So Vic sort of makes an interesting point here. I actually agree with the substance of a lot of what that Metta says. I disagree with his conclusion. Vic is right in that the solution is not to not talk about race. To do so would be to bury your head in the sand. After all… Kevin is white. Vic (IIRC) is half-white.

Where the problem with Vic’s argument comes in is his insistence on intention. In Vic’s rhetoric the thing which we are discussing is something else. Something not racism. And our insistence on calling it that somehow hampers the discussion.

I’m even half inclined to agree with him. Obviously this discussion has been hampered because more of it had been devoted to “what is racism” than anything else. In fact I similarly agree with the naming conventions of say “feminism” or “radical Islam”. It’s not even about the positives of the negatives of the language. It’s that the arguing over the definitions distracts from the terms. Linguistics (not my area of expertise) and semiotics get into this a lot. Obviously (at least obvious to most of us) Vic means something different than what most of us mean by racism.

But the problem becomes that arguments like that distract. It causes the Vic’s of the world to argue their semantic points. It causes the John Mettas of the world to throw up their hands in disgust. It causes the rest of us to get sucked into the definitional argument rather than the evaluative one. All the while the Mike Lands of the world go about posting their nonsensical racist trolling memes.

I am not so interested in changing the mind of a Mike Land. Dude is clearly beyond saving and I’m perfectly content to just make fun of him.

Vic is smarter than that. But the problem I have is that his disagreement on the semantics causes him (by his own admission) to dismiss the rest of the work that goes on.