a different thing. ( now you can argue about if he is overreacting or not)
But it is not whitesplaining if he is sticking up for his own group.

Nathan
Guest
https://evergreen.edu/multicultural/day-of-absence-day-of-presence I think the main problem to have with this point – which I understand why you’re making it (Weinstein’s saying it’s wrong for POC to ask Whites too stay home, rather than for POC to volunteer to leave or stay) – but if you look at that link, which includes a history and schedule of the day of absence/presence at Evergreen, and take a moment to think about the practical logistics of this kind of college program, it’s clear that this kind of characterization, the kind that Tucker Carlson makes at the very beginning of his first interview with… Read more »
Cee Jay
Guest

Thats right. We touched on this a little bit, but moved on. I think Weinstein knew this and was replying to the symbology, not logistics.
But it’s ok to be a jackass. Silence and emails are good ways to respond to an annoying email from an arrogant jackass. Not a vitriolic hallway protest.

Nathan
Guest
Cee Jay, do you think it’s possible there were other reasons those students held their ‘vitriolic hallway protest’, especially considering that protest occurred on May 23, when his email was sent more than two months earlier, on March 15? Do you entertain the possibility that there were other events and circumstances surrounding this that means making this simple one-two equation is misleading? (email sent -> hallway protest in response) Do you entertain the possibility that a person who has casually observed these events – perhaps read an article in the NY Times, watched the Fox News interview, or listened to… Read more »
Cee Jay
Guest
About the email/hallway, you are certainly correct. That level of anger would not hold out for two months before being expressed, it built up somehow. As I said, we acknowledge in the episode that whatever happened in that timeframe must be important, but we don’t know the details. We don’t know what else Weinstein, or anyone, said or did in that time. I have seen footage of a meeting taken right after the Hallway where students are pressing Bridges to begin the firing process against Weinstein and someone else. As for myself being a casual observer judged by the audience,… Read more »
John
Guest

“However, If POC decide that white people should stay away, that is a different thing. ”

This is a problem with Thomas’s argument; Weinstein is not deciding what is best/better for POC when the decision impacts the entire campus.

Oscar
Guest
Impacts the entire campus that participate in said event. And the idea was just ; for a subset of the event, where the panels and groups are race specific (in content not required for entry), to swap that first few days to show solidarity for the current racial tensions in the world. It’s such a small and token gesture and makes no real difference, beside saying hey POCs you can stay on campus for the whole event, as a NOVELTY. Is that picture in contradiction to yours somehow because this seems kind of on a basic level. Not to say… Read more »
Nathan
Guest
I found this entire episode painful to listen to and there was not much achieved from it, for the simple reason that you two spent nearly an hour debating the legitimacy and appropriateness of a word, whitesplaining. A word that probably didn’t exist a decade ago. This between two people who likely disagree on both those aspects of the word. Because of this, there was pretty much a guarantee that you two couldn’t even debate matters of substance if you wanted to, as you spent nearly an hour talking past each other and arguing over different understandings of words (he… Read more »
Cee Jay
Guest

The whole point of our Skype call was to discuss the dispute we had on twitter about Weinstein’s attitude and the idea ‘whitesplaining’. Semantics was the goal, not a detour.

Nathan
Guest

Yes, semantics was the goal, I’m saying that having an hour-long argument about semantics ultimately didn’t produce much of substance. It made for terrible listening, and overall achieved very little.

Cee Jay
Guest

Not your jam, I get it. Thanks for trying.

Oscar
Guest
Great episode, got me thinking a lot. And got me to call in for the first time. Twice! The second one I wrote out and went right to the buzzer :s So here it is in writing: Hey Thomas it’s Oscar again. I just wanted to briefly adress CJ’s handling of the term opinion, and his opinions of it. There is a subset of opinions that make factual claims about reality, and so therefore can be false or falsified. I think he was shooting for the term ‘interpretation’ but hey, that’s just my interpretation and definitely could be wrong, so… Read more »
Bob Murphy
Guest

Thomas, you are hard headed! You went into this debate, dogmatic, knowing you are right and completely unable to shift position. He raised plenty of good points which you stubbornly refused to recognise. Listening to this was one long cringe because you are normally so reasonable.

Drake
Guest
The conversation made my teeth hurt. CJ very clearly does not understand that black people have to swallow white condescension on a daily basis. It is exhausting, hard on health, causes depression, etc. This is well documented in research. He has no fucking idea what it is to be treated like a violent moron every single day so the phrase tone deaf doesn’t cover it. His starting out insisting on interpreting someone trying to reassure faculty as a threat is typical of the violent black stereotype. Again, he doesn’t have to live daily with the constant distortion of everything you… Read more »
Cee Jay
Guest

I replied here on twitter so that I could attach screenshots.
https://twitter.com/VieKeng/status/885378336175902720

Gregory Blakemore
Guest

Hey Drake, the Irony of CJ’s response is palpable.

Cee Jay
Guest

How so?