Monday, April 12, 2004

What I keep coming back to in Eileen's response to Andrew Loewen's apology is this insight:

it's not an uncommon strategy for people to "deflect" away from a complaint by turning a specific point into a more general point. Generalizing can allow avoiding the address of the specific issue, particularly on such sensitive matters as those involving race...(The specifics here include how a general desire for shock value translates to the specifics of "Filipina crack whore".)

In thinking back on the discussion on the Poetics list over the past few days, this is exactly the strategy that kept popping up, not only from Loewen but from those who were defending him--downplaying the specific language being objected to in his post in favor of the "general" (and hence more valid, more real) aspects of what was being said.

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