Prejudicial Reaction(s) to Perceived Prejudice

This is the kind of rhetoric that unfortunately, perhaps inherently, characterizes identity politics in general and the Big Government partisan variety of collectivism in particular.


In an obviously frustrated response to the Seattle Seahawks’ loss to the Arizona Cardinals this past weekend, Washington state legislator Representative Joe Fitzgibbon (D) tweeted “losing a football game sucks.  Losing to a desert racist wasteland sucks a lot.”  He further clarified his intent by suggesting that “Arizona leaders need to look at changing laws that he believes amount to racial profiling,” in apparent reference to Arizona’s 2010 law derived from Senate Bill 1070.


His latter suggestion is an agreeable goal but what exactly does such a goal have to do with football?  It is my understanding that the Seahawks lost to a football team, not a state, or the people thereof.  If it amounts to unethical profiling to fallaciously presume that Hispanics are uniformly illegal immigrants simply because illegal immigrants tend to be overwhelmingly Hispanic (and notably so in Arizona), as I agree it is, then surely to assume that Arizonans are uniformly “racist” because such a law has arguable racist undertones and intent equally amounts to unethical profiling.  And how should a collectivist presume accusations of citywide racism reflect on Representative Fitzgibbon, a Seattle resident?  Is it sensible or logical to presume he himself is a racist because a Seattle police officer displayed bigoted behavior during the execution of his duties or because Seattle is among the least diverse large cities in America (clearly an indication of racist exclusionism [sarcasm])?  It should be simple enough to recognize how prejudice manifests and perpetuates in an irritatingly “s/he said it first” sort of way.


This simple and relatively inconsequential example is admittedly one small drop in a very large bucket of similar goings on and it is chiefly the bucket that concerns me.  If we as a society cannot broadly reject collectivist nonsense like this then we face no other plausible outcome than to erode the legitimacy of a functioning democracy.  In the end, democratic processes unavoidably devolve into collectivist- and/or identity-based tyranny that is predicated on a majoritarian (or electoral minoritarian) might-makes-right rationale.  But I digress…


I suppose the main point here is that freedom of speech and expression, like all freedoms, must justly be tempered with personal responsibility and accountability.  In the case of negative consequences, they should reasonably match the severity of the offending action or decision and since the representative’s comments harm no one directly or grievously then simply pointing out that his words were deeply illogical is consequence enough.  Let us hope that such prejudice does not unduly influence his more consequential decision making, the ones that grant power of force and violence to State agents such as Detective Cobane.



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