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Katie

Revisiting the racism at Team Foxcatcher

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3 hours ago, Janderson133 said:

I could easily see the argument that the act of forcing someone to leave could be labeled racist, but it also seems reasonable that an allowance be made for the fact that he'd lost his mind. Otherwise, you're gonna have to hold every single person in the world to their worst moments when labeling them. Seems like the guy wasn't naturally a racist, but did something after going nuts that could be seen as racist if that's what you're looking for. 

Great flavor of the week conversation - be interested tp see if anyone pushing the topic cares in 3 months.

That's exactly the point. He was clearly losing his grip on reality and doing increasingly weird and dangerous things because of it. He thought people out to get him were hiding in the walls of his house and in the trees on his estate and I think he even had a bunch of trees cut down for that reason. If he's proclaiming that he's the Dalai Lama and actually making people refer to him like that, you can really only chalk up his behavior to being a guy with a severe mental illness who made things worse by using tons of drugs and alcohol. People were planning on leaving after the Olympics or the trials that year anyway, mostly due to his weird and erratic behavior and because they were worried he might cross the line and hurt somebody.  

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Another thought.  I don't think anyone can deny the removal of black athletes is a racist act. I am not sure the racism catch-all works great here though.

I am a special educator.  If we had a student who was completely blind, we wouldn't classify him as learning disabled in reading.  The individual wouldn't be able to see the words on the page, so it may manifest as an inability to read.  Classification of LD in reading would lead to ineffective services and accomodations.

If we want to learn and grow socially as a wrestling community, throwing the racism blanket over the situation at Foxcatcher without evaluating the other complexities of DuPont's condition could do as much harm as good.

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5 hours ago, JHRoseWrestling said:

Another thought.  I don't think anyone can deny the removal of black athletes is a racist act. I am not sure the racism catch-all works great here though.

I am a special educator.  If we had a student who was completely blind, we wouldn't classify him as learning disabled in reading.  The individual wouldn't be able to see the words on the page, so it may manifest as an inability to read.  Classification of LD in reading would lead to ineffective services and accomodations.

If we want to learn and grow socially as a wrestling community, throwing the racism blanket over the situation at Foxcatcher without evaluating the other complexities of DuPont's condition could do as much harm as good.

The endless excuses and explanations for barbarism is the reason we have rioting in the streets. I imagine every racist has an excuse. 

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37 minutes ago, Plasmodium said:

The endless excuses and explanations for barbarism is the reason we have rioting in the streets. I imagine every racist has an excuse. 

I agree with what @JHRoseWrestling is saying (or at least believe he/she is saying).  It's not about making excuses or denying the racism, but getting to the root cause of why that person has that mindset.  In this case is was deranged insanity, but across the board, in my opinion,  the most important thing isn't so much whether something is or isn't...but the why.  

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8 hours ago, JHRoseWrestling said:

Another thought.  I don't think anyone can deny the removal of black athletes is a racist act. I am not sure the racism catch-all works great here though.

I am a special educator.  If we had a student who was completely blind, we wouldn't classify him as learning disabled in reading.  The individual wouldn't be able to see the words on the page, so it may manifest as an inability to read.  Classification of LD in reading would lead to ineffective services and accomodations.

If we want to learn and grow socially as a wrestling community, throwing the racism blanket over the situation at Foxcatcher without evaluating the other complexities of DuPont's condition could do as much harm as good.

I think that's really the crux of the complaint that folks like LBJ and others have with the 'racism' argument. If you took an individual with Alzheimer's at the end of their life, you might classify them as disabled - it doesn't mean that the person was always disabled, or that without that debility, they would have been similarly impaired.

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1 hour ago, Le duke said:

So, what should we call it?

Insanity-caused, color-but-not-race-based discrimination?

No - you should stand as tall as you can, go to a place with as many people as you can find and scream at the top of your lungs "RACIST!!!!!", followed by "but I'm not".

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13 hours ago, Le duke said:

So, what should we call it?

Insanity-caused, color-but-not-race-based discrimination

You can call it whatever you choose, I call it complicated.

I just don't share your desire to make it all fit into a single box,  especially when eradication of racism from a sick man's heart would have done nothing to save the life that was lost in this circumstance.

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9 minutes ago, JHRoseWrestling said:

You can call it whatever you choose, I call it complicated.

I just don't share your desire to make it all fit into a single box,  especially when eradication of racism from a sick man's heart would have done nothing to save the life that was lost in this circumstance.

It is not  a single box.  A person can have many characteristics.  People are attaching a lot of importance to a diagnosis put forward by blue blood lawyers. 

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3 hours ago, Plasmodium said:

It is not  a single box.  A person can have many characteristics.  People are attaching a lot of importance to a diagnosis put forward by blue blood lawyers. 

I'm attaching importance to the fact the guy was obviously mentally ill and abusing drugs and alcohol.  Yet USA Wrestling ignored his bizarre and erratic behavior because he gave them lots of money, and did nothing despite him acting crazy for years, until he murdered Dave Schultz.  

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@JHRoseWrestling - well done.  Many people prefer simple categories.  It is human nature.  Sometimes things are complicated but people still find ways to simplify to make life easier to understand.

.....

This person is _____
The reason for ____ is _____

Now I feel better, and can move on ...

....

I appreciate the people who appreciate the complexities involved.  
 

I do believe that sometimes simplification is needed to drive action and improvements and simplification can be a ‘good enough.’   Otherwise paralysis could set in.  But when trying to drive to deeper understanding, clinging to simplicity such as mental categories is a hindrance.
 

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6 hours ago, Plasmodium said:

It is not  a single box.  A person can have many characteristics.  People are attaching a lot of importance to a diagnosis put forward by blue blood lawyers. 

When you say “a diagnosis put forth by blue blood lawyers”, what do you mean?

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5 hours ago, TripNSweep said:

I'm attaching importance to the fact the guy was obviously mentally ill and abusing drugs and alcohol.  Yet USA Wrestling ignored his bizarre and erratic behavior because he gave them lots of money, and did nothing despite him acting crazy for years, until he murdered Dave Schultz.  

Mentally ill is very broad term. It is vague. He wasn't insane. He didn't place any value on Schultz's life.  That was a decision.  So many people suffer for it 25 years later.

Edited by Plasmodium

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5 hours ago, Plasmodium said:
5 hours ago, Plasmodium said:

Mentally ill is very broad term. It is vague. He wasn't insane. He didn't place any value on Schultz's life.  That was a decision.  So many people suffer for it 25 years later.

 

What! how about an insane decision?

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6 hours ago, Plasmodium said:

Mentally ill is very broad term. It is vague. He wasn't insane. He didn't place any value on Schultz's life.  That was a decision.  So many people suffer for it 25 years later.

He asked people to refer to him as the Dalai Lama. Now I suppose it's possible he was just saying that to be funny, but from all accounts it seemed like he was pretty serious.  He was also believed that people were out to get him and hiding in the trees on his estate and within the walls too.  Even if he wasn't completely crazy and had periods of lucidity, his mental health was obviously in decline, and not helped by his drug and alcohol use. 

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I respectfully suggest that this was not a helpful stand alone topic.  There was already an important thread on the board which has generated a lot of replies on the very important, timely, and necessary topic of the experience of black wrestlers -- which has been marked by a history of substantial overt and subtle discrimination, just like other sports and the rest of American life.

The Dupont mess is so complicated and nuanced that this thread turned into an unhelpful, irrelevant diversion.

As pointed out, Dupont's central and overriding problem was indisputably a terrible mental illness.  This manifested itself among other things with a bizarre aversion to all things, including humans, that had a black exterior. 

Do we really need to try to figure out if this deeply ill man was also somewhere on, and if so, at exactly what spot and when he arrived there, the spectrum of racism?  

Isn't it pretty clear that the entire Dupont affair was poorly handled by wrestling governing bodies?

And is it really necessary to point out that he treated both (white) Schultz brothers more poorly than anyone else, including by intentionally shooting and killing one of them, such that a major movie and documentary were made on the subject?

At this transcendent moment in our history, we need our public discourse, in order to help better our society, to have relevant focus while avoiding inflammatory sideshows.

Edited by drag it

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4 hours ago, drag it said:

I respectfully suggest that this was not a helpful stand alone topic.  There was already an important thread on the board which has generated a lot of replies on the very important, timely, and necessary topic of the experience of black wrestlers -- which has been marked by a history of substantial overt and subtle discrimination, just like other sports and the rest of American life.

The Dupont mess is so complicated and nuanced that this thread turned into an unhelpful, irrelevant diversion.

As pointed out, Dupont's central and overriding problem was indisputably a terrible mental illness.  This manifested itself among other things with a bizarre aversion to all things, including humans, that had a black exterior. 

Do we really need to try to figure out if this deeply ill man was also somewhere on, and if so, at exactly what spot and when he arrived there, the spectrum of racism?  

Isn't it pretty clear that the entire Dupont affair was poorly handled by wrestling governing bodies?

And is it really necessary to point out that he treated both (white) Schultz brothers more poorly than anyone else, including by intentionally shooting and killing one of them, such that a major movie and documentary were made on the subject?

At this transcendent moment in our history, we need our public discourse, in order to help better our society, to have relevant focus while avoiding inflammatory sideshows.

Not accurate

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5 hours ago, drag it said:

I respectfully suggest that this was not a helpful stand alone topic.  There was already an important thread on the board which has generated a lot of replies on the very important, timely, and necessary topic of the experience of black wrestlers -- which has been marked by a history of substantial overt and subtle discrimination, just like other sports and the rest of American life.

The Dupont mess is so complicated and nuanced that this thread turned into an unhelpful, irrelevant diversion.

As pointed out, Dupont's central and overriding problem was indisputably a terrible mental illness.  This manifested itself among other things with a bizarre aversion to all things, including humans, that had a black exterior. 

Do we really need to try to figure out if this deeply ill man was also somewhere on, and if so, at exactly what spot and when he arrived there, the spectrum of racism?  

Isn't it pretty clear that the entire Dupont affair was poorly handled by wrestling governing bodies?

And is it really necessary to point out that he treated both (white) Schultz brothers more poorly than anyone else, including by intentionally shooting and killing one of them, such that a major movie and documentary were made on the subject?

At this transcendent moment in our history, we need our public discourse, in order to help better our society, to have relevant focus while avoiding inflammatory sideshows.

Two thoughts.

First, I think USA Wrestling did the best they could under the circumstances. Given his FILA connections, du Pont had USA Wrestling over a barrel. 

Second, the wrestlers involved sued for racial discrimination. So it seems that the people who were actually negatively impacted by du Pont’s behavior believed that he discriminated against them on the basis of their race. If you’re going to dismiss the racial aspect of the episode, you should at least respectfully acknowledge that fact.

 

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Greg Strobel would know the answer to this, whether his actions were based out of mental illness, or his actions were based off of his feelings about African American wrestlers.  Strobel witnessed probably all or most of his interactions with the athletes.

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2 hours ago, Katie said:

Two thoughts.

First, I think USA Wrestling did the best they could under the circumstances. Given his FILA connections, du Pont had USA Wrestling over a barrel. 

Second, the wrestlers involved sued for racial discrimination. So it seems that the people who were actually negatively impacted by du Pont’s behavior believed that he discriminated against them on the basis of their race. If you’re going to dismiss the racial aspect of the episode, you should at least respectfully acknowledge that fact.

 

You can sue anybody for any reason. It's not a question of filing a lawsuit, it's more what happened with that lawsuit. Did it go anywhere? Mezger filed a sexual harrassment lawsuit against him and settled it out of court, so obviously that was more successful. 

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2 hours ago, Katie said:

Two thoughts.

First, I think USA Wrestling did the best they could under the circumstances. Given his FILA connections, du Pont had USA Wrestling over a barrel. 

Second, the wrestlers involved sued for racial discrimination. So it seems that the people who were actually negatively impacted by du Pont’s behavior believed that he discriminated against them on the basis of their race. If you’re going to dismiss the racial aspect of the episode, you should at least respectfully acknowledge that fact.

 

We know that du Pont technically discriminated against them on the basis of their race, don't we?  As others have explained, he removed everything and person with a black exterior from his property.  I didn't dispute that technical point and it wasn't my (and others') problem with the discussion.

I disagree that I was required by good faith to acknowledge that several of the people who were discriminated against because of the color of their skin sued this highly unstable person, just as I didn't need to recite that Nancy Schultz sued (and got a settlement for a reported substantial eight figure sum) for driving up to her husband, pointing a gun at him, and firing several bullets into him in order to kill him.  A fact in support of an established point is no more relevant than the established point.  My stated concern in my post was the overall relevance and helpfulness of the topic of the post in the greater context of the very, very real issue of the experiences of black U.S. citizens, in this case wrestlers.

For instance, the original post gave as a rationale for dredging up the quarter century old du Pont mess in the context of the current political and social upheaval the failure of the wrestling governing bodies to make du Pont "face any consequences for" his discrimination against black Foxcatcher wrestlers.  But in your post reacting to mine, you said that "I think USA Wrestling did the best they could under the circumstances."  My (rebuttable) presumption is that they botched du Pont on many levels, but regardless, if you do think they did the best they could, why have we gone through the rancor of this post's discussion when the governing bodies' handling of the situation was a, if not the, stated news hook for raising the topic?

There was a perfectly good original post regarding black wrestlers' experience.  It's essential to have the discussion about race and wrestling.  And I could think of other, relevant topics for specific discussion that might merit a new thread, such as the experiences of black coaches, or how our greatest black wrestlers' accomplishments are viewed compared to white peers.  I think there are focused, tough, relevant questions that could be asked on those subjects that might be provocative without being needlessly inflammatory.  But for the reasons I gave earlier, I believe that this thread was unhelpful and impeded rather than fostered the conversation about race in the wrestling community.

 

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15 minutes ago, drag it said:

We know that du Pont technically discriminated against them on the basis of their race, don't we?  As others have explained, he removed everything and person with a black exterior from his property.  I didn't dispute that technical point and it wasn't my (and others') problem with the discussion.

I disagree that I was required by good faith to acknowledge that several of the people who were discriminated against because of the color of their skin sued this highly unstable person, just as I didn't need to recite that Nancy Schultz sued (and got a settlement for a reported substantial eight figure sum) for driving up to her husband, pointing a gun at him, and firing several bullets into him in order to kill him.  A fact in support of an established point is no more relevant than the established point.  My stated concern in my post was the overall relevance and helpfulness of the topic of the post in the greater context of the very, very real issue of the experiences of black U.S. citizens, in this case wrestlers.

For instance, the original post gave as a rationale for dredging up the quarter century old du Pont mess in the context of the current political and social upheaval the failure of the wrestling governing bodies to make du Pont "face any consequences for" his discrimination against black Foxcatcher wrestlers.  But in your post reacting to mine, you said that "I think USA Wrestling did the best they could under the circumstances."  My (rebuttable) presumption is that they botched du Pont on many levels, but regardless, if you do think they did the best they could, why have we gone through the rancor of this post's discussion when the governing bodies' handling of the situation was a, if not the, stated news hook for raising the topic?

There was a perfectly good original post regarding black wrestlers' experience.  It's essential to have the discussion about race and wrestling.  And I could think of other, relevant topics for specific discussion that might merit a new thread, such as the experiences of black coaches, or how our greatest black wrestlers' accomplishments are viewed compared to white peers.  I think there are focused, tough, relevant questions that could be asked on those subjects that might be provocative without being needlessly inflammatory.  But for the reasons I gave earlier, I believe that this thread was unhelpful and impeded rather than fostered the conversation about race in the wrestling community.

 

It's pretty easy to not open a thread and read it. Try it sometime.

Edited by Katie

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35 minutes ago, TripNSweep said:

You can sue anybody for any reason. It's not a question of filing a lawsuit, it's more what happened with that lawsuit. Did it go anywhere? Mezger filed a sexual harrassment lawsuit against him and settled it out of court, so obviously that was more successful. 

Even if the plaintiff's lost their lawsuit, it would have no bearing on whether they believed they were discriminated against on the basis of their race. At any rate, for all we know, they settled out of court. We just don't know what happened.

Edited by Katie

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