Dear Gracie II, Or; How To Miss The Point, Again
By: Barry Belmont

Dear Gracie.

Diagnosis Part I. The Problem.

What is that thing called where one points out one’s faults in another person? It’s taught in Psych 101 classes. Oh what’s it called? From Wikipedia: Psychological projection [...] is the unconscious act of denial of a person’s own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, such as to the weather, the government, a tool, or to other people. Thus, it involves imagining or projecting that others have the same feelings or motives, rather than what they really think. Yeah, that’s what you’ve got. Not being a psychologist (and the first to admit it!), I would say my diagnosis of you is rudimentary at best, but one does not need to be an otorhinolaryngologist to see the nose right in front of you.

Diagnosis Part II. The Signs.

1. You posted a 450+ word response less than one hour after the original 1000+ word letter was written. I guess my suggestion to “Please spend more time thinking about your responses than typing them. Gut reactions are not befitting you.” was taken with the seriousness I expected it to be.

2. You either knowingly misrepresented my position or failed to grasp it to begin with. I didn’t say there is “only” right and wrong in the world. Rather I said that right and wrong exist (knowing full-well that there are innumerable issues which do not fall into this dichotomy: there exists, after all, shades of grey)…which is a rather innocuous statement of reality if you think about it. (For instance, there either is a moon or there isn’t one.)

3. You kept harping on a point that is pointless to this discussion: it doesn’t matter if the VisLupiKids got their racial facts wrong about the U Commy. I. Do. Not. Care. I am not defending the VisLupes, nor their position, that has nothing to do with my letter. In it I claimed that you constantly dodge issues (“How To Miss The Point”) which your response is yet another example of and that your position with respect to “diversity” is misguided.

4. You constructed me as a straw man and said I am “not open to new ideas and dialogue.” And what evidence do you have to support this opinion? If you were too busy lacing your good points (cultural diversity brings about a greater understanding of humanity in general) with meandering B.S. (seriously a whole paragraph, rehashing what your original comment said?) then it’d be much easier to engage in important issues seriously with you. But instead watch how easy it is to make your claim: You, Gracie, are not open to new ideas and dialogue, and that offends me.

5. You claim that you ‘don’t close [your] mind and think [you're] the “right” and everything else is the “wrong” ‘. Well no one but a fool would agree with that statement. You do, in fact, think you are right. Everyone does. Anyone who doesn’t think their opinion is right and act on that assumption simply doesn’t. And no one thinks “everything else is wrong in society.” That’s just asinine.

6. You then say that I am doing the same offensive thing as you are. Though apparently my way of “classifying” doesn’t seem to rely on the bigoted notion of skin color and instead relies on the merit of opinions and ideas… Even if this were true, you’re just making me sound better here, and you sound worse. Though now that you mention it, what exactly is wrong on judging people’s opinions based on the merit of their propositions?

7. You end by brushing over your errors and “admitting” to them while simultaneously insinuating that I cannot. Having obviously never attended a SFL meeting where I often discover my position to be wrong, I’d say you’re just swatting at a straw man again. But whatever, get your rocks off in the comment section of UNR-based websites you callow little thing.

The Diagnosis Part III. The Symptoms.

You are a bad defender of your poor positions. You lack any insight into anything that I would be interested in. You make meaningless claims on meaningless subjects. You have a knack for hollowing words of their significances and leaving them as so much dead pixels splayed across a screen. When you do manage to infuse some kind of point into your speeches, it is rarely a point you would be proud to make (such as being seen as racist, when, in all likelihood, you are not). You project all of your own arguments’ flaws onto your opponent. You defend positions no one criticizes and completely glean over those which others have problems with. You are good at what you do, problem is that what you do is bad.

The Diagnosis Part IV. The Solution?

Once again, I’m not a doctor. I have no valid medical opinion. I have very few valid opinions. In fact, all of the evidence I have presented is open to interpretation. But as I see it, you have no idea what I am driving at nor any idea how you should feel about it. Rather than careful consideration to pertinent arguments, you’d rather spam the internet with your dribble babble NonSpeak like an internet troll gone bureacratically berserk with power.

To remedy this I suggest you either a) pull your head out of your ass in order to better see, hear, and understand the world or b) leave issues you know little about alone, perhaps to revisit at another time when you are more knowledgeable about the topic.

As a side note, if you’re “actually really interested in” my opinion about race, think briefly about how ass-backward the statement “Some people are proud of their heritage” really is… Don’t see anything wrong with it? Well, consider that “Some people” doesn’t just mean Mexicans at a fiesta or Japanese people drinking tea on their floors or Indians doing a rain dance, it also means neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, the Black Panthers, and Muslim terrorists. There is nothing to be “proud” of based on your skin color or your religion or your gender or your social, political, or economic upbringing. It’s luck of the draw: just because someone thinks they were born with a royal flush doesn’t mean they aren’t just a royal pain in the ass.

Finally, consider the simple example my dad related to me: what about a blind man who can’t see any of this “diversity.” What then? There are no “black” or “brown” or “white” people to him. Is he supposed to feel for the crosses and stars of David and ankh’s on people’s necklaces to determine their religion? Must he grope for breasts to determine gender?

Put yourself in his place for a day, Gracie. Try to feel how much better the world is when you stop trying to categorize others and realize we’re all just hurtling around this big ol’ universe on a tiny rock. We’re not men, we’re not women, we’re not white nor black nor brown, we’re not Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, we’re not vegetarians and meat-eaters, not gay or straight, not the differences that divide us. We’re just people.

We’re 99+% of the same genetic stuff. It’s time we start acting that way.

I mean it this time,
Barry Belmont

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  • Matt B.


    As usual your thoughts are well thought out. I understand your scientific criticisms on diversity, but I was curious if there were any specific works or writers that were influential in the forming of your opinions.

    I'm just trying to delve deeper, so I can fully understand your angle on diversity/unity.

  • Barry Belmont

    Hey Matt.

    There a couple of great scientific books on the subject but the best is hands down “The Mismeasure of Man” by Stephen Jay Gould. It is a scathing critique of biological determinism by arguably the greatest single biologist-writer of all time.

    The second edition is particularly worth reading as it responds directly to many of the arguments inherent in Herrnstein and Murray's infamous “The Bell Curve”.

    It should be required reading for anyone who wishes to understand human nature.

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