The Nigger Word.

The face of hatred and the silence of the watchers.

There’s been a bit of a furore recently about a supposedly prestigious science journal running a paper that was peppered with the word nigger. The editor, of what can only be referred to as a rag now, even came up with a fatuous reply to the resultant criticism, which when stripped of the oily sophistry, was quite frankly embarrassing. The journal now joins the ranks of those once respected but now debased heralds of new ideas in science. It’s sad, very sad. Whatever happened to Nature, Scientific American or The New Scientist? I long ago cancelled my subscriptions to them all, but the saving grace is the internet. I get to read those new, deliciously interesting ideas so much sooner.

The extent of my involvement, was a comment in a tangential debate at Jo Nova’s blog. “There was a time when people could write a letter to a newspaper and refer to black people as niggers, and the letters were published too. If objected to, the disingenuous argument was the that the word merely referred to their skin colour. Of course, all the adults knew exactly the emotional payload of that word. Eventually, the penny dropped with the newspapers and letters using that word no longer appeared on the letters page.”

I understand all about prejudice and bigotry because I’ve been on the receiving end of it. That’s the end, where because you refuse to accept the demeaning stereotypes and are determined to live your own life unconstrained by such stupidity, you get the shit kicked out of you. It hurts. I suppose at this point you’re supposed to say it somehow makes you a better person but it’s not true. When you’re nursing a few good bruises, owning the higher moral ground isn’t much of a comfort. Mostly, it makes people good haters. Converting you into hating other people is the ultimate victory of all bigots. You should never give them that victory, because if you do, you become a bigot yourself and it’s welcome to the internal wars that tear societies apart. That war will last to the end of your life.

That’s their nasty petty little world and they’re welcome to live their nasty petty little lives in it. It doesn’t actually matter that you didn’t somehow manage to pull a Bruce Lee but that you went down flailing against a gang of them. It don’t matter a damn. It really doesn’t. What actually matters is you didn’t bend the knee and the people watching it saw that. When it happens enough times, the silence of the watchers gets to the thugs. After a while, they leave you alone because they realise you’re prepared to take the whole thing all the way down to demolition. With every fight, the watchers learn they don’t have to accept the mould and the thugs learn there are some things you simply can’t smash into the ground.

Brutal though it can be, that’s how change actually starts to happen.

There is an essential decency in people and you see it in those extreme situations. They know they should have done something but they were afraid, so they didn’t and they feel bad about it. Look at the faces of some of the onlookers in the picture above. You understand that and it’s sort of okay. It’s being part of that network of humans, who work together to keep us all going, irrespective of our race, religion or nationality. The thugs have excluded themselves from it forever and they know it in the back of their heads, which makes them even more vicious. It’s the one bit of us they can never crush. They’re forever outsiders.

Bigotry is essentially being lazy. It’s right up there with all the other isms, simple solutions to complex problems that people simply don’t want to do the difficult thing of thinking through. They’ve been looking down the psychological microscope at us, in an effort to understand the “nigger” mentality, so why don’t we actually have a look back up the thing and try to understand them?

I won’t be using statistics, I won’t be taking a poll, I won’t be doing any psychometrics, I’ll just try to understand them as I see them. Patently, calling a whole set of people niggers is an extreme act, especially as from any rational viewpoint, we’re having a difference of opinion about a matter of scientific fact. Why on earth would anyone do that?

It’s really about hate and fear.

Hate is basic. It’s comfortable and it’s easy. Behind any education and civilisation, it sits there smugly and constructs facades of rationalisation and sophistication over what is the basic beast we’re dealing with. They find us inexplicable, so there’s a desperation on their part to find a pigeon-hole for us. By calling us niggers, they’ve finally settled on one they’re comfortable with, so they can start the construction of a whole mythos on top of it. We niggers are all right-wing reactionary middle-aged men, in the pay of Big Oil and with some sort of fractured misunderstanding of science.

They have a real need to package us up into a neat bundle they can get a grip on. Just like those thugs, trying to get me to conform to their idea of what I should be, they want us to conform. They want us to march in their simple straight lines, because that’s all they know how to do or perhaps they simply don’t have the strength of character to do any different. Given that we will not conform, the stereotypes they create of us are now the ones they desperately need us to conform to. We frighten them because we feel no particular compulsion to march in step with anyone. Not even with each other.

Don’t misunderstand me about hate, there are a number of things I really hate and will always fight against, but they’re things, rather than people. That is a subtle difference but it’s a vital one. Hating a whole group of people simply because they’re Spanish, or Muslim, or have a different colour to their skin is irrational. It makes no sense on any level except when you get inside the head of the person doing the hating. Then it all makes a sad sort of sense.

So often, they have a need to hate someone, anyone, because it makes them feel better about themselves. It’s about establishing an artificial social order in their world, which finally puts them above someone else. They may be considered to be people of no account by everyone else in the society they live in, but they’ve now established themselves as being at least better than some other group of people. Those are the types who will come at you hard, because every time you don’t conform to the expected stereotype, you’re demonstrating for all to see, that their world view is wrong, which puts them right back at the bottom of the esteem pile again.

Fear, grown and fertilised from ignorance, is the other part of the motivation they have. They don’t know what’s happening inside that synagogue, so they fear it. They don’t know the customs of another culture, so they fear it. They don’t know that foreigner’s language, so they fear them. They don’t understand that beneath it all, when you strip off the cultural markers, people are pretty much the same the world over, so they fear them.

If they only spent a little time addressing that ignorance, then the nagging fear would disappear. Learning about some social group you don’t know much about, involves listening to them. Above all, it involves taking that first brave step of simply saying hello, even at the risk of rejection. A bigot will never attempt that step.

The truly stunning thing about hate is that it’s blind. Once the stereotype has been constructed, it ignores all the facts, it ignores the patently obvious. If we’re all supposed to be men, how come so many of the significant and articulate realist bloggers are women? If we’re all being financed by Big Oil, then just where the hell is the money being spent? If we’re all supposed to be right-wingers, then why are so much of my politics left of centre? If we don’t know anything about science, why did the skeptic blogs make a complete clean sweep of all the science blogs in the Bloggie Awards this year? We actually have done the hard bit of learning about climate science. It seems at times that we know more about it than the supposed experts, as evidenced of late by the hurried withdrawal of several alarmist peer-reviewed papers, which didn’t survive a skeptic blogosphere review for long.

Bigots come from all strata of society. You’ve got your common or garden variety of trailer trash, who at least will call you a nigger to your face. You know where you are with them from the word go. You do get the more subtle ones from higher up the social pecking order though. They’ve always worked out some reason for precisely why they dislike niggers but it’s just the same ole same ole dressed up in slightly more respectable clothes. Hatred and fear. They’re the variety of bigots I truly despise, because they’re not even honest bigots.

I recall as a young man an entrance interview at a very prestigious university. It was me and a panel of five or so mathematics bods. I had, to say the least, a good collection of academic scalps by that stage, with the added unique selling point that I came from a shite school. That actually helped, since there was also a bit of a political push on at the time to get more working-class lads into university, so the prospects looked pretty reasonable. Things were trucking along quite nicely until the head honcho started grilling me about my politics. My politics have never been extreme and I fielded the questions without much trouble but he kept on going and going.

It slowly dawned on me that there it was again; the bigot and the silent watchers, and all of it occurring in a sandstone edifice of the venerable dreaming spires. So much for the sheltered islands of academic reason. What he was really after, was getting me to disown my own people. The message was pretty clear; your grades are good enough, just do a bit of Uncle Tomming for me and you’re in.

That was a hard moment in my life. I thought it over for a while and made my decision. I knew my parents would have dearly loved me going to a university like that, but the price being asked was simply too high. They’d worked so hard for all of us and deserved some bragging rights but chasing some sort of acceptance there, would have been at the price of an ultimate betrayal of them. If that was the culture there, I’d have nothing to do with it. A fish rots from the head downwards. He kept on probing but I simply stared at him without offering any reply at all and he eventually spluttered to a halt. The rest of them, in some embarrassment, tried to rescue the situation, but I just stared at them too.

The rest of the interview was probably the longest ten minutes of complete silence in their entire lives. I’d been worked over by experts and learnt exactly how to give it back, and I didn’t need my fists to do it either. At the end, one of them even came around the table in an attempt to shake my hand but I wouldn’t give them that easy conscience pacifier. Perhaps the next kid like me coming through the door would have an easier time. It’s not one of life’s nicer memories.

The lesson of that encounter, which I knew already, was that if someone is a highly educated bigot, they’re still just a bigot, but one who can come up with a cleverer rationale for it.

The people who wrote that paper, and the people who decided to publish it, fall into that exact category.

Looking over this article, I realise I’ve used the word nigger rather than denier. I should go back and reedit the whole thing but there’s not really any point. Hating any group of people, like all bigotry, has the same essential tune, with nothing varying except the lyrics. Denier, jew, paki, catholic, kike, yank, women, protestant, men, blackie, wog, muzzi, brit, paddy, spic, greaser – substitute any one of those nouns for nigger and you wouldn’t need to change a single sentence of the piece.

The interesting question is – who were the silent watchers in this case?

©Pointman

Related articles by Pointman:

Why Multiculturalism failed.

Lies, damn lies and polls.

The real bastards.

Click for a list of other articles.

Comments
27 Responses to “The Nigger Word.”
  1. meltemian says:

    Great analogy P.
    Hadn’t thought of it that way before.

  2. NoIdea says:

    ANTIDISESTABLISHMENTARIANISM -IST

    I ain’t a hater, I hate hate,
    I deny I am a damned denier.
    Paradoxically, it is my fate,
    Statistically, I am a numbered liar.

    NoIdea

  3. Blackswan says:

    Pointman,

    I have a confession to make. I have a distinct reaction when I see the Climate Alarmists in full throat, spouting their lies and misinformation. Is it hatred? Am I a bigot? I probably am.

    When I see our highly paid Climate Commissioner Flannery waffling his inane Mother Gaia theories, I am seething. When I see an ANU scientist lying about having received death threats, I’m contemptuous. When I see our Prime Minister whining through her sinuses about “Carbon Pollooootion”, and her toady Government Ministers perpetuating the myth to justify their economy-destroying tax regime, I’m furious.

    When I consider the appalling implications of Climate Fraud and the destruction it will cause to innocent people, I suppose I really do hate the proponents of AGW – they are beyond contempt, beyond anger or disgust.

    As for them calling us “deniers”, I don’t care. Their opinions on anyone who refutes their phony science and brainless politics are less than relevant to me, although I can understand the distress caused to people whose skin colour or ethnicity is met with contempt without any consideration for the person as an individual.

    Perhaps my hatred of AGW Fraudsters is born of fear – fear for the future, for my country and my family. Yes, I despise and loathe liars and cheats. Does that make me a bigot? Probably. People are so afraid of ‘labels’ but I’m happy to take responsibility for my opinions and I will never watch in silence.

    • Pointman says:

      Hi Swanny.

      I’d have to agree, that there are certain representatives of things I hate, whom I always find particularly objectionable. It can be hard at times to prevent the red mist from descending.

      I think the downside of allowing yourself that luxury, and we all do at times, is that you lose your perspective. It’s a cool head and a hard heart, that tend to prevail in most conflict situations.

      They say they’re fighting to save the planet but the realists are fighting to save people, as you touched upon in your comment. That does seem to be the fundamental difference.

      Pointman

  4. hro001 says:

    As usual, Pointman, a great post offering considerable food for thought. But while I fully agree with your assessment of bigotry, But in the case of labelling those who do not toe the party-line on “climate change” aka “global warming” aka “climate warming” [I kid you not … watch for post on this on my blog in the next week or so!], I don’t think it comes from “hate” – or “fear”.

    To my mind, “hate” has become a much over-used word, that in its often ill-considered repetition has become a “debating” crutch that diminishes the import and meaning of a powerful and destructive visceral human emotion. An emotion that is frequently, albeit unknowingly, directed at oneself even if ostensibly at others (although that is a discussion for another day!)

    Back in the day, we used to talk about “scapegoats”. In the years preceding WWII, the Jews in Europe (and elsewhere), for example, became the scapegoats on whom blame was laid for the failures of those who pointed the finger. The “bonus” of course, is that the trumped-up “misdeeds” of the scapegoat served as a distraction from the verifiable (but unmentionable) deeds of the finger-pointers.

    From this grew the stereotypes and “framing” labels – which I would call the modern-day equivalent of the myths of olden times – ripe for filling the void of ignorance, along with the “lesson/message” that individuals so labelled (and their views) are to be “feared”, “despised”, “ridiculed”, “unworthy” etc. etc.

    In much the same way, IMHO, the leading lights (and acolytes and lesser lights) of “climate science” – rather than acknowledging the limitations/failures/uncertainties of their work – have avidly diverted discussion of these problems by pointing the finger at their scapegoat of choice.

    In this instance, the “lesson/message” is that those who are not willing to unquestioningly accept that which they have declared to be “fact” are depicted as “old white males”, “in the pay of/shills for big oil” etc. etc. … their “stereotype” of choice.

    IOW, in order to sustain (you should pardon my use of this word!) their illusion of superior knowledge, they must denigrate those who question them, by scapegoating, stereotyping and labelllng those who do not fall into line!

    Is this “bigotry”? No, I don’t think so. IMHO, bigotry is an acquired attribute rooted in the unchallenged ignorance of those from whom the “bigot” acquired her/his “knowledge”. By way of example …

    Some years ago, I was having a pleasant conversation with a colleague/friend about a purchase she had recently made. Notwithstanding the fact that she knew I was Jewish, she told me that she had “Jewed the vendor down in price”.

    I counted to five (I think!) before I responded … somewhat more diplomatically than I would to one who called me a “denier”😉

    “Do you realize what you just said? What did you mean by this?!”

    Reality dawned very quickly: “OMG” she said (or the equivalent thereof in the prehistoric days before txt msging)

    Given what I know about her background, I may well have been the first Jewish person she’d ever met! But I doubt that she will ever used this expression again. It was thoughtless – and perhaps acquired from her parents’ active (or passive) acceptance of the “lesson/message” of their time.

    In conclusion … I don’t think it’s “hate”, “fear” or “bigotry” that are the underlying causes of that to which we have been (and continue to be) subjected.

    [Sorry, I think I may be rambling … part way through this comment, I decided to indulge in a few glasses of wine … But I hope you get the picture … IMHO, bigotry and labelling are far from black and white and even the shades of grey are somewhat “foggy”]

    • Pointman says:

      Hi Hilary.

      Bigotry is a big subject, and given how many things it can be directed at, I’m unlikely to cover all the subtleties of it in a blog piece. Your point about learned or subconscious bigotry, is a case in point.

      With regard to directing the word denier at us, I’d have to stick with my assessment that it is about genuine hate. Certainly, if you feel like a walk on the wild side, visit a few of the more extreme alarmist blogs and look at the emotional content of some of the comments. Mentally substitute nigger for denier, and you’d be looking at an Aryan Nation site.

      Hope you enjoyed your wine; it doesn’t seem to have impacted your prose !

      Pointman

      • hro001 says:

        Hi Pointman,

        Well, I certainly did enjoy the wine but (notwithstanding your kind words!) I fear that it must have had a negative impact on my prose … otherwise, I’m sure I could have convinced you to see things my way😉

  5. Walt O'Brien says:

    As with all name-calling for name-calling’s sake, to do so commits two rational errors: A) it is never accurate in whole if ever in part and B) it has nothing to do with solving the problem at hand. As with war, name-calling is where dialogue ends.

    As you have probably heard, the courts have upheld the fallacious prevarication that CO2 is a toxin by the 2007 EPA ruling in spite of the detailed scientific arguments held forth by the equally well-funded legal team of the electric utilities, the energy mining community, and the AGW opposing scientific sector.

    The salient hope remains that the execution of proper due diligence in one day requiring fully-open books on the part of wind farm enterprises and of the alternative energy subsidised sector and overturning the universal use of redaction to hide back-door deals by renewables developers to hide the onerous and IMO illegal and racketeering & price-fixing relationship between “backup power” providers who are the sole source of reliable power in the renewables loop, is our only hope.

    What is being done to the banks now will be done to the renewables bunch for the simple reason that the perpetrators of the frauds in both instances are the same people.

    The danger is always that one turns into what one hates. Evil is nameless and is a force of Nature that can only be opposed with success through a positive outlook. Gird your loins with joy and vigorous goodwill as you march forth to do battle with the forces of Hell incarnate.

    Worked for Monty at El Alamein. It shall work for us.

    • Blackswan says:

      Walt – “The danger is always that one turns into what one hates.”

      I can’t see me turning into a liar and a huckster like the people I so thoroughly despise. Mind you, I don’t feel that way about everyone who has been gullible enough to believe the Climate Fraud. There are some young idealistic people who earnestly believe we must all sacrifice “whatever it takes” to save the planet. I have infinite patience with them.

      However, I’m more than happy to take the fight up to the politicians who have implemented Climate legislation and handsomely funded this monumental Fraud.

      What a blow that your courts have caved-in to political pressure and ignored the facts. Any likelihood of an appeal?

      • Walt O'Brien says:

        Yes, there is a very distinct possibility, but Cthulhu has spoken in judgment of this court decree, as in Washington DC half the power is out owing to globular kabooming LOL!

        http://apnews.myway.com//article/20120630/D9VNCGBO2.html

        Not even their gods can save them!!! Bwahahahaha!

        Everyone is different, but having been in a position for several years in a row dealing with truly despicable people engaged in criminal activities, not only does their approach to life tend to rub off on one owing to nothing more complex than simple exposure, but the line between righteous anger and self-damaging rage is very thin. Also it takes a lot of stubbornness and discipline not to lower one’s self to their level in one’s conduct, especially as those type of bar stewards know exactly where all one’s red buttons are through practice.

        The new crowd in the greentard business are no different than the leftards of old, I think you will find save they have no moral compass whatsoever apart from what their peers provide.

  6. chris says:

    Another truly excellent, well considered and thought provoking article. Thank you, Pointman.

    When I click onto sites like this, and read such blogs, I realise just how far behind and controlled the MSM is – perhaps it always has been and I didn’t realise until the internet helped open my mind and helped me see through bias (and bigotry)

    Thank you again!

  7. Walt O'Brien says:

    This just in from the ongoing climate wars LOL

    As with all other Obama Administration claims to “victory” the Tailpipe Ruling is a case of fraudulent association with virtue to achieve nefarious ends, the standard leftist tactic when ideas once again fail them.

    Here is the link:

    http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/Federal-Court-Rejects-Challenges-to-EPA-Industrial-Automotive-GHG-Rules_4770.html

    This grew out an engineering technicality which likewise has no supporting proof. Genuine toxins such as NOx, SOx, VM’s and PM’s have been likewise designated greenhouse gases alongside CO2 so therefore by association as if a molecule were yet another Kray brother a toxin.

    Well, perhaps it IS on topic. Name-calling to achieve by blindsiding economic goals which are not in the interests of the money earners is what the N word is all about, after all, innit, Pointman? LOL

    Anyway, large utility coal plants have been found exempt from the ruling. Automobiles and smaller industrial thermal facilities which have been exempt from any sort of emissions regulations altogether respecting genuinely toxic “GHG’s” are finally to get nailed for being on the road or operating at all without catalytic converters, wet or dry flue gas desulfurization, or particulate filters. Coal plants and large natural gas fired powerhouses have had all of the latter since the mid-Seventies which is why they are exempt from this ruling. Large #6 through light oil fired power plants, too, have all of the above, though none of those will be built again anytime soon in the States for economic reasons.

    So actually I find myself supporting this ruling as NOx (smog), SOx (airborne sulfuric acid, basically), volatile matter such as elasticisers for plastics (toluene, benzene, etc) ARE lethal and have been proven so. Particulate matter is dust and the little black grit of burned paraffin you see coming out of Diesel trucks. CO2 is not a threat to me or anyone else, but the other sh*t certainly is, and is medically substantiated to be so.

    I think that the ruling will ultimately be slapped down, though. I remember what air used to smell and look like in 1970, so that’s okay, too. Even with no ruling at all the air is much, much cleaner now than then.

  8. Edward. says:

    On a theme.

    More than fifty years of socialism and social engineering, forty years of Frankfurt school EU cultural Marxist theory.
    “Our faces rubbed in diversity”, a country used as a laboratory, a deliberate realignment of the ethnic mix and as a demographic [doomed] experiment.
    Since, the discrimination Act of the mid 70’s culminating with the HRA, the EU along with the ‘enlightened’ establishment and political elite, has obliterated the common law and with it common sense and equity. We are now lumbered with a legal mush, which not only is infeasible, it is subservient to the infinitely inferior legal code of the ECHR. The upshot, is there for all to witness and it was a defined policy, it did not come about by ‘trial and error’.

    In my own land, I am become: the white nigger, to boot a denier but not of reality, that gift is reserved for those infinitely jesting fellows in the UN, Brussels and Westminster.

  9. Labmunkey says:

    Great post. You probably didn’t need the second to last paragraph (counting the final line as a paragraph), but i understand why you put it in.

  10. Jack Wilder says:

    And back to AGW, Monbiot announces he’ll stop quacking about beak oil:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/02/peak-oil-we-we-wrong

  11. NoFixedAddress, formerly Denis of Perth says:

    I was sent to one of the top boarding schools in Melbourne, Australia.

    One night, Parents Day, I watched as a ‘fellow’ student punched one of my class mates and not one ‘adult’ intervened.

    It took me some days to work it out.

    I then punched that ‘fellow’ student to the ground, after giving fair notice.

    The head master of that ‘establishment’ offered to punch me in the head and raised his fist as if to strike me.

    When I, instinctively, stepped back into a defensive position he backed off.

    Bullies always live in a fear that they will be found out!

  12. Deadman says:

    From Chapter V of Nightmare Abbey (1818) by Thomas Love Peacock:

    Mr. Escot.  I should be sorry, sir, to advance any opinion that you would not think absurd.
    Mr. Panscope.  Death and fury, sir—
    Mr. Escot  Say no more, sir. That apology is quite sufficient.
    Mr. Panscope.  Apology, sir?
    Mr. Escot.  Even so, sir. You have lost your temper, which I consider equivalent to a confession that you have the worst of the argument.

  13. Truthseeker says:

    Pointman, I remember your previous post about dealing with trolls and you mentioned your web spiders. I was wondering if you could set them loose on “Adam Smith” who has been trolling at Jo Nova’s site and see what you can find. I think your spiders may find it a little challenging if “Adam Smith” is actually a Troll Team and so different “fists” would be involved.

    If it is not too much trouble …

    Thank you.

  14. Pointman says:

    Happy birthday America.

    Pointman

  15. Georg M says:

    Excellent article Pointman.

    I have a red-neck friend who once told me: ” I can’t stand niggers, especially the white ones.” He worked construction and came in contact with all types. Pretty astute viewpoint I thought.

    I can’t imagine calling any of my black friends and aquaintances nigger. They are all respectable, honorable people. I’ve met many political types who live up to my friend’s assessment.

  16. Barry Woods says:

    many at the grass root level pick up the bigotry unthinkingly, because the are genuinely paralised by fear at the ‘coming climate catastrophy’

    think previous end of world delusional thinking, repeated for a modern age.. with many participants becoming part of the establishment over 30 years, by shear force of ‘caring’ vs indifference, creating the great green groupthink we see now.

    And some of the most inteligent people around always seem to fall into this thinking.

    The computer modellors, seem quite open now, 3-5 years of cooling, or just minor temp rises, or just bubbling around the plateau and the computer models are stuffed. and then lots of people wil be saying how they were always a little sceptical, and a period of collective forgetfullness will occur.

  17. Beth Cooper says:

    I get angry at the denigration of CAGW sceptics and felt rage even, ( at the
    arrogant attitiude terwards the serfs demonstrated in the wasteful top down
    spending programs of our recent Gillard/ Rudd guvuhmint. Bein’ a serf I have
    felt like revoltin’, but I try ter laugh at folly, me own included. Sometimes it ain’t
    easy. Thx Ppintman fer yr thoughtful words, (again,)

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