Monday, June 10, 2013

A Question for Rob Baker ...

... the Logical Fallacy King

So there's this blog comment thread about treason. People are just posting away at it. Then, although it has no direct connection to the discussion, one of the commenters poses a question to me (and a couple of other folks) by name.

To summarize, the other commenter, Mr. Huddleston,  asks supporters of secession to explain their support of a Cause which condoned incidents such as the one he described (a physical assault on a black woman). I explain that I do it by recognizing the good and the bad, and not condoning the bad. I show that Americans do the same thing -- they recognize the good and bad in the USA's history and do not condone the bad.

This prompts another commenter to attempt to restrict what should be considered to just the founding of the USA (good) and CSA (foul). My reply to that includes a quote from an essay by Douglas Harper comparing the founding of the USA and the CSA, which includes the term "southerners."

Brooks D. Simpson makes it a race issue by saying that when I say "southerners" I mean white Southerners. That is irrelevant to either question by the other commenters, and it's irrelevant to my answers. Nevertheless, I explain that "Southerner" has traditionally referred to whites in the South, and that blacks collectively don't usually prefer any sort of regional label. He comes back with this:
I’m sure you converse with a lot of black people, Connie.
Sweet Southern Boys is a fantasy: the murder of Emmett Till was the reality.
The first sentence is irony -- a statement used to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning. The conveyed meaning is that I do not converse with many black people, which is intended by Simpson to portray me as a racist. Thus, it is a personal attack which is also irrelevant to the questions put to me, and irrelevant to my answers.

As interesting as that is, though, it is the second statement I really want to focus on.

In your opinion, how does this statement -- Sweet Southern Boys is a fantasy: the murder of Emmett Till was the reality -- relate to the discussion about whether the Confederates were treasonous, or to the subsequent discussion begun by Mr. Huddleston's question?

In a subsequent comment, Simpson says, "For a woman who studies false accusations of sexual behavior, the fact that you can’t see how that links to the Till case suggests that history is indeed a foreign land to you."

In your opinion, Rob, how does that statement -- the part in bold-face type -- how does that relate to anything in the entire thread up to the point that Simpson brought up the Till case?

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