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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here.

There's this guy (a trainer) who frequents this newsgroup I read.

Recently, he posted a link to the newsgroup of a fairly disturbing video (circulated courtesy of PETA) of some small animals (cats) getting severely mistreated by some Chinese men of the food service persuasion. The men were enjoying themselves a bit too much and I concede it was pretty gruesome. The fact is though, cats and dogs are sometimes treated in the same manner over there as chickens are here in the US.

Along with the link to the video (which I will not post, sorry) was a rather emotionally charged statement of how this individual would no longer purchase from or conduct business with anyone in China because “they are all animals, unfit to be treated as equals in our western civilizations.”

Well now, regardless of my feelings for small, furry animals (I'm not a big fan of them)... I felt this was a bit extreme. Judging an entire culture of, what? 1.3 billion people? based on the actions exhibited in a single video? (A video which I repeat was distributed by PETA... not the most unbiased of sources)

So I told him he was a racist. WOW... talk about opening the floodgates. I was amazed how many of my "peers" proceeded to leap to his defense. There were a couple folks that agreed with me, but we were in the minority. How is this possible? Is it ok to negatively label an entire culture, but not to criticize one person for doing so?

Of course some folks just like rallying to a cause... even if that cause doesn't actually exist. I had folks telling me it was his right to boycot China if he so chose... and they are right, of course. He can boycot oxygen for all I care. That particular liberty was never in question. I said he was a racist for categorizing the entire Chinese population as “animals, unfit to be treated as equals.” Somehow this point keeps getting overlooked.

Other folks felt the need to tell me I was intolerant. Of what precisely? Intolerant of racism? Yep, I sure am! Intolerant of ignorance? Busted... For the most part, I could care less what these people think, but it kept bothering me that everyone seemed to be missing the key point...  You can't negatively label an entire population of 1.3 BILLION people based on a (PETA) video you downloaded from the internet and expect people to not think of you as a racist.

In an attempt to “clarify” things, he posted this little nugget of wisdom: “I'm basing this on the fact that the people of China must know this goes on and yet do NOTHING to stop it, therefore they condone it. Therefore, they are all the same.”

When pressed, he explained that in addition to “the video”, he also asked two chinese people (who don't actually live in china.) WOW, talk about due diligence... I'm glad to see he researched it. I'm pretty sure asking 1 billionth of the population doesn't qualify as a representative sample.

This particular “war of the words” has been going on most of the week now, and it's starting to fizzle a little as people (myself included) lose interest, but neither of us have been capable of reaching ANY common ground at all on this. Incidentally, if he sincerely intends to never purchase anything from china, or made in china or made with parts that were made in china then he's going to have a frustrating life ahead of him (although I'm pretty sure he does already.)

So I'm curious... am I totally off base on this one? If I'm wrong, I'd love to know.

Posted on Friday, December 16, 2005 11:26 AM General Interest | Back to top


Comments on this post: causing trouble wherever I go...

# re: causing trouble wherever I go...
Requesting Gravatar...
Post the newsgroup - I'd love to flame him
Left by Bill on Dec 16, 2005 12:33 PM

# re: causing trouble wherever I go...
Requesting Gravatar...
It's one of the private Microsoft MCT newsgroups.
Left by Chris Williams on Dec 16, 2005 12:42 PM

# re: causing trouble wherever I go...
Requesting Gravatar...
Have you ever seen the Penn & Teller b*llsh*t show about PETA... i *love* that show. 99% of the world have no idea about critical thinking, logical thought or reasoned argument. You just have to get used to it.
Left by ZMan on Dec 16, 2005 2:08 PM

# re: causing trouble wherever I go...
Requesting Gravatar...
I think you're totally right, boss. People don't want to think, analyze, and be logical. Remember, the logical person says "I think", the illogical typically says "I feel". Case in point: Bill Crosby has been a civil rights activist for years and years. One time, he was addressing a group of civil rights leaders, who were honouring him. He stated, as a part of his speech, that civil rights was never going to work until the people involved started making changes. He dared to suggest that so long as Little Johnny's mom and dad couldn't speak decent English, didn't stress the importance of education, and continued to live off the government, his people would continue in the same path. He suggested that the man who kept a man down was himself. The civil rights community spurned him as a result. Despite everything he had done, they labelled him an "Uncle Tom". Again, people don't want to be reasonable. Sorry for the rant.
Left by Theo Moore on Dec 16, 2005 2:24 PM

# re: causing trouble wherever I go...
Requesting Gravatar...
Just remember...half of the world is at or below average intelligence. That means, in the US alone, there's roughly 150 million people you need to worry about. Given the typical bell-curve distribution for intelligence in the population, that number is closer to 200 million people to worry about (all those average joes scare me too). Then there's the ultra-smart ubergeek types...another 20 million you REALLY need to worry about. So, working with the averages, if there's 300 people that read the MCT newsgroup, 220 of them have nothing useful to say...the rest are quietly shaking there head and wondering when the next dark age will start.
Left by OwenG on Dec 16, 2005 2:45 PM

# re: causing trouble wherever I go...
Requesting Gravatar...
You only did one thing wrong, Chris. You responded to newsgroup spam. Several of these have appeared on the public C# group, and so far, thankfully, nobody has seen fit to respond to them.
Left by Peter Bromberg on Dec 16, 2005 4:56 PM

# re: causing trouble wherever I go...
Requesting Gravatar...
The guy you were sparring with either is an idiot, racist, or both. With his logic applied, all of you in the states are war mongering gluttons that just invade countries at whim for your own gain, which is entirely not true. We all know its just Texans that are like that. ;)

D
Left by D'Arcy from Winnipeg on Dec 17, 2005 5:03 AM

# re: causing trouble wherever I go...
Requesting Gravatar...
Yeah, he's definitely on meth or something...seriously, anybody who makes blanket statements like that it just contributing to the biased views people have on us elsewhere out. Biasim is like a black hole, Person A hates all people of type B, Type B finds out about and then several people of Type B hate all of type A's, and then it just spirals down from there getting bigger and bigger. Ignorance is a disease that this guy has contracted. While I agree that joyfully killing any living thing is morbid and inhumane, singling out an entire culture (because it's just not China that these foods are eatin in), is just plain wrong.
Left by Brian on Dec 18, 2005 11:48 AM

# re: causing trouble wherever I go...
Requesting Gravatar...
Yep, youre totally right.

On top of that, they're food. The fact that we dont eat them here gets people all up in arms, because they are ignorant and unwilling to accept that other cultures are different than ours.

Left by Rick on Dec 19, 2005 6:14 AM

# re: causing trouble wherever I go...
Requesting Gravatar...
I wonder if that guy eats fish. I wonder if he's ever been to a fish market. Good thing fish are (mostly) ugly... otherwise people would be freaking out over that too.
Left by Chris Williams on Dec 19, 2005 6:37 AM

# re: causing trouble wherever I go...
Requesting Gravatar...
Actually PETA had a recent complaint against how goldfish are treated at pet stores. In fact, in Rome I believe they have banned the practice of selling fish in goldfish bowls and giving them away as carnivl prizes because its "inhumane". On that note, one thing to keep in mind is that our country in particular has lost the art of meaningful thought-provoking debate. We are instantly reduced to personal attacks the minute our arguments disembowl the arguments made by our counterparts. Unfortunately we are learning this "skill" from our so-called political leaders on both sides of the isle who refuse to speak with a civil tongue and encourage public uprising on issues that realy aren't worth getting upset about.
Left by Tobin Titus on Dec 28, 2005 8:26 AM

# re: causing trouble wherever I go...
Requesting Gravatar...
Yeah... I'm just waiting for the Plant & Vegetable Rights wackos to start picketing the farmer's markets and salad bars as inhumane. You know they're out there somewhere... waiting & planning.
Left by Chris Williams on Dec 28, 2005 8:36 AM

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