Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. So I Responded to a Political Post on Facebook

 

Unlike many users of this site, I don’t harbor any particular feelings of hatred for Facebook. It’s a convenient way for me to keep in touch with family and friends, and there’s a lot of fun and interesting things posted there.

There is also plenty of politically charged nonsense posted there, but I usually just scroll past it or glance it over without commenting. I don’t post political things myself, and rarely respond to political posts.

However, every once in a while, if I have the time and am in the right mood, I’ll see something and feel compelled to respond. I always end up taking a long time to write things out if I do respond, because I want to choose my words carefully, be respectful, and try not to fall into the same trap of oversimplifying and vilifying the political opposition as those whose posts I respond to.

So I commented on a post that shared the image above. Here is the text of my response:

I reject the analogy. It’s not the same thing. The kids of Japanese ancestry being locked up were U.S. citizens who had not been charged with any crime. The Jewish kids were locked up for the purpose of eventually exterminating them all. The native children were those born of an indigenous group whose land had been forcibly taken from them by conquerors and were now going to be stripped of their culture and forcibly assimilated. Those three groups were targeted on the basis of their ethnicity, NOT actual law-breaking. There are significant and relevant differences in the reasoning behind the detainment of these different groups and and what the ultimate goal was behind detaining them.

It is regrettable to have any human beings locked up and detained, but there are situations and factors where such detainment may be justified or necessary as a practical matter for enforcing laws. The children in the top photo, I believe, are detained because they are foreign nationals whose parents and/or human traffickers brought them into a different country without first obtaining that country’s permission (and I do believe that every country has a right to determine what the rules are for who may or may not enter and to enforce them), and the country now has to go through the process of determining whether their parents qualify for asylum or not. Allowing these persons to wander freely in the population may make it extremely difficult to later locate and deport them if it is determined they do not have a legitimate claim to asylum.

I think there are honest critiques to be made about current immigration enforcement policies, but I tire of accusations of racism being used constantly to try to delegitimize one side in a debate around a complex and complicated issue. It is important to look to history to help better understand the present, and drawing parallels can be a useful exercise (heck, I’m a social studies teacher, so I try to teach that), but it’s also easy to fall into a trap of glossing over significant differences in context between different situations in history when trying to make a rhetorical point.

I’d be curious to hear anyone’s feedback on if they think I have anything wrong or to hear how they personally would have responded to it.

There are 56 comments.

  1. Dr. Bastiat Member

    Well done. 

    You’re gonna get smoked on Facebook, though…

    • #1
    • June 10, 2019, at 1:38 PM PST
    • 30 likes
  2. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Well done.

    You’re gonna get smoked on Facebook, though…

    Yep.

    • #2
    • June 10, 2019, at 1:48 PM PST
    • 13 likes
  3. Samuel Block Member

    I’d say that’s how it’s done. Let us know how the reaction goes. Particularly if there are any thoughtful responses (in agreement or not), and, obviously, show us the especially inane ones too.

    • #3
    • June 10, 2019, at 2:06 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  4. Hoyacon Member

    It’s unfortunate when “reasonable and well-written” amounts to a critique, but that’s a problem on Facebook where “reasoning” amounting to bullet points is the rule. As you noted, the analogies are weak. They are also incredibly weak because there is no basis for comparison and show a complete ignorance of history. The shorter and sweeter one can make that point the better.

    • #4
    • June 10, 2019, at 2:06 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  5. Stad Thatcher

    Are they small children? Send them back under supervision.

    Are they 17 year-old “kids” with facial tattoos? Send them back in chains.

    As for your response, it was spot on. No serious discussion on legal immigration or invasion by illegal aliens can take place if one side screams “Racist!” at the top of their lungs.

    Heck, they do the same thing on all issues, switching the slur to fit the “crime” of opposing their viewpoint . . .

    • #5
    • June 10, 2019, at 2:12 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  6. Western Chauvinist Member

    I would point out those kids were all locked up by socialists/fascists or their sympathizers (the top photo could very well have been taken during the Obama administration) and leave it at that. But, that’s why I’m not on Facebook. Flame wars in the family aren’t good.

    • #6
    • June 10, 2019, at 2:15 PM PST
    • 11 likes
  7. Franco Member

    You are making sense. That’s not what this type of thing is about!

    Imagine you are at a party and someone lights a cigarette ( in a well ventilated area) you start telling him of the health effects, then someone else lights a joint, you say it’s illegal and the police might come if the neighbors smell the stuff, the host’s 19 year-old daughter is walking around with a glass of wine…

    I’m not saying you are a scold or an insufferable jerk. Not at all. The point of that less-than perfect analogy is that liberals are having a party and they are having fun with politics on Facebook and you are going around party-pooping by making sense. They hate that.

    Just like the above examples, they are aware ( sorta) of the flaws in their logic, they just don’t want to hear it. The poster wants to make an impression, he/she doesn’t want a debate.

    I’m sure some will appreciate it but they will probably not respond.

    I have another theory. Sometimes I think leftists post these stupid political memes to flush out conservatives or Trump supporters. They want a safe space to make all these silly claims and they want to know who is not their friend, and/or they are vying for the “most ardent Trump hater” position in the group. The term virtue signaling is sometimes off the mark. It more “tribal signaling” in many cases.

    Good luck!

     

     

    • #7
    • June 10, 2019, at 2:17 PM PST
    • 15 likes
  8. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Everywhere else in the country, a fenced area for kids is a called a “playground“.

    • #8
    • June 10, 2019, at 2:20 PM PST
    • 16 likes
  9. Columbo Member

    Franco (View Comment):

    You are making sense. That’s not what this type of thing is about!

    Imagine you are at a party and someone lights a cigarette ( in a well ventilated area) you start telling him of the health effects, then someone else lights a joint, you say it’s illegal and the police might come if the neighbors smell the stuff, the host’s 19 year-old daughter is walking around with a glass of wine…

    I’m not saying you are a scold or an insufferable jerk. Not at all. The point of that less-than perfect analogy is that liberals are having a party and they are having fun with politics on Facebook and you are going around party-pooping by making sense. They hate that.

    Just like the above examples, they are aware ( sorta) of the flaws in their logic, they just don’t want to hear it. The poster wants to make an impression, he/she doesn’t want a debate.

    I’m sure some will appreciate it but they will probably not respond.

    I have another theory. Sometimes I think leftists post these stupid political memes to flush out conservatives or Trump supporters. They want a safe space to make all these silly claims and they want to know who is not their friend, and/or they are vying for the “most ardent Trump hater” position in the group. The term virtue signaling is sometimes off the mark. It more “tribal signaling” in many cases.

    Good luck!

     

     

    • #9
    • June 10, 2019, at 2:49 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  10. Arahant Member

    Knotwise the Poet: whose parents and/or human traffickers brought them into a different country without first obtaining that country’s permission

    This needs to be highlighted more. The truth is that in most cases, we don’t know whether the people they are with are parents or traffickers. This is why the children are being separated. To let them go might be to push them into sex slavery. Do people want them to be free to be sex slaves?

    • #10
    • June 10, 2019, at 2:50 PM PST
    • 12 likes
  11. PHCheese Member

    I agree with your response but regretfully it’s not going to change hearts and minds on Facebook.

    • #11
    • June 10, 2019, at 3:38 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  12. Full Size Tabby Member

    I would have been too tempted to respond along the lines of

    Anyone who considers these to be legitimate analogies is too stupid and/or ignorant to engage in rational conversation and therefore has no business expressing opinions in public.

    Now you have more understanding why I do not have accounts on Facebook or Twitter. :-)

     

    • #12
    • June 10, 2019, at 3:50 PM PST
    • 13 likes
  13. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member

    The photo on the bottom is of students at the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania. A lot of people don’t really know the history of the Indian Schools. My graduate school advisor, Hazel Hertzberg, was an expert on American Indian (yes that’s what she called them) history. In her work The Search for an American Indian Identity, Hazel notes that Indians/Native Americans interacted with the government and the society at large not as a overarching people or interest group but on the tribal level–well into the 20th century. Take a look at any Indian reservation/nation today and see the glories of progressivism arrayed…unemployment, poverty, alcoholism and more. Naomi Schaefer Riley, author of The New Trail of Tears, explains things succinctly in a Prager U video.

    https://www.prageru.com/video/american-indians-are-still-getting-a-raw-deal/

    If a leftist is talking about Indian schools, they are probably ill-informed. If the name Hertzberg is familiar, Hazel’s son is Hendrick. If Carlisle Indian School is familiar, it is because of a notable graduate named Jim Thorpe.

    • #13
    • June 10, 2019, at 4:04 PM PST
    • 17 likes
  14. Western Chauvinist Member

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):

    The photo on the bottom is of students at the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania. A lot of people don’t really know the history of the Indian Schools. My graduate school advisor, Hazel Hertzberg, was an expert on American Indian (yes that’s what she called them) history. In her work The Search for an American Indian Identity, Hazel notes that Indians/Native Americans interacted with the government and the society at large not as a overarching people or interest group but on the tribal level–well into the 20th century. Take a look at any Indian reservation/nation today and see the glories of progressivism arrayed…unemployment, poverty, alcoholism and more. Naomi Schaefer Riley, author of The New Trail of Tears, explains things succinctly in a Prager U video.

    https://www.prageru.com/video/american-indians-are-still-getting-a-raw-deal/

    If a leftist is talking about Indian schools, they are probably ill-informed. If the name Hertzberg is familiar, Hazel’s son is Hendrick. If Carlisle Indian School is familiar, it is because of a notable graduate named Jim Thorpe.

    Someone should get that PragerU video to the President!

    • #14
    • June 10, 2019, at 4:57 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  15. Susan Quinn Contributor

    I’m very impressed. You challenged the spin with an honest evaluation of the facts, and they will probably bash you for it. I’m perfectly happy not being on Facebook anymore.

    • #15
    • June 10, 2019, at 5:30 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  16. Hoyacon Member

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    I would have been too tempted to respond along the lines of

    Anyone who considers these to be legitimate analogies is too stupid and/or ignorant to engage in rational conversation and therefore has no business expressing opinions in public.

    Now you have more understanding why I do not have accounts on Facebook or Twitter. :-)

    Aside from the historical ignorance, the presumption of telling another individual what they would have done is particularly galling. I get that it’s just a Facebook meme, but it’s kind of revealing as to an authoritarian mind set. We know what you would do even if you don’t.

    • #16
    • June 10, 2019, at 5:45 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  17. Arahant Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    Aside from the historical ignorance, the presumption of telling another individual what they would have done is particularly galling. I get that it’s just a Facebook meme, but it’s kind of revealing as to an authoritarian mind set. We know what you would do even if you don’t.

    You must be punished for the crimes we know you would commit.

    • #17
    • June 10, 2019, at 5:56 PM PST
    • 12 likes
  18. JamesSalerno Coolidge

    It’s easy to forget that these are actual people on Facebook and not faceless robots. Scroll through any political meme’s comments and look at all of the misspelled words, bad grammar and unintelligible ranting. The average Facebook IQ must be in the double digits.

    Your post is too articulate for Facebook!

    • #18
    • June 10, 2019, at 6:16 PM PST
    • 1 like
  19. Hoyacon Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    Aside from the historical ignorance, the presumption of telling another individual what they would have done is particularly galling. I get that it’s just a Facebook meme, but it’s kind of revealing as to an authoritarian mind set. We know what you would do even if you don’t.

    You must be punished for the crimes we know you would commit.

    That too!

    • #19
    • June 10, 2019, at 6:23 PM PST
    • Like
  20. Kay of MT Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    Someone should get that PragerU video to the President!

    Indeed!

    • #20
    • June 10, 2019, at 6:24 PM PST
    • 1 like
  21. Samuel Block Member

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    I agree with your response but regretfully it’s not going to change hearts and minds on Facebook.

    I wonder if you can ever change hearts and minds of other people. But I think you can help people change their own; on the one hand by thoughtfully stating your disagreement and on the other by drawing out the people who resort to bullying when they are denied the constant affirmation they feel they are owed.

    Worked for me anyway, but I’m not on Facebook.

    • #21
    • June 10, 2019, at 6:29 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  22. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Nicely done, though I would not have conceded the illegitimacy of the entire Japanese internment or the efforts to assimilate the Indians.

    The Japanese internment situation is more complex than most believe. Many of those interned were in two categories: (1) non-citizens (who were enemy aliens in wartime who could be legitimately and properly interned), and (2) the minor US citizen children of non-citizens (who, in my view, could be legitimately and properly interned with their parents).

    There were adult citizens who were interned without individualized suspicion of wrongdoing or disloyalty, which I think was wrong.

    • #22
    • June 10, 2019, at 6:48 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  23. Bruce Caward Thatcher

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Nicely done, though I would not have conceded the illegitimacy of the entire Japanese internment or the efforts to assimilate the Indians.

    The Japanese internment situation is more complex than most believe. Many of those interned were in two categories: (1) non-citizens (who were enemy aliens in wartime who could be legitimately and properly interned), and (2) the minor US citizen children of non-citizens (who, in my view, could be legitimately and properly interned with their parents).

    There were adult citizens who were interned without individualized suspicion of wrongdoing or disloyalty, which I think was wrong.

    Hmm, I didn’t know this. I have lazily always just believed Japanese citizens were rounded up willy-nilly and shamefully marched to internment camps. Maybe it wasn’t that bad? Or simple?

    • #23
    • June 10, 2019, at 7:11 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  24. Knotwise the Poet Member
    Knotwise the Poet Post author

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Nicely done, though I would not have conceded the illegitimacy of the entire Japanese internment or the efforts to assimilate the Indians.

    The Japanese internment situation is more complex than most believe. Many of those interned were in two categories: (1) non-citizens (who were enemy aliens in wartime who could be legitimately and properly interned), and (2) the minor US citizen children of non-citizens (who, in my view, could be legitimately and properly interned with their parents).

    There were adult citizens who were interned without individualized suspicion of wrongdoing or disloyalty, which I think was wrong.

    Yeah, I know my own one-sentence takes on these things were just going off general memory and that those scenarios were more complex and nuanced than my summaries. However, I still think that in general those actions by the U.S. were on balance not the right thing to do, and in any case I didn’t want to get too distracted from my main message that the analogies being drawn in the meme was erroneous, and that a line can be easily drawn between those different cases.

    • #24
    • June 10, 2019, at 7:17 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  25. Arahant Member

    JamesSalerno (View Comment):
    The average Facebook IQ must be in the double digits.

    True of the US as a whole:

    The United States IQ average worldwide is ranked at number 24 with an average IQ of 98.—From Here

    I suspect Ricochet’s average is higher. Self-selection, and all of that.

    • #25
    • June 10, 2019, at 7:41 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  26. Western Chauvinist Member

    Knotwise the Poet (View Comment):
    However, I still think that in general those actions by the U.S. were on balance not the right thing to do

    We have to remember emperor worship was a thing — a religious cult even among naturalized Japanese-American citizens. Ann Coulter (or Michelle Malkin) has a story about a Japanese family in Hawaii helping a Japanese pilot who crash-landed on the island. I don’t remember the specifics, but it was definitely aid and comfort to the enemy. Treason.

    War is hell. A lot of injustices occur. I’m sure there were innocent Japanese-Americans in internment camps. But, we had no way of knowing where their loyalties lay. It’s too easy to judge past decisions by current sensibilities. 

    • #26
    • June 10, 2019, at 8:46 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  27. Taras Coolidge

    Knotwise the Poet (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Nicely done, though I would not have conceded the illegitimacy of the entire Japanese internment or the efforts to assimilate the Indians.

    The Japanese internment situation is more complex than most believe. Many of those interned were in two categories: (1) non-citizens (who were enemy aliens in wartime who could be legitimately and properly interned), and (2) the minor US citizen children of non-citizens (who, in my view, could be legitimately and properly interned with their parents).

    There were adult citizens who were interned without individualized suspicion of wrongdoing or disloyalty, which I think was wrong.

    Yeah, I know my own one-sentence takes on these things were just going off general memory and that those scenarios were more complex and nuanced than my summaries. However, I still think that in general those actions by the U.S. were on balance not the right thing to do, and in any case I didn’t want to get too distracted from my main message that the analogies being drawn in the meme was erroneous, and that a line can be easily drawn between those different cases.

    When FDR signed his internment order, he would have been aware of extensive fifth column activity by Japanese residents in the ongoing battle for the Philippines.

    He would also have been aware of the Ni’ihau Incident, in which Japanese Americans used violence to try to free a crash-landed Japanese pilot from the Pearl Harbor attack, who had been taken into custody by native Hawaiians. Based on that very small sample, it would have been not implausible (though almost certainly wrong) to conclude most Japanese Americans were willing to betray the United States. 

    Of course, when leftists condemn the United States for this, they conveniently neglect to mention that Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Brazil, and Argentina also participated. 

     

    • #27
    • June 10, 2019, at 8:53 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  28. Henry Castaigne Member

    You could be a gay person married to a Latino and have one adopted black child and one adopted Asian child. But if you dare disagree at all with any leftist position, you are a racist. This is why gay and black conservatives are usually mad of tougher stuff than straight white conservatives. They probably get it the worst. 

    I respect your polite and well-reasoned argument that recognizes that racism is garbage. But leftists on facebook don’t reason. They call people they disagree with racist. 

    Was there any lefty, that respectfully disagreed and said something like, “Well I still hate Trump and his policies but I understand your point. I just think that we should treat poor migrants better…. blah blah blah.” And he (or she or however they identify) addressed your points and assumed that you weren’t filled with bigotry and malevolence. 

    • #28
    • June 10, 2019, at 9:32 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  29. Henry Castaigne Member

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):

    The photo on the bottom is of students at the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania. A lot of people don’t really know the history of the Indian Schools. My graduate school advisor, Hazel Hertzberg, was an expert on American Indian (yes that’s what she called them) history. In her work The Search for an American Indian Identity, Hazel notes that Indians/Native Americans interacted with the government and the society at large not as a overarching people or interest group but on the tribal level–well into the 20th century. Take a look at any Indian reservation/nation today and see the glories of progressivism arrayed…unemployment, poverty, alcoholism and more. Naomi Schaefer Riley, author of The New Trail of Tears, explains things succinctly in a Prager U video.

    https://www.prageru.com/video/american-indians-are-still-getting-a-raw-deal/

    If a leftist is talking about Indian schools, they are probably ill-informed. If the name Hertzberg is familiar, Hazel’s son is Hendrick. If Carlisle Indian School is familiar, it is because of a notable graduate named Jim Thorpe.

    Poor rural whites, inner-city blacks and especially Native-American are the people who are having the hardest go of it in America and all these groups have had the government, ‘help’ them. I know a million people have made this point before but it remains evergreen. 

    • #29
    • June 10, 2019, at 9:53 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  30. Knotwise the Poet Member
    Knotwise the Poet Post author

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    You could be a gay person married to a Latino and have one adopted black child and one adopted Asian child. But if you dare disagree at all with any leftist position, you are a racist. This is why gay and black conservatives are usually mad of tougher stuff than straight white conservatives. They probably get it the worst.

    I respect your polite and well-reasoned argument that recognizes that racism is garbage. But leftists on facebook don’t reason. They call people they disagree with racist.

    Was there any lefty, that respectfully disagreed and said something like, “Well I still hate Trump and his policies but I understand your point. I just think that we should treat poor migrants better…. blah blah blah.” And he (or she or however they identify) addressed your points and assumed that you weren’t filled with bigotry and malevolence.

    As of right now, there are still no replies to my comment by either the poster or anyone else.

    • #30
    • June 11, 2019, at 2:18 AM PST
    • 3 likes